A Time to Stand

Friday, November 20, AD 2009

Today Christians, Catholic, Evangelical and Orthodox,  came together in the Manhattan Declaration to put the Obama administration and the Congress on notice:

“. . . We will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriage or the equivalent or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family.”

Here is the text of the Manhattan Declaration:

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4 Responses to A Time to Stand

  • “Some things are worth going to jail for.”

    That may soon be the case. Both sides in this fray, those following the Culture of Death and those the Culture of Life, are headed towards a collision course.

    IMO there will be no quiet, peaceful resolution of the differences. One side or the other will prevail.

    We’ve the curse of living in interesting times.

  • Perhaps these leaders need to “experience” the wrath of the state that those of us who have been separated from our families through judicial might and hateful spouses, often with the support of “religious institutions” have long experienced.

    I am hopeful to see those who have been “silent” about the holocaust of unjust divorce and its terrible consequences, by failing to take actions, getting some of what they have at least in many cases, at least tacitly, enjoyed seeing many of us crushed by. It is about time. Perhaps they will learn.

    If there are those among these signees who HAVE acted strongly and righteously and yet are still reaping what others have sewn, not that any of us have not contributed to this in our own “special” ways, may their witness change the hearts and minds of their brethren who have heretofore cared little, if any, about maliciously abandoned spouses and their children, who have become slaves of their spouses , the state and mocked, with moral certainty in many cases I know of personally, by clerics and their Churches.

    Yes, there are other issues, but the vast majority of those of us who have been victimized by malicious abandoners and who are religiously conservative christians have long stood with the rest on these other issues, as more the rule than the exception.

  • Do we know who the drafting team consisted of?

  • Whoops. I see it is listed in the link at the top.

Bishops Call Reid Health Care Bill Worst of the Bunch

Friday, November 20, AD 2009

Extremist Democrats and liberals are hailing Harry Reid’s Health Care bill as a victory for pro-abortion activists.  Though the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has called it “completely unacceptable“.

…Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the bishops’ conference Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, said Reid’s “is actually the worst bill we’ve seen so far on the life issues.”

He called it “completely unacceptable,” adding that “to say this reflects current law is ridiculous.”

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7 Responses to Bishops Call Reid Health Care Bill Worst of the Bunch

  • I have always been pro-life and frankly, this bill is really scary.

  • Well this is what you get when you support a party that has abortion, gay Marrage and stem cell research as part of their party plank…Is it not Polosi is Catholic?,,Kennedy’s all Catholic…Yep.. This is the same group that voted to limit tax deductibility of donations to the church…Their only church is the church of government

  • It’s not over yet! If the bill goes back to the House without pro-life provisions, I am going to have a little faith in the pro-life Dems to hold the line and kill the bill. They said they would.

    It only passed last time by 5 votes in the house. Surely there at least 6 Stupak Democrats who will switch their votes if federal funding for abortion is back in.

    And for those who hate the whole bill, 40 progressive Dems say they will vote against it if abortion funding ISN’T in – so either way, this thing could be dead.

  • Joe,

    From my understanding, Rep. Cao of Louisiana only voted for the bill after he saw that it couldn’t be defeated. So in theory you’ll only need four votes to switch.

  • Precisely. The bill barely survived the House because the Stupak language superseded the Capps amendment.

    We should also be conscious of the fact that the Senate operates differently than the House. We aren’t going to have a closed rule amendment. Moreover, I do not think Nelson would vote for final cloture to vote on a final legislation that had less-than-acceptable language on abortion. Reid has absolutely no room for margin of error. I think the Democrats will have to sacrifice the Planned Parenthood wishlist to some extent in order to pass something.

    It must be said that I think much of the conference speculation is missing the mark. In conference, yes, there is no reason to keep the legislation as is. In fact, in conference the entire health care bill can fundamentally be re-written with no regard to any amendments that passed or the original provisions of the bills. However that is not going to be the case with health care. Say that pro-life provisions pass in the House and in the Senate as well. The Democrats will find it incredibly difficult to strip that language at conference. A brand new bill that is markedly different than the originals will likely fail in one or bother chambers. A bill that reverses the abortion language in one or both chambers will fail in one or both chambers. The Stupak amendment clearly took the bill over the top. It will die in the House without it. Less than acceptable language on abortion will surely not allow the final conference bill to reach cloture in the Senate. Perhaps I have too much faith in Senator Nelson, but I cannot see how he will not hold out. He is incredibly consistent and principled on this issue. I will not blindly trust such a hope, but I have every reason to have this hope.

    Moreover, an incredibly liberal “robust” public option that leaves out opt-out and opt-in clauses is sure to die in the Senate. So again, the theorists speculating that this is a game of “bait” and “switch” — give in to the pro-life Congressmen to win their votes and then remove it, give in to the more moderate members and “water down” to the public option to win their votes only to switch it blatantly and manifestly in conference is absurd.

    After conference there are no amendments. It is a closed-rule vote entirely in both chambers. The moderate and pro-life Democrats will be needed again, to motion to vote on the legislation and to vote for the final legislation. I don’t think it reasonable to conclude that a hyper-liberal bill will come flying out of conference because in what world could it possibly pass?

    If anything, the Senate legislation will have the greater influence. The final conference legislation must conceivably be able to pass in the Senate which is a much more difficult task — in that, it must gain 60 votes before it only needs 51.

  • Pingback: Senate Democrats at odds over health care bill (AP) « NewsDropper.com

Mute Obama

Friday, November 20, AD 2009

From the only reliable source of news on the net, the Onion.  Actually, I can think of certain domestic situations where a teleprompter could come in handy.  Son learning to drive hits a tree.  I turn to the teleprompter and read through gritted teeth:  “Don’t worry.  I’m not mad.  We just have to clarify the functions of the gas pedal and the brake.   We will laugh about this in years to come!”   I have a kidney stone.  I turn to the teleprompter and read through yelps of pain:  “Oh my, I am having another kidney stone!  Gee that smarts!  Well it should resolve itself in three or four days!  Please ignore any screams I may make in the meantime!”  Dog has an accident:  “Another accident!  I will just clean this up, and then we can go for another walk!  We will get you house trained yet, you good Dog!”  On second thought I think I will forgo the teleprompter.

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Is Bishop Roger Morin Mendaciously Defending CCHD?

Thursday, November 19, AD 2009

Bishop Roger Morin is the Chair of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) Subcommittee that directs the CCHD.  In theory the CCHD works towards ending poverty and injustice in the United States by basically offering grants to organizations that support these goals.  But reality is far harsher than what is written.

Numerous organizations have investigated the CCHD and have uncovered many nefarious groups that are diametrically opposed to the teachings of Jesus.  Many of these groups promote abortion to ‘gay marriage’.  What is striking is that the CCHD doesn’t do anything to end the funding unless a very bright light is shined on them such as the case with ACORN.

Bishop Roger Morin continues to issue memorandums defending CCHD’s vetting process and grants.  Yet time and time again he has been proven unequivocally wrong.  From the Young Workers United to the Chinese Progressive Association, CCHD apparently sees no evil… anywhere.

Is Bishop Roger Morin being mendacious in his continual defense of the indefensible.  I am having a really hard time believing that he could be so obtuse to such an important matter as this.

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35 Responses to Is Bishop Roger Morin Mendaciously Defending CCHD?

  • With so many Catholic charitable organizations, why is yet another overreaching organization necessary? Except perhaps to provide jobs for the bureaucrats in the USCCB?

    And what is “human development”? Does it not sound like one of those philanthopically mush words, with no specifics? I recall J.D. Rockefeller’s Committee for Uplift”.

    Is not the Church chiefly concerned with salvation?

  • Four words: Saint Vincent (de) Paul Society (SVDS).

    Their Catholic and they do fine social work.

    Give the money you normally give to CCHD to SVDS.

  • Charity is one side of the coin. Another is justice. And while I realize that many conservatives and Republicans seem to prefer charity as a way of keeping people in their place, the fact is that when the poor have authentic political advocacy, people can be permanently lifted out of poverty. If for no other reason that they in turn can help others.

    That said, the local SVDS is a worthy charity. Giving there is an improvement over pocketing the CCHD money for oneself.

    As for the post, another conservative Catholic calls another bishop a liar. Yawn.

  • Todd,

    I’m reporting what the good bishop is doing.

    And I’m Catholic first, conservative second, third or fourth.

    You need to remember that we are Catholics before we are anything else.

  • Holy smokes are you harsh on Morin.

    It seems the CA contacts, not surprisingly, gave some money to groups that when exposed, were de-funded. Outside of CA though, it does not seem to be a widespread problem, as there are almost no examples. It is not surprising that this is true in CA or that a few examples, given the number of groups that receive funding. occur. Even the highest diligence can result in errors-many of us have heath insurance plans that we did not know cover abortion; many of us shop at companies that support one or more causes we Catholics oppose.

    Perhaps that’s enough to make you concerned about making a donation to CCHD and I don’t care whether you donate or not. But that Morin’s skull ought to pave the road to hell? Absolutely no evidence that he deserves that kind of bashing. As a layman and a Catholic, you owe a bishop (or any other human being for that matter) far greater deference.

  • “the fact is that when the poor have authentic political advocacy, people can be permanently lifted out of poverty.”

    I’d say the trillions in anti-poverty efforts by government since the Great Society demonstrates how well unearned government handouts work in lifting anyone out of poverty.

  • Michael D.,

    Excellent point, but when this sort of thing has been going on for many years. And when the CCHD ignores others (like ourselves) who point out the error of their ways and yet they still ignore, then that is a totally different animal.

