The year was 1984; New York Governor Mario Cuomo strode onto a stage at the University of Notre Dame and delivered a speech that arguably altered the American political landscape for decades to come:
As Catholics, my wife and I were enjoined never to use abortion to destroy the life we created, and we never have. We thought Church doctrine was clear on this, and—more than that—both of us felt it in full agreement with what our hearts and our consciences told us.
And then the other shoe dropped: “But not everyone in our society agrees with me and Matilda.”
Cuomo went on to quote selective Catholic sources, American historical references and political philosophy citations in order to build a case allowing for “faithful” Roman Catholic politicians to support legislation assuring a so-called “right” to abortion, even though they “personally oppose” it.
In 2009, a quarter century after Cuomo’s speech, then Archbishop Raymond Burke delivered a speech of his own at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. attacking the New York goveroner’s flawed argument, albeit without naming him:
How often do we hear Catholic legislators who vote in favor of anti-life and anti-family legislation claim that they are personally opposed to what the legislation protects and fosters, but that they as public officials may not allow religious beliefs to affect their support of such legislation?
Archbishop Burke went on to say that what is needed is for individual believers to take responsibility for the state of the nation, and that means putting one’s convictions into action:
I come to you, not as someone who stands outside of our nation but as a citizen who, with you as fellow citizens, takes responsibility for the state of our nation and, therefore, cannot remain indifferent and inactive about what most concerns the good of us all, especially those among us who are small, weak and defenseless.
He went on to deliver some harsh words for those who would seek to avoid the persecution that comes from speaking out in defense of truth:
If we as individuals or our Catholic institutions are not willing to accept the burdens and the suffering necessarily involved in calling our culture to reform, then we are not worthy of the name Catholic.
Archbishop Burke was, of course, entirely correct; “personal opposition” isn’t nearly enough.
Fast forward to today…
Given the opportunity, I would like to ask His Eminence if the same arguments can be applied to the present ecclesial crisis, and most notably as it concerns the Church’s “legislators,” so to speak; meaning, those who by virtue of their episcopal consecration govern with the authority of Christ, such that he’d be willing to say:
I come to you as a member of the sacred hierarchy who takes responsibility for the state of our Church, therefore, I cannot remain indifferent and inactive about what most concerns the good of us all, especially those among us who are small and weak of faith…
If we as individual bishops are not willing to accept the burdens and the suffering necessarily involved in calling our Church to reform, then we are not worthy of the name Catholic.
Let’s take a look at a real world example:
Consider, if you will, the grave harm being done to souls by virtue of the pope’s recently announced plans to travel to Lund, Sweden, where he will join with members of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in a liturgical celebration of Martin Luther and the Protestant revolt, offering such diabolical “prayers” as:
“O Holy Spirit: help us to rejoice in the gifts that have come to the Church through the Reformation… Thanks be to you O God for the many guiding theological and spiritual insights that we have all received through the Reformation. Thanks be to you for the good transformations and reforms that were set in motion by the Reformation…”
If one was able to ask [INSERT NAME OF FAVORITE CONSERVATIVE PRELATE HERE], under oath, if he “personally opposes” the idea of the pope praying with heretics in such a manner, knowing very well that in so doing he risks lending Christian credibility to their stances on homosexuality, marriage, the priesthood, Holy Mass, the Blessed Virgin, Protestantism itself, etc., how do you think he would answer?
I don’t really know how many bishops would answer in the affirmative, but there can be little doubt that a certain number of them would have to admit to being truly outraged by this latest assault on our Catholic faith.
Well, where are they and why are they silent?
The answer: They suffer from Mario Cuomo Syndrome – a self-imposed state of delusion wherein a false sense of security derived from a supposed “personal opposition” is allowed to override the sense of Christian duty that otherwise compels them to speak.
One suspects that there are those who might suggest that it is prudent to wait and see if the October event actually takes place, but such men only deceive themselves further.
