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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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When Caesar will Not Play Fair

A decade ago when I challenged giving Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians, I was told that we needed these men and women for other important issues and should not burn our bridges. Of course, when push came to shove, these politicians largely abandoned the Church anyway: forcing us to shut-down adoption services because of homosexual inclusion, redefining marriage as something other than one man and one woman, requiring contraceptive and abortifacient coverage to healthcare plans, and tightening the screws on our tax exemption.

Democrats have frequently been demonized for promoting every type of liberality that spurns traditional morality. Republicans have been castigated as uncaring or insensitive to the poor. In truth, both parties are often opportunistic. Republicans liked Pope Benedict. Democrats liked Pope Francis. But both parties play with slogans and listen to lobbyists more than operating from incontrovertible convictions. Real Catholics should know that we belong to Christ more than to any political party. Real Catholics should place the teachings of the faith above the fickle fads and fashions of men. Today the attitude is if it is civilly recognized or law then it is morally okay. This is ridiculous. Catholics must be a sign of contradiction to the world, not an enabler for evil and not a deaf ear.

Are our Catholic people on the same page with the teaching Church? Here is where we find our crisis. Many are not. Many of the political enemies of the Church are self-professed Catholics. Back in 2004, 48 Catholic Democratic members of Congress signed a letter to Cardinal McCarrick in Washington, complaining that the bishops’ statements were counterproductive and “miring the Church in partisan politics.” In other words, the Church was told to shut its mouth! The religious liberty battle stems from this attitude. The Catholic card is played at election time, but once elected they are more likely to follow the money than scruples about fundamental human rights. This often leads to a re-prioritizing of what these rights actually are. As for the rest of us, we can be as Catholic as we want inside the church doors; but once outside the church building, we are expected to surrender to Caesar.

How can we play with any of them when they do not play fair? But what would happen to us if we collect our chips and cards and go home? Would we forfeit any say? Could matters be made worse?