Monday 22nd April 2019

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

The Dictatorship Of Relativism Follows The Money

October 25, 2018 Frontpage No Comments


Quick and without thinking about it — who was the greatest youth leader of the last 50 years?
If you’re Catholic and raised during this generation? Pope St. John Paul II (the Great) is hands down the top favorite, and for good reason. John Paul II didn’t tell us what the rest of the world was telling us to do — which was, in effect, to submit to the times.
Rather, John Paul II — best known as JP2 to the rest of us — told us to stand apart, not to be satisfied with mediocrity. “Do not be afraid to live the Gospel!” he thundered to hundreds of thousands gathered in Denver for World Youth Day in 1993.
To a generation ravaged by abortion, to hear a Pope stand up and fearlessly proclaim basic truths was as fresh a wind of change as those blowing across Eastern Europe in the collapse of Soviet totalitarianism. A new totalitarianism just as pernicious and evil as the one in the East was lurking inside the liberal democracies of the West. Just as dialectical materialism for society had governed the failed socialist governments, so too was dialectical materialism for the self-infecting of the so-called liberal democracies of the West.
Just 20 years later, we have seen what this dictatorship of relativism has wrought. America continues to have one of the most liberalized abortion regimes in the nation. Marriage — an institution that predates Christianity — has been redefined at a snap by the United States Supreme Court. Family, the bedrock of Christian society, is under siege not only by the secular authorities but even from within the Catholic Church itself.
Catholics here in the United States have — under tremendous pressure and duress from the progressive left — bravely martyred their own reputations for sexual morals, if for no other reason than the Magisterium of the Church instructed us to believe. Is this now up for grabs — as a parliament of bishops now decides what is and what is not “truth”?
Does anyone else feel as if the sand has completely shifted from under our feet?
“Thou art Peter, and on this Rock, I shall build my Church” (Matt. 16:18). This rock is for Catholics the singular assurance that the gates of Hell would never prevail against the Deposit of Truth and faith. Catholicism has survived Arians, Romans, Goths, Pelagians, Jansenists, Albigensians, Hussites, Lutheranism, Calvinism, Gallicanism, Gnosticism, the nouvelle theologie, and even a host of neo-heresies. We have survived scourges both political and spiritual, all with the core of our faith anchored, or rather nailed, to the cross.
If you are like me, you are perhaps tempted to wonder why we have devoted our entire lives to a Catholic Church whose truths — which we were instructed were immutable — can supposedly be muted and changed at the whim of those who, rather than instructed by holiness, see a network of institutions both financial and diplomatic at risk due to the emergence of sexual abuse scandals across Western Catholicism.
Today, the Holy See appreciates a global influence that it has not enjoyed since the days of Christendom. That global diplomatic power rests almost entirely on the influence and largess of the United States, not just from relatively wealthy Catholics in America, but also from the United States government as well. The U.S. State Department through USAID helps finance a disproportionate number of grants through organizations such as Catholic Relief Services, grants that at times force CRS (willingly or unwillingly) to compromise core Catholic values. This same network of relief agencies enables the United States to go places where it otherwise cannot, with Haiti and sub-Saharan Africa being two places of note.
The choice here is rather simple. Is the Holy See really going to trade all of this influence and power for the sake of intransigence on the question of homosexuality?
If one listens closely to the Catholic south (that being, south of the Equator), you hear a very similar pattern of complaint. The people need this aid, but inevitably such aid comes not with any development…but with condoms, abortifacients, and the insistence from Western governments that Africa adopt what has been termed in the past as a “colonialism of the mind” — shorthand for the acceptance of values friendly to the LGBTQ community.
Imagine this taking place here in America, with a soup kitchen or St. Vincent de Paul communities counseling, visiting the sick, comforting the afflicted, or doing any of the vast charitable works your own parish performs, such as bringing Christmas presents to the poor. Just before you hand those sparkling eyes a gift, they place their hands across their chest, extend a finger in the air and demand, “But are you in line with the LGBT agenda?”
This is the dictatorship of relativism, and the minders of the secular West are no different in degree or perniciousness than the political officers of the Soviet Union or the Gestapo of Nazi Germany.
Certain truths, or so we believe in America, are self-evident. Catholics should not have to kneel before the altar of relativism in order to perform charitable works or engage in diplomatic actions. But the sagging superstructure of the old twentieth-century Spellman-era Catholicism cannot and does not pay for itself.
As secular governments consume more and more of the private incomes of citizens to pay for a social welfare state — once the purview of the Church — it becomes harder and harder for the Church worldwide to assert her independence from the moods of the secular West, much less the world at large.
Consider for a moment that roughly 40 percent of the world’s GDP exists in Europe and America. China represents just 14.8 percent of that total; Russia a scant 3.6 percent. Africa’s GDP is just 3.7 percent — all of it.
The financial empire (if one can call it that) of the Holy See is a mere $350 million, with assets in the billions locked away in land and other holdings. Peter’s Pence — the annual U.S. contribution to the works of the Holy Father, total somewhere near $85 million. Caritas International operates with $7 billion; Catholic Relief Services with $3 billion.
Nice church. Be a shame if something happened to it . . . get my drift?
I don’t mention all of this things as the prelude to an excuse for this Youth Synod or the activities of Catholic charitable institutions who allowed themselves to be bullied (but in most instances, willingly allowed themselves to be compromised) by the Obama administration.
Nor does this excuse the institutional guardians of the Vatican’s finances for bending here, breaking there when it comes to magisterial “rigidity” and worldly practicalities.
But what I would offer are two things.
First and foremost, the Vatican as institution exists in the world and the world is a brutal place of realpolitik and selfish, egotistical souls who seek to leverage the moral authority of the Church for practical, worldly means. Cast aside any illusions that somehow our voice at the table makes things better; at a table of CEOs, the Vatican is one among thousands.
The second point is much more concerning. There are perhaps many good bishops and cardinals who are attempting to strike some sort of bargain here that will allow them to keep the post-Second World War Catholicism in good order.
I would submit that this is an impossibility — at least in our current form. Once one understands that the arrangement between American political power and Vatican diplomatic power was a temporary one, arrayed first against Nazi Germany and in turn against Soviet Communism, one has to make the decision to either continue to allow the eagle’s talons to sink deeper into the chest of Catholicism or to forcibly let go.
Will it do damage to our diplomatic reputation? Perhaps not. Will it disappoint a legion of bureaucrats who have made fantastic sums of money bartering Catholicism’s moral authority for temporary secular gains? Most certainly.
But if the barter puts what we hold most sacred on the table? If the exchange demands the indoctrination of our youth to a secular ideology? How is this not the clear warning of Pope Benedict XVI about the dictatorship of relativism? How is this not a repudiation of Pope St. John Paul II’s call to holiness? How and when will Pope Francis live up to the courage of Pope Paul VI’s bold call in Humanae Vitae just 50 years ago?
Will we repudiate it all? And for 30 pieces of condoms?

+ + +

Questions? Comments? Brilliant thoughts? Please feel free to send any correspondence for First Teachers to Shaun Kenney, c/o First Teachers, 5289 Venable Road, Kents Store, VA 23084 — or if it is easier, simply send me an e-mail with First Teachers in the subject line to:

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

He is not here, for he is risen, as he said. Come, and see the place where the Lord was laid -

Fr. James Schall passed away today. A Jesuit priest & Georgetown professor, he served as mentor & model to a numberless many (including me). With penetrating insight & wit, he pointed us to Christ & those great Catholic minds we mustn't forget.

Fr. Schall, requiescat in pace.

Please pray for Raymond DeSousa today, who is a weekly Wanderer columnist who is undergoing serious surgery today.

Load More...

Fr. James V. Schall, S.J., has died at the age of 91

Fr. James V. Schall, the prolific and much-beloved Jesuit, professor and author, died earlier today. His family states that “he was comfortable and at peace” at the time of his death. He was born in Pocahontas, Iowa, January 20, 1928.…Continue Reading

North Carolina Gov. vetoes bill requiring care for babies born alive after failed abortion

RALEIGH, April 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – North Carolina Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed legislation Thursday morning that would require abortionists to provide basic medical care to newborns who survive failed abortions, just days after the measure cleared the state legislature.…Continue Reading

How Cardinal Wuerl Misled the Papal Foundation

In 2017, Cardinal Donald Wuerl provided false and misleading information to the board of the Papal Foundation to secure a $25 million grant for the Istituto Dermopatico dell’Immacolata (IDI), a scandal-plagued hospital in Rome. Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro…Continue Reading

Since “Unplanned” Movie Released, 94 Abortion Clinic Workers Have Said They May Quit Their Jobs

Abby Johnson’s powerful conversion story is moving hearts inside the abortion industry. Chuck Konzelman, who is a co-writer/co-director of “Unplanned,” the new film detailing Johnson’s life, said nearly 100 abortion workers have reached out to them in the past few…Continue Reading

