when Catholics are not Catholic
up a child in the way he should go:
and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
It has become increasingly “correct”
not only to ignore the past, but to repudiate it — even expunge it (except,
of course, when the past provides fodder for grievances that may have
once existed, were redressed, and are no longer authentic) — in this
sense it is the sine qua non of the liberal/progressive mindset
— which is intolerant of any tolerance of intolerance. What had informed
us as a nation articulated in moral terms inseparable from its Christian
origins has not simply become banal but abhorrent. “This is not the
America we knew,” we may say in any nostalgic review of the present
state of this country. It is a different America that has become the
symbolic and ultimately hollow statuary of an increasingly secular,
liberal, and elitist hegemony of powerful and wealthy institutions and
This especially pertains to the role
of religion in the public polity … if it is allowed at all in public
discourse — and increasingly it is not; and not just religion in general
(as we find, say, in China and North Korea), but specific religions:
Christian religions in general and Catholicism in particular. Islam
— because it is feared by our politicians and policy-makers — is largely
exempt and accrues to itself a special protected status much like the
“protected-class” of homosexual citizens — against whom alone incivility
is actionable, falling under the protection of special “civil-rights”
not accorded other citizens.
That the Catholic Church (not the largely
corrupt and disaffected bishops, priests, Religious, and nominal Catholics
who populate administrative offices in the dioceses and dicasteries)
is the primary obstacle to many of the pernicious policies of recent
administrations is unmistakable. The Catholic Church is (or at least
was) the sole moral impediment to the corrosive perversities (social,
moral, and political) that are legislated against the American people.
There are brave and uncompromising bishops and Catholics … but
relatively speaking they are few.
It is significant that up to 52 % of
Catholics voted for Barack Obama and Joseph Biden and endorsed the platform
of the Democratic Party in the last three presidential elections. This
platform endorses abortion, genital mutilation, wide-spread contraception,
the propagation of the homosexual (LGBT) agenda, the HHS Mandate
which violates the most fundamental principle of the rights of conscience,
radical feminism, judicial activism and legislation, embryo destructive
research, human cloning, and had rescinded (refused to enforce) the
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) describing it as unconstitutional
(in their twisted opinion) — to name a few.
In so many words, more half of all
Catholics turned their back on their Faith in favor of prevailing social
sentiment. Perhaps this is too broad a statement: let us say, rather,
that those who identified themselves as Catholics did so — largely due
to their deeply misinformed and dissident understanding of their own
Catholic Faith. That is to say, many of those who identify themselves
as Catholic (those who adhere to authentic teachings of the Catholic
Church) … really are not. This statement will infuriate these “Catholics”
who bitterly (and illogically) contend that their Faith and their politics
are separable; that the authority of the Church and the teachings of
Jesus Christ do not extend to the political polls or, for that matter,
to their own sexual lives; that there are civic and personal boundaries
beyond which neither Christ nor His Church may trespass, and beyond
which they possess no competent authority.
Just as there is a separation of Church
and State in America, there is a separation of Faith and politics —and
most fundamentally (and most illogically) a separation between Faith
and the very articles and dogmas specific to it and which themselves
inform it as a specific, a unique, religion distinct from any other.
These “Catholics” are, we may say, “partly-Catholic” — they “agree with
some, or few, but not all” of the Church’s magisterial teachings.
They are Catholic in much the way that
the new capitalist entrepreneurs in communist China are Communist. That
Capitalism and Communism are incompatible economic and political models
does not appear to influence what they think and believe, let alone
what they do. In what sense, we are forced to ask, are they Communists
at all if everything they do is predicated on what is clearly Capitalism?
A rich communist is the equivalent of a poor capitalist — or an atheist
Catholic. It is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.
It is not that we fail to recognize
this contradiction (logically we cannot), but that we deliberately refuse
to recognize the incompatibility at all. It is, at best, a thin but
resilient veneer much like the meniscus enclosing a bead of water upon
a smooth waxed surface: were logic permitted to penetrate the social
meniscus that supports this bead of otherwise mutually exclusive ideologies
it would collapse under the artificial and unsustainable contradiction.
By policy and a presumed social expedience, we deny the needle of logic
its due, even legislate against it, because it would be inconvenient
to and incompatible with the purpose (the policy, really) at hand.
There is only one way to reconcile incompatibilities:
ignore them. That is the preference of 50% of Catholics at the
polls: “I am a faithful Catholic, but in the way of social issues I
am an atheist.” It is the same logic we see at work in China: “I am
a faithful communist, but in the way of monetary issues and real estate
appropriation I am a capitalist.” Wang Jianlin, originally of Sechuan,
reportedly has $15.1 billion in assets. According to Forbes magazine,
“China boasts a record 152 members of the 2014 edition of the annual
Forbes Billionaires ...” China is officially a communist country;
indeed, the largest … and wealthiest. What of the dissonance
between the official and the actual? We ignore it, insisting that China
is a Communist country. The Leadership Conference of Women Religious
(LCWR) in America and the Chinese billionaires appear to have much in
common. They are both among “the faithful” of their putative ideologies,
however irreconcilable their conduct is with their ostensible professions
(one political, “I am a committed communist … billionaire,” and one
religious, “I am a professed Catholic Religious … Pro-abortion sister”).
Ignorance as the Propaedeutic
As we had said earlier, the only one
way to reconcile incompatibilities is to ignore them. Of course, this
is not reconciling them at all … it is merely methodologically suspending
them. Acknowledged incompatibilities paralyze us. We can only move beyond
them by suspending them. This, of course, is the implicit acknowledgment
that we recognize them — and therein lays the guilt.
Even according to the scandalously liberal
National Catholic Reporter (NCR):
“We found that half of adult Catholics
(50 percent) know the church’s teaching regarding the real presence
and half do not. We also found that close to two-thirds of adult Catholics
(63 percent) believe that “at the consecration during a Catholic Mass,
the bread and wine really become
the body and blood of Jesus Christ.” 2
Upon reading a thoughtfully written
article in Crisis Magazine titled Saving Catholic Culture
from Destruction by Michael Tamara, which I encourage you to read,
three verses from Holy Scripture immediately come to mind — and one
from a very early Church Father:
First, the Biblical:
these my words in your hearts and minds, and hang them for a sign on
your hands, and place them between your eyes. Teach your children that
they meditate on them, when you sit in your house, and when you walk
on the way, and when you lie down and get up.” (Deut. 11.18-19)
“The Lord hath sworn truth to David, and he will not make
it void: of the fruit of your womb, I will sit upon your throne. If
your children will keep your covenant, and these my testimonies which
I shall teach them: Their children also for evermore shall sit upon
your throne.” (Ps. 13.11-12)
up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not
depart from it.” (Prov. 22.6)
And from St. Ephraim the Syrian (306-373
“Do nothing at all without the beginning
of prayer. With the Sign of the living Cross, seal all your doings,
my son. Go not forth from the door of your house till you have signed
the Cross. Whether in eating or in drinking, whether in sleeping or
in waking, whether in your house or on the road, or again in the season
of leisure, neglect not this sign; for there is no guardian like it.
It shall be unto you as a wall, in the forefront of all your doings.
And teach this to your children, that heedfully they be conformed to
The admittedly lengthy preface to this
article was been articulated simply as an exordium to a much more important
issue, a fundamentally deeper issue that Holy Scripture — and St. Ephraim
— bring to relief. It is an issue of failure, specifically the failure
to hand on, to deliver, Sacred Tradition, together with the unequivocal
dogma and indisputable teaching authority through which it was articulated.
Let us be clear then:
since Vatican II, Catholics have not just failed to hand on (L.
tradere, as in tradition), to deliver, their Catholic
Faith to their children — they have resolutely refused to. They
had lost the Faith, or retained only a diminishing similitude to it,
churned their children through useless and often heretical CCD and Catechetical
programs in which they learned nothing of it, and then flocked to the
polls to support every issue contrary to authentic Catholic teaching.
They had pre-marital sex to which their parents turned a blind eye or
simply winked, and then had the abortions that followed. Abortions require
abortuaries and necessitated the abattoir, the slaughter-house, of Planned
Parenthood — which then took the responsibility (which we had abdicated)
to teach our children, and subsequently taught them everything … including
every sexual perversity … from primary school on.
You simply paid the money to psychiatrists
and psychologists to help our children sort out a sexual identity crisis
that would never have existed had we done our work and kept your Faith
instead of leaving it to the government and NGOs. When our children
committed suicide, we scratched your head and wondered why; when they
developed incurable STDs we paid for the prescriptions; when they had
abortions, we drove them there … and comforted them with lies that their
lives would be the same. And if we live long enough to be “could-have-been-grandparents”
we may have watched our daughter fall into irrecoverable depression
in the prime of her life ... and we may have even waked her at our local
funeral parlor. We were “correct” … and she correctly died.
We may have grandchildren we know nothing
of because we told our son that condoms were the answer to “safe fornication”
and his sexual promiscuity — rather than encouraging him to be
chaste. Or perhaps he acquired AIDS from another women or man or both
— because sexual promiscuity and perversion are “correct” in our culture,
that is to say, the culture we ruined, together, with all that
had once accompanied it and which was noble and good and demanding.
We brought ruin to ourselves, and now
we bring it to our children that all may equally perish. Wasn’t it all
about “equality” anyway … “acceptance” and “tolerance?” When we decided
that there was nothing that was “right” or “wrong” … only “different”
and “acceptable”? Consequences? What are they? Haven’t we genetically
engineered them to our liking yet? And there is, after all, no God,
we arrogantly proclaim — until you hope that there is when we or our
These are harsh, severe sayings; cruel
pronouncements, you say? They are far less cruel and infinitely less
harsh than realities that will come to our doors — unless we teach our
children as Holy Mother the Church once taught us before we despised
Her in our arrogance and vanity; perhaps as cruel as the government
and social correctitude that brought us to the sad state in which you
find ourselves today.
Emptiness and Despair follow when Catholics are no
When we lost God, we lost everything.
Everything. Our children, our country, our freedom, and ultimately our
souls. This is the cruelest consequence of all.
But we are “enlightened” “educated”
“progressive” … an “intellectual” — aren’t we? And these are the things
of children. Yes? Would that they were only of children ….
Oh, yes! The remedy! Teach your own
children better than your parents had taught you. Teach them authentic
Catholic doctrine, and not the prevailing and perverse social sentiments
that have percolated into the Church and which will poison their minds,
depredate their bodies, and cost them their immortal souls.
You may have lost yours already. But give your kids a break. “Train
up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not
depart from it.” (Prov. 22.6) … the way that you did.
Geoffrey K. Mondello
Boston Catholic Journal
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Totally Faithful to the Sacred
Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in Rome
opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum
Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum”
know your works ... that you have but little power, and
yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name.”
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