Some months ago the Sentinel decreed that between then and the election it would not accept letters to the editor supportive of or critical of any one candidate or party.

Part of the reason given is that the party in power may not work with the church on important matters if it sees our opposition. Politically, however, the effect of suppressing the Catholic voice runs only one way, for Catholic opinion is pro-life.

George Weigel has written: “Moral authority is depleted when the church fails to speak the truth to power, especially totalitarian and authoritarian power. The truth can be spoken prudently and in charity; but it must be spoken.”

Possibly church leaders were hesitant to speak truth to power or strongly to guide the consciences of the Catholic people as they decided the fate of this nation Nov. 3 for fear of what damage may have been inflicted on our churches in reprisal. If so, we were paying for protection with episcopal silence, just as shop owners in Palermo pay the Mafia.

If our church had spoken out and condemned pro-abortion candidates, some damage may have been done to our churches, but it would gain national attention and would go a long way toward preventing the entire nation becoming like China with the Catholic Church thoroughly suppressed and many churches and persons destroyed, not by mobs but by the government.

Honestly, one can hardly imagine anything more evangelical.

Lee Gilbert

Milwaukie


Editor’s note: Were the U.S. church to become as aligned with a political party to the extent that Mr. Gilbert wishes, we would then indeed be akin to the old Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association — allied boosters instead of independent Christians. Better to fight for moral principles than for a party. That’s just what church leaders did this fall.