Article 14: The Final Decay

The Final Decay

On March 9, 2009, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order on stem cells, and also a Presidential Memorandum on scientific integrity. In commenting on the nature of the Presidential Memorandum, Obama said, “It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda, and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, and not ideology.” The President’s demand that scientific data be “never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda” is, of course, a manifest impossibility. Science has always been primarily the concubine of the State, receiving the vast majority of its funding from the State, and pursuing the ends and “political agenda” of whatever person or party is in power in the State. The clearly documented historical fact is that the vast majority of scientific “advances” have in fact been financed by rulers in pursuit of military goals (which largely amounted to finding more efficient ways of killing human beings), and that “concealment” and “distortion” have always been handmaidens to the technological game of “one-upmanship” which is demanded by such military and political competition on the world stage. The notion, therefore, that under the Obama administration, or any other administration, science will not be subservient to a particular political agenda is simply a lie.

Similarly, it is also a total falsehood that scientific decisions can be based exclusively on facts, and not upon ideology and the moral perspective which directly derives from this “ideology.” Scientific “decisions” always involve whether, when, how, and where to employ the science and technology which has been developed. The decisions to drop the Bomb on Hiroshima, or to kill 130,000 civilians with phosphorous bombs in Dresden during WWII both absolutely required the presence and support of an “ideology.” They also both required the denial of another “ideology,” which was the Catholic teaching on actions forbidden in a Just War.

Furthermore the very employment of the scientific method itself is fraught with moral meaning and consequences, and therefore its conduct is necessarily subject to ideological considerations. The Nazi doctors who placed a concentration camp slave in a chamber and then decompressed it until the victim died in screaming agony, were practicing a form of “pure” science. And in their own warped minds, they had very good reasons to do so – to determine the effects of decompression upon pilots during high-altitude flights, and to discover a way to overcome these adverse effects. In order to not permit such an experiment upon a human being, a government would have to be profoundly steeped in an ideology which absolutely views such science as morally wrong and not permissible. President Obama lifted the restrictions placed upon embryonic stem-cell research because such restrictions, in his own words, “forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values.” He could only do so by denying the “moral value” of an unborn child, just as it was required of the Nazi doctors that they deny the moral value of their concentration camp victims. There is, in other words, always an ideology involved in the practice of science.

No, the “problem” which Barack Obama seeks to remedy in regard to science is not the presence of an ideology per se. It is the presence of what he believes is the wrong ideology. The President wishes to entirely eliminate Christian ideology from American life. He seems to fully understand that the primary means to accomplishing this purging is somehow to be identified with a final unleashing of the scientific enterprise. This should not be surprising to us. The symbols of Freemasonry are the compass and the square; of Communism, the hammer and sickle. These are symbols of man’s becoming – of his industry, science, and accumulated evolutionary knowledge – in triumph over Christian revelation and dogma. They represent the current litmus test of the world – symbols of movement, change, adaption, dialogue, diplomacy, and willingness to compromise – which seek to determine if we are worthy to enter into a New World Order, and which demand erasure of any unbending adherence to moral principles or religious truth. I do not know whether this commitment on his part is mostly intuitive, or whether it is accompanied by comprehensive knowledge of the profound antagonism inherent between modern science and Christianity. I suspect the latter. The enemy seems to understand this war quite well. It is the Christian, most often, who seeks to play the harlot before his enemy. Largely, this is done out of an ignorance which results from a long history of compromise with evil. It is for the purpose of eradicating this ignorance, and exposing the depths of this compromise, that this article is being written.

The Greek Perversion

It is part of the intellectual accouterment of every American school boy and girl that much of what constitutes the modern values which we hold most dear – freedom, democracy, the primacy of respect due to the individual rather than the collective, and the real beginnings of what we recognize as rational thought and philosophy – began with the Greeks. Somehow, according to this popular perspective, it all boils down to the idea that what we owe to the Greeks is some deep internal change within the mind and heart of man by which science began its long march of triumph over superstition.
All serious historians of science and its affects upon modern thought conclude that it all began with the “Greek miracle” over 2500 years ago, specifically with the philosopher Thales and the MIlesian School . It is quite wrong to place these early Greek philosophers in a category which only perceives their errors and naivety. What began with them was something radically new and different. It consisted in a proposal to the human spirit that truth was to be found only in that which human reason could discover and confirm. Daniel-Rops put it this way:

“Athens and Jerusalem are the epitome of two contradictory attitudes of the spirit: one calls only on the intellect for an explanation of the world, of life, and of man, while the other relies exclusively on faith to reach the same ultimate goal. In the fifth century B.C., these two paths are pursued independently, totally oblivious to each other. They will eventually collide…; the ultimate showdown was to build up through a lengthy journey across history.”

