Friday, May 21, 2004

Kicking Against the Goad

Lex Communis links to A Saintly Salmagundi who has the full text of the letter written by 48 members of Congress to Cardinal McCarrick.

There are a number of profound errors in this historic letter.

The signatories assert that they, not the bishops, must weigh the morality of their own acts and that they must be free of the influence of the bishops.
They deny the clergy may withhold the Eucharist from anyone who presents themselves.
They argue that there must be separate private and public morality.
They argue that their own morality should not be present in their actions as Representatives, but that they should somehow represent the disparate moralities of all their constituents.
They argue that the decisions of the US Supreme Court must be honored regardless of the intrinsic evil of abortion, and that expansion of this “mandate” is “not acting contrary to our positions as faithful members of the Catholic Church”.
They equate the issue of abortion with hunger relief, war protest, capital punishment, health care reform, and adoption.
They argue a definition of “Catholic social justice” that excludes protection of the unborn.
They pervert the writings of the USCB and Fr. John Courtney to support a practice the good father and the bishops considered abhorrent: legal abortion.

These 48 Representatives, by publicly challenging the hierarchy of the American Church with a catalog of errors, make papal intervention more likely. Karol Wojytla risked execution taking Holy Orders in Nazi Poland, and as a bishop risked assassination by defying the Communist authorities. As Pope John Paul II, he won’t be pressured by letters about deference to secular authority.

Update: Hugh Hewitt presents a letter from the Catholic League rebuking the Four Dozen.

"Nothing is new under the sun." If you know the history of medieval Europe, or of the anti-clerical movements in France and Latin America, you can tell what the Four Dozen will do next. They will appeal to the Pope to deliver them from bad shepherds. They will argue that the Church in the United States was running smoothly until these bishops took office. They will lament disunity as an evil which starts at the top and spreads downwards. They will plead for bishops 'in step' with the modern American laity. And when the Pope does not appease them, they will condemn this Pope...

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