Cardinal Cody Betrays Early Prolife Movement
There are two important historical footnotes to be added to this aforementioned tragic scenario before zeroing in on the role played by Bishop McHugh in the undermining of the early Prolife Movement.
First, the Catholic reader needs to understand that the decision of the American hierarchy to abandon its long-held policy in opposition to state and federal “birth control” promotion and services, and instead switch to the fallback position of surgical abortion, had already been made before that fateful day of November 14, 1966, when the NCCB/USCC publicly waved the white flag of surrender before the Anti-Life Establishment.
Archbishop Cody’s Secret Deal With Joe Beasley
This betrayal begins in the fall of 1965 with a charismatic birth control crusader named Dr. Joseph D. Beasley of Tulane University, who dreamed of leading a national battle against the proliferation of people. He wanted to begin with a modest population control program for black welfare recipients in the northern counties of Louisiana. He was stymied, however, by state laws prohibiting the distribution of contraceptive information. More importantly, he had to contend with the powerful Catholic Church in Louisiana and the explosive charge of “black genocide” before he could get any population control project off the ground.
Within a matter of weeks, the ever-charming and resourceful Beasley had engineered a satisfactory agreement with the New Orleans Family Life officials, following the consultation of the New Orleans Archdiocese with Archbishop John Cody of Chicago.
In his fascinating book, The Politics of Population Control, writer Thomas Littlewood describes one of Beasley’s incredible sessions with a Church representative handpicked by Cardinal Cody:
The “Bordelon Accord” bore a striking resemblance to the birth control concordat signed by the Puerto Rican bishops three years earlier. It is important to realize that Joe Beasley was not after the monsignor’s or the Catholic Church’s blessings, just a promise of “non-interference.”
In order to attract black support for his program and to stave off charges of “genocide,” Joe Beasley used a set of different tactics against community and state black leaders, namely, patronage and payola! He also siphoned off large sums of federal family planning funds to out-of-state militant civil rights groups.
After Archbishop Cody personally assured an incredulous Governor John McKeithen (not a Catholic) that Beasley had his (Cody’s) permission to begin his birth control program, state regulations were “reinterpreted” to permit Beasley to begin his welfare reduction program for poor black families, a program which was almost entirely dependent on abortifacients including IUDs and “The Pill.”
In less than ten years, Beasley had pyramided his Family Health Foundation (FHF) into a $62 million empire with over one hundred federally funded birth control clinics statewide. Beasley’s FHF received accolades from every imaginable quarter as “the No.1 success story” of the birth control movement, including that of the NCCB/USCC Family Life Director, Fr. James McHugh!
I have read of Dr. Beasley’s work and I am very impressed by it,” Father McHugh said, “(but) there are other people with ideals that fall far short of those of Dr. Beasley’s project.
This statement in support of Beasley’s birth control program, which, as I have already indicated, was primarily based on abortifacient devices and pills, was made by McHugh at the 1970 Congressional hearing on the now infamous Family Planning Services and Population Research Act.
By 1973, however, it was clear that, once again, McHugh had placed his bet on yet another “dark horse,” morally speaking. That year, a General Accounting Office audit, and a lengthy federal government investigation of the FHF confirmed Beasley’s alarming record of political corruption. Soon after, in the spring of 1974, “federal marshals surrounded the FHF headquarters in New Orleans and the foundation was placed in federal receivership.”
The Federal Government’s charges against Beasley, the FHF’s founder, included multiple counts of conspiracy to commit fraud, obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and mail fraud, together with misappropriation of many thousands of dollars of federal “family planning” funds for illegal payments for liquor bills, private plane junkets, and political campaign contributions. Eugene Wallace, an FHF official who turned state’s evidence, testified during one court hearing that Beasley had threatened to kill him with a shotgun if he (Wallace) took the stand against him! Interestingly, while the Anti-Life Establishment deserted Beasley like rats fleeing a sinking ship, volunteer lawyers from “Catholic” Loyola’s New Orleans University Law School handled his appeal!!!
As for the rest of the American bishops, all of whom had now been dragged into the Beasley quagmire by Archbishop Cody and the Louisiana hierarchy, they were in for a double whammy when Beasley joined J. D. Rockefeller III (Chairman of the Commission on Population Growth and the American Future) at a press conference in 1972 calling for universal, tax-subsidized abortion. Beasley later acknowledged that his deal with Church officials was part of his threefold strategy of getting family planning in first, and then following up with sterilization and abortion!
