It amazes me how many politicians claim to be good Catholics yet disagree publicly with the teachings of the Church. We all know about Vice-President Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Kathleen Sebelius, Chris Dodd, John Kerry and the Kennedy clan, but how many of us are familiar with Governors Andrew Cuomo, Pat Quinn, Martin O’Malley, Christine Gregoire and Tim Kaine? All of these have publicly contradicted the bishops in their support of same sex marriage. This list doesn’t even included most of those in the House and Senate who’ve opposed the Church on abortion.
One must wonder why, why are so many Catholic politicians going against Church teachings yet claiming to be good Catholics. Why would you claim to be a Catholic if you don’t believe in the teachings of the Catholic Church? Do they hope to gain Catholic votes because they claim to be Catholic? Isn’t that deceitful?
Do they not understand what it means to be Catholic, that it means going against the crowd at times, that it means taking the narrow road and sometimes sacrificing your career for what is right? As Catholics we are called to be different from society, to stand up for truth and morality. If that means we don’t get elected to office so be it. It isn’t necessary for Catholics to serve in government. It becomes meaningless if we have to abandon everything we believe in.
Many claim to be personally opposed to abortion but do not want to impose their faith on others. This may be a valid reason to abstain on votes related to abortion but not to vote in support of it. Voting in support of abortion directly contradicts the teachings of the Church. You may argue that you only disagree with the Church on one issue so you are still a “good Catholic”. By that argument Henry VIII was a good Catholic. He only disagreed with the Church on the issue of his divorce from Catherine of Aragon.
You can’t call yourself a good Muslim if you reject one of the pillars of Islam. If you disagree with the teaching of the Sunni branch of Islam you might join the Shiite branch or another branch but you wouldn’t claim to be a cafeteria Sunni. If you disagreed with the Southern Baptists you might join another branch of Baptists or another denomination but you wouldn’t call yourself a cafeteria Baptist. Yet Catholic politicians routinely reject the teachings of the Church. This has serious consequences.
In Matthew 18:6 Jesus said” But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better if a millstone was hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” This scripture makes this an extremely serious issue. How can parents and teachers teach children to obey their faith when the children see the vice-president, the Speaker of the House, prominent senators, governors saying you can pick and choose what commandments and teachings you have to follow? Kids are sharp nowadays. They may not follow all of the news and understand all of the economics but they know the vice-president claims to be a good Catholic but doesn’t agree with the Pope and bishops.
They are sure to question. If Joe Biden can pick and choose which commandments and teachings to follow why can’t I? If Nancy Pelosi can refuse to listen to the bishops why do I have to listen to a priest? Why should I obey the Sixth Commandment? Why should I follow the Church’s teaching on sex and marriage? Why should any child feel he has to listen to the Church’s teachings when so many of our leaders say you don’t have to?
Our leaders tell us that we can choose what we believe in, that we can make up our own mind regardless of the teaching of the Church and stay in the Church? My question is why would you stay in a Church you disagree with? Haven’t they heard of the Protestant Reformation? The leaders of the Reformation disagreed with the teachings of the Church but they didn’t stay in the Church and claim to be cafeteria Catholics they went out of the Church and started their own denominations. The process is still going on. People get new ideas and disagree with the church of their birth so they leave that church and either join or start another. That is why there are so many different denominations.
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