The Chicago Way: Bernardin and Obama

Friday, February 7, AD 2014

Seamless Garment

I have long thought that the Church is quite able to deal with outside enemies.  The true difficulties for the Church are from forces within the Church who aid and abet outside enemies.  Nicholas G. Hahn III, editor at Real Clear Religion, gives us a prime example of this in a riveting article in The Wall Street Journal on the late Cardinal Bernardin and Barack Obama:

 

That might not be such a good idea. There is an irony in the Catholic Church’s current legal clashes with Washington over the Affordable Care Act’s restrictions on religious freedom: The Obama administration is very much a creature of the Chicago church under Bernardin. When Notre Dame University bestowed an honorary degree on President Barack Obama in May 2009, the veteran community organizer told graduates that the “saintly” Cardinal Bernardin inspired him to become an activist.

As Phyllis Schlafly and George Neumayr noted in “No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom” (2012), much of Mr. Obama’s education in public policy came in the rectories of Chicago’s South Side churches and, in part, on Cardinal Bernardin’s dime. The archdiocese in 1986 paid for Mr. Obama to attend a community-organizing training session with a    Saul Alinsky-founded group in Los Angeles.

Cardinal Bernardin, who led the archdiocese from 1982 until his death in 1996, espoused a liberal line that has helped give pro-abortion Catholic supporters of the Obama administration theological cover. Mr. Obama told reporters in July 2009 that “his encounters with the cardinal continue to influence him, particularly his ‘seamless garment’ approach to a multitude of social justice issues.”

The president was alluding to a widely noted 1983 speech wherein Bernardin applied the Biblical story of Jesus’ tunic “woven in one piece from the top down” to public-policy issues. He maintained that matters as varied as the death penalty, the minimum wage and how to wage war should be considered on the same moral plane as abortion. This pernicious idea has been rebuffed by many Catholic intellectuals, not the least of whom was the future Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger, who in a 2004 memo wrote that “not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia.

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24 Responses to The Chicago Way: Bernardin and Obama

  • Of course, no one in his sound and sober senses would claim that “all moral issues have the same moral weight.”

    However, in one of his University Sermons, Bl John Henry Newman noted a “peculiarity in developments in general, is the great remoteness of the separate results of a common idea, or rather at first sight the absence of any connexion. Thus it often happens that party spirit is imputed to persons, merely because they agree with one another in certain points of opinion and conduct, which are thought too minute, distant, and various, in the large field of religious doctrine and discipline, to proceed from any but an external influence and a positive rule; whereas an insight into the wonderfully expansive power and penetrating virtue of theological or philosophical ideas would have shown, that what is apparently arbitrary in rival or in kindred schools of thought, is after all rigidly determined by the original hypothesis.”

    In that sense, surely, we can reasonably speak of the demands of the Gospel as a seamless garment.

  • The “seamless garment” worn by Christ is purity, virtue and innocence. Crime is a tear in the fabric of society. The tear must be mended by restitution and reconstruction and return to Justice. Putting an innocent person to death for the crimes of his parents, rape, incest, failing, is the forfeiture of Justice, the annihilation of the state constituted to promote the common good and general welfare and most of all “the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our (constitutional) posterity.”

  • The criminal in the White House is not covered by the “seamless garment”. The “seamless garment” does not dry rot. The “seamless garment is woven of truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.

  • Cardinal Bernardin’s name was released in the required published disclosure by the current Diocese of Chicago for his part in aiding and abetting sexual child abuse by transferring around abusive Priests and keeping their activities secret.

    CCC: ” 1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:
    – by participating directly and voluntarily in them;
    – by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;
    – by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;
    – by protecting evil-doers.”

  • I read it on the LIRR this AM. This op-ed article is one of the infrequent causes for me to nod my head and say, “This was worth the subscription price.”

    Sound advice from Glenn Beck, “If your priest pushes social justice, find another parish.” And from me, don’t give any money to your bishop.

    Money quote: “. . . [the polished liar/racial racketeer/community agitator] Obama’s education in public policy came in the rectories of Chicago’s South Side churches and, in part, on Cardinal Bernardin’s dime. The archdiocese in 1986 paid for Mr. Obama to attend a community-organizing training session with a Saul Alinsky-founded group in Los Angeles.”

    Only thing: New Yorkerslikley would challenge Chicago as the lead for Catholics in the section of this Vail of Tears known as the USA.

  • Chicago is a very interesting city, even ecclesiastically. Chicago’s presbyterate (the priests as a whole) is extremely complex, and to give them a broad brush stroke would be unfair, but it is certainly well known that some priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago have been involved with a particular bent on what is commonly called ‘social justice’. It is safe to say that Catholic Social teaching and the principles of Saul Alinsky do not coincide. It is safer to say that they are opposed to each other. The radicalization of some of the priests [as the article puts it-on the South side of Chicago] took place within the civil rights movement of the 60’s and then moved into the anti-war movement and then other ’causes’. In many ways, like the ‘nuns for choice’ etc. they said they were basing this on the Church’s call for justice etc but had actually had gone off the rails themselves.

    Cardinal Bernadin did not come from Chicago. His journey is complex but he became a protage of Cardinal Deardon of Detroit who himself was a protage of Archbishop Hanlon of Atlanta. Cardinal Bernadin was not responsible for the radicalizaton of some of his priests, however he was responsible for the way he led his Archdiocese and led the American Bishops toward a more ‘progressive’ approach to various subjects during his long presence in the USCCB, especially in the “seamless garment’ metaphor.

    The situation in Chicago has not changed very much. Poor Cardinal George, a brilliant as well as orthodox Cardinal Archbishop could only effect certain things within Chicago. Now past retirement age and in very poor health, he awaits Pope Francis to accept his resignation and appoint a younger and hopefully very able successor. The more radicalized priests (again a minority in Chicago) are rapidly aging and will soon disappear from the scene. The well known Father Robert Barron is now the rector of the Chicago seminary so we can expect very good things coming from there.

    As for Cardinal Bernadin, we entrust his soul to God and His mercy. History is already beginning to judge his tenure as Archbishop, but it might be some time before we have a real good insight just how good or bad he was for Chicago and the Church in America.

  • “. . . the “’seamless garment’ metaphor.”

    That is not an implied comparison but a twisting of Scripture to rationalize a humanistic agenda.

    The “seamless garment” is not a parable; not something that Jesus said or taught. It was St. John’s narrative of the Roman executioners divying up Jesus’ possessions and, thus, fulfilling the prophecy, “They divided my clothes among themselves and gambled for my robe.” And, exactly that is what bernadin and his ilk did with Christ’s Church.

  • Certainly there are various degrees of gravity. I would agree that in some sense the seamless garment metaphor, properly understood, has some value. What I never understood is, if you are a seamless garment subscriber, that means you must agree abortion is at least as important as ony other issue – so how can you be justified in voting for a pro-abort? The seamlessness seems to be sewn in only one direction.

  • A seamless garment can cloak Cthulhu too. And because of the Bernardin-oids, one does!

  • He maintained that matters as varied as the death penalty, the minimum wage and how to wage war should be considered on the same moral plane as abortion.

    As our esteemed host might say, rubbish on stilts. Bernadin specifically said in two addresses on the topic of consistent ethic of life that abortion and euthanasia were not interchangeable with capital punishment, because the former involved the deliberate taking of innocent life. His view (and that of John Paul II and Benedict XVI) on capital punishment was that while the state retained the right to execute criminals to protect the common good, modern day techniques of incarceration made the majority the the executions carried out today unnecessary.

    One can argue that his consistent ethic of life argument was flawed, that it led to politicians treating all the life and justice issues as a kind of zero sum game (if I am extra-against poverty or capital punishment I can be as pro-abortion as I like). But if that was the effect, then that was not his intent.

  • When it came to abortion, Cardinal Bernardin occasionally said the right thing but he almost always gave Catholic pro-abort politicians enough wiggle room to neuter the strong condemnation of them by the Church that might well have made a difference. A good example is this story from the New York Times in 1990:
    http://www.nytimes.com/1990/03/21/us/cardinal-accepts-discord-on-abortion.html

    “Cardinal Bernardin seemed to be trying to chart a middle ground for Catholics, including a number of his fellow bishops who have been unhappy with these confrontations.

    He took issue both with public officials who say they are personally opposed to abortion but do not want to impose their views on others and with abortion opponents who reject the possibility of political compromise on the issue.

    Cardinal Bernardin, who is generally seen as a spokesman for the moderate to liberal wing of the Catholic hierarchy, said that ”moral consistency requires that personal conviction be translated into some public actions” to limit abortion. But he added, ”Many Catholics, politicians and ordinary citizens, will disagree on strategies of implementation to lessen and prevent abortions.”

    These matters, including the political stances taken by the bishops, he said, ”are open to debate.”

    Focus on ‘Protest and Power’

    Cardinal Bernardin said the public debate after the Supreme Court’s decision enlarging the powers of state legislatures to limit access to abortion had focused largely on ”protest and power” and the question ”who decides?” This emphasis, he said, ”reduces the compelling moral question -How do we recognize the human among us? – to a procedural problem.”

    Cardinal Bernardin said effective opposition to abortion had to address the ”60 percent of Americans who do not identify themselves completely with either of the major voices in the abortion debate.” He described this group as ”generally opposed to abortion on demand but ambiguous about how many restrictions to place on it.””

  • The bottom line is Bernardin sold out the catholic church to the contraception and abortion culture. Articles like this one help us to understand what really happened to the church in the past five decades. Imagine, church money used to send Obama to a Saul Alinsky inspired conference in California. Maybe the answer is to continue educating ourselves as to why there are so few homilies on the culture of death, specifically contraception and abortion. At the same time, we can reduce contributions to the collection basket and use it instead to buy media resources that expose this “crime of our age.” I moved to the Chicago area in 1986 and can tell you the majority catholic church culture is in an embrace of the culture of death. If this sounds like an exaggeration, consider 90+% of females in the child-bearing age group are contracepting. This is intrinsic evil and paired with weekly reception of the Eucharist brings condemnation on many including the priests and bishops that promote it and “look the other way.”

