Cardinal Dolan: White House Lectured My USCCB Staff On How to Interpret Catholic Teaching!
From Tom Peters (aka AmericanPapist) at CatholicVote:
Cardinal Timothy Dolan sent a letter to his brother bishops earlier this week where he revealed a shocking conversation that recently took place at a meeting between White House and USCCB staff:My Comments:At a recent meeting between staff of the bishops’ conference and the White House staff, our staff members asked directly whether the broader concerns of religious freedom—that is, revisiting the straight-jacketing mandates, or broadening the maligned exemption—are all off the table. They were informed that they are. So much for “working out the wrinkles.” Instead, they advised the bishops’ conference that we should listen to the “enlightened” voices of accommodation, such as the recent, hardly surprising yet terribly unfortunate editorial in America. The White House seems to think we bishops simply do not know or understand Catholic teaching and so, taking a cue from its own definition of religious freedom, now has nominated its own handpicked official Catholic teachersLet’s break this down so we don’t miss anything about the context or gravity of the situation:
5. After all of this, when the White House finally gets around to inviting staff authorized by the USCCB to negotiate on behalf of them, the White House says what to them?! First, they issue an ultimatum saying all compromise is off the table. So what on earth are they supposed to talk about if the White House refuses from the outset to compromise in any way, shape, or form? The cynical answer is the White House, once again, simply wanted to establish the appearance of dialogue while offering zero substance.
6. Then, the White House proceeds to lecture the USCCB staff about how to interpret Catholic teaching! Can you imagine anything more offensive? Telling Catholics how to be Catholic? They show them a copy of the America editorial as if a) the staff has not already read it and b) the U.S. Bishops give a fig what the editors of America think.
In other words, what we have here is NOT a failure to communicate. What we have here is an Administration and White House officials who believe they know Catholic teaching better than us. And who have the hubris to lecture us about what our faith teaches.
The editors of the Wall Street Journal comment:As a study in ideology and power, the anecdote [of the White House meeting described above] is chilling, compounded by all the recent claims by Democrats and liberals that Catholics who actually abide by their faith are opposed to modernity. Such prejudice is supposedly defunct in contemporary America, except when it’s practiced against religion.[Read the whole thing]
The astoundingly breathtaking arrogance of this White House in daring to lecture the Catholic Bishops on what Catholic theology "should" be sorta calls to mind the astoundingly breathtaking arrogance of Bill Clinton's press secretary Mike McCurry opining that John Cardinal O'Connor didn't understand Catholic teaching regarding the impermissibility of non-Catholics receiving the Eucharist at Mass:
... With breathtaking boldness, McCurry borrowed a tactic from Mario Cuomo and told the nation that Cardinal O’Connor, the country’s best-known Catholic prelate, simply misunderstands the policies of his own Church and that, if Americans seek authoritative guidance as to those policies, the White House will be glad to provide it. In effect those bishops who criticized the President were accused of being theologically deficient (believing that the Code of Canon Law governs the Church), a deficiency which, once again, the White House is prepared to remedy...The current Obama White House has merely taken the Clinton/Cuomo playbook to the next level. Whereas the Clinton White House sought to try to re-define the Church's teachings in order to deflect away from the short-term effects of one of a number of recurring Clinton controversies and scandals, the Obama Administration is playing for the long-term - seeking to permanently change the Church's theology on a fundamental matter and permanently replace the Catholic hierarchy as the spokespersons for that teaching and for the Church.
[And, of course, as is indicative in the preceding link as well as in the current instance, there is never a shortage of DemoCath hacks (see, e.g., the usual suspects - you know who they are) who are always only too willing to put the good of the Democrat Party or of a particular Democrat politician ahead of supporting the Bishops of their Church on fundamental teachings or matters of religious liberty. Their party is their "church", and their "Church" is merely their cultural identity.]
Fortunately, Cardinal Dolan understands how to frame this issue in a way that highlights the Obama Administration's impermissible meddling into internal Church affairs. This is exactly the sort of evidence that will lead the Supreme Court to strike down the HHS Mandate on First Amendment grounds.
Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
George Weigel on Obama's "Divide and Conquer" Strategy: Obama, Not Bishops, Now Calling Shots for Catholic Church in U.S.
Divide and Conquer: Ross Douthat Notes Obama's HHS "Compromise" Merely a Means for ObamaCaths to Save Face
Obama Administration Gives Opponents of HHS Mandate All the Evidence They Need to Convince Court of Free Exercise Violation
Health Care Reform and the Magisterium [UPDATED]
Cardinal George: Sr. Keehan Chose Obama Over Catholic Bishops
American Papist: Obama an Enemy to Catholic Unity
The Catholic Health Association and the Future of Catholic Unity
Sister Carol Keehan Misrepresents Her Support of the Health Care Bill
Bishop Tells Pro-Life Democrat: Nuns Can’t Absolve ObamaCare Vote
Establishing the "Alternative Magisterium"
Archbishop Chaput: Those Confusing the Catholic Stance on Health Care Will Bear the Blame for Anti-Life Effects of Heath Care Bill
Catholic Obama Supporters More Interested in Providing Cover Than Holding Obama's Feet to the Fire
Catholic Nuns Urge Passage of Obama's Health Bill
Obama's Catholic Strategy: Divide and Conquer