Sunday, October 16, 2011

Looking for a Few Good Shepherds

Priests, please take note: the Church in the United States is on the brink of a war for survival we’ve never before experienced. The tragedy is that most Catholics, including most bishops and priests, continue to act as if nothing is amiss. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Look honestly and objectively at all that has happened over the years—some in very recent years—to a nation that was founded on a belief in God. There have been repeated attempts to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance. Though those attempts have failed, apart from the Pledge, references to God are effectively banned in public schools. 

The sanctity of marriage has been abandoned, indeed attacked, by our government. Homosexual unions are now being legally recognized and institutionalize, in direct contradiction of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which is the law of the land.  Homosexuals (less than 3% of the population) are now openly recruited by our military and other institutions of importance.  States have passed legislation mandating that the “gay, lesbian, and transsexual” lifestyle be addressed in our schools, emphasizing the “important contributions” they have made in our society.

Obamacare, in spite of the deceitful claims to the contrary, supports abortion, artificial contraception, and immoral approaches to end of life issues.  The Department of Health and Human Services is requiring Catholic institutions to provide health care coverage for their employees which includes “medical procedures” that are clear violations of Catholic teaching.  Catholic adoption agencies and hospitals are being forced to provide services clearly against the tenants of our religion or go out of business.  The very “social justice” programs so long the focus of the US Catholic hierarchy are now jeopardized because of government-mandated requirements.  Catholic hospitals simply cannot provide abortion or sterilization procedures, nor can Catholic adoption agencies allow homosexual “couples” to adopt and still remain Catholic.  Some such service providers will roll over to immorality and sin and others will simply close their doors.

All of the above leads to the conclusion that, given its current course, this nation is on the road to becoming the Rome of ages past.  And just as Nero fiddled while Rome burned, far too many Catholic clergy remain silent; or, if they address these issues at all, they do so in such a “politically correct” way as to be totally ineffective. The Obama administration clearly recognizes that the Roman Catholic Church is potentially the greatest enemy of the socialist state the administration wishes to establish. Obama has placed in positions of power many “Catholic” politician – Catholic in name only – whose words and votes are consistently in defiance of Catholic teaching.

The fate of the Catholic Church in this country as well as the outcome of God’s final judgment is squarely on the shoulders of Bishops and Priests.  The historic emphasis on social justice to the exclusion of an emphasis on the broader picture of moral behavior has led to an almost complete watering down of Catholic teaching.

Some “Church leaders” have cautioned that addressing these issues head on from the pulpit might jeopardize the Church’s tax exempt status.  Wake up, clergy!  Too many more years of “playing nice” will result in not much Church being left to even worry about taxes.  To those who understand the long-term game plan of the socialists in power, it is clear that we are close to having a choice to make: speak the truth or fail in our responsibilities due solely to concerns about money.

There is clearly a way to forcefully address these issues without placing tax exemption at risk.  Simply do not name names.  It is entirely appropriate and necessary for all bishops and priests to take a forceful stand.  The time to do that is now, not later.  Pastors, when is the last time you addressed any of the following in a homily: Abortion, contraception, euthanasia, homosexual unions, the threats our Church faces at the hands of a regime that is hell bent on destroying the Church?  When, if ever, have you told your parishioners that to support politicians (especially so-called “Catholic” politicians) who advocate in favor of the aforementioned practices is to be a partner in SIN?  When is the last time you discussed from the pulpit the consequences of mortal SIN?

While it has not happened in our Diocese (to my knowledge), there have been recent instances of priests being disciplined by their bishops for defending Church teaching.  The Church has a history of being persecuted, and not all persecution comes from without.  The challenge to each member of the clergy is to decide between acquiescence and martyrdom. There are times when eternal salvation requires the latter. Man up, priests. Good shepherd have never been needed more than they are now.

-- by Jerry Boyd, a Concerned Roman Catholic of the Diocese of Baker

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