Denver, Colo., Jul 10, 2012 / 03:05 am
Critics who accuse the U.S. bishops of "partisanship" have misunderstood their motives by viewing religious questions in secular terms, supporters of the Catholic hierarchy say.
"The media has no quibble at all when the bishops issue a statement questioning some aspects of Paul Ryan's budget, or when they express their support of recent decisions on the part of the Obama administration relating to immigration," Church historian Dr. Matthew Bunson told CNA.
"It's only when the bishops decide to exercise their authority in areas the media disagrees with" – such as marriage, sexuality, or theological orthodoxy – "that the bishops are suddenly 'reactionary.'"
The charge of partisanship has surfaced during 2012 in the fight over the federal "preventive services" mandate. Created under the federal health care reform law, it is opposed by the bishops for requiring religious employers to provide contraception, sterilization and abortion-causing drugs.