An Apostolic Nuncio functions as an ambassador representing the Pope in countries that have diplomatic relations with the Holy See. In certain countries the Apostolic Nuncio is de facto the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps. For instance, Archbishop Charles Brown of our own archdiocese, who is a friend of our parish, has that role in Ireland. A Nuncio must be circumspect in speech without compromising the Church’s integrity. When a Nuncio speaks publicly, it is safe to say that we are hearing the sentiments of the Holy Father himself.

The Vatican has been engaged in foreign diplomacy longer than any other institution in the world, and it knows from long experience how to press points with subtlety, so when a Nuncio uses strong words, the situation he is addressing must be of serious moment.

Never has a representative of the Holy See spoken about the state of the Church in the United States with such clarity and urgency as did Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, our new Nuncio, in an address on November 4 at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. The whole text would be a proper subject for meditation in our difficult times. His topic was Religious Liberty, and he explained that this involves more than “freedom of worship,” which is a private exercise of faith. “Freedom of religion” – guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution – is the more encompassing free exercise of religious beliefs in public life. This freedom is threatened now in our nation and, the Archbishop said, “This is a tragedy not only for the believer, but also for democratic society.” Religious freedom is “a natural right which is not conferred by the state, because it subsists in the human person’s nature.” Thus, religious freedom is to be protected by the government, and it is not something that the government has a right to limit or grant as though its source were the state and not God.

Archbishop Viganò said that there are those who would persecute the Church, and “martyrdom may not necessitate torture and death; however, the objective of those who desire to harm the faith may choose the path of ridiculing the believers so that they become outcasts from mainstream society and are marginalized from meaningful participation in public life.” Consequently, “From the public viewpoint, the believer remains, but the faith eventually disappears.” This is the intention of “important figures, some of whom hold high public office.” As one practical example, the Nuncio said, “If George Orwell were still alive today, he would certainly have material to write a sequel to his famous novel 1984, in which the totalitarian state, amongst other things, found effective means for distancing children from their parents and monopolizing the control of educational processes especially on moral issues.”

In the words of Pope John Paul II: “A democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism.” 


– Father George W. Rutler, 25 November 12

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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  1. I couldn’t agree with Anna more, perhaps as Pope Benedict Stated, It is better to have a smaller Holier Church, Too Many Political Catholics, The Constitution Of The United States is not a Holy Document Our Church Leaders need not cow tow to Political Leaders, especially those who are in direct opposition to Christ Church. .

  2. annedanielson says:

    Strike The Shepherd, scatter the sheep. Without a final authority to protect The Deposit of Faith, there can be no cohesiveness of belief. Without a cohesiveness of belief, we cannot challenge the issues of the day in light of our Catholic Faith.

    Those who have created “the big tent” church, allowing those who have left Christ’s Church spiritually, to remain within His Church physically, creating chaos and confusion, while leading many astray, are responsible for The Great Falling Away. Let no one deceive you. To suggest that a baptized Catholic can remain a disciple of Christ, while denying The Word of God Is The Word of God, is a lie from the start.

    I am not surprised that it was at Our Lady’s University, that the veil was lifted, and “the big tent” was exposed. Although it is true that we are sinners, we, who are Catholic, do not deny that sin is sin. Cardinal Dolan, if you desire Salvation for those prodigal sons and daughters who have left Christ’s Church and have become lost sheep residing in a big tent, it is Time for you and all our bishops to tell them, you cannot be Catholic, if you do not abide in The Word of God. The Charitable Anathema exists for the sake of Christ, His Church, all who will come to believe, and those prodigal sons and daughters who, hopefully, will return to The Fold.

    Let us bring back The Altar Rails.The Sacrifice of The Cross, Is The Sacrifice of The Most Holy and undivided Blessed Trinity.

  3. It has been happening for sometime now in the USA, I have students from Poland and Other countries who feel that America is more communist then Europe or many Eastern Countries. Father Rutler is correct, as usual,in his assertion that Catholics will be marginalized, A person I know from Albania pretended she was Muslim, because The Teacher she had in NYU was Anti Catholic but much nicer to Muslims and other denominations, A friend of My Mothers, returned to Romania since she feels America is a communist country, someone else was told in a prominent music school to take off their cross, these are mostly young people from other countries, that are afraid to admit their Catholic. The obvious prejudice,(or perhaps hatred is more accurate) against the Catholic Church is deeply felt by all. but this is far from recent it has escalated. and will eventually reach its zenith if people do not wise up.. We need to defend The Holy Mother Church Bride of Christ The True Religion and stop the nonsense of all Religions are the same, If I recall Cardinal Newman wrote about Shadows of The Anti Christ one was Mohammed the False Prophet.. The fact that we call this a great Religion disturbs many of My Catholic Friends, The Jews need to be told the Messiah came and they may face final Damnation if they do not accept him. Christ will convert those who are interested in the Truth. But we must preach the truth Catholicism is a great Religion it was established by Christ Himself when he dwelled on Earth it is a divine institution not a man made demonic joke like many other fake religions that ape it. We need not mistreat individuals but we must profess That Christ is The Son Of God He founded his Church on PETER, The “Rock” Yes and Other Religions are False.. In Israel they have a Picture of The Great Pope Pius XII in their Holocaust Museum this in plain wrong and a blatant Lie from the Prince of Liars. We need to defend the Faith and stop the wishy washy Catholicism. Christ established One Church That is The Catholic Church. Catholics need to pray harder we are the reason the Church is being defaced.or Christ will Vomit us from the mouth. We must respect The Holy Father Benedict XVI who is a great Pope. God has sent us a truly great Pope we need to pray for him everyday he is a gift to the Church a wonderful humble genius very devout he will go down in History as one of Our Greatest Popes. In short we need to Love The Church and The Holy Father and Profess our Faith which is Christ..

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