By contrast…

… today not so much.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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221 Responses to By contrast…

  1. David Collins says:

    I listened to the election coverage on the local Salem Communications radio station, chaired by Hugh Hewitt; boy, were they depressed! The main takeaway: Republicans are old and 90% white, whereas the Democrats are younger, with 60% white and the rest are black, Latino, and Asian. Lucky for the Republicans that the economy is sputtering along; if it was roaring, they would have lost the House of Representatives. At any rate, surely it can be said they are no longer competitive in national elections.

    Perhaps Blue Staters can give us Red Staters tips on how to live in this brave, new world.

  2. Rachel K says:

    I felt sick when I saw the election result this morning. This is a bad day for the unborn, for marriage and for God’s Law. We all need to pray a great deal. Most disappointing were the “gay marriage” results for those three states. Such a disappointment.

  3. StWinefride says:

    Very sorry to hear the news. Prayers for all of you from over the pond.

    Psalm 62(61)
    For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.
    He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly moved.

    How long will you set upon a man to shatter him, all of you,
    like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
    They only plan to thrust him down from his eminence.
    They take pleasure in falsehood. They bless with their mouths,
    but inwardly they curse.

    For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.
    He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
    On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
    My mighty rock, my refuge is God.

    Trust in him at all times, O people;
    pour out your heart before him;
    God is a refuge for us.

    Men of low estate are but a breath, men of high estate are a delusion;
    in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath.
    Put no confidence in extortion, set no vain hopes on robbery;
    if riches increase, set not your heart on them.

    Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this; that power belongs to God
    and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
    For you repay a man according to his work.

  4. Muv says:

    Thoroughly depressing. Trying times indeed. Commiserations from England.

    I cannot add anything by way of consolation, so I shall digress to coffee. If you want to make the world’s best smiley (or grumpy) face on your capuccino, use your two sugar lumps (deeply unfashionable, I know) for the eyes. Hold them in place on the surface of the froth, then let them go simultaneously. The froth will be imprinted with two large eyes, and if you are very lucky a bubble will rise in each one to give a little twinkly verisimilitude. To stir your coffee, insert the spoon in the face’s mouth and agitate the sugar gently at the bottom of the cup. In this way you can keep the face intact until the end of your coffee.

    Just trying to cheer you all up.

  5. kat says:

    I’ m so depressed and afraid of the future. We barely have enough for food now; it’s not going to get any better and will quickly get worse. The executive orders bypassing Congress will fly out of the White House now.

  6. Marianna says:

    Commiserations, Father. This is bad news for the US; and, given US influence outside its borders, for us in the UK too, and for the world in general.

  7. Ellen says:

    Gas just jumped 25 cents yesterday and food costs inch steadily up. My paycheck will be lighter come January when the tax cuts expire. My cousin with a master’s degree can only find minimum wage jobs. But beyond all that, I fear there is a spiritual rot that has set in. I fear for my grandchildren’s future.

  8. Christopher says:

    Just keep remembering Matthew 4:8-10.

    God Bless.

  9. yatzer says:

    I will try to have hope for the future, but it is hard. I fear for my grandchildren also.

  10. kat says:

    I was going to start praying I never get any grandchildren…but my husband says that would be a sin of despair… : (

  11. Maria says:

    My condolences and sincere heartfelt prayers for a turnaround for the unborn especially, and for the wellbeing of the people in the USA.
    With Love in Christ.

  12. JonPatrick says:

    I was optimistic about the election thinking that the basic commonsense of the American people would prevail, also listening to the various pundits predicting a Romney landslide, expecting another 2010. I guess I’m still in shock – so people really do care more about free birth control than whether our economy will go the way of Greece.

    The only positive thing was that the doctor assisted suicide ballot question failed here in Mass. A small victory for the pro-life movement.

  13. Legisperitus says:

    No star system will dare oppose the Emperor now.

    Or will the USCCB grow a permanent spine?

  14. Kerry says:

    Waking my wife at 2AM her first words, “This means war”.

  15. Christopher says:

    JonPatrick:
    The only positive thing was that the doctor assisted suicide ballot question failed here in Mass. A small victory for the pro-life movement.

    Good News is better than no news.

    God Bless.

  16. SKAY says:

    I am also frightened for my grandchildren. At some point I expect him to go after private property rights.
    Remember that he encouraged people at his rally to vote for revenge. That has always been his mindset.

  17. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Ohio’s provisional votes won’t even be counted until November 17th. They have no right to call it yet.

    Meanwhile… the really frightening thing was how many people, in this swing state, somehow thought that this election was unimportant and their vote didn’t matter (!) or that the candidates were roughly similar (!!!). I don’t understand how people can be that ignorant and still know how to cross the street.

  18. Darren says:

    I woke up today clearly feeling different. Now, I know the course of this once-great nation is the course of self-destruction. After these four years, no matter who is elected in 2016, 2020, and on… how long will it take to recover after voting for a culture of death.

    To see gay” marriage” passed by voters for the first time was especially depressing.

    November 6, 2012 may be the darkest day in American history.

    I am Catholic first…

    Thank you StWinefride for posting the Psalm. I have printed it and it is hanging at my desk at work. I shall read it each day as I arrive, and will do the same at home, adding it to my morning prayers.

  19. Christopher says:

    Suburbanbanshee, so the vote has not been called yet?

    God Bless.

  20. New Sister says:

    “…in difficult moments, that we might not despair nor become dispondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Thy holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.” – St. Faustina

  21. Imrahil says:

    Sincere consolations.

    I do not know whether this is consolation or not, but
    After these four years, no matter who is elected in 2016, 2020, and on… how long will it take to recover after voting for a culture of death.

    Nor did it matter who was elected in 2012. And this is not because Exgovernor Romney is insincere, etc. It’s just that the time when there was a reasonable chance short of the always-possible miracle to end the culture of death did not pass yesterday, but had long passed before. Roe vs. Wade was in 1972 (or so; I don’t precisely know). You may have missed a chance to try to recover; you did not lose such chances as you had to try in the future, because there were already so little of them.

    Besides, I do not think President Obama will directly go after private property. He’s too smart and too little ideologically-biased to do so. Not sure that’s a consolation, though. You can do worse with private property than take it away plain and simple; for instance you can just make it totally subject to the state’s orders, and of course high taxation. I’m not comparing President Obama with Hitler but he, also, although in general he was the dumb and Stalin the smart one, was smart enough not to go after private property. As Göring said: “We have no need to socialize the means of production; we socialize the men”.

    As I said I’m not comparing Obama with Hitler. But while there’s worse things around than privatization of property, the latter is not to be feared from Obama.

  22. PostCatholic says:

    I won’t gloat. I hope we can stop portraying political opponents as enemies and start to do the essential work of democracy.

  23. frjim4321 says:

    PC, I am with you on that.

  24. PA mom says:

    This is a Catholic crisis.

    With the largest religious denominations in the US being Catholics and separated Catholics, it is us who are agreeing to this outcome. Our Church has not been properly arming us, nor disarming the enemy. There was no mention at all of Envy as a sin during this long,terrible election. The Bishops were all sold on Obamacare until they realized it would be used directly against them, so no credibility. Birth control? Same thing. If it is such a big deal to the Church, then why haven’t we heard of it before this time? No credibility. So when they quick issue “don’t vote for the pro abortion”candidate letters in looonnnggg and winding letters on the Sunday before the election, what can they expect?
    I dont think so, Post Catholic.
    Your side does not in any way genuinely respect the real rights of my side, as has been clear throughout this election. No support for this administration, or any piece of that political party from me.

  25. Maria says:

    My heart bleeds …

  26. pmullane says:

    Condolences from the UK, the feeling that I had this morning was that the last light had gone out, and that America has gone beyond the tipping point from being a free, God fearing and self reliant people to being a nation that has given its soul to its government, for ‘he who holds our bonds, also holds our souls’. America has joined the rest of the West in becoming a statist nation, because just enough of the people have been ‘fundamentally transformed’. Welcome to the dependency party, America, where you find yourself working to pay for the pleasures of others. Its not fun, trust me.

    Being British, I have resigned myself to the conclusion that this thing will not be solved politically any more. Our financial systems are going to crash, probably sooner than later, we will not be able to protect ourselves from our enemies, and we will not be able to cope with disasters. Our infrastructure was built by our parents, and we can build nothing for ourselves, because too many of us have gotten fat and dependant. You’ll get used to working harder for getting less, and as more people dont see the point of working hard for less reward than they get for doing nothing, they will follow their own interest and go on the dole queue. You will get used to becoming a nation of lawyers and government workers, who will introduce increasingly intrusive laws that will tighten the noose round your neck. You’ll get used to seeing businesses closing down and nothing reopening in its place. You’ll get used to seeing your friends giving up, the ones that have the money retiring and trying to eek out a life rather than make a living. You’ll get used to your children living in your house till tehy are 30, or 40, or forever. You’ll get used to them not getting married because they cant afford a wedding, living in a smaller house in a rougher neighbourhood, driving a smaller car, working harder and having less. You’ll get used to becoming the babysitter for your grandchildren because both parents have to work in order to pay the bills. You’ll get used to smaller, less, worse.

    Watching some election coverage, I saw some clips of The Presidents celebration event, lots of pictures of young (college educated?) women, black women, etc, and I thought ‘You know, we are going to move into a darker world, the edifice of the west is coming down, as all civilisations do. We may live in a time of persecution, we may die martyrs, we may die in war or famine or disease, but we who have Christ, we will be ok, because we dont live for this world. If we are persecuted we can wear the wounds with honour before Christ, if we die martyrs then happy are we. Famine disaster and war are oppertunities to demonstrate Christs love to our neighbour. But the real losers tonight are those people in that hall dancing for their false saviour. When the exconomy collapses, and they are early middle aged, have no children or husband, have parents who cannot support them, and their expensive ‘learning’ is worth nothing, then they are the ones who will be hit. The woman with 3 children and no fathers around who lives from benefit cheque to benefit cheque will be the one who suffers when the cheques stop coming. Those dependant on government for food are those who starve when the government cant provide for them any more. Those who live for Christ will live in Christ, those who live for theworld will perish in the world.

    The only solution I can see is to build authentic Christian cultures. Get the framework in place now. Go and ask your priest to start a catechism group so you can learn the faith. Form a ‘stable group’ and get regular Mass in the Extraordinary Form. Start a pro life group, and a rosary group, and a Divine Mercy Group. Start a group that tackles Authentically social problems. Feed the poor and clothe the naked. If your priest is an of the world liberal type who talks about ‘marriage equality’ has bumper stickers for evil candidates, then shake the dust from your feet and find a new parish. Then when the darkness comes you will be prepared. You will have a community that is spiritually, materially and intellectually prepared for what is to come. Christ has allowed this evil to come to pass, and he will give us the graces to overcome them, if we avail ourselves of them.

    Apologies for the long post.

  27. HyacinthClare says:

    Stay in Rome, Father. Don’t come back. This country is no longer your home, or ours.

  28. frjim4321 says:

    Your side does not in any way genuinely respect the real rights of my side, as has been clear throughout this election. No support for this administration, or any piece of that political party from me.

    Thus the gridlock continues.

  29. Andreas says:

    Is there any reliable information available yet regarding how Catholics voted?

  30. Dies Irae says:

    Oh gosh, this is really sad. I so wanted to vote. Now, because of my selfish idiots of fellow Americans….
    Physically, thick and thin, united we stand. It’ll take a long haul to clean up the messes, and the scary part is we are not necessarily a young and strong nation, because we’re killing our children and dividing our families, but it’s doable. Spiritually? Catholics, we have to stand strong now. When times get hard, remember what the early Christians had to suffer. Watch ‘For Greater Glory.’

    Mr. Obama, you may be cool now, but life is brief, and the next life will be awful hot.

    Now I’m going to Chick-Fil-A to get me a sandwich, and then swing by Cableas to get me a new gun with the money I earned working the polls.

  31. frjim4321 says:

    Andreas, from what I have read exit polls do not render the most accurate information, so hard numbers may be a little while in coming.

  32. benedetta says:

    Obama promised bipartisanship this week. He is the elected leader and should take the lead and offer compromise. One agenda item is to not force people to act against their religious freedom. Undoing gridlock starts from the top.

    Still,

    3 (26-13) I believe to see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 (26-14) Expect the Lord, do manfully, and let thy heart take courage, and wait thou for the Lord.

  33. LisaP. says:

    Thank you for that, pmullane.
    And all from other nations who posted their sympathy. It is a comfort.

  34. PA mom says:

    “the gridlock continues..”
    Thank God for it. Is it really just about “forward” for you, to anywhere, and damn the consequences??? Not that, with your age, you are likely to experience the consequences. No, that will be my children and grandchildren.

  35. oldCatholigirl says:

    PostCatholic and frjim:
    Even though we often differ, I don’t see either of you as enemies. Perhaps it might be helpful if one or both of you would expand on what you see as “the essential work of democracy”.

  36. Christopher says:

    Pullmane, Amen.

    God Bless.

  37. Darren says:

    One must remember also that America is a Federal Republic, with Democratic tendencies. It is not a true democracy. If it was, some of our presidents would have been different. Didn’t Gore win the popular vote vs. Bush? I forget how many others overall won the electoral vote but lost the popular vote. Our founding fathers developed a decent contitution that took close to 200 years for liberals and progressives to figure out how to truly manipulate.

    Let me rephrase “how long will it take to recover after voting for a culture of death” to, “how long will it take to recover after voting for the total deterioriation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness… for death and the destruction of the family… etc…”

    I don’t know their plans, but some of our Supreme Court Justices are getting old… Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy have to hold on for 4 more years… can’t lose the swing vote… Ginsberg will likely retire, but she’ll be replaced with a younger version of herself.

  38. frjim4321 says:

    OCG . . . running out the door for breakfast and shopping with Mom, but on the fly to me democracy has something to do with one person, one vote, and the inability of votes to be purchased or the process skewed but the ultra-rich. More to come…

  39. Y2Y says:

    Democracy means allowing the cattle to choose their ranchers.

    America needs a Pinochet. I pray that one will arise.

  40. beez says:

    Remember, long before there were “Catholics for Obama”, there were “Jews for ‘Crucify Him!’”

  41. Imrahil says:

    We who have Christ, we will be ok, because we dont live for this world.

    But we are patriots also; and we will grive still more than the others, because we do not escape into hardening despair; we still must hope; we still must hope for our earthly fatherland also; we love it; we cannot evade into ignoring it.

    And then a martyrium – forgive me poor sinner – seems so easily done, as also the old drill-sergeant tirade I quote from the film 08/15 goes: “For you a hero’s death seems to be redemption in its purest form!” But then maybe, and as far as we can look most likelily, our mission will be something else, viz. surviving in this world as it is, and the day they want us to perform an intrinically evil act and we can just disobey, be killed for it, and be done with it simply won’t come.

    That said, for a bit of real consolation, “we, for at present we all, tend to one mistake; we tend to make politics too important. We tend to forget how huge a part of a man’s life is the same under a Sultan and a Senate, under Nero or St Louis. Daybreak is a never-ending glory, getting out of bed is a never-ending nuisance; food and friends will be welcomed: work and strangers must be accepted and endured: birds will go bedwards and children won’t, to the end of the last evening.” Chesterton, of course.

  42. Mary Jane says:

    You can’t be Catholic and have voted for Obama. Period.

  43. Legisperitus says:

    The essential work of a democracy is to ensure that we never get better leaders than we deserve.

    The essential work of its people is to ensure that they deserve better.

  44. JonPatrick says:

    Unfortunately I was wrong about assisted suicide in Mass – it is 51% against, 49% for, with 93% of the votes counted, so it has not been decided yet, according to Screwtape’s Bible (The Boston Globe).

  45. dep says:

    What are we to do?

    Offer our anguish up to the Lord, I suppose.

  46. Lauren says:

    I feel sick and I’m very scared. Forget out grandkids – I fear for today – it’s starting with us.

    The only thing I can think of is “Oh God, why have you abandoned us?”

    Can anyone explain to me, WHY, if Christ’s most faithful begged for help and mercy, WHY he has not replied?

    I don’t want to dispair, but I’m pretty much there. Someone get me out of this dispair!!!

  47. Christopher says:

    Lauren, don’t lose Hope. Remember Christ said His Kingdom is not of this World, remember that Satan tempted Christ with all the Kingdoms of the Earth, remember that even Christ Himself underwent the most brutal of sufferings. The Holy Mother’s heart was pierced with sorrow, and the Saints were Martyred. Take Hope in that you have God, a love so great that no tyrant can ever take away from you.

    As Tolkien said ‘Oft Hope is born when all is fornlorn’, that is because we turn to God, as we always have from the start.

    I hope you will be at peace.

    God Bless.

  48. spesalvi23 says:

    Horrible! As a German married to a Bostonian (we live in Bavaria) I share your grief.
    Isn’t Europe example enough to see that over-regulation doesn’t work?
    EU nations are (because they have no other choice) cutting back on social spending and are desperately creating financial fabrications to save what is already lost.
    This is creating all kinds of neo-nationalism and a very hostile climate between the ‘poor’ and the ‘rich’ nations. Life cannot be regulated to such an extent!! People have to get up and get their sh*** done and try to help themselves. There is too much reliance on the state to bail you out. Responsibility has to shift from the Government to the people – not the other way around!
    It’s sad that the old slogans of social justice and tax-generated spending programs still work – I thought we were beyond that stage.
    It’s sad that morality has been lost and that God is being marginalized.
    But: it’s always darkest before the dawn – we’re not low enough yet!

  49. dep says:

    Lauren, I share your sorrow — I think all people of clear mind and open heart do — but maybe we have to be careful in our prayers sometimes. It would be wonderful at first blush to be able to ask God to make people do things. But God granted us free will so that we can love Him or reject Him as we choose, for our love means nothing if it is not voluntary. The majority of people in our country chose not to love him. This is, alas, scarcely a new phenomenon. The Bible is full of similar events throughout history. The good news is that those who love God were saved.

    Those who love Him need ever more to say so and to say, “Thy will be done.”

    That having been said, I do wonder at the Father’s choice of a hurricane the week before the election, which there is reason to think made the difference by allowing the president to play dress-up and be all official and bring out such Judas-like attributes as are possessed by the governor of New Jersey. But then I remember something that happened during the political season lo, 12 years ago. During the Republican primaries there were debates, one of which was hosted by Larry King, who noted that Alan Keyes is a religious man and also unlikely to win. “What do you do when God abandons you?” he asked. Keyes instantly replied, “God doesn’t abandon you. But He sometimes does the right thing in His way instead of yours.”

    It is hard for us to see anything right in the way things unfolded yesterday. But we know less of the mind of God than the ant knows of the mind of us. He can also see farther and knows what will happen before it does. So we must remember what St. Faustina told us to remember: Jesus, I trust in You.

  50. mysticalrose says:

    I am very worried for my children (all of whom are pre-school-age). The US has become a moral cesspool as was evidenced by the commentary last night about “women’s issues” and “gay rights.” This is really, really scary.

  51. Imrahil says:

    At least, as it seems, God took care that Obama didn’t win by the third party votes… so there is no need to tear into parts (speaking metaphorically) those who are of same opinion but in their conscience decided not to vote for Romney…

    Very well, why did not God reply? The first reason seems to be that by Constitution the election is in the hand of US citizens, who have a will of their own…

    and another one… “Who knows what it is all good for”, as my grandmother used to say.

    I just guess, but for a thoroughly Christian rebuilding you might need a great majority in Congress plus a president, and the president should preferably be a Christian to begin with. (Never assume that seemingly merely theoretical issues such as whether God is the Supreme Being of the Philosophers and the Living One of the Jewish Revelation, or merely a developped man of the sort we are all going to turn into, or whether Christ within his assumption took a little layover to duly inform his devout servants on the American Continent, are of no practical meaning, as hidden as that may be.) And after an unsuccessful period of office, the office tends to fall to the other party. Romney quite possibly could not have done much in four years, assuming the very best intentions, and could quite possible have had only four years.

    Then, I hate to say it but one of the most common rebukes against Obama seems to have been “He wants to turn the United States into but another Europe”. If that is the case… it is possible to survive in Europe.

    Then, if the Catholics once again gave out a 50/50 voice then that is of course a problem on our rather than God’s side. Someone may say that this is good if it used to be 70/30 Democrat, but the latter was at least a clear Catholic voice, and in a time when the Democrats were perhaps not so anti-life and anti-Catholic.

    Then, what can happen? Either you survive; or you die a martyrium. The first is fine; the second is fine too. Who has learnt to die has unlearnt to serve (viz. earthly masters), as the Spaniards say.

    Then, “it is not our part to master all the tides all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know” and such as we may, “so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule”, as Gandalf said in the Last Council. The American nation arguably has missed to do so yesterday; but he who did not vote Obama did not take part in that. Now it remains for the private man to lead his everyday life. And everyday life is a pseudo-giant like Mr Tur Tur from Jim Button: it looks great and insurmountable from afar, but most of the time and for those that have no especially hard vocation, it is friendly and affable if it stands next to you.

  52. JohnE says:

    Sometimes the best punishment is to give the people what they want. God knows what He’s doing.

  53. HeatherPA says:

    Yes, we must keep in mind God is love. He allows what He allows and will bring a good out of any evil man chooses with free will.
    We have to cling to our crucified One and recall Our Lady’s anguish at the decree of Pontius Pilate and at the foot of the Cross. We are being chastised for our choices against life and marriage- warned by Our Lady at Fatima. Keep praying and be faithful.
    I understand the sense of loss and despair. I sat in Holy Hour this morning and cried while I prayed the Rosary.
    We were told that we must be refined and purified.

  54. poorlady says:

    The news of Obama’s reelection depressed me too this morning. Even traffic on the way to mass this morning was unusually hectic.
    All I can say is that secularism has finally made its victory. It started in the 60′s and 70′s with eliminating God’s name and introducing “tolerance”, and it has taken a generation to take hold.
    But I think the blame can be placed on those religious (priests/nuns) who refused to speak the truth and to wear the habit. They all wanted to be like “us”. Add to it the liberalizing of the Church through Vatican II and the disintegration of the family starting in the late ’70′s, and you have the mess we have today.
    God has only revealed the germ that has been festering in our body for the past several years.
    Perhaps, the battle will be easier to fight now that it is out in the open. (?) We need to get back to prayer and especially to Eucharistic devotion.
    I don’t know if these observations are totally correct, and anyone may correct me, but this is indeed a dark day for our nation. We are no longer the upright noble nation we once was.
    But, by God’s grace, we will be saved. God bless us all.

  55. Carolina Geo says:

    A plea to the bishops of this country:

    Please re-institute the practice of Friday penance. Follow the lead of your brother bishops in England. It would be so easy to do: no meat on Friday. Let’s not kid ourselves; we need to do penance now in a big way.

  56. Sissy says:

    James Madison said: “I go on this great republican principle, that people will have virtue and intelligence to select men of virtue and wisdom. Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks- no form of government can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without virtue in the people is a chimerical idea. If there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.”

    How long has it been since we were a virtuous people? Last night’s result reveals nothing new. We are just now confronting what has been true for a very long time. At least half of Catholics love abortion. There are priests who applaud it. Can a people like that elect good leaders?

  57. benedetta says:

    Of course if you look at the blue-red you can see that liberal wealth that gave billions to Obama reigned supreme. So much for frjom4321′s idea of democracy. Liberal elites owned this election, not regular people.

  58. benedetta says:

    Of course if you look at the blue-red you can see that liberal wealth that gave billions to Obama reigned supreme. So much for frjim4321′s idea of democracy. Liberal elites owned this election, not regular people.

  59. benedetta says:

    Of course if you look at the blue-red you can see that liberal wealth that gave billions to Obama reigned supreme. So much for frjim4321′s idea of democracy.

  60. Lauren says:

    thanks everyone. My head knows all this, but my heart does not. I’ve just got to let it sink in and I need to calm down. I’m just horrified to see what we’ve become. We managed to survive 8 horrible years of Clinton and 4 of Obama, so we can just keep on truckin’.

    So sad to see so many souls in serious jeopardy.

    (Father Z, can a “civilian” move to the Vatican??)

  61. mysticalrose says:

    @Sissy: Even more than the fact that 1/2 of Catholics love abortion, 3500 women willingly choose to kill their own children daily. As important as legislation is, there is clearly an even harder battle that needs to be fought in the hearts and minds of women. The morality of a culture follows upon the morality of women.

  62. Sissy says:

    “So much for frjim4321?s idea of democracy.”

    Father Jim is entirely correct. Jefferson called democracy “mob rule”, and that is exactly what we have. Too bad; we used to have a Republic. Barbarians have been tearing down hard-won civil society for thousands of years. We need not be surprised it has happened to us.

    In at least one sense, I think this is a great blessing to faithful Christians. If Romney had won, we might have gone on believing that politics can save us. Blessed are those who know that Christ is our only refuge.

  63. Southern Catholic says:

    democracy has something to do with one person, one vote, and the inability of votes to be purchased or the process skewed but the ultra-rich

    yet, Obama outspent Romney by far on this election, and did so in 08 in well…so how is the process not skewed by the ultra-rich?

  64. pmullane says:

    Lisa P and Christopher, thank you and God Bless you also. My prayers for you and your country.

    Lauren, do not despair. We asked the Lord in his Mercy to spare your country this evil, and he has allowed it, because God is in control. Perhaps he has allowed it because the Church and the western world, founded upon Christian Principles, has become filthy to the point it needs to be cleansed with the fire of persecution. Perhaps we and our children will live in worse times than we have previously. Perhaps we have become lazy and obsessed in our wealth and our plenty, and we have become lukewarm in our faith (I dont mean you personally, to be clear). Perhaps he has allowed this tyrant so that sould that would be lost can be saved. Remember, if you get to heaven, the troubles of this life will be as nothing. God loves you, he wants the best for you, not just now but in eternity. The Church has suffered before, and will suffer again. We asked that the cup would pass us by, as our Lord did in Gethsemene, and as then Our Heavenly Father has given his answer. We must embrace the cross as our Lord did, and do all in our power to ensure eternal life. Again, DO NOT DESPAIR. God has not abandoned us, and what evil he allows, he will grant us grace to overcome.

    Imrahil, yes we are patriots. I will grieve over America, as I grieve for my country of Great Britain, as I grieve for my ancestors home of Ireland, and as I grieve for Western Culture that was built on Christian civilisation. But these are only human things which were always going to pass, as everything will pass (Barack Obama, the Democratic Party, Nancy Pelosi, the European Union as well) as only one thing will prevail, and only one thing is worth being attached to. But I understand and share your pain, America was a wonderful thing, and she is lost. Probably forever. We can beg Christ to raise up something new, may his will be done.

    Mary Jane:

    ‘You can’t be Catholic and have voted for Obama. Period.’

    Fantastic comment. Right at the point of the thing. I was tempted to put on my Facebook last night that if you are Catholic and Voted for Obama, you must now go to confession, but didnt want to appear churlish. But yes, you cannot be Catholic and a supporter of Obama. He has attacked life in the womb, attacked freedom of concience, and attacked the Church. No interested Catholic could avoid knowing this, unless someone has a mental defect, I dont see how someone could be less than at least partially culpable for the sin of their vote, so clear were the messages from the bishops of the Church. Many people, even priests, pretend to be Catholic but support Obama. They must be considered as being of the world, because they risk their souls wilfully and their priority is Obama and not Christ. Fine, thats their choice, and they will answer for it, and I hope the Lord shows them more mercy than they have shown to the children not allowed to be born because of their support for Obama. We must build up the real members of the Church, not these imposters, and hopefully they will repent and join us before its too late.

  65. David Collins says:

    If Romney had won, we might have gone on believing politics can save us. Blessed are those who know that Christ is our only refuge.

    Well said, Sissy, well said.

  66. anilwang says:

    Sincere consolations from Canada. Unfortunately we’re affected too since our liberals enjoy aping the liberal elite in both the US and Europe (whichever is most secular).

    I do, however see it as an opportunity. Had Romney won, things would have gone back to normal and the average poorly catechized Catholic would have assumed that all the fuss was really about getting the Republicans elected. Things would still deteriorate, just at a slower rate. Now that Obama has won, *if priests and bishops continue to press the issue* and continue to *catechize and give homilies on contraception, abortion, and religious freedom*, the average catechized Catholic would get the picture and realize that the Catholic faith isn’t just “being a good person, just like others in other faiths, and going to mass once and a while”. This will especially be the case if priests and bishops suffer the consequences and schools and hospitals have to close.

    But Americans really need to think about the next election. One great thing about the American election system is that the presidency is separate from the house of representatives. In Canada, you vote for a party and if the party wins, the party leader is the prime minister. As a consequence, its nearly impossible for 3rd parties on one side (e.g. the right) to gain any representation without making the other side (e.g. the left) win. With the American system, its possible for 3rd parties to dominate the House without affecting the Presidency. That means that if a genuinely Catholic party existed that could draw away enough “Red Tories” from the Republicans and the “Blue Liberals” (fed up with Obama’s radicalism) from the Democrats to make a difference.

  67. wanda says:

    St. Winefride, thank you for Psalm 62. Thanks to all from everywhere for your prayers. We know of and pray about your countries, too. Only in God will our souls be at rest.

  68. Sissy says:

    wmeyer said: “3500 women willingly choose to kill their own children daily…there is clearly an even harder battle that needs to be fought in the hearts and minds of women”

    The cult of Molech is alive and well in our culture – it reigns supreme. We have priests and nuns/sisters who openly endorse the party of abortion and pronounce themselves “elated” that the abortion party has prevailed. The notion that you can sacrifice children in exchange for economic prosperity is simultaneously ancient and modern. I don’t think we’re going to ever get rid of it, when even Catholic priests applaud the culture of death as it advances. I think faithful Catholics must embrace the reality that we are counter-culture people. I’m not quite sure what that’s going to me for me and my family, but I know I’m not going to participate in what is coming.

  69. Southern Catholic says:

    50% of Catholics in America voted for Obama and 56% of Catholics in Maine voted for same sex marriage…this tells you a lot about the state of the Church in this country.

  70. Imrahil says:

    Dear @pmullane, just to be clear, I grieve for America as for a friend (and for our earthly savior of both Nazis and Russians), a country where popular Christianity (albeit with Protestant shape) is still popular, and a country of so great people that they still cherish freedom as a good thing rather than only a disturbance and (while even Europeans still will not say that explicitly, but) a threat that, while one cannot be totally rid of it, is best done away with by compulsory regulation; a country that still upheld the idea of Luke the Engine Driver that “if one has no money, then the solution is earn some money”. I am not American; I come from the country where the idea of a compulsory health insurance was first invented.

    Dear @Sissy, that is really what James Madison said? Welly welly welly well…

    Kurt Tucholsky said “woe to the country in need of heroes”. He was not totally right. But woe, indeed, to the country in need of a virtuous populace.
    And it should still have been clear to James Madison then, too, that while the virtuous man may be elected or may not be elected, still he has only one voice in electing himself? And that even virtuous people may differ, whether by stupidity or in case of a really complex issue, about who is the virtuous candidate? And that the real problem is not an invirtuous candidate, but a candidate with dangerously erroneous opinions and that even especially if he is virtuous?

