Various and Sundry, 3/5/15

Thursday, March 5, AD 2015

– Jay Anderson has indicated he has written his final blog post, so I will provide him one last link. It seems that the heads of the four families – excuse, me the big four Catholic publications have joined forces and issued a joint editorial. They have set aside their differences and collaborated to discuss the burning issue of the day. Liberal and conservative, orthodox and heterodox: these labels mean nothing when it comes to this unequivocal teaching of the Church*. Yes, finally, America, National Catholic Register, National Catholic Reporter, and Our Sunday Visitor have written their joint editorial calling for an end to abortion, rebutting same-sex marriage, condemning the genocide of Christians taking place in the Middle East, calling for the abolition of the death penalty.

These four Catholic publications have decided that the paramount issue bridging the gap between these distinct entities is the death penalty. What’s more, they’re not calling for the election of local legislators who will vote to outlaw the death penalty in their respective states. Oh no, they’re calling for the raw judicial activism when the Court decides on the case of Glossip v. Gross. Despite the fact that the death penalty is one of the few things manifestly countenanced by the U.S. Constitution, (after all, if you need to write amendments saying you can’t deprive someone of their lives without due process you’re tacitly admitting you can deprive citizens of their lives with due process) these four publications are totally cool with judicial activism so long as such activism comports with their personal preferences.

Jay notes that in his very first blog post he wrote:

Sir Thomas More’s admonition to Roper should serve as a warning and a reminder to Catholics that the activist Court that sides with us in this particular instance is the same activist Court that is likely in the future (as it has in the past) to “turn round on us” and use its increasingly strident activism to decide cases contrary to our Catholic values.

This was in reference to Roper v. Simmons, another death penalty case. Now, here we are, ten years later these supposedly Catholic publications are totally fine with the use of raw judicial power. They’re fine with it now, but where will they be in ten years when judicial activists deprive Catholics of basic First Amendment rights?

Like Jay I am personally opposed to the death penalty, but I’m even more opposed to legislation by judicial fiat, and those who support the Court declaring unconstitutional that which is concretely and unambiguously constitutional are compliant in an act of judicial tyranny, even if it is for an ostensibly good cause.

*Footnote here for the sarcasm impaired. Let’s just say that traditional Catholic teaching is no more prohibitive of the death penalty than the U.S. Constitution.

– Anna Mussmann muses that we’re over-complicating motherhood. It’s of a similar vein to what I’ve written before, suggesting that helicopter parenting is a symptom of selfish parenting. Her take is a little different, but well worth the read.

– I just can’t quit the latest Clinton scandal. It’s odd that this is the thing that has dented the Clintons’ teflon coating, to the point where even Lawrence O’Donnell is abandoning ship. Now the website Gawker demonstrates that Clinton’s use of a personal email account was a huge security risk. Long story short, Clinton preferred having her emails fall in the lap of Russia than an intrusive American press.

Here’s another Hot Air link. The Republican party now controls more state houses than any point in recent history, and they owe it all to President Obama. The party that is supposedly on its deathbed is routing Democrats at all local levels. This ascendancy started before Obama was immaculated, but has only sped up since.

– Darwin’s take on when to call the cops on a kid.

If you see a property or violent crime being committed, by all means call the cops. Or if a kid is doing something which seems likely to directly result in death or injury. If a child seems genuinely lost, upset or hurt, and you’re not able to find an adult connected with them (especially if you’ve taken the time to ask the kid if she needs help and she says yes) then by all means summon help.

But keep in mind that calling the cops on a family can have traumatic (and at times even fatal) consequences. “I wouldn’t let my kid walk home alone,” is probably not a serious enough reason, unless you happen to live rather literally in a war zone.

A victory today for the revolutionaries who dared to sled on Capitol Hill.

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10 Responses to Various and Sundry, 3/5/15

  • Over at PJMedia, Michael Walsh suggests that Hillary is being sent a Sicilian message.

  • Looks like the one last link is broken. Missing a colon.

  • “What’s more, they’re not calling for the election of local legislators who will vote to outlaw the death penalty in their respective states. Oh no, they’re calling for the raw judicial activism when the Court decides on the case of Glossip v. Gross. Despite the fact that the death penalty is one of the few things manifestly countenanced by the U.S. Constitution, (after all, if you need to write amendments saying you can’t deprive someone of their lives without due process you’re tacitly admitting you can deprive citizens of their lives with due process) these four publications are totally cool with judicial activism so long as such activism comports with their personal preferences.”

    National Catholic Register should know better. America and National Catholic Reporter have as much respect for the Constitution as they do for the Constitution: bupkis. Our Sunday Visitor should have this as their official song:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGhTr8lDCV0

  • ….Well, I guess we won’t be subscribing to the NCR. Too bad, although at least they didn’t do this the week after we subscribed. (We were planning on it as soon as our mail situation got sorted out.)
    ***
    Tons of binding teachings, and they decide to go for prudential activism, and in an especially stupid way. I’d like to call it something other than stupid, but that’s solidly in the “let’s chop down all the laws of England– again!” category.

  • The motherhood article has some good points, but I think it starts out with a big problem:
    Some time ago I made the mistake of picking up a parenting magazine.
    Don’t do that, unless it’s for amusement. It’s like picking up Cosmo or some guy version, but with fewer pretty ladies.
    They make money by making problems, and trying to get folks to solve them. (Also, the recipes tend to either not work, or taste horrible. I’m now pretty sure that the “creative treats” are more for impressing other adults than for the kids.)
    Biggest problem with motherhood is that, if you do it right, it puts a lie to the “you can have it all” BS we’re fed– you are not going to have a high-pressure male type career and be supermom.

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  • Thanks, Paul!
    ***
    One point of clarification: I’m not just “personally opposed” to capital punishment, I’d actually like to see it abolished. Just not by judicial fiat. I know that’s what you meant, but just wanted that point to be clear when the inevitable accusations start rolling in that we’re only “personally opposed” and therefore just like Mario Cuomo.
    ***
    Also, I’d just like to point out that, while I want to see the death penalty abolished, those Catholics who are essentially arguing that opposition to capital punishment is de fide for Catholics are full of it. Yes, I agree that, as Catholics we SHOULD oppose capital punishment, following the admonitions of Pope John Paul II; but it is a blatant misstatement of the Faith to proclaim that Catholics MUST oppose capital punishment or else be “dissenters”.
    ***
    Finally, this “cooperation” among the “Group of 4” national Catholic publications on this particular issue raises a question for other issues: Since these publications are “uniting [them]selves with the Pope and his predecessor on this issue” (to quote the justification offered by Register on the publication’s Facebook page), I am assuming that they will similarly unite and show Catholic solidarity with a joint editorial backing the Church’s teachings when the Supreme Court rules on same-sex “marriage” later this year?

    Yeah, right. I won’t be holding my breath.

  • They use (among other sophomorical ruses) that capital punishment meme as smoke screen to justify support for the uber evil Dem party, a.k.a., Abortion, Inc.

  • Please see my comment on the death penalty at the next post: A Disgrace.
    Herewith is my take on informed consent and guilt and devil possession.
    When a sovereign person chooses to relegate himself to entertain evil he chooses a diminished capacity, forfeits his sovereignty over himself and literally sells himself, his soul to the devil. Even for atheists, who do not believe in the human being, composed of body and soul, embracing a big lie and the Great Liar poses some hazards. Informed consent becomes impossible because of diminished capacity. Obsessed or possessed by the devil, a person’s free will is bound and therefore informed consent cannot be forth coming.

How To Write For the National Catholic Reporter

Wednesday, September 17, AD 2014

 

 

National Catholic Fishwrap

 

 

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic, demonstrates yet again why I long ago designated him Defender of the Faith:

 

A continuing series

Thank you for your interest in writing for the National Catholic Reporter.  Although we welcome your submissions at any time, we hope that these occasional posts help you to become exactly the sort of writer NCR is looking for.  The following piece by Robert McClory illustrates two key abilities every great NCR writer needs to learn how to perform well.  The first of these is how to:

Play dumber than a bag of hammers – Commenting on a recent column by Cardinal Francis George of the Archdiocese of Chicago in which George said this:

Now, George says, “society has brought social and legislative approval to all types of sexual relationships that used to be considered ‘sinful.’ Since the biblical vision of what it means to be human tells us that not every friendship or love can be expressed in sexual relations, the church’s teaching on these issues is now evidence of intolerance for what the civil law upholds and even imposes. What was once a request to live and let live has now become a demand for approval. The ‘ruling class,’ those who shape public opinion in politics, in education, in communications, in entertainment, is using the civil law to impose its own form of morality on everyone.”

McClory responds:

I don’t understand what George is saying. If many states pass, for example, approval of gay marriage, aren’t Catholics free to oppose it in keeping with official church teaching, just as they are free to oppose the sale of contraceptives in drug stores? If the government requires insurance policies to cover the purchase of contraceptives, are not Catholics free to object, as George has done for months? But I don’t see how any of this amounts to a “ruling class” imposing “its own form of morality on everyone.”

The simple fact of that matter is that, unless he is too stupid to be allowed outside without supervision, McClory knows perfectly well what George means.  But McClory has to pretend that he doesn’t; otherwise, he must explain why being governmentally coerced into committing a sin is fine as long as you’re free to feel bad about it as well as why being governmentally coerced into sin isn’t “imposing morality.”

The second ability any good NCR writer needs to know particularly well is how to:

Duck the questionCardinal George continues.

“It means that those who choose to live by the Catholic faith,” [George] says, “will not be welcomed as political candidates to national office, will not sit on editorial boards of major newspapers, will not be at home on most university faculties, will not have successful careers as actors and entertainers. Nor will their children, who will also be suspect. Since all public institutions, no matter who owns or operates them, will be agents of the government and conform their activities to the demands of the official religion, the practice of medicine and law will become more difficult for faithful Catholics. It already means in some States that those who run businesses must conform their activities to the official religion or be fined, as Christians and Jews are fined for their religion in countries governed by Sharia law.”

One assumes that McClory knows that George’s last sentence has already happened several times since several private businesses have been driven into bankruptcy by the legal assaults of homosexuals.  One also assumes that McClory remembers the Chick-Fil-A controversy of a while back in which the homosexual community as well as several prominent politicians publicly execrated Chick-Fil-A and wished for its destruction simply because its CEO opposed the concept of homosexual “marriage.”

Assuming that McClory knows all this, how does he respond?  Like any great National Catholic Reporter writer would.

I hope some of George’s clearer-thinking colleagues would gather around their partner and urge him to consider a more positive, optimistic future for Catholicism. Is not the Holy Spirit still among us?

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6 Responses to How To Write For the National Catholic Reporter

Schadenfreude, Sweet Schadenfreude

Tuesday, July 1, AD 2014

National Catholic Reporter

 

Go here to read the often hysterical, and frequently unintentionally humorous, comments on the Hobby Lobby decision at the National Catholic Reporter.

 

One of my personal favorites:

No, Pete, this decision is not good and it is not a start. Thanks to Congress and the US Supreme Court it is a continuation of the slide from a pluralistic society into a theocratic one. And not just a theocracy, but a Christian theocracy. (Judaism and Islam is not included.) And not just a Christian theocracy, but a so-called Christian theocracy embraced by a small minority who hold certain “sincere beliefs.”
With this decision all tax payers of whatever belief or no belief will have to allocate part of the US budget to pay for medical benefits for women who are denied those benefits so their corporate employers can be free to exercise their “sincere beliefs.”
As we celebrate this Independence Day 2014 it might be beneficial to ask if this is what the founders had in mind when they wrote the First Amendment U.S. Constitution.
George McCartin
priest/lawyer

 

 

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10 Responses to Schadenfreude, Sweet Schadenfreude

  • Outstanding!

    Thank you!!

    First thing this morning you give us a perfect example of the oxymoron: priest/lawyer!!!

    McCartin,

    Actually, the waning plurality of Americans that have jobs and pay taxes . . .

    The real slide/slippery slope is from liberty to tyranny of the libidinous, liberal busybody (at best) or Big Brother/1984 (at worst). How is it a free state when the all-powerful state orders its serfs to buy something regardless of it being against your conscience?

