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  • Post-Comfortable Christianity and the Election of 2012

    by Rev. George W. Rutler

    CATHOLLIC SIGN

    Shortly before he died in Oxford in 1988, the Jesuit retreat master and raconteur, Bernard Bassett, in good spirits after a double leg amputation, told me that the great lights of his theological formation had been Ignatius Loyola and John Henry Newman, but if he “had to do it all over,” he’d only read Paul.  “Everything is there.”  There is a temptation to think that God gave us the Apostle to the Gentiles in order to have second readings at Sunday Mass, usually unrelated to the first reading and the Gospel.  But everything truly is there.  Paul was one of the most important figures in human history, and a great character to boot.  That is, a character in the happiest sense of the word.  “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain” (1 Cor 15:10).

    Tragedy and comedy intertwine, ultimately issuing in glory, whenever he is on trial.  He longs to live and to die in the same breath: ”For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:210).  Whenever he is on trial for his life, he invokes a forensic brilliance to save the very life he is willing to sacrifice.  Just as Jesus who had come into the world to die, slipped through the mob in Nazareth because his hour had not yet come, so does Paul become his own defense when on trial, ready to die by God’s calendar and not man’s.  In Caesarea, he confounds Antonius Felix, the Roman governor of Judaea and Samaria, and a little later he does the same  to the successor of Felix, Procius Festus.   The best court scene is Paul before Marcus Annaeus Novatus, who had taken the name of his adoptive father Junius Gallio, the rhetorician and friend of his father Seneca Sr. whose son Seneca, Jr. was the noble Stoic.  Nero forced Seneca’s suicide, but before that, in Achaia where Gallio was proconsul, Paul was bit of a Rumpole of the Bailey, in how he played the jury like a piano to the frustration of the judge.  The point is this:  Paul, both innocent and shrewd, was willing to suffer and did so regularly, as he was not loathe to recount at length, and he was also ready to die, but as death comes but once, he wanted it to be at the right moment.

    There is in Paul a model for Catholics at the start of the Third Millennium which began with fireworks and Ferris wheels but is now entering a sinister stage.  Like Paul, it is not possible to be a Christian without living for Christ by suffering for him, nor is it possible to be a Christian without willing to die for him when he wants.   The Christian veneer of  American culture has cracked and underneath is the inverse of the blithe Christianity that took shape in the various enthusiasms of the nineteenth century and ended when voters were under the impression that they finally had a Catholic president.

    This new period is not “Post-Christian” because nothing comes after Christ.   We can, however, call it “Post-Comfortable Christian.”  Niebuhr, looking out from New York’s Neo-Athens on Morningside Heights with its Modernist Christian seminaries and highly endowed preaching palaces and office towers of denominational bureaucracies, caricatured the Messiah of mainline religiosity: ”A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.”  The virtual collapse of  those institutions on Morningside Heights, is mute testimony to the truth of his irony.

    The bishops of the United States have asked the faithful to pray for religious liberty, now facing unprecedented assault. The national election in November, 2012 will either give Christians one last chance to rally, or it will be the last free election in our nation.  This can only sound like hyperbole to those who are unaware of what happened to the Slavic lands after World War I and to Western Europe in the 1930’s.   St. Paul  was writing to us when he wrote to the Galatians and Corinthians and Washingtonians – or rather, Romans – in his lifetime.

    Unless there is a dramatic reversal in the present course of our nation, those who measured their Catholicism by the Catholic schools they attended, will soon find most of those institutions officially pinching incense to the ephemeral genius of their secular leaders, and universities once called Catholic will be no more Catholic than Brown is Baptist or Princeton is Presbyterian. The surrender will not come by a sudden loss of faith in Transubstantiation or doubts about Papal Infallibility.   It will happen smoothly and quietly, as the raptures of the Netherworld always hum victims into somnolence, by the cost factor of buying out of government health insurance.  Catholic businessmen with more than fifty employees will be in the same bind.  Catholic institutions and small businesses owned by those with religious and moral reservations about government-imposed policies, will wither within a very short time, unable to bear the burden of confiscatory tax penalties. As analysts have figured, an employer offering a health plan that does not comply with the preventive services package and other requirements under the federal health plan could be subject to a confiscatory penalty. The fine, imposed through a civil penalty or excise tax on a non-exempted religious employer could be as much as $100 a day for each employee insured under a plan at variance with federal law.  The burden would amount then to $36,500 for each employee.

