Reflection on the election.

The Roman historian Livy wrote about the terminal decline of the Roman Republic that “Nec vitia nostra nec remedia pati possumus… We can bear neither our vices nor the remedies.”

Alas, I fear that our vices have called forth precisely the leaders that reflect those vices. The vices feed the leaders, and they the vices.

We may no longer have the collective will to make the changes that must be made to change course.

The last couple days have prompted me to reflect on the Church’s primary job: to keep as many people out of hell as possible.

People will chose to sin, die in sin, no matter what we do to help them to a different course. We must strive to help save ourselves and as many others as possible.

St Augustine one day, in his basilica in Hippo, was preaching a tough message. He broke off his line of thought and explained that if he didn’t preach his tough message he could not be saved. If they listened or didn’t listen he was going to preach anyway and thus save his soul. “But” he concluded, “Nolo salvus esse sine vobis! … I don’t want to be saved without you!” (s. 17.2)

Now that we in the USA are, I think, on a course toward the iceberg, we need to consider soberly about how we will approach the time and resources we have left.

During this time when Benedict XVI has called us to revive the Faith where it has died or still just slumbers, get to work.

Will our shepherds be able to bear applying the remedies?

Augustine also said that the doctor doesn’t stop cutting just because the patient is screaming for him to stop.

Think frequent confession.

Think fallen away Catholics.

Think Four Last Things.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in The future and our choices, Wherein Fr. Z Rants and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. jacobi says:

    The continuing silence of our shepherds is worrying.

    Being, with a few notable exceptions, very sensitive people, perhaps they are afraid of being called “bigots”

    If so, I wonder how that excuse hold up at Judgement?

  2. StWinefride says:


    They are not shepherds – they behave like HIRELINGS who abandon the poor defenceless sheep.

    It’s a tragedy and it’s heartbreaking …

    Have a safe trip home, Father.

    Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

  3. Ellen says:

    Our bishops were remarkably united in opposing the HHS mandate. Not one held it up. I have confidence they will continue to oppose it and perhaps even mitigate some of its evil. I do wish they’d give Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi a public smackdown, but I can dream.

    I’ve decided that I will nave as little to do with mainstream culture as possible. The MSM is dead to me, and I will cut down my already minimal TV and movie watching to almost zero. You people wanted him, you covered up his incompetence, now live with him. I want nothing to do with you all.

  4. JonPatrick says:

    What I find disheartening is that after all of the sermons and pronouncements about the need to have a well formed conscience that follows church teaching and to follow that when in the voting booth, 50% of Catholics still voted for the most pro-abortion president in our history. It shows there is still a tremendous amount of work to do to educate Catholics about their faith.

    If there is one thing I take away from this election is that I have lost whatever residual faith I had that the political process will resolve any of the serious issues we have in this country, and the only way to save it is to change the culture from the bottom up.

  5. PhilipNeri says:


    As a Dominican, I am always in favor of more education; however, knowing the Truth doesn’t mean that one will do the Good. I doubt very seriously that those 50% of Catholics who voted for B.O. were inculpably ignorant of the Church’s teaching on abortion. My guess is that they’ve adopted the American ethical heresy of utilitarianism: B.O.’s “social justice” agenda will help people and that outweighs his pro-abortion stance. We can’t discount the cultural/historic attachment that some Catholics have to the Dems. What the bishops should be doing is aggressively denouncing theologians, clergy, religious, etc. who claim the Catholic label but cheerlead against the Church’s teaching. Many Catholics will use Nuns on a Bus, etc. as cover for their dissent.

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  6. Kerry says:

    My wife and I have decided to strengthen our commitment to prayer, and especially to bear witness to the truth, come flung manure or high water. We think the country is in for terrible times and terrible suffering, and we refuse to travel “Straight down to the ‘ot place” with anyone choosing to make that trip. The responses to my first two met with almost identical talking points, “Who am I to say what someone else can do…etc.” And when I said the “Moral order is upside down and needs to be returned to its locked, and upright position” a man replied, ‘Whose moral order? Individuals, corporations…’ Tyranny or moral relativism indeed.

  7. Kerry says:

    Aw nuts! “…responses to my first two attempts…”of moral relativism”.

  8. Philangelus says:

    When I was about twelve, I asked my mother why God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, and her response was, “It was no longer possible to raise moral children.” Is the US getting there?

  9. Scott W. says:

    Overall, I think the bishops did as well as can be reasonably expected. It reminds me of how the Church explicitly condemned chattel slavery during its height in the first colonial period, yet Spain and Portugal were fierce practitioners and today we have to listen to people carp about how naughty the Church was back then. I wonder if in 500 years people will be saying that the Church tacitly approved of abortion, homosexual acts, etc. in spite of all the official condemnation.

  10. wmeyer says:

    Some of our shepherds are doing heroic work. Some have been stunningly quiet about the evils in our society, and our need to turn away from them. Some of our shepherds have said not a word about the risk to our souls from voting for a pro-abort president, for example. So I think the answer to your question is, not all of the shepherds will be able to bear applying the remedies. The seem unable to bear it now, and the task will not become easier as the conditions fester.

    Pray for all our priests and bishops!

  11. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Pater, cogitata mea legisti absolute.

  12. PA mom says:

    What further proof do we need, that we all need to hear more at Church every year, at intervals during the year, about our sins, our vices, how we use them against each other, how they are being used to drive us to places of danger.
    How many people, do you think, even heard the Bishops calling out against him and questioned their own support? 2% change from last time? That could have been lost on same sex marriage alone. How many questioned their obedience to their Bishops and found themselves wanting, but willing to change?
    Why do I say to speak on our vices? When it seems that you see into our hearts in this manner, and objectively help us tame or at least fight these battles within us, you gain credibility. That is a major way that we can “get something out of it”. We need to see the ways we are being “owned” so we can have the chance to be pulled out.

  13. Andrew says:

    Quis enim placere populo potest cui placet virtus? Malis artibus popularis favor quaeritur. Similem te illis facias oportet: non probabunt nisi agnoverint. Multo autem ad rem magis pertinet qualis tibi videaris quam aliis; conciliari nisi turpi ratione amor turpium non potest. (Seneca ad Lucilium lib. 4 ep. 29)

  14. Ralph says:

    I am giving myself one more day to mourn.
    After then, I am going to focus on how to live a Christian life and raise up Christian children within this new reality .

    We must find good faith communities, support them and try and be leven to the world while still safeguarding our faith.

    I fear the beginning of persecution is near. Prepare.

  15. wmeyer says:

    I fear the beginning of persecution is near. Prepare.

    It began with the HHS mandate, and ramped up a bit when Obama declared that problem “solved”. It will get much worse, of course.

  16. eyeclinic says:

    Thank you Father, for some sobering thoughts to relieve me of my post-election funk. I pray,even somewhat grudgingly, for our president. I prayed hard before the election for a different outcome. But His ways are not our ways. Let us be of good cheer, for others if not for ourselves.

  17. RuariJM says:

    Personally, I could not have voted for either candidate. The criticism of Pres Obama for his support of abortion legislation is valid, as is the criticism of the efforts to contort HHS so that it funds abortions (which would have been more difficult if the health service was based on public funding, but I digress).

    Nor could I have voted for Gov Romney, who profited to the tune of several tens of millions of US$ from his investment in Stericycle, a medical waste disposal company that specialised in (among other things, tbf) the disposal of aborted foetuses. His running mate also told a few fundamental lies, of course. And VP Biden sowed confusion and distrust.

    I agree with Ellen that the task now is to seek to mitigate the evil within HHS, and with PhilipNeri that there is an obligation for”…denouncing theologians, clergy, religious, etc. who claim the Catholic label but cheerlead against the Church’s teaching.” There is also a big struggle upcoming against distortion of marriage.

    However, it is difficult for the Church to be taken seriously in its efforts to champion what is good and moral, and to get its arguments listened to properly and with thought, if it or leading members of it have been identified as spokespeople, supporters and champions of one particular party or another…

    I would view that as a tactical and strategic error. Not to mention offputting to people who would otherwise (and should have been) allies and supporters. It is easier to persuade people towards a course of action if sectarian politicking is left out of it; otherwise, the reaction is almost certain to be towards longstanding party loyalties – in other words, the hectoring becomes self-defeating.

    The task is long-term. The Labour Party used to be based on an alliance between organised labour, Catholic social teaching and Methodist ideas of mutual self-help. It took a long time to get into power – and, while well-meaning people sought to be inclusive and non-judgemental, it was largely lost – but not totally, any more than the Conservative Party is lost those with a social conscience. But it will take time to rebuild either of them, as it will take time in the USA. I exhort Catholics in the US to get involved with their local party organisations and do not abandon them when they do something daft; work to change them. That applies to either main party. What I also strongly advise is that the Church itself, or prominent people within it, should bend over backwards to avoid becoming identified with one side or the other; it risks alienating those among the faithful who do not entirely agree with enriching the rich (in the latter election) is a good idea. Rather,it should campaign and seek to win minds on issues with which we are all familiar, and to build up broad bases of support – as was done during the Civil Rights movement, which got support from Republicans, Democrats and Independents – all who believed that the USA is for all its citizens, not just those with a particular skin colour.

    I hope these suggestions will be taken in the spirit in which they are offered.

  18. anilwang says:

    “Nec vitia nostra nec remedia pati possumus… We can bear neither our vices nor the remedies.”

    Quite timely and supportive of this sentiment on the individual level:

    Expanding this, it seems that North American and European society would rather throw itself in hell rather than face the purgatory of actually fixing its problems. The question is, will the Church in North America and Europe do the same? We know the Church as a whole will make the heavenward choice eventually, but its not guaranteed in any particular country. Our shepherds need our prays, our encouragement, and our reminders that it society is what it is and it is the Church’s job to save society from itself by saving the souls of each of its members.

  19. StWinefride says:

    First, a big mea culpa for lumping all Shepherds together and accusing them of being hirelings – there are some very good Shepherds out there and all Bishops and Priests are in my prayers. I’m sorry.

    Fr Philip Neri, O.P.
    You say : « As a Dominican, I am always in favor of more education; however, knowing the Truth doesn’t mean that one will do the Good”.

    That’s why, along with orthodox catechesis, I think the Traditional Rites of the Sacraments must be brought back and more widely known.

    As one who was baptised in the 1960’s with the Traditional Rite of Baptism, I was astounded to discover, after I entered the world of Traditional Catholicism, that my own children had been baptised using the New Rite of Baptism. It had never occurred to me that there could have been a change in the Rite. On discovering and reflecting on the differences I was amazed – removal of the three Exorcisms, no renunciation of Satan on behalf of the child by the Godparents (even Pope John-Paul II thought this should be included in the Rite of Baptism – General Audience, 25th March 1992, no. 4), no Exsufflation etc. The Prayer of Exorcism contained in the New Rite is NOT an Exorcism.

    In his Summa – Part 3, Q 71, St Thomas Aquinas answers the objection on whether exorcism should precede Baptism with the following (I only post the first part):

    “I answer that, Whoever purposes to do a work wisely, first removes the obstacles to his work; hence it is written (Jeremiah 4:3):

    “Break up anew your fallow ground and sow not upon thorns.”

    Is that what is happening? That the Word of God, the three Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity infused in us at Baptism are falling on ground that has not been cleared of thorns – i.e. not fertile?

    I’m confused.

    I am aware that in the early centuries adult baptism was the norm and the Traditional Rite of Baptism reflected that, however St Peter (Acts 2:38-39) did encourage whole families to be baptised, which of course would include babies and children.

    In any case, Holy Mother Church saw fit to maintain the same Rite for 1800 YEARS right up until the late 1960’s.

    I now encourage everyone I meet, even if they don’t attend the Extraordinary Form, to have their babies baptised using the Traditional Rite of Baptism.

    St Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

  20. Lotsoflittlekids says:

    Aside from the few faithful Catholics that read this blog, whom do you know that actually knows or cares what the bishops say? The bishops aren’t out there with the general public every single day with numerous opportunities to preach the true faith when some stranger inevitably says; “Are you going to have any more children?” or “Two and out”, “Why can’t gays get married?”, or some other statement that is absolutely in your face wrong. Not a day goes by where I don’t have to defend the teachings of the church. Sometimes I say the right thing and many times I don’t. But after yesterday, I realized that we deserve this because of MY failures, too. But no more, I am resolving not to be silent in the face of evil. May God grant me the grace to do so. May I suggest to the rest of you, when YOU find the opportunity to preach the truth, stop griping about the bishops’ failures and focus on your own. St. Augustine of Hippo, pray for us!!!

  21. RuariJM says:

    I have just read this and heartily recommend it:

    “… the Republican loss remains enormously instructive, because it demonstrates the extreme weakness of the Party. The Republicans could not beat a Democratic incumbent presiding over a severely damaged economy.”

  22. wmeyer says:

    Aside from the few faithful Catholics that read this blog, whom do you know that actually knows or cares what the bishops say?

    I pray that most of our priests care. I know that I have my own failures which need penance and prayer. However, “griping” is an alternative to remaining silent and becoming complicit.

    If we do not let our bishops know that we care, how can we expect any improvement? I pray for my own spiritual growth. I pray for priests and bishops, as well. And I pray I will speak out when I should, and effectively, against wrongs which need correction. I shall not encourage silence.

