If You Find A Good Fight, Get In It! On another threat to religious liberty and an important summons to act.

We have discussed on this blog before the slow but steady erosion of religious liberty here in America (HERE, HERE, & HERE). We are experiencing a time wherein it is increasingly asserted that the only place for religious expression in our culture is inside church buildings. Religious involvement of any sort in the public forum is often intentionally forbidden.  Interpretations of the “separation of Church and State” (a phrase not found in the Constitution) are becoming more extreme in the secular sense. In addition, another threat to religious liberty is that common Catholic teachings are increasingly be labeled as “hate-speech.”

All this has meant that the Church is beginning to face legislation that, if enacted, will limit our practice of the faith or seek to compel us to act against our faith. A lawsuit was recently initiated against the Catholic University of America indicating that it’s policy of single sex dorms violates the human rights law of the District of Columbia. Catholic Charities recently had to give up its adoption agency (one of the largest in the City) because it could not accept being required to give no favor to heterosexual couples over homosexual ones. Many Church agencies have also face various suits and actions by State and local governments requiring our medical plans to provide contraceptives and/or pay for abortions.

Even where there are “religious exemptions” written into laws (so they can pass legislatures), State and Federal agencies are increasingly interpreting these in a very strict sense. Hence, a Catholic agency or university can only be considered Catholic (and therefore exempt) if it serves only Catholics and employs only Catholics. This standard can obviously not be met in 99% of the cases, since Catholic institutions, agencies and parishes serve everyone and usually employ non-Catholics in many positions.

So here we are, in an increasingly hostile and secular atmosphere wherein our religious liberty is being threatened. As would be expected from the currently hyper-sexualized culture, most of the threats center around our teaching on human sexuality. And this is seen from the examples above.

A recent and national threat comes from the Obama Administration and it centers on requiring ALL insurers to provide contraceptives for their clients. Here in the Archdiocese our Archbishop, Cardinal Wuerl, was informed us of what he calls an unprecedented attack on religious liberty:

In implementing the new health care reform law, HHS recently issued a rule that requires private health care plans nationwide to cover contraception and sterilization as “preventative services” for women. The new rule would force all insurance plans to cover “all Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity.” The mandate includes drugs that may cause an abortion both before and after implantation of a newly conceived human being. Never before has the federal government required private health plans to include such coverage.

The narrow religious exemption in HHS’s new rule protects almost no one. It covers only a “religious employer” that has the “inculcation of religious values” as its purpose and primarily employs and serves persons who share its religious tenets. Most Catholic charitable organizations that serve the public, including hospitals, health care clinics, social service programs, and schools, colleges and universities, will be ineligible. Individuals and religiously affiliated health insurers will not qualify for the exemption.

The public comment period on this rule ends September 30. The USCCB is encouraging Catholics to send an e-mail message to HHS urging our government leaders to ensure that such federal regulations do not violate Americans’ moral and religious convictions. This can be easily done simply by visiting The USCCB Website on Conscience and Religious Liberty

Please share the attached information with your parishioners and encourage them to send their comments to HHS by the September 30th deadline.

Well, you know I would like you, who read this to do the same. Please send your comments before September 30 to HHS.The Fundamental message to HHS is this:

“Pregnancy is not a disease, and drugs and surgeries to prevent it are not basic health care that the government should require all Americans to purchase. Please remove sterilization and prescription contraceptives from the list of ‘preventive services’ the federal government is mandating in private health plans. It is especially important to exclude any drug that may cause an early abortion, and to fully respect religious freedom as other federal laws do. The narrow religious exemption in HHS’s new rule protects almost no one. I urge you to allow all organizations and individuals to offer, sponsor and obtain health coverage that does not violate their moral and religious convictions.”

Please note, as we have been saying, as our world gets more secular, threats to religious liberty and efforts to compel the religiously observant to comply with secular norms is going to increase. We have to fight this at every stage and insist on our rights or they will be taken from us. Sadly, since the attacks are occurring on many fronts, we have to remain very vigilant and at times will sound like a broken record as we bring these threats before the people of God. But bring them we must.

Further, do not allow the militant secularists to attempt to shame you into silence or submission. They will inevitably raise charges (probably right in this combox) that we hate homosexuals, or women, or “sexual freedom” and want to impose our values etc. Do not give way to the notion that anyone should be able to compel us by Law to act against what our faith teaches, or pay for things we consider immoral and in some cases murderous (i.e. abortion). Others will try and say “You’re making a mountain out of a mole hill…no one is taking away your liberty.” But asking us to pay for contraceptives and abortifacients  is no mole hill and any attack against our liberty that is ceded is sure to bring more.

