Where was the Church?

A blast from the past: a group of working-class Catholic mothers, protesting against an obvious gross violation of Catholic social teaching regarding subsidiarity and the primary authority and responsibility of parents for the education of their children, pray the rosary on their knees. Then the cops go after them. The local bishop must have been side by side with his people, right?

Oops! Guess not. This was Boston in 1975, and Cardinal Medeiros was side by side with governing elites, fighting for racial integration through busing and against neighborhood schools for his own people. I’ve commented on the problem before. At its highest level the Church’s social teaching says family is basic and subsidiarity is key, so socialism and the bureaucratic social assistance state is bad. The same reasoning ought to say that the bureaucratic inclusivist state is bad. At the day-to-day operational level, though, those principles get ignored. The Church doesn’t do its own thinking, and it likes to be in favor with influential people and advance practical goals. The result is that it gets absorbed in other people’s projects.

For relevant discussion occasioned by the recent health care bill, see the comments by Ed Feser and Carl Olson.

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