June 24-30, 2004
vol 15, no. 154

To the Bishops:
Use it or lose it!

Commentary by

    Michael Cain
           Editor, The Daily Catholic


A potpourri of thoughts reflecting on the bishops' decision in Colorado and the maddening spin to make it what it is not! What it is is pure insanity, pure deception, and confusing as hell! How appropriate!

    Where does one begin with things happening in our world and church in such rapid decline? One brake that could easily have been applied by the United States Bishops last week was not only ignored, but pedal put to the medal full speed ahead with the apostasy that is racing out of control and yet so few Novus Ordinarians can see the obvious. That's how badly we've been dumbed-down and programmed to buy the program of the utopian Urak-hai, stampeding over souls.

    One has to ask how is it possible that our poor brethren trapped in the Protestant-in-everything-but-name church don't see through the smoke and mirrors? One way is that they're not getting the truth because, just as is being exposed today, the liberal media couches the news to convey an entirely different light on what is happening. So also the newChurch media. Let me share with you some examples.

    As we so clearly illustrated in four columns in our last issue with Dr. Thomas A. Droleskey's excellent "Two Sides of the Same Unholy Coin," Dr. Frank Joseph's insightful "Rocky Mountain Stonewalling," Christopher Ferrara's "What have they got on you, Cardinal McCarrick?" and Atila Sinke Guimaraes' column and Gary Morella's Catholic perspective piece on the evolution of hate crimes legislation, it all points to the bishops totally dropping the ball; worse yet, abandoning moral theology and the Faith. Translated: Apostasy! Judie Brown, President of American Life League reinforced this with the following statement on June 19:

     "The American bishops have failed. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops had an opportunity to provide strong leadership on the question of Catholic public figures who favor legal abortion. However, their statement misses the mark on several points. As a result, election year politics has trumped the right to life of the innocent and the protection of Christ from sacrilege.

      As Pope John Paul II teaches in the encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 'in cases of outward conduct which is seriously, clearly and steadfastly contrary to the moral norm, the Church, in her pastoral concern for the good order of the community and out of respect for the sacrament, cannot fail to feel directly involved. The Code of Canon Law refers to this situation of a manifest lack of proper moral disposition when it states that those who 'obstinately persist in manifest grave sin' are not to be admitted to Eucharistic communion [Canon 915].'

      The Catholic bishops of the United States have a moral obligation to teach the truth, to preach it without apology and to defend it unto death, as St. Thomas More was ultimately called to do. The polarizing tendencies of election year politics' cited in the bishops' statement have nothing to do with Catholic teaching and the infallibility of those teachings. Christ is truly present in Holy Communion; the act of abortion is intrinsically evil. To somehow suggest that politics alters either of these truths is to suggest that either the Holy Eucharist is really not all that good or abortion is not all that bad.

      Had the bishops united in their commitment to enforce Canon 915, they could have prevented Catholic teaching on the sanctity of human life from being misused for political ends by being represented as nothing more that a matter of 'choice' in a pluralistic society. They failed to do that.

      Had the bishops united in their commitment to enforce Canon 915, they could have prevented abuse and desecration of the sacrament of Holy Eucharist by making it clear that allegedly Catholic public figures who support the direct killing of the innocent by acts of abortion cannot receive the body and blood of Christ in Holy Eucharist. They failed to do that as well.

      The wording of the USCCB statement represents a problem of enormous proportions. This statement does not adequately address the question. We call on each bishop to respond in a manner consistent with protecting the body and blood of Christ from sacrilege."

    So why don't most 'Catholics' get it? Could it be the spin the Modernists are putting on it? Give a look at how ZENIT presented it with the headline: Pro-Abortion Politicians Can Be Denied Communion, Says Episcopate. That's not the message the 183 prelates wanted to extend. Only six bishops voted for that. Yet, in today's world, black is white and white is seen as dark and bad. So also with the manufacturing of the news. The subhead said: U.S. Bishops Warns [sic] Catholics of "Cooperating in Evil." Talk about calling the pot calling the kettle dirty! Then Zenit had the audacity to misrepresent it by saying that the bishops "issued a rebuke to Catholic politicians who support abortion."