    Add to that the approaching discrimination against Catholics seeking positions in commerce and public life.  Catholics will not be suitable for public charities, medicine, education, journalism, or in the legal profession, especially judgeships and law enforcement.  As the bishops, by the acknowledgement of many of their own number, failed to articulate the cogency of doctrines on contraception and other moral issues,  so will they now, despite the best intentions, not be able to stem the radical attrition among native Catholics whose eyes are on mammon, and among recent immigrants whose privileges are guaranteed only if they vote for opponents of the Church.  The general election of 2012 may rally the fraction of conscientious Catholics among the sixty million or so sympathetic Catholics. If their influence is not decisive, and the present course of federal legislation accelerates, encouraged by a self-destructive appetite for welfare statism  on the part of ecclesiastical bureaucrats, the majority of Catholics with tenuous commitments to the Faith will evaporate, as did the lapsed baptized in North Africa during the oppression of the emperor Diocletian.

    Should the present direction of the federal government be endorsed by a reiterative vote in the November elections, more blatant threats to the Church will begin, culminating in a punitive suspension of tax exemptions on church properties, once the Church’s moral precepts are coded as offenses against civil rights. The test case in this instance will be what is known in Orwellian diction as “same sex marriage.”  In the Supreme Court case, McCulloch v. Maryland, argued in 1819, the same year that Daniel Webster reduced Chief Justice Marshall to tears in the Dartmouth College case which vouchsafed private charters,  Webster said: “An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy.”  Chief Justice Marshall, an antecedent of Chief Justice Roberts, said “That the power of taxing (the bank) by the States may be exercised so as to destroy it, is too obvious to be denied, and that the power to tax involves the power to destroy (is) not to be denied.”

    St. Paul would have understood this. After all, he lived through its precedents. His self-defense in the secular courts showed his disdain for bravado and theatrical martyrdom.  He enjoyed common sense, reason, and native intelligence in outwitting evil, for he knew as did St. John Vianney, who was not as bright as the student of Gamaliel but whose heart was at least as large, that “the Devil is stupid.”  Because of that, the Devil can only get his way with the help of stupid Catholics.

    This year offers the best and possibly last chance to see how many actually obey Christ’s pastoral instruction in a conflicted world:  “Behold, I am sending you out as a sheep among wolves, so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matt. 10:16).

    The views expressed by the authors and editorial staff are not necessarily the views of
    Sophia Institute, Holy Spirit College, or the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts.

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    • KEVIN OBRIEN

      A stunning article.  Prophetic, but not really, as it’s all right there before us for anyone to see.  Let us pray that the bishops stay firm and united, otherwise we’ll have what Fr. James V. Schall predicted elsewhere – an offical government approved faux-church (as in China) and an underground Church of the catacombs, persecuted and “not licensed” as it were.   However this ends up, we can’t say we haven’t been warned.

    • Fuprete79

      One of the best commentaries on what is at stake today. Sadly, I have little hope. Things will only get worse for the Church in America. For well over 40 years now, pastoral leadership has been bland and complacent. It has also been, at times, compliant with the materialistic, humanistic agenda of the godless minds that populate our institutions. Miserere, Domine, miserere!

      • Tout

        I hope, and I DO ACT to help the Church. Do you realy dare to act ? Do you dare to make sign of the cross before any meal,also in restaurant, alone or with others who don’t ? Will you receive H.Communion on tongue, not in hand ? I never received in hand. You want to be a real scout (at any age) who shows the way to others, receive H.Communion on tongue.   

        • Subvet

          Receipt in the hand is more preferable as it lessens the likelihood of the Host dropping to the floor. I agree it does little to flaunt how “devout” one may be. As for making the Sign Of The Cross in public, be sure you do it out of true worship and not to set yourself apart from your fellow man. We’re to be in the world, not of it.

