Now, it happens that, while I believe the Catholic clergy are by and large men of good will, I don’t believe they have the authority they claim. I believe the only legitimate Apostolic authority on the earth today has its offices in downtown Salt Lake City. Which is simply to say that I’m a Mormon, not a Catholic.
But it’s clear Bishop Tobey sincerely believes his Church has that authority, and from that perspective, his letter is spot on. I could wish to have expressed myself so well to men and women who claim to be good Mormons but wish the Church would, for example, legitimatize homosexual relationships.
Let me pause and catch my breath.
One nagging question that remains with me, because I don’t have the full context of the Bishop’s letter (and Google failed to dredge it up), is whether the Congressman disagreed with the Catholic Church’s stance on abortion, or its stance on the duty of public officials regarding abortion. I don’t have much truck with Mormons who want the Church to legitimatize homosexual relations. I am much more tolerant towards those who claim to agree with the Church’s moral condemnation of homosexual relations, but disagree with its approach to public policy on homosexual relations.
It happens I support the Church’s involvement in Proposition 8, but there have been other official Church positions on public policy (opposition to a flat income tax comes to mind) where I have been inclined to respectfully disagree. I don’t think that makes me less than fully a Latter-day Saint.
In any case, there are far more plausible contraindications to my alleged Latter-day Saintliness than my views on tax policy. (It was all Tarkin’s fault. The man was insane.)