Mass Catholic Conference and a number of organizations have sent out email alerts urging us to contact our U.S. Senators today in support of Senate Bill 1881, a bill to defund Planned Parenthood. Please act now and tell your friends and relatives to contact your U.S. Senators. Even in states like Massachusetts where the pro-abortion bias by our elected officials is well-established, they should still hear our voices.
Here is the message from Mass Catholic Conference:
Attached please find a letter from Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley in support of Senate Bill 1881, a bill to defund Planned Parenthood.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Knights of Columbus are asking citizens to contact their U.S. Senator(s) today and ask them to support S. 1881.
I am writing to ask your support for S. 1881, to withhold federal funds from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates.
It has long been troubling to many Americans that the nation’s largest abortion network, performing over a third of all abortions, receives over half a billion taxpayer dollars a year. This concern has rightly grown in recent years.
The most recent revelations about Planned Parenthood’s willingness to traffic in fetal tissue from abortions, and to alter abortion methods not for any reason related to women’s health but to obtain more “intact” organs, is the latest demonstration of a callousness toward women and their unborn children that is shocking to many Americans.
The Catholic Church comes to this issue from a perspective rooted in experience. Catholic charitable agencies and pregnancy help centers have helped countless pregnant women find life-affirming alternatives to abortion. Our hospitals and other health facilities are second to none in providing quality health care for women.
We support the legislative proposal to reallocate federal funding, so that women can obtain their health care from providers that do not promote abortion. It is my sincere hope that you will be able to help advance this goal by supporting S. 1881.
Seán Cardinal O’Malley
Archbishop of Boston
Chairman Committee on Pro-Life Activities U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Before we get into the topic for today, our heartiest congratulations to six Boston priests ordained yesterday: Fathers Michael J. Farrell, Sean P. Hurley, FPO, Mark W. Murphy, John A. D’Arpino, Carlos D. Suarez, and Andrew Kwang Lee!
Longtime readers might look at the subject of this post and initially wonder what kind of incense BCI has been sniffing lately. Bear with us for just one minute, as events of recent weeks brought BCI to think about Apple vs Google and the smartphone battle of the iPhone vs the Droid. There are two reasons for our bringing this up.
First, and most importantly, as many people know, Apple and Google have competing agendas–the most obvious of those is that the iPhone from Apple competes against the Droid (whose Android operating system comes from Google). For several years, when Apple and Google did not yet have competing agendas, Dr. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, served on the Apple Board of Directors. In 2009, when it became obvious that Google and Apple were competing in smartphones and operating systems, Schmidt resigned from the Board. Here is an excerpt from the August 3 2009 resignation announcement from Apple:
Eric has been an excellent Board member for Apple, investing his valuable time, talent, passion and wisdom to help make Apple successful,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Unfortunately, as Google enters more of Apple’s core businesses, with Android and now Chrome OS, Eric’s effectiveness as an Apple Board member will be significantly diminished, since he will have to recuse himself from even larger portions of our meetings due to potential conflicts of interest. Therefore, we have mutually decided that now is the right time for Eric to resign his position on Apple’s Board.”
Let us now bring this matter of competing agendas back to the Catholic Church and the Archdiocese of Boston. In carrying on the saving ministry of Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church has part of her agenda the defense of life, the poor, and the most vulnerable in society. See this excerpt from a piece by the USCCB entitled, “The Catholic Church is a Pro-Life Church.”:
All persons, not just Catholics, can know from the scientific and medical evidence that what grows in a mother’s womb is a new, distinct human being. All persons can understand that each human being — without discrimination — merits respect. At the very least, respecting human life excludes the deliberate and direct destruction of life — and that is exactly what abortion is.
Catholics are also pro-life because our Christian tradition is pro-life. As Pope John Paul II says, Christians believe that “all human life is sacred, for it is created in the image and likeness of God.” Aborting an unborn child destroys a unique creation which God has called specially into existence.
Christian teaching also obliges us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, who spoke and acted strongly and compassionately in favor of the most despised and vulnerable persons in society. Jesus touched lepers, spoke with prostitutes, and showed special mercy and tenderness to the sick, the poor, and children. Our society today has many vulnerable persons — including women in crisis pregnancies as well as unborn children whose lives may be legally ended at any time during pregnancy and for any reason. In the tradition of Jesus Christ, Catholics have a responsibility to speak and act in defense of these persons. This is part of our “preferential option” for the poor and powerless.
Given the above, if a member of a key canonically-required council of the Archdiocese of Boston is himself actively advancing an agenda opposed to that of the Catholic Church’s defense of the unborn, is that not an unreconcilable conflict of interest? Would the National Rifle Association find it permissible to keep on their Board of Directors someone working to advance political candidates who favor stronger gun-control laws? One might reasonably ask, how could someone who supports stronger gun-control laws even productively contribute to advancing the agenda of the NRA as a Board memer? Would Planned Parenthood find it acceptable to keep on their Board of Directors someone fundraising to advance pro-life political candidates? How could the two agendas possibly co-exist?
When Apple found that the outside agenda of a Board member had evolved to one where there were conflicts and competition with the agenda Apple had, they found a way to recognize the prior good work of the Board member and have him resign on good terms. Since Jack Connors obviously has an agenda of raising funds for political candidates who support abortion, such as President Obama, and that pro-abortion agenda is in conflict with that of the Catholic Church, BCI believes that unless Jack Connors experiences a change of heart, there is no other outcome other than one like Apple and former board member, Eric Schmidt, came to.
Secondly, BCI is in the market for a smartphone. We are considering the iPhone vs the Droid, both via Verizon. Cost factors aside, we are curious as to what BCI readers think of one vs the other. We care primarily about email, web browsing, and the ability to type easily. (Some here at BCI are fast touch-typists, used to the agility of a computer keyboard or smartphone with actual keys). Do you use a smartphone? If so, please take a few seconds to indicate which one in the poll below:
Feel free to comment on the ongoing Jack Connors conundrum in comments. And if you have an Iphone, Droid, or other smartphone that you are passionabe about, you can also let us know what you think of them in the comments.