PopeWatch: Chaput

Thursday, November 14, AD 2013

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

 

Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Philadelphia Archdiocese has been unfairly depicted as a critic of Pope Francis.  This stems from an interview he had with John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter.  (John Allen is a good reporter but PopeWatch wonders about the judgment of any member of the hierarchy who has an interview with any representative of NCR.)  The interview may be read here.  PopeWatch fails to see how any fair minded reading of this interview could be taken as criticism of the Pope.  The bitter comments of the deranged readers of NCR are, as always, a true hoot.

Chaput in an interview with the blog of the Philadelphia Inquirer attempted to set the record straight.

 

 

Chaput, 68, made his remarks during a break in a daylong session of the semiannual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Criticism that Chaput had publicly faulted Francis as voicing tolerant views toward homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and artificial contraception, all of which the Catholic Church has long opposed, is “not fair,” he said.

“I was not criticizing the Holy Father,” Chaput said of remarks in June to the National Catholic Reporter.

“What I brought up was that I’m aware there are people who are critical of the Holy Father” for perceived liberalism on some issues, “and that it’s important that he talk to them, too.

“That is the fact,” said the archbishop. “I’ve never been critical of the Holy Father and would never speak ill of him.”

A priest of the Capuchin branch of the Franciscan order, Chaput described as “a great freshness, a great blessing for the church,” Francis’ call for greater care for the poor and openness to those who feel excluded from the church for reasons such as sexual orientation or divorce and remarriage.

As the former cardinal-archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Francis is “the first non-European pope in a very long time,” Chaput noted, “and the way you see things from South America and the Southern Hemisphere is very different from northern Europe.”

But he cautioned against those who “want to use the pope to further their own agendas, and others [who] want to ignore the pope so they can promote their own agendas.”

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6 Responses to PopeWatch: Chaput

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  • I agree with you Donald. Archbishop Chaput was not criticizing Pope Francis in the interview with John Allen. The only thing I might slightly differ with him in the interview was his comments about the motorcade at TWYD. Pope Francis wants direct and close contact with people in Saint Peter’s Square. In other words, the motorcade in Brazil might not have been such an accident or failure as first supposed. The interview took place really early in the Pope’s ministry, so Archbishop Chaput simply would not be aware of this major shift in Francis’ policy with people.

    As for the Philly paper’s considering Chaput’s “failure” to be elected VP of the USCCB, the media, they only can understand and interpret things within a limited set of paradigms, certainly not ones based on or arising from faith. As you stated in your last comment, the media will indeed most likely seek to find a wedge between the Pope and the American bishops as a whole or as individuals

  • go ahead and criticize him. we are not the North Korean army goose stepping in front of our Dear Leader.

  • Just as with our Holy Father, it is important to read the article with Ttention to what words are in quotation marks and which words have already been parsed by the article’s author

    For example:
    order, Chaput described as “a great freshness, a great blessing for the church,” Francis’ call for greater care for the poor and openness to those who feel excluded from the church for reasons such as sexual orientation or divorce and remarriage.

    My interest is in how much the commonly perceived liberalism effects bishop and laity in understanding day to day application of church teachings. The culture kampf has certainly not ceased. A bishop Chaput’s words and Pope Francis ‘ words will be interpreted with as much as much looseness as people want if the bishop leadership here and around the world does not make it clear there is no hermeneutic of rupture

  • Why is it that we can never voice our opinions. I know exactly what Archbishop Chaput meant. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that unless you speak clearly and with authority the opposition will do everything to rationalize and twist those wordsto fit their agenda. Then again, I wanted Cardinal Burke or a hurry up and make Archbishop Chaput a Cardinal so he could be in the running! Diabolic, Diablo, Babel.

Fortnight For Freedom: We Need to Wake Up

Wednesday, June 26, AD 2013

 

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have proclaimed a second Fortnight for Freedom from June 21-July 4th, and, as last year, The American Catholic will participate with special blog posts each day.

 

 

 

This column written on May 24 by Archbishop Chaput underlines the threat to American liberties that currently exists:

ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT’S WEEKLY COLUMN: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND THE NEED TO WAKE UP
 

“IRS officials have, of course, confessed that they inappropriately targeted conservative groups — especially those with ‘tea party’ or ‘patriot’ in their names — for extra scrutiny when they sought non-profit status. Allegations of abuse or harassment have since broadened to include groups conducting grassroots projects to ‘make America a better place to live,’ to promote classes about the U.S. Constitution or to raise support for Israel.
“However, it now appears the IRS also challenged some individuals and religious groups that, while defending key elements of their faith traditions, have criticized projects dear to the current White House, such as health-care reform, abortion rights and same-sex marriage.” Terry Mattingly, director, Washington Journalism Center; weekly column, May 22

Let’s begin this week with a simple statement of fact.  America’s Catholic bishops started pressing for adequate health-care coverage for all of our nation’s people decades before the current administration took office.  In the Christian tradition, basic medical care is a matter of social justice and human dignity.  Even now, even with the financial and structural flaws that critics believe undermine the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the bishops continue to share the goal of real health-care reform and affordable medical care for all Americans.
But health care has now morphed into a religious liberty issue provoked entirely – and needlessly — by the current White House.  Despite a few small concessions under pressure, the administration refuses to withdraw or reasonably modify a Health and Human Services (HHS) contraceptive mandate that violates the moral and religious convictions of many individuals, private employers and religiously affiliated and inspired organizations. 
Coupled with the White House’s refusal to uphold the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, and its astonishing disregard for the unique nature of religious freedom displayed by its arguments in a 9-0 defeat in the 2012 Hosanna-Tabor Supreme Court decision, the HHS mandate can only be understood as a form of coercion.  Access to inexpensive contraception is a problem nowhere in the United States.  The mandate is thus an ideological statement; the imposition of a preferential option for infertility.  And if millions of Americans disagree with it on principle – too bad.

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9 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom: We Need to Wake Up

  • And now, a Supreme Court that is majority Catholic, has gone against Church teaching and enshrined gay marriage into federal law.

    We aren’t welcome in America anymore.

  • The person who pays the piper calls the tune. If the Federal Government is going to pay for people’s health care, and if the majority of the tax payers who fund the Federal Government are just fine with contraception–most probably can’t imagine life without it–then contraception (and backup abortion) are going to be covered. What part of this do our bishops not understand?

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  • The part they don’t understand is the part where they have to let the goverment dictate the theology of the church, the part where we have to lose our First Amendment rights.

  • The bishops have been very supportive of all sorts of government (tax payer) funding for this thing and that thing. Health care especially. It should come as no surprise that the government would require contraception/abortion coverage. It has been shown time and again that with government money comes government strings…and yes, if you take it, you will eventually be required to leave your morality (among other things) at home. Sad fact, but true. If you want to do things your own way, then do not accept government/tax payer monies.

  • I am against dependence upon the State for many reasons DJ but the fact that the Bishops, mistakenly in my view, have looked for government intervention to aid the poor, does not negate their opposition to the infringement on liberty by the current administration. We have had a welfare state in this country since the New Deal without such infringement. The problem with the current administration is that the Democrat party plays identity politics by bashing the Catholic Church and, to a lesser extent, other Christian groups.

  • I firmly disagree with both contraception and abortion and absolutely support the bishops opposition. We should all be opposing it. But that doesn’t change anything–with government money comes government strings, and the sad fact is most people in this country are okay with contraception/abortion, or at least are not sufficiently motivated to put an end to it. The fact that now it is government mandated as part of “medical cared” should be no surprise–we were in fact warned about this in Humanae Vitae back in the late 60’s, that government would eventually resort to such things.

  • “bishops’ opposition” and “medical care.” Not enough coffee yet this morning I guess.

Archbishop Chaput on Faith and Public Life

Monday, September 17, AD 2012

A friend forwarded me this excellent article written by Archbishop Charles Caput. It’s a detailed post outlining our responsibilities as Catholic citizens.

The Archbishop begins with an anecdote that hits a little close to home.

A priest I know does a lot of spiritual direction.  Two of the men he was helping died suddenly this past year, one of a heart attack and one of a stroke.  In both cases they were relatively young men and quite successful.  In both cases they watched Fox News.  And in both cases they had gotten into the nightly habit of shouting at President Obama whenever he came on the TV.  In both cases, the wives believed – and they still believe – that politics killed their husbands.

Now that’s a true story.  And it’s a good place to begin our time together today.  Henri de Lubac, the great Jesuit theologian, once said that if heretics no longer horrify us, it’s not because we have more charity in our hearts. (i) We just find it a lot more satisfying to despise our political opponents.  We’ve transferred our passion to politics.

I don’t yell at the television – well, not every night. I do spend more time than I should on the internet. Now there are some excellent sites – like this one, of course – but the cumulative effect of reading so much about politics can be bad for both the soul and the heart. And there are times when my obsession with politics truly dispirits me.

At the same time, there is the opposite temptation to completely shut oneself off from politics. There have been times over the past few months where I have felt like completely tuning out. Despair is a terrible sin, and when it comes to politics it is easy to despair when it seems like so many things are going wrong that you can’t even keep track anymore. Yet this would be just as irresponsible as shutting out all things  except politics. Archbishop Chaput explains why we can’t exactly separate the political and religious aspects of our lives.

What all this means for our public life is this:  Catholics can live quite peacefully with the separation of Church and state, so long as the arrangement translates into real religious freedom.  But we can never accept a separation of our religious faith and moral convictions from our public ministries or our political engagement.  It’s impossible.  And even trying is evil because it forces us to live two different lives, worshiping God at home and in our churches; and worshiping the latest version of Caesar everywhere else.  That turns our private convictions into lies we tell ourselves and each other.

Later on he adds:

Third, despite these concerns, Christians still have a duty to take part in public life according to their God-given abilities, even when their faith brings them into conflict with public authority.  We can’t simply ignore or withdraw from civic affairs.  The reason is simple.  The classic civic virtues named by Cicero – prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance – can be renewed and elevated, to the benefit of all citizens, by the Christian virtues of faith, hope and charity.  Therefore, political engagement is a worthy Christian task, and public office is an honorable Christian vocation.

Read the rest of the Archbishop’s excellent article. It’s refreshing to read a cleric who can discuss these issues so unambiguously and without concern that he might be offending someone somewhere.

 

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21 Responses to Archbishop Chaput on Faith and Public Life

  • Like I said, thank God for faithful shepherds…

  • Archbishop Charles Chaput in Philadelphia, Archbishop (Cardinal) William Lori in Baltimore and Cardinal Dolan in New York, the Golden Triangle.

  • I find myself having a serious problem with the sin of wrath and, perhaps, the even worse sin of pride these days…I have devoted much of my free time in the last 10 years to the study of politics, psychology and human nature to add to my increasing theological background knowledge and I find myself often overly certain of my hard-studied beliefs regarding good governance (a healthy cross between Reagan and Washington would be a good start). My fiance is liberal – I love her with all my heart – but our debates frequently make me feel miserable because there is that voice in my head that says she lives a life in conflict with her faith (she is also Catholic and pretty passionate about it) and that rejects my beliefs in deed and thought. Being in a relationship with a liberal from Boston who believes, for example, that, though abortion is a negative outcome, government cannot make it illegal and take away a person’s choice to be immoral (never mind the lack of choice provided to the baby), is making me guilty of hating liberal ideas more fiercely and spending more of my time trying to find the way to reach her and move her toward conservatism and it isn’t good for my soul to stay this focused on such divisive issues.

    So I can relate somewhat to the folks who spend their time yelling at the TV talking head shows, though I don’t do this, because I have found that I can love a person for who they are, but that doing so challenges my studied beliefs in ways that lead to anger and frustration. Now, more than any other time in recent memory, politics makes everyday life difficult.

  • Matt, I definitely can relate to what you’re going through. It’s a difficult situation, but the important thing is that you remain true to yourself. Sorry for the hackneyed cliche, but it’s really the truth in this situation.

  • @Matt

    ” I love her with all my heart”

    Sometimes, Matt, that is not enough. You have to be true to yourself, for her and you. The fact that she is “Catholic” (so is Congresswoman Pelosi,) is not enough if she is “that” kind of Catholic. You’re a man, and unlike James Carvel, you cannot keep your mouth shut, or your mind, on things very important to you spiritually. I have found that in searching for a wife that liberal women who had an interest in me, dropped me like a hot coal when they discovered I was conservative. It amused me because it occurred early in our getting to know each other. They were so interested up until that point. So there was no emotional connection, yet. I was engaged, once, in my senior year of college, which I was putting myself through, I was 26. She was beautiful, and what passion we had for each other. But I broke off the engagement when I realized that I wouldn’t be able to trust her because so many guys wanted her and she led them on. It hurt, but I had to do that to protect myself. I never regretted my decision. You deserve a woman that has the morals and passion you have for your faith and belief in God. i see some couples in early Sunday Mass with 6 and 7 children, a teenager down to infants, so respectful of where they are, with the girls heads’ veiled, prayerful as are the boys, and I marvel at them as a family. And I look a the mother, so beautiful in her spiritual prayerful and motherly life and think how lucky that man, the husband and father, is. It reminds me of how Catholics families used to look back in the ’50s when less than 50 percent of attendants went to communion. Pray to God and listen to him as he will guide you as to what he wants you to do. Listen to him. If it is to break off the engagement, then do so. Stay together as a couple to see if that will lead to a renewed relationship where you are more on the same page as Catholics. If not, realized you saved yourself and her, and the future children, a lot of pain. I will pray for you.

  • good post.

    i have this problem too. i sort of “cocoon” myself in conservative sources because, while i am interested in the liberal side of the argument, i get the overall gist of their ideology (Equality Uber Alles) and can predict their position on a given issue fairly accurately. also i’m not a fan of constantly being told that conservatism is bad-faith bigotry/greed, which seems to be equally shared by both the most rabid leftists as well as mainstream liberals. sure if you look hard enough you can find those on the Right who portray Obama as a kind of Muslim sleeper agent, but it’s the sort of stuff limited to comment threads on certain sites.

    i also sort of get caught up in horse-race politics, which is pointless as far as deepening intellectual understanding of issues, and at its worst leads to Frumianism where our conservative “betters” instruct us on what issues we need to become liberals on to win, as if that’s the only thing that matters.

    probably when this election is over i’ll try to cool off from politics a bit.

  • I am reminded of a very telling analysis by the great 19th century Catholic historian, Lord Acton.

