This is the best homily on voting ever. To watch the video please click here.
Fr. John Lankeit Money Quotes
“There is a candidate, in this 2016 race for president, who along with that candidate’s political party does, in fact, sanction the killing of blacks and Hispanics in the situations previously described under one particular condition: That that black person or that Hispanic person is still in his or her mother’s womb.”
“One party favors open borders, the other party favors law and order.” . . . But “suppose a candidate for president promoted a policy that would make it legal for someone to kill a Hispanic person if the presence of that Hispanic person made it more difficult to pursue one’s career of choice. How many of you would be comfortable voting for that candidate?”
“God’s mercy is bigger than your sin and your pain. In 10 years of priesthood, I have often been blessed to be the one who gets to welcome back a woman to the merciful embrace of God the Father take her hand and put it back in the hand of God the Father — after she has admitted to, and repented of, her abortion in the Sacrament of Confession,” he said. “A priest in such a situation has the privilege of assuring the woman that she has never for a single moment lost the love of God the Father, nor her dignity as his beloved daughter of that same God, no matter what she did.”
“A priest who is more concerned about the state of his people’s souls than they are themselves deserves the esteem of his people for his willingness to speak such difficult truth to them with genuine love—to put the welfare of his people’s souls ahead of his own reputation, popularity, or comfort,” Lankeit said. “Such a priest should receive respect, admiration, and support, rather than their resistance or criticism.”
“So please pray for, thank and encourage the spiritual father that God has appointed for you and who loves you enough to tell you the truth with those challenging words. Because the priest who said these particular words is your bishop — and my bishop.”
Here’s what Pope Benedict XVI said about voting for pro-abortion politicians and worthiness to receive Holy Communion. So many Catholics refer to this statement as some sort of “green light” to knowingly support a pro-abortion candidate/party, even though they are personally “against” but publicly “for” abortion (based on the way they vote). Read carefully:
“A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.”
Key words: Proportionate reasons.
I challenge anyone, Catholic or not, to tell me what is “proportionate” to (1) the evil of what abortion is, and (2) the frequency with which it is committed. Let’s consider one proportionate reason that is sometimes raised:
Full-scale biological or nuclear war.
But then, let’s ask ourselves:
Fr. John Lankeit
How imminent is full-scale biological or nuclear war, when compared to abortion in which–based on 55 million abortions* per year worldwide–105 babies are being deliberately killed PER MINUTE? When was the last nuclear war? When was the first nuclear war? Is it possible? Of course. Is it likely? Not unless we keep our heads in the sand re: countries like N. Korea and Iran.
On the other hand, considering that it may take 5 minutes to read and digest this post, that’s 525 babies who have just been deliberately killed since you started reading.
FACT: There is NO reason proportionate to abortion. Therefore when a Catholic knowingly, deliberately and freely votes for a pro-abortion politician and party–knowing full-well what abortion is and what it does–the “permission” referred to by Pope Benedict XVI above does not apply.
Gay music director was released from St. Mary’s Church after he had contracted a so-called “marriage” with his gay partner. His Priest, Father Francesco Francese, formly met with the music director to inform him that Church policy doesn’t allow people to publicly represent the Church while living a public life in contradiction to Church teaching. ‘
Bishop Thomas Tobin released the following statement:
When Church leaders have to respond to situations involving persons living an openly “gay lifestyle” these days, we’re often scolded and told that we should be “more like Pope Francis,” presumably the “Who-am-I-to judge” Pope Francis.
Perhaps those critics should also remember the Pope Francis who said that same-sex marriage is destructive of families and is the work of the devil.
And the Pope Francis who has now supported the Mexican Bishops’ campaign to oppose gay marriage in their country.
And the Pope Francis who rejected the nomination of the Ambassador from France because the Ambassador is openly gay.
And the Pope Francis whose administration immediately fired and disciplined a priest who was working in the Vatican upon learning that the priest was gay and involved in a relationship.
It seems to me, then, that when we uphold the faith and teachings of the Church about homosexuality, we are indeed a lot like Pope Francis.
Married love “advances gradually with the progressive integration of the gifts of God” (#122), says Pope Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation on the Joy of Love in the Family. There is no limit to the spouses’ ability to participate in the infinite charity which is the Holy Spirit (cf. #134). “Even amid unresolved conflicts and confused emotional situations, they daily reaffirm their decision to love, to belong to one another, to share their lives and to continue loving and forgiving. Each progresses along the path of personal growth and development. On this journey, love rejoices at every step and in every new stage” (#163). On this journey to full maturity in Christ, the Church accompanies married couples and assists them in the lifelong task of formation of conscience which, as the Catechism says (#1784), “guarantees freedom and engenders peace of heart.”
