instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What is more exasperating

Two quick points about the common complaints regarding "certain bishops, whose criticism of politicians sometimes seems designed to be exploited for partisan purposes."

First, the complainers are always more upset that the Republicans can exploit the bishops' statements than that the Democrats are so easily condemned. (Of course, it used to be the other way around.) When Catholic teaching amounts to criticism of a particular political party, should Catholics condemn the criticism or the political party?

Second, the complainers seem to want the bishops' words to be completely ineffective -- what effect could they have, after all, that wouldn't be partisan?

But why should what a bishop says have no effect?