God establishes all governments. That is not necessarily reason for political leaders to feel good about themselves, for God can establish a government as a blessing or a punishment. Time will tell about our government and the governments of our current age, but I think the indications of God's intentions are pretty clear. After all, it does seem to frequently be the case that, when a people as a society choose to reject God, His punishment of choice is to let them have what they think they want – a society without Him or His blessings.
At the present moment, it looks like President Obama was re-elected, and was re-elected with the support of many so-called Catholics. I am not claiming that the Catholic vote should have gone to Romney; in my opinion, a true application of the Church's teaching regarding material cooperation and the requirement to choose the least of evils would have led to a different choice. Obama may still have won without the Catholic vote, but he should not have won – or even lost – with it. What I am saying is that there is no sense in which a vote for Obama could be considered as compatible with the Catholic Faith. Why, then, did Obama get so many votes from Catholics?
The only reason that seems logical is that the Church has failed to live up to her Faith. I am speaking here of the Church at all levels within the United States of America. In other words, it was not simply a failure of the bishops, or of the bishops and priests, but of the laity as well. It is a failure of learning, of understanding, of proclaiming, of living, and of defending the Faith. We are supposed to be the Church Militant, actively engaged in the battle for our own souls and the souls of others in this world. It is truly sad to see the current state of the war.
We of the laity have certain obligations that most of us seem to be ignoring. First of all, we are obligated to learn our Faith and to apply it to all aspects of our lives. While we do not support the Church running the government, we cannot accept the modernist notion of the “separation of church and state.” That notion means that the government cannot have an officially declared faith (which was the intent of the First Amendment). In modern days it is also declared to mean that we cannot even consider the teachings of our Faith in public life, not just in how we vote, but how we live our lives outside of the walls of church and home. The way we live our lives, how faithfully we go to Mass, how faithfully we raise our families, how faithfully we obey the just laws of our country, how faithfully we do our jobs, and how faithfully we treat others, are all serious obligations which seem to be lacking in American Catholics. Just look at the statistics of how many of those who declare themselves to be Catholic regularly go to Mass, how often they observe Holy Days of Obligation, how many of them believe in the Real Presence, Penance, the doctrines concerning abortion and contraception, and the Church's doctrine on the ordained priesthood. Yes, the laity have failed.
Priests are supposed to lead the faithful by boldly proclaiming the doctrines of our faith and explaining that rejection of even one doctrine is rejection of the Catholic Faith. Yet, for how long have those of us with traditionalist views lamented the near complete absence of a clear explanation of our beliefs from the pulpit? I went for years without hearing priests discussing sin, or hell. How far removed that seems from the Gospels, where Christ did not hesitate to preach about these things. Priests are supposed to be alter-Christus, they are supposed to act in the name of Christ Himself, who acts through them. Yet, how many of them give Holy Communion to those they know are in mortal sin? How many pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians receive Holy Communion from their hands, consecrated to serve Christ by faithfully administering the Sacraments. This is not an issue of using the Sacraments to engage in political manipulation; it is an issue of clearly standing up for the Faith, of clearly showing the rest of the faithful that there are things by which we can truly separate ourselves from God and for which we must repent before we can receive such a blessing.
Bishops are the successors to the Apostles, exercising the fullness of Christ's priesthood they received through ordination. Yet they have failed to lead the faithful and the priests by consistently denouncing the errors of our society and within our Church. Yes, they protested the HHS mandate, but they advocated the very health care law which enabled that mandate. They put their trust in the representatives of a party that boldly proclaims its unwavering support of contraception and abortion in all stages of pregnancy – even partial birth abortion. A plan promoted by a president who was proven to even support infanticide in cases of “failed” abortions where the child was born alive and breathing. They failed to live up to their apostolic responsibility of being on the front line, regardless of the consequences, defending the faith. They should never have advocated for a law from such a group without first seeing its provisions, but they did. They also failed to end the confusion of the faithful about the non-negotiable issues by declaring excommunicated those politicians who have excommunicated themselves from Holy Mother Church by advocating abortion, euthanasia, and other deceptions of the Evil One. Again, this is not about entering into the realm of politics, this is about proclaiming and defending our Holy Faith handed down to us from Christ and His Apostles. These politicians and other public figures have already excommunicated themselves. It is not political for bishops to exercise their responsibility to Christ and to the portion of His flock entrusted to their care by formally declaring that politicians who claim to be Catholic, but who publicly reject Church doctrine, are excommunicated in accordance with Church teaching and law.
We are supposed to be the Church Militant. We cannot lose the war for we have Christ on our side. Even when we lose battles, we are not to lose hope and are supposed to persevere in the Faith, we are under grave obligation to live out our respective responsibilities in the face of the persecution our Savior said we would face for His sake. As a church community, we are failing to live up to this obligation. We have failed our country. We have failed our Church. We have failed God. May God forgive us.