Georgetown Invites Sebelius to Deliver Commencement

Friday, May 4, AD 2012

If you’re still clinging to the fiction that Georgetown University is a Catholic institution then this should disabuse you of that notion.

In what can only be interpreted as a direct challenge to America’s Catholic bishops, Georgetown University has announced that “pro-choice” Catholic Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and lead architect of the Obama administration’s assault on religious freedom through the HHS contraception mandate, has been invited to speak at one of Georgetown’s several commencement ceremonies.

The Cardinal Newman Society has posted a petition to protest this outrage here:  It has also alerted Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl and sent a letter to Georgetown President John DeGioia urging him to immediately withdraw the invitation.

It is a scandal time any time a Catholic politician who so publicly breaks with Church teaching is invited to speak at a nominally Catholic institution.  That Georgetown has decided to invite Sebelius after all that has taken place can only signal that Georgetown is laying down the gauntlet, and they are firmly in the camp of the dissident left.

H/t: CMR.

Point of Clarification: Sebelius will be addressing the Public Policy Institute, not the university generally.  This hardly diminishes the university’s guilt.  Somebody high up still had to approve of her speaking to the school, and her appearance at any university function as an invited speaker is a disgrace.

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25 Responses to Georgetown Invites Sebelius to Deliver Commencement

  • Lord have mercy,
    Christ have mercy,
    Lord have mercy!

  • There is a petition on the Cardinal Newman Society web site, asking Georgetown to withdraw the invitation to Sebelius. The link is below:

  • Is there any other route than to excommuniate Sebelius? Catholics, everybody are entitled to the truth. That Sebelius would deny almighty God the power to create the sovereign person at conception, when two become one, denies that God is existence and BEING, and Sebelius is an atheist, and embraces the Universal Declaration of the United Nations on human Rights that states the the human being comes into existence at birth. Pretty retrograde for a scientific community. What could Sebelius possibly say to the Public Policy graduates? That government gives life, sovereign personhood and creates the rational soul? Sebelius is telling these individuals that they were not persons until after they were born, that she, Sebelius was not a person until after she was born. The person is immutable. the person is a person always. If Sebelius claims that she was not a person until after she was born, then Sebelius is not now, or was ever a person. Even aliens from outer space are who they are forever and always. Now, even the aliens from outer spece will not come here because Sebelius will abort them. Not very conducive to inter-galactic relations or public policy. The Coneheads do not like Sebelius’ public policy.

  • Mary has a valid point (as always). Sentient extraterrestrials will avoid this planet if only for their own personal safety.

  • I think you are right, it seems they are laying down a direct challenge… I wonder if they relish the fight; if they think this is the way they are going to move their ball forward. This action is certainly not shrinking back or evidencing any self-doubt. So we can’t shrink back either.

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  • Think positive – maybe Sebelius, in addressing the Public Policy Institute, will explain how badly the administration has erred especially in the HHH mandate. On second thought, if you believe that, I have some swamp land in Louisiana for sale.

    Somehow, inviting Sebelius to speak doesn’t seem to fit the Jesuit motto “All for the greater glory of God (AMDG)”

  • Paul W. Primavera: One Hail Mary in Latin.

  • Disgusting.
    After watching Sebilius’s callous disregard for the Constituion she swore to uphold:
    any university should shudder at the thought of recognizing this woman’s contempt for freedom of expression.
    For a so-called Catholic institution to do so, in the midst of the struggle for the freedom of the Church, is even worse.
    Why are people talking about excommunication of Sebelius? (She has already been told by her bishops, in Arizona and DC, that she is unworthy of Holy Communion.) It sounds like someone should be having such a conversation with the leadership of Georgetown.

  • Who’s the Archbishop responsible for overseeing Georgetown?


    Never mind.

  • They received the memo detailing the Bishops’ have a beef going with the regime and Sibelius’ diktat to fund mortal sin.

    Notwithstanding, GU here demonstrates it is run by the society of judas.

    No, wait!

    I apologize.

    I am uncharitable to Judas.

  • It’s not during the Fortnight of Freedom, so it’s okay. Right?

  • There’s a petition to click on at the link above …
    Commencing public policy students like lemmings off a cliff.

