By Jonquil Frankham

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 17, 2008 ( – James Francis Cardinal Stafford, Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Holy See, in a recent lecture at the Catholic University of America (CUA), labeled president-elect Barack Obama’s anti-life policies as “aggressive, disruptive, and apocalyptic,” according to CUA’s The Tower. “On November 4, 2008,” said the Cardinal, “America suffered a cultural earthquake.”

The Cardinal’s lecture was entitled “Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II: Being True in Body and Soul” and dealt largely with the 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae (HV) and the president-elect’s policies.

“If 1968 was the year of America’s ‘suicide attempt,’” he said, “2008 is the year of America’s exhaustion … In the intervening 40 years since Humanae Vitae, the United States has been thrown upon ruins.”

“For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal,” he continued, comparing the plight of the US Church under Obama to Christ’s agony in the garden. “We will know that garden,”

1968 was the year the controversial encyclical by Pope Paul VI was issued, and, according to an article by the Cardinal published in L’Osservatore Romano (LR) on the 40th anniversary of HV, marks the origin of a great division in the Church. The Cardinal wrote in LR on July 25 of this year that the dissent from HV that followed its release has been one of the direst blows to hit the Catholic Church in the last 40 years.

“The summer of 1968 is a record of God’s hottest hour … The memories are not forgotten; they are painful … They inhabit the whirlwind where God’s wrath dwells,” he wrote.

In his address to the CUA, Cardinal Stafford spoke of the large-scale diminishment of respect for human life in the US, saying that Catholics must remember their core values regarding marriage and human dignity. He blamed this diminishment largely on Roe v. Wade and other anti-life decisions of the Supreme Court.

Roe v. Wade’s “scrupulous meanness has had catastrophic effects upon the unity and integrity of the American republic,” said Stafford.

As reported by the Tower, the Cardinal added that marital love is representative of the love between God and man, saying that the use of contraceptives cannot be part of that relationship.