The other day I had a little rant in which I urged you to be involved in local politics because, “all politics is local”. If you do nothing all the time, you won’t make any difference all the time.
I received a note from the Diocese of Portsmouth in England about an upcoming pastoral letter to be issued by their excellent bishop, Most Rev. Philip Egan.
Catholics have a critical duty to participate in politics, bishop tells faithful
For immediate release
The Bishop of Portsmouth will tell Catholics across his diocese that they have a “critical duty” to participate in politics, in a pastoral letter this weekend.
In a letter which will be read out in all churches and chapels, Bishop Philip Egan will say: “Catholics (we) have a critical duty to participate vociferously in the democratic process, contributing our distinctive, saving message.”
Bishop Egan will tell the faithful that the Church’s “best kept secret” is “the extensive body of Catholic doctrine on politics, economics, human development and social justice.”
He will say: “The principles of Church social teaching are very relevant as daily we witness the tragedy of human trafficking, the plight of migrants, financial scandals, debates about regulating the market-place and the impact of civil war and terrorism. Our faith is not ‘me and Jesus’ but ‘we and Jesus.”
Bishop Egan will tell the faithful that there are three principles Catholic should bear in mind, which include, Christian stewardship, solidarity and the common good.
He will say: “Contemporary culture is obsessed with the autonomy of the individual: even buying a drink of coffee now requires the barista to write your name on the cup, so specialised are people’s preferences. Yet in truth, we are all one family.
“The principle of solidarity or fraternity reminds us we are God’s children and thus brothers and sisters. We are bound to promote the dignity, value and equality of every person, espousing truth, freedom and justice in relationships at work and at home, at school and at leisure.”
A video of the Bishop’s Pastoral Letter will appear on the diocesan website at the weekend.
We must participate in the life of the public square and contribute what we can offer as Catholics. Powerful forces are rising against us to prevent us from doing that. Catholics (sort of) within the Church are even helping those who would eject us from the public square (e.g., CHA, Fishwrap, Notre Dame, etc.)
However, in order for us to contribute positively to the discourse of the public square, we have to know clearly what we believe (fides quae creditur) and have a solid, holy relationship with the content of our Faith (fides quae creditur – a Person!) and we must be able to communicate it clearly and with charity (cf. 1 Peter 3).
If we don’t know who we are, then we can’t show who we are. If we can’t show who we are, why should anyone bother to listen to us?
The starting point, therefore, is a renewal of our sacred liturgical worship of God. That’s where we must start and that’s where we must wind up. We cannot simply have a secular approach to action in the public square. Everything we do must flow from our Catholic identity and that must start and aim at worship, as individuals and as congregations.
We need liturgical worship for our identity, like our bodies need shelter, air and nourishment.
If we have become ineffective in the public square, we need to review how we are worshiping Almighty God.
I think we need a strong, hard identity liturgical life.
Ask yourselves: Is what are you are getting giving you that? Fathers: Is that what you are providing?