Zenit picks up on another bishop weighing in on the US Speaker of the House. Fish, barrel, firearm comes to mind on this. No wonder this one is easy for the bishops to tag team.
I’ve been thinking about this a bit more than I first wanted. Going back to Rep. Pelosi’s statement, I see some bit of confusion on her part on which I don’t think most of the bishops have picked up.
Nobody is really going to probe on this to find out what her real thinking is, because of the possible traction of the episode and the distraction on the main issue this Fall: electing Senator Obama. And that’s too bad, because I think both sides have ossified to a point of not being able to really move or further understand what people are saying.
It seems to me that the Speaker is under the false assumption that the Church’s concern is with ensoulment. We know this isn’t true, but I don’t think Rep. Pelosi grasps this. That the Church might have something to say about scientific matters like the beginning of life, may well have escaped many pro-choice people.
The reason why I think most bishops are coming up with seaweed this week is that they’re playing into the misperception to a degree. It seem the bishops are content with issuing press releases with corrections that aren’t terribly different from what the pro-life blogosphere is producing. If they’re trying to correct Ms Pelosi, the contact should attempt to be direct. If the feeling is that Catholics are confused (here we go again with those poor, dumb Catholics who can’t figure out the difference between politicking and moral theology) the bishops should talk less and organize more.
Let me be clear that nothing I’m reading from the bishops is wrong. Far from it. I just think they’re using the right answers to the wrong questions. Bishops alone are not enough. “Because the Church says so” won’t be convincing.
It may well be that the pro-life movement has focused on politics for so long that they’ve lost at least a generation on how the science of gestation connects with pro-life aspirations for society. This is where lay people are likely to be better at convincing Catholics and non-Catholic citizens.
Meanwhile, I think the pro-choice movement is not so sad about bishops speaking out. They will spin it politically. Conservative Catholics will suspend their insults about the TLM and praise Archbishop Wuerl and the others. And we’ll get no movement, no teamwork, and next week some YouTube video will come out, another bishop will be in the queue for angry criticism.