I can't authenticate the photos in the link as being from actual members the US military, but the message is still clear -
we may be seeing stirrings of protests against an intervention in Syria by our own service members.
I am a lifelong practicing Catholic who has taught CCD for six years. Also, for over twenty years I have been engaged in explaining and defending Church doctrine against its detractors. As those who have read my previous posts know, however, I have never held back from calling out Church leaders when they are wrong.
The following post (excerpts below) was generously given a place by the gracious hosts of Gates of Vienna. A little over a week ago, Breibart and the Washington Times (Links in GOV post) reported that the US Catholic Conference of Bishops is planning a big move on immigration for September 8th, 2013 (This coming Sunday). A representative of the Conference's office on immigration has stated that they are calling for Parish Priests to use the homily (sermon) for that Sunday to be used to exhort the faithful to take action that will be an effective betrayal of their own country; they want the laity to join them in telling our elected legislators that we want amnesty for illegal immigrants.
I won't go into detail here, but this overreach is to much. In the post, I propose that, in addition to telling our elected officials that we do not want people to be rewarded for flouting the laws of our nation, we also take real action against the Church if she wants us to act in a manner contrary to the good order of our nation. The actual proposal is in the GOV post and I will not spoil it here.
I could also call out the Church for another reason. Aside from a wrongful political overreach, the Church is, by encouraging the rewarding of illegals acts, also remiss in her duties. The Right to Property is a crucial part of the Natural Law and is codified in the Ten Commandments. It does not take a biblical scholar to point out that that right also applies to groups of people or nations. In Genesis, Abraham and Lot made an agreement that specified who was to receive what region in which to live and earn a living. Of course in our faith there is no “Greek and Jew,…… barbarian, Scythian…”, but our beliefs does not obligate or allow us to disregard laws that are not inherently wrong.
"The Catholic Church has for the most part avoided falling completely to the onslaught of radical feminism, and it has at least belatedly come to address issues of discipline with ultra-liberal priests and nuns that use their positions to advance agendas that are not part of Church practice. The magisterium has also finally demonstrated an effort to rid the church of pedophiles in her sacerdotal ranks.
She has resisted the implied demands of many in of the secular world that Christian churches (not Muslims, of course, their faith is sacred) drop any reference to sin regarding just about any sexual practice. Of particular credit to the Catholic Church in the United States is the Bishops’ refusal to meekly accept the patently unconstitutional demands that contraception, abortifacients, and abortions be paid for by the Church. I don’t know how this will end, but their stand on this issue is noble as well as being the correct one in the long run.
In short, the Church has for the most part defended her teachings and doctrine and has ended the horrific and indeed sinful indifference to the existence of pedophiles among the clergy.
Where the Church, particularly in the United States but also in Western Europe, has failed her faithful has been on social issues. In a bizarre twist of Liberation Theology that threatened the outlook of the Church in decades past, The Church of the West (as opposed to the eastern Churches) has taken positions that run contrary to the good order and integrity of the very civilizations and societies that have protected the Church and allowed her to develop free of molestation and subjugation.
If any country absorbs a reasonable number of immigrants, the process of assimilation is likely to move at a predictable if not always smooth pace. But if the same nation permits too many into its boundaries within too short a time and without minimal demands placed on new arrivals, assimilation becomes untenable; the invaded nation stands at risk of losing its sense of identity. Further, should those numbers of immigrants go unchecked, as America seems determined to do with eleven million (or more) people pouring in from Central and South America, the nation will begin to assume the ungovernable, corrupt and lawless characteristics of those same places the newcomers fled in the first place...........
Few would dispute the wisdom of having many self-sufficient, lawful nations. Instead, we face the reality of few democracies to whom all would flee for asylum from the dead-end despair in their native lands. In an attempt to avoid this, Western nations have been more than generous in material and financial aid to all sorts of countries without seeing any appreciable improvement in those places. We all have heard the analogy of opening up your home or wallet to the point that you are no longer in a position to help but instead become yourself someone in need of others’ aid. That maladaptation — having no secure personal boundaries — ends in ruin..............
The last time [European] Catholics had to engage in hostilities with forces under Church command was during the reunification of Italy in the 19th century.
Prior to those days, however, it was far from unusual for a Catholic citizen of a Catholic-majority state to participate in a conflict against forces under Papal command. History is replete with instances of, for example, Italian, Norman, French, and German forces contesting military and political control of disputed regions.
Even if we do not count the Spanish Armada, which also sailed away to its ultimate demise with full Papal approval, we still have the earlier and smaller fully Papal force that landed in Ireland with the unsuccessful mission to raise the Irish up against the Protestant English monarchy.
The Hapsburg Emperor Charles V himself, who sought to bring vast regions of Catholic Europe under a unified rule, also dispatched forces (which included Lutheran troops whoreally had a field day) in a sack of Rome.
Recall that English Catholics as a whole joined with their Protestant fellow-citizens when the Armada, mentioned above, did threaten their country.........
Excepting the Nativist period (the worst of which was quite short), the United States has been a nation in which Catholics can exercise the beliefs and yet be model citizens in manner quite different from Catholics of Western Europe. This was noted both by Orestes Brownson and Alexis de Tocqueville. Free of the memory of traditional entanglements mixing Church and state, as well as the lack of history in the US of supporting the old feudal order, Catholics did, in Tocqueville’s words (Democracy in America (Library of America)) —
"constitute the most republican and the most democratic class of citizens which exists in the Unites States:"
Brownson concurred in both his Union of Church and State and Works (Orestes Brownson : Selected Political Essays (Library of Conservative Thought)):
"…we lose nothing of Catholicity, nothing of its vigor and efficiency; we lose simply certain special favors of the government, and are relieved in turn from certain burdens at times almost too great for the church to bear, imposed by the government as the price of those favors. The loss is a great gain, and it is far better for the interests of the church to lose the favors and be freed from the burdens, than it is to retain the favors and bear the burdens."
Meanwhile, in modern-day America, I am not proposing that Catholics rise up against their Church. However, I do assert that we cannot stand by idly while those who occupy high-level ecclesial and lay positions in our Church use the pulpit and telephone to bully the flock into acquiescence, or threaten our few brave political leaders with the loss of elections if they don’t toe the line.
Catholics need to be cognizant of the critical differences between the authority of the Church on doctrinal matters, and the civic duty of the citizen to his country and his society. No statement from a Conference of Bishops nor a Papal declaration on an internal American matter such as immigration can ever be binding on individual Catholics. Indeed, the believer must always be ready to differentiate between the two swords of church and state.
At the moment our national integrity is threatened by a massive influx of people who entered America illegally. Granting them amnesty (again), no matter what euphemism is employed to do so, will be a grievous blow to our civic society and to our culture. Church officials have no more right to tell legislators how to handle this issue than I have to buy a plane ticket to Rome, take a taxi to the Vatican City, and demand to be given citizenship and a place to live.
Of course we may and should contact our elected officials to inform them that on this issue the Church does not speak for us. In addition, there is another option, a more direct approach........"