Catholic Laity Welcome Pence . . . While Bishops Seem To Miss Obama

Catholic Laity Welcome Pence . . . While Bishops Seem To Miss Obama

June 12, 2017

Vice-President Mike Pence addressed the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington on June 5, and received a resounding welcome from over a thousand Catholic leaders from across the country. The audience cheered as he reiterated President Trump’s defense of religious liberty, Christian victims of Muslim terrorism, and especially the helpless targets of the Culture of Death.

“President Donald Trump stands with the most vulnerable — the aged, the infirm, and the unborn,” he told the gathering, to thundering applause. “I couldn’t be more proud to serve as vice president to a president who stands without apology for the sanctity of human life. . . . Since day one of this administration, President Donald Trump has been keeping his promise to stand for life, and life is winning in America again.”
Pence was remarkably candid about his own faith. “I’m the son of two devout American Catholics,” he said, adding that he was named after his Irish grandfather. “As a young boy growing up in a small town in southern Indiana, my Catholic faith poured an eternal foundation in my life.” Pence went to a Catholic grade school for eight years and his three brothers often joined him to serve Mass. His Confirmation name is Christopher.

He loves the Church. And yet he left. Vice-President Pence is now an Evangelical — “My own faith journey has taken me and my family in a different direction,” he told the gathering. And there arises an interesting question: Why?

These days, we live in a pastoral time zone. Have any of our bishops or priests who regularly lambaste Pence and Trump ever “reached out to the peripheries” and offered to “accompany the vice president in his journey” back to the one true Church? Did Fr. Jenkins at Notre Dame last month, where a few dozen LGBT graduates staged a made-for-media-hype walkout? In Washington, he was surrounded by active, engaged Catholics. Has anyone asked him why this grateful former altar boy left the Church?

The Bishops, Obamacare, Taxes

Four leading members of the USCCB have written the Senate to oppose the legislation passed by the House of Representatives to replace the rapidly collapsing Obamacare disaster which the Supreme Court found to be constitutional only because it was the most massive tax hike in history.

America’s bishops often proudly remind us that they and their predecessors have supported nationalized health care for almost a century, invoking what they call the “fundamental right to health care” of every person (and not only Americans), whether they can pay for it or not.

Citing Pope Francis’ indictment of private-sector health care for its “profiteering on other people’s misfortunes” the letter’s signers insisted that Obamacare’s welfare-state provisions be left essentially intact.

Curiously, they also urged senators to adopt their two “non-negotiable” issues that the Democrat Congress had rejected in 2010: first, the protection of life (where Obama had promised the bishops his support, before betraying them); and second, free taxpayer-funded health coverage for illegal immigrants.
The Republican Senate majority is not expected to act soon on the measure, even though President Trump was elected on a platform that included replacing Obamacare.

Who Supports The Paris Agreement?

The Most Rev. Oscar Cantú, USCCB official and bishop of Las Cruces, N.M., blasted the decision by President Trump to withdraw from the “Paris Accords,” a document requiring the creation of a huge worldwide super-national bureaucracy funded by the United States and any other countries that might actually contribute.

“President Trump’s decision will harm the people of the United States and the world,” the bishop said, citing “the poorest, most vulnerable communities,” rather than the thousands of well-paid bureaucrats who will suffer most, since they won’t be getting paid by the U.S. taxpayer. (In fact, the Accords would harm the poor greatly by raising the price of energy they require for their basic well-being, including fuel for heating and cooking.)

Catholic bishops, Pope Francis, “and the entire Catholic Church have consistently upheld the Paris agreement,” Bishop Cantu said.

He was not alone. Speaking from the Vatican, papal adviser and Argentine Peronist-Marxist Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, called Trump’s decision “a huge slap in the face for us. It will be a disaster for everyone.”

And premier abortion advocate and Vatican adviser Jeffrey Sachs, a self-styled “expert” who was influential in the writing of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si, pouted out loud, saying what many of the Pope’s advisers will only say quietly: Donald Trump “is an old, sleazy, lazy and ignorant man,” Sachs wrote. “He knows nothing about climate science. Perhaps he is also suffering from dementia.”

The Wanderer could not reach Bishop Sanchez Sorondo or Mr. Sachs, but we did ask Bishop Cantu to comment on his claim that “the entire Catholic Church [has] consistently upheld the Paris agreement.”

We asked Bishop Cantu whether all Catholics “are bound to adhere with religious submission of mind” to the Paris Accords because they are now part of “the authentic Magisterium” of the Church (viz. Code of Canon Law, nn. 750-753).

