Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Bad Reaction, Indeed

When you somehow end up on Commonweal's mailing list, your inbox is graced with gems like this editorial entitled Bad Reaction:
Conservative Catholics complain that too many liberal Catholics instinctively greet every statement from the Vatican with suspicion, skepticism, or derision. It’s a fair point. The motives and judgment of those who appear unthinkingly hostile to all hierarchical authority should be questioned. Patient attention to the legitimate concerns of others and the presumption of goodwill on the part of those we disagree with are essential virtues.
Unfortunately, patience and the presumption of goodwill were not much in evidence in the response of the U.S. bishops and many conservative Catholics to President Barack Obama’s compromise on the question of mandated contraceptive coverage for employees of religious-affiliated institutions. 
Oh no! Someone forgot to tell the Commonweal editors that the President isn't the Pope.
What is going on here? Is the question of contraception coverage—something most American Catholics already have, and which the bishops have said almost nothing about before now—really where the hierarchy wants to issue a non-negotiable edict? Why were they not this vocal in their opposition to the Bush administration’s use of torture? Has the USCCB thought through how these demands are likely to undermine the church’s much more important effort to change hearts and minds about abortion? Or how they will further divide Catholics?
They said "torture", so now any counter-arguments are invalid. It's a corollary of Anderson's Law.

It's okay, though, because Commonweal explains the new mandate for us in simple language.
Ideally, the administration would have simply broadened the original religious exemption. Nevertheless, the new plan, which requires insurance companies, rather than Catholic institutions, to cover the cost of contraceptives, is a welcome development. The details of how this will work are not entirely clear. 
The first comment on the post explains the problem with the bishops that got us into this whole political mess:
 Maybe part of the bishops' attitude is caused by the selection process for bishop.  No priest who has not shown himself unquestionably loyal to Humanae Vitae need apply.   And so, even though the majority of Catholics have not received Humanae Vitae, the almost unanimous majority of bishops have received it because only devotees of the encyclical get the job.   This policy began under John Paul II, another example of how that brilliant pope who never knew a doubt has left the Church much more divided than he found it. 
Oh, okay.


Karrie said...

Wow! I think what this reflects more than anything the epic fail of our bishops and priests on teaching Humanae vitae. Millions of Jesus' precious sheep are stumbling in darkness unable to even comprehend a threat to religious freedom because there conscience were not informed and then became twisted by the sexual revolution. Lord have mercy!

Brandon said...

I find all the qualifiers in the first paragraph rather charming: we should question the judgment of those who are unthinkingly hostile and we should patiently attend to the legitimate concerns of others.

The comment you quote at the end is priceless. Who knew that one of the things looked for in a bishop is whether they seem to agree with Church teaching?

ElizabethK said...

I have yet to read something from this magazine that didn't make me throw up a little in my mouth. Not just because I disagree-I can do that without vomiting, actually--but because as someone who teaches logic and written argumentation, I get literally nauseous reading this kind of thing from people who claim to be smart. I love that last comment, too--and the euqation between the Pope and the president--yup, tells ya somethin', though not what they meant to tell us. Oh, for a "reasonable argument" editor at Commonweal. . .