  23. Sid Cundiff in NC says:

    1. I agree with Jon Patrick. It is a scandal that a majority of Catholics who voted voted for evil. Let me hasten to interject that this statistic may be a lie; as any trial lawyer can tell you, when a statement is self-serving — and the Press is Cultural Marxist, and the claim supports Cultural Marxism — it may well not be true. That said, it is a bill of indictment against the post V2 Church when most Catholics don’t follow Catholic moral teaching. And here too I hasten to interject that the “post V2 Church” may not be the same as V2 (but please no rabbit hole on this!).

    2. Ralph is quite right that persecution is on the way. It’s time to get behind the Manhattan Declaration and prepare for civil disobedience and our own Letters From a Birmingham Jail. It’s time to build more bridges with Evangelical Protestants, who joined the Manhattan Declaration. (of course with bigots such as R. C. Sproul there little hope of bridge-building).

    3. We need a Catholic Party. Americans aren’t very good about party-building, unlike Europeans. We need a Noir party, a party that Windhorst and Luigi Sturzo would recognize.

    4. And now I will make myself very unpopular with some of you. My friends in the League of the South tell me “we can’t take back America, but we can take back Dixie”. Worth a thought.

  24. LisaP. says:

    Boy are you not kidding, father.

    I need help, though.

    How do you say the hard things? I’m not afraid of consequences so much as I’m afraid of deserving them. I incline to pride, heftily. I have a growing a daily fear for some I know, and I want to say something. But they “know how I feel”, and any words I say will only come off as “I’m better than you.”

    Those I know who are fallen away Catholics, even lightly bringing the subject up causes the most horrendous kickback — not against me, but against the Church because of me.

    And I wonder this about our society in general, and it’s inclination to compartmentalize morality. I’ll bring up a third rail. My husband, after the election, said it’s no wonder. We are living in a time when several generations have been brought up entirely by institutions — day care and public schooling, followed immediately by college. I’d add in that they then usually go work for an institution that “provides benefits” — i.e. makes most of their financial planning and health care financing decisions for them. They are accustomed to having institutions run the playground and take care of their needs, that’s the way it’s done now, so if you have a candidate that runs on self-sufficiency and one that runs on keeping the institutions strong — for a young person to vote for Romney would be like a fish voting for us all to live on dry land.

    So, where I go with that is, I’ve spent my entire adult life in mixed groups of women. I feel strongly that children should have one parent at home unless survival necessitates otherwise. But I would never, never say so in a mixed group. I keep to the mantra that every family has to make its own choices. It’s a basic rule of the Mommy Wars, don’t rock that boat, not only will it get you ostracized it can be very hurtful. And it’s not like it’s something the Church has made a point of addressing, right? I can’t say, “The bishops say young children should not be in day care unless there is no other choice,” particularly since so many, maybe most, parochial schools have a day care system in place (“pre-school” down to sometimes infants, with before and after school programs for school aged kids). I’ve heard general priestly suggestions that families prioritize each other over material things, but never to the extent of asking parents to consider whether both parents need to be working when the children are small. So I can’t even say this is anything but my personal perspective, even though I think it’s a perspective quite logically created by an informed Catholic conscience.

    It seems to me a no brainer that such extreme separation of children from parents as we see in divorce and separated households, large scale day care, public schools with minimal parental involvement — this is as large or larger an assault on the family as gay marriage. But no one says anything, not the Church, not the people who see the sociological results of kids raised like we no longer allow orphans to be raised. Now the chickens are coming home to roost, the cat’s in the cradle. Should we have said something? Should we now?

    This is just one of many issues like it, from allowing ourselves to become a nation that eats chickens that are raised with their beaks cut off to buying things made with slave labor in Communist China to using vaccines made from fetal cell lines to morality in how you do your job or which job you do. It all falls under Biden’s Rule — “I wouldn’t choose it for myself, but I have no right to tell you not to choose it.” I had a Catholic acquaintance just the other day stand next to me and talk about the two miracle babies her friend had — miracles because they were born after $20,000 each was spent for medical treatment of some kind. I didn’t say what was on my tongue — and how could I? I don’t know what that medical treatment was, maybe it wasn’t IVF. I had a neighbor once complain that the family she was evicting because she needed the house back wasn’t moving fast enough, because the eviction happened to correspond to the birth of the tenant’s child — the neighbor says, “It’s not like I told her to get pregnant, right?” — and I gently suggested she revisit the decision — shouldn’t I have expressed outrage? Every time someone asks me to contribute to Komen I have to decide what deal I’ll make — just say no thank you? Say why? How about when I’m talking to a person whose mom died of breast cancer who won’t hear me when I explain and will only feel pain, will hear, “I can’t fund abortions” as “I don’t care that your mother died?” And is it not prideful of me to assume she doesn’t know about the PP connection, and wants to be filled in? Sure, it’s clear I need to say to a woman getting an abortion that I believe it is wrong. But is it clear that I need to say to a woman collecting quarters that Komen funds PP which funds abortions?

    Maybe this is off topic, and it’s certainly scattershot, but if the point is that we are responsible for saying the truth out loud to try to save the souls of those around us — how? When? To whom?

  25. wmeyer says:

    3. We need a Catholic Party. Americans aren’t very good about party-building, unlike Europeans. We need a Noir party, a party that Windhorst and Luigi Sturzo would recognize.

    I am not sure that’s a great idea. First, our separated brethren seem to me to be pretty twitchy about most things Catholic. Second, and possibly more important, an alternate party has very little chance of success unless it can entirely displace an existing party. European parliamentary systems (as well as Canadian, with which I have had experience) make multiple parties practical. Here, the two party system inheres in the workings of the Electoral College, and so a third party which achieves even an impressive 15-20% is invisible to the outcome, except to the degree that, as history shows, it most often takes away from the challenger.

    4. And now I will make myself very unpopular with some of you. My friends in the League of the South tell me “we can’t take back America, but we can take back Dixie”. Worth a thought.

    Being resident in the South, I think it is worthy of consideration. Although cities tend to be blue all over the country, the South is still home to many conservatives, and even more for whom the Bill of Rights remains an essential element of our system.

  26. PhilipNeri says:

    The bishops’ positive influence on Catholics voters is inversely proportional to the complexity of their published guidance: the more complex their guidance, the less influence they have. I’ve been a teacher of modernist literature, post-modernist theology, and philosophy for years, and I struggle to understand what it is I’m being called upon to do by the bishops in their documents. If a Dominican friar with four graduate degrees (including a PhD) can’t make head nor tails out of a USCCB voting guide, what’s a normal Catholic voter supposed to do?

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  27. acardnal says:

    ” . . . I struggle to understand what it is I’m being called upon to do by the bishops in their documents.

    That is an interesting observation, Fr. Neri. I think it is reflective of many documents written post-Vatican Two whether from the Holy See or bishops; it also indicates the kind of formation these bishops received in seminary. The documents are often replete with a lack of clarity and ambiguity and are open to interpretation. Perhaps this is one reason why bishops will not impose excommunication on politicians today. God forbid a bishop exercise his authority based on manifest, observed, public behavior by politicians whose actions affect many citizens.

    On the other hand, Pope St. Pius X wrote some very clear documents. And The Catechism of the Council of Trent is very clear and lacks ambiguity, too.

  28. benedetta says:

    I agree Fr. Z., frequent confession provides the strength and power to resist what is being forced on us.

  29. Jeff says:

    I commented on my blog a hunch that I have. I have a strong feeling that we will begin to see more excommunications in the days to come now that Catholics will begin to be bullied by the government. What else do you have to lose when you have lost the main reason for abstaining from this practice? (Tax-exempt status).

  30. Ted says:

    As an observer from Canada but who has an American wife and spends a great deal of time in USA, may I be permitted to make a comment? In the last Canadian federal election, something unusual happened in the province of Quebec that may have some guidance for the USA. Generally, very many Quebecers were so fed up with the two main Canadian parties that they decided to vote on mass for a party that had never made any showing in the past in that province, in fact had been always considered an “outsider” to Quebec’s world-view. They ended up voting in protest for the most socialistic party in Canada.
    Perhaps USA needs a third main party. I could not imagine having voted for either the Dems or the GOP in this past election. Neither of these represent definitively the Catholic social and moral perspective. They do so only in part, and so it becomes a matter of voting for the lesser of two evils. Like in Canada, there is no one party that represents the vast majority. By having only two parties in USA each with such dramatic ideological differences, it polarises even further the population. A moderate third party that would take the best from both would certainly be welcome.

  31. Hidden One says:

    Fr. Philip Neri,

    Among other things, it would seem to me like a normal Catholic voter is supposed to work to get the bishops to put forward solid documents on plain language. Such an effort would most likely have to be coordinated between quite a number of lay people – and clerics/religious, including, perhaps, Dominicans – and might have to settle at least for the near future for documents coming from individual bishops, state conferences, or simply a collection of bishops scattered across the USA. There are American bishops who are quite capable of putting out such documents or collaborating with other bishops in doing such – in fact, some of those bishops may even read this blog comment – and, as a Canadian, I hope and pray that they do so.

  32. CatholicMD says:

    From the exit polls I’ve seen over 60% of non-Hispanic Catholics voted for Romney meaning the Latino vote is what gave Obama his Catholic majority. The Latino vote is something I can’t pretend to understand. I have always thought the Latino community was a very religious, family centered, hard working, socially conservative group. Maybe I was wrong or maybe the immigration issue surpasses all others. I don’t know.

  33. GregH says:

    I have great fears that a majority of Americans will end up in Hell. It doesn’t take much to come to this conclusion. I can look around my workplace where I have been the past twelve years and would struggle to find 1 in 10 people who even go to Church on a regular basis. Probably closer to 1 in 20…and the Catholic ones at work I know who go to Church don’t take the teachings seriously. Most of these people are in their late 20’s to early 40’s. What a lost generation.

  34. anilwang says:

    Actually, I think a Catholic Party could make sense, but it has to start in the solidly Democratic states. Why? Because there is nothing to lose and because Catholicism, unlike Protestantism, is neither right nor left so it has a chance to appeal to Democratic voters that don’t want to buy into the culture of death. In solidly Republican states a Catholic Party might steal votes from the Republicans and ultimately being the Democrats into power.

    Speaking as a Canadian, the riding I’m in solidly supports the NDP (i.e. radical left, whose party constitution explicitly embraces the culture of death) and the only hope of displacing them is the Liberals (who lately have a heavy case of NDP envy and might end up merging with them). Conservatives generally get less than %5 of the vote. This support is on all three levels of government (municipal, provincial, federal). In the last decade, there is no real difference between the Liberals and NDP, so I can’t vote for the lesser of two evils. So my vote is a throw-away vote. If there were a serious push for a party in my riding that embraced the poor and families without violating the Catholic faith, they would have a serious chance of stealing votes from the Liberals and NDP (there are a lot of Portuguese in my area) since that’s their bread and butter. As it stands now, not even the Family Coalition Party of Ontario campaigns in my area since they think it is a lost cause. They prefer to campaign in the “safe” ridings where they always lose since whenever the FCP is a threat, the Conservatives make themselves “good enough” and thus collapse the FCP campaign.

    I don’t see how the same logic wouldn’t work in the US.

  35. wmeyer says:

    If a Dominican friar with four graduate degrees (including a PhD) can’t make head nor tails out of a USCCB voting guide, what’s a normal Catholic voter supposed to do?

    Indeed! And in the face of what ordinary Catholics could understand from reading the CCC, why can the guidance not be much simpler? Where, for example, in CCC #2271-73 is there to be found wiggle room in favor of voting for Obama?

  36. GregH says:

    Father Phil,

    I think those 50% Catholic who voted for Obama don’t go to Mass and don’t care about abortion.

  37. acardnal says:

    I think some commentator above said or implied that the American bishops need to do some serious reflection because their statements and actions did not change the outcome of the election. I agree.

    It’s time for them to impose some public discipline and corrective measures such as excommunication and censure on receiving Holy Communion on those politicians who vote to fund and facilitate abortion. Maybe this will change their behavior just like a parent disciplining their child. Perhaps some of these pro-abort politicians will get the message that they are endangering their salvation.

    The time for talk and writing nice sounding USCCB statements is over. We need action from our bishops!

  38. wmeyer says:

    anilwang, the situation here is different because multiple parties can’t really work under the Electoral College system. We would not wind up with a coalition government. Instead, history shows that most often, a third party helps to re-elect the incumbent.

    I was living in Ontario in the early 1990s, and witnessed the Bob Rae election, and the de-certification of the PCs. Breathtaking, and I doubt anyone was more shocked than Bob Rae. But that is precisely what it would take here for a third party to make a difference: total defeat of one of the other two such that the new party gets the EC mandate.

  39. benedetta says:

    I never expected a GOP win, nor particularly did I expect the majority of people who state that they are Catholic to betray the previously established support for the most pro abortion and pro infanticide President ever. Look, most Catholics do not attend regular Mass so how could they formulate a solid opinion about the evils of the day that this administration presents? Further, the Church has ignored the issue of contraception for decades, so the HHS mandate doesn’t concern the non church going, real presence ignorant or denying.

