The Authoritarian State Has Become Our Substitute God
Similarly, Bishop Wenski Forcefully Indoctrinates us into his Pseudo-Faith
By The Orlando Truth
As belief in the personal Judeo-Christian God substantially eroded during the just completed 20th century, belief in the all-powerful State, as a substitute God, rose to supplant Him as the source of ultimate salvation and utopia here on earth rather than in heaven. According to the late Pope John Paul II, the central threat to human dignity in our time has not been the ordinary human weakness that has always afflicted men, but the faith and submission given to the machinery of the State placed in opposition to God as the true vehicle of salvation and justice. It has been the States and their myriad of secular ideologies, after all that have been in the vanguard of what John Paul called “the culture of death.” It has been States that have employed on a larger scale than ever before, forced abortions, euthanasia, mass murder, total war, nuclear war, torture, executions, homosexuality, and a host of other violations of the human person and human dignity.
The infamous history of the Fascist/Socialist States of the 20th century is well known. These regimes included Lenin/Stalin’s Communist takeover of Russia from the Tsars resulting in over 50 million murders, Hitler’s persecution of the Jews in Germany producing the Holocaust, and Mao’s totalitarian control and torture of his people in China, all in the interest of securing for their populations a distorted vision of a socialist utopia devoid of God. Karl Marx, author of Das Kapital and the Communist Manifesto and one of the most radical and strenuous partisans of these “advanced” liberal ideas, developed the philosophy underpinning such social reform. His entire life was spent in bitter opposition to the established order of the day, which he never ceased to attack with his pen and which he felt must be overthrown, if necessary, by the sword. This modern secular utopia was intended to replace the Christian ideal of the divinely ordained human order, which essentially had vanished when the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in the late 1800’s, famously declared, “God is dead.”
The Evils of Socialism
Pope Benedict XVI endorses his predecessor’s concern about the damage inflicted on society by the rise of the secular modern State, because it denies any sovereignty other than itself, whether it be the individual, the Church, or even God, and is a fundamental component of the violence and dehumanization of our time. Benedict writes of “the myth of the divine State” and of the State as “a thing” that is not the whole of human existence. While few Americans are aware of the rise of the State as a unique institution, Europeans have long been preoccupied with the theme of the State, built on war, and committed to a mission of positioning itself against all other institutions that may provide a substitute for the State. In the modern era, the State is always the ultimate sovereign over the family, Church, God, or the individual person. The State envisions itself as the sole provider from which families, Churches, and individuals are to receive their autonomy (as a gift of the State), and the State, through its coercive power, is always free to revoke such autonomy. Even here in America, mandated socialism has been rearing its ugly head in the increasing number of guaranteed governmental programs legislated by our Congress, and in the platforms of the leading candidates for the Presidency of the United States in 2008. As a result of the preeminence of the State, God is excluded from the public scene, homosexual and lesbian lifestyles are acceptable, abortion is legitimized, euthanasia is increasingly legalized, amnesty is sought for illegal aliens, confiscatory taxation proposals intended to transfer wealth among different classes of society in violation of God’s commandment (Thou shall not steal) and in violation of the individual’s right to private property (endorsed by the social encyclicals of several Popes) are promoted by political parties. As Pope Pius XI stated in Quadragesimo Anno: “No one can be at the same time a sincere Catholic and a true Socialist.”
Note that the State does not possess its coercive power by magic, but by the consent and support of human beings who have given up on the individual and on God, and have turned to the State for security and salvation. Even proposed government programs like universal health care mandate the State to forcefully provide its ever-expanding dominion over the lives of its subjects, contrary to the Christian Faith which teaches that people should voluntarily, through charitable organizations, aid in solving any such need. The more that individuals abdicate their personal responsibility to live a moral life and transfer it to the State, the more they are imprisoned in the clutches of the State, under which they lose all vestiges of autonomy and free will in leading their lives.
