USCCB Caught Red-Handed, Archbishop Chaput Tap Dances, Oh Joy

Abp Chaput Tap Dancing

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, otherwise known as the USCCB, is once again involved in another scandal.  It doesn’t matter anymore if this is a real scandal or perceived as a scandal, the pattern of perversion of integrity, ineptitude, combined with poor judgment is so apparent that even “Joe Catholic” comes to the same conclusion.  And that is that the USCCB is failing in its mission to evangelize as is called for by Lumen Gentium (21), and instead is involved in liberal pet projects that have nothing to do with their mission statement.

This time the USCCB has petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate free speech.  As a member of the liberal So We Might See coalition, a letter and petition has been sent by said coalition to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski which the Catholic News Agency reported it as stating:

The letter and its related petition asked the FCC to open a “notice of inquiry into hate speech in the media” and to update a 1993 report on the role of telecommunications in hate crimes.

Basically asking the FCC to censor any news organization, program or commentator that can be labeled “hate speech”.  Most people of all political persuasions understand this to mean talk radio and new media, ie, the Internet.

So the USCCB has figured out that to implement their mission to “evangelize” they will need to regulate free speech and control the message via the FCC.

That’s the way I read it when you take it to the logical conclusion.

The USCCB has denied that they are involved in this particular petition but has admitted they are a member of the the So We Might See coalition.

So let me get this straight, I can be a board member and donate my time and treasure to Planned Parenthood because they do “good things” for women, but if they provide abortions I can categorically deny, with a straight face, that I am responsible for any death of an unborn innocent child on just this particular occurrence.

Yeah right.

Archbishop Charles Chaput came to the defense of the USCCB by stating, “the USCCB feels that its involvement has been misrepresented“.  Archbishop Chaput further added, “In other words, USCCB ‘support’ for this effort is narrowly limited“.

I love and respect Archbishop Chaput to comment any further on his explanations, I will let his statements stand as is and let you come to your own conclusions.

To summarize what Archbishop Chaput was actually trying to say was that the USCCB was not asked to be put on this particular petition and probably would not have signed off on it if it were allowed to.

That aside, the coalition of So We Might See is also funded by the liberal extremist and anti-Catholic multi-billionaire George Soros.

Why should any of this cause concern?  It’s not like this has happened before, if you can ignore the fact that the USCCB has donated money to fund abortions, pushed for same-sex marriage, officially endorsed anti-Catholic and pro-atheist movies, approved of homosexually active films, supports contraception, funds to provide the morning after pill, and wants to legalize prostitution.  Oh, and let’s not forget ACORN.

If you can forget all that, then yeah it probably shouldn’t even be a blip on the radar.

And if you believe all that, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

_._

To voice your disgust with all of this please contact the Department of Communications of the USCCB here:

For inquiries, e-mail commdept@usccb.org

Reporters, e-mail us at Media-Relations@usccb.org

Department of Communications

3211 4th Street, N.E.

Washington DC 20017-1194

(202) 541-3000

_._

To read the Catholic News Agency posting, “USCCB did not join FCC petition on hate speech, spokeswoman says“, click here.

To read the American Spectator posting, “Catholic Bishops ‘Misrepresented’ by Fox, Talk Radio Attackers” by Jeffrey Lord, click here.

To read the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Mission Statement click here.

To read the Second Vatican Council’s document, Lumen Gentium, click here.

To read the list of concerns about the USCCB on donating money to fund abortions, pushing for same-sex marriage, officially endorsing anti-Catholic and pro-atheist movies, approving of homosexually active films, supporting contraception, funds to provide the morning after pill, and the legalization of prostitution then click here.

47 Responses to USCCB Caught Red-Handed, Archbishop Chaput Tap Dances, Oh Joy

  • e. says:

    The USCCB has denied that they are involved in this particular petition but has admitted they are a member of the the So We Might See coalition.

    So let me get this straight, I can be a board member and donate my time and treasure to Planned Parenthood because they do good things for women, but if they provide abortions I can categorically deny, with a straight face, that I am responsible for any death of an unborn innocent child on just this particular occurrence. Yeah right.

