Nov
12
2012

The Recent Unpleasantness

On November 6, the citizens of the United States re-elected perhaps the most anti-Catholic president in its history to a second term.

Even sadder, according to exit polls a majority of Catholics voted in his favor, even after they theoretically had imbibed the bishops’ message, conveyed from the pulpit and in various other media, that no Catholic should vote for a candidate who favors abortion rights and single sex marriage and does not support religious liberty.

What is going on here? Clearly, to borrow a line from the film “Cool Hand Luke,” “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”

Simply put, the U.S. is no longer “exceptional.”

In fact, the U.S. is no longer a Christian country. Our nation is in a spiraling decline, and the cause is neither politics nor economics but moral breakdown.

For the first time in human history the greatest health problem is obesity—read gluttony. Millions of men and even (believe it or not) women are addicted to pornography, and our birthrate is at its lowest in history. Cohabitation before marriage and multiple divorces are not unusual. Out-of-wedlock births are at an all-time high. And the holocaust of unborn babies by the millions continues.

Our country is morally as well as fiscally broke. Of course, these signs of decline are all interconnected. This is not the time to go into how all this came about, but to my mind the individual states have become too dependent on our central government for matters that should fall in their own purview, clearly and seriously violating and abusing the Catholic principle of subsidiarity.

The former freedom of action of individuals and families has been restricted by and over-regulated by Washington, DC. Remember, whatever the government can do for you, it can do to you.

In short, after witnessing the transformation of the American Republic into an Empire, we are witnessing that Empire’s fall. And as a Church historian, I do not know of any empire that ever collapsed and then revived.

I hope all this does not leave you too depressed: For my part, I am exhilarated.

To paraphrase a great American Revolutionary War hero, John Paul Jones, “We have not yet begun to fight.” Or as legendary Marine Chesty Puller put it: “They are in front of us, behind us, and we are flanked on both sides by an enemy that outnumbers us 29:1. They can’t get away from us now.”

This is the true “Catholic Moment” for our country, with apologies to my deceased friend Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, Catholic convert and founder of First Things. Simply said, only raw, unadulterated, lived-out-in-the-middle-of-the-world Catholicism can save the United States and perhaps bring us back to a country that acknowledges the natural law, truly takes as its guide the American Constitution, and renounces the allure of empire, returning to its conception as the humble Republic our forefathers founded.

Our role models are the first Christians who suffered and flourished and grew under at least 25O years of persecution, in some cases bloody, in other cases consisting of ostracism and second-class citizenship, until the Edict of Milan under the Emperor Constantine. Less than 70 years later, Catholicism had become the official religion of the Empire. We know the rest of the story: the conversions of the barbarians to the Faith over seven centuries and the flowering of what became Christendom or the West.

But I must stress that, as mainstream Protestantism for all practical purposes is dead in the United States. It is up to lay Catholics to build a healthy Catholic culture here worthy of the nation’s founding. The means will be their commitment to the Sacraments, life of prayer, and meditation on Sacred Scripture, and their bringing the fruits of these to their work, family life, and fellow citizens.

The Second Vatican Council, whose fiftieth anniversary we are celebrating in this special “Year of Faith,” was quite clear that its main message for us Catholics was the “universal call to holiness.”

If we take that call seriously and we live it like the first Christians did, well, we may make America again merit the title of “exceptional,” not only in emphasizing freedom for its people but in showing charity and respect for the dignity of all human persons, born and unborn, from conception until natural death.

Perhaps our rejection of the Culture of Death in the United States will bring about what the Lord wanted and wants: “That all may be one.” Indeed this is the Catholic moment when we can   anticipate many conversions to the Faith from evangelical Christians and other truth seekers.

Consider what our most insightful observer, Alexis de Tocqueville, had to say in the early 19th century when he traveled extensively through the U.S.:

At the present time, more than in any preceding age, Roman Catholics are seen to lapse into infidelity, and Protestants to be converted to Roman Catholicism. If you consider Catholicism within its own organization, it seems to be losing; if you consider it from outside, it seems to be gaining. Nor is this difficult to explain. The men of our days are naturally little disposed to believe; but as soon as they have any religion, they immediately find in themselves a latent instinct that urges them unconsciously towards Catholicism. Many of the doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic Church astonish them, but they feel a secret admiration for its discipline, and its great unity attracts them. If Catholicism could at length withdraw itself from the political animosities to which it has given rise, I have hardly any doubt but that the same spirit of the age which appears to be so opposed to it would become so favorable as to admit of its great and sudden advancement.

The future is ours! We can and must believe what Pope Benedict XVI told Americans in 2008 re-echoing the vision of the late Blessed Pope John Paul II: “God is preparing a new springtime for Christianity.”

Meanwhile, let’s get to work and remember to pray for the conversion of our newly re-elected president and vice president! Miracles happen!

Fr. C. J. McCloskey III, S.T.D. is a Church historian and Research Fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute in Washington, DC. From 1985-1990, he was a chaplain at Princeton University. He is perhaps best known for guiding into the Church such luminaries as Dr. Bernard Nathanson, Lawrence Kudlow, Robert Novak, Judge Robert Bork, and Senator Sam Brownback. His articles, reviews, and doctoral thesis have been published in major Catholic and secular periodicals, including: Catholic World Report, First Things, La'Osservatore Romano, The Wall Street Journal, National Catholic Register, the Washington Times, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and ACEPRENSA. Father John has done extensive work in radio and television, most notably at EWTN and as a commentator on network television, satellite and cable channels. He is co-author (with Russell Shaw) of Good News, Bad News: Evangelization, Conversion, and the Crisis of Faith (Ignatius Press) and the co-editor of "The Essential Belloc" (St. Benedict's Press). He is has also contributed a principal essay to the Cardinal Newman Society's "How to Choose a Catholic College" available from TheNewmanGuide.com.
Articles by Fr. McCloskey:

  • KMN

    What is this “empire” you are talking about? You sound very much like the American left.

    I don’t understand what you mean by this.

    • Confederate Papist

      Google “American Military Presence in the World” and you will see what he means. US Military is on every continent, and if you believe the propaganda (like I used to) that we are a force for good in the world, then you need to re-think that by reading http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/11/09/is-this-child-dead-enough-for-you/ and be honest with yourself.