Beguiled by the State’s offer of ever expanding solutions to their perceived needs, individuals gradually lose their rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” until the State is in full control over all aspects of their lives. Pope John Paul II foresaw this encroaching enslavement over the people in his encyclical letter, Evangelium Vitae, where he stressed the opposite theme; namely that individual “man, as the living image of God, is willed by his Creator to be ruler and lord.” Moreover, numerous Christian scholars have noted, when man is given dominion over the earth in Genesis, he is not given dominion over other men. This is because, as John Paul continues, “man is a ruler and lord not only over things but especially over himself.” Thus any State, any man, and indeed any law, that seeks or grants dominion over this divinely granted self-rule, is fundamentally opposed to the natural law.
Owing to the triumph of messianic ideologies of social gospels and what Pope Benedict XVI calls the “do-it-yourself paradise” ushered in by the State, Americans have been taught to believe that society is progressing toward some ever improving world of equality and freedom. John Paul found this idea dangerous at best and totalitarian at worst. If human society is progressing so well, why is it that we find nothing in the annals of ancient or medieval history to compare with the atrocities of the 20th century? The concentration camps, the gulags, the wars, the nuclear wastelands, and the mountains of human corpses — where is the enlightenment and the reason?
In short, the triumph of the State results in the degradation of the human person leaving a shriveled soul in an otherwise human body. The State addresses itself to fulfilling the needs of the body (our lower animal nature) while stifling and destroying our minds (our higher rational nature).
Application to the Diocese of Orlando
As the Diocese of Orlando and its Chancery deviate from God and the authentic teachings of His one true Church and its Magisterium, as presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, they operate in an identical manner to Communists/Fascists, who through the State, impose their personal will on all people under them. By substituting their own personal version of the Catholic truth through forcing upon students in the parochial and high schools of this Diocese their distorted curriculum of liberal heterodoxy, Bishop Wenski and his Chancery colleagues (most significantly, Sr. Linda Gaupin, the Diocesan Director of Religious Education) seek to control the minds and hearts of the students by separating them from Catholic orthodoxy in exactly the same way as the State operates in the secular arena. The Catholic people of the Diocese of Orlando give allegiance to Bishop Wenski to lead them to the security of their salvation, just as the residents of the State transfer the management of their secular security to the State. In response, however, Bishop Wenski fails them by merely pulverizing and shriveling their souls.
There is a serious current problem of Catholics being ignorant of and/or at odds with our true Catholic Faith. Although the media constantly tells us that present day Catholics are the most highly educated laypeople in the history of the Church, the reality is that such modern day Catholics do not affirm the core practices and beliefs of our Faith. Consider a letter that an 84 year old Catholic layman in a Midwestern diocese sent to his bishop, as reported by Russell Shaw, former Secretary for Public Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), in the Catholic World Report (February 2008 issue).
After reviewing things like the loss of the sense of sin, the huge decline in receiving the Sacrament of Penance, and the increase in Catholic divorces, abortions, and premarital sex, this man wrote: “The problem, as I see it, is a possible deterioration of Catholicism of our youth two or three generations down the line if the liberalization enjoyed by their parents is absorbed. A great majority of the children of those families are certain to attend public high schools and state universities where materialism, hedonism, and immorality prevail.” Shaw then comments on the letter by making two additional points: first, that the deterioration of the Catholicism of our youth does not merely lie somewhere in the future—it has been happening for years; second, that the Faith of Catholic young people can be assumed to be safe in Catholic schools is just plain false.
