Catholic bishops fight for authority over U.S. flock

Comments (40)
cmsd wrote:

Truly wish the Church fought like this for the children that were abused.
Such misplaced priorities and understanding of the teachings of Jesus Christ

Feb 16, 2012 10:53am EST  --  Report as abuse
DunaDad wrote:

I attend mass weekly, I am a CCD techer in my parish. I have been a lector and on the Parish councli. And I wold no more follow the direction of the American Bishops than I would a blind man into traffic. Weekly I sit in awe at how removed the homily is from the reality of real people in their real lives. I am sure there are some who would say I am no longer a Catholic. To them I say “Says you”. There is no decree from a Bishop that will keep me from the grace of communion. In so many ways our shepherds are lost.

Feb 16, 2012 11:04am EST  --  Report as abuse
hakny wrote:

If these 271 individuals only knew how stupid they are in the eyes of 95% of America’s Catholic women…….

Feb 16, 2012 11:05am EST  --  Report as abuse
NewsDebbie wrote:

Game over. US Bishops fight for the soverign state of Vatican City. US Bishops fight for business. US Bishops do not fight for the children that were raped by their own. This is not about religious freedom to a US Citizen but about a foreign nation telling the USA how to function in our government. IF Vatican City under their leader the Pope wants to not hire workers who use contraception and rape children that is their business. Vatican City and the Pope would not like the USA telling the Vatican how to run their country. It is not about religious freedom its about business and the invasion of another country into US governing.

Feb 16, 2012 11:18am EST  --  Report as abuse
matchless wrote:

Recent statistics from the Pew Foundation indicate that the largest religious sect after Catholicism is ex-Catholics. I am sure there are countless reasons for this, over a range of issues, but it is not confined to Catholicism alone. Virtually every Institution that mankind has played a part in has fallen short in some way; primarily because we are so shortsighted and pitiful in so many ways. The recent expressions and comments which are filled with anger against Catholicism are understandable, but one has to ask whether it has been productive? I would also say that it appears the anger and hate might be misdirected by some who appear to be on a serious guilt trip of one kind or another.

Feb 16, 2012 11:19am EST  --  Report as abuse
RCharles wrote:

The bishops are fighting a losing battle to remain in power, which they hope will keep the cash rolling in and keep them in the good life. But many if not most catholics are now more than willing to think for themselves, This was proven beyond doubt in the 2008 elections, when the bishops launched a full-court-press to block Obama’s election, threatening eternal damnation for any one who voted for Obama. Yet the catholics voted overwhelming for Barack Obama. The bishops can preach but the adults must decide.

Feb 16, 2012 11:20am EST  --  Report as abuse
patrickjane wrote:

The reason Notre Dame will never be penalized is MONEY. The Church will not mess with money. They are also so outdated, they know Catholic women like all women use birth control. There are not a lot of schools over running with kids anymore. They just turn a blind eye.

Feb 16, 2012 11:25am EST  --  Report as abuse
Bucky_2 wrote:

QUESTION: Who won the Spanish-American War?

ANSWER: The Pope

Feb 16, 2012 11:28am EST  --  Report as abuse
ronj1955 wrote:

If the bishops spent the same amount of money, time and anger on fighting the US government’s policies that impoverish and against immigrants as they do opposing common sense like contraception, there would probably be a lot less poverty and the immigration laws would be fairer.

Feb 16, 2012 11:36am EST  --  Report as abuse
zipo1 wrote:

How on earth can the church have any claim to moral authority after closing their eyes to the abuse of tens of thousands of children? Moreover, our country is not a theocracy! If the church wants to interfere in politics, it is time to revoke their tax exempt status.

Feb 16, 2012 11:45am EST  --  Report as abuse
matchless wrote:

I can understand the anti-Catholic comments based on the history of child abuse in this country and abroad. I cannot, however, understand the expressions of pure hatred which appears to be counterproductive. With reference to NewsDebbie, you present quite a novel theory aside from your illogical ramblings.

Feb 16, 2012 11:46am EST  --  Report as abuse
Eugene31 wrote:

All institutions move in fits and starts. The bishops, like Rome, are just a century or two behind the times. Eventually they will get caught up we would imagine

Feb 16, 2012 11:47am EST  --  Report as abuse
MetalHead8 wrote:

These church zealots disguts me.

Feb 16, 2012 11:51am EST  --  Report as abuse
kevinflynn56 wrote:

I would have liked the American Bishops to have had this level of moral outrage about the decade of WAR the United States has been waging and all the useless death and destruction that have come from it…

But I guess they were too busy with that child thing they were trying to cover-up (again)…

Lets face it. The God of most religions is a mean spirited, vengeful, egomaniacal incompetent that apparently is so stupid that he needs middlemen (i.e. priests, rabbis, mullahs, monks, and Pat Robinson) to explain what God wants and needs.
.

