USCCB Media Blog: anti-Catholic bias at HHS (Obama Administration)

Over at the USCCB’s Media Blog, Sr. Mary Ann Walsh has an interesting post.  Here is the first part.

This gives us another example of how the war on the Catholic Church is manifesting itself in the public square:

HHS Exec Rivals Nixon With Line: ‘I am Not Trying to Get Anyone Off the Hook

The most memorable line since Richard Nixon’s “I am not a crook” has just come out of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Ta da: “ I’m not trying to get anyone off the hook here.”

That telling quote comes from George Sheldon, acting assistant secretary for HHS’s Administration for Children and Families. Sheldon offered his defense to Washington Post writer Jerry Markon for a front page story in the Post November 1.

Markon’s story investigated how the grant process at HHS was manipulated to keep an office of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) from receiving an award to serve victims of human trafficking. USCCB’s Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) had scored high enough to be awarded a federal grant to continue its very successful anti-trafficking program. But the decision was “overturned,” so to speak, when Sharon Parrott, a top adviser to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, stepped in to “have a dialogue” (her words) in the process because the award would go through a Catholic agency. Their problem?: the Catholic Church—though providing food, shelter, and legal and other medical services for trafficking victims more effectively than any other—is forbidden by conscience from referring those victims for abortion, sterilization or contraceptives. So much for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and other federal legislation that protects conscience—not to mention ordinary fair-play in picking grant recipients.


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  1. mike cliffson says:

    Render unto Caesar…

    Caesar is Caesar with ¿howmany catholic votes and how much support was it?

  2. Sandymamma says:

    I would hope that the Catholic organizations wouldn’t even want to take this corrupt administration’s money.

  3. The battle lines are quickly being drawn. The Church is in for a long, hard battle, but as one Priest used to say: “Read the last page of the book, we win!”
    God help us

  4. I’m surprised the Washington Post would have bothered to investigate. Will wonders never cease?

  5. James Joseph says:

    Perhaps we need St. John Fisher, Cardinal Bishop, to compare the powers that be to Herod.

    Good book so far… The Exposition of the Seven Penitential Psalms…. only took like 450+ years to be published.

  6. josephx23 says:

    Am I the only one who finds it disturbing that these updates on the HHS are coming not from some echo chamber within the Catholic media/blogosphere but from the media office of the USCCB? Either the folks at the USCCB are much more centrist than they used to be, or it really is time to sound the alarm.

  7. Johnno says:

    Wow! I’m not even surprised they are doing so, just surprised that it is now finally coming out of the closet so openly. It’s true! Anti-Catholics will go so far as to shut down organizations that help the poor and orphans and underpriviledged to push their agenda. So much for ‘social justice.’ LoL!

    I don’t believe there’s any hope of the Church fighting against a culture determined to destroy it. Not without a Divine Display of power o an unbelieving world.

    Pope Benedict and the Church heirarchy should throw their rationalist tendencies out the window and obey Our Lady of Fatima and consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart like she asked in order for God to act. But nooooo… if the current Church leadership were in Elijah’s place back then, they would’ve questioned God as to why it was necesssary to pour buckets of water onto an altar if he wanted to set it on fire, and then would’ve decided to engage in ecumenism with the priests of Baal instead, and formed committees to decide how best to reach out to the worshippers of Molech and get them to stop sacrificing children to it, after which they’ll send a strongly worded letter and hope for the best.

    Vatican II’s new orientation to approach the world has been a colossal failure. The Church of the past few decdes has greatly underestimated how warped and evil mankind can be, and how crafty the Devil is.

  8. Supertradmum says:


    Our rational gifts are one way in which we are made in the Image and Likeness of God. One reason for the political mess and the people who should be thinking Catholics voting such evil people into government is anti-intellectualism and an ill-informed conscience, which takes reason as well as grace. We are Catholics are not against reason. Only those who only want religious experience are so. This type of manipulation of the emotions has been allowed for years in the government and in the Church by some to an extent. The last great bigotry is anti-Catholicism, and only a reasonable and informed Laity will be able to contradict this. We need to be clever in the good sense of the word and defend ourselves, using our brains and with fasting and praying.

  9. Supertradmum says:

    sorry Johnno, no a in your name-apologies.

  10. Forgive me for not applauding. The USCCB has been pushing a Leftwing political agenda for years; now they (and all of us) have to deal with the monster they helped create.

    Their position during the Obamacare debate was crystal clear – the current U.S. healthcare system needs “fundamental change” and the government is the answer. During the most recent budget “crisis” a USCCB committee called on Congress to “raise adequate revenues” (liberalspeak for higher taxes) so government run social programs could continue (because we all know how efficiently the government manages our “alms”).

    Bottom line – the USCCB is a bureaucratic behemoth with an insatiable appetite for big government social programs. The last time I looked the USCCB was comprised of 50 departments, nearly 40 committees, subcommittees and task forces with more staffers than active bishops.

    It’s time to clean house. Get rid of the “human trafficking” office, the “environmental justice program,” the “global trade” subcommittee and every other phoney baloney, feel good initiative and focus on reproving heretics, fixing the liturgy and teaching the faith.

  11. Supertradmum says:

    Louie V.,

    I think we did just fine before 1966, when the USCCB was established. Small is beautiful…

  12. jhayes says:


    Although the name has changed several times, the NCCB goes back to 1919. As Wikipedia summarizes the founding: “In 1919 Pope Benedict XV urged the college of bishops around the world to assist him in promoting the labor reforms first articulated by Pope Leo XIII in Rerum Novarum. In response, the U.S. Catholic episcopate organized the National Catholic Welfare Council in 1919…..

    Episcopal conferences were first established as formal bodies by the Second Vatican Council (Christus Dominus, 38), and implemented by Pope Paul VI’s 1966 motu proprio Ecclesiae sanctae. In order to fulfill the new requirements for national conferences of bishops, the American bishops established — in 1966 — the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) and its secular arm, the United States Catholic Conference (USCC)….

    On July 1, 2001, the NCCB and the USCC were combined to form the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The merger resulted in the continuation of all of the work formerly done by the NCCB and the USCC, with the same staff.”

  13. chcrix says:

    Instead of whining that they are not being fairly considered for donatives from Caesar, it is past time that the USCCB renounces taking these tainted coins.

  14. Supertradmum says:


    Thanks for the info, but I suspect Modernism and Americanism the Heresy were there from the beginnings.

  15. irishgirl says:

    Louie V.: ‘It’s time to clean house’….Amen to that!
    Johnno: uhh, I don’t know if you’ve heard it already, but Russia WAS consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as of March 25, 1984. What we have to do now is LIVE that consecration!
    Supertradmum @ 4:39: What you said!

  16. jhayes says:

    Supertradmum, a couple of American cardinals tried to get the Vatican to shut it down in the 1920’s because of claimed “Democracy, Presbyterianism, and Congregationalism.” as well as Americanism and concern as to whether a national conference should have any power over individual bishops.

    The Vatican required some changes but agreed it could continue

  17. Serviam1 says:

    For all that people (at least in Boston) like to discredit William Cardinal O’Connell (Archbishop of Boston, 1907-1944) for his flamboyance and personal scandal, to his credit he was an opponent of Americanism.

    As O’Connell told Cardinal De Lai, he regarded this circularizing of the bishops as a “plebiscite” designed “to annul the force of the decree.

    And now it seems more than ever that this N.C.W.C. shows more clearly that not only does it tend little by little to weaken hierarchical authority and dignity, but also wishes to put into operation the same tactics against the Consistorial [Congregation]. It is incredible that Rome does not see the danger of conceding today in order to have to concede much more tomorrow.

    In Rome, the American delegation learned that the Consistorial Congregation was inclined to accept the attacks of O’Connell and Dougherty against the NCWC because of a concern about a resurgence of Americanism and an anxiety regarding the implicaitons of such a large hierarchy meeting on an annual basis. The Consistorial Congregation’s decree, moreover, reflected tension between Gasparri, who was supporting the Americans, and those cardinals who wanted a return to the policies of Pope Pius X. Ultimately, the American delegation won the day. On July 4, 1922, the Consistorial Congregation issued a new instruction: the NCWC could remain in existence, but the congregation recommended, among other things, that the meetings of the hierarchy take place less often than every year, that attendance at them be made voluntary, that decisions of the meetings not be binding or construed in any way as emanating from a plenary council, and that the name “council” in the title be changed to something like “committee.”