    No, anyone who has any experience with late elementary/early junior highers, Catholic private school included, knows that what children are talking about well reflects the state of things. Babes now openly discuss notions of sexuality that were only glanced at by college students just twenty years ago. When my junior higher came back from secular camp to state that his cabin mates were talking about “child porn”, I knew that America had fallen off a cliff and that there was no overcoming it through USCCB pronouncements. I celebrate living in an authentically Catholic ghetto. I work out my salvation in fear and trembling.

  40. majuscule says:

    Thank you LisaP–

    Maybe scattershot, but my thinking exactly.

    What does one say to a sister-in-law who is a daily communicant who also takes communion to the homebound and who voted for Obama because “he knows what it’s like to be poor”?

    I am thinking of turning my home into a hermitage. Maybe prayer will help.

  41. americangirl says:

    Keep your eyes focused on Jesus. Trust him implicitly! Get comfort from his word, go to Mass, go to Adoration,say the Rosary, go to Confession. We have the formula,now will we heed the challenge? I have come to the sad realization that depending on many of our Bishops to shepherd may be in vain. Many of our Priests lack courage to preach the truth. We need to learn our Faith and learn it well, we should depend on no one to spoon feed us. Yes, now more then ever we must become like little Children totally and completely trusting in the Lord. He will not fail us! Pray for the grace of perseverance. We need to stop complaining and get to work, pray, pray and pray some more. The pity party must come to an end, look at the Saints they never gave up they just continued to trust the Lord. No matter what lies ahead he will see us through. Let not the evil one consume our minds with fear and trepidation. Pray for our Prelates and Priests who are in desperate need of our prayers.

  42. Marie Teresa says:

    my first thought when the results came in … pray and fast for Obama’s conversion.

    upon reflection … we pray and fast.

  43. Johnno says:

    A CATHOLIC PARTY is needed!

    I get that some of you see that it would be hard to work. But that’s besides the point!

    The point of course is to show the two party system that you aren’t playing their game anymore, even when in their estimation it makes no sense. You are sending a message! A strong one by refusing to cooperate with evil!

    You keep your conscience with your votes fully clear. Face it, things are already bad! Your continuing to vote for Republicans, will make no difference. Better you stand solidly on your faith and show the world you will not cooperate with evil, nor stain your hands with sin!

    There is also the lesson that must well be learnt! It goes : ‘The liberal values of today, are the conservative values of tomorrow.” Already I hear people discussing that if the Republicans would accept homosexual marriage and tone down the abortion, they have a better chance of winning next time. This is just lunacy! What’s the point then? Inevitably both parties will be exactly alike! Don’t feed that scourge, support a Catholic Party, a Party that does not shift, but is like a Rock!

    Finally, turn to God! You are limiting yourself to human reason without taking Him into account! Begin a Catholic Party, show God you will only depend on Him and not in princes! I don’t know how it will work out! But I trust that you’ll be far better off doing this than to continue the insanity of supporting the two part system! Don’t choose evil! Don’t choose the better of two losing options! Choose God! Weather the initial storm! And you CAN succeed and be better off!!!

    And if some silly liberal Bishops tell you you shouldn’t do that or that you can’t name your party ‘Catholic’! Name your party ‘Church Militant’ Then tell them to mind their own business or face the IRS! : )

  44. Cafea Fruor says:

    I have many, many thoughts, but I’ll limit myself to one for the moment: Why not just throw tax exemption to the wind, start saying whatever we want to as a Church, shouting the truth from the mountaintops, and not caring what the government thinks? The government has surely shown us it doesn’t care one iota about the Church. Sure, paying taxes would mean much fewer funds with which to provide charitable services, but maybe, just maybe, the Lord would provide by making up for what we lack in funding with sufficient grace to do what we can with less money.

  45. lydia says:

    I’m angry and should probably keep my mouth shut but here goes. The election was won Tuesday by a majority consisting of morons moochers, class warfarers, and left wing wackos. Too bad so many Catholics that voted Tuesday fit in these catagories. Had the HHS mandate not come down we would never have heard from our bishops at all. I wonder if the bishops who have encouraged illegal immigration and their version of social justice for years are happy with the results of this election?

  46. liberanos says:

    “The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    are full of passionate intensity.”

    This is the case in my neck of the woods. Good, decent, believing people are waffling and uncertain, and they wither and fail in the face of the ‘passionate intensity’ and certitude of the the other side. Yeats nailed it.

  47. Christopher says:

    Dear Cafea Fruor:

    It doesn’t need to, just as long as they actually tell their people that voting on those policies is complying with an Evil that will Damn one’s Soul.

    There needs to be a fear of Hell.

    God Bless.

  48. Many evils befall us because we no longer pray for the grace to resist them, or to be delivered from them. The motivation to pray for what we need was a big part of the reason for the preaching and emphasis on sin and hell and evil that was so decried after Vatican II.

  49. Sissy says:

    acardnal said: “t’s time for them to impose some public discipline and corrective measures such as excommunication and censure on receiving Holy Communion on those politicians who vote to fund and facilitate abortion. Maybe this will change their behavior just like a parent disciplining their child. Perhaps some of these pro-abort politicians will get the message that they are endangering their salvation.”

    I think this is an admirable and reasonable sentiment, but I don’t believe it will work. I don’t believe these public figures really believe in Catholicism at all – it is just a cynical way to keep a certain block on their side. I can’t believe that any faithful Catholic thinks abortion is ok. A problem conservatives have always had in dealing with progressives is that conservatives generally try to be ethical and try to promote policies they genuinely believe to be positive and life-enhancing. Progressives lie, cheat, steal, and don’t care a whit whether their policies are good for their constituencies or not. They only care about being in power. We’re at a disadvantage. I think conservatives are best off withdrawing from the field for a while to allow people who voted for Obama to suffer the consequences of their own folly.

  50. acardnal says:

    Sissy said: “I think conservatives are best off withdrawing from the field for a while to allow people who voted for Obama to suffer the consequences of their own folly.”

    You may be right. Chastisement due to the consequence of our own sin may be necessary. I remember how the churches were packed on the evening of and the day after September 11, 2001. People realized they were not God.

  51. Sissy says:

    At RCIA last night (I’m a sponsor), our pastor said two things about the election. First, he said:
    “I’m in baffled amazement that millions of Catholics could vote for something that is so clearly contrary to their faith.” Then he added “Justice is when God allows you to have your own way, and permits you to suffer the consequences”. I think we’re all going to suffer the consequences of God’s justice, in this case. Judging by the lack of reasoning power I encounter among progressives, I’m not terribly hopeful they can actually learn from their mistakes. But the Lord knows best, and I trust Him to bring us through.

  52. The Masked Chicken says:

    “This is just one of many issues like it, from allowing ourselves to become a nation that eats chickens that are raised with their beaks cut off …”


    The Chicken

  53. Amerikaner says:

    The bishops are the key.

    They must not fear the world and boldly proclaim Christ, no matter the cost.

  54. Pingback: The Thinking Housewife › Going Solzhenitsyn

  55. Amerikaner says:

    And to add to my comment…

    Will DC or Wilmington finally make a public statement that Bidon should not present himself for Holy Communion?

  56. JohnE says:

    Raising moral children (and grandchildren, great-grandchildren) is my concern as well. I am ready to suffer persecution for my own sanctity. Part of that suffering is for those coming after me where immorality is more and more becoming the norm, and those who oppose the norm are persecuted. How many will be willing to suffer persecution? When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?

  57. NBW says:

    @Amerikaner, yes that needs to happen.

    “The road to hell is paved with the skulls of erring priests, with bishops as their signposts.”
    St. John Chrysostom

  58. robtbrown says:

    Fr Philip Neri op,

    I followed the link to your blog, read your 12 reasons, and found them interesting. If I might make a few points:

    1. Don’t underestimate the catechetical damage done by JPII’s teaching on Capital Punishment. The Church has consistently taught that someone can be for or against CP. His addition, which IMHO was done as an attempt to snuggle up to the European Union, obfuscated the teaching and confused Catholics about the authority of the Magisterium.

    As a matter of fact, even Abp Chaput speaks about doctrinal development. I am at pains to know what doctrine has developed.

    2. Such obfuscation is typical of much of what has come out of Rome since the Council opened (Veritatis Splendor and Summorum Pontificum are notable exceptions). The principle is stated, but then it is immediately undermined by what follows. Some years ago, I was standing at the baggage claim in NY with one your confreres. Both of us were returning from Rome (he worked in the Curia), and the conversation turned to Vat II and liturgy. I told him that I was quite sure that my liturgical opinions were found in Sacrosanctum Concilium because everyone’s opinions could be found there.

    And of there has been reversal on non doctrinal matters, e.g., the switcheroo on altar girls (which Rome hoped to conceal by a private letter to Bishops’ Conferences timed with the release of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis).

    3. And let’s face the fact that after the publicity of the sexual scandals (incl the inexcusable history of the episcopal handling of them), the laity is not really paying close attention.

    BTW, I see you have a doctorate in Literature from Ole Miss. Did you ever readWill Percy’s Lanterns on the Levee?

  59. benedetta says:

    JohnE is quite correct. The dictatorship of relativism is not a “live and let live” and the moment one differs from the supreme immorality one suffers for it. It is happening with young people in the schools all the time. The child who does not, out of his own God given temperament, go along will be bullied and persecuted into either submission or brokenness. This is as young as elementary school. Young people are saturated with and have wholly ingested all the trash this culture has to offer and have no compass or bearings to think for themselves with dignity. The schools are certainly not providing it, and parents who are not practicing any particular faith fail them as well. Interestingly, President Obama states over and over again that in his household there is no access to facebook, and very little if any tv time. The liberal elites know full well what is going on but are beholden to the money that a morally corrupt culture has to offer. They draw the line at offering their own children up for sacrifice…so long as it happens to someone else’s children, to them, so be it. And where are our parishes in all of this.

  60. gracie says:


    “Raising moral children (and grandchildren, great-grandchildren) is my concern as well.”

    My granddaughter is in 6th grade CCD this year. In our parish that’s the cut-off from the kids CCD to the “youth” CCD which has teenagers and young adults teaching the program. I had been hoping that they would teach the Catholic sexual morality to these pre-teen/teens but my granddaughter said there was no mention of it. Otoh, she had sex-ed last year in 5th grade and this year sex-ed in 6th grade at her public school. The information they’re receiving is all very mechanical – the who, what, where, and when of sex with the “why” left out. The boys and girls are together in these classes and my granddaughter said she and other girls are embarrassed to be instructed on sex with boys in the room and the boys are embarrassed also to be hearing this stuff with the girls present. When she mentioned this to the teacher the response was, “You’ll be doing it in a few years anyway so it doesn’t matter”.

    After learning of this and also the fact that the CCD classes are not dealing with the Catholic view on all of this, I went to the Rectory and asked to see our pastor. Out he comes – I ask him if the CCD program for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders will include teaching the kids about Catholic sexual morality – and he does a 180 – I’m telling you he literally spun on his heel away from me as he said, “Never, I’ll never do that”. I’m not kidding when I say he reacted to me as if I was the devil standing in front of him. Away he walks back into his inner sanctum and I’m left with the two women who work there. I was so stunned I just started repeating to them what I had said to him. The one walks into her office and closes the door and the other one puts her head down and starts shuffling papers. I stop talking and thank her for listening (which she obviously was wishing she didn’t have to do) and she said, “I can see you had to vent” and went on shuffling her papers.

    That is the response of my parish to the request that they teach Catholic sexual morality to our children and grandchildren.

  61. Captain Peabody says:

    The biggest story of this election cycle had nothing to do with the economy; it was the story of the HHS mandate, which told us that, essentially, the mainstream of American culture and political life does not and is never going to tolerate Catholic beliefs and Catholic morals in public life ever again. This was as much shown through Mitt Romney’s refusal to even speak of the HHS mandate and his constant slights to pro-lifers as it was through Obama’s open persecution; and, indeed, it was the utter silence on the matter expressed everywhere, from the hierarchy of both parties to journalists to average citizens, that was most telling.

    In this, the outcome of the election is something of a red herring. This is a reality and would continue to be a reality whoever had won the election. Indeed, in a very important sense, Obama’s victory is a good thing in that it makes this situation crystal clear; a Romney presidency, in contrast, would likely have been an illusionary reprieve, an illusionary sign that “all was well” when all was far from well. It would have convinced many that Catholics could still adapt themselves to American politics and American society, could still be accepted with open arms if only they got rid of a few pesky things that the current conservative establishment doesn’t like, adapted themselves a little bit to the times. That was the mistake of the ’60s and ’70s; the desire of the Church to be accepted by the broader culture, the desire to be like it, to be loved by it. But now, it is crystal clear that the broader society no longer wants us; and, frankly, it’s about time this became clear.

    The fact is, the core of American culture and society is as rotten as the pit of Hell. American success and power has been nothing but a mirage since the sexual revolutionaries won their battle. No society can survive or ever could survive with such values, such a system of life as the post-modern West has adopted– a philosophy of individualist sexual gratification, consumption without limits, and short-term greed and gluttony as the ultimate good. The cultural apocalypse happened a long time ago, and we’ve been living in it all our lives.

    Christians divorce, contracept, and abort just as much as everyone else; hyper-religious Southerners abort and divorce even more than secular Northerners; child abuse and corruption is rampant; single motherhood is the new family model for much of the country; addiction to drugs and pornography ravages our youth and destroys lives by the millions, and suicide rates have risen beyond what would even have been imaginable to our ancestors.