      • Maep

        It sounds like your faith is weakening.  As to pastoral leadership, some have been weak.  Those are the ones that get the attention of the media.  What about the very many who are giving their lives for The Faith in ways that are unknown?  They are the salt of the earth.  Follow them – try connecting with EWTN and you will get the truth!

      • Meskinmurkin

         Christians represent more than 90% of the people of the U.S. So tell me how Christians are being persecuted by a minority? Also, the good padre doesn’t say where he pulled the $36,500 penalty from but I can guess.

        • Brian English

          Unless your guess is a February 2012 Report by Congressional Research Services, you would be wrong.

    • http://profiles.google.com/liamronan49 Liam Ronan

      Wonderfully put Father Rutler. With each passing day I am more and more reminded of how our present landscape was eerily, if not prophetically, intuited in Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson’s 1907 novel “Lord of the World”. 

    • PBoer

      Outstanding writing, Fr. Rutler!  I fear we are reaping what the Church in America has sown for the past 50 years or so.  This is a time for repentance and prayer.

    • Pierre

      Irony. At least in the short run, the only hope for Catholics is a Mormon.

      • http://profiles.google.com/liamronan49 Liam Ronan

        A Mormon who at the 11th hour now professes a conversion to the pro-life cause while reputedly contemplating pro-abortion Condoleezza Rice as his Vice Presidential running mate. As the Psalm says: “Put not your faith in princes.”

        • Suzie

          If the current president is re-elected, we won’t need to worry about who is pro-abortion and who isn’t.  It will be the way of life dictated to us by the government.  Before you waste your time criticizing Mitt Romney, take one more look at the alternative:  anti-American, anti-Constitution, most pro-abortion president ever, pro same-sex marriage, pro contraception…and the list goes on. 

        • Mike

          I seriously doubt that Romney will choose C. Rice as VP due to her abortion stance. In any case, what is the realistic alternative to a Romney presidency?
          By all indications it seems that the Republican nominee will, at the very least, attempt to reverse the law that is at heart of Fr. Rutler’s article. You can’t have it both ways. To throw up one’s hands and say that Romney’s past positions are a reason not to select him is to surrender to the tyrany that is right in front of us.   

          • http://profiles.google.com/liamronan49 Liam Ronan

            It’s not a matter of throwing up one’s hands over Romney’s past liberal political positions. It’s a matter of prudent reflection on the likelihood that Romney’s recent ‘conversion’ to pro-life and pro-family positions is a matter of expediency or conviction on his part.
            All this ‘lesser of two evils’ appeal for votes is, in my opinion, a false premise and betrays a certain lack of faith in God’s ability to work His Will.
            Cast a write-vote for the person whose history and political philosophy is most likely to advance the Judeo-Christian underpinning of our nation and pray God to manage the rest for His Glory and according to His Will.

      • msmischief

         Considering what Wright taught, I think on theological grounds the candidates cancel each other out.

      • Tout

        PIERRE   As a start, our hope is: all Catholics daring to receive H.Communion on tongue. Some people do. It is always done in Tridentine(Latin)Mass.

    • Colin Kerr

      I was so distracted by your initial opposition between Paul, on the one hand, and Newman and Ignatius, on the other… So, these are not prophets? These two have nothing to contribute to the contemporary crisis.

    • Raymond

      Over the centuries, our ancestors have had to suffer and even die for our beliefs.  Are we so brazen to think we are immune?  A Venereable Bishop name of Sheen once said that dead bodies float downstream and we must fight this current to save our souls.  Our current government is the current but do we possess the faith to fight it?  Our Church is attempting to guide us.  Will we bow our heads in obedience and follow it’s teachings or try going it on our own.  Christ only promised that His Church and the Magesterium would be left unscathed from the evil one.  Our individuality (think conscience) is not covered in that promise.  Read in John 6,  some of Christ’s disciples could not endure or stomach His teachings on the Eucharist.  They left his flock from disbelief; yet, Christ did not run after them to try and get them to reconsider.  No, He instead asked the Apostles if they were going to leave.  Some may leave today from the our current dilemna/test, but we all must be steadfast to our Church leaders.  Partake in the Eucharist and ask Our Saviour for His help. 

