I now have reports from four different dioceses in various parts of the country on how the bishops’ document “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” is being used to clear the way for Catholics to support Obama.
The most egregious “teaching” of the document goes like this: Democrats agree with 90% of the Church’s social teaching, Republican’s 10%. So the fact that the GOP is pro-life is offset by the weight of the many other issues –minimum wage, national health insurance, etc. — supported by the Democrats.
Conclusion: Catholics can ignore the pro-life and marriage issues.
Another way the document is being taught is to line up a long list of “intrinsic evils.” Yes, the Republicans hold the line on one or two intrinsic evils, but the Democrats care about measures to eliminate a longer list of “intrinsic evils.” It won’t be mentioned that the latter group of “evils” are not intrinsically evil in the same way as killing unborn life; the former must be opposed in any and all ways, including legislation; the latter opposed by prudential means.
But the conclusion is the same: Catholics can ignore the differences between Republicans and Democrats on the life and marriage issues.
Those who have been tasked to teach “Forming Consciences” in parishes around the country include staff from the local chanceries and the USCCB. Often those staff will have “peace and justice” attached to the description of their employment or their association with Catholic institutions.
I have yet to hear anyone associated with the “peace and justice” crowd accurately describe the proper priority of the life issues in “faithful citizenship.” [article]
No surprise here that the same people who turned the documents of Vatican II into some nebulous Spirit of Vatican II would do the same to the USCCB’s document. When you use the hermeneutic of “I am going to vote for Sen. Obama anyway” it is amazing what documents can then yield. Kind of like National Catholic Reporter’s new editor who wrote this year that he would rather have the bishops go to Hell than for him not to vote Democrat.
These stories corroborate my thesis that most of the damage to the Catholic Church is being done at the middle management level. The bishops should be paying more attention to what is being taught by their staff, both at the conference and the chanceries.
Totally agree with that assessment. The parish and diocesan spin doctors are hard at work all over the place.