Were there to be no support in the whole history of ethical and moral thought, were there no acknowledged confirmation from medical science, were the history of legal opinion to the contrary, we would still have to conclude on the basis of God's Holy Word that the unborn child is a person in the sight of God. He is protected by the sanctity of life graciously given to each individual by the Creator, Who alone places His image upon man and grants them any right to life which they have.
Brothers and sisters, I ask you to pray for the Philippines today and over the weekend. The situation is urgent and it appears that earthly means for a just outcome in their elections are exhausted.
As folks here in the United States can understand, their choices for president in the Philippines do not include the perfect candidate. But the most likely options are especially troubling, including as they do two openly anti-Catholic candidates and one who openly advances radical LGBT positions.
This in a country that remains nearly 80% Catholic, but also has earned a reputation as having one of the more corrupt governments in the world. Hence, so much of the creative energy of the Filipino people is held in check by those in power -- those who should defend the basic rights of private property, integrity of law, and basic protections against injustice are instead the beneficiaries of a corrupt system that enables elections like the one facing the Filipino faithful this coming Monday.
The current president has been a disaster for the nation, though he is often painted as a reformer for his dealings with President Obama and other Western power brokers. The RH law passed in December 2012 was a culmination of decades of what Pope Francis calls "ideological colonization," the leading edge of which is always population control. This long-fought effort of Western elites had trouble taking root in the Philippines due to the nation's strong faith, and the open leadership of Catholic bishops who were unafraid to stand in opposition to the ideological attack from the West.
Though there remain some very strong bishops in the Philippines, it appears that the Church has mostly stepped down from its leadership role in opposing evils in the public square. This is a very sad turn of events, as we know in the West what follows: the Church's moral authority will diminish further due to the lack of unanimity and clarity. Mass attendance will drop as young people get the notion that the Catholic Church is just a denomination of Christianity. Birth rates will continue to decline as Catholic couples get the idea that the Church's teaching on openness to life is only an ideal for certain people. Marriage will become just another option for young couples, and sacramental participation will suffer.
It's not that bishops and priests are supposed to be political leaders. They're not. But they are moral leaders, given through their vocation the charism of speaking the truth with love to those on the margins and those in power, in season and out of season. And political season, when the structures of society are threatening attacks on life and family, is no time for silence.
There are still faithful bishops and priests, and many lay people who are creatively working to wake people up. HLI's affiliate is one of many such groups that, while not promoting a party or candidate, will do everything in its power to make sure people are aware of the moral stakes in the election. And on the local level faithful politicians like Mayor Sally Lee of Sorsogon City have raised the ire of the population control elites by declaring hers a "Pro-Life City." There is courage to be found among the faithful.
The election is this Monday, May 9. Please pray every day that Our Risen Lord will intervene and bless the efforts of the faithful Filipinos who are fighting for their families and for their nation. Please forward this to priests and religious you know, asking for Masses to be offered for the Philippines. Remember them today on this Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord. Say the Holy Rosary, fast and pray. Offer your First Friday devotion tomorrow if you can. Let's storm heaven!
As I travel around the world, I'm always amazed at how many Filipinos I meet. They are so often active in parishes, living the social and moral doctrine of the Church by serving in hospitals, care centers and various places of hospitality and medicine. Not to mention all of the Filipino priests and religious in the United States and around the world! The deep faith of this Catholic country has blessed the world in many ways. Please join them in prayer that Our Lord's mercy and justice will prevail here, and that Filipino families will be protected from unjust political leaders and laws.
Thank you for joining me in this prayer. As this goes out I will have just arrived in Rome and will myself offer Mass for this intention. I invite priests around the world to join me in this spiritual battle, a battle in which I'm grateful to serve next to you all.
In the Christian classic, The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis pens one of the great lines regarding the battle of Truth and relativism, "There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done' (The Great Divorce, Ch. 9). This passage shows the essence of relativism, that is the denial of objective truth and the replacement of it with one's own idea of truth and good. As a result, objective truth is denied and injustice reigns supreme. That is why relativism is especially problematic when those who have authority adhere to it. - continue -
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