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Fr. Dwight Longenecker: The Coming Persecution (is a whimper)

March 3, 2012

A friend posted this on Facebook this morning. How true. There are those of us who are ready for the fight, but the great majority of Americans and even American Catholics are more interested in their TV shows and cars and gadgets to be too concerned about the liberty denying “laws” that Congress and the President are imposing on us. We need rabble-rousers! Fight the good fight, people!

Friday, March 02, 2012

The Coming Persecution – by Fr. Dwight Longenecker

So much talk amongst right wing Catholics of the erosion of religious liberty, the collapse of all things and the coming persecution. Talk of government detention centers and priests being shot like Bl. Miguel Pro.I don’t think they get it. That’s not what it will be like.America is different. We’re into image big time. We thought the Soviets were into brainwashing and propaganda. We put them in the shade. America is all about healthy, lusty, good looking guys and gals who are clean cut, successful and smiling. We’re into the good life. We’re into being good and looking good, and if not the former at least the latter. We’re into being the best, most successful and happy people in the world. Don’t you know that??There will be no martial law or military in the streets. That would appear to be so un-American! The officers who enforce the mandate will be lawyers in suits bearing legal documents. The penalties will seem just to the majority of people because we are in a democracy and those who disobey the law need to be punished, for it is the law of the land, and after all, if they had not done anything wrong they would not need to worry about anything!

To disobey the Mandate will seem so obstinate and unreasonable, for the State will not seek to close down any churches. Instead it will support the churches. Clergy training will be paid by the state. The church buildings will be maintained by a church tax which will be called the “tithe”. Clergy will remain in their posts. Their dignity will be respected. All they will need to do is sign certain documents which ensure their safety and their freedom of worship in return for acknowledging the authority of the State (in civil matters only of course) These documents will be worded in such a way that a conscience clause will be admitted. The State will control the church “insofar as the law of God allows.”

The State will bring in a sensible recognition of the validity of orders between the Christian churches. For practical reasons the Episcopalian priest or the Lutheran minister will be able to exchange ministries with the Catholic priest just as the Episcopalians and Lutherans already do. It will be a practical matter. Nothing theological will be implied for the Ministers of State would never presume to infringe on the theological aspect of the church. That would be above their pay grade. The orders will be interchangeable because the two churches are already so similar, and furthermore, many Episcopal priests are former Catholics and so have valid orders. This will smooth over the inconsistencies.

Many Catholic priests, after all, agree with the Episcopal doctrines and are in favor of married priests, women’s ordination and homosexual marriage. Furthermore, the majority of the Catholics in the pews have no real problem with these things, and they see the sense of the government’s re-organization of the religious life of the country. They never did like the noisy ‘neo con’ Catholics with their constant harping on about abortion and being homophobic and obsessed with sex. The government’s solutions, it will be agreed, will bring peace to the whole situation. Common sense will prevail.

Oh there will be the complainers to be sure. They call them the ‘recusants’. Cranky old homophobic, misogynistic priests–probably most of them secret pedophiles. The ones who are left are living off the grid. Most of the others are locked away for their own safety in the clergy ‘retirement homes’ that the government took over.

There will be pockets of resistance: Families here and there who are home schooling types–their girls in long denim skirts and their boys with combed hair and white shirts and ties. These “fundamentalists” will be called recusants. Some of the recusant families refuse to pay the “tithe” to maintain the churches and they are being fined and punished for their stupidity. These recusants harbor the priests and hide them away and think they are being martyrs for some great cause. The recusants will find it strangely difficult to get or keep a job. They’ll end up impoverished and outside the mainstream.

In the meantime, most Americans will continue on happily. There have been no great revolutions. The economy did not collapse.  There was no great world war. The Muslims did not attack America. Families still go to the Mall, eat out at their favorite restaurants, and enjoy all the great amusements and opportunities America has always had on offer.

They’re still neat and snug in the suburbs, and the Catholics? They will remember the first signs of a fuss–over the HHS Mandate of 2012–but it was soon shown that the vast majority of Americans–Catholics included–were in favor of artificial contraception–and didn’t really mind abortion that much. Furthermore, it was shown that a good number of Catholic schools and universities and places of employment had already–even before the mandate–been providing cover for contraception, sterilization and abortion. The Bishops were shown to be wrong. The battle had already been lost long ago when the vast majority of Catholics accepted artificial contraception.

In the end, there was not really much of a battle. When things began to reach a crisis point most Catholics quietly stepped back from the fray. The Catholic churches and schools that chose  to be sensible and conform have been rewarded. They continue on much as they have done in the past. They fit in with the way of the world. Are some of the laws difficult for them? Perhaps in theory, but they obey. After all, it is the law of the land, and they will have seen how the few schools and colleges that stood up for the faith were crushed. So the Catholic Church will seem not to have been affected that much. The change will have been gradual and slow, and most Catholics will find that it is business as usual.