    • Dan Li

      We’ve exploited other nations and peoples throughout the world for our own benefit. This behavior is especially evident in South America. We have done much good, but we have also done much evil.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.marcantonio Richard Marcantonio

    A “majority of Catholics voted in his (Obama’s) favor” means Catholic writ large; that is, not restricted to practicing Catholics.
    Those Catholics who pay no attention to
    the bishops never heard their message and would have probably rejected it in any case. More generally, I think we might find the same thing for those who claimed loose
    affiliation with Protestantism as well. The dividing line (as I’m
    guessing the President’s campaign knew very well) was whether you were a
    practicing Christian or not, and those who do not practice probably outnumber those who do.

  • supreme conscience

    The USA was founded by evil Freemasons and practitioners of the occult such as Washington, Paine and Franklin. Democracy comes from Freemasonry and is evil. Jesus is a King – not a president or prime minister. Only Royal Power can ensure that civil law follows Natural Law. The USA is a most evil nation internally (democracy always declines because people vote for their lusts and greed). The USA has the most ugly music, most vulgar literature, most immodestly dressed women in the history of man. This is exactly as it was set up to be the the founder-Freemasons. Franklin and Paine travelled to, and lived in, London and Paris to get instructions from their brother masons.

    • Jambo

      Maybe you’re ultimately right. I mean, where is the Western Democratic countries’ official fealty to Christ, the Church, and Pope? These have been the only sources for civilizational unity, stability, sanity, vitality, and holiness (not to mention truth and sacrament) for the western world. No one can argue anything contrary. Fulton Sheen predicted a return to the tendencies and barbarism of pre-Christian Europe as we continue to jettison Christianity–much like the bodies of men taking steroids revert to flabbier form when steroids are no longer taken.

      Our national debt is the perfect analogy: we are completely and utterly bankrupt, absolutely and irreparably so. I’m no Paulite, but Ron Paul has it right: we’re already over the cliff, it’s just that most of us don’t know it yet — the only question is when and where we’re going to land. We ALL know it; yet when it finally happens everyone will complain and moan that they didn’t know!! Unreal.

      I mean, we owe $16 Trillion, and we’re freaking talking about taxing millionaires another 3%!! Historians and our grandchildren simply won’t be able to believe it.

    • http://profiles.google.com/jflare29 John Flaherty

      Talk about a cynical point of view. You insist on seeing only the very worst traits the nation has exhibited and refuse to admit the virtue we have pursued.
      How sad.

    • baileylamb

      Jesus was technicaly Jewish so let’s have some Jewish monarchs then.

  • http://www.marcusallensteele.com/ Marcus Allen Steele

    Father. Terrific article. And praying for miracles makes sense because we’re at the tipping point. Unfortunately, that tipping point is under water so most folks can’t see it or refuse to look. But a reasoned person taking inventory of the Catholic issues––which are common good issues––should note our precarious position in the crosshairs of immorality.

  • Credoveritatis

    Father I agree. America has always been a luciferian nation. Masons are luciferians. Read Albert J. Pikes Morals and Dogma.It glorifies lucifer and is the handbook for the freemasons. Many buildings and monuments in Washington D.C.mention God but thje gods they mean is lucifer.
    remember, Satan offered all the nations of the world to Jesus if he would bow down and worship him. America and all countries belong to satan.

    • supreme conscience

      You are right, dead right, Credo. too many think the word ‘God’ in the american constitution is the True God. It is not. the ‘god’ of the USA constitution is the false ‘god’ of Freemasons. They have a picture of this false god on US money – a pyramid with one eye. This is satan they worship – the satan Washington worshipped by being a Freeemason; the satan Franklin worshipped in London, UK in the Hellfire Club.

    • http://profiles.google.com/jflare29 John Flaherty

      I beg to differ.
      Freemasons had a say in the founding of the nation, yes, but not the only say. Christians of various stripes provided input, as did Catholic Christians. For pity’s sake, a Catholic–Charles Carroll of Maryland–was a signatory to the Declaration.

      There has been no declaration of what god we honor in buildings, but numerous peoples have worshipped the One, Almighty God, in this nation.

      If we cannot turn this nation back to Her moral foundation, She will fall.
      Even so, I will not give Her up for lost without a fight.

      I am proud to be an American and I believe my country may be saved yet, though we may be forced to suffer for Her survival.
      My Church’s leadership need to get their act together. As our author says, we can restore both our Church and our nation by means of prayer and expectation of public virtue.

  • TheInformer

    How about more substantial Masses? Almost never hear anything important during a sermon, not to mention the free-wheeling way most priests offer the Mass!
    Is it really just a religion for women and the elderly?

    • Jambo

      I heard my first orthodox homile on birth control the other week at Mass. I still can’t stop thinking and talking about it–and appreciating the fact that this 1st or 2nd year priest has said more in one week than I’ve heard since my conversion 14 years ago. Thank God for our young priests!!

      • TheInformer

        Bro! or my sister, God Bless you! St. Paul talks about the strength of the Faithful being sustained by “solid food”. I love devotional Catholicism, but seriously when 80%??? deny the Real Presence I begin to think that the word isn’t being transmitted to the captive audience at Mass!

        CHALLENGE ME, FATHER!!!

  • Matthew Ogden

    I love how all of the Catholic bloggers are now saying the things I have been saying for years:

    1. The U.S. is no longer a Christian country.
    2. The U.S. is unquestionably in decline.
    3. Nothing can save this country from collapse.
    4. Let it all fall apart and then rebuild from the ruins.

    And so on. Objectivity is a wonderful thing.

    • Jambo

      I’ve heard a million Catholics say this very thing. Who are you talking about? Show me one orthodox Catholic writer who has said things are going swimmingly.

    • rightactions

      Remind me, how long was the Babalonian Exile and how many of the tribes were lost?
      Don’t be so eager to “let it all fall apart” and don’t presume that you’ll be among those around to “rebuild from the ruins.”

  • Spinmamma

    Thank you for the article and the encouragement.

  • fw

    exactly what thoughts and feelings overcame me as i woke up the morning after the election. let’s roll.

  • http://scrambledmegzntoast.wordpress.com Megan

    The United States was an incredibly anti-Catholic nation for most of the first 100-150 years of its history. The statement “On November 6, the citizens of the United States re-elected perhaps the most anti-Catholic president in its history to a second term” is demonstrably ludicrous. I think the whole nation could do with less hyperbole and hysteria and more prayer and charity toward others, but I don’t think it will happen any time soon.

