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Re-published on March 17, 2005

To Truly Honor Saint Patrick, Bishop and Confessor

by Thomas A. Droleskey

A furor arose two years ago before the events associated with the annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in the Borough of Manhattan in the City of New York. After years of fulmination on the part of those who engage in unrepentant acts of unnatural vice to be “included” in the parade, a group named the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick found itself embroiled in a controversy over invitations they had extended to several pro-abortion politicians, including New York State Attorney General Elliot Spitzer, to attend its annual dinner on the evening of March 17, 2003.

As I have noted in several pieces in the last few years, Elliot Spitzer is a militantly pro- abortion politician who has tried to use the example of one of his predecessors, former State Attorney General Robert Abrams, to persecute Crisis Pregnancy Centers. Crisis Pregnancy Centers have saved countless thousands of babies from execution at the hands of the paid assassins known as abortionists, to say nothing of saving the souls of the mothers who did not succumb to the pressures imposed upon them to kill their babies. Those who work in Crisis Pregnancy Centers volunteer their time out of love for Our Lord, seeing in each person the image of the Divine Redeemer, Who was conceived as a helpless embryo by the power of the Holy Ghost in His Blessed Mother’s Virginal and Immaculate Womb. Those who work in the Crisis Pregnancy Centers are exercising both the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

To a man such as Elliot Spitzer, however, Crisis Pregnancy Centers represent a threat to a woman’s “reproductive freedom.” Spitzer claimed, as had Robert Abrams before him in the 1980s, that Crisis Pregnancy Centers engage in “deception” and that they “frighten” women to bring their children to birth by providing them “unnecessary” facts. The “unnecessary” facts that Spitzer and other pro-aborts do not want expectant mothers to have are these: that an abortion kills a living human being, and that there are physical risks for a woman involved in the surgical procedure to kill her child. Elliot Spitzer would be among the first public officials to decry a medical facility that did not provide its patients with a complete listing of the risks associated with any proposed surgery.

However, to provide women with a listing of such risks in a Crisis Pregnancy Center is to “frighten” them, according to the perverted logic employed by Spitzer and his ilk. Spitzer backed down from his crusade against Crisis Pregnancy Centers in early 2002. He did, though, score points with the pro-aborts throughout the country. As prominent as he might be in state politics, it was obscene to give respect to Elliot Spitzer in any Catholic forum, especially one honoring a saint.

“Isn’t that exclusionary?” some might say. Not at all. It is what simple justice requires.

Elliot Spitzer, though not a Catholic, supports a grave evil: the willful execution of innocent human beings in their mothers’ wombs. The willful killing of any innocent human being is one of the four sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance (the other three are sodomy, defrauding a widow, withholding the day laborer’s wages). Although each of us is a sinner in constant need of the Divine Mercy extended to us in the confessional, we are called to abhor sin and to root it out in our own lives by cooperating with the graces won for us by Our Lord by the shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross, which is why Holy Mother Church gives us the great season of Lenten penance. It is one thing to sin, however, and to seek out absolution in the confessional at the hands of an alter Christus. It is quite another to persist in sin unrepentantly, worse yet to seek to glorify it publicly and to seek to promote it in every aspect of social life. Sin is no joking matter. There can be no order in a civil society if its citizens persist in lives of unrepentant sin and base state policies upon that which is objectively evil. Those who promote abject evils, therefore, are unfit to hold any office, including that of a trustee of a mosquito abatement district, or to receive any honor whatsoever.

Sin is what caused the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity made Man, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to suffer unspeakably during His fearful Passion and Death on the Holy Cross. How can we say that we love Our Lord while we persist in our own lives and promote in our national culture that which caused Him to suffer horribly in His Sacred Humanity and which wounds His Mystical Body, the Church today? Moreover, can we say we love Our Lady, whose Immaculate Heart was pierced by a sword of sorrow as she watched what our sins did to her Divine Son as she stood by the foot of the Cross, while we are indifferent to or exultant in our own sins and those of others?

It was precisely to root sin and pagan, superstitious practices out of the life of the Emerald Isle, Ireland, that Saint Patrick devoted his apostolic work. Saint Patrick sought with all of the strength that God gave him to promote sanctity as the basis of personal happiness and hence of all social order. It is absurd to say that one honors Saint Patrick by “including” in events held on his great liturgical feast day those people who exult in their own sinful behavior or who promote objectively evil acts as the foundation of civil law and popular culture. Saint Patrick was not indifferent to sin. He exhorted sinners to convert. He exhorted the people of Erin to abandon anything and everything that was inimical to the standard of the Holy Cross. The honor extended to Saint Patrick should center on the fact of his converting the people of Ireland to Catholicism, not an exaltation of aspects of pre-Christian Irish culture that Saint Patrick specifically sought to eradicate.

