ADVENT PASTORAL LETTER, 2010 Dearly Beloved in Christ,

It would appear that we are no nearer to happy circumstances than we were a year ago. America is almost impoverished. Our debt is staggering. Huge parcels of our real estate are being sold daily to foreign entities, which have no sense of loyalty to the American dream. Our elected officials have done nothing, either to spur our economy or to awaken our people from the doldrums into which we have fallen these past several months. And the political parties continue to point fingers at each side, as though neither side had blame to share.

Our schools are in disrepair both physically and intellectually. The very people who are to challenge and guide our youth, too often lead them into decadence and dismay, dare I say even immorality? Legislatures debate constantly about additional laws affecting our schools - all dealing with physical matters, with little genuine attention to encouraging our children to think independently and judiciously.

We have just experienced the most hateful, corrupt and undignified political campaign most of us have ever witnessed - at a cost that could wipe out the debts of several of our states that are on the verge of bankruptcy. Our children have been exposed to vitriol rather than genuine thought provoking deliberations to lead our nation forward. How, in heaven's name can we expect our youth to become staunch defenders of what we have long called the American way of life, when in fact our nation is bad-mouthed by the highest officials in our land?

It has become unfashionable to have a sense of patriotism, of national pride, of warmth for what this nation used to be all about - much less to have any genuine reverence for the God so often called upon by our forefathers.

Our legal system and the courts play the games that we have witnessed all too long - an irrational attempt at genuine jurisprudence, continually making excuses for those who should be taken off the streets for the rest of their lives; and we extend this legal generosity even to our enemies - those who desire to see this nation absolutely destroyed. We coddle them, and we coddle them some more. The American legal system is little more than a joke; and our children are watching this. Do we really care what this is doing to their sense of moral values?

Wall Street and the other moguls and tycoons in banks and real estate houses have no more integrity today than they had before we began to sink into the mire they have helped to create. And they reward themselves with salaries and bonuses that stagger our ability to count - in spite of the pretended pressure and regulations of government. Does anyone ever stop to wonder why we are in this state of decadence and depravity? Do you? Do you care? Is there no one to see a relationship between all these vacuums being created in our society and our abandonment of the God Who once made our nation strong? Why are we Catholics so afraid to speak up, to tell our fellow Americans that we are tired of our pathetic elected officials, government workers, of the empty-headed media that has corrupted our politics, our sense of decency, and our need to take back our country?

My dear Friends in Christ, there is only one way to take back this nation: Prayer, genuine prayer, which will ultimately lead to a reawakening of decency and pride and putting our hands to the plow again. One politician who prided himself in repeating the "We can" slogan, never got off the ground with it after his election. But WE can, if we will get back to basics, the basics of our forefathers and the men of God who once made this nation great. Prayer, prayer, prayer! Work, work, work! Pray about it. And then DO something about it.

With every good wish and prayerful blessing to you and yours, I am faithfully yours in Christ,

+  John J. Humphreys

The Most Reverend John. J. Humphreys, Titular Archbishop of Cr-Glow