A Polarized Church?

In discussing important issues of the times, Catholics should not adopt the “vicious” rhetoric of partisan politics, a panelist told the National Council of Catholic Women on Nov. 12. “We need to be utterly intolerant of trashing other people in the church,” said Carol Keehan, D.C., president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association. “It undermines the charity that is at the heart of the church.” Keehan, of the Daughters of Charity, was among five Catholic leaders who participated in a panel discussion opening the N.C.C.W.’s 90th anniversary convention in Washing-ton. Another panel member, John Carr, executive director of the U.S. bishops’ Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, urged that Catholic teaching not be seen as an “either/or” proposition. “It’s about human life and dignity, human rights and responsibility. It begins with life, but it doesn’t end there.” Carr also criticized the “intense polarization, partisanship and politicization” that has seeped into the church from U.S. culture. “We can divide up the work, but we can’t divide up the church,” he said.

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