Initially, I was going to title this post “Unnecessary thoughts on stuff.” That it is only my opinion, and thus does not matter or could be wrong. Then I remembered what G.K. Chesterton said in his Introduction to the Book of Job:
The modern habit of saying “This is my opinion, but I may be wrong” is entirely irrational. If I say that it may be wrong, I say that is not my opinion.
Still, life has been a process for me of finding out I was wrong and having to correct myself. Thankfully for me, I take some delight in this process. As an atheist I thought I loved truth, now I literally love Truth as in the “Way, the Truth, and the Light”. So enough of a rambling preamble.
Now back to Chesterton:
Sanity consists in seeing the big things big and the small things small.” (From his biography in the chapter titled “The Fantastic Suburb”)
It seems to me that we have entirely reversed this. We have inverted the telescope and see flies as giants walking the earth. It is not that some of the relatively small things are not of importance. All that affects some peoples lives
As a Catholic blogger, I am also legally obligated to write about the March for Life and the Covington students. While I have been tardy in commenting about this, if only the majority of the population had been somewhat slow in discussing this, you will be thankful to hear, that I will not be saying much about this at all.
My opprobrium is mainly directed to rush to judgment and all the virtue signaling that occurred. My initial reaction was I would not have been surprised to find that high school kids had acted like jerks, but that the story seemed to be a perfect storm for the media. I expect the media to blow things out of proportion as they have no filter other than confirmation bias. Catholics really should be quite used to such reporting and taking a “wait and see” attitude to reporting in general. So most of my anger is directed towards those who should know better and should take media coverage with at least one grain of salt, preferably a Salt Lake’s worth.
Instead, we had high profile Catholics condemn these students. This condemnation included bishops and their diocese. That they even doubled-down after finding the initial reporting was wrong in every single aspect. Once again a diocese has failed to protect children. Subsequently, there have been some apologies. Notably, their bishop has piled on instead.
So often it seems to me that bureaucrats and not pastors run most diocese. That they respond to media outcry without apparent care for souls. That now they talk about investigations and looking into the facts when initially they did no such thing. It is as if bishops are playing a game of limbo with Congress. “How low can our approval ratings go.”
So while I a certainly not ready to approve every response of the students involved, it is the supposed adults that failed us. I expect the Green Arrow to be making an appearance to bishops saying “You have failed this Diocese.”
Now on to the big things. In the ramp-up to the Deathaversary of Roe v. Wade, we have seen stories in New York state regarding their proposed abortion law.
On Tuesday, New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the most radical state abortion law in the country. By explicitly restricting legal personhood to those who are “born,” the new law would seem to preempt any effort to curb abortion access in any circumstance. It also looks like the law will prevent criminal or civil courts from pursuing homicide charges when an unborn baby—even one that is “wanted” by the mother— is killed through malice or negligence. Source
Bishop Scharfenberger of Albany had pleaded “Mr. Cuomo, do not build this Death Star,”. Apparently few detected the disturbance in the force. Instead, we get a statement from New York bishops about a “sad chapter.” Abortion up through nine months – sad trombone sound. We will see more states go this route with the perceived threat that abortion will be overturned by the Supreme Court (not holding my breath).
While this story has gotten some virtual ink in Catholic media and social media, it was a nowhere the same level as garnered regarding the Covington students. I am guilty of this myself. It is easy to start seeing every story as a David against Media Goliath story. Meanwhile, the Philistines have invaded and set up permanent camp.
There now are increased calls that Gov. Cuomo be excommunicated. I am certainly sympathetic to this. More accurately I am more like a Dalek rolling around repeatedly shouting “Excommunicate” is an annoying nasally voice. Even as an “armchair canon lawyer,” I will defer to Canonist Ed Peters regarding this. He is always worth reading.
The skeptic in my defaults to them sustaining a status quo regarding the Governor. It seems his bishop does not love him enough to intervene. I am though confused as to who would have jurisdiction. Is it Cardinal Dolan or the Bishop of Albany? Or perhaps both? Regardless I love the Governor enough to pray for him, or at least I want to in a more Aquinas technical sense of love. Again the inner-skeptic tells me the priority is media outcry repercussions over the salvation of souls. I down want to dismiss actual prudential questions as negligible.
Say for example they had concluded that excommunication as a medicidal remedy was not likely to be effective. Reportedly the Governor had stopped going forth for Communion after reports of his openly living with a woman to whom he is not married. Even so, this does not mean all avenues are closed. Indeed, another statement about the bishops being “sad” about his conduct won’t do it. I think that excommunication is the route to go to rouse him towards repentance. I am open to other avenues. For example what if the Bishops conference there announced a day of prayer and fasting for Governor Cuomo and the Catholic politicians that signed the bill? The subsequent rejoicing at the signing of the law, was despicable as they washed their hands in the blood of the unborn. What is truth? There would be a media onslaught regarding the Church interfering in politics, but so what? We need to grow a backbone to save souls. Indifference is not loving your neighbor. The question is could they pull this off as a genuine act of a call to conversion over just a stunt? Regardless, these actions should not be ignored. This evil will only avalanche to other states, and when we look up under the rocks, it will not be the time to wonder “what we could have done.”