  18. jhayes says:

    Serviam1, of course that was a different time, before Dignitatis Humanae and Gaudium et Spes.

    I was interested by Bishop Latino’s letter sent out before yesterday’s vote in Missisippi on defining personhood as beginning at conception. In effect, he said that we believe this, but the question of whether it’s desirable for the state to define that by law is a prudential judgment which each Catholic must make for him/herself.

    As Bishop of the Diocese of Jackson, I appreciate very much the noble intentions of those who support the Personhood Amendment known on the November 8 ballot as Proposition 26. Indeed as bishop, I share their zeal and passion for the sanctity of human life. However, after studying the initiative and in prayerful reflection and coupled with the fact that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is working diligently on the federal level for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, I find the unintended consequences of this particular initiative deeply concerning.

    Therefore, the Diocese is not taking a position for or against Proposition 26. It is simply choosing to allow individual Catholics to make their own choice on the initiative based on an informed conscience. An informed conscience is not just an opinion but a judgment in which individual Catholics, who after studying and reflecting on the initiative, cast their ballot based on that study and reflection. I do appreciate the informed dialogue regarding Proposition 26 and hope this has deepened our knowledge of the church’s teaching on the sanctity of life in order to better reach out in a spirit of love and compassion to those who do not hold this belief.

    Having said this let us all be reminded that the Roman Catholic Church and her bishops are unequivocally pro-life. The Roman Catholic Church, including the office of bishop to which I have been appointed and into which I have been ordained by Holy Mother Church, is firm in her belief and teaching that life begins at the moment of conception and is to be held sacred until the moment of natural death. There is no disputing this dogma of our church. The Catholic Church in Mississippi has a long and active history of working through state legislative efforts and other community initiatives to protect life from conception to natural death.

    As a Church, we admire the goals of the Personhood Amendment efforts. As Catholics we remain committed to defending all human life from conception until natural death. However, we do not believe that a Mississippi Personhood Amendment is the best means to pursue an end to abortion in Mississippi and our nation.

    The ballot proposition did not get enough votes to pass.

  19. Johnno says:

    irishgirl –

    The 1984 Consecration (following the previously failed effort of something so seemingly simple in 1982) also failed for the same reasons, as the consecration was vague and was for ‘The World’ (“and those nations that particularly needed to be consecrated…”). Even John Paul II did not believe this was being done in accordance with God’s instructions which is why he vaguely tried emphasizing the latter and attempted to perform it twice. The Church chickened out. It did not consecrate Russia specifically as God asked thinking what they said did not matter for the sake of ecumenism and political correctness, something we often complain about with regards to priests having to “say the black, do the red.” All we’re left with is confusion as to whether it licitly did as God asked or not. Anything consecrated or asked to be made holy, whether a lay person, or priest or Church etc. needs to be specified as to what is being consecrated. The Church today seems to love vague language and avoiding confrontation and ignores God’s demand that our ‘yes’ mean ‘yes’ and our ‘no’ mean ‘no.’ We have fallen into the same attitude as the Pharaisees and Religious authorities of Christ’s day who were either vague or unnecessarily overcomplicated things, and especially became bedfellows with the Roman secular authorities of their day. We argue over whether it meets the strict requirements of canon law to excommunicate Catholic politicians who proudly and loudly defy Church teachings when children could tell you the obviousness of their heretical actions.

    The other problem was that the bishops of the world did not participate in union with the Pope, perhaps God intended this as a display to highlight the invisible schism that already existed way back then between those bishops the world over who were faithful to the Pope and not. The world’s Bishops ignored it and ignored the Pope and not surprisingly carry on the same attitude to this day that we are all witnessing as a result.

