Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Good Shepherd in the Capitol

And no, he does not work for the government.

We must congratulate and thank good Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento. His Excellency was in the news last week for defending those still in the womb. On Saturday, August 14 he will celebrate Mass and then lead a pro-life Rosary at a Sacramento abortion business. The event starts at 8 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church (that's Bishop Soto, right, with another fearless shepherd, Salvatore Cordileone of Oakland, at the 2009 Walk for Life West Coast).

And today Bishop Soto came out strongly in defense of natural marriage and the common good of society. LifeSiteNews has the story:

"Soto has been an outspoken advocate of the Church's teaching supporting marriage between a man and a woman in his diocese. In 2008, Soto, then coadjutor bishop, shocked an audience at a National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries dinner, where he delivered a keynote address confirming the sinfulness of homosexual conduct and encouraging chastity outside of marriage.

The bishop told LSN that he and other bishops "are concerned about particularly the young Catholic voter" who does not understand marriage, and thus cannot grasp why the Church opposes homosexual "marriage."

"The common perception of marriage is adrift," said Soto. "The murky confusion about sexuality in general is what has placed the question of marriage and what a marriage is into doubt, and so I feel as a pastor that we have to really focus on the broader question of how to clarify the dignity of human sexuality overall."

One important solution, he said, was to bring nominal Catholics not only to a deeper participation in the sacraments, but a greater appreciation for and pride in their own faith identity. Soto noted that the Catholics Come Home advertisement campaign, which prompted a large number of Catholics to return to practicing the faith in his diocese, also caused them to feel more affirmed in their Catholic faith - something the bishop considers vital to the moral issues besetting California.

"Catholics need to have a certain sense of confidence that their beliefs are not just religious preference, but that in fact serve the common good," said Soto.

And that's an important disposition for Catholics to have: to realize that their faith is not an imposition either on themselves or on others, but that their faith is a gift, and that it makes common sense and serves the common good. So I think that's a message that has to be repeated over and over again."

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