Two gifts of God are necessary in this lifelong task of conscience formation: the light of God’s word and the authoritative teaching of the Church (Ibid, #1785). For good reason, then, Pope Francis affirms both of these as the primary foundation for his document. Literally and organically, he puts at the center of his Exhortation both these gifts of God: the Sacred Scriptures and the Magisterial teaching of the Church. In chapter four, he reflects on God’s teaching on love from the famous text of 1 Corinthians 13; and in chapter five, the Holy Father affirms the Church’s teaching on fruitfulness in marriage.
To assist married couples in the journey to mature love in Christ, the Church “seeks the grace of conversion for them” (#78), and encourages them to have confidence that forgiveness is always within their reach: “When we have been offended or let down, forgiveness is possible and desirable, but no one can say that it is easy. … We need to learn to pray over our past history, to accept ourselves, to learn how to live with our limitations, and even to forgive ourselves, in order to have this same attitude toward others” (#106f).
Throughout the entire Exhortation, and indeed throughout all of his papacy, the Holy Father has gone to great lengths to show that God’s Plan for marriage and family is truly good news, and that it is possible, with God’s grace, to know His plan, to accept it in faith and to live it with joy and ever deepening love.
As a good shepherd, Pope Francis focuses special attention on those who walk on the edge of despair because of personal failures and problems they have suffered in their families, and because of the complex and contradictory situations in which they find themselves now. He calls for deeper and sustained pastoral accompaniment of these suffering families, assuring them that they are welcome in the Church family, and that we are eager to seek ways to integrate them more fully into our local communities. This situation does not, it is important to note, mean that the Catholic persons are excommunicated from the Church. They should be encouraged to pray, attend Mass, and rectify the situation in communication with their pastor, who remains their pastor despite the case of objective sin. Accompaniment is possible and should be the case in our parishes.
This does not, however, include receiving Holy Communion for those who are divorced and remarried. Pope Francis specifically calls those in this situation “to seek the grace of conversion” (#78). Throughout Amoris Laetitia we see a continuity with the Church’s Magisterium especially that of Blessed Paul VI, St. John Paul II, and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI which reaffirm the constant tradition of the Church.
In Familiaris Consortio #84, for example, St. John Paul II taught, “… I earnestly call upon pastors and the whole community of the faithful to help the divorced, and with solicitous care to make sure that they do not consider themselves as separated from the Church, for as baptized persons they can, and indeed must, share in Her life. They should be encouraged to listen to the Word of God, to attend the Sacrifice of the Mass, to persevere in prayer, to contribute to works of charity and to community efforts in favor of justice, to bring up their children in the Christian faith, to cultivate the spirit and practice of penance and thus implore, day by day, God’s grace. Let the Church pray for them, encourage them and show Herself a merciful Mother, and thus sustain them in faith and hope. However, the Church reaffirms Her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and affected by the Eucharist.” Similarly, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI affirmed this consistent teaching and practice of the Church in Sacramentum Caritatis #29.
With wisdom, the Catechism teaches that (#1785), “we must … examine our conscience before the Lord’s Cross … assisted by the gifts of the Holy Spirit.” Without embracing the Cross of Christ, we cannot have life in Him. Only when we “take up our cross each day” and follow Him can we be His disciples. The Lord gives us the command and also the grace to do this, every day, beginning within the family in which by God’s grace we live.
Home blessing/spiritual cleansing: A priest does a spiritual cleansing of the home, sprinkles holy water and blesses the home. It smells clean and fresh; the air is light. Then he leaves and we turn on the TV, that perpetual source of the mortal sin of lust and a teacher of pernicious liberal attitudes. Then the air once again feels heavy and is fouled; the anxiety and incessant anger return together with sleeplessness. If only we could set those multiple TV’s we have at home perpetually at EWTN channel, then our homes would be cleansed automatically, and we need not trouble the priest frequently for a home blessing.
“If only we could set those multiple TV’s we have at home perpetually at EWTN channel, then our homes would be cleansed automatically and we need not trouble the priest frequently for a home blessing.”
The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia or any form of intolerance. – US Commission on Civil Rights Chairman, Martin Castro.
There it is, folks — the official position of an official agency of the federal government, not an LGBT activist group. Actually, it appears that the Commission on Civil Rights is now, in fact, an LGBT activist group.
For those paying attention to the assault on life, faith, and family-really on every natural and traditional institution in the nation — the September 7 report from the US Commission on Civil Rights is not so much shocking as it is another chance for people to wake up to how far our nation has fallen.
