Volume > Issue > Letters to the Editor: September 2022

Letters to the Editor: September 2022

Why There? Why Now?

Lewis M. Andrews, in his article “The Case for Colonizing Mars” (June), almost makes going to Mars sound like an imperative. After all, if we ruin Earth, where are we going to go?

It is only recently that colonizing Mars became thinkable. Elon Musk built his SpaceX enterprise with that goal in mind. Musk’s Starship rocket is in the testing phase now. Other ventures are trying to do the same thing. There are plenty of people who would sign up for the trip to Mars.

However, is sending people to Mars really such a good idea, even if it could be done? The big problem with space flight is that you have to take everything with you, including air. SpaceX proposes to use some of the resources on Mars to alleviate this problem, but that planet is mostly rocks and dust with a bit of ice. The average temperature is about -80 degrees Fahrenheit, and the atmosphere is 95 percent carbon dioxide — not exactly conducive to life.

The expense of colonizing Mars would be huge. The amount of rocket fuel needed to get everything there would be enormous. And all that would have to be taken from here. Imagine if you spent all those resources on improving life on Earth. Maybe if we did that, we would not have to leave.

And then there is the theological angle. God created Earth first. He sent His Son to live and die here. He promised that there would still be people alive when He returns at the end of the world, at which point, St. Peter said, the elements would burn up in fire (cf. 2 Pet. 3:10).

So, if we know that Earth will be habitable until the end of time, and that Mars will burn up then, what is the point of spending a bunch of resources sending people to Mars now?

Eric Bermingham

Fort Wright, Kentucky


I thank Eric Bermingham for his thoughtful and challenging response to my article.

As to his first point, I was saying that the newly recognized economies of making Mars habitable have made the fourth planet from the sun a seeming solution to several longstanding social and even metaphysical concerns. I mentioned Robert Zubrin’s perceived need for modern Americans to have a new frontier to conquer, as well as Musk’s desire for mankind to have a planetary backup in case of war, environmental crisis, or some other earthly catastrophe.

I hope it was clear that my own concern is the spiritual need to restore the ancient notion of man’s centrality to the physical universe. By turning the very planet Mr. Bermingham describes as “mostly rocks and dust with a bit of ice” into a welcoming human environment, we would have the opportunity to recreate the sense of our special relationship with God’s universe. In other words, the sense that the universe was designed with us in mind, a sense that has been on the decline since Galileo and Kepler toppled Aristotle’s “sacred geography” of the skies.

As to the expense, that has seemed a barrier to many important ventures since the time of Christopher Columbus. But as I tried to point out, the cost of settling Mars has already collapsed from the half a trillion dollars NASA once estimated to a few of Musk’s (reusable) Starships. Today, we all carry around in our pockets a smartphone technology that is far cheaper and infinitely more powerful than IBM’s original mainframes. If the history of technology is any indicator, the benefits of what we reap from expanding into the solar system would vastly outweigh the cost.

Like Bermingham, I too believe Earth will be here to the end of time. But that is a lot of time, indeed. Instead of choosing between improving life here and treating Mars as, in Musk’s words, a useful “fixer upper,” why not do both?

Cellphones: Not Evil

In his otherwise thoughtful and excellent review of Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti’s book Diary of an American Exorcist (June), Christopher Beiting expressed a personal belief that appears greatly off-base. “I greatly dislike cellphones, refuse to use them, and have long maintained that they are an invention of the Devil,” he wrote. “I thank Rossetti for providing abundant empirical evidence for my supposition!”

Dr. Beiting should rethink his supposition. All created reality is good, and our inventions are our own, not the Devil’s. A thing takes on moral character only through its user, as it has none of its own. Technology can be used in many ways, by both good and evil persons. That it is used by evildoers does not make technology itself evil. The user does this.

I do and will use cellphones to fight the Devil and his demons. None of the Children of Light on the battlefield should fear using them. We should not lay down our arms because the enemy uses them as well.

