PopeWatch: Liberal Catholics

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We often hear that conservative and liberal have no meaning in the Catholic Church.  You wouldn’t know that from the fighting over the voter’s guide:

 

 

BALTIMORE — The nation’s Catholic bishops on Tuesday (Nov. 17) passed an updated guide for Catholic voters ahead of next year’s elections, but only after airing unusually sharp disagreements on how much they can, and should, adjust their priorities to match those of Pope Francis.

More than any other item on the agenda of the bishops’ annual meeting here, the debate over the lengthy voter guide, called “Faithful Citizenship,” revealed deep divides among the bishops and provided a snapshot of the extent of the “Francis effect” on the U.S. hierarchy.

In the most impassioned objection to the voter guide, San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy took the floor to argue that the document — which was a reworking of an 84-page treatise first written in 2007 — should be scrapped because it did not reflect the way that Francis has elevated the battle against poverty and for the environment as central concerns for the Catholic Church since his election in 2013.

“I believe that this document is gravely hobbled,” said McElroy, who was an outspoken advocate for the church’s social justice teachings even before Francis named him to the large and growing Southern California diocese earlier this year.

“Specifically, I think the pope is telling us that alongside the issues of abortion and euthanasia — which are central aspects of our commitment to transform this world — poverty and the degradation of the Earth are also central,” McElroy said. “But this document keeps to the structure of the worldview of 2007. It does not put those there.”

 

Instead, he said, the voter guide “tilts in favor of abortion and euthanasia and excludes poverty and the environment.”

Apparently referring to political conservatives who argue that Catholics cannot vote for candidates who support abortion rights or gay marriage, McElroy said the new draft still “provides a warrant for those who will misuse this document outside this room to exclude poverty and exclude the environment as key issues and say they are secondary, and cite this document as they have done for the last two election cycles.”

McElroy’s position was supported by a number of other bishops, some of whom were also dismayed by the number of times the draft mentioned same-sex marriage, even though the U.S. Supreme Court effectively settled the issue by legalizing gay marriage last June.

“I think we need a new document,” said Tuscon Bishop Gerald Kicanas. “I think it was a mistake to try to revise a document from 2007 when so much has happened since then.” He called Faithful Citizenship “very complex and not helpful.”

Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockon, Calif., agreed that “the times have dramatically changed” and said the “cumbersome” new draft needed to be scrapped.

But members of the committee that spent nearly a year-and-a-half reworking the voter guide rejected the pushback.

“We still think it’s effective,” a clearly irritated Houston Cardinal Daniel DiNardo — chairman of the drafting committee and vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops — told Blaire and the other critics.

 

DiNardo also told the 240 bishops that the committee was only fulfilling the mandate it was given by the USCCB and said the panel had done its best to update the guide with references from Francis — although, he added in a spiky rejoinder to McElroy, “perhaps not to your satisfaction, and to the rhetorical flourishes which you bring.”

Another member of the drafting committee, Hartford Archbishop Leonard Blair, also rejected the critiques, and he echoed comments by other conservatives who were disturbed by the idea that Francis has ushered in a “revolution” in Catholicism that their documents needed to reflect.

“There is kind of a rhetoric of regime change that is going on in the church” in the wake of the election of Francis in 2013, said Blair. “I think we have to be very, very wary of that.”

 

Go here to read the rest.  Bishop McElroy has long been a shill for the Democrat Party, providing cover for their pro-abort stance.  Go here, here and here to read about him.  The position of liberal Catholics is clear as glass:  so long as a politician loves the welfare state and is an environut, it doesn’t matter that he is a pro-abort, in favor of gay marriage and generally ignores Church teaching held by the Church since the Crucifixion.  Now they believe they have a Pope that agrees with them, and PopeWatch believes that is a totally correct assessment.

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31 Comments

  1. How far down have we come when corrupted worldly politics has effectively replaced moral certitude, and centuries proven doctrine, and the mission of salvation by conquering sin?
    We watched this same rabble scandalously cover Christ at Georgetown and honor a pro-baby killing president at Notre Dame.
    Rome’s politics does not, cannot, not alter one iota of the truth held by the Church as handed down by the apostles.

