The trend is more than sad

Archbishop Chaput at Napa

The following post from the July 27 PublicDiscourse is based on ad addressed given by Archbishop Charles Chaput at the Napa Institute annual meeting that last week in July.

A friend of mine, a political scientist, recently posed two very good questions. They go right to the heart of our discussion today. He wondered, first, if the religious freedom debate had “crossed a Rubicon” in our country’s political life. And second, he asked if Catholic bishops now found themselves opposed—in a new and fundamental way—to the spirit of American society.

We should begin by recalling that even at the height of anti-Catholic bigotry, Catholics have always served our country with distinction. More than eighty Catholic chaplains died in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. All four chaplains who won the Medal of Honor in those wars were Catholic priests

Time and again, Catholics have proven their love of our nation with their talent, hard work, and blood. So if the bishops of the United States ever find themselves opposed, in a fundamental way, to the spirit of our country, the fault won’t lie with our bishops. It will lie with political and cultural leaders who turned our country into something it was never meant to be.

That said, let’s turn to my friend’s first question. The Rubicon is a river in northern Italy. It’s small and forgettable, except for one thing. During the Roman Republic, it marked a border. To the south lay Italy, ruled directly by the Roman Senate. To the north lay Gaul, ruled by a governor. Under Roman law, no general could enter Italy with an army. Doing so carried the death penalty. In 49 BC, when Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon with his Thirteenth Legion and marched on Rome, he triggered a civil war and changed the course of history. Ever since then, “crossing the Rubicon” has meant passing a point of no return.

Caesar’s march on Rome is a very long way from our nation’s current disputes over religious liberty. But “crossing the Rubicon” is still a useful image. My friend’s point is this: Have we, in fact, crossed a border in our country’s history—the line between a religion-friendly past, and an emerging America much less welcoming to Christian faith and witness?

Let me describe the nation we were, and the nation we’re becoming. Then you can judge for yourselves.

People often argue about whether America’s Founders were mainly Christian, mainly Deist, or both of the above. It’s a reasonable debate. It won’t end any time soon. But no one can reasonably dispute that the Founders’ moral framework was overwhelmingly shaped by Christian faith. And that makes sense because America was largely built by Christians. The world of the American Founders was heavily Christian, and they saw the value of publicly engaged religious faith because they experienced its influence themselves. They created a nation designed in advance to depend on the moral convictions of religious believers, and to welcome their active role in public life.

The Founders also knew that religion is not just a matter of private conviction. It can’t be reduced to personal prayer or Sunday worship. It has social implications. The Founders welcomed those implications. Christian faith demands preaching, teaching, public witness, and service to others—by each of us alone, and by acting in cooperation with fellow believers. As a result, religious freedom is never just freedom from repression but also—and more importantly—freedom for active discipleship. It includes the right of religious believers, leaders, and communities to engage society and to work actively in the public square. For the first 160 years of the republic, cooperation between government and religious entities was the norm in addressing America’s social problems. And that brings us to our country’s current situation.

Americans have always been a religious people. They still are. Roughly 80 percent of Americans call themselves Christians. Millions of Americans take their faith seriously. Millions act on it accordingly. Religious practice remains high. That’s the good news. But there’s also bad news. In our courts, in our lawmaking, in our popular entertainment, and even in the way many of us live our daily lives, America is steadily growing more secular. Mainline churches are losing ground. Many of our young people spurn Christianity. Many of our young adults lack any coherent moral formation. Even many Christians who do practice their religion follow a kind of easy, self-designed gospel that led author Ross Douthat to call us a “nation of heretics.”Taken together, these facts suggest an American future very different from anything in our nation’s past.

There’s more. Contempt for religious faith has been growing in America’s leadership classes for many decades, as scholars such as Christian Smith and Christopher Lasch have shown.But in recent years, government pressure on religious entities has become a pattern, and it goes well beyond the current administration’s Health and Human Services mandate. It involves interfering with the conscience rights of medical providers, private employers, and individual citizens. And it includes attacks on the policies, hiring practices, and tax statuses of religious charities, hospitals, and other ministries. These attacks are real. They’re happening now. And they’ll get worse as America’s religious character weakens.

This trend is more than sad. It’s dangerous. Our political system presumes a civil society that pre-exists and stands outside the full control of the state. In the American model, the state is meant to be modest in scope and constrained by checks and balances. Mediating institutions such as the family, churches, and fraternal organizations feed the life of the civic community. They stand between the individual and the state. And when they decline, the state fills the vacuum they leave. Protecting these mediating institutions is therefore vital to our political freedom. The state rarely fears individuals, because alone, individuals have little power. They can be isolated or ignored. But organized communities are a different matter. They can resist. And they can’t be ignored.

This is why, for example, if you want to rewrite the American story into a different kind of social experiment, the Catholic Church is such an annoying problem. She’s a very big community. She has strong beliefs. And she has an authority structure that’s very hard to break—the kind that seems to survive every prejudice and persecution, and even the worst sins of her own leaders. Critics of the Church have attacked America’s bishops so bitterly, for so long, over so many different issues—including the abuse scandal, but by no means limited to it—for very practical reasons. If a wedge can be driven between the pastors of the Church and her people, then a strong Catholic witness on controversial issues breaks down into much weaker groups of discordant voices….

In many ways I believe my own generation, the boomer generation, has been one of the most problematic in our nation’s history because of our spirit of entitlement and moral superiority; our appetite for material comfort unmoored from humility; our refusal to acknowledge personal sin and accept our obligations to the past.

But we can change that. Nothing about life is predetermined except the victory of Jesus Christ. We create the future. We do it not just by our actions, but by what we really believebecause what we believe shapes the kind of people we are. In a way, “growing a culture of religious freedom” is the better title for these comments. A culture is more than what we make or do or build. A culture grows organically out of the spirit of a people—how we live, what we cherish, what we’re willing to die for.

If we want a culture of religious freedom, we need to begin it here, today, now. We live it by giving ourselves wholeheartedly to God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ—by loving God with passion and joy, confidence and courage; and by holding nothing back. God will take care of the rest. Scripture says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain” (Ps 127:1). In the end, God is the builder. We’re the living stones. The firmer our faith, the deeper our love, the purer our zeal for God’s will—then the stronger the house of freedom will be that rises in our own lives, and in the life of our nation.

To read entire address, click here.

