Fr. Thomas Rosica, director of the Salt and Light Catholic Television Network in Canada, recently wrote a shameless condemnation of pro-life people who objected to the August 28th Canonization in Boston, more commonly known as the funeral of Senator Edward Kennedy. Fr. Rosica had a problem with good Catholics being scandalized by the public funeral of a man who lived his life utterly rejecting the Church’s core principles. There was absolutely no recognition of the heroism of the thousands of faithful Catholics who have stood on the front lines of this battle for many decades or of the marvelous contribution that we have made to saving babies and witnessing to the Truth of Christ. Unfortunately, Father’s criticism simply feeds the flames of anti-life sentiment against pro-lifers and ultimately against the sanctity of human life.
Now, the first of his many ironies was that, in condemning pro-lifers, Father was attempting to convince his readers not to condemn anyone. He reads the Scripture passage, “judge not lest ye be judged” with a bit of jaundice. He called pro-lifers all kinds of names that could have come right out of Planned Parenthood’s verbiage for us, and he even insinuated in a subsequent interview that, of all people, EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo was somehow part of this “uncharitable” problem in the Church because Raymond spoke out forcefully against the Kennedy scandal. Then he attacked the best pro-life news organization in the business, LifeSiteNews, saying that they were doing “the work of the devil” in shining the spotlight on this travesty. If this is the Gospel model of non-judgmentalism, I am reading the Good Book wrong.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Luther pastor who was killed in the Nazi Holocaust, called this kind of sell-out “cheap grace” because it costs the pious churchman absolutely nothing to say it. In fact it must apparently feel real good because so many of them indulge in it. Let these churchmen try disciplining “Catholic” dissenters who scandalize Christ’s faithful, and they would see the value of their grace increase in proportion to their suffering at the hands of these renegades.
Worst of all is that people with this strange ethic of non-judgmentalism apply a standard of mercy to public Catholic reprobates that is never applied to the aborted children who will not get a funeral or graveside service offered by prelates reading pious sentiments from a very strange gospel book. What Fr. Rosica’s denunciations have thus highlighted for us is the extent to which the “judge not lest ye be judged” ethic reigns in ecclesiastical circles, and for that reason our Church is in trouble. Those who come out of a non-judgmentalism Gospel ethic, lay and cleric alike, will have nothing to offer our suffering souls in the darkness that is even now hovering over our Church like a black shroud. The pagan world is already coming after all that we hold dear and sacred, and if the murder of pro-lifer James Pouillon last week is any indication, they will soon be doing so with a vehemence that we have not experienced in our land since the days of the North American Martyrs.
To the ethic of hypocritical diatribes that defame pro-lifers, I can only say, “No deal, Father Rosica.” Anyone who will use “non-judgmentalism” against faithful Catholics needs to wake up and smell the gunpowder on Jim Pouillon’s pro-life t-shirt. The Church stands with all men and women of good will against the increasingly pagan and violent culture that militates against us and our values. Those who use this ethic to keep the Church totally unprepared for battle need more than a re-reading of Scripture. They need a good kick in the back end and a refresher course on Catholic bravery which St. Paul tells us makes us “strong, loving and wise.” (2 Tim 1:7-8)