The Obama War on the Catholic Church
There is much criticism on the contemporary and chic upper west side condos of Manhattan ( and elsewhere) about the pathetic intellectual level of Catholics of the by gone fifties and sixties. Jokes are made, with the appropriate snicker, about Novenas, holy water and Nuns. It is observed that the mentality in those days was plebian, superficial and medieval. Kids were fed all kinds of garbage by ignorant priests and old Irish grandmothers who led them by their intellectually dwarfed noses to be told what to think and for whom to vote. This is all recounted, of course, by hip people who grandly announce, at the right conversational pauses, that they are "liberated" or recovering Catholics. Sometimes, to show how truly liberated and free thinking they are, they might very proudly proclaim that they were once altar boys. Which means, I suppose, that they were on the "inside" and really knew the "scoop."
I have been present at some of these outpourings and have observed the consequent "pick 'n choose" positions of these Pundits who in point of fact are the ignorant ones and who in turn make obvious why politicians so easily seduce them away from what we used to call " the faithful Catholics." That is, in the era so distortedly presented by such analyses as outlined above, people were actually schooled in their faith and had some pre-articulate sense of the meaning thereof. The easy criticisms, often accompanied by the needed Martini or other prop, are so largely untrue and easily demolished. Yet, sadly, poorly catechized Catholics, even those possibly well educated otherwise, are vulnerable to the secular influence so deeply embedded in modern society.
To mention the fair approach of consulting authentic sources like the "Catechism", is to surface wide eyed astonishment or empty stares. In effect, using the blunt language of the streets, they don't know what they are talking about. They have left the Faith they didn't really know.
Such a back ground so briefly outlined might explain, to some extent, the unbelievable statistic indicating that a surprisingly large number of Catholics voted for Obama in the 2008 election. Since justice and charity prohibit any judgmental stance on the strange conclusions of well educated Catholics relative to their support of a candidate clearly unfriendly to Catholic causes, I must leave that resolution to the "inexplicable." It would appear that they, though naïve and well intentioned, should know better. However, God alone is the real judge of anyone's decision.
But for the greater number of "free thinking" Catholics, seduction of the uninformed mind leads many to vote for someone ideologically opposed to their Faith. One more than subtle signal was Obama's insistence that specifically Catholic ( and indeed Christian) symbols must be covered while he delivered his presentation at an alleged Catholic University. Another (truly outrageous) instance was the Notre Dame incident. Despite the Local Bishop's legitimate protest the University administration fawningly invited Obama to give the Commencement address and crown him with an honorary Doctorate. In effect, the speaker invited the Catholic Church to join him in his position on abortion (which includes even botched abortions) How does one reach a "common ground" on killing unborn babies? How hypnotized can people get? Even the President of the University who invited the speaker, later confessed that he felt he had been
misled. A partial explanation rises from the need of some approval
seeking Catholics to appear Hip and "with it." To be socially acceptable level for some people is apparently the "summum bonum..
However, as Obama grew more confident (translate as arrogant) he apparently believed, on the advice of "enlightened" Catholics of the Biden and Sibelius type, that Catholics, in general, are passive and will simply roll over and take whatever he says as modern Gospel- -- - not be questioned. Catholics are peaceful and do not demonstrate or protest. So-called practicing Catholics are used to being told what to do. Further, he was informed by the sophisticated Catholics of his circle, that modern Catholics think for themselves and do not swallow the whole Catholic package. So handling the American Catholic bloc is not really a challenge. Some "progressive" Catholic theologian can be dug up to manufacture a useable spin to make it all look just dandy.
Vice President Biden, one of Obama's advisors in gathering the Catholic vote claims to be a practicing Catholic. Yet he is complicit with Obama's public abortion stance. Biden wishes, he says, not to force his convictions on others but refuses to surface his alleged belief in Catholicism. Nor does he seem to understand that there is intrinsic evil in killing pre-born babies. He does not seem to engage on any kind of public suasion for his Faith which he piously claims defines his life!
His debate with Paul Ryan interestingly illustrates the point. He unbelievably claimed that the Catholic Bishops of America agreed with the position of his administration relative to abortion and related matters. The very next day the Bishops published an explicit denial to what he said.
No one of this administration fairly acknowledges the Catholic position that even one intrinsically evil component of a moral position (such as abortion) makes it impossible for a practicing Catholic to accept. Obama, however, mandated that henceforth all Catholic institutions such as hospitals, schools, orphanages, adoption agencies will pay the insurance costs to cover abortifacients, sterilization, contraceptives and eventually abortion of their employees. Failure to do so will result in huge fines, in effect, shutting all such operations down. He graciously gave the Church one year to find a way to "adapt" to his wishes. For those of us old enough to remember the collectivist Fascistic mentalities of the forties and thirties of the last century, the present day trend is more than disturbing. In effect, Obama seriously threatens our freedom to practice our Faith as guaranteed by the First Amendment. He will grandly give us freedom of worship, but not freedom of religion. A distinction which is gigantic! Is it that he misunderstands that the granting of rights comes, not from government ( him) but from God, the Creator, a fact of Americana fairly easily found in the Declaration of Independence?
