The HLA is overwhelmingly the most important concern now faced by the Vatican. Nothing threatens the survival of the Papacy more than the continuing challenges to papal authority which are certain to come from our American democracy so long as our Constitution does not contain this amendment.
For this reason, American democracy is the greatest single threat faced by the Papacy. As long as our democracy continues to pass laws like legalizing abortion or supporting family planning, papal authority will be gravely at risk. Governments of other countries witness the U.S. successfully challenging the Papacy as our democracy determines what is moral behavior. These governments may then choose to follow the lead of the U.S. in rejecting papal authority and the pope's "morality." But with the passage of the HLA, abortion and most modern methods of contraception will cease to be legal. Papal authority will then be protected. U.S. Government civil authority in these matters will cease to take precedence over papal authority.
These other achievements of the bishops and their Plan are quite remarkable and have had devastating effects on individual, family, national and global security. However, if the HLA is not added to our Constitution, all of these successes will be in jeopardy. The bishops understand this stark reality as they witness the gradual implosion of papal authority around the world. Papal authority is under siege and a siege which will continue until passage of the HLA.
This escalation comes as no great surprise in 1996. The Papacy is in a desperate situation which is widely recognized by the Church leadership, both clerical and lay. The Vatican also recognizes that its behavior is highly risky -- and they apparently accept this risk for all American Catholics.
The Catholic Campaign for America (CCA), according to the National Catholic Register, was initiated to "bring a politically powerful and distinctively Catholic voice to the U.S. political scene." The group will work to "increase Catholic influence on public policy issues."76 According to a CCA document, the mission of CCA is to activate Catholics to increase Catholic influence in formulating public policy.77
The leadership of the Catholic Campaign includes many of the leading "conservative" Catholic activists. Syndicated columnist and failed Presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan is typical of the leadership group. In an August 28, 1992 Our Sunday Visitor interview, Buchanan was asked, "What kind of Catholic are you?" Buchanan responded, "A believing Catholic, a practicing Catholic and a papist [italics mine]. I think John Paul II is a singular leader of our time. He's immensely attractive and charismatic, but more than that, he speaks out with a sense of authority and moral courage. I think he's a genuinely great man, really a gift of God to the Church. And in virtually all the quarrels in which he's engaged I'm on his side."78 In 1996, Newsweek reported: "In 1977 Buchanan, who says that his childhood heroes were Joseph McCarthy and Generalissimo Francisco Franco, wrote that `though Hitler was indeed racist and anti-Semitic to the core...he was also an individual of great courage, a soldier's soldier in the Great War, a political organizer of the first rank...'"78a Few Catholic Americans hold these three Roman Catholics in such high esteem. The May 1996 issue of the Conservative Catholic Family News, describes Buchanan and the source of his agenda: "As a faithful son of Holy Mother Church, Pat Buchanan has drawn extensively from these immortal papal encyclicals [the social encyclicals of the past 100 years]. They form the very bedrock for his political agenda."78b
Buchanan leaves absolutely no doubt in the reader's mind to whom he owes his allegiance. It is clearly not to his country. The security-survival interests of the Papacy are undeniably pitted against the security-survival interests of the United States. Buchanan need say no more. Given the mission of the Catholic Campaign and statements of its leaders offered below, all members must necessarily be equally devoted to the Papacy.
The Catholic Campaign leadership also includes the following individuals: New York Cardinal John J. O'Connor (CCA's "National Ecclesiastical Advisor"); Mary Ellen Bork, a former nun and wife of failed Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork; former Vatican ambassadors William A. Wilson and Frank Shakespeare; former Reagan National Security Advisor Richard V. Allen; former governor of New York Hugh Carey; Congressman Robert K. Dornan; Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum; Russel Shaw of the Knights of Columbus; Domino's Pizza magnate Thomas Monaghan; Bishop Rene Gracida of Corpus Christi; Wall Street executive Frank Lynch; Philadelphia business executive Rocco L. Martino; former Pat Robertson presidential campaign coordinator Marlene Elwell; Pat Robertson's American Center for Law and Justice head Keith Fournier; secretive Opus Dei staff members Joseph J. Astarita and Patrick M. Hanretty; Steven Schmieder of the Society for Tradition, Family and Property; director of the Institute of Religion and Public Life Richard J. Neuhaus, and Legatus's Tom Wykes.79
The words of these leaders leave little to the imagination regarding the intentions of the organization. Executive Director Wykes recently told the National Catholic Reporter, "It's not a Catholic campaign to take over America. It's a Catholic campaign for America. We believe that Catholic values are a generative base for the values that all Americans share."80 In their spring 1994 issue of UPDATE Wykes makes clear one of their goals: "Imagine thousands of Catholic political leaders, business leaders, and sports and entertainment personalities bolstered by an emerging Catholic constituency who are no longer afraid to integrate their faith into public life. Leaders who see their faith as the foundational element of everything they do."
In their 1992 issue of Update, Martino demanded the enactment of tax subsidies for Catholic schools and wrote, "Separation of church and state is a false premise that must finally be cast aside and replaced by the true meaning of our Constitution." 81
In a "challenge to Catholic Americans" published by the Campaign in the fall of 1992, board member Hugh Carey said, "We must move from the beginning to the end from a defensive to an activist position; are we not after all seeking to be members of the church militant?...We are a giant religious country. We have the power. We have the people. Let's organize and win this fight for the benefit of all Americans."82 Carey is saying let's accomplish our goals regardless of the wishes of democratic America. Let's benefit Americans with the leadership of the pope, whether or not Americans want this "benefit."
The Catholic Campaign quietly goes about its work. Despite its remarkable activities, it has not been mentioned in the national secular press, no doubt benefiting from the silence achieved by the bishops on activities like these, a result of the mobilization of Catholic journalists.
There are other groups which have been mobilized to take part in the Vatican's intensification of the effort to achieve passage of the HLA. An event billed as "the Catholic event of the year" by the Catholic press, was a conference held in October 1993 in New Jersey. The keynote speaker at this Christi Fideles sponsored conference was Patrick Buchanan. According to an advance advertisement in The Wanderer, the conference was designed to "rally the Catholic troops in opposition to the hellish agenda of the `Clintonistas'. [It] will give you a battle plan for the recapture of America -- by Catholics as Catholics. Each speaker will focus on a different aspect of the only possible solution to the crisis now confronting our nation: Catholic action -- social, political and moral [italics mine]." The ad further states, "America was discovered by a Catholic, who claimed her for Christ the king. If America is to be rediscovered and reclaimed for our king...it is Catholics who must act and act now."83
A group of traditionalist Catholic university professors recently formed The Society of Catholic Social Scientists. New York's Cardinal O'Connor is a member. The group will be advised by a board of bishops. According to the National Catholic Register, the society was formed to "analyze political, social and economic issues, focusing Church social teaching and the natural law on the challenges of modern culture." Notre Dame law professor Charles Rice, addressing the first meeting in March 1993, made the position of the new society clear: "The solution to problems of contemporary society, such as abortion, has to be found in an explicit reliance on the teachings of the Catholic Church."84 The Society has formed a "rapid response" team to provide comment to the news media on breaking issues of the day, to further advance the influence of the Vatican on American journalism.
Patrick Buchanan's organization, American Cause, held its first conference in May of 1993. Its theme, Winning the Culture War, was first described by Buchanan in his speech to the 1992 Republican convention. He is in conflict with all Americans who do not share his traditionalist Catholic beliefs.85
It appears that the Vatican recognized by the time of the 1992 Republican convention that their efforts must be intensified if the HLA is to be added to our Constitution. Only Rome could direct the creation of so many Catholic organizations in the span of a few months, each with a similar mission. Nothing has appeared in the secular press regarding the creation of this array of organizations. They diligently go about their work.
