The Anti-Catholic Party

Cardinal Dolan yesterday released this statement regarding Obama’s announcement that he had “evolved” and now, as he did in 1996 when first asked about it, supports gay marriage:

 

May 9, 2012 WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued the following statement:

President Obama’s comments today in support of the redefinition of marriage are deeply saddening. As I stated in my public letter to the President on September 20, 2011, the Catholic Bishops stand ready to affirm every positive measure taken by the President and the Administration to strengthen marriage and the family. However, we cannot be silent in the face of words or actions that would undermine the institution of marriage, the very cornerstone of our society. The people of this country, especially our children, deserve better. Unfortunately, President Obama’s words today are not surprising since they follow upon various actions already taken by his Administration that erode or ignore the unique meaning of marriage. I pray for the President every day, and will continue to pray that he and his Administration act justly to uphold and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman. May we all work to promote and protect marriage and by so doing serve the true good of all persons.

When the Tokugawa shogunate was stamping out Christianity in Japan, it made use of Fumi-e (stepping on pictures).  Regime officials would place pictures of Jesus or Mary before suspected Christians and order them to step on them.  Refusal to do so, if persisted in, would end in execution.  In our own country we are seeing the growth of a movement just as antithetical in theory to Catholicism and traditional Christianity as the Tokugawa shogunate, and it finds its home in the Democrat party. 

What we have seen over the past few decades is the evolution of the Democrat party into an overtly anti-Catholic party.  The Obama administration is the culmination of this trend.  This of course is deeply ironic, because the Democrat party is a major party in this country with the help of the votes of tens of millions of purported Catholics.

In the past four decades the Democrats, with honorable exceptions, have championed abortion which is anathema to the teachings of the Church.  The embrace of homosexuality followed, which has caused governments around the nation to drive the Church out of adoptions because the Church refuses to arrange adoptions by homosexual couples.  In California, a state wholly controlled by the Democrat party, homosexual indoctrination, masquerading as education, is now mandated in public schools.  For cynical political purposes the Obama administration this year has proposed that Catholic institutions, and individual Catholic employers, be required to provide “free” contraceptive coverage, and is quite willing to run roughshod over the First Amendment to accomplish this goal.  Now we have the President’s support of gay marriage, although, until he further “evolves” I guess, he “generously” stated his opinion that churches opposed to gay marriages should not be required to officiate at them.  These changes in society are the modern Fumi-e by which believing Catholics and traditional Christians are made to renounce, in effect, the teachings of Christ step by step.

It doesn’t require brilliance to see where this is all going.  The powers that be in the modern Democrat party are busily constructing a society that is deeply hostile to traditional Christianity in general and to Catholicism in particular.  Ultimately I have absolutely no doubt that we are on a path, if not altered, which will  end in effective second class citizenship for believers in what the Church has taught for 2000 years and, finally, active persecution.  Pope Benedict sounded the alarm bells about the threat to religious liberty in America earlier this year, and you may read his words here

As I have noted before, 2012 is not merely an election year for Catholics, but is rather an Elijah on Mount Carmel Year.  A time for choosing is upon us.

64 Responses to The Anti-Catholic Party

  • I don’t see how any Catholic can now vote Democratic unless they are so ideologically blinded that they cannot see what they are doing. I also believe that one now has to vote to limit the evil that is the Obama Administration. Unfortunately, at least as I see it, one must vote for Romney unless they are in a very red state.

  • No thanks to you traitors that keep voting democrat.

    You and your politicians are enemies of the Kingdom of God.

    The worst president in history needs gay marriage, class hatred, etc. in order to distract drones and serfs from endless war and the depressed economy.

  • There are two Catholics from birth at my place of work. One (I know) goes to Mass regularly. Both support gay marriage and contraception. One (the individual who goes to Mass) supports abortion. I have spent hours (and many written pages) discussing these things with each of them. Even last night I discussed for 45 minutes with one of them why I supported NC Amendment One (in response to his question). Nothing I have done or said can persuade them, though both admit that I know much more about the Catechism and the Bible. They are blind – completely, totally and hopelessly blind – as is perhaps 50% of the Church.

    BTW, the company for which I work is completely in favor of LGBT rights. We have to go through annual diversity training on this very issue. We’re not good nuclear professionals unless we support and agree with LGBT rights. I suspect this is true in any large, mulitnational or regulated company or corporation nowadays. You cannot imagine my disgust and anger.

  • On a positive note: Obama is not all failure all the time.

    Using mathematical formulas, math geniuses have calculated based on Ministry of Truth methods for calculating the unemployment rate, it will be zero by 2022, and negative a month later.

  • Here’s our old friend Tony trying to pretend that his party is anything BUT the overtly anti-Catholic monstrosity that it has become:

    “Support the Big Tent of the Democratic Party

    With the Republican party becoming completely unacceptable as a valid electoral choice, this initiative assumes greater importance than ever. Please sign, and please pass on!

    The idea is to support the following language in the Democratic platform:

    “We respect the conscience of each American and recognize that members of our Party have deeply held and sometimes differing positions on issues of personal conscience, like abortion and the death penalty. We recognize the diversity of views as a source of strength and we welcome into our ranks all Americans who may hold differing positions on these and other issues.

