A decades’ long struggle: Catholic identity and the University of Notre Dame…

Thursday, February 26, AD 2015


One of the first, unspoken rules of assuming the presidency of an institution of higher education is “Remake the board in your image.”

That rule contains a lot of wisdom. The president may have only had a slim majority to be elected. And, as the stormy petrels will surely be stirring up all sorts of challenges to one’s leadership from all sides, to garner a significant base of support and win re-election, the challenge confronting any first-term president is to ensure that trustworthy and erstwhile allies are appointed to seats on the board. That requires working very closely with the board’s membership committee and selecting candidates who share the president’s vision of what it means to be a university and here, a Catholic university.

In that regard, the President of the University of Notre Dame (UND), the Reverend John Jenkins, CSC, has done extremely well. Recently re-electing him to UND’s presidency, UND’s Board praised Fr. Jenkins’ “unfailing commitment to the University’s Catholic character.”

Juxtapose that effusive praise to a recently-published opinion piece concerning the morality of UND’s conduct under Fr. Jenkins’ leadership in extending spousal benefits to those recognized as married by civil law (e.g., health insurance and student housing to same-sex employees and students).

The authors of that opinion piece—Gerard V. Bradley, Professor of Law; John Finnis, Professor of Law and Legal Philosophy Emeritus in the University of Oxford and Professor of Law at UND; and, Daniel Philpott, Professor of Political Science and Peace Studies and Director of UND’s Center for Civil and Human Rights—concluded that the extension of those benefits by an institution like UND is “morally indefensible” and will have “far-reaching and very damaging” consequences.

How so? Citing the Catholic moral principle concerning cooperation with evil, they state:

Where homosexual unions have been legally recognized, one must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation.


The benefits extension undeniably has the direct effect of encouraging same-sex couples to make or persist in an immoral commitment. It constitutes an endorsement of this commitment, promotes it with direct benefits, and cooperates in it in a way that, on widely used theological conceptions, constitutes formal cooperation with wrongdoing.

Since UND is not compelled by law to implement this policy, the authors observe that doing so constitutes “a morally corrupting scandal, needlessly given,” to persons tempted to enter into, or already in, a same-sex “marriage,” as well as to all others, who “can readily infer that the university actually does not regard any kind of sex acts between adults as grave matter.”

Their conclusion? UND’s policy “imperils the souls and the earthly fulfillment of those whom it has undertaken to support in a Christian life.”

In light of this policy, UND’s Board of Trustees’ ringing endorsement of Fr. Jenkins’ leadership provides an object lesson in what is mortally wrong with much of U.S. Catholic higher education today. Many, if not most of those who hold in “sacred trust” the institutional mission—the members of the board of trustees—apparently are not adequately prepared for the trust which they hold, as this evidences itself in the continuous, creeping secularization of the nation’s institutions of Catholic higher education since the 1960s and 1970s when most of those institutions were turned over to lay boards.

It was the presidents of those institutions who successfully built their boards of trustees in their image and likeness. This is how U.S. Catholic higher education came to the precarious state in which it finds itself today where its universities and colleges implement policies that might be acceptable in secular institutions, but not Catholic institutions.

All of this was quite conscious and deliberate, as those presidents sought to have their institutions emulate their secular peers while retaining a patina of Catholic to please the folks and donors that they’re still Catholic institutions of higher education.

And so it is today at UND. As the authors of that opinion piece note:

[Implementing this policy] violates the institution’s duty of love for same-sex couples, who will inevitably be confirmed and encouraged to continue in their wrongful commitment; it also violates the University’s duty of love for everyone in the campus community, many of whom will be misled about the meaning of marriage and the truth about sexual morality, as well as about how a Christian community rightly responds in love to persons living out a public commitment to an immoral relationship.

If that’s not enough, by “build[ing] into the bricks a norm that leads members of the community directly away from a life lived in friendship with Christ,” UND creates a “structure of sin” that “will be difficult to contain.” How so? It will be increasingly difficult to bar from academic administration those who live openly in immoral relationships.

Does this not present a proximate threat not only to the institution’s Catholic identity but also to the freedom in a Catholic university or college to uphold Catholic teaching?

Nearly two decades ago, a UND professor of history, George M. Marsden, narrated the same story as it pertained to Protestant higher education in the United States. Marsden wrote:

In the context of all these forces, we can understand the residual formal role left for religion in universities. Clearly, despite the presence of many religion departments and a few university divinity schools, religion has moved from near the center a century or so ago to far on the incidental periphery. Aside from voluntary student religious groups, religion in most universities is about as important as the baseball team. Not only has religion become peripheral, there is a definite bias against any perceptible religiously informed perspectives getting a hearing in university classrooms. Despite the claims of contemporary universities to stand above all for openness, tolerance, academic freedom, and equal rights, viewpoints based on discernibly religious concepts (for instance, that there is a created moral order or that divine truths might be revealed in a sacred Scripture), are often informally or explicitly excluded from classrooms.




To read the UND’s Board of Trustees’ letter, click on the following link:

To read the opinion piece concerning UND’s policy, click on the following link:

To read Marsden’s article, click on the following link:

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, Omnibus, click on the following link:


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9 Responses to A decades’ long struggle: Catholic identity and the University of Notre Dame…

  • “….retaining a patina of Catholic to please the folks and donors..”

    Excellent post. The facade is not the foundation! Religious and Higher Education are found together in few institutions. God bless those universities.

  • If Fr. Jenkins has been remaking the board in his own image, then it’s
    disheartening to reflect on the fact that in 2011, one trustee was forced
    to resign when it became public knowledge that she was a longtime, vocal,
    substantial contributor to the pro-abortion group Emily’s List. Last year,
    another trustee came under fire when it came out that she’d authored
    an editorial piece supporting “reproductive justice” and castigating the
    US bishops for opposing the HHS mandate.

  • Clinton,
    Surely you must be savvy enough to understand the strategy and face-saving behind those.

    In his half-hearted support (at least to those of us on the outside it looked this way) for the lawsuit re the mandate, he would have looked foolish to the court (already looked foolish enough with the tardiness of the filing, and prior offering of coverage for abortifacients to employees and students?) and it would have added fuel to the fire on both the already weak attempt to fight the mandate, and, perhaps more importantly, since it gave the appearance that these persons were openly and notoriously advocating abortion, and one funding an abortion group, even donors on the fence or ambiguous to the abortion issue, not just the ‘right wingers’ would find this off-putting and would likely reduce, or decline to, donate at all.

    And besides, they were both women–easily dismissed by the men behind the throne that only play women. And the ‘progressive’ women that ally with them are usually all too willing to go along with whatever the rulers want (cognizant of this or not) as they live to be seen as “running with the big boys” and fail to see the pathetic truth that they are being played to make a group appear more gender-balanced.

  • Excellent article! It is fitting to write such a piece and post it the day of, or before, the death of Fr. Hessburg. The decline of ND was helped in a big way when Hessburg invited pro-contraception interests to ND which culminated in the “Land of Lakes” statement. Face it, this is a very costly University and it has one of the biggest endowments on the planet and they get government money. That is contradiction enough. The catholics in the US still focus on the football team while the students undergo social engineering. This place was subverted about five decades ago.

  • You mispell University of Notre Dame and these “Catholic Institutions;” the correct spellings, which provide insight into what they have become, are: Univer$ity of Notre Dame and Catholic In$tituion$. Guy McClung, San Antonio

  • Hessburg belonged to Jay Rockerfeller’s Population Control group. I hope he repents before he must face judgment.

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  • Mary De Voe, Fr. Hesburgh died just this past Thursday.

  • “And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand.” Matthew 7:26

The University of Scranton: Reclaiming its Catholic and Jesuit heritage…

Monday, February 16, AD 2015


The University of Scranton’s President, the Reverend Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., has announced plans to terminate the institution’s health insurance coverage of all abortions.

Since the 1990s, the University’s healthcare policy allowed for abortion in cases of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother was endangered by a pregnancy. This policy was implemented so as to comply with the limits of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania law for traditional insurance plans.

However, that was then and this is now.


In his letter to the campus, Fr. Quinn  stated that the coverage of any abortion is inconsistent with the University’s Roman Catholic faith:

…the moral teaching of the Church on abortion is unequivocal. Circumstances, “however serious or tragic, can never justify the deliberate killing of an innocent human being,” and “[n]o one more absolutely innocent could be imagined” than the unborn child. (Evangelium Vitae, no. 58)

Why the dramatic change in policy?

The University of Scranton is now self-insured, meaning  that “we can, and therefore must, offer insurance plans that are free of all abortion coverage,” according to Fr. Quinn.

Aware of the problems this change in healthcare policy will likely provoke–in particular, with the faculty union because the University’s contract with the union will need to be adjusted–Fr. Quinn wrote an eloquent, proactive defense:

…fidelity to our mission as a Catholic and Jesuit institution is the abiding theme of our history, regardless of the times and trials.

Remaining faithful to our identity as a Catholic institution calls us to serve the world in unique and inspiring ways. It has also, over the years, led the University to adapt its institutional practices to ensure harmony with the moral teachings of the Catholic Church….

Would that all of the presidents of the nation’s Catholic universities and colleges experienced a similar conversion or, at least, learned that it is possible to overcome their timidity, defend Church teaching at their institutions, and tred where angels fear!

Fr. Quinn’s defense of Church teaching raises substantive questions:

  1. Should not what is unique about a Catholic institution of higher education–its “value added”–be its role in integrating faith and reason, first, by propagating the Catholic faith and its values and, second, building upon that foundation? After all, shouldn’t one know what one is critiquing before critiquing it?
  2. Why ever would anyone pay tuition to attend a Catholic university or college in order to be strategically de-Catholicized? Aren’t there already enough officially secular-humanist institutions of public higher education available in the United States?

Kudos to Fr. Quinn and the University of Scranton! May his leadership inspire his colleagues in U.S. Catholic higher education to tred where they’d rather not…by becoming self-insured and, then, ending all abortion coverage as part of their healthcare policies.



To read Fr. Quinn’s letter, click on the following link:

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, Omnibus, click on the following link:

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7 Responses to The University of Scranton: Reclaiming its Catholic and Jesuit heritage…

  • The Dark side looses one! Praise God!
    Catholic in name and substance.
    What a breath of fresh air.

  • “A person is a person, no matter how small” Dr. Seuss. Science has proved Dr. Seuss correct in the rational, immortal human souls of Snowflake babies, those sovereign persons, begotten in a glass dish, frozen and brought to term and in the DNA of their individual human bodies. Their innocence is the standard of Justice for our nation and every nation. What is Roe v. Wade waiting for? …for the nation to collapse from the violation of its citizens, the murder of its constitutional posterity and for the eradication of the truth? Taxation without representation. Every swindle, lie and perjury is a violation of the Justice due to the individual citizen.

  • “Since the 1990s, the University’s healthcare policy allowed for abortion in cases of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother was endangered by a pregnancy.”
    The mother’s death must be imminent, right here right now, but not in some nebulous misdiagnosis. Abortion because of incest and rape punishes the innocent child for the crimes of his parents. That is like me going to hell because my father committed a mortal sin. What ever happened to informed consent which is how rape and incest violate the sovereign person, and the Justice in due process of law,; the Rule of Law?

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  • Will Jesuits reform themselves before Pope Francis suppresses their order? It’s a race between two snails.

  • It’s about time someone in leadership stopped being a hypocrite!

  • The article asks rhetorical questions, that is if one is Catholic. It is time to end the false advertising, though. We do have enough “officially secular-humanist institutions of public higher education” in the United States. We also have way too many so-called Catholic colleges as well. It’s easy to teach my children to spot the wolves. It’s harder to get them to see the wolves in sheep’s clothing. Jesuit institutions of higher education come to mind.

Catholic culture wars: The soap opera at Marquette University continues…

Thursday, February 5, AD 2015


The suspended Marquette University political science professor who asserted “Marquette…has again shown itself to be timid, overly bureaucratic and lacking any commitment to either its Catholic mission or free expression,” has received a 16-page letter from the Dean of Marquette’s Klinger School of Arts and Sciences, Richard Holz.

In his letter, Dean Holz notes that “Marquette University is commencing the process to revoke your tenure and to dismiss you from the faculty.” Why? Holz continues:

…your conduct clearly and substantially fails to meet the standards of personal and professional excellence that generally characterizes University faculties. As a result, your value to this academic institution is substantially impaired.

The brouhaha began last fall when the professor, John McAdams, posted an article in his blog, the “Marquette Warrior,” voicing his concern about the way the concept of social justice is communicated and typically understood at Marquette. McAdams noted how opposition to hot-button issues—like abortion and same-sex marriage—is not a part of the University’s version of social justice. “On the contrary, any opposition to gay marriage is called ‘homophobia,’” McAdams wrote.

Holz’s letter details the results of an investigation into the events leading McAdams to post that article and what transpired in the aftermath of his posting that article. Holz contends that McAdams’ conduct was not only unprofessional but that he also misled the public about what happened in a dispute between the graduate instructor and an undergraduate student that McAdams described in his article. Worse yet, McAdams published the graduate instructor’s name.

In a new post, McAdams responds to each charge, claiming that he is being punished for his free speech. McAdams also maintains that the problem isn’t him—he is simply defending an undergraduate’s views against gay marriage that are consistent with Roman Catholic teachings—but with those who are tolerant only of what is not Roman Catholic teaching. McAdams closes by noting:

Campus bureaucrats hate controversy, since it makes trouble for them. Thus the most “valuable” faculty members are the ones who avoid controversy, and especially avoid criticizing administrators.

In real universities, administrators understand (or more likely grudgingly accept) that faculty will say controversial things, will criticize them and each other, and that people will complain about it. They understand that putting up with the complaints is part of the job, and assuaging those who complain the loudest is not the best policy.

That sort of university is becoming rarer and rarer. Based on Holz’ actions, Marquette is certainly not such a place.

With what McAdams calls “excellent legal counsel,” he vows to fight Holz. McAdams states that he “most certainly will not go quietly.”




To read Professor McAdams’ post announcing his suspension, click on the following link:

To read Dean Holz’s letter to Professor McAdams, click on the following link:

To read  Professor McAdams’ original post, click on the following link:

To read Professor McAdams’ latest post, click on the following link:

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, Omnibus, click on the following link:

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14 Responses to Catholic culture wars: The soap opera at Marquette University continues…

  • The intolerant liberals, but I repeat myself, who run Marquette are about to get a rude legal awakening. Colleges and Universities often adopt bloviating feel good policy statements to make themselves look good. For instance here is the Marquette policy on academic freedom:

    “Academic freedom is prized as essential to Marquette University and to
    its living growth as a university. Professorial academic freedom is that
    proper to the scholar-teacher, whose profession is to increase knowledge
    in himself/herself and in others. As proper to the scholar-teacher,
    academic freedom is grounded on competence and integrity.

    When scholar-teachers carry on their academic lives in educational
    institutions, integrity requires both respect for the objectives of the
    institution in which they choose to carry on their academic lives and
    attention to the task of reevaluating these objectives as a necessary
    condition of living growth in human institutions.

    The University, because it prizes academic freedom, proposes the
    following safeguards* to that freedom:

    (a) The teacher is entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of results, subject to the adequate performance of
    his/her other academic duties; but research for pecuniary return should be based upon an understanding with the authorities of
    the institution.

    (b) The teacher is entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing his/her subject. This freedom must be integrated with the right of
    the students not to be victimized and the rights of the institution to have its accepted aims respected.

    (c) The college or university teacher is a citizen, a member of a learned profession, and an officer of an educational institution.
    When he/she speaks or writes as a citizen, he/she should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but his/her special
    position in the civil community imposes special obligations. As a man/woman of learning and an educational officer, he/she should remember that the public may judge his/her profession and
    institution by his/her utterances. Hence, he/she should at all times
    be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort
    to indicate that he/she is not an institutional spokesperson.”

    Courts normally view such policy statements as creating a contractual obligation between a university and its employees. This policy alone should be sufficient for a Court to squelch this attempt by the powers that be at Marquette to play Grand Inquisitor.

  • Grampa would smile at an injustice like this one and say; “Sue the BASTARDS!”

    (emphasis added)

  • Comment of the week Philip! Take ‘er away Sam!

  • Catholic wars? Since we are either with Him or against Him, there can only be wars against Catholics….regardless of what others choose to call themselves.

  • Thank you Mr. McClarey.
    Grampa Frank raised his nine children on Catholicism Hard Work and Love of neighbor. My Pa was the eldest. I owe them all so much for their Solid Faith and Love. Faith of Our Fathers Holy Faith….

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  • Has Pope Francis suppressed the Jesuits yet?

  • Bloviation! I couldn’t read that whole thing Mr. McClarey! 🙂
    A member of my family from a few generations ago is credited with using that term- President Warren Harding- whom I know you do not hold in high esteem, but:
    Bloviation is a style of empty, pompous political speech particularly associated with Ohio due to the term’s popularization by United States President Warren G. Harding, who described it as “the art of speaking for as long as the occasion warrants, and saying nothing”. The verb “to bloviate” is the act of creating bloviation.
    Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloviation

  • When I was at the U of I law school Anzlyne I was one of the founding members of the Society For The Preservation of Bloviation!

  • If I were the suspended professor, I would sue the University and the Administrator separately. They are talking away the Professors freedom of Speech and freedom of Religion, plain and simple.

    Those unbelieving heretics at that University/College need to join another religion, such as the Episcopal Church of America, or some other so called group of non believers in the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • Rev.Deacon Joseph A. Pasquella

    Maybe they don’t want—not only “another religion”–but any religion?

    My mind can’t help repeating; “You are either with Me or against Me.”

  • I’ve been shuffling through the commentary on this at Inside Higher Education and it’s another piece of evidence in the files wherein the following propositions are substantiated:-

    1. Ordinary people derive much of their self-concept from what they do and how well they do it, if not all of it. People who manipulate words and images for a living derive theirs from the idle ‘stances’ they take, and there is commonly a great deal of self-congratulation in all that (see Thomas Sowell on this point).