    Our society is not going to be, and cannot be, fixed by any government or any president, even though he were to bear the reincarnated spirits of Ronald Reagan, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln themselves. God willing that should be clearer now.

    All the founders declared that American Republicanism was only workable given a virtuous, religious society trained in self-control; given we have not had anything resembling this for fifty years, I think it’s a little late to think about salvaging things.

    So, fear not. There is no downfall of America coming; the downfall of America happened long ago. We’re just seeing some a few troublesome aftershocks. There is no dark future that need be staved off, only a dark present that needs to be healed.

    Thanks be to God, this election may be exactly the wakeup call we need. The only thing that can save our society is a miracle; and the only way we’ll get a miracle is through prayer, righteousness, purity, virtue, faith, and, most importantly, mercy. Nothing is impossible for God. This may be only the dark moment before the dawn. Renewal is coming, sooner or later, and by our prayers it can be sooner rather than later.

    Even if, though, our society cannot be salvaged, society is never immortal; societies fade away and die, but the souls of men live forever. It may be we can save more souls in our present state than we ever could in a prosperous and just America; but in any event, there are certainly souls that need saving. The world needs the mercy of Christ, the light of Christ. The more sins increase, the more Mercy increases; no soul should ever be despaired of. In the greatest darkness, the light of Christ shines more brightly than before.

    For ultimately, the world exists for the purification and glorification of the Church, the Bride of Christ; and one way or another, she will be purified, and glorified, all the more in dark times than in light. If persecution comes, she will be purified and glorified; if the economy collapses, she will be purified and glorified; and if prosperity comes, she will be purified and glorified. There is nothing to fear except sin. There is nothing that cannot be accomplished or endured through faith.

  62. Michelle F says:

    Here’s one thought I’ve had –

    The U.S. bishops as a group seem to be more interested in protecting their money/donations than anything else. Some things I take as evidence for this include their being upset over the Affordable Healthcare Act (involves money) but not the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) (eliminated religious freedom, but no money involved), and their acceptance of the restrictions that come with 501(c)3 tax exemption status.

    Would it help to motivate them to uphold and teach the Church’s teachings if we, the faithful who care, stopped giving money to our dioceses and parishes, and sent a letter of explanation to our bishop?

    We are required to support the work of the Church, and most of us do so with money, so a letter to one’s bishop could remind him of this requirement. One could then inform him of the fact that since he is NOT doing the work of the Church (upholding the teachings, passing them along, excommunicating known heretics, etc.), one’s money will go to who IS doing the work of the Church.

    As long as the faithful maintain the status quo, the bishops will not change. Letter-writing has proven ineffective. The only thing left that I can think of which really would get their attention is the money: cut them off.

  63. anilwang says:

    @NBW note also the following quotes:

    Pope St. Pius V
    “All the evils of the world are due to lukewarm Catholics.”

    Pope St. Pius X
    “All the strength of Satan’s reign is due to the easy going weakness of Catholics.”

    It cuts both ways. Ultimately God only needs a little leaven or small mustard seed to grow his kingdom. But it is not in our strength that we can rely on. As God told Gideon in Judges 7:2 when a vast army threatened to crush Isreal , “And the Lord said to Gideon: The people that are with thee are many, and Madian shall not be delivered into their hands: lest Israel should glory against me, and say: I was delivered by my own strength. ”

    All we need is a few saints and a whole lot of prayer. We will not regain our culture by our own hands. Its too far gone. Our shepherds definitely need to do their job to raise up saints since they will be judged more severely than the rest of us for negligence for not becoming saints ourselves.

    But ultimately success is in God’s hands.

  64. Anabela says:

    I agree with Ralph with regard to forming our own faith communities and building up on that. We need to come together more in our faithful Catholic communities and help one another to grow stronger in our faith, through education and prayer and works of mercy. I know that the Holy Father said that the Church will get smaller worldwide and that is happening. It will probably also be a poorer Church but a more vibrant and faith filled one similar to the first Christian communities. Have hope. The Lord always raises up great Saints in our Church in a time of great tribulation. It is time to grow closer to Christ in prayer and build our relationship deeper with Him for the times ahead. This life on earth is a pilgrimage and we have the hope of eternal life with the Lord. I pray for the grace of final perseverance. We pray for our Bishops and all Priests, leaving them to Christ’s judgement alone. God bless you Fr. Z.

  65. Papabile says:

    @ Michelle F

    +Chaput made an interesting point in a recent speech to the Witherspoon Institute (see: ) . He stated:

    Gregory also shows that while the Reformers lit the fuse, medieval Catholics laid the dynamite. Late medieval laity were, quite often, profoundly pious. And because they were pious, they minded when their leaders weren’t. Pious laypeople had an appetite for reform precisely because of their devotion. Late medieval clergy too often preached one thing and did another. Greed, simony, nepotism, luxury, sexual license, and schism in the hierarchy created an intolerable gap between Christian preaching and practice.

    Now, I am not suggesting the times are exactly the same, but we are now at a point where the liberty we enjoyed in our freedom of religion is being eliminated by the government. The Bishops – since Kennedy’s speech to the Baptists in 1960 – have refused to discipline Catholics when needed.

    In many ways, the Bishops refused to be Fathers. It’s really a contraceptive mindset. They didn’t want the responsibility of fatherhood.

    In any case, I worked for the NCCB years ago. I always thought the gradual change in Bishops would eventually change the way the Church operates. And it actually would.
    But it will probably be too late at that point.

    Not every Bishop we have is terrible. Many are good, and many simply need assistance with stiffening their spines. But there are bad ones too.

    Quite simply, some Bishops need to feel shame, and some need fraternal correction. And, I will no longer be silent about it.

    I know people will say — “Where were you — walking around with blinders — when we were saying this 20, 30, 40 years ago? ” And maybe they are right. (BTW I’m 42 w/ 6 kids). But all I can do is what I can do now, today.

    I’ve spend the last 22 years pretty much working in politics in DC. But one things is clear to me now. The lay people need to hold them accountable. Since I receive orthodox teaching at my parish, I contribute only to the building fund (we are paying off a large mortgage as it is new) so the diocese cannot receive the diocesan tax on it.

    But I will no longer be silent about the Bishops, or simply say they must be supported and that they made a great stride in finally getting off the bench this election. All it served to do was to demonstrate how hollow their teaching has been, how orphaned we are.

    I will support the good ones, and criticize the bad ones. I’ve had it.

  66. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Cap’n Peabody, Permission to come aboard (I will leave my banjo ashore)? You are so right about the horse being out of the barn long ago. All that is left is the blaming and fighting over the hay.

    robtbrown, an O.P. priest said to me about 5 years ago, “When did capital punishment suddenly become wrong?”

  67. wmeyer says:

    But I will no longer be silent about the Bishops, or simply say they must be supported and that they made a great stride in finally getting off the bench this election. All it served to do was to demonstrate how hollow their teaching has been, how orphaned we are.

    As my favorite local priest pointed out to me, a majority of the bishops supported Arianism, back in the day. The laity played a part in killing that heresy.

    Remaining silent simply makes us part of the problem, where it exists. As you say, we do have many good bishops. And some less good, and perhaps even some bad.

  68. mysticalrose says:

    @Philangelus: That is my greatest fear.

    @LisaP: I really appreciate your reflections. I have been mulling over similar things. I think the Year of Faith is not simply about our Shepherd’s cultivating louder voices, but about the laity preaching with their life the truths of the faith. It’s pretty easy to blame the hierarchy, but pretty difficult to actually speak up in the circumstance of our everyday life.

    Lastly, 50% of Catholics voted for Obama, but only 23-27% of Catholics go to Holy Mass! I am sure that among church-going Catholics only a small minority voted for Obama. Thus, I am not scandalized by the statistics.

  69. PA mom says:

    Having had time to read some of the election data, including the 50% Catholic support for Obama, but not only, I have found most interest the fact that 42% of people were thinking of Sandy and O’s performance during it, coinciding with 9% of voters making up their minds in the last week.
    I think we need to consider that a storm so large with such severe consequences right before election day (read somewhere that it had never happened before) is an Act of God.
    To me that says something like, we nearly squeezed through with some of our side and our efforts, but it is not enough. We must look harder at our failures individually as Catholics, as Catholic communities, and as Catholic leadership. The other half must be addressed The difference were so stark, the messages so clear; what if Evangelicals had surged sufficiently to elect the good man while Catholics sat with fully half of us behind the bad one? What does that say about our Church?

  70. Michelle F says:

    @ Papabile,

    Thank you for the link. I read the article, and I’ve added Gregory’s book to my list of books to read.

    Also, I meant to include in my post above that we should tell our bishop specifically to whom we intend to send our money – the name of the bishop, monastery, convent, or apostolate – so he can see an example of the type of work and leadership we want from the Church’s hierarchy.

    Withholding money won’t do any good unless the bishops can see a real-life example of what we will support.

  71. wmeyer says:

    @mysticalrose, I am afraid that in some parishes, the percentage is higher than 50. We will not serve our faith well to be blind to any real aspect of the problems.

  72. wmeyer says:

    In my diocese, it’s not possible to withhold money, as the parishes are dunned by the diocese for the difference between what they assess and what the parishioners contribute directly. So the parish may suffer, but not the diocese.

  73. priest up north says:

    Anybody else read this article? It is good food for thought…

  74. mysticalrose says:

    @wmeyer: do you mean that you think more than 50% of church-going Catholics were O supporters?! If this is true, then I take back what I said. That WOULD be scandalous.

  75. bernadettem says:

    I have spoken to several people, both Catholic and Protestant about their choice when they vote and found that most, including Hispanics who belong to Calvary Chapel have no idea what Obama stands for, just that they like him. Most Americans who are not far left liberals have never investigated Obama’s past or really know what he has done during the past few years.

    As I have heard many times, many Americans just want the freebies offered by Obama, not understanding that there won’t be anything free. The new taxes are hidden. My youngest daughter knows nothing about politics, but works in a union company and was for Obama. She contacted her sister the other day and was outraged to find that there is a “death tax”. She was told that this is just one of the new taxes that Obama has ordered. This is what ignorance has done. Now we all must suffer for the choice of others. I no longer have much compassion for those who are affected by Sandy, as I am sure they voted for Obama, knowing that he and Fema are no better than during Katrina. I have hardened my heart towards those who inspite of knowing Obama has failed us, continued to vote him in.

    God in His wisdom has given the US free choice and those Catholics who voted for Obama will have to answer to Him on Judgement Day. I also believe that Satan has blinded many and so far has won the battle in America. We have a dictator who now feels he can turn our country into a socialist one as there is no one to stand up against him.

    May God have mercy on us.

  76. wmeyer says:

    @mysticalrose, yes, in some parishes. As to what percentage of parishes, I have no idea how to know. But my assertion is based on a couple of local parishes.

  77. dominic1955 says:

    We should remember that kow-towing to the American State has been going on a lot longer than since the ’60s. Thank guys like Archbishop Ireland for helping to make the Church American, and thus open the way for such liberalism and dissent. While they never would have espoused it themselves, they opened the way for Americans to absorb the evil materialist and pluralist philosophy rampant in America.

  78. Jim of Bowie says:

    Fully agree with Father Z’s reflections. Other worthwhile analyses are Michael Voris’s Vortex “Aftermath” here and George Weigel’s NRO piece here

  79. The Masked Chicken says:

    While I cannot blame the Bishop’s conferences past and present for directly losing the election, here are some sober statistics to consider:
    White 59% Romney
    Black 93% Obama
    Latino 71% Obama
    Asian 73% Obama
    Catholics 50% Obama

    Have you noticed that the Black, Latino, and Asian groups are the primary ethnic components of modern gangs? Little boys join gangs because they don’t have a stable family life. These three groups are the most disaffected groups in the U. S. and such groups almost always attach to a Messiah figure. This was explained in Eric Hoffer’s masterful treatise called, The True Believer, back in 1951.

    Why are they so alienated? Simply put, it is because these groups are cultic, but not cultivating. In other words, they have strong group identity, but not strong self-identities. This is where the Bishops have failed: they have not made sin a matter of personal danger. By denuding contraception of any moral burden, except by virtue of one’s conscience (and, thereby, massively confusing intrinsic and extrinsic evils), for exmple, they became enablers of a culture of victims who need a deliverer. Make no mistake, Obama was an accident waiting to happen.

    Latinos have a cultic view of Catholicism and not a dogmatic one, so they are not usually swayed by legislation, but more by sentiment. This makes them, as well as Blacks and Asians prime targets for co-optation by sentimental/emotional forms of religious expression, such as Pentecostalism – it is telling that many Catholic Latinos are beng lost to Pentecostalism and South Asian Catholicism is being decimated by it. The Church is losing 3000 people a day (!) to it. As these three groups are the largest population growers in the U. S., there will be a fall-off of Catholic influence in future elections. The theology of Pentecostalism is based on suspect revelations, in part, instead of logic and dogma and plays well into the hands of a Messianic Presidency.

