In a recent column Washington Post columnist, E J Dionne noted that the Tea Party movement is a great scam. Quite an indictment coming from the self described progressive Catholic who still thinks government can never be big enough and the Church should tell the faithful more about the teachings of the agnostic Saul Alinsky than that of 2,000 year old teachings of the Catholic Church. Dionne has made it his business to comment on all matter of politics and religion for quite some time. His partner in left wing chicanery is New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd who never hesitates to go for the jugular. Though she says he she comes from humble Washington DC roots, you would never know it by how she mocks those who really came from humble surrounding and never forgot it. She probably grew up with many Sarah Palin’s and Christine O’Donnell’s around her. Yet, I doubt she mocked many to their face as she gleefully does now to the backs of Palin and O’Donnell.
Dionne and Dowd seem to have it backwards, they don’t think citizens should voice their views about the fallacies of liberal Big Government, but they do believe everyone knows better than the divine about religion. This is quite common for liberals who often seem to think they are divine. Dionne and Dowd are part of a movement who thinks they should control government and religion, and those who disagree with them are often labeled as unintelligent; the worst sin as far as liberals are concerned. However, who is the unintelligent one? Big Government has never worked. It has only brought huge debt which has to be repaid by future generations. Individuals who go into debt face a series of tough measures. Yet Dionne and Dowd seem oblivious to this and advocate the same disastrous path for the government, the end result being tough measures for everyone. In other words Big Government is a disaster that doesn’t work.
However, Big Government isn’t the only disaster Dionne and Dowd advocate. They want the Catholic Church to turn her back on its 2,000 year old teachings and embrace the Dictatorship of Relativism, so named by Pope Benedict XVI. Dionne and Dowd are happy to embrace dissident Catholics who espouse this sort of thinking. It seems Dionne and Dowd are more comfortable with the views of Marx, Alinsky and Freud than they are with Christ, St Paul, St Thomas Aquinas, St Joan of Arc and Pope Benedict XVI.
Dionne and Dowd are certainly happy to embrace dissident nuns who supported President Obama’s Health Care plan against the advice of the Church. They individually wrote articles saying, “I am with the nuns.” However, the nuns who they stand with are aging dissidents, not the growing number of young nuns who defend the Church’s teachings against the Dictatorship of Relativism. I realize Dionne and Dowd along with their liberal supporters hate to hear this, but liberal Catholics are aborting and contracepting themselves right off the planet. Facts are stubborn things but maybe Dionne and Dowd and their cadre should consider the following set of statistics.
Archbishop Edwin O’Brien has said that man will give his life for a mystery, not a question mark. Liberal Protestantism and liberal Catholicism have resulted in people leaving those churches in droves. This is especially made manifest in ordination numbers. 64 to 6 and 14 to 4 stand out. What does this mean? In 2006 when writing my book, The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism, I noted that even though the Diocese of Rochester had more Catholics than the dioceses of Lincoln and Omaha combined, Rochester had 6 men studying for the priesthood while Lincoln and Omaha had 64. That same year of 2006 Denver had 14 young men ordained to the priesthood (eleven in May and three earlier in the academic year,) while Los Angeles had four; a staggering statistic when one considers that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has 4,300,000 Catholic residents compared to 385,000 Catholics for the Archdiocese of Denver. In 2006, Los Angeles and Rochester were led by two of the most liberal prelates in the Church, while Omaha, Lincoln and Denver were led by three of the more conservative bishops in the US, a revelatory statistic to say the least.
While liberal convents are strapped for cash because they haven’t had a postulant in years, more conservative orders like the Sister of Mary in Ann Arbor, Michigan are running out of room due to the large number of young professional women coming their way. They are not the only conservative order growing; the Nashville Dominicans among others are also experiencing growing pains.
There exist many liberal Protestant mainline churches who espouse a philosophy similar to that of Dionne and Dowd. However, they are crumbling, some losing as many as half of their congregants, mainly to Evangelical churches and the Catholic Church. In Britain it is estimated that more people attend Friday prayers at their respective Islamic mosques than attend Anglican church services on Sunday morning. Recently, the leader of the Anglican Church, The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams stated that he welcomed Sharia Law being applied in Great Britain. Yet it gets worse for the Anglican Church. In addition to the laity, the Anglican Church lost a large amount of their clergy as well, and many more are coming to the Catholic Church, thanks to the Personal Ordinate offered by Pope Benedict XVI. (If this last paragraph intrigues you, please read If You Want The Political Left To Run Governments, Look At What The Religious Left Had Done To Religion (Left It In Tatters.) along with The Coming Open Rebellion Against God.
Is it any wonder why we have never heard Dionne and Dowd mention data such as this? For Dionne and Dowd and the rest of the dwindling band of Catholic liberals, their philosophy is based on feelings and emotions instead of facts. While they pretend to care for the poor, the less fortunate have always been a prop to advance their liberal cultural agenda. If the country elected the most liberal Presidential ticket and Congress in the nation’s history, why are the likes of Dionne and Dowd upset with conservative oriented religious believers, wouldn’t they just be relics of a bygone age? The answer is quite simple those who believe in that “old time religion” are the last line of defense, once they are removed, the radicals will have their way with the culture.
When the Jesuits were removed from France before the French Revolution, a gleeful Voltaire voiced the opinion that the next step was defeating the Catholic Church, which would make eliminating Christianity that much easier. Voltaire didn’t live long enough to see the horrid results of Reign of Terror when thousands of French Catholics, both peasant and clergy, were hauled off to the guillotine for their religious and cultural views. How odd that it was that the elites who funded the radicals in Paris and later Saint Petersburg (during the Russian Revolution,) were the very elites who lost some of their family and friends to the plague of violence unleashed with their help.
