Bishop Hermann writes in this week’s Review in the wake of Tuesday’s election:
Bishop Hermann: ‘I thought you should know’Thank you, pro-life Catholics by Bishop Robert Hermann, Archdiocesan Administrator
While many of the results in this week’s national election do not look very promising for the pro-life movement, one thing is clear. More and more Catholics have taken a new look at the teachings of Pope John Paul II’s “Evangelium Vitae (Gospel of Life)” and have come to embrace the cause of life more clearly. A number of people have let me know that when they went into the voting booth, they voted against their deep feelings and followed the teachings of “Evangelium Vitae.”
This is perhaps the beginning of a big cultural shift for many Catholics. Through prayerful reflection, they are beginning to see that we all are victims of the secular society in which we live.
Thank you for coming to understand that the underlying presupposition of our present society is that “God does not exist.” From this basic presupposition flow the current values of our society, including the culture of death values.
However, the Gospel of Life is beginning to penetrate the attitudes of many cultural Catholics who in the past justified their toleration of abortion by saying that they were voting their consciences. What more and more Catholics today are beginning to see is that we are called to seek the truth and follow the truth and re-form our consciences in the light of truth.
One thing Pope John Paul II said very clearly was that life is the greatest priority: “The inviolability of the person which is a reflection of the absolute inviolability of God, finds its primary and fundamental expression in the inviolability of human life. Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights — for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture — is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination.”
Thank you! A number of Catholics have told me that they are taking up the Rosary again. I commend them, because truth is sometimes hard to embrace and to defend, but meditation on the mysteries of Christ helps us to embrace truth, even when it is painful.
Thank you! The pro-life cause has been greatly blessed in this election, because a number of cultural Catholics are becoming doctrinal Catholics, since they have prayerfully made themselves vulnerable to the teachings of the Church.
We should not expect our Catholic politicians to be more pro-life than we are. Yet, as a Church, we must insist that Catholic politicians not embrace positions that are contrary to Catholic teachings. We Catholics need to stand up for Catholic teaching both in the ballot box and at the Communion rail. In other words, there needs to be consequences for our choices. Toleration of pro-abortion or pro-choice behavior is totally unacceptable for any Catholic.
Thank you! I thank Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Raymond Burke, Archbishop Charles Chaput, Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Bishop Robert Finn, Bishop Arthur Seratelli and many others for taking such a courageous stand. Here in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, I also thank our Respect Life Apostolate, and its director, Christina Heddell, for its fine work in getting information out to our parishes. Finally, I thank all those Catholics who have spoken up at the parish level and at the archdiocesan level. Your courage has inspired me and has made a difference. With prayer, study and witness we can change the culture of this country, one Catholic at a time.
We need to demand and insist upon correct teaching. Catholics hold the key for change, for turning our society into a culture of life.
Meanwhile, if you made the mistake of voting for the culture of death in this election, I would suggest you spend some serious time repenting of your contribution to the growing infanticide in this country. If you made the mistake of voting for the culture of death, then when you meet your Maker, you will need to take responsibility for prolonging the legalization of abortion in this country. The election is not over! It will only end when we face our Lord at the end of our life! It is not too late to vote for Christ and His teachings on life.
We have to answer for our decisions.
Finally, a new day is dawning for the Catholic Church. We are rediscovering the power of truth in the teachings of Scripture and the teachings of the Church. Truth is awakening our Catholic people. They are energized by it. Truth exposes the lie behind our secular culture that “God does not exist.”
Christ told us that “the truth shall set you free.” Our culture of death certainly needs to hear the call to freedom. In the teachings of the Catholic Church, we have some exciting news that our culture needs to hear and experience. Do not be afraid to live in the truth and be a witness to the joy it brings! Thank you!