I've been reading on various other blogs about how the bishops of our country have found their voice again. In doing so, they are striving to be a bit more prophetic in various religious and political issues affecting our nation today. And because of this, they are provoking the worst of our enemies inside and outside of our Church.
Let me name some of the areas where our bishops are most outspoken:
1. Universal Health Care--it must respect a person's conscience and must not provide for abortions. Unborn children deserve health care too. Whatever is put in place must not diminish the superior health care that so many already receive. --This is causing a backlash against the Church by the pro-choice media and certainly pro-choice political interests groups--they would like to see the Church tax-exempt status removed for meddling in politics!
2. Homosexual Marriage--The Catholic Church has been pro-active in seeking to dissuade voters from approving Homosexual Marriage. California and Maine come to mind, but there are others too, such as Washington, DC. This is really provoking the ire of political interest groups who are trying to redefine what marriage is in our country and often in the face of the "will of the people." These political interests groups are now labeling the Catholic Church and all Christians, Jews and others who uphold the traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman, as bigots similar to the racists of previous generations who opposed civil rights for African Americans. However, this accusation just "ain't" so!
3. Abortion on demand. I actually heard the head of NARL say that no one should meddle in a woman's choice to kill her infant as though seeking civil rights for the unborn is immoral. There is a total denial that a human life is taken. In maintaining this denial about the human life of the fetus thus enables this corrupt political position that a woman's right to reproductive freedom is more important that a baby's right to life! Actually killing their baby prevents the hardship of having a baby, especially the time it takes to rear a child, provide for the child's emotional, physical and economic needs. Can you imagine if this bankrupt morality was applied to any of us who are born, not just children, but the elderly and anyone else who become a "burden" to family and society! I actually trembled for the woman who was making these remarks, because of how close she is to the gates of hell that are being flung wide open for her immortal soul.
The horrible fact is that we have Catholics of bankrupt morality in high places in politics who spew forth this pro-choice rhetoric. They are influenced by the "me-generation" of the 1960's and 70's who tried to justify just about any type of human behavior and tried to put a "positive" spin even on murder itself. Bishops should publicly call on the carpet public figures who are Catholic who publicly undermine the Church's official teachings in the areas of faith and morals. When it comes to abortion, they should be excommunicated if their positions actually leads to women procuring abortions through direct or indirect enabling. As I understand it any Catholic who procures an abortion, performs an abortion or enables someone else to have an abortion suffers automatic excommunication. Bishops need to make that clear especially as it concerns public officials who are Catholic often in name only.
Excommunication is not only punitive, but it is pastoral, for it calls errant Catholics to consider their mortal sins and to repent. Sometimes public repentance is necessary. Only then should the excommunication be lifted for it has accomplished the good for which it was intended, the salvation of souls!
Catholics are not yet being thrown to the lions for being faithful to Holy Mother Church and her teachings in the areas of faith and morals, but we may be thrown in jail for promoting our basic moral beliefs if these beliefs in anyway infringes upon the more liberal views of many political interests groups and our rhetoric is construed falsely by them as hate crimes. Just wait and see!