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                              March 6, 2006

The West Does Not Believe in Christ the King

by Thomas A. Droleskey

A conference was held in Rome recently to discuss "The Family in the New Economy: Reflections on the Margins on Centesimus Annus" (Pope John Paul II's encyclical letter on the one hundredth anniversary of the issuance of Pope Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum).The conference was sponsored by a Catholic "think tank," the Acton Institute, that is in the tank, so to speak, of free-market capitalism. One of the areas addressed by the conference was the declining birthrates of women of childbearing years throughout Europe, which is making it possible for the Mohammedans to capture by procreation what they lost in battles in the Eighth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Centuries: control of all of Europe.

One conference participant  asked rhetorically if the Mohammedans would inherit Europe. Dr. Jennifer Roebuck Morse, Senior Fellow in Economics at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, said:

That’s a very probable outcome. The West doesn’t believe in itself.

The West "doesn't believe in itself." Leave it to defenders of free-market capitalism, the subject of criticism in both Rerum Novarum and Centesimus Annus, to speak in such subjectivist terms. The decline in population in Europe has nothing to do with "the West" not believing in itself. It has everything to do with the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King as it must be exercised solely by the Catholic Church and NOT by the rise of  the Calvinist notion of unbridled capitalism that has become the ruling force of men and their nations as a result.

Yes, you see the unbridled free-market capitalism spawned by Protestantism, especially by its Calvinist strains, is what produced a world untethered to the Catholic Church, making "private enterprises" laws unto themselves to manufacture, advertise and distribute products that promote all manner of evils, with full legal protection, you understand, around the world, including contraception, which kills babies chemically, and sophisticated machines that help kill preborn babies surgically. No one at the Acton Institute, I believe, is talking about the state-enforced closing of firms, such as Johnson and Johnson, the world's largest manufacturer of the "pill," that have profited--oh, yes, profited--handsomely by using the the realities of the world created by Protestantism and Calvinism to spread poisonous pills and devices in violation of the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the natural law, both of which have been entrusted solely to the Catholic Church for their safekeeping and infallible explication. No one at the Acton Institute, I believe, is talking about state-enforced censorship of motion pictures, television programs, so-called "music" and magazines that this country exports throughout the world to arouse peoples' lower sensual passions in the name of "profit," you understand, thereby whetting the appetite for the immoral products manufactured by Johnson and Johnson, among other firms.

Why, unreconstructed capitalists would argue, that's opposed, to "liberty" and the "market-place, two of the most import demigods of our day, at whose altars we must unthinkingly worship and obey. The state can't impose one set of "values" on the "market-place." All that we can do is to discourage people from wanting what the market presents to them, not interfere with the market itself. However much people may believe this to be so, it is opposed to the perennial, immutable teaching of the Catholic Church, enunciated so clearly by Pope Leo XIII in Immortale Dei in 1885:

So, too, the liberty of thinking, and of publishing, whatsoever each one likes, without any hindrance, is not in itself an advantage over which society can wisely rejoice. On the contrary, it is the fountain-head and origin of many evils. Liberty is a power perfecting man, and hence should have truth and goodness for its object. But the character of goodness and truth cannot be changed at option. These remain ever one and the same, and are no less unchangeable than nature itself. If the mind assents to false opinions, and the will chooses and follows after what is wrong, neither can attain its native fullness, but both must fall from their native dignity into an abyss of corruption. Whatever, therefore, is opposed to virtue and truth may not rightly be brought temptingly before the eye of man, much less sanctioned by the favor and protection of the law. A well-spent life is the only way to heaven, whither all are bound, and on this account the State is acting against the laws and dictates of nature whenever it permits the license of opinion and of action to lead minds astray from truth and souls away from the practice of virtue. To exclude the Church, founded by God Himself, from life, from laws, from the education of youth, from domestic society is a grave and fatal error. A State from which religion is banished can never be well regulated; and already perhaps more than is desirable is known of the nature and tendency of the so-called civil philosophy of life and morals. The Church of Christ is the true and sole teacher of virtue and guardian of morals. She it is who preserves in their purity the principles from which duties flow, and, by setting forth most urgent reasons for virtuous life, bids us not only to turn away from wicked deeds, but even to curb all movements of the mind that are opposed to reason, even though they be not carried out in action.

