A Media Witch-Hunt Against Catholic Clergy
In relation to the Fr. Marcial Maciel sex scandal, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, you say that the NOR is not a knee-jerk, ideological magazine and will tell the truth about the unreliable, unprincipled, or unscrupulous people "on our side" (Editorial, Sept. 2006). Fair enough. I wouldn't argue with your treatment of the Maciel story, nor would I argue with taking a very hard line against pedophile priests and those in the Church who shield them. Indeed, I think the NOR deserves congratulations for its uncompromising stance.
However, that there is a secular media witch-hunt against the Catholic Church strikes me as irrefutable, for several reasons. The media more or less completely ignore pedophilia among clergy of other denominations, even though statistics indicate that the rate of abuse among non-Catholic clergy is actually higher than among Catholic priests and religious. I have never once read a newspaper article on pedophilia among non-Catholic clergy nor have I seen or heard it discussed on radio or TV. Yet I long ago lost count of the staggering number of articles, documentaries, radio and TV discussions, etc. on the subject of pedophilia among Catholic priests. Significantly, on the rare occasions when pedophile crimes by non-Catholic clergy are even reported, more often than not the culprit will be misleadingly described as a priest, when he is in fact a pastor, vicar, etc.
If concern for the welfare of children rather than hatred of the Church were the motivation for focusing on clerical pedophilia, one would expect the crimes of clerics of all denominations to receive more or less equivalent coverage. That this doesn't happen surely speaks for itself.
Ed. Note: If it weren't for the secular media, most of our bishops would not take action against pedophile priests. We should be grateful to the media for doing the bishops' job.
You sometimes aggravate me, but you always challenge me.
I believe you have good reasons for your religious and political positions. I believe I have good reasons for my religious and political positions. When your positions and my positions are in agreement, that's comfortable; when they are not in agreement, that stirs up my little gray cells! Sometimes I change my positions, sometimes I do not, but I thank God for your steadfastness.
Arthur D. Crawford
Chris Conlee's Unhappy Article
As for Chris Conlee's claim in his unhappy article, "The Fever of Vatican II" (Jan. 2007), that Mass attendance dropped "from 75 percent before Vatican II to roughly 30 percent afterward," I can report that, in our parish, there is standing room only at nearly all the seven Masses that are celebrated each weekend. That's in a church that seats 650 parishioners.
As for his claim that "roughly 70 percent of Catholics today don't believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist," I can say that, in our parish survey conducted seven years ago, 85 percent said they believed in the Real Presence. Perpetual Adoration has been successfully conducted in our parish for a number of years.
As for his statement that "largely gone are...images of the Holy Family and saints, burning candles and smells of incense...," those items are indeed present in our beautiful church.
Based on Conlee's article, our parish must be out of step with the rest of the post-Vatican II American Church, or his article reflects conditions in his own parish in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Just Plain Annoying
I went to a new vernacular Mass the other day, while I was traveling. It was horrible, as it usually is. I go to a Tridentine Latin Mass when I can, but I cannot always get there.
The new Mass was so terrible that I had to stand in back of the church behind closed doors. When they played some music, I had to go outside; it was too much to listen to. Then I realized that I felt more peace outside the church than I did inside.
The new Mass is just plain annoying. Aside from the music, there is the way people act and dress -- the jeans, the shorts, the midriff showing, T-shirts; people talking, shaking hands on the way to Communion, turning their heads left and right when coming back from Communion, hugging and kissing, sitting down after Communion. Attending a new Mass is one of the most stressful things I have to do all week; it leaves me feeling drained.
But I leave a Latin Mass feeling great. It is the only Mass where I am at peace. Thank you to all those priests who say a Latin Mass. You are great! I couldn't survive without it.
The article by Chris Conlee, "The Fever of Vatican II" (Jan. 2007), is not good. Two years ago I would have praised it highly. But I have had a recent conversion of sorts from what I call "gnostic traditionalism" to plain old Catholicism.
Conlee is quite irresponsible in his language and blatantly disrespectful to the Church. Saying that a Church teaching or practice can be criticized because Vatican II is "non-dogmatic" doesn't permit him to engage in mockery and flippancy toward it -- especially a teaching of a solemn Ecumenical Council!