    • http://www.facebook.com/richard.marcantonio Richard Marcantonio

      Hyperbole my foot. The president’s strong (almost strident) pro-abortion stance qualifies him as exactly what Father said that he is. While we’ve been busy being charitable for 40 years, millions die in the silent genocide. I would hardly call it hysteria.

  • http://scrambledmegzntoast.wordpress.com Megan

    Oh sorry. Please delete my comment. I don’t read blogs or comment on blogs that pre-moderate comments and I wish bloggers would be more open about doing so upfront so I wouldn’t waste my time.

  • Mr. Patton

    In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814

    • HigherCalling

      I think it’s important to understand that Jefferson and the Founders had their own definition of “Liberty” that did not necessarily meet with the real definition which is based in truth. Liberty, for the Founders, not only trumped God, but it became the God. And it seems, by their definition, that it has failed.

      Chesterton addresses the misconceptions of Jefferson when it comes to historical Christianity. I’ll match your quote with this: ” And if we took the third chance instance, it would be the same; the view that priests darken and embitter the world. I look at the world and simply discover that they don’t. Those countries in Europe that are still influenced by priests are exactly the countries where there is still singing and dancing and colored dresses and art in the open air. Catholic doctrine and discipline may be walls; but they are the walls of a playground. Christianity is the only frame that has preserved the pleasure of paganism.”

      Catholicism and her priests are on the side of truth. Despotism is on the side of falsehood. Real freedom, real liberty, is only found in truth. Truth sets up limits, thus liberty demands limits. Modern America rejects limits and calls it liberty. As America barrels into Godlessness and despotism, perhaps we should reassess Jefferson’s definition of liberty.

      • Mr. Patton

        Dear kind poster, you have given a wonderful textbook example of the “No true Scotsman” logical fallacy. Thank you.

        • HigherCalling

          The use of the word “true” in an argument very rarely results in the “NTS” fallacy. But NTS is a convenient counter-argument used to dismiss a point that is worth examining. Redefining words is a default tactic for arguments that cannot withstand intelligent scrutiny. ‘Liberty’ has developed several definitions over time, but the most accurate definition, and the only one that can actually produce it, centers on its connection to truth. Truth itself can be broken down into sub-truths or half-truths which are quite dangerous. A half-truth, like a “half-liberty” makes the real thing ultimately unattainable. A half-truth is a heresy. It elevates a certain truth above all other truths thereby hiding and unbalancing the whole of truth. Jefferson’s “liberty” is a half-truth. It comes close to giving us real liberty, but without the fullness of truth, it cannot make us free. His observation of priests is a similar half-truth. The absolutely necessity of limits on liberty as seen by Catholics could not be seen entirely by Jefferson because he was elevating a half-truth over the whole. The fullness of liberty is found only in the fullness of truth. Catholics know where the fullness of truth resides.

    • http://profiles.google.com/jflare29 John Flaherty

      Sadly, the more I have learned of Thomas Jefferson, the less I find I can admire him as much as I’d like. We’re called to embrace the whole of Truth, not to write our own version of the Gospel to reflect our present sentiments regarding Revelation.
      He gave us the Declaration; that was a good thing.
      He also effectively insisted on tolerance of sin. That’s not so good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/uwe.siemonnetto Uwe Siemon-Netto

    As a confessional Lutheran, journalist and deeply saddened observer of
    this country’s decline, I agree with most of Father John’s superb
    observations, except that he and I would differ on this statement: “Only
    raw, unadulterated, lived-out-in-the-middle-of-the-world Catholicism
    can save the United States.” If we replaced the upper-case “C” in
    “Catholicism” with a lower-case “c” we would be fully on the same page.
    True, “Mainstream Protestantism for all practical purposes is dead,” as
    Father John says. It is in many respects so blatantly heretical that one can literally smell the fetid odor of a horse’s seared hooves. But the same applies to major elements calling themselves part of the Roman Catholic Church, though they are in reality apostate. On the other hand, confessional Lutheranism and Calvinism, orthodox Anglicanism, Eastern Orthodoxy are not. They must join forces with faithful Catholics in building a
    “healthy catholic (lower case) culture here worthy of the nation’s
    founding” without abandoning their significant doctrinal and liturgical
    contributions to the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.It is
    obvious that all of us are witnessing Christ’s renewal of His church as we
    speak, but we should leave it up to Him to complete this job in His good time. In the meantime we are called to roll up our sleeves, assert ourselves as Christians in the secular realm and live faithfully according to His last prayer: UT UNUM SINT.

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  • Tradtrub

    Nulla salus extra ecclesiam.

    Fixed it for ya.

    Tradtrub

    • readering

      The vast, vast majority of lay Catholics, whether regular or occasional Mass observers, have long concluded that it is appropriate to use artificial contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancy. The Obama administration determined that employers should include contraception in health insurance benefits. There is absolutely no evidence from this decision that President Obama is anti-Catholic. The man was hired by Catholic parishes to become an organizer in Chicago. The world may be on the road to ruin, but the results of the 2012 elections are not evidence of such a development. (The never ending priest abuse scandal may be.) You guys are all nuts to obsess about the election results this way.

      • Angelina Steiner

        Look don’t be lecturing us, true catholics are a people of faith. True catholics believe in faith and MORAL that are taught by the Church. We are not “nuts” we live in reality UNLIKE YOU. Again, the HHS mandate is forcing Catholic employers to provide for evils (contraceptions, sterializations, abortificients). We can not go along with this because it is MATERIAL COOPERATION to EVILS. WE considered these things to be evil, do you understand little monkey?????

        WE CAN NOT BE ACCOMPLICES TO EVIL because this is SPIRITUAL SUICIDE for us! We have principles UNLIKE YOU! PAGAN, why are you here? Why don’t you find a reprobate blog that suit your style?

        You see, love, sex and procreation are interconnected, when you separate them the society collapses. Birth control is an enabler to fornication and adultery. What is the ‘NEVER ENDING priest abuse’, what do you mean by this? ARE YOU DENSE? Speak English to me!!! Clarify youself or are you just a LIAR?

      • Angelina Steiner

        Look pagan, nobody wants to chit chat with you, so you need to stop calling us “nuts” and go away and find some reprobate websites that suit your style. I figured that you are probably the Generation Porno crowd that voted for Obama, since you are too dense to understand why different employers are suing the administration over the HHS mandate.

    • readering

      By the way, going back to the Zhou dynasty, the Chinese Empire has collapsed and revived repeatedly in the course of three thousand years. Not that I disagree with pulling back from an American Empire before it is overextended and collapses, with any revival coming long after out lifetimes.