   "Rebuke"? I don't think so. Let me share with you the Bishops' official statement in question and the very cogent comments by Gary Morella in red so that we can see what is truly Catholic and what is pure doublespeak gobbledlygook bunk! See who you agree with, therein lie your loyalty, therein lex credendi.

    Catholics in Political Life

    We speak as bishops, as teachers of the Catholic faith and of the moral law. We have the duty to teach about human life and dignity, marriage and family, war and peace, the needs of the poor and the demands of justice. Today we continue our efforts to teach on a uniquely important matter that has recently been a source of concern for Catholics and others.

      [What about your duty as bishops to speak of getting to Heaven instead of hell? Where in the above litany is there the slightest hint of the importance of the last things, the supernatural, which is the only reason that you exist as priests?]

    It is the teaching of the Catholic Church from the very beginning, founded on her understanding of her Lord’s own witness to the sacredness of human life, that the killing of an unborn child is always intrinsically evil and can never be justified. If those who perform an abortion and those who cooperate willingly in the action are fully aware of the objective evil of what they do, they are guilty of grave sin and thereby separate themselves from God’s grace. This is the constant and received teaching of the Church. It is, as well, the conviction of many other people of good will.

    To make such intrinsically evil actions legal is itself wrong. This is the point most recently highlighted in official Catholic teaching. The legal system as such can be said to cooperate in evil when it fails to protect the lives of those who have no protection except the law. In the United States of America, abortion on demand has been made a constitutional right by a decision of the Supreme Court. Failing to protect the lives of innocent and defenseless members of the human race is to sin against justice. Those who formulate law therefore have an obligation in conscience to work toward correcting morally defective laws, lest they be guilty of cooperating in evil and in sinning against the common good.

      [Given the truth of the above two paragraphs, how can you ignore the fact that the sins against justice are sins against God first and foremost with man's laws subsidiary to God's? How can you ignore the blasphemy to the faith that individuals like Kerry and Kennedy and their pseudo-Catholic political colleagues are repeatedly doing by receiving the Most Blessed Sacrament while promoting the entirety of a culture-of-ETERNAL-death to include contraception, abortion, homosexuality, and euthanasia? How can you sit on the sidelines and not take definitive action to formally excommunicate those who have given no indication whatsoever that they have the slightest interest in "correcting morally defective laws", but rather go out of their way to make more of the same? Have you no shame?]

    As our conference has insisted in Faithful Citizenship, Catholics who bring their moral convictions into public life do not threaten democracy or pluralism but enrich them and the nation. The separation of church and state does not require division between belief and public action, between moral principles and political choices, but protects the right of believers and religious groups to practice their faith and act on their values in public life.

      [Separation of Church and state has never been Catholic teaching but rather the necessary influence of the Church as a moral beacon for the state. Your priority should not be "faithful citizenship" but rather "faithful Catholics" to serve as witness to the state for the natural common good, which is guaranteed by obedience to the natural law of God, leading to a final supernatural good. "Faithful citizenship" has no supernatural connotations whatsoever. In fact, due to man-made laws at variance with God's, being a faithful citizen these days is to disobey God. Better to disobey unjust laws, which Catholics are called to do, and be citizens of the City of God, instead of the City of Man, per Saint Augustine.]

    Our obligation as bishops at this time is to teach clearly. It is with pastoral solicitude for everyone involved in the political process that we will also counsel Catholic public officials that their acting consistently to support abortion on demand risks making them cooperators in evil in a public manner. We will persist in this duty to counsel, in the hope that the scandal of their cooperating in evil can be resolved by the proper formation of their consciences.

      [The world "risk" should not be used. Acting consistently to support baby killing MAKES pseudo-Catholics cooperators in evil in a public manner, causing great scandal to the what's left of the faithful, PERIOD! Decades of watered down Catholic teaching allowed, moreover, promoted by many in the USCCB has been the PRIME contributor to the improper formation of "their consciences." Let's tell the truth, here.]

