Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Political Correctness Fails at Papal Youth Rally

The Papal Youth Rally at Dunwoodie had musical acts in the hours which preceded it, MC’ed New York City news anchors, all of whom were raised Catholic. Sadly none of them were comfortable with their Catholicism. Mary Murphy, anchor of the CW11 Ten O’clock News, learned this fact rather painfully when she cheerily asked the crowd, “Who are you for, Clinton or Obama?” This evoked loud BOOOing from the crowd, and Murphy, obviously shaken, attempted a rebuke, “You don’t want to mix religion and politics, do you?” to which the crowd responded as one, “YES WE DO!!” Desperate to reclaim the high ground, Murphy pulled out the PC trump card, “I mean, you believe in the separation of Church and State, don’t you?” “NOOOOOO!” shouted the crowd.
A man beside me quipped, “She should stick around for the Holy Father’s address, she might learn something!”
Indeed, in his talk, the Holy Father described what happens when religion is banished from the public square.
“My own years as a teenager were marred by a sinister regime that thought it had all the answers; its influence grew - infiltrating schools and civic bodies, as well as politics and even religion - before it was fully recognized for the monster it was. It banished God and thus became impervious to anything true and good.”
And in his homily at Yankee Stadium, Pope Benedict reviewed the history of Catholicism’s influence in American public life,

“In this land of religious liberty, Catholics found freedom not only to practice their faith, but also to participate fully in civic life, bringing their deepest moral convictions to the public square and cooperating with their neighbors in shaping a vibrant, democratic society.”

The Holy Father explained how faith must be incorporated into contemporary life:
“Praying fervently for the coming of the Kingdom also means being constantly alert for the signs of its presence, and working for its growth in every sector of society. It means facing the challenges of present and future with confidence in Christ’s victory and a commitment to extending his reign. It means not losing heart in the face of resistance, adversity and scandal. It means overcoming every separation between faith and life, and countering false gospels of freedom and happiness. It also means rejecting a false dichotomy between faith and political life, since, as the Second Vatican Council put it, “there is no human activity – even in secular affairs – which can be withdrawn from God’s dominion” (Lumen Gentium, 36).(Emphasis mine) It means working to enrich American society and culture with the beauty and truth of the Gospel, and never losing sight of that great hope which gives meaning and value to all the other hopes which inspire our lives.”
I hope that Mary Murphy was listening, and is able to bring her Catholic faith to work as anchor of Channel 11 news, as the rest of the faithful strive to incorporate their faith without shame to their roles in contemporary society, bringing hope to American society.

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