Tuesday, December 02, 2008
STICKING HIS FOOT IN HIS MOUTH
The following is an opinion piece penned by James Drane from the Meadville Tribune:
Some bishops are doing serious damage to the Catholic Church in the United States.
During the presidential campaign these extreme right-wing bishops did their best to require Catholics to vote Republican. Their message was that Catholics are morally obligated to vote for a candidate who claims the pro-life label.
Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Neb., Archbishop Raymond Burke and Bishop Robert Hermann from St. Louis, Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton, Bishop Charles Chaput of Denver and Cardinal Regali of Philadelphia, are some of the most prominent of the extreme bishops. One big question facing today’s Catholic community is whether there is enough strength within the Catholic hierarchy to control the disposition of these bishops to use sacraments to push their political views. If not, who will stop the damage that they are doing to the Church?
Instead of taking advantage of the Barack Obama victory to celebrate the end of a period of racial intolerance and social injustice, these bishops do nothing but lament the refusal of Catholics to follow their voting directives. Instead of using the election outcome to call attention to the Catholic roots of Obama’s social justice agenda, these bishops continue to blame the Catholics who ignored their orders.
What James Drane doesn't seem to undersatand is the united position taken at the Bishop's Conference that sees a vote for FOCA as a vote against religious freedom for which the bishops stand united in opposition. As the District Chronicles puts it:
The leading U.S. Catholic prelate warned earlier this month that President-elect Barack Obama's promise to unify the country would be shattered if he pursues policies to increase access to abortion.
"If the election is misinterpreted ideologically as a referendum on abortion," said Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, "the unity desired by President-elect Obama and all Americans at this moment of crisis would be impossible to achieve."
"Aggressively pro-abortion policies, legislation and executive orders will permanently alienate tens of millions of Americans, and would be seen by many as an attack on the free exercise of their religion," George said.
George's statement was unanimously approved by nearly 300 bishops in a closed-door session at the end of the bishops' semi-annual meeting, according to church officials.