National Catholic Reporter

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Phil Lawler's Amish Culture

Phil Lawler, who drives the conservative website CatholicCulture.org, should think about re-naming his site Catholic-AmishCulture.org, because his latest post essentially thinks the Catholic Church should withdraw from the business of providing social services with government funds, lest we inappropriately taint our moral purity. Most disturbing is his concluding paragraph. He writes: 

One consoling thought: If the bishops’ office of Migration and Refugee Services lost all its federal monies, the annual budget might plummet down to $5 million or less. But what would be left would be a recognizably Catholic charity, not a federal program administered through the bishops’ conference.

I doubt there would be much consolation for the migrants and refugees if the $66 million in federal monies given to MRS was to disappear in pursuit of Mr. Lawler's moral purity. His recipe is a recipe for us Catholics to remove ourselves from the public square, to become like the Amish, a self-contained community of true believers. I can't imagine a vision for the future of the Church that is more at odds with the messy, engaged, Church of accompaniment to which the Holy Father is repeatedly calling us. 

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