In 2004, then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick—who is now defrocked, disgraced, and no longer a Catholic priest—called Judie Brown, president of my organization American Life League, a zealot. Judie’s response to this intended insult was: “Thank you! If by zealot you mean a person motivated by an extreme enthusiasm, devotion, or zeal who is uncompromising in standing up for the teachings of the Catholic Church, then I am a zealot.”
He did so because Judie dared to ask the men entrusted with the lineage of the disciples of Jesus Christ to act like it. She asked them to hold accountable the men and women who, though they love to discuss their rosaries, their devoutness, their love for the Church, their family Bibles, and their personal and “by golly I mean it” objection to sin, also embrace abortion and death with unquestioned fidelity. These are men and women who claim to be Catholic yet support, empower, defend, protect, fund, and embrace the slaughter of the innocents while hiding behind words. The scandal and damage of these perpetrators and their enabling clergy is incalculable.
Judie called on the Catholic priesthood to deny such deceivers the body and blood of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist, as their reception of Jesus is a sacrilege. The politicians who support abortion are directly responsible for death. And the Church clearly states that those who persist in grave manifest sin “must” be denied our Lord for the good of their own souls. That is the entire point. Conversion and salvation are the end game for every soul created by God.
But salvation and conversion are not possible when those entrusted with the teaching and administration of the faith lack courage, conviction, and Theodore McCarrick’s intended insulting word “zeal.”
American Life League asks all faithful Catholics to pray. We desperately need both prayer and fasting. Pray for courage and strength for the many brave Catholic priests and bishops in our midst to stand up for Christ, no matter the cost.
Before he became Pope John Paul II, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla offered this prophetic warning when speaking of the Catholic Church in 1976:
We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine Providence; it is trial which the whole Church, and the Polish Church in particular, must take up. It is a trial of not only our nation and the Church, but, in a sense, a test of 2,000 years of culture and Christian civilization with all of its consequences for human dignity, individual rights, human rights and the rights of nations.
We are the Church of the saints and martyrs. We are the Church of the humble of heart who would rather die than support the slaughter of children. We are the Church of St. John Paul II, St. Maximillian Kolbe, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Augustine, St. Catherine of Sienna, St. Francis De Sales, and many, many others. The Catholic Church is built on the witness and sacrifice of men and women who worked to defend and uphold the Church’s teachings no matter the cost. Many of these saints died rather than go against Church teachings.
We are not the Church of Theodore McCarrick, Joe Biden, Blasé Cupich, Michael Bransfield, Wilton Gregory, James Martin, Nancy Pelosi, and the deceivers of the faithful. They work against the faith while claiming fidelity to that which they do not believe.
Do not be deceived by those who equate the slaughter of children with immigration, taxes, and sea turtles. They are deceivers.
Do not be deceived by those who claim devotion as “conservative” and those who tolerate sin as “progressive” or “liberal.”
There is no such thing as a liberal Catholic. There is no such thing as a conservative Catholic. There is only the faithful.
Those labels have been created and perpetuated by people who disagree with the Church’s teaching on matters of faith and morals to create division and advance an agenda. To allow them some imagined cover, these people want to create the illusion that sin is a normal part of life.
They are the anti-Church spoken of by St. John Paul II.
When the devil insults you, know that you are serving the Lord.
Hugh Brown is vice president of the American Life League.