    Ezekiel 13: 1 – 21 (the whole book is good to read, it’s 48 chapters of “Thus says the Lord GOD:” to Ezekiel so that he can help the rebellious people with many, varied wake-up calls.)

    Verse 10 – 11: For the very reason that they led my people astray, saying, “Peace!” when there was no peace, and that, as one built a wall, they would cover it with whitewash, say then to the whitewashers:

    Last Sunday, I heard a sermon about how the Old Testament prophets from Abraham to David were shepherds chosen to speak the mind of God until Jesus (one with God) taught about shepherds in the Gospels to the Church He established. It was noted that Ezekiel served to warn bad shepherds and their people for the Lord God.

  • God made all things and keeps them in existence. Lucifer knows God made him. Without informed consent Lucifer’s “Non serviam” is innocent. Lucifer is a person. Lucifer has no body because Lucifer has no soul. Jesus does not die to redeem Lucifer. Jesus has a rational soul. Lucifer is an evil spirit and needs man, body and soul to do his evil.
    God gave Kathleen Sebelius His Name: “I AM” when she came into existence at conception, and God keeps her in existence. Sebelius’ parents gave her the name Kathleen on her vital statistics, her birth certificate, when she was given birth.
    The sovereign authority Sebelius wields at the Department of Health and Human Services is exercised through the sovereign personhood endowed by our Creator from her first moment of human existence. When Sebelius appears before the Public Policy graduates of Georgetown University and tells them that she has no soul endowed with sovereign personhood by our Creator, from the first moment of her existence, Sebelius will have forfeited her sovereign authority to operate the Department of Health and Human Services and to be listened to as a sane person.

  • Mike Tefft: “Why are people talking about excommunication of Sebelius? (She has already been told by her bishops, in Arizona and DC, that she is unworthy of Holy Communion.) It sounds like someone should be having such a conversation with the leadership of Georgetown.”
    Because Georgtown will not sit up and take notice until the ax, truly the ax of excommunication severs Kathleen Sebelius from the Body of Christ.

  • Hey–in the competition to become the nation’s outstanding Catholic institution: Seeing Notre Dame, and raising one . . .

    Actually, at the time of the Notre Dame fiasco, some made what is possibly the sensible point that asking a public official to address questions of public policy (including policies repulsive to faith and morals) in an academic setting is one thing: It is sometimes helpful to know just what the enemy says, or what tack the enemy will take in front of different audiences. What was obnoxious about Notre Dame’s behavior was the bestowal of a university honor on Obama; and, unless I’ve read carelessly, I don’t see that this is the case here.

  • PRM, I see your point, and I’d have no objection if Secretary Sebelius were merely
    invited to Georgetown to talk about her views on public policy. However, she’s been
    invited to give a commencement address, which is in itself the bestowal of a
    university honor. After all, it’s safe to assume that a university would only have a
    person it regarded as somehow embodying its ideals address its graduates on such
    an occasion.

    This invitation is nothing less than Georgetown displaying its contempt for our
    bishops and for all Catholics in this country.

  • Georgetown has turned its back on the Catholic Church. Now The Church must revoke Georgetown’s Catholic identity or must remove those in power to prevent another scandal.
    Cardinal wurhl has neither the guidance of the HOLY SPIRIT not the moral fortitude of an ordinary, father of a wayward child, to perform what the situation calls for. Wurhl is merely the politcian (pontius) turning Christ’ Bride over to the media to be crucified. May GOD have mercy on the Cardinal’s soul.

  • A travesty. Also very sinful. Continued scandal and dissent. An embarrassment to true Catholics everywhere. Jesuits: who is your god?

  • When was the last time an entire order was excommunicated? Historians?

  • Georgetown is Catholic? I thought it was Jesuit 🙂

    Seriously though, we shouldn’t let the 77% of the bad Jesuits spoil the other 23%.

  • Remove their Catholic designation; Georgetown isn’t anymore!!!

  • The Catholic Church is in serious decline my friends. It simply lacks the backbone to uphold the faith and its own rules. The head of the Jesuit order should have been promptly summoned by Rome and told in no uncertain terms that they need to disinvite Sebelius and Victoria Kennedy (BC Law commencement) otherwise the order would be precluded from its affiliation with the Church. The credibility of Rome and the Bishops has been greatly wounded by liberal Jesuits who only wish to be Roman Catholic when it is agreeable to them. Who enforces the rules of the Church among its own? The answer is apparently nobody.