All of this is true enough. Yet I also believe this explanation does not truly penetrate to the real depths of what its admirerers call the “Greek Miracle,” but which I prefer to call the “Greek Inversion” (which is at the same time a profound perversion).

Virtually all of the early Greek philosophers practiced one form or another of a very strange scientific reductionism. Imagine, for instance, gazing at two very different things standing next to one another – let us say, the extraordinary thing that is a fully flowering peach tree and a very large boulder - and concluding that the substantial natures of both of these things are reducible to water. You would then have the “science” of the Greek philosopher Thales. Or, picture a large substantial thing called an elephant, and imagine that its substance is entirely reducible to air, and you would have the science of Anaximenes. Finally, but certainly not exhausting the list, imagine that all things, including water and ice, are reducible to fire, and you have the Greek Perversion as practiced by Heraclitus.

Now, we should realize that something truly extraordinary and perverted has happened to the intellectual soul of man in order for him to do such a thing – something on the scale of that original perversion and inversion by which Adam and Eve attempted to become “like gods” in replacing God as the source of the knowledge of good and evil. The one thing which we should notice that all of these “sciences” have in common is their philosophical monism – the reduction of everything in the universe to a unity of one material substance. The interesting thing is that each of these gentlemen also considered their “One” divine. Heraclitus even identified his “fire” with “logos” – the divine principle of reason in the universe. All of this would indeed seem to be the ultimate form of that idolatry described by St. Paul in Romans 1, in which man “changed the glory of the incorruptible God” into the likeness of created things. The significant difference, however, is that these new objects of man’s “glorification” are not the idols of birds, beasts, and snakes which we associate with the Old Testament concept of idolatry, but rather idols concocted of his own ideas, conceptualizations, and quantifications. Idolatry, in other words, has been fully internalized, and in this process the entire cosmos has been inverted.

The roots of this fundament inversion – this turning of everything upside down – lie in what might be called a fundamental “philosophical idolatry”: the identification of accidental reality with substance. This might at first be a little difficult to see. Water, for instance, is not an accident, but rather a real substance. But science (or the reductive philosophy that accompanies it) never knows water as water, just as it never knows man as man or atom as atom. If Thales had really known water as water he would never have tried to make it into a peach tree or a boulder. Science can only know the quantification (and the other 9 categories of accidental being) of a thing. Pythagoras, because of this inbuilt reality of the scientific method, even went so far as making “number” the substantial essence of all things. But in identifying the accidents of the things with their substantial nature – whether those accidents are of water, air, fire, number, or atoms – and in identifying the accidents of any one of these substances as the unitary substance behind all created reality, reality is perfectly inverted. Such “science” makes accidents into substance, and makes substance into an accidental appearance for which we have no explanation except the subjectivity of our own minds. Thus we end up in that philosophical idealism which will plague Western man from Plato through all the nightmare of relatively modern Western Philosophy – from the Nominalism of Ockham to the Phenomenalism of Joseph Ratzinger.

This whole tradition of reductive analytical science can be viewed as sort of a “diabolical transubstantiation.” After engaging in such analysis, accidents remain as the real substance, and our normal perception of substantial reality is reduced to “appearances.” Analytical science then becomes the perfect Anagram of reality, in which the “word” or “logos” of God’s creation is perfectly inverted, turned upside down, and read backward. I fully believe that the same force which draws a Man to say the Mass backward or invert a Crucifix is the same as that which was at the source of the “Greek Miracle.”

In other words, what is effected by the Greek Perversion is not, as postulated by Daniel-Rops, merely a substitution of rational knowledge for faith. Rather, what occurs is the most profound perversion of the inner consciousness and intellect [and thus “rationality” itself) of man at a level which is bound eventually to destroy any possibility of faith in God. This, of course, is Satan’s Master Plan. He desires not only the destruction of myriads of individual souls, but also that final alteration of human consciousness which makes it impossible not only to believe in God, but even to desire Him.