  71. Lauren says:

    pmullane – thank you for your kind words.

    Everyone’s comments have brought great peace to my heart.

    But I am reminded of St Therese of Lisseux (I think she is the one who said something to this effect) : I don’t think of myself as good material for martyrdom. I’m a chicken for pain – I don’t even like paper cuts!!

    But it sure seems like we are headed this way . . .

    WHY aren’t Bishops excommunicating the ‘c’atholic politicians and even some voters???? Let’s start there and then move to meatless Fridays. House cleaning is in order.

  72. Sissy says:

    Imrahil, I don’t disagree with you that we are always in danger of electing leaders with dangerously wrong ideas. But our real problem here is that wolves in sheep’s clothing are delivering homilies that tickle the fancy of the flock. And these false leaders are delivering God’s people to the enemy.

  73. Jason Brown says:

    @Anilwang, good comment. As a fellow Canadian I found this especially penetrating: “Unfortunately we’re affected too since our liberals enjoy aping the liberal elite in both the US and Europe (whichever is most secular).”

    I just wanted to clarify what you said about “Red Tories” and “Blue Liberals” because Canadian political terminology might not make sense to Americans.

    In Canada the political colours are reversed, i.e. blue is associated with conservative politics and red with liberal politics. “Tory” is a name for political conservatives in Canada and the UK. So in the American context “Red Tory” might mean “conservative with certain liberal affinities” and “Blue Liberal” might mean “liberal with certain conservative affinities.”

    Anilwang, feel free to correct me if you meant something else.

  74. Mary Jane says:

    I’ll say it again:

    You can’t be Catholic and have voted for Obama. Period.

  75. Southern Catholic says:

    WHY aren’t Bishops excommunicating the ‘c’atholic politicians and even some voters???? Let’s start there and then move to meatless Fridays. House cleaning is in order.

    That’s a very good question, why are there priest out there who openly support gay marriage and abortion? Cleaning the House is needed.

  76. Jason Brown says:

    I offer my condolences to the Americans. My wife and I in Canada are praying for you.

  77. StWinefride says:

    So many comforting words in the above posts. Thank you. I too have felt “stunned” today.

    I was thinking earlier about Pope Benedict’s speech on the esplanade of the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima on 13 May 2010, he says:

    “We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete. Here there takes on new life the plan of God which asks humanity from the beginning:
    “Where is your brother Abel […] Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!” (Gen 4:9).
    Mankind has succeeded in unleashing a cycle of death and terror, but failed in bringing it to an end…
    In sacred Scripture we often find that God seeks righteous men and women in order to save the city of man and he does the same here, in Fatima, when Our Lady asks: “Do you want to offer yourselves to God, to endure all the sufferings which he will send you, in an act of reparation for the sins by which he is offended and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?” (Memoirs of Sister Lúcia, I, 162)”.

    At a time when the human family was ready to sacrifice all that was most sacred on the altar of the petty and selfish interests of nations, races, ideologies, groups and individuals, our Blessed Mother came from heaven, offering to implant in the hearts of all those who trust in her the Love of God burning in her own heart. At that time it was only to three children, yet the example of their lives spread and multiplied, especially as a result of the travels of the Pilgrim Virgin, in countless groups throughout the world dedicated to the cause of fraternal solidarity.

    May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfilment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity”

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2010/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20100513_fatima_en.html

    Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

  78. Michelle F says:

    Thank you to all of our brethren outside the U.S. who offered their condolences on the outcome of this election. I needed to hear the support and encouragement.

    One thing that crossed my mind while reading the posts was that perhaps what happened with the election is like what happens with an addict.

    Having been an alcoholic, I know that an addict must “hit bottom” before he will wake up and realize that he needs to change his attitude, his thoughts, and his behavior.

    Perhaps the U.S. needs four more years of Obama (with gay marriage, legalized marijuana, etc.) in order to “hit bottom” and wake up.

    I suppose we can all hope for this outcome, that the U.S. finally will wake up.

    Thanks again to everyone who has offered us words of encouragement and wisdom.

  79. Choirmaster says:

    The lesson here is that Catholics–those faithful to the fundamental, non-negotiable precepts a Christian must adhere to–are, indeed, counter-cultural and very much in the minority, whether among U.S. citizens, or among fellow Catholics. This should be fully digested and realized that it has always been this way and always will. The best we can hope for and could ever achieve here on our beloved Earth is to be a “creative minority” in the sense expressed by the Holy Father several years ago.

    And to all of those who may be orbiting despair here in what appears to be the Garden of Gethsemane, know that we have not yet been put to the test. All indications may be that we will be put to the test, and even that such a test would result in the greater good after all, but the persecution of the Church (or any man of good will, for that matter) is objectively evil, and must be avoided regardless of the good of its end.

    I would like to invite all Catholics to join me in a Rosary crusade that God will deliver our Nation from its enemies, or at least spare his faithful sons and daughters that the cup of persecution may pass them by; that by prayer and fasting and penance we may avoid the torturers, the prisons, and the Sword, and yet still emerge purified and meritorious nevertheless.

    It’s not impossible and it’s not unprecedented. Remember Lot and his companions that were spared the fire and brimstone of Sodom. Remember the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all that she has done for us in the past, and beg her to spare us, her weak and sinful sons and daughters, and yet still intercede for us and obtain for us the promises of her Son.

    Spare us, O Lord! Save our Nation, and your faithful servants. Remember Lot, whom you graciously granted to escape destruction, and Isaac. May the sacrifice of Christ ransom us from that damnation which we have called upon ourselves, especially through the merits of your saints, and grant us the grace of true penance and reparation. And if this is not according to your will, grant us the strength of faith required to pass the test unwavering in love of God and neighbor.

    I pledge a novena of rosaries for this intention starting today.

  80. Sissy says:

    Michelle F, that is exactly the thought I had – some people really do have to hit rock bottom to see the truth. I think our system will collapse with much heartache for many good people. But if it is necessary, than it must be so. The Lord knows what is best. I trust Him, even as I grieve for all the sorrow that is to come. In the end, He will make all things new.

  81. jhayes says:

    Rocco:

    Beyond the statement of the domestic church leadership, in something of a surprise, it emerged overnight that the Pope had sent his own well-wishes to Obama, expressing his prayers along with the hope that “the ideals of liberty and justice which guided the founders” of the US “might continue to shine forth along the nation’s path.”

    Announced by the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi, the complete text of the papal telegram was not made public.

    “We all wish President Obama well,” Lombardi said, “that he might serve law and justice for the good and the growth of every person, respecting human values and spiritual essentials, in the promotion of a culture of life and religious freedom… and effectively promote integral human development, justice and peace in the world.”

    http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/

  82. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Choirmaster, sorry but

    no, the idea that “Catholicism is always counter-cultural” and “the best hope we have on Earth is to become a creative minority” and that “this is how it always was and always will be” are not to be digested. And if they are digested, then we will be a minority, but not a creative one.

    I know it is perhaps not so easy in theory to draw the line between original sin which is a Christian dogma and total wretchedness of human nature which is a Protestant distortion, but we must stick to the theory which is also a fact that Catholicism is not counter-cultural, but counter-anticultural, and that Catholics suffer to be a minority for the sake of the greater good (such as truth) but wish to be a majority. Hence we must, for all things in the world, find whatever is good in culture such as it is, and separate it from the distortions it breeds. To my own humble person, the most obvious though perhaps not most important thing to see is that “secularized life” (if I may call it thus) makes no fun, and if it does it is by Christian heritage. “But I, I cannot read it / (Although I run and run), /Of them that do not have the faith / And will not have the fun.” (Chesterton)

    The reaction against compromising with the world is a healthy one, because the latter practically means compromising things not to be compromised. But the idea to make opposing the world a positive Christian value quite apart from a need of a reason why the world is to be opposed, is an overreaction.

  83. wmeyer says:

    Jefferson called democracy “mob rule”, and that is exactly what we have.

    And one which may possibly be from Ben Franklin:
    When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.

    The mob has found their money: it flows from Obama, or any other Democrat in the last century. As the number of those getting government checks is larger than one-half the number of people who voted in this election, we should not be shocked at the result.

  84. wmeyer says:

    I hope and pray I never learn whether my Abp voted for O.

  85. Christopher says:

    Pullmane, I’m also of Great Britain, a nation also rife with decadence and misery.

    God Bless.

  86. Johnno says:

    It’s too bad that Obama won. But it’s not like it mattered that much.

    Both Obama and Romney are bought and paid for by the same establishment cartel. Which is what makes PostCatholic and Fr.Jim’s victorious feelings all the more hilarious!

    I expect the media to once again ignore the Ron Paul factor and the disenfranchisement of plenty of his supporters and Libertarian minded people, who would’ve supported the Republican party were they treated fairly, or at least had some of their principles for a return to Constitutional values and auditing the Federal Reserve respected. The GOP has only itself to blame. Nay, it might have been intentional sabotage from a party that pretends to be otherwise but is in fact one and the same with the Democrats in their background dealings.

    When people point out that there is hardly a difference between Obama and Romney, they’re right! With regards to Constitutional principles, the NDAA, war, health care, the FED, and expansion of government power, and other issues there really is no difference! And on the social issues front we have only tepid differences… Nothing substantial will be done against homosexuals or abortion. The only real substantial one for Catholics was getting the mandate thrown out. And that was not necessarily a guarantee either. You might argue that staffing the courts with proper judges would’ve also been good if Republicans were in. Well is recent history goes to show, many Republican appointed judges were themselves responsible for being the deciding factor in doing just the opposite of what you would’ve wanted them to. There is an evil agenda in place that will go through no matter what the American people want or don’t want, regardless of which party is in power.

    In any case, in this era of voting machines and other openly corrupt election activities, that American politicians are ignoring and downplaying because, God forbid, Americans become suspicious of them… Where the Presidential Candidates are already pre-selected and funded by the same interests, there’s no guarantee that the election you had just now even bothered counting many of your votes. Or if they did, that they wouldn’t change them substantially to suit their 4 year road map they had in place a year ago.

    And if you want to assume that elections are still validly taking place and there’s still hope and I’m just a tin foil hat wearing foreigner, then you’ve only really got one suitable option for next time.

    Abandon the Republicans and GOP, and form a new Catholic party. You’ve got 4 years to start it. Then spend the rest of your lives upholding them and voting for them and bearing the storm. Enough is enough. The lesser of two evils approach failed before. It failed again, and it will continue to fail in the future. Because if you’re assuming the election was valid, then you must now reach the conclusion that you are outnumbered democratically, and your further voting for lesser evils will do effectively nothing. So instead of that, cast the lesser evil away, and begin to set up and support a non-evil. No more compromising! Get started now!

  87. wmeyer says:

    Sincere consolations from Canada. Unfortunately we’re affected too since our liberals enjoy aping the liberal elite in both the US and Europe (whichever is most secular).

    Thanks. I know some Canadians who were very active on FB, campaigning under the “Canadians for Obama” banner. I plan to return the favor when Stephen Harper’s government next needs support. ;)

  88. inara says:

    so…do we drop our insurance?? We really need guidance on this since our annual enrollment period is next week. :o/

  89. Sissy says:

    “And if they are digested, then we will be a minority, but not a creative one.”

    Imrahil, we are already a minority. That’s what last night proved beyond a shadow of a doubt. We had hoped we were a “silent majority” about to roar back to life. But that is not true. Like early Christians huddling together i the dark in the catacombs, or St. Benedict fleeing Rome as the barbarian hordes overtook it, we will go through a phrase of entrenchment. Think of what taking part in this society will mean: nurses and doctors forced to perform abortions, business people forced to endorse and cater to homosexual couples, pastors charged with hate crimes if they insist on preaching the Gospel. We will never reform society until we reform the American Catholic Church. We have to get our own house in order before we can hope to have any impact on the wider society.

  90. wmeyer says:

    We will never reform society until we reform the American Catholic Church.

    And we must start with ourselves, being brutally honest about what we may have contributed to the problem. Have we truly considered all our personal actions and positions, and the degree to which they aid, or even fail to challenge what is wrong? Silent tolerance of heretical preaching? Failing to challenge “c”atholic teachers who promote positions in opposition to dogma and doctrine?

  91. deliberatejoy says:

    The Catholic Church, as a Body, is going to lose a lot of weight before it recovers properly. We haven’t yet reached the breaking point, and I don’t believe that we ever will entirely, but it’s pretty clear from the various approved Marian visions that we’re going to come pretty darned close. I never actually expected Romney to win – things just aren’t bad enough yet. They will be though… As difficult as these next years are going to be, they cannot be described as unanticipated. Just… hold on, everybody, and keep those lamps lit and at the ready. The darker it gets, the brighter they’ll shine.

    And to those who said that they can’t help but hope they never have grandchildren – don’t even think such a thing. And don’t give up on your children either. Do you know how many great and famous people never get their secular start till after 40? The principle translates spiritually too, you know ( I DO know; I was away for almost thirty years).

  92. Sissy says:

    “And we must start with ourselves, being brutally honest about what we may have contributed to the problem. ”

    Amen! In many cases, we have wrung our hands and complained about the deficiencies of our wayward pastors, Bishops, and religious without taking steps to correct them. We’ve tolerated poor catechesis. We’ve allowed ourselves to be easily dissuaded when our first meek attempts to get an EF Mass are rebuffed. You’re right, wmeyer, we must start with a great deal of soul-searching and penance.

  93. Choirmaster says:

    @Imrahil

    I’m not trying to be defeatist or to despair, but to think that Catholicism, or even generic Christian values, could be the norm of society, or could ever be synonymous with “The World” or the majority of humanity strikes me as fantasy. Our Lord promised us that we would be hated, despised, persecuted, and shunned because of him. If the Church is not hated by the World, then we have left the Way of the Cross.

    The Great Enemy is the Prince of this world, and it is his by right, and this is confirmed and permitted by God, and the evidence of this is manifest in our own lives and among the nations. That is why we call ourselves a pilgrim Church, the Church Militant, alone amidst a sea of enemies, with only the promise that we will conquer and achieve victory at the very last, and not a moment sooner.

  94. The Masked Chicken says:

    In a hundred years time, a school boy will start a history paper with the title:

    Why America Failed

    His first paragraph will read:

    America, the once great land, failed because they, ultimately, failed to understand their own freedom. They began the Country by believing that freedom meant being able to love God as He created them; they ended the Country believing that freedom meant being about to love themselves as they came to believe that they, themselves, were God. In the period from the beginning to the end, money rose and men fell as yet another great Culture discovered the sad truth that the love of money really is the root of all evil…

    We are all operators of a printing press with the metal and paper being supplied by God and we all stamp out our own coins, be they the treasure in Heaven or the counterfeit of Mammon and Mammon comes in many forms.

    If I may put this into some perspective, in a poll of historians done in the late 1990′s, when asked if the United States would still be recognizable in 100 years, the answer was overwhelmingly, no. The WASP (white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant) time is coming to an end, simply put, because they are too foolish to realize that contraception and limited family size will guarantee it for them. What they have yet to realize, even now, is that though they own the majority of wealth, once the population cascade starts, that wealth will shift hands like a greased pig and what they gloat over, now, will be lost to them, forever.

    In this possible future, within 50 years, the majority of Congress will be either Black, Latino, or Asia, because these are the only people having children and they will have no historical connection to the Constitution and as poorly catechized as are today’s American Catholics, so will these leaders be about the Constitution. At that point, America will be just another nation among many. Farther out into the future, there will be a Moslem exodus to the U. S., much as there has been in England, France, and the Netherlands (for we will have forgotten about 9/11). Then will come the time of schism.

