A tragic end to the US bishops’ long descent into partisan politics

By Tom Roberts, 15 January 2021
Image: Dalton Caraway/Unsplash.


The leadership of the Catholic Church in the USA plays an important role in the Universal Church. Catholic Outlook today presents three perspectives on that issue.

The first is from the late Cardinal Francis George, OMI, one of the most brilliant and credible pastors in recent decades, who articulates his thoughts on how the Church needs to address contemporary culture. The second viewpoint is from long-time lay Catholic observer, Tom Roberts, who offers one assessment about how well the recent leadership of U.S. Bishops has fared in their strategies to protect the dignity of all life from ‘womb to the tomb’ and the common good. Finally, Catholic convert and apologist Mark Shea reflects on the development of his thought on this important issue for authentic evangelisation.


I found it frighteningly normal, sitting on a sun-drenched Thursday morning in January sipping coffee. Just a few miles away, the day before, a violent mob, incited by a delusional if not entirely deranged sitting president, had stormed the U.S. Capitol, occupied the Senate and House chambers, looted offices, all the while screaming their wish to do violence to, even lynch, elected officials. Their intent was clear — to disrupt a constitutionally mandated act in the nonviolent transfer of power.

Frighteningly normal it was because the fear surfaced quickly that this would be but another in the stream of outrages that have become as unremarkable a part of our politics as once were sane and reality-based press conferences. Is this the way it happens? Is it — searching for some image that might explain it all — a gradual erosion until the cave-in occurs? But would people of sound mind actually stand around a sinkhole for four years waiting to be swallowed up?

The frog in the gradually warming pot doesn’t work as analog either because science (for those of us who have not yet totally dismissed the discipline) tells us that, no, the frog actually wouldn’t just hang around stupidly until boiled. The frog would jump the hell out of the pot.

I sip my coffee, watching the sun slants, sliced by the blinds, move, as they daily do, across the living room. In so many ways, just another day.

The question persists: What now?

To continue reading this article go to the National Catholic Reporter.

With thanks to Tom Roberts and the National Catholic Reporter.

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