Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

Check out the revised edition of this exciting and unique prayer book, filled with prayers that are sure to nourish the soul as we undertake the New Evangelization.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Update: March 2009

Since Inauguration Day 2009, the trajectory of our country’s policies has been increasingly – though not surprisingly – alarming. The expected anti-life agenda has begun to be implemented. After a successful postcard campaign launched by the USCCB to oppose FOCA, wily politicians realized that it would be neither prudent nor feasible to pass that complete legislation. Expecting to through the defenders of human life off track, they have told us FOCA is , all the while planning to propose individual elements of FOCA as separate pieces of legislation.

In the first such attempt, it has been reported by various new agencies that the Obama administration plans to rescind the "conscience rule" that protects health care personnel who refuse to participate in abortions or other medical procedures that go against their moral and religious beliefs. With this planned change in law and policy, doctors, nurses and other health care workers could lose their jobs or be punished professionally for adhering to their sincerely held religious convictions.

From its inception, our great nation's vision has been based on the principles of the Judeo-Christian Tradition, respect for freedom in religious observance and the living out of one's own faith, and a respect for the sanctity of human life. These radical anti-life and anti-religion policies are inhumane and un-American.

Our nation cannot prosper if it does not value human life and honor God. We must pray without ceasing that our government officials change their course and lead America to a love for live and a respect for the values and faith of all people.

We also are faced with the situation of appointed cabinet officials. In the case of Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, the proposed choice is troubling. For a complete picture of the issues at hand, read Archbishop Joseph Naumann’s column of March 6, 2009. Essentially, Governor Sebelius is a nominal Catholic whose record in public office is characterized by opposition to Church teaching and support from notoriously anti-life organizations. The list of such “Catholic” politicians is sadly increasing.

There is only one holy Catholic and apostolic Church, and for that Church there is only one vision: the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is inherently and unabashedly pro-life. Anti-life views and the Catholic Christian faith are irreconcilable and mutually exclusive. “Catholics”
who publicly and notoriously supports intrinsic evils – actions which are always evil because of the act itself regardless of circumstances – such as abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic stem cell research, while canonically remaining baptized in the Church, separate themselves from the Mystical Body of Christ. The wound they cause to Christ's Body is deep and painful. Being patient with this nonsense is becoming increasingly difficult. “Pro- choice” is merely a facade for an anti-life agenda that seeks to destroy human life and limit human freedom. Such an agenda is incompatible with Catholicism and not even the least trace of it can be tolerated.

Addressing questions of Catholic politicians, excommunication and Communion, a distinction needs to be made between, on the one hand, public officials, who persist in heresy (obstinate denial of Church teaching), causing confusion for the faithful and setting a bad example; and on the other hand the views of the average Catholic citizen.

Regarding private views on theology or politics, we do not police individual beliefs or examine others’ consciences, unless something comes up in confession or spiritual direction when a person is seeking guidance from a priest in matters of conscience. We are not on a witch hunt for every person who does not understand or comply with Church teaching. The inquisition is long over. Still, pastors of souls have the obligation to articulate Church teaching in homilies/talks and when questions are asked.

Regarding public officials and politicians, bishops and priests have the responsibility to speak out, even to make a clear condemnation, when a person states that they are Catholic and persists in publicly opposing the teaching of Jesus and the Church. Such persons are inauthentic. Their behavior harms the Church and confuses the faithful. It is important to recognize that the politicians themselves have brought it out into the open and made the choice to persist in opposition to the Church. They have by definition excommunicated themselves by obstinately and notoriously denying Church teaching in their support of intrinsic evils. Pastoral prudence dictates that the bishop meet with the person privately and give them a chance to repent. If they refuse, a bishop has the authority to say they should not receive Communion.

The excuses that have been presented to justify voting for anti-life candidates and supporting anti-life government leaders, primarily the economy and the war, are themselves proving to be of little value. Contrary to campaign promises, the new administration is not instantly pulling troops out of the battlefield but has actually committed more military strength to conflicts abroad. The economic slump continues to worsen, as our county draws ever nearer to socialism: bigger government, spreading the wealth, increased meddling by government in the private affairs of business and the citizenry. All the while, true to form, this same administration has strengthened its commitment to the destruction of human life by supporting and extending abortion “rights.” It is predicted that soon our tax dollars will be used to support the evil of embryonic stem cell research, despite the fact that no scientific benefits have come from it and that morally licit research on and reprogrammable stem cells has proved beneficial. This is the administration America elected. We hold on to hope for a better future, all the while being continually disappointed. One cannot help but wonder if those who voted for our president are experiencing the slightest twinge of sorrow in their consciences.

We are beholding the leadership of our great nation taking her in a direction increasingly tangential from the foundation laid by our Founding Fathers – men who valued life, liberty, and faith in Divine Providence. Members of our own beloved Catholic Church are participating in the atrocity. Babies (not mere fetuses or “pre-persons,” but human persons created in God’s image and endowed with immortal souls just like ours) are being ed, the growing anti-life and contraceptive culture is destroying any chance our young people have at happiness and fulfillment, and the moral fabric of our nation is disintegrating. If you do not believe me, watch the evening news. Our voices must be heard – both to our leaders and to our God in prayer.

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