Monthly Archives: September 2011
“values voters see big government and deficit spending as the result of policies that arise “when the natural family is looked down upon” and thereby foster dependency”.
This very intelligent reflection comes from a speech of Mr Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, about the electoral voters of Us-American Evangelicals.
Evangelical voters, he says, tend to link the economic and the social issues that will – hopefully, for the seconds – dominate the 2012 campaign, and the line above is an example.
As an Italian, I can resonate with the phrase chosen by Mr Perkins, as in those societies where the welfare state is rather weak – in Italy it is very weak if you consider it as “welfare state proper”, that is: entitlement – the family is very strong and conversely, you can afford to have an almost non-existent welfare state and survive as a politician only because the family is so strong.
I do not use the word “natural family” because in Italy the absurdities and perversions of the US have not yet gained a foot in the social and legal framework of the country. Long may it last.
I do agree with the statement, particularly after having lived in Germany and the UK and having seen the result of the mentality prevailing in those countries.
Still, I wonder what resonance it would find among the US Catholic voters, as this would seem to be a more specifically Evangelicals-related phenomenon.
I sometimes have the impression that the taking of drugs in certain parts of the United States is not only largely tolerated, but compulsory.
As this video says, this “takes political correctness to new highs”. What has happened this time that is that a militant sodomite has been refused admittance in a Christian prayer group because, the group requiring the members to be Christians – with all that this entails, including the opinion about sodomy, bible studies, meetings – he is “discriminated” and therefore the group must change its rules or be shut down.
What is more shocking – and another important indication of the widespread abuse of illegal substances – is that the local Catholic prayer group adjusted its admission criteria to comply with the needs of the sodomites.
Then we complain that we have homosexual pedophile priests.
The university officials did not want to go in front of the cameras, but said that they were working with the religious group to “bring them into compliance with Vanderbilt’s non-discrimination policy”, and at this point the smell of marijuana is clearly perceptible from London, UK.
These liberals and perverts are worse than the Nazis.
I think the following song might give them some motive of reflection. Or not, as the case may be.
A strange country, Mexico; at least seen from the other side of the pond.
On the one hand, Christian values seem to be deteriorating rather rapidly, with sodo-marriages now allowed in parts of the countries (strong federal structures, apparently, with wide-reaching powers for the individual states).
On the other hand, the 2007 decision of the Constitutional Court to allow abortions for the first 12 weeks after conception has caused a real pro-life run, with 18 of their 31 states approving state constitutional measures meant at keeping abortion away from their own territory. A bit the equivalent of Proposition 8 regarding sodomy, but without the sodomite judge.
The widespread move to keep abortion away from the relevant state has prompted one of the judges of the constitutional court to try to impose the overruling of the single states, that is: the decision that it is unconstitutional for a state to put measures in place meant at banning abortion from its own territory.
Whilst it would appear that abortion is still legal in 13 of the 31 states, one can only salute a decision that allows vast parts of Mexico to continue to give themselves, at least in this respect, Christian rules.
Planned Parenthood Engulfed In Scandal, Under Investigation For Cover-Up Of Child Abuse And Assisting Child Sex Traffickers
“The Committee has questions about the policies in place and actions undertaken by PPFA and its affiliates relating to its use of federal funding and its compliance with federal restrictions on the funding of abortion,” said Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, in a Sept. 15 letter to Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards.
The letter requested details on the amount of money received by Planned Parenthood under different federal funding programs, as well as documentation of policies and procedures to ensure that federal money received by Planned Parenthood “is not being used to impermissibly subsidize abortion.”
The House committee also asked for information about the organization’s policies in place to prevent improper billing and overbilling.
Furthermore, it requested documentation of Planned Parenthood’s policies and procedures to ensure that criminal conduct, including sex trafficking and sexual abuse, are reported to the proper authorities.
Planned Parenthood’s business practices were placed in the spotlight after the pro-life group Live Action released undercover videos that showed several Planned Parenthood workers and managers appearing to assist child sex traffickers and cover up cases of sexual abuse of minors.
