Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

I am really conscious that I am speaking about a very difficult topic. I am also aware that as a foreign person is even harder. However I am also conscious of my duty and responsibility as a priest and a witness of my mother the Roman Catholic Church[1].

Few moths ago probably you may have heard about bishops admonishing certain politicians not to receive Communion. In this instance the politicians had taken public stands promoting abortion. The bishops are not acting in a partisan manner. Still, the bishops' action surprised some people. What business, they ask, do the bishops have telling someone they should not receive Communion?[2].

Part of our problem - at least in the United States - is that we have lost the sense of coherence between Communion and the rest of ones life.

My brothers and sisters, modern science has not changed the Church’s constant teaching against abortion, but has underscored how important and logical it is, by confirming that the life of each individual of the human species begins with the earliest embryo.

Given the scientific fact that a human life begins at conception, the only moral norm needed to understand the Church’s opposition to abortion is the principle that each and every human life has inherent dignity, and thus must be treated with the respect due to a human person.
This is the foundation for the Church’s social doctrine, including its teachings on war, the use of capital punishment, euthanasia, health care, poverty and immigration.

On the contrary, to claim that some human beings do not deserve respect or should not be treated as “persons” –based on unreliable factors such as age, condition, location, or lack of mental or physical abilities- is to deny the very idea of inherent human rights.

The bishops were careful to stress that you and I should not set ourselves as judges of those who come forward for Communion.

The greatest thing you can do for another person is to be an instrument setting them on the path to salvation. That is what the bishops were doing when they admonished Catholic politicians who are promoting abortion.

We are not here to make people into Democrats or Republicans. We are here to help people become saints. But the saints will shine like unquenchable stars.

May we commit ourselves to the protection of all human life from conception to natural death that this nation may, once again, be a land known for its honor and its love of the truth, guided by the God in whom we trust ■


[1] Respect Life Sunday October 5, 2008. Twenthy-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time. Readings: Is 5: 1-7; Phil 4:6-9; Mt 21:33-43.
[2] Recently we had a duty to clarify the Catholic Church’s constant teaching against abortion, to correct misrepresentations of that teaching by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Meet the Press . On September 7, again on Meet the Press, Senator Joseph Biden made some statements about that teaching that also deserve a response.

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris