Why are bishops pussy-footing on the election?

Yesterday, I reported on an excellent letter by Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison on key voting principles. There’s one passage that got me thinking.

It is not for the bishop or priests to endorse particular candidates or political parties. Any efforts on the part of any bishop or priest to do so should be set aside. And you can be assured that no priest who promotes a partisan agenda is acting in union with me or with the Universal Church. (Source)

That may be so, but I suspect the bishops are way too passive during elections. Let me explain.Suppose you and your spouse decide to treat yourselves to a nice dinner at a restaurant. After placing your order with the waiter, he comes back 15 minutes later, but instead of bringing your meals he gives you the recipe for your dinner and tells you to go to the kitchen to make it yourself.

Or suppose you need some financial advice on how best to save for your retirement. When you sit down with the financial planner, instead of giving you some concrete tips on where to invest your money, he hands you a textbook called Investment 101 and tells you to go figure it out for yourself.

Few of us would be satisfied with this type of service. Yet, that’s what the bishops seem to do at each election. At best, they provide general guidelines on how to vote but don’t give any concrete advice on how to apply it. For example, Bishop Morlino said that no Catholic can vote for a politician supporting abortion. Why doesn’t he take the extra step and spell it out: “SinceĀ Obama is the most pro-abortion, pro-gay president in history, you cannot vote for him in good conscience.” Why leave it up in the air?

It’s a matter of public record that Obama is pro-abortion. Such a statement would merely be a 1+1=2 statement:

  • Catholics cannot vote for pro-aborts
  • Obama is a pro-abort
  • Therefore Catholics cannot vote for Obama.

Instead, the bishops choose to ignore this fact staring them in the face and prefer to take positions on issues that are very uncertain and up for debate, such as immigration and health care. Rather than stick to the easy calls and no-brainers, they go out on a limb in areas where they don’t have any particular authority. They have it all backwards.

Some might argue that the bishop has already spelled it out so obviously that he need not say more. I beg to differ, given the voting patterns of Catholics.

Others might claim that a bishop couldn’t make such a statement without losing charitable status. Good riddance. The Gospel should never be handcuffed by monetary considerations.

Yet others might argue that the Church would come increasingly under attack if it became to vocal. So be it. This isn’t a popularity contest. Babies are being aborted and souls are going to hell by the millions. Does anybody care? There needs to be a greater sense of urgency. I’m just not seeing it right now.

With more vocal statements, perhaps the faithful would finally clue-in that intrinsic evils are not to be flirted with or winked at.

2 thoughts on “Why are bishops pussy-footing on the election?

  1. since the American Catholic church has become a stooge of the
    Republican party, why should I have to pay taxes when they don’t.

  2. Although their is some diveresity among the bishops, most are much more aligned with Democrats than Republicans.

    So far, their public statements have been so timid that they’re respecting IRS restrictions on charities. If they became more direct, I have no problem with them losing their tax-exempt status.

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