    The really sad part is that the extremely wealthy have played the poor like a cheap upright piano. The poor, if they understood what were going on, should, rightfully, feel used, but they have been played well and the song sounded sweet. Promise them a little easy candy and they will vote for anybody. They will have their day in the future, but it will be a lonely victory, since they have not the wisdom to do anything with the control they will gain.

    Can this situation be turned around? No. Not if trends continue and they will continue because of two factors that every addict knows: 1) one drink is too many and a hundred is never enough and 2) every addict has become an addict by trusting, with his life, the wrong truth. America has become a nation that wants easy guarantees. They want to know that, “once saved, always saved,” so that they can feel free to sin without consequences; they want to know that the government is always there for them, so that they can spend and spend and spend without worrying about tomorrow; they want to know that love means never having to say they are sorry for having that little inconvenient embryo; they want, they want, they want…

    America used to be a country born in adversity and that memory defined its concept of freedom. America has been reborn thinking that freedom derives from ease. God has just asked this Country, “What profits a man to gain the world, but lose his soul,” and we had no answer.

    Let me be blunt, in large measure, those who voted for Obama, have a misunderstanding of what Faith is. Until that changes, we are lost, since they honestly believe, as any addict does, that somehow voting for a President who supports abortion is a vote made within their version of the Christian Faith. They have believed the wrong version of truth.

    Can we change things? Yes, but we must start now. We need a 5 year, a 25 year, and a 50 year plan. The single best thing that can be done is for you young people to get married and have kids, lots of kids (before you are limited to two – the time is coming). Raise your kids up in the Faith, but teach them to know their enemies. You older people – learn every casuistry trick you can and learn to cut through you opponents arguments. You have limited time. Be the sharp end of the spear. Everyone, get rid of sin. No change is possible without virtue.

    What stopped the Reign of Terror in France (and we are approaching our own reign of terror, only a more unseen, a more subtle terror)? The death of Robespierre? No. I would suggest that it was the death of sixteen Carmelite nuns – the Martyrs of Compiegne. As they approached the scaffold (I suggest listening to the opera, The Dialogue of the Carmelites, by Poulenc), the normally boisterous crowd became silent. Eerily silent. The nuns climbed the scaffol, one at a time, from youngest to oldest, with the Mother Superior asking to go last. The first nun, Constance Meunier, knelt down before Mother Superior and asked permission to die. Then, she ascended the scaffold, not allowing anyone to touch her, and meekly placed her neck on the chopping block. She was described as looking as radiant as a bride going to her wedding. The crowd was in wonder. Nun after nun went up and nun after nun died. The crowd went away, silent. The Reign of Terror ended ten (?) days later.

    When the martyrs were beatified, the Pope pointed out that what had happened at that moment in history was not of mere man. It was a supernatural battle won by sixteen poor women. False faith was overcome by genuine faith. A false mysticism was overcome by genuine mystics.

    Be like those nuns. Give yourselves completely to God. It is the only way that America will survive, even though you may not. I have said it before and I will say it again…no worries, all they can do is kill you and what is that to you?

    The Chicken

  95. Sissy says:

    Dear Friend Chicken, that was beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes. May we find the courage those beautiful women had.

  96. inara says:

    Chicken, that truly was beautiful ~ may I share?

    You should really stop by ~ your cousins are happily feasting on (pecking the eyes out of) our jack o’lanterns, much to our children’s chagrin.

  97. templariidvm says:

    Is there some irony in the fact that so many are losing hope because of the fear of the changes promised by Obama’s second term?

  98. Choirmaster says:

    templariidvm said:

    Is there some irony in the fact that so many are losing hope because of the fear of the changes promised by Obama’s second term?

    Yes! A very bitter irony!

  99. SteelBiretta says:

    Come, all you wild things, all you beasts of the forest, your prey awaits you! Here are none but blind watchmen, all unawares; here are dumb dogs that cannot bark, false seers that lie sleeping, in love with their dreams; shameless dogs that cannot tell when they are gorged with food. The very shepherds have forgotten their craft; see them go their ways, each busy, first and last, with gorging his own appetite: Fetch we wine, and drink ourselves drunk! To-morrow shall be as to-day was, and braver, braver yet!

    Isaiah 56:9-12.

  100. VexillaRegis says:

    Dear US citisens,
    I’m so sorry for you!
    And the rest of the world.

  101. The Masked Chicken says:

    Inara,

    “Chicken, that truly was beautiful ~ may I share?”

    Sure.

    I have been too pained into numbness to say much, although not surprised at things. Obama is a little man on a big stage who, like Trotsky, will be the subject of much adulation for a time, but don’t be surprised if he is nothing but a footnote in history textbooks in the future. The real story, here, is the American people. If these people of today had to flee to a foreign land to find a new life, I wonder how many would rather stay with a known misery?

    This country is no longer free. It is a slave to its passions. I must apologize to every good soldier who fought and died to keep freedom a virtue, when we poor modern Americans have made it an accessory to vice.

    You young people – have kids that I may yet see smiles before I die. The time is coming when laughter will be evil.

    I’m in a rare mood, today.

    The Chicken

  102. Miss Jensen says:

    So many heartening posts here this dark, cold day. I would especially like to thank Imrahil, pmullane, and The Masked Chicken, and repost this Chesterton quote from Imrahil:

    “For at present we all tend to one mistake; we tend to make politics too important. We tend to forget how huge a part of a man’s life is the same under a Sultan and a Senate, under Nero or St Louis. Daybreak is a never-ending glory, getting out of bed is a never-ending nuisance; food and friends will be welcomed: work and strangers must be accepted and endured: birds will go bedwards and children won’t, to the end of the last evening.”

  103. dep says:

    Not cheering, but an indicator of what we’re up against:

    “Professor’s Book Hails ‘Apostle Barack,’ Compares Him to Jesus”

    “’The Gospel According to Apostle Barack’ is the title of a book penned by a Florida A&M University professor who compares Jesus with Obama and says God told her in a dream to write it.

    “Professor Barbara Thompson, its author, told the school’s student newspaper during a book signing Tuesday that the 220-page undertaking, largely a compilation of his speeches, was a result of divine inspiration . . .”

    The whole absurd blasphemy can be read about here: http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/11936

  104. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Is there some irony in the fact that so many are losing hope because of the fear of the changes promised by Obama’s second term?”

    You really don’t know the lavishness of a man who has nothing to lose, do you? Obama can pretty much, literally, get away with paying out money for murder (which is what abortion is, after all).

    On the other hand, no regime that has persecuted the Church has ever survived.

    What I am really afraid of is the possibility (not to be paranoid) that advances in neuroscience will make it possible to blunt a person’s conscience. We already know how to turn a man into a psychopath.

    https://chronicle.com/article/The-Psychopath-Makeover/135160/

    When Jesus said that, “If the time were not shortened…” I can imagine in some future that mental reprogramming will be possible so that, if God did not intervene, even the Elect could be turned away from the Faith.

    As I say, rare mood. It will pass.

    The Chicken

  105. After four years of Obama running this country into the ground, and openly opposing everything she stands for, the election should have been a no-brainer. The events of yesterday prove the depth and breadth of the moral rot and corruption in this country.

    This is God’s judgment on the United States, because she will not stop offending Him. And since it is primarily the United States that has kept the world’s barbarian warlords in check up to now, it is also His judgment on the whole world for its sins.

    There are no political solutions to our problems, only spiritual ones. We must pray the Rosary, every day, without fail.

  106. Catholictothecore says:

    God knows what’s good for us, what’s good for the country. In His infinite goodness and mercy He looks out for us. He has a plan – we just don’t know his plans – all we have to do is place our complete trust in Him.

  107. chantgirl says:

    Masked Chicken- I’m definitely with you on the procreation. I am now not praying for the courage of the 16 nuns, but the courage of the Mother in the Old Testament who watched all of her children die horribly. It is one thing to offer my own neck to the guillotine, but a terror far beyond that is the suffering of the young, the innocent, and the helpless. That terror is already being waged against the unborn, and it will find it’s way to the rest of us eventually.

  108. Chicken, we already have, and have always had, the ability to blunt our consciences without neuroscience: it’s called habitual sin. We know from both experience and Scripture that sin darkens the intellect, and leads to more sin. But if it’s any consolation to you, remember that the all-powerful God Himself respects our free will. If God does not override our will, He certainly shall not permit the devil or any of his human minions to do so.

  109. Maria says:

    Maria says:
    7 November 2012 at 8:50 am
    My heart bleeds …

    Looking through these posts I notice another ‘maria’ is posting.
    I would like to let you know that this post was not made by me.
    To avoid confusion, I will contact admin.
    Thank you and God Bless you all.

  110. Angie Mcs says:

    Can you believe Chris Mathews comment “I’m so glad we had this storm”? Although taken out of context, it still shows the political blinders he and his ilk wear. This is the quality of person, among many others, who gets to speak on national TV, influencing the voters with his “wisdom”on why we should vote for his candidate. Any wonder?

  111. The Masked Chicken says:

    “God knows what’s good for us, what’s good for the country. In His infinite goodness and mercy He looks out for us. He has a plan – we just don’t know his plans – all we have to do is place our complete trust in Him.”

    Well, God had a plan for Adam and Eve, as well. Look how that turned out. It is right to trust God, but trust God even if He allows this Country to go to its ruin. Man was given free will and it will “light him to honor or dishonor to the latest generation,” as Lincoln said.

    If you ever get to watch the BBC series, The Ascent of Man, by Dr. Jacob Bronowski, the series that set the standard for science documentaries (a prize was named after him for excellence in science documentaries which was won by Carl Sagan for his Cosmos series), Brownowski ends his series with an episode called, The Long Childhood. Every science student should watch it. He makes a very telling point:

    “It sounds very pessimistic to talk about Western civilization with a sense of retreat,” he admits. “I’ve been so optimistic about the ascent of man, am I going to give up at this moment? Of course not. The ascent of man will go on, but don’t assume that it will go on carried by Western civilization as we know it.

    “We are being weighed in the balance at this moment. If we give up, the next step will be taken, but not by us. We have not been given any guarantee that Assyria and Egypt and Rome were not given. We are a scientific civilization. That means a civilization in which knowledge and its integrity are crucial. ‘Science’ is only a Latin word for knowledge. If we don’t take the next step in the ascent of man, it will be taken by people elsewhere—in Africa, in China.”

    Brownowski was prescient, making the series in 1972. Theology is a science and his comment applies equally well to the material as well as the spiritual aspects of the modern West.

    On the other hand, a science fiction author I recommend (especially for children), Zenna Henderson (a former Mormon, take note), in the short story, Ararat, that innaugurated her People series, starts with a woman about to jump off of a bridge because she can find no solice in a numbing life, when as her feet leave the bridge, she finds herself floating in air, levitated by another woman, who smiles at her and tells her, “see, there still is wonder in the world.” She entreats the sad woman to, “come, be joyful (you have to read the rest of the story to find out why).”

    I say to us all, on this day that is heavy with the possibility of a future where we may be called to suffer awhile, that there still is wonder in the world and a joy unspeakable if we but still our sorrow and set our souls in silence and peace in the presence of the Almighty. When you were baptized, you received the gift of “longsuffering.” May you be a walking definition of the term. It surely is a word baffling to the modern world.

    The Chicken

  112. Christopher says:

    The Masked Chicken:

    ‘I say to us all, on this day that is heavy with the possibility of a future where we may be called to suffer awhile, that there still is wonder in the world and a joy unspeakable if we but still our sorrow and set our souls in silence and peace in the presence of the Almighty. ‘

    We must not forget that for the Catholic, the Earth is a Vale of Tears.

    God Bless.

  113. benedetta says:

    At least Diane Sawyer seemed to be having a good time last night…

  114. frjim4321 says:


    Mary Jane
    Nov 07 – 9:49 am
    You can’t be Catholic and have voted for Obama. Period.

    Fortunately for me and lots of other Catholics, that is a totally illogical statement.

    Further even the pope can’t make a properly initiated Catholic not Catholic. And LOL you sure cant.

  115. discerningguy says:

    So! when are all Catholic charities finally closing their doors?

  116. Sissy says:

    “Further even the pope can’t make a properly initiated Catholic not Catholic. And LOL you sure cant.”

    No, Jim, but you can certainly send yourself to hell.

  117. wmeyer says:

    frjim4321 said: Fortunately for me and lots of other Catholics, that is a totally illogical statement.

    We know all too well you have held that position throughout. However, repeating it makes it no more true than it ever was. Obama not only supports but promotes abortion. He defends Planned Parenthood by lying in public about the services they provide. He has created the foundation for the HHS mandate, and supports it to our detriment.

    Voting for Obama violates Church teaching, and involves us in objectively sinful activity.

  118. eyeclinic says:

    I wonder how Cardinal Dolan slept last night and what his thoughts were this morning!

  119. Y2Y says:

    Time for some pushback.
    There are three prominent Obama supporters among my employees. Today, I fired them. I urge all other employers to do likewise.

  120. jhayes says:

    wmeyer wrote:

    Voting for Obama violates Church teaching, and involves us in objectively sinful activity.

    It could under some circumstances but not all. As Cardinal Ratzinger wrote:

    “A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.”

    http://www.priestsforlife.org/magisterium/bishops/04-07ratzingerommunion.

    Polls indicate that 50% of Catholics voted for President Obama – and a somewhat lower percentage for Governor Romney.

  121. wmeyer says:

    … if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia.

    It beggars the imagination to consider what people might believe to be “proportionate reasons.” I sincerely doubt that the Holy Father intended this as the rationale under which people could choose to vote for Obama.

  122. TomG says:

    Y2Y: Yikes! I assume, though, that you’re kidding. A humorous note: archprogressive Maryland is an “at will” state, meaning an employee can be let go for no reason!

  123. Sissy says:

    “I wonder how Cardinal Dolan slept last night and what his thoughts were this morning!”

    Here you go:
    http://usccb.org/news/2012/12-183.cfm#.UJq9JHUc5lw.email

  124. Y2Y says:

    TomG: I’m not kidding. I refuse to pay one more dime of wages to a damned liberal. I will never again knowingly employ someone of liberal views and will do my best to diligently search out and terminate those who may be on my payroll.

  125. pmullane says:

    JHays, the quote from then Cdl Ratzinger states that it may be permissible to vote for a candidate who supports grave evil for ‘proportionate reasons’, but the bishops of the US have made it abundantly clear that there are no reasons proportionate to vote for Obama. Catholics have a responsibility to inform themselves of the candidates and their responsibilities as Catholics when voting, either these Catholics have voted for a candidate they knew they could not under pain of serious sin, or they have failed to inform themselves as Catholics in a way they are obliged. Either way I would caution Catholics who voted for Obama that they should seek confession before receiving holy communion, which is not to say that they are definitely in a state of mortal sin.

    To those who engage priests who support Obama, remember they have made their choice, they have chosen the prince of this world over the prince of peace. If you argue with those who have been duped by the father of lies you will only get more lies. I’m not saying that you should or should not engage them, just know that it is impossible to argue with someone who will not argue in good faith.

  126. Southern Catholic says:

    @jhayes

    Frjim knows well that Obama supports abortions and gay marriage, and votes for him for that perhaps. Therefore, your argument doesn’t apply in this case. Even then, I would like to hear the arguments when voting for someone who supports two sins that cry to heaven for vengeance.

    Just because 50% of Catholics voted for Obama, doesn’t mean that it is acceptable, it means the faith is weak in this country.

