Archbishop Timothy Dolan reminds us that bishops are pastors and not politicians. Consequently, when they speak in the public square those who are political instead of Catholic will find fault. H/T New Advent
When we bishops propose moral principles — most often allied, by the way, with the basic philosophy of our beloved country, as enshrined in our normative documents like the Declaration of Independence — we get both blessed and cursed.
One side usually blesses us when we preach the virtue of fiscal responsibility, the civil rights of the unborn, the danger of government-tampering with the definition of marriage, and the principle of subsidiarity — that is, that the smaller units in our society, such as family, neighborhood, Church, and volunteer organizations, are usually preferable to big government in solving social ills.
Yet this same side then often cringes when we defend workers, speak on behalf of the rights of the undocumented immigrant, and remind government of the moral imperative to protect the poor.
The other side enjoys quoting us when we extol universal health care, question the death penalty, demand that every budget and program be assessed on whether it will help or hurt those in need, encourage international aid, and promote the principle of solidarity, namely, society’s shared duties to one another, especially the poor and struggling . . .
. . . and then these same folks bristle when we defend the rights of parents in education, those of the baby in the womb and grandma on her death bed, insist that America is at her best when people of faith have a respected voice in the public square, defend traditional marriage, and remind government that it has no right to intrude in Church affairs, but does have the obligation to protect the rights of conscience.
So, we bishops get both blessed and blasted, a friend or foe of bloggers, pundits, and politicians, depending on what the issue is.
But, once again, we’re used to it. We try our best to be pastors, not politicians, teachers, not tacticians, shepherds, not strategists; we do not need to run for re-election (good thing, since most of us would probably lose!); and the only platform we have is God’s Word, as hardwired into the human heart and handed on by His Church, especially as taught by Jesus, who reminded us that, “As long as you did it to one of these, the least of my brethren, you did it to me.” Read the entire post here.