    This analogy breaks down since it essentially compares the So We Might See coalition as being exactly as evil as Planned Parenthood, which the entry itself did not actually demonstrate.

    It’s not like this has happened before, if you can ignore the fact that the USCCB has donated money to fund abortions, pushed for same-sex marriage, officially endorsed anti-Catholic and pro-atheist movies, approved of homosexually active films, supports contraception, funds to provide the morning after pill, and wants to legalize prostitution.

    Those are some serious accusations; I hope, for your sake and the sake of your soul, that they are in fact true less you not only commit libel here but also attack the Church herself merely by false witness.

  • Patrick Duffy says:

    I think they risk being attacked themselves by such a rule, if Catholic broadcasters don’t support homosexual behavior, which opposition the administration is quickly moving to categorize as unacceptable.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    Patrick Duffy,

    Which is what the USCCB is concerned about. They actually sent out a separate petition outside of So We Might See. Which was part of their explanation about the confusion, yet the USCCB has not posted any official denouncements on their website concerning So We Might See.

  • John Henry says:

    A few points:

    1) Supporting or opposing hate speech legislation is a matter for prudential judgment. While I oppose hate speech legislation because I think it’s vague, and can easily be abused for partisan political purposes, I’d be hard-pressed to declare that someone was a bad Catholic for supporting ‘hate speech’ legislation. Hate speech, after all, is a bad thing. There are laws against many bad things; I just don’t think as a matter of prudential judgment that hate speech should be one of them.

    2) The USCCB has made it clear they didn’t support the petition.

    Basically, the USCCB is a member of a group that wrote a petition, which they didn’t support, on a matter of prudential judgment. Where’s the scandal?

  • Tito Edwards says:

    John Henry,

    I agree with both of your points. I even wrote in so many words on your second point.

    The scandal is the perception of scandal. More along the lines of the “straw that broke the camels back”.

    The accumulation of so many missteps by the USCCB prompted me to make a point.

    Hopefully drawing attention to this will cause our good bishops to reform the institution and truly become an instrument of evanglization instead of funding liberal pet projects that divert from it’s main scope of evangelization.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    e.,

    On your point concerning the analogy between Planned Parenthood and So We Might See. The comparison is that of association. Yes, what So We Might See did is not anywhere near the same as what Planned Parenthood provides in killing babies.

    I’m making the guilt by association analogy.

  • John Henry says:

    But, Tito, I don’t even see a reasonable basis for a perception of scandal. Could the USCCB devote its resources to more worthwhile enterprises than So We Might See? Sure. But every bureaucracy uses resources inefficiently (which is one of the chief conservative criticisims of big government); this is a dog-bites-man type scenario. The USCCB has its share of problems, but I’m not sure this makes even the top 20.

  • e. says:

    John Henry has aptly summarized some of my main concerns in his above comments to a degree more articulate & concise than I ever could have.

    Suffice it to say, I’m not so sure as to whether or not Tito himself has given the matter much serious consideration as his own outrage warrants.

    That is, I see no scandal here other than the fact that they would, at the surface, appeared to have supported some measure that would dare advocate some anti-hate speech legislation, which for some would appear, at worse, fascist while to others, at best, necessary in order to stem the growing tide of the kind of speech that seemed, at least to some, to have promoted hatred by the very nature of what essentially underlies all such hate speech.

    As to how the USCCB had conducted itself therein, the worst possible interpretation one could suppose would simply be their apparent ineptitude in regards to their engagement in the matter in deciding exactly whether or not they actually intended to do so.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    John Henry,

    You have a point to a certain degree.

    The perception that the USCCB wants to control free speech is disturbing. The USCCB is an organization run by humans who are prone to mistakes. But those mistakes continue to add up that it’s in institutional rot and needs of reform.

    We’ll agree to disagree on this point.

