Ending the USCCB's Path to Progressive Politics?


What astonished me about this article from the Catholic World Report was the number of former USCCB staffers who ended up working for pro-abortion organizations. The situation seems far worse than I had thought.

For example, Sara Morello, now the executive vice president of the radically pro-abortion organization “Catholics for Choice,” was previously a staffer at the USCCB. From her position at the USCCB she went directly to work for a pro-abortion organization!

But there are more former USCCB staffers taking this route, including Alexia Kelley, a former USCCB staffer who now works for Kathleen Sebelius’s pro-abortion HHS.

I am astonished.

Jim, you should not be surprised. The tilt toward a social justice agenda, at the expense of Orthodoxy, at the USCCB over the last 30 years has led to this. The one bright spot in this article is that the course is correcting itself.

Jim, is is apparent that you consider the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services to be a pro-abortion organization. Such ideological purity would condemn Catholics to involve themselves with the federal government, most state and local governments, major hospitals, universities, etc., etc. Don’t you think you’re going a bit too far?


God Bless

It is not so much the tilt toward social justice agendas that struck me, but rather that the USCCB seemed to have no qualms hiring staffers who support the intrinsic evil of abortion, and who, following their USCCB tenure, went to work for pro-abortion organizations. Social justice does not, I think, require one to support an intrinsic evil. Yet USCCB staffers had no problem in supporting abortion. That to me is a scandal.

If ordinary parishioners had realized that for the past several decades, the official organization representing the U.S. hierarchy had been routinely churning out pro-abortion graduates, there would have been–or should have been!–a cry of outrage.

HHS was not always a pro-abortion organization, but under Kathleen Sebelius (who has always been pro-abortion, and who as governor of Kansas was admonished by a series of bishops to refrain from receiving communion because of her abortion advocacy) and under President Obama, it has certainly become a pro-abortion organization.

I used to work for the Federal government, and my job had nothing to do with health or abortion, for which I am grateful. There are parts of the HHS in which a Catholic might be able to work with a clear conscience, but now, I would have to think twice and three times about working for such an agency.

Now, the HHS has even been turned to the purpose of restricting religious liberty. Not a good situation.

I saw this article a few days ago and was equally disturbed. Frankly, I should stop reading this stuff as all it does is make me angry and damages my faith in the Church in the process. On the other hand, if I am clueless and keep my head in the sand, I am powerless to be an agent of change for the better.

I believe in Archbishop Sheen’s statement that it is the laity who must save the Church, ensure that bishops act like bishops, religious like religious, etc. We must demand better of our shepherds. Pope Benedict has been appointing what appear to be very orthodox and faithful bishops in recent years, but unless we want to wait until we are all on death’s door for the Church in America to right itself, we must force the issue. Canon law does not give the laity the right to demand much at all from the clergy, but we can make noise when our spiritual needs are not being met, or when they are being harmed.

There will always be those who associate with the Church and their disagreements turn into actions that contradict Church teaching. Dissidents will always exist inside and outside the Church.


How do we demand better? Your thoughts?


Oh, I agree. It surprised me when Catholic universites turned from Orthodoxy to heterodoxy, but I guess I expected an official organ or the U.S. hierarchy not to be a training ground for pro-abortion activists.

I was reading the posts and realize that those who oppose abortion are ostracized. Yet, I see that many good Bishops are attacked publically. Yet we as catholics can not even get our act together to do what is right. Some of us are cafeteria catholics ( Take what you want fron the faith and leave the rest). Being catholic isnt easy and it shouldnt be we as christians including myself at times are spiritually lazy. We as christians are to blame for our dilemma we are in now. Pax Christi.

Good question.

I imagine there are many ways.

First, I honestly do not think enough Catholics are making their voices heard on issues such as these. If every bishop in the country starts getting thousands of letters on these types of issues, I would imagine that will make them stand up and take notice. No one writes letters anymore, but if the bishop, or one of his staff, has to physically open hundreds of letters a week saying the same thing, that has to get someone’s attention.

We can vote with our wallets and give to local charities or just volunteer instead of giving to the USCCB, and make sure the bishops know what we are doing and why.

And, of course, we can appeal to Rome. This situation has been going on for decades and like many such scandals, is a poorly kept secret but no one seems to do anything about it. I can only imagine how many of the faithful have been led astray or scandalized by such things. Its well past time that this was dealt with.

I would be curious as to any ideas that you might have.


One of the commenters at the bottom of the article said something about the deleterious effect of a lay bureaucracy which sees itself as a sort of parallel magisterium. Perhaps those staff positions in the USCCB ought to be filled by young priests rather than politically oriented laymen.

Perhaps, though I don’t think so. There are plenty of wonderful layperson who are faithful and trying to be holy who could fill those positions. We need priests far too badly in our parishes to have them serving in positions which could be handled by people who have not received holy orders. What is needed in my opinion is oversight, accountability, and a clear deliniation of who is charge of what concerning policy and actions. Combine that with solid recruiting of good people to serve and we would be off and running.

There are wonderful lay persons all over the country who have started up great apostolates, are working in others, and would probably jump at a chance to work in the USCCB. At the university I worked at before moving to Texas, there was a small Catholic center which had about two dozen students coming regularly. Those students were majoring in things like social work, medicine, marketing, health promotion, etc. and many had desires of serving in some way related to the faith and are solidly pro life. One of them is in Rome right now because he wants to work where he can support the mission of the Church. Why the Church couldn’t simply recruit those types of people is hard for me to understand.

Your last statement paints with too broad a brush. There is an organized effort within and outside the Church that seeks to do damage. Always will be. This dilemma did not happen overnight.


I didn’t see the term “training ground” mentioned. Working for the “enemy” - the Church, and understanding its internal structure first-hand, makes your breaking from it look like the Church was somehow in the wrong by letting you in in the first place. Take a piece from history.



Referring to Catholic universities, one needs to look at a certain time period where coordinated events were set in motion under the banner of a false “freedom.”



How would you suggest the Church recruit such people? A lot of people already are where God wants them to be, including outside the US.


Like anyone else would I guess. Put out job announcements which emphasize the tasks, education requirements, and the need for orthodox adherence to the Faith. Make knowledge of the basics of the faith part of the job requirements. Also, they can recruit at universities but instead of going the career fair route, contact the Newman centers or Catholic centers and get a read of those young people who are serious about their faith and might be studying in areas of need. Instead of drawing from diocesan offices which they seem to do or finding people who are more into political activism than serving the Church, why not go directly to parishes and advertise positions. In our parish we have lawyers, doctors, engineers, professors, school administrators, nurses, etc. who are all very faithful Catholics. In the thousands of parishes around the country surely some people would be interested in such an opportunity.

Then, when they get there, provide regular and ongoing formation in the Faith by people who are highly qualified so that the tough questions these employees are going to encounter can be answered properly.

It really can’t be that hard.

Becoming a priest is a calling NOT a job. One does not recruit for priests as for a doctor or Wal Mart Greeter.

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