Oh well, it appears something has the suspicion that Planned Parenthood not only doesn’t care for the killing of children, but once they’re born they don’t care much for them, either.
A vulgar smear, say the liberals. All made up by those baddies, the Republicans, to destroy such a humanitarian institution; a killing wonder, a well-oiled genocidal machine that the likes of Hitler and Goebbels would be proud to call their own!
We shall see how this ends. I register with satisfaction that Catholic institutions are not the only ones to get this kind of attention. I trust that justice will, in the end, prevail.
In the meantime, I invite everyone to forward the news to as many people as they can, and please take note of the blog post title to add some spice (utterly truthful, by the way).
You see, if the liberals do not lose any occasion to link the Catholic Church and the accusations against her priests, I can’t see why we shouldn’t care that people be informed that Planned Parenthood is in the middle of a rather big scandal – and under an investigation of the US House of Representative – because accused of assisting child sex traffickers and covering up cases of sexual abuses of minors.
The last accusation must ring, to the ears of liberal champagne-drinkers, strangely familiar…
I never liked Berlusconi. What I think of him, you don’t want to read here. But after following his political career for almost twenty years one thing has become clear to me: that this corrupted, corrupting, thieving, liar, bastard pig is an exceptional salesman and is, like all exceptional salesmen, obsessed with the satisfaction of his clients.
This is, in the end, what has kept the nano pelato (“bald dwarf”) in power all these years: even most of his voters have realised that he is a pig and a (former, at least) thief. But they also know that the man is well aware of who keeps him in power, and does his best not to disappoint them.
Italy has not only no homo-”marriage”, but not even “civil partnerships”. In a world where even Spain, Mexico and Portugal do not know better, this is an achievement. Italy is a country where crucifixes are still in every classroom and every court room, after the government had the gut to fight for them. Italy is still a country with a decent anti-euthanasia legislation, also because of the very controversial battle of this government. Make no mistake, dear reader: these achievement are largely not due to the Italian clergy, rather to a diffuse conservatism that knows that it is better to have a pig in power who serves your ideals, than a clean man who doesn’t.
It has worked, in a way (in Italy, almost everything “works in a way”), until now, where after months of rumbling the Vatican has started the steamroller and it is now clearly moving it in the direction of Berlusconi. Which in Italy is a serious problem, as proved by the fact that after a couple of days the dwarf still hasn’t picked up the gauntlet and declared total war. Never happened before, I assure you.
Let me say it once again: Berlusconi is a thieving bastard. But I hope Cardinal Bagnasco knows what he is doing, and I am not so certain he’s making the right calculations.
Let us examine the situation with a bit of coolness: the man is a pig, but he is largely at pain to keep his piggish behaviour outside of the public sphere. What comes out, comes out largely because of phone tapping, directly intruding into the life of a man for whom breathing and bragging are one and the same, or private indiscretions. Berlusconi doesn’t do scandal for the notoriety, or the desire to be considered a stud. Pig as he is, he is smarter than that.
But he should publicly repent, one might say. How hypocritical, and how Anglo-Saxon. In Italy the contrite politician going in front of the cameras and reciting the little tale of repentance for the use of the simple has no chance. If you aren’t really repentant, you had better shut up, is the thinking. Fine with me.
He could resign, they say. Fine too. But if we do not want to help the lefties to come to power – and make no mistake, with them in power the next battle against homo-”marriage” is on us, as sure as the “amen” in the church - there is no need for the Vatican to kick on a man already lying on the ground. If he is weak enough and the centre-right thinks it can do without him, he’ll be disposed of anyway. If the Vatican is decisive in his political demise, then the Vatican is involuntarily helping the leftists. Not good.
I have no doubt whatsoever that the centre-left can throw in the ring not one, but many candidates much cleaner than Berlusconi was the day he made first communion. But you see, I do not care in the least. My Christian values come before my desire for clean politicians, and that’s that. Millions, in Italy, think like me. This is the only reason why the man is still in power: he delivers. This is also the reason why no one on the centre-right side could bury him: no one is sure they would.
