DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - A so-called Catholic news agency is painting Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., as "the future of the Catholic Church."
Executive editor of the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) Heidi Schlumpf based her prediction on a speech given by the New York 14th district representative on July 23. Ocasio-Cortez's speech was a reaction to a Florida representative calling her a vulgar name.
"As I listened to her 10-minute address on the House floor, I was struck by how often it referenced Catholic values," Schlumpf said, in apparent admiration for the freshman Democrat.
"Ocasio-Cortez repeatedly railed against the 'dehumanizing' of others and instead called for treating people with dignity and respect," the executive editor gushed. "These are themes often repeated by Pope Francis, who has specifically cautioned about gossip and urged the use of respectful language, saying 'it is possible to kill someone with the tongue.'"
But the "Catholic" assignation, for many observers, is misplaced both for the NCR and Ocasio-Cortez.
On July 28, Breitbart News pointed to NCR's collusion with the radical end of the Democrat Party and its clear opposition to Catholic values, reporting:
The National Catholic Reporter is notorious for parroting the positions of the Democrat Party even when they contradict clear teachings of the Catholic Church, and over the years has pushed for abortion, same-sex marriage, women's ordination to the priesthood, an end to celibacy, and greater restrictions on religious liberty and conscience objections.
Breitbart added: "It is unsurprising, therefore, that among Rep. Ocasio-Cortez purportedly 'Catholic' values, one discovers a full-bore embrace of the Democrats' advocacy of taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand as a 'human right.'"
Indeed, Ocasio-Cortez's pro-abortion stance is equally clear.
"Abortion bans aren't just about controlling women's bodies. They're about controlling women's sexuality. Owning women. From limiting birth control to banning comprehensive sex ed, U.S. religious fundamentalists are working hard to outlaw sex that falls outside their theology," she tweeted, raising a radical feminist flag, not a Catholic one.
Her pro-abortion stance can also be seen in her opposition to the Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortion except in rare cases.
In 2019, she launched a petition to repeal the amendment, basing her stance on the premise that "abortion is health care."
She concluded it "disproportionately harms low-income Americans and people of color just to suit the interests of anti-choice zealots."
Rallying her troops she said, "We're going to fight to repeal the Hyde Amendment and let people access the care that they need," adding, "Sign your name if you stand for repealing the Hyde Amendment."
NCR's anti-life, anti-Catholic stance can be seen in an article called "The Catholic Church Should Partner with Planned Parenthood to Reduce Abortions" written shortly before President Trump's election.
The reporter of the article accused the Catholic Church of "not thinking big enough in its attempts to reduce the number of abortions in the U.S."
To think "big enough," the reporter recommended that the Church "work closely with Planned Parenthood (PP) and other abortion providers."
Framing his argument around the premise that contraception works against abortion, he asked: "Would the U.S. bishops deny this vulnerable cohort [teenagers and poor women] free contraception knowing that an abortion is the highly expected result of an unplanned pregnancy?"
The reporter went on to say, "The hardline protesters can still go praying their Rosaries while holding their blood-stained placards in front of Planned Parenthood offices. Policy initiatives can still be pursued to reduce the number of abortions and to keep abortion available."
In contrast to Ocasio-Cortez's anti-Catholic comments and NCR's recommendation to hook up with PP, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person — among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.
Over the years, NCR has been charged by the faithful with not being authentically Catholic.
Lepanto Institute president Michael Hichborn referred to the dissident media outlet as the "Most Heretical Publication since the 95 Theses of Martin Luther." Recognizing its danger to the Magisterium, Hichborn declared, "Our bishops must collectively condemn the National Catholic Reporter and deny it any and all access to formal Catholic events and clerics."
Former Kansas City bishop Robert Finn maintained NCR should not advertise itself as a "Catholic" publication.
The bishop pointed out that as far back as 1968, his predecessor ordered the editors of NCR to remove the word "Catholic" from the title of the publication.
Bishop Finn said: "From my perspective, NCR's positions against authentic Church teaching and leadership have not changed trajectory in the intervening decades."
Finn charged that NCR's editorial stance is at odds with the Church by "officially condemning Church teaching on the ordination of women, insistent undermining of Church teaching on artificial contraception and sexual morality in general, lionizing dissident theologies while rejecting established magisterial teaching and a litany of other issues."
The bishop further revealed he received numerous complaints about NCR from his parishioners.
The prelate concluded that he has "a responsibility as the local bishop to instruct the faithful about the problematic nature of this media source which bears the name 'Catholic.'"
Italian journalist Leo Zagami says NCR has become a political tool of leftists.
Zagami described NCR as "another Jesuit tool used to support their political arm, the Democratic Party, that is now in the hands of radical, left-wing extremists like AOC and her infamous 'Squad' that she constituted on behalf of her Jesuit controllers in 2018 with Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib."
"Apparently ... the future of the Catholic Church," he said of NCR's praise of Ocasio-Cortez, "is taxpayer-funded abortion for all and blind support for Islam."
Some faithful, like Catholic League president Bill Donohue, take exception to considering Ocasio-Cortez a Catholic, despite her having been baptized.
"She was, but there is no evidence she still is," clarified Donohue. "Yet she is conveniently labeled as a Catholic by some of her supporters, and she occasionally implies she is still Catholic."
"Why does this matter? If she were not a congresswoman, it wouldn't," Donohue continued. "But when someone who is no longer a member of the faith community he was raised in passes himself off as a loyal member — for self-serving political purposes — that raises serious ethical problems."
"Who is and who is not a Catholic is not purely a matter of self-identity. If someone born of Irish ancestry and raised as a Catholic calls himself a Jew, no one thinks he is Jewish," he elaborated. "Truth matters, and the truth never turns on self-identity alone."