Catholic politicians fail to walk the walk


Catholic Register, 12 March 2018

In January, I had the great blessing of preaching at the Holy Mass for the relic of St. Francis Xavier in the parish in Mississauga named after him. There was an immense congregation, and in the very first pews were various political figures from the federal Parliament, provincial legislature and city hall.

What were they doing there? Well, they were invited, and every elected official knows that if there is going to be a parade — or a procession — it is best to get out in front of it. 

Why were they invited? It’s part of a long tradition that sees political leadership at community events — including religious events — as a recognition of the value of those communities and churches and the contributions they make to the common good. There is something important to that, which is why my friends who organized the Mass at St. Francis Xavier made the invitations. 

That being acknowledged, I think it is now time for those Catholics of sincere goodwill and immense good works who issue such invitations to reconsider them.

Take, for example, Peter Fonseca, a Liberal MP from Mississauga. He supports the requirement that all those applying for the Canada Summer Jobs program “attest” to their support for abortion in order to qualify. He was at St. Francis Xavier Parish. When I asked him later about the job program, he said, in effect, that Catholics should just sign the form and take the money. In fairness, he was literally giving me the party line, so in charity we must assume that he does not actually think that the federal government knows better than Catholics do about what will and will not violate their consciences.

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