Sunday, November 13, 2016


 His Eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington issued a pastoral letter to his parishioners about "Being Catholic Today: Catholic Identity in an Age of Challenge." It was issued about three or four years ago.

It turns out that what the Cardinal says in chapter 7 and 8 of his pastoral helps us to understand the backlash against the Obama Administration and his hoped for successor, HRC!

The odd thing is that I have been doing a series of Sunday morning Coffee and Conversation programs between our two Masses and I had scheduled for today, chapters 7 and 8 on the challenges to Catholic Identity and the new bigotry against the Catholic Church by the three challenges to our Faith today:

Providentially with so many having raw nerves since the horrible election season and its shocking result (for many, not all), I can address some of what so many Catholics may be feeling during this morning's Coffee and Conversation.

Here are some excerpts from Cardinal Wuerl's pastoral letter, Chapters 7 and 8:

Sadly, it is not unusual to
encounter Catholics who were
raised in Catholic families,
educated at institutions that identify
themselves as “Catholic,” and who
may attend Mass regularly, yet do not
necessarily know or understand their
faith or believe it.
Consequently, in
the last decades some have chosen to
leave their Catholic home; others have
just sort of drifted away. Some may say
they are “spiritual,” but not “religious,”
and therefore not affiliated with the
What accounts for this demise
or decline in faith? Why has this
happened? Partly it is due to certain
social, cultural and political trends,
which have been identified by a
succession of popes under the heading
of secularism, materialism and

Two generations of secularization have
fashioned this time when some do not
even know the foundational prayers, or
understand the most basic of Catholic
devotions. Still others do not sense
a value in Mass attendance, fail to
avail themselves of the Sacrament of
Penance, and have often lost a sense of
mystery. (My comment: It is here that the hierarchy must, I mean must, look at
its complicity after Vatican II, where the Catholic Faith was called into question
as it was believed and liturgically celebrated for about 1500 years. We need not point to outside forces alone, but direct some of this to the Magisterium. )

The attempt to recast human sexuality
as casual and entirely recreational has
led to an untold weakening of and
continued assault on marriage and
family life.
These contemporary views of life
discussed here often seek to bleach out
recognition of God and marginalize
the Church and limit her freedom and
ability to function and live out her
Gospel mandate. Added to this are
the challenges of direct government
interference as well as in some parts
of the world, social violence and
One new effort to abridge religious
freedom is the legislation that would
require Catholic schools to retain
teachers who by their words or actions
publicly contradict the teaching of the
Church. Some now wrongly claim it
is discrimination for the Church to
insist that those who teach in Catholic
schools present Catholic teaching in
word and in witness.
In according with religious freedom
guaranteed by the First Amendment,
Catholic organizations should be free
to operate by the tenets of the Catholic
faith, should not be forced to accept the
government’s moral views, and should
not be required to provide a platform
for persons who oppose in both word
and action the mission of the Church. (My comment: I think this observation explains so much about Trump's election and that many think he will not continue to do what Obama did in this regard. Trump will dismantle the dogmatism of Obama's secular church.)

Other factors undermining our
Catholic mission and identity come
from within, either through explicit
dissent, miscatechesis or personal
conduct that tends to draw people
away from the communion of the
Church. (My comment: Amen to that! And this is where the Magisterium needs to wake up, especially in Rome!)
 We encouraged civil rights
laws to promote equality and unity
in society. More and more, however,
measures passed in the guise of
“anti-discrimination” are being used
divisively to favor one group over
another and deny equality to others.
Suddenly terms like “discrimination,”
“freedom of choice” and “human
rights” have been distorted and turned
upside-down to restrict religious
 With belief in God sidelined,
the recognition of an objective truth
and common moral order is no longer
held by many. We are increasingly told
that what we hold is irrational and
to disagree with the new culture is
“discrimination.”  (My comment: This is the dogmatism of the new religion of secularism!)