    Having received an extensive interim report from the Task Force on Catholic Bishops and Catholic Politicians, and looking forward to the full report, we highlight several points from the interim report that suggest some directions for our efforts:

    We need to continue to teach clearly and help other Catholic leaders to teach clearly on our unequivocal commitment to the legal protection of human life from the moment of conception until natural death. Our teaching on human life and dignity should be reflected in our parishes and our educational, health care and human service ministries.

      [Actions speak louder than words. If this is the case why does Mahony & Co. get away with promoting dissent from practically every Church teaching on faith and morals via catechetical conferences whose speakers comprise a "who's who of dissent?]

    We need to do more to persuade all people that human life is precious and human dignity must be defended. This requires more effective dialogue and engagement with all public officials, especially Catholic public officials. We welcome conversation initiated by political leaders themselves.

      [Dialogue is not needed. THE problem is that the Church's invariant teachings on faith and morals have been dialogued away. The only conversation that is required for obstinate public sinners who blatantly flout the Church's moral teachings is for their bishops to tell them that they have been formally excommunicated from the Catholic Church for the sake of the souls of all concerned, not the least of which are their own.]

    Catholics need to act in support of these principles and policies in public life. It is the particular vocation of the laity to transform the world. We have to encourage this vocation and do more to bring all believers to this mission. As bishops, we do not endorse or oppose candidates. Rather, we seek to form the consciences of our people so that they can examine the positions of candidates and make choices based on Catholic moral and social teaching.

      [How can you form consciences when you allow dissent as a matter of course in your dioceses? How can you form consciences when there is no preaching as to the consequence of having an unformed conscience leading souls to perdition? How can you form consciences when the supernatural is continuously put on the backburner in favor of the natural, when Heaven and hell are no longer a part of the Catholic vocabulary?]

    The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.

      [Wow, this is really going to get the attention of those who have been given carte blanche to destroy the Church from within when there is absolutely NO TEETH to such statements. How about enforcing "Ex Corde Ecclesiae" for starters, instead of dialoguing it into oblivion? Let's stop using words like "should" and start using words like "must".]

    We commit ourselves to maintain communication with public officials who make decisions every day that touch issues of human life and dignity.

      [What good does "maintaining communication" due when the eternal truths of the faith are never preached? Who's going to listen to a Church that refuses to take definitive action against the dissenters who are the primary lines of communication with the secularists? No wonder Catholicism is so skewed by the secularists. They don't have a clue what Catholicism is all about because they never see REAL AUTHENTIC ORTHODOX Catholicism in their dealings with diocesan apparatchiks who could care less about standing in contradiction to the world in favor of accommodating it.]

    The Eucharist is the source and summit of Catholic life. Therefore, like every Catholic generation before us, we must be guided by the words of St. Paul, “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the Body and Blood of the Lord” (1 Cur 11:27). This means that all must examine their consciences as to their worthiness to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord. This examination includes fidelity to the moral teaching of the Church in personal and public life.

      [The Blessed Sacrament uniquely defines the Church as Catholic. Thus, those who profane it are committing the most serious of sacrilege. Examining of consciences means nothing if the moral teachings of the Church are not enforced in the recognition that we're talking about informed consciences with the Teaching Magisterium on faith and morals.]

    The question has been raised as to whether the denial of Holy Communion to some Catholics in political life is necessary because of their public support for abortion on demand. Given the wide range of circumstances involved in arriving at a prudential judgment on a matter of this seriousness, we recognize that such decisions rest with the individual bishop in accord with the established canonical and pastoral principles. Bishops can legitimately make different judgments on the most prudent course of pastoral action. Nevertheless, we all share an unequivocal commitment to protect human life and dignity and to preach the Gospel in difficult times.