If you find a good fight – get in it. And this is a good and necessary fight, not only for Catholics but for people of all faiths, for militant secularism threatens us all. Write to HHS today by going here: The USCCB Website on Conscience and Religious Liberty

Photo credit: Department of HHS, thanks to Flickr user liangjinjian, available under by-nc-nd v2.0

51 Replies to “If You Find A Good Fight, Get In It! On another threat to religious liberty and an important summons to act.”

  1. Jesus was made in our image in the male form!! For crying out loud …Wake up America and the WHOLE WORLD before its too late!!!God forgive us for we know not what we do!!

      1. It took me seven years, as a handicap adult, to receive Extreme Unction. Before that, it was a policy of show up for mass, or don’t receive, sacramentally. Yes, the devil does know what he is doing !!! Might I suggest
        that more Bishops become active in performing excorcisms? Oh, yes, what am I saying. Most Bishops don’t have a clue as to what to do, first. One could bring a halt toward teaching the incarnation, birth, life, death plus resurrection of Christ from the perspective of vampires ( Vitalism ), and bring back the Codified Missal,
        so that the Laity will become more productive in praying prayers of deliverance.
        Just a thought.

  2. As much as I agree with you that certain pieces of legislation really are increasingly stifling to the free practice of religion in particular arenas, I must disagree that this means that :”Religious involvement of any sort in the public forum is often intentionally forbidden.” I think American’s protection of free speech and free expression are still quite intact: not only are you allowed to post what you are posting without fear of repercussion, but I also think that the fear that speaking your mind about homosexuality will become a crime is, for the foreseeable future, equally ill-founded. Why do I think this?

    Just look at Westboro Baptist Church. If anyone in America should be prosecuted for hate speech against homosexuality (and just about everyone else for that matter), it should be this group of radicals who run godhatesfags.com and who perform very public and virulent demonstrations at all manners of events, including the funerals of service members. But they have proven a test case that I think contradicts at least some of your worries: in Snyder v. Phelps, the Supreme Court protected Westboro Baptist’s right to spread their message. In the decision, we find, “What Westboro said, in the whole context of how and where it chose to say it, is entitled to ‘special protection’ under the First Amendment and that protection cannot be overcome by a jury finding that the picketing was outrageous.”

    As for the question of providing public services, I think it is regrettable that legislation has caused fine Catholic Charities to shut down. To some degree this may simply be the price of living in such a heterogeneous society; services provided to the public are increasingly subject to certain sorts of requirements and restrictions that may not be amenable to private providers.

    1. Well, going to the extremes as in Westboro doesn’t make for a realistic discussion. What I am raising is real, actual, pending legislation that ought to concern you. While you may think that free speech is still intact, I can assure you that if you chose to sit back and wave your hand at things like this, even that will continue to erode. I have been explicitly asked on several occasions not to mention Jesus or God the Father in public settings. The expectation that God be unmentioned in public settings is something that has changed dramatically in my own short 50 years in this Country. I recommend you be a little less sanguine when it comes to such things and be less prone to assign what we are experiencing as “simply” the price of living in a heterogeneous society. Things like this legislation need to be strongly resisted and even if we are a minority in the increasingly “heterogeneous society” the rights of minorities ought to be respected in this regard. You may wish to dismiss this, but if you do, I promise you, the “heterogeneous society” will knock on your own door soon enough and when you finally cry “foul” it may be too late.

      1. Scotty,
        Just to add; I turned 13 years old in 1972. In that 40 years we’ve gone from abortion being illegal, to my right of free speech in handing out literature or evangelising at a clinic, resulting in a RICO prosecution. In the same time period we’ve gone from not even talking about gay rights to the forced usurption of marriage and “hate crimes” if one calls homosexual acts a sin. These things don’t happen in a week or a year, they usually take about 30 years to evolve. Don’t get boiled in that proverbial slow cooked pot.

        1. Well said, I might add that I am currently unaware of any prosecutions for speaking against homosexual acts in this country under hate crime legislation. But in Canada, England and other parts of Europe it is already happening. In this country the groundwork is being laid for such a possibility and we do well to be very vigilant that Catholic orthodoxy not become a “crime.”

  3. Absolutely a cause necessary to speak out and speak loudly on!!!! As a sidewalk counselor at local abortion mills I see the result of the sexual revolution and one of the fruits of this ugly revolution; abortion. Although Washington needs a clear and concise message so do the “Catholic” physicians working in “Catholic” hospitals providing birth control to their “Catholic” patients!!!
    Let us hear from the pulpit about the sacred gift our human sexuality is. A gift given to us by GOD to be used to affirm love between ‘two’ people in a married, committed state and to bring about life!

    Time is short, WAKE UP WORLD!!!

