Monday, November 23, 2009

God Gave Us The Papacy.....

By now you may have read of or heard of this incident.

On September 12, 1960, a man surnamed Kennedy stood before the Ministerial Association of Greater Houston and assured his audience that he believed "in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute -- where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be Catholic) how to act and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote -- where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference -- and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him. I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish -- where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches, or any other ecclesiastical source -- where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials -- and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all."

That man, of course, was John Fitzgerald Kennedy, our nation’s first Catholic president, who overcame over a century and a half of political and social stigma associated with Catholicism, by dispelling the lingering fear that a Catholic president would be politically subservient to the Papacy.

Forty-nine years later his nephew Patrick Kennedy, a Congressman representing Rhode Island, founded as a colony that embraced religious freedom, has been effectively excommunicated by a Catholic bishop upset that Representative Kennedy, a democratically-elected public servant of a diverse constituency, refuses to take his political marching orders out of the pages of Catholic dogma.

I must congratulate Bishop Tobin for so manfully attempting to undo what JFK did in the way of opening socioeconomic doors for Catholics in the United States.

1 comment:

Val said...

Have you seen the movie Religulous? I LOVED it! Even as a descendent of Roger Williams (Rhode Island fame)I wish people would get over the benevolent-spirits-are-controlling-my-life thing and move on with reality.