No one who has worked in Washington for more than four decades, as I have, can possibly imagine Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., as one of the sharper knives in the drawer. Even in the retrospect of 31 years, his attempt to instruct future-Justice Clarence Thomas in natural law theory during Thomas’s confirmation hearings is still cringe-inducing. He self-destructed in several presidential campaigns because of verbal gaffes (and plagiarism). Any honest telling of his success in gaining the 2020 Democratic nomination will concede that he was more-or-less anointed because of fears that Bernie Sanders, the Vermont socialist who honeymooned in Cold War Moscow, would drive the party over the cliff.
Today, it’s obvious to anyone with the slightest knowledge of geriatric medicine that Mr. Biden is cognitively impaired. So, the burdens of age have been layered onto intellectual incapacity, with the usual Biden bluster becoming a gossamer-thin cover for dysfunction, indiscretion and one malapropism after another. Given these realities, ethicists may debate the degree of Biden’s moral culpability for his relentless pro-abortion politics, which have intensified since the Supreme Court rightly consigned Roe v. Wade to the trash can of jurisprudential history this past June. Objectively speaking, however, Mr. Biden has become not merely an embarrassment to the Church, but a counter-witness to the Gospel the Church proclaims.
Sensing, with other Democrats, that the political winds were blowing in an unfavorable direction as the 2022 midterm elections entered the last lap, the man who brazenly bellows that he will shove his rosary beads down the throat of anyone who questions his Catholic bona fides announced that his first act, should the Democrats control both the House and Senate as of January 2023, would be to legislatively “codify” Roe v. Wade.
In fact, what Mr. Biden and his partisans propose is the most draconian assault on the right-to-life imaginable: a nationwide abortion license that would, in the name of unspecified threats to maternal “health,” legalize the dismemberment of an unborn child until birth. The bill Biden and the Democrats propose leaves the definition of “health” so vague as to countenance the latest of late-term abortions, in cases of “mental health” concerns that could be virtually anything and everything.
By promoting a virtually unrestricted license-to-kill, Mr. Biden has declared himself outside the full communion of the Church. The priests and others who have told this shallow, ill-catechized man that his stance on abortion can be squared with being in full communion with the Catholic Church may well bear the greater burden of moral responsibility — as do the bishops called to exercise pastoral care for Mr. Biden’s. But there can be no doubt that, objectively, President Biden has put himself in a position of diminished, defective communion with the Church he loves. The pity of it all is that what he loves he does not know. And love without knowledge is mere sentiment.
Then there is Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life. We were, I imagined, friends once. In the mid-1990s, we worked with the late Cardinal William Keeler to have a memorial to Baltimore’s Cardinal James Gibbons erected in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, of which then-Msgr. Paglia was the rector. In 1887, Cardinal Gibbons gave a sermon in that venerable basilica, which had just become his Roman “titular” church, that anticipated the Second Vatican Council’s teaching on church-and-state. Keeler and I thought that moment should be commemorated, and Paglia could not have been more helpful in seeing the project through, even suggesting that the Gibbons memorial be paralleled in the basilica’s sanctuary with a memorial to another great defender of religious freedom, Poland’s Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, now beatified.
But that was then, and this is now. And the archbishop, who has presided over the deconstruction of the Pontifical Academy of Life as Pope Saint John Paul II created it, is not the man I knew some three decades ago. Thus, Archbishop Paglia has recently agreed to the appointment of Professor Mariana Mazzucato, a pro-abortion economist, as a member of the pontifical academy, in the name of “fruitful interdisciplinary, intercultural, and interreligious dialogue.”
This is the most shallow, and indeed duplicitous, nonsense. Shall we now have heretics who deny the divinity of Christ appointed as members of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, in the name of “dialogue”? Or antisemites called to official Vatican positions in the name of a “dialogue” about Judaism?
The mortification of the Church continues. It will strengthen us in the truth, in the end. But it is mortification nonetheless.
The above comes from a Nov. 2 posting by George Weigel in the Catholic World Report.
This past weekend in County Kerry, Ireland, Fr. Sean Sheehy was publicly rebuked by his bishop for his homily that condemned abortion, homosexuality and transgender behavior. Ireland, that erstwhile bastion of Catholicism, has gone to seed, its bishops with it.
Wow. I listened to what Fr. Sean said and linked it below. Is there anything he said that is not true? And, he put it in the context of God’s love, forgiveness and grace, as it should be.
Tragically, will Irish and American bishops follow the way of English bishops at the time of Henry VIII’s church revolt?
