Sunday 23rd July 2017

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Saving Magisterial Truth

July 15, 2017 Frontpage No Comments

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

Since the election of Donald Trump, officials at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have commended the president’s actions on six specific issues: religious liberty, the HHS mandate, UN abortion funding, Planned Parenthood funding, the Mexico City policy (regarding U.S. funding of international abortions), and “transgender” student regulations.
Since last November, USCCB officials have also attacked the president’s positions on over a dozen key issues, including health care, the travel ban, refugee policy, Cuba policy, the Paris Agreement, the death penalty, global warming, the environment, migration, immigration, foreign aid, sanctuary cities, deportations, and border security.
In both cases they have done this formally and publicly, citing the authority of Catholic social teaching and their authority as bishops.
What the reader might notice, and what the bishops don’t mention, is this: While all those positions commended by the bishops address magisterial issues involving objective goods and objective evils, all of the Trump policies condemned by the bishops entail what the Church calls “prudential issues.”
What’s the difference? Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution of the Church adopted at the Second Vatican Council, explains the difference between the two categories: First, in n. 12, we learn that, “from the Bishops down to the last of the lay faithful, they [the faithful] show universal agreement in matters of faith and morals.”
So in magisterial matters regarding religious liberty, marriage and the family, and the inalterable truths expressed in Humanae Vitae, our bishops and the faithful alike are “bound to adhere” to the teaching of the Church “in matters of faith and morals”; and therefore we are bound to commend the president’s policies that involve issues in the first category, since every one of them either inhibits an objective evil (abortion, contraception) or defends an objective good (the nature and dignity of the person, religious liberty).
In n. 37, Lumen Gentium addresses the second category, in which the bishops condemn a variety of specific prudential Republican initiatives. Regarding this category, the Church teaches us two vital principles:
First, these initiatives involve policy particulars on which good Catholics, and good people generally, have not only the right but the duty to exercise the authority bestowed upon us by God to act prudentially and faithfully in the social and political realm. We can even, in good faith, disagree on specifics, since many paths are often available to serve the common good.
Second, advocating particular approaches to such prudential issues is not the province of the clergy and the hierarchy, but precisely of the laity, “by reason of the knowledge, competence, or pre-eminence which they have.”
True, the hierarchy is often tempted to stray into the realm reserved to the laity; in fact, that temptation has proven so strong over the centuries that it has been repeatedly condemned by the Church (including Pope Francis) by its proper name, “clericalism.”

Planting The Seeds
Of Relativism

Today the errors spawned by clericalism are widespread in the American Church — and their spread has a history.
In the late 1970s, Mark Gallagher, the chief pro-life lobbyist at the USCCB, urged the bishops to defend the Church’s magisterial teaching, which was under ferocious assault after Roe v. Wade. Gallagher urged bishops specifically to “educate and correctly form the consciences of American Catholics” about the primacy of the sanctity of life in the pursuit of the Common Good. Specifically, he urged the bishops to make clear that “those candidates who refused to support the Common Good would be morally unacceptable for public office.”
(See crisismagazine.com, October 22, 2014.)

wanderertwitter(2)
However, Gallagher reports, the USCCB’s much larger “social justice” staff disagreed; after all, “their goals and prudential judgments were more reflected by the Democrats in Congress.”
The battle lines were drawn. Forty years ago a majority of pro-life Catholics were Democrats; the conference’s “social justice” staffers feared that, if the bishops put the pro-life issue in its proper preeminent place, many pro-lifers would become Republicans, given the radical pro-abortion stance quickly spreading among Democrat officeholders at the time.
The “social justice” advocates feared that “[t]his shift in the Catholic vote would necessarily hurt their legislative agenda,” Gallagher writes, thus reducing support for welfare-state programs in Congress. So these staffers convinced the bishops “to undertake a campaign to convince Catholics that there was justification to vote for pro-abortion candidates.”
Well, there you have it: At the headquarters of America’s bishops, the sanctity of life was sacrificed on the altar of “social justice.” But that altar was also strewn with other idols. After all, the bishops did not want to embarrass prominent pro-abortion Catholics, either — Catholics like Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden, Mario Cuomo, and other Democrats whose support was critical to continue the generous federal funding that was directed to the bishops’ own welfare agencies.
The result?
Welcome, dear reader, to the “Seamless Garment.”

Why The Silence?

“The bishops have continued on their failed course for forty years, with fateful, disastrous results,” Gallagher laments. Indeed, the USCCB “social justice” staffers have convinced two generations of bishops to act as though their welfare-state agenda is as magisterial as the sanctity of life — that the (increasingly radical and pro-abortion) platform of the Democrat Party is as binding on Catholics as Humanae Vitae.
This profoundly defective and destructive view abides to this day, as witnessed by a simple question which over a dozen major USCCB leaders have refused to answer for The Wanderer when asked about their advocacy of their partisan agendas:
“Your Excellency: am I ‘bound to adhere’ to your political opinion with the same ‘religious submission of mind’ with which I am required to adhere to the teaching of Humanae Vitae (viz. canon 753)?
“Or is the view you express merely your personal opinion, with which the laity have not only the right but often the duty to disagree (viz. Lumen Gentium, especially n. 37)?”
The bishops’ silence goes beyond their refusal to answer simple questions.
Unfortunately, most are also silent about the truths so beautifully illuminated in Humanae Vitae, the encyclical of Blessed Paul VI promulgated 49 years ago next week. Indeed, any honest review of the bishops’ advocacy in recent years will reveal that, as their political partisan advocacy has increased, their teaching of magisterial truths has decreased in inverse proportion.
As USCCB President Timothy Cardinal Dolan admitted in 2012, most bishops have had “laryngitis” on Humanae Vitae — for fifty years!
And the silence has spread. Many of the most vocal anti-Trump bishops are represented in Congress or the Senate by pro-abortion Catholics. The Wanderer has contacted staff in the offices of Catholic politicians with 100 percent NARAL (pro-abortion) ratings in Newark, N.J.; Brownsville, Texas; Stockton and Los Angeles, Calif.; and Richmond, Va.; not one can find any record of their bishop having publicly condemned their boss’ pro-abortion position, by name, the way he has attacked the policies of Donald Trump.
Why the silence? At the recent convocation held in Orlando, USCCB President Daniel Cardinal DiNardo of Houston unconsciously confirmed his conference’s failure to teach Lumen Gentium’s fundamental teaching.
“Way back when,” Cardinal DiNardo tells an interviewer, “I was chair of the Pro-Life Committee.” Conference staffers “were trying to figure out how we can deal, within the Church, with points of view that really should be complementary but sometimes are in tension . . . the pro-life and the social justice people, for instance.”
For the president of the USCCB, “social justice” and the sanctity of life are just two “points of view.” Pro-lifers apparently just haven’t yet gotten the bishops’ message, after forty years, that the Democrat Party welfare-state platform “really ought to be complementary” with their defense of life.
Humanae Vitae’s 49th birthday is July 25. Is your diocese going to celebrate it?

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Bishops to Trump: Don’t abandon young people to deportation

Washington D.C., Jul 20, 2017 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Undocumented young people brought to the U.S. by their parents contribute to American society and deserve continued protections from the Trump administration, said the U.S. Catholic bishops this week. “These…Continue Reading

Facing outrage – Facebook unblocks Catholic pages

Dozens of Catholic Facebook pages have been blocked, according to several Catholic news organizations. UPDATE: Facebook has unblocked more than 20 Catholic-interest pages – blaming the issue on a technical glitch. “All Pages have now been restored,” a Facebook spokesperson…Continue Reading

Bishops stress hospitality for Camino de Santiago hosts

Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Jul 14, 2017 / 04:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The bishops of Spain and France have published a new letter emphasizing the importance of hospitality for people who host pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, offering guidelines…Continue Reading

Cardinal Sarah wants ‘liturgical reconciliation’ between old and new forms of Mass

Sarah says phrase ‘reform of the reform’ should no longer be used but wants ordinary version of Mass to be more like the extraordinary form The Cardinal leading the Vatican’s divine worship office has called for a truce in the…Continue Reading

