Monday, January 14, 2013

Free Advice to the United States Council of Catholic Bureaucrats

The best article of 2013 so far is this rock solid piece by Christopher Manion in Crisis.

After giving a brief overview of Catholic Teaching and Its Discontents, Manion comments upon our current crisis and the bishops' predictably oafish answer to it, which includes lawyers, lobbyists and "strategic planning" over many years to come.

Manion writes ...

The bishops’ “Strategic Plan” (available in full at http://www.usccb.org) strategically ignores the Church’s most profound strategic failures since the scandals: first, the Church opposes homosexual marriage, but refuses to explain why—because homosexuality is an “objective disorder,” and because homosexual acts are “an intrinsically moral evil,” as Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, authoritatively instructed the world’s bishops in 1986. Second, the Church opposes the HHS Contraceptive Mandate, but refuses to explain why—because, as Humanae Vitae plainly teaches, contraception is an “objective evil.”
Admittedly, these are unpopular truths in our culture. After all, we have just come through an election in which the victor ran on a platform of uninhibited, unlimited, and taxpayer-funded sex. Very well: we acknowledge that the popular culture rejects these fundamental truths of the Faith. What else is new? But do our bishops reject them? Homosexual marriage and the contraceptive culture are the very “deceits of the devil” with which “the rulers of the world of this darkness” and‘the spirits of wickedness in the high places” intend to destroy the Catholic Church. Yet the bishops’ bureaucracy continues to ignore these truths, as it kicks the can down the road to 2016. 
And he concludes ...

The bishops undoubtedly paid a lot for their strategic plan. They didn’t ask for alternatives, but I have one here. It’s free.
An age of martyrdom approaches quickly. We can hear its footsteps, and they are jackboots, pounding. Stop taking the government money, close down the bureaucracy, and preach the Gospel—all of it, even the unpopular parts.
Don’t wait until 2016. Start over. Now.

2 comments:

Kevin O'Brien said...

JOE GRABOWSKI comments (on Facebook) about this post ...

"Well... I agree, but with some nuance in fact. I think where the author is right is that we need those explanations especially ad intra. I'm not one of those that thinks the religious liberties argument is anathema, for example. The fact is, it is a working angle of approach in a pluralistic republic. Not to say that has bishops should ever deny the faith - but a prudential approach to evangelization is not uncalled for.

Where I agree that there has been systematic failure is in getting the word to Catholics in the pew about why we believe what we believe."

K.C. Thomas said...

The homosexual marriage and the Contraceptive H.S S mandate. Are these moral and permiible according to the writer ? What expolanation is required to say that homosexual acts are unnatural and sinful ? Does he need detailed sanction from the Bible to believe the teachings of the Church ? catholics should have firm faith in the Catholic Church.