Bill Collins is the former mayor of Norwalk, Connecticut and he doesn’t like Cardinal O’Connor. That’s about the only rational conclusion we can draw after reading his silly column, “The Catholic Club: The adjective doesn’t mean universal”; it appeared in the Record-Journal on April 12.

Collins was writing about Norwalk’s Catholic Club, a group of distinguished Catholic men who throw an annual Lincoln Day Banquet. Collins is upset because women aren’t invited. He is also upset with the teachings of the Church and with Cardinal O’Connor, in particular.

Collins’ article drips with sarcasm. “No women to challenge him,” Collins said of the New York Archbishop, “as he explained how a visit to Dachau had firmed up his belief that women should be forced to sustain unwanted pregnancies. And how people dying in agony should be forced to suffer it out to the end.”

To make sense of this nonsense, one must first understand the reference to Dachau: Cardinal O’Connor has said many times that his visit to the Nazi concentration camp has had a profound effect on him. So what Collins wants us to believe is that Cardinal O’Connor is a hypocrite who knows nothing of suffering and, in fact, is busy forcing others to endure needless pain.

For Collins, then, it is perfectly logical to blame a man for human suffering simply because he believes that life begins at conception and no one has a right to kill himself. The logic is enhanced, of course, when we consider that it makes sense to point fingers at anyone who attends a male banquet.

Now wouldn’t it have been a whole lot easier if Collins had just admitted that a) he doesn’t like men hanging out with each other and b) he likes abortion and suicide. Then we’d know why he doesn’t like Cardinal O’Connor.

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