      [This is a pure and simple copout on the part of the USCCB. You could bet the farm that if the issue at hand was one of peace and social justice with solely natural concerns ad nauseam, there would be a clarion call from the USCCB to march in lockstep. There were even some in the USCCB to include the Bishop of Altoona-Johnstown PA, Joseph V. Adamec, who would have what's left of the faithful to believe that the horrendously problematic pro-sodomite Always Our Children was a definitive Catholic teaching via the USCCB, instead of one of the greatest mistakes ever to come out of a committee of a national conference of bishops, thereby carrying no weight whatsoever in speaking for the conference as a whole. (Adamec made this proclamation in a letter read to all of his churches. ) However, since we're only talking about eternal life and death, such is not the case. No Catholic bishop should need anyone, least of all a bishops' conference that is not required, to tell him how to be Catholic in such grave matters involving the last things, the only reason for a priests' existence. How can Catholic bishops make "different" judgments on issues of salvific importance. The mere suggestion is heretical.]

    The polarizing tendencies of election-year politics can lead to circumstances in which Catholic teaching and sacramental practice can be misused for political ends. Respect for the Holy Eucharist, in particular, demands that it be received worthily and that it be seen as the source for our common mission in the world.

      [The people who are misusing Catholic teaching are the very bishops who will not abide by it, i.e., obey it for the sake of their sheep. When canon law is ignored given eternity at stake, it is the USCCB that is being political instead of Catholic.]

    Are there still those who think these bishops are shepherds concerned for souls? If so, we have some swampland in Florida going really cheap! Zenit reported on June 20, that "Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, D.C., chairman of the task force, said, on the release of the statement, that 'it reflects the bishop's role as teacher, pastor and center of unity. We address the moral issues that our society faces without endorsing parties or candidates'." (ZE04062023) Is this not the same person Chris Ferrara referred to in his article? Talk about the fox guarding the hen house!

    So let's see how others spin it. How about another prelate under siege for the sexual scandal such as Bishop Joseph L. Imesch? Why he said, in Joliet's Diocesan organ Explorer, "Both the good and the wicked can approach the table." Yup, that from a consecrated successor of the Apostles! Well, if that's the case, we might as well throw sanctifying grace out the window and invite the pagans in to worship as they see fit. Oh, that's right, it's already been done at Fatima this year on May 5th. Now you won't hear about that in any of your diocesan rags which are akin to editorial policy of The New York Times which is: lie, and if that doesn't work, exaggerate the lie, and if that doesn't work, blame the honest ones for lying. In other words twist the truth in every which way but the right way. That's what the bishops have done, what Imesch has done and what Zenit has perpetuated by their playing puppet to the perpetrators.

    Another puppet, albeit more liberal than Zenit - Catholic News Service, reported that "Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles, who had strongly opposed any move toward sanctioning Catholic politicians who support abortion by refusing them Communion, said in a June 18 statement of support for the document that the archdiocese would 'continue forward with clear teaching and respectful dialogue with all members of the church on the value of human life.' (CNS)

