tPassage of the Stupack Amendment in the House of Representatives, applying existing bans on federal funding for abortion to any new government health programs, has left pro-choice activists fuming. The primary villains of the piece, in their eyes, are the Catholic bishops of America.
The Associated Press has a story today quoting Eleanor Smeal of the Feminist Majority to the effect that the bishops “dictated” the outcome, and that it’s “totally inappropriate … blatant interference between church and state.” In a similar vein, Rep. Diana DeGette, a pro-choice Democrat from Colorado, said, “No one group should get to dictate the outcome of legislation in Congress … I don’t think one group should be given veto authority over what we do.”
tOne can obviously debate the merits of the bishops’ role, but for now I want to put this story to a different use: As an object lesson in the hazards of predicting the future.
tTrying to get a handle on the future of Catholicism is, of course, the raison d’être of The Future Church, which makes the caution I'm about to deliver all the more topical.