A Cancer On the Papacy

A Cancer On the Papacy?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“Priests who prey on parochial school children and altar boys are not only sinners, they are criminal predators who belong in penitentiary cells not parish rectories….”

This summer, the sex scandal that has bedeviled the Catholic Church went critical.

First came the stunning revelation that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, former archbishop of Washington and friend to presidents, had for decades been a predator-priest who preyed on seminarians and abused altar boys, and whose depravity was widely known and covered up.

Came then the report of a Pennsylvania grand jury that investigated six dioceses and found that some 300 priests had abused 1,000 children over the last 70 years.

The bishop of Pittsburgh, Donald Wuerl, now cardinal archbishop of Washington, defrocked some of these corrupt priests, but reassigned others to new parishes where new outrages were committed.

This weekend brought the most stunning accusation.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, Vatican envoy to the United States under Pope Benedict XVI, charged that Pope Francis had been told of McCarrick’s abuses, done nothing to sanction him, and that, as “zero tolerance” of sexual abuse is Francis’ own policy, the pope should resign.

In his 11-page letter of accusations, Vigano further charged that there is a powerful “homosexual current” among the Vatican prelates closest to the pope.

What did the pope know and when did he know it?

Read More…

New evidence backs
Viganò’s claim about
Benedict-imposed sanctions…

Archbishop Carlo Maria
Viganò Exposes Homosexual
Coverup at Highest Levels..

Pope Francis covered
up McCarrick abuse,
former US nuncio testifies..

Not unlike Watergate, the issue here is whether Pope Francis knew what was going on in the Vatican and in his Church, and why he was not more resolute in rooting out the moral squalor.

Orthodox, conservative and traditionalist Catholics are the most visible and vocal demanding an accounting. Progressive and liberal Catholics, to whom Pope Francis and Cardinal McCarrick were seen as allies on issues of sexual morality, have been thrown on the defensive.

Now, accusations alone are neither proof nor evidence.

Yet there is an obligation, an imperative, given the gravity of the revelations, that the Vatican address the charges.

When did Pope Francis become aware of McCarrick’s conduct, which appears to have been widely known? Did he let his close friendship with McCarrick keep him from doing his papal and pastoral duty?

This destructive scandal has been bleeding for decades. Too long. The Church is running out of time. It needs to act decisively now.

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Priests who prey on parochial school children and altar boys are not only sinners, they are criminal predators who belong in penitentiary cells not parish rectories. They ought to be handed over to civil authorities.

While none of us is without sin, sexually active and abusive clergy should be severed from the priesthood. There needs to be a purge at the Vatican, removing or retiring bishops, archbishops and cardinals, the revelation of whose past misconduct would further feed this scandal.

For too long, the Catholic faithful have been forced to pay damages and reparations for crimes and sins of predator priests and the hierarchy’s collusion and complicity in covering them up.

And it needs be stated clearly: This is a homosexual scandal.

Almost all of the predators and criminals are male, as are most of the victims: the boys, the teenagers, the young seminarians.

Applicants to the seminary should be vetted the way applicants to the National Security Council are. Those homosexually inclined should be told the priesthood of the Church is not for them, as it is not for women.

Secular society will call this invidious discrimination, but it is based on what Christ taught and how he established his Church.

Inevitably, if the Church is to remain true to herself, the clash with secular society, which now holds that homosexuality is natural and normal and entitled to respect, is going to widen and deepen.

For in traditional Catholic teaching, homosexuality is a psychological and moral disorder, a proclivity toward acts that are intrinsically wrong, and everywhere and always sinful and depraved, and ruinous of character.

The idea of homosexual marriages, recently discovered to be a constitutional right in the USA, remains an absurdity in Catholic doctrine.

If the Church’s highest priority is to coexist peacefully with the world, it will modify, soften, cease to preach, or repudiate these beliefs, and follow the primrose path of so many of our separated Protestant brethren.

But if she does, it will not be the same Church that over centuries accepted martyrdom to remain the faithful custodian of Gospel truths and sacred tradition.

And how has the embrace of modernity and its values advanced the religious faiths whose leaders sought most earnestly to accommodate them?

