Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Say It, Bishop, Say It!

It was surprising for me to hear someone angrily confront my bishop . . . You know, like he was just some guy it wasn't a privilege to be in the same room with. Like he was just some guy you might be smarter than. And righter than.




This post is a response to the above article, which seems to really hit the nail on the head and touched me deeply.

I had the experience of hearing my bishop (Do you like that? MY bishop. It's like . . . get your own bishop.) speak to a mixed Right to Life crowd a few days ago. By mixed I mean that the audience was not all Catholic.

I usually see bishops at all-Catholic gatherings where they are treated with great respect and are rarely challenged on things. It was surprising for me to hear someone angrily confront my bishop during the question and answer time. You know, like he was just some guy it wasn't a privilege to be in the same room with. Like he was just some guy you might be smarter than. And righter than.

Anyway, with the information about the PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) just going out in a letter to the churches today, persecution was obviously on his mind. This act puts leaders of the Catholic Church in a position of potentially having to either go against their beliefs or . . . what? Not provide health insurance to their employees? Go to JAIL? I don't know.

So this woman asked him a question with an accusatory voice. Did he mean to say that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops would support Obamacare if it didn't conflict with the Church's reproductive teachings?

In this room there were about 100 riled-up Republicans. Here he was worrying about PPACA leading to persecution from Democrats and now he had to worry about the very Republicans who came to hear him and cheer him on.

At the time my heart jumped to attention! I thought to myself "Say it! Say it! Doesn't the USCCB believe that basic health care should be universally available to all in this country regardless of ability to pay?!" (Yes it does.) This wasn't because I wanted to see a fight, this was because I believe that the Catholic Church is Truer than the Republican Party platform. Both parties have some good ideas and some bad when weighed in the USCCB scales.

He didn't say it. He backpedaled and said something that didn't satisfy me and probably didn't satisfy the questioner either but it diffused the tension. As much as I wanted to hear the dangerous Truth spoken at that moment, though, after reading the . . . And Pray for the Bishops article linked above now I am much more sympathetic. It wasn't my butt that was on the line. I will pray for my bishop and for yours and all the leaders of the Catholic Church.

But bishops,while you are defending yourself from potential attack at the hands of Democrats, remember to keep an eye behind you on the party you call your friend. They are going to figure out sooner or later that the Catholic Church is not a completely faithful bedfellow.








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