2 thoughts on “The Bishops and Public Policy

  1. Fr. Hehir says that the economic pastoral was a policy document which we should understand as one which by its form is given to specific policy proposals.

    As if identifying the genre of a document gives its authors license to cook up ridiculous solutions to problems whose diagnosis was sloppy and whose causes (therefore cures) were only dimly understood by the bishops.

    My opinion is that the bishops erred in this document, not because economic matters are out of bounds for moral comment by the Church (whether laity or clergy), but because their grasp of the subject was so wildly, arrogantly, and comically off the wall. The moral authority of the Church is not well-served by efforts of this kind.

  2. Joe,

    I think that you are spot on in your criticism of the document — the bishops simply do not have enough grasp of basic economic theory and practice to understand the functioning of a modern market economy (of either the American or social-market model). While the bishops certainly may address the moral and social needs of those on the margins of economic life (housing, food, adequate clothing, access to medical care, etc.), recommending the proper methods for addressing those needs simply lies outside of their competence as bishops.

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