The report from the now-ironically-named commission was called “Peaceful Coexistence: reconciling non-discrimination principles with religious liberties.” Honorably, two of the commission’s own members spoke up in protest, their opinions having been excluded from the document itself.
The Government’s Cabal of Sexual Revolutionaries
Those who think the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights still hold in this nation need to face reality. The religious freedom “guaranteed” by the First Amendment is now declared subordinate to the wishes of the powerful cabal of sexual revolutionaries that have power in our government.
Our current president barely pretends to care about any limitation on his executive power, defending and executing laws based not on his responsibilities but on his whims. The Supreme Court continues to find emanations and penumbras floating from the nation’s founding document, upon which they pin the most tenuous tethers of the sexual revolution, giving them the effect of law. The only federal body that holds any representatives who share our values has slowly chosen irrelevance as its powers are taken over by an executive branch that is out of control and a Court that is allowed create law out of whole cloth.
We Must Fight
Yes, the nation is coming apart, and the middle ground is dropping away. The numbers of those who understand the signs of the times are few, but we still have options, and we still have each other. Most importantly, we still worship the God who made heaven and earth, who when He wills it will deliver us from the collapse we see around us. In the meantime, we fight with everything we have to protect our families and the most innocent and vulnerable.
A few weeks ago we published an article calling for Christians to start thinking about how to secure our rights at local political levels, where we can still hold politicians accountable even as the federal government draws further and further from the rule of law and accountability to its citizens. We received a lot of feedback, for which we are grateful, and the Commission on Civil Rights’ assault on its own mandate may be the occasion to address some of the questions.
Creating Catholic Sanctuaries
The idea for Christian sanctuary cities is based in Catholic moral and social doctrine: In an effort of solidarity and subsidiarity, those Christians of orthodox belief need to do what is necessary to defend their families and communities, to uphold collaborative institutions that help us take care of one another. That is, we have to strive for the common good, in which all participate in freedom and virtue with the good of the whole person and every person in mind.If we band together we can create sanctuary cities for Christians where local leaders of courage will follow the precedent set by “progressive” cities that ignore federal immigration reporting laws. At this more local level, or even perhaps at the state level if enough politicians have the courage and foresight, families and life may be defended in law and policy.
Some of our respondents seemed to think we were calling for a new city built up from the ground, perhaps in another nation. Truth be told, we have supporters who now contact us from abroad, having expatriated rather than pay taxes to a government that facilitates the death of untold millions of unborn children. We understand this inclination, and we frequently share news of meaningful victories in nations where politicians are still accountable to citizens, and they still hold more or less the same values that naturally lead to human flourishing, beginning with a proper respect for life, faith, and family.
Yet these nations are under assault as well, even though several have fought off their “Roe v. Wade” moment to date. We have to get over the idea that there is a truly “safe” place within this vale of tears. We also cannot let fear be what guides us, or make drastic decisions that are hard to come back from. We still need the virtues of prudence, courage, and strength as much as we need faith, hope, and love.
It’s Not About Running and Hiding
The point is not to run and hide, but to make a strategic and prudent retreat to places where community and family have the best chance of flourishing. If you have taken your children out of public school and are homeschooling or placed them in private schools or co-ops, you have already begun to think this way. If you have sacrificed professional and financial opportunities to live in a place where you have a strong community, you’re already on your way. I’ve even met some folks living boldly and faithfully in large cities, homeschooling and building community around strong Church parishes.
So many of you have already gotten rid of the television, or at least the daily drip of cable-delivered poison that people used to think they had to swallow. There is already a renewal of the Church and faithful religious orders that are doing very well. See the dioceses where the bishop embraces his mandate as a shepherd of souls and patterns his life after Christ the Good Shepherd. These bishops are truly leaders, and young men want to follow them into the priesthood. Finding dioceses like this makes great sense right now.
But act out of love, not fear. Build and serve community first. With these things in place, you can select those who can become political leaders or creatively build relationships of trust and accountability with your local and state leaders.
Importantly, I think, the growing number of creative Christian legal defense organizations would do well to start thinking about how to draft laws that would support those cities and states who see the need to protect their neighbors from the federal government’s corruption. Indeed, this is happening already with state-level legal battles such as those in North Carolina and Indiana. But we need to be proactive as well in seeing how we can get cities to declare the rights of life, faith and family to be secure. At the same time, we need to be ready to sacrifice as well, to not blink when doing the right thing means losing a major sporting event or businesses that have already been corrupted by radical sexual ideology.
