If we soon hear sermons against ObamaCare and the drug cartels, are Catholic martyrs are not far off? For those who think Catholic martyrs are impossible in the United States, today, consider the recent words of Cardinal George.
In his article for “Catholic New World,” Cardinal George writes: “[W]e all stand before Christ and give an accounting of our lives. … I ask lay Catholics and others of good will to step back and understand what is happening to our country as the church is despoiled of her institutions[.]”
Cardinal George continues, “The suffering being imposed on the church and on society now is not a voluntary penance. We should both work and pray to be delivered from it.”
A cardinal is not often forced to bear witness to his faith with his life or livelihood. Saint John Fisher and Cardinal Stepinac are exceptions.
Catholic martyrs are often priests and the faithful lower down on the Church’s hierarchy. It’s like that in any bureaucracy. In the Middle Ages, they used to say, “Kings fight wars, but peasants die.”
In modern countries, men and women who become martyrs are not broken on the wheel or rack, either. There are other methods.
The trial of a modern-day martyr goes something like this: the individual confronts the state. The state wants to have the individual deny his God or his conscience.
The alternative is to lose your job, but not your head. After that, your friends avoid you and are silent.
In our time, Obama and HHS Secretary Sebelius — the latter, again, a professed Catholic, and recently invited to speak at Georgetown University — want Cardinal Dolan to offer free contraception. It’s just a small matter…small as a pill.