|Pelosi and DeLauro|
The Catholic Church throughout the world is the body of the faithful led by a faithful clergy. The satanic priests who sexually corrupted young people, it should be noted, were not by any stretch of the imagination faithful Catholics. The words “faithful” and “led” in the above definition are necessary and decisive, for not everyone baptized a Catholic is faithful to the teachings of the Church.
A masterful politician, Cardinal Richelieu of France was also a faithful servant of the French court. When the Cardinal died, Pope Urban VIII was asked for his assessment of Richelieu. He said, “If there is no God, Richelieu will have lived a good life. And if there is a God, he will have much to answer for.”
Richelieu, known during his day as “The Red Eminence”, was consecrated as a bishop in 1607 and appointed Foreign Secretary in 1616. He became a Cardinal in 1622 and Chief Minister to King Louis XIII of France in 1624, retaining office until his death in 1642.
Richelieu did not have a John F. Kennedy problem and was able successfully to serve as both a servant of France and a servant of his God and Church.
The French Revolution that put between the Church in France and its new government a sword of sundering lay very much in the future. This sword was a very bloody blade. During the revolution, the Catholic Church in France was uprooted.
The French revolutionists established in France Le Culte de la Raison, The Cult of Reason, based on the principles of the Enlightenment, the first state-sponsored atheistic religion, and a roiling anti-clericalism. Enlightenment scholars were not, shall we say, friendly to the body of the faithful or its clergy.
“Every sensible man, every honorable man,” Voltaire wrote, “must hold the Christian religion in horror.” Diderot was convinced that “Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.”
The atheism of the French revolutionists was certainly broadminded. The destruction in France of Christianity and religion in general, not merely Catholicism, followed passage of La Constitution Civile du Clergé, the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, a 1790 law that resulted in the immediate subordination of religious institutions in the country to the French government.
Mass murderers generally do not keep precise figures in their desk drawers, but the University of Chicago Encyclopedia Britannica puts the number of detainees during a long reign of terror at more than 200,000. Most never stood trial, although they languished in disease infested prisons where 10,000 perished. Military and revolutionary tribunals gave death sentences to another 17,000.
The United States avoided the extirpation of religion that had occurred in France through a Bill of Rights that protected religious people under the jurisdiction of state and national government. The First Amendment prohibited the national government from establishing a national church, as was the case in France and England. At the same time, it assured the broadest possible liberty of religion by preventing the national government from prohibiting its free exercise.
Both Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and her good friend, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, support the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which prevent dollars taken in taxes from faithful Catholics from ending up in the hands of abortionists.
“As a devout Catholic and mother of five in six years,” Pelosi asserted in supporting the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, “I feel that God blessed my husband and me with our beautiful family–five children in six years, almost to the day. But it's not up to me to dictate that that's what other people should do. And it's an issue of fairness and justice for poor women in our country.”
Neither Pelosi nor DeLauro are Cardinal Richelieu or Pope Urban VIII. Following Pelosi’s declaration that she is, despite approving of extreme late term abortion, a devout Catholic, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, Pelosi’s home diocese, issued the following statement: “Let me repeat: no one can claim to be a devout Catholic and condone the killing of innocent human life, let alone have the government pay for it. The right to life is a fundamental—the most fundamental—human right, and Catholics do not oppose fundamental human rights.”
Bishop Cordileone’s reference to “the most fundamental human right” harkens back to Thomas Jefferson’s words in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
Jefferson, a minister to France who left the country before atheists in France began sending priests and nuns to the guillotine, knew whereof he spoke.
But Pelosi and DeLauro are, neither of them, Thomas Jefferson.
They are post-modern politicians wending their way through polls and the latest enlightened editorial of the New York Times and a thicket of special interest groups, among them Planned Parenthood, which stands to gain financially through the repeal of the Hyde Amendment.
Both Pelosi and DeLauro are professional politicians, each of whom has held office for more than 30 years. But who would have thought, even 30 years ago, that post-modern politics would make Catholics long for the wit and wisdom of Pope Urban VIII or the political acuity of Richelieu and Jefferson?