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By Randy Sly

10/25/2008 (6 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Doug Kmeic and others can say what they want. Many pulpits in America are thundering the real truth – as Catholics we must stand for life when we vote.

Highlights

By Randy Sly

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/25/2008 (6 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) – Sunday our pastor finished his homily to the sound of applause from the congregation gathered. It didn’t just happen in one Mass, either. Basically, Father William Saunders just preached the truth and presented the clear teaching of the Church concerning the issues of life and the issues of the election. Some were uneasy, I’m sure; but the truth had been proclaimed and the enthusiasm was electric. He had touched a major chord in our hearts.

Standing on the shoulders of so many courageous Catholics across the centuries, we, as the Church, are called to stand for the truth and represent the faith that we are called to affirm when we exercise our citizenship. We are challenged to stand for life.Frankly, I am weary to the point of disgust with all the finger pointing currently taking place, that so-and-so is not standing strong enough for truth. Accusations concerning perceived sins of omission are easy to pontificate.

Could we be doing more? Absolutely! I know of no one who can say that they are doing all that could be done to affirm the stand for life in this election. Certainly some a more bold, while others appear timid or silent. There are even some whose actions may cause some to turn away from our message of life.Could more bishops and other clergy speak up about these issues with greater courage and fortitude? Certainly! Would that every one of their voices proclaimed it from the housetops. Nothing breeds hope in the heart like a courageous message from our diocesan and parish leaders.

Still, as Catholics, we must celebrate the boldness of our Church regarding the issues of life in this Presidential election. Let’s affirm the prophetic voices that have been speaking loud and long, trying to wake up the frog that is starting to boil in the kettle. Without these voices, the cries of the unborn and the infirm may never have been heard at all.

Throughout the entire campaign process voices for life have been heard everywhere, in both parties. Whether it was a Giuliani, a Biden, or an Obama, the warnings were coming from the very beginning.As the field narrowed, the issue of life was certainly a major point of division between the two parties both in platform and presidential candidates.

During the conventions this past summer the voices became stronger. A number of bishops condemned “Catholic” politicians who were mutilating the Magisterium. It was an immediate correction, loud and strong.

Right now, nothing separates our two presidential candidates more than the issue of life. While there are many other important differences between the two, when we view each through the lens of our Churches teachings, this position stands out significantly.

As momentum continues to gather toward Election Day in November, Catholic voices are thundering even more loudly. The voices are coming from across the entire tapestry of the Church. Bishops, like Martino, Finn, and Chaput are calling upon the faithful to be faithful.

In Texas, Bishops Kevin Farrell of Dallas and Kevin Vann of Fort Worth said that they seek to "dispel any confusion or misunderstanding that may be present among you concerning the teaching contained in" the U.S. bishops document on faithful citizenship.

"As Catholics we are morally obligated to pray, to act and to vote to abolish the evil of abortion in America, limiting it as much as we can until it is finally abolished."

Bishop Gracida has recorded and made available a radio ad, declaring that Catholics must vote for Life and cannot vote for a Pro-Abortion Candidate. He then stated that Barack Obama was a Pro-abortion candidate.

Further, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (AU) has now singled out Bishop Serratelli, of the Diocese of Paterson (NJ), as their newest target. They have requested an investigation by the IRS for his vocal opposition to the Freedom of Choice Act and his staunch defense of Catholic Teaching on Life with regard to the election.

Randall Terry, a recent convert and founder of Operation Rescue – the leading voice in the Pro-life movement for the past three decades, observed, “Like millions of the faithful, I have been thrilled by the sudden and forceful rise of various Bishops’ voices against the errors decimating the hearts of the Faithful in this election cycle.”

Fr. Saunders is only one of countless priests in all our dioceses that are proclaiming the truth from their pulpits and teaching their parishioners what the church means regarding a properly formed conscience. Deacons, like Catholic Online’s Deacon Keith Fournier, are declaring a message of life when they teach, preach, and minister in their parishes.

The Church has also empowered a massive choir of prolife voices among the laity. From veteran Pro-life leaders like Randall Terry to brothers and sisters in local parishes, a great army has been proclaiming a message of life in diverse and wonderful ways. Randall’s coverage of Pope John Paul’s teachings on life in his brochure “Faithful Catholic Citizens” has received a great response.

We are living in an age where religion – especially the Christian faith – has become the only target left not considered a hate crime. This is a time when a sitting president – no matter what you may think of him – is made a point of ridicule in a motion picture. We are experiencing a culture where name-calling has become an accepted argument and a valid indictment when referring to another with whom one disagrees.

Yet, the voices are continuing to thunder. I believe – no matter what happens in November – these voices will not be stilled. The Church’s prophetic mantle is being tested as never before in America, and the sound is growing stronger. A new movement is gaining momentum.

In just a few short weeks a decision will be reached by the citizens of our nation that will not just affect change for next for years, but set us on a trajectory for the future. This is a life and death decision for those yet to be born and for others who lives may be considered no longer viable. This could also be a life and death decision regarding many of our freedoms.

So how should we respond? What can we do to support the prophets among us?

Stand for life in your parishes. When your pastor preaches a courageous message, let your amen’s and your applause fill the building. Get involved in your parish’s Pro-life efforts and organizations.

Stand for life in your daily discussions. This is not a single-issue mentality; life is at the heart of all issues. It is out of this worldview that a true Christian humanism can develop. Be bold, talking about it calmly but boldly when others share their ideas with you.

Stand for life on Election Day. This would be the true change. Imagine what it would be like for the thundering voice for the unborn and the infirm to echo across America, calling for a complete rehabilitation of our national heart and mind. Bottom line: We cannot vote for anyone who stands for the culture of death.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran pastor in Germany during World War II, was imprisoned and, eventually, killed for his faith. In his writings, he stated that one of the reasons for Hitler’s rise to power was the silence of German pulpits. Many of our pulpits are not silent. Lets affirm these voices that refuse to remain silent. In doing so we may encourage others to join choir.

Want to hear Fr. Saunders’ sermon? You can find it at: http://www.ourladyofhope.net/Audio/20081019_frs.ram. This is a Real Audio file, so you will need a Real Audio player to hear it. Real Player is free and can be found at: http://www.real.com/player/index.html?src=010301realhome_1.

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