No person and no company or corporation has any right in the Divine positive law and the natural law to manufacture, advertise and/or sell anything that is contrary to the rights of God and the good of souls. Indeed, the state has the positive duty to see to it that such products are not manufactured. It has a positive duty to confiscate them and to then to deal with the owners of that firm according to the dictates of what is considered to be a just and fitting punishment for the crime, up to and including the forfeiture of the assets of the firm.

Alas, why should men who believe that the ultimate purpose of human existence is to become as wealthy as possible by any means possible (see Daniel Defoe's The Complete Tradesman) not deny themselves the "burden" of children so as to have more time to enjoy the luxuries made possible for their augmented incomes? Why should men who believe that capitalism and civil liberty are the twin pillars of the stable society come to grips with the fact Europe's decline has everything to do with Protestantism's Revolt against God's divine plan for man's return to Him through the Catholic Church? Why should men who are wedded to the errors of Modernity, including the anti-Incarnational foundation of the Modern State, be expected to recognize that many of the economic problems we face in the world today have their origins in the unjust measures taken by King Henry VIII to seize the monastery and convent lands upon which so many generations of families lived and had a sufficiency of means of this world while they saved their souls as Catholics? In other words, why should men who accept as good and beneficial the political economic effects of Protestantism, which have been capitalized upon and enhanced by Judeo-Masonry, speak in anything other than the subjectivist terms of Dr. Morse, quoted above?

The de-population of indigenous Europeans is the result of the long, steady, complex process of the de-Catholicization of Europe as a result of the Protestant Revolt and the rise of contemporary Freemasonry. Many Catholics themselves apostatized in England and in Ireland in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries in order not to suffer the economic consequences of the Protestant Revolt, plunging headlong in the Calvinist system of atomistic individualism. Other Catholics in Europe over the centuries, especially in northern Europe, found the pull of "social progress" too attractive to resist, seeking to find various intellectual justifications for succumbing to the allure of very things that Our Lord had warned about in the Sermon on the Mount. An entire school of economics, the Austrian School, is one just endeavor. Alas, the simple fact is that the rise of Protestant notions about man and his life in this passing is what has convinced  so many Catholics to live in view of the maximizing of their pleasures in this world rather than living penitentially here so as to live luxuriously in Heaven for all eternity.

Protestantism is what shaped the course of the thirteen English colonies which became the first states of the United States of America in 1776. It was thus hardly surprising that many of the Irish who emigrated to the United States of America in the Nineteenth Century became so thoroughly Americanized over the course of the decades, despite the persecution that they faced from many quarters, that most of their descendants in our own day believe that the Faith is merely a private matter, having not one blessed thing to do with economics or law or politics or popular culture. This demonstrates the grave danger of Catholics emigrating to non-Catholic nations, where they are seduced over the course of time into abandoning the sensus Catholicus in favor of the fads of the prevailing moment, something that Pope Leo XIII noted in Testem Benevolentiae. Pope Leo XIII knew that an uncritical immersion in an anti-Catholic environment would result in the transposition of worldly values upon the Church rather than efforts to convert hostile environment to the true Faith:

But, beloved son, in this present matter of which we are speaking, there is even a greater danger and a more manifest opposition to Catholic doctrine and discipline in that opinion of the lovers of novelty, according to which they hold such liberty should be allowed in the Church, that her supervision and watchfulness being in some sense lessened, allowance be granted the faithful, each one to follow out more freely the leading of his own mind and the trend of his own proper activity. They are of opinion that such liberty has its counterpart in the newly given civil freedom which is now the right and the foundation of almost every secular state.

