The Evangelization Station

Best Catholic Links


Search this Site


Home


Contact


Feedback


Mailing List


Pray for Pope Francis


Scroll down for topics


100+ Important Documents in United States History


Anti-Catholicism


Apostolic Fathers of the Church


Articles Worth Your Time


 Biographies & Writings of Notable Catholics


Catholic Apologetics


Catholic Calendar


Catholic News Commentary by Michael Voris, S.T.B.


Catholic Perspectives


Catholic Social Teaching


Christology


Church Around the World


Small animated flag of The Holy See (State of the Vatican City) graphic for a white background

Church Contacts


  Church Documents


Church History


Church Law


Church Teaching


Demonology


Doctors of the Church


Ecumenism


Eschatology

(Death, Heaven, Purgatory, Hell)


Essays on Science


Evangelization


Fathers of the Church


Free Catholic Pamphlets


 Heresies and Falsehoods


How to Vote Catholic


Let There Be Light

Q & A on the Catholic Faith


Links to Churches and Religions


Links to Newspapers, Radio and Television


Links to Recommended Sites


Links to Specialized Agencies


Links to specialized Catholic News services


Liturgy

General Instruction of the Roman Missal


Mariology


Marriage & the Family


Modern Martyrs

Mexican Martyrdom


Moral Theology

****

Pope John Paul II's

Theology of the Body


Movie Reviews (USCCB)


New Age


Occult


Parish Bulletin Inserts


Political Issues


Prayer and Devotions


Pro-Life

****

Hope after Abortion

Project Rachel

****

Help & Information for Men

****


Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults


Sacraments


Scripture


Spirituality


The Golden Legend


Vatican


Vocation Links & Articles

 


What the Cardinals believe...


World Religions


Pope John Paul II

In Memoriam


John Paul II

Beatification


Pope Benedict XVI

In Celebration



Visits to this site

Church must defend its basic beliefs against all

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted

My Turn
Aug. 21, 2005 12:00 AM

I am grateful for the invitation to respond to some articles and letters to the editor that have appeared recently in The Arizona Republic. I welcome the opportunity to explain why I feel called by God to teach and to defend the Catholic faith.

In June 2004, the American Catholic bishops said, "The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."

We bishops issued this statement in fidelity to our responsibility to hand on the gospel of Jesus Christ and to defend the dignity and the right to life of every human person.

The right to life, however, is not an issue of interest only to Catholics. It is of primary concern for all. The founders of our country recognized this when they stated, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

The right to life is indeed an inalienable one. To stand up for the dignity of every person, then, and to speak out against intrinsic evils such as abortion, euthanasia, racism and sexual acts outside of marriage is a service that God requires of us on behalf of all persons, not only members of our own faith.

To do this by actions as well as by words underlines the seriousness of these teachings and the depths of our convictions. One such action is to prohibit the giving of honors or the provision of a platform in Catholic institutions for those who support actions contrary to these core moral principles.

I trust that this position is not that difficult to understand. Why would we honor or give a platform to someone who radically disagrees with our fundamental teachings? We should instead be criticized if we allowed such things to happen.

This does not mean that we will cease praying for public officials or end our efforts to be in conversation with them and others about these and similar matters.

In fact, the continuity of such conversations is vitally important, precisely because of the serious ramifications of them. There are a variety of appropriate forums for this dialogue to occur, beyond public events at church facilities.

For the Catholic Church to back up its teaching through actions directed at public officials is not something new.

I think for example of the time in 1962 in New Orleans, when Archbishop Joseph Rummel excommunicated Judge Leander Perez when the judge tried to block the desegregation of the Catholic school system.

Was this bishop imposing his sectarian views on a public official? Was he meddling in politics or impeding freedom? Or was he defending the human dignity of all children, no matter the color of their skin?

The statement of the American bishops in June 2004 arose out of a concern for the rights of the most vulnerable members of our society, persons who have no way to raise their own voices because of their age or physical condition.

It also arose out of a conviction about the destructive nature of intrinsic evils, for individuals, for the family, and for the whole of society.

As Pope John Paul II said, "Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights - for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture - is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination."

The writer is bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.

 

 

 

 

webmaster  www.evangelizationstation.com

Copyright 2004 Victor Claveau. All Rights Reserved