Catholics believe that the first Mass took place at the Last Supper. The Jewish disciples present unwittingly attended the first Catholic Mass. Further, the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 14, tells us that Jesus revealed to the 12 present that one of them would betray him: “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” Thousands of years later, Catholics still celebrate Christ’s presence in the breaking of the bread and Christ remains betrayed by those in his presence. Pretty strong words; yes….but, very accurate. Judas is alive and well in the Catholic Church. Judas can be unassuming: the business professional, the soccer mom, the Sunday school teacher. Judas may look and act like Ned Flanders; but, rest assured, he or she denies Christ through their actions, even though they are allowed to sit at Christ’s table with His faithful.
I was in a state of disbelief when I attended Mass today and I learned about an ad that ran in the Miami newspaper, boldly proclaiming the (oxy)moronic statement: “Abortion in Good Faith.” It went on to state, “I want our America to reflect a culture of justice and equality where the dignity of all women is acknowledged through policies that support their moral choices.” The quote was from Gloria Romero Roses “Business owner, mother, Catholic.” I was further shocked to learn that this person was a parishioner in my church. The ad was encouraging folks to take a pledge, asserting that Catholic funding for abortion is a “social justice issue.” The pledge address was listed as: InGoodFaith.us.
I personally don’t know Mrs. Roses, although I’m sure that our paths have crossed in the past. As a father of 8, I tend to have a kid in school with just about everybody else’s kid. This is not about a single person; rather, it’s about a bastardized cause premised upon a perversion of faith. I’d much rather shoot the message than the messenger. Nonetheless, the messenger is out there –she held herself out- and folks of faith are called to admonish (Colossians 3:16, Luke 17:3, Timothy 3:16, etc.) and to teach. These words are coming from one sinner to another –and more pointedly to a broader Catholic community- with the understanding that God is our final judge; but, also with the fervent belief that excommunication is an underused tool. Many would argue that excommunication is the ultimate is “Catholic Social Justice.” I would agree with those folks.
In this election year, we will hear folks talking about “social justice.” Social justice has many forms; but, should never be confused with “Catholic social teaching.” The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has opined that there are seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching (http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catholic-social-teaching/seven-themes-of-catholic-social-teaching.cfm). Surprisingly, the Bishops are unaware of the good Catholic’s obligation to fund the death of fellow unborn Catholics. Oddly, U.S.C.C.B.’s number one theme of Catholic social teaching is about “Life and Dignity of the Human Person.” The Catholic Bishops specifically enumerate that abortion and euthanasia are inconsistent with the Catholic faith. Accordingly, groups such as InGoodFaith.us are actually not acting in good faith at all. They are appealing to “Catholics in Name Only,” the folks who identify with a faith for cultural reasons; but, who have no anchoring in their faith or they lack a breadth of understanding of their church’s teachings. These folks are part of the flock; but they are the lost sheep…easily led astray….sometimes, they’re the wolves.
On the issue of abortion, there is no wiggle room in our faith. Life is sacred from the moment of conception through to natural death. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is a terrific reference tool for those who want to dive more deeply. This is not to say that the Catholic Church hates people who have had abortions or those who have encouraged others to do the same. On the contrary, we believe in God’s grace, His forgiveness, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. There is plenty of room for those who have suffered through abortion in their lifetime in the Catholic Church. We are all sinners, trying to do better today than we did yesterday.
Satan, however, often disguises bad things as good. These bad things are packaged in an appealing form and are easily sold to the weak in faith; and often sold to those who are strong in faith as “no big deal.” It’s all in the marketing tools employed by our enemy, folks. In a free and open society, how awesome is it that we have the right to make various choices! When you frame an argument as one party being for choice and another being against it, the argument is misleading. I have the right to choose to rob you. I can choose to steal your car, I can choose to pee on your lawn. I have the right to choose several things that are legal and immoral…that does not make them right choices. Likewise, folks have the right to kill their unborn, courtesy of the Roe V. Wade decision, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that opened the floodgates for legalized abortion services in the United States. As a point in fact, the argument was neatly packaged and sanitized as a “privacy” issue by the Supreme Court. The Texas statues in place at the time, violated Jane Roe’s right to privacy. Not allowing access to abortion services therefore, according to 7 people in robes, interfered with a woman’s “zone of privacy.” See what I mean about packaging and marketing?
In this day and age, we have a vastly divided two party system. The G.O.P. party has as its platform the right to life. The Democratic platform defends, the so-called freedom to choose. I will boldly proclaim that which you won’t hear from the pulpit of Catholic Churches (but you should): as a practicing Catholic it is inconsistent with your faith in most (but not all) instances to vote for a Democrat. I know that folks will hate me for being this bold. If you’re a Catholic, you must know how your candidate stands on certain key, inarguable facets of your faith, and then make this determination: Is my “religion” my “party affiliation” or is my religion tied to my church’s teachings? If you can’t adhere to the teachings of the Catholic church, I would be much quicker to advise somebody to get the hell out than I would be to encourage them to bring the hell in. Don’t bastardize your faith to make it match your politics and don’t lead others astray.
This note is to my Catholic brothers and sisters from your unworthy brother in Christ. You can shoot this messenger; but, I’d ask you to meditate and pray on my message. Sometimes we can only be faithful to Christ when we speak words that others don’t want to hear. Our faith is not easy and it’s often inconvenient; but, it’s our to cherish or to squander.Tags: Abortion