Joseph Pecar
November 9, 2009
Open petition to all Bishops to clarify the Church's pro-Life teaching
By Joseph Pecar

Your Eminence Francis Cardinal George and all Bishops,

Statistical evidence abounds that the practice of "legal" unrestricted Abortion — and the Infanticide and Black Genocide it gives rise to — has bought about more lost and maimed lives than the Civil War, the Jewish holocaust and the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars combined. We indeed find ourselves in the midst of the most egregious moral evil of this era — and perhaps in all history. Sorrowfully, this is an evil that Catholic scandals have and continue to abet.

Many Catholics and other Americans alike, see this situation as posing the greatest peril in history to our Church and to our civilization. A peril not limited to the appalling death toll and ineffable suffering inflicted on abortion's victims, but one that tragically corrupts the very core of a person's being — the consciences of millions of souls. This perversion of conscience wrongly allowed the a majority of Catholic voters (56 percent) to justify voting for Obama: a man Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver characterizes as "the most committed 'abortion-rights' presidential candidate of either major party since the Roe v. Wade abortion decision in 1973."

Understanding the horrifying extent of human anguish and loss of human life, and the potential loss of eternal life of those whose consciences have been debased, have we not arrived at a crucial and decisive moment? Is there any doubt that working to put an end to these physical atrocities and rescuing endangered souls should be the Catholic Church hierarchy's number one priority? Disappointingly, instead of contriving and executing a unified plan of action (before and since the 2008 Election) the Bishops have been and remain divided and mostly silent.

A number of Bishops mince no words in making clear, explicit, statements that committing or supporting Abortion, is always intrinsically evil (some even point out the reality of the Infanticide and Black Genocide taking place "on our watch"). They forthrightly proclaim to Government officials responsible for making and keeping Abortion "legal" the murderous injustice of such laws. They publicly and unequivocally instruct Catholic politicians and the laity that intentionally promoting Abortion, or voting for pro-Abortion candidates when there are pro-Life alternatives, is a grievous moral transgression.

Others, like Archbishop Sheehan, favor restraint, deference, and even go so far as to publicly rebuke brother Bishops for making their clear condemnatory proclamations. In an August 12 interview with National Catholic Reporter Sheehan decried the "combative tactics of what he described as a minority of U.S. bishops" who spoke out against Notre Dame's invitation to and its conferring of an honorary degree upon Obama.

In doing so he threw his ecclesiastical weight behind those believing goals such as bolstering academic freedom, open debate, institutional autonomy, et cetera are often "proportionally" more important than the pro-Life goal of ending now the slaughter of innocent children — a practice Obama claims calls more for "open minds" and "building bridges" than condemnation.

Archbishop Sheehan has said "I think we don't want to isolate ourselves from the rest of America by our strong views on Abortion and the other things." This statement can mean only one of two things: either we should not have strong views on Abortion, or that we should have them — but act as if we don't. Should we not instead be striving to make "the Catholic community" unmistakably stand out as an entity that resolutely condemns killing millions of born and unborn children? In the throws of World War II, would Sheehan have been concerned about the isolation of that part of the German community that condemned the Jewish Holocaust?

Why is it that the hierarchy considers moderation with pro-Abortionists a virtue when there should be no moderation when born and unborn babies lives are at stake. MODERATION IN THE PURSUIT OF JUSTICE IS NO VIRTUE! Why is it that the hierarchy seems to be more interested in "building bridges" with pro-Abortionists than with their own Catholic laity? Did Christ ever mince words with or build bridges to the Pharisees?

Many Catholics readily understand the evil of abortion and are by nature suspicious of, or not easily taken in by what pro-Abortion rights officials and activists say or do.

However, when Catholics see the clergy or fellow laymen praising those who openly support Abortion, or publicly advocating softening or toning-down the Catholic community's condemnation of Abortion, they are more likely tempted to lose the courage of their convictions — and therefore vulnerable to the corruption of their consciences. Could there be a more diabolical form of scandal than when Catholic clergy by not speaking and acting boldly prompt fellow Catholics and others to be lured into doubting or abandoning their Pro-life convictions?

The ill-advised Notre Dame invitation and honorary can no longer be retracted. But, think of how different things could be now if instead of servilely gushing praise after Obama's speech, Father Jenkins had borrowed some of Father Brankin's (Pastor of St. Odilo Parish in Berwyn, Illinois) words and stood at the podium to say:

    "Although Notre Dame is honored to be visited by the President of the United States, please be advised, that while we can have open minds when talking about foreign policy, social security or even some remote point of Catholic theology, when it comes to achieving common ground about the life of little babies, there can be no discussion. You cannot touch them! You cannot kill them! And you cannot let the state permit them to be killed! You just cannot! If those babies are human beings, then they possess as much right to life as any of us standing here!