    T. Shaw
    Trying with varying degrees of success to be a Christian.

  • Thank you. Good post.

  • Whatever “the Founders had in mind…”, I’m quite sure it wasn’t the forcing of the citizenry to pay for somebody else’s birth control.

  • T Shaw said:

    “The real slide/slippery slope is from liberty to tyranny of the libidinous, liberal busybody (at best) or Big Brother/1984 (at worst).”

    Here, here! Mr. Shaw. 😀

  • “…it might be beneficial to ask if this is what the founders had in mind when they wrote the First Amendment U.S. Constitution”
    Agreed. Let’s ask! Here’s the answer: “Yes. Indeed.” See, it’s simple.

  • Democrats are closet theocrats? Who knew?!?

  • I’ve seen Fr. McCartin’s fuzzy logic being dismantled by Fr. Z about a year and
    a half ago. Check out the “priest/lawyer’s” trip to the woodshed in the final
    comments on Fr. Z’s 30 January 2013 post “Confession to SSPX Priest a Sin?”.

    Ouch. That dressing-down might have left a mark.

  • “And not just a theocracy, but a Christian theocracy.”
    .
    Yes, our Founding Fathers brought forth this nation on Christian pinciples. If any citizen is not content, he is free, really free, to change these founding principles by getting three quarters of the states to ratify any change he proposes. Put it on the ballot, hear the will of the people, get informed consent of the governed.

  • Cannot employees purchase contraceptives out of their own pockets? Money from employers to pay for them is cash withheld from net pay. Healthcare benefits are not an addition to one’s salary. And why do people who exclaim “keep your rosaries off our ovaries” believe they are suddenly entitled to their neighbor’s income when they find themselves in trouble due to their actions?

  • Charlie wrote, “Healthcare benefits are not an addition to one’s salary”
    That rather depends on how they are treated for tax purposes. I do not know the US Tax Code, but, in most countries, one finds benefits in kind are used when they are more favourably treated than equivalent cash payments.

Those Christers Had It Coming

Thursday, October 3, AD 2013

National Catholic Reporter

 

 

Now that Dale Price is back to blogging at Dyspeptic Mutterings, he makes my job so much easier.  I was going to comment on The National Catholic Reporter’s new found respect for the Taliban in the wake of the suicide bombing of All Saints’ Church in Peshawar, Pakistan, but how could I top this?:

 

 

Shorter Maureen Fielder: Krystallnacht was not anti-Jewish, it was anti-Versailles Treaty.

He first characterized the bombing as a “horrific act” without a shred of justification. He praised the Christian community in Pakistan, now more fearful than ever, and noted that he himself was educated by Catholic priests and later by Presbyterians. He counts many Christians as friends.
So I asked him point-blank, “Was this bombing an act of religious discrimination?” Was it religiously motivated? Without hesitation, he said, “No.” He pointed to a statement from the Taliban themselves saying it was a response to the United States’ frequent and continuing drone attacks in the tribal areas of Pakistan. He said the Pakistani government’s protests to the United States have been unable to stop the drones, so the frontier tribes have resorted to their ancient “eye for an eye” response to perceived injustice.

Nice to See Dr. Ahmed has “many” Christians as friends.
Much like the white bigot who’s “friends with a black guy.”
Yeah, despicable.
And of a piece with freshly-minted chickenhawk Michael Sean Winters’ airy dismissal of concern about the fate of Syria’s Christians, should Assad fall.
Say what you will about the Reporter, they always manage to find a new low. And if Catholics ever go into ghettos, you can guess from whose ranks the authorities will recruit the Order Police from.

OK, upon further reflection, it’s not that worrisome.
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Schadenfreude

Friday, April 20, AD 2012

Occasionally I take a glance at the website of the National Catholic Distorter Fishwrap Reporter for the purpose of amusement.  Yesterday I wandered over there to see their reaction to the Vatican’s attempt to reform The Leadership Conference of Women Religious.  The reactions were both hysterical and hysterically funny.  Father Z, who I have designated the Master of the Fisk, had one of his patented devastating takes on one of the reactions:

[Sr. Joan] Chittister said she was deeply distraught at news of Sartain’s appointment and the order for LCWR to revise itself. [What a surprise!]

“When you set out to reform a people, a group, who have done nothing wrong, [You mean, other than purposely embrace heresies and all sorts of strange things, criticize and defy the Holy See and bishops, abandon their habits and the charisms of their communities… ] you have to have an intention, a motivation that is not only not morally based, but actually immoral,” she said.  [Keeping in mind that this new project comes from the CDF and that this is approved by the Holy Father, I rest my case.]

“Because you are attempting to control people [Note the word “attempt”.  I look forward to many more statements of defiance from women religious, speeches at conferences, articles in NCR.] for one thing and one thing only — and that is for thinking, for being willing to discuss the issues of the age … If we stop thinking, if we stop demanding the divine right to think, [She pretty much side-steps the problems, no?  This “think” thing is misdirection.] and to see that as a Catholic gift, then we are betraying the church no matter what [NB] the powers of the church see as an inconvenient truth in their own times.”  [Sr. Joan must be for the Magisterium of Nuns what Al Gore is to the climate change crowd.]

In attempting to take such control of people’s thinking, [She must think most of her readers are pretty stupid, since she keeps repeating the point.] she said, “You make a mockery of the search for God, of the whole notion of keeping eyes on the signs of the times and of providing the people with the best possible spiritual guidance and presence you can give.  [More Enneagrams, please!]

“When I was a child in this town, I was taught that it was a sin to go into a Protestant church.

In my lifetime, the church, to its eternal credit, admitted that it was wrong. [!?!  About entering Protestant churches?  – Would that some of them would… but I digress. ] The scandal and the sin is that it took 400 years to do that.”

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22 Responses to Schadenfreude

  • They find hope in everything and everyone EXCEPT Jesus Christ. Typical godless liberals.

  • As Lord Macaulay famously observed, “We know through what strange loopholes the human mind contrives to escape, when it wishes to avoid a disagreeable inference from an admitted proposition. We know how long the Jansenists contrived to believe the Pope infallible in matters of doctrine, and at the same time to believe doctrines which he pronounced to be heretical.”

