Tuesday, November 18, 2008


“Cultural earthquake”

Cardinal describes Obama as ‘aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic,’ predicts U.S. Catholics will weep ‘hot, angry tears of betrayal’ in years to come

Washington, D.C. (CNA) -- Cardinal James Francis Stafford, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Holy See, delivered a lecture on Thursday, Nov. 13, saying that the future under President-elect Barack Obama will echo Jesus’ agony in Gethsemane.

Criticizing Obama as “aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic,” Cardinal Stafford went on to speak about a decline in respect for human life and the need for Catholics to return to the values of marriage and human dignity.

Delivered at the Catholic University of America, the cardinal’s lecture was titled “Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II: Being True in Body and Soul,” the university’s student newspaper The Tower reported. Hosted by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, Cardinal Stafford’s remarks focused on Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae, whose fortieth anniversary is marked this year.

Commenting on the results of the recent presidential election, Cardinal Stafford said that on Nov. 4, “America suffered a cultural earthquake.” The cardinal argued that President-elect Obama had campaigned on an “extremist anti-life platform” and predicted that the near future would be a time of trial.

“If 1968 was the year of America’s ‘suicide attempt,’ 2008 is the year of America’s exhaustion,” he said, contrasting the year of Humane Vitae’s promulgation with this election year. “For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden,” Cardinal Stafford told his audience. Catholics who weep the “hot, angry tears of betrayal” should try to identify with Jesus, who during his agony in the garden was “sick because of love.”

The cardinal attributed America’s decline to U.S. Supreme Court decisions such as the 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, which imposed permissive abortion laws nationwide. “Its scrupulous meanness has had catastrophic effects upon the unity and integrity of the American republic,” said Cardinal Stafford, according to The Tower.