Video game store promotes graphic animated porn to 35 million child users

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 10, 2017 (NCOSE) – A mainstream online video game store, with an estimated 35 million users under the age of 18, is facilitating gamified sexual coercion and animated pornography featuring genitalia, ejaculation, to users of all ages. This…Continue Reading

Trump: ‘If We Do Not Have Strong Families and Strong Values…We Will Not Survive’

(CNSNews.com) – The values that bind America and Europe together – freedom, faith and family — are threatened from the outside by common enemies and from the inside by bureaucracy, President Donald Trump told a cheering crowd of Poles in…Continue Reading

House Republican says health care bill in jeopardy over Planned Parenthood

Rep. Trent Franks said Wednesday that if Planned Parenthood funding is added to the GOP health care bill, numerous Republican senators will no longer support it. “I think a lot of us are ‘no’ votes,” the Arizona Republican said. “We can’t continue…Continue Reading

Müller has a clear criticism of Francis

Critical criticism of Pope Franziskus was voiced by the Kurien Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mueller. He told the “Passauer Neuen Presse” (Thursday) that Pope Francis Francis had informed him of the decision not to extend his office as a prefect of the…Continue Reading

Cardinal Joachim Meisner, one of the four ‘dubia’ cardinals, has died aged 83

Former German Bishops’ Conference president and Archbishop of Cologne Cardinal Joachim Meisner has died at the age of 83. Cardinal Meisner served as Archbishop of Cologne for 25 years. A spokesman for the archdiocese said he died on Wednesday morning…Continue Reading

Vietnamese Catholic blogger sentenced to 10 years in prison

HANOI, Vietnam – A Vietnamese court sentenced a Catholic blogger to 10 years in prison for propaganda against the Communist government. Rights activists described the sentence as “heavy.” Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, 37, also known as “Mother Mushroom,” was tried…Continue Reading

‘It’s not all black and white’: New cardinal criticizes 4 cardinals asking Pope for clarity

ROME, June 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — One of Pope Francis’ newly appointed cardinals is already calling out fellow cardinals who are questioning the new direction in which the Pope is trying to move the Church. Archbishop Juan José Omella of…Continue Reading

Vatican’s Cardinal Pell charged with sex abuse, vows to defend himself in Australia

Australian police on Thursday charged Cardinal George Pell, a top adviser to Pope Francis, with multiple historical sex crimes, bringing a worldwide abuse scandal to the heart of the Vatican. As Vatican economy minister, Pell is the highest-ranking Church official…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Today . . .

Bishop Conley: 50 years after Land O’Lakes, Catholic education needs renewal

Denver, Colo., Jul 21, 2017 / 04:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The 50th anniversary of a historic statement that changed Catholic higher education in America represents both a cautionary tale and a chance to reflect on Catholic renewal, said Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska. “The Land O’Lakes statement proposed to redefine the mission of the Catholic university. It rejected the authority of the Church, and of her doctrinal teaching,” Bishop Conley said. “It rejected…Continue Reading

Self-pitying and disgruntled, Cardinal Müller takes more jabs at Pope Francis

Cardinal Gerhard Müller has issued new, thinly veiled criticism of Pope Francis by complaining that the pontiff has effectively eliminated Germans from top positions in the Vatican and by insinuating that he is allowing a “pope cult” to fester. In an interview with the German news agency Deutsche Presse Agentur (dpa), which spanned some two hours, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) complained once more and at length…Continue Reading

Pro-Life Group Slams Republican Opposing Senate Bill to Defund Planned Parenthood

Senator Shelly Moore Capito is one of three Republicans in the Senate who opposes the Senate bill to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal Obamacare. She has flip-flopped from suporting the bill to opposing it — but her political calculations are not playing well at home. The junior senator from West Virginia previously voted to repeal the failing ObamaCare legislation but did so expecting a certain veto from then President Obama. Now, it appears that Capito…Continue Reading

In latest appointments, Pope names new members of Roman Rota

Vatican City, Jul 20, 2017 / 06:15 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Fr. Pierangelo Pietracatella and Fr. Hans-Peter Fischer are the newest members of the Roman Rota, and mark the latest in a string of appointments Pope Francis has made this summer as part of his ongoing effort to restructure the Roman Curia. Hailing from the northern Italian diocese of Toronta, Fr. Pietracatella, a member of the Rota, has been named as it’s new Chief of Office.…Continue Reading