  • George

    You people scare me. Sorry. I don’t want to live in a religious state.

    • HigherCalling

      It’s impossible not to live in a religious state. You can certainly live in a God-less state (at least temporarily), but it will still be religious. Killing God does not kill the religious impulse that is innate in human nature. That impulse instead gets redirected into other areas, most often into politics. Political religions have proven far more dangerous than any other. You can build your God-less state, and everyone will suffer mightily, but it will not be free of religion. As Chesterton observed, “Once kill the God, and the government becomes the God.” Read some Eric Vogelin for more on this phenomenon.

    • nancy roehlig

      Secularism scares me more . There is such a thing as a soul , &, as imperfect as we are, we are put here ,to expect ,& ,to be, the best we can. Spiritualism is satisfying , giving, & mind expanding. Keep an open outlook …. I haven’t been here before either , but, I take away more than I came with.

    • rightactions

      I don’t want to live in a religious state.
      –George

      Consider the alternative, living in an irreligious state, and get back to us.

  • Hominid

    The problem is that the Christian rationale for morality is no longer viable and people are left without an alternative. What is needed is a reason-based rationale for morality – one that is rooted in man’s virtuous instincts (they do exist) and our social need for peaceful co-existence – without the silly mysticism and pernicious bigotry that characterize the classical religions.

    • Angelina Steiner

      Yeah, and the god of “random mutation” is truly hip, NOT!
      Gee, it’s been over 100 years since Darwin spoke about his “transitional species” well, where the HELL are they?
      You better pray hard to the god of “random mutation” so that “it” could reveal the locations of these species!

      • Hominid

        Yours is exactly the kind of willful ignorance and blind resentment that turn off people who can think.

        • Angelina Steiner

          Yeah, and you can really “think”? Well, explain yourself, where are the transitional species??????

          ‘Willful ignorance’? What do mean, it’s just words coming out of your stupid mouth, but it doesn’t mean anything. I studied Darwin, and your daddy/god is a clown! Here is a statement from your dense clown god Darwin:

          ‘Why, if species descended from other species by fine graduations, do we not find everywhere innumerable transitionary forms?’ (Darwin, “The Origin of the Species”, New York: Heritage Press, page 135).

          Because your CLOWN Darwin god, POSTULATED NONSENSE!

          And you Hominid, people like you who live in glass houses shouldn’t be throwing rocks! Do you understand that expression, CLOWN?

          You, Clown promote JUNK SCIENCE. CLOWN, you attack us first with our ‘silly mysticism and pernicious bigotry.’ JERK, don’t be attacking us first, then start crying when someone SMARTER than you attack you back! You are the one who is dense!

          I have supported all of my statements, but you CLOWN can not support your “random mutation” god. Now truly, who is the “willful ignorance” one?

          • Hominid

            With some good counseling & a strong antipsychotic med you might reduce the frequency of such hysterical episodes.

          • Angelina Steiner

            Clown, you got some nerve attacking us first, then you couldn’t even defense YOUR DADDY DARWIN. Why are you here? I am curious of your psychosis? Tell me about your CLOWN belief? Teach me your CLOWN ways. I am listening. Did you voted for Obama and did you collected your welfare check? Did you move out of your mommy basement yet? Or do you even have mommy? I am curious, I am here for you little child.

          • Dan Li

            … You do realize that the Church has not condemned evolution, right? It is in fact taught by parochial schools, as the evidence in its favor is abundant. Transitional species have been found regarding the evolution of birds from reptiles. Consider this, mutation may be randomly induced by recombination and other processes, but evolution of species as a whole is guided by natural selection. Those species who are most fit for environment thrive therein, but when environmental changes occur, it is the species with the greater ability to adapt to that situation that thrives.

            Would you also consider reducing your use of the caps lock and mockery? They are counterproductive to any meaningful and communicative dialogue, they also reflect poorly on your character.

            I do agree that ‘Hominid’ is being foolish though. Social needs change and shift, and society is rather infamous for the changeability of its moral standards. Our ‘virtuous instincts’ all too often fall out of step with one another, or fail to coincide with our actions. God is not some mere ‘skyfather’ like Zeus, or some mystic being that only escapes being a skyfather through a technicality. That is the God of atheist and modernist-materialist thought, not the God of Christian, Jewish, Islamic, or Thomist-Classical thought.

          • Angelina Steiner

            Look Dan Li,

            Trolls are coming over here to mock the Church. These trolls are for the murdering of the unborn, and sodomy. And guess what? We have been so nice to them for the past forty years since Roe v. Wade that 56,000,000 humans are gone from the earth. I don’t have the time to be nice like you, Dan Li. With your “niceness” where did it get you, could you stop the holocaust? Before lecturing me with this- “reflect poorly on your character” please do understand that HOMINID is not interested in “communicative dialogue.” Hominid is here to mock and sneer, thus, Dan Li, I would advise you to not lecture the Choir but lecture the STUPID people instead. You don’t like my style, fine! I don’t like your weak style either. I don’t have the time to chit chat with people who are ignorant and arrogant yet they think that they can lecture the Church.

            Dan Li, do you know who St. Nicholas is? Believe me he wasn’t “nice” like you, yet he is a saint. Why? Because he saw evil and hated evil. During the Arius heresy St. Nicholas punched Arius the heretic in the face, now does this “reflect poorly on his character”? If it does, then I rather be like him THAN YOU!

          • Dan Li

            Firstly, we have been dealing with such trolls for the past two thousand years of the Church’s existence, not just for a paltry forty years. And may I ask you what your hostility gets you? (Aside from disparagement, mockery and dismissals.) It certainly doesn’t get you converts. It reflects poorly on your character. It certainly reflects poorly on our Church!

            My ‘weak’ style is not weak at all, it’s a simple exercise of civility. If and when I argue on a moral or spiritual issue we ought to take opposing arguments, attack their logical flaws and criticize their position while presenting and explaining morally licit views. Doing so in a civil and kind manner may win you converts more easily than a thunderous diatribe would; we’re on the internet, other people read these posts and whatever sneering contempt Hominid may hold will not be held in high regard by other observers.

            You, like myself, are outraged at the injustices that are committed daily in the world around us; you have every right to be. That doesn’t mean that angry-internet-soap-box speeches are the best way to get things done. If you criticise another person, please try to do it in a way that will bring about a good change in their thinking.

