Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Personal Aside: Arch-Liberal Marin Canonizes Arch-Liberal Bernardin.

Not only is the “Sun-Times’” Carol Marin a whimpering, simpering ultra-lefty, she is a hard-eyed propagandist calling herself Catholic who adroitly suffocates the truth.

Take her Sunday column entitled “Let Bernardin’s spirit guide Obama, Pope.”

I will put her paragraphs in italics and follow-up with comments of mine in straight type.

“Pro-choice President Obama goes to the Vatican next month to meet pro-life Pope Benedict.”

Wrong. Obama is not pro-choice. He is the most pro-abort president we have ever had, one who has differed with his old U. S. Senate colleagues by actions he took repeatedly in the state Senate where he was Judiciary chairman. There he continually—three times—killed legislation that would have supplied sustenance and comfort to live babies born of botched abortions. Marin is so cross-eyed liberal she can’t see straight.

“Let’s pray that the spirit of the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin fills the room and that Cardinal Bernard Law, now assigned to Rome, is nowhere in sight.”

The spirit of the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin? You mean the one who devised the “Consistent life ethic” which my old Minnesota colleague Walter Mondale gleefully told me when we met at the Madison Hotel in Washington during the 1984 campaign resulted in Mondale’s compiling in Mondale’s words “a better pro-life record than Ronald Reagan”—for nuclear freeze, against the death penalty? Mondale chortled that Bernardin’s devising this stratagem was truly “Italianate,” meaning he saw how to help his pro-abort party transcend problems with Catholic pro-life voters.

“Bernardin and Obama, despite a deep difference on abortion, shared mch in Chicago. A commitment to dialogue. And a belief that common ground can be found even across the most fractured fault lines of faith and belief.”

Totally wrong and misleading. They had no difference substantially on abortion. Their difference on abortion was cosmetic. Bernardin whom I knew and met with on the issue was a liberal Democratic manipulator who worked strenuously to water down the effect of abortion on the Catholic electorate to assist his party. He was technically “pro-life” with tongue deeply stuck in his cheek because he wanted the red hat. Obama whom I interviewed several times and discussed abortion with is not at all as complaisant as was Bernardin on the issue. Obama has never, ever sought common ground on abortion. The idea that by passing universal health care people will not resort to abortion which is Doug Kmiec’s ridiculous proposition is non-substantive and of appeal only to the ideological Left like Marin.. Were he to have extended an olive branch he would not have vitiated the Mexico City rule, thereby softening his approach slightly. Marin is fiction-spinning again.

“And what happened to Bernardin in the months before his death illuminates the land mines ahead—both inside and outside the Catholic Church.”

Cue up the violins. And can we lower the lights, please? Here comes the mythmaker machine.

“In the summer of 1996, three months before pancreatic cancer claimed him, Bernardin quietly sent a document to his fellow bishops for review. He told them that in two weeks he would hold a news conference on its contents. But that he asked them to weigh in. The document, `Called to Be Catholic: The Church in a Time of Peril” was the first official call for discussion among Catholics on polarizing issues including the role of women, human sexuality and abortion. And war, capital punishment and racial injustice.”

By calling for discussion on abortion, it was this sly Italian’s manipulative gesture of undercutting a precept of natural and moral law that has been part of the Church’s theology for 2000 years beginning with the early Church fathers, beginning with the Didache composed before A. D. 80 (“You shall not procure abortion. You shall not destroy a newborn child”).

If anyone deserves rank equivalent to Kim Philby it was Bernardin. He was a brilliant public relations impresario, adept at sycophantry with Rome to accomplish his objectives, smooth as silk as a purported saintly prelate, good listener, consensus builder. By the time of his illness his reputation as a faithful son of the Church was dissolving.

Marin’s belief in absolutes is as profound as Erich Segal’s. Her `60s mantra cannot understand why some issues are unchanging. Bernardin’s 1996 bid was designed to win favor with some liberal bishops—Mahony of Los Angeles and Weakland of Milwaukee—to gestate a liberal, relativist largely secular credo to supersede authentic moral theology (in which he was not expert since he had had scarce theological training as a child of the public schools until seminary).

Obviously high on Marin’s list is “the role of women” which she once debated with my old office mate the late John McDermott as she professed her wish that women be ordained to the priesthood, the bishopric and papacy. The result as Bernardin wished it to be would be a left-wing testament which would make abortion a non-sin and relative, would have cast homosexuality as a condition not remediable by moral firmness, oppose capital punishment and endorse near pacificism and affirmative action.