Feb 16, 2012 12:00pm EST  --  Report as abuse
alaskan1st wrote:

Organized religion is an evil thing. Spirituality is a personal thing. Best kept to oneself.

Feb 16, 2012 12:02pm EST  --  Report as abuse
chipjetlaika wrote:

I’m 63. Here’s an anecdotal comment on the Bishop’s authority. When I was a kid, it was commonplace to find Catholic families with 6 or more kids, sometimes 12 or 15. Do you see Catholic families that large anymore. I suggest Catholics began ignoring Church authority on this issue many, many years ago.

Feb 16, 2012 12:11pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Slator wrote:

Whoops: “It also has raised questions about why some prominent Catholic intuitions ignore the bishops’ teachings…”

Feb 16, 2012 12:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
peebozi wrote:

Aaaaah, it is so appropriate that they refer to the sheeple as a flock.

“Animal Farm” ftw!

No that the church is preaching from the pulpit can we tax their revenues and have them pay property taxes?! if they want to be political then let them pay the entrance fee (or just stop taking all of the welfare subsidies that are extended to them!)

Feb 16, 2012 12:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
MNakagaa wrote:

Catholic church does not mandate their policy to Catholic people like Obama mandates his policy to American citizens. We have Free Will. Each individual acts according to their level of conscience. Catholic church has been fighting against state(like Roman Empire and of course, American Government) more than 2000 years.

Feb 16, 2012 12:39pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Adam_S wrote:

Thank you, Catholic Health Association. The administration and other institutions mentioned in the article are trying to modernize how to deal with a real world issue. Perhaps senior Catholic leadership needs to realize this isn’t 220AD anymore.

Feb 16, 2012 1:06pm EST  --  Report as abuse

It seems reuters only posts anti-Catholic responses to their stories. To the non-Catholics ranting their hate against religious freedom in America I suggest you actually read the 1st Amendment before you whine. To the pro-war and/or pro-abortion, contraceptive using Catholics I suggest you don’t self identify as a Catholic. No one forces you to remain in the CHurch. You can do as Luthe rdid and leave.

Feb 16, 2012 1:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Chauffeur wrote:

“Either you’re Catholic or you’re not – and if you’re Catholic, you have to follow the teachings of the church.”

This says it all! I’m backing our bishops!

Feb 16, 2012 1:27pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Chauffeur wrote:

Also… I strongly suspect our detractors who spend all day posting opposition to the Catholic Church are paid to do so.

Feb 16, 2012 1:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
SimplyHot wrote:

Just think, at least 10% of these faces are pedophiles!

Feb 16, 2012 2:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Chauffeur wrote:

HA! Fighting for authority? There’s no question they have the authority. Any catholic who thinks otherwise is delusional. (Truth is not decided by popular opinion.)

Feb 16, 2012 2:39pm EST  --  Report as abuse
kevinflynn56 wrote:

Have a little faith… 2000 years now Jesus will be about as popular as Thor.

Feb 16, 2012 2:56pm EST  --  Report as abuse
KrisCraig wrote:

Here’s a thought: WHO CARES?! Why on Earth would I want to cede my will to someone else’s “moral authority”?

Besides, why should politicians be so concerned about who “speaks for the church?” If you’re looking to the church to tell you how to vote on legislation, then you have no business serving in political office to begin with. Go back to 18th-century England if you just want to write whatever laws that your Church and your King tell you to.

Feb 16, 2012 3:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
SNAPJudyJones wrote:

I don’t think these men are going to succeed in getting women to have 10 or 12 kids these days, like they did a generation before. And I’ll bet there are hardly any of those big catholic families who have escaped at least one of their children from being sexually abused by a priest.

Catholics are thinking for themselves these days, the bishops have caused way too much harm to the kids already born.

Feb 16, 2012 3:26pm EST  --  Report as abuse
mercydivine wrote:

What a bunch of anti-Catholic bigots. It’s sickening how ignorant and hateful most comments are. As for DunaDad’s heresy, I’m not suprised. I know many dissidents whose conscience is so damanged they refuse to see their disobedience or sin…..Hopefully it won’t be too late for repentence…..

Feb 16, 2012 3:33pm EST  --  Report as abuse
mercydivine wrote:

SimplyHot….Homosexual pedophiles you mean and they are probibited furthmore from ever entering the Priesthood again. And your 10% is way off. Nice try but it was less than 2%….Disparaging and hate it seems is the left’s last gasp….

Feb 16, 2012 3:37pm EST  --  Report as abuse
t-lock wrote:

The moral relativism in today’s society is astonishing. The bishops know what they are talking about.

