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Two Million Catholics Gather in Rome
To Defend Marriage and Family

From the Vatican: The Silence of Surrender

by Christopher A. Ferrara
February 2, 2015

On January 30, Family Day, upwards of two million Catholics filled the Circus Maximus to bear witness against the legalization of “gay marriage” under the title “civil union.” It was probably the largest public demonstration in the history of Italy.  As Antonio Socci notes, this was the first time in Italian history that the Circus Maximus had been filled “without any organization behind it or payment of travel expenses.”

But from the Vatican, and Francis in particular, the vast crowd heard not a single word of support.  Not even during his general audience on the same day did Francis so much as acknowledge the presence within easy walking distance of two million Catholics who had come to Rome to do what he and his collaborators should have been doing: defend the moral order against a legislative assault in the last EU country that has not legalized “civil unions” based upon the practice of sodomy.

A clearly disgusted Socci lamented that the same pontiff who declared in 2013 that a pastor should “have the smell of the sheep” clearly prefers “the perfume of Scalfarian salons to the odor of the Christian flock.”

It will be said in defense of this shameful silence — the same silence with which Francis greeted the legalization of sodomite unions in Ireland and in all fifty states in the US — that Francis does not wish to embroil the members of the hierarchy in political disputes by endorsing one side or the other.

Is that so?  Then how does one explain Francis’ taking sides on a wide array of political issues: immigration policy, capitalism and wealth distribution, “climate change,” environmental regulations, the death penalty and life sentences, diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba and even the Scottish independence movement (he’s against it)? And how is it that whenever Francis does weigh in on a political issue we find him on the side of the liberal or socialist party: from Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, to Ban Ki Moon at the United Nations, to Barack Obama in the United States to Raoul Castro in Cuba?

Of course the Church has a duty to intervene in politics when the political process is attacking the moral order, as it is in Italy.  But it seems that it is precisely in such cases that Francis refuses to intervene: not only in the case of “civil unions” for sodomites, but also abortion, whose abolition he has never demanded even though he incessantly demands worldwide abolition of the death penalty and even life sentences for murder.  Yet, unlike abortion, which is the directly intended murder of an innocent, the death penalty upholds the Fifth Commandment, as the Council of Trent teaches:

Far from being guilty of breaking this commandment, such an execution of justice is precisely an act of obedience to it. For the purpose of the law is to protect and foster human life. This purpose is fulfilled when the legitimate authority of the State is exercised by taking the guilty lives of those who have taken innocent lives.

By refusing to offer even one word of support for those two million Catholics, Francis has stripped them of any claim to act with the moral authority of the Church Militant they clearly represent. They can be dismissed by the powers of the world as an obstreperous mob that even the Pope has shunned as if they were carriers of the bubonic plague.

It must be said in all candor:  Francis is presiding over the Church’s silent surrender in the culture war on the part of nearly the entire Catholic hierarchy.  Only one bishop in the entire Church attended Family Day.  To the argument that the war has already been lost and that the Church can do nothing to affect the final outcome, the Catholic can only reply:  Where is your faith in the power of divine grace to renew the face of the earth at even the darkest moments in human history, as we have seen again and again over the past 2,000 years — and as Our Lady promised at Fatima, if only the Pope and the bishops will do as She requested?

Moreover, where were the leaders of the Church while the enemy was gaining ground over the past fifty years of “conciliar renewal”?  The answer is: safe within the walls of their real estate, saying nothing and doing nothing to stop the advance.  Which is exactly where Francis was found when two million Catholics gathered in Rome to attempt to do the work that belongs first and foremost to him and the other shepherds of the Church Universal. 

But the shepherds were nowhere to be seen on Family Day.  Our Lord tells us why:  “But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and flieth: and the wolf catcheth, and scattereth the sheep: And the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling: and he hath no care for the sheep (Jn. 10:12-13).”

Today we hear endless palaver about “mercy” and “closeness” to the flock. But how is it that what we see instead is a merciless silence in the face of advancing evil and a hierarchy that for all its glad-handing and baby-kissing exhibits the coldness of a politician whose first concern is to preserve his standing with the powers that be? 

Such is the state of affairs Our Lady of Fatima came to earth to remedy.  To quote one of the world’s few truly courageous prelates, Bishop Athanasius Schneider:

The Church, our mother, is being bound in cords not only by the enemies of Christ but also by some of their collaborators in the rank of the clergy, even sometimes of the high clergy…. We have to pray that the Pope may soon consecrate explicitly Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, then She will win, as the Church prayed since the old times: “Rejoice O Virgin Mary, for Thou alone hast destroyed all heresies in the whole world” (Gaude, Maria Virgo, cunctas haereses sola interemisti in universo mundo).”