The following comes from a June 26 interview of Father Joseph Fessio, S.J. by Carl Olson on the website of Catholic World Report.
“They are profoundly wrong and wrong-headed decisions,” Father Fessio stated in e-mail correspondence this morning. “And it is deeply depressing that in each decision a Catholic justice was the swing vote.”
“There is a twofold problem that underlies both decisions,” he wrote. “1) That issues of such fundamental significance for society should be decided by a single, unelected person. That’s what happens when there is a 5-4 decision. 2) That the judges of the Supreme Court who ought to be exemplary for their wisdom as well as their technical knowledge of the law can be completely blind to the obvious: this is not an issue of equality at all. Same sex unions are not in any way equivalent to marital unions.”
Father Fessio specifically named Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote for the majority in the Court’s ruling on DOMA (United States v. Windsor). “Justice Kennedy wrote, ‘The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the state, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.’ This is only slightly less outrageously self-contradictory than his famous ‘mystery” utterance: ‘At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.'”
That statement was written by Justice Kennedy (along with Justices Souter and O’Connor) in his opinion on the 1992 case, Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
“If you can define your own concept of meaning,” added Father Fessio, “well, I suppose you can play Alice in Wonderland with any concept you want, including marriage. So at least Justice Kennedy is consistent in his self-contradiction, and this decision is simply a consequence of the earlier principle. However, he even goes farther here and apparently can read hearts, since he claims that the ‘purpose’ is to ‘disparage and to injure’. So one man sets himself against the wisdom of all recorded history which recognizes the obvious: a marital union can do what no other union can; further it is not only a benefit to the state, but the state cannot exist without it. Giving it special status and protection does not disparage or injure anyone; it simply recognizes an empirical fact that only the willfully blind can fail to see.”
Justice Kennedy, in the majority opinion on DOMA, flatly stated that “the principal purpose and the necessary effect of this law [DOMA] are to demean those persons who are in a lawful same-sex marriage.” Kennedy also wrote, “The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity. By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.”
Justice Antonin Scalia, in his dissenting opinion, stated, “I am sure these accusations are quite untrue.”
Scalia also strongly criticized Kennedy’s opinion, arguing that it essentially describes as bigots anyone who upholds marriage as an institution consisting of a man and a woman:
But to defend traditional marriage is not to condemn, demean, or humiliate those who would prefer other arrangements, any more than to defend the Constitution of the United States is to condemn, demean, or humiliate other constitutions. To hurl such accusations so casually demeans this institution. In the majority’s judgment, any resistance to its holding is beyond the pale of reasoned disagreement. To question its high-handed invalidation of a presumptively valid statute is to act (the majority is sure) with the purpose to “disparage,” “injure,” “degrade,” “demean,” and “humiliate” our fellow human beings, our fellow citizens, who are homosexual.
All that, simply for supporting an Act that did no more than codify an aspect of marriage that had been unquestioned in our society for most of its existence–indeed, had been unquestioned in virtually all societies for virtually all of human history. It is one thing for a society to elect change; it is another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race.
Father Fessio also criticized the majority opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts in the Court’s ruling on Proposition 8 (Hollingsworth v. Perry). The Chief Justice, he noted, wrote, “We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to. We decline to do so for the first time here.” By that principle, observed Father Fessio, “the Supreme Court should have never made any decisions, since each new decision was a ‘first time’.”
He added, “So we have the sad parody of one Catholic judge being so liberal that even the meaning of meaning isn’t fixed. And another Catholic judge so conservative that he can’t recognize the need for an unprecedented decision when there is an unprecedented set of facts.”
“People, myself included, lament the moral decline of America,” reflected Father Fessio, “Without this stunning intellectual decline—where one can claim that an unborn baby is not a human person and that man-to-man copulation is equivalent to marital union—we could not have sunk so low. With this decision we are about to sink even lower. God help us.” He said that he thinks it is clear that the rulings are “going to make it far more difficult for those who defend marriage.”
Asked how the rulings will affect the Catholic Church in the United States, Father Fessio remarked that they “will call forth saints and scholars who will ‘shine like the stars in the midst of a wicked and perverse generation’. They will also be humiliated and very likely, in time, persecuted. Welcome to the Brave New World.”
To read original story, click here.
