An Opinion/Reaction/Rant by J. Basil Dannebohm
“Truly we are passing through disastrous times, when we may well make our own the lamentation of the Prophet: ‘There is no truth, and there is no mercy, and there is no knowledge of God in the land’ (Hosea 4:1).” — St. Pius X
On Sunday Pope Francis announced that he will elevate 21 men to the College of Cardinals during a consistory slated to take place on August 27th, 2022.
Among the new members of the coveted red hat ladies … oops, I mean, College of Cardinals, the Holy Father has selected Archbishop Arthur Roche and Bishop Robert “Bob” McElroy.
Traditional Catholics know the name Roche all too well. The archbishop serves as the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. To say he is not a fan of sacred tradition would be a safe assertion.
Then there’s “Bishop Bob” McElroy as he prefers to be called. Goodness, where to begin?
Generally, when I anticipate bad news, I take time to drink a few fingers of Scotch and enjoy a cigar before I receive the unfortunate tidings. Since I’m not on a Betty Ford diet, there was no time to imbibe early Sunday morning before I read the headline that Robert McElroy was named a cardinal. I’ll share my personal feelings on him in a moment.
However, I need to offer a side note:
Every day I pray for the repose of the soul of Mother Angelica. The poor woman must be incredibly dizzy by now from the amount of spinning she must surely be doing in her tomb. Since her passing, the Eternal World Television Networkhas become a largely disgraceful example of “proclaiming the splendor of truth” as their motto once suggested. To the priests and bishops who wanted to interfere with how she operated the station, Mother had a clear message: “I’ll blow the damn thing up before I let you get your hands on it.”
By and large, however, the current roster of journalists employed by EWTN do cartwheels to appease Pope Francis with their positive twist on all things Bergoglio. Without fail, every time I log onto Catholic News Agency (an EWTN affiliate), I can tell just by the headline that a certain journalist wrote the piece: Harvard alum Courtney Mares. Not since George Weigel have I witnessed such a pathetic routine of constant blind papal fawning.
Thus, on Sunday morning when I read the headline: “What to know about Bishop Robert McElroy, who will soon be a cardinal”, I expected the usual sugar coating, glazing over the facts, and making McElroy sound like the greatest thing since sliced bread. However, I must admit that I was surprised to see that the story, written by one Jonah McKeown, offered a rather balanced assessment of McElroy’s character.
(More on why EWTN is a problem in a moment. I can assure you I will take this full circle if you’ll indulge me. But first, let me get back to the news of McElroy’s elevation.)
Over the past couple of days several of my esteemed colleagues have offered their reaction to the news, and for the most part provided a fairly accurate summation of McElroy’s character.
On Sunday I received a number of messages inquiring when I would be offering my analysis of the situation.
So, here goes:
I knew this day would come. I said this day would come. I did not want this day to come.
As the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of a priest, my heart sank at the news of Robert McElroy being elevated to the rank of cardinal. Throughout the day on Sunday, I was overwhelmed with a flood of emotions. I was angry – furious, in fact. I wanted to punch a hole in a wall I was so pissed off. I was sad, overcome with grief to the point of tears. I was sick. So disgusted that I actually vomited. You might think that I would have appreciated a hug. You would be mistaken. The wounds that were opened on Sunday caused me PTSD as it brought to mind memories of an unspeakable incident at the hands of a priest. No, the last thing I wanted was to be touched after hearing the news.
Pope Francis aims to have a “listening Church.” Well I have more than a few words I would like to say to him. I would begin by telling him that Robert McElroy is an evil, vile soul. I would express my confidence that he will fit right in with his confreres in the College of Cardinals.
To elaborate on this point I would use as my example the Twitter accounts of the members of the College of Cardinals who currently oversee dioceses within the United States.
Take, for example, His Eminence Sean Cardinal O’Malley.
When news broke that the Supreme Court experienced an unprecedented leak of a document concerning the sanctity of life, O’Malley didn’t say a word. When President Biden said that a woman has the right to choose, O’Malley didn’t say a word. When Archbishop Cordileone issued a statement restricting Nancy Pelosi from the reception of holy communion, O’Malley didn’t say a word. On April 28th the cardinal tweeted a commemoration to the Jewish people on Holocaust Remembrance Day. His next 3 tweets came on Tuesday, May 24th wherein the cardinal addressed the horrific school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
It frankly doesn’t surprise me much that O’Malley didn’t speak up as opportunity after opportunity arose throughout the month. Sadly, I am not even shocked that the cardinal, who serves as the head of the papal commission for the protection of children, has been silent regarding the news that McElroy – a man who was ardently against releasing the McCarrick report to the public, was named cardinal.