    I’ll give you that it doesn’t make the top-20 nor the top-50, but to me anyway, this is one to many.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    e.,

    As to how the USCCB had conducted itself therein, the worst possible interpretation one could suppose would simply be their apparent ineptitude in regards to their engagement in the matter in deciding exactly whether or not they actually intended to do so.

    In agreement here.

  • The catechism of some posts is apparently as poor as that of some at the USCCB. When a coterie of American bishops and their staff whose values were formed in the 1960′s collaborate with leftists,it’s not “scandal.” The USCCB has no teaching authority,and articles of faith and morals are not implicated here. It’s just more left-wing political nonsense,i.e.,politically liberal bishops acting politically liberal.What is sad is that someone like Chaput would provide cover.About as transparent as the Obama regime.

  • Sam says:

    The USCCB did not endorse this particular petition because if this petition is passed, it could really cause a persecution of the Church and of anyone who declares that abortion or homosexual activity are against the teachings of the Catholic Church, so the USCCB was wise not to sign the petition. However, the organization itself is a far left radical organization and is supported, in part, by George Soros..that should speak for itself. The only way the USCCB supported abortions – indirectly – was when they donated funds to ACORN … they said that when they found out about ACORN’s agenda, they gave no more funds. Even so, many parishes are using funds that used to go to the Bishops’ annual appeal to projects within their own parishes. It would be wise for the USCCB to investigate any organization they want to donate our money to.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    Sam,

    The USCCB, through back channels, have not endorsed this. But they haven’t made any official announcement nor posted this on their website.

    Hence why they should not only do so, but withdraw from So We Might See to eliminate even the hint of scandal.

    They’ve also donated to groups, via the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, funds that directly procure abortions.

    Everything else I pretty much agree with you.

  • e. says:

    Hence why they should not only do so, but withdraw from So We Might See to eliminate even the hint of scandal.

    Please define “scandal” as it seems the way you yourself are employing it requires nothing more but an arbitrary predilection.

    Also, didn’t you just mention in the preceding paragraph:

    The USCCB…have not endorsed this.

    So, why should they withdraw from something they did not actually endorse?

  • Mike Petrik says:

    It is not un-Catholic for the USCCB to choose to be a member of the liberal So We Might coalition; it is a matter of prudential judgment. But it is risky and arrogant business nonetheless, since Catholics are also entitled to exercise their prudential judgmenet in determining whether to support the USCCB and its efforts.

  • Sam says:

    I agree with Tito…the Bishops have to be more alert especially after so much scandal and the reluctance to deal with it until it was brought out into the open…there are times when I fervently wish Mother Angelica could rise up out of her sickbed and go after those radical Bishops that are not standing up for the teachings of the Church and who are contradicting one another in public, as well as in private. The Bishops should be on the front line of authentic evangelization, they should be on the front line in defense of life, of traditional marriage…they should be on the front line of the fight against poverty and ignorance and despair…they should certainly be on the front line of all these radical agendas that are being presented in a benign way to the American people. The Bishops are the guardians and the shepherds of the faith and of the people and should be teachers…and back off from any organization or project that would harm their people and their faith. I wonder if it’s time to refuse any and all federal/state funding of Catholic institutions? As long as we accept money from the government, we are going to do, for the most part, what they mandate us to do. Darkness will spread and the feeble light of those Shepherds who do not live or teach others to live the fullness of faith will not be able to overcome it…but the Light of Christ will penetrate the darkness and then all will see as He wants us to see…and so we hope and we pray…

  • “The USCCB has denied that they are involved in this particular petition but has admitted they are a member of the the So We Might See coalition”

    This reflects a misunderstanding of how coalitions work. Coalitions sometimes push for things their individual members don’t like, but individual members believe their membership will benefit other causes they do like. Compare this to the situation of members of political parties.

    The original reports were pretty irresponsible in assuming that the USCCB’s Communications Office signed on to the specific controversial petition. The originator of the story at AmSpectator was more concerned about the UCC’s involvement, and mentioned the Catholic bishops only in passing.

    While I sometimes tire of hearing denunciations of the talk radio echo chamber, this story is a prime candidate to reverberate there without benefit for anyone but talk radio show hosts. Fake controversy driven by lazy reporting.