Even if God in His mercy should end this dreadful pontificate tomorrow, and even if the next Bishop of Rome thinks better of mocking Our Blessed Lord by joining the heretical descendants of Martin Luther to give thanks for the grave evils the Protestant revolt continues to perpetrate against the Body of Christ, the damage is already done.
The message is being disseminated worldwide even as I type: The Catholic Church is just one “brand” of “Christian” among many, the apostate communities of the LWF included, and there can be no doubt that souls will perish as a result.
Bear in mind, this is just one of many horrid happenings in the Church that is being met with silent toleration on the part of our all-too-comfortable “conservative” clergymen.
Now, imagine how the particular judgment of these men will go when they inform Christ, “But Lord, I was personally opposed to that!”
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that many of them will fare no better than Mario Cuomo; in fact, they may even fare far worse given the fact that eternal life is at stake in this case.
I’ll wrap this up by inviting you to read the words of Cardinal Burke in light of the current ecclesial crisis once more; this time from a 2013 interview in which His Eminence spoke very well about the evils of silent toleration and political correctness; in this case, with respect to the matter of homosexuality (about which, incidentally, the LWF comes down on the side of evil):
“Tolerance is a virtue, but it is certainly not the principal virtue; the principal virtue is charity. Charity means speaking the truth … The virtue of charity leads us to be kind and understanding to the individual, but also to be firm and steadfast in opposing the evil itself. This confusion is widespread. I have encountered it many times myself as a priest and bishop. It is something we simply need to address. There is far too much silence — people do not want to talk about it because the topic is not “politically correct.” But we cannot be silent any longer or we will find ourselves in a situation that will be very difficult to reverse.” – Cardinal Raymond Burke
It is clear that a certain “ecclesial correctness” is at play among the bishops, wherein direct criticism of the pope’s gravely dangerous words and deeds is considered verboten, but as Pope St. Pius X said with regard to the modernists:
“The security of the Catholic name is at stake. Wherefore, as to maintain it longer would be a crime, We must now break silence, in order to expose before the whole Church in their true colours those men who have assumed this bad disguise.” – cf Pascendi Dominici Gregis
We are the shepherdless sheep. We thought someone would protect us, but they have headed for the hills in the opposite direction. We have been feed anemic, diseased grass, have been kicked, our wool is bloodied and matted, our eyes are draining pus, and we have abscesses adjacent to our hooves.
You are the bellwether, Louie, reassuring us that the One, True Shepherd has not forgotten us. Keep ringing your bell.
Christ has been betrayed by our Leaders, but thank you Louie for exposing their silence. Let us fight for our faith whatever the cost.
“I am put here for the defense of the Gospel” Philippians 1:16
“Who shall rise up for me against the evildoers? or who shall stand with me against the workers of iniquity? Psalm 94
We’ve had enough exhortations to be silent. Cry out with a thousand tongues – I see the world is rotten because of silence.”
― Catherine of Siena
Our Lord will spit out the lukewarm.
Thank you, Louie, for putting into words the thoughts plaguing my mind for a long time now. While I’m not up to par as a scribe, I have been writing both the popes and American bishops for the last 10 years.
Immediately after Roe v. Wade became the “law of the land”, Bishops should have publicly excommunicated pro-abortion “catholic” politicians. If the American Bishops were not Catholic enough to take this strong stand, the directive should have come directly from the Throne of Peter. Let’s face it. The vast majority of our bishops are “spineless wonders”. The same is true for today’s bishops and all prelates who standing idly by as Bergoglio celebrates Luther and the Protestant Revolution. When is enough enough? What does Bergoglio have to do before he is sent packing back to Argentina as a laicized priest? Where is the outrage? It wasn’t so long ago that the movie industry was very aware that one word from a priest at the pulpit to his congregation could ruin a movie’s success at the box office. The Catholic Church was not robbed of Her authority–it was surrendered. The Cuomos of the world would have a better chance of heaven if the Bishops took a stronger stance.
P.S. Louie, your analogy is perfect. If Mario Cuomo (May God have mercy on his soul!) were still alive, he could have been a ghost writer for our modern bishops.