  • what would happen to jesuits like Fr Pacwa?

  • Fukowi There is the Pope and anybody who does not act Catholic or believe their faith has to have integrity is simply not being Catholic. We also have the Holy spirit guiding the Hierarchy of the Church. So stop acting like the Church has no backbone. The reason for which not all of the problems of the world have been dealt with yet is because there are so many which the Church is still dealing with.

Catholic Left (Academic Branch) Boehner Bashing

Friday, May 13, AD 2011

For many years Catholic universities and colleges have disgraced themselves by honoring pro-abort speakers.  The indispensable Cardinal Newman Society has taken upon itself the onerous task of keeping track of this ongoing betrayal of the Church and their latest report may be read here.  A prime example was Obama as commencement speaker at Notre Dame in 2009, a debacle which was covered in full by many posts here at The American Catholic.   These affairs have often drawn protests by Catholics who realize that honoring pro-aborts is no part, or rather should be no part, of what it means to be a Catholic institution of higher learning.  

Speaker of the House John Boehner, a pro-life stalwart and a Catholic, has been invited to deliver the commencement address at Catholic University of America on May 14.   81 professors at Catholic colleges and universities, organized by some CUA profs, have decided to try a little bit of payback by protesting Boehner speaking at CUA by claiming that Boehner, because he is in favor of budget cuts, is against the poor and therefore in defiance of Church teaching.

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44 Responses to Catholic Left (Academic Branch) Boehner Bashing

  • B.’s stock just went up.

    Whom they fear they hate and lie about.

    They are “telling” me that B. is not marching lock-step in progressives’ covert war against economic growth, rational energy policies, job creation, and the evil, unjust private sector.

    “Woe to him who calls good evil.”

    The credentialled, cath wing of the humanist lib/radical devoloution . . . infallible ignorance . . . intellectual incompetence. I am being charitable.

    Some questions:

    What evidence do you have?: Cite votes on abortion, gay marriage, infanticide, public school brainwashing in the Seven Deadly Sins, (hint: The POPE’s four non-negotiables), etc. Cite chapter and verse of the Gospels and Scriptures not your chimera compendium of socialist (economic and moral) bankrupcy for America.

    Compared to whom/what? Bernanke, Geithner, Barney Frank, Pelosi, Teddy Chappaquiddick, Jeremiah Wright, . . . ?

    Forget charity: Calumnies, detractions, heterodoxy, uncharity, . . .

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  • I’m waiting for these academia types to send a letter to Sen Bob Casey, who’s going to be the commencement speaker at Villanova this spring, to ask him to refrain from speaking because of his pro-abortion positions.




  • the principle of subsidarity. With good reason, this is something the Catholic Left — or whatever remains of it these days — rarely mentions or grapples with, because they know that it would raise many questions about the prudence of any number of welfare programs they support.

    By the “Catholic Left”, I take it you mean the Episcopate? Have the American bishops ever once opposed a single federal welfare program based on a violation of the principle of subsidiarity? Once? Ever?

  • After the way Kurt and his ilk trashed the Bishops as misinformed, beholden to partisan groups, liars, or all of the above, for their opposition to federal funding of abortion in the health care bill, I think we can safely ignore him whenever he tries to throw the Bishops in our faces over such prudential matters as federal budgetary policy.

  • Personally, Kurt, I don’t think the bishops should oppose such programs. Nor should they support them. The principle of subsidiarity requires an application of prudence. A bishop may well have informed thoughts on such matters, as do I, but if you think their thoughts are more informed than mine you would be mistaken. The bishops should fearlessly teach Catholic teaching, but should wade in with great caution in matters of prudential application for one very important reason: most people will fail to distinguish between the bishops’ explanation of their prudential preferences versus their explanations of actual Catholic teaching. This in turn allows people like the Dishonest 81 to try to fool Catholics into conflating the two; it also harms the credibility of the Church when the bishops’ prudential preferences are later proven wrong.
    Personally, I support a robust federal role in assisting the poor, though I’d organize it differently. My views are based on years of leadership and service to organizations such as the United Way, SVdP, Catholic Charities, and the Salvation Army, Yet, I acknowledge that my opinions, however well-formed, are applications of prudence to Catholic teaching. Reasonable and well-intended Catholics can certainly disagree in good faith. Extending this presumption of good faith is something the Dishonest 81 are unwilling to do.

