….Earlier this month, I received the email below from two elected local officials in a major diocese west of the Mississippi. I share it here with their permission. I’ve eliminated any identifiers from the text; otherwise, aside from a modest edit for readability, it stands as I received it. And it invites some useful reflection:
We are writing to you as two committed Catholic officials who are sincerely seeking to maintain fidelity to the Catholic faith that defines us while serving in the midst of a culture that is becoming increasingly hostile to the very notion of carving out space for practicing Catholics to do so.
We both currently serve in full-time elected office here in [withheld]. Over the past couple of years, we have noticed the increasing and open hostility toward those of us who will not compromise our deeply held Catholic convictions in the area of Pride Month and celebration of the LGBTQ agenda, as well as our stance on the sacredness of all human life from conception to natural death. We have been increasingly pressured to advocate for and celebrate the LGBTQ Pride agenda in June for the past couple of years. Our stance in this area has consistently been that we will advocate for anyone, whether a member of the LGBTQ community or another, to have the same rights, protections, and opportunities that everyone is entitled to. Additionally, we have publicly advocated for the importance of every person’s dignity and the necessity of completely respecting everyone in our respective jurisdictions—including, certainly, those of the LGBTQ community.
What we won’t do, however, is celebrate or advocate for the lifestyle choices that this movement is pressing for so forcefully in our community and nationwide. Before the past two or three years, this seemed to be acceptable; but that is no longer the case as those in this LGBTQ community, as well as the politicians who are advocating for their agenda, now insist on us checking our faith at the door of the public square and joining in celebrations, proclamations, and other avenues of approval for Pride Month along with the agenda that it is promoting. Our refusal to do so has been met with a stiff and very hostile response from this loud minority within our jurisdictions. The situation is similar in regards to uncompromising pro-life stances, particularly in the current atmosphere post-Dobbs.
We are fine taking the political heat for these stands, though it is quite uncomfortable at times, but we had sincerely hoped for dialogue along with guidance and support from [our bishop]. We believe that things are only going to get more difficult for those of us in public office in this area of the country who are seeking to maintain our fidelity to our faith while serving in elected office. Before going further, we want to stress that we are in no way seeking to denigrate [the bishop] here in [our diocese]. We respect him as God’s ordained authority at this time in [our diocese], and we respect the office that he holds.
With that said, we made a concerted attempt to reach out to [our bishop] through a staff member whom we know with the desire to meet and gain some clarity on how practicing Catholic politicians should navigate these situations within his jurisdiction, and were hoping as well for some level of support, as one of the problems we face is that a certain Catholic hospital near us within this [diocese] flies a gay Pride flag, making it more difficult for us to reconcile our stands to a secular world that sees our own Church leadership moving in the other direction in many ways. The written response that we recently received [from our bishop] was that he refused to meet with us, citing, among other things, his desire to stay out of the political arena. We were extremely discouraged with this response, as were some laity aware of our situation and several priests, one being our parish priest. These individuals, and particularly our parish priest, have been especially strong in standing with us and standing up themselves for these issues—for which we are very grateful.
In the absence of any desire for dialogue, support, or direction on the part of our [own bishop], we were hoping to gain some insight from you. We realize that time or other circumstances may prevent this, but we thought we would at least try.
[Remaining text deleted]
Critics might argue, of course, that the situation as described in the email is misrepresented, or exaggerated, or entirely made up. Maybe so; such things are possible. But an honest reading of the text suggests something quite different: a reasonable appeal for counsel from prudent civil servants with no desire to publicly embarrass their bishop.
So what’s my point? Simply this. It’s “incoherent,” and worse, for the Church to urge her people to be leaven in society—to be real disciples and gospel witnesses; to stay faithful to her teachings in their public lives and public service, despite the cost—if her own pastors lack the courage, or the common sense, to offer them encouragement and support.
To put it another way: We have leaders like Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Biden because we deserve them.
The above comes from a July 22 posting by Archbishop Charles Chaput in First Things.
