My favorite deacon called to alert me to a high blood pressure inducing opinion piece by the always annoying Rekha Basu. Of course she is aided and abetted by a progressive Catholic.
Dowling Catholic High School was set to honor a local woman for her contribution to the community. There is just one problem. She served for a time on the board of Planned Parenthood.
“So to Dr. Andy McGuire, an alumnus of Dowling Catholic High School, it was a no-brainer to nominate her as one of this year’s two distinguished alumni. Sieman graduated 50 years ago from Dowling’s female counterpart, St. Joseph Academy.
“She embodies without trying, every day, what Dowling teaches people to be,” said McGuire, “I can’t hold up anybody better.”
Sieman was to have been recognized at a ceremony next month. But what happened next is a sad reflection of how intolerant, extremist and self-righteous elements within our community have become.
After word of the honor was published in Dowling’s newsletter, some people wrote angry emails to Dowling President Jerry Deegan and Des Moines Bishop Richard Pates. They said Sieman was unfit for the honor because in 2004-05 she served on the board of Planned Parenthood. Deegan and Pates contacted Sieman for a meeting, after which she withdrew her name.
She says it was her decision, to prevent anyone from using the event to attack Dowling. But McGuire says the president and bishop “felt very uncomfortable” and were afraid the controversy would hurt Dowling.”
So lets get this straight. Faithful Catholics who understand what the Church teaches and why and are scandalized by the selection are extremist and self-righteous.
What I find perplexing is that Dowling would chose Sieman in the first place. It was an odd choice for a school that has been trying to rehabilitate their image as a Catholic School. Just a few years ago they changed their name from Dowling to Dowling Catholic.
To their credit I have heard, from reliable sources, that they have made progress in establishing an authentic Catholic ethos especially in the Theology department.
Basu gives a weak, and somewhat condescending, acknowledgement that the Catholic Church has something to say about abortion:
Yes, Dowling is a Catholic school, and the Catholic Church has a position against abortion. But Planned Parenthood is about much more than abortion. And Loretta Sieman is about much more than Planned Parenthood. As McGuire said of the opponents, “They only care about less than 2 percent of the work of one organization she’s involved with.”
The church is also against divorce, but should that prevent the school from honoring a divorced person?
Where to begin.
The Church is not just against abortion; the Church is unequivocally Pro life from conception to natural death. It is fundamental to Catholic teaching. Abortion is an intrinsic evil, and it is the foundation upon which every social justice issue depends. It is not just one issue.
Sieman’s tenure at PP, therefore, does matter even if it were true (it is not) that abortion only comprised a fraction of the PP mission. Need I mention that they encourage sex, even to the very young, outside of marriage, and that they peddle contraception?
As for the divorce reference, I wish that journalist’s would make an attempt to understand what the Church teaches. It is not that hard. Google anyone?
Let me lay it out for you. Yes Rekha a Catholic school should not honor a divorced person who is remarried without obtaining a Church annulment or who is cohabiting. A divorced person who has not re-married, but who is a faithful Catholic could be honored.
This is not about a litmus test. It is not about determining who is or is not a good Catholic. It is about the Church being faithful to Christ who is Truth.
It is not the Catholics in the pews who are shrill. It is the voices of those who are married to the zeitgeist of moral relativism and refuse to even listen to those who seek the good, the true, and the beautiful.