USCCB Responds to Feuerherd
Sister Mary Ann Walsh, director of media relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, writes in today's Washington Post:
Joe Feuerherd's screed against the Catholic bishops for their call for political responsibility epitomizes the incivility of this campaign season, where truth has become a casualty and half-truths the norm.My Comments:
With demeaning and mocking words, Feuerherd scoffs at the bishops' November 2007 statement "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship." It urges Catholics not to be one-issue voters but to look at all the issues and make prudent decisions. When up for a vote, it drew virtually unanimous support of the almost 300 active members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Few decisions get that kind of support.
The current campaign shows that politics is too often a contest of powerful interests, partisan attacks, sound bites and media hype. In "Faithful Citizenship," the Church calls for a different kind of political engagement: one shaped by moral convictions of well-formed consciences and focused on the dignity of every human being, the pursuit of the common good, and the protection of the weak and vulnerable. It stresses that Catholics need to be guided more by their moral convictions than by attachment to a political party or interest group. Catholic participation should help transform the party to which they belong; they should not let the party transform them in such a way that they neglect or deny basic moral truths.
Feuerherd's incivility is striking. The crude reference to the Eucharist as "the wafer" should be beneath anyone who respects people's religious sentiments, let alone an acknowledged Catholic. Belief in the Eucharist is sacred to Catholics, yet Feuerherd treats it in a belittling manner.
His final salvo, damning the bishops, is unworthy of both Feuerherd and The Post. It's hard to imagine The Post giving its pages to a writer suggesting the outright damnation of the leaders of any other religious body. Feuerherd's vitriol might be understandable if the bishops were concerned, like a typical special-interest group, only with what benefits them. However, the bishops' defense of the right to life of the unborn is a principled commitment in justice to the good of others who are vulnerable and with no voice of their own.
[Read the whole thing]
Give him "hell", Sister!
Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Reactions to Feuerherd's "Bishops Be Damned"
National Catholic Reporter's Joe Feuerherd to U.S. Catholic Bishops: "Go to Hell"