Deal W. Hudson
June 7, 2010
Some will say it’s already here, and I wouldn’t argue with them. The first gusts of the anti-Catholic storm have already been resisted, thanks to the courageous vigilance of Bill Donohue at the Catholic League. Now we have The New York Times‘ relentless barrage of reporting and opinion designed to force the type of “reform” in the Church urged by dissenting groups like Voice of the Faithful and Call to Action.
Those vestiges of the old Catholic Left barely exist anymore – but why should they, when their cause has been taken up by the mainstream media? The continuing drama of the sex-abuse scandal in Europe – six years after the U.S. bishops faced the problem squarely – has provided Catholic bashers another opportunity to denigrate the Church on the grounds of its “patriarchal” condemnation of abortion and same-sex marriage.
In the United Kingdom, what should have been regarded as a crank call for the arrest of Pope Benedict XVI during his visit there later this year has mushroomed into speculation as to whether the trip should be canceled altogether. That the legal system of the International Criminal Court could be used to threaten a world leader for being ideologically out of step is precisely why it was opposed by the previous administration.
The use of courts and commissions to harass and threaten Catholics and other Christians has already been auditioned in Canada. And the expansion of hate-speech laws signed by President Barack Obama last October sets the stage for similar tussles here when a minister, priest, or voluble layperson too heatedly denounces homosexual sex.
The Catholic Church is not the only institution to insist upon objective and universal moral standards, but it’s certainly the largest. As such, the Church stands in the way of postmodern ideologies achieving complete dominance in the West. Naturally, those who believe that all truth is defined by power (as postmoderns do) don’t hesitate to use the power of the media, government, and the courts to attack any institution thwarting their influence.
Muslims outnumber Catholics by a growing margin, but almost no one among the anti-Catholic elites in the media or the academy speaks an ill word about Islamic beliefs or customs, either out of PC deference or fear of a fatwah. The ongoing cleansing of Iraqi Christians by Muslim terrorists – only the most egregious instance of such hate – receives occasional mention in the same newspaper whose reporters dig through Vatican documents hoping to link the present pope with some instance of priestly sex abuse.
Meanwhile, on the political front, donors with no love for the Church (such as George Soros) combine resources with labor unions – whose relation to the Church was once vital – to create and support faux Catholic groups that provide cover for Catholic politicians who don’t vote Catholic. Those same groups – clearly allied with the Democratic Party – beat their chests about the supposed partisanship of Catholics who support candidates that oppose abortion and same-sex marriage. But whose fault is it that 90 percent of these candidates are Republican?
The betrayal of Sr. Carol Keehan and the religious orders aligned with NETWORK in supporting Obamacare only emboldened the media critics of the Church who extolled them as heralds of the Church to come. Thus, when the Archdiocese of Phoenix announced the excommunication of Sr. Margaret McBride, a Catholic hospital administrator who had given counsel in the procuring of an abortion, the media howled as if the Church had suddenly reversed the course set by Sister Keehan and NETWORK.
(No one need worry about Sister Keehan. There are enough Jesuit schools, like Gonzaga, to keep her busy accepting honorary degrees and making speeches declaring her “agreement” with the bishops.)
The coming anti-Catholic storm will be linked, sadly, to the reelection campaign of President Barack Obama. He may be out of favor with the far Left at the moment, but they, along with the Catholic Left, will quickly recover their lost enthusiasm in the face of a GOP opponent (no matter who he or she is). There will be a furious and well-funded effort by Catholic Obama supporters to keep Obama in office. By 2010, the storm will be felt throughout the Church, and those who blithely claim that the Church and politics are not connected will be as helpless as a fallen leaf caught in a tornado.