A Letter To The Rulers |
From Saint Francis of Assisi
In these times that modernists feel things are relative and some within the Magisterium fear retaliation from
those who would dull or even silence the Church and her teachings, I offer the mendicant magic that the gentle spiritual giant Francis of Assisi counseled his charges and would ask the bishops to contemplate:
To all Magistrates and consuls, to all judges and governors all over
the world and to everyone else who receives this letter, Brother Francis,
your poor and worthless servant in the Lord, sends greetings and peace.
Consider and realize that the day of death is approaching (ref. Genesis
47:29) I therefore beg of you with all the respect I am capable of that you
do not forget God or swerve from his commandments because of the cares and
anxieties of this world which you have to shoulder. For all who forget Him
and turn away from His commandments (Psalm 118:21) shall be forgotten by Him
(Ezekiel 33:13). When the day of death comes, all that they thought their own
will be taken away from them (ref. Luke 8:18). The more wisdom and power they
enjoyed in this life, the greater the torments they will have to endure in
hell (ref. Wisdom 6:7).
And so my lords, this is my advice. Put away all worries and anxiety
and receive the holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ fervently in
memory of Him. See to it that God is held in great reverence among your
subjects; every evening, at a signal given by a herald or in some other way,
praise and thanks should be given to the Lord God almighty by all the
people. If you refuse to see to this, you can be sure that you will be held
to account for it at the day of judgment before Jesus Christ, your Lord and
Those who keep a copy of this letter and put it's prescriptions into
practice can rest assured that they have God's blessing."
St. Francis of
It's hard to add to the words of a saint, and yet, I feel I must say something to
the Bishops and all Catholic leaders in politics and business. If they take it as admonishment, then so be it. I would hope they
would follow the wise counsel of Francis. His track record speaks for itself - both
on earth and in the Heavens. I pray the Bishops and Catholic lay leaders in all walks of life would
strive to live and exhibit his wisdom, insight and holiness. I pray they would
strive to emulate his austerity in all things for the greater honor and glory of God.
You are the signal to be given to the people you represent. Don't fool
yourself with pious sounding words such as, "Well, I'm personally opposed to
abortion, but.." These words are no better than your counterparts who said,
"I'm personally opposed to slavery, but.." Or even those who said "I'm
personally opposed to what is being done to the Jews, but..." You're 'god'
shouldn't be political expediency, but God. You're intelligent enough to
know that, though God judges by one's conscience, He doesn't 'wink' at the
conscience killed through political expediency, or one's personal wants or
As St. Thomas More pointed out, the patron saint of politicians, the
statesman who forgoes his conscience for the sake of his public duties,
leads his people, by a short route, to chaos.
If you honestly cannot see this and refuse to follow the teaching of
the Church you profess to belong to, then you should at least be honest
enough, as your predecessors were in the days of King Henry VIII, to say
that you are no longer Catholic, since, by word and deed you have already
left the Church you profess to belong to.
For past columns by Pat Ludwa, see VIEW FROM THE PEW Archives
March 17, 2001
volume 12, no. 76
Pat Ludwa's VIEW FROM THE PEW column