The secret is out: the Catholic Church is now the number one enemy of American liberalism. This is confirmed both by the increasing volume of public opinion and by the growing track record of intolerance towards the Church that the U.S. ruling class is racking up, especially around the contentious issue of abortion.
Some authors have pegged the Church as one of the leading sources of funding for anti-abortion activism, with the insinuation that such activity runs counter to the liberal principle of “separation of church and state.” Others have tweeted angrily that the Catholic Church in the U.S. bears all the blame for the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson. In a column for the New York Times, Maureen Dowd laments that, after Dobbs, the Catholic Church now has more influence in the U.S. than it does in Ireland.
More tellingly, James Carroll writes in the New Yorker that the Dobbs decision aligns with the Catholic Church’s historical opposition to the liberal values of Americanism. The Biden Administration’s continued persecution of the Little Sisters of the Poor for their refusal to provide coverage for contraceptives begs to be mentioned as another striking example, this time on the part of the government itself.
But perhaps the most telling case is the response which liberals directed toward San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, after his decision to block Speaker Nancy Pelosi from receiving Holy Communion. Back in May, Cordileone publicly declared that Pelosi’s position on abortion makes it immoral and scandalous for her to receive the Eucharist, according to Catholic discipline. Subsequently, liberals everywhere have reacted by calling out Cordileone’s un-Christian intolerance and obvious political motives. An editorial at the San Francisco Examiner, published before the final Dobbs ruling was released, stated that “Many women will die if the court goes through with this decision. That will apparently be just fine with Cordileone, who prefers to pick partisan fights rather than make the church a place that welcomes people of all political backgrounds and all faiths.”
The editorial also asserts:
It is Nancy Pelosi, not Archbishop Cordileone, who reflects the true spirit of Christian care in the City of St. Francis. For the Catholic Church to continue to thrive here, we need a leader who opens the church’s doors to all, not a small-minded man who locks out his political adversaries.
What are the origins of these and so many other examples of anti-Catholic discrimination, which seem to be reaching new heights of fervor in recent years? The common conservative narrative, that America is falling prey to a radical Marxist aberration from the founding principles of American classical liberalism, is an attractive explanation, to be sure. Yet today, on the 390th birthday of John Locke, I suggest we need only look as far as John Locke himself, one of the foremost defenders of the type of society that “welcomes people of all political backgrounds and all faiths….”
It’s as if those who have condemned Archbishop Cordileone for his intolerance of Nancy Pelosi’s position on abortion could be quoting Locke’s Letter Concerning Toleration….
The above comes from an August 29 posting in the Cathoic World Report.