The Republican Party retained the HLA in its 1996 platform, in significant part due to the efforts of presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan and his followers, including the Christian Coalition. In a February 1996 fundraising letter, Buchanan's primary motivation is made evident: "I want to talk to you today simply and directly, from my heart, about what I believe is the most important issue facing America today. That issue is the sacredness of human life, and the moral imperative facing us to fight to protect it from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death. A principal reason I'm running for president is to turn back the pro-abortion forces and keep the Republican Party firmly in the pro-life camp. And then I want to use the Presidency as a vital and powerful force to change what Pope John Paul II has so correctly called "the culture of death" that has arisen in America since 1973.
"On November 8, 1994, we made a tremendous start -- electing 5 new pro-life Senators and 44 new pro-life Representatives. Now for the first time in 40 years, both houses of Congress are controlled by the Republican Party -- a party solemnly sworn, in its platform, to a 100 percent pro-life position. If we elect a pro-life President in 1996, we can finally move forward to ending abortion in the United States."86a The stage will be set to achieve the Vatican's goal of a HLA in the U.S. Constitution. Buchanan suggests that the Republican Party has become the papal party.
Recall Bishop James McHugh's 1987 comment to Byrnes: "within twenty-four hours" of the court's action on Roe v. Wade in 1973, the bishops knew they would need to mount a political campaign in favor of a constitutional amendment prohibiting abortion. The Vatican has already seized control of the Republican Party. More on this later.
Perhaps the most convincing link between Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition and the activists who are implementing the Pastoral Plan is Robertson's link with Paul Weyrich. Weyrich recruited Jerry Falwell to become the nominal leader of the Moral Majority.91 The Pastoral Plan calls for such an arrangement in the section on "Ecumenical Activity." Weyrich also claims to have suggested the Moral Majority name. He further claims that Falwell did not even know how to spell abortion when he recruited him.92 When Falwell dropped out of politics in the late `80s, Weyrich sought out another Protestant to take his place in order to continue the ecumenical activity called for in the Pastoral Plan: Pat Robertson.
Weyrich is deeply involved in the Christian Coalition and planned to serve as a faculty member at 70 Christian Coalition "leadership schools" in 1994.93 Weyrich's Free Congress Foundation is one of the most strident Catholic organizations in the U.S. Weyrich also supports a Center for Catholic Policy and he formed the Siena Group, a coalition of 40 Roman Catholic public policy organizations in 1988. That's right -- 40.
Catholic leadership of Robertson's so-called Protestant network is clearly established. In an April 1993 article in Church & State magazine, Joseph L. Conn reveals the close connections between Weyrich and other Catholic activists and Robertson. Marlene Elwell, co-founder of the Catholic Campaign, has long been a close ally of Robertson. In 1985, she went to work for Robertson's first political unit, the Freedom Council. In 1988, she was active in Robertson's presidential campaign. In 1989, she was hired by Domino Pizza magnate and Catholic activist Tom Monaghan to manage Legatus, a Catholic businessmen's group. (Membership is limited to Catholics who head corporations with at least $4 million in annual revenues.)94
Thomas Patrick Monaghan (no relation to the pizza magnate) is senior counsel of Robertson's American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). Monaghan, based in New Hope, Kentucky, is a staffer of Free Speech Advocates, a legal firm sponsored by Catholics United for Life. Free Speech Advocates is a lay division of the Dominicans. As noted earlier, Catholic activist Keith Fournier heads Robertson's American Center for Law and Justice and also serves on the Catholic Campaign's national committee.95
In the same article, Conn discusses another Weyrich enterprise: National Empowerment Television (NET), initiated in 1991 and now a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week "conservative news and entertainment television network" which is more accurately described as a Papal propaganda machine. Says Conn, "[NET] allows leaders of the conservative movement to talk directly with grassroots activists via satellite-hookup television and stir them to action. Allies across the country meet at a chosen site, and a nearby satellite dish beams Washington figures into the room for a `live' conversation." According to Weyrich, NET has already resulted in some political victories. Joining Weyrich on the NET board is fellow Catholic extremist William Bennett and Robertson honcho Ralph Reed.