Now it can certainly be that you can have a strong centre-right coalition without the bald dwarf. I’d be the first to greet the event. But I do not want the Vatican helping anti-Christian values to spread, just because they aren’t very satisfied with the private virtues of one man.
And come on, this is Italy. People have a big mouth, and language is very, very imaginative. The more so, when people speak with friends and do not know that they are tapped. Even more so, when a pathological megalomaniac mythomaniac sex-obsessed old pig is speaking. Everyone knows it, even Cardinal Bagnasco.
Thief, corrupt, egocentric, megalomaniac, sex-obsessed idiot that he is, I still prefer him to Cameron every day, because with Berlusconi Christian values will be defended in the public arena, irrespective of what he does with them in his private life, or how gross is his bragging among friends. The man is an exceptional salesman. He’ll protect what is sacred to his clientele. He is very good at that.
Try that with Cameron, who kicks in the eggs middle-class England to please 0.5% of the population and try to court the Labour moderates.
I have written only hours ago about the message of Pope Benedict to the German bishops, that they are better at being organised than at believing in God. Some mild – for my standards – reflections about the inadequate shepherds these past decades have given us followed.
In a spectacular confirmation of Pope Benedict’s words – and very probably, of the fact that the Holy Father’s talk is rather better than his walk – I read today about this story, brilliantly explained by the “Reluctant Sinner”.
Seriously, go there and try to stay calm. I couldn’t, and frankly I do not feel that I could write about this with the necessary serenity.
Before you click away, you may want to click on the link on the right, that will lead you to the small page dedicated to the daily offering to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It wasn’t enough for me, but it might be for you.
I am making an effort, as you see, not to say what I think.
The worst of all that is that I must admit that it isn’t probable that there will be consequences. This is the world we live in.
Bishop Vienneau is, by the way, an appointment of the late John Paul the Not So Great.
I have written in the past about the Austrian heresy, a shame for the entire Catholicism that has gained a pretty high place in my list of links (basically, after the Blessed Virgin alone).
We write today the 25 September and whilst there has been no substantial change in the matter – the internet site with the call to disobedience is still there, but the Archbishop doesn’t care about such minutiae like more than 300 of his priests and deacons openly calling to heresy – the Archbishop’s language is, as expected, slowly becoming more aggressive. If you have followed my previous blog posts in the matter, you know that the Archbishop is forced to quench the revolt in order to keep his job, but wants to do so by giving as many Austrian as possible the idea that he would be on their side, if he only could.
We have now some small movement in the matter as after the anticipated “discussion” with the heretics, the Cardinal has given several interviews to Austrian radio and television, basically announcing an escalation if the revolt continues.
Let us see how Reuters reports his words:
“If in our diocese here I would step out of line with the community of the Catholic Church then I would lead our diocese into a schism. I am not ready for this and I think no Austrian bishop is ready for this,”
This is, as expected, 100% Schonborn. He imagines a possibility (“If I were to”) that clearly implies a possibility of him doing so. The Cardinal doesn’t say “this is absurd and therefore I won’t do it; the proposers are heretics and they must give a full abiura or be defrocked”, which he should have done months ago. He says instead : “If I do it this will lead us to a conflict with Rome”. This is fully in line with the previous declaration of the Cardinal, where not once have I seen him on record saying that their requests are simply doctrinally wrong. His problems have always been: a) unity with Rome, and b) obedience. By doing so he clearly shows that he “gotta do what he gotta do”, but doesn’t say that the heretics are wrong in the matter. If this is a shepherd, I am a giraffe.
Still, slowly but surely the Cardinal must start to initiate some kind of escalation; then his ignoring the revolt (which continues to grow, albeit more slowly now) can be fatal for his own position.
The problem is well-known and I have dealt with it in my previous posts. Schonborn must quench the revolt, but at the same time he wants to give the vast number of church tax paying Austrian Catholics supporting the heretics the impression that he would so much like to be on their side. He doesn’t care two straws for the confusion that he engenders among the faithful, for the danger of contagion to Germany and Switzerland, or for the reputation of the Austrian Church. What he wants is to save the money coming from the dissident, by at the same time saving his own job.
