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Melania Trump is Catholic

 

This is interesting:

 

Now we know one reason why the first lady began with ‘Let us pray’ and ‘Our Father who art in heaven’ when she introduced the president that evening: She’s a practicing Roman Catholic.

Her spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham confirmed that to DailyMail.com on Wednesday, hours after Pope Francis blessed a rosary for her at the Vatican.

The last Catholics to live in the White House were John F. Kennedy and his wife Jackie. Melania and her son Barron will move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue over the summer.

Mrs. Trump did more than just show up for a Papal audience.

She spent time in prayer at the Vatican-affiliated Bambino Gesù (Baby Jesus) Hospital, and laid flowers at the feet of a statue of the Madonna.

Go here to read the rest.  Let me anticipate some comments.  She was a nude model!  She is married to the twice divorced Trump!  Some Catholic!  True, but a deep hunger for the faith can develop among the most unlikely of sinners.  Saint Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine, was a Christian but was probably also the concubine, rather than wedded wife, of Constantius Chlorus, the father of Constantine.  She may have been also a barmaid, with all that implied at the time.  Yet her loving nature and Christianity had such an enormous impact on her husband, who was well disposed towards Christians, and her son Constantine, who led the Empire to Christ.  When the Church is under persecution, God throughout History has frequently used odd tools to retrieve the situation.  May Melania Trump fit this description?  Time, as it always does, will tell.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

39 Comments

  1. This will give the media and Hollywood even more excuses to hate Trump…and Melania. I suspected she was at least a nominal Catholic being that she is from Slovenia. I hope she is more than that….and I do not say that mockingly. God knows there is lots of room for improvement in my own life and I am not pointing a finger at anyone here. God works in mysterious ways.

  2. I don’t doubt that she is Catholic, however, many people on various sites want to see her baptismal certificate, a’la Obama’s birth certificate.

  3. How about this comment? She has violated the marriage laws of the Church by marrying Trump outside the Church and is therefore living in a state of manifest grave sin. Furthermore, since it is know that she attends Easter services with her husband outside the Catholic Church, this precept also appears to be habitually violated.

    The comparison to St. Helen is not only incorrect but boarders the realm of sacrilege. The life of St. Helen is one of piety and devotion to God. Also, most historians say that she was legally married to the emperor or that they were in a common law marriage; both would be acceptable as natural marriage under the canons.

    Trump and Melania’s situation is specifically condemned under the canons and Cardinal Wuerl should contact her when she gets to DC if Cardinal Dolan has not already.

  4. Fr Longenecker already beat every critic to the punch by pointing out Trump’s 3 marriages and ignoring Reagan’s 2 when contrasting Trump / Francis and Reagan / JP II.

    I’m not seeing that there. Did he do that in some other locus?

    I’ve long hated the GB Trudeau talking point about Mr. Reagan. Jane Wyman did not enter the Catholic Church until around 1965 and she never contracted another marriage after that. Neither Nancy Davis nor Ronald Reagan ever belonged to a denomination with a sacramental conception of marriage and Reagan’s divorce from Jane Wyman was at her initiative de facto and de jure (and she did not have grounds, either); her civil marriage to Reagan was the only one of five which lasted longer than five years and the only one which produced any children. I’m old enough to recall when progressive discourse was something more than what you might get from GB Trudeau or Alan Alda (“dabble at wisecracks and call the dabbling ‘social commentary’ as George Will put it). In our own time, talking points and snide remarks is what they’ve got left.

    Trump’s situation (which includes one quite blatant adultery contra Ivana and an indeterminate number beyond that) is rather different. What’s odd is that Trump’s children haven’t produced notable embarrassments or scandals and the conscientious Mr. Reagan’s children are a clown posse.

  5. “She has violated the marriage laws of the Church by marrying Trump outside the Church and is therefore living in a state of manifest grave sin.”

    I think I would agree with you although I doubt that Pope Francis would. In any case she should act to regularize her situation with the Church as should hundreds of millions of Catholics in similar situations around the globe.

