Oct 25, 2008

The USCCB doesn’t speak for me.

Harsh words you might say, but they did not come from me, but from Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton, PA (Biden's birthplace).

At a panel discussion on faith issues and the presidential campaign at St. John’s Catholic Church, where the Bishop arrived unannounced, Martino told the audience "No USCCB document is relevant in this diocese," he was quoted as saying in the Wayne County Independent, a Honesdale-based newspaper. "The USCCB doesn’t speak for me."

Read the whole story if you want a glimpse of Apostolic succession in action, and follow up with a Steve Skojec piece about a Bishop who recognizes his "God-given teaching authority has long been usurped by a collective body with no authority of its own"

Bishop Martino's pastoral letter can be read here, and this is binding on Catholics in Scranton.

"While the Church assists the State in the promotion of a just society, its primary concern is to assist men and women in achieving salvation. For this reason, it is incumbent upon bishops to correct Catholics who are in error regarding these matters. Furthermore, public officials who are Catholic and who persist in public support for abortion and other intrinsic evils should not partake in or be admitted to the sacrament of Holy Communion. As I have said before, I will be vigilant on this subject.

It is the Church’s role now to be a prophet in our own country, reminding all citizens of what our founders meant when they said that “. . . all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Church’s teaching that all life from conception to natural death should be protected by law is founded on religious belief to be sure, but it is also a profoundly American principle founded on reason. Whenever a society asks its citizens to violate its own foundational principles – as well as their moral consciences – citizens have a right, indeed an obligation, to refuse."

No comments :