US Bishops’ Double Standard

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by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  August 20, 2020   

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WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - The U.S. bishops are allowing praise of the most radically anti-life presidential ticket in history while not tolerating praise of the most pro-life president in history.

An official with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Donna Toliver Grimes, has faced no repercussion since showering praise last week on the Party of Death's presumptive nomination Joe Biden and Biden's radically pro-abortion running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.

"I was so elated," Grimes told Catholic News Service Aug. 12. "We, the community, need good news, and this was just wonderful."

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Donna Toliver Grimes

Grimes, associate director of African American affairs in the USCCB's Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, added that Harris was "really deserving and brings a lot to the table." Harris has a 100% (supportive) rating from the pro-abortion group NARAL Pro-Choice America.

The USCCB issued the following day a neutral response to Grimes' support not only of Harris, but also of pro-abortion and pro-same-sex "marriage" advocate Biden.

"The Conference is a non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization that does not endorse or oppose specific candidates for office," a spokesman told CNA. "Comments by individual Conference employees are not necessarily a reflection of the Conference's official position."

Crackdown on Trump Support

The bishops' limp-wristed response to Grimes' statement is a far cry from the heavy-handed approach the conference took last year with its former public affairs director, Judy Keane, after Keane tweeted her personal preference for President Trump and her personal dislike for Democrats including Harris.

Comments by individual Conference employees are not necessarily a reflection of the Conference's official position.

In July 2019, the Washington Post reported on Keane's "series of tweets enthusiastically backing President Trump." Keane, then on the USCCB payroll since 2016, had clarified on her Twitter account: "Opinions expressed are my own."

Retaliation from the conference, nevertheless, was swift. Keane was immediately put on leave and then permanently replaced one month later with Chieko Noguchi, Cdl. Donald Wuerl's director of media and public relations. Noguchi had been serving as Wuerl's mouthpiece while he was disavowing any knowledge of accusations against D.C.'s former archbishop, the now-disgraced Theodore McCarrick. Wuerl's denials were later proven false.

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Catholic journalist George Neumayr had multiple run-ins with Noguchi in his efforts to report on Wuerl.

In 2019, Neumayr told Church Militant, "Noguchi was a paid liar for Donald Wuerl."

The Conference is nonpartisan and does not endorse political candidates. We take this very seriously.

Immediately after Keane was put on administrative leave, James Rogers, USCCB's chief communications officer, told the Post that Keane "will not be returning to her duties at the USCCB so that she may pursue new professional opportunities."

Rogers also told the news outlet in the wake of Keane's departure that "The bishops, not staff, set the conference's federal policy positions."

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Judy Keane

He added, "We should be mindful not to create confusion as to where the bishops might be on any particular federal policy issue. The Conference is nonpartisan and does not endorse political candidates. We take this very seriously. Judy is on leave this week."

Praise for Dems Unchecked

But Grimes spoke glowingly last week of specific federal policies stemming from Biden and Harris including health care reform and voting rights issues. She then alluded to the fact that Democrats typically bankroll the USCCB' social justice projects.

"I would expect he (Biden) would put good people in his cabinet who would not damage the agencies or ignore the mission," Grimes said.

Bishops' Concern for Cash

It's this stream of cash that may explain the conference's double standard, according to Dr. Christopher Manion, a longtime staff director on the Senate Foreign Relations Commission.

In the wake of Keane's dismissal, Manion referenced money flowing into USCCB's coffers through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The agency is a well-known advocate of abortion and contraception. Manion said the agency's money blinds bishops' to immoral platforms pushed by the very Democrats that flow money to the conference via agencies like USAID.

"The bishops' immigration agenda just gives pro-abortion Democrats moral cover. Meanwhile, they never oppose USAID's population control programs because they get a billion a year from the taxpayer, thanks to the Democrats," Manion explained.

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