Read all the story in this light and you will have a very clear picture of what is happening. Yes, one day he will quench the revolt. He will simply have to. But not one day too soon, and not without having done all he can to show the Austrian wannabe Catholics that he is obliged by his office to follow those dinosaurs down there in Rome.
The direction of things seems to be that the heretics will continue to be heretic, but will claim not to be such; they will lose face whilst claiming not to, and the Cardinal will keep his job whilst claiming to have been “sensitive” to the “instances” of the heretics. Dialogue, discussion, and bla bla.
On their Internet-site a newsletter (number 10) has appeared making clear that whilst the title “Call to disobedience” will remain notwithstanding the criticism they have received, they consider their disobedience (let us remember here: doctrinal disobedience, this is no SSPX!) in the sense of ….. being obedient to the Church. Jeez, these people should become Anglicans!
I also notice that the number of new priests and deacons adhering to the initiative starts to stagnate as the day of reckoning slowly approaches. Basically, more and more of these wannabe modernists (more than seldom with Freundin or even Freund, one would think) start to understand that they are nothing more than the Cardinal’s useful idiots, helping him to show to the Austrian dissenters how sensitive to their plight he is whilst sacrificing the rebels on the altar of his job. They had it coming, one must say, but this doesn’t make the Cardinal’s behaviour any more acceptable.
The Cardinal needs our prayers. He needs to be removed, too. This scandal has gone far too far, for far too long already.
The CNA reports Pope Benedict’s observations about the German Church with the following words:
Using Catholicism in Germany as an example, the Pope said that while the German Church was “superbly organized” it was perhaps lacking in a “corresponding spiritual strength, the strength of faith in a living God.”
Having lived in Germany more than some years, I can only confirm the analysis. Whilst no one can deny that the German Church is very well organised – besides the German penchant for organisation, this is an extremely wealthy Church – during my German years I could never escape the impression that for all German Christian organisations (the Only Church as well as the Protestant ecclesial communities) God is an embarrassment that can be safely mentioned only in the most innocuous of circumstances, that is: in conjunction with “feel-good” issues like world peace, or social justice.
This is why the Holy Father’s words are important: the Pope is telling his bishops that an important reason why the Germans are getting more and more distant from a healthy approach to life – the critic of the Western secularism is here clearly aimed at the specific situation he is dealing with - is that “the faith in a living God” is lacking in strenght in his own shepherds.
I see the same happening here in the UK of course, though I find here in the UK examples of spotless orthodoxy that would be probably more difficult to find in Germany. But the message is clear: if the shepherds don’t have a strong faith, how will they be able to give a strong faith to their sheep? As always, the fish stinks from the head down.
When we ask ourselves, though, who has appointed the present German hierarchy, two names come to mind: Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. My suggestion to the Holy Father would be – if I were ever be asked to give one – that if he wants that the German Church has a strong faith it might help to appoint bishops who have it, rather than failed social workers obsessed with popularity, and with the Kirchensteuer.
Another interesting observation of the Holy Father concerns the difference that people coming from other countries see in the individual attitude of Westerners: the obsessive self-centredness.
Even coming from Italy – a partly secularised country, but where traditional values still have a stronger hold than here in the North – I was rather shocked at seeing how here in the UK and in the USA the pursuing of one’s every whim has become a religion in itself. A married couple informing their friends that they are going to split will be inundated with messages of “support” and wishes of “happiness”, reinforcing the idea that the pursuit of the individual happiness of the two be more important than the godly institution they have just decided to bomb. Not so in Italy, where la famiglia, exactly as la Patria - and, alas, often even more so – has rights on the individual that go above his own pursuit of an anyway largely illusory personal happiness.
This in Italy, a partially secularised country. I can imagine the shock of people coming from African countries, where not many think twice about walking for hours every week to go to Mass, and the Christian commandments are different from their Western counterparts “be nice”, “don’t judge” and “provided no one is harmed, it isn’t a sin”.
