[Author’s Note: The following five-part series, “Bishop James T. McHugh – The Forgotten Man in the McCarrick Equation,” first appeared in The Catholic Inquisitor, Editor, Louie Verrecchio, in the fall of 2020. It was reprinted in AKA CATHOLIC in June 2021 at the height of the Covid hysteria, thus it did not enjoyed the usual wide distribution in Catholic and prolife circles. However, in light of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization United States Supreme decision on abortion of June 24, 2022, the series has taken on a new meaning for the Prolife Movement. If you have ever wondered how Roe v. Wade remained the law of the land for almost 50 years, and why the current States Rights version of the Supreme Court, which in principle was condemned decades ago by the American cardinals, is today being applauded by American Bishops, and in general, by “prolife” leaders, then you need to read and study this series which focuses on three life and death questions –
- How did Bishop James T. McHugh, the American bishops’ “Prolife” spokesman for more than 30 years managed to systematically undermine the Prolife Movement ?
- How did AmChurch’s homosexual hierarchical cabal that included Bishop McHugh and Bishop, later Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, contribute to that undermining?
And perhaps the most important question of all in the post- Dobbs v. Jackson era –
- Whatever happened to the Prolife Movement’s support for a Constitutional Human Life Amendment that acknowledges the humanity and personhood of unborn children in all States of our Union?
Hopefully, the current Prolife Movement will profit from this series and not repeat the mistakes of the past.
Finally, one word of caution. This series was written just prior to the release of the Vatican’s Final Report on the McCarrick scandal in the fall of 2020, and some of prolife issues it addresses go back as far as the mid-1960s. So while some of the information may appear dated, they nevertheless contribute to the whole of the series which documents the betrayal of the Prolife Movement by AmChurch bishops. Randy Engel, U.S. Coalition for Life ]
Part I – Bishop McHugh and the Undermining of the Prolife Movement
As Catholics await the long-overdue Vatican Final Report on the Cardinal Theodore McCarrick scandal from Rome, there is one significant figure who has managed to escape public scrutiny – that of Bishop James T. McHugh, one of McCarrick’s earliest sexual protégés and the primary architect of AmChurch’s disastrous “prolife” policies and strategies for more than 30 years. This omission needs to be rectified now for a number of reasons.
Firstly, because the blood of hundreds of thousands of unborn children in our nation who have been murdered in their mother’s womb, or destroyed in the spic and span hell of IVF clinics, or killed by abortifacient devices or chemicals, DEMANDS a historical accounting of the role played by homosexual prelates in the furtherance of legalized abortion.
Secondly, because most of our early prolife heroes like Notre Dame Professor Charles Rice; Father Paul Marx, Founder of Human Life International; March for Life Founder Nellie Gray; Child and Family editor Dr. Herbert Ratner; U.S. Coalition for Life UN/NGO representative Marge Garvey; and countless other great Catholic souls have long since gone to their reward. There are not many of us left to tell the story of how the hidden hand of clerical sodomy in AmChurch operated as a Trojan horse for many years in the nascent prolife camp. And how, with the cooperation of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/U.S. Catholic Conference, this homosexual clique continued to snatch defeat after defeat from the jaws of almost certain prolife victories in these early years.
Thirdly, because it is more than likely that when the McCarrick Report is made public, there will not be any reference to the anti-life role that McCarrick and McHugh – and other homosexual members of the American hierarchy – played in the blindsiding and undermining of the early Prolife Movement.
Obviously, it would be grossly inaccurate and unfair to suggest that McHugh, and his primary protector, McCarrick, were the first generation of American Catholic homosexual prelates to be involved in political maneuvering that was harmful to Catholic morals, politics, and pro-life strategies. That dubious honor would most likely go to the late Francis Cardinal Spellman of New York and to Spellman’s successor Terence Cardinal Cooke, former personal secretary to Spellman, and the Chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Pro-Life Activities for ten years.
McCarrick, who had served as homosexual Cardinal Cooke’s private secretary was a third-generation homosexual in the Spellman line, which made McHugh a fourth generation homosexual bishop. So, while McHugh alone could not be blamed for the long litany of losses suffered by the emerging Prolife Movement prior to and immediately after Roe vs Wade on January 22, 1973, his role was nevertheless pivotal, and in the end, definitive.