  • “His view (and that of John Paul II and Benedict XVI) on capital punishment was that while the state retained the right to execute criminals to protect the common good, modern day techniques of incarceration made the majority the the executions carried out today unnecessary.”
    i) Not I, nor the state, but only the victim can forgive his murderer. I can forgive my murderer. I cannot forgive your murderer without becoming an accessory after the fact in giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
    .
    ii) Only God owns the human person and God has endowed the human person with free will and freedom. The state does not own the victim or the murderer.
    .
    iii) It is the duty of the state to provide Justice.
    .
    iv) ““It in no way depends upon the caprice of the Pope, or upon his good pleasure, to make such and such a doctrine, the object of a dogmatic definition. He is tied up and limited to the divine revelation, and to the truths which that revelation contains. He is tied up and limited by the Creeds, already in existence, and by the preceding definitions of the Church. He is tied up and limited by the divine law, and by the constitution of the Church. Lastly, he is tied up and limited by that doctrine, divinely revealed, which affirms that alongside religious society there is civil society, that alongside the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy there is the power of temporal Magistrates, invested in their own domain with a full sovereignty, and to whom we owe in conscience obedience and respect in all things morally permitted, and belonging to the domain of civil society.” – John Henry Cardinal Newman
    .
    vi) Come forward all you who will exchange a prison cell for rigor mortis.

  • v) Like many, Bernardin did not know that the newly fertilized human egg was endowed with a rational, immortal human soul and sovereign personhood, created in moral and legal innocence and virtue. St. Thomas Aquinas knew when he said that the body is the form of the soul. No soul, no life, no growth, no need for abortion.
    .
    Bernardin ought to have known if he truly accepted and believed in the Immaculate Conception. God creates a pure soul. Only after the human soul is received into the human body must it deal with concupiscence. Our Lady said “YES” to God from the very first moment of her conception and said “YES” forever, and even now says “YES” to God for We, the people.
    .
    Faults and failing, yes, but Bernardin inserted his ignorance into matters of the state where it infested itself. Looking to become the next and the first American Pope, Bernardin ought to have held his opinions to himself until he had the Magisterium to correct him. That is papal behavior.

  • “…the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer.”

    Preface to Rules for Radicals

    Saul Alinsky

  • I believe the book (Rules for Radicals, Aulinsky) is dedicated to Satan.

  • Sickening!! Absolutely sickening!! It makes you wonder about his relationship with God as he obviously had a VERY warped understanding of moral absolutes & what was necessary for the forgiveness of sin to be offerred to us!

  • That Lucifer gained his own kingdom by refusing God as Saul Alinsky said cannot be, since annihilation is not a kingdom. Annihilation is nowhere. Annihilation is annihilation, constant and forever.
    .
    Saul Alinsky begged God, (not an atheist) to send him to hell when he died. Obama is following him.

  • Say what you will about Cardinal Bernardin — he certainly had his faults and he was definitely not the greatest administrator the Archdiocese of Chicago ever had — I have never forgotten an incident reported in the Catholic press shortly after his death about an abortion provider in Northwest Indiana who was so moved by the wall-to-wall Chicago media coverage of the Cardinal’s death, that he renounced his abortion practice. How many other prelates — how many other Catholics in general — can say their example brought about even one such conversion? I know I can’t claim to have done anything like that. Perhaps it was a case of God writing straight with crooked lines.

  • Also, I dunno that Saul Alinsky’s “dedication” of “Rules for Radicals” to Lucifer was necessarily meant to be taken seriously. I suspect he did it simply because he was an agitator at heart and liked to get a rise out of people. Getting all bent out of shape about it and wielding it as “proof” that everything he did and everything he may have inspired, including Obama’s community activism, is all part of a Satanic plot is just playing right into his hands.

  • EK: God did not create evil. Satan is the enemy. He is evil. He is the father of all evil.

    Satan’s greatest victories come when people do not recognize evil/sin.

    St. Augustine says it (for me) best. “The only evils these people recognize are having to endure hunger, disease, and murder. It is as though man’s greatest good were to have everything good, except himself.”

    It appears that guys like Bernabin, Lfluger, Wright, et al came to think (maybe they don’t think, they “feel”) that fighting class/race wars and voting democrat qualify for some sort of a “Get Out of Hell Free” card.

  • “Saul Alinsky begged God to send him to hell when he died.”

    Given the perverse affection for Lucifer expressed by Alinsky, perhaps God expressed His infinite mercy by consigning to the Evil One the fate of Alinsky’s soul:

    Masochistic Alinksy: “Hurt me, hurt me!!”
    Sadistic Lucifer: “No, no!!”

