Catholics, as voters or elected officials, must defend human person, bishop Wenski says

In a homily during the Closing Mass of the Catholic Leadership Conference held in Philadelphia yesterday, Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando said that Catholics, either as voters or elected officials must be uncompromising in their defense of the dignity of the human person.

“One could rightly argue  that our American revolution succeeded precisely because it reflected the truth about the human person, while other revolutionary ideologies such as in France, Russia or Cuba, just to name a few, failed because they did not,” said the Bishop at the Chapel of Philadelphia Cathedral.

“Yet, today,” he warned, “many in America are confused about the truth of the human person. The tendency to moral relativism in our culture is the greatest threat to authentic democracy today.”

Recalling that Catholic social teachings recognize that God is the source of those rights deemed inalienable and since they were not granted by men or by the states, Bishop Wenski said that “they cannot be abrogated either by men or by the states.”

“We Catholics” he added, “in serving the common good and in fulfilling our duty as citizens must renew our proposal to our fellow citizens about the truth of who we are as human beings made in God’s image and likeness.”

Whether as citizens or as elected officials “if we are to be faithful to the truth about the human person,” he said, “we must oppose uncompromisingly policies and laws that undermine the common good precisely because they originate in a defective understanding of the human person.”

Therefore “the Church, clergy and laity, while agreeing to disagree on other matters of prudential judgments cannot but oppose the evils of abortion, euthanasia, fetal stem cell research, human cloning and so called same sex ‘marriage.’ In these areas there can be no other legitimate Catholic position,” affirmed the bishop.

If Catholics are rejected in some social environments because of this stand, then “so be it,” said Bishop Wenski in conclusion.

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