Here we go again. Courtesy of the Lepanto Institute we find supposedly Catholic leadership actively on the side of the enemies of the Catholic Church:
On November 28, 2015, Garrels posted a “#StandwithPP” overlay over one of her pictures, indicating that she supports Planned Parenthood and endorses continued government funding of the big-box retail chain of abortion stores. As is indicated in the image below, there are 36 “likes” of this post by Garrels … three of which came from other CRS employees.
Obviously, folks should be concerned about an employee of Catholic Relief Services who “likes” organizations that are diametrically opposed to the social teaching of the Catholic Church. That should be enough for concern. Full stop.
Critics will naturally raise a deeper objection — that being, how far can the Church go in stomping out “dissent” as it were. What if it were a conservative employee who say, supported the defense industry? The abolition of the minimum wage? A more restrictive immigration policy?
There are two responses to this, the first being self-evident. Rerum Novarum, the encyclical by Leo XIII that began the tradition of Catholic social teaching, does a marvelous job at dictating the ends — a living wage, centered around the family, and an open disdain for socialism and corporatism. How one gets there — whether through a mandated living wage, the free market, or a more Thomistic application of custom and social norms — remains an open topic. Namely, so long as one agrees on the ends, one is relatively safe when it comes to “dissent” on certain questions.
…but not all.
Pope Saint John Paul II in Veritatis Splendor helped whittled down the how in reaction to a seeming tidal wave of proportionalism that threatened to crash upon the Church in the post-modern age, a fight that Benedict XVI and Francis have continued marvelously, specifically the now famous cf. 75:
But as part of the effort to work out such a rational morality (for this reason it is sometimes called an “autonomous morality” ) there exist false solutions, linked in particular to an inadequate understanding of the object of moral action. Some authors do not take into sufficient consideration the fact that the will is involved in the concrete choices which it makes: these choices are a condition of its moral goodness and its being ordered to the ultimate end of the person. Others are inspired by a notion of freedom which prescinds from the actual conditions of its exercise, from its objective reference to the truth about the good, and from its determination through choices of concrete kinds of behaviour. According to these theories, free will would neither be morally subjected to specific obligations nor shaped by its choices, while nonetheless still remaining responsible for its own acts and for their consequences. This “teleologism”, as a method for discovering the moral norm, can thus be called — according to terminology and approaches imported from different currents of thought — “consequentialism” or “proportionalism”. The former claims to draw the criteria of the rightness of a given way of acting solely from a calculation of foreseeable consequences deriving from a given choice. The latter, by weighing the various values and goods being sought, focuses rather on the proportion acknowledged between the good and bad effects of that choice, with a view to the “greater good” or “lesser evil” actually possible in a particular situation. (emphasis original)
Unfortunately, we do indeed live in the world. Not everything is clean in a world of government grants, as many a grantee and grantor will cheerfully explain at Catholic Relief Services.
Yet Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia helpfully provides a little chart on how one formally or informally co-operates with evil. Whether or not it is a grant made to a heterodox organization, a grant accepted to tolerate a little evil to do a greater good, or any other form of casuistry to explain away formal co-operation, the basic premise is the same — you cannot do evil to achieve good.
The second point? Lies in a certain form of diversity among Catholic bureaucrats working within and among the support staff that seem to surround our Catholic bishops and priests.
One could rationally make the case that if a Republican (rather than a Democrat) were working on the staff of any Catholic organization, one could — perhaps rightly? — raise the question as to their personal values and leanings.
Perhaps… but the problem here is twofold: (1) Planned Parenthood is an enemy of the Catholic Faith, with the vast majority of their work shoveled into the maw of their abortion industry, and (2) among those employed by organizations such as CRS, where are all the conservatives?
The point of diversity of opinion falls unceremoniously flat when the vast majority of those employed are left-leaning and openly embrace positions directly contrary to Catholic social teaching. If one saw evidence of a true diversity of opinion? Perhaps a case could be made… but not here, because “diversity” seems to apply only in the instance of the political left, and not the width and breadth or Catholic opinion.
To the Lepanto Institute’s larger point, this seems to be a recurring problem — especially at institutions such as Catholic Relief — where decidedly non-Catholic or in many instances politically leftist anti-Catholic opinions seem to run rampant and without check.
From the perspective of the Catholic bishops, surely this has to be concerning, though the idea that Catholic bishops are basically powerless to change this dynamic is the gauntlet that CRS and others seem to be throwing down. The fog of bureaucracy does a great deal to obscure facts on the ground, while a Goodbye, Good Men scenario seems to proliferate among seminaries and staff.
Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times? That’s enemy action… and this proliferation of politically-driven leftism inside the Catholic bureaucracy is starting to become not just a scandal, but a discouragement.