Ill Effects of Liberal Catholicism
There is plentiful evidence for saying that. Consider the changes that have occurred in our Church over the past 40 years since the end of the Second Vatican Council in 1965:
As mentioned above, although Catholics today are said to be the most highly educated ever, their education seems to be more secular than religious. Let us look at what these so-called exemplary Catholics believe. American Catholics Today (Rowan & Littlefield, 2007), a book by Professor Davidson of Purdue University and three other sociologists, demonstrates that:
The researchers also tested American Catholics’ views on the relation between the Catholic Church and other religions, as follows:
Apparently not all of those highly educated and supposedly loyal Catholic Americans measure up too well by the standards of Catholic orthodoxy. So what is going on? Why are our Bishop Wenski and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, with a propensity for ecclesiastic self-destruction, not more concerned about this problem but instead merely listening to the happy-talkers of the media glorifying the status of American Catholicism? They know what is happening, but they pass it over lightly because that suits their interest—namely, the project of replacing a form of Catholicism they consider moribund with an endlessly evolving religion without norms. In their estimate, a Church like that would better suit the exigencies of post-modern times. And they the bishops, in particular Bishop Wenski, stand ready to impose such Liberal Modernist Catholicism on us, in a manner identical to the Communist Fascists described earlier. They effectively have renounced their Oaths of Allegiance to the Pope, and the authentic teaching Magisterium of our Church, which they swore to uphold upon their elevation to their Episcopal office. Instead they have established themselves to be essentially Fascist Liberal Dictators promoting a false and alien faith upon the people whom they have vowed to “teach, govern, and sanctify” in the authentic orthodox Catholic Faith that has endured over 2,000 years since the time of Christ and His apostles. The bishops act as if they have swallowed—hook, line, and sinker—the maverick theology proposed by the liberal Professor Daniel Maguire of Marquette University. In his writings, Maguire argues that the bishops do not need to be faithful to the authentic Magisterium of our Church (i.e. teaching the Faith in complete unity with the Pope), because there is not only one true Magisterium but rather two other magisteria, as well, namely, professors of theology like himself, and the wisdom of the laity, whose opinions can override the authentic Magisterium.
We are in serious trouble in educating our adults as well as children in the true Faith. Yet Bishop Wenski, Sr. Linda Gaupin, and others like them continue their happy-talk about vibrant Church institutions while implementing their dictatorially imposed liberal personal agendas which are destroying the Faith. It is like serving drinks in the lounge while the Titanic sinks.
Consider the following egregious examples of Bishop Wenski’s governance of this Diocese:
Bishop Wenski’s Triple Assault against Orthodoxy
During this year 2008, Bishop Wenski has planned a triple assault against the orthodox teachings of our Roman Catholic Church under the banners of the following Diocesan programs:
1. Alive in Christ Program—This program was specifically developed to implement the overwhelmingly liberal conclusions and recommendations of the 2006 Diocesan Synod. That Synod failed to mandate that there can be no compromise with the authentic Church teaching proclaimed by its divinely ordained Magisterium. Rather Sr. Linda Gaupin, the continually discredited Diocesan Director of Religious Education (DDRE), who has worked unceasingly for over 13 years in her position to oppose the orthodox teaching of Roman Catholic Faith and morals, with Bishop Wenski’s full support, was permitted to hijack the Synod’s Religious Education Committee by usurping for herself the total control of the Committee in order to produce its liberal and unorthodox conclusions. (The detailed expose of her machinations was presented in The Orlando Truth January/February 2007 issue number 52; complimentary copy available upon request).
This Synod established an all-powerful Diocesan Pastoral Council to implement the left-leaning modernist agenda (Modernism is a formally defined heresy), which was strong-armed by the liberal network through the Synod. The controlling members of this Synod Council were appointed by Bishop Wenski, and are extremely liberal and opposed to implementing orthodox catechesis.
This Alive in Christ program is now seeking funds from its Diocesan Catholics totaling $60 million ($35 million endowment and $25 million capital) primarily to indoctrinate its liberal agenda into:
2. Fashion Me a People Conference—This Conference was recently held in Orlando (January, 2008) sponsored by the Center for Ministry Development (CMD) in partnership with Harcourt Religion Publishers, the purveyors of textbooks to the schools of the Orlando Diocese. Their curriculum resources highlight “Generations of Faith Online”, a service of CMD, which has been funded by grants from the Lilly Endowment, a Protestant Foundation seeking to undermine the orthodoxy of the Catholic Church in order to encourage ecumenism with other Christian religions based on the lowest common denominator of beliefs. They promote worship exploration teams to develop ideas for visual enhancement of the sanctuary and innovative “worship services.”
The speakers at this Conference included the curious theology of Thomas Groome, a dissident ex-priest and consultant to Harcourt Publishers, noted for his zeal in undermining the Catechism of the Catholic Church in order to promote catholicity (note the small “c”) of ecumenism with other Protestant groups.