Perhaps it's time for Conlee to join the sedevacantists, because that is where his attitude and the overall thrust of his arguments lead. Of course Conlee would deny that the Second Vatican Council and the Novus Ordo (new vernacular Mass) are intrinsically evil or invalid, but his overall attitude belies this denial.
Conlee's article has schism and sedevacantism written all over it. It is essentially a propaganda piece for the Society of St. Pius X. His article is tantamount to detraction against the Catholic Church.
Thaddeus J. Kozinski
THE EDITOR REPLIES:
What is "gnostic traditionalism"? You never define it.
Is Vatican II a failure? As Conlee reported, then-Cardinal Ratzinger said, "Certainly the results [of Vatican II] seem to have gone from self-criticism to self-destruction" (italics added). Conlee reported that Cardinal Ratzinger said the new vernacular Mass has "introduced a breach into the history of the liturgy whose consequences could only be tragic..." (italics added). As for Conlee being "blatantly disrespectful to the Church," Cardinal Ratzinger upped the ante even further. Moreover, many solemn Ecumenical Councils have failed: Lateran IV, Lyon I, Lyon II, Constance, Basel, Lateran V.
You accuse Conlee of "detraction against the Catholic Church." In the Catechism (#2477), detraction is defined in part as "disclosing another's faults and failings to persons who did not know them." We do need to know the faults and failings of Church leadership. St. Catherine of Siena said, "Speak the Truth with a thousand voices; it is silence that kills the world [and the Church]." Pope St. Gregory the Great said, "It is better that scandals arise than the truth be suppressed."
You are involved in calumny against Conlee. In the Catechism (#2477), calumny is defined in part as "remarks contrary to the truth." You call Conlee a sedevacantist and a schismatic, when he is not. You say Conlee would consider the new vernacular Mass invalid, when he does not say this.
As for his article being "essentially a propaganda piece for the Society of St. Pius X [SSPX]," it is not.
The SSPX has nothing to do with sedevacantism. Moreover, Pope Benedict is trying to reconcile the SSPX with Rome.
John Michael Talbot & Eastern Religions
In your New Oxford Note (Nov. 2006) about John Michael Talbot at the Little Portion Hermitage in Berryville, Ark., you quoted Talbot as saying that traditional Catholics have "an almost compulsive and paranoid preoccupation with 'orthodoxy.'" In 2001 we attended a retreat he gave at the Hermitage in Arkansas for a weekend. We were shocked as Talbot talked about Eastern religions and mysticism, and how great Buddhism and other Eastern religions are, and how much we can learn from them.
The retreat was in the sanctuary, and they had two Buddhist ladies meditating with crossed legs and making a humming sound. We stayed after the retreat to complain about what we had heard and how disappointed we were.
We received the 2007 retreat schedule for the Hermitage. On June 29-July 1, there is a retreat called "Come to the Quiet." It says: "Searching in Eastern religions for mystical experience and answers? This retreat will help you with meditation as both theory and experience found in the depths of our own Christian tradition and with integrations of other faiths. Suggested donation $180." There Talbot goes again.
Richard & Joann Marshall
Perhaps one of your readers could straighten out this cradle Catholic. Why do I have the feeling that the present and past popes, as well as our Catholic bishops, are "cafeteria Catholics"? They choose to accept God's commandment to Moses, "You shall not murder" (Exod. 20:13), but choose to reject God's command to Noah, "Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man" (Gen. 9:6).
Ed. Note: He's referring to capital punishment. Does anyone want to take a shot at this?
Your Editorial Tone Is Arrogant
I must say that I find your editorial tone arrogant and abrasive. But hey, why should the bad guys have all the fun? Go for it!
Newport Beach, California
Ed. Note: Karl Keating says the NOR is "Catholicism's intellectual prizefighter." I guess we just can't help it. Our proofreader Marie Smith charged us with being "arrogant." However, she said that if we were not so arrogant, we would be compromisers. She doesn't like compromisers.
Are Vaccines Safe?
Aside from the moral implications that surround the use of vaccines, I would challenge Timothy P. Collins's statement (letter, Jan. 2007) that vaccines "are far, far safer than the diseases they prevent...." A growing body of parents and healthcare professionals are questioning the safety and efficacy of vaccines. A review of the history of diseases and vaccines shows that most diseases were well on the decline prior to the advent of the vaccines invented to cure them. The only currently known cases of polio in the U.S. were caused by the vaccine, and most vaccines do not provide life-long immunity. Not only are these vaccines routinely injected into immature immune systems, many vaccines contain mercury and/or formaldehyde -- known carcinogens.
