Proper for a pastor to bring politics into his teaching?


Our parish priest has a habit of bringing politics into Bible study and Catechism classes (adult). For example, in a discussion of the first two marks of the Church (I don’t know the context but my wife was present), in talking about unity, he mentioned that he could never be a Republican-God forbid. He also expresses hatred of GWB in homilies and so on. We had a meeting with him because my wife was about to switch parishes because of what he says at times. I told her that as long as what he taught on faith and morals was on track, I’d let his politics wash over me.

This has been the second time she’s met with him (other parishioners are not willing to confront him). He did say he would tone down the rhetoric. I asked him just to keep his commentary on a subject and not resort to personal attacks. I did ask him how a Catholic could be Democrat in light of their stance on abortion, and he countered with the Republican stance on the Gulf War. Answering a question with a question! I told him I could hear him and disagree politically with him, and that’s ok, but my wife doesn’t even want to hear it.

Anyone else having to deal with this?

PS I would be just the same if you switched it around-I don’t want to listen to politics in a place where I come for spiritual exploration.


It seems your pastor is allowing personal animus to influence his homilies; this isn’t good either from the left or the right. It’s good to hear that you and your wife have spoken to him about this; I hope he will heed your concern.


No, it’s not appropriate. Shepherding one’s flock is not to be confused with railroading them into the voting booths, and while questions of morality may affect one’s political stance, the priest’s responsibility lies only with the former.


Doesn’t doing that exclude a Church from being tax exempt? Tim


Odd that a priest would think the Gulf War is worse than abortion.


IMO this is shameful. I am afraid that I would have to say something to the priest if it happened in my church. And if that did not calm things down, this granny would be at the bishop’s door. No political party should be discussed at church (even though there are protestant churches that get away with it and still maintain tax exempt status.)


It is proper to bring politics into the church as long as it does not interfere with the teaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ

the role of a pastor is to Sheppard his flock.
the Sheppard is more that a traffic cop for the sheep , the main job of a Sheppard is to protect his flock from harm .
Unfortunately in todays world government is a source of harm to Christians and society as a hole and therefore the sheppard duty is warn the flock about these dangers


Your wife is right. While this pastor may be in line with the Church on faith and morals, he is making his personal political views his religion. Equating politics with religion is the great heresy of our day. Get out of that parish, fast!


In my opinion this pastor is way out of line. Teach moral principles, but don’t be ramming your personal politics down anyones throats.

Abortion or War in Iraq? Well my opinion is that at the moment there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that we can stop either one of them No one has to agree with me on that. Think your own thoughts. Y’all know what’s at stake.

He very well could get his heinie in a jam with the IRS. I don’t know if all the rhetoric counts when the election is so far in the future and GWB isn’t gonna be a candidate anyway. :thumbsup:


I would tell the father that I will agree with him when the war reaches 50 million deaths ( approx. number of abortions world
wide ) , until then, if he doesn’t stop, find another church.


Yes. And I have found that priests who espouse a particular politics (especially if it is anti-Republican) are also the ones who look down and belittle those who want a Latin Mass in their parish. Is there a connection here?


From the Code of Canon Law:
Canon 287 §2 They [Clerics] are not to play an active role in political parties or in directing trade unions unless, in the judgement of the competent ecclesiastical authority, this is required for the defence of the rights of the Church or to promote the common good.


I think it is important for pastors to apply our Catholic faith and teachings to politics and public issues, as long as they do not bring individual politicians into the conversation.


This is a sin and from the way you’re describing it, it doesn’t sound like he’s repentant about it at all.

In our church, if a preacher did that, he’d be out of the pulpit pretty quick.


This is why politics and political issues (war, health care, abortion, economy, taxes, etc.) do NOT belong in the pulpit. It would be just as wrong for a pastor to express hatred for Barck Obama as for GWB. I have had the experience of listening to a sermon by a pastor expressing right-wing views (pro-war, anti-abortion, pro-Bush, etc.) doing the exact same thing as your priest…it’s a common practice among the religious right.


He’d have a point if the Church had declared that participation in the Gulf War brings on excommunication latae sententiae.


I would object to your characterization of abortion as merely a political issue. The Church teaches that human life begins at conception and equates direct abortion to murder, the intentional killing of an innocent human being. So, direct abortion, like murder, is not merely a political issue but something that should be condemned always and everywhere. Accordingly, the Church has always condemned direct abortion as a grave sin. Any Catholic who procures or performs a direct abortion is automatically excommunicated from the Church.



To add to that – it is also important for priests to discuss what the Church teaches about these issues as opposed to the priest’s personal opinion (you would hope that they’d be one and the same, though…)


Abortion is murder, the secular population have been successfully convincing those who do not follow their faith otherwise.



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