The fracas in Brooklyn over the recording by Bishop DiMarzio on behalf of a candidate is telling in many ways, but none more so than the way the Church’s culture tends to lag behind the mainstream culture. DiMarzio is old enough to remember a time when dealings between the Church and the State were conducted personally, and when the laity were not inclined to question their religious leaders, and religious leaders were not inclined to become publicly involved in political storms. Those days are gone.
We saw another leftover of the old days earlier this year when a Connecticut legislator questioned the way Catholic parishes were incorporated in that state. Those laws were put on the books in the 1950s and, without any particular historical research, I can guarantee nonetheless that what happened in the 1950s was the Governor of Connecticut called the Archbishop of Hartford and asked, “How do you want us to do this?”