Why do they care what the bishops say?

Why do they care what the bishops say?

Why is that whenever someone complains about Catholic bishops telling her how to vote, it’s always someone planning to vote for Kerry, never someone voting for Bush. I wonder if we’d hear the same outcry from those people about bishops who told Catholics they couldn’t vote for Bush because of the Iraq war or the death penalty. I think not. Or to make the example even more stark: Would they also reject bishops in other countries who spoke out about the evils of an oppressive government there? Would they complain about a lack of separation of Church and state if they lived in Nazi-occupied Europe in the 1940s?

In other words, it’s not so much about the principle of separation as it is about a guilty conscience. Why complain? Why don’t they just ignore the bishops if they care so little about their guidance? Do they think the Church police will accompany them to the polling station to make sure they cast their vote correctly?

The fact is that bishops have a duty to assess the morality of a situation and inform us of it. It is then our duty to integrate that guidance into our consciences.

By the way, if you want a good example of the spread of ignorance and heterodoxy among the Catholic faithful, give the linked essay a read. Sheesh, we have a lot of educating to do.

Update: Link fixed. Don’t know how long it will last if the newspaper’s going to change them willy-nilly.