To claim that they are pedophiles is ignorant and those that have should be ashamed of themselves.

Just because everyone is doing something doesn’t make it right. Sounds like 4th grade huh? Just because slavery was legal at one time didn’t make it right.

Most of the arguments against the bishops are extremely ignorant. We have bishops in place to have the fullness of the Church some people might not like that but.

Look at the most conservative diocese why are they successful? Why do they have hundreds of new young priests and sisters? Why do they have literally NO problem what so ever with pedophilia or being accused of it because of the leadership of a Bishop. If you need an example look no further than the Diocese of Lincoln Nebraska, arguably the most CATHOLIC diocese in the USA.

Support the Bishops not this anti-religious rhetoric. Moral relativism is wrong because it just causes more problems.

Feb 16, 2012 3:39pm EST  --  Report as abuse
t-lock wrote:

The moral relativism in today’s society is astonishing. The bishops know what they are talking about.

To claim that they are pedophiles is ignorant and those that have should be ashamed of themselves.

Just because everyone is doing something doesn’t make it right. Sounds like 4th grade huh? Just because slavery was legal at one time didn’t make it right.

Most of the arguments against the bishops are extremely ignorant. We have bishops in place to have the fullness of the Church some people might not like that but.

Look at the most conservative diocese why are they successful? Why do they have hundreds of new young priests and sisters? Why do they have literally NO problem what so ever with pedophilia or being accused of it because of the leadership of a Bishop. If you need an example look no further than the Diocese of Lincoln Nebraska, arguably the most CATHOLIC diocese in the USA.

Support the Bishops not this anti-religious rhetoric. Moral relativism is wrong because it just causes more problems.

Feb 16, 2012 3:39pm EST  --  Report as abuse
SMPTURLISH wrote:

The bishops have lost both their moral authority and their credibility over the past ten years, mostly attributable to their inability to act forcefully in dealing with the exposure of the widespread sexual problem among its clerical membership and the accompanying conspiracy, collusion and cover-up.

As Tom Reese puts it, “the bishops have lost their monopoly on speaking, and they have lost a lot of their clout.”

Think about it. Could they have chosen a more volatile topic than contraception in attempting to rescue their image among Catholics or the public at large? No, not really.

They chose the one subject that was doomed to failure long before they started their broadsides. In a sense it was already a non-issue and one wonders if they even though to run it by the public relations firms they have engaged especially since 2002.

Have they calculated the loss of faith among the People of God they are responsible for?

Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
Advocate for Victims & Legislative Reform
maturlishmdsnd@yahoo.com

Feb 16, 2012 4:21pm EST  --  Report as abuse
gracetoall wrote:

@kevinflynn56 – History is not on your side.

@t-lock – Agreed

@alaskan1st – Organized religion is best when actually kept on a personal basis. Individual “spirituality” is against the interpersonal. It’s hard to define and so nebulous that it allows that which is evil to be called OK so as not to disrupt the personal. Therefore, whatever you deem to be “spiritual” goes.

The Catholic Bishops are right to fight for this, and I’m with them. If you keep thinking down the road at what will happen to us if they (and I) don’t fight, it’s scary.

Feb 16, 2012 4:27pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TMcGill wrote:

No comment on the actual subject, more on the reporting here. Why do we always try to wrestle our descriptions of everyone into the arbitrary boxes of “conservative” and “liberal” or “Democratic” and “Republican” even when they don’t fit? “For decades, the Conference marched in step with Democrats, supporting policies that aided the poor immigrant families who made up much of the church’s membership, Reese said. In recent years, as more conservative bishops have taken leadership roles, gay marriage and abortion fights have taken center stage. But they’re not the only causes the bishops take up. Last year, they joined a coalition to speak out against federal budget cuts to services for the poor. They also have advocated allowing illegal immigrants to become U.S. citizens.”

So in other words, what is being described is that the Catholic Bishops don’t seem to have become “more conservative” at all, they still stand where they did before, which is a mixture of views we would today call liberal and others we’d call conservative, while the Democratic party has been the one that has moved, having taken up a more wholehearted self-identification with the pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage stances, things that weren’t major public fights for the Catholic Church because until relatively recently, there was no legal abortion to fight against, and until very recently, gay marriage wasn’t even on the table.

Feb 16, 2012 4:59pm EST  --  Report as abuse
fw1925 wrote:

DunaDad is a prime example of what is wrong with the Catholic Church. Allowing him access to our children only leads them astray. He doesn’t understand the basics of Catholicism. I’ll bet he isn’t a Catholic at all, but rather a phoney who masquarades as such to give himself credibility. And, if he is a Catholic who rejects Doctrine, he can’t receive Holy Communion without committing grave sin. For DunsDad, the Doctrine is Infallibility on issues of Faith and Morals. You will ultimately be held accountable.

