Happy New Year. This makes the 35th year we have started off with a New Year’s Message, the Action News Line having been launched in May of 1974. The message today is from a sermon by the very pro-life pastor of St. Odilo’s Parish in Berwyn, IL, Fr. Anthony Brankin, and was delivered September 7, 2008.
Fr. Brankin’s: If We Took Abortion Seriously Would We Vote Differently?
Somehow I missed it, but it is powerful and here it is, only slightly edited for space:
Remember when a young priest one morning rammed his car into the back of an abortion clinic in Rockford, and took an ax and began to hack away at the doors? My first reaction was, “Oh, oh. This poor guy must have snapped.”
Then I began to think, “What if this were 1944 in Germany and a priest had rammed the gates of a Nazi death camp. Would anyone say, “This poor guy must have snapped”? Or would we consider him a hero, an avenging angel of the victims of the Holocaust? Now, can anyone tell me what is the concrete moral difference between what the Rockford priest did at the abortion clinic in 2000, and what our imaginary priest might have done at an extermination camp in Nazi Germany in 1944?
Or suppose there were a place in Berwyn where a man was luring five-year-old children into a building where he would line them up against a wall and to shoot them. What action to stop him would be considered unreasonable? Probably not much. We would do almost anything to stop him. So why would preventing five-year-olds from being machine-gunned differ radically from preventing unborn babies from being aborted? Could it be that most of us are really not convinced -emotionally, that is, in our hearts – that abortion is the taking of human life?
Intellectually we say it is, but emotionally it does not cause us much moral outrage. It doesn’t even affect how we vote. I’m convinced that when it comes to election time, we Catholics are just not convinced that abortion is all that evil.
But despite a sixteen page statement by the Bishops that doesn’t even mention abortion until page sixteen, two strong bishops have told ministers of Holy Communion to refuse to give Communion to Catholic politicians who promote abortion and that we commit a moral evil if we vote for a candidate who supports abortion.
And to those who cry, “Separation of Church and State,” they should know that it is the business of the Church to speak out on grave moral issues, because the Church is accountable before the throne of God. Would the Church be silent about shooting five-year-olds?
However good a candidate might happen to be on a variety of other issues, the Church’s position is that he disqualifies himself from our consideration when he promotes the killing of babies. The matter is so serious, in fact, that supporting abortion disqualifies the Candidate for public office.
I know the 80% of Catholics who don’t even attend Mass on Sunday are not going to care about unborn babies more than they care about government benefits. But at least those who do come to the Lord’s altar regularly need to be aware of what is at stake in our modern elections. We don’t vote for those who offer us the most stuff because we know that our very souls are at stake. And we will lose our souls if we do nothing to protect innocent life.
Did You Help Elect Obama To Strike Down Abortion Restrictions?
As I say, I condensed the homily for space, but isn’t that some kind of a sermon! Of course, fifty-four percent of Catholics voted for and elected the most pro-abortion candidate in the history of the United States, Barack Obama, and they can take full credit when he strikes down anti-abortion laws and statutes-as he has promised the abortion crowd he will do.
But Father Anthony Brankin can stand tall because he did what a Catholic priest is supposed to do. He stood on the wall of the city and sounded the warning. God bless him and all his brother priests in Christ who tried to stem the blood-red tide of abortion in our country-and who still try. God bless them all.