Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Cardinal Levada: Catholic Politicians Should Be Catholic

Catholic News Agency has the story:
On Friday, Archbishop William Joseph Levada will be the first of 15 men from around the globe to be made Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI. Levada’s role is unique however. Earlier this year, he took over the Holy Father’s former job as Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith--a job charged with upholding the teachings of the Church.

Recently, the Cardinal-designate granted an interview to Time Magazine, in which he talked about the responsibilities of Catholic politicians and the ramifications of the Church’s recent document on homosexuals in seminaries.

During the 2004 U.S. presidential election, the issue of Catholic politicians promoting and publicly holding views contrary to the Catholic Church became a volatile one.

Asked whether “politicians should be granted communion if they support policies counter to Church teachings,” Archbishop Levada said that “There are certain teachings that as Catholics we have to accept as part of Jesus' Gospel. When you see Catholic politicians who favor abortion rights ... you have to ask yourself how this person squares this with his personal faith.”

“Catholic politicians”, he stressed, “need to take this seriously. Maybe they need to say I'm not able to practice my faith and be a public representative.”
In other words, if a politician is Catholic, he should act Catholic. The Teachings on morals are not negotiable. Catholic Social Teaching--including the prohibition on abortion--is the basis of an informed conscience on matters that affect society. It's not the first thing a politician can cast off in favor of the "primacy of conscience."

If a politician can't to this, then that politician can't practice the Faith. If that's the case, that person would be better off not holding public office, since this ruptures his integrity. Otherwise, such an office-holder becomes a practical apostate in the course of "following his conscience."

"What does it profit a man to gain the whole world but loses his soul?"

Cardinal Levada provides sound counsel. Listen to him!