The original coiner of Cuomo’s line was Cardinal Cushing (i.e. the hiearchy taught/ coached the lie to the laity (Nancy Pelosi is not half as much going to hell as the “priests” behind her!): “In my book The Faithful Departed, I wrote that Cardinal Cushing was the first prominent American Catholic to advance the now-familiar argument that it is morally permissible to vote for acceptance of a practice that the Church regards as gravely immoral. Today, that “personally opposed, but…” argument is regularly invoked by supporters of legal abortion. But in the 1960s, it was used by Cardinal Cushing to justify acceptance of legal contraception.
“In 1965, as the state legislature discussed the repeal of the contraceptive ban, Cardinal Cushing said that he personally opposed the use of contraceptives. But he added, significantly: “I am also convinced that I should not impose my position—moral beliefs or religious beliefs—on those of other faiths.” To legislators weighing the merits of the bill, he said: “If your constituents want this legislation, vote for it.”
“in so doing he risks lending Christian credibility to their stances on homosexuality, marriage, the priesthood, Holy Mass, the Blessed Virgin”
What about contraception and abortion?
The West was descending into moral squalor. For many Catholics JPII was an avuncular Old World personage who had very little to do with daily life. Abortion, contraception, immoral reproductive technologies–what did a quaint old Polish pope have to do with any of that? I think most of the hierarchy didn’t take him seriously either–and except for Marcel LeFevbre papa was very lenient with his children. They were charmed that he jetted about kissing tarmacs, donning native dress and Bono’s sunglasses, and hosting Assisi-love-ins. A quarter century of the hands-off craziness has landed us where we are today.
Here’s hoping Patriarch Kirill can set him straight. I would think the Russian Orthodox also want unity, but they won’t pretend they do in the same ecumenical way.
What we still “Practicing Catholics” called Mario Cuomo:
Il Supremo, His Arrogance, Mario The Pious;
All, Sarcastically of Course!
Cardinal Cushing was a great influence on the Kennedys who were told that being Catholic should not interfere with their political ambitions. In addition to his pathetic lifestyle, Ted Kennedy, radically pro-abortion, was given an extravagant “catholic” funeral by so-called “catholic” prelates. Is it any wonder the Catholic Church has no credibility? Will the REAL Catholic Bishops please stand up and make yourself known by your ACTIONS—not WORDS.
A DIFFERENT STRATEGY
“I should examine all my actions, taking Jesus as my model and example. What a vast difference between my prayer and His; between my use of time, my way of speaking, walking, dealing with others, etc., and that of the child Jesus! If I could only keep Him before my eyes always, my life would be far different from what it has been”
Fr William Doyle SJ
“Another domain in which we must revive our Faith, the better to realise the gravity of the situation is the domain of the Church herself; for there is no longer faith in the Holy Church, it is being lost day by day. There is a desire to submit the Church to common law, to put her on the same footing and the same level as all other religions. Even among priests, seminarists and professors in seminaries there is a reluctance to speak of the Catholic Church as the only Church, and to state that she has the truth, that she alone brings salvation to men through Jesus Christ. When you are virtuous, you have done with vice ; in so far as you are in the truth, you forsake error, in so far as you are going to Heaven you avoid Hell. Do not let us come to say, then, that the Church is on the same footing as the religions which are in error: that is not possible.”
… a quote from my friend – Dr O’Brien who writes a blog called Greetings from a Better Age:
“During Henry’s persecution, Thomas More was one of these heroic men, subjected to fire and dungeon and sword, because he would not accept the lies upon which Protestantism is founded. More was a lawyer, a profession that is not typically associated with high ideals. Yet this lawyer told a story about watching from his cell the English bishops (whose duty was to be true to Thee till death) file in to swear undying allegiance to the filthy king, and to the Devil with the Pope. After they had apostatized, they milled around the courtyard, like chickens pecking at a few crumbs on the ground. You see, the bishops didn’t want to lose their exalted positions, their darling sinecures, and betraying the Church was a small price to pay to continue living in luxury. Saint Thomas marveled that they had gone in as Catholics and come out as mere creatures of the State.”
– with the exception of John Fisher, all these “bishops” lined up to kiss the devil’s ass. I don’t see the current crop as having any higher percentage of saints either.
Michael F Poulin
Our Lord should have remained silent in the face of the Pharisees because by publicly rebuking them He risked scandalising the Jewish faithful. Our Lord would have learned a thing or two if he could have had the foresight of modern prelates and kept up positive dialogue.
Yes. If Cardinal Burke and company could only keep Jesus before their eyes always as their model and example, OUR lives would be far different from what they have been.
“And when he had made, as it were, a scourge of little cords, he drove them all out of the temple, the sheep also and the oxen, and the money of the changers he poured out, and the tables he overthrew.”
—————– John 2:15 ——- (Douay-Rheims Bible)
“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the chairs of them that sold doves: And he saith to them: It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves.”
—————- Matthew 21:12 ————— (Douay-Rheims Bible)
I hope Cardinal Burke reads this post.
An excellent correlation.
Great “mirror in your face” piece. Hope the good Cardinal sees it and acts on it judiciously, courageously and with a plan. For sure it’s not a media issue because he could get world wide coverage at will.
As they say down South…”You can’t talk a hog to death” aka “Talking ain’t Doing”.
We must keep praying for the Pope to come to his senses and/or courage for the Cardinals resistance, admonishment and removal of him. Man-up time is rapidly approaching for Cardinal Burke et al. There are do overs.
A man for all seasons full movie
Bergoglio’s February video:
Care for Creation—–(no mention of the Creator)
Sicker by the minute!!!!
WHY Is The Crucifix HIDDEN?
Yes, mpoulin, we always imagine that if we were at some past place or time in history that WE would surely do the right thing-just like St. Thomas Moore. So few do though, right? Like if WE were at the crucifixion. ..anyway, I bet many of the bishops today who say they admire martyrs and would hope to do the same – do not follow their brave example at their own time in history-and to think -we are definitely witnessing a crucifixion. What a great opportunity to stand beside Jesus. Either they choose not to or don’t realize they are siding with evil. Let’s face it-anything goes now. Naked people could be dancing in front of the Vatican and everything would be a-ok. The event would have some wicked, false label and the bishops would have some squirrelly explanation as to why they support or don’t condemn it. Really, much worse stuff than naked people dancing in front of the Vatican is already outwardly celebrated in our church. We are in it alone. I pray for fortitude and perseverance.
About the recent pope video- he’s not hiding a crucifix-because he doesn’t wear one. Also, I’m not much of a bible expert, but I don’t think the world ends because of lack of recycling. He knows how the world ends, and he’s helping work towards that end as he successfully side tracks many into focusing on recycling! We are a clueless and pathetic people who have completely lost the faith – as was their plan -to rob us of the true faith- and drag as many souls to hell as possible.
Couldn’t agree more J-Bomb. As our Church-men are remaining silent, I find I am looking to Traditional (what Catholics always believed) Web-sites to find clarity, truth without compromise, something our spineless clergy refuse to do. They have become our shepherds in this crisis!
Oh well, back to the Rosary and everything Holy Mother church teaches while we wait for deliverance from this nightmare.
God bless all you faithful Catholics, I find your articles and comments truly inspiring.
Wait a second and hold on. I just realized after writing that that we already DO have those naked people-up on the ceiling of rhe sistine chapel. I don’t know much about the history-but supposedly someone actually covered those up at one point. Must have been under some oders from a ultratraditional wacko who was trying not to scandalize the faithful people during mass and was protecting us even from the slighest things regarding our fallen carnal nature. Thank heavens the modesty drapes were removed under jp2. Now all of us MATURE art appreciation people could view nudity in art of that era. I guess I’m forever immature and not art worthy – I like to think of it as a God given tendency towards modesty-which I think we all were born with. At any rate someone was actually thinking about protecting his flock at one time. I like to think if anything -perhaps he errored on the side of this sumple minded like myself and my stupid roaming immature eyes.sorry to get side tracked.