    As Todd has so clearly and ironically demonstrated that the CCHD seems more partisan than Catholic. Their blind loyalty to everything in the Democratic Party platform has jaded them to the point of being laughable.

    Laughable meaning reading Bishop Morin continously defend the indefensible.

    Believe me I have deference. You’ll know it’s me when you see me bend to my knee to kiss Cardinal DiNardo’s ring in a busy airport. I’m not ashamed of being Catholic.

    Unlike Bishop Morin who will find any excuse in the book to stick to the Democratic Party platform Catholic teaching be damned.

  • But is Morin defending the indefensible? He’s arguing the indefensible does not apply to this situation, and that the CCHD is committed to making sure the indefensible does not occur.

    You can disagree with that statement, as it’s a statement of fact. But it seems to me that Morin here has good intentions and if nothing else pushes that standard that the CCHD must hold the groups it funds accountable and needs to improve in carrying out that mission.

  • Defend the indefensible?

    Like when I suggested to you to move to Houston?

  • I am making a point of giving an extra large donation to the CCHD development this year, to counter those whose bizarre and Beckian acorn-fixation has trumped their support of a key Church program. I would note that despite its reputation in secular right-wing circles, “community activism” has a long history in Catholic social teaching. We call it subsidiarity. I would also note that the call for Catholics to donate to the CCHD stands at the top of the USCCB’s website. In my own diocese, it was the subject of a heart-felt letter by Bishop Knestout.

  • Actually I will be giving my money to Salt and Light radio which my diocesan newspaper strangely ran an editorial that was negative. Also that will go for the money I usually give to the annual Bishop’s appeal. Still doing good – just in a different way and in a way I can specify.

  • Tony, since you are a Leftist, of course you approve of the funding choices made over the years by the CCHD. Lord only knows why any other Catholic should.

    http://bellarmineveritasministry.org/

  • Here is something else that I have always considered odd about CCHD: why in the world is the Catholic Church in this country funding groups that are not Catholic? There are legions of Catholic groups in this country helping the poor. Why not fund them? For the answer, read what Father Neuhaus wrote last year:

    “What most Catholics don’t know, and what would likely astonish them, is that CHD very explicitly does not fund Catholic institutions and apostolates that work with the poor. Part of the thinking when it was established in the ideological climate of the 1960s is that Catholic concern for the poor would not be perceived as credible if CHD funded Catholic organizations. Yes, that’s bizarre, but the history of CHD is bizarre. The bishops could really help poor people by promptly shutting down CHD and giving any remaining funds to, for instance, Catholic inner-city schools. In any event, if there is a collection at your parish this month, I suggest that you can return the envelope empty—and perhaps with a note of explanation—without the slightest moral hesitation.”

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2008/11/13/not-one-dime/

  • That’s a true Catholic for you — deliberately give more money to anti-Catholic organizations just out of spite for other Catholics for not being leftists.

  • Suggesting mendacity is morally beyond the pale.

    If not slander it is at least detraction.

    Sins of this type require restitution. There’s a serious obligation to undo unjust harm done to another’s reputation.

    The eighth commandment is still operative, if I’m not mistaken.

  • I don’t think that I support the theory that Bishop Morin is being mendacious in his defense of the CCHD, nor the idea that he’s essentially doing it for resume material or visible credit. However, as I read around about the collection it strikes me as a rather poor idea that it specifically restricts itself to:

    a) Non-Catholic groups (groups that are specifically Catholic will not be funded by the CCHD, it’s purpose is to fund non-Catholic groups)

    b) Programs that do not seek to directly alleviate poverty (by providing food, housing, money, clothing, etc. to those in need) but rather to social programs which seek to change society in ways that will alleviate poverty in the long run.

    Particularly in light of the second, it strikes me as a bit dishonest that the marketing for the campaign this year is all focused around the current recession and “how long can you hold on” themes. The CCHD programs will specifically _not_ help families hold on and get back on their feet.

    In this regard, I think suggestions of focusing (especially this year) on Catholic programs that seek to directly help those in need (such as St.VdP) are entirely reasonable. Reading over the list of groups which were funded last year on the USCCB site, I see very few that I would choose to donate to over the charities that I already fund. And coming two weeks after the annual diocesan appeal (which I support very, very strongly) it’s not at a good time in our diocese anyway.

  • “Mendacious” well, it’s a nice Latin way of calling someone a liar.

    Still, this post has been up all day and Donald has likewise had all day to consider the distinction between charity and justice. And he still doesn’t get it. For an educated man, willful ignorance is a sorry sight to see.

  • “For an educated man, willful ignorance is a sorry sight to see.”

    Actually Todd some of the most willfully ignorant individuals I have encountered during my life have been the best educated. Those without much formal education I have generally found to be eager to learn. As to charity and justice they are both essentially about love, and a key element of love is truth and not pleasing illusions about bishops or collections.

  • the fact is that when the poor have authentic political advocacy, people can be permanently lifted out of poverty

    When people have their health and acquire trade skills they can be permanently lifted out of poverty.

  • I am giving my money… wait a minute… never mind. Maybe next year…

  • Todd,

    When overwhelming evidence is showing how much evil these organizations do and the good bishop is willfully ignoring it, then he’s causing scandal.

    Donald,

    I agree. The most educated always find creative and innovative ways to lie through their teeth. Hoping that they find moral loopholes and ethical backdoors to continue lieing through their teeth.

  • Is Bishop Roger Morin Mendaciously Defending CCHD?

    IMHO YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Personally, I’m not getting too worked up over this. I agree with those who say that organisations that are not Catholic but help serve the poor (and in ways other than strictly soup kitchens, etc.) are worthy recipients. IKnowing mankind and burocracies, I think erros inevitable. The key questions are: are errors identified as such and acted on in ernest? What measures are taken to prevent them in the future. Tied to the later, was the issue really just an error or was it something endemic or nefarious?

    Frankly, I don’t think it is uncharitable or unreasonable to question the program or the judgment of those who run the operation. Excluding Catholic organisations strikes me as terribly imprudent and contrary to our the mission of the Church, which is in part to serve. The selection of some of these organisations is horrific and I can’t believe they were done in ingnorance. This is indeed a problem and IMO the only possible correction is to revisit the mission and operating plan, and start from ground up again.

  • Charity and justice are two different but complementary things. I would venture to suggest that while charity (tending to individual, immediate, short-term needs) is an area where church leaders and church institutions do well, justice (tending to the long-term needs of society) is more the job of the laity.

    Pope John Paul II more or less acknowledged that when he banned priests from running for public office — he was saying it’s not their job, that belongs to lay people exercising their properly formed convictions.

    C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity also said in a chapter about how “the Church” is supposed to lead the way in creating a just society, that this can be understood in two ways. If it means that active Christians ought to become politicians, business leaders, etc. and devote themselves to putting Christian principles into action, that is true.

    But if it means “the bench of bishops getting together to put out a political program,” that is wrong and silly, just as expecting Christian literature to come from priests and bishops writing plays and novels in their spare time, rather than from talented writers and poets who also happen to be Christians, would be silly.

    With that in mind, I think CCHD represents the official Church hierarchy trying to do something they were not really called to do.

  • “Tony, since you are a Leftist, of course you approve of the funding choices made over the years by the CCHD. Lord only knows why any other Catholic should.”

    By your argument, Donald, the US bishops are leftists, and God knows why Catholics should support them on this one.

  • I have issues with some of the funding decisions which CCHD has made to the point that I probably won’t contribute this year. *But*, I enthusiastically support the idea of trying to address human development in a systemic fashion (cf. Caritas in Veritate in general on human development). I give a more of my annual tithe to organizations that provide direct service to those in need (e.g. SVdPS), but I’d like to be able to contribute to an umbrella organization that provides funds for systemic solutions, much like CCHD intends to do.

    Anyone have any recommendations?

  • Tony I have no doubt that some Bishops lean as far Left as you do. A bigger problem is that most of them pay no attention and let USCCB bureaucrats run the show and almost all of them are on the political Left. The whole purpose of the CHD is not to help the poor but rather to fund political pressure groups of the left. The ACORN funding was not a bug but a wad of this annual tithe that Catholic parishioners unknowing pay to the Left in this country.

  • The question arises: why is the good bishop refusing to go slowly in examining the organization being funded by CATHOLIC money? Is it right for the good bishop to complain about sheep who bleat? It is certainly not right for him to accuse them of bad faith.

    I note that in my diocese money is to be directed to Albuquerque Interfaith. This is a group founded by Saul Alinsky, whose underlying purpose is to organize for political action.

    Meanwhile we have FOOD FOR THE POOR, ALBUQUERQUE RESCUE MISSION, the various groups helping the local Indian reservations, PREGNANCY HELP and so on. These are small groups who do actually feed the poor, and advise about pregnancies and the like.

  • Gabriel, I don’t fault CCHD for not funding organizations that provide direct assistance… their mission is to address problems at a systemic & structural level, which often entails political involvement. I welcome such an intention… I only wish that CCHD didn’t so often fund organizations with views in opposition to Catholic doctrine.

  • Its so sad that at a time when we are closing catholic schools in the inner cities, we are also giving money to groups like these.

  • The problems with the CCHD can be found right in its granting process. It grants only to those organizations that have the “involuntary poor” on their boards of directors. This defies common sense. If the poor understood the “root causes” of poverty and knew the remedies for them, then (Hello) they wouldn’t be poor, would they.