3. Festival of Faith Celebration—June 2008 marks the 40th year since Pope Paul VI established the Diocese of Orlando. To celebrate this occasion, Bishop Wenski has organized a momentous conference to include leaders of Protestant faiths to be held at the Orlando Orange County Convention Center from May 8 to May 10, 2008. To publicize this event, Bishop Wenski has issued a Proclamation of the Year of Evangelization (see the Diocesan website) that states its purpose is “to continue to seek to form ourselves and others in the Faith of the Church” and “to recommit ourselves to the mission of the Church to present to the world Jesus Christ, ‘the same yesterday, today, and forever’ as the ‘Way, Truth, and Life’, who fulfills the human race’s deepest hopes. We (so) commit, as members of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church …”
Note the underlined words in the above quotation. To those uninitiated into the double entendre of Diocesan-speak, those words would clearly imply a true ecumenism; namely, a presentation and transmission of the perennial orthodox Faith of our one true Roman Catholic Church to the joint assembly of Catholics and Protestants. But, pardon us, Bishop; the beautiful words in your Proclamation inspire little confidence that such will be the case. Your track record in undermining the teaching of our Roman Catholic Faith has been evident too many times before, as the above items 1 and 2 attest. As additional proof that only liberal modernist Catholicism will be presented to the assembly, one of your principal speakers will be Bill Huebsch, author of the innovative development of “Whole Community Catechesis” promoted by Sr. Linda Gaupin and Harcourt Publishers. Whole Community Catechesis (Whole Communistic Catechesis?) will sound a death knell for orthodox religious instruction, which is the intention of the program. We will all have to be card-carrying graduates of Whole Community Catechesis in order to be Godparents, Confirmation sponsors or RCIA sponsors. Mandatory WCC participation will take the place of actual obedience to the authentic orthodox teachings of the Catholic Church.
B. Apopka Farm Worker Nuns
The Editorial Board of the Orlando Sentinel newspaper, in its January 6, 2008 edition, selected four Sisters of the Order of Notre Dame de Namur to celebrate as Central Floridians of the Year, because of their assistance to migrant families in the form of school tutoring sessions, nurturing parent sessions, citizenship classes and social service aid. Immediately, Bishop Wenski rushed to compliment these sisters as being “the conscience of the community.”
Yet these Farm Worker nuns, so-called because of their activities helping the Apopka migrant farm workers within the Orlando Diocese, have been among the staunchest opponents of the teachings of the Church for most of their lifetimes. These four nuns, all Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, are:
These four nuns are all members of Call to Action (CTA), which is the leading organization of liberal, dissenting, Modernist Catholics in the United States. It is composed of several groups of dissident priests, nuns, Catholic schoolteachers, and liberal laity. This CTA organization has become the umbrella organization for other unconventional airhead leftist groups seeking to undermine the Church, such as the falsely named Voice of the Faithful, Women-Church, FutureChurch, Catholic Lesbians, Women’s Ordination Conference, ARCC, BASIC, CORPUS, Rent a Priest, and Hulda and Sabeel, to name only a few. CTA is firmly committed to force the Church to reevaluate its positions on issues like celibacy for priests, the male-only clergy, homosexuality, birth control, sexual morality, and the reception of Holy Communion by divorced and remarried individuals. Moreover, they demand that final decisions in these areas are all to be made by democratic vote of the misled and uninformed laity within the Church.
The courageous Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Nebraska previously excommunicated CTA and its members. That excommunication was fully supported and upheld by the Vatican, which noted that such organization’s agenda is “causing damage to the Church of Christ” and is “totally incompatible with the Catholic Faith.” This official Vatican decision (November 24, 2006) sent a strong message to liberal bishops, such as Politician Wenski, that such dissenting organizations and their members should be condemned in every diocese.
It is a matter of record that these four nuns are active members of CTA. They are Liberal/Socialist/Communist “Catholics in Name Only” whose activities on behalf of the migrant farm workers are totally secular and devoid of any mention of God. Their new office facility is aptly named the Hope CommUnity Center, reading rather like Hope Communist Center. They attended Orlando’s first CTA meeting at St. Margaret Mary’s (Jan 24, 2004) where CTA directors, Bob Heineman and ex-priest, Bob McClory, from Chicago headquarters were present to underscore the importance of that meeting. At that meeting, these four nuns stated that they had attended every CTA meeting, except one, in Chicago since CTA’s inception in 1976. They ridiculed the papacy, but later, like the hypocrites they are, accepted Papal Honors given them by Bishop Dorsey and Politician Wenski in January, 2006.