    The Bishops could have stopped this early on – by having a sane policy on immigration, by being clear on reproductive issues, by supporting the definition of the traditional family. Rather, from 1965 to 1995, they have given vague directives that actually supported a more cultic view of Catholicism than a dogmatic view (I could be wrong about this, but that is my impression). The situation is changing, but it is too late. Unless there is a population swell as large as that of the three groups, above, I fear we shall never see a conservative in the White House for many years.

    Clear dogma and responsibility for sin. That would have done it.

    The Chicken

  80. Laura98 says:

    I’ve been holed-up in bed in a bout of self-pity since the election. Okay… I really have a nasty cold, from before the election, but dragged myself to get out and vote anyway. But, I’m still stuck in bed with a nasty cold. :(

    Where do we go from here?? I dunno… Most “catholics” seem content to follow the lead of Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi. They seem happy to go along with the rest of the crowd and “modernism” or “liberalism” or whatever you want to call it. “Forward,” isn’t it?

    Sorry. I’ve never been one to go with the crowd. (And I’ve had to pay for it too… in some ways, loss of “friends” and “status” – arguments with family members). Being more “traditional” is not for the faint-hearted. I was stay-at-home mother, now I homeschool my daughter… oh the horror! At least to my liberal family and friends.

    I’m thinking the next 4 (+) years will separate the wheat from the chaff … We will find out who is willing to live their faith and who is not. I think this will be true for members of all faith groups, but especially of Catholics, as Obama has a special hatred for our Church. The HHS Mandate will be the beginning, but only the beginning.

    @gracie: FYI Catholic Heritage Curricula and Seton Homeschool both have several books and a series each (I think?) available on teaching your child / tween / teen Catholic sexual morality in your own home. You will need to do this yourself – as your Parish is obviously falling down on the job. And you do NOT want your local public school teaching morality to your children/grandchildren. There are also some other homeschool vendors that sell other books on the subject – just Google the keywords and they should come up. But those are the two I know of, off the top of my head.

  81. chantgirl says:

    wmeyer- In a sense, it’s a tale of two Churches. You could visit an ultra-liberal parish and then a traditional one and easily think they belonged to two different faiths. We are in a sort of informal schism, based on what we believe. The Year of Faith is desperately needed.

  82. Pingback: Reflection on the election. | Fr. Z’s Blog – What Does The Prayer Really Say? | The Average Catholic

  83. wmeyer says:

    chantgirl, I agree completely. But unless the Year of Faith brings a return to catechesis, and with teachings true to the CCC, I see little reason to expect change among the laity. And of course, there is still the problem of the 75% who are not at Mass each week.

  84. NBW says:


    I agree and like your quotes, but lukewarm Catholics are created when they are not taught properly. Who is responsible for teaching us ?

  85. anachy says:

    I appreciate so many of the fine, thoughtful comments I’m reading here. Only a couple things I would like to add: Be very, very careful about accepting at face-value the claims about what percentage of Catholics supported the incumbent. I have not looked at the source of these stats, but presume at this early date that they are based on exit polls. If they are based on exit polls, we absolutely cannot say that they are representative of the population of voters (or non-voters, for that matter). Exit polls do not use probability samples, so whatever they show cannot be generalized at all. It may well be that a majority – or even a sizable minority – of Catholics voted for the incumbent. But, we cannot know this if the claims are based on exit polls. So, before throwing half or more of Catholic voters under the bus, keep that in mind. Just my two cents. Second thing…I don’t even believe that a majority of voters did, in fact, vote for the incumbent. I think that the dems pushed for, and got, electronic voting machines after the Florida Gore thing because it is much easier to substitute the votes you want for the votes that are actually cast if the record is digital rather than on hard copies/ballots. Of course, one needn’t alter all the votes – just those in a few key areas in some states. I think the whole Florida “hanging chad” debacle was ginned up to make it easier for elections to be stolen. Why else was there such an urgency to shift over to electronic voting?

  86. Frances M says:

    A friend of mine wrote the following as part of a letter to her children regarding the election:

    “Today is a very sad day. This administration will continue to support the killing of the unborn, the defilement of the marriage covenant, the attacks on our faith, the uncontrolled spending which will bring us to the place where most of Europe is. We’ll be vulnerable to foreign powers because we are already weak as a nation. God will allow it because we choose it and the consequences will come down on us hard. I never thought that the American population had fallen to such depths of ignorance and/or immorality. Dependence on the government and sense of entitlement is self-imposed slavery. How can the majority really think we can get all this for free? Reminds me of Pinocchio in his naiveté happily going to Pleasure Island to become enslaved and turned into a donkey. That is what we have done.”

  87. acricketchirps says:

    @lydia: I’m angry and should probably keep my mouth shut but here goes. The election was won Tuesday by a majority consisting of morons[,] moochers, class warfarers, and left wing wackos.

    Well, if it helps to assuage your anger any, and just speaking in general, the morons outnumber the aggregate of all those other classes by a considerable margin.

  88. Facta Non Verba says:

    One pundit aptly summarized the election results, as a re-wording of a famous de Tocqueville quote: “More people voted for free stuff rather than for freedom.”

    I think that had more to do with it than any of the positions of Obama on social issues.

  89. PA mom says:

    Met with my Uncle. Insight into the Liberal mind. Despite attending church his entire life, being a Knight of Columbus, having been to the Vatican and the Holy Land, he is not ashamed of his support for Obama and the Democratic Party.
    Reasons? An illformed understanding of religious freedom (I don’t think people should impose their religious views on others, dont want anyone trying to put burkas on you women), a refusal of science (well Jewish people think that they aren’t babies until 40 days…), a buy in on the character assassinations (some of these guys are so extreme that they don’t think there should be an exception for the life of the mother! They think that a teenage pregnancy was like having been raped), an evolution on same sex marriage (well, I think that they ought to be able to be on each others benefits). Democrat party talking points right down the line.
    Where is the teaching authority of the Church to lead him out of his drug like stupor? There is no sign of guilt, conflict, struggle.

  90. OrthodoxChick says:


    I’ve heard tell that our Diocese is considering Theology of the Body for Middle School (younger version of TOB for teens). Looks a little pricey, but here’s a link if you wish to look into it.

  91. Papabile says:

    According to the exit polls, White Catholics broke 59% for Romney and 40% for Obama.

    Catholics who attend Mass weekly broke 57% to Romney, 42% for Obama.

    Catholics who do not attend weekly broke 56% Romney, 42% for Obama.

    The fact is, race and marital status matter much more when it comes to Catholics than the religion itself does.

  92. The Masked Chicken says:

    I think my last comment was a little uncharitable. It contains some interesting demographic results, but the tone was a little too centered on treating each member of a culture as bearing the same beliefs. Logical fallacy, that, and uncharitable. I withdraw the comment.

    The Chicken

  93. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Catholics who attend Mass weekly broke 57% to Romney, 42% for Obama.

    Catholics who do not attend weekly broke 56% Romney, 42% for Obama.”

    Wow. Just, wow. I would have thought the weekly Mass-attenders would have broken much higher for Romney. I wonder if that could be broken down by state.

    The Chicken

  94. LisaP. says:

    majuscule , yes, much like that — and if my opinion is already clear, does it benefit anyone for me to repeat it or do my words just get used as bricks in the wall against hearing me?

    mysticalrose, that’s a very interesting way of looking at it. I actually feel better, as weird as that is.

    Chicken, I deeply, deeply apologize. I should never have touched on such a sensitive subject in such a brusk manner. It was inexcusable.

  95. Sissy says:

    dominic1955 said: “Thank guys like Archbishop Ireland for helping to make the Church American, and thus open the way for such liberalism and dissent. While they never would have espoused it themselves, they opened the way for Americans to absorb the evil materialist and pluralist philosophy rampant in America.”

    This has been on my mind all day, dominic1955. I urge everyone here to read Father’s Simon essay on this issue of the American Church. I’ve linked to the section where he begins talking about the Church in this country…you can follow the installments from there. It explains pretty well how it is that we find ourselves in such a position today.—02-06.html

  96. Katheryn says:

    Thanks for posting that, Sissy. I think Fr. Simon should be required reading!

  97. Angie Mcs says:

    Lisa P: I’ve been fighting the “mommy Wars” for decades ( my oldest child is early 30s), and I felt somehow drawn by your comments- some things never change. My husband and I were poor when we started our family but lucky enough able to squeak by so I could stay home with the children. We didn’t suffer financially because of it – you know what daycare, nannies, etc cost. and in the end, what do you really have in take home pay? And i loved every day with my little ones. Being with them was such a joy. It just surprises me that this issue is coming back after all these years, and I feel sorry for young women. You can be proud of your choice.

    You are concerned about balancing friendships with speaking out about the Churchs beliefs. You are right, how do you explain to someone whose mother just died from breast cancer that you don’t want to donate to Komen- and why? Your sensitivity does you credit but I don’t believe this is the time to teach any lessons about abortion. not now. Neither do you need to give to Komen. There are so many needy causes. Make a donation to one of your choices in memory of your friend’s mother and make sure she knows about the donation.She will surely appreciate that. I lost my mother to cancer and when friends asked me what they could do, I told them to pick their favorite charity, that my mother would like that. All of them were comfortable with that answer, and I was touched by the gesture. Any kindness is appreciated at that time.

    You did the best You could with your cruel neighbor by gently suggesting she reconsider throwing her tenants out. Had you become more aggressive, someone like that would probably just gotten nasty and aggressive back. Maybe the next time you see her you can say ” I prayed for you last night, that God might soften your heart”, and then stay out of it. You just cant win with some people. I would avoid any conversation or contact with her, if possible.

    My general advice is to substitute one kindness with another kindness. If you find you cannot, due to your Catholic beliefs, do something they want, do something else for them instead. Keep praying for strength and perhaps the time will come when that person will be open to listening to your views on why you make the choices you do. Goodness and kindness are not the current hallmarks of our society. But You can still find a way. Who will hear you and guide you? He will.

  98. “Catholics who attend Mass weekly broke 57% to Romney, 42% for Obama.

    Catholics who do not attend weekly broke 56% Romney, 42% for Obama.”

    These two statements cannot both be true if–as has been widely reported (e.g.,–Catholics as a whole voted 50% for Obama, 47% for Romney.

    Indeed, this overall Catholic percentage (if accurate) implies that, if 57% of weekly Mass attending Catholics voted for Romney, then a large majority of non-weekly Mass attending Catholics voted for Obama. As one might have expected, based on past elections.

  99. LisaP. says:

    Angie Mcs, thank you for the good advice, this was particularly helpful.

    “My general advice is to substitute one kindness with another kindness. If you find you cannot, due to your Catholic beliefs, do something they want, do something else for them instead. “

  100. wmeyer says:

    PA Mom, the source of this quote is uncertain, but I offer it to you:
    “Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has no heart; and any
    man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains.”

  101. jhayes says:

    Henry Edwards wrote:

    “Catholics who attend Mass weekly broke 57% to Romney, 42% for Obama.

    Catholics who do not attend weekly broke 56% Romney, 42% for Obama.”

    These two statements cannot both be true if–as has been widely reported (e.g.,–Catholics as a whole voted 50% for Obama, 47% for Romney.

    The second line is backwards. “not weekly” was 42% Romney, 56% for Obama.

    The Catholics polled characterized themselves as 46% weekly, 54% non-weekly.

    That works out to 50% of the total voting for Obama

  102. The Masked Chicken says:

    LisaP, I don’t know why you are apologizing to me. You did not influence me to sin. I do that on my own very well.

  103. Giuseppe says:

    I think a Catholic Party will gain a solid 10-15% of the vote in each election. It would only attract orthodox Roman Catholics, and the rest would still vote Democratic or Republican based on economic interests. It would be perfect in a parliamentary system. But not in the US.

    This election opened my eyes to the prospect that a pure pro-life position will probably never gain traction in the US. The notion that God wants a child to be born of rape is so repellant to a majority of Americans that we will never have pure pro-life laws. And once you allow elective abortion for rape, the door is wide open. (The fetus either is or is not a human who merits legal protection.) I think we will never be a pure pro-life nation, as we are not all orthodox Roman Catholics and conservative evangelicals who are willing to force a rape victim to bear this child. As long as there’s the (admittedly uncommon) forced rape pregnancy, there will be abortion on demand. Is this where America is now and will be for the future? Should Planned Parenthood, NOW, and the Democratic Party send thank you notes to Todd Aiken and Richard Mourdock (that latter who is only guilty of speaking aloud his belief about abortion that is in perfect synchrony with Roman Catholicism)?

  104. catholicmidwest says:

    You’ve got two issues here-religion and politics-and they’re being conflated into one. These things are certainly related but they’re not the same thing.

    1. Politics. The Republican party has a few problems that it still hasn’t worked out, and so yes, even an incumbent like this one managed to get re-elected. It’s a sad day because we had the chance and we really didn’t solve anything as a country. Things are only going to get worse now. It’s only a good thing we have some gridlock, otherwise this could be a real fiasco. It’s going to be bad enough as it is.