  127. acardnal says:

    ” . . . can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.”

    You’re right wmeyer, “proportionate reasons” are the operative words in that statement of the Holy Father’s. Is is proportionate to cut off the arm of someone who stole a loaf of bread? No. Is is proportionate to kill innocent, defenseless babies because someone wants to raise taxes on the “one percent” and increase the nation’s debt? No.

  128. poohbear says:

    Saddened but not surprised. I work with a lot of O’s supporters and they have no concept of right and wrong. They see nothing wrong with anything their idol says or does, even when he flat out lies and there is proof against it like the PP mammogram mess. All they care about are the freebies they plan to take advantage of.

    Things will surely get much worse, but I can only have hope by realizing that God allowed this country to get what it deserves. God will not be mocked, and He will bring this country to its knees for the sin of abortion before He brings it back to the greatness it once had. We must be prepared spiritually and materially.

    Also, our Bishops need to take this opportunity to grow a collective backbone and get out there and see what is being taught in the parishes. They need to find the priests who are pushing the lies and remove them from parishes and schools and put them to work in areas where they cannot corrupt another generation. We, as faithful Catholics, need to report abuses by priests and even Bishops. It is up to begin cleaning the house.

  129. Mike says:

    Fr Jim, shame on you.

  130. poohbear says:

    democracy has something to do with one person, one vote, and the inability of votes to be purchased or the process skewed but the ultra-rich.

    Yeah, I heard that soundbite a few times today.

    (Father Z, can a “civilian” move to the Vatican??)

    I think about that all the time. Maybe Fr Z should start a religious community in Rome for all of us for when TEOTWAWKI hits the Church in the US.

  131. Sissy says:

    “I think about that all the time. Maybe Fr Z should start a religious community in Rome for all of us for when TEOTWAWKI hits the Church in the US.”

    This is the best suggestion I’ve heard all day! I always tell my children, “If anything ever happens to your Dad, I’ll be in Rome the day after his funeral. “

  132. Mary Jane says:

    @ frjim4321, I will repeat myself until I am blue in the face but I will not back down: you cannot be Catholic and have voted for Obama. And that is not an illogical statement.

    Obama is the most anti-family, the most pro-gay-”marriage”, the most pro-choice president in the history of the United States. How can any Catholic justify a vote for him? If you believe you can, then by all means DO IT.

    I don’t care if 99% of Catholics voted for Obama and only 1% voted against. Truth is not determined by majority vote.

    Obviously no one can erase the mark of baptism on their soul, but people can excommunicate themselves – and in some cases they don’t even need the pope’s help to make that happen.

  133. wmeyer says:

    I don’t care if 99% of Catholics voted for Obama and only 1% voted against. Truth is not determined by majority vote.

    Amen, amen. And we who voted against him must yet do penance and prayer. How moch more needful for those who voted him into a second term?

  134. CatholicMD says:

    I think it’s time to treat “Fr” Jim like the troll he is and ignore his comments. From his own statements he supports women priests, gay marriage, and politicians that support murdering unborn babies. Such a man needs our prayers not our comments. This is the last time I will be posting in response to him.

  135. mamajen says:

    The people were given a choice, and once again they chose to release Barrabas. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    I must say I am not as emotional about this as I thought I would be. I guess the cynic in me knew that if our country would elect someone like Obama in 2008, it would be too much to hope that they would not do it again. It is disappointing, but not surprising, that we overestimated the intelligence of the electorate this year.

    I witnessed firsthand in 2008 the type of people who support this president. A relative who portrays herself as tolerant and enlightened removed me from her wedding party and cut me off because I opposed Obama. Another relative wholeheartedly supports using my tax dollars to give freebies to the “less fortunate”, but when I spoke about how increased taxes would hurt my family he told me that it was my decision to be a stay at home mom and I could work if I wanted to. These people have no respect for family. Why should I expect them to do right by the country?

    Liberals would like nothing more than to force me back to work so they could get their claws on my children as early as possible via daycare and preschool. I won’t let them. I’m going to channel Dagny Taggart (well, her good aspects, at least) and never give up on my “business” until it is impossible to do anything more.

    The Bible is chock full of good people who had no choice but to live in evil societies. Likewise, we have countless stories of saints who lived holy lives in spite of society at large. They will inspire me. I know that God will never abandon those of us who try our best to please Him.

    Fr. Jim and your fellow catholics for Obama have nothing to gloat about. You should be ashamed. I do not envy your “success”, I feel sorry for you.

  136. benedetta says:

    I would like to buy frjim4321′s argument that we are being holy and righteous, moral and merciful, by voting in obamabiden. After all isn’t that what biden, the nuns on the bus, commonweal and america have been insisting all along? That their conscience compels them to vote for hhs regs, obamacare, supporting half the country on the dole, especially when in this terrible economy jobs aren’t to be had. The middle class pays for services, and it pays through taxes that others but not them have it free, so they pay twice or three times. And through it all millions of pure innocents are slaughtered with the country’s approval every year, though we are rich and consumerist we are willing to sacrifice the very poorest, the most helpless, that others can have a free phone, free contraceptives. Where I am, in an excessively liberal diocese, one would think that with the same mindset there would be a groundswell of charitable initiatives by Catholics seeking to live out the obamabiden social justice program. And yet most are content to give an old coat, a canned good once in a while, rationalizing that our neighbors need us not when there is an expansive safety net of services and supports. I can see that it is this way in many places in our consumerist nation. We want the gratification that social services can provide, and we sweep the millions of unborn under the rug. So frjim4321 you tell me how to clear my conscience, how to feel merciful, how to carry out this work of faith, paying my taxes so that contraception and abortions may be paid for more and more, yet still the safety net is somehow supposed to make me feel righteous and Christian. How can we go forward without those many millions who never had the chance to see the light of day? How to explain to children that it is only a life in being so long as a mother desires it long enough to not check into the nearest planned parenthood to have the life in being exterminated? Somehow I just can’t feel ok about balancing out the equation of the social safety net on the backs of the very lives of so many innocent millions, desired by many many parents yearning to adopt and feed and clothe them. As a priest, pastor, counselor, can you help me out here?

  137. Y2Y says:

    Just found another liberal on my payroll and handed her a pink slip. This feels real good.

  138. Lauren says:

    OK I’m new here. Is frjim4321 REALLY a priest? Nooooo . . .

    if he is, then it explains why this country is going to hell in a hand basket.

  139. The Masked Chicken says:

    Just want to comment on a few things:

    Christopher wrote:

    “We must not forget that for the Catholic, the Earth is a Vale of Tears.”

    While the Earth may be a Valley of Tears, the Bible is very clear about what our attitude should be in it:

    Ps 23:4 [KJV]
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

    Jhn 16:33
    These things I have spoken unto you , that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

    1 Pet3:14-15
    But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy [are ye]: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
    But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

    1 Pet 4:-19
    Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls [to him] in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

    etc.

    JHayes,

    You quoted:

    “When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.”

    I would like to make some comments on the moral theology involved, which , if I am correct, should remove this quote from use as a rationalization for voting for Obama.

    What is a proportionate reason? The word, “proportionate,” means to bear some similarity between two quantities or qualities. In terms of quantity, 2 is like 4 in that they are both proportionate to 2. In terms of quality, orange is proportionate to red as acceptable colors for the sun. There is always a scaling factor between two proportionate entities (hence the use of the mathematical or geometric concept of proportion or ratio). Proportion may be applied to negative or positive quantities or qualities.

    When (then) Cardinal Ratzinger spoke of, “proportionate reasons,” in the quote above, he was referencing abortion and/or euthanasia, specifically – things that bring death, unjustly. Unjust death is a singular quality. The only thing proportionate to it is more unjust death (innocent suffering) or a greater type of unjust death (example: rigged trial vs. no trial at all)or a greater type of sin, in general. There is nothing worse than the death of an innocent and we may prove this by noting that this was the fate of Christ, who, being the Greatest Good, suffered the greatest evil for our salvation to indicate the proportionate nature of Original sin (death for death). In this note, Cardinal Ratzinger meant that any proportional reason to vote for a pro-abortion candidate must deal with the direct act of taking innocent life (or something worse) intended to be allowed by the candidate and the reason for voting for the candidate must lead to a more proportionate good or a less proportionate evil in quantity and usually of quality than by voting for the other candidate.

    Thus, if Candidate A wants to permit the killing 10 people, but Candidate B wants to permit the killing of 20 people, there is a clear proportion between the evils by quantity and candidate A, if he is the only possible candidate, may be voted for, since the quantity of evil is made proportionately smaller. Likewise, if candidate A wants to permit homosexual marriage, but candidate B wants to murder babies, there is a clear reduction in terms of quality of evil (homosexual marriage, while an intrinsic evil, is not of the same quality as the permanent murder of an innocent baby) and candidate A, if he is the only possible candidate, would be acceptable to vote for, since he limits the evil more.

    The problem is that Obama offers no proportionate reason of greater good or lesser evil, either by quantity or quality, comparable to what Romney offers, compared to the abortion issue, to vote for him. Support of an intrinsic evil is not necessarily a reason not to vote for a candidate. For example, if Obama supported serial fornication, but not contraception, while Romney supported both serial fornication and contraception, then both the quantity and quality of evil would be greater under Romney and then one may vote for Obama, as a way to make the good proportionately greater and the evil proportionately less.

    Nothing that Obama proposes in his plan to govern is, by its nature, a greater good than the evil of abortion. That his actions might eventually, accidentally, lead to a reduction in abortion is irrelevant, since a reduction is not the same thing as not permitting abortion. The quantities of abortions willed by the act of supporting abortion will always be permitted to be at least one abortion, whether it is realized or not and such an abortion would be neither an accident of a policy nor a by-product of double effect, but something directly permitted. It is the will that determines an intrinsic evil and the permission to abort, by a direct act of the will of the President, makes this an intrinsic evil, regardless of other circumstance.

    Here is a nice summary of the theology of intrinsic evil and its realization:

    http://www.ascensionhealth.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=168&Itemid=172

    Now, Romney has the usual rape and life of the mother exceptions, but otherwise does not support abortion. Since Obama has both the rape and life of the mother exceptions and explicit support of abortion, there can never be a proportionate reason, in terms of qualities of evil, to vote for Obama over Romney. The only proportionate reason to vote for Obama would be if there were a genuinely greater evil either by quantity or quality that one is preventing by voting for him over Romney.

    What could such an evil be? In terms of quantity, Romney would have had to approve of the mass killing of more innocent people than would be killed by abortion under Obama. In terms of quality of evil, there simply is no greater evil one man may do to another, since once a baby is dead, it is dead.

    So, in sum, if both candidates support abortion, it is possible to vote for the one whose policies will lead to less abortions of quantity and quality (more allowed cases for abortion), but if one candidate supports abortion, in general, and the other does not, there can never be a proportion in terms of quality between them and the candidate who supports abortion cannot be voted for, save something comparable to genocide of his population. Now, if Romney campaigned on a platform to kill all Americans less than six feet in height, then, one might have a proportionate reason to vote for Obama – maybe, since most people over six feet are not a innocent as a baby, but there might be more of them.

    If my analysis has not been clear, here is Jimmy Akin’s commentary, which does a much better job:

    http://jimmyakin.com/2004/09/what_ratzinger_.html

    The Chicken

  140. frjim4321 says:


    Y2Y says:
    7 November 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Time for some pushback.
    There are three prominent Obama supporters among my employees. Today, I fired them. I urge all other employers to do likewise.

    You are either kidding us or trolling.

    If not, I hope the sue your *** off and you lose everything.

    And no, I’m not kidding.

    Fr. Jim

  141. benedetta says:

    Lauren, yes frjim4321 says he is actually as pastor. However the comments saying he is a troll may be correct. He rarely explicates in the way that the Chicken did above. He does not appear to want to build bridges with people, or evangelize, as he never explains his positions according to Catholic teaching. What biden did in the debate is more than anything frjim4321 has ever done here. Mainly he just aims at others and at the positions he does not agree with through sarcasm and ridicule. He never recognizes the legitimacy of the prolife position, and it is quite right that as the election drew nearer he came out in support of a whole range of things contrary to the teaching of the Faith.

    I am hoping that he for once as a pastor is able to openly and honestly confront the issues.

    But if he continues the way he has been (even PostCatholic is so much more compassionate though he disagrees with most who post here) with the trolling behavior then I for one will not feel bad about lobbying Fr. Z to consider blocking him so as not to cause further scandal.

    There was a really selfish troll who took up residence at the Jester’s blog recently and for the sanity of his loyal readership it was best that he was blocked. Look, the dissident blogs and chino publications censor. The fishwrap screens all comments. There is a limit sometimes. Many people turn to this blog for support in working out their spiritual lives, especially with respect to reception of the sacraments, but some come who are exploring a deeper call to live as Catholics or as converts. I fear those would be terribly confused and scandalized to observe a Catholic priest behaving as a troll with such disdain for his flock as frjim4321 does here, let alone his stances at odds with the Faith.

    Priests who have blogs have a mission to fulfill. Priests who troll, not so much.

  142. frjim4321 says:

    As the boys said in “Stand By Me,” sincerely.

  143. Y2Y says:

    It is especially galling that this alleged Priest, “frjim” apparently continues to draw a livelihood from an institution whose doctrine he rejects, whose traditions he despises, and whose faithful he mocks.
    I don’t believe there is a printable word in the English language that is suitable to describe such hypocrisy and parasitism.
    Truly, there could hardly be a creature on this planet more worthy of contempt than liberal “catholics”. Such persons would be well advised to keep a low profile in the next little while.

  144. benedetta says:

    frjim4321 I can’t believe you jumped at y2y’s comment that you say is a troll (so you’re baiting him?) whereas you completely ignore my request for help and explanation. So who’s the troll now.

  145. Y2Y says:

    And now jimmy shows his true colors.
    Hope you can play the accordion, boy. They won’t be handing out harps where you’re headed.

  146. frjim4321 says:

    benedetta, I am a pastor of a mid-size parish in the Midwest. I was ordained in the mid-1980′s.

    I have established my bone fides to the satisfaction of the Reverend and Dear Blogmaster.

    I try to be polite and appropriate and to not attack others. I am rather honest and transparent and represent fairly authentically the mindset of a very real subset of active priests in good standing. Since I am not a fake and since I am honest and do not attack others and because I represent a very real subset I believe I have been allowed to stay.

    Y2Y is clearly an exception because if he is firing employees because of their political persuasion he deserves very harsh reprisals. Again, I sincerely hope that his fired employees sue him within an inch of his life and that he has very little left when it is all over.

  147. PA mom says:

    Y2Y,
    I have been in the position to hire and fire at will. It is probably time to stop, and sleep on further decisions. Though I greatly understand your desire not to employ any more.
    There is obviously a formula that they use discretely to identify each other for hiring. The ratios at colleges can not be an accident.
    Fr Jim, These are realities of life outside the padded walls of the clergy life. Political leanings are not a protected minority class, otherwise we conservatives could be suing the pants off of those in academics and media at least.
    At-will employment is one of the remaining pieces of our original understanding of freedoms here in the US. Since it is nearly all we have been left with, perhaps business owners need to be utilizing it more.
    Your response is way out of line, but absolutely predictable from your associations.

  148. frjim4321 says:

    Y2Y says:
    7 November 2012 at 8:09 pm

    And now jimmy shows his true colors.
    Hope you can play the accordion, boy. They won’t be handing out harps where you’re headed.

    Ummm, methinks you are a fake because no successful entrepreneur would be foolish enough to fire employees because of who they voted for.

