Opinion - Sacred sermons not time for politics

Rather than telling people what to think or what to do, it’s better to help them form their consciences to make their own decisions. That’s why many Catholics are bothered by priests who, either explicitly or implicitly in sermons and homilies, endorse one political candidate over another.

Jesus was wise enough to avoid overtly political questions. The Gospel of Luke recounts that when Jesus was asked whether the ancient Israelites should pay taxes, he recognised the question as a clever political trap. If he said yes, he would be accused by his own people of colluding with the Roman authorities. If he said no, he would be accused by the Romans of sedition, a crime that carried the penalty of death. So, slipping out of the trap, he said, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

All the more reason a priest should never take political sides in a sermon or homily. Because you are not preaching your own words. You are preaching about the Word--capital W. And, in the end, that word isn’t yours at all. It is God’s. - Fr James Martin, Beliefnet (click below for full article)


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