Sunday, January 29, 2012


The dictator "Joseph Stalin is famously said to have asked an adviser, dismissively, “How many divisions does the Pope have?” Had the adviser possessed greater courage, he might have replied: “How many does he need?”
Observing the many government leaders gathered at the Vatican for the funeral of Pope John Paul II, we might well have suspected that the world’s politico-military chieftains need what the Pope has more than the Pope needs what they have."

Will President Obama find out how many divisions the pope has? Time will tell! Stalin found out!

Well, we're doing it! I read Bishop Gregory Hartmayer's letter, powerful letter to all our Masses this weekend and hopefully it was read in every parish and mission in the Diocese.

No one said a thing, yea or nae. No one! I don't know what to make of the silence. Are they mulling it over or are they ambivalent or are they stark raving mad that the Bishop of our Diocese is issuing a Call to Action, Catholic Action, in the face of an unprecedented attack upon religious liberty and freedom of conscience.

Are the supporters of the Obama administration and those Catholics in my parish who voted for him irate? Do they place their allegiance to the Obama administration and to the Democrat party above that of the Church when clearly there is a insidious attempt on the part of both the administration and the radical wing of the Democrat party to strip the Church of her prophetic mission and make her comply to the dictatorship of their secular view of the United States of America?

Catholics and my parishioners where do you stand? This is a defining moment! In whose division will you belong--you've never before been asked this question as Catholics in the United States of America and that in and of itself should tell you something!


Anonymous said...

This really is not so difficult if everyone remembers who works for whom. Obama is the only nationally elected official and he is our employee. We don't have to do anything violent. Marches and peaceful protests are good for show, not the dough. You don't have to dislike someone to reprimand them in a respectful manner. Or even fire them. He and all the people in public office supporting this can be sent home, greeted with smiles and waves at the coffee shop, invited to dinner, but sent home, with out violence. Maybe an invitation from their priests for a little while in adoration of the Blessed Host can fill their time.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Father, don't expect a sea of responses. that is not how people are wired. Pick the right people in your parish, give them the vision, then let them go. Just check in on them periodically for a heading check.

Whether the enemy is on the Right or Left, there are those i the Congregation who will step out first.

Late on the night of December 23rd, Sergeant John Banister of the 14th Cavalry Group found himself meandering through the village of Provedroux, southwest of Vielsalm. He'd been separated from his unit during the wild retreat of the first days and joined up with Task Force Jones, defending the southern side of the Fortified Goose Egg. Now they were in retreat again. The Germans were closing in on the village from three sides. American vehicles were pulling out, and Banister was once again separated from his new unit, with no ride out.

A tank destroyer rolled by; somebody waved him aboard and Banister eagerly climbed on.

An hour later they reached the main highway running west from Vielsalm. There they found a lone soldier digging a foxhole. Armed with bazooka and rifle, unshaven and filthy, he went about his business with a stoic nonchalance. They pulled up to him and stopped. He didn't seem to care about the refugees. "If yer lookin for a safe place," he said, "just pull that vehicle behind me. I'm the 82nd Airborne. This is as far as the bastards are going."


Templar said...

Those who adhere to the left side of the spectrum will not believe you or care for the Bishops message or your reading of it, but out of politeness will say nothing to you on the subject.

Those who adhere to neither the left of the right, are moribund sheep for the most part, bereft of any meaningful Catholic Identity, stripped from them these past 40 years. They don't know what to think, but many may at least go into the election booth in November and vote for anyone but that Butcher of the Unborn.

Those who cling to the right side of the spectrum are already out in the streets fighting this administration and have been since 2008. Many of those are probably thinking that it's about time the establishment woke up, but they're probably also skeptical of being called to action when they themselves have been treated as the crazy Uncle for the past 40 years.

But I must commend you on the imagery and music, I strongly approve.

Carol H. said...

I read your blog to my husband, and he said he was sitting in the pew trying to decide how to word his letter to Austin Scott!

