Published on Commonweal magazine (http://commonwealmagazine.org)
"The nation's Roman Catholic bishops will make an important decision this week: Do they want to defend the church's legitimate interest in religious autonomy, or do they want to wage an election-year war against President Barack Obama? And do the most conservative bishops want to junk the Roman Catholic Church as we have known it, with its deep commitment to both life and social justice, and turn it into the Tea Party at prayer?Opposition in the church to extreme rhetoric is growing. Moderate and progressive bishops are alarmed that Catholicism's deep commitment to social justice is being shunted aside in this single-minded and exceptionally narrow focus on the health-care exemption. A wise priest of my acquaintance offered the bishops some excellent questions about the church."Is it abandoning its historical style of being a leaven in society to become a strident critic of government?" he asked. "Have the bishops given up on their conviction that there can be disagreement among Catholics on the application of principle to policy? Do they now believe that there must be unanimity even on political strategy?"
U.S. CONERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE RESPONSE:
Unified, focused bishops pledge to continue religious liberty defense
March 15, 2012
NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER
WASHINGTON -- Declaring themselves "strongly unified and intensely focused," the nation's top Catholic bishops vowed to continue their multipronged defense of religious liberty in the courts, Congress and the White House.The full statement is available at www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/upload/Admin-Religious....