Today's Catholic episcopate seems increasingly marred by a bitter-end spirit of strife and faction. Where's the humble recognition that the political squabbles of this world should not rend asunder the Church of Christ?
Long a bouquet of shy wallflowers compared with evangelicals, Catholic bishops are at last joining the dance at the Republican party. The Catholic hierarchs are abandoning the restraint that once made them credible as moral leaders above the partisan fray.
The bishops may take some satisfaction in an approval rating of 70 percent, but raising poll numbers was never their goal. The year 2012 still presents challenges, especially in the area of sexual abuse.
The bishops may reject the choices made by voters and their elected representatives and lament that Catholics use birth control and form families in violation of their commands, but this does not mean their religious freedoms are being violated.
The July 4 closing of the Fortnight for Freedom at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington drew a standing-room-only crowd, a fact that stunned organizers given the holiday.
While the march to full marriage equality in the United States seems to advance at an agonizingly slow pace, it is important for us to recognize that most American Catholics support marriage for lesbian and gay couples.
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.
I find it increasingly difficult to listen to what some Catholic leaders have to say on the subject of morality when their silence on Project Prevention and many other matters of significant moral import has been nothing short of deafening.
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?