November 18, 2012

November 17, 2012 Column Father De Celles

After having some days to think about the presidential election of November 6, I have some thoughts I’d like to share with you.

It is a terrible thing that America re-elected a president who is (extremely) pro-abortion, pro-“gay marriage,” anti-religious liberty, and anti-Catholic, and rejected a candidate who, although imperfect, was pro-life, pro-traditional-marriage, pro-religious-liberty, and who said “we’re all Catholic today”.

There are also many lessons to take away from the election. One is the continued identification of Catholics with their political parties rather than with Christ and His Church. But as I quoted Archbishop Charles Chaput (Philadelphia) a few weeks ago:

“We’re Catholics before we’re Democrats. We’re Catholics before we’re Republicans. We’re even Catholics before we’re Americans because we know that God has a demand on us prior to any government demand on us.”

Unfortunately, many Catholic Americans forgot that—or didn’t care—on the 6th. Exit polls show that 50% of Catholics voted for the anti-Catholic Democrat, and 48% voted for the Catholic-friendly Republican. The good news is that this is a slight improvement over 2008, when the Democrat candidate won 54% of the vote. We should also find some encouragement in the news that in Virginia, 54% of Catholics voted for the Catholic-friendly candidate, and only 45% voted for the anti-Catholic.

But the thing is—how can even 1 Catholic vote in support of abortion, perversion and religious oppression of Catholics?

Another thing to consider: I’ve been reading and hearing about how, since the Republican lost, that party now has to change its positions on abortion and “gay-marriage,” and even “contraception” (the Democrat having presented his attack on religious liberty as a defense of contraception). Which reminds us of something else AB Chaput had to say:

“You know you can’t trust the Republicans to be pro-life 20 years from now. You can’t let any party take your vote for granted. And that’s unfortunately what’s happened. I think many of the Democrats have [taken] Democrat Catholic votes for granted because they’ll go with them no matter what the Party position might be on abortion. That’s why the position of the Democrat Party has gotten worse… So we just have to be insistent on that Catholic identity takes precedence over everything.”

This year it was a blessing that Catholics had a viable candidate they could vote for in good conscience. But that may not be the case for too much longer. Society is drifting away, even racing away, from the simple basic Christian moral values that not only made America great but civilized Western Civilization. And Christians, especially faithful Catholics, have to acknowledge that we live in this new paradigm.

But acknowledging the reality around us doesn’t mean we have to either accept it or succumb to it. Which means that if both parties embrace the new and false secular morality Catholics must look for other candidates who agree with our fundamental moral values. But more than that, it means we cannot allow ourselves to succumb to that secular morality, and make sure we do everything in our power to protect our children from its corrupting influence.

In this regard, it is frightening to note that exit polling showed that the anti-Catholic Democrat won the 18 to 29 year old vote by a margin of 34 percentage points. What is this, if not the direct result of the corruption secular morality has reeked on our youth through the indoctrinating of the media, the internet, and, most importantly, our schools?

But Catholics should not hear all this and hang their heads in depression or creep away into some dark hiding place cowering in fear. No, this should be a clarion call to us: when has the problem ever been so clear? And more importantly, when has the solution every been so obvious?

Jesus Christ is the answer, and the Catholic Faith is the instrument to bring Him to this increasingly decadent world. And this is at the heart of the “Year of Faith” we are now celebrating. It is a time to renew our faith in Christ and His Church, to see Christ and His Church as they really are, to see ourselves as we really are, and to see the social, cultural and political landscape as they really are. To come to know and love Jesus as a person, especially through knowing and loving the truth He taught about Himself and us. So it is also a time to renew our understanding of the Faith, to re-learn the true doctrine of the Church, and to recognize its radiant beauty in contrast to the filthy depravity of the secularized culture.

And, having first renewed our own faith, we turn to that corrupt world and proclaim the full and true Good News to so many of our neighbors who are drowning in the muck and mire of moral relativism and perversion. The 100s of millions of our fellow Americans that long to know and experience the truth about Love, who is Christ Jesus.

This is, of course the “New Evangelization” we hear so much about. And it begins by a new re-evangelization of ourselves by a renewal of our faith.

But that renewal begins with an eagerness to recognize when we have denied our faith in Christ, denied the faith of the Church. For we cannot overcome the corruption of the secular world until we first recognize how we have allowed it to corrupt us.

For many Catholics this may begin with recognizing how they have denied their faith in Our Lord and His Church by placing political party or selfish concerns ahead of the demands of our Catholic faith. For others, myself included to some extent, tempted by doubt and fear as we realize just how far our society has fallen, it may mean recognizing that we have placed too much hope in mere political processes or candidates and not enough hope in Jesus Christ and His Church.

“Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation….Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God.” Ps. 146

Meeting of Parents of Parish Teens. Recognizing the challenges facing our young people living in this secular world, I invite all parents of Junior and Senior High School students to attend a meeting with Kristin Smith and myself to discuss how the parish youth program can help them grow stronger in their Catholic Faith. Please join us on Thursday, November 29th, in the Parish Hall, from 7:00-8:30pm.

Oremus pro invicem, et pro Patria. Fr. De Celles