The HHS controversy…in the broader context of the church as a whole.

February 10, 2012 at 8:13 AM (Uncategorized) (, )

I’ve decided that all cable pundits,  conservative and liberal, even the Catholic ones, are secretly annoyed by the Catholic Church.  They want to think that the only ‘real Catholics’ are the ones on their side. This has been clear in their discussions of the HHS controversy. I’m really tired of Chris Mathews remarks that government is “bullying” the US Bishops…

Why is it that men think they are best suited to debate these things Gah.

While there’s been a ‘pushing out’ of the liberal side if the Catholic laity and religious,  a substantial portion of US Catholics still consider themselves liberal, or Democrats, or independent of one side or the other…

And there is, obviously, the expanding conservative laity, religious, and the authorities in the church (Bishops, Cardinals, the Pope…)

As congregants, priests or nuns we don’t fall into a simple category.  Neither political side can count on a “voting as a bloc” mentality from the church in the Us.

So, I think the pundits are annoyed that they cannot file away the reactions of the laity in the same ‘bin’ as the letters from the bishops etc.

Also, given the past scandals…IMO it is extremely difficult for the hierarchy to be seen as credible on matters of, “We see this as a Really Bad Thing, and will advocate forcefully against it…”   Their record on forceful advocacy against abuses by priests, universally acknowledged as a Really Bad Thing?  Not so good.]

Why have I come to my faith and why do I stay?  This exchange from another blogs comment section might cover that…

I began with:

I see the Church as the laity first and foremost.

and I go to my ADA compliant parish, to roll the power chair in and sing in the choir (used to be a singer so it’s a welcome return…)

Any political/partisanness I make sure I have nothing to do with…

I kinda take that separation of church and state stuff seriously.

as for the spiritual component, that’s private.

I go by my life experience, prayer and my conscience.[My understanding as a recent convert is that the Church teaches that one’s conscience is the final arbiter.NB Evidently I’m wrong about this, but then what was it doing in my R.C.I.A classes?] I’m a solid liberal.

That’s it.

Someone said:

You’re hearing what some liberal priests, religious and/or other Catholics are saying.

It is not what the Vatican has ever said.

And the Vatican is where a fair percentage of your donation dollars wind up and and the Vatican gives your parish the ultimate marching orders.

I wish it were otherwise, because there are so many great people like you.

Let your conscience be your guide.” As a cradle Catholic, I can smell that that is a Protestant phrase. I agree with it, but it ain’t Catholic teaching.

FTR I never said that my views on conscience were spelled out in an encyclical… I never  got my views on conscience from any Protestant teaching I ever heard either…  Not that that phrase might not be taught, it’s simply that my views didn’t crystallize until I arrived at Roman Catholicism.

I then replied:

And I’m sorry too, because I consider

” some liberal priests, religious and/or other Catholics.”  as my teachers too, as well as the strict line the Vatican and the Bishops walk.

“There are the rules,” said one of my best Catholic role models, “…and then there’s how you live them out.’

I pray for the strictest of the strict all the way up the chain….every day.  I don’t think they’ll change in my lifetime, perhaps not in this century!  But I do know that if prayer and other advocacy doesn’t happen, change will never come for the hardliners.

Things could come, as they have for so many, that make me reconsider my position…for me…for a number of personal and spiritual reasons I’m staying put. Because I know that the Catholics I met with Obama stickers on their cars, are just as Catholic as the ones with McCain Palin yardsigns in 2008.

Evidently there is going to be some sort of compromise on the HHS Rules spoken about later today.


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