Disunity among bishops? What disunity?
Apparently seventy-two hours of incomplete univocity was just too much to bear. On Tuesday, Bishop Stephen Blaire, gave an interview to America magazine in which he expressed concern that there wasn’t wider consultation among bishops about the USCCB’s anti-contraception-mandate strategy. “I think there are different groups that are trying to co-opt this and make it into political issue,” he said, “and that’s why we need to have a deeper discussion as bishops.”
Today, however, Blaire spoke to Catholic News Agency to emphasize that in no way, shape, or form did he mean to suggest that he did not stand with his brother bishops in their rejection of the contraception-coverage mandate. In that interview, Blaire points out that he was a member of the USCCB committee that drafted the bishops’ most recent statement on religious freedom: “I contributed to and voted for this statement, and continue to support it, including its call for legal action as was announced on Monday,” Blaire says.
Last night, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore appeared on The World Over to discuss the matter (more on that broadcast later). They reassured viewers that, while there may be some difference of opinion among bishops about this or that strategy, the bishops stand together in “overwhelming unity,” as Lori put it, when it comes to the fight against the contraception mandate — and the series of lawsuits filed this week.
Not in California. As E. J. Dionne reported on Wednesday, lawyers representing the California Catholic Conference wrote to the USCCB arguing that the proposed lawsuits would be “imprudent” and “ill-advised.”