The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops ("TCCB") simply will not stop with the calumny against Texas Right to Life ("TxRTL") with that ill-conceived Parish Advisory. Since my last three posts on this unfortunate, scandalous situation, not much has changed publicly, even as the Bishops backed off a bit and re-characterized it as something it was clearly not. Now they have, apparently, doubled down.
In the wake of a case of clear euthanasia in England that those bishops supported, the TCCB's attacks on TxRTL, and support of the wrong sort of candidate in Texas, there exists now a synchronicity that provides us with a particularly poignant teachable moment here...or two or three. Read on. I'll explain.
You have, no doubt, heard about Alfie Evans in England who's life-sustaining care was removed against his parents' very valiant and consistent efforts to stop it; against the efforts of the Italian government, no less, which granted him citizenship in an effort to save his life; against the efforts of even the Pope himself.
Many in the political sphere - talking heads and those who have a polarized or overly simplistic dichotomy of "good government" vs. "bad government" - have chalked this up to merely socialized medicine run amok. If only.
No, my friends, this is not merely the result of socialized medicine. It is the far more complicated result of a deep-seated philosophy rooted in eugenics and euthanasia that is spreading like the cancer it is. And it is spreading everywhere. It is in Texas through the Texas Advance Directives Act ("TADA") and it has been here in Texas officially since the law was passed 1999 and signed by Republican Governor George W. Bush. Efforts to pin this on liberal v. conservative, R v. D, red v. blue fail miserably. This is more than that. As I always say, you have to dig deeper. Issues over politics and parties. It's not as sexy. It doesn't make for the nifty soundbites. It requires more of you. But that is the reality here.
What happened to Alfie Evans can happen here. I've detailed a few of my experiences on this blog, but TxRTL has had many, many more. Hundreds more. Not only do Alfie cases happen here, an infant Texan suffered Alfie's fate almost at the same time he did.
In her own words, Emily Kebodeaux Cook of TxRTL, described her efforts to save the life of a four month old baby caught in the cross-hairs of a hospital that wanted him dead against the wishes of his family. Sound familiar?
I have written extensively on this blog as to why this is wrong morally and legally. (This post provided a catalog of my posts along with a synopsis of each). Don't you want a right to have a say in whether or when your life-sustaining care is withdrawn in Texas? Well, you don't. Not right now. We are working to change this.
And, as if our fight wasn't hard enough because of the powers-that-be in the largely anti-life medical establishment (which does not include all doctors, thankfully) and their lobbyists, we have to fight from "within" (I'm being generous here) against other groups which call themselves pro-life but which support this anti-life, anti-patient law (and, frankly, make it hard to get anything truly pro-life done).
Then, to my personal great shame as a Catholic, we have to fight our own hierarchy, which I have also detailed over and over. The TCCB consistently sides with those who do not support a patient's right to choose when his life-sustaining care will be withdrawn and those who promote euthanasia (and even abortion, which I have explained). In that post, I note that they do not have any canonical teaching authority, but nevertheless, it is a scandal in the truest sense of the concept. Lives are at stake and lost because of their efforts.
Yet, the TCCB had the audacity - and with no hint of irony or hypocrisy - to post this Tweet about Alfie:
Understand that TxRTL is doing - and has always done - here in Texas what Pope Francis sought to do in the situation of Alfie!
Understand also that TxRTL has been under near constant opposition by the TCCB and now the cold war has turned red hot with the aggressors being the TCCB. Even after the Parish Advisory turned into a fiasco - and may very well turn into much more of a problem for the TCCB in time - the TCCB has, like the errant English bishops, doubled down in their error.
The TCCB has supported - either implicitly or explicitly - a candidate named Ben Leman in the House District 13 state congressional race who is likewise endorsed by the organizations the TCCB now says speak for it. Leman is using the Parish Advisory as a weapon and in his campaign material, as you might expect.
Meanwhile, TxRTL has endorsed a candidate named Jill Wolfskill who is solidly pro-life and understands the stakes for all pro-life issues including TADA. She will do the right thing. Leman's endorsements, among other things, make clear that he is the wrong choice for those who care about liberty and life. He is so problematic that the Texas Homeschool Coalition withdrew its endorsement of him this week and threw it to Wolfskill (herself a homeschooling mother). (I have to wonder what they were thinking in the first place, but that's for another day. Or not.)
TxRTL, in my experience, has merely, occasionally responded to the TCCB and the organizations that seem to live for not much else than to muck up genuine pro-life legislative, judicial, and grassroots efforts and to attack TxRTL (sometimes seemingly out of the blue). But now they've gone on offense to further respond directly to the continuing, incessant, defamatory accusations and attacks by the TCCB and what many of us call the faux pro-life groups.
I quote the entire thing here in blue, but you can read it on their website:
So there you have it. TxRTL has laid out the issues, corrected the record, and told those of you in HD 13 for whom to vote based on their assessment of who is truly pro-life. They have explained how the Voters Guides and Scorecards are prepared as well in this video.
Let me take a moment here and disagree with TxRTL. I know, you're probably shocked, but as I've said, I do have my own mind and opinions on things. Frankly, I think TxRTL has been too easy on the TCCB as a whole - that is, in my view, on the Bishops themselves. It seems to me that the buck stops with those who employ and direct those making mischief and publicly espousing positions contrary to the Catholic faith. It seems to me that the Bishops, the TCCB as a whole, could reign this lobbyist in, could shift the agenda and tone, Catechize her - if they wanted to. But TxRTL's letter is focused on the lobbyist and lobbying arm of the TCCB.
Rather, TxRTL has extended to TCCB, the Bishops themselves, a generosity and shown a graciousness that has not been reciprocated by the TCCB or individual Bishops in any way that I am aware of. Certainly none have done so publicly. In particular, Bishop Olson, as I have covered here recently, seemed to completely lose control of himself in his vehemence and focused attacks on TxRTL. So out of control was he, that he attacked lay persons publicly on Twitter! It was a scene and most unbecoming to a man in his position. But TxRTL has not responded in kind, even though I believe they would be justified in so doing.
By their fruits, you will know them. All of them.
I hope this brings you up to date on some things - here and over there in England and the Vatican - and I hope you go out and vote for the right people in each election, every time. It matters.
Thanks for reading!