Today's first reading reminded me of a quote from Ven. Archbishop Fulton Sheen that I had happened upon yesterday. "Moral principles do not depend on a majority vote. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong. Right is right, even if nobody is right." Very appropriate for our time.
As Catholics, we believe in an absolute truth. Just as the earth is round despite the presence of flat-earthers in the world, God is real even despite those that don't agree. The God that we believe in is a God of truth and love and He has revealed to us that good and evil exist. There is absolute truth and there is absolute moral truth. Moral truth does not depend on popularity. Moral truth doesn't change to "get with the times." We see that in the anti-racism movement in our culture. Slavery wasn't right just because it was socially acceptable. Slavery was no more morally right then as it is now. It is repugnant.
There are many moral evils that are socially acceptable in our day. Some of them we just accept as a fact of life. Some of them we fight against in the public sphere with a rosary and a vote as our sword. Something that we can learn from today's reading from Galatians today is that sometimes even good people, good Christians, good leaders can be wrong.
St. Paul says, "And when Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he was clearly wrong. ... And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritcally along with him, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy." Peter was the leader of the Church, the rock upon which the Church was built. Peter was wrong. So Paul confronted him as he should have.
Non-judgmentalism and tolerance are the most important cultural virtues of our day. But they are so poorly understood. "America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance - it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded." Another gem from Fulton Sheen. "Tolerance applies only to persons, but never to principles. Intolerance applies only to principles, but never to persons."
How can any self-proclaimed Christian stand by and allow their human brothers and sisters be deceived by lies? How can we stand by and let evil work in the world and tear our family from God? That is not love. That is passivity. If we truly loved them, we would do the hard and uncomfortable work of calling them out of sin and into the life of grace. This isn't judgmental! Sin is objective evil, when we see someone sinning we aren't making a judgment about their own goodness or evil-ness. We see a bad action and we call them out. That doesn't mean that we think the person is bad! Look at Paul and Peter! In no way would Paul say that Peter is a bad person who deserve damnation. But Paul can say that Peter was doing something bad and he needed to change.
We cannot tolerate evil. We cannot say anything to the affect of, "Well, I would never have an abortion, but who am I to tell someone else that they can't?" That's moral relativism! A rejection of moral Truth is a rejection of God Himself who said "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (John 14:6). We must be like Paul in this world. We must recognize and call out wrong, even if everybody is wrong. And along with it, we must preach the Gospel of Truth: that we have a merciful and all-loving God that longs for a relationship with us, that each human person is created good and is worth the sum of all the Father's love for them.
Today is the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary. Consider praying a rosary today for the rejection of all that is wrong in the world, especially abortion during this Respect Life Month.
-Amanda Benner, Director of Evangelization