Franciscan University president resigns

Steubenville, Ohio, Apr 8, 2019 / 07:50 am (CNA).- Fr. Sean Sheridan, TOR, has resigned as president of Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. Fr. Sheridan informed the university’s trustees of his decision during a regular meeting of the board on…Continue Reading


Alumni of Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland and the Cardinal Newman Society are voicing their outrage at the school’s selection of Mark Shriver to deliver the 2019 commencement address while also receiving an honorary doctorate of humane letters. Shriver is president of the Save the…Continue Reading

Emails show Planned Parenthood behind California rule to make churches pay for abortions

Sacramento, Calif., Apr 5, 2019 / 03:01 pm (CNA).- A 2014 California rule forcing religious groups, including churches, to cover elective abortions for employees was the result of direct pressure from Planned Parenthood, internal emails have shown. On April 4,…Continue Reading

Notre Dame’s Catholic duty

On Wednesday, the LGBT Law Forum at the law school hosted an event featuring Jim Obergefell, Greg Bourke and Michael DeLeon, plaintiffs in the Supreme Court caseObergefell v. Hodges, which mandated that every state recognize same-sex marriage. The talk was co-sponsored…Continue Reading

Catholic priests in Poland burn alleged sacrilegious books including ‘Harry Potter,’ condemn magic

Polish Catholic priests condemning magic burned dozens of books they considered to be sacrilegious, including works from the “Harry Potter” series. The SMS from Heaven Foundation – an evangelical group – posted photos of the burning at Gdansk’s Mother of…Continue Reading

Vatican Life Academy: Parents must vaccinate, even if vaccines come from aborted babies

VATICAN CITY, March 26, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — In a stunning declaration, the Pontifical Academy for Life — now populated entirely with Pope Francis appointments — has urged parents to vaccinate their children, even if the vaccines are derived from aborted…Continue Reading

Cardinal DiNardo discharged from hospital, expected to make full recovery

Houston, Texas, Mar 21, 2019 / 08:59 am (CNA).- Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston has been released from the hospital, following a mild stroke last week, his archdiocese announced March 20. The cardinal, who serves as president of the U.S.…Continue Reading

Montreal priest stabbed at Mass ‘eager’ to return

Montreal, Canada, Mar 23, 2019 / 03:19 pm (CNA).- Father Claude Grou is out of the hospital and grateful for the groundswell of support he received after he was stabbed by an assailant while celebrating a televised Mass at St.…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

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

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

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

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love


  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading


Tickets For Life

Today . . .

Cardinal Tobin: Catechism language ‘very unfortunate’ on homosexuality

Newark, N.J., Apr 18, 2019 / 10:54 am (CNA).- The Archbishop of Newark said Wednesday that the language used by the Catechism of the Catholic Church to describe homosexual acts is “very unfortunate,” adding that he hopes the Catechism will use different language in its discussion of homosexuality. “The Church, I think, is having its own conversation about what our faith has us do and say with people in relationships that are same-sex. What should…Continue Reading

Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral goes up in flames

PARIS, April 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Paris authorities are battling a fire in the city’s Notre Dame cathedral that broke out Monday, producing massive plumes of smoke billowing from the historic Catholic site. Authorities have cleared the area surrounding the cathedral as they battle flames “leap[ing] out besides its two bell towers,” NBC News reports. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has requested that passersby steer clear of the vicinity until further

Medical students in Africa outraged over U.S. based org enticing them to become abortionists

UGANDA, April 12, 2019, LifeSiteNews – A U.S. based pro-abortion group that misleadingly calls itself “Catholics for Choice” is enticing unsuspecting medical students in Africa’s most vibrant Catholic countries to become not only abortion promoters but even abortionists, according to medical students who attended a workshop hosted by the organization. Ugandan medical students recently became troubled when they realized too late that a seminar about “reproductive he

Full text of Benedict XVI essay: ‘The Church and the scandal of sexual abuse’


Vatican City, Apr 10, 2019 / 04:23 pm (CNA).- The following is a previously unpublished essay from Pope emeritus Benedict XVI: On February 21 to 24, at the invitation of Pope Francis, the presidents of the world’s bishops’ conferences gathered at the Vatican to discuss the current crisis of the faith and of the Church; a crisis experienced throughout the world after shocking revelations of clerical abuse perpetrated against minors. The extent and gravity of…Continue Reading

“Unplanned” Movie Stays in Top 10 With Surprisingly Strong 2nd Week at Box Office

