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Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Yet another religious order loses its way.

The Michigan-based Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary [sic] offered up $200 to Emily's List.

$200 no doubt obtained from co-religionists operating under the misapprehension that the SIHM (SITH?) was actually a loyal order of Catholic nuns.


The Immaculate Heart of Mary sisters, the blue-robed

On what planet do the SIHM currently go about "blue-robed"? These Sisters appear to have kicked the habit.

So to speak.(1)

nuns who have educated legions


of Catholic children

Oh, those legions.

Though, speaking as a battle-scarred catechist for sixth and seventh graders, it can be very, very difficult to tell the difference sometimes.

in southeastern Michigan, donated $200 to Emily's List, which raises money for Democratic female candidates who support the right to have abortions.
Despite the church's teachings against abortion, the IHMs made the donation in August 2003 to promote electing more women into office, said Sister Mary Katherine Hamilton, IHM vice president.
"We weren't making a political statement in terms" of abortion, she said.

I'm not sure that anything on earth makes me angrier than someone who presumes I'm a giant drooling idiot, and proceeds to treat me as such.

Patronizing me is the one sure-fire way to set me off. Colloquially: don't pee on me and call it "rain," sister.

EMILY's List has one--one--ONE purpose, and that is to promote pro-abortion women candidates.

You want to know how I confirmed that? I took 30 seconds out of my day and went to the group's website. It's not like the statement of purpose was hidden or ambiguous, either:

EMILY's List, the nation's largest grassroots political network, is dedicated to taking back our country from the radical right wing by electing pro-choice Democratic women to federal, state, and local office.

That's just the first frigging sentence. More, from the same page:

...our grassroots network has helped elect 56 Democratic pro-choice members of Congress, 11 senators, and seven governors.

* * *

The Bush Republicans have launched a sustained assault on the right to choose...

* * *

To win this fall, EMILY's List is supporting an exciting group of pro-choice Democratic women candidates...


There are two possibilities here: one, the SIHM are lying through their teeth, a tragic example of yet another decaying, dwindling Catholic religious order (average age: 70) that has lost its way and soul since the Council and has caved in to the culture. Or, more hopefully, the SIHM collectively suffer from a level of heedless, clueless stupidity usually described with such terms as "institutionalized," and the problem can be rectified by appointing a receiver who can ensure that such endearingly rustic folk never handle cash without adult oversight again.

Charity forces us to embrace the latter.

Archdiocese of Detroit spokesman Ned McGrath

Mister Dissent never hangs around/
When he hears this Mighty sound/

"Here I come to save the day!"

That means that Mighty Ned is on his way...

said archdiocesan officials are puzzled


about the IHM's donation,

[Sorry--the spirit is willing, but the flesh...]:

As they are about a great, great many things, alas.

which they learned about from the Free Press.

Disturbing the contented slumber of many downtown, no doubt.

At least temporarily...

McGrath said Cardinal Adam Maida, who has repeatedly spoken about "the moral evil of abortion," would be "prepared, if necessary, to address what happened with the appropriate pastoral response." He declined to elaborate.

True enough: Maida says, and on occasion even decisively acts, on life issues.

But never against the various orders, and never publicly.

Remember--the pro-abortion editorial from four Detroit priests in 2002 drew no public response whatsoever. Rumors that one of them got a stern talking to and temporary removal bounced around, but that was it. Since this doesn't involve archdiocesan employees, expect even less.

Take this to the bank: You will never hear a public statement from the Archdiocese on this situation. Never.

I would love to be wrong, though.

"Supporting legitimate causes for the advancement of women is one thing," said McGrath. "Support for Emily's List, with its defining litmus test for abortion rights, is quite something else."

Well, he got it in one--an irrefutable point, in soundbite form--which is all the Free Press is ever going to give you. He's usually not this good, so I have to salute him for this one.

The Monroe-based order, known for its social activism and running Detroit's Marygrove College and Birmingham's Marian High School, donates about $25,000 annually to causes -- ranging from overseas missionaries to the League of Conservation Voters and Common Cause.

I might spend my money differently, or almost certainly allocate it differently, but the above three are pretty unobjectionable.

The Rev. Thomas Reese, a longtime Vatican observer and Jesuit priest who edits America magazine, said the sisters' donation falls into the parameters of Catholic doctrine.

All right--Fr. SpeedDial's here! And, as always, he's applying a prodigious dose of ether to the increasingly-deformed consciences of the Faithful.

Fr.'s omnipresence on "Catholic issues" these days is becoming legendary. As a result, I'm beginning to think the "editor" title on the masthead is more honorary than the inkstained elves at America are willing to let on.

That's especially true after the Vatican's Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said it's OK for Catholic abortion opponents to support pro-choice candidates if they agree with the candidate's other stands.
"I think the same principles that Cardinal Ratzinger articulated on voting would also be pertinent in terms of donations to support a candidate," Reese said.

And, because he's a Jesuit, Fr. SpeedDial's managed to gunk up the works quite nicely. Actually, those principles do no such thing, especially since the sole purpose of the gals of EMILY is to promote abortion. The only exception is where there are proportionate reasons to support the pro-abortion stance--and the situation where that exists is vanishingly rare:

"The sticking point is this - and this is the hard part," said Burke. "What is a proportionate reason to justify favoring the taking of an innocent, defenseless human life? And I just leave that to you as a question. That's the question that has to be answered in your conscience. What is the proportionate reason?"

"Honestly--it's rain," said the giggling Fr. Reese.

Five minutes before being treed by the angry mob.

Sister Hamilton said the nuns made the contribution to Emily's List because many of its endorsed candidates share the IHM's positions on issues such as human rights, the environment, the economy, children and education.

I supported John Breckinridge because I share his positions on the tariff and support for American agricultural products in international trade.

I contributed to the NSDAP because Schicklgruber shares my beliefs on transportation policy and the importance of maintaining order and national self-esteem.

The IHM donation to Emily's List was in a database of Michigan donors compiled by Dwight L. Morris & Associates of Virginia.
Paul Long, executive director of the Michigan Catholic Conference, denounced the IHM donation to Emily's List. He said there are other ways to advance women in politics, without "contributing to an organization that solely promotes the destruction of human life."

The Catholic Laity--Acting When The Hierarchy Prefers Inertia.

The 600-member IHM order has taken on some confrontational causes -- running an AIDS hospice in South Africa and buying Detroit Edison stock to attend stockholders meetings to protest against the Fermi nuclear plant.

Go back to doing that--at least you can make sensible, honorable--even lead-pipe cinch--Catholic arguments in favor of those activities.


(1) I'm not necessarily someone who demands that sisters and brothers in religious life always wear the garb (though I'm not fond of priests who shirk the uniform). I know one very devout sister who is choked-fury indignant about the casual way some of our parish EMEs handled the "Precious Blood" (her words). Nor is wearing the garb an amulet against heterodoxy or bad behavior (witness Fr. McBrien's collared TV appearances). Likewise the decision to wear street clothes does not mark the individual as a hell-bent dissenter. But--I do admit that my behavior tends to be a little better around those in uniform. The same was true before I was Catholic, and watched the Mercy Sisters of Alma going about town. Even this Methodist knew you didn't talk smack around nuns.

Alas, because of that Methodism, I don't have any Sister Margaret Flagrum Mean Nun Stories™ to tell you, though I certainly know a few Catholics who claim to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder from The Dark Days Before Vatican II. You know--brutal wrinkled women just off the boat from Slobovia, their teeth filed to points, making the children memorize the Baltimore Catechism and lashing with their six foot rosary belts those poor urchins unable to regurgitate the Canons of the Council of Trent on demand.

Or something like that. Anyway, such stories seem to be the psychological background for Why The Tabernacle Now Belongs In The Maintenance Locker, or Why Middle Aged Women In Spandex Simply Must Flounce About the Altar Like Charo On Crystal Meth During The Singing of The Responsorial Psalm.

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