            How is me “preaching to the choir” a problem? I’ve debated and swayed people to the Church’s views many times, what is wrong with me trying to convince those who adhere to those views conduct themselves in an upright and fitting manner?

            Angelina, I would also like you to consider that episode in St. Nicholas’ life. Is he a saint *because* he slapped Arius? He was chastised by the bishops of the council, and were it not for a miracle he would have been left to ignominy. Note that the bishops, though they reinstated him *did not* apologize for their censure of his behavior. They were right in scolding him; they were incorrect in deposing him. If you have questions on that, consider the views of a rather heavier-hitting saint (theologically), Thomas Aquinas who encouraged the use of this system of ethical judgement in his writings.

            Boxing someone on the ears will deafen them to your arguments; spitting someone in the eye will blind them to reason. Both will likely lose you people who might have been swayed, so please exercise a bit more caritas.

          • Angelina Steiner

            Look Dan Li, you are too proud and prideful and clever with your remarks but you won’t get any converts with people who are on their way to hell (reprobates). Sometimes you need to tell people off because for certain people “niceness” doesn’t work. Anyway, St. Nicholas is a better person than you and by judging him shows how PROUD and POOR you are!!! Because he is a saint of the Church, and YOU ARE NOT!!! St. Nick has an intense love for God, that’s his style. And I don’t care about your style, perhaps it is lukewarm. True, fist fight isn’t a good thing, but I bet his intensity even when it was done wrong, will probably convert more souls than you will (with your clever remarks) ever do in your whole lifetime.

          • Dan Li

            “Prideful and clever”? I’m not being proud about anything really, I’m trying to convey to you the message that your actions don’t seem to have much of a positive effect at all.

            I agree that there are many people for whom “niceness” isn’t going to work, in such cases it’d be best to just take a firm stance, strongly reprimand them and explain in excruciating detail why exactly they are wrong. It does not give us leave to mock them in a demeaning manner. Intensity is one thing, but indulging in insults is another thing entirely. How many people has intense vitriol actually converted? St. Nicholas likely converted through intense piety and fervor, not alienating actions.

            I’ve talked at length with a few other people who have had deep suspicions and distrust of the Church. I’ve explained its doctrines and reasonings, given a bit of overview of its philosophy and theology, and by God’s grace convinced them to seriously consider converting (one’s getting baptised confirmed and is receiving first communion soon, for that I’m truly glad).

            I’d also like to point out that I simply clarified the event involving St. Nicholas, if you dislike the censure please take it up with the synod of bishops who issued it.

            I’d also like to note that I’m not the most holy of people, I’ve sinned quite a bit and while I’ve done my best to avoid causing any other offense to God, I stumble like most other humans. Also, comparing St. Nicholas of Myra and I is a non-sequitur; I am not dead nor am I in heaven, and thus I have not interceded in any perceptible way that would get me on the road to canonical sainthood. But I’ve got to ask, do you think all our saints lived spotless squeaky clean lives, or that *all* their recorded behavior and acts are to be lauded? Do you not know how St. Augustine spent his youth? Do you think such physically brusque behavior was *normal* for St. Nicholas, even in such situations?

          • Angelina Steiner

            You are so stupid that you couldn’ even argue with me! Ha!

          • Angelina Steiner

            Tell me, tell me did you collected your welfare check from Obama yet? Why don’t you find a reprobate blog that suit your style?

          • rightactions

            Tsk, tsk. You who began with name calling are now whining because you can’t take what you dished out, you pernicious bigot!

            And you call your self “hominid” – to put on airs, no doubt.

            Ha ha.

          • Guest

            You just put yourself in Angelina’s angry camp. How sad.

          • Huh?

            Yeah, and you can really “think”? Well, explain yourself, where are the transitional species??????

            How do you know that the current human species isn’t the transitional species?

          • Angelina Steiner

            Lame!!!!

          • Huh?

            I see you have no real answer.

    • HigherCalling

      Take those virtuous instincts (which do exist) back far enough, using pure reason, and you will find God. Religious people, especially Catholics, have been doing this for centuries. Your rationalism has yet to catch up. Dive into the deep end of reason-based rationale and someday you will be Catholic. ‘Silly’ mysticism is merely the proper functioning of a complete mind. Would that we could all be mystics, seeing the essence of things, using the fullness of our minds.

      • Hominid

        Gibberish.

        • Angelina Steiner

          There you go, one stupid word that doesn’t mean anything. What a dense clown!!!

        • Angelina Steiner

          You got no argument little one!

    • http://profiles.google.com/jflare29 John Flaherty

      Those virtuous instincts of man didn’t come from evolving from a rock, Hominid. They came from God, in heaven, who HAS, in fact, revealed Himself all the more deeply to several mystics over the centuries. AND, He has revealed Himself in the Bible for all to see.
      If you think human reason will provide more relevant morals, I pity you.
      You might be forewarned that you’re hardly the first to have THAT idea.

      • Dan Li

        Wait, is it not divine revelation combined with divinely-granted human reason that allows the Church to judge an act as immoral or moral? Thomist philosophy and virtue ethics are some of what the Church uses to parse ethical acts.

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  • Joshua

    “In fact, the U.S. is no longer a Christian country.”

    It was never intended to be. In the United States, the Constitution makes no reference to God. There are two references in the Declaration of Independence. The addition of “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance was added in 1954. “So help me God” was added in the 50s for taking an oath before testifying. “In God We Trust” was coined in the 19th century.

    America was explicitly not founded as a Christian country and references to faith were expressly excluded by the Founding Fathers.

    • HigherCalling

      America was a Christian country in that the vast majority of its citizens were practicing Christians, largely Protestant, of course. That is changing for perfectly understandable reasons. America was founded, not necessarily on Christianity, but certainly on a creed. That creed was “liberty” and a nearly correct but flawed understanding of natural and moral law which always acknowledges a higher power. The flaw, which can be traced to the deism of the Founders (and traced back farther in stages to flaws in Enlightenment ideas), has led to our present fall into secularism, relativism and atheism. America’s present, failing condition is ultimately traceable to flaws in the founding principles which were based in religion of our Founders. The deism of many of our founders and the ruling elite of the 18th century had a source as well. 18th century deists came out of 17th century rationalism. 17th century rationalism came out of 16th century individualism. Individualism, which is Americas core principle, is based in Protestantism itself. Yesterday’s deists are today’s atheists. Protestantism ultimately ends in atheism. Today’s proud and smug atheists didn’t get there by accident. They didn’t assess the faults in Christianity and form something more rational and human. No, they are products of Protestant genetics. The flaw in the Founding is that was never truly Christian.

