The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is a recent invention that grew out of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. Some Catholics confuse the USCCB as a teaching authority and mistaken it for a parallel magisterium.
Nowhere in Sacred Scripture and Tradition do we have an instance for this man made invention. We have one teaching authority and that is the Magisterium.
So why have the USCCB? Well, to support the various ministries of bishops. And of course you need the laity to support the many functions that the USCCB does.
Which brings us to our current scandal. Like anything else the USCCB is susceptible to error. Which in this case is that many bishops and the majority of the laity that work inside the USCCB are partial or are openly members of the Democratic Party that has various liberal platforms which cooperatives in evil such as abortion and the legalization of homosexual license.
The issue is that this creates a conflict of interest. When a member, in this instance a high executive such as John Carr, in the USCCB also holds a board membership with a group that supports abortion, confusion and scandal is created.
And this isn’t just one isolated case. There is the Catholic Campaign for Human Development that provides funds to anti-marriage and pro-abortion organizations. The bishops response is to arrogantly deny any scandal whatsoever.
This of course creates more scandal.
At this moment the bishops have refused to deal with infestation that the USCCB has, hoping that the scandal and uproar will quietly subside just as the controversy over Harry Forbes glowing movie reviews of anti-Catholic movies.
Well, enough is enough. The chickens have come home to roost.
More and more Catholics will continue to shine the light on the decrepit state of the USCCB until the someone does something to resolve the matter.
Ora pro nobis!
Where is our Cardinal Spellman!
Michael McConnell, a Law Professor at Stanford, offers this in a First Things review of Philip Hamburger’s new book titled Law and Judicial Duty:
Hamburger traces the development of modern conceptions of the law to the realization, in Europe and especially Britain, that human reason rarely provided clear answers to moral questions and therefore that an attempt to ground law in divine will, or a search for abstract reason and justice, would inevitably lead to discord. As a result, “Europeans increasingly located the obligation of law in the authority of the lawmaker rather than the reason or justice of his laws.” The task of judges, then, was not to seek after elusive notions of justice and right reason but to enforce the law of the land. Natural law shifted in emphasis from moral content to legitimacy and authority, and increasingly to an understanding of authority based on the will of the people.
This seems to me a profound explanation of how and why we understand law today the way we do. It simultaneously shows you what is wrong with the modern conception of the law and what is right.
Witnessing the continued implosion of the Anglicans and the ELCA over matters of Christian morality, I am intrigued by the way present circumstances have inspired renewed consideration of tradition, authority and obedience.
As I wrote a few months ago (“On the troubles within the ELCA” American Catholic September 7, 2009): “What is interesting, at least from this Catholic perspective, is the extent to which the critics of recent decisions recognize the seeds of their present troubles woven into the very fabric of their tradition.”
In a recent post to First Things‘ “On the Square”, Rusty Reno described the crisis of those experiencing “the agony of mainline Protestantism” thus:
One either recommits oneself to the troubled world of mainline Protestantism with articulate criticisms, but also with a spirit of sacrifice, as he so powerfully evokes. Or one stumbles forward-who can see in advance by what uncertain steps?-and abandons oneself, not to “orthodoxy” or “true doctrine” or “good theology,” but to the tender care of Mother Church.
As Joe Carter (First Things) noted, as with the Anglicans, so a faction of Lutherans have chosen a third route — forming a new Lutheran church body separate from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Meanwhile, it appears that the homosexuality debate is fanning faculty and student protests at Calvin College — the furor instigated by a memo reminding faculty that they were bound to the confessional documents of the Christian Reformed Church: Continue reading