For an in-depth look at the vaccine controversy, I recommend Dr. Sherri Tenpenny's DVD, Vaccines: The Risks, the Benefits, the Choices (www.nmaseminars.com or 800-771-2147). The DVD is lengthy but packed with well-documented information gleaned mainly from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and mainstream medical journals.
Registered Physical Therapist
No Diversity Jive
I went with my veterans group to Vietnam. I went to Mass in both Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and Hue. About eight percent of the country is Catholic. But there's no Catholic diversity jive in Vietnam!
Castro Valley, California
Pat Toomey's Revenge
I read your New Oxford Note "What Happened to Rick Santorum?" (Jan. 2007) with interest. One significant factor was when prolife Pat Toomey challenged pro-abortion Sen. Arlen Specter in the Republican primary in 2004. Toomey had a good chance of winning. But President George W. Bush, with Sen. Rick Santorum in tow, stumped the state on behalf of the awful Specter. In one commercial Santorum really offended prolifers when he said, "Senator Specter votes with us when it really matters." Really? Toomey lost by one percent, and the loss was attributed to Bush and Santorum.
In The Wild Man's Journal from Berwyn, Penn. (Jan./Feb. 2007), there was an article called "Toomey's Revenge: Conservatives Make Good on Their Threat." It says: "In the April 2004 Republican primary, Pat Toomey challenged Arlen Specter.... Specter was the most liberal, pro-death senator in the Republican Party. Pat had put together a good campaign, had the momentum and was closing in fast on this vulnerable liberal. But when 'pro-life' Rick Santorum started stumping for Snarlen Arlen, conservatives were shocked. The Bush/Santorum tag-team defeated Pat Toomey in the primary and the betrayal was complete.... Conservatives of all stripes vowed Rick would pay for his disloyalty the next time he ran for office. Party officials discounted the public outcry as just angry rhetoric that would blow over, but they were so wrong. In November of 2006 pro-life Democrat Bob Casey defeated Rick Santorum, because the conservative base abstained, voted for Casey, or did what I did and placed a write-in vote for Pat Toomey."
Dorothy A. Ireton
Bethany Beach, Delaware
Santorum's Favorite Cause
Thanks for your New Oxford Note on Rick Santorum (Jan. 2007). I always wondered how much the neocons were paying Crisis magazine to publish Santorum's full-page warmongering articles. (Or was Crisis doing it on its own?) As they say, talk is cheap. Since Santorum was not re-elected to the Senate, he can now devote all his time to his favorite cause, killing terrorists in Iraq. I hope he enlists in the military and goes to Iraq.
Mercer Island, Washington
Ed. Note: We have learned that Santorum will not be going to Iraq. He will be going to the neocon Ethics and Public Policy Center, and establishing and directing the America's Enemies Program. Apparently, Santorum's efforts on behalf of the Culture of Life will take a back seat to warring with America's "enemies."
I Am Not a Republican Party Hack
The author of "Prolife & Pro-War?" (New Oxford Notes, Jan. 2007) doesn't know either the mind of the Church nor the mind of the Internal Revenue Service as well as he thinks. Both allow us to teach the moral aspects of voting, even (heaven forbid, some would say) when those teachings have concrete implications for or against candidates or parties. Apparently, the author doesn't have too much contact with pro-life Democrats either. They are the ones best qualified to testify on my behalf that I'm not a "Republican Party hack."
Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
Staten Island, New York
THE EDITOR REPLIES:
We were not challenging you on the mind of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). We never brought up the IRS.
We quoted your voter's guide: "Any candidate who says abortion should be kept legal disqualifies him/herself from public service." But then you make an about-face: "Do not just look at whether the candidate is pro-life. Consider whether or not, if he or she wins, the pro-abortion party will come into power." Everyone knows that the Democratic Party is the "pro-abortion party." Therefore, a Catholic can vote for a pro-abortion candidate as long as he is a Republican. Your letter fails to answer this charge.
