Deal Hudson, of the Catholic Advocate and insidecatholic.com, has written a piece concerning the current state of affairs in politics, and more specifically, that of the pro life movement. In his piece, Mr. Hudson basically states that it is the laity’s job, not the Bishops in dealing with the current state of affairs, and believes the Bishops role ought to re write “ Faithful Citizenship” that was utilized by the Socialist wing of the Catholic Church against the Magisterial teachings of the Church proper. In this Mr. Hudson seems to allude to the need for laity to take the lead in this matter, which is clearly an issue of faith and morals, a realm of the Bishops. See link:
Mr. Deal is correct in asserting that the laity must be more involved in countering the Socialists that call themselves Catholic. There is no question that the laity are the foot soldiers in this battle, but they are not the generals. The Generals are those who are supposed to have the vision and aptitude to lead and be the light and guides in defeating the unholy and immoral issues in society. It is in this fashion, that the Bishops have been AWOL, and they clearly need to engage in the battle, and take on the faith based and moral grounds that are divinely mandated and given to them to safeguard.
When people like George Soros can fund socialist groups that push an unholy agenda, and basically get away with it due to silence by the bishops, it is this silence, not the leadership within the laity, that sows confusion. By their silence, the Bishops are de facto, agreeing with Soros and his very misguided theological stance. It is then up to the laity to take up the cause of TEACHING AND PREACHING of the faith and morals of the Church, which is clearly the realm of the chief shepherds, the Bishops.
If we claim the role of Catholic lay expertise in politics then we can't constantly be looking to the bishops to solve our problems. We should resist the impulse to ask the bishops to do all this work for us.
If we've made any mistake since the election it has been focusing on the bishops rather than training Catholics to be politically active and building a coalition of Catholics with other like-minded people of faith.
The only thing we should ask of the bishops is to rewrite the “Faithful Citizenship” document, which caused so much confusion in 2008.
No one is asking the Bishops to personally make statements concerning candidates, or to arrange protests, or to lead every prayer group that participates in protests, or to fund raise, or to identify with any one party. What the faithful are asking the Bishops to do is to preach, teach, and ENFORCE church protocols and stand up for the faith in the way that their office requires of them. The Bishops are official representatives and shepherds of the Catholic Church, and are the leaders of the faith and morals of the Church. It is their responsibility to adhere to the teachings and traditions of the church, and ultimately their responsibility to represent them to the society at large.
The Catholic laity cannot enforce matters such as Cannon 915 that bans those who actively support legalized child killing from receiving Holy Communion. They laity cannot put out encyclicals or pastoral letters, or even set official Diocesan protocols or teachings. This is the purview of the Bishops, and the fact that there are many politicians that claim to be Catholic, yet hold publicly contradictory positions from the Catholic Church that go unchallenged by the Bishops is nothing short of scandalous. For instance, Arch Bishop Weurl would do way more for the Church and the pro life movement, if he simply upheld Cannon 915 and denied Communion to the likes of Pelosi and Co. This would go very far in not only re energizing the laity, but it would be demonstrating the exact nature of the office of Bishop, and demonstrate that the Bishops take our faith seriously. It would also signal to those that make the claim to be Catholic, that there is a clear standard in which they need to adhere to in order to stay in good standing.
It is the Bishops NOT standing up for the faith, and not the recent appointment of ‘left leaning politicians’ as Mr. Hudson would like to believe, that is the core of the problem. As laity, we do have the right to call the Bishops out on this, and do have a right to demand that they teach and preach the faith as mandated by the Church. We as laity, have the right and responsibility to carry out the teachings and traditions when reflected in unity with the magisterium. For the laity to have maximum effectiveness there needs to be clear teachings and strong moral leadership by the heads of the faith, which happens to be the Bishops. Without this, strong laity movements look like they are in rebellion of the church, as the church leadership stays silent on the matters.