As we go to press, Bishop Cantu has not yet been able to respond.

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3 comments on “Catholic Laity Welcome Pence . . . While Bishops Seem To Miss Obama

  1. [Bishop Cantu may not have answered Clarence Manon’s question on the theological level of the Paris Accords (I would rank it “piarum aurium offensiva – offensive to pious ears”), but the USCCCP has offered to the US Senate its critique of the proposed overhaul of ObamaCare along with a list of six principles and ten suggestions (the latter sounds like the Unitarian/Universalist view of the Ten Commandments)]

    Prelates tell Senate that House GOP’s health care bill has ‘many serious flaws’

    Catholic World News – June 12, 2017

    Four bishops who chair committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said recently in a letter to senators that the American Health Care Act (AHCA), passed by the House of Representatives in a 217-213 vote, has “many serious flaws.”

    “Most troubling are unacceptable changes to Medicaid that reports indicate will leave millions of additional people uninsured in the years ahead,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Fl., and Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin.

    After offering six moral principles, the prelates made ten suggestions related to “retain[ing] the positive elements of the bill,” including protection for the unborn, and “remedy[ing] its grave deficiencies,” such as lack of conscience protection.

    “The Catholic Church remains committed to ensuring the fundamental right to medical care, a right which is in keeping with the God-given dignity of every person, and the corresponding obligation as a country to provide for this right,” the bishops concluded. “Health care debates must not be reduced to only those elements which appear most politically expedient; those without a strong voice in the process must not bear the brunt of attempts to cut costs.”

    • “The Catholic Church remains committed to ensuring the fundamental right to medical care, a right which is in keeping with the God-given dignity of every person, and the corresponding obligation as a country to provide for this right,” the bishops concluded.

      Good grief. What else qualifies as a “fundamental right” obliging the country “to provide for” it? Food? Shelter? Transportation? Internet service?

      The truth is that everyone has the right to obtain for himself food, shelter, medical care, but does not have the license to force others to pay for it. Furthermore, men should be at liberty to provide such things to others as they see fit. But there is no license to force others to fund the dreams of socialists.

      And one cold, hard fact: ObamaCare severely limits the right to obtain the health insurance of one’s choice. It also forces unacceptable choices. Ask the Little Sisters of the Poor. Does this present any problem to the bishops?

  2. [The following may be over-dramatic in our not knowing the actual view of the V-P’s mother on his apostasy from the Faith or if she is offering Rosaries etc. for his return to the Church, but Mikey makes the point on the “silentium obsequium (respectful silence)” of many Catholics in the pro-life movement concerning certain issues (such as “priorities,” contraception, and formerly luke-warm Catholics/now fervent Evangelical-Prots)]

    MIKE PENCE’S CATHOLIC MOM: Her heart must be breaking

    Michael Voris
    June 12, 2017


    So, last week, Vice-President Mike Pence spoke at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast. Talk about an awkward moment. The former Catholic had to thread the theological needle of both praising Catholics, while not saying too much laudatory about Catholicism since he walked away from the One True Faith in his early adulthood after meeting his eventual wife, who according to reports was also a faltering Catholic.

    From various accounts, it’s somewhat easy to decipher that Pence’s Catholic mom, whose little boy grew up to be vice-president of the United States, is none too happy about his apostasy from the Church. He even took a moment to give the situation a tip of the hat in his opening remarks. Pence’s mother, Nancy Jane, could not possibly be happy about the choice of her son to abandon Catholicism after he met his future wife.

    Like so many Catholic mothers whose heart is aching and breaking over worry about the eternal destiny of her son, given his abandonment of the Church personally established by the Son of God, outside of which there is no salvation, Nancy Jane must be worried sick. She probably doesn’t have a lot of time left on this earth. And you can bet she is offering up rosaries and sacrifices and everything else imaginable for her little boy to come back to the Truth.

    And see, here is the problem with the state of affairs in the Church today — a perfect, famous living example. He’s a nice guy. He checks every socially conservative box there is — pro-life, pro-family, strong national defense, border security, lower taxes, you name it — every one of those boxes is checked. But there is the matter of his soul. Now, no one can pass judgment on his soul of course, but somewhere, someone has to stand up and say — this is not acceptable.

    The truth of the Holy Roman Catholic Church — access to the graces of the sacraments — being able to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, cannot simply be lightly shoved aside because the political aims coincide with those of some politically conservative, faithful Catholics. Admittedly, convergence on these points is a good place to start working from — sure. But no one gets to Heaven because they have a good political voting record. You get to Heaven because you die in a state of grace.

