My letter to the editor at The Telegram appears below. It is an abbreviated version of a much more detailed analysis which will appear later today on this blog. My previous entries related to Frank Coleman can be found here, here, here, here and here.
Frank Coleman Surrenders Catholic Credentials
The media have been very reluctant to bring up the subject of Frank Coleman’s religion. Scary and extreme stuff like religion must be kept ultra-personal and out of sight; very convenient for moral relativists but dangerous to the common good.
My analysis then is not a personal attack, but solely an attempt to protect the Catholic faith from misrepresentation and scandal. Consider this letter then as a public service.
Coleman declared his Ten Commandments in recent days, ten or more outrageous public statements which amount to a denial (at least objectively) of his Catholic faith. In this letter I examine briefly just three. Much more detail will be available on my blog.
Statement 1: I do not intend to impose my personal views.
The Church says: Catholics are “wide of the mark who think that religion consists in acts of worship alone” and “plunge themselves into earthly affairs in such a way as to imply that these are altogether divorced from the religious life.” Such a split is “to be counted among the more serious errors of our age,” a “scandal” and one “fought vehemently against by Jesus Christ Himself in the New Testament threatening it with grave punishments.” Vatican II, Gaudium Spes, (43)
Statement 2: That is not my role. I wasn't ever given any crown to make judgment on the choices that people have made.
The Church says: Coleman need not profess any crown or power to judge in himself. He need only joyfully embrace his Catholic faith which insists: “Political leaders” are “not to give in, but to make those choices which, taking into account what is realistically attainable, will lead to the re-establishment of a just order in the defence and promotion of the value of life.” St. John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, (90d) “It is, however, the Church’s right and duty to provide a moral judgment on temporal matters when this is required by faith or the moral law.” The Participation of Catholics in Political Life, (3)
Statement 3: Paddy Daly asks: Let's just call it a march or rally. Does that not in fact mean that you are putting forward your opinion that would hope to change policy and legislation? Coleman replies: No I don't. I don't believe [so].
The Church says: “But responsibility likewise falls on the legislators who have promoted and approved abortion laws, and, to the extent that they have a say in the matter, on the administrators of the health-care centres where abortions are performed.” St. John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, (59b)
Catholic saints have been martyred while uttering dying words such as these: “Man cannot be separated from God, nor politics from morality.” St. John the Baptist surrendered his head to defend God’s eternal law on marriage and divorce. Were any of them “imposing their personal views,” “judging others” or trying to “change policy”?
Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 chastised the Canadian Bishops for the extreme “split between the Gospel and culture, with the exclusion of God from the public sphere,” thanks especially to renegade Catholic politicians who have caused Canadian society to go amuck "in the most disturbing of ways" through neglect of the truth and of discipline.
Tragically, our Catholic Bishops give little evidence of taking the warning seriously. Not one in our province has stepped forward to diffuse this scandal, safeguard the faith and advance the supreme goal of the Church, which is the salvation of souls, including Mr. Coleman’s. Such silence fails to confirm both Catholics and society in the truth, much less empowers them to make wise decisions in overseeing their political masters and striving for the common good.
We ignore these religious realities to our peril.