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The Roman Catholic experience in the United States of America has, for about the last century, relied heavily on an alliance with the American Democrat Party. Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone talks about this in a recent piece he wrote:
The history of Catholic immigrants to the United States and their descendants is exemplary of the American dream, and intertwined with the Democratic party. I myself am a typical example of this Catholic Democratic legacy. My grandparents were immigrants, arriving here dirt-poor from Sicily. My father grew up in his father’s trade and was a commercial fisherman; my maternal grandfather was a cement mason. They were classic working-class people. Both of my parents were registered Democrats—New Deal Democrats—their whole lives. What the Democratic party, with its vital support for labor unions, brought to our country at the time helped my family survive and thrive, and made possible even greater opportunities for my siblings, my cousins, and myself.
This led to a very long alignment shared between the Roman Catholic immigrants (as well as many Greek Orthodox immigrants) and the Democrat Party. In those times, the Democrat Party did seem to look out for the “little guy” and after small businesses. Marxism, culturally or otherwise, was functionally verboten, at least from a twenty-first century perspective.
The Roman Catholic Church held the guiding light for its faithful’s lives as well, and it was considered unseemly that anyone would (publicly) defy the Church and her teachings, with the understanding that to do so was to defy the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Who would want to do such a thing? Not very many, at least not in public.
But my, oh my, how times have changed.
We covered recently how Pope Francis cancelled a scheduled Mass Imposter Joe Biden was scheduled to attend, because the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) was having an important meeting to determine whether or not they would pursue “Eucharistic coherence”, which simply means that Holy Communion would not be administered to public-profile leaders who are in opposition to the Church teachings on issues like euthanasia, sex and family roles, and abortion.
One particularly arrogant Democrat, California Representative Ted Lieu, posted this on Twitter:
Ted Lieu on Twitter: “Dear @USCCB: I’m Catholic and I support:-Contraception-A woman’s right to choose-Treatments for infertility-The right for people to get a divorce-The right of same sex marriageNext time I go to Church, I dare you to deny me Communion. https://t.co/bUmiyJ8TtH / Twitter”
Dear @USCCB: I’m Catholic and I support:-Contraception-A woman’s right to choose-Treatments for infertility-The right for people to get a divorce-The right of same sex marriageNext time I go to Church, I dare you to deny me Communion. https://t.co/bUmiyJ8TtH
This shows how heavily compromised the Roman Catholic Church has allowed itself to become, and this is why the Church in the United States is trying to correct this error. We have the insane attempting to run the asylum.
Let’s put it a different way:
This representative (along with Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Imposter Joe Biden and many others), think that what they prefer is paramount to the teachings of God through His Church. (The Eastern Orthodox Church holds congruent stances on these issues as well, so this is particularly of important to our Greek Orthodox hierarchs in America, who are also given in to leftism).
They think what they want to do is more important than what God wants of them.
So, how can they even call themselves Roman Catholic, or even Christian, if they defy the Master?
In a sane world, this is common sense, but we are not in a sane world right now. When an Eastern Orthodox Archbishop, Michael (Dahulich) led prayers outside an abortion clinic, some incensed men absurdly took off their clothes, wrapped themselves in plastic and writhed on the ground at the Archbishop’s feet in what was described as “homoerotic movements.” Here is the photo:
Gross, and also rather dangerous physically. Wrapped in plastic?! Why? Probably because what these people espouse as “love” is grotesque, ugly, unnatural and demonic, as in “opposed to God.”
It really is that simple.
Thankfully, the fact that the Democrat power players are coming out against the Church is one of these “obvious giveaway” moments, where even people who have managed to deny the grotesque alignment of their political party have had to face the truth.
Let’s let Archbishop Cordileone frame this for us in his own thoughts. We will show select comments for brevity and include some more comments, and we urge everyone to go to his own page to read his comments in full. They are diplomatic, but that diplomacy reveals a very firm “you shall not go any farther” sort of barrier, which is most welcome:
It was a bit disconcerting […] when on June 18, sixty Democratic members of Congress, all Catholics, issued a significant “Statement of Principles” in response to a decision by U.S. Catholic bishops to develop a teaching document on the nature of the Eucharist and its proper reception. In their statement, the members of Congress argue that “the Sacrament of Holy Communion is central to the life of practicing Catholics, and the weaponization of the Eucharist to Democratic lawmakers for their support of a woman’s safe and legal access to abortion is contradictory.” They go on to “solemnly urge” the bishops “to not move forward and deny [lawmakers] this most holy of all sacraments” over one issue.
The statement raises many troubling questions. While I speak only for myself in this column, the public nature of the statement invites a public response and provides an excellent opportunity for candid dialogue. In that spirit, allow me to begin the dialogue with comments on some specific passages from the statement.
As Catholic Democrats in Congress, we are proud to be part of the living Catholic tradition–a tradition that unfailingly promotes the common good, expresses a consistent moral framework for life, and highlights the need to provide a collective safety net to those individuals in society who are the most vulnerable.
A “consistent moral framework for life” would logically seem to exclude laws that enable the killing of the most vulnerable and innocent in society: the unborn. Surely the members of Congress know, as committed Catholics, that the early Church described abortion as a form of homicide, and that the Christian community condemned abortion as early as the first century in the Didache. Nor can we ignore the pain caused to many women, and others in their networks of relationships, by the emotional scars of abortion.
. . . we work every day to advance respect for life and the dignity of every human being.
Except, that is, those human beings who are still in the womb, or even partially born…
That commitment is fulfilled in different ways by legislators but includes: reducing the rising rates of poverty, particularly child poverty; increasing access to education for all; pressing for access to universal health care; recognizing the dignity of all humans; and repairing long-standing racial and gender inequities in our society.