Pope Leo XIII saw, quite clearly and prophetically, that the Americanist notion of civil liberty would corrupt the Faith to such an extent that Catholics would demand that the Church "update" herself to accept the the democratic, egalitarian (that is, Protestant) way of doing things. The Potomac really does flow in the Tiber. The very notions condemned by Pope Leo XIII in Testem Benevolentiae and condemned again repeatedly by Pope Saint Pius X, especially in Pascendi Dominici Gregis, have become the foundation of Pope Benedict XVI's view of Church-State relations. Pope Benedict, who wants to help rebuild Europe, does not realize that there is only one way to do this: to seek the re-conversion of Protestants to the true Faith and to re-catechize miseducated Catholics into embracing the totality of the Faith without one iota of dissent or one concession to the liturgical and doctrinal novelties of the past forty years.

To oppose the Protestant notion of capitalism and its evil consequences is not to endorse socialism. Pope Leo XIII pointed this out in Rerum Novarum in 1891, wherein he reaffirmed very vigorously the right to private property that is found in the natural law and enshrined in the Seventh Commandment. The Catholic Church teaches infallibly that wealth and property and labor must be viewed in light of man's Last End, not simply the desire for material progress in this passing world:

But the Church, with Jesus Christ as her Master and Guide, aims higher still. She lays down precepts yet more perfect, and tries to bind class to class in friendliness and good feeling. The things of earth cannot be understood or valued aright without taking into consideration the life to come, the life that will know no death. Exclude the idea of futurity, and forthwith the very notion of what is good and right would perish; nay, the whole scheme of the universe would become a dark and unfathomable mystery. The great truth which we learn from nature herself is also the grand Christian dogma on which religion rests as on its foundation -- that, when we have given up this present life, then shall we really begin to live. God has not created us for the perishable and transitory things of earth, but for things heavenly and everlasting; He has given us this world as a place of exile, and not as our abiding place. As for riches and the other things which men call good and desirable, whether we have them in abundance, or are lacking in them -- so far as eternal happiness is concerned -- it makes no difference; the only important thing is to use them aright. Jesus Christ, when He redeemed us with plentiful redemption, took not away the pains and sorrows which in such large proportion are woven together in the web of our mortal life. He transformed them into motives of virtue and occasions of merit; and no man can hope for eternal reward unless he follow in the blood-stained footprints of his Savior. "If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him." Christ's labors and sufferings, accepted of His own free will, have marvelously sweetened all suffering and all labor. And not only by His example, but by His grace and by the hope held forth of everlasting recompense, has He made pain and grief more easy to endure; "for that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation, worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory."

Once men are deluded by Lutheranism's sin of Presumption that they are saved once they make a profession of Faith in the "Name of the Lord Jesus," then there is no fear of losing one's salvation by doing things to amass wealth that are dishonest and unjust. Other men, deceived by the Calvinist teaching that wealth is a sign of the arbitrary God's Predestination to Heaven, work to amass wealth so as to prove to themselves and others that they are among the Elect. Even though this heretical theological notion has been somewhat eclipsed by the rise of secular materialism, the natural offshoot of Calvinist capitalism, most men today judge themselves "successful" not by being in a state of sanctifying grace as members of the Catholic Church but as a result of the amount of money in their bank accounts and the power and status they have in the eyes of others in this passing world.

Those who have acquired wealth honestly as a result of the talents God has given them are not to view such an acquisition in an individualistic manner. While they have the right to the property and wealth that they have acquired honestly, working hard for the honor and glory of God in light of their Last End and in accord with all of the precepts contained in the Divine positive law and the natural law, there are obligations that are attached to their earthly success that they must accept and fulfill. Nor must those who have come by wealth honestly look with disdain, as do Calvinists, upon those who are materially poor.