Tim Mason

Argyle, Texas

Christopher Beiting writes that “no demon can kill or do serious harm to a human.” Yet he also writes that people involved in the occult “have the ability to cause harm to others,” specifying that “it is not the people themselves who have this ability but the demons whose aid they have employed.” As an example, he says that “sorcery can be something…very deadly.” How does he explain this apparent contradiction?

Beiting also tells us that he “had a priest call down the power of God to bless” his rosary and scapular, which he believes are thus made “more efficacious.” But then he adds that “an object of evil can be rendered more efficacious for having the power of a demon called down upon it to curse it.” This seems to credit demons with the same power as God. Surely, that can’t be correct.

Rosalyn Becker

Fort Myers, Florida


To Tim Mason

Well, I kid here a little. But only a little.

We all have our bête noires, and cellphones are mine. I never liked them even back in the flip-phone days, as I disliked the way they made a person both constantly traceable and constantly on-call. Now that they’re “smart” phones, I consider them an active menace for a variety of reasons, not least of which is their addictiveness. I used to mutter about “screen addiction” years ago, only to discover that, these days, psychologists and psychiatrists are using the term as well.

Mr. Mason is right in his contention that no technology is inherently evil. Morphine, for example, is extremely useful. But it isn’t something we sell over the counter.

I don’t have a problem with my cellphone, you may counter. I only use it for The Right Reasons. Maybe so. But there’s a way you can tell for sure. Next year, see if you can give up using your cellphone for the entirety of Lent. If your immediate response is, “I couldn’t possibly,” there, as they say, is your sign. Fasting doesn’t always have to be from food, and I’ve heard more than a few sermons from recently ordained priests about fasting from technology. These youngsters have a point, and it’s a very good one.

To Rosalyn Becker

I have long considered one of the biggest problems in the modern world to be the preponderance of people who see the world as they want it to be, in contrast to those who see it as it is. I aim to live in the latter camp, but I’m still a product of my culture. For the majority of my childhood and adult life, while I never doubted the truths of the Catholic faith — including teachings on the dangers of occultism and the reality of Hell, the fallen angels, and diabolical possession — I also believed, as so many moderns do, that the Devil has no real power in the material world, and that people who get involved in the occult and claim to be able to do things like bring success or harm to other people are just deluding themselves. But exposure to the work of people like Msgr. Rossetti, among others, has made me realize that that was seeing the world as I wanted it to be, not as it is. I didn’t want to admit that evil has actual power in this world, beyond that which people let it have (like allowing themselves to become possessed). But the fact is, it does. Nobody would get involved in things like the occult, witchcraft, or Satanism if it were all hooey; there has to be something there to attract them. And to enslave them.

I’ll quote Msgr. Rossetti’s words on this matter, from the interview I conducted with him (which appeared in the Jul.-Aug. 2022 issue): “Some people who ‘curse’ others and practice magic are ineffective, but, other times, I have seen the real evil effects of such things. So, I have come to realize that there is a power to evil. Where does it come from? Ultimately, it comes from Satan, whether one believes it or not, or whether one intends it or not. People who use curses are tapping into Satan’s power and become his servants.”

There you go. Words from a guy on the frontlines who, unlike me, is an expert and deals with this stuff on a day-to-day basis. If this matter is still puzzling to Mrs. Becker or anyone else, I suggest reading Diary of an American Exorcist. Msgr. Rossetti explains it in much better fashion than I can, with the benefit of frequent and firsthand experience, which I lack.

The Precious Present

David D. Jividen’s article “Finding God’s Will in Each Moment” (June) inspired me to take
up and read Jean-Pierre de Caussade’s timeless classic, The Sacrament of the Present Moment. I especially appreciated Jividen’s key insight that Fr. Caus­sade’s message is not simple to practice, especially for those (like me) who, thinking uncritically, “believe that being a good Christian solely involves a cadence of prayer, mortification, study, and avoidance of evil.” Jividen explains that our ability to obey God readily requires our total surrender to His will.

