In yet another manifestation of the unhappiness with the Obama election within the Catholic hierarchy, a high-ranking American cardinal at the Vatican last week called the president-elect "aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic." The comments were made in a speech at the Catholic University of America by Cardinal James F. Stafford (right), the former archbishop of Denver and now Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary in Vatican City. An excerpt from the story in the Tower, which is the student newspaper at Catholic University:
His Eminence James Francis Cardinal Stafford criticized President-elect Barack Obama as 'aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic,' and said he campaigned on an 'extremist anti-life platform,' Thursday night in Keane Auditorium during his lecture 'Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II: Being True in Body and Soul.' 'Because man is a sacred element of secular life,' Stafford remarked, 'man should not be held to a supreme power of state, and a person’s life cannot ultimately be controlled by government'...'For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden,' Stafford said, comparing America’s future with Obama as president to Jesus’ agony in the garden. 'On November 4, 2008, America suffered a cultural earthquake.' Cardinal Stafford said Catholics must deal with the 'hot, angry tears of betrayal' by beginning a new sentiment where one is 'with Jesus, sick because of love'.''
The remarks are occasioning some chatter in St. Blog's Parish. Over at Pontifications, David Gibson says, "I bet that wasn't the tenor of Obama's chat with the Pope the other day. Then again, lieutenants are there to do the dirty work so the white cassock stays clean.'' At Whispers in the Loggia, Rocco Palmo called the speech "an ominous impression of the state of things.'' At the Daily Dish, Andrew Sullivan opines, "the notion that the recent election of Obama is a sign of the Apocalypse has, until now, been restricted to Protestant loonies." And at American Papist, Thomas Peters takes a slightly more sober view, saying only, "Cardinal Stafford made some noise on the CUA campus last week.''
(Photo, taken in Rome in 2002, by David Ryan of the Globe staff.)