As Pope Leo XIII noted in Rerum Novarum:

Therefore, those whom fortune favors are warned that riches do not bring freedom from sorrow and are of no avail for eternal happiness, but rather are obstacles; that the rich should tremble at the threatenings of Jesus Christ -- threatenings so unwonted in the mouth of our Lord-- and that a most strict account must be given to the Supreme Judge for all we possess. The chief and most excellent rule for the right use of money is one the heathen philosophers hinted at, but which the Church has traced out clearly, and has not only made known to men's minds, but has impressed upon their lives. It rests on the principle that it is one thing to have a right to the possession of money and another to have a right to use money as one ills. Private ownership, as we have seen, is the natural right of man, and to exercise that right, especially as members of society, is not only lawful, but absolutely necessary. "It is lawful," says St. Thomas Aquinas, "for a man to hold private property; and it is also necessary for the carrying on of human existence.'' But if the question be asked: How must one's possessions be used? -- the Church replies without hesitation in he words of the same holy Doctor: "Man should not consider his material possessions as his own, but as common to all, so as to share them without hesitation when others are in need. Whence the apostle saith, 'Command the rich of this world . . to offer with no stint, to apportion largely'." True, no one is commanded to distribute to others that which is required for his own needs and those of his household; nor even to give away what is reasonably required to keep up becomingly his condition in life, "for no one ought to live other than becomingly."But, when what necessity demands has been supplied, and one's standing fairly taken thought for, it becomes a duty to give to the indigent out of what remains over. "Of that which remaineth, give alms." It is duty, not of justice (save in extreme cases), but of Christian charity -- a duty not enforced by human law. But the laws and judgments of men must yield place to the laws and judgments of Christ the true God, who in many ways urges on His followers the practice of almsgiving -- "It is more blessed to give than to receive"; and who will count a kindness done or refused to the poor as done or refused to Himself -- "As long as you did it to one of My least brethren you did it to Me."To sum up, then, what has been said: Whoever has received from the divine bounty a large share of temporal blessings, whether they be external and material, or gifts of the mind, has received them for the purpose of using them for the perfecting of his own nature, and, at the same time, that he may employ them, as the steward of God's providence, for the benefit of others. "He that hath a talent," said St. Gregory the Great, "let him see that he hide it not; he that hath abundance, let him quicken himself to mercy and generosity; he that hath art and skill, let him do his best to share the use and the utility hereof with his neighbor."

As for those who possess not the gifts of fortune, they are taught by the Church that in God's sight poverty is no disgrace, and that there is nothing to be ashamed of in earning their bread by labor. This is enforced by what we see in Christ Himself, who, "whereas He was rich, for our sakes became poor''; and who, being the Son of God, and God Himself, chose to seem and to be considered the son of a carpenter -- nay, did not disdain to spend a great part of His life as a carpenter Himself. "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?"

From contemplation of this divine Model, it is more easy to understand that the true worth and nobility of man lie in his moral qualities, that is, in virtue; that virtue is, moreover, the common inheritance of men, equally within the reach of high and low, rich and poor; and that virtue, and virtue alone, wherever found, will be followed by the rewards of everlasting happiness. Nay, God Himself seems to incline rather to those who suffer misfortune; for Jesus Christ calls the poor "blessed"; He lovingly invites those in labor and grief to come to Him for solace; and He displays the tenderest charity toward the lowly and the oppressed. These reflections cannot fail to keep down the pride of the well-to-do, and to give heart to the unfortunate; to move the former to be generous and the latter to be moderate in their desires. Thus, the separation which pride would set up tends to disappear, nor will it be difficult to make rich and poor join hands in friendly concord.

Remove the Catholic Church as the chief guide of men and their societies, you see, and everything falls into disorder. The problems of European de-population have everything to do with the hatred of the Catholic Church and the rise of a diabolically inspired political and economic systems that immerse men so much in the things of this passing world that they do not think of doing all things for the honor and glory of God as the consecrated slaves of Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. And as much as Pope John Paul II and, now, Pope Benedict XVI have denounced some of the materialistic trends in Europe and elsewhere, the ethos of the Second Vatican Council is no defense against those trends as it is founded in an acceptance of the irreversible nature of the secular, non-confessional state. Thus, Catholics, having been nurtured in the lap of luxury, pay no attention to God's own injunction to "increase you and multiply, and go upon the earth, and fill it" because most of the Church's pastors, having made their own concessions to luxury and to Modernist thought, never remind them to be submissive in all things and at all times to the Deposit of Faith Our Lord has entrusted solely to the Catholic Church, no less to seek actively the conversion of men and their nations to the true Faith.

