This was originally printed in the Sunday, 1 July 2012 bulletin of St. Mary (E DBQ) & Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Menomonee) Catholic Churches. Fr. Barry is the parochial vicar of these parishes. The piece gives some insight into the political origins of what is going on here in the USA as well as a reminder of what our true social justice priorities as faithful Catholics should be. In also reminds us that we are not to depend on ourselves or even be discouraged by what may or may not happen.
As this bulletin goes to print, the U.S. Supreme Court has just ruled positively on the constitutionality of Obamacare. There had been a widespread expectation that the “individual mandate” which forces people to buy health insurance would be declared unconstitutional. The next stage of the battle will move on to the 12 lawsuits brought by 43 organizations challenging the administration’s intent to force religiously affiliated institutions to provide – allegedly without charge – contraception, sterilization, and treatments bordering on abortion.
The fact that we’re in this situation suggests a worrisome environment for people of faith. As Robert Royal writes, for the past half-century, many Americans have been conducting illadvised experiments in living that, despite the mounting evidence of the disasters they cause (for marriage, children, community, crime, health, to name only a few), now seem beyond criticism in public institutions, including our schools, welfare agencies, and government offices, and even in the U.S. military. Increasingly, across the western world, to object to these experiments risks being charged with a hate crime. Our government’s support for “same-sex marriage” coincides with similar moves elsewhere, including in Australia, where the Communist Party of Australia has weighed in, stating that redefining marriage is a vital pillar of the Marxist war against the Church. According to the Australian Communists, “If you strike blows against that pillar, there will be a reaction as there is from the Vatican and from other pious hypocrites.”
Marx and Engels wrote in The Communist Manifesto of their plan to implement the “abolition of the family” and to introduce “an openly legalized community of women” (sharing women in common). Recently, the Cuban communist sexologist Mariela Castro visited the U.S. to advocate for same-sex marriage and to express support for our president, who again in 2012 is endorsed by the Communist Party USA. Even in Britain, the Chief Rabbi has warned that efforts to give conscience protections to religious groups who oppose same-sex “weddings”, unfortunately, would likely be challenged at the European Court of Human Rights.
At this critical moment, we Catholic Americans recognize two social justice priorities: the defense of human life at all stages and in all conditions, and the defense of religious freedom for all. The importance of the moral truths involved in these social justice priorities can be known by anyone willing to think carefully. We do not invent these truths. We discover them. But there’s wisdom in recognizing that, despite our fidelity and our best efforts, it doesn’t depend on us. It’s quite possible that, even in the United States, the Church will “fail” and have to go into a kind of internal exile. The Church has done so before, survived, and re-emerged even stronger.
Our Holy Father gives us these words of encouragement: “If you follow the will of God, you know that, in spite of all the terrible things that happen to you, you will never lose final refuge. You know that the foundation of the world is love, so that even when no human being can or will help you, you may go on, trusting in the One who loves you.”
Fr. Michael Barry