Yesterday in these pages we talked about the politics of personal destruction. Like Clinton, that is past history. Today we want to talk about personal construction - the good that has been done over the past week as a new breeze blows gently throughout the White House, directed by the Angel of the Lord as invited by President George W. Bush in his Inaugural Address. Soon the Senate and House will get a whiff of what is upwind and seek its spirit in their halls as well. Before long, prayer will become common place again.
Speaking of prayer, we intend to do a follow-up on Toni and Greg Whittaker and their family. Their "mustard seed" of an idea and a fiat to God moved mountains with a barrage of Rosaries pledged to ennoble and encourage President Bush to carry out his Pro Life initiative. To date over three and a half million Rosaries have been pledged. That's mind-boggling when you consider this was done from the grass-roots headquarters of their home and over the net in the span of just two months. I truly believe Bush knows of this support and it has empowered him to let the Holy Spirit guide him in his presidency as a servant and allow God's angel to ride the whirlwind and direct the storm.
Speaking of storms, it's been a rough winter weather-wise and, in some circles of the world it could get rougher. But prayer is winning out over satan's agenda in many places. One is in the Philippines where President Joseph Estrada, a corrupt ruler, was ousted peacefully and a military uprising averted through prayer. Assuming control was a woman in the mold of Corazon Aquino, the vice president, now President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo whose father was President in the nineties. Naturally Estrada doesn't consider her legitimate. Sound familiar? But the Filipino people truly do as does the Church, which is echoed by the solid prelate Cardinal Jaime Sin in solidarity with all the bishops of the Philippines, a country rich in Catholicism.
There are other areas where Catholicism has not remained as strong and this was reflected in Pope John Paul II's most recent announcement of his eighth Consistory which will be held on the Feast of the Chair of Peter on Wednesday, February 21st. It was interesting on who he appointed and who he didn't. Australia and New Zealand are embroiled in liberalism and the bishops have not been able to quell the new age mantra emanating from down under. The Pope is not happy. Live with it. There'll be no reward until things change. The same with Germany, where the bishops have openly questioned Rome and a few have suggested the Pope is past his prime. The Pope put them in their place when they first balked at submitting to Rome regarding the abortion counseling program the German government was demanding. The Pope was not happy. He has shown it in nominating only one from the Fatherland and that man is a member of the Roman Curia. You'll note also in countries where the bishops have let the faith slip considerably - most notably the Netherlands, nada a red-hat.
While there were a few disappointments, most noticeably in the absence of St. Louis' excellent orthodox shepherd and good friend of the Holy Father's - Archbishop Justin F. Rigali, we accept because His Holiness has his reasons. We may not always understand, but we accept and obey. There are a few other American bishops who deserve the cardinalate and, in time, God's time, we believe it will happen. For now, the Western Hemisphere forms a tremendous force within the Conclave that has to have the old guard European contingent on their toes and looking over their shoulders. And well they should as the Pope continues to fine tune the College so that his orthodoxy and conservative ideals, so in concert with God's Holy Will, shall continue long after he has passed from this world to his Heavenly reward; long after he is buried at the Vatican; long after he is canonized; long after he is proclaimed a Doctor of the Church.
The fact that out of the 154 cardinals alive today, 144 have been appointed by John Paul the Great. Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, S.J. of Milan, long the liberals' poster boy for being the next Pope is no longer young. Six days before the next Consistory he will celebrate his 74th birthday and there are no young liberal scarlet-hats out there to be tutored by him. Slowly but surely, the modernist manifesto is being choked off by the clever stranglehold the Holy Father has established with his traditional cincture of sensibility.
The same scenario holds true in the United States where the followers of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin are dying off. Oh, there are a few liberal bishops who still hold key positions in the NCCB but that too is diminishing. Even Cardinal Roger Mahony, the most radical of the American cardinals, has seemed to mellow and is slowly becoming more conservative in his actions since his well-publicized showdown with Mother Angelica and the subsequent events of his prostate surgery which, like this editor, turned out 100% successful. He also had to understand that the healing Mother received shortly afterwards was a sign. If these didn't move him, then the Holy Father's private words to him in Rome after he had threatened to shut Mother's EWTN network down must have because he's been silent ever since and has not been so vociferous in enforcing his controversial document to the priests in Los Angeles which triggered Mother's strong on-air diatribe that was right-on.
Canada is having its problems and there, too, the Holy Father sent a strong message: none for you until you shape up! In Mexico, they already have a strong cardinal in Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City. If anyone doubted the Pope's resolve to make North and South America one continent as "the Americas," his appointment of ten Latin American prelates for the scarlet biretta should send a clear message.
The US and Mexico also have one thing in common, two decent and good leaders who are dedicated to doing God's Will. Vicente Fox was elected last year as Mexico's president on the Pro Catholic PAN ticket, unseating after seven decades the power of the anti-clerical PRI party in Mexico that had greatly suppressed faith. The day of his swearing in, he prayed first at Our Lady of Guadalupe Basilica. So also, George W. Bush declared the day after his inauguration a National Day of Prayer, beginning with church service at the Episcopalian National Cathedral with Cardinal-elect Theodore McCarrick representing Catholics. In addition, both Bush and Fox are friends. Bush will fly to Fox's ranch to hold talks with our southern neighbor in working mutually for better relations over NAFTA and the border problem. Fox has admitted the corruption within the municipal governments and police departments and has promised to rid his country of this decay. So also, Bush is promising change for the better north of the border.
Yes, good news all the way around. I can't remember a time when conservatives were so happy. But we cannot afford to celebrate. There is much work to do. Prayer is the best way to start. That's the best way to disarm our enemy. And the enemy is indeed squealing right now. Bush has fired across their proud, selfish egotistical bow and loyal Catholics and the Religious Right have followed up with a volley of prayers. We are indeed gaining the upper hand. Stay the fight, man the oars and ready the cannons. This war is long from over, but we are gaining. We finally have an admiral who, with God's help and the Angel to direct the storm, will carry the day.
With all the good news pouring in, over the past week or so it has been anything but a "slow-news-day." Rather it has been a cornucopia of news and events that leaves us feeling like we must have missed something on the menu. But the news since Saturday has to gladden the hearts of loyal Catholics everywhere. We've waited eight long, grueling and depressing years to finally get rid of the stench of Bill Clinton and, with George W. in office less than a week, we are positively giddy. We are so grateful to God for allowing His Ordaining Will to be fulfilled and, again empowered and encouraged by the millions of Rosaries, Bush is off and running in a take-back-America-for-God mode that has the Left spinning in their own failed spin. From the powerful and meaningful Bush Inaugural Address,that signaled the end of the wretched Clinton regime on Saturday, to the Holy Father's announcement of 37 cardinal-elects on Sunday; from the news of over three million Rosaries pledged toward praying for President Bush and his Pro Life platform to the prayers answered in the Philippines; from the strong conviction of Rae Carruth, that can only enhance the Pro Life cause, to relief in El Salvador for the poor victims and survivors by countless good samaritans; from the massive throngs that filled Washington D.C. Monday to Bush's verbal support and action in promising an executive order to end overseas funding for abortions; from all the stale air that has blanketed and suffocated this great nation for so long to, finally, some fresh air!