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The Silence of the Shepherds: The Nation and the Church Gone Astray

In the days following last week’s U.S. presidential election, a staggering amount of analysis has focused on Republican messaging, demographics and core constituencies — so much so that the fundamental point has been missed entirely.

If the Second Coming of Obama is evidence of anything, it is the godlessness of our nation, the majority of whose citizens worship an idol who not only grants free license to practically every immoral impulse one can imagine, but who also evidently demands human sacrifice to the tune of more than a million innocent souls each year.

This culture of depravity is the result of an underlying spiritual malady that has been allowed to fester and spread over the last five decades virtually unopposed by the only force capable of overtaking it.

The United States – a land wherein class-envy passes for compassion, same-sex “marriage” is accepted as fairness, and contraception is considered a matter of healthcare – is about to reap the just rewards, not so much of a nation that has abandoned the principles of its Founding Fathers, but of a Church that has abandoned its Founder and the mission He has given her.

  • When a majority of self-identified “Catholics” (some of whom are priests and bishops, no doubt) vote for a candidate who aggressively promotes objective evil, it is the Church that has gone astray.
  • When our prelates speak of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as though it was inscribed by the finger of God on a tablet of stone, it is the Church that has gone astray.
  • When the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stands by a 13,000+ word voting guide that provides succor to those who insist upon promoting the “seamless garment” deception, it is the Church that has gone astray.
  • When politicians who are waging war against the most fundamental moral precepts of the Catholic faith can skip up to Holy Communion with nary a peep from their bishop, it is the Church that has gone astray.
  • When pastors can cause public scandal by preaching in favor of the homosexual assault on marriage and family without any fear of meaningful discipline, it is the Church that has gone astray.

I could go on, but presumably you get the point. The true cause of the nation’s most serious challenges – economic, social, and political – is really no different than it was for Israel some 3,000 years ago:

“These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you,” says the LORD… “He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards; the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your menservants and maidservants, and the best of your cattle and your asses, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” (cf 2 Samuel 8:11-18)

In spite of the valiant efforts of Samuel and those other intrepid prophets of old, who spoke on behalf of the Lord who said, “I am your Holy One, your Creator, your King,” the people Israel would not listen. The results are well known.

In the present case, the new People of God – under the feckless leadership of a hierarchy too timid to speak on behalf of its glorious King – have abandoned Him in favor of a president who has made clear his intention to persecute the Catholic Church by force of federal law.

As difficult as it may be to accept, Barack Hussein Obama, that anti-Christian oppressor and extraordinary purveyor of evil, is precisely what the American people, and especially the American Catholic Church, deserves. Yes: Precisely what it deserves.

And when comes the day that the tyranny of Obama and his ilk break our backs and force us to our knees, the Lord will not answer our cries because justice will demand His silence. This, my friends, is the price that the entire nation must pay for the failure of the Catholic Church to faithfully perform its divinely-assigned duty.

For more than forty years, the overwhelming majority of our prelates have been unable to muster the gumption to even hint at the sovereign rights of Christ the King over society. Yet many of these very same men have routinely leveraged the power of their exalted office to breathlessly invoke the “rights of the human person” in support of destructive Democrat policies and programs masquerading as valid expressions of Catholic social doctrine.

If the bishops, including the Bishop of Rome, would speak of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ one-tenth as often as they speak of “human dignity, then the “dictatorship of relativism” that is dominating the global socio-political order might be felled.

Based on recent events here in the United States, however, even this is apparently asking too much.

Just weeks before the election, Cardinal Timothy Dolan – the most visible member of the hierarchy in this nation – wined and dined Barack Obama at the annual Al Smith Dinner, where he publicly anointed him an “honorable man,” while praising him for his “love for God and country.”

Seriously? How is a man who aggressively promotes intrinsic evil, and claims to be a Christian even as he actively persecutes the Church that Christ established, considered honorable? Can anyone, Cardinal Dolan included, point to a shred of evidence that isn’t offset tenfold by evil that indicates that Barack Obama has a love for God?

Even in an age when the majority of the episcopate has long since exchanged apostolic zeal for weak-kneed kumbaya craziness, Cardinal Dolan’s public act of infidelity is an embarrassment to the Church. It accomplished absolutely nothing — save confirm the wayward in their error.

Is it any wonder the majority of self-identified Catholics voted as they did?

After the election, faced with the stark realization (one hopes) that the national flock is teetering on the brink of full blown spiritual bankruptcy, Cardinal Dolan offered his congratulations to the president on behalf of the American bishops, saying:

“We pray that you will exercise your office to pursue the common good, especially in care of the most vulnerable among us, including the unborn, the poor, and the immigrant. We will continue to stand in defense of life, marriage, and our first, most cherished liberty, religious freedom.”

While graciousness in defeat is perhaps a virtue (assuming, of course, that Cardinal Dolan doesn’t consider Obama’s reelection a personal victory), I cannot for the life of me conjure up even one good reason to lump the “unborn” together with the rest of the “most vulnerable among us,” especially given the current political climate wherein the party in power advocates for the widespread extermination of the former.