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  1. “changing the course of history” is not possible. Using this cliche sets up the launchpad for a speculative or imagination piece, not one relying on fact and reason. Here it is: ” the boomer generation, has been one of the most problematic in our nation’s history”. Therefore the boomer generation deserves more power and money. And this pitch after berating the welfare and entitlement situation. The bishops push the type of education that brings forth this stuff, but they won’t educate the laity to end abortion.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      Strong WORDS, but ACTIONS speak louder than words.

      If the majority of the American Bishops. especially including Chaput, had acted strongly on Canon 915, we probably would not have all the renegade “Catholics” in public office snubbing their noses at the Church’s teachings!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

      • Abp Chaput has taken a stong position in favor of Canon enforcing 915 – both in a live interview and on the internet.
        On internet search “Chaput 915”.

        However Kenneth you are correct about the majority of Bishops doing nothing.

        After Cardinal Burke, Chaput is one of our better US Bishops.

        • Although Abp Chaput has spoken openly and publically in favor of Canon 915 being enforced, he has no authority over other Diocese Bishops.

          Do not believe everything you see, even written by others on this web site. They are not immune from being wrong.

          Look Chaput and 915 up on the internet prior to condeming a good and Faithful Bishop.

          • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

            Archbishop Chaput has had plenty of occasions to implement Canon 915, and he has refused to do so. Again, talk is cheap.

            I have had discussions about that with him over the Internet. He also refuses to recognize the hypocrisy of the Knights of Columbus “leadership” when it comes to actually enforcing KofC Charter and Laws, Article 162-7 which states:

            Giving Scandal
            KofC Charter Constitution and Laws: SEC. 162.7. Giving scandal, scandalous conduct or practice unbecoming a member of this Order; suspension or expulsion.

            To the best of my knowledge, no Council, District, or State Offices have been permitted to enforce 162-7, A SCANDAL in itself.

            If they don’t want to enforce 162-7, they should have the courage to face the Rank and File Knights and call for its REPEAL!

            God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
            Kenneth M. Fisher

  2. Catherine says:

    “A culture grows organically out of the spirit of a people, how we live, what we cherish, what we’re willing to die for.”

    Has the ongoing profanation of the Blessed Sacrament helped to shape our politicians into the unfaithful Catholics that they are? These are the same politicians that have removed the right to life for the unborn and now they are removing our religious freedom. Blessed Mother Teresa said, “The downfall of America will come through the sin of abortion. The American flagpole crashed across the stage when she said this at Veteran’s Stadium in Long Beach, Calif. If we create our future by what we really believe then enforcing Canon 915 is a reinforcement and confirmation of our belief in the Real Presence.

    St. Tarcisius was a martyr of the early Christian Church who lived in the third century. The little that is known about him comes from a metrical inscription by Pope Damasus I who was Pope at least a century later.

    “HE PREFERRED DEATH AT THE HANDS OF A MOB RATHER THAN DELIVER TO THEM THE BLESSED SACRAMENT WHICH HE WAS CARRYING”

    Damasus compares Tarcisius to St. Stephen the first martyr.

    A Poem Composed by Pope Damasus l for St. Tarcisius
    for not allowing the profanation of the Blessed Sacrament.

    Par meritum, quicumque legis, cognosce duorum

    quis Damasus rector titules post praemia reddit

    ludaicus populus Stephanum meliora monentem

    perulerat saxis, tulerat qui ex hoste tropaerum

    martyrium primus rapuit levita fidelis.

    Tarcisicium sanctum Christi sacramenta gerentem

    cum male sana manus premeret vulgare profanis

    ipse animam potius voluit dimittere caesus

    prodere quam canibus rabidis caelestia membra

    “If we want a culture of religious freedom, we need to begin it here today”

    May the courage of St. Tarcisius inspire our lead shepherds, who are the living stones, to always safeguard the Blessed Sacrament with the enforcement of Canon 915.

    Many were silent when abortion became the law.
    Many were complicit with placing Obama into power
    Of all of these terrible actions will be the accountability
    for the continuing profanation of the Blessed Sacrament
    St. Tarcisius, Pray for us.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      Catherine,

      Please give us that poem in English!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

    • Catherine, 9/11 came after the desecration of the Blessed Sacrament at St. Patrick’s Church in New York. If the Holy Bible teaches anything, it teaches that the Good Lord often used and uses other nations to chastise those who have gone astray and to bring them back to Him. He did it over and over with israel before Christ came, and I believe he still uses that method at times.

  3. There was the greatest generation that survived WWII, then came the “lost generation”–the boomers. I’m from the “boomer” generation and by the grace of God found my way out through all the “crap” heaped on my soul during that period. The devil has been on parade since the 60’s with sex, drugs and rock n roll. Next was the “entitled generation”–and the beat goes on. Only rejecting evil and turning fully back to God will bring hope to our nation and to the world.

  4. juergensen says:

    Your Excellency: Everything you say is true. But Canon 915 is also true and needs to be enforced. The cleanup of America starts with the cleanup of the Church in America. American bishops cannot seriously lament the moral degeneration of America while they allow open and notorious abortionists and sodomites to receive and profanate the Holy Eucharist. The time for talk is past, and the time for action is now.

  5. “If we want a culture of religious freedom, we need to begin it here, today, now.” What Archbishop Charles Chaput fails to recognize is that America HAS a culture of religious freedom. That is the very reason for his concern – that Christianity is no longer given the preferential status it once had. As other faiths are given equal weight and status, what is being perceived as Christian persecution (that he refers to this as religious persecution in general stresses my point) is merely the relegation of Christianity to its rightful place equally weighted among other faiths (or none at all). While it may be true (I don’t think it is) that “the world of the American Founders was heavily Christian”, I do agree that “they saw the value of publicly engaged religious faith”. Again, by design that means ALL faiths – evolved to now include even those they may not have been familiar with at the time.

    • Thanks for exposing what we’re up against peter. I think it’s called insider trading. Just continue on your path and you’ll be justly rewarded sir. You’ll find it gets much easier going the longer you go on it, too!
      Facilis decensus Averno;
      Noctes atque dies patet atri ianua Ditis…Virgil

    • Canisius says:

      The aim of Peter and his gang is to push us out of the public square and straight into the cemetery ….he will be the first to burn the Cathedrals

      • Nightingale says:

        Peter, Jesus said, “I am THE way, THE truth and THE life. Nobody comes to the Father, except by me.”

        That’s THE way, not A way. And those were Jesus’ words, not mine. Other faiths might have some good tenets, but only Christianity has the words of Eternal Life.

        • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

          Nightingale,

          Are you a Protestant or are you a modernist “Catholic”? If you are a Catholic you would know that only Catholicism has the true way for Eternal Life!

          God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
          Kenneth M. Fisher

          • Nightingale says:

            Mr. Fisher,

            Is not the Catholic church founded on the Word of God? Whether Catholic or Protestant, the Word of God is the one constant.

            When Peter spoke of “all” religions, I was assuming he was not speaking of the divisions in Christendom, but putting religions like Islam and Hinduism on equal footing with Christianity. Your interjection of the Catholic vs Protestant is distracting.

    • peter, I have not heard of a student’s religous text being thrown in the trash at school, like a Bible was. I have not heard of any religious symbol other that the cross triggering lawsuits for removal. I have not heard of sayings of other religions being banned from school bulletin boards or public devotionals. All Americans, even if they work for a governmental agency, should have the right to express their religious beliefs. If someone is praying to a god that one does not believe in, one does not have to pray along. No one’s place of worship should be targetted by arson or bombings or graffiti. What is going on now in America is people who subscribe to secularism and atheism are fighting all religious expression. The Christians are being targetted because this is only the beginning. Someone I knew who used to be a Christian and now is being influenced by some of the composite spiritualities and is living with a fairly devout Jew (!) believes that there should not be public nativity displays at Christmastime because everyone doesn’t believe in Jesus. “How do you think that makes them feel?” she tells me. We don’t have to keep our religion to ourselves (and part of the Christian religion is the obligation to announce it), because someone might be irritated by it. This mentallity of sameness won’t stop at religion, either.

    • peter,

      The USA was founded on Christian principles.
      It’s unfortunate that the edcuational system has failed so many.
      Read “ORIGINAL INTENT; The Courts, the Constitution, & Religion” by David Barton (a non-Catholic). He also supplies a complete list of documentation for the doubters so you can check his facts.

      You will find the word “Christian” in the Charter of most of the 13 Colonies included but not limited to Virgina, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New Jersey.
      The Mayflower Compact declared: “Having undertaken for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith…..(we) combine ourselves together into a civil body politic for …..furtherance of the ends aforesaid.”

      Freedom of Religion in the US Constitution gives all the ability to practice their faith.

      By the way, the next time you go to the Capitol Building look at the huge picture in the Rotunda – “the baptism of Pocahontis” 1839; the cross in the right hand lower corner of the “Discovery of the Mississippi by DeSoto” 1853; the cross in the flag of the Landing of Columbus 1847.
      (Years shown are when the paintings were placed in Rotunda.)

      In addition, perhaps you were never taught that all US Presidents have sworn on a BIBLE to uphold the Constitution.
      And if you are a witness in Court you must do the same.

      You need to sue your school district (where you were taught American History) for negligence.

    • If the truth is really told, we really do not know if the Founding Fathers even considered other religions besides the Jewish and Christian ones in their decisions, other than a few cleaned up versions of the pagan classics. The laws at that time did not reflect most other religions, but Biblical ones. Most likely too many religions have led to our downfall because it is impossible to please them all. I know I will get flack for saying that, but it is the truth. A nation cannot have monogomy and polyandry and polygamy all at once. A nation cannot have Judeo-Christian law and Shariah law all at once. It just is not possible, and if we are honest about it, we all know that, every one of us. Something has to give.

  6. This is what Pope Leo III talked about just over 100 years ago in some of his Encyclical Letters, of course, he was talking about the world in general, as it was getting more and more away from God. Now, I can’t wait to see what all of the naysayers will say about this rather long and very honest and fruitful speech. Thank you Archbishop Chaput, now let us pray that this won’t fall on dear ears. +JMJ+

  7. Robert Lockwood says:

    The good Bishop is a true professor of our Catholic faith. Our problem this country is that there are so few of others like him. May God bless you Bishop Chaput and keep you safe.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      Robert Lockwood,

      If what you say is true, why hasn’t Archbishop Chaput carried through on what he promised a large gathering of National and International pro-life Leaders when he was Bishop of Rapid City. For your information, he promised that he would excommunicate any politician under his jurisdiction who just voted for abortion, now he won’t even refuse them the Blessed Sacrament! That is gross hypocrisy!

      If I am ever again at a conference where he speaks, and we are allowed questions and answers, I will pose that very question to him.

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

      • Mr. Fisher, what politicians are you referring to? Accordind to Canon 915 project, when he was in Denver, Ken Salazar was the only pro-choice Catholic politician. He took office in 2005. He resigned in 2009. He considers himself to be a pro-life democrat. He voted to nullify the Mexico City policy and took money from an abortionist. He is currently Secretary of the Interior. Canon 915 project has not been updated since Chaput went to Philly.

  8. “Critics of the Church have attacked America’s bishops so bitterly, for so long, over so many different issues—including the abuse scandal, but by no means limited to it—for very practical reasons. IF A WEDGE CAN BE DRIVEN BETWEEN THE PASTORS OF THE CHURCH AND HER PEOPLE, then a strong Catholic witness on controversial issues breaks down into much weaker groups of discordant voices….”

    and it happens every day…in here…

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      So max, according to you we are to ignore the lack of enforcement of Canon 915 in the cause of false unity! Unity with error, is error!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

      • Kenneth you attacked Abp Chaput for no reason. You were wrong about him and Canon 915,
        Please correct your error to stop scandal and stop damaging his reputation.

        • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

          Connie,

          I will be more than happy to correct any error I may make when it is proven to be error.

          I don’t think you know what you are talking about. If you do, prove it, and I will honor my word.

          God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
          Kenneth M. Fisher

          • Mr. Fisher, you said that Archbishop Chaput told the group that he would excommunicate any politican who voted for abortion. I can’t find anyone who did that while he was bishop. A vote to nullify the Mexico City Policy would permit the government to fund agencies that perform abortions, but it does not vote for abortion. If the politician voted to nullify it because he wanted abortions performed or funded, that would be gravely sinful. The politican who did this calls himself pro-life. I do not think he is scrupulously pro-life and I would not vote for him, but how can a bishop excommunicate for that? Do you know anyone in his current diocese that you feel has voted for abortion?

      • Fisher, you have no documentation of anything you are saying about Abp Chaput’s handling of sinners in his diocese.

        You are in error !
        Please read my post to you above (July, 2012 at 3:35 pm), and answer the questions asked.