The McHugh Chronicles Documents McHugh’s Anti-Life Record 
This writer is certain that not every Catholic layman or cleric or bishop will appreciate my public airing of this tragic saga of the hierarchial enemies of Life within AmChurch.
I say certain because when my book, The McHugh Chronicles was released in 1997, it met with considerable opposition – not from rank and file prolifers, but from paid “prolife” careerists connected to the NCCB/USCC.
In fact, opposition to the Chronicles continues even today, more than two decades later, in the person of the retired Archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Joseph Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., who called the promotion of the Chronicles “a sin.” I trust the reader will decide for himself whether the archbishop’s criticism is valid or not.
The McHugh Chronicles – Who Betrayed the Prolife Movement? charged the USCC’s Family Life Director Msgr. James T. McHugh, with:
- Promoting sex initiation programs, aka sex education, in parochial schools – programs which are anti-child, anti-education, anti-family, anti-civilized and anti-human, and pro-contraception, pro-abortion and pro-homosexual.
- Creating a false and controlled anti-abortion movement in the Church while sabotaging legitimate efforts within the grassroots Prolife Movement to stop the slaughter of innocent preborn children.
- Undermining the Catholic Church’s magisterial teachings on contraception, divorce, abortion by curette, chemical or device, non-therapeutic prenatal diagnosis, eugenics, and in-vitro fertilization and serving as a damage control agent for the Eugenic Establishment (including the National Foundation/March of Dimes) in the United States and as an agent provocateur for the Population Control Establishment on the international scene.
The only charge against McHugh that I withheld at the time was the charge that he was a closeted homosexual cleric. By 1997, when the Chronicles were published, I was already in my tenth year of research on The Rite of Sodomy. I had a long running list of homosexual prelates on file, including Spellman, Cooke, McCarrick and Bernardin. However, as regards McHugh, although I was aware that McCarrick had gotten him his bishopric, I was not prepared to make the charge of homosexuality against McHugh outside of the context of the extensive NCCB/USCC homosexual network – a charge that I did document nine years later in The Rite of Sodomy.
Nevertheless, in the Preface to the McHugh Chronicles, I did note the following:
Pre-Conciliar Bishops Supported Traditional Catholic Morality
It is difficult, I think, for many faithful Catholics today to understand how far our post-Conciliar bishops (with rare exceptions) had fallen in terms of candor, courage and moral fortitude by the time the NCCB/USCC bureaucracy was formed in 1965-1966 under the dual-leadership of Cardinal John Dearden of Detroit and the young homosexual Bishop Joseph Bernardin.
One measure would be to compare the statements on Catholic morality made by AmChurch’s predecessors including the National Catholic Welfare Council, with the formal statements and collective positions made by the NCCB/USCC following the Second Vatican Council.
Here are a selection of formal pastoral letters and statements made in the name of the American hierarchy on key moral issues dating back to 1829:
The above quotations cover a span of over 130 years. Thy clearly reflect the high degree of concern that our Catholic bishops collectively expressed for the burning moral issues of the day. This concern was directed not only toward Catholic families, most especially the children entrusted to their care, but also toward the Common Good (the bonun commune).
All in all, from the time of the First Provincial Council of Baltimore in 1829, the American bishops performed exceedingly well in their public defense of Catholic marriage and family life. Immigrant Catholic families, sheltered in their ethnic ghettos, initially were able to resist the worst excesses of American secularism under the protection of their Ordinary and their pastors, together with the support of their ethnic parishes and various Catholic services and charities.
Cracks in the Dam at the NCWC
By the mid-1960s, however, serious moral cracks were developing in the structure of the American bishops’ bureaucracy at the National Catholic Welfare Conference (NCWC) in Washington, D.C.
For example, the NCWC’s Family Life Bureau invited Planned Parenthood-World Population, to be in attendance at its official functions. The scuttlebutt was that Family Life officials were interested in obtaining federally financed birth control research grants from the National Institute of Health that would lead to an improvement of the “rhythm” method.
