Rolling Hills of Mid Devon, England, by Simon Ward.
Showing posts with label Catholic Church. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Catholic Church. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Did Communists Insert Sinners Into Seminaries?

This sermon is the clearest, most powerful explanation you will ever hear of evil in the world, of the corruption of the Church, and indeed, of the demonic forces which currently hold the Church captive at the highest level.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Pope Francis: The Degenerate neo-Pelagian Pontiff Exalting Himself

From Call the Patriot
By Joseph Andrew Settanni

But, is it really worth the price of the ecclesiastical civil war called schism?

Admittedly, it is difficult trying to properly grasp the full nature of a pop culture figure who happens to be a widely known religious leader of many hundreds of millions of people, the presumed believers. Popularity, as a result, can often so obscure the true image of such a public figure, a dramatic character, who looms rather large upon the world stage.

As is known (or should be), Francis, an egoist, is the first pope of his kind by being a Jesuit pope and coming from Latin America, from the Southern Hemisphere, and the first non-European Vicar of Christ since the days of that Syrian Pope Gregory III who had reigned from 731 to 741 AD.   His unique nature inordinately bolsters his expansive pride of self and disproportionate sense of historical importance, besides, e. g., existential or phenomenological considerations as to the Papacy itself.

Necessarily, misjudgments are, on average, not just simply possible but fairly predictable as a direct consequence of not fully appreciating and seriously analyzing the weighty reality of the person being confronted, intellectually and otherwise. The indicative matter to be most clearly and significantly focused upon concerns what appears to be a totally neglected issue, namely, the great horror of degeneracy, both theological and religious being here entirely inclusive.  How is this critically meant?

A Frightening Sight to Behold: Medusa

Most (deficient) analyses of the current Vicar of Christ either wish to charge him with some degrees of Communist influence or, alternately, deny fundamentally such influence. Both miss the deeper reality, the true moral ugliness, involved.  The man is a confirmed heretic, not just a neo-Marxist.  The best way, thus, to intellectually and honestly approach Francis is to understand that his central religious view is a neo-Pelagian one, and it has had negative consequences; this is meaning as to the ultimate heresy he so prefers, while it is true, in addition, that he has congenially embraced other heresies as well no doubt.

In brief, the original heresy goes back to its basis in Pelagianism; in essence, it is the haughty denial of the pernicious results of the existence of Original Sin, though other features were, of course, attendant to the theologically radical, heterodox, thinking of the heretic priest Pelagius (354 – 420 AD).   This British troublemaker, also called a moralist, had made a name for himself in Rome with his God-defiant thinking seen in his so terribly perverse soteriological speculations, especially that Jesus Christ was not really important concerning salvation.

He openly rejected the Augustinian idea of predestination and, instead, declared adamantly in favor of an absolutist version of the doctrine of free will.  People, he preached, can simply attain their salvation by, in effect, pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, the exaltation of the self. Pelagius had totally denied the need for the requirement of divine aid, meaning grace, in the performance of any good works.

Human nature was not, therefore, ever corrupted by Original Sin and, thus, people could, by their mere will, fulfill the entire law of moral conduct and attain spiritual perfection, moreover, without any need for divine grace whatsoever. Metaphysical order, for Pelagius, was made basically superfluous as to the possibilities of Man, when the orthodox theocentric viewpoint is rejected in favor of a seemingly vibrant anthropocentricism.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ross Douthat: A Crisis of Conservative Catholicism

Ross Douthat delivers the 2015 Erasmus Lecture 

Let’s begin with a story. It’s one I’ve heard many times; it’s one I’ve told more than a few times myself. It’s a story about the Catholic Church in the second half of the twentieth century, and it goes something like this.

Once, fifty years ago, there was an ecumenical council of the Church. Its goal was to reorient Catholicism away from its nineteenth-century fortress mentality, to open a new dialogue with the modern world, to look more deeply into the Catholic past in order to prepare for the Catholic future, and to usher in an era of evangelization and renewal.