In the ancient Greek world, this reductionism reached its pinnacle in the Atomism of Leucippus, Democritus and, most of all, Epicurus, who formulated a logical structure to the theory of Atomism which would remain practically unchanged for the next 2,000 years. With Atomism, philosophical Idealism is in a very real sense completed. Substance becomes totally invisible and unrelated to normal human perception, objective reality ceases to exist as something graspable by the human intellect, subjectivity and idealism triumph, and, matter replaces God as being eternal and infinite.

With some notable exceptions, Atomism was suppressed in the West by Christian realism and the power of the Church from the 1st century AD until the time of the Renaissance. Since the Renaissance consisted largely of the “reawakening” of Greek and Roman culture and thought, the reemergence of Atomism was bound to happen. It exploded upon the scene at the very beginning of the Renaissance in the person of William of Ockham. The great significance of Ockham is that his Atomism was united to his Nominalism, and thus constituted a specific attack upon the metaphysics of St. Thomas. From that point we can gaze upon an ever-increasing tide of Atomism engulfing the West – people like Bruno, Bacon, Galileo, Gassendi, Descartes, and onward through all the empiricists, phenomenologists, etc. We must also include Luther among the Nominalists – he was educated at the University of Erfurt, which was under the control of professors who were Nominalists. Luther himself detested Thomism and opted for the Nominalism of Ockham, which denied the minds ability to grasp universals and the substantial forms of real things.

The immediate victim of the Greek Inversion is the epistemological health of man’s mind itself. To convince a man that what he ordinarily perceives as substantive is only subjective, and that what is truly substantive are the reductive formulations, particles, or waves of scientific analysis is to destroy the reliability and objectivity of all of man’s perception and knowledge. The ultimate victim, however, of this epistemological nightmare is faith and trust in God Himself. If God created man to see delusions, then the ultimate delusion must be the trustworthiness of God Himself and His Revelation.

What began as ambrosia for wooly-headed philosophers 2500 years ago is now the daily bread of our children. Every child in the public educational system of this country is taught a reductive scientism which produces in them a state of epistemological schizophrenia. And since one can only will on the basis of what one knows, this also results in increasingly widespread moral inversion and perversion. It is no wonder therefore that we are raising what appears to be entirely different kinds of human beings: millions of men and women, for instance, who have no compunction about killing their own unborn children; youth who are submerged in drugs and violence; children who walk into schools and mow down their fellow students and teachers. Nothing is absolute, nothing is substantial, and the human heart and mind react with confusion, despair, irrationality, perversion, and violence.

The Moral Inversion

The fundamental intellectual perversion which science has accomplished in human thinking and its apprehension of reality is necessarily accompanied by a corresponding perversion of man’s other great faculty, the will. The human will, by its very nature, is rooted in the human intellect and its apprehension of substantial being. The proper function of the will is therefore to desire and will good for what God has created, whether it be the good of one’s own self or the good of others. It’s most fundamental orientation is therefore towards being, and not becoming - towards what is, rather than towards what will be or could be.

On the other hand, the person whose consciousness has been so altered as to now identify substantial reality with accidental being, inevitably suffers a loss of this “good will.” Since accidental being is by its very nature the foundation of change in life, and since modern man has come to identify such accidental being and change as the very substance of reality, his will has now lost its primary identification with what is, and now functions as a desire for unending change and becoming. Under such conditions, all sacredness is lost to those values and institutions which rely on any concept of substantiality and permanence: marriage, the Family, the equal value of all human life from conception until natural death, the whole concept of revealed eternal truth and, pre-eminently, the concept of a God Who does not change.

Under such a state of altered human consciousness, science becomes the supreme master. Constituted as the greatest agent for growth and human evolution, it must be released from all absolute moral restraints. The primary institution which clings to such absolute moral restraints, and thus represents the only real force “holding back” this messianic vision of unending progress, is the Catholic Church and the Papacy. It must therefore be taken out of the way. This is the ideology to which Barack Obama’s scientific agenda is intimately bound.