The pro-life movie “Unplanned” finished in the Top 10 after a surprisingly strong 8th place finish at the box office this weekend. The film, which opened in theaters nationwide last week, follows the true story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director who became pro-life after watching a baby be aborted on an ultrasound screen. Despite a media blackout, a ‘R’ rating designed to discourage viewers and little coverage outside conservative media circles, “Unplanned” opened in 4th…Continue Reading


Memento Mori… The Danger Of Being Ultra-Nice

By DONALD DeMARCO A man wakes up in his nice apartment and, while having a nice cup of coffee, is told by a nice radio voice that the weather will be nice. He drives his nice car through his nice neighborhood and is wished a nice day, verbally by the teller at the bank and…Continue Reading

A Book Review… A Renaissance Man Looks At Human Worth

By JUDE DOUGHERTY Manetti, Giannozzo. On Human Worth and Excellence. Edited and translated by Brian P. Copenhaver; Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press, I Tatti Renaissance Library, pp LI + 362. One does not have to be a Renaissance historian or know much medieval philosophy or theology to appreciate this delightful book. On Human Worth and…Continue Reading

Dispute Over Papal Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Approval Continues

By KEVIN JONES VATICAN CITY (CNA) — Scrutiny continues for the U.S.-based Papal Foundation, amid questions of whether some of its grant activity was motivated by a desire to secure leniency for disgraced former cardinal Theodore McCarrick. The ongoing controversy surrounds the foundation’s decision to make an unprecedented grant to a leading Italian hospital whose…Continue Reading

First Time In 300 Years… Rome’s Holy Stairs Are Uncovered

By HANNAH BROCKHAUS ROME (CNA) — The bare, white marble of Rome’s “Scala Sancta,” which are believed to be the stairs trod by Christ on the day of His trial and death, are now exposed and visible to pilgrims for the first time in almost 300 years. The stairs, encased in wood since the 1700s,…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . St. Peter Of Alcantara Tells Us How To Pray And Meditate

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Treatise on Prayer and Meditation, by St. Peter of Alcantara (212 pages, TAN Books & Publishers Inc., paperback and Kindle). Visit, or call 1-800-437-5876. St. Peter of Alcantara (1499-1562) was born in Spain, and became a Franciscan friar in a strict observance friary. He was ordained in 1524, and went…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… To Rise From The Ashes, To Quit The Tomb

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK A blessed Easter to all of our readers. “The Lord is risen. Alleluia!” Christ’s story, recounted in the Scriptures proclaimed liturgically in these holy days, must become our story, too. Easter is our most important annual celebration of this fact. Baptized as we are into Christ’s death, we must live so as to rise with…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: It is easy to get discouraged at the state of the Church these days, particularly at the decline in the number of Religious sisters from 181,000 in 1965 to about 47,000 today, which Fr. George Rutler blames partly on those orders which “accepted bad advice from misguided and misguiding theologians and leaders. Bishops often have been at fault,…Continue Reading

Holy Father . . . Approves Decrees Regarding Eight Candidates For Sainthood

By DEBORAH CASTELLANO LUBOV ROME (ZENIT) — Pope Francis on April 6 received in audience Angelo Cardinal Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the audience, the Supreme Pontiff authorized the same congregation to promulgate the decrees regarding: — The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Donizetti Tavares de Lima, diocesan…Continue Reading

Faith In The Person Of Jesus

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Easter Sunday (YR C) Readings: Acts 10:34a, 37-43 Col. 3:1-4 John 20:1-9 Today we celebrate the most important day in the Church’s year. We know our Lord told His disciples that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and so enter into His glory. St. Peter speaks of this in the first reading and also…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Benedict XVI: “God Is Absent”

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Benedict XVI released a statement in German last week on the abuse crisis (see text elsewhere in this issue). It shows the extent of the crisis that, although he seeks to live in prayer and contemplation, he has chosen to speak out on this topic with the okay from Pope Francis. People are craving clear…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Peter Of St. Joseph De Betancur

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Catholic Church is the largest provider of health care in the world. As of 2013, more than 40,000 hospitals, clinics, and homes for the elderly were run by the Catholic Church throughout the world. The pioneering work of many devout saints for centuries provided care for the sick and the homeless. To care for the sick…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Hugh The Great

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the 11th century, over 150 years before St. Francis of Assisi received the order from our Lord to “repair my house, which as you see is falling into ruin,” the secular rulers sought to control the appointment of bishops, abbots, and even the Pope. During this period of simony and conflict, St. Hugh the Great entered…Continue Reading