I am deeply dismayed to see that one commentator has compared Ms. Welborn's criticism of American Life League to the apostle Judas, and assumes that the reason we have objected to the campaign is because we believe bishops ought not to be criticized, period. In response, I would like to clarify that the issue is not whether McCarrick should be criticised, but how -- I daresay most if not all of us participating in this discussion are in agreement that McCarrick's tepid response to Senator Kerry merits criticism. (In my own defense, please see earlier posts to this blog).
At the same time, as another commentator reminded us, our bishops are successors to the apostles, and while we have the right to criticize their actions under the present circumstances, basic respect for their office should influence how we go about doing so.
Had American Life League chose to express their concerns about McCarrick in a different (and, in my opinion, more civil) fashion -- for example, by way of a petition to the Cardinal which urged him to take a stronger stand, I would have enthusiastically joined them.
I also suspect that a petition containing the signatures of thousands of concerned Catholics might have made a greater impression on the Cardinal than opening up the morning paper to read a full-page advertisement by Judy Brown branding him a coward, and condescendingly lecturing him that "you can't be Catholic and pro-abortion" (as if the Cardinal didn't have a clue where the Church stands on the matter).
But again: that is my opinion, and to those who maintain that ALL had the correct strategy, I trust that we can respectfully disagree.
In any case, time will tell if ALL's ad campaign bears any fruit, and what kind of impression it will have both on McCarrick and the general public. Who knows? -- So many other bishops have risen to the challenge (Bishops Sheridan, Wenski, Aquila, Myers, et al.) in recent days that their displays of courage could inspire Cardinal McCarrick to meet our expectations.
Thanks to my co-editors and commentators for a stimulating discussion!
Ongoing commentary by the editors of CatholicKerryWatch
Sen. John Kerry stands with Kate Michelman (right) President of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Since 1995, Michelman's group has given Kerry a 100% rating for his voting record to defend abortion.