By the Grace of God I am no Obama, but if I were I would start being rather worried about the ultimate outcome of the HHS mandate.
We are now informed the count now is at eleven decisions to three in favour of decent Christians. It is also to be noticed all decisions to date concern “for profit” organisations.
It is already clear this will be a very difficult childbirth.
Let’s hope in a late-term abortion.
And so Cardinal Dolan is now trying to recover face after the shameless electoral help given to Obama, certainly in the hope that he will guffaw his way out of an utter loss of face with a couple of edifying exhortations, like the one to go to confession.
All very fine of course, if to the cynical eyes of yours truly this wouldn’t smell of a smoke screen aimed at letting us forget what a sell-out the Cardinal was until some days ago.
After his shameless betrayal of every pro-life decency (and make no mistake, he did it to stay in the graces of the man he thought would win; that’s why he did it; he is the kind of man who doesn’t refuse to help… the winner…) the very minimum the Cardinal can do now is to signal that he will defy a jail sentence (like some of his colleagues are already starting to do; Archbishop Lori of Baltimore comes to mind, and Bishop Conley of Lincoln) rather than bow to the HHS mandate.
Cardinal Dolan is the Numero Uno of the US Catholics, and a successor of the Apostles; he should remember his duty to fight the good fight, and the consequences he must be able to bear in consideration of the habit he wears. It now behoves him to stop guffawing already and start showing whether he is, as the immortal Alessandro Manzoni would say, an iron or an earthen vase.
I for myself am not ready to give sell outs any credit, unless and until they start to deserve it. Even if they happen to wear a red hat.
Enough of whitened sepulchres.
You may have noticed that I very seldom post about some speech of the Pope. The reason for this is that I rarely (nay: almost never) find them of any relevance whatsoever in dealing with the concrete, everyday problems of the life of Catholics.
I do not mean here that a Pope should thunder every Monday against Obama and every Tuesday against Cameron, though that would be good, too (A Pope is a head of State, but a Pope first; strong Popes of the past never had a problem in confronting Kings and Emperors). I also do not mean to say that a Pope should not talk about peace, love, and other Christian subjects.
What I mean is that by reading the Pope’s messages you wonder whether the news from Planet Earth manage to enter the offices of the Vatican.
There is almost no day without some new attack on the Christian society, perpetrated by heads of governments, parliaments, judiciary, down to universities, Cardinals, Bishops, and even parish priests. One would expect the Pope to become very stern and very vocal in the defence of Catholicism, and to take the lead in the battle.
Instead, the typical fare coming from the Vatican is the kind of generic waffle which either doesn’t criticise anyone or, if it does, does it in a way that no one needs to feel criticised.
The United Kingdom’s PM might be thinking of launching a same-sex initiative in parliament against the majority of his own party, obviously relying on the Labour votes to make a favour to his girlfriend Clegg and, it is increasingly suspected, keep getting sex at home. Popes of the past would have made his life very difficult.
The US elections showed the Church has almost no grip on the “catholic” electorate, and even her US leader thinks it smart to rub oneself against the president, just in case he should win. I remember reading that in England the entire country was excluded from communion in the XVI century at some stage of the conflict with Henry VIII. Let us say this again: A Pope took away communion from an entire country. In the US, we are probably going to hear another lecture about the importance of “encountering another”.
The HHS mandate threatens the freedom of not only Catholics, but every American. In the past, when the freedom of Catholics was threatened Popes started organising wars, and certainly weren’t shy in saying who was a friend and who was an enemy.
These are just few examples taken out of three seconds of reflection; every one of you can add countless other issues, big and small.
Now let us move on to the Catholic News Agency, and let us see what weapons the Pontiff is using against the deterioration of everything Christian all over the West. As per today I find the following:
“Pope reflects on finding faith in a secular world”: the talk is about “experience of God”, “encountering another”, and such like.
“Pope Calls faith, reason essential to human freedom”: 70 scientists are lectured about “a new vision of the unity of the sciences.” Expressions like “participated being” rear their ugly head.
“Pope reflects on the power of love”. Love is this, love is that. All fine of course, but there’s nothing against Obama, or Cameron.
It’s all like this. If it’s not love is charity, if it’s not charity is understanding, if it’s not understanding is dialogue. All very edifying, no doubt (apart form the “dialogue”), but when it comes to what can make a difference, that is: taking a hard stance on the modern world’s controversies and the battlefields that are shaping the world of the future generations, the Pontiff is utterly and absolutely nowhere to be seen, and rather makes the same impression as the photo above.
In past times, far lesser attacks to Christianity than what is currently going on in countries like the US, Canada and the United Kingdom would have caused prominent excommunications and a promise of cold or – perhaps – warm war.
Nowadays, Joe Biden has just been reelected Vice President, and all we will probably hear is some common place who does not say he is wrong, let aloe punish him. You are unlikely to ever hear from the Pontiff anything even remotely similar to this , and the man who has the gut to talk so beautifully and openly is not some agit-prop, but a Bishop of the Church; one of those who seem to be appointed by the Pope only by mistake, or fortunate coincidence.
The Vatican is fast asleep. What happens outside seems not to concern them and if it does, it is as if Pope and Cardinals thought they are the last one called to vocal and concrete opposition, as opposed to generic waffle.
Sleep, Vatican, sleep.
One day you’ll wake up to jail and persecution, and it will be your fault.
After the election, it is perhaps useful to take stand and see where we are on a couple of things. These are only short reflections I throw in the field now and will be developed in the future:
The evil, satanic man has won against the tepid opportunist so many did not want as a candidate. I’d have preferred it if the race had gone the other way, but I think those who have picked Romney as candidate have only to blame themselves for this defeat, and have absolutely no right to demand everyone votes for the bad candidate just because the opponent is worse. This is the GOP-establishment, Rove thinking which has given us two very mediocre candidates in two elections and would give us mediocre candidates in all eternity, then this thinking condemns us to mediocre candidates. I hope Rove goes for good, and his mentality with him.
2) HHS mandate
At this point, unless the bishops wet their cassocks this is going to become a huge legal fight, and if that goes wrong hopefully a social mess big enough as to force “change”. I doubt the Church in the US has the right personnel to pick up such a fight in a hard way. Again, they reap what they saw, and they get what they deserve. Their bones and skulls will pave the ways in Hell.
3) Catholic vote
I still have to find the exact information. The Latinos have voted for Obama in scaring percentages, but I do not know how many of them defines themselves as atheists or protestants. I suspect the protestants were more opposed to the President than the Catholics on average. Still, it shows the utter failure of the American clergy – collectively seen – in this matter.
I do not have the data of those who define themselves as Catholic Church goers, or as Catholic of Italian, or Irish descent. I suspect the thing goes together with income cohorts. Which shows how ineffective the Church has been.
The Guffawing Cardinal determined to please the President in case the latter should win is (literally) the picture itself of what must change but as always, the change must come whence all change is originated: Rome.
4) The country
I do NOT think the country has become more “liberal”. It has merely become more polarised. The House is not only safely Republican, but these Republicans are as conservative as this was not seen in a long time.
They have not failed, nor has the Country failed them. Romney has failed.
5) The vote
The same electorate sending in the House an encouragingly conservative troop has given McCain less support than the one it had given McCain under the wave of “Obamania”. There is way more brutally eloquent to describe the extent of Romney’s failure to get the conservative vote.
The GOP got another slap in the face, and I think it is a well-deserved one. The age of RINO candidates must end, than it is clear with this strategy the Republican party cannot even win against an atheist Nazi madman who has driven the country to the wall economically and morally.
6) The future
I would like to be able to personally cane those who now write on this blog saying that the battle is lost, we have to live with legalised abortion, we have to live with institutionalised sodomy, or we have to live with Obamacare, or we have to live with everything else. Whatever has been done can be undone. It might be more difficult and more long a process, but life was never supposed to be as easy as we wish. In the absence, I will delete defeatist comments. You want to work for the devil, do it elsewhere.
Find consolation in the thought you live in an age allowing true Christians to strenghten their faith. Never be defeatist. Victory is ours already, though we may never see it in this life. This life is supposed to be a vale of tears, not a walk in the park. The day we die we will be away from all this, and hopefully on our way to complete victory. Let us work on this every day without being distracted or depressed by the world around us.
I will personally pray more, and fight harder. As far as I am concerned, I want Obama to become a mean to my spiritual progress, not to my destruction.
God works in mysterious ways. Pray, and be in good spirits.
I will try to make it (rather) snappy.
I don’t like Romney. I don’t like him, I don’t trust him, and I think he is a weak candidate who will be – for a Republican – an even weaker President.
I think that he will, like Cameron, do whatever he can do to shift to the left (socially, rather than in what concerns the economy) from the very day he is elected. I do not think he has a political spine, or morals, going beyond his own electoral interest.
I think that if he wins, we (as in: the Western world) will be stuck with Cameron’s smarter and richer cousin for the next eight years.
Finally, I think that if the conservative voters succumb to the logic of the lesser evil, they will in all eternity be stuck with candidates who are just a tad less evil than their democratic opponent; because if this is the logic, where will it stop? One will apply this reasoning every time and will vote for the candidate just a bit less evil, every time…
Still, if I lived in the United States I would, after a rather tormented reflection, vote for Romney.
The reason for this is that, upon reflection, I think that this 2012 election might, in fact, be rather unique. The unprecedented attack on religious freedom perpetrated by the Obama troops is not likely to be repeated, particularly if he loses, then the unavoidable awakening of the Church would make such a game more dangerous in four and even more in eight years’ time. This is, I think, the moment of greatest emergency, and one which might not be seen again for a long time.
Mind, I have no illusion Romney will make every effort to deliver as little as he can. He’ll start to repeal Obamacare as little as he can get away with, push for economic reforms as little as he can get away with, protect “civil partnerships” (and, if the occasion is given, so-called “gay marriage”) as much as he can, from day one. He will do this and much more than this because, like every flip-flopper, he does not see principles, but votes. If he is elected, his march toward the Democratic electorate will begin on Wednesday. I have seen all this happening with Cameron, and I assure you it is not a pretty sight. Cameron is, admittedly, more liberal than Romney, but so is the country at large: the way of thinking and the art they will operate once in power is, I think, the same.