      • Sarah

        “A Venereable Bishop name of Sheen once said that dead bodies float downstream and we must fight this current to save our souls.”…actually G.K. Chesterton said that…

        • Raymond

          Replying to Sarah

          Having heard Bishop Sheen use this many time without attribution to Chesterton, I rebuke your reprisal. 

          The Battleground of the Church
          by Archbishop Fulton Sheen (1974)
          The world in which we live is the battleground of the Church. I believe that we are now living at the end of Christendom. It is the end of Christendom, but not of Christianity. What is Christendom? Christendom is the political, economic, moral, social, legal life of a nation as inspired by the gospel ethic. That is finished. Abortion, the breakdown of the family life, dishonesty, even the natural virtues upon which the supernatural virtues were based, are being discredited. Christianity is not at the end. But we are at the end of Christendom. And I believe the sooner we face up to this fact, the sooner we will be able to solve many of our problems.
          Thirty or forty years ago, it was very easy to be a Christian. The very air we breathed was Christian. Bicycles could be left on the front lawns; doors could be left unlocked. Suddenly, all this has changed; now we have to affirm our faith. We live in a world that challenges us. And many fall away. Dead bodies float downstream; it takes live bodies to resist the current. And this is our summons.
          We will have to begin a different church. We are for a moment on a trapeze. We are in between the death of an old civilization and culture and the swing to the beginning of the new. These are the times in which we live. They are therefore wonderful days; marvelous; we should thank God that we live in times like this.
          From the book Through the Year with Fulton Sheen, pages 27 & 28

          • Tout

            At age 92,I remember old days. Most traffic was by bycicles. I left mine in de street; it was still there when I came out of a store. That was normal. Each town had its yearly procession. I knew only Catholic churches in Flanders(Belgium), there may have been some others in a big citie or sea-port. Times are different. But we must be differnt too. At age 82 I decided, we need a procession;but how ? I walked alone around 4 streets praying,rosary in hand. The 7th time(2005)a mother and son joined me; 2007, we were 11.In 2008   young mother took over. Beautiful group of 50, praying, singing, carrying big Mary statue to a church; there Mary crowning. Dare to start ! For years,I pray(good weather) at O.Lady statue near downtown, hang sign “Whether glad, sad or wary, pause a while, say a Hail Mary”. Some pedestrians come, touche statue. Young man came,prayed,left. Girl (age 19 ?)prayed on her knees, left. Young woman joined me praying the rosary. Elder woman came,  prayed,left. For years had pilgrimage to next town.Gave up age 75; no one continued.But it shows the result one can obtain.I made scouts-promise in 1932.”Once a scout, always a scout”.Real scouts have a religion;others are just poor copies.   Went to Turnhout(Belgium)in 2004. Prayed,alone, at Sacred Heart statue on the central market. It was in very bad state, held together with 5 metal bands. Back home,2005, I wrote to 100+ addresses & the Mayer that the statue needed repairs. Totally replaced in 2006. Went back in 2006, prayed a rosary, again alone. We need Catholics who dare to bring God to the people. Don’t hide.We had 85 cm statue of Christ in our livingroom, little cross in every room.We were not extra-religious, but clearly showed our religion. Made nice background for Mary-statue hanging besides front door. Always received H.Host on tongue, even when priests tried to open my hands. Please, receive on tongue, not in hand. Sundays, I give only 25 cents till we get use of communion-rail to kneel. Test if you,as a Catholic, dare to receive on tongue. Jesus likes it; the Pope invites it. KoC, Cathol. Woman’s Leag. don’t dare to  do it, unless in Tridentine(Latin)Mass. Maybe some day they will dare out of love for Jesus.

            • LizEst

              Yours is beautiful testimony Tout.  This is living the faith.  If we truly have faith, nothing will disturb us.  God alone suffices.  (Solo Dios basta.)  May the Lord reward you abundantly.

            • Fr Eric

               Thank you so much!  I am inspired.

