Jul 24, 2008

A hero of the Faith who defended Humanae Vitae: Patrick Cardinal O'Boyle

The above detail of a mural in St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington, D.C., depicts Patrick Cardinal O'Boyle (1896-1987), the first resident archbishop of D.C.; and yes, that is his ceremonial red hat, or galero, hanging in the foreground.

For July 25, the 40th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's tremendous and truth-filled pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-women, pro-baby, pro-family encyclical letter Humanae Vitae (On Human Life), let's remember, and salute, Cardinal O'Boyle for defending the Church's teaching against contraception.

You can click on this post's title to see what George Weigel wrote in his book, The Courage to be Catholic: Crisis, Reform, and the Future of the Church, about what happened after Cardinal O'Boyle disciplined some of his priests for rejecting the encyclical.

Some of those priests appealed to Rome; and in April 1971, the Congregation for the Clergy, headed by Cardinal John Wright, ruled, urging Cardinal O'Boyle to lift his sanctions and not requiring the priests to repudiate their disobedience or declare their assent to the encyclical.

Weigel speculates that Pope Paul VI let this happen because he was afraid of provoking a formal schism in the Church. Weigel also says that the ruling from Rome created the "culture of dissent" in the U.S. Church by showing dissenters they could get away with disobedience.

Weigel says the ruling from Rome also showed U.S. bishops that Rome would not back sanctions against dissent if a public outcry would ensue. He also says the ruling showed U.S. bishops that it was possible for them to encourage dissent if they wished to.

Cardinal O'Boyle had taken much abuse for being faithful to the Pope and the Magisterium, but he obeyed the ruling from Rome that undercut him. He lifted the sanctions against the priests.

Cardinal O'Boyle was a hero of the Faith. CARDINAL O'BOYLE WAS RIGHT!

Not so the many priests and bishops in the last four decades who have dissented outright or have played footsie with dissent. They have presided over the destruction of the faith of millions of Catholics in two generations (or three, depending on how you count).

These clerics have also presided over the physical depletion of the Church. By telling Catholics they can decide to contracept despite what the Popes say, they have caused the Church the loss of millions of members contracepted and aborted out of existence -- the pill and other contraceptives sometimes do cause abortions, you know.

Think of how all those now-missing Catholics would have strengthened the Church!

But the clerical dissenters like this disaster. What else can explain why they tell us, over and over, "Oh, the pews are empty in our beautiful old traditionally designed Catholic churches, the collections are down, so we're closing your church and bulldozing it, too bad for you."

One liberal actually said, years ago now, that it was good that so many Catholics have left the Church. He said, "Now, we have a thinking Church left."

I repeat: Patrick Cardinal O'Boyle, God rest him, was a HERO OF THE FAITH for defending Humanae Vitae and its Catholic truth. CARDINAL O'BOYLE WAS RIGHT!


Blogger Viator Catholicus said...

And like your great Cardinal McIntyre, Cardinal O'Boyle also began as a priest of the Archdiocese of New York.

7:46 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Viator Catholicus,

Thanks for pointing that out about Cardinals O'Boyle and McIntyre!

You have a good sense of history. You also have a fine e-mail handle!

11:34 PM  
Blogger Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Yes, I totally agree. We as practicing Catholics, get chastized by our leaders for being Faithful to Rome and the Church's teachings on contraception, abortion, etc.

It is my opinion that this began the "American Catholic Church" as my Nigerian priest calls the American Church for its disobedience.

We definately need to thank those that have stayed in line with Rome, as well as pray for the softening of hearts of those that dissent to be open to the Truth of the Church

2:56 PM  
Blogger Gibbons J. Cooney said...

Thanks for the history lesson, Q.

I'd never heard this before.

Gibbons in SF

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Melissa Duffy said...

Just reading about cardinal o boyle who is a great uncle of mine and can not believe how great a man he was and it is strange to think that all these years of taving his picture hanging on the wall and his letters which he sent back here to ireland mean so much

2:35 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Joe of St. Therese,

Thank you for your as usual good, common-sense comments!

1:12 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Gibbons,

You're welcome! Yes, Cardinal O'Boyle was a hero of the Faith and we should keep his memory bright!

1:14 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Melissa Duffy,

Thank you for writing! I'm happy to make your acquaintance, even if it's only by e-mail. I know you'll hang on to those letters from your wonderful great-uncle, Cardinal O'Boyle -- they're important to history, of course.


1:18 AM  

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