I love your website and all that you do.
If you like the following anecdote, please feel free to put it on your blog.
Yesterday, a good friend and devote Catholic was talking about how President Trump had Iranian General Soleimani killed. She praised the president and lamented that non-Catholics oppose Catholicism and President Trump. This woman is very knowledgeable and devout and an all-around great person. But even among the greatest of Catholics, militarism and patriotism override their Catholicism. I see no Catholics anywhere, in magazines or speaking from the altar, condemning this as an act of murder for which the president shows no signs of remorse. Not even the most skilled sophists could rationalize this as “just war theory” in any possible way. I understand that Donald Trump has appointed some pro-life Supreme Court justices, but that is no reason to turn our backs on calling out grave mortal sin for what it is. Do we need to be reminded not to trust in princes (Psalm 146:3)?
Thank you so much, Steve W., for sharing your thoughts.
It’s true the conservative Catholics are sympathetic to the Donald and let him literally get away with murder. However, among traditionalist, Latin Mass types the position is more nuanced. Many are tired of the endless wars in the Middle East that fits with the neocons agenda, but definitely not with America First. Actually they voted for the Donald also because of his electoral promises to end these bloody, absurd conflicts.
I’m very curious about the Trad Catholics and where they stand on all this. As far as popular podcasters and bloggers, it seems like a huge blindspot. They NEVER bring it up. But I’m no expert on everything that is out there. I have a feeling most of them are sick of it, but are hesitant to cut ties with nationalistic, patriotic sentiment, or are afraid of bringing it up because they don’t want to alienate cultural conservatives? Hmm….
Although they are all patriotic, the big difference between conservatives and traditionalists is that the latter are Catholic first and take the Magisterium seriously (e.g., condemnation of nuclear weapons). The tweets of the influential Rorate Caeli blog, https://twitter.com/RorateCaeli after the assassination, although they do not show grief for the death of Soleimani, they do call for an end of foreign interventions in the Middle East. They have no love for the cultural conservatives (e.g. Weigel), but, and I agree with you, the patriotic sentiment is definitely an obstacle to a more decisive anti-war stance. If I am not mistaken, you live in the Denver area. Maybe you could try to contact the local FSSP parish https://www.olmcfssp.org/ and give a presentation there to push them over.
I just might do that. Thank you!
Here is an idea for Catholics who want to help keep this idea alive and maybe spark discussion.
The link below is to the post on Target Liberty by a Catholic. Here is the message he sent to his parish:
“Hello, I’d like to have a Mass said for the soul of recently deceased General Qassem Suleimani at the next available Sunday Mass. Please let me know when the soonest available date is & how much is the stipend , I believe it’s $10, correct? Please make sure they spell and pronounce Mr. Suleimani’s name correctly.
Wow! An interesting idea. Sam, I’d love to know what their response is if you wouldn’t mind keeping me posted on how it progresses. You could do so here or email me at email@example.com.
I saw it too and left a comment, which I somehow botched (sigh!). Anyway, I hope the sense is still clear. Yes, you can have a Mass for a non-Catholic. I did it for my first boss and for a friend of mine. However, the intention of the Mass is normally listed as “private” to avoid scandal. Whether it is a good idea to have one for Suleimani, it is another matter. If one sincerely wants to ask God to have mercy on the general’s soul, it’s perfectly fine. However, if there are other reason (e.g., a political, albeit noble, statement), it’s better to use other means . Sacraments are above all earthly things.
The pastor (OP) refused to allow it. He checked with canon lawyers who told him that it was licit to have a mass said for the soul of a non-Catholic. He was concerned that parishioners would not understand and ask questions. I pointed out that Jesus commands us to love our enemies and do good to those who do evil to us and that we must love one another as He loved us. I was able to quote quite a few passages of the command for love. He also mentioned the possibility of scandal. To me, and I said so to him, it is a scandal that we choose to not follow the clear teachings of Jesus for fear that someone might not understand.