This was not intended to be a revolutionary council, and nothing in its deliberations, documents, and reforms was meant to rewrite doctrine or Protestantize the faith. But the council’s sessions coincided with an era of social upheaval and cultural revolution in the West, and the hoped-for renewal was hijacked, in many cases, by those for whom renewal meant an accommodation to the spirit of the 1960s, and the transformation of the Church along liberal Protestant lines.

Soon, two parties developed: One followed the actual documents of the council and urged the Church to maintain continuity with Catholic teaching and tradition, and the other was loyal to a “spirit of the council” that just happened to coincide with the cultural fashions that came in its wake.

The second party had its way in many Catholic institutions—seminaries and religious orders, Catholic universities and diocesan bureaucracies—for many years. The results were at best disappointing, at worst disastrous: collapsing Mass attendance, vanishing vocations, a swift erosion of Catholic identity everywhere you looked.

But fortunately for the Church, a pope was elected who belonged to the first party, who rejected the hermeneutic of rupture, who carried the true intentions of the council forward while proclaiming the ancient truths of Catholicism anew. And while a liberalized, accommodationist Catholicism failed to reproduce itself and began to (literally) die out, the Catholic witness of this pope and his successor inspired exactly the kind of renewal the council fathers had hoped for: a generation of bishops, priests, and laity prepared to witness to the fullness of Catholicism, the splendor of its truth.

And by the turn of the millennium, it was clear to anyone with eyes to see that this generation owned the Catholic future, that the liberal alternative had been tried and failed, and that the Church of the twenty-first century would embody a successful synthesis—conservative but modern, rooted in tradition but not traditionalist—of conciliar and pre-conciliar Catholicism, the Church of two thousand years of history and the Church of Vatican II.

The story I’ve just sketched is the master narrative of conservative Catholicism in the West. It’s the story that was waiting for me when I became a Catholic in the late 1990s, late in John Paul II’s pontificate but while he was still hale and firmly in command. It’s a story that seemed confirmed by developments outside the Church and outside the ­United States—the collapse of Mainline Protestantism and the emergence of a kind of “Catholic moment” in American politics and culture; the growth of Catholicism in Africa and the faith’s clear fade in northern Europe, the home territory of the hermeneutic of rupture; and more. And when Joseph ­Ratzinger succeeded John Paul as Benedict XVI, “spirit of Vatican II” Catholicism seemed all but defeated, the triumph of conservative Catholicism seemed all but ratified, and the story I’ve just told, all but confirmed as true.

But now it’s a story in crisis.

Read more at First Things >>

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Charismatic Renewal and the Catholic Church

A look at the history and future of the sometimes-controversial movement    

By Allesandra Nucci

When the newly elected Pope Francis appeared at the window before the cheering crowd in St Peter’s Square, and promptly bowed down asking the people to pray for him, most of the public at large was charmed, but puzzled. Pope Benedict too had asked the people to pray for him from the outset, but without the bowed head. To some spectators, however—including the members of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and their counterparts in the Protestant and Orthodox worlds—the gesture came as something surprisingly familiar.  In the “charismatic” galaxy, prayer is offered and asked for in this way by people of all levels—specifically, prayer for a renewed outpouring of the Holy Spirit. 

There is a photograph available on the Internet that shows Pope Francis, while still archbishop of Buenos Aires, on his knees with head bowed as a group of evangelical pastors and Catholic priests and laymen pray over him.  As Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Pope would celebrate Mass on a monthly basis for the Charismatic Renewal of Buenos Aires. And despite the conflicts between Catholics and Pentecostals in Latin America, word has it that Pentecostal pastors rejoiced at the election of the new Catholic pope. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Way of Beauty: 'Due Proportion' Hosted by David Clayton, Episode 4

This is the fourth episode in a new series examining Catholic traditions in art as an expression of a Catholic worldview. The series focuses on authentic Catholic artistic traditions (iconographic, gothic, baroque and sacred geometry). The Way of Beauty examines what constitutes a tradition, how it is taught and passed on so that it can respond to the times, while retaining its essential principles. The series shows how the style of these traditions can be related directly to the liturgy, theology and philosophy of the Church. The Way of Beauty is hosted by David Clayton, an iconographer and artist in residence at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, N.H.