        Perhaps its time for you to go to confession.

        CCC: ” 2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty:

        – of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;

        – of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them;

        – of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them. “

        • juergensen says:

          Anne,

          CCC 2447 applies only to statements made “without sufficient foundation”, “without objectively valid reason”, or “contrary to the truth”. You have not shown how Kenneth Fisher’s statements about Archbishop Chaput not denying communion to obstinate grave sinners under Canon 915 are any of these.

          In fact, my understanding is that only a handful of American prelates have enforced Canon 915 and denied anyone communion, but Archbishop Chaput is not among them. If he is, I – and I’m sure Mr. Fisher – would love to know about it. Perhaps you can fill us in.

          • Catherine says:

            ANNE,

            “of detraction who, without objectively valid reasons discloses another’s faults and failings to people who did not know them.”

            There is no doubt that Archbishop Chaput is one of the most outspoken speakers, speech writers and book writers and he has taken many actions such as the action he carried out at a Denver Catholic hospital

            A few years ago, I was so privileged to hear the beautiful story of how a group of Catholics flew with Archbishop Chaput when a Catholic nurse on the flight mentioned how certain practices that were contrary to Church teaching were taking place in a Catholic Hospital in Denver. Archbishop Chaput on his arrival back in Denver immediately addressed and stopped these practices.

            I wrote to Archbishop Chaput when I learned that he had helped Jimmy Carter get elected. He did this while he was a young Catholic priest. I told him that I was very hurt and very scandalized by that public admission. I also told him that many priests thought that this should not have been announced publicly because it would damage the faith of the people who do look at priests as role models and also damage the faith of the people who are already weakened in their convictions and looking for loopholes to commit sin.

            ANNE, I have seen the very terse and sarcastic responses that Archbishop Chaput has responded with to good and very dedicated faithful pro-life leaders. They were not pastoral in the least. They were very mean. This was some time ago and it seems that Archbishop Chaput has become somewhat more outspoken on Canon 915 but I do believe that this has been through the continuing prayers and continuing knocking on the door to ask our Bishops to take action when it comes to enforcing Canon 915. The lack of enforcing Canon 915 has everything to do with not wanting to offend the politics of the day. Our shepherds first concern should be “to not offend God.”

            Kenneth Fisher is not scandalizing Archbishop Chaput. He is reminding Archbishop Chaput to keep the promise that he made to several pro-life leaders.

            Archbishop Chaput was very gracious and humble when he responded to my letter. He told me that he regretted voting for Jimmy Carter. ANNE, Would you agree that it must have taken a few years for a young priest to come to the grace filled conclusion that Catholic priests are not supposed to campaign for pro-aborts? Well, now we have the voices of those like Kenneth who are asking our lead Shepherds to lead with actions.

            Archbishop Chaput has done many wonderful actions as a lead Shepherd. I do believe that if Archbishop Chaput had denied the Blessed Sacrament to those attending the Democratic Convention in Denver or even recently it would be in the front pages of the newspapers or on Drudge. Our bishops are not united on this issue and Archbishop Chaput has stated such. We do support Archbishop Chaput and many are charitably asking him to show the same heroic apostolic courage to his brother bishops that he is asking the laity to show in this “trend that is more than sad”.

            More than ever, our country needs lead shepherds who are as courageous as John the Baptist. Kenneth Fisher is not wrong for reminding Archbishop Chaput to please break out of the mold of that sad trend to stop the continuing profanation of the Blessed Sacrament when it comes to obstinate sinners who are legislating our religious freedoms away from our country.

            How can we ask our Lord to bless a Fortnight of Freedom when our lead shepherds are not united in enforcing Canon 915? If Pope Damasus I honored St. Tarcisisus for not giving the “Divine Body” to a mob of rabid dogs, how will Almighty God reward his lead shepherds for continually giving the “Divine Body” to the rabid dogs who have legislated and politically profited off of the murdering of millions of God’s precious unborn?

            In this time of crisis, it is right and just that we faithfully support our faithful bishops. It is also right and just when God’s faithful respectfully and lovingly remind our bishops to remain faithful to their own faithful promises. Actions do speak louder than words. Just look at St. Tarcisius for a role model.

          • Catherine, you condemn Archbishop Chaput for not denying communion to the attendees of the Democratic Convention in Denver. Archbishop Chaput did not have a Mass for the Democratic convention. He was not even invited to their prayer service. He and Alveda King went to pray outside an abortion clinic on the opening night.

        • Catherine says:

          k, Please stop making excuses for the entire time that Democratic Pro-Abort politicians were in town for the Convention. Please stop making excuses for all of the missed opportunities over the many years to instruct priests that if the obstinate politicians in their parishes present themselves for Holy Communion, they will be denied Holy Communion.

          You are inferring that faithful Catholics do not want Archbishop Chaput to be a strong example of moral authority. You are wrong k. Faithful Catholics are looking for their lead shepherds to show the strongest example of united, heroic and courageous leadership. It is a very kind act to pray in front of an abortion mill with Alveda King. It is an even kinder act of courageous heroism to give your life in defense for the protecting of the “Divine Body”, such as St. Tarscisius.

          • Catherine:

            Would it be correct to conclude that none of the current US archbishops meet your criteria for “shepherds [who] show the strongest example of united, heroic and courageous leadership”? Can you cite an example of a current archbishop (or even a bishop) who meets your criteria? If the answer is “none of them are good enough,” that must profoundly challenge your own faithfulness to the Church.

            I believe I am happier in this life, and more ready to courageously enter the next one, if I accept that our clergy are decent, dedicated servants who do the best they can with the humanity God gives them. Every one of them is flawed in some way, just as I am. (Are you flawed as well?)

            Regarding “faithful Catholics” I wonder what percentage of modern Mass-every-Sunday Catholics would meet your criteria? For example, I’d bet that over 99 percent of us, if ever faced with the prospect of losing a 12-year-old boy who is dear to us, would beg him to hand over the Eucharist rather than suffer death as Tarscisius did. Those who’ve ever lost a child know what I’m talking about, and most who have not lost a child but have a true heart know this as well. We know that the Divine Presence cannot be destroyed by bullies, but a 12-year-old boy can.

            Accepting our own human limits, and trying to push those limits as much as we can, is not “making excuses” but accepting gratefully what God has given us.

