I sincerely hope and pray that all El Paso Catholics will take to heart the precious and infallible teachings of Holy Mother Church in the moral sphere, particularly those most relevant to our city at this critical juncture.
Remember: Every single Catholic, out of fidelity to charity and truth, has the absolute duty to oppose (1) the murder of unborn babies, and (2) any and all government attempts to legalize homosexual unions.
Any Catholic who supports homosexual acts is, by definition, committing a mortal sin, and placing himself/herself outside of communion with the Roman Catholic Church.
Furthermore, a Catholic would be guilty of a most grievous sin of omission if he/she neglected to actively oppose the homosexual agenda, which thrives on deception and conceals its wicked horns under the guises of "equal rights," "tolerance," "who am I to judge?," etc.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops published a pastoral letter on marriage in November 2009, which is endorsed by our own local bishop, his Excellency, Most Rev. Armando X. Ochoa.
This pastoral letter states the following:
"Among the many blessings that God has showered upon us in Christ is the blessing of marriage, a gift bestowed by the Creator from the creation of the human race.
"The Church has taught throughout the ages that marriage is an exclusive relationship between one man and one woman.
"One of the most troubling developments in contemporary culture is the proposition that persons of the same sex can 'marry.' This proposal attempts to redefine the nature of marriage and the family and, as a result, harms both the intrinsic dignity of every human person and the common good of society.
"It is not unjust to oppose legal recognition of same-sex unions, because marriage and same-sex unions are essentially different realities. The denial of the social and legal status of marriage to forms of cohabitation that are not and cannot be marital is not opposed to justice; on the contrary, justice requires it."
I urge all of the Catholic faithful to treat homosexuals with love, understanding, and respect. At the same time, never forget that genuine love demands that we seek, above all, the salvation of souls. Homosexual acts lead to the damnation of souls.
Recently, a couple of letter writers claimed that in a democracy, it's up to the majority to decide between right and wrong. This form of reasoning is not only false, it's ludicrous!
While it's true that a majority of the citizens in a democracy has the political power to impose its "morality" on society, this juridical reality has no bearing whatsoever on the intrinsic moral value of actions.
That which makes something right or wrong is the objective moral order established by God, which can also be grasped and appreciated through the use of human reason. In philosophy, this is known as natural law.
Even the ancient Greeks had a basic respect for the principles of natural law.
To simplify: One would have to be ghastly morally decrepit to think that if 51 percent of Americans opine that rape is OK, then rape becomes, in effect, all right. Sure, the majority is politically capable of such a vote, but this could never make rape morally right.
There is such a thing as a corrupt democracy, you know!
Abortion and homosexual acts are unequivocally intrinsic moral evils. And friends, this objective truth doesn't depend on the opinion of the majority. Frighteningly, if the majority chooses to deny the objective moral order, then we will all suffer the pestiferous consequences.
"Pestiferous consequences"....I don't like the sound of that, but it is what it is.
Many of the comments following this column at the El Paso Times naturally are strongly opposed to Fr Rodriguez and the teachings of the Church. No surprise, as Christ had said that the world will persecute those who preach the Gospel. Many in the world confuse true compassion - the desire to help lead souls to salvation, by being in union with the mind of God - with false compassion - the desire to be nice and "fair" to others, by being in union with the mind of the world - and subsequently, have put souls on the wide path to Hell. Getting along with the world is contrary to the Gospel - we are to be a light to the world, and not be all right with the world. Fr. Rodriguez provides an excellent example that we ought to emulate.
Prayer and fasting are powerful effective weapons - faithful Catholics need to be employing them generously in these days, especially for those on the 'front lines'. Pray for Fr. Rodriguez and all priests and bishops - that all may bravely proclaim the Truth to convict the hearts and minds of all Catholics.