Monday, June 28, 2004

Priests can be short-sighted hypocrites too
A reader e-mailed this letter, from a Sojourners editor to Catholic bishops in the US, now that they've taken to excluding liberals from communion. He rightly believes that the Church may be missing the big picture...
I am perplexed why you have chosen the abortion issue as a litmus test for "full communion with the faith of the church." Sorry to speak so boldly, but you have no basis for so selectively narrowing your rich moral tradition.
Even on humanitarian lines, one would ask for irrefutable moral grounds that might justify the military attack of one country against the people of another. The fact that the Bush administration each day revises, redefines, and rewrites the reasons for taking the United States to war is sufficient proof that its justification was at best flawed and at worst fabricated.

I have not heard one U.S. Bishop even suggest that Holy Communion might be withheld for any politician who enacted, or voted for, the immoral pre-emptive invasion of Iraq. Yet the consequent loss of human lives - both Iraqi and American - and the devastation of Iraqi society have been nothing short of tragic. Furthermore, this act of spiritual arrogance - invoking God's guidance while invading - has deepened historical animosities that surely will lead to more senseless bloodshed in the Middle East and across the globe.
This move toward each other by President Bush and the Catholic Church is unsettling. In the context of faith-based and voucher initiatives which stand to engorge the coffers of the church with public monies, it's just about scandalous. And if HR 235 passes, it will all get much, much worse.

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