R.R. Reno at First Things reminds us that under the current pontificate Catholics who stand up for the traditional teachings of the Church are strictly on their own:
As I expected, the leaders of the Catholic Church have done everything they can to avoid saying anything in response to the furor over the Indiana RFRA. Their counsel is “dialogue,” an unfortunate weasel word long used by administrators who don’t want to take a stand.
On its face, the wording of this bland statement suggests the bishops believe the Indiana law could permit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. (They’re calling for “dialogue” to make sure that doesn’t happen.) But this is an over-reading of the statement. It’s really just a political evasion of responsibility searching for words.
Some months ago, I predicted that Catholicism in America would basically accommodate itself to whatever sexual regime dominates our society. The accommodation won’t be explicit. The Church won’t endorse homosexuality or gay marriage. Instead, the bishops will step aside, avoid controversy, and just stop talking about things that carry a high price for dissent. This duck-and-cover non-statement fits perfectly into this trajectory.
My first impulse is to laugh. The statement tries to signal support for religious freedom, but qualifies. “The rights of a person should never be used inappropriately in order to deny the rights of another.” And so maybe Tim Cook is right to denounce the Indiana law. Time for dialogue. Oh, “justice and mercy” too. But wait, religious liberty is important. Except when it’s not. But sometimes it really is . . .
But I can’t laugh, because the tragedy is too poignant. Doubtless there are faithful Catholics in Indiana who think marriage is only possible between a man and a woman. Doubtless they resist the pro-gay propaganda their children are subjected to by the media and often in school. Doubtless they try to support the Church’s teaching on sex, family, and marriage. In the midst of a propaganda blitz denouncing all dissent from the coming regime of gay rights, this anodyne non-statement says to them, “You’re on your own.”
Go here to read the rest. Here is the statement of those fearless Hoosier Shepherds with my comments:
April 1, 2015
The date is appropriate.
The recent passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Indiana appears to have divided the people of our state like few other issues in recent memory.
We urge all people of good will to show mutual respect for one another so that the necessary dialogue and discernment can take place to ensure that no one in Indiana will face discrimination whether it is for their sexual orientation or for living their religious beliefs.
Translation: We are in favor of both sheep and wolves so don’t protest us.
The Catholic Church is convinced that every human being is created in the image of God.
As such, each and every person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.
We are also in favor of mom, apple pie and baseball!
This includes the right to the basic necessities for living a good life, including adequate healthcare, housing, education, and work.
Hey, can’t we change the subject to the full throated endorsement by Pope Francis of endless giveaways by Caesar?
The Catholic Church teaches that the principle of religious freedom also is rooted in the dignity of the human person.
Something to placate the rubes in the pews.
Religious freedom is one of the most cherished rights in the U.S. Constitution.
See the above.
The rights of a person should never be used inappropriately in order to deny the rights of another.
Now the big but. Religious freedom must not stand for an instant if it gets in the way of the gay agenda.
We are called to justice and mercy.
We believe that it is crucial that religious freedom be protected.
We are in favor of religious freedom, really and truly we are!
As Pope Francis wrote in his apostolic exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel: “No one can demand that religion should be relegated to the inner sanctum of personal life, without influence on societal and national life, without concern for the soundness of civil institutions” (n. 183).
See, we are even quoting the Pope!
We support efforts to uphold the God-given dignity of all the people of this state while safeguarding the rights of people of all faiths to practice their religion without undue burden from the government.
And with this little exercise in speaking out of both sides of their mouths out of the way, they append their names:
Most Rev. Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archdiocese of Indianapolis
Most Rev. Charles C. Thompson, Diocese of Evansville
Most Rev. Donald J. Hying, Diocese of Gary
Most Rev. Kevin C. Rhoades, Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend
Most Rev. Timothy L. Doherty Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana
In the declining days of the Carter presidency in 1980, the Boston Globe accidentally put on an editorial about one of Carter’s useless pronouncements the classic, and true, headline: More Mush From the Wimp. The proper headline for this exercise in ecclesiastical weasel doublespeak is : More Mush From the Wimps. These days Catholics need principled and courageous leadership, and usually they get this type of tripe. Jesus wept.