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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

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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?

One Response

  1. Fr Joe,

    An excellent piece on a problem as old as Socrates, who was accused by the state, of worshipping false gods and corrupting the young. Of course, for such a state, seeking the truth is viewed as a threat to power. Jesus said render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, but when Caesar claims that which belongs to God, the boundary has been crossed, the claim (lie) cannot go unchallenged. These conflicts require that one stands with God or one stands with the state. While during the short term it appears that the state prevails, we know that God will always prevail. Have faith, take courage, may the Holy Spirit fill the hearts and minds of all Christians

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