With the advent of the threat of Obamacare, the U.S. Catholic Bishops have undertaken a campaign on the basis of religious freedom. They, and their media outlets and organs, have been hammering on the concept of religious freedom, which emanates from a democratic form of governance and political rhetoric rather than the Church’s moral and doctrinal teaching. It turns out that their approach is having a most curious effect.
A Pew Forum poll indicates by a slim margin that 56% of American Catholics agree with the U.S. bishops that Obamacare is a violation of religious freedom; however, interestingly, the poll finds that a slim majority of American Catholics prefer President Obama’s stand on so called social issues such as abortion and homosexuality. Fully 51% of those surveyed preferred Obama’s position on social issues, only 34% preferred the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney.
These results are very telling in that they indicate the liberal leaning of most contemporary U.S. Catholics. As hard as it may be for traditional Catholics to fathom most NewChurch Catholics would seem to regard both homosexuality and abortion as issues of free personal choice rather than immoral behavior and grave sin. How the modern NewChurch can draw this conclusion is a direct result of a failure by the bishops and NewChurch hierarchy to form Catholics of good sound conscience. This in turn is directly attributable to the vagaries of Vatican Council II with its ultimate emphasis on individual conscience and religious freedom.
So yes, the U.S. Bishops Conference’s Religious Freedom Campaign did yield results among many who see their liberties, in general, being slowly eroded in our times, but failed to unite Catholics behind sound Catholic doctrine and theology. If the presidential vote were held today it is likely that Obama could win a second term based on the Catholic swing vote and their general agreement with all his newly implemented social policies.
Unfortunately, the bishops had no choice but to hitch their wagons to the religious freedom issue because for nearly 50 years they’ve been preaching the individual conscience of VCII as the ultimate standard by which all moral and sinful behavior should be measured. For them to now campaign against the Obamacare Law, (implemented just this week), by teaching traditional Catholic morality would have produced even worse results than the current Pew Forum poll indicates. Effectively, Catholic thinking more closely mirrors the philosophy of Nancy Pelosi than that of the Sacred Magisterium of the Church.
As a line from a famous1960’s movie says, what we have here is a failure to communicate! That failure is the accumulated failure of the Novus Ordo Church to transmit the Faith as given to them prior to Vatican Council II. This is resulting in not only this current polls result but other polls of Catholic thought throughout the world.
Yet, some in traditional circles are saying that the time is ripe for our entry into full communion with the Novus Ordo. This and other polls clearly indicate otherwise.
Here is the web citation: http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=15132
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Richard of Danbury, D.S.G.