By Fr. George Welzbacher
February 18, 2007
In last Sunday's Gospel we heard Christ warn: "Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for thus did their ancestors hail the false prophets" (Luke 6:26). A fortnight or so ago, on January the twenty-eighth, the immortal soul of Fr. Robert Drinan was called to judgment. Both before and after his death at the age of eighty-six Father Drinan, S. J., long-time dean of Boston College's School of Law and for ten years a congressman representing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, was lionized by the secular press, while prestigious universities all but smothered him with honorary doctorates over and above his earned degrees. The reason was not so very hard to see. He was the enemy's friend inside the camp, the camp in question being the Catholic Church. More than any other dissident priest, more than Catholic University's Charles Curran or Fordham's Richard McCormick, it was Father Drinan who provided Catholic politicians in the U. S. A. with duplicitous rationalizations for voting "in good conscience" for abortion, thus helping politicians to credit themselves as observant Catholics in the very act of defying Christ's Church. Ordained to be a servant of the truth, Father Drinan lent his considerable talents to the subversion of the truth, the truth about the inviolability of innocent human life!
Christian charity prompts us to pray for Father Drinan's soul in the hope that somehow in the silence of his mind before he passed to judgment he repented of the millions of murders of innocent children for which his words had smoothed the way. That he was much in need of conversion is clear from Scripture: "No murderer has eternal life abiding in him" (I John 3:15); "Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees" (Isaiah 10:1); "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness." (Isaiah 5:20)
In the February 8th issue of The Wanderer political commentator Paul Likoudis reviewed Father Drinan's calamitous history of purveying false counsel. I reprint Mr. Likoudis' comments here, with some abridgment.
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Father Robert Drinan Dies in D. C. At 86
By Paul Likoudis
The life of Jesuit priest and former Massachusetts Congressman, Robert Drinan, who died in Washington, D.C., January 28 at the age of 86, is a tragic reminder of the high cost of trying to serve God and Moloch.
"One shudders to think," said C. Joseph Doyle, executive director of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, "that the same hands which were used so many times to confect the Eucharist were raised so many times to vote monies to butcher children in their mothers' wombs."
Drinan, during ten years in Congress, from 1970 to 1980, became one of the most outspoken supporters of abortion on demand, of contraception and of contraceptive imperialism, that is, promoting abortion and contraception through U.S. and United Nations foreign aid policies. Even after he left the House at the command of Pope John Paul II, Drinan continued his abortion advocacy, even defending partial-birth abortion in an op-ed piecefor The New York Times.
"Drinan, whose vocation was to serve the author of life," said Doyle, "became an acolyte of the culture of death, at a time when an entire generation of Catholic politicians defected from Church teaching on the sanctity of human life and the necessity of natural law. A Jesuit priest led the way, providing them with the cover, the example, and the rhetoric of apostasy.
"It is important to recall his sad influence," Doyle said. "Remember Senator Teddy Kennedy didn't come out in support of legal abortion until 1974, more than a year after Roe v. Wade, while Drinan was the first member of the Massachusetts congressional delegation to come out in support of Roe.
"Think of the Catholic legislators from this state whom he influenced. Tip ONeill, Gerry Boland, Silvio Conte, Ed Markey. Given the natural tendency of politicians to follow fashion and conform to the culture, only their Catholic faith could have prevented them from failing on these issues; but the Catholic message was muddled by such powerfully influential figures as the late Fr. Drinan."
When Father Drinan left Congress he more or less handpicked his successor, current congressman Barney Frank, whose brother David had served as Drinan's press secretary in Congress.
Obituaries on the late priest and representative from the affluent western suburbs of Boston, known as metro-west, noted that during his career as a law professor, he taught some 6,000 students at Boston College and later at the Georgetown Law Center, where Drinan received two law degrees....
"Fr. Drinan," editorialized The Boston Globe on January 31, "moved the provincial and parochial B.C. law school into a world-class institution serving the larger community, not just Catholics."
"Fr. Drinan was part of that great modernist movement in the 1960's to dispossess Catholics of their own institutions by bringing them into conformity with secular culture, said Doyle. "It was larceny on a monumental scale... "
"I think he will be remembered as a giant in a number of fields " said Georgetown Law Center Dean T. Alexander Aleinikoff of his colleague. "His chief legacy will he his tireless advocacy for human rights and social justice. "[Yep, that's what the man said.]
Such encomiums were repeated in newspaper obituaries across the country, from Cape Cod to San Francisco, but they sadly miss the mark, according to Doyle. "Drinan's narrow and disjointed view of human rights... denied the humanity and legal personhood of the human child, while grossly distorting the Church's preferential option for the poor.
"Drinan's advocacy and example as a Catholic priest in Congress burdens him with a heavy responsibility for the mass murder of 47 million children through surgical abortion."
Drinan came into political prominence in 1964, when he was asked to participate at a meeting in Hyannisport with Senator Edward Kennedy, with Robert Kennedy, then considering a run for the U.S. Senate from New York, and with leading [dissident] Catholic theologians. The point of the meeting was to formulate a "Catholic"position on government support for national and international birth control programs.