    And thanks, don’t know how you knew this but I love the accordion. It is a magnificent instrument. I’m pretty good with horizontal keyboards, but not vertical.

    And if you ARE real, yes you are deserving of the harshest of reprisals.

  149. benedetta says:

    frjim4321 I did not doubt you were a real pastor, that was Lauren and others.

    Now can you deal with the substance of what I asked?

    You certainly have attacked, mocked and ridiculed others here quite frequently. You have been far from meek, if that is what you are saying.

    Your saying you are transparent hasn’t answered my request for help.

    If you continue troll like behavior I think the scandal you cause is enough to warrant your being blocked. I don’t think it has to do with your “transparency”. Any relativist is a transparent and “honest” relativist, in their own estimation, big deal, that means precisely nothing and explains nothing.

    I’ll be honest. I just don’t understand the rationale behind the ok abortion so long as we expand the safety net in terms of one’s Catholic conscience. Can you help me out? You seem well schooled in it and very (VERY) sure of yourself.

    Interestingly, Y2Y, while sounding like a bit of a hothead, what he says he does happens to Catholic conservatives ALL THE TIME! And, with unemployment such as it is and obamacare coming, so what that another person got their pink slip. A dear friend of mine’s husband got one recently. Now she found a job. It’s happening all the time in this horrible economy. But you know, if you don’t think uberliberals don’t blackball conservatives constantly well…

    Anyway I’m still waiting for your transparent answer??

  150. frjim4321 says:

    Your response is way out of line, but absolutely predictable from your associations.

    I hold to my response, and despite the “padded walls” I have done my share of hiring and firing. Anyone can sue anyone at anytime for anything and it’s a pain in the backside and very expensive. Even firing someone for cause cost me a few thousand bucks.

    I sincerely hope that a couple of the people he fired were 55+ and he replaces them with 30-somethings. There won’t be much recourse in that case.

  151. benedetta says:

    I don’t get it. I gave you an opportunity and you’d rather shoot at a poster you doubt is for real. Why are you stalling?

  152. Lauren says:

    Scandal is the correct word to use . . . his comments nearly yanked me back into depression, but I’m not going to let him do it.

  153. benedetta says:

    I’m still waiting to understand. I’m hoping a pastor and counselor can persuade me of the truth as he sees it. I really don’t get it.

  154. frjim4321 says:

    benedatta, I’m not following you

    What is the opportunity you gave me?

    I think Y2Y is fake because no real employer would be so stupid.

  155. Y2Y says:

    “I hold to my response, and despite the “padded walls” I have done my share of hiring and firing. Anyone can sue anyone at anytime for anything and it’s a pain in the backside and very expensive. Even firing someone for cause cost me a few thousand bucks.

    I sincerely hope that a couple of the people he fired were 55+ and he replaces them with 30-somethings. There won’t be much recourse in that case.”

    In that case, your knowledge of civil law is even more deficient than your orthodoxy.
    Sir, it is better to keep one’s mouth shut at the risk of being thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
    You have successfully confirmed all of my deepest-held beliefs about liberals: hypocrites of low intelligence, poor judgment, completely lacking in critical thinking skills. You are a walking argument for the restoration of serfdom.

  156. Matt R says:

    Chicken, your explanation was excellent, and good link.
    The comments, esp towards the top of the discussion, might have been some of the best I’ve seen on the blog.
    Y2Y, I hope you’re joking. And the Pinochet comment…what?? That guy was evil! Plus, asking for a human figure to solve our problems is asking for loads of trouble.
    Fr Jim, I hope the calumny stops, but I think your posts are quite irritating when they deviate so far from what Holy Mother Church has already established.

  157. frjim4321 says:

    In that case, your knowledge of civil law is even more deficient than your orthodoxy.
    Sir, it is better to keep one’s mouth shut at the risk of being thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
    You have successfully confirmed all of my deepest-held beliefs about liberals: hypocrites of low intelligence, poor judgment, completely lacking in critical thinking skills. You are a walking argument for the restoration of serfdom.

    Actually, you’re wrong because age discrimination trumps at-will in this state, and no I’m not an att’y but I have an exceptionally fine one at my disposal for HR matters. You have tipped your hand. I’m done with you.

  158. poohbear says:

    ….represent fairly authentically the mindset of a very real subset of active priests in good standing

    And many groups of religious men and women, and a few bishops too, I would add. This is exactly the problem with the Church today; those with this mindset are allowed to remain in good standing and spread their dissent. This need to change. The only question is who will change it.

  159. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    Further even the pope can’t make a properly initiated Catholic not Catholic. And LOL you sure cant.

    You seem to want to reduce being Catholic to its juridical element. I seem to remember St Augustine saying that for most Baptism is a blessing, but for the heretic it’s a curse–a clever application of Corruptio optimi est pessima.

  160. benedetta says:

    frjim4321 just to take a break from the rabbit hole about employment issues, here is my quandary. Any help would be appreciated.

    Y2Y I have asked a serious question of frjim4321. He says he represents a subset of priests. I am confused as to the Catholic rationale behind the position he takes here in short brief mocking comments. I am asking for his help and explanation. Would you mind holding off on your employment discussion just for a moment so that frjim4321 can find the time to address this, which he claims to be the raison d’etre for being here with us? Thanks in advance.

    Reposted from above

    I would like to buy frjim4321?s argument that we are being holy and righteous, moral and merciful, by voting in obamabiden. After all isn’t that what biden, the nuns on the bus, commonweal and america have been insisting all along? That their conscience compels them to vote for hhs regs, obamacare, supporting half the country on the dole, especially when in this terrible economy jobs aren’t to be had. The middle class pays for services, and it pays through taxes that others but not them have it free, so they pay twice or three times. And through it all millions of pure innocents are slaughtered with the country’s approval every year, though we are rich and consumerist we are willing to sacrifice the very poorest, the most helpless, that others can have a free phone, free contraceptives. Where I am, in an excessively liberal diocese, one would think that with the same mindset there would be a groundswell of charitable initiatives by Catholics seeking to live out the obamabiden social justice program. And yet most are content to give an old coat, a canned good once in a while, rationalizing that our neighbors need us not when there is an expansive safety net of services and supports. I can see that it is this way in many places in our consumerist nation. We want the gratification that social services can provide, and we sweep the millions of unborn under the rug. So frjim4321 you tell me how to clear my conscience, how to feel merciful, how to carry out this work of faith, paying my taxes so that contraception and abortions may be paid for more and more, yet still the safety net is somehow supposed to make me feel righteous and Christian. How can we go forward without those many millions who never had the chance to see the light of day? How to explain to children that it is only a life in being so long as a mother desires it long enough to not check into the nearest planned parenthood to have the life in being exterminated? Somehow I just can’t feel ok about balancing out the equation of the social safety net on the backs of the very lives of so many innocent millions, desired by many many parents yearning to adopt and feed and clothe them. As a priest, pastor, counselor, can you help me out here?
    That’s you frjim4321.

  161. jhayes says:

    The Masked Chicken wrote:

    If my analysis has not been clear, here is Jimmy Akin’s commentary, which does a much better job:

    http://jimmyakin.com/2004/09/what_ratzinger_.html

    Theologians don’t agree on this. Here is an article by a Professor of Theology at Notre Dame who has a different view:

    http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=12531

    At the end of that article there is a link to reponses by three other theologians

  162. frjim4321 says:

    poohbear says:
    7 November 2012 at 8:37 pm

    ….represent fairly authentically the mindset of a very real subset of active priests in good standing

    And many groups of religious men and women, and a few bishops too, I would add. This is exactly the problem with the Church today; those with this mindset are allowed to remain in good standing and spread their dissent. This need to change. The only question is who will change it.

    Well, the last time I checked we did not have thought police so good luck with that.

  163. frjim4321 says:

    You seem to want to reduce being Catholic to its juridical element. I seem to remember St Augustine saying that for most Baptism is a blessing, but for the heretic it’s a curse–a clever application of Corruptio optimi est pessima.

    Absolutely false, I am speaking ontologically.

  164. frjim4321 says:

    benedatta, I just see a lot of statements and rhetorical questions, I really don’t know what to do with them.

  165. Giuseppe says:

    Why did we have a hurricane the week before the election? It made President Obama seem presidential and bipartisan. Hurricane Sandy made the president reelectable. Why did God send this hurricane?

    http://washington.cbslocal.com/2012/11/07/study-hurricane-sandy-helped-obama-hold-off-romney/

  166. Matt R says:

    Considering the statistics among women, I would suggest that a number of Catholic women voted for Obama for precisely the reasons that Cardinal Ratzinger said were morally impermissible.
    Also, Kaveny goes off the track in her second heading, primarily because the issues she addresses, like Wal-Mart syle business practices, are reprehensible and immoral, but not on the scale of abortion. Also, ff there is an unjust war, as determined by the people with the proper counsel from the Church on the just war doctrine, do not the people have the right-and maybe even obligation-to remove the govt and end the war? That renders the taxation question moot.

  167. benedetta says:

    I just don’t get why frjim4321 has the time to respond to every other comment here yet avoids and refuses to discuss the substance of mine. Another lost opportunity to evangelize?

    But I will take up the trolling behavior with Fr. Z if he refuses to have an open honest discussion about my posts. That he says he represents a subset of Catholic priests only all the more adds to the scandal. I really don’t think he is achieving anything good by staying around here and mocking and deriding the people whose views he apparently loathes. If he wants to promote his program for social justice as he calls it then he can start his own blog and the subset of priests who he represents can go talk support for abortion there.

  168. benedetta says:

    frjim4321, well what would you counsel a woman like me who came to you for pastoral advice on how to vote one’s conscience? If she said, I’m considering voting for O but I’m concerned about the big abortion support. Can’t you help me out here? Surely you can state it more simply, persuasively and succintly than the America article with all its twisted hoops than jhayes posted?? You say you are honest and transparent and I believe you. Clearly you don’t seem ashamed. But I am genuinely confused as how I can feel ok as a Catholic voting for obamabiden. Could you help me? You say you and many Catholics voted for him. That’s all I’m asking. Seems simple.

  169. PA mom says:

    Fr Jim, you need to hear this.
    He has a right to be angry. Your choice for president just won, with the promise of taking his money from him as central to his campaign. You think he doesn’t have the right to be angry? Is it not theft of a legal variety? Maybe Obamacare has just caused his rates to rise 30%, Obama has promised to raise his federal taxes as well, and the ax needs to fall in order to keep the business viable.
    You got what you wanted, but there are always consequences.

  170. benedetta says:

    Btw frjim4321, robtbrown’s was just a “statement” yet you handily and quickly responded to him! You don’t have a “woman problem” now do you? Do you think the friends at America would really like you to ignore a WOMAN? lol.

  171. Varda says:

    I am also confused how a Catholic can vote for Obama. I can understand supporting many democratic policies but I cannot understand how the party of the little guy supports abortion on demand publicly funded by everyone. If the democrats had the same exact social welfare policies but advocated absolute segregation of the races, nobody would vote for them, that would be a dealbreaker. I just don’t understand why abortion isn’t a dealbreaker too.

  172. benedetta says:

    frjam4321, where are yooooouuuuu? …crickets chirping….lol! Why here I am, cowering and panicking behind my laptop? Where else would you find a professional blog troll??

    Guess it’s a little more complicated than frjam4321 let’s on, folks.

    And let me ask you this fr, after your berating Y2Y, tell me, do you have any loathe “orthodox” Catholics working in your parish, like, oh, a DRE, or your secretary for instance? Or do you just merrily blackball them and then turn around and wish a lawsuit on someone here.

  173. jhayes says:

    PA Mom, notice these items in he Catechism of the Catholic Church about the universal destination of goods:

    “2403 The right to private property, acquired or received in a just way, does not do away with the original gift of the earth to the whole of mankind. The universal destination of goods remains primordial, even if the promotion of the common good requires respect for the right to private property and its exercise.

    2406 Political authority has the right and duty to regulate the legitimate exercise of the right to ownership for the sake of the common good.189″

  174. benedetta says:

    jhayes, That is why it is abhorrent for a liberal pastor to blackball an orthodox Catholic just because he loathes his views. Same goes for liberal academia which is famous for that sort of horrible thing.

    My my but we would much rather talk about hiring and firing in this terrible economy than how to justify more and more and loving advocacy for big abortion?! VERY telling!!

  175. jhayes, see also Rerum novarum, in which Pope Leo XIII condemns socialism and its assaults on private property.

  176. lydia says:

    Benedette I’m sure FrJim234 will get back to you after he has consulted with his spiritual adviser Fr McBrien of fishwrap fame. He comes here makes his snarky comments and disappears . I piety his parishoners who depend on him for guidence.

  177. PA mom says:

    Jhayes- Obama has just spent months promising people that if they vote for him, he will take more money from the rich, while continuing to allow nearly half the population to pay nothing.
    Can you recall any prior times in history when people decided that some few had too much and those who didn’t were just going to take it from them? Not pretty times, not emotions that the leader of a civilized nation should be supporting, most importantly, not Christian behavior.
    Those lines are probably the same ones used to justify socialism, but look where that is getting Europe.

  178. Y2Y says:

    Benedetta, he will not answer you because he cannot. His thinking is entirely shaped by a warped and Godless ideology which requires that one suspend the use of reason in order to subscribe to same. The question you posed was an entirely rational one. He’s bright enough to follow your reasoning, but since it leads inescapably to a conclusion at odds with his ideology, he cannot answer it until he checks back with Party Headquarters to obtain the correct “response”, which will largely be a string of vague buzzwords with some feel-good ambience thrown in, all framed as a pitch on behalf of the “little people.” It will be a classic non-answer, if he bothers to reply at all.

    And in answer to your last post, jimmy lad, you have no idea where I live, what business I’m in, or who I am. You have no idea what the law is in my jurisdiction, or how the system works.
    Your increasingly irrational retorts serve to further confirm your limited comprehension and lack of critical thinking skills. I am probably not alone in wondering if I would find an accurate description of you in the DSM-IV.

  179. acardnal says:

    7 November 2012 at 8:39 pm

    frjim4321 says:
    Further even the pope can’t make a properly initiated Catholic not Catholic. And LOL you sure cant.

    robtbrown says:
    You seem to want to reduce being Catholic to its juridical element. I seem to remember St Augustine saying that for most Baptism is a blessing, but for the heretic it’s a curse–a clever application of Corruptio optimi est pessima.

    AND frjim replied: Absolutely false, I am speaking ontologically.

    And, of course, the same applies to a validly ordained priest whose ontology was changed – forever – at his ordination. He is a priest – forever – even when he is in a state a mortal sin, or a heretic, or laicized, or in hell.

  180. Y2Y says:

    MattR:
    Pinochet gets a bad press. He may have gone a little far in some instances (okay, a lot of instances), but he also came on the scene when harsh and immediate action was desperately needed. To call him “evil” reflects a lack of understanding of the circumstances in which he acted and the nature of the adversary he feced. It’s a far more nuanced history than the mainstream press and academia would have you believe. Perhaps Francisco Franco would have been a better analogy.

    When it comes to employment, the next four years bring no hope of relief to businesspeople and the promise of significantly more tax and regulation. The cost of doing business in my industry has been rising steadily and now promises to spike. In these circumstances, positions have to be eliminated. My pushback is to ensure that the axe falls on liberal necks.

