I suppose I take a different approach than many e-journalists when I comment on the decisions of priests, bishops, and cardinals. I cannot bring myself to criticize their decisions because 1) it seems backwards to mistrust a man who authoritatively speaks in the name of Christ, and 2) as a lay person, I realize that I have much to learn from them and that they are also interested in learning from lay people’s experiences. Lumen Gentium explains that if a bishop is “teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff,” he is “to be respected as a witness to divine and Catholic truth.” The bishop speaks in the name of Christ, and in matters of faith and morals we are to accept his teaching and “adhere to it with a religious assent.”
So when I heard about the decision of the German bishops to allow Catholic hospitals to use the morning-after pill or other contraception in rape cases, I was concerned about communication, but not critical of the decision. This is an opportunity for clearer communication, not crisis-style panic, finger-pointing, and insinuating that our bishops are ignorant. We have enough of that in the misguided secular media already.
Read the rest at Catholic Exchange, and let me know your thoughts. The issue of the morning-after pill needs more discussion.