Thank you, America magazine and usccb, inc. for producing web videos to foster our mission. I just wish they served the purpose. Shouldn’t our New-Evangelization-elical videos mention Someone–namely Lord Jesus, our Savior and our God?
Jesus came to save sinners, and He gave us the sacraments so that we sinners can get to heaven. For Holy Mass, we need bread and wine. For Confession/Penance/Reconciliation, we need: a Christian conversation between penitent and priest about morality.
That conversation cannot begin without the penitent asking him/herself: Have I killed an innocent person, stolen something, lied, committed adultery, or fornicated? We call those fundamental no-nos. The Lord forgives when we confess, and blesses us sinners with grace. So that we can go and sin no more.
Does it make us “mean” when we say this: 1. If you are married to one person, you can’t have sex with anyone else? or 2. We love you as a gay person, but sodomy offends God?
Mean, maybe. But honest. And humble. Because these are moral principles that we couldn’t change, even if we wanted to.
Everyone is welcome at Mass. Welcome to commune with God in love and truth. The truth that sodomy is wrong, or that no one can justly give him or herself an annulment–we can’t change these truths.
God made sex for making babies. We didn’t create, male and female. So we can’t say that God made sex for casual recreation, because He manifestly did not do that.
We believe in religious freedom for a reason: Because the Church of Christ must proclaim the Gospel of Jesus, and everyone has the freedom to embrace the truth.
The spiritual dimension of man, our relationship with truth–a relationship that transcends our physical bodies–that, too, God made. It can’t be removed. No surgeon can perform a soul-ectomy.
Do we believe in religious freedom because it’s in our US Constitution? If that were the case, then non-Americans would miss part of Catholicism. But they don’t. When St. Justin Martry died 1600 years before James Madison was born, the saint did not lack anything in his Catholic religion.
Our U.S. Constitution may very well qualify as a political document of unparalleled magnificence. I don’t consider myself qualified to judge such matters.
But Christ’s Church does not live and die by political documents. We live and die for the Gospel. Our holy martyrs have taught us the truth about religious freedom.
Thomas Jefferson and Co. deserve their props, to be sure. But we owe our first allegiance to Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon and Jude, Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian, and Co.
For us, “religious freedom” is not a political issue. It means that we are willing to suffer and die, if necessary, rather than let go of Christ, His Word, His Church, and His sacraments.