I know some Anglicans who’ve called their ecclesial community “the church of Henry’s hormones.” It was about sex then and it’s still about sex. Who is obsessed with sex, the world or the Church?
Saints John Fisher, Thomas More and Margaret Clitherow, pray for us.
Yes, the triune of sex (abortion, homosexuality and transgenderism) has been transformed into a victim-virtue to be defended, even by some of our bishops..The pleint voices of lone priests are haunting. The forever faithful will hear them even if their bishops try to silence them!
Very excellent sermon. This priest’s bishop should be preaching the same things– even stronger. Long ago, we all were very used to hearing the truth about sin, from both priests and nuns. We were encouraged to do penance, mortification, for sins– for our own and others’ sins. We had lots of devout Irish immigrant priests– all the churches were chock-full of priests in those days.
Here is what is confusing: why not talk about those sins in addition to their roots.
Abortion = murder comes from anger or fear. A result of an attitude that does not take responsibility for one’s actions. And it is the ultimate Cain moment “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Yeah, you are your child’s keeper at least for a few months.
Homosexuality is one of the sexual proclivities that people should not indulge. There are others all coming from the sin of lust. But also coming from a desire to please other people so they will like us or so that we can give them a moment of happiness or at least a break in their unhappiness.
Transgenderism may be biologically based but now it is also approval seeking and a need to be special and not accepting that there is a Creator who made you exactly the way you are and even if you don’t like the way you are (most people don’t like themselves entirely) you seek to learn His purpose for your life. Get your eyes off yourself and go help someone else.
All of these things are distractions from and something to overcome to live the life of Faith, Hope and Love.
Simplicity, Silence, Peace, Scripture, Sacraments, Prayer are the antidotes to these problems.
It is not “We are the good people and they are the bad people.”
You are the people who bear the responsibility of sharing with all the good news of the Kingdom.
Thank you Mr. Weigel for eruditely expressing my sense of these two men. I am so disgusted over how these people and how the one has taken the spirit out of the sales of the church, and the other has obliterated my country.
I have a bad headache, am nauseated, traumatized and close to tears– so sickened I could not eat my lunch. My poor heart and poor eyes feel horrible. Why? I took a close look at a big photo of that blasphemous, homoerotic fresco of Abp. Paglia’s, in his cathedral– with all the nude and semi-nude erotic figures, all those pornographic nude body parts– and erotic gays embracing…. Jesus is depicted holding a gigantic net full of sinners– homosexuals, transsexuals, prostitutes, drug dealers, etc.– taking them all to Heaven– while they are indulging in their sins— unrepentant. I was searching for the figure of Paglia, said to be the one with the skullcap on his head… and I finally found it… he was in a homoerotic embrace with another man. Complete with nudity and semi-nudity. That is Paglia– with no clothes on, except his skullcap– erotically embracing another man? Right in front of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament? Those poor Italian parishioners– with families and children, grandmas and grandpas.
You might find this interesting.
A Cathedral parishioner and their family, and all constituents of their diocese/archdiocese, would never want to see their bishop/archbishop depicted in a blasphemous, homoerotic Cathedral fresco! All sacred artwork is meant for strictly religious purposes. Michaelangelo respected the Bible and Church teachings. The unrepentant sinners are supposed to be depicted as judged correctly by God– and be on their way to Hell. The repentant sinners are supposed to be depicted rejoicing in the joy of salvation and Heaven, with Christ. The Church’s whole mission is to rescue the sinners, teach them about Christ, invite them to accept Him and repent of their sins, lead a new and good life, and hope to die in a state of grace– and go to Heaven. A life of unrepentant sin leads to an eternity in Hell, with the Devil.
When this “scandal” hit the internet, Archbishop Paglia said “It has been there for 10 years and no one has complained.”
