Monsignor Robert Batule, a regular commenter on this blog, is a long-time friend who has favored me over the years with his insights and affirmation. He is a dedicated pastor; a theology scholar who teaches dogmatic theology at St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers; and, as editor of the Catholic Social Science Review, a nationally prominent commentator on Catholic social thought and its application to the great issues of our time.
He has also become the catalyst, recently, for a local politician’s exercise in cancel culture.
It seems that shortly before Christmas last year, Msgr. Batule, as pastor of St. Margaret of Scotland in Selden, Long Island, was invited to give an invocation before a meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature. In doing so, he included prayers for the unborn and for religious liberty.
This struck one legislator as a violation of the U.S. Constitution–an unwitting demonstration, on her part, of just how disconnected too many of our government officials are from the true meaning and spirit of our nation’s founding documents. She introduced a bill to require “neutral” prayers before the legislature that do not “advance religious doctrine.”
Of course, that is not what Msgr. Batule’s prayer did. He provides a brilliant response on the website of Crisis magazine, cogently explaining the natural law and its application to such issues as freedom of conscience, religious liberty, and the sanctity of human life. I encourage everyone to read it, and share it with others.
And when you have, please join me in thanking and affirming Msgr. Batule for standing strong, as he has throughout his priesthood, in challenging those who would expunge expressions of religious faith from the public square.