Operation Rescue Founder to Vatican: Remove Cowardly US Bishops

Are the laity, or even leaders of the pro life/anti abortion groups correct in confronting clergy for laxity in catechesis and leadership?

Here is an article from:


Operation Rescue Founder to Vatican: Remove Cowardly US Bishops

By Hilary White, Rome correspondent

ROME, March 11, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Vatican must remove key members of the US Catholic episcopate and replace them with men who will speak and act courageously and with urgency to stop abortion, a prominent American pro-life advocate has told Catholic leadership at the Vatican. Randall Terry, the founder of Operation Rescue, came to Rome last week with a delegation of US pro-life advocates to ask prominent Vatican prelates to end the “scandal” of some American Catholic bishops refusing to act on behalf of unborn children by replacing them.
Terry told LifeSiteNews.com in an exclusive interview that he and his colleagues had come to Rome, "to help connect some dots for certain prelates who perhaps have not had them connected before. … Namely that the greatest single reason that child-killing continues in America is the fear or the outright treachery of US bishops."
Terry was received into the Catholic Church in 2005, and has turned his attention to what he sees as a deficit of orthodoxy and commitment to defending life in the US episcopate. He told LSN that he was committed to founding a new “confederacy” of pro-life groups and individuals who would focus on imploring the leadership of the Catholic Church to “to lay the axe to the poisonous root” of the current episcopate in the US.
Meeting with LSN at the Rome office of Human Life International, within sight of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, Terry told LSN that the US Catholic bishops’ actions and inaction have led directly to the election of Barack Obama, who has been called by pro-life advocates the “most pro-abortion president in US history.” After the election, many Catholics, including Vatican prelates, expressed their dismay that 55 percent of the US Catholic electorate had voted for Obama.
Terry said that he learned while in Rome that much of the higher level leadership of the Catholic Church are not aware of the extent of the problem of the US Catholic leadership. "The responses of those we met with ranged from surprise and shock, to sympathy and heartfelt agreement."
Armed with a package of information on the doings of the US episcopate in the lead-up to the election of President Obama, Terry and his colleagues met with Archbishop Rino Fisichella of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Cardinal James Francis Stafford, prefect of the Apostolic Penitentiary, Archbishop Raymond Burke, the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, Cardinal Antonio Canizares, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and representatives of the Congregation for Bishops and the Pontifical Councils for the Laity, the Family and for Justice and Peace.
“One of the reasons we are here is to specifically request the transfer of Bishop Loverde of Arlington and Archbishop Wuerl of Washington DC,” he said.
Archbishop Wuerl has gone on record saying that he will not refuse Holy Communion to the large number of pro-abortion Catholic politicians living in Washington. Terry said that his group had chosen to highlight the two DC-area bishops because of their importance politically, but he admitted that the problem is endemic in the US episcopate.
"The majority of the federal politicians who promote and defend child-killing are receiving Communion in Washington and northern Virginia. And both these men have made it crystal clear that they are not going to withhold Communion. They won’t uphold the teaching of the Church."
While there are a “handful of bishops speaking courageously,” most of the US bishops, he claimed, are “culturally Democrats” who actively supported Obama “for money reasons.”
“Obama, as a left-winger on social spending, would certainly offer more money for certain Catholic social works. The US bishops have been in tight with the Democrat party for a hundred years. Culturally they’re Democrats,” he said.
Terry also brought to the attention of the Vatican officials the influence of the USCCB document, “Faithful Citizenship,” which, he said, “paved the way” for the election of Obama. The document said that although abortion is one of the most important electoral issues, that Catholics could in conscience vote for a pro-abortion politician for “proportional reasons.”
"So, when person after person stood up after the election and said, ‘Well the Catholic bishops told us this is OK,’ the bishops did not correct them. So their silence had as a direct fruit the election of Obama."
Terry said that his delegation showed the Vatican officials “well-documented proof,” that many of the US bishops, “perhaps the majority of them,” are ignoring the teachings of the Church on the requirement to defend unborn children from abortion, and to refuse Holy Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians.
The new pro-life initiative, to be called the Vanguard of St. Catherine, is named after the 14th century nun and reformer Catherine of Sienna, whose years of letters and lobbying brought the papacy back to Rome after the so-called “Avignon exile.” It will consist of pro-life Catholics and organisations who will petition Rome to address the “ongoing scandal” of bishops who refuse to act to defend human life.
Since founding Operation Rescue in 1986, Terry has been arrested more than forty times.