Previous episodes in this series may be found by searching at the top, left of this page, or in the archives listing for September 2010.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Way of Beauty: 'A Catholic World View' Hosted by David Clayton, Episode 3

This third episode in a series broadcast by CatholicTV, (and posted here on Saturdays) examines Catholic traditions in art as an expression of a Catholic worldview. The series focuses on authentic Catholic artistic traditions (iconographic, gothic, baroque and sacred geometry). The Way of Beauty examines what constitutes a tradition, how it is taught and passed on so that it can respond to the times, while retaining its essential principles. The series shows how the style of these traditions can be related directly to the liturgy, theology and philosophy of the Church. The Way of Beauty is hosted by David Clayton, an iconographer and artist in residence at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, N.H.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Way of Beauty: 'A Catholic World View' Hosted by David Clayton, Episode 2

This second episode in a series broadcast by CatholicTV, examines Catholic traditions in art as an expression of a Catholic worldview. The series focuses on authentic Catholic artistic traditions (iconographic, gothic, baroque and sacred geometry). The Way of Beauty examines what constitutes a tradition, how it is taught and passed on so that it can respond to the times, while retaining its essential principles. The series shows how the style of these traditions can be related directly to the liturgy, theology and philosophy of the Church. The Way of Beauty is hosted by David Clayton, an iconographer and artist in residence at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, N.H.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Way of Beauty: 'A Catholic World View' Hosted by David Clayton

This new series, broadcast by CatholicTV, examines Catholic traditions in art as an expression of a Catholic worldview. The series will be focusing on authentic Catholic artistic traditions (iconographic, gothic, baroque and sacred geometry). The Way of Beauty will examine what constitutes a tradition, how it is taught and passed on so that it can respond to the times, while retaining its essential principles. The series will show how the style of these traditions can be related directly to the liturgy, theology and philosophy of the Church. The Way of Beauty is hosted by David Clayton, an iconographer and artist in residence at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, N.H.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Vatican Official Warns of "War" Between Obama Administration and Catholic Church

By John-Henry Westen

The possible signing of the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) by President-Elect Barack Obama would be "the equivalent of a war" an unnamed senior Vatican official recently told TIME magazine.

The startling comments make the second time this week that a Vatican official has forthrightly and in the strongest language condemned Obama's extreme policies on abortion. Speaking at the Catholic University of America a few days ago, Vatican Cardinal James Stafford labeled Obama's anti-life policies as "aggressive, disruptive, and apocalyptic," also noting that, "On November 4, 2008, America suffered a cultural earthquake" (see coverage: ).

With Catholic, but outspokenly pro-abortion individuals occupying two prominent positions (Joseph Biden as vice president and Tom Daschle as Health and Human Services Secretary) the specter of public excommunication or denial of communion for prominent members of the Obama Administration has arisen.

The focus of the Vatican’s concern, FOCA, is a bill that would do away with state laws on abortion, including laws mandating parental involvement, or banning partial birth abortion. FOCA would also compel taxpayer funding of abortions, and, of greatest concern to Bishops, would force faith-based hospitals and healthcare facilities to perform abortions.

Obama has in the past said that he would make signing FOCA one of the highest priorities of his presidency.

Last week at the meeting of US Bishops in Baltimore, Cybercast News Service asked Chicago Cardinal Francis George, the current president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, if voting for FOCA would bring a penalty of automatic excommunication for Catholic politicians. The Cardinal did not rule it out.

"The excommunication is automatic if that act is in fact formal cooperation, and that is precisely what would have to be discussed once you would see the terms of the act itself," responded Cardinal George. When asked for more, he added: "The categories in moral theology about cooperating in evil, which make you complicit in the evil even though you don't do it yourself, are material cooperation, which is usually remote and therefore doesn't involve you in the moral action except in a very auxiliary and minor way, and formal cooperation, which would involve you even though you are not doing it, in the way that makes you culpable.

"So we would have to take a look at each case, and at each law, to determine whether or not the cooperation is material or formal. We've never done that."

Cardinal George has, however, personally analyzed FOCA and expressed his grave concerns about the legislation. In a message to the Obama Administration at the end of the USCCB meeting George wrote on FOCA, saying it would, "outlaw any ‘interference’ in providing abortion at will. It would deprive the American people in all fifty states of the freedom they now have to enact modest restraints and regulations on the abortion industry. FOCA would coerce all Americans into subsidizing and promoting abortion with their tax dollars. It would counteract any and all sincere efforts by government and others of good will to reduce the number of abortions in our country."

The Cardinal added: "FOCA would have an equally destructive effect on the freedom of conscience of doctors, nurses and health care workers whose personal convictions do not permit them to cooperate in the private killing of unborn children. It would threaten Catholic health care institutions and Catholic Charities." (see coverage: )

In light of this possible attempt to revoke conscience rights under the Obama administration, Catholic League president Bill Donohue has urged President Bush to enact regulations, already in draft for months, which would protect the rights of doctors, nurses and health workers from being discriminated against if they refuse to perform or assist in abortions, as well as other morally contentious procedures. "At stake are the religious rights of these professionals," said Donohue.

"To put it differently, were FOCA to become law (it needs to be reintroduced in the House), the culture war that the Vatican official was referring to would come to a boiling point," he warned. "In practical terms, this would mean the closure of every Catholic hospital in the nation: No bishop is going to stand by and allow the federal government to dictate what medical procedures must be performed in Catholic hospitals. Make no mistake about it, the bishops would shut down Catholic hospitals before acquiescing in the intentional killing of an innocent child. Were this to happen, it would not only cripple the poor, it would cripple the Obama administration."

Donohue concluded: "It is for reasons like these that the Catholic League urges President Bush to move with dispatch in instituting rules protecting the religious rights of all health care workers. If Obama wants to undo them, it will set up a confrontation he will surely regret."

See the TIME article:,8599,1859856,00.htm...

See the Cybercast News article:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Crossing the Tiber in Texas

The Dallas Morning News reports that the entire Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas, has initiated discussion with Texas Catholic authorities about "pursuing an 'active plan' to bring the diocese into full communion with the Catholic Church."

Conservative Anglican bishops in England are also in the process of discussing with Rome the possibility of an Anglican Rite of the Catholic Church in full communion with the Pope.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Catholics Come Home

At about the time a Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life study reports that one out of every ten adult Americans is a lapsed Catholic, a new campaign has emerged to invite those Catholics home.

The Cause of Our Joy blog reports:

There’s a new advertising campaign originating out of Phoenix called Catholics Come Home. Using slick commercials and a high-tech web site, the campaign seeks to goad the conscience of lapsed Catholics to re-discover (or discover for the first time) why their Catholic faith is important to their lives, their families, and their eternity.

They have three commercials at the moment: “Epic 120”, which is a two-minute tour through the impact the Catholic Church has had on history and still does today; “Movie” which reminds us that after our lives end we will review our lives (like a movie) and will get to evaluate what we have done; and “Mix”, which shows individual Catholics explaining how they left the Church, why they came back, and what a difference it’s made.

These are high-quality productions, as good as anything out there. The local Phoenix Catholic newspaper, The Catholic Sun, did a story on the start of the campaign in that diocese recently. They say the average Phoenix household will see the commercials 13 times between now and Easter.

And if it’s successful—and they have the money for it—they’ll expand into other dioceses. Looks promising. I know where my Lenten almsgiving is going.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sneak Preview of The Faithful Departed

Philip F. Lawler's latest book, The Faithful Departed, promises to be a great and thoughtful analysis of the root cause of the Church's sex abuse scandal, and the collapse of Catholic life and influence in Boston, once one of America's most Catholic cities. His insights and analysis cast light on the corruption and decline of the Church throughout America.

Calling the book "stunning," former
Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating writes:

"Lawler tells the story of the Church's role in advancing a culture of morality and excellence within the 19th-century immigrant community. But all of that good crashes into a mid-20th century wall of indifference, amorality, and hostility to orthodoxy and 'the power of Faith.'

The same story holds true throughout much of the country. Depressing repetition meets depressing repetition.

