Federal authorities are investigating the actions of a Catholic charity in Richmond which helped a 16-year-old Guatemalan girl to receive an abortion in January, in possible violation of Virginia law.
Officials have called the matter to the attention of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) headquarters in Washington, urging it to prevent any repetition of the incident.
Four employees of Commonwealth Catholic Charities, Richmond, (CCR) have been fired and one supervisor with the bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services agency has been suspended, according to federal sources and a secret April 29 letter written by three bishops to 350 bishops nationwide. …
The unnamed girl, who already had one child, had been fitted with a contraceptive device provided by CCR two months earlier, the letter said. CCR members signed the consent form necessary for a minor to have an abortion and had someone drive her to and from the abortion clinic.
It is illegal in Virginia for a social worker to sign a parental consent form for an abortion. The state’s notification law stipulates that at least one parent, grandparent or adult sibling must give consent.
Federal officials are having to tell the Catholic church to enforce its own teachings on contraception and abortion. Wow.
And it isn’t just a case of a local Catholic Charities employee doing something contrary to policy–the USCCB itself is implicated.
Catholic Charities, meanwhile, is blaming the Bishop of Richmond.
This is rich:
“Some members of the MRS staff were not sufficiently aware of church teaching and [USCCB] policy regarding these matters to take stronger and more appropriate actions,” Bishops DiLorenzo, Wester and Driscoll said in a letter to their peers.
Yes, some people who work for the Catholic Church [not just the Catholic Church, but the Catholic bishops!] are apparently unaware that the Catholic Church teaches that abortion is the taking of a human life. Really, these bishops expect people to believe that.
Update: GetReligion praises Julia Duin’s religion reporting.