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Challenges From Biden, Pope . . . Get A Close Examination By Bishops Who Come Off The Bench

July 25, 2021 Frontpage No Comments

By DEXTER DUGGAN

History often moves step by step, not by a big jump on one day — allowing, of course, for exceptions like assassinations and atomic bombs.
But as press time approached for this hardcopy issue of The Wanderer on July 22, there seemed to be favorable signs for conservatism and traditionalism, not so much for left-wing sleight-of-hand that had been getting away with shell games.
For years U.S. Catholic bishops’ bureaucrats got used to deferring to liberal Democratic Party bigfeet who thereby felt free to keep pushing further left, even when this meant trashing conventional morality, as increasingly was the case.
Thus, Catholics around the world beheld the scandal of the radically pro-abortion but barely coherent bad Catholic Joe Biden mumbling his way through public appearances while opening wide the money spigots and muscling up political pressure points to aid abortionists both within and beyond U.S. borders.
And, of course, there was more. On June 25 his home state’s largest news platform, Delaware Online, reported that “State Sen. Sarah McBride will travel to the White House . . . as President Joe Biden signs a series of laws and executive orders in honor of Pride Month.”
McBride, the news platform said, “who is the first openly transgender state senator in the country, is the highest-ranking transgender elected official in United States history. She also has a close relationship with the Bidens. She worked for the late Beau Biden, and Joe Biden wrote the forward [sic] for McBride’s memoir.”
However, the time arrives for a recoil from Biden’s scrunched-eyes vision.
In June a large majority of members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted to draft a document for debate on Eucharistic coherence. They really couldn’t wait longer when Biden sowed massive confusion by publicly pretending to be a practicing Catholic while acting as if he’s honorary president of Planned Parenthood Global.
Having exhibited courage, prelates began to show more of it.
On July 20 the archbishop of Cincinnati, Dennis Schnurr, announced that he had not been asked for his approval, nor would he have given it, for Biden to appear at a CNN town hall conducted on the grounds of Mount St. Joseph University in the archdiocese.
It seemed obvious the White House welcomed playing a tattered Catholic card by getting Biden onto this property, even though there were plenty of other venues available.
“Archbishop Schnurr has therefore not been asked for, nor would he have granted, his approval for any such event to occur on Catholic premises,” an official statement said, adding that the university isn’t under the direct oversight of the archdiocese.
The more often the better that Biden is seen accurately as a renegade and scoundrel having to sneak around rather than being honored falsely as a practicing Catholic.
The town hall venue, with invitation-only admission to serve up softball questions, was carefully plotted to try to conceal Biden’s liabilities. Only rows close to the stage had audience, while the rest of the hall was vacant.
Still, the cognitively impaired Biden fell into his characteristic mumbling and digressions, losing his train of thought and scrunching up his eyes. Even though Biden was led through the evening by his worshipful CNN defender Don Lemon, he had moments that must have left the White House wondering if it wasn’t better to keep him behind the curtains at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
On the issue of trust, Biden talked himself into this mess, according to CNN’s own transcript: “Think of the people, if your kid wanted to find out whether or not there were — there’s a man on the moon or whatever, you know, something, or, you know, whether those aliens are here or not, you know, who are the people they talk to beyond the kids who love talking about it?”
Yes, if Biden’s Marxist pals have stirred up distrust, the explanation is space aliens and the man on the moon. Or something.
What fun times the enemies of the United States must anticipate if they can get bleary Biden into a room to negotiate with them, without his minders along.
Nor was Biden alone in coming under closer attention by Catholic officials. For instance, a July 19 report by Catholic News Agency said New Mexico Democrat state Sen. Joe Cervantes complained that he was denied the Eucharist for political reasons.
However, CNA said, a spokesman for the Diocese of Las Cruces said that both Cervantes’ pastor and Bishop Peter Baldacchino privately told the senator not to present himself for Communion due to his support for strongly pro-abortion legislation. Denial of the Eucharist “did not happen on the spur of the moment,” the spokesman said, according to CNA.
Meanwhile, some U.S. prelates also defended their flocks against confusion as they examined Pope Francis’ harsh, perplexing attack on admirers of the Traditional Latin Mass, whose celebration had been graciously extended by his immediate Predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. Many of these Mass-goers are young people.
It was hard to see how they allegedly longed to return to a pre-Vatican II age in the 1950s when they weren’t even born until the 1980s or 1990s. Often the biggest followers of the TLM are fruitful young families whose entire lives have been spent in postconciliar times, but they’re still inspired by that Mass’ beauty and reverence often lacking in today’s radicalized world.
Is it awful to enjoy the beginning of Mass more by saying “I will go unto the altar of God” than maybe “Hi, there”?
These families are the kind to supply the future of the Church, not Biden-style dissenters who relish limitless abortion and enforced sexual disorientation. Are healthy young families unwelcome in the eyes of those who’d prefer to see the Church staggering along, weak and susceptible to whatever Marxist or climatological hubris might get imposed on it?
A yearning to return to the past may be more likely for elderly, maybe 84-year-old progressives who’d prefer to live in the early 1960s’ hopes for Vatican II instead of unfortunate results — a Church often vitiated and mangled by liberal media and political/religious lefties of that time. By the mid-1970s, was the Church obviously healthier or sicker?
People in the 1950s may have taken the beauties of that Mass for granted, but, as Joni Mitchell, among others, sang, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.
Amid changes pushed down onto pew sitters, Vatican II had not ordered the abolition of the TLM, but it became so lost among new forms that Pope John Paul II later had to order an inquiry to see if it had been forbidden. It had not.
On July 21 blogger Fr. John T. Zuhlsdorf called attention to Msgr. Charles Pope’s reaction to Pope Francis’ motu proprio of July 16, the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Traditionis custodes.
Zuhlsdorf quoted the monsignor: “Dear bishops, as a pastor of souls, I ask you for a gentle and kind interpretation of it. Traditional Catholics are among the sheep of your flock, and they need a shepherd’s care. Even if the document suggests that they be shuffled off to the margins, I beg you not to do it.
“This is a vibrant and growing section of the flock,” he continued. “Many young families and young adults, as well as young priests and older folks, are depending on you to do what is truly pastoral….
“Dear Holy Father, I beg you to reconsider what you have written and to hear the unnecessary pain you have caused,” the monsignor said. “You rightly desire unity in the Church, but I fear that, by this action, you may end up causing far more serious division.”
Catholic News Agency reported on July 16, “It seems that Traditional Latin Masses in dioceses throughout the United States are largely set to continue as scheduled, while bishops prepare responses to Traditionis custodes. The motu proprio states that it is each bishop’s ‘exclusive competence’ to authorize the use of the 1962 Roman Missal in his diocese.”
Among a number of bishops affirming that the TLM could continue were Michael Barber, SJ, of Oakland, Thomas Paprocki, of Springfield, Ill., and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, of San Francisco.
In a statement, Barber said that while he studies the motu proprio, “The Holy Father’s constant concern throughout his papacy has been the care of souls and preserving the unity of the Church. These are my goals as well. I want to assure those faithful in the Diocese of Oakland who find sustenance and the consolation of Jesus Christ in the ancient form of worship that your spiritual needs will continue to be met.”
Cordileone said that “the Traditional Latin Mass will continue to be available here in the Archdiocese of San Francisco and provided in response to the legitimate needs and desires of the faithful.”
Among various decisions, CNA reported, “The archdioceses of Baltimore, Boston, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and St. Paul-Minneapolis, as well as the dioceses of Charlotte, Lake Charles, Madison, and Pittsburgh are also allowing priests already celebrating Mass according to the 1962 Missal to continue doing so.”

