With only a month until the November Presidential elections, local communities are “turning up the heat” on campaigning and advocating for their specific candidates. Utilizing their influence over millions of Catholics throughout the United States, Roman Catholic bishops are no exception to the increased campaigning.
This week, Newark Archbishop John J. Myers issued a pastoral letter urging New Jersey Catholics to vote in “defense of marriage and life,” and warns that the passage of same-sex marriage laws might lead to a government crackdown on religious freedom. He continues to say that Roman Catholics who disagree with the teachings on marriage should “refrain from receiving Holy Communion.”
In Washington State, regulators recently warned a bishop against holding a fundraiser to oppose a same-sex marriage proposal on the November ballot. A Peoria, Ill., bishop recently compared Obama to Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin. Last month, a Manhattan parish priest published a letter supporting Romney, citing his opposition to abortion, same-sex marriage and to elements of the national health insurance law that require coverage for contraceptives.
In response to the ever-growing political agendas being promoted from the pulpit, St. Catherine of Siena American National Catholic Church has committed to take a stand against engaging in political preaching and re-commits to embracing freedom of conscience.
From the first day of his pastorate, Fr. Phillip Lichtenwalter, pastor of St. Catherine of Siena ANCC, made a commitment to the parishioners that he would never preach about politics from the pulpit. “I wasn’t ordained a priest to support political candidates or agendas,” stated Fr. Phillip Lichtenwalter. “I was ordained to preach Jesus Christ and the love of God!”
Located at 600 N. Euclid in the Central West End, St. Catherine of Siena American National Catholic Church has become a haven for those Catholics seeking an alternative expression of their Catholic faith. Continuing the unfulfilled vision of Vatican II, St. Catherine of Siena ANCC strives to witness to the extravagant love of God.
“I promised my parishioners that I would never tell them how to vote or who to vote for,” commented Fr. Lichtenwalter. “We welcome all to celebrate their Catholic faith; black, white, gay, straight, young, old, Democrat or Republican!”
“We encourage any Catholic who is struggling with their faith, those who have given up on the Church, and those who have been excluded for one reason or another, to come and experience St. Catherine of Siena ANCC,” commented Connie Butler, president of the Board of Directors. “Our vibrant community welcomes with open arms all who seek a credible authentic expression of their Catholic faith!”
St. Catherine of Siena American National Catholic Church is an inclusive Catholic community dedicated to creating an open and welcoming church. We believe that all people, regardless of who they are or what paths their lives have taken, are welcome into the fullness of our Catholic faith. As a community that maintains many of the cherished traditions of the universal Catholic Church, we are a community that believes in faith in action, and strive to reach out to all our brothers and sisters.
St. Catherine of Siena American National Catholic Church worships at 600 North Euclid Avenue, St Louis, MO 63108 with Mass on Saturdays at 5:30 pm. For more information on St Catherine of Siena American National Catholic Church visit www.SaintCatherineSTL.org.