Saturday, September 06, 2008

A Priest Talks about the Elections - Can he do that?


...and Father Frank Pavone does a fine job in this article from the Homiletic & Pastoral Review Magazine

Elections and the Parish by Fr. Frank Pavone

“We encourage all citizens, particularly Catholics, to embrace their citizenship not merely as a duty and privilege, but as an opportunity meaningfully to participate in building the culture of life. Every voice matters in the public forum. Every vote counts. Every act of responsible citizenship is an exercise of significant individual power” (United States Catholic Bishops, Living the Gospel of Life, 1998, n.34).

America and her pulpits

America’s worldview was shaped by her pastors. They preached sermons on very specific and practical aspects of life, including fires, earthquakes and solar eclipses. “Occasional” sermons were sermons preached on significant occasions, and “annual sermons” were preached each year at a given time.

The largest collections of annual sermons were the “election sermons,” which were preached every year for three centuries, starting with the first in Virginia in 1634.

The war for independence did not simply take place on battlefields. It was engaged in the pulpits, where the very hearts and souls of the people were stirred with a commitment to defend the liberty that only God can give. Indeed, the same is true of America’s efforts to rid herself of slavery and of segregation. And today, the same can be said of abortion.

Many of our citizens, and not a few of our preachers, are convinced today that “religion and politics don’t mix.” But the Church teaches otherwise, and in an election year, it’s helpful both to look again at that aspect of her teaching and to take practical steps on the parish level to help people live their faith even in the voting booth.


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