“Spiritual Wickedness in High Places”—A Catholic Looks At His Post-American Bishops
St. Patrick`s Day
has just been celebrated by millions of Catholics across
the country—oblivious to the real intentions of
their bishops. If American Catholics do not wake up
soon, they may well lose both their
Church and their
At a Sunday Mass in New York
City a few months ago, we were told that our parish
would begin hosting “Tolerance
Sundays” in order to understand the plight of
minorities and immigrants.
I turned to my wife, rolled my
eyes, and said,
“I can`t do it anymore.” I then got up from the pew,
walked out of the church, and haven`t attended Mass
It was an unfortunate, though
inevitable, breaking point. After all, I haven`t placed
a cent in the collection plate in years for fear of
inadvertently funding some radical cause—such as the
$7.3 million that the
Church has given to
ACORN over the last ten years, or the bishops`
recent campaign to strip E-Verify from President
Obama`s stimulus bill.
My skepticism, however, isn`t
new. It comes from having grown up and attended Catholic
school in the Archdiocese of Boston, where Catholics
have long viewed the Church as
an excessively politicized institution.
Indeed, it used to be quite
common for the Bishop of Boston to weigh in on local
politics, often unwisely. Cardinal
Humberto Medeiros earned the eternal enmity of
Boston Catholics for
vocally supporting forced busing during the 1970s,
even though most of the people affected by busing were
Still, this politicization did
have its occasional advantages, if you knew the right
people. When I was a teenager, for example, I remember
nervously informing my parents that, unlike my peers, I
would not be receiving the
Sacrament of Confirmation that spring because I had
blown off the required two years of catechetical
But a few phone calls were
made and I was soon confirmed by
Cardinal Bernard Law at a parish I had never even
In the Archdiocese of Boston,
it was all about who you knew.
Such a political fix might
sound terribly immoral—if you`ve never had to sit
through a modern-day catechism class. But you have to
understand that for my generation,
religious education never included learning about
Mass, or the Sacraments, or the saints.
Instead, we were taught that
being Catholic simply meant being sensitive toward those
who were not like us—especially blacks, homosexuals, and
Did we believe any of it? Not
really, since there wasn`t much of substance to believe
in. But that`s the thing about propaganda. It`s almost
always extremely boring, but when your elders spend
years spoon-feeding it to you, you often end up
accepting some of it anyway.
Luckily, at a young age, I
acquired some unique exposure to Church politics when my
entire family began attending the annual Catholic
Charities fundraiser held on the lawn of the
bishop`s residence, a
lavish Italianate mansion across the street from
Boston College. It was called the
Party” and for years it was the most exclusive
fundraiser in Boston.
Few people, of course,
actually attend charity fundraisers out of charitable
motives—they go to network and to be seen. This was
especially true of the Garden Party, which was attended
by the most important business and political leaders in
Cardinal Law would always give
a short speech at the event. It invariably included some
trite statement on public policy. For example, at the
1996 party, the Cardinal loftily denounced the
Republicans` attempt to reform welfare.
At another Garden Party, Law
boasted of his
close friendship with the Bush Family, and of his
many trips to the
Bush estate in Kennebunkport—a relationship that
continued into the early years of George W. Bush`s
Yes, Law was an important man,
which was why so many important Bostonians wanted to
befriend him. But what I learned at the Garden Party is
that our Church leaders and our
corporate leaders are all part of the same clique.
Mark Krikorian has
described our political and business elites as being
They are people who do not primarily identify themselves
as being American, but prefer to see themselves as
“citizens of the
world”—a world that invariably revolves around them.
In the same way, the American
Catholic Church is
run by post-American bishops. Like many politicians,
they identify little with the regions of the country
they are supposed to serve.
This is the part of the story
people miss when they try to fathom the bishops` brutal
disregard for the victims of clerical sex abuse—the
hush money, the high-priced lawyers, the
legal stone-walling, the mountain of lies and
mendacious public statements.
Do we not
associate such tactics with the typical post-American
corporation? Or perhaps a corrupt politician caught
in a bribe?
