Friday 1st December 2023

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Power And Responsibility Revisited

November 26, 2023 Frontpage Comments Off on Power And Responsibility Revisited


It is our first and fundamental duty to use power responsibly. This basic ethical principle should be taught to students as soon as possible. It is the first thing they must learn in order to grow morally. We all have power and that power can be used for good or for ill. Being responsible means that our power is used for good.
Some years ago an All-Star team comprised of college football players from the East and from the West played a game at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco. Proceeds of the affair went to provide medical care for disabled children. The motto of the game was “Strong legs run so that weak legs can walk.” This is a beautiful motto. The power of the strong was exercised for the benefit of the weak. It is a fine example of using power responsibly. The “strong” benefit by having the personal satisfaction that they have helped the weak. The weak benefit because they become stronger. It is a win-win situation, a game in which both “sides” are victorious.
In 1953, Columbia Pictures released The Wild One, starring Marlon Brando. The film is regarded as the original outlaw biker film. The star’s persona became a cultural icon of the fifties.
Motorcycles afforded a sense of power to their riders which was increased when their riders traveled in gangs. This power, however, was never put to good use. In one scene, a young woman is terrified when a group of bikers encircled her while blinding her with flashing lights. It was a scene that was repeated in life away from the camera, indicating how motion pictures can influence human behavior. Johnny Strabler, played by Marlon Brando, was seen as cool and imperturbable.
He and his comrades exulted in the feeling of power, and they flaunted it. Inevitably, they set in motion a chain of violence. All power contains a temptation. The bikers in the movie surrendered to that temptation without thinking, that is to say, not thinking that their power could be put to good use.
Having power is not something about which anyone should boast. In fact, it should confer a sense of humility. The purpose of power is to serve and the servant should accept his role with humility. Pope Gregory the Great adopted the title of “Servant of the servants of God” (Servus servorum dei). His power as Pope was put to good use by serving all those who serve God. The contrast between the All-Star football players and the bikers shows the former as representing a more attractive, more humanistic way of exercising power.
Exulting in a feeling of power may give a person a sense of invincibility. The reality, of course, is that no one is invincible. We may be immortal, but we are not invincible. And it is precisely because no one is invincible that we should direct our powers to helping others.
A physician has the power to heal or to harm. The Hippocratic Oath is perhaps the most widely known of Greek medical texts. It requires a new physician to swear that he will honor certain responsibilities that are inherent to his profession. The first of these responsibilities is: “Do no harm.” Included in the oath are the following words: “I will not give a lethal drug to anyone, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.”
We are only too painfully aware how the responsibilities contained in the Hippocratic Oath are no longer honored. A physician may not be able to heal in a particular case, but he can always refrain from harming his patient. In other words, his power is always linked to his responsibility to serve.
Among the many powers that are at our disposal is the power of love. The power of love is contradicted by the love of power. Love promotes the good of the other. It does not glory in power for itself. By its very nature, it exists to serve. And responsibility flows from its very essence. In John Paul II’s book, Love and Responsibility, the now canonized saint makes the point that when love divorces itself from a sense of responsibility, it contradicts itself.
Love is not love that eschews responsibility. Love and responsibility go hand in hand. The former Pontiff, writing as Karol Wojtyla, concludes: “The greater the feeling of responsibility for the person the more true love there is.”
In stating that love is inseparable from a sense of responsibility is also to say that love is the renunciation of power over the other. God created human beings as free agents. In this regard, His act of creation was accompanied by a renunciation of power over them. He did not create puppets. He did not take away their freedom. Yet, in making man free, He permitted him to use power over his neighbor. God, being love, however, and creating man with the mandate to love, indicates that God wills that man not use power over others.
Man should likewise love others and refrain from using power over them. Love is a power, but when used responsibly, it is power for and not power over.
God has granted us power. It is our task to use power responsibly. In this notion we find the very sum and substance of the moral law.

A Leaven In The World . . . Francis’ Agenda

November 19, 2023 Frontpage Comments Off on A Leaven In The World . . . Francis’ Agenda


Catholics who believe the Faith should have practical consequences in their lives should prepare now to be completely disenfranchised. With the forced removal of Bishop Joseph Strickland, the former ordinary of Tyler, Texas, the purge of cardinals and bishops who speak with clarity about the current “crisis of the Magisterium,” as Robert Cardinal Sarah describes it, comes closer to us all.
If they can do it to a cardinal or bishop, they can do it to you or me. But only if we let them.
Yes, Francis can gradually and inexorably separate from office and governance in the Church any who insist on teaching faith and morals as the Church has always done, and which no Council or Pope has the power to change, but that does not mean that he has “changed the faith.”
Wherever the holy Catholic Faith is lived by any of the baptized, the holy Catholic Faith is alive. Francis intimidates, abuses, excoriates, unjustly condemns and punishes, but that is all he can do. We witness the futile raging of a man who possibly had a troubled and unresolved relationship with his own father. Who knows? He certainly detests those who believe that the Faith should have practical consequences for our lives, as in obedience to the Commandments.
First Cardinals Burke, Mueller, Sarah, and others were fired. Then bishops around the world, including Puerto Rico and other places were removed from office without any proof of wrongdoing. Then Bishop Rey in France was forbidden to ordain any new priests. And now Strickland has been fired without any explanation, thus leaving the faithful to interpret the situation as maliciously as they choose. A scandal and a miscarriage of justice!
If Bishop Strickland has done wrong, make plain to him and to us all what it was. He holds a public office in the Church and his removal, whether justly or unjustly, affects all of us, beginning with his own faithful in Texas. Injury done to the father is injury done to the children and to the family.
The pattern repeats itself: Anyone who clings to the Traditional Faith, which unfailingly upholds traditional morals, anyone who shelters or ordains men to the traditional priesthood, all are made to feel as though at any moment they may find themselves in the crosshairs of Francis. Then follows an apostolic visitation, no explanation of what is wrong so the matter in question could be addressed and corrected, and removal. A reign of terror.
Many of the favorites of Pope Francis meanwhile commit all sorts of outrageous attacks upon faith and morals with impunity, compounding scandal to the faithful. And that is perhaps where the trouble began for Bishop Strickland.
He made the mistake of standing up and calling his brother bishops to account at a USCCB meeting in regard to the McCarrick affair. He mentioned, without naming him, the homosexualist Fr. Martin and criticized the fact that he commits every sort of verbal assault on faith and morals repeatedly and is rewarded with repeated personal audiences and handwritten notes by the Pope.
He touched the third rail of the Francis papacy and paid the price.
It is more than warranted at this point to call Pope Francis to account in accord with the parrhesia that he himself has endorsed. He has one job. That job is to sound and act like a Catholic not sometimes, but all the time. We do not love him if we do not hope and pray for his salvation. He will be judged as will we all by the Lord who has clearly taught through the Commandments and through His words and works in the Gospels as handed down apostolically that chastity in every vocation is a requirement for the personal holiness without which we cannot enter the Kingdom of God.
Christian chastity, a non-negotiable, requires the complete continence of abstinence for all those who are not called to the sacrament of marriage. Period.
The Pillar, at, reported: “In a May post, the bishop said that he believed that Pope Francis is the Pope, ‘but it is time for me to say that I reject his program of undermining the Deposit of Faith’.”
“The bishop, active on Twitter, renamed his account on the site November 11 to @BishStrickland, removing reference to the Tyler Diocese.
“Strickland’s removal from office by the Pope follows a September 9 meeting between Pope Francis and Cardinal Robert Francis Prevost, OSA, head of the Dicastery for Bishops, and Cardinal Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States, to discuss the apostolic visitation.
“‘There is the matter of the public scandal from all these comments about the Pope and the synod, but there are also real problems in the diocese. Those were the focus of the visitation; there are concerns in the diocese about governance, about financial matters, about basic prudence,’ the official said.
“The apostolic visitation included questions about the governance of a diocesan high school, considerable staff turnover in the diocesan curia, the bishop’s welcome of a controversial former religious sister as a high school employee, and the bishop’s support for ‘Veritatis Splendor’ — a planned Catholic residential community in the diocese, which has struggled with controversy involving its leadership’s financial administration and personal conduct.
“Sources familiar with the investigation have previously told The Pillar that diocesan officials and clergy interviewed as part of the process were asked about the possibility of Strickland stepping down and canvassed for their views about suitable possible successors.
“It is extremely rare for a Pope to remove a bishop from his diocese, though his legal power to do so is established.”
Yes, Pope Francis can brandish his universal power to fire anyone he pleases. However, such behavior runs counter to his frequent protestations in support of the prerogatives of local bishops.
If you dig deeply enough you can find almost anywhere an administrative reason for sacking nearly anyone. One of the reasons bishops and pastors hire bookkeepers, have audits, and get regular canonical inspections for record-keeping and other matters is that mistakes happen. It’s human.
Bishops sometimes in goodwill make mistaken judgments about people, or they are deceived. Personnel decisions can be affected negatively as a result. It’s nothing new and can happen to any bishop whether he is considered progressive or not.
We have been asked to believe over and over again that Pope Francis himself has been deceived and as a result made bad personnel decisions in, among other places, Chile, Argentina, and Rome, most infamously with Rupnik, the serial rapist and spiritual abuser who poses as a mosaic artist.
Rupnik was rapidly and mysteriously restored by the Pope after excommunication for absolving an accomplice in a sin against the Sixth Commandment, but whose supposed “contrition” was belied by his refusal to cooperate with a Jesuit investigation, for which he was then expelled from the order. After all this he was rapidly incardinated into a Slovenian diocese. No such accommodations for the exemplary Bishop Strickland.
But it sometimes happens in the military, the business world, and the Church that if you simply don’t like someone you can also use any slightest infraction falling under administrative procedures or policies to fire them. We would have to be terribly naive to fail to admit that we are left with more than enough evidence to come to the conclusion that we are witnessing a petty and vindictive campaign of revenge.
Does this smack of Christian charity and the love of a shepherd after the pattern of Jesus Christ?

