August 14, 2015

Be Our Guest / Stephen Kappes

Church helps lead us to salvation as it supports our hopes and dreams

This letter is in response to the front-page Catholic News Service story “Serra canonization should be call to respect cultures, Franciscan superior says” in the Aug. 7 issue of The Criterion.

First, there is no salvation outside of the Church because God has made it thus. All the universe that has ever been, is, and will ever be is God’s. (Code of Canon Law, #204, §1 and §2)

Jesus came into this world so that all peoples of every nation shall behold salvation—no matter the culture, the faith base or the race. God calls all people to himself. For those who never arrive at this knowledge nor are baptized, they are never lost.

Those who have accepted baptism and— while in this life may not be pure, holy and perfect—are not in mortal sin shall go at their passing to purgatory, while those who behold salvation, the beatific vision, at their mortal portal shall hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Inherit thy reward: heaven.”

Only those who reject truth, repudiate God, and do not repent of mortal sin need to be concerned of their loss of salvation.

Second, our Church does follow the flag, and that is why historically at the time of St. Junipero Serra we did follow the flag. Even in 1960, when Americans feared that the pope would rule the White House if a Catholic was elected president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy stated: My politics are from home, and my religion is from Rome. This was in order to quell the doubt regarding his and our allegiance and flat-out pledge to the flag.

Thankfully, it is the same U.S. flag that protects us pro-lifers from threats because our flag represents freedom of speech—at least until the U.S. Supreme Court strikes that down.

Third, to suggest that our Church curtails man’s dreams is erroneous; history does prove otherwise. The life of Leonardo da Vinci, who dreamed unimaginable things from 1452-1519—such as helicopters, parachutes, parasails, submarines and scuba gear—is one example.

Other examples of how Holy Mother Church walks side by side with those who have dreams include Pope Paul VI, who watched the lunar landing via a television on July 20, 1969; the Church marched with Martin Luther King, in Selma, Ala., on March 7, 1965; and every January, the Church walks in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., as we dream of an abortion-free America and globe.

(Stephen Kappes, O.F.S., is a member of Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Beech Grove.)

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