Archdiocese of Chicago

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Reading All the Signs

In a recent short visit to Cuba, I took to reading all the signs prominently displayed to shape people's thoughts.  In Communist countries, there is little or no commercial advertising.  Its place is taken by official propaganda messages.

One of the frequent messages displayed on the billboards read: "La patria ante todo", the country before everything.  For those who pray that God's kingdom come, the slogan is blasphemous.  God and his kingdom are before everything, and Christ makes it clear that being his disciple has priority over love of family and friends, before country and all other human constructs.  That's the basic reason why the history of the Church is so marked by opposition from and persecution by civil authorities.

On the Fourth of July, we renew our love for our country by situating it where it belongs: in the context of our first loyalty to the kingdom of God.

Francis Cardinal George, OMI

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