I thought the title was cute, and it is one Sean Hannity uses himself. I am not suggesting Sean Hannity is insane, but he is misguided with respect to Catholic teaching. On March 9th, Hannity sparred with Father Euteneuer of Human Life International. The priest challenged Hannity’s dissent from Catholic teaching on artificial birth control. Honestly, I was disappointed with Hannity. Instead of addressing contraception directly, he obfuscated the issue by talking about the Church’s sex abuse scandal.
Why is it whenever someone disagrees with the Catholic Church, they bring up the scandal. As terrible as the abuse and scandals may have been, the Faith is still the Faith and the Church is still the Church and ultimately the scandals are irrelevant to the issue at hand. It is a shame the Church has damaged its moral credibility, but clergy and laity alike still need to stand up for the Truth. Good on Father Euteneuer doing just that.
That being said, I believe Father E had three goals when he wrote Sean Hannity a letter:
- To correct the misinformation promulgated by Hannity
- To save the souls of people who may have been deceived by Hannity
- To save Hannity’s soul
Father E certainly accomplished #1, it is questionable whether he accomplished #2 and he definitely did not accomplish #3. To accomplish those last two objectives, one must follow Father Morris’ advice and “speak out…with palpable love.” Sean Hannity’s aggressive tactics made it difficult for Father E to exude “palpable love” during his Fox News interview. Father E did the best he could under the circumstances, and Father Morris could learn from the former's devotion to the Truth.
However, Father E’s response to Father Morris’ letter was not entirely charitable in tone. When Catholics speak in the public sphere, they must do with the utmost charity. I applaud Father E for having the courage to speak the Truth publicly. More Catholics should step up to the plate, but charity must lead everything we do.
You can read about the whole affair at Father E’s website.