          • Catherine, do you know for a fact that a person who had voted for abortion was given communion by Archbishop Chaput? I did not make any excuses nor did I infer anything. Your statement that he did not deny communion is probably correct, but it is meaningless if no one who had voted for abortion approached him for communion. Are you saying that when the convention came to Denver, he should have listed those persons who he deemed unworthy for communion and passed it around among the parishes? Also, Mr. Fisher is saying that he has never enforced Canon 915. Also probably true, but Mr. Fisher does not name anyone in the diocese that he thinks should have been denied communion. Therefore if there are no politicians who voted for abortion in his diocese, he has not broken his word.

          • Catherine says:

            k, Please Google the voting history of the former Democratic Governor Bill Ritter. Many pro-life leaders wrote to Archbishop Chaput to ask him to enforce Canon 915 with Governor Ritter.

            Governor Ritter had pledged that overturning abortion laws would not be part of his agenda. He stated that he would veto any bill prohibiting abortion that did not provide for an exception for rape and incest or fetal anomalies. Ritter also worked tirelessly to restore state funding to Planned Parenthood.

            Governor Bill Ritter is portrayed as a fine Catholic Missionary on the internet. Since when does missionary work include legislation to murder unborn children?

            Former Governor Bill Ritter considered/considers himself to be a faithful Catholic.

          • Catherine, thank you for the name of the person. I see he also considers himself to be a pro-life Democrat. I guess it must be compared to the other Democrats. He is not what I would call pro-life.

          • Catherine says:

            Francis,

            According to your 4:38PM post, you are answering the call to spiritual laxity. Francis, God wants so much more for us. Spiritual laxity leaves us “unprepared and open for an ambush.” Peter was also a basically decent apostle when he did the best that he could with his humanity and denied Christ three times. Peter was afraid of the consequences of admitting that he was a follower of Jesus and he fearfully denied knowing Christ. He wept bitterly for doing this. I wonder if Peter ever ran into someone like you Francis who tried to convince Peter that he shouldn’t be so hard on himself and to accept the fact that he denied Christ three times, because he was basically decent and he did the best that he could do with his humanity. I think that after witnessing Jesus perform many miracles, Peter would have listened to you and wept even more bitterly. Peter might have even said, “Get behind me Satan.” Thankfully Peter did not settle for just being decent and he chose to strive to be even more perfect and Peter became our first Pope.

            Francis I do not have a criteria. It is Our Lord who said, “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48

            Our Lord did not say, “Be decent and do the best you can with the humanity that God gave you.” Our Lord said, “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.” Are any of us perfect? No we are not Francis but this does not mean that we ignore Our Lord’s instruction to strive to be therefore perfect. While we are alive on this earth may we strive to always grow in perfection.

            Francis it is disappointing to read your words about 99% of Catholics who would tell their son to turn over the Blessed Sacrament but I understand your fear. It stems from a lack of total trust in God. Francis, you are an educated man yet you sound like you have either forgotten or have never been taught such simple and basic lessons of of our beautiful Catholic faith. How did that happen?

            No one wants to experience the confronting of the death of their own child and no one wants to have to publicly confront a well known politician by denying them Holy Communion. The answer is Trust. “My Grace is sufficient.”

            Your post shows how lacking we are in trusting God. You mentioned that anyone with a true heart would understand what you mean. Francis, can you imagine the miraculous changes that are awaiting our lead shepherds if they applied total trust in God when it came to enforcing Canon 915? I surely can.

            St. Peter stepped up to trust God. St. Maria Goretti stepped up to trust God. St. Maria Goretti did not say, “Allesandro Serenelli, go ahead and have your way, after all you are doing the best you can with your humanity. St. Dominic Savio’s motto was “Death before sin.”

            Pope Benedict has asked our bishops to enforce Canon 915. Our bishops should be listening to the Vicar of Christ on earth.

            I remember distinctly the terrible gripping fear that I experienced when our four year old son was dying at Kaiser Hospital. He contracted a deadly disease from Argentina. We had never been to Argentina but he somehow contracted it and he went into total kidney failure and transient blindness. I was so afraid at the thought of his impending death. The fear consumed me. My son’s heart also started to fail and the courageous Kaiser doctor made the heroic decision to send our son immediately to Children’s Hospital in LA’

            This heroic doctor rode in the ambulance with me all the way to Children’s Los Angeles. He told me on the drive up that he was going to get into hot water for sending our son to another hospital that had better medical technology for children. Kaiser would also lose big insurance money and this fine doctor took a heroic stance to step up and try to save the life of one little boy. Can you imagine the inner turmoil and the pressure of a doctor having to ride in the ambulance and share his fear with the mother of the dying child. This heroic doctor said, ” I am going to do this but I am going to receive great flak for doing the right thing.

            Our once perfectly healthy 4 year old son, now lay dying hooked to a dialysis machine with kidney failure, transient blindness and begging for sips of water in the ICU at Children’s hospital for well over a month. Maybe that does not seem like a long time but when it comes to watching any child suffer, a second can feel like an eternity. You can imagine our fear when our son’s new doctor from Children’s Hospital told us that there was nothing more that they could do for our son.

            Francis, It was the seemingly harsh words of a friend that brought me out of the fearful stupor or the paralysis of gripping fear. My friend sternly asked me, “Where is your faith?” I did not get mad at her. I did not call her self-righteous. I did not say, You are not in my shoes and I am doing the best I can with my humanity. I did not say, “Wait and see what you’ll be like if this ever happens to you. I did not ask her what her criteria was or what her credentials were.

            Francis, my dear friend challenged me and she was right. I was not trusting God enough. I reflected on what she said during this telephone conversation. I thanked her and hung up the telephone to go back into the ICU unit.

            On the way back to my son’s room I interiorly reflected on my paralysis of fear and I sincerely apologized to God for not trusting Him in this most terrible crisis. I totally surrendered my trust and I told God that I trusted Him. I reminded myself that God was still the same powerful God in the Gospel who healed the sick and gave sight to the blind. I now trusted that If God wanted to heal our son, He could do it in an instant. I also let God know that I completely trusted in Him if He wanted to bring our beautiful little boy home to be with Him in heaven. When you can trust God this much with your own son, Francis, you do have a true heart.

            Francis, The minute I walked back into the ICU the nurses joyfully greeted me at the door. They told me that my son’s kidneys had just kicked into full gear and that they were fully working. His blindness was gone. This happened just seconds after I apologized to God for not trusting Him enough.

