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The Recent Unpleasantness
Truth and Charity Forum ^ | Nov 12, 2012 | Fr. John McCloskey

Posted on 11/13/2012 11:27:30 AM PST by ELS

On November 6, the citizens of the United States re-elected perhaps the most anti-Catholic president in its history to a second term.

Even sadder, according to exit polls a majority of Catholics voted in his favor, even after they theoretically had imbibed the bishops’ message, conveyed from the pulpit and in various other media, that no Catholic should vote for a candidate who favors abortion rights and single sex marriage and does not support religious liberty.

What is going on here? Clearly, to borrow a line from the film “Cool Hand Luke,” “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”

Simply put, the U.S. is no longer "exceptional."

In fact, the U.S. is no longer a Christian country. Our nation is in a spiraling decline, and the cause is neither politics nor economics but moral breakdown.

For the first time in human history the greatest health problem is obesity—read gluttony. Millions of men and even (believe it or not) women are addicted to pornography, and our birthrate is at its lowest in history. Cohabitation before marriage and multiple divorces are not unusual. Out-of-wedlock births are at an all-time high. And the holocaust of unborn babies by the millions continues.

Our country is morally as well as fiscally broke. Of course, these signs of decline are all interconnected. This is not the time to go into how all this came about, but to my mind the individual states have become too dependent on our central government for matters that should fall in their own purview, clearly and seriously violating and abusing the Catholic principle of subsidiarity.

The former freedom of action of individuals and families has been restricted by and over-regulated by Washington, DC. Remember, whatever the government can do for you, it can do to you.

In short, after witnessing the transformation of the American Republic into an Empire, we are witnessing that Empire’s fall. And as a Church historian, I do not know of any empire that ever collapsed and then revived.

I hope all this does not leave you too depressed: For my part, I am exhilarated.

To paraphrase a great American Revolutionary War hero, John Paul Jones, “We have not yet begun to fight.” Or as legendary Marine Chesty Puller put it: “They are in front of us, behind us, and we are flanked on both sides by an enemy that outnumbers us 29:1. They can’t get away from us now.”

This is the true “Catholic Moment” for our country, with apologies to my deceased friend Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, Catholic convert and founder of First Things. Simply said, only raw, unadulterated, lived-out-in-the-middle-of-the-world Catholicism can save the United States and perhaps bring us back to a country that acknowledges the natural law, truly takes as its guide the American Constitution, and renounces the allure of empire, returning to its conception as the humble Republic our forefathers founded.

Our role models are the first Christians who suffered and flourished and grew under at least 25O years of persecution, in some cases bloody, in other cases consisting of ostracism and second-class citizenship, until the Edict of Milan under the Emperor Constantine. Less than 70 years later, Catholicism had become the official religion of the Empire. We know the rest of the story: the conversions of the barbarians to the Faith over seven centuries and the flowering of what became Christendom or the West.

But I must stress that, as mainstream Protestantism for all practical purposes is dead in the United States. It is up to lay Catholics to build a healthy Catholic culture here worthy of the nation’s founding. The means will be their commitment to the Sacraments, life of prayer, and meditation on Sacred Scripture, and their bringing the fruits of these to their work, family life, and fellow citizens.

The Second Vatican Council, whose fiftieth anniversary we are celebrating in this special “Year of Faith,” was quite clear that its main message for us Catholics was the “universal call to holiness.”

If we take that call seriously and we live it like the first Christians did, well, we may make America again merit the title of “exceptional,” not only in emphasizing freedom for its people but in showing charity and respect for the dignity of all human persons, born and unborn, from conception until natural death.

Perhaps our rejection of the Culture of Death in the United States will bring about what the Lord wanted and wants: “That all may be one.” Indeed this is the Catholic moment when we can anticipate many conversions to the Faith from evangelical Christians and other truth seekers.

Consider what our most insightful observer, Alexis de Tocqueville, had to say in the early 19th century when he traveled extensively through the U.S.:

At the present time, more than in any preceding age, Roman Catholics are seen to lapse into infidelity, and Protestants to be converted to Roman Catholicism. If you consider Catholicism within its own organization, it seems to be losing; if you consider it from outside, it seems to be gaining. Nor is this difficult to explain. The men of our days are naturally little disposed to believe; but as soon as they have any religion, they immediately find in themselves a latent instinct that urges them unconsciously towards Catholicism. Many of the doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic Church astonish them, but they feel a secret admiration for its discipline, and its great unity attracts them. If Catholicism could at length withdraw itself from the political animosities to which it has given rise, I have hardly any doubt but that the same spirit of the age which appears to be so opposed to it would become so favorable as to admit of its great and sudden advancement.