Pointing to St. Teresa of Calcutta and her patron, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Jividen illustrates what it looks like to practice Fr. Caussade’s lesson that we seek and surrender to God’s will in every moment. I could not agree more that this classic is a “good literary antidote for the anxiety” so many suffer these days due to the current political and cultural situation.

Jividen’s article is itself a gift of Divine Providence!

Teresa Cotter

Alexandria, Virginia

David D. Jividen’s article and its challenge are timely — truly written for our day. Jividen invites us not only to read and reflect on the mystery of the title of Jean-Pierre de Caussade’s The Sacrament of the Present Moment, but how to learn and practice “its entire spiritual lesson: ‘all that matters is what the will of God ordains each moment.’”

What matters but the will of God? Jividen reminds us that each person who strives for holiness looks to unite his will to God’s in every moment, including those of joy, challenge, trial, triviality, suffering, loss, and triumph. This reminds me of the doctrine of nada (“nothing”) of St. John of the Cross, wherein union is found in total detachment from all but God. Further, as Jividen highlights, this docility and detachment are not merely a result of some impersonal invitation for union; rather, they are a response to a personal, all-encompassing love and awe of the present moment in union with God.

As Jividen explains, we can actualize the “thy will be done” we pray in every Our Father, allowing us to be swept away by the currents of Divine Providence. How beautiful an aspiration and call for each one of us!

Jen Murano

Royal Oak, Michigan


My many thanks to Teresa Cotter and Jen Murano for their kind letters.

As Cotter correctly states, to obey God is not only to pray, mortify oneself, and avoid evil; we must also surrender to God’s will every day. Murano highlights how, if practiced faithfully, this allows us to arrive at the end for which we strive: holiness, manifested by detachment from all but God, in other words, Heaven, which we can start to experience even while on Earth.

Fortunately, we are not left alone to figure out how to accomplish this difficult task in this vale of tears. God has mercifully gifted us with Our Lady, who exemplifies how to surrender to God’s will in every moment, whatever that moment brings, as she did when standing under the bloody cross during her son’s crucifixion. As the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception (who minister at the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass.) point out, “It is easy to become holy when we stay close to and ask for graces from the one whose very job is to distribute them for God.”

St. Maximilian Kolbe also observed why we should be one with Mary’s fiat: “God did not reveal Himself directly to the Mother of God, but rather through a messenger. We too have divine messengers…. Let us pray that we would know how to say to every one of these messengers: God’s will be done,” as this alignment of our will to God’s “is the most pressing business of our lives.”

A Commonsense Guide for Befuddled Catholics

I commend David Ross for masterfully articulating, in the short space of less than a journal page, the 388 pages of my monograph How to Listen & How to Speak (briefly reviewed, June). In so doing, he has recognized that I wrote it, in the spirit of the great medieval rabbi Moses Maimonides (1138-1204), as a commonsense Guide for the Perplexed for befuddled Catholic intellectuals, college and university professors, members of the Church hierarchy, and, especially, celebrated Catholic logicians — whom I consider to be the chief causes of the loss of commonsense and uncommonsense wisdom from the contemporary world.

As long ago as 1941, in his famous New York City conference presentation “God and the Professors,” the benevolent pagan Mortimer J. Adler castigated the modern university’s structure (with its departmental separations and total lack of order among specialized disciplines) for representing “perfectly the disunity and chaos of modern culture.” Going beyond this, he concluded his presentation by stating that, if part of God’s plan is to bless civilization with non-totalitarian government in some form of democracy, we will have to be saved more from the professors whose misguided educational principles have produced the contemporary university than from the paranoid puppets whom their misnamed educational institutions tend to spawn.