  • “I was taught that it was a sin to go into a Protestant church.”

    No one actually had to teach me that for me to figure it out.

  • “’I was taught that it was a sin to go into a Protestant church.’ No one actually had to teach me that for me to figure it out.”

    Frankly, statements like that are offensive. When my 80 year old Pentecostal mother and my older brother visit me, and ask me to drive them to the local Assemblies of God (AG) Church where I live, then I have done so and shall happily and respectfully continue to do so. I have and shall continue to enter and sit with them, and be a polite and decent human being who realizes that he doesn’t have a lock on the Kingdom of Heaven.

    If the LCWR embraced the Gospel of Conversion and Repentence the way that the AG does, then we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    There is so much wrong with this triumphalism. The Eastern Orthodox Churches not in union with the See of Peter are recognized to have valid Holy Orders and valid Sacraments. There are other examples. While I utterly despise and loathe the liberalism and progressivism inherent in the Liberal Conference of Women Religious, there is a world of difference between their renegade brand of “Christianity” and our separated Evangelical, Pentecostal or Orthodox brethren. We could learn lessons from the latter even while we disagree with them on matters of theology. Indeed, I have more in common with the typical, run of the mill Evaneglical or Pentecostal than I do with any liberal progressive who calls him or herself “Catholic.”

    BTW, go to a typical AG Church or Church of God Church, and you’ll see no Obama bumper stickers in the parking lot. Go to a Catholic and the story is very different. Why is that? Who really has the problem?

  • Let us stay on topic please. I have a family filled with all Protestants on my father’s side, and my wife was a Protestant when I married her, and so I have zero interest in getting into a battle on this thread about Catholic vs. Protestant. The topic is LCWR and not our separated brethren.

  • All this talk about continuously “thinking” and “being allowed to think.”

    I always thought the purpose of thinking was to arrive at a conclusion. The Church has arrived at its conclusions a long time ago (at least on Sister’s pet issues).

  • Paul Primavera:
    “They find hope in everything and everyone EXCEPT Jesus Christ.” You took the words out of my mouth. “…EXCEPT Jesus Christ and His Holy Church.

  • I was recently reading some of “The Soul of the Apostolate”. The theme of the book is the importance of the interior life over the active life. I thought the author used some outrageous stories of religious people who got so lost in their active apostolates that they bankrupted themselves spiritually. Now I’m thinking that the author actually understated the risk.

  • Niiice.

    The biological solution is taking care of these catholycs.

    Check out the despair in their movement at the 4:00 minute mark.

    Then take a look at their demographic at the 6:12 mark, you can see an elderly person walking with his stroller in the background.

    You can almost see Michael Sean Winters way in the back curled up in the fetal position sobbing with his thumb in his mouth.

    Yep, the biological solution is taking care of these dissidents.

  • Pinky: Mother Teresa of Calcutta instructed her nuns to pray five hours a day and work five hours a day, without which the nuns would lose their vocation.

  • IIRC, it was never a sin to go into a protestant church.
    We were taught that taking part in their “communion” was sinful, because it meant that we accepted their view of communion as a symbol, was equivalent to the genuine “Eucharistic Sacrfice” of the consecrated species of the Catholic Mass.

    There was never a ban on entering a protestant church – I attended many weddings of family and friends in other churches.

    Sr. Joan’s red herring.

  • *shrug* Pretty standard stuff. “Think” is the same as “listen”– it usually means “agree with what I’m saying.”

  • Power is indeed the issue. The left decries greed and indeed there is. But they ignore their own greed in grabbing for more and more power. This is the true problem with greed today.

  • The LCWR has become a rat’s nest of secular dissent against the Catholic Church. After Archbishop Sartain investigates them, I hope the Holy See disbands the LCWR and puts the dissenters on notice – shape up or ship out.

    I cannot look at the NCR website. Just can’t do it.

  • All I can say is Thank God for Pope Benedict XVI, for Bishop Levada and for Bishop Sartrain. What I found most interesting about the video attached is that no one answered the question What do you have hope in? with the answer I would give: Christ and the Church. That is where I put my hope. And it is refreshing and awesome to see how Benedict is gracefully charting the Church out of the Scandals and into the future by returning its heart and its focus to the past, to the teaching of the magisterium, and the true deposit of the faith. May GOD continue to bless the Catholic Church. And I pray that those within it who want to change it to something more modern and conforming of the world — find the exit and fast. The Church that Christ founded is good enough for me.

  • Penguins Fan,

    I don’t visit the NCDistorter for any reason at all. Even if they have John Allen writing there, which I find disturbing.

    Isn’t writing for the NCDistorter formal cooperation with evil?

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  • The LCWR has attempted to turn the Church into a democracy, not unlike the mainstream protestant denominations have done in their own misguided way. When doctrine is subject to the whim of a vote or popular opinion, you have what the TEC community is experiencing: doctrinal confusion and ecclesiastical meltdown.

    The undoing of the LCWR will not be due to the Vatican’s legitimate action to rectify the disturbing anti-Catholic teaching and behaviour among the LCWR membership and their allies. No, the LCWR will fall due to what comes out of their mouths and which further alienates them from the Church. They can try to blame others for the problems they have created. However, mature adults would normally find it within themselves to examine their consciences, submit to the legitimate authority of the bishops and make the necessary changes to harmonize their mission with that of the Church.

    One would think that the LCWR leadership would exercise restraint and humility. Instead, their reactions amount to the confused rants of petulant children. As it is, the LCWR’s defiance proves they are not with Christ and His Vicar.

  • Don,

    You asked. “Why do people who so manifestly hate the Church, at least the Church as she has existed throughout history and not the Church of their desires, stay? ”

    I believe they stay because being Catholic has a distinct and definitive meaning. It has some bona fides that they would not be able to claim outside the Church. I find it ironic that the only way their opinions carry weight is staying in the very organization they seek to destroy.

    Dominus Vobiscum

    KCHawk

  • Warren
    “The LCWR has attempted to turn the Church into a democracy,” Biting the hand that feeds them.

  • Maybe they are staying and trying to change the Church into their own image and likeness because they would lose a lot of property if they left (convents, etc….) and PRIDE , of course, – they are right and those old men in Rome are….wrong!

