"Looking for a government I could overthrow"

("I finally found one in the Catholic church" Frances Kissling, Catholics for Free Choice)

Watching election returns

On Tuesday evening I watched the election returns with my brother. Being a dyed in the wool Democrat, he became more and more depressed as the results came in. I tried to cheer him up with some popcorn, but it did little good. I am neither a Democrat nor Republican myself, so I watched with less intense emotions. Also I do not keep up with politics that much, so I constantly had to ask my brother about the different candidates and issues.

Regarding politics I feel a bit like Fr. Benedict Groeschel who described himself as a “fallen away Democrat.” While still wary of the Republicans for their image of being tied with big business, I have become less and less enchanted with the Democrats.

Anti-Catholicism at Democratic National Committee

Let me give you one example. It is small, but significant. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) like everyone else operates a website. On it they linked to a number of religious organizations. Under “Catholic” they listed only one group. I was amazed when I found out who they selected as a representative Catholic organization. It was not, as one might expect, the U.S. Catholic Conference which has statements on a gamut of political issues. Rather they listed an organization which is dedicated to destroying the Catholic Church. “I spent twenty years looking for a government that I could overthrow without being thrown in jail. I finally found one in the Catholic church,” stated its president, Frances Kissling. (Quote from Mother Jones Article.)

It calls itself Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC), but it could more accurately be named Catholics for a Flat Choice or Catholics for an Echo. It seeks to silence the Church’s voice on controversial issues regarding human life and sexual morality. A while back CFFC led a campaign to expel the Holy See from the United Nations. The U.S. House of Representatives, by a near unanimous vote, denounced the campaign so it was surprising that the DNC would embrace such an extreme anti-Catholic organization.

The group, which has a miniscule membership, receives generous funding from foundations with an anti-Catholic agenda. The U.S. bishops have issued statements exposing Catholic for a Free Choice. Knowing all this, why would the Democratic National Committee list it at all, let alone as the sole Catholic organization?

Bishops keep quiet but lay group speaks out

The bishops said nothing about the insult. After the recent scandals, they have understandably kept a low profile. However, some Catholic lay organizations did protest. On July 31, Catholic League president William Donohue wrote to DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe imploring him to “act quickly and decisively by removing Catholics for a Free Choice from the DNC’s links of interest organizations.” On August 6, Donohue wrote to every Democrat in the House and Senate asking for assistance in this matter. But nothing changed, so he launched a formal campaign:

“We are asking all Catholics to contact the DNC and make known their outrage over the DNC-CFFC link. Frances Kissling, who heads CFFC, has said that it is her goal to ‘overthrow’ the Catholic Church. She has also lobbied the U.N. to kick the Holy See out of the world organization. No wonder she has twice been denounced as a fraud by the U.S. bishops. And this is the kind of Catholic that the DNC wants to associate with?"

The protest did bring a response, but not a very satisfactory one. Instead of removing the link to CFFC, they added other links, including one to yet another organization which seeks to destroy the Church: Call to Action (CTA). It portrays itself as desiring “reform” but in effect wants to eliminate anything distinctive about Catholic teaching and organization. Like CFFC, it is misnamed. CTA desires to reduce the Church to inaction by making it a kind of fraternal organization like the Eagles or Oddfellows. Fraternal organizations are fine, but Jesus did not die on the cross so the world would have one more social club. Rather he founded his Church upon Peter and gave her the Holy Spirit so she could teach authoritatively in Jesus’ name. To reduce the Church to a club – as CFFC and CTA seek to do – would be to deny her mission.

Coming back to Holy Family

Early Wednesday morning, I put Samwise in his crate and the two of us headed back to Holy Family. I had a funeral that morning so I was anxious to return. However, what is usually an hour and a half trip, took three hours. At Marysville, Lynnwood and North Seattle there were traffic back-ups. Samwise took it all in stride, but I got a little agitated. One thought I had was that I would gladly pay a little extra for gasoline if it led to a better transportation system. Hopefully Governor and the legislators will come up with a workable plan. I was happy that Seattle voters passed the monorail proposal.

Prayers for U.S. Bishops

Our bishops will meet next week in a very important conference. Archbishop Brunett had this to say: While it’s a safe bet that most of the stories written by the 250 members of the press expected to attend the bishops’ meeting will revolve around the sexual abuse issue, it is important to note the other very important business before the conference:

• We will be asked to approve our first joint pastoral letter with the bishops of Mexico on migration, titled “Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope.” The Mexican bishops will be voting on this letter in the same week.

• We will consider a pastoral reflection on poverty at home and abroad — “A Place at the Table: A Catholic Recommitment to Overcome Poverty and Respect the Dignity of All God’s Children”-which describes the commitment to overcome poverty as “a religious duty and moral imperative.”

• “Encuentro and Mission: A Renewed Pastoral Framework for Hispanic Ministry,” is a pastoral statement updating our comprehensive 1987 pastoral plan for ministry among Hispanics. The fastest-growing segment of our own Catholic community in Western Washington, Hispanics now make up 40% of the U.S. Catholic population.

• We will review a brief statement, “A Matter of the Heart,” marking the 30th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court abortion decisions with an overview of the effects of those decisions, along with indications in recent polls that more Americans, especially those born since 1973, oppose abortion on demand.

• We will update “When I Call for Help,” our 1992 pastoral statement responding to domestic violence against women. More than 240,000 copies of this statement have been sold since it was published.

This represents only part of the bishops’ agenda. Please keep them in your prayers as they meet Nov 11-14. Education Sunday for Parish Stewardship

As some of you know, I postponed my vacation to Peru in order to concentrate on parish stewardship. This year we face some unique challenges. The most immediate is getting our parish finances on a solid footing. Since July we have been taking up two-bit collections to eliminate the negative cash position. Thanks to your generosity in these second collections, as well as some beautiful individual donations, bake sales, etc. we are making progress. We also need to keep up our first collections. Last Sunday $12,510 were given (this figure includes about $750 from All Saints Day Masses) which is heartening.

Today is Education Sunday for Parish Stewardship. I have asked Fred and Sandy Cavazos to give a testimony at our English Masses. They are a young married couple with a child in our parish school, as well as a toddler who is a future student. Fred and Sandy not only give financially, but also time and talent. They volunteer in a number of ways including helping engaged couples prepare for marriage. I know that Fred and Sandy will inspire all of us.

This year we are asking not only for your financial stewardship, but time and talent as well. We will be handing out a list of parish activities for which you can volunteer your service. To emphasize total stewardship we will have only one collection next Sunday. We will ask you to come forward not only with your regular envelope, but also with your stewardship commitment forms. Also next Sunday, after the morning Masses, we will have people in the hall to explain different forms of service and to receive volunteers. Please pray that Commitment Sunday (Nov 16-17) brings a great response. The future of our parish – and of our children – depends on you.

Holy Family Parish Bulletin (November 10, 2002)
Fr. Phil Bloom


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