One of the most courageous sermons I’ve ever heard from a Catholic priest

Patrick's Blog — By on October 22, 2012 5:57 pm


Over the last 25 years that I have traveled around the country speaking at Catholic parishes I have had the occasion to listen to countless sermons from countless Catholic priests. Some of those sermons were limp and lackluster, a great many were quite good — rich in scriptural and practical wisdom and insights — and a few were so compelling, so deep, even profound, that they remain indelibly imprinted on my mind. This sermon is one of those. Watch and listen. I think you’ll agree with me.

This sermon contains no flashy rhetoric. In fact, quite the opposite — the delivery is calm and sedate.  But its content is electrifying. I know, I was present in the church, sitting in the back pew, and I marveled at how it caused everyone in the church to catch his breath (“can he really be saying these things?!”) and listen.

The uneasiness of the parishioners was palpable. I was actually surprised that no one got up and stormed out or stood and shouted defiantly at the priest. I found this sermon so riveting, so timely, and so calmly and fearlessly delivered, that after Mass I took him aside and told him, “I’ve been Catholic for 52 years now, and that was one of the most courageous sermons I have ever heard in my life. Quite possibly the most. Thank you for being willing to stand up and say what you said.” I was told that day by a parish staffer that there were many Catholic Democrats in the congregation. I wonder if this message will affect the way they vote in two weeks.

The priest is Father John Fitch. The church is Epiphany Cathedral in the Diocese of Venice. And the subject of his sermon is, of all things, politics. Politics and moral issues and how so many Catholics today have become more Democrat than Catholic and more Republican than Catholic. It’s a powerful message. I hope you’ll not only listen to it and think about it but also share it as widely as you can. I’d encourage parishes to post this video on their websites. It’s that good.

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