The Church is going through perhaps its gravest crisis since the Reformation. Since Vatican II, the faithful have been departing, some leaving quietly, others embracing agnosticism or other faiths.

“Who am I to judge?” said the pope when first pressed about the morality of homosexuality.

Undeniably, Francis, and the progressive bishops who urge a new tolerance, a new understanding, a new appreciation of the benign character of homosexuality, have won the plaudits of a secular press that loathed the Church of Pius XII.

Of what value are all those wonderful press clippings now, as the chickens come home to roost in Vatican City?

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Is a Trump Court in the Making?

Is a Trump Court in the Making?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

If Mitch McConnell’s Senate can confirm his new nominee for the Supreme Court, President Donald Trump may have completed the capture of all three branches of the U.S. government for the Republican Party.

Not bad for a rookie.

And the lamentations on the left are surely justified.

For liberalism’s great strategic ally and asset of 60 years, the judicial dictatorship erected by Earl Warren and associates, may be about to fall.

Judicial supremacy may be on the way out.

Another constitutionalist on the court, in the tradition of Antonin Scalia, could ring down the curtain on the social revolution the court has been imposing since the salad days of Chief Justice Earl Warren.

Among the changes Warren’s court and its successors succeeded in imposing: The de-Christianization of all public institutions in America. The social war of the 1970s over forced busing for racial balance in the public schools. The creation, ex nihilo, of new constitutional rights, first to an abortion, and then to homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

But while the confirmation of a new Trump justice may bring an end to the revolution, it will return power to where it belongs in a constitutional republic, with elected legislators and elected executives.

There will not likely be any sudden and radical rollback of changes wrought in six decades. For some of those changes have become embedded in the public consciousness as the new normal, and will endure.

Roe v. Wade may be challenged. But even if overturned, states like New York and California, which had liberalized abortion laws before Roe, are not likely to re-criminalize it.

Affirmative action, however, racial discrimination against white males to promote diversity, may be on the chopping block.

Why did it take until Trump to restore constitutionalism to the Supreme Court, when the Warren Court had been a blazing issue since the 1950s and Republicans held the presidency for 28 years from 1968 to 2016, and had managed to elevate 12 justices?

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Answer: Every GOP president save Bush II, has appointed justices who grew to believe the court had a right to remake America to conform to their image of the ideal liberal democracy. And they so acted.

Said Ike ruefully on his retirement: Two of my worst mistakes are sitting up there on the Supreme Court.

The two were Warren, who, as California’s governor, had pushed to put Japanese-Americans in concentration camps in World War II, and William Brennan, the most radical justice to sit in over half a century.

Nixon came to office committed to rein in the court by naming “strict constructionists.” Yet three of the four justices he named would vote for Roe v. Wade in 1973. Harry Blackmun, whom Nixon rushed onto the bench after his Southern nominees Clement Haynsworth and G. Harrold Carswell were trashed and rejected, became the author of Roe.

Nixon’s fourth nominee, William Rehnquist, was his best, a brilliant jurist whom Reagan himself would elevate to chief justice.

Gerald Ford’s sole nominee, John Paul Stevens, confirmed 97-0 in the Senate, turned left soon after his confirmation to join Blackmun.

Reagan named Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman, and Scalia.

But when his effort to elevate Judge Robert Bork failed, he turned to Anthony Kennedy of California, whose seat Trump is filling today.

Over 30 years, Kennedy’s vote proved decisive in 5-4 decisions to uphold Roe, to discover homosexuality as a constitutional right, and to raise same-sex unions to the legal level of traditional marriage.

George H.W. Bush’s first choice was David Souter, who also turned left to join the liberal bloc. Bush I got it right on his second try in 1991, naming the constitutionalist Clarence Thomas.

As for George W. Bush, he chose John Roberts as Chief Justice to succeed Rehnquist and then Sam Alito as associate justice.

Thus, of 15 justices Republican Presidents have named since World War II, five — Warren, Brennan, Blackmun, Stevens and Souter — became liberal activists. Kennedy and Sandra Day O’Connor, both Reagan choices, became swing justices and voted with the court’s liberals on critical social issues.

Democratic presidents have done far better by their constituents.

Of seven justices named by LBJ, Clinton and Obama, every one — Thurgood Marshall, Arthur Goldberg, Abe Fortas, Ruth Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor — turned out to be predictably and consistently liberal.

Clearly, the advisers to George W. Bush and President Trump looked back at the successes and the failures of previous GOP presidents, and have done a far better job of vetting nominees. They reached outside for counsel.

It was Trump’s 2016 pledge to draw his nominees to the high court from a list of 20 judges and scholars supplied by the Federalist Society that reassured conservatives and helped him unite his party and get elected.

On the issue of judicial nominees and justices to the Supreme Court, Trump has kept his word.

And the next Supreme Court may one day be called the Trump Court.

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Judge Moore & God’s Law

Judge Moore & God's Law

By Patrick J. Buchanan

When elected chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2000, Judge Roy Moore installed in his courthouse a monument with the Ten Commandments that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai carved into it.

Told by a federal court his monument violated the separation of church and state, Moore refused to remove it and was suspended — to become famous as “The Ten Commandments Judge.”

Roy Moore is now the Republican candidate for the Senate from Alabama, having routed Sen. Luther Strange, whom President Trump endorsed and campaigned for.

Moore’s primary win is a fire bell in the night for GOP senators in 2018. And should he defeat his Democratic opponent, the judge will be coming to Capitol Hill, gunning for Mitch McConnell.

Yet it is the moral convictions of the candidate that make this an interesting race for all Americans. For Moore is a social conservative of a species that is almost extinct in Washington.

He believes that man-made law must conform to the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” as written in Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence.

If a law contradicts God’s law, it is invalid, nonbinding. In some cases, civil disobedience, deliberate violation of such a law, may be the moral duty of a Christian.

Moore believes God’s Law is even above the Constitution, at least as interpreted by recent Supreme Courts.

Homosexuality, an abomination in the Old Testament, Moore sees as “an inherent evil.” When the high court, in Obergefell v. Hodges, discovered a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, Moore, back on the Alabama court, defied the decision, was suspended again, and resigned.

Postmodern America may see the judge as a refugee from the Neolithic period. Yet, his convictions, and how he has stood by them, are going to attract folks beyond Alabama. And the judge’s views on God, man and law are not without a distinguished paternity.

In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Dr. King wrote: “(T)here are two types of laws: there are just laws, and there are unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘An unjust law is no law at all

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“A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law, or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas, an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law.”

In his Declaration, Jefferson wrote that all men are endowed by their “Creator” with inalienable rights, and among these is the right to life.

Many Christians believe that what the Supreme Court did in Roe v. Wade — declare an unborn child’s right to life contingent upon whether its mother wishes to end it — violates God’s law, “Thou shalt not kill.”

Throughout our history, people acting upon such beliefs have defied laws, and are today celebrated for it.

Abolitionists, in violation of laws they believed immoral, set up the Underground Railroad to help slaves escape to freedom. King believed that laws imposing racial segregation violated the American “creed” that “all men are created equal” and acted on that belief.

Thomas More is considered by Catholics to be a saint and moral hero for defying Henry VIII’s demand, among others, that he endorse a lie, that the king’s marriage to Anne Boleyn was not adultery.

Early Christians accepted martyrdom rather than obey laws of the Caesars and burn incense to the gods of Rome.

After Hitler took power in 1933, he authorized the eradication of “useless eaters” in the Third Reich. Those who condemned these laws as violations of God’s law, and even attempted to assassinate Hitler in 1944, are today regarded as moral heroes.

Moore, should he win, is going to become an object of fascination in The Secular City. Yet his questions and concerns are those of the silent millions on the losing side of America’s culture war.

Is the USA still a good and Godly country when 55 million abortions have been performed with the sanction of law in 45 years?

Do court decisions that force Christians to act against their religious beliefs have to be obeyed? What is the duty of Christians in a paganized and perverted society?

What is taking place today is a growing alienation of one-half of the country from the other, a growing belief of millions of Americans that our society has become morally sick.

