Click here to view an article about a sneaky Catholic bishop who hasn’t really fooled anyone. This post clarifies, explains, and proves the following facts:
1) It is OK for the Catholic Church to withhold funds from public charities to influence public legislation.
2) Yes, item #1 is true even though the Catholic Church does not pay taxes because it has tax exempt status as a house of worship.
3) It is OK for a Catholic bishop to tell a legislator that he cannot take Holy Communion because he disagrees with that legislator’s public views on abortion (or presumably any other legislation). Highly recommended, however, with this command would be the disclaimer that the bishop is only looking out for the legislator’s personal salvation.
4) It is not OK for a publicly elected legislator to support legislation that his bishop opposes.
5) Catholic bishops know whether each of us is going to heaven or hell.
Finally, since this is my blog, I’m going to state my own belief.. I don’t believe in heaven or hell, at least in the way they’re portrayed by the Catholic Church or (as far as I know) any other Christian church. But common sense tells me that even if there is a hell, I strongly doubt that Patrick Kennedy is at the top of God’s list to send there.
It seems like I would have as much God-given knowledge and intuition about this sort of thing as Patrick Kennedy’s bishop would have. He’s just a person, after all, just like me. I don’t believe religious leaders are any more blessed than the rest of us. We all came from our mothers’ wombs.
One other thing. Doesn’t this bishop have anything else to do? Certainly hunger, poverty, cold, homelessness, abuse, spiritual malaise, and illness occur in Massachusetts. These are the sorts of things the Catholic Church is so great at dealing with. Get busy, Bishop!