It wasn`t always this way. New
York`s Cardinal Francis Spellman was devoted to the
vision of the Founding Fathers and taught
American Catholics to be the same. Bishop Fulton
Sheen was a
dedicated patriot who preached that love of God was
impossible without love of country.
Unfortunately, such church
leaders are now very hard to find.
Today, New York`s bishop,
Cardinal Edward Egan, counts former General Electric
CEO Jack Welch—a
pioneer of outsourcing to India—among his closest
friends. An unabashed post-American elitist, Cardinal
raises his hand and snaps his fingers to summon a
subaltern to his side during meetings.
In 2002, when it was revealed
that Cardinal Law had harbored dozens of sex predator
priests in greater Boston,
his residence was hounded around the clock by
protestors holding signs that read
“Honk if you want
Law to Resign!” Law apparently lay awake at night
listening to the endless blare of passing motorists
honking in derision.
During this very dark time, do
you want to guess who Cardinal Law`s bigger supporters
Yup, Hispanic immigrants, who
small, but very dedicated, counter-protests at most
every anti-Law demonstration.
Cardinal Law had spent years
courting Boston`s immigrants,
often boasting in Spanish of having been born in Mexico.
He even claimed that he was an immigrant too—just like
them. In reality, Law grew up in a
military family and spent much of his childhood on
American military bases overseas before moving stateside
to attend Harvard University.
Still, Boston`s Hispanics
defended Law as one of their own, despite all of his
well-publicized sins. To them, he was “El Cardenal”
and all that mattered was that he was on their side.
Mahony harbored scores of sex
predators in California, virtually from the moment he
was made Bishop of Fresno in 1975. The
worst of them, Irish-immigrant
Fr. Oliver O`Grady, sexually
assaulted children as young as nine months old.
So when calls for Cardinal Mahony`s resignation grew louder in 2007, he was
well-prepared. Mahony had spent the previous years
thoroughly ingratiating himself with his Hispanic
constituents, particularly illegal immigrants.
Mahony`s lies about
immigration are as transparent as his lies about Oliver
O`Grady. But none of that seems to matter to his
Hispanic supporters. As long as Mahony takes on their
cause, they will excuse him anything.
The difference is that in
Boston, Hispanics have very little influence, so
their support for Law had no impact. In Los Angeles,
however, Hispanics are the emerging majority. Mahoney`s
critics have been unable to overcome their strong
support for him.
If my hunch is accurate, then the bishops are
advocating for Open Borders simply because
they desperately need more constituents who will
forgive them anything, especially if the sex abuse
scandal gets even worse.
This is a
terribly short-sighted strategy for the Catholic
Church for at least two reasons. First, American
continue to abandon an increasingly corrupt and
Hispanicized Church. Second, as Hispanics begin to flex
their growing political muscle, they will have less need
of the bishops.
According to the Los Angeles Times,
Cardinal Mahony`s influence within the Latino community
has gradually weakened simply because there are so many
emerging Hispanic leaders with whom they more closely
These Hispanic leaders, like former
Assemblyman Fabian Nunez and
Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, almost always
ignore the bishops on anything but immigration. They
are typically pro-gay
marriage and pro-abortion
and their constituents do not seem terribly bothered
by the fact.
“Aim at heaven and you get earth thrown in,”
“Aim at earth and you get neither.”
Perhaps no bishop has more earthly aims than
Cardinal Roger Mahony, whose spiritual bankruptcy is
most comically illustrated by the new
of Our Lady of the Angels“ that he commissioned
The cathedral is a
$200 million New Age monstrosity that inspires
revulsion rather than reverence. Among its many awful
features is a statue of the Virgin Mary that
depicts her as a boyish, short-haired feminist with
a plunging neckline.
the Ephesians, Saint Paul admonishes us to be wary of
wickedness in high places”.
Certainly, it is hard to conceive of a greater
consciously placing innocent children at the mercy
of sex predators. American Catholics, however, must wake
up to the fact that the bishops` attempt to globalize
their congregations is another form of wickedness—which
they must fervently oppose.
Both our Church and our country are at stake.
Matthew Richer (email
him) is a writer living in Massachusetts. He is the former American
Editor of Right NOW magazine.