On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan stood before the Berlin Wall, the symbol of a communist system which deprives their people of the essential freedoms due to every human person. He gave one of the great speeches of the 20th century, which included these words: “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace... come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” From where do our human freedoms come? The Freedom of speech, of movement, of religion, and others? From the State? No, they come from God, in whose image and likeness we are made. It is the role and obligation of the state to ensure that these rights are respected and protected. Nine years ago, after movements on the Federal level to change the meaning of marriage under law, and the imposition of abortion in the mandated Health Care bill, the Bishops of the United States in unison called for the response of all Catholics - and all people of good will - to oppose these threats against fundamental human freedoms. This year our Bishops have announced “Religious Freedom Week” which begins on June 22, the Memorial of John Fisher and Thomas More, and ends on June 29, the Solemnity of SS Peter and Paul. All four of these Saints were martyred. They held fast to Christ Who sets us free - and they died at the hands of men who imposed a tyranny. It is increasingly evident that the threats against the Faith and human freedom are not only a thing of the past, or something that happens in other countries, but is advancing in our own land as well. We have been blessed to live in a land that, however imperfect (and, in this world, there IS no perfection) is founded on the principles of human liberty and of religious freedom. When election time comes around, ensure that you have properly sought to understand where the various candidates and their parties stand on these most important issues. And pray that good men and women will be raised up in our generation who will stand fast to defend the Faith - and in Christ, Who alone makes us free.
May God bless all our Fathers on this Father’s Day! And I hope to see you all at our Parish Picnic next Sunday following the 10am Mass!
May God bless you!