In December 2014 the District of
Columbia passed two pieces of
legislation that directly challenge the
ability of Catholic institutions to live
out their Catholic identity. The first
act called the Reproductive Health
Non-Discrimination Amendment
Act (RHNDA) would force religious
institutions, faith based organizations
and pro-life advocacy organizations
to hire and retain individuals
whose public speech and conduct
defy the mission of their employer. (BINGO!)
 The second law called
the Human Rights Amendment Act
(HRAA) repeals the 1989 amendment
to the District of Columbia Code
that protected religiously affiliated
schools from having to endorse, fund
or provide other assistance for the
promotion of sexual conduct contrary
to their faith and moral beliefs. Some
writers have referred to this as the
imposition of a state enforced sexual
morality on Catholic institutions.
This too is done in the name of “anti-
(My Comment: And Finally, I think this last paragraph presages the future election and  is what forced the silent majority of Catholics and other Christians to vote against HRC and President Obama's secular, dogmatic Church, the marginalization of true believers by calling them bigots in order to silence them in the public square! I don't think we can underestimate the resentment this has created among orthodox, believing Christians and they retaliated last Tuesday in the voting booth! And good for them!) :

It has become increasingly acceptable
– in the media, academia, and even
the courts – to disparage as bigoted
and mean-spirited anyone who seeks
to uphold fundamental truths about
the human person that have been
recognized throughout history. In
a time when for many the supreme
civic virtue is “tolerance,” the Catholic
faith is considered intolerable. In a
time when prejudice has been all but
outlawed, anti-Catholicism gets a pass.
It is, as more than one scholar has
observed, the one remaining acceptable
An aggressive secularism and
relativism assert a new morality.
Those views that do not follow the
new “moral” order are effectively
“outlawed.” Anyone who challenges
the new order as false is branded as
“intolerant” and pressured to remain
Claims of discrimination should not
be allowed to become the new weapon
for diminishing religious freedom
and outlawing institutional Catholic
identity (
Evangelii gaudium
, 55).


TJM said...

For all of his fine words, Cardinal Wuerl is a quisling, a power broker who has made his deal with Mammon. He has never met a fake catholic politician who is an abortion (infanticide)supporter whom he would call out and bar from receiving Holy Communion. Wuerl is part of the problem, not the solution. He should resign his see, go to a monastery to pray for forgiveness for his cowardice in the face of pure evil, and let a warrior for Christ take his place. Full disclosure: I used to be a fan of Wuerl's many years ago, but he just doesn't have the guts to speak "truth to power."

Anonymous said...

Really...Cardinal Wuerl? Why would any faithful Catholic bother listening to him?! The man openly promotes dissent in the Church. He was behind Cardinal Burke being humiliated. Wuerl was the one who disciplined a priest because the priest refused communion to a practicing, lesbian, Buddist! Wuerl even apologized to that woman the same day! I don't trust him anymore than I trust Francis to guide me in the Catholic Faith. No faithful Catholic would. He is a Judas just like the current bishop of Rome.

Mark Thomas said...

From Rorate Caeli:

"With Democrats' loss in the US, Francis becomes the leader of the Global Left."

‏"Very bizarre to think of Pope as leader of World Socialism - but w/ Obama gone on Jan. 20, that will be new reality:"

That is good news. As the "Global Left" and "World Socialism" are led supposedly by His Holiness Pope Francis, then leftists believe in Jesus Christ, are pro-life, accept marriage between a man and woman only, promote Humanae Vitae, renounce violence, will beat swords into ploughshares, cease to support the homosexual lobby, will respect Catholicism, and will renounce everything related to the Culture of Death.

That is great news. I hope that right-wing, vicious-toward-Pope-Francis Rorate Caeli is correct in that left-wingers/socialists are led by our God-centered and peaceful Pope Francis.