Candidly, I would not expect any help from my local Bishop. They folded like cheap suits during the covid panic. This was and is completely foreseeable. Church history shows us the weakness of the prelates. I’ll spare you the quotes but St John Fisher could probably explain it all to you.
No one (on this earth) is coming to save you. Cops, Church prelates, local and fed gov. You are NOT on your own. Find like minded local Catholics or even your next door neighbor. Start talking and reaching out. I know there are SSPX haters but I’ve found them to be orthodox, open and supportive.
Sorry, but the beloved SSPX is not “orthodox.” They have thumbed their nose at the Church. Go to them, and you go to their illicit sacraments (save for Confession, thanks to Pope Francis).
The bishops acted responsibly during the covid panic. They did what Trump asked them to do. He was the President and they obeyed lawful authority as is a tenet of the Catholic Faith.
I don’t expect you to agree. Because if you know the Catholic Faith so poorly and you think the SSPX are orthodox…what can anybody say?
Chaput has no role in the church anymore. He’s retired.
He is still a bishop. That doesn’t go away upon retirement. The prophets often didn’t have official roles in Israel. Saints Catherine of Siena and Francis of Assisi were lay members of the Church who helped reform her and change the course of history. John the Baptist, no role for him either. Speaking the truth is more important than an office. Think of Saint Teresa of Calcutta. Anonymous, if you’re a Catholic, you too have a role in the Church, especially if you’re Confirmed, as do I. Archbishop Chaput is one of the clearest, most insightful thinkers in the Church today.
And what relevance has this to the issue at hand? None, of course.
He probably has a bigger role to play in offering pastoral guidance to these individuals than the active bishop that refuses to meet with them…
It really doesn’t matter if you are an elected official or just a citizen, if someone wants to dog you, they will dog you.
Pride flags mean nothing. They used to mean something but they don’t anymore. They are changing them every year to be more inclusive.
I would suggest that you only fly the American flag and the state flag. None of the current statement flags.
Just do your job. Whatever job you have.
Let your bishop do his job which most Catholics would agree is not to get involved in politics.
You only need support from God.
“Let your bishop do his job which most Catholics would agree is not to get involved in politics. You only need support from God.” I’m sorry, Anonymous, but the bishop is the chief shepherd in the diocese, and it is his job to lead the sheep. These sheep are not asking the bishop to get involved in politics but are asking him how they, as faithful Catholics, should deal with the malignant LGBTQ+ cancer as it affects them in their political lives. Giving advice on how to live faithfully amidst a crooked and perverse generation should be a high priority for the bishop. Everyone should read Paul’s advice to Timothy in I and II Timothy on this very point. So if this bishop refuses his task, he shows himself unworthy of the office, and should step down. The Church is irreparably harmed by rot in the episcopacy.
Dan, do you understand that priests are the representatives of the bishop in a diocese?
“Dan, do you understand that priests are the representatives of the bishop in a diocese?” Yes, and ….. I suppose the unstated proposition is that bishops should not sully their hands with requests for aid by individual Catholics, that this is the job of their priests. If this is your thought, and also that of the hierarchy, it comes as no surprise to me that some bishops appear to remain detached from the real challenges of faithful Catholics, safely ensconced in their ecclesiastical fortress.
Fly the pirate flag instead. It will keep them guessing.
This is so sad. It is much worse, in the post-Comciliar era of today, fighting sin and corruption, due to the violent, hardened, morally bankrupt 1960s Culture of Death. Many Church leaders today, do not truly want to lead– they want an easy, undedicated, unmanly life, unworthy of Christ. No courageous struggles and brave battles against sin, mo authentic spiritual leadership. Just a false, babyish promotion of “freedom to make your own decisions,” and a shocking, fake “tolerance” of “decisions” for horrific sins! Abp. Chaput’s final sentence is only half-true: “We have leaders like Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Biden because we deserve them.” It is true that a country full of sinful, radical liberal misfits, have elected corrupt political leaders, like Pelosi and Biden. But we also have leaders like that, because our Church no longer is a staunch moral authority for the sinful world, making people listen, fighting vigorously against sin, keeping the wolves of Satan away from our doors. The worldly “Smoke of Satan” has blinded, corrupted and handcuffed many Church leaders of today. Without strong moral and religious leadership from good, dedicated clergy, a country will rot in its sins– and eventually fall to pieces.
