Who decides what it means to be Catholic? - Macleans.ca

Who decides what it means to be Catholic?

Religious identity politics heat up over abortion


When Rome-based Archbishop Raymond Burke accused Boston Cardinal Seán O’Malley with being under the influence of Satan, “the father of lies,” because O’Malley permitted and presided over a funeral mass for Senator Ted Kennedy, it sent U.S. Catholicism into an uproar. More than protests over the University of Notre Dame’s decision to invite President Barack Obama to speak, disputes over the Kennedy funeral rose from a slow-burning fight: what to do with politicians who support abortion rights. Burke and others who believe a Catholic’s position on abortion trumps all other teachings oppose those who take a more holistic view of the faith. But at the core, the divide is over who decides what it means to be Catholic—and over whether the cost of rubbing along peacefully with secular society is worth the religious cost.


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