Saturday 8 August 2015

Face-Palm in Chicago

My American dad,  his brother, their parents and at least two (if not three) of their grandparents and some great-grandparents were Chicago born and bred, so I take a familial interest in the Windy City.

Thus I felt a personal pang, as well as the General Disgust of the Well-Informed Laity, when I read about Archbishop Blaise Cardinal * Cupich using harvested fetuses as a squelchy platform to opine about other things that bother him.

Quoth the Cardinal  [Archbishop], While commerce in the remains of defenseless children is particularly repulsive, we should be no less appalled by the indifference toward 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 neighborhoods; or who are executed by the state in the name of justice. [My emphasis.]

Quoth Phil Lawler, Joblessness? I’ve been unemployed. I’d like to think that upon reading this, you feel a pang of sympathy. But if you would be “no less appalled” to learn that I had been chopped into pieces, and the parts sold to the highest bidder, I’m afraid I can’t count you as my friend.

Source: Rorate Caeli

I don't know whose cocktail parties the Cardinal* Archbishop of Chicago has been attending, but the proper Catholic response to the lid being so loudly blown off the Planned Parenthood's sordid death-for-profit operations, five times so far, loud pops all over the republic, is not "Yeah, but look at all the diabetic illegal migrants on death row!"  At last, at LAST, pro-life Catholics--not just in the USA, but in Canada, perhaps especially in Canada, where we are a rather despised minority--have a chance to get our neighbours to admit that the a*ortion industry is a disgusting and horrible crime against humanity, and that ab*rtion is not anything that should happen to a mother and her child. 

In my dreams the Cardinal * Archbishop of Chicago marches up to the biggest PP in town, vested to his eyebrows, and says Mass on the sidewalk outside. I fear, alas, that this will remain a dream. After all, it's not like the scarlet of a Cardinal's robes represent martyrs' blood, or anything like that.*

*My bad. (And so much for "Well-Informed"!) Obviously my familial interest does not extend to when the Archbishop of Chicago is actually made Cardinal. My apologies to the late Cardinal George, and to Archbishop Cupich for suggesting he wasn't living up to the robes he doesn't yet have; I was not thinking clearly.  B.A. shouted the story into my office, I clicked to Rorate Caeli, and steam came pouring out of my ears. 

That said, I'm still with Phil Lawler on this one. There is violence, poverty, and injustice, and then there is harvesting human beings for cash while pretending to be doing their mothers a favour.  I am in fact, less appalled by Chicago gun deaths than I am by the brutality of PP. This does not mean I am all for Chicago gun deaths. It means I don't see a moral equivalency here. 

Update: One Peter Five on ways the Archbishop has disappointed.  


  1. Even the most conservative I know here in Chicago have posted the link to Cupich's piece approvingly; this is the first I've seen trashing it.

    It's a short editorial in the Chicago Tribune, i.e. a major daily paper. The thrust of it is (to quote) "Can we use our shared outrage at all these affronts to human dignity to unite us and begin a national dialogue on the worth of human life?" It's a bid to make common cause that is built uncompromisingly on the idea that you SHOULD be horrified by the Planned Parenthood videos. See, many people would not agree with that, or are making excuses. He's not using PP as a platform, he's asserting that we need to (a) be horrified by the problems in our society (b) realize that those horrors stem from the same cause and that therefore these "liberal" and "conservative" issues have a common source and then (c) actually do something.

    Note that we have had 216 people killed by gun violence so far this year. This year! It's not some wishy washy imagined liberal issue. It's a real crisis. So not only is it morally correct for the Archbishop to call attention to the need for real healing and solutions, it's also rhetorically important to avoid the old but very potent chestnut that pro-lifers only care about the unborn. Incidentally, denigrating attempts to build common ground as insufficiently pro-life seems like a good way to support that stereotype.

    No, Cupich probably isn't going to borrow vestments from St John Cantius and say mass in the street outside the most central Planned Parenthood. For one thing, this ain't Peoria, we have cars in our streets and that one on LaSalle still has a lot of construction in the intersection so there's barely room for four people to stand legally out front and pray. But then the Cantians probably aren't going to go out of their way to attend the funeral for the girl and her boyfriend shot to death two blocks from a peace rally on the far south side last night. I wouldn't dare to suggest that either is completely insensitive to the problem on those grounds though.

    I'm not Cupich's biggest fan but I don't think this article is the thing to flog him with; and honestly I crave more concrete evidence that pro-lifers care about more than just the unborn. I'm appalled by what happens in my city and my country, and yet I find the people I stand shoulder to shoulder with on ab-rtion can't even get through the phrase "Black lives matter" without *instantly* turning it back to a conversation about unborn babies. Can't we talk about both things? And can't we worry about this generation as well as the next one? Anyway, I've gotten off topic.

    1. Well, from a pro-lifer point of view, it's similar to my saying, "OMG! Let's get all the Middle Eastern Christian refugees into the UK," and someone snapping, "What about the poor MUSLIM refugees?" On the one hand, yes, naturally Muslims caught war-zones are suffering, too. On the other hand, genocide of Middle Eastern Christians.

      Similarly here, on the one side, 216 gun fatalities in 7 months in Chicago , and on the other, approximately 43,203 abortions in Illinois in 2012, with parts presumably sold by the same people who offer sex education.

      So, not to sound like a pro-lifer who doesn't care about the born--I care a lot about a number of issues, not least the SHAMEFULLY LOW number of Middle Eastern refugees allowed into the soi-disant Christian UK--killing 43,203 unborn babies a year and dissecting at least some of them for sale to researchers is very startling. As in, this-is-science-fiction startling.

      As for "Black lives matter", I can well imagine exactly how it turns into a conversation about abortion because the majority of black lives in Chicago are snuffed out by other black lives: either young black men killing young black men, or young black women having abortions. And if young black men would return to the Christian black culture of the 1960s--I have read--there would be more FATHERS and therefore fewer abortions and fewer boys joining gangs.

      Ah well, I didn't mean to start a rebellion against Cupich. I am just hoping and praying the PP scandals finally force Americans and Canadians to call a halt to the daily abortion massacres. Abortion violence and gang violence and police violence and the whole "life is cheap" mentality are all connected.

    2. Hello Jam,
      The American assumption that people who care about the unborn are indifferent to other social issues is, quite frankly, nonsense, at least anywhere outside the USA and the "Anglosphere", whose nations are essentially American colonies nowadays.

      Most other European or Euro-descended nations, especially those with a Catholic history, have supported the provision of social services to the poor, living wages, and similar issues. They did not always do so effectively or efficiently (classical liberalism often "works" better than other solutions to social problems), but they were always ideologically inclined to support such services.

      I do not mean to be rude, and I do not dislike the USA, but I am tired of otherwise educated Americans appear to think the word "conservative" has always meant "libertarian". It has not.

      Alias Clio

  2. Is Cupich cardinal already? I thought it generally took a while for a new archbishop to be made cardinal.

    1. Whoops! Quite right! Sorry. I got him mixed up in my mind with Cardinal George. (Sorry Cardinal George.) Did you go to BC for your undergrad, by the way?

    2. ND, actually. Graduated last year. I visited Edinburgh a couple times, if you remember a young architecture student...

    3. Oh yes, of course. Ido remember you!

  3. I think this explains the grave problem with it very well, too, for the first commentator:


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