HuffPo’s Latest Anti-Catholic Screed Ignores the View of Faithful Catholics

HuffPo’s Latest Anti-Catholic Screed Ignores the View of Faithful Catholics November 21, 2015

The Huffington Post has sunk to a new low in inviting the director of Dignity, a militant anti-Catholic group, to “explain” what happened at last week’s general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Marianne T. Duddy-Burke wrote, in an op-ed titled “U.S. Bishops Conference Betrays Catholic Church,” that:

While there were certainly some who objected, the strong majority of US Bishops set forth an agenda that has little to do with the Gospel of Jesus, is opposed by the majority of US Catholics, and will squander Church resources, even as parishes, schools, and service programs continue to be shuttered due to decimated diocesan budgets.

To which I say, “Stupid.”

Duddy-Burke had a problem with the bishops’ focus, as reflected in their Priorities and Plans through 2020. These top priorities included:

  • Evangelization
  • Family and marriage (including attempts to rollback same-sex marriage and support for government officials who refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-gender couples)
  • Ending abortion and limiting access to contraception
  • Vocations to priesthood
  • Religious liberty

The Bishops’ insistence that Catholic employees at Catholic institutions reflect Catholic teaching rankles Duddy-Burke. She is offended that the bishops voted overwhelmingly to support a Voters’ Guide for Catholics that instructs Catholics to evaluate candidates based on their positions on abortion and same-sex marriage.

What Duddy-Burke wants to see instead is greater emphasis on:

  • ending poverty
  • ending climate change and its “devastating effect” on our God-given planet
  • ending structural racism,  misogyny, human trafficking, and terrorism
  • immigration reform and assistance for refugees fleeing war and violence

First, all of these things are, in fact, of concern to the U.S. Bishops. One needn’t spend a lot of time looking to see each of these concerns reflected in the greater list or priorities.

But the Catholic Church is not a social service agency; its primary purpose is to help its members to grow in holiness, and to carry the Gospel to the ends of the earth. It accomplishes these goals by evangelization, by strengthening marriages and families, and by offering (through its priests) the sacraments to a hurting world. Carl Olson, in an excellent article in Catholic World Report, said:

“…the paramount duty of the Church and the faithful is not to aid those in need, but to bring all men into communion with God, through Christ, and into the fullness of the Kingdom.”

Sometimes the Church accomplishes this goal through charitable works, aiding those in need of material assistance. And charity and love  for our neighbor, while not the first responsibilities of faithful Catholics, are the fruits and the natural expression of our love for God.

But what the Catholic Church does NOT do is relinquish her constant teaching, built upon the teachings of Christ Himself, in order to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings. Duddy-Burke seems to hold onto the unrealistic hope that one day, the Catholic Church will “see the light” and embrace same-sex marriage, welcome abortion and contraception, and in essence reconfigure itself to Dignity’s easy peasy faith which demands nothing of its adherents.

If the Huffington-Post is serious about wanting to understand what happened at the USCCB, they should consult with someone who understands the players and the action. I’d suggest starting with the bishops themselves; but if they want to reach out to an academic or an expert, try John Burger or Edward Pentin, George Weigel or Fr. Robert Spitzer, Dr. Peter Kreeft or Dr. Scott Hahn or Dr. Edward Sri, or any of a long list of authentic Catholic thinkers. Duddy-Burke, by aligning herself with the dissident organization Dignity, has rendered her opinion irrelevant.


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  • Lookingup73

    Just to clarify, Dignity is not a “militant anti-Catholic group.” Misled, yes, because they are fervently Catholic AND think the Church can change.

    • Phil Steinacker

      Wrong! Kathy’s description is exactly spot-on!

      The only thing fervent about them is their desire to destroy the Church by making Her over in their own image and likeness.

      Your claim could similarly be extended to cover Catholics for Choice (the old Catholics for a Free Choice), who likewise have demonstrated their agenda for a church not recognizable to either Jesus or faithful Catholics.

      Such groups are CINOs – Catholic in Name Only – but there is nothing authentic about their purported Catholicism. They have been formed because they believe the Church can be FORCED to change. After all, whether or not they’re conscious of Henry VIII’s success in intimidating all Catholic bishops but St. John Fisher to recognize him as the head of the Church in England, such faux Catholics seem to believe they have the Church on the run in recent years, and spotty external evidence seems to support this notion.

      Of course, in the end they are misled if they believe they will prevail, but appearances may lend themselves to fostering that belief, given much of what is commonly recognized as the Church will be forced to change for survival’s sake.

      • Neko

        Another self-proclaimed gatekeeper to the Catholic Church. Despite all your caterwauling the church is changing from the ground up, and there’s not a thing you can do about it!

  • Sheri

    “Dignity” is the most inappropriate name ever for this group that celebrates homosexuality and bashes Christianity at every opportunity. HuffPo has zero credibility for even given these people a forum.

    • Lookingup73

      Dignity means living with self respect. They just want to be. You might want to check them out because they are catholic! They dint “bash” Christianity lol
      I do agree though that the name might be misleading. They might have self respect in some regards but they should realize the Catholic Church will never respect them so why they cling to it is beyond me. But my criticism of their use of the word is a bit more based in factual analysis than yours.

      • 0pus35

        * lisping *
        The gay voice comes through even in text.

        • Lookingup73

          Beg your pardon?

  • Shaune Scott

    We are created in the image and likeness of God, and therefore have inherent dignity. No person or organization can “give” someone dignity. Moreover, Christ came for the salvation of souls, not to grant our every desire. We are to follow Him more closely, not demand that He follow us.

  • Djk2450

    The Comments page has Up buttons and Down buttons. The Down buttons don’t work. So, why have them. I think any organization that stands for principles that are contrary to the Church should be made aware of it. By getting Down reviews. Peace and God bless.

  • Djk2450

    One more thing. Lookingup73 says the Church “can change”. Why?! We follow the Church; the Church should not follow us. If so, the Church would have been washed out hundreds of years ago.

    • Lookingup73

      Thanks for the shout out! I re-read all my comments and no where did I say that the “Church ‘can change'”. I said that Dignity thinks they can change the Church (to be more accepting of gay and lesbians). I then said they were misguided – not in their principles, but in their delusion that the Church can actually change.

  • Ann Smith

    Bash away. I stopped reading HuffPo months ago when their so-called religion section started pandering to every fringe and new-age sect around. Forget that they are guilty of lying (remember what they did to T.D Jakes back in August? Check out for the full story.) The writers at HuffPo Religion impress me as a bunch of people who cheated their way through college and landed their positions via nepotism or cronyism. Their reporting is anything but balanced. It is obvious that they are targeting only young liberals. So they make up stuff in order to boost circulation. The publishers and the readers of that yellow rag deserve each another. Let them flounder inside their little fantasy bubble.