Sunday, June 14, 2009

Swashbucklers at the Catholic News Service (CNS)

A courageous and well-written article outlining the long-suffering media imprisonment imposed by, among others, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops - Catholic Media Mutiny.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the faithful had ready access to reliable media sources that consistently present news items and important issues truthfully and completely, while also communicating the authentic doctrine of the faith so dependably that Catholics could receive the information they relay with complete confidence?...

Today, CNS is the world’s largest Catholic news organization of its kind, generating news items and editorial pieces that are reprinted in more than 200 Catholic publications worldwide. In fact, whether you live in New York, NY or Sydney, Australia, CNS is almost certainly a major provider of content for your official diocesan newspaper.

Mission accomplished, right? Well, not exactly.

Catholic News Service has long been viewed with a suspicious eye by “conservative” Catholic groups, but any perception that this wariness was confined to some traditionalist fringe, however, was officially put to rest earlier this year.

By January 2009, CNS’ failure to consistently apply reliably Catholic editorial standards had become so problematic that Archbishop Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura at the Vatican, was moved to take the extraordinarily bold step of criticizing CNS from Rome.

“The bishops need to look at our Catholic News Service; they need to review their coverage of [the Church’s moral and social teachings] and give some new direction,” he said.

The article gives an account of CNS tenets, as proclaimed by leading prochioce swashbuckler, Doug Kmiec, the Pepperdine law professor whose deflated political aspirations on the ride home from the Mitt Romney concession speech inspired a dormant doctrinal dastardly villain to arise from the GOP ashes.

How then can anyone explain why Catholic News Service — an organ of the USCCB — would grant Kmiec’s opinions a de facto Imprimatur by syndicating his columns for distribution to Catholic publications all over the world?

To be fair, everyone makes mistakes in judgment. Goodwill or the lack thereof, however, is easily discernable by examining the way in which one amends their ways, or does not, after being called to account, as in the case of Archbishop Burke’s stunning rebuke of CNS.

In April 2009, Tony Spence left little room for doubt in the matter when he decided to publish a Kmiec column that hailed the National Institutes of Health’s newly proposed guidelines for Federal funding of embryonic stem cell research as “ethically sensitive” and a move “in a noticeably more Catholic-friendly direction.”

This latest CNS-sanctioned apologia on the Obama Administration’s assault on human life was so out of bounds that Cardinal Justin Rigali, who chairs the USCCB’s Pro-Life Committee, was moved to refute Kmiec’s falsehoods point-by-point in a column of his own, ultimately evaluating Kmiec’s CNS piece by saying, “The truth is opposite.”

It is bizarre theater indeed when an American Cardinal must directly refute the errant opinions that were syndicated, published and propagated by the news service owned by the Bishops’ Conference to which he belongs, and this just months after the leadership of said news service was put on notice by a powerful Vatican prelate.

Can any reasonable observer view this series of events and fail to conclude that Tony Spence has made a conscious decision to throw down the gauntlet, and is now daring the USCCB to hold him and CNS to accountability?

A few days ago, the Catholic News Agency ran a disappointing story about the Cardinals "Caritas acceptable modifications" to the partnership structure in the Cardinal's diocesan venture "HMO" which now employs abortionists and bilingual phone operators who will do the dirty work required to fulfill the abortion requirements of their new business, here.

People are educated enough now to realize that the Cardinal is using the word "Caritas" as a cover up to distract from his new corporation "CeltiCare", which unveiled the Cardinal's abortion services, the contractors with whom they have entered into the business arrangement and the procedures they will use to advance the woman towards the abortions.

To their credit, CNA published a previous story that at least included snippets of the Capuchin Abortion CeltiCare here but the latest story is stripped of the material facts that bring people to the truth of the situation. The turnabout makes one wonder whether somebody from the Boston Chancery called CNA and pressured them to advance the malarkey.

We've got to do better than this.

If the Cardinal entered a joint venture into a brothel in Nevada to save "Caritas", who in their right mind would advance the Cardinal's nonsense for these past three months?

