Thank you for your January-February publication of The Angelus on the theme of politics. While I have reservations about some of the structure and content, I completely agree that we need to be as sensitive as possible to the fact that liberalism in our country has infected its very life-blood. As Archbishop Lefebvre used to say about our times: liberalism is in the air we breathe; it’s as easy to avoid the infection of liberalism as to avoid germs in the air…
That being said, I was surprised to see nothing about America’s current, concrete political situation, except for a few passing and usually negative references. Against the backdrop of a startling and historical election cycle, whose results no one would call insignificant, wasn’t there anything to say about the issues at stake, the policies being debated, the values being challenged, or the war being waged?
I know of many good people who spent this time on their knees, begging God by their prayers and by their tears, to save their country, communities and families from some unprecedented evils. I think they are right to see, in an outcome largely unexpected and unexplained, a positive answer to their prayers. Was it a complete, final answer? Absolutely not. Was it an act of God who continues to show His mercy? Absolutely. Can we speak to any of these things in future publications?
With every assurance of my support!
Many thanks for your letter. We understand how you might be frustrated that we didn’t address some of the more practical questions related to American politics today. Here are, hopefully, a few reasons to explain why we stayed at the level of principles:
Under American law (the Johnson Amendment), non-profit organizations are not allowed to endorse or condemn candidates for federal offices. Since we’re a non-profit organization, we are limited to what we can say. It’s the same reason priests cannot mention candidates from the pulpit. Perhaps the law will change one day, but for now, we play it safe.Behind the scenes at The Angelus, we are working months in advance to produce each issue: this means, although this particular issue arrived only recently for you, we had finished work on it before the election was even held. Not being prophets, we couldn’t offer any analysis at the time. This doesn’t preclude us from saying something in the future as far as specific policies go.While it’s undoubtedly true that many prayers and sacrifices were made leading up to the recent election—and are hopefully continuing!—we believe it’s too early to say that Heaven has definitively intervened. While certain evils may have been avoided, and there might be reason for hope, we take a longer view as a journal, not a newspaper, and will “wait and see.”
Fortunately, the principles involved don’t change, and we are trying to focus on those. Men can and should debate the prudent application of these principles, and the reality of political life in 2017 is that there is much work to be done everywhere by Catholics. Whomever is in office, let’s re-double our efforts to increase Catholic Action anywhere we can.
May God bless you!
Pax et bonum