Anyone who has read Plato’s dialogues well knows that Socrates considered himself to be a man possessed from the ancient Greek gods of ordinary human wisdom, or common sense, similar to that of a baker or the pilot of a ship. Via such examples, these dialogues are replete with Socratic ridicule of the abstract, hair-splitting logic and lack of commonsense wisdom and behavioral prudence of the Sophists and the Athenian political hacks whom their mis-educational principles helped produce.

For centuries, the philosophy of Aristotle was celebrated as the philosophy of common sense. In the 20th century, it was represented by leading Catholic intellectuals like G.K. Chesterton and James V. Schall, S.J. — neither of whom reduced philosophy to a systematic logic the way so many self-professed students of St. Thomas, self-described Thomists, have done since as far back as the time of Aquinas’s death.

Because these systematic logicians are essentially unable to distinguish between abstract conceptual and concrete and behavioral contradictions and non-contradictions, they are incapable of understanding and conveying to others the difference between really doable and undoable human deeds. They tend to reduce all contradictions and non-contradictions to conceptual ones, the nature of which they mistakenly think is induced by reasoning from particular logical premises to universal ones. This understanding of induction is wrong and un-Thomistic, according to the teachings of St. Thomas, and it is a chief cause of the contemporary loss of commonsense and uncommonsense wisdom on a global scale.

As a result, it’s no wonder so many contemporary American judges who have graduated from Catholic university law schools tend to think and rule no differently than do their peers who graduated from secular universities. Both are sophists in the pejorative sense of the term. Consequently, if we wish to return to the contemporary world the commonsense and uncommonsense wisdom essentially needed to repair and transcend what Ross accurately describes as our “socially disunified and rhetorically unhealthy time,” I see nothing short of consistent application of the principles I have articulated in this monograph capable of so doing.

In addition, I welcome anyone who finds a flaw in the case I have made for drawing this conclusion to call that mistake to my attention and to that of readers of the NOR.

Peter A. Redpath

Cave Creek, Arizona

The Price of Success in Protestant America

I would like to thank the readers who responded (letters, June) to Jason M. Morgan’s review of Ben Shapiro’s book The Right Side of History (April), because Morgan’s review and reply to his interlocutors address the very consequential questions we should be asking, “What is God’s Church?” and, by extension, “Who is Jesus Christ?”

Pope St. John XXIII once said, “What unites us is much greater than what divides us.” With all due respect, that strikes me as modernist twaddle. Yes, St. Paul tells us, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). But that still begs the question, “Who is this Jesus Christ in whom we are all supposed to be one?” As Morgan makes clear, he does not recognize the Jesus of Protestantism, or however one wants to name what has resulted from Luther’s heresy, and neither do I.

Morgan’s statement, “Once one has defied the Church in favor of one’s personal predilections, there is no end to the devolutionary process,” is reminiscent of St. Augustine, who said, “If you believe what you like in the Gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Gospels you believe but yourself.” How do Protestants not see this? That they do not is obvious; it has resulted in thousands of Protestant denominations. The most absurd part is they all claim the same Bible and inspiration from the same Holy Spirit as justification for whatever new church they want to start. Either the Bible and the Holy Spirit are wrong or Protestants en masse are wrong. If it is the former, then why are they Christians? If the latter, they should all become Catholics.

Preston R. Simpson, in his letter, asks, “What is the true Catholic vision? How would it be different from ‘liberal Protestant America’ in terms of producing…a standard of living that is envied throughout the world?” Did we become Christians to have a great “standard of living”? What, then, are we to make of Jesus’ words, “What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life” (Mk. 8:36)? I will answer Simpson’s question with the following from Christopher Dawson’s The Crisis of Western Education (1961): “The main channels of Christian culture [in Europe] were liturgical and artistic. The life of the community centered in the Church, in the performance of the liturgy and the cult of the Saints. The annual cycle of feasts and fasts was the background of social life, and every vital moment in the life of the community found in it an appropriate ritual and sacramental expression. Architecture and painting and sculpture, music and poetry were all enlisted in its service, and no one was too poor or too uneducated to share in its mysteries.”

