Thank You Cardinal Lopez Trujillo
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Deacon Keith Fournier
© Third Millennium, LLC
On June 29, 2006, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, the head of the Pontifical Council for the Family, was interviewed by the Italian news weekly "Famiglia Christiana". He issued a serious warning that the Catholic Church could potentially be prosecuted one day for its clear defense of the right to life and the dignity of every human person from conception to natural death as well as its insistence that marriage is what it is and cannot be redefined by the State.
This Prince of the Church is correct. His words are a prophetic warning. Given social, legal and cultural trends in certain European Nations, as well as in the Americas, all faithful Christians, no matter what their confession or Church communion, could soon be in peril of prosecution by the State. This is not paranoia; it is a realistic assessment.
The good Cardinal expressed this concern in these words:
"I fear that faced with current legislation, speaking in defense of life, of the rights of the family, is becoming in some societies a crime against the state, a form of disobedience of the government, a discrimination against women....The Church risks being brought in front of some international court, if the debate gets any more tense, if the most radical opinions are heeded,"
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In this same interview, he spoke of the ghoulish experimentation on human embryonic life masquerading as scientific and medical advance. This so called "embryonic stem cell research" always involves the killing of human embryos. Make no mistake, the Catholic Church favors all legitimate advances in medical science that respect the dignity of all human life and truly serve the common good. Thus, the Church strongly encourages adult stem cell research and fetal chord blood research. Both of these, unlike embryonic stem cell research, have actually shown great promise in clinical trials.
Like the little boy in the fable "the Emperor has no clothes" this courageous leader of the Church stripped away the veneer of empathy that has been spun by the new liars around this practice of "manufacturing" human embryos in order to destroy them as though they were property. He stated what should only be the obvious under Canon Law - as well as under any solid moral analysis- "scientists" who engage in such acts should be viewed in the same way as those who perform abortions. He stated:
"Destroying an embryo equals abortion and that excommunication goes for the woman, the doctors and the scientists who eliminate the embryo...." How refreshing it truly is to hear such clarity in an age of twilight masquerading as dawn.
The Cardinal did not stop at the issue of life in this interview. He also spoke with candor concerning the next dangerous assault on the common good, the efforts to destroy marriage - and the family founded upon it. He condemned efforts of the new cultural and social revolutionaries to give cohabiting homosexual and heterosexual paramours the same legal status as those who are truly married. He specifically noted Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries, where, by legislative fiat, the power of the State and its penalties now require the acceptance of this counterfeit:
"We are changing the definitions about life: male and female, father and mother are disappearing. Everyone becomes a 'partner.... Civil unions are a legal fiction, two people who promise each other nothing, who promise nothing to their children nor to the state but want the same rights as marriage." He referred to homosexual "marriage" as "absolute nothingness".
After his interview, the proponents of the new Cultural Revolution drew their verbal swords. The drumbeats of persecution can be heard in the distance.
In 1999, Evangelical theologian, Harold O.J. Brown of the Howard Center for the Family, Religion and Society noted a similarity between the way the Roman authorities charged Christians of that era with "odium humani generis" [hatred of the human race] and the way the political and media establishment now charge contemporary Christians with creating a "climate of hate."
Ancient Rome lost its respect for the dignity of all human life while claiming to be enlightened. They practiced primitive forms of abortion as well as "exposure", the killing of unwanted newborns. Additionally, the Emperor Nero in the first-century A.D. was not only overt in his own homosexual relationships but sought to make such relationships normative in the empire and thereby give them an equal status with true marriage.
First and Second century Rome was one of the first mission fields of the early united Christian Church. Rome proclaimed itself the shining example to the world of its age, but sadly fell prey to moral debauchery. In an eerie parallel, the history of ancient Rome reveals that hostility toward these Christians grew as the citizens of this once great empire continued a spiraling moral decline. They simply could not bear these Christians, their opposition to the practice of "exposure" (the killing of newborns) and their monogamous marriages annoyed them. One of the ancient Christian manuscripts from that age, written to a pagan inquirer, spoke of the distinctly different practices of the Christians:
"They reside in their respective countries, but only as aliens. They take part in everything as citizens and put up with everything as foreigners. Every foreign land is their home, and every home a foreign land. They marry like all others and beget children but they do not expose (kill or abandon) their offspring. Their board they spread for all, but not their bed."
The unwavering commitment of these early Christians to the dignity of every human person as well as their witness of faithful monogamous marriages - eventually - transformed Rome. But such a conversion of culture was not obtained without hostility. So it is in this third Christian Millennium. What the Catholic Church teaches about marriage and the dignity of every human life, from conception to natural death, is true. It is not true because it is Catholic; it is Catholic because it is true. It is written in the Natural law that binds the entire human race. No amount of effort on the part of a State can abrogate this truth. Promising a false "freedom" these new "laws" will ultimately enslave those who engage in such practices.
It is becoming common to hear some Christians, those who have given over to heresy or heterodoxy, actually try to defend this growing culture of death and license masquerading as liberty. Only in the last 30 years has any faithful Christian, or Christian church or communion actually claimed any other position but that which is now called "pro-life" and "pro-family." Faithful Christians (Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox) simply will not waver on these issues. We must remember that apostasy is not new.
We who bear the name of Christ in this Third Christian Millennium are called to speak truth to error and resist unbridled power. We must build a new a culture of life and a civilization of love. We must bring an end to "legal" abortion -it is the taking of human life, no matter how small that human life is, and you simply cannot have a "right" to do what is wrong. We must protect the elderly, the infirm and the disabled against those who, while espousing a feigned concern for a "quality of life", actually want to kill those who are "inconvenient" rather than care for them. Our dear martyr for life Terri Schiavo, has shown us the truth. We must never back down in opposing all euthanasia, active or passive.
We must oppose all efforts to give promiscuous heterosexual or homosexual relationships an equivalent status to monogamous marriage. When such practices become enforced by the civil law of the State, we must be willing to experience hostility in opposing such laws as unjust. We should live our lives in fidelity to the truth, proposing a better way through our example, while using every legal means to prevent the triumph of immorality under the guise of liberation.
In all of this, as the good Cardinal warned, as we become more and more annoying to some, we may face prosecution.We will experience some form of persecution. So far the regime has not charged us with "hatred of the human race."
Out in front, speaking truth and refusing to worship the new golden calf, should be faithful Catholics who still insist that there are absolute moral truths and that some actions are always and everywhere wrong. The hierarchy of the Catholic Church must teach these truths with clarity and insist upon them. Thank God for men of courage like Cardinal Lopez Trujillo.
The letter to Diognetus also contained these insightful words: "... what the soul is in the body that the Christians are in the world." Faithful Christians (Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox) must not retreat because we are still the soul of the world. Our obligation is to proclaim the truth that still sets men and women free. This vocation to discipleship has never been comfortable. That's why we have as our sign a cross. Our position is the opposite of hatred of the human race. It flows from our insistence upon the God given dignity of all men and women in their person, their bodies, and their families. It expresses our hope of helping the entire human race experience authentic human freedom.
Thank You Cardinal Lopez Trujillo
Deacon Fournier is a Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia serving at St. Benedict's Catholic Church, a dynamically orthodox Roman Catholic Parish, dedicated to fidelity to the Magisterium and faithfulness to the Church's mission of sanctification, evangelization and transformation. He holds degrees from Franciscan University of Steubenville, the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and is currently a PHD student at the Catholic University of America. His latest book is entitled, "The Prayer of Mary: Living the Surrendered Life"
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