Such an admission, one would suppose, should have given the American bishops cause for grave concern since they had permitted the federal government’s multi-billion dollar five year Family Planning Services and Population Research Act to be signed into law two years earlier without any real opposition on their part.
It should also have led them to question the judgment of Family Life Director, Father James McHugh, but it did not. That omission concerning McHugh, one of many made during the early years of the Prolife Movement, would continue to spell out disaster for the movement over the next three decades.
Obstruction by NCCB/USCC Clerical Homosexuals
Which brings us to the second major unknown obstacle facing the emerging Prolife Movement in the early 1970s – the growing numbers of homosexual clergy and hierarchy at the NCCB/USCC and the role they played in opposing or nullifying prolife federal legislation. Volumes III and IV of The Rite of Sodomy, provides the names of prominent homosexual clerics who dominated AmChurch’s bureaucracy during this critical period for the Prolife Movement with a chapter devoted to the then USCC General Secretary Joseph Bernardin, but for the purposes of this article, we’ll be looking at just one – homosexual Bishop James T. McHugh – the major architect of the Church’s policies and programs on prolife issues which continue to haunt and cripple the Prolife Movement to this very day.
The Early Career of Jimmy McHugh
Father James T. McHugh was ordained as a careerist priest for the Modernist Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey on May 25, 1957, at the age of twenty-five. A creature of the Second Vatican Council and a devotee of Americanist John Courtney Murray, S.J., and priest-dissenter , Father Charles Curran of Catholic University, McHugh joined the staff of the Family Life Bureau (FLB) of NCWC in 1965, and in 1967 became homosexual Bishop Bernardin’s choice for Director of the new NCCB/USCC’s Family Life Bureau (Office).
McHugh Forms Anti-Life Axis at FLB
Among the earliest projects set in motion at McHugh’s Family Life Office at the NCCB/USCC office in Washington, D.C. was the introduction of “sexual catechetics” (which replaced sound doctrinal catechetics) into parochial elementary and secondary schools and Confraternity of Christian Doctrine classes for public school children across the United States.
The American bishops’ 1950 statement opposing classroom sex initiation programs – which was in line with Pope Pius XI’s encyclical on Christian Education of Youth, and the Holy Office’s subsequent affirmation of the papal ban of so-called “sex initiation” programs – was ignored. On November 15, 1968, all opposition from Catholic parents was swept aside, as the American bishops issued their Pastoral Letter Human Life in Our Day, which made “systematic” classroom sex instruction “a gave obligation.”
This was the first prolife battle that was lost to the post-Conciliar and pro-homosexual forces that dominated the bishops’ episcopal conference.
It would not be the last.
Prolifers Lose the Human Embryo Battle
An obvious case of the USCC tail wagging the NCCB dog occurred on July 10, 1969, when McHugh defended certain experimental human reproductive procedures including in vitro fertilization that are prohibited by the Catholic Church in his nationally syndicated diocesan column, The Ties That Bind.
In a brilliant piece of “newspeak,” McHugh comments favorably on a June 13,1969, Life magazine article, “Challenge to the Miracle of Life,” by Life science editor Albert Rosenfeld:
Needless to say, the Prolife Movement did not win the battle against in vitro fertilization. Nor did it win the accompanying battle against human embryo experimentation. “Qui tacet onsentit”
– “Silence gives consent.” And the American bishops remained silent, and let McHugh do the talking for them.
McHugh – The Trojan Horse in the Prolife Camp
By the time McHugh and his boss, the young Joe Bernardin, took office, the” Abortion Reform Movement” was already well underway. This Anti-life Establishment was part and parcel of the broader “Sexual Reform Movement” of the 1920s and 30s, that promoted masturbation, fornication, adultery, divorce, birth prevention, abortion, sterilization, homosexuality, “sex education,” artificial insemination, pornography, eugenics, and euthanasia.
The nationwide efforts to legalize the murder of unborn children was backed by the powerful Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, which in turn, financed numerous abortion lobbies and organizations including Planned Parenthood-World Population.
Abortion was deemed as a necessary adjunct to failed or omitted contraception as PP-WP spokesman Dr. George Langmyhr admitted in 1971:
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