Lawler places the blame squarely on the laps of the shepherds, the bishops who were more interested in their public image and meeting the mortgage payments, than the safety of souls. His is a powerful story of a dismal period in the life of the Church."
You will want to read the whole book when it is formally released next month -- February 2008 -- by Encounter Books. It is available now for pre-release orders on

In the meantime, the introductory chapter is available here.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Alexy II: Catholics and Orthodox Must Stand Together

Paris (AsiaNews) – In the modern society a new “persecution” of the Church is (at hand) and so Catholics and Orthodox are called to stand together in defence of Christian values.

Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia believes the Orthodox and the Catholics should seek answers to today’s challenges together. The highest ranking spiritual leader of the Russian Orthodox Church is currently in France, where on October 2nd he spoke to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and yesterday visited the Cathedral of Notre-Dame to venerate the relics of Our Lord’s crown of thorns, in the presence of Archbishop AndrĂ© Vingt-Trois of Paris and numerous faithful.

Meeting with the president of the French Bishops Conference Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, Alexy II denounced modern society, particularly in Europe, “attempts are made to bring in a worldview that, in its destructive force, can well be compared to the external persecution against the Church”. “In a situation where any external persecution seems to be absent, a threat has emerged for religion in general and Christianity in particular to be marginalized”. This is why we must remain united on some fundamental questions (abortion, family, bioethics, secularization); issues which seem to be the basis on which the new reconciliation between the two Churches is being built.

“We Christians – he declared in the Parisian cathedral yesterday evening – we must find possibilities to witness together the truth of the Gospel and its eternal moral values. In fact, we see that contemporary society is losing its ethical base and is following false values. It is being increasingly dehumanised and becoming a cruel generator of conflicts not only between people but between communities”.

At the European Parliament Alexy II criticised the “new generation of rights” of humanity “which are in contrast with morals” and in various interviews with global press spoke of a meeting with Benedict XVI in the next couple of years.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Rudy's Don't Ask/Don't Tell Policy on Religion

By Don Feder

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, leading in the polls for the Republican presidential nomination, has his own don’t ask/don’t tell policy – Don’t ask him what kind of Catholic he is. If you do, he won’t tell you.

Giuliani is in a bind. He can’t talk about his religion – and he can’t not talk about it.

Voters want a candidate who’s religious. It doesn’t much matter what that religion is (excepting, of course, something really weird, like Wicca or Islam).

For most voters, it doesn’t matter if it’s their religion. In 2004, Catholics were slightly more likely to vote for Methodist Bush than for the first major-party Catholic (I use the term loosely) nominee since John F. Kennedy, who – in the midst of the campaign – suddenly recalled that he’d once been an altar boy.

Americans are comforted by the thought that they are electing a man to lead the nation who believes in God and the 10 Commandments, attends religious services (not as a campaign photo-op), and at least publicly adheres to the tenets of his faith.

Rudy is none of the above. That’s why, if asked about his Catholicism, he’ll respond with the equivalent of “no comment.”

The mayor needs to maintain the fiction that he’s a Catholic. At the same time, he needs to keep the discussion as far away as possible from his actual relationship with the Catholic Church. This is getting harder and harder.

On the Iowa campaign trail, Hizzoner was asked whether he considered himself “a traditional, practicing Roman Catholic,” and to discuss the role his faith played in helping him make decisions on issues like abortion.

Rudy responded, “My religious affiliation, my religious practices and the degree to which I am a good or not so good Catholic, I prefer to leave to priests.”

The mayor cautioned that there should not be a “religious test for public office.” Silly me, I thought that when Article VI of the Constitution says “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States,” that meant an individual couldn’t be disqualified based on his religion, not that we’re not allowed to inquire about Rudy’s relationship to the faith he professes.

When asked to reconcile his pro-choice advocacy with his alleged Catholicism, Rudy has replied: “Issues like that are for me and my confessor.” (And who would that be, Father Guido Sarducci?) Also, ”I’m a Catholic, and that’s the way I resolve those issues, personally and privately” – otherwise known as Rudy’s Catholic code of silence. Instead of consulting Church teachings, as a Catholic would do, Rudy believes questions of theology can be resolved personally and privately.