Let’s be honest. Having Sean O’Malley chair a commission for the protection of children is about as pointless as giving Helen Keller a “Where’s Waldo” book.
Need a good example of why? Look no further than the Twitter account of one of the cardinal’s auxiliary bishops, Mark O’Connell. Scroll through his account and you’ll see that this social media darling makes Bishop Stika’s social mediapresence look somewhat sensible – and that’s saying something! In one tweet the dear bishop has swapped hats with a first communicant – he is seen wearing her veil, while the young girl is photographed in his zucchetto.
Then there’s Cardinal Wilton “Uncle Tom” Gregory.
If you’ve read any of my recent commentary of current events, you know my opinion of Cardinal Gregory. But humor me for a moment, let’s evaluate his social media presence.
On April 7th, the cardinal expressed his concern that Catholics fell away from the Eucharist during the pandemic. In his tweet he notes his desire to “energize” Catholics. Again, if you’ve ever read any of my commentary, if you’ve ever read the inspiration for my work in the first place, you will know that I have strong opinions regarding the pandemic and the Most Holy Eucharist.
That aside, let’s continue with the cardinal’s Twitter feed.
Just like with Cardinal O’Malley, we saw no tweets through the whirlwind month of May. He was mute concerning the Supreme Court leak. The only reaction he offered came – by mistake, mind you, from a staff member in his communications department that could only say that the cardinal has not changed his views regarding reception of holy communion, hence, Speaker Pelosi can receive if she wishes while in the Archdiocese of Washington.
Then we reach May 25th when Cardinal Gregory tweeted:
“Today, I will visit 2 schools. They are intended to be joyful events for the schools & for me. I’ll invite our students to pray for the students & staff killed in Uvalde & those murdered in Buffalo. Our kids must believe they are cherished & safe. These acts must stop now! +WDG”
Read that again: “Kids must believe they are cherished and safe.”
This coming from a man who we know from previous reports sponsored an event outside the White House to protest the death of George Floyd yet had nothing to say about the fact that in New York City alone, thousands more African American babies are aborted each year than born alive.
Speaking of the Betty Ford diet, His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan was busy tweeting the entire month of May, but none of it had to do with current events until … you guessed it: May 25th with not one, but four tweets regarding the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas. Dolan began by quoting Billy Graham, then in typical windbag fashion, he issued three more tweets. One of particular interest read, “We Bishops continue our call for sensible gun control, part of turning away from a culture of death and building a true culture of life. Changes to our current gun laws are clearly needed.”
Let me get this straight, Cardinal Dolan: You have absolutely nothing to say about what is perhaps one of the most historic events in the history of the Supreme Court, which directly pertains to the right to life, yet you have not one, but four tweets urging for gun control?
Why am I not surprised in the least?
Next, let’s examine the tweets of Cardinal Blase Cupich.
To say he loves to tweet would be an understatement. Most of his social media presence consists of expressing messages of solidarity to the Jewish people, offering greetings to the Muslim community on various Islamic holidays, and quite often he emphasizes the importance of the Synod on Synodality.
Occasionally, though, Cardinal Cupich offers some comedic relief. Take for example a tweet he issued on May 3rd, where the cardinal said, “A great blessing to celebrate the 1050th anniversary of the feast of St. Blase in Dubrovnik, Croatia, today and preach on the importance of tradition.”
Cardinal Cupich preaching on the importance of tradition is about as absurd as Jeffrey Dahmer talking about the health benefits of being a vegetarian.
Like his fellow American cardinals, Cupich had nothing to say regarding the Supreme Court leak. Likewise, he was silent regarding President Biden’s blatantly pro-choice remarks. He also had nothing to say with concern to Speaker Pelosi being reprimanded by her archbishop.
However, on May 24th, Cardinal Cupich issued 5 tweets regarding the massacre in Uvalde, Texas. One tweet read, “The Second Amendment did not come down from Sinai. The right to bear arms will never be more important than human life. Our children have rights too. And our elected officials have a moral duty to protect them.”
