The Church and politics
How often have you heard it said, or maybe, you have even said, “The Church has no business in politics!” I hear it all the time. Even good Catholic people tell me the Church should not talk about politics. Just what do they mean by that? Are they saying that the Church has no right to speak about moral issues that come up in the public arena? Are they saying that we should be silent in the midst of injustice and human rights issues? Do people really know what they are saying when they say the Church has no place in politics?
Of course the media would like to silence the Church, but this is for monetary and political gain. The media is no longer a news outlet, but more of a tool to propagate an elite agenda.
Many good people in the pews are beginning to swallow the lie that the Church has no place in politics. They don’t realize that the media would really like to say: “Keep your morals to yourself”. “How can the big bad Church, think they have a right to judge people for how they live?
The Church has always been the moral compass for secular society. The US judicial system is based on the Judeo Christian moral code. Christianity is a way of life which provides a set of moral principles for one who adheres to it. However, it does not end there. True Christianity is not meant to be something one keeps on a shelf and takes it down on Sunday mornings. Faith must be lived. Faith is to have a connect to daily life. One cannot say, “I believe”, they are called to “practice what they preach”. A person who proclaims one thing and does another is an “empty gong” or a car without gas!
It is so clear in the Letter of St. James 1:23-25: “For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who observes his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But he who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer that forgets but a doer that acts, he shall be blessed in his doing.”
A faithful Christian is called to embrace the faith in their heart, and also has the responsibility to effect change in the world in which he or she lives. For the past 2000 years, the Church has championed the rights and dignity of the human person.
From paternal authority and marriage, wills and testaments, property rights and contracts, prescriptions and legal procedure, the Church has been at the side of those without a voice. If one looks carefully enough, much of our legislation was supported with Sacred Scripture. In the 20th century the role of Church’s influence in society has come to be disdained. Yet, She will not be silent in the face of injustice and sin.
St. Francis Xavier’s scolded the King of Portugal over his support of the slave trade: “You have no right to spread the Catholic faith while you take away all the country’s riches. It upsets me to know that at the hour of your death you may be ordered out of paradise.” Bishops and priests may not use the same words as Francis Xavier, “yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world”.
Today as always, the Church has a role in the public square. Men and women have given their lives for these truths in the past and will continue to in the future. The Church will never be silent, She has the privilege and the obligation to proclaim the Truth “in season and out of season”.<
Excellent, Fr Jay! This is the blog post I wanted to have written! Way to go!
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