Brother Dan Doesn’t Like the March for Life

Tuesday, January 24, AD 2012

Most Catholic pro-lifers know the truth, and lament it, that if all Catholics in this country fought against abortion, the days of legalized abortion in these United States could be measured in months.  Alas, that is not the case.  Half the Catholics in this country routinely give their votes to the political party that is pledged to keep abortion legal, and many of these same Catholics routinely work against the pro-life movement.  Curious how that segment of Catholics was observing the March for Life, I wandered over to the National Catholic Reporter and read a post, read it here, which gave paeans of praise to a post, go here to read it and the comments,  by a Franciscan Brother, Daniel P. Horan, at his website, Dating God, explaining why he does not support the March for Life.  It so perfectly embodies the mindset among Catholics that has enabled abortion to remain legal for the past four decades that I decided it was worthy of a fisk.

There are indeed numerous reasons to withhold support for the so-called “March for Life.” I wish here to highlight three of the reasons that I have serious reservations about the annual ‘pilgrimage’ to Washington, DC, that draws thousands of well-meaning people, the young and the old alike.

Ah, come on Brother Dan, the use of the term “so-called” as an adjective to modify something that one does not approve of is so cliché.  You can certainly do better than that!

 Ah, but before I go further, I feel as though I need to qualify that last sentence. While the generational divide is usually traversed by a diverse representation of different ages and from idealistic youth and young adults to the more narrowly focused and opinion-concretized geriatric crowd, there is very little racial and ethnic diversity represented.

People on the left are as obsessed as any Ku Kluxer with skin color.  Intellectual diversity however, never seems to be of much concern to them.

Anticipating the likely unhappy responses in what will appear in the comment section below, I suppose it is necessary to acknowledge that there are indeed African-American, Latino/a and Asian women and men who arrive for the events of the annual pilgrimage.

Yeah, Brother Dan lots of ’em, a fact that you would know if you bothered attending the March.

However, their numbers reflect that category into which they are so blindly corralled in this country – a minority. The sea of protesters (and that is what they are) is overwhelmingly white and that is not an insignificant dimension of the event.  

Once again the obsession with race.  The marchers Brother Dan want to save all the unborn, no matter what their skin color.

Among the various reasons one might chose to omit him or herself from participation, I wish to highlight three: (a) the event’s moniker is incomplete at best and disingenuous at worst, (b) the mode of protest has proven ineffective, and, following the second point, (c) the ‘march’ and its related events is a self-serving exercise in self-righteousness, self-congratulatory grandstanding and disinterest in the most pressing matters of human rights and dignity in our world today.  

If stopping the slaying of the most innocent and defenseless among is not the most pressing matter of human rights and dignity in the world today, I wonder what is?  I am sure Brother Dan will enlighten us!

 To begin, I have no problem with people of faith taking a public stance against abortion.

Big of you Brother Dan!

You will never find me supporting abortion legislation nor encouraging those with and for whom I minister as a Roman Catholic cleric to support abortion.

Just casting aspersions from the side lines against those fighting against this manifest evil. 

I believe it is a legitimate issue against which, as a Christian and Roman Catholic, I feel should be a thematic feature of social transformation.

“A thematic feature of social transformation”, whatever the heck that is supposed to mean.

 However, it is not, at all, the most important issue, nor is it the single issue upon which Catholics – or anyone – should focus in an exclusive manner. 

Why not?  Most great evils in this world have been removed due to a single-minded focus upon a particular evil for a time.  The crusade against slavery in this country comes immediately to mind.

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61 Responses to Brother Dan Doesn’t Like the March for Life

  • Is Br. Hogan monastic?

    He certainly doesn’t seem to be afflicted by the realities of an active participation in this issue. Has he not heard of The Gabriel Project? The litany of links on the right of this page is broad enough that anybody who wishes can have as much useful information as could be digested.

    There are many of us in the Church who believe that all life is sacred – that euthanasia, war and capital punishment are also contrary to the teachings of Christ (a dead enemy cannot enjoy Christian fellowship with you, and a dead man can’t reconcile) – but we do not keep this as sine qua non for being anti-abortion; I personally bristle at Br. Hogan’s assertions.

    In any event, I hope somebody at the See sees his screed and gently reminds him of his commitment under Holy Orders to render unto God what is God’s and forget the rest.

  • Brother Dan thanks God that he is not like that taxpayer over there.

  • Er, tax collector.

    Sigh. Coffee time.

  • The tax collector analogy came to mind as I was reading his post Dale. My guess is that what he wrote probably passes for common wisdom in his circles which is a depressing insight into the state of too much of the Catholic Church in this country.

  • One of the more annoying rejoinders I have heard used against those who are pro-life is the assertion is that unless you are anti-everything-else listed in the seamless garment perspective you are a hypocrite, or else motivated by some deep seated anger against women. Even if you hold that all of the other issues usually listed in the seamless garment perspective carry equal moral weight, the last time I looked there are only 24 hours in a day, and most of us have lives that require us to work, care for children and family, and address other such minor diversions. Most people pick and choose their battles, and to suggest that one must devote equal amounts of time and energy to all these causes to maintain some sort of moral eqipoise is absurd.

  • Thank you for posting this, it is eye-opening. Man does he sound angry – can’t he just pop in Brother Sun and Sister Moon and chill out?

    Seriously though, does anyone know to which province Horan belongs? I’d like to know how they consider his viewpoints. While we live in a democracy, there is, or at least was, a discipline in religious orders when it came to statements like his in public forums. I apologize for coming across as naive about Franciscans. The Franciscans I know are Pro-Life (albeit they fixate on physical poverty over spiritual poverty, ironically) and would never hold forth in such a manner.

    I will strongly reconsider financial support of the Franciscans, which I have done in the past.

  • This type of story is one of the reasons that I have many protestant brothers and sisters questioning my faith and whether it is truly Christian. They wonder why clerics or clergy are allowed to make such statements publicly and are not censured or punished (may be a poor choice of words). I do not have a decent reply when they are making such a valid point. I pray that all those Catholics that are not following the church teachings reconsider and learn there faith and following its beliefs.

