9 June 2019
The Day of Pentecost
John 20:19-23 + Homily
17 Minutes 14 Seconds
Link to the Readings:
(New American Bible, Revised Edition)
From the parish bulletin:
While experience cautions theologians against the quicksand of politics, politicians not infrequently rush in to theological matters where angels fear to tread. So it was on May 29 when our junior senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, announced on National Public Radio that the Church is wrong about abortion, homosexuality, and the male priesthood. This puts her at odds with all the saints and doctors of the Church, and with Jesus Christ. The latter sent his Holy Spirit on Pentecost to lead the Church into all truth, and it is hard to believe that he has reversed himself in our Republic’s recent years. Since it is “impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18), he would be at a disadvantage were he to run for the Senate from New York. This would be a trifling matter were it not for the fact that Senator Gillibrand tells Catholics that she is a Catholic.
On various issues, Gillibrand has boasted about her “flexibility.” This was evident when, as a Congresswoman representing a district populated by hunters, she enjoyed a 100% approval rating from the National Rifle Association, but when she became a senator, she got an “F” rating from that same NRA, which she has since theatrically described as “the worst organization in this country.” Such flexibility reminds one of Ramsay MacDonald, whom Churchill likened to the Boneless Wonder of Barnum’s circus, a spectacle that his parents judged “would be too revolting and demoralising for my youthful eyes.”
This mendacity became more egregious in a Fox News town hall televised on June 2 when she said that “infanticide doesn’t exist.” The senator’s comments, aired by numerous media outlets across the political spectrum, ignored the “late-term” abortion bill signed by Governor Cuomo on January 22, as he sat next to Sarah Weddington, the attorney who lied before the Supreme Court during the Roe v Wade case. Gillibrand then defended the “right to make a life and death decision.” But if there is no infanticide, there is no death. This is not a mistake the Holy Spirit would have made, but it does reek of the Father of Lies. The senator’s rant was the rhetorical equivalent of a clumsy saboteur, like Claudius in Hamlet, fatally “hoist with his own petard.”
Last Sunday in Romania, Pope Francis beatified seven bishops who were martyred after unspeakable tortures during the Communist dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu. They died in defense of the same Faith that Senator Gillibrand has said is flawed. During the beatification ceremony, the Pope warned against “new ideologies” that threaten to uproot people from their “richest cultural and religious traditions.” He said that there are “forms of ideological colonization that devalue the person, life, marriage and the family” and the faithful must “resist these new ideologies now springing up.” Because of their obedience to the Spirit of Truth, those beatified martyrs will never be known in history as Boneless Wonders.