We were challenging you on the mind of the Church: Two popes condemned the war on Iraq. We quoted you: "Many ask whether one can be a good Catholic or be pro-life and support the war [in Iraq]. The answer is yes...." Again you fail to answer this charge.
In your voter's guide you say that Catholics can vote for pro-abortion Republican candidates. You quote then-Cardinal Ratzinger as saying, "it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor...." The U.S. invasion of Iraq was not repelling an aggressor, and that's precisely why Cardinal Ratzinger opposed the invasion of Iraq before the war started. You are supporting President Bush and the Republicans over John Paul II and Benedict. As the Board of the National Coalition of American Nuns are Democratic Party hacks, what other conclusion can we come to but that you are a Republican Party hack?
If those prolife Democrats read your voter's guide carefully, they would know that you are a Republican Party advocate.
Fr. Pavone, you are a great prolife leader. Don't blow it. Don't get deeply involved in Republican Party politics. You will ruin your reputation.
Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life
Staten Island, New York
Fr. Pavone's Voting Guide
In reference to the New Oxford Note concerning Fr. Pavone's "Ten Easy Steps to...Voting With a Clear Conscience" (Jan. 2007, pp. 16-18): It's nice to know that I was not the only one to take exception to Fr. Pavone's "Ten Easy Steps...." He says: "What happens if two opposing candidates both support abortion?... Then just ask a simple question: Which of the two candidates will do less harm to unborn children if elected?... This is not 'choosing the lesser of two evils.' We may never choose evil. But... you would not be choosing evil. Why? Because in choosing to limit an evil, you are choosing a good." The NOR wrote: "Who knows what that means?"
I took exception to "choosing evil" from "limiting evil." It is one thing to tolerate an evil, but it is another thing to choose evil because it is a lesser or limited evil. We should never empower evil. Fr. Pavone seems to have fallen into Satan's trap: Present two evils so voters, in choosing the lesser evil, will think they are doing good.
I wrote a letter to Fr. Pavone on September 24, 2006: "The Church has always taught 'you cannot do evil even for a good result.' True? But if you support evil, even if some good comes from it, isn't that doing evil? Isn't that 'empowering evil'?... But to 'empower Satan' in any way, even for a seeming good, is to sin.... A reply to this letter would be appreciated."
No reply. On October 28, 2006, I followed up with the same letter. Again no reply.
Raymond L. Givan
Paul Muessig Replies
I must confess to being disappointed by the tepid response to my article, "Should Catholics Defend America?" (Jul.-Aug. 2006). I wrote the article because I was fed up with the NOR's repetitive (and to me, sterile) pontification about the war in Iraq, and I wanted to goad the editors into offering some constructive solutions or advice for American Catholics serious about their commitment to the Gospel but unsure about how to respond concretely to the war in Iraq.
My contribution to the debate was to point out that if the war in Iraq is unjust, then it is the obligation of every serious Catholic to bring an end to it by every means possible short of violence. While the NOR has been staunchly against the war since its inception, and while it has hectored supporters of the war ad nauseam, it has never offered concrete advice on how to respond to it within the context of Catholic teaching. I even went so far as to point out that if a nation's use of force is not explicitly governed by Catholic moral principles -- i.e., if one does not live in a Confessional State -- then Catholics appear to have a moral obligation not to participate in that nation's defense in any way (military, government, or industry) because under most circumstances it would be tantamount to passive, material co-operation in evil.
I thought these two concrete (and frankly, radical) behavioral inferences from moral reasoning would be chum piquant enough to attract the attention of even the most comatose of editorial sharks; but either my provocations were too muted -- Miriam Dapra, for example (letters, Oct. 2006), seems to have missed the point of my article -- or the editors deigned not to take the bait. For example, in response to the provocative title of my article, the editors offered a dismissive and facile response: "of course Catholics should" defend America, if we're attacked. This is either ill-considered or disingenuous nonsense given the NOR's bitterly cynical and unhopeful views on the state of American society and Western culture, which flirt on occasion (in this author's opinion) with defeatism and misanthropy. If you really think that America is a nation irretrievably lost; that her people are hopelessly debased, her society irreversibly materialistic, her political institutions a transparent sham, her government manifestly corrupt, and her foreign policy blatantly immoral; if you really believe that America's social, military, and economic power, coupled with the imperial hubris of her leaders and the unconscionable ignorance, complacence, and moral vacuity of her people make her the world's most dangerous nation; if you really believe all that, I say, then wouldn't you also think it morally questionable to defend America even if she were attacked? (Note I did not say you should not defend your family against violence; you just wouldn't defend the American government or nation against attack.)
