This is the sort of junk Catholics too often have to wade through these days. And junk it is; all you have to do to see that is to read Fifth Lateran on usury and Vix pervenit, both of which are excellent contributions to moral theology, and then Zmirak, to see that the third of these things is junk. Nor is there the slightest doubt what Zmirak is about; he comes out straightforwardly with it: he wants to ignore the moral teaching of the Church whenever he finds it inconvenient to take seriously. Of course, what I really love about the article is the elaborate pretense that you either agree with him or you are taking the Church to be “sacramentally married to every assertion on economics and politics by any pope,” whatever in the world such a lunatic position would actually mean. In reality, of course, we are talking about teaching, and teaching is multifaceted by its very nature; it requires a multifaceted response and self-cultivation on the part of the students — which would be people like myself and other Catholics, including, yes, Zmirak, whether he wants to be the student of the Bishops or not — not the simplistic dichotomy Zmirak is trying to peddle, which is an improvement over exactly nothing.
What drives me crazy about Zmirak’s style of argument is that he can’t just make his case. He has to punch below the belt after he makes his case. He can’t just say “I think you should vote for Romney”. He has to call you a spiritual masturbator if you choose to vote for a third party.