September 28, 2012
Last week the Archbishop of Philadelphia stated unequivocally that it would be impossible for him to vote for Barak Obama. “I certainly can’t vote for somebody who’s either pro-choice or pro-abortion,” he told the National Catholic Reporter. The other day the Pew Research Center released a poll indicating that Mr. Obama leads Mr. Romney among Catholics by 54%-39%. Is the Archbishop out of touch, or are most of the nation’s Catholics out of touch?
Most of the nation’s Catholics are out of touch: out of touch with Catholicism. A Catholic who knows and embraces the teaching of his Church could never vote for a candidate who promises to provide more abortions, both here and abroad. A Catholic could never vote for a candidate who promises to further destroy marriage and family life by promoting homosexual practices. A Catholic could never vote for a candidate who has promised to force the Church to violate her own conscience.
You might be thinking that the Catholics who favor Mr. Obama are not “practicing” Catholics, and certainly among those who attend Mass “seldom or never” the margin jumps to 61% to 32% in favor of Mr. Obama. But even among Catholics who attend Mass every week, Mr. Obama leads Mr. Romney by nine points.
How is it possible that any Catholic who attends Mass every Sunday would vote for a candidate who has promised to persecute the Catholic Church? It is possible because of a fundamental ignorance of the faith among most Catholics (in the words of Pope Benedict, “a profound crisis of faith”). It is possible because bishops and priests have failed to make real converts of most Catholics. The Church in North America and Europe has failed to preach the Gospel with conviction and clarity. Thankfully, in recent years, a significant number of bishops and priests have begun to preach the Gospel, and many valiant laypeople are teaching Catholic truth through powerful means. Only time will tell if it is too little too late.
Tragically, we have largely failed in our stewardship of the Gospel. But God has not failed. The Word of God is not constrained (2 Tim 2:9) and no darkness can overcome it. Certainly, we will suffer for our sinful failure to speak God’s Truth, but the Lord will purify his Church through the very afflictions to be visited upon us. In the end, the Bride will return to her Lord and recover the joy of her youth. But we must pray to God, and to His holy Mother, to joyfully persevere in whatever persecutions may come to Holy Mother Church.