Bishop Sheridan’s pastoral letter and Commonweal’s response

Bishop Sheridan’s pastoral letter and Commonweal’s response

Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs has issued a pastoral letter on his state’s referendum on same-sex marriage, and it is in fact a very good one, written in an accessible style. But Jeff Miller notes that the Commonweal blog gives it the usual liberal sniff.

It is well known that the Bishop has threatened to deny Holy Communion to Catholics who vote for candidates who support same sex marriage, same sex unions, abortion, or euthanasia. Curiously, the Bishop does not support denying Holy Communion to Catholics who vote for candidates who support the death penalty, torture, or unjust war.

I call “red herring”! While abortion, euthanasia, and the nature of marriage admit of only one legitimate position for orthodox Catholics, those same Catholics can legitimately and morally take differing prudential stances on the death penalty. And like Jeff, I’ve never heard of Catholics who support unjust war. Maybe Bishop Sheridan didn’t mention such things because it’s not a big problem like Catholics who support abortion or euthanasia.

What we have is the typical impulse to cover one’s own sins by pointing out the sins of others, whether they be truly sins or not. Of course, all this is spelled out quite capably by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 2004: “There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.” Enough said.

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1 comment
  • Some liberals are more interested in resisting the episcopacy than in reforming the Democratic party platform.  If certain lefty activists put half as much energy into pro-life advocacy as they do whining about bishops, there would be less reason for complaint.

    If conservatives really are using social issues to distract from concerns about just war, torture, poverty, etc., the obvious solution is for liberals to take away those “wedge issues” by adopting anti-abortion, anti-euthanasia, anti-experimental marriage stands.

    Not going to happen, but it shows where their priorities really are.