ON THE MARTINO STATEMENT
Below is my response to Rod Dreher's rheroric is response to Mark Shea's post on Cardinal Martino's statement concerining the US's treatement of Saddam:
Mr. Dreher has long been crying out for "leadership" from the hierarchy.
But then, when a Vatican official says something counter-cultural, something to trouble American consciences, Mr. Dreher and others jump all over him, distort what he said, read malice or indifference into lack of statements on other matters, and dredge up ugly incidences from the recent past.
This is not the we should act when in disagreement with a loved one, especially when we say we want that loved one to excercise bold leadership.
Do you really think this type of reaction will embolden our shepherds to confront our culture on abortion, same-sex marriage, and contraception?
Do you think this will make us more receptive when the US bishops challenge politicians, or will it make it easier for them to brush it aside?
If we are going to cry out for leadership, we should at least display some semblance of willingness to be led.
But that's not what I'm seeing. I'm seeing us cry out for leadership on matters we agree with, and hoping the hierarchy would shut up when they don't agree with us.
I can accept agrument's like Mark's that Martino's statement was imprudent, or that it stressed the wrong things.
What I will not accept is the notion that the hierarchy is disqualified from defending Saddam's dignity because it didn't release enough statements about victims of sexual abuse, or didn't condemn Saddam's regime enough.
This is the way to silencing the hierarchy, and with it the Church on all issues.