Bp. Aquila predicts US Govt may try to silence the Catholic Church

I noted this on CNA.

Bishop Aquila predicts state attempts to silence Catholic Church
By David Kerr

Rome, Italy, Oct 8, 2011 / 03:29 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- An American bishop has predicted that government authorities may one day attempt to silence the Catholic Church in the United States.

“We could see the possibility of it within the United States where we are no longer free to preach the truth from the pulpit or to present Catholic teaching,” Bishop Samuel J. Aquila of Fargo, North Dakota, told CNA on an Oct. 7 visit to Rome.

“It will then become important for us to take a very strong stand, as we have done with human life and the unborn child, to continue to speak the truth and to speak it clearly and with charity.”

Bishop Aquila cited two recent examples where he believes religious liberty is being undermined: the closure of Catholic adoption agencies in states that have legalized same-sex “marriage” [I suspect that will be the main issue for persecution of the Church, rather than abortion.] and the new government health mandate requiring private insurers to provide women with coverage for contraception and sterilization.

“It’s very, very important for us to realize that we are in a very real clash between the culture of death and a culture of life,” said Bishop Aquila, summing up the former culture as one where “rights are eroded and where lies are being presented as truth.” [Do I hear an “Amen!”?]

Bishop Aquila said he doesn’t know how the present stand-off between Church and state will be resolved, but he is certain that Catholics “will have to stand for the truth” and “speak clearly to the truth no matter what the cost.” He doesn’t rule out the possibility of civil disobedience[Why should we rule it out?]

“Either we’re going to have to enter into conscientious objection and say we won’t do this or we will need to cooperate – which we cannot do and still be faithful,” he said.

And he worries that the preaching of the faith may also eventually face legal sanction in those states where the practice of the Catholic faith in areas such as adoption and foster care has been declared illegal.

I tell our seminarians: you must be prepared to enter into this battle because it’s a battle we need to enter into and speak the truth,” he said.

Bishop Aquila was in Rome for the ordination of one of those seminarians to the diaconate, one of four new deacons for the Diocese of Fargo this year. His words of congratulation to them, though, have also been mingled with words of warning.

There will be people who will hate you because of the stand which you take, there will be people who ridicule you, yell at you,” he said. “And they did all the same things to Christ when he proclaimed the truth and we can expect no less in the times in which we live.”

I think he is right.   And I think the “gay agenda” will bring the most vicious attacks on the Church.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Supertradmum says:

    Finally, a major spokesman for the Catholic Church is speaking the truth about the future, which many of us in education have seen coming, and experienced already. The list of people, like myself, who have come up against administrations, parents, students, and yes, even some priests, in the fight for the right to teach Catholic truth, even in Catholic settings, has been gaining momentum since at least the late 1990s. I am grateful for the Bishop’s statement, as many of my fellow Catholics, both in the United States and abroad, have seen me as a Cassandra, when I have pointed out the growing intolerance of the Catholic Church. Even as recently as this summer, in Walsingham, the place of the National Marian Shrine of England, some Catholics were denying that this American administration was anti-life and anti-religious freedom. How can people have their heads in the sand even after all this time? Sadly, some Catholics have been dazzled by the idea of false tolerance, and also have looked at politics primarily from a financial point of view, rather than one of losing our freedoms. Anyone involved in the pro-life movement or in homosexual outreach, such as Courage, can tell you of the persecution. And, this is a world-wide movement. Here I am in Malta, the supposedly most Catholic nation in the world, and not only has divorced just been passed by the government, but there is a sizable homosexual community in the capital. I have met several young men (6) in two days, who are living that lifestyle and do not know where the named churches are in the city. Secularism flourishes and is imported from many countries. If anyone cannot see this, that person does not want to see the culture changes brought about by secularism and neo-paganism. For years, I taught my Catholic students to think like martyrs of the future. Thanks be to God, an important bishop is speaking the ugly truth to the complacent.

  2. TNCath says:

    It has already begun. It’s the Roman persecutions all over again. The only things that are different are the time period and the cast of characters. Eventually, the empire will fall and the Church will be the only entity left to restore civilization. Unfortunately, this will not be accomplished without much turmoil and even perhaps some bloodshed.