Unjustly Persecuted

The text of a July 18 homily by the pastor of St. Anne’s Church in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert expressed pain and suffering at the motu proprio.
Fr. Sergio Fita told the congregation, “Like Jesus, you are being unjustly persecuted and slandered, and once again you are wounded by one who should be confirming you in your faith….
“I know how much you have suffered these two days because I am suffering with you,” Fita said. “Yesterday, during the celebration of Holy Mass, I could not hold back my tears. It is difficult to understand that it is ‘our sweet Jesus on earth,’ as St. Catherine of Siena called the Pope, who has dealt us the most painful blow.”
Calling for prayers for Pope Francis, “whom we love in the Lord,” Fita said it “is categorically false and unfair. It is also defamatory and cruel” for the Pope to suggest that a community like St. Anne’s rejects the Magisterium of Vatican II and the missal promulgated by St. Paul VI.
The priest said that if he could speak with the Pope, he would ask, “Holy Father, why are you so hard on some and so soft on others? So vocal with some and so silent with others? So courageous with some and so timid with others? Shouldn’t a father love and treat all his children with the same justice and mercy?”
Fita went on to say, “I address the Holy Father conscious of the dignity and responsibility that he holds as successor of the Apostle Peter, but also with the boldness and frankness with which St. Paul had to admonish Simon when he was wrong.”
It’s not only that Francis contradicts Pope Benedict and St. Pius V, Fita said; “it is that the document itself contradicts itself internally.”
Meanwhile, the serious damage that Biden continues to do to his soul remains an issue as millions of illegal immigrants, many ill with COVID, are expected to surge across the vanishing southern border then quietly be transported for free throughout the U.S. due to Biden’s mortally sinful orders calculated to strengthen the Democratic Party.
Arizona Republican Cong. Debbie Lesko told a Phoenix radio interviewer on July 21 that she recently was at the border and saw “a total invasion, a total crisis,” even while wall-building materials lay on the ground after Biden forbade their use in construction once he took power.
Biden’s recent order not to detain pregnant women will make “birth tourism” of the past pale in comparison. Or maybe after they cross the line with his encouragement, they can hurry over to an abortion clinic for a tax-paid termination, also with his encouragement. And maybe they’ll return for another one.
The California Political Review posted on July 12: “Biden and the Democrats want to normalize the use of abortion to prevent/end pregnancies as much as the Pill and the IUD. This study is clear — if you get a taxpayer abortion, 60 percent will get a second one. Women receiving taxpayer-funded abortions often get multiple abortions within three years, according to Medicaid records.”

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