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Strategy for voters.

What strategy can be adopted to halt the secular assault on Christianity's position in the public forum? The answer has to come from a variety of jurisdictions such as those of the legal, theological, pastoral, and political disciplines.

Prayer

The first strategy for any Christian community is to resort to prayer, and fasting. This will have to be systematic and must be actively promoted by the hierarchy and church pastors.

Law

With concern to the law, the Catholic and Evangelical communities have taken a first step. On July 8, 2003, the Interfaith Coalition on Marriage and the Family, consisting of the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, the Islamic Society of North America, and the Catholic Civil Rights League, asked the Supreme Court for leave to appeal the Ontario Court of Appeal's June 10 decision. They were backed by the Association for Marriage and the Family in Ontario, consisting of Focus on the Family Canada, REAL Women of Canada, and the Canadian Family Action Coalition. Whether the Supreme Court will comply remains to be seen. And even if it does the likelihood that it will disagree with the Appeal Court is slight.

Politics

To defend the place of the Christian community in the public forum politically, much work will have to be done in a very short time. This labour must be supported by the pastoral-theological education of the millions of Canadian Catholics who have not been challenged in their public life as citizens whose Catholic conscience must have a bearing on their role as voters and policy makers.

Pastoral

In the pastoral forum the leaders must face the issues indicated above under the Halpern v. AGC case, such as their denial of "hate the sin, but love the sinner." They must do so not in the abstract but in the light of total rejection of the Judeo-Christian concept of marriage by the judiciary, the media, and the homosexual activists.

In general, the leaders of the Catholic community must publicly counter debilitating shibboleths such as "you mustn't judge"; or, we must be welcoming our homosexual brothers and sisters." Homosexuals who work towards a life of chastity are to be distinguished from homosexual activists. We do not welcome homosexual activists; we will not accept their notions.

Pastoral "care" of allowing active homosexuals to receive communion should be halted in clear and certain terms.

The Church should publicly and clearly distance herself from any notion that opposition to homosexuality is "homophobia." School boards should be told to end anti-homophobia "indoctrination" sessions for teachers. (See article "Catholic School Board Gay-Speak Seminar" in this issue, page 21).

There must be an end to false compassion, compromising, constantly bending backwards in order not to offend the homosexual community.

Homosexual activists are intent on destroying both marriage and the Church. Their literature tells us so. The Homosexual Manifesto of 1987 spells this out in detail. It is time to start believing them instead of continuing to see them in the light of nothing more than practitioners of platonic love.

Similarly, the teaching on just and unjust discrimination as explained by the Vatican in 1992 must be taught and defended. This must be repeated time and time again through all lines of communications including parish bulletins, homilies, radio, press conferences, pastoral letters from the pulpit, letters to editors, petitions, faxes, telephone calls, etc. This will require a change from a passive to an active mode of behaviour.

Above all, the question must be faced what to do about Catholic politicians who continue to publicly deny Catholic teaching. The Vatican Note of January 16, 2003, clearly aims at moving this subject forward into a correct but active response rather than maintaining the customary silence. The Pope's document on same-sex "marriage" dated June 3, 2003, published on July 31, spells it out even further.
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Author:de Valk, Alphonse
Publication:Catholic Insight
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Sep 1, 2003
Words:639
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