  3. chcrix says:

    Following the link of Supertradmum I found it interesting that those who prosecuted Planned Parenthood for not reporting an overwhelming majority of minor abortions are under investigation and possible sanction in Kansas.

    Meanwhile the Bishop of KC is being indicted for what comes down to “not reporting suspicion of the abuse of a minor” when he did not actually have such a suspicion and when he cross checked with two other sources with expertise in that area to confirm the reasonable nature of his opinion under law. There used to be something called ‘mens rea’ in law.

  4. salve95 says:

    In America, freedom of speech means you can say whatever you want, but only if it’s politically correct, and most importantly, doesn’t make some queer feel bad about himself.

  5. raitchi2 says:

    Good more war rhetoric. The best way to win the hearts and minds of non-catholics is by being prepared to fight. So many of the great martyrs were warriors. Even Christ commened St. Peter for his impressive sword skills!

  6. RichR says:

    The Fishwrap is already pounding away. Jackals love a slaughter.

    The reality is, this whole sexual abuse scandal was initiated by liberals in rotten seminaries allowing (and maybe even aiding) sexual deviants to be ordained. Under the guise of “exploring your sexual person”, priest candidates were not prepared for celibate life. The liberal secular media never really blew the whistle on this because they sympathize with the plight of the homosexuals and saw this as something that was good. Now you have a mess on your hands, and it has to be cleaned up by a new generation of bishops who didn’t even start the problem. They inherited it. And the media isn’t going to admit responsibility, rather, they are going to do what they do best: create headlines.

    If people want to truly get the problem solved, they need to not follow the crappy media politicization of these travesties. The media is liberal, and they will use this as a means of tearing down the hierarchy. The liberal Catholic newspapers are looking to advance their “democratization of the Church” agenda, so they are all in for disparaging the bishops (who are trying to deal with the problem liberals created). The liberals will appeal to American’s instincts to mistrust all authority, and they will push for laity oversight. The Church will be tempted to turn it’s hierarchy up on its head. Bishops will be tempted not to fight for fear of being labelled a “conspirator” in the newspapers. in fact, the bishops will be tempted to lie down and die.

    Laity needs to support bishops who are trying to clean up and not be looking to aid the secularists in crucifying a bishop for every little mistake he makes. REMEMBER, MANY OF THESE PROBLEMS ARE COMING FROM THE LEFT, AS ARE MANY OF THE CRITICISMS. THEIR AIM IS NOT THE SAFETY OF CHILDREN, BUT THE TEARING DOWN OF AN ALL-MALE, CELIBATE, HIERARCHY. THIS ISSUE IS JUST A MEANS TO THAT END.

    In the end, if people really want this problem to go away, they need to get solid priests in seminaries who know their role as celibate shepherds guiding souls to Heaven (and pursuing Salvation themselves). These men will rise through the ranks as bishops. People need to strive for authentic Catholic holiness and expect their priests and bishops to stand by the truths of the Faith on all doctrinal and moral fronts.

    Until we return to our Catholic roots, we will be at the whim of the media.

  7. RichR says:

    Before I forget…….

    Here’s a link to a good talk that you won’t get on FoxNews or CNN:


  8. PostCatholic says:

    Phill Kline lied to Kansas’ Supreme Court, disobeyed in particularly egregious ways court warnings not to converse about matters in the press, and mishandled medical records and lied about it, among other serious breaches nf professional conduct.

    I understand that religious convictions may lead one to fight abortion zealously, but the rule of law in liberal (small l) democracy can’t tolerate the doctrine that the ends justify the means. He had a sworn duty as an officer of the court and he blatantly violated those responsibilities pursuing his cases.

  9. James Joseph says:

    First they came for the criminals and we did not speak. Then they came for the Jews. Then they came for the members of trade unions, and the priests, and still we did not speak.

