Saturday, April 23, 2005

Messing with my life

Laura at 11d complains about non-Catholics holding an opinion about affairs in the Catholic chuch:

I just don't get why non-Catholics give a crap about the church's position on women clergy, abortion, or birth control. Nobody is dragging you up the aisle to receive Christ's life blood.



If only that were true. The problem is that the church isn't just taking positions on these issues with regard to Catholics, but rather working to institute their positions in civil law and society. And that does affect me and is my business.

If Catholics want to quibble about which circle of the inferno you will reside in if you use birth control, that isn't my affair. But when the church tries to make it difficult or illegal for anyone to obtain contraception, it becomes my business. And the same goes for abortion or gay marriage or anything else for which the church has decided that non-Catholics are obliged to live by their standards.

So am I saying that Catholics are obliged to withdraw from the political arena? Not at all. Individual Catholics should be informed by their faith and vote according to their moral principles. But when the church as an institution starts getting involved in politics, as when Ratzinger issued a directive that pro-choice politicians should be denied communion last year, for example, or when he issued an instruction yesterday that Spanish Catholics working in the government should obstruct gay marriages, then this becomes inappropriate meddling in secular affairs that I have every right to be concerned about.

This is true, by the way, for issues that I agree with the church on as well. I admire the Vatican position on the death penalty, for instance, but I don't think that their position as an institution should have any influence on the legality of capital punishment.

As long as the Catholic church messes about in my political institutions, I will continue to allow myself opinions about their leadership.

2 Comments:

At 5:41 AM, February 04, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 3:49 PM, February 07, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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