    There we have it, the 'authority on the Catholic Church' is Mahony, the most apostate of American cardinals! And "clear teaching"? Puhleasse! But he's not done spinning: "The archdiocese will continue to follow church teaching which places the duty on each Catholic to examine their consciences as to their worthiness to receive holy Communion. That is not the role of the person distributing the body and blood of Christ." No, it is the role of the bishop as the shepherd. How can one blame the common church-goer who has been so buffaload (take that spelling however you want) into buying any rot coming down the Modernist pike, that they can trust their dulled consciences? The kind of conscience that can rationalize committing adultery or contraception and nothing being wrong with it because it feels good or one cares for the other person? The kind of conscience that can pick and choose what doctrines to follow and the rest can be discarded? The kind of conscience which has totally lost the concept of expiation and the propitiatory Sacrifice of the Mass as a re-enactment of Calvary in an unbloody manner? The kind of conscience that finds no objection with sodomite behavior or letting people do their own thing as long as it's behind closed doors? The kind of conscience that is immune to the silent screams of over 44 million unborns slaughtered in the womb? The kind of conscience that has more compassion for animals and trees than human beings? The kind of conscience that encourages the continuance of this human sacrifice by voting for pro-abort politicians be they 'Catholic' or not? The kind of conscience that rails against Traditional Catholics because they are being disobedient when in truth these lax 'Catholics' have no clue what true obedience really is or they would run, not walk to the closest SSPX or independent chapel no matter what the cost of popularity or distance? The kind of conscience that feels impelled to be goaded into giving to diocesan projects which have been proven to go directly to paying for the sins of those who were conning them and continue to deceive them? The kind of conscience that thinks dogma is an opinion and that all churches have some salvific properties and not only the Catholic Church? The kind of conscience that has lobotomized their Catholicity beyond recognition because they have been Pavloved to death - mortal death of the soul - by ingesting the poisonous pabulum of progressivism? Is that the kind of conscience, bunky? If so, then we can understand why Catholics are so confused and can't see the forest through the trees, let alone the barn door. All that can be sensed is the putrid stench coming from that stable present in every diocese in this country. It's called Novus Ordostench and the stink can only be eliminated by throwing it out completely and garbing oneself in the Heavenly aroma of the divinely ordained Immemorial Mass of Tradition - the Canonized Latin Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    Even William Donohue, the off-the-rail ranter and president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights doesn't get it. As CNS reported, he "had special praise in a June 21 statement for the bishops' declaration that 'the Catholic community and Catholic institutions' should not honor those 'who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles' with awards, honors or 'platforms which would suggest support for their actions'." Well, Mr. Donohue, pray tell, where is their congratulations to these shirkers of duty? To the six who voted to uphold Catholic truth, you evidently dismiss their vote and swing with the 183 apostate prelates who voted to continue the Democratic Party Manifesto status quo. No wonder modern 'Catholics' are confused.

    Bishop William S. Skylstad, vice president of the USCCB, and, God forbid, the next head of USCCB, shows this kind of narrow leadership qualities as CNS reported: "I strongly oppose using Eucharist as a weapon. As a bishop, I believe we are called to persuade, not to bludgeon. ... We have neither need nor call to take God's gifts ... and turn them into weapons of divisiveness and anger." No, your Excellency, save the weapons and the bludgeoning for those who are truly obedient to the infallible, perennial Magisterium of the Church but never use it for those who unworthily receive Christ. Again, sanctifying grace is totally missing from the whole defense of the 'communion is being used as a political weapon' argument by the leftists who are running the asylum.

    A hotbed of abuse and sodomy running amok is San Diego where we get more of the delay tactics from Bishop Robert Brom, who is himself under intensive investigation for his complicity in homosexual affairs and protecting the guilty. Here are his words in the San Diego Union-Tribune: "In my judgment at this time, it is not prudent to deny Holy Communion to Catholics in political life because of their public support for abortion on demand. Instead, any Catholic who is not following church teaching should on their own refrain from celebrating the sacrament. Catholics who are living in grave sin or who reject the doctrine of the Church should abstain from the Eucharist. This goes beyond the official Church teaching on the moral evil of abortion and does not apply only to those in public life." What a pile of ambiguous abandonment of Catholic teaching. Pray tell, your Excellency, since you don't think in your judgment, that this is the right time, when would be the right time? When hell freezes over or after Kerry is elected? More damnable delay tactics. And I ask, if it is left to any Catholic to refrain "on their own" then why, in God's name, would we even need bishops? I daresay a lot of money would be saved and fewer scandals committed. You, Bishop Brom, have abdicated your responsibility as a shepherd by shirking your duty to souls and will have much to answer for at your Particular Judgment.

