Monday, January 30, 2012

"Catholics" in Anti-Contraceptive Crusader Mode: An Addendum

A quick footnote to flesh out something I said in my first posting today: I stated that the U.S. Catholic bishops' current righteous crusade against the Obama administration vis-a-vis contraceptive coverage asks us--unbelievable!--to imagine that the U.S. Catholic bishops and their right-wing religious and political allies are trustworthy moral guides at this moment of history.  

And I'd like now to cite two points of evidence that should, I would argue, give pause to think to anyone inclined to give the bishops the benefit of the doubt as they beat their warm drums to place a Republican in the White House: 

1. In the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, a trial date has just been set for Bishop Robert Finn, who is under criminal indictment for failure to report suspected child abuse to criminal authorities in the case of Father Shawn Ratigan. 
2. And in the archdiocese of Philadelphia, where the former secretary for clergy, Monsignor William J. Lynn, is also under criminal indictment on similar charges, and where the district attorney has just contended that the diocese kept a priest in ministry four decades after it knew of his sadomachostic activity with youngsters, the archdiocese has just been labeled an "unindicted co-conspirator" in Lynn's trial.

As the bishops go on the political warpath right now, and as Catholics of the right and center line up behind them, it might be important to keep those two pieces of information in mind--if one really does care about the moral standing and moral credibility of Catholic teaching in the public square.

It might also be wise to keep in mind what the bishops and their cronies imagine they're gaining by diverting our attention to the "moral" crusade against contraception: they're diverting our attention from what really should engage our moral attention, if we care about the moral credibility of the Catholic church.

And this is their spectacular, and ongoing, failure to be bona fide pastoral leaders.

No comments: