Today Dr. Frank Joseph continues the second of a three part essay on the dumbing of the Church in America by liberal media darling priests who get the ear of the press but whose words are shallow. Yet even shallower are the minds and consciences of American Catholics who buy the garbage being spewed by the likes of Fathers Robert Drinan, Andrew Greeley, and Daniel Maguire. Their gospel is false and we need to turn to what the Holy Father is saying to counteract this monkey business masquerading as experts for the Church in America. For, as Dr. Joseph points out, statistics show Catholics really don't have a clue how much they're playing into the hands of the pro-aborts by splitting their votes, either being apathetic to the whole process or endorsing immoral candidates and measures. For the second part of As the Catholic Church in America goes, so goes America! , see Pro-Life Prescriptions: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL!
Then, we have Father Robert Drinan, a Catholic priest. He is a disgrace to the Catholic Church, and whose actions perpetuate the killing of unborn babies. He teaches at Georgetown University, which as you know is Catholic. He is a retired Democratic congressman. During the House judicial committee hearings, he was a witness for Clinton and stated that Clinton should NOT be impeached. Later on the Chris Matthews Show on television, he vehemently reiterated his position and also said that he shouldn't even be censured. Now, here's a man,(Clinton) who used the Oval office for a motel. Father Drinan was willing to accept this. He was also willing to accept (in the words of Democratic congressmen) a reprehensible lying bum to be his commander and chief. A known serial adulterer and a perjurer, to be the moral leader of our children.
So why Father Drinan fought so hard to keep Clinton in office, boggles the mind. Surely, he knew that Clinton was a bad role model for our children and that perjury would increase in our courts, if Clinton was not removed. He was also willing to accept the fact that Clinton would again veto the ban on partial-birth abortions, if he stayed in office, thus ensuring that thousands of babies would be killed, yearly, who otherwise would have lived.
About the same time, I heard on Geraldo Rivera's TV show, words from another Catholic priest that I thought I would never hear. Words that must have put a big smile on satan's face. Luckily, I taped that show, so what you read is word for word.
The priest's name is familiar to many as probably the most liberal, non-Catholic-like priest in the Church today. I'm speaking of Fr. Andrew Greeley, who spewed his reasons why Clinton should NOT be removed from office. The interview started with the following statistics: 68% of the general public gives Clinton a favorable approval rating, while 72% of Catholics give Clinton a favorable approval rating. Fr. Greeley said, "The one who takes the sword will perish by the sword." What this has to do with Godly people thinking that Clinton is not morally fit to lead our our country, I don't know.
Greeley also said, "those who turn adultery into a political crime, risk being accused of the crime." Adultery may not be a crime in our country, but it does break God's law, Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery. Why was Greeley making light of adultery? Doesn't he know that his words can easily influence someone contemplating adultery to actually break God's commandment. Of course, he does! After all if a Catholic priest doesn't think that Clinton's immoral actions are not serious, then others are more likely to follow through on their temptations.
Greeley also said, "those who print Ken Starr's smut have no right to criticize Larry Flynt's smut." This statement by Fr. Greeley is repugnant and greatly harms the Catholic Church and the priesthood. To compare Ken Starr with Flynt, the king of pornography is ludicrous, besides being a lie. Fr. Greeley is impugning the reputation of a man he does not know, just to make his idol, Clinton, look good.
Before Starr was chosen by Janet Reno, (appointed by Clinton) to head the independent council, he was hailed by Democrats and Republicans alike, as a very honorable man and who someday, may sit on the Supreme Court. That statement is against everything that's in the Bible and the teachings of the Catholic Church.
This same priest, when condemning those who want Clinton removed pontificated, "Judge not lest ye be judged." And then he turns around and judges Ken Starr. At least those who wanted Clinton removed had their children's moral well being at stake.
Greeley also said, "it's terrible to explore private lives of public figures. Their private lives should be kept private." Greeley, who is supposed to be a learned man, who has written thirty books, should know better. He had to know that the articles of impeachment had nothing to do with Clinton's Oval Office sexual escapades. It had to do with perjury and obstructing justice. He lied under oath to deny Paula Jones her constitutional rights in a civil law suit and he lied under oath to the Grand Jury. Over and over, the House managers drove this point across. And for Fr. Greeley to lie to the American people, disgraces the entire Catholic Church. YES, Fr. Greeley lied. He has got to know, what the articles of impeachment are. He teaches sociology at the University of Chicago.
Greeley also said, "the Catholic hierarchy is absolutely silent on this issue. (meaning the Clinton issue) The Bishops are silent." He said, he doesn't usually agree with the Bishops, but on this issue, he does. If the Bishops were silent on the Clinton impeachment hearings and he agreed with the Bishops on this one issue, then why didn't he keep his mouth shut. He also said, "the Pope is also silent. The Pope can't figure out why this is a such a big deal."
Now, Fr. Greeley thinks he knows what's in the Pope's mind? He falsely states that the POPE IS NOT CONCERNED, when people, especially the leader of the most powerful nation on this planet, is a serial adulterer and liar under oath and is pro-abortion and even vetoed the ban on partial-birth abortions. How can a priest make up such a lie about the Pope? A Pope who passionately pleads for the Sanctity of Life and who told Clinton himself and the American people in August 1993 during his visit to Denver, "If you want equal justice for all and true freedom and lasting peace, then, America, defend life." The Holy Father followed that immediately with, "All the great causes that are yours today will have meaning only to the extent that you guarantee the right to life and protect the human person. Mr. President, my reference to the moral truth which sustains the life and the nation is not without relevance to the privileged position which the United States holds in the international community in the face of tensions and conflicts that too many peoples have endured for so long."
In that same address John Paul II affirmed that, "Only by instilling a high moral vision can a society ensure that its young people are given the possibility to mature as free and intelligent human beings endowed with the robust sense of responsibility to the common good, capable of working with others to create a community and a nation with a strong moral fiber." No, Fr. Greeley, you haven't got a clue what the Pope thinks and that is what is truly sad.
Greeley also said, "religious leaders of other denominations are pontificating and moralizing on this issue." Now, he is attacking Protestant religious leaders for saying that Clinton is not morally fit to lead our country. The Protestant leaders were right -- Clinton was not and still is, NOT fit. He also said, "it's an attempted coup d'etat of fundamentalist Christians against the U.S. constitution."
This is another outright lie. Regarding articles of impeachment, as originally framed, Alexander Hamilton wrote that, "Impeachable offenses are injuries done immediately to society itself."
For Fr. Greeley, to have the gall to say that perjury and obstructing justice are not a threat and injurious to our nation's well-being is mind boggling. How can he say that with a straight face? If murderers go free because someone lied under oath and they kill again -- would this not be threat to our country, as well as to the people being killed?
This radical modernist also said, "the managers have a glow of true believers about them -- they truly believe Clinton, because he is immoral, should be swept from office, but if we sweep away, all those who are immoral, who will be left?" What a terrible statement for a Catholic priest to say. Notice, he conveniently leaves out, lying under oath and obstructing justice. Besides, everyone does not commit adultery. And to plant in people's minds that everyone does it, would only lead those who have not, to do so.
Geraldo, who is a known Clinton lover, actually seemed to be embarrassed by Fr. Greeley's remarks and it takes a lot to embarrass Geraldo. Fr. Greeley then said, "These are not impeachable offenses. It's a trumped up case. Clinton's lawyers cut the managers case to ribbons." Again Fr. Greeley tried to give the country a false impression, apparently hoping, since he's a Catholic priest, his words would be taken more seriously. I watched practically every minute of the trial, either live or on tape and the House managers had a mountain of evidence against Clinton. Their case was solid and irrefutable. If not for the liberal Democratic Senators -- the same ones who voted not to ban partial-birth abortions -- Clinton would have been removed.
Is it any wonder that most Catholics voted for Pro-abortion candidates. when you have these kinds of priests influencing their minds? Is it any wonder that 72% of Catholics gave Clinton a high approval rating -- compared to 68% for Protestants? Is it any wonder that attendance at mass is falling off and people are leaving the Catholic Church?
Tom Smith who tracks religious attitudes says, the news is not good for the Catholic Church. Those with a strong affiliation with the Catholic Church and attend mass weekly, between 18-29 years is 20.7%. Over 55 years, it's 49.8%
Greeley, Drinen, and Maguire are not the only priests whose actions are deplorable, but time and space precludes any further discussion of this issue. What's happening to my Church, when priests are pro-abortion and spew their thoughts to young formative minds and the bishops don't excommunicate them? What's happening when priests condone adultery, distort facts and fight hard to keep a morally bankrupt man, as well as a perjurer in office, where he is sure to influence the minds of our children and knowing all the while, he will again veto the ban on Partial-birth abortions? This only ensures that thousands of God's precious children will die, who otherwise would have lived.
In the next installment I will complete this thread with part three as we show where Canon Law, Sacred Scripture and Church Doctrine strictly entreats the hierarchy to speak out strongly for the laws of God and to denounce immorality and sin, no matter the cost including getting political over moral issues!
Today, in our on-going series of this abridged History of the Mass and Holy Mother Church over a 2000 year span called 2000 YEAR VOYAGE ON THE BARQUE OF PETER, we cover the first half of the twelfth century and the grueling conflict with the Holy Roman Empire over control chiefly over the the investiture issue which divided Church and state. In addition, the patrician wars raised their ugly heads, dividing into the two damaging camps of the Guelphs, who sided with the Pope, and the Ghibellines, who threw their support behind the Emperor. The papacy went through some troubling times during this period and were it not for the sage guidance of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux it might have crumbled even more because of deception, jealousies and all-out war between the cardinals which resulted in numerous antipopes during this period. For Installment thirty-seven The Church and the Empire: struggle for control, see BARQUE OF PETER
Though Paschal was timid and weak, he was determined to shunt the power of Henry and turn away the influence of the even weaker antipopes Theoderic, Albert, and Silvester IV all appointed by Henry but not backed militarily by the German king. In March 1102, Paschal reinforced Urban's strong ban against investiture by lay rulers and this incurred the wrath of Henry even further but still, involved with his own problems in Germany and growing old, he did not take action. That would be left to his son Henry V who Paschal at first had supported in overthrowing his father. But when Henry IV died in 1106, power went to Henry V's head. At a Synod at Guastalla, then Troyes a year later in 1107, and in Benevento the next year followed two years later at the Lateran in 1110, Paschal maintained a hardline stance on the investiture issue which conflicted with Henry's ambitions. On February 9, 1111 at the Synod of Sutri, Paschal advanced the offer of Henry renouncing all investiture in favor of the German churches paying tithes to the kingdom. He accepted and journeyed to the Vatican to be coronated on February 12, 1111 but when Pascal announced the concordat before the coronation the locals rebelled and the coronation never happened. Incensed, Henry renegged on his agreement and had Pope Paschal and his cardinals arrested. With no where to turn after two months imprisonment, Paschal was caught between a rock and a hard place for Henry threatened to recognize universally the antipope Silvester IV if Paschal didn't accept the king's privilege to invest bishops of his choosing. In addition, the beleaguered Pontiff had to agree never to excommunicate Henry and must crown him emperor in St. Peter's Basilica. It was a no win situation for the Holy See and the faithful called for Paschal's abdication. Rioting broke out and became so bad in 1114 that Paschal was forced to flee Rome for Benevento. Henry returned in 1117 to quell the riots but Paschal had lost all credibility and, though he had returned to Rome, he had to hole up in Castel Sant'Angelo, dying on January 21, 1118.
His successor was Pope Gelasius II who was just as powerless as his predecessor. He was elected three days after Paschal's death and enthroned on March 10, 1118. His brief one year pontificate was marked by another antipope Gregory VIII and violence as rioters attacked the Basilica of the Lateran where he resided and imprisoned him. In a scene right out of an adventure novel or movie, Genoese sailors freed him while he was enroute to exile by his captors. Dressed as a pilgrim he stole back into Rome disguized but was never able to resume the Papal throne publicly and retreated to Cluny after becoming seriously ill where he died on January 28, 1119.
The cardinals gathered and elected one of their own who had been against the wimpiness of Paschal and Gelasius. He was Pope Callistus II, the son of a Count of Burgundy who bore Royal bloodlines of the German, French and English royal houses. He called the landmark Concordat of Worms on September 23, 1122 in which a compromise was reached ending the long investiture controversy with the emperor having a say in who was appointed but final approval and investiture to episcopal ranks to be done by the bishops exclusively. The following year he called the First Lateran Council which ratified the concordat and assured all that though the Holy See had compromised, it was for the best in maintaining peace at all costs. The Council Fathers also passed 22 disciplinary measures first introduced by Urban II. It was this council that also issued decrees on simony and celibacy as well as establishing the protective measures for pilgrims and consequences for those violating the code called the Truce of God. Callistus proclaimed the Second Crusade but it would not be launched for another twenty years or so. He died on December 14, 1124.
A week after Callistus' death, the Conclave elected Pope Honorius II an Italian born in Fiagnano. The voting process had been bitter with the cardinals dividing into two camps and the priest Teobaldo was actually chosen. He took the name Pope Celestine II but while he was being installed the upstart Frangipani family forcefully interrupted the proceedings and at sword-point proclaimed Cardinal Lamberto of Ostia as Pope. He was, of course, Honorius II. To avoid further trouble Celestine abdicated leaving the papacy to Honorius with many bad feelings among the cardinals. This is another reason there is a controversy among the number of total Popes. Many historians include Celestine as a recognized Supreme Pontiff for he was canonically chosen, but because he was never consecrated or enthroned others do not include him. In our count of the Popes, which makes Pope John Paul II the 264th successor of Peter, we include him.
