Pope Francis Is Correct: Loving the Enemy Is Hard

Pope Francis w Swiss GuardBut I say to you that hear: Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you.  Bless them that curse you, and pray for them that calumniate you.  From the Douay-Rheims Bible-Luke 6:27-28

Barack Obama has now REALLY stepped in it.  In Northern Ireland, of all places, he called Catholic education “divisive institutions that hinder peace.” To make this point, BO even called for the end of Catholic Education.

From twelve years of personal experience, I can definitively say that Catholic education is, and is not, a lot of things.  It is heavy on manners and discipline (at least at school) English, literature, math, team sports, and some history.  It’s not so heavy on actual Church teaching, macro-economics and government abuse vigilance.  (That’s the sort of thing many of us learned later.  The guys passed on personal finances without a dedicated class despite the Jesuits and Marianists.  We girls…home ec is no longer part of the curriculum.)

Never – and I mean never – was anything other than peace and peaceful solutions to conflict taught to us. Not the day the most conservative priest I’ve ever known tried to explain why dropping a nuclear bomb on Iran was wrong to a bunch on 10 year olds, not when Ronald Reagan was carrying that big stick and talking Gorbachev, and not when the Cold War – or any other war came up in morality discussions.  And not when Sr. Peter took two boys who were fighting to the principal’s office holding nothing but their ears.

Peace, albeit with the St. Thomas Aquinas theory of the just war thrown in, was always tantamount.  (For those of us who were children of the defense industry, it could be hard to hear, even if serving in the military is considered to be very honorable in the Church.)

As Barack Obama was not subjected to the Religious Sisters of Mercy, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Convent of St. Joseph and any number of other teaching orders, he may not be aware of this.  In fact, he may not even know that we are called on as Catholics to avoid conflict and division by dying unto self or giving up what we want for the good of the Church, family or work.  Never compromise on morality or principle, but at the the same time, we are to promote peace while surrendering to God’s will for us.

It’s not an easy task.  Trust me on this one. (I’m still trying to figure out what’s God’s will is for me.)

We were also taught – as we still are at Mass every Sunday – to seek God and truth in everything we do (which is why the disgrace of Nancy Pelosi is so galling).  That includes not just learning the truth about what the Bible says, but how Islam teaches its adherents to “drink the blood of the enemy” among other religious atrocities.  (See Mark Steyn’s Acceptance, Silence, and Submission for more on his take.)

And, of course, as the Bible says, we are taught to love our enemies.  Our current shepherd, Pope Francis, has been on a kick reminding us of this in the last week.  In one notable address His Holiness acknowledged that it is hard loving our enemies.

He’s very correct.

Barack Obama – and everything he stands for – is the enemy of revealed religion (other than Islam, which is proving to be incredibly destructive), true education, knowledge, morality, freedom, liberty – TRUTH.  If it’s needed for civilization to succeed, Obama has demonstrated his animosity.

And yet, we who went through Catholic education – which he claims to be divisive – were taught we have to love him despite his hatred for us and our educational institutions.

(That does not mean that we have to LIKE what he does and says, believe it or not.  We just have to love him.)

(And pray for him,of course.)

Mr. Obama needs to remember one thing if his hubris will allow it: Catholics have been called much worse and hated for a couple millennia (that’s 2,000 years, BO) by much more impressive men (and women, for that matter).  Our educational institutions were formed to teach us to be men and women for others a long time ago.*  Some of them have been infected with modernism and the spirit of compromise, but all STILL collect change for the missions, collect clothes and canned goods for the poor, and have students willing to challenge the authorities when administrations try to bend too far to accommodate those who are “offended.”  (You’re at a Catholic institution.  Expect there there to be Crucifixes on the walls.)

Obama also needs to remember, it’s been worse for Catholics in the past, and, by extension, a lot of other branches of Christianity, and somehow we always seem to survive.  It’s not always pretty and there’s usually a whole lot of martyrs in the wake of whatever happens, but we survive.

What makes him think this little offensive he’s launched will be any different?

p.s. The Second Annual Fortnight of Freedom – two straight weeks of prayer and fasting before the Fourth of July – begins THIS FRIDAY, June 21. All are invited to join us in praying for religious liberty in the United States and the world.

*By modernizing in many ways, some of the teaching orders have done themselves in, but other orders are growing and will eventually take their place.  No worries.  All things are possible with God.

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14 replies

  1. I’m inspired by what you teach. I am a Christian, but because of a condition I was born with (Autism) I have a hard time understanding the concept of Love Thy Enemies. I have for the past few years of my life found something I think is love, for my pets, and even maybe those around me who do not attempt to mistreat me. But all the first 40 years of my life, I have not known much real Love, and that includes from those who Love would have been expected, so I find it difficult to advance the notion that we are to go willingly as sheep to the slaughter, even though that is what our Lord teaches. I’m sure he is not pleased with me for this reason.

    Honestly, I do try to do this thing, but because of a life of abuse in many ways, it is very difficult for me to do for someone after they have wronged me. I can however, forgive them, IF they ask it of me, and give them another chance to prove their selves to me, but it always ends in us going our separate ways.

    I trust what you say, but how am I to learn such Humility if I lack the ability to know what it feels like to be accepting of the abusive people around me, like a pet that has been hit a few too many times in the head with a heavy stick, I am to say the least a little gun shy. I keep wagging my tail, but find it difficult to “Come running, when I know what to expect when I get there.

    Maybe you can help me to understand this?

    And thank you for this opportunity for me to learn.

    • I don’t know that I can help you so much, but God can. Put your trust there, not in men.

      • i do trust God to teach me. But I seem to be between protocols in my life. Lets say, bad people come to my home to steal what I have. This being an Apocalypse type situation. Do I just let them have it for Love sake, or protect what I have for my families sake?

  2. “Barack Obama – and everything he stands for – is the enemy of revealed religion (other than Islam…”

    Well said and so true. I would venture to guess that the majority of those who consider themselves Catholic here in the US voted for him. That is a tragedy for Catholicism, with which I disagree but respect its true adherents.

    • I’m not going to venture anything on the “Catholic vote”. It’s entirely too complicated. But, I will say that there are more and more defecting as they realize what has happened to the democratic party.

      • I certainly hope you are correct about more people who call themselves Catholics actually taking the principles of the Catholic Church seriously – and understanding that these principles are not compatible with Progressivism.

  3. In Australia before the 1950s and in the United States to this day, the Catholic schools were voluntarily funded – this is not so in Northern Ireland, where they are funded by taxation. Oddly enough (considering the history of hostility between the British state and the Roman Catholic Church) the history of state support goes back a very long way – to 1795 when (at the urging of Edmund Burke) tax support was offered to train Roman Catholic priests in Ireland, it was an emergency measure due to the French Revolution destroying the seminaries that Irish priests traditionally went to for their training. The British state may have had a deep dislike of the Catholic Church but, by 1795 at least, it no longer wanted to actually destroy the Church – and was prepared to step in an emergency “lifeboat” situation (although it would have been better if the new seminary had been entirely voluntarily funded).

    An added complication in Northern Ireland is (of course) “Liberation Theology” (ironically the Protestant version of Liberation Theology dominates Barack Obama’s own religious thinking). Traditionally (indeed as late as the 1950s) the Roman Catholic Church had been opposed to the Marxist terrorists of the IRA (refusing to even bury them in consecrated ground) – the Catholic Church did not deny that Catholics faced discrimination in Protestant Ulster, but it held (to put the matter in blunt terms) “there is nothing wrong with Ulster that Marxism is going to fix”. However from the 1960s onwards Liberation Theology led elements within the Church to aid the IRA (actively aid it), so these elements of the Church in Ulster (as in Latin America) could indeed be seen as part of the problem – although I rather doubt that this is what Barack Obama has in mind.

    As for the state schools in Ulster – officially they have always been neutral (not Protestant). However, (as in the United States in the 19th century) the Catholic Church has always argued that official neutrality is (in practice) Protestantism. For example there have always been Bibles in Ulster state schools (as there were in American government schools till the 1950s) but, again like the United States, they were not Catholic Bibles.

    However, I very much doubt that a move to atheist state schools in Ulster (as in the United States with the Supreme Court judgements after World War II) would be welcomed by the Roman Catholic Church. – or by sincere Protestants either.

    Better Catholic schools and (de facto – if not official) Protestant schools – than atheist schools (such as the system that Barack Obama supports in the United States – although he did not go to such a state school, and he has not sent his own children to one of these dreadful places).

    An ironic point – the present Minister of Education in Ulster is an “ex” IRA man, if his “reform” of the state schools goes ahead (the end of the Grammar Schools and so on) Protestants may well look with envy at the Catholic Schools (as long as these remain under the control of the Church – not the state).

    By the way – in Holland (the land of “King Billy” whom Ulster Protestants celebrate every 12th of July) the state has long supported Catholic schools and so on (although much evil has come upon the Catholic Church in Holland since the 1960s – it has been internal evil) without any hatred between Dutch Protestants and Dutch Catholics – but then people in Ireland do not really understand Holland.

    For example, the elite “Blue Guard” of Protestant King William was largely CATHOLIC – and his struggle against the tyranny of Louis XIV (the “Sun King”) was supported BY THE POPE.

    But do not tell any Irishman (Catholic or Protestant) these things (unless you want a fight) – the truth of history is far too complex to fit into tribal war chants.

    And tribal hatreds (not theology) is what Irish history is really about.

  4. Full disclosure – my grandfather on my mother’s side was a Catholic Irishman (although loyal to the British Crown – which he proved in both the First and the Second World Wars) and my grandmother on my father’s side was a Dutch Jewess (a blond one – to confuse things even more).

    As for my own theological position – I am an Church of England Anglican (although more “High” than “Low”, to put it in crude terms I like the “smells and bells”).

  5. Maybe Obama’s ‘divisive’ refers to the areas where Catholic (and Protestant) doctrine diverges from what he wants?

    I think Napoleon said: “The people must have a religion, and that religion must be in the hands of the state.” or close to that…

  6. In France to this day churches are actually owned (and funded) by the State – thus “religious freedom” is a lie in France.

    The left no longer openly say they wish to destroy Civil Society (such as independent churches voluntarily financed) they REDEFINE (without saying they are redefining) the words “Civil Society” – so that “civil society groups” become GOVERNMENT FUNDED entities.

    “But the left are the strongest in opposing tax money going to churches….” – that is only while churches are not leftist, when (and if) they succeed in taking them over, this position will change.

    Also beware large donations from foundations and rich individuals (and so on). They can come with strings attacked (such as not being controversial on “sexual issues”), in the end a Church should depend on the contributions of the congregation.

    • In France, that was done, in the beginning, during the revolution, to protect the churches. Now, it’s a different story.

      St. Peters was actually built with what we in fundraising call “major gifts”. It’s the basis of modern fundraising. Really, I’m not so worried about that. At least not in my own archdiocese.

      I am worried about the rampant ignorance, even among the trads, of a lot of history and the hang ups on some practices that really don’t matter. Like the Papal Apartments. Those were built while the Church was outlawed in Italy and the pope at the time was a prisoner in the Vatican. Traditionally, the pope lived at St. John Lateran, which is technically his See.

  7. People who complain about “luxury” in the Roman Catholic Church tend do indeed tend to be rather ignorant – and to a warped sense of priorities.

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