    However, we can find common ground. We believe that we can reduce the number of abortions because we are united in our support for policies that assist families who find themselves in crisis or unplanned pregnancies. We believe that women deserve to have a breadth of options available as they face pregnancy: including, among others, support and resources needed to handle the challenges of pregnancy, adoption, and parenthood; access to education, healthcare, childcare; and appropriate child support. We envision a new day without financial or societal barriers to bringing a planned or unplanned pregnancy to term.”

    http://vox-nova.com/2012/05/09/support-the-big-tent-of-the-democratic-party/

    I’ll agree with Tony re: the Republicans (at the very least for this presidential election cycle), but for different reasons than he would conclude. But he’s either completely delusional or completely dishonest (and those really ARE the ONLY options) regarding his party of choice. I’ll be charitable and go with delusional.

  • There are no big tents in Heaven.

    “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, * that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:13-14

  • Obama’s announcement that he had “evolved” and now, as he did in 1996 when first asked about it, supports gay marriage

    I suppose it’s more accurate to say he “revolved” than evolved. Although the truth is he simply lied about his ambivalence or lack of support.

    As far as I know, abortion and the death penalty are not issues of personal conscience, and certainly not from a Catholic perspective. There is an objectively right and objectively wrong answer on both.

    And what is this pablum about diversity of views being a source of strength?!?! HA! The Demoncratic Party has the LEAST diversity of views of any organization on Earth!!

  • I don’t know who “our old friend Tony is,” but at the risk of sounding naive, the piece has a snarky, passive-aggressive sarcastic demeanor to it; a kind of “if they were who they said they were, this is what they would do, but we all know the truth” nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

    The very notion of a “Big Tent” Democrat Party is so absurd that there really can’t be anything but absurdity in the whole thing. It can’t be seriously taken seriously.

    Seriously.

  • One (I know) goes to Mass regularly. Both support gay marriage and contraception. One (the individual who goes to Mass) supports abortion. I have spent hours (and many written pages) discussing these things with each of them. Even last night I discussed for 45 minutes with one of them why I supported NC Amendment One (in response to his question). Nothing I have done or said can persuade them, though both admit that I know much more about the Catechism and the Bible. They are blind – completely, totally and hopelessly blind – as is perhaps 50% of the Church.

    What is their counter-argument? From where are they taking their cues?

  • WK,

    If you knew Morning’s Minion (aka Tony) like we know him, you’d know that he’s 100% serious.

  • If I recall, Tony is either Irish or Canadian. He is not to my understanding a naturalized American citizen. He showed up on blogs before the last election using the wars and torture issues to turn votes away from Republicans. Used the standard “social justice” lines to justify voting for the most anti-social justice President in history.

    Now going about spreading his distorted presentation of Catholic Social Teaching to enshrine voting for Democrats.

    Why he doesn’t just go back home is beyond me. Unless he is some fellow traveller type presenting himself as Catholic.

  • Paul, I can relate to what you’re saying. Unbelievably, the people that I work with who voted for Obama the first time are going to vote for him again. And I work for a Catholic Church! I do not for the life of me understand their logic and blindness. This man is an “anti-christ” and they cannot see his evil. I know we must pray for them, and I too have on occasion discussed the issues with them, but it is no longer any good. We are at a point where we have to pray to Our Lord and Our Lady for ourselves and everyone we love to be placed under their protection and to be a part of the remnant that will remain faithful to Him during the coming chastisement that is now inevitable.

  • While EVERY person may choose to love God in his own way, public funds and those in public office compensated by public taxes may not deconstruct our Declaration of Independence by removing “their Creator”, the Person of God, WHO endows unalienable rights to all men, WHO created all men equal and keeps them in existence, from one moment to the next. The Person of God speaks to us through our founding principles, The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution for the United States of America, with laws that protect and provide for each and every Person, especially the PERSON OF GOD, because the Person of God is “their Creator”, and as persons, all men are the image of God in sovereignty expressed as free will in FREEDOM, the will of the people and the voice of the people. God gives us freedom and the state may not remove our freedom nor the knowledge of our freedom, such as conscience, from the people using the public money. Private persons may agree with the HHS mandate, gay marriage, abortion, but they are not free to use tax dollars to deconstruct out First Amendment rights to freedom, or to use the public forum to deny people knowledge of their First Amendment civil rights, or any freedom of our founding principles.

  • Only a shameless partisan hack would somehow turn Obama’s support for gay marriage into a post condemning Cardinal Dolan and Lockean liberalism. And luckily, Tony is just that kind of partisan hack.

  • The USA doesn’t have an anti-Catholic party. It is an anti-Catholic country, founded by anti-Catholics, using an anti-Catholic political philosophy. The USA isn’t just anti-Catholic by inclination. It is anti-Catholic by design. (Which means that it’s point of reference is still the Catholic Church in that the program models itself upon being against what so ever the Catholic Church is for.)*

    Root meet fruit.