Would the NOR suggest that German Catholics in the latter phases of World War II had a right to take up arms against Allied forces once they had crossed the Rhein, under the pretext that these Germans would now be "defending their homeland"? Wouldn't it be more correct to say that German Catholics should have used the opportunity to take up arms against their own corrupt, immoral, militaristic, aggressive, and evil government? And even if German Catholics concluded from war crimes such as the firebombing of Dresden and other German cities that the Allies were morally no better than their own government, wouldn't it be more correct to say that they should have done nothing against the Allies rather than "defend the homeland"?
So how can you say, "Sure, Catholics should defend America -- if we're attacked"? Why would we want to defend such a horrible government, such an immoral people, such a sinful way of life? (Joe Wall argued as much in his Oct. 2006 letter.) Better to let it pass and make the best of whatever comes. What could possibly be worse than a society that enshrines the murder of its unborn children into public law; that indoctrinates its pre-pubescent children into the virtues of buggery; that exports all manner of social ills to other countries by force of arms under the guise of freedom and democracy? There is no America left to defend, if ever there was one. A "fifth column" approach seems to be exactly what orthodox Muslims in America are doing, whom I suspect wouldn't mind at all if America failed as a nation and could be remade more to their liking. Did the inconsistency of its position on American "defense" not occur to the NOR's editors, or was it just too risky to admit the truth in print?
Similarly weak was the NOR's riposte to my challenge to give up its tax-exempt status so that it could be free to provide a forum for political leadership to orthodox American Catholics. The NOR's vacuous response was that "we can't get involved in electoral politics and we don't. We have no faith in either the Democratic or Republican parties." What exactly does this mean? That it has no faith in the American polity to produce a just solution? Or that the NOR doesn't believe in political solutions generally? Or that Catholics should start their own political party? Or does it mean that, having been bribed into silence by the American Moloch with tax-exempt status, they simply can't risk taking any sort of political stand? And where does this leave American Catholics in search of advice on how to live out Gospel values in a secular society? If there is no hope for a political solution, and if Catholics are wasting their time engaging the American political process, then there is nothing left but Amish-style isolationism and retreat from the world. (Disaffected ultra-orthodox Catholics are doing just that in Michigan's Upper Peninsula region and elsewhere, buying land and forming Catholic communes.) Is that what the NOR is suggesting? Silence on the line.
It seems that the NOR's engagement with the issues of the day does not extend beyond whining and puling about the decrepit state of Western civilization, and endless prattle about the tawdry and comparatively inconsequential peccadilloes of Tom Monaghan, Fr. Joseph Fessio, Deal Hudson, Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, and the Legionaries of Christ. While the NOR certainly provides a satisfying emotional outlet for the frustrations of orthodox Catholics, it needs to do more than just carp from the sidelines and preach to the converted; it needs to be an agent of change. Orthodox Catholics need leadership, and that means taking a (possibly taxable) risk and providing a forum for discussion of what really needs to be done in America.
And what might that be? Well, what if even 10 percent of Catholics quit the military, civil service, and defense contractors, not just over the war in Iraq, but in protest over unjust American foreign policy and use of force? And what if these same people had leaders who made sure that a big media deal was made of it, putting these actions in an explicitly Catholic social context? What if a noticeable number of American Catholics made it known that they will no longer support the current corrupt two-party political system? What if they had leaders who would form their own party, or maybe support the Constitution Party as a start? What if Catholics mounted a public-relations campaign designed to "out" all the injustices and hypocrisies of the American social, political, and economic systems, and acted as a moral catalyst for political action via pervasive and persistent newspaper and subway ads, television and radio spots, letters to the editor, guest appearances on news and interview programs, mass demonstrations in major cities, etc.? What if Catholics mounted huge letter-writing campaigns to their elected representatives, insisting that they redress the causes of social injustice or face undesirable public scrutiny and opprobrium from the Catholic community and its socially conservative allies? What if Catholics countered the inevitable ACLU lawsuits based on separation of Church and State with countersuits of their own alleging religious discrimination and intolerance? What if Catholics had leaders who would organize and coordinate all these ideas into a coherent plan of action? And what if Catholics had an unabashedly orthodox periodical with a sterling reputation for principled belligerence and fortitude that would act as a forum for the discussion and maturation of these ideas, and a venue for the formation of Catholic leadership and action?
