I recently read a very good article online at WorldNetDaily.com by Mary Jo Anderson. The article relates how Sean Hannity, a Catholic and talk-radio show "superstar" -who also teams with liberal Alan Colmes for Fox News' popular "Hannity and Colmes" - publicly stumbled into the arena of buffet style Catholicism dished up by the Novus Ordo church. According to Anderson, during a radio broadcast regarding the debate surrounding Senator Rick Santorum, Mr. Hannity said the Catholic Church "has slacked up a bit on its teaching, [and] adopted a 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' policy on homosexuality."
A listener called in and spoke to Mr. Hannity to set him straight regarding the teaching of the Catholic Church according to the "Catholic Catechism" paragraph number 2357, (referring to the new Catechism of the Catholic Church promulgated by John Paul II). To Anderson's astonishment, Sean Hannity asked, "What catechism is that?" and then mentioned that he has consulted theologians on this matter and "they say something different."
The real shock here is that anyone thinks Mr. Hannity's response is unusual for a modern Catholic. The world is brimming over with people who have grown up in the shadow of the modern Catholic church and know next to nothing about what the true Catholic Church officially teaches. It should not surprise anyone that Mr. Hannity consulted some "theologians" and came up with the notion that the Church has softened her teaching on moral issues. It shouldn't raise any eyebrows that Mr. Hannity was uncertain about the "Catholic Catechism" since it is a fact that most Catholics in Novus Ordo parishes aren't aware of anything that comes out of Rome and often couldn't care less. There has been an avalanche of "catechetical materials" unleashed on unsuspecting parishioners since the aftermath of Vatican II when the Catechism of the Council of Trent was thrown overboard, so it's not surprising that Mr. Hannity would ask for something more specific than the term "Catholic Catechism" to clarify which book the listener was referring to.
Seminaries, universities and colleges are staffed by modern theologians who regularly tell their students exactly what Sean Hannity stumbled upon: the Catholic Church has changed her teachings since Vatican II. I don't agree with Mary Jo Anderson when she says that, "the Vatican regularly yanks on theologians who tend to wander off the edge - but many slide over anyway." And what about the ones who "slide over anyway"? With few exceptions, they remain free to spread their errors in the name of the Catholic Church throughout the world. The Vatican, the cardinals and the bishops generally remain silent and allow each diocese to wander into whatever genre of Catholicism the reigning bishops favor. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the perfect example of a botulin-infected Catholic buffet served up right under the nose of the Vatican without reprisal. This 'pop' corn that might be popular with the politically correct, has no place with those who adhere to the true Deposit of the Faith. In this fast-paced world today it is all microwave madness of Modernism.
In all fairness to Sean Hannity, he is only following the lead of the modern church which stumbles in darkness. And he is not alone. Recently on MSNBC, the program Buchanan and Press gave us another example of the theology of the modern Catholic. The topic was abortion, and Pat Buchanan, a Traditional Catholic, and guest (whose name I have since forgotten) were speaking about the Church's teaching regarding abortion. Buchanon was right on in proclaiming the official teaching of the Church. However, the co-host of the program, Bill Press, who believes he is a Catholic, adamantly refused to give in to the official teaching of the Church because he is pro-abortion. Mr Press was adamant that you can be pro-abortion and still be Catholic. To back up his claim, he revealed that he had recently been invited to speak at the Catholic school where he had been a student. Upon receiving the invitation, Press informed the priest at the school of his pro-abortion stance. The priest (whose name Mr. Press didn't want to mention) told Press that "there are many pews in Christ's Church," that he was welcome and wanted, and the invitation was still on. This is yet another example of a "Catholic" who doesn't really know what the Church officially teaches and is frankly not interested, but is willing to take the word of any priest, theologian or otherwise who happens to "represent" the Church in an official capacity. To Mr. Press and countless modern "Catholics", you can believe whatever you want, or more precisely, you can refuse to believe anything the Church teaches and you can find a priest somewhere who will back you up on it. No one on that program was able to convince Mr. Press regarding the perennial teaching of the Catholic Church on abortion, and yet he continued to identify himself as a Catholic, no doubt influencing countless viewers who live in the same darkness.
Because so many depend on these talking heads today for the 'truth', men like Sean Hannity and Bill Press have a greater responsibility to convey the clarity of truth whenever they open their mouths.
Yet, how can you blame Sean Hannity, Bill Press or others like them who publicly claim to be Catholics and yet stand in confusion and even contradiction to the truth, when their shepherds at all levels are not there to guide them correctly? After all, I have walked that same path of confusion under the umbrella of the modern church, and it's only by God's grace that I was driven to seek the truth. Realistically, these men can't give what they have never received; they are simply regurgitating what has been fed to them by the modern church since the reforms of Vatican II. The new order of the church has been extremely effective in dismantling traditional Catholicism worldwide, leaving innocent souls strewn in the path of destruction. The Holy See has bent over backwards to appear as "un-catholic" as possible as we have seen in such actions as the Assisi prayer meetings. At the same time, whenever it is convenient, the pope or the Vatican will issue a statement in order to try and maintain some sense of Catholicity in the midst of the bombed out ruins of the Church. It was at least twenty-five years after the more or less official abandonment of the Catechism of the Council of Trent, that the Pope finally issued an official "new" catechism. By that time, there were countless "theologies" and heresies circulating in all the parishes in the United States and the rest of the world under the guise of Catholic catechism books.
Thirty years after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion, the Vatican finally issued a guideline for Catholic politicians to help them make decisions in light of authentic Church teaching on moral issues including abortion. Thirty-five years after Church officials tried to bury-alive the Tridentine Mass and foisted upon us the irreverent imitation Mass, the Pope finally issued an encyclical on the necessity of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar and laments unspecified abuses which have "crept into" the community celebration of the Novus Ordo. All the while, the circus "Mass" follows the Pope everywhere without condemnation. The faithful wonder aimlessly in the desert, no longer able to take seriously the crippled, ineffective voice of the "official" church. This is the legacy that exists, that flourishes, that you can find virtually everywhere since Vatican II despite all claims to the contrary.
Catholics must return to the perennial Magisterium in order to find the truth as it has been proclaimed down through the centuries. We are at a tremendous disadvantage who have been side-tracked by the flux and flow of the modern church. Catholics must be challenged to seek the truth and know the faith which does not have its beginnings at Vatican II despite John Paul II's unending praise for and consistent use of this one ecumenical council as his focal point.
Sean Hannity and Bill Press, along with all people, deserve to be informed of the actual teachings of the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church without compromise. It is highly unlikely they will get that from their Novus Ordo parishes, as it appears they haven't gotten it so far. I hope some traditional Catholics in their circle of acquaintances will step forward and recommend the Roman Catechism which has survived for centuries, along with the writings of the Fathers of the early Church, past popes and the saints. Then they can judge fairly what the Catholic Church has always taught versus what they've been getting from their local drive-up theology buffet. Considering the huge influence these two men have due to their positions in the mainstream media, not to mention the value of their eternal souls, I really pray that they get it right.