Still, there is no denying that even a flip-flopping Romney will have great difficulties in getting much nearer to the Democratic positions, and in the end I’d prefer to have one scared of conservatives in power than one not caring two straws, because he does not even have to be reelected.
Also, the advantage with the flip-floppers is that they can, well, “flop” as well as “flip”: scare them enough into a socially conservative politics and this is what they will deliver, as once again our now serially humiliated Prime Minister is slowly trying to do (too late, I am not afraid…). If the election of a tepid centrist in love with electoral consensus like Romney is strengthened and sharpened by a vocally conservative electorate, you’ll see him with his nose on the trail like a good old hound, and like a good hound he won’t miss the trail.
And then, there is all the rest: from the economy to Israel to the defense forces. All things which would not persuade me to vote for him if he actively promoted intrinsic evil; but hey, he doesn’t do it (very vocally) yet, and Obama does it every day, without any shame, and gagging for more when he is free from the pressure of re-election. I have not yet heard Romney take a hard stance against, say, homosexuality; but hey, for a flip-flopper it’s par for the course.
The other one, though, reminds me rather of the Antichrist. At that point, even I would choose the flip-flopping Mormon.
Therefore, my – rather hard – decision is that it does make sense to vote for Romney; that the probable burying of a suitable candidate for the next eight years might be a price worth paying to kick out the rather satanic tool in power now; and that in the end this is one of those occasions where one can at least pick tomorrow’s enemy; and if this is so, he should do it wisely.
This is why, if I were an American Citizen, I would still vote for Romney on Tuesday.
Let us examine again the reason brought forward to justify the invitation: it is better to talk than to criticise from far away.
Is it? Really? Are Satanists invited to the dinner? What about militant atheists and rabid “homosexualists”? Will a chosen selection of Church-persecuting Chinese leaders be of the party? Oh well…
You don’t say, Your grace? This is an astonishing, revolutionary thought indeed! What might have occasioned such a profound conclusion?
Joe Biden doesn’t know what he is talking about, or he is a liar.
Last night, the following statement was made during the Vice Presidential debate regarding the decision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to force virtually all employers to include sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause abortion, in the health insurance coverage they provide their employees:
“With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution—Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital—none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.”
This is not a fact. The HHS mandate contains a narrow, four-part exemption for certain “religious employers.” That exemption was made final in February and does not extend to “Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital,” or any other religious charity that offers its services to all, regardless of the faith of those served.
HHS has proposed an additional “accommodation” for religious organizations like these, which HHS itself describes as “non-exempt.” That proposal does not even potentially relieve these organizations from the obligation “to pay for contraception” and “to be a vehicle to get contraception.” They will have to serve as a vehicle, because they will still be forced to provide their employees with health coverage, and that coverage will still have to include sterilization, contraception, and abortifacients. They will have to pay for these things, because the premiums that the organizations (and their employees) are required to pay will still be applied, along with other funds, to cover the cost of these drugs and surgeries.
USCCB continues to urge HHS, in the strongest possible terms, actually to eliminate the various infringements on religious freedom imposed by the mandate.
The edifice is still in place of course, but this is a devastating blow.
In the words of the Alliance Defending Freedom:
Obamacare’s HHS Mandate that forces a Christian family to either comply with the mandate and violate their religion or forfeit their livelihood. The Newlands operate their family-run HVAC equipment business, Hercules, Inc., according to their religious beliefs and object to the government forcing them to fund abortion inducing drugs, contraception and sterilization. They were facing crippling fines of millions of dollars a year if they followed their conscience and not the government’s dictates.
The court granted an injunction and stopped the Mandate in its tracks while the lawsuit continues. The court rightly held that the government failed to show that its goal of providing “health care” would somehow be thwarted by exempting the Newlands because it already exempts “191 million Americans” for various secular reasons. It held that preventing the government from enforcing its regulation, “pales in comparison to the possible infringement upon Plaintiffs’ constitutional and statutory rights.”
Oddly, the government argued that the Newlands forfeited their constitutional rights when they started their family business. But Christians or other people of faith do not lose their God-given right to religious freedom when they earn a living. Fortunately, the court did not accept such an outrageous position.
It truly says it all.
This is just a step of course, but I wouldn’t bet my pint on Body Odour’s success on this.
The battle against that particularly perverse consequence of Obamacare called HHS Mandate does not stop after the unfortunate decision of the Supreme Court to allow the law to stand (albeit, I seem to gather, the specific religious freedom aspect of the HHS mandate should be examined separately).
As you read here, a proposal of new legislation has now been launched, meant to avoid the secularist dhimma of having to pay to live according to your religion. With the important difference that whilst the dhimma is meant to be, broadly and generally speaking, affordable – because the money is generally wanted – the HHS tax isn’t – because what is wanted is the destruction of religious values as worthy of protection rather than the use of Catholics as a source of tax revenue -.
You can read the details on the linked article, and persuade yourself ad abundantiam that the scope of such a tax is certainly not the one of having companies to pay it, but to dissuade them from behaving in a way would attract the tax. This kind of punitive tax is what we expect from nannies generally, but this is an extreme example.
