There were a lot of bad speeches at the Democratic National Convention, but Caroline Kennedy's speech was the low point in many ways. She got up on a national stage and used her professed Catholic faith to justify and actually demand the preservation of grave evils that the Church explicitly condemns. She presented lies for the truth, and tried to justify it with her Catholic faith. I've been hoping to hear some strongly-worded corrections from our stellar priests, bishops, and cardinals since that night, but unless I've missed it, so far I've seen nothing. Are we wrong to expect a public condemnation of Caroline Kennedy's words from our church leaders? And by the same token, are we remiss in voicing that public condemnation ourselves?
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) - There were a lot of bad speeches at the Democratic National Convention, but Caroline Kennedy's speech was the low point in many ways.
Caroline Kennedy got up on a national stage and used her professed Catholic faith to justify and actually demand the preservation of grave evils that the Church explicitly condemns. She twisted Catholicism into a pretzel to suit her own apostasy. She presented lies for the truth, and tried to justify it with her Catholic faith.
I've been hoping to hear some strongly-worded corrections from our stellar priests, bishops, and cardinals since that night, but unless I've missed it, so far I've seen nothing. Are we wrong to expect a public condemnation of Caroline Kennedy's words from our church leaders? And by the same token, are we remiss in voicing that public condemnation ourselves?
Ms. Kennedy, I know you grew up Catholic. I know you were raised in the Church. I can't speculate on the exact nature of your faith, but I can say this for certain: What you professed that night at the DNC was NOT Catholic. You seem to indeed have a very specific creed, but it's not the creed of the Catholic Church.
Your speech that night was scandalous. There's no other word for it. It was disgraceful. On the one hand, it made me furious, and on the other hand, it made me feel very sorry for you.
I am furious with you and every other public "Catholic" in this country who makes a mockery of our faith by living in utter contradiction of what the Church teaches while claiming to love the Church, love your faith, and take your faith seriously. You obstinately persist in championing grave and intrinsic evil, while wearing your ashes on your forehead as an empty display of authenticity. You claim to love the Church you persecute and blaspheme at every turn. You claim membership of a Body you despise through your actions.
When you champion the "right" to kill the child in the womb, you despise the Body of Christ. When you champion the "right" to treat the child in the womb as a thing rather than a person, you despise the Christ Child. When you champion the demise of true marriage through its redefinition, you despise the Holy Family. When you champion the demise of the family by casting aside the primacy of mother and fathers in raising children, you despise the Child Jesus. When you champion the proliferation of contraception and require your own Church to violate Her unchangeable teachings about the sanctity and dignity of human life and marital love, you despise the blessed humanity of Christ.
You do not correctly represent the Church when you make such scandalous remarks as you did that night. You may wish to fashion a Catholic Church more to your liking, but you don't have that authority or ability, thank the Lord.
I pity you that you have not yet encountered the true Faith in which you were brought up. I'm sorry you haven't yet realized what a treasure you could have. It is rich and beautiful and merciful and miraculous, and you don't know that. I hope someday you will. In the meantime, I cannot let your remarks or your version of Catholicism stand unchallenged.
You and Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi and Kathleen Sebelius and John Kerry and on and on... you do not speak for the Church. You do not serve the Church. You don't seek to build up the Church but to weaken Her and contradict Her and remake Her in your own image. You make your scandal public so I make my confrontation public as well. I'm tired of all you wolves in sheep's clothing making yourselves at home in my Church while you work to scatter and devour.
If the Catholic Church is not to your liking, then leave and find a church that is. If the doctrine of the Catholic faith is not palatable to you then go find a doctrine that is. No one's forcing you to believe or to stay against your will. Be honest for once. You know quite well that your personal doctrine is diametrically opposed to the truth of Church teaching. You know that what you call good the Church rightly calls evil. You know that what you celebrate as progress the Church rightly calls immoral and destructive.
Your facade is pitiful and insulting. I'm sick to death of hearing you embrace evil and call it a "right" that must not be lost. My blood boils when you advocate for evil while waving your little Catholic banner.
So while I'm sitting here waiting for a bishop or other Church leader to publicly renounce your remarks, I started wondering if perhaps they were all waiting for me. And thousands of other Catholic women just like me.
I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, nor am I ashamed of His Body on earth, the Church, and I will gladly profess and live the Truth and the Faith that you spit on with your betrayal. I will fight for the life of the child in the womb, for the sanctity of all human life, and for true marriage between husband and wife for life.
Perhaps our leaders are waiting for Catholic pewsitters to stiffen their spines a little and take a public stand for their faith. We cannot always wait for bishops to sound the charge. Each one of us has the horn in his hand as well. What are we waiting for?
We cannot take for granted that our Church leaders' words will be enough. Their voice is strong and powerful and irreplaceable, yet it does not give us permission to be mute. Jesus felt pity for the people of His time, calling them "sheep without a shepherd." Well, you know what? The last few years we have seen leader after leader, bishop after bishop, priest after priest boldly defend the Church and Her teachings as they should; they've used their gifts and their words to instruct the faithful and to teach and inspire. Perhaps what we now suffer from is shepherds without sheep.
What would happen if Catholic women across America rejected Caroline Kennedy's version of "rights" and truths, and instead publicly witnessed to the true doctrine of their Church? What would happen if Catholic women embraced chastity and virtue instead of Planned Parenthood? What would happen if Catholic couples across America rejected the culture of death with all its abortion and contraception and instead gave public witness to the power of life-giving love?
It was not the votes of bishops and cardinals that ushered in the current administration with its ceaseless devotion to abortion and love-affair with Planned Parenthood; contraception; same-sex "marriage"; and assault on Religious freedom. It was the votes of the sheep! If polls are to be believed these days, it seems those sheep have learned nothing at all, and are poised to once again extend their support to the man and the party that glories in killing the child in the womb, along with redefining marriage and elevating homosexual sex to something righteous; and punishing the Catholic Church and the faithful for being Catholic.
Perhaps our leaders are hoarse from screaming at sheep who refuse to listen. Perhaps they're tired of putting up with phony Catholics and impotent Catholics and cultural Catholics who really couldn't care less what the Church teaches. Perhaps they're heartbroken that so many Catholics can't even be bothered to show up.
Perhaps, like me, they're also angry that so many Catholics make a mockery of the faith by openly denying what the Church teaches and openly advocating for intrinsic evils. If they are, I admit I'd love to hear them express their outrage more often. I'd love to see public scandal answered publicly and corrected publicly every time.
Whether I get my wish is not the point. The point is, it has always been up to you and me to be salt and light in our culture. It is up to us to speak the truth and live the truth and confront evil in our midst with courage. It's up to you and me to live an authentic faith. It's up to you and me to answer Caroline Kennedy and the others and bring their false witness to shame with our own genuine witness.
Caroline Kennedy et al only have the nerve to do what they do because sadly there are a lot of sheep who applaud and march with them. They are lost sheep, all of them. They will not benefit from our timidity or lukewarmness. It's time to light the fire and you and I are holding the match.
Pray continually for our Church leaders here in America. They need our support and the covering of our prayers. They also need us to take ownership of our faith and act like the militant Church we're supposed to be. Just as we wait for inspiration from them, so they need some enthusiasm from us. It is a laborious task indeed to lead people who stick their finger in your eye.
Jennifer Hartline is a grateful Catholic, a proud Army wife and homeschooling mother of three children. She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online. Visit her online at Wake Up, Deborah!
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