            It was a few months later that we brought our son back for a well check at the Kaiser doctor who had shown such courage. This doctor was a fallen away Catholic. Guess what my son found on the office floor of his examining room before the doctor came in? A Brown Scapular, lying in the middle of an empty examination room.

            The doctor came into the room. He told me that he had something very difficult to say to me. He said that when he was in his residency at Stanford he had seen my son’s disease before but this was the worst case he had ever witnessed. He also said, when he was at Stanford he had colleagues to support him and discuss things with, but at Kaiser he was alone and the responsibility of proper medical treatment was on him alone. Then he said, “This is very hard for me to say because I am a man of science. Your son should not be alive today and with the insult that was done to his kidneys he should be tethered to a dialysis machine for the rest of his life. Your son’s healing was completely miraculous.” Francis, I shook his hand and I had my little son place the Brown Scapular in this doctor’s hand. I thanked him for his courage and I told him that God was calling him back to his Catholic faith. He smiled and took the Brown Scapular.

            Now Francis, you might say, what does this have to do with enforcing Canon 915? It has everything to do with enforcing Canon 915. I needed the harsh reminder of a dear friend who challenged my fearful paralysis. My friend said “Where is your faith?” Francis, there is a gripping paralysis when it come to enforcing Canon 915.

            Look what I received for trusting God completely. How could anyone receive such a gift and think that this gift was to be kept a secret? Francis, don’t you want healing within the Church? God is waiting for our complete trust and this goes for our lead shepherds too. The heroic Kaiser doctor was responsible for trying to save the physical life of one boy. Our bishops have been charged with the heroic responsibility of trying to save countless souls. This is their vocation and they are our lead shepherds who vowed to care for Christ’s sheep. How do they care for God’s sheep during this time of crisis within the Church? They trust in God and they lead by actions. Our bishops should be united. Archbishop Chaput is just as responsible for souls as the Kaiser doctor was responsible for doing everything within his power to save one life. This Kaiser doctor faced behind the scenes scrutiny from his fellow colleagues for doing the heroic action of saving one life.

            It is precisely because of Archbishop Chaput’s truthful words above that he is being called to be even more heroic and courageous in leadership. St. Faustina was right. It is in the measure that we trust God that we are so mercifully and richly rewarded. Francis, Our bishops are asking us to see the Movie, ‘For Greater Glory.” Young Jose Sanchez del Rio was another Martyr for Christ the King. Young Jose Sanchez del Rio chose death rather than deny Christ before men.

            Francis, Please don’t ever settle for the call to laxness. Strive to “be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect. Encourage our lead shepherds to do the same. Great things await those who place their trust in God. With God all things are possible!

          • Dear Catherine,

            We are trying to impose comment word limit of 1500 characters.

            As worthy as your reply to Francis is, please edit down so we can use it.

            Thanks,

            Editor

          • Catherine:

            Thank you for your thoughtful answer of August 3, and thank you to the editor for allowing it to be posted. I’ve put off replying because you wrote so much more than I can address in my “spare time.”

            By “acceptance” I intended the meaning: The action of consenting to receive or undertake something offered. This is about consenting to receive, not making excuses, and certainly not about moral laxity. And, of course, I’m talking about consenting to receive what God offers. Often, what God offers is a boon, something we really want. And, also, there are a lot of things offered which we don’t want, such as your son’s illness or my son’s death. I think you expressed this well in the question “where is your faith?” With faith, we’re able to accept that God is greater than anything we can imagine, “as high as the heavens are above the earth, so are my ways above your ways.”

            With regard to Peter’s denial of Jesus, the first exemplar of acceptance is Jesus himself. Jesus simply accepts who Peter is, and states it clearly. Peter does not accept the facts about himself and rejects Jesus’ words with “I will never deny you!” Peter’s acceptance is manifest a few verses later, when the cock crowed, and he “wept bitterly.” Grief and acceptance often travel together.

            You wrote about “excuses.” Atheists often consider the idea that we can never understand God’s ways as an excuse for believing in a “monster God” who does whatever, and we still worship Him regardless. In this regard, atheism is entirely understandable. Bishops aren’t gods, but they do have to deal with a lot of issues we can’t imagine, and we don’t have access to all the facts they do when deciding to bring down the 915 hammer or not. If you think of acceptance as making excuses for the bishops, well I can understand your frustration.

            I think of frustration as the gap between what I expect, and what I get. If you think of acceptance as the font of faith, trusting that however awful a situation is, the one true and loving God is in charge, that gap narrows, and the frustration diminishes.

      • Fisher, you do not know what went on in the Confessional in Denver, or the Office of Bishop Chaput when he talks to sinners, or in his new Diocese either.
        Do not slander a good/decent Bishop.
        Max is correct, when he says there are some on this site you merely want to drive a wedge between people and the good Bishops.
        (I acknowledge not all Bishops are good.)

        You are changing the subject from the topic of the article to Canon 915, which is supported by Abp Chaput, and attacking him without documentation.

        CCC: ” 2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty:
        – of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;
        – of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them;
        – of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them. “

        • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

          ANNE, Pete, Francis,

          Read my statement of 5:35, the Ball is now in your courts.

          God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
          Kenneth M. Fisher

          • Kenneth:

            I have to wonder how this happened, but your reference to a 5:35 statement seems to actually refer to itself! I’m sure this is not what you intended.

  9. Francis says:

    Very well thought-out remarks, as I would expect from Bishop Chaput. From the “full” version:

    America needs a special kind of citizenry; a mature, well-informed electorate of persons able to reason clearly and rule themselves prudently. If that’s true—and it is—then the greatest danger to American liberty in our day is not religious extremism. It’s something very different. It’s a culture of narcissism that cocoons us in dumbed-down, bigoted news, vulgarity, distraction, and noise, while methodically excluding God from the human imagination.

    May all the comments to this page exemplify ability to reason clearly, and willingness to make the effort it takes to separate facts and values from dumbed-down bigoted news.

  10. Canisius says:

    In many ways I believe my own generation, the boomer generation, has been one of the most problematic in our nation’s history because of our spirit of entitlement and moral superiority;… Your Excellency truer words were never spoken… boomers self indulgent and self obsessed

    • Wow! A chance to agree with Canisius! Well spoken.

