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Ruminations Amidst The Ruins

May 4, 2019 Frontpage No Comments

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By CHRISTOPHER MANION

A group of Catholics, among them some esteemed theologians, have addressed an open letter to the prelates of the Church. “The words and actions of Pope Francis amount to a comprehensive rejection of Catholic teaching on marriage and sexual activity, on the moral law, and on grace and the forgiveness of sins,” they write.
We “respectfully request the bishops of the Church to investigate the accusations contained in the letter, so that if they judge them to be well founded, they may free the Church from her present distress, in accordance with the hallowed adage, Salus animarum prima lex (‘the salvation of souls is the highest law’).”
This is a serious business. The particulars of the letter aside, why did they write it? They know the bishops will do nothing. After all, while several prominent members of the clergy signed the letter, none of them is a prelate like Archbishop Viganò, whose statements of the past year were summarily ignored, then banished, like Viganò is (he’s in hiding for fear of his life).
While this latest letter itself might not be historic, the crisis it describes is. So is the crisis in the American hierarchy, whose members will do nothing as a body to remedy it, although a brave handful of individual bishops have demanded they do so.
On all this, the usually loquacious Pope Francis has responded with silence. He even admits it. “I will not say a word about that,” he said of Archbishop Viganò’s bill of particulars. Nonetheless, the Pope frequently criticizes those who keep bringing it up. His bishops will undoubtedly respond in like fashion to this latest letter.
So why did they write it? The answer lies in the age-old truth-telling tradition of Christendom, expressed beautifully in the sixteenth century by Richard Hooker: “Posterity may know we have not loosely through silence permitted things to pass away as in a dream.”
We cannot remain silent.
A pastor recently told me of a parishioner who made a sizable donation to the parish. “I don’t like what the bishops are doing,” he said. “But when I meet God, I’ll be able to tell Him I did my duty. I supported the Church financially. When the bishops meet Him, they’ll have to tell Him what they did with it. Whether they did their duty is their problem, not mine.”
The signers of this latest letter seem to be motivated by the same sense of duty. They are morally obligated to tell the truth. They know there’s nothing they can do to correct the manifest errors their letter alleges. Our bishops can, they explain, so the letter respectfully requests that they their duty as our shepherds. The truth-tellers have done their job, and it’s up to the bishops to do theirs.

Immigration Odds And Ends

We have noted on occasion how Pope Francis advocates immigration, condemns walls, and otherwise celebrates open borders, both in Europe and the United States. Robert Cardinal Sarah of Guinea took a different view in a recent interview with the French magazine La Nef, discussing his new book, The Day Is Far Spent (due out in September from Ignatius Press, available now in French on Kindle).
“It is a false exegesis to use the Word of God to promote migration,” the cardinal said. “The Church cannot cooperate with this new form of slavery that has become mass migration. If the West continues in this fatal way, there is a great risk that, due to a lack of birth, it will disappear, invaded by foreigners, just as Rome has been invaded by barbarians.”
And if the West fails? “If Europe disappears, and with it the invaluable values of the old continent, Islam will invade the world,” Sarah said. “And we will totally change culture, anthropology, and moral vision.”
Meanwhile, back in the USA, a RAND Corporation study finds that smugglers, Coyotes, and drug cartels collected some $2.3 billion from the Central American migrants they trafficked through Mexico to the U.S. border in 2017. That’s even more than the hundreds of taxpayer millions that bishops receive every year for their NGOs that care for the illegals, once they make it across the border. Strange bedfellows indeed.
Curious. Where do all those oppressed, impoverished peasants find over a billion dollars every year? Anyone familiar with the region knows the answer: “remissions” sent back home from family members already in the U.S. (billions a year), and the drug trade. Going to the U.S. illegally is like investing in a hedge fund: The $5,000 per head charged by the Coyotes will be made back within two years by working in the U.S. That doesn’t include free education, health care, housing, and other benefits not offered by their corrupt governments back home. So they might not make it? It’s a high-stakes gamble, but it’s worth it.
Speaking of those who haven’t made it yet, Pope Francis recently donated $500,000 to house migrants who have been stopped while on their way to the U.S. border through Mexico. “The U.S. border remains closed to them,” the Vatican’s Peter’s Pence website laments. “All these people were stranded, unable to enter the United States, without a home or livelihood. The Catholic Church hosts thousands of them in the hotels within dioceses or religious congregations, providing basic necessities, from housing to clothing.”
Vatican charities fund the Mexican churches housing migrants, the traffickers make billions off of them, the USCCB’s NGOs cash in — why spoil the party? Who would dare tell those migrants that they should stay home and use that money to help rebuild their own countries?

Migration Ins And Outs

It’s no secret that Democrats support unlimited immigration because immigrants vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. Why? “Immigrants bring their culture with them,” says Dr. Thomas Sowell, resonating Cardinal Sarah. Virtually all immigrants come from corrupt countries, so they vote for the Corruptos here like they did back home. Like many American young people, they actually believe the promises of their bishops and the Coyotes: Back home, your corrupt leaders promised you welfare but they never delivered. In America, they deliver!
The words of a Seattle policeman describing the thousands of homeless invading the city sound like they were lifted from the Coyotes’ sales pitch crafted to lure new customers: “People come here because it’s called Free-attle and they believe that, if they come, they will get free food, free medical treatment, free mental health treatment, a free tent and free clothes, and will be free of prosecution for just about everything. And they’re right,” he told KOMO News.
“It didn’t used to be that way,” he continued. “Law Enforcement officers used to be able to enforce the laws.”
The illegals know that, once they get across the border, U.S. laws won’t be enforced. If they murder or rape, they can always go to one of California’s “sanctuary cities,” which are unanimously endorsed by the Golden State’s bishops.
A sad situation — but closer to home, another danger lurks, and it’s completely legal. It’s called internal migration.
Right now, high-tax, highly regulated “blue” states like New York, Massachusetts, and California are driving tens of thousands of their citizens away. Many of these internal migrants are liberals in favor of high taxes, they just don’t like paying them themselves. So they’re gravitating to low-tax “red” states like Texas and Florida. And they are arriving in sufficient numbers that they might well turn those “red” states “blue.” And if Texas and Florida turn “blue,” the Democrats won’t have to abolish the Electoral College. They can win there, fair and square.

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