Saturday, October 15, 2011

Laying Caesar's Foundation

The Obama administration took another step forward in legitimizing the persecution of Catholics last week. Nobody really noticed because there really aren't a lot of people who care. I got this from Fr. Z. You can read the main article here. Basically, the Supreme Court is hearing a case about a teacher dismissed from a Lutheran school for not accepting Lutheran teachings. The subject of the Catholic priesthood came up.

Leodra Kruger, making the case for the solicitor general, questioned the “ministerial exception” directly. When questioned by Chief Justice John Roberts on whether religious groups should have the right to judge the qualifications of their own key employees, she replied: “We don't see that line of church autonomy principles in the religion clause jurisprudence as such.”

When Justice Stephen Breyer pressed the issue, asking specifically whether the Catholic Church should be allowed to bar women from the priesthood, Kruger replied: “The government's general interest in eradicating discrimination in the workplace is simply not sufficient to justify changing the way that the Catholic Church chooses its priests, based on gender roles that are rooted in religious doctrine.” But by casting her legal argument in terms of the government’s interests, rather than the unchanging language of the First Amendment, she left open the possibility that at some future date, under different circumstances, the government could side with women seeking ordination as Catholic priests.

In other words, the Obama administration thinks the only reason Catholics can have an all-male priesthood is because there isn't a big enough government interest to do so right now. That an attorney for the federal government would even consider such an argument should terrify Catholics across the country. Unfortunately, too many of us have cast our lot with Caesar to be all that concerned right now.

Sometimes change is bad, as are the hopes for such changes.

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