Explanations Are In Order … Pope Francis … What Are You Doing?

November 11, 2023 Frontpage Comments Off on Explanations Are In Order … Pope Francis … What Are You Doing?


In what seems to be a pattern emanating from the Eternal City, another outspoken orthodox prelate has been removed without explanation. A shepherd who has been forthright in proclaiming and defending Church teaching on marriage, life, and sexuality, and condemning all of the evils that are infecting our society and churches today.

Bishop Strickland has been removed as bishop of Tyler personally by Pope Francis without explanation. The bishop deserves an explanation and so do the Catholic faithful. Not only is this an injustice to the good and holy bishop, but the immediate impact of this is scandalous and harmful to the Church.

What is the message here, Pope Francis? Because the immediate inference — due to the lack of explanation — causes this to be seen as an unjust action which triggers some obvious assumptions:

Does it not seem that prelates who preach the authentic teachings of Christ boldly and without shame especially in the public square are persona non grata in the Catholic Church?

Is there not some sort of double standard here? The world recently witnessed the case of Fr. Marko Rupnik, the former Jesuit priest who is accused of serious abuses against women, but was accepted for priestly ministry in a diocese in Slovenia.

One need only witness the fiasco of the so-called Synod on “Synodality” to be left with the perception that Pope Francis is trying to change Church teaching.

This “sacking” of Bishop Strickland without explanation is only a fraction of the endless scandals that continue coming from this papacy. This of course is a papacy that promised the faithful full clarity and transparency at its inception.

Souls will continue to be lost due to the confusion and the continued obfuscation emanating from Rome.

Let us hope that this is a watershed moment in the papacy of Pope Francis, if for no other reason than this event wakes up enough clerics to confront the Pope and address the great harm that is being caused by this papacy. Yes, Francis is the Pope — but that does not mean he is unaccountable for his actions — especially those that cause scandal.

A Good And Faithful Prelate

In my experience, hearing the name of Bishop Strickland, I will always think of the title “guardian of the Doctrine of the Faith.” Is there a more honorable role for a Catholic bishop? The bishop has referred to that responsibility many times in his “job description” as Bishop of Tyler — an oath every bishop takes when he is appointed a shepherd of the flock — and an oath every bishop should take very seriously.

By all accounts Bishop Strickland did just that! — always quick and courageous to defend and promote the Catholic Faith especially in the public square. His witness to the Catholic faith at the “LGBTQ2+” event at Dodgers stadium will always be a testament to his faith and courage. This is just one of countless examples of Bishop Strickland being the sole voice in the wilderness proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And, of course, the silence of his peers was deafening.

Justly or unjustly stripped of his Diocese of Tyler, I think it is safe to say we have not heard the last from Bishop Strickland. He has always proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the need for us to turn to Jesus, in these difficult times. Let’s pray for the good bishop that he will continue to proclaim the message of Christ wherever his journey takes him. Let’s also pray that we take his message seriously also. Godspeed Bishop Strickland!

Pray for the Pope, Pray for Bishop Strickland, Pray for the Church!

— Joseph Matt, Publisher, The Wanderer

Omnium Sanctorum… “Humility Is Essential To All Those Who Wish To Be Saved”

November 3, 2023 Frontpage Comments Off on Omnium Sanctorum… “Humility Is Essential To All Those Who Wish To Be Saved”


“Ecce ego Joánnes vidi álterum Angelum ascendéntem ab ortu solis, habéntem signum Dei vivi: et clamávit voce magna quátuor Ángelis, quibus datum est nocére terræ et mari, dicens: Nolíte nocére terræ et mari, neque arbóribus, quoadúsque signémus servos Dei nostri in fróntibus eórum” “In Paradise there are many Saints who never gave alms on earth: their poverty justified them. There are many Saints who never mortified their bodies by fasting, or wearing hairshirts: their bodily infirmities excused them. There are many Saints too who were not virgins: their vocation was otherwise. But in Paradise there is no Saint who was not humble” (Apo 7:2-3). God banished Angels from Heaven for their pride; therefore, how can we pretend to enter therein, if we do not keep ourselves in a state of humility? Without humility, says St. Peter Damian [Serm. 45], not even the Virgin Mary herself with her incomparable virginity could have entered into the glory of Christ, and we ought to be convinced of this truth that, though destitute of some of the other virtues, we may yet be saved, but never without humility. There are people who flatter themselves that they have done much by preserving unsullied chastity, and truly chastity is a beautiful adornment; but as the angelic St. Thomas says: “Speaking absolutely, humility excels virginity” [4 dist. qu. xxxiii, art. 3 ad 6; et 22, qu. clxi, art. 5].