  181. benedetta says:

    Well if the obamabiden is all that great so as to support it here, advocate for it, vote and declare one’s pride at doing so, then one must have some succinct reasons, especially being a priest and all?? One whose profession and vocation is to advocate and persuade? I must say he does a poor job at representing his subset of priests. Surely one could do better than visiting a blog, mocking others, and running away, as a representative of a small but tightly knit cadre of a subset of a minority of Catholic priests? Unless, as others have pointed out, the purpose is solely to troll. Then the quick mocks and put downs and the defensive hiding when called out is the correct m.o. And if so righteous about all of this, what’s the harm in explaining it simply when asked to do so? Unless one disrespects the other posters so much that one won’t give them the time of day even when directly asked, and repeatedly. Others here say he’s not a real Catholic. His behavior here is certainly un-Christian to say the least. It’s about the way he treats us here. Not about his dissident proclamations. Sure hope Fr. Z will take a look at this when he returns and is rested. I don’t have time in my life to ask a Catholic priest for counsel on a topic only to be ignored and scorned. I think we have had enough of frjum’s scandal.

  182. wmeyer says:

    jhayes, I’m sorry, but in the search for solid comprehension of Church teaching, I would NOT turn to either Notre Dame or America Magazine. Start with the CCC, it’s quite clear, and well documented.

  183. benedetta says:

    wmeyer, you mean jhayes was being SELECTIVE in his quoting the CCC? NO! Say it isn’t so!! LOL…What’s the blog coming to?

    And here I thought he was just killing time while we waited around for Father Jim. Maybe Fr Jim is a serial blog troll. Perhaps he’s on to creative minority, the register, mark shea by now…He’s only got this limited window in which to troll, blast and run away…then it’s on to the next, and so forth. How he’s got the time to troll and minister is beyond me…

  184. acardnal says:

    America magazine is sooooo unorthodox that the Holy See insisted that its former editor, Fr. Thomas Reese, S.J., resign his position because the material he was publishing was NOT Catholic teaching.

  185. benedetta says:

    acardnal, I wonder if that was all there was to it or if it wasn’t also liturgical abuse. I used to go to Mass he said and he changed all the words in the consecration to something sort of poetic sounding but very far from the actual prayers. He seemed to be totally absorbed in his own world. I was kind of ignorant then about the prayers of the Mass but even I was taken aback and wondered about it. Even though it was vaguely poetic, I found the whole picture disturbing and unsettling and felt strangely as if I hadn’t been to Mass at all. Whenever I see him quoted in the press now I wonder whether he still says Mass like that or whether he now says the correct prayers in place of his flowery made up thing.

  186. oldcanon2257 says:

    Whenever I read a comment by frjim4321, I cannot resist the longing for the old days of Pope St. Pius X with the Oath against Modernism and the Sodalitium Pianum. Since Fr. Jim had brought up the “thought police”, I thought I would bring up Sodalitium Pianum. Mgr. Umberto Benigni and his SP had their flaws, but wouldn’t it be nice to have them around today when dioceses in the US (such as Belleville, IL) are being overrun with liberal priests who are firmly entrenched in every parish thanks to the failures of the past 40 years?

    Saint Pius X, pray for us (particularly for Fr. Jim and his flock, and especially his bishop).

    BTW, I wasn’t picking on anyone when I mentioned Belleville. I simply picked Belleville because it’s a prime example of liberal priests (used to having their way, typical of liberals) revolting (a backdoor insurrection) against their new ordinary (Bp. Braxton) – before the bishop was even formally installed. That incident happened a few years back, I’m sure people here still remember.

  187. chantgirl says:

    benedetta- You’re not going to get the response you want from Fr. Jim. Many of us have asked perfectly reasonable questions of him and are still waiting for an answer. I personally asked him what could possibly have motivated him to vote for a candidate that is actively persecuting his Church and assisting the greatest slaughter of innocents in the history of the world. No answer. He has made many comments about “full marriage rights” and alienation of homosexuals, so I suspect (but cannot prove) that this plays into his political choices. I suggest that instead of engaging him, we simply pray for his conversion. We might also want to pray for the subset of priests he represents.

  188. Matt R says:

    “Pinochet gets a bad press. He may have gone a little far in some instances (okay, a lot of instances), but he also came on the scene when harsh and immediate action was desperately needed. To call him “evil” reflects a lack of understanding of the circumstances in which he acted and the nature of the adversary he feced. It’s a far more nuanced history than the mainstream press and academia would have you believe. Perhaps Francisco Franco would have been a better analogy.”
    Wow. He was installed with the backing of the US govt, which overthrew a legitimately elected government. Torture, unjust imprisonment, abuse of the death penalty, and murder defined his regime. Also, his neo-liberal economic policies were incredibly immoral. I hardly find any circumstances in the modern era which justify such unjust rule.
    By the way, Franco only had use for the Church insofar as it maintained a conservative social hierarchy, and the only redeeming feature of his regime is that he didn’t persecute the Church (and possibly worked against Hitler in the latter days of WW2). But other than that, he’s a piece of work.

  189. jhayes says:

    acardnal, I quoted two articles from the Catechism of the Catholic Church in responding to PAMom’s comment on private property. If you feel there are other articles of the CCC that we need to see to undertand the Church’s teaching on the issue, please post them so we have the whole story.

  190. StWinefride says:

    Spiritual Prescription for Fr Jim,

    Please read once a day…

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/P10MOATH.HTM

    With prayers and God Bless.

  191. jflare says:

    “Thus the gridlock continues.”

    Better that gridlock should hold sway than that one Party should be allowed to destroy America at the roots.
    I wish I could believe that President Obama and his fellow Democrats had any interest in pursuing morals or justice for the nation. Sadly, I’ve seen exceedingly little to suggest that they care about much beside wielding power and directing everyone in life.

    Sadly, the Republicans have been little better.

  192. jflare says:

    “WHY, if Christ’s most faithful begged for help and mercy, WHY he has not replied?”

    I’m not so sure that Christ’s most faithful have begged for help and mercy. I don’t think we’ve sunk low enough for that yet, sad though it is to say so.
    I think the Lord HAS replied such as we’ve asked. We simply, as a nation, do not seek Him nearly enough.

  193. Mariazell says:

    Hi,
    I was listening to a programme on BBC4 radio here in England just before the election, where people were giving their opinions on who they would vote for. It was what appeared to many a small thing, but I was aghast at one American womans’ comment that condoms were ‘a medical’ requirement’ and felt sad that some people (in England as well) seem to think that family planning is a medical issue rather than a God given Gift for the procreation of Love, Commitment and Joy.
    I would rather see government money spent on providing free dental preventative treatment and other genuine ‘medical’ needs than wasting money on steering people towards hell.

    (not sure if I will appear as Mariazell or Maria – I am the ‘Maria’ who is praying for you all and hopefully will appear as Mariazell from now onwards)

  194. jflare says:

    “…but to think that Catholicism, or even generic Christian values, could be the norm of society,…strikes me as fantasy.”

    I would suggest reviewing the history of the US, Choirmaster.
    Though certainly Catholics have frequently been on the sharp end of Protestant rhetorical spears, this nation WAS founded on Judeo-Christian principles. Those have certainly taken a beating in the last 50 years, but they haven’t been overturned yet. Let’s never forget, even as the Protestants have rebelled against the Church and the Pope, they’ve still reflected moral principles and practices that come far closer to resembling or mimicking those of Catholic faith than they have to rejecting them.

    Also remember that gay rights activists have long targeted the CATHOLIC Church for a particular reason: They know they can force the Lutherans, Methodists, and many others to bend if they press hard enough. But even despite literally decades of assaulting the Church’s character, they still haven’t caused the bishops or Rome to change the Church’s teachings.
    Moral values as defined by Christ ARE still the norm, even though those who despise the faith will do anything they can to deny this state of being. Ironically, they benefit from the Church’s teaching as much as anyone.

    Just as a though folks, please stop bugging FrJim. I don’t actually agree with him any more than do most of you, but I’m getting tired of the back and forth.
    He reminds me of a few priests I knew from about 1982 until..well, now actually. He’s not going to change his view without one brutal fight and neither are any of us. Give it a rest, will you?

  195. guans says:

    O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore You.
    Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me.
    Tell me what I should do; give me Your orders.
    I promise to submit myself to all that You desire of me
    and to accept all that You permit to happen to me.
    Let me only know Your Will.

    Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father
    Send NOW Your Spirit over the earth.
    May the Holy Spirit dwell in the hearts of all nations,
    that they may be preserved from degeneration, disaster
    and war.
    May Our Lady of All Nations, the Blessed Virgin Mary, be Our Advocate. Amen

  196. acardnal says:

    jhayes, the link to the article you posted was an unconvincing, feckless attempt to justify the murder of innocent, defenseless babies by invoking the “proportionate reason” argument: the female author compares abortion to corporations paying slave labor wages at “sweatshops” and not paying taxes to support unjust wars and “systemic structures of complicity” and “complicated webs of production and consumption”. She believes that humans beings are “networked agents”. These fallacious arguments are the sophistry of the theology faculties and seminaries of the 1960′s and 70′s.

    She states more than once that abortion is “constitutional and legal” because the Supreme Court said so. It’s interesting she never discusses how the Supreme Court also ruled that slavery was “constitutional and legal” in this country only later ruling that it was not! (I guess the Supreme Court is not infallible after all unlike the Vicar of Christ.)

    Abortion, the Church teaches, is an intrinsic evil – always and everywhere. It says this about only a handful of mortal sins. The fact that the Supreme Court ruled abortion “constitutional and legal” – as the author states repeatedly – is irrelevant; abortion is immoral and against God’s law. It is a grave, intrinsic evil. A mortal sin. No man-made law can make it moral. It does not say that about low wages, poor working conditions, capitalism, etc. When someone votes for a politician who funds abortion, the voter is culpable.

    There are many |”structural and societal sins” but as John Paul II reminded us, all structural and societal sins are the result of individuals committing sin. Votes do matter!

  197. wmeyer says:

    The fact that the Supreme Court ruled abortion “constitutional and legal” – as the author states repeatedly – is irrelevant; abortion is immoral and against God’s law. It is a grave, intrinsic evil. A mortal sin. No man-made law can make it moral.

    We must live first according to God’s law. All else is secondary. And as we should all realize, our faith calls us to disobey unjust civil laws.

  198. Y2Y says:

    Matt R: If you had bothered to do any research beyond mainstream media reports and Wikipedia articles, perhaps you could have come up with a better response than a blanket generalization.
    First of all, no Marxist government is ever legitimate, elected or not. Armed resistance to such a regime is always justified.
    Secondly, Pinochet was fighting a war; not a conventional conflict with uniformed combatants and identifiable rules, but a violent insurgency which had already claimed numerous innocent lives and which was bent on nothing less than the establishment of a Marxist dictatorship. One does not fight an insurgency by the rules of the Geneva Convention because insurgents recognize no such rules. These people were (and are) incredibly violent and extremely difficult to track. The tactics which must be employed in such a situation must match those of the enemy. To put it bluntly, while Pinochet may have been excessive on some occasions, the majority of those who lost their lives in the course of Pinochet’s counter-insurgency operations richly deserved their fate. They were no different from armed soldiers on a battlefield. BTW, even under the Geneva Conventions, a combatant out of uniform is to be summarily executed.

    Your description of Pinochet’s economic policies as “incredibly immoral” implies that you regard free-market economic policies as inherently evil, strongly suggesting that your views are heavily colored by ideology.

  199. The Masked Chicken says:

    JHayes,

    Thanks for the links. It is good to have a lively discussion on these issues so that all may learn. I have no problem with engaging in discussing this issue and with the theologians that present an opposing view to mine. This is charity at work. St. Paul said, somewhere, that God made disagreements so that the truth might be known. Since I assume we are all working to better understand the Church’s teaching and we are all approaching the matter with charity for each other (ahem…), I would like to respond. Unfortunately, I may have to get a bit technical.

    The central contention in Cardinal Ratzinger’s remarks (hereafter, R) centers on the word, “proportionate.” Unfortunately, I am reasonably certain that none of the theologians making comments on R understand the term completely and I say that as the person most responsible of the development of the modern theory of it. One of the biggest problems in humor theory was how to deal with the problem of context. Everyone uses the word and everyone sort of understands what it means, but you will search the literature in vain to find a precise definition of the term. Incongruity, which seems to initiate cognitively-based humor, must be defined within a context and since it has been difficult to define what a context is, it has been difficult to define what incongruity is in a rigorous fashion.

    A few years ago, I set out to develop a mathematics of both context and incongruity. I presented the research at UC Long Beach in 2011 and I am finishing the first of three articles on the subject. Congruity, a word which comes from Euclid’s Elements, concerns the “proportional equivalence” between two triangles. If there is a side on one triangle where there is a side on the other, being longer or shorter, and the angles are the same, the two triangles are said to be proportionate in quantity. An isosceles triangle and a scalene triangle are not quantitatively proportionate, but only qualitatively proportionate, since each belong to the same genus of three-sided figures, but not the same species because of the incongruity of angles and sides.

    Now, in order to determine whether or not two things are congruous (which is the application of a proportionate relationship between elements), one must first find a way to relate the elements of the to things. In other words, one must be able to define the context in which the two things live. There are three types of context relationships: C1, relationships between individual objects within a context, C2, relationships between an object in one context and an object in different, separate context, and C3, relationships between contexts, themselves.

    How can one specify and delineate contexts and then determine whether or not C1, C2, or C3 are proportionately related (congruous)? The approach I have taken uses an application of Lattice Theory called Formal Concept Analysis. In FCA one breaks down the context into individual elements and generates a lattice of relationships between the elements which reveal their logical connections. A picture is better than words to describe the process (one of the problems with blogs is the inability to post pictures).

    The question is, exactly what is abortion proportionate or congruous to? This is where the theologians cited have failed in their analysis. One needs to consider both the elements and the contexts in making that decision. I have to go teach a class right now, but I will come back to this. What I hope to prove is that there imply is no proportionate element in their scenarios that is equivalent in either quantity or quality to abortion, even though they use the same terms, such as, “death,” in them because context is important in determining proportionality.

    More, later.

    [Sorry, this is so long. I hope it is neither boring nor unclear. This aspect of theological discourse (what proportionate means) can use some cleaning up and precision, which I hope to make a contribution to].

    The Chicken

  200. wmeyer says:

    Chicken, although the mathematics is intriguing, and your presentation remarkably clear for its brevity, I think that, for many of us, additional simplification may be needed. As you note, pictures would help. Perhaps on your own blog, if you have one?

  201. Sissy says:

    wmeyer said: “I think that, for many of us, additional simplification may be needed”

    I think you are right, wmeyer; what is needed is for the Holy Father to say plainly: it is never permitted to vote for a person or party who endorses abortion, UNLESS, his/her opponent promotes abortion to an even greater degree. That is the “proportionate” cause, but it hasn’t been enunciated clearly enough. However, removing this silly fig leaf that the Obama voters hide behind won’t change their votes. They will just look for another loophole, or come out from behind their sham excuses into open defiance. It think this situation is somewhat analogous to the adage: for those who believe, no miracle is needed. For those who don’t believe, no miracle is sufficient. For those who love life and follow the Church’s teachings, no guidance from our leadership is necessary. For those who do not love life or obey the Church, no guidance would ever be sufficient. Catholics who voted for Obama are people who go their own way and do as they please. They couldn’t care less what the Church teaches or about innocent life.

  202. wmeyer says:

    Sissy, LOL! I would love to see such a declaration, but I was talking about further simplification of Chicken’s mathematics! ;)

  203. Christopher says:

    Dear Chicken,

    Christopher wrote:

    While the Earth may be a Valley of Tears, the Bible is very clear about what our attitude should be in it:

    Ps 23:4 [KJV]
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

    Jhn 16:33
    These things I have spoken unto you , that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

    1 Pet3:14-15
    But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy [are ye]: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
    But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

    1 Pet 4:-19
    Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls [to him] in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

    The statement on the Valley of Tears was merely complimentary. As the World is a Valley of Tears, we must always have God first and foremost.

