As is evident on the Star bio page, newly hired opinion writer, Melinda Henneberger, has sterling Catholic credentials. In Tuesday’s Sentinel, we raised the question of whether the Kansas City hired Henneberger to cleanse its soul after past hit jobs on the Catholic Church, none more notorious than 2011’s, “The Altar Boys’ Secret.”
The answer–probably not. Henneberger’s work with the left-wing National Catholic Reporter, which is unaffiliated with the Catholic Church, includes articles like “The Stolen Children: Popular Chilean priest brought low any affiliation to theft of newborns” and “Reported sexual assault at Notre Dame campus leaves more questions than answers.” In fact, all five of Henneberger’s NCR articles deal with scandals within the Church. Although genuine scandals deserve exposure, the Star has the Catholic angle more than covered.
Not surprisingly, given her employment at the Star, Henneberger endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. She did concede, however, “I completely respect my fellow Catholics who are casting a ballot for Trump on the abortion issue.” Henneberger seems genuinely conflicted on this issue.
Although she instinctively favors the Democratic Party, and apparently votes that way, Henneberger wishes the Party would be more receptive to those who, as she phrases it, are “against abortion rights.” In a New York Times op-ed, She pleads, “Our enduring reluctance to acknowledge the complexity of the abortion issue has only prolonged and hardened the debate.”
From the Catholic Church’s perspective, however, there is no “complexity” on this issue. The Church allows for the possibility of a just war and even capital punishment under certain circumstances, but there is no such thing as a “just” abortion.
Anyone who has doubts about the Church’s official position need only read the Pope John Paul II’s 1995 revisiting of Pope Paul VI’s historic encyclical, Humanae Vitae. The Pope did not mince words. Depriving an innocent human being of life, and life undeniably begins at conception, is “always morally evil.” He added, “This tradition is unchanged and unchangeable.”
There can be no yielding, John Paul II continued, to “convenient compromises” or the “temptation of self-deception.” How could there be? “We are dealing,” said he bluntly, “with murder.”
Although the media have been pleased with many of Pope Francis’s positions on peripheral issues, they are not happy with his firm stance on abortion. Lamented the New York Times, “The Catholic Church’s opposition to abortion has not changed under Pope Francis, who believes that unborn fetuses are sacred and must be protected.”
Henneberger, it would seem, has yielded to “convenient compromises” and the “temptation of self-deception” to preserve her primary identity as a liberal and a Democrat.
There is one other deception in which she and the Star would seem to have engaged. This involves her bio. More on that tomorrow.