Q. I must more than partly agree with a recent questioner that the bishops catastrophically have failed in a concerted effort to condemn or correct pro-abort so-called Catholic politicians. Yes, from time to time a bishop may speak out forcefully in regards to one of these politicians, and then the faithful say to themselves, finally, the Church is going to do something about these apostates, but then there’s no corrective canon law action taken against them, such as excommunication, and I believe these weak actions, or lack thereof, by the bishops, and the evil, sinful, open public promotion by these politicians have caused over the decades a weakening of faith and great harm to the Church.
Instead, they are rewarded upon their death with great cathedral funerals — Kennedy, Cuomo, Ferraro. Is this truly merciful, and what message does it convey to the laity? Abortion, same-sex “marriage” must not be a big deal! How else do we explain that in God’s Church more Catholics voting for rather than against publicly acknowledged pro-abort Obama? Church silence! How else do you explain that 80 to 90 percent of Catholic Hispanics voting for him and Hillary? Church silence! How do you explain Catholic women having abortions at the same rate as Protestant women? Church silence!
Where were the Catholic bishops when Notre Dame scandalously awarded “a high Catholic award” to total pro-abort, same-sex “marriage” Joe Biden? A month later, he “married” two homosexuals.
A total, complete scandal as was the bishops’ weak, tepid response, which failed even to name him. It is no wonder that today large numbers are leaving the Church. That churches and schools are closing down.
When are the bishops going to challenge this sinful, dying world and show some zeal? Sadly, too many of them have chosen instead 30 pieces of silver (federal dollars) for their pet programs; thus, they don’t speak out against promoters of evil, the very ones who fund these programs.
Just after writing this, I ran across another example — the archbishop of Los Angeles receiving the Cesar Chavez Foundation award alongside California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Becerra is a longtime promoter of abortion whose campaigns have received thousands of dollars from Planned Parenthood.
Two days before the dinner, Becerra filed an arrest warrant and 15 felony charges against David Daleiden, whose videos have exposed Planned Parenthood’s illegal sale of baby body parts obtained from abortions. The keynote speaker at the dinner was Kerry Kennedy, who is a major supporter of Planned Parenthood. Am I exaggerating the situation? — P.C., Idaho.
A. Unfortunately, you are not exaggerating the situation. We were at a dinner in Boston not long ago that honors the priesthood. Our pastor was one of the honorees. What could have been a great occasion was marred by the keynote speaker, the Catholic mayor of Boston, who is a very vocal supporter of homosexuality, marching in the annual “Gay Pride Parade,” and of abortion (he vowed to make Boston a sanctuary city for abortions if federal funds were to be cut off to Planned Parenthood). Yet there he was, next to the cardinal archbishop of Boston, recounting his Catholic upbringing while he pursues a political agenda that contradicts the moral principles that he was taught in Catholic school.
Pray for our bishops that they will have the courage to stand up for the teachings of Christ and to stop fawning over so-called Catholics who long ago abandoned the faith.
Q. In his literary masterpiece The Sinner’s Guide, Venerable Louis of Granada quotes St. Bernard (p. 237) as saying that “hardly one ship out of ten is lost at sea, but on the ocean of life there is hardly one soul saved out of ten.” If this is true, it means only 10 percent of the Earth’s population go to Heaven and 90 percent go to Hell. I find this astonishing, but St. Bernard is a doctor of the Church and not given to hyperbole. What do you think? — W.K., New Jersey.
A. As we have noted in the past, when quoting Jesus’ admonition that the road to damnation is wide “and those who enter through it are many,” and that the road to Heaven is narrow, “and those who find it are few” (Matt. 7:13-14), we have no idea what Jesus meant by many and few. Nor do we know how accurate St. Bernard was in his speculation. We wonder, though, if the loss of 90 percent of the world’s population to the fires of Hell wouldn’t be a diminution of the salvific power of the Lord. Does it seem likely that Jesus would have gone through His horrific Passion and death to save only 10 percent of the billions of souls who have inhabited this planet?
Whatever the final percentages are, however, our only concern should be to live in such a way as to attain the everlasting joys of Heaven.
Q. My son wants to know why God chose the Jews to be the Chosen People. What was special about them that He would choose them? — L.S., via e-mail.
A. The Book of Deuteronomy gives us some insight into why God selected Israel to be His Chosen People:
“For you are a people sacred to the Lord, your God; he has chosen you from all the nations on the face of the earth to be a people peculiarly his own. It was not because you are the largest of all nations that the Lord set his heart on you and chose you, for you are really the smallest of all nations. It was because the Lord loved you and because of the fidelity to the oath he had sworn to your fathers, that he brought you out with his strong hand from the place of slavery, and ransomed you from the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt.
“Understand, then, that the Lord, your God, is God indeed, the faithful God who keeps his merciful covenant down to the thousandth generation toward those who love him and keep his commandments, but who repays with destruction the person who hates him; he does not dally with such a one, but makes him personally pay for it. You shall therefore carefully observe the commandments, the statutes, and the decrees which I enjoin on you today” (7:6-11).
In his book Salvation Is From the Jews, Roy Schoeman, a convert from Judaism to Catholicism, offers some additional insights:
“Perhaps the easiest way to start is to consider the situation from God’s point of view. What preparations would have to be made to make the world ready for the Incarnation? Since He would be born to a particular woman who was a member of a particular people, this people would have to already know enough of God and His ways to be able to make sense of the Incarnation. In order to make sense of the Incarnation, they would have had to be prepared for it beforehand through prophecy, so that they would be able to recognize, acknowledge, and understand it, at least to some extent, when it happened.
“Thus, they would have had to have learned a good deal of theology, of how God works, of the relation between God and man, of the state of the soul, of the fall of man, of the meaning of life on earth, and of eternal life, and so forth, in order to understand the Incarnation and its meaning at all. They would have to have been purified from the influence of false ‘gods,’ from false or demonic religions, from idols, from practices that linked them to the influence of the fallen angels, in order not to hopelessly pollute the revelation.
“There would have to be a family and, more specifically, a mother to whom the God-man would be born; she would have to be of sufficient purity and virtue not to make the Incarnation itself a sacrilege. Since God relies on man’s prayer to bring about His plans, this people would have to have been taught for generations to pray and beseech God to send the Messiah. Finally, they would have to provide a society and an infrastructure that could serve as a platform from which the news of the Incarnation, the propagation of the religion established by the God-man, could go out to all the world.
“The entire history of the Jews shows how they were chosen and groomed to fill these roles” (pp. 15-16).