Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Friday, September 4, 2015
2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : Viewpoints : Editorials
4/15/2012 12:11:00 PM
Oppressor or savior? Catholics have stake in politics
Catholic News Service photo
Peace and justice activists, including several Catholics, hold signs calling for societal repentance during a prayer service in front of the White House in Washington Feb. 22.
Catholic News Service photo
Peace and justice activists, including several Catholics, hold signs calling for societal repentance during a prayer service in front of the White House in Washington Feb. 22.
Tom Sheridan


The world's a mess, isn't it? Wars, terror, poverty and more. And the U.S. is not immune, with conflicts over religious liberty and secularism, the growing chasm between rich and poor, a struggling economy and assaults on life. Not quite the four horsemen of the apocalypse, but close.

Then there's politics, that electoral circus in which, every few years, we select those who promise to lead us out of these woes. Or perhaps lead us into new woes.

Because increasingly, today's problems and even proposed solutions challenge Gospel beliefs and rattle the conscience of the faithful.

The most recent crisis -- though hardly the only one -- centers on government efforts to require that almost all health insurance plans cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, all of which violate church teaching.

Society's growing secularization is changing how the church works. In some states, the moral conflict over same-sex unions forced the church out of the adoption ministry.

Some see this as a deliberate attack on faith. Others acknowledge it as a governmental overreaction to our multicultural society.

Calculated or not, these political efforts are squeezing church hierarchy and everyday Catholics into uncomfortable positions. More than 110 bishops have challenged the new insurance rule of the Obama administration, calling it unconstitutional. Some have promised not to comply with the rule.

This is hardly the first time government has challenged faith. After 9/11, Iraq was invaded despite pleas by Pope John Paul II and U.S. bishops who maintained that the invasion was unjust and unnecessary.

Meeting with some U.S. bishops during their "ad limina" visits, Pope Benedict XVI warned that recent "cultural trends ... would curtail the proclamation of (moral) truths." He encouraged the bishops and laity to counter this failure of society.

At other times in other places, disagreeing with and defying authorities could mean imprisonment or worse. But U.S. society also gives us access to politics. That's one way Catholics -- and other faiths -- must work to keep God in the public square.

That opportunity carries with it the moral obligation to vote, but also, the bishops remind, to vote wisely. To that end, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops offers the document "Faithful Citizenship" (www.faithfulcitizenship.org).

Updated and offered every four years for more than three decades, the document doesn't propose a Catholic alliance with a particular candidate or party -- despite current events, neither Republicans nor Democrats have a lock on Gospel values. "Faithful Citizenship" presents a moral framework based in tradition and Scripture.

The document's revised introduction stresses vital points for Catholics: Abortion "and other threats to the lives and dignity of others who are vulnerable, sick or unwanted"; conscience threats to Catholic ministries in health care, education and social services; "the permanent, faithful and fruitful union of one man and one woman"; increased "national and global unemployment, poverty and hunger"; the broken immigration system; moral and justice concerns raised by war, terror and violence.

All are important and necessary.

But can we change things? Certainly. In a talk last fall at Fordham University in New York, Jesuit Father Thomas J. Reese of the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University said Catholics "should never become captive to any single party. Every four years, we're the swing voters who decide elections and we should treasure that."

Even so, there is a danger. A democratic society may succeed in removing God from official life, but should not -- and cannot -- remove God from the lips of the faithful.

Still, here's a sad but undeniable truth: Prophets aren't always heeded. The scriptural lesson is not about success. Only perseverance.

The writer is a former editor of The Catholic New World, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Chicago and a deacon ordained for the Diocese of Joliet, Ill.



Advanced Search






Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2015 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2015 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved