Msgr. Loftus Promoting the Francis Effect: Pro-lifers are ‘Terrorists’
Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas
I’ve waited to see if there if would be any reaction in the Letters page to Mgr Basil Loftus’ latest outrage: an attack on Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, in which he described the Archbishop, and any anyone like him who was actively pro-life, as a terrorist. (Catholic Times, 24th November 2017.)
His column is, as usual, both bizarre and incoherent. Remember, as you read it, that the Catholic Times is sold in the backs of Catholic churches every weekend: this is a newspaper, in other words, with ecclesiastical approval. I transcribe the key section for the record, since the paper has no online presence, even for subscribers.
No-one is more supportive [than Pope Francis] of the rights and paramountcy of all marginalised people, including the unborn – but he is totally opposed to the purportedly pro-life antics of men such as Archbishop Naumann, the recently elected head of the American bishops’ ‘pro-life committee’.
Where Naumann would erect marquees in papal colours in front of every abortion clinic, and staff them with a 24-hour guard of what Francis calls “prune-faced” people reciting the rosary round the clock, Francis for his part would have smiling and empathetic women there, who khow what it feels like to lose a baby, ready to offer support to the mothers who come out of those clinics, to accompany them in the awful journey of their post-abortion realisation, and to help them to discern what this means. Francis’ ideas are clearly articulated by Blase Cupich, the Archbishop of Chicago, who recently lost the contest for chairmanship of that episcopal committee. He told his peers, and everyone else, that while strenuously defending the rights of the unborn child: “We should be no less appalled by the indifference towards the thousands of people who die daily for lack of decent medical care; who are denied rights by a broken immigration system and by racism; who suffer in hunger, joblessness and want; who pay the price of violence in gun-saturated neighbourhoods; or who are exectuted by the state in the name of justice.” The US bishops preferred the argument advanced by Naumann, …
Single-issue fanatics, whether they are exercised about sex and marriage, about maniples and Communion-on-the-tongue, about celibacy of the clergy, about contraception, or about the right to carry loaded firearms in America while attending Mass, are at heart essentially zealots. Sadly, too, it seems that those who insist on wearing birettas are often selfsame individuals who want to carry Berettas. All these fanatical partisans are by definition biased and prejudiced against any attempt to reason with them in a way that would seek to integrate their sometimes, but not always, rightful concerns within a wider context. Their extremist and sometimes violent propensities make them, in all but name, terrorists.
And sometimes worse. It is said, after all, that one can sometimes reason with a terrorist, but never with a liturgist! The priest who sweeps a child’s teddy-bear off the tiny white coffin because it is forbidden by liturgical law, or who excludes females from the role of altar-servers, or refuses to wash their feet on Maundy Thursday, or who turns away from Communion a politician who voted not to criminalise abortion, or a bishop who refuses to back Pope Francis’ plea for discernment in the matter of Communion for the divorced and remarried, and for those who live in non-conventional domestic situations, all of them are crypto-terrorists. They are numbered among those whom Paul condemns as ignoring the God’s ways of righteousness in favour of their own ill-informed zeal (Romans, 10:3). …
I hardly think it necessary to point out the contradictions and scandalous assertions in this article. But isn’t it funny that he wants to bundle together so many positions he dislikes, in order to discredit them all, and then label people holding them as ‘single issue zealots’?
The accusation of terrorism, though not larded with the casual racism which characterised his attack on Cardinal Ranjith (‘the Sri Lankan cappa magna fetishist and Tridentine-rite devotee’), and not as theologically fundamental as his denial of the Bodily Resurrection of Our Lord or His Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament, is in itself the most serious insult of a named prelate that I have read in his columns, and also perhaps the most insane. It seems Loftus, who was a canon lawyer, has forgotten the right of Archbishops, like lesser folk, to their good name (Canon 220).
I detect in this extract the instinctive anti-abortion sentiments common in Catholic liberals of his generation: the hand-wringing refusal to do anything to oppose what they think of as this dreadful, dreadful thing. It makes his attack on Archbishop Naumann all the more morally troubling.
Read the full article at this link