What in the world are we mere mortals supposed to make of the Supreme Court hearing of arguments in respect of the Little Sisters of the Poor? We listened to every word streamed in the case today and came away wondering: How is it possible that in America a group of nuns has to make repeated trips to the Supreme Court to avoid having to arrange for their employees to be covered by birth control insurance?
Something radically amiss . . .
In recent weeks dominated by virus news. the church as worldwide communicator has turned up missing in some major issues.
One example: when the coronavirus pandemic broke, and there was a lack of room for patients in intensive care units, consideration was given to giving priority to younger people, over the elderly. The same rationale risked being applied (and sometimes it was) when, in fact, there was room in intensive care units. The dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life highlighted this risk in a document.
After the publication of the document, nothing more has been said. The bishops did not comment anything further. Above all, Catholics in society did not speak about it. The issue of a sort of “hidden euthanasia” for the elderly never came up. However, this issue is part of a cultural debate that becomes a political question. It is about giving a voice to the elderly and least able to speak for themselves. Why were there no Catholic intellectuals to rise up to this challenge?
Another big issue on the table is that of freedom of worship. There is, it is true, the need to comply with health safety measures. However, very few commentators saw in the prohibition to celebrate Mass with the faithful in attendance a possible issue from the legal/international standpoint.
In this case, there was a lack of an institutional mentality realizing that the Holy See has autonomy in making these decisions. It should not be the State deciding that there be no religious gatherings. From a formal point of view, the Church should formally agree not to hold gatherings, thus meeting the government’s needs. It is a broad issue, worth discussing. Where have the Catholic intellectuals been?
Freedom to worship is part of religious freedom. And religious freedom is about the possibility to profess religion and live accordingly. Who does guarantee, then, that the Church and the faithful, in general, will always be able to proclaim their faith publicly?
It would be a good time to offer leadership on such matters, says veteran Vaticanista Andrea Gagliarducci in the most recent of his extended weekly commentaries, MondayVatican — Vatican at a Glance.
Render to him what belongs to him, said Jesus about another ruler.
So what about this fellow?
Does the Constitution give this to him?
via Fr. Z’s Blog
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