A few of my readers take me to task for
never hardly ever having a good thing to say about bishops. In my defense, I might say that Christus Dominus was one of the very first Vatican II documents studied on this site. And judging by the light commentary on the series, I can point out that my conservative brothers and sisters in the blogosphere didn’t have a lot of good things to say about them either.
Lately, though, I see the American episcopacy has, in some corners, developed a spine when it comes to assessing GOP talking points. Like on the House proposal for a federal budget. Or even immigration. Unlike their bosses in the Temple Police (who seem all aflutter about Sec Sebelius, but adopting a deer-in-headlights mode when it comes to torture apologists). For these people, prudence is a convenient
political weapon thirty-nine-cent word. Or a 60’s song-n-dance routine.
The Temple Police hound me, of course, about my neutrality on Sec Sebelius. To sort of buff their bona fides, they throw out the Nazi-what-if speaker at a Catholic commencement. I have to admit that I think it’s okay for John Brennan to speak at Fordham. But then again, I also think it’s okay for his appearance to be protested, criticized, lampooned, and even wolf-whistled if necessary. Maybe it’s up to the bishop, the university prez, or even the student speaker to call out a guest speaker for moral missteps in the public sphere. Easy for me to say, I guess, as I inhabit Catholic bloggerdom, where we tell the truth all the time, of course, and where I’ve made a rep for swimming against the current for so long.
Yes indeedy: invite me to speak at a graduation. I’ll show you action on two or more fronts–which is a lot more than the Newman Society or the Republicans will handle successfully.
So let’s give the CNS a C for partisanship and an F for Catholicism. Outside the courtroom, the bishops are definitely higher, grading on a curve. Universities are coming out a bit higher than the bishops.
What did you expect? I’m not putting them at the top of the class. Not just yet.