That is the type of country in which I would like to live, but I see too little of it in America, which is why we are in the state we are in. Instead, American culture has devolved into McDonald’s, Target, the Super Bowl, Star Wars and Marvel movies, Pride Month, and Cardi B. As Morgan writes, “The price of success in Protestant America is repudiation of the Catholic faith.” That is the type of success for which no one should be willing to pay.

Brian Dunne

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Every month, when going over my bank statement, the last page invariably incudes a momentary bit of amusement. This occurs because the only words on it read, “This page intentionally left blank.” Okay! Everyone knows what it means, but it does, nonetheless, constitute a contradiction in terms.

Which brings me to Richard Grote’s letter (June) in which he espouses all things Lutheran in response to Jason M. Morgan’s review of The Right Side of History. Anyone who knows anything about Martin Luther knows that he maintained that the only guide to faith is Holy Writ, expressed by his principle of sola scriptura. However, since sola scriptura is not found in Scripture, it too constitutes a contradiction in terms. Lutheranism is, therefore, founded on this contradiction!

In contrast, for Roman Catholics, Scripture has always been complemented by Tradition and the magisterium as the basis for interpreting the economy of salvation.

I hereby challenge Grote and all Lutherans to throw down their arms and brave the Tiber!

Thomas J. Kleist

Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

As a Canadian who observes the United States, I was impressed that somebody finally wrote the truth regarding America as a “city on a hill” (as Jason M. Morgan did in his review of The Right Side of History). America, the supposed shining light for the world, is going the way of all countries that briefly occupied the world stage. During America’s brief “15 minutes of fame,” all the world marveled at her material accomplishments. But freedom, her essential mantra, came with a cost: moral depravity. (By the way, we Canadians who have been sucking at the breast of this beast, like Romulus and Remus, are no better. We lost the moral plot long ago, as Canada wasn’t founded on Christ and His truth but was put together as a purely geographical arrangement.)

The only consecrated nation I know of that will stand the ravages of Satan and unredeemed man is France — and behold the ravages of jealousy of the Evil One! France’s consecration at Reims will protect her from utter degradation, but only the Church will shine to meet her Lord. We must stop putting our trust “in princes.” Too many, if not most, people, in all countries, believe the myth of the perfectibility of man promulgated by politicians. Look where they have led us!

Gerry Glover

Peterborough, Ontario


Jason M. Morgan offers a necessary skewering of Ben Shapiro’s book. I applaud Dr. Morgan for his courageous counter-perspective of the foundational ideologies of the United States, which differs sharply from that of Shapiro. Morgan’s summary was an excellent and incisive reflection on the deep inadequacies of this nation, despite her laudable legacy.

It used to be said that “a Catholic in America is nothing more than a Protestant who goes to Mass.” In other words, the witness of Catholicism in this country has been so seriously compromised that one often finds little to distinguish a purported follower of the one true faith established by Our Lord Jesus Christ from that of the more than 40,000 different Protestant ones. Morgan notes the problematic notion of our “Judeo-Christian” West: that it involves the scuttling of so many Catholic and even Catholic/Protestant ideals, relative to Judaism, so that we can “all get along” and work together for a productive economy, which has been an artificial but intrinsic element to this nation’s unprecedented wealth and comfortable lifestyle.

Shapiro laments that America’s present ills began with “carving ourselves off from the roots of our civilization,” a process he claims began 200 years ago. Morgan corrects him by noting that the true detachment from the “roots of our civilization” began over 500 years ago, in 1517 (the year Luther initiated the Protestant revolt). Morgan further states that Shapiro “can’t understand the disaster of the Reformation because he can’t give up the Lockean, Rousseauan, Hobbesian liberal regime the Founding Fathers set up to contain the endless splintering following the loss of true unity in the Church.”

