The other day a lobbyist friend was with a state legislator when his secretary came in and gave him a note. “It’s Cardinal George,” he said to my friend. “Pardon me while I take it. It’s the third time he’s called me—against civil unions. Persistent guy.”
As the lobbyist waited outside the office he was edified—and after he passed this word to me so am I. One might askwhat’s so courageous about a Cardinal advocating what the Church has espoused for its lifetime? Oh but I can tell you in these days it most definitely is.
For one, having the state’s top Catholic prelate on the phone urging lawmakers to vote “no” on an issue supported by the abjectly politically correct is a sea-change from his predecessor who was noted for watering down pro-life to just another issue in the public square under the “seamless garment” ethic, along with such non-related topics as…oh…nuclear freeze…anti-capital punishment—and to which some other liberals hitched up no-cruelty-to-animals for PETA cum vegetarianism and no-first-strike nuclear pledge in international relations.
But then pretending this jumble-pack of inequitables were identical in the moral law was the cagey Cardinal Joseph Bernardin’s intention—to link killing of the unborn with the whole glossary of leftish favorites that could be strung out on the clothes line. You see you equate the legal crushing an unborn’s skull with a forceps to sparing the life of Richard Speck who remorselessly killed one-after-another eight Filipino nurses for the carnal pleasure of watching them wriggle in agony until death…all pertain to life, you see?...thus allowing Walter Mondale in the 1984 presidential campaign to say on a vote of 5 issues to 1, he was more pro-life than Ronald Reagan (which Mondale in fact did in their first debate: gratias Brother Joseph!).
“You can call that forensic masterstroke crafty Italianate” I was told in those days by someone inside the chancery, referring to Our Brother Joseph’s brilliant stratagem to get his favorite party off the hook. A Bernardin appointee, the late Little Bob McLaughlin, the russet-haired longtime rector of Holy Name cathedral, in conversation with me even appended environmentalism to the “seamless garment” then stretched by the Left to ripping point.
“Yes, the environment” Little Bob insisted, “in that protection of the air and water from pollutants diminishes the risk of cancer and thereby saves lives—ranking with protection of the unborn, don’t you see?”
Yes, I did see…the duplicitous, deceitful stratagem worthy of the master magician who in obedience to his dying wish was serenaded into the Great Beyond by the Gay Men’s Chorus…just as he received his final spiritual consolation in life from…who else?...Eppie Lederer aka Ann Landers, an abortion supporter who also espoused legalized prostitution.
In that mode…with Landers at his death bed and with the male homosexual voices ringing in serenade over his bier…did we hope Our Brother Joseph proceeded to the blessed company and mutual love of the glorified Christ, the Virgin Mary, the angels and saints.
I say hope. Of course we cannot say. But some of us can say…as I do here…that Francis George is an immense improvement…and may his advice brimming with wisdom, first of the Gifts, delivers to the legislature the light to perform the good work and the strength of will to carry it out—the defeat of “civil unions” whose very nomenclature typifies what the Apostle has called “the mystery of iniquity.”