Catholic Oak Park on health care, continued

Read this story at Chicago Catholic News that adds to what I have below, such as that the chancellor of the archdiocese is an Ascension parishioner.  He is Jimmy Lago, a former Democratic precinct captain and later lobbyist in Springfield for the archdiocese, who was cited by the St. Edmund pro-life chairman, Susan Jordan, in her complaint to the archdiocese.

“I would have thought someone as high ranking as the chancellor would have gone to the pastor and said, ‘You need to change this,’ but that didn’t happen,” apparently until the very last minute, said Jordan . . . who singled out Lago in her complaint.

Lago defended himself to ChicagoCatholicNews:

“I had nothing to do with the . . . forum. (When I became aware of it) I insisted it be non-partisan, if held; meaning no candidates for office and emphasis was to be given to the [U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’] position on healthcare reform.”

As it was, the event turned out to be “a political event masquerading as a forum,” Jordan told CCN.  She said she “had pro-life friends who were told their questions would not be submitted” to the panel. 

But the pastor, Fr. Larry McNally, was very pleased with the event, he told Wednesday Journal.

“I would do it over again . . .   I thought it was very fair. I didn’t feel we were promoting anything other than answering questions from folks.  I thought it was very good.  I really did.  I thought, boy, this turned out to be terrific.  It was just an emotional two hours.  It was a very positive experience.” 

Danny Davis, as mentioned below, was told by McNally as he arrived that he could not speak.  Those who know of Davis simply not showing up where he’s expected — a few weeks ago at a Saturday morning pro-ObamaCare event at a Maywood church, for one — might consider it poetic justice. 

In any case, he appeared “upset by the decision to bar him from talking,” according to descriptions by “more than one person at the event,” said CCN.  Later, however, he told CCN he was “totally fine with it . . .”

Wuxtry, new blog, two new posts

Just opened Not for Attribution: Diary of a Mad Reader, in case you want to take a look.  It’s a little different.  Less topical, more ruminative.  If you like it, say so.  If you don’t . . . oh, just think it over some more.

Catholic Oak Park talks health care

St. Giles Catholic parish in Oak Park had a health care discussion with two speakers, a priest-expert in health care issues and a promoter of single-payer care.

Ascension parish on the other side of town had a discussion which was sponsored by the Democratic Party of Oak Park until the pastor got wind of it — the archdiocese called him up when a pro-life parishioner from a third parish blew a whistle — at which point the organizers made new posters leaving the Dem party unmentioned.

At that, the pastor had to greet Congr. Danny Davis (Dem., Illinois 7th), a candidate for Cook County board president, at the door to tell him he could not be a speaker because he’s a candidate.  This too is archdiocesan policy; unlike black Baptist churches, candidates do not find a pulpit in RC churches.

Ascension has turned up at least once before as a tilter parish, during the presidential campaign of 2004, when (as I reported) it sponsored a discussion led by a big-bucks Dem contributor and fund-raiser on how Catholics should vote.  At that time the pastor, Rev. Larry McNally was caught napping, apparently the victim of overzealous parishioners, as he was in preparation for the health care forum.

McNally had earlier received a standing ovation at Sunday mass when he rejected “one issue” voting and called bishops heretical who said Catholics had to vote for pro-life candidates.  If he was snookered by parishioners, he might have known what he was encouraging.