As a Catholic however this whole “Fortnight for Freedom” thing made me nervous. The timing of this battle, the vigor with which is waged, and the lack of compassion once again demonstrates how myopic the bishops can be and how their credibility (and the Church’s as well) is withering before the rest of the country.
The bishops in my church instituted a pitched campaign to resist the HHS mandate, as part of the overall healthcare reform known as “Obamacare,” requiring religious institutions to cover contraception to their employees. The bishops teach that active contraception is wrong and argue that being forced to provide such violates the religious freedom of Catholics to practice their faith and live according to their consciences. All this is par for the course in American politics. Our democracy is about a battle of rights, an ongoing fight about whose rights deserve protection and how. If you are a constitutional buff, this is heady stuff and part of what makes this country great. No guns, just words.
On the merits, this battle is worth fighting. Each side has a legitimate case to make. And rights are at stake. Make no mistake about it. My problem has always been how the bishops have chosen to wage this battle as soldiers of Christ or as mere political prosecutors of war?
As a Catholic, this whole “Fortnight for Freedom” thing made me nervous. The timing of this battle, the vigor with which is waged, and the lack of compassion for our opponents once again demonstrates how myopic the bishops can be and how their credibility (and the Church’s as well) is withering before the rest of the country. I am not alone in this view. Here are the problems I see in a nutshell with trenchant humor from Jon Stewart to liven it up! Continue reading “Fortnight for Freedom”
The crisis of episcopal governance in Philadelphia | National Catholic Reporter
If they can’t get the clergy sex abuse mess right, after all their protestations that they had taken steps to deal with the problem, and all their claims that the Catholic Church was now ahead of the curve on the issue, that our policies were such that the Catholic Church was the safest place for a child to be, nothing else matters.
The New Evangelization? Forget about it. Pro-life activities? Not a chance. Advocacy for the poor? It rings hollow. If the leaders of the Church cannot be trusted to keep their most solemn pledge to protect children, they cannot be trusted at all. If they fail to see this, their moral sensibility is not merely skewed, it is dead. It is not only that they cannot be trusted, it is that they should not be trusted.
They have succeeded in destroying the authority they were so obsessed in protecting.
We urge this not primarily as journalists seeking a story, but as Catholics who appreciate that extraordinary circumstances require an extraordinary response. Nothing less than a full, personal and public accounting will begin to address the crisis that is engulfing the worldwide church. It is that serious.
via Credibility gap: Pope needs to answer questions | National Catholic Reporter.
This is why I am still a Catholic. Our Church is more than the Magesterium and hierarchy.
Abuse Victims Not Placated by Pope – New York Times:
“At a news conference in Boston organized by a victims’ group, Mr. Costello, who said he was abused by a priest in West Roxbury, Mass., starting when he was 10, said he was shocked that the pope would talk about his own suffering and that of the church while making no mention of the harm done to victims.”
(Via NY Times.)
This is what started the problem in the first place. The concern for the institution of the church, consisting of the clergy mostly, is the top concern. I’m sure that there are legal and fiscal reasons as well for his lack of empathy, but it also reveals how screwed up the priorities are in “the Church.” It’s shocking that still they violate Jesus’ edicts so glibly and frankly, so arrogantly. But my Church has not spared any effort in trying to shake my faith. This but the latest example. How they can demand faith in them is beyond me.