In the words of Harry Carrey, of another well-known Chicago personality, “Holy Cow!”
As for Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, he hasn’t issued a tweet since January 25th, 2021, when he thanked everybody who prayed for Christian unity.
As much as I would like to report on Cardinal Joseph “Nighty Night, Baby” Tobin’s tweets, shortly after I expressed my disappointment that he was cut from the cast of The Goldbergs, he blocked me. I realize, of course, there are other ways to access his tweets, but in light of all of the previous examples, why bother?
The point I am trying to make is that you can tell a lot about a person by what they tweet. Based on my analysis of the Twitter accounts of the United States members of the College of Cardinals (excluding Cardinal Burke because he is in Rome), I think it’s safe to say that their tweets cause them to come across as … well … twits.
Not one of these men made a statement regarding the sanctity of the life of the preborn. Not one of these men condemned President Biden or Speaker Pelosi for their pro-choice remarks. Not one of these men stood in solidarity with Archbishop Cordileone. They were mute. Rather, what most of them spoke about ad nauseum was the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas.
Look, I get it. The incident in Texas was horrific. It’s the kind of news we should find absolutely mortifying. But so is the reality that if you believe that life begins at conception, then abortion is the number one cause of death in this country. And that, my friends, should be tweeted about over and over by these men – but it’s not mentioned even once.
Here’s the problem, folks:
Most of the individuals who will read this commentary are aware of the crisis plaguing the Church. Some of you have known about the situation for more than a half century. Others discovered the crisis because of frustration with modernism. Many of you found your way here because of the motu proprio issued in late July 2021. My point is that most of you have heard this stuff repeatedly.
Indeed, I am preaching to the choir.
So, what about the other people?
Why aren’t they just as angry as the rest of us about the ongoing crisis in the Church?
The problem is that news outlets like Catholic News Agency enable the Holy Father, the College of Cardinals, and indeed priests and bishops the world over to destroy the Church from within. Their blatant failure to report on the corruption is why the faithful, for the most part, remain unaware of the evil doings that are going on in plain sight.
The average churchgoer blindly listens to Father “So-and-So” as he praises Pope Francis for the humility he demonstrates while confined to a wheelchair. Few of the faithful have any knowledge of what the pontiff did to Catholics who embrace sacred tradition. It’s safe to say that none of them are aware that on Holy Saturday 2021, he brought a busload of transgenders to the Vatican for a vaccine clinic.
Because news outlets such as EWTN are not reporting on these atrocities committed by the hands of our pontiff.
Shame on each of them for enabling this undermining of the faith. Mother Angelica, their beloved foundress, would be furious with how the empire she fought so hard to create leads the faithful demise by reports that candy-coat the stark reality of the situation in the Church.
Mother once said, “I’m not here to win friends and influence people. I’m here to do God’s Will. Now, if the accomplishment of that will bug a lot of people, well, that’s their problem. I can’t help that.”
Amen, sister. Say it louder so the people over by the EWTN water cooler can hear you.
I’ve had more than one publisher and editor inform me that they’ve received “warnings” to avoid me like the plague. Frankly, I could care less – and I applaud those who have been brave enough to publish my commentary. I’m also very grateful to my colleagues and the readers who have generously shared and supported my work.
Like Mother Angelica, I am not here to make friends, I am here to do God’s Will and nobody will stop me from sharing the cold hard facts with those who wish to know them. To those who have misgivings about me: write your letters of concern all you want – I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.
Why? Because the crisis isn’t going away anytime soon.
I hate to break it to you, but I think we are in this for the long haul. Nothing short of the foot of the Blessed Mother herself is going to end this chaos. With the recent division among the prelates concerning the reception of holy communion, it stands to reason that we are witnessing a prophecy Our Lady made at Akita:
“The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see Cardinals opposing Cardinals, Bishops against other Bishops.”
Brace yourselves. It won’t be long now until we see her words at La Salette come to fruition:
“Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the Antichrist. … God’s ministers, and the Spouses of Jesus Christ, there will be some who will go astray, and that will be the most terrible. Lastly, hell will reign on earth. It will be then that the Antichrist will be born! Many will believe in him, because he will claim to have come from heaven, woe to those who will believe in him!”
As Catholic News Agency fawns over Francis, there is a war being waged on the Catholic Church by the Devil himself – and he’s claiming far too many souls.