In anticipation of a reversal of the Roman Catholic Church’s magisterial teaching on the intrinsic evil of contraception, influential members of the American hierarchy, including Cardinals Francis Spellman of New York, Richard Cushing of Boston, John Cody of Chicago, John Dearden of Detroit and John Krol of Philadelphia made their own private “arrangements” to accommodate state-sponsored birth control programs. These back-door affairs often followed a well-staged and heavily publicized show of opposition to government population control programs for the “benefit” of Catholics in the pews.
As a group, these five American bishops were heavily influenced in their views on the issue of birth prevention as public policy by John Courtney Murray, S.J., principle architect of Church-State affairs for the NCWC, Cardinal Spellman’s personal peritus at the Second Vatican Council, and Cardinal Cushing’s chief advisor on contraception and “religious freedom.”
Father Murray had little stomach for anything resembling the Comstock Law which he viciously attacked. Such laws, Murray insisted, made “a public crime out of a private sin,” confused “morality with legality,” and were “unenforceable without a police invasion of the bedroom.” Tragically, it would be his mythical “police-state” theory on the alleged dangers of anti-birth control legislation (the same legislation kept Planned Parenthood-World Population from opening up birth control clinics), that would lead to the equally mythical “constitutional right to privacy”’ in the Supreme Court birth control case Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) and later in Roe v. Wade (1973).
In favor of the public promotion and sale of contraceptives, Murray also leaned toward legalizing abortion. In a June 21, 1967, letter written to answer a question posed by a Mrs. James Moran as to “what a baby is,” Murray wrote the following incredible response: “The question that you ask – what is a baby – is certainly a valid one. But I am not one to judge what the answer should be.” This from a priest advising the American bishops on questions of Catholic doctrine and morals!
“Catholic” Universities Join the Malthusian Parade
Additional pressure on the American hierarchy to accept massive government subsidized birth prevention programs was applied by several Church-related institutions of higher learning including the University of Notre Dame, Catholic University of America, and Georgetown University. These Catholic universities had received large financial grants and gifts from the Rockefeller, Ford, and Carnegie Foundations. Entrance into the foundation interlock guaranteed them power, money, and secular status.
NCCB Surrenders to Federal Birth Control Programs
On November 14, 1966, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a corporate statement titled “On the Government and Birth Control,” in which the drafters of the document defended certain freedoms of families and called upon government to foster good social and economic conditions for family life. They then warned against the dangers of government birth control programs in connection with threats to rights to privacy, to personal and familial freedom, and they called for “a clear and unqualified separation of welfare assistance from birth control considerations.” They noted that, “government activities increasingly seek to persuade and even coerce the underprivileged to practice birth control.” They also reminded government officials that “birth control is not a universal obligation.” In the end they called for vigorous popular action, especially by Catholics, to oppose birth control programs at every level of government.
In 1968, Constitutional lawyer William Bentley Ball, a long-time Catholic prolifer, explained what happened after the NCCB/USCC issued its statement – aka NOTHING:
Among those “little dreamt social consequences” resulting from the inaction of the American bishops (NCCB) and its lobbying arm, the U.S. Catholic Conference, to publicly lead the Catholic battle against federal and state birth control programs were:
- The promulgation of the U.S. Government’s first multi-billion-dollar Five-Year Plan for Population Control and Family Planning and the opening of the Federal Office of Population Affairs under the direction of abortionist Dr. Louis Hellman, friend and confident of Alan Guttmacher of Planned Barrenhood fame. It was Hellman who promoted the “Stop the Stork” campaign out of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare – a program that included mass sterilization of indigent women.
- The funding of National Institute of Health “contraceptive research” program promoted by R.T. Ravenholt, head of the Population Control Office of the Agency for International Development (USAID). Ravenholt, who celebrated Our Lord’s birth by hanging abortifacient IUDs on his office Christmas tree and celebrated the Fourth of July by ordering the producing of red, white and blue condoms for foreign distribution, was intent on developing a once-a-month pill that would insure the non-pregnant state of a woman at the end of every cycle.
- The establishment of teen birth control and abortion referral services like Teen Scene of Chicago where youngsters as young as twelve could obtain contraceptive devices and pills without their parents’ knowledge or consent.
