Meanwhile, on the Catholic bishop front: An ever-increasing number of bishops seem to have lost most of their sanity when it comes to the fact that many of their parishioners are ignoring their teachings.
Take, for example, the Bishop of Springfield, Ill.
Bishop John Paprocki issued a video message recently warning Catholics that they risk going to hell if they vote for Democrats.
“I am not telling you which party or who to vote for or against,” he said (IRS regulations mean a bishop risks his church’s tax-exempt status if he endorses a candidate). “But I am saying you have to think and pray very carefully about your vote because a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your soul in serious jeopardy.”
Not that he would even think of telling you who to vote for, but Paprocki did note that “I have read the Republican Party platform and there is nothing in it that supports or promotes an intrinsic evil or a serious sin.”
Just in case you were wondering, I guess.
In Newark, N.J., Archbishop John J. Myers released a pastoral letter suggesting that Catholics who don’t agree with church teachings on homosexual marriage should “in all honesty and humility refrain from Holy Communion.”
“Jesus had very harsh things to say to those whose false teachings led others, especially the young, astray," he noted.
He goes on to suggest that the advent of effective birth control may be to blame because birth control “makes it difficult for young people today to grasp the intrinsic meaning and relation between sexual activity and procreation that has always been one of the fundamental meanings of marriage.”
OK. Moving on . . .
In Germany, the church has decided to deny Communion and Christian burial to people who refuse to pay their church tax – a tax that brought more than $6 billion into church treasuries in 2010.
It would probably be indelicate to suggest that one reason German Catholics might be upset is that they object to being taxed to support a church that over the decades has systematically protected priests who abused children.
So I won’t suggest that.
But I would conclude by noting that the last survey I have read showed a majority of American Catholics support President Obama’s reelection.
Somehow, I suspect, their souls will not be in special danger.