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Is the Church Militant Back?

Comment

With the House debate on health care at its hottest, the U.S. Catholic bishops issued a stunning ultimatum: Impose an absolute ban on tax funds for abortions, or we call for defeat of the Pelosi bill.

Message received. The Stupak Amendment, named for Bart Stupak of Michigan, was promptly passed, to the delight of pro-life Catholics and the astonished outrage of pro-abortion Democrats.

No member was more upset than Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island, son of Edward Kennedy, who proceeded to bash the Church for imperiling the greatest advance for human rights in a generation.

Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin responded, accusing Kennedy of an unprovoked attack and demanding an apology. Kennedy retorted that Tobin had told him not to receive communion at Mass and ordered his diocesan priests not to give him communion.

False! The bishop fired back.

He had sent Kennedy a private letter in February 2007 saying that he ought not receive communion, as he was scandalizing the Church. But he had not told diocesan priests to deny him communion.

As Rhode Island is our most Catholic state, Kennedy went silent and got this parting shot from Tobin: "Your position is unacceptable to the Church and scandalous to many of our members. It absolutely diminishes your communion with the Church."

The clash was naturally national news. But Tobin's public chastisement of a Catholic who carries the most famous name in U.S. and Catholic politics is made more significant because it seems to reflect a new militancy in the hierarchy that has been absent for decades

Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., just informed the city council that, rather than recognize homosexual marriages and provide gays the rights and benefits of married couples, he will shut down all Catholic social institutions and let the city take them over. Civil disobedience may be in order here.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York sent an op-ed to The New York Times charging the paper with anti-Catholic bigotry and using a moral double standard when judging the Church.

During the "horrible" scandal of priest abuse of children, wrote the archbishop, the Times demanded the "release of names of abusers, rollback of the statute of limitations, external investigations, release of all records and total transparency."

But when the Times "exposed the sad extent of child sexual abuses in Brooklyn's Orthodox Jewish Community ... 40 cases of such abuses in this tiny community last year alone," wrote the archbishop, the district attorney swept the scandal under the rug, and the Times held up the carpet.

Dolan singled out a "scurrilous ...

diatribe" by Maureen Dowd "that rightly never would have passed muster with the editors had it so criticized an Islamic, Jewish or African-American" faith.

Dowd, wrote Dolan, "digs deep into the nativist handbook to use every Catholic caricature possible, from the Inquisition to the Holocaust, condoms, obsession with sex, pedophile priests and oppression of women, all the while slashing Pope Benedict XVI for his shoes, his forced conscription ... into the German army, his outreach to former Catholics and his recent welcome to Anglicans."

Dowd, said Dolan, reads like something out of the Menace, the anti-Catholic Know Nothing newspaper of the 1850s.

The Times' refusal to publish the op-ed underscores the archbishop's point.

Nor are these the only signals of a new Church Militant.

The Vatican has reaffirmed that Catholics in interfaith dialogues have a moral right if not a duty to convert Jews, and reaffirmed the doctrine that Christ's covenant with his church canceled out and supersedes the Old Testament covenant with the Jews.

When Abe Foxman, screech owl of the Anti-Defamation League, railed that this marks a Catholic return to such "odious concepts as 'supercessionism,'" he was politely ignored.

The new spirit was first manifest last spring, when scores of bishops denounced Notre Dame for inviting Barack Obama, a NARAL icon, to give the commencement address and receive an honorary degree.

Among the motives behind the new militancy is surely the wilding attack on Pope Benedict for reconciling with the Society of St. Pius X, one of whose bishops had questioned the Holocaust. The pope was unaware of this, and the bishop apologized. To no avail. Rising in viciousness, the attacks went on for weeks. Having turned the other cheek, the church got it smacked.

In his May address to the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, Archbishop Raymond L. Burke said, "In a culture which embraces an agenda of death, Catholics and Catholic institutions are necessarily counter-cultural."