    “Civil and religious liberty are so commonly associated in people’s mouths, and are so rare in fact, that their definition is evidently as little understood as the principle of their connection. The point at which they unite, the common root from which they derive their sustenance, is the right of self-government. The modern theory, which has swept away every authority except that of the State, and has made the sovereign power irresistible by multiplying those who share it, is the enemy of that common freedom in which religious freedom is included. It condemns, as a State within the State, every inner group and community, class or corporation, administering its own affairs; and, by proclaiming the abolition of privileges, it emancipates the subjects of every such authority in order to transfer them exclusively to its own. It recognises liberty only in the individual, because it is only in the individual that liberty can be separated from authority, and the right of conditional obedience deprived of the security of a limited command. Under its sway, therefore, every man may profess his own religion more or less freely; but his religion is not free to administer its own laws. In other words, religious profession is free, but Church government is controlled. And where ecclesiastical authority is restricted, religious liberty is virtually denied.”

    That is why a passion for civic equality, hatred of nobility and anti-clericalism tend to go together and often coexist with a tolerance of despotism. Bonapartism was the consummation of the Revolution, not its reversal.

  • Separation of Church and State has given us: civil divorce, legalized contraception, legalized abortion, and HHS mandate.

  • Caution regarding the subversion of basic human rights: Correlation is not causation.

    That being said, our Constitution was made for an industrious, moral people, it may prove unsustainable given the demonstrated immorality of contemporary people.

  • No, the problem is not separation of Church and State, but rather the State attempting to act as if it were a Church. Separation of Church and State as envisioned by the Founding Fathers has been a very good thing for all Americans, and especially for Catholics.

  • Matt, seriously consider your situation in the light of what a future family will look and behave like – either united in all matters moral and social, or divided and contentious. I wish I had been given that counsel 22 years ago.

    Yet, as with all things, placing your trust in Him, discerning and accepting His will for you and your fiance and asking her to pray along with you for His plans for your lives to come to fruition will ensure the right outcome. Another piece of advice I wish I’d gotten back then.

  • What a lesson, Paul. In a non political area, I must regroup. It’s about letting 7% of life become 90% of life. I believe you’ve saved lives with this piece.

  • Archbishop Chaput:
    “Later on he adds:
    Third, despite these concerns, Christians still have a duty to take part in public life according to their God-given abilities, even when their faith brings them into conflict with public authority. We can’t simply ignore or withdraw from civic affairs. The reason is simple. The classic civic virtues named by Cicero – prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance – can be renewed and elevated, to the benefit of all citizens, by the Christian virtues of faith, hope and charity. Therefore, political engagement is a worthy Christian task, and public office is an honorable Christian vocation.”

    One way is fasting and prayer.
    I saw on Etheldredasplace that a group of people who are bloggers and commentors will be fasting and praying for a new president and this country on Friday, 9/21st.
    Think Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, for returning to dignity and humanity.

  • Thanks for your responses, all who shared their thoughts on my situation.

    I don’t have illusions that I can somehow change my fiance’s mind on everything, but the life issue is critical. I should be clear…she isn’t “that kind” of Catholic in the sense that she doesn’t live by the church’s teachings. She does. She wants t do natural family planning (as do I), she wants to get the proper Catholic marriage sacrament, she wants to be fruitful and have many children, as do I, and to raise them to be Catholic. Everything about her personal life is in line with what I’d hoped to achieve in my own or I wouldn’t have come this far in a relationship with her. Her professed political beliefs are really the only thing I worry about at this point. It leaves me wondering what a priest would say (I’ll find out in pre-cana).

  • “No, the problem is not separation of Church and State, but rather the State attempting to act as if it were a Church. Separation of Church and State as envisioned by the Founding Fathers has been a very good thing for all Americans, and especially for Catholics.”

    Well said, Donald McClarey. When the State acts as if it were the Church, Freedom is the first casualty, for Who is being the State, when the State is being the Church? The State ceases to exist. A government Who is God is no government.

    Government as God is government without constituents. Who did government create? Government will give a person a birth certificate and citizenship and a tax bill. Government as the Church is a church without God, without Truth and without Love, for God is Truth and Love, government without parishioners, who will not be engineered by the laws of the Godless. Can government dictate to our conscience or will our conscience lead us in the path of Truth?

    Read more at: Rosary Victory

  • Chaput’s two KIA by politics is tragic.

    The Paki that earned his “Darwin Award” at an Old Glory conflagration is farcical.

    Too bad it was a million.

  • I don’t think the problem is with liberalism. Its with sin. That preceeds liberalism.

  • Separation of Church and State has given us: civil divorce, legalized contraception, legalized abortion, and HHS mandate.

    I think you have confounded the separation of Church and State with the separation of the moral teachings of the Church from the body of thought which informs public policy. You do not need to concede parastatal authority to ecclesiastics or to put tax money into the Church in order to have penal and matrimonial law which respects Christian teachings.

  • I agree with Art Deco.

    We should conceive of the Church not so much as the institutional “Spiritual Power” alongside the “Temporal Power” of the State, but rather in terms of an evangelical presence, a “leaven,” that nurtures efforts in society ordered to the coming of God’s Kingdom.

    This is what Blondel meant, when he said that efforts “from below” to establish a just society would lead persons of good will to respect Christianity and “to find only in the spirit of the gospel the supreme and decisive guarantee of justice and of the moral conditions of peace, stability, and social prosperity.”

    This is not to argue that politics can be separated from religion, quite the contrary. As Blondel also reminds us, “one cannot think or act anywhere as if we do not all have a supernatural destiny.” Maritain, too, declared that “the knowledge of human actions and of the good conduct of the human State in particular can exist as an integral science, as a complete body of doctrine, only if related to the ultimate end of the human being . . . the rule of conduct governing individual and social life cannot therefore leave the supernatural order out of account”

  • Matt, here’s a thought that occurred to me and which might be helpful to you. You have probably heard, many times, the parable Christ told of the father who asked his two sons to work in his vineyard. One said “no”, but later changed his mind and went. The other said “yes,” but never went to the vineyard. Christ then asks His listeners, “Which of the two did what the father wanted?”

    In my experience, I have known people who describe themselves as pro-choice politically, but where it really counts — in their own lives and that of their families — they have acted pro-life. They had babies in difficult circumstances when they could have aborted; they have made great sacrifices to assist others who have chosen life as well. These are like the first son, whose actions spoke louder than his words. Likewise, there are cases where people say they are pro-life but give in to the temptation to abort when faced with an actual crisis. These are like the second son, whose actions didn’t measure up to his words.

    Perhaps your fiancee is someone who is pro-life in spirit though she may claim to be pro-choice politically. Of course it would be better to have both pro-life words AND actions, but action is the more important of the two, IMO.

    Also, you may need to examine more closely why your fiancee is pro-choice. Does she truly believe that women SHOULD have the right to choose abortion just as they have the right to choose to get drunk, smoke, gamble, etc.? Or does she believe that as evil as abortion is, there’s just no practical way for government to stop it without resorting to draconian police state measures (e.g. throwing pregnant women in jail), so pro-lifers would do better to focus their efforts elsewhere? If it’s the latter, while I wouldn’t embrace that point of view, I wouldn’t consider it a deal-breaker either.

Real Freedom Isn’t Something Caesar Can Give or Take Away

Friday, July 6, AD 2012

 

 

 

Beginning for two weeks, up to Independence Day, the Bishops had a Fortnight For Freedom:

On April 12, the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the U.S.  Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a document, “Our First,  Most Cherished Liberty,” outlining the bishops’ concerns over threats to religious freedom, both at home and abroad. The bishops called for a “Fortnight for Freedom,” a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom, from June 21-July 4.

 

Bishops in their own dioceses are encouraged to arrange special events to  highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. Catholic  institutions are encouraged to do the same, especially in cooperation  with other Christians, Jews, people of other faiths and all who wish to  defend our most cherished freedom.

 

The fourteen days from June  21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to  July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for  freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face  of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More,  St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the  Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action would emphasize both our  Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country could choose a date in that period for special events that  would constitute a great national campaign of teaching and witness for  religious liberty.

At the closing mass for the Fortnight of Freedom on July 4, 2012 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Archbishop Charles Chaput delivered this homily on freedom:

 

 

Philadelphia is the place where both the Declaration of Independence and the  United States Constitution were written. For more than two centuries, these  documents have inspired people around the globe. So as we begin our reflection  on today’s readings, I have the privilege of greeting everyone here today — and  every person watching or listening from a distance — in the name of the Church  of my home, the Church of Philadelphia, the cradle of our country’s liberty and  the city of our nation’s founding. May God bless and guide all of us as we  settle our hearts on the word of God.

Paul Claudel, the French poet and diplomat of the last century, once  described the Christian as “a man who knows what he is doing and where he is  going in a world [that] no longer [knows] the difference between good and evil,  yes and no. He is like a god standing out in a crowd of invalids. … He alone has  liberty in a world of slaves.”

Like most of the great writers of his time, Claudel was a mix of gold and  clay, flaws and genius. He had a deep and brilliant Catholic faith, and when he  wrote that a man “who no longer believes in God, no longer believes in  anything,” he was simply reporting what he saw all around him. He spoke from a  lifetime that witnessed two world wars and the rise of atheist ideologies that  murdered tens of millions of innocent people using the vocabulary of science. He  knew exactly where forgetting God can lead.

We Americans live in a different country, on a different continent, in a  different century. And yet, in speaking of liberty, Claudel leads us to the  reason we come together in worship this afternoon.

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3 Responses to Real Freedom Isn’t Something Caesar Can Give or Take Away

  • In Henry VIII’s England, persons were persecuted and put to death in body for their adherence to the Catholic Church. In present day America, principles are being eradicated to dumb the souls and minds of the people. Purposely, the principles of freedom and truth are being obliterated. Instead of killing people’s bodies, here in America, people’s principles are being killed. Our Constitution is the only one outside of the Vatican City State that guarantees freedom.

  • The Supreme Court for the United States of America and its Justices are the dispensers of Divine Justice, according to the Freedom ENDOWED BY OUR “Creator”. Freedom created and endowed by God belongs to each and every person. Atheists and secular humanists repudiating TRUTH and all of TRUTH’S facets repudiate endowed FREEDOM and impose their non-beliefs, which are rejected by believers, to hide their errors.
    No God-given freedom intents to offend. If offense is taken, those offended are mistaken. Every word spoken or thought about God is intended for the good of every person ever created. For the atheist to say that she is offended by the gift of being remembered before God is untenable. The atheist enjoys the Freedom endowed by God but refuses to acknowledge God as the Creator and giver of the gift of Freedom. If the atheist truly embraced atheism, he would remain silent for the freedom of speech is from God.
    In the 1990 Smith case the Supreme Court said that it “tolerates” God’s gift of freedom, Religious Liberty. Justice requires the Supreme Court to acknowledge the gift of freedom created and endowed by our Creator. What the Supreme Court said in 1990 Smith was that the Supreme Court “tolerates” persons with religious Liberty. I guess that that is a good thing if the people can “tolerate” the Supreme Court’s unequal Justice for all.

  • What is there in the HHS mandate to protect the sovereignty of the Vatican City State, the sovereignty of the Vatican’s Catholic Churches and the sovereignty of the parishioners of the Vatican’s Catholic Churches?
    The redefinition of Freedom of Religion to freedom of worship does not redefine sovereignty. Sovereign immunity, like diplomatic immunity, exempts persons from obeying an injunction or participating in a mandate that violates their sovereignty. The sovereignty of the person extends to the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution that cannot force a person to testify against himself. If a sovereign person cannot incriminate himself, how can he be penalized by the HHS mandate for preserving his sovereignty?
    Obama has vowed to seize all private property in Executive Order 13575 Rural Councils and attached the 32 Czars in his cabinet to enforce this order. Order 11004 gives Obama the power to relocate people. EXECUTIVE ORDER 11310 grants authority to the Department of Justice to enforce the plans set out in Executive Orders. Obama does not get to redefine the authority of the Department of Justice.

Archbishop Chaput Enthusiastically Recommends For Greater Glory

Monday, June 4, AD 2012

 

 

Archbishop Charles  Chaput of the Philadelphia Archdiocese has written a column which appeared on May 29th whole-heartedly recommending that Catholics see For Greater Glory:

Earlier this week we celebrated Memorial Day. For most of us, the holiday informally marks the start of summer. Over the next three months families will take their vacations, the pace of life will slow a bit and people will have a little more precious time to relax and restore their spirits.

The purpose of recreation is to renew us in body and soul; to give us time to think; to reconnect us with family and the gift of being alive. For me, that usually means a week of fishing with friends, catching up on a pile of good books and enjoying a few good movies.

And since all good things are meant to be shared, I can already recommend — in fact, enthusiastically recommend — a film that no Catholic should miss this summer.

“For Greater Glory” opens in select theaters this Friday, June 1. Written, directed and acted with outstanding skill, it’s the story of Mexico’s Cristero War (also known as La Cristiada, 1926-29). Largely ignored until recently – even in Mexico – the war resulted from Mexico’s atheist constitution of 1917, subsequent anti-religious legislation and fierce anti-clerical persecution by the government of President Plutarco Elias Calles, who came to power in 1924.

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2 Responses to Archbishop Chaput Enthusiastically Recommends For Greater Glory

  • The Person of God, the Father and God the Father’s Love for Jesus Christ, the Person of the Holy Spirit, and the Person of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ’s Love for God, His Father, the Person of the Holy Spirit are three Persons in One God – and are addressed as WHO.
    Viva Christo Rey. Government serves its constituents. Government’s constituents serve God. There is no government without God. Communism, totalitarianism, socialism, fascism, their name is Legion and even the herd of swine does not abide them. The herd of swine, 4000, possessed by Legion, the devil, ran off a cliff and drowned itself in the sea. The devil believes in God but atheists choose not to believe in God, “their Creator” from The Declaration of Independence. The United States of America has chosen to be run by atheists, in spite of the Person of God inscribed into its founding documents as “their Creator”. How patriotic is that? How truthful is that? How smart is that? How generous and charitable is that?
    Charity is a virtue. In order for the government to practice the virtue of charity, government must acknowledge, publicly acknowledge God,” “their Creator” and also acknowledge that the practice of the virtue of charity is the domain of the church. Without the acknowledgement, by government, of God, as “their Creator” and the church as the servant of God, and government as the servant of its constituents; government, constituted by the sovereign personhood of its constituents, who are endowed with sovereign personhood by “their Creator” has no sovereign authority to govern, the reason for its existence. Real money must not be given to support a regime without the truth of God. Viva Christo Rey.

