Last Saturday, I dropped my last mailing to the bishops in the mailbox. I have said all I can say to them for this election cycle. So far, I have largely been ignored… but there are exceptions. My own bishop, though, has denied me a hearing with him.
I simply pray for our beautiful country and for our Church. The collective silence of our bishops in the face of the ever-expanding evil in our government, hurts our authority. It is true authority that separates the Catholic Church from all others. This authority is given to administer the Sacraments, instruct in all truth, govern the Church, and stand against evil. What good can we do when we allow evil to grow and fester?
Here is the text of my last letter to the bishops:
I understand the positions expressed by the Church in regards to not taking partisan positions in elections. However, standing against evil isn’t a partisan position. We are not injecting the Church into politics, the politicians have injected themselves onto the battlefield of life and death. We are derelict to not respond. Lies are a staple of politicians and the media in election campaigns. You need to stand firm for the truth.
The Democratic Party supports all five intrinsic evils in their platform or public policy. If not this, what does someone have to do to receive a rebuke from our bishops? Pope Francis had the fortitude to reject a nominated Ambassador from France due to his open homosexuality. In this country, we should follow the Pope’s example and reject those championing abortion and homosexual marriage in their party platform. They are campaigning for a job, nothing more. We should not hire them to make laws for us.
If a Democrat (doesn’t matter if it turns out to be Hillary Clinton) becomes President, we will have generations of Americans grow up not knowing there was even a debate about the constitutionality of abortion rights. The next president will likely appoint a 7-2 Supreme Court. Although the quote below is from Hillary Clinton, keep in mind that both of the issues she addresses are in the Party Platform:
“I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests, because the next president could get as many as three appointments,” the former first lady responded. “It’s one of the many reasons why we can’t turn the White House over to the Republicans again.” . . . “We have to preserve marriage equality,” Clinton said. “We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community, we’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe V. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed.” – Hillary Clinton
Catholics represent as much as 25% of the electorate overall and as much as 1⁄3 in CA and NY. No politician should be able to advocate for intrinsic evil and expect Catholic votes—no politician can be elected without Catholic acquiescence in a national or state election. Yet, Catholics have split our vote down the middle for a number of election cycles. No one respects our priorities because we don’t stand for them ourselves, as a group. Our bishops have done next to nothing to correct this problem. Too many bishops waste significant bandwidth explaining the priorities of the Church in immigration reform and publicly-funded healthcare. It’s time the Church spoke as one about real and threatening evil.
Most responses I have received regarding my book have quoted the need to maintain the Church’s tax- exempt status. How free are we when our Church considers Herself subject to the rules of government? The Church isn’t tax-exempt because of 501c3. She was tax-exempt before churches were added to the code in 1954. The Church is tax-exempt because she pre-dates the government and our Founding Fathers did not want to have government control of churches. It’s that simple. The 501c3 code is a primary example of the way government takes control… government says it is merely codifying an existing relationship and nothing will change. However, once codified, the government holds the threat to rescind the code. What should exist after the rescission is what existed for 200+ years before that… churches are still tax-exempt. That is not what the government says will happen, though, so the Church complies.
Churches were added to the 501c3 code as a tool of control and specifically to silence the Church. Sen. Lyndon Johnson did not like the Church having such a significant influence in shaping public policy. What we have become is direct result of this action. The Church has a greatly reduced influence in public life and intrinsic evil has become a staple of public policy. Are you aware that churches do not actually have to apply for 501c3 qualification? For almost all organizations, they must fill out Form 1023 and 1024. Churches are not required to file form 1023 because they are considered covered by 501c3 automatically. Donations to churches are automatically tax-deductible. Churches have a mandatory exception to filing tax returns. The IRS code automatically exempts churches from its basic requirements.
In short, the Catholic Church in America is voluntarily silent… and misguided. It is not an endorsement of the GOP to point out the evil supported by the Democratic Party. We don’t compromise our impartiality by opposing the sponsors of evil in positions of public authority. We have compromised our authority by our failure to do so.
We are scandalized among even the atheists who wonder where our Catholic leaders are when the issues are so polarized and clear in this election. Even our foes see that the Church is silent when it shouldn’t be. Unfortunately, the reality is that our bishops and priests are supporting the Democratic Party.
How can I say you support the Democratic Party? What if I told you the USCCB came out in favor of tax cuts, strong national borders, and 2nd Amendment rights… you would logically conclude the Church favors the GOP. Here’s the reality… the Church has been a major factor in pushing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), immigration reform, and we even have a Papal Encyclical on climate change. These are Democratic policy priorities and people rightly conclude the Church favors Democrat policies. Can there be any wonder at the confusion sown among the faithful? If you have followed the news, you can see the Democratic Party certainly knows who its enemies are… faithful Catholics. Their greatest fear is that the Church will do its duty and reject them. Your silence is their solace. Are you so blind?
Msgr Charles Pope wrote an article that read like it came directly out of my book and posted it to Facebook recently. The one main difference between his article and my book? He said, “but I’m not going to name the party.” From that, there were posters on that thread who concluded they should inform their own consciences and choose “the lesser of two evils”—that was Hillary Clinton to them. Msgr Pope and I put that delusion to rest but this should be a wakeup call that there are too many who will take any amount of latitude perceived—-no matter how infinitesimal-—to vote for the party sponsoring intrinsic evils. The Church must be direct, forceful, and quick… before it’s too late. Voting has already started.
Despite all of our efforts so far in our marches and prayers, if Hillary Clinton becomes the next president, she gets the chance to cement abortion and a redefinition of marriage as law for generations. We can stop it. My hope is that you and your fellow bishops will make support for evil the next “third-rail” of politics that no politician would ever dare touch again.
Some bishops have spoken out. I call your attention to the bishops of Kansas standing as one to tell their diocesan members they must vote with abortion at the forefront of their thoughts. Archbishop Aquila of Denver gave a very direct statement in support of this effort to confront evil. The most direct so far, though, has been Fr John Lankeit of the diocese of Phoenix during his homily at EWTN. He laid out the issues and the Catholic position firmly and clearly as the voice of his Bishop. His example in every diocese of America would end state sponsorship of abortion. If you haven’t seen it, search for “Homily for October 2, 2016” on Youtube. May it serve as a template to your own contemplations.
I look forward to discussing this with you further and will pray for our efforts as a Church to stand firmly against those who advocate for evil in public policy. As we celebrate the canonization of Jose Sanchez del Rio, may we all shout “Viva Cristo Rey!” at a government growing hostile to the Catholic Church.