Cardinal Stafford: Obama Is "Apocalyptic"

By Jay Hancock's Blog
Baltimore Sun

November 17, 2008

Baltimore's own James Francis Cardinal Stafford at Catholic University last week. From CUA Tower:

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.“

“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 lecture, hosted by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, pertained to Humanae Vitae, a papal encyclical written by Pope Paul VI in 1968 and celebrating its 40 anniversary this year.

Stafford also spoke about the decline of a respect for human life and the need for Catholics to return to the original values of marriage and human dignity.

“If 1968 was the year of America’s ‘suicide attempt,’ 2008 is the year of America’s exhaustion,” said Stafford, an American Cardinal and Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary for the Tribunal of the Holy See. “In the intervening 40 years since Humanae Vitae, the United States has been thrown upon ruins.”

Amazing. From Wikipedia:

James Francis Cardinal Stafford (born July 26, 1932) is an American Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He currently serves as Major Penitentiary in the Roman Curia, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1998.

James Stafford was born in in Baltimore, Maryland, as the only child of Francis Emmett, the owner of a successful furniture store, and Mary Dorothy (nee Stanton) Stafford. He moved from Loyola High School in 1950 to Loyola College in Baltimore with the intent of pursuing a career in medicine, but in 1952, the violent death of a friend caused him to rethink his future and to enter St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, where he earned degrees in arts, theology, and social welfare.

Stafford was ordained (along with Edward Egan another future cardinal) a priest by Bishop Martin John O'Connor on December 15, 1957. He was consecrated auxiliary bishop of Baltimore and Titular Bishop of Respecta by Archbishop William Donald Borders on January 11, 1976.

In 1982 Stafford was appointed bishop of the Diocese of Memphis. Four years later he was named Archbishop of Denver, in which capacity he served for ten years before being called to Rome. Archbishop Stafford oversaw the events which took place at World Youth Day in 1993.

Named President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity on August 20, 1996, he became Cardinal Deacon of Gesu Buon Pastore alla Montagnola in the consistory of 1998.

In 2003 Cardinal Stafford was appointed Major Penitentiary, in which position he oversees matters pertaining to indulgences and the internal forum of the Church. He is one of the highest ranking members of the Roman Curia from the United States and the second American to serve as Major Penitentiary, the other being William Wakefield Baum. His office is one of the few that is not automatically suspended upon the death of the pope, and the only official allowed to be in contact with anyone outside the conclave. Stafford was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI.

On the occasion of his 75th birthday in 2007, in accordance with Canon 354 of the Code of Canon Law, Cardinal Stafford submitted his letter of resignation to Pope Benedict XVI. Cardinal Stafford remains eligible to vote in any future papal conclaves that begin before his 80th birthday on July 26, 2012.

On 1 March 2008, Pope Benedict appointed him as Cardinal-Priest of San Pietro in Montorio after being ten years as a cardinal-deacon.


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