Consider George O'Brien's An Essay on the Economic Effects of the Reformation (IHS Press, Norfolk, Virginia, 2003):

The thesis we have endeavoured to present in this essay is, that the two great dominating schools of modern economic thought have a common origin. The capitalist school, which, basing its position on the unfettered right of the individual to do what he will with his own, demands the restriction of government interference in economic and social affairs within the narrowest  possible limits, and the socialist school, which, basing its position on the complete subordination of the individual to society, demands the socialization of all the means of production, if not all of wealth, face each other today as the only two solutions of the social question; they are bitterly hostile towards each other, and mutually intolerant and each is at the same weakened and provoked by the other. In one respect, and in one respect only, are they identical--they can both be shown to be the result of the Protestant Reformation.

We have seen the direct connection which exists between these modern schools of economic thought and their common ancestor. Capitalism found its roots in the intensely individualistic spirit of Protestantism, in the spread of anti-authoritative ideas from the realm of religion into the realm of political and social thought, and, above all, in the distinctive Calvinist doctrine of a successful and prosperous career being the outward and visible sign by which the regenerated might be known. Socialism, on the other hand, derived encouragement from the violations of established and prescriptive rights of which the Reformation afforded so many examples, from the growth of heretical sects tainted with Communism, and from the overthrow of the orthodox doctrine on original sin, which opened the way to the idea of the perfectibility of man through institutions. But, apart from these direct influences, there were others, indirect, but equally important. Both these great schools of economic thought are characterized by exaggerations and excesses; the one lays too great stress on the importance of the individual, and other on the importance of the community; they are both departures, in opposite directions, from the correct mean of reconciliation and of individual liberty with social solidarity. These excesses and exaggerations are the result of the free play of private judgment unguided by authority, and could not have occurred if Europe had continued to recognize an infallible central authority in ethical affairs.

The science of economics is the science of men's relations with one another in the domain of acquiring and disposing of wealth, and is, therefore, like political science in another sphere, a branch of the science of ethics. In the Middle Ages, man's ethical conduct, like his religious conduct, was under the supervision and guidance of a single authority, which claimed at the same time the right to define and to enforce its teaching. The machinery for enforcing the observance of medieval ethical teaching was of a singularly effective kind; pressure was brought to bear upon the conscience of the individual through the medium of compulsory periodical consultations with a trained moral adviser, who was empowered to enforce obedience to his advice by the most potent spiritual sanctions. In this way, the whole conduct of man in relation to his neighbours was placed under the immediate guidance of the universally received ethical preceptor, and a common standard of action was ensured throughout the Christian world in the all the affairs of life. All economic transactions in particular were subject to the jealous scrutiny of the individual's spiritual director; and such matters as sales, loans, and so on, were considered reprehensible and punishable if not conducted in accordance with the Christian standards of commutative justice.

The whole of this elaborate system for the preservation of justice in the affairs of everyday life was shattered by the Reformation. The right of private judgment, which had first been asserted in matters of faith, rapidly spread into moral matters, and the attack on the dogmatic infallibility of the Church left Europe without an authority to which it could appeal on moral questions. The new Protestant churches were utterly unable to supply this want. The principle of private judgment on which they rested deprived them of any right to be listened to whenever they attempted to dictate moral precepts to their members, and henceforth the moral behaviour of the individual became a matter to be regulated by the promptings of his own conscience, or by such philosophical systems of ethics as he happened to approve. The secular state endeavoured to ensure that dishonesty amounting to actual theft or fraud should be kept in check, but this was a poor and ineffective substitute for the powerful weapon of the confessional. Authority having once broken down, it was but a single step from Protestantism to rationalism; and the way was opened to the development of all sorts of erroneous systems of morality.