These are admirable words, but if they are also sincere convictions, then why would Catholic members of Congress support laws that have the effect of destroying the natural family through marriage redefinition, no-fault divorce, and other similar policies? More than fifty years of social science data show the devastating effect that family fragmentation has on children, especially in situations of fatherlessness. Not only is the broken family a leading cause of poverty, but it also results in a host of other social ills, such as youth violence, incarceration, and substance abuse.
We interject here to note also that Communism “supports” the exact same things: reducing poverty rates, increasing access to education, access to universal health care, and eliminating racism. While the Archbishop is right as far as he goes, he is also, perhaps unfortunately, “playing on the Democrats turf” instead of pointing out that the sole purpose of Christianity is the salvation of our souls (although later in this writing he does go right to this exact point.)
Christianity is NOT about social change and advancement. It never has been, nor does it need to be. True societal change and advancement happen when Christianity itself is the center of life. For the Democrats writing this paper, they see it backwards: That Christianity is an adornment, perhaps a very good one, but one that is not particularly relevant to the mission of creating a Utopian society, according to what popular thinking among Dems is about what Utopia is. Presently that includes abortion on demand (which the Communists provided and advocated), education (indoctrination in political matters), and universal health care (which was not of very high quality in the Soviet Union).
Nevertheless, the good Archbishop is spot on about the hypocritical divergence of what the Democrats say and what the Church teaches. We continue:
We envision a world in which every child belongs to a loving family and agree with the Catholic Church about the value of human life.
What does a “loving family” mean when lawmakers redefine “family” to be whatever consenting adults want it to be, reimagining the natural family out of existence? Again, all reliable studies show that children do best with a (male) father and (female) mother in a stable, low-conflict, life-long commitment of marriage. Instead of advocating for policies that promote this proven model, why would any self-described “Catholic” lawmaker advance policies that dismantle it, even punishing adoption agencies that will only place children for adoption in homes with these kinds of parents? Moreover, their agreement “with the Catholic Church about the value of human life” excludes the value of human life in the womb.
Each of us is committed to reducing the number of unintended pregnancies and creating an environment with policies that encourage pregnancies to be carried to term and provide resources to raise healthy and secure children. We believe this includes promoting alternatives to abortion, such as adoption, improving access to children’s healthcare and child care, and creating a child benefit through the expanded and improved Child Tax Credit.
It’s worth asking what Catholic lawmakers have actually done to promote adoption. Or to create “an environment with policies that encourage pregnancies to be carried to term.” Such an environment would be a robust marriage culture, and that is exactly what too many Catholic legislators have helped to destroy. It’s also worth asking how many and which of the statement’s signers have positive ratings from NARAL and Planned Parenthood. Abortion is not just a controversial social issue, or a debate about “choice” vs. life in the womb; in the United States, abortion is a lucrative industry with a vigorous lobby. Adoption and other policies that help women bring their children to term reduce sales for Planned Parenthood. Perhaps that’s why we find so little evidence for them.
In all these issues, we seek the Church’s guidance and assistance but believe also in the primacy of conscience.
It’s hard to see this passage as anything less than evasion. Conscience is not deciding what’s right or wrong for oneself. We don’t invent truth; we search it out with “the Church’s guidance,” and then submit ourselves to it. Conscience is the faculty to know and do what’s right in concrete situations, whether we find it politically convenient or not.
We intrude again. Bingo, Bingo, BINGO! In this Archbishop Cordileone hits a home run. It is couched in rather diplomatic language but it is unequivocal. We do not set the terms of our salvation. God does, and has done so. It is for us to obey Him… or not, and face the consequences.
In recognizing the Church’s role in providing moral leadership, we acknowledge and accept the tension that comes with being in disagreement with the Church in some areas.
Disagreement in some areas? As in, the legitimacy of enabling and tolerating the killing of 66,000,000 unborn children in a fifty-year period? The abortion issue involves not just a tactical disagreement on a policy matter. This is a heinous evil. It’s comparable to “disagreeing” on the evil of lynching or human trafficking.
(Another beautifully executed home run. One hopes that this “statement of principles” pushes the Conference of Bishops to really get hard-nosed about refusing Communion to people who, through their attitudes and behavior, essentially defecate all over it. Yeah. It is that bad.)
We believe the separation of church and state allows for our faith to inform our public duties and best serve our constituents.
Agreed. The trouble is that so many of the statement’s legislators seem to conform and restrict their faith to the platform of the Democratic party.
The Sacrament of Holy Communion is central to the life of practicing Catholics, and the weaponization of the Eucharist to Democratic lawmakers for their support of a woman’s safe and legal access to abortion is contradictory.
It is rather the statement’s signers who “weaponize” the Eucharist precisely by issuing their public letter. And this suggests a regrettable level of calculated cynicism. The bishops’ motivation is pastoral: the salvation of souls and reparation of scandal. There is nothing punitive in stating and restating the truth of Catholic belief, and its implications for an authentically Catholic life…
The Democratic party of my youth was the champion of “the little guy”—the factory hand, the farmer, the blue-collar worker. We bishops are charged with teaching the fullness of the faith both to the powerful and to the powerless. In that capacity, I ask each representative who signed this letter to commit to protecting the “littlest guys and gals” of all. Abortion is the axe laid to the roots of the tree of human life. Claims to respect the equal dignity of every human being sound hollow when one systematically enables or tolerates denying the right to life of the most vulnerable.
Rejecting abortion is a tall order for a Catholic Democrat in the current environment, I know. But this week especially, the week when we remember St. Thomas More, is a good time to look deep in the soul and ask:
Will I be God’s servant first?