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  • Mike Petric: “Masochistic Alinksy: “Hurt me, hurt me!!”
    Sadistic Lucifer: “No, no!!” ”
    .
    LOL

Cardinal George on “Chicago Values”

Tuesday, July 31, AD 2012

Francis Cardinal George of the Archdiocese of Chicago is alleged to have predicted that for upholding the teachings of Christ he will die in his bed, his successor will die in a prison cell, and his successor will be executed in a public square in Chicago.  Therefore, I am unsurprised that he has written an open letter exploring the “Chicago Values” cited by Mayor Emanuel when he decided to attack the free speech rights of Chick-Fil-A:

 

 

 

Recent comments by those who administer our city seem to assume that the city government can decide for everyone what are the “values” that must be held by citizens of Chicago.  I was born and raised here, and my understanding of being a Chicagoan never included submitting my value system to the government for approval.  Must those whose personal values do not conform to those of the government of the day move from the city?  Is the City Council going to set up a “Council Committee on Un-Chicagoan Activities” and call those of us who are suspect to appear before it?  I would have argued a few days ago that I believe such a move is, if I can borrow a phrase, “un-Chicagoan.”

The value in question is espousal of “gender-free marriage.”  Approval of state-sponsored homosexual unions has very quickly become a litmus test for bigotry; and espousing the understanding of marriage that has prevailed among all peoples throughout human history is now, supposedly, outside the American consensus.  Are Americans so exceptional that we are free to define “marriage” (or other institutions we did not invent) at will?  What are we re-defining?

It might be good to put aside any religious teaching and any state laws and start from scratch, from nature itself, when talking about marriage.  Marriage existed before Christ called together his first disciples two thousand years ago and well before the United States of America was formed two hundred and thirty six years ago.  Neither Church nor state invented marriage, and neither can change its nature.

Marriage exists because human nature comes in two complementary sexes: male and female.  The sexual union of a man and woman is called the marital act because the two become physically one in a way that is impossible between two men or two women.  Whatever a homosexual union might be or represent, it is not physically marital.  Gender is inextricably bound up with physical sexual identity; and “gender-free marriage” is a contradiction in terms, like a square circle.

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21 Responses to Cardinal George on “Chicago Values”

  • Thank you for this post, Donald.

  • A square circle has been proven to be imposible and the best analogy for gay-marriage. I appreciate the way you described the situation in Chicago about the government approving a man’s value system. Will it come to the government forcing individuals to have sex change operations to realize its value-system?

  • I didn’t know the Cardinal had it in him. I just wish this had been his demeanor for the last 20 years. Apparently he has concluded his flock is under attack and he will not cede moral high ground to a bunch of corrupt, secular, depraved politicians who lack any moral standing whatsoever.

  • Darn, that was well-said. I pray the Cardinal’s prophesy about his successors my be wrong, but I fear he is all too prescient. Thanks for posting.

  • That quote from Cardinal George is very ominous. What was the context and are there any links?

  • He said it after civil unions passed in Illinois in 2010. I have been unable to find a direct link to the statement, but I will keep looking.

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  • Marriage is primordial and, in the happy phrase of Lord Stowell in Dalrymple v Dalrymple, it is the parent, not the child of civil society.

    The state has a legitimate interest in marriage and it is important to note what precisely that is. Mandatory civil marriage originated in France on 9th November 1791 and was a product of the same Revolution that had just turned 10 million tenant farmers into heritable proprietors. This was no coincidence.

    The Code of 1804 contained no formal definition of marriage, but jurists have always found a functional definition in the provision that “The child conceived or born in marriage has the husband for father,” which mirrors the doctrine of the Roman jurist, Paulus, “.pater vero is est, quem nuptiae demonstrant.” (Marriage points out the father) [Dig. 2, 4, 5; 1].

    This was the opinion of the four most authoritative commentators on the Civil Code, Demolombe (1804–1887), Guillouard (1845-1925). Gaudemet (1908-2001) and Carbonnier (1908–2003), covering the period from the introduction of mandatory civil marriage down to our own day and long before the question of same-sex marriage was agitated. In 1998, a colloquium of 154 Professors of Civil Law, including such luminaries as Philippe Malaurie, Alain Sériaux, and Catherine Labrusse-Riou unanimously endorsed this interpretation of the Civil Code. This led to the introduction of civil unions (PACS) for same-sex and opposite-sex couples in the following year.

    No one will deny that the state has a clear interest in the filiation of children being clear, certain and incontestable. It is central to its concern for the upbringing and welfare of the child, for protecting rights and enforcing obligations between family members and to the orderly succession to property. To date, no better, simpler, less intrusive means than marriage have been found for ensuring, as far as possible, that the legal, biological and social realities of paternity coincide. And that is no small thing.

    It is significant that, in a country so committed to the principle of laïcité as France, no one has suggested that the opinion of the jurists, or of the courts which have endorsed it, is either the result of religious convictions or an attempt to import them into their interpretation of the Code.

  • The “martyrdom” quote has also been attributed to Abp. Charles Chaput. I also have attempted to pin down an exact time and place where Cardinal George said this and haven’t yet been able to find one. My guess — and it’s only a guess — is that whatever its origin, it’s been attributed to Cardinal George so many times that he’s embraced it and doesn’t bother denying that he said it, since it does express his beliefs about the direction religious freedom issues seem to be going in the U.S.

    Famous people or public figures often have quotes attributed to them that they never said, whether it’s Abraham Lincoln’s alleged “Ten Cannots” (“You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift….”) or Chuck Colson’s “I would run over my grandmother to elect Nixon” or George Carlin’s “Hurricane Rules.”

  • …but for our increasingly fragile “civil union” as citizens

    These are fighting words. I doubt that the Rahms will take heed. Either by accident or design, the US has come to a position where the Right has to put aside all the pointless courtesies, and fight the Left tooth and nail or stand in danger of becoming strangers in their own land.

  • Archbishop Chaput has denied saying it Elaine. The quote has aroused my suspicion now since I can find nothing on the internet citing the statement directly from anything written or said by Cardinal George. I hope someone asks Cardinal George about the statement so we can clear this up. I have modified the post to say that he is alleged to have made this prediction.

  • So much talk on Gay marriage and the push to make it culturally acceptable and respectable but many seem to accept unmarried heterosexual unions. So many couples shacked up, living together and bearing children with little concern about the long time welfare of the child. Which type of union is more sinful in the eyes of God? Which lifestyle will have the greatest negative impact on our culture. What will life be like in America 50 years from now? I’m afraid to guess.

  • Indeed, Ivan, for the Left has dropped all pretense; where before was metaphor, dissemblance and clever rhetoric, now stand naked hostility and unadulterated arrogance.

    They started this, and one or the other side will soon perceive itself painted into a corner. Then it’s a-gonna get ugly.

  • RPM, those are valid concerns, and I certainly don’t see anyone here condoning either situation. As for which is more sinful in God’s eyes, only He knows for sure – for us, it is clear both are gravely sinful (both are in the mortal sin category, but whether it earns the 4th or 5th circle of hell, I’d just rather avoid either).

    As for impact on society, one strikes at the fundamental structure of marriage, the complementarity of the sexes, and the unified purposes of the marital act; the other likely involves a larger absolute number of individuals, and if not altering the fundamental structure, at a minumum undermines the important pillar of stability that marriage (ideally) provides. Neither is good.

  • Please give Cardinal George a call and thank him for his leadership as Christ’s chosen shepherd: 312-751-8200.

  • RPM

    From the public’s perspective, the two cases are very different.

    As the British philosopher, Bertrand Russell observed, “But for children, there would be no need of any institution concerned with sex. It is through children alone that sexual relations become of importance to society, and worthy to be taken cognizance of by a legal institution.” That is why the state uses the institution of marriage to make the paternity of children clear, certain and incontestable. Were this not its primary legal function, it is difficult to see why the law should facilitate marriage in extremis. What other purpose does a death-bed marriage serve?

    By the same token, same-sex couples whom nature had not made potentially fertile, are irrelevant to the institution of marriage. This is different legal treatment, because their situation is not analogous.

    As the legislator has no authority in the other world, whatever may be the lot of its subjects in the life to come, that is not its business, provided they are good citizens in this one.

    The question is not one of morals, but of civil status: (1) mandatory civil marriage, makes the institution a pillar of the secular Republic, standing clear of the religious sacrament (2) The institution of republican marriage is inconceivable, absent the idea of filiation, enshrined, not in Church dogma, but in the Civil Code and (3) the sex difference is central to filiation.

  • The nearest Chick-filet-a is 25 miles away from me, in Racine. And since the price of gas has skyrocketed to over $4.00 a gallon in Wisconsin (a pipeline to Chicago has broken and is leaking in central Wisconsin), I don’t think it would be prudent to make a 50 mile round trip to buy a chicken sandwich:-) But I certainly will, when gas prices go down a bit.

    I remember saying, at Gerard N.’s old blog *sigh*, that gay marriage was not a terribly important issue to me. Well, congrats to the gay bigots who have finally succeeded in making me an active oppoment to their agenda. Does anyone think it will stop with Chick-filet-a? No, I can easily see gays holding “kiss-ins” outside of our parishes on Sunday mornings, because Todd and Brad really, really want to have a Catholic marriage service, but those mean old “homophobes” are standing in their way. The harassment will never, ever end unless we make a stand now.

  • The fascinating aspect of this Donna is the rapidity of all this. Two decades ago only the lunatic fringe of the gay rights movement was even talking about gay marriage. Now the Democrats are enshrining gay marriage in their platform and denouncing as dangerous bigots anyone who believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. I await with anticipation what next “right” will become a cause celebre on the Left, and an excuse for what too many Leftists seem to live for: an opportunity to engage in campaigns of organized hate against those who do not follow them in ideological lock step.