John 1:3-5 What came to be
through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.
It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.
Yes, as true Christians, we all must try to shine the holy Light of Christ, lifelong. Our great, big Church clerical leaders have the responsibility to lead the way.
A priest in the Catholic grade school in my area has been presenting LGBTQ material to 5th through 8th graders. Enraged parents have contacted the Diocesan Office for Schools, to no avail. Many parents have even created discussions about this on my “NextDoor” neighborhood site and it is cringeworthy to find out what has been going on. My children graduated from this school many years ago and I now want to withhold my financial support from the parish in protest. The bishop is very LGBTQ-friendly, so there’s that. I sometimes wonder if there is any hope for our innocent youth when even a priest entrusted with their souls could betray them.
Wait? A priest? What?
Could you tell us more about what is being presented?
The priest is invited by the principal to visit the classrooms once a week. I was informed about this locally through my “NextDoor” neighborhood site. Parents from the school have been complaining about the priest and the school principal for their complicit endorsement of LGBTQ materials. The priest gives talks about acceptance and inclusion, which is all fine, except the subject is gender fluidity, and so on. There is obviously tacit approval by my diocese for these materials and these subjects to be presented. I am heartsick for those good parents who see this ideologic indoctrination and can do absolutely nothing about it. We are in the throes of an insidious moral revolution within our own Church.
Thank you for your answer.
Of course they can do something about it.
Teach your children well.
Find the quotes from the Pope about it.
Instruct the children, the teachers, the principle and the diocesan school authorities.
Inform the bishop.
Do not protest. do not complain. Approach this as instructing the ignorant.
Do not be emotional. Do not accuse anyone of doing something they have not done.
Take the “There seems to be some confusion…” approach.
Your goal is to make sure that all those involved in educating youth have read the Vatican paper on it and know the Church’s stand.
Do they have a gender fluid student at the school?
“Do not protest. (?) Do not complain. (?)” WRONG! Catholic parents of today, had better get angry, and courageously protest, and do all they can, to drive the demons out of their temple! Just as Jesus, filled with righteous anger, took a whip and drove the blasphemous money-changers out of God’s holy Temple!– like a courageous Man of God must do! This is these parents’ Christian battle, and they are called by God to do it! Look how Pope St. John Paul II brought down an entire evil Communist regime, and freed his country, Poland– like a Biblical epic! Some of his fellow priests would not stand up and fight the Communists– they were unworthy cowards, cheaters, liars, and betrayers– just like Judas Iscariot!
Every school in the world, has students with medical problems, including psychiatric problems. That is the category of a transgender student. These students can be placed in special education programs, if necessary, or referred for medical or psychiatric treatment. But these students must not be allowed to disrupt a classroom. It is not the job of a teacher, to address unusual medical and psychiatric needs of students. Her students must be ready for classroom learning.
Many today, in America, do not understand the Christian’s ancient battle against sin, and struggle for virtue and righteousness. For example, when Billy Graham was young, he refused to give a Crusade in a segregated venue. And Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., knew he might lose his life, crusading for justice for his people– but he did his work for Christ, anyway. When the Legion of Mary first started in Ireland, they crusaded against prostitution — and won. Pope St. John Paul II battled Communism– and the Soviet Union finally fell, in 1991. The Cure D’Ars, St. John Vianney, crusaded against sin, as a village priest– and won many conversions, and returning Catholics, for the Church. Much work is always waiting, for Catholics and other dedicated Christians, in battles against sin in the world.
Keep holy the Lord’s Day. Do not work. Do not shop. Do not go out to eat.
