Tom Roeser and the spirit of Fr. Ernie respond to certain Catholic commentators, politicians

Catholics bound by the moral law can agreeably participate in the secular political system where civil law may contradict the moral. But in no sense should the civil law intrude upon the conscience of the Catholic and require his compliance… nor frankly can the Catholic inflict the Church’s morals on the state beyond what is understood as the democratic process.

It is important to accept this as Murray’s wise guide-and nothing more. It certainly didn’t mean that Murray recommended that Catholics surrender their consciences and bow to unjust civil law. Far from it. But this is what John F. Kennedy implied when he addressed the Houston ministerial association in a speech written by one John Cogley, who ultimately left the Church. In his speech Kennedy assuaged the Protestant ministers by saying that he would not inflict his Church’s views on the country, that he would serve as president who happened to be Catholic-not as a Catholic president. This sounded dangerously scandalous to one of Catholic formation-except that Kennedy added this which I paraphrase: if an issue ever arises where civil action contradicts my religious conscience, I shall resign. That was enough to close the credibility gap.

Not that the John Kennedy we have come to understand would allow his Catholicism to interfere with his duties. In fact it is commonly known now that he did in fact allow sexual immorality to coincide with his duties and in fact it is still an open question as to whether his immorality… his promiscuous attentions to a young woman also the mistress of a Mafia chieftain… did him in! I shall not digress further! [Laughter].

… “There are two powers by which this world is chiefly ruled: the sacred authority of the Popes and the royal power. Of these the priestly power is much more important because it has to render account for the Kings of men themselves at the Divine Tribunal. For you know that although you have the highest place in dignity over the human race, yet you must submit yourself faithfully to those who have charge of divine things and look to them for the means of your salvation… For if in matters pertaining to the administration of public discipline, the bishops of the Church, knowing that the Empire has been conferred on you by divine instrumentality, are themselves obedient to your laws, lest in purely material affairs contrary opinions may seem to be voiced, with what willingness I ask you, should you obey those to whom is assigned the administration of divine mysteries?”

Read the article

Leave a comment

No comments yet.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s