Melinda Henneberger -- Commonweal columnist and ed-in-chief of the new Web site Politics Daily -- has just posted a long, chatty interview with Washington D.C. archbishop Donald Wuerl. The conversation covers lots of interesting ground on the relationship between Catholicism and politics. Here's a taste:
He's beyond sorry to see Communion wielded as a weapon: "That's the new way now to make your point. We never the Church just didn't use Communion this way. It wasn't a part of the way we do things, and it wasn't a way we convinced Catholic politicians to appropriate the faith and live it and apply it; the challenge has always been to convince people." Whereas sanctioning them, in his view, has the opposite effect.For bishops, "there are two different approaches'' to bring Catholic politicians in line with Church teaching. "One is the pastoral, teaching mode, and the other is the canonical approach'' the legal approach, in other words. He doesn't think it's a very close call: "I have yet to see where the canonical approach has changed anyone's heart.''Has he seen his approach change anyone's heart? He smiles, and says one has to take the long view: "The teaching approach that we've used for centuries requires patience, persistence and insistence, but I believe if we teach our people, we will not have a problem with our politicians.''
Read the whole thing here. (H/t Whispers in the Loggia, where, of course, you'll find lots of background details.) And while you're visiting Politics Daily, check out our own David Gibson's take on the pope's latest trip, "His Holiness in the Holy Land."