Catholic Leaders On the Sunday Morning News Shows This Easter Morning

In case you missed it, and I know I did, the network news shows this morning decided that Easter Sunday would be a great time to ask some questions that are facing voters this election year. Though I missed the first run of the following two shows, I caught them via the internet and share them with you here to help keep you up to date. Let the reruns begin.

First up is Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who appeared on the CBS Sunday morning stalwart, Face the Nation. He discuss the First Amendment rights of the faithful, though it’s tough to do in the soundbite size time available to him. He tackles the idea that a “wall of separation,” which has risen to prominence in debates regarding the First Amendment, exists between churches and the state. Take a look,

On a different network, Bishop William Lori also made an appearance this Easter morn. Bishop Lori was a guest on MSNBC’s Meet the Press hosted by David Gregory, along with a panel of other guests. The subject of the hour? Whether or not there is a “war on religion” in America today.

Bishop Lori, and the other guests, quickly turn to the issue of the day: the Administration’s HHS Mandate. Bishop Lori notes that this isn’t a theological fight, but a religious liberty issue, as our beliefs are no longer being “accommodated” by the government as they have been in the past.

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Whew! It was beat the clock at the end of the clip there. The thing to remember, and one that has been forgotten, is that the First Amendment was drafted with a purpose to thwart government power in the realm of religion ( as well as in the areas of speech, press, the right to assemble, etc.) It was not drafted to set up the Federal government as the arbiter of religion, or these other rights, in the lives of citizens. I’ll share more on that particular notion in another post soon.

  • Elizabeth K.

    Your final point is the one that we need to keep focusing on, and I’m looking forward to your post on it. It’s fine to talk about our stance on birth control, etc., etc., but it really is an issue of whether the government can arbitrarily define what a religious institution is, through an unelected bureaucracy, to suit its own ends. I’m trying to keep this as my key point in arguments and not get drawn in to other tangential issues.

  • MaryLouise Carlisle

    Thank you for this post and for including the clips. As interesting as it all was, I felt they (in the 2nd clip) didn’t really get to the heart of the current issue as regards how the HHS Mandate violates the separation of Church and State. Several of the panel members moved towards clarifying this issue in some of their comments, but they never really discussed how the State is dictating to the Church how to be Church, how to do their ministry. Bishop Lori started to talk about it, but David Gregory swept his comments aside. I think all the panel members were ready and able to discuss in more detail the issues the Mandate has raised, but Gregory wanted a more general discussion.

  • Elmtree

    Dolan is an excellent communicator, and a great example of how to be charitable and respectful without compromising principle.

  • Tom

    I guess Bob couldn’t bring himself to wish Cardinal Dolan a Happy Easter. It was an excellent discussion though.

    • Fr. Victor Feltes

      Actually, he does wish the cardinal holy day tidings, but Dolan talks over the end of it. “Your Eminence, it is a pleasure to talk to you this morning, and happy Easter.” (Bob Schieffer @10:44)