Week of October 25, 2020

Week of October 25, 2020


Dear Parishioners,

In Amy Coney Barrett’s recent confirmation hearing for the circuit court, one of the senators said something that I think deserves greater comment. Senator Diane Feinstein said to Judge Barrett, “The dogma lives loudly in you.” This was a jab against Mrs. Barrett and especially a jab against her Catholic Faith. “Dogmatic” might as well be a synonym for being “closed-minded” in the senator’s view and it shows a certain prejudice that faithful Catholics cannot be good judges. However, I do not want to get into politics right now, but instead comment on what this term actually means.

A dogma is a truth of the faith revealed directly by God. These are things like our belief that God is a Trinity or that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. In order to be a dogma it has to be explicitly taught in divine revelation either in the scriptures or held by the tradition of the Church. These dogmas are our most sacred beliefs and the basis of everything the Church teaches. That is why Catholics are bound to believe the dogmas taught by the Church. If we do not, we are doubting the core of the entire faith. If we say that faith is wrong about one thing, we have no basis to believe the rest of it.

Because of this, I do not take what Sen. Feinstein said as an insult at all. In fact, I think we should wish that we all have dogma living within us. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all lived the faith so well that people could look at us and not miss that we are Catholic? Wouldn’t it be great if people knew you were Catholic because of how knowledgeable you were about Church teaching or how kind you were to your neighbor? Isn’t it a great thing when people make real sacrifices to attend Mass and adore Our Lord in the blessed sacrament? We should want the dogma to live loudly in us.

I cannot read Judge Barrett’s soul and I have no idea if the “dogma lives loudly” within her. I have heard much about her virtues both professionally and as a mother. Also, I am told that she is a faithful Catholic who has incredibly strong pro-life views. I do not pass any judgment over her and I wish her well in whatever her future career might be. May the dogma live loudly within her as well as in each one of us.

God bless!

Fr. Carter