So. Cardinal Dolan - now the de facto top Bishop in the Untied States - writes a letter to his fellow Bishops telling a tale of a recent White House meeting. The Cardinal minces no words: He speaks of a disrespect to religion, disservice to the Constitution, and disrespect to the assembled bishops present.
How explosive is this letter? Search for "Bishop Dolan's letter" in Google News. You'll get 52 stories, most of them from the Huffington Post, and very few of them having to do with the letter itself. This despite the fact that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops posted the cardinal’s letter on its website on Friday and issued a press release about it. There is more coverage in the Canadian dailies than in the American media.
That's how explosive.
The Wall Street Journal, at least, gives us a little summary and commentary:
...the Administration is using raw political force to compel a small subset of schools, hospitals, charities and other religious institutions "to maintain in our policies practices which our Church has consistently taught are grave wrongs in which we cannot participate," as Cardinal Dolan puts it.
He also relates a remarkable meeting that he says the White House convened with the bishops to "work out the wrinkles" of the mandate. Having accepted the invitation, the bishops asked if concrete policy changes like broadening the mandate's exemptions were "all off the table. They were informed that they are."
In other words, the White House's solution is merely for the bishops to shut up about the wrinkles. Cardinal Dolan writes that "there was not even a nod to the deeper concerns about trespassing upon religious freedom." White House staffers also cited some writings by vicars of the Catholic left in support of the mandate, in effect telling the bishops that they know less about church teachings than your average Washington Post columnist.
As a study in ideology and power, the anecdote is chilling...
More via CNS:
“there was still no resolution about the handcuffs placed upon renowned Catholic charitable agencies, both national and international, and their exclusion from contracts just because they will not refer victims of human trafficking, immigrants and refugees, and the hungry of the world, for abortions, sterilization, or contraception.”
Dolan's resolve is steely:
“We have made it clear in no uncertain terms to the government that we are not at peace with its invasive attempt to curtail the religious freedom we cherish as Catholics and Americans,” Cardinal Dolan wrote his brother bishops.
“We did not ask for this fight, but we will not run from it,” he said.
Obama famously bragged last week that "I don't bluff". Does he believe that Cardinal Dolan does?
Some of us are well aware of what happens when the proud take on The Throne (just ask the Morning Star). Others, less knowledgeable, are also known as "Democrats"...
Prepare for an epic showdown. Those in the first few rows should expect to get pelted with fire and brimstone..