    The point of attack has to be against the the tacit assumptions upon which this castle of sand is founded: Protestantism, and it’s unnatural progeny Liberalism. Every ounce of Catholic effort has to directed towards completing the counter-reformation. The Roman Catholic Church is the higher order of government. Washington must be brought to renounce London and kneel before the Chair of Peter.^

    *First Rule of Catholic blogging: make sure to write “Catholic” as many times as possible.
    ^Second Rule of Catholic blogging: aim high (be ye not lukewarm). God likes to do the miraculous.

  • It is an anti-Catholic country, founded by anti-Catholics, using an anti-Catholic political philosophy.

    Channeling Don here: rubbish. Although your writing does vaguely resemble that of the blogger mentioned in the previous comment. You even have that first name, last initial thing going for you.

    General Rule of Blogging: try to be at least minimally coherent.

  • Paul Zummo:
    You might want to check the best-before-date on your Ph.D in politics. Have you investigated going back and trying to get a refund? What? No warranty? Sucker.

    General rule of history: read it. Oh, wait, you are a political science guy. Never mind.

  • Darren:

    You might want to check this out. It more than ably refutes your contention that this country was founded on an anti-Catholic political philosophy:

    http://catholiceducation.org/articles/politics/pg0003.html

  • Paul Zummo:

    Look, I am sorry. I’m new here and I don’t know you. Nobody likes to get their comments treated so dismissively, but that doesn’t give me the right to resort to snark. I hope that you can accept my apology.

    My name is Darren Ouellette. I’m from Canada, which I gather is a negative around here. Whatever. We like to surf.

  • Greg Mockeridge:
    Well, that establishes that Jefferson was highly influenced Catholic sources, but it would surely be a leap to say that this establishes Jefferson as a Catholic. Important distinction, no? In addition, he was probably the only framer that knew he cribbed from Catholic sources. It is safe to say that he was very well read. In deed, this has to be one of the great cover-ups of history to only now have the DOI unmasked as a stealth Catholic document. The article you link to actually only pertains to the DOI. An insufficient counter-balance to the otherwise thorough-going Protestant character of War of Independence-era colonial America, IMHO.

    Interesting never the less.

  • “My name is Darren Ouellette. I’m from Canada, which I gather is a negative around here.”

    Not by me since my late mother was a proud Newfie and I spent most of the first four years of my life in Saint John’s. My mother became a naturalized citizen of the United States, but she never lost her fondness for her home land, a fondness I share as the previous blog posts I have done on aspects of Newfoundland culture can attest.

    “It is an anti-Catholic country, founded by anti-Catholics, using an anti-Catholic political philosophy.”

    No. The Founding Fathers, although some of them shared in the anti-Catholic prejudices of their day, established a country where Catholics, as well as Protestants, could live in freedom, practice their faith, and participate in the government. The greatest of the Founding Fathers, George Washington, was ever a friend to Catholics:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2009/11/05/george-washington-and-catholics/

    Here is what Pope Leo Xiii had to say about American and its founding:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2009/02/22/pope-leo-xiii-on-america-and-george-washington/

  • No worries Darren. I certainly instigated with my own snark, and I do apologize to you.

    But yes, considering the time period the Framers were generally respectful of Catholicism, with certain exceptions of course. John Adams had a grudging respect for the Church, though I recall him not caring much for the Latin Mass.

    And while I know the comment was made in sarcastic jest, some of us poly sci guys still love our history – at least those of us not trying to find the median voter in Chicago’s 11th ward on windy and rainy Tuesdays in March.

  • Jay Anderson, thanks for the insight. In that case, the man truly is certifiable.

    “My name is Darren Ouellette. I’m from Canada, which I gather is a negative around here.”

    Not a chance, unless some NDP blather starts leaking out . . .

    My Dad is the first American on his side of the family tree. Nowadays the clan hails from Trenton, Ontario, and there’s even an “Aiken’s Road” that leads out to where the RCAF base is, or used to be if it isn’t anymore.

    I have an Uncle Danny who used to work for Chrysler Canada, the makers of the largest cargo van Chrysler made. I had an Uncle Sonny who used to work for Labatt’s, and supervised the loading dock. Back in the day, we had family reunions up in the area every July.

    You do the math.

  • Wow, Darren. Think about what you’re saying. Massive colonial territories in the Western hemisphere were ruled by a country where to be Catholic meant either persecution (executions, having monasteries stolen or destroyed, priests hiding in tiny holes in the floor of homes) at worst and second class status at best (a lot of history on these in Ireland). To this day no Catholic can become the Monarch. The War of Independence freed Catholics of that rule and the resulting government reaffirmed their dignity and free exercise of religion.

    Your last name indicates that you’re French, at least partly so. You realize that while Quebec was French (The US attained french territories as well), most of the rest of your nation was ruled by an anti-Catholic regime, right? You realize that Canada wasn’t borne out of explicitly Catholic principles either? Though I would argue that while the founding of the United States wasn’t borne out of explicit Catholic principles, most were compatible with Catholic understanding of the dignity of man. These were ahead of their time and answer to a seriously problem of an older age. This has been affirmed repeatedly over the last 200 years by popes and bishops.

