As reported earlier, the Ad Hoc Committee on Life and Family of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops just presented the fruits of its year-long reflection on how to get better involved in the pro-life cause. Much like in the case of Development and Peace, this was mainly a non-event. The Committee essentially said that they need another year to work on it.
This is very disappointing.
Call me simple-minded, but I believe in the principle of cause and effect: the Culture of Death will only change once we’ve set in motion the causal factors that will bring about change. Even in the order of grace, God has made it abundantly clear that some graces are conditional upon our prayers and good deeds. So the longer we take to start moving, the longer the abortion mills will continue to operate. Thankfully, many clergymen, religious and laity are already doing wonderful pro-life work and the tide is beginning to change. Their work is changing minds and hearts, which will hasten the coming of the day when abortion will be stopped in our country. But by and large, the CCCB hasn’t done much in this war yet, even though they have huge fire-power at their disposal through their ability to reach and mobilize so many people.
Let’s be frank. The bishops have essentially wasted a year. 100,000 babies were aborted in this country during that year.
And it will take another year before the bishops develop “a specific structure and concrete plan for future action.” So tack on another 100,000 abortions before we see a plan. How long before the plan is implemented? Another year = another 100,000 babies.
I’m not saying that the bishops’ plan will be the magic bullet to end abortion. I’m saying that procrastination postpones the day of our victory, at the cost of so many lives.
Where’s the sense of urgency?
When D&P was first exposed in March 2009, the bishops mobilized in a flash to protect their cash cow, through public statements and interviews in Catholic media. But when it comes to the unborn, they’re taking way too long.
I think the Church is once again victim of the inertia caused by the bureaucratic structures set in place by the bishops conference. Remember that Cardinal Ratzinger warned us about this back in 1985:
The decisive new emphasis on the role of the bishops is in reality restrained or actually risks being smothered by the insertion of bishops into episcopal conferences that are ever more organized, often with burdensome bureaucratic structures. We must not forget that the episcopal conferences have no theological basis, they do not belong to the structure of the Church, as willed by Christ, that cannot be eliminated; they have only a practical, concrete function. (The Ratzinger Report, 59-61)
Prophetic words from a man who was once in their ranks. I think that many good bishops are indeed being “smothered” by the CCCB, pressured to wait until a nation-wide strategy is put in place, lest the more zealous bishops make the laggards look bad. If everybody moves at the same time with the same plan, everybody saves face. But that postpones initiatives in some dioceses where bishops are ready and willing to move right now.
Not good enough.