Very Rev. Fr. John Lankeit, pastor
of the Saints Simon & Jude
Cathedral in Phoenix, Ariz.
Citing the 5th Commandment, "thou shall not kill," the Catholic Rev. John Lankeit said he was bound to speak out in defense of the most innocent and vulnerable in society -- babies in the womb -- and that faithful Catholics must do the same, especially in this election year. He added that if a Catholic votes for a candidate who supports abortion, then that Catholic's "soul will be in grave danger."
"Make no mistake!" said Fr. Lankeit, the pastor of the Saints Simon & Jude Cathedral in Phoenix, Ariz. "There is no single issue that threatens innocent human life more directly, consistently, imminently and urgently than the deliberate killing of baby boys and baby girls in their mother’s womb. No issue!"
"If a priest doesn’t speak up for the most vulnerable in our society, and if the Catholic faithful don’t actively protect the most vulnerable in our society by refusing to enable their deliberate destruction with their vote, then such Catholics are condoning the killing by their cowardice," said Fr. Lankeit in his Oct. 2 sermon at the cathedral. His sermon, or homily, was broadcast on local television and posted on YouTube, and is going viral.
At the start of his homily, Fr. Lankeit said, “The Devil is a divider who will use almost any tactic to separate Christians from Christ -- except for one tactic. He doesn’t typically come right out and say, ‘Deny Jesus Christ!’ because he knows that someone who loves Jesus would immediately reject the suggestion. So, he tends to use more subtle means and subtle words. But more on that later."
"For now, let’s deal with something closer to home, and very much in the forefront of many people’s minds: the 2016 presidential election," said Pastor Lankeit. "But let’s do so from a Catholic perspective. Let’s consider the intersection of the practice of our faith and the exercise of our civic duty, especially when it comes to voting. Let’s first acknowledge that there has never been a political party in the United States that is perfectly aligned with Catholic teaching on every issue."
"But that does not mean that we are therefore automatically free to vote for either major party," he said, "because one party can be much further from Catholic principles on the most important issues than the other party. As a result of that, we are often faced with the task of discerning which party and which policies are most in line with Catholic teaching, and which ones are not."
Although Catholics may disagree on how best to address certain issues such as immigration or affirmative action, said Rev. Lankeit, there are some issues, such as the taking of innocent human life -- abortion -- that are non-negotable.
“There are other issues, however, which touch on matters of intrinsic evil," said the pastor. "These are actions that can never, at any time, under any circumstance be committed, promoted, or even enabled by a faithful Catholic. ... Many want to treat abortion as merely one issue among many but that requires that a person pretend not to know what abortion is and what abortion does."
"Ignorance in this area is unacceptable, because ignorance in this area costs millions of babies their lives and jeopardizes the souls of many Catholic voters," said Rev. Lankeit. "On the other hand, if you DO know which candidate and party want to promote and expand abortion, and you still intend to enable them to continue their war on the unborn with your vote, then it is my duty as a priest to tell you that your soul will be in grave danger, especially if you present yourself for Holy Communion after casting such a vote with the full knowledge of what you’re doing."
Later in the homily, the pastor said, "There are plenty of Catholics who, quite rightly, have criticized bishops and priests in recent years for not having spoken out more forcefully against the sexual abuse of children by priests. Why then do many of these same Catholics want to silence bishops and priests who speak out forcefully against killing innocent children?"
"Why is opposing sexual abuse of children a matter of justice, but opposing the murder of children a matter of ‘preaching politics’?" said Rev. Lankeit.
"A priest is not only protected by the 1st Amendment (at least for now)," said the pastor. "He is also bound by the 5th Commandment—Thou Shalt Not Kill. If a priest doesn’t speak up for the most vulnerable in our society, and if the Catholic faithful don’t actively protect the most vulnerable in our society by refusing to enable their deliberate destruction with their vote, then such Catholics are condoning the killing by their cowardice."
"Make no mistake!" he said. "There is no single issue that threatens innocent human life more directly, consistently, imminently and urgently than the deliberate killing of baby boys and baby girls in their mother’s womb. No issue!"
"In the time since this homily started, at least 30 children have been deliberately executed in the womb in the United States of America—and that’s just the ones that are reported," said Rev. Lankeit.
To watch the entire homily, click here.