Dazed and confused: Catholics under attack

Chuck Weber is the executive director of the Kansas Catholic Conference.

by Chuck Weber

Today’s world-view of politics, policies and culture is enough to leave Catholics in the pew dazed and confused.

God-gifted truths about the human person and what’s best for society are suddenly being questioned and replaced with absurd declarations.

Consider the assault against Catholic teaching about the very nature and sanctity of marriage, uttered by a Kansas state senator:  

“It’s sick discrimination.”

This bizarre attack came during debate of the Adoption Protection Act. As the top Catholic legislative priority for the 2018 legislative session, the APA was subjected to a vicious onslaught.  

The APA sought to safeguard faith-based adoption agencies like Catholic Charities, allowing them to practice their “deeply held religious beliefs.” These agencies sought the right to do what they’d always done: place orphans for adoption in homes with a married husband and wife.  

The legislation affirmed three core beliefs of the Catholic Church: the sanctity of human life, the nature of marriage and the fundamental right of religious liberty.

What should have been a foregone conclusion turned into a protracted, hostile battle. The APA eventually passed with the bare minimum of votes and was signed into law.

The wider war on Catholic thought continues. The perfect storm is upon us. The clergy sex abuse scandal — a despicable disgrace — signals to some of our opponents that it’s “open season” on Catholicism itself.

My heart echoes the shame expressed by Kansas’ bishops. I share their horror at the atrocities perpetrated against abuse victims, the vast majority of which occurred prior to 2002. Concrete steps seeking forgiveness and providing reparation will continue. Practices ensuring a safer environment for our children are working, but our vigilance must be constantly renewed.

What does all this mean for the Kansas Catholic in the pew?

With the 2018 election cycle upon us, we should be ever mindful that faithful Catholic citizenship and political decisions, like each of our daily decisions, should be driven by a strong prayer life and Catholic teaching.

Not all issues carry the same weight. The defense of life from conception to natural death is our first foundational social value from which all others flow.

Protecting marriage between one man and one woman and religious liberty are also Catholic priorities.

If we prioritize these issues, hearts and minds will follow in advocacy for other areas, including educational opportunity for marginalized families, justice for the immigrant, quality health care for the disenfranchised and more.

Resist the temptation of despair, or worse, indifference. Be respectful and persistent in asking questions when engaging in the political process.

Most importantly, place yourself in quiet prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and seek his will, his mind.

God is with us.

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