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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Blogger Kathleen Reeves Needs a Reality Check

Kathleen Reeves who blogs at "Reality Check" needs one. In a post describing the election of Archbishop Timothy Dolan to head the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) she accused me of "a smear" for my article on Bishop Gerald Kicanas. What offended her? I described the bishop as a "homosexualist," which he is without a doubt. Do your homework! If he were not, he hardly would have received the ringing endorsement of the "rainbow sash" movement who included a comment that they hoped he would "grow" on the same-sex marriage issue, something they obviously think is a possibility despite it flying in the face of Catholic teaching.

Reeves says Kicanas' defeat showed the bishops caved in to the "far right" in the Church and blasts the tea party and "political movements that preach fear, exclusion, and bigotry." Obviously, she does not consider herself a member of one of those "political movements." Only those who disagree with her fit the description. She obviously sees herself as the non-political, independent voice of "reality" and reason. Uh...yeah.

But here's a "reality check" for Kathleen. First of all, her understanding of the Church is seriously deficient. Anyone using the terms "liberal" and "conservative" when referring to the Catholic faith adopts political language that reflects a political agenda. The Church is a family of faith and the job of the bishops as shepherds is to teach, govern, and sanctify, not according to their own personal beliefs, but according to the doctrine laid down by Jesus Christ through the apostles. Embracing the creed isn't conservatism; it's orthodoxy. And, yes, there are bad bishops and priests who undermine the faith. Every heresy in the Church that I can think of began with a man in a Roman collar.

But those who defend the faith from heresy today are smeared as "exclusionary bigots."

Was St. Paul a fearful, exclusionary, bigot when he said in 1 Corinthians 6, "Do not deceive yourselves: no fornicators, idolaters, or adulterers, no sexual perverts, thieves, misers, or drunkards, no slanderers or robbers will inherit God's kingdom." That's a lot of exclusion! But it is the teaching of the Church. And it is the unrepentant sinner who excludes himself from the kingdom by his actions. Hello, Kathleen, hell is real and people who flaunt God's laws are in danger of going there! Mortal sin excludes one from the life of grace and, if one dies in that state without repenting, he will go to hell. That's not an opinion; it's Church doctrine. Jesus didn't die on the cross for nothing! He is not the Pillsbury Doughboy.

Those bishops who deviate from the doctrine of the Church are not "liberal" but heterodox. And those who speak legalistically upholding the faith while undermining it by sanctifying the unformed conscience (Cardinal Bernardin was an expert.) are not liberals; they are pharisees.

 Reeves' herself has an agenda and makes no bones about it in the description that accompanies her blog::
Kathleen Reeves loves...thinking about reproductive rights. She recently had the thrill of working as a field organizer in Iowa for the Obama campaign. She's written about HIV/AIDS for POZ Magazine, but this is her first time writing specifically about reproductive rights, and she's very pleased to be doing it. 
A quick review of Reeves' posts demonstrates that she is a pro-abortion, pro-gay rights, pro-contraception, pro-contraceptive sex ed, etc. feminist. She decries crisis pregnancy centers as a "plague" and "especially reprehensible tool of the pro-life movement." Wow! Take a deep breath, Kathleen, and get a reality check by talking to women assisted by these organizations.

My husband and I were a shelter home for years and welcomed over a dozen unwed moms into our home to live as members of our family during their pregnancies. I'm still in touch with some after twenty-five years and the babies that were saved who are now grown up. I worked for almost a decade at a crisis pregnancy center and spent every Saturday for years on the sidewalk outside abortion mills offering practical help to women in crisis. One Muslim couple invited us to the marriage of an older daughter when the baby saved from abortion was five. She told me Mariam was her "all American girl" because she was the only one of six children who could not speak Persian. I could tell lots of stories about real women who faced real problems and got real help.

But Kathleen's agenda has apparently blinded her to such realities. Apparently she's never seen a young mom expressing her gratitude with tears as she hugs the baby saved from abortion. I've seen them many times because they often dropped in at the center to show off their beautiful babies. It was hugs all around. And many still received assistance for years after giving birth.

But babies obviously aren't Kathleen's thing. "Thinking about reproductive rights," a euphemism for abortion which means NO BABIES, is. She celebrates "the pill," a strong medication linked to breast cancer, and wants it available over the counter. She calls the "born alive fetus" a myth. Survivors like Gianna Jessen who survived a saline abortion fly under her extremist radar. She's offended by pro-life ads on public transportation, but presumably has no problem with those coming from Planned Parenthood and gay groups.

One of Reeves' strangest posts was one describing the Church of the early 20th century which she paints as completely different from today's Church because it defended the rights of workers, condemned slum lords, etc. Hello, Kathleen, it's the same Church of today fighting moral issues of our time, the paramount of which is the murder of the innocent at the beginning of life and its end.

And, yes, the Church still aids the poor. In my own diocese one parish priest was instrumental in starting a free clinic (privately funded). Several parishes operate homes for unwed mothers who can stay after their babies are born and receive counseling, job training, etc. Many parishes, including my own, have food banks and thrift stores that fund programs for the poor. My own parish operates one of the largest private charities in Shenandoah County, VA.

Go back to church, Kathleen. You need a reality check on what the Catholic Church is all about -- LIFE -- from its very beginning to its natural end.


1 comment:

Georgene said...

Excellent, Mary Ann! People like Ms. Reeves have no clue about how the Catholic Church helps these women. All those types of programs you mentioned are being supported in my Diocese also and I expect in most. My parish is the primary source of funds for a center that helps women with EVERYTHING THEY NEED from moment of pregnancy until the child is two, including job resources. Ms. Reeves has revealed her colossal ignorance in that column.