The future is ours! We can and must believe what Pope Benedict XVI told Americans in 2008 re-echoing the vision of the late Blessed Pope John Paul II: “God is preparing a new springtime for Christianity.”

Meanwhile, let’s get to work and remember to pray for the conversion of our newly re-elected president and vice president! Miracles happen!

TOPICS: Current Events; History; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: catholicculture; detocqueville; moraldecline; subsidiarity
Fr. C. J. McCloskey III, S.T.D. is a Church historian and Research Fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute in Washington, DC. From 1985-1990, he was a chaplain at Princeton University. He is perhaps best known for guiding into the Church such luminaries as Dr. Bernard Nathanson, Lawrence Kudlow, Robert Novak, Judge Robert Bork, and Senator Sam Brownback. His articles, reviews, and doctoral thesis have been published in major Catholic and secular periodicals, including: Catholic World Report, First Things, La'Osservatore Romano, The Wall Street Journal, National Catholic Register, the Washington Times, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and ACEPRENSA. Father John has done extensive work in radio and television, most notably at EWTN and as a commentator on network television, satellite and cable channels. He is co-author (with Russell Shaw) of Good News, Bad News: Evangelization, Conversion, and the Crisis of Faith (Ignatius Press) and the co-editor of "The Essential Belloc" (St. Benedict's Press). He is has also contributed a principal essay to the Cardinal Newman Society's "How to Choose a Catholic College" available from
1 posted on 11/13/2012 11:27:35 AM PST by ELS
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bump for later reading

2 posted on 11/13/2012 11:31:21 AM PST by Albion Wilde (Why does the left have such a grip on this country? Because they worked for it. --Daniel Greenfield)
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator


Christians need to go a lot further than abortion and same-sex marriage. The Obama/Dem agenda is institutionalized envy, jealousy, covetousness, bitterness and theft. Christians look at the lefts agenda of envy/jealousy/covetousness/bitterness and fall for the lie that it is all love and light. They weigh abortion against the “great charitable heart” of Democrats and come out for Dems. The Dems compound sin with sin, evil with evil. There is no trade off. Do Christians even bother to ask how is it even possible for politicians who are such ardent advocates of abortion and sodomy to be paragons of virtue on other issues.
Today’s Christians would rewrite Jesus’ parable of the golden talents and take away the talents from the man who had five and redistribute them to those with fewer or none.
The Catholic bishops are the biggest supporters of the destructive, larcenous welfare state from hell. And thus leftist politicians. Come election time they tell their flock not to vote for abortion. Too late, bishops. You’ve already sold folks on the party of death.
Envy is a sin. Jealousy is a sin. Demanding even more of other people’s money is greed. Looking to the government to meet your needs and solve your problems is idolatry, the worst of all.

4 posted on 11/13/2012 11:34:39 AM PST by all the best (`~!)
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Obviously not all catholics are catholics..

5 posted on 11/13/2012 11:36:07 AM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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I think a subtle message should go to churchgoing Catholics that if they voted for those opposed to the faith, they need to clearly say so in confession, and perform a religious penance.

Only this way can the message be pounded home that the bishops *meant it*, and what they did was *wrong*.

The penance should be less intensive, then extensive, taking months to complete on a daily basis. They need to be very clear that by their actions, infants are murdered on a daily basis. That they chose to facilitate this horror.

6 posted on 11/13/2012 11:38:05 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy (DIY Bumper Sticker: "THREE TIMES,/ DEMOCRATS/ REJECTED GOD")
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Believing you are a Christian because you are taken to church since you were a kid is the same as saying you are a car because you are in the garage.

You need to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and repent of your sins.

The nation my not be Christian, but the Christians are who started and framed this country. Zero and his cohorts want to change that. We need to take this country back before it is too late.

Don’t tread on me.

7 posted on 11/13/2012 11:42:47 AM PST by DonkeyBonker (America going down the tubes after Nov. 6th.)
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To: all the best

Great post!

8 posted on 11/13/2012 11:44:41 AM PST by A message
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the Church refused to come out and tell the flock in clear, direct terms “you should not vote for this man!”

9 posted on 11/13/2012 11:45:58 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: A message

Thanks. I say forget about pandering to this or that minority and go after evangelicals and Catholics who ignorantly support the merchants of death and depravity. That’s the ticket.

