O’Brien in Baltimore: A dark day for the US Church

posted by Bob Waldrop on July 13th, 2007

A Dark Day for the Church in the United States

by Robert Waldrop, Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House

Comes now the news that the Archbishop for Military Services, the Most Reverend Edwin O’Brien, has been appointed as the new Archbishop of Baltimore.

Is this a message from Rome to the Catholic peace movement: “Go to hell”?

O’Brien has been an key supporter of the unjust war on the people of Iraq from the beginning. He criticized Bishop Botean for his courageous statement that participation in the war on the people of Iraq was the moral equivalent of willing participation in an abortion.

As the Archbishop for Military Services, O’Brien preached a gospel of moral laxism and relativism, claiming that we should “trust” our leaders instead of judging the war by the criteria of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He gave tacit ecclesiastical permission for Catholic members of the armed forces to participate in a manifestly unjust war. To this day, he continues to call for a “responsible transition” and thus turns his back on the suffering people of Iraq, condemning them to more death, more suffering, more murder.

In his Memorial Day message this year (2007), Archbishop O’Brien says that “at no time has the Holy See or the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops cast doubt on the motives of our national leadership in the Executive or Congressional branches.” This is undoubtedly true, but should we trust the opinions of our bishops on issues of such consequence, given the extent that they themselves have embraced the culture of death? Ask the victims of the clergy sexual abuse crisis about the “judgement” of the U.S. Catholic bishops. Plenty of other people have rightfully questioned the motives of President Bush and the members of Congress who voted for this unjust war. But those pro-life opinions don’t count to the Archbishop of Baltimore.

In any event, hundreds of thousands of people are dead. Their blood is upon Archbishop O’Brien and upon all the other bishops who preached a false gospel of moral laxism and relativism and thus gave tacit permission to wage this unjust war. We should remember that unjust war is always and in every circumstance an objective evil.

The Catholic members of the Armed Forces of the United States of America, who are brave and generous in offering their lives in service to their country, deserved better than to be sold down the river with honeyed words of religious deceit from their own archbishop.

Now he has been seated upon the cathedra of the “mother church” of this country.

What a dark and dismal day this is for the Church in the United States.

“The road to hell is paved with the bones of priests and lined with the skulls of bishops.” St. John Chrysostom, 4th Century AD

“Meanwhile I saw wicked men approach and enter; and as they left the sacred place, they were praised in the city for what they had done. This also is vanity. Because the sentence against evildoers is not promptly executed, therefore the hearts of men are filled with the desire to commit evil – because the sinner does evil a hundred times and survives. Though indeed I know that it shall be well with those who fear God, for their reverence toward him; and that it shall not be well with the wicked man, and he shall not prolong his shadowy days, for his lack of reverence toward God. This is a vanity which occurs on earth: there are just men treated as though they had done evil and wicked men treated as though they had done justly. This, too, I say is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 8:10-14.

Robert Waldrop

Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House in Oklahoma City


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