  • Viva Cristo Rey!!!

    Great movie. I saw it. I was impressed. It was an epic.

Archbishop Chaput: HHS Mandate Dangerous and Insulting

Tuesday, February 14, AD 2012

 

 

Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Philadelphia Archdiocese has never been one to mince words, and he does not disappoint in regard to the Mandate and the “compromise”.

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services refused on Jan. 20 to broaden the exception to its mandate that nearly all Catholic employers must cover contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization in their health-care plans.  

 

An “accommodation” offered Friday by the White House did not solve the problem. Instead, it triggered withering criticism from legal scholars such as Notre Dame’s Carter Snead, Harvard’s Mary Ann Glendon, Princeton’s Robert George, and Catholic University of America president John Garvey, along with non-Catholic scholars including Yuval Levin, the religious liberty law firm the Becket Fund, and numerous Catholic and other organizations.  

 

Many Catholics are confused and angry. They should be.  

 

 Quite a few Catholics supported President Obama in the last election, so the ironies here are bitter. Many feel betrayed. They’re baffled that the Obama administration would seek to coerce Catholic employers, private and corporate, to violate their religious convictions.  

 

But it’s clear that such actions are developing into a pattern. Whether it was the administration’s early shift toward the anemic language of “freedom of worship” instead of the more historically grounded and robust concept of “freedom of religion” in key diplomatic discussions; or its troubling effort to regulate religious ministers recently rejected 9-0 by the Supreme Court in the Hosanna Tabor case; or the revocation of the U.S. bishops’ conference human-trafficking grant for refusing to refer rape victims to abortion clinics, it seems obvious that this administration is – to put it generously – tone deaf to people of faith.  

 

 Philadelphians may wish to reflect on the following facts: The Archdiocesan Secretariat for Catholic Human Services spends $278 million annually on services to the community. About 4,000 employees make up our secretariat’s workforce. Catholic Social Services is the largest social-service agency in Pennsylvania and the largest residential care/social-service subcontractor with the Department of Human Services of the City of Philadelphia.  

 

There’s more. Archdiocesan Catholic Health Care Services is the largest faith-based provider of long-term-care services to the poor and elderly in the five-county area, and the seventh-largest nationally. And our Nutritional Development Services ministry serves more than eight million meals a year to schoolchildren, summer programs, and child-care centers. It also provides 2 million pounds of nonperishable food to needy families and the elderly through its Community Food Program.  

 

Much of the money used by these ministries comes from public funding. But of course, the reason these ministries are trusted with public funding is that they do an excellent job. The service relationship works well without compromising the integrity of either the government or the Church. In fact, in a practical sense, government often benefits more than the Church.

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13 Responses to Archbishop Chaput: HHS Mandate Dangerous and Insulting

  • I believe that those who use contraception actually have lower medical costs than those who don’t. A couple who has 6 children will have used resources for 6 pregnancies and 6 newborns, which is more expensive than a couple who has 5 children and 10 years of contraception, or 5 children and sterilization. If a woman has a medical condition that would be exacerbated by pregnancy, contraception also reduces medical expenses. Be careful what you ask for. The current ruling has the expenses of choosing TO reproduce distributed among those who choose not to.

  • As usual, Abp. Chaput is on the money. I disagree, however, with one sentence:

    “The White House response on these points is ambiguous and weak.”

    The WH is responding very clearly and firmly. It will lie, obfuscate and try to distract us from its consistent position. But it will not be moved.

    We are at war. The thing is we’ve always been at odds; the bishops just thought the situation could be tolerated. But tolerance only works in one direction with the Left. This situation is reminiscent of the film Braveheart. The heads of the clans thought their situation was tolerable with the English. But of course, it was always going to end in war. I know it’s not very Catholic of me, but now that both sides are facing each other, like William Wallace, I’d kinda like to go “pick a fight.”

  • Gail-

    I think I understand . . . if you could explain who the “you” is in “Be careful what you ask for.” If it’s the current administration, then I snicker alongside you. If not, then perhaps some exposition to further develop this interesting idea.

    Thanks.

  • “At its heart is a seemingly deep distrust of the formative role religious faith has on personal and social conduct, and a deep distaste for religion’s moral influence on public affairs. To say that this view is contrary to the Founders’ thinking and the record of American history would be an understatement.

    The HHS mandate is bad law; and not merely bad, but dangerous and insulting. It needs to be withdrawn – now.”

    This time the Philistines are on the Hill in our Capitol are loading dangerous and insulting weapons of distrust, distaste with a vengeance barely disguised behind reasonable presentations:
    on the internet wideworld to children and adults, …children
    on the productions of MSM,
    on school curricula,
    on entertainment venues,
    and on the appearances/statements of their catholic ‘co-workers’.

    This with public funds they don’t have.
    They’ll use all their insinuations to destroy knowledge of good and bad in the name of inclusivity.

  • I wonder if Abp Chaput will finally stop crawling into bed with the radical illegal alien lobby like Rep Guitierrrez demanding children of illegal aliens get instate tuition. IOW, he think taxpayers ought to help finanace the breaking of our immigration laws. Maybe he will stop showing contempt for legitimate Catholic viewpoints on issues like immigration and capital punishment. Make no mistake Chaput is part of the problem.

    Lest anyone think this has nothing to with the present problem. Think again. It has everything to do with it.

  • I wish people would stop and think a minute…this is a First Amendment Freedom of Religion Issue. It’s not a special “Catholic” issue or “Evangelical” issue. It’s not a “contraception/abortion” issue, either. The freedom to practice religion is a large part of the reason why America exists. And is still the reason why so many continue to come here. Freedom of Religion was so important to our Founding Fathers that they put it first in the Bill of Rights. Doing an end-run around it by the diktat of unelected officials is extremely dangerous, setting precident for other end-runs around the Bill of Rights. So, this is something ALL Americans need to be concerned about.

    Further, and just to quantify, by nature the Christian faith is evangelical. We are required as part of our Baptism to go out and live the Gospel. It’s an active Faith. It’s not like a coat where you put it on and take it off depending upon the climate. It’s more like a second skin. Something that is deeply a part of a person. So, it is offensive to Christians, and all people of faith, when the government tells us how we are now going to have to practice our Faith or be punished if we don’t acquiesce. This mandate is completely antithetical to Christianity because it is hampering our ability to live the Gospel as we are called to do. To serve others in need, no matter who they are or what they believe.

    Catholics wake up! It’s St. Jude time.

  • Excellent historical discussion about why the church is where it is at now.
    http://ricochet.com/main-feed/American-Catholicism-s-Pact-With-the-Devil

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  • People keep talking about what percent of Catholics agree or whatever. Even if ONLY ONE Catholic thought that God didn’t want him to pay for abortifacients, he would have the RIGHT not to do that. Even if I made up my own religion tomorrow, and I thought God did not want me to bathe, I should have the right to refrain from that.

  • CatholicLawyer, Wow. Powerful article with many truisms.

    I am not sure I entirely agree with saying the bishops embraced Obamacare. The bishops always expressed disapproval based on inadequate respect for pro-life issues and a lack of conscientious objection. But, the article’s overall point is in agreement with mine. Even with pro-life and conscientious objection considerations, Obamacare is poison. A Church of the past the articles describes would recognize it as so.

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Archbishop Chaput and the Media

Friday, August 26, AD 2011

One of the most irritating aspects of life for faithful American Catholics over the past several decades has been how quiet most of our bishops have been in the face of outrageous attacks on the Church.  Too many of our bishops have acted as if they had their spines surgically removed upon consecration.  Fortunately there have always been a handful who have been willing to speak out and suffer the media attacks that then ensue, along with the ambushes of heterodox Catholics frequently eager to lend a hand to anti-Catholics in their ceaseless war against the Church.  One of the more outspoken bishops is Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who has never been afraid to proclaim the truth, and to do so eloquently.  He is at it again over at First Things.

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32 Responses to Archbishop Chaput and the Media

  • “Some of the usual suspects on the Catholic Left are upset at the Archbishop for naming some of their cherished propaganda organs…”

    I think that’s true for some. I also think that for some on the Catholic Left the NY Times reflects their view of the Church or, perhaps more accurately, what they want the Church to become.

  • Well Phillip, over the years certainly some members of the Catholic Left have been far more faithful to the magisterium of the New York Times than they ever have to the magisterium of the Church!

  • “Some of the usual suspects on the Catholic Left are upset at the Archbishop for naming some of their cherished propaganda organs…”

    They’re also upset that the Archbishop didn’t call out their own fave Catholic publications – Commonweal, America, National Catholic Distorter – as good sources for Catholic commentary. Thing is, they’re not good sources for Catholic commentary, and the Archbishop knows this. The Distorter especially – a vanguard for all that is opposed to Catholic teaching.

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  • An excellent resource on this subject is the Get Religion blog, which examines coverage of all religions and religious traditions in the media and points out gaps or inaccuracies. In many stories, Get Religion says religion is present only as a “ghost” — an unnamed reference to people doing works of charity or attending rallies or “vigils” without mention of the fact that a religious motivation was behind it.

    From reading the mainstream media, you would think that thousands of people feed the hungry, travel to disaster zones, spend long hours at a sick or injured person’s bedside (doing what? PRAYING, maybe?), devote themselves to improving their communities, etc. for no apparent reason, other than, perhaps, some vague reference to their “values.”

  • “We make a very serious mistake if we rely on media like the New York Times, Newsweek, CNN, or MSNBC for reliable news about religion. These news media simply don’t provide trustworthy information about religious faith”

    and CBS, ABC, NBC, NPR, Wash. Post, Boston Globe, etc, etc, etc

  • We make a very serious mistake if we rely on media like the New York Times, Newsweek, CNN, or MSNBC, NPR, Washington Post, Boston Globe, for reliable news about ANYTHING.

  • I would include as unreliable the Catholic News Service, which if I mistake me not, is a service of the USCCB. It gave a favorable review to the homosexual movie Heartbreak Mountain. Another disservice of the bureaucracy of the USCCB.

  • “It gave a favorable review to the homosexual movie Heartbreak Mountain”

    I take it you are referring to BROKEBACK Mountain?

    Aside from the movie reviews, whose suitability can and often will be disputed, whether or not Catholic News Service is a “reliable” source of Church news depends on how you define “reliable.”

    In the Catholic press, there is always going to be a tension between the need to promote and adhere to Church teaching and the need to realistically report what is going on in the Catholic world whether or not it is agreeable to Church teaching. I have to admit that I am somewhat biased in favor of CNS due to the fact that I once worked for a diocesan newspaper that relied heavily on CNS news, and some of whose personnel personally knew people from CNS.

    If you rely solely on traditional/conservative leaning publications, you may get the impression that conservative/orthodox/traditional Catholicism is a lot more popular and widespread than it actually is. On the other hand, if you rely on left-leaning sites like National Catholic Reporter, you get the impression that the “spirit of Vatican II” crowd still reigns supreme, which is also not the case. There still needs to be a reasonably middle of the road source of Catholic news which doesn’t actively promote dissent but doesn’t ignore its real-world impact, or ignore the fact that the Church still has a long way to go in getting most of its members fully on board with its teachings.

    While I understand the disillusionment many people have with the mainstream media, and yes they do often get things wrong, still, I think it is VERY dangerous to dismiss them completely and insist on getting ALL your news only from sources that agree 100% with your political or religious leanings. Balance is the key here.

  • Wow Elaine,
    It almost sounds like you should be writing for Vox Nova. 😉
    Well put.

  • Nah, Brett, if Elaine were writing for Vox Nova she would have to say something truly absurd like mentioning Chaput in mouth disease, and I doubt if Elaine would ever say anything like that. Finally, I doubt if Elaine could make it past the Vox Nova entrance interview:

    http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/6987327/welcome-to-vox-nova

  • You’re right Don, I would not get past Rule #2. I certainly would flunk out by Rule #5 (“Paul Krugman is the living embodiment of Catholic social teaching.”)

  • Don’t worry Elaine. They let me write whatever I want and I don’t even know who Paul Krugman is!

    Also Don, no one at VN has ever forced me to say anything “truly absurd.” Elaine wouldn’t HAVE to say anything of the sort.
    😉

    All peace and good,
    B

  • “Also Don, no one at VN has ever forced me to say anything “truly absurd.” ”

    That is good to know Brett. Judging from Minion’s posts I assumed there was some sort of requirement.

  • I’ve got to agree with Elaine — the Catholic News Service (and even the movie reviews, though I certainly don’t always agree with them) serves a useful purpose, and I’ve never found it to be an organ used for questioning or undercutting the faith.

    Brett,

    To not even know who Paul Krugman is, you’d have to be skimming MM’s posts pretty thinly. After all, in the very post linked to here MM chides Archbishop Chaput for not listening to Krugman more:

    Why does Chaput not mention any of this? Is he so insecure that he cannot handle criticism of the Church in the New York Times, and must instead run to those who use the Church for their political aims? Does he see no nuance and complexity? Is he not aware that he can learn far more about the economic mess from Paul Krugman in the New York Times than anybody on any alternative media source?

    I mean, I agree with those who knock people like Voris for bishop-bashing at the drop of a hat, but this is, if anything, worse.

    I will say, though, that I’ve always enjoyed reading your posts, which are both fair and intellectually curious. (I just wish that you’d keep a separate blog like Kyle does, so that it isn’t necessary for those of us bullies who might be divisive pamphleteers of the verge of kicking off a new Reformation to wade through the main site to read your stuff.)

  • “Judging from Minion’s posts I assumed there was some sort of requirement.”

    “…I don’t even know who Paul Krugman is!”

    Brett is clearly not reading Minion’s paeans to Krugman.

  • The quoted bit from MM on Krugman hardly tells me anything beyond the fact that he writes about economics for the New York Times and that MM thinks he has some insight. Surely that is not enough for me to know whether he is “the living embodiment of Catholic social teaching,” or even if MM considers him to be such.

    Perhaps the very favorable recent posts linking to the Distributist Review should give certain people pause before they announce exactly whom the Vox Novans think accurately represents CST (or is Krugman a Distributist?) or that all Vox Novans must be of the same opinion on such matters.

  • Brett,

    VN is well known for being disobedient to the Magisterium and for attacking orthodox Catholics.

  • Tito,

    I don’t believe I’ve ever seen any of the current frequent posters on Vox Nova dissent from Catholic doctrine.

    That many of them do specialize in “friendly fire” towards other orthodox Catholics is arguably true, though.