Morgan observes that “in order to get from Jerusalem and Athens to Philadelphia without passing through Rome and coming to a true reckoning with Protestantism, Shapiro has no choice but to paper over the theological and historical gaps with a mythical force, ‘History,’ ever striving to arrive at its proper place: gathered about the skirts of the Statue of Liberty in adoring worship.”

Morgan might agree that one of the more ominous substantiations of this nation’s repudiation of its Roman roots took place in 1945, when President Harry S Truman, a 33rd-level Freemason (may he — somehow — R.I.P.), made his decision, in the course of super-secret negotiations, to select the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, cradles of Japanese Catholicism, for atomic destruction.

To be fair, in the end, Shapiro is a commendably zealous opponent of the myriad evils of our age (“feminism, racism, transgenderism, socialism, and a dozen other bundles of anti-human nonsense,” as Morgan lists them), and it pains me to appear to be an opponent (I’m not!) of any cheerleader of basic Christian principles and the tremendous force of good that the United States has been to the world. However, Morgan’s excellent analysis probably strikes a deep — and, again, necessary — chord in the heart of every authentic American Catholic.

I join my prayer with Morgan’s that “Shapiro will convert to Catholicism.” His perceptive intellect and intense passion would be great assets to the Church!

Fr. Joseph Klee

London, Ohio

As a longtime subscriber to the NOR, I am always edified by the varied viewpoints and geographic locations of people’s letters to the editor. However, several letters in the June issue regarding Jason M. Morgan’s review of The Right Side of History, as well as Morgan’s response, were simply shameful.

Those who attacked Morgan opened an old-fashioned Hatfield/McCoy feud, each trying to outdo the other in name-dropping, theological posturing, and one-upmanship, eager to win points in the age-old Protestant/Catholic feud. Morgan responded by simply overwhelming his critics with more names and titles and an aggressive defense of his position.

What is shameful about this theological volleyball game is that while Christendom is now “history,” and modern Christianity is being steamrolled by a secular juggernaut, these men are using their time and gifts to yell at each other in a darkened churchyard. None of what they are quibbling about can make us better Christians.

Would that they spend their time, energy, and gifts to announce the Good News boldly in the face of current aberrations and fierce assaults on all things Christian. Would that they lead the way in a call for radical commitment to Jesus and the Gospel. Would that they build a bulwark of unity among all Christians to withstand secular assaults on the truth.

At this crucial time in the history of Christianity, debates about denominations, heretics, and rebels are utterly nugatory. The paramount need today, as always, is personal holiness and vigorous proclamation of the Gospel.

Bob Filoramo

Warren, New Jersey


Bob Filoramo writes in an ecumenical spirit, which I once also shared and which I still respect. In a certain sense, Filoramo is correct. The “secular juggernaut” really is a “steamroller,” and we are all flattened underneath. But perhaps the perspective can be changed. From the position of faith — the Faith — it’s the world that’s nugatory. I’ve come to think that magnifying the world to minimize the real divisions in the Body of Christ is not how Christians are to understand the tragedy of the Protestant revolt. Amen to personal holiness, though. I’ll let Filoramo know when I get there. I’m trying!

Fr. Joseph Klee got my attention with his mention of Hiroshima. This puts things in sharp focus. It’s not that Catholics are incapable of mass murder, or that Catholicism provides immunity to depravity, but the systematic attack on the Church, such as by Truman and his fellow Freemasons, is a sure sign of liberalism’s propensity to great evil. Truman was no Missouri yokel, as his image-makers like to pretend. He was a Washington survivor, and he knew what it takes to get ahead in Georgetown, namely, incineration and slaughter, preferably of non-Protestants. (At Nagasaki, the liberal devils blew a Catholic church to smithereens.)