    "To deliberately take the life of a baby — born or unborn — is wrong — deeply, profoundly and desperately wrong! Abortion is something that does not call for open minds and hearts — but for broken hearts at the thought of the lives that are ruined and lost because of it."

Tragically that did not happen. Instead, in honoring the most powerful and committed "Abortion rights" government official in history, the once premiθre Catholic University in America cavalierly led millions of TV viewers to conclude that Notre Dame endorses the notion that secular goals can and often do take precedence over actions to prevent the killing of innocent born and unborn babies. That reckless and insidiously scandalous act, and Notre Dame's utter disregard for the corrupting influence its action would have on the consciences of many — are now both forever inscribed in history.

Unfortunately, Notre Dame's action is only the most recent and perhaps the most maleficent incident of numerous Catholic scandals undermining the Church's Pro-Life and other moral teachings. In another astonishing incident, in preparation for an Obama speech, Georgetown University president Dr. John J. DeGioia ordered the very symbol of the Society of Jesus, IHS — which is the monogram of the name of Jesus — to be covered/hidden. How in God's Holy Name can that action in any way be consistent with Georgetown's stated emphasis to "sustain and strengthen its Catholic and Jesuit identity"? It does just the opposite, it hides or denies Georgetown's Catholicity, its identity with the Jesuit Order, and hence, ultimately the University's identity with Jesus Christ. This action seems to be symbolic that many of our leaders have become ashamed of being identified with Our Lord and His teachings: They have become fools for the world and not for Christ.

And are not actions such as the removal of crucifixes from classrooms, sponsoring of disgraceful plays like the "Vaginal Monologues," sponsoring campus organizations that foster homosexual practice, and other anti-Catholic concessions to secularism by Catholic universities, intentionally offensive to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and therefore every member of His Church? Is it really necessary to make supporting and exposing students to deviancy an integral part of a Catholic education?

Beyond the veritable flood of scandals wrought by Catholic clergy and heads of Catholic institutions who not only support but honor pro-Death politicians, we have a bevy of "Catholic" politicians blatantly promoting legislation clearly irreconcilable with Christian morality.

Woefully the pyramid of scandals now plaguing the Church, include incidents of flagrant denunciation of accepted moral teachings of the Catholic Church by bishops themselves. For example, Bishop Thomas Gumbleton (retired auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit) is a notorious promoter of homosexuality, contraception, and women's ordination to the priesthood.

Clearly the damage wrought by such egregious scandals is greatly exacerbated by relentless world-wide media coverage, scrutiny and notoriety. When Catholics commit scandal the media does everything possible to make sure everyone knows about it.

Still more lamentable, and even overshadowing the grave damage of scandals perpetrated by certain Catholic institutions, clergy, laymen and individual Bishops as described above, is the overarching and far more pernicious scandal created by the division among Bishops. The intransigent, years-long silence they've maintained, and the inability or refusal of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to 'set the record straight,' has sown confusion. Failure to formulate a unified moral teaching, and speak with one voice, is having devastating effects on souls and the reputation of the USCCB, especially regarding basic right to life issues.

Of course, at this juncture, even a unified and clear teaching would accomplish little unless a profound effort is made to proclaim it, as it were, "shouting it out from the rooftops." The most effective modern communications techniques must be employed to ensure that as many people as possible hear and understand it. Many of our Shepherds are blest with natural gifts enabling them to successfully proclaim these truths. More than that, they are supernaturally endowed by the Good Lord: God has given you authority to do so with efficacy through the power vested in you and them by your ordination.

As you know, with the powerful force of modern media at your disposal and perhaps the greatest single opportunity to evangelize in all history, instead of clearly explicating and widely proclaiming the Church's pro-life doctrine during the 2008 presidential campaign most Bishops remained silent — choosing instead to teach through the "hands-off" distribution of the USCCB Faithful Citizenship booklet.

Regrettably, that booklet contains so many nuanced statements — statements only a Pharisee could appreciate; that instead of clarifying the Church's teaching, it had exactly the opposite affect. The booklet led many to wrongly conclude that other issues, like the economy, could be used as an excuse to vote for Obama — despite his actions to fund legal and unrestricted Abortions and Infanticide (to include instances when babies surviving the Abortion procedure are born alive, but left to die — many without even palliative care).

