Friday, July 22, 2005

Kingfishery & Kingcakery: Susan Mire on Archbishop Hughes and Pro-Choice Politicians - You know, I'm a liberal Catholic that tends not to get too animated by or defensive about the Catholic Church's formal position against abortion. I expect the Church to promote a pro-life position when it comes to abortion. But, I chafe when people speak in justification of the Catholic Church leadership's public behavior regarding the politics of abortion when other issues of "life" -- i.e. capital punishment and war -- engender no such similar public protests by the Catholic leadership in defense of life.

That's why Susan Mire's piece in the Archdiocesan newspaper, Clarion Herald, really offends me. It isn't enough that Mire tries to defend Archbishop Alfred Hughes's political behavior on the issue of abortion [Hughes refused to attend a ceremony held by Loyola University honoring the entire Landrieu family's public service record because U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and her brother, State Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu, have voted "pro-choice" on occasion.]. No, she feels the need to say that Hughes's very public and very calculated snub was also an act of love towards the Landrieus. (Just the patronizing condescension of this attitude is enough to turn my stomach.) But more appalling is how she tries to canonize Hughes by explaining his "loving" political behavior as an example of true moral leadership and courage. Speaking in justification of Hughes's actions to boycott Loyola University's celebration of the Landrieus, Mire ponders, as if she were in Hughes's shoes (Now, remember, she's speaking of a man who has a not-so-admirable history in the Church sex-abuse scandal in the Boston Archdiocese):

What if you found out that someone you respected and admired, someone you knew to be generous, concerned for the less fortunate, peaceful and church-going, would regularly go behind a locked door, confer with others, and agree to support the brutal killing of children and the sexual abuse of women? And this plan included sending funding to individuals who prey on women, the natural defenders of children, when they were most vulnerable. Would you continue to defend their good actions? Or would you question them and challenge them?
Change a few select phrases here and there, substituting "the brutal killing of children and the sexual abuse of women" with "the wilful coverup of the sexual abuse of minors by priests," and Mire's questions about whether one should continue defending the good actions of the Landrieus take on a whole new meaning when applied to the "loving" protest actions of Hughes. Instead of praising Hughes for his "principled" stance against the Landrieus, where's Mire's "questioning and challenging" of Hughes? Methinks Mire should take a bit of her own advice, and begin to protest Hughes out of her deep love for him.

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