Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Apparently the national bishops conference plans to meet with Catholic members of Congress in an attempt to forge a bipartisan plan to withdraw troops from Iraq. Richard John Neuhaus, predictably, is not impressed:
One is inclined to the view that the bishops conference does not have the competence, in the meaning of both ability and authority, to forge, or serve as broker in the efforts of others to forge, worldly stratagems for the Middle East. It is not evident that the nation lacks legitimate political authorities whose task it is to deal with such matters. Nor is it evident that there is a bipartisan call for the bishops to help them do their job.
Kindly note that I have refrained from mentioning that the recent record of the bishops in governing the Church—where they do have competence (at least in the sense of authority)—is not so stellar as to warrant great confidence in their ability to conduct American foreign policy. Nor, be it noted, have I mentioned that no comparable initiative has been announced by the bishops conference to constructively engage the many Catholic members of Congress who reject and persistently work against the Church’s teaching regarding the protection of unborn children, a matter indisputably within episcopal competence and on which the conference has spoken words of admirable clarity.