    Brett,

    Well, unless the Distributist Review is not an alternative news source, it would seem that MM does believe Chaput could derive more benefit from reading Krugman than from reading the Distributist Review. (Actually, this is probably not surprising, as MM is probably too educated in regards to economics to be terribly impressed with the Distributists.)

    But to be fair, that hilarious parody dates back to when Henry, MM, MZ and Iafrate were the mainlines of Vox Nova. The place has, somewhat diluted its craziness since then.

  • Tito,

    I don’t believe I’ve ever seen any of the current frequent posters on Vox Nova dissent from Catholic doctrine.

    That many of them do specialize in “friendly fire” towards other orthodox Catholics is arguably true, though.

    Brett,

    Well, unless the Distributist Review is not an alternative news source, it would seem that MM does believe Chaput could derive more benefit from reading Krugman than from reading the Distributist Review. (Actually, this is probably not surprising, as MM is probably too educated in regards to economics to be terribly impressed with the Distributism, at least where economics is involved. Chesterton and Belloc were admirable in lots of ways, but their economic analysis was not necessarily great. MM is probably right to rely more on Keynes and Krugman than on Chesterton and Belloc when it comes to actual economic theory.)

    To be fair, though, that hilarious parody dates back to when Henry, MM, MZ and Iafrate were the mainlines of Vox Nova. The place has, somewhat diluted its craziness since then — in regards to contributors at least. (Oddly, the comboxes seem to have gone even further off the deep end — though perhaps that’s just a matter of the “other side” not bothering to show up much anymore. I suppose in some ways we’ve had an equal and opposite history here. Given the natural affinities of belief, it may be that political sites natural sort themselves into either right or left with few dissenting voices bothering to show up.)

  • Darwin,

    I wasn’t aware that killing children in the womb was part of Catholic teaching.

  • I’m not either, but I was giving them credit for the fact that Gerald L. Campbell hasn’t posted there in a very long time. (Though I agree it was disgraceful that everyone at the time defended his claim that being pro-choice was a legitimate exercise of subsidiarity.)

    People like MM and MZ do everything possible to support pro-abortion candidates, because those candidates happen to also be leftists, but they insist that they are not in fact pro-abortion themselves (and would vote for anti-abortion leftists if they existed) so I figure it’s fair to categorize them as unwise rather than dissenting.

    Ditto on the tendency to attack pro-lifers far more often than pro-aborts while at the same time claiming to be pro-life.

    Don’t get me wrong. I have no desire to defend them. I just want to be precise in my attacks. 🙂

  • OK, I’ll back track.

    Certain bloggers are disobedient.

    The rest of the bunch are essentially good guys and it would be nice to share a beer with them because it would make for interesting conversation(s)!

    😀

  • Precision is always appreciated. As is beer.

  • As for a personal blog, here you go:
    http://vox-nova.com/category/brett-salkeld/

    I’m only tempted to set up something a little more formal because I think “Ein Brett Vorm Kopf” would be a great name.

  • Can’t let a name like that go to waste!

    I guess I should just bookmark the category link. For some reason, it’s not possible to put the category links into an RSS reader.

  • It would be helpful though if those bloggers on Vox Nova who are not in dissent do correct those who post comments who are. That would make it appear less likely that they are dissenting.

  • “MM is probably too educated in regards to economics to be terribly impressed with the Distributism, at least where economics is involved. Chesterton and Belloc were admirable in lots of ways, but their economic analysis was not necessarily great. MM is probably right to rely more on Keynes and Krugman than on Chesterton and Belloc when it comes to actual economic theory.)”.

    Yes, as regards “economic theory”. But economics in practice? A good antidote to Keynes [Krugman is not worth the effort] is J.K. Galbraith’s ALMOST EVERYONE’S GUIDE TO ECONOMICS. He makes the point that economics is not that difficult to understand. Thus, in the controversy about raising the debt limit, it is not difficult to understand that you cannot keep writing checks on an account without money. Belloc understood this; GKC understood this. Even B. Obama as a senator understood this.

    In May 1939, shortly after learning that unemployment stood at 20.7%, Henry Morgenthau, the secretary of the Treasury, exploded: “We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work.” Morgenthau concluded, “I say after eight years of this administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started. . . . And an enormous debt to boot!”

  • From the other side of the pond, I rate the orthodoxy of your bishops according to extent that they are excoriated by the liberal media – Burke, Olmsted, Chaput et al. The fact that none of ours has yet to be targeted by the Tablet, the English equivalent of the National Catholic Reporter, is cause for concern.

Rank and File Conservatives & The Conservative Intelligentsia United In Outrage Over Mosque Near Ground Zero, Not So With Same-Sex Marriage

Sunday, August 15, AD 2010

The proposed mosque set to be built near Ground Zero, site of the September 11, 2001 attacks has brought a sweeping condemnation from both rank and file conservatives and the Conservative Intelligentsia. Now that President Barack Obama has weighed in the matter, seemingly supporting the effort, one can only imagine how this will be used in the fall elections. However, a rift has appeared to have been opened concerning the views of the rank and file conservatives and the Conservative Intelligentsia following the ruling of Judge Vaughn Walker over same-sex marriage. Many of the conservative intelligentsia, along with the establishment wing of the Republican Party has either been silent or voiced the view that the wished the whole gay marriage issue would simply go away. This has led to bewilderment from some conservative voices.

The best Catholic tie in with the efforts to build a mosque on Ground Zero came from the famed conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, who is Jewish. In his opposition to the mosque being built near Ground Zero, he correctly pointed out that Pope John Paul II ordered Carmelite nuns, who were living right next to Auschwitz, to move closer to a nearby town, since the site had become a rallying point for Jewish identity. Krauthammer correctly pointed out that Christians had been murdered there too and the nuns were doing the heroic deed of praying for the souls of those who were viciously murdered. However, Krauthammer pointed out that the late Polish pontiff felt that it created the wrong perception.

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27 Responses to Rank and File Conservatives & The Conservative Intelligentsia United In Outrage Over Mosque Near Ground Zero, Not So With Same-Sex Marriage

  • Which members of the conservative intelligentsia who aren’t also rank and file Republicans, have expressed opposition to the mosque?

  • There are plenty of natural law and non-religious arguments against homosexuality. It is not a natural co-equal with heterosexuality. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Men and woman are complementary, not only physically, but emotionally and psychologically.

    Homosexuals have significantly higher levels of: mental health problems, psychological disorders such as suicide and depression, sexual addiction and coercion, promiscuity, STDs, violence, and addictions of all kinds including alcoholism and drug abuse.

    Almost every society, primitive and complex, has had laws and taboos against homosexuality. This isn’t just a Christian thing. There will always be a visceral reaction to homosexuality because it goes to the very heart of the survival of our species.

    Where homosexuality occurs in the animal world, it is primarily a temporary condition, and when the opportunity presents itself, animals will copulate heterosexually.

    Two-parent heterosexual families, despite the exceptions, are proven over history, across cultures, as the better way for healthy child development. Healthy children produce healthy societies.

    It’s time, in my opinion, for a Constitutional amendment that establishes once and for all that marriage is between one man and one woman. Then we can put this issue to bed.

  • I was rather hoping you would offer some analysis as to WHY so many self-described conservatives are backing away from the defense of traditional marriage. I suppose it is because Americans of all stripes have internalized the notion that it is “mean” to express “intolerance” toward homosexuality. Genuine intolerance, however, including intolerance toward Catholics, remains quite socially acceptable.

  • discarding Western Civilization’s definition of marriage (2,000+ years) is simply a non starter.

    As pointed out above, it’s not just Western Civ’s definition, it has been humanity’s definition since recorded history, and likely pre-dates that as well. try more like 5,000+ years.

  • From what I can tell, those members of the conservative “intelligencia” who aren’t members of Fox & Friends or proprieters of talk radio shows have mostly remained in favor of religious freedom — as they should.

  • Try on this one, Bunky:

    “Rank and file liberal catholics and the liberal catholic intelligentsia united in outrage over tax cuts for the rich, not so with abortion.”

  • I was rather hoping you would offer some analysis as to WHY so many self-described conservatives are backing away from the defense of traditional marriage.

    I suspect you usually could not do this without making evaluations of their personal disposition and conduct, as in noting that some folk appear other-directed by default (Ross Douthat, Rod Dreher) or have been married four times (Theodore Olson), or make use of the self-description ‘conservative’ to obfuscate (Conor Friedersdorf).

    Someone on the payroll of The American Conservative or the Rockford Institute can likely also supply a dismissive commentary to the effect that those resisting this burlesque have neglected some deeper cultural deficiency which these resisters are too shallow to detect and about which we can do nothing in any case.

  • “Rank and file liberal catholics and the liberal catholic intelligentsia united in outrage over tax cuts for the rich, not so with abortion.”

    Fits alright.

  • Homosexuals have significantly higher levels of: mental health problems, psychological disorders such as suicide and depression, sexual addiction and coercion, promiscuity, STDs, violence, and addictions of all kinds including alcoholism and drug abuse.

    Same can be said of blacks. I don’t find that a convincing argument. If you’re going to oppose gay marriage on secular grounds, I think you have to rest on the procreation argument.

  • I’d postulate that people don’t feel as threatened by gay marriage as they are by Islam. Homosexuals never killed 3000 people in my backyard.

  • Tide turning towards Catholicism? Just today I read a credible report saying that in the last 10+ Catholic marriages have decreased. One point of view is that the religion is too strict and another is that it is not needed with modern thinking. I just had a conversation with a liberal who said life is a pendulum goes from one extreme to the other finding it’s way in the middle. I do not believe this that societies do go by the wayside, that they undo themselves, with no virtue to survive pop trends.

  • I don’t find that a convincing argument. If you’re going to oppose gay marriage on secular grounds, I think you have to rest on the procreation argument.

    Why don’t you try making the case FOR it? Start with an explanation of why male friendships which do not incorporate sodomy as part of their daily practice should received less recognition than those which do.

  • Art Deco, I don’t know why you want me to make the case for it but you asked so I’ll try.

    The closer the relationship, the greater the rights and responsibilities between them are. If we want to legally protect expectation interests, we will want to recognize intimately committed couples in ways that we don’t recognize mere friendships. We may also want to legally recognize friendships but that’s not at issue here.

  • RR,

    We have an association that is sterile and undertaken in a social matrix where sexual activity is treated as fun-n-games. Why should this be honored? Why is it deemed ‘closer’ than the fraternity that bound my father to the man who was his dearest friend for 48 of his 51 years? What are ‘expectation interests’? Why do you want to protect them?

    My question was rhetorical. The gay lobby wants this as a gesture of deference. The only reason to give it to them is that they will be put out by refusal. Lots of people do not get their way, and public policy is enough of a zero sum game that that is inevitable. For some, it is incorporated into their amour-propre to regard some clamoring constituencies as composed of those who are So Very Special. Then there’s the rest of thus, who are not so well represented in the appellate judiciary.

  • AD,

    We have an association that is sterile and undertaken in a social matrix where sexual activity is treated as fun-n-games. Why should this be honored?

    It shouldn’t.

    Why is it deemed ‘closer’ than the fraternity that bound my father to the man who was his dearest friend for 48 of his 51 years? What are ‘expectation interests’? Why do you want to protect them?

    I assume your father and his friend didn’t rely on each other for financial support. When people form an association with the mutual expectation that they take on certain duties, it would be unjust to allow one party to escape their duties at the expense of the other(s). It’s why we enforce contracts. If your father and his friend did have such an arrangement, it should be enforced.

  • I’d postulate that people don’t feel as threatened by gay marriage as they are by Islam. Homosexuals never killed 3000 people in my backyard.

    Neither have illegal immigrants, but that hasn’t stopped an upsurge in hostility and resentment towards them as a group.

  • Pope John Paul II ordered Carmelite nuns, who were living right next to Auschwitz, to move closer to a nearby town, since the site had become a rallying point for Jewish identity. Krauthammer correctly pointed out that Christians had been murdered there too and the nuns were doing the heroic deed of praying for the souls of those who were viciously murdered. However, Krauthammer pointed out that the late Polish pontiff felt that it created the wrong perception.

    Nobody would object if those wanting to building the mosque volunteered to build it elsewhere. But who is the more honorable person? The Jew who welcomed the Carmelites or the Jew who told them to go somewhere else?

  • Neither have illegal immigrants, but that hasn’t stopped an upsurge in hostility and resentment towards them as a group.

    They ignored the law and act to frustrate lawfully constituted immigration policy. Can we have a wee bit o’ antagonism, pretty please?

  • I assume your father and his friend didn’t rely on each other for financial support.

    I cannot say if they borrowed money from each other or not. Ordinarily, working aged men are expected to be self-supporting if not disabled.

    When people form an association with the mutual expectation that they take on certain duties,

    Human relations are not commercial transactions and the law does not ordinarily enforce amorphous and unwritten ‘expectations’ that someone else is going to pay your rent.

    Right now, RR, I am pricing insurance policies. I was offered (unbidden) discount rates by the agent if I was in some sort of ‘committed relationship’ with some other dude. Uh, no, nothing like that Chez Deco, ever. I inquired about purchases for my sister. No discount offers there.

    Maybe sis and I can manufacture an ‘expectations interest’ and get you and Judge Walker to work on our problem.

  • And if it is written?

    Are you opposed to insurance discounts for spouses or for discounts for siblings?

  • Pingback: If Liberals Lose Big In This Fall’s Election, The Professiona Left Will Mock The Religious Faithful « The American Catholic
  • This article has a lot of interesting points. However, it rambles all over the place. The essay would have been easier to understand if it was broken up into three mini essays.

    There’s no intrinsic connection between the Cordoba Mosque, homosexuality, and same-sex marriage. Why lament that some conservatives have an opinion on one topic but not the other? You might (rightfully) argue that the establishment of a mosque near Ground Zero does not carry even a tenth of the socio-moral import of same sex marriage. But the logical independence of the two questions renders party lockstep on the two issues irrelevant. Let the GOP/right/conservative rank and file make up their own minds about the relationship between these two variables.

    Gratuitous aside: I know that you and other faithful/orthodox Catholic bloggers must boost reparative therapy. To not do so would negatively impact one’s orthodox Catholic street cred. Still, one can be a faithful Catholic, live morally, and not support COURAGE. Indeed, I found the meetings emotionally intrusive and psychologically manipulative. I wish that the Catholic orthodox/conservative/right would think twice before lavishing praise on an organization and therapeutic model that at the very least has emotionally troubled some participants. Sing your praises only after attending a meeting or two.