We often study diligently to guard against and correct ourselves of the vices of concupiscence which belong to a sensual and animal nature, and this inward conflict which the body wages adversus carnem [Gal. 5:17] is truly a spectacle worthy of God and of His Angels. But, alas, how rarely do we use this diligence and caution to conquer spiritual vices, of which pride is the first and the greatest of all, and which, sufficed of itself to transform an Angel into a demon! Jesus Christ calls us all into His school to learn, not to work miracles nor to astonish the world by marvelous enterprises, but to be humble of heart. “Learn of Me, because I am meek and humble of heart” [Matt. 11, 29]. He has not called everyone to be doctors, preachers, or priests, nor has He bestowed on all the gift of restoring sight to the blind, healing the sick, raising the dead, or casting out devils, but to all He has said:

“Learn of me to be humble of heart,” and to all He has given the power to learn humility of Him. What then? Must we suppose that all the treasures of Divine Wisdom which were in Christ are to be reduced to the virtue of humility? “So it certainly is,” answers St. Augustine. Humility contains all things because in this virtue is truth; therefore, God must also dwell therein, since He is the truth. The Savior might have said: “Learn of Me to be chaste, humble, prudent, just, wise, abstemious, etc.” But He only says: “Learn of Me, because I am meek and humble of heart”; and in humility alone He includes all things, because, as St. Thomas so truly says, “Acquired humility is in a certain sense the greatest good” [Lib. de sancta virginit. c. xxxv]. Therefore whoever possesses this virtue may be said, as to his proximate disposition, to possess all virtues, and he who lacks it, lacks all. Reading the works of St. Augustine, we find in them all that his sole idea was the exaltation of God above the creature as far as possible, and as far as possible the humble subjection of the creature to God. Humility is in reality a confession of the greatness of God, who after His voluntary self-annihilation was exalted and glorified; wherefore Holy Writ says: “For great is the power of God alone, and He is honored by the humble” [Ecclus. iii, 21]. It was for this reason that God pledged Himself to exalt the humble, and continually showers new graces upon them in return for the glory He constantly receives from them. Hence the inspired word again reminds us: “Be humble, and thou shalt obtain every grace from God” [Ecclus. iii, 20]. The humblest man honors God most by his humility, and has the reward of being more glorified by God, Who has said: “Whoever honors Me, I will glorify him” [1 Kings ii, 30]. Oh, if we could only see how great is the glory of the humble in Heaven! Humility is a virtue that belongs essentially to Christ, not only as man, but more especially as God, because with God to be good, holy, and merciful is not virtue but nature, and humility is only a virtue. God cannot exalt Himself above what He is, in His most high Being, nor can He increase His vast and infinite greatness; but He can humiliate Himself as in fact He did humiliate and lower Himself. “He humbled Himself, He emptied Himself,” [Phil. ii, 7, 8], revealing Himself to us, through His humility, as the Lord of all virtues, the conqueror of the world, of death, Hell, and sin.

No greater example of humility can be given than that of the Only Son of God when “the Word was made Flesh.” Nothing could be more sublime than the words of St. John’s Gospel, “In the beginning was the Word.” And no abasement can be deeper than that which follows: “And the Word was made Flesh.” By this union of the Creator with the creature the Highest was united with the lowest. Jesus Christ summed up all His Heavenly doctrine in humility, and before teaching it, it was His will to practice it perfectly Himself. As St. Augustine says: “He was unwilling to teach what He Himself was not, He was unwilling to command what He Himself did not practice” [Lib. de sancta virginit. c. xxxvi]. But to what purpose did He do all this if not that by this means all His followers should learn humility by practical example? He is our Master, and we are His disciples; but what profit do we derive from His teachings, which are practical and not theoretical? How shameful it would be for anyone, after studying for many years in a school of art or science, under the teaching of excellent masters, if he were still to remain absolutely ignorant! My shame is great indeed, because I have lived so many years in the school of Jesus Christ, and yet I have learnt nothing of that holy humility which He sought so earnestly to teach me.

There is a kind of humility which is of counsel and of perfection such as that which desires and seeks the contempt of others; but there is also a humility which is of necessity and of precept, without which, says Christ, we cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven: “Thou shalt not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven” [Matt. xviii, 3]. And this consists in not esteeming ourselves and in not wishing to be esteemed by others above what we really are. No one can deny this truth, that humility is essential to all those who wish to be saved. “No one reaches the kingdom of Heaven except by humility,” says St. Augustine. [Lib. de Salut. cap. xxxii] — From Fr. Cajetan Mary da Bergamo, Humility of Heart].

After Three Weeks Of Drama . . . House GOP Chooses Speaker Who Doesn’t Look Dramatic At All

October 26, 2023 Frontpage, Uncategorized Comments Off on After Three Weeks Of Drama . . . House GOP Chooses Speaker Who Doesn’t Look Dramatic At All


If it takes the United States at least two years to elect a president, or maybe four years or longer, maybe it’s not catastrophic that it takes the members of the U.S. House of Representatives three weeks to choose their speaker.
The campaign for the presidency has about become everlasting. No sooner has the quadrennial choice been finalized than strategists, prognosticators, and journalists cast their gaze ahead to the next one or even farther into the future.
So perhaps it’s not disastrous that after Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) surprisingly was removed on October 3, it took until October 25 to consider other possibilities before unanimous first-ballot acceptance of a new speaker with the unremarkable-sounding name of Mike Johnson (R., La.).
Although Donald Trump jokingly joined growing warnings that it was proving impossible to reach the 217-vote level necessary to become speaker — Trump kidded that only Jesus could do it — the pro-Trump Johnson refuted them all.
Actually, Trump while in New Hampshire on October 23 said seriously that he expected a “positive” result to “end up working well…pretty soon.”
And the Lord already has a job.
Johnson’s profile may have been new nationally when he suddenly became third in line to the presidency, but he was a familiar co-worker to other House members.
After they toiled their way past speaker candidates whose names may have carried too much baggage — Steve Scalise (R., La.), Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), and Tom Emmer (R., Minn.) — the modest-appearing Johnson seemed to be just what they wanted as he prevailed in the narrowly divided House by gaining 220 votes, versus Democrat Party extremists’ unanimous vote of 209 for Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D., N.Y.).
As Johnson made his first public remarks after winning, one notable quality leapt right out — he speaks merely a million times better than the guffawing, rambling, spaced-out, and incompetent vice president right ahead of him in line of succession, Democrat Kamala Harris.
There was an uncanny note, too. The Florida Republican who set in motion what had appeared to be McCarthy’s disastrous removal as speaker, Cong. Matt Gaetz, may have been proven correct after all for saying that the successor to McCarthy would be an improvement.
It was reasonable that news media would want to inform their audiences of what the new speaker amounted to. However, dominant left-wing media’s immediate disgust at describing him in “news” as well as opinion coverage showed he hadn’t been one of their ideological errand boys.
No doubt they’ll be trying to hammer Johnson into changing with their carrot and the stick and other methods. But his traditionalist record on issues like pro-life and marriage had left them no comfort. Why, Johnson didn’t sound a bit like media-beloved notoriously bad Catholics Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi.
The Wanderer took a look at Johnson coverage of some prominent U.S. and European newspapers’ online front pages.
The New York Times headlined, “Republicans unite around a hard-right conservative. The far right gets its man of the House” who, text added, “can be expected to press a hard-right social and fiscal agenda.”
The second and third sentences of The Washington Post’s online lead story: “Republicans welcomed a candidate they considered noncontroversial after three weeks of infighting. Democrats criticized his background as extreme, pointing in part to his opposition to certifying President Biden’s 2020 electoral win.”
An up-front Washington Post analysis may prove accurate if one takes the left-wing perspective: “The GOP rebuked Gaetz and the ‘chaos caucus.’ Then it rewarded them.”
Hard-left Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus’ view was headlined, “As House speaker, Mike Johnson is as dangerous as Jim Jordan.” The first sentence was: “If you were worried about Speaker Jim Jordan, Speaker Mike Johnson might just curl your hair.”
(Hey, why not call writers like Marcus “hard left” when they and their platforms are so free to blast traditional conservatives as “hard right”?)
Under the headline “Johnson Made His Name as Cultural Conservative,” The Wall Street Journal’s one-sentence online summary said, “Louisiana representative Mike Johnson’s opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion, along with support for religious freedoms, has guided him as a legislator.”
The Journal’s story began that by choosing Johnson, “Republicans have cast their lot with a little-known congressman from Louisiana who has made his name pushing conservative positions on cultural issues and who played a key role in unsuccessful legal efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.”
Major Madrid left-wing daily El Pais’s headline was, “House of Representatives elects ultra-conservative Mike Johnson as speaker,” and a subhead saying, “Republicans end three weeks of chaos by electing an evangelical Christian who tried to overturn the results of the 2020 election.”
El Pais’s story included quoting Democratic Cong. Pete Aguilar saying that Republicans didn’t stop until they found “the person who can pass their litmus test of extremism to oppose marriage equality and push for a nationwide abortion ban with no exceptions, cut Social Security and Medicare, and support the overturning of a free and fair election’.”
The Citizen Free Press aggregator ran a montage of major-media headlines on Johnson, including these: “Well, We Have a Speaker. He’s an Election Denier and an Extreme Christian Fundamentalist” (The New Republic), “Desperate GOP turns to election denier in race for House speaker” (MSNBC), “The New House Speaker Is a Far-Right Extremist Who Helped Plot 2020 Coup” (Rolling Stone), and “Mike Johnson Tried to Help Donald Trump Steal an Election. He’s Now Speaker of the House” (Vanity Fair).
Is it any wonder that media consumers who keep their noses stuck in such lying rabid articles are trembling every day with dread of Trump’s alleged upcoming Nazi takeover?
The Wanderer asked three sources to comment on Johnson as the new speaker.
National conservative commentator Quin Hillyer said: “Mike Johnson is one of the brightest guys in the House, and apparently well liked and trusted by his colleagues. That’s good. On the down-side, he didn’t just voice suspicions about the 2020 election, but embraced some of the most obviously loony and asinine conspiracy theories about it, such as that the voting machines were a corrupt plant from Communist Venezuela.
“He had to know those claims were false, but he eagerly spread them anyway. That’s not a good sign for his judgment and integrity. So, he’s a mixed bag,” Hillyer said.
Hillyer, a Southerner who had worked in Washington, D.C., said he hadn’t had personal knowledge of or contact with Johnson, “But my Louisiana contacts seem to like him personally quite a lot.
“I also watched him in a contentious Judiciary Committee hearing,” Hillyer said. “Out of all the GOP reps, almost all of whom came across like idiots, jerks, demagogues, or all three at once, Johnson was the ONLY one who actually knew how to ask good questions of witnesses and then how to concisely and deftly ask follow-up questions that actually followed logically to what the first answers were, rather than just dumbly reading staff-written nonsense completely unresponsive to the developing testimony.
“And, if the goal was to highlight deficiencies in the witness’ testimony, Johnson could do it very well, withOUT yelling or needlessly interrupting or making himself look like an ass or a bully,” he said. “So, he probably will represent the Conference well before the cameras. That’s what I mean about him being obviously quite smart.”

