On Wednesday, August 26, Sister Diedre Byrne, POSC, a nun who served as a surgeon, a retired army officer, and a missionary, gave a bold speech at the Republican National Convention regarding the sanctity of all human life. She affirmed and praised President Donald Trump for being one of the most pro-life presidents in American history in trying to stop the murder of unborn children through abortion. She also assured him of not only the support of America’s pro-life community but also that of countless religious throughout the nation who would be supporting him spiritually with “our weapon of choice, the rosary.”
This comment would later garner the criticism of Father Daniel Horan, OFM, professor of theology at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. On Twitter, he stated the following: “Weapons, by definition, are instruments of violence. Prayer is NOT a weapon, sacramentals for prayer like rosaries are not weapons. Christ preached and lived a message of nonviolence, and prayer is always about love—God’s love. Weaponizing faith is disgusting and idolatrous.”
The criticism given by Father Horan of Sister Byrne’s comments on the rosary seems not only strange but completely discordant with the constant teaching of the Church as taught by Our Lord in the Gospels, Saint Paul, the Psalms, as well as the saints. Why does Father Horan distort the faith by promoting opposition to the normal spiritual combat of the ordinary life of faith that the faithful are called to wage through the grace of God?