It will be a battle fought in high places and low, and we’re already entering into it. It will not be easy, and there will be no place to hide, nor should we really seek to hide.
You were born into this time, in this place. God knows well where you are, and is asking you today to use your gifts for His glory. Have courage and strength, my friends. Be awake, and don’t be afraid. God wins, and those who remain faithful, who love and support one another for love of Him, will as well. It is a great time to be a Christian!
Archdiocese of San Antonio Responds to Catholics for Choice Advertisement in San Antonio Express-News
Posted by Archdiocese of San Antonio:
An organization called Catholics for Choice placed a full-page advertisement in the Sept. 12 edition of the San Antonio Express-News with inaccurate information which must be corrected, since it misrepresents the truth and what the Catholic Church believes and teaches.
This misrepresentation is demonstrated by their statement that “Public funding for abortion is a Catholic social justice value.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
Before responding to claims made by Catholics for Choice in “Abortion in Good Faith,” it should be noted that this group does not speak for the Catholic Church. The group undertook a similar media campaign in the state of Colorado just two years ago, and the bishops there also responded in reiterating authentic Catholic social teaching and the consistent ethic of life.
For more than 2,000 years, the Church has steadfastly proclaimed that respect for all human life at every stage is foundational to the Catholic faith. Abortion from the earliest tradition of the Church has been considered immoral.
The Catholic Church’s position on abortion is clear. In the magisterial document Donum Vitae (The Gift of Life), the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith affirmed that, “The human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception; and therefore from that same moment his rights as a person must be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life,” (Sec I.1) Direct abortion, or the intentional killing of a human being living in the womb, is always seriously immoral because as persons the right-to-life is the most basic and fundamental right we possess.
It is our hope that one day Catholics for Choice will take the time to acquaint themselves with basic Catholic teachings, and acknowledge the truth of the Catholic faith, and not choose to misrepresent her teachings with false and inaccurate information and ads that only work to confuse and mislead the public. Upholding the sacred dignity of all human life is the duty of every member of society and this duty must be taken seriously in order to ensure that we are a part of a culture that affirms the right to life for all, especially the most vulnerable among us.
There is a growing consternation among some Catholics that the Church, at least in her leadership, is living in the past. It seems there is no awareness that we are at war and that Catholics need to be summoned to sobriety, increasing separation from the wider culture, courageous witness and increasing martyrdom.
Jean-Léon Gérôme, “The Christian Martyrs’ Last Prayer” (c. 1863-1873)
It is long past dark in our culture, but in most parishes and dioceses it is business as usual and there is anything but the sober alarm that is really necessary in times like these.
Scripture says, Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle (Psalm 144:1). Preparing people for war — a moral and spiritual war, not a shooting war — should include a clear setting forth of the errors of our time, and a clear and loving application of the truth to error and light to darkness.
But there is little such training evident in Catholic circles today where, in the average parish, there exists a sort of shy and quiet atmosphere — a fear of addressing “controversial” issues lest someone be offended, or the parish be perceived as “unwelcoming.”
But, if there ever was a time to wear soft garments, it is not now.
The Church of the 1970s-1990s was surely well described as the era of “beige Catholicism” (a term coined by Bishop Robert Barron, and not by way of flattery either). Those of us who lived through that era, especially in the 1970s, remember it as a time when many parish signs beckoned people to “come and experience our welcoming and warm Catholic community.” Our most evident desire was to fit in and be thought of as “normal.” Yes, Catholics were just like everyone else; and we had been working very hard to do that, at least since the early 1960s when John F. Kennedy was elected. Catholics had finally “made it” into the mainstream; we had been accepted by the culture.
Church architecture and interiors became minimalist and non-descript. Music and language in the liturgy became folksy. Marian processions, Corpus Christi processions, many things of distinctive and colorful Catholicism all but disappeared. Even our crucifixes disappeared, to be replaced by floating “resurrection Jesus” images. The emphasis was on blending in, speaking to things that made people feel comfortable, and affirming rather than challenging. If there was to be any challenge at all it would be on “safe” exhortations such as not abusing the environment or polluting, not judging or being intolerant, and so forth.
Again, if there ever was a time to wear soft garments, it is not now. It is zero-dark-thirty in our post-Christian culture. And while we may wish to blame any number of factors for the collapse, we cannot exclude ourselves. We who are supposed to be the light of the world, with Christ shining in us, have preferred to hide our light under a basket and lay low. The ruins of our families and culture are testimony to the triumph of error and the suppression of the truth.
More than ever we need to shift toward being distinctive from the culture we have refused to critique and call to reform. More than ever our faith needs to shine brightly and clearly in our churches and communities.