The Stupid Party?

Mary Ann Kreitzer, who runs the Virginia-based Catholic blog Les Femmes — The Truth, said: “The speaker fiasco has been a head-shaker and made the Republicans look stupid at best (columnist Joe Sobran used to call them the stupid party) and incompetent at worst.
“The Democrats always circle the wagons together around their satanic agenda. The Republicans, on the other hand, don’t mind having a decent platform, but are rarely interested in defending it,” Kreitzer said. “They are a mixture of RINOs, donkeys in elephant’s clothing, self-serving members of the uniparty, and a few members of integrity who will stick to moral principles.
“Our salvation is not in politics, thank God, but it’s still important, which is why we should pay attention. On the verge of a global war, the Republicans are engaging in their own petty internal war,” Kreitzer said. “Sad to say, most Americans probably couldn’t care less. They’re on their cell phones and Facebook counting the likes and hearts for photos of their latest meal. Perhaps we’re getting what we deserve.
“Mother Teresa often said that abortion would lead to war,” Kreitzer said, quoting the nun: “The greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?”
Kreitzer added about the House selection: “On the other hand, all the gyrations and arguments seemed to exhaust the members and may have resulted in a good outcome. Mike Johnson has a 100 percent pro-life voting record and is a strong constitutional lawyer. While he supported Ukraine against Russia’s invasion, he’s also opposed the ongoing financial support that’s bankrupting our country.
“As the world seems on the verge of Armageddon, we need to pray for our political leaders to broker peace; not make war,” she said. “We’ll see how successful the new speaker will be in unifying the stupid party of RINOs, uniparty warmongers, and donkeys in elephant’s clothing. I wish him well.”

Get Back To Work

In comments made earlier, conservative Republican political consultant Constantin Querard had criticized individual House members failing to support the choice of the majority of their colleagues in caucus but instead going their own way, so that neither nominees Scalise, Jordan, nor Emmer won a floor vote.
After Johnson was elected on his first floor vote, Querard commented to The Wanderer: “Looks like the GOP caucus finally figured out that the only way this works is if the members support the will of the majority of the caucus. It has long been understood, although quite a few members forgot about it for a while here in 2023, but everyone did what they were supposed to do and the U.S. House finally has a speaker again.
“Hopefully they can all get back to work and give the email fund-raising a rest for a few months, because there is a lot of work that needs their attention,” he said.
Querard also emailed a message to “you media types to keep in mind for next time”: “Johnson won with 100 percent of the GOP votes. So, juxtapose that against all the ‘establishment’ talk of the last few weeks, where we are told the establishment had the power and used their power to kill all the good candidates. That’s what we’ve been told, right?
“So today, all those same talking heads are cheering for Johnson and ignoring that he had the unanimous support of the establishment? But we’re supposed to believe the establishment killed Jordan because he and Trump were allies, etc.,” Querard said. “Those are all lies being told to steer the grassroots one direction or another, and until people get smarter, those tactics will work.
“Now you can see it for yourself, so don’t forget it the next time you’re in a hurry for a story and someone hands you a convenient narrative likely to please center-right readers,” he said. “It may not be real.”
Earlier in the week, before Johnson won, The Wanderer posed some questions to Querard including on the GOP difficulty choosing a speaker.
He replied: “Nothing has changed because we are still living in this new world where a certain number of Congressional Republicans suddenly no longer feel compelled to abide by the majority decision of the GOP caucus, so until a member can come along who can actually get 217 votes all by himself, you won’t get a speaker, until these members realize that this is unsustainable.
“And there is no reason for optimism because if there were a candidate that personally popular, he would have already been proposed, nominated, and elected,” he said. “The only people now running for speaker are candidates with less support than the candidates already disposed of by this broken process.”

Fine In The End

The Wanderer also asked if the two Arizona congressmen who were part of the eight GOP dissidents who forced McCarthy out, Andy Biggs and freshman Eli Crane, would have hurt themselves with the voters in 2024.
Querard replied: “Republican activists are still mostly okay with the vote to get rid of McCarthy, and the consequences of the House being without leadership have been minimal, for now. But there is a debt ceiling approaching and the business of this country can only wait for so long before the inability of Republicans to govern or to run the only part of the federal government we control becomes an issue.
“Biggs is perfectly safe in his district regardless of the outcome, but if the consequences actually start to impact regular folks, then a candidate like Crane might face some heat,” Querard said. “But he fits his district pretty well and I’d think he’d be fine in the end.”
Asked if House Republicans hurt their reputation with voters in 2024 as being better than the Democrats, Querard said: “One unfortunate thing about the timing is that Congressional Republicans were actually polling well ahead of the Democrats when it comes to who is best to handle key issues. So making voters doubt you can actually handle any issues seems like a really bad political idea.
“There is a ton of time between now and next November, of course,” he said, “but they are wasting time they should be using on a budget, Israel, the Biden investigation, and more.”
Another of the eight GOP dissidents, South Carolina Cong. Nancy Mace, said she voted to remove McCarthy because that’s what her constituents wanted, and that she wasn’t voting according to some national GOP plan.
Querard replied: “We can give her the benefit of the doubt in this case and assume that her phones likely lit up with people wanting McCarthy gone. I have no doubt that McCarthy was unpopular in her district, as he is in most districts other than his own.
“But that goes for virtually every speaker of the House,” he said, “and so will Mace now keep voting to kick out all of the future speakers in the middle of their term? That might be a bad precedent to set.”

