From the Pastor: Apologize! Plus, Prayer for Government
As the whole world now knows, our Bishop blamed religion in general--and Catholicism in particular--for the demonic shootings in Orlando. He wrote, “Second, sadly it is religion, including our own, that targets, mostly verbally, and often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people.” (Is it any relief that he blamed Catholics second, behind guns?) Our Pope has now chimed in by exclaiming, when asked about gays and the Orlando carnage, that the Church should apologize to gays. He said, “We Christians have to apologize for so many things, not just for this (treatment of gay people), but we must ask for forgiveness, not just apologize! Forgiveness!” I am so grateful that the Holy Father chastised and corrected (indirectly, of course) our wayward Bishop with this statement. Yes, the Bishop must apologize to the gays for his lack of love, apparent by his indictment of the True Faith and his exoneration of their sin. He must apologize to gays for encouraging them to embrace mortal sin at the cost of their immortal souls. He must apologize to them for leading people to reject what the Church teaches about the intrinsically disordered nature of homosexual activity and pledge to do reparation for the scandal he has caused. He must apologize with such loving conviction that they finally forgive him, which will be manifest by their repentance and repudiation of their former sinful lifestyle and identity. What? This is taking the Pope’s words out of context? Sorry. But if sodomy is no longer a sin, then sarcasm just might be a new theological virtue. And now for something completely different. And necessary.
The following prayer was composed by John Carroll, Archbishop of Baltimore, in 1791. He was the first bishop appointed for the United States in 1789 by Pope Pius VI. He was made the first archbishop when his see of Baltimore was elevated to the status of an archdiocese. John was a cousin of Charles Carroll of Maryland, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
PRAYER FOR GOVERNMENT
We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy Name.
We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope N., the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, N., all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation.
We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.
We pray for his excellency, the governor of this state , for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.
We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.
Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives, and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.
With prayers for your holiness,
Fr. Edwin Palka