While it is not my aim to offend anyone of the Catholic faith, I simply have to ask what’s up with the Bishops?
Not only have they declared war on marriage equality, but recent incidents show that they have declared war not only on the Democratic Party but gay equality in general.
From Right-Wing Watch comes this unbelievable clip of Thomas John Paprocki, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield, IL. In it, he implies that voting for the Democratic Party could endanger one’s soul:
There are many positive and beneficial planks in the Democratic Party Platform, but I am pointing out those that explicitly endorse intrinsic evils. My job is not to tell you for whom you should vote. But I do have a duty to speak out on moral issues. I would be abdicating this duty if I remained silent out of fear of sounding “political” and didn’t say anything about the morality of these issues. People of faith object to these platform positions that promote serious sins. I know that the Democratic Party’s official “unequivocal” support for abortion is deeply troubling to pro-life Democrats.
. . . Certainly there are “pro-choice” Republicans who support abortion rights and “Log Cabin Republicans” who promote same-sex marriage, and they are equally as wrong as their Democratic counterparts. But these positions do not have the official support of their party. Again, I am not telling you which party or which candidates to vote for or against, but I am saying that you need to think and pray very carefully about your vote, because a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy.
And Paprocki is not the only bishop raising eyebrows.
Last month, Washington State officials had to warn Bishop Joseph Tyson not to proceed with his plan of raising money for an anti-marriage equality referendum in that state. According to Reuters, Tyson had sent a letter to area pastors asking them to distribute donation envelopes to parishioners during the weekend of September 8-9. The money was supposed to go to Preserve Marriage Washington, the campaign to defeat legalization of same-sex marriage on the state’s November ballot.
According to Think Progress, Omaha, Nebraska Archbishop George Lucas is asking all priests in his diocese to speak on behalf of an effort to repeal recently passed sexual orientation non-discrimination law.
Think Progress also points out that in New Jersey:
. . .a Newark Archbishop recently sent a pastoral letter to implore over 1 million Catholics in his New Jersey parish to stop supporting same-sex marriage. In fact, Archbishop John Myers even went so far as to suggest that any Catholics who support same-sex marriage, regardless of their own sexual orientation, should refrain from taking communion at Catholic mass because they are “unable to assent to or live the Church’s teaching in these matters.”
Lastly, according to the San Diego Lesbian and Gay News:
Minnesota’s 400,000 Roman Catholic households are scheduled to receive a letter this week from all of the state’s bishops, urging them to donate money for television ads asking voters to say yes to a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage. John Green, a political science professor at the University of Akron (Ohio), said that the mailing is “unusual” compared to Catholics’ roles in marriage amendment campaigns in other states. “I can’t think of anything as direct and as explicit,” Green said. “I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it legally, but certainly I’m sure it’s very controversial. Catholic leaders have been involved in fundraising. I know of examples where they have reached out to parishioners, but I’ve never heard of anything quite this comprehensive,” he added.
These incidents should make us all extremely uncomfortable as to the power Catholic bishops seem to be flexing. No doubt, they plead victimhood and claim that they are merely protecting “traditional values” and “religious liberty.”
However, to me the entire thing stinks of an abuse of power.
There is an old saying about “paying the piper,” and I have a feeling that a while from now, the tune the piper will be playing for these Roman Catholic Bishops will be titled Internal Backlash.