- Bishops as teachers of the faith have no special competencies in the world of business or politics -- and in those worlds we have no regulatory or legal powers. But precisely as teachers of the Catholic faith we do have competence to tell businessmen or politicians or anyone else for that matter what is required to be a Catholic. It is totally within our competence to say that one cannot be complicit in the injustice of denying the right to life of an unborn child or an invalid elder and still consider oneself a good Catholic.
To be a Catholic is to strive after holiness. This is a daunting task for us all -- impossible without the saving grace that embraces us through our turning to the Lord and walking in his company. The Lord is patient with us -- after all, we all are still just "practicing." He warns his disciples not to be too ready to pull out the tares lest we damage the wheat. For this reason, when rebukes are necessary, pastors generally strive to give them in private.
....If the whole point of being a Catholic is to grow in holiness -- admittedly by practicing a whole lot and making some errors along the way -- then it would be, as John Paul II reminds us, "a contradiction to settle for a life of mediocrity, marked by a minimalist ethic and a sentimental religiosity." You cannot have your "waffle" and your "wafer," too. Those pro-abortion politicians who insist on calling themselves Catholics without seeing the contradiction between what they say they believe and their anti-life stance have to do a lot more "practicing." They need to get it right before they approach the Eucharistic table.
Source: "Wenski: No 'wafer' if you 'waffle'"
Orlando Sentinel, May 11, 2004.
(With thanks to Open Book)
- "Politics and Communion", by Bishop Thomas Wenski. Column for the Orlando Diocese website.