It’s a good note, but…

It’s a good note, but…

Deal Hudson of Crisis magazine is very excited about the new note from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on Catholics’ political responsibility. He gives his thoughts in his latest “E-Letter” (which is not available on their web site).

    This is the best news I’ve heard all year. No, golf has not been made the national past time (but a fair guess). I’m talking about the Vatican’s release of the “Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life.” And believe me, this is some note.

He goes on to detail all its provisions in a decent summary of what it says. But I just can’t get excited about it like he does. Why? For one things, there’s nothing new about it. It’s the same consistent teaching we’ve seen in papal encyclical after encyclical (including Evangelium Vitae) and CDF note after note. I don’t expect Catholic politicians like Ted Kennedy and “Catholic” groups like “Catholics” for a Free Choice to suddenly slap their foreheads and sa, “D’oh, I didn’t realize how wrong I was.” I also don’t expect bishops who have sat on their hands for all these years to suddenly say, “Why didn’t you tell us before we had the authority to do something about these people?”

It’s a nice summation of Catholic teaching and Catholic responsibility, especially with regard to conscience, its right formation, and its freedom, but it doesn’t really change anything unless bishops and others do something with it.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli