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an ever-widening rift

By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | Mar 19, 2006

Massachusetts, one of the most Catholic states in the country ...

weeeeERP! Right from the git-go the load alarm on the Totenberg Detector goes off. When a journalist pretends to view Massachusetts as a "Catholic" state, you know you're in for a Vatican's-waning-influence story.

Massachusetts, one of the most Catholic states in the country, is witnessing an ever-widening rift between church and state on a raft of social issues, from gay marriage and abortion "buffer zones" to stem cell research and emergency contraception.

Sure, sure. How far back to you have to go, I wonder, to find an occasion when Massachusetts Catholics successfully used their political clout to advance a recognizably Catholic position that wasn't principally a reflex of their social and economic interests? Let me put it another way. Suppose the Vatican Council had taken the opposite path and decreed that Catholics were to withdraw from public and political life and, shunning worldly concerns, devote themselves wholly to the cultivation of personal piety. In terms of the impact of Church teaching in the contemporary political battlegrounds, would we be able to tell the difference?

Phil, get that book written.

July 19, 1969: Monsignor F.X. Riordan recovers the rosary from the rear-view mirror of Massachusetts's premier Catholic layman.

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