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This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.
by Jennifer Roback Morse
This article was first published October 5, 2018, at Catholic Vote.
Sunday, October 7 is Feast of the Holy Rosary. This is the day where, 437 years ago, Christian forces used the Rosary to overcome the Ottomans at the Battle of Lepanto.
In 2018, it’s the day when thousands of American Catholics will unite in prayer for healing in the world and the Church. The battle today is against lust for sex and power, and in favor of justice and healing for the sexually abused.
Father Richard Heilman’s Rosary Coast to Coast takes its inspiration not only from those who fought nearly a half-millennium ago, but also from when the people of Poland stood on their nation’s borders last year to pray for their country and the world.
At last count, there were over over 1,000 sites registered in the United States and 39 countries. Prayer will begin at 4:00 Eastern Standard Time, including at a rally on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
What can you do?
St. Paul noted that each of us has strengths that support and complement the rest of the Church. The Ruth Institute is primarily a scientific and educational institute that aims to uphold Truth on sexual ethics. But Father Heilman’s spiritual gift for organizing inspired us to reach beyond our comfort zone and organize for the spiritual battle — unseen, but more obvious every day.
Our Rosary Around the Lake has Bishop Glen John Provost of the Lake Charles, Louisiana Diocese leading the Apostles’ Creed, and a projected 1,000 local people — from Catholic clergy to non-Catholics!
You can also get involved. Use whatever gifts God has given you to support this international day of prayer. Share your local event on social media. (You can find the site closest to you here.) Encourage your friends and family to participate. If you’re unable to directly participate due to physical disability, pray the Rosary from home, or volunteer to babysit others’ children. Pray your own Rosary with the children!
Taking the Rosary past October 7
Hopefully, this great day of prayer will inspire you to keep working for the Kingdom. As a longtime defender of the Church’s teachings on sexual morality, I encourage all laity to make two important contributions to the Church.
First, we must work for justice for the victims of clergy sexual abuse. Cut out the excuses. “But other churches and public schools have as much abuse as we do.” Perhaps true, but not relevant. The only relevant factor is getting our own house in order. That includes: justice for the victims, punishment for the perpetrators, and protection for innocent clergy.
Second, we must proclaim the Church’s teaching on marriage, family, and human sexuality in our own spheres of influence. If the clergy had lived up to Church teaching, including the Sixth Commandment and their vows of celibacy, none of the abuse would have happened. And too many of the clergy are too morally compromised to offer a full-throated defense of Church teaching. We lay people must deliver that message ourselves.
Look at the current Supreme Court nomination mess. The Kavanaugh / Ford debacle clearly illustrates: many lives have been ruined by both genuine sexual assault and by false accusations. We need to challenge the entire sexual revolution, not just the little corner of it that happens to be bothering us right now.
No one can really do that but Catholics. Only the Ancient Catholic teachings on marriage, family, and human sexuality provide a humane and intellectually coherent alternative to the sexual brokenness we see around us.
I have no doubt at all that the Mother of God and her Divine Son will be delighted to help us proclaim these timeless truths.
See you on October 7!