The Rainbow Sash Movement Supports Moderate Catholic Bishops efforts to stay clear of partisan politics

The Rainbow Sash Movement condemns the open aggressiveness of 13 conservative bishops under the Leadership of Cardinal Dolan and Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore who are attempting to align US Council of Catholic Bishops with the Republican Party in opposing President Obama on the national political stage.

Dolan has refused to reign these lose cannons. Instead he promotes their partisan political agenda,”We have tried negotiation with the administration and legislation with the Congress, and we’ll keep at it, but there’s still no fix,” ..”Time is running out, and our valuable ministries and fundamental rights hang in the balance, so we have to resort to the courts now.”

Jesuit Magazine recently reported in an interview it held with Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California that he expressed concern that some groups “very far to the right” are turning the controversy over the contraception rules into “an anti-Obama campaign.”

“I think there are different groups that are trying to co-opt this and make it into [a] political issue, and that’s why we need to have a deeper discussion as bishops,” he said. “I think our rhetoric has to be that of bishops of the church who are seeking to be faithful to the Gospel, that our one concern is that we make sure the church is free to carry out her mission as given to her by Christ, and that remains our focus.” Clarke also paraphrased Blaire as believing that “the bishops lose their support when the conflict is seen as too political.”

Blaire’s words were diplomatic. But in a letter to the bishops conference that has not been released publicly, lawyers for California’s bishops said the lawsuits would be “imprudent” and “ill-advised.” The letter was not answered by the national bishops’ group before the suits were announced. Clearly there is a dispute going on in terms of strategy the 13 Bishops name in the law suits filed have a strangle hold on the US Conference of Catholic Bishops on this matter.

It turns out that many bishops, notably the church leadership in California of which Bishop Blair is part of, saw the litigation as premature. They are upset that the lawsuits were brought without a broader discussion among the entire membership of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and wanted to delay action until the bishops’ June meeting.

The Rainbow Sash Movement applauds Bishop Blair for his moral courage; something that is refreshing to see among our Catholic Bishops, in raising the issue in the public square. We encourage moderate bishops such as Blaire to bring this issue up at the June meeting of the US Council of Catholic Bishops. Aligning the Church with any political party runs to contrary to the very nature of the Church.

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