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Is Catholic Persecution Back in Fashion?

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As Catholics hold fast against moral erosion in our culture, they become popular targets, again.

According to a memorandum issued by the Richmond field office of the FBI, if a person is a "radical-traditionalist Catholic" then they may also be "racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists." The memo was later retracted. Did someone at the FBI say the quiet part out loud? Do recent events reveal bias against Catholics? And if so, what are we to do?

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
4/13/2023 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Catholic, persecution, faith, politics, issues, hearings, FBI, letter, memorandum

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - As Catholics, we believe there are certain truths. For example, we believe God created man and woman, male and female, respectively. We believe that adultery is a sin, regardless of whether it is between heterosexual partners or same-sex. We believe that life begins at conception, and abortion is a great moral evil. These are not only facts, they are dogmas. Yet popular culture now argues otherwise.

The din of the pop culture voices is great, so very little of the Catholic response is heard. But when it does emerge, it is often shouted down and criticized. And in some cases, persecuted.

Evidence of that persecution recently came to light in a statement from the Attorney General from the state of Texas, Ken Paxton. On February 28, Paxton issued a statement that he was joining a Virginia-led coalition seeking more information from the FBI after a troubling letter came to light. You can read Paxton's eye-opening letter here.

In short, the FBI identified some Catholics as "bad." In particular, those who prefer the "Traditional Latin Mass and pre-Vatican II teachings, and adherence to traditional Catholic teachings on sex and marriage." The last statement, regarding sex and marriage could make every faithful Catholic a suspect.

In addition to this, the U.S. government has failed to investigate and prosecute individuals that have allegedly targeted Catholics for persecution, including physical violence. For example, Marrick Garland has not prosecuted any of the people that targeted and threatened Justice Brett Kavanaugh following the leak of the Roe v. Wade decision. Why was pro-life activist Mark Houk targeted by a SWAT team, when others that threaten pro-life personages face no prosecution whatsoever?

The fact is, traditional Catholic teaching is now opposed to the popular culture, which has become secular, atheistic, libertine, drug-fueled, anti-life, and anti-marriage. This creates the natural conditions of persecution. It is a pattern familiar to Christians, from the very earliest days of the Church. It was observed under Roman rule, during the Reformation, in England under Henry VIII and his successors, in the United States for a century-and-a-half, and now once more after decades of respite.

As Christians, we are warned to expect persecution. We can be thankful that the present effort isn't quite as dangerous to human life as it was in ages past, but it is every bit as dangerous to eternal life. Catholics who are improperly or poorly catechized, Catholics who are more in tune with pop culture than their faith, will likely liberalize and fall away. They may even join the persecutors, and fail to repent before their time is done.

As the faithful, we must remain steadfast in the face of such persecution. It's likely to worsen. But we must take heart from the Gospel, and inspiration from the Catholic letters. (See: Romans 8:35-37).

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