- And finally, by their inaction, the American bishops and their bureaucrats ushered in Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that opened the door to surgical abortion at all stages of pregnancy up until birth, and which under the guise of “contraception” permitted the wide-spread distribution of abortifacient devices and pills whose death toll would be incalculable over the next half-century.
So it was, that within seven years of the American bishops’ “Statement on the Government and Birth Control,” all formal organized opposition by the American bishops and their bureaucracy to Federal domestic and foreign birth control/population control programs had collapsed. The Abortion Establishment had come to the fore in Roe vs Wade to make the case for child murder for “faulty or omitted contraception.” The only good news was that the Supreme Court decision had, overnight, transformed the nascent state anti-abortion grassroots campaigns into a unified National Prolife Movement.
(To be continued)
Endnotes for Part I
 Randy Engel, The Rite of Sodomy, New Engel Publishing, PA, 2006, pp. 662-675.
https://www.amazon.com/McHugh-Chronicles-Randy-Engel-ebook/dp/B0042RV8JO, or by mail from USCL, Box 315, Export, Pa 1632. Cost: $20 includes postage.
 On January 21, 2020, author Randy Engel was scheduled to appear on Steve Koob’s radio show, One More Soul broadcast by Radio Maria USA, to discuss The McHugh Chronicles and the history of the Prolife Movement. Shortly before the program was to air, Steven Bozza, a former employee of Bishop McHugh and current employee of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia under Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, contacted Mr. Koob and demanded the program be cancelled. Bozza charged that the Chronicles were “a hit peace” (sic) on McHugh and the USCCB. A copy of the email was cc. to Archbishop Chaput, who immediately responded: “I FULLY AGREE with Steve Bozza. One More Soul has lost any and all support here. This is a sinful action on the part of those responsible for promoting the book.” Mr. Koob rejected the intimidation effort and the hour-long program aired at noon that day.
 McHugh Chronicles, ii.
 Engel, The Rite of Sodomy, pp.564-566, 673, 675, 894-895.
 On December 7, 1998, McHugh was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Rockville Centre, New York. He died in office only 11 months after he formally took over the Rockville Diocese, one of the richest in the nation, on January 2, 2000. Date of death was December 11, 2000.
 See James Perloff, The Shadows of Power: The Council on Foreign Relations and the American Decline, Western Islands, Appleton, WI, 1988.
 That many bishops and the Vatican were aware as early as the late 1920s of the dangers of birth control is evidenced by the following Memorandum written by Professor John M. Cooper of Catholic University in 1927 to the U.S. Apostolic Delegate in Washington, D.C. : … It is generally recognized by the Catholic clergy, and by Catholic and non-Catholic lay students of the problem, that contraceptive practices are very widespread among our Catholics in the United States….perhaps up to 75% or at least 50% among the well-to-do and educated … although the numbers decreased among the foreign-born Catholics and the working class…we are destined almost inevitably to see a great increase in the prevalence of the practice among Catholics in this country within the next generation.
 David A. Wemhoff, John Courtney Murray – Time/Life – How the CIA’s Doctrinal Warfare Program Changed the Catholic Church, Fidelity Press, South Bend, In., 2015, pp. 863-869. This book is in a class by itself on the subject of the history of the heresy of Americanism and its key proponent, Jesuit John Courtney Murray. It belongs on every Catholic bookshelf for generations to come.
 Ibid., pp.865-868.
 Ibid., p. 868.
 See E. Michael Jones, “John D. Rockefeller, 3rd, Theodore M. Hesburgh, and the Contraceptive Revolution: How the Church’s Teaching Almost Got Changed,” Fidelity, November 1993, p. 14.
 After the formation of the NCCB/USCC statements representing the American bishops were no longer signed so we don’t know who actually drafted the document.
 NCCB, “Statement on the Government and Birth Control,” Pastoral Letters of the United States Catholic Bishops, Hugh J. Nolan, Editor, Vol. III 1962-1974, Washington, D.C., 1983pp. 69-73.
 See William B. Ball, “Population Control – Civic and Constitutional Concerns,” Religion and the Public Order, Donald A. Grannella, Editor, Cornell University Press, No. 4, 1968, pp.5-7. Complete text available at no cost by the U.S. Coalition for Life at http://uscl.info/edoc/doc.php?doc_id=39&action=inline.© Randy Engel
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