When Justice Kennedy said in 1992, “‘At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.’”, as a Catholic he committed an act of heresy. Catholicism always teaches to the contrary, that man works with God to define himself. The right to define oneself is not a natural right, and is no right according to Catholicism; therefore, Kennedy’s bishop at that time failed to excommunicate him. Man cannot serve both God and mammon; Kennedy serves mammon, and thus has not stake in the Church at all. This fact should be pronounced publicly in the form of excommunication by his bishop. Kennedy favors abortion, as I recall, and this is no different from the English Church heretic rulers in their drawing and quartering Catholics. The Pope at that time excommunicated the King of England; the bishop of Kennedy’s domain should do likewise and excommunicate this heretic.
It is utterly dispiriting, Skai. Like Father Fessio said, “God help us” for we are in so much trouble. It’s especially troubling when, as I mentioned in another post, Russia is cracking down on homosexuality, abortion and desecrations against the Church and we’re becoming the amoral socialistic state. God help us, indeed! Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
And, Dana, we all know why some U.S. politicians are now trying to pick a fight with Russia, now don’t we.
Don’t be fooled by Russia’s smiley face today. It is a nation posturing like a cat ready to pounce. Some prophetic images depict birds of prey flying in to feed on the beasts in their death throes … or carrion eaters descending to feed on the carcasses of dead societies.
This is true. But RUSSIA has been opposing supporting ABORTION at the UNITED NATIONS, standing against the OBAMA Administration.
Yuppers. Did you see the photo of the last meeting of Putin & obama? They reminded me of two roosters before a cock fight…well, more like a cock and a capon. And yes, Skai, one should always be very wary when dealing with the Russians as they definitely come from a different mind set and their history of keeping agreements and treaties is pretty sketchy. I’m simply making the observation that I think it’s pretty ironic that at this point in time we seem to be going the way of the godless socialist state and the Russians, for whatever reason, are definitely making very moral and family oriented decisions, whether from fear of declining population or awareness that a culture without faith is an empty and pointless existence.
Putin may well be in with the Orthodox Church. Is there anything he does that would not be the norm for any middle ages ruler in a Christian empire or country?
My yuppers was directed at you ,Anne T . heh heh
Russia’s track record on abortion is a utilitarian thing. They use it to make populations go up or down, depending on their particular goals at the time. This stems from the Marxist approach developed by the former Soviet Union.
Well, whatever, some in this country seem to do the same thing. Our own house (and Senate too) definitely needs cleaning before we go “saving” other nations, especially the Syrian jihadists. Quite frankly, I would much prefer we stayed out of Islamic countries, and they stay out of ours. Bin Laudin was “our friend” too. Yeah right!
Had the so called Knights of Columbus actually enforced their Article 162-7 which calls for expulsion of any Knight who brings scandal to the order, we might not have so many errant “Catholics” in government.
Since they have expelled real Knights who brought attention to this scandal but stopped any Council or District from enforcing 162-7 because “we must wait for our Bishops before acting” which John Cardinal O’Connor called false, they apparently don’t believe that being publicly in favor of abortion and sodomy is SCANDALOUS, but bringing attention to their scandal of failure of their high muckety mucks is scandalous. Gee that sounds somewhat like our present so called President, doesn’t it!
I am glad to see that my old friend, Fr. Fessio, is still full of fight and vinegar.
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
Welcome back, Kenneth! How did your trip to the KofC convention go? Did you have any volunteers? I’m sorry that the organization has been so compromised! It would seem that courageous leaders and strong-principled men in particular are getting to be very rare. God bless! ((((Kenneth)))) a big hug from Ohio.
Leader of Russia former head of the KGB, divorces his wife and sleeps around with young models. Why yes he is all for making Russia a moral Nation. LOL
Unfortunately, many political leaders are hypocrites, Susanne. President Kennedy had a different woman practically every day brought to the WhiteHouse through a private entrance and we all know of his highly publicized affair w/MM. And then of course, there’s Pres.Clinton, Pres.Roosevelt, Pres.Taft, etc. to add to the list. I’m not trying to denigrate them, but it’s certainly a reality for many men in public life. When I was a nightclub singer I saw well-known politicians and they rarely came in with their wives. To see these same men in public life, you’d think they were faithful husbands and fathers. At least Putin is a manly man who is willing to make difficult decisions that will surely make him very unpopular in Europe and the US leadership.
Oh so Putin divorced his wife and sleeps around with young models, but at least he is a “manly man.” Well I suppose that most men that sleep around with women are probably “manly men.” Also, Putin has been friendly to the Russian Orthodox Church but the Roman Catholic Church is not treated that well in Russia and is considered a “foreign church” there.
