Ad Limina Apostolorum (Blog) | St. Augustine's Library
Friday, May 21, 2004

"I, as a successor of the apostles, cannot remain silent . . ." 

I'm a Johnny-come-lately on this one, but I can't refrain. Yesterday I came across this reference on A Saintly Salmagundi. Bishop Aquila of Fargo Diocese in North Dakota, took the pulpit in late April to issue the most compelling pro-life homily I've ever heard (or in this case, read). The homily in full is here. Selections follow:

"In the light of the last few days and all of the media coverage regarding John Kerry's unambiguous support of abortion rights, his personal opposition to abortion, and his insistence on the separation of his Catholic faith from his professional life, I, as a successor of the apostles, cannot remain silent. I, as an apostle, must speak with the apostles and obey God rather than man and present to you the teaching of the Church . . ."

"This past week there was controversy over the photographs of coffins coming back from Iraq. They demonstrated the reality of the war, which is not a bad thing for people to see, for in any war evil is present as is death. Yet, as I looked at that photo with real sorrow for the men and women who sacrificed their lives for our country and for their families, I thought to myself, 'Imagine if the media showed thirty-five hundred to four thousand coffins a day just in the United States of those who are aborted, of those who are denied a right to life.' The outcry would be great, but because it is hidden, a so-called 'right,' there is no outcry."

"Catholics who separate their faith life from their professional and social activities are putting the salvation of their souls in jeopardy. They risk the possibility of hell. Any Catholic who stands for a law of man, most especially one which is objectively evil, before a law of God, puts his or her soul in jeopardy of salvation for they cooperate with a real evil."

"The grave error that has come about, the grave error that the Father of Lies has planted in the hearts of many is the lie of thinking that we can have one foot with God and one foot with the world. We are in the world, not of the world. We are in the world to transform the world. The only way that the world will ever have peace, the only way the world will ever live in the truth is if the world embraces Jesus Christ. I would remind Catholic politicians, clergy and all of the faithful of the words of St. Paul when he reminds the people who are not living their lives according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and yet still receive the Eucharist that they bring judgment on themselves (I Cor 11, 27-29). They bring judgment on themselves. Let those words sink in."

Anyone get chills reading that? I don't know this bishop from Adam, and its always risky making one's judgment based upon one isolated homily. But in this homily one hears the unmistakable voice of the apostles (didn't St. Paul have a friend named Aquila?) -- the iron sceptre of a king united with the tender staff of a shepherd -- which must always be the trademark of the episcopal office.

# posted by Jamie : 8:50 AM


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Ad Limina Apostolorum: An ecclesiastical term meaning a pilgrimage to the sepulchres of St. Peter and St. Paul at Rome, i.e., to the Basilica of the Prince of the Apostles and to the Basilica of St. Paul "outside the walls".

"Augustine of Hippo Refuting Heretic"
(illuminated manuscript,
13th century)

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