Let me tell you a little something about Anti-Catholicism, because I’ve been surrounded by it all my adult life. I even subscribed to it for a while, so I understand it intimately. Anti-Catholics will all tell you they have nothing against Catholic people. It’s the religion they hate. If they’re Protestant Anti-Catholics, they’ll tell you they actually love Catholic people, and they attack Catholicism out of concern for their souls. I don’t doubt it when they say this. I know. I was one of them. They really do care about Catholic souls. Sadly, however, they’re just terribly misinformed as to what Catholicism is, so much so that they believe that being Catholic jeopardizes one’s chance at making it to heaven. So they harbor a deep distain for the Catholic Church, constantly spreading false information about it, and trying to talk Catholics into leaving it.
This form of anti-Catholicism has been around for a very long time — about 500 years to be exact. When it started in the sixteenth century, this “concern” for the “souls of Catholics” manifested itself in making the Catholic Church illegal, particularly in Great Britain, in a system called the “British Penal Laws” which seized all Catholic Church property, and forced everyone to go to the Protestant Church of England at least once a week or else be fined. Any priest who celebrated a Catholic Mass, and any person who attended one, would be fined for no less than 100 marks (about £66), AND imprisoned for no less than one year, with an additional fine of £20 for every month of missing Anglican services. If the offender could not pay the fines, his prison sentence would be increased commensurately to pay the debt. All Catholic priests were to leave the realm, and if they didn’t, they would be imprisoned or executed, whichever the local authorities preferred. Likewise, anyone who hid them, or helped them, would face an identical penalty (prison or execution). These laws began to be enacted as early as 1558 and were not officially repealed until 1829, lasting a total of 271 years. Some of these Penal Laws were implemented in the American colonies as well.
By the time of the American Revolution (War of Independence), all the colonial Penal Laws had been repealed, and while the early United States remained ferociously Anti-Catholic in sentiment, General George Washington insisted on keeping this sentiment out of American law and civil practice, so as to not offend America’s new French (Catholic) allies helping them in the war effort against the British Empire. Washington’s friendliness toward Catholics also helped him forge much-needed alliances with the Native American tribes, many of whom had converted to Catholicism long before the British expansion into French colonial territory. The British would later follow suit with dropping the Penal Laws, between 1774 (in Catholic Quebec) to 1829 (in Great Britain and Ireland), in the Catholic Emancipation (or Relief) acts. With that, the British 271-year state persecution of Catholics came to an end. Anti-Catholic sentiments remained, however, on both sides of the Atlantic and throughout the English-speaking world. These sentiments exist even today, but of course, it’s only for the good of “poor Catholic souls” who remain victims of the “evil Catholic Church” and its “false religious system.” It has nothing to do with the history of the British monarchy, the bloody English Reformation or 271 years of Penal Laws. That would be silly, of course. Today, what Protestant Anti-Catholics fail to understand is how deeply their own theology has been influence by British civil law over the course of nearly three centuries.
During the 20th Century, however, a new type of Anti-Catholicism arose, which was Anti-Christian in general and Anti-Catholic in particular. This was the result of Marxism’s influence on the world. In the East, as well as in some Latin American countries, the Marxist intolerance of Christianity led to outright persecution of Christians, with no attempt to hide contempt for the religion. In the West, however, particularly in Western Europe and North America, this Marxist Anti-Catholicism took on a more subtle form, hiding its contempt for the religion under a cloak of “secularism.” Marxist Anti-Catholicism manifests in the West as tolerance (even promotion) of Catholics who reject key teachings of the Catholic Church, while at the same time labelling those who adhere to key Catholic teachings as: backward, ignorant, bigoted haters who are anti-woman, anti-gay and anti-transexual. In other words, they have labelled good Catholics as “bad” and bad Catholics as “good.” The bad Catholics, whom they have labelled as “good” by rejecting Church teaching, they promote in every way possible. This would be primarily in the fields of education, media and politics. So that all the bad Catholics, whom they have labelled as “good,” occupy positions of high authority in those fields.
Sadly, we have also seen this take shape within the Catholic Church as well, wherein Catholic priests who oppose Catholic teaching on this issue or that, often find themselves appointed as bishops in Western nations. It is unknown how much the United States government, or persons within the US government, might have been involved in this internal Church meddling, but some evidence of this has come out in the form of leaked emails (Wikileaks) during the 2016 presidential election cycle, and we know the CIA was involved in getting Catholics to accept very un-Catholic things during the Cold War. Chief among these things was the “separation of church and state” which is extremely un-Catholic, and made it possible for Catholic educators, media personalities and politicians to bifurcate their minds on religion and politics. It created a climate wherein Catholics could adopt cognitive dissonance when it came to political issues. This would allow Catholics, particularly American Catholics, to be “ardent” and “devout” in the pews on Sunday, but reject all Church teaching on life and family throughout the rest of the week, particularly when it came to voting on moral issues. Did this well-known Church meddling eventually work its way into the Catholic hierarchy so much that it affected the appointment of bishops, archbishops, cardinals and even a pope? Only God knows the answer to that right now.
