When do we as Catholics speak out? When do we stay silent?


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*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

I prayerfully ask: When do we as Catholics speak out? When do we stay silent? If there is a moral issue and we can cause people to turn against us and/or lose friends (potential converts) by speaking out and we have little hope of accomplishing any good except for letting the public, who probably does not care, know that we are seeking the truth, then should we speak out? If we will suffer persecution but potentially gain little or nothing at all for our suffering?

St. Teresa Benedict of the Cross (formerly known as Edith Stein) was a Jewish martyr, converted to a Roman Catholic Nun, who wrote to the Pope to speak out more against Jewish suffering during the Holocaust.

"As a child of the Jewish people who, by the grace of God, for the past eleven years has also been a child of the Catholic Church, I dare to speak to the Father of Christianity about that which oppresses millions of Germans. For weeks we have seen deeds perpetrated in Germany which mock any sense of justice and humanity, not to mention love of neighbor. For years the leaders of National Socialism have been preaching hatred of the Jews. But the responsibility must fall, after all, on those who brought them to this point and it also falls on those who keep silent in the face of such happenings.

Everything that happened and continues to happen on a daily basis originates with a government that calls itself “Christian.” For weeks not only Jews but also thousands of faithful Catholics in Germany, and, I believe, all over the word, have been waiting and hoping for the Church of Christ to raise its voice to put a stop to this abuse of Christ’s name." --Edith Stein, Letter to Pope Pius XI http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edith_Stein

Yet, Albrecht von Kessel, an official at the German Embassy to the Holy See during the war, wrote in 1963: "We were convinced that a fiery protest by Pius XII against the persecution of the Jews … would certainly not have saved the life of a single Jew. Hitler, like a trapped beast, would react to any menace that he felt directed at him, with cruel violence.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/piusdef.html

Instead, the Pope conducted underground efforts to help the Jews and only condemned the racism and violence indirectly. (above URL as well as jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/piusdef2.html )

Edith Stein was not safe in Netherlands, where she escaped and lived as a nun. The Pope may not have spoke out, but the Dutch Bishops’ Conference had a public statement read in all the churches of the country on July 20, 1942, condemning Nazi racism. In a retaliatory response on July 26, 1942, the Reichskomissar of the Netherlands, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, ordered the arrest of all Jewish converts, who had previously been spared. Stein and her sister Rosa, also a convert, were captured and shipped to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where they were gassed on August 9, 1942.

In practical life, my small concerns are: Do we post a picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary in our own property in a public location to venerate her, knowing that a Jewish friend might see it and become secretly offended and cut off the friendship, which might have been used to minister to her? Do we earnestly support pro-life activities, including related to the presidential election, knowing that a black friend might see it, think of us as secret racists, and cut off or make in name only the friendship, which might have been used to minister to her? In short, when do we talk, when do we keep silent. Thank you for your time and your prayers. Please pray for me in my decisionmaking process.

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


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