    2. Religion. You have to remember that all the people who claim to be Catholic in the US still only comprise about 5% of the global Catholic Church. And of the people who claim to be Catholic in the US, only about 20% actually show up at least weekly for mass. So the voting statistics of so-called Catholics don’t amount to much really. Just keep that in mind. Most of the people who show up here, judging by the comments, are in that 20%. Most of American Catholics are not in that 20%, obviously. What do we do about them? I have a few practical ideas, but we’ll see what happens. [make it harder to join, make it more social to stay, make it more shameful to leave]

    Catholics have some severe practical problems in this country. They don’t know how to build stronger communities and are particularly resistant to learning anything positive and non-contradictory from other groups, even though by default, doing nothing is failing. Catechesis is failing and has been for many years, and for very good and identifiable reasons, yet Catholics have not really chosen to do anything about it. Perhaps it has to reach epic proportions before something is done. I expect that’s the case. I also think we’re pretty much there.

    The HHS mandate is law now, and our last best chance for getting rid of it quickly is gone. It’s going to start taking effect in a few months and the shock to many people is going to be enormous. For many Catholics it’s going to be news, although it’s been out there for almost a year now. Catholics are not generally serious or informed about these things and this was on display Tuesday.

    This week, the diocese I am in is circulating a survey about which programs really help people with their “faith journeys” and which don’t. I expect that there is going to be a personnel “event” down the road to deal with the HHS mandate and that this is a tool to be used towards that end. The very people who are probably going to go are the ultra-liberals in charge of all the outreaches. Ironic, no? They will be shocked too, since many of them actually seem to think that the Church’s teachings are a matter of someone’s opinion, rather than Scripture, the Didache, Church Fathers, Church documents, history and doctrine. I have no idea how they got this idea, since even the most barefoot hillbilly preacher from Arkansas knows more than that, but okay. In a year, all that may not matter much. What really pains me is that schools, soup kitchens, food banks, diocesan & religious order bookstores and other things will also be impacted. As will legit religious institutions like the CFR in Brooklyn who often work with the non-Catholic poor.

  105. Papabile says:

    @Henry Edwards

    Politico is good. I read it since it’s inception. Roll Call is the better paper to follow Hill politics though.

    In any case, those numbers come straight from the crosstabs which I have at work. They are also available at: I follow this stuff pretty closely after working with a major party committee and now having to push $ to candidates.

    Look under results by “race and religion” and the “religion and church attendence” entries.

    If you look under only religion,that’s where you will find the 50/48 split on Catholics. Whenyou break it down though in the crosstabs, those numbers that I cited are what you get.

  106. catholicmidwest says:

    PS, when the HHS mandate hits, Catholics have got to get out there and put the blame where it belongs. We do not HAVE TO do the things for the general population that we have been doing for them. We have been doing it out of charity. If we have to stop doing them, it is Obama’s fault, not ours.

  107. jhayes says:

    Papabile, as pointed out in my post above, you reversed the figures in the second line. It’s simply a typo, no big deal, but it’s what raised Henry Edwards’s question.

    I used the same CNN source you linked above.

  108. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    When one looks at something like this

    there seem to be enormous numbers of people who could have voted, but did not.

    And I have read that some 9 million fewer people voted for Mr. Obama this time than in 2008 (apparently something unprecedented in U.S. history for a second-term election).

    What is known about all these non-voters? Including, what is known about their “religion and church attendance”?

    Does anyone have an accurate – or even likely – sense of how many do not vote for which reasons? For example, satisfaction, disgust, despair, quietism, moral reservations?

    In another direction, what is known about the current (including newly elected) members of Congress: for example, which (and ,so, how many) describe themselves as ‘Catholics’ – and which might well be characterized as ‘ “Catholic” in name only’?

  109. Bea says:

    Pope John Paul II wisely stated in Evangelium Vitae, “We get the public officials we deserve. Their virtue – or lack thereof – is a judgment not only on them, but on us.”

    This could also be applied in reverse to the Shepherds that we get
    Their virtue – or lack thereof – is a judgment not only on us, but on them:
    (with the 50% Catholic Vote): not all of them, of course. Some of them gave it the good ol’ college try.

    wmeyer says:
    8 November 2012 at 8:48 am
    If we do not let our bishops know that we care, how can we expect any improvement?

    We (my husband and I) DO let our bishop know that we care, but we expect absolutely no improvement. We get the standardized white-wash. “Thank you for your input” a “we are the experts” attitude, as he/they continue down the road with their focus on immigration and other social/political issues to the detriment of souls hungry for Truth, holy examples and leadership.

    CatholicMD says:
    8 November 2012 at 10:14 am
    “From the exit polls I’ve seen over 60% of non-Hispanic Catholics voted for Romney meaning the Latino vote is what gave Obama his Catholic majority. The Latino vote is something I can’t pretend to understand.”

    I live in a Latino area. I believe there was much fraud going on. One wanted a receipt that she voted because how was she to prove that she had. Prove to whom? Another one I tried to explain about the issues. “Oh, I don’t care about that” she said, “I just came to vote for the president”
    They are democrats and they believe democrats are the big sugar-daddies and that’s what they’re here in the States for. Many Latinos have lost their Faith and their culture when they cross that line, unless the good old faithful grandmas came up with them. Others (the young) want to be assimilated into the “American culture” and are easily brainwashed by the media and their liberal school teachers. They keep their Catholic identity but it has nothing to do with their politics. They don’t believe in same-sx marriage or abortion but believe that has nothing to do with them and how they vote.

  110. Reginald Pole says:

    [Note: The following memorandum was sent by Cardinal Ratzinger to Cardinal McCarrick and was made public in the first week of July 2004.]

    Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion
    General Principles

    by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

    1. Presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion should be a conscious decision, based on a reasoned judgment regarding one’s worthiness to do so, according to the Church’s objective criteria, asking such questions as: “Am I in full communion with the Catholic Church? Am I guilty of grave sin? Have I incurred a penalty (e.g. excommunication, interdict) that forbids me to receive Holy Communion? Have I prepared myself by fasting for at least an hour?” The practice of indiscriminately presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion, merely as a consequence of being present at Mass, is an abuse that must be corrected (cf. Instruction “Redemptionis Sacramentum,” nos. 81, 83).

    2. The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin. The Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, with reference to judicial decisions or civil laws that authorize or promote abortion or euthanasia, states that there is a “grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. […] In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law or vote for it’” (no. 73). Christians have a “grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God’s law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. […] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it” (no. 74).

    3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

    4. Apart from an individual’s judgment about his worthiness to present himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion may find himself in the situation where he must refuse to distribute Holy Communion to someone, such as in cases of a declared excommunication, a declared interdict, or an obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin (cf. can. 915).

    5. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.

    6. When “these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible,” and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, “the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it” (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Declaration “Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics” [2002], nos. 3-4). This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgment on the person’s subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the person’s public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin.

    [N.B. 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.]

  111. Sissy says:

    Yes, Reginald, this is the fig leaf Catholics who voted for Obama have been hiding behind. But what are “proportionate reasons”? A number of our Catholic leaders have stated that no other political issue is ever comparable to the intrinsic evil of abortion. Therefore, the only permissible reason to vote for a candidate who endorses abortion is if his opponent expresses an even more extreme support for abortion. Proportionate reasons can’t balance poverty, social justice, war, or other concerns against abortion.

  112. Bea says:

    @ Papabile
    My thoughts exactly.
    It’s been years that we give to our parish’s “special needs” fund and not to the regular Diocesan Taxed fund.
    I’ve also felt “orphaned” for years. Bishops have, indeed, denied their “Fatherhood” role: but God is my Father and in His Hands I feel safe.
    We taught our children from the Baltimore Catechism, so that they would NOT get that “hollow teaching” of which you spoke. It is difficult but possible for our children to survive the “Reign of Terrible Bishops”

  113. Giuseppe says:

    How inaccurate is this summary of the election?

    I am going to stop watching FOX news, as I got caught off guard this election. My coworkers, who usually watch CNN or MSNBC, berated me when I insisted that there was a groundswell of Romney support that was deliberately ignored by the liberal-biased state polls. I feel like a total idiot. And then God sent the hurricane to remove Governor Romney from the news and make President Obama seem presidential. Did He give Obama the victory? Did He not want a Mormon president? What happened?

  114. trespinos says:

    In hindsight, I think that President Obama ensured his victory on the day that he announced his executive order bypassing the Congress and essentially enacting the key provisions of the Dream Act. By taking that action, he gained the gratitude of a significant proportion of Hispanic voters whose perhaps changeable allegiance to him was thereby cemented and, in case it mattered to them, blessed by the favorable reaction of their bishops. The Republican Party was absolutely undone by its corporate failure to produce a visionary, comprehensive immigration reform scheme that could be put forward in conjunction with the Vice Presidential candidacy of Senator Marco Rubio.

  115. Bea says:

    OrthodoxChick says:
    8 November 2012 at 5:13 pm


    Don’t go for it. A priest I know well has said he’s had more moral/sexual problems with his parishioners with this program.
    As far as I’m concerned there’s only one program:
    The Sixth Commandment

  116. Sissy says:

    tespinos, Romney had only slightly fewer Hispanic votes than John McCain, who was an early, enthusiastic supporter of amnesty.

  117. LisaP. says:

    Masked Chicken,
    Absolutely true of us all, but that’s still no excuse for insensitive beak references! ;)

  118. Bea says:

    Reginald Pole says:
    8 November 2012 at 10:05 pm
    [Note: The following memorandum was sent by Cardinal Ratzinger to Cardinal McCarrick and was made public in the first week of July 2004.]

    Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion
    General Principles

    by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

    Yes, I remember that well, Reginald Pole.
    Cardinal McCarrick received this while the USCCB meeting was going on but it was withheld from them until the USCCB meeting was over as he wanted to “study” it before presenting it. So it never got presented to them during the meeting (This was in June). The first week of July must have been when the rest of the USCCB heard about it, but it was not until after the elections were over (Bush vs Kerry) that it became more aired to the public (if my memory serves me well). My husband and I were devastated by these shenanigans so it stuck in our memory (The USCCB meeting part of it).

  119. chantgirl says:

    Bea- RE the TOTB- It depends on who is presenting the information on the Theology of the Body. I’ve read Christopher West’s books and attended one of his seminars, and while I really learned a great deal from him, there are some pitfalls to his early books. One could possibly arrive at the conclusion that certain forms of unnatural foreplay are acceptable between a husband and wife as long as natural lovemaking is the end result, if the material was read carelessly. This was one of Alice von Hildebrand’s criticisms of his work. However, Christopher West is not the only person who has written about JPII’s TOTB. Frankly, I got a better understanding by reading the Pope’s work directly, but it was a difficult read since I never studied theology or philosophy on a college level ( I had to frequently stop to look up technical language and then reread). Couples have a lot of detailed questions, and it would be an act of kindness for priests or married couples who have studied TOTB to give them answers. A wise and discreet teacher in this area will be able to explain things that people really need to know- what is the difference between contraception and NFP, the beauty of celibacy for the kingdom, what it means to be male and female and why homosexual marriage is impossible, and how do couples faithfully live out the sacrament of marriage. I can see how a TOTB program might be a headache for a pastor. Every time I’ve seen Catholics introduced to it, there are some that are angry, there are many that will want to go to confession, and there are a lot of people who will have questions and need time and grace to digest the information. In fact, when West did a presentation on celibacy for the priests of my diocese, you could have heard a pin drop, and some of the priests looked like their collars were going to catch fire. These issues need to be discussed, albeit in a tasteful way. My family never really discussed things like this, and after I had had several children in my twenties, some family members and my doctor started to pressure me about birth control. I knew that the Church was against it, but didn’t really understand or know how to explain myself until I read the Pope’s work. Then I knew how to respond, but more than that, I saw the beauty and wisdom of the Church’s teaching on sex in a way that I never had before. I personally know many couples who have given up a contraceptive lifestyle and become active in the Church after reading about TOTB.

    Also, a TOTB program for teens will not contain the more graphic and gritty questions that one for married adults does.

  120. workingclass artist says:

    I’d love to see a Catholic Party platform.
    I’d like to see a return to subsidiarity.

  121. David Collins says:

    Powerful reflections…Clearly, uneducated ignoramuses, like me, should, for the sake of the common good, stay away from polling places.

    Here is Kathering Dalton’s horrifying relection on the feminists that helped re-elect the President:
    She ends her essay with, “That, ladies, is emancipation – from everything worth having.”

    That said, some of you really should stop wishing for an inquisition to consign Catholic Democrats to the flames.

  122. Papabile says:

    @jhayes Thanks for the correction…. I entirely missed it.

  123. Giulio says:

    Maybe you know about Guareschi’s Don Camillo. Guareschi was reviewing the draft of “Don Camillo e I giovani d’oggi” when he died so the following pages can be read as his testament. Sorry for the English readers I have no translation for this.

