National Catholic Reporter

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Editorial: We shouldn't judge


We learn that Kansas Republican Sen. Sam Brownback, in a fundraising letter for a new Washington-based antiabortion group distributed under his signature, questions whether some of his congressional colleagues are genuinely Catholic (see story).

"Real Catholics need a new voice -- not the likes of Ted Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi who have campaigned as Catholics while voting to undermine the values that we hold most dear," according to the letter.

Carried in an envelope that bears Brownback's signature in a manner similar to official congressional correspondence, it was distributed on behalf of Catholic Advocate, a project of the Washington-based Morley Institute for Church and Culture, publisher of Inside Catholic, a conservative Catholic Web site.

Step back, senator; back off, Morley Institute.

Remember this. As long as there are Catholics, there will be divisions regarding aspects of faith, culture, politics and lifestyles. These divisions, rather than to be castigated, are to be accepted and celebrated. Faith is a personal matter. Ultimately it involves a relationship between creature and Creator.

If judging is to be done, then let it happen elsewhere.

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Jesus had something to say about this. Recall Luke: "Hypocrite!" Jesus said. "First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother's eye."

So, yes, there is plenty of room for robust debates on issues of politics and church. That's part of our daily bread. It keeps us alive and, we hope, keeps us learning.

Meanwhile, stay away from self-righteous judgment. There's been too much of that. We are all Catholics, right? And shouldn't we come to the altar with a humility spawned by an awareness of our own inner foibles? Let's tone it down.


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In This Issue

October 21-November 3, 2016

  • Reformation's anniversary brings commemorations, reconsiderations
  • Picks further diversify College of Cardinals
  • Editorial: One-issue obsession imperils credibility
  • Special Section [Print Only]: SAINTS