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vol, 9
no. 70

The White House has truly violated the Cardinal Rule!
         Here we go again! But did we expect anything different out of the Clinton White House than an outright impenitent, reckless disregard for the Roman Catholic Faith? We're speaking of course about the report in today's Catholic World News release (in the right column - top story) that Bill Clinton"has no regrets about receiving Communion at a Catholic church in South Africa last week, despite violating Catholic doctrine." The controversy arose over the pastor of Regina Mundi Church in Soweto, South Africa giving the Clintons permission because, according to the priest Father Mohlomi Makobane "he did not want to risk embarrassing him [Clinton] by declining to do so." Didn't Fr. Makobane give any thought to embarassing His Lord and Master Jesus Christ Who is truly present, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Most Holy Eucharist?

         We hadn't planned on writing another story about the Clinton debacle in South Africa after the Vatican released a stern reprimand to Makobane and the Bishops Conference of South Africa declaring that no local conference can override Church doctrine. But then word comes that not only is Clinton unrepentful, but his public relations man Mike McCurry is now telling one of the great Princes of the Church that he doesn't know his faith or doctrines. Please, please, give us a break! We're talking about McCurry accusing Cardinal John O'Connor of not being "familiar with the doctrinal attitude towards the Holy Eucharist that the conference of bishops in South Africa brings to that question." Whether the good cardinal even had an inkling of what the South African bishops conference supposedly contained makes no difference. The point is Cardinal O'Connor knows what Catholic Doctrine states and he stands by that firmly, defending Holy Mother Church and making no bones about the fact that what Clinton did was wrong and an affront to Catholics everywhere.

         Now most non-Catholics would say they didn't realize and express their sincere apologies to the Church and her faithful, and then just go on, forgetting the matter. But not Clinton! You see we have a different animal in the oval office, a species different than any before. Apologies are an anathema to this man and his administration. Rather than saying "I'm sorry," he sends out his witch-hunters to attack and cover-up. That is why McCurry, who the White House paraded out daily during the Monica Lewinsky lurid affair, has transferred that flippant "who cares" attitude to the Roman Catholic Church by accusing the cardinal of "misapplying doctrine." What does McCurry know about Doctrine? Whether its the Monroe Doctrine or Roman Catholic Doctrine we suspect he knows very little. To intimidate that this man who heads up the largest Archdiocese in the United States, if not the world and who has served as Secretariat of State as well as various Vatican commissions and positions with the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, is ignorant to his own Church. That is totally absurd and points out even further the utter ridiculousness of McCurry's comments. It also highlights the inherent problems with the Clinton administration who seem to think the rest of the American citizens are ignorant and can't think on their own. Their platitudes and subliminal condescension of ammoral lifestyles has permeated into families and homes from sea to shining sea. Because of this brain-washing McCurry may think that he can say "Clinton was right, the Pope was wrong" by attacking one of Pope John Paul II's most trusted allies in Cardinal O'Connor. Perhaps McCurry also overlooked the fact that, unlike his boss who was a draft-dodger, Cardinal O'Connor served as chief of Chaplains in the United States Navy. You see O'Connor is a man of discipline and ethics; the same cannot be said for McCurry's boss or, for that matter, McCurry himself.

         Another twist to this is that while the White House is using the ruling of the South African Conference of Bishops as their excuse, but the fact of the matter is the bishops there assert Fr. Makobane merely assumed without asking permission. That is also a stipulation of the Conference document according to a spokesman for the South African bishops who stated, "The local bishop had not been asked, as required by Church practice, whether in his opinion it would have been appropriate under the circumstances, to administer Holy Communion to the presidential couple." The problem is that whether Fr. Makobane asked or not, he should not have assumed. We all know what happens when one assumes. It makes an "ass" out of "u" and "me" and that braying you heard is emanating from South Africa where the Bishops conference and Fr. Makobane have been sternly reprimanded by the Holy See. And speaking of donkeys, the biggest one of them all among Democrats has burroed in with no regard for other faiths or feelings unless it is expedient to his agenda. This was made all the more evident in Clinton's refusal to apologize for offending the Church and then placing the blame on others. Talk about passing the buck. Talk about having things bassackwards!

         Perhaps the Clintons thought this was just proper protocol and "something to do" similar to what this editor's sister assumed when she returned to a Catholic church to attend an Easter Mass with the family several years ago. She fell away from the Church at an early age and embraced the "born-again" cult spewing biblical platitudes without really knowing the full meaning of the Scriptures. At Holy Mass this editor tries to block everything out around me and focus totally on Christ on the Altar. Thus when it came time for Holy Communion I had no idea she was behind me to receive Our Lord. I didn't find out until after Mass and when I did I was livid. "You can't do that! It's not right! Do you know what you did?" Her reply was, "Yeah, so what's the big deal? We receive communion in our church. It's a symbol of Christ." I reminded her in no uncertain terms that Holy Communion is not a "symbol" in the Roman Catholic Church, but rather dogma that Christ is truly present. She didn't buy that and I didn't buy her indifference to our most cherished treasure of Holy Mother Church. I proceeded to read her the document outlining why she could not receive and, to her credit, she apologized for she did not realize the severity of what she had done, and promised never to do that again. I appreciated her honesty and commitment not to do it again, though secretly I pray for her every day that she will receive again - but as a Roman Catholic who has come in from the cold when she can truly appreciate Who she is receiving, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, with no doubts whatsoever!

         So why can't Clinton do the same? He's been apprised of the severity of what he did from a global public relations standpoint, not to mention being informed of the Catholic Dogma of the Transubstantiation in which unleavened bread and wine is transformed into the Body and Blood of the Son of God. Instead of admitting he didn't know and apologizing, vowing never to do it again, he unleashes the dogs much in the same manner the White House attacked the latest White House "closet caper" - the Kathleen Willey affair - by trying to discredit the victim. It's a typical ploy of the liberals, and should come as no surprise to anyone. After all the cardinal virtues are the four chief moral virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance. These moral virtues, as the Catholic encyclopedia states, "are those, in the exercise of which, our moral life or conduct is brought to conform with right reason and the Commandments of God and the Church and the duties of our vocation in life." These, it would seem, are foreign to the White House who don't always conform with right reason and the Commandments of God are sorely lacking. Even the duties of the President's vocation in life don't seem to be important to him unless it advances his own personal needs. Conservative Christian Republican Dick Armey stated yesterday that "Clinton is merely out to fulfill his own physical needs with very little concern for the people he serves." His actions on that Sunday and subsequent rebuttals seem to verify this. Isn't it disappointing that one cannot trust and depend on honesty and forthrightness, not to mention contrition? On this, the eve of the institution of the Most Holy Eucharist, it is so sad that, by flaunting such arrogance by questioning Cardinal O'Connor's credentials, the White House has truly violated the Cardinal Rule!

Michael Cain, editor

April 8, 1998       volume 9, no. 70
Today's Catholic Pewpoint Editorial

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