It is no accident that the push for contraception, which grew out of Darwinism and Social Darwinism, received its first "theological" endorsement in 1930 by the Anglican Church, which arose out of King Henry VIII's break from Rome and profited handsomely from the seizure of the monastery and convent lands. Even some secular sources at the time, possessing a residue of Catholicism that had not been entirely eclipsed by that point, understood the dangers the Lambeth Committee's proposal (for the use of contraceptive devices by married couples facing "extraordinary" circumstances) to be the death-knell for society. Consider this editorial, which appeared in the March 22, 1931, edition of The Washington Post.

It is impossible to reconcile the doctrine of the divine institution of marriage with any modernistic plan for the mechanical regulation of human birth. The church must either reject the plain teachings of the Bible or reject schemes for the 'scientific production' of human souls. Carried to its logical conclusions, the [Lambeth] committee's report if carried into effect would sound the death knell of marriage as a holy institution, by establishing degrading practices which would encourage indiscriminate immorality. The suggestion that the use of legalized contraceptives would be 'careful and restrained' is preposterous.

It is the misfortune of the churches that they are too often misused by visionaries for the promotion of 'reforms' in fields that are alien to religion. The departures from Christian teaching are astounding in many cases, leaving the beholder aghast at the willingness of some churches to discard the ancient injunction to teach 'Christ and Him crucified.' If the churches are to become organizations for political and 'scientific' propaganda they should be honest and reject the Bible, scoff at Christ as an obsolete and unscientific teacher, and strike out boldly as champions of politics and science as substitutes for the old-time religion.

While the editorial was indeed prophetic, the second paragraph quoted above demonstrates the precise reason why there was even such a thing as the Lambeth Committee: the acceptance of a multiplicity of Protestant "churches" as an irreversible fact of history, something that the Holy Father himself seems to believe is the case. Anyone who accepts the "irreversibility" of the Protestant Revolt, however, will wind up addressing this or that social problem like Sisyphus, forever trying to roll a huge boulder up a hill. All of the social problems we face today are the result of overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King, robbing man of the infallible guidance of the Catholic Church in his own private life and in the life of his nation. Men and their nations must be converted to the true Faith. We need to repopulate the Church in order to repopulate lands and thus to make sure that Catholicism is the only basis of all aspects of social life, including economics. We need for all men, not only the West, to believe in Christ the King and in Mary our Immaculate Queen.

Once again, we pray that the Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart with all of the world's bishops.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint Agnes, pray for us.

Saint Lucy, pray for us.

Saint Anthony of the Desert, pray for us.

Saint Benedict, pray for us.

Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us.

Saint Antoninus, pray for us.

Saint Bridget of Kildare, pray for us.

Saint Margaret of Scotland, pray for us.

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, pray for us.

Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us.

Saint Mary Magdalen de Pazzi, pray for us.

Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, pray for us.

Saint John Bosco, pray for us.

Saint Dominic Savio, pray for us.

Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.

Saint Benedict Joseph Labre, pray for us.

Saint Lawrence the Deacon, pray for us.

Saint Philomena, pray for us.

Blessed Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.

Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.

Blessed Francisco, pray for us.

Sister Lucia, pray for us.

A brief afterword

Today, March 6, 2006, would have been my late mother's eighty-fifth birthday had she not died, of stomach and esophageal cancer, twelve days after her sixty-first birthday twenty-four years ago, in 1982. Born with a twin brother out of wedlock in Kansas City, Missouri, as Maxine Coomer, she was adopted by a vaudevillian Sioux Indian Chieftain, William Red Fox (who was actually William Humes, born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1884, but who had assumed a stage-identity when he joined the Buffalo Bill Wild West Circus as a teenager), and his then wife, Maude Red Fox. My mother and her twin brother were re-named after the Chief's brother, Louis Humes, and his maiden sister, Norma Humes. Louis Red Fox died in infancy.