  • Mike Petrik says:

    Kevin,
    It is one thing to cooperate with a coalition when interests align; it is another to be a member. The latter presupposes that interests generally align. It is not a reach, therefore, for one to assume that the USCCB sees itself as generally aligned with “So We Might.” This is imprudent and, at bottom, more in keeping with liberal policy preferences than Catholic teaching as such. While some of the reporting may come across as over the top and simplistic, that is mostly because these reports don’t spell out the problem with clarity.

  • e. says:

    Mr. Petrik: Doesn’t your above argument concerning membership actually prove Tito’s point in one of his previous entries wherein he decried Fr. Jenkins as being a member of Millenium Promise and, incidentally, you as member of United Way since both purportedly supported what could very well be deemed as objectives of the Culture of Death?

  • e. says:

    Tito:

    Curious, for how long do you intend to keep me in moderation?

    All because of one mere remark that you happened to disagree with?

    I would’ve expected more mettle from you, Taco Man!

  • Tito Edwards says:

    Mike Petrik,

    It is not un-Catholic for the USCCB to choose to be a member of the liberal So We Might coalition; it is a matter of prudential judgment. But it is risky and arrogant business nonetheless, since Catholics are also entitled to exercise their prudential judgmenet in determining whether to support the USCCB and its efforts.

    I agree, it’s what that liberal organization does and that is to request a suppression of free speech.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    Kevin Jones,

    I agree about how the coalition works.

    I am just sick and tired how many times the USCCB has failed to be prudent in their decision making that continues to taint their organization and undermine their ability to be taken serious.

  • Donna V. says:

    The problem with “hate speech” laws is that who defines what hate speech is? A pro-abort liberal might define it as speech which calls abortion murder. An gay atheist might define it as a priest’s or minister’s refusal to affirm gay marriage as a right. The so-called “Human Rights” Commission in Canada opened a big can of worms when it attempted to bring Mark Steyn to book for “anti-Islamic” speech (Steyn had the bad taste to publish quotes from actual imans which were not very peaceful). But before they went after Steyn, they had previously attacked clerics who spoke out against gay marriage from the pulpit.

    The USCCB is guilty of very poor judgement if they support anti-hate speech laws.

  • American Knight says:

    It is not wise to pick up the stick and hand it to the people who will beat you with it.

    ‘hate speech’ sounds like a bad thing and it is tempting to want to punish it; however, as Donna points out above: Who defines it?

    It is very, very dangerous to go down this path and it will come back and hurt the Church in America. If this is in the realm of ‘prudential judgment’ then isn’t it prudent to stand against something that can, and probably will be, used to silence the Church and threaten the Bishops’ ability to lead their flock?

    Perhaps the USCCB should visit China and see how ‘hate speech’ is used against the Church. Perhaps a glimpse into the future the secularists, like Soros, are trying to make ours may stiffen the USCCB’s backbone.

  • Sam says:

    Please be clear: THE USCCB DID NOT SIGN ONTO THIS PETITION!!! Precisely because they knew it could be used against them. Should they continue to be a member of this organization? I think not…whatever Soros is involved in, they should stay away from. But I guess there are those Bishops who stand with people like Soros and that will come back and slap them in the face some day…meanwhile, let us show support for those Bishops who are authentic Shepherds of the Church…and those Priests who often stand alone and have many burdens to bear…

  • American Knight says:

    We need to support and obey our Bishops and we are called to love them in truth. When they make a mistake, and they do and they will, it is incumbent on us to respectfully approach them about it. When as a group they keep making mistakes in the same direction it goes beyond error and begins smelling like something rotten.

    The Church is, has been and always will be under attack but knowing that doesn’t mean we have to coopertate with forces that are seeking to tear the Church appart.

    Remember the devil always presents sins as goods. It sounds nice to be part of an organiztions that seeks to end ‘hate speech’ or promote ‘world peace’ or ‘universal brotherhood’ but unless the organization actually seeks those things then it is foolish to even seem to be associated with it. Is it possible that evil forces lie by naming sinsiter organizations with nice-sounding names and promoting ‘beneficial’ causes?