Against their strong background of dissent from the teachings of the Catholic Church, the actions of Politician Wenski are reprehensible. He has continually honored these nuns through the granting of Papal Honors, although they are committed to destroying our Church. Now, immediately after their selection as Central Floridians of the Year, Politician Wenski rushes to congratulate them by calling them the “conscience of the community” and the Florida Catholic honors them by featuring all 4 nuns, with full color photos, on the first page of the newspaper (January 18-24).
Contrast that prominence with the pathetic coverage by the Florida Catholic (February 1-7) of the Archdiocese of Miami’s January 20 “March for Life” in Washington, D.C. protesting the infamous Roe v. Wade abortion decision of the United States Supreme Court. Even though several hundred students from Florida were present and prominently led by Cardinal O’Malley of Boston, Bishop Wenski himself, and Sr. Worley (Orlando Diocesan Chief Operations Officer), the news article was buried on page five with a miniscule photo, only in black and white, way back on page 13. That photo should have been a full color 8 x 10 picture on the front page of the Florida Catholic along with an article about the evils of abortion in our nation and the legal killing of some 50 million unborn children—our future—now dead and gone, murdered inside their mothers’ wombs.
C. Fr. Edward Beck
Fr. Edward Beck is a liberal dissident priest who has regularly appeared within the Diocese of Orlando, with the permission of Bishop Wenski, to give retreats and missions at some of its parishes. Unfortunately, Fr. Beck’s agenda is pro-homosexual, pro-women’s ordination, anti-Vatican, and pro-married priests—which means married homosexual priests, since celibacy is unheard of in the homosexual world. Naturally that agenda has made him a darling of television and the media. He appears on FOX NEWS, CNN, and GOOD MORNING AMERICA using his good looks and captivating smile to fool the world into thinking he represents the Catholic Church’s stance. However, his is a dissenting stance for he is a fanged, blue-eyed wolf in disguise. His website is www.edwardbeck.com where he promotes his book, Unlikely Ways Home. In one chapter, he describes how two gay men find God in each other and yearn for the day when they can be married in the Catholic Church. In another, a married couple laments how Catholic teaching on contraception ruins their marriage and their spiritual life. In Chapter 11 titled “Topless in Seattle,” which displays the silhouette of a naked topless dancer, Fr. Beck begins by saying that he likes to look at women’s breasts.
Last November, the Sunday Bulletin at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Daytona Beach advertised his appearance in conjunction with the “Twilight Gala in Madrid,” a spectacular parish fund-raising event at the Wyndham Oceanfront Hotel. That weekend he gave a parish revival and retreat to Our Lady of Lourdes parishioners. In December, Fr. Beck was at Orlando’s Holy Redeemer Parish speaking at all Masses. There, a large picture of Fr. Beck was printed on the front cover of Holy Redeemer’s Sunday Bulletin announcing the parish mission, apparently with the Bishop’s blessing.
At that time, The Orlando Truth sent two e-mails to Bishop Wenski seeking the curtailment of these activities. No reply was ever received to either e-mail. Bishop Wenski obviously remains completely lax and unconcerned about these activities that are polluting his Diocese. We no longer need to wonder why the world turns from God and why the worship practices and knowledge of our Faith by Catholic laity are in such a state of confusion. Catholic bishops allowing the corruption of their flock bear grave responsibility for the misdirection of mankind and the loss of Faith.
Here we may find wisdom in the words of St. Augustine speaking some 1600 years ago:
“You say the times are troublesome, the times are burdensome, the times are miserable. Live rightly and you will change the times. The times have never hurt anyone. Those who are hurt are human beings; those by whom they are hurt are also human beings. So change human beings and the times will be changed” because as the Church goes, so goes the world.
Meanwhile, the mighty well-oiled unyielding steel of the diocesan State machinery silently rolls on.