Still, Rudy claims he’s devout, in his own private/don’t-ask-me-to-explain way. “Religion is very important to me. It’s a very important part of my life.” The foregoing is to be taken at face value, without a request for elaboration.

Unfortunately for Giuliani, the Catholic Church has rules.

In a June 26 Village Voice article (“No Wafer for Rudy”), Wayne Barrett notes the mayor “can’t have a confessor. He can’t receive the sacraments of penance, the Eucharist, or marriage.” That’s because Giuliani divorced Donna Hanover, his wife of 18 years, without obtaining an annulment (for which he would not have qualified), and married his third wife, Judith Nathan, outside the Church.

His first marriage of 14 years to his second cousin, Regina Peruggi, was annulled. While he was still married to wife #2, the mother of his two children, he carried on openly with Nathan, who he paid $10,000-a-month as his “speech writer” and marched with in New York’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a walk mayors traditionally take with their wives, not their mistresses.

On Rudy’s campaign website, wives #1 and #2 are non-persons, like fallen members of the old Soviet Politburo airbrushed out of photographs. The site notes that he married Judith S. Nathan in May of 2003. There is no mention of any other marriages or of his children.

But this is typical of Rudy’s tendency to re-write history. Today, the mayor says “I hate abortion…. I would encourage someone not to take that option.” He’s also opposed to late-term abortions and Medicaid funding of abortion.

Still, unlike Mitt Romney, Giuliani isn’t doing a 180-degree pirouette here, probably because he’s seen the drubbing the former governor has taken for flip-flopping. Thus, while tacking right on the issue, the mayor still favors a woman’s right to choose, with qualifications.

The decision on whether or not to kill her unborn child “ultimately, a woman should make that (choice) with her conscience and ultimately with her doctor,” Giuliani explains. If this was the 1850s, Rudy would say that on the question of slavery, “Ultimately a plantation owner should make that decision in consultation with his conscience, and ultimately with his overseer.”

When he was mayor of what’s often called the abortion capital of America, it was hard to find a politician – of either party – more pro-choice than Giuliani.

· When asked why the far-left New York State Liberal Party endorsed Rudy’s 1989 mayoral campaign, the party chairman replied: “He agreed with the Liberal Party’s views of affirmative action, gay rights, gun control, school prayer and tuition tax credits. As mayor, Rudy Giuliani would uphold the Constitutional and legal rights to abortion.”

· Based on his answers to a candidate questionnaire, and/or his performance in office, Rudy received a 100% rating from the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) in his 1993, 1997 and 2000 campaigns.

· Gloria Feldt, the former president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), recalls an appearance the mayor made before the group’s New York chapter, where: “He spoke very eloquently about family planning (abortion). It’s hard to be that eloquent if you’re saying something you don’t believe.”

· He re-appointed PPFA President Pam Maraldo to the City’s Board of Health, which oversees 11 municipal hospitals where an average of 6,500 abortions a year were performed during Rudy’s tenure as mayor.

· Over the years, the Giuliani administration awarded a total of $2 million to Planned Parenthood’s New York branch.

· One of Rudy’s human-resources commissioners notes her ex-boss continued Ed Koch’s policy of allowing the city to pay for abortions, whether or not they met Medicaid’s “medically necessary” requirement, and even if the woman’s earnings were more than 85% above the limit for Medicaid eligibility. She describes Mayor Giuliani as “gung-ho abortion.”

· The fact that, on social issues, they are identical twins separated by party, may explain Rudy’s endorsement of Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo, the icon of New York liberals, when the latter ran for re-election. (“Our future, our destiny is not a matter of chance. It’s a matter of choice. My choice is Mario Cuomo.”) It’s hard to say which choice is more tragic – abortion or endorsing Cuomo.

· According to a former aide, it took Mayor Giuliani exactly 15 minutes to decide that he supported partial-birth abortions (“I’m fine with that!”), as he headed into a meeting with NARAL leaders. Now he opposes the procedure -- described by the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan (who represented New York in the U.S. Senate from 1983 to 2001) as “fourth-fifths infanticide” – another conversion of convenience. He also supports parental notification, which he formerly opposed. Flip. Flop.