  10. Athanasius says:

    I think he hits the nail on the head. The fact of the matter is democracy will not save us (I don’t believe in it anyway, never have), but even the Constitution will not save us, because such institutions are dependent on rulers who have an interest in abiding by them and having enough people who support them. The Soviet Constitution is a case in point, it gave more rights and more freedom than the American Constitution. Was there more freedom in the USSR? Yes that’s rhetorical. The government had no interest in enforcing that, they just wanted it for show. Likewise here, Indiana already says the 4th amendment does not matter, police an search your house without a warrant. When the Church refuses to bend to the state, it will simply be illegal like during the French Revolution.
    Now there is another dynamic here. Have you noticed more people attacking priests? Have you noticed more Catholics who are not out to make money per se, just attacking priests, tearing him down, trying to control him, falsely accusing him, or trying to force lay control. The year of the priest was nothing more than the year of the shaft of the priest in common experience. With priests under attack so much, would it be any surprise if God says alright, you don’t deserve priests and allows the wall street servant (i.e. POTUS) to take them away?

  11. chcrix says:


    “…had a sworn duty as an officer of the court and he blatantly violated those responsibilities pursuing his cases.”

    I don’t know enough about the case, and perhaps I should not have commented. My reaction was based on this quote from the link, attributed to the Chief Counsel to the Thomas More Society: “…Mr. Hazlett’s hand-picked investigators who combed Mr. Kline’s record over 18 months – S. Lucky DeFries and Mary Beth Mudrick — reported, ‘After reviewing the substantial documentation in this case, it is the opinion of these investigators that there is not probable cause that Phill Kline violated any of the rules of ethics.’ “

  12. mrose says:

    I have heard from a credible source that Cardinal George opined that his successor would be persecuted for the Faith, and his successor’s successor martyred.

    Holy Father, please send us more shepherds like Bp. Aquila.

  13. Brad says:

    Sometimes “professional conduct” is not ethical conduct.

  14. JohnRoss says:

    The gay movement has become the most effective stalking horse for militant atheism in history.

  15. Time to repost the Lions passage from Scripture again.

  16. Giambattista says:

    I’m convinced Bishop Aquila is right. My fear is that since our house (i.e. the Church) is so divided we are not going to be able to resist. Many of those who would be militant are “irregular” and many of those who are “regular” are not militant.

    Bishop Aquila says we need to “speak clearly to the truth no matter what the cost.” I couldn’t agree more. However, we just watched a priest in El Paso do what Bishop Aquila suggests and from all appearances he is paying a price for it – at the hands of the Church! I think we are in a lot of trouble…

  17. tealady24 says:

    The only problem is, there are not enough “Catholics” in this country who really give a damn. Most are very happy with their milque-toast masses, their little unimportant ministries, the whole aura of untruths which they have surrounded themselves with. Most have no problem voting for candidates who openly espouse abortion and gay marriage, because they have to be popular! They have to be one of the crowd, and they can’t do that by opposing their neighbor in the pew.Who thinks just like they do.

  18. Supertradmum says:

    I hope you all realize we do not have time to regroup as well as we could have forty, fifty, seventy years ago, when this state of persecution was prophesied. Those who can should form communities in order to stay strong and protected. Those who are isolated will be in the greatest danger. I have been trying to create and encourage communities for years, but the individualistic ideologies in America and England have been too hard to break down. We had time as Catholics to do this, and even now, I encourage those who can to find strength in numbers. I wish the traditional Mass goers were better at community building and charity, but, when the shepherds are attacked, the sheep will scatter, which is so sad.

  19. rodin says:

    Thanks to Supertradmum for the Life Site news reference. My antennae indicate there may be some connection between Bishop Finn’s situation and others such as Mr. Kline’s problems. I have not read all the comments, but I wonder if there really is a persecution gearing up in Kansas. This is one of those times when it would be comforting to be wrong.

  20. Michael J. says:

    My prediction for some time now has been that one of the little New England states will have a Supreme Court issue a ruling that all persons licensed by the state to marry will be forced to marry any persons who have valid marriage licenses. So if two homosexual persons present themselves to a Catholic priest and have all of the appropriate legal paperwork from the state, the priest, by state law, will be forced to marry them. Of course, being a Catholic priest he will not, and then he will have to face the consequences for refusing to follow an order from a state Supreme Court. What will the Church do in a situation like the one I fear? It’s not like they can just refuse to marry anyone, like they can just refuse to be in the adoption industry in some areas and some states. That will be a critical juncture where the force of the Church will come face to face with the force of the Government.