Christianity and the moral truths it has taught for 2,000 years have been deposed from the pre-eminent position they held until after World War II, and are now rejected as a source of law. They have been replaced by the tenets of a secular humanism that is the prevailing orthodoxy of our new cultural, social and intellectual elites.

If elected, Judge Moore, one imagines, will not be rendering respectfully unto the new Caesar.

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Is America Still a Nation?

Is America Still a Nation?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

In the first line of the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776, Thomas Jefferson speaks of “one people.” The Constitution, agreed upon by the Founding Fathers in Philadelphia in 1789, begins, “We the people…”

And who were these “people”?

In Federalist No. 2, John Jay writes of them as “one united people … descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs…”

If such are the elements of nationhood and peoplehood, can we still speak of Americans as one nation and one people?

We no longer have the same ancestors. They are of every color and from every country. We do not speak one language, but rather English, Spanish and a host of others. We long ago ceased to profess the same religion. We are Evangelical Christians, mainstream Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists, agnostics and atheists.

Federalist No. 2 celebrated our unity. Today’s elites proclaim that our diversity is our strength. But is this true or a tenet of trendy ideology?

After the attempted massacre of Republican Congressmen at that ball field in Alexandria, Fareed Zakaria wrote: “The political polarization that is ripping this country apart” is about “identity … gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation (and) social class.” He might have added — religion, morality, culture and history.

Zakaria seems to be tracing the disintegration of our society to that very diversity that its elites proclaim to be its greatest attribute: “If the core issues are about identity, culture and religion … then compromise seems immoral. American politics is becoming more like Middle Eastern politics, where there is no middle ground between being Sunni or Shiite.”

Among the issues on which we Americans are at war with one another — abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, white cops, black crime, Confederate monuments, LGBT rights, affirmative action.

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Was the discovery of America and conquest of this continent from 1492 to the 20th century among the most glorious chapters in the history of man? Or was it a half-millennium marked by mankind’s most scarlet of sins: the genocide of native peoples, the enslavement of Africans, the annihilation of indigenous cultures, the spoliation of a virgin land?

Is America really “God’s Country”? Or was Barack Obama’s pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, justified when, after 9/11, he denounced calls of “God Bless America!” with the curse “God Damn America!”?

With its silence, the congregation seemed to assent.

In 1954, the Pledge of Allegiance many of us recited daily at the end of noon recess in the schoolyard was amended to read, “one nation, under God, indivisible.”

Are we still one nation under God? At the Democratic Convention in Charlotte to renominate Barack Obama, a motion to put “God” back into the platform was hooted and booed by half the assembly.

With this July 4 long weekend, many writers have bewailed the animus Americans exhibit toward one another and urged new efforts to reunite us. Yet, recall again those first words of Jefferson in 1776:

“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them…”

Are we approaching such a point? Could the Constitution, as currently interpreted, win the approval of two-thirds of our citizens and three-fourth of our states, if it were not already the supreme law of the land? How would a national referendum on the Constitution turn out, when many Americans are already seeking a new constitutional convention?

All of which invites the question: Are we still a nation? And what is a nation? French writer Ernest Renan gave us the answer in the 19th century:

“A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. Two things … constitute this soul, this spiritual principle. One is the past, the other is the present. One is the possession in common of a rich legacy of memories; the other is present consent, the desire to live together, the desire to continue to invest in the heritage that we have jointly received.

“Of all cults, that of the ancestors is the most legitimate: our ancestors have made us what we are. A heroic past with great men and glory … is the social capital upon which the national idea rests. These are the essential conditions of being a people: having common glories in the past and a will to continue them in the present; having made great things together and wishing to make them again.”

Does this sound at all like us today?

Watching our Lilliputians tearing down statues and monuments, renaming buildings and streets, rewriting history books to replace heroes and historical truths with the doings of ciphers, are we disassembling the nation we once were?

“One loves in proportion to the sacrifices that one has committed and the troubles that one has suffered,” writes Renan, “One loves the house that one has built and that one passes on.”

Are we passing on the house we inherited — or observing its demolition?