Think about it.
The Supreme Court may very well be poised to issue an historic statement regarding the sanctity of life. While not a complete victory for the pro-life movement, it would be a step in the right direction. Meanwhile, a March 2022 surveyconducted by Pew Research Center indicates that 13% of Catholics believe abortion should be legal in all cases, no exceptions. At first glance, one might conclude that the faithful are pro-life. However, only 10% of Catholics believe abortion should be illegal in all cases, no exceptions. As for the rest? 43% think abortion should be “mostly legal” while 32% think abortion should be “mostly illegal.”
Yet the Catholic Church teaches that abortion is “not only a grave moral evil but also a crime punishable by canonical sanctions. Any Latin Catholic who successfully procures an abortion incurs an “automatic” (latae sententiae) excommunication (Codex iuris canonici c. 1398).”
Another recent survey indicates that only roughly 30% of Catholics believe that the Eucharist is truly the body and blood of Christ. Yet, the Catholic Church teaches that at the moment of the Consecration of the Mass, the bread and wine on the altar truly become the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ.
The Catholic faithful, for the most part, are lukewarm.
In the inevitable war between good and evil, the Catholic Church – no other church, will be placed squarely on the front lines of that battle. Complacency, combined with a lack of solid catechesis among the faithful, not to mention sugar-coated ecclesial news, will result in a disastrous casualty of souls. By now it should be apparent to the even the most passive Catholic that this was the goal of the modernist agenda when the curia permitted “the smoke of Satan” to permeate the Church more than a half century ago.
Since that time Catholics, for the most part, have been disarmed. Setting the Church Militant up for failure in battle continues today under the guise of “collegiality” and the snare laid under the catchy name of a “listening Church.”
And so, we find ourselves this last Sunday receiving word that an archbishop whose job it is to dismantle the remains of sacred tradition, and a bishop who proudly upholds every abomination being promoted by the synod, are being elevated to the ranks of the College of Cardinals.
The timing is not coincidental and the destruction of all things sacred is far from over.
If you’re a gambling person, it’s a safe bet that should Francis live long enough, he will eventually elevate the likes of James Martin and Robert Barron to the red hat club.
Yes, I’m disgusted, though not surprised, by the news of Roche and McElroy being “elevated” (if you can call it that) to the ranks of the papal electors.
By now it should be obvious that I’ve sadly moved on from having any respect for the College of Cardinals.
There are a total of 117 cardinal electors in the College of Cardinals, 67 of whom were created by Pope Francis in previous consistories. One of the electors will have reached the age of 80 before the next consistory on August 27th. Thus, on that date, there will be 116 electors from previous consistories, plus the 16 new electors, bringing the total number of electors to 132.
Pope Francis will have created 83 of the 132 electors.
This begs the question: do you really think the next pontificate will be any better than this dumpster fire?
I very much doubt it.
The numbers are stacked against it. Indeed, nothing short of an intervention by the Blessed Mother herself will stop this madness. Our hope lies in the fact that we know that someday it will happen. As we suffer through this crisis, we anticipate with joy that in the end Her Immaculate Heart will triumph!
In closing, as we await the triumph of the Immaculate Heart, I would like to reflect on the next conclave, which some people speculate will happen sooner than later.
How I wish I could be present at that moment.
Over the years, the film National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation has taken its place among the holiday classics. When I think of what’s become of the curia, I think of how wonderful it would be if the Church had a Cousin Eddie who could bring a long hose to the Vatican and, ahem — do some cleaning.
I’m also reminded of a scene in the film where a troupe of businessman on their way into a meeting pass one by one by the lead character, Clark Griswold. “Merry Christmas,” Griswold says to the first suit passing by. “Merry Christmas,” he says to the next. If you’ve seen the film, you know how the rest of the scene unfolds.
As they enter the next Conclave, I would like nothing more to be standing outside the door of the Sistine Chapel, greeting each one of them in a Clark Griswold manner as they set forth in electing the next pope. Yes, just call me Conclave Clark.
“Don’t be afraid to get frustrated. Look at me, I take a lot of Maalox. Somebody said to me not long ago, ‘I’m surprised that a woman of such great faith would have to take Maalox.’ I said, ‘My friend, my stomach doesn’t know about my great faith.’”
— Mother Angelica