William Donahoe in his publication "The Catalyst" notes that in May of 2012 the United States Council of Catholic Bishops made a serious complaint through their lawyers, notably P. Picarello Jr, and Michael Moses thusly. "We believe that this mandate is unjust and unlawful. It is bad health care policy and because it entails an element of government coercion against conscience it creates a religious freedom problem." One central objection was the "unprecedented" attempt to re-define religious employer entities that hire and serve mostly those of their own religion. This would nullify religious exemption traditionally offered to Catholic schools hospitals, colleges and humanitarian institutions.
Some contemporary Catholics are beginning to see the truth of the Obama bias against the Catholic Church. The percentage of the Catholics who said the administration is unfriendly to religion ( read: Catholic) has jumped in the past 3 years from 15% to 25%/ Among white Catholics the per cent who say that the administration is "unfriendly" has gone from l7% TO 31%. Obama's administration recently denied funding to a Catholic agency for women and children simply because it is pro life (Catalyst May 2012). K. Sibelius has been at war with the Church for decades. She was appointed to Obama's cabinet, Connection ? Obama tried to get a big post for a woman who was the ACLU point person trying to strip the Church of tax exemption status. Obama hosted a forum of the biggest Catholic bashers when he welcomed the Secular Coalition which in 2010 opposed school choice for indigent parents for a Catholic school while supporting funding for "choice" to abort babies.
The term "social Justice" is a sacred and serious one for Catholics. However, Obama uses it in a manner which has little to do with Catholic doctrine. When a Catholic says he will fight vigorously for Social justice, he speaks in the vein of our Tradition so clearly taught by Pope Leo Xlll in his encyclical "Rerum Novarum".
Obviously, people use the same term but with totally different meanings. When the Pope used the term "social justice" he spoke specifically of subsidiarity which requires government not intervene in matters that can be taken care of or resolved by families or communities. Only when these families or communities cannot or will not fulfill their rights and duties in regard to its members can government intervene. Government should be at the service of the family not vice versa. Inappropriate intervention by government should not do what smaller communities for families can do for themselves. Such intervention can destroy the virtues that build a productive society where virtue can be taught and practiced most successfully.
Similarly, our sense of social justice involves participation wherein each of us is allowed to participate in building up society. When government takes this opportunity away, it is no longer social justice. Likewise solidarity requires us personally to help others of the community when they cannot help themselves. Government should not interfere unless absolutely necessary. Further, Catholics, as articulated by Leo Xlll, believe in the right of private property. When one labors to cultivate land and make it fruitful, he should be allowed to possess that into which he has so heavily invested himself. For government to take this away from him is tantamount to stealing. Subsequent Popes like Pope Pius Xl and Pope John Paul ll have developed these ideas more extensively.
I believe that Barry Barak Hussein Obama ultimately supports social and political positions inherently opposed to Catholic thought, belief and practice. and he knows it! I heard only yesterday (10/27/12) that Cardinal George of Chicago recently stated, as appears in First Things, on line, that while he can expect to die in bed, his successor might well die in prison and his successor might well be executed for the Faith. Exaggeration or not, there is something which is realistically frightening in this speculation.
But I suspect many Catholics do not even know Obama's plan to gag and corral us in our desire to carry out our God-based charities in our nation.
At the same times, there are many Catholic groups which are intelligent and brave and which take a public stance so clearly required by Jesus. For example the Sisters of Life, a religious order of nuns given to an heroic community charity, issued this statement:
" This mandate is an offensive and dangerous infringement upon the natural and Constitutional rights of American citizens. The only just solution to this infringement of rights is to rescind the HHS rule. We call upon members of Cong-gress and the Executive Branch to reverse this decision as soon as possible, and we invite our fellow citizens to join us in prayer and fasting that our Nation may be protected from this great threat against liberty."
Would that American Catholics in general had the insight and courage and generosity of these Sisters. This President has not united us. He has harassed us and as the title of this little reflection indicates, he subtly is making war on our Catholic Faith.
It has been said that Catholics would give Jews a good run for their money when it come to which group has more of self hating types. Which is worse self hate or ignorance? One is psychological, the other inadequacy. In either case real healing of harm already done could begin by recognizing who is hurting us. Stand or fall, the buck stops with the guy on top. I'll bet you can guess for whom I will vote, God willing.