  4. Well Mr. Ellis you may soon get your wish, I think whats happening will eventually lead to violent civil conflict.

      1. Mgsr. I believe this will occur because there cannot be two versions of the Truth and then expect society to survive. I am convinced that this administration knows that the Catholic Church when its leaders are Faithful to Christ His Church’s teaching are the greatest threat to their agenda. They will do all in their power to shut us down one way or another. And when in the Name of Our Lord are the Bishops going to remove the velvet glove and put on an iron fist when it comes to professional catholics like Cuomo, Pelosi etc, do you honestly believe Cardinal Spellman would Not have excommunciated Cuomo after he pushed so called “gay marriage” to pass in New York…Oh Lord let the incompetent and weak Vatican II generation pass from the scene soon….

  5. Scotty, this is not an attack on you. But it is that very attitude that has allowed the Devil to degrade society to it’s current level and make this an issue.

  6. Elections have consequences. We are living under a soft despotism with this Democratic Administration. And, it is wonderful that Cardinal George recognizes it as a “despotism”. (It’s hardly shocking to learn that our HHS Secretary Sebelius considers herself a “Catholic”.) Why can’t the Church police it’s own? That much I’ll never understand.

    No relief will come until January 2013. A letter campaign to the HHS is too little, too late. Vote R! Maybe that is what Cardinal George really needs to say.

      1. But this is precisely the problem. You argue forcefully for the defence of religious liberty, especially Catholic freedoms, yet many Catholics in power either actively support legislation that limit religious freedom or contravene directly Church teachings. Yet we rarely – if ever – hear USCCB or other Church leaders speak out with a loud voice on it. We rarely hear our clergy preach on these issues (I suspect you might be an exception). Archbishop Donal and others seem to favor a low-key approach to engagement with government on these sensitive issues. So – where is the leadership from our Church leaders? Do they even have a comprehensive approach? Do they agree on what they would like laity to do? Rather than criticise Scotty for his views, I would ask what are clergy (like you) doing to get our Church leaders to be more assertive?

    1. John, Umm, no. As a Catholic, I cannot vote R as a ticket any more than I can vote D at the moment. We need a real candidate who can represent the Catholic preservation of life and religious liberty and make sense on other policies, too. Capital punishment is not OK in this country – we can hold those people for a greater chance at conversion. Besides, I don’t want a policy of killing bad people if ‘bad people’ keeps getting redefined to include good people…

      And Jeff Galloway, Church leaders should be more assertive in pursuing public figures, but there is a line to walk. This country has a history of anti-Catholicism and didn’t want to elect a Catholic president who would have ‘loyalties to the pope’ just 40 years ago, so our chance of electing a good Catholic gets smaller if the Church leaders don’t use caution and are sure to have the best interest of the individual’s soul and any possibility of scandal in mind. Plus don’t point fingers at clergy without recognizing that we lay people need to do our part, too. Have you written any letters?

  7. Scotty, you may want to read the novel by Robert Hugh Benson called “Lord of the World”. It very vividly shows the consequences of the “slippery slope” – of not speaking up while there still may be time.

  8. Not using contraception is a silly rule, but it’s Catholic’s silly rule, and we need laws to protect free religious practice even for the rules we non-religious find ridiculous. Not eating or serving pork or alcohol, even to non-Muslims, is one of Islam’s silly rules. But we should protect this, too. It may mean that some Muslims will not be able to work in certain restaurants, or some Catholics may not be able to work in certain hospitals. But for Catholic programs, they should be allowed to prohibit the sale of what they think is wrong. It seems to be a basic concept about religious freedom. I accept the separation of Church and State for this very reason: this is an example of the State crossing the line.

    Hopefully this will fail, and I for one will be happy, as a non-Catholic, to write to HHS about this. I will encourage some of my fellow secularists to to the same.

    But I hope you remember this principle in the future, in case the tides turn. If Catholics get to have a strong sway in the culture of the US, I hope they don’t try to make contraception illegal again. Restricting the freedom of others in this way is just as bad as what HHS is trying to do to you.

    1. Mr. Rimmer, the opposition to contraception is not a peculiarly Catholic discipline of no relevance to the rest of the world. Contraception is an objective evil in all cases. In every instance it is degrading to marriage and to children who are (or ought to be) the fruits of marriage. In multiple ways it is offensive and even dangerous to human dignity. It would be a very good thing if governments were to prohibit contraception, just as we wish to see abortion outlawed, just as we are glad to have laws enforced against robbery, kidnapping, and rape.

      1. Just remember, it’s people with good intentions just like you, but on the other side of the fence, that are pushing for these contraception mandates.

        I think it’s in general bad policy to pass laws forcing anyone go against his or her conscience. Even if the laws are for the objective good of the individual so forced, such laws often encourage subversive activity, and a complete lack of guilt about breaking the law. And then we go the way of the Prohibition era.

        Typically not a good idea.

    2. Alright Paul, we’ll owe you one! in saecula saeculorm. It is a true fact that contraception was all but illegal in this country until the 1950s. But that was due to a Christian and Jewish consensus that such a practice was wrong. It wasn’t so long ago that most Americans agreed even on this “silly” rule. The meltdown of moral consensus in this country has been steep and fast. I don’t think, even if Catholics miraculously go on the ascendancy in this country, we would demand illegality of contraceptives merely due to its private nature, but as the “prohibition” saga reminds us, it is difficult to make illegal certain more private behaviors.

      1. Very good to hear. I’ve sent out a hand-written letter, both to the HHS office and to my senators.

        1. True, true. But Paul, you do have to be careful – I like the gist of what you said, but you can’t make a rule that nothing against conscience can be outlawed or wrong, because a conscience must be formed. I want all abuse outlawed, even if some men feel it’s their right to beat their wives and would object to its illegality by say, running from the police in ‘conscientious objection.’ I want Saudi Arabia to back off a little on its treatment of women and children, and would work for that reversal were I a citizen there. I know you don’t mean it like that, but we do have to surrender to objective truth and objective evil.

      2. I like Msgr’s reply because it keeps in mind what Romulus misses, and that is that you can only bring people so far at a time, and work within the frame of your government (for us, democracy). All of us in the US theoretically believe in religious freedom, so this is a good place to work together for better legislature. If it were the 1940s and the government went whack and decided to legalize all contraception even through most people didn’t agree, it would be a good fight to pick to make it illegal again.

        Everything objectively evil should be countered, right now, in its own way. But whether that is by working to change the laws of a country is still an open question. For example contraception, right now, is a fight for Christians with their non-Christian friends, and for voting with your money, because so many are OK with its use. If most people in this democracy agreed to it, I would work to outlaw contraception for the reasons Romulus mentioned. But Paul is right that to outlaw something only a minority agrees with (a) isn’t very democratic, now is it? and (b) probably won’t work and will harden people in their subversive behavior, which isn’t what we want in the first place. Remember Moses and the issue of divorce because of the people’s hardened hearts?

        The one caveat: I don’t care how many people agree in a democracy or any form of government: when people are being abused or killed, it’s a fight worth fighting all the way. Nazi Germany, Darfur, or our own USA. Why? Because of the gravity of the offense being given to the most basic of natural law which is written on every human being’s heart.

  9. Sadly, the Churches in the West ( I mean specifically particular Churches) are paying the price for their own collective vacilations after Humanae Vitae and during the years when abortion policies were forming. That vacilation continues with the unwillingness to confront self-proclaimed Catholic politicians who openly disregard matters of faith. Scandal, in the moral sense, has it’s consequences and widespread scandal yields devastating fruits as we now see. Normalcy won’t return without having to pay heavily – in the form of white martyrdom on a wide scale.

    The Old Testament is replete with lessons on this and there is of course the Book of Revelation which warns of this. Vatican II proclaimed that we must change the world through our Christian witness. We have done just the opposite, letting the world change us, ironically through erroneous interpretations of that very Council – the hermeneutic of rupture as Pope Benedict XVI call it.

    In Christ,

  10. We should respond to this rule by protesting it. But here this…. the protests will likely be ignored as long as the pro-death Democratic party is in power. As the pro-death party they must marginalize those who oppose them, so they will marginalize orthodox Catholics. It should be blatantly obvious that the Democrats are the pro-death party as at every turn will further the abortion license Part and parcel of this is to marginalize reglious belief in general but Catholicism in particular. The Republicans are not perfect.. indeed they often leave much to be desired on the, but they are the only vehicle available for those who wish to oppose this kind of thing and indeed want to see any role in the public square for religion.. If anyone is serious about fighting this agressive secularization and accompanying ghettoizaton of religion being done so as to lock in the “culture of death” then they must vote to get the Democrats out of power. You will not hear this message from the USCCB. In fact the reason we have the legislation that empower Obama to do this is because the USCCB was ineffective in its oppsition to Obamacare ( saying we need “heath care reform” and thinking somehow that the Obama administration would create a “reform” not pleasing to its core pro-abortion constituiency. This is self deluding. So by all means comment on the rule, but if you want to actually defeat this, you must vote for the Republican in November. And remember what party controls the levers of power matters, in the choice between a pro-choice democrat and a pro-choice republican you are better off with the Republican, because the chairman ships of all the committees is in the hands of the party in power. If the Democrats control the committees the ability to fight against this kind of thing is limited.

    1. mdepie
      Now at the risk of poisoning the discussion and dragging down to a partisan level, just allow me to say that somewhere along the line a great number of Catholics got the idea that it is not really that important whether you
      vote for a pro-life canidate or one who supports life from beginning to end because,”there are other issues that
      are important and have to be discussed”. Now I`ll leave to your imagination wherever they might have gotten those ideas from. After all what is one more conservative Justice on the Supreme court. Why, they might even
      overturn Roe Vs.Wade. Pax

  11. First of all I would HIGHLY recommend that Catholics read the book “The Secrets, Chastisement and Triumph of the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary” and pass it on to your family and friends.

    Second thing…I think christians in America are partially to blame for the chaos in our country, the last poll I read indicated that over 85% of americans are christians, I think it’s pretty obvious that many are not practicing their faith, especially renegade catholics, so I guess we reap what we sow, we allowed a minority group of atheists, humanists, liberals, etc, to dictate the moral compass in this country and now we are seeing the fruits of this, the fact is no new president is going to be the saviour of our country, it’s only going to be prayer and a renewed consecration to Jesus and Mary as the book mentions.

  12. The majority of Catholics actively support these policies through their political choices. You could make the argument that our society’s laws would be more in line with Catholic teaching if there were no Catholics living in this country.

  13. mdepie, well said with regards to the USCCB. This is what Catholics are up against. Some bishops backing Democrats to solve poverty issues even though they are pro-choice. Perfect example is the recent article that went out to diocesan newspapers across the United States that presents Labor Secretary Hilda Solis as a model
    Catholic politician, as reported in Catholic Culture (Sept 2, 2011); while ignoring her 100% voting record rating from (NARAL Pro-Choice America) when she was a congesswoman from California where she even opposed
    restrictions on partial birth abortions. The laudatory profile by Catholic News Service, and independent division of, you ready, the USCCB headed by none other than Archbishop Dolan of New York. The state that passed same sex marriage law with little, according to the New York Times, to the surprise of gay activists, resistance
    from the Catholic Church. Arguably, the one institution that could have derailed it. This fight should have started a long time ago. Pax

    1. It is kind of sad to me, as a pro-life advocate, the way some pro-life Catholics go after the bishops no matter what they do. In this case the USCCB is doing a very good thing which should be praised and supported. But what do they get? A kind of you’re not doing enough attitude. There ARE other issues with which the Bishops must deal, and abortion is central. But the constant hostility from a few in the pro-life fight is wearying and does not encourage the discussion. Rather, it poisons it and drags it into a partisan place where it ought not be. Please very careful about your tone in these matters. Even the best pro-life bishops and priests are not helped by your sour notes.

      1. Msgr. Pope, one final point, if you will. I don`t point out inconsistencies in all bishops. There are some I think are contributing greatly to the Church. One of whom I am happy to say is the head of our Archdiocese and has been a very great inspiration to me, particularly in the fight against abortion. I`ve read his writings, some of them, and I
        admire and pray for him. Archbishop Chaput has stated in one of his writings, if I may, “this is why exiling religious faith from our debates over law and policy is so dangerous. Every such effort contradicts our own history. Religion has played a vital role in shaping American public morality. That`s not an opinion. It`s a fact. The only thing new in today`s discussion of religion and politics is the dishonesty of those who try to frame religion as a threat to public discourse.” And again, “politics is the struggle for the soul of the world. This is why Catholics always will be, and always should be, politically engaged.” Now here is an Archbishop who has and will tell a politician who dose`nt repent, if you vote for this you can not go to communion and you have commited
        a sin, and he will do it in a New York minute. In other words, he says what he means and he means what he says. No spin here. Pax

  14. Sorry Msgr. Pope. But they can`t have it both ways. When you back pro-choice Democrates and people who vote against partial birth abortions it becomes partisan. Murder is murder and for the dignity of life you either
    support it or you don`t, it`s that simple and if praising a woman who voted to end life with a 100% voting record
    in that matter is doing a good thing and we need to praise them for it well, you`ve lost me. No poison here Msgr.
    just the facts as reported from reliable sources and if the truth wearys them, I`m sorry and also sad. If Jesus did`nt speak out, He probably would never have been crucified. Pax

  15. Ok. So what happened with our right to freedom of religion and it’s practice there-of? Suddenly, we are challenged in our beliefs of freedoms to practice what we believe in the Gospel of Truth! I don’t get it! Muslims are allowed the freedom to stop and lay down their carpets to do their “holy prayers” on Friday, but the rest of us are treated like “chopped liver” and told we need to be “more open” to the “current practices” of “our times”. I’m sorry, but this is pure B-S. It’s NOT freedom, and it’s NOT fair! IT’s what we call “reverse discrimination”…and I will not sit by and allow this injustice to happen! Talk to the Islamic community! They know the truth! Tell THEM to use birth control, or to support abortion or homosexuality, and see what happens! I am Christian, but I know my brothers and sisters in truth…the Islamic community supports all that we Christians believe in, because they are ONE with God! I congratulate my Islamic brothers and sisters for the truth and morals which they embrace! We Christians need them as “brethren” to support us in the same moral issues that are being so ferociously attacked by the secular society, GOD BLESS YOU, children of Ishmael! THank you for your solid support in these most important issues! Life is LIFE! It cannot be bargained or challenged by relativism! There is no “grey” in this issue!!! The “truth is the truth”…and it cannot be “voted” upon to be changed! The TRUTh is finite and final, indefinite! Please stop trying to pervert the “truth”!!!

  16. i am sick and tired of the government trying to push their beliefs on the catholic church to conform to theirs. the law between the church and state was made go protect the church from the state and not the other way. i will not conform my beliefs to theirs. people should stand up and protest this health care system. i also will not go along with same sex marriage it makes me sick to think that they are making this a law. if they want to llive together then do so. thet can’t help what they are but they can help what they do.

  17. Msgr. Pope,

    I have great respect for your thoughts but I must disagree with your comments on bishops. Many bishops actively work to undermine the Holy Father, the Church, and the Faith. If anything, people are not being harsh enough in their criticism of certain bishops. I do agree, however, that blanket criticisms are not helpful but we need to be honest about who are friends are and who are not.

  18. Reminds me of 2 Timothy 1-9.
    1 You may be quite sure that in the last days there will be some difficult times.
    2 People will be self-centred and avaricious, boastful, arrogant and rude; disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, irreligious;
    3 heartless and intractable; they will be slanderers, profligates, savages and enemies of everything that is good;
    4 they will be treacherous and reckless and demented by pride, preferring their own pleasure to God.
    5 They will keep up the outward appearance of religion but will have rejected the inner power of it. Keep away from people like that.
    6 Of the same kind, too, are those men who insinuate themselves into families in order to get influence over silly women who are obsessed with their sins and follow one craze after another,
    7 always seeking learning, but unable ever to come to knowledge of the truth.
    8 Just as Jannes and Jambres defied Moses, so these men defy the truth, their minds corrupt and their faith spurious.
    9 But they will not be able to go on much longer: their folly, like that of the other two, must become obvious to everybody.

    Often I will only give the reference with the thought of inspiring people to read Holy Scripture but I wanted as many as possible to see this.

    When I joined a congregation 7 1/2 years ago and became baptized Catholic (by choice) most of my old aquaintances in non denominational Christianity parted company gently and wished me well but stuck firm in their belief of the importance in grass roots spirituality. Only a few reminded me of their right wing Jacobite belief; “The nearer to church, the further from God.”
    However, some are going out of their way to inform me of a growing agenda which includes a recommended boycott on small family type businesses which are owned by those who are of religions that are not Judaeo Christian in the belief that Satan is rapidly assimilating them in expectation of the day which is sealed and which only the Father knows. Fire arms and ammunition smeared in grease and buried in hiding; supplies of holy water for pump guns and the like is limited to only a few extremes but more are being contemplated by others.
    I’ve heard of a rousing song with a line taken from a Roger Whittaker piece with, “… our guns on fire as we sail into hell ..” adapted to, “…our guns on fire as we ram the gates of hell ..”
    I have recently observed on my own that some non religious groups who stress spiritual values; and who I’ve only been lightly affiliated with due to their lack of Godly faith; are starting to push a new (to me) concept that God is – and always was – the group conscience of the positive spiritual values of the human race. When I state my belief that such an entity may seem awesome to us but Satan would have no more trouble brushing such an entity aside than he would with a five year old who’s aimlessly flailing his fists – their reaction reminds me of part of 2 Peter 2:12 “But these people speak evil of what they do not understand; …” Some translations have “scoff” instead of evil. I’ve cut my ties with them.
    I’m trying not to sound too reactionary but, as long as I’ve touched on the “last days” topic I feel that I should mention Matthew 24:19 Mark 13:17 Luke 21:23 where woe is predicted for those who are pregnant or nursing babies. In the three hundred years, or so, since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution; more recently – the mismanagement of nuclear waste and toxic pesticide genes being spliced from such plants as marigolds onto food plants in genetic engineering I hear more and more reports of troubles with fetuses and mothers’ milk resulting.

  19. Msr Pope,
    There is a book called ” The shape of things to come” written before WWII. It lays out the path to world socialism over a 200 year period. It predicts WWII, schools in western countries falling apart, fall of Soviet communism, and the planned destruction of religion with emphasis on Catholic Church.
    After the Churches role in fall of Soviets, “they” will have to ensure a victory against Christianity.
    It was written by HG Wells…

  20. Our Lady of Fatima had already outlined the solution to all these problems. The trouble is that our Church leaders, including the Conciliar Popes, have chosen to ignore and disobey Her. Instead, they employ fallible human means to try and solve them. Thus, since Vatican II, things have deteriorated for the Catholic Church to the point the situation jhas gone worse and worse, not only outside but right in Her very bossom. The poor bishop could shout and complain all he wants, but he will never be able to even put a dent unto this malady called Christophobia.
    Wake up, your Excellency ; look towards Our Lady of Fatima, and do something to convince your fellow Bishops and the Holy Father to consecrate Russia to The Immaculate Heart of Mary. Only by your united obedience to Her request will your efforts bear good fruits.

  21. Each country needs to do something unpopular among today’s ecumenists, to acknowledge Christ’s social Kingship. Every country needs to be a Catholic country and to pass laws that are compatible with what the Bible teaches and with what the Catholic Church teaches. But is that going to happen when popes non-Catholic religious sites now, even after Pope Pius XI forbade Catholics to attend non-Catholic religious events when he wrote Mortalium Animos (http://www.ewtn.com/library/encyc/p11morta.htm)? I doubt it. The bishops should denounce Christophobia. Maybe the should denounce today’s ecumenism, too, partly because the liberal media are friendly to some non-Catholic religions, Islam, say, when they same media are unfriendly to Catholicism.

  22. The foundation and source of all Catholic Action and Graces is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is from the Mass that all graces for the other sacraments flow, it is from the Mass that the Church enjoys the constant protection and power of Heaven. It is a demonstatable fact that in 1969 with the introduction of the “New Mass” that Catholic participation in the sacraments and attendance at mass went from 75% in the US to approx. 25% today, in Europe it went from approx 75% to less than 10% today. A polling of priests some years ago found that near 66% of Catholic priests no longer believe in Transubstantiation. What we have witnessed, starting in 1969 is near a great apostacy in the Church, a wholesale abandonment of the Catholic faith, millions have left the faith and millions, although still identifying themselves as Catholic, lacking a Catholic formation and education have adopted their own set of “catholic” beliefs based on emotion and bias. So here we have, not only in the USA but in the world a wholesale loss of the Catholic faith that is now also having a detrimental affect in the political and social arenas.

    Since Rome has refused to Consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Pope in union with all the Bishops of the world, specifically consecrating Russia, by name, as asked by Our Lord, both the Church and the World will, as Our Lord declared will fall into ruin.

    In 2000, shortly after a part of the 3rd Secret of Fatima was read to the world, a Father Bollinger, friend of then Cardinal Ratzinger and HH Pope John Paul II, after concelebrating a mass with Cardinal Ratzinger, did demand, in lieu of their friendship, that the Cardinal tell him if all of the 3rd Secret was revealed; Cardinal Ratzinger then said the following: “… that in the Third Secret, Our Lady warns that there will be and evil council. And She warned against the changes; She warned against makng changes in the liturgy; changes in the Mass. This is explicitly set forth in the THird Secret.” – Fatima Crusader #80, pg 32 and #92, pg. 7, as related by Fr. Bollinger to Fr. Paul Kramer.

    The two following Catholic Mystics, both of whom enjoyed full Church approval:

    To Blessed Sister Catherine Emmerich, the German, Stigmatic and Mystic, our Lord warned; The books of piety, the ancient formulas of prayer, the time-honored canticles of praise, were exchanged fro modern productions as miserable and impious as were those by wich the Missal, the breviary, and the ritual were replaced”. – Life of Anne Catherine Emmerich, Vol., 1, p. 318-319. Our Lord also warned of the evil of “ecumenism”.

    To the French Mystic, Stigmatic, and Victim soul, Marie-Julie JahennyOur Lord showed her WWI, WWII, and in detail WWIII and the great Chastisement of both the World and the Church for the great loss of faith. In 1902, Our Lord told Marie-Julie Jahenny, that a “New Mass” would come that would be “Odious” or “hatefull” in His sight.

    Cardinal Mario Luigi Ciappi, Papal Theologian under Paul VI, John Paul I and in the early reign of Pope John Paul II, stated in his letter to Professor Baumgartner that in the Third Secret it is revealed, among other things, that the great Apostacy will begin at the top.

    Bl. Emmerich, Marie-Julie Jahenny, Bl. Elena Aiello, St. Padre Pio, Bl. Maria Tiaggi, and many other Catholic Mystics have all revealed that a great Chastisement is to befall mankind, that both the Church and the world will be punished for their infidelities and loss of faith, for the abandonment of the traditions of the Church. Our Lord and Our Lady warned numerous times of the danger of Judeo/Freemasonry. Blessed Emmerich warned that the Jews were going to undermine the Church. Just recently, Sister Elena Aiello was beautified by HH Pope Benedict XVI, and in her revelations given her by heaven in the 1950’s she, as other Catholic Mystics have prophesied, that God will allow our enemies to punish us, that over three quarters of the world are about to be annihilated, that ” whole countries, provinces, and cities, will be swallowed by earthquakes”, that every single major city in the world will be destroyed. – See “The Remnant Newspaper”, the beautification of the Ven. Sister Aiello.

