The USCCB held their annual Baltimore meeting this week. What were the issues being considered by the shepherds of the Church in the US? Here's a line from the Not-At-All Catholic Reporter: "The longest and most passionate discussion on the first day of the fall assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Nov. 13 focused on immigrants, on how to help them but also how to drive home the point that they, too, are our brothers and sisters and should not be demonized."
Got that? The emphasis was not on the large-scale apostasy from the faith by so many Catholics, not the abysmal state of catechesis and priestly formation, not baby-murder and the encroachment of homosexuality in our culture - but immigrants. Also notice the de facto demonization that occurred, that was directed at those of us who do not coddle the illegal border-crashers. Cardinal Cupich slandered us by insinuating that we engage in "poisoning rhetoric". Ladies and gentlemen, that was before he lost the Pro-Life Chair election to Archbishop Naumann. One can only imagine how he might have been railing against our "rhetoric" with some choice rhetoric of his own! More on that below.
We do know that the bishops are going to issue a "presidential statement", since they don't appreciate that President Trump is actually behaving as, well, a president. Goodness! With all this passion and angst expended to flout the nation's immigration laws, why, the bishops haven't had much time to devote to their other pet issues - like "climate change and "gun control".
But this event hasn't been a complete progressive jabber-jaw session. The USCCB's Pro-Life Office will be headed by Archbishop Joseph Naumann of the Kansas City Archdiocese and not by the uber-progressive Cardinal Cupich. I cannot think of two many other bishops who are more polar opposites than these two. The former has chided pro-aborts, obeyed Canon 915 and expelled the Girl Scouts for their moral lapses whereas the latter has done his utmost to bog down the pro-life cause in seamless-garbage morass. Cucpich, when Bishop of Spokane, went so far as to forbid his priests to participate in the 40 Days for Life campaign.
The vote is a curious one. Cupich is clearly a darling of the progressive Vatican. Yet he was defeated in his bid for this rather influential post. Usually a cardinal occupies that position, but this time tradition has not been followed. Yet the vote spread itself still remains a bit troubling; a 54% to 46% split cannot be called a landslide.
Let's go on to other matters, one of which is particularly nonsensical. Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo NY spoke as a representative of the Bishops' Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. He was asked by a member of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property whether or not Amoris Laetitia allows Catholics living in adultery to receive Holy Communion. Malone refused to answer the question, saying (among other things), "it is not in my providence to respond to that question right now". Remember - Malone is on a committee for marriage and family life, and he refuses to answer a question that the average Catholic of 50 years ago could answer in a flash. The answer (of course) is that Church teaching has always forbade those living in mortal sin to receive Holy Communion. Period. This committee is tasked with coughing up a "pastoral plan" to implement Amoralis Lamentia, i.e., to devise some "wiggle room" to cajole Catholics to accepting sacrilegious Holy Communions. The ones who would be the most imperiled are those adulterers who would be given false comfort while they commit sacrilege on top of their adultery, confirming the trajectory of their souls towards hell.
I believe this year's extravaganza is over. If it wasn't financed by our donation dollars, it was by federal lucre (they receive quite a few bucks in government grants) which stems from our tax dollars. Either way, we footed the bill for it. What a waste!