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Supreme Hypocrisy

Following up on Ken's observation that CNN and other liberals were troubled by politicians and decision-makers attending the Red Mass (or, more generally, attending any Catholic services), one should note that the same media (see today's NY Times - subscription only) runs several articles this morning on liberal Democrats campaigning from the pulpits, and all without the slightest mention of impropriety.

Democrats have always had the privilege of converting churches into campaign pit-stops. The NY Times this morning relates that a local pastor begged his congregation to vote for Andrew Cuomo as the Democrat made his rounds of the local church circuit. 

So, Catholic politicians and judges are scolded for attending a Catholic mass which simply articulates Catholic doctrine, yet the same critics find no fault in liberal, usually black churches actually endorsing specific Democrats before turning over the pulpit for those candidates to deliver political stump speeches. 

Try to imagine the outrage if a Catholic archbishop declared that the Church was endorsing Sarah Palin - maybe she could also read from her latest book in place of the Gospel before blessing and distributing the Eucharist. (It would, at least, be the only instance in which the NY Times would object to a female usurping the Catholic hierarchy.) Principles find no footing amongst partisans such as these.

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Discussions - 9 Comments

There is a reason that the MSM is losing its audience and thus its revenue base. Once you can no longer trust a news outlet to bring you the simple news, you can't trust them about anything.

I for one am glad to see their (agonizingly slow) demise. They richly deserve to be ignored and bankrupted.

Where's Scanlon? He normally condemns hypocrisy.

I know I miss pumpkin too.

In fairness to certain parties, one cannot expect them to notice and comment on every event in public life; the people caviling over the Red Mass may or may not be people laconic about Andrew Cuomo giving a speech from a pulpit; and hypocrisy requires a self-conscious understanding of the contradiction. I expect for many folk at CNN and the Los Angeles Times, the contradiction has never occurred to them, nor has it been pointed out by anyone they would notice.

Especially when the hypocrisy cuts the other way. Selective righteousness.

What I'd like to see is a priest at such a mass dare to highlight and promote certain thoughts from Pope John Paul II on late-model capitalism and neoliberal economics, to an audience of conservative libertarians, esp. the liberty=unfettered capitalism variety so common here at NLT. Then we'd REALLY see some tut-tutting about what's "appropriate."

Perhaps some of his early writings from "Catholic Social Ethics" (not likely to see a Regnery printing anytime soon):

"The church is aware that the bourgeois mentality and capitalism as a whole, with its materialist spirit, acutely contradict the Gospel,” Wojtyla writes. “From the church’s standpoint, it is a question of ensuring, by way of various economic-structural forms, just participation by all members of society, and especially people of work, in possessing sufficient amounts of assets and participating at least to some extent in productive goods."

or, from his Centesimus Annus (1991):

"The Marxist solution has failed, but the realities of marginalization and exploitation remain in the world, especially the Third World, as does the reality of human alienation, especially in the more advanced countries. Against these phenomena the Church strongly raises her voice. Vast multitudes are still living in conditions of great material and moral poverty. The collapse of the Communist system in so many countries certainly removes an obstacle to facing these problems in an appropriate and realistic way, but it is not enough to bring about their solution."

(Brace yourselves now, it's almost as if he'd been reading NLT, NRO's Corner, and watching FoxNews! - truly prophetic...)

"Indeed, there is a risk that a radical capitalistic ideology could spread which refuses even to consider these problems, in the a priori belief that any attempt to solve them is doomed to failure, and which blindly entrusts their solution to the free development of market forces."

[What do you mean, Karol? Like the CONSTANT conservative warnings against anything called "social justice" and even any concept of progress distinct from letting markets "decide"? Like the use of the "The poor will always be with us" as an excuse to eliminate any sort of social welfare program and all but abandon the lower classes, branding them as a hopelessly flawed underclass (or worse)? Like the cynical view of human nature that says "there is no such thing as society" and scoffs at any attempt to improve the situation for the masses, even if only by regulating corporations from fouling our shared resources, or the food we eat - see this thread, and my exchange with Kate & Redwald, in particular:
http://nlt.ashbrook.org/2010/06/an-un-american-response.php]

and don't tell Glenn Beck of John Paul II's concession, speaking in Latvia in 1993, that there's a "kernel of truth in Marxism" (gulp!!) for identifying the "situation of exploitation to which an inhuman capitalism had subjected the proletariat since the beginning of industrial society."

It's not hard to figure out that many women - right, left, and center - who really want abortions will just find a way to get them. For government the question is will they need to go underground (or into their closets) or if the one truly non-controversial life involved can be given the space to work out that moral choice for herself.

So, the abortion thing is just a big broken record for everyone at this point. Everyone knows where the Vatican stands on that - yaawn.

But where does the Vatican stand on the growing chasm of wealth and income inequality, particularly in the US? On ending unemployment benefits in the midst of an economic crisis?

Would they agree with "cut taxes for the wealthy, and deregulate and privatize everything in sight" ??

Nice try. Too verbose.

The teaching on abortion is far more consequential. It is also an antique manifestation of the ordinary magisterium. It has pride of place in the commentary of prelates on public affairs for a reason.

The Catholic Social Teaching to which you refer is a development of the industrial era. It is still a work in progress and does not require the same level of assent as other matters doctrinal and moral. It is also rather difficult for a the laity to operationalize and (given the characteristics of political economy across the occidental world) rather a dull tool for adjudicating extant disputes over public policy here there or the next place. It would tend to rule out Communism and Social Darwinism (neither of which are on the agenda in this country) and also social policies which would regard the sexually liberated social monad as the unit of society (which is).

No, the Catholic Social Ethics to which I referred is an unpublished book by Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II):

http://www.thetablet.co.uk/article/525

All this misses the main point of Paulette's post. It's not about specific Catholic doctrine, but the obvious double standard of the media. Scanlon is trying to change the argument because he can't answer the main charge.

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