  • The USA isn’t just anti-Catholic by inclination. It is anti-Catholic by design.

    I think I recognize the writings of John Rao here. That is spoilt Vegemite you should not eat.

  • Art Deco:
    I have no idea who John Rao is. My reading of history in this instance is more influenced by Hilaire Belloc. I will look him up.

    RL:
    I am not saying any other countries are better and freely acknowledge that some were significantly worse. In fact it would not occur to me to separate out the developments in European culture and its transatlantic extension in terms of one country vs. another. I view it to be all of a piece, namely: to watch how a house turned against itself falls.

    My name indicates that I am Canadien (you will not find it in France prior to Quebec), and I am well aware that many of my cousins were loosing their heads to anti-Catholic traitors in France, but my kin had been away from France for well over 100 years by then.

    The DOI was compatible with natural law reasoning which, being written upon our hearts by Him who created us, should not cause surprise. Men, in searching their hearts for the truth, will often make recourse to natural law reasoning. The Catholic faith is truly the teaching of the heart, so, no surprise that there is a rich load of natural law reasoning tradition to be sieved by those with the charitable inclination. Never the less, I do not see the recourse to natural law reasoning by the F. F. as sufficient grounds to admit that this indicates a widespread pro-Catholic inclination (at best a toleration) among the general population or intelligentsia. They were Protestants and Masons, keenly given over to reasoning models fully untethered from sound Orthodoxy. I just do not see how these clearly anti-Catholic dispositions can be of no account when the foundation of the USA and it’s subsequent course of development is brought before one’s consideration.

    No, the most compatible understanding of the true nature of Man is the Catholic understanding. The inherent contradictions of those traditions that explicitly reject or do not fully assent to the Catholic understanding bring forth the fruits we in the West enjoy {sic} today.

    Now to the meat of your point: the FF’s allowed room for Catholics to practice the “cult” aspect of their religion, so long as accepted the Protestant-style deal with the secular powers. That deal, while probably better than nothing, is less than it should be.

  • Oh, and thank you to all for your expressions of affection for your northern neighbours. Perhaps the feeling will not last towards me, but at least I will know it will be centred in your disagreement with my historical interpretations and not a knee-jerk reaction to my non-US subjecthood.

    Again, my thanks.

  • Don McClarey:
    Please accept my thanks for your efforts in providing this wonder blog with so many richly interesting posts. It pains me that I am in disagreement with you upon your assessment of the USA has having an if not pro- then at least not anti-Catholic character, but I just do not see sufficient grounds on the basis of a few isolated instances of less than a handful of FF having a magnanimity towards Catholicism in general and Catholics in particular, to accept that, in the great tumult of post-reformation European culture (noting that I do not separate the USA from the European nations for purposes of culture), the USA can be considered as a Catholic nation.
    Granted, I’d be hard pressed to actually name ANY nation that would be considered Catholic by my admittedly high standard, but in affirming to all the tenants which the Catholic faith purposes to my reasoning, I am obliged to expect nothing less.

    I do not wish to be an ungrateful guest. I hope that I do not become an unwelcome one in my dissent.

  • Now to the meat of your point: the FF’s allowed room for Catholics to practice the “cult” aspect of their religion, so long as accepted the Protestant-style deal with the secular powers. That deal, while probably better than nothing, is less than it should be.

    The ‘meat’ is institutional architecture, not cogitations about institutional architecture. The architecture may have its defects, but it is neither more nor less compatible with a Catholic society than any other architecture. As for the ‘Protestant-style’ deal, there was and is no Catholic society upon which to construct a confessional state. There was a modest (and much abused minority) in Maryland and a presence in three other colonies. The society was not merely protestant but modally Calvinist. A confessional state would have injured the Church and would continue to injure it (see the relation between state and society surrounding the “Church of Sweden”).

  • Art Deco:
    No, I do not mean a confessional state, I mean a subsidiary governing structure, ie: a state, but necessarily a state, being in acknowledgement of the fact that the Pope and the Hierarchy of the Church is the superior source of governing authority because it maintains the deposit of faith upon which truth in society may be maintained. The USA most definitely does not acknowledge this relationship. That is an architectural, not dispositional, element of the governing structure of the USA. The concept I put forward supposes that those states that so acknowledge the Chair of St. Peter will have a sizable percentage of the population actively practicing the faith and forming their morality in accord there with, while the balance of the people do not actively attempt to undermine it.

    My reading of the Protestant revolution is that the rebel novel confessions sought to place themselves under the protection of secular rulers violating the relationship between the Christian religion and secular authority by inverting it. Supporting this inversion paid hansom dividends for some, but rent Christendom.

