Rutherford Cardinal Johnson
Patriarch of Saint Stephen
Patriarch of Saint Stephen
It has recently been announced that the Obama administration has downgraded the Nunciature (Embassy) of the Vatican to the United States. It will no longer occupy its present building, but will be moved to offices within the embassy of the Italian Republic to the U.S. Likewise, it is said that in time the American Embassy to the Holy See will be moved to offices within the American Embassy to Italy. Aside from the glaring geopolitical fact that the Vatican City-State is a sovereign state and not part of the Republic of Italy, this is disturbing in the extreme on a much higher level.
America has a long history of anti-Catholicism. It was a major step when Ronald Reagan gave full diplomatic recognition to the Vatican. Mr. Reagan and Blessed John Paul II were friends and allies in the cause to defeat communism around the world. Now we have a White House occupied by a communist who shows Islamist tendencies. He does not mind bowing before Saudi royalty, but he snubs the representative of the Vicar of Christ. Particularly as seen in the light of the Obama Administration's numerous attacks on religious freedom, human dignity, and the sanctity of life, this is disturbing indeed and a grave matter of concern.
It has been said by some, and certainly asserted by the Obama Administration, that the Church must yield to the civil government when the two are in conflict. One common argument for this is that the Church exists in part within the territorial boundaries of the United States. Yet, the United States exists within the territory of God's earth. The Church Militant has lasted on earth approximately 2000 years. It has outlasted every empire and nation on earth. Duty to God is greater than duty to country or to anything else. In fact, a Christian's service to one's country (which is a laudable thing) can only be done in a manner consistent with the laws of Christ. This applies likewise to participation in civic societies and even to one's employment.
It is time for all who profess the Catholic Faith in America to stand up and make their voices heard that they are servants of Christ above all else. It is time to say that our loyalty is to Christ and His Holy Church above any nation, however great it may be. No nation of this earth compares to the Kingdom of God.
The Church Militant is the body of faithful here on earth. She is militant because the enemies of Christ are always seeking her destruction, and we certainly see this with the present situation in the United States. The Church Militant is not a body on its own. It is joined through bonds that no earthly power can sever with the Church Suffering (the souls in purgatory) and the Church Triumphant (the souls in Heaven). Many tyrants have sought the destruction of the Holy Church. By the Passion of Christ and the blood of the martyrs, all tyrants have failed.
Now is the time for those who profess the Catholic Faith to stand up with the resolve of Christ as He faced the Passion and with the courage of the martyrs as they earned their holy crowns. Let no one of the faithful stand idly by as the forces of darkness attack the Church.