Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as the 114th justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, on the eve of the 447th anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto. A small group of protesters gathered outside the U.S. Capitol, chanting slogans against the Senate’s decision to confirm Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Sitting Justice Kavanaugh in the Supreme Court is first of all a great accomplishment of President Donald Trump. The 50-48 vote came after days of unsubstantiated accusations bordering on criminal defamation. The world saw the sad spectacle with amusement as mud flew back and forth in the Senate. That is the same Senate where so many great men of the past have faithfully served their country.
A Texas Senator declared: “The Senate has been an embarrassment.” It is hard to disagree with him. Hordes of protesters heckled from the gallery in a rude and obnoxious display. They noisily echoed the baseless charges hurled without any compunction by most of the Democratic senators. The whole thing was a shame and it made the country look awful.
President Ronald Reagan nominated Robert Bork in 1987. That started the new uncivil ways of conducting the “advice and consent” sessions. Judge Bork had once rented a pornographic movie through an assistant. He was in the process of writing a commentary on obscenity laws. That rental came up during the confirmation sessions. The obvious intent was to make Judge Bork look like a cad and a hypocrite. Senators Joe Biden and Ted Kennedy, hardly examples of moral decorum, led the charge against Bork.
Terrible as the Bork hearings were, they look civilized in comparison with the hypocritical displays of hysteria now passing for senatorial advise. Times have changed. We live in a strange dystopia where congressmen, clerics, journalists, and university professors behave like scoundrels without blushing, broadcasting their moral turpitude through the media.
In the midst of the homosexual scandals presently rocking the Catholic Church, the hearings offered a strange consolation: the moral debacle appears to be quite universal. The fruits of political correctness are now in plain view. They affect nearly everyone in power; even those who take good care not to catch that ideological infection.
As for the Catholic Church, in my opinion, if we are not seeing “the abomination of desolation standing on holy ground” I certainly do not know what is it. The rap show opening the 2018 Synod on Young People frankly shocked me. I would not want a daughter or son of mine to be at all connected with the rap culture, its glorification of violent sex, gangsters, abuse of women, and drug trafficking. Did you see the bishops clapping to the rhythm of rap at the Vatican? It was almost as shocking as watching American senators in the political equivalent of a school cafeteria food fight.
Like the Christian fleet of 447 years ago, we are sailing into the unknown. We know that dangerous combat is ahead of us. We will have to fight a new Lepanto. I pray the battle won’t last long, and we all survive to see better times. Let’s hope the efforts of good men like Brett Kavanaugh help our society find its way back to decency. Wait in God for the purification of the Church … Like St. Pio, I hope and pray. I am trying hard not to worry.
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Psalm 46:1-3;10-11 (NIV)
 Interesting note from times past: Moral turpitude is defined as an “act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes to his fellowmen, or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and man.” [my italics] Chadwick v. State Bar, 49 Cal. 3d 103, 110, 776 P.2d 240, 260 Cal. Rptr. 538 (1989) ; Sosa-Martinez v. United States AG, 420 F.3d 1338, 1341 (11th Cir. 2005)