I’m reminded of the blessing from the opening of Fiddler on the Roof, where the rabbi is asked whether there is an appropriate prayer for the Tsar. The rabbi responds, “May the Lord bless and keep the Tsar … far away from us!” Nancy Pelosi invokes St. Joseph the Worker on his feast day to exhort him to help her pass a bill that will provide funding for abortions in short order (via Greg Hengler):
Today is the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, particularly important to Italian-Americans. It’s a day where we remember and pray to St. Joseph to benefit the workers of America, and that’s exactly what our health-care bill will do. … Every order that you can think of was there [on a list of endorsements], saying they wanted us to pass this life-affirming legislation.
Probably the least shocking part of this is her misconception of saints and their role in prayer in the Catholic faith. Just as an explanation for non-Catholics, we don’t pray “to” saints to have them benefit us, or the workers of America, or whatever else we happen to want. Because we believe that no one in heaven is dead, we ask them to pray with us and for us (just as we would our friends on the more temporal realm) to ask for the Lord’s intercession, much as the rabbi did in the film. It’s hard to expect any Catholic who supports abortion to get the subtle nuances of saints and prayer life, however.
As far as life affirmation goes, the Catholic bishops have already warned that the Senate version of the bill will eventually create mandates for federal funding of abortions. That’s a feature for Pelosi, not a bug. As Steven Ertelt reports this morning, the Catholic Medical Association agrees:
Another prominent Catholic organization has weighed in on the abortion-health care debate and it says any Catholics who support the pro-abortion health care bill are out of step with the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church. …
“As the Democrat party accelerates efforts to enact comprehensive health-care legislation before the Easter recess, the Catholic Health Association, leaders of women’s religious orders, and academics at Catholic institutions have endorsed Senate bill H.R. 3590 and called for the House of Representatives to pass this bill as-is,” CMA told LifeNews.com in a statement late Thursday.
“In so doing, they have intentionally and publicly contradicted the policy position of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops,” the group added.
The Catholic Medical Association said it agreed with the conclusion of Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput, who said these groups “have done a grave disservice to the American Catholic community by undermining the leadership of the nation’s Catholic bishops, sowing confusion among faithful Catholics, and misleading legislators through their support of the Senate bill.”
To the pro-life Catholic leader’s statement, CMA added: “Should this political ploy prove successful in persuading some legislators to vote for this flawed bill, these individuals and groups will have done a grave disservice to human dignity and to the common good of this nation.”
Ertelt yesterday reported on the letter Pelosi referenced:
A letter form a group of several dozen dissident Catholic nuns whose position in favor of the pro-abortion Senate health care bill is coming under further scrutiny. Now, the nation’s Catholic bishops say the media wrongly represented the letter as speaking for 59,000 nuns.
The letter, which has already come under fire from pro-life Catholic groups, has been responsible for shifting some pro-life Democrats to the undecided column on the bill or leaning towards voting for it.
Sister Mary Ann Walsh, the director of media relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, emailed LifeNews.com with a rebuttal.
“A recent letter from Network, a social justice lobby of sisters, grossly overstated whom they represent in a letter to Congress that was also released to media,” she writes. “Network’s letter, about health care reform, was signed by a few dozen people, and despite what Network said, they do not come anywhere near representing 59,000 American sisters.”
“The letter had 55 signatories, some individuals, some groups of three to five persons. One endorser signed twice,” she noted. “There are 793 religious communities in the United States. The math is clear. Network is far off the mark.”
The one consistency in Pelosi’s approach on ObamaCare has been misrepresentation. This is just Pelosi being consistent.
Update: Appparently, Pelosi has her feast days technically wrong. Today is the feast day of St. Joseph, but the feast day for Joseph as St. Joseph the Worker (the same man, two different distinctions) is on May 1st.
Update II: The Anchoress is livid:
The Church scandalizes itself often; it is an imperfect institution where holiness and evil are activated against one another, and the battle is profound. Understanding that, one tends to the long view, and so when individual Catholics screw up and bring scandal, I am mindful of the fact that I too am a Catholic who -in my own way- can and do bring scandal to others. I understand that in my rage right now, I am probably “scandalizing” someone who thinks I should be “more tolerant of an opposing view” so I don’t particularly believe I am called to inventory the soul of another.
However, it is one thing for a Catholic to be publicly misguided, misinformed, socially maladjusted or even stupid. It’s quite another -and to my way of thinking, a genuinely evil thing- for Catholics to put on a cloak of moral authority by virtue of their church membership, and proceed to spin their deceitful webs while mindfully exploiting her greatest saints and teachings for the expressed (and unbelievably sleazy) promulgation of their legislative propaganda.
This goes beyond being a faulty human Catholic; it goes beyond being mistaken. It goes beyond “arguing in good faith.” What the Pelosi did today is a declaration that this woman is not averse to using methods of pure disorientation, to achieve her ends.
I am no authority. I cannot go so far as some in my email wish me to, and suggest that this is a woman who is actually manifesting diabolical disorientation in the world.
She has plenty more to say; be sure to read it all.