"The Year Of America's Exhaustion"

Looking for the text of what looks like an incredible talk from Cardinal Stafford at CUA and hosted by the JP Institute. The occasion was a reflection on the 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae --about which the Cardinal already wrote this, which is bar none the most important thing I've ever read on the topic.

Anyway, this time out he spoke of the Obama presidency as "apocalyptic."

Because man is a sacred element of secular life,” Stafford remarked, “man should not be held to a supreme power of state, and a person’s life cannot ultimately be controlled by government.”

"For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden,” Stafford said, comparing America’s future with Obama as president to Jesus’ agony in the garden. “On November 4, 2008, America suffered a cultural earthquake.”

Cardinal Stafford said Catholics must deal with the “hot, angry tears of betrayal” by beginning a new sentiment where one is “with Jesus, sick because of love.”

I am never surprised to find bishops who understand Church teaching. What's very rare is to find a bishop who understands America. (Why would they? They're priests, not politicians.)

“If 1968 was the year of America’s ‘suicide attempt,’ 2008 is the year of America’s exhaustion,” said Stafford, an American Cardinal and Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary for the Tribunal of the Holy See. “In the intervening 40 years since Humanae Vitae, the United States has been thrown upon ruins.”

This destruction and America’s decline is largely in part due to the Supreme Court’s decisions in the life-issue cases of 1973, specifically Roe v. Wade. Stafford asserted these cases undermined respect for human life in the United States.

“Its scrupulous meanness has had catastrophic effects upon the unity and integrity of the American republic,” said Stafford.

How I admire Cardinal Stafford! The story of how he remade the Archdiocese of Denver is a model of leadership both holy and prudent. He is nothing if not a measured man and this report naturally seizes on what is no doubt the most dramatic thing he said --about the apocalypse. I would be surprised if he was in any way incendiary. Watch this space for the whole text.