Would it be best for the Catholic Church in the U.S. (and Rome, for that matter) if the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops were to be dismantled? I say yes, but more on that a bit later.
First, there have been a few interesting developments in the ongoing Catholic Campaign for Human Development controversy.
From a Feb. 5 LifeSiteNews.com story (excerpted; click here for the article in its entirety):
'Various offices of the U.S. Bishops Conference (USCCB) have reacted to the two new reports issued by the Reform CCHD Now coalition (RCN) this week, but the reactions, claims RCN, have not addressed the core message of their reports.
'While RCN has offered evidence that 31 CCHD grantees are partnered with a pro-abortion and homosexualist group, the Center for Community (CCC), and that two USCCB officials have served on the same group's board, the reactions have focused primarily on defending the pro-life beliefs of one of those officials — John Carr, who, as executive director of the USCCB's Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development, oversees the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).
'The report on Carr's involvement in CCC was received by some as questioning Carr's personal pro-life convictions. However, RCN says that the reports in question — one from American Life League (ALL) and another from the Bellarmine Veritas Ministry (BVM) — specified that they were not questioning Carr or any USCCB staffer's personal stance on pro-life.
'Immediately after the issuing of the reports Monday, a line supporting CCC was quietly removed from the CCHD Web site. Not so quiet, however, was the backlash against the perceived attack on Carr....
'While RCN coalition members said they were pleased to hear these affirmations of Carr's pro-life stance, they also said they were concerned with what they called 'false' accusations from other officials which, they said, led even bishops to misconstrue their actions and intentions....
'Michael Hichborn of RCN member ALL told LSN today that, 'We never once alleged that John Carr promotes abortion and homosexual agendas, and all of our public commentary verifies this.' Hitchborn added, 'In fact, in the initial report that I wrote, I specifically stated that we are not questioning the pro-life convictions of John Carr or anyone he works with.'
'In Carr's response to the RCN reports, he reiterated his pro-life convictions and accused RCN members of not contacting him prior to releasing their reports, saying that 'Neither the American Life League nor the Bellarmine Institute contacted me, CCHD or the bishops' conference before making these accusations.'
'But Hichborn claims that Carr's accusation is 'false.' Rob Gasper, head of RCN member BVM said, 'Carr has stated on multiple occasions that he will not meet or discuss issues with either ALL or [Human Life International].' Gasper added, 'The information in the BVM report should not have come as a surprise since it was primarily discussing information released well over two months ago'....'