    2. Hence the hostility to Dr. McAdams. He took issue with their stances and thus their self-concept. The reaction among the professoriate is one I’ve seen before at a former workplace: inventing a drizzle of pseudo-offences to justify the arbitrary insults (“bully”) with which you’re showering the man.

    3. Their intellect allows them considerable facility for rationalization. Less articulate people cannot lie to themselves this way.

    4. Institutional monovox robs various parties of critical voices to point out their fallacious reasoning.

    5. They do not consult their attorneys, do not listen to what those attorneys say, or fire professional attorneys for attorneys who are ‘sound’. We just cannot be wrong. We are good people.

    6. They really do not consider themselves bound by law, because such law is composed of people inferior to themselves, hence an institutional try-every-door mentality (as seen in institutional reactions to state referenda on racial preferences, which reflect faculty and administration arrogance at its most stubborn).

    I wasted more of my life than I’d care to admit in such milieux, and I can recall two tenured faculty members who departed under implicit threats. One (it was implied to me) had a history of sexual misconduct (this was back in 1984) and had been counseled before. The other was senile and had been behaving peculiarly for about five years before the administration supposedly told him to retire or they would invoke the clause in the faculty handbook allowing for the dismissal of nonfunctional faculty. The Alzheimer’s was formally diagnosed a month later, to no one’s surprise. You really have to be caught with a dead girl or a live boy. The notion that criticizing a crummy TA on your blog is a firing offense (and all of the striking of attitudes the dean added to the public discussion of a personnel matter) leads me to believe this Holz fellow is seriously disoriented and needs to be removed from any position of influence.

    I do not think the sort of institutional contumely you see in higher education will stop until presidents, provosts, deans, and department chairs start losing their houses to pay the other guy’s legal fees.

  • Art Decco.

    Thanks for your observations. They make perfect sense in this shameful display of prejudice.

  • Art Deco wrote: “Their intellect allows them considerable facility for rationalization. Less articulate people cannot lie to themselves this way.”

    Indeed! Such “Smart People” have an unwavering ability to believe their own B.S.

The University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN) says, “Stick it in your ear!”

Saturday, January 31, AD 2015


The folks over at The College Fix have done their homework, exposing how administrators at the University of St. Thomas (UST)—a “private Catholic liberal arts school” located in St. Paul, MN—are standing by their decision to let students to gain academic credit by serving as interns at a Minnesota-based National Organization for Women (NOW) chapter, even though the organization advocates for abortion on demand, LGBTQ rights, same-sex marriage, and its brand of so-called “racial justice.” UST’s Women’s Studies Department is sponsoring the internship opportunity.

This decision comes after the folks over at TFP Student Action also did their homework, organizing a successful petition drive garnering 10k+ signatures admonishing UST for offering internships at Planned Parenthood and Minnesota NARAL. Quickly after that email was forwarded to UST President Julie Sullivan, the listings were removed.

Now, that administrative fiat might satisfy some people.

However, what’s noteworthy about the NOW incident is not that diversity and inclusion means providing students opportunities to intern in organizations whose purpose contradicts official Church teaching. Nor is what’s noteworthy that academic administrators and professors sincerely believe that providing students those internships advances the institution’s mission as Catholic.

What’s noteworthy about this incident is that doing so provides additional evidence of a pattern of conduct on the part of academic administrators and professors at many of the nation’s Catholic universities and colleges. Namely, tacitly allowing opportunities like those internships at NOW to proceed. How? Perhaps through a “wink and a nod” or, even better yet, “Don’t inform me.” The idea is that if nobody finds out, all the better. And, if a crazy conservative Catholic does find out and complain, assert plausible deniability.

To wit:

…the links were published in error on the website of our College of Arts and Sciences, and they are being corrected. Student internships in the college are approved through the Office of the Dean. The Dean has not approved, nor would he approve, academic credit for internships at Planned Parenthood or abortion organizations.

  • The Director of UST’s Women’s Studies Program, Susan Meyers, claimed she was “completely unaware of any protests and petitions regarding Planned Parenthood internships at UST.”

What’s important is that other voices also be introduced into the discussion. In this way, the narrative can be change from one that focuses upon upholding Catholic identity to one of safeguarding academic freedom. To wit:

  • UST’s Vice President for University and Government Relations, Doug Hennes, said that UST administrators view the NOW as “an advocacy group on a wide variety of women’s issues, not specifically on abortion.” Yes, including: LGBTQ rights, same-sex marriage, and racial justice.
  • Catherine Cory, Director UST’s Murray Institute—an on-campus Catholic institute for dialogue with the Archdiocese—asked: “If some of Planned Parenthood’s work is morally wrong according to Catholic moral teaching, does that make everything they do wrong?” “Planned Parenthood does more than provide abortions and contraceptives,” Cory added.
  • A St. Thomas alumna, Chloe Lawyer, thinks “it is a shame that members of the St. Thomas community are not even allowed to view these opportunities.” Lawyer just happens to have completed one of those internships at Planned Parenthood and said that limiting internship opportunities disrupts freethinking, adding, “Freethinking does not always align with Catholic values.”

Yes, indeed. When caught with your finger in the cookie jar, claim plausible deniability. Then have all of your friends explain why it’s perfectly reasonably that your finger should be in the cookie jar.

What the NOW incident exposes is what may be a more radical approach emerging, namely, “Stick it in your ear.”

When will the nation’s Catholic bishops realize where this narrative is headed and set about righting the wrong?




To read The College Fix article, click on the following link:

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, Omnibus, click on the following link:

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7 Responses to The University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN) says, “Stick it in your ear!”

  • “When will the nation’s Catholic bishops realize where this narrative is headed and set about righting the wrong?”

    That assumes the bishops believe it is wrong. There are some who clearly don’t.

  • Phillip. Your dead on. Many Bishops are “freethinkers”. Supporting abortion as to not rock their flimsy canoe they placed themselves in.

    America Needs Fatima and TFP do an outstanding job defending the Faith.
    Thank you for giving credit to these brave young men and women. I was privileged to stand with them in Madison WI. years ago.

  • Couldn’t agree more. I would venture to say that a majority of bishops agree with this particular type of “freethinking”. At the synod on the family, the controversial paragraphs in the Relatio gained majority approval, just not two thirds approval. The canary has long since died. The few actually “Catholic” bishops left need to find their voice. In the U.S., Cardinal Burke can’t be the only one to put himself in harm’s way. God Bless him for doing so.

  • Father of seven.

    Cardinal Burke is heroic.

    A man truly and faithfully of Christ.

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  • Susan Meyers, claimed she was “completely unaware…”

    Completely clueless would be a better description. I don’t know what would concern me most: That she would blatantly lie about not knowing this was wrong; or that she may actually not know there was anything wrong with a “Catholic” school offering internships with Moloch. Either way, not good.

  • C Matt – my guess is that it was an intentional cluelessness, much to be gained by “hear no evil/see no evil”. God bless us all! Thank you for this excellent piece.

Bias in the American Catholic media?

Monday, January 12, AD 2015


Thomas Joseph O’Brien.

The name may have slipped from memory, as the media has moved on to cover other “hot,” Church-related scandals as well as to cover the ecclesiastical politics associated with the upcoming Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2015.

O’Brien is the Bishop Emeritus of Phoenix, resigning in 2003, 4 days after he struck and killed a 43-year-old man in a hit-and-run car accident. In 2004, O’Brien was found guilty of leaving the scene of a fatal accident and was sentenced to 4 years’ probation, 1k hours of community service, and required to surrender his driver’s license for 5 years.


Thomas Joseph O’Brien is the first American Catholic bishop convicted of a felony.

This was a delicious scandal for some in the American Catholic media. For example, the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) jumped right on the story, here and here, providing the coverage it deserved. After all, committing vehicular manslaughter is no trivial matter.

Compare that scandal to a more recent one involving Maryland’s second-highest ranking Episcopal bishop who was charged in January 2015 with drunken driving and vehicular manslaughter after fatally striking a cyclist late in December 2015. Prosecutors charged the bishop with leaving the scene of an accident, criminal negligent manslaughter, failure to remain at the scene of an accident resulting in serious injury and death, using a text messaging device that resulted in an accident, and 3 drunken driving charges. If convicted of all charges, the bishop could face 20+ years in prison. The bishop’s bail was set at $2.5M. A trial is scheduled for February 6.

Sadly, this bishop also appears to have had problems with alcohol, charged by police in 2010 while yet a priest with drunken driving. Police also found wine, liquor, and marijuana in the car. In exchange for pleading guilty to the drunken driving offense, the drug charges were dropped and the priest received probation.

The most recent charges came less than 1 week after the national Episcopal Church announced it was opening an investigation into the bishop. Why? The 2010 charges weren’t shared with the clergy and lay church members who were charged with selecting the bishop from among four finalists. Then, too, another complaint was filed last week calling for national Episcopal Church leaders to open an investigation to determine whether the bishop violated church law in the hit-and-run accident.

Oh, by the way, it just so happens this bishop is female. She is Heather Cook, the suffragan bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland.


A search of the NCR archives from 2008-2014 using the key terms “bishop” “Thomas O’Brien” and “Phoenix” revealed 1161 articles in which the bishop was identified. A search using the key terms during the same period “Heather Cook” revealed 0 (nada, zippo) articles. Nothing about her being ordained a female priest or bishop and deafening silence about her accident.

It isn’t that the NCR doesn’t cover the topic of female bishops. Another search of the NCR archives since 2008 using the keyword “female bishop” revealed 23 articles. Another search using the keyword “suffragan bishop” revealed 4 articles discussing female bishops. True, the NCR didn’t cover Bishop Cook’s ordination.

That said, these data do raise a question: Is focusing exclusively upon the errors of male bishops and overlooking those of female bishops what it means for the NCR “in all our management and publishing decisions, to evaluate carefully the needs of the faith community we serve and to respond effectively to those needs?”





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8 Responses to Bias in the American Catholic media?

  • I do not expect the National Catholic Reporter to cover stories about superintendents of small protestant bodies. (O’Brien had no interest in liturgical renewal and was a wretched administrator per accounts published at the time; A good Bishop for the NCR and Commonweal, thought not as good as Peggy Steinfels’ fave, Rembert Weakland).

  • Take if for the (albeit backhanded) compliment it is. Bishops matter. “Bishops,” male or female, don’t.

  • “media bias” is a compliment. The headline was something like: Bishop Hit and Run. The media is too shallow to even care what is read into their work.

  • She most likely supports “marriage equality” & “reproductive rights”. Besides, NCR has been pushing for Catholics to adopt wobbly Episcopalian policies for a long time & don’t want bad “publicity “.

  • The flaw is including NCReporter in “Catholic media.”

  • It should be remembered that in both of these incidents the bishops not only did not stop to render medical aid but also did not give absolution to their dying victim (yes, Episcopal priests and bishops can give absolution under their rubrics). This is a betrayal of their ministry that only magnifies the betrayal of their humanity. Shame on them!

  • I don’t know what your searches for female or suffragan bishops turned up, but because this involved a fake bishop rather than a Catholic one, I can’t necessarily fault a “Catholic” periodical for not covering it.

  • Agreed. The Heather Cook story is about (a) a local tragedy, (b) a train-wreck of a middle-aged woman and (c) what that says about her diocese, her denomination, and the mainline protestant clergy generally. Not really the National Catholic Reporter‘s beat.

Pope Francis: President Obama’s gift that keeps on giving…

Friday, January 2, AD 2015


When the Washington Times brandishes the banner headline “Obama finds an ally on political controversies at the Vatican,” it may be time to step back and assess what exactly is transpiring.

From income inequality to Cuba and soon to global warming, it seems that Pope Francis is doing some heavy lifting for President Obama, his political agenda, and his legacy. That’s not to say that’s what the Pope intends; it is to say that this may very well be the outcome of what the Pope actually doing.

Suffice it to say, the Pope’s interests are primarily evangelical. Economic structures that enrich the few but keep the many impoverished are certainly immoral. Only plutocrats would disagree. Political structures that accrue power to the few but exclude the many from the process are certainly immoral. Only oligarchs would disagree. Destroying the Earth’s biosphere is certainly immoral.  Only the most virulent “anti-greenies” would disagree.

Yet, Pope Francis appears to be completely tone deaf to the message that his actions communicate. He’s providing President Obama cover to advance an economic, political, and environmental agenda that is more ideological than rooted in economic, political, and environmental fact. Imagine what would have been said if President John F. Kennedy had said the following about St. John XXIII in December 1962, as President Obama did about Pope Francis in December 2014:

He played a very important role. The pope doesn’t wield armies. He can’t impose sanctions. But he can speak with great moral authority, and it makes a difference. And it certainly made a difference in this case.

What’s especially troubling is how the Pope’s actions embolden liberal Catholic American politicians, most of whom are Democrat, to promote the Pope’s actions while advocating their ideologically-driven economic, political, and environmental policies. Again, that isn’t the Pope’s intention; but, his actions do allow others to politicize them for their own personal and partisan ends, as if Pope Francis is goading them on.

The problem, it seems, is not with the Pope’s agenda as much as it is the way the Pope’s agenda appears to be one-sided. While he will assert very strong moral opinions about economic, political, and apparently, environmental injustices, Pope Francis seems not to be very interested in or much inclined to be equally assertive in expressing Church teaching when it comes to grave moral errors like abortion, divorce/remarriage, and homosexuality.

That the Pope is touted in the press as one of President Obama’s “greatest allies” is disconcerting at best. Income inequality, unjust political structures, and the environment are important issues that politicians must deal with and, yes, they should consult with religious figures across the globe to find moral ways to resolve those issues. Yet, this Pope appears to believe it more important to articulate his solutions to these issues forcibly which, in turn, provides diplomatic cover for politicians, than he is to express with equal vigor and clarity their abject failure to address the grave moral errors of this era.

As the Washington Times, noted:

“It’s not quite a gift from God but, politically, it may be the next best thing.”




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34 Responses to Pope Francis: President Obama’s gift that keeps on giving…

  • Obumbler may very well be the Juan Peron of North America. It has been proven that the current Roman Pontiff was a Peronist. No wonder they have similar interests.

  • Francis appears to be a clergyman in the mold of Desmond Tutu: reflective of whatever is the going line in and among the international bien-pensant crew. At least he isn’t a blatant anti-Semite. Maybe he and Jimmy Carter can split the air fare on their next trip to Davos.

  • I think Pope Francis is actually following almost point-by-point the career trajectory of ex-Canterbury Abp. Rowan D. Williams: press the agenda and divide, divide, divid; when you do so, blame the opponents for “schism”.
    Both believe in “dialogue” when it is to advance their agenda (Williams was infamous for this circiterism); they are both generously forgiving of Muslims n general; they are both opposed to free markets and prefer statist controls; and they both advocated ambiguous views of homosexual behavior and Christian faith.

  • As a nuclear engineer, I dread the Pope’s forthcoming encyclical on the environment. He knows as much science and engineering as he does economics and history.

  • “That’s not to say that’s what the Pope intends.”

    It has happened awfully enough for it not to be intentional.

  • “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” our prayer.

  • “That’s not to say that’s what the Pope intends.” Who knows what the pope intends?

  • I miss Pope Benedict XVI and Saint John Paul II.

  • I pray that this pope will be forced by events to teach the indefectible dogmas of the faith, so he can’t spout the idiocies he has been teaching us (and the world) for two years!

  • Anzlyne wrote, “Who knows what the pope intends?”
    “What is the natural expression of an intention?” asks Wittgenstein. “Look at a cat when it stalks a bird; or a beast when it wants to escape.”

  • Oh, dear… more angst for my favorite father. (He already works very hard to mildly object, without appearing to be against the Pope, because he knows THAT is damaging, and… oh, dear.)

  • “You will know them by what they do.”
    Pope Francis is a money changer in the Temple of the Catholic Church. Pope Francis changes the Presidency into Obama, the Ordained Priesthood into the laity, and the greatest insult to the dignity of the human being, man’s charity into equality.

  • When Oh When Will the Twentieth Century End?
    We seem trapped in its mentality, repeating the same mistakes and engaging in the same self-deceptions. Progressive, Peronist, Marxist, Fascist, Corporatist, they are all the same harlot wearing different dresses. They are all statist attempts to suppress the aspirations of the individual by means of the suffocating power of the collective.
    Mussolini and his pupil Peron were leftists, as was Hitler.
    Mussolini’s own summary of the Fascist philosophy: “Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato” (Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State) ~from http://peronhillary.blogspot.com/
    “So during the era of their big confrontation, Soviet Russia and Maoist China were therefore perfectly correct in accusing one-another of being Fascists! So the idea that Nazism and Fascism were Rightist is an old Soviet lie that Left-leaning intellectuals in the West have perpetuated in flagrant denial of historical reality.”~ ibid.
    Did not Hitler advocate socialism in “one country”?
    I don’t know what Pope Francis’ political persuasions are and I do not rashly accuse or suspect him of bad intentions but he is as human as any Pope from Peter to the present. I think of The Gospel according to Luke: 31And the Lord said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren.
    So let us join the Lord in prayer for our Holy Father. He has the toughest job in this world.

  • Who were the men who elected him Pope? What are their positions on these non spiritual, prudential judgment issues?

  • Cardinal Newman on Papal Infallibility
    Published Saturday, October 19, 2013 A.D. | By Donald R. McClarey
    “It in no way depends upon the caprice of the Pope, or upon his good pleasure, to make such and such a doctrine, the object of a dogmatic definition. He is tied up and limited to the divine revelation, and to the truths which that revelation contains. He is tied up and limited by the Creeds, already in existence, and by the preceding definitions of the Church. He is tied up and limited by the divine law, and by the constitution of the Church. Lastly, he is tied up and limited by that doctrine, divinely revealed, which affirms that alongside religious society there is civil society, that alongside the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy there is the power of temporal Magistrates, invested in their own domain with a full sovereignty, and to whom we owe in conscience obedience and respect in all things morally permitted, and belonging to the domain of civil society.”
    Pastoral of the Swiss Bishops on Papal Infallibility cited by John Henry Cardinal Newman

  • Modern celebrity first…Pope second.
    Make a list of all the crap that celebrities do/support, and you’ve defined his so-called Papacy.