A Beacon Of Light… Pray The Rosary For World Peace

October 22, 2023 Frontpage Comments Off on A Beacon Of Light… Pray The Rosary For World Peace


Recently, on October 7, the Church celebrated the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary. This memorial was established by Pope St. Pius V on April 30, 1573. The creation of this celebration was in thanksgiving for the victory at Lepanto that took place on October 7, 1571. This celebration, along with many other Marian feasts and solemnities, provides us with an opportunity to reflect on many aspects of the Church’s Marian Traditions. In particular, we need to reflect upon the rosary and its powerful effect on world peace.
Today, however, there is none more important to our times than the message of peace revealed at Fatima. On May 13, 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, and mother of us all, appeared to the three shepherd children, Francisco, Jacinta, and Lucia.
At the time of her appearance in Fatima to the shepherd children, Europe was in turmoil. The continent was three years into what history remembers now as World War I — a conflict that left more than ten million dead and opened the world to a century of death and terror based on ideology, nationalism, and ethnic and racial hatreds. The Blessed Mother encouraged the children and the whole world to pray the rosary every day as a means of gaining peace in the world, in our families and in our own hearts.
Have we taken the Lady of Fatima’s message to heart?
Sadly, the recent wars in Ukraine and the terrible attacks on Israel, challenged the message of Fatima. Through the vicious and horrific actions of Russia, Hamas, and other extremists, the Israeli government was left with an enormous decision to make. Do the actions of these extremists exceed the threshold necessary for retaliation? And if this threshold is met, what is considered a proportional response?
In order for us to fully understand this, we need to examine for a moment the Church’s teaching on Just War Theory, and the criteria that must be met to justify a proportional response.
The Just War Theory is nothing new; in fact, it finds its early origins in the writing of St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430) who was the first Christian writer to describe the four conditions that must be met in order for a war to be just, but the roots of just war theory go back even to non-Christian Romans, particularly the Roman orator Cicero.
The Catholic Church distinguishes between two types of justice concerning war: jus ad bellum and jus in bello. Most of the time, when people discuss just war theory, they mean jus ad bellum (justice before the war). Jus ad bellum refers to those four conditions described by St. Augustine through which we determine whether a war is just before we go to war. Jus in bello (justice during the war) refers to how the war is conducted once a just war has been started. It is possible for a country to fight a war that meets the jus ad bellum conditions for being just, and yet to fight that war unjustly — by, for example, targeting innocent people in the enemy’s country or by dropping bombs indiscriminately, resulting in the deaths of civilians (commonly known by the euphemism “collateral damage”).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 2309) defines the four conditions that must be met in order for a war to be just: 1) the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain, 2) all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective, 3) there must be serious prospects of success, and 4) the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. These are hard conditions to fulfill, and with good reason: The Church teaches that war should always be the last resort.
The decision of whether the four criteria have been met in assessing if a war is just, is left to the civil authorities. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good” (n. 2309). In the United States, for instance, that means Congress, which has the power under the Constitution (Article I, Section 8) to declare war, and the president, who can ask Congress for a declaration of war. So, did the events of September 11, 2001, fulfill this criteria and justify the last twenty years of occupation in Afghanistan? The answer to that question resides in the mind and heart of then-President George W. Bush.
Whether one agrees or disagrees whether the war was justified, the fact remains, it was still war. In the same way, the government of Israel must decide if their actions of retaliation are justified. For some, the very surprise attack of Hamas radicals was reason to return fire. For others, however, a more diplomatic approach should have been used. Whichever discussion we may find ourselves leaning toward, we must pray during these horrific times during which we live.
Over the last several years, I have had the privilege to meet many of the brave men and woman who have represented ALL Americans with the endeavor of maintaining peace in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as other areas of the world. Their stories are heart-wrenching, their courage is commendable, but, most important, their love for the country they serve is unwavering!
Many have endured the loss of fallen comrades and many experience the post-traumatic stress that comes with war.
Still others have been mangled and now live their lives in either a wheelchair, or they are wearing a prosthetic limb. The young men and women who lost their lives must never be forgotten; they must always remain in our prayers and thoughts. Those who returned home safely are entitled to be treated with the utmost respect and must never lose our love and admiration for the sacrifices they made for us all.
And now we return to the beginning of our discussion of the celebration of the Marian solemnities, feasts, and memorials that remind us of the message of Fatima, and the Blessed Mother’s pleading for us to pray for peace. She gave the use of a great weapon in the fight for peace in our time! She gave the children of Fatima the rosary, the weapon that directs our hearts in desiring peace. Unfortunately, the Blessed Mother is shedding tears in Heaven, because she sees the total disregard humanity has for the innocent unborn and its very self!
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to return to Fatima and stand where the shepherd children gazed upon the image of the Blessed Mother and plead for her help! The world needs it, our country needs it, and our hearts are yearning for it!
Join me today in a renewal of fulfilling the message of Fatima by doing as the Blessed Mother has asked us all to do. Pray the rosary! Pray it each day even if you’re tired or find it difficult. The salvation of mankind is counting on you!
In closing, I pray the beautiful Memorare Prayer that I learned as a child:
“Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.” Amen.

A Leaven In The World… Remain In Truth While Synod Babbles

October 20, 2023 Frontpage Comments Off on A Leaven In The World… Remain In Truth While Synod Babbles