      • Bill Russell

        The “dead bodies float downstream” line of Chesterton appeared in in G.K.’s Weekly 1928.   Sheen also “borrowed” his frequently used line about the humor of Christ (“the one thing he hid” ) from Chesterton’s “Orthodoxy” written in 1908. There are many other examples such as these.   Sheen was not the only plagiarist:  in 1931, W.C.Fields used Chesterton’s line, but he substituted “fish” for “bodies.”

        • Scott W

          Yes, Sheen was a plagiarist because he used a one-liner that had doubtlessly been used before Chesterton used it.  For millenia, people lived close to the land–you really think no one ever made such a comparison before?  Sad there is so much nit-picking on Catholic sites…

          • Raymond

            Thanks, Scott W, I appreciate your viewpoint, since it is my own.  The Venerable Fulton Sheen doesn’t need our watching his back, but we will never the less.  He was a great holy man and will be St. Fulton before long.  I was merely ignoring the snide remarks of the other bloggers.  Such perfection from St. Bill Russell is rather ignoble  I  think.

            • crazymom13

              I bet Chesterton would be happy knowing his ideas had stuck and were being used to teach stuff. I imagine he would be a little embarrassed  if he knew that pedants were throwing stones at dead Bishops for repeating his ideas. 

              For the record, when I am speaking about something and a useful quote comes to mind, I will use/repeat the phrase and may not give proper credit to its original author. I would hate to later be called on the carpet for “plagiarism” .  

               I dont understand the harshness of these comments…a simple “Sheen was a great lover of Chestertons work” would suffice.  

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    • Helgothjb

      Great blog. The only problem is that the election is a sham. There are no real differences between Democrats and Republicans. That being said, getting all worked up over political rhetoric is futile. We have been played far too many times and now it seems that stupid Catholics will allow themselves to be played once again. A vote for Romney will not help the cause anymore than a vote for Obama, for their strings are controlled by the same people!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/Z5QAR2KX4R4T7OPDW3GSQWKRU4 MARY G L

        So true!!    This  has concerned   me since Romney  was put on the Ballot.   Now what???

        • Walt J.

           I find the present administration repugnant as an American (veteran) as well as a Catholic.  Their utter disregard for the Constitution at all levels tends to give me cause to think that our republic in endangered.
          While I share to some extent, the concerns about Romney, I recognize that the present administration, including POTUS and all his mob of appointees as being so far wrong that we need grab onto the only realistic alternative at this point!
          If sucessful in removing Obama, Sebellus etc. we can then press their successors for positive change in the treatment of the 1st amendment as well as the rest of the constitution. 

          • Brian English

            Exactly.  If nothing else, Romney will end the assault on the Church that the current adminstration is engaged in.

            • Famijoly

               Keep dreaming.

      • Famijoly

         I agree.  The “stupid Catholics” — more accurately, I believe, the “slumbering Catholics” — are the ones who believe that voting, in and of itself, is a difference-maker.  If you don’t believe me, ask yourself, How is it that, election after election, we wind up with such a narrow choice in candidates?  Where are the candidates who would truly offer an alternative to the “political theater” that masquerades as politics and government in this country? If they’re not on the short list of the shadow powers’ “anointed ones,” they  are marginalized as “unelectable” in the propaganda spewing from the corporate-controlled “news” networks and “news” publications who serve as the Ministry of Information for their masters.

        The two-party system in this country is one coin with an elephant on one side and a donkey on the other side, minted by foreign bankers.

        Providentially, the American election of 2012 falls during the Catholic Church’s Year of Faith.  Faith in God will save us, not our votes.

    • Sherry

      In addition to Robert Hugh Benson’s book, another good one to read these days is Michal O’Brien’s book “Father Elijah”.

      We have only three months left to help people recognize that we are REALLY  in “Crisis” mode. Now is the time to be fully engaged in whatever activities will help people understand what is happening (and has been happening) and – what is at stake.  Hopefully, people will have a sense of urgency (better late than never) and will not be looking back in November regretting that they failed to help save that which is so very precious.

