One of the effects of the recent electoral events might well be a polarisation among the American priests, with the cowards becoming more cowardly and the brave more belligerent.
One example may be seen here, with what appears to be a rather young priest not only announcing he routinely embraces the sword, but naturally assuming many others will do the same, too. I can only assume the good Father shows a rather strong conviction of changing times because of the environment he sees around him: his best parishioners, his colleagues, other people he comes in contact with.
In the end, polarisation is in the nature of the present political game, and the impending years of conflict and legal (or social) litigation concerning HHS et alia will unavoidably see the majority of the accommodating, cowardly clergy happily talking about social justice and other innocuous issues, and a minority of rather more masculine guys embracing the battle and, well, relishing it.
Father John Hollowell (the priest in question) also made me smile when he wrote the following words (emphasis mine):
I remember thinking “I should be really sad that people are attacking me” but I remember in those moments being overcome with the urge to chuckle at how little it actually DID affect me. You, as a faithful Catholic, have likely had similar experiences…and that is God working in you and preparing you for what is to come as well.
I have actually had similar experiences since I was born, but I thought this is just because… I don’t care two straws for the opinion of people I don’t like and/or don’t esteem. I do not know whether God is working in me, but he certainly is not making it difficult for me to engage in the kind of rather rough discussions this kind of issues unavoidably engenders.
I also had to smile a second time because in my experience priests are generally very well trained – even the orthodox ones – at saying the rough things without heating the discussion too much; but it would appear this isn’t enough to spare even a priest from having people “yelling at him”. Ah, not an easy job by any means…
Kudos to father Hollowell, and best wishes for his upcoming battles.
At least he knows his reward is assured, which the other side certainly can’t say.
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 disagree with Voris’ in my eyes too extreme vision: Civilisation is practically at an end, abortion is not going to go away, the country is in the grasp of evil, & Co.
If you ask me, life is battle and there has never been an age where it wasn’t, and in a tragic way I feel privileged in being able to fight a fight many of my predecessors were spared from having to fight. God acts in mysterious ways.
Still, Voris is in my eyes spot on in saying that the 40-years long silence of the Church was certainly instrumental in what we are seeing today, and I think a process must be started now which might be very long in coming, but must be started anyway. The condemnation of the Guffawing Cardinal after 10:00 is certainly well-deserved, and the attitude epitomises everything that must be changed.
Catholic instruction and the support of sound priest must be the start of the answer, but in the long term the change can only come when the Pope starts appointing real men instead of frightened boys as Bishops.
I would have thought the possibly incoming persecution might wake them up, but I doubt it. Persecution will hit those faithful priests who have the gut to resist to the point of inviting persecution; the majority will bow to whatever attack, and find excuses for that.
I will write my thoughts on single aspects of the election by and by, as the matter is too complex to be tackled in one post.
I would like to remind anyone of the beautiful words a famous Italian prosecutor pronounced when he retired:
“Resistere, resistere, resistere!”
From The Democratic Platform
The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right
From the Republican Platform
Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.
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.
Imagine a friend of yours, or a politician, or a colleague would tell you “I am personally opposed to the Ku Klux Klan, but I do not want to impose my views on others”. No doubt, the person so speaking would feel very “democratic” and ” tolerant”, whilst at the same time donning the white robe of “goodness”, or even Catholic ” orthodoxy”.
Still, you would probably feel compelled to tell him that am intrinsic evil cannot be so easily set aside by remaining “personally opposed” to it whilst looking on as the evil spreads.
Everyone understands this, and no one would ever dream of approving of a politician who expressed himself as ” personally opposed” to the Holocaust, racial discrimination at work, or the killing of babies….
… how was that?….
The killing of babies?
Actually, the excuse of being “personally opposed” to the killing of babies whilst looking on as a Holocaust of babies takes place is used every day, not only in old Europe but, more importantly for us, in the old U S of A, the hen and – alas – protector of us all.
It does not happen very often that a citizen is allowed to let his vote speak. But every couple of years or so, an US citizen has the possibility of sending a clear message. this time the possibility is massive, with President, the entire House, one-third of the Senate, several Governors and countless state assembly members to be elected.
It would be good if every US Catholic (or Christian, come to that) would examine all the options on his table and decide he will not, under any circumstance, vote for a candidate who supports abortion, so – called Gay marriages or is even vaguely favourable to euthanasia ” in certain circumstances” (it always begins with “certain circumstances”, but extreme cases make bad laws). Not-on-any-account.
I am not only thinking of the Presidential race here, but also of the countless other members of the US political personnel to be selected. A President is mot am Emperor, and politics is made – and the centre of gravity of politics is shifted – at a local level too; in fact, it can be said no President can avoid taking account of what happens on the local level, if he has his reelection dear.
Therefore, please look at next week’s election as a big picture of which the presidential race is merely the bigger component. If the message starts spreading that pro-choice and pro-pervert politicians have a hard life building their careers in the first place, you’ll see how fast the issues disappear from the political scene.
Cut the evil at the root. Start punishing your evil politician at every level.
Bishop Ricken of Green Bay, Wisconsin, has written a letter to his sheep. This is a short excerpt. Emphases mine.
“A well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program that contradicts fundamental contents of faith and morals,” Ricken said in the letter. “Some candidates and one party have even chosen some of these as their party’s or their personal political platform. To vote for someone in favor of these positions means that you could be morally ‘complicit’ with these choices which are intrinsically evil. This could put your own soul in jeopardy.”
The full text is here. You’ll find though stuff, like this:
I would like to review some of the principles to keep in mind as you approach the voting booth to complete
your ballot. The first is the set of non-negotiables. These are areas that are “intrinsically evil” and cannot be
supported by anyone who is a believer in God or the common good or the dignity of the human person.
3. embryonic stem cell research
4. human cloning
5. homosexual “marriage”
These are intrinsically evil. “
Notice a couple of things:
1) The Bishop is not interested in party politics. He does not say “The Republicans say this”, or “the “Democrats say that”. It’s not about the label, but the content.
Does a candidate promote intrinsic evil? Then voting for him endangers your soul. It is fully irrelevant if the party is called “St. Francis peace’n love party”, or “The Democratic party”, or whatever.
2) It is not only about the Presidential race. Almost as equally important is what happens with the huge amount of political positions that are up for grabs: all of the members of the House and one-third of the Senators, with 7 toss-ups which, if they make a Republican majority improbable, at least will make it very difficult to have, say, another lesbian elected to the Supreme Court. Then there is the House, where the Republican majority should be consolidated, hopefully with an increased number of pro-life candidates.
3) Green Bay is in Wisconsin. If you think this State and its 10 electoral votes are safely in Democratic hands, think again; Obama’s advantage is melting fast, and now Joe Biden has to waste precious time in a State the Democrats have won in every election since 1984. Add to this that Ryan is from Wisconsin, and you have the picture.
4) I have no knowledge of Bishop Ricken guffawing with any so-called “pro-choice” candidate, giving them precious photo-opportunities to show how very much in tune with Catholicism they are. If I am wrong, please let me know.
Bishop Ricken will now obviously be accused to make party politics and be trying to influence the outcome of the elections; but you see, the man does not even mention one single party, and the outcome of an election is clearly important if you are a Christian. These are matters of life and death, for the voters’ soul as well as for countless unborn children. A Bishop who ignores these matters is a bishop who betrays the Church.
I doubt many readers of this blog are planning to vote for a so-called pro-choice candidate; but they might have relatives, or friends, or colleagues to whom the concept of “endangering one’s soul through support for intrinsic evil” might be, if the right circumstances arise, be brought nearer.
Kudos to the Bishop. More like him.
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.