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A Telling Tip Of The Red Hats

June 17, 2017 Frontpage No Comments

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis’ encyclical published last year following the two Synods on the Family, became profoundly controversial because of a line that Pope Francis later famously forgot that he had written. According to that text, relegated to a footnote (no. 351) to paragraph 305, those in “irregular situations,” including adulterous civil marriages, might receive “the help of the sacraments.”
But which sacraments? Confession, repentance with a “firm purpose of amendment,” and absolution? Or Holy Communion, received with a dash of wistful regret and comfortable adultery, shorn of any intention to regularize the irregular.
After all, sacramental marriage is only an “ideal.”
The text of the encyclical is intentionally turgid, reaching a “fog factor” of ten out of ten, thus giving free rein to a host of contradictory interpretations. It does more to stupefy than to clarify.
So nine months ago four cardinals published a “dubia,” requesting that the Holy Father clarify this teaching. That request has been met with silence on the part of the Holy Father, but two American cardinals have roared through the fog in high gear to overturn the Church’s teaching with a combination of facile palaver and outright defiance.
For the past two years, Blase Cardinal Cupich of Chicago has redefined the notion of conscience to the point that it means whatever the individual feels good about. Of course, since it is our nation’s youth, and not adults, who are taught to “feel good about themselves,” the cardinal does not put it just that way; instead, he calls it a move from “an adolescent spirituality into an adult spirituality.”
This phrasing raises the eyebrows, referring not only to the conscience of the individual but to the consciousness of the Church. It elicits echoes of Teilhard’s noosphere, a self-congratulating, confident mankind swimming through Hegelian history toward a “mature spirituality” that leaves behind the nasty old notion of an objective reality that includes absolute standards of good and evil that are fit only for children.
“It does put the responsibility on each individual, rather than an outside authority telling people what to do, as though they were children,” as the cardinal recently put it.
Translated, he is telling us that rules like the Ten Commandments (and rule-givers like the Decalogue’s author) are childish things — while acting on our own passions, appetites, and whims (“responsibly,” of course) is maturity in action.
But what about: “Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:3)?
Well, as the Jesuit superior general recently put it, we can’t be sure what Christ really said. So it’s just as possible that He said, “don’t be converted! You must become adults, and leave childhood behind.”
Down is up.
And Pope St. John Paul II is out. Consider: He observes, in Familiaris Consortio, that “our Christian conscience should be deeply concerned about the way in which sins against love and against life are often presented as examples of ‘progress’ and emancipation. Most often, are they not but the age-old forms of selfishness dressed up in a new language and presented in a new cultural framework.”
How childish.
No sooner had Cardinal Cupich been appointed to the Vatican Congregation for Bishops last year than Archbishop Joseph Tobin was plucked from the Hoosier cornfields to become cardinal archbishop of Newark. The sodomite support group at The New York Times calls him “a different kind of cardinal,” who “welcomes gays as the Church shifts,” but does not identify the new rock to which the Church is shifting.
The homosexual New Ways Ministry gloats: “Last month, Newark, New Jersey’s Cardinal Joseph Tobin welcomed a pilgrimage of LGBT Catholics to the archdiocese’s Cathedral of the Sacred Heart — a gesture that is being hailed as a major step forward in the pastoral care of LGBT people here in the U.S.”
Hailed by The New York Times, that is.

Party Tensions Surge
In Virginia Primaries

Virginia held statewide primary elections on June 13, and both parties’ gubernatorial races reflect the bipartisan nationwide uneasiness with the Washington establishment.
On the Republican side, Corey Stewart, an underfunded county official who became prominent in his early support for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, barely lost in a virtual dead heat to multimillionaire Catholic lobbyist Ed Gillespie, an establishment kingpin who had worked in the George W. Bush White House and served as chairman of the Republican National Committee.
While both men are pro-life, the race was a microcosm of the standoff between the stand-pat Republican Congress and the drain-the-swamp Trump White House.
The Democrat primary saw Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam comfortably defeat Tom Perriello, a radical socialist who was endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders. Both candidates are pro-abortion, but the margin — 55 percent to 45 percent — indicates that a sizable number of radicalized Democrats are no happier with their party’s crumbling establishment than Deplorable Republicans are with theirs.
The Virginia results don’t give Republicans much hope for the fall, given that 449,000 Democrats voted in the primary, compared to 323,000 Republicans. Virginia was once a dependably low-tax, Republican state, but Democrats have become the majority since George W. Bush’s “Big Government Conservatism” brought tens of thousands of new Democrats to the Washington area to work in the bureaucracy and the booming security and defense industries responding to 9-11.
That government growth has also made the Washington area the richest in the country, with five of the seven wealthiest counties in America now surrounding the District of Columbia.

Sanders Volunteer
Massacres Republicans
On Baseball Field

Ozymandias rages. His pedestal is collapsing and his courtiers seethe. A major network host “beheads” Donald Trump on live TV. A washed-up Madonna dreams of “blowing up the White House.” Obscene rappers compete for the most hateful images for their fans (whose number is legion — and they range far beyond the “hood”).
An outraged Bernie Sanders, a Jew, blasts a placid budget nominee for his Christian beliefs. Tom Perez, a Catholic who heads the Democrat National Committee, announces that the party will support only pro-abortion candidates.
But the rage ranges far beyond the beleaguered Democrats. The Swamp is bipartisan, a sewer masquerading as a hot tub. Its echo chamber roils with cacophonous tirades, sly and wily crimes, and the worship of the lie. And Donald Trump proposes to drain it — from the outside.
The funding of Washington’s bipartisan lobbying industry has increased by 5000 percent — five thousand percent! — in 30 years. These funds are spent solely to influence members of Congress and the Senate. Money, power, prestige, careers — all are threatened, mortally, by Trump and his Deplorables. The swamp-dwellers recognize that it’s a struggle to the death. Resist! Resist! Hurrah — Hillary has joined the Resistance too!
The screeching din is as deafening as Hell itself.
We’re in a “cold civil war,” says premier theorist Angelo Codevilla. But it’s quickly turning hot.
Taking the Swamp at its word, James Hodgkinson, a socialist activist and Sanders for President volunteer, comes to suburban Washington to kill Republicans. He has absorbed all the hate and swill and fills his Facebook page with it. He wants to do his part in the Resistance. So he opens fire. He could have killed twenty or thirty Republicans, including a dozen senators and representatives, in a heartbeat — but for the presence of one member of the congressional leadership who had a security detail.
The Swamp reacts. “Don’t blame me!” The hateful Sanders is “horrified” (but is he surprised?). The Swamp screamed, “Resist! Resist!” What was the valiant Hodgkinson to do, but keep on volunteering, stoked by the Swamp’s universal hate for the Deplorables?
The Swamp is shrill. It’s the Trump supporters who are violent! — even though, from Washington to Chicago to Berkeley, the “Resisters” have done the attacking (and gone unpunished).
Meanwhile, Swamp-dwellers and their Democrat allies seek to bring down Trump by any means possible. Their power-lust knows no limits. As Dostoevsky put it, “if there is no God, everything is permitted.”
So, as Vladimir Lenin, said, “What is to be done?”
The answer comes from Carl von Clausewitz, who famously observed that “war is the continuation of politics by other means.”
The swamp will try to win through politics. But if they lose there, don’t expect them to concede defeat. After all, there are other ways….

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