That would be more than Rorate Caeli could say.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Rorate Caeli has attacked and misrepresented His Holiness Pope Francis...par for the course with Rorate Caeli...via the following bit of nonsense via Roberto de Mattei:

"With Democrats' loss in the US, Francis becomes the leader of the Global Left."

"The Cardinal Secretary of State, Parolin sent the Holy See’s congratulations to Donald Trump...correcting, or tempering, that of Pope Francis, who has never concealed his intolerance with the candidate for the American presidency."

-- I guess that I missed that. His Holiness Pope Francis has "never concealed his intolerance with..." Donald Trump? Oh. Okay.

"For his part, after Clinton’s defeat, Francesco now remains the only point of reference for the international left, [now] lacking a leader. On November 5th at the conclusion of the Third World Meeting of the so-called “Popular Movements” in the Vatican, in the presence of revolutionary agitators from the five continents, Pope Francis turned to them saying: “I make your cry mine”."

-- I read Pope Francis' address to the participants in question. Pope Francis delivered an address laced with Catholic Social Teaching.

The "revolutionary agitators" invited to the Holy See included including "anti-mafia campaigns, anti-human trafficking networks, environmental groups, activist organizations for the homeless and landless, trade unions, and many others."

Oh..."revolutionary agitators" know...people who work for peace and the promotion of human dignity.

Again, Pope Francis' address in question was filled with Catholic Social Teachings which, of course, right-wingers despise.

Example (from Crux): Pope Francis noted that “scandalous sums” are laid out to save banks from bankruptcy, but similar investments don’t seem to be forthcoming to address the “bankruptcy of humanity” represented by poverty, conflict, environmental devastation, and other maladies that affect ordinary people."

Oh, my! What terrible "left-wing" thinking! How dreadful!

-- Pope Francis said..."Mercy is not easy, not easy…it requires courage. Jesus tells us: ‘Do not be afraid,’ because mercy is the best antidote to fear. It is much better than antidepressants and anxiolytics. It’s much more effective than walls, gates, alarms, and weapons. And it is free: it is a gift from God.”

Wow! Utter left-wing nonsense from Pope Francis. Shocking! Shocking!

-- Pope Francis said..."The various derivative terrorisms, such as narco-terrorism, the terrorism of the state, and those forms erroneously called ethnic and religious, all feed off this basic terrorism.

"But terrorism begins when ‘you throw away the marvel of creation, man and woman, and put money in their place.’ Such a system is terroristic.”

That is enough! I can't take any more of Pope Francis' "left-wing/socialist" nonsense.

Imagine a Pope who reminds us that we are called to uphold the dignity of God's children!

Terrible! Terrible! Left-wing drivel.

Thank you, right-wing Rorate Caeli, for having called attention to the "left-wing" garbage that Pope Francis know, Catholic Social Teaching.


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness we have such astute, well-read commentators hereabouts. Othetwise, how would a faithful Catholic know who are the good guys and who are the bad guys in the hierarchy?

If it weren't for your guys, I might be tempted to listen to a bishop....

Adam Michael said...

"Terrible! Terrible! Left-wing drivel."

You sound a little out of control. Hillary supporter or just a diva?

TJM said...

Mark Thomas,right-wing, right-wing, right-wing, blah blah blah. Is Soros still paying you to post hear?

Pope Francis sees the world through a left-wing prism. Social Justice is not stealing from the productive to give to the non-productive. Our Lord spoke of charity, not income redistribution by the state. Capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than socialism, which only works until you run out of other peoples' money.

Francis' environmental encyclical was laughable. Telling us to not use air conditioning.
A lot of the frail and ill would die without it. I guess that's mercy in the left-wing world.

Your standard close-out of "Pax" rings hollow.I recall the concentration camps posted "Work Makes You Free" over the entrance.

Mark Thomas said...

The two-faced Rorate Caeli blog...

On the day of his election, Rorate Caeli portrayed Pope Francis as a radical leftist.

Today on their blog and via Twitter, Rorate Caeli continued in that direction as they declared Pope Francis as the leader (yeah...right) of the "Global Left" and "World Socialism."