I still am unable to see the catastrophe in the refusal of the Supreme Court to, well, abort Obamacare. Whilst it wasn’t the outcome I would have wished, in the end it is now in the hands of the American citizens to liquidate both the law and those who taught it; and as the Congress is very likely, and the Senate not unlikely to be in Republican hands come November whatever the outcome of the Presidential race, I cannot see an easy life for Obamacare anyway; this, without the legal challenges yet to come.
What, I think, must NOT happen, is people refusing to vote against Obama because Romney is a mormon. This would be, I think, a very grave mistake. In my eyes, even a syphilitic drug-addicted drunkard without the anti-Christian ideology would be vastly times preferable to the present occupier.
It can be that this article depicts the reality a bit rosier than it is. It cannot be denied that it will not be an easy, or a rapid task, to awaken the US Catholics to the abomination of the HHS in particular, and Obama in general. But it cannot be denied that the potential for defeat here is huge.
I do not consider this in terms of how long will it take before the US Catholics vote like a man in the way a Catholics is supposed to vote (and before that, to think). What I think is most important, is the shift. With almost one voter in four officially a Catholic, and Catholicism still exercising a grip on many people – at a subtle and profound level, which it might take time to let emerge – Obama is bargaining a short-term doubtful gain: the renewed support of the pervert fraction, most of whom would have voted for him anyway, with the slow but, if the local clergy hold their ground, in time unavoidable erosion of a traditional Democratic power base.
How many Catholics who voted for him in 2008 need to change their mind for his hopes in November to be doomed? Ten percent? Would he survive if only five percent (one in twenty!) would decide to change allegiance or better, to give his allegiance to Catholicism? And how many others is he angering in the meantime? Will all those socially conservative Blacks orderly flock to the polls and give him their vote to ” the first gay president” in 2012 as they did the hyped “change” in 2008?
In my eyes, Obama is surrounded by mad liberals like him, saying to him what he would like to hear. He listens to them, and thinks that they represent the country out there. Being an inflexible, ideologised hardliner, he refuses to learn the lesson of the mid-term election and thinks instead that if he only insists on his line, the world will in the end recognise his supreme wisdom.
What is his weapon to gain the confidence of his Catholic voters? That not to force an employer to pay for an abortion is “unfair”? “Unfair”?! Really?
I hope the chap does not change his mind any time soon, because in the meantime Catholics might be slowly awakening; and when they do, either the Democrats change their tune of they will lose three presidential election in a row again.
Some of you know – and the others will soon know – how the cinema distribution in the US works.
Basically, many films have one weekend to show if they can survive. In the brutal war for cinema screens – and with the expectation of the screen owners not to waste resources on unsuccessful movies – three days (the Friday, Saturday and Sunday) may be all the opportunity you have to see a movie in the cinema theatre.
When the money is counted and the movie was a disappointment (an awful lot of movies are, though certainly they are not as bad as this disaster here) it generally disappears from the big distribution, and the producers will try to make some money (generally: to recover the costs) from the foreign markets and the DVD/online distribution. But the US market is king for both influence and sheer numbers, and if a movie production does not work in the US the probabilities of it becoming an international success are limited. Sometimes, a movie is discovered when it is, so to speak, too late: “Scarface” became a cult long after having bombed, and the beautiful “Reservoir dogs” (you see how unbiased I am… ) gave Tarantino more praise than money at the time. We don’t want this to happen in this case, I hope…
You will be surprised to know the movie industry is not really dissimilar from the publishing one: like most books, the majority of film productions actually lose money, and like in the book industry the game is to contain the losses on the majority, and to hope to land a big success every now and then when it goes well.
With these premises, you can understand how brave Andy Garcia & Co. are in putting their money in a venture not directly linked to any topic which “moves” the American public opinion. Unless, of course, it be the issue of religious freedom.
“For greater Glory” (the title of the movie previously known with the provisional name of “Cristiada”) plays its cards on the 1,2 and 3 June. This is not a mammoth movie, and may have a more exclusive distribution with, perhaps, a more lenient evaluation time. But there is no denying if the weekend is bad the movie risks to disappear from the US cinema screens straight away.
It is, therefore, in my eyes very important that my very esteemed US-American readers:
1) seriously consider seeing the movie during the weekend of the 1-2-3 June, as even the following weekend might be too late;
2) spread the words among family, friends and colleagues, and
3) If they are bloggers, drum this movie as they think fit.
I do not know how big the distribution will be, but Andy Garcia being rather a name I’d say many will not have to travel too far to cast their vote for Catholicism and religious freedom, because this is what it is all about.
I also hope the Protestant machine – which worked so well with “The Passion of the Christ” – will mobilise again, but in the end I think it is Catholics who should be the first to put their money where their religious freedom is.
If this movie is successful – certainly not like the “Passion” was successful, but successful in a way the political world takes notice – this will contribute to shift the attention of the public opinion to what should be the main theme of the 2012 Presidential campaign: freedom.
Please consider casting your vote at the ballot of the cinema till. A vote for religious freedom, a vote against he liberal Hollywood machine, a vote against the rhetoric of emasculating “peaaaace” at all costs, a vote for more movies of this kind to be produced in future, and a vote to allow many more people to understand more of Catholicism, and to admire those who chose to risk – or lose – their life for the Church.
