U.S. Catholic Bishops' Final Plea on ObamaCare: Too Little, Too Late?

In their final-hour appeal to pro-life legislators to block this health care power grab in Washington, the bishops of the Catholic Church are coming out thousands of days late and millions of dollars short. In essence, they now need the forces of heaven to counteract their own past negligence.

It’s no secret that the Catholic Church hierarchy in the United States have been the happy bedfellows of the Democratic Party since waves of Catholic emigrants flooded American port cities a century ago. Not until the infamous Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 and the Democrats’ hardy embrace of the pro-abortion policy plank did the bishops even begin to waver in 100 percent support of their bedfellow party.

When one prominent Catholic politician after another came forward to sanction abortion, where were the bishops?

Ted Kennedy, youngest brother of the most prominent Catholic politician in history -- John F. -- became one of the first to renege on his earlier pro-life position. Young Ted Kennedy had written to a constituent in 1971 on the possibility of legalizing abortion:

While the deep concern of a woman bearing an unwanted child merits consideration and sympathy, it is my personal feeling that the legalization of abortion on demand is not in accordance with the value which our civilization places on human life. ... When history looks back to this era it should recognize this generation as one which cared about human beings enough to halt the practice of war, to provide a decent living for every family and to fulfill its responsibility to its children from the very moment of conception.

When Ted Kennedy switched sides on abortion, however, there was nary a peep from Catholic bishops. There was no public excommunication. There was no outcry, even. In fact, Ted Kennedy went on to publicly defy Church teaching on abortion and other matters until his very death, which was then given headlines and a very, very public, full-fanfare Catholic funeral.

One can only marvel at the unacknowledged complicity of the Catholic bishops in where we find ourselves today. If they had only acted on the side of Christ and the popes 30 years ago, would prominent pro-abortion Catholics even still be elected to the offices from which they now wield so much power?

Nancy Pelosi is, perhaps, the worst modern example of a Catholic using the Church shamelessly as she perverts both doctrine and power. Pelosi was born into a Democratic Party political family and has been the direct, unquestioned recipient of money and opportunities that she never would have had if not for her claim to be a Catholic in good standing. She whips out her Catholic card at ever opportunity, even going so far as to lie on camera about the Church’s stance on abortion.

Last year, when queried during the presidential campaign regarding her unwavering support for the most staunchly pro-abortion candidate ever -- Barack Obama -- Nancy Pelosi told Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press that as “an ardent Catholic,” she had studied the abortion issue steadfastly. Her conclusion from all this “study” led Pelosi to conclude that the Church’s doctrine on abortion had changed through the centuries and was more-or-less extremely pliable. She stated forthrightly that Catholics could indeed endorse abortion.