  • Sorta Catholic, the beauty of writing an article for a blog or newspaper column is that you have the freedom to write it as you see fit. Perhaps, some would like shorter columns, while others may favor longer columns, the choice is up to the writer.

    As for Courage, the group’s spiritual mentor is Father Benedict Groeschel, his credentials are certainly good enough for me. Perhaps, the meeting you attended was not run properly. I can only tell you that the group is trying to impart the Church’s teachings in a world that has become enamored with self, and not with faith.

    As for orthodox-minded street cred, we aren’t trying to impress anyone only help spread the message of Christ through His Church. We have divergent opinions on a variety of topics, but yet we fall under the same umbrella of supporting the Church’s teachings. The longer you submit to the will of God, the more you realize the wisdom of the 2,000 year old Catholic Church. It really does make you a more content indiviudal, free from the whims of the modern world. Take care!

  • It is a shame that the likes of Beck, Coulter and Limbaugh would let their libertarian views get the best of them when it comes to SSM. Divorcing that from their preaching for conservative values is not the charitable thing to do when the eternal salvation of those who engage in homosexual acts is at stake. Frankly, by doing so, they are committing the grievous sin of omission. A priest in Texas recently made that point clear when he said that Catholics have a moral duty to oppose abortion and SSM.

  • By the way, one of my favorite journalists, WorldNetDaily’s founder Joseph Farah, hits the nail on the head of this issue in offering his take on why some conservatives are “capitulating” to the gay agenda pushers: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=192761

  • Hi Dave,

    A person that bases his or her judgement of an organization on the perceived reputation of a founder/leader/mentor in that organization commits the logical fallacy of “appeal to authority”. Now, Fr. Groschel is an upstanding authority. I respect him as a religious leader even if I do not agree with many of his points. Even so, the absolute metric for any organization is its ideology/methodology. Perhaps you’ve provided a rigorous defense of reparative therapy elsewhere on your website. If so, point me there. Otherwise, an appeal to authority without prior analysis of an institution’s ideology or methodology is rather insubstantial.

    Appeals to authority or subjective statements such as “X is trying to impart the Church’s teachings […]” sometimes hide insufficient research. Also, “orthodoxy” (i.e. strict adherence to a religion’s dogma/doctrine) does not guarantee the success or failure of a particular therapy.

  • Hi SortaCatholic, I hope your day is going well. I must say that I find these sorts of exchanges very interesting. I don’t believe my “Appeal to Authority,” is some sort of man made or earthly authority. You see I have worked for the Church in a number of capacities. I have seen the good, bad and the ugly. There is some great people who work for the Church and some really inept ones. I have always felt with all of these inept folks, the Church would have to be who she says she is to have survived 2,000 years!

    Perhaps someone at Courage might come across this and answer some of your questions. I do know that God does help us and prayer does work, but rarely in the sort of miraculous way in which we would like it to happen. God sorts and sifts us. We all have our own sets of problems, blessings, gifts, talents and struggles. I have always found Christ’s words of seek and you shall find, knock and you will be heard to be very true (Matthew 7:7-11.) In addition, I have always found this Scripture reading from Hebrews about God showing us the way through trial and struggle very revealing in my own life (Hebrews 12:5-12.) Take care!

USCCB Caught Red-Handed, Archbishop Chaput Tap Dances, Oh Joy

Tuesday, October 27, AD 2009
Abp Chaput Tap Dancing

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, otherwise known as the USCCB, is once again involved in another scandal.  It doesn’t matter anymore if this is a real scandal or perceived as a scandal, the pattern of perversion of integrity, ineptitude, combined with poor judgment is so apparent that even “Joe Catholic” comes to the same conclusion.  And that is that the USCCB is failing in its mission to evangelize as is called for by Lumen Gentium (21), and instead is involved in liberal pet projects that have nothing to do with their mission statement.

This time the USCCB has petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate free speech.  As a member of the liberal So We Might See coalition, a letter and petition has been sent by said coalition to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski which the Catholic News Agency reported it as stating:

The letter and its related petition asked the FCC to open a “notice of inquiry into hate speech in the media” and to update a 1993 report on the role of telecommunications in hate crimes.

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47 Responses to USCCB Caught Red-Handed, Archbishop Chaput Tap Dances, Oh Joy

  • The USCCB has denied that they are involved in this particular petition but has admitted they are a member of the the So We Might See coalition.

    So let me get this straight, I can be a board member and donate my time and treasure to Planned Parenthood because they do good things for women, but if they provide abortions I can categorically deny, with a straight face, that I am responsible for any death of an unborn innocent child on just this particular occurrence. Yeah right.

    This analogy breaks down since it essentially compares the So We Might See coalition as being exactly as evil as Planned Parenthood, which the entry itself did not actually demonstrate.

    It’s not like this has happened before, if you can ignore the fact that the USCCB has donated money to fund abortions, pushed for same-sex marriage, officially endorsed anti-Catholic and pro-atheist movies, approved of homosexually active films, supports contraception, funds to provide the morning after pill, and wants to legalize prostitution.

    Those are some serious accusations; I hope, for your sake and the sake of your soul, that they are in fact true less you not only commit libel here but also attack the Church herself merely by false witness.

  • e.,

    If you ever bothered to read my entire post you wouldn’t make such slanderous accusations.

  • …And the USCCB is not the Magisterium.

  • If you bothered to read your own post, you would see that it is actually you who’s the person making such slanderous accusations.

  • I think they risk being attacked themselves by such a rule, if Catholic broadcasters don’t support homosexual behavior, which opposition the administration is quickly moving to categorize as unacceptable.

  • Patrick Duffy,

    Which is what the USCCB is concerned about. They actually sent out a separate petition outside of So We Might See. Which was part of their explanation about the confusion, yet the USCCB has not posted any official denouncements on their website concerning So We Might See.

  • e.,

    Read the very last paragraph of my post.

    If you can’t do that, then don’t bother commenting.

  • A few points:

    1) Supporting or opposing hate speech legislation is a matter for prudential judgment. While I oppose hate speech legislation because I think it’s vague, and can easily be abused for partisan political purposes, I’d be hard-pressed to declare that someone was a bad Catholic for supporting ‘hate speech’ legislation. Hate speech, after all, is a bad thing. There are laws against many bad things; I just don’t think as a matter of prudential judgment that hate speech should be one of them.

    2) The USCCB has made it clear they didn’t support the petition.

    Basically, the USCCB is a member of a group that wrote a petition, which they didn’t support, on a matter of prudential judgment. Where’s the scandal?

  • John Henry,

    I agree with both of your points. I even wrote in so many words on your second point.

    The scandal is the perception of scandal. More along the lines of the “straw that broke the camels back”.

    The accumulation of so many missteps by the USCCB prompted me to make a point.

    Hopefully drawing attention to this will cause our good bishops to reform the institution and truly become an instrument of evanglization instead of funding liberal pet projects that divert from it’s main scope of evangelization.

  • e.,

    On your point concerning the analogy between Planned Parenthood and So We Might See. The comparison is that of association. Yes, what So We Might See did is not anywhere near the same as what Planned Parenthood provides in killing babies.

    I’m making the guilt by association analogy.

  • But, Tito, I don’t even see a reasonable basis for a perception of scandal. Could the USCCB devote its resources to more worthwhile enterprises than So We Might See? Sure. But every bureaucracy uses resources inefficiently (which is one of the chief conservative criticisims of big government); this is a dog-bites-man type scenario. The USCCB has its share of problems, but I’m not sure this makes even the top 20.

  • John Henry has aptly summarized some of my main concerns in his above comments to a degree more articulate & concise than I ever could have.

    Suffice it to say, I’m not so sure as to whether or not Tito himself has given the matter much serious consideration as his own outrage warrants.

    That is, I see no scandal here other than the fact that they would, at the surface, appeared to have supported some measure that would dare advocate some anti-hate speech legislation, which for some would appear, at worse, fascist while to others, at best, necessary in order to stem the growing tide of the kind of speech that seemed, at least to some, to have promoted hatred by the very nature of what essentially underlies all such hate speech.

    As to how the USCCB had conducted itself therein, the worst possible interpretation one could suppose would simply be their apparent ineptitude in regards to their engagement in the matter in deciding exactly whether or not they actually intended to do so.

  • John Henry,

    You have a point to a certain degree.

    The perception that the USCCB wants to control free speech is disturbing. The USCCB is an organization run by humans who are prone to mistakes. But those mistakes continue to add up that it’s in institutional rot and needs of reform.

    We’ll agree to disagree on this point.

    I’ll give you that it doesn’t make the top-20 nor the top-50, but to me anyway, this is one to many.

  • e.,

    As to how the USCCB had conducted itself therein, the worst possible interpretation one could suppose would simply be their apparent ineptitude in regards to their engagement in the matter in deciding exactly whether or not they actually intended to do so.

    In agreement here.

  • The catechism of some posts is apparently as poor as that of some at the USCCB. When a coterie of American bishops and their staff whose values were formed in the 1960’s collaborate with leftists,it’s not “scandal.” The USCCB has no teaching authority,and articles of faith and morals are not implicated here. It’s just more left-wing political nonsense,i.e.,politically liberal bishops acting politically liberal.What is sad is that someone like Chaput would provide cover.About as transparent as the Obama regime.

  • The USCCB did not endorse this particular petition because if this petition is passed, it could really cause a persecution of the Church and of anyone who declares that abortion or homosexual activity are against the teachings of the Catholic Church, so the USCCB was wise not to sign the petition. However, the organization itself is a far left radical organization and is supported, in part, by George Soros..that should speak for itself. The only way the USCCB supported abortions – indirectly – was when they donated funds to ACORN … they said that when they found out about ACORN’s agenda, they gave no more funds. Even so, many parishes are using funds that used to go to the Bishops’ annual appeal to projects within their own parishes. It would be wise for the USCCB to investigate any organization they want to donate our money to.

  • Sam,

    The USCCB, through back channels, have not endorsed this. But they haven’t made any official announcement nor posted this on their website.

    Hence why they should not only do so, but withdraw from So We Might See to eliminate even the hint of scandal.

    They’ve also donated to groups, via the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, funds that directly procure abortions.

    Everything else I pretty much agree with you.

  • Hence why they should not only do so, but withdraw from So We Might See to eliminate even the hint of scandal.

    Please define “scandal” as it seems the way you yourself are employing it requires nothing more but an arbitrary predilection.

    Also, didn’t you just mention in the preceding paragraph:

    The USCCB…have not endorsed this.

    So, why should they withdraw from something they did not actually endorse?

  • I wonder if pornography is included as a kind of hate speech, mainly directed against women?

  • It is not un-Catholic for the USCCB to choose to be a member of the liberal So We Might coalition; it is a matter of prudential judgment. But it is risky and arrogant business nonetheless, since Catholics are also entitled to exercise their prudential judgmenet in determining whether to support the USCCB and its efforts.

  • Clearly a liberal political group. Bad for bishops to be associated with such a group. Fine if they take a beating for it.

  • I agree with Tito…the Bishops have to be more alert especially after so much scandal and the reluctance to deal with it until it was brought out into the open…there are times when I fervently wish Mother Angelica could rise up out of her sickbed and go after those radical Bishops that are not standing up for the teachings of the Church and who are contradicting one another in public, as well as in private. The Bishops should be on the front line of authentic evangelization, they should be on the front line in defense of life, of traditional marriage…they should be on the front line of the fight against poverty and ignorance and despair…they should certainly be on the front line of all these radical agendas that are being presented in a benign way to the American people. The Bishops are the guardians and the shepherds of the faith and of the people and should be teachers…and back off from any organization or project that would harm their people and their faith. I wonder if it’s time to refuse any and all federal/state funding of Catholic institutions? As long as we accept money from the government, we are going to do, for the most part, what they mandate us to do. Darkness will spread and the feeble light of those Shepherds who do not live or teach others to live the fullness of faith will not be able to overcome it…but the Light of Christ will penetrate the darkness and then all will see as He wants us to see…and so we hope and we pray…

  • “The USCCB has denied that they are involved in this particular petition but has admitted they are a member of the the So We Might See coalition”

    This reflects a misunderstanding of how coalitions work. Coalitions sometimes push for things their individual members don’t like, but individual members believe their membership will benefit other causes they do like. Compare this to the situation of members of political parties.

    The original reports were pretty irresponsible in assuming that the USCCB’s Communications Office signed on to the specific controversial petition. The originator of the story at AmSpectator was more concerned about the UCC’s involvement, and mentioned the Catholic bishops only in passing.

    While I sometimes tire of hearing denunciations of the talk radio echo chamber, this story is a prime candidate to reverberate there without benefit for anyone but talk radio show hosts. Fake controversy driven by lazy reporting.

  • Nope, bishops being involved in an organization they really shouldn’t have been involved with.

  • Kevin,
    It is one thing to cooperate with a coalition when interests align; it is another to be a member. The latter presupposes that interests generally align. It is not a reach, therefore, for one to assume that the USCCB sees itself as generally aligned with “So We Might.” This is imprudent and, at bottom, more in keeping with liberal policy preferences than Catholic teaching as such. While some of the reporting may come across as over the top and simplistic, that is mostly because these reports don’t spell out the problem with clarity.

  • Mr. Petrik: Doesn’t your above argument concerning membership actually prove Tito’s point in one of his previous entries wherein he decried Fr. Jenkins as being a member of Millenium Promise and, incidentally, you as member of United Way since both purportedly supported what could very well be deemed as objectives of the Culture of Death?

  • Tito:

    Curious, for how long do you intend to keep me in moderation?

    All because of one mere remark that you happened to disagree with?

    I would’ve expected more mettle from you, Taco Man!

  • Mike Petrik,

    It is not un-Catholic for the USCCB to choose to be a member of the liberal So We Might coalition; it is a matter of prudential judgment. But it is risky and arrogant business nonetheless, since Catholics are also entitled to exercise their prudential judgmenet in determining whether to support the USCCB and its efforts.

    I agree, it’s what that liberal organization does and that is to request a suppression of free speech.

  • Kevin Jones,

    I agree about how the coalition works.

    I am just sick and tired how many times the USCCB has failed to be prudent in their decision making that continues to taint their organization and undermine their ability to be taken serious.

  • The problem with “hate speech” laws is that who defines what hate speech is? A pro-abort liberal might define it as speech which calls abortion murder. An gay atheist might define it as a priest’s or minister’s refusal to affirm gay marriage as a right. The so-called “Human Rights” Commission in Canada opened a big can of worms when it attempted to bring Mark Steyn to book for “anti-Islamic” speech (Steyn had the bad taste to publish quotes from actual imans which were not very peaceful). But before they went after Steyn, they had previously attacked clerics who spoke out against gay marriage from the pulpit.

