I go to daily Mass most days. Today, on Election Day, there were far more people than usual. The group praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet and the Rosary after Mass was larger as well. Churches around the country are opening their doors for people to come and pray. Many parishes are offering Eucharistic Adoration and prayer vigils for the election. For the last two weeks I have received dozens of emails recommending various novenas, Rosaries, and intercessory saints for the election. I’ve been a voter for thirty years. I have never seen such a recourse to prayer. What is different today? The stakes for people of faith are higher than they have ever been before.
I am not the only one who recognizes the difference. The bishops are worried. Over one hundred bishops have spoken out about the primacy of life issues and the moral obligation to oppose abortion. With every passing day the statements grow louder and stronger. Bishop Finn gave his sharpest statement yet when he asserted that the fate of our eternal salvation is at risk if we vote for a pro-abortion candidate.
My plea to the bishops is that they continue to speak out on November 5th, and November 6th, and every day thereafter. I am heartened by their current words, but I am frustrated by their timing. Where have they been for the last thirty years? Where were they just one year ago? If they had been quicker to take a courageous stand and publicly chastise the Kennedys, Pelosis, and Bidens who parade around as “good” Catholics but flout Church teaching they could have made a difference. As it is, it looks like the rich and powerful get a pass. It doesn’t inspire the average Catholic in the pew to take the teachings of the Church very seriously. They tried the kind gentle pastoral approach. It is time for some tough love. We need more than exhortations. It is time to tell some folks that they are no longer in communion with the Church. Excommunication is not meant to be punitive. It is meant to be a wake up call to repent and return to the fold.
I don’t know how the election will turn out. The pundits say Obama has it in the bag. Maybe so. It really doesn’t matter. Truth does not change based on who sits in the White House. Human life is sacred from conception to natural death. Period. This is God’s law. An Obama presidency will unleash the full force of the culture of death. Faithful Catholics will be called to battle these forces. There are many who call themselves Catholic yet support the proponents of abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide and other intrinsic evils. Most dangerous are the ones who hold positions of power or are priests and religious. They are in actuality enemies of the Faith. It is time our bishops clearly identified them as such.