    “Also, most historians say that she was legally married to the emperor or that they were in a common law marriage; both would be acceptable as natural marriage under the canons.”

    Rome did not have the concept of common law marriage which is a concept developed later under English Common Law. She was clearly in a state of concubinage, similar to the relationship that Saint Augustine had with two women prior to his conversion. Considering the time in which she lived, the difference in social status between her and Constantius would have made marriage a practical impossibilty.

  6. @ Art Deco, Fr Longenecker apparently changed the essay after I responded to him about the disparity between his treatment of Melania Trump and his treatment of Nancy Reagan. That all happened on twitter. Well, I know the truth and so does Father. One more example of why I am disgusted with all things Roman.

  7. I responded to him about the disparity between his treatment of Melania Trump and his treatment of Nancy Reagan.

    I’m not sure where Melania stands regarding anything. She’s Slovene so likely does have some familiarity with elements of Catholic culture. AFAIK, that’s the only strand of religious thought and practice of any consequence there.

    Nancy Reagan married someone else’s discarded husband. There is not any doubt that Jane Wyman put her unwilling husband out on the curb. Melania’s not implicated in DJT’s divorce from Ivanka, to be sure. I’m not sure why you’d insist the two cases be treated as similar (bar that you’re focused on Melania’s conduct and not DJT’s). If you’re concerned with canon law, I think you’d have a better argument if it was your thesis that the Reagan-Wyman marriage merited a declaration of nullity than if it was your thesis that the Donald-Ivanka marriage did. Jane Wyman had two previous marriages and it’s a reasonable guess (not a slam dunk) that her marriages to Messrs. Futterman, Reagan, and Karger were invalid in a civil sense because bigamous. (There is some reason she refused throughout the course of her life to acknowledge in print her marriage to Ernest Wyman, even after Edmund Morris located the marriage license in a Los Angeles County archive).

    Sorry for chewing on this.

  8. It may be a good idea for the First Lady to meet with a spiritual advisor – preferably from Christendom College and not Georgetown or Catholic University of America. Having said that, I will defer to Mr. McClarey’s statement and leave it at that.

  9. Well, according to Catholic teaching, she is currently living in an adulterous relationship with her husband. That’s not a criticism of her per se, just a statement of fact.

    Either she does not attend Mass, or if she does, it’s likely she takes communion while in an objective state of grave sin. Again, as funny it may sound, I intend no criticism of her by saying that.

    I like Melania Trump and I wouldn’t be surprised if she is a believing Christian and even a believing Catholic in so far as she believes the incomplete or partly erroneous list of things she has been taught. And I say “incomplete” or “erroneous” to give her the benefit of the doubt. It’s reasonable to think that she doesn’t really understand Catholic teachings on marriage because she wasn’t catechized fully or correctly, or because she believes that that sort of “strict” stuff doesn’t apply anymore or whatever, because that’s the message she’s picked up from her priests, bishops and even the Pope.

    But even if none of that is her fault (which again, I’m perfectly willing to believe), it’s not clear that it’s helpful to say (as the linked article did) that she is a “practicing Catholic.” I guess I would call her a sort of lapsed Catholic.

  10. All this makes me laugh And cry!
    I like Melania, my sisters and brothers, cousins and friends and so many others in pretty much the same boat… Not the barque.
    As much as I am upset with P Francis – the keeper of the keys who has left them lying on the doorstep. I also wonder how God Himself will view it if some of the big messy family o’mine would take advantage the missionaries of mercy and “come home” while they can.

  11. In order for Melania Trump to regularize her marriage, her husband — not her — would have to go through a tribunal process for his previous marriages, and both of the ex wives, Ivana Trump (Ivanka is the daughter) and Marla Maples would have to be approached about participating, though the case could proceed without them if necessary. The odds of ANY sitting POTUS being able to go through that process without the media having a field day at the Church’s expense — let alone a president with as many determined enemies as Trump — are pretty remote. Whether or not he, as a non Catholic, would even agree to it is another issue. If Melania were to decide to wait until her husband is out of office to pursue this process, and in the meantime we’re to continue practicing her faith to the extent she is able (attending Mass but not receiving Communion), or to continue attending the Episcopal Church that her husband has been attending, I can’t say I would blame her.