10 posted on 11/13/2012 11:59:49 AM PST by all the best (`~!)
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To: Buckeye McFrog

The Church is not permitted by the State to do that, or it will lose it’s tax exempt status.

What the Church did do is tell it’s flock what is impermissible (ie- abortion). Obviously, half the “flock” did not listen.

What the Church really needs to do is give up that tax exempt status and go all the way. If it really means it, then really say it. Problem is that very many Catholics are enamored with the Progressive’s stance on economic and social justice.

Bottom line is the R’s can’t count on the Catholic vote, not they ever have; historically, Catholics have mostly been Dems. The hard core Pro-Lifer’s are Republicans, the other half are Dems, and nearly always have been.

11 posted on 11/13/2012 12:00:15 PM PST by Clarence
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To: hosepipe
Obviously not all catholics are catholics.

Many Catholics are non-practicing and couldn't tell you the first thing about the Catechism, but they readily identify themselves as Catholic.

Really no different that the large number of people who claim to be Christians, but have no defined beliefs, or Jews who don't practice Judaism.

I'm all for an open show of hands in Mass for those who voted for Democrats, then ask them to leave and come back when they decide to repent.

12 posted on 11/13/2012 12:03:39 PM PST by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: Buckeye McFrog
the Church refused to come out and tell the flock in clear, direct terms “you should not vote for this man!”

It seems to me that the Catholic church has lost much of its credibility due to it's lack of morally-motivated action, both internally and externally, sometimes even helping the guilty.
As an example, the Catholic church does not excommunicate political members who advocate abortion (Pelosi, IIRC).

13 posted on 11/13/2012 12:12:20 PM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: SampleMan
I'm all for an open show of hands in Mass for those who voted for Democrats, then ask them to leave and come back when they decide to repent.

That would be soooo cool.

14 posted on 11/13/2012 12:16:35 PM PST by HerrBlucher (Praise to the Lord the Almighty the King of Creation)
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To: SampleMan

[ Really no different that the large number of people who claim to be Christians, but have no defined beliefs, or Jews who don’t practice Judaism. ]

True; religion is like wearing a mask.. many have no problem changing masks.. and/or makeup.. and/or costumes..
Most religion is Kabuki Theater.. not all but most..

Most are content with the act... accompanied by “strange sounds”(hymns/choir/instruments) and verbose dialog/dogma..

Spiritual Entertainment

15 posted on 11/13/2012 12:17:11 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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I can tell you that since the election, our Catholic parish has been so jammed at every service. The adoration chapel is jammed. The group rosary prayer has many more participants. I couldn’t find a place to park this past weekend. These are scared, penitent, grieving people.

The priest had some pretty brisk language for us, as he has been giving us for months. This is hard for him—he’s a nonconfrontational person and likes to avoid controversy in a nice, compromising lib way, and he knows the libs in his parish are going to beat him up verbally if he’s not all tolerant and equivocal. But this situation has forced him to step up and actually speak in a clear, determined way about the evils we’re facing in sexual conduct, abortion, and other social controversies.

16 posted on 11/13/2012 1:02:18 PM PST by ottbmare (The OTTB Mare)
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The 2012 vote was one of the best in history for republicans in receiving Catholic support.

It is unlikely that they are going to save traditional 1776 America, in fact the Catholic immigration is what is killing us.

17 posted on 11/13/2012 2:04:51 PM PST by ansel12 (Todd Akin was NOT the tea party candidate, Sarah Steelman was, Brunner had tea party support also.)
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I can not argue that the Catholic Church has done a lot in preaching the gospel, and later the other churches.

America was far from the first, some of the other countries were actually controlled by the holy roman empire but the empire fell.

The gospel was preached in spite of many churches who,s purpose in the beginning was to preach the gospel but later became a means of riches to the institution itself, just like the catholic church.

The catholic church have been the lead church in many countries or even controlled those countries and all of those countries have since fell or are falling to the evils of socialism and the Catholics are plainly voting for it.

This comment is not meant to be anti Catholic or anti any other church but the other churches came into being just because there were some good Catholic men who thought that the scriptures were for all men to read since all men were equal in the eyes of God.

If not for the above i would not even have a bible to read, my salvation is between my self and God with jesus as the mediator.

also, have you not read Rev 6:15 to 17
And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

After reading the Bible a lot back in the seventies many people started joining one church or another because they thought they needed protection from God.

Could the big rich churches be the rocks or mountains?

18 posted on 11/14/2012 6:53:40 AM PST by ravenwolf
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