Card. Stafford: Pres.-elect Obama “aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic”… we will know “Gethsemene”

A reader sent me this from the magazine of the Catholic University of America.

This is from the magazine of Catholic University of America.  My emphases and comments.

Cardinal at CUA: Obama is ‘Aggressive, Disruptive and Apocalyptic’

Posted By Elizabeth Grden On November 14, 2008 @ 7:58 am In News

His Eminence James Francis Cardinal Stafford criticized President-elect Barack Obama as “aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic,“ and said he campaigned on an “extremist  anti-life platform,” Thursday night in Keane Auditorium during his lecture “Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II: Being True in Body and Soul.“

Because man is a sacred element of secular life,” Stafford remarked, “man should not be held to a supreme power of state, and a person’s life cannot ultimately be controlled by government.”

“For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden,” Stafford said, comparing America’s future with Obama as president to Jesus’ agony in the garden. E2On November 4, 2008, America suffered a cultural earthquake.” 

Cardinal Stafford said Catholics must deal with the “hot, angry tears of betrayal” by beginning a new sentiment where one is “with Jesus, sick because of love.”   [I didn’t hear the speech and I don’t have the full text.  But I wonder if he isn’t in part referring to the betrayal of Catholic teaching both by pro-abortion Catholic politicians and also… it must be said… Catholic voters.]

The lecture, hosted by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, pertained to Humanae Vitae, a papal encyclical written by Pope Paul VI in 1968 and celebrating its 40 anniversary this year.

Stafford also spoke about the decline of a respect for human life and the need for Catholics to return to the original values of marriage and human dignity.

“If 1968 was the year of America’s ‘suicide attempt,’ 2008 is the year of America’s exhaustion,” said Stafford, an American Cardinal and Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary for the Tribunal of the Holy See. “In the intervening 40 years since Humanae Vitae, the United States has been thrown upon ruins.”

This destruction and America’s decline is largely in part due to the Supreme Court’s decisions in the  life-issue cases of 1973, specifically Roe v. Wade. Stafford asserted these cases undermined respect for human life in the United States.

“Its scrupulous meanness [what a phrase!]  has had catastrophic effects upon the unity and integrity of the American republic,” said Stafford.

Humanae Vitae (“On Human Life”) reaffirms traditional Catholic teachings regarding abortion, contraception and other human life issues. Pope Benedict XVI said in May it is “so controversial, yet so crucial for humanity’s future…What was true yesterday is true also today.”

Monsignor Livio Melina, president of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, gave the opening address at the lecture and spoke about the importance of agape love to gain knowledge.

“Love itself is a form of knowledge, and this knowledge cannot be objectified,” said Melina. “It is a unique relationship between the believer and God.”

Stafford said the truest reflection of the love between the believer and God is that of the relationship between husband and wife, and that contraceptive use does not fit anywhere within that framework.

According to Stafford, the inner dynamic of a spousal relationship is much like the body itself, which ‘speaks’ in terms of masculinity and femininity.

“The experience of love introduces us in a specific way to moral knowledge,” added Melina.

If we will know Gethsemene, we will also have the consolation of seeing the Lord conformted by angels… if we do not fall asleep.

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  1. Jacob says:

    We haven’t been asleep, we’ve been in a coma. It feels as though we may just be waking up in time to confront the guards.

    Perhaps this election and the woeful ignorance of the laity is our denial of Christ… How many more times will we do so before the cock crows and morning begins?

  2. TNCath says:

    Cardinal Stafford was the second Bishop of Memphis. Although he was only in Memphis for a short time (1982-1986), he did much to try to clean up the mess left by his predecessor, the late Bishop Carroll T. Dozier, who orchestrated two massive general absolution events which brought him censure from the Vatican. Cardinal Stafford has never been known for circumlocution and continues to be clear and courageous in defense of the Faith. I was very glad to see him weigh in on this one, given his closeness to Pope Benedict.

  3. George Festa says:

    It is great to see such a high ranking prelate speak so boldly, God bless Cardinal Stafford. May our Holy Father appoint many more brave men to such posts.
    It seems that 40 years is significant in how long The Almighty will put up with our wicked ways. “For 40 years I endured that generation…”
    May God help us as 2013 is not too far off…..

  4. Akira Yamadori says:

    I don’t understand.
    Obama may not be pro-life, but He and Joe Biden have enormous experience …especially Joe Biden.
    Isn’t it better to have a President who is experienced and diplomatic and a “thinker”, than to have had a presidental team (McCain/Palin) who though maybe very pro-life would have been “aggressive, disruptive, and apocalyptic” with regards to foreign affairs..
    I can count 12 statements made by Palin alone during the final 4 weeks of the campaign that non-friendly countries could take as a provocation. And that was before the election.

    I would rather have a president who may be very anti-prolife, than a President and VP that were given to inflammatory comments and threats towards non-friendly nations specifically in the Middle East, but also Russia which could very easily spark not a verbal exchange, but a military one.

