Every time I hear an American Bishop or some apparatchik at the USCCB give some fake warning about being careful what we say, or write, or what pro-life literature we hand out concerning the election because “we could lose our tax exempt status, I laugh and think, “so what and let the bastards try it.”
Why are so many prelates and priests so unmanly and afraid of a confrontation and a fight? Surely one of the reasons men only are called to the priesthood has something to do with a man’s capacity to fight and protect what he loves? Testicular fortitude should be thing for men–Christ’s own men especially!!!
“What doth it profit a man to gain his tax exempt status and lose his soul?”
As I see it, given the number of people who regularly go to Mass, confession, and actually support the Church, and given that Catholics contracept and divorce at the same rates as the pagan population, we have too much land, too many parishes, and too many schools for the number of Catholics who actually practice their faith, so a tax paying forced reorganization might be beneficial to properly slim down to productive and believing ecclesiastical assets.
Why do Bishops pretend as if they would have no public leverage, influence, or legal recourse should the government actually and improbably move to revoke the Church’s tax exempt status? Why do they and their apparatchiks tell this ridiculous, very public lie of the potential revocation of exemption every election season? How many African-American congregations have suffered a revocation of their exemption when they regularly have candidates preaching from their pulpits? NONE.
When are we going to confront the real truth at the root of what the Bishops and their apparatchiks fear: That they have made the Catholic Church in the United States a subcontractor for the anti-Catholic, secularized welfare state and have grown dependent on government money to prop up the Church’s charities and social welfare programs, partly due to the fact that the faithful aren’t so faithful anymore and don’t support the Church and her works much anymore.
We’ve been corrupted by government money and have made it hard for ourselves to speak the truth about things that matter most, the millions in government dollars prop up school lunch programs, family aid programs, Catholic charities programs, refugee aid, etc. “Helping people” viewed as a quantity, at the cost of muting our integral witness on moral non-negotiables is surely a highway to Hell paved with greenbacks.
It’s not our tax exempt status we’re afraid of losing by speaking the truths that frankly most comfortable, semi-practicing Catholics don’t much want to hear, it’s because we’re afraid of losing the money (concupiscence of the eyes) and the public prestige that administering these big programs (the pride of life) brings to episcopal and meta-episcopal administrations, such as the various organs of the USCCB.
To the extent that Pope Francis has intelligibly called for a more humble Church, why don’t we start practicing humility by ending Catholic complicity in our own corruption by severing all these relationships with the hostile, corrupt, anti-Catholic secularized welfare state, suffering what we must, adopt Mother Teresa’s model for serving the poor, and proclaim the fullness of the truth Christ and Him crucified, come what may.
Only then will we be finally free to be authentically Catholic and won’t have to give a damn about what some Godless bureaucrat or fake Catholics who claim the brand and eschew the demands-sacred or secular-has to say. Then, we’ll just have to please the Lord, which should be concern enough for a disciple.
As the example of the early Church amply illustrates, being a faithful coworker of the Truth, a witness to hope, enduring suffering for love of Jesus, and personally sacrificing as a witness to Christ’s charity was the true source of influence and conversion in the midst of a hostile, pagan culture. Intensity defeats extensity every time.