    Denver's Archbishop Charles Chaput, who is in essence an enigma because he could so easily be a leading light for True Catholicism but his olfactory nerves are dulled by the Novus Ordostench that he can't think clearly expresses tides of brilliance and pure stupidity. Case in point in the CNS report: "None of us earns the gift of Christ's love. None of us 'deserves' the Eucharist." True, it is a privilege and gift merited through Christ's ultimate sacrifice and our agreement - our promise to God - to abide by His laws and statutes and to follow the true teachings of His sacramental Church. However, then the bishop says, "But the church always expects Catholics who are living in serious sin or who deny the teachings of the church -- whether they're highly visible officials or anonymous parishioners -- to have the integrity to respect both the Eucharist and the faithful, and to refrain from receiving Communion." No, your Excellency, it does not expect, it mandates that one refrain from receiving the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist if one has any doubts whatsoever that they are not in the state of sanctifying grace. There is only one cure. It is not in attending every Sunday, it is not in continuing to receive and giving God the benefit of the doubt, it is not in continuing in the comfort zone of accepted sin they might find themselves in. No, it is in hurrying to a confessional and being heartily sorry for one's sins, with a firm amendment not to sin again. Only then will they be worthy of receiving this most precious, priceless Gift of Jesus. According to Bishop Chaput and so many other mitered ones, they assume the people whom they have educated have the sense to tell the difference between knowing right from wrong. Wrong! If their consciences are so dulled down and deadened how can they know considering the garbage they've been fed over the past 40 years? How can they have respect for Christ when they have no respect for themselves?

    Another aspect sorely missing in the synthetic man-made concoction of the NOM is that there is no absolution of venial sin as there is in the True Latin Mass with the Confiteor said twice to ask forgiveness of our venial sins so that we are truly pure vessels to receive Christ on our tongue, tongues that should be pronouncing words of prayer, praise, adoration, thanksgiving, penance, and petition; certainly not gossip, obscenities, vulgarities, unkindness, or untruths. Just more of the confusion for few modern 'Catholics' comprehend the absolution in the Mass of the Catechumens and the Mass of the Faithful.

    Sadly, few priests and fewer bishops, as we have illustrated here and as have exposed themselves with their vote in Englewood last week, comprehend what Catholicism truly is and means. In this issue we bring this home all the stronger with Father Paul Trinchard's take on the bishop's sheepishness and total abandonment of duty in his article The Lukewarm Landslide and Gabriel Garnica produces such an airtight argument against the leftists pushing for the hate crimes legislation that they have no choice but to agree that abortion must be included as a hate crime. His syllogisms are so strong that we have titled it, Airtight Logic. Father Louis Campbell rails against those who accommodate false teaching in his sermon for the Fourth Sunday After Pentecost As the Birds are made to fly, and Stanford Gabriel Espedal's magnificent essay on the Dogma of the Faith The Word of God, The Church, and Salvation is solid Catholic theology. In it he quotes John Paul II's statement "fundamental and revealed truth, set forth in the words consecrated by tradition, ‘there is no salvation outside the Church.’" Yes, folks, the very pope who has advanced the heretical ecumaniacal agenda of recognizing every religion possible, has said in his own lips and understands by his words that outside the Catholic Church THERE IS NO SALVATION! So why the maddening "I will not turn back on this path of ecumenism" madness? Good question, of which we have no sufficient answers for we know not the mind of the man presently sitting on the chair of Peter. For that very reason we are not, nor is anyone else outside of a future Pope, Council, except of course God Himself, able to pass judgment as to the validity of his pontificate. But one thing we can judge are his actions and inactions and by these you shall know him as being fruitless for he bases it on the barren tree of Vatican II which shall be cast into the fire. By the way he made that statement quoted above to a group of Franciscans in 1981.

    Finally, in response to those prelates who say "we should not use the Eucharist as a weapon," I ask why not?! After all, God used His only-begotten Son as a weapon to defeat death. The fact is That is the only weapon which will win out. True the Rosary is a powerful weapon, but it is a water pistol - albeit a powerful thrusting one - compared to one True Mass. Those who do not follow Christ and His teachings? Well, He put it more succinctly than I, any theologian, any bishop, any politician, or even any pope could put it: "they shall be condemned." Ouch. Sorry, but the Church has a very good reason for instituting excommunication. It is called a deterrent for upholding the Faith. And so I implore both true shepherds and false ones, all of whom I pray daily for, to the bishops: use it or lose it!

Michael Cain, editor

    For past HOT ISSUES commentaries, see 2004hot.htm Archives
    June 24-30, 2004
    vol 15, no. 154