IN A RECENT STORY, the
recognized there is revitalization and renewal within the Catholic Church after years of scandal and turmoil. Amid this renewal, however, is a disturbing trend among some of the most influential Catholics in the media - I like to call them the "three blind mice."
By name, they are FOX news channel's Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly, and MSNBC's Chris Matthews. In each of their cases, Catholic teaching has taken a beating and factual reporting on Catholic matters is a joke. I first exposed these maverick Catholics in my new book, "Saving Those Damned Catholics."
Recently, Sean Hannity invited a priest, someone he should revere as a representative of Christ on earth, but condescendingly treated him as he does a left-winger.
Father Tom Euteneuer, president of Human Life International, criticized Mr. Hannity for his "cafeteria Catholicism," picking and choosing which doctrines he prefers as you pick broccoli over beets at the salad bar.
These men have no idea how much damage they are doing by denying Catholic truth, nor do many of the Catholic bishops. Catholic bishops have an obligation to set the record straight when dealing with public figures who persist in supporting moral evils while claiming to be Catholic.
Each of these "three blind mice" should be instructed by his bishop to either stop misrepresenting church teaching or stop calling themselves Catholic.
Their audiences will not realize there is error coming out of their mouths unless they understand basic Church teaching; which cannot be contradicted. In the absence of such clear teaching, which must emanate from the bishops and their priests, there exists a vacuum into which Hannity, Matthews and O'Reilly are spewing garbage. It's a sort of Catholic spin zone.
Hannity has no problem with contraception. He extols the virtues of pro-abortion Catholics such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rudy Giuliani.
Although, he claims he is against abortion. One has to wonder when and what circumstance is his partisan alliance more important than Catholic teaching?
Matthews makes no such duplicitous claim. He is soundly in the pro-abortion camp and never apologizes for being there. He derides his Catholic education and went so far to rant about what he thought was brainwashing when learning about the saints and martyrs of the Church as a kid!
And Mr. "O"? Well, there's a guy who constantly warns his viewers that he will do the bloviating. O'Reilly is "looking out for you," or so he says, while at the same time dealing in half truth and innuendo when it comes to matters Catholic. He insists that nobody really knows when human life begins, and has suggested that a fetus is a "potential" human being rather than a human being with potential.
Their power in the media should demand a higher level of accountability and responsibility. If there truly were a "no spin zone," one would expect that a public figure who claims to be Catholic would avoid spinning Catholic teaching, even for the sake of personal ego.
Just as surely as those mice who chased the farmer's wife lost part of their bodily structure, Catholic public figures who misrepresent basic moral principles by denying their immutability are very likely to lose something as well; but in their cases, it is not a simple body part at risk but rather their immortal souls. *
Editor's note: To contact Judie Brown or learn more about the American Life League visit their Web site at www.ALL.org.
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