The Right Hand vs. The Left Hand
“The right hand does not know what the left hand is doing”. This seems to be a common thread throughout the history of the Church. It will not be until her Bridegroom comes at the end of time that we will see her unified in herself. Until then, it might feel that her members have a bit of a multiple personality disorder. Instead of looking like the glorious bride that the Church is, especially in the eyes of the world, she may as well be like Gollum from Lord of the Rings. If you don’t believe this, just sit down with your local parish council, and this idea will most likely play itself out in full technicolor.
I saw this really exemplified in an article I read today from Commonweal Magazine concerning the views of some of the more Left-winged, more “progressive” (I call them “modernist”), Bishops in the United States in regards to the 43 Catholic Institutions including 13 Dioceses, who sued Kathleen Sebellius and the Health and Human Services Department of the United States Government, because they are going to force the Church to either include contraception, sterilization, and abortifacient drugs in their health insurance plans, or pay heavy fines. This is known as the HHS Mandate. In brief, the Catholic Church considers paying into insurance plans that include such things to be cooperation with evil and so forbids the faithful to engage in this. Cardinal Wuerl of the Archdiocese of Washington explained in his recent blog about the Lawsuit that:
“The courts exist… to protect the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution. Through the legal action filed today, the archdiocese and the other plaintiffs are simply asking the court to review the law to resolve this dispute fairly, once and for all. The Church believes that the core constitutional principles at stake here – the free exercise of religion and the separation of Church and State – merit our participation in this legal action.”
However, according to Commonweal Magazine, this type of action being taken by these outspoken Bishops and Cardinals have caused a rift between them and the more modernist-leaning Bishops, especially those of the West coast. Bishop Stephen Blaire from the Diocese of Stockton, California stated in an interview in the modernist magazine, America, run by the Jesuits that:
“I think there are different groups that are trying to co-opt this and make it into [a] political issue, and that’s why we need to have a deeper discussion as bishops,” he said. “I think our rhetoric has to be that of bishops of the church who are seeking to be faithful to the Gospel, that our one concern is that we make sure the church is free to carry out her mission as given to her by Christ, and that remains our focus.” Clarke also paraphrased Blaire as believing that “the bishops lose their support when the conflict is seen as too political.”
The lawsuits were done simply because this issue demands immediate action. The HHS Mandate fell upon the Church in America like a thief in the night. For the record, I understand it affects all religious groups, not just Catholic, but the Catholic Church in America remains the loudest contender and is the hardest hit because of her extensive involvement in the world, vis. Schools and hospitals. And so for them, this issue demands action, yet the more politically left minded Bishops think the Lawsuits were “premature”. With all due respect to their office as Bishop, these lefty Bishops would rather twiddle their thumbs until the year was up and then look around and sheepishly ask, “What did we do wrong?”. They wished to wait until the annual Bishops gathering in June to “discuss” this issue. Well needless to say, these Catholic institutions that saw the urgency of the problem took decisive steps to stand their ground and defend religious liberty in the United States before it was too late.
According to Commonweal, “Bishop Blaire believes discussions with the Obama administration toward a resolution of the dispute could be fruitful even as alternative remedies are explored.” This proves one of two things, either Bishop Blaire is simply naive, as everyone knows that Obama himself has stated his stance on the HHS Mandate will not change, or Blishop Blaire is playing the innocent card, knowing full well that if they hold off and do not act, this law will come into effect, and the Emperor of the Totalitarian States of America may just place him in his left pocket. I am not a political analyst, as I have said many times before, but in the words of Team Orthodoxy’s favourite Cardinal, Francis Arinze, “I smell a rat!”. I can’t help it. It stinks. But it’s the truth.
Commonweal stated that “Blaire expressed concern that some groups “very far to the right” are turning the controversy over the contraception rules into “an anti-Obama campaign.” Over the course of history since the first Pentecost, which we celebrate this Sunday, there have been bad men and women who have risen up and defied natural and moral law, even going so far as to deny the real Jesus Christ, and many times making a new God out of their own ideologies. In these cases, the Church has always spoken in opposition to them. For a Bishop to somehow imply that we should be silent because we could lose the political battle just makes me laugh. But here is the thing, according to Commonweal, “For too long, the Catholic Church’s stance on public issues has been defined by the outspokenness of its most conservative bishops and the reticence of moderate and progressive prelates. Signs that this might finally be changing are encouraging for the church, and for American politics”. So let me get this straight. According to Blair, the Church should not be involved in overly political issues. Commonweal states that when the Church becomes progressive that it is good for politics.
Basically, unless you’re a progressive minded “Catholic”, who descents from Church teaching on matters of morality which clash with the current societal norms, “GET OUT OF POLITICS!!! You’re no good to us, politically!”
Though the Church believes in the separation of Church and State, if the state does something immoral, she is going to decry it, and she has for 2000 years. No Obama, no government sector, no law put in place, will ever shut us up from proclaiming the truth. We’ve shed our blood for this faith before, we’ll do it again.
The good news is, that the Church who to many on the outside may look like Gollum, to us who know and love the Catholic Church, we see that she still stands, in all of her radiant beauty despite the bickering and backbiting. Though you may have heretics and dissidents that try to take her down throughout her history, even from within, Jesus promises us in Matt 16:18 that the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against the Church.
The Church is not going to “get with the times” to market herself better. She won’t “get with the times” because she is “timeless“.
So, we stand with Cardinal Dolan, Wuerl, the Bishops and Dioceses, and the Catholic institutions who filed the Lawsuit against Kathleen Sebellius and the US Government, because we believe the Church and her freedom of worship and practice is worth the fight.
For more blogs on the HHS Mandate see:
Posted on May 26, 2012, in Cardinals, Catholic, Catholic Clergy, Church Corruption and Renewal, Current Events, Evangelization, faith, HHS Mandate, Love, Parenting, Politics, pro-life, school and tagged Abortifacients, Birth Control, Bishop Blaire, Cardinal Dolan, Cardinal Wuerl, Commonweal Magazine, Contraception, Freedom of Religion, HHS Mandate, Kathleen Sebellius, Pro-Life, Sterilization. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.