This week I offer some key points from Raymond Cardinal Burke’s October 3 speech at “The Synodal Babel” international conference in Rome, courtesy of journalist Edward Pentin. Make use of these as a constant reference in the face of any Synod propaganda issuing this Fall from Rome which denies Revelation and the Deposit of Faith.
“The whole synod process is presented as a work of the Holy Spirit who will guide all the members of the synod, but there is not a single word about the obedience due to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit that are always consistent with the truth of the perennial doctrine and the goodness of the perennial discipline that He has inspired throughout the centuries.”
“The moment these concepts [such as mercy or ‘synodality’] become central and are not clearly defined, the door is open to anyone who wants to interpret them in a way that breaks with the Church’s constant teaching on these issues. Indeed, Church history teaches us that the resolution of the worst crises, such as the Arian crisis, always begins with great precision in the vocabulary and concepts used.”
“Our Lord Jesus Christ who alone is our Savior is not at the root and center of synodality. The divine nature of the Church in its foundation and in its organic and enduring life is neglected and, in truth, forgotten.”
“…The way the current synod is organized has nothing to do with Eastern synods…There is confusion around the term synodality, which people artificially try to link to an Eastern practice, but which in reality has all the characteristics of a recent invention, especially with regard to the laity.”
“The Church has never taught that the Roman Pontiff has a special gift to constitute his own doctrine. The Holy Father is the first teacher of the Deposit of Faith which is in itself always alive and dynamic.”
“One must reflect on the gravity of the ecclesial situation when the prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith accuses of heresy and schism those who ask the Holy Father to exercise the Petrine Office to safeguard and promote the Depositum Fidei.”
“Although the current confusion is particularly great, even historically significant not to say unprecedented, we cannot believe that the situation is irreversible. As I have just mentioned, the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church. The Lord has promised to remain with us in the Church ‘to the close of the age.’ He does not lie. He is always faithful to His promises.”
Bishop Athanasius Schneider, in his talk delivered to the Catholic Identity Conference in Pittsburgh this year, referred to a general atmosphere of “intimidation” in the Church, in connection with the Synod and the public gestures of the Pope. Francis recently received Whoopi Goldberg, a vocal enemy of the Catholic Church and the Faith, and an outspoken advocate of legal child murder by abortion, in audience at Rome. She lauded him for his “support,” as she imagines it, for sodomy.
Any support that Pope Francis offers to sin remains his personal error and does not reflect upon or change the papacy which was founded and exists purely for confirming the faith in the Church and the world. Pope Francis is alone responsible for his words and deeds.
Bishop Schneider said, “Those with administrative power are triumphing right now. They have the buildings — we have the faith.”
The remnant of those who remain in the faith of all times and of the Catechism may become a remnant but they are the Church on Earth in continuity with Christ and the apostles.
He spoke about a “new political order” and the fact that the Holy See became a kind of chaplaincy for the UN and world political elites. At this point the Pope is well known for supporting “global programs; immigration politics destroying European Christian identity, de facto supporting LBGTQ by appointing bishops who further the agenda and Fr. James Martin propaganda. The Holy See is tolerating blessings of same-sex couples in Berlin, Munich, and other places. He does nothing which amounts to de facto support.”
Bishop Schneider said it is a “most grievous violation of justice and charity to deny truth to LGBTQ identifying individuals, exposing their souls to damnation for all eternity.” A “filial and fraternal correction done with the right intention and proper mode is a public witness of faith and act of charity” for these and any persons caught up in sin.
Bishop Schneider has on a few occasions himself made fraternal corrections of the Pope. For example, he opposed the Abu Dhabi agreement which erroneously stated that God wills all religions. He spoke personally to the Pope who then agreed that God “permitted” such, though not directly willing it. But, despite this, the document was left as is.
“Do not abandon Mother Church in her Golgotha hours,” the bishop urged. Do acts of “reparation and penance.” He counseled that we “protest’ the denial of the faith by its official representatives in Rome, but “do not leave the Church.”
He referred to St. Elizabeth Hesselblad, who said, “If the Pope and all priests abandon God it will not shake my faith.” He said to avoid the extreme of the sedevacantists. In the face of repeated and increasing scandals that are traced back to the actions and words of Pope Francis, we must “take a supernatural view, not using extreme statements as protests.” He said to remember that “the Pope is not identical with the Church. The Church is greater than the Pope.”
We are strong as we remain in “the Faith is of all the saints, all Popes, all time. A single Pope is short, not long” in the perspective of the Church throughout time and all over the globe.
“The Church is not in our hands,” he said, but “in the hands of Our Lord Jesus Christ, though the Church is, at the same time, “in unprecedented crisis.”
“We must be like our Lady under the Cross,” he said, “we must ask for strong faith like hers.” He urged that we “offer suffering as a small offering for the purification of the Church. Let no one take away your joy in the Catholic Faith.”
According to Catholic World Report, José Miguel Gomez Rodríguez, the archbishop of Manizales in Colombia, has added his voice to that of bishops who, like Schneider and Cardinal Burke, oppose the fantasy that a Synod can change faith and morals.
“Before the synod, a few days before, they published the Pope’s answers to some questions or doubts that some cardinals had raised and there are also these questions, in such a way that what the Pope wants is for us to handle with great respect and great delicacy the questions that people have in their hearts and that we answer them with so much respect that no one is offended, that everyone has clear in their minds the why of things,” Gómez explained.
The Colombian prelate emphasized that “the synod cannot remove pages from the Bible, the synod does not have that kind of authority, nor does the Pope remotely want that.” When asked in an interview with ACI/Prensa whether the Church can bless so-called same sex relationships, the prelate responded, “No, but the Church already knows that answer.”
A legitimate question: When will bishops and the Pope start speaking and acting like the Church already knows the answers?
Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.

The Origins Of USCCB Political Authority

October 17, 2023 Frontpage Comments Off on The Origins Of USCCB Political Authority


Bishop David J. Malloy, chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, writes a lot of letters to Congress. A lot of other bishops do too, and they usually identify themselves as the “Chair” of some conference committee or other.

I recently ran across Bishop Malloy’s April 2023 letter to Congress regarding the Foreign Aid Appropriations bill. In it, Bishop Malloy identifies over a dozen funding categories, offering the USCCB’s official recommendation of specific amounts for each of them.

For example, Bishop Malloy requests that Congress approve $2,728,500,000 for “USAID Malaria, TB, Global Health Security & other NTDs,” $4,725,000,000 for “DOS/PEPFAR HIV/AIDS,” and $1,600,000,000 for something called the “Green Climate Fund.”

He adds: “The U.S. Bishops strongly oppose any expansion of taxpayer funding of abortion,” but curiously, he does not insist that such funding decrease or cease altogether.

But while Bishop Malloy recommends funding this year’s appropriations for “Maternal Health and Child Survival” ($1,012,000,000), he does not oppose the Biden Administration’s funding for “family planning” that go to pro-abortion organizations throughout the Third World.

In fact, our bishops have endorsed federal foreign aid funding of abortion for years. In 2010, I wrote Bishop Howard Hubbard, who chaired the International Justice and Peace Committee at the time. He had recently written Congress with a request to continue legislation that included such funding.

“Your Excellency, I worked for many years on Capitol Hill, specifically on foreign aid legislation. Many Catholics, on Capitol Hill and elsewhere, disagree with your particular prudential views. Nonetheless, speaking for the USCCB, you endorse specific legislative particulars on which good Catholics disagree in the name of Holy Mother Church. In your words, ‘it would be wrong’ to oppose your views.

“My question, then, is this: Does your public advocacy of such specific legislation constitute a teaching of the ‘authentic magisterium of their bishops,’ like Humanae Vitae, to which the ‘faithful are bound to adhere with religious submission of mind’ (Canon 753; Lumen Gentium 25)?  Is a Catholic of goodwill bound by Canon Law ‘to adhere with religious submission of mind’ to your prudential political views? 

“I make this request in ‘Charity and respect for the truth’ [CCC, n. 2489] and look forward to your reply.”

Bishop Hubbard sent me a gracious and helpful reply. The USCCB offers “moral guidance on the general direction of proposed legislation” because “the Church is concerned with the temporal aspects of the common good….” (CCC, n. 2420). “The role of the state,” he wrote, “is to promote the common good of all,” and “political authorities are obliged to respect the fundamental rights of the human person…especially of families and the disadvantaged” (CCC, n. 2237).

In closing, Bishop Hubbard observed that “of course, it is possible for people of good will to disagree over how precisely to protect the rights and welfare of poor and vulnerable people, but the obligation to do so is without question. Sadly, this question is not a major element of the national debate on deficit reduction.”

“Financial Windows” And Other Magisterial Issues

A review of the USCCB website reveals that our bishops send literally hundreds of letters to Congress every year. They advocate spending in countless specific subcategories of federal legislation. They make authoritative statements regarding legislation on agriculture, the budget, taxes, the “Social Safety Net,” affordable housing, labor, “predatory banking” — even “Domestic Poverty in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.”

One wonders, where do our shepherds find the time to review millions of pages of proposed legislation and the accompanying reports before they write their letter and statements they give in testimony before congressional committees?

Bishop Malloy is ordinary of my old Diocese of Rockford, Ill. Right now, Rockford suffers economic decline bordering on disaster, yet the bishop apparently stays up night after night poring through data to identify those programs worthy of taxpayer funding.

Consider: He recommends that Congress “Increase U.S. funding of development banks” and support “additional replenishment of concessional financing windows.”

Does Bishop Malloy really understand the intricacies of “financing windows”?

Unlikely. For all we know, he might be recommending the waste of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars that will lead to another international bank bailout like that of the early 1980s. Which is his right, of course, like any other citizen. But he does it in the name of the Catholic Church. And our bishops have been doing it for years. 

But by what authority? How did the funding of “concessional financing windows” become part of the Church’s magisterial teaching? And where did that authority — or at least the bishops’ claim to it — come from, anyway?

How It All Got Started

Over a century ago, when there was no U.S. Catholic Bishops “Conference,” James Cardinal Gibbons was the lead spokesman for the Catholic Church in the United States.