  • I do not see Pope Francis doing any heavy lifting for President Obama on controversial issues such as income inequality, Cuba, or climate change. The pope is addressing these issues with Christ and the church in mind but the president has the American electorate in mind. These issues can be a great opportunity for all who believe in freedom, the free market, social justice , and environmental stewardship
    If we are to have any pretense at being the land of the free, then we should endorse free trade and travel with Cuba.
    The solution to income inequality is not to tax the rich after they have been created by subsidy and protective regulation. First eliminate all subsidies, entitlements, and most regulations.
    The source of climate change is subsidized fossil fuels that have long been cheap. That will not last long as more costly unconventional oil and gas is already coming on line. It is urgent that all subsidies of fossil fuels be replaced with a rising carbon tax. Meanwhile, labor and capital should not be taxed at all. Is not a worker worthy of her wages? She is also worthy of an equal share of the earth that the Lord has given all of us. The only tax must be on the land and natural resources with most of it distributed to each person equally akin to the Alaska oil dividend. This would do much for justice, equity, and peace. It would be a model for the world.

  • Ernest Martinson

    Economic arguments for Free Trade often need to be balanced against strategic arguments in favour of Protection, whether by subsidies or tariffs. Even Adam Smith defended the Navigation Acts on those grounds.

  • Ernest,
    The propaganda of anthropogenic global warming is exactly that – propaganda. It is unproven. That said, dumping millions of tons of fossil fuel excrement into the atmosphere is an untried experiment that will bring unintended consequences. But what alternatives are there to fossil fuel energy? Wind and solar? When there is no wind there is no energy. When there is no sun (night time, cloudy days, etc), there is no energy. So-called renewables have capacity factors of less than 30% which means that 70% of the time when you need energy it is not there. So you need spinning reserve for that 70%. The means fossil. There is, however, an alternative that has a 90+ % capacity factor and generates ZERO pollution. It is noticeably missing from your recommendation. It is called:
    Fission of heavy metal atoms, otherwise known as nuclear energy.
    Here are the facts:
    No electricity kills
    Coal kills but less than no electricity
    Oil kills but less than coal
    Gas kills but less than oil
    Wind and solar kill but less than gas
    Nuclear kills, but kills least of all.
    Read about the mortality rate for each source of energy. I doubt this Pontiff is smart enough to figure this out:

  • Ernest M.: I don’t know how you got so far from the truth on climate, but please, for your own sake, do some research into facts before you make any further statements on the subject.
    A pretty good video for beginners by a top weatherman:



  • Excellentissime, exNOAAman!
    I am sick and tired of reading and listening to this anthropogenic global warming excrement. Oh, it’s called climate change now because these people cannot prove that Earth is warming. Well guess what: climate always changes and it’s natural!
    What an absurdity that the very people who promote this nonsense are the same people who oppose its solution: nuclear energy.

  • Amen Paul: Most of the Progressive program is propagandized via false and insidious narratives. I would mention the so-called “Gun Control” movement but I’d rather not stray off-topic.

  • Ernest Martinson:

    I’ve posted this before: I don’t deny the possibility of anthropogenic global warming, but I maintain it is irrelevant. The sun is getting warmer due to helium increase in the core. It always has, and always will, until the core runs out of hydrogen. Come back in half a million years and it will be slightly but measurably warmer. Stopping our CO2 emissions buys us very little time. So, we cannot save the planet by destroying our industrial society, we can only save it by using our industry to develop the terraforming technologies that will keep it habitable despite what the sun does for the next 5 billion years. Any encyclical that does not address this fact is useless.

  • Ernest: It is my understanding that all of humankind’s CO2 contributions comprise a mere 0.11% of the greenhouse gases. Paul: Am I correct? Or at least close? Also, as Cardinal Pell asserts, if we were to double our CO2 contribution, it would make the plants very happy. And hungry, I might add, as they would gobble it up transforming it into oxygen.

  • William P. Walsh–
    I would guess that it’s either the estimated human contribution of CO2, or the amount of gov’t regulated gasses, because we don’t make enough “greenhouse gasses” to get anywhere near that much. Water vapor is the most common one, at 98%.

    It’s possible that it’s going off of very old estimates, I guess, and using a special definition– when they started actually measuring how much CO2 volcanoes put out, they found out that they’d been greatly underestimating it.
    (Note, this is what tends to happens with the “debunking” of volcanoes erasing years of “greenhouse gas emission cuts” in a single eruption, along with mis-statements about the claim being total estimated, etc.)
    If we are to have any pretense at being the land of the free, then we should endorse free trade and travel with Cuba.
    No, we should not, precisely because we are the land of the free. We should weaken horrific tyrants when possible, not give them yet more ability to abuse their people.
    To claim we must do otherwise is the same nonsense that holds that, because we are the land of the free, we should get rid of laws– they are, after all, an interference in the free choice of people to do whatever they want. That interference makes it possible for everyone to be free to choose to do good, rather than just empowering the strong to do what they want; I believe Sheen had a very good video on the meaning of Freedom which is available on youtube.

  • William P. Walsh wrote:
    “Ernest: It is my understanding that all of humankind’s CO2 contributions comprise a mere 0.11% of the greenhouse gases. Paul: Am I correct? Or at least close?”
    Frankly, William, I do not know. My field of expertise is nuclear energy, not meteorology or climatology. However, I note with amusement that if today’s liberal progressive Democrats were cynano-bacteriological life forms some 2.3 billion years ago, they would be decrying the Great Oxygen Catastrophe that changed Earth’s atmosphere from CO2 and N2 to O2 and N2:
    Isn’t it interesting that at one time there was no free oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere – just CO2 and N2? And Earth not just survived but prospered for more than two billion years, and continued to do so even after huge climatic change cause by CO2 being eradicated from the atmosphere through the action of cyano-bacteria. CO2 may well rise again, but Man will not destroy Earth; however, God one day will:
    “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be kindled and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire! But according to his promise we wait for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” 2nd Peter 3:10-13

  • Foxfier: Thank you for Archbishop Fulton Sheen. Only truth has freedom. Untruth is perjury in a court of law. Must forward this post.
    If global warming is a fact, then, global masters must pay for it. George Soros, Rockefeller, Baron de Rothchild and the G 8 or 11 or 12 or whatever. What is left? Taxpayers have been aborted. Obamacare has tripled the premium without the promised relief. Oooops.
    What will taxpayers get in return for their hard earned money? Someone to tell us that we are too stupid to know what is good for us as Johnathan Gruber has done?
    “We, the people…” are not free to exclude any one of our constitutional posterity.

  • Is Pope Francis getting ready to pay into this farce, this fleecing of the people, this strong arm wrestling of the truth into falsehood?
    I may be too stupid to know what is good for me, but I know when I am being swindled, bullied and taxed without representation, especially by individuals who think that I am too stupid to know what is good for me.

  • Foxfier wrote, “the same nonsense that holds that, because we are the land of the free, we should get rid of laws– they are, after all, an interference in the free choice of people to do whatever they want.”

    For the Ancients, freedom did not mean that each individual could do as s/he pleased, but that the citizens lived under laws of their own making and magistrates of their own choosing. Otherwise, what becomes of the people’s right to self-government?

  • Foxfier, Paul, Ernest, Mary et.al: My reading of various dissenting climatologists is that 0.11% is the amount contributed to the totality of all the greenhouse gases. The point made is that we have but an imperceptible impact on the global climate. Apart from the science, there remains the politics of it. Perhaps the post-modern heresy of Relativism is at the root of most of our current problems. Pilate asked, “What is truth?” The new man of today says, “Don’t confuse me with facts, I have my own truth”. Gruber demonstrates a western form of al-taqiyah, strategic dissimulation to get the public onboard the statist ship. Climate alarmists have advocated exaggeration for the purpose of herding the frightened public into the climate change corral. I continue to assume sincerity on the part of Pope Francis but I wonder about his sources of information. Perhaps someone can make better sense out of the following than I can: http://www.casinapioiv.va/content/accademia/en/events/2014/sustainable/statement.html
    Good Luck.

  • William, that statement from the Pontifical Academy of Sciences repeatedly mentions polluting fossil fuels as an environmental danger, but not once does it mention nuclear energy (at least in a positive light) as the ONLY effective means of displacing fossil fuel energy. All those billions in poor countries that this statement says have no access to energy could have such access with this: http://www.nuscalepower.com. Passively walk-away safe, high capacity factor, low cost energy where events such as TMI, Chernobyl and Fukushima are simply non-credible.
    I dread the issuance of this Papal Encyclical on the environment. If it is anti-nuclear, then I shall have a lot to say.

  • Paul, of the members whose CV’s were accessible, I found only two having climate related careers. Lot’s of social scientists, lawyers and philosophers. Pray.

The NRLB and the lost soul of U.S. Catholic higher education…

Monday, December 22, AD 2014


In the case of Pacific Lutheran University and Service Employees International Union, Local 925 (Case 19–RC–102521), the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) ruled on December 16 that contingent (“adjunct”) faculty members at private colleges and universities can unionize.

This decision certainly has the potential to impact the nation’s Catholic institutions of higher education. But, of far greater importance is how the NLRB will require those institutions to demonstrate they are Catholic, that is, if they are to be excluded from the National Labor Relations Act.

Moving forward, the NLRB fully expects an institution to fulfill its religious mission—to make it promient in the classroom—through its faculty in the classrooms, while advising, and in conducting research. The key finding is found in the decision’s second paragraph:

After careful consideration of applicable case law, as well as the positions of the parties and amici, we have decided that we will not decline to exercise jurisdiction over faculty members at a college or university that claims to be a religious institution unless the college or university first demonstrates, as a threshold matter, that it holds itself out as providing a religious educational environment. Once that threshold requirement is met, the college or university must then show that it holds out the petitioned-for faculty members as performing a religious function. This requires a showing by the college or university that it holds out those faculty as performing a specific role in creating or maintaining the university’s religious educational environment. (bold, italics added)

The case concerned the right of contingent faculty to unionize at a religious university. At issue was the institution’s claim that full-time contingent faculty members are “managerial employees” based upon the Yeshiva decision (444 U.S. 672 [1980]). The NRLB rejected that claim, redefining “managerial status” and providing the thresholds bolded and italicized above. But, the NRLB went further, offering examples regarding how administrators can provide evidence that contingent faculty members meet the new thresholds.

  • Concerning how an institution “holds itself out as providing a religious educational environment,” the NRLB states:

Appropriate evidence of how the university holds itself out as providing a religious educational environment would include, but by no means be limited to, handbooks, mission statements, corporate documents, course catalogs, and documents published on a school’s website. Press releases or other public statements by university officials could also be relevant. A university’s contemporary presentation of itself is likely to be more probative than its founding documents and historical tradition. (p. 6)

The NRLB is clearly not interested in making an “intrusive inquiry into the university’s beliefs or how it implements its religious mission.” What the NRLB is interested in, however, is that the institution presents itself as providing a “religious educational environment.” That phrase, ambiguous as it is, provides the minimal threshold for an institution to be excluded from the Act.

  • Concerning how an institution “holds out the petitioned-for faculty members as performing a religious function,” the NRLB states:

The focus is on whether faculty members are held out as having such an obligation as part of their faculty responsibilities. Although we will not examine faculty members’ actual performance of their duties, we shall require that they be held out as performing a specific religious function. Generalized statements that faculty members are expected to, for example, support the goals or mission of the university are not alone sufficient. These types of representations do not communicate the message that the religious nature of the university affects faculty members’ job duties or requirements. They give no indication that faculty members are expected to incorporate religion into their teaching or research, that faculty members will have any religious requirements imposed on them, or that the religious nature of the university will have any impact at all on their employment. This is especially true when the university also asserts a commitment to diversity and academic freedom, further putting forth the message that religion has no bearing on faculty members’ job duties or responsibilities. Without a showing that faculty members are held out as performing a specific religious function, there is no basis on which to distinguish these employees from faculty members at nonreligious universities or to exclude them from coverage under the Act….

If the evidence shows that faculty members are required to serve a religious function, such as integrating the institution’s religious teachings into coursework, serving as religious advisors to students, propagating religious tenets, or engaging in religious indoctrination or religious training, we will decline jurisdiction.  (pp. 8-9) (bold, italics added)

With this second threshold, the NRLB is clearly interested that an institution demonstrate how its faculty are fulfilling a management function by actively translating the institution’s religious doctrine into the experience of students. If an institution can demonstrate that its faculty meet this threshold, that institution is excluded from coverage under the provisions of the Act because its faculty are providing the “religious educational environment” for which the institution exists.

  • Concerning how an institution “holds out those faculty as performing a specific role in creating or maintaining the university’s religious educational environment,” the NRLB states:

Our minimal requirements do not, of course, preclude a party from presenting additional evidence that it believes is relevant to demonstrating that faculty members do or do not perform a religious function…. (fn. 13, p. 9)

….if the college or university holds itself out as requiring its faculty to conform to its religious doctrine or to particular religious tenets or beliefs in a manner that is specifically linked to their duties as a faculty member, we will decline jurisdiction….However, general or aspirational statements, without specificity as to how the requirement affects actual job functions, will not suffice…. (p. 9)

Our inquiry in this regard focuses on whether a reasonable prospective applicant would conclude that performance of their faculty responsibilities would require furtherance of the college or university’s religious mission. (p. 9)

Interestingly, this third threshold implicitly raises a fundamental issue: “Truth in advertising.” That is, it’s one thing for an institution to promote itself as religious (the first threshold) and that its faculty promote the institution’s religious doctrine (the second threshold). Superadded to providing evidence that the institution does all of that as defined by this new management standard, the institution must now also clearly communicate to potential applicants that they will receive a specifically religious education and they should fully expect that all faculty members will provide that religious education. That is, if the institution is to be excluded from being covered by the Act.

Considering the number of Catholic universities and colleges and associated organizations filing amicus briefs to exclude those institutions from the provisions of the Act, this decision represents what may be a major blow in their efforts to keep faculty in their institutions from unionizing. In that regard, the decision is almost certain to be appealed.

More substantively, the decision articulates with clarity what an authentic Catholic higher education in the United States involves and requires of both administrators and faculty. For five decades, administrators of the nation’s Catholic universities and colleges have had it both ways. They could “talk the talk” about how their institution are “Catholic,” while at the same time, allow faculty in the classrooms, in their advising, and in their research to emulate their secular counterparts.

What’s ironic about the NRLB decision is that it took an agency of a secular government to dictate to those administrators what it means to “walk the talk” and how that requires faculty who teach students as they should be taught in a specifically Catholic institution. The NRLB may have done more to reclaim the lost soul of U.S. Catholic higher education than has any other group—including the National Conference of Catholic Bishops—in the past 50 years.



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6 Responses to The NRLB and the lost soul of U.S. Catholic higher education…

  • So, the concern is what, that if we allow adjuncts at catholic universities to unionize, catholic schools will have to pay them fair wages, maybe even enough to live off of?

    Catholic universities are just as corrupt and exploitative as the secular ones in this regard; they (administrative management) are primarily concerned amassing profits for themselves and while they will build giant social justice palaces on start programs for students to travel globally to visit the poor, they will not pay fair wages to their teachers unless they are forced to do so.

  • heh heh… writing straight with crooked lines.

    My guess is the Jesuit universities would rather allow unionization before being dragged back to Catholicism. Of course, they could simply state they follow Jesuitism – their own brand of progressive liberalism. It just has to be a religious atmosphere, not necessarily that of the One Holy Catholic Apostolic faith.

  • It will be deeply amusing to watch these putatively-Catholic universities fight like hell against unionization. While trying desperately to burnish their social justice halos in the process.

    Going to get the popcorn ready.

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  • and by the way, the NLRB will tell you what the word religious shall mean to you people who claim your institution is a religious institution.

    if the NLRB disagrees with the schools’ definition of religious, then by golly, they are not religious because in america, the federal government is in control of what constitutes religion and religious practices.

So much for freedom of speech in U.S. Catholic higher education…

Friday, December 19, AD 2014


Back in early November, a professor of political science reported in a personal blog post about a fellow professor teaching “Theory of Ethics” who was applying a philosophical text to modern political controversies. Listing some controversies, the professor wrote down “gay rights.” The professor then said to the class, “Everybody agrees on this, and there is no need to discuss it.”

One student disagreed.

After the class had ended, the student approached the professor, stating that the issue and associated matters, like homosexual rights, so-called homosexual marriage, and homosexual adoption, merit discussion. According to the blog post, the student went further, stating that if the professor dismissed the issue and its associated matters based solely upon personal views, that would set “a terrible precedent for the class.”

The professor was skeptical, offering counter arguments. Lastly, the professor asked the student for research demonstrating the student’s assertions.

But, like most political controversies, the discussion didn’t end there, as the professor explained that “some opinions are not appropriate, such as racist opinions, sexist opinions,” asking “Do you know if anyone in your class is homosexual?” and whether, if some student raised his hand and challenged so-called homosexual marriage, “Don’t you think it would be offensive to them?”

The student responded, stating that as an American citizen he possessed the right to advance counter-arguments, to which the professor replied,

You don’t have a right in this class to make homophobic comments….In this class, homophobic comments, racist comments, will not be tolerated.

Finally, the professor invited the student to drop the class.

In late November, The Motley Monk discussed this incident within a broader analysis, “Some stirrings of discontent in U.S. Catholic higher education.”

But, like most matters involving people feeling offended, the story didn’t end there.

On December 17, the professor who wrote the personal blog post received a letter from the institution’s Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences:

The university is continuing to review your conduct and during this period—and until further notice—you are relieved of all teaching duties and all other faculty activities, including, but not limited to, advising, committee work, faculty meetings and any activity that would involve your interaction with… students, faculty and staff. Should any academic appeals arise from Fall 2014 semester, however, you are expected to fulfill your obligations in that specific matter.

Your salary and benefits will continue at their current level during this time.

You are to remain off campus during this time, and should you need to come to campus, you are to contact me in writing beforehand to explain the purpose of your visit, to obtain my consent and to make appropriate arrangements for that visit. I am enclosing with this letter [the institution’s] harassment policy, its guiding values statement, the University mission statement, and sections from the Faculty Handbook, which outline faculty rights and responsibilities; these documents will inform our review of your conduct.


Even if the suspension is “a bit of a joke, since it’s Christmas break and we aren’t teaching,” as the professor noted in a new personal blog post, what isn’t a joke are some of the potential implications of this suspension:

  • Class discussion that’s likely to “offend” any particular group of students in the class must be proscribed…a “gag” order, as RedState.com described it. Consider all of the matters that might offend particular groups of students.
  • Calling out colleagues who are intolerant of full, free, and unfettered discussion of the facts can warrant a suspension and possible dismissal for failure to adhere to the institution’s harassment policy. Professors would be indemnified from any challenges to their unfounded opinions.
  • Challenging such proscriptions can also end in a suspension and possible dismissal. This would have a “chilling effect” upon free speech, as academic administrators could investigate, censor, and or even punish professors who express their personal beliefs not only in classrooms but in personal blog posts. That process could take the form of harassment which the procees is supposed to ensure doesn’t happen.

Doesn’t all of that present a proximate danger to academic freedom?

About the institution, RedState.com observed:

Marquette is Wisconsin’s leading Catholic university. As such, it is a high profile institution among Catholics both in and out of Wisconsin. It also prides itself as one of the most well known centers of higher education in the state. By imposing a gag order on McAdams, the school has done damage to both its Catholic and academic traditions….

One can only shake one’s head in disbelief, reading of these events and juxtaposing them to Marquette’s mission statement:

Marquette University is a Catholic, Jesuit university dedicated to serving God by serving our students and contributing to the advancement of knowledge. Our mission, therefore, is the search for truth, the discovery and sharing of knowledge, the fostering of personal and professional excellence, the promotion of a life of faith, and the development of leadership expressed in service to others. All this we pursue for the greater glory of God and the common benefit of the human community.

Or, as the now-suspended professor noted:

Marquette…has again shown itself to be timid, overly bureaucratic and lacking any commitment to either its Catholic mission or free expression.




To read the professor’s original blog post, click on the following link:

To read The Motley Monk’s previous blog post, click on the following link:

To read the professor’s update, the December 17 blog post, click on the following link:

To read the RedState.com article, click on the following link:

To read the Marquette University Mission Statement, click on the following link:

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, Omnibus, click on the following link:

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23 Responses to So much for freedom of speech in U.S. Catholic higher education…

  • ” . . . Catholic, Jesuit university . . . ”
    Increasingly oxymoronic.

  • And none of this a great surprise, for anyone who works in a Jesuit institution of ‘higher learning’. Just like being a Catholic under Pope Francis, be very, very careful what you say. I feel for the student—he could have learned much from the experiences of Frs. Fessio, Cornelius Buckley, and John Hardon, SJ’s.

    A now-deceased Jesuit wryly once observed to me the new rules of the Least Society: “Now, nothing is forbidden, but anything may be punished.”

  • It’s Jesuit, not Catholic.

  • I saw the prof. on FOXNEWS this AM. He is tenured with 35 years at the so-called university.

    He said he is fighting and that he has very good lawyers.

    Inconclusion, the system they’re applying to the student and to the professor is known, among normal people, to be “fascism.”

  • Wait I am so confused…

    The student responded, stating that as an American citizen he possessed the right to advance counter-arguments, to which the professor replied,

    You don’t have a right in this class to make homophobic comments….In this class, homophobic comments, racist comments, will not be tolerated.

    Finally, the professor invited the student to drop the class.

    And that professor is being disciplined? But it sounded like that professor was trying his/her best not to “offend” any particular group of students in the first place. Is this about offending the free-speech advocate student? I feel like this article needs more distinct labels for all participants.

  • Nate.

    What about the offense of the students that believe homosexual actions are offensive to society? Isn’t this why the prof. was reprimanded? He wasn’t allowing that student to voice his objection of so called same sex marriage, or any other objection that the student believed to be worthy of mention. Instead, the prof. called him homophobic basically. Offering to “have the student drop the class” is the slam that reprimanded the prof. True?

  • Is that what happened, Philip? I honestly have no idea so asking me “true?” would just get a big shoulder shrug.

  • If you want an example of someone confusing professional ethics with the real kind, here it is.


  • It is unfortunate but it has also been and issue at my alma mater for a while. A few years ago when very liberal very pro-death Senator Russ Feingold lost his seat to a conservative, he was able to find a home at Marquette University. I was very disappoint by their actions. I called and wrote the Dean about how Mr. Feingold’s positions were directly opposite Catholic teaching. It fell on more than deaf ears – they sent me a letter stating how lucky they were to get him, blah blah blah. Again MUs actions are disappoint but not unexpected since they have a long history of claiming to be Catholic but not backing up their claims by adhering to Catholic teachings. As an aside they gave into liberals without even a fight when they changed the mascot name from Warriors to Golden Eagles. It is a typical US College controlled by liberals, unfortunately this one claims to be Catholic.

  • I’m wondering about the next step in Marquette’s quest for political
    correctness: since views that might offend homosexual students may no
    longer be uttered in a classroom, when will the PC nannies at Marquette
    take scissors or matches to books in the libraries? Surely, to be consistent
    in their PC ‘logic’, all the old, disused books in Marquette libraries — you
    know, the ones that contain traditional, “offensive” Catholic explication of
    the immorality of homosexual behavior– should go. After all, a student
    might unwittingly stumble upon it and be offended, just as they would if
    they’d heard it in a classroom or read it on Professor McAdams’ personal blog…

  • That would be so 1953, as in when Ray Bradbury wrote Fahrenheit 451.

    Ironically, the satire is missed by liberal idiots (I repeat myself again).

  • Art Deco.

    Mr. Franck’s take on First Things is great. The humor is sadly funny, however the dominos are easily recognizable and absurd as they fall uphill. Thank you for the link.

    Nate. Check it out. I hope you like the link as well.

  • Mr. Franck’s take on First Things is great.

    It was nothing of the kind. About 40% was taken up with abuse of the student and of Dr. McAdams, who deserve none of that. That 40% is indicative of what the faculty commenters are saying on outlets like Inside Higher Education Real problems are not acknowledged in favor of discussion of inconsequential matters such as professors’ wounded sense of professional courtesy. If they were not so disoriented, faculty would not utter such tripe in front of the general public, but faculty do tend to suffer from the illusion that their puerile complaints are something other than that. Just another piece of evidence of how R.R. Reno has a once fine publication circling the toilet bowl.

  • Mission Statement is funny as hell…the search for truth, the discovery and sharing of knowledge…(laughter and revulsion.)

    The student just can’t understand this search for truth since the guides of truth are blindfolded and stumbling to discover the knowledge needed to reveal said truth. It might behoove the faculty to set mandatory seminars for the professor’s to attend. The fifth grade student body of Holy Rosary can gleefully lead the faculty in each seminar. Bible in hand, these youngsters can enlighten the profs. and it will only cost the University fuel lodging and meals. Should be less than the expenses of free contraception given out at the end of the Vagina Dialogue series.

  • *glances at first things link*

    Ok, So there’s one Dr. McAdams and they are the one in trouble. Meanwhile there is another teacher or professor who told a student “no homo (phobia)” and hasn’t been in trouble. Right? (that wasn’t Very clear in the original)

  • The instructor @ Marquette that diagnosed the student’s views “hostile” is really an interesting work in herself: as a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy, her areas of specialty are animal rights and also (oh no!) military ethics. One of her most tantalizing recent essays, soon-to-be published, is entitled, “Adventures in Moral Consistency: How to Develop an Abortion Ethic from an Animal Rights Framework” . Basically the concept is that vulnerability of animals is similar to vulnerability of the “fetus” (her adopted terminology), so some animal-rights people are actually in a moral quandary on being pro-abortion. She finds a way to be pro-abort and pro-animal rights. Yay!

    The most disturbing article however is “Assuming Risk: A Critical Analysis of a Soldier’s Duty to Prevent Collateral Casualties” (May, 2014 publication). She takes the position that we shouldnt expect soldiers to assume risk for collateral casualties (I am sure with her wealth of military experience to guide her), because “…We cannot reasonably expect soldiers and commanders to adhere to the principle of risk until there is a radical, institutional-level transformation of militaristic goals, values, strategies, policies, warrior codes and expectations of service members in the US Armed Forces.” (her own words, now) Ah, the Great White Whale of the radical left: to get Commissars dictating ideological purity to the uniformed military!
    Oh, just another taste! In her article, “The Search for Liability in the Defensive Killing of Non-Human Animals” (Jan. 2015 publication date), she comes to the conclusion that human beings “…are often culpable or, to some degree, morally responsible for posing an unjust threat to nonhuman animals.” Now you may be going to jail for whacking that roof rat with the spade, you Unjust Threat!
    We are getting there: Hitler, famously a vegetarian and animal-rights-type, in the Berlin bunker in April 1945, wept bitterly over his necessary killing of his beloved German shepherd as the Russian forces closed in—all the while he being unmindful of Volksturm teen-age boys and old men in their sixties, to say nothing of the mass murder of the civilian population, women and children—raged on at street-level a few meters above his head. He has a kindred spirit in the philosophy dept. at Marquette.

  • Of course what this confrontation demonstrates is how much of what goes on in the “liberal arts” on most campuses has absolutely nothing to do with education and everything to do with indoctrination. The poor student made the mistake of misunderstanding the true purpose of the class.

  • The student was forced to drop the class for his thoughtcrime, and
    Professor McAdams has been suspended for posting about the events.
    We can see that the Marquette administration is doubling-down on
    the philosophy Instructor’s insistence that even discussing
    otherwise traditional, Catholic views on the morality of homosexual
    acts and same-sex ‘marriage’ constitute hate crime…
    So, what do you suppose would happen if a priest (or even better, the
    local bishop) were to give a lecture or sermon on campus outlining the
    Church’s traditional teachings on homosexuality? Are campus groups
    now forbidden to hold public discussions where the forbidden speech
    might give offense?
    It’s interesting to contrast the university’s stance against what is after
    all merely perennial Catholic teaching with the same university’s increasing
    accommodation of the play “The Vagina Monologues”. For many years the
    Marquette administration refused to permit a production of the play on
    campus because it was offensive to Catholics. Back in 2006, the last year
    MU declined to permit production of the play on campus, resident liberal
    theologian Daniel Maquire was quoted in a 9 March 2006 article in the
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel saying “The worst thing you can do
    is practice repression of ideas. These decisions (to ban the Vagina Mono-
    logues) damage the degrees that people get from our university”. Of course,
    Marquette has since changed its views about the offensive play, and it’s
    been produced eight times at MU since ’07– last year three departments
    sponsored the production. Everybody got that? Play so offensive it was
    banned for years now = good, discussion of perennial Catholic teaching on
    homosexuality and marriage now = bad.

  • Clinton. Bingo!

    Strip it’s Catholic association or make the University uphold Catholic teaching and morals.

    ( Bingo on your comments VM play.)

  • New Zealand grants a river the rights of personhood. Animal rights trump human rights.

    This is the future spawned from higher education. The thought police are gaining zombies every minute. Go figure! New Morality!!

  • So, what do you suppose would happen if a priest (or even better, the local bishop) were to give a lecture or sermon on campus outlining the Church’s traditional teachings on homosexuality?

    I dunno, what do you think?


  • Art Deco, you are probably right. *sigh*

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Some stirrings of discontent in U.S. Catholic higher education

Sunday, November 23, AD 2014


It’s difficult to gauge precisely how many Catholics—in particular, those who are genuinely concerned about the Catholic identity of U.S. Catholic higher education—are feeling like Howard Beale, the fictional anchorman for the UBS Evening News in the film Network. Beale had a difficult time accepting the social ailments and depravity existing in the world he was reporting to his viewers. The image of Beale—his beige coat and wet, gray hair plastered to his head—standing up during the middle of his newscast and proclaiming, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” is arguably one of the most memorable scenes in cinematic history.

But, when it comes to U.S. Catholic higher education, the scene is memorable not because Beale had grown insane. No, it’s memorable because Beale was prophetic, correctly discerning the “signs of the times.”


Yet, although many of Beale’s viewers shared his outrage, they didn’t voice their frustrations. Why?

  • Perhaps some figured they would live their lives the way they saw fit and allow others to do the same. “Live and let live,” they thought. After all, who were they to judge?
  • Perhaps others figured those social ailments and depravity would eventually disappear, collapsing upon themselves of their own weight of the unhappiness they bring. Isn’t that what the natural law teaches?
  • Perhaps yet others lived in fear of those who were actively promoting those social ailments and depravity. They asked, as did Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?”

For a very long time, some Catholics have been “mad as hell” about the direction U.S. Catholic higher education has taken. Yet, they have remained silent for whatever reason, just like many of Beale’s viewers. However, those Catholics may now be at the point they’re “not going to take this anymore.” Their decades-long, simmering discontent may be at the boiling point and close to boiling over. To wit:

  • A professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Randall Smith, recently argued in Aleteia that something must be done about those universities and colleges which self-identify as “Catholic,” yet are less-than-supportive of Catholic students, faculty, and Church teaching. Smith noted the hostility demonstrated at many nominally Catholic universities in recent decades that has rendered some of them what Smith called “hot-beds of anti-Catholicism.”
  • A Marquette University political science professor, John McAdams, recently posted an article at the Marquette Warrior in which he voiced his concern about the way the concept of social justice is communicated and typically understood at Marquette. McAdams noted how opposition to hot-button issues—like abortion and same-sex marriage—is not a part of the University’s version of social justice. “On the contrary, any opposition to gay marriage is called ‘homophobia,’” McAdams wrote.
  • James Schall, SJ, formerly a member of Georgetown University’s faculty, recently published “The Catholic Difference” at The Catholic World Report. In his post, Fr. Schall emphasized the importance of maintaining a Catholic distinction in this secular world. “Catholics see themselves being…separated out because of a radical cultural change that they did not always notice,” Schall wrote. However, this isolation “is not so much because of any specific doctrinal issue peculiar to Catholics but because of issues of reason and natural law concerning human life and family, the very pillars of civilization.” Losing sight of the search for truth through sober reasoning that’s rooted in natural law, Fr. Schall argued, those institutions are forsaking their Catholic identity at a time just when young people need to experience it most.
  • In Reclaiming Catholic Social Teaching, a Providence College professor of English, Anthony Esolen, has argued that many of the nation’s Catholic universities and colleges have narrowed the rich tradition of Catholic social teaching. How so? By limiting it to papal writings of the last couple decades and, in particular, papal concerns about society in the post-industrial West. What this narrowing of the tradition has accomplished, Esolen believes, is to divide Church teaching into neat compartments—like sexual morality, marriage, family, and economics—rather than to present the integral whole that it is. In the end, “progress” has been made synonymous with “dispensing [with] the wisdom of the ages.”

The singular problem is the largely unchallenged motive that most academic administrators at those institutions have evidenced for nearly six decades. In short, they want their institutions to be exactly like their secular peers with a patina of Catholic—not too much, not too little, just enough to convince the folks that their institutions are genuinely Catholic. Moving those institutions in this direction is nothing new, tracing its history back to the Land O’ Lakes conference in the late 1960’s.

After nearly six decades, the outcome is a system of higher education that, in most of its policies, classrooms, and dormitories, consists of 240+ universities and colleges that are discernably similar to their secular counterparts.

For those Catholics who are frustrated with the current state of U.S. Catholic higher education, this history raises some fundamental questions:

  • If those institutions aren’t going to be distinctively Catholic and educate students in a decidedly Catholic body of tradition, for what purpose do they exist?
  • How would the virtue of justice adjure administrators who advertise and promote their institutions as “Catholic” when their fundamental motivation is to imitate their secular peers?
  • If a student is not going to receive a distinctive education in the Catholic tradition, is this not tantamount to “false advertising” or, worse yet, theft for charging tuition for something that’s knowingly not going to be provided whole and intact?

When conservatives raise questions like these, they are routinely accused of being interested only in “indoctrinating” students. However, it’s the conduct of those making this accusation that ought to be critically examined. Have they not been using “Catholic” social justice as their Trojan Horse to indoctrinate students into their ideology?

That long-term project and its success is what makes conservatives “mad as hell.” Evidently, some of them are “not going to take this anymore” and are beginning to speak out.




To read Randall Smith’s article, click on the following link:

To read John McAdams post, click on the following link:

To read Fr. Schall’s article, click on the following link:

To learn about/purchase Anthony Esolen’s book, click on the following link:

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, Omnibus, click on the following link:

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9 Responses to Some stirrings of discontent in U.S. Catholic higher education

  • Higher education for today’s Catholic. Liturgy for today’s Catholic.
    “Music” for today’s Catholic.
    Schedules for today’s Catholic.
    Holy day Ascension moved to Sunday for today’s Catholic. Christmas Eve used to be meatless and the first Celebration took place at the first moment of Christmas Day – midnight. Now mass is celebrated about 4:30 and get that religious obligation out of the way and done with. For the children. The power and mystery of the Christmas proclamation is not heard.

  • “What this narrowing of the tradition has accomplished, Esolen believes, is to divide Church teaching into neat compartments—like sexual morality, marriage, family, and economics—rather than to present the integral whole that it is. In the end, “progress” has been made synonymous with “dispensing [with] the wisdom of the ages.” ”
    “Progress” in a circle, as the world is a globe, always arrives at the beginning. Our culture has stagnated and become a stinking cesspool. The going in a circle is the flushing of a toilet. What the “progressives” have lost is their concept of and their acceptance of creativity, imagination and abstract thought, contemplation, meditation and prayer to enlighten the mind and inspire the human soul. The “progressives” are jealous, so jealous, they could kill. And they do kill the younger, stronger, more intelligent and creative newer generation. The “progressives” do this by enforcing their mindless compliance with its stagnated ideology upon the youth of our nation. My way or the highway, because I am the One.. The One WHO?…is cowardly afraid to admit his mortality…to small-minded to engage a greater mind…to evil to encourage academic excellence…legion.

    “What’s in a name? A rose is a rose is a rose by any other name?”

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  • There is a program in place to subvert authentic Catholicism at the college level. It started at ND in the 1960’s with Fr. Hessburg, John D. Rockefeller and government money. The tentacles are spreading wider and into willing institutions. The way to stop it, is to reveal the connections and ask for staff, both teaching and administrative, to be removed. The other method involves empowering parents and students with substantive information that allows them to choose an authentic catholic college to attend. The Newman Guide is a nice resource in this regard.

  • I hope that the parents who truly care and are paying attention will make a quiet change. We took our 9th grade son to an open house at Christendom College on Saturday. It was a gigantic breath of fresh air. The director of admissions said that statistics show that 80% of Catholic children lose their faith when they go to college. For at least 4 years, I’ve been saying that I won’t be paying someone $30,000 a year to steal my child’s soul. I hope that my “loud voice” influences other people.

  • The same thing has happened in our grammar and high schools.

  • Only way to change it – stop HIRING their graduates. Problem is, the more secular catholic colleges have stronger secular reputations, and that translates into the job market, which translates into desirability by students. Bishop after Bishop could revoke the identity of every CINO university, and it would hardly make a dent in enrollment – they probably fear it would increase it. Fact is, 99.99% of people go to college to get a job, not an education.

  • c matt is absolutely right. I went to college to get the training to have a career. In my case, I went to Loyola University of Chicago and graduated with a BS in Mathematics and Computer Science. It has served me well. It being a Jesuit institution, also did get some education, I took course work in Literature (Russian, English and Poetry); Philosophy (medical ethics, Des Cartes, Freud, Marx, Augustine, Anselm and Aquinas); theology (I took a minor in this with coursework in Hebrew, Greek, Scripture, Judaism and Catholic theology); and others. Even these courses, though, I worked in and learned with the purpose of making myself a more rounded person that would be more likely to be employable, not for its own sake, though some of the content was interesting.

    I see no reason for a young person to go into debt learning “Great Books” if it does not make them more employable than they were before taking the coursework.

  • Quoted from the 1944 proclamation: “. . . eternal truths and magnificent principles . . . ” These are found in the great works from ancient to contemporary from Christian and pagan art, literature, history, philosophy, etc. They are vital to every man and woman in her/his work and in his/her life.

    Sadly, today colleges/universities not only peddle contemporary, puerile paganism they project onto the classics the muck and mire. This is deleterious to man and woman.

Patristic quote of the day…

Sunday, November 23, AD 2014


If I should write the truth, I believe that I ought to flee all meetings of bishops, because I have never seen any happy or satisfactory outcome from any council, nor one that has deterred evils more than it has occasioned their acceptance and growth.


(St Gregory of Nazianzus, Letter 131 from 382 AD; cf. PG ).

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7 Responses to Patristic quote of the day…

  • Wisdom of the Saints indeed! Thanks MM!

  • Saint Gregory of Nazianzus is the name of the Byzantine Catholic parish in nearby Upper Saint Clair, Pennsylvania.

    Recently, the Roman Pontiff removed all restrictions against the ordination of married men to the priesthood for the Eastern Catholic Churches, with the exceptions of the Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankar Catholic Churches, who do not ordain married men. It’s the first important thing he has said or done that I agree with.

    St. Gregory knew what he was talking about.

  • Penguins Fan: “It’s the first important thing he has said or done that I agree with.”
    Penguins Fan, please do not agree to married priests. There is one here and I could not go to confession to him because of his wife. Sorry. There was a third party to my confession and it was not God. It was the priest’s wife. It has been several years now, and I have not been moved from my original assessment.
    I need some one who is with me 100%.

  • 1) Then as now, all should “flee all meetings of bishops.” So much education, such little knowledge, so little has changed in 1600 years.

    2) Mary De Voe gets my vote, sorry, Penguins’ Fan: having spent some years working at an Episcopal church in L.A., you have not seen internecine conflict, scandals, nor, as Mary De Voe observes, breaches of confidence and the seal of confession, until you have seen a “married clergy”: the seal of confessional broached (whether direct or indirect: both are delict acts) will be the ultimate blow to Catholic sacraments.

    3) It is bad enough in the SF bay area, where a USF priest has commented to me, quite bitterly, of his shock at how, in social conversations at recreation time, some of the gay clergy have revealed information that was confessional matter to their “close friends”, who of course could not keep such juicy material silenced: I dont think we need to make it any worse with a “married clergy.”

  • Mary and Steve, I have the impression that you think a married clergy in the Eastern Catholic Churches is some hair-brained scheme aimed at destroying the celibate priesthood of the Latin Church. This is not so. I can infer that you know next to nothing about the Eastern Churches.

    I don’t know where you live and it isn’t my business. Pittsburgh was the epicenter of a terrible schism in the Byzantine Ruthenian Church, which has its Metropolia and its seminary in Pittsburgh. Under the Union of Brest-Litovsk and the Union of Uzhorod, the Ukrainians and the Ruthenians returned to the Catholic Church from Orthodoxy. They were promised and guaranteed that they would retain all aspects, traditions and laws of their particular Churches. Among those is a married clergy.

    Archbishop Ireland of St. Paul instigated a schism that led to thousands of American Eastern Catholics joining the Orthodox church of America. Pope Leo, at the urging of American Latin Catholic bishops, forbid married clergy among the Eastern Catholic Churches in the United States. As a result, countless Byzantine Catholic families were split apart and almost 40 Byzantine Catholic parishes gave Rome the middle finger and started the American Carpatho-Rusyn Orthodox Diocese. My neighbors are ACROD. They have two young daughters. I attended the baptism of their baby in September. The father left the Byzantine Church for ACROD as this is where his wife was.

    You see, stupid is nothing new in the hierarchy. Latin triumphalism caused schism in the Church in the 20th Century.

    Pope St. John Paul II wrote in his 1995 encyclical Orientale Lumen (Light of the East) that the Eastern Catholic Churches were to return to their traditions and cast out things of the Latin Church that had found its way in. Also, Latin Catholics should learn about and appreciate the Eastern Churches.

    A Ukrainian Catholic coworker invited me to a ceremony in his parish in Carnegie, PA where they had a new pastor – a priest with GASP a wife and six kids. I met him. He is a TERRIFIC priest, administering to his flock as he has been called and assigned to do.

    The Bishop of the Romanian Catholic Church, based in Canton, Ohio, ordained two married men to the priesthood a few years ago. The Maronite Catholic Church ordained a married man to the priesthood this year in St. Louis.

    I’m a Latin Trad. I value our commitment to a celibate clergy in the Latin Church. The Eastern Churches have their own traditions, customs and laws and ramming celibacy down their throats was a bad idea.

  • I think you completely misunderstood me, PF.

  • Penguins Fan: Jesus Christ was celibate. In the Sacrament of Penance the priest acts in persona Christi during the absolution and alter Christi the rest of the time. Since Christ was not married, the priest’s behavior in alter Christi might be like St. Peter, who was married.
    In respect to the priest’s wife, I could not bare my soul to the married priest. A person cannot have it both ways. But St. Peter was married before he was called to follow Christ. St. Peter was not married after he was called to the priesthood.
    All these other people and their examples have nothing for me.

There’s No Place Like Creighton University

Monday, November 17, AD 2014

Although it happened a couple of weeks back, it was bound to happen.

A President of a Catholic University has cited Pope Francis as an influential factor extending health benefits to same-sex “spouses” of university employees.

According to the Omaha World-Herald:

[The President of Creighton University, the Reverend Timothy Lannon, SJ] said the idea began to take root after Pope Francis took a different tone on gays in the church. He said he discussed it with campus leaders for a year before making the decision. Though he largely heard agreement on campus—Lannon said the university’s benefits committee approved it unanimously—Archbishop George Lucas was firmly opposed.


The Reverend Timothy Lannon, SJ

In the article, Fr. Lannon is also quoted as saying:

I asked myself, what would Jesus do in this case? And I can only imagine Jesus being so welcoming of all people.”

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20 Responses to There’s No Place Like Creighton University

  • The “SJ” after the person’s name explains it all.

  • “I asked myself, what would Jesus do in this case? And I can only imagine Jesus being so welcoming of all people.”

    If that is what passes for argument in Jesuit circles today then they are indeed a very pale imitation of what they once were. Jesus of course called all men to Him and called them to repentance, amendment and eternal life. This Jesuit, and his ideological think alikes, tell people that they need not repent nor amend their lives and lead them to Hell. The fact that he attempts to enlist Jesus in his enterprise is the very essence of blasphemy.

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  • Since Fr. Lannon cites this Pope as a major influence in making this decision,
    then I suppose if the next Pope speaks out to reinforce perennial Catholic
    teachings on homosexuality… Fr. Leighton would follow that Pope and change
    Creighton’s policies back again?
    I had no idea the Jesuits were so eager to implement the wishes of our Popes.
    I must have been misinformed about their behaviors during all the previous
    pontificates since Vatican II.

  • Giving aid and comfort to the enemy (the devil), being complicit in the commission of a sin is sinning. What part of “You shall love the Lord, your God, with your whole heart, your whole mind, your whole strength and you neighbor as yourself” does creighton university not understand?
    What a fast track to hell.

  • “What would Jesus do?”

    Well…we know what he did with the woman caught in adultery…

    “Go your way…AND…SIN NO MORE.”

    When the Church affirms sin…the Church does a grave disservice to all.

  • “WWJD?”
    –Cop out of modern Christians everywhere.

  • “What does Jesus want me to do?”
    …is more the better question…
    y’know; Thy will be done, and all that.
    But I’m wandering off topic….

  • Yes, these actions are blasphemous.
    Do these priest academics still believe in God? Is God still Awesome?

    I saw, unfortunately, Sean Card. O’Malley with Norah O’Donnell on TV last night.
    to quote a song from Hee Haw: “Gloom, Despair and Agony on Me. Deep Dark Depression, Excessive Misery….”

  • ‘Gradualism’ is roaring now at Heaven.

  • I am disappointed in Archbishop Curtis’ response. It’s not enough for him to state the facts, the University must be stripped of its Catholic title. I am not sure if the Diocese funds the school or not, but I pray they don’t see a dime of the money we pledge to the Annual Appeal or the new 100% of the parish participation required “Ignite the Faith Campaign.”

  • “I saw, unfortunately, Sean Card. O’Malley with Norah O’Donnell on TV last night.
    to quote a song from Hee Haw: “Gloom, Despair and Agony on Me. Deep Dark Depression, Excessive Misery….””

    Comment of the week Anzlyne! Take ‘er away Sam!

  • From Ven. Fr. Solanus Casey; “God condescends to use our powers if we don’t spoil His plans with ours.”

    Seems to be a perfect fit for our SJ Timothy.

  • I would imagine that priests will be asked which Catholic Church they belong: the capital “C” or the small “c”. Soon we will see the split in the Church and many will wonder where it all started. I guess the confessionals on campus must be pretty empty since there is no sin or it can be rationalized. Having a pastoral approach does not mean accepting the opposite position. Before they understand Jesus’ words of “Go and sin no more” the university needs to have a few classes in “What is Sin?” I wonder if there is a fault line under the university since it’s judgment will not go lightly.

  • “Having a pastoral approach does not mean accepting the opposite position.”
    From Fr. Buchlien.

    Bingo Father. When the quake hits it might seem like the time of Noah, many wishing they had secured themselves to the new ark. Our Lady and Adoration of Our Lord. Shooting from the hip has its consequences. Church teachings taking a second to popular culture.

  • We are living in an age when some of the laity are more, much more, catholic than the clergy. The most effective approach to end this madness is to make sure you deter anyone from going to Creighton and let the board of directors know your position. When the money flow into the institution starts to decline, the policies and staff will change. Money matters!

  • “If that is what passes for argument in Jesuit circles today then they are indeed a very pale imitation of what they once were. Jesus of course called all men to Him and called them to repentance, amendment and eternal life. This Jesuit, and his ideological think alikes, tell people that they need not repent nor amend their lives and lead them to Hell. The fact that he attempts to enlist Jesus in his enterprise is the very essence of blasphemy.”

    Preach it DRM!! U sound like an old time Hell, fire, and brimstone Baptist preacher. We could use more truth stated plainly in this world.

  • Hi Kate– I agree with you and I think Archbishop Lucas will do something about this. The archbishop Curtis you referred to is retired now. Archbishop Lucas came from Peoria, Illinois. At one time he was under the notorious bishop Dan Ryan and has thus had plenty of dealing with these kinds of issues. Archbishop Curtis had had similar run ins to this with Creighton, with Boys Town. I wonder if the retired archbishop will have some good words of advice for archbishop Lucas. The Omaha media really went after Curtis mercilessly.

  • This Priest (and yes, even the Pope is still a Priest) should be censured immediately, if he will not recant and abandon this policy he should be defrocked and excommunicated.

  • If these Jesuit priests find it more important to make people feel welcomed rather than repentant, then what are they priests for? And using “Who am I to judge?” as a rationale for mercy doesn’t make sense to me either. You first have to make an assessment or judgement call about whether something is worthy of mercy or not. Otherwise, what are you showing mercy to? It’s one thing to feel sad for or to pity someone; it’s another thing to use that sadness or pity to set aside the truths of our Faith and to enable someone in his erring ways. To do so would be false mercy and genuine sentimentality.

A new gender classification coming soon to a nearby Catholic university or college…

Monday, November 10, AD 2014


One of the premiere campus events during the month of October occurred beneath the radar screen: “Asexual Awareness Week.”


This lack of awareness won’t contine if Emily Johnston and some of her pals at Carleton College are effective in getting their message out, according to Inside Higher Ed. Johnston is the President and Co-Founder of The New England Asexual Community and Education (ACE) which holds meetings and is actively working to expand programming at Carleton for asexual students.

To date, Johnston and her allies have experienced some success. For example, Carleton’s Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC) earlier this year added the word “asexual” into its mission statement as well as an “A” onto the LGBTQ acronym. For Johnston, that’s important because it provides recognition that asexuals exist and are a valued and visible part of the queer community. “It’s an act of validation,” Johnston noted.

The GSC’s Director, Laura Haave, said her organization is making an effort to sponsor programs that are more inclusive of asexual topics or speakers. In addition, the GSC is also revising some of its programs concerning communication and consent. The idea is to acknowledge that talking about sex for some people means identifying as asexual. “There’s a pretty strong belief in our society that if you don’t experience sexual desire or sexual attraction, there’s something wrong with you,” Haave said. Haave hopes the GSC’s recognition will mean asexual people won’t face the discriminatory pressure that confronted the gay, lesbian, and transgender populations, namely, to “change who they are” or “get better.”

What’s an “asexual” person? Johnston defined an asexual as a “person who doesn’t feel sexual attraction.”  However, Johnston added:

It means something different for everyone, and it means they experience relationships and intimacy differently.

As this definition isn’t inclusive of the wide spectrum of asexual variations, Johnston expressed her preference that people use the more inclusive term “asexual spectrum.”

For Johnston, even though the number and visibility of people who identify as asexual has grown, it’s still too low. Johnston observes:

It happens so often that people don’t even know that asexuality is an orientation. Or they’ve heard of the word, but don’t know what it means.

Beyond Carlton, the movement appears to be growing nationally with the establishment of support groups for asexual students at the University of Colorado at Boulder and New College of Florida. At other institutions—like the University of Georgia, for example—existing student groups have added asexual to the list of gender identities and sexual orientations represented.

Once academic administrators at the nation’s Catholic colleges and universities learn that asexuals are being stigmatized on their campuses because sex, attraction, and desire are celebrated and encouraged by the culture, they’ll be sure to note that Catholic social teaching requires a more inclusive approach towards asexuals. Perhaps the New England ACES would be willing to offer those administrators recommendations for their college gender and sexuality centers. Then, they’ll demonstrate greater compassion toward and inclusity of the newest of sexual minorities, all of those students on the “asexual spectrum.”

Any bet which Catholic college or university will spearhead the effort?




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12 Responses to A new gender classification coming soon to a nearby Catholic university or college…

  • I’ve got a confession. According to queer theories, I must be explained and defined by a fluid (or fixed) sexual identity. At no point am I able to escape or be defined apart from my attractions and it must rightly be politicized as to make sure I do not lose sight of who, or what, attracts me. So let me be 100% open with you and admit that I am a transspecies mealsexual. It’s true, I cannot even think about sex and sexuality on anything but a full stomach. I am compulsively moved to satiating this appetite at least 3 times a day, 7 days a week. I form fluid relationship with a bowl of cereal, carrots, various meats and cheeses- and of course they are fluid, open relations because usually by the end I open and they’re fluid. But don’t oppress me for this, for I am but one on the spectrum that you need instructing upon. As a transspecies mealsexual, I have more to offer the world, because my identity has a very sensitive constitution and completely different way of experiencing intimacy. Like, for example, I get awfully cranky if you come between me and my regularly scheduled meal times. I also will be less interested in sex on an empty stomach than on a full one. So be careful when dealing with me because this may be nothing like your hetero-cis sexual triggers, this is just how I’m built. So please, just understand that you don’t have to treat me any differently. My personal pronouns are I, belch, barf, fart, blat and burp. Thank you.

  • Somebody’s getting punked.
    I don’t know who it is, but somebody’s gotta be getting punked!

  • I don’t begrudge these people their desired category, but I do have a question–if they are not attracted to anyone of any sex, then why do they self-identify with LGBT groups? If I declare myself completely apolitical, but insist on attending Democratic events and want to be part of the Young Democrats club, would anyone take me seriously?

    If I had to guess, I would say it is just a desire to be in with the “cool kids.”

  • Is it out of line to just call them bacteria? Sure would make it easier on us.

    btw…..Hummmmmm, your funny!
    Love the identity. 🙂

  • I sure wish than some of these colleges and universities would have a “Learn what you really need to know week.”

    Good luck with that…

  • They all came into the world through a mother and a father. “Honor thy mother and thy father that thou shalt be long-lived upon the face of the earth.” the Fourth Commandment

  • And I thought that these idiots had pushed the envelope as far as they could go when they started insisting that men could go into bathrooms with little girls b/c the men think they are a woman. Boy was I wrong!

  • So, does this mean that celibacy is going to be in vogue again, as an ‘identity’?

  • God will never be outdone in generosity.

  • Pingback: Pope Francis Calls for Crusade for Christians? - BigPulpit.com
  • My first thought is wonder which bathroom they use!

  • This is the result of an unfilled spiritual vacuum in these folks lives. Their identity needs to be found in the Trinity. -not in a labeling of themselves by their sexual desires or lack of sexual desires. This is an attempt to address an eternal spiritual need by filling it with the satiation of a temporary physical desire.

Cardinal Raymond Burke: Not one to back down when it comes to Church teaching…

Friday, October 31, AD 2014

The soon-to-be “former Prefect of the Sacred Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura,” Cardinal Raymond Burke, isn’t letting his alleged “demotion” to head the Knights of Malta get in the way of his speaking out about the scandal caused by the first round of the Synod on the Family. No, it seems that the Cardinal is speaking out even more forcibly.

In his most recent interview posted at CNSNews.com, Cardinal Burke speaks about the “very serious responsibility to try to correct as quickly and as effectively as possible the scandal caused by the midterm report.”

And that wasn’t all Cardinal Burke had to say. About Church teaching regarding marriage, he said:

We have to recognize that if we don’t get it right about marriage–in other words, if we’re not faithful to the word of Christ, to the truth which Christ announced to us about marriage–in the Church, I don’t know how people can trust us with regard to teaching the truth of the faith in any other matter.

We’re talking here about the very foundation of the life of the church, the first cell of our life, in the marital union and the formation of the family and if we don’t uphold the sanctity of the marital bond we have really not only abandoned the Catholic faith but really abandoned the Christian faith in the sense that we are abandoning the natural law itself.

Crucial in the Cardinal’s understanding of the Church is its essentially conservative nature. Popes and bishops cannot “invent” or “change” Church teaching because it is divinely revealed, coming from Scripture and Tradition. Instead, Popes and bishops must fearlessly proclaim Church teaching–in this regard, concerning marriage and sexuality–by relying upon what the Church has already produced to explain its teaching rather than abandoning it for new, untested theories like that of “gradualism.” Cardinal Burke said:

The Church must now in this period hold up the beauty, the splendor, of this teaching for the sake of her own members that they not be confused about the truth but also for the sake of our world and the church’s call to serve the world by proclaiming the truth and by giving witness to it.

And, so, I’m praying very fervently that this coming year that this confusion will stop and instead that there will begin to be a strong emphasis on the beauty of the truth of the Church’s teaching on marriage and on human life and human sexuality.

If there was any scandal, it wasn’t generated by the Synod’s final midterm report but the mainstream media’s manipulation of the contents of the discussions transpiring within the Synod and the first midterm report which contained statements that were well-suited to advance the mainstream media’s agenda. However, with those statements deleted from the final midterm document, the mainstream media couldn’t but relish the opportunity they were provided to pit one midterm report against the other, painting the former as more sensitive, inclusive, and understanding of and merciful to humanity while identifying their bogey-man as Cardinal Raymond Burke.

If the members of the mainstream media think Cardinal Burke is one who is easily going to back down when the issue concerns Church teaching, his recent interviews suggest they’re barking up the wrong tree.

Hopefully, this most recent interview portends more of what’s to come if the scandal generated by the mainstream media isn’t stopped dead in its tracks.




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18 Responses to Cardinal Raymond Burke: Not one to back down when it comes to Church teaching…

  • When Cardinals Pell and Burke removed themselves from the Magisterium, they unintentionally took with them “infallibility” from Pope Francis, the speaking from ex-cathedra in conformity with the bishops of the church.
    Pope Francis will have to come over to Cardinals Burke and Pell to again achieve his infallibility. Without infallibility, Pope Francis speaks his mind, not the mind of God.

  • “…Pope Francis speaks his mind, not the mind of God”

    That pretty much sums up this Papacy.

  • Fortunately Cardinal Burke’s being sent to Malta cannot be a life sentence since life sentences are no longer life sentences. That’s the upside to the new thinking. The downside is that catechism may need another revision in ccc 2267 to note that bloodless means of protecting society have an expiration date.
    We need the Amish to speak next year at the family synod. They have the divorce rate now that we had for centuries but they have it in a no fault milieu. And they make great potato salad sold at Walmarts. Obama said a month ago about the Russians…” they don’t make anything”. Well the Amish make great potato salad and noodle salad and have about 1% divorce rate…maybe. They could speak at the synod to Cardinal Kasper about permanence ( ” love is not love which alters when it alteration finds or bends with the remover to remove”) and to Archbishop Forte about their gifts of potato salad which they bring to Rome.

  • The Pope’s and the liberal prelates gang’s inventions/opinions are not Truth.

    Plato had it correct. “Opinion is not Truth.”

  • Edit: Change “liberal prelates” to “progressive prelates.”

  • Bill Bannon wrote, “They have the divorce rate now that we had for centuries but they have it in a no fault milieu”
    No-fault divorce caused not so much as a blip in the inexorable rise in the divorce rate throughout the 20th century.

    Taking the figures for my own country, Scotland, in 1930, there were 469 decrees. A generation earlier, in 1890, there had been 87. That is a five-fold increase. There were 890 decrees in 1939, but in 1949, there were 2,447, an increase of 175% over 10 years.

    In the 1950s, the annual average was 2,071; in the 1930s, the annual average had been 597, representing a 250% increase on the 1930s average. So much for the family-friendly ’50s

    There were only 1,828 decrees in 1960, but in 1965, there were 2,691 and in 1969, there were 4,246.

    In 1970, there were 4,618 decrees and in 1974, the last full year before no-fault divorce, there were 7,221, a 168% increase on the 1965 figure. In 1976, the first full year of no-fault divorce, there were 8,692.

    In the 1980s, the annual average was 11,824, a 64% increase on the 1974 figure and in the 1990s, it was 12,381. In 2011, there were 9,862.

  • Michael PS,
    That’s a lot of work ( but narrowly oriented) to contradict me….but….Is Scotland revelatory of all countries worldwide? You have those scotch terriers that keep families together over there.

  • “We have to recognize that if we don’t get it right about marriage–in other words, if we’re not faithful to the word of Christ, to the truth which Christ announced to us about marriage–in the Church, I don’t know how people can trust us with regard to teaching the truth of the faith in any other matter.” – Card. Burke
    It cannot be summarized any more clearly than that.

  • MPS, I would imagine that your figures have to be normalized for number of decrees out of the total population of married. In other words, it is not a question of how many people got decrees, but how many people out of the total number of married people. Then plot that line in percent on a graph in Excel and see what you have. Saying there were a few score of decrees in the 1800s and thousands in the late 1900s may mean nothing because we don’t know from the figures you supplied what the total number of married people is – did that number stay the same, go up (as seems likely with population increase in general) or go down?

  • Bill Bannon wrote, “ That’s a lot of work ( but narrowly oriented) to contradict me…”

    It is a topic that has long interested me. The figures were easy to discover in a country where there was only one court (Court of Session) hearing consistorial cases. The only significant legislative change was that cruelty was added as a ground of divorce in 1938, in addition to adultery (since 1560) and four years’ desertion (since 1573).

    Paul W Primavera wrote, “ we don’t know from the figures you supplied what the total number of married people is…”

    The marriage rate is difficult to estimate in a country where marriage required no notice, no formality and no record of any kind. However, there is nothing to suggest that marriage rates varied significantly between 1891 (87 decrees) and 1952 (2,737 decrees) or 3,046%, a period in which the population rose from 4,025,647 to 5,095,969 or 27%. No one suggests there was a thirtyfold increase in the number of married couples!

    The population of Scotland showed a 28% increase between 1891 and 1961: 4,025,647 in 1891, 4,842,989 in 1931 and 5,179,000 in 1961. It shrank to 5,062,000 in 2001.

  • http://www.marriagedebate.com/pdf/imapp.nofault.divrate.pdf

    Michael PS,
    The above link is a study of studies of the US and no fault divorce…the USA which contains many nationalities. Page 4, col. 1 finds that one study out of 24 found an 80% increase in divorce from no fault…other studies found 5% to 30% increase….with 17 studies finding increase….7 not.
    Scotland contains one nationality generally that in the case of one island off Scotland lived off the Atlantic Puffin for many generations. People who can eat puffin every day and decorate with puffin beaks can endure any marriage. And I knew a Scot who endured a very chilling marriage til death and one wherein the Church would have recommended separation and therapy.

  • Pope Francis is the Vicar of Christ. Christ came to do the will of His Father in heaven.
    “My food and My drink is to do the will of My Father in heaven.” If Pope Francis, as the Vicar of Christ, does the will of God in heaven, Divine Providence will care for the poor.

  • Divine Justice: Joseph Stalin died of an asthma attack two weeks after he executed his personal physician. The American Indians were put on barren reservations under which billion of gallons of oil were detected…

  • Cardinal Burke[‘s] recent interviews suggest they’re barking up the wrong tree. I don’t think they can tree Burke.

  • Bill Bannon

    What the Scottish statistics show is a rapidly accelerating divorce rate throughout the 20th century.

    Yes, there was a 64% increase in the 1980s, following the introduction of no-fault divorce, but compare that with the 175% increase between 1939 and 1949, or the five-fold increase over forty years between 1890 and 1930.

    That is why I say that no-fault divorce appears to have little or no impact on an existing trend.

  • Francis, the humble, is using Cardinal Burke’s very public and lengthy demotion
    to persuade other rigid clergymen from opposing and criticizing Francis’
    fundamental transformation of the Catholic Church.

    I wonder how many clergymen faithful to Christ’s teachings will participate in
    the next synod. None, I should imagine. I, also, wonder if Francis has accepted
    Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor’s argument that men are burdened by free
    will to choose what is good and are too weak to be faithful to Christ’s teachings.

    Men, instead, should seek happiness in the fulfillment of their desires.
    Contemporary culture has informed society that the teachings of
    Christianity opposes human nature. Sex is no longer an act of procreation,
    but a fundamental human impulse that Christianity represses. So if one
    wishes to be true to one’s nature and truly free, one will have to reject
    the repressive teachings of Christ on sex, marriage and the nature of
    homosexuality. I wonder if Francis has embraced such contemporary
    ideas. After all God is open to new ideas.

  • “After all God is open to new ideas.” Yes – He like surprises.
    I like your term “Francis the Humble” How about “Raymond the Stalwart”

  • Franco’s comments 11/1/14 (“, also, wonder if Francis has accepted Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor’s argument that men are burdened by free will to choose what is good and are too weak to be faithful to Christ’s teachings. Men, instead, should seek happiness in the fulfillment of their desires…” et al..

    Scorchingly honest, Franco. The Janus-like Pope Francis (smiling to the the liberal, mostly non-Catholic world, dictatorially repressive to “traditionalists”) appears exactly so. It is just “too hard” to repress one’s impulses today: let us rejoice and be glad.

Coming soon to a college near you: Men’s studies programs…

Saturday, October 25, AD 2014


Somewhere beneath the radar screen, college-age American men as a group aren’t doing so well, especially when compared to today’s college women and  men of the halcyon era of U.S. higher education long past, according to Rocco L. Capraro, who wrote an essay published in What Works: A Book About Raising Boys, Engaging Guys, and Educating Men.

As compared to college women and previous generations of college men, the sad facts:

  • they read less;
  • graduating from high school, they are not prepared for college;
  • many are simply not attending college; and,
  • those who matriculate aren’t graduating in large numbers.

These sad facts translate into the reality that if college admissions were gender-blind, then the majority of students at the nation’s most selective colleges would be women.

Of those men who do attend college today:

  • they are less engaged in studies and student life;
  • they receive lower grades and fewer academic honors (men in STEM courses–i.e., science, technology, engineering, and math–being the exception);
  • they exhibit higher rates of alcohol and substance abuse and commit more social conduct violations; and,
  • they use fewer student services and are more reluctant to seek help and attend support programs.

In sum, men are getting less out of their college experience, and they are not taking it upon themselves to do something about it.

So, what’s to be done? Capraro’s answer: “Men’s studies” that will enable college men:

  • To get at the underlying causes of the lack of success of college men, what’s needed is to take a cue from feminist, critical race, and other explanatory systems to understand differentials in power to explain to college men the experience of college men, why they are struggling, and what they can do about it.
  • To understand men’s experience, identity, and development throughout the life course—understanding men as men, not as generic human beings—will assist college men to know who they are (the social reality), what they think (stereotypes) and what they would like to be (the gender ideal). In short, to study “masculinities” so as to be able to discuss male students as males.

Capraro is optimistic, writing:

At bottom, what men’s studies teaches us, and where it can play a role in improving the lives of college men, is the fundamental insight that the totality of men’s experience cannot be explained by men’s power alone. True, objectively speaking, men as a group may still have power over women as a group; however, subjectively, individual men do not necessarily feel powerful, or behave as if they were in control.  That is because many men engage in harmful, self-destructive behaviors linked to messages about manhood, or feel they do not measure up to the gender ideal, or are burdened by harmful stereotypes of what it means to be a man.

They are also socialized not to express their feelings, report symptoms, reveal their vulnerability, or otherwise deal in healthy ways with their emotions. And when it comes to learning, they learn at an early age that “school is for girls.” Masculinity leaves men feeling shamed and disempowered, suffering the negative consequences of their own notions of manhood and their own aversion to female identified values and attributes.

Worse yet, after steering men in the wrong direction, masculinity—insidiously and tragically—interferes with help-seeking behavior. No wonder so many men struggle in college. On campus, college women more likely to be sober and involved and men are drinking more—and more often—and are more distracted. College women in distress are more likely to seek out counseling centers or are referred by a friend, while college men become silent or act out. Informed by men’s studies, we can better design programs and services for college men, with men in mind.

If Capraro is to be believed, teachers and administrators in the nation’s K-12 schools are causing boys to become confused about what it means to be men so that, by the time high school graduation rolls around, they have absolutely no sense about their identity as males. Today, college men are “victims” who need to attend college to learn what who they are not only as men but also be educated in the various forms of “masculinities.” All of this will empower college men to be men, in the same way that college age women have been empowered through K-12 schools to seize upon their college experience to be equal and, it seems, surpass all of those poor, confused college men.

“Male studies.” The panacea for confused college men?

Good grief.



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12 Responses to Coming soon to a college near you: Men’s studies programs…

  • The feminist movement has emasculated every male in the world. We have homosexuality because it is too frightening to become a man and why bother. Do fathers count in abortion? Not at all. Does God, the Father, give men a purpose in life? Yes. Only loving God gives a person a purpose in life.

  • The modern education system and popular culture portray men, specifically white men as sex-starved immature idiots, blamed for all of the world’s problems through guilt by association. This thinking has entered Catholic seminaries and controls it in many places.

  • Bingo:

    “Male studies.” The panacea for confused college men? Good grief.

  • Ditto to Mary De Voe’s comment.

  • One suspects that a Men’s Studies Department would look suspiciously like an earlier attempt at affirmative action for Canadians:

  • “Only loving God gives a person a purpose in life.”

    Plain and Simple! Mary De Voe, absolute truth! Praise God..vocations director extraordinaire. 🙂

  • Men’s studies will do little to help the situation. I would be embarrassed to have it on my transcript. No, there is no real substitute for a father in a solid family environment.

  • Young males need to be taught to tell the truth, shoot straight and drive a muscle car (formerly to ride a horse). Plus, they have to know that they are responsible: there is never an acceptable excuse.
    Truth: The average Swiss, little girl (can shoot) is a better man than the average liberal poor excuse for a male.
    Fathers, God gave you your children. Sons and daughters, God gave your fathers. Do your duty.

  • “…commit more social conduct violations…”

    Just look around you. Bad behaviors by females are rarely considered “social conduct violations” no matter how damaging to others they may be. Men, in contrast, are held to a higher, stricter standard. Feminists, female-firsters, and gynolators call that “equality”.

  • “Male studies.” The panacea for confused college men? Good grief.

    When you boys and girls tolerated the establishment of Women’s Centers and Women’s Studies programs on your college campuses, you started down the path that inevitably led to this.

    I am curious about your plans for making reparations for your offenses.

  • T Shaw wrote, “drive a muscle car (formerly to ride a horse)”

    I would recommend riding to everyone and especially adolescent boys and young men. It teaches poise, balance, coordination, judgment and team-work (horse and rider), especially if one engages in the full range of diciplines: dressage, show jumping and cross-country.

    I know noting to equal thesheer exhilaration of point-to-point, or the satisfaction of a full days pest-control (three horses and a riding groom, covering, say, 50 miles round trip)

    Any number of young people over the years have come to our stables to exercise the horses and help out and the benefits they derive from it are remarkable. I am also involved in Riding for the Disabled.

    No wonder that at St Cyr, all cadets are required to ride and fence (another excellent discipline); in fact the two compliment each other

  • Mary DeVoe hit the nail on the head. Young boys are emasculated by the feminist movement. All the social engineering leaves us with men and women who think there is no particular purpose to their being a man or a woman. They don’t know how to “do” being a man.
    Or a woman.
    For a while, after we all “left the farm” so to speak. And became so thoroughly modernized and dependent upon socialized help, boys no longer learned to make, to build, to fix, to maintain working along with their dads and uncles. Girls no longer learn being a wife and mother and homemaking skills from their own mother…. For a while schools taught shop and Ag and home ex to fill the gap. Then society thought better of it. Decided we should be homogenized. Now young men don’t have anything to recommend them over a young woman… Even when it comes to marriage material.
    And girls are catching up to them on the “ability to do violence” front.

The “free market” and “social exclusion”: Cardinal Maradiaga’s “sloganeering”…

Tuesday, October 7, AD 2014


Catholic prelates are certainly entitled to their opinions but, when expressing those opinions, prelates should identify them as personal opinions. That’s especially true when Catholic prelates are speaking outside of their area of competence, as those opinions can be seized upon and promoted by others—and the mainstream media, in particular—as if they are official Church teaching.

Consider the example of Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, the Salesian Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, President of Caritas International, as well as Vatican spokesman with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Concerning the issue of Third World debt, Cardinal Maradiaga has written: “In this time the free market has produced one sector which is booming: social exclusion.”


Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga          Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras

In The Catholic HeraldPhillip Booth has written that this type of “sloganeering” is unbecoming a Catholic prelate. To wit: Booth identifies two substantive errors evidencing themselves in Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga’s opinion.

Error #1:The number of people living in absolute poverty

  • The past 6 years (the Cardinal’s point of reference) extended a 25-year period during which absolute poverty has declined more rapidly than at any previous time in human history. Unfortunately, that’s not happening in Honduras, which ranks as the 112 freest country in the world (out of 189) with 25% of its citizens living in absolute poverty.
  • Those who live at the margins are not suffering due to free markets. No, their poverty is due to cronyism, corruption, and the absence of the basic conditions for markets to function. In that regard, Honduras ranks 162 (out of 189) of the easiest places in the world to start a business.

In South and Central American countries, governments are excluding citizens from markets. Citizens are not being excluded by markets. But, according to the Cardinal, it’s the “rich countries”—especially Italy and Spain—where markets exclude people are at fault for this “social exclusion.”

Unfortunately, the Cardinal errs once again. As Booth correctly has noted, Spain and Italy are not hotbeds of free-market liberalism. Spain is the 22nd freest country in Europe and Italy is the 35th freest.

Error #2: The markets are unconstrained

Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga has also overlooked how, in recent decades, governments have increasingly constrained markets. Again, Booth has rightly highlighted some inconvenient facts the Cardinal has conveniently overlooked:

  • Between 1950 and 2010, government spending on the part of most of the world’s largest economies increased 200% as a proportion of national income. Much of this spending went to entitlement programs, the cost for which requires increasing taxes—thus decreasing income—and cutting back in other discretionary programs.
  • The number of new laws and regulations passed and the proportion of people working for the government have also increased markedly over the past 20 years. This is true even of the financial sector.

Governments have been increasingly constraining markets, making it increasingly difficult for los pueblos to participate in free markets.

And that’s just the beginning of Booth’s well-founded critique of Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga’s opinion, because the Cardinal didn’t stop there. If people were to take the Cardinal seriously, Booth opines, nations like Britain would become more like Italy and Chile would become more like Honduras. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Spread the pain around for all to experience rather than eliminate the pain so no one experiences it…the latter seeming to be the case, contrary to the Cardinal’s problematic opinion.

Booth is correct: Communicating one’s highly debatable opinions as if they are truth “undermines the respect in which in which clergy are held when they talk about issues on which they are (or should be) expert and authoritative.”

When it comes to economic matters, it would much better if prelates invited Catholic economists to write and publish papers from an informed Catholic perspective. Then, let other experts have at those papers to vet their contents “speaking clearly with frankness and listening with humility,” much like Pope Francis desires for the Synod on the Family.




To read Phillip Booth’s article in the Catholic Herald, click on the following link:

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, Omnibus, click on the following link:

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16 Responses to The “free market” and “social exclusion”: Cardinal Maradiaga’s “sloganeering”…

  • These arrogant, self assured bishops should read “The Mystery Of Capital” by Hernando De Soto. The author goes into detail why capitalism works in some countries and not in others. Hint: it’s not allowed to work in some countries, because people are kept out of the markets by the conditions lifted in this article. Read this book, and become better educated than these two bishops who are blowing their own horns!

  • “Catholic prelates are certainly entitled to their opinions but, when expressing those opinions, prelates should identify them as personal opinions. That’s especially true when Catholic prelates are speaking outside of their area of competence, as those opinions can be seized upon and promoted by others—and the mainstream media, in particular—as if they are official Church teaching.”
    I call them sight graces…things one sees in and out of visions, but Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras blowing his horn is one of the best.

  • As I understand it, this Cardinal is one of those who advise the pope.

  • The church is aware that the bourgeois mentality and capitalism as a whole, with its materialist spirit, acutely contradict the Gospel.” Oh, that’s “sloganeering,” you say! No dear friends, that’s St. John Paul II.

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  • Actually it is a writing from the early fifties written at a time of Communist domination of Poland. It may or may not be a text original to Karol Wojtyla. The Pope apparently did not wish it to be published:


  • Every Christian knows that the Dickens’ “Scrooge” character is not the how one should act/live.

    However, if St. John Paul wrote such caricatures of free markets, personal responsibility, individual opportunity, economic growth and development, mass prosperity . . .

    The Gospel message is to love God above all things and to love your neighbor as you love yourself. Sell all you own, take up your Cross, and follow Jesus. The Gospels do not teach hatred the bourgeois/rich; or to arm the peasants and take everything from the bourgeois: St. Augustine called that “mass brigandage.” You even need to pray for those who persecute you. There is nothing in the Good News about hating the bourgeois or anybody, or execrating a free-market economy that has proven itself to be the most effective (in human history) in supplying the needs and wants of the most possible people happy enough to live therein (as opposed to the Soviet and Chinese mass-nightmares – scores of millions deliberately starved and/or outright massacred).

  • It is worth noting the suspicion with which the Ancients viewed “the bourgeois mentality,” an attitude well summarised by Montesquieu: “One has to put oneself into the spirit of the Greek city-states, especially those that had war as their chief object. All the gainful occupations and professions were regarded as unworthy of a free man. “Most of the arts,” says Xenophon, “weaken the body; those who practice them must sit in the shade or by the fire; they have time neither for their friends nor for the republic.” It was only with the corruption of certain democracies that artisans attained the status of citizens. This is what Aristotle teaches us, and he maintains that a good republic will never grant them civil rights… In short, all commerce was ignoble in the eyes of the Greeks. It would have required that a citizen render services to a slave, to a tenant, to a stranger, an idea repugnant to the spirit of Greek liberty. Hence, Plato wants the laws to punish any citizen who engages in commerce.”
    Many of the leaders of the French revolution were of the same opinion. “Trade ill becomes the true citizen, declared Saint-Just. “The hand of man was made only to till the soil and to bear arms.” Napoléon’s contempt for the bourgeoisie was proverbial.

  • One would think that the good Cardinal’s statement is a non-sequitur. He is absolutely correct to point out ‘social exclusion’ as a real evil, but there are multiple non-economic causes, and every economic system or theory will also produce ‘social exclusion’. The social paradises of Cuba and Venezuela produce as much ‘social exclusion’ as anywhere else. His statement is acceptable only if directed to those of us who idolize free markets, and it is definitely not acceptable if it enables those who idolize the absence of free markets.

    PS, it would seem safe to write that most of us here admire free markets, but we don’t idolize them.

  • I am so sick of religious and non-religious folks blindly attacking capitalism as an evil. Can we agree that the “isms” are just plain agnostic … and that it’s the behavior of the individuals participating in the “isms” that matter. Yes, I agree that capitialism brings about more just wealth than others. But bring it back to people’s behavior … remove it from the economic policies. We have loving and selfish people of wealth derived from free enterprise. We have sinful and some righteous people participating in socialistic governments.

  • D Will wrote, “bring it back to people’s behavior … remove it from the economic policies.”

    But polices can accomplish a good deal. As G K Chesterton explains, “In Montenegro there are no millionaires–and therefore next to no Socialists. As to why there are no millionaires, it is a mystery, and best studied among the mysteries of the Middle Ages. By some of the dark ingenuities of that age of priestcraft a curious thing was discovered–that if you kill every usurer, every forestaller, every adulterater, every user of false weights, every fixer of false boundaries, every land-thief, every water-thief, you afterwards discover by a strange indirect miracle, or disconnected truth from heaven, that you have no millionaires.”

    Lacordaire, who restored the Dominican order in France after the Revolution, pointed out that, “Between the weak and the strong, between the rich and the poor, between the master and the servant, it is freedom which oppresses and the law which sets free.”

  • Oh please MP-S, don’t quote GKC on economics! He might have been a great author, but like his buddy Belloc, he didn’t know squat about economics. They were believers in a fantasy called distributism. To see how goofy their economic ideas were, Read Tom Woods “The Church and The Market” and go to http://traditioninaction.org and read all their articles on it.

  • I’m coming at it from the notion of changing the dialogue with idealistic liberals. We can address the policy discussions more easily — but the sound bites they play become defensive efforts.

  • Cardinal Maradiaga is what Lenin would call a useful idiot – as far as economics are concerned. The fact that Pope Francis listens to him speaks volumes about Pope Francis.

    Honduras has 7.6 million people – less than metro Chicago. Singapore has 5.3 million crowded into a smaller area. Cardinal Maradiaga has no clue as to why the Singapore economy leaves Honduras in the dust. Honduras dwarfs Singapore in size and has more natural resources – and no clue as to how to develop them.

    Argentina, Canada and Poland have populations that are roughly equivalent. Poland’s estimated 2013 GDP exceeds Argentina’s 2014 estimated GDP (numbers from Wikipedia – take it or leave it). Poland has ruled itself for just 46 years since 1793 and was wrecked three times – in the Swedish Deluge of the mid 17th century, during World War I and the subsequent Polish Soviet War and World War II. Poland had communism shoved down its throat for 44 years,…..and Poland has SURPASSED Argentina in just 25 years, with a slightly smaller population (4 million less) and a much smaller land mass (one ninth the land mass of Argentina). Both have majority Catholic populations. How can this be?

    Yes, Poland received EU development funds. Call ’em delayed war reparations. Poland had those coming. Many Poles have emigrated to Germany, France and England for work and sent money home.

    What Poland hasn’t done is put a complete despotic idiot like Peron in power, inflate their currency to make it nearly worthless and then blame the United States and capitalism for all of their problems.

  • I have spent time in Honduras & experienced their “capitalism” first hand. Some of the truest statements in the post above are:

    1. ” No, their poverty is due to cronyism, corruption, and the absence of the basic conditions for markets to function”

    2. ” in recent decades, governments have increasingly constrained markets”

    The Honduran govt is constantly playing games with their national markets–for example–they would ration milk, rice, & beans–just to drive the price up & the poor people would literally starve as a result. Prices would increase by as much as 300% due to gov’t tinkering in a very short period of time creating chaos. Our private, missionary hospital which had access to medicines from America would often have to loan the govt hospitals (socialized medicine) meds with agreements that the meds would be replaced. The Honduran govt medical system did not provide for the free flow of needed supplies and treatment of its citizens.

    Law enforcement was basically nonexistent or ineffective in large swaths of the country–that is besides the rampant corruption.

    The Honduran army impressed many young men into military service.

    Is this priest not aware that Honduras was a Communist country in the not too distant past?

  • Why are these priests neglecting people’s souls for Politics? I simply do not understand it.

A “Catholic” environmentalism…

Saturday, September 27, AD 2014


Caring for and ruling the environment are biblical imperatives going back to the Book of Genesis. It’s a no-brainer: There is what might be termed a “Catholic environmentalism.”

This sound, theological proposition is not the ideology of those who worship at the altar of environmentalism and propounded by their stormy petrels and a compliant mainstream media. It is not rooted in contrived “facts” supported by spurious research that, in the end, is dubious research, at best. It also is not “sexy” in the sense that Catholic environmentalism will win the Church a Nobel Prize or that Pope Francis will jet across the imperiled globe in a private jet, increasing his carbon footprint while, at the same time, preaching against everyone else who does so.

No, Catholic environmentalism is constructed upon a profound sense of responsibility for the gift of nature, entrusted to humanity by its Creator. Love of God and of neighbor are the twin pillars upon which Catholic environmentalism is constructed. Catholic environmentalism is, as Pope Francis has said of marriage and fidelity to spouse and family, “a beautiful thing.”

That said, it appears some very high Vatican operatives have become smitten with the secular version of environmentalism, relying upon its dubious “scientific” reserach to assert that it’s a “moral imperative” to act with regard to “climate change.” Consider what the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said to the 2014 United Nations’ Climate Change Summit:

The scientific consensus is rather consistent and it is that, since the second half of the last century, warming of the climate system is unequivocal. It is a very serious problem which, as I said, has grave consequences for the most vulnerable sectors of society and, clearly, for future generations.

Numerous scientific studies, moreover, have emphasized that human inaction in the face of such a problem carries great risks and socioeconomic costs. This is due to the fact that its principal cause seems to be the increase of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere due to human activity. Faced with these risks and costs, prudence must prevail, which requires thoughtful deliberations based on an accurate analysis of the impact our actions will have on the future.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin Vatican Secretary of State

The problem with Cardinal Parolin’s assessment is that no “scientific consensus” exists concerning global warming. What exists are manipulated data—which many have called “fraudulent”—that conform to the ideology of those who worship at the altar of environmentalism and whose political goal is to impose a novus ordo saeculum—a new one-world order—across the globe.

Considering the content of the Cardinal’s speech, it might just as well have been written by those who worship at the altar of environmentalism. Yes, it might not promote the gospel of global warming, but it’s there. Yes, it may not be hysterical in tone, but it’s there. What’s next, a papal encyclical concerning the Earth’s melting icecaps which are raising the ocean’s levels and threatenting to imperil cities, when, in fact those icecaps are expanding? Another papal encyclical calling upon the people of the earth to protect the endangered polar bears whose numbers are actually expanding?

The Vatican oftentimes is criticized for immersing itself in matters that are “beyond the Church’s competence.” That’s certainly apropos in this regard. There absolutely is an imperative—a scripturally-based imperative—to care for and rule creation in order to ensure the next generation’s health and well-being. As Cardinal Parolin notes, that would be “prudent.”

But, to provide propaganda for those who worship at the altar of environmentalism that will be propagated by their stormy petrels as well as a compliant mainstream media isn’t good diplomacy. Especially when those statements are rooted in falsehood.




To read Cardinal Parolin’s address, click on the following link:


To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, Omnibus, click on the following link:

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28 Responses to A “Catholic” environmentalism…

  • “There absolutely is an imperative—a scripturally-based imperative—to care for and rule creation in order to ensure the next generation’s health and well-being. As Cardinal Parolin notes, that would be “prudent.” ”
    It goes without saying that the “next generation” includes our constitutional posterity. To paraphrase: “There absolutely is an imperative—a scripturally-based imperative—to care for and rule creation in order to ensure the next generation. As Cardinal Parolin notes, that would be “prudent.” God gave Adam the power to name people and things. “And he called the woman Eve, because she is the mother of all mankind.” Eve did not abort her children to protect the environment. Catholic environmentalism would exclude abortion.

  • Caring for creation is a Catholic imperative, as you say, Motley. I also totally agree that there is a secular neo-pagan environmentalism, another ideology that has taken over the media and various institutions. However, I am not at all sure that the Cardinal Secretary of State belongs to or is overly influenced by this ideology. Also keep in mind that the present Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, considers environmental issues one of the major issues facing today’s Church-and I certainly don’t see him worshiping Gaia, et. al.

    Until recently, I held a pretty firm position that the climate was indeed changing but that it was a natural occurrence. I was recently stunned however to find that they have studied ice cores dating back 800,000 years. These ice cores capture bubbles of air, and thus the atmosphere of that given era. They are able to distinguish carbon dioxide and other gases which come from volcanoes (how I am not sure, it is beyond my pay scale 🙂 ). What stunned me was that over 800,000 years the ‘air’ has not substantially changed, except within the last 100 years, when a marked increase of carbon dioxide has been monitored.

    Now this does not automaticaly mean it is directly man-made [for example emissions from coal, gasoline etc]. It could well be that the delicate eco-system of trees, ocean and atmosphere has been disturbed-but that would primarily still be done by us. I have always made fun of ‘tree-huggers’ and get enraged when people care more about turtle eggs than human beings in the womb. The environmentalism of the liberals in America is just plain stupid IMHO. However, besides the “gospel call” to care for creation, I just can’t avoid these findings or explain them away.

  • Will this Cardinal thus support nuclear energy, the only way to obviate green house gas emissions on an industrial scale while providing electricity 24 / 7.
    It irritates me to no end to see these clerics pontificate on subjects over which they have neither authority nor expertise and ignore the Gospel of holiness and righteousness.

  • Paul Primavera

    A serious (and not sarcastic etc) question. Is not caring for the environment a part of the “Gospel of holiness and righteousness”?

  • So many unbelievable things have come to pass in the last century that maybe we are all just to darned credulous.
    “That said, it appears some very high Vatican operatives have become smitten with the secular version of environmentalism – ” ( Mötley Monk)

  • Botolph,
    We are in violent agreement. Outward environmental stewardship is a natural result of an interior life of righteousness and holiness. Pollution of the soul must be eradicated before pollution of the environment can be eradicated. Greed for money and lust for power keep the nation addicted to polluting fossil fuels and prevent transition to safe, clean nuclear energy.
    For example, did you know that Shirley Ann Jackson, former NRC Chairwoman under President Clinton, is on the Board of Directors for Marathon Oil? Why is it ok for a nuclear regulator to have conflicting monetary interests in competing dirty fossil fuels?
    And I wonder what fossil fuel investments are had by current anti-nuclear NRC Chairwoman Macfarlane and her husband, Hugh Gusterson, an anthropologist at George Washington University who studies anti-nuclear activism. Yeah, right!
    Under Barack HUSSEIN Obama, San Onofre Units 2 and 3, Keewanee, Crystal Rover and Vermont Yankee are ALL being shutdown. What will replace them? This?
    Environmental stewardship can ONLY be addressed by going to safe, clean nuclear, but greed for fossil fuel profit and addiction to fossil fuel availability prevents that. If fossil fuel had to abide by the same regulations that nuclear has to abide by – no emissions release – not a single fossil fuel power plant would be running, and solar and wind would collapse because of their abysmally low < 30% capacity factors.

  • Peace and Justice!!!

    Their so-called solutions to climate change result in, at best, higher energy prices and slower economic development and growth. They will condemn billions of poor (mainly black and brown) people to misery and poverty. At worst, there will be national bankruptcies.

  • T Shaw, it is called Green Power, Black Death – Eco-Imperialism

  • For T Shaw – Green Power Black Death
    I hate enviro-wackism as much as I hate abortion and sodomite marriage. The former worships the creature rather than the Creator and the later are the natural results thereof. Didn’t St Paul write about this somewhere in Romans? Like chapter 1, verses 18 through 32? This is an ancient problem and it is called SIN.

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  • “There’s a sucker born every minute (I say, ‘every second’).”

    This “climate change”, “global warming” scam, is the biggest scam ever foisted upon the people of this earth…aside from the scam of the devil, getting people to believe that he does not exist.

  • the Old Adam: ““There’s a sucker born every minute (I say, ‘every second’).”
    This “climate change”, “global warming” scam, is the biggest scam ever foisted upon the people of this earth…aside from the scam of the devil, getting people to believe that he does not exist.”
    Well said. It is mind control and manipulation through fear, not to mention the levying of taxes, or as the White House said: “It is a penalty”.

  • Going to bed with the chickens and getting up with the sun will save tons of electricity. Turning off the tv. Have you ever heard the grass grow? I am working on it.

  • We often wonder why those in search of faith don’t go for the genuine article…instead of AGW style earth worship. Satan is very involved in various green groups, and many parishes don’t (yet) realize that youth must be protected from them.

  • There is a new nuclear startup company called “NuScale” about which you may learn more here – I encourage browsing and viewing the various videos:
    I am not going to bother describing the passively safe modular reactor design being proposed by this company. Those of you who are serious readers can find out more at the following 31 page document in the public domain at the web site of the US NRC:
    Indeed, my story is not about science and engineering (of which the cleric that is the subject of this blog entry has ZERO knowledge). My story is about people.
    I once upon a time had an opportunity to attend a little speech given by Dr. Jose Reyes, the founder of this company and its chief technology officer (he was within the US NRC in the late 1970s and early 1980s if memory serves me correctly). He said that the job of the employees of that company is to bring light to the world – to provide small modular reactors in darkened areas around the globe where people live in abject poverty and there is no electric grid. Remember folks that your prosperity is directly proportional to access to low cost energy at your finger tips at every second of every day throughout the year rain or shine. Billions still do not have the power you have this evening (or morning if you are reading this in the morning). A simple, small, passively safe, walk-away nuclear reactor that emits no green house gases and which unlike solar or wind, runs 24 / 7 is clearly the solution.
    Now what kind of a company is this whose chief officers espouses such altruism? Is it really altruistic, or is it just so much corporate propaganda? Well, back before 2011 this company was being financed by the Michael Kenwood Group (a fact in the public domain). This group unbeknownst to company executives was playing a Ponzi scheme which of course failed. Federal charges were levied and NuScale lost funding. Many employees were laid off. Some agreed to work for minimum wage and other did work for free rather than see their dream go up in coal dust smoke. They did that from March to July of 2011, until Fluor Corporation miraculously came in as the next major investor.
    Now what did the employees at Solyndra do when that company failed after receiving almost a billion in aid from the Federal Government? They bailed put like rats escaping a sinking ship. It wasn’t about environmental consciousness or a desire to bring light to darkened areas of the globe that motivated Solyndra. It was government money – your tax money and mine.
    Now yes, NuScale has received DOE funding – $214 million over five years I think. It is all in the public domain. But that is a pittance to what Barack Hussein Obama has spent on failed renewable energy schemes that never ever will work. And when those schemes go belly up, everyone deserts the cause, unlike the employees and staff at NuScale.
    Now tell me. Would that worthless cleric which is the subject of this blog entry give up his parish money for the greater good? Would he give up his health insurance? Would he eat peanut butter and jelly to save on food costs while he worked for the greater good? Would he get his hands dirty bringing light to the world Huh? Would he? (Yes, I know and am aware of the double meaning in the phrase “bringing light to the world.” Think about it: no electricity means you will have the life expectancy of people in the 1800s. you take for granted your food, your water, your lights, your refrigerator, your air conditioner, your hot water heater, your toilet, your running water, and all the other conveniences that electricity gives you. Billions do not have what you have. Think about it – bring light to the world.)
    I know a company where employees gave up what that cleric would never give up and they still worked their tails off. Those are the true environmentalists. Those are the ones who care about the poor. They really do want to bring light to the world. And the next time I hear or read some anti-nuclear fruit cake nut-zoid eco-wacko start mouthing off his nonsense, I shall give it to him with both barrels (figuratively speaking).

  • Oh, and just as a side note, the Catholic Church located in the town where the NuScale headequarters are based has the two best priests ever, both Argentinian and both orthodox and yet very people-oriented. They both preach the best sermons, and their English is better than mine. And there is Perpetual (24 / 7 – like the electricity you always want at your finger tips) Adoration where the Monstrance has engraved the words REX SVM EGO. The cleric up above could do well by learning from these humble priests. Bring light to the world. Double meaning is intended.

  • Thank you for the link exNOAAman- “climate religion” is another name for it! for people who have a bit more of a scientism bent and don’t want to admit to one of the older names!

  • In Europe, opposition to environmentalism is common on the Hard Left.

    To take one example, “There is no “environmental catastrophe.” The catastrophe is the environment itself. The environment is what’s left to man after he’s lost everything. Those who live in a neighborhood, a street, a valley, a war zone, a workshop – they don’t have an “environment;” they move through a world peopled by presences, dangers, friends, enemies, moments of life and death, all kinds of beings. Such a world has its own consistency, which varies according to the intensity and quality of the ties attaching us to all of these beings, to all of these places. It’s only us, the children of the final dispossession, exiles of the final hour – the ones who come into the world in concrete cubes, pick our fruits at the supermarket, and watch for an echo of the world on television – only we get to have an environment”

    They are at least shrewd enough to see that “Tracking, transparency, certification, eco-taxes, environmental excellence, and the policing of water, all give us an idea of the coming state of ecological emergency. Everything is permitted to a power structure that bases its authority in Nature, in health and in well-being.”

  • For Donald McClarey, being that he is from Illinois 😉
    Imagine what will happen with air pollution if nuclear, 43% of the electrical generation in Illinois, is shutdown by the environmentalists.

  • Folks,
    I continue to find good information. Over at Areva’s blog (Areva is a big French nuclear company marking an Evolutionary Power Reactor) there is a great article entitled:
    DOE Energy Calculator: Coal, Dynamite, Burritos, and Nuclear Candy
    The US DOE did a study which determined that “the average American burns up the annual energy equivalent of 15,370 pounds of coal (7.7 tons), 165,033 sticks of dynamite, or 31,226 burritos for residential and transportation activities. Putting aside the dynamite and burrito comparisons for the moment, the data analysis makes the point that your energy use burns up about 41 pounds of coal a day, equaling your body weight every few days.”
    And all that mass of fossil fuel – or burritos – that you consume is equal to one 4 inch stick of uranium pellets each the size of your thumb.
    So ask yourself this: when you consume 15,370 pounds of coal or 31,221burritos every year, exactly where does that waste go if NOT into the environment? In the case of used nuclear fuel, it still has 95% of its energy available that can be recycled and reused in fast neutron burner reactors. And all the used fuel in the US is completely sequester in spent fuel pools or dry storage casks, and would occupy no more than 1 football field to a depth of 7 feet. And if we recycle and reuse the fuel, then that gets reduced to just the 1st yard line. That’s it. Not like the 39 million tons of toxic coal ash that Duke Energy recently dumped in North Carolina’s river system. Do you really think Cardinal Pietro Parolin understands ANY of this? Or how stupid and idiotic his native Italy was for denuking itself after Chernobyl, never mind that NONE of the Italian reactors were of the RBMK design and could never by the laws of physics undergo a Chernobyl event (don’t tempt me to explain those laws – I can, you know, and God made them the way they are no matter how much someone may dislike the strong nuclear force).
    Now for what happens when you shut down a perfectly good nuclear power plant and replace it with fossil fuel (wind and solar don’t work 24 / 7 – capacity factors are < 30% – do the math, folks. You want your electricity 24 / 7). Vermont Yankee, much to the delight of socialist Bernie Sanders and the rest of the dope head hippies in Vermont is being shutdown. Electricity prices in neighboring Massachusetts will rise 37% this winter. Guess what happens if another polar vortex hits? Gas line valves freeze, trains can't run coal to coal plants, oil lines freeze, wind turbines lock up, solar panels get covered with snow, etc. NO electricity. Get the picture? Lights out because of stupid idiotic eco-wacko anti-nuclearism. Last year during the Polar Vortex Vermont Yankee in Brattleboro and Pilgrim in Plymouth, Mass kept churning out the megawatts. Kind of hard to dampen the strong nuclear force with a little wind and snow. Oh, but this year the dope head hippies in Vermont won't suffer in their pocket books because they got a one time kick back from the decommissioning fund. But wait till November of 2015. Then the idiots will get exactly what they deserve as the natural gas suppliers and Hydro Quebec put the screws to them that they so richly deserve. I love it when a godless liberal has got to pay. More here on the debacle that Vermonters have heaped on their own heads:
    I really think that if clerics (or anyone else for that matter) do not understand energy, engineering and science, then they don't get to pontificate about environmentalism, or any related subject because, just as Mr. McClarey has indicated that many are bone ignorant about history, they are also bone ignorant about science. So that begs the question: exactly what is it that these people do know?

  • “Coal, Dynamite, Burritos, and Nuclear Candy”

    With a title like that, how can one not read it?
    But Paul says:
    ” I love it when a godless liberal has got to pay”
    Sadly, their usual method is to tax the rest of us into paying for their foolishness.

  • Paul Primavera,

    Why isn’t the disposal of radioactive nuclear waste from reactors a long term danger to humanity and the environment?

    For how long does the waste remain radioactive?

  • Paul can provide a more through response to you, slainte, but I would note that the total amount of spent nuclear fuel that has been produced in America could fill a football field sized container stacked 20 feet high. In other words, we’re not talking about a particularly large amount here, and it can be safely stored in such a way that it a threat to no one. There’s also the possibility of recycling the waste, though I understand that it is technologically difficult.

  • Thank you, Paul Zummo. I was at the gym when I got the email alerting me to Slainte’s question. Your response is basically correct. Total amount of used fuel generated is relatively small and readily manageable. Current high-level waste volume after 40 years of operations would fill an area about the size of a football field five yards deep. It is about 48,000 metric tons, assuming ½ ton per fuel assembly with 100,000 assemblies. However, waste is a misnomer. Only ~5% is waste. The rest is fuel that can be recycled, as Paul Zummo stated. This is a technical problem that can be overcome by using fast neutron burner reactor such as GE-Hitachi’s PRISM: http://gehitachiprism.com/.
    Now recently the US NRC issued NUREG-2157, Generic Environmental Impact Statement for Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel. You can read volumes 1 and 2 here: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/sr2157/. Even anti-nuclear Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane signed off on this. Basically, it says that there is NO long term issue with spent fuel storage in dry casks on the surface of the Earth. Now I know this to be true. Why? Because all of my adult life I have worked around spent fuel in spent fuel pools or in dry cask storage. I still live, breathe and walk. Spent fuel is safer than driving your automobile.
    Now for all those who cite the hazards of spent fuel, did you ever consider that coal fired power plants release more radioactivity to the environment than any nuclear power plant does? Now why is that? Because coal contains radium, uranium and thorium which is willy-nilly dumped into the environment.
    Did you ever consider that fracking for natural gas releases more radioactivity in the form of radon than any nuclear power plant does?
    But let’s take a comparison. Total spent fuel (95% of which can be used in fast neutron burners) is 48 thousand metric tons in the US. Earlier this year ONE Duke Energy coal fired power plant dumped 39 MILLION tons of toxic sludge into the river system down near Wilmington, NC. What is 48,000 total for US nukes compared to 39,000,000 for one coal plant? I shall tell you. One coal plant has 812.5 times the toxic waste – none of which can be recycled and all of which is an environmental hazard that never ever decays away – that all the nukes in the US have. And that coal waste is radioactive.
    I could go on about the refuse gases that natural gas plants give off, or the heavy metal pollution that making solar cells generates, or the explosions that have occurred at solar thermal stations, or the lubricating oil spilled into the environment by wind mills. Every source of energy produces a waste product. Only nuclear sequesters its waste and only in nuclear’s case can the waste be reprocessed and reused.
    We do NOT have a nuclear waste problem. We have a sin waste problem.

  • Please see the following video by Dr. Eric Lowen of GE-Hitachi. I have worked with him. He is an honest man. He is telling the truth.

  • For those concerned about nuclear waste, please read chapters 11 and 12 of The Nuclear Energy Option by Dr. Bernard Cohen located here: http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/BOOK.html.
    Please also read Dr. Cohen’s other essays located here: http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/.

    I cannot day which is more important because they are all important. If you do not know anything about nuclear power, then kindly start at page 1 in The Nuclear Energy Option. I cannot distill 38 years of nuclear training and experience into a sound bite. If you want to know the truth and how you have been lied to by politicians and the news media, then read and study. I have been a nuke for almost 4 decades. While it is by God’s grace I am still alive, that God had to send His angels working overtime on my case has NOTHING to do with my professional job and EVERYTHING to do with self-will run riot in my personal life. Nuclear energy is the safest form of energy we have. I consider it a great irony that the largest source of power available to us comes from the smallest particle of an element – the atom. But God is like that: He does the greatest things with the smallest.
    Again: we have no energy crisis, no pollution crisis, no waste crisis, no environmental crisis. Rather, we have a crisis of self-will run riot, a sin crisis, the very crisis for which I need to frequent the Confessional more than I do for the fires of hell will be well beyond radioactive.

  • Another one for Donald McClarey, being that he is from Illinois:
    The Economic Value of Nuclear Energy in Illinois

  • To think that some Church leaders can think that man can destroy what God has created is too much for me.

The weighty burden of administration at Gonzaga University…

Tuesday, September 9, AD 2014


Imagine what it must be like to be the President of Gonzaga University (GU)—a Jesuit, Catholic, and humanistic university—located in Spokane, Washington. Not only does GU’s President have to contend with the demands of a diverse and inclusive group of administrators, faculty, staff, and students but he also has to contend with the insufferable demands of a conservative Catholic alumni group—“The 1887 Trust”—whose mission is “to provide a source of information, a means of communication, and a collective voice to Gonzaga University alumni and others in the Gonzaga family who are concerned about preserving and recovering the Catholic identity of the University.”

According to the 1887 Trust’s latest bulletin, administrators, faculty, staff, and students—in the name of supporting GU’s mission—have successfully agitated to:

What the 1887 Trust wants GU’s President to do is to lead the institution in such a way that it gives “uncompromising witness” to the “Church’s moral teaching, and the defense of her freedom.”

Just how should GU’s President do that? By leading a “sexual revolution” on GU’s campus.

According to the 1887 Trust:

…We believe that Gonzaga University’s leadership is failing to fulfill its responsibility to uphold and defend its Catholic mission in the area of human sexuality. The failures are serious and the school has been failing for some time and so, yes, we believe a “revolution” in outlook and practice is required if Gonzaga is to mend its Catholic identity.

Imagine such audacity!

The 1887 Trust contends:

The revolt Gonzaga needs is one that’s staged by faithful Catholic students and faculty on campus and by board members who are concerned about the continued weakening of Gonzaga’s Catholic identity. Faithful Catholics should demand strong institutional support for magisterial teaching about sexual morality. Differing opinions are valued in academic settings, but Gonzaga’s institutional voice must be true to its mission…


One often hears Catholic university administrators and faculty say that “students must confront the issues of today and be prepared to encounter ‘the other’ and learn to be inclusive.” Somehow, the ‘others’ that our students are taught to encounter and appreciate are most often representatives of groups who wish to re-make the Church in their image, if not dismantle it altogether. The faculty members who are so very supportive of fostering encounters with those “on the margins” seldom seem to be as engaged in fostering an inclusive appreciation for what the Catholic Church actually teaches as the truth about human sexuality. It is long past time for a “radical and pervasive change” in Gonzaga’s approach to its Catholic identity. Call it a revolution, if you will, or call it metanoia. Either way, we believe it is worth working for, and praying for.

Isn’t this all so very sad, isn’t it? A GU alumni group that’s demanding the institution’s President to strengthen GU’s Catholic, Jesuit, and humanistic identity by providing appropriate institutional support to Catholic teaching concerning sexual morality. Aren’t alumni supposed to fork over $$$s and that’s it?

These Catholic right-wing nut wackos just don’t “get it,” do they?

Why won’t they just disappear into some empty Gothic-style Catholic Church where Mass is conducted in Latin? Administering GU would be so much easier, wouldn’t it?




To read The 1887 Trust’s latest bulletin, click on the following link:

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, Omnibus, click on the following link:

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