  • All I can wonder is when the last time Brother Dan was at the March, because he seems significantly out-of-touch with what goes on and the type of person who attends the March for Life.
    If Americans died at the rate of 3,000 daily from any other cause, you can bet we would want to fight that cause! We would vote based on that illness or natural disaster and its relief; we would have banners and posters to fight that reality; we would march. What is wrong with publicly denouncing the murder of literally thousands of our brothers and sisters daily with an annual protest?
    I’m a Salesian Sister of St. John Bosco; I’m pro-life, and I intend to educate the young to speak up in respect for life, especially the life of the unborn.

  • Br. Dan and Fr. Angelus aren’t about to let something so trivial as the “so-called pro-life movement” stand in the way of their devotion to the Democrat Party (and the praise from the “smart-set” Catholics that accompanies such devotion).

  • Richard-
    my husband asks me the same thing. Best thing I can answer is that the system is incredibly slow, and it requires that a long list of people do what they ought. (Misbehavior is reported to the cleric’s superior, they either talk to the guy or pass it up, lots of opportunities to repent and reform which means even more delay, lots of work to try to avoid driving out those that have been misled, trying to correct those who have weak or flawed formation without destroying them….)

    Sister-
    Even more depressing, although we don’t know exactly how many women die of abortion complications, I’d lay serious money that it’s more than the kids who die in association drop-side cribs (~13 a year–includes SIDS and jumping out to land on your head, etc) and yet, somehow, one is worthy of being banned and the other needs to be “protected.”

    Thankfully, the pro-death crowd is getting to the point of self-parody and it’s turning off some of those who have been manipulated into supporting it– I know of at least one “it’s a woman’s choice, it’s so tough, I can’t judge” type Catholic who’s now anti-abortion because of the Gosnell abortuary coverage. (Or un-coverage, since so much of the “compassion” argument depends on things being hidden.)

  • The National Catholic Reporter column mentioned “REASON” no less than five times in its short piece. Everybody else is unreasonable, and only they have the “REASON”, but they would not have “REASON” if their brain had been aborted and their tax dollars used to experiment on their aborted brain.

  • This past Sunday I taught my 7th grade CCD class all about abortion. I really wish I had this post so I could have read it to the kids. I wouldn’t have used names (so the kids wouldn’t be scandalized by this friar), but would have gone through the dialogue back and forth.

    The number of abortions occuring are staggering.

    I think it’s very important to teach our children early what the pro-abortion arguments are. How they try to confuse with words. So when one of our young impressionable kids hears it they can have that internal dialogue of “I already heard this and I know why it’s wrong” and are not swayed.

    Thank you for this post, I will be using in next year (with appropriate rewording for the age group) or even in a later class if the opportunity arises.

  • Before I continue reading (I am excruciatingly slow) it is extremely important to realize and accept that the MARCH FOR LIFE is the Constitutional First Amendment right to peaceable assembly to petition the government for redress, and if there were only one person attending, he would be a majority of one. I did so enjoy seeing all those persons expressing their freedom (and mine). and thinking WOW. And although I could not march, I got to see Nellie Gray and Chris Smith and Father Pavone. Thank God. Government does not have authentic authority to define the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, giving food to the hungry, to Terry Schiavo, or to dictate the will of God to God and to the people of God, when the person is constituted by his immortal soul and brought into existence. Government has no legal ability to redefine the human person by withholding the acknowedgement of his conscience. Government is establised to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our constitutional posterity, all future generations. Taxing citizens for obligations not fulfilled is extortion and taxation without representation. At least Brother Dan might have spoken up for some of our money, if not our life. Obama has subsummed all future generations as liabilities.

  • WK. Aiken: Capital punishment is the temporal punishment due to one found guilty of capital homicide and may be found in Acquinas’ just war theory. Only a person who has been rehabilitated may live. A truly repentant capital one murderer must expire with grief over his crime or his contrition is not perfect and society does not have to accept imperfect contrition or to enable the murderer to commit another homicide which will make society liable for the crime.

  • Donald R. McClarey:
    I am so glad you set Brother Dan straight on his path. Thank you.

  • Great fisk Don. That was one of the most uncharitable & condescending pieces of writing by a so-called Brother I have ever read! Plus, I made the mistake of reading the comments, ick. But I take heart; what his writing really means is that the March for Life does make a difference and hearts & minds are changing – odd that this bothers so-called Br. Dan.

  • Pingback: TUESDAY U.S. PRO-LIFE EXTRA I | ThePulp.it
  • Congressman Allen West (R. Florida), perhaps the most electrifying speaker at the March for Life this year:

  • Thank you Will, Mary, Chris and Lisa for your kind words. We will wage this fight for the protection of innocent life until we prevail, and when we do we can all remember those who lent a hand to help in the struggle. Those who sneered from the sidelines will be forgotten, the usual fate of those who stand idle while a great evil is afoot.

  • “While the generational divide is usually traversed by a diverse representation of different ages and from idealistic youth and young adults to the more narrowly focused and opinion-concretized geriatric crowd, there is very little racial and ethnic diversity represented. ”

    – ! – idealistic youth: Br., it is good that they exist and haven’t been drowned in misery and evil of opinions. There were many accompanied by parents, teachers, and priests (some of whom are becoming reality’s super heroes and, by example, teaching the Gospel).

    – ! – narrowly focused opinion- concretized geriatric crowd: This red flag of a phrase from a Franciscan brother is abomination. Who passed the law to begin this mess? Can’t resist saying it sort of takes one to know one.

    “I have heard numerous people, even those who avidly support the march, lament that the Vigil Mass has become more a “Who’s Who” of a sector of the American Catholic Church than it has the Eucharistic celebration it alleges to be.”

    – ! – Good thing for the American Catholic Church. Also, is this sentence an invitation to the evil of gossip.

    “Perhaps, just maybe, a single Samaritan or even a few might be among the crowd and stop to pick up the ignored and forgotten and left-for-dead issues that continue to threaten life and human dignity in our world.”

    “Binary” good/evil, “Binary” moral, Boutique issue.

    What could be the in-between of good and evil that you frightfully imply? Maybe, yesterday you missed the chance to see any Samaritans while you were in the boutique. It will be televised Sat. at 2:00.

