Today, on this Solemnity of the Triumph of the Cross, comes the news that Bishop Blaise Cupich of the Diocese of Spokane (WA) has forbidden his priests and seminarians from engaging in pro-life activism. I suspect Peter Kreeft had him in mind when he made the statement featured in my post from yesterday.
They are forbidden from praying in front of Planned Parenthood or any other abortion mill. Moreover, they are forbidden to promote such activities. He went so far as to name the "40 Days for Life" effort as one of the forbidden activities. He went on to forbid the distribution of any pro-life materials on church grounds, save for those published by the Washington Catholic Conference. I suppose that means that advertisements for post-abortion healing are also forbidden? Such materials are allowed in my church; they fly off the literature racks. That should give us an idea of how many Catholics hurt from abortion. Is the bishop really cutting off that avenue of help for these poor people?
Now what are his reasons? He allegedly said that he doesn't want anyone who "represents him" to be associated with "extreme" pro-lifers who use graphic pictures of aborted babies. If this is true, this statement is an utter disgrace for a bishop.
It is supremely ironic that news of this is breaking on this Solemnity of the Triumph of the Cross. We celebrate the Cross today, with His Precious Blood shed for us. We do not flinch from the Cross, in all its raw pain and brutality, for such was the price paid for our redemption. How then does a bishop of Jesus Christ order his priests to turn from the babies who are being slaughtered in his diocese? He doesn't want his priests to be "extreme"? Does he not realize that Jesus seemed "extreme" to Caiaphis and the other religious leaders of Jerusalem? With whom does Bishop Cupich identify - Jesus or Caiaphis?
In all fairness to the bishop, there has been no public statement from his diocesan offices. However, it would be incumbent upon him to clarify any misunderstandings (if indeed this is merely a misunderstanding). To that effect, I urge all to contact him. The diocesan site is http://www.dioceseofspokane.org/; contact information is found therein. First let's ascertain the truth and then we'll go from there. More later.