Sunday, November 9, 2008

Kansas City Bishop Finn's Homily on the Eve of the Election ~ Requested by Mark

Mark has requested that the blog publish one of Bishop Robert Finn's homilies concerning responsible voting by the Catholic electorate for your comments. Bishop Finn is the Bishop of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph. This homily was given on November 3, 2008 - the eve of the election.

Because of its length, I will only include the first part of the homily but give a link to the DIOCESAN website where you can read the homily in its entirety.

Dear Friends,

Over the next 24 hours, millions of Americans will go to the polls throughout our country to cast ballots for the leaders of our nation, state, and community. We will make decisions about amendments and propositions. This is a wonderful process and privilege of citizenship in a country that values the ideal of freedom.

But let us have no doubt about this: through this process we are more than participants in a democratic process. We are becoming participants in life and death. The candidates we choose do not arise merely on their own. We place them in office.

Clearly, all these leaders are imperfect men and women like ourselves. They will make decisions day by day, and many of the circumstances of war and domestic work are not able to be known until they happen. Nonetheless, when they tell us specifically what they will do and we are therefore able to foresee some of the likely consequences of their leadership we share in the responsibility of their acts. In this sense an election is about even more than physical life and death. It is also about your eternal salvation and mine. This is the first reason to pray. Pray that we will take seriously – that every other voter will take seriously – the meaning of our choices. In a country where we have made choice an absolute, we must remember that underlying every choice is a value; that flowing from every choice is a consequence; that we must give an accounting to God for what we decide.

Our Lord instructs us in the Gospel we have heard, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both body and soul in Gehenna.” The enormity of this election is founded, in part, on the radical determination of some who would lead our country deeper than ever before into the darkness of the culture of death. This is a path that would certainly mean the death of countless more innocent lives. As shepherd of this Diocese I am also deeply saddened by the prospect of the cost in people’s souls, the souls of those who would place a candidate’s promise of economic prosperity above the life of the most innocent of our brothers and sisters.

Most perilous is the fate of those Catholics who, with hardened hearts, decide to create for themselves, and preach to others, a false gospel that the “right” to an abortion must not be challenged, or that the humanity of the child need not be protected...

Homily continued here. As I have said from the beginning, I am willing to publish articles for discussion from the entire Catholic spectrum, whether we all agree or not. However, I ask for respectful comments.


Mark said...

Dear Standing Maryanna:

Thank you, I happily withdraw my earlier suspicions of your blog. I'm glad you proved me wrong.

Let's not be afraid of being called "divisive", but continue to respectfully and uncompromisingly stand up for the basic human rights of the unborn.
Bishop Finn of Kansas City is a model of this approach.

I also urge those who disagree with Bishop Finn and may wish to comment, to please not duplicate the experience of the earlier blogs. I promise to do the same on my part. Let's engage in an intense, but respectful, discussion of this all important subject.

Mark said...

A quote from Francis Cardinal George of Chicago, speaking on November 5th about the upcoming (now ongoing) meeting of our country’s bishops in Baltimore:

“Catholics, including many bishops, have been na├»ve. We've been homogenized and digested by the society around us. Bishops need to take responsibility for allowing that to happen.”

It’s good to know we have shepherds with a spine.

The link to his full remarks is below:

standing maryanna said...

mark said: Thank you, I happily withdraw my earlier suspicions of your blog. I'm glad you proved me wrong.

As I said in my original article, I am interested in having this blog reflect the entire spectrum of Catholic belief; whether you are progressive, moderate or traditional. We all live within this Church as the People of God.

I am also trying to make adjustments in my own mind of just how this blog can work. I don't want it to collapse into chaos as the other Richmond blogs did. Help me out here by being respectful of each other in your comments.