    Don Camillo spalancò le braccia:
    «Signore, cos’è questo vento di pazzia? Non è forse che il cerchio sta per chiudersi e il mondo corre verso la sua rapida autodistruzione?»
    «Don Camillo, perché tanto pessimismo? Allora il mio sacrificio sarebbe stato inutile? La mia missione fra gli uomini sarebbe dunque fallita perché la malvagità degli uomini è più forte della bontà di Dio? »
    «No, Signore. Io intendevo soltanto dire che oggi la gente crede soltanto in ciò che vede e tocca. Ma esistono cose essenziali che non si vedono e non si toccano: amore, bontà, pietà, onestà, pudore, speranza. E fede. Cose senza le quali non si può vivere. Questa è l’autodistruzione di cui parlavo. L’uomo, mi pare, sta distruggendo tutto il suo patrimonio spirituale. L’unica vera ricchezza che in migliaia di secoli aveva accumulato. Un giorno non lontano si troverà come il bruto delle caverne. Le caverne saranno alti grattacieli pieni di macchine meravigliose, ma lo spirito dell’uomo sarà quello del bruto delle caverne. Signore, la gente paventa le armi terrificanti che disintegrano uomini e cose. Ma io credo che soltanto esse potranno ridare all’uomo la sua ricchezza. Perché distruggeranno tutto e l’uomo, liberato dalla schiavitù dei beni terreni, cercherà nuovamente Dio. E lo ritroverà e ricostruirà il patrimonio spirituale che oggi sta finendo di distruggere. Signore, se è questo ciò che accadrà, cosa possiamo fare noi? »
    Il Cristo sorrise:
    «Ciò che fa il contadino quando il fiume travolge gli argini e invade i campi: bisogna salvare il seme. Quando il fiume sarà rientrato nel suo alveo, la terra riemergerà e il sole l’asciugherà. Se il contadino avrà salvato il seme, potrà gettarlo sulla terra resa ancor più fertile dal limo del fiume, e ii seme fruttificherà, e le spighe turgide e donate daranno agli uomini pane, vita e speranza. Bisogna salvare il seme: la fede. Don Camillo, bisogna aiutare chi possiede ancora la fede e mantenerla intatta. Il deserto spirituale si estende ogni giorno di più, ogni giorno nuove anime inaridiscono perché abbandonate dalla fede. Ogni giorno di più uomini di molte parole e di nessuna fede distruggono il patrimonio spirituale e la fede degli altri. Uomini di ogni razza, di ogni estrazione, d’ogni cultura».
    «Signore,» domandò don Camillo «volete forse dire che il demonio è diventato tanto astuto che riesce talvolta a vestirsi da prete? »
    «Don Camillo!» lo rimproverò sorridendo il Cristo. «Sono appena uscito dai guai del Concilio, vuoi mettermi tu in nuovi guai? »
    «Signore, perdonatemi» si scusò don Camillo. «La mia testa è piena di vento. Che cosa potrei fare?»

  124. pmullane says:

    David Collins, ‘Catholics’ who voted for Obama have consigned themselves to the flames.

  125. SKAY says:

    “Energizer announced today it will layoff 10% of its workforce. 1,500 will be affected. Plants in Missouri and Vermont are slated for closure.
    StL Today reported:”
    More repercussions .
    This is just the beginning.

    Catholic MD’s explanation of the Hispanic vote is revealing but not surprising.
    The issues( includes HHS mandate and abortion) are not important but what you can give me is. What Constitution?

  126. wmeyer says:

    We (my husband and I) DO let our bishop know that we care, but we expect absolutely no improvement. We get the standardized white-wash. “Thank you for your input” a “we are the experts” attitude, as he/they continue down the road with their focus on immigration and other social/political issues to the detriment of souls hungry for Truth, holy examples and leadership.

    Yes, I understand. Same here. And yet, remaining silent would not be better. I pray that the Abp will begin hearing from more people, and eventually enough of us will provide “input” that it may make a difference.

  127. wmeyer says:

    Proportionate reasons can’t balance poverty, social justice, war, or other concerns against abortion.

    Agreed, Sissy, but some bishops clearly do balance social justice, in particular, against abortion, and through some clearly odd calculus, find in favor of social justice.

  128. Lynne says:

    “And then God sent the hurricane to remove Governor Romney from the news and make President Obama seem presidential. Did He give Obama the victory? Did He not want a Mormon president? What happened?”

    Chastisement, both locally in NY/NJ and across the country, in giving us a second Obama term. I hope the Year of Faith covers the topic Redeemtive Suffering. It would be a good lesson.

  129. wmeyer,

    You write (emphasis in original):

    some bishops clearly do balance social justice, in particular, against abortion, and through some clearly odd calculus, find in favor of social justice.

    Wouldn’t that be those same bishops who somehow forget the complementary teaching of Catholic social justice by those Bishops of Rome who have pointed out the complementary requirement of social justice to respect the honestly earned property of others?

    Just asking…

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer (twice retired, yet somehow by the grace of God still gainfully employed full time)

  130. Jess says:

    @priest up north: Great article! It only makes more clear what true practicing Catholics already know…the laity have to step it up every chance we get; more time for prayer, more fasting, living our faith every single chance we get! Complete surrender to the will of God! The Church WILL triumph and we must hope in that. We have every reason as Catholic Christians to be hopeful and joyful! Times are about to get far worse and we must not lose sight of Jesus, truly present in the Eucharist, but remain hopeful and remain in a state of grace.

    Thank you for the reflections Fr. Z-God Bless You!

  131. wmeyer says:

    Keith, I would simplify just a bit, and ask how it is that any bishop can find, repeatedly, that a popular interpretation of the imprecise term “social justice” could trump the quite clear and specific terms of CCC #2271-73, among others.

  132. Papabile: “But I will no longer be silent about the Bishops, or simply say they must be supported and that they made a great stride in finally getting off the bench this election. All it served to do was to demonstrate how hollow their teaching has been, how orphaned we are. “

    Michael Voris is (in his inimitable fashion) certainly not silent about about the job our U.S. bishops have done in recent decades:

    Explains pretty fully the performance of Catholics in the election?

  133. Sissy says:

    wmeyer, there is truth and there is what people choose to believe and do. We know that proportionate reasons doesn’t permit a balancing of abortion against so-called “social justice”. We also know that Catholics, including priest and bishops persist in pretending that it’s ok to do just that. They are in rebellion and have decided to “set up on their own” as C. S. Lewis puts it. Even if the Holy Father wrote in plain language: “No Catholic may ever vote for a candidate who supports abortion, unless his opponent is even more extreme in his support of abortion” they would still claim it is ok for them to do so. Because they obey their own egos, not the Church. The spirit of the age is death, and progressive/modernist Catholics have fallen prey to it. We must pray for revival and their return to the Church. They have left her with their hearts if not their bodies.

  134. LisaP. says:

    Don’t need to read the paper to see it’s coming on fast. Our insurance premium just came in the mail (up about 20 per cents from last year — unsustainable growth) and I went grocery shopping last night, the fancy eggs that usually cost $3 were now$5 (and this at Walmart — $5 eggs at Walmart! Unbelievable! No more fancy store bought eggs for us!).
    Gas is up, too, here.
    I think we have about a month before small businesses start closing everywhere and the layoffs resume. I remember the last round, how shocked my liberal acquaintances were when it happened to them ,even when they’d seen it happen all over their neighborhood. We’ll see that again.
    I know one feature for some with ADD is a biochemically based inability to predict and anticipate consequences of choices. A friend once convinced me America has a national eating disorder. Maybe national ADD also, unrecognized so not coped with? Must be something in the water. . .

  135. wmeyer says:

    Sissy, when the shepherds do not properly guard their flocks, only prayer and penance are left to us.

  136. LisaP. says:

    Immigration is an interesting question. I think conservatives and the bishops dropped the ball there. Religiously, I’ve never heard a convincing argument for the moral right to closed borders. If a person can make a home in America and contribute, why should birthplace prevent his becoming an American citizen? As for politically, so many conservatives praise legal but condemn illegal immigration, which is as it should be. But what did any conservative politician ever do to promote legal immigration, to ease regulations and restrictions on the import of the resource of people who want to be Americans like they want to ease other government regulations and restrictions?

    So I found a Stein commentary interesting last night, I believe his point was that many immigrant populations vote very conservative, while Hispanic immigrants and their heirs tend to vote liberal. That given, if the U.S. had taken the position long ago that borders are open to any non-criminal that can get here, instead of restricting legal immigration then tolerating massive illegal immigration across a drug and crime saturated border, we might have seen a different November 6.

    On a side note, It may have been a Weigel article I read long ago that suggested those who hoped Catholic immigrants would save the American Church should consider instead how the American Church was destroying the faith of Catholic immigrants. It was compelling — think the link may have been here!

  137. chantgirl says:

    LisaP and SKAY- The day after the election my husband’s employer started discussing dropping healthcare for his employees, which was no surprise to us. There will be massive layoffs and employers dropping health insurance due to this election.

  138. Bea says:

    Hi Chant Girl
    I see what you’re saying, nevertheless TOTB puts so much emphasis on sex when teens should be concentrating on virtues. But then again this subject belongs on another thread. We digress.

  139. wmeyer says:

    LisaP wrote: Religiously, I’ve never heard a convincing argument for the moral right to closed borders.

    CCC #2241

    The Church has much to say on the rights and responsibilities of elected authorities. This is one of my favorites.

  140. wmeyer says:

    Oh, and LisaP, without control of borders, there is no country.

  141. Bea says:

    My Italian is a bit limited but I gather that the whole gist of the conversation could just have been summed up in 3 words:
    It’s true, we focus much on what we can see, feel and touch.
    The invisible: (what is truly important) Love, Generosity, Piety, Honesty, Hope and Faith is easily forgotten and we are becoming like savages living in caves.
    Perhaps this election result will, in the end, serve for our good, that we may return to what is invisible and important, perhaps this Year of of Faith is pointing to what we must once more return to.

  142. ladykathryn says:

    If you are worried about what your children or grandchildren are learning at school, please seriously consider homeschooling them. Atleast the very least, remove them from parish CCD programs and teach them the Faith. The Baltimore Catechism would be an easy way to start. Read the questions and answers with your children and discuss it.

  143. LisaP. says:

    Great catechism, thanks. I think that is fully compatible with an immigration policy that admits all who are willing to become true citizens, yes? I’m not saying no controls, I’m saying limits based only on choices of those applying, not based on quotas, etc.

    Perfectly moral and reasonable to keep out those who have murdered, or who immigrate to undermine our nation. How, though, moral or a good idea to limit because you’re applicant 2001 and we only let in 2000? Ethics, etc., aside, look where we are because of this. Wouldn’t it have been better to have a nation of far, far more immigrants from all over the globe than one with many generations stemming from illegal immigration from limited sources? But maybe I don’t understand the issue well enough.

  144. Sissy says:

    LisaP said: “I’m not saying no controls, I’m saying limits based only on choices of those applying, not based on quotas, etc”

    That’s saying that a sovereign country has no right to make decisions based on what is in the best interest of it’s people. Let’s say a country has, oh let’s say, 14% real unemployment and under-employement in the mid-20s. Would it be rational and moral for the government to regulate immigration in that case? Suppose a country has a judiciary that says that all immigrants are entitled to welfare benefits, educational opportunities, including college, and free medical care. And that country is already going broke trying to provide for it’s own people; lets say that country is on the verge of collapse. We’ll call it a “fiscal cliff”. Is it moral for that government to burden it’s own people even further with millions more indigent people in that case?

  145. wmeyer says:

    LisaP wrote: Great catechism, thanks. I think that is fully compatible with an immigration policy that admits all who are willing to become true citizens, yes? I’m not saying no controls, I’m saying limits based only on choices of those applying, not based on quotas, etc.

    No. First, it says clearly that (duly elected) authorities have both the right and responsibility to set entrance criteria. That means whatever the duly elected authorities decide it means. It would presumably exclude felons and people infected with drug-resistant strains of serious diseases (think TB, which in drug-resistant forms has a 50% mortality rate), but may also exclude people who are unemployable and without funds. It is not an obligation to any country to welcome those who can only be a burden on the country. It may also involve quotas.

    What it would require is a set of criteria which is applied to all applicants. And it also clearly indicates what many, including some of our bishops forget: immigration is a legal process.

    Finally, the article I cited places a burden on those accepted to act responsibly as citizens of the new country, and to show some gratitude for having been accepted. Consider in light of that, the “Aztlan” (Hispanics) people in California who routinely come out with signs declaring that California was stolen from them. And in light of the that many, perhaps most, of these are also Catholics, they are clearly not following the Church’s teaching.

    CCC #2241 is, to my mind, a very clear and equitable statement of the realities. If it cannot be supported, consider whether any alterations you may desire would effectively end sovereignty. The Church does not support that.

  146. wmeyer says:

    To put it very simply, the first responsibility of any country is to its existing residents, and to that end, it is moral and rational for the country to control its borders.

  147. JKnott says:

    “A Chance to Become Free Again” Good commentary here by Matt

  148. Traductora says:

    Very interesting thread with very different points of view. My relatively new bishop here in Florida was excellent but his clergy is not very supportive, especially the big dogs. For that matter, the majority of the Florida bishops don’t seem to be very good either, since their statement seemed to say that if you liked a candidate’s positions on ” the poor” (read, government support for the Democrat billionaire constituency) , this could outweigh Catholic moral teaching (on abortion, for example) and make it ok for you to vote for Obama.

    Btw, before you blame Hispanic Catholics, where do you think they are getting this message from? Yes, that’s right, Fr. Leftwing Anglo. We’re getting some good, conservative Hispanic bishops now (like mine!) and I hope they can address this problem.

    The bishops as a whole are also terrified of losing their tax exemption. Wow. Once upon a time, people were terrified of losing their heads, and now our bishops have so little faith in God that they think if they lose this exemption, they’re doomed. If they lose this exemption, they think He won’t make up the difference. He will and then some. Dorothy Day accepted no money from the State because she knew God would provide – and He always did.

