Quick tales of two princes of the Church.. First off, my Cardinal. Thomas Cardinal Collins has issued a letter to leader of the Liberal Party Justin Trudeau.in response to Trudeau's declaration that all new liberal candidates must be pro-choice, with no exception or wiggle room. Here's the text of the letter.
Mr. Justin Trudeau, MP Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada House of Commons, Ottawa
May 14, 2014
Dear Mr. Trudeau,
am deeply concerned about your decision that citizens who, in
conscience, seek to assure the protection of the most vulnerable among
us are not acceptable as candidates in your party.
last week Pope Francis sent a message of support for thousands of your
fellow citizens who gathered on Parliament Hill to peacefully affirm the
right to life, and the need to protect the vulnerable. He assured them
of his spiritual closeness “as they give witness to the God-given
dignity, beauty and value of human life.” It is worth noting that if
Pope Francis, as a young man, instead of seeking to serve in the
priesthood in Argentina, had moved to Canada and sought to serve in the
noble vocation of politics, he would have been ineligible to be a
candidate for your party, if your policy were in effect.
the two million Catholics of my archdiocese, there are members of all
political parties, including your own. I encourage all of them, of
whatever party, to serve the community not only by voting but by active
engagement in political life as candidates. It is not right that they be
excluded by any party for being faithful to their conscience.
leaders surely have the right to insist on party unity and discipline
in political matters which are within the legitimate scope of their
authority. But that political authority is not limitless: it does not
extend to matters of conscience and religious faith. It does not govern
all aspects of life.
patron saint of politicians is St. Thomas More. He came into conflict
with the political authority of his day on a matter of conscience. The
king claimed control over his conscience, but Thomas was “the king’s
good servant, but God’s first.” Political leaders in our day should not
exclude such people of integrity, no matter how challenging they find
First off, before anyone says anything, I imagine Cardinal Collins has not invoked Excommunication or denial of Communion as per Canon Law because he is not Trudeau's bishop. He is warning Trudeau but also explaining the Church's position to his own flock, lest they be fooled by a man who claims to be Catholic but who fails to follow many of the Church's key teachings. Do I think that Trudeau will change his mind? No. But it is important for Catholic teaching to be clear and that those holding these positions, especially if they are Catholic, are to be challenged. If they do not benefit, at least the stance of the Church has been made clear. As St. Mother Theresa said, we are not called to be successful, we are called to be faithful. Thank you, Cardinal Collins.
Secondly, an odd interview by Italian Bishop Galatino has been making the rounds on the blogs here and here and here with responses and commentary. Go to these places and read their quotations and comments. I was going to join in with some complaints and potshots of my own, but every time I start doing that I remember the words of my mother. Any time she hears me start complaining about this priest or that bishop, she quietly reminds me that, while she may agree with what I am saying, priests are consecrated to God and that instead of condemning or complaining or gossipping about them, we would do more good if we were to pray for them, even i it is only a single Hail Mary. She's right, of course. It's more fun to complain about these guys, but we don't do any good by complaining.
So, pray for these two and all of God's people, even Trudeau, either in gratitude that there are those who still stick to the Faith, or in the hope that those who have strayed shall return.