Virtue before freedom

“So if the bishops of the United States ever find themselves opposed, in a fundamental way, to the spirit of our country, the fault won’t lie with our bishops. It will lie with political and cultural leaders who turned our country into something it was never meant to be.”

Well, with respect, your Grace, if the bishops find themselves in the place that they are, it’s because, quite frankly, they failed (or rather, refused) to evangelize or bear witness to the truth on contraception for the past 50 years.  That’s the truth and until your brother bishops and their predecessors “man up” to that fact, then pointing fingers at the children they let run wild without any discipline is hardly going to do the trick.

Sooner or later, a nation based on a degraded notion of liberty, on license rather than real freedom—in other words, a nation of abortion, disordered sexuality, consumer greed, and indifference to immigrants and the poor—will not be worthy of its founding ideals. And on that day, it will have no claim on virtuous hearts. (Source)

This is true, but where are the virtuous hearts? The virtuous hearts that your precedessors were charged with guarding have been corrupted.  It is now the Church’s job to do a little self-examination and ask herself, honestly, if fighting for “religious liberty” is going to transform the corrupt to the virtuous.  Freedom is not a virtue.  It is a result of virtue.  It is an error to believe that the Church can regain its liberty without a concerted effort to regain virtue.  Fighting for freedom and not attacking the widespread practice of contraception which got us into this mess in the first place is going to fail — and waste precious time and resources that we can hardly afford.

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