Like clockwork, when the election cycle heats up, the so-called culture wars begin. Our American Catholics begin to hear the bromides from both "sides":
"As a Catholic, you cannot, under any circumstance, support a candidate who supports abortion."
"Catholics have to consider the broader aims of a candidate than to focus on one issue."
And then there's the middle:
"You have to vote as a Catholic and not just as 'an American'"
Finally, there's the Vatican:
All of the rhetoric begins to beat down on the priest and pastor. On one hand, we're told to LAY TEH SMAKDOWN ON TEH LIBERALLZZZ!!!1 and preach the truth. On the other, we're told not to be offensive and to be considerate of the broader interests of the Church. We're told these things by our bishops, by the way.
When I was younger, hipper and hairier, I used to throw out the ol' saw, "The Church needs to get out of the school and marriage business." As I matured (?), I began to see the value of at least the marriage business. With that comes convictions concerning the marital state and the responsibility of bringing children into the world. I get it. I so get it. Then again, some of the annulment stuff and the hem-haw approach we have to it, I don't get. But fundamentally, I'm in. Yay, marriage! Yay, human life!
Catholic schools, not so much. Except maybe schools run by orders. And that's all I want to say lest I be rendered silent.
But while the heat continues to get heatier, I advise this:
Don't believe everything you read on the internet.
And true Catholic convictions are never consistent with any political party.
Pray for us priests! We need it.