A Dagger to the Heart

The heart of Catholic belief regarding the primacy of being over becoming is inextricably centered upon the inviolability of the right to life of the unborn child. The child in its mother’s womb is at a stage in its development where it has become nothing that the world values. It is totally dependent, cannot think, cannot reason, cannot even know God. If it is to be valued, and therefore protected by any sort of moral absolute, this must be so simply because of what it is – a being with a soul created by God in His own image. This is why any attempt to use any form of secular science to defend its right to life is ultimately self-defeating. Because it has a fully developed nervous system at a certain stage, that its heart has begun beating, that it begins to look like a baby or sucks its thumb – these facts constitute no grounds for its inviolability. Aside from sucking its thumb, a pig embryo does the same. It is therefore profoundly wrong to attempt to identify the sanctity of unborn life primarily with such scientific facts of pre-natal development. Building a pro-life position upon such pre-natal science amounts to a retreat before “the reasoning of this world.” The extent to which the pro-life movement has tended to focus on these things, while at the same time asserting that religious belief is not necessary for the defense of the unborn, only reveals the extent to which Christians themselves have fallen under the sway of the dominant philosophical consciousness of secular reductionism.

This attempt to use secular categories in defense of the Faith, while remaining either “minimal” or totally silent in proclaiming the real spiritual truths involved, is always a sign of decay in Christian faith. The Christian who does such a thing creates within himself a contradiction between the basic philosophical and epistemological understanding of reality which he has acquired from the secular world and his profession of faith. This contradiction may perdure within a nominally Christian civilization for centuries, with the vast majority of a population professing Christian dogma while at the same time absorbing secular attitudes, philosophical approaches, and beliefs which at their core are in direct contradiction to this profession. Eventually, however, especially in the face of a geometrically expanding scientific ambience, these beliefs are bound to come crashing down. We are now living in the time of this reckoning.

It remains true, however, that while virtually every other facet of Catholic life was succumbing to this inevitable process of decay during the four decades after Vatican Council II, the traditional, orthodox Catholic remained instinctively true to this vision of the absolute centrality of the pro-life issue. The reasons for this staunch “last fidelity” can be largely attributed to the Papacy of Pope John Paul II. While presiding over the dissolution of the Mass, the denial of the Social Kingship of Christ, the virtual total decay of catechetics, the profound failure to appoint and maintain an orthodox episcopacy, and the promotion of a devastatingly destructive ecumenism, John Paul II was nevertheless totally adamant in his defense of marriage and the sanctity of the unborn. It appears now that this fidelity is also now being taken out of the way. It would appear that the primary force accomplishing this dissolution is President Barack Obama.

Something really quite extraordinary has happened with the Obama Presidency. Many prominent Catholic writers have used the word “messianic” in regard to this phenomenon, and there does indeed seem to be a world-wide messianic expectation in regard to this man and his “mission.” What is most frightening about this messianic expectation is that it has deeply infiltrated the only moral force and institution in this world which is capable of preventing the rise of such an Antichrist-type figure: the Catholic Church.

Barack Obama’s effect upon the Catholic world has been startling. Despite his abundantly clear statements during the campaign that he was totally committed to a woman’s right to abortion under all circumstance (including the killing of a child who survived a “botched” abortion)”, and the reversal of all previous restrictions on abortion and embryonic stem-cell research, 54% of American Catholic voted for him.

We need to understand why the majority of American Catholics voted for Obama. They did not do so, for the most part, because they now believed in abortion. They simply focused on issues which they considered more important. Similarly, we need also understand that in order for the forces of the Antichrist to be able to triumph over the Catholic Church and its pro-life position (the reader will understand that this “triumph”, while being immensely devastating, will not violate the promise of Christ in Matthew 16:18), it is not necessary for the Church to directly deny its pro-life position. It is only necessary for the Church to believe and act upon the notion that other issues are more important – such things as the economy, the war in Iraq, world peace, etc. This, in turn, demands the altered state of consciousness discussed above, in which a particular human agenda for attaining these goals takes precedence over the truths which God has revealed concerning both His own Being and the being of man.

