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.
In the great 1948 “Oliver Twist” film, the excellent (and recently deceased; R.I.P.) John Howard Davies gives a dramatic rendition of the famous fight with Noah Claypole, the bully. Claypole is, of course, much bigger than he, and has been provoking him for some time. On that day, enough is enough.
One is reminded of Oliver Twist when he thinks of the present conflict between the White House and the US Bishops’ Conference. Like Oliver Twist, the bishops have been bullied for some time now; and like him, they have now decided enough is enough.
In the last days, Archbishop Nolan has released a new letter to his bishops. This letter is interesting in more than one way, and I would like to examine it with you;
1) There will be no cave-in and if the President think there will, he has another thought coming. The entire letter is worded so as to not leave any doubt.
2) In the entire letter there is an insistent, almost obsessive reminder of the issue really at stake: religious freedom.The words are mentioned many times, and always in italics. Once again, if the President thinks he will bully the Church into silence by deflecting on the issue of contraception, he is a fool. What he will get is an entire electoral campaign dominated by the issue of religious freedom, which will be so insistently hammered in the American heads as it is repeated in this letter.
3) The language does not reach the summit of clearness of the great Pope Pius X but it is extremely open, and shows a very clear will to go for the fisticuffs like brave young Oliver. The White House is treated with thinly veiled contempt, and exposed as a bunch of incompetent morons with no idea what they are talking about. Try this (emphases always mine):
The White House seems to think we bishops simply do not know or understand
Catholic teaching and so, taking a cue from its own definition of religious freedom, now has
nominated its own handpicked official Catholic teachers.
Meanwhile, in our recent debate in the senate, our opponents sought to obscure what is really a religious freedom issue by
maintaining that abortion inducing drugs and the like are a “woman’s health issue.” We will not
let this deception stand. Our commitment to seeking legislative remedies remains strong. And it
is about remedies to the assault on religious freedom. Period.
Take that, Adolf Hussein.
4) The attempt to persuade the bishops to cave-in are not only refused, but clearly condemned:
Instead, they advised the bishops’ conference that we should listen to the “enlightened” voices of
accommodation, such as the recent, hardly surprising yet terribly unfortunate editorial in
5) In addition the openly defying tone toward White House officials (you have read an example under point 3) teaches the White House a lesson or two about “women issues”:
(By the way, the Church hardly needs to be lectured about health care for women. Thanks mostly to our Sisters, the Church is
the largest private provider of health care for women and their babies in the country.)
6) Please also note the decision to go for the legal confrontation has been taken, and it will be no laughing matter:
our bishops’ conference, many individual religious entities, and other people of good will are
working with some top-notch law firms who feel so strongly about this that they will represent us
pro bono. In the upcoming days, you will hear much more about this encouraging and welcome
Make no mistake, say the bishops to Adolf Hussein: this issue is not going to go away, we will expose it as a shameless attack on religious freedom, and if you think we are influenced by the likes of America magazine you need to change advisors.
I can remember no issue whatsoever in which post – V II European Bishops (or Popes) had the guts to attack the Noah Claypoles of the day with such spirit.
Kudos to Archbishop Dolan and his troops. I am very confident there will be no cave-in, and every letter of this sort makes such an exercise more and more difficult to achieve for those among the bishops who might be tempted to just shut up and be vaguely and ineffectually “pastoral”, as too many of them have done for too often.In fact, it seems to me Archbishop Dolan is forcing all of his colleagues to close ranks and prepare for the fight, and is telling them the fight as expected of every one of them.
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.
Read here the latest post of archbishop Dolan of New York about the recent disgraceful legislation in the US state of New York.
The Bishop makes clear that the battle doesn’t end here, and very laudably dares to say very clearly that what is called homophobia by the fraction of the unrepentant perverts is, in fact, theophobia, “hatred of God”.
I am glad to hear that the Bishop doesn’t want to let the matter rest and promises that the battle will go on. This confirms me in my opinion that this issue is going to stay with us and might well become one of the main themes of the 2012 electoral campaign. I am also pleased to hear that the Church is not going to be intimidated by any calls to force her to admit the “moral validity” of homo so-called “marriages” or face criminal charges. I think that Archbishop Dolan and others in the Church in the US recognise that if they don’t accept the battle now, the battle is going to reach them anyway, but not on their terms and in a position of rear guard, as the liberal Nazis try to suffocate every expression of opinion that doesn’t correspond with their own as “hate speech”, or the like. I particularly liked the archbishop’s beautiful words that “no unfortunate legislative attempt can alter reality and morality”.
Kudos to the archbishop, then.
Still, I allow myself two considerations:
1) In order to be effective, words must be followed by facts. The excommunication of the people who, as Dolan himself says, “scandalously claim to be Catholic” is in my eyes indispensable not only to try to save their souls, but more to the point to make the Catholic population aware of the gravity and scandal of such positions.
2) In this respect, Archbishop Dolan’s record is not entirely free from blame, as in his very own diocese scandalous homo masses continue to be celebrated, and behind words of convenience homosexual lifestyle continues to be promoted by the (of course) Jesuits of the church of St. Francis Xavier, where participation to so-called “gay pride” marches continues to be promoted and advertised, and rather blasphemous symbols like a rainbow crucifix can be seen (no, ladies: Jesus was not a homo; nor did he approve of homosexual practices. Cfr Mt. 10:15; nor can the Cross ever be misused in such a disgusting way).
Catholic doctrine requires that when war is waged, the intention must be to win it. Nothing less than all out confrontation is required if we want the Catholic electorate to wake up to the danger for the Christian future of the country, for its freedom of expression and, let us not forget, for their own souls.
Archbishop Dolan has been, I think, rather good at launching the car in the first gear. It is now time to put a heavy foot on the clutch pedal and get into second and third.
Starting from his own diocese.
And when you think that, semel in anno, the Church shows some teeth and takes some exemplary measures to make clear that the modernist party is now clearly at an end, promptly you are forced to change your mind.
It is not true, says the president of the College, that Archbishop Dolan would have suggested the closure of the institution. It is not true that – as the irish Catholic reported – Dolan was “appalled” at the standards therein found and wants the place to be simply shut down. Note that Archbishop Dolan is the one who still hasn’t acted against the Homo Masses in his own diocese. I am sure it takes some doing to “appall” him.
Granted, the seminary’s President is the first one who would lose his position and therefore it can be that his intervention is something he felt obliged to, a defence ex officio in purest “comical ali”-style (someone able to define an apostolic visitation “a positive and affirming experience” shows that he has nothing to learn from the Arab comic talent after all) but I doubt that he would have released such a statement without having received assurances as to the future of the (as he said using the usual nonsensical buzzword, “vibrant”) institution he leads.
We shall see. I liked the idea of the Irish priests being formed in Rome, away from bad influence. Too good to be true, perhaps.
No time yet for a more detailed analysis and please forgive the absence of the usual embellishments.
Both Dolan and ++ Vincent “Quisling” Nichols will have to wait. Italian troop raised around one-third in one go and provided that they are orthodox, this little Italian heart can’t be displeased.
High incidence of Vatican elements anyway. I think both these elements might work for Scola at the next conclave.
The names are all here.
Feel free to add your own thoughts on the Cardinals you already know.
The 80 years rule is making the position of Cardinal more and more detached from that of elector, as the latest numbers show.
More on this as soon as I can research a bit.