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Can Your Faith Really be “Private”?

Posted by Roland C Warren on Oct 25, 2016 4:06:58 PM

 Fr. Lankeit reminds us that we cannot truly hold a private belief without that belief playing itself out in the public square.

light under bushel.jpgAs I wrote in my recent article, vice presidential candidate Senator Tim Kaine has been trying to walk a tightrope on the abortion issue by claiming that although his faith tells him life is sacred, he can’t bring that belief into the public square by opposing abortion. In that article, I concluded that “private faith spoken from the heart without public action is dead.”

Indeed, as I reflected upon Kaine’s inconsistency, a very timely message came across my desk. A long-time pro-life advocate brought to my attention a homily given earlier this month by a Catholic priest, the Very Reverend Father John Lankeit of Pheonix, Arizona.* 

In this hard-hitting sermon (video below), Fr. Lankeit fleshes out the concept that one cannot truly hold a private belief without that belief playing itself out in the public square. Indeed, Fr. Lankeit argues that our very souls are at stake if we attempt to play this dangerous game. 

I was particularly impressed by Fr. Lankeit’s analogies regarding the common reasons people give to justify their abortions. He uses two policy debates—Affirmative Action and Immigration—where political ideologies differ to make a powerful point. For example, he states that if a political candidate says it is permissible to kill an African American because they stood in the way of someone’s education as a result of affirmative action, then no one would vote for such a candidate. Likewise, if a candidate says that it is permissible to kill a Hispanic person because he is an illegal immigrant and took a job someone wanted as a result of an immigration law, then no one would vote for such a candidate. 

Fr. Lankeit then expands this analogy to the abortion debate…

I encourage you to listen to Fr. Lankeit’s homily.* It may challenge you but my guess is that this is exactly what he intended. 

*The Transcript of Fr. Lankeit's homily can be found here. 

Image credit: revupministries.com

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