    The result of the consecration was that Russia be converted to the Catholic Faith. Clearly this never occurred and the world today is worse off in the grip of the moral and ideological errors of Communism which are spreading everywhere in the ‘Democratic World’. The nation of Russia is even worse today where abortions have been so widespread even it’s own government is banding together with the Russian Orthodox Church to try and get people to stop it any way they can, except of course by bothering to outlaw it (what madness, your contry is committing a genocide of its own and you won’t halt it for the sake of preserving secular values of ‘women’s choice’ and not losing face with the secular world community who likes these ‘freedoms’), whereas anti-Catholicism continues to reign and Catholicism is virtually non-existent in that country. Compare that to the events which followed when Portugal was consecrated following Fatima and the miracle of the Sun; the overthrow of the Socialists, the spread of Catholicism and its morals enshrined into law (a hint of the blessings that would come once Rome consecrated Russia and which would remain in Portugal providing the requested consecration was done, otherwise Portugal too would fall), and the miraculous conversion of the people after Guadalupe. The other result was to establish devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Today many would rather ignore her and her warnings and messages that we’ve encountered from Lourdes to Fatima to Akita, warning about the divisions within the Church and the clergy who do not follow God and are disloyal to His Vicar and the spread of sin and error the world over. That’s too medieval and orthodox for the world today and the more we censure the mother of God and forget about her, the sooner we’ll be better off not worrying about that ‘old pre-Vatican II morality.’ Not to mention the monstrous inter-religious gatherings that are now happening at Fatima itself… the devil sure loves the irony of it all! All religions pretending to be the same at the very place the mother of God who protects dogma, hates heresy and compromise in the face of her Son’s Lordship is being defied to her face by those within the Church.

    The ridiculous handling of Fatima by the Vatican is more and more coming back to bite it in the butt. The worst part is the warning that if the consecration was not done in time and if the Pope continued to delay it in the same way the King of France and his successors ignored Christ before the French Revolution, that many nations will be annihiliated. The world elite are already worrying about the world population reaching 7 billion despite their efforts to abort and contracept the third world into submission… guess how much they’d like to reduce the world population by? Here’s a hint: 6.5 billion less than what it is today.

    I could go on and on, but the point here is what I’ve made before with concern to this story… The world is irrationally and morally Bankrupt. You can’t argue with people who’ve tossed away God who is the very basis for rational and logical thought. Everything is relative to them… everything is evolutionary… Change and progress takes precedence over He who does not change. We are dealing with a situation unheard of that the Church never encounterd before to such a degree… They hate the Church, and will never listen to reason. All this talking and relying on human rational has its limits. Ultimately one has to put aside what man thinks and rely on God. His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts. I’m not arguing to set aside our rationality and logic. I’m saying that God in His omnipotence has seen and considered things we are incapable of perceiving in our limits, and wants us to trust in Him and obey Him, even when he asks us to put faith in something that we cannot at this time comprehend the significance and value of… it is therefore rational to obey Him and follow the plan He sets forth even though we have not fully grasped the full picture of and it seems contrary to how we might go about doing things. When Christ encountered the lame man at the springs, he complained that he had no one to help him and that until someone could help him and carry him down to the water in a methodical fashion and help him wash, he would never be healed. Christ said, “Ok”, then proceeded to ignore the man’s methodical instructions and simply reached out, touched him, and healed him.

    We are facing our own Jericho, and its walls are overwhelming! In the face of this, our Battle plans must be submissive to obeying God’s instructions to act and trust in Him to bring them down by following a plan that seems to make no military sense. Only then will our rationale be of any use. In order for the people to listen to reason, they must first be humbled. And a demonstration like the miracles of Guadalupe and Fatima is often a first step. The world is asking for proof God exists, because the obviousness is lost on them. God would like to comply, but He wants to do so through the Catholic Church and through His mother, so there can be no doubt that God exists and the true religion is that of Catholicism, so He wishes to work with His Church to bring this about. Sadly, the leaders of the Catholic Church, believe they have better ideas, and that human effort and togetherness is better than God’s providence. There’s a reason the Virgin wanted the 3rd secret to be made known prior to Vatican II. The Church decided to disobey her, and here we are enjoying the fruits of its ‘spirit.’

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