My mother, re-christened Norma Florence Red Fox, grew up with her brother-by-adoption, who had been adopted a year before by the Chief and his wife, in living a very difficult, vagabond existence traveling with the Chief on the road. One of the most painful episodes in her early wife came when her adoptive mother, who had divorced the Chief and married a chap named George Stevens, sent out her unsuspecting brother to buy arsenic powders, which she took to commit suicide. My mother, not having been trained in the Faith very well, was deeply affected by the traumatic loss of the woman she came to accept as her own mother. A social service agency in New Orleans, where the children were living at the time, had to take out an advertisement in the Billboard trade publication to track down the Chief, who was performing in Ohio at the time. He sent for the children, eventually taking them--and the second wife he had married in the interim--to Corpus Christi, Texas, which is what my mother considered her home and where her mortal remains are buried.

One of the chief aches in my mother's life was wanting to find her biological mother, Ruth Coomer, who had been born in Jefferson County, Missouri, in 1897. She made efforts to track her down after being discharged from the Women's Army Corps in 1946, finding that the Coomers she contacted in Kansas City said that they had no knowledge of her mother. One Coomer, an attorney, threatened legal action against her if she continued her search. All of these questions, obviously, have been answered for her in eternity, although I did find out by doing a census search in late-2002 that a Ruth O. Coomer, listing her age as thirty, was living in a boarding house outside of Detroit, Michigan. The age, although a few years off, and the circumstances, living in a boarding house, fit. There is absolutely no information at all on the identity of my mother's biological father (although I really wouldn't be surprised in eternity to find out that it was Chief Red Fox, sort of like Loretta Young "adopting" the illegitimate daughter she had by Clark Gable).

Ruth Coomer, although she could have chosen to kill my mother and twin brother by seeking out some back-alley abortionist, brought her children, one of whom was my mother, to birth. The likelihood is, obviously, that my mother and her brother would not have been killed in the womb if surgical baby-killing had been legal in 1920. It was not. Thus, Ruth Coomer's acceptance of the consequences of her actions made it possible for me to be born thirty years after my own mother's birth.

You see, we chose to give our daughter a third name at birth, after Saint Lucy and Our Lady, that of my mother, Norma, so as to give recognition to the fact that children born in difficult circumstances make it possible for other children to be born generations later. Lucy Mary Norma Droleskey would not be here today if Ruth Coomer lived in a world where chemical and surgical means were considered "legal" and thus readily accessible in "safe" circumstances.

My mother had a very difficult life. She had dated my father's brother for a time (when my father was dating the sister of the woman my uncle wound up marrying!) before being rejected by him because he knew that his mother, my own paternal grandmother, would not accept her because she was adopted and thus had no "background." It did not help matters that my grandmother was active in Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Queens Village, New York, giving my mother the impression that women of Faith were uncharitable hypocrites. Although she was baptized as a child and went to a Catholic girls' high school for a time before dropping out, she did not realize that the bad example of a believing Catholic does not invalidate the Faith. Indeed, the bad examples each of us gives in our lives are proofs of the Divine foundation of the Church: no merely human institution could survive for nearly two millennia despite the bad example of the people who have made her up. My grandmother was indeed not very nice to my mother when she married my father, something that I could see as a small child hurt my mother very much. She could have been a very good Catholic if she had been open to the graces to realize that she was being invited her entire life to offer up her many crosses to God through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Thus, in your charity, I ask to you to pray for the repose of the soul of Norma Florence Red Fox Droleskey (nee: Maxine Coomer). My parents had enough of the sensus Catholicus to take me to the baptismal font, although it took them over two months to get me there, and to enroll me in a Catholic elementary school in 1956 when the Faith was still being taught well through the Baltimore Catechism. I would like to think, but will not know until eternity, that it was my mother's prayers from eternity that brought my father back to the Faith shortly after her death when he met a woman, Joanna Simon Shipp, who insisted that he return to the Church as a condition of their marriage. That was good enough to get my father, Albert Henry Martin Droleskey, a holy death ten years later, on September 5, 1992, just hours after receiving Our Lord as a Final Viaticum. Realizing that I will not know the fate of my parents' souls until after my own death, which can occur at any time, I just keep praying as the precepts of filial piety require, entrusting all to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as her consecrated slave.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul--and all of the souls of the faithful departed--rest in peace. Amen.







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