It’s disrespectful to demand that. Why dosen’t he just ask people to pray for the Bishops?


Founded on the same principles of non-violent civil disobedience as the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, Operation Rescue grew to become one of the best known pro-life organisations in the world. Terry told LSN that since becoming a Catholic, he has seen that one of the most serious obstacles to the ending of abortion in the US is the inaction of the Catholic Church.

Diocesan pro-life groups are paralysed by fear, he said. “The road to ending child-killing,” he said, "goes through the diocesan offices. And the greatest road blocks to child-killing are in those diocesan offices. Sadly, it’s true that very often the biggest problems we face are the people working in diocesan pro-life offices."
Quoting the book of Proverbs, he said, “The fear of man brings a snare, and many diocesan pro-life workers are just shackled by fear. They fear losing their job. They fear displeasing the bishop. They fear looking radical. They fear bad press or that they won’t get funding. And it mutes their words and shackles their actions so that they say little and do even less.”
"You cannot have a polite conversation with people who are committed to slaughtering babies. And that is one of the greatest crises we’re facing in the pro-life diocesan works."
He has excoriated the US Catholic leadership for what he sees as an excessive fear of jeopardising their tax-exempt status. He said that the history of the Church, in which people have faced down torture and death for the truth, “stands as a double accusation against the bishops.”
"Bishops in other centuries faced death. We face bad press. Whining letters from parishioners. Perhaps losing our tax exempt status. I turned to a group of bishops after one election and asked them, ‘Why were you silent?’ I said, ‘Your tax-exempt status be damned if it keeps you from saying the words of God’."
Terry said that this is only his first of many planned trips to Rome to plead with the Vatican to address the situation.
"The greatest joy I had after I came into the Church was really studying Evangelium Vitae, and I was never so proud to be a Catholic and I was never so embarrassed. Because I realised that if we would simply follow these marching orders we would win. And the fact that the bishops refuse to obey, is why we have child-killing in America.“
To read more about the Vanguard of St. Catherine project: http://www.ahumbleplea.com/”<ahumbleplea.com/ >;
** For a different analysis and approach to the problems of US Catholic Church leadership see the LifeSiteNews series of articles "US Election Message to Catholic Bishops: The Broken Window Strategy."
Part I, with links to succeeding parts:

U.S. Election Message to Catholic Bishops: Time to Clean House


You didn’t give me a chance to finish. Sorry for being so slow. I had to figure out how to continue the article since it was so wordy.

Sorry :o Will a hug make it up? :hug1:

I still stand by what I said, though. To demand the Vatican to change the Bishops is very disrespectful, and this man isn’t the first to make such a demand. It’s disrespectful for two reasons: 1) The Pope says who gets to be Bishop, not this guy 2) The Vatican is a City-State, and this guy isn’t even Vatican-ian.

If we wish to help America, we have to stop bashing and hating and distrusting our Bishops and start loving and forgiving and praying for them.

The Bishops have stated that they are willing to die for the unborn: That ought to inspire Christians!

Not all Bishops are holy, but neither were the Apostles all holy. Let us not judge rashly. God is their Judge, leave the judgment to Him.

If we had the same holy to unholy ratio like the apostles’ 11 out of 12, I don’t think there would be much complaining. Unfortunately the ratio seems to be more like 1 out of 10.

Judge not, lest ye be judged.

I agree that we should not make it an issue in which we insult certain bishops or demand that they act the way we think they should, but the issue is one we can and should discuss reasonably. Nothing is ever accomplished by degrading others or by showing up ordering others to toe the line.

I have to admit that I have been puzzled and frustrated by the non-participation in the public forum by most American bishops. Life is not just any issue; it is a core issue. A few priests and a couple of bishops have gotten press on strong pro-life stances and that is what bothers me; they get press because they are unusual. A firm stance by our leadership should be as predictable as the sunrise.

Thanks for the hug. I needed it. Here’s back to ya.:hug1:

A lot of folks who call themselves Traditional Catholics have, for a long time, said abuses were taking place in the liturgy of the Church. Well, I sat on my hands and said nothing for a long time because I didn’t see it. We have a fine pastor (could be a bit more outspoken) who performs his duties as a priest with thoughtfulness and a reverence for the liturgy.

