Sunday, May 15, 2011

Catholic politics and the poor

Speaker John Boehner was invited to give the commencement address at Catholic University yesterday. In response,  a number of Academics from Catholic University and other places, wrote a letter to  the speaker in an attempt to "reawaken (your) familiarity with the teachings of your Church on matters of faith and morals as they relate to governance."  

We're kind of getting use to Catholics on one side or the other calling each other out for not being Catholic enough, but I'm pretty sure none of the signees of this particular letter ever called out Nancy Pelosi, or John Kerry, Joe Biden or Ted Kennedy to "awaken their familiary with Church teachings on matters of faith and morals" such as abortion!

Looking over the signees I wondered if this wasn't a case of failure to remove the huge plank in the eye  before going after the speaker.  The Ten Reasons Blog pointed out several of the signers who seemed to just plain outright dissent from Catholic Teaching.

Arthur T. Dewey [Dewey was a member of the Jesus Seminar in the Nineties and has repeatedly denied the divinity of Christ.]





Edward P. Hahnenberg, Ph.D. [Hahenberg is the author of a short, highly subjective guide to the documents of Vatican II. He also signed a letter "lamenting" Archbishop Pilarczyk's 2009 censure of would-be priestess Louise Akers. Ditto for Arthur Dewey and XU signatories John Sniegocki and Christopher Pramuk.]




Mark Ensalaco, Ph.D. [Ensalaco earned himself an entry in David Horowitz's book The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America for his defenses of Latin American communists and his apologies for Islamist terrorism.]

I found a few more on my own:

Sr. Mary Hughes, OP President Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which is under investigation by the Vatican.

Una Cadigan who wrote the following in the Catholic Studies Reader:




That Mary seems to recognize something about Jesus’ “hour” even before he was ready to commit to it publicly suggests that discernment is a deeply communal and relational process in which human and divine collaboration brings about new things in the world. Finally, one of the most important things about the story is that it takes place at a wedding celebration. Jesus’ first miracle is not to heal someone suffering hopelessly or to give food to the poor and hungry, but to ensure the provsion of appropriate hospitality in the service of great celebration.

See and I always thought the wine was a sign of God's grace and that the miracle at Cana was Jesus raising marriage to the level of a sacrament!


But if our cues come fundamentally from the gospel, we find there a God who understands that it matters whether wedding guests have wine A wedding: There is no more ordinary nor more magical sign of hope and assent to the future. Celebration, real festivity, as philosopher Josef Pieper so often made clear, depends on an idea of time in which the Incarnation is always real and always present. Catholic intellectual life as a response to the need for deeper, more genuine, more extended celebration – that is a mission into which I suspect Catholic higher education can invite partners fruitfully for many years to come.
I wasn't aware that Catholic higher education was having a problem with extended celebration



Patricia C. McMullen , Ph.D., JD, CRNP is part of Comprehensive Gynecology Center which advocates birth control and abortion on its web site.


So it's pretty clear that familiarity with the teachings of the Church on matters of faith and morals isn't utmost in the mind of these signers and their blatant dissent seems a bit hypocritical to me.
 
I also found this part of the letter troublesome: 


It is particularly cruel to pregnant women and children, gutting Maternal and Child Health grants and slashing $500 million from the highly successful Women Infants and Children nutrition program. When they graduate from WIC at age 5, these children will face a 20% cut in food stamps.

I don't see from these academic types offering any constructive solutions; rather they advocate for  continuation of the same.  Same ole, same ole.

Hard times and assistance aren't supposed to be a way of life. And yet welfare, food stamps, and aid seems to be a generational lifestyle choice for some. Infants and children are supposed to graduate from WIC to food on the table provided by mom and dad.  Doesn't it bother these folks that the assumption is made to go from one form of aid to another to the tune of $500 million dollars?  And what defines WIC as being so successful? Because if they're not helping people to graduate off of assistance maybe it needs to be re-evaluated?

Also this:
Specifically, addressing your budget, the letter (expressed grave concern about changes to Medicaid and Medicare that could leave the elderly and poor without adequate health care.


But if the country doesn't have the money to cover Medicaid and Medicare doesn't that hurt the poor even more?  Economists have told us for decades that there was a problem with the current system. We could tax the rich (the 2.2 million households that make $250,000 or more per year), but that won't fix the budget problem. Cuts will have to be made somewhere - and the big entitlements have got to at least be evaluated for hard cuts.

But frankly, I don't think the signers of this letter really care about that. This was a chance for liberal Catholics to use "Catholicism" to stick it to a conservative Catholic politician after having it stuck to them for years on the abortion issue.

O'Reilly handled this on his show last week:


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