The Clergy’s Loyalty is To Rome, Not the U.S.
Four years ago, when Obama was elected for his term, the Vatican sent him a congratulatory message. They praised him for uniting a country (and world) that seemed quite divided. At the time, I did not think much of it—leaders of many other countries did the same sorts of things. This time around, things are different. This time around, secular Americans must take notice of the Vatican’s words since last Tuesday.
Before launching into what messages are coming from Rome, it is important to illustrate one key fact. The Vatican is a city-state. It is a foreign country that is recognized by the U.S. and many other countries. It accepts and posts Ambassadors. It runs the same as any other country on the planet…save one detail. Through its clergy, it has agents in every town in America. This is unique and must be pointed out. The other piece to this puzzle that we must call attention is loyalty. Cardinals, Bishops, Priests have their first loyalty to Rome—not the U.S. Their religion comes first, their patriotism or nationalism comes second. It is not uncommon, for Rome to move Cardinals and Bishops around the globe—the same way that countries move Ambassadors. It is not uncommon to have foreign bishops here in the U.S. or to have American Bishops abroad. The Vatican functions like a sovereign nation, while it has official Ambassadors, the clergy also functions in this role.
With all of this in mind, we must look at the messages coming from Rome over the past week. The quotes that I use in this post are from an article on the Catholic News Service titled, “Four years later, Vatican takes a different approach toward Obama”. You can follow the link to read it in full. The first quote we need to look it is the following:
“If Obama truly wants to be the president of all Americans,” said L’Osservatore Nov. 7, “he should finally acknowledge the demands forcefully arising from religious communities — above all the Catholic Church — in favor of the natural family, life and finally religious liberty itself.”
What right does the Vatican have to state what is required for Obama to “truly…be the president”? Can you imagine the outrage (particularly of those on the Right) if this statement came from a European leader or even more striking, an Islamic country like Saudi Arabia? FOX news would not be able to contain itself.
Second, what right does the Vatican have to issue demands to the President of the U.S.? What right do they have to assert that he, “acknowledge the demands forcefully arising from religious communities — above all the Catholic Church”—bearing in mind that these are the demands of a foreign government? The fact that this is tolerated at all is outrageous…and may be the first time I would agree with some on the extreme Right if they had any objection….though they are quiet solely because Rome is Christian.
Vatican Spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, hopes that Obama will use the next four years for the, “promotion of the culture of life and of religious liberty”. This implies that he is not already doing these things. Guess what Father—he is. He is promoting the culture of life for all women to choose their own path. He is promoting the religious liberty of all Americans—not just Catholics & Christians. As an atheist, protecting my religious liberty means protecting me from being subject to your dogma and doctrine—and that is exactly what he is doing.
The article goes on to discuss, in great detail, how vociferous the objections to Obama’s policies the U.S. clergy (agents for a foreign country) have been. It reminds us that Pope Benedict told a group of over 80 U.S. Bishops in January that he was concerned that:
“…certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion,” through “concerted efforts … to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices.”
This may hold water in YOUR country Pope Benedict, but it is nonsense here. You care nothing about “that most cherished of American freedoms” and only about furthering the needs of your church (which is your State). You should be concerned about those things. I expect President Obama or any other President to be concerned about furthering the ends of the U.S. However, you do not see American agents in every town across the globe attempting to subvert people, through lies and deceit to achieve those ends.
This is the colossal difference between the words from Rome and those from any other sovereign State. Like the Pope, the U.S. Cardinals, Bishops, and Priests have a loyalty FIRST to the Church/Vatican—a sovereign and foreign State, THEN—and ONLY THEN to the democracy of the United States. When we get down to the most basic layer of this conversation that is what we find. The Church—and all of its leaders, clergy, and agents do not care at all about preserving the religious freedom of non-Catholics, they only care about furthering their own ends.
The credulous will see an American member of the Clergy, like Cardinal Dolan, and will not see through this. They will not stop to think that at any moment, the Pope could recall Dolan and send him off to Argentina, and with his departure so too goes any concern for the religious freedom of Americans. Dolan and other like him are master manipulators. They will cloak their message in patriotic terms hoping to dupe the credulous into thinking that the Vatican’s ends are in line with America’s ends. They are not.
How do we know my last statement is true? For almost forty years, a woman’s right to choose has been the popular idea, as evidenced by the fact that all attempts to overturn this law have failed. Most Americans support same-sex marriage as evidenced by recent elections to support it or candidates who support it. Most Americans are clearly accepting of contraception use, as evidenced by the fact that most of us use it.
Now look at the Vatican’s statement on those same issues from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano:
“The menace to religious liberty is concrete on many fronts,” Archbishop Vigano said, noting the insurance mandate, anti-discrimination policies that require Catholic adoption agencies to place children with same-sex couples, and mandatory public school curricula that present same-sex marriage as “natural and wholesome.”
These views are simply not in line with American values or with the American people. They are the views of a sovereign state, which also doubles as a religion. The goal of the Church is not to respect American democracy, but to further its own ends.
How will the Church seek to accomplish this? Through its usual means: lies, deceit, and its most effective tool—fear. Vigano continues:
“Recalling persecution of Catholics in fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, the archbishop said that the “problems identified … over six decades ago that deal with the heavy grip of the state’s hand in authentic religious liberty are still with us today.”
Really? He is comparing what is happening to the U.S. to fascist Italy and Nazi Germany? Lies, deceit, and fear—the hallmarks of the Vatican. Yet, the credulous, and thankfully not all Catholics are credulous as it seems Obama won the Catholic vote (barely), do not buy into this nonsense.
Vigano, as an official spokesman for Rome is not yet done with his lies, deceit, and fear-mongering. He goes on to state:
“We witness in an unprecedented way a platform being assumed by a major political party, having intrinsic evils among its basic principles, and Catholic faithful publicly supporting it,” he said. “There is a divisive strategy at work here, an intentional dividing of the church; through this strategy, the body of the church is weakened, and thus the church can be more easily persecuted.”
Ahh, so now the Democratic Party and its supporters are pushing an “intrinsically evil” platform. Pure lunacy. Hey Cardinal, you know what IS intrinsically evil—running a pedophile cover-up on a global scale—not supporting the equality of all people from women to children to homosexuals. To make things worse, Vigano is spreading the notion that all of this is a mass conspiracy to divide the Church so that it can be persecuted. This has absolutely no basis in reality—yet the credulous will believe.
The actions and attitudes of the Vatican and its agents in the U.S. must be challenged. As I stated at the start of this post, can you imagine what would happen if you substituted the words “Saudi Arabia” for “Vatican/Church” and “Imam” for “Cardinal, Bishop, or Priest” into my blog post or the article I quoted from? You can bet your savings on the fact that we would, right now, be at war.
I am certainly not calling for war, however, what do we have? Nothing. No outrage other than from atheist groups. No media coverage exposing these lies. Nothing. It needs to change. I would ask my fellow secular Americans to speak up against the Church. I would ask any non-credulous and clear thinking Catholic reading this (and there are many of you) to protest your own organization. Stop going to Church. Stop placing your hard earned money in the collection plate. Stand up for what is right—the freedom and equality of all people and the clear and definitive separation of Church and State.
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