    God Bless.

  204. Christopher says:

    Edit

    The Chicken wrote:

    God Bless.

  205. Sissy says:

    Y2Y: your statements are correct, but MattR is a high school senior. He’s a bright young man, but he tends to place too much faith in what his teachers are telling him. He’ll figure it out; I think his heart is in the right place.

  206. chantgirl says:

    The elephant in the room here is the overwhelming percentage of Latino Catholics who voted for Obama. Latinos, as the highest reproducers in the country, are being targeted by Planned Parenthood just as blacks have been. The black population has been decimated by abortion. Why do Latinos not see the threat that Obama-I-will-throw-anyone-under-the-bus-except-Planned-Parenthood poses to their community? It blows my mind. We must come up with an immigration policy that is compassionate and respects the rule of law.

  207. wmeyer says:

    chantgirl: Yes, we need immigration reform, and I see nothing wrong with shaping it per CCC #2241. My wife and step-daughter are immigrants. The process is tedious, and in need of reform, but that is no excuse for illegal aliens, and amnesty is foolish, as it is a reward for bad behavior that will simply promote more of the same.

  208. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Sissy, when I said “we will then be a minority” I did not mean to imply that we are a majority now.

    However, I confess that I have not complied with my principle… What I meant to say is that the attitude not to follow the masses on principle (as opposed to: when the masses happen to be wrong) happens to be wrong. I’ve given in to the temptation to express this via an argument of effectivity. Mea culpa.

    Dear @Choirmaster, I guess you are asking other questions than me, while I think are simply the wrong questions. Of course mankind will go on sinning; of course mankind will go on having some defects in their ethical concepts. But the thing is that they are defects; defects from an existing thing; there is only one natural law, and though it is not perhaps the simplest to exactly discover, it exists nonetheless and even does have a certain connection to what the people generally do and don’t; though we have to be aware that what we find somewhere might be a sin, or a distortion of ethics, or both. It’s not easy; but it is there. (Cf. at very much length Fr Johannes Messner, Social Ethics).

    The only other concept of morality is one of arbitrary Dos and Don’ts where you, frankly, do not know why you should not take any other collection of these Dos and Don’t which seems to suit you better. Cf. for the problem Chesterton, On American Morals.

    And no, I do not think the Church did anything wrong when it accepted the masses that came into her after Constantine.

    The Church can never been synonymous with the World, because 1. “the World” is a technical term for the Church-inimical forces within it, 2. the world even taken neutrally has a natural end and the Church a supernatural. But nature is not supernature’s enemy, on the contrary it has fled into the sanctuary. And it has happened in the past that the Church is a large force the people identify with.

    The title “Prince of this World” does not belong to the Devil anymore. The Prince of this World has been thrown out; all we see is his rearguard action. (Can be quite some of rearguard action, I admit.) Nor is the world his even by right; Ludwig Ott says carefully that the Devil acquired “a certain sort of right” over fallen man – a real right? really? – but whatever that was, this time is past. Our Lord has paid the price.

    And to whom is the world by right? To Our Lord, cf. Mt 28:18b (“to Me all power is given … and on Earth”), and the great encyclical Quas primas by Pius XI.

    On an aside, while it is true that divine and natural law come first, neither is abortion constitutional and legal in the United States.
    1. The Supreme Court said that measurements against abortion are unconstitutional as opposing privacy; that is not to say that abortion itself is constitutional.
    2. The Supreme Court said that measurements against abortion are unconstitutional; in this it obviously judges without the slightest sort of basis on the law cited. Privacy? I guess it is unconstitutional to prosecute treason, too.

  209. Imrahil says:

    “treason”: read “espionage” (known as “treason of country” in our criminal law).

  210. Ann Roth says:

    Sissy and Y2Y,

    Oh dear. Looks like a rabbit hole to me. I will stay topside.

    Matt might be young but trust me he is not putting too much trust in what his teachers are telling him. I will let him respond further. But yes his heart is in the right place. This does seem like a topic where even the well informed can come to differing opinions so I will just offer that perhaps you shouldn’t assume that he came to a different opinion for lack of age or information. Just think, he might know something you don’t! What a concept!

    Great discussion all around. The comments from our friends across the pond were the best, absolutely the best.

  211. The Masked Chicken says:

    Should I really go on with my analysis of the word, “proportionate?”

    I just re-read the America article and I find that her arguments are simply irrelevant. She uses an Ignoratio elenchi fallacy (missing the point) and a variation of the Ecological Fallacy (a sub-type of the fallacy of composition). I highly recommend that everyone bookmark this page:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

    In essence, she says that the nodes (people) of a network share the properties of the network. That simply depends on the construction of the network. While She, as a Catholic theologian might not know anything about how people act within a network, social scientists, mathematical biologists, and AI specialists certainly do. She is adding nothing to the conversation. At the same time, God does NOT judge networks. He judges individuals for individual acts. She is trying to make an argument for a sort of collective guilt and I am insulted by her suggestion. You stand before a God, alone. This is not Catholic moral theology. I would flunk her if she gave such an answer on her Ph.D exam. I do not share a collective guilt or merit for belonging to the group, “Let’s Kill Poodles.” This is Moral McCarthyism writ large.

    More than that, her analysis can only apply to extrinsic evils, which can admit varying degrees of connectedness because extrinsic evils depend on circumstances, but the guilt of intrinsic evils only depends on the will and is independent of circumstances and this is where her analysis really fails. Belonging to a group is a circumstance that may contribute more or less to an evil and, yes, one could, in theory, construct a set of relationships between circumstances and rank them, but intrinsic evils only ask the question: did you do it. The circumstances do not add or subtract from the evilness of the act, although it may modify the moral culpability. Extrinsic sins can be applied to everyone within a group in a more or less uniform way, but intrinsic sins can only be applied to an individual as an individual. This is where she confuses the issue. If everyone cheats in a class (extrinsic evil), everyone shares the blame; if everyone rapes the teacher (intrinsic sin), each person gets judged, separately. Didn’t the Neuremberg War Crimes Tribunal teach her anything?

    To quote from the link I gave, above:

    “For an appropriate understanding of the concept of intrinsic evil, one must appreciate first the Catholic understanding of goodness. From the perspective of the Catholic moral tradition, in order for a human act to be morally good, it must be good in all three of its aspects: in its deliberately chosen object, in the agent’s circumstantial intention and in the circumstances of the act. In order for a human act to be considered morally evil it need be defective in only one of these three aspects…”

    “Intrinsic evil refers to actions that are morally evil in such a way that is essentially opposed to the will of God or proper human fulfillment. The key consideration here is that intrinsically evil actions are judged to be so solely by their object, independently of the intention that inspires them or the circumstances that surround them (See the Catechism, Part Three, Section One, Chapter One, Article 4, n. 1756)…”

    “According to this understanding, while a morally good action may be made more or less good by the circumstances in which it occurs, the circumstances of an act or the good intentions of the agent may never make an intrinsically evil action good. Actions that are intrinsically evil, then, may never licitly be performed. Indeed, the term itself is commonly used in a more general way to refer to actions that are never morally permissible.” [my emphsis]

    The point is that in order to talk about proportionate reasons, one must compare like things to like things. Because she is equating extrinsic evil with intrinsic evil, which are not the same species of evil, her argument is dead out of the starting gate. She uses the word, “proportionate,” but then compares two things, extrinsic networking sin and intrinsic individual sin, as if they were genuinely comparable. They are not. As I said in my first post, if candidate A sins more intrinsically by quantity or quality then candidate B, it is alright to vote for candidate A, if one does not support the sin. One cannot equate quality or quantity between extrinsic and intrinsic sins and that is what she is trying to do. Shame on her.

    The Chicken

  212. The Masked Chicken says:

    Rats. My comment explaining why the America article is not only wrong, but insulting got sent to moderation because I included the words let’s k–l poodles. It is really hard to talk about intrinsic evils.

    The Chicken

  213. The Masked Chicken says:

    I hope Fr. Z. will forgive me, but as he is traveling, my long comment might not make it out of moderation for a while, let me try to re-post the comment without the flagging words.

    Should I really go on with my analysis of the word, “proportionate?”

    I just re-read the America article and I find that her arguments are simply irrelevant. She uses an Ignoratio elenchi fallacy (missing the point) and a variation of the Ecological Fallacy (a sub-type of the fallacy of composition). I highly recommend that everyone bookmark this page:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

    In essence, she says that the nodes (people) of a network share the properties of the network. That simply depends on the construction of the network. While She, as a Catholic theologian might not know anything about how people act within a network, social scientists, mathematical biologists, and AI specialists certainly do. She is adding nothing to the conversation. At the same time, God does NOT judge networks. He judges individuals for individual acts. She is trying to make an argument for a sort of collective guilt and I am insulted by her suggestion. You stand before a God, alone. This is not Catholic moral theology. I would flunk her if she gave such an answer on her Ph.D exam. I do not share a collective guilt or merit for belonging to the group, “Let’s Kiss Poodles.” This is Moral McCarthyism writ large.

    More than that, her analysis can only apply to extrinsic evils, which can admit varying degrees of connectedness because extrinsic evils depend on circumstances, but the guilt of intrinsic evils only depends on the will and is independent of circumstances and this is where her analysis really fails. Belonging to a group is a circumstance that may contribute more or less to an evil and, yes, one could, in theory, construct a set of relationships between circumstances and rank them, but intrinsic evils only ask the question: did you do it. The circumstances do not add or subtract from the evilness of the act, although it may modify the moral culpability. Extrinsic sins can be applied to everyone within a group in a more or less uniform way, but intrinsic sins can only be applied to an individual as an individual. This is where she confuses the issue. If everyone cheats in a class (extrinsic evil), everyone shares the blame; if everyone [forcibly violates the sixth commandment with] the teacher (intrinsic sin), each person gets judged, separately. Didn’t the Neuremberg War Crimes Tribunal teach her anything?

    To quote from the link I gave, above:

    “For an appropriate understanding of the concept of intrinsic evil, one must appreciate first the Catholic understanding of goodness. From the perspective of the Catholic moral tradition, in order for a human act to be morally good, it must be good in all three of its aspects: in its deliberately chosen object, in the agent’s circumstantial intention and in the circumstances of the act. In order for a human act to be considered morally evil it need be defective in only one of these three aspects…”

    “Intrinsic evil refers to actions that are morally evil in such a way that is essentially opposed to the will of God or proper human fulfillment. The key consideration here is that intrinsically evil actions are judged to be so solely by their object, independently of the intention that inspires them or the circumstances that surround them (See the Catechism, Part Three, Section One, Chapter One, Article 4, n. 1756)…”

    “According to this understanding, while a morally good action may be made more or less good by the circumstances in which it occurs, the circumstances of an act or the good intentions of the agent may never make an intrinsically evil action good. Actions that are intrinsically evil, then, may never licitly be performed. Indeed, the term itself is commonly used in a more general way to refer to actions that are never morally permissible.” [my emphsis]

    The point is that in order to talk about proportionate reasons, one must compare like things to like things. Because she is equating extrinsic evil with intrinsic evil, which are not the same species of evil, her argument is dead out of the starting gate. She uses the word, “proportionate,” but then compares two things, extrinsic networking sin and intrinsic individual sin, as if they were genuinely comparable. They are not. As I said in my first post, if candidate A sins more intrinsically by quantity or quality then candidate B, it is alright to vote for candidate A, if one does not support the sin. One cannot equate quality or quantity between extrinsic and intrinsic sins and that is what she is trying to do. Shame on her.

    The Chicken

  214. The Masked Chicken says:

    Didn’t work, still in moderation. Sorry, Fr. Z. For the double post.

    The Chicken

  215. Matt R says:

    Y2y, the gratuitous insult to my education wasn’t necessary.
    Was it the business of the US to get involved? No. Did was the intervention for the benefit of the American govt. and businesses, or was it for the common good of the people? The former. Besides, Chileans would have eventually figured out how evil Marxism is, and acted accordingly (OR suffered their own destruction).
    It was not armed resistance by the people of Chile. It was a coup, and later a junta, by the army which wished to maintain a conservative power structure at the expense of the common good of the people. A war against an insurgency does not justify killing just because they are an insurgent fighter, or have political beliefs that differ from those held by the government. Mercy and justice go together. Yes, I know the Geneva Convention allows for executing someone caught out of uniform. But, the Geneva Convention do not call for the killing of noncombatants, who (not easily sometimes) can be discerned from fighters on either side, and those who actively aid both sides.
    A free market isn’t immoral. But, the conditions under which Pinochet operated (an authoritarian regime) and the ends of his actions (maintaining conservative power without regard to the good of the people) are not something to be praised.
    FYI, I lean towards Distributism, so I’m not a Marxist by any stretch. But I particularly dislike corporate-driven capitalism, and neo-conservative foreign policy (which the Cold War interventions fostered, and it goes along with corporate interests).
    If we decide to imitate say Pinochet or Franco, I don’t even want to think of what such a regime would actually do. By the way, the attachment to ideology held by men on all sides (Marxist, socialist, Fascist, nationalist, monarchist, etc.) during the 20th century is so incredibly hateful and violent. That just begets more violence.

  216. PostCatholic says:

    oldCatholic Girl: The essential work of democracy is talking with with those we disagree with, finding avenues for compromise, and making incremental change where we achieve some consensus. One doesn’t need to sacrifice one’s firm tenets to do so. Gridlock such as we have seen is unhealthy for democracy, and both sides have an equal share in the responsibility for that.

    Benedetta: thank you for the kind words. I think I come here to discuss, not to troll. From what I have seen, FrJim4321 seems to do the same.

    PA mom: If someone offers you an olive branch, try not to fashion it into a whip, yeah?

  217. chantgirl says:

    PostCatholic- I agree that we do need to find common ground where we can. However, there are some very important roadblocks between the two parties finding a consensus. For example, during the last debt debate the sticking point was money for Planned Parenthood. The President will not compromise on this point, and it is equally troublesome for most Republicans to think about giving tax dollars to a company that kills for a living. This is an issue for which there is no compromise to make. We are deeply divided in this country because of issues like abortion, homosexual unions, religious freedom. For christians to compromise on these issues would mean defying God, and therefore we are stuck if these issues are used as a bargaining chip by the President. We just can’t compromise here. Unfortunately, we seem to be in the minority, and if we are not now, we will be when my grandparents’ generation dies. The left has shown a propensity for disregarding our beliefs and conscience ,forcing us by law to violate them. That is why we are digging our heels in now, because we see our choice soon being defying God or defying the State and dealing with fines or jail. If the left could truly be tolerant of our beliefs and leave us alone to live in manner that is consistent with our beliefs, we would be able to compromise on all of those other issues that are prudential judgments.

  218. chantgirl says:

    In other words, no matter what the Supreme Court said, abortion is just not going to go away.

  219. Sissy says:

    Ann Roth, hi there, nice to “see” you. My congratulations to you on Matt’s scholarship offer. I’m sure you are very proud, and rightly so!

  220. Southern Catholic says:

    @ Masked Chicken, thank you for your analysis, it was a very interesting read for me.

  221. PostCatholic says:

    Chantgirl, when no compromise is possible, don’t compromise. Like you, there are many issues I’ll never retreat upon because so doing is to defy logic, human rights and/or basic ethics. But sandbagging all potential avenues of progress unless one side gets its own way on its bulwark issues has been the immature and dangerous direction the President and Congress have chosen to act with each other in the last four years. It has to stop. There are some things that reasonable people who disagree on fundamentals can come to terms on.