Theodore Cardinal McCarrick maintains and saves the reputation of committees. We wouldn’t want a blot on the reputation of a committee actually achieving something and coming to a strong viewpoint. If you want to act, then act. If you want to do nothing on a troublesome question, then simply create a committee. You might be wondering what the heck I am writing about. After over two years the Cardinal who heads the task force on Catholics in political life came to the forgone conclusion that we should just continue to have the local bishops make the decisions on Communion and pro-abortion politicians. The word task force just does not apply in this situation, perhaps it should have been called a task weak.
Regardless of whatever the "task weak" had come up with I think it would only have been a recommendation for how the local ordinary should react in the first place. Now I could have saved the bishops conference plenty of time and money if they would have asked me for some recommendations. I would have simply referred them to Matthew 18:15.
"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
The first step is to simply contact and to meet the person to try to persuade them to follow the truth. If these efforts fail then enlist others to help, especially to pray for a conversion of heart. The final step when the others have failed seems so uncharitable out of context, but is is really doing nothing that is the most uncharitable thing you can do. Sometimes what appear to be harsh actions are actually the most loving ones. The term tough love has become hackneyed, but it is still descriptive. Though it certainly doesn’t seem that many bishops get to step 3 of Matthew 18:15, and you wonder at times how many get to step one?
Addressing the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference, McCarrick said: "My concern is the fear that the intense polarization and bitter battles of partisan politics may be seeping into the broader ecclesial life of our Catholic people and maybe even of our Conference."
Well the easy way to not have to worry about political polarization is to ensure that you treat politicians of any party equally. Withhold Communion from any public sinner who disagrees on fundamental Church teaching regardless of the party they are in. If one political party has more adherents to the culture of death it is not the fault of the bishops, but those parties. If you worry how people interpret your actions instead of worrying about the souls of the individuals involved you are already on the wrong track. Besides does anybody believe that partisan politics has not already seeped into ecclesial life or the bishop’s conference?
It does seem odd that the Cardinal is worried about political polarization on this issue and earlier this week was one of the signers of a full page ad in the New York Times that alleged that President Bush claims he has the power to go outside of the McCain Amendment. I am in one hundred percent agreement with the Church and the Cardinals position on torture which was the subject of the ad, I just wonder why he doesn’t see this act as political or polarizing? Many bishops and cardinals let their thoughts on illegal immigration be known. It should just be simply accepted that often the moral teachings of the Church will intersect with the political sphere and while we must be prudent with this intersection, it is no excuse to not get involved. It just seems to me that the soul of the politician gets short shrift in these discussions.