    The poor in this country have largely been conditioned to believe that the solution to poverty is government handouts. Therefore, the action to take to end poverty would be to register the poor to vote for those politicians who will give the most government(taxpayer) funds to the poor. Hence you have ACORN who’s main work was voter registration as a recipient of CCHD funds.

    Also, I would like to say that it is very devious how the Bishops go about getting this money. They should make it clear that the money will not be used by the
    Church directly but given to secular groups to do the work they cannor or will not do. If the Bishops want the faithful to give to these groups, they should issue pastoral guidelins saying so, not collect money under false pretenses then redistribute the moeny to these groups. The Bishops should put out their list of recommended charities, then let us decide which onnes we wnt to donate to.

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  • Another November CCHD collection to which I did not contribute. I have only so much money, and that will go to charities that I am certain are unquestionably Catholic. CCHD is not one of those.

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Long Remembered

Thursday, November 19, AD 2009

The new American history blog Almost Chosen People reminds us that today is the anniversary of the Gettysburg Addess, delivered on Nov. 19th, 1863. The Gettysburg Address stands unique, to my knowledge, in the American branch of the English-speaking world as the only speech by a political leader which is widely memorized and quoted in its entirety long after the fact. There are some isolated famous sections of speeches by FDR, JFK and Martin Luther King which are widely remembered, but unless anyone else can think of anything I’m completely forgetting, the Gettysburg Address is uniquely treated as a piece of rhetoric which is remembered and memorized in its entirity. (I still recall it nearly word for word, having memorized it in fifth grade.) Indeed, the only other similarly treated piece of oratory I can think of is the (fictional) Crispin’s Day speech in Shakespeare’s Henry V.

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate…we cannot consecrate…we cannot hallow…this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us…that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

From our international readers, I’m curious: What pieces of oratory are similarly remembered in the British-English world, or in other non-English-speaking countries?

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4 Responses to Long Remembered

  • I’m not a foreign reader but I can’t imagine there’s not a lot of Churchill’s orations remembered.

  • I was wondering about that. Certainly, there are bunch of Churchill quotes I can recall, but most of them are only a phrase or a sentence. I’m wondering if there are any whole speeches that are memorized routinely the way the Gettysburg Address is.

  • Lincoln has the advantage that this speech is short and, therefore, more easily memorizable. Senator Edwin Everett was actually the featured speaker that day and he spoke for several hours.

  • It’s true that the Gettysburg Address has the advantage of being short; but it also, as Everett himself said, captured the cental point of the occasion, and of the war itself, much better than Everett’s 2-3 hour speech.
    The Civil War was a defining event in American history – almost a second founding of the nation – at least, that seems to be how we’ve seen it – so the Gettysburg Address is sort of up there with the Declaration of Independence (first two paragraphs) as an idealistic, but grounded, manifesto of what the United States was all about. That quality of summing up what we believe we’re all about – or supposed to be all about – makes it memorable, as much as the mastery of languange, or even the brevity.

52 Responses to Expiration Dates

  • If Bishop Roger Morin continues his indefensible defense of the CCHD, he should be making that list soon.

  • I don’t see this list as very constructive, and some of the choices are downright baffling. For instance, I have a great deal of respect for Bishop Loverde in Arlington, Va. A bishop who personally marches outside abortion clinics, and writes series on the danger and prevalence of pornography; who sends his future priests to good seminaries. Why is it that we are eager to see him resign?

    The same could be said for many of the bishops on that list, I am sure, although I am not familiar with all of their work. I don’t understand why we would speak so uncharitably about so many dedicated bishops, and I think this type of flippant derision is in tension with the Catholic mission of this site.

    It’s not that I think the bishops are beyond reproach. I just think our criticism of the bishops should be more measured. As it is, I have no idea why most of those bishops are on the list.

  • Couldn’t disagree more John Henry. Many of the bishops in this country over the past four decades have been an ongoing affront to faithful Catholics. Blog criticism is a small penalty for the wholesale clerical malpractice they have been engaged in. As to Bishop Loverde, a good starting place would be to become familiar with the case of Father James Haley.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2004/mar/10/20040310-105348-7459r/

  • I hadn’t heard about the Father Haley case (not sure how I hadn’t). At the same time, I notice you, like a good litigator, have changed the subject. The question is not whether bad bishops should have to endure the criticism of irrelevant bloggers, but whether you have evidence that every one of these bishops is, in fact, a bad bishop, and whether the type of flippancy displayed in your post is a constructive way to address the (admitted) problem of bad bishops.

  • How many people actually PRAY for their Bishop?

    Oh, it’s true that I can’t stand liberal Democrat clergy (bishops or priests) who place the false gospel of social justice and peace at any price ahead of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    But that said, how many of us lift our priests and bishops up in prayer? If we have time to criticize them at a blog site (I confess my guilt!), then surely we have time to pray for them.

    PS, I think the Bishop for my Diocese (Raleigh, NC) is absolutely great and I pray for him every night, but I would do that even if he were a liberal Democrat – perhaps more so if he were.

    I won’t mince words: CCHD and much of the USCCB is biased towards that stupid liberal Democrat idea that we can somehow create peace on Earth by social justice programs. Horse manure. Only the Second Coming of Christ will do that.

  • Ditto what John Henry said. Couldn’t agree more.

  • In regard to each of the bishops mentioned on the list John Henry I believe they are bad bishops and I would be happy to give chapter and verse as to each bishop noted as time allows. Flippancy and humor can often be important tools when pointing out that authority has been abused. Heaven knows that silence and polite criticism seems to have been little good in bringing reform to the “hapless bench of bishops”, in Bishop Bruskewitz’s ringing phrase.

  • I understand where John Henry is coming from.

    Granted I may not have taken the same approach as that website, but our bishops are not above criticism.

    Decades of inaction and gross display of horrible management have boiled to the top in the form of blogging.

    Now the faithful have a forum to express their joys and displeasures of our Catholic faith.

    A bishop that not only does nothing, but does things that tear down our faith, for example the terrible bishop from LA, Cardinal Mahony, are leading thousands astray with their form of leadership.

    To stand by and do nothing probably falls under the sin of omission.

    My two cents worth.

  • I would be happy to give chapter and verse as to each bishop noted as time allows.

    Right. But you haven’t. I don’t mind criticism, but the person criticizing bears the burden of proof. If I put you on a list of ‘bad Catholic bloggers’ (which I would not do), I doubt you would be particularly impressed by the assurance that I could cite chapter and verse about why you’re a bad Catholic blogger.

    You’d want to see the evidence prior to being placed on the list, or at least at the time you were placed on the list. And blogging isn’t nearly as hard as being a bishop. Given the difficulty of the job, I think we owe a little more upfront courtesy to bishops.

    And, notice, you’ve said that ‘flippancy and humor can be important tools when pointing out authority has been abused,’ but you’re not pointing out any abuse here; just highlighting a ‘bad bishop’ list and saying you hope they retire. We should at least provide reasons if we’re going to be rude enough to compile a list of who we’re hoping will retire soon. And, really, the list seems unconstructive anyway, even assuming arguendo that humor can sometimes be constructive, and that these are bad bishops.

  • I’m not too impressed with Loverde. He encourages Altar girls. That’s enough for me to not trust him.

  • There are some Bishops on this list that really shouldn’t be on here. My own Bishop – Donald Wuerl – made the list, and I don’t think he belongs in the company of Trautman and Clark. I think he’s been too weak when it comes to the issue of dissident Catholic politicians, but he’s more outspoken than his predecessor, and is generally a very Orthodox and good Bishop.

  • Phil – I think that’s hilarious. There were two dioceses in the country that didn’t permit altar girls. Loverde changed the policy to allow them. I have my own criticisms of Loverde (and I’m shocked by the Fr. Haley case), but if altar girls is one of your main criticisms of any bishop I’d say he’s doing a great job. I’d also agree with Paul on Wuerl – again, criticisms can be made, but he is no Mahoney.

  • Don,
    You’re familiar with Bishop Lucas, I would assume. What are the criticisms of him?

    Regarding Fr. Haley, we have only ever heard his side of the debate. Arlington is by far the most conservative and traditional (politically, liturgically, morally) diocese I’ve lived in (Chicago, Green Bay, Peoria, and Washington D.C.). Regarding female altar servers (hardly an essential issue, I would think), he’s made it optional – up to the pastor’s discretion. Neither my current parish nor the one I worshipped in when I first moved here has them.

    I think the people who run that website are in for some disappointment when some of the Bishops are moved to more prominent assignments, as recently happened to Lucas and is likely to happen to Gregory and Kicanis. That the Pope selected Wuerhl for DC and made O’Malley a cardinal when the previous cardinal was still under 80 (which he hasn’t done for any other archbishop in the US, and not for many elsewhere) seems like has confidence in them too.

  • Cute. Two things.

    First, if you’re going to time things down to the hour, minute, and second, the least one can do is correct for the proper time zone in which these bishops live.

    Second, I love the emergence of political correctness in the Catholic Right. “Bad bishop” has suddenly come to mean “a bishop who insulted me by some subtle or significant dig at my own very special and excellent personal faith.”

    The time zone error belies the narcissism behind this kind of an effort and its support.

  • “Right. But you haven’t.”

    But I shall. As a matter of fact a “bad bishops” series of posts is taking shape. Thank you for the inspiration!

    “And blogging isn’t nearly as hard as being a bishop.”

    By the “fruits” of many bishops over the past few decades I doubt if hard work necessarily equals productive or good work.