Honorius' six year papacy was also frought with intrigue and struggle as bitter, mortal rivalries between the patrician families broke out into full scale war which gave rise to the two factions - the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. The latter sided with the Emperor Henry, while the former fell behind the Pope. To counter this, Honorius called on the alliance of Germany and Henry's rival Count Lothair III who was lobbying for the German crown. Though Honorius was an honorable man, his chancellor Cardinal Aimeric was not and he made many enemies. But, through Honorius' humble pleas, the Pope managed to unite Europe in its common fight against the Saracens as a fever pitch mounted throughout the continent to return to the Holy Land. Honorius died enroute to being taken to the Frangipani stronghold where he was being taken to die for he was gravely ill and the family wanted to maintain control by moving him to their territory. He died on February 13, 1930.
Protected by the powerful Frangipani clan, Aimeric rustled up the necessary cardinals who immediately elected one of their own Pope Innocent II. When the rest of the cardinals got word of this railroad job, they countered by electing the antipope Anacletus II and once again confusion reigned in Rome. Innocent II was forced to flee and seek refuge with Lothair who in 1133 escorted him back to Rome and, with a show of force and a show of respect, kissed the Pope's feet and personally held the Holy Father's mule bridle as he led Innocent triumphantly into Rome. Though he was back on the throne, Anacletus would not go away until death took him in 1138. A year after his death, Pope Innocent II convened the Second Lateran Council in April 1139 in which that 10th Ecumenical Council condemned Albigensianism and set regulations for papal elections. This would come into play four years later with the passing of Innocent on September 24, 1143. During Innocent's last years he had to contend with yet another antipope Victor IV.
A reformer was the chose of the Sacred Conclave two days after Innocent's passing. They chose Pope Celestine II as the 165th in the line of Peter. Though he only ruled a year, he is remembered for introducing the holy abbot Saint Bernard of Clairvaux onto the universal scene. St. Bernard had already become well respected within the inner sanctum of the Holy See for his successful debates against Abelard at the Council of Sens in 1140. Celestine was already on in years when took office and yet he had the energy to settle internal differences of the Church with the astute aid of St. Bernard. He also tried to end the war between Scotland and England, but was never able to obtain peace in Italy. He did however win France back but lifting the excommunication of King Louis VII which also opened the door for the rise to power of Roger II of Sicily which would become a thorn in the side of the Holy See for many years to come. He died on March 8, 1144.
He was followed by Bologna-born Cardinal Gherardo Caccianemici who took the name Pope Lucius II on March 12, 1144. Like his predecessor, he too was aged and his pontificate lasted just under a year. He was forced to govern during the disorders caused by Arnold of Brescia in the on-going patrician wars. It was during his papacy that communes throughout Europe began which signaled the beginning of the end of the Middle Ages. He also had to contend with the sons of Roger II who wanted the spoils of the papal states at all costs and took advantage of the Vatican's consumption with the Italian family riots which ultimately caused the death of Lucius when he was stoned trying to mediate an extremely grave rebellion. He died a few days later from the stoning on February 15, 1145.
It would be left to his successor Blessed Pope Eugene III, elected the day Lucius died. He was a monk under St. Bernard and though the saint was at first against Bernardo Pignatelli's election because of his relative inexperience and youth, he set about to counsel the new Pope. In addition, Blessed Eugene maintained the monk's habit and his strict life-style of a monk. On December 1145 he issued a Papal Bull commissioning St. Bernard to preach the Second Crusade which had been unofficially launched in 1143 but had met with unforeseen defeats, primarily because of the division within Europe between the German King, the French King and the revolutionary Romans not to mention Roger of Sicily. Because of the latter, Eugene was forced to flee Rome for France. Appealing to the French solely definitely hurt the Crusade movement, but he needed the German troops to fend off the Roman clans and Roger. This disunity contributed greatly to the grave results of the Second Crusade which ended bitterly in 1148 with countless casualties as the few remaining disillusioned crusaders returned to Europe bruised and fatigued. They had hoped to recapture Edessa from the Moslems, but the venture was met with tragedy when they reached Damascus. The impact was so great that it would be another forty years before the Third Crusade would commence. When he wasn't dealing with wars, Eugene managed to complete the institution of the Sacred College of Cardinals which follows basically the same format as today. In 1148 he convened the Synod of Rheims in which stricter disciplinary decrees were set for religious communities of women. Eugene found time to begin construction of the Papal Palace as well as refortifying numerous walls around Rome to fend off the warring tribes and future Saracen attacks. He died at Tivoli on July 8, 1153 still a simple monk in spirit. That same year St. Bernard also passed on to his Heavenly reward and with them a chapter in Church history.
Next issue we will delve into the Popes during the second half of the twelfth century and the barbaric acts of Frederick Barbarossa.