  • Phillip says:

    Agree that they did not sign on. But they did to an organization that clearly was going to do stupid things like the petition. Bad judgement whoever made it. Good politics to point it out and make those shephards who aggreed with this more sheepish next time. Those who didn’t are big boys and may likely appreciate the spotlight on stupid actions like this.

  • Sam says:

    I agree that we do have to write/speak to our Bishops when we believe they are going in the wrong direction or when they are part of a group that is not following the authentic teachings of the Church. We need to speak to our Priests about it too. I write often to my own Bishop and meet with him when I can and respectfully speak when I believe something is wrong such as permitting the morning after pill in Catholic hospitals without pregnancy testing in cases of rape. The devil doesn’t always present evil as good…it depends on who he is presenting to. Some are drawn to absolute evil; others will succumb to evil which comes in the guise of something good. I was thinking of the parable about the wheat and the weeds…didn’t the Lord say not to separate them lest what is good be harmed? But rather to let them grow until clarification between what was harmful and what was good could be easily discerned…we have to pray for discernment, but mistakes will be made because we are human. However, I believe the Bishops need to make sure they have a team to do the sorting out. After all, they are dispensing the hard earned money of their Parishioners and need to be held accountable for that. For a while, the USCCB had a communications director who approved obscene movies, books, etc…and they kept him on even after a public outcry. I don’t know if he is still there…but, as someone else has pointed out, the USCCB is not the magisterium…they made a terrible choice in the wording they used to guide people in their voting options…so much so that many used that voting guide to show that they could vote for a racically pro- abortion, pro-infanticide candidate such as Obama as long as they were not voting for him BECAUSE HE WAS FOR ABORTION!!! Tragic. Archbishop Raymond Burke, who is now in Rome, pointed out the errors in the paper but it was too late…Catholics gleefully voted for Obama…so we do have to let our Bishops know what we think, and point out errors where they occur but we need to do so respectfully and not give certain Bishops the excuse to disregard honest challenges because they were offered in a disrespectful, self righteous way…we all have a lot to learn and the challenges that face us are enormous…so let us challenge each other while strengthening each other and building on what is good and right according to the Lord…

  • Phillip says:

    Agree with doing it respectfully. But not so much so that it loses the force of the correction. Some corrections are so subtle that they are not corrections at all. And if a bishop is embarrased or otherwise put out by a truthful and respectfull correction, his problem and not ours.

  • Mike Petrik says:

    e.
    I regret that don’t have the time to research and respond to your reference to Tito’s prior point. As far as the United Way goes, the analogy fails for several reasons. First, I don’t have a problem with the USCCB determining that it is in general alignment with the SWM coalition, and that it may be a member even if that alignment is imperfect. But that determination has at least three prudential components. First, the imperfection must not be so substantial that it leads the USCCB into evil or scandal. Second, the USCCB must determine that the liberal policy preferences favored by SWM will be effective in securing the objectives favored by Church teaching. Third, it must determine that any benefits of membership outweigh the costs of loss of credibility or confidence from those Catholics who disfavor SWM’s liberal policy preferences on prudential grounds. My discomfort goes mostly to the second and third considerations. I do not think that the USCCB has the competence to discern the comparative effectiveness between liberal and conservative policy preferences, and I think acting as though it does by favoring one over the other will cause it to lose credibility among those who disagree, some of whom actually have greater competency in the relevant policy areas.
    As far as the United Way goes, I’m confused by your remark. You are aware that each local United Way is an independent organization, right, and therefore makes its own funding decisions. Some fund Planned Parenthood and some don’t; some who fund PP give a lot, others very little; and some who fund allow donors to avoid directing money toward PP and others don’t. Finally, a Catholic may choose to become involved precisely for the purpose of eliminating or reducing objectionable funding. Which assumptions were you making, and what were they based on?

  • e. says:

    Mr. Petrik:

    Thank you for the clarification. I am always grateful for your edifying comments.