According to Conn, "Roman Catholics are playing a crucial part in providing Robertson's forces with political respectability and expertise, legal assistance and high-tech communications support....Simply put, the emerging alliance between these Protestant and Roman Catholic conservatives links Pat Robertson's grassroots army -- estimated at 350,000 -- with the Catholic right's wealth, political expertise and high-tech capabilities."96 It also gives that very desirable Protestant look to the movement as sought by the bishops' Pastoral Plan.
Time magazine discussed plans for Coalition with Ralph Reed: "Though [Reed] says he dislikes the word control, dominance of the G.O.P. remains the movement's ultimate objective."
"He speaks about forming a cadre of at least 10 workers in each of the country's roughly 175,000 political precincts, raising his budget to between $50 million and $100 million and gaining access to 100,000 churches, compared with his current reach of 60,000 churches."96b
How large is the Christian Coalition? According to Time magazine it has a $25 million annual budget96b and claims 1.8 million members. But a recent investigation by the Americans United for Separation of Church and State found that the Coalition's "magazine had a paid circulation of 310,296 in September 1995, down from a reported 353,703 in September 1994. The magazine is mailed to all with a $15 per year membership. Americans United executive director Barry Lynn rejects the 1.8 million claim: "If you're not willing to support them with $15 or more a year, you're not much of a member or supporter."96c
It probably makes little difference. If it has 300,000 or 400,000 members, the number is sufficient to achieve its goals. The important question is what proportion of these 300,000+ members is Catholic? Later we will discuss a claim by Maureen Roselli that the Coalition has 250,000 Catholic members. Are they in the majority? Are they the most dedicated workers and, if so, what proportion of them are full-time paid staff in Catholic institutions? It is likely that much of the work of the Coalition, even in targeting Protestants, is accomplished by thousands of paid employees of the Catholic Church.
The evidence continues to mount that the Christian Coalition is fundamentally Catholic -- not Protestant. For example, Catholic Georgetown University political science professor Mary Bendyna told the Religious News Service that she was surprised to find, even before the creation of the Catholic Alliance, that all five staffers in the Christian Coalition's Washington, D.C. Office are Catholic.
According to the National Catholic Register newspaper, the October 1995 Christian Coalition "Road to Victory" conference "had a distinctly Catholic flavor. As in the past, former Pennsylvania Gov. Robert Casey and former Education Secretary William Bennett gave keynote addresses. Father Jerry Pokorsky, a leader in the fight against inclusive language in religious texts, and two other priests offered invocations at different times. Catholic presidential candidates Alan Keyes and Patrick Buchanan were crowd favorites."96d
Robertson has always had a close relationship with the Catholic Church. Prof. Charles Rice of Notre Dame University once recommended that the pope be given the power to approve all aspects of "natural law" that is binding on people and government. In October 1981, Robertson called for a new constitutional amendment to guarantee "religious liberty." The following year, his first political group, the Freedom Council, announced that it was working with Rice on the wording for the new amendment.96e
Church & State Managing Editor Joseph L. Conn recently observed: "John Paul's political views also find some overlap with Robertson's...John Paul urged his listeners to defend the right of churches to play a role in politics and resist those who would `establish secularism as America's official religion.' American political life, he insisted, must include `biblical wisdom.' ...Robertson...insists that government must enforce `God's law.'"96f
Had Prof. Bendyna known the true history of the creation of the Christian Coalition, she surely would not have been surprised at the composition of the Coalition's Washington office. The exercise of Coalition power is largely reserved for Catholics who are in the organization's hierarchy.
