Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Can't we just get the truth?

Yesterday’s Gospel (Jn 15:26-16:4a) is a timely passage:

“Jesus said to his disciples:
"When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father,
he will testify to me.
And you also testify,
because you have been with me from the beginning.

"I have told you this so that you may not fall away.

They will expel you from the synagogues;
in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you
will think he is offering worship to God.
They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me.

I have told you this so that when their hour comes
you may remember that I told you."

There were a lot of words spoken on Sunday at Notre Dame’s graduation ceremony and the analysis that followed. I watched much of it, but could only take so many “words” (plus, there were sports on TV). To many of us, it was just words. Let’s not forget an important axiom: “Actions speak louder than words”. Our President spoke of reducing the number of abortions, and yet he has worked since the first week of his presidency to increase the number of abortions.

In the Gospel passage above, Jesus is telling his disciples that they will be persecuted for speaking the truth. They will be expelled by people who think they are doing the right thing – “offering worship to God”. I have no doubt that most of the Catholics who cheered and stood for Obama on Sunday (they even cheered his position on embryonic stem-cell research) think they are doing the right thing. They think they are offering worship to God in dismissing the truth about human life. Jesus makes it clear that they don’t know Truth: “they have not known either the Father or me”.

Ultimately, the blame for why “Notre Dame Catholics” are ignorant of Truth falls on those who are the primary teachers of Truth in the Church – bishops, priests, and parents. On one of the news networks yesterday, a priest erroneously presented the teachings of the Church – he suggested that the issue of war had the same moral weight as the issue of abortion. A non-Catholic corrected him! I imagine that many, many Catholics walked away from Sunday’s coverage confused about what the Church’s true position is on all this stuff. Can’t we just get the truth?

The truth is that abortion is evil. Direct abortion is wrong every time. President Obama knows that abortion is evil and concedes this whenever he says that we need to reduce the number of abortions. If he thought there was nothing wrong with abortion, then why would he say that it needs to be reduced?

The truth is that over 3,000 babies are aborted in the United States each day and well over 1,000,000 each year die to abortion. President Obama has aligned himself with the largest provider of abortions in the United States, Planned Parenthood. Is he aware that the vision of the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was to use abortion to eliminate minorities? Almost 70% of abortion centers in the U.S. are in minority neighborhoods. The abortion movement in our country is more about power, money (it is a billion dollar industry), and discrimination than it is about a woman’s right to choose. Abortion is a holocaust and the greatest civil rights issue of our time. Has the truth about abortion reached the ears of Notre Dame Catholics?

Historically, God’s people have not consistently taught their children Truth – Truth about God, life, morals, etc. In the Old Testament, some generations of Israelites were ignorant about faith and morals because their leaders and parents didn’t teach them. We are seeing that today in our Church, especially in the United States. Many, many Catholics are ignorant about the sacraments, moral issues, Church history, the Church, and the Bible. We who are open to the Spirit of truth need to teach Truth more effectively and more boldly. Sunday’s expulsion of Truth at Notre Dame was an historic indication of that.

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