I heard with my ears a Catholic priest say that he didn’t know the Ten Commandments by heart, and wasn’t interested in learning them.
I don’t think you’ll find many of those outside of the West.
By the grace of God, I have lived a very sheltered, bourgeois middle-class existence deprived of contacts with “alternative lifestyles”, and cannot say to you that the reaction of a sodomite to what he perceives – or wants to perceive – as an insult is something with which I am very familiar on a daily basis.
Still, the very small number of unrepentant homos I have been forced – by way of belonging to the same community of foreigners – to come in contact with did tend to have a whining, bitching, passive-aggressive attitude that persuaded me very rapidly that the possibly worst nightmare on this planet is a relationship between two faggots.
You see, some women may be passive-aggressive, and some of them may be bitching; but all of them will be, to some extent, feminine. The same Providence that made each sex in its own way also provided us with ways to make our shortcoming accepted by the other sex. Not so of course in the case of the whining homo: in this case, you’ll have all the bitchiness without any of the femininity, and all of the aggressiveness without any of the (authentic) manliness. A tragic parody of creation, and a cautionary tale for us heterosexual, who are shown in a rather scary way what happens when the Devil is allowed to install himself firmly into one’s consciousness and system of – aha – “values”. Coprophagy is another example, but at least the followers of the latter “lifestyle” haven’t asked to be “married” to their feces yet.
And so it happens that people claiming to be persecuted are, without questions, the finest Nazis around, and would gladly shut us up just for having a system of values that – incredibile dictu – rejects perversion.
We had a prime example today, with the well-known blog of a Catholic priest publishing an email from one of these pathetic, bitching little perverts.
This idiot doesn’t know the first thing about freedom of expression – which still exists even in England, where “Hug-a-fag” Cameron hasn’t managed to wipe it out completely yet – and so he doesn’t hesitate in defining his Catholic view on sexual perversion, expressed by the priest in question with extreme kindness and sensitivity, a criminal offence; the same happened, of course, with the supportive comments of the blog’s readership: hate speech all of them.
A letter to the bishop has been now announced. I very much doubt that it will have any consequence whatsoever, but by the actual standards of UK bishops you can never know whether, perhaps not today on this occasion, but another day on another occasion, the one or other trendy bishop won’t profit of some bitching sod to silence the blog of some brave Catholic priest.
This makes, in my eyes, the more important that the blogging laity, who besides having no vocation doesn’t have the problem of being told by a bishop what to do with their blog, says things as they are and contributes to the end of this unbearable stench of political correctness that allows every idiot with broken sphincter to think that he can bully decent Christians.
In honour of our whining little fag I have preceded this blog post with a fine piece of comedy from Eddie Murphy, a brilliant comedian who was forced to apologise by the gay mafia for his trenchant and perceptive humour in order to be able to continue to work, and whose brilliant comic spirit – and truthful spirit of observation – should receive more notoriety now that the homo SA think they can get aggressive. Please forward the video to friends and acquaintances if you can.
We know how the SA ended, by the way.
One really doesn’t know how to start when such things happen.
A drug addict is arrested and given the choice: one year of jail or the participation to a rehab program from a Catholic charity. It doesn’t cost a dime, but you must apply and know what it is about. The lady writes a letter stating that she is aware of the religious nature of the course, and that she wants to change her life through God and spiritual growth.
She is accepted, which incidentally means that she avoids jail.
Not good enough, apparently. Her helper – no, let me rephrase it: those who help her to live drug-free, at the expense of their donors and of the taxpayer, and to stay out of jail – are oppressive fanatics who let her do unbelievable things like….. praying. She is so upset that she goes away crying not one, but – would you believe it – three times. The lady says she is discriminated, and victimised.
She loses, as even the ninth US Circuit of appeals finds that this is too much even for a liberal mind.
Than there is the man who is periodic guest in a Catholic shelter. He is a Mormon and they encourage him – not force, sadly; encourage – to go to Mass. They also tell him that Mormonism is a “sect”, which must surely rank just before water boarding in Guantanamo’s interrogation methods list. He thinks he has a right to live under other people’s roof without having to abide to the rules of the people under whose roofs he lives. One starts to understand why he is in need of a roof. By the way, the shelter receives no government funding.