The time had come to openly identify with the Catholic Church. Indeed, it had become dangerous to continue to conduct business as a "Protestant" organization with all of these Catholics running around. The credibility of the organization was threatened if it continued to represent itself as "Protestant," but it will always be remembered as such. It remains a matter of vital importance to the bishops' goal of giving the right-to-life political movement a "Protestant" appearance.
On October 7, 1995, Pope John Paul II presided at a mass in New York's Central Park attended by an estimated 125,000 people. As a part of the service an ecumenical procession trooped to the papal altar. Pat Robertson had a place at the head of the line. After the mass -- and a more intimate meeting with the pope at Cardinal O'Connor's residence, Robertson announced: "Protestants and Catholics are drawing together against a tide of secularism that threatens to engulf our world, and we must join hands together to resist it. We may disagree on particulars, but on the essence of things, we agree." Four days later the Coalition's Catholic Alliance was launched, apparently with the blessing of the pope himself.96f
Writing for the Wanderer, Paul Likoudis offers an explanation of the origins of the Catholic Alliance: "Doing preparatory work for the new Catholic Alliance is an unpaid coalition volunteer, Catholic layman Gerry Giblin, a 1955 graduate of Holy Cross who spent 30 years in IBM's marketing department. After retiring from IBM last year, he told The Wanderer, he approached Ralph Reed...to ask if there was something he could do to help expand the coalition's Catholic base...'My two interests have always been the Church and politics,' Giblin continued. Giblin says he talked Reed into the idea of the Catholic Alliance and then helped him create it."96g According to Giblin, the alliance will concentrate on grassroots training and voter identification and membership.96f
The alliance is headed by Maureen Roselli, a former National Conference of Catholic Bishops National Right-to-Life Committee staffer and erstwhile campaign director for Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.),96f a Roman Catholic extremist.
A 1996 membership drive letter signed by Roselli reads: "My name is Maureen Roselli. I am a committed Catholic. And I am the Executive Director of the Catholic Alliance -- which is the largest affiliate of the Christian Coalition.... Of Christian Coalition's 1.7 million members, about 250,000 are Catholic -- making Catholics the largest Christian denomination represented on Christian Coalition's membership rolls....Our effort to distribute scorecards to 40,000,000 Catholics over the next 12 months is the centerpiece of our National Catholic Alliance Voter Mobilization Campaign....Your participation will help us: (1) send a powerful reminder to Congress and candidates for President that they cannot afford to ignore your concerns -- or the concerns of hundreds of thousands of Catholic voters who join with us; (2) identify those Catholic Americans who would like to join with us to help produce a record-breaking turnout of informed Christian and pro-family voters in the 1996 elections."
In her appeal for contributions, the strategy of the Catholic Alliance is laid bare:
This is a proven strategy to win elections. It was precisely how the Christian Coalition acted in 1994 when Republicans who share its agenda swept Congressional elections. This is compelling evidence that a dedicated minority can control elections. Despite efforts to make the Christian Coalition look Protestant, it was created by Catholics to promote Catholic interests and its creators certainly have not relinquished control.
The strategy of the imposition of minority (Catholic) law on the majority through "stamina, smarts and perseverance," while co-opting institutions, is a proven strategy. One cannot help but be impressed by the successes of the Religious Right because it remains a small minority. An October 8, 1995 New York Times/CBS poll found that only 13 percent of Catholics and 12 percent of non-Catholics said that they considered themselves a part of the New Right.96i The odds that they can succeed in passing their HLA to our Constitution still remain low. However, they are obliged to try if Papal authority is to continue into the 21st century. As this minority of Catholic activists becomes more strident and takes more risks, it will succeed in making more law that will advance papal security interests at the expense of our American security interests. They will no doubt further co-opt our institutions as they make their best effort.
The costs to all Americans of this desperate attempt to save the Papacy already have been great and they are certain to escalate. They are the subject of Chapter 16.