    For Catholics in Protestant dominated states, as I said above, you are free to engage in those aspects of the Catholic faith that can be placed under the distinction of cult, for it is held that one “cult” be of no different value than any other denomination (heresy of denominationalism), but Catholics may not make claims, in defense, that the law of the Church (teaching magisterium, code of canon law, traditional worship) precludes the practicing Catholic from actions of the secular state that violate the Faith. Nor is appealing to the Pope likely to do one much good today as the praxis of “how many divisions does the Pope command?” or “You and what army?” is the order of the day for almost all states. This is the out come of the Protestant rebellion. I do not see how the USA, in drawing so heavily upon the claims constellation of Protestantism, specific exceptions noted, can be considered as Catholophilic except in so far as Catholics accept the deal to abjure the status of the Magisterium as higher authority. In practice, so long as it is convenient for the interests which have domiciled themselves in the governing architecture of the USA, there can be good times. Inherent, however, is the inevitability of a clash between the unable to change Catholics and the change as needed secularists.

  • being in acknowledgement of the fact that the Pope and the Hierarchy of the Church is the superior source of governing authority because it maintains the deposit of faith upon which truth in society may be maintained. The USA most definitely does not acknowledge this relationship. That is an architectural, not dispositional, element of the governing structure of the USA

    No, it is a dispositional and not architectural feature. There is a distinction between spiritual and temporal power.

    Parastatal authority could be found in the hands of diocesan bishops and also abbots, but the papacy was not typically the locus of temporal power outside of central Italy.

  • I am not claiming that the Church Hierarchy is, except in tertiary functions, a temporal power.

    It could relent in the dispositional/architectural distinction.* The USA could, in theory, start acknowledging the authority of the Church Hierarchy, making it dispositional. I am incapable of determining if that would affect governing structures in already in place and active for some period of time within the USA, leaving aside the obvious cultural issues.

    *I could also not relent. I highly doubt, for example, that the SCOTUS could overturn federal law because it was deemed to be in conflict with the teachings of the RCC, no? That would be architectural.

  • Correction:
    I could relent in the…

  • “The USA could, in theory, start acknowledging the authority of the Church Hierarchy, making it dispositional.”

    That would never happen. The great thing for Catholicism in this country is that the State left the Church alone. One of the popes in the early portion of the nineteenth century, no fan of new fangled democracies, said that in no country was he more the Pope than in the United States. The experience of the Church with Catholic confessional states has often been far from happy, because of constant government interference with the Church, up to and including controlling the nomination of bishops. The Church in America has flourished with the hands off policy of the government. Currently we are battling against the Obama administration because it is diverging from that salutary policy, but for over two centuries freedom from government interference has been a boon for the Church in this country.

  • Donald R. McClarey:
    Which is largely my point, in that the Obamba reading of American liberal democracy is not without source material, even if that potential has been rarely actuated over the course of American history.

    It is my purpose to attempt to understand this phenomenon and search for more suitable ground upon which the Faith may flourish. It will likely be difficult to now have status quo ante.

  • What Obama is attempting to do is in direct contradiction to the intention of the Founding Fathers and the express language of the Constitution. There is no source material in our country’s history for his actions against the Church. That is why his actions are being challenged in our courts and why Obama has an excellent chance of being a one term president.

    I do not think you can find a government in history where the Church has so rapidly expanded as it has in the United States over the past two centuries and with virtually zero interference from the State.

  • Darren:

    I was not asserting Jefferson was a proto-Catholic, but that the political philosophy that undergirds the Declaration of Independence and thus America herself, is in line with Catholic political thought. In any case, the U.S. was not founded on an anti-Catholic political philosophy.

  • Greg:
    I thought you were suggesting that he was a crypto-Catholic. By your standard, Protestants are in line with Catholic theology because they read the Bible. You overstate your case. Congruence in a few particulars is not synonymous with concordance in generalities.

    It is my position that every post 1517 Western intellectual development – in the non- and anti-Catholic camp – is an ostracon of the Catholic Faith. Why should I drop my panties when someone manages to finds a fragment of what was lost in the Frankenstein cobbled together to save face after the original was shattered?

    Seriously, how does one find a political philosophy that is “of this world” that isn’t anti-Catholic? The capital “T” Truth has been established. Any other attempts at restatement are necessarily going to be bizarre fun house mirror images.

    I realize that being a foreigner & pulling out the j’accuse is likely to cause the wagons to circle, but I at least thought on a site for those claiming fealty to the RCC there would be a little more awareness of how American Exceptionalism probably isn’t quite so.

    My bad.

  • Let me give another perspective from a political progressive. Our sense is that there is a distinct movement in the Church hierarchy to a “take or leave it” mentality as it relates to issues like abortion, birth control and homosexuality. The USCBB has been uneven, if not totally hypocritical in its use of a false “religious liberty” argument with respect to PPACA regulations relating to access to birth control. The Church’ teaching on that matter is certainly not an inerrant one and as recently as 1968 a commission sent a recommendation to Paul VI to allow birth control, which he unfortunately declined to do.

    It is the liberal perspective that the Church lives and thrives when it engages in constructive dialogue with all parties and evolves in its teachings that are not core to the faith. Revealed Gospels say little if not anything authoritative about marriage, birth control, abortion and homosexuality once you read the texts and understand the context. From my personal perspective, it’s the lack of textual literacy, bad interpretations and lack of constructive dialogue within the Church itself that leads to our current divisions.