    • http://profiles.google.com/jflare29 John Flaherty

      References to God were excluded because nobody truly felt them strictly necessary. While there were those in the nation who fought to keep religious influence out of public life, the overall populace of the nation have generally acknowledge the virtue of Judeo-Christian principles.

      We’ve never been a Christian nation in the sense of following the Bible strictly in all matters, like the Muslims have tended to do with the Koran and Sharia law.
      I would remind you though, we HAVE generally exercised a more Judeo-Christian philosophical ideal than any other.

      We’ve always been closer to Christian than to any other.
      Sad that so many people despise that state of being.

    • rightactions

      America was explicitly not founded as a Christian country…
      –Joshua

      False.
      You are confusing the structure of government with the country.
      Try again.

  • joxxer

    The Catholics that voted for Obama were probably not that well versed in the Faith. I dare say they might have been the ones that attend Mass at Christmas and Easter. That info should be put on the table, because the Catholics at my parish and family members did not vote for Obama.

    • rightactions

      Good for your parish, joxxer. Alas, at mine I see almost as many cars sporting Obama regalia in the parish parking lot as in traffic generally.
      I blame the bishops, mostly.

  • Charles Cosimano

    The overwhelming majority is non-Catholic and they just don’t care.

  • DontGetit

    Respectfully, I think you’re thesis is wrong on several counts – I am a practicing Catholic, and have raised 6 children as Catholic. What my wife and I don’t appreciate is being bullied on the pulpit by the clergy. The message during this election cycle was entirely to mean spirited, close minded, paranoid, and wrong-headed. Coming from men that have protected sex offenders and misused their power for a generation, you’d think there would be a strain of humbleness, of caring for your fellow human. Instead, siding with the religious fanatics, demeaning a president who is a good man, and a good leader if given the simple respect any president should garner.

    And as far as all the homophobic nonsense – please – what would Jesus say if he were here? He’d throw you all out of the church for your hatefulness and non-inclusiveness. There’s nothing in his teachings that lead one to treat gay folks the way they’ve been treated.

    I don’t pretend to be well versed in all of the church doctrine, but it would seem to me that if one wants to reduce the abortions in the world then education, and birth control are the way. Yes, birth control! There are birth control methods that prevent fertilization, and the church should find their way to support these. Abstinence requires a level of maturity that many in this country/world just will never have, and so if we’re really pro-life then realistically lets get behind a method that will both protect existing lives against disease and avoid unwanted pregnancy. 52% of Catholics voted for Obama – what % of Catholics do you think use birth control? I’m guessing 90%…

    • Theo

      And this is exactly proof of what 40 plus years of bad catechesis produces.

    • Angelina Steiner

      Dont’ get it, now that is truly your name!

      You are not a practicing Catholic, you are a Fake catholic. If you are a true catholic, then you should believe the teachings of the Church. If you don’t, then have some INTEGRITY and leave the Church. This president is a wicked person who supports the murdering of the conceived child in the womb. So you voted for him? Then you are in a state of MORTAL SIN, if you even know what that means. You better repent and go to confession before receiving communion [communicate union] since you are not in union with the Bride of Christ, FAKE catholic!

      You said that ‘….there’s nothing in his (Jesus) teachings that lead one to treat gay folks the way they have been treated…”

      The New Testament speaks for Chirst (unless you’re a FAKE catholic who don’t believe in the New Testament):

      1 Corinthians 6:9: “Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom
      of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor
      homosexuals nor sodomites … will inherit the kingdom of God.”

      1Timothy 1:10: “… law is meant not for a righteous person but for the lawless
      and unruly … the unchaste, practicing homosexuals, kidnapers, liars,
      perjurers, and whatever else is opposed to sound teaching.”

      And instead of birth control, why don’t you FAKE catholic learn about NFP (Natural Family Planning).

      Fake catholic, birth control is an enabler for fornication and adultery. Don’t be lecturing the Church, fake catholic, for She’s been around for 2000 years and you clown will be here for possibly another 40-50 years and then it’s Judgment time for you! Fake catholic, God created you so that you can open your ignorant mouth and waste His time that He has given you on earth!

      • Huh?

        Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

        • Angelina Steiner

          “He who persists in sin REBUKE him in the presence of ALL”- 1Timothy 5:20
          Yes, I can rebuke a CLOWN like you if you are promoting divisions and sins. Don’t be quoting scriptures with me, because I can easily CRUSH Clown like you!

          • Huh?

            What a hateful heart you have. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

          • Angelina Steiner

            And you suppress the truth, CLOWN!!! Pray for your own conversion.
            You ignor the Word of God and causes divisions with your comment.
            You are the Devil’s helper, this verse is directed toward you:
            “He who persists in SIN, REBUKE him in the presence of ALL.” – 1Timothy 5:20
            True, true I hate sin and I am disgusted with CLOWN like you who promote sin!!! Did you voted for Obama who supported the murdering of the babes in the wombs and did you collected your welfare check yet?

          • Huh?

            But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.

    • GaryLockhart

      “And as far as all the homophobic nonsense”

      The Church, and I would wager the overwhelming majority of faithful Catholics, does not have an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation – that’s the definition of a phobia – of homosexuals. The Church condemns homosexual acts, just as it condemns heterosexual fornication, due to their intrinsically disordered sinful nature.

      “- what would Jesus say if he(sic) were here?”

      The same thing He said to the woman about to be stoned to death for committing adultery, go and sin no more. He’d tell us all what He said before -take up your cross and follow Him. He wouldn’t, didn’t and still doesn’t, tell any of us to do whatever we want to do. Quite the contrary.

      “I don’t pretend to be well versed in all of the church doctrine,”

      At least you’re honest in acknowledging your ignorance. While familiarizing yourself with Church doctrine, for most likely the first time, you might want to reflect on what St. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians:

      “Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

      After that take a peek at Romans 1:

      “And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error. ” Romans 1:27

      “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” St. Jerome

      Your journey to eternity begins with one step. Step wisely and carefully.