As a result, the principal reason the majority of voters supported Obama may very well be laid at the feet of the majority of the U.S. Bishops, who by remaining silent led voters to wrongly conclude that "Abortion could not always be evil, because if it was, surely the Bishops would all have said something."

Saint Gregory the Great in a homily on the Gospels warned of the grave consequences of such a failing with his plea to, "Pray for us . . . . that after we have taken up the office of preaching our silence may not bring us condemnation from the just judge."

More recently we have the admonition from our beloved John Paul II who spoke to American Bishops in October 1998 saying: "As pastors, you must make every effort to ensure that there is no dulling of consciences regarding the seriousness of the crime of abortion, a crime which cannot be morally justified by any circumstance, purpose, or law (cf. Evangelium Vitae 62)."

Wittingly, or unwittingly, it seems because so many Shepherds have disparate teachings about sins that are abominations and/or are so "pastoral" as to remain silent, that we may well be in the midst of a mass apostasy (if not THE mass apostasy) — and an imminent schism.

Correct me if I am wrong, but as I see it, Our Blessed Lord came into this world not just to merit redemption for us but also to be our Good Shepherd — to teach about and lead His flock to salvation. Did He not institute His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church to carry out His mission as Good Shepherd after His Death and Resurrection when He said, "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always"? Mat 28:19-20. Are not the Bishops of His Church today, specifically the members of the USCCB, invested with the responsibility to act in that role?

Jesus' marching orders are unmistakably clear. But now in this time of confusion and chaos, the Catholic Church hierarchy in America seems to be refusing or unable to carry out the Master's commands. Nevertheless, even in the midst of perhaps history's most grievous moral abominations, no one should doubt Christ's promise that His real — though invisible — presence will ultimately preserve His Church. Surely, at least a subset of today's hierarchy will help "right the floundering ship" of what appears to be a terribly dysfunctional Church militant.

Truly, in the wake of the heinous number of physical atrocities of Abortion, Infanticide and Black Genocide and the pervasive extent of the eternal-life-threatening moral assault on consciences, I and so many members of the lay Catholic flock feel abandoned — without a Shepherd. We thirst to hear an easily understood, unambiguous teaching voice to show us the way. Should the bishops of the Catholic Church persist in division and silence can there be any hope of ever unifying the entire Country around basic right to life principles expressed in our Judeo-Christian based Constitution — the core principles that once held together and made this Country great?

In 1965, Bishop Sheen presciently taught that in the absence of some unifying principle, "the rivets that hold us together are falling apart in the skyscrapers of our religion and indeed our civilization." He then warned of the great danger that occurs when you have a culture fissured, split up, and minds void of moral absolutes: chaos, inexpressible suffering, anguish and ultimately tyranny.

Your Eminence and all Bishops, in concluding this note I would like to add my voice to a growing chorus of those who feel that we (the laity, clergy and the hierarchy) are obligated to do everything in our power to end the wanton murder of now over 50 million innocent born and unborn children. We believe that properly prepared, motivated and directed, the Catholic Church can play a pivotal role in restoring and revitalizing the Judeo-Christian heritage of our Country; and thus end the barbaric slaughter that has plagued us in the 36 years since Roe v Wade.

Accordingly, as a Catholic for all of my 72 years, I and throngs of others beg you, we plead with you — take whatever actions you can to save innocent lives — lives that will surely be lost if you do not make this your number one priority. Similarly we implore you take whatever actions you can to wrench from the Devil's clutches the consciences of those souls that have or will be corrupted if you do not act decisively.

Hopefully you all agree the first crucial step in doing this is for the Bishops to resolve their differences, break their silence and promulgate a unified Catholic teaching addressing all Life-related issues. In doing so you will fulfill Christ's command to emulate Him as the Good Shepherd, unafraid to lay down His life for His Sheep.

"Redemptionis Sacramentum" states that any Catholic, whether Priest or Deacon or lay member of Christ's faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint to a diocesan Bishop regarding a liturgical abuse. If there exits similar rights with respect complaints about inadequate or absent teachings of faith and morals, I would like to lodge them with whomever might possess the authority to hear and act upon them.

Yours prayerfully in Christ's name,

Joseph A. Pecar

© Joseph Pecar

 

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Joseph Pecar

In 1983, following fifteen years of employment, Joseph Pecar left IBM as a Senior Engineer/Manager to found his own company... (more)

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