  • This is bad enough and really turns your stomach but when you add to it the recent news out of the “Vatican” that we simply MUST vigorously act to stop global warming you realize just how much the leftists agenda has poisoned our political theology. The bottom line is they have, with a cheering main stream media which displays its own celebrity Catholics like Pelosi, Fr. Jenkins of ND, and these academic “every day” Catholics behind them, become the more effective purveyor of our faith and its tenants than our Bishops. Where is our 21st century Bishop Sheen and will he please step forward for God’s sake?

  • There they go again! Politicizing the Gospel.

    It’s like they plagiarized a diatribe from a Vietnamese re-education camp manual or from Mao’s Little Red Book.

    It’s left-wing liberal propaganda calling itself church teaching.

  • I didn’t know the Church had a dogmatic position on the 2012 fiscal budget! I wonder if they also have a secret dogmatic position on Oscar picks, because that’s something I’d really like to get a look at.

  • Mike,

    I appreciate your thoughts. I would strongly agree with your statement that “Reasonable and well-intended Catholics can certainly disagree in good faith” about public policy questions.

    While unlike you, I tend to agree with the statements the Bishops have made on social welfare issues, as well as the statements made by the United Way, SVdP and Catholic Charities. However, I am pleased that each of them has presented their statements in a way that does not make a person like you feel excluded or disinclined to participate in the Church, Catholic Charities, SVdeP, etc.

  • It’s my up close and personal opinion, having worked for both private and public non-profit organizations, that the private non-profits work more for the betterment of those in need and do it for less money. State organizations, unfortunately tend to become first and foremost committed to helping their employees. The poor and the weak become afterthoughts.

    However, the logic of this letter writing group would put me at odds with their view of the Catholic Church because I believe that the 10-15% of my income that goes to social services programs would be better spent going to private non-profits that create more benefit with my money and serve more people.

  • So to summarize, Kurt, you disagree with the stance these CUA professors have taken. Can you now go tell the rest of the Catholic left that they are wrong on this?

  • So to summarize, Kurt, you disagree with the stance these CUA professors have taken.

    I went back and re-read the letter. Let me make three points.

    #1 — I am deeply appreciative of the fact that they in no way suggested that he be not allowed to speak or that the event be boycotted. Nor did they trash the University authorities for inviting him. Others on both the Right and the Left haven taken a different course in other cases and my hope is for this to be a model for the future. That part of the letter is very good.

    #2 — They give witness to a vision of Catholic Social action that has been consistently promoted by the Episcopate and call the Speaker to practice that same witness. Like the Catholic signatories, I concur with the Bishops witness and statement on social welfare questions,* so I view that as a good.

    #3 — I don’t see the signatories saying the Speaker is a bad Catholic or a heretic. The letter is vague about Chuch teachings and the Bishops clear and consistent application of those teachings. Perhaps that could be a bit tighter.

    Personally, I thing inviting a Catholic Speaker of the House like John Boehner is an obvious and proper choice for CUA. And I think a polite letter from faculty calling him to embrace the principles of social policy the Bishops have called for is a proper response given the Speaker has not.

    I have twice (to my memory) received the Eucharist at the same Mass where Mr. Boehner also has and I considered it a great witness of the catholicity of the Church.

    *with a few rare exceptions where I respectfully disagree, dissenting towards the position of the secular Right. For example I supported the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, which the bishops opposed.

  • She is on their “side.”

    So, I won’t hold my breath until the liberats send a letter to Sister Heretic Jeannine Gramick, who blasphemed Jesus as a model homosexual, and is scheduled to lecture at so-called Catholic: Fairfield University.

  • The Catholic left (those leftover liberation theology priests and bishops) are responsible for turning the American Catholic Church’s fundamental reason for existing from the salvation of souls to one of “social justice” administered by the great utopian state on earth. They’ve largely lost their faith in God and have turned their souls over to the socialistic destruction of souls. Our bishop’s councils are not blameless in this heresy.