  12. I am about to BARF.

    The Demorat Convention actually booed God. It didn’t dissuade so-called Catholics from voting for abortion, gay marriage, and stealing from their neighbors using the all-powerful state as middle man.

    She said the “Our Father” in public. When was the last time you saw that?

    Hey! While we’re tearing at Melania, let’s hit her over the head about marrying The Donald for his billions . . . And, I am about to BARF.

  13. Many previous efforts to comment appear to have been blocked by an outside actor, who also knocked me out of the internet. So somebody takes them seriously.

    So the First Lady is Catholic. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that”, to quote an old saw from an iconic Seinfeld episode. Very pleasing was the First Lady’s conduct in the papal visit, and her knowledge of diverse languages is extremely impressive. See –
    http://www.westernjournalism.com/melania-trump-vis

    It would be an extraordinary feat for the First Lady to prevail upon the American President to pause in Lisbon or Lajes on the way back to discuss with President of the Portuguese Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa the next Head of Mission of the American Embassy in Lisbon. The implications for Portugal, the United States and world civilization are great.

  14. I don’t think anyone here “tore into” Melania. A few people (including me) simply pointed out a few obvious points regarding Catholic teachings. That everyone (including me) swooned a bit at her “Our Father,” as well as seeing that obviously touching photo of her contemplating the Virgin Mary, shows how prone all faithful Catholics are in these bad times to grasp at any straws that we can.

  15. Melania Trump is not Catholic. – the heresy on this site is appalling! So she said the *Our Father*! When have we seen her go to Mass on Sunday? Is he son baptized Catholic? She was married in a Palm Beach Church. I am not questioning her devotion to Our Lady – or her love of God. Please do not say she is a Catholic, or worse yet – a *practicing* Catholic!!!! This is a disgrace.

  16. Just an idle few observations:

    Melania is just now recently “out” as Catholic. If no one has seen her baptismal records, why would we assume that she regularly receives Communion? Further, as much as paparazzi surely must have followed her for the past 12 or so years since married to The Don, the news of Melania being Catholic is “new”. Surely, they could have published photos of her “secretly” attending Mass similar to how all of the tabloids find all of the Kardashians at various resorts and in differing levels of undress. Just look at the sidebar photos at The Daily Mail…but, men, don’t look too long lest you near an occasion of sin.

    It is plausible that she is much like the tax collector rather than the Pharisee, and may attend Mass but not partake of Communion.

    It’s also plausible that she’s rediscovering the Catholic faith of her homeland, of which she was kept from due to her father’s role in the then-Communist government.

    The main point I’m making is: we have pictures of her wearing a veil while meeting the Pope (not unusual, given the apparent protocols of papal state visits), of her requesting Pope Francis bless her Rosary, of her praying in a chapel, laying flowers at a statue of the Blessed Mother, and of her praying with kids. We have a video of her leading a rally in The Lord’s Prayer.

    We don’t have pictures of her taking Communion. Nor do we have videos of her proclaiming that Planned Parenthood is a vital resource for women and has little to do with abortion, nor are there videos of her stating that she’s “personally opposed to abortion”, nor are there public statements of hers that resemble any of a number of Ccatholic Democrat politicians.

    I’m hopeful that she will, in whatever capacity she can, serve as a good and public witness of the Catholic faith…better than most that we have in the political realm.

  17. Lots of off the mark comments off the mark. Interesting that Mrs., Trump is at least not ashamed to be identified as a Catholic. I will wait and see. Newt’s wife is being attacked because of HIS unhappy experiences with wives. Since Trump has appointed Newt’s wife, there has been all kinds of sneering about her supposed lack of credentials. As if The posts to London and Paris have not verb forever been not occupied By campaign donors, when Shirley Temple Black served as Ambassador. Mrs Gingrich is certainly better connected with the White House, although Mrs Black was politically savvy and a very bright woman.

