A reader writes:
My father has a long history of writing letters to our bishop. While not one of the weaselly variety who would be in the running for your “Worst Bishop Still Serving” award, he has often been disappointingly silent on our Christian duty to vote pro-life, even going so far as to say that Catholics aren’t “single-issue voters” and should consider all issues when voting, not just abortion (translation: yes, we should be pro-life, but all the pro-lifers are Republicans, and we certainly can’t have that.).
Concurrent with recent discussions about Bishop Weigand’s fantastic homily on Governor Davis, my father sent a letter to his own bishop regarding our own pseudo-Catholic governor where he asked, “is a Catholic politician who publicly supports abortion guilty of cooperation with evil – and thereby of scandal – and, if so, should he continue to receive communion?” My dad purposely framed the question as more of a point of clarification on a theological issue than an accusatory note to the bishop, hoping to get a better response.
The response he did receive from the bishop’s aide was.well, I don’t know what. I suppose I’m not really surprised, but if what he says about the USCCB is true, then I think we have the right to be perfectly outraged with the lot of them. I thought you might be interested in the response; it might serve as some good fodder for discussion on the blog. At any rate, use it as you will. Names have been changed to protect the innocent.
“At the request of Bishop X and after speaking with him, I am responding to your letter of January 9, 2003 regarding the issue of cooperation and abortion.
First, the bishop wrote to Governor Y before he was elected governor of [our fine state] and stated that abortion was sinful and inconsistent with the beliefs and practice of any Catholic. The bishop never received a reply from the governor.
Secondly, the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops has advised the bishops of our country not to engage in public disputes with Catholic officials who support a “pro-choice” position on abortion. As a strategy, the bishops’ conference thought that public disputations with specific Catholic public officials who favor abortion would be counterproductive and make matters worse. Instead, many bishops have chosen to work to change the law and the attitude of much of our country favoring abortion. In some ways, the day seems to be coming closer when the Supreme Court may reverse the 1973 Wade vs. Roe decision. I welcome that day, but we must work for it now.
Finally, regarding the conscience of the governor, only God is his judge. While the Catholic Church vehemently opposes his public position, we do not know the state of his soul, or anyone’s for that matter.”