Happy Fourth. And God bless the USA.

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Trump Must Break Judicial Power

Trump Must Break Judicial Power

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“Disheartening and demoralizing,” wailed Judge Neil Gorsuch of President Trump’s comments about the judges seeking to overturn his 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. from the Greater Middle East war zones.

What a wimp. Did our future justice break down crying like Sen. Chuck Schumer? Sorry, this is not Antonin Scalia. And just what horrible thing had our president said?

A “so-called judge” blocked the travel ban, said Trump. And the arguments in court, where 9th Circuit appellate judges were hearing the government’s appeal, were “disgraceful.” “A bad student in high school would have understood the arguments better.”

Did the president disparage a couple of judges? Yep.

Yet compare his remarks to the tweeted screeds of Elizabeth Warren after her Senate colleague, Jeff Sessions, was confirmed as attorney general.

Sessions, said Warren, represents “radical hatred.” And if he makes “the tiniest attempt to bring his racism, sexism & bigotry” into the Department of Justice, “all of us” will pile on.

Now this is hate speech. And it validates Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to use Senate rules to shut her down.

These episodes reveal much about America 2017.

They reflect, first, the poisoned character of our politics. The language of Warren — that Sessions is stepped in “racism, sexism & bigotry” echoes the ugliest slander of the Hillary Clinton campaign, where she used similar words to describe Trump’s “deplorables.”

Such language, reflecting as it does the beliefs of one-half of America about the other, rules out any rapprochement in America’s social or political life. This is pre-civil war language.

For how do you sit down and work alongside people you believe to be crypto-Nazis, Klansmen and fascists? Apparently, you don’t. Rather, you vilify them, riot against them, deny them the right to speak or to be heard.

And such conduct is becoming common on campuses today.

As for Trump’s disparagement of the judges, only someone ignorant of history can view that as frightening.

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Thomas Jefferson not only refused to enforce the Alien & Sedition Acts of President John Adams, his party impeached Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase who had presided over one of the trials.

Jackson defied Chief Justice John Marshall’s prohibition against moving the Cherokees out of Georgia to west of the Mississippi, where, according to the Harvard resume of Sen. Warren, one of them bundled fruitfully with one of her ancestors, making her part Cherokee.

When Chief Justice Roger Taney declared that President Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of the writ of habeas corpus violated the Constitution, Lincoln considered sending U.S. troops to arrest the chief justice.

FDR proposed adding six justices to emasculate a Supreme Court of the “nine old men” he reviled for having declared some New Deal schemes unconstitutional.

President Eisenhower called his Supreme Court choices Earl Warren and William Brennan two of the “worst mistakes” he made as president. History bears Ike out. And here we come to the heart of the matter.

Whether the rollout of the president’s temporary travel ban was ill-prepared or not, and whether one agrees or not about which nations or people should be subjected to extreme vetting, the president’s authority in the matter of protecting the borders and keeping out those he sees as potentially dangerous is universally conceded.

That a district judge would overrule the president of the United States on a matter of border security in wartime is absurd.

When politicians don black robes and seize powers they do not have, they should be called out for what they are — usurpers and petty tyrants. And if there is a cause upon which the populist right should unite, it is that elected representatives and executives make the laws and rule the nation. Not judges, and not justices.

Indeed, one of the mightiest forces that has birthed the new populism that imperils the establishment is that unelected justices like Warren and Brennan, and their progeny on the bench, have remade our country without the consent of the governed — and with never having been smacked down by Congress or the president.

Consider. Secularist justices de-Christianized our country. They invented new rights for vicious criminals as though criminal justice were a game. They tore our country apart with idiotic busing orders to achieve racial balance in public schools. They turned over centuries of tradition and hundreds of state, local and federal laws to discover that the rights to an abortion and same-sex marriage were there in Madison’s Constitution all along. We just couldn’t see them.

Trump has warned the judges that if they block his travel ban, and this results in preventable acts of terror on American soil, they will be held accountable. As rightly they should.

Meanwhile, Trump’s White House should use the arrogant and incompetent conduct of these federal judges to make the case not only for creating a new Supreme Court, but for Congress to start using Article III, Section 2, of the Constitution — to restrict the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, and to reclaim its stolen powers.

