The Citizen has been engaged in a forum discussion that has turned to the debate on ‘rightwing’ Catholics and ‘leftwing’ Catholics. There should be no such thing. There are only orthodox Catholics and heterodox Catholics. Any Catholic espousing positions or supporting politicians who embrace policies contrary to the Magisterium, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the traditions of our Faith are heterodox. Unfortunately for some, the Democratic party strongly supports several issues that place them outside of Catholic teachings. Embryonic stem cell research, abortion, gay marriage – all of these platforms directly contravene Catholic principles.
The Citizen has written any number of essays on intrinsic evils, the discipline of being Catholic, and the need to be compassionate and loving but draw the line on tolerating or supporting behavior that is contrary to the Magisterium. I have hyper-linked to some of these essays if you are interested. Some things simply cannot be supported, even if the party or person in question support any number of worthy causes. With the current Democratic party, those issues – abortion, gay marriage, and stem cell research – are non-negotiable.
But isn’t there ‘room’ in Catholicism for all types? Sorry, no. Christ Himself illustrated that this would be a problem in Matthew. In the Parable of wheat and weeds (Matthew 13:24-30), Christ tells a story that reminds the Citizen of the predictment the greater Catholic community in the United States faces.
The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.
The parable tells that the servants tending the fields tell their master of the weeds growing among the wheat. He knows that there is little he can do but to allow the weeds to grow among the wheat, and – when the time was right – to pull out the weeds and harvest the good crop. The enemy? Satan – or those seeking to divide us by misusing our teachings in a heterodox manner.
The weeds are those ‘Catholics’ who espouse heretical and unorthodox teachings who dwell among us and claim that they are like us. The fact is that the weed bears no grain, no sustenance and actually chokes out the healthy and life-giving grain. For some reason or another, the Church in America has allowed these weeds to flourish, weakening and dividing us.
It is time to prune the fields. We will lose the weeds, but we may lose some good grain as well. Better this then to allow the field to run wild with weeds that will never yield comfort to those in need. It is my prayer that this will not be so or that those we may lose will return to us when they see that the wisdom of Matthew 7:13:
Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.
Hopefully, it is clearer that it shouldn’t be a ‘right’ thing or a ‘left’ thing – it should be a Catholic thing. That road is hard and the gate is narrow. But those who brave that path and suffer through that gate will reap great rewards – not only for themselves but for countless others.
I pray that there are democrats who will take the party back from those who seek to choke the field with weeds. There must be solid democratic candidates who are in Communion with the Holy See. Find them. Support them. And don’t be surprised if other Catholics ignore the letter after their name and vote for them because they are good Catholics and good citizens.
May God bless you all.