      • Michael Klein

        I’m a pragmatist – I can look through the bible and find a dozen quotes to throw at you too – How about an ounce of spirituality and compassion, instead of quoting scripture? Do you want to reduce abortion in this world? Change the dogma that ties a hand behind our backs. Like I said – lots of spiritual, religious people use contraception – if the church got behind the use of rubbers, you’d make a huge dent against abortion. Which is the greater sin? Look it up…

        • Angelina Steiner

          Well find those scripture verses to “throw” at us, clown. A Dogma can not be change because they are TRUTH. DOGMAS are eternal truth, CLOWN. Birth control is an enabler for fornication and adultery. When the birth control fail the next step is plan B – Abortion. Have you seen the statistics? Those who had abortions were practicing birth control! Oh my, bunch of dummies trolling over here. Oh my goodness, here is Morality 101 class for you- LOVE, SEX and PROCREATION are interconnected. Once you seperated them then the whole society collapse. Yeah baby, I know one day you’ll get this!!! Because mama is here to teach you these things!

          • Dave29

            Aren’t you nice.

        • Dan Li

          You are incorrect. Acquired abortion often coincides with the use of contraceptives, in both Americas, in Europe, in Africa, in Asia, and in Australia. Abortion and contraceptives are held to be generally licit because of the current dominating world view, modernist-materialism. This (rather self-refutative) worldview is the general outlook of most people, and its implicit metaphysics makes an actual morality and standard of action hard to pin down. It would be far better if we could foster a Thomist worldview in its stead.

          On your note of being a pragmatist… Charles Sanders Pierce might like to have a word with you.

    • http://profiles.google.com/jflare29 John Flaherty

      Actually, dontgetit, I suspect Christ would use his chords against those you obliquely advocate. I think he would point to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorra, then hound the “inclusiveness” crowd out of the Church on grounds of their stubborn contempt for His Truth.
      If you think abstinence requires a level of maturity that most will never have, I might remind you that YOU, as a parent, have personal responsibility for teaching your children how they can be chaste, even in this mad world we live in.

      I think you have a great deal of soul-searching to do!

  • Huh?

    “And as a Church historian, I do not know of any empire that ever collapsed and then revived.”

    Wouldn’t that same theory apply to the Church itself?

    • HigherCalling

      In ‘The Everlasting Man’ Chesterton describes the five deaths of the Church (perhaps we are experiencing the sixth?). The Church has indeed collapsed throughout history, but it always returns. That is because the Church is not of this world. It is not an empire. The Catholic Church is the Bride of Christ, and the gates of hell, which symbolize death, will not prevail against her, as death would not prevail against Christ. “Christianity has died many times and risen again; for it had a God who knew the way out of the grave.”

  • Joe

    The day after the election, as the shock was gradually wearing off, I was in the car listening to music for a
    change and heard the song “The End of the World.” How appropriate! That got me
    thinking that we know the exact moment America was lost: when Fox News Channel
    projected that Obama was re-elected. I wonder if the folks in other
    dictatorships felt the way I do today and if they have such a defining moment to
    point to — loosely defining “dictatorship” — from the Romans to the Germans to
    those in South American countries and in Russia. What a helpless, hopeless
    feeling. We had four more years, that was all there was ever going to be given
    the birthrate and illegal immigration; but we would have had those four years,
    if only….

    I believe in miracles, but in order to restore this country to its rightful place in the world, we Catholics are going to have to begin at the beginning. In several parishes in my hometown, this has already begun: I am amazed by the number of daily attendees at the noon Masses throughout downtown — packed churches with adults of all ages and from all classes and races. We have been handed (or, in some cases, we have dealt ourselves) a very bleak hand. It will probably take generations to recover, if recovery will be feasible at all after Obama has his way (I saw today that his administration issues an average of 69 new regulations, etc., every day). The world is imploding, from Russia to China to Europe to the Americas. Perhaps it is the case that we have to hit that phantom low point in order to begin the rebuilding process. I will hate to be around when that happens.

  • Jared

    Christians need to go a lot further than abortion and
    same-sex marriage. The Obama/Dem agenda is institutionalized envy, jealousy,
    covetousness, bitterness and theft. Christians look at the lefts agenda of
    envy/jealousy/covetousness/bitterness and fall for the lie that it is all love
    and light. They weigh abortion against the “great charitable heart”
    of Democrats and come out for Dems. The Dems compound sin with sin, evil with
    evil. There is no trade off. Do
    Christians even bother to ask how is it even possible for politicians who are
    such ardent advocates of abortion and sodomy to be paragons of virtue on other
    issues.

    Today’s Christians would rewrite Jesus’ parable of the golden
    talents and take away the talents from the man who had five and redistribute
    them to those with fewer or none.

    The Catholic bishops are the biggest supporters of the
    destructive, larcenous welfare state from hell. And thus leftist politicians. Come election time they tell their flock not
    to vote for abortion. Too late, bishops. You’ve already sold folks on the party
    of death.

    Envy is a sin. Jealousy is a sin. Demanding even more of
    other people’s money is greed. Looking to the government to meet your needs and
    solve your problems is idolatry, the worst of all.

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  • Becky

    Great thoughts! St. Paul was doing worse than Obama–there is hope for him! Thanks for your words.

  • Jim Mazzarelli

    Great article, Father. Thank you for the lift!

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.pair.16 David Pair

    Seems it all goes back to Vatican II. No matter which way it is sliced you always find Vat II at the core. Not necessarily the Council itself, but so many “interpretations” and “translations” given by the USCCB under the banner of the spirit of Vatican II. Since the mid 1960′s the well known and admired discipline of the Catholic Church has evaporated. The rock on which the church was built has been replaced, at least in the US, by sand. We are now reaping what was sown.

  • http://www.facebook.com/corlyss.drinkard Corlyss Drinkard

    Well, after years of telling parishions to vote their consciences and religion is only problematically related to politics, the faithful voted their consciences and compartmentalized their religion. Go figure!

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  • Glenn

    I mourn “America.” My parents were members of the “Greatest Generation” that defeated Nazism, Bushido, and Fascism, and went on to create the Shining City on the
    Hill that was America after the Second World War. Their profound grief at the moral and civic decline of America would be inconsolable. It is a mercy that they have not lived to see the decline of their beloved America.

    In their time, my parents’ commitment to moderate conservatism, to individual competence and contribution, was always tempered by their straightforward Christian humanity. For twenty years following the war, their generation worked toward their shared vision of a decent society. Life seemed (as the Beach Boys sang) to offer Fun, Fun, Fun, and endless progress toward perfection (anyone remember friendly Mr Atom on Mickey Mouse Club?).

