Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

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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