    An “Evil Council”, a “New Mass” that is both “Odious” and “Impious” in Our Lords sight, a warning not to touch the Sacraments and Ritual, a warning that over three quarters of the world will die in this great, very near chastisement. So we see that God is now allowing our enemies to punish us, and when all seems lost, when both the Church and the World seem to be finished, then God will, according to these Mystics, He will intervene and save a remnant to enjoy the Glory of the Church which will follow, and all the previous ancient rituals and traditions will be returned to the Church.

    So, we may ask the question, why is God allowing all this to happen, the seemingly defeat of Christianity in society and in the world and we see the answer. Both the Church and her members have ignored the warnings of heaven. The break with heaven was consumated both with Vatican II and the promulgation of the “New Mass” the “New Catechism” the “New Ecumenism” the “New rites of the Sacrements”, the “New Religion”. And the enemy is embraced by the Church and invited into its bossom – Judeo/Freemasonry.

    In 1962, twelve Vatican Theologian/Historians, while studing the ancient history’s and texts in the Vatican archives found one of the greatest conspiracy’s in history against Holy Mother Church. They subsequently published a book called “The Plot Against the Church” under the pen name “Maurice Pinay”. Get it – $20 from Omni Christian Books of California, it explains all that is happening both in the Church and the World.

    1. No, no, no. BEWARE leaving the Church by way of thinking that the Church herself has gone evil or had a bad council. It is central to ecclesiology (the study of the Church) that she is guided by the Holy Spirit as an unblemished bride for Christ, her head.

      The third secret has been made public, and Blessed Pope John Paul II consecrated Russia as Our Lady asked. A less rich translation, and bad seminary training, has indeed injured the American church and – to an even worse degree – the European church. But hope is not lost, because there was no evil council or a getting rid of the one liturgy of the Church. The newer translation, the better education and state of seminarians in the US, the growing number of vocations to religious life, all point to positive changes in the Church.

      As to the earthquakes and the ‘great chastisement’ : We deserve this and so much more for our sins. We deserve another flood like in Noah’s time… but we have instead been given a redemption that is only fulfilled and strengthened by death. God promised not to send another flood, and instead sent us Jesus, the Christ, and left us with the sacraments to sustain us.

      Let us persevere in prayer, standing firm in our faith. Because our opponent the devil is prowling like a roaring lion, ready to devour. But he cannot touch you, unless you will it. Stop spreading this message, then – get behind me, Satan – and take this matter to prayer, asking for a firm hope.

  23. 10% of people think, 10% think they think and 80% would rather die than think. So does it apply to some of the comments posted on this site.

    One reply says the arrest of ministers a priests, for speaking out re a number of moral issues, couldn’t happen here. Don’t be so dismissive and naive. A couple of years ago, a Christian minister in Sweden was arrested and charged with a hate crime for quoting the Bible re what it says about these immoral things. it will be here before you know it if we don’t stand up now. “You will be persecuted for My name” or so it goes.

    I am disheartened by all the confused and ignorant comments that have been posted as they relate to Catholic teaching. The problem started when the so-called big-name Catholic universities(De Paul, Notre Dame, Boston College, Catholic University, Georgetown, Marquette, Loyola of Chicago to name a few) started taking Government money, hiring dissident/heretical teachers and theologians—both religious and laypersons— and therefore are beholding to follow the securalist dictates. Most are run by the Jesuits and are no more catholic, today, than the Muslims. Example? De Paul started a major in Queer Studies and my parents, both grads in 1948, nearly died of a broken heart.

    Also, I must correct the person who said John PAUL II consecrated Russia. Couldn’t be more false. Our Lady’s instructions to the children of Fatima said ALL bishops MUST do the consecration at the SAME TIME and SPECIFICALLY MENTION RUSSIA and here will be peace in the world. The supposed consecration was directed to the whole world (not Russia only) and was NOT done by all the bishops. How’s that “peace in the world” workin’ out for you??

    Lastly, if the Bishops of this country wanted abortion to end, they would have ended it, believe me, as they hold more sway with the citizens than you think. Instead, 50% of them openly supported Obama’s election as well as Obamacare. I So Calif and in mny Dioceses, the bishops are more interested in pushing for illegal immigration and amnesty than opposing abortion, homosexual activity. Sunday Mass attendance is down 75%, since Vatican II and these are more important issues, I guess.

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