Feb 16, 2012 6:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Justinian wrote:

“I attend mass weekly, I am a CCD techer in my parish. I have been a lector and on the Parish council. And I wold no more follow the direction of the American Bishops than I would a blind man into traffic.”
With all due respect, you have no business teaching CCD in your parish or serving as a lector or on your Parish Council. If you do not accept the authority of the Bishops, you have little or no understanding of authority in the Catholic Church. Your attitude is one of rebellion, defiance and outright disobedience, and these are all alien to authentic Catholic Christian unity and spirituality. Your response, “says you,” only underscores my contention that you have severed yourself from communion with the Church. Here is just one of several quotes from Jesus you may wish to ponder:”He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” (Mt 10:40)
And:
“He who hears you hears Me, and he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.” (Lk 10:16)
Here, Christ explicitly identifies himself with the Apostles and their successors (the Bishops!): this identification is so complete that accepting or rejecting the Apostles is the same as accepting or rejecting Christ. What’s more, both passages compare the union between Christ and his Apostles to that of the Son and the Father within the Holy Trinity. Since you reject the voice and authority of the Catholic bishops, including presumably your own, you have lost the privilege of serving in the capacities in which you now serve. Your entire stance is hypocritical. And please don’t say, “says you,” or accuse me of judging you. Your own words convict you, when viewed in the light of Catholic truth.

Feb 17, 2012 2:02pm EST  --  Report as abuse
churchistruth wrote:

BRAVO! Chauffeur, fw1925, Justinian and TMcGill. The church does not need to change with the times. Jesus did not wet his finger, stick it in the air and see which way the wind was blowing. God (Jesus) is the same yesterday, today and forever…He does not change His mind to suit society. He gave HIS authority to speak for him to HIS Church. If you can’t agree with that authority you are perfectly welcome to leave HIS church.
I can’t help but wonder what the underlying motivation is for the hatred spewed here at the Catholic church? It certainly isn’t because you want to protect children. If it was then I would expect an even greater reaction from you if you were to look at the public schools in this country. A simple google search of the facts reveals that over a 40 year period (1965-2005) there were roughly 10,500 allegations (not convictions) of abuse by Catholic clergy (4,400 clergy)…that’s roughly 110/year. Contrast that with just a 10 year period (1991-2000) in US public schools and you will find 290,000 abuse allegations or roughly 2,400 each and every month. 110/year vs, 2,400/month. Where is the outrage, where is the hatred, where is the venom being spewed against the public schools in this country?? Nowhere, because it’s not about the kids for most of you…it’s about your hatred for the Church. The problem here isn’t about the Catholic Church, it’s about individual men who failed their calling and the institution they worked for. And yes, there are individual bishops who also must be held accountable for not doing something about it. However, maybe it’s time you bloggers looked in the mirror and examined why you can’t stand the institution founded by Jesus Christ Himself having moral authority over you! This is not to say I don’t want justice for the victims and proper punishment for the abusers…I do. I just think it’s time people came down off their high horse and examine the motivations for their hatred of the church.

Feb 18, 2012 10:31am EST  --  Report as abuse
kfreeperson wrote:

do you really want to exchange the doctrines of jesus for those of obama and planned parenthood? This is about freedom of religion and not freedom to follow the way of the world. The bishops are fighting for you and your freedom. this is the way you lose it. A little nudge a little shove. the state did it in germany and russia and the people lost something so vital——-read the constitution, read the bible wake up now. Don’t lose your soul over a cheesy pack of pills………

Feb 19, 2012 4:18am EST  --  Report as abuse
KrisCraig wrote:

@kfreewhatever Wow, so many logical fallacies, so little time….

Last time I checked, Jesus never actually weighed-in on the morning after pill. He also never argued that life begins at erection. So to say that this is a choice between “the doctrines of jesus” and President Obama / Planned Parenthood is completely baseless.

How, exactly, are these bishops fighting for me and my freedom? How does giving employers the right to tell me what medical services prescribed by my doctor I can and cannot receive improve my freedom?

Here’s the thing: You do have the right to practice your religion. However, you do NOT have the right to force other people to practice it as well.

Seeing as how the Bible was written by a bunch of ancient desert people, the relatively modern concepts of sperm cells and fetal development never found their way into it (go figure). You can cite vague passages and selectively interpret them all you want; the fact is, your Bible does not specifically address any of these issues. And even if it did, who cares? The Bible is just one of countless religious texts, none of which can serve as a valid basis for U.S. law.

So I would suggest you take your own advice and read the Constitution yourself. There is nothing in there that grants religious organizations the right to force people to follow their backward superstitions.

Feb 20, 2012 3:42pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.