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What the Church Militant is Supposed to Be

by Christopher A. Ferrara

On May 12, 2006 CNA news agency reported that "In response to a ruling by Colombia’s Constitutional Court making the country the first in Latin America to legalize abortion, the country’s bishops said Thursday that civil disobedience may be necessary to resist the new immoral law. Likewise, Bogotá’s Archbishop, Cardinal Pedro Rubiano Saenz is threatening excommunication against the responsible lawmakers."

Civil disobedience by Catholics, and excommunications by the bishops: these are among the weapons of the Church militant which mysteriously disappeared after the Second Vatican Council ended and the era of "dialogue" and "ecumenism" began.

Another weapon is that of public denunciation of those in error to alert the faithful to the error and to bring those who are erring to reconsider and perhaps repent. Since Vatican II churchmen have forgotten that the denunciation of error is an act of charity. The Colombian Bishops’ Conference, however, appears to recognize this.

According to CNA, the president of the Bishops’ Conference of Colombia, Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro, declared that "A door is being opened toward the elimination of the innocent lives of so many children who will not be allowed to live, we have always said this is wrong… We continue to say that this is an act against the life of the unborn and it is immoral… [A]ll those who commit the crime, the sin of abortion, will be excommunicated immediately… This applies as well to those who foster or assist abortion."

Even on the so-called "hard case" of abortion in the case of rape, the Colombian bishops spoke the truth with clarity and forthrightness. As Archbishop Castro declared, "the child is innocent… the criminal should be punished and put in jail for a long time, but the child should not have to pay for the sins of another. He is an innocent baby. In this sense we defend the life of the baby as well."

One of the great triumphs of the liberal revolutionary movements of the eighteen and nineteenth centuries was to induce in Catholics a forgetfulness of the fact that the majority of the inhabitants of the Western world, including Latin America, are baptized Catholics who belong to the most powerful organization ever seen in the history of the human race. If only ten percent of the Catholics of the West became as militant as the bishops of Colombia, the world would be a very different place in a very short time. Democracy would be turned against itself and many of the evils that have overtaken the West would be undone.

And imagine what would happen if the Pope himself called the entire Church to civil disobedience against unjust laws  —  not just in passing references in certain documents, but in targeted attacks on specific legislation, like the Popes before the Council  —  and threatened the Catholic proponents of unjust laws with excommunication if they did not recant. Instead, the Vatican observes a "prudent" silence and consents to the Church’s reduction to the status of just one social body among many, rather than the only organization founded by God for the conversion of the whole world.

Only the Catholic Church has the power to remake the world, as She did again and again throughout the course of European history, converting barbarians into Christians and raising up the greatest civilization and culture the world has ever known. When the Immaculate Heart of Mary triumphs, as She inevitably will, the world will witness another miraculous rebirth. Such is the power, the supernatural power of grace, which is at the Pope’s disposal as Vicar of Christ.

If the Pope would abandon "dialogue" and "ecumenism" for the feckless novelties they are and use the power God has entrusted to him, the world would be spared the chastisement it so richly deserves. This is what Catholics must pray for as the crisis in the Church and the world continues to deepen.