Consider, for example, this prayer addressed to Saint Patrick found in The Liturgical Year, written by Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., in the 19th Century. It was this great fifteen-volume work that was read by Louis Martin in Lisieux, France, to his daughters, including his little flower, Saint Therese.

“Thy life, great saint, was spent in the arduous toils of an apostle; but how rich was the harvest thou didst reap! Every fatigue seemed to thee light, if only thou couldst give to men the precious gift of faith; and the people to whom thou didst leave it have kept it with a constancy which is one of thy greatest glories. Pray for us, that this faith, without which it is impossible to please God, may take possession of our hearts and minds. It is by faith that the just man liveth, says the prophet, and it is faith that, during this holy season of Lent, is showing us the justice and mercy of God, in order that we may be converted, and offer to our offended Lord the tribute of our penance. We are afraid of what the Church imposes on us, simply because our faith is weak. If our principles were those of the faith, we should soon be mortified men. Thy life, though so innocent and so rich in good works, was one of extraordinary penance; gain for us thy spirit, and help for Erin, that dear country of thine, which loves and honours thee so fervently. She is threatened with danger even now, and many of her children have left the faith that thou didst teach. An odious system of proselytism has disturbed thy flock; protect it, and suffer not the children of martyrs to be apostates. Let thy fatherly care follow them that have been driven by suffering to emigrate from their native land: may they keep true to the faith, be witnesses of the true religion in the countries to which they have fled, and ever show themselves to be obedient children of the Church. May their misfortunes thus serve to advance the kingdom of God. Holy pontiff! intercede for England; pardon her the injustice she has shown to thy children; and, by thy powerful prayers, hasten the happy day of her return to Catholic unity. Pray, too, for the whole Church; thy prayer, being that of an apostle, easily finds access to Him that sent thee.”

No one can claim to honor Saint Patrick while ignoring his toils in behalf of the cause of personal sanctity. The feast of Saint Patrick on March 17 is not about the exaltation of Irish ethnicity divorced from absolute, unswerving fealty to the truths of the true Faith. The feast of Saint Patrick is supposed to remind us that each of us, no matter our ethnic roots, are called to labor hard to do battle against the forces of the world, the flesh, and the Devil in our own lives so as to build up the Kingdom of Christ in our own souls and hence the world. It is supposed to remind us that one man can, in cooperation with the graces of Our Lord and Our Lady, convert an entire nation to the true Faith.

Elliot Spitzer is an enemy of the Cross of Christ. He is an enemy of innocent human beings in their mothers’ wombs. So, too, are Rudolph Giuliani and George Pataki. They bear special guilt for their complicity in the American Holocaust, which has taken over 45 million lives, as they are baptized and confirmed Catholics. The fact that Edward Cardinal Egan, the Archbishop of New York, has extended special praise upon even Elliot Spitzer (September 11, 2002, St. Patrick’s Cathedral), no less the rabid pro-aborts and sodomite friendly “Catholics,” Giuliani and Pataki, is truly scandalous and just downright reprehensible.

No organization claiming to represent the interests of Irish-Americans would stand by if someone friendly to Ian Paisley was invited to march in the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade or to be a guest of honor at a dinner by another such organization. Why is it, therefore, that people who are enemies of Christ and His Holy Church–and/or who are engaged in lives of unrepentant, unnatural perversity in violation of the Sixth and Ninth Commandment--are considered to be worthy of “inclusion” and that efforts to exclude them are considered to be founded in bigotry and intolerance.

The ethnically Irish Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen put it well in his “A Plea for Intolerance” in 1931, found on the sidebar of the home page of this website. Yes, we need to be intolerant about sin in our own lives and in the life of society. As noted before, each of us is a sinner. However, as Saint Patrick taught, we must do penance for our sins and seek to commit them no more. We do not honor him or the One whose apostle to Ireland he was by showing ourselves to be “enlightened” in the eyes of modern barbarians by our indifference to the very thing that caused the God-Man to die on the wood of the Cross. And we certainly do not honor Saint Patrick by basing our very identity as human beings on our slavish attachment to our sins, natural or unnatural. How repulsed Saint Patrick would be to see the people of the land he loved so much reverting to the pagan revelry and superstition he drove out of the Emerald Isle to produce the Land of Saints, Ireland.

Our Lady of Knock, pray for Ireland and for all people of Irish descent to be faithful apostles of Christ the King and of you, our loving Queen. Pray that Ireland will once again become the Land of Saints and that all Americans of Irish ethnicity will see Saint Patrick as their special model to climb to the heights of personal sanctity as devoted sons and daughters of the true Church, especially as they seek to Catholicize the United States as Saint Patrick Catholicized Ireland.

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