In our modern times, some in the mainstream media are appalled that the great liberal experiment in Washington is fast unraveling. The hoped for liberal religious blossoms never bloomed and the conservative blossoms never faded, try as the militant secularists might to stomp them into the ground. Certain code words have appeared in liberal circles like Tea Partiers, Fox News and those who believed in “established religious beliefs.” If one has sympathies with one, than one must have sympathy with all, therefore making them not only dangerous but unintelligent, the worst insult one could be assigned by the left. For purposes of this article, I think it is fair to note that many theologians have stated that Judas fancied himself the smartest of the disciples, and we know how that turned out.
In addition to love and helping those near and far from us, Jesus gave us firm teachings for us to follow. Even while He walked the earth there were those who though they knew better than Him. Judas claimed to be for the poor, when he and others said to the penitent woman that the money she spent on perfumed oils poured onto Jesus could have been given to the poor. Jesus seeing the hypocrisy in Judas’ statement told him the poor you will always have among you. (Matthew 26:6-16.)The poor has always been the foil for the far left, a group the left has little sympathy for, otherwise why would they mock those who went to state colleges and were not members of the clubs and associations to which the elite political and religious left belong? One of the true goals of the left has always been about control of culture. Don’t believe me? Do you remember how much television has changed in the last 25 years? What do you think popular culture would be like if the left was in total control? (If these last couple of paragraphs interest you, please read (The Jesus the Professional Left Chose To Ignore.)
There have been many holy men and women who felt abandoned when times got tough, because too many of the faithful were too busy reading the political tea leaves. Dionne and Dowd jumped at the chance to defend those in the Catholic Church who were engaging in possible heresy. However, did they even contemplate to raise their pen when Pope Benedict XVI, a shy scholarly man, was under attack by some of their fellow journalists? Before he became pope, Cardinal Ratzinger was very much beloved by many prelates in the Church who came from the Third World to Rome for study and ecclesial appointments. It was said that some of the more liberal European bishops and cardinals would sometimes give those from Africa, Asia and Latin America short shrift, but not Cardinal Ratzinger. (It would seem some liberals the world over have the same modus operandi.)
To his credit, Michael Sean Winters of the liberal National Catholic Reporter called the New York Times hit piece on Pope Benedict XVI an article filled with animus and lies. Former Newsweek Editor Kenneth Woodward, who is not Catholic and hardly a political ally of conservative oriented Catholics, penned a blistering article on the screed that was the New York Times article attacking Cardinal Josef Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) for his role in investigating the Abuse Scandal. (You may want to this article entitled; CNN Joins the Hit Piece Parade Against Pope Benedict XVI and the Catholic Church. In addition this article written by several Catholic professors refutes the entire New York Times and CNN story.
Couldn’t Dionne and Dowd have at least mentioned that the New York Times praised then Cardinal Ratzinger for his role in uncovering the scandal? No, Dionne looked the other way when the vicious spectacle of the New York Times and CNN’s high tech lynching (to use Justice Clarence Thomas’s words) was occurring. Dowd cheered them on saying we need a nun as pope. It seems they not only have little care for the pope’s soul, but virtually none for their own. Both Dionne and Dowd are practicing Catholics, who graduated from high school in the tumultuous year of 1970. Maybe they will be cut a break for God only knows the kind of spiritual sustenance they received in the late 1960s and early 1970s from the likes of the Fathers Berrigan, McBrien and Kung.
However, back to the heart of the matter, the reason the Times and CNN (and Maureen Dowd) decided to attack the German pontiff is quite simple; the wheels are coming off the 2008 left wing bandwagon and they aren’t going down without taking a lot of the innocent along with them. All the liberal high hopes which began in 2008 are ending faster than a 1972 McGovern victory party.
The likes of Dionne and Dowd refuse to understand that vocations in the Catholic Church are increasing and there hasn’t been a conservative group like this coming to a rectory and convent near you in many decades. Keep in mind that earlier this month when Pope Benedict XVI came to Britain, the crowds were much larger than expected and many commented on the fact that the British were paying much closer attention to the heavily German accented pontiff than their own melodious Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams. Why? Sadly they knew that Archbishop of Canterbury’s beliefs mirrored that of the popular culture. Those assembled were seeing with their own eyes what a disaster the reality show culture, in which the western world is fast becoming, is doing to their lives. (If this interests you please read this article about Pope Benedict XVI’s Triumphant Trip To the UK.
Dionne and Dowd surely know the basics of the 2,000 year old teachings of the Catholic Church. The Successor to Saint Peter is the Vicar of Christ on earth (Matthew 16:15-20, John 21; 16-17) and Jesus promised those who deny Him and his successors He will deny (Matthew 16:15-20, Luke 10:16.) Dionne and Dowd long ago sold the 2,000 year old teachings of the Catholic Church for a mess of liberal pottage. Though this may mean nothing to them, perhaps I should speak in parlance that they may understand. In the song Five to One Jim Morrison of the Doors sang the famous lyric, “No One Here Gets Out Alive.” There is still time for Dionne and Dowd to come clean and admit the error of their ways before they are called to account, as we all will, for who and what guided them in their earthly lives.
As one begins to realize that there are more years behind you than in front of you, sometimes change can occur. I hope and pray that Dionne and Dowd come to see the wisdom of this, for they are both very intelligent and gifted. Pride can play some mean tricks on the gifted; they would hardly be the first. However, they might want to think about joining that exclusive club of those who later in life admitted that they didn’t know more than the Catholic Church who formed them.