So, What Do you Think About This, Your Holiness?
-“California legislators want to force Catholic priests to break the sacramental seal of confession and reveal what penitents disclose in cases of suspected child abuse or neglect.”
– Lots of issues occupy the Pontiff…can’t deal with all of them
Pope Francis has been quite vocal throughout his Papacy. He has expressed his “deep concern” about the evils of capitalism, the dangers of “climate change”, global “income inequality’. He has suggested that many of the ills afflicting Latin American countries are the fault of US actions in the past. He has condemned President Trump’s demands for border security and the need for physical barriers to prevent the mass invasion of America by illegal immigrants.
On other matters which one might expect the Pontiff to speak out on, he has been ambivalent, or even apparently reluctant to address.
Beyond noting that the Church opposes abortion, he has ‘cautioned’ against Catholics “obsessing” about the issue. His position on gay marriage is sometimes vague.
The Pope seems to be distracted from issues of the Church’s widely exposed sexual exploitation of minors by clergy, religious discrimination and persecution in various countries around the world…and strangely silent about recent events in Venezuela. While being unsubtly critical of various policies of President Trump, he has had little to say about expressions and policy proposals inimical to religious freedom advanced by Democrats in the US.
The actions of oppressive dictators and despots in various countries such as Maduro in his Latin American homeland seem to fail to get the attention of the leader of 2 billion Catholics around the world.
Perhaps at 81, the Pontiff is just tired. Maybe well-deserved retirement should be considered. (After all, the papal precedent has been set and he is not a US Supreme Court Justice.) DLH
California legislators want to force Catholic priests to break the sacramental seal of confession and reveal what penitents disclose in cases of suspected child abuse or neglect. Senate Bill 360 by Jerry Hill of San Francisco would achieve this by designating priests—and all clergy, in fact, regardless of religious affiliation—as “mandatory reporters” of such crimes.
The brazenness of this proposed law is breathtaking. We all know that California lawmakers are basically allergic to reality, but it’s distressing to contemplate that, at best, they have never heard of the First Amendment’s free exercise clause, or, at worst, they hate and want to gut it.
Yet it is not at all surprising this would happen in a cultural moment when:
• CNN anchor John King felt comfortable musing that maybe Second Lady Karen Pence shouldn’t get Secret Service protection because she’s an evangelical Christian
• Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) attacked now-Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s impartiality because she’s an orthodox Catholic (remember “the dogma lives loudly within you”?)
• The Obama administration tried to force nuns to pay for contraceptives in violation of their Catholic faith
• Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) implied that a judicial nominee who is part of a Catholic charitable organization, the Knights of Columbus, couldn’t be an impartial judge
• The Colorado Civil Rights Commission openly expressed its bigotry against Christian cakemaker Jack Phillips (but was slapped down by the Supreme Court last term)
• The mainstream media perpetrated a coordinated smear campaign against 16-year-old Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School and his friends