  • This past week the daily gospel readings have been from John chapter 6. Jesus feeds the 5000 and then He and his disciples go across the lake. The crowd awakes the next morning, and finding Him gone, follows Him to Capernaum where they ask, “Rabbi, when camest thou hither?” Jesus answered, “Verily, verily I say unto you, Ye seek me not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for the meath which endureth unto eternal life…”

    Liberal Demokrat self-described Catholics are like the crowd that Jesus fed. They want more bread and circuses, but not the bread of eternal life. And sadly, this social justice heresy has infected even many within the clergy.

    Let’s take that point a little further. In John chapter 12 Mary, the sister of Martha, anoints Jesus’ feet with costly oil. Who protests about this, saying that the oil could have been sold for 300 denarii to feed the poor? The traitor Judas Iscariot, that’s who! He was the one conscious of “social justice.” And what does Sacred Scripture say about this? “This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.” How like every liberal Democrat elected to Washington, DC who call themselves Catholic (and sadly not a few Republicans)! Every time I hear about this social justice horse manure, I recall Judas Iscariot and John 12:6. With all our science, engineering and technology, man himself has changed not one iota in 2000 years.

  • Don L and PWP are 100% correct

    Plus, these intellektuals have responded to reasoned GOP proposals (to save our nation, our children, and our grandchildren from national bankruptcy generated by runaway spending) with harsh, partisan demagoguery; and, WORST, call it church teaching.

  • I am a religious Sister serving my Congregation in Guyana. Today I was looking for a responsible Catholic Dialogue website concerning Catholic Americans. Yours was the first place I saw and the introduction looked promising. Then I saw the horribly disrespectful picture that was posted here (disrespectful regarding religious sisters) and I saw how much rancor and hostility was being touted as dialogue. In order to find a mature, intelligent and respectful dialogue I guess I will have to keep looking…

  • Best wishes in your continuing search Sister. The picture you are referring to is only disrespectful to Catholic Leftists who use the Faith as a disguise for their political machinations. As to rancor and hostility, blogs open to public comments are rarely going to be mistaken for a Platonic dialogue, especially when one person, a la Plato, isn’t writing the dialogue. The American Catholic provides a forum for Catholics to debate issues that people feel strongly about and this will sometimes produce somewhat heated comments. We at The American Catholic try to maintain some decorum, but in my experience unless there is at least a little heat there will be no light.

  • Sister,

    Thank you for giving yourself to save souls in Guyana.

  • To Donald R. McClarey. With all due respect. If I minded a little heat I wouldn’t be living here. And I also recognize that public blogs are always going to be open to a certain amount of rancor. However, as to your comment that only Catholic leftists would be offended by the disgraceful picture which was posted. I strongly disagree. The religious sisters that I know here help feed and shelter the homeless, take care of orphans and teach little kids their catechism. This caricature of a religious sister, wearing a symbol of consecration to God, is degrading, ill-thought out and lacks charity. I was hoping, in humility, that you would remove it and say sorry. Was I wrong to hope for that?

  • Yes Sister you were mistaken to hope for that for the reasons I have already explained. The picture was not intended as an attack on anyone other than the persistant misuse of the Faith by those on the political Left which has been an ongoing problem throughout my lifetime, as I think would have been clear to anyone reading my post.

  • What is very clear to me from reading your post, and what bothers me, is not so much that you have a problem with the religious left, but that you don’t mind showing disgraceful caricatures of religious women, including nuns in habit (which I am privileged to wear, Praised be God). It may not have been “intended” to insult, but it definitely did insult. It didn’t insult the religious left, it insulted religious women. You could have gotten your message across without depicting nuns in such a degrading way. As far as my desire to have this disturbing image removed from this site. I still very humbly request that you do it. I will be asking all the sisters I know to pray for that, starting now. And thank you to T. Shaw for your encouragement. Women who serve the Church, sometimes in countries very far away from their home, do so because they love Jesus and want to care for others, pure and simple. They don’t deserve to open up a Catholic website and see that.

  • The issue here involves partisan demagoguery (exaggerations, distortions, fabrications, omissions) leveled at a decent Catholic man by leftists distorting church teaching.

    Mac, “Never apologize. It’s a sign of weakness.” Nathan C. Brittles, Captain, Cavalry, U.S. Army

  • We will have to agree to disagree Sister. The picture will stay up. I would think that prayers might be better directed towards Catholic institutions of higher learning no longer honoring pro-aborts, but de gustibus.