  21. bookworm says:

    “What will the Church do in a situation like the one I fear?”

    The same thing priests and Catholic couples do in countries where religious marriage ceremonies are not recognized by the state (e.g. Monaco). Priests and deacons would stop being licensed by the state to perform CIVIL weddings and sign marriage licenses. Catholic couples would then have two weddings, one civil and one religious, or they could choose to have only a religious wedding and forgo the civil rights and privileges of marriage (in the eyes of the state they would be no different from a cohabiting couple).

    If the Catholic wedding became a purely religious ceremony with no effect in civil law, then the state would have a much harder time dictating who had a “right” to participate in it, any more than the state now has a right to dictate who can be baptized, confirmed, bar mitzvah’d, etc. As bad as this sounds, I wonder if it might not be better in the long run to do this and completely separate civil from religious marriage before one drags the other to oblivion.

  22. bookworm says:

    Actually, this situation exists already in cases where a couple who is already civilly married outside the Church has their marriage “blessed” or convalidated. Since the couple is already married in the eyes of the state, the convalidation ceremony does not have to be reported to the state and no marriage license has to be signed.

  23. Ioannes Andreades says:

    I think that Bishop Aquila is probably on the money (as is Michael J). However, as long as there are bishops like Bishop Finn whose incompetence causes anger and revulsion, who is going to listen to Bishop Aquila?

  24. Supertradmum says:

    Even in countries, such as Great Britain, where one must get a civil marriage as well as the sacramental one, or church one, (I know, as I had to do that), there is a push for priests to marry same-sex couples. In GB a month ago, an MP introduced the demand that all Catholic priests should be forced to bless same-sex marriages, again. At least one bishop, Bishop Kieran Conroy of Arundel and Brighton, made several statements against such, which were put on many blogs. So, even that arrangement is under threat.

  25. PostCatholic says:

    Sometimes “professional conduct” is not ethical conduct.

    Brad, I think you have made a nice précis. If one’s higher duty is to be ethical as one understands it, one doesn’t fear the professional consequences. Civil disobedience is a sometimes an ethical duty. Though I must say in this case, I do have a hard time with lying under oath being an ethical form of civil disobedience.

  26. irishgirl says:

    Bravo to Bishop Aquila!
    RichR and tealady24-what you both said!

  27. anilwang says:

    bookworm, that is a good solution but it doesn’t fully address Michael J’s concerns.

    For example, currently there are protections on “the right not to be offended” and “discrimination” within churches, however, such protections are being removed as we speak. There will eventually come the day (especially if Obama get’s reelected) where parishioners can sue their priests or catechist or teacher for teaching “offensive material” or “hate material” (namely anything in the Catechism that rubs the secular world the wrong way), and sue for damages in the multi-millions. Such punitive class action lawsuits (if we’re offended, everyone else too, so we need to send a message Ms. Judge) can bankrupt any faithful diocese and scare lukewarm bishops into “playing it safe”. The “best” part about liberalizing these lawsuits, from the liberal perspective, is that the government can wash its hands and say “they are just supporting victim rights, and anyone who is not the KKK or Nazi will not have to worry” or “we have global human rights treaties that enshrine ‘gender identities’ and a fundamental human right so we can’t do anything to violate our international commitments”.

    Anti-discrimination hiring laws are also being challenged as we speak. If they succeed, Catholic schools may be forced to hire non-Catholics and virulent anti-Catholics and bishops might be forced to “hire” women priests or shut down. Again, the government can wash its hands since “those are private lawsuits” and “we need to be in compliance with global human rights policies”.

    We are in a crucial moment in history. I’m surprised how much has changed in the last 10 years. Fortunately, people are finally waking up after being drunk on the “Spirit of Vatican II”. IMO, the next 10 years will be key to determining if we will be on the road to a Church in bitter global persecution or on the road to a reinvigorated triumphant Church.

Comments are closed.