    If you die in opposition to the One True Faith, someone who knows and rejects the Church, you cannot be saved. It’s right there in the Catechism, No. 847: “Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.” That quote in the 1994 Catechism is lifted almost verbatim from the Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, no. 14.

    Back to Pence’s comments. “The hymns and liturgies of the Catholic Church are the anthems of my youth. The Bible says, ‘Train up a child in the way he shall go and he will never depart from it.'” Well, apparently that’s not always true. Pence has departed from it. By his own admission, he still shares a nostalgia for the Church, he has fond memories of the Church of his childhood, but when it comes to actually having embraced the fullness of it, he doesn’t.

    “As a young boy growing up in southern Indiana, my Catholic faith poured an eternal foundation in my life. … But that foundation continues to serve and inform me everyday.” Again, not so much. Not in the things of eternity, anyway.

    There is an atmosphere among politically conservative Catholics that as long as we are united with Protestants and apostate Catholics on the matters of pro-life and pro-marriage, well, that’s okay. Well, no, it’s not, and it has to be said very clearly. No one goes to Heaven because they prayed in front of abortion chambers. What matters in the determination of someone’s eternal life is their willingness and openness to God in all areas of their life and living it out, fully and completely. Catholicism is not just one good pro-life religion among many, so we can sort of lay aside the question of religious affiliation. Belonging to the Catholic Church means everything, not just something.

    “While my own faith journey has taken me and my family in a different direction, I want you all to know how much I cherish my Catholic upbringing and cherish the Church. In fact, I just attended Mass with my mom this weekend when we were in Chicago visiting family.” It’s purely subjective on our part, but what we hear there is a call for acceptance from Catholics, even though he has left the Church, a kind of politically conservative absolution for his apostasy. It’s great that he’s pro-life and no doubt, his youthful Catholicism probably heavily contributed to that. Awesome. Yea for the Church. Yea for him. But Mike Pence has walked away from the willing reception of the Body and Blood of Our Blessed Lord after meeting his eventual wife.

    His fondness and nostalgia for the Church, and his very good politics are not what are required of him. Love of Christ in His Church is what is required of him. He knows the Truth. He went to seminary. He ran the youth group in his parish. His family was devout. See, there is a danger in this political conservatism that Catholics are embracing if its concentration is dedicated largely to just bringing about good social policy on earth.

    It’s understandable, given how far the Left has moved the ball in the past fifty years, that everyone’s attention would be focused on abortion, same sex marriage and so forth. But those evils are a direct result of a civilization abandoning Catholic truth. They are not the problem. They are symptoms, horrible as they are, but they are not the problem. Truth has been abandoned in this civilization and when truth has been abandoned, it’s lights out. That also goes for, most importantly, religious and theological truth.

    The Catholic Church is not a museum piece, a nice thing to have in your photo album from childhood, or something to have cute little well-meaning jokes about with other conservatives that smilingly excuse responsibility to the complete truth. It is the sole means of salvation for mankind. To reduce it, even by the smallest amount, plays right into the hands of the diabolical.

    The scene at the prayer breakfast last week was an uncomfortable embrace of comfortable Catholicism — that place where mostly faithful, politically conservative Catholics are willing to make the Faith secondary to good and noble political causes. That’s backwards, and it’s got to be said very clearly, saving souls is more important than saving babies. That’s not to denigrate pro-life efforts.

    I used to give talks to my fellow high school classes about the evils of abortion back in the early years after Roe v. Wade in 1975 and 1976. I am and have always been staunchly pro-life. But abortion, as evil and murderous as it is, will one day, even if it’s the Last Day, will come to an end. The loss of a soul is forever. We know lots of people don’t want to talk about this but it has to be talked about.

    The watering down of the March for Life since Nellie Gray died three years ago is one example. It’s morphing into an ecumencial event where it used to be decidedly and visually Catholic. The whole pro-life movement, once solidly Catholic, is transforming into one where we don’t talk about some evils because it will upset our Protestant brothers and sisters. Contraception comes to mind. It was Protestantism that gave us contraception in the first place – 1930 Lambeth Conference, Church of England.

    The point of the Catholic Church is not to make common cause with anyone who joins us on pressing, important social moral issues. It’s to evangelize and convert people to the one true Church established by Heaven, personally by the Son of God.

    Mike Pence’s mom understands this single point very clearly, as do hundreds of thousands of other Catholic moms, probably millions, who watched their sons do well by the world, but give up the Faith.

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