One of the clearest sign of a corrupted society is when help is not received with gratitude, but with the arrogance of the one who thinks that everything is due to him, and he must have everything according to his wishes.
Personally, I am not enthusiastic about what I have been reading concerning Pope Benedict’s travel to Germany.
There is in this visit, it seems to me, too much accent on wrong ecumenism, and too little on right Catholicism.
Was it necessary to visit a former monastery now dedicated to a heretic, I wonder. And if it is really necessary to visit such a monastery, should not be the duty of a Catholic – even more so, of a Pope – to make clear to every non-Catholic that there is no salvation outside of the Church, and to explain to them that whilst one can be brought inside the Church in ways we cannot entirely fathom – how many have been saved by last-minute conversion, or perfect contrition before death, we will never know – the willed separation from the Only Church can easily lead to damnation? Isn’t the fight against error something that should be, in the mind of every sincere Christian – even more so, of a Pope - the paramount consideration, and come before every talk of “ecumenical dialogue”, every diplomatic consideration, every show of desire for a “unity” talked about as if it was a value in itself?
And what is the sense – I mean, the religious one; I fully understand the political motive – of traveling to a Protestant site and telling a congregation of assorted Lutherans that we should focus on what unites us? Has heresy been reduced to an aside, something you look at as if it were only a nasty stain on a beautiful painting, an annoying detail, something that should not be allowed to distract you from the main image? Isn’t it, in fact, exactly the contrary: that it is the very fact that we are all Christians that makes heresy so painful and such a wound in the body of Christianity, nay, in the body of Christ?
Isn’t it so, that the photos that will now be transmitted around the world – the Pope on the observer’s right; the head of the German heretics on the left; no obvious distinction in rank or dignity – create a powerful visual image of Catholicism and Heresy being two variants of the same Faith, with equal legitimacy? Isn’t it so, that the massive talk of ecumenical dialogue of the last days generates the impression that the “talks” between Catholics and Protestants be akin to the talks between, say, Israelis and Palestinians, that is: talks were two merely human political positions are opposed, instead of Divine Truth being opposed to Lie? Where does this lie comes from: from the father of lies, or from good-willed men of God happening to have a slight disagreement with Christ’s Church? Can you create a heretical movement and call yourself – or be treated by Catholics as if you were – a man of God? Luther made the work of the devil, full stop.
The photo you see above appeared in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, with the caption: “The Pope takes place on the right, Nikolaus Schneider on the left”. The implied message is, dear reader, exactly the one you are thinking about.
With the usual acumen, Pope Benedict found the way of telling it rather straight about the matter of ecumenism and the wrong hopes it can engender. He is quoted by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as saying:
“Ein selbstgemachter Glaube ist wertlos. Der Glaube ist nicht etwas, was wir ausdenken und aushandeln.“
I would translate as follows:
” A self-made Faith is valueless. Faith isn’t something that we make up and negotiate”
Beautiful, strong words, nicht wahr? What a pity, that he himself should weaken the very concept he has so beautifully expressed by traveling to Erfurt and giving millions of Germans the impression that Luther’s heresy has a dignity or legitimation in itself in the eyes of Catholicism. What a pity, that what can’t be negotiated in Catholicism be swept under the carpet, when the Pope himself says that Catholics and Lutherans should focus on the “great things they have in common”.
Last time I looked, having great things in common with Catholics wasn’t enough to avoid hell. Every pedophile has great things in common with normal people: would you tell him that he should not lose sight of all the great things he has in common with normal people, or would you rather suggest him that he, for the good of his soul, focuses on – cough – the big problem he has?
The comparison of a Protestant with a pedophile may seem strong, but if we look at the matter lucidly we must acknowledge that unless Truth has changed whilst we were in the bathroom, heresy is as big a threat to salvation now as it has always been. How many Protestant sanctuaries this or that Pope decides to visit will, I am afraid, not change an iota in the seriousness of the danger, but it will certainly play a role in how many people are exposed to that danger.
