22 July 2014

Call to Action - Help the Christians of the Middle East

Sub Tuum.

Translation of the Arabic:
"In Solidarity with the
Christian people of Iraq.
To the Faithful in Christ:

Christians are being murdered, tortured, raped, beaten, and otherwise persecuted in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere in the Middle East, yet the West is silent! What I have heard from most religious leaders in their public statements, including my brother bishops, is to pray for the victims. This is something we should do, certainly. The power of the mass and the rosary must never be underestimated. Yet, when someone is sick, we do not say to pray for them and do nothing else. We call a doctor. We have a surgeon cut out the cancer. Therefore I say pray for the Christians in the middle east, but I also say to put that prayer into action!  The governments of the west have the military force to intervene. They must use it, or else the blood of these Christian martyrs is on their hands!

Faithful in Christ, write to your government leaders and representatives. Urge them not to be silent. Urge them to speak out. Use your voice and theirs to insist that the governments with the power to do something about this sickening abomination take action now! Carry your prayers to the people who can work decisively to end this genocide.

Also, contact those who lead organizations that might be able to bring refugees from Iraq. As we talk about amnesty for those who illegally cross the southern American border in search of better economic conditions, why are we not bringing those who are suffering genocide at the hands of the Muslim infidels?

If you say nothing, the blood of these martyrs is on your hands! If you do not do what is within your power to do, however large or small that act may be, the blood of these martyrs is on your hands!

02 July 2014

Should Catholics Celebrate the Fourth of July?

Sub Tuum. 

Should Catholics celebrate the Fourth of July? This question cycles around this time every year in America. It's a good question, given the checkered history the nation has with Catholicism. It is even more underscored by the the current rise of secularism overall. And, there is even what is effectively a heresy that was termed "Americanism" by Pope Leo XIII.

Nationalism is also something shunned by the faith. Liking where you live and wanting to defend your home is one thing, but carried much beyond that it becomes a situation in which the state becomes more important than the faith and the brotherhood of mankind. Or, you end up with a form of nationalistic Christianity so prevalent in American Protestantism where the church and individual parishes become agents of nationalism. Yet the Church of Christ knows no national boundaries. National flags have no place within the chancel rail by the altar, for that is the altar of God, not the altar of the country. The people on the other side of the border are still our brothers and sisters in Christ not to be looked down upon simply because they are on the other side of the border, either by choice or accident of birth.

This does not mean, however, that one cannot celebrate the Fourth of July. It does mean that it must be celebrated with the appropriate mindset. Being happy with the place you live and work and raise your family, in whose military you may have served, where your ancestors may have been for some time, or where your family may have moved to seek, hopefully, a better life, etc., are all fine things to celebrate. This should all be done with the realization that God knows no national boundaries. It should be done in humility, remembering always that one's first loyalty is to God and His Holy Church.