Saturday, September 29, 2007

Local Reaction to Plan B sucker punch

Connecticut old timers will tell you that this isn't the first time the CT Conference of Catholic Bishops has weakened near the end of a legislative battle. With Connecticut's adoption of laws legalizing abortion and liberalizing homosexuality, the CT Conference of Catholic Bishops after initial strong and forceful resistance, has a tradition of trading their moral authority for quiet and quick compromises. You don't blame some for suggesting that the Archdiocese was blackmailed and threatened into making some of these unsavory legislative compromises. But I have my own thoughts below.

I tuned into Brad Davis this morning while brushing my teeth and nearly gagged when he claimed that any Catholic that disagreed with Archbishop Mansell is a Catholic with a "problem." Now usually this type of reflux means that I'm pregnant again, but this time it was genuine disgust. Brad Davis had a long "conversation" with Archbishop Mansell on behalf of the disgruntled parishoners at Mt. Carmel in Waterbury last week. I think the Archbishop put the local version of the "Papal Whammy" on Brad, because ever since his "conversation," Brad Davis hasn't breathed a word against the Archbishop. I even learned this morning that Brad is a "Roman Catholic," something I didn't know after listening to him all these years.

On the spiritual front, we have reports of a crucifix bleeding (what is the official Catholic term for this?) at a parish in northern Connecticut. I am not at liberty to give more details, but at least one witness has "connected the dots" to the Archbishop. In particular, the Archbishop is scheduled to bless their new sanctuary soon, and if icons start weeping across Connecticut when the Archbishop shows, well . . . you heard it here first.

The level of "sucker punch" is strong with area Catholics, of course. But even local legislators are expressing their bewilderment over the Conference's behavior. Mark Pazniokas of the Hartford Courant had a brief report in CAUCUS - Politics from CT to DC, and reports that Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr. stated:
For those very same bishops to do a 180-degree turnabout two days before the legislation becomes law, without any adequate explanation, is incomprehensible," Cafero said. "It shows apparent disregard and disrespect for the political process and those of us who worked in their behalf.
I wonder what changed. Why didn't the CT Conference change their Plan B protocols 2 years ago? It would have saved me and countless other loyal Connecticut Catholics time spent writing letters, talking to fellow parishioners, defending Catholic teaching, protesting with several small children at the Capitol. What a waste of time! A holy, Catholic friend of mine can only think of the poor souls lost. But me, I'm concerned with the egg on our collective faces.

Talk about egg on your face, the Family Institute of Connecticut (an ecumenical, non-partisan organization) was searching for a person with whom they could file a suit against the State to stop Plan B. Who knows whether they will proceed. Getting out there to fight the culture wars can leave you a little lonely. This topic is also burning up the Catholic blogosphere. For other discussions about the Conference's turnabout on Plan B, you can see: American Papist Curt Jester Jimmy Akin (Part 1 and Part 2) and Diogenes.

Nationally, Deal Hudson, formerly of Crisis Magazine, is urging Catholics to contact the CT Catholic Conference and adds in his article on CatholicInsider.com:
When official institutions of the Catholic Church make these kinds of decisions, the rest of us end up looking, well, silly.
My husband reminds me that it's the legislation, not the bishops, that require us to drop the ovulation test. So, it's not like the bishops thought this up on their own 2 days ago. It came from the anti-Catholics at the legislature, whose heads nearly popped when they found out the hospitals were administering ovulation tests! But, the whole hub-bub about ovulation all comes from the Church. It was part of their initial, well-thought protocols. The test, though imperfect, was there to err on the side of life.

I just have to believe that when presented with a what could be considered a reasonable "way out" by their expensive attorneys, the loss of untold funds from the state, and even more money about to be spent on a possibly fruitless lawsuit, the bishops eyes glazed over, they started mumbling to themselves about monstrance polish, gave a slow head-nod to their fancy attorneys and set into motion their plans for retreat.

35 comments:

A heavy-hearted CT Catholic said...

Thank you, thank you thank you for writing about this. My head has been spinning since yesterday morning when I read the Courant's headlines as I was exiting my local Stop and Shop.

I do feel like I have been sucker punched. Connecticut Catholics have been deceived by our bishops. I am so disappointed by this decision. Your two posts put eloquent words to my exact feelings. Thank you again.

A heavy-hearted CT Catholic

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