Facing the Fiscal and Moral Cliff with Courage: We Need New Thomas More's for the Third Millennium
We need men of courage who will stand with the Church - and stand for what is true and right - precisely because it is true and right.
The England of the sixteenth century was in the midst of a serious crisis of politics, culture and faith, much like the times in which we now live.Thomas More gives us an example to imitate. Thomas More knew the order of truth and applied a hierarchy of values in both his personal life and his public life. He lived as a faithful Catholic Christian, demonstrating a unity of life and moral coherence. He stayed faithful to the Truth.
CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - Over the last couple of weeks I have heard from many disillusioned men. They have expressed a deep concern over the crisis we face as a Nation. I write this article partly in response. Most of what I say applies to men and women. However, I particularly address men.
We are days away from going over the so called "fiscal cliff" in the United States. However, few people are addressing the Moral Cliff which may make the economic maelstrom look mild in comparison. Marriage is under assault as Courts are used by cultural revolutionaries who seek to redefine the institution out of existence. The taking of innocent life in the first home of the womb continues unabated. Organizations such as Planned Parenthood which lead the war on the womb are now bragging over their new found clout in the political ruling class.
The Church's outreaches to the sick, the poor and the needy face the boot of a hostile federal government. The HHS regulations through which the Affordable Care Act will be enforced violate religious freedom. Catholic Christians know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ demands a response which goes beyond the walls of our Church buildings. We are our brother and sister's keeper. We do not reach out to people in need because they are Catholic; we reach out to people in need because we are Catholic. No HHS regulation will compel us to violate our deeply held religious beliefs.
No Presidential administration can compel us to stop caring for the poor, the sick and the needy. Clearly, the next few months are leading to an historic Church/State showdown in the United States of America. We need men of courage who will stand with the Church - and stand for what is true and right - precisely because it is true and right. We are living through a clash of worldviews and definitions of human freedom, human flourishing, human progress and what constitutes a truly just and human social order. These are not political matters which no longer matter because the National elections are over.
Politics is a part of culture and the culture is a critical component of the mission of the Church. The Church must be free to proclaim her message in word and deed - in every Nation and in every culture. She must continue the redemptive work of her Head, Jesus Christ. St Paul used his Roman citizenship to advance the preaching of the Gospel. We must use our American citizenship to do the same. We cannot abandon the call to be leaven in the loaf of human culture. There is no doubt that each of us will serve in a different role in this task, but none of us can retreat. We need men of courage. Yes, we also need women of courage. However, I am addressing men in this article.
On Oct 31, 2000, Blessed John Paul II, responded to petitions from the faithful across the world and issued an apostolic letter, Motu Propio, (on his own authority) proclaiming Thomas More the Patron of Statesmen and Politicians. The letter was addressed to "the Bishops of the Catholic Church and, in a particular way, to Catholic politicians and all lay members of the faithful called to participate in the political life of democratic societies."
Blessed John Paul II wrote "Precisely because of the witness which he bore, even at the price of his life, to the primacy of truth over power, Saint Thomas More is venerated as an imperishable example of moral integrity. And even outside the Church, particularly among those with responsibility for the destinies of peoples, he is acknowledged as a source of inspiration for a political system which has as its supreme goal the service of the human person.
"Whenever men or women heed the call of truth, their conscience then guides their actions reliably towards good. Precisely because of the witness which he bore, even at the price of his life, to the primacy of truth over power, Saint Thomas More is venerated as an imperishable example of moral integrity. And even outside the Church, particularly among those with responsibility for the destinies of peoples, he is acknowledged as a source of inspiration for a political system which has as its supreme goal, the service of the human person."
The England of the sixteenth century was in the midst of a serious crisis of politics, culture and faith, much like the times in which we now live. In 1534 all citizens who were of age were required to take an oath called "The Act of Succession". It acknowledged that King Henry VIII was married to Anne Boleyn, even though he was not. His desire to divorce Catherine was not sufficient to make that marriage null and his attempt to use his political power to change the objective truth was unsuccessful. So, the King used the power of his office to promulgate an unjust ...
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