Unfortunately, this has not received much media coverage and this may be the first that many parishoners have heard about this. My husband would have been clueless if I hadn't brought it up with him yesterday.

Maybe now that everyone knows that there is an issue, they will pay more attention to it. It might be a good idea to bring it up again next week.

-Brian said...

Okay, so you asked:
I am a Knight of Queen Mary Pledged in Faith, Hope, Charity, and Patriotism.

I stand with my Pope, Bishop, and Pastor.

My family has taken the same stand, and we have been reasonably active; at risk to our standing, and in some cases to more than our standing, for the sake of goodness and church.

We will reasonbly fight the good fight.

Yours In Saint Dominic ~ BTF

TCR said...

"Onward Christian Soliders"---what bold memories that gallant verse brings to me! We began each day of Vacation Bible School (at the Baptist Church) with that song. How wonderful to hear it accompanied by Catholic imagery!!

Now the bombs start to drop at the place "where people live." This may be a sheep from the goats moment. I imagine many parishioners will become more vocal as the cannon fire nears.

Many of us have been weakened by the economy, but in God's army there is strength in weakness and a clarity of thinking. May the Lord grant us the fortitude and valor to endure the wounds we must sustain and emblazon the words, "No surrender," in our actions against this direct hit in our camp.

For those who opposed this administration from the start, they probably were in amazed, but grateful silence when the Bishop's letter was read. I can guarantee their hearts were pounding, and I did see a number of pleasantly surprised glances exchanged. For the Obama supporters, perhaps after the words sink in, a precious few will wake up and realize the administration they so heartily endorsed derailed long ago.

Father Shelton said...

To be fair, we clergymen have done so little to warn the faithful about the immorality of artificial contraception that one would expect the faithful to be stunned that the bishops have picked this issue to defend.

Unknown said...

I had read the Bishop’s letter online earlier and then I re-read it after my prayers before Mass. I read it for the third time along with Father Godfred during Mass. The emotion it evokes does not wane with repetition. Father Dawid’s homily (although primarily aimed at younger parishioners) pulled heavily from the circumstances that prompted the letter from the Bishop. Father’s powerful, heartfelt message added increased passion to the emotion I already felt. By the time I left Mass, I felt mightily emboldened to make my voice heard, despite strong doubt that anyone other than those agreeing with me would care. I discussed Father Dawid’s message with my granddaughters in the car on the way home and I phoned my father to see if he had also experienced a similar rousing homily and impetus to take action where he attends Mass in a neighboring city. Remarkably, the letter was neither read nor placed as a bulletin insert where he attends. He phoned a friend who is a deacon there and was advised that the pastor had declined to do so, but it is likely he will have a bulletin insert later. I am deeply grateful for the strong commitment to truth and for action of our fine priests and deacons at St. Joseph, both for myself and my grandchildren – and I am disappointed and saddened that it is not the same “just a tater-chuck down the road”. I just wanted to let you know how deeply I was struck by this issue, since it would be quite out of character of me to presume to share my thoughts with you even had I seen you after Mass. I hope many more of us are making ready for battle, even those of us who fail to make you aware of our strong feelings.
I am pleased to report that I got Daddy spurred on the matter. He is emailing his KoC buddies and we are gathering email and snail mail addresses to which we may direct our grievances and unwillingness to stand for this encroachment on religious liberties. I still have serious doubts that those who disagree will care, but it will nonetheless be heartening to me to do this and I hope it proves to be a teaching moment for these young girls. I hope they will be prepared to fight for what I took for granted when I was coming up. Remember going to the movies when we were young and thinking nothing of watching the familiar short spot running with the previews which reminded us to “be sure to attend your chosen house of worship this weekend”? My how things have changed!

Seeker said...

Sancte Michael Archangele,
defende nos in proelio;
contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.
Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur:
tuque, Princeps militiae Caelestis,
satanam aliosque spiritus malignos,
qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo,
divina virtute in infernum detrude.
I'm in. I will fight evil always. I stand with you.

ED said...

The issue may turn out to be be less about how many divisions the Pope has and much more about how many genuine catholics there really are in the pews in the american church.