    I think a Catholic party would be a good idea. It would be like the Tea Party, not running its own candidates but supporting candidates and essentially putting pressure on the GOP to nominate conservative candidates, since the Catholic party would then vote major party (unlikely that it would be the Dems, whose sacrament is abortion).

    I read an excellent analysis of the elections that said that the Dems have been preparing for this since 2008, while the GOP just started a few months ago. This time around, we need to start now.

  149. PA mom says:

    Regarding preparing since 2008… I think that they are always preparing. In media, the schools…
    I have decided to go to my children’s school on career day and talk about religious liberty. How this is not designed to be a country with freedom from God, how that has been tried during the French Revolution. How our laws are based on the ten commandments but are being weakened. How the Church’s teachings are wise and we are absolutely allowed to apply those teaching to politics. Conservative Catholic thought, unlike the hippy dippy level conversation that my daughter reported from class.
    I have already started writing it.

  150. bernadettem says:

    Although this is off the subject of the election, it does seem to reflect on Obama and his administration.

    It was just announced that General Petraeus, head of the CIA has resigned on his own accord because of an extra marital affair. From my perspective since the investigation into what happened in Lybia to our Ambassador and three others men will be starting soon, that the White House has chosen Petraeus to be the fall guy for a cover up to protect Obama.

    Whether or not many held Petraeus in high esteem or not, one must ask themselves why would he now come out about his affair? It seems a little too convenient in my opinion. I can be corrected but it seems that at some time during Obama’s first term there was another incident that would have been harmful to him and that another person also took the blame. I just can’t recall what it was.

    Loyalty to great, but we need the truth about why these four brave men died and it appears that we will never get that truth, unless someone who knows the truth finally tells the American people what really happened.

  151. JKnott says:

    bernadettem: That same thought occurred to me and probably others. This administration has proved itself to be substantially void of integrity time and time again. Chicago thuggery.

  152. LisaP. says:

    Traductorum, “Fr. Leftwing Anglo” has been my experience, too.
    At the risk of overgeneralizing, I believe it is fair to say that as a cultural group Catholic Hispanic immigrant populations tend to share a common characteristic — respect for authority. My border experience was as a 21 year old Anglo teacher in a 99.9999% Mexican American school district, the respect they showed to me as a teacher was heart felt and very warming. I would suggest that if most Hispanics are voting liberal, part of the reason is likely that the people in authority were liberal, and they trusted and respected them. This includes a lot of priests.

  153. LisaP. says:

    Which would potentially mean that the majority of Hispanics voted for Obama not despite being Catholic, but because they are Catholic. Again, I’m afraid I blame the leadership of the Church in America.

  154. Lynne says:

    Actually, Liberation Theology is still pretty strong in South America which is what Obama listened to when he was in Rev. Wright’s church. That’s not orthodox Catholicism.

  155. jhayes says:

    Perhaps worth reading a different view from Fr. Schroth at “America”

    “Late Tuesday night I left my desk for to join 10,000 people swarming around the ice rink at Rockefeller Center where NBC was doing its coverage with giant screens on the skyscraper walls and a map on the ice of the U.S. with the states marked red and blue as the votes came it. It was very cold and all, average age of 25, were bundled up against the elements, but having a good time, though at least 80 percent were texting their absent friends rather that looking up or around.

    In our family we were trained to keep our enthusiasm in check concerning events we looked forward to but, for some reason, might not happen. I had read enough analyses to be rationally confident Obama would win; but, having lived through Nixon, Reagan, and two Bushes, I was emotionally primed to ride with it if we lost. So I bought a 2 dollar hot dog and went back to my 8th floor room on 56th St., made a cup of hot tea and turned on the tube. By 11:15 CNN declared Obama the winner. My emotion was not elation but relief.”

    Read his explantion of why:

  156. benedetta says:

    jhayes, Nah, I don’t think it is worth it.

  157. LisaP. says:

    Sissy and wmeyer,

    No, see, I’m thinking sideways of all that.

    We have been trained to think there are two roads: largely closed borders with eeking in a few charitably, or wide open borders with no real limits. And that has led us to this third road, closed borders with eeking and then massive, massive condoned illegal immigration from one direction and consisting of a relatively un-diverse population of immigrants. In this scenario, the new group becomes a major cultural force by reason of its illegal actions, and holds power that is used by the party that then gets paid back in votes.

    These were not the only choices.

    Once upon a time, we could have gone with the unsubscribing rather than subscribing option– in other words, instead of assuming no immigration and then allowing in some, we should have assumed total immigration and then limited that reasonably and scarcely. I.e. criminal checks, keeping out those who threaten our “way of life” (e.g. I’d have kept out card carrying Communists). We should, in fact, have actively encouraged immigration, even to the point of subsidizing it (for example, “scholarships” for families established here who wished to bring over family — private endeavors preferably, not public.). Let everyone in. I think it would have been the right thing to do, personally, but even if there was no obligation to do so it would have been the smart thing to do.

    Here’s the problem with so much of your argument, Sissy, from my view — it seems to buy a little bit into the “Population Bomb” sort of thinking I was so indoctrinated into as a young person. That thinking says that people are drains on limited resources. But in a well-ordered society and economy (a big, big qualifier), people are our best resource. Like a family that is only enriched by each new member a nation is the same. Our unemployment problem would not be worsened by an influx of immigrants, because people make work, when following the right ideology. If you consider the basics of a communal economy, each creates and consumes in equal proportion (quite roughly, of course). Instead of thinking of them as job-stealers, I would think of them as consumers of what I produce, and producers of what I consume. It’s a good thing.

    Of course, that assumes you don’t only let in a subset of people as immigrants — for example, those for whom emigration is an illegal act of desperation based on poverty with no true understanding of the cultural attributes of the nation the immigrant is joining. You have to let in all of good will, then you get a cross section where a huge number will be great contributors. Just like that child who was aborted might have been the one to solve the hunger problem, so the immigrant who was one too many for the quota might have been the one who mothered the next Bobby Jindal.

    About your other points, those are all based on our current situation, which is a product of the “legislate most immigration out, then let millions of illegals in” road we have been following. How would our immigration policy have evolved if we had encouraged huge immigration from populations with more than just the shirts on their backs when they came — would welfare policy have been much of an issue then? Sure, there’d still be lots of poor immigrants, but they wouldn’t be so overwhelmingly often poor and undereducated. What if we had “catered” to millions of Africans who wanted to come here because of the American dream, instead of turning a blind eye to millions of Mexican and South American illegal immigrants — most of whom share the dream thing kinda (and some of whom buy in all the way), but many of whom are more motivated by the proximity of wealth as a simple practical matter.

    Anyone should be able to become an American, if that person believes in America — America is an ideology (or once was). If we had flooded our nations with immigrants who were here largely because of ideology rather than proximity, what a different nation we’d have today, what a different election. And we could certainly, at that point, have cracked down fiercely on illegal immigration, because the only illegal immigration would be immigration of criminals, ideological enemies, etc. It would have been insane to call Republicans anti-immigrant and racist if they had spearheaded efforts to *increase* the immigration from sub-Sahara Africa and Indonesia and Vietnam and Chile.

    I am devastated that we lost the election. But now it’s time to put our house in order, the Romney voters. And we need to rethink everything, because we’ve been resting on a few assumptions for years and it hasn’t served us well. Romney didn’t lose because loafers on food stamps voted for Obama — loafers aren’t really ambitious about voting, either! It’s certainly not the family of six pulling $7,000 a year in SNAP and $7 in TANF because dad cleans bathrooms at the local hospital for $12 an hour. The ones voting to protect their “take” were the middle management EPA administrators (grade up for ten years and you’re looking at $129 to $200 per year), the folks who’ve been doing their nails at the front desk of the county recorder’s office for so many years they make $70 a year for answering phone calls, the superintendents of schools drawing $200 a year in districts with 40% illiteracy rates among graduates. These are the folks that know that if the system changes, someone will take a second look at their lives. (Yes, I acknowledge there are many government workers putting in a solid hour’s work for a solid hour’s wages, but we all know there are millions who draw salaries hugely disproportionate to their value — those are the “something for nothing” people who vote and get others to).

    Same with immigration. Immigration is good for this country. Illegal immigration is a Frankenstein creation that has damaged both the immigrants and our nation, and to put the blame for that on the backs of the immigrants themselves (with allowance that some are certainly culpable) is short sighted. Illegal immigrants have been used by liberals, and instead of protecting them and ourselves with good policy and Christian charity conservatives have accused them when we were strong and allowed them to be used when we were weak. We have other choices.

    It seems to me like if there’s any hope after this result it can’t come from smacking at leaves any more, we have to identify the true roots of our problems.

  158. jhayes says:

    wmeyer, let me add this to your previous quote from the Catechism:

    1938    There exist also sinful inequalities that affect millions of men and women. These are in open contradiction of the Gospel:

    Their equal dignity as persons demands that we strive for fairer and more humane conditions. Excessive economic and social disparity between individuals and peoples of the one human race is a source of scandal and militates against social justice, equity, human dignity, as well as social and international peace.44


    2402    In the beginning God entrusted the earth and its resources to the common stewardship of mankind to take care of them, master them by labor, and enjoy their fruits.187 The goods of creation are destined for the whole human race. However, the earth is divided up among men to assure the security of their lives, endangered by poverty and threatened by violence. The appropriation of property is legitimate for guaranteeing the freedom and dignity of persons and for helping each of them to meet his basic needs and the needs of those in his charge. It should allow for a natural solidarity to develop between men. (226, 1939)

    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.

  159. Sissy says:

    LisaP, that all sounds great, and in fact, it sounds lot like immigration policy or lack thereof in the 19th c. It worked out fairly well 100 years ago because we had factories who needed wage slaves, we were fighting a Civil War that needed cannon fodder, and we were building railroads. But, the world has changed. You seem to have overlooked the fact that millions of people are currently unemployed or underemployed. African American young men have a 50% unemployment rate with no end in sight. Exactly what is it that you propose all these unskilled workers are going to do to provide for their families? This isn’t Malthusian fear porn; it’s reality. Our economy is on the verge of collapse. How will millions of unskilled workers without jobs survive in your proposed model? You say immigration is good for our country, and it has been at times…but is it right now?

  160. Bea says:

    Thanks for posting CCC #2241

    What interested me the most was “Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its law and to assist in carrying civic burdens”

    I have long contended that these Illegal immigrants come in and their VERY FIRST action is, in fact, breaking the law.
    Those who come in legally have respect and gratitude, obey the law and carry their civic burdens because they love the country they have adopted.
    Those who come in illegally have no respect for the law (their very first act IS breaking the law), have no gratitude, (but on the contrary DEMAND rights that they don;t have) and do not assist in carrying civic burdens (on the contrary they ARE, in fact the burdens because they come for freebies).

    “THE COUNTRY THAT RECEIVES THEM” is another issue to concentrate on.
    Illegal immigrants are not “received”. They are like bandits that break into your home.
    Legal immigrants have knocked at the door and are received into your home. This is where the first part of CCC#2241 comes into play. “welcome the foreigner” Yes, we should welcome the foreigner (that knocks at your door), make him welcome and assist him.
    My parents (and my husband’s parents) came in the front door with their papers in their hands. (as, I’m sure, did the ancestors of most of you posting here.
    In those days they were sponsored by relatives that assured that they would not become a burden to the country, but would contribute by their work and expertise by taking advantage of the opportunities offered to them.

    It’s a whole different anarchical ball game nowadays.

  161. LisaP. says:

    Well, Sissy, I think for that I’d have to refer you to my crazy thinking in other areas! I think our economy is disordered and that is driving the unemployment. Immigrants buy and use services, and that makes jobs, and the wealthier they get the more they’ll buy and use. So why does that fall down in the modern U.S.? Because we don’t buy from each other, and when we buy and use services we do so in disordered ways — we use middle men (pay government to pay for what we buy), we expect something for nothing, we buy the cheap disposable item over the valuable and more costly item, we no longer even have the option of choosing good service for a slightly higher price any more, since all service is equally mediocre. So, yes, considering the other screwed up ways we do things if we had a huge influx of immigration right now we’d likely see an employment problem, since we only buy from slave laborers in China and scorn anyone trying to actually manufacture anything here any more. We’re all “information age” now, and sell ads to each other.

    It’s pretty moot anyway, since people are figuring out they don’t want to come here anymore. Net immigration/ emigration to Mexico these days. One of the saddest things in my lifetime.

    But I think if we had taken this position on immigration fifty years ago, we would have seen the country grow differently. And as Catholics, I think it was part of our moral duty to have driven immigration policy to be different than it was. Instead, Catholics allowed this messed up system of used illegal immigrants and then made themselves feel better with social programs and unions.

    What now? I don’t know. I’d let everyone in anyway. All our problems circle around, and you have to start somewhere in the circle. But in any case the first thing I’d probably do is recognize in this fight that the left lets us have our straw men and it distracts us with them, and (sometimes) it lets them bring out the worst in us when we need the best.

  162. Imrahil says:

    I just stumbled over an, in my view, truly beautiful article which is here:

  163. Pingback: Where I’ve Been | ... and these Thy gifts ...

Comments are closed.