Your Holiness, Cardinal Francis George (and certain other Catholics),
The uproar you have started regarding President Obama’s upcoming visit to Notre Dame is disgraceful, unwarranted and a slap in the face to the moderate and liberal branches of the faith. This is yet another example of how you taken the faith away from the core principles that once guided the church.
Cardinal, you have been quoted saying:
Whatever else is clear, it’s clear Notre Dame didn’t understand what it means to be Catholic when they issued this invitation,” George said, “and didn’t anticipate the kind of uproar that would be consequent to the decision, at least not to the extent that it has happened.”
George said he continues to talk to the university about the invitation, which he said “brought extreme embarrassment to many, many people who are Catholic, including their own bishop.”
The embarrassment, sir, belongs to you and any other person of Religious faith who refuses to dialogue with others. This entire argument stems not from the “culture of life” that I was raised in, but in a right wing, dogmatic response to the question of abortion.
The President is pushing for Abortion Reduction, a series of interventions both pre and post natal designed to ensure the safety of the fetus, mother and the eventual child. The Church I remember, an organization that I once turned to for comfort and guidance, would relish the opportunity to work with someone to achieve that goal.
Instead, you and others of your ilk, cling to practices and beliefs that would force a nine year old victim of repeated sexual assault to carry a fetus to term. An action that is both life threatening and psychologically destroying. And while you scream from your self-righteous pulpit, you refuse to address the skeletons in your own closet:
A Catholic priest, the Rev. Kenneth J. Martin pleaded guilty to molesting a teenage boy in 2001, yet was found working for the Archdiocese of Chicago last month, despite promises from the cardinal that the convicted priest would not be coming back to Chicago.
Both of these behaviors are an insult to the memory of Cardinal Bernadin, your predecessor, who worked to clear the churches name. You foster a false division within the Church, and ignore the damage the shepherds have done to the flock.
You have chosen to fight a battle that you should not engage in. Defending the sanctity of human life goes beyond abortion. The Culture of Life also reflects questions about war, human rights and quality of life issues. You did not cry foul when the previous president, who waged a war completely against church teachings, spoke at commencement. This is yet another shameful act you have undertaken.
As a Bishop, you cannot pick and chose which battles to fight for. The Culture of Life, every aspect of it, must be defended by individuals of your rank. Your continued failure is just another reason why many Catholics of my generation leave the church. Your leadership continues to push away the rationed, reasonable and educated faithful away, and prevents reconciliation with those who struggle with the spiritual. Your zealotry has made you blind to the larger picture.