hush, hush

By Diogenes (articles ) | May 11, 2004

A Philadelphia columnist thinks bishops should keep mum on pro-abort pols.

When you've dug yourself into a hole, the first rule is stop digging. The church not only hasn't stopped digging, it's brought in a steam shovel.

The church is in ongoing crisis over the way it handled -- actually, the way it didn't handle -- sexual abuse of children by priests. In its shameful, decades-long cover-up, the church acted like a criminal conspiracy. Amazingly, some prelates have chosen this moment to target Catholic politicians who don't toe the church's anti-abortion line.

Church, stop digging!
Let me try to grasp the argument. The Church teaches that boffing boys, perverting justice, and killing the unborn are all grossly wicked. Many of her officers betrayed the Church by committing the first two wrongs, therefore she should keep silent about the third.

The reasoning is not formidable.

  • A math teacher cooks his expense account by creative arithmetic and his department head signs off on the reporting form. Therefore the school should not presume to teach algebra.
  • A cop beats his wife and the officers who respond to the neighbors' complaints fail to charge him. Therefore the police department should not arrest anyone for arson.
  • Some docs in the cardiac care unit prescribe expensive and unnecessary medicines, and it turns out they get a kick-back from the pharmacy. Therefore the hospital should cease to treat gunshot wounds.

As I've pointed out before: other institutions are held responsible for crimes committed in obedience to their teachings; the Church is held responsible for crimes committed in defiance of hers. In an odd way this asymmetry is a tribute to and confirmation of the Church's unique holiness. Even those who hate her -- a group that includes many of her own ministers -- realize her voice is larger than the sum of the persons whom she claims as her own. The time to worry is when her enemies no longer wish to gag her.

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  • Posted by: - May. 11, 2004 1:49 PM ET USA

    Consider the source. "Philadelphia columnist" Stu Bykofsky writing about the Catholic Church is comparable to Bill Clinton writing about telling the truth.

  • Posted by: - May. 11, 2004 12:55 PM ET USA

    Bishop Sheridan of Colorado Springs joins our other “good shepherds” in admonishing so-called pro-abortion Catholics. Hopefully, many other bishops will have the courage to follow suit before the November election. Sheridan's pastoral letter appeared in the diocesan newspaper and can be viewed at: