Joseph Pronechen is staff writer with the National Catholic Register since 2005. His articles have appeared in a number of national publications including Columbia magazine, Soul, Faith and Family, Catholic Digest, and Marian Helper. His religion features have also appeared in Fairfield County Catholic and in one of Connecticut’s largest news dailies. He holds an MS degree and formerly taught English and courses in film study that he developed at a Catholic high school in Connecticut. Joseph and his wife Mary reside on the East Coast.
One of the all-time, strongest presentations at the Synod came on Friday, Oct. 16. From a layperson. A woman.
In a mere 501 words that were fearless, brilliant, concise, and overflowing with truth, she revealed and called for what is sorely needed. This woman courageously nailed it down with no wishy-washy language to whitewash and weaken the truth just be “nice.”
Her name is Dr. Anca-Maria Cernea. She is a doctor at the Center for Diagnosis and Treatment-Victor Babes, and the president of the Association of Catholic Doctors of Bucharest in Romania.
My father was a Christian political leader, who was imprisoned by the communists for 17 years. My parents were engaged to marry, but their wedding took place 17 years later.
My mother waited all those years for my father, although she didn’t even know if he was still alive. They have been heroically faithful to God and to their engagement.
Their example shows that God’s grace can overcame terrible social circumstances and material poverty.
What an example that proves yes, we ordinary Christians, are called to heroic holiness.
Then Cernea donned her armor like a Joan of Arc. But as she made her presentation her armor was the kind Paul told us to don when he wrote to the Ephesians:
put on the armor of God…stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate…your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace…In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all [the] flaming arrows of the evil one…take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Cernea then spoke representing the Catholics doctors, defending life and family.
We “can see this is, first of all, a spiritual battle.”
There it is. Paul warned “our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.”
This physician who is in the front battle lines of the culture of life and death spotlighted the cause of the crisis with the family — it’s not the consumerism and material poverty we blame it on, but it’s ideological. She emphasized:
Our Lady of Fatima has said that Russia’s errors would spread all over the world.
Cernea made clear this is being done by cultural Marxism that:
pretends to redefine family, sexual identity and human nature…But it is nothing else than the ancient serpent’s offer, for man to take control, to replace God, to arrange salvation here, in this world.
It’s the task of the shepherds to recognize it, and warn the flock against this danger.
Cerna wields her sword with a two-word solution that comes right from the New Testament. (You can read it in her speech.)
The solution is not, she emphasized, in increasing government control or world government (do we hear United Nations?) who are:
the main agents imposing cultural Marxism to our nations, under the form of population control, reproductive health, gay rights, gender education, and so on.
When the iron-fist of the Communists ruled her country her Church thanks to their bishops’ “determination and example in resisting prisons and terror. Our bishops asked the community not to follow the world. Not to cooperate with the communists.
Now we need Rome to tell the world: ‘Repent of your sins and turn to God for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.’
As for Fatima that she mentioned, it was the children Lucia and Jacinta who verbalized the messages of our Blessed Mother.
Remember one more thing about this messenger. It was a woman who first got the apple rolling to get the human race in trouble, but since God does not do things haphazardly, only quite neatly, he promised it will be a woman — the Woman — who will crush Satan’s head for good. We know who that is.