Can a Catholic Cardinal bid on a contract that includes performing abortions, give written assurances they will either perform them or contract with people outside of their network to perform them, create an entity to send the women to the abortionists and take 49% ownership in that entity who then hires subcontractors to perform abortions, hires bilingual phone operators who will give the woman the number of the abortionists they've subcontracted, tell their employees at the hospital to give the number out of their 49% owned corporation?

What level of ownership interest they can take in the set up that would make the arrangement consistent with the Gospel of Life and Catholic theology?

After they have set this all up, can they then submit a revision of a partnership agreement to reduce their interests to 3% ownership in the arrangement?

1% ownership in the arrangement?

After you bid on a contract that compels you to promise to perform abortions and you promise in writing to perform them - what is the structure in a corporation that the Cardinal can claim his arrangement meets compliance with Catholic ethics?

When the Cardinal placed members of NARAL as his Advisory Board Members in his new business venture, what kind of advice do you suppose he is seeking? What are the ramifications of such advice?

Where is Rome when it is crystal clear that the Cardinal is operating an abortion business?

This is what our Catholic media should be reporting on.


TheLastCatholicinBoston said...

...Thanks for the info..and on a lighter note.
I took 5 of my well formed (God willing) yet fun loving Catholic Children to Arch St. today for Mass. They are comfortable in the silence of the Latin Mass, are versed in the Papal teaching regarding the 'new Mass'. So they do attend both. So as I sit in St. Anthony's Shrine on a Sunday morning for the 11am and see the 10 am crowd leave, I note zero children among the 500? attendees? zero. The Band strikes up (it is St. Anthony's feast day after all) and the drum bangs and the trumpet blares and my 12 year old leans over to the 10 year old and say's "Its kind of like a circus!" Later that night the younger say's "Dad is it wrong? You know the loud music and all...?"
My answer was this..."When you separate the shared meal of the Mass from the Sacrifice of the Alter it is wrong."
I find that the current issues in Boston are simply about order. If you don't appreciate the 'order' of the Mass, and give to God what is God's then things like the proper order of the sanctity of Human life VS charitable work gets murky. In fact it is so murky that before you know it...your at the circus.

Rob said...

Thanks Carol.

Some interesting points, unfortunately CNS seems akin to the secular MSM with its own political spin. Increasingly, I take to the blogosphere for news and diverse opinion. As the MSM (dinosaurs as ABC, CBS, NBC, NYT, Boston Globe,...) once had a lock hold on what "news" was presented to the masses, I find CNS increasingly an irrelevant propaganda arm of the USCCB. Unfortunately, I acknowledge many, many Souls still don't have access to the Net. Perhaps its generational, but I still interact with manty Catholics whose opinions are still formed by what is read on newsprint and heard on the major television networks. I can't tell you the number of times I've heard certain "soundbytes" parroted by otherwise intelligent Catholics.

During the Boston Reconfiguration Scandal, I can't beging to tell you the number of times I heard Houses of God (Domus Dei) referred to as "only buildings" or the oft parroted terminology of "worship space", promoted by authors this scandalous ecclesiology.

On an editorial note, I think you may have a typo above. Catholic News Service (CNS) may have inadvertently shifted to Catholic News Agency (CNA) in the course of your post above.

Anonymous said...

LCIB, What a wonderful thing it must have been for everyone to see your beautiful family at Arch Street. It's interesting that in the Liturgy, the crowd is over 60 but I very often see the younger folks sitting in the long line waiting for confession. They have some great confessors there, in spite of it all. It must be a suffering for them to see so many led astray.

I understand you are Mommy and Daddy this week? How's it going?

Rob, Good points. I have some older friends who are increasingly turning to the web for their news but we have a long road ahead of us. I've often said the conservatives should start their own "Metro" for commuters - an 8 pager.

I didn't have a typo above. I switched the context from CNS to CNA - the Catholic News Agency who is actually an excellent source of orthodox news. They're great people and try very hard. They did a great story on the Caritas scandal here in Boston. Their follow-up story, I would have liked to see the distinction that the focus of the corporate activities is now "CeltiCare", the 49% owner of Caritas. We've got to move the soundbyte to the Caritas corporation that actually entered the contract with the abortionists, hired the people to man the phonelines and is flowing the money, pregnant women and poor through.