Be radical for Christ.
If the authors of this letter to Archbishop Chaput live in [Arch]Dioceses governed by Cardinal Cupich, Cardinal Tobin, Cardinal-elect McElroy, Archbishop Rozanski, Bishop Stowe, O.F.M.cap., Bishop Emeritus Hubbard–or any hierarch in thrall to James Martin, S.J., Daniel Horan, O.F.M.——-STOP TRYING!!!!
IT’S FUTILE. They’ll never meet or respond to you, much less lend you any support. They’re queer-affirming to the core. When operating within their ambit, remember the words Dante used in La Divina Commedia to designate the entrance to hell: LASCIATE SPERANZA OGNI CH’ENTRATE QUI! [Abandon hope all who enter here!].
Dear Bleeding Hearts: You must have missed the feast of the ultimate bleeding heart, the Feast of the Sacred Heart was almost exactly a month ago.
I’ve concluded the church is thoroughly corrupt.
The Church is not corrupt. There is, however, corruption in the Church. Not the same thing. We’ve seen that to varying degrees throughout our long history. I’d say we’re at about the 500-year flood level of corruption though. Pope Benedict is probably correct that in the near future the Church will be much smaller, but more faithful.
If politicians, who might lose their offices, are willing to be courageous and risk their offices for speaking and acting upon the truth, why aren’t bishops willing to do so? They won’t lose their offices. (But, they may never be made a Cardinal either.)
They have a supernatural grace, not to mention job security for life.
Pray for clarity and courage for our bishops. Many seem more influenced by fear than faith.
We’re all too rich. And if we’re not, getting there is all we think about. We’ve accomplished it through abortion and contraception. Even clergy has benefited because there is more money for wealthy benefactors to give to parishes and dioceses. Our standard of living is inversely proportionate to the quality of our interior life…the camel and the eye of a needle and all and the Catholic notion of detachment as a principle have been reduced to quaint anachronisms really except for the most spiritually advanced. Don’t know if global financial collapse will come in my lifetime, and I wouldn’t for anything look forward to it, but with it will come a spiritual correction.
I’m beginning to think that God’s plan is for all the vaccinated and boosted Francisbishops to suddenly drop dead, as we’re seeing happening more and more with vaccinated people, so that the only bishops left will be the anti-vaxxers, who are the conservatives, and then the church will be rebuilt upon a foundation of fidelity to the truth of doctrine and morals. Maybe God will write straight with COVID lines. Tee hee.
West of the Mississippi rules out Cupich, Tobin, Stowe. It is not a Bishop Emeritus.
Rozanski is the best bet of all those you have listed because he is in a state where officials who would not want to join PRIDE events are elected
That was my first guess, too. Not because of anything he has done or said, but because St. Louis is an area where there are passionate Catholics and wealthy Catholics who feel strongly about their political stances and the bishop cant win there. The St. Louis newspaper does not let anything go. They made such a big deal out of Cardinal Burke speaking up against Sheryl Crow performing a fundraiser for a Catholic hospital.
I don’t know that it is him but knowing the area, I thought it fit.
They got Rosita’d by their bishop.
As a former public official it was my privilege to serve the community and the greater good. Most of my time in office was difficult- I had to deal with critics from all sides. That’s just part of the job these days. There was very little appreciation until the end of my service. It is important to remember that as elected officials we represent everyone in our district- conservatives and liberals, lgbtqs and straights, Catholics and Protestants, Jews and Sikhs, and yes, even atheists. The fact that I am a Catholic does not mean, as an elected official, I get to impose my faith and morals on everyone else – Democracy just doesn’t work that way. Public office is not a pulpit for overt evangelization. If these guys cannot stand the heat, they should get out of the kitchen.
Typical response from a member of corrupt political class, you can’t impose Catholic dogma must you must uphold the moral order… When I read idiotic comments like yours, I pray that all politicians are dragged from their offices and jailed.