The main headline of the trailer you see above really says it all: “When the Government outlawed Faith, the Faithful became outlaws”. I think this is very pertinent to the actual political debate. Also please think how many conversions could be engendered by a movie so clearly espousing the fight of brave, faithful people to defend Catholicism.
I wonder if I will ever see the movie in our cinema screens in old, tired, atheist, seriously confused Europe . I will certainly buy the DVD as soon as I can.
Less than two minutes into her “look at me” speech at Georgetown university, Adolf Sebelius was heckled by a pro-life activist (I do not approve; I merely report…) and called “murderer”. The activist was escorted outside.
Later he made a very interesting comment:
“Georgetown University claims to be a Catholic school and it’s an outrage that somebody that supports the murder of unborn babies would be invited, and somebody has to stand up for the babies and if it’s not this Catholic University then it’s got to be Christians,” said Lewis.
Beautiful words, and a pity that he should have disrupted Hitler to get the media echo for his words. But he is absolutely right when he says if the Catholic University doesn’t defend basic Christianity, Christians will have to do it.
Kathleen Hitler wasn’t pleased, I am sure. There she was, telling everyone how much money you can save by killing babies (she did it; no, really; use the search function…) and there comes one and says something that tomorrow will be on the lips of half the nation, and might stick to her for a long time.
Ah, what a shame. Should have been such a beautiful day…
“The idea that I as a Catholic should have to pay for some woman’s abortion makes me reach for the vomit bag”
This is Bill Donohue, the President of the Catholic League. Whilst this phrase is memorable in itself, more memorable is what may happen next Summer all over the United States.
It would appear the U.S. Bishops are planning an unprecedented two-weeks protest against the HHS mandate and the Anti-Catholic policy of the Obama administration. The time is very well-chosen, with the two weeks preceding the Fourth of July and at the same time the weeks at least part of the legislation could be, erm, retroactively aborted by the Supreme Court (I have written about this).
Note every pretence of “neutrality” is now gone: the Church is going to march against secular and anti-Catholic forces, and I am very curious to see who, during of after the carnage of political careers that will ensue, will have the gut to demand that the Church lose her tax status.
Already as it is now, only the blindness to reality of Adolf Hitler in his most drug-fuelled days can prevent Obama from realising the trouble in which he has put himself. He must now even renounce to the illusion the Church would renounce to further raise the stake (and I can’t imagine Washington has not sent some more or less veiled threats about what will happen if they don’t shut up; which might have persuaded Dolan & Co. they cannot afford in the least to shut up), and must see how the anti-HHS campaign is ramped up during the summer, overshadowing the 4th July and reducing his chance at reelection with every week that passes.
Perhaps would, at this point, be better for Obama if the Supreme Court kills the Unaffordable Care Act and thus spares him the humiliation of having to backpedal to avoid electoral massacre? At this point, even if Obama should be reelected – which might depend more from Romney’s mistakes than from his own merits - what would be the price his party has to pay in terms of congressmen, senators and governors? Romney may not succeed in attracting the widespread opposition to the Obama policies, but there would certainly be no scarcity of suitable candidate on the national level.
Adolf Hussein Obama truly shot himself in the foot and he is now limping along, saying to his supporters all his fine. He might be in serious trouble by July, and he has already gravely damaged every chance of his party of a decent show in November.
I begin to think November will bring to the United States something now so desperately needed:
Interesting video from Michael Voris, and as it has been a while since I have commented this most worthy defender of Catholic orthodoxy, it might be useful to add to his words a couple of personal considerations.
1) Voris is surprised people outside of the United States are so interested in American matters; the fact is, many Americans do not perceive how keenly American matters are followed all over the world, just because they cannot have a direct perception of how people all over the world understand American matters have a direct reflection on their own country, and on their own life. In November, TV senders from all over Europe will report on the election live, all night, with the most prestigious journalists and commentators, and people from all European countries will spend either the entire night, or a part of it (some prefer to be early risers; others late sleepers) in front of the TV following the event. Very simply, what happens in the US affects us in Europe or elsewhere, whether it is cold war or “environmentalist” policy or the invasion of a Middle-Eastern country or a conflict with the local Church.
2) Voris seems not to make any secret of the fact that to him the American Generalissimo is not Dolan, but Burke. Actually, by explicitly praising Burke’s orthodoxy in pre-HHS mandate times he seems to stress the fact Dolan’s fighting spirit seems to be a rather recent event, his past being better known for the homo masses he still continues to allow in his own courtyard.
3) It is, though, not to be denied this confrontation is putting Dolan very much on the centre stage, providing him with a worldwide audience and a chance to write history, with all this implies when, well, the current Pope is 85… I do not want to say or hint this is part of Dolan’s calculation; I simply notice this as a matter of fact.
4) Voris mentions Cardinal Burke’s very strong intervention – and certainly very atypical in a man of the Curia – about which I have also written. At times I have the impression Burke & Co. not only want to strenghten Dolan’s shoulders, but also make it more difficult – or impossible – for him to try to reach some compromise the more conservative part of the Curia would not look at with favour. Burke’s insistence not only that a) there will be no compromises, but that b) in doing so Dolan & Co. are doing nothing more than their duty seems to me to at least open the door to this interpretation.
Yes, the next Pope might well be American; and in that case, there’s no doubt as to whom Voris would prefer.