  2. Glad to read that Archbishop Blair has defended (at least here) the traditional view of catholic voting responsibility. I, with some caution, will await to see the extent to which he resists the “welcoming ” agenda here in Connecticut.

  3. We need to understand that these people are first and foremost liberal and somewhere far down their list of amoral imperatives catholic. As in St. Augustine’s time, the only evils these recognize are theft of their goods, illness, hunger, death, etc. It’s as if they want everything good except themselves.

  4. I truly believe that liberal progressivism is as evil as radical Islam. Did not a great Saint once write that the floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops? Not a few of these will be Democrat.

  5. An 84 page voter guide? Who in God’s name would take the time to read it, especially given the soporific quality of multi-author ecclesiastical pronouncements. If there was ever an indication that the Catholic Conference is a make-work scheme, this is it.

    Shut it down.

  6. “I truly believe that liberal progressivism is as evil as radical Islam. ” Actually Lucius I think a logical conclusion is that the two are allied with respect to their common enemy—Christianity. 1Samuel 8:10-18 is a good reminder of the evil on government dependency instead of dependency on God.

    Lepanto Institute has an excellent expose on the USCCB and it fundraising political arm the Campaign for Human Development. It’s very long and worth the read.

  7. Tom, except to debate against liberal progressives, I have paid not one iota of attention to the USCCB Voter’s Guide. To vote, I look at the candidate’ position on issues like sanctity of life and or marriage. If they fail in those areas, then I don’t bother looking further. After that I look at their policies regarding religious freedom, right to keep and bear arms, support of free enterprise, opposition to big government, support of clean, safe nuclear energy, etc. I could care less what the USCCB says.

  8. thanks for the links to those older articles– just a good overview of the trajectory.
    .
    Even the suggestion that what is happening could be called “regime” change is horrifying

  9. I am sure that many people did not read it ,but he voter guide did a good job of explaining why abortion is not just one issue among many.

  10. ‘ … Another member of the drafting committee, Hartford Archbishop Leonard Blair, also rejected the critiques, and he echoed comments by other conservatives who were disturbed by the idea that Francis has ushered in a “revolution” in Catholicism that their documents needed to reflect.

    “There is kind of a rhetoric of regime change that is going on in the church” in the wake of the election of Francis in 2013, said Blair. “I think we have to be very, very wary of that.” … ‘
    .
    The laity, most probably, want to hear enough God pleasing teaching about Catholicism from these highly reluctant shepherds to be able to make its own God pleasing decisions about such as voting, Skirting issues for whosoever’s earthly pleasure serves to continually degenerate and corrupt their office into an expensive, sinful waste for the world to see.

  11. The Germans have kirchensteuer. The Americans have the welfare state. I think they are the same thing. Both are examples of enforced tithing to support a bloated bureaucracy of hierarchical luxury, Church responsibilities and fancy Bishop houses, not true charity properly understood on our Lord’s terms. It is anti-Christian.

    We need to cut off the lifeblood of this unholy Church system. Let the bureaucracy and the buildings and the programs live on their own merits or die a quick death. Rely on true tithing and voluntary acts of charity, regardless of size, as the true expression of our Faith. True charity is relationship, a voluntary gift of the heart along with resources necessary to accomplish what is necessary. Kirchensteuer in all its forms is fatal to the Faith. This is obvious now.

  12. The Germans have kirchensteuer. The Americans have the welfare state. I think they are the same thing. Both are examples of enforced tithing to support a bloated bureaucracy of hierarchical luxury,

    Well, as long as we’re on that kick, let’s hear the Davy Crockett homily.

  13. Leave to my bishop to lead the effort of making an already incoherently written hard left manifesto even more hard left. Aren’t we blessed here in America’s finest city to have such a shepherd?

  14. In the most impassioned objection to the voter guide, San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy took the floor to argue that the document — which was a reworking of an 84-page treatise first written in 2007 — should be scrapped because it did not reflect the way that Francis has elevated the battle against poverty and for the environment as central concerns for the Catholic Church since his election in 2013.