  • Dear T. Shaw, How about demagoguery (distortions, exaggerations, caricatures) leveled at decent Catholic women serving God by religious conservatives who are mad at religious liberals? And since when is apologizing a sign of weakness? And, T. Shaw, does Captain Brittles think going to Confession is a weak unmanly sort of thing to do? It definitely involves apologizing for one’s mistakes. In fact, I think the Church definitely encourages people to apologize (and atone) for their mistakes. And, Mr. McClarey, as far as praying for Catholic Insitutions, that’s a very good idea. I can pray for them and for you, too (to take the insulting picture off the site).

  • “I can pray for them and for you, too”

    I can always use prayers Sister, even if they are requesting God to have me do something I have no intention of doing. I am happy that you have decided to stick around the blog thus far. While you are here you might wish to read some of the other posts on the blog in addition to the one which has raised your ire.

  • I apologize. Really.

    The situation re: Captain Brittles is a military maxim. Therein the officer/leader, even with regard to superiors, cannot evince weakness even if he is wrong, but ever aggressiveness and confidence. Men’s lives depend on him.

    Another military maxim: never make an excuse. “No excuse, sir.” Whatever happens, I am responsible and there is never an excuse.

    I believe in Charity and Confession. Also, and maybe this is even harder, a Spiritual Work of Mercy: “forgive all injuries.”

    There is considerable class, cultural, and political warfare being waged in this country. The left is good at it and constantly shows that it doesn’t give a darn about right or wrong.

  • First, I have the utmost respect and reverence towards those religious women – nuns and sisters – who take their vows seriously, devote their lives to Jesus Christ and work without ceasing for the Kingdom of Heaven. We should and must pray for them and contribute what we can to the good work that they do.

    That being said, the picture of the leftist socialist pseudo-nun with the commie painted on her bosom is nothing like the picture St. John gave us of similar Jezebels in Revelation 2:20-23:

    St. John was a lot more forceful.

  • Now, for good or ill (i’m sure the moderators think for ill; I’m not debating that), the signatories of the letter take the Speaker to task for public policy differences where they concur with the Episcopacy and the Speaker dissents from the position taken by the Episcopate. Again, I’m not asserting here the wisdom of the bishops’ positions on these issues, I’m just noting that the Speaker (respectfully) disagrees with the Bishops and the signatories are in agreement with the Bishops on these public policy proposals.

    So my question is, why the derogatory picture of a woman religious? Why not one of a bishop? It might be a virtue or a vice, but you know critics of your viewpoint will think this is done because conservatives find it easier or more pleasurable to pick on women. Why bait us? Just for jollies?

  • “Why bait us?” I don’t know the reason why, but by your own admission we know for certain what side you’re on. Secondly, there would be no bait if the picture weren’t so true.

    It’s amazing that the leftists claim to support wealth redistribution as social justice and codify the same into the law of the land on the supposition that that is the Christian thing to do, yet at the same time would not and do not support measures to restore a sense of righteousness and holiness throughout the land. If the leftists were so intent on Christian virtue as they claim, then they would support measures to outlaw abortion, contraception, homosexual activity, adultery and fornication. The fact that they refuse to support such measures, on the assertion that this isn’t a theocracy, points to the fallacy in their argument to codify (at least their version of) social justice as the law of the land: this isn’t a theocracy.

    Liberals want theocracy (with Obama as their messiah) when it supports redistributing wealth from those who earn to those who don’t. By so doing they can keep the non-wage earner addicted to teat of the public treasury, thereby enslaving these people and ensuring again and again the re-election of their champions of the common good where everyone is equal at the lowest common denominator except for those elite few enlightened enough by the gospel of socialism to lead society forward into a man-made kingdom of heaven.

    Here’s the bottom line: it doesn’t matter how much social justice you have, or how much you spend on the poor. As long as you allow abortion, homosexual marriage and the rest of the murder and filth to go on, there will be NO social justice. Repentance and conversion come BEFORE social justice and NOT afterwards. But liberals, wanting unlimited license to do whatever feels good without consequence, refuse the former, and thus will be denied the later.

  • the Speaker dissents from the position taken by the Episcopate

    Or, more precisely, the staff of the U.S. Catholic Conference, which no one seems to be able to control or kill.

    but you know critics of your viewpoint will think this is done because conservatives find it easier or more pleasurable to pick on women.