Ultimately, of course, such compromise of the deepest truth concerning human dignity and life entails an at least implicit denial of the actual reality of the equal dignity and right to life of the unborn. One sees it here in America in the Republican Party. Most Republicans are, of course, nominally pro-life. And yet the vast majority opted for the candidacy of John McCain, while turning a blind eye to the terrible inconsistencies and infidelities in regard to his own pro-life record. The problem is that they did this not only after his nomination as the Republican candidate, but in the very early stages of the campaign when there were still options in regard to candidates who possessed a truly consistent pro-life position. If they had really understood the equal dignity and right to life of the unborn, they could never have done so. In order to see this, one need only imagine a similar scenario in the Democratic Party. Imagine registered Democrats voting for Obama for economic and political reasons if he had in the past voiced support for an individual’s right, at least in some circumstances, to kill Jews or Mexicans. Most people who consider themselves pro-life, in other words, are not truly pro-life.

Obama’s influence over certain Catholic intellectuals and pro-life activists has been even more alarming. Douglas Kmiec, former Dean of the Law School at Catholic University, former head of the Office of Legal Counsel for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, a keynote speaker at an annual March for Life in Washington D.C. and supposed stalwart pro-life activist, announced on March 23, 2008 that he was endorsing Obama for President. He went on to become the central figure in the Roman Catholics for Obama movement. In addition, after the election several very prominent pro-life activists bewilderingly claimed some sort of disproportionate hope or confidence in his future conversion. I know of none so foolish as to have done so in regard to William Clinton, a man whose anti-life agenda almost pales before that of President Obama. And just recently, Sam Brownback, the staunchly anti-abortion Catholic-convert Senator from Kansas, and great Catholic hope in the early stages of the Presidential race, endorsed the militantly pro-abortion Catholic Kathleen Sebelius for the pivotal cabinet position of Secretary of Health and Human Services. These examples (and there are more) are indeed bewildering. Far more extraordinary, however, is what has occurred within the Vatican itself.

The Final Decay?

It began on the day after Barack Obama was elected. Breaking with a protocol which, in the words of a recent Time Magazine article, “usually prevents the Pope from addressing heads of state before they take office,” Pope Benedict XVI sent Obama a a congratulatory telegram. And, on January 20, the day of Obama’s inauguration, the Pope sent him another telegram, which contained the following words, very expressive of the “messianic” hopes felt by the rest of the world: "At a time when so many of our brothers and sisters throughout the world yearn for liberation from the scourge of poverty, hunger and violence, I pray that you will be confirmed in your resolve to promote understanding, cooperation and peace among the nations."

The Pope certainly knew that Barack Obama was destined to be the most pro-abortion President in history – that he had made totally clear during his campaign his total commitment to abortion on demand, that he had committed himself to signing FOCA, that he totally supported reversing President Bush’s restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research, and that he was poised to place American taxpayer funding behind abortion on both a national and international scale.

Imagine a situation in which the historical record clearly indicated that Barack Obama, instead of being militantly pro-abortion, had been vociferous in his support for unrestricted, elective killing of Jews. Would the Pope have sent him a letter of congratulations on the day of his inauguration? If not, then we are bound to ask the simple question: What has happened within the consciousness of Pope Benedict XVI in regard to the Catholic teaching concerning the equal dignity and right-to-life of the unborn child? Does the unborn child really have the same dignity and right-to-life as the already born Jew, black person, or Native American.? The reader then needs to ask a further question: could he or she have sent such a telegram to Obama? If not, then why aren’t they horrified that the Pope did so? Does the “agenda of diplomacy” (the political art of becoming) have the right to silence the “agenda of being”?

But this is not the end of the story.

In March, 2009, Archbishop Dom Jose Dardoso Sobrinho of Recife, Brazil publicly declared the automatic excommunication of the doctors and counselors who facilitated an abortion for a nine year old Brazilian girl pregnant with twins. Archbishop Sobrinho was careful to exclude the girl herself from censure. The Archbishop’s action precipitated a world-wide condemnation. His action was, of course, in total accord with Catholic doctrine and canon law.

In the March 15 edition of L’Osservatore Romano, Archbishop Salvatore “Rino” Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Academy of Life, joined this world-wide chorus of condemnation of his episcopal colleague with a front-page article condemning Archbishop Sobrinho’s action. The article, titled On the Side of the Brazilian Child, declared that Sobrinho acted “hastily,” and denied that the doctors who “interrupted her pregnancy “(thus adopting the perverse language of pro-abortionists) deserved excommunication. He also repeated the error that the girl’s life was in danger from a pregnancy carried to term. Archbishop Fisichella said all this, of course, while also affirming the Church’s “unchanged” teaching that abortion is an intrinsically evil act, even while affirming the doctors’ right of conscience to make this “difficult decision.” The obvious conclusion is that the evil of abortion is “mitigated under some circumstances,” and therefore is not an absolute truth regarding the inviolability of the life of an unborn child.