This blog was written by American travel author Rick Steves
The Rick Steves article is misleading. Rick is not Catholic, he is a liberal-leftist, young “Me-Generationer,” who does not accept traditional, orthodox Christianity. Rick vigorously promotes marijuana to the young, in Washington state– a terrible worry for parents. He divorced his wife in 2010, and now lives with his girlfriend– a very liberal, jeans-and-t-shirt-clad Lutheran lady bishop. Her branch of “ELCA” Lutheranism is very liberal, and accepts women and gay clergy, gay “marriage,” contraception and abortion. Older people do not view Europe the way Rick Steves does. European cultures are very old, and there is a closer, more primitive connection to Nature– and more appreciation of Nature (including the human body). They (as well as all other countries) do not have the money, and higher standards of living of Americans, nor all the modern conveniences. Their cultures have a long history of both good and bad, saints and sinners. Good parents avoid the evils in their culture, and raise their children with good morals. Europeans and other foreigners do not indulge in luxuries, food, wine and sex, voraciously, and question why Americans do so– it is not natural, and not proper, to be so crude, and voracious. One must respect nature and the body– be more graceful, delicate, and refined, not a boor, with food, drink, and sex. Taste the wine, the food, (etc.) delicately, carefully, and savor it– in small bites, small doses, and really appreciate it. Unrefined boors have lost their senses, and ability to truly savor and enjoy something excellent.
How would anyone like to see Abp. Gomez, Abp. Cordileone, Cdl. McElroy, Bp. Barber,
(etc.) depicted nearly nude, with only his skullcap on, in a filthy embrace with another nearly-nude man, in a filthy, huge homoerotic fresco, on their Cathedral wall, filled with nude and nearly-nude figures, including many sexual body parts in detail– in shameful erotic embraces? And supposedly on their way to Heaven– unrepentant– with Christ? Michaelangelo followed the Bible, when he painted, and although some of his figures were nude or nearly-nude, they were in no way sexual. He also respected the Church’s teachings about penance for sins, and humility before God. He never painted unrepentant, erotic figures of sinners, supposedly on their way to Heaven! He painted such sinners correctly– on their way to Hell! Or else humbly expressing great joy in repentance of sin, and the Salvation of Christ! That is correct Church teaching! Dante, too, was correct in his great religious literary work, ” The Divine Comedy,” of 1320– two centuries before Michaelangelo’s works.
Paglia’s gigantic homoerotic fresco covers the entire wall at the Cathedral entrance– the priest can see the whole thing, while saying Mass facing the congregation. The figure of Jesus, dressed in a translucent robe, with private parts visible underneath His robe, was modeled after a local gay hairdresser. There are figures of gay men groping reproductive organs of other gay men. The gay, obviously non-Christian Italian-Argentine artist, Ricardo Cinalli, said that Paglia would not allow him to portray gay men in the sex act, which he hoped to do — only erotic images. When Paglia served as head of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, he developed a disturbingly erotic sex-ed program for kids, that alarmed leading psychologists, with fears of kids being groomed for sex molestation and rape. Some leading psychologists said that Paglia should undergo a thorough psychological evaluation. I think he ought to be excommunicated– and his fresco should be destroyed– and the desecrated area should be cleansed and purified by the local bishop. Ricardo Cinalli, who lives in London, has done other controversial, blasphemous artwork in churches and cathedrals. I think only artists who are very respectful of the Catholic faith should be allowed to create religious works of art for our Church.
Why Francis has not given this unholy soul the most severe condemnation — someone wiser than I has to help me understand. Is this Francis’ idea of accompaniment, of radical inclusion?
You are more than a little obsessed with this.
In his famous book, “The Divine Comedy,” (1320) Dante placed some corrupt Catholic clerics and even some corrupt popes in Hell. There were cases of terrible sexual sins in the clergy in the Middle Ages, including gay sex scandals, and clerical child sex abuse crimes. Several prominent saints worked to end these evils– among them, were St. Peter Damian and St. Catherine of Siena. St. Peter Damian wrote a book called “The Book of Gomorrah,” and was noted for fighting all types of sexual sins in the clergy, especially gay sex sins. Looks like the Catholic Church has gone through different eras of corruption, fighting Satan and terrible cases of clerical sexual sins and abuse.
Some Anglicans used to have a saying, “We used to be embarrassed by how much more our clergy believed than we did. Now, we’re embarrassed by how much less they believe.” It seems the same could be said in many Catholic circles as well.
Today is First Friday. Some priests and nuns used to urge us to do mortification and penances, in reparation especially for all the sins committed on Friday and Saturday nights. Maybe the Church ought to reinstate Friday abstinence, too– and a three-hour Eucharistic fast, along with a careful examination of consciece, before deciding to receive Communion, at Mass. And more regular Saturday afternoon Confession– at least once a month, but very regular. Discipline applied correctly, helps save souls, and gets people on the right path with Christ, and helps them to stay there. Of course, discipline must be applied with love and encouragement. Christ wants to save all souls, and He is waiting there for you, always! And before I forget– tomorrow is First Saturday. How about the Five First Saturdays, of Our Lady of Fatima?
Not my problem.