However, as the following link proves, on June 3, 2014 A.D., Rorate Caeli portrayed Pope Francis as a traditional Catholic in regard to the Church's Social Teaching.

Why has Rorate Caeli trafficked in two extremely different presentations of Pope Francis? Why would Rorate Caeli claim that Pope Francis is a traditional Catholic in regard to Social Teaching...but isn't a traditional Catholic in regard to Social Teaching?

In 2014 A.D., Rorate Caeli declared the following:

"Very few indeed have been making the case, a case that is true, that the positions stated by Pope Francis on economic and social matters are much closer to the Traditional Catholic position on the economy and the State than not.

"Indeed, it can be said unhesitatingly that this is one area in which the Pope will find mostly allies in Traditional Catholics. They know by heart, also as victims of injustice (including within the Church), that the doctrine of the Church regarding people, society and economic relations, and individuals faced with government, is one which privileges "justice" as its foundational aspect."

********************************"By criticizing the current Pope when he indeed defends positions kept by his predecessors on Social Doctrine (admittedly, Pope Francis often fills such defense with unexpected idiosyncrasies, but not essential deviations), "Conservatives" bring themselves to an untenable position." *********************************

Why is Rorate Caeli two-faced in regard to Pope Francis? What gives? In my next comment, Father McDonald-permitting, I will answer those question.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Why is Rorate Caeli two-faced in regard to Pope Francis? What gives?

If you go to the following link, you will find two very interesting things:

Unlike their declarations that he's a radical leftist and leader of world socialism, Rorate Caeli declared that that Pope Francis is traditional in regard to Catholic Social Teaching. Also the blog post in question, Rorate Caeli allowed for an attack against Father John Zuhlsdorf's supposed lack of adherence to Catholic Social Teaching.

Are those things related? Well, consider the following: Rorate Caeli has a history of having criticized Father Zuhlsdorf, who is categorized as a mere "conservative."

Just recently (October 22, 2016 A.D., via Twitter), Rorate Caeli attacked Father Zuhlsdorf via the following comment:

"Who are the rubes that give @fatherz money to live his bizarre life? How do they watch him eat his way around the globe with their income??

From the first day of his Pontificate, Rorate Caeli portrayed Pope Francis as a radical, left-winger who is at odds with Church teaching. Today, Rorate Caeli declared that Pope Francis is the leader of the Global Left/World Socialism.

But for some strange reason, Rorate Caeli, via digs directed at Father Zuhlsdorf (along with conservatives who don't uphold Catholic Social Teaching, insisted that Pope Francis is traditional in regard to Catholic Social Teaching.

Did Rorate Caeli believe that? Or did Rorate Caeli declare Pope Francis as a traditionalist in regard to Social Teaching simply to attack Father portray Father Zuhlsdorf as disloyal to the Church and Pope Francis?


One thing is certain: Rorate Caeli is two-faced in regard to Pope Francis.

Rorate Caeli is on record as having declared Pope Francis a traditionalist in regard to Catholic Social well as the supposed leader of the Global Left/World Socialism.

Rorate Caeli's vicious attacks against the Vicar of Christ have exposed Rorate as two-faced in their dealings with Pope Francis.


Mark Thomas

TJM said...

Mark Thomas,

I bet you were just fine with the vile attacks on Pope Benedict by the left-wing, left-wing, left-wing, National Anti-Catholic Reporter!

Mark Thomas said...

TJM, I was not fine with the vile attacks against Pope Benedict XVI.

You may recall that left-wingers weren't the only folks who assaulted Pope Benedict XVI verbally. There were/are right-wing Catholics who insisted that Pope Benedict XVI is a modernist/heretic.

Please review the SSPX's verbal lashings that they delivered against then-Cardinal Ratzinger. The SSPX insisted that Cardinal Ratzinger was a modernist.


Mark Thomas