PA, you know nothing about being a man, Putin has also said he will protect the Orthodox Christians in Syria while the man you voted for 2x PA is arming rebels who just murdered a Catholic priest. For all his faults I will take Putin any day of the week
Mark from PA, to me a man who cheats on his wife and/or sleeps around is like an immature boy with no self constraint. A “manly man” protects women and children. The behavior of the former necessarily leads to the harm of women and children. Maybe you fall in the trap of accepting Hollywood’s idea of a manly man. I don’t
PA, polygamy was not condemned by Jesus, but upgraded. What Jesus condemns is effeminacy and homosexuality.
PA you keep digging a hole…..I would stop if I were you…..
Yes, I suppose so Susanne, but if you do not think some of those women who cheated with him are not responsible, too, for his actions, you had better think again. Innocent they are not. Some women who claim they are your “sisters” and supposedly want “power” for women will stab you behind you back and think nothing of it.
Anne T, the women are responsible for their actions. Putin is responsible for his actions.
Canisius, I know you would take Putin any day of the week over me. He used to be the head of the KGB and now he is the President of Russia. I’m just an unknown Catholic from a small town.
And Mark PA thinks he needs to tell me what I already know.
The divorcing and womanizing is not exactly unique to the non-Catholic world of Christian nations. It seems to be historically the norm. What is Putin doing that opposes the Church any moreso than any major politician from any western nation … in the historical dimension? Russia it would seem has become like a classic Christian nation or empire common throughout history in Europe.
You seem to be right, Skai, and even the leader of France is not married to the woman with whom he is living from what I have heard. No wonder he supports “same-sex marriage”.
Right on your statement at 11:35 pm anyway, July 2.
God bless Fr. Joseph Fessio, a Jesuit and a man of great wisdom, and may God give us the fortitude and perseverance to “shine like the stars”.
Yes, God Bless Fr. Joseph Fessio and all courageous priests and religious. We, The Church Militant, have quite a struggle facing us. God help us to stay the course and keep our eyes on the prize…..eternal life with Him.
Amen to that!!
Skai, I believe Kennedy was expressing a political and legal concept of liberty, not a theological or a spiritual one. He was not speaking about either faith or morals. Bishops cannot bind individuals legal analyses.
YFC, man cannot serve mammon and God both; either one or the other. Choose now before it’s too late.
You are wrong YFC. Bishops are responsible for everything “Catholic” within their own Diocese.
And that includes: teaching, disciplining and excommunicating when necessary . This does not exclude Politicians or Judges.
CCC: ” 2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion.
Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to “social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible.
This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger,
or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values. “
What ever happened to separation of Church and State ? This answers a lot of my concerns regarding court decisions.
John, that is exactly what is happening, the separation of Church and state. Do you believe God wills the two to be separate?
That is so true, Skai. It was to protect the church from being manipulated and taken over by the government as it was in England. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…where these truth twisters find that it says separation of church and state is beyond me!!! It’s a lie, has always been a lie and no one ever said anything remotely like that til the secular humanist, liars and politicians started pushing it in the hippy dippy seventies because they hate God and they hate Christianity because their father is the father of lies. Period.
Dana, you demean yourself by so freely and without compunction inflicting the label “liar” against others.
Have you ever heard this quote from the author of the First Amendment?
“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State.”
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Danbury Baptist Association, CT., Jan. 1, 1802
How on earth are you interpreting that? What am I missing here? It has always been to protect religion…not to keep religious beliefs out of the public sphere. Have you been to Washington D.C.? How could you possibly miss all the religious (Christian) references everywhere you go in that city? Nothing in your quote contradicts what I wrote. Also, that was addressed to a non-political event. I’m speaking specifically where is it written in a PUBLIC document that we are to have separation of church and state? Some of the founding fathers were deists, and that was the time of the so-called age of reason so such a view is highly probable, but had they wanted it carried out, they would have written that in the form of a law or amendment. You won’t find it! Are you so arrogant that the majority of us have heard ALL of the old tired arguments many times before? What one says in a meeting or in a private letter is not the basis for deciding governmental policy. I know you won’t bother to read this but I’m recommending it anyway…The Demise of Legitimate Political Authority by Christopher Manion
crisismagazine.com/2013/when-legitimate-authority-is-eclipsed-by-political-corruption. This is definitely written just for you and those who share your views.
Not really, YFC. Dana could have used a different term than “liar” such as “dull witted serpents”.
YFC, it is better to demean oneself than to demon oneself … repent and follow Jesus.
Skai – “Render unto Cesar the things that are Cesar and the things that are Gods unto to God”. Seems to me they are to be separate . The main problem in this world today is politics vs Religion with both trying to out do each other. We need this separation. You may not like it but its necessary to survive.