And can our bishops, please Lord, temper this blather about “the first most cherished liberty”with an occasional reference to the first demand of justice: namely, the duty of every man to offer worship to the one true God, not in the religion and manner of his choosing, but in the divinely established Church of Christ.

To be clear, while I considered my own ballot for Mitt Romney a vote in favor of a step in the right direction, I do not wish to imply that such a vote was a de facto vote for Christ.

What I do wish to state, in the strongest terms possible, however, is that invincible ignorance aside, there isn’t one single solitary person who worships the one true God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who cast a vote in favor of Barrack Obama.

At the end of the day, America’s woes can be boiled down to good old fashioned godlessness. You are either with God — or you are against Him. In the case of election 2012, the godless prevailed because they have been failed by the Church.

Perhaps the dark days ahead will jolt the sacred hierarchy out of its collective slumber; emboldening them to set aside all worldly preoccupations, and to carry the light of Christ into the world and to proclaim His Kingship once more. This must be our prayer.


Author and speaker Louie Verrecchio has been a columnist for Catholic News Agency since April 2009. His work, which includes Year of Faith resources like the Harvesting the Fruit of Vatican II Faith Formation Series, has been endorsed by Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia; Bishop Emeritus Patrick O’Donoghue of Lancaster, England; Bishop R. Walker Nickless of Sioux City, IA, USA and others. For more information please visit: www.harvestingthefruit.com.


  • http://www.schefter.org/ PrairieHawk

    Amen.

  • goral

    As b.JP2 prayed on one of his visits to Poland – “Let your Spirit come down and renew the face of the earth, this earth”, he added, meaning this land.
    So along with all of us of right mind, I pray – deliver us from evil, this evil!
    Amen,

  • Templar

    “Perhaps the dark days ahead will jolt the sacred hierarchy out of its collective slumber…”

    The dark days were created by the slumber of the Hierarchy! When the Church is doing the Lord’s work, the nations of the world are raised above themselves and do better. When the Church fails to do the Lord’s work, the opposite occurs.

  • noelfitz

    Do you
    recognise your parish and your local Church in this article?

    Make your mind up. At present the US makes Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s
    USSR and Mao’s China seem like holiday camps according to this article. Does the President of the US sped his time killing babies and makes Herod look benign?

    I am in a Community of four coupleses and a priest, and one of the couples spends the winter in Florida, where old folk are driven to Mass, get meals from neighbors and are looked after. My brother-in-law lives in North Carolina, where at Sunday Mass there are over 1000 participants devoutly participating.

    Where I worked there were Notre Dame University students who practiced Catholicism very sincerly and showed up our local students.

    Do Catholics skip up to Commumnion in the US? My
    parish is http://newtownparkparish.com/, you will note no one skips up to communion. But I see in the US “the majority of whose citizens worship
    an idol (who) not only grants free license to practically every immoral impulse
    one can imagine,” I also see “The United States – a land wherein
    class-envy passes for compassion,” “This culture of depravity is the
    result of an underlying spiritual malady”.

    This is different from the US I worked in, where people were decent, friendly,
    hospitable, went to Church, worked hard and reared good families.

    Please decide. Are Americans the most depraved people on earth,
    steeped in killing, and all types of corruption or are they like most people
    struggling weak, decent and good citizens?

  • http://www.facebook.com/rosa.lopes.1029 Rosa Lopes

    I am afraid that the wolfs in lamb skins are just about to pay the price .for every priest that has offended God and did not repent it is about to be slaughter .i will pray for mercy from God for them.

  • BillinJax

    After re-reading this article a few times one has to ask himself..”Do I hear the voice of one crying in the desert?”

    I fear in spite of the somewhat overwhelming sharpness of the authors language we have been given here a dose of reality akin to a doctors diagnosis of cancer of the conscience after an annual spiritual chekup.

    • http://www.schefter.org/ PrairieHawk

      The challenges facing American Catholics are formidable but the response is the same as it has ever been: trust God, trust God, trust God. Jesus remains the way, the truth, and the life. There is nothing other than following Him.

  • Mom and Grandma

    Much of this article is true, but not in all cases and everywhere. Our Archbishop in the Diocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is courageous in fighting against the evils in our current society, so Louie, please don’t make such gross generalizations. They only serve to undermine the integrity of your argument. Archbishop John Neinstedt was so outspoken on the evils of same sex marriage, that if one Googled him, the first hit was a photo of him with the word “BIGOT” across his face!

