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 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
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
More important, the Church awaits her Athanasius, her Loyola.
Most important, God awaits Christians worthy of the name.
The Unrepentant Traditionalist is copyright © 2010
by Frank Creel and the Fitzgerald
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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