    The USCCB is guilty of very poor judgement if they support anti-hate speech laws.

  • It is not wise to pick up the stick and hand it to the people who will beat you with it.

    ‘hate speech’ sounds like a bad thing and it is tempting to want to punish it; however, as Donna points out above: Who defines it?

    It is very, very dangerous to go down this path and it will come back and hurt the Church in America. If this is in the realm of ‘prudential judgment’ then isn’t it prudent to stand against something that can, and probably will be, used to silence the Church and threaten the Bishops’ ability to lead their flock?

    Perhaps the USCCB should visit China and see how ‘hate speech’ is used against the Church. Perhaps a glimpse into the future the secularists, like Soros, are trying to make ours may stiffen the USCCB’s backbone.

  • Please be clear: THE USCCB DID NOT SIGN ONTO THIS PETITION!!! Precisely because they knew it could be used against them. Should they continue to be a member of this organization? I think not…whatever Soros is involved in, they should stay away from. But I guess there are those Bishops who stand with people like Soros and that will come back and slap them in the face some day…meanwhile, let us show support for those Bishops who are authentic Shepherds of the Church…and those Priests who often stand alone and have many burdens to bear…

  • We need to support and obey our Bishops and we are called to love them in truth. When they make a mistake, and they do and they will, it is incumbent on us to respectfully approach them about it. When as a group they keep making mistakes in the same direction it goes beyond error and begins smelling like something rotten.

    The Church is, has been and always will be under attack but knowing that doesn’t mean we have to coopertate with forces that are seeking to tear the Church appart.

    Remember the devil always presents sins as goods. It sounds nice to be part of an organiztions that seeks to end ‘hate speech’ or promote ‘world peace’ or ‘universal brotherhood’ but unless the organization actually seeks those things then it is foolish to even seem to be associated with it. Is it possible that evil forces lie by naming sinsiter organizations with nice-sounding names and promoting ‘beneficial’ causes?

  • Agree that they did not sign on. But they did to an organization that clearly was going to do stupid things like the petition. Bad judgement whoever made it. Good politics to point it out and make those shephards who aggreed with this more sheepish next time. Those who didn’t are big boys and may likely appreciate the spotlight on stupid actions like this.

  • I agree that we do have to write/speak to our Bishops when we believe they are going in the wrong direction or when they are part of a group that is not following the authentic teachings of the Church. We need to speak to our Priests about it too. I write often to my own Bishop and meet with him when I can and respectfully speak when I believe something is wrong such as permitting the morning after pill in Catholic hospitals without pregnancy testing in cases of rape. The devil doesn’t always present evil as good…it depends on who he is presenting to. Some are drawn to absolute evil; others will succumb to evil which comes in the guise of something good. I was thinking of the parable about the wheat and the weeds…didn’t the Lord say not to separate them lest what is good be harmed? But rather to let them grow until clarification between what was harmful and what was good could be easily discerned…we have to pray for discernment, but mistakes will be made because we are human. However, I believe the Bishops need to make sure they have a team to do the sorting out. After all, they are dispensing the hard earned money of their Parishioners and need to be held accountable for that. For a while, the USCCB had a communications director who approved obscene movies, books, etc…and they kept him on even after a public outcry. I don’t know if he is still there…but, as someone else has pointed out, the USCCB is not the magisterium…they made a terrible choice in the wording they used to guide people in their voting options…so much so that many used that voting guide to show that they could vote for a racically pro- abortion, pro-infanticide candidate such as Obama as long as they were not voting for him BECAUSE HE WAS FOR ABORTION!!! Tragic. Archbishop Raymond Burke, who is now in Rome, pointed out the errors in the paper but it was too late…Catholics gleefully voted for Obama…so we do have to let our Bishops know what we think, and point out errors where they occur but we need to do so respectfully and not give certain Bishops the excuse to disregard honest challenges because they were offered in a disrespectful, self righteous way…we all have a lot to learn and the challenges that face us are enormous…so let us challenge each other while strengthening each other and building on what is good and right according to the Lord…

  • Agree with doing it respectfully. But not so much so that it loses the force of the correction. Some corrections are so subtle that they are not corrections at all. And if a bishop is embarrased or otherwise put out by a truthful and respectfull correction, his problem and not ours.

  • e.
    I regret that don’t have the time to research and respond to your reference to Tito’s prior point. As far as the United Way goes, the analogy fails for several reasons. First, I don’t have a problem with the USCCB determining that it is in general alignment with the SWM coalition, and that it may be a member even if that alignment is imperfect. But that determination has at least three prudential components. First, the imperfection must not be so substantial that it leads the USCCB into evil or scandal. Second, the USCCB must determine that the liberal policy preferences favored by SWM will be effective in securing the objectives favored by Church teaching. Third, it must determine that any benefits of membership outweigh the costs of loss of credibility or confidence from those Catholics who disfavor SWM’s liberal policy preferences on prudential grounds. My discomfort goes mostly to the second and third considerations. I do not think that the USCCB has the competence to discern the comparative effectiveness between liberal and conservative policy preferences, and I think acting as though it does by favoring one over the other will cause it to lose credibility among those who disagree, some of whom actually have greater competency in the relevant policy areas.
    As far as the United Way goes, I’m confused by your remark. You are aware that each local United Way is an independent organization, right, and therefore makes its own funding decisions. Some fund Planned Parenthood and some don’t; some who fund PP give a lot, others very little; and some who fund allow donors to avoid directing money toward PP and others don’t. Finally, a Catholic may choose to become involved precisely for the purpose of eliminating or reducing objectionable funding. Which assumptions were you making, and what were they based on?

  • Mr. Petrik:

    Thank you for the clarification. I am always grateful for your edifying comments.

    If you would kindly recall, as concerning the discussion that took place in the previous thread, I was of the personal opinion that such membership (specifically, board membership as far as that dialogue went) did not itself actually prove complicity on the part of an individual member as regards to a particular interest that might be pursued by that organization as a whole (unless, of course, the whole purpose of that organization is not to engage in genuine charitable work).

    It is precisely for that reason that I was disinclined to agree with Tito, asserting that Jenkins (however awful I personally find his other actions to be) simply being a member of said organization did not really prove that Jenkins himself actually endorsed the scandalous project Tito accused it of that the body of the organization may have pursued as a whole. For one thing, other majority members may have been responsible.

    Your recent comments (i.e., membership presupposes that general interests are aligned) seemed to imply the contrary, making it appear as though membership itself was sufficient for indictment.

  • Is it necessary that there be a USCCB? What good does it do except spread dissension? Are our bishops so incapable that they must rely on bureaucrats to do their thinking for them?

    How many bishops voted on this matter? Which ones?

    Every bureaucracy is like THE BLOB in the Steve McQueen movie. It grows without restraint and without direction.

    If the bishops’ organization wanted to make a statement about this bill, it [sic] should have done so independently of any other group. There is nothing which prevents a single bishop from making such a statement

  • e,
    Thanks. Just to further clarify, I do think that voluntary membership in an organization normally would presuppose general alignment of interests and views, though not perfect alignment. In this case it seems reasonably plain that the USCCB is not in alignment with the SWMS in connection with the latter’s hate speech initiative. Nonetheless it seems fair to assume more general alignment given USCCB’s decision to be a member of the SWMS. My objection is not in regard to the imperfection, since I agree that the USCCB should not be held responsible for each and every initiative of SWMS. My concern is that the general alignment, while not in any way inimical to Catholic teaching, is not required by Catholic teaching and is grounded in a prudential judgment that more or less assumes that liberal policy choices better advance Catholic policy objectives. In my view this is imprudent for the reasons I mentioned above.
    Finally, I do very much agree that the characterization of the USCCB as petitioning the FCC to regulate speech is unfair given that (i) it did no such thing and (ii) a coalition cannot fairly be considered the agent of each and every member on each and every issue. And that is especially true in this case where the USCCB has apparently made it clear that it does not in fact support the petition.
    The bottom line for me is that while I do not hold the USCCB accountable for the petition in question, I do hold it accountable for choosing to be a member of the SWMS. It is that latter decision that is in my view imprudent, and I worry it is grounded in an arrogance that stems from an unfortunate and often mischieveous ideological bias.

  • Mike Petrik writes: “The bottom line for me is that while I do not hold the USCCB accountable for the petition in question, I do hold it accountable for choosing to be a member of the SWMS. It is that latter decision that is in my view imprudent, and I worry it is grounded in an arrogance that stems from an unfortunate and often mischieveous ideological bias.”

    I doubt any of us heard about the SWMS until the past two weeks. We know nothing about it except as it has been filtered through a poorly reported controversy. Isn’t it a bit silly to issue our judgments about it when we’re so far from the situation on the ground?

    It seems a far less clear cut case to me than, say, CCHD funding for abortion-supporting community organizing groups.

  • Kevin,
    I am well acquainted with SWMS, so your doubt is misplaced.

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  • One might argue that the USCCB joins hands with some of these rather questionable organizations in order to influence their direction. A suggestion that they are partners in but don’t support all the efforts of some organization brings to mind an analogy. When you see someone stuck in a bog or fallen through thin ice, it is prudential to remain on firm footing and toss them a rope, not to jump in with them to help them find their way out. Now that the USCCB seems to have gotten itself into the bog, let’s hope and pray that the Bishops will remain on firm ground while proceeding to help fix things. Hopefully Archbishop Chaput will consider this. We badly need some clarity in these confused times.

  • David King,

    I hope and pray that they find their way out.

    It just seems they think that this uproar will go away and they can continue pursuing democratic party goals, catholic teaching be damned-kind of attitude.

Res et Explicatio for AD 8-25-2009

Tuesday, August 25, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!Ketef Hinnom Silver Amulet

Buckle Up! Because here are today’s Top Picks in Catholicism:

1. An interesting find of Biblical proportions has been announced.  Silver amulets predating the Dead Sea Scrolls by 400 years was found with Biblical inscriptions, the Book of Numbers 6:24-26:

24 The LORD bless you and keep you:
25
The LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you:
26
The LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

Written in Hebrew script, the pure silver amulets were discovered in the ancient tomb complex of Jerusalem’s Ketef Hinnom.  Archaeologist Gabriel Barkay wrote the discovery in the Biblical Archeology Review.

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6 Responses to Res et Explicatio for AD 8-25-2009

  • Just by way of interest, your no. 1, the two tiny silver amulets were discovered by Dr Barkay way back in 1979 (in Chamber 25 of Cave 24 at Ketef Hinnomin). They are inscribed with portions of the apotropaic Priestly Blessing which is found in the Book of Numbers (6:24-26). They are the earliest known citations of texts that are also found within the Hebrew Bible.

  • Stephen,

    I haven’t done any research on this, but I’ll take your word for it.

    It could be that they verified the age and the inscription on the silver amulets only now, but that is just a stab in the dark on my part.

    Nonetheless, I do find this fascinating and intriguing since this is another piece of the puzzle that continues to provide evidence and verification of the validity of the Holy Bible.

  • Yes, ‘fascinating and intriguing’ indeed. That is why I have such a passion for Biblical Archaeology. The amulets were fully re-examined in 2004. The latest news is that BAR in its 200th copy (this month) reviewed it as one of the most significant finds in Biblical archaeology thus far… and it truly is! I am constantly examining archaeological finds, and that, in light of the Scriptures… If you like, you can visit my blog and have a look…

    Many blessings to you and your readers,

    Stephen.

  • Oops, I almost forgot, I blog at http://biblicalpaths.wordpress.com/

  • Looking forward to parousing your blog when I have time, good stuff!

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Archbishop Chaput on the News Media

Sunday, July 12, AD 2009

Here is Archbishop Chaput with a worthwhile reflection on how Catholics should think about the media. A few excerpts:

Most of what we know about the world comes from people we’ll never meet and don’t really understand.  We don’t even think of them as individuals.  Instead we usually talk about them in the collective – as “the media” or “the press.”  Yet behind every Los Angeles Times editorial or Fox News broadcast are human beings with personal opinions and prejudices.  These people select and frame the news.  And when we read their newspaper articles or tune in their TV shows, we engage them in a kind of intellectual intimacy in the same way you’re listening to me right now….

…The media’s power to shape public thought is why it’s so vital for the rest of us to understand their human element.  When we don’t recognize the personal chemistry of the men and women who bring us our news – their cultural and political views, their economic pressures, their social ambitions – then we fail the media by holding them to too low a standard.  We also – and much more importantly — fail ourselves by neglecting to think and act as intelligent citizens…

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3 Responses to Archbishop Chaput on the News Media

  • Excellent letter! Thanks for posting it.

  • I couldn’t have said it better myself, and I used to be a “media person” 🙂

  • Yet again Grace Archbishop Chaput hits the nail on the head here -he makes such good points here re the book/ print vs the internet age
    Now there are pluses and minuses in this high tech internet age as with the book / print/age too.
    BUT the human dimension should never ever be discounted
    it is such an intrinsic element!
    The discipline demanded in previos eras eg that of the book was a good thing it would be good if we could somehow revive some of these practices to get optimum results for the high tech age!

16 Responses to Importance of Natural Law

  • Tim

    I am not sure drawing some fire is accurate. I think the prior threads were dealing with must there be a Natural Law interpretation of the Const via a Catholic Judge.

    As I stated before I would like to see a robust Natural Law Jurisprudence. However I think you are putting too much on the Judical branch. What about the legislative branch where laws are made. No doubt there were anti slavery Judges. But they did not think they could outlaw slavery by Judicial fiat because their power and authority came by this compromise.

    The Supreme Court is the weakest branch. They have no power to tax and no armies to enforce their rulings. They must have the integrity of their work to make their rulings have a binding force.

    I read Rice’s book soon after I converted and it was great. It should be noted that the main guy that was attacking Thomas on this at the time is now our current Catholic Vice President. It should also be noted that on the “right” that the little toad Damon Linker that got a job at First Things has declared over and over in his book and in his forum at New Republic that Nehaus and others were trying to do a Catholic Theocracy through the back door through “natural law”.

    It has been on the most part Evangelicals I hate to say that have been saying that was silliness. Many Catholics because Neuhaus had the sin of liking Republicans have been silent and just yell chareges of NEO CON.

    I am all for Natural Law jurisprudence and I think it is happening. But there must be a very much big defense of it. That is not happening. The Thomas heraing were a great example of it. I watched that non stop. THe Catholic Church was largely AWOL. Maybe because he was a Bush Choice.

