style is substance

By Leila Marie Lawler (articles ) | Apr 12, 2004

The question

was, “Should a Catholic politician follow the teachings of the church?” It would be nice to think the answer could have been, “Yes.”

MCCARRICK: Well, as a Catholic, he [Kerry] certainly should follow the teachings of the church.

“As a Catholic”? Everyone should follow the teachings of the Church on moral issues, just as every apple should fall to the ground, whether it’s an adherent of the “religion of gravity” or not.

The teachings of the church sometimes give the impression that they don't come from God.

Really? They give that impression, do they?

Maybe if someone, somewhere (not that we’re asking a bishop or even a Cardinal to do it) ever explained a teaching of the Church (say, on FoxNews, when he was asked about it) the impression would very much be that it came from God. Many, many people are able to discern the voice of God in the teachings of the Church, particularly when taught by one of God’s anointed teachers.

We believe that what we proclaim is what the gospel proclaims.

Of course, we don’t know what it is that “we proclaim” because McCarrick hasn’t proclaimed it. The interviewer mentioned abortion and stem cell research, but our boy isn’t touching it with a ten-foot pole. But what if he had said, “What we proclaim is what the gospel proclaims,” and left out the “we believe”?

We are so used to hearing these little disclaimers we don’t even notice them any more. But here McCarrick puts the issue squarely in Kerry territory with his “we believe,” leaving pickers and choosers with their consciences undisturbed; failing, yet again, even in the tiniest, safest way, to assert the truth with the conviction that it is, indeed, the truth.

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  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Apr. 15, 2004 8:34 AM ET USA

    "I think every archbishop has the right to make his decision in his own area." Here McCarrick slaps the bishops who declare Kerry unworthy to receive Holy Communion (canon 915) as being arbitrary and not acting on a principle which would rightly bind all bishops to act. "Certainly, I think we all would be critical of anyone who did not agree with us." The follow-up question: "Is abortion a matter of mere 'agreement' or sin?"

  • Posted by: - Apr. 13, 2004 2:04 PM ET USA

    In other words, if the natural law corresponds to the teachings of the spiritus mundi, people should obey them; if not, then it is OK for non-Catholics to ignore them, and permissible for Catholics to publicly repudiate these as well. BTW, I wonder how McCarrick would respond to a movement in his diocese involving the withholding of funds from such things as the Cardinal's Appeal, which is not a violation of the natural law...I bet his reaction would be different!

  • Posted by: - Apr. 12, 2004 2:58 PM ET USA

    And sadly, Card. McCarrick is the one "leading" the commission on how to handle the problem of so-called "Catholic" politicians who support infanticide. Right. I truly believe that "as Catholics" we should all be writing the members of the commission, urging them to take immediate corrective action. We should be knocking on their doors. If the bishops feared the mob less than they feared hell, this wouldn't have been a problem to begin with.