  • Someone should tell Brother Dan there might have been more blacks at the March for Life if they hadn’t comprised the 60% of the abortions that have taken place since Roe v. Wade. On another note, how could Brother Dan know about the marchers’ self-congratulatory attitude unless he’d been given Divine permission to sit in judgment of them? Finally someone should tell him that if doing the same thing and expecting different results is insanity, he’d probably want to avoid frequent confession.l

  • “Yet, innocence is a construct that has theological and ethical implications and characteristics that have been explored on this website as well as on the excellent WIT: Women in Theology website. I will not rehearse those discussions here.”

    Here’s a link to WIT. I haven’t checked but I suspect they might look upon the fetus as an unjust aggressor on a woman’s body.

    http://womenintheology.org/

  • I haven’t checked but I suspect they [Women In Theology] might look upon the fetus as an unjust aggressor on a woman’s body.
    Phillip

    Claiming the pre-born person one brought into existence – into a state of unvolitional bodily engulfment and dependence onto oneself – is an “unjust aggressor” mocks reality. Sure, someone might object that this has left a loophole that doesn’t rule out abortions in cases of rape. But that apparent opening (in the seamless garment?) is closed off by other moral prescriptions, including the obligations of charity.

    Still, someone might ignore charity and appeal to the State that this is a practical matter of the pre-born person being a trespasser. Well, we should not practice using the State’s authority to do harm to anyone presumed innocent. Mustn’t there be due process for a person accused of the crime of trespass? It seems to me a trial is required. And as a practical matter the State must wait until the person accused is competent to stand trial… yes?

  • I was not able to force myself through all his drivel. Made me nauseous. I simply cannot understand how the slaughter of a defenseless innocent child can be ho-hummed away. I know monumental injustice, intimately, but these are children burned to death or torn to shreds……

  • “Mustn’t there be due process for a person accused of the crime of trespass?”

    Indeed Michael. I have done many trespass cases and can recall not a one where the Defendant was executed.

  • My comment was tongue-in-cheek. However not so much for WIT:

    “First, it is for this reason that some moral theologians (including, I think, Cathy Kaveny on the Commonweal blog) have argued that the fetus could be thought of in some situations (such as the Phoenix case) as a materially unjust aggressor. It does not intend to attack the mother’s body in an unjust way, but it nonetheless is doing just that, for reasons out of its control. Thus the fetus would be in the same category as the starving but insane man who lunges at your head with a knife because he is convinced it’s actually a melon that sits atop your shoulders. Killing such a person could be said to constitute self-defense.

    Second, and of more interest to me in this post, is that formal innocence is not usually what we mean when we talk about a fetus being innocent. Rather, we mean innocent in the sentimental way that we call adorable animals and babies innocent (Augustine notwithstanding). We mean they are helpless, pitiable, and not [yet] mean beings who can insult us or harm us–and how could you be so cold-hearted that you’d kill such a creature? This kind of rhetoric automatically juxtaposes the innocent fetus with other kinds of people whom society (and a large portion of the pro-life demographic, judging from voting statistics) does not usually call innocent and finds generally threatening or disgusting: enemy soldiers, death row inmates, and worst of all in this discourse, the women who seek abortions in the first place. It is no coincidence, in my opinion, that the pro-life movement is often criticized for failing to care about just this kind of life outside the womb.”

    http://womenintheology.org/2011/01/25/fetuses-are-not-innocent/

  • It is no coincidence, in my opinion, that the pro-life movement is often criticized for failing to care about just this kind of life outside the womb.

    Well, of course not. If you can’t win on substance and facts, you have to fight by changing the subject and making stuff up.

  • ” because of the so-called innocence of the fetuses ”

    whats next brother Dan? Spokesperson for Planned Parenthood?

  • Are you sure that this “Brother Dan” and God are still dating??? I just wondered if they were perhaps on the verge of breaking up or something…telling post indeed. Thanks, Donald.

  • Richard,

    Having experienced Brother Dan’s in Chanceries and formation programs in several dioceses, I can say he truly believes he is carrying out God’s work. His type are possessed of a radical ideology formed of the sixties that reduces the Gospel to social issues. They pick from authentic Catholic Social teaching when it meets their needs – even shouting out “its infallible” when needed. Then turning their back upon authentic teaching when it doesn’t suit their ends.

    The “Seamless Garment” is a perfect example. It is used to manipulate others to accept that any opposition to raising the maginal tax rate or any govt. cuts is equal to supporting abortion.

    Of course if you take the thoughts of Brother Dan and Women in Theology such things are not the same. Opposing tax hikes is worse than aborting an “unjust aggressor.”

  • Phillip,

    Right. They think the Gospel says “You have this World. It’s all you have. You need to make it the best thou canst.” See Orwell’s essay on Gandhi. He knew you choose the worldly or the Spiritual. He does not say one is better. He says they are incompatible. And, he concludes the mildest liberal through the violent revolutionary has opted for the worldly.

    So, what if they kill 45,000,000 unborn, the dems are for making Heaven on Earth. And, that’s what it’s all about.

    And, they believe the rich and tax cuts for the rich steal from the undocumented migrants, poor unionized public school teachers, millionaire Federal bureaucrats, UAW workers of GM, 10,000 ACORN-clones, Willy Horton, and et al.

    And, it is working oh so according to plan: “People are hurting, and badly. The official unemployment rate may have fallen, slightly, but the real unemployment rate — the number of working-age Americans who aren’t working — rose from about 12% before the 2008 crisis, to about 23%, and hasn’t come down. That includes people who have retired early because they can’t find work, spouses who used to earn a second income but have gone back to homemaking because work isn’t available, self-employed people whose businesses have collapsed, young people who live in their parents’ basement because they can’t afford tuition and can’t find work. . . . Roughly one out of eight Americans who presumably want to work, and were working before 2007, can’t find work today.”

  • A good rule of thumb is, whatever the National Catholic Distorter says is good and reasonable, really isn’t.

  • His type are possessed of a radical ideology formed of the sixties that reduces the Gospel to social issues. They pick from authentic Catholic Social teaching when it meets their need

    Evidently he was born in 1982, grew up in Utica, N.Y., and got the first leg of his tertiary schooling at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, N.Y. Radicalism was certainly not something he would have absorbed from his social matrix.