Oh, right. The situation is hopeless and political action is a waste of time.
I think the NOR is falling far short of its potential impact on the future of Catholic orthodoxy. Please consider adding leadership to commentary as a key component of your magazine and editorial policy. Many of us ache for it, and you are in an excellent position to provide it.
In case you were wondering about my own morally compromised position in the Department of Defense, I am praying for and actively seeking alternative employment.
Paul R. Muessig, Ph.D.
THE EDITOR REPLIES:
In your article, "Should Catholics Defend America?" (Jul.-Aug. 2006), you said: "As distracting and unhelpful as I find the NOR's editorial tone, the discussion on the [Iraq] war over the past several months has started me thinking about the moral connection between my own actions and actions carried out by others" (italics added). As you say, you work for the Department of Defense. Obviously, Dr. Muessig, we touched a nerve.
But then you say we are not radical enough. You say the NOR is "tepid," "comatose," and "vacuous" -- we've never been called that before. You say, "Catholics appear to have a moral obligation not to participate in that nation's [the U.S.] defense in any way (military, government, or industry)...."
The NOR would defend America if it were attacked. It doesn't matter if America is "irretrievably lost." It is not the business of a foreign nation to set America right. Americans must do that themselves. No nation is "irretrievably lost." The Catechism says, "Public authorities...have the right and duty to impose on citizens the obligations necessary for national defense" (#2310). This is for national defense, not wars of aggression. The Catechism also says, "Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory...to defend one's country" (#2240; italics added). As for your gibe, "was it just too risky to admit the truth in print," we do believe America is worth defending.
As for German Catholics, once the Allied forces crossed the Rhein, the Catechism does not give an answer. But George W. Bush is not Adolf Hitler.
You say, "'We [the NOR] have no faith in either the Democratic or Republican parties.' What exactly does this mean?" In our reply to your article, we said, "We can speak out about foreign policy issues," as well as domestic issues, "but we can't get involved in electoral politics...." We are not a political party organ; we are an orthodox Catholic organ. We are a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) status with the IRS. We are not a profit-seeking entity, which would distract from our mission by requiring us to mine for mammon. Yet you suggest we give up our tax-exempt/nonprofit status. But why? Only to get sucked into the quagmire of U.S. electoral politics? What good would that do?
By the way, we are not suggesting that Catholics form communes, although they can if they want. You ask, does the NOR "believe in political solutions generally"? As we have tried to make evident, neither the Democratic nor Republican parties, as they are currently constructed, are equipped or even willing to reverse America's moral decline. As powerful as you make us out to be, we, the editors of the NOR, can't accomplish this by ourselves. America needs a traditional religious revival, and then Gospel values will reign.
As for Tom Monaghan, Fr. Joseph Fessio, Deal Hudson, and Fr. Marcial Maciel of the Legionaries, they have done harm to many people. (If you've been reading the NOR, you know all about that.) And if you, Dr. Muessig, didn't know it, Fessio, Hudson, and Neuhaus publicly supported the war on Iraq. "Inconsequential peccadilloes"? Not by your standards, and not by ours.
You are dead wrong that the NOR is preaching to the converted. We have lost about 3,700 subscribers (down from 17,400 to 13,700 today) primarily because the NOR has opposed the war on Iraq. Yes, we are suffering. However, according to John L. Allen Jr. (www.ncrcafe.org, Dec. 7, 2006), "Some Vatican officials...feel EWTN [Eternal Word Television Network] did not give adequate attention to the Church's criticism of the war [from late 2002 to the present] for fear of alienating conservative American Catholics." This after Mother Angelica suffered two strokes in 2001 and was no longer able to appear on EWTN. If Mother Angelica, a militant Catholic, were on the air, we bet she would have pronounced the war on Iraq unjust, and she would not have been intimidated by the "fear" of losing some or many conservative American Catholic viewers. Too bad that those who now control EWTN are not militant Catholics (see our New Oxford Note, Nov. 2006, pp. 14-16).