Saturday, February 28, 2009

An Open Letter to US Catholic Bishops regarding National Catholic Reporter's Article: I am a Pro-Choice Catholic

To all who read this open letter to US Bishops and the article about which it is written: Please consider emailing this post to your local bishop's office or printing it and sending it via mail. Be sure to include a printout of the linked article at the National Catholic Reporter. You may also contact the USCCB's office for pro-life activities at: Above all....pray that they read it.

Here is a permalink to this blogpost

EDIT: This post will be updated with additional links as articles and commentaries are made available. Be sure to read the commentary by Ed Peters, JD, JCD under my open letter to the US bishops at the bottom of this post.

To US Catholic Bishops:

I wish to express my greatest desires that you receive many graces during this Lenten season. I thank all of you for your service and dedication as successors to the apostles.

I ran across something this morning that left me deeply troubled and would like to share my concern.

My attention was drawn to an article which was published online by the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) on February 26, 2009, by Kate Childs Graham, entitled: I am a Pro-Choice Catholic. It is in a high-traffic section of the site, namely - it's blog, under Young Voices. This, in itself, leads me to believe that young people are being exploited by dissident Catholics.

This article, published online by a Catholic newspaper, is an essay by a young woman about her journey from a pro-life position and activity, to a so-called, "pro-choice" position. After giving several reasons for her change of heart, she concludes (emphasis mine in bold):

Finally, I am a prochoice Catholic because my Catholic faith tells me I can be. The Catechism reads, “[Conscience] is man’s most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.” Even St. Thomas Aquinas said it would be better to be excommunicated than to neglect your individual conscience. So really, I am just following his lead. After years of research, discernment and prayer, my conscience has been well informed. Being a prochoice Catholic does not contradict my faith; rather, in following my well-informed conscience, I am adhering to the central tenet of Catholic teaching -- the primacy of conscience.

First, neither Ms. Graham nor the editors at the National Catholic Reporter apparently understand that conscience must be properly formed with the mind of the Church. Upon a quick review of the article, you will see that there are many areas where the mind of the Church is absent and Her teachings distorted.

It brings into question the suitability of those responsible for it's publication to serve as editors and publishers of any Catholic newspaper. It also calls into question the suitability for the National Catholic Reporter to be sold or distributed in any Catholic diocese, at the parish level, or otherwise. In this instance, and I believe in others, the NCR is being used as an instrument to sow dissent and to undermine the efforts of our shepherds to teach the truths of our Catholic faith.

Second, Ms. Graham's erroneous position on conscience, citing St. Thomas Aquinas, comes months after similar arguments were brought forth by pro-choice Catholic politicians and educators. Is this a fruit of those efforts made publicly visible?

Her letter is a sad manifestation of the state of poor catechesis in the United States. The author deserves our deepest prayers, as do the misguided publishers and staff of the National Catholic Reporter who have brought it to the world online [EDIT: If it disappears, feel free to request a copy through my email address below. I have downloaded it for permanent reference].

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Heb 13:9). Yet, the National Catholic Reporter, with this publication, will have us believe that Our Lord is ever changing with the world. While Scripture admonishes us to "beware of all sorts of strange teachings", the same newspaper does not promote sound doctrine, but feeds on man's fallen nature for people to follow "their own desires and insatiable curiosity". Authors at the NCR "stopped listening to the truth" and it's readers are feeding heavily on their dissenting arguments (2 Tim 4:3-4).

There is a propensity of certain Catholic newspapers and periodicals, including the NCR, to advance the ideals, wishes and desires of poorly catechized people, in direct conflict with clear and consistent Catholic teaching. Many of these things are nothing more than the pursuit of the very things to which our fallen human nature is attracted. Rather than aiding people in developing virtue to fight the effects of Original Sin these sources enable readers to persist in this misguided pursuit. In the process, they pull in more people every day.

It is my hope that you will read the article in it's entirety, and consider a formal review of some of the leading Catholic newspapers and periodicals in the United States. I am not asking for an exhaustive review of every single publication as this would be impossible. However, we need our bishops to inform us of sources that are advancing teachings which are foreign to our faith. This could easily be made available on the USCCB website.

In the meanwhile, I hope and pray the USCCB will see it prudent to address this particular article given it's status on the world wide web. I am sending a copy of this post to Please consider the volume of Catholic readers who visit the National Catholic Reporter online, as well as the many Catholics who read the print edition.

Be assured of my deepest prayers for all of you. I continue to ask my readers, as I do now in this blogpost, to make a holy hour each week for US Catholic Bishops. May our prayers help you with the many crosses you carry, especially for what lies ahead in our country.

