Skip to comments.Back to the Drawing Board (several bishops calling for Faithful Citizenship to be overhauled)
Posted on 11/07/2008 12:19:17 PM PST by NYer
It's been said before but bears repeating: for the first time since its inception in 1976, last year's November Meeting saw the latest edition of US bishops' presidential-year text on Faithful Citizenship debated and voted on by the entire body (as opposed to emerging from the conference's Administrative Committee), that the prelates might cast themselves in one voice before the nation and its Catholic fold with a document they "owned."
Initial signs were favorable: in a feel-good moment for all sides, the text passed with 98% of the bishops in favor... but something else happened along the way. Interest groups took the pieces they liked and ignored the rest; a critical mass of the bishops worked overtime at home to authoritatively clarify the document's emphases and intent, one of the bench publicly rejected it as having no authority in his diocese, and two leading Democrats -- the party's then-vice-presidential nominee and the Speaker of the House -- effectively spun out when asked about church teaching on Meet the Press.
All that as backdrop, the November Meeting that begins Monday won't just be seeing the scheduled discussion on "pastoral and practical implications of political support for abortion"... but a movement toward revisiting Faithful Citizenship itself as several prelates have taken up the call for the current edition to "be scrapped, or at least overhauled":
"We need a new approach to conscience formation in the public square," said Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver...In another move to "double down" on the integrity and emphases of church teaching as expressed in political life, Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington is heavily-tipped to win election next week as the next head of the conference's Committee on Doctrine, whose current chair took a lead role in the unprecedented post-MTP public corrections.
"`Faithful Citizenship' didn't and doesn't work because it's been applied by different people in very different ways."
Indeed, Catholic scholars like Nicholas Cafardi, whom the bishops appointed to a board investigating clergy sexual abuse, used "Faithful Citizenship" to buttress his argument that anti-abortion Catholics could back Obama in good conscience.
But it was Biden and Pelosi using "Meet the Press" to openly "misrepresent Catholic teaching" that put abortion and politics on next week's agenda, according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
"As the teachers of the faith," the USCCB wrote in a September statement, "we also point out the connectedness between the evil of abortion and political support for abortion. We plan to discuss the practical implications of these serious matters."
Biden's elevation to the nation's No. 2 job on Tuesday adds an element of urgency to the bishops' discussion, said Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark, N.J.
"It's a very big deal," Myers said. However, the archbishop said, his fellow prelates do not agree about how to handle the situation.
"We need to come closer to being of one mind on this matter," Myers said....
Russell Shaw, former director of communications for the USSCB, said the bishops could basically be divided into three camps: the "hardliners," who want to deny Communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion rights, and possibly those who vote for them; the "compromisers" who want to reach an agreement with politicians; and a large majority in the middle who "don't like messy unpleasant situations like this and are just hoping it will go away."...
Instead, the bishops decided to let each prelate determine his own policy.
"The failure to face up to serious questions has come home to roost," Shaw said....
Myers said the problem lies not with "Faithful Citizenship" but with its interpreters.
"It's kind of like Vatican II," the archbishop said, referring to the seminal conclave of the 1960s that lead to wide reforms in the church. "Very clearly there are some, like Senator Biden, who are saying the church for centuries did not have a clear position on abortion and have gone all over the ballpark in making up their own positions."
They’d better get their shit together before the 2010 elections. Should anything happan to Benedict, Arinze might be the next Pope, and I think excommunications would then become public.
Here’s a proposed revised document:
“1. If you are a Catholic politician and you support legal abortion, or a voter and vote for the major party candidate who is more in support of legal abortion than his major party opponent, you are excommunicated.
“2. Don’t bother us until you’re willing to repent, publicly, if your crime against the innocent was public, privately to your bishop, if your crime against the innocent was private.
“3. And yes, if you don’t repent, you WILL go to Hell.”
Yup. Your blindingly simple guidelines are what should have been happening all along. That it wasn’t this way from the beginning of “legalized abortion” will be looked back at as a scandal dwarfing the homosexualist priest scandal.
It’s this sort of nonsense that results in pro-abort Catholics, or Catholics who ignore the dire consequences of political choices when right-to-life issues are second fiddle because they think the issues won’t affect them. The bishops are messing with a moral issue that, if they do not act with clarity and courage, will doom them.
