Monday, July 23, 2007

USCCB - Played by House Democrats?

The U.S. bishops have agreed to meet with a group of Catholic House Democrats to discuss how to pursue the goal of a "responsible transition" to end the war in Iraq. (Catholic News Service July 19, 2007):
"The current situation in Iraq is unacceptable and unsustainable," wrote Bishop Thomas G. Wenski of Orlando, Fla., chairman of the bishops' Committee on International Policy, in a July 17 letter to Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio. A copy of the letter was released July 18 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Bishop Wenski's letter was a response to a June 28 letter Ryan wrote to Bishop Wenski and Bishop William S. Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., USCCB president. Ryan's letter, sent on behalf of himself and 13 other Catholic House Democrats, urged the bishops to increase their involvement in efforts to end the war in Iraq.

Funny thing: among these 14 Catholic Democrats -- Tim Ryan (OH), Rosa DeLauro (CT), Jose Serrano (NY), Jim Moran (VA), Joe Baca (Ca), Hilda Solis (CA) -- are those who publicly joined together in May 2007 to criticize Pope Benedict's statement that pro-abortion politicians should not receive Communion.

Diogenes (Off the Record) comments on "our shared moral tradition":

A practical politician might have told these 14 Democrats that if they don't want to hear from the Catholic Church about abortion, they shouldn't look to hear from the Church about the war in Iraq. A concerned pastor might have told them that if they disregard the Church's teaching on a clear issue of moral teaching, they should not be so hypocritical as to invoke Church teaching on an issue that is not nearly so clear-- an issue on which loyal Catholics can and do differ. But the USCCB leaders didn't choose those options. Instead the USCCB implicitly accepted the lawmakers' claim that they are the moral champions of Catholic teaching.
while Jay Anderson (Pro Ecclesia) is "awaiting 2 unlikely things to occur":
  • For howls of outrage from the usual (liberal) suspects regarding the Church involving itself in the political process, and regarding one of the major political parties trying to "co-opt" the Church for its own ends; and
  • For the Bishops to similarly meet with pro-life Republicans in Congress and the Bush Administration to strategize on anti-abortion policy.
Lastly, Deal Hudson muses "how the USCCB could avoid being a political pawn in the hands of the House Democrats.

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