As you can tell if you have read my words in the three Pastor’s Corners I have written, I do not like to simply tell you what is going on at St. Joseph Church. If you want to find out what is going on, you can check out our website (www.stjosephlosbanos.com) or our Facebook page. I like to use my column to share with you aspects about Catholic life in general and, sometimes, more specific Catholic subjects. I hope you find my column enjoyable and/or educational, even if you might not be as interested in the subject matter as I always seem to be.
In my 37 years as a Catholic priest, I have always tried to steer away from the political/politics. I have never preached, or personally told, for whom to vote. I have never invited a politician to speak in a church. Even though my bachelor’s degree is in political science, I am more concerned about salvation than political platforms. Like St. Paul, “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified……..so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom, but on the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:2, 5).
While I am not concerned with Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Greens, Libertarians, none of the above, etc., I am very concerned about love, mercy, justice and peace. I am very concerned about the rights of every person. While I would never talk about for whom you should vote, I will engage you in the issues of the day. One of these issues is the right to life for every human being. On the ballot this November, Californians will be faced with Proposition 1. If passed, it will enshrine in the Constitution of the State of California an unlimited expansion of abortion, including late-term abortions, at taxpayers expense.
One might think I am “conservative” for bringing up this subject. I try not to belong to the political, or religious, factions tearing this nation apart. I will close with two quotations, one from Pope St. John Paul II, who was/is oftentimes seen as “conservative” and Pope Francis, who often has to fight the “liberal” label. First, Pope St. John Paul II: “The inviolability of the person which is a reflection of the absolute inviolability of God, finds its primary and fundamental expression in the inviolability of human life. Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights — for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture — is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination” (On the Vocation and Mission of the Lay Faithful [Christfideles Laici], no. 38). And now, from Pope Francis: “All life has inestimable value even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect” (Message to Catholics taking part in the annual Day for Life in Britain and Ireland, July 28, 2013).
So there we have it. A “conservative” voice and a “liberal” one. I will never preach, nor tell you for whom to vote, but I will humbly ask you to vote “NO” on Proposition 1. Peace!