You just like to take cheap shots at people who have had the courage to put themselves on the line to serve. Man up and run for elective office and see what you can do to make life better for the people around you. Talk and critiques are cheap, action is the true test.
Unlike you I would never associate myself with corrupt political class who serve only themselves under guise of service to others. The most pathetic thing about your kind is that you actually think made life better for others when all you did is syphon their tax dollars for you and your supporters. I will continue take “cheap shots” at the political class which is blight on the country.
You are showing your true colors as it is evident you really do not believe in democracy! Cowardice is shamefully.
You are right I dont believe in democracy we are or at least we are supposed to be a constitutional republic, but I wouldn’t expect a member of the political class to figure that out. To be honest I wish were a Catholic Confessional state ruled by the natural moral law. The political class is the definition of cowardice
I’m confused “reply to YFC”! First we are told that America is founded upon Judeo-Christian civilization. The reality is that it is based on Native American land, and Native Americans pre-date both Judaism and Christianity, and there are members of Native American nations who have attained elected office and take the same pledge as everyone else. Are you saying that in order to protect our nation and its people, one has to give up Native American morality?
Reply to YFC– Do you want to live in a very primitive Native American culture, with no modern conveniences, and perhaps a strange religion that has daily Aztec-style, gory human sacrifices? Want to starve during bad winters, when primitive Native American hunters-gatherers cannot obtain enough food– and always be at the mercy of Nature, living in a flimsy home? Want to live in fear of possible raids and wars started by neighboring primitive tribes– and risk death, loss of loved ones, and loss of all you have? Western Civilization is far more advanced, and much better! Everyone wants it!
YFC is losing it. America is not based on land. It’s based on principles. Those principles are founded on Judeo Christian morality and culture. Native Americans had centuries to build a thriving culture but they didn’t. They remained hunter-gatherers with no advances in technology or knowledge. Europeans exceeded every other civilization and then expanded. Thank God that America is based on European, Judeo Christian Ideals and not Native American paganism and backwardness.
All countries have laws based on moral codes, that is the basis of civiIization. In America, all public officials are sworn into office when placing their hand on the Bible. Public officials must uphold the law and Judeo-Christian morality– not cater to special interest groups.
Reply to Reply to Barney: You don’t seem to get his point: Those who promote “Judeo-Christian morality”, which is not even some monolithic thing that all Jews and Christians agree upon, IS a special interest group.Governments are not to be organized to be moral guardians in the personal sphere. That’s how we start burning witches at the stake. Governments are organized to govern our interactions with one another. To make a fair playing field, to promote the common welfare, to do things that individuals cannot do for themselves but can only be done as a gathered whole.
Judeo-Christian morality is not a special interest group. It is the moral framework that provides the foundation for Western Civilization.
Do you know how Jews have been treated in Western Civilization?
Yes! And we have been greatly blessed with a wonderful democratic nation, by God! No human being is perfect. But we have a great gift of God, to start off with– for which thousands have given their lives! Those in other natiobs who have suffered greatly, are eager to give up everything, for a chance to come to America! We must not allow America to be destroyed by the Godless, immoral, Satanic Death Culture! The Bible is correct. You either live by Biblical teachings — or else, you risk being destroyed in the end, by the jaws of Satan and Death. Biblical teachings are really for everyone. Sin results in terrible consequences.
Are you defining and confining Western Civilization to the United States of America?
Reply to: Are you? Of course not.
YFC, you fail to get the point, that America is founded upon Judeo-Christian civilization. Our lawmakers are called to guard and protect our country, and its good citizens. The 10 Commandments are an integral part of our culture. Morality is not a subjective matter, based on “how you feel,” good or bad. Morality is objective, factual and truthful. For example– just because Jack Ruby “felt” he must avenge the assassination of President Kennedy, in 1963– does not mean that it is was right for him to kill Lee Harvey Oswald. Just because a man “feels” love and attraction to another man, does not mean it is right to “marry” the man, and commit gay sex perversion sins– like Pete Buttigieg.