    THe point is if you want a Natural Law viewpoint then go to the legislature. If we know anything about this court whether conservative or liberal they give the legislative branch the benefit of the doubt 9 times out of ten. And that goes for the most conservative of Justices

  • Last summer I heard a talk by one of America’s most noted writers on Catholic social teachings in which he claimed that these teachings have never been codified in a systematic way. When I asked him about the Compendium, he brushed off the question with “Well, I suppose.” But in fact, his work never cites the Compendium.

    I suspect the problem is the organizational pattern of the Compendium which, following Gaudium et spes, puts family life before political and economic issues and argues that the natural family, founded on marriage, is the essential basis for a just social order. Too many Catholics who claim to favor social justice seem to reject that principle as out of keeping with modern life.

  • While natural law is true and is written on the hearts of me, the hearts of men are imperfect even assuming only the noblest of intentions. Thus, the discernment of natural law must be subject to a process with assigned responisbilities, lest it be determined simply by the strongest. In a constitutional federal republic that task is assigned to legislators, not judges. Judges who make decisions based on their understanding of natural law at the expense of the positive laws made by legislators are acting themselves as lawmakers and thereby usurping that function. Under the US system of governance and justice, it is the role of voting citizens to elect representatives who they believe are skilled at discerning natural law such that positive law can reflect natural law as much as humanly possible. Empowering judges to act as lawmakers is not only inimical to our system of government, it greatly limits the power of a citizen to work to ensure that natural law prevails through the legislative process. Roe v. Wade is a vital example. Judges, by ignoring positive law (the plain text of our Constitution), made horribly bad law and thereby removed from the people and their elected representatives the practical power to correct it. Natural law is a vital part of Catholic teaching, but the discernment process largely rests with voters and their elected representatives, not judges.

  • As usual, I will merely say put me down for what Mike Petrik said!

  • ron,

    I think many of our fellow Catholics don’t hold much for viewing the family as the foundational unit of society. Chalk that up to divorce and contraception.

    I think the central “problem” of CST is that much of it is influenced by current economic and sociological thinking. John Paul notes this in I believe Solicitudo Rei Socialis. Thus there are the limits on infallibility that the Compendium itself notes in its preface. However some take the Compendium as an infallible program for all of society.

  • Well- I don’t think you can sidestep the moral responsibility of Judges with the dodge that American law is set up for legislative action, not judicial. The Magisterium speaks over and over for a just juridical framework to guarantee as best we can the common good- to include even the global economy. The Church is far more in favor of international law for example than most of those I hear who are self-described “conservatives”. I really believe that those who ignore such things as the Compendium are really just the flip side of the liberal dissidents who ignore the Hierarchy and the social doctrine when it becomes inconvenient. The Left will trot out the popes when the subject is war, but then ignore or belittle the significanse of the popes when the subject turns to sexuality, for example. The Right likes to try to collapse the terms “conservative” and “orthodox”, but it seems that many such Catholics usually resort to the prudential judgment line, or they belittle the importance of such things as the Compendium because I believe any serious reading of the entire social doctrine will not make “conservatives” sleep easy at night if they are indeed going around claiming orthodoxy and conservatism simultaneously.

    I don’t think you can read what the Compendium says about the essential need to base our communities and legal systems on natural law reasoning- and then go ahead and claim that well yes, but this isn’t necessary to include our Judges or Supreme Court in all of this. You must be saying that the Catholic social doctrine is wrong because I don’t find that kind of wiggle room in the official documents. The Judges have always been on the hook since Old Testament days- basic justice gentlemen- don’t hide behind American Federalism- that is a Pontius Pilate strategy. I point to the Compendium as an orthodox Catholic, not as a liberal or conservative, how can any orthodox Catholic ignore something that is authoritative and not so vague as many would like to claim? It reminds me of a question I often ask of my students- which label is more important to you- American or Catholic? I know a lot of Catholics want to be successful in this world, they want to find a way to have it both ways- even in politics and law. Scalia, Thomas, Bork et al feel confident they have found a way to be good Catholics, but leave that Catholicity at home when they go to work as Supreme Court Justices- I wouldn’t take that bet, not with my eternal soul. Catholic justices should not recuse themselves on important issues, but they shouldn’t deny the political implications of being Catholic, anymore than Catholic politicians of the Left or Right should. This is the central problem as to why our American Church is in such disarray, with two petty warring liberal and conservative little camps grabbing for power and attention in the mass media and big time politics. I think it is time to be truly faithful to the Magisterium and the official teachings, and let the chips fall, let the persecutions happen, and just find a way to support our large families, and keep growing our numbers and influence.

    If something is taught by the ordinary Magisterium then there is an obligation of religious assent, one should never openly disregard or publicly negate that teaching.

  • Tim, you really haven’t offered a concrete way for Catholic Judges to approach the issues and apply the natural law. You dodged my questions about homosexual actions and contraceptive use. Is a judge simply to disregard the Constitution and apply simply his or her own conception of the natural law, even if said conception may in fact be out of whack with the natural law? Non-Catholic Justices may believe that the 9th Amendment is a grant of natural law, and as such may feel inclined to uphold abortion rights as being a part of the natural law.

    As Mike alluded to above, our conceptions of the natural law are hardly uniform, even amongst Catholics. The Constitution, while admitting of various interpretations itself, is still a concrete written law visible to all. Where is the justice in submitting our Constitutional rights to the hands of nine Judges, whose conception of the natural law may differ mightily from mine? My legal recourse is much more limited when I’m basically trusting that the Justice is well-trained philosophically and theologically.

    Now, again, it’s true that we can have differing interpretations of the constitutional text, but that is a clearly written text that admits of less ambiguity (unless your William O. Douglas, and the thing means whatever you think it means).

    Your rhetoric is also fairly insulting in its implication that anyone who doesn’t exactly see the issue exactly as you do is, in a sense, heretical and opposed to the Magisterium. No, we just don’t see the Compendium as an affirmative grant that judicial bodies should ignore the written text of the law. Furthermore, it’s not a dodge to say that the focus of our attention should be on the legislative branch. I think our focus on the Courts is rather unfortunate. We should not constantly seek the Court as a last refuge against an out-of-control legislative branch.

  • Tim,
    You are simply ignoring the importance of process. It is true that CST requires that societies adopt legal frameworks that are in accord with natural law, but in the end we still need to determine who gets to decide. Under our system that responsibility rests with the legislatures representing the citizenry, not judges. One might create a system under which judges made laws in accordance with their natural law discernments, but that is not our system. For example, judges could just consider their understanding of natural law as a kind of super-constitution under which all other laws must yield. While certainly not the system envisioned by our nation’s founders, including the constitution’s framers, it could be done. I think, however, you would be appalled at the result. Think Roe.
    In any event, the decision as to where lawmaking responsibility (and the corresponding responsiblity to ensure that such laws are in keeping with natural law) is a prudential matter, with the most important prudential question being which system is most likely to yield good and just laws in the long run. You may disagree with my prudential application (and also the view of most principled legal scholars), and that is your right. But it is not a dodge, and I resent the accusation.

  • I meant to type “… the decision as to where lawmaking responsiblity (and the corresponding responsiblity to ensure that such laws are in keeping with natural law) *should best rest* is a prudential matter, ….”

  • Originalism *has* to include Natural Law, since Natural Law is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and in the Bill of Rights.

    The question is whether the Natural Law is enforced at the state or federal level. For example, the 14th Amendment guarantees that the right to life cannot be taken away without due process.

    However, murder is not a federal offense. The federal government’s job is to make sure the states are following Natural Law.

  • I think the thing to keep in mind here, Tim, is the difficulties of application in a real-world mass society with a diverse citizenry.

    In our modern world, with only 20% of US citizens even claiming to be Catholic (and fewer still thinking with the Church in any meaningful sense), clearly a lot of people would be making flawed assessments of what natural law is. The concept of positive law and it’s place in liberal democracy is based on acknowledging this doubt and attempting to work around it in such a way as to injure or outrage the fewest people possible. Rather than having every judgement be the result solely of the presiding judge’s personal understanding of what natural law demands, our system of government requires that citizens and the legislators they elect hash out what they believe to be justice, and then pass positive laws reflecting whatever compromise they reach. Judges are then required to apply those laws to individual circumstances — but not to ignore the laws, even if those laws violate their own ideas of justice.

    On the one hand, it’s very tempting to say, “If a judge has the power to right an injustice, why should he let the law stop him?” On the other, if we dispense with law entirely and simply rely upon judges to make the most just ruling in each circumstance (in effect, reverting to a village-wise-man order of society) we can still be sure that justice will not be done most of the time (because judges will frequently err in discerning the moral law) but not it will err in an unpredictable fashion that we have no ability to change.

    Essentially, the positive law compromise is one of admitting that not every judgement will be just, but giving the citizenry a means for bringing the positive law closer in tune with the natural law if only they can agree to do so. The other approach gives no means to the citizenry for bringing judgements more in tune with the natural law, but puts all reliance on the personal discernment of the judges.

  • Tim,

    First, while the Church teaches that men through the natural law can know right, there is no official Church teaching on exactly how natural law works in a speculative or practical way (see Rice 50 Questions on Natural Law #35)

    Second, not all teachings in the Compendium take part in the ordinary Magisterium. The quote from the introduction to the Compendium is:

    “In studying this Compendium, it is good to keep in mind that the citations of Magisterial texts are taken from documents of differing authority. Alongside council documents and encyclicals there are also papal addresses and documents drafted by offices of the Holy See. As one knows, but it seems to bear repeating, the reader should be aware that different levels of teaching authority are involved.”

    As there are differing levels of teaching authority (not all of the ordinary Magisterium) there will certainly be some where there can be legitimate questions by faithful Catholics.

  • Gentlemen- my goal is to get everyone reading from the same page so to speak- I understand that natural law interpretations can get a bit messy- in private life as well as public- but we must acknowledge natural law reality and the duty we have to attempt to discern the basic justice in every situation. If something gets to the Supreme Court then I expect the Justices to deal with it if there is a basic injustice exposed- recall how the Supreme Court “ocnservatives” established that the Gore/Bush election was a one time deal, not something to set a new “doctrine”- they took all the information into account I assume and rendered a decision based on a common sense of justice and what was for the common good.

    I don’t mean to insult anyone here- but I do think that all outspoken political Catholics should be “in love” with the Compendium of the Social Doctrine- I can’t relate to those who aren’t to be honest. My conversion came about in large measure due to my honest reading of the social encyclicals- I found the same Spirit that animates Scripture, continuing that work to help us navigate through the necessary social-political waters- where modern society has become so interconnected, it was reasonable that Christ’s Church would develop a strong social teaching doctrinal base. As long as all orthodox CAtholics are struggling with the actual teachings on the books then I am content- for my own vision is not perfect. I do think that even though the Compendium contains original teachings from various sources within the Magisterium, the fact that the particular teaching or advice has been chosen to be included in the official Compendium adds weight to that idea. I apologize for any insulting tone I may have taken earlier- my primary point of passion is the fact that our conservative Supreme Court members are dodging abortion as though their hands were tied- and I understand their logic, but reject it because I believe natural law in this case trumps the positive law of the moment.

  • Where in the NT is natural alluded to? It’s a passage something like: you knew right from wrong before I told you….etc.

    Anybody know?

  • I meant ‘natural law’ alluded to….

38 Responses to Alexia Kelley — a solid Catholic appointment by President Obama?

  • This from the “Reproductive Rights” blog:

    “Moments after the announcement, John O’Brien, president of the pro-choice group Catholics for Choice, released a statement calling the Kelley appointment “a defeat for reason and logic.”…

    O’Brien’s complaint is that the choice of Kelley, given her previous role overseeing a Catholic, anti-abortion organization, puts important social policies in danger of being hijacked by those same Bushian forces. But Kelley is not the Bush-styled pro-lifer of yore. Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, which Kelley founded, is a progressive organization that has also played a primary role in instigating a nationwide discussion of common ground on abortion. Her group has championed policies aimed at preventing the need for abortion, policies that have been identified as those pro-choice people can support too. It would be a mistake to group Kelley among anti-abortion operatives who snub opportunities to improve the relationship between pro-choice and pro-life communities, and who refuse to do anything to reduce the need for abortion.”
    http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/reproductive_rights/2009/06/a-different-perspective-on-alexia-kelley.html

    Translation: She really isn’t a pro-lifer. They are right. As always Frances Kissling is not only wrong but WRONG!!!.

  • Silly dissenters. Kelly is just another pro-abort in Catholics’ clothing. Otherwise would not have extracted cash from the Daddy Warbucks of the Democratic Party. Also note her previous employers as listed by Chris. Just business as usual. As though a real defender of the unborn would be hired.

  • It’s a lose-lose scenario with your people. Appoint somebody who is not pro-life (in the narrow sense of abortion anyway), like Sibelius, and you jump up and down. Appoint somebody who is pro-life, and you still jump up and down…because that person supports Obama and marshalls arguments to make that case. In other words, the only way Obama could make you people happy is to appoint a pro-life Republican. In other words, you put partisanship above the issue of life.

    And please, don’t even try to suggest that an orthodox Catholic cannot vote for a politician who supports legalizated abortion — tell that to any non-American Catholic, anybody not exposed to the American evangelical culture, and see how far that gets you. (It’s actually not that hard when you realize that neither party will have much influence on abortion, and yet the party that most contributors to this blog favors has the annoying habit of believing every world problem can be solved with violence — and actually go about doing it).

    One more thing: I fully agree with you that Kissling is a dissenter. Do you agree with me that the American Catholics who defend Cheney’s torture tactics are also dissenters?

  • Blah blah blah Americanists. Blah blah blah Calvinist. Blah blah BLEH.

  • Paul,

    That was certainly a shorter, and better read.

  • “Do you agree with me that the American Catholics who defend Cheney’s torture tactics are also dissenters?”

    I don’t think theyu are dissenters since many are trying to debate what actually is torture

    In any event I dount there will be any real opposition form the Catholic conservative or GOP elements as to her nomination.

    I think some pople are pointing out that perhaps the “Pro-choice” elemnts concerns are misplaced

  • What makes someone “reflect Catholic principles?” Surely you cannot seriously suggest that simply being strongly anti-abortion (and voting against any anti-abortion politicians) should be the only criterion? I don’t consider this Roeder murderer reflecting Catholic values. I applaud President Obama for seeking people of differing views but open minds to work in his administration. It is surely an improvement over the incompetence of the Bush administration.

