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The Unrepentant Traditionalist
February 25, 2010

A Pro-life Manifesto: Part VI
by Frank Creel

ARLINGTON, VA — I argued in Part V that the Catholic Church compromised its credibility by its toleration of scandal and allowed its irrational fear of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to deprive it of the courage of its convictions. What of our fellow Christians, especially our Evangelical brethren?

They suffer the ailment of all those separated from Rome: disunity. There are perhaps 50,000 Protestant sects. Without the centripetal force of the papacy, maligned for five centuries as the “whore of Babylon,” Protestants, protected, quoth Luther, from error by the Holy Spirit in their solitary meditations upon Scripture, have spun into a theological universe with no cosmological constant. The “liberalism” that so alarmed John Henry Newman almost two centuries ago has now led inexorably from a unified catechism to a cataclysm of explosively divergent doctrines.

The result? So-called “mainstream” denominations are quickly evolving into staunch defenders of “reproductive freedom” for women. Even Evangelicals taking pride in their fundamentalism have been peeling off into the eddies of theological commerce. Evangelicals like Tony Campolo and Jim Wallis labor to ingratiate themselves with the liberal media, help in the election of liberals, beat the drums for wealth redistribution, wring their hands over discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation — and endlessly seek “common ground” on the issue of whether it is okay to murder babies in the womb.

The data, nevertheless, give proof that the Holy Spirit meanders unpredictably. Evangelicals gave Obama a smaller portion of their vote than did Catholics. Much of the difference was caused by the millennialist yearnings of Evangelicals, manifested most tragically in their overwhelming support of the Bush Administration’s response to global terrorism.

Evangelicals have not yet understood that the logic of Bush-Cheney absolutism must end in the use of American power to annihilate more than a billion Muslims. This does not readily comport with the Lord’s command to love our enemies, not to mention the “great commission” of gathering all souls into his kingdom.

Consideration of such factors tosses the ball back into the lap of the Catholic Church, for all its problems. If our bishops do not understand this and fail to take the lead, there will be no Christian victory over the evil of abortion, the reputation of the Church will continue to spiral downward, and America will soon end in history’s trash heap.

Here is what the Church must now do:

1. Stop giving scandal. No known homosexual must ever again be ordained. Sexual abusers of the young, whether homosexual or not, must be laicized if their crime is proven. “Catholic” universities that dissent from Catholic teaching on abortion or any other grave moral subject must be disowned by the Church and forbidden to advertise themselves as Catholic. “Catholic” politicians who publicly support abortion must be told that such support results in their de facto excommunication. They must be informed that, to avoid scandal as well as the crime of sacrilege, the only sacrament to which they may be admitted is Penance, and then only with a firm and open intent to atone through public abandonment of such support. The Church will be stronger without its public hypocrites.

2. Keep praying. Though cynics smirk, the power of prayer must be publicly acknowledged. Priests must continually remind the faithful of the Lord’s assurance that every prayer is heard and answered by his Father. The response is not necessarily as we might wish, but absolutely and without exception it is what the Father sees as in our best interests, namely, to steel our wills to do good and avoid evil out of love for Him.

3. Preach the pro-life Gospel. Every bishop should instruct every priest in his charge to preach frequently against the evil of abortion. Fear of offending women who have had abortions should not be used as an excuse to avoid such homilies. No priest of Jesus Christ can fail to find the words, while condemning the sin, to extend Christ’s boundless mercy and compassion to sinners. If any women find that offensive, they have long ago left the Church.

4. Name names. Especially in election season, pro-abortion candidates should be identified from the pulpit. The people in the pew must be admonished that to vote for such a candidate is material cooperation in evil, the grave evil of extinguishing innocent human life at its most defenseless stage. If the IRS dares attempt to revoke the tax-exempt status of any diocese, it should be informed in no uncertain terms that every bishop and every priest in the United States is prepared to clog the dockets of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The bishops should have no difficulty finding a hundred or so Catholic tax attorneys willing to work pro bono.

America awaits a political leader who understands the country’s great peril and who possesses the skill and determination to avert it.

More important, the Church awaits her Athanasius, her Loyola.

Most important, God awaits Christians worthy of the name.

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The Unrepentant Traditionalist is copyright © 2010 by Frank Creel and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation. All rights reserved.

Frank Creel, Ph.D., a columnist and author, was an English teacher in the Peace Corps in Turkey. He is fluent in the Turkish language and in Arabic script.

See a complete biographical sketch.

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