The dismal failure of the episcopacy in its role in the spiritual formation and discipline of this generation of catholics is evident in any random sample of the views of american catholics on the contraception/abortion issues at the heart of the healthcare debate/litigation:
(1) the majority of catholics support health insurance coverage of contraception,
(2) 90%-98% of married catholic women actually use artificial contraception,
(3) there is only a limited statistically meaningful difference between catholics and the rest of the population on the acceptability of embryonic stem cell research and abortion,
(4) etc, ad infinitum.

I don't think that, at least so far, Obama believes he has too much to worry about from the theologically-fluid kinds of catholics that predominate in the US church.

pinanv525 said...

I am not too optimistic about the "outrage" regarding this. Americans, Catholic and Protestant, are too co-opted by entertainment, shopping, technological toys, and general self-indulgence for anything more than some short-lived "righteous indignation," then it is back to "feel-good thinking and decadence as usual." 911 is the iconic example. There was a lot of initial shock and outrage, lots of tough talk, moaning and groaning and such, then we had a sandbox war that meant nothing, killed some tin pot dictator that it was "ok" to kill, then elected Obama and came home. Meanwhile, everyone was falling all over themselves not to offend Muslims or even suggest that our war just might be against Islam itself...oh, no...God forbid common sense or a serious war against real enemies. No, we'll probably be selling condoms in Catholic gift shops in a few years...sigh...

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I do think that the Obama administration with the help of his traitorous Catholics in his administration has made a calculated decision about this thinking that Catholics won't mind having this kind of coverage and in fact want it. And yes this abysmal state of affairs has evolved over the course of time beginning with the sexual revolution and open, active and now passive dissent from Natural Law as embodied in Humanae Vitae. Keep in mind dissent from natural law is dissent from divine law embedded in it. But worse than the fear of bishops to actually promote natural law as stated in Humanae Vitae is their abject fear or refusal to take disciplinary action against pro-choice Catholic politicians who in a public way promote abortion as a legitimate choice and then receive Holy Communion and at papal Masses. Why haven't Sebelius, Pelosi, and Biden been excommunicated? As essential as natural law and the right to life of the unborn is to the truth of Jesus Christ and the Church is, if pushing that agenda as it should be pushed causes bishops to begin to excommunicate public Catholics who publicly dissent and thus causes a major division in the Church, then so be it.

Anonymous said...

Frajm, Two things. Pin is right. That is why I said you can't appeal to the congregation and expect to see a crown cheering. OTOH, there are certain community leaders as well as people with the right focus and energy to form a nucleus the rest of the congregation will coalesce. It will be important that they are in cells that related to each other by some common bond rather than a single large group.

Secondly, that last statement you made makes my pulse quicken. It is related very much to your dilemma and to part one of this post. People see the politicians getting away with it. A public figure being excommunicated will open a new drama the Bishops MUST be prepared for. The ex-communicants will retaliate with either public indifference or a counter attack based on the sex abuse crisis as well as the tax free status. The Bishops need a series of interlinked contingency plans for this because once the dogs are released things will move very, very quickly.

tempus fugit, memento elegere


Bill Meyer said...

Father, I think it is time, and past time, for excommunications to be made explicit. It is a grave disservice to the faithful when "Catholic" politicians declare their faith even as they declare support for abortion.

The disuse of excommunication, as with the secular disuse of treason, is responsible for the continuing decay in our society.

Marc said...

Why haven't Sebelius, Pelosi, and Biden been excommunicated?

They are excommunicated! It's just that their bishops are apparently afraid to publicly declare the latae sententiae excommunication they have incurred due to their public moral sin and heresy/apostacy!

I actually place some of the blame for the bishops' hesitancy in this regard on the laity. If the bishops knew we were with them, they wouldn't need to be so afraid of alienating us! We need to support them and they need to support us - there is mutuality in our relationship with the leader of our local Church.