Cardinal Gibbons, the archbishop of Baltimore, was known as the “Primate of America.” In the late nineteenth century, Catholics, millions of them only recently arrived, weren’t universally popular in the United States. In the face of intense opposition and considerable bigotry, the cardinal fought tenaciously to prove that Catholics were good citizens, and proud of it.

That animosity continued into the early 1900s. The Ku Klux Klan, whose members hated Catholics a lot more than they did Jews or blacks, had an extensive membership in the South and the Midwest. My father had been fighting them in the Ohio River Valley since he was a college student.

As war broke out in Europe in 1914, opposition to U.S. involvement was widespread, including among Catholics. German-Americans didn’t want to be drafted and forced to fight their cousins, and Irish-Americans had no desire to fight for their English oppressors.

Woodrow Wilson responded by running as a peace candidate in the 1916 campaign.

On election night my father, a Catholic University grad student at the time, led the cheers in front of the Democrat National Committee headquarters in Washington. “We want Wilson one time more we want peace we don’t want war,” the crowd roared.

Of course, Wilson quickly changed his tune, and Cardinal Gibbons was there to help — and that help included ignoring Pope Benedict XV.

Pope Benedict had urged Cardinal Gibbons to convince Wilson to keep his commitment to peace, but the cardinal feared that Catholics would be branded as traitors if he complied. He assured Wilson that Catholics were good Americans and would serve in the armed forces in numbers greater than their proportion in the population, and he was right: They did.

On April 6, 1917, Congress declared war on Germany. In August, America’s bishops, confronted with an unprecedented challenge, formed the National Catholic War Council to help Catholics in the military as well as their families here at home. After the war ended in 1918, the Council did not dissolve. Instead, it went further, addressing social issues that had arisen because of the war.

And there were a lot of them. In response, countless organizations, churches, political parties, and other groups were publishing their programs for reconstruction. The members of the Council decided it had to have one of its own, so in in February 1919, they published the text of a proposal written by Fr. John A. Ryan, and called it the “Bishop’s Program for Social Reconstruction.”

The Program was nothing short of a manifesto. It called for federal government policies ranging from taxes and labor laws to establishing a “living wage,” national healthcare, old age and unemployment insurance, and dozens of other unprecedented powers with very particular applications in the political and economic sphere all in the name of “Social Justice.”

With those marching orders in hand, the National Catholic War Council became the National Catholic Welfare Council. In 1923 “Council” was changed to “Conference,” and the once-temporary organization became permanent.

And that’s how Bishop Malloy’s authority on “financing windows” was born.

A “New Synod To Make A New Church”?

October 6, 2023 Frontpage Comments Off on A “New Synod To Make A New Church”?


I prefer to let cardinals of the Church speak, instead of me. I simply quote from the study The Synod, a Pandora Box, published in eight languages and sent to each and every Catholic bishop of the world.
Raymond Cardinal Burke wrote in the foreword, “Everyone who pays attention to the events of today in the Church sees that we are going through a great crisis, the most serious crisis in history. The coming synod on synodality (a new word that hardly any Catholic knows how to define with precision) reportedly aims to question the very structure of the Church. They propose to rethink the Church, transforming it into a new “constitutively synodal Church” by changing the basic elements of its organic constitution. This change is so radical that the Synod documents speak of “conversion,” as if the Church has been on the wrong path and needs to make a U-turn.
Gerhard Cardinal Mueller, former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, stated: “They are dreaming of another church that has nothing to do with the Catholic faith…and they want to abuse this process, for shifting the Catholic Church — and not only in [an]other direction but in the destruction of the Catholic Church.”
Speaking on the German Synodal Way, he said: “The Weg is controversial and has led to the approval of resolutions that have deprived the Catholic faithful of ‘the truth of the Gospel’ to replace it with ‘a homosexualized ideology, the true center of gravity of German synodalism’.”
The Synod will not discuss a specific pastoral theme, as is usually the case in these assemblies, but the very structure of the Church. For this reason, it is also known as the Synod on Synodality. They will give a voice to what they call minorities, who allegedly had had hardly any voice. But who are these minorities?
The Working Document for the Continental Stage of the Synod lists some of the minorities: “remarried divorcees, single parents, people living in a polygamous marriage, LGBTQ people, etc.”
The Working Document says that a new culture must be established in the Church, with new practices, structures, and habits for full and equal participation of women in the governing structures of ecclesiastical bodies. It says that many demand the female diaconate and the possibility to preach.
Since deacons are clergymen, and the diaconate is the first step to priesthood, therefore, some propose the ordination of women to the priesthood.
Pope Francis himself took a significant step. In April, for the first time in history, he granted women the power to vote in the Synod. The Roman Pontiff determined that up to 25 percent of Synod participants would be laypeople, men and women, all with equal voting rights with the bishops
The Most Rev. Marian Eleganti, OSB, auxiliary bishop emeritus of Chur, Switzerland, states: “Democracy, participation, empowerment, women in all offices and women’s diaconate or priesthood; revising sexual morality on extramarital sexual relations, remarriage and homosexuality: ending the priesthood in the liturgy, etc.”
Gavin Ashenden — former Anglican bishop and chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II, a convert to Catholicism, denounced the Synod’s Working Document as a Trojan horse. “Inclusion stays, judgment and hell go. Which is another way of saying, ‘Jesus goes, and Marx stays’.”
“They will naturally call for a renewal of structures at various levels of the Church:
“ — those living in adulterous second ‘marriages,’
“ — men who have two or three or more wives,
“ — homosexuals and bisexuals,
“ — people who believe they are not the sex they were born as,
“ — women who want to be ordained deacons and priests,
“ — lay people who want the authority given by God to bishops and priests.”
The late George Cardinal Pell described the Working Document as “one of the most incoherent documents ever sent out from Rome.”
“It is not a summary of Catholic faith or New Testament teaching. It is incomplete, hostile in significant ways to the apostolic tradition, and nowhere acknowledges the New Testament as the Word of God, normative for all teaching on faith and morals. The Old Testament is ignored, patriarchy rejected, and the Mosaic Law, including the Ten Commandments, is not acknowledged.”
Jean-Claude Cardinal Hollerich of Luxembourg, the Synod’s relator general, has called for a revision of the Church’s teaching on homosexuality, supported the priestly ordination of married men, and declared himself open to female ordinations.
He openly questioned the Magisterium of John Paul II on the ordination of women. He condemned the doctrine of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which calls homosexual persons to chastity: “Calling others to chastity seems like speaking Egyptian to them.” He concluded: “I find the part of the teaching calling homosexuality ‘intrinsically disordered’ a bit dubious.”
A typical example of this rebellious attitude was the approval of the document titled, “Blessings for Couples Who Love Each Other” (sic!), during the fifth and last Synodal Assembly in March 2023. The document passed by 176 votes in favor, 14 against, and 12 abstentions. The bishops voted 38 in favor, 9 against, and 11 abstained. This paper flatly contradicts the Vatican’s February 22, 2021 Responsum that “the Church does not have, and cannot have, the power to bless unions of persons of the same sex.”
Raymond Cardinal Burke also urged the Vatican to sanction bishops who voted to bless homosexual unions. Nothing happened.
The absence of any reprimand from Vatican authorities to Robert Cardinal McElroy for his scandalous article on homosexuality in the Jesuit magazine America is striking.
Cardinal Hollerich was confirmed in the decisive role of relator general of the Synod, even after his scandalous statements on the need to change the Church’s Magisterium on homosexuality. Moreover, he was included in the so-called C9 — the select group of cardinals who advise Pope Francis directly.
In short:
First: The German synod speaks favorably on homosexuality, women priests, communion for the divorced. The Pope is silent.
Second: Jean-Claude Cardinal Hollerich rejects the Christian teaching on sexuality. The Pope is silent.
Bishop Robert Barron of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester had already expressed his concerns about the moral relativism in one of the documents approved by the Synod. He wrote:
“As one poignant example, the Synodal Way approved a text for the blessing of couples that also applies to same-sex couples on the basis of a re-evaluation of homosexuality as a norm variant of human sexuality.” That measure passed with eighteen yes votes and only three no votes. A section of this just-quoted document, headed “Reasoning,” is disturbing to orthodox Catholics.
“The document basically insists on moral relativism and ridicules the perennial teaching of the Church’s Magisterium on sexual morality. The contemporary zeitgeist is upheld as being more in accord with God’s will than the Church’s official doctrine.”
“But some have been suggesting that the synod ought to consider a change in the Church’s moral teaching and sacramental discipline in order to make alienated Catholics feel more included. And here I hesitate, precisely because feelings, however intense, do not in themselves constitute a theological argument…The point is that we cannot adjudicate the matter by remaining at the level of feelings. We have to move to the level of real argument based on the Bible, the theological tradition, and the natural moral law.”
Shortly before his death, George Cardinal Pell commented:
“Previously, it [the motto] was: ‘Roma locuta. Causa finita est’ [Rome has spoken, the issue is settled]. Today it is: “Roma loquitur. Confusio augetur” [Rome speaks, confusion grows].
Indeed, Pope Paul VI’s prophetic warning has indeed come true: The Church entered a process of self-destruction and the smoke of Satan appears to be inside the sanctuary.
The Study on The Synod as the Pandora’s Box can be downloaded free of charge or be purchased in printed format from this site:
The study ends with this short prayer: “Let us beseech Our Lady, Mother of the Church, not to allow the disfigurement of her Divine Son’s Mystical Body to continue but, on the contrary, to hasten the restoration she promised at Fatima: “Finally, my Immaculate Heart will triumph!”