To be sure, there is a certain lack of edge–a certain softness, but they were like that before the changes happened. Dulled by a happy consumerism, and satiated with the American Dream, these Catholic schools and parishes and universities haven’t minded too much that the Pope has been quietly marginalized by the State. They were never too keen on him anyway, and now that things have settled down it’s all for the best.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. matt kulovitz permalink
    March 19, 2012 1:21 pm

    Call on high profile personalities to spread my word
    Wednesday, July 13th, 2011 @ 04:15 pm
    My dearly beloved daughter when you turn your back on Me afterwards you will find it difficult to find me again. I realise that you believe I make difficult demands of you but My word, to be imparted to the world, is of such urgency that you must obey Me as I have requested you. Remember you surrendered your free will to Me My daughter which was a wonderful gift. To honour that gift is not easy for you because you are only human after all. I now call on you once again to hear My call and to spend more time in My company. I need you to feel My love, not just the love that I have for you, but that I hold for every single child of mine on this earth.
    I want My followers to spread My word of peace and harmony all over the world. They must volunteer everywhere to remind every one of the need to promote My messages of love. Please ask singers, the media, personalities or anyone whose voice is listened to and respected to hear My pleas. Take up My chalice of love. Drink from it for it will bring you the salvation you crave not only in this world but in the next life. Share this with your own followers.
    How you do this is up to you for those who respond to My call will be given the gift of the graces needed to do this most sacred work. Children remember this. The more of you who rise now to spread My most Holy Word and tell everyone the truth the easier it will be for My children to pass through the great chastisement as well as the persecution being planned by the New World Order.
    My message to mankind must be listened to, assessed and action then taken to remind all that they must open their minds to accept the existence of God the Almighty Father, the Holy Mighty One. For when they do peace will reign again.
    For the sake of the sacrifice I made for you all through My death on the cross hear My call and do whatever you can to let everyone you know understand that I am communicating to the world just as was done by My Father through the prophets before My time on earth. Be strong. Be brave. Pray to Me for guidance during your crusade on behalf of Me and My Eternal Father.
    Jesus Christ
    King of Mankind
    Saviour and Redeemer

  2. Tom in Lazybrook permalink
    March 23, 2012 5:48 pm

    While we’re on the subject of persecution…I would like your comment on the following.

    There is one Roman Catholic Church? right? Not a Nigerian or an American Catholic Church, with one set of catechisms and doctrine. Correct?

    How do you feel about the actions of the Roman Catholic Church in this regard.

    ———————————————–
    1) From the Roman Catholic Church’s official website in Nigeria and signed by an archbishop and a Bishop. http://www.cbcn-ng.org/newsdetail.php?tab=27 See the middle paragraph, which states: ” The Same-Sex-Union Issue
    The Nigerian Senate last week voted to outlaw same-sex unions and all such public manifestations to the great relief of most Nigerians. We note that the Senate took this courageous and hope-inducing decision in the face of considerable internal and international pressure to do the exact opposite. Nigeria has in fact since then been directly asked by some Western countries to reverse this decision or forfeit certain aids and support. We wish to strongly support the prohibition of same-sex union as an expression both of our cultural values as Nigerians and our religious belief as Christians. Far from being a denial of the fundamental right of some Nigerians who would engage in it, such a prohibition protects our society from the usurpation of its right to moral health and cultural decency. We declare that no country has the right to impose on another such conditions as are likely to upset its common cultural and societal values just to satisfy the exotic desires and tendencies of a few”

    ——————————————————-
    And then look at the actual text of the bill, which states: http://www.scribd.com/doc/74807203 in Section 5

    “1. Persons who entered into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union commit an offence and are each liable on conviction to a term of 14 years in prison.
    2. Any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisations or directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and shall each be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years in prison.
    3. Any person or group of persons that witness, abet and aids the solemnization of a same-sex marriage or civil union, or supports the registration, operation or sustenance of gay clubs, societies, organisations, processions or meetings in Nigeria commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment.”

    ———
    Please note that this endorsement of this bill by a Roman Catholic Bishops Conference was widely reported in the Nigerian media and was also reported on by conservative Catholic sites. At no point, while the Catholic Bishops were being reported in the mass media of Nigeria as being in supportive of this bill, was any attempt made (as far as I can see) to clarify or correct any assertion that the Catholic Church was supporting this bill. Its ridculous to think that the Archbishop and the Bishop weren’t aware of the text of the legislation OR that no one in the Vatican is aware of whats going on down there.

    ———–

    The bill sentences anyone holding a private ss marriage ceremony to jail for 14 years. It would throw any pastor who officiates, or any congregant who attends a private religious ceremony in prison for up to 10 years. It would throw people in jail for up to 10 years for the crime of forming the “Gay Discussion Group of Lagos” or even a meeting of Courage.

    ——————

    1) How is this compatible with Catechism 2358?
    2) How does this not constitute unjust persecution?
    3) Why does the Catholic Church officially support (or at least strongly cheerlead) jailing persons because they want to meet with their Gay friends, hold private religious ceremonies, or enjoy the freedoms of expression, petition, protest, religion, speech, assembly, press, due process, and association?
    4) How does the persecution currently endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church against Gays and straight persons that support Gays compare to supposed persecution of Catholics in tax and health care policy?
    5) Who at the Vatican has oversight over this and why are they silent?

    Just curious as to how you feel about what the Catholic Church is doing regarding persecution by the Catholic Church. This is a scandal IMHO. Sorry for the long email, but I wanted to put all of my research into this at one go so you can see it all in one place.

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