  • “I don’t see this list as very constructive…” I have to agree w/ John Henry. And your claim that this list was “Something cheerful for a Thursday morning!” proved false. Wasn’t it St. Francis who always knelt upon seeing a priest no matter how scandalous that priest’s behavior? And as a rather well-known priest and preacher to millions has said, if we spent as much time praying for our bishops as we do criticizing them…

  • I think John Henry is correct on this one. Even if you have qualms with the Bishops, this might not be the best avenue or way of expressing it. I’m not sure that one can quite so easily create a list of “bad” bishops and for it to be entirely accurate. Obvious mishaps aside, one does not live in every diocese and observe every move and action of a Bishop. A lot of it has to hearsay and even then, some conceptions are inevitably biased. There is much a Catholic can be doing to promote God’s reconciling action in the world, being an actual agent, rather than compiling a list of Bishops you can’t wait to see gone retired from their office.

    In any event, I think the list is absurd. I’ll pray for the Bishops and the whole church and for everyone who has no qualms with this list.

  • I would disagree with some of the bishops on this list. I would also add my bishop who just directed the local Catholic Charities not to do any work on behalf of pro-life issues in the coming Legislative session. Only economic issues are to be pursued. Pro-lifers have been advised, essentially, to find other means and resources to pursue pro-life legislative progress. No help from the diocese.

    I would disagree somewhat with saying bishops are above reproach. I agree with praying for them. This first and foremost. But when they enter the political arena, then criticism is fair. When there is outright dissent from Church teaching – even more so. Life’s tough, they’re not babies and I do have a voice.

  • I don’t think anyone offering criticism here is saying that the Bishops are above reproach. I’m disagreeing with this general method.

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  • In regard to Bishop Lucas I thought he did a poor job in cleaning up the Bishop Ryan mess. I live just to the north of the Springfield diocese so I am painfully familiar with the details.

    http://stjohnsvaldosta.blogspot.com/2009/06/changing-of-guard-in-omaha.html

  • Fair enough Eric. Though such an approach is sometimes effective with thick, clerical skulls.

  • “Wasn’t it St. Francis who always knelt upon seeing a priest no matter how scandalous that priest’s behavior?”

    Mary Beth I think it is precisely that type of attitude, and I was guilty of it, that unknowingly aided and abetted predatory priests and the bishops who concealed their crimes. I will never give a priest or a bishop a pass on criticism simply due to their office, but rather hold them to a higher standard than I would a member of the laity.

  • One recalls Erasmus’ “In Praise of Folly.” Rather cutting critique of the clergy of the day. Perhaps Donald can name his bishops list after that.

  • John Henry,

    You can laugh all you want. It is as laughable as people who say that single issues should not determine how people are going to vote. We, who oppose abortion see it as laughable. Here’s what is not laughable to me, a Virginian from the diocese of Arlington:

    While Loverde scores well with the abortion issue, he has failed miserably when it comes to protecting the sacred liturgy. Any bishop who cannot understand how promoting girl servers leads to a road we all hope we won’t end up on (women ordinations) is either blind to the mysticism of the sacraments or just doesn’t care about the historic fabric of the Church.

    When a bishop decides to invites girls to serve, because he feels backed up in the corner by the Vatican into permitting the Latin mass for people who want it, that is not good leadership. That is plain politics.

    When a bishop tells a woman she cannot receive the precious Body on her knees because of his misunderstanding or his misinterpretations of written documents, that is leadership gone astray.

    Where are the boys lining up to jump at service to the Lord on His altar where the priests have taken Loverde’s words into action?

    I tell you, I worked at a parish where I had to instruct girls on how to serve and never have I felt more confused at the lack of honor and commitment by both sexes who decided to stay on and serve at the altar.

    When a bishop gives in to pressure from groups that don’t desire holiness from the liturgy, but some sort of political correctness, then we have failed leadership.

    OK..let’s talk about Fr. Haley now

  • Did I miss something, but what controversies was Christoph Cardinal Schonborn involved in?

  • Bret,

    He officiated a “balloon” Mass in Vienna, and then had the audacity to claim that it wasn’t really a balloon Mass.

    Then yesterday he took a month-long vacation to Medjugorie.

    He’s a big fan of those fake apparitions.

    Regardless of where you stand on Medjugorie, a bishop is not allowed to violate another bishop’s ruling on matters such as these. His mere presence is already causing a scandal.

    He’s lost all credibility in my eyes.

  • I’m with John Henry on this one.

    I’ve been critical of particular bishops in the past, but I never thought anything of it until I started looking at some nasty “progressive” Catholic sites. I was able to recognize their contempt where I’d never noticed my own. (That’s how sin usually is, isn’t it?)

    Donald McClarey is right about the danger of undue respect. Personally, I’m afraid that I’m off-the-charts erring in the other direction. There’s got to be a way of showing respect, obedience, and suspicion. I haven’t figured it out.

  • When criticizing bishops or priests, one must ask if it is criticism aimed at improving the Church, or at settling scores. Much of the criticism I see online seems more of an exercise in amusing or gratifying the like minded rather than actually doing anything constructive. The website linked above seems like a perfect case study of this sort of sniggering attitude.

    Just my five cents.

  • JohnH,

    I already gave you two cents.

    You accept Canadian peso’s?

  • “I already gave you two cents.”

    Tito, two cents don’t go as far as they used to!! 🙂

  • I’m old.

    I remember when I could buy a small round bubble gum in one of those glass globes at the supermarket for a penny!

    Or was it a dime?

    Anyhoo, I pretty much put all my pennies in a jar labeled “retirement fund”.

  • A penny. I remember those days too.

  • Any bishop who cannot understand how promoting girl servers leads to a road we all hope we won’t end up on (women ordinations) is either blind to the mysticism of the sacraments or just doesn’t care about the historic fabric of the Church.

    Maybe if the Right-wingers didn’t spend so much time in the 1940s telling everyone there was no need for the Dialogue Mass because the altar server making the responses represented the laity of the congregation, people today might buy the Right-wing new assertion that the altar servers are “little priests”.

  • Don, I have lived in the Springfield diocese for the past 4 1/2 years, and I didn’t see what was so awful about Bishop Lucas. He inherited a real no-win situation and while he could have done better cleaning up the mess Bishop Ryan left behind, he also could have done a whole lot worse. (At least he didn’t leave the diocese bankrupt from sex abuse lawsuits.)

    It’s true he didn’t come out publicly swinging against pro-abort pols like Springfield’s own Dick Durbin; but maybe it wasn’t necessary. When the pastor of the parish Durbin attended, or used to attend (Msgr. Kevin Vann, now bishop of Fort Worth, Texas) said he wouldn’t give Communion to Durbin, Bp. Lucas didn’t publicly say anything, but did he really have to? He simply let the pastor’s decision stand, and to this day (according to a conservative Catholic blogger of my acquaintance) Durbin attends Mass in Chicago or D.C. whenever possible, since he knows he can’t go to Communion at home.

    Needless to say his successor will still have a tough job ahead of him. Until further notice, on the last weekend of every month, all parish Masses in the diocese are offered for the intention that God send us a good and holy bishop. Hopefully those prayers will be answered.

    The episcopal rumor mill, such as it is, has been pointing to Auxiliary Bishops Paprocki and Perry of Chicago as possible contenders, but we shall see. (If new bishop rumors reported by local media were infallible, your bishop’s name right now would be Vigneron!)

  • Also — Tito, what the heck is a “balloon Mass”? When I Google that phrase all I get are results related to mass balloon launches and/or balloon events in Massachusetts!

  • Elaine, I think Bishop Lucas was far too slow to act and left too many of Ryan’s cronies in positions of power for far too long. For the benefit of people who don’t live in Illinois here is a brief overview of the sordid story of Bishop Ryan:

    http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2005_01_06/2005_03_13_Bakke_SinsOf.htm

  • In regard to Bishop Ryan, he might have remained Bishop of Springfield but for the agitation of a small group of lay Catholics who were widely denounced as nuts. I thought they were nuts at first. How foolish I was.

    http://www.rcf.org/press/releases/1999MAY11POSTCARDCAMPAIGN.htm

    These people knew what was up in the nineties. I find it impossible to believe that Bishop Lucas didn’t have precisely the same information from the moment he took over in 1999.

  • Don, the story you linked to is from 2005. Since then there have been no further scandals or revelations of past scandals, and no new multi-million-dollar lawsuits — which is more than can be said for some other dioceses. It appears that the Msgr. Costa incident (which occurred just before I moved to Springfield) might have been the catalyst that finally got Bishop Lucas to act. The investigation mentioned in the story finally wound up in 2007, and confirmed what everyone already knew about Bishop Ryan, Msgr. Costa, et al.

    If Bishop Ryan’s actions inflicted potentially fatal wounds upon the Church in the Springfield Diocese, Bishop Lucas at least stopped the “bleeding” and got things stabilized; it will be up to the next bishop (and probably one or more after him) to make it healthy again.

  • Oh by the way Tito — never mind — I found pictures of the balloon Mass, which is exactly what I suspected it was… a Mass with lots of balloons, and Eucharistic bread that looks like it was picked up at a 2-for-1 sale on pita pockets at the local supermarket. Has Cardinal Schonborn gone off his rocker or what?

  • I am sorry that many folks do not see the crassness of this website. I am also sorry for the coy sophistry with which the owner denies detracting from them. Some of the men on the website could have done truly disturbing things. Some of them were favorites of mine until I heard about one scandal or another – filthy art exhibits in the cathedral, Holy Communion knowingly given to Protestants, and so on.

    In private and personages are the key phrases, though.

    In private we may feel how we feel, and may share our feelings with others privately. But to publicly broadcast our misgivings does little to help the Church. Moreover, if we join our adversaries in hostility to our leaders, whose side, exactly, are we on? I do not see how this website can possibly be said to build up the faith, hope, or love of the Catholic faithful.

    Personages is precisely not what these persons are. They are not primarily “famous people,” even if they themselves have gotten too comfortable in their role as “really important.” They are primarily human beings, individuals with souls every bit as much as you or I. They are not cardboard cut-out supervillians, but real people with shoes and socks, stains on their shirts, bad stomachs or consciences, nieces and nephews who think they’re “the best,” and anxieties or regrets about the future and about their mistakes. Those bloated with pride have unfortunately become so as a consequence of their position. All the more reason for us to remember that they are just who they are – damaged souls in need of their Savior.

    To be frank, the solicitation for prayers on their behalf rings tinny and hollow given the clear intent of the website. I wonder, sometimes, what scandals I might cause if put into such a strong limelight. What scandals, brothers and sisters, do you think you might cause if your peculiar vices and foibles were magnified by greater opportunities to sin than you yet possess? These men are not unique in experiencing or capitulating to cowardice or lust, to greed or sloth.

    The site is clever and well-designed. I wonder whether it is of any benefit to souls out there, or whether it is rather only a misplaced outlet to really very legitimate anger over the mis-shepherding of the Church in so many places. A better outlet might be prayer and fasting for our shepherds, and encouragement to others to model for our bishops the sort of calm, strong love that they wish to receive from them. Needless to say, this site does not in any way model for us the sort of respect and obedience we are supposed to demonstrate for our bishops.

    God bless.

    Ryan Haber
    Kensington, Maryland

  • To be clear, by “this website,” I meant the GoodbyeBadBishops one… not American Catholic, of which I am very fond.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    “Mary Beth I think it is precisely that type of attitude, and I was guilty of it, that unknowingly aided and abetted predatory priests and the bishops who concealed their crimes.”

    No, sir, deference to the office of priest is not to be confused with complicity in the crimes of one. A petty example to make my point. Today I sat in line for sometime to make my confession at a large church in the area with several, often long, lines. Only one line was in use until a man, dressed entirely in black with a sweater zipped up to his chin (and so without a visible Roman collar, if he wore one) decided to leave the line and stand in the second, vacant line for the same set of confessionals, thereby perhaps intending to bypass those of us in the first line. I said to him, “Excuse me, sir. There is only one line in use right now; we have been waiting.”

    The man in line next to me whispered, “He might be a priest.”

    I responded, “I don’t know if he’s a priest, but I do know that there’s a line.”

    There is no call to “give a pass” on criminal or immoral behavior. At that moment, I would not have fought the man in black for my place in line, but I took sensible measure to ensure that everything was on the up-and-up.

    If I personally know of criminal or immoral activity going on, I will do what I can to stop it. Publishing a list of bishops I do not like and the times at which they are projected to retire hardly accomplishes – or even advances – this goal. Moreover, a number of the men on that website have not actually even been accused of anything miscreant or malfeasant. They are only managing their diocese in a way that somebody else does not like.

    It is a funny thing, how much their detractors feel they know about most of these bishops and their circumstances, compared to how little they probably actually know about either.

    If one of these bishops intervened in my family and said, “Hey, look, you’re not raising your daughter right!” I’d be right to ask what the heck he knows about my daughter. It’s very much the same situation. There is so much going on even in a parish that only the pastor knows about. So many of his decisions are based on factors of which I am totally unaware – of which I must, for good reasons, remain totally unaware. I am not here speaking about gross criminality, like child abuse; but about decisions I do not understand, like who excommunicates or does not excommunicate whom.

    It is very easy to stand back and carp at Catholic bishops, but on precisely whose side does such ugliness place us? Are we then advocates for Christ and His Church, or are we playing the Devil’s advocate?

  • One last note before going off to bed, Mr. McClarey. I note your case for Fr. Haley comes from the Washington Times. While we are perhaps more sympathetic to that paper’s overall bias than we are to its competitor’s, I still wonder how reliable on religious matters a source may be that is owned by the Moonies. The Rev. Sun Myung Moon believes that he is Jesus Christ, and in true ecumenical spirit presided over the marriage of (Catholic) Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo to a Korean acupuncturist.

    I know something of Fr. Haley’s case through personal contact with some people directly involved, and know that it is not as clear-cut a case of the mean bishop persecuting the orthodox priest as it the WT makes it sound.

    All this illustrates a point I made in my previous post – there is a LOT of information a bishop considers in some of his decisions that we just do not know. It is dangerous to think that we know more than we do, and to make rash judgments as a result.

  • Ryan, the Father Haley story has been all over various media sources, and the fact that I cite the Washington Times is completely irrelevant as to what happened to Father Haley.

    In regard to priests and bishops, I think an exaggerated deference to them did cause too many Catholics to turn a blind eye to manifest corruption among the clergy. I know that was certainly true in my case, and it is an error I am not going to be guilty of again. I respect the priesthood and the bishops, and I will follow their lead as shepherds of the church. However, when they act like fools or corrupt shepherds I believe it is the duty of the laity to point this out.

  • Not to get off topic but is this assertion accurate?

    “Maybe if the Right-wingers didn’t spend so much time in the 1940s telling everyone there was no need for the Dialogue Mass because the altar server making the responses represented the laity of the congregation, people today might buy the Right-wing new assertion that the altar servers are “little priests”.”

    And even if it is, how many Catholics are still around that remember or paid attention to what “right wingers” were saying in the 1940s about the server taking the place of the laity? (One would have to be past age 70 to fall into this category.) So how is it relevant to the current situation?

  • I agree with Donald’s last post.

    Too many times have these bishops and priests been given a pass.

    Many of them may have been alerted of their behavior and mismanagement, ie, as in Cardinal Mahony, yet they still continue to abuse their positions and the faith.

  • Right, but it’s a red herring, Donald and Tito. I said right off the bat that I was setting aside criminal and grossly immoral behavior, about which we have a duty to challenge anyone, and publicly if the behavior is public.

    Many of the bishops listed on the website aren’t even accused of anything criminal or grossly immoral, but only of running their diocese in a way that others don’t like. That’s a whole different question.

    That’s a whole different question.

    Moreover, the point remains that the WhenWillTheBishopRetire website is crass and uncharitable. It will help, as far as I can tell, precisely zero souls grow in faith, hope, or charity – and that is supposed to be the work of every Christian.

  • Katharine,

    If you are still reading this post and its comments, what the heck is a right-winger, and what has one got to do with liturgy? Is a right-wing liturgy one with swastikas? What? I don’t get it.

  • Ryan,

    I see where you are coming from.

    But the website can serve as a warning to the faithful. The faithful can take the knowledge that they may be in the diocese of one of these bad bishops and not be led astray from Christ.

    Jesus will take care of the rest of them as he fashions millstones for each one of them.

  • Tito,

    A well-formed conscience smells a rat a mile away. We do not need to weigh in on every battle over whether people in a diocese are kneeling or standing during the consecration.

    The simple fact is that the website in question does not build unity in our Church, but rather suspicion and discord. A website devoted to catechesis would very likely accomplish the same effect of fortifying souls, without the deleterious effect of setting flock against shepherd. That is my chief objection to Michael Rose’s book, “Goodbye, Good Men,” which is mentioned on the website’s FAQ. I spent 3 1/2 years in seminary, and before I “shipped out,” I had dozens of well-meaning but entirely ignorant people ask me if I was being sent to a “gay seminary,” (I was not) and even telling me that I should, “tell the bishop to send me only to a good one.” The real problems with the book were numerous; first and foremost, that Rose was a day late and a dollar short. The problems cited were mostly eliminated as far as 10-20 years before the book went to press, and he knew it when the book went to press.

    This website will have only one effect: it will increase people’s the distrust of their bishops. It is a vent for (legitimate) anger, but it is not a legitimate or productive vent.

    Again, I am not talking about criminal behavior or gross immorality (like breaking vows of celibacy). I am talking about the management (or lack thereof) of a diocese. When we begin to criticize without knowing the full story, and we rarely know the full story, we are treading on thin, thin ice.

    Saints have upbraided popes; they have not publicly maligned them.

    It would be good to remember that not only bishops will have millstones about their necks in the life to come.

  • Ryan,

    Your charitable and fine comments are duly noted.

Almost Chosen People

Thursday, November 19, AD 2009

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Senate of the State of New-Jersey: I am very grateful to you for the honorable reception of which I have been the object. I cannot but remember the place that New-Jersey holds in our early history. In the early Revolutionary struggle, few of the States among the old Thirteen had more of the battle-fields of the country within their limits than old New-Jersey. May I be pardoned if, upon this occasion, I mention that away back in my childhood, the earliest days of my being able to read, I got hold of a small book, such a one as few of the younger members have ever seen, “Weem’s Life of Washington.” I remember all the accounts there given of the battle fields and struggles for the liberties of the country, and none fixed themselves upon my imagination so deeply as the struggle here at Trenton, New-Jersey. The crossing of the river; the contest with the Hessians; the great hardships endured at that time, all fixed themselves on my memory more than any single revolutionary event; and you all know, for you have all been boys, how these early impressions last longer than any others. I recollect thinking then, boy even though I was, that there must have been something more than common that those men struggled for; that something even more than National Independence; that something that held out a great promise to all the people of the world to all time to come; I am exceedingly anxious that this Union, the Constitution, and the liberties of the people shall be perpetuated in accordance with the original idea for which that struggle was made, and I shall be most happy indeed if I shall be an humble instrument in the hands of the Almighty, and of this, his almost chosen people, for perpetuating the object of that great struggle. You give me this reception, as I understand, without distinction of party. I learn that this body is composed of a majority of gentlemen who, in the exercise of their best judgment in the choice of a Chief Magistrate, did not think I was the man. I understand, nevertheless, that they came forward here to greet me as the constitutional President of the United States — as citizens of the United States, to meet the man who, for the time being, is the representative man of the nation, united by a purpose to perpetuate the Union and liberties of the people. As such, I accept this reception more gratefully than I could do did I believe it was tendered to me as an individual.

Abraham Lincoln, February 21, 1861

Announcing a new blog, Almost Chosen People.  It is a blog dedicated to American history up through Reconstruction.  I am one of the contributors.  A fair amount of my initial posts at this blog will be reposts of material first posted at The American Catholic, but they will be interspersed with new material.  My fellow contributors, including Paul Zummo of the Cranky Conservative, and Dale Price of Dyspeptic Mutterings,  will be providing posts that will be well worth reading, so please stop by.  Needless to say, although I’ll say it anyway, this new blog will not lessen my posting frequency here at The American Catholic.

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4 Responses to Almost Chosen People

Should Chavez's Threats Against Colombia Be Taken Seriously?

Wednesday, November 18, AD 2009

The Los Angeles Times provides an interview with regional analyst Maruja Tarre, currently based in Caracas, Venezuela on how seriously Hugo Chavez’s saber rattling against Colombia should be taken:

Should Chavez be taken seriously? Yes, says Maruja Tarre, former international relations professor with a degree from Harvard Kennedy School and now a Caracas-based consultant to multinational firms.

With his revolution losing popularity amid rising inflation, rampant crime, a stagnant economy, and frequent water shortages and power outages, Chavez needs a galvanizing event, she says. A border skirmish, if not a full-fledged war, would solidify his support base ahead of next year’s legislative elections and give his Bolivarian Revolution the heroic episode that it lacks.

Tarre was interviewed Tuesday at her home in Caracas.

Verbal assaults by Chavez are nothing new. People usually react by saying it’s all talk. Should his threats be taken any more seriously this time?

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One Response to Should Chavez's Threats Against Colombia Be Taken Seriously?

  • how are we supposed to take this amerikkkanist analysis of the situation seriously when you didn’t even include that little emphasis thingy above the “a” in Comrade Chávez’s name?!?!

7 Responses to Biden in Charge!

The Road to Serfdom

Tuesday, November 17, AD 2009

I do not endorse some of the overheated added commentary, but I believe Friedrich von Hayek’s warnings of the long terms dangers of a planned economy are just as prescient today as when the book The Road to Serfdom was published in 1944.  It is a short book and well worth the time it takes to read it. Some memorable quotes of von Hayek:

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5 Responses to The Road to Serfdom

  • Hilaire Belloc in THE SERVILE STATE anticipated Hayek by several decades.

  • Interesting that GM’s several billion loss this quarter indicates that it is on the road to recovery. It will be able to repay part of the government loans from government money.
    Creative Accounting it is called.

  • Or you could call it a lie. Maybe theft. Perhaps B.S.

    I wonder if I can convince my mortgage company to confiscate money from other debtors and give me a non-recallable, non-recourse loan so I can use that to pay my mortgage. My balance sheet would look great and then they can make brochures with my face on them showing a success story for financial prudence. How do I sell this? . . .

  • Do we need government? Of course, we have disorderd appetites and we must use force to restrain some of them. Murder, rape, kidnapping, plunder by another government, etc. However, we need to limit the scope of that government becuase it will be run by the same people it seeks to govern: sinners. The temptation to power is too great for any man so the power must be tempered and temporary.

    Economic rights, such as private property and a stable reserve currency that is pegged to a commodity to keep its inflation in check are very important. Hayek was right about all that and he also knew that if wealth is controlled by the collective then the individual is a slave and a slave that will not be free to excercise the worship of religion. Not good, unless you like that sort of thing.

    You know that old chestnut: Freedom is Slavery. It is a brave new world. We used to be apes and now we can be gods.

  • Gabriel,

    I’m going to buy that book by Hilaire. I’m a big fan of Von Hayek and if Belloc is anything close to it, I’d like it to be Catholic.

Chavez Threatens War With Colombia

Monday, November 16, AD 2009

Tensions are mounting in Central America as Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez masses troops on the border with Columbia and tells his military to “prepare for war”.

The Venezuelan ambassador to Bogota, Gustavo Marquez, said that the seriousness of the situation could not be overstated and that “there is a pre-war situation in the entire region”.

Diplomatic relations between the South American neighbours are frozen and on Saturday President Chavez escalated the war of words with President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia by saying there was no chance of dialogue.

While those who are committed Chavez fans, convinced that he wants only what is best for his people and the region, may accept his claim that this escalation is necessary because Columbia has invited the US to set up military bases in their country, which Chavez sees as presaging a US invasion of Venezuela, most will see this as evidence that Chavez is seeking to establish a national enemy in order to distract his people’s attention from the economic problems the Chavez regime has inflicted on them. His ability to use Venezuelan oil revenues to buy support at home and abroad is suffering because his government-run oil companies have failed to invest in infrastructure and thus have experienced declining output over the last several years.

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30 Responses to Chavez Threatens War With Colombia

  • To be accurate, Venezuela and Colombia are in South America, not Central (actually , Central America does not exist as a separate continent – it is a geopolitical designation like the Middle East).

  • Good point.. Politically, I’d tend to think of Venezuela and Columbia as being part of the Central American sphere, but that may be my own hang-up.

  • Colombia is thrice as populous as Venezuela and has a working military, albeit one occupied in counter-insurgency operations rather than conventional war. Col. Chavez has been (per news reports) been cashiering officers on political criteria. One can easily imagine this will end badly for Venezuela if they come to blows.

  • While I have nothing but contempt for Chavez and his corrupt and near-despotic government, I believe it to be a tragic mistake for Colombia to allow the US to build any military facility in their country. The influence of the US is every bit as malignant as that of Chavez and his ilk.

    I can only hope the people of Colombia will knock some sense into the heads of their leaders and tell them to keep the American rattlesnake at arm’s length.

  • Dan,
    The American rattlesnake’s support for Uribe (and Pastrana before) through Plan Colombia has given the Colombian government the chance to defeat the FARC and ELN sufficiently so that many more people there live in peace than was the case 10 years ago. US extradition is the threat whereby Colombia was able to convince the AUC right wing paramilitary to stand down. It seems the snake has mostly bitten the rabid dogs.

  • It’s not the first time Chávez threatens to do something like this. If my memory serves me well, the last time there were rumours that he wouldn’t be obeyed if he ordered the Armed Forces something crazy.

    The problem with this kind of people is that you get used to see them posing as personae and parroting a ludicrous jargon (all that “Bolivarian” and “21st-century socialism” stuff which, by the way, is pure plagiarism from Peron’s “20-century socialism”, to the extent that it’s fair to say that Chávez is a Peronist) and you start taking them less and less seriously, until one day they mean it.

  • If you are not even aware of the location of Venezuela, I’m not sure we can trust your commentary on it.

  • Michael,

    Glad to see you continue to show up whenever you have something particularly deep to say.

    Given that basically all the commentary here comes from the UK Telegraph, I’m not sure what exactly of mine you think should be discounted. Perhaps my suggestion that we all pray that Chavez not allow his militarism to run away with him and lead his country into an unnecessary and unjust war?

    As for my referring to Columbia and Venezuala as being in Central American — it would have been more precise for me to speak of “Latin America” or simply of “South America”. Arguing about whether Columia is in “Central America” is (given that Central America is not actually a continent, but rather a term used for the most southern reaches of North America) rather like arguing whether Pakistan and Afghanistan are part of the “Middle East”. I’m not going to bother with it — but if you think it’s the most interesting thing about Chavez’s brinksmanship, feel free to enlighten us.

    (I considered correcting the wording in the article as soon as it was mentioned, since I realized I’d simply been sloppy in writing it quickly, but I figured since someone had pointed out the issue via a comment it was more honest to leave it as is.)

  • Politically…part of the Central American sphere

    An argument can be made for that, particularly Venezuela with its Carribean influence.

  • In fact, if you look at it from the point of view whether a Venezuelan-Colombian fracas would be more disruptive to neighbors to the north or those to the south, I would venture to say to the north. The closest southern (really, more southeastern) neighbor would be Brazil, and given the relative size and stability, it would be less impacted than say, Panama, to the north. Perhaps Paraguay, Bolivia or Ecuador would feel it more like Panama, but assuming most of it would occur along the Col-Ven border, they would seem more physically removed.

  • As for my referring to Columbia and Venezuala as being in Central American…

    Ah yes, you finally get around to responding to my comment at this point.

    …it would have been more precise for me to speak of “Latin America” or simply of “South America”.

    Yes. Precisely my point.

    Arguing about whether Columia is in “Central America” is (given that Central America is not actually a continent, but rather a term used for the most southern reaches of North America) rather like arguing whether Pakistan and Afghanistan are part of the “Middle East”.

    No, it’s not. It’s quite obvious what “Central America” refers to, especially to folks who actually care about the region and do not simply make reference to it in order to do some pro-Amerikkka posturing.

  • Michael,

    If you are so incredibly concerned about the region, I’m a bit confused as to whether you’ve posted twice about a mistake I made in terminology, but seem to have no particular concern about Columbia potentially being invaded by Chavez for no very good reason.

    Personally, I have a couple friends who live in Columbia, and I certainly wouldn’t want the delusions of the left’s favorite South American strongman to result in their country being invaded. Is that “pro-Amerikka posturing”?

    Maybe if Chavez had spent some time at the School of the Americas or was considered “right wing” you too could bring yourself to care about Columbia?

  • Yeah. I just don’t care about Colombia. I care enough about it to spell it correctly! (And I know it’s not in Central America.)

  • pro-Amerikkka posturing

    Ah yes – thanks for the few seconds of distraction and enertainment. This typically juvenile behavior is more notable than much of rest, however, given the very significant amount of ideological gymnastics one would need to attempt in an engagement with Darwin (or myself, let’s return to issue of Honduras if you wish) concerning the actions of Chavez – especially if one would wish to deride imperialism, militarism, interfering with the affairs of other nations, ect. ect. ect. Or maybe its in some way ok if the person claims to speak for the “oppressed??” Let us know!

    So how about giving it a shot, then, and leaving these sorts of pleas for attention aside?

  • Touche.

    All right, Michael. We know now that you care about Colombia — though apparently not about other countries you don’t know how to spell. (e.g. “Amerikkka”)

    And we know that I incorrectly imagined one could refer to all the countries with coastline on the Caribean Basin as “Central America”.

    Perish the thought, however that we should allow ourselves to be distracted from these important learnings into not wanting Chavez to start a war or anything. That would be madness.

  • Michael, do you ever even listen to yourself?

  • One would hope not.

  • michael we all know you dont listen to yourself. as for this iccedient venizula should just call it off because if they do anything to the U.S base in columbia the united states will send forces to Venizula and the u.s will win. i also think that the people in venuzlia should stop because they already have there 4 guards back. nobody got hurt and if this happens again. the u.s should just leave the base in columbia for good because next time there will be a war for sure.

  • I just don’t care about Colombia. I care enough about it to spell it correctly!

    You care enough to spell it correctly. That sounds about right.

  • At least the real michael makes sense.

  • “Amerikkka” – the calling card of the Maoist.

  • “folks who actually care about the region…”

    Iafrate can read into men’s souls. What a charism. Must be another example of God choosing an idiot to do his work.

  • Actually the definition of Central America has shifted over time. For example, when Panama was part of Colombia it was not considered part of Central America, although it was always a separate, and rebellious, region of that country. Some definitions of Central America include the southern portions of Mexico. The European Union excludes Belize from its definition of Central America.

  • There’s no evidence that Michael “cares” or does anything whatsoever about the Third World poor other than to mention them occasionally as a prop on behalf of whatever lefty cause he’s supporting as to relatively richer North Americans.

  • He could have also said: United $nakes of Amerikkka as an acceptable alternative.

  • if i didnt care. then why would i put a comment on this article. As you can see you are probably someone who lives in venizula and knows if you guys harm the base in coloumbia we will send more then 15000 men over there and beat you guys like on how we did to any toher country who tried thearting us.

  • Darwin – Are you trying to pretend that you’re against war now?

  • I am and always have been against needless and unjust war — and I see no reason to believe that Chavez invading Colombia would be anything other than needless and unjust.

  • There’s also no evidence that Michael is anti-war. The only wars he ever complains about are those in which America was involved. If it’s one of the thugs that he otherwise admires (Chavez), he doesn’t care.

  • Of course I’d be against a Chavez-started war. That goes without saying. The concerns I have raised are unrelated to that.

Hard Boiled Hobbit

Monday, November 16, AD 2009

This video re-awakened one of my alternate history fantasies:  Tolkien publishes the Lord of the Rings in the Thirties to immediate acclaim.  The film rights are bought by Hollywood with the condition that Tolkien has script approval.  Tolkien relunctantly travels to Hollywood during the filming where an epic, and comedic, struggle ensues as Middle Earth and the Golden Age of Hollywood come into mortal combat. 

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9 Responses to Hard Boiled Hobbit

  • Mickey Rooney as the Hobbit.

  • Inspired Joe. Where Rooney goes Judy Garland would probably follow. I think she would have made an intriguing Eowyn.

  • Errol Flynn as Aragorn. Clark Gable as Boromir. Ronald Reagan as Faramir. Jimmy Stewart as Theoden. Gary Cooper as Gandalf.

  • Lionel Barrymore also would’ve made a good Gandalf.

  • Lavish Cinemascope musical with stereophonic sound (and freely ignoring studio contracts):
    Fred Astaire as Frodo
    Vera-Ellen as Galadriel
    Basil Rathbone as Saruman
    Michael Rennie as Aragorn
    Cyd Charisse as Arwen
    Yul Brynner as Elrond
    Peter Lorre still Sméagol/Gollum (who else?)
    Oscar Levant as Samwise
    Bing Crosby as Gandalf
    I’ll stop now.

  • Suz, Basil Rathbone is just who I was thinking about as Saruman! Peter Lorre as Smeagol/Gollum is a role he was born for, but alas too soon! Jay, Lionel Barrymore, with his unforgettable voice, would have been an astounding Gandalf. Clark Gable as Boromir is brilliant! He usually sided with the angels in his films, but he also projected an image that said that he would be at home with the other team also.

  • Bogey as Frodo – what a stretch 😆

  • Any of those people who have traded their last ounce of dignity to appear on one of the dysfunctional has-been celebrity reality shows would make for an effective casting of Gollum.

    Imagine the Duke as Frodo. Even with the script the same it would be like a whole other story.

  • Rick that would be saved for the sequel directed by John Ford. In the far reaches of Rohan, Wayne and his intrepid frontier Riders battle the Mescalero Orcs!

D.C. Council vs. the Catholic Church Poll

Sunday, November 15, AD 2009

The Washington Post has a poll out on whether or not Washington D.C. should require the Church to follow a law it considers immoral?

This is in regards to whether Catholic Charities should be forced to go against the Catholic Church teachings because they receive funding from the Washington D.C. city council.

In previous TAC posts we wrote about DC Bigotry and about Setting the Record Straight on the Church in D.C. (by Donald R. McClarey and Joe Hargrave respectively).

Of course not, but the Know-Nothings are in force and are skewing the numbers so go to the poll to vote!

To vote click here.

So far as of November 15, 6:15pm CST:

D.C. Council vs. the Catholic Church

The D.C. Council is considering a law forbidding discrimination against those in gay marriages. The law would apply to all groups that have contracts with the District, including Catholic Charities, one of the city’s largest social services providers. The Archdiocese of Washington says that because of the Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage, it would have to suspend its social services to the poor, the homeless and others rather than provide employee benefits to same-sex married couples or allow them to adopt.

Should the city require the Church to follow a law it considers immoral?

chart

Father John Zuhlsdorf and I voted “NO”.

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11 Responses to D.C. Council vs. the Catholic Church Poll

  • I voted no. Surprise!

  • The presiding Priest at the 10:00 Mass this morning at St. Matthew’s Cathedral (Fr. Knestout) preached on the controversy surrounding Catholic Charities as it relates to this bill. Fr. Knestout is very reserved, but you can feel the force of his disgust with the media coverage of the situation. He suggested that after all the emails he received from irate individuals, perhaps those emails should now be sent to the people on the City Council responsible for this unconstitutional abomination.

  • Sadly we can expect this sort of mess when the Church accepts terms and missions from pagan governments. We should stay clear. The Church is not a welfare agency. Before you bleeding hearts jump on me for being callous and unCatholic, I am not suggesting that we do not have a commandment to feed, clothe, etc. and take care of the poor and infirm; I am saying that it is more important for the Church to help get their souls saved than to feed them.

    Ideally the Church will do both; however, when the Church begins to take money and queues from pagan governments the worshipers of the spirit of the present darkeness will seek to silence the Church (no proselytizing). DC has decided to bunt the Church – good. Do the work anyway and preach the Gospel while doing it.

    BTW – I voted no! Did you read the misinformed venom in the comments? This is scary stuff – its not funny and it should not be taken lightly. Hating Catholics that aren’t with the program, nudge, nudge, wink, wink is cool. Bring it on!

  • Thanks guys for voting.

    It seems to be helping a little. The ‘No’ are now 26% instead of 25%.

    There must be a lot of bigoted people in DC for the numbers to be skewed that way.

  • Tito,

    That comes as no surprise to those of us trapped behind enemy lines in enemy-occupied Northern Virginia (Greater Washington, DC).

    Pray, pray, pray.

    St. Michael the Archangel defend us in battle. . .

  • So much for democracy, the best form of government?

  • I voted “no” – It is an act of charity to give those with same-sex attraction a united Catholic face- that stays with the truth/mercy of our Catholic teaching. Those who enable sin may be even more accountable for that sin than those who ignorantly engage in the sinful act itself. The sin of misleading the little ones- with the image of the millstone tied around one’s waist and being cast into a deep Sea- should be sobering for any Catholic who seeks to re-write the Catechism.

  • the father z approach to online witness! way to go!

  • Here’s another lesson in the difference between charity and government. Would that our bishops learn from these lessons and lose their habit of plumping for government spending labeled ‘welfare.’

  • P.Z. Myers has posted this poll on his blog and has asked his readers to skew the results.

  • While I agree with Fr Z on the question the poll asks, I’m not sure starting a poll skewing war with the sundry inhabitants of cyberspace is .. a worthwhile pursuit.

Great Jesuits 4: With God in Russia

Sunday, November 15, AD 2009

Fr_ Walter J_ Ciszek, S_J_

Part 4 of my series on great Jesuits in American history

Perhaps there are braver men than Walter Ciszek, but they don’t come readily to mind.  Hard enough to be brave for a short period when the adrenaline is flowing.  Ciszek was brave under often horrendous circumstances for almost a quarter of a century.