  • Rockport Pilot, Rockport Texas
    Friday, August 3, 2012Dear Editor;

    Since there are many businesses whose primary reason for existence is to spread hate, in addition to Chick-Fil-A, and since there are many executives who espouse bigoted traditional values and hate-driven biblical values, would not the actions of all good pure people – which includes, by definition, all Democrats – in avoiding these businesses be greatly facilitated if: 1. Christian businesses be required to display a Star Of Bethlehem sign in their businesses – and this could be a federal regulation whose implementation involves multiple government agencies, e.g. EPA, Health And Human Services, Department of Education, Homeland Security, and of course the Center for Disease Control; and 2. Christian executives be required to wear a Star Of Bethlehem over their hearts or have one tattooed on their forearms? And, to further the purity of Democrats and all others who are free of hate, why not have all Christians who go out in public be required to wear a Star Of Bethlehem over their hearts or have it tattooed on their foreheads? Of course a crucifix would do instead of the star.

    Am I remembering correctly something like this once happened? Was it in Europe? Wasn’t there some kind of conflict about this? How did the pure people do that time?

    Guy McClung

  • Truth Mr. McClung:

    When will our self-proclaimed moral superiors stage a kiss-in in Saudi Arabia or in a Nation of Islam meeting?

    Western oil purchases made Saudi Arabia super-wealthy.

    They cannot pull such publicity stunts because they don’t allow (Nicht Keystone pipeline; “not in my back yard”; save the snail darter; save Mother Erda!) energy independence.

    So it goes. Most of USA oil to make gasoline is imported from foreign cartels, e.g., OPEC, composed of countries that are tyrannies that execute gays.

  • Everyone must be tired of reading this but I must post it again, simply because it says what it says: one fake husband or one fake wife equals one fake marriage. The truth of the matter is that homosexual behavior does not pass the reality test necessary for admission into the culture. The fact that the homosexual agenda will not allow the issue to be put on the ballot is a very good indication of the level of indoctrination, physical coersion and the dirty politics involved. Whe I say dirty politics, I mean the denial of the human being’s immortal soul, unalienable civil rights, unauthorized use of the language and the strangling of FREEDOM by the perjury that is a fake marriage.

Father Michael Pfleger Removed and Suspended

Wednesday, April 27, AD 2011

Cardinal George is to the left and Father Pfleger is to the right.

Updates at the bottom. . .

The Chicago Tribune and WBEZ are reporting that Cardinal George of Chicago has removed from his parish of Saint Sabina and suspended Father Michael Pfleger sacramental priestly faculties ultimately due to his disobedience.

In a public radio show Father Pfleger threatened to leave the Catholic Church if he were to be reassigned to a Catholic High School by Cardinal George, his archdiocesan archbishop.

Cardinal George was disappointed in this particular response, “If that is truly your attitude, you have already left the Catholic Church and are therefore not able to pastor a Catholic parish(.)”

A Catholic priest’s inner life is governed by his promises, motivated by faith and love, to live chastely as a celibate man and to obey his bishop. . .Breaking either promise destroys his vocation and wounds the Church. . .With this letter, your ministry as pastor of Saint Sabina Parish and your sacramental faculties as a priest of the Archdiocese are suspended.

An “associate” minister of Saint Sabina’s Church, Kimberly Lymore, promised to have an “official” response from the Saint Sabina “leadership” to Cardinal George’s actions.

Well I have to say is Father Pfleger had certainly pushed the boundaries of patience on this one.  To say that this was a “shock” or unexpected would be disingenuous of Father Pfleger.

Cardinal George is well within his authority as an apostle of the Church to govern his flock as stated in his role as Archbishop.

Obedience is certainly expected of all archdiocesan priests, but to have Father Pfleger not only disobey the wishes of his archbishop, but publicly threaten to leave the Church if he were to be reassigned to another post went beyond disobedience.

Pray for Father Pfleger, Cardinal George, and the parish of Saint Sabina’s.

_._

ThePulp.it has a roundup of the coverage on the suspension of Father Michael Pfleger from the Catholic blogosphere and the secular media here.

_._

Hat tip to Chris Johnson of the Midwest Conservative Journal.

_._

Update I: Here is the letter Cardinal George handed to Father Pfleger personally simultaneously telling him he doesn’t want to ‘hear it’ about his options.  For the letter click here.

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24 Responses to Father Michael Pfleger Removed and Suspended

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  • It’s about damned time!!!!

  • I pray Cardinal George’s actions will be put to good use and become an occasion for sober reflection and renewal for Fr. Pfleger and the entire parish of Saint Sabina. May Fr. Pfleger return to obedience to Christ and His Church.

  • Fair enough.

    Independently from the controversy itself, to threaten to “leave the church” if one doesn’t get his own way is not acceptable in a priest. To do so publicly is even worse.

    Mundabor

  • Father “Flakey” has been asking for this for a very long time. I predict that he will take Saint Sabina’s now out of the Catholic Church. He has been a de facto one man church for years in any case.

  • My question is: Why did it take so long to remove this flake? Its been known for 30 years that he was a flamin’ liberal, social justice radical! Lets see if Cdl George will have the guts to stand by his actions.

