Reactions to Feuerherd's "Bishops Be Damned"
The Catholic League:
... “According to Feuerherd, his decision to vote for a pro-abortion candidate in the Maryland primary, namely Barack Obama, means that the bishops have consigned him to Hell. Indeed, his vote means that he has put his ‘soul at risk,’ all but assuring himself of a ‘ticket to Hell.” He concludes by charging, ‘the bishops be damned.’ In between, Feuerherd manages to impugn the motives of the bishops, offer snide remarks and misrepresent Church teachings.
“Feuerherd is angry because issues like ‘affordable housing’ are not given the same preeminent status as killing the innocent. He is entitled to his opinion, but he is not entitled to bash the bishops or distort their words, not even in his quest for martyrdom.”
You can always tell when the political season opens on Catholics. There is a trend towards Catholic bashing in the press and media. More precisely, in this case there is an attempt by the secular press at Bishop Bashing while trying to play down our Catholic moral, social and ethical principles.
The Catholic League has recently noted a journalistic bashing of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops in a recent article by Joe Feuerherd in The Washington Post. Well Mr. Feuerherd, any detrimental comments one makes in the secular press is an outright attack on Catholic religious freedom of expression. Political pundits might consider the Catholic Bishops as fair game during the political hunting season, but they are not collectively intended for political or journalistic target practice...
Canon lawyer Ed Peters:
... On February 24, National Catholic Reporter correspondent Joe Feuerherd, writing in the Washington Post, expressed his desire to see the bishops (of the United States) literally damned before he would fail to vote Democratic this Fall.
Feuerherd's words of contempt were not shouted in a heated argument wherein, say, a lack of time for reflection or "anger hormones" might mitigate one's culpability for uttering invectives. No, Feuerherd's curse, "the bishops be damned", was expressed in cold, deliberate, prose intended for maximum effect in a prominent national publication.
Now, Canon 1369 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law states that "a person who . . . in published writing . . . expresses insults or excites hatred or contempt against religion or the Church is to be punished with a just penalty." Canon 1373 states that "a person who publicly incites among subjects animosities or hatred against the Apostolic See or an ordinary because of some act of power or ecclesiastical ministry . . . is to be punished by an interdict or other just penalties."
I believe Feuerherd has gravely violated both of these canons...
Morning's Minion (always quick to point out "cafeteria Catholics" at odds with the teachings of the Bishops, to correct misrepresentations of the Bishops' teachings, and to criticize incivility):
[sound of crickets chirping]
NB: Just an fyi ... I'm only having a little fun at Morning's Minion's expense, not being critical of him. In fact, I agree with various aspects of his posts to which I have linked above. And I'm sure that Morning's Minion is in complete disagreement with Feuerherd's take on both the Bishops and the substance of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.
So, please don't use this post as a vehicle for attacking Morning's Minion or Vox Nova.
Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
National Catholic Reporter's Joe Feuerherd to U.S. Catholic Bishops: "Go to Hell"