And if a world now accustomed to great darkness calls our light harsh, so be it. If our light does not shine, there is no light at all. Our Catholic faith is the sole and last hope for this world. It has always been so.
Simply put, it is time for clergy to prepare themselves and God’s people for sacrifice.Seeking to compromise with this culture is now unthinkable. Our only recourse is to seek to lance the boils. And the culture will cry foul. And we who do the lancing will be made increasingly to suffer. But we have to be willing to embrace and endure such suffering in increasing ways in the months and years ahead.
We are at war for our own souls and the souls of people we love. We are at war for the soul of this culture and nation. And like any soldier, we must train to fight well. We must study our faith and be more committed than ever. We must also know our enemy and his tactics, and we must be prepared to suffer — and even to lose our life.
We have to retool and provide every opportunity to get clear about our faith. Sermons and other teachable moments must sound a clear call to personal conversion and to battle for souls and to stop treating lightly the sinful disregard for God’s law in our families and communities.
Our bishops especially need to shift into another mode entirely. Collectively and currently they seem more interested in protecting what little we have left, than summoning the Catholic people to battle. Priests too seem loath to summon people to anything challenging or uncomfortable. The image of Peter trying to keep Christ from the Cross comes to mind. Peter said, “This shall never be for you!” And the Lord severely rebuked him saying that he was thinking as man, not God, and was in the service of Satan.
And what of us? The Church cannot even seem to ask people to attend Mass on a Holy Day if it is on a Monday or a Saturday. It is apparently too much to ask people to come to Mass two days in a row. If that be the case, who will summon them to withstand and vigorously protest unjust and evil laws, even if it means financial penalties or even jail? And blood martyrdom? It hardly seems likely that most clergy today would counsel readiness for such a thing or even be close to being ready ourselves. Bishops or priests who do so can expect to be called reckless and imprudent in shy and soft times like these. The cry will surely go up, “It is not yet the time for such things!”
But if not now, when?
Scripture says,If the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? (1 Cor. 14:8). It cannot simply be priests who must make this call. Parents and other leaders need to sound it as well. Yes, parents need to prepare their children for more than a career. They need now to prepare them for difficult days ahead — days that will include persecution and even martyrdom if they decide to follow Christ unambiguously.
Am I wrong? I sure hope so. But we can no longer, as a Church, sit idly by and hope things just magically get better. As a culture, and even in segments of the Church, we have sown the wind, and now we are reaping the whirlwind.
Many, these days, like to criticize the Church of the past for any number of failings. But I wonder how the future members of the Church will remember the Church in our times. Columnist Joseph Sobran, writing over 15 years ago, wondered the same thing and wrote:
[Catholics of the future] certainly won’t accuse us of excessive zeal. They might be shocked by our lukewarmness, our cowardice masquerading as tolerance, our laxity, our willingness to countenance heresy, sacrilege, blasphemy, and immorality, even within the Church itself, our eagerness to ingratiate ourselves with the secular world …(Subtracting Christianity, p. 268)
Yes, I too wonder. From St. Peter to Constantine there were 33 Popes. Thirty of them were martyred and two died in exile. Countless clergy and lay people too were martyred. It is hard to imagine the Church in the decadent West being willing to suffer so. Surely our brethren in many less affluent parts of the world are dying in large numbers. But I wonder: After all these years of “comfort Catholicism”, would the average American parishioner or clergyman be willing or able to endure such loss?
It is time, past time, to retool. It is time to prepare for persecutions that will get bolder by the month and year. The dark movements that marched in under the banners of tolerance never meant it. And having increasingly gained power, they are seeking to criminalize anyone who resists their vision. No tolerance for us. Religious liberty is eroding, and compulsory compliance is already here. The federal courts increasingly shift to militantly secular and activist judges who legislate from the bench.
When will we as a Church finally say to the bureaucrats who demand we comply with evil laws: “We will not comply. If you fine us we will not pay. If you seek to confiscate our buildings, we will turn maximum publicity against you, but we still will not comply. If you arrest us, off to jail we go! But we will simply not comply with evil laws or cooperate with evil.”
Right now, most of us can barely imagine our clergy standing so firm. Quiet compromises and jargon-filled “solutions” will be a grave temptation to a Church ill-prepared for persecution.
Call me alarmist or call me idealist, but I hope we find our spine before it is too late. It is usually a faithful remnant that saves the day in the Biblical narrative. I pray only for the strength to be in that faithful remnant. Will you join me too? Let’s pray and start retooling now. Only our unambiguous faith can save us or anyone we love. Pray for strong and courageous faith.