    • tz

      When the Devil tempted Jesus, he showed him the kingdoms of the earth.  The church’s treasure – st. lawrence? – has always been the poor and sick.  That is a hard work of the church.  This time the government accepted them, and for a generation we were comfortable that we need not take care of them except by casting an occasional vote and paying taxes.  Note in the discussions the church does not want its treasure back, only that they be nice with it.

    • Ray

      How often did Paul pray with leaders of other religious sects for “Religious Liberty”?

    • Greg Cook

      There is at least a partial (albeit massively disruptive) fix to what’s described here: Catholic institutions can quit taking government funding.

      • Angel

        But, I, as a Catholic pay into the tax system. I pay my taxes!  Then the government should not tax Catholics!  See how they play us!

      • Francis Wippel

        I have heard this “excuse” used many times, and with all due respect, it is bogus.  Hospitals (including Catholic hospitals) are not allowed to refuse care to patients who show up in their emergency room.  In addition, such a “solution” would also require Catholic hospitals to refuse care to any patient on Medicaid or Medicare, because accepting payment would constitute receiving government funds.

        Are you suggesting that Catholic hospitals simply refuse to accept payment for services given to Medicare and Medicaid patients?  If so, these hospitals will be out of business in short order.  In other words, the Obama administration’s goal to end faith-based health care in the United States is well on its way to being accomplished.

    • Bill Russell

      To Sarah-
       That Sheen quote is indeed from Chesterton.  Sheen, for all his good points, had a naughty habit of “borrowing” from others without attribution.  He also claimed to have a doctoral degree from Rome, which was not true.  Even good men have their weaknesses.

    • LizEst

      “From today’s crisis, a Church will emerge tomorrow that will have lost a great deal. She will be small and, to a large extent, will have to start from the beginning. She will no longer be able to fill many of the buildings created in her period of great splendor. Because of the smaller number of her followers, she will lose many of her privileges in society. Contrary to what has happened until now, she will present herself much more as a community of volunteers… As a small community, she will demand much more from the initiative of each of her members and she will certainly also acknowledge new forms of ministry and will raise up to the priesthood proven Christians who have other jobs… There will be an interiorized Church, which neither takes advantage of its political mandate nor flirts with the left or the right. This will be achieved with effort because the process of crystallization and clarification will demand great exertion. It will make her poor and a Church of the little people… All this will require time. The process will be slow and painful.”…+Joseph Ratzinger, 1969 lecture on Bavarian radio.
      http://voxcantor.blogspot.com/2010/04/ratzinger-prophecy.html

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2XDBHIYMAH4R75XTXE6XJDTSL4 Common-sense-man

      Perhaps we should rather look to the Vendeans and the Cristeros for inspiration? Just asking…

    • Alecto

      “… so will they now, despite the best intentions, not be
      able to stem the radical attrition among native Catholics whose eyes are
      on mammon, and among recent immigrants whose privileges are guaranteed
      only if they vote for opponents of the Church.”

      Opponents of the Church?  Would they be Kathleen Sebelius, Nanny Pelosi, John Kerry, Joe Biden, Andrew Cuomo, anyone named “Daly”, etc…?  The list is extensive, and it grows daily. What common trait do they share?  They’re all Catholic!  I consider them nothing less than traitors.   The fox is IN the chicken coop Rev.  It’s time to change the strategy and go on the offensive; clean house; purge the ranks, bring it.  Yes, one bad apple, or millions DO spoil the whole bunch.  I wonder why the USCCB has not called out the false theology of these apostates?  Could it perhaps be that some or many of those bishops share the heresies?  I keep waiting for an essay correcting these wayward souls to be posted on the website, but it has yet to appear.  Guess that one isn’t socially-justicey-feelgoody enough for the good bishops. 

      We are experiencing a failure of integrity, of character among society.  Catholics have done immeasurable damage to the notion of rule of law in this country (see above list of perpetrators).  It is the ultimate bitter irony that they now find themselves at the mercy of the mob they created and encouraged.  It’s the old story of the murderer who throws himself on the mercy of the court for killing his father because he’s an orphan. 

