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More on the Mass Bishops

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Oct 31, 2003

Say your daughter --against the strenuous objections of you and your husband -- moves in with her boyfriend, and after a month of entreaties your husband relents and not only gives the lovers your second car on permanent loan, but pays the utilities for their apartment. You may well feel betrayed by his generosity. And almost certainly you wouldn't buy it were he to say, "I'm not selling out Catholic teaching on marriage. I simply want them to have the things couples are entitled to."

The Massachusetts bishops have in effect pulled the same stunt as this spineless father, abandoning their steadfast opposition and waffling about the rights of same-sex partners to domestic benefits. When the media (as well as interest groups pro and con) drew the perfectly obvious conclusion that the shift was a huge boost for the gay marriage initiative, the bishops went into damage control mode and claimed the media got it wrong.

"Contrary to the headlines, the Roman Catholic bishops upheld church teachings on marriage at last week's State House hearing."

Exactly -- they upheld the teaching with the same conviction of the man who reminds his daughter of the sanctity of marriage while buying her for her boyfriend's enjoyment. What's going to mean more, his occasional embarrassed lectures or his tossing her the keys to the Camry?

CWN editor and OTR blogger Phil Lawler was asked by the reporter for his take on the bishops' explanation. His answer: "Plausible deniability."

"Plausible" in this context does not mean credible, but serviceable. It will stymie the authorities until the necessary compromises can be made. The faithful, alas, have become all too accustomed to the ploy. As Groucho Marx said (in a similar context), "Who are you gonna believe -- me, or the evidence of your own eyes?"

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