  • JH

    That’s like some people saying, “I don’t think those people are for the killing of babies, since they debate what exactly babies are.”

  • “you put partisnaship above the issue of life”

    Were you looking in the mirror when you wrote that, Tony?

  • “In other words, you put partisanship above the issue of life.”

    Interesting case of projection here. Tony, someone voting, as you did, for the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history, a man who raised funds touting his opposition to a partial birth abortion ban, amply demonstrates the priority given by such a voter to the fight against abortion. It would be rather like someone who is a declared philo-semite voting for the Nazis in Germany in 1932. It would be difficult to take the philo-semitism of such a person as anything but lip service.

    Of course Catholics under the Catechism have a duty to vote for candidates in favor of legally banning abortion:

    “2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:

    ‘The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.’

    ‘The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. . . As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights.'”

    Of course I am sure that you can explain how voting for a man who would sooner eat ground glass than support legislation banning abortion is in accord with this section of the Catechism.

  • And, for the record, I commend Kelley’s appointment. Even if she’s only paying lip service to favoring restrictions on abortion (and I’m not convinced that she isn’t sincere on the issue, despite her allegiances to the party dedicated to legalized abortion-on-demand), that makes her much better than the President’s openly “pro-choice” Catholic appointments to date.

    Let’s take her at her word and give her the benefit of the doubt.

  • Appoint somebody who is pro-life, and you still jump up and down…because that person supports Obama and marshalls arguments to make that case.

    Actually, I believe the point was to outline that she’s a hack with no serious commitment to the pro-life cause. Of course, surely we’re being unreasonable Calvinist Americanists who believe that consistently voting against pro-life candidates while actively promoting pro-abortion candidates fails to signal a deep commitment to the pro-life cause.

    In other words, the only way Obama could make you people happy is to appoint a pro-life Republican.

    Actually, that wouldn’t make me happy. If he resigned or became pro-life, or actually took a stand against torture rather than putting every effort to defend torture and its perpetrators, I would be pleased. Of course, it could not make me happy, because I believe that happiness comes from Christ and not from material goods but perhaps you missed that part.

  • Henry I don’t think it is all the same. As I have pointed out an amazing number of things are called torture now. Once you get past waterboarding there is a lot of gray and their needs to be debate.

    Especially if we are going to have it as an standaard and prosecute people over it.

  • “the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history”.

    This is a perfect example of everything that is wrong with the convergence of Catholic pro-lifers and Republican tactics. Your rhetoric is the sloganistic rhetoric of the Limbaughs and the Hannitys. Its disdain for fact and context push it into the relativistic realm. You are giving support to tactics that are Leninist at root. How ironic is that?

    See here for a fuller elaboration, if you want to debate the point (I’m arguing in good faith, by the way, and I know that most of you are better than Paul and Phillip on this front) — http://vox-nova.com/2009/04/27/a-watershed-moment/

  • Morning Obama is indeed one of the most Pro-Abortion Presidents in history

    No sense sugarcoating it. I guess we can debate if he or Clinton are in a tie.

    I mean I guess if was anti adoption or something that would make it worse but it is hard to see how it can be much worse.

  • JH

    We have many documents which indicate things to be torture, and those are the same ones being “questioned.” Things historically considered torture are now “questioned.” It’s exactly the same thing as “questioning whether or not that is a human person.” Same argument, different evil.

  • “It would be rather like someone who is a declared philo-semite voting for the Nazis in Germany in 1932. It would be difficult to take the philo-semitism of such a person as anything but lip service.”

    As always, you confuse an absolute principle (act A is intrinsically evil and can never be supported) with a relative choice. I believe it would be difficult to argue that abortion would have been any different under any Republican president. I also believe that the Republican choice would support war, and probably torture too, support the rich over the poor, mock the need to reduce greenhouse has emissions, and continue with the economic mismanagement that has characterized the movement since the 1980s. On the fundamental issue of life, claiming to be against abortion while being in favor of modern war as conducted by the US military is a sham.

  • “This is a perfect example of everything that is wrong with the convergence of Catholic pro-lifers and Republican tactics.”

    Bluster and sophisty. You helped put into the White House a man pledged to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. The only way Obama could be more pro-abortion would be if he actually performed them with his own hands.

  • “On the fundamental issue of life, claiming to be against abortion while being in favor of modern war as conducted by the US military is a sham.”

    All a smoke screen to allow you to vote for pro-abort candidates. I really doubt if at this point you are even fooling yourself with your arguments. The simple truth is that you rank the fight against abortion far below other issues and the fact that a candidate you support is a pro-abort is of little consequence to you.

  • Minion:

    That post is remarkable in its failure to actually address the argument. While I don’t use the phrase often, there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s accurate.

    Instead of showing how Clinton and Obama shared abortion positions, you instead criticize Reagan for not really being pro-life while attacking Bush over the Iraq War and torture while not mentioning FOCA.

    If you want your claim that this is Leninist tactic to be taken as anything more than a liberal example of partisanship, you might want to put some effort into showing the phrase isn’t not true. But you can’t, since the FOCA that Obama endorsed is much more extreme then the presidents before him had endorsed, Clinton or Reagan.

  • Wow! First the wonderful speeches at ND and in Cair, add to them the inspired nominations of Sotomayor, Diaz and, now, Kelley…… tell us again why we, the majority of Catholic voters who voted for the President, need to confess our “sin”?

  • Oh boy!!! Economic mismangement. Our Sec of Treasury got laughed out in China last week when he said that China inestments in American were safe.

    I don’t know what people are going to do when they wake up and realize all the money has been wasted and there is no money left to even borrow for these big ticket items like Health Care they want.

    Handing the keys ot he treasury to Reid and Pelosi does not seem to be doing well.

    Is Obama that much different that Bush on “torture” Rendetion is contuining and my gosh we have not waterbnoarded anyone since 2003.

    Favored the rich over the poor. Yeah I see what a priority immigration reform is under this administration.

    Regardless I think the issue was abortion. Not the polciy in Afgansiatan

  • An

    I am not against the Kelly nomination nor the Diaz nomination. I will say if you think these picks are inspirations then I would suggest you have a low bar for inspiration. Nothing wrong with them but I don’t seem them as groundbreaking and something to be wowed over with

  • Minion:

    I think your comment shows quite well that YOU’RE NOT APPLYING THESE PRINCIPLES EVENLY!!!!

    I also believe that the Republican choice would support war, and probably torture too, support the rich over the poor, mock the need to reduce greenhouse has emissions, and continue with the economic mismanagement that has characterized the movement since the 1980s. On the fundamental issue of life, claiming to be against abortion while being in favor of modern war as conducted by the US military is a sham.

    Let’s go through Obama’s ACTUAL positions.

    support war-Obama has promoted an expanded effort in Iraq while making no significant deviations from the Bush plan.

    and probably torture too-Obama has continued to fight efforts to uncover examples of torture and punish those who committed these acts.

    support the rich over the poor- Obama has pushed to give bankers bailouts while allowing GM & Chrysler to die, costing many poorer factory workers their jobs.

    the economic mismanagement that has characterized the movement since the 1980s.-That’s an argument of prudence, not of Catholic teaching. Besides, one would be hard pressed to show that Obama is doing an amazing job of economic management right now.

    On the fundamental issue of life, claiming to be against abortion while being in favor of modern war as conducted by the US military is a sham.

    So it’s less of a sham to be for abortion and for the modern war as conducted by the US military? How has Obama reigned in the modern war conducted by the US military? Surely not the examples of civilian deaths by bombings?

    You’ve projected your own desires on Obama, stubbornly ignoring the fact that he holds none of these positions in reality. That’s the true sham.

  • JH,

    They are “inspired nominations” if you’re a Catholic looking for anything … ANYTHING … to hang your hat on in justifying your vote for Obama. Like you said, there’s nothing particularly wrong with these choices (and there were obviously worse candidates that the President might have chosen), but they are hardly the sorts of nominations that Catholics are going to be looking to for “inspiration”.

  • Jay,

    They’re not just “inspired nominations.” They also have “compelling stories.” Come on. Get with it.

  • Michael D,

    First, I commend for you actually taking on the argument — sadly, Donald just retreats to slogans.

    A key component of your argument is that what I have argued is based on prudence. Absolutely. I cannot say these things with certainly, but I believe them to be more likely than not.

  • Oh, on the economics argument, some of you might be interested in what I just wrote. And I’m looking at you Donald! (actually, I’m looking at my monitor, but you know what I mean….)

    http://vox-nova.com/2009/06/09/american-socialism-a-long-and-detailed-post/

  • “sadly, Donald just retreats to slogans.”

    Projection again Tony. Take away cant phrases from your statements, such as “Calvinist”, and you have little to say.

    Body and soul you are a partisan liberal Democrat. The leaders of your political movement are pro-aborts. Rather than deal with that very unpleasant fact you attack pro-lifers who refuse to vote for pro-aborts and who oppose the pro-aborts. With your type of unblinking devotion, the pro-aborts in the party that has your unwavering allegiance will never change. Pro-lifers last year made it clear in the Republican party that we would never vote for a pro-abort. You would never be part of such a movement in the Democrat party. All your obfuscation can not conceal the fact that the slaying of the unborn is simply not a high priority issue to you.

  • These faux protestations by abortocrats on Kelley’s appointment is smoke and mirrors. Abortocrats can smell their own 100 miles away.
    Kelley may claim she’s pro-life, but her actions reveal what she really is.

  • It is my understanding, backed up by a number of official Church documents including Pope John Paul II’s “Evangelium Vitae,” that it IS permissible to vote for a pro-choice candidate WHEN they are the lesser of two (or more) evils, and their election would prevent an even worse pro-abortion candidate from winning.

    Now granted, Kelly is not an elected official, but out of all the people whom Obama would have (realistically) chosen for this post, might she not be a lesser evil than many of the others? And if so, would it not be permissible to support, or at least not actively oppose, her appointment?

  • Bruce Springsteen wearing a chain of what look to be a number of Miraculous Medals on the chain and there are recent pictures of this…and yes, Catholic background. Apparently, a campaigner for Obama, if only the Boss was on our side, who knows, he should address this issue. I apologize if this is “off-topic.”

  • Morning’s Minion Says:
    Tuesday, June 9, 2009 A.D. at 2:49 pm
    “As always, you confuse an absolute principle (act A is intrinsically evil and can never be supported) with a relative choice. I believe it would be difficult to argue that abortion would have been any different under any Republican president. I also believe that the Republican choice would support war, and probably torture too, support the rich over the poor, mock the need to reduce greenhouse has emissions, and continue with the economic mismanagement that has characterized the movement since the 1980s. On the fundamental issue of life, claiming to be against abortion while being in favor of modern war as conducted by the US military is a sham.”

    Not only a Prez. trying to enact FOCA as Donald R. McClarey mentioned, but at least Reagan and Bush tossed out the Mexico City Policy. I’m not up to snuff on this issue, but exporting abortion is an A-1 evil, is an ugly act of foreign colonialism or whatever word might be proper, especially from some guy that indeed, many have doubts about his own native birth in the United States. Imagine, aborting the lives of foreigners in foreign lands.

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  • I did not even mention BAIPA. It is becoming apparent that many supporters of Obama are just plainly not informed on the issues, then we see indeed, ignorance as being an ally in getting Obama elected.

  • Jh,

    Oh boy!!! Economic mismangement. Our Sec of Treasury got laughed out in China last week when he said that China inestments in American were safe.

    that one really cracked me up…. this is almost as good as Obama’s sudden born-again fiscal responsibility — ‘pay as you go’!

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Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-20-2009

Friday, March 20, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1.  Seems like priests and their habits have been ruminating around the blogosphere as of late.  Now Fr. Z has followed up this with insight concerning those for and against this trend.

For the link click here.

2.  Speaking of religious, after enduring the many innovations following the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council, vocations have rebounded:

“Nearly 70 percent of Catholic religious communities have seen a jump in vocation inquiries in the past year”

The vast majority of those entering the religious life are tradition-minded adults under the age of 40.

For the link click here.

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One Response to Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-20-2009

Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-10-2009

Tuesday, March 10, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1. There seems to be a growing counter-movement in U.S. politics aligning itself against the Catholic Church.  We see it happening in Connecticut where state legislatures want to control Church property.  We also see it in the higher echelons of government where President Obama are using Catholic pawns such as Douglas Kmiec and Kathleen Sebelius.  It isn’t being orchestrated by anyone, but the common theme seems to be to neutralize the effectiveness of the Church.  Dave Hartline of the Catholic Report wrote an excellent column tieing all these loose ends together and explaining the consequences of this growing counter-movement.

For Dave Hartline’s columnn click on counter-movement above or here.

2. Speaking of Connecticut, Archbishop Charles Chaput has this to say concerning SB 1098 that would remove the bishops authority over each parish:

“legislative coercion directed against the Catholic community in one state has implications for Catholics in every other state. If bigots in one state succeed in coercive laws like SB 1098, bigots in other states will try the same.”

The bigots Archbishop Chaput is referring to are Senator Andrew McDonald and Representative Mike Lawlor, who are both homosexual activists that opposed the local Church’s efforts to defend marriage between a man and a woman.

For the article click on SB 1098 above or here.

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One Response to Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-10-2009

  • What Hath Prop 8 Wrought. More annoying little bedbugs like these two will pop up all over the country. Nothing organized as an anti-Catholic conspiracy, but effect is just the same. Much of this stuff bubbling up since November 5. We hope and pray that the sheer ineptitude of these forces allow them to trip up themselves. As King David prayed about ex-advisor Ahithophel, who jumped to rebel side of angry son Absolom. King prayed O Lord turn their counsel against them. We should too.

News & Notes for A.D. 3-3-2009

Tuesday, March 3, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

OK, I junked the whole Latin title since I figured it wasn’t coming across that well as to what I wanted to do with this bit.  So now I’m calling this particular column ‘News & Notes’ (for now).  Here is today’s Top Seven picks in the Catholic world:

1. A great new blog by Pat McNamara about Catholic history titled appropriately enough, McNamara’s Blog.  I’ve been thinking of starting something like this for the past three years, but never got around to it.  I’m happy to say that McNamara’s Blog has great short stories on famous and little known figures in Catholicism as well as stories on non-Catholics and how they interacted and viewed our beautiful Catholic faith.  Here is the link to McNamara’s Blog: http://irishcatholichumanist.blogspot.com/

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9 Responses to News & Notes for A.D. 3-3-2009