In an open letter published by LifeSiteNews on May 1, Professor Joseph Seifert, a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, wrote:

“The recent publication of an article by PAV President Mons. Fisichella in the Osservatore Romano and its world-wide distribution and use by pro-abortions as well as a press communication of Father Lombardi [Director of the Vatican Press Office], have led to a deep crisis of the Pontifical Academy for Life and, more importantly, of the public perception of Church teaching on abortion. Countless persons and media in the whole world now attribute to the PAV and (because of the high authority its President is believed to possess in interpreting Church teaching on life), and to the Pope himself (because of the wording of a defense of Mons. Fisichella’s article by Father Lombardi) a propagation of a new moral doctrine diametrically opposed to the teachings of the Church….”

Despite the fact that it has now been over four months since the publication of Archbishop Fisichella’s article, and despite a flood of protests from Pro-life activists around the world, there has been no retraction or correction made of the article. On July 10, the CDF issued a “Clarification”, printed in L’Osservatore Romano on July 11, which reaffirmed the Church’s traditional position on the intrinsic evil of abortion. It offered no correction or criticism of Fisichella’s article, but rather attributed the cause of the “confusion created in several nations” to “manipulations and distortions” of Fisichella’s article. This is, of course, absolutely false. Such disingenuousness represents a criticism not only of the pro-abortion forces who rejoiced at what they perceived as a compromise of the Church’s position, but also of the pro-life forces and individuals who were rightly horrified at this weakening and outright contradiction of the Church’s inflexible stance against any abortion under any circumstances. As Hillary White expressed it in her April 30 LSN article, “The article, and the silence following it from Pope Benedict’s curia, has raised fears among some of the world-wide pro-life community that key members of the Vatican hierarchy are silently moving away from the Church’s historically robust condemnation of abortion and defense of the absolute sacredness of human life.” She goes on to say that “Adding to the unease is the fear that the article has received the highest possible sanction from the hierarchy of the Church. It is common knowledge that articles intended for L’Osservatore Romano are vetted first by the Vatican’s Secretariat of State [Cardinal Bertone], the highest office under the papacy. Vatican watcher and respected journalist Sandro Magister said that given the prominence of the article’s author and its content, it ‘was certainly among the most carefully scrutinized and authorized by the Vatican Secretariat of State.’”

But it gets worse.

One and one-half months after the above fiasco, The April 30 issue of L’Osservatore Romano carried an article written by Giuseppe Fiorentino, frequent contributor on foreign affairs, titled “Obama in the White House, One Hundred Days that Didn’t Shake the World.” Time magazine characterized this article as displaying “a surprising optimism, bordering on enthusiasm, for Obama’s presidency.” Sandro Magister, writing in Chiesa on-line, characterizes the article as offering “wide-ranging admiration: not only for his strategy in international politics, but also on ethical questions ‘that are very pressing for the Catholic Bishops.’”

Fiorentino favorably refers to the notion that Obama has accomplished “a decisive turn from the past, a redefinition of the very image of the United States in the world.” He compares him to Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his ability to offer the hope “which the nations need.” In his discussion of Obama’s economic policies, Fiorentino even had the cheek to compare Obama to Reagan, “the president who placed a flag for the state’s retreat from the private sector.”

But it is the author’s positive assessment of Obama’s pro-abortion activities during the first hundred days which has sent the pro-life movement reeling. Summarized, Fiorentino claims that Obama’s actions do not confirm the radical changes he had proposed before becoming President. This is, of course, manifestly absurd. I will not refute it in detail here, but simply refer the reader to an excellent review of the anti-life activities during the first 100 days of the Obama administration, written by Fr. Alphonse de Valk, and published on LifeSiteNews:

