Bishop Elect Barron has a post at Catholic News Report that rubs me the wrong way. Here is the beginning:
Just last week, Stephen Colbert gave an interview in which the depth of his Catholic faith was on pretty clear display. Discussing the trauma that he experienced as a young man-the deaths of his father and two of his brothers in a plane crash – he told the interviewer how, through the ministrations of his mother, he had learned not only to accept what had happened but actually to rejoice in it: “Boy, did I have a bomb when I was ten; that was quite an explosion…It’s that I love the thing that I wish most had not happened.”
Flummoxed, his interlocutor asked him to elaborate on the paradox. Without missing a beat, Colbert cited J.R.R. Tolkien: “What punishments of God are not gifts?” What a wonderful sermon on the salvific quality of suffering! And it was delivered, not by a priest or bishop or evangelist, but by a comedian about to take over one of the most popular television programs on late night.
Go here to read the rest. The problem that I have with this is that the Bishop-Elect fails to note that on a crucial issue, abortion, Colbert is in opposition to the Faith. Go here to see a video in which Colbert ridicules the efforts in 2011 to defund
Planned Parenthood Worse Than Murder, Inc. on the grounds that abortions make up only three percent of the business of Worse Than Murder, Inc. There are two problems with this line of argument. First, because it is morally obtuse: “Look at all the good things that Hitler did! Murdering millions of people in death camps was only a very small percentage of what the Third Reich accomplished!” The fact that Planned Parenthood is engaged in killing innocent children in utero should be repugnant to any “good Catholic”, or, indeed, any man or woman of conscience. Second, because it is a lie. Colbert got the three percent figure from Planned Parenthood talking points. The figure is ludicrous. Planned Parenthood performs thirty percent of all abortions in this country. Abortions are a major revenue generator for them. Even the pro-abort Washington Post a few weeks ago, admitted that the three percent figure is deceitful:
The 3 percent figure that Planned Parenthood uses is misleading, comparing abortion services to every other service that it provides. The organization treats each service — pregnancy test, STD test, abortion, birth control — equally. Yet there are obvious difference between a surgical (or even medical) abortion, and offering a urine (or even blood) pregnancy test. These services are not all comparable in how much they cost or how extensive the service or procedure is.
The Church has been against abortion since the time of Christ. Stephen Colbert defends the organization that promotes the ongoing murder of the most innocent among us. Go here to watch a video of his drinking game, with a drink being taken whenever Rick Santorum mentioned partial birth abortion.
Well, so what? Can’t Barron salute Colbert’s Catholicism without having to bring up where he deviates from the Faith? Let’s try a thought experiment. Imagine that we have a public figure who has stated how important Catholicism is to him, but who also has made derogatory comments about other races. Does anyone imagine that the Bishop elect would celebrate his Catholicism? Why not? Because racism is universally condemned in our society. Abortion on the other hand is embraced by a large sector of society, usually on the political left. Stephen Colbert is part of that section of society. As a result, there is a grave temptation in today’s Church to overlook the fact that many prominent people, touted as good Catholics, embrace the slaying of the innocent in the womb. Assuming that the Bishop elect is aware of the position of Stephen Colbert on abortion, and as media-savey as Barron is I find it hard to believe that he is not, it is gravely misleading for him to celebrate the Catholicism of Colbert without pointing out that he is far from Catholicism on this issue. Not to do so, is merely to add to the considerable body of existing evidence that although Catholic clerics talk a good game on abortion, that it really doesn’t matter to them in the great scheme of things.