Archbishop Chaput Responds to Vatican Magazine Attack On Pro Trump Supporters . . .

chaput

History is full of great quotations that people never said. One of the best lines comes from Vladimir Lenin. He described Russian progressives, social democrats, and other fellow travelers as “useful idiots” – naïve allies in revolution whom the Bolsheviks promptly crushed when they took power. Or so the legend goes. In fact, there’s no evidence Lenin actually spoke those words, at least in public. But no one seems to care. It’s a compelling line,…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Wellington Mara… A Pro-Life Giant

By DONALD DeMARCO An unexpected gift arrived in the mail some time ago — a copy of Judie Brown’s autobiography, courtesy of Wellington Mara, co-owner of the New York Football Giants. It was on the basis of my friendship with Mrs. Brown and the fact that I was seen as “a co-worker in her mission…Continue Reading

Alliance Defending Freedom… Condemns ABC’s “Journalistic Malpractice”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel and Director of Communications Kerri Kupec commented July 13 on ABC News’ abandonment of objectivity in repeating false accusations against ADF made by the ultra-partisan Southern Poverty Law Center. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke at an Alliance Defending Freedom meeting on July 11, “and some in…Continue Reading

A Book Review… A Non-Polemical Study The Third Secret Of Fatima

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY On the Third Part of the Secret of Fatima, by Kevin Symonds (En Route Books and Media, 2017, 582 pages, $35.00 paperback, $10.05 Kindle). On the Third Part of the Secret of Fatima is a quite comprehensive treatment of this difficult subject, and one based on extensive documentation and copious footnotes.…Continue Reading

A Pope Who Understood The American Vision

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate distributed this column.) + + + It was a bright April day in Washington, D.C., when a large crowd gathered on the South Lawn of the White House to greet a man celebrating his 81st birthday. The…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . A Disturbing Portrait Of The Present-Day American Left

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly] in Crisis. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also cofounder and president of…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Sacramental Seal Of Confession

By DON FIER Only bishops and priests, as we saw last week, are valid ministers of the Sacrament of Penance. Just as Christ works through His ordained ministers in the Eucharist to transform bread and wine into His Body and Blood, so too He works through bishops and priests to forgive the sins of repentant sinners. The Vicar of Christ…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I never hear our priest talk about the Apostolic Pardon. Please explain this blessing to me and why I don’t hear much about it. — M.G., Alabama. A. Once the Sacrament of Penance has been given to a dying person, says the document Pastoral Care of the Sick (n. 201), “the priest may give the Apostolic Pardon for the…Continue Reading

The Pearl Of Great Price

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Seventeenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: 1 Kings 3:5, 7-12 Romans 8:28-30 Matt. 13:44-52 In the Gospel reading today, our Lord tells us that the Kingdom of Heaven is like something that is hidden: a treasure buried in a field, a merchant searching for a pearl, or an item pulled ashore in a net.…Continue Reading

Maiorem Hac Dilectionem . . . A New Way Toward Beatification

(Editor’s Note: Below we publish the full text of the Holy Father’s motu proprio on a new way toward beatification, titled, Maiorem hac dilectionem. It takes its title from the words of our Lord as recorded in the Gospel According to St. John, “Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends”…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Charlie Gard Case A Warning For Faith

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The world has become embroiled in the story of Charlie Gard, the British infant caught in the web of the National Health System, the bureaucrats of which have decided that he must be denied any further help and “allowed to die.” Any further efforts of doctors to aid him are seen as the cause of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bonaventure

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are many saints who have been called saints long before the formal process for canonization was put in place. Some of the names by which we know them may not be the names they were given at birth, but indicate their special gifts. For example, St. Veronica, known from the sixth station of the cross, may…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bridget

By CAROLE BRESLIN One of St. Teresa of Calcutta’s most quoted sayings would fit with this column’s saint, “God hasn’t called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful.” What encouraging words for anyone seeking to do God’s will, knowing that the cross, the setbacks, and the obstacles are all part of working for the Kingdom of…Continue Reading