  • This reminds me of George Stallings a few years back. I hope that Pfleger doesn’t take anyone with him.

  • To be fair, it would be a shock to finally be held accountable after how many years of being a national clown.

  • I agree with Stephen E Dalton, there is no room in the Church for justice! I desire Mercy not Justice Christ said! There are a few more priests and bishops that seem a little too just for my tastes as well. Christ didn’t care about the poor “they will always be with you”… why should a priest be wasting his time with poor inner city African Americans when he could be in the rectory brushing up on his Latin and do some real good for the faithful.

  • No doubt Patrick it is simple racism that accounts for the action of the Cardinal, rather than the fact that Father “Flakey” has been in frequent defiance of his superiors throughout his three decades at Saint Sabinas, has often threatened to go into schism if he were removed from Saint Sabinas and, among other charming incidents that we in Illinois know well, has been involved in the following:

    “Pfleger generated controversy by inviting Al Sharpton to speak at a Mass during Black History Month celebrations. Cardinal Francis George disapproved of Sharpton’s appearance, due to Sharpton’s support of abortion. Sharpton was also a presidential candidate at the time, and archdiocese officials were concerned that having a political candidate speak in church would cause them to lose their tax-exempt status. However, George decided that trying to stop Sharpton from coming “would be a futile gesture and a waste of effort”.”

    “In May 2007, During a Rainbow/PUSH Coalition protest outside a suburban Chicago gun shop, Pfleger was accused of threatening the life of the owner, John Riggio. The Illinois State Rifle Association released a tape where Pfleger was heard telling the assembled crowd, “He’s the owner of Chuck’s. John Riggio. R-i-g-g-i-o. We’re going to find you and snuff you out… you know you’re going to hide like a rat. You’re going to hide but like a rat we’re going to catch you and pull you out.” Pfleger later claimed his use of the phrase “snuff you out” was misinterpreted.”

    “Cardinal George rebuked Pfleger, saying, “Publicly delivering a threat against anyone’s life betrays the civil order and is morally outrageous, especially if this threat came from a priest.” Pfleger claimed that he did not intend to use the word “snuff” as a slang term for “kill”, but rather as a substitute for “pull”, as he used later in his statement.”

    “On May 25, 2008, Pfleger gave a sermon at Trinity United Church of Christ, then Presidential candidate Barack Obama’s church, where he made controversial statements concerning Senator Hillary Clinton, Obama’s opponent for the Democratic Party nomination. Pfleger said, “I really believe that she just always thought, ‘This is mine. I’m Bill’s wife. I’m white, and this is mine. I just gotta get up and step into the plate.’ Then out of nowhere came, ‘Hey, I’m Barack Obama,’ and she said, ‘Oh, damn! Where did you come from? I’m white! I’m entitled! There’s a black man stealing my show!'” He then pretended to wipe tears from his face, a reference to Clinton’s emotional speech before the New Hampshire primary, and added, “She wasn’t the only one crying. There was a whole lot of white people crying.”

    “After hearing about Pfleger’s remarks, Obama said he was “deeply disappointed in Father Pfleger’s divisive, backward-looking rhetoric”. Pfleger later released a statement through St. Sabina that read, “I regret the words I chose Sunday. These words are inconsistent with Sen. Obama’s life and message, and I am deeply sorry if they offended Sen. Clinton or anyone else who saw them.” On May 31, 2008, Obama resigned his membership in Trinity Church, saying that his campaign had caused the church to receive excessive media attention. On June 1, 2008, Pfleger released a longer apology to the St. Sabina parish regarding the incident and its aftermath.”

    “On June 3, 2008, Cardinal George asked Pfleger to take a disciplinary leave of absence from St. Sabina. George said in a statement, “I have asked Father Michael Pfleger, Pastor of St. Sabina’s Parish, to step back from his obligations there and take leave for a couple of weeks from his pastoral duties, effective today. Fr. Pfleger does not believe this to be the right step at this time. While respecting his disagreement, I have nevertheless asked him to use this opportunity to reflect on his recent statements and actions in the light of the Church’s regulations for all Catholic priests. I hope that this period will also be a time away from the public spotlight and for rest and attention to family concerns.” Pfleger resumed his parish duties on June 16, 2008.”

    “On April 11, 2010, Pfleger delivered a 70-minute sermon in which he said the Apostles “had run out on” Jesus. “They had turned their backs on Him. They had left the One they had been with for three years, 24/7, and they ran away from Him when He most needed them. Only John, at the foot of the Cross and the women. That’s why there should be woman priests. That’s why there should be married priests. That’s why there should be women bishops and women cardinals.” The Archdiocese of Chicago later issued a statement by Pfleger in which he apologized for his remarks but reaffirmed his support for women’s ordination. Pfleger said on his Facebook fan page that he was told to apologize, despite still holding those opinions. Pfleger denounced critics of his comments as “ignorant haters” who took his homily “out of context” and used them “for their own particular motives.”

