There is a good commentary by Bill Donohue of the Catholic League on the liberal commentary aimed at the US Catholic Bishops over contrary-to-nature unions and legislation to promote them.
Here is Mr. Donohue with my emphases and comments:
Responding to growing attacks on Catholic bishops over the issue of same-sex marriage is Catholic League president Bill Donohue:
The passage of a same-sex marriage bill in New York, over the objections of the Catholic hierarchy, [Some people may think the bishops should have objected more strenuously, but they did object.] has led to a storm of criticism of the state’s bishops. The most extreme condemnation comes from a July 5 editorial in the National Catholic Reporter (NCR). [What a surprise.]
The Catholic hierarchy, says NCR, “has lost most of its credibility with the wider culture on matters of sexuality and personal morality, just as it has lost its authority within the Catholic community on the same issues.” The bishops are guilty of engaging in everything from “wholesale excommunications” to “open warfare” with dissidents. [ROFL! Let’s count up the number of excommunications issued by US bishops in the last, say, 5 years over any issue. “Warfare”? NCFishwrap thinks there has been “warfare”? They should pray that the bishops don’t go to war. They haven’t yet, not by a long shot. And those bishops who have been outspoken on the matter of contrary-to-nature unions have been careful to distinguish between the sinners and the sins. Sinners, people, require charity and concern. Sin merits condemnation. When did contrary-to-nature sexual activity cease being a sin?]
[This next part is very useful.] The popular “out-of-touch” criticism of the bishops on gay marriage rests on two faulty assumptions: (a) there is a divide between the bishops and the faithful on this issue, and (b) the bishops should take their cues from the laity. [Excellent. First, depending in part on which part of the country you are looking at, it is hard to imagine that the “silent majority” is in favor of contrary-to-nature sex and legal unions. Polls will show this or that number, but when common sense is applied, it is simply too hard to imagine, and rightly so. Second, remember that liberals want to supplant the bishops and set up their own “magisterium”. I suspect they really don’t care what “the laity” think. They are really saying that bishops should submit to the agenda points of the liberal Catholic elite.]
To begin with, there is a profound difference between the views of practicing Catholics and nominal ones. [This is an important distinction. Catholics who actually go to church, practice their Faith poll differently on a variety of questions than do CINOs.] There is also a divide between what the public tells a pollster and the results in a ballot box. In the 31 states where the voters were given the opportunity to decide on gay marriage, many of the polls going into the election showed that the supporters would carry the day. The final tally was 31-0 against gay marriage. New Yorkers were denied a ballot initiative. Moreover, a Siena College poll taken just before the vote in the legislature showed only a minority of Catholics in favor of this idea.
More important, the bishops have a different charge: they are obligated to do what is morally right. [NB: Even if they have in some instances failed in that regard in the past, that failure does not diminish the duty of the bishops to teach properly. Sure, their task is harder because of those failures and the bishops as a body have a long row to hoe to recover respect and confidence from many. But they won’t do so by doing nothing or biting their tongues. They probably won’t do it by “warfare” either. But watch this next point… ] But if NCR wants the bishops to follow the laity, is it prepared to have the hierarchy junk its rejection of the death penalty? [EXACTLY! The opinion the liberal Catholic elite wants bishops to follow is not actually that of the people in the pews. When it suits their own agenda, liberals use the populist argument against the teaching authority of the Church. When the opinion of the people doesn’t coincide, then they look for other blunt instruments.] After all, two-thirds of Catholics want those guilty of a capital offense to be fried, so why not the bishops? Will NCR now campaign for the death penalty, lecturing the bishops to get in line with the rank-and-file? Its hypocrisy is stunning.
WDTPRS KUDOS to Mr. Donohue. Good argument.