    If you would kindly recall, as concerning the discussion that took place in the previous thread, I was of the personal opinion that such membership (specifically, board membership as far as that dialogue went) did not itself actually prove complicity on the part of an individual member as regards to a particular interest that might be pursued by that organization as a whole (unless, of course, the whole purpose of that organization is not to engage in genuine charitable work).

    It is precisely for that reason that I was disinclined to agree with Tito, asserting that Jenkins (however awful I personally find his other actions to be) simply being a member of said organization did not really prove that Jenkins himself actually endorsed the scandalous project Tito accused it of that the body of the organization may have pursued as a whole. For one thing, other majority members may have been responsible.

    Your recent comments (i.e., membership presupposes that general interests are aligned) seemed to imply the contrary, making it appear as though membership itself was sufficient for indictment.

  • Gabriel Austin says:

    Is it necessary that there be a USCCB? What good does it do except spread dissension? Are our bishops so incapable that they must rely on bureaucrats to do their thinking for them?

    How many bishops voted on this matter? Which ones?

    Every bureaucracy is like THE BLOB in the Steve McQueen movie. It grows without restraint and without direction.

    If the bishops’ organization wanted to make a statement about this bill, it [sic] should have done so independently of any other group. There is nothing which prevents a single bishop from making such a statement

  • Mike Petrik says:

    e,
    Thanks. Just to further clarify, I do think that voluntary membership in an organization normally would presuppose general alignment of interests and views, though not perfect alignment. In this case it seems reasonably plain that the USCCB is not in alignment with the SWMS in connection with the latter’s hate speech initiative. Nonetheless it seems fair to assume more general alignment given USCCB’s decision to be a member of the SWMS. My objection is not in regard to the imperfection, since I agree that the USCCB should not be held responsible for each and every initiative of SWMS. My concern is that the general alignment, while not in any way inimical to Catholic teaching, is not required by Catholic teaching and is grounded in a prudential judgment that more or less assumes that liberal policy choices better advance Catholic policy objectives. In my view this is imprudent for the reasons I mentioned above.
    Finally, I do very much agree that the characterization of the USCCB as petitioning the FCC to regulate speech is unfair given that (i) it did no such thing and (ii) a coalition cannot fairly be considered the agent of each and every member on each and every issue. And that is especially true in this case where the USCCB has apparently made it clear that it does not in fact support the petition.
    The bottom line for me is that while I do not hold the USCCB accountable for the petition in question, I do hold it accountable for choosing to be a member of the SWMS. It is that latter decision that is in my view imprudent, and I worry it is grounded in an arrogance that stems from an unfortunate and often mischieveous ideological bias.

  • Mike Petrik writes: “The bottom line for me is that while I do not hold the USCCB accountable for the petition in question, I do hold it accountable for choosing to be a member of the SWMS. It is that latter decision that is in my view imprudent, and I worry it is grounded in an arrogance that stems from an unfortunate and often mischieveous ideological bias.”

    I doubt any of us heard about the SWMS until the past two weeks. We know nothing about it except as it has been filtered through a poorly reported controversy. Isn’t it a bit silly to issue our judgments about it when we’re so far from the situation on the ground?

    It seems a far less clear cut case to me than, say, CCHD funding for abortion-supporting community organizing groups.

  • David King says:

    One might argue that the USCCB joins hands with some of these rather questionable organizations in order to influence their direction. A suggestion that they are partners in but don’t support all the efforts of some organization brings to mind an analogy. When you see someone stuck in a bog or fallen through thin ice, it is prudential to remain on firm footing and toss them a rope, not to jump in with them to help them find their way out. Now that the USCCB seems to have gotten itself into the bog, let’s hope and pray that the Bishops will remain on firm ground while proceeding to help fix things. Hopefully Archbishop Chaput will consider this. We badly need some clarity in these confused times.

Follow TAC by Clicking on the Buttons Below
Bookmark and Share
Subscribe by eMail

Enter your email:

Recent Comments
Archives
Our Visitors. . .
Our Subscribers. . .