A clipping of the court’s wings is long overdue.

Is the Pope Toying with Heresy?

Is the Pope Toying with Heresy?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Are Catholic truths immutable? Or can they change with the changing times?

This is the deeper question behind the issues that convulsed the three-week synod on the family of the 250 Catholic bishops in Rome that ended Saturday.

A year ago, German Cardinal Walter Kasper called on the church to change — to welcome homosexual couples, and to permit cohabiting and divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

Retorted traditionalists: This is heresy.

Had the pope followed his friend Cardinal Kasper and ordered Catholic teaching and diocesan practice changed, he could have provoked a schism inside the Church.

Such a change in doctrine would have called into question papal infallibility. Defined at the Vatican Council of 1869-70, that doctrine declares that when the pope teaches ex cathedra, on matters of faith and morals, he is protected from error by the Holy Ghost. Doctrinal truths, taught by popes in communion with the bishops, down through the ages, cannot change.

But if Catholic truths about the indissolubility of marriage and intrinsic immorality of homosexual unions can be changed, then, either the Church has been in grave error in the past, or the Church is toying with heresy today.

Saturday, The Washington Post described the synod as a “brawl over Francis’ vision of inclusion.”

Reporter Anthony Faiola compared the synod deliberations to a Tea Party rebellion in John Boehner’s House caucus, and the pope to a change agent like Barack Obama who finds himself blocked and frustrated by conservatives.

Saturday’s document from the synod ignored the call for a new Church stance toward homosexual unions. And it did not approve of giving Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics, whom the Church considers to be living in adultery.

Yet, in Sunday’s sermon the pope seemed angered by both the defiance of the resisting bishops and the conclusions the synod reached. To Pope Francis, the traditionalists appear to be placing the strictures of moral law above the Gospel command of mercy.

“None of the disciples stopped, as Jesus did” said Francis of the blind man. “If Bartimaeus was blind, they were deaf. His problem was not their problem.

“This can be a danger to us. … A faith that does not know how to grow roots into the lives of people remains arid and, rather than oases, creates other deserts.”

The pope seems to be saying that the dissenting bishops, no matter their command of moral law, are lacking in charity, the greatest of the three theological virtues.

Where does the bishops’ synod on the family leave the Church?

In confusion, and at risk of going the way of the Protestant churches that continue to hemorrhage congregants.

Recall.

With its acceptance of birth control at the Lambeth conference of 1930, the Church of England started down this road, as did its sister, the Episcopal Church. The process led to the decline of both.

From birth control, to divorce and remarriage, women priests, gay clergy, homosexual bishops, same-sex marriage, the Episcopal Church first broke apart, and now appears to be going gentle into that good night.

Indeed the Church of England began in schism, when Henry VIII broke with Rome after Pope Clement VII refused to approve his divorce from Catherine of Aragon and his marriage to Anne Boleyn. According to Cardinal Kasper, Clement should have cut Henry some slack.

In this battle between traditionalists in the synod and the bishops who favor acceptance of some or all of Kasper’s recommendations, the pope seems to stand squarely on the side of the reformers.

Yet, it was the Protestant Reformation that destroyed the unity of Catholicism, five centuries ago, as it divided nations and led to conflicts of religion and nationalism, such as the Thirty Years War.

How the Catholic Church can avoid greater confusion among the faithful — after the pope’s virtual blessing of the Kasper recommendations, and the synod’s rejection of them — escapes me.

What does the pope do now?

If he ignores the synod’s dissent and moves the Church toward the Kasper position, he could cause a traditionalist break, a schism. Third World bishops might well refuse to change.

If he does nothing, he will disappoint Western bishops, priests and secularists who have seen in his papacy hope for an historic change in Catholic teaching and practice.

If he permits the bishops to follow their consciences in their dioceses, he will advance the disintegration of the Church.

The inevitable result of any of these courses that the pope chooses will be, it seems, to deepen the confusion of the faithful.

As for Pope Francis himself, he, too, must choose.