      • Canisius says:

        Francis I believe boomers have been the most destructive generation in American history, their generation had the sexual “revolution, my generation got AIDS, their generation had mind expanding drugs, my generation got crack babies and drug addiction, never has one generation perfected self worship… I believe they are the focal point of most of the modern problems today… their damage will take a long time to fix

    • I was born before television, Canisius and I was about 8 when we got our first one. We were one of the first in the neighborhood to buy a tv so all the kids came to our house to watch. My theory is that those being raised with television since the earliest age of understanding…maybe around two? are forever changed under its influence. My graduation class had about 95 people…maybe less. But the freshman class of that year had 400 students! They were treated differently because of the huge glut coming through which most schools at that time were not prepared for, and it just seemed like they were much more competitive than we older ones because there was not enough space for them. I think it was this combination of television making them believe they were unique and special and yet there was this huge group pressure that nobody knew what to do with and perhaps caused many of them to fall through the cracks that initially set them apart. I think this gave them an unconscious feeling of superiority / inferiority that caused this strange dicotomy like no other generation has experienced. School was all about learning how to be part of a group and being contributing members of our society before 1950. We didn’t have tv ads making us feel so important and aimed directly at us, so being special wasn’t high on our priorities. I see a real change from 1950 onwards. That’s just my superficial observation, for what it’s worth. Oh, and we ALL were raised on those vacuous really stupid Dick and Jane books. My sister & I were just sharing yesterday about how we hated them, but the kids born after 1950 seem all warm and fuzzy about Dick & Jane. We were ALL dumbed down after the war, I think if we didn’t grown up in homes with lots of books and guidance. But I have observed this odd self-hatred/feelings of entitlement and superiority that seems to haunt them. When Newsweek did an issue on boomers turning 60, there wasn’t an ‘A’ lister in the bunch. If you will observe, all the really innovative, mold breakers were born during the war or before..the Beatles, Bob Dylan, RollingStones, and on and on. Just a shallow observation. I think tv kills creativity if watched at too early an age.

  11. Laurette Elsberry says:

    I went to the original of this article and made copies. For those readers who have children and grandchildren who have no clue about the Church’s role in our history and our present society I would suggest that they also make copies and give them to their “modern” Catholic descendants . At least they will have some truth to consider.

  12. Paul Joseph says:

    Rather than propose specific, concrete actions, Archbishop Chaput again offers the Faithful mere truisms. Why not, for example, propose that married Catholics stop using contraceptives and have as many children as God intends? If we Catholics did that, then within 30 years our children raised in the Faith could restore religious freedom democratically at the ballot box. Archbishop Chaput is the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. There are three pro-abortion public figures in his own archdiocese: Bob Brady, Joe Sestak, and Patrick Murphy. “Faith without works is dead.” If Archbishop Chaput is serious, he can start by enforcing Canon 915 and not admit these public figures to Holy Communion. I do, however, applaud the assessment of his own baby boomer generation, with which the Archbishop may have more in common than he knows.

    • If you know of any public SCANDAL and/or SACRILEGE taking place in your Diocese, contact your Diocese Bishop and include documentation.
      Don’t expect anyone to be a mind reader.

      Abp Chaput is new in Philadelphia and has been very busy cleaning up the mess that was left prior to his installation.

      • Paul Joseph says:

        Just google “canon 915 project,” and click on the first hit. There you will find every US bishop and his obedience or non-obedience to Canon 915. Archbishop Chaput’s obedience was “unknown” when he was Archbishop of Denver, and it is still “unknown” now that he is Archbishop of Philadelphia. In contrast, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nevada gets a green “yes” for his obedience to Canon 915. He did, after all, bar John Kerry from Holy Communion in his Diocese. Why does Archbishop Chaput get an “unknown” rather than a “yes” from the Canon 915 Project like Bishop Bruskewitz? We should defer to our bishops in matters of prudential judgment except when a bishop’s “prudential” judgment is injurious to faith and morals. Non-obedience to Canon 915 is injurious to faith and morals, and no honest Catholic can defer to it.

  13. ULTRAFINE says:

    I am a member of the boomer generation who just happened to watch the Third Awakening the last couple of days. Watch Restoring Love and Indivisible under God on GBTV… (free of charge). Learned so very much. Laughed, cried, cheered, applauded etc. There is an awakening happening. Do not miss it. See it for yourself. It will change your life. It is time to begin to heal and to come together. It will fill you with new hope.

    • I have to disagree with you on this one. Glen Beck’s presentation is one pole of the “dumbed-down bigoted news, vulgarity, distraction, and noise” (DDBNVDN) Archbishop Chaput is calling on us to drop like a burning lump of brimstone. Of course it isn’t hard to find a nicely symmetric other pole of DDBNVDN from outlets like MSNBC or the other networks. All these outlets have prettied themselves up to seem compelling and complete, but they equally reduce the one God (whether they call Him that or not), from the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible… to a partisan mascot.

      • ULTRAFINE says:

        Francis – Watch Friday’s 7/27 presentation Indivisible Under God with clergy from all over and every denomination speaking, then come back with your reply. You are so off course Francis. It is obvious you did not see any of what you are commenting on.

        • Francis says:

          Can you post a link to the video, and is it free to view? The GBTV.com video I saw wasn’t anything like what you describe.

          • ULTRAFINE says:

            Francis Open GBTV – go to right side and open Restoring Love then check for the 7-27-12 box Under God Individual for the Religious Leaders Conference. The first 30 minutes is a round table then the speakers on stage start and they run for 3 hours. After that I suggest you return to at least the last 10 minutes of Glenn’s Restoring Love and you will want to see the entire program by that time. Enjoy! God Bless You

          • ULTRAFINE says:

            Francis I pay to view GBTV however it is shown to offer one free month under invite friends on my screen.

      • Francis your assessment is not correct.

  14. goodcause says:

    Splendid essay, but the “entitlement class” now includes the entire population, not just the baby boomers. Boomers are criticized primarily because they are first “entitlement class” that includes the young…..all other age groups joined up in mid life. In the financial sense, “entitlement thinking” has damaged our society because we can’t finance it withiout going broke, but elected officilas in both parties continue to approve it. It has also damaged our abilty to accept personal responsbility, and given civil lawyers booming business to find a bad guy behind every tragedy. Our current president is the second “entitlement” president, after Lyndon Johnson. Both bankrupted the country with expensive programs that failed.

