A Message to Catholic Politicians and Others: The Presence is Real

The Catholic Church has, for two millenia, in keeping with the Incarnation, defended the dignity of all human beings. One example of this is the Papal Bull issued by Pope Paul III in 1537, Sublimus Dei, regarding the “enslavement and evangelization of Indians“.

The enemy of the human race, who opposes all good deeds in order to bring men to destruction, beholding and envying this, invented a means never before heard of, by which he might hinder the preaching of God’s word of Salvation to the people: he inspired his satellites who, to please him, have not hesitated to publish abroad that the Indians of the West and the South, and other people of whom We have recent knowledge should be treated as dumb brutes created for our service, pretending that they are incapable of receiving the Catholic Faith.

We, who, though unworthy, exercise on earth the power of our Lord and seek with all our might to bring those sheep of His flock who are outside into the fold committed to our charge, consider, however, that the Indians are truly men and that they are not only capable of understanding the Catholic Faith but, according to our information, they desire exceedingly to receive it. Desiring to provide ample remedy for these evils, We define and declare by these Our letters, or by any translation thereof signed by any notary public and sealed with the seal of any ecclesiastical dignitary, to which the same credit shall be given as to the originals, that, notwithstanding whatever may have been or may be said to the contrary, the said Indians and all other people who may later be discovered by Christians, are by no means to be deprived of their liberty or the possession of their property, even though they be outside the faith of Jesus Christ; and that they may and should, freely and legitimately, enjoy their liberty and the possession of their property; nor should they be in any way enslaved; should the contrary happen, it shall be null and have no effect.

This is an inconvenient truth for those who would have us believe that Christopher Columbus’ Catholicism had something to do with the mistreatment of Native Americans after the arrival of Europeans to North America. Indeed, though men may fail, the teachings of the Church never have, never do, and never will.

Just as the Church defended Native Americans 474 years ago this month (May 29, 1537), so today the Catholic Church continues to defend — through Her very clear teaching — the most vulnerable of all, the unborn child. Just as in the time of Sublimus Dei there were Catholics who protested the Church’s guidance, so today there are Catholics who deny the humanity and dignity of the innocent unborn child.

Most, if not all, Americans today understand the evil of slavery precisely because of the good work of Christendom, but most particularly the Catholic Church which stands as a visible beacon to the world. Satan devises his manner, but the Light continues to shine. So it is that I have hope that some day, Americans will look back upon this time as the brutal age of abortion, and Catholic politicians who did not stand against it will have the most shameful place of all in the annals of history.

10 Responses to A Message to Catholic Politicians and Others: The Presence is Real

  • iConfiteor says:

    A true and timely message. Thank you for posting this! I’ve often thought, hoped and prayed that some day society would look back upon the barbaric practice of abortion as a shameful remnant of history, much as we look back upon slavery today. With people like Alveda King championing the pro life cause today, hopefully many more will begin to see the connection you’ve illustrated.

    Also, thanks very much for mentioning the Papal Bull. I’ll definitely be sharing this article with my K of C brothers.

  • Bill Sr. says:

    I’ve often wondered if, somehow as only the Spirit could move to make happen, it might be possible that this most hideous of all human actions which as Americans we have woefully adopted and boastfully financed as a legitimate human right for women of the world could in time prove to be the one uniting bond and cause for all of Christendom as the answer to centuries of prayers for unity. Could this sorrowful issue miraculously spark and light a fire in the hearts of every true follower of Christ and become the real “global warming” issue that threatens the cold cruel world man’s selfish pride and foolish desires have fashioned for him. Wonders never cease you know. Mary, Queen of Peace pray for us.

  • c matt says:

    Unfortunately, Christians seem to be as divided on this issue as the general populace. It remains unfathomable to me that anyone could support abortion when it is so clearly wrong. Even otherwise good people seem to think it ok. The difficulty is in separating what is true from the understandable emotional sympathy one might feel for those facing the decision to abort, and the fear and uncertainty present in pregnancies arising under difficult circumstances. But none of that justifies what is an indisputably immoral act. When we get past this shameful part of history I will definitely be rejoicing, but I hope I would not judge those blinded to this injustice too harshly.

  • Mike Petrik says:

    The division you describe has always puzzled me as well, c matt. The discernment of abortion’s wrongness is not dependent on complex moral investigations. As any 5 year old if she or he thinks its ok for a mommy to intentionally kill the baby inside her, and they are invariably horrified at the very question. Some moral questions, such as material cooperation, are indeed difficult and often lead to uncertain answers. This is not such a question.

  • Bill Sr. says:

    Is there any other way to look upon this “problem” than a human condition within the womb of a woman?
    In the course of any human society it develops not as a problem but an individual blessing and a common necessity for the existence of that society through mutual love and attraction of a husband and wife joined in matrimony. No one denies this.
    Our problem “develops” when individuals seek to assign more or less significance to the act which results in the “condition” without regard to its obvious consequence either on purpose or involuntarily. And also when a society accepts or permits such behavior as normal and unobjectionable to its norms.
    The correct approach and remedy for this situation is that taken by the Church over the ages. That is, individual self control with proper respect for life, family, and our ability to procreate. The tranquility which would result from such an approach is indeed obvious.
    However, when a society decides to reject or resist the divine plan for mankind like that designed and pronounce by our creator and the Church man and women by their very nature will abandon self control and seek to take every opportunity to extract personal benefits and privileges from the pleasures within their procreative abilities. No one denies this either.
    So it should be clear that the “problem” really begins taking shape and form in the minds of individuals and particularly Christians as a result of society bent on penetrating the protective moral judgment placed there by the creator they have acknowledge and becoming their new moral guide instead. This is the conception which needs to be aborted in the minds of the people and we and our bishops must be willing to fight every fight and pay every bloody price to achieve it. Mary, Queen of Peace pray for us

  • Ike says:

    This bull freed Squanto when he was forcibly taken to Spain; this was the first step on his return home, with the ability to speak European languages, and subsequently communicate with the pilgrims. Without this document, it is arguable there would be no America. I pray God continues to guide our nation.

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