    [This is irrelevant to the topic.]

  5. Barb says:

    Let’s see. Fear those who can kill the body or fear those who can kill the soul?….tough question for some
    I guess. Easy answer for me. God’s wrath is real and it is infinitely worse than the wrath of all of the
    nations of the world combined.

    Fiat Voluntas Tua

  6. Cory says:

    Akira, the reason Catholic voters voted for Obama is because of the economy. Obama promised them more money. Sounds like they betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, don’t you think?

  7. Ohio Annie says:

    Hmm, “anti-prolife” = pro-death?

    Akira, just wait until Obama is tested and found hiding under his desk blubbering.

    We need a president with backbone. One who will call abortion what it is.

  8. Brian Day says:

    Akira –
    Please list your 12 statements that your are concerned about. [No… let’s NOT.] I doubt that it is as bad as you paint it. Also the Vice President is not the Commander-in-Chief, so Palin’s comments should be evaluated as such.

  9. toomey says:

    Cory, I must strongly disagree. The reason most Catholics voted for Obama is Union Allegiance and abortion. Since 1967, (remember that Colorado has had some of the most liberal abortion laws since then, thank you Dick Lamm) I cannot even count the number of Catholic women I have personally known who have procured abortions for themselves or for their relatives. Sadly, many Catholics want abortion widely available.

  10. Brian says:


    According to a website called Iraq Body Count, the total number of civilians killed in Iraq since the war began is between 89,000 and 97,000. They show a graph that depicts most of those deaths took place in the early weeks of the war, with much lower numbers in 2008. Since the war started, there have been about 4, 200 American casualties.

    To give some perspective, there are about 3,700 innocent babies murdered by abortion everyday in the U.S. alone. That makes 111,000 per month; 1,350,500 per year; and 7,765,375 since the war started in Iraq.

    So with regard to U.S. citizens, since March 2003, 4,200 Americans died in Iraq and during the same period 7,765,375 innocent babies died in this country by abortion.

    Worldwide, there are 115,000 babies who are killed by abortions each day. That makes 3,450,000 per month; 41,975,000 per year; and 241,356,250 million unborn infants have been slaughtered since the war started in Iraq.

    Obama favors policies that will increase abortions in this country and world-wide.

    Furthermore, while there are prudential moral questions as to whether Iraq can be considered a just war, there is no moral question about abortion, murdering innocent infants is intrinsically evil.

    Do these issues seem proportional to you?

  11. A few years ago, I apologize I cannot be more accurate, Seton Hall University held a symposium and Abp.of Denver Stafford was one of the speakers. In the question and answer period , Abp Stafford seemed somewhat unclear in his answers so I asked him directly: “Is contraception a mortal sin?” After a long delay, he finally answered: “Objectively, yes.”
    Folks, we are reaping the four decades when all these teachings were up for grabs. the clarity of these items today? Apologetics and moral theology have been ignored for this period of time.

  12. Tzard says:

    I am pondering what the current state of thing will do to our view as Baptized Christians. It seems we have (for many years) been relying an underlying christian morality as a foundation for our democracy. Perhaps even taking it for granted. Now that our political institutions do not rely on that bedrock of Western civilization (and in fact usually reject it), can we no longer depend on the “democratic process” anymore. Indeed, it seems the “majority” it not only hostile to Catholicism, but to Christianity in general.

    If the nation is bent on destruction, If we have tyrrany in all 3 parts of Government (or 4 if you count the “free” press); then just hoping to get out the vote may not be a realistic goal in changing things.

    If we are a minority, we must get back to basics. For we are truly sojourners here – our home is not the soil upon which we stand.

  13. cthemfly25 says:

    Praise and thanks for Cardinal Stafford’s remarks. And, i must agree: scrupulous meanness [what a phrase!]

  14. Brian Day says:

    Fr Z says [No… let’s NOT.]

    Good advice, thanks.

  15. Simon Platt says:

    Dear William,

    surely Archbishop Stafford was right to answer as he did? The question “is contraception a mortal sin?” can’t be answered without qualification as grave matter is not the only factor in inputing mortal sin. Or do I misinterpret your meaning when it seems to me that you were critical of the archbishop’s response?

    As an Englishman I know little about Cardinal Stafford but I have been favourably impressed by what I have learnt here.

    But I cannot fault your general point – for decades most catholics here and presumably where you are have been denied authentic christian teaching by our pastors.

  16. David Kastel says:

    These priests would be a lot more effective if, instead of campaigning for the slightly less pro-abortion, John “Country First” McCain, they would preach to the people in the pews that contraception is a mortal sin. If I were a betting man, (which I am) I’d lay ten to one that there are more Catholics at Mass on Sunday who practice contraception than there are Catholics at Mass who voted for Obama.

    Contraception is always mortal sin, voting for Obama is not.

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