Born in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania on November 4, 1904, the son of Polish immigrants, he grew to be  a wild, tough kid, a bully and gang member.   He therefore floored his parents when he told them he wanted to be a priest.  Entering a minor seminary he remained tough as he related:

“And I had to be tough. I’d get up at four-thirty in the morning to run five miles around the lake on the seminary grounds, or go swimming in November when the lake was little better than frozen. I still couldn’t stand to think that anyone could do something I couldn’t do, so one year during Lent I ate nothing but bread and water for the forty days –another year I ate no meat at all for the whole year –just to see if I could do it. “

Always looking for a challenge, Ciszek simply presented himself to the Jesuit provincial in the Bronx in 1928 and announced, “I’m going to be a Jesuit!”

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11 Responses to Great Jesuits 4: With God in Russia

The "Heresy" of Worldly-Contentedness

Saturday, November 14, AD 2009

Lukewarm means death to the spirit, death to the Church, death to Hope. It is often disguised as a worldly contentedness which seems to suffice until tragedy strikes- then you know you should’ve given your all – instead of taking the ones you love for granted, instead of assuming that Christ is ok with lip service comm…itments- if you want it All, you have be ready to give your all. I’ve been down that Half-Assed Christian path, and it is a loser. Who wants a half-assed husband, a half-assed father, a half-assed teacher, a half-assed disciple of Love and Truth???? Well, not my wife, not my children, and not my Lord Jesus Christ- my students don’t seem to care most of the time but that doesn’t mean the seeds I’m planting are a waste of my efforts. Spending your time spreading love and truth is never a waste of time.

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7 Responses to The "Heresy" of Worldly-Contentedness

  • I’m trying to ‘read more’ but there’s a problem with the link.

  • Visitor- there is no more material to be read- I’m not sure why the “Read More” is activated- sorry about that-

  • I removed the “Read More”.

  • In case anyone is offended by my use of the word “half-assed”- I reference St.Francis who called his body “Brother Ass”- so for me going about life and faith in a “half-assed” manner is like using only a half (or less) of your God-given potential for good.

  • It is so true. Every time I think I’ve improved, I realize how slow, lazy and unholy I am. Lukewarmness sucks. Today’s Gospel reading is a good, swift kick in the half-ass, or even the whole-ass. There may not be a tomorrow. We can’t waste time going through the motions.

    “But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Mark 13:32

  • No, I’m not offended by your use of ‘half-assed.’ I’m only offended by my own half-assedness.

  • Fair enough that there’s no more to read. But don’t you think there ought to be??? Not enough is said of lukewarmness.

    And I agree that it sucks.

34 Responses to Compare and Contrast

  • While personally speaking I don’t put as much stock in this sort of thing as some, I think it is interesting to contrast his ‘bowing’ incidents with his encounters with Queen Elizabeth and Pope Benedict. I think the Holy Father got a handshake and the First Lady gave the queen a pat on the back…

    Perhaps the POTUS has a dim view for institutions of Western Civilization?

  • B.O. seems to feel uncomfortable with the idea that all men are created equal.

    Gonna be a long time till Jan. 20 2013.

  • He’s only shaking with one hand! How disrespectful! No wonder why the world thinks Americans are arrogant!

    He shouldn’t have bowed, at least not that profoundly. But the reason he shouldn’t have is because it’ll offend Republicans.

  • restrainedradical, Heads of State never bow. I guess the Southside Messiah skipped that section when he was reading Protocol For Dummies.

  • Catholic heads of state always bow to the pope.

    Heads of state should also never give unwanted shoulder massages and you shouldn’t even need Protocol for Dummies to know that. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dfrHT8o-0A

  • What his handlers forgot to brief him on is that how far you bow conveys status in Japan. If you bow further, you imply the other is your superior. However, if you bow much further than you ought to, it is considered sarcastic. (Though in this case, I’m assuming it was merely taken as clueless.)

    If you’re not going to bother to know enough about a culture to get things right, you shouldn’t go through the motions at all.

  • He was probably told to make a profound bow which would’ve be appropriate if he weren’t a foreign head of state.

    A bow of the head would’ve be appropriate since it isn’t a sign of respect but a greeting.

  • restrained radical, Akihito isn’t the Pope and Obama isn’t Catholic (Praise the Lord!). As for Bush and Merkel, I guess no one has found any pics of Bush bowing to anyone, so that is the best that can be found in retaliation for Obama embarrassing himself and the US.

  • You know, the odd thing about this is that Obama was criticized for what seemed like a bow to the Saudi King earlier this year. Either this was deliberate, or the man is very slow to learn from mistakes.

  • Didn’t we set up the office of the President after we fought a war to get rid of an earthly king?

    It seems odd that our President, chief diplomat, would bow to any earthly king.

    Bowing to the pope would be different since the pope is a head of state and also head of the universal Church to which 25% of Obama’s constituents belong. I am not saying a non-Catholic should bow to the pope; however, one can accept it as a sign of respect for The King that the pope represents and Obama alleges that he is a Christian and he represents a nation that identifies itself as 85%+/- Christian. Although some of those conisder the pope the antichrist and the Church the whore of Babylon – poor fools.

    Donald, I will take issue with your PTL for BHO not being Catholic. I pray that he converts; not into a Pelosi-type of Catholic but into an orthodox Catholic. Can you imagine what a blow that would be to the forces of evil?

  • My comment AK was in reference to Obama as a Catholic with his current policies, which I believe would make him a CINO.

  • Unlike Pelosi and her cohorts are correctly called SICO’s.

    “Self Identified Catholic’s Only”.

  • Not maintaining eye contact also makes it a particularly submissive gesture. This photo will not enhance Obama’s stature in Asia one bit.

    For someone touted as vastly more worldly than Dubya, Obama keeps making rookie blunders when he travels beyond our shores.

  • Here’s a link to photos of other world leaders meeting with the Emperor of Japan. To a man, they all managed to resist the urge to bow:

    http://hotairpundit.blogspot.com/2009/11/president-obama-vs-rest-of-world.html

  • BTW, does anybody know if JKF bowed to the Pope when he met him? Certainly, Catholics will agree that a Catholic president should do so, and yet it had to be a rather delicate situation for JFK, given that he had had to convince the American public during his campaign that the US would not be controlled by the Vatican if he were elected.

    Jackie visited the Pope as a private citizen, not in her capacity as First Lady, but I am unable to find any photos of JFK’s meeting with the Holy Father.

  • Just tell me he didn’t curtsy before the English Queen. Oh wait, my mistake, the English are our allies–he couldn’t care less about them.

  • ^ And the Japanese are enemies?

    There was an episode of the West Wing where the White House is negotiating a meeting between the President (who was Catholic) and the Pope and one of White House’s demands were no pics of the greeting.

  • Donna V., Obama was very well received here in Japan. His speech yesterday, on international solidarity, on how humanity stands or falls together, was given credibility by his own international background. I agree with what some Jesuit said on another thread here back in June: on these points Obama represents the spirit of Vatican II. Btw, on that thread you made false statements about me, including the claim that I am a Jesuit.

    A problem with the Japanese Emperor is that he is very short while Obama is very tall. I remember seeing our tall President Hilary greet the still shorter former Emperor Showa in 1983; even without bowing a certain comic effect was produced.

  • But is it true that 53% of Catholics voted for Dear Leader?

  • Ronald Reagan bowed to Queen Elizabeth and I think Obama did too. Maybe it is because they are gentlemen of the old school?

  • Ooops, misspelt name of Irish President Patrick Hillary above.

    I think Obama should not have shaken hands while bowing.

    At least he didn’t vomit on the PM’s lap…

  • double ooops: it is Patrick J. HILLERY.

  • Donald R. McClarey Saturday, November 14, 2009 A.D.
    “Akihito isn’t the Pope and Obama isn’t Catholic (Praise the Lord!)”.

    Did not Mr. Obama go to a Catholic school as a child? What is there to praise that he is not a Catholic?

  • Because with his policies he would be a CINO, as I stated in an earlier comment in this thread.

    BA: I do and I think a lot of other people do who will be voting in 2010 and 2012. Obama’s understanding of the dignity of the office he holds is as defective as his grasp of basic economics.

  • Obama probably didn’t think about this but that pic won’t help with relations with the Koreas.

  • Or the Chinese who still remember WW2 in China quite vividly.

  • Spirit of VII: I don’t remember what I wrote in a June comment thread. I do know I was under the impression that you were a Jesuit. I stand corrected.

  • Donald, I had a feeling you meant CINO, I just wanted clarification, especially for other readers – obvioulsy, that didn’t work. Sorry.

    SINO – Right on Tito.

    BTW – I am all for the bowing, it is a heck of a lot cleaner than shaking hands. 😉

  • BA: I do and I think a lot of other people do who will be voting in 2010 and 2012.

    Someone is going to base his vote in 2010 or 2012 on the fact that Obama bowed to some guy in Japan? If so, that’s scary.

  • BA,

    Just as scary for those that voted for President Obama in 2008 because he talks nice.

    But as far as 2010 and 2012, I’m voting for some other candidate for different reasons.

  • “Someone is going to base his vote in 2010 or 2012 on the fact that Obama bowed to some guy in Japan? If so, that’s scary.”

    It would be if that were the only reason which of course it is not. The bowing is symbolic of his utter cluelessness regarding both the office he holds and the fecklessness of his foreign policy.

  • Hmm… and here I thought the problem was O facing the wrong way when he bent over.