  • Patrick, there’s plenty of room inthe Church for true justice. There is, IMHO, no room for a demagogue who stirs up class, racial, and religious hatred nder the guise of so-called “social justice”.
    Don, thanks for the background on Fr Flakey. This man needs a psychiatrist!

  • Once upon a time, persons with religious vocations made vows of chastity, obedience and poverty.

    St. Che, Pray for us!

  • Fr. PFleger is a great example of Jesus Christ and his teachings. He should have left a long time ago. Fr. Pfleger now has the opportunity to open his Own Church.God would be pleased with him. May God bless you Father Pfeger. Go out and Preach the GOOD NEWS !!!

  • Wow !! I am truly shocked to see so many haters on a Catholic Web Site.
    Did you forget “WWJD”, What would Jesus do ? Apparently you did.
    And to say that there is no room in the Catholic Church for social justice ?? That’s totally false. Social justice is one of the main teachings of the Catholic Church.

    While I don’t agree with everyhing Fr. Pflager has said and done, and feel that he has been out of line several times, I think there is no doubt that he has good intentions, and has made many positive changes in his community. That being said though, he is still a Catholic Priest, and is bound by the same set of rules as any other proest. He can’t make up his own rules.

    So if you are true Catholics, how about praying for Fr. Pflager and his congrgation, and for Cardinal George, instead of being haters. Please !!!
    Calling him Fr. Flakey ?? Really ?? Do you think Our Lord would be proud of you for that ??

  • Fr. Pfleger now has the opportunity to open his Own Church.

    Yes, a great example of Christ’s life and mission – taking his marbles and going home.

    That being said though, he is still a Catholic Priest, and is bound by the same set of rules as any other proest. He can’t make up his own rules.

    Yes, and therefore most of what you have just written is therefore kind of silly, don’t you think? Fr. Pfleger is the disobedient one, not those calling him out for his behavior. That you are more concerned about the tone of those who disapprove of this man than in his actions is quite revealing.

    Oh, and adding additional exclamation points and question marks doesn’t make you sound much more insightful.

  • Did you forget “WWJD”, What would Jesus do ?

    What would Jesus do to someone who misused his authority as a representative of JESUS to 1) promote a literal baby-murder supporting member of Caesar’s crowd, 2) kept bringing scandal onto the Church, 3) was publicly spreading false teachings, 4) metaphorically flipped off the just authority over him, metaphorically doing the same to Jesus?

    Um… My imagination doesn’t go that far, but I’m thinking that the money changers might be willing to commiserate.

  • “Calling him Fr. Flakey ?? Really ?? Do you think Our Lord would be proud of you for that ??”

    Perhaps not. Christ might have preferred that I used some of the terms that He used: whited sepulcher, serpent, viper, etc. “Father Flakey” seems rather mild in comparison, perhaps too mild. Thanks for the correction T. Doyle!

  • What would Jesus do?

    Matthew 7:22-23 gives the answer:

    “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

  • WWJD? He might have taken a knotted cord to Father Fleger and ejected him from His Father’s House.

  • Whatever it is they’re teaching over there at St. Sabina’s, it sure the heck isn’t how to spell.

  • Stephen,
    You accuse Fr Pfleger of being a flaming liberal, social justice radical as if thats a bad thing. I guess if you are white, male and catholic in chicago social justice is a threat to your racist way of life. Father Pfleger is hated for one thing and one thing only in chicago, his commitment to the African American Community. It is a well known fact that the Chicago Catholic Community is one of the Most viral racist nests in the country. White catholics in chicago have such a bad reputation that I am embarassed to say I am catholic in other parts of the country because I am always asked how I could be black and catholic in chicago. I always respond by saying it is different for me I belong to St Sabina!

  • RadCat, I do not live in Chicago. I’m male, but I’m not “white”. I’m a Catholic of multi-racial ancestory, (Jew, Arab, sub-saharan African, Turkish, Scot-Irish, English, Spanish, Portuguse, Italian etc.) who’s ancestors practised Judaism.
    You are correct that your kind of “social justice” is a threat to my way of life. I am afraid of a fanatic like Fr. Pfleger who stirs up the very racial hatred that he’s supposed to be preaching against. He supports abortion. He’s for Obamacare which will destroy my health care. In general, he’s just a radical, socialist, Alinskyist who wants to throw his weight around thinking he’s a big shot.
    Finally, you don’t even know me, but you presume to call me racist? If so, why did I contribute to a reward for the capture and arrest of unknown suspects who spray-painted racial slurs on a house and two cars against two little Chinese girls with Down syndrone? This revolting incident happened in Elmwood, Il, the town my ancestors settled and helped found in 1830. I’m proud to be an Elmwood decendant, it’s a pity you’re so ashamed of being from Chicago.

  • Hey Radical Catholic, do I get to point out that Pleger has long been a disgrace since I am part Cherokee, or does my white blood prevent me from pointing out the obvious?

  • Radical Catholic,

    Don’t you find it a contradiction to be a Catholic if the Catholic Church is so offensive to you?

    God bless.