FROM OUR DEC. 2020 PRINTED EDITION
by CATHOLIC ACTION
On November 18th, the Massachusetts Senate voted to pass Budget Amendment 180. The vote was 33 to 7, which is a margin sufficient to override a gubernatorial veto.
This amendment was contrived to exploit the budget process to force through a controversial piece of legislation which has not even been voted out of committee. That legislation is the radical ROE Act (S.1209/H.3320 An Act to Remove Obstacles and Restore Access to Abortion).
The Senate sponsor of the measure was Senator Harriet L. Chandler (D-Worcester), but the actual authors of this barbarous aggression against innocent human life were the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts and ACLU Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts House of Representatives voted on November 12th, by a margin of 108 to 49, to pass the measure, which in that chamber was designated Amendment 759. Any hope of stopping this extremist legislation will now require both a veto by Governor Charlie Baker and a reversal of five votes in the House.
This legislation: reduces the age at which a young woman could procure an abortion without parental or judicial consent from 18 to 16; eliminates the legal requirement that the abortionist preserve the life of a child born alive; lowers the medical standard for allowing dangerous, late term abortions; and eliminates, for abortions prior to 24 weeks, the requirement that physicians perform the procedure, permitting physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners and midwifes to do so.
As a service to the Catholic community, the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts now presents the voting record of the Catholic members of the state Senate on this evil proposal to expand the killing of the pre-born.
Catholics state senators who voted for Amendment 180:
1. Michael Barrett
2. Joseph A. Boncore (D-Winthrop)–graduate of Providence College
3. Michael D. Brady (D-Brockton)
4. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston)–identifies herself as a parishioner of Saint Mary of the Angels in Roxbury, and as a member of the Saint Mary of the Angels Parish Council; once referred to pro-life Catholics as “Nazis and Klansmen”
5. Nick Collins (D-Boston)-member of Pere Marquette Council Number 271, Knights of Columbus; identified as pro-life on 10/19/20 by Massachusetts Citizens For Life Political Action Committee
6. Sal Di Domenico (D-Everett)–Boston College graduate; President of the Saints Cosmas and Damian Society
7. Paul R. Feeney (D-Foxborough)–graduate of Don Bosco Technical High School
8. John F. Keenan (D-Quincy)-Coach, Sacred Heart Youth Basketball Program
9. Edward J. Kennedy (D-Lowell)
10. Joan B. Lovely (D-Salem)
11. Mark C. Montigny (D-New Bedford)–member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians; member of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick; parochial school graduate
12. Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury)
13. Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton)
14. Michael J. Rodrigues (D-Westport)
15. James T. Welch (D-West Springfield)–graduate of Saint Thomas the Apostle Grammar School
Catholic state senators who voted against Amendment 180:
1. Patrick M. O’Connor (R-Weymouth)
2. Michael F. Rush (D-Boston)–graduate of Catholic Memorial High School; graduate of Providence College; member of West Roxbury Council Number 3049, Knights of Columbus
3. Walter F. Timilty (D-Milton)–graduate of Boston College; member of the Knights of Columbus
I. The Numbers There are 40 members of the Massachusetts Senate. As of November 2020, there are no vacancies. In a historical departure, Catholics are now, for the first time since 1959, a minority in the upper chamber, perhaps reflecting both the increasing secularization of New England and the severe attrition of membership in the Catholic Church in the United States.
Of the 18 Catholics in the Senate, 15, or 83%, voted to expand abortion in the commonwealth. That is a ratio of five to one. Of the seven Catholic senators who attended at least one Catholic educational institution, from elementary to graduate level, five, or 71%, voted to expand abortion.
Of the four senators who are members of Catholic fraternal orders, two, or 50%, voted to expand abortion. Of the two senators who are active in their parish church, both, or 100%, voted to expand abortion.
The vote against the ROE amendment is not revealing of either Catholic integrity or pro-life fidelity. One of the opponents of ROE, Senator Patrick O’Connor, identifies himself as a supporter of legal abortion, but voted against the measure due to the lowered parental consent provision.
Another opponent, Senator Walter Timilty, has a mixed record on abortion. Thus, the actual percentage of abortion proponents among Catholics in the Senate is 94%, or a ratio of 17 to 1.
II. The Problem The Catholic community in Massachusetts is influenced in its principles, practices, dispositions and habits of thought—in its entire corporate culture—by a Catholic Church which is radically dysfunctional.
Catholic parishes and schools fail to form Catholics. Catholic colleges, universities, law schools, and elite secondary schools actively promote heresy, and in many cases, sodomy. Institutional fundraising, not Catholic formation, is their priority. They want graduates who will be financially successful cultural conformists, aspiring to be members of the President’s Circle of major donors.
Priests and prelates rarely preach or teach against abortion. When they do, their remarks lack force, vigor or clarity. (The Boston Herald reported that after the Senate vote, the Catholic Church was “concerned.”)
The bishops refuse to enforce Canon 915, preferring sacrilegious communions by those with blood on their hands to the opprobrium of the media, while Catholic fraternal orders, like the Knights of Columbus and the Ancient Order of Hibernians, refuse to expel pro-abortion politicians from their ranks.
Defecting Catholic politicians know they have nothing to fear from the Church when they defy Church teaching. Not a word of criticism will be uttered against them in any pulpit, or on any Catholic radio broadcast or television program, or in the pages of any diocesan newspaper.
When they arrive at a Catholic church for some parish function, the pastor will greet them, they will be seated as honored guests, the master of ceremonies will recognize them, and priests and prominent parishioners will pose for a photo-op with them.
If they are lectors, school board members, or extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist, they will remain so. Not only will they suffer no word of rebuke from anyone in the Church, but they will be given awards, invited to speak at Catholic events, have honorary degrees conferred upon them by Catholic institutions and will be given platforms to address Catholic graduates.
III. The Problem in Boston All of this is exacerbated by an Archdiocese of Boston which is unsupportive of such front–line, pro-life groups as 40 Days For Life, Priests For Life, Operation Rescue: Boston and the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants. It has, repeatedly, tried to discourage and frustrate the initiative amendment signature drive of the Massachusetts Alliance to Stop Taxpayer Funded Abortion.
Various major donors, prominent lay officials and important consultants for the archdiocese have close ties to powerful pro-abortion political leaders, including Joe Biden. One of Cardinal O’Malley’s closest advisers is Father Bryan Hehir, the reputed author of the “seamless garment” concept, which is intended to neutralize and marginalize the pro-life movement.
Most harmful of all to the pro-life cause in the Bay State has been the culture of betrayal in the Church in Boston, presided over by the Archbishop, Cardinal Sean O’Malley.
There have been repeated violations of the explicit prohibitions of Catholics in Political Life, the statement by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which says, “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”
Many of these violations involving pro-abortion political figures have entailed the personal participation of Cardinal O’Malley.
IV. The Solution The pro-life movement must recognize, lucidly, that the Church is more of an impediment than an ally to the pro-life cause. They cannot depend upon it for institutional support.
They must work to reform the Church, but not be constrained by it in their decision making. If the Church is unwilling to do so, then the pro-life movement, itself, must make Catholic elected officials understand that there is a political penalty to be paid for collaboration with the Culture of Death.
Part II of this Special Report will discuss the Catholic vote in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. ♦