It seems to me that this visit has been – at least up to now – worse than a lost opportunity, rather a positive damage to Catholicism. I have lived in Germany many years and am painfully aware of the confusion reigning among common Catholics as to what is right, and of the unexpressed but palpable desire of wanting to consider Protestantism just another ice cream flavour, or the preference for a different shade of blue.
If you ask me, if this visit will have one effect it will be to reinforce this confusion.
The Daily Offering to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and suffering of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world.
I offer them for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, reparation for sins, the reunion of all Christians;
I offer them for the intentions of our Bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month.
I have been, in the past, rather critical of what I perceive as the light foot of Archbishop Dolan, particularly in matters concerning sodomites. It seems to me that if the Church is to conduct a well-fought battle on the matter, the battle should be led from her Numero Uno rather than from other – and be they so prestigious and beloved – archbishops like Chaput.
I must say that the criticism most certainly does not apply to the letter the Archbishop has written to the President. The tones are so strong that I do not recall having heard such a strong rebuke of a President of the United States not only from archbishop Dolan, but from any American bishop in recent times.
It seems to me that this is a very strong warning; nay, an ultimatum. If Obama doesn’t backpedal on his anti-marriage (anti-Christian, anti-decency) policy, what awaits him is nothing less than an all-out confrontation.
Let me examine the most important parts of the letter, a letter I consider even more meaningful because its core message is, after the usual introductory blabla, brutally short and straight to the point.
First, there is the invitation to stop the attack on DOMA.
Mr. President, I respectfully urge you to push the reset button on your Administration‟s approach to DOMA.
Note here the very strong words: push the reset button. What is asked here is not this or that different approach, or this or that consideration for Catholic sensitivities. No, what is demanded here is nothing less than the total abandonment of the White House’s scheming against DOMA. Already this phrase shows a will to open confrontation that, if I were the president, would let me stop and reflect about where this is all going to lead if I continue my actual policy.
Still, it can be that Obama decides not to take the hint. Therefore, archbishop Dolan puts a much heavier foot on the gas pedal (all emphases mine):
Our federal government should not be presuming ill intent or moral blindness on the part of the overwhelming majority of its citizens, millions of whom have gone to the polls to directly support DOMAs in their states and have thereby endorsed marriage as the union of man and woman. Nor should a policy disagreement over the meaning of marriage be treated by federal officials as a federal offense—but this will happen if the Justice Department‟s latest constitutional theory prevails in court.
Two messages are strongly voiced here: a) you can’t treat the overwhelming majority of your country like evil racists, and b) you can’t think of being such a liberal Nazi as to just treat disagreements with your agenda as criminal offences.
Still, it can be that Obama decides not to get the message, even if it is at this point shouted in a manner rather impossible to be overheard. Then, in what is the first direct threat of confrontation to a president of the United States that I can remember from a prelate of the Church, comes what I can only define an open warning and, well, rather clear ultimatum:
The Administration‟s failure to change course on this matter will, as the attached analysis indicates, precipitate a national conflict between Church and State of enormous proportions and to the detriment of both institutions.
National conflict is strong enough, but enormous proportions is already past every diplomatic concern. I can’t imagine any stronger wording for such a message. In fact, I doubt that I myself would have, if put in the position of the writer of this letter – Kudos to him, and a Hail Mary is not out-of-place – suggested to the archbishop the use of such blatantly undiplomatic words.Oh well, perhaps I would have, but then again I wouldn’t be requested to draft such a letter in the first place. The “detriment to both institutions” means, possibly, that no threat of taking the tax exempt status away will stop the Church.
If you follow the link and read the entire letter (very short), you’ll get the idea of what is happening here.
Nor is this the initiative of Dolan alone, rather the letter makes it very clear that the front here is compact, and the tanks ready to roll.
One might opine – as I would – that stronger words in the past would have avoided the necessity of today’s words – or the creation of today’s situation – in the first place, but the past is the past and I can only salute what seems to me a completely new approach to the relationship between political power and Catholic hierarchy in the United States.