    I just listened to a Town Hall in which Cardinal Dolan spoke. He sounds like a very nice man on a personal basis. My sense is that he is either so out of touch with how a large number, if not the majority of US Catholics feel about these issues, or doesn’t care. That ultimately is sad.

  • Don:
    I get that you rebuff my suit on the basis of the intention of the FF*, but the original effort to found/constitute the USA isn’t the only instance of an act of constituting in the course of American political development. I believe that it is fair game to state that there have been other acts of constituting AKA re-constituting. I forward for your consideration, the Gettysburg Address in which Lincoln re-constituted America. I suspect that the New Deal would be an additional candidate as would Marbury vs. Madison, as would the 1913 founding of the Federal Reserve, or Johnson’s signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I do not agree with what he is doing, quite the contrary, but it is upon this president that, rightly or wrongly, Obama draws.

    Cavet: I am not putting his actions in the same class as the above noble/ignoble events, and would suggest his reading of history is on par with his recent demonstrations of his understanding of Christian theology.

    *and your position of “proof in the pudding” numbers of Catholics on the ground. To paraphrase your position, “How could there be an anti-Catholic character to this great nation, when there are so many Catholics around?”

  • Correction:
    … it is upon this precedent…

  • “Our sense is that there is a distinct movement in the Church hierarchy to a “take or leave it” mentality as it relates to issues like abortion, birth control and homosexuality.”

    Your problem Stephen is with 2000 years of Church teaching on these issues. The Church since the time of Christ has consistently condemned abortion, birth control and homosexuality. This quotation from the Didache from the first century demonstrates the antiquity of the teaching on abortion and homosexual acts:

    “You shall not commit murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not commit pederasty, you shall not commit fornication, you shall not steal, you shall not practice magic, you shall not practice witchcraft, you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is born. You shall not covet the things of your neighbor, you shall not swear, you shall not bear false witness, you shall not speak evil, you shall bear no grudge. You shall not be double-minded nor double-tongued, for to be double-tongued is a snare of death. Your speech shall not be false, nor empty, but fulfilled by deed. You shall not be covetous, nor rapacious, nor a hypocrite, nor evil disposed, nor haughty. You shall not take evil counsel against your neighbor. You shall not hate any man; but some you shall reprove, and concerning some you shall pray, and some you shall love more than your own life.”
    The condemnation of birth control is of equal vintage. Your quarrel is not with the current bishops but with the clear teaching of the Church founded by Christ for the past two millenia.

  • “I forward for your consideration, the Gettysburg Address in which Lincoln re-constituted America.”

    Lincoln’s entire political career was spent upholding the Declaration of Independence.

    Here is my take on the Gettysburg address:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2009/02/05/much-noted-and-long-remembered/

  • ” I suspect that the New Deal would be an additional candidate as would Marbury vs. Madison, as would the 1913 founding of the Federal Reserve, or Johnson’s signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
    Yes as to the New Deal. No as to Marbury as to judicial review as the courts in colonial America played that type of role in numerous cases citing the unwritten English constitution. No as to the Federal Reserve, crazy Glenn Beck notwithstanding. No as to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. American political history since the beginning has largely been a fight over the legacy of the Founding Fathers, and that fight continues today and is the true major issue in the 2012 Presidential election.

  • “To paraphrase your position, “How could there be an anti-Catholic character to this great nation, when there are so many Catholics around?””

    My position is that the Church has flourished where the government has left it alone. Church-State conflicts have been a constant theme in the history of the Church. American history, until very, very recently, largely avoided such conflicts, to the great benefit of the Church.

  • This may be opening up a huge can of worms and might be a topic for another thread, but I’ll tackle it anyway.

    Some conservative/libertarian types seem to push the idea that if you truly believe in conservative or federalist ideals, you have to view Lincoln as a villain who created the intrusive big federal government we know today, and the Civil War as an unjust War of Northern Aggression.

    Well, I don’t agree with either premise. But I am beginning to wonder if a situation might not eventually develop where some “red” states would secede in order to preserve something resembling a Judeo-Christian culture based on the rule of law against a tyrannical and aggressively secularist/atheistic federal government dominated by (ahem) Democrats. I’d almost rather it came to that, than to have Catholics or evangelicals forced to flee to South America or some remote, dirt poor Third World country in order to practice their faith. It would certainly be a lot easier to emigrate to Texas than to Chile or Argentina, right?

    My question is, it is possible, or logically sound, to believe that Lincoln did the right thing and the Southern states weren’t morally justified in seceding in 1860, yet also believe that secession MIGHT be morally justified in the 21st or 22nd century if things get really, really bad?

  • If there is any seceding to be done Elaine it will be by blue states. I intend to win this fight for the political future of this country, and I believe I am far from alone in that determination.

  • Don:
    Declaration of Independence is not a constitutional document. At the G. A. he reconstituted on the basis of the preamble of the DoI.

  • No, it is more important than the Constitution. The Declaration established the United States of America and what this nation stands for. The Constitution is merely the mechanism to carry forward the philosophy of govenment embodied in the Declaration.

  • “The Church since the time of Christ has consistently condemned abortion, birth control and homosexuality.”