John, nothing new today … Jesus vs Caesar began long before His advent. Great Commission commands the Church to disciple the nations. Obviously there is a separation here but at the same time there is not. It depends on what one intends by “separation”. Caesar and the Church are two distinct things, however they do not ultimately have to be. Wasn’t it the emperor St Constantine who merged into one being with God through Jesus? Man and God are distinct and separate and yet in Jesus they are one … Catholicism in such terms wracks the First Amendment pretty bad and yet gives us hope beyond hope that the first amendment could ever provide.
Prof. Robert Lopez, child of a same-sex arrangement, was prophetic in addressing M r. Justice Kennedy in “Same Sex Parenting: What Do the Children Say?” catholicexchange.com/what-do-the-children-say/
“The Supreme Court’s Misuse of Children to Justify Same-Sex Marriage”, by Robert R. Reilly, Crisis, July 2, crisismagazine.com/2013/the-supreme-courts-misuse-of-children-to-justify-same-sex-marriage
Mark Regnerus lifesitenews.com/tag/mark+regnerus
Do current Catholic Politicians that believe in and support abortion and gay marriages allowed to remain in the church.
They are automatically excommunicated, but the “bishops” need to state so for it to have any real force. They will find out in eternity, but for civil society it has to be done publicly. Pray for our bishops to have some testereones for a change and do what they MUST do!
In short, most of the bishops are failing our crucified Lord!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
OK, let’s get to it: Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, a Catholic, has demeaned (once again) his high office. First, in his ’92 decision re “Planned Parenthood V. Casey,” where, through his SUPREMELY (pun intended) wrong-headed concurrence making a majority, legalized murder, abortion on demand, CONTINUED to be the LAW OF THE LAND. God help his “Catholic” soul! 2nd, his most recent concurrence in smashing legal safeguards for DOMA and striking down Prop. 8, a proposition STOPPING the march of the sodomites in their unhinged demand for something that may/will be “legal,” but NEVER MORAL. And so much for the supreme will of the majority in an election that said by some 700,000-plus votes, “we don’t want ‘gay’ marriage in California”; by judicial fiat, elections count for nothing when they conflict with what’s known as POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. We’re in a whole heap, once again folks, of really bad trouble. Masybe this time, God will sort it out in HIS SUPREME WAY. And it could be very societally troubling once He does. GOD BLESS ALL, MARKRITE
In Kennedy’s first fiasco in 92, he used the excuse that a so called nun (none) from his childhood asked him to decide in favor of the Killing of God’s unborn!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
Showing that Kennedy, being aware of the issue from childhood, has failed to think for himself on the basis of natural law regarding killing babies … now Kennedy is a supreme court justice who continues to fail at intellectual honesty and maturity … He is an idiot.
It is curious to me that none of the bishops of those people (Kennedy and Roberts) have not declared that, by their own words and decisions, they have excommunicated themselves and are therefore not to be considered a part of the Body of Christ, the Church. Such people who spout such irrational thoughts, so disordered that they make no sense, and then point to their own sense of over importance. Scalia must feel like he’s actually in a mad house, where the inmates have all lost their minds (of course they have) so as to be unrecognizeable as truly upholding the Constitution of the United States (which they swear to do). It boggles my mind. The rest of us, who can actually see all this, we are being called to continue to pray, to sacrifice, and to look to God for relief. We are called to sainthood, folks. Put on the hairshirt, it’s not going to get any better.
I believe even Justice Scalia falls into error when he categorically denies ANY ROLE FOR NATURAL LAW IN DECIDING CASES EVER. He has stated this consistently and publicly several times. As a result, although he is GENERALLY CORECT ON HIS PHILOSOPHY OF INTERPRETATION ACCORDING TO THE ORIGINAL MEANING OF THE AUTHORS OF IT, HE FAILS TO SEE THAT THERE WILL BE CERTAIN CASES THAT DIRECTLY DEAL WITH A SUBSTANTIAL ISSUE OF NATURAL JUSTICE THAT CAN NOT BE PASSED DOWN TO LOWER COURTS WITHOUT ENSURING A GRAVE INJUSTICE. Justice Thomas is the only justice who has clearly recognized Natural Law as a factor in some cases. Also, the rule of law is simply a means to the VIRTUE OF JUSTICE. Procedural questions are important but can not be placed higher than Justice itself, which can be known by Natural Law. Scalia would absolve himself of the responsability and even ability to do this ON PRINCIPLE based on the separation of powers. In most cases that is true, but not in FUNDAMENTAL CASES OF NATURAL LAW, (as flagrantly in the Terri Schiavo case). Then there is the virtue of Epkeia that especially judges should have, by which one sees that following the letter of the law will deny justice in some case, one MAKES AN EXCEPTION TO THE LETTER OF THE LAW. I wonder if Scalia even recognizes that. So while one must applaud Scalia for his presence of mind in these cases, his own absolute rejection of Natural Law ( which until Oliver Wendell Homes WAS a factor in many cases) his absolutist philosophy of original intent and procedural escapism from FUNDAMENTAL CASES OF JUSTICE IN CASES OF LAST RESORT FAILS JUSTICE IN SOME RARE CASES. So the failure of the Church to educate her sons in positions of justices is one more glaring case of accommodation to Americanism being factually more influential that her own philosophical wisdom
Which is why society needs bishops and why bishops need holiness. The ultimate social failings fall on the heads of the bishops most of whom refuse to step up to the level of being holy. Again, what is the point of a bishop who is not holy? Not only is such a bishop worthless, such a bishop is destructive to himself, the Church and to society in general.