    I pull the wings off flies, too.

  • Kurt,

    I’m not particularly interested in defending the picture, but I think the answer to your main question is that few not firmly in the Leftist camp would accept the claim that “the bishops” are against any cuts to or restructuring of entitlements such as outlined in the Ryan budget — certainly not in a way in which disagreement could be classified as “dissent”. This in part because I think very few (except those who do so entirely for convenience) would consider the occasional murmurings out of staff in the political offices of the USCCB to be any kind of “teaching” so much as “this is what these particular staff who are hired to try to apply teaching to the issues of the day have to say.”

    At least when issues such as abortion are being discussed, there is an absolutely clear and doctrinal teaching of the Church in play which it is not hard to figure out how to apply to the political realm — certainly when discussing the scandal of supporting a politician who never found pro-choice legislation he didn’t like. By comparison, while the Church unquestionably teaches us about our duty towards the least fortunate among us, there is no Church teaching or clear extrapolation of Church teaching which informs us what the necessary growth rate or structure of specific federal programs in one country in the this particular time in history should be. (And really, when one thinks about it that way, the idea that there would be seems rather silly.)

    This is why in situations like this conservatives invariably see the sudden fuss for “fidelity” put forward by leftist Catholics as a set of theatrics in order to claim “oh yeah, you’re just the same” when the “dissent” of conservatives relates to fine details of how to allocate tax dollars and entitlements, while the very real dissent on the left involves the legalization of killing the unborn.

  • that few not firmly in the Leftist camp would accept the claim that “the bishops” are against any cuts to or restructuring of entitlements such as outlined in the Ryan budget —

    You need to sign up to get the emails they have put out asking us lay faithful to write letters on various issues. Its pretty clear the signatories and the bishops are asking the Speaker to change his position on the same issues.

    It’s amazing that the leftists claim to support wealth redistribution as social justice and codify the same into the law of the land on the supposition that that is the Christian thing to do, yet at the same time would not and do not support measures to restore a sense of righteousness and holiness throughout the land. If the leftists were so intent on Christian virtue as they claim, then they would support measures to outlaw abortion, contraception, homosexual activity, adultery and fornication.

    I don’t support wealth redistribution as social justice. While I support outlawing abortion, I do oppose laws to throw people in jail for contraceptive use or homosexuality. I welcome a chance to hear your arguement for the conservative position on those two concerns and would give a respectful response supporting my position.

  • “So my question is, why the derogatory picture of a woman religious? Why not one of a bishop?”

    The answer to that question is quite simple: the picture was avaliable. If I had encountered a similar picture of a bishop or a priest or brother I would have run with it. The picture was meant to be a symbol of the Catholic Left, and not to single out women religious. If I had wished to attack women religious, I certainly not have chosen a young woman in a habit, normally the sign these days of a member of an orthodox order. I would have picked out a picture of a sixtyish woman dressed like a social worker, the usual garb of the orders of woman religious who have gone off the rails and are now dying out for lack of young postulants.

  • Yes, the Committee on Domestic Justice and such send out fairly vague (and from a policy point of view, to my mind not very incisive) letters every so often. However, to take that as a representative of what all US bishops think is quickly belied by the fact that when you actually get all the bishops together what they can agree on in the political arena is generally both more vague and more moderate.

    Indeed, if there are two things which the bishops generally can agree on, it’s generally in opposing same sex marriage and opposing abortion — two things which the Democratic party is singularly out of sympathy with.

    (Which, incidentally, simply underscores how unprecedented it was for such a huge number of bishops to come out against Notre Dame giving Obama an award — the event which these signatories are trying to be the equal and opposite to.)

  • Yes, the Committee on Domestic Justice and such send out fairly vague (and from a policy point of view, to my mind not very incisive) letters every so often.

    You need to get on the same list I am on. The alerts are not vague, but pinpoint specific: “Please contact your Senators/Representatives and tell them to vote yes/no on S./HR. 123”

    And they are fairly frequent when Congress is in session.

    And they have been doing so for a long time..I recall getting them my postal delivery before email was an option.

    And there are letter sent to Members of Congress by the Bishops themselves again asking for a particular vote — yes or no — on a particular piece of legislation.