In a wink-and-nod to pro-lifers, Rudy says he would appoint “strict constructionists” to the federal bench, including the Supreme Court.

As mayor, he appointed or re-appointed 127 municipal judges – none could reasonably be mistaken for Antonin Scalia.

One had been executive director of the homosexual Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. Another ruled that city funds could be used for sex-change operations for indigents. And a third allowed a lesbian to adopt her partner’s child. The judge, Paula Hepner, later married another woman in a Canadian ceremony.

In fairness to Da Mayor, abortion isn’t the only issue where Rudy is trying to re-invent himself. There’s nothing about gay rights on his website – such reticence from a man who marched in every gay-pride parade as mayor, and welcomed the Gay Olympics to New York City.

He does, however, firmly assert his belief (arrived at in consultation with his conscience, his confessor and his pollster) that marriage should be between a man and a woman – or, perhaps, several women.

As America’s mayor, he pushed a domestic-partnership bill (described as “as far-reaching as San Francisco’s”) through the city council and supported similar legislation before the New York State legislature. The Archdiocese of New York blasted the former as “contrary to moral natural law.” Wonder what Rudy’s confessor thought about that one.

During the 2004 campaign, at least a dozen Catholic bishops announced that John Kerry could not receive communion in their dioceses, because of the Democratic nominee’s position on abortion. On those rare occasions when he attends Catholic services, Rudy tries to avoid embarrassment. According to a June 25 New York Times story, “Communion may be a moot point for Mr. Giuliani, who was seen leaving Mass at a church in Washington before the Eucharist.”

Still, for those Catholic prelates who’ve spoken out, the question of whether Rudy is a “good or not so good Catholic,” has been settled.

Newark Archbishop John Myers says the mayor is “being illogical” with his I’m-personally-opposed-but-can’t-impose-my-morality stand on abortion. “To violate human life is always and everywhere wrong,” the Archbishop declares.

Providence, R.I. Bishop Thomas J. Tobin is even more outspoken: “Rudy’s public proclamations on abortion are pathetic and confusing. Even worse, they’re hypocritical.” Tobin asks “if any politician could get away with the same pathetic (personally opposed but) cop-out” on any other moral question – say racism, sexual abuse, incest, prostitution or polygamy?

In May, speaking of Mexican legislators who voted to legalize abortion, Pope Benedict XVI said they had, in effect, excommunicated themselves.

The worst hypocrisy would be for Rudy Giuliani to receive the nomination of the party that’s been proudly and officially pro-life since 1980, the party that has won the presidency in five of seven elections since 1976 with the fervent support of the pro-life movement. According to the National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru, George W. Bush’s pro-life position netted him 2.4 million votes in ’04.

Rudy Giuliani doesn’t even do a passable impersonation of a Catholic. His Church understands it. Practicing Catholics understand it.

Republican primary voters must be made to understand it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Prospects Improve for Pope-Patriarch "Summit"

Moscow, Aug. 07 ( -

After an August 7 meeting with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexei II, Cardinal Roger Etchegaray said that the prospects for a "summit meeting" between the Orthodox prelate and Pope Benedict XVI are steadily improving.

The cardinal cautioned that no plans were underway for a summit meeting, but important steps were being taken to strengthen the ties between Rome and Moscow, particularly through cooperative efforts to affirm the role of Christianity in European society. The veteran Vatican diplomat said that a meeting between the Pope and the Patriarch would likely be the fruit of these cooperative ventures.

Cardinal Etchegaray went on to say that Pope Benedict has cultivated a personal friendship with Patriarch Alexei, even at a distance. During his meeting with the Russian prelate he handed over a personal letter from the Roman Pontiff, which Alexei read. The Russian Orthodox leader expressed his thanks for the Pope's thoughts and promised a full reply.

Cardinal Etchegaray stopped in Moscow to meet with Patriarch Alexei as he traveled to Siberia, where he will participate in ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of a Catholic cathedral in Novosibirsk. The French-born cardinal has frequently carried out sensitive diplomatic assignments for Holy See since retiring from his post as president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. As he approaches his 85th birthday he continues to be a valued papal envoy.