This man who went to his death in the theological company of Ann Landers and who in his will ordered his funeral mass to be serenaded by the Gay Men’s Chorus was a slicker who had designed a concoction such as “the American Catholic Church” to differentiate itself from Rome—for which he would be the alter-pope.

“Though a few colleagues such as Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles lent their support, “Most bishops sat on their hands” recalled Msgr. Ken Velo one of Bernardin’s closest friends. “Law did not say anything at all.”

Law has much accounting to make here and beyond for his permissiveness on handling pedaphilia-prone priests, but give Law credit for knowing what Bernardin was up to. Bernardin’s sly Italianate device was to preempt any criticism by subtle, murmuring intimidation. It didn’t work here.

“Then on Aug. 13, the day Bernardin took his report public, Law sent out his own news release to denounce it. He called it “unfortunate” and said there could be no dialogue if it contested the truth of Church teachings.”

Law was right. So what’s wrong with that?

“A few months later, as Bernardin lay dying, Law called, hoping to see Bernardin. Velo left Bernardin’s bedside to take the call. `He said,’ Velo recalled, `I’m thinking of coming to Chicago.’ Velo was blunt. He told Law that Bernardin `had a difficult time’ with what Law had done. And he conveyed the dying Cardinal’s disappointed words. Bernardin, referring to Law by his first name said, `I would have never done this to Bernie.’”

Here the duplicitous nature of Bernardin is on review. Remember, this is the man who, to quote Marin, believes in “discussion among Catholics on polarizing issues.” In other words, everything sweetly reasonable. See how he liked dissent? He rejected another view even on his own deathbed. What did he expect, everyone should take good old Joe Bernardin’s views “ex cathedra”? Velo’s Italianate p. r. cosmetics is intriguing. Only a Marin would sign on for this ingenious deceit by Velo.

“Law, according to Velo, denied he had done anything hurtful. But we now know Law is well-practiced in the art of denial.”

Law deserves whatever censure and defilement he receives from all quarters for his mismanagement of Boston—and should not have been given a berth in Rome but directed to the bowels of a Trappist monastery to reflect on his weakness. Now let’s consider Velo. He’s an officer of DePaul who told me two years ago DePaul was well on the way to burnishing its Catholicity. Then DePaul announced formation of its “Queer Studies: 101” for adolescent freshmen. Great job, Ken. Attaboy, Ken. Like Law you’re well-practiced in the art of denial.

“A pedophile scandal engulfed his diocese and the nation, forced his [Law’s] resignation and sent him into exile in Rome. Amazingly, Law remains a prince of the church—and lives like one.”

Right you are. But you forget to report about Cardinal Roger Mahony, known to friends far and wide as “Roger the Lodger.” As archbishop of L. A. he fought a subpoena to open his records to cases of pedophilia all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal and thus he had to open the file drawer. On August 24, 2007 Mahony’s archdiocese had to shell out a beginning amount of $447 million for 47 cases of abuse. Surprised you didn’t see fit to mention this. Of course, Mahony is a liberal: that’s why, isn’t it?

Now let’s get to Bernardin. You left a whole lot of his story out, m’dear. What’s the matter: cat got your tongue? In late December, 1993, a former seminarian from the archdiocese of Cincinnati, Steven Cook, filed a $10 million lawsuit against Bernardin and a Cincinnati priest, accusing the priest of abusing him and delivering him to Bernardin, then archbishop of Cincinnati for the same purposes.

The lawyers became involved. Several months later, in February, 1994 Cook dropped Bernardin from the suit saying he couldn’t trust his memory. He never retracted his charges; nor did he say they were inaccurate. Bernardin’s fan club says he was exonerated. Not at all. Four months later Cook’s suit against the other priest was conveniently—at least for Bernardin—settled out of court. Bernardin went on to have a very public—well publicized and filmed—reconciliation with Cook. That captured the news all the while Bernardin’s lawyers were hushing up another case in which seminarians from Winona, Minnesota had accused Bernardin of participating in sexual rituals at the seminary. The settlement from that lawsuit has been sealed. In the two years leading up to his death, one after another of Bernardin’s closest friends from his native diocese of Charleston, S. C. were accused of pedophilia.

I’m sure you just ran out of space, m’dear. So I added “the rest of the story.”

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