With the elections already looming, this is excellent news, and the controversy will be a very interesting one to watch.
Expect the liberal Nazis now starting to demand that the tax privileges of the Church be cancelled. Let them cry. The only way to approach this confrontation is by going head on against the liberals. Let us see who will dare to push the tax agenda then. It seems to me that a decision has been taken already here, and there will be no turning. Alea iacta est. Can’t imagine, otherwise, the reason for such tones.
The giant has started to wake up.
Dio Perdona tante cose per un’opera di Misericordia
“God forgives (so) many things for a work of mercy!”. With these words, the simple but pure peasant girl Lucia addresses her mighty kidnapper, a man so powerful that the Spanish power is a joke to him, and so corrupt as to be willing to have a girl kidnapped and consigned to her raper for a matter of prestige and reputation among his peers. A man, though, not mighty enough to escape the patient, silent work of the Holy Ghost, and whom the sight of such helpless, desperate purity will move to the point of causing the explosion of a looming crisis; a crisis that will see him, after a terrible and liberating night, see the dawn of a new life.
Millions of Italians know these words, who have become – like so many expressions from this wonderful novel – part of the everyday language in Italy. They are particularly fortunate because – like many other expression of the Promessi Sposi, written by a man very fit in Catholic doctrine – they give to the reader beautiful snippets of Catholic wisdom, a wisdom that will, hopefully, came back to them in moments of crisis even after they have – like most of those who know these words – stopped attending Church.
Like millions of other Italians, the one or other phrase from this immortal novel comes back to me from time to time, and makes me think. It seems to me that one of the greatest strenghts of Catholicism is in its attention to the little things, in the quiet knowledge that God doesn’t abandon those who don’t forget him in the little things, and helps them to stay – or to return to – the straight and narrow even when they stray in the bigger ones. The attitude of your typical Italian Catholic of one-two generations ago – before the “everyone’s a saint” era that has, to an extent, polluted Italy as well as the rest of Catholicism – was exactly this idea that when one does his part, and even not such a big one, the Provvidenza – a concept Manzoni comes back to again and again – takes care that the sheep finds his way, in due time, to the fold.
This is in my eyes the reason why the Countries that are more traditionally Catholic are also the ones with, I am sorry to have to say so, the happiest people. Not for us the life-quenching rigidity of old Presbyterians, the tortured morality of old Puritans, the virtue that kills joy. A stream of quiet optimism runs through the veins of Catholics, the idea that salvation doesn’t come without doing anything to deserve it, but that deserving it is well within the reach of sinners like you and I.
God forgives so many things for a work of mercy.
This is the reason why I do not stop boring you with my insistence on the Rosary, as I am fully persuaded that – besides Mass attendance – no other weapon in the Catholic armoury is so powerful in its effects, or so easy in its use.
As, though, God forgives so many things for a work of mercy, I have thought to flank my link to the Rosary with a smaller, less demanding link to a short prayer also linked to by Father Z, the Daily Offering to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This short prayer will take you, literally, twenty-two seconds, but exactly because of its non-demanding nature can become a habit everytime you visit this site.
In case you understand or enjoy Italian – how silly of me: the two are one and the same….. – below is the scene I was talking about, the beautiful and extremely accurate – with the text used as script; basically, it is the excerpt of an audiobook with images – 1967, Sandro Bolchi rendition of I Promessi Sposi , featuring a beautiful and very moving Paola Pitagora as Lucia and the – as usual – stellar Salvo Randone as the Innominato.
The scene begins at 7:10.
I read this article on Father Z’s blog, and his invitation to echo it. I am all to glad to help.
Whilst this is more specifically American, the issues at hand are relevant for everyone of us.
If you are American , please consider following the link leading you to a letter template for your member of Congress. In the comment box you will find suggestions now collected about wording and sites to collect electronic petitions if you don’t want to write. I doubt that writing to Sebelius will lead to any result but hey, it’s your adrenaline…..
The deadline is the end of September.
If you have a blog, you may want to echo this.