Watch Your Language!

October 2, 2023 Frontpage Comments Off on Watch Your Language!


                I don’t know if schools today put Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four on their reading lists or not. My guess is, probably not. But they should. If you have ever read it, you know it is known for two things: Big Brother, the omnipresent and all-powerful leader; and the language spoken, Newspeak.

                Setting Big Brother aside for a minute, I’d like to turn to Newspeak. If you recall, Newspeak was a language that was used to reinforce Big Brother’s thoughts and rules. The interesting thing about Newspeak was that it was not an entirely new language, it was a selective replacement of words and concepts that served to reinforce the teachings of Big Brother.

                In short, Newspeak was a way the government could control thought.

                I thought of that today when I read that the sainted administration of Joseph the Devout, who, in the spirit of Newspeak we might refer to as alt-catholic, has decreed that the words “mother” and “father” shall not be used in federal child-care rules. The proposal also bans the use of the words “paternity,” “his,” and “her.”

                In other words, the proposal de-genders the rules federal bureaucrats use to communicate with us. And so, in the spirit of this new proposal, we will change the term by which our dear leader has designated himself to Big Sibling.

                Anyway, the proposed rule is reported to be consistent with the recently passed Respect for Marriage Act, which was opposed by conservatives who warned of this type of outcome. Yet 12 Republicans, who should have known better, ignored the warnings and helped the Democrats pass the bill. Included in the 12, I am sorry to say, was my own senator, Joni Ernst of Iowa.  

                According to the proposal by our Big Sibling’s Office of Child Support Services, the Respect for Marriage Act “requires recognition of any marriage between two individuals that is valid where created ‘for the purposes of any federal law, rule, or regulation in which marital status is a factor’ and requires States to provide full faith and credit to marriages entered into in another State. Like the Respect for Marriage Act, this proposed rule recognizes the existence of and legal needs of diverse family structures.”

                According to our beloved Big Sibling, “mother” and “father” are to be replaced with the word “parent,” which, according to CatholicVote’s director of governmental affairs, Tom McClusky, is “an overhaul of the American family and a flashing red light for Catholics who care about the future of their country.”

                Of course, this is really only the tip of the iceberg. We have already been overburdened with the use to such terms as: Cisgender, meaning living in conformance with one’s birth sex — apparently that is no longer obvious; gender identity, a person’s self-expression of sexuality or lack of it; gender-fluid, one who moves back and forth between sexes; multi-gender, one who experiences several gender identities, or as I put it, confused as hell; non-binary, one who cannot be categorized; and the list goes on with such terms as poly-gender, third-gender, transgender, transsexual, two-spirit, and we haven’t even touched the pronouns yet. 

                Just be warned here: In some places you need to know these terms, especially an individual’s pronouns and can be seriously punished for mislabeling someone. Of course, many of these lemmings try to help you out by putting their pronouns on their business cards or in the signature blocks of their letters and e-mails.


                Speaking of language, several of our greatest freedoms are found in the First Amendment to the Constitution: religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition. And like the heretofore mentioned author, George Orwell, we should note another of his books, Animal Farm, where all animals are equal except some are more equal than others. 

                RealClearPolitics has just released a poll showing, among other things, “Republican voters (74 percent) and independents (61 percent) believe speech should be legal ‘under any circumstances,’ while Democrats are almost evenly divided. A bare majority of Democrats (53 percent) say speech should be legal under any circumstances, while 47 percent say it should be legal ‘only under certain circumstances’,” said Carl M. Cannon of the RCP staff.

                Troubling findings include:

                Thirty-four present of Democrats say Americans have “too much freedom,” compared to only 14 percent of Republicans. “Republicans were most likely to say Americans have too little freedom (46 percent), while only 22 percent of Democrats feel that way. Independents were in the middle in both categories,” the poll reported.

                Fifty-two percent of Democrats favored government censoring social media over national security concerns, against 33 percent for Republicans and Independents.

                Given the statement attributed to the French Enlightenment author Voltaire, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” only 31 percent of Democratic voters “strongly agreed” compared to 51 percent of Republicans.

                Three-fourths of Democrats responding believe the government has a responsibility to limit “hateful” social media posts, while Republicans are more split, with only 50 percent believing the government has a responsibility to restrict hateful posts. Independents responding were in the middle between the two parties.

                “Painting with a broad brush, Democrats grant significantly more deference to government than do Republicans when it comes to regulating free speech,” Mr. Cannon reported.

                But this wasn’t the only fault line revealed by the survey. It did take into consideration the generational differences among respondents.

                “Some of what is dividing these differences is generational, as Millennials and Gen-Z have come of age in a digital age environment in which reasonable expectations of privacy seem a relic of the past. Those under 30 are most open to censorship by the government,” said Spencer Kimball who directed the survey.

                He added that 42 percent of this cohort deem it “more important” to them that the government protect national security than guard the right to free expression. Among those over 65 years old, the corresponding percentage was 26 percent.

                The survey noted another difference: gender. “Asked whether they support free speech even if it’s ‘deeply offensive,’ 78 percent of men answered affirmatively, compared to 66 percent of women,” Mr. Cannon reported.

                He continued, “On the issue of free expression…Republicans are not the authoritarian party. That distinction belongs to the Democrats, the party launched by Thomas Jefferson…who famously said that if he were forced to choose between ‘a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter’.”

                According to the report there are three likely explanations for the divergence between Republicans and Democrats: First, liberals are likely convinced of the presence of a “fact gap” and desire to clamp down on misinformation which stems from conservative circles. Second, conservatives’ reluctance to censor was based on a “value gap” in which the free marketplace of ideas, regardless of the media content. And third, “party promotion incentives,” described as “a desire to leave misinformation online that promotes one’s own party.”

                So, what does this all mean? Probably nothing more than each side is glued to its own corner. How do we become unglued and willing to look at another’s ideas? Well, that might start with schools assigning Orwell more often.

(You can reach Mike at: and listen to him every weekend on Faith On Trial or podcast at

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Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

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Today . . .

Pope reportedly confirms he is taking away Burke’s apartment, denies calling him his ‘enemy

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">Interview with Deacon Fournier – Great Testament to Bishop Strickland

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

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