    As a young person, I was fortunate to perceive that I was living in a Golden Age. But then, our Baby Boomer generation, mostly seeking little beyond its own gratification, spoiled and coddled children that we are, turned away from what our parents achieved,
    perhaps from some genuine sense of injustice of one sort or another, but also
    because of selfishness and pride (non-servium).

    What do we learn? That the institutions of men, based on man worshipping himself, are limited and limiting, satisfying for a period, but ultimately flawed with the shortcomings
    of men. My father, a naval officer during the war, achieved a long and distinguished career as a scientist and chemical engineer. A man of faith, he believed that the material comfort and materialist orientation that was developing by the 1960s would seduce many into belief that they were self-sufficient and omnipotent, or at least moving in that direction, that God came to be seen as an invention that we no longer need or want. Who wants limits and accountability? A student of history, he foresaw the course that America has taken. He believed that the unpleasantness, humiliation, and deprivation of decline would force people back to God. That remains to be seen.

    At the end of the day, human beings and institutions, secular and religious, fail and betray. Although humans can and do betray God, only God does not betray or mislead, as many will learn the hard way in the coming decades.

    Vale America!

  • Kurian

    Catholics today are not any more the “obedient sheep”; a very good number among them are able to separate the wheat from the weeds and mature enough to let the weeds grow for the sake of the wheat. Is this not what God in Jesus wants?

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  • http://tomgrey.wordpress.com TomGrey

    Along with the terrible Culture of Death, we also have a Culture of Theft.

    Where it’s ok to take, by force, from the innocent super-rich, in order to give to the rich — as long as its done by the gov’t and called taxes, instead of theft.

    And if the rich are called “poor and middle class Americans” instead of “richer than 80% of all people in history”.

    Unfortunately, the Catholic Church supports using gov’t force to take property from the innocent super-rich, under “social justice”. How is taking from the innocent for justice explained? By assuming all the rich are guilty of social injustice.

    Because of the sin of Envy, which seems to even affect Church leaders. The wish for misfortune against those who are more fortunate.

    True injustice requires an act by a moral agent, like firing a black person because of race, or not paying a worker their last wages when their job ends. These true injustices must be identified and stopped, and using gov’t force is good to stop and/or punish unjust actions, especially by the rich.

    But unfairness is not Injustice. The reality made by God is unfair; some are prettier or healthier or wealthier, than others. And born that way. This is unfair. It’s not unjust.

    As long as the Church advocates punishment, as taxes, against the innocent, there will be less justice, rather than more.

  • dougpruner

    “the recent unpleasantness” Doesn’t the coinage of said country contain a motto for the encouragement and use of Christians?

    “only raw, unadulterated, lived-out-in-the-middle-of-the-world Catholicism can save the United States” Save it? For how long? according to Daniel (“the Prophet” per Jesus) all of man’s governments will be going away soon. (Dan 2:44)

    What will replace them? Again, Jesus: “… hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” IMO that’s a wonderful prospect. No more wars (Ps 46:9; 45:6), poverty (Ps 72:12), not even death (Ps 37:29). What’s not to like about that?

  • Brian Zanyor

    Please Father McCloskey and anyone who has commented on or reads your blogs go to roses.org and please read the urgent messages. I am not going to say anymore than this. To think I can say anything that can convince anybody is prideful on my part. Here, however, is a sample:

    ABORTION/HOLY INNOCENTS/UNBORN

    V O LU M E I
    JULY 1, 1970 – The first vigil from 9:00 p.m. to midnight,
    on the grounds of Our Lady of the Roses, was held on the 1st of
    July 1970, on which day the law permitting abortion took effect
    in the State of New York. ………….Pray for those who have
    not lived. He breathes the Spirit of Life at the moment of conception!
    Do not murder the little ones! His Hand grows heavy! Many souls
    will be lost. All Heaven is saddened. Man walks the road to his
    own destruction. Pray for your brothers. Bring My Message to the
    world. So many souls will be lost! Man has forgotten My Son! It
    hurts to be turned away. Love My Son as He loves you! You can’t
    bargain with God and man! One you will love the other you will
    hate! (vol I page 10)

  • Paxton Reis

    Leading up to the mainstream Protestant churches accepting birth control, advocates of such policies argued that access to contraception would strengthen marriages, result in more respect for women, and bring about an end to prostitution.
    Humane Vitae told us that this was not correct, and some 40 years later American society is paying a price for this corruption that has hurt familes; has hurt women; and has hurt children.
    Yes, we have become an unfit, broke, and materialistic society driven by our consumer needs and our thirst for gadgets that help distract us.

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  • rightactions

    Millions of… (believe it or not) women are addicted to pornography…
    –Fr. C. J. McCloskey

    Anyone who notices what crowds the checkout lanes in America’s supermarkets is unsurprised that millions of women are porn addicts.
    One has to have eyes wide shut not to notice how openly and shamelessly the pornography females consume is displayed, bought and sold. In contrast, pornography aimed at men is treated as shameful – something to be kept behind counters, away from children and under plain brown wrappers.
    Were it not for double standards, would women have any standards at all?

  • Mary

    Sir, with great respect, why don’t priests and bishops discipline the “so-called” Catholic legislators that support abortion in congress? Such legislators that vote for abortion in Congress should be threatened with excommunication from the Catholic church; instead they go to Mass and receive communion. How can anyone take the Church seriously when they do not practice what they preach?

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  • Dave29

    I serve at Mass every Sunday and often weekdays, work schedule permitting. And I voted for President Obama twice. Most recently, Mitt-wit would have been an horrendous disaster, if anyone could figure out what he really stood for, other than money and corporations. Abortion I certainly disagree with the President, however no President could make it illegal by decree. Otherwise, Mr. Obama is clearly a decent family man whose healthcare plan has been a Godsend to many. As for HHS “mandate”, sadly our USCCB has distorted that to where some infer from Bishops’ statements that use of contraception is now mandatory under the law. Absurd. The alternative “religious freedom exemptions” would set up each employer or every pharmacist as a judge and arbiter of morals. “Oh, no, I morally object to filling your legal prescription and your employer’s insurance won’t cover it anyway.” “But Mr. Pharmacist, for ‘Plan B’ is prescribed for a gynecological condition, not as an abortifacients.” No matter, right? I’m glad many Catholics voted their consciences, after reflection and prayer. The Church is not, and should not become, the tax-exempt arm of the GOP.