I love the land of my birth and the people who have lived in it and still do. But the American government is wicked. “Protestant America” is a true statement, but that does not, I think it bears pointing out, mean “Christian America.” Not by any stretch. American leaders often profess to be Christians, but in practice those “Christian” leaders act as anything but. I would take the pagan Roman emperors over George Washington and the long line of presidential Freemasons he initiated.

Like Fr. Klee, I hope Ben Shapiro succeeds in smoking out “the myriad evils of our age.” Here I think a distinction can be drawn between Fr. Klee’s and my position, on one hand, and Filoramo’s, on the other. Political alliances seem fair game to me. Shapiro is Jewish, but as far as politics goes, that is neither here nor there. His enemies are also mine, so I wish him happy hunting. Ditto if Shapiro were a Protestant, in which case there would arise a second frequency to our interactions. Things would be much more complicated. I would have to take care not to exaggerate our common enemies in order to overshadow our theological differences. Catholic-Protestant strife is not so nugatory after all.

So, I join Thomas J. Kleist in challenging Protestants to cross the Tiber. Yes, now, Pachamama and all. Perhaps there would never have been a Pope Francis if the Church had not been weakened by fighting Protestantism and its hydra-headed heresies these past 500 years. We need holy Christians in the fight, and we need them badly. United in Christ over the bones of the Apostles, united in the Body and Blood of Jesus of Nazareth, we can turn and face the real enemy. Would that the Jews and Muslims join us, too. Liberalism feeds on discord, after all. With Christ’s peace, the fake harmony of John Locke could be kicked to the curb once and for all.

Gerry Glover shows us how this might happen, how we might build the kind of country that Brian Dunne and I both seek. Consecrated France is a beautiful model. I know a little of that, and in a way not unrelated to Glover’s homeland. I was raised in the swamp country of southern Louisiana, whither Acadians, displaced Frenchmen, wandered after English Protestants harried and hounded them out of Canada. My mindset, I guess, is basically French Catholic. It’s a good way to live. The Cajuns were dirt poor. Many still are. But they are happy and free. (Listen to zydeco and tell me if that is the music of a morose people.) They have the sacraments. They know Our Lady and the angels and saints. There’s no Statue of Liberty sticking out of Bayou Lafourche. But there is a Blessed Virgin Mary grotto in pretty much every front yard. Or was, in the long, lost hours when I was a kid in southern Louisiana, that French Catholic miracle in the muddy basement of Protestant America.

Good Riddance

I’m sorry, but I won’t be renewing my subscription to the NOR. As long as this phony-baloney Pope gives Holy Communion to the pro-abortion Nancy Pelosi and tells Joe “I want to codify Roe v. Wade into law” Biden that he is a “good Catholic,” I want nothing to do with that “Church”!

Good luck and God bless.

Michael Brandow

Antigo, Wisconsin


To Michael Brandow and anyone else tempted to despair over the state of the Church or her leadership: Recall that as Catholics, our faith is in Christ Himself, not His vicar on earth. If the history of the Church (and before that, the history of Israel) tells us anything, it’s that the faithful must endure the folly of their leaders. We have had — and will continue to have — faithful and faithless popes, competent and corrupt bishops, and marvelous and mediocre priests. None of them adds or detracts from the splendor of the Church, the glory of which is endowed by her Head, Jesus Christ.

So Pope Francis praised President Biden to his face as the world watched. So what? Yes, it is discouraging. But what, ultimately, does it mean to our faith lives? It should mean little to nothing — that is, if our priorities are in their proper order and our perspective one that observes more than merely the present historical moment.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and always. We are the fickle ones — and yes, I include popes, bishops, and other ecclesial leaders in that “we” — while He remains faithful. We must, if we are to call ourselves Christians, strive to remain faithful to Him, regardless of cultural upheavals, political turmoil, shifting public opinions, or personal setbacks. Then we may say, with St. Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Tim. 4:7-8).

This is the great drama of faith. Why would anyone want to quit and walk away?

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