Things that are not Caesar’s

When civil officials issue orders about what is good for public health, Catholic bishops should listen, because civil officials have the proper authority to enforce public-health rules. Indeed a prudent bishop would ordinarily heed those rules, because the bishop is not an expert in the field of public health. But if and when the rules infringe on the prerogatives of the Church—if they compromise the evangelical mission—then the bishop must demur, and protest, and if necessary defy the civil authority. And so must we.