“Naked people could be dancing in front of the Vatican and everything would be a-ok.”
You must have missed this, Cortez:
Dear OldTradCat, Thank you for your good works for the glory of God and salvation of souls.
That is the truth, the awful truth. Lord, have mercy! Reparation!
Modest eyes. The excuses for depictions of naked persons are false.
This is the for the first video but same applies for the second
And who excommunicates these public apostates? No one, because whatever vague sense of discarded Catholicism exists in the hearts or minds of the Novus Ordo heirarchy, they are secular laymen for the most, who belong to a phenomenon of absency, of vacancy, of rejection of Christ and His Bride and Apostolic succession/security – like any Protestant, or ‘monotheist’.
As such, (insert name of public heretic, apostate, schismatic) a scandal to all ‘little ones’, remains in the Novus Ordo club.
“The security of the Catholic name is at stake…” preached Pope Saint Pius X…and the Novus Ordo and all its communicants (Indult included) daily wreck the same ‘security’.
PS. “I had rather be an abject in the House of my God, than to dwell in the tents of the wicked.”
As I sense you do, salvemur, I also wrestle with the ideas you present. I appreciate your vicious faith-but wonder-how could a true saint exist, yet still remain obedient to the head of the church (aka pope) and also attend the novus oder mass on a daily basis? I will tell you the answer: At least one humble, obedient, anonymous cloistered nun who resides among all the other nuns in the Conceptionist Convent in Quito, Ecuador. Our Lady of Good Success promised that a living saint would ALWAYS live within the walls of that convent and that that convent would remain until the end of time. They have access to only the new mass. Amazing, huh? Get all of the books translated by Marian Horvat through the Our Lady of Good Success website. There are four. Our Lady wishes to be known by everyone under this particular title.She came particularly for this horrific time in our Dear Church’s life.
Video of procession in honor of Our Lady of Good Success in Quito, Ecuador, 5 days ago from John Vennari:
From a sermon by Saint Anthony of Padua Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach and your actions speak. We are full of words but empty of actions, and therefore are cursed by the Lord, since he himself cursed the fig tree when he found no fruit but only leaves.
Shepherds, take note, souls are at stake including your own.
According to one of the biographies of Mario, as late as the early 1970s he still argued not only for banning abortion (it was legal in New York state even before Roe vs. Babies in 1973), but for banning contraception. Ambition, and the Church’s weak position, changed him. He also was a big fan of Teilhard the Blowhard, whom Pope Francis quoted in his enviro-encyclical. Notice also how Mario shamefully brought his wife into the discussion. Well, he has been judged. So shall we all.
“Conquering the tongue is better than fasting on bread and water! ”
St John of the Cross
ST JOHN EUDES : “The most evident mark of God’s anger and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world are manifested when He permits His people to fall into the hands of clergy who are priests more in name than in deed, priests who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather than charity and affection of devoted shepherds …
“When God permits such things, it is a very positive proof that He is thoroughly angry with His people, and is visiting His most dreadful anger upon them. That is why He cries unceasingly to Christians, ‘Return O ye revolting children … and I will give you pastors according to My own heart’. (Jer. 3:14,15) Thus, irregularities in the lives of priests constitute a scourge upon the people in consequence of sin.”
I think this is very appropriate for our times.
A website just for francis
End times prophecy of St Francis of Assisi
Let your YES mean YES and your NO mean NO.
I watched a few years ago when vp-hopeful Paul Ryan sheepishly tap danced around his Catholic conscience in exactly the same way Cuomo did, “I believe X, Y and Z but I would never impose my beliefs onto others.”
There’s a word for this: COWARDICE.
I would shine a beacon on every tenet, every dogma, every decree and every doctrine of Holy Mother Church onto society if I had my way.
My recollection is that during the days of racial segregation many of the present politicians didn’t mind forcing their moral belief on those whose moral belief was different.