There’s a bit of shock and even disgust being tossed around the Catholic Interwebs today because the USCCB has removed the “Catholic abortion-rights Pols and Communion” issue from the official agenda for the public sessions next week.
And…do you really think the whole issue of Catholics, voting, politicians and life issues is going to be not discussed next week? With scores of bishops issuing very strong pre-election statements, others somewhat vaguer ones and still others nothing, and various commenters remarking in the days since the election: “Oh, well the BIG losers in this election are OBVIOUSLY the bishops who (heavy sigh) tried to do an end-run around Faithful Citizenship and use abortion as a political wedge in the Body of Christ…”
You really think it’s going to be passed over?
There are two days of public meetings and two days of private, executive sessions. The issue has obviously exploded beyond the relatively narrow agenda item originally planned for public discussion. I have no problem (as if it matters) with bishops taking this to private discussions in which they can speak freely to each other without the rest of us watching. As enjoyable as that might be for the rest of us.
As we celebrate the feast of the Dedication of St. John Lateran, the church of the Bishop of Rome, it seems a good idea to pray for our bishops. It’s particularly apropos on this day because St. John Lateran represents a great deal – and part of symbolism it bears after a millenium and a half regards the complicated and perpetually vexing relationship between Catholicism and civic life, the original church being built by Constantine and the palace, as the residence of the popes for almost a millenium being a center of both politics and religion in Rome – for good and for ill, for the benefit of the Body of Christ and sometimes to its great detriment.
Have you prayed for your bishop lately?
Have you dropped him a note telling him that you’ve prayed for him? If he issued a pre-election statement that you particularly appreciated..have you let him know?