As our new president begins to fill his cabinet and gather his czars, I’ve been thinking more and more about the weight this places on the Catholic bishops of the United States. I know that some of them, like Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, feel they’re called to take a hardline approach to Catholic politicians who take stands that are contrary to their Catholic faith. Archbishop Naumann has (rightfully) told our new head of Health and Human Services, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, not to receive Holy Communion until she publicly repudiates her support for abortion.
Others bishops prefer to take a softline approach preferring – and praying – that hearts change by conversion on coersion.
It’s a tough, tough question. Ultimately, hearts must change and conversion must take place. But, do we stand back and allow public officials to facilitate the murder of those who are too weak to defend themselves? How mahy lives will be lost, how many will be convinced to follow such a fatal example, while we wait for those hearts to change?
I’m not suggesting that I know more than our dear bishops. What I am suggesting is that the laity become stronger and more vocal in standing against such atrocities. We also need to be more voal in expressing our love, prayers and support for our bishops so that they can do what they’re called to do.