Thursday, May 06, 2010

If You Want to Experience Bishop Hatred from the Right That Rivals Anything You Might See on the Left ...

... just get into a discussion about immigration. Even so-called "faithful Catholics" aren't above engaging in vile attacks upon the Bishops whenever this issue comes up:
... On a human level, men who can't figure out that they should keep child molesters out of their rectories shouldn't presume to tell us who to let into our country. A decent sense of SHAME should compel America's bishops to 20 years of penance and silence--or better, a mass resignation of the 2/3 who enabled the abusers.
And when confronted about such language ...
Wow. What an unfortunate ad hominem comment. I expect that sort of thing from enemies of the Church who wish to shut the Bishops up on matters like abortion and the sanctity of marriage, etc. But I expect better and more enlightened argumentation from faithful Catholics, especially in the context of a commentary about the inappropriate use of a particular rhetorical device as a conversation ender. But then, that's exactly what you did by making that comment: by bringing the scandal into a discussion that wasn't about the scandal, the goal wasn't rational discourse, but to end the argument. The Bishops should just shut up and no one should listen to them because of the sex-abuse scandal.
... they just keep piling on:
... Two thirds of these bishops have disgraced themselves and their office, as surely as if they had collaborated with the KGB. Their willingness to speak corporately on any issue outside the strict confines of defined doctrine is effrontery that deserves contempt.
By the way, among the Bishops that this gentleman specifically names as undeserving of our respect is Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver. I wonder, has Archbishop Chaput "disgraced" himself in the manner that the writer of the linked piece describes? Has Archbishop Chuput earned nothing but "contempt"?

If not, then one might wonder why this gentleman paints with such a broad brush in dismissing our Bishops as unworthy of our attention.

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At 5/06/2010 8:03 PM, Blogger Michael D. said...

The unwillingness of Americans to respect (much less follow) the moral voices of our bishops is really one of the great problems in American Catholic political discourse. We're not united and we only back the bishops when they agree with us. Otherwise either side will villify & mock them.

At 5/06/2010 8:45 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

I can understand disagreeing with the Bishops on a prudential judgment, but to argue that the Bishops should be completely ignored? That they are disqualified from even having a voice? That they and their opinions should actually be held in contempt?


At 5/06/2010 11:08 PM, Blogger Joe Hargrave said...


I respectfully disagree with you on this, and agree with John Zmirak.

Many of the bishops are beholden to a radical left-wing political ideology that they seek to present as authentic Catholic teaching when in fact, it is not.

Another commenter pointed out a Japanese bishop talking about nuclear disarmament and a "world without war." This is, as politely as I can say it, utopian nonsense. That a bishop can have such a naive view of the world is quite shocking and disturbing. It is one thing to argue for peace; it is another thing to promote a view that even some of the most naive left wing college freshman chicks probably wouldn't even buy.

Cardinal Phony Mahoney's position that the new AZ law, for instance, puts the state on par with Nazi Germany or the USSR should be held in contempt. It is a vile slander, an insult to hundreds of thousands of faithful Catholics, an irresponsible blunder of the highest magnitude.

They are going out of their way to earn our contempt by trampling over issues on which they are ill-informed. Not even a bishop gets to invent facts, make strawmen out of other people's arguments, and engage in rhetorical violence. They've poisoned the well of public discourse with their own fanaticism and their own refusal to move beyond whatever their left-wing research staffs tell them.

At many points in history faithful Catholics have had to resist and defy their bishops. The closer they move to the condemned heresy of Liberation Theology, the more we must resist.

At 5/10/2010 11:02 AM, Blogger Phillip said...

I think when it comes to prudential judgments of bishops, I am reminded of what a priest once taught me in a different circumstance. He said one respects one's parents as an adult by listening to their opinion respectfully. Then acting with the freedom and responsibility that they taught you.
We should listen to the bishops respectfully - even when being abusive in their office. Then point out our legitimate role as laymen to apply the authentic teaching of the Church to particular world situations as is proper to the charism of the laity.
This means we should always have solid arguments for our positions.


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