The following comes from a sermon delivered on September 2 by Deacon Jim Vargas at Mary Star of the Sea parish in La Jolla.
We are living in troubled times. We are living in a society that sanctions the taking of innocent life of the most defenseless from the womb of the mother.
We are living in a society that wants to move ever closer to violating the sanctity of Marriage and so negatively impact the family and our precious children.
We are living in a society that is attempting to strip us of our first and most cherished freedom – the right to religious liberty – and in so doing trying to force us to violate our conscience. We must resist this culture that can only lead us to spiritual death.
The beauty of this great country of ours, of this democracy, is that we have the ability and the right to work for change. In a couple of months, we will have an opportunity to vote to build a culture of life. As Catholics, we have an obligation not only to vote, but also to vote for those candidates who are committed to safeguarding life in the womb. This is indisputable. To vote otherwise is to cooperate in an intrinsic evil.
The following comes from a September 23 sermon by Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois
Much attention was given at the Democratic National Convention held recently in Charlotte, N.C., to the fact that all references to God had been purged from the draft version of the party platform. After outcries of protest from outside as well as within the Democratic Party, the sentence with the same reference to God used in 2008 was restored to read, “We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.”
Before anyone relaxes and concludes that all is well now that the Democratic Party Platform contains a single passing reference to God, the way that this was done should give us pause. Convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa had to call for the voice vote three times because each time the sound level for the “ayes” and the “nays” sounded about even, far short of the two-thirds necessary according to convention rules to amend the platform. That did not stop the convention chairman from declaring, “The ayes have it!”
What is troubling about that is the blatant disregard for the rules and for the apparent wishes of about half the delegates. The reference to God is back in the platform apparently because President Obama wanted it back in. That may be fine for now, but if a future president wants references to God taken out, apparently that can be done regardless of the wishes of the delegates if that is what The Leader wants. That does not bode well for democracy in the Democratic Party.
Even more troubling is that this whole discussion about God in the platform is a distraction from more disturbing matters that have been included in the platform. In 1992 Presidential candidate Bill Clinton famously said that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.” That was the party’s official position until 2008. Apparently “rare” is so last century that it had to be dropped, because now the Democratic Party Platform says that abortion should be “safe and legal.” Moreover the Democratic Party Platform supports the right to abortion “regardless of the ability to pay.” Well, there are only three ways for that to happen: either taxpayers will be required to fund abortion, or insurance companies will be required to pay for them (as they are now required to pay for contraception), or hospitals will be forced to perform them for free.
Moreover, the Democratic Party Platform also supports same-sex marriage, recognizes that “gay rights are human rights,” and calls for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law signed by President Clinton in 1996 that defined marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman.
Now, why am I mentioning these matters in the Democratic Party Platform? There are many positive and beneficial planks in the Democratic Party Platform, but I am pointing out those that explicitly endorse intrinsic evils. My job is not to tell you for whom you should vote. But I do have a duty to speak out on moral issues. I would be abdicating this duty if I remained silent out of fear of sounding “political” and didn’t say anything about the morality of these issues….
To read entire Paprocki sermon, click here.