By Robert Klein Engler -
It could be said for many Catholics in Illinois being a Democrat is a form of plenary indulgence. Any lie you may tell or any attack on the Church is forgiven as long as you toe the Democratic Party line. The recent passage of same-sex marriage in the state is a good example of how this indulgence works.
In spite of the clear and well-known teachings of the Church against same-sex marriage, the Democratic controlled Illinois state house and senate approved same-sex marriage, changing the law to read that marriage is between two "persons" instead of between a man and a woman. The law now awaits the signature of Governor Quinn.
Believe it or not, the Illinois governor and many state representatives like Marty Moylan are both professed Catholics and Democrats. "State Rep. Marty Moylan, a Des Plaines Democrat, says he came to his "yes" vote after Pope Francis famously said of gay people: "Who am I to judge?"
If this statement by Moylan is not an excuse for a moral inadequacy, then what is? Moylan should know the Pope did not approve of same-sex marriage. Theology and scripture can never approve of same-sex marriage, either. Moylan should not mislead himself and the people he represents by distorting the words of Pope Francis.
Here's what Cardinal George of Chicago said recently about same-sex marriage. Were not Quinn and Moylan listening? "Nature tells us what marriage is, that in marriage, men and women aren't interchangeable."
"In marriage, men and women do different things. They raise children differently. They contribute differently. They simply are different. It means something to be a man that’s different from what it means to be a woman, and vice versa. And to deny that obvious fact is something that just puzzles me...it seems to me to be less than reasonable."
Unfortunately, there is no mention by the Cardinal about theology or scripture or the obligation professed Catholics have to follow the teaching of the Church on marriage. In a display of what could be considered charity, the Cardinal did not mention, either, the names of any Catholic Democrats who are "less than reasonable."
At one time, Cardinals in Chicago did speak up. In the summer of 1966, Lou Christie's song 'Rhapsody in the Rain' was banned from airplay on WLS and WCFL--the two major pop stations in Chicago at the time, and the nation's 2nd largest radio market.
The song was banned because of the objections of John Cardinal Cody. "The Cardinal thought that the rhythmic windshield wipers while "makin' out in the rain" and "makin' love in the storm," were just a little too morally corrosive..."
A Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church must be a good shepherd and protect the flock from wolves in sheep's clothing. Governor Quinn and Representative Moylan have in mind nothing more than the destruction of the sacrament of marriage. Are they not wolves in sheep’s clothing by lying about the goals of same-sex marriage proponents?
The journalist Masha Gessen will show you what Governor Quinn and Representative Moylan have in store for Catholics. She admits, "It's a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist…"
"(F)ighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do...because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change...and it should change...I don’t think it should exist."
The Cardinal should know this destruction of marriage is still to come. How can he allow elected Catholic officials to go forward with an insult to all Catholics? If the Cardinal reasons that he cannot carry through with this excommunication,then he should give Catholics in the archdiocese an explanation as to why they must tolerate this insult to his office and the Church.
Before the affront to the Church of same-sex marriage is signed into law, Cardinal Francis George of the Chicago Archdiocese could threaten to excommunicate both Governor Quinn and state representative Marty Moylan for their attack on his authority and the teachings of the Church. These men have professed publicly to be Catholics, but by their actions they have insulted the Cardinal and attacked a truth of the Catholic faith.
Excommunication is a serious and complex matter. Nevertheless, how can this option be overlooked? Same-sex marriage is a serious and harmful matter to the Catholic Church in Illinois. Excommunication may be the only resort the Catholic Church has to preserve its claim on the truth and protect itself from attacks in the courts and in civil society. Gregg Reynolds of Australia was excommunicated for what could be deemed a lesser offense.
"Reynolds was excommunicated because of heresy (Canons 751 and 1364) and blasphemy (Canon 1369), which he has been told relate to his support for the ordination of women..." Just on the surface, is causing same-sex marriage to become a law in Illinois any less an act of heresy and blasphemy?
Governor Quinn and Representative Moylan may deserve to be considered for excommunication because by their public actions they have already separated themselves off from the Church. Beyond that, how can a congregation accept them as members while at the same time these men publicly flaunt the teachings of the Church?
See how the mighty have fallen over 50 years in Illinois. Once, a Cardinal with ears wide open, had a song banned from the radio. Some say he was objecting to what could be considered only a venial sin. Another Cardinal, today, with eyes wide open, refuses to stop the Democratic enemies of the Church from inflicting great harm. He is silent about those who commit a mortal sin.
Is there doubt in anyone's mind that if Governor Quinn and Representative Moylan are Catholics, as they profess to be, then they may have put their souls at risk by supporting same-sex marriage in Illinois? They were presented with a clear moral choice: Be Catholic and follow Catholic teachings or be a Democrat.
It looks to many that Quinn and Moylan chose what Catholics would say is morally wrong. They chose to support the Democratic Party and same-sex marriage. About this choice, the Cardinal, as a good shepherd, seemed to have turned away and said nothing publicly to these politicians about their support for what the Church considers evil.
Some men have no trouble sleeping through a storm. They are enthralled by dreams. If you don’t believe Catholics in Illinois are enthralled with the Democratic Party, pinch yourself and wake up. Same-sex marriage passed in Illinois and Catholic Democrats were the reason it did.