I must say I share his feelings.
Can’t remember last time I read such beautiful words from a Bishop.
The first part, about Christ’s resurrection, is beautiful enough. But this part, I had read and heard already.
What I was not prepared for, is the barrage of the most orthodox, and most uncompromising Catholic cannons against the evil forces of our time, led by “Mr. Change” himself.
If I think that only some months ago many US bishops were timorous of speaking about matters which might have construed as “political” (that is: pretty much everything besides the need of being nice to the neighbour’s dog), the shift in attitude is nothing less than astonishing. May it be that Bishop Jenky was rather blunt in times past, this is still a sign of things to come.
Bishop Jenky is saying very plainly that the Church is now at war with the Obama administration and the enemies of Christ, and every good Catholic must be part of this war.
Truly, Obama is in trouble. Six months of this will tear him to pieces if he doesn’t backpedal, sharpish.
If you don’t believe me, try this (hat tip to Father Z):
For 2,000 years the enemies of Christ have certainly tried their best. But think about it. The Church survived and even flourished during centuries of terrible persecution, during the days of the Roman Empire.
The Church survived barbarian invasions. The Church survived wave after wave of Jihads. The Church survived the age of revolution. The Church survived Nazism and Communism.
And in the power of the resurrection, the Church will survive the hatred of Hollywood, the malice of the media, and the mendacious wickedness of the abortion industry.
The Church will survive the entrenched corruption and sheer incompetence of our Illinois state government, and even the calculated disdain of the President of the United States, his appointed bureaucrats in HHS, and of the current majority of the federal Senate.
May God have mercy on the souls of those politicians who pretend to be Catholic in church, but in their public lives, rather like Judas Iscariot, betray Jesus Christ by how they vote and how they willingly cooperate with intrinsic evil.
As Christians we must love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, but as Christians we must also stand up for what we believe and always be ready to fight for the Faith. The days in which we live now require heroic Catholicism, not casual Catholicism. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead be Catholics by conviction.
In our own families, in our parishes, where we live and where we work – like that very first apostolic generation – we must be bold witnesses to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We must be a fearless army of Catholic men, ready to give everything we have for the Lord, who gave everything for our salvation.
Remember that in past history other governments have tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches like the first disciples locked up in the Upper Room.
In the late 19th century, Bismark waged his “Kulturkampf,” a Culture War, against the Roman Catholic Church, closing down every Catholic school and hospital, convent and monastery in Imperial Germany.
Clemenceau, nicknamed “the priest eater,” tried the same thing in France in the first decade of the 20th Century.
Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care.
In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.
Now things have come to such a pass in America that this is a battle that we could lose, but before the awesome judgement seat of Almighty God this is not a war where any believing Catholic may remain neutral.
This fall, every practicing Catholic must vote, and must vote their Catholic consciences, or by the following fall our Catholic schools, our Catholic hospitals, our Catholic Newman Centers, all our public ministries — only excepting our church buildings – could easily be shut down. Because no Catholic institution, under any circumstance, can ever cooperate with the intrinsic evil of killing innocent human life in the womb.
What shall I say more. Bishop Jenky said it all, so beautifully.
An interesting fruit of the battle about HHS mandate is the fact it forces the Church in the US to progressively clean herself from the influences of a not-so-glorious past; but in doing so, she runs the risk of her message not being properly understood, or being altogether wrong.
The issue here is religious liberty. There is no doubt in the US:
a) there has historically been a great measure of religious liberty, and
b) this religious liberty is now endangered by the HHS mandate and the Obama troops.
It seems wrong to me to deny that, from the factual point of view, religious liberty has served the Church in the US well. A country originally colonised by hard-line Protestants now has some 70 million Catholics, and I doubt this would have been the case if religious liberty had not been – though nothing is perfect on this earth – a distinctive trait of American society.
Up to here, I think we all agree, even the SSPX: what American faithful now have (=religious liberty) is worth fighting for, because what will happen otherwise is a country where Christianity – and most directly, Catholicism – is discriminated against or even, in extreme cases, forced to go underground.
In addition, the issue of religious freedom is what allows – and rightly so – to obtain the mobilisation of Protestants, Jews & Co against the HHS mandate, undoubtedly an attack on religious freedom. If the Church in the US would say “religious freedom is endangered, but we don;t care because we are against religious freedom in the first place” this would not be terribly useful, or intelligent.
Where the problems begins is – as the SSPX rightly observed – when the US Church interprets religious freedom as something intrinsically right, or intrinsically Catholic. This is very V II, and very wrong. Read these words:
From well before Cardinal Gibbons, Catholics in America have been advocates for religious liberty, and the landmark teaching of the Second Vatican Council on religious liberty was influenced by the American experience. It is among the proudest boasts of the Church on these shores. We have been staunch defenders of religious liberty in the past. We have a solemn duty to discharge that duty today.
As the Gipper would say, “there you go again”. Again the usual V II soup, and again the defence of an error as the result of the “American experience”.
Far more to the points are the words of the SSPX:
Certainly we must fight for the liberty of the Catholic Church – that is, the ability for her to fulfill her divine mission to save souls, promote the faith (particularly in society) and enact the corporal acts of mercy. However, this is a much different thing than defending religious liberty, a false notion that originated with the Protestants and condemned as an error under the generic title of “Liberalism”.