Needless to say, Fiorentino’s article, the failure to correct or retract it despite a world-wide barrage of complaints to the Vatican, and the Pope’s absolute silence concerning this travesty (ah, how quick he was to correct his mistake in regard to Bishop Williamson!), has precipitated a crisis in the pro-life movement. Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro, the head of the Rome office of Human Life International attributes this fiasco to an attempt by the Vatican Secretary of State to build diplomatic bridges with the current Democratic administration. He compares this effort to the “Ostpolitik” policy promoted by the Vatican, and especially by Cardinal Casaroli, towards the Soviet Union, and concludes: “In the same way that the Ostpolitik did not work and only weakened the Church, this current approach to the Democratic Administration will fail and would lead to a further weakening of the Church in the U.S. and probably worldwide.” In less polite language, this means that Fiorentino’s assessment of Obama is simply a lie, and represents the triumph of diplomacy over truth. It is this same “diplomacy” which, for the past 50 years or more, has prevented the Consecration of Russia as requested by Our Lady. It represents the triumph of man’s ways over God’s Way, the triumph of diplomacy over truth, the triumph of man’s becoming over the inviolable being of the unborn.

It gets even more bizarre.

On May 12 L’Osservatore Romano published a second article praising Obama, with the bizarre title, “The Biblical Matrix of Obama’s Rhetoric; the New Frontier and the Promised Land.” The article is dominated by the messianic metaphor of Obama being another “Joshua” who, in imitation of his Old Testament precursor, is able to bring his people into the promised land of equality and multi-ethnicity, a task which his predecessor (Martin Luther King as a symbol of Moses) was not able to fully accomplish. Author Lucia Annunziata writes that Obama is “not a prophet, not a founder, but the fulfiller of the promise.” She totally neglects the truth that this same “Joshua” has brought the art of discrimination and murder to a height never before attained, with his promotion of the absolute legal and moral right to the killing of the innocent unborn under all circumstances. He thus is the graphic fulfillment of a very different sort of Biblical character: the Antichrist, consummate killer of the innocent.

Even more disturbing, in a May 20 interview with Paul Rodari of the Italian daily Il Riformista, Gian Maria Vian, Editor-in-chief of L’Osservatore Romano, made the outrageous statement that Obama “is not a pro-abortion president.” Judgments proliferated in many traditional pro-life circles that Vian was a lone-wolf liberal acting independently, profoundly out of sync with the Pope and the rest of the Vatican, and that his head would roll. In fact, the very opposite has transpired. In an interview with Delia Gallagher posted June 17 on National Review Online, Vian makes it amply clear that he has received no criticism from either the Pope or Cardinal Bertone (Secretary of State). He further states that L’Osservatore Romano is “owned by the Holy See”; that “My editor, in the Italian sense of the owner of the paper, is the pope, via the secretariat of state;” that “I could not possibly create a paper in disagreement with the owner…;” and that “it is obvious that it [L’Osservatore Romano] is an authoritative point of view of the Holy See [although not “official”)…, and “has always been rightly interpreted as the expression of the thought of the Holy See” (without this meaning that every word expresses exactly the thought of the Pope, etc.). Further, Vian strongly reiterates his position that Obama is not a “pro-abortion president”, that his words at Notre Dame “should be appreciated,” and that the abortion question is a “delicate issue” involving political realities concerning which “there are no dogmas.” All of this appears to confirm the thesis that the traditional Catholic, militant defense of the unborn is being subjected to political realities and exigencies.

Finally, I cannot fail to mention Pope Benedict’s meeting with Obama at the Vatican. The pictures and videos express it all. The joyful attitude of friendship on the Pope’s part and his two-handed embrace of President Obama should be horrific to anyone who is conscious of the fact that that every day back in the U.S. at least 4,000 babies were being brutally murdered with the full support of Barack Obama. Can one imagine such a smile, such an embrace, if these victims had been Jews?

In order for the Pope and the Catholic Church to be “taken out of the way” as the only moral force capable of restraining the rise of the Antichrist in this world, not a single doctrine need be denied. It is only required that truth be relatively silenced, priorities be inverted, diplomacy be emphasized over the bold proclamation of the truth, and evil be engaged in dialogue. During the past 45 years, which saw a profound and widespread dissolution in all other areas of Catholic life, the Church’s Pro-Life teaching remained the final bulwark against the world – the one thing boldly proclaimed and not subject to the eviscerating effect of diplomacy and ecumenical dialogue. It now appears to be undergoing the final decay.