The Marxist Anti-Catholicism on the American political Left, especially in the Democratic Party, most clearly made its appearance in the 1960 John F. Kennedy speech, wherein he publicly disavowed his Catholic Faith on all things related to American politics. This has been the “gold standard” for Catholic Democrats ever since. If you’re a Catholic who wants to make it as a political candidate in the Democratic Party, you had better agree (at least in principle) with JFK’s 1960 speech. Thus, only bad Catholics will be consider “good” in the Democratic Party, meaning those who reject Church teaching on abortion, homosexuality and transgenderism at least in their political life. They can believe Church teaching on those things all they like on Sunday, worship at a Catholic Church, and even receive communion while calling themselves “ardent” and “devout” Catholics. Throughout the rest of the week, however, those beliefs must be suppressed. The result has been the formation of Democrat politicians like Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden.
Up until 2020, Catholics constantly faced the frustration of having to deal with Catholic politicians who didn’t accept Church teaching on weekdays, but aside from the occasional annoyance of residual Protestant Anti-Catholicism, they didn’t need to worry about formal or state persecution in the United States. That all changed with the election (or fraudulent non-election) of President Joe Biden in 2020, followed by his (probably illegal) installment the next year, which resulted in both peaceful protests in Washington DC, along with a riot on the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021.
Among both the peaceful protesters on the national mall, and the rioters outside and inside the Capitol Building, were devout Christians of many different denominations, affiliations and sects. Most were Evangelical Protestants. Some were Catholics. Because of this, the Biden Administration identified “Christian Nationalists” as a potential threat to America, and chief among them were Catholic Integralists (Catholics who accept official Church teaching on the integration of religion and state). What followed were apparent policy changes in the Department of Justice (DOJ) that targeted conservative Christians in general and traditional Catholics in particular. This resulted in FBI raids on the homes of prominent Catholic leaders in the Pro-Life Movement, and an apparently coordinated effort with the mainstream media to demonize Christian Nationalists. This culminated in the recent leak to the public of an FBI memorandum demonizing Catholics who adhere to Church teaching on morality and politics as: racists, bigots and potential terrorists. The term “Radical Traditionalist Catholics,” with the acronym “RTC,” was used to describe Catholics who just adhere to what the Church has always taught on these things. It was denounced by the FBI the following day, however, we have no reason to believe this denunciation would have ever happened had the memo not been publicly exposed in the first place.
What the FBI memo, and previous FBI/DOJ actions against prominent Catholics, exposes over the last two years is a Biden Administration that is using Biden’s “devout Catholic” self-identification as cover to enact a policy of outright federal persecution against his own Catholic brethren who don’t subscribe to the same cognitive dissonance on religion that he does. In other words, if you’re a bad Catholic, who rejects Church teaching on abortion and family, then you are “good” and have nothing to fear from the Biden Administration. However, if you are a good Catholic, who affirms Church teaching on these things, then you are “bad” (a potential RTC terrorist) and you will be monitored, as well as prosecuted if you dare to publicly act on those beliefs.
No doubt, President Biden believes he has the blessing of Pope Francis on this, since by his actions Francis appears to approve of Biden’s cognitive dissonance, giving him communion when this should not be done according to Canon Law. The only question is this. Is Joe Biden persecuting good Catholics in the name of Pope Francis? I’m not suggesting that Pope Francis approves of this, or even knows about it. My question relates to Biden not Francis. Does Joe Biden believe he is doing this in the name of Pope Francis? That is to say, in his twisted cognitive dissonance promoted by the Democratic Party, does Biden believe he’s being a “good” Catholic by using the government to persecute other Catholics whom Francis may not approve of? Or is his cognitive dissonance so deep that he makes no association whatsoever between his “devout Catholic” identity on the one hand, and his government persecution of Catholics on the other? Who knows? It is an interesting thought though, and one historians will probably be debating for a long time.
This is the current state of affairs in the United States when it comes to Catholics in political life. The place at the table Catholics were promised in the Democratic Party is a lie, based on a quasi-Marxist attitude toward the Catholic Church in the West. It has now gone from the cognitive dissonance of requiring Catholic politicians to vote for abortion, euthanasia, same-sex “marriage,” and gender transition of children, to the outright government persecution of Catholics who don’t go along with this. Thankfully, this attitude has not yet transferred over to the Republican Party. So long as the Republicans don’t jump on board this bandwagon, there is still hope for Catholics to be freed of government persecution in this land.
The following videos further chronicle the topic of this blog. They are highly informative…
Anti Catholic sentiment has never really died in the U.S. It is only prevalent among Protestant fundamentalists and the Democrats.
Shane…Well said! I wonder what Joe will say to Jesus, when they come fact to face from Trevor in New Zealand.(convert of 1967)
The approbation, active or passive, by many of our clerical worthies of Biden’s version of Catholicism is more the disgrace than than a bunch of yahoo government functionaries who are still lost in the bigoted days of the 1960 election.
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