Cardinals Wuerl and Dolan leave the Synod of Bishops in October 2014

When I became Bishop of Corpus Christi in 1983 I soon learned that the only newspaper in the City was extremely progressive/liberal.  Its editorial policy, reflected in the writings of its reporters and editorial writers was anti-Catholic, pro-abortion, anti-immigration (especially brown-skinned Catholics from south of the border) and fiercely supportive of any and all Democrats.

The wife of its publisher, the late Janet Harte, was the founder of the local Planned Parenthood Association Chapter.  She was also the founder of the local branch of the Americans For Immigration Reform.  Needless to say she and I did not have a warm relationship.  Her husband, the late Ed Harte, on the other hand, while he shared his wife’s political and social ideas, liked me and frequently invited me to lunch and twice invited me to stay and hunt on his ranch is Webb County (where I shot my biggest trophy buck deer).

Their newspaper, The Corpus Christi Caller-Times, almost daily published news and opinion hostile to the Catholic Church.  I had lived with such a situation in Miami during the fifteen years I was a priest, Chancellor, Vicar-General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese and the Miami Herald printed its anti-Catholic news and opinion frequently.

In Corpus Chisti, as Ordinary I was now in a position to fight back.  So I conceived the idea of starting a local branch of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, founded in 1973 by the late Father Virgil C. Blum, S.J., based in New York City.  I wrote to Father Blum and was somewhat disappointed by his reply.  He welcomed the creation of a Corpus Christi branch but he advised me that he would have to approve of everything the Corpus Christi branch would want to do.  That was not acceptable to me.

So, I organized the Corpus Christi League for Religious and Civil Rights, a totally independent organization.  I recruited several young Catholic laymen to be the members of the CCLR&CR and among them was a brilliant young attorney who then proceeded to write OP-ED letters to the editor of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times responding to the paper’s attacks on the Church.  It worked. Over time the paper modified somewhat its virulent anti-Catholocism but it is still anti-Catholic.

I am writing this post because of the viscious attack the present president of the Catholic League in NYC made against the journalists who the ‘Cardinal Bling’ expose of Cardinal Wuerl in the Archdiocese of Washington.

According to WIKIPEDIA ” the League is not part of the Archdiocese of New York, though it does rent an office on the same floor as the headquarters of the Archdiocese.[1] According to a New York Times interviewer, the organization “maintains close ties to the [archdiocesan] leadership. Several bishops make personal donations. Cardinal O’Connor spoke at the group’s 25th anniversary reception in 1998 and vacated part of his suite for its expanding operations, said Joseph Zwilling, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York.”[1]

The League does a great service to the Church by defending it against attacks by its enemies.  It rarely attacks other Catholics and so it is perplexing to some why the League would attack the critics of Cardinal Wuerl so viciously.  Perhaps its close relationship with the Archdiocese of New York and Cardinal Dolan is a factor.  The League was silent on the recent scandal involving the Saint Patrick Day Parade’s becoming in the future a Gay Pride Parade.  Cardinal Dolan has been silent on that subject and I suspect that the League is defensive on any and all attacks on the cardinals of Boston, New York and Washington.

Time will tell.

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Kevin Rilott says:

    Thank you for loving Christ, the Church, the Bishops, Priest, and people enough to speak the truth.

  2. jmarrenjr says:

    Here here!

    On Sun, Nov 22, 2015 at 3:38 PM, ABYSSUS ABYSSUM INVOCAT / DEEP CALLS TO

Comments are closed.