YFC thinks the country is founded on sodomy
Again– “how you feel” has nothing at all to do with morality. Sinners usually enjoy their sins
— and don’t want to stop. I am sure that Theodore McCarrick enjoyed all his filthy sins, molesting young men. Bank robbers, embezzlers, and shoplifters, enjoy all the money and goods that they wrongfully steal. Adulterers — such as Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles– enjoyed their adulterous, sinful affair– and ended up in a scandalous marriage, after divorcing their spouses. Kids that take dope, sleep out-of-wedlock, and view filthy pornography, enjoy their scandalous sexual sins, and wrongfully harm their minds and bodies with dangerous drugs, for immature thrill-seeking. Sinners really need to be firmly told, “No!” They need to give up their sins, grow up, change their lives, and live responsibly, maturely, and virtuously– whether it “feels good” or not.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
US Constituion Article 6
It is not required that you swear in on a Bible. I always thought it was weird since the Bible says not to swear. Mt. 5:33-37
Barney, you don’t get it, do you? You don’t have to place your hand on a Bible when you get sworn in. Too many questions – which Bible? If you are not Christian, do you still swear on a Bible? What if you are an atheist? Do you swear on a Bible? There is nothing in our founding documents that say this is a Christian or Jewish country. Our founding documents refer to natures-god. That is deism. If a member of the Islamic religion is elected, which Bible would she use?
Know your history: When taking the oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, elected officials place their hand on a Bible, Koran, Upanishads or whatever religious scriptures they select. The administration of the oath does not require the use of the Bible. Some members of Congress who are Muslims have taken the Oath while placing their hand on the Koran. I agree with your basic thesis.
Barney, good job. Office holders take an oath to uphold and protect the constitution, and only the constitution – no religion, no sect, nothing else – against all enemies foreign and domestic.
Have these public officials object to the posting of the Confederate flag or the KKK flag on public grounds? If not, they can check their concerns about the Pride flag at the council chambers door.
There are places west of the Mississippi that flew a Confederate flag?
Ah. How about Texas?
Only geldings need their bishop to steady them in a fight for freedom. Then they consult one more.
I thought it was odd and I thought it was odd that Chaput published the letter.
I also thought it was odd to say that the Church urges her members to be leaven in society. I think he wrote a book about politics once.
A lot of Catholics would say to attend Pride events to build bridges, not walls.
How that ended up with Pelosi and Biden…what?
We have Pelosi and Biden because people (not me) voted for them. I think I deserve better choices.
There was a time when Catholics got elected to office by promising that they would not use their religion to guide them.
The title of this article is misleading. Initially I thought it was about officials in the Church. In the USA there are no Catholic elected officials; however, there are elected officials who happen to be Catholics. In other words, on my local city council there is not a seat for a Protestant, a Catholic, an atheist, etc. The people elected to the office are supposed to represent everyone in their district.
Everyone knows what was meant. Don’t strain the gnat.
Our America is built upon the foundation of our Judeo-Christian civilization. We inherited our legal system from Great Britain, which is based upon both Roman and Judeo-Christian influences. You cannot base a nation and its way of life– upon nothing! Before the 20th century, the Bible was the “number one” book in publication, and everyone respected the Bible. The Jewish Torah is the Old Testament of the Bible. Our Nation is certainly not founded upon secular “pop Culture of Death” concepts, nor a bunch of useless, old “hand-me-downs” from parents. Far from it! Before today’s “Culture of Death” era, nearly everyone believed in God and went to a church/synagogue, regularly. Since we have separation of church and state, our government does not support any church or religion. But our officials are sworn into office, using the Bible. And up until two SCOTUS rulings in 1962 and 1963– Bible reading and prayer was allowed, in our public schools.
It makes me sick, especially in our Church, to hear smart-alecky young people say, that “the Catholic Church is nothing but a bunch of old, useless hand-me-downs from their parents”– and is “irrelevant” and “unwanted.” Very ignorant!
What if it is?