  18. Why is Pence given a pass? He freely admits he was baptized as Catholic and raised Catholic, then in college started going to an Evagelical church and now tells people he’s an “Evangelical Catholic.” He does not attend Mass. Pence is treated like a great moral Christian and it’s never mentioned that he’s a lapsed Catholic. He sees nothing wrong with mentioning his Catholic upbringing when it suits him, but also says he was “looking for more” so he “found Jesus” in college. All the Evangelicals love him and call him one of their own and I suspect a lot of that has to do with him throwing his Catholic faith under the bus.

  19. Would that all elected Catholics voted the same way Pence did in Congress on abortion. In the wake of Vatican II it is not surprising to me that a man like Pence jumped ship on the Church. 100% Catholicism is a joy to behold; the ersatz Catholicism foisted on us since 1965 is too often a pain to endure. Ugly liturgy, dreadful music, bizarre churches. Catholic “education” that has created generations of Catholics ignorant of the basic teachings of the Faith. Rail against Pence if you must, but the real problem here is the current state of the Church.

  20. “but the real problem here is the current state of the Church.” Truer words were never spoken .
    The sorry state of the Church …sorry state of us individual Catholics. Lord, have mercy.

  21. Franciscus would dispense Holy Communion to her because adulterers must be accompanied,

    On a brighter note, she is easy on the eyes compared to she who had the biceps and shoulders of an NFL strong safety.

  22. On a brighter note, she is easy on the eyes compared to she who had the biceps and shoulders of an NFL strong safety.

    Why are you comparing Melania to Serena Williams?

  23. Has Melania been baptized? Her spokesperson isn’t even sure of that. All she said was that Melania was raised in a Communist household.

    When she married Trump, was she certain his two previous marriages were invalid or annulled? Did she marry Trump in a Catholic ceremony?

    Does she go to Mass every Sunday and Holyday of Obligation? Does she go to Confession and Holy Communion once a year during Eastertide?

    Does she contribute to her parish or to the missions?

    Does using a Rosary as a dress ornament make one a “practicing Catholic?”

  24. Yes she has been baptized:

    Melania’s parents lived in a two-room apartment in Sevnica, a town of about 5,000 residents. They acquired the house through the housing plan of the now liquidated Jutranca textile company where they worked. After Melania was born they moved to a nearby building with an extra room.

    Viktor, Melania’s father, was a member of the Communist Party. Several neighbors agree that he joined more out of convenience than conviction. That ensured fewer problems with the party after his daughter was baptized in a Catholic church, like many of the family’s relatives.

    http://www.univision.com/univision-news/politics/the-life-and-secrets-of-melania-trump

    I would note that she did not claim to be a good Catholic or a devout Catholic. She obviously understands however that with her baptism she is a Catholic. I would think the reaction of those claiming to be good Catholics would be to encourage her, and not to berate her.

  25. Best comment I’ve seen on it:
    Melania Trump is the first Catholic to live at the White House since JFK!

    I’m still not sure if the irony is on purpose or not.

  26. I would think the reaction of those claiming to be good Catholics would be to encourage her, and not to berate her.

    Depends– is she publicly supporting slaughtering innocents, sterilizing prior to recreational sex, equating homosexual sexual activity with married couples, etc? If not, well, why wouldn’t they berate her…. -.-

  27. For every nasty comment about this VERY LOVEY, GOOD WIFE AND MOTHER-stick it!
    Have you awful people nothing nice to say?
    Why would she tell anyone anything, so they can make more nasty jokes!!!
    I’m delighted. She’s a LADY unlike Mrs. Clinton who didn’t even know that it was HER HUSBAND BILL CLINTON WHO WAS IMPEACHED, not President Nixon, who by the way resigned to save the country as lengthy trial and expense. He was a class act and doesn’t get nearly the credit he deserves. No other president besides President Clinton has been impeached except one in approx. 1869.

