In the Wake of Santorum, Catholics Must Not Retreat From Political Participation
We do not check our faith at the door of our participation in the stuff of real life, whether that be art, entertainment, culture, economics, or even politics.
After Rick Santorum suspended his Presidential campaign I received numerous E-Mails.This comment worried me and prompted this article, "Politics saves no one. My focus will return to the religious/spiritual." We are called to integrated Christian lives of moral coherence.
WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - In the wake of Rick Santorum's decision to suspend his Presidential campaign I have received numerous E-Mails and calls expressing deep disappointment. I understand it quite well - in fact I share the sentiment.
Those who have read the many articles I wrote on the Santorum candidacy know of my friendship with - and admiration for - the former Senator and his family. I finally felt we had a morally coherent candidate running for the US presidency at a crucial time in our national history.
However, the following comment in an E mail from a man who, partly due to my articles, involved himself deeply in the Santorum campaign worried me and prompted this article. He ended with these words, "Politics saves no one. My focus will return to the religious/spiritual."
I responded, "Yes, you are right, politics saves no-one. However, it is a part of culture and we belong in that turf in our participation in the continuing mission of the Lord entrusted to His Body, the Church, of which we are members.
"If there was ever a need for Catholics in the public square, this is it. Please remember that faith is meant to inform culture and our very ability to share this faith in the public square requires us to exercise our faithful citizenship."
On Thursday, April 12, 2012, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released an outstanding letter defending the First Freedom, Religious Freedom, entitled "Our First, Most Cherished Liberty".
Under the courageous leadership of Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop Designate William Lori and all the US Bishops, we have been mobilized like never before. Catholics in the United States are rising up in a Tide of Resistance to the unjust actions of the Obama Administration. We are protecting a fundamental human right, religious freedom.
We know that the most fundamental right, the Right to Life, has been denied to over fifty million of our youngest neighbors as a result of the scourge of legal abortion in the United States.
Any Nation which allows the intentional killing of its young in the first home of the womb and calls that intrinsically evil action a "right" has lost its soul and jeopardizes its future.
The Natural Law, written on every human heart and available through the exercise of reason, confirms that it is wrong to take innocent human life. Medical science confirms what our conscience has confirmed, the child in the womb is one of us, our neighbor, and it is always wrong to kill our neighbor.
We witness a growing loss of recognition of the dignity of life in a dehumanized culture where persons are treated as property throughout the continuum of life - from the earliest embryonic stage into the senior years.
We witness a growing threat to marriage and the family and society founded upon it. The truth about marriage is also confirmed in the Natural Law. The effort to force us to call what can never be a marriage to be a marriage under threat of punitive sanctions is another example of the rise of tyranny.
We are faced with global threats to peace, an escalation of violence around the world and many other pressing social and global concerns. We cannot - we must not - withdraw into some form of religious ghetto.
We are living under what Pope Benedict XVI called a "Dictatorship of Relativism". There is a wholesale effort to deny the existence of anything objectively true which can be known by all and form the basis of our common life. This leads to the loss of true freedom. In fact, as a result, we are teetering on the brink of anarchy.
The effort to paint our moral positions as "religious" and force us to stay behind our Church doors is virulently anti-Christian and unconstitutional. The Catholic Christian by virtue of Baptism is called to a life of Participation. The faith is not something we "put on and off" like clothing depending upon which sphere of life we are in. It is to inform all of our lives - to change the way we view reality and the way we live it!
We do not check our faith at the door of our participation in the "stuff" of real life, whether that be art, entertainment, culture, economics, or even politics.Catholics could determine the outcome of the 2012 Presidential election in the United States. That is if we act in a manner which, in the words of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is "morally coherent."
That poignant phrase, "morally coherent", was used in an instruction released in 2002 entitled a "Doctrinal note on some questions regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political life".
This Letter was directed to "the Bishops of the Catholic Church and, in a particular way, to ...
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