His [Drinan's] role was disclosed by former Jesuit Albert Jonsen in the Joseph P. Kennedy Institute's Ethics Journal, voL 4, no. 1 (1994) in an article entitled, "Theological Ethics, Moral Philosophy and Public Moral Discourse."
"In July 1964, Fr. Joseph Fuchs, SJ. a renowned [dissident] Catholic moral theologian and a professor at the Gregorian University in Rome, was among the guest faculty of an ethics course I was teaching at the Summer School of the University of San Francisco. Walking across campus one morning, Fr. Fuchs hailed me and told me that he had, on the previous day, received a phone call inviting him to join several other leading theologians in a meeting with Senator Ted Kennedy and Robert Kennedy at Hyannisport.
"Robert Kennedy was running for the New York Senate seat, and the Kennedy family and their political advisers wished to discuss the position that a Catholic politician should take on abortion.
"Fr. Fuchs then astonished me by saying that since he knew nothing of American politics, he wanted me to accompany him. If I would agree, he would accept the invitation on the condition that I come as his companion. I agreed and they agreed. Two days later, the distinguished German theologian and the American novice traveled to Cape Cod to join Catholic theologians Robert Drinan, then dean of Boston College Law School [dissident] Richard McCormick; [dissident] Charles Curran; and a bishop whose name I do not recall; as well as Andre Hellegers, an obstetrician and a fetal physiologist who was to be the technical adviser...
"Our colloquium at Hyannisport, as I recall it... reached the conclusion that Catholic politicians in a democratic polity might advocate legal restriction on abortion, but in so doing might tolerate legislation that would permit abortion under certain circumstances, if political efforts to repress this moral error led to greater perils to social peace and order. This position, which, of course, is much more nuanced than I havc stated, seems to have informed the politics of the Kennedys."
Another Jesuit in on the Hyannisport meeting was Giles Milhaven, who recounted at a breakfast briefingfor Catholicsfor a Free Choice, on September 14, 1984:
"Having been asked to make a presentation this morning on Catholic options in public policy on abortion, I cannot but recall the last time I was invited to do so. It was 15 years ago [note: at least 16, since Robert Kennedy was murdered in 1968]. I remember vividly, Other theologians and I were driving down Route 3 to Cape Cod, with Bob Drinan at the wheel. We were to meet the Senators Kennedy and the Shrivers at their request.
"I remember it vividly because the traffic lanes were jammed and halted, presumably because of an accident ahead, and Bob Drinan drove 60 miles an hour down the breakdown lane. Despite my misgivings each time we swept around a curve, we theologians arrived safely at the Kennedy compound.
"The theologians worked for a day and a half among ourselves at a nearby hotel. In the evening, we answered questions from the Kennedys and the Shrivers. Though the theologians disagreed on many a point, they concurred on certain basics. These include statements which I will make shortly. What was striking then and remains striking today is the difference between what [some] Catholic theologians say about abortion and what the Catholic Hierarchy say on the same subject ...[In] flat contradiction to the Pope and the bishops in certain situations abortion is morally licit and may even be obligatory. " [Yes, you read that right].
Eleven years ago, in December 1996, the late pro-life Dr. Joseph R. Stanton delivered the keynote address at the annual Catholic Action League banquet, where he spoke of modem Catholic "Quislings," and the harm they do to the Catholic Church and the pro- life cause, with specific mention of Fr. Drinan.
In "Foot Soldiers in the Culture of Death " Dr. Stanton recalled Fr. Drinan's commitment to abortion:
"When Bernard Cardinal Law came to Boston, old Holy Cross Cathedral echoed and re-echoed with his depiction of abortion as the 'primordial darkness of our time.'
"Yet in reviewing the Drinan correspondence under the Freedom of Information Act, investigative reporter Mary Meehan found a 1974 letterfrom Fr. Drinan to a key Planned Parenthood lawyer in which he characterized legislators pushing an anti- abortion amendment to a funding bill as 'the powers of darkness.' A constitutional amendment toforbid abortion hefound 'undesirable.'
"To the president of Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts he wrote in 1974: 'I feel that hopefully we now have an impetus going in Congress which will never allow such a motion (an antiabortion amendment) to become the law of the land. I have regularly received information from your associates and will continue to rely on you and your associates.' "
The [dissident] National Catholic Reporter's Thomas Roberts nonetheless told Laura Brienza of The Hoya, Georgetown University's student newspaper, that Drinan "was an example of intelligent Catholicism in the public sphere. He handled the issues of the day through the prism of Catholic social justice."
Brienza further noted: "Drinan's accomplishments earned him 23 honorary degrees and many other awards. In 2004, the American Bar Association awarded him the ABA Medal, its highest honor, and in 2006, the House of Representatives conferred its Distinguished Service Award upon Drinan. "
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The rest is silence.