The condemnations and apologies have been forthcoming since Father Benedict Groeschel said that some teenage victims of sexual abuse seduce their priest perpetrators. It's easy to blame statements such as these on senility and misspeak.
The bishops descended. We preached the wonders of St. Mary's. They nodded benevolently. We admired their jeweled pectoral crosses, they our enthusiasm. Some conversed in close proximity with their hands on our elbows or biceps.
As a rabbi, I am deeply conscious of the transcendent value of religious freedom. I believe that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is indeed one of God's best creations. So I listen with great care to claims it is being violated.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) rarely lets the facts get in the way of their story. In making their case, they have relied on spurious claims about religious liberty, conscience and science.
Is it possible that the U.S. Roman Catholic bishops will one day be credited with having significantly advanced, albeit unintentionally, the argument for a single-payer health care system in the United States?
Real evil abounds in our world each day, and most of us are doing our level best to relieve the pain of evil's fallout. Faith leaders should support the good people who work hard to make a positive difference for children in this very imperfect world.
It is one thing to demand fealty to Catholic church principles from grant recipients; it is quite another to insist that these groups cannot in any way be associated with other organizations that do not adhere to the church's teachings.
Catholic bishops have been saying that the federal mandate that private insurers cover contraceptive services violates religious freedom. But the Catholic Church also supports policies that compromise the religious and moral freedom of others.
The bishops would of course never tell their parishioners to vote Republican, but they left little to the imagination. Priests would preach at mass about the necessity of voting only
for pro-life candidates.
There is a double standard where the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is concerned: you'll start a nuclear political war with a pro-choice Democrat but allow a pro-life Republican to get away with anything.