    Actually, the Church has NOT condemned birth control per se, but contraception. Otherwise, even so-called NFP (which if used to avoid pregnancy is a form of birth control) would have to be likewise condemned by the Church. This is not by any means splitting hairs. Contraception acts against the meaning and purpose of the body regarding the reproductive system, whereas so-called NFP acts according the natural function of the reproductive system. That’s a major distinction. In fact, not understanding this distinction, which the “Church has condemned birth control” mistakenly implies, has contributed in no small part to the misunderstandings people have about the Church’s teaching and thus to its rejection of it.

  • Not to change the subject or anything, but did everyone notice how today’s Gospel reading is so relevant to our society’s normalization of sexual promiscuity, abortion and homosexuality with its concurrent ridicule and marginalization of Christianity?

    John 15:18-21

    Jesus said to his disciples:
    “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.
    If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own;
    but because you do not belong to the world,
    and I have chosen you out of the world,
    the world hates you.
    Remember the word I spoke to you,
    ‘No slave is greater than his master.’
    If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.
    If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
    And they will do all these things to you on account of my name,
    because they do not know the one who sent me.”

  • “This is not by any means splitting hairs.”

    Oh there is nothing wrong about splitting hairs Greg, I make a decent living doing it. :)

    Pius XII was the first pope to give limited approval to abstinence during infertile periods in his allocution to midwives in 1951:

    “Here again we are faced with two hypotheses. If, one of the parties contracted marriage with the intention of limiting the matrimonial right itself to the periods of sterility, and not only its use, in such a manner that during the other days the other party would not even have the right to ask for the debt, than this would imply an essential defect in the marriage consent, which would result in the marriage being invalid, because the right deriving from the marriage contract is a permanent, uninterrupted and continuous right of husband and wife with respect to each other.

    However if the limitation of the act to the periods of natural sterility does not refer to the right itself but only to the use of the right, the validity of the marriage does not come up for discussion. Nonetheless, the moral lawfulness of such conduct of husband and wife should be affirmed or denied according as their intention to observe constantly those periods is or is not based on sufficiently morally sure motives. The mere fact that husband and wife do not offend the nature of the act and are even ready to accept and bring up the child, who, notwithstanding their precautions, might be born, would not be itself sufficient to guarantee the rectitude of their intention and the unobjectionable morality of their motives.

    The reason is that marriage obliges the partners to a state of life, which even as it confers certain rights so it also imposes the accomplishment of a positive work concerning the state itself. In such a case, the general principle may be applied that a positive action may be omitted if grave motives, independent of the good will of those who are obliged to perform it, show that its performance is inopportune, or prove that it may not be claimed with equal right by the petitioner—in this case, mankind.”

    Humane Vitae 16 broadened this approval:
    Recourse to Infertile Periods

    “16. Now as We noted earlier (no. 3), some people today raise the objection against this particular doctrine of the Church concerning the moral laws governing marriage, that human intelligence has both the right and responsibility to control those forces of irrational nature which come within its ambit and to direct them toward ends beneficial to man. Others ask on the same point whether it is not reasonable in so many cases to use artificial birth control if by so doing the harmony and peace of a family are better served and more suitable conditions are provided for the education of children already born. To this question We must give a clear reply. The Church is the first to praise and commend the application of human intelligence to an activity in which a rational creature such as man is so closely associated with his Creator. But she affirms that this must be done within the limits of the order of reality established by God.

    If therefore there are well-grounded reasons for spacing births, arising from the physical or psychological condition of husband or wife, or from external circumstances, the Church teaches that married people may then take advantage of the natural cycles immanent in the reproductive system and engage in marital intercourse only during those times that are infertile, thus controlling birth in a way which does not in the least offend the moral principles which We have just explained. (20)

    Neither the Church nor her doctrine is inconsistent when she considers it lawful for married people to take advantage of the infertile period but condemns as always unlawful the use of means which directly prevent conception, even when the reasons given for the later practice may appear to be upright and serious. In reality, these two cases are completely different. In the former the married couple rightly use a faculty provided them by nature. In the later they obstruct the natural development of the generative process. It cannot be denied that in each case the married couple, for acceptable reasons, are both perfectly clear in their intention to avoid children and wish to make sure that none will result. But it is equally true that it is exclusively in the former case that husband and wife are ready to abstain from intercourse during the fertile period as often as for reasonable motives the birth of another child is not desirable. And when the infertile period recurs, they use their married intimacy to express their mutual love and safeguard their fidelity toward one another. In doing this they certainly give proof of a true and authentic love.”

  • “The USCBB has been uneven, if not totally hypocritical in its use of a false “religious liberty” argument with respect to PPACA regulations relating to access to birth control.”

    Yes, because it’s so painfully difficult to get ahold of contraceptives these days.

    One has to go as far as one’s local gas station, and that’s such an injustice.

  • Don:

    Do you know what they call a lawyer with a .0000001 IQ?

    Your honor.

