When the media in the US speak of Catholicism and Catholic issues, they seem very often to hold sympathy with the Catholic left. This isn’t surprising, seeing as they agree politically with them. But is their a true reflection of American Catholicism?
<p>Conservative American Catholics have long been at odds with groups such as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. They are not on the bus with the nuns. Quite frankly, the Vatican often questions these groups’ devotion to Church doctrine. Conservative American Catholics do as well. Their use of the poor to support liberal ideals reeks of no less than political gamesmanship: if you don’t support massive government programs alleged to aid the poor, you are not Catholic.
Bosh. An unstable economy cannot help the poor. A government which falls under the crushing weight of bureaucracy cannot help the poor. Any policy which allows groups of people to live without attempting to improve their lot cannot help the poor. Yet they can make the poor arrogant. This is witnessed by the attitude that society must help them beyond any other considerations, such as things of their own doing. Not all the poor are poor by the circumstances of governmental or societal actions.
When American bishops and nuns attempt to make American public policy a matter of faith they err considerably. Public policy after all is nothing more than how a nation spends its money. Isn’t religion concerned with objects greater than that? What profit a man to gain the world and lose his his soul? Can this not apply to the poor who have come to rely on government largesse rather than themselves?
There is an arrogance at work here, yet it is not the arrogance of the wealthy. It is the arrogance of entitlement. It is the arrogance which asserts that certain folks cannot help themselves. It is the arrogance of groups such as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious who, rather than do the work of the Lord themselves, insist someone else must do it: namely, the government. They ask this without concern of the true mission of government, which is little more than to ensure that the Catholic Church and all other charitable groups are free to do their mission, the great part of which is to help the poor and downtrodden.
If you can only do your work with government aid, how much then are you relying on Providence and the Grace of God? Not nearly enough as to display any real devotion to Faith.