    I respect the right of any Catholic to respectfully disagree with the bishops on any public policy proposal. I just think people are being silly and childish to pretend the bishops pnly mean it when they argree with them and don’t really mean it when they take a position contrary to their opinion.

    The bottom line remains the signatories have done what the bishops have already done — asked the Speaker to support certainly legislative proposals.

  • Well, if this list has a news feed or website, I’d be happy to take a look.

    Maybe I just have an overly exalted view of how the bishops spend their time, but I must admit that I’m having a very hard time believing the claim that all the nations bishops routinely meet or otherwise confer, discuss the merits of specific pieces of legislation, and then ask the faithful (in their capacity as bishops) to support a yes or no vote. I remain convinced, until proved otherwise, that this is the work of a couple of staffers somewhere with at most one or two supervising bishops on a single committee providing signatures.

    And if that is the case — no, I really don’t see that I’m much more required to agree with their judgments on legislative merit than I am with the USCCB film reviews on artistic merit.

  • ask the faithful (in their capacity as bishops) to support a yes or no vote.

    I’m looking at a 2009 statement; “USCCB supports H.R.1” (the Stimulus bill). I don’t know how much more clear it could be they are asking the faithful to support (or oppose) a particular piece of legislation.

    And if that is the case — no, I really don’t see that I’m much more required to agree with their judgments on legislative merit

    No debate. I don’t think any Catholic is required to agree with the Episcopate on a matter of civil legislation. I just think it is silly to try to pretend the bishops don’t take stands on particular pieces of legislation and encourage the lay faithfull to support their position. I can accept that the bishops may be misguided but its just an objective fact they take such positions.

  • When I Google the title you give, Google tells me that no documents match it.

    And again, I’m unclear as to the mechanism which you are claiming exists for the episcopate as a body to express detailed and frequent opinions on specific pieces of legislation. The bishops only convene as a body a few times a year, and on the agendas I’ve seen I don’t recall ever seeing debates on specific pieces of US legislation. How exactly are we to know that the bishops as a body actually hold the opinions which you are to attributing to them? Do they hold an vote of some sort? How much of a majority constitutes “the episcopate” in your view?

    If I went up to my bishop with a specific one of these policy updates and asked, “Do you and all other bishops agree with this?” would he reply in the affirmative, or is it possible he wouldn’t even know that the update had gone out?

  • Kurt,

    Prudential judgments exist.

    Is this the stimulus USCCB told Catholics to push?

    Two economists quoted on Power Line:

    “Our benchmark results suggest that the ARRA created/saved approximately 450 thousand state and local government jobs and destroyed/forestalled roughly one million private sector jobs. State and local government jobs were saved because ARRA funds were largely used to offset state revenue shortfalls and Medicaid increases rather than boost private sector employment. The majority of destroyed/forestalled jobs were in growth industries including health, education, professional and business services.”

    Facts not ideology . . .

    Where is Sgt. Friday when we need him?

    If the USCCB endorses legislation and tells people how to lobby or vote it could lose IRC tax exempt status.

  • “If the USCCB endorses legislation and tells people how to lobby or vote it could lose IRC tax exempt status.”

    Half right. 501(c)(3)s are not permitted to engage in partisan political activity, which includes instructing people to vote for or against candidates. Within certain limits they can endorse or oppose legislation. That said, the broader point is correct. The USCCB should be cautious about sharing its collective prudential judgments for the reasons I expressed earlier as exemplified by the econimic study cited by T Shaw.

  • Sinners. God creates the Hell too. There’s no social justice even God being nailed to dead on the cross by this type of ‘catholic’ people. SIC!

  • T. Shaw writes:


    Prudential judgments exist.

    Yes. And I have tried to go out of my way to simply make the point that I am just noting the position adopted by the bishops and not suggesting any Catholic is bound to follow their stance on pieces of particular legislation.

    If the USCCB endorses legislation and tells people how to lobby or vote it could lose IRC tax exempt status.

    Mike gives a correct and accurate responses to this. The Bishops have developed and maintain a very good lobbying and grassroots action operation.


    And again, I’m unclear as to the mechanism which you are claiming exists for the episcopate as a body to express detailed and frequent opinions on specific pieces of legislation.

    The method is the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. I don’t know why you are puzzled by this.