  • The 1951 allocution to Midwives was also a veiled slap at theologians who were basically equating NFP with contraception. Founding father of the present day pro-life movement the late Fr. Paul Marx put it this way:

    “In 1951, Pope Pius XII twice addressed the subject of natural fertility control. In his first address (to midwives) he said, ‘There are serious motives…that can exempt for a long time, perhaps even the duration of marriage, from the positive and obligatory carrying out of the act. From this it follows that observing the non-fertile periods alone can be lawful only under a moral aspect.’ (Address to Midwives, 29 October 1951, n. 36). He studiously refused to use the term ‘birth control,’ which implies that babies are a kind of a product to be manufactured through the whim and will of the individual couple. In that first address, Pius XII showed himself quite aware of what had developed and was still developing in the field of NFP. He therefore admonished the midwives to base their advice not on popular publications but on scientific objectivity and the authoritative judgment of specialists in medicine and biology (n.30).

    Note that he recognized the possibility that some couples would find themselves in such a difficult situation that they could legitimately avoid all births; they would place their sexual relations in the infertile phase of the cycle exclusively. The rule that couples consult a priest before practicing NFP was the unfortunate invention of theologians, not of Pope or Church. This Pope once told a confidant that he would give his right arm if he could solve the problem of regulating births.

    I recall theologians of that era who thought that the conservative Pius XII had become rather liberal about the control of fertility through use of only the infertile phase of the cycle. Apparently their opinion was reported to him Less than a month later, 26 November 1951, he spoke as follows to the Congress of the Family Front. He did not hesitate to affirm a wide latitude in the legitimacy of regulating births by using the infertile times only: ‘ Therefore, in our last allocution on conjugal morality, we affirmed the legitimacy and at the same time, the limits–in truth very wide–of a regulation of offspring, which is unlike so-called ‘birth control’ is compatible with the law of God’ (n.21)” (Faithful for Life pp 101-102)

  • “The USCBB has been uneven, if not totally hypocritical in its use of a false “religious liberty” argument with respect to PPACA regulations relating to access to birth control.”

    Stephen,

    Perhaps in the spirit of dialogue you can explain why arguing from religious liberty is hypocritical. You cite the theological commission’s recommendations to Paul VI to allow birth control. But such commissions’ recommendations are not Magisterial pronouncements. Such pronouncments are the Pope’s and those bishops in union with him. A minor analogy would be Obama and his debt commission. The commission made recommendations to cut the deficit. Obama did nothing with these recommendations even though he set up the commission. Again not a precise analogy but, just because there is a commission, does not mean the recommendations need to be followed by those with the ultimate authority.

    “It is the liberal perspective that the Church lives and thrives when it engages in constructive dialogue with all parties and evolves in its teachings that are not core to the faith. Revealed Gospels say little if not anything authoritative about marriage, birth control, abortion and homosexuality once you read the texts and understand the context. From my personal perspective, it’s the lack of textual literacy, bad interpretations and lack of constructive dialogue within the Church itself that leads to our current divisions.”

    Please take this in the spirit of dialogue. The Gospels say little about many things. They say nothing about welfare being provided by the state. Does this mean it shouldn’t be done? Of course not. Jesus said precious little about many things. That’s why he gave us the Church to continue His mission in the world. This includes, as noted above, the Pope and bishiops in union with him teaching on morals and Faith. This is their charism given to them from God. A charism which theologians do not share in the same way. So, going back to your argument about the Pontifical Commission, no number of commissions will have an authority that the Pope has.

    And Revelation is not limited to the Gospels. It includes the whole of the Bible and the Churches Tradition. So for a little of the Bible see here:

    http://blog.adw.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Biblical-Teaching-on-Homosexual-Activity.pdf

  • “It is the liberal perspective that the Church lives and thrives when it engages in constructive dialogue with all parties and evolves in its teachings that are not core to the faith.”

    /gas station snark off

    That sounds nice, almost persuasive even, but quickly gets shoaled by vagueness. Starting with the insurmountable obstacle that there is no agreement as to what is “core to the faith.”

    Roger Haight, after all, argues that an empty tomb is not “core to the faith.” With one honorable exception, the liberals I read defended the poor confused apostate tooth and nail.

    Without agreement as to the core (and the liberal understanding is that this is a much smaller sphere than those to their “right”), “dialogue” is an exercise in dumbshow.

  • Liberals have no use for the Truth except to subvert it to serve the vile agenda.

    The Truth is not susceptible to dialogue or debate; nor to whining and gnashing of teeth.

    Plato: “Opinion is not Truth.”

  • Maryland has a Catholic name but is filled with protestants so most people pronounce it “Ma-riland”. In comparison with it’s neighbor Delaware where at least in Newcastle county lots of people are baptized Catholics but there are also a lot of Heretics like Mike Castle and Vice President Joe Biden, And if you live in Newark lots of College professors.

  • T Shaw has a point people should have their opinion tailored to the truth.

  • “He who is not with me, is against me.” Jesus Christ, Luke 11:23. Simple as that.

  • I totally agree with His Eminence but would adjust it to anti-Christian and anti-Jewish and Moslem (except for the Christians and Jews who have let today’s un-Natural Law views contradict their official Bibles which endorse the Natural Law that is imprinted in our Nature)

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