From the Pastor – January 29, 2012

I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kindred, and will put my words into the mouth of the prophet; the prophet shall tell them all that I command. Whoever will not listen to my words which he speaks in my name, I myself will make him answer for it. (Dt. 18:18-19)

In the Acts of the Apostles, both St. Peter (3:22) and, St. Stephen (7:37) quote the above passage as referring to Jesus. Jesus is the prophet who came to teach us (in word and deed) how to live according to God’s plan and attain the Kingdom of Heaven. And when the time came, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit upon His Apostles to guide them and us through the Holy Catholic Church. But Jesus foretold that some would not listen to His words, and He warned us that we would be persecuted for following Him.

When we think of persecution, we usually think of the martyrs of the early centuries of Christianity. Most people don’t realize that there were more martyrs for Christianity in the 20th century than in all of the previous 19 centuries combined. And persecution still exists. And it even exists in our own country. The Church is ridiculed, mocked and ignored, especially when it speaks the truth regarding fundamental issues of life and human sexuality. Abortion – the intentional killing of innocent unborn children – is accepted as some sort of Constitutional right. State governments have passed laws redefining marriage – an institution of mutual complementary self-giving between a man and a woman ordered to the procreation of children – as also including same sex relationships, which are in and of themselves infertile. The Church has also had to close adoption facilities when they would be forced to place children into same-sex relationships.

And the stakes have gotten higher. Just last week, the current Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services in the Obama Administration issued a ruling that Catholic employers and organizations must pay for sterilization and all FDA-approved contraceptives, including drugs that can cause an early abortion. Never before in U.S. history has the federal government forced citizens to directly purchase what violates their beliefs. The Bill of Rights says we are free to live by our religious beliefs. Forcing us to buy coverage for sterilization and contraceptives, including drugs that induce abortion, is a radical incursion into freedom of conscience. This is not a matter of economics and healthcare, it is a suppression of the Church’s right to preach and live the Gospel. Archbishop Aymond – joined with all of the bishops of the United States – has asked each of us to notify our Congressional representatives and register our outrage. I have done so. Here is a way that you can do the same: . All that is necessary for evil to triumph in the world is for good people to do nothing. I hope you will join me in the battle for our beliefs.

(Rev. Msgr.) Christopher H. Nalty