National Catholic Reporter

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Bp McElroy: Call Your Office

Jeff Mirius, at CatholicCulture.org, thinks the USCCB issues too many action alerts. Except for the ones he likes.

Specifically he thinks that it is fine for the bishops to champion a bill on conscience rights because that is "very specific political advice to oppose the coercion of citizens into moral evil, a violation of the natural law. It is well within the bishops’ competence to speak on this question." But, when the bishops urge Congress to be mindful of the poor and protect those programs that help the poor, those action alerts are bad, "so vague or so broad of purpose as to be almost mystifying politically."

Mr. Mirius traffics in the "intrinsically immoral" categories that Bp McElory recently debunked in his splendid article at America. This is the fault-line the USCCB must confront at its November plenary: Will it follow Pope Francis in his call to robustly defend the poor, even though poverty is not an intrinsic evil, or will the bishops seek to continue their focus on what is, Mirius' comments notwithstanding, a very particular reading of civil law.

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