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Bishop Thomas Paprocki

Bishop Thomas Paprocki

The following piece written by Bishop Thomas Paprocki accuses the venerable Chicago Tribune of anti-Catholic bias.

The bishop says rather pointedly that the newspaper “seems to enlist dissenting Catholics to be the mouthpiece of the newspaper’s attacks against the Church’s teaching authority.” As an example of this tendency, His Excellency cites an article written by William Daley in which the author states that the outrage over Notre Dame is another instance of the Catholic hierarchy mixing religion with politics.

In adding my voice to His Excellency’s, I would like to add the following observations:

1. The history of Catholicism in the United States clearly shows an anti-Catholic bias. This country was founded by English Protestants, who wanted nothing to do with “the popery” that was so rampant in Europe during the eighteenth century. Therefore, the Constitution of the United States clearly enshrines separation of church and state.

2. The Holy See has always been interested in the welfare of the entire human family including its Catholic sons and daughters. In order to ensure this welfare, the Holy See and the Supreme Pontiff have taken it upon themselves to outrightly condemn any action that is contrary to the laws of God. These actions include those of civil governments such as the United States. To cite one example, Pope Pius XI outrightly condemned the anti-Semitism that was rampant in Adolf Hitler’s Germany during the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s in Mit Brennender Sorge.

3. It stands to reason that the Catholic bishops of the United States should also be involved in the affairs of this country. While church and state are most certainly separated in the country, the bishops do have a right to counsel leaders with regard to policies that are detrimental to the lives of Catholics within the United States.

Therefore, a statement that condemns the actions of Notre Dame by Cardinal George should not be viewed as a direct intervention on the part of the Catholic bishops. Rather, the bishops are counseling and admonishing  those that are in error.

Our prayers are with our bishops and the Holy Father in this time.

Our Lady of the Angels, pray for us!

St. Joseph, pray for us!