Thank you for taking the time to read my open letter.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS

UPDATES with coverage from others:

NOTE added 02-Mar-09: Same journalist, Kate Childs Graham also authored this post, published in the National Catholic Reporter in December 2008: Journey of our same-sex holy union.

Te Deum Laudamus! Home

The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!


Jeff Pinyan (japhy) said...

I've addressed her post as well:

Abortion Rhetoric

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Thank you for your analysis of her article.

And, thanks for bringing to light that the author is a person

who "serves on the Women’s Ordination Conference board of directors and the Call to Action Next Generation Leadership Team"

G said...

Well written letter, Diane. I've printed & will mail to USCCB. I have to admit feeling sometimes like that's sending it to the fox that guards the chicken coop...I guess because I live in a diocese with a "one issue among many" bishop :(

The Pondering Catholic said...

THANK YOU!! For sharing the Truth!! I am praying that MANY people see this letter! I will add you to my blog roll, and bring some attention to it. God bless you for being a light in the darkness.

happyconvert said...

Again this is someone who is using the Sayings of the church but not the meanibnngs to further her own agenda.

Dominic DeMarino said...

What you do to the least of my people you do to me. Sad so many try to call themselves Catholic yet hold views that would have us believe Jesus himself would oversee and approve of the slaughter of MILLIONS in fact hundreds of Millions of the least of his people (50 Million in the US alone) Those who hold these views and try to take down Christs church (which is impossible I might add) are akin to the weeds the Lord allows to grow in the fields with his fruit. He says in end times his Angels will collect these weeds and bind them and throw them into the everlasting fire made for the devil and his followers! Gods Mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. Repent and believe in the good news!! Praise be Jesus!

bluemary said...

I have just recently found your site (via and am very impressed! I attended grade school at Assumption Grotto and am so happy to hear how well it is doing! I will need to visit soon. Having had Bishop Flores as my instructor at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit I know he will be interested to read this. Our class was told by the Bishop that a large pet peeve of his are people of a parish that witness their pastors doing things that are against the teachings of the faith but do not report it to their bishop! These addresses can be found on-line or through the phone book. We as the faithful must let our Bishops know how important it is to us that the corrupted teachings stop! We have a right to know our faith and why we should believe it! We have a duty as Baptized Catholics to inform our Bishops of our needs and of any shepherds that parade as "false protectors of the flock". If your Bishop does nothing in response to you, you then should go to your archbishop, etc. Thanks again and God Bless! Mary

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...


While I am hopeful that heads of diocese will see my open letter, I am also hoping the auxiliary bishops will see it.

I did send an email to asking that my open letter be forwarded to Archbishop Vigneron. I did not want to bother him so soon after his installation, but given my personal emails to several bishops around the country, it was a matter of courtesy that my own archbishop have an opportunity to see it before it reaches him from some other source. I can only pray that my request is honored and that the auxiliaries are also included.

I have heard Bishop Flores speak and he is solid. I believe in another 4-5 years we will see him heading a major stateside see.

I have a great deal of confidence in recent bishop appointments made by Pope Benedict. We must bring things to their attention with charity, without making demands of them, and then wait patiently. We should never submit anything to them without willingness to spend considerable time in prayer, especially before the Blessed Sacrament, that they are graced with wisdom, prudence and strength to do as they ought.

Anonymous said...

it IS true that we should always "follow our consience" . . . and our conscience, when it directs us away from "the way, the truth and the life" that is Jesus Christ, is obviously being formed and directed by something or "someone" other than Jesus Christ, an enemy of Jesus Christ, by one who does not love but hates Jesus Christ! if it makes this individual who thinks that they can be "pro abortion" because their personal jusgement about it supercedes Christ's "I come to give life and to give life abundantly")i might remind them that Adolph Hitler followed his own conscience . . . Josef Stalin followed his own conscience . . . and every murderer that has ever murdered thoroughout history has followed his own conscience! (they say "pro-choice" not "pro-abortion" but, suppose there were a move to change the current laws against murder so that you would have the option and choice to either kill or not kill anyone else? you would not be required to murder, but just free to choose to! absurd! of course! and this is what "pro-choice" in fact and reality is!

this seeming "cafeteria catholic" needs to educate her conscience, not with "opinions' but with the truth of Jesus Christ as entrusted to His Church (if which we are all members of the body of Christ . . .the LIVING Christ Who gives life not death. (michael g. batcho)

lj said...

Every unborn baby depends on his or her mother for something to drink, something to eat, something to wear, and someplace to live - he/she depends on us for welcome.

Perhaps the bishops on fence with this issue should consider the response of Christ in today's parable to those who refuse Him food, drink, clothing, shelter and welcome.

Thank you for calling this article to our attention.

Sharon said...

Did you receive a reply from any of the bishops?