    • James Stagg

      Excellent!  Thank you, Father Rutler!

    • Centurion 9.41

      “Unless there is a dramatic reversal in the present course of our nation,
      those who measured their Catholicism by the Catholic schools they
      attended, will soon find most of those institutions officially pinching
      incense to the ephemeral genius of their secular leaders, and
      universities once called Catholic will be no more Catholic than Brown is
      Baptist or Princeton is Presbyterian. The surrender will not come by a
      sudden loss of faith in Transubstantiation or doubts about Papal
      Infallibility.   It will happen smoothly and quietly, as the raptures of
      the Netherworld always hum victims into somnolence, by the cost factor
      of buying out of government health insurance. ”

      Really Rev. Rutler?

      Funny how Christ said “render unto Caesar”, yet so many who took vows to the His Church can’t see the root of it all is their “no” to His words. 

      Rev. the smooth and quiet path descending into the the Netherworld was of priests who literally turned their back to Our Lord during the Mass and looked out over His children and rather than teach the Faith and pass along the wisdom of the Saints choose to the raptures of their visions of social justice as Caesars.

      The Devil is not stupid Rev. Rutler.   The Catholic priests who every Sunday preach with their own version of that well known feminist roar,  “I am Vatican II, watch me roar!”.  Those Catholic priests whose egos are the Smoke of Satan in the Sanctuary.   They Rev. are the ones who are ….

      AMDG

    • Bill Russell

      JOHN HENRY NEWMAN

      RONALD ARBUTHNOTT KNOX
       
      GEORGE WILLIAM RUTLER

      Deo Gratias

    • Peter Freeman

      Would it be rude if I printed this out and read it again to myself during next Sunday’s Mass instead of listening to the homily?

    • Michele

      I’m a big fan of Saint Paul so I greatly enjoyed what Rev. Rutler said! I am also very greateful to our Bishops for articulating clearly the attacks on religious freedom. So I agree with most of what is said in  the article (1 – on a personal level, the crucial importance of living our faith as true disciples, no matter the cost and 2- on a public level, the crucial importance of religious freedom in the fabric of this nation) but I am not quite sure about the validity of the underlined conclusion: that our vote for a millionaire Mormon supposedly-conservative  in Nov. 2012 is the answer to 1 and 2…

    • Guest

      “The Media”, said satan, “Is my most powerful tool because so few know that it belongs to me”.

      Fr.Bernard Bassett SJ was perfectly correct in what he said and “Thank you, Fr. Rutler” for bring this to our attention.

      Please Pray the Catholic Church in Ireland which is under daily attack by the Irish Media and the Government whose heads are obviously satan.

      In 100 years the Church will still be with us, as promised, but I wonder how many of the current Media and Government will be alive?

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    • Maep

      We must have hope, we must have trust and we must have faith in Jesus!  We must not fear but act accordingly to Jesus’ promises.  Love of God, but most of all, His tremendous love for us, must always be our guide.  Amen.

    • Fr Eric

      Excellent work again, Fr. Rutler. 
      It is going to grow very dark before the light shines again, and if the election bodes evil, then no one alive today will see that light shine freely without persecution.   We are on the verge of another Dark Age.  “It will happen smoothly and quietly,  as the raptures of the Netherworld
      always hum victims into somnolence, by the cost factor of buying out of
      government health insurance.”  It will happen because we are numb and we like being numb.

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    • Carl

      Religious
      Freedom without Economic Freedom is dead (Obama Care) —Parable of the
      Talents.

      The
      power to tax corrupts; the absolute power to tax corrupts absolutely—render
      unto Caesar.

      In
      1819, the state of Maryland
      imposes a tax on all banks not chartered by the state, Chief Justice John
      Marshall then handed down one of his most important decisions regarding the
      expansion of Federal power, McCulloch v. Maryland.  Under the LIMITED enumerated powers of
      our Constitution, Article 1 Section 8, the Federal Government does have the
      power to set up a Federal bank and that states do not have the power to tax the
      Federal Government. 

