THE BISHOPS’ ENEMIES
Catalyst March Issue 2014
When the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) filed an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit brought by a privately owned business, Hobby Lobby, that challenges the constitutionality of the Health and Human Services mandate, several organizations that have traditionally opposed the bishops lined up with their own brief on the other side.
BishopAccountability, a media outlet that allegedly monitors priestly sexual abuse, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), a “victims’ group,” and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an atheist entity, do not want the owners of Hobby Lobby to win. Their stated objectives have nothing to do with this issue, but their real goal surely does: they want to weaken the moral voice of traditional religious organizations.
Seven “Catholic” organizations joined with others to oppose Hobby Lobby. Catholics for Choice is a pro-abortion, anti-Catholic entity; CORPUS, Women’s Ordination Conference, and Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual reject the Church’s teachings on ordination; DignityUSA and New Ways Ministry reject the Church’s teachings on homosexuality; and the National Coalition of American Nuns is pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage.
The latter group is particularly interesting. In a Marist poll released at the end of January, it found that 84 percent of the American people favor abortion restrictions. But not the National Coalition of American Nuns: in 1989, they signed an amicus brief in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services in favor of unrestricted legal abortion. In 2006, they issued an “open letter” to Catholic voters in support of abortion and gay marriage. The year before, they blasted the selection of Pope Benedict XVI; in 2008, they publicly opposed his papal visit to the U.S. In 2010, when the Catholic League protested the decision by the owner of the Empire State Building not to light the tower in recognition of Mother Teresa’s centenary, these nuns signed a letter in support of the owner (so much for the bonds of “sisterhood”). In 1984, this same group opposed formal U.S. diplomatic relations with the Holy See.
No sooner had these enemies of the bishops spoke when the pope called on Catholic universities to be “uncompromising” in their defense of the Church’s “moral teachings.” Too bad some nuns are working overtime to subvert his plea.