Absolutely superb. Let me tell you, folks, I’m just loving this! Because I can feel the rumble coming! I can feel…wait for it now….CHANGE. There’s a tingly feeling running up and down my leg and it’s not for Obama. I can see the Winnipeg Statement falling in the distant future. I can almost taste it. And the laity are the ones who are going to make it happen. The bishops will have no choice but to RETRACT IT.
Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a devout anti-Catholic, infamously suggested last week that the Church has lost its right to conscience because it has failed to “enforce” this “rule” on contraception.
“Ninety-eight percent of women in childbearing age that are Catholic use contraception. So, in practice the church has not enforced this and now they want the federal government and private insurance to enforce it. It just isn’t consistent to me.”
Leaving aside the bogusness of her silly statistics and the absurdity that not forcing people to pay for something is enforcing a religious rule, Nancy has a point.
Since the Pope clarified the Church’s position on contraception and human life 40 years ago, the Church has collectively and willfully looked the other way when many or even most Catholics ignored it to their own mortal peril. Not only did they look the other way, but for 40 years the Church has collectively and willfully refused to teach on these hard subjects.
For 40 years, the Church has acted as if these critical moral teachings did not matter enough to teach and now they are saying they matter so much that they are willing to go to the mattresses and even shut down the critical Catholic healthcare system over it. This is the height of disingenuousness.
Now of course I believe that these matters are critical and worth every effort to stop government from forcing us to do something immoral. But the Bishops and their priests cannot have it both ways. If you say this stuff matters, you better darn well act like it matters.
So while you engage in the fight over this HHS mandate, here are some other things you could/should be doing. First, as the Speaker has suggested, start enforcing it. For those Catholic politicians who openly oppose the Church in this matter and on the life issues, act like it matters. Publicly excommunicate them, for their benefit and for ours—and you can start with the botox biddy. They decry our lack of enforcement, well give ‘em some enforcement.
Second, call for a one year moratorium on homilies and replace it with a year of sermons. Banish the weak sauce of the weekly milquetoast bible study and replace it with a year of sermons on the hard issues. Teach Catholics in the pews what the Church teaches on contraception, chastity, abortion and why the Church teaches it. Teach, for heaven’s sake teach. Act like it matters and teach, even if means you get angry letters and phone calls at the rectory and even if means collections go down. Teach.
I am forty five years old and I have never heard a sermon on contraception. Never. Bishops, this is your fault. Fix it. And ask about these things in confession. Stop deferring to people’s consciences and start forming them. This is the hard work of evangelization that has been neglected for 40 years. Get to it, now.
Act like it matters and a strange thing might happen, it will matter.