Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Bishop Wuerl to Bishops: Play Nice!

My spiritual life has flourished since moving to Colorado and becoming part of the Archdiocese of Denver where Archbishop Chaput is regarded as a treasure for his courage and fidelity to the Church.

Which is why it pains me to read that the bishop of Pittsburgh, where I was born and raised, plans to tell the Vatican that his colleagues shold have their opinions cleared with other bishops before speaking on controversial issues.

As veteran religion reporter Ann Rodgers put it, "Though couched in polite, theological language, Wuerl's proposal is an attempt to muffle loose cannons in the hierarchy."

Wonder which of these "loose cannons" Wuerl is intending to silence. Chaput spoke forcefully last year on the issue of whether Catholics ought to vote for pro-abortion politicians when Kenneth Salazar ran for the U.S. senate against Pete Coors. The issue gained national prominence during the presidential race when Kerry began touting his Catholic creds.

Wuerl thinks this kind of thing is "divisive" but these debates are important because they give our leaders a chance to guide us in the teachings of the faith. You would think Wuerl, a bishop, would think twice before silencing his more outspoken colleagues. Ultimately the voice he stifles will be his own.