Note the SSPX doesn’t say the Church in the US must not fight against the HHS mandate, or for her ability to work as freely as she can. But when religious liberty is smuggled for a Catholic value, we are clearly in heresy territory. It can’t be said that error is entitled to the same degree of freedom as Truth, and that a country in which error and truth are allowed the same rights is doing things the Catholic way. Jesus did not die on the cross so that people may be Muslims, of Hindus, or whatever. He did not say “I am one of the ways”.
Therefore, religious liberty is emphatically not a Catholic value, even if it was
“the vision of our founding [?] and our Constitution, which guarantees citizens of all religious faiths the right to contribute to our common life together”
and this is the first time I see Catholic bishops approving non-Catholic religious principles from a largely Protestant body, and taking their Protestant ideas as an example of good Catholic thinking. This must have been V II, no doubt.
If I were an American citizen, my take on the matter would be that whilst I can be a good Catholic and a good American, I will never allow my patriotism to come before my God, and therefore in matter of religious freedom I will acknowledge religious freedom as a component of American political life, whilst wishing and professing the Catholic view on the matter, namely: that error can never have the same rights as Truth.
I do not think this is too much to ask of a Catholic in the US, because it is not too much to ask of a Catholic everywhere else. On the contrary, when the US bishops make of religious liberty a religious value, they are mixing Catholicism with US politics, and giving right to those who say V II, wrongly interpreted – as on this occasion – only produces confusion and heresy. I understand they are fighting a good fight against secular oppression, but they are sending signals that whilst politically acceptable are very wrong if taken as religious principles.
The President’s good servant, but God’s first.
“Yes, I have received emails and other communications from lay faithful who say that they are supporting their bishops 100% and they have communicated to their bishops their gratitude and assured them that they want them to continue to be courageous and not to be deceived by any kind of false accommodations which in fact continue this same kind of agenda which sadly we have witnessed for too long in our country which is totally secular and therefore is anti-life and anti-family.
These are the very words of Cardinal Burke, on EWTN o Wednesday.
The Cardinal’s cannons shoot here in several directions:
a) By fully supporting Cardinal Dolan’s stance, he sends a clear message there will be no cave-in on the HHS matter.
b) By making clear there will be no consent to “accommodations”, he promises Obama & Co. will be given no easy escape and face-saving pretend solutions.
c) By explicitly mentioning a less-than-glorious past, he makes it clear the Church hierarchy has (finally) understood silence in front of a secular agenda is going to end up in a disaster, and reacts accordingly.
There are other elements of this always so pleasantly outspoken prelate I would like to point out to:
I admire very much the courage of the bishops. At the same time I believe they would say it along with me that they are doing no more than their duty.
Wow, this is setting a standard much different from what has been witnessed in the past all over the West. Possibly the fiercest confrontation between Catholicism and secular power since Vatican II is “no more than their duty”. Archbishop Vincent “Quisling” Nichols should be crying out of sheer shame, but someway I doubt he will.
Or look at this Q&A (emphases mine):
Thomas McKenna: “So a Catholic employer, really getting down to it, he does not, or she does not provide this because that way they would be, in a sense, cooperating with the sin…the sin of contraception or the sin of providing a contraceptive that would abort a child, is this correct?”
Cardinal Burke: “This is correct. It is not only a matter of what we call “material cooperation” in the sense that the employer by giving this insurance benefit is materially providing for the contraception but it is also “formal cooperation” because he is knowingly and deliberately doing this, making this available to people. There is no way to justify it. It is simply wrong.”
This is what is called burning bridges. There is no way the Church will agree to a lazy compromise. It’s just not going to happen. By putting his weight behind the controversy, the most prestigious (I dare say) American prelate also clearly indicates the line Dolan & Co. are going to follow. If I were cynical, I’d say this is meant to burn the bridges behind Dolan and make clear to me he is expected to fight to the end; but I ain’t, so I don’t…
Many thanks to Cardinal Burke.
What a great pope he would make.
This is what Cardinal Dolan has to say about the reason why the Church has lost teeth in the last decades and can’t transmit Catholic values as she used to do (emphases mine):
For this he faults the church leadership. “We have gotten gun-shy . . . in speaking with any amount of cogency on chastity and sexual morality.” He dates this diffidence to “the mid- and late ’60s, when the whole world seemed to be caving in, and where Catholics in general got the impression that what the Second Vatican Council taught, first and foremost, is that we should be chums with the world, and that the best thing the church can do is become more and more like everybody else.”
Very lucidly spoken, one would say. Cardinal Dolan is showing in these last weeks that he is, at least in certain circumstances, not really “gun-shy”.
Still, I would like to add a couple of observations:
1) Cardinal Dolan’s words would carry more weight if he stopped the unspeakable shame of the so-called gay masses in his own diocese. He was certainly more aggressive than our own home disgrace, Vincent “Quisling” Nichols, but the masses are still there, so he still hasn’t delivered. I call this “caving in”.
2) One notices it is so difficult to take V II out of a generation grown in the middle of it, when one reads that the Cardinal comments the problems about conveying the Catholic message about sexuality saying: “that’s a biggie”. That’s a…. what? Does this not give exactly the impression the Cardinal wants to “be chums with the world”?