It wasn’t until this past election of bo that I realized :doh2: things are not quite the way I thought they were in the Church. I suppose that if there are no big boo boos by the clergy in one’s area, we just don’t see outside that sphere until it hits us in the face.

The idea that 54% of those calling themselves Catholic could put a person like our present one in the Oval office woke me up.

I started looking around at the USCCB which did nothing to clarify voting choices this past Nov. and I became very suspicious. Now that in itself tells me there is something not quite right in Catholic land. I started looking at the Bishop’s response to the abortion issue which was so predominately important in this past Presidential bid. When only 100 out of 300 men who have been anointed with Holy Chrism spoke out against voting for the pro death party, I became very very angry. Very, very proud of those courageous men such as Chaput, Martini, Finn, Neumaur, Herman and others who did tell us right was right and wrong was wrong. But it was too little too late.

We have been lacking in proper and true Catholic catechesis in this country for over forty years. I haven’t heard the word “sin” from a clergyman in years, needless to say from my neighbors. No, it is “wrong” is the word that replaces the judgemental word of “sin”.

I do rant on, but I think you get my position. I think the louder we charitibly speak out against legitimate abuse of the truths of the Church, perhaps the better we will be heard.

When the Church doesn’t speak for itself, someone else must. I think it could be us.:thumbsup:

You mean the 11 who not only abandoned Christ and worse (Judas betrayed Him and Peter denied Him) but then in Acts bickered among themselves over whether converts should be circumcised and obey the Jewish dietary and other laws and so forth? :shrug:

Or the majority of their successors who in later centuries came under the influence of the heresy of Arianism? Or the huge proportion lost to the Church a millenium later in the Reformation?

Sounds like some things never change to me …

While I think Mr. Terry should be more respectful, still if he gets the Vatican to take a harder look at how most of our American bishops have operated hand-in-glove with the Democratic party, which has used them time and again while kicking them in the teeth, it will be worth it.

What we want of our bishops is heroic courage, and most simply don’t have it. Many others truly think other “social issues” more important than abortion because of programs they are emotionally tied to. Even bishops can be blind to reality, people.

Frankly, I hope Terry can wake up those who need to see what is really happening here in America because who we elect president here really does rule the world and its policies.

The laity have the right to ask for help and direction from their clergy. This should always be done respectfully and without causing scandal.

How about an option in the poll to tell Randall Terry to sit down and shut up?

Either we believe that the Church’s most basic unit is the Diocese, and it’s run by a Bishop, or it’s not.

If we don’t like what the liberal organizations are trying to do, change the Church like it’s a democracy, forcing Bishops to do this or that, how can we advocate the same things, but for “conservative” causes?

I, too, wonder why the Bishops haven’t laid the hammer on certain pro abortion politicians, but I’m not a Bishop (or ordained) and it’s not my place to publicly advocate for them to do that.

Exactly. :thumbsup:

Yep, history is repeating itself. Apparently few clergymen and politicians read history, or think about it.:frowning:

There’s nothing worse going on here than a normal dose of humanity. Such shenanigans are going to go on as long as human beings do. :shrug:

I’m not sure about normal, but shenanigans there are.

Indeed we have seen a lack of leadership by many of our bishops this past election. They key is as you have said, approaching our clergy in an appropriate, prayerful, and respectful manner. There is nothing the devil would love more than to have Catholics attack their own Church.

Missionaries of the 20th Century are the Laity!!

It is wonderful to witness Catholics taking a stand and defending the Faith. The Church needs a united front of militant laity. I do not mean this in a reckless way. I believe that we have to be obeidant to the Church. If anyone, including clergy, is not obeidant then we have a duty to speak up.

As Catholics who believe our Church to be the Church founded by Jesus Christ we must realise that Jesus was serious when he promised he would be with us always and that the Holy Spirit would guide the Church into all truth.
Jesus keeps his promise and, like it or not, we have to obey. Who said it would be easy? We are told to carry cross and follow Him!*

The clergy above everyone else should know right from wrong but we have seen that many have been influenced and seduced by the secular world unfortunately.

May we keep our eyes on Jesus always.


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