Posts filed under: politics

Theology on Tap Presentation

If anybody is looking for the PowerPoint I used at last night’s Theology on Tap talk about religious freedom, you can download the quotes part of it at this link. God bless you and keep the faith!

We cannot go to heaven in featherbeds.

— St. Thomas More, martyr, to his children

I’m always puzzled about which Bible people are reading when they say that religion and politics don’t mix.

— Archbishop Desmond Tutu

A Catholic video with special effects? Never not reblog.

how is it that santorum and gingrich can claim to be catholics even though they are pro - iraq and afganistan wars, which the pope, but previous and current have declared to be bad, how is it that the supposed christians of south carolina cheer when gingrich (a self proclaimed catholic) says 'kill them!' (in refference to iran) Is is not true that Jesus said "this is my command i give you, love one another"? why is it that a christian country seems to ignore the only peace candidate, Ron Paul? - kiwitomcrawford-deactivated2012

Well, Christians aren’t perfect, and we certainly don’t always live up to what we say we believe! Which of course probably shouldn’t surprise any of us… since all of us fail on such a regular basis.

But of course that only reminds us that, as has been said often and well, the Church isn’t a “museum of saints” but a “hospital for sinners.” Actually, I think it’s more like an ICU. So yes, we can call ourselves Catholic because we’ve been baptized, knowing that we’re not perfectly aligned with what God wants (that’s perfect sanctity), knowing that we are often pretty good at driving others away from God, knowing that we aren’t any more “worthy” of God’s love than the day we were baptized, except by his grace and mercy.

Believe it or not, even though I haven’t given you any political analysis, I think that’s the best answer I can give! No candidate is perfect — since none of us are — and there will always be all kinds of things that will get between us and God… until Heaven, God willing!

God bless you and keep the Faith.

- Father Shane

Life Is Weird

When Barack Obama was campaigning for president in 2008, he declared that marriage is between a man and a woman. For the most part, his position was treated as a nonissue.

Now Rick Santorum is campaigning for president. He too says that marriage is between a man and a woman. What a different reaction he gets.

The rest… by William McGurn in today’s Wall Street Journal.

Never before has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience. This shouldn’t happen in a land where free exercise of religion ranks first in the Bill of Rights.

— Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan (New York)

The official Bad Catholic video of the March for Life.

Choosing: Political Career or Priesthood?

The speaker of Australia’s House of Representatives may be forced to choose between his political career and the Catholic priesthood.

In addition to his parliamentary duties, Peter Slipper is an Anglican priest, and chancellor of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC). Like many members of that group, he has indicated his wholehearted support for TAC efforts to enter into the Catholic Church. When an Anglican ordinariate is established in Australia, Slipper would seem an obvious candidate for membership.

However, since the Code of Canon Law prohibits Catholic priests from serving in political office, Slipper may be required to enter the Church as a layman, or to abandon his political career.

Read the rest

We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being. We guarantee the freedom to worship as one chooses. We make room for as wide a variety of beliefs and creeds as the spiritual needs of man deem necessary. We sponsor as an attitude on the part of the government that shows no partiality to any one group and that lets each flourish according to the zeal of is adherents and the appeal of its dogma. When the State encourages religious instruction or cooperates with religious authorities by adjusting the schedule of public events to sectarian needs, it follows the best of our traditions. For then it respects the religious nature of our people and accommodates the public service to their spiritual needs. To hold that it may not would be to find in the Constitution a requirement that the government show a callous indifference to religious groups. That would be preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe.

— US Supreme Court, Zorach v. Clauson (1952)

Congressional subcommittee investigating Planned Parenthood

Blessing Father. Quick question for ya: How come bishops, excluding the Pope, are no longer elected to their positions like they were in the early church? - Anonymous

Politics. :-)

Sometimes popular elections made really good choices, like that of Saint Ambrose in Milan, who went on to become one of the greatest Fathers of the Church despite being such an improbable selection. But there were enough problems that already by the year 325 the requirement was becoming commonplace that the local metropolitan (essentially an archbishop, with limited oversight over several local dioceses) had to approve the candidate elected in a specific city.

The Bible obviously doesn’t give us a template for how local leadership should be selected, but of all the models present in the New Testament it seems like that of appointment by the Apostles (think of St. Paul and St. Timothy) is really the most prevalent.

There was a long segue between local election and today’s process, and it was a really painful one, since it involved intervention by local rulers. Nowadays, in pretty much all cases, the Vatican finally regained autonomy in the naming of bishops, but to retain that power things have to be centered on the Vatican and the Pope. 

Thanks be to God, the results are pretty good in the sense that a great deal of local research is done on possible candidates, local bishops are consulted for their opinion, and then a fully dedicated staff in Rome helps the cardinal in charge to pull together a final list of three possibilities that are then presented to the Pope. An immense amount of work goes into those decisions, presumably giving far more assurance of coming to a solid choice than you could reasonably hope for from a local election.

God bless you!

- Father Shane

God’s Approval Rating

Trying to figure out if this is funny or absurd.

More than half of U.S. voters approve of God’s job performance, according to a new poll, making God more popular than all members of Congress.

The poll — which was conducted by the Democratic research firm Public Policy Polling (PPP) — surveyed 928 people and found that 52 percent of Americans approved of God’s overall dealings, while only 9 percent disapproved. […]

God’s approval rating exceeded that of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, as well as both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, with each party receiving only a 33 percent approval rating. […]

"Though not the most popular figure PPP has polled, if God exists, voters are prepared to give it (sic) good marks," PPP said in a July 21 press release.

The poll also gauged God’s handling of specific “issues.” When asked to rate God on the creation of the universe, 71 percent of voters approved and only 5 percent disapproved. Respondents were also generally appreciative of God’s governance of the “animal kingdom,” with 56 percent approving and 11 percent disapproving. […]

Read the rest here. What do you think?

Are priests allowed to vote on election day in America? - Anonymous

Sure! As citizens we have the option.

Some priests would make the case that as citizens they also have a responsibility to help society look out for its greater good by voting; others would say that their responsibility is more along the lines of guiding others’ consciences to vote for what is true and just. Personally I only end up voting in really close elections when some life issue is on the line.

What priests can’t do is to run for office (prohibited by the Church) or advocate from the pulpit for a political organization or candidate (prohibited by the Church and the IRS). But what we have to do is to help everyone form their own consciences well, with the principles of the Gospel, so that they can use their vote responsibly for the good of the nation, society and the world.

You might be surprised how seriously the Church takes that responsibility: ever visited this site or read this document?

God bless you!

- Father Shane

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