In the May-June 1973 edition of The Humanist featured an article by Paul Blanshard and Edd Doerr in which they stated:

We feel like throwing a champagne dinner in honor of the U.S. Supreme Court for its January decision on abortion…The Blackmun decision, in which the only Catholic on the Court (Brennan) concurred, constitutes the most direct defeat for the Catholic Hierarchy in the history of American law.1

In reviewing some materials for this article on the 39th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade, I came across this quote. What struck me was the highlighting of the complicity of a Catholic in the terror that is abortion. Besides the ignoring of science and the reality of the personhood of the unborn child, the authors of The Humanist article seem to pit lay Catholics against their bishops; the hero being the lay Catholic Justice William Brennan. Likewise, there persists in the same article the perennial bogeyman that the Catholic Bishops are all powerful agents who impose their will on an unsuspecting populace. Unfortunately, this laughable error continues to this day whenever the traditional teaching of the Church on any moral issue is presented in public. To listen to those who rail against the Church, one would think that the pope and the bishops have been imposing their will by fiat and that the citizens of the United States–Catholic and non-Catholic–have been burdened by the yoke imposed by their ecclesiastically-robed masters. The opposite is true: the citizens of the United States have been burdened by the yoke imposed by their federally-robed masters.

I say “federally-robed” masters because it is no longer simply the judicial branch which has waged war on the unborn and the Church, it is now the Executive Branch–and it has been with the complicity of a Catholic: Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. The recent decision of HHS Secretary to mandate that Catholic institutions cooperate directly in evil (i.e., the mandate that insurance plans cover contraception, including those which may act as abortifacients)–and make no mistake, that is exactly what it is–is not only a further eroding of religious freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment, it is also a direct attack against the one institution that stands unwaveringly for the dignity of the human person: the Catholic Church. In a way, the authors of the 1973 article in The Humanist got it right: a defeat for the Catholic Hierarchy is indeed a defeat for the only thing that can stand in the way of the forward march of secularism and what Blessed John Paul II called a “thinly-disguised totalitarianism.”

If the re-defining of the human person to exclude the unborn was not enough, the federal government has now taken a stand that religious persons and institutions may not be religious–unless, of course, approved by the same government. The Bishops have rightly expressed their outrage; as have many Catholics and religious people of all confessions. Yet, there still remain well-placed Catholics who offer only a tepid response. Consider Fr. John Jenkins, C.S.C. the President of the University of Notre Dame; or Douglas Kmiec, the conservative Catholic law professor-turned bizarre Obama apologist, who last November in commenting on the proposed mandate said that this didn’t violate religious liberty. Indeed, the thought police have arrived–even to the point that outward opposition is to be considered gauche or “not done” and thus calling for “dialogue” is as harsh as one can be.

Why the Catholic quislings? The only answer that we can give is that it is the “mysterium iniquitatis.” Lust for power, prestige, money, expediency, ease, sex,–all are unreasonable reasons and all ultimately have the odor of the grave. Yet let us call them what they are: Judases. But let us also hope that, unlike Judas, they come to seek the mercy of Almighty God who is waiting for his erring children. As Fr. Francis Canavan, S.J. observed:

Christendom, the society in which Christianity could be taken for granted, has ended, has been coming to an end, in fact, for at least 300 years. With its final disappearance, we shall soon see no more merely nominal or post-Christian Catholics. The gap between Catholicism and the general culture will be so wide and so inescapably visible that we shall all have to take our stand on one side or the other side of it.2

On this tragic anniversary, let us once again take our stand: on the side of Christ and His Church.


1 Blanshard and Doerr, “A Glorious Victory,” The Humanist, May-June, 1973, p.5.

2 Francis Canavan, S.J., “Commentary,” Catholic Eye, Feb. 20, 1990, p. 2.

This article, Judases is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.

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John M. DeJak

John M. DeJak is an attorney and Latin teacher and works in academic administration. He writes from Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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