I roared with laughter as I read this story in the LA Times this morning. Let's dive right in.
Led by the indomitable Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, the bishops are arriving in Atlanta for their annual spring meeting this week determined to throw the spotlight on what they perceive as an assault by the Obama administration on religious liberty.Surely that statement is not political in any sense of the term. Heaven forfend. Going against one of the presidential candidates in an election year has absolutely nothing to do with politics.
Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore insisted to the National Catholic Reporter last week that there was nothing partisan about the church's campaign. "We're not trying to throw an election," he said. "We're simply trying to defend fundamental freedoms."Nah, not political at all. What could make anyone say that?
In doing so, however, the bishops have used unusually strong language. Dolan said the White House was "strangling" the church. The bishop of Peoria, Ill., compared what Obama had done to the treatment of churches by Hitler and Stalin.
In addition to the Fortnight observance, the bishops also are using their pulpits to let the Catholic faithful know that they believe the administration has crossed a line. Dolan has even written a brief e-book, scheduled for publication later this month, in which he lays out an intellectual argument for "the Gospel of life."We'll sure want to read that, huh?
McGuire [of the Catholic Association] defends the bishops from charges of partisanship, saying: "I don't think the bishops are trying to influence the campaign.... I mean, the bishops are not going to get behind one political candidate or another. They never have and never will."Surely not. And let's remember this is all (allegedly) about contraception. And as we learned yesterday:
That's quite a church they've got there. It is hypocrisy writ large (and wearing big, silly hats).Less than a quarter of U.S. Catholics attend Mass every week. Most reject church teaching on artificial contraception and a majority support same-sex relationships. About one-third of Americans who were raised Catholic have left the church, according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.