A few made known to me their appreciation for the pastor's column last week in which there was a commendatory word about President Trump for his pro-life stand. One may wonder whether it is to be afeared that the pastor now becomes an advocate of partisan politics. Without addressing that suspicion, it must be admitted that for a long time Catholics generally -- and the clergy especially -- have been victims of the gag rule which has deterred them from deep opposition to the immoral policies of the Democrat party, those very moral issues St. John Paul II stigmatized by the shocking epithet, "the culture of death." Surely it ought not to be a matter of preference for one political party over another that every Catholic, every Christian -- indeed, every citizen of sane mind and moral decency -- should oppose abortion, contraception, euthanasia, sodomy, and "transgender" identification. And yet this one partisan body has made these particular issues the basis of much of its program for a revolutionized American society. Can Catholics support these anomalies, these moral atrocities which are an outrage to God and a repugnance to any rational being? This is no endorsement of one political body over another (historically, by the way, the American hierarchy has had a long track record of open support for the Democrat Party). The fact that both major political parties, though unequally, have been supportive of these crimes against humanity means that Catholics must work to expunge these deleterious proposals from any political platform.
Catholics have every reason and duty to be the best of American citizens. they represent, no matter how poorly they may exemplify it in their individual lives, the teachings of Christ and the magisterium of the church which upholds the natural law. They must send this 'message' to their politicians and insist that they uphold moral truth. On its side, government must protect the rights of the Church to be this moral voice for American society and it must not interfere in the right of the Church to assert the moral truths God implanted in human nature and expressed so clearly in divine revelation.
Catholics must contribute to the good of society by its untiring witness to the law of God. The fact that one political party has chosen to espouse immoral ways of living and acting is most regrettable. We pray in our daily rosary "for God's mercy on our country,." This is not a plea that God allow us to continue merrily downward towards moral degeneracy with impunity -- that would be a veritable mockery of divine mercy. Rather, we are praying for a moral conversion of men's minds and their ways of living to conform to God's truth while we make reparation for damage already done by the sins that "cry out to God for vengeance" (as they are labled in the catechism).
There's much work to be done for the spiritual rebuilding of America. If our mores begin to improve, many other national benefits will result, including a renewed confidence in the basic, though not perfect, good of our constituted government; a rediscovered love of our fatherland (patriotism); and the recovery of the Christian faith upon which the entire moral and political order depends.
I have at time spoken in sermons on this theme, though perhaps with less of a political epmhasis, and concluded by insisting that there cannot be hope for a morally improved country or Church without a personal reform of each individual to keep from the sins which are the cause of his own ruin (those so called "besetting" sins of spiritual literature). Everyone contributes wittingly or not to the upbuilding or the ruination of public life. In short, if you do not reform your own life, you become part of America's and the Church's "problem."
By the time you read this the funeral rites for Fr. John's father will have taken place. While I did not know Anthony Bustamante very well, I know he was a lifelong Catholic, very dedicated to his faith, to Holy Mass, and to his family. With the parishioners of Assumption Grotto Church I wish to express condolences to the Bustamante family in this sorrowful time. While their faith and hope in Christ is a great consolation, the inevitable sadness of this great absence in their lives cannot be denied. We lend them the unseen support of our prayers for Anthony's eternal welfare.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him!
Sunday, February 12, 2017
Fr. Perrone: How could a Catholic possibly support a party promoting abortion, contraception, euthanasia, sodomy, and "transgender" identification?
Fr. Eduard Perrone, "A Pastor's Descant" (Assumption Grotto News, February 12, 2017):