    And to say about Cardinal Dolan “assuming, of course, that Cardinal Dolan doesn’t consider Obama’s reelection a personal victory,” is just mean spirited. Dolan has spoken against Obama and his policies on countless occassions. While I did not agree with the invite to the Al Smith dinner either, to attack Cardinal Dolan using the words you did, is inappropriate and makes you look vindictive. Let’s not stoop to the tactics of the other side in this culture war–and believe me, living in a state that had same sex marriage on the ballot, we do NOT want to descend into the tactics we had employed against us throughout the campaign!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sam-Sundberg/100000503691206 Sam Sundberg

      Nov. 17th: you are right ‘mom and grandma’ that there are Bishops who stand with the Church but there were over 230 Bishops attending their conference this week…how many of them stood up publicly against the HHS mandate? How many stood up publicly and consistently throughout the year against the slaughter of unborn human babies in the womb? Reading a letter a week before the election was too little, too late and,frankly, too shallow. Cardinal Dolan is now proposing a return to ‘meatless Fridays’ – how will that help people to learn about the love of Christ and His Church? Even Pope Benedict has asked that we stop presenting the Church and her teachings as ‘we must/we must not’ but rather to present the Church in all her beauty and goodness, compassion and mercy…help others to develop a loving relationship with our Savior before imposing more rules and regulations on them…speak out about the beauty and goodness and giftedness of each and every God given life…beginning in the womb. Mother Teresa always said that a nation that kills its young cannot survive; and ‘if we kill the baby in the womb, what would we not do?’ …indeed, what would we not do?

  • BillinJax

    I knew this article reminded me of something. Looking back in my vault of personal laments at the state of the Church and our Leadership I found this dusty one and I’m sure some of you are not going to like it either. However, Peace to all of you.
    Spiritual Leadership

    Truly it’s time for the Bishops of America to stop pretending to be
    shepherds of the faith among god’s people with messages to the flock that
    merely reflect “concern”, “regret” and “dismay” at the heretical behavior or
    extreme positions taken by catholic politicians and their “prominent” catholic
    supporters which betray the teachings of the church.

    We have literally stripped ourselves of the identity as “one, holy,
    catholic, and apostolic” church. We are now the diversified, progressive
    liberal, independent thinking, and apologetic church of America with sentimental ties to Rome.

    Just look at us. We’ve produced the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Ted
    Kennedy, John Kerry, Chris Dodd, Charles Rangel, and many other “distinguished” members of congress along with a host of “intellectual” clergy and prominent individuals who ALL gave their unbridled support (honorary degrees) to the most pro-abortion candidate ever to run for president. What does this say for the church in America?
    Especially when these same people often state and expound that their positions
    and values don’t conflict with or reduce their standing within the church as
    they boldly file in line at the communion table.

    Remember when Nancy Pelosi told a reporter that (her) church was not sure
    when life begins and that it was “debatable” only about 20 of the approximately
    150 catholic members of congress willingly signed a letter of admonition to
    her. (None of the above mentioned). And to realize these officials are
    continually reelected by large portions of catholic laity speaks volumes for
    the guidance the laity are receiving from their shepherds.

    Add to this the fact that we are closing parish schools at a record pace
    and there is little or no voice in Washington on behalf of VOUCHERS coming from the largest single religious group (29% catholic) of representatives. Clerical Compassion needed for catholic education and faith based initiatives is cautiously reserved like holy water to sprinkle on secular approved issues like gay “rights” or hoped for embryonic research or cloning for medical technology. Need we say more?

    We are in moral disarray here and our spiritual leadership for the most
    part does not speak forthrightly to us for fear of “politically” advocating
    Christian values thus overstepping the bounds of “separation” or at worst
    governmental funding reprisals.

    We can’t be “children” of God without being men and women of honor and deep
    faith before the sword of separation if we intend to follow Christ.

    Today, as in the time of the early church as the Kingdom of God was being thrust upon the kings of the world, “Martyrdom” needs to be revived in the public arena and a part of our faith life so that the people can witness for themselves that our eternal souls are of more value than political capitol, catechetical compromise, or “apostolic” appeasement which is reducing Christ and His church to the status of “community (ritual) organizers” within a purely secular society. May the Lord have mercy on us if we choose otherwise.

  • Myrth Bringuel

    I agree with most of what Louie states in his article. Our Leadership has been too focused on social justice and immigration issues, which as important as they are, they are second to Religious liberty and the non-negotiables ie: abortion and same sex marriage. The voting guide was posted a little too late in the Ga Bulletin for those who may be confused or not up to what this president has been promoting the past four years. The workshop I attended (out of curiosity) as I was already quite familiar with the issues from past elections, was confusing and again didnt make it clear enough what order of importance the issues should be addressed. The Hispanics supposedly voted in large numbers, of that I wonder how many were Catholic? Or other christian denominations? How many were illegal and voted fraudlently?? But over all I was dismayed at how our Catholic leadership wasnt more proactive and tried harder to educate the laity. There is a crisis in the country without a doubt, we are fighting a culture of death and sin. May God have mercy on our Catholic Bishops and priests who didnt do enough to educate their parishioners, but then again there were many who tried their best and only God can be the judge.

  • Ben from Cali

    Republicans are just as guilty for the decline of America as Democrats. So-called pseudo-conservatives have worshipped the false gods of greed and materialism for decades. The GOP is not “God’s party.”
    America will contiue its spiritual decline because of moral corruption at the base, within the body public. Forty percent of babies are born out of wedlock (substantially higher in certain demographics), obesity is on a rapid rise among the people, and we are a terribly unproductive nation. We have sacrificed our DIY no-how for the relative ease and comfort of the big-box chain world encompassed by Wal-Mart.
    A nation that does not produce is not a great one. A nation that cannot build or grow is a nation devoid of liberty.