There is suffering ahead for the faithful, that is sure.
“That it wasnt this way from the beginning of ‘legalized abortion’ will be looked back at as a scandal dwarfing the homosexualist priest scandal.”
I agree with you.
Thankfully, I have a pastor who is a traditionalist in every sense. Latin Mass, altar rail, beautiful statues, etc. He is on the younger side but has made many changes in his two short years with us. Unfortunately, he is the exception, not the rule.
Anathemas are looking better and better. At least they can’t be spun to mean something they don’t.
**Back to the Drawing Board (several bishops calling for Faithful Citizenship to be overhauled)**
I agree. I believe it was Bishop Martino who spoke out strongly on this.
**and a large majority in the middle who “don’t like messy unpleasant situations like this and are just hoping it will go away.”... **
Are you kidding. This is not going to go away. In fact, with FOCA, the prolife issues will be on the front pages.
They cannot wait — they must speak out and support life.
Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:
Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of interest.
Obama Says A Baby Is A Punishment
54% of registered Catholics voted for Obama. We have a MAJOR problem. Poor catechesis or “intepretive” catechesis by the hold outs of the 60s and 70s who wrap themselves in felt banners, social justice missives, and acoustic guitars. People are told that everything is a matter of conscience.
Orders that will not follow the guidance of the Holy Father need to be surpressed.
The Jesuits spend more time watching Bravo network than they do reading the Breviary. They used to be God’s Commandos, now they are God’s interior decorators, shut them down and give their assets to Opus Dei.
The Maryknolls have substituted Che on the cross instead of Christ.
Diocesan Bishops like Gumbleton, Lynch, etc, need to be quietly assigned to be deputy executive assistant to the assistant deputy exeutive director in charge of things that might happen and men like Chaput, Rigali, Corapi, and O’Brien need to be found to lead all of our dioceses.
The Ecclesial smack down is long overdue. Catholic elementary, middle, and high schools need to be brought back to basics and Catholic colleges need to be vetted or stripped of their status.
Let us become a remnant Church, at least then we’ll be true to our faith.
Well, it might as well be over. The bishops have decided that they will NOT be discussing political support of abortion at next weeks meeting. Yes, you read that right, will NOT be discussing abortion. OFF THE AGENDA. I feel as if I’m in an alternate universe or something. Will someone please tell me why I continue to fight this fight if bishops can’t be bothered to fight with all the resources available to them?
Makes you wonder if perhaps Lefebre was right?
I’m starting to get some uncharitable thoughts going here. Were they even really going to grow some, was the whole talk about finally addressing this just BS? Something to placate us and now that the election is over just go back to business as usual? They want lay Catholics to walk the walk, but where are they? Are they leading? Are they leading by example? Or are they quivering in their chanceries waiting for what, the Church in the USA to die from their ineptitude and moral cowardice?
Hey voiceinthewind, where did you find out that info?
Let me get back to you in a sec...ok, found it again. The Curt Jester had it on his blog:
Which I then followed to Whispers in the Loggia:
Which then led to RNS:
I see... I hope this is a bunch of malarky but I don’t reckon I’d be shocked to my foundation if it turns out they don’t talk about abortion at all—”closed door” or not.
Freegards, thanks for the swift response
On Tuesday last, our nation was tested; and it failed. The nation (I won’t say we, because they did not have my vote) elected a man committed to killing babies and his partner, a man who will just look the other way.
And our Bishops want us to think that this sin is the equivalent of being in favor of closed borders.
Woe is us.
I agree. Stop the stupid, nuanced, sugar-coated wording.
Yes, but often with little to no guidance on the notion of a correctly formed conscience.
"Correctly formed conscience." What a fusty old creature I've become...
Instead of sending Bishops letters we need to start sending them opies of the Baltimore Catechism.
Yes, I’m afraid that the emphasis has already changed in my part of the world to “the greatest civil rights test of our generation: immigration reform.” I would have thought that the greatest civil rights test of our generation was protecting the civil rights of the unborn who are going to be torn from limb to limb. Call me crazy, but I think that should trump some guy’s “right “ to be here illegally.
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