I am sure that most or all of the Founding Fathers based their objection to sodomy on Natural Law as it makes what should be common sense.
India voted down “same-sex” marriages, too, and they must have used Natural Law.
The US Supreme Court has confirmed itself as truly “kangaroo” in nature.
Louie, have mercy on kangaroos … they do not like to be compared to supreme court justices. Kangaroos live in the natural world; but most of the justices live in the unnatural world.
Courage breeds courage. And we need to be in the business of breeding courage.
(Family Research Council http://www.frc.org)
Like startled cattle, today politicians of all stripes are galloping to the left–terrified to find themselves alone, standing for traditional values against the radical Left.
Many Republican members of Congress have caved to the pressure and have approved special recognition for same-sex partnerships in the Violence Against Women’s Act.
This is why I am asking you again today to help us keep ENDA–the Employment Non-Discrimination Act-stalled in Congress.
Why we must stop ENDA…
Under ENDA, churches, Christian schools and colleges, Christian-owned businesses, and others would face federal prosecution for firing or even refusing to hire someone due to their publically displayed sexual proclivities.
It would strip Christians of their religious freedom, forcing them to violate their Christian values and conscience. Some call ENDA a ‘gay jobs bill.’
And we know in the wake of the ObamaCare mandate that the Obama Administration is not deterred at all by the fact that such a policy would trample upon religious freedom…
This will be no small task because ENDA is the subject of one of the most massive disinformation campaigns in memory. Just cutting through the myths, the deceptions, and the misperceptions is a monumental task….
Don’t believe the lies!
Don’t be fooled when you hear that the bill includes a “religious exemption,” so that churches won’t be forced to hire homosexuals. This is a smokescreen. The President’s “accommodations” to the Right are fig leaves, meaningless. The ACLU and others are fighting fiercely to have this component removed from the bill. It could be taken out at the very last moment. Or an activist judge could strike down any alleged ‘safe harbor.’
Don’t be fooled when you hear that ENDA somehow represents an “equality issue.” This is not about equality under the law. This is about making Christians unequal–unable to live out their faith.
Don’t be fooled when you hear that the Obama administration supports “freedom of worship.” Freedom of worship isn’t freedom. Worship in their view happens inside a church or a synagogue. What ENDA will destroy is freedom of religion–which is what the Founding Fathers intended to guarantee. Religious freedom is the freedom to live your life according to your faith in private and in public.
Don’t be fooled when you hear that ENDA is about “civil rights.” Civil rights are based on irreversible genetic factors-race or gender, for example. But there is no substantiated evidence to indicate that homosexual attraction or behavior is genetically driven.
Don’t be fooled when you hear that this “lame duck” President can’t advance his agenda. On the contrary, he has nothing to lose. He is fighting for what he regards as his legacy. For the next three years, we need to sleep with one eye open. We can never let down our guard. When the culture is moving downhill, you don’t need to exert much effort. Left unchecked, his radical agenda will move America way down the slippery slope.
Don’t be fooled when you hear that the homosexual movement is about peaceful “coexistence.” Orthodox religious values are the one main obstacle to them reaching their goals.
The two worldviews are incompatible with each other. So they must remove religious values from society, by whatever means possible, or at least keep these values isolated, closeted, invisible, chained inside “houses of worship.” ENDA is the perfect padlock.
But tragically, many have been fooled.
Indeed, many in the United States Congress have been fooled–they’ve bought into the false claims and overwrought hand-wringing, succumbing to the terror of being called names or losing popularity or elections. Enough noise and pressure, and more could follow.