VOL. 11, NO. 4
The theme of this issue is taken from the words of Bishop Sheen: "Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops, like bishops, and your religious act like religious.”
Using this as our theme, we selected Peter Canisius as our Saint for this issue since his feast day is December 21, and he is considered the patron saint of the Catholic Press. He had a strong literary bent and wrote a catechism explaining the Catholic faith in a way common people could understand. It was greatly needed then during the Counter-Reformation. At times he wrote unprecedented letters of criticism to leaders of the Church in keeping with the admonishment of Bishop Sheen to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops, like bishops.
This issue is also a letter to our bishops – the good and the bad. Our keystone article concerns the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). We take a very critical look at this organization as an entity. We ask that you take a look at the actions of this group to determine if it is an intrinsic evil as defined by the USCCB itself. We evaluate the USCCB in five specific areas. These are the publication of the purposely defective Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship; the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD); the rejection of Canon 915; publication of Always our Children; and lastly, cinema reviews recommending movies with homosexual content.
The extreme lack of direction and what seems purposely obtuse direction and lack of action by the USCCB before the election has led to some outspoken criticism of that organization. To quote one publisher, Frank Joseph, M.D., he asks, “If any bishops are reading this, would you please explain to the world why you are not acting as good shepherds and why you mock Canon Law and why you are so lukewarm? You do know that you are doomed to hell, as we have God's own word on this from the book of the Apocalypse, 3: 16 ‘Because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of My mouth.’"
In order to provide fair and balanced reporting of our clergy we have included ‘Hero’s Awards’ for several who have shown exceptional courage during the past few months. These are Bishop Joseph F. Martino, Bishop Robert Hermann, and Father Jay Newman. These past few months have been an unprecedented period for priests and bishops speaking out against abortion. In addition to those we have featured in The Defender, there was: Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St Joseph who wrote in his diocesan newspaper that "despite hardship, beyond partisanship, for the sake of our eternal salvation," Catholic voters "should never" support a candidate who favors the continued legalization of abortion; Bishops Kevin J. Farrell of Dallas and Keven W. Vann of Fort Worth issued a pastoral letter on October 8 which singled out abortion as the "preeminent intrinsic evil of our day," and again stressed that all other rights originate in the right to life; and, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver who made national headlines when he described Barack Obama as "the most committed abortion-rights presidential candidate of either major party since the Roe v. Wade abortion decision." Archbishop Chaput later said those Catholics who promote Obama as "this year's ‘real' pro-life candidate," are under a "peculiar kind of self-hypnosis, or moral confusion, or worse."
Lastly, but first in our publication, we have the Church Teaching on Redemptive Suffering. Perhaps this is within the theme of this issue. Due to the lack of action by the majority of our bishops, many of us, especially the unborn and their mothers, will be going through much suffering during the coming years due to the election of the most pro-abortion candidate in history to the highest office in the world. As Cardinal James Stafford commented, “For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden.” God Help Us!
Jim Fritz .