He can emulate Cardinal Wolsey — or Thomas More.

Kim Davis vs. Judicial Tyranny

Kim Davis vs. Judicial Tyranny

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“If the law supposes that, the law is a ass — a idiot.”

Charles Dickens gave that line to Mr. Bumble in “Oliver Twist.”

And it sums up the judgment of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis about the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision, which said the 14th Amendment guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry.

Davis refused to provide marriage licenses to gay couples lined up at her clerk’s office and was sent to jail for five days by a federal judge for contempt of court.

Good for her. We need more like her.

For behind her defiance are more authoritative sources than the five justices who gave us Obergefell: the Old and New Testaments, Natural Law, two millennia of Christian teaching and tradition, and the entire body of U.S. federal and state law up to Y2K.

Moreover, Kentucky never enacted a law authorizing same-sex marriage. Nor did the Congress of the United States.

Whence, then, did this “law” come?

Answer: This is a creation of a Supreme Court that has usurped the legislative power to impose a secularist anti-Christian ideology on a nation, much of which still rejects it, but has no recourse against it.

A right to same-sex marriage was no more in the Constitution as written or amended than was a woman’s right to have an abortion.

The Court has lately been declaring to be constitutional rights that used to regarded as shameful crimes. This is judicial tyranny. And Kim Davis’ defiance is as old as the republic.

Recall, we were born in a rebellion against the tyrannical acts of a king and Parliament we did not elect.

President Jefferson ordered the release of all those convicted under the Sedition Act, declared that he would no longer enforce that Federalist-enacted law, and pronounced it a nullity.

When Chief Justice Roger Taney declared slaves were property and could not become citizens, Harriet Tubman ignored his Dred Scott decision, defied the fugitive slave laws, and helped slaves escape from her native Maryland.

Socialist Party leader Eugene V. Debs defied the Espionage Act of 1917 and spoke out against World War I. Convicted of sedition, he was sent to prison for 10 years under Woodrow Wilson, but freed by President Harding.

Throughout American history, industrial workers, civil rights and anti-war activists, and political dissenters have defied laws, ignored court orders, and gone to jail for contempt.

Rosa Parks broke the law in Montgomery, Alabama, by refusing to move to the back of the bus.

Martin Luther King, a disciple of Gandhi, preached and practiced civil disobedience his entire life. Now there is a statue on the mall and a holiday for King and talk of putting Tubman or Parks on America’s currency.

They are honored because their defiance of court orders and law-breaking were done in the cause of social progress.

But Kim Davis’ defiance of a court order was done because that is what God told her to do, and she wanted to be faithful to the beliefs she had embraced as an Apostolic Christian.

Yes, Virginia, there is a double standard.

In the 20th century, if you were breaking the law or violating a court order to protest segregation, Vietnam, or apartheid in South Africa, you got an indulgent press.

But if you were defying a court order to stop blocking integration at the University of Alabama or Little Rock High, or stop protesting too close to the local abortion mill, you got lectures on the “rule of law.”

Some conservatives say that Kim Davis as a public official has to carry out court orders, even those she believes to be immoral, or quit.

Yet the course she took has undeniably advanced her cause in our unending culture war.

For she rallied and inspired many with her witness, defiance and willingness to go to jail. She set an example of nonviolent resistance. She treated same-sex marriage not as some great social leap forward, but as a moral abomination. Many among the silent majority were surely nodding in approval.

She has also exposed the breadth and depth of the division in the country between an older Christian America and new Secular America.

Once, the Supreme Court could rely upon a residual respect for its proceedings, grounded in a belief that ours is a good government whose actions, even if we disagree, are rooted in principle and merit respect.

That reservoir of trust and good will is about gone.

Almost all of the civil and uncivil disobedience of the last half-century, from campus uprisings to urban riots to political protests, came from the left. But as an anti-Christian secularism becomes ascendant, dominant and imperious, rumbles are coming from right.

Indeed, from the raw politics of the Summer of Trump, it seems clear that Middle America has come to believe it has been had, and that the state that rules the nation is hostile to the country they love, and needs to be resisted and defied.

We are headed for interesting times.