As an aside, it should always be a moving thing for the bishop (who represents Christ to the local Church) to issue a statement to the people. (I'm not counting the videos for his annual appeal shown during Mass - those are just kind of annoying as it seems we usually only see the Bishop when he wants money and not when he is calling us to fight!)

Anonymous said...

Re Bill's comment: I agree. Today's Church is reaping the whirlwind for its decades of accepting open, rampant dissent. A few years ago I read a bishop's story of how he privately excommunicated a pro-abort politician, with the name and identifying characteristics of the politician redacted. While I applaud the excommunication, I lament the fact that the bishop chose to see it as a private matter. After all, the pro-abort had scandalized the faithful, a matter by its nature grossly public. An excommunication loses at least half its corrective value when not made public.

While my own day of judgment will undoubtedly be rough, I believe I would prefer it to the judgments that the last four decades of bishops by and large will be receiving.

Bill Meyer said...

The Church has been much too soft. I went through 2 rounds of RCIA, and in both years, when asked about the ordination of women, the DRE coyly replied "not yet", implying that this was a "small-t" tradition issue.

How on earth can we expect well formed Catholic consciences when the catechists spout such nonsense?

The problem with latae sententiae excommunication is that is incurs no public knowledge, other than to the faithful who understand it, and who are least in need of an announcement. Those in greatest need of hearing an explicit announcement are those most easily persuaded, once again, to vote for the "nuanced" and "conscience driven" CINO of their choice.

Templar said...

Marc: Shame on any Bishop who needs the warm fuzzies from his Diocese to act. Bishops, Priests, Clergy of any strip, hell even Laity, are all called to martyrdom. Lead!! Do what you know to be right and do it with conviction. Let God sought out whether you were right or wrong.

Gerbert said...

My first thoughts where of rage and disbelief, how can this administration dictate such blatant abuse of our rights, my later thoughts are still the same. It is time for Catholics to stand up for this tyranny that has been thrusted upon us, our Bishops need to rally the troops and be strong leaders, voicing loudly our opposition to this open and aggressive attack upon the Church. This is just the first step to even more aggressive restriction on the Catholic Church and all people of religious beliefs. My hope is that this will get thrown out by the courts, but we cannot sit back and rely on that, because it is not a sure thing at all. We must act with one strong and loud voice. I want to thank Bishop Hartmayer for having his letter read during Mass on Sunday, but it cannot be a onetime occurrence, it will be necessary to keep this issue in the forefront of the mind of the people of our parishes so they can understand the gravity of the situation.

Nicole Stallworth said...

Father, I only skimmed the comments; I believe Gerbert is right. Many may not be aware what is happening, and how grave the issue really is. Even those who do may not really know what action they can take. I, for one, find myself wondering when we are going to hear more about court challenges and forgetting that *right now* we can contact our representatives in the legislative branch, that we can educate those around us what this means for our country and religious freedom, that we need to be on our knees praying in light of what is ahead. Keep the spotlight on it for the parish.

Here are some links to consider.

Nicole Stallworth said...

Father, I only skimmed the comments; I believe Gerbert is right. Many may not be aware what is happening, and how grave the issue really is. Even those who do may not really know what action they can take. I, for one, find myself wondering when we are going to hear more about court challenges and forgetting that *right now* we can contact our representatives in the legislative branch, that we can educate those around us what this means for our country and religious freedom, that we need to be on our knees praying in light of what is ahead. Keep the spotlight on it for the parish.

Here are some links to consider.

Anonymous said...

Report from the front: Some Catholics support Obamacare because they don't HAVE to purchase the contraceptive and abortion services.


Templar said...

rcg: They're right, they don't have to use contraception or abortion services, but they do have to fund it with their taxes, and much more to the point, the Church must offer those services to it's Hospital and other service employees. I know you know that, but I sure wish some others who profess to be catholic would get a clue.

Anonymous said...

Templar, That is a point that is hard, for some reason, to make understood.

Here is a little ammunition: the average abortion costs about $600, the average annual cell phone bill is $600. What we are talking about is laziness on top of selfishness.