Posts filed under: politics
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
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)
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
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
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.
God bless you!
- Father Shane