So the bishops’ are preparing a statement on war with Iraq and some people are appalled that Cardinal Law is the one in charge of the effort because he, more than but including most of the other bishops, has lost his moral standing to speak on this and other social justice issues because of the Scandal.
- The muffling of the bishops’ voice on social justice issues “is a terrible casualty of this crisis over sexual abuse and the bishops’ own mishandling of it,” said Claire Noonan, spokeswoman for Call to Action, a grass-roots group seeking changes in church policies.
I wonder if CTA would be just as upset at the lost standing if the bishops were to condemn abortion or homosexuality. The fact is that the bishops haven’t used their moral clout in years, if they had any at all. The last time I remember was during the first attempt at a partial-birth abortion ban, which when it failed we heard nothing again from them, even on subsequent attempts to ban it.
Since when have the vast majority of Catholics listened to the voices of the bishops on contraception, abortion, homosexuality, divorce, and a host of other issues? The bishops lost their moral voice when they failed to use it starting in the 1960s.
By the way, I’ve seen some cynicism at the choice of Cardinal Law to write the Iraq position paper. Some people speculate that the bishops are trying to rehabilitate his image by putting him in this prominent place. Sorry, but he’s been head of the bishops’ committee on foreign relations for a couple of years; he’s just doing his job.