    *headdesk*

  15. McElroy’s comments reveal him to be nothing more than a good careerist, like the rest of his bishops. They also, sadly, reveal one of the fundamental problems within Catholicism: Obedience to authority for its own sake, even at the expense of sound moral judgement.

  16. And for the Millennial Generation, which has yet in their lives to be fed and tended.

    Great hoppin’ holy handsprings, a statement about my generation with which I have no argument.

  17. The welfare state is a wonderfully strategically important instrument for both Democrat Politicians and Bishops. For the Democrat politicians it insures a dependable voting block paid for, generally speaking, with taxes on Republicans. For Democrat Bishops it means a block of liberal Catholics who support funding Social Justice programs by never calling out their immoral practices. Both of them have sold their souls to the devil for money and power.

  18. In my lifetime experience as a Catholic, there is no subject I have heard more about than helping the poor. And I would wager that most of us genuinely want to and contribute to helping the downtrodden. And I would bet that most of us are environmentally responsible and don’t want to live in a poisoned swamp. These are simply “red herring issues” and veiled attacks attempting to distract us from horrors like abortion and sexual deviancy. We need to continue to call these claims what they are, lies. Lies that because we stand up for life and marriage, we somehow ignore the poor and environment. But these bishops should be reminded that dead babies and people can’t be poor or even think they are “gay.” Hence, the priority. Not that they are interested in listening.

  19. Kevin–

    Good points. To my mind the entire issue of the “poor” in this country is a fraudulent. There are very few poor in the sense that there were at the time of Christ, i.e., destitute. In world wide terms our so called poor are well cared with foot stamps, housing, money, etc. The Church’s Social Justice program is a scheme to be involved in the distribution of government largess and ultimately to be controlled by the government, inhibiting their ability to be effective spokesman for Christ.

  20. “Lepanto Institute has an excellent expose on the USCCB and its fundraising political arm the Campaign for Human Development. It’s very long and worth the read.” Agree. Read it last night. The article exposes how duped the USCCB has been by the enemies of the Church. ACORN being the tip of the iceberg. Luckily we’ve had a priest who suggested from the pulpit that parishioners not contribute to CHD.
    The Democrats aim to keep the poor a perpetual underclass instead of upward mobility. Sad and sinful.

  21. It just depends on who is guiding the voter……which reminds me of a pious member of my late parents’ parish who quoting a “Catholic” professor at a “Catholic” university said, ” Catholics in good conscience can vote for Obama because he’s for social justice and alleviating poverty. So by eliminating the root causes of abortion there will be fewer of them.”
    It used to disgust me to see bumper stickers for Pro-Choice aka Pro-Abort candidates on cars in the church parking lot of my former parish.

  22. “The article exposes how duped the USCCB has been by the enemies of the Church.”

    That assumes that the USCCB actually believes the enemies of the Church are enemies.

  23. Philip I am once again reminded the USCCB, like all national bishop associations, has no hierarchal authority, in accordance with the wisdom one Joseph Ratzinger/pope Benedict XVI. Also, Leo XIII warned us against “Americanism”, which together make me very leery of any attempt to “devolve” the authority of the hierarchy under the false use of the Principle of Subsidiarity.

  24. I might have added that I seriously wonder what kind of informed Catholic needs their questionable input as to how to vote?
    If we do, then it is only because our knowledge of the faith is so weak. In which case it is far more of a problem of their own failed catechesis, while they pursue the Pied Pipers of social justice, in lieu of the salvation of souls.

  25. Michael, Agreed. I might also add that by pushing participation in the “great society welfare programs” gives many people – unfortunately some of our bishops as well – the self delusion that they are really out there personally fighting for the poor. “Untold thousands, even millions are receiving assistance thanks to our efforts,” patting themselves on the back. Granted we need and should have safety net programs, but personally involved means really being out there with the poor. How many of our Bishops do we see intimately involved with the poor of their diocese? And I am not even letting myself or any Christian off the hook. We all should be doing something and giving alms is certainly important. But the alms should not be used to make crutches for dependent people, but instead to build respect and human dignity, self worth and a place to share their talents. So many of these programs have been devastating for the family, marriage and minorities. Instead of the hard work of real solutions, the easy handout (especially when it’s not your money) is simply a phony salve for ego and conscience.

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