I am not accusing the cardinal of hypocrisy, as I am sure he is sincere in his work, as the last months abundantly prove. What I am saying is that he himself, like so much of nowadays’ Church, is so imbued with the forma mentis of the post V II generation that he falls – out of habit, probably – in some of the same traps he rightly recognises in V II itself: the desire to appear “connected” and “with it”, and in some – important – occasions the lack of the guts to say the unpleasant things straight.
Again, if cardinal Dolan had acted in an exemplary manner concerning the gay masses in his own diocese some time ago, his word would have carried more weight now, and his opponents in Washington might even have decided to cave in themselves at the first signs of serious conflict rather than allow things to get at this point.
By not acting in the question of the so-called gay masses, Cardinal Dolan has missed a beautiful – if, in itself, sad – occasion to show that he is not one to be trifled with; as a result, Obama & Co. did, in fact, think he could be trifled with. Chum with the world, and all that. They were, apparently, wrong, but this way Dolan has to have his baptism of fire in a confrontation with the President. If he had kept his shop in order before and had not been, well, gun-shy in matters of sexual morality (a “biggie”, as we are told), this might have not been necessary.
Let us hope this battle experience will be the first one of many, and in future the Cardinal will not be so eager to show he is “like everybody else”.
This is one of the most beautiful blog posts I have ever read. You should read it in its entirety.
Wish I could write that way.
Very fitting for the Holy Week, too.
I had voted some days ago in this Time Poll, after Father Z’s post.
I am glad to answer the call to bloggers to drum for this, and invite them to click the link and vote “Definitely” to the rather juvenile question.
It is not about how much you like him, but about whether you like the US Bishops’ HHS mandate battle.
A strange article on the catholic News Agency, citing a recent analysis, makes the hypothesis Obama has not shot himself in the leg with the HHS mandate, but be expressly wooing the non-Christian and non-believer vote, moving from the assumption that the Catholic vote has been slowly drifting away anyway and the numbers are rapidly tipping the scale in favour of non-believers.
Firstly, allow me to say I am perfectly persuaded Obama is a Christian as I am a communist, and if he has some affection for a religion – meant as a cultural, not spiritual phenomenon – this is most certainly Islam, not Christianity.
Still, I think I should examine the argument and say why I disagree and think the Obama people have simply vastly understated the price they would have to pay if they anger the catholic world.
1) It seems strange to me that whilst we have been told for so many years – and have had impressive demonstrations, see G.W. Bush – that the Catholic vote can make Presidents, suddenly it would pay to woo the enemies of Catholicism. Certainly, in the course of a generational change this might happen, but Catholics are not getting less numerous, nor are they getting less Catholic (than they already are). Vocations in the US have been on the increase for many years now, and the vote has been moving progressively to the Republicans,which is certainly in part due not to the fact that they aren’t Catholics anymore, but that they still are (with all the caveats about the state of the US Catholic culture, of course).
2) Which in my eyes neatly introduces my second point: Democrats lose the Catholic vote, at least in part, because Catholics understand Democrats do not protect Catholic values: the idea that as they are losing them in instalments be better to be losing them altogether seems to me a rather suicidal logic. If Obama were not so blinded by ideology, he would be thinking day and night what to do to please them, not to anger them.
3) Catholics are spread only in certain parts of the countries, and are a powerful force only in a dozen or so of them. But Catholics are, most importantly, crucial in key States like Florida and Ohio: who on earth would willingly set to sacrifice their vote in such important battlegrounds?
4) The theory goes that for every Catholic you lose you will earn at least one atheist. Very strange. I think I am not very far from the mark thinking the majority of the atheist vote is already solidly in Democratic hands, and many of the Republican atheists are socially conservative enough not to want to go against established religion even if they don’t believe in God themselves. Where is this huge untapped reservoir of non-voting Democratic atheists only waiting for the HHS controversy to go vote Obama & the gang? On the contrary, the prospective of losing the Catholic vote is painfully real, and backed by the impressive fact of more than 55 millions voters. The idea of willingly cross them is, in my eyes, pure madness. Don’t believe me? Ask John Kerry.
5) The fallout on the Protestants is completely ignored. In fact, Santorum’s candidature is being propelled in decisive measure by protestant votes, and Protestants can be mobilised as well as atheists. Granted, they vote Republican in their majority already, but there is a lot of potential loss here anyway.
In conclusion, it seems to me Obama has, very simply, done something very stupid whose consequences he had not foreseen, and is now trapped by a controversy he allowed to go too far before noticing the quicksand was all around him. If you ask me, there is no “cunning plan” at all, and political analysts merely try to give, in retrospect, some sense to this senseless ideological entrenchment, initially started in the illusion it would not cause any big conflict, and no so difficult to get out of without loss of face. Exit without loss of face the Government has already attempted a couple of times, with the only result of making the choice between all out fall out or retreat more difficult.
But it’s a lose-lose for Obama. If he caves in he loses face, and if he doesn’t he loses desperately needed votes.
Six months of ferocious controversy on the HHS mandate, and good luck in Florida. I so hope Archbishop Dolan & Co. continue the fight to the end, and step up the tone in Summer.