      But, Chief Justice John Marshall is also quoted,
      “That
      the power of taxing (the bank) by the States may be exercised so as to destroy
      it, is too obvious to be denied, and that the power to tax involves the power
      to destroy (is) not to be denied.”

      Also
      in 1819, Daniel Webster argued the contract clause, Article 1 Section 10, Dartmouth College v. Woodward; in that case
      private institutions shall be able to conduct their affairs in accordance with
      their charters and without interference from the state or federal government.  Interesting enough this case protected the 1769
      charter (contract) established by King George III of England with Dartmouth
      College and after the American Revolution and the war of 1812 with Great Britain!

      Chief
      Justice John Marshall who again wrote the majority opinion agreed with Daniel
      Webster who is quoted during the case as saying, “An unlimited power to tax
      involves, necessarily, a power to destroy.” 

      And
      all of this respects the Catholic Social teaching of Subsidiarity, that matters ought to be
      handled by the smallest, lowest, or least centralized competent authority, and that
      a central authority should only have a subsidiary function, performing only
      those tasks which cannot be performed effectively at a more immediate or local
      level.

    • http://twitter.com/waitingforshoet Hadenoughalread

      Didn’t English Catholics suffer the same fate.  Only the very wealthy were able to continue….

    • JMJpfu2012

      Interesting line, “the Devil can only get his way with the help of stupid Catholics.”   
      Where to begin?  Biden.  Pelosi.  Chief Justice John Roberts.  
      With friends like these who needs enemies?   

    • GrahamCombs

      Fr. Rutler is not exaggerating.   I can tell you from experience that being a Catholic is indeed a “issue” in business and in so-called “public” government offices.  It has been my experience on unemployment.   Although I’m not convinced that the Bishops Conference truly understands why Secretary Sebelius and  her boss put Catholics in this position, I am grateful for the episcopal vigor in opposing the anti-Catholic policies of this administration. Which were foreseeable — perhaps even in the legal sense. I.e. actions a reasonable person could foresee given the candidate’s and his party’s actions and pronunciations in the recent past. Especially to a reasonable person with a law degree such as myself. Fr. Rutler has done us a mitzvah here. If I were a pastor, it would be reprinted in the Sunday bulletin… or if a bishop in the diocesan paper. Complete with the accompanying graphic.

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    • http://www.facebook.com/dennis.odonovan1 Dennis O’Donovan

      “The bishops of the United States have asked the faithful to pray for religious liberty, now facing unprecedented assault. ” How did it come to this? Perhaps because we elected what we all knew would be the most pro-abortion president in history without any real admonition from the Catholic Clergy to not do so. Is it the Parable of the Talents all over again?

    • http://www.facebook.com/dennis.odonovan1 Dennis O’Donovan

      “The bishops of the United States have asked the faithful to pray for religious liberty, now facing unprecedented assault.” How did it come to this? Did it begin with Catholics knowingly voting for the man who would be the most pro-abortion president in American history without admonishment from the clergy to not do so? Is this the Parable of the Talents all over again?

    • Chimpspimp

      Let us HOPE  that the Leadership of the Catholic Church gets a backbone to stand up on its hind legs to preach the message loud and without fear.  They need to have it ring from all pulpits.

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    • HermitTalker

      Not one of my favourite teachers.

    • steve5656546346

      And this was not utterly predictable?

      What did the bishops expect would be the results to be of gushing about how wonderful Protestant churches were…and even other regions…and eve secular society…

      The Bishop of Paris thought that the French Revolution was compatible with Catholicism–until they cut off his head…  Same blindness about the left is present today…

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    • Vickie

      ”A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without
      judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.”

      Unfortunately this sound a lot like what I get from Catholic pulpits and Catechists as well.  They don’t like to talk about the cross.  Fulton Sheen said that the smoke of Satan in the church was the loss of a sense of the need for penance and reparation.   

      However, our freedom comes from God, not from the State, so we have confidence. Comfort no but confidence yes.

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    • Thomas J. T. Kuna-Jacob

      Only too true!  Great article, and the selection of Paul Ryan as VP running mate with Romney makes me  ready, willing and able to vote a straight Republican ticket!