Americans are–for the most part–answerable to ourselves. We were founded to allow us to live as each citizen wants, as long as we follow the laws and do not bother others.
Christians are ultimately answerable to God but while on Earth, we answer to the hierarchy instituted by Christ.
Teaching of The Bishops
Though it is often hard for American Catholic Christians to accept, we are all answerable to our local Bishop. Remember that the Bishops are the successors of the Apostles. You would listen to the teaching of those who walked with Christ Jesus, wouldn’t you? Then we must listen to the teachings of our Bishops.
Per the teachings of Vatican II, the American Bishops speak collectively through United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The USCCB demands that Catholic institutions hold views consistent with Church’s teachings. American have the right to hold any viewpoint they want but Christian do not. Life in Christ demands living a life according to your calling and the teaching of Christ as promulgated by the teaching of the Church.
Therefore, all Catholic schools must conduct all their activities according to the teachings of the Church.
Boston College is Not Listening
I support Boston’s Archbishop Sean O’Malley for staying true to the teaching of the Church by refusing to participate in Boston College’s commencement ceremony. The event will feature Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny who is pushing for a bill in Ireland that would allow for abortion throughout the pregnancy “under the guise of preventing the suicide of pregnant women.”
Boston College cannot claim on their website to be “committed to maintaining and strengthening the Jesuit, Catholic mission of the University, and especially its commitment to integrating intellectual, personal, ethical, and religious formation; and to uniting high academic achievement with service to others” and then invite government official who is trying to change the laws of his country to allow for an expansion of abortion.
With all due respect to the Jesuit leadership of Boston College, they knew continuing with this decision was putting them at odds with the USCCB, to whom they are answerable.
Cardinal O’Malley is right for not attending the commencement because that would show his support for Boston College’s decision.
As we see in Pope Francis, Jesuits have no problem expressing themselves, which is great. The Church owes a great debt to work of Jesuits.
On social justice issues when tied to abortion, Catholics–lay and clerical–are wrong. Abortion is murder. Supporting any person or groups who is actively involved in or looking to increase the amount of abortions is committing a mortal sin.
Please join me in praying for Boston College president Father William Leahy, S.J that he would allow the Holy Spirit to make him aware of this error and that he would repent. We also need to pray for wisdom and courage for our Bishops, as well as for the people of Ireland.