Exactly. Catholicism is necessarily an adversary faith and culture in an America where a triumphant secularism has captured the heights, from Hollywood to the media, the arts and the academy, and relishes nothing more than insults to and blasphemous mockery of the Church of Rome.

Our new battling bishops may be surprised to find they have a large cheering section among a heretofore silent and sullen faithful who have been desperate to find a few clerical champions.

Patrick Buchanan is the author of the new book "Churchill, Hitler and 'The Unnecessary War." To find out more about Patrick Buchanan, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2009 CREATORS.COM



Comments

2 Comments | Post Comment
Sir;... This call by the Catholic Church for a complete ban of funding for abortions is absolutly right... If people find anything immoral they should not have to be a party to it... It does not matter that the health care bill is 99% moral, and this shows the point of ideology, as religion is, to reject the rational in favor of the ideal...If the Church had nads it might also say as much of war, or the death penalty, or demand that the poor be served from the scraps of the rich...If they had any respect for democracy, and for the ability of their own people to make well reasoned decisions, then they might keep out of secualar affairs, and save their souls...I don't like abortion, and no one should have to support immorality... But people should be forced to support morality as a test of community spirit... Democracy is more moral than a church trying to manipulate a majority by way of a minority of the population...If they had wanted it, they could have had fair health care for America long ago...In fact, the Catholic church is very rich, and they ply their trade on human misery, and the itch to do good is scratched by the price tag...Any thing that makes Catholics poorer will make their churches less rich...This is a finacial issue parading as a moral issue...It is a sad fact that too many Americans have bought into Christianity without having to accept any of the burdens of Christ... While Americans are forced to choose between killing their babies, or watching them be exploited as slaves -churches make way on our nations' pain... The Catholic Church is a feudal relic of a by gone age...They have never once stood for the justice of mankind, always stood with the exploiter, and always labored against human freedom...Where has that church or any church ever stood for forward human progress??? These churches hate democracy, and work constantly to tip the balance of government in their own favor...In their hands a minority can beat a majority more often than not, and they do that on the basis of special privilages granted to them by the whole people...The churches as in days of old are a bank of wealth, and the people should sqeeze every bit of that ill gotten gain out of them... Democracy, true democracy, is a source of justice, and it does not attack the minority, or give the minority power over the majority, but protects the minority from the majorty, and the majority from the minority...Our system of government has left the people divided and at odds, with small majorities able to swing great changes...We should not accept the Roman Church's interference in our democracy, such as it is; and they should have to prove their value, and justify their existence to the whole society with good works... As it is, they do little good and much harm...There is no Christ in Christianity... And, with this said, it is still Justice to demand that no taxes go to support immorality...But, Immorality is not an act, but a way of life, as morality is... It is immoral to ask anyone to behave morally in an immoral society when that may be their sole defense, and it is moral to demand morality of a whole society...The Catholic Church does not stand for morality, but for their own power, and privilage, and for tyranny...As they show by their willingness to throw the weight of their minority any way they wish, they could have done good for society long ago... They sit tight on their hands while the society sinks into misery, understanding that misery make for firm faith....These churches are not the champions of morality; but are the pets of immorality...If we will be good and moral we must be free... History shows us that tyranny justifies every immorality that luxury can afford, and for that reason we ought to attack the privilages of the church... We have no reason to hate the people, or hate their faith...We have every reason to expect that if they combine for faith that they are not combined against the society- as now they are...Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #1
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Fri Nov 27, 2009 12:21 PM
Too bad the Exalted Ones haven't been able to get a little more militant about stopping their holy minions from molesting little boys. Not to mention owning up to it instead of trying to cover it up when it happens. Nice thought about Archie Wuerl too. He's quite happy to leave in the lurch all of those desperate souls who depend on Catholic social services for the sake of his Jihad against gays. Yep, God is watching.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Masako
Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:20 AM
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