    So lying, deceitful, nasty, Hillary get your facts straight just ONCE, please tell the truth, even though I know it’s not within you. I know you think you can rewrite history, but for Gods sake don’t be so obvious and say something that unfortunately enough people know the truth about are still enough people are alive!!!!!!! Let me point out to people like you who NO LONGER ARE IN POWER -TO LIE AND COVER UP WRONG DOINGS (THANKS TO THE WISE AMERICAN PEOPLE) it was YOUR HUSBAND BILL CLINTON WHO WAS IMPEACHED AND “HIM” IN THE 20TH. CENTURY AND ONLY THE 2ND. PRES. IN HISTORY.

    Do you really think you can just lie about anything and say anything and nobody’s gonna call you out on it. What about the people that four that die because if you, what about all those emails on your server, what about all the other things you’ve done, the list goes on and on and on. My God woman go away go away with some scintilla of dignity. YOU HAVE “NO” CHANCE TO WIN A POST AGAIN!!!!! You should be in JAIL!

  28. Viktor, Melania’s father, was a member of the Communist Party. Several neighbors agree that he joined more out of convenience than conviction.
    After Hungary made a statutory provision for alternative political parties to organize (in January 1989), the local communist party held a convention to re-organize and re-brand. One measure approved was a call to all members to apply for new party cards. About 4% of the nominal membership applied for the new cards. In occidental countries wherein political parties are private membership organizations, you might expect 3-4% of the adult population to take out memberships. A similar share of Americans sit on party committees and volunteer on campaigns (or did when I was a disaffected student of political science). The communist parties in Eastern Europe had very bloated membership rolls given the size of the adult population in those places, presumably because there are quite a mess of people who’d like a promotion at their workplace.

  29. Look, nobody has publically divulged the inside gouge on Trump’s marriages. Ivana was previously married and divorced. There’s some supposition that it was a green card marriage to enable her to emigrate to Canada. Was it a civil marriage? Was she a Catholic or not given her Czech/Austrian heritage? There could be many reasons not apparent to the general public why Trump’s previous marriages could be considered invalid according to the R. Catholic Church. Also do we know if Melania was baptized into Roman or Orthodox Church. Many of the former Eastern Bloc countries had Roman, Byzantine, and Orthodox Catholic communities. The Orthodox as I understand it has different church law regarding divorce and remarriage as does the Anglican.
    Prince Charles could not marry Camilla in a Church of England service; they were married by magistrate. His sister Anne had to remarry in the Church of Scotland. His Aunt Margaret couldn’t marry Peter Townsend because he was divorced and his great uncle Edward had to abdicate the throne because he married twice divorced Wallis Simpson.
    I believe the Newt and Calixta Gingrich was validated when he converted to R. Catholicism. Was that under the Paulist Principle? I’ve never had occasion to know the in and outs of a marriage tribunal, but I do know that there are various reasons, spiritual, physical and psychological for annulments and that one should not judge situations on appearances of others’ marriages.
    I believe that the President will convert to Catholicism. I hope and pray that the Vice President will return to the faith of his childhood.

  30. There is nothing like bringing up Catholicism that brings out the best (and worst) of people. I had read that her spokeswoman confirmed that the First Lady is a Catholic. How she practices is Gods, the Churches and her business. It’s nice to see Christians in the White House. I for one will pray for their success.

  31. There but for the grace of God go I….
    This discussion seems, to me, a mildly lapsed ( in terms of strict requirements) Catholic, appalling.
    So many “good Catholics” are no better than we “lapsed” ones, they just “follow the rules” outwardly. My faith & practice are personal and sincere…at least I admit I am human & imperfect…
    I am saddened, but not surprised, by this discussion….

  32. CAM-
    I believe I heard on The World Over that the Trumps were married in an Episcopal ceremony.
    I’m with you about the VP– he seems to be one of those guys who was basically driven out because his local exposure didn’t have any there, there. Like Mary MacDougall says, there but for the grace of God… I had the internet to find out about the Church when there wasn’t anything offered locally. The VP is a bit old for that.

  33. Apply the rule of kind interpretations. We all proceed along the path of life by the light we have. If we stay on the track, the light will get brighter and take us safely home. “I am the way, the truth and the life” describes a journey.

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