    The Church’s criticism of Catholic laity’s “entitlement thinking”, as the archbishop’s spended essay describes, omits the fact that many Catholics have serious problems with some of the Church’s teachings. It is flippant to suggest that the laity’s serious moral and conscience concerns are nothing more than selfish “entitlement thinking”. Not so. If the Church could display sufficient empathy to really see individuals applying the Chruch’s great truths to serious, difficult and practical problems in their lives, our mutual goodwill could strengthen the faith community. The polarization we now see in the political realm in this country has, unfortuantely, entered the faith community, as well.

    • goodcause, God gave each of us a Free Will.

      If anyone opposes any of the teachings of the Catholic Church, they can leave the Church and join something else.
      No one forces anyone to be a Catholic.

      The teachings of the Church that people who wish to be Catholic must adhere to are contained in the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition”.
      This book is available for all to read and is even sold on Amazon (dark green cover).

      Some Protestant Faiths have not done such a great job either – regarding abortion (murder for convenience), homosexual acts, and divorce. If you are suggesting compromise on these Holy Scripture / Church teachings – you can forget it.

      However, if you are suggesting people of various Faiths working together to stop the evil growing in the political and educational realm of the USA, we should work together for our common goals.
      “Under God and Indivisible” was just on GBTV with Catholic Priests, Rabbis, and Ministers of various Faiths all agreeing to do the same.

  15. Delilah says:

    Iacta alia est

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      I wish those of you who want to quote in Latin would also quote the English translations. I got very high grades in High School Latin, but that was many years ago.

      Before you anti-Latin in the Mass groupies remark, let me state that the LaSance Missal gives both the Latin and the English as do other Missals for Vietnamese, and Spanish speaking etc. etc.

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

  16. Paul Joseph says:

    Even more so than the secular media, it is the bishops themselves who have driven the wedge. They have done this in a variety of ways, such as by neglecting to uphold the Church’s teachings on sexual morality. In fact, Cardinal Dolan concedes this in his recent Wall Street Journal interview. The bishops also allowed homosexual men into the seminaries, many of whom would prey upon teenage boys. Thus, it is the bishops’ own laxity that has driven a wedge between themselves and the minority of Catholics who are still faithful to the Magisterium.

    • Paul Joseph you are correct that most US Diocese Bishops and some Priests have not taught as they should have over the last 40 years.
      Today many still do not actively and publically encourage the reading the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition”.

      So we must all do their job for them or in spite of them.

      Once Catholics know of the existance of the CCC, we have our own obligation to read it, and live by it.

      We each have a PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY to educate ourselves in our Faith, and then teach it to others.
      Let’s start with the crux of the problem – – – each of us, and our own laziness.
      Remember, at our deaths Jesus will judge each of us indivdiually, and we will not be able to point fingers at the clergy, since the Magisterium has provided us with the CCC.

      CCC: ” 1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility.
      This is the case when a man takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.
      In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits. “

    • news flash: a lot of the homosexual priestss who molested boys were let into the seminary a LONG time ago, becfore any liberalization of the second vatican council took place.

      the bihsops didn’t know these guys were homosexual, either, because most of them entered the seminary when they were high schoool kids themselves and probably knew nothing about their OWN sexuality.

      only later did the problems come to light.

      of course, i’m only talking about the OLD abuse cases — for the newer cases you might be right.

      • Mark from PA says:

        Max, most of the priests who were homosexual probably didn’t know it. They were taught that it was good to repress their sexuality. People didn’t talk a lot about that back then. In many seminaries human sexuality was not taught or discussed. A high percentage of gay men were ordained priests because the men with strong attractions to women dropped out. In the 60’s and 70’s even more left the priesthood to get married.

      • Paul Joseph says:

        Even now under Pope Benedict XVI, a man with same-sex attraction can still enter seminary provided that he has never participated in homosexual acts.

    • Cole Thornton says:

      Right on, PJ! Abp. Chaput saying “If a wedge can be driven between the pastors of the Church and her people” is off base to me. The “pastors of the Church” have failed to teach “her people” for so many decades the basics, the foundations of the Church, that many of “her people” have just wandered off looking for something to really sink their teeth (brains) into. Constantly hearing the “pastors” telling the “people” that they should spend more time making sandwiches for the soup kitchen, donate money to this-or-that appeal to support those who won’t work, build housing for the homeless who will just wreck in a short time what they were given, etc, gets to be very old after a few decades. The elite “pastors” think that things like teaching the CCC is something only for children and they are sooooo much smarter than that!

  17. I assert that the Bishops are responsable for this change in America’s spirit: Why? because over 50yrs ago until now they have IGNORED A SPECIAL INTERVENTION OF THE BLESSED MOTHER, O.L. OF AMERICA, IMMACULATE VIRGIN TO OUR NATION. Cardinal Burke has last year rendered his canonical judgment that this revelation to Precious Blood Sr.Mildred Neusel was officially approved twice by the then Archbishop of Cinncinati who was her spiritual director for years until his death. His brother bishops SIMPLY WOULD NOT TAKE HIS TESTIMONY SERIOUSLY. So what WAS THE PROPHETIC MESSAGE IN 1958? America must use its blessings to help other nations solve their temporal problems and counsel peace; the bishops must collectively and solemnly install her image in the then newly opened Immaculate Conception (basilica) in Wash. D.C.–this was her return gift for honoring her with the church. If they would do this, SHE WOULD MAKE THAT CHURCH LIKE LOURDES IN BRINGING OUR PEOPLE TO GOD AND VIRTUE; our youth must become wholesome ambassadors of chastity to the youth of the world, and our families must manifest the Indwelling of the Holy Trinity IN THE FAMILY AS IN NAZARETH. If the Bishops do not meet her request, the nation would have much pain. 50yrs later America has turned out EXACTLY OPPOSITE OF WHAT SHE WANTED! The hierarchy has missed its time of visitation all these years. There was one last attempt to reach them in Nov ’07. In closed session at their national meeting two bishops joined Archbp Burke in presenting the apparition to them. Silence, with some notable few overall exception. IT WAS JUST AT THAT TIME THAT AN UNKNOWN SENATOR WITH AN UNFAMILIAR NAME STARTED HIS METEORIC RISE TO THE PRESIDENCY. To this day there are NO PLANS TO FOLLOW OUR LADY OF AMERICA’S REQUESTS. When prophecy comes from God to a nation or people AND IT IS IGNORED, GOD LETS THE CONSEQUENCES FALL SO AS TO CONVERT BY BITTER TRIAL WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED HAD THE PROPHECY BEEN LISTENED TO AND PUT INTO ACTION. And we KNOW that Salvation History is the key to all history.

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