  • “Radicalism was certainly not something he would have absorbed from his social matrix.”

    What social matrix would that be?

  • Lots of witty prose in the article and the comments. It’s unfortunate that most of it is scornful. If we could criticize in a more constructive fashion, wouldn’t we be more successful in the anti-abortion effort. We as Catholics should be leaders in this domain instead of following in the footsteps of the vitriolic politicians.

  • Not so much scorn as heartfelt response. Just as Br. Dan is heartfelt in his comments. We just believe he is wrong.

  • Kyle- the proper response to someone claiming to prove that a tiny baby is not innocent is scorn. The response to a Catholic brother who attacks those who protest the slaughter of the unborn is a great deal stronger than scorn.

    If we could criticize in a more constructive fashion

    If? Not only can we do so, we do— when appropriate, and in ways appropriate. “Constructive criticism” usually means soft words and gentle suggestions. When there’s a Catholic brother using dishonest– though standard– rhetorical tricks to attack those who do the small thing of publicly protesting the slaughter of children, it’s unlikely to be appropriate. When dealing with someone who actually tries to write a justification of the slaughter of a tiny baby because they’re not “really” innocent, it’s unlikely to be appropriate.
    A point-by-point response that offers the scorn due this justification of attacking the defenders of children coming from a Franciscan is more likely to be constructive than honeyed words. He’s clearly heard them before, to no effect.

  • Bro, sounds guilt-ridden. Maybe because he’s so wrong and his conscience is trying to tell him something. Yes, the poor can be fed but the aborted baby is DEAD. Which should take priority. You can convince people to help the poor but can you bring the DEAD back to life? Should I try to help a woman shot by a gun or give her a sack of flour, Bro.? Seamless garment is a cop out. What judging of peoples movtives who are attending the March. Should we keep bringing it to the light or sit home and run the soup kitchen while 54 million children have been killed in this country alone. How many poor have died in this country? thousands proably. No comparision. Its not a matter of innocence vs. guilty it about LIFE vs. DEATH. You can’t be any poorer than DEAD.

  • That Bro. Dan unfortunately proves the point that you can’t fix stupid.

  • St. Francis is weeping.

  • -I find it striking and disturbing that Brother Dan, associated with the Church as he is, not only thinks this way, but writes about it, broadcasting his opinions that DIRECTLY contradict the Church.
    -Brother Dan talks about the lack of racial diversity (implying that white folks are trying to force minorites to have babies) in the Pro-Life March. Think of this another way. “White” folks are protesting abortion that kills a much higher percentage of minority babies than white babies. If the white folks are racist they would think that fewer minority babies is good, would they not? If “white” folks think that fewer minority babies is good, why protest against abortion? Let them kill themselves off!
    -If Brother Dan wants to personally focus on poverty, unemployment, at-risk teens, etc., then great. There are so many areas of human existance that need help. But that does not mean ridicule those who focus on the Pro-Life issues. ALL human life is valuable, Bro. Dan, you cannot take the attitude of ‘let’s fix the people we have before we add more’; Jesus taught that the poor will always be with us, not to say that caring for the poor is useless, but that there are teachings, beliefs and moral standards that are timeless.
    -Commentor Philips’ link to Women in Theology where the writer attacks the concept of innocent life, etc., literally turned my stomach. Comparing pregnancy to an unjust attack on a woman’s body, calling concerns for the innocent lives the same as our sentimental love of cute baby animals, etc. I do not “live in a cave”, but I have never read such things, even with my reading on Nazism and Eugenics – not an emotional exaggeration. O.M.G.

  • Micha Elyi: Let me add: The person is invited by the marital act and therefore cannot be an “UNJUST aggressor”. In a tubal implantation which might cause death, both the mother and child must be saved, if possible. Otherwise, intent to commit abortion is extrauterine homicide. The contradiction here is that the person whose existence is willed by God cannot be both and at the same time, a non-person and a criminal. The child is innocent until the age of reason counted at seven because of a lack of reason, and then counted as an infant child in a court of law until emancipation. To give informed consent after the age of emancipation to a crime is against the law. In cases of rape, the innocent victim who is doing the will of God and nature’s God cannot be put to death because of the crimes of his parent. Only for his own crimes can a man be put to death. Rapists ought to be put in jail for their rest of their lives. Abortion defies the will of God. Nobody comes into existence but by the will of God.

  • Br.Dan”…have heard numerous people, even those who avidly support the march, lament that the Vigil Mass has become more a “Who’s Who” of a sector of the American Catholic Church than it has the Eucharistic celebration it alleges to be.”

    Dr. McClarey: No one has ever claimed Brother Dan that the March for Life is a celebration of the Eucharist. That allegation is simply bizarre.
    Brother Dan is calling the Vigil Mass an “alleged” Eucharistic celebration. NOW, Brother Dan has gone too far…(censored by the poster) The devil is jealous.

  • What social matrix would that be?

    Utica and St. Bonaventure.

  • Pillip: About INNOCENCE. Our Creator (The Declaration of Independence) creates a rational, immortal soul to bring man into existence, as man is comprised of body and rational soul. There is no sin in God. God cannot and does not create sin, therefore, the rational, immortal soul endowed with unalienable rights to life, sovereign personhood and virginity is perfectly innocent at creation and endowment. The human being is an image and likesness of God, our Creator, in perfect moral and legal innocence at the first moment of his existence. The newly begotten child of God has a guardian angel. This guardian Angel is dispossessed of his charge and joins the soul back to God. Planned Parenthood cannot kill a person twice, but I bet they would like to try. Women in Theology? no way. If laymen and non-Catholics of good will can write of freedom….

  • Mary @4:24P.M. You are good. Keep up the good work

  • Art: Born in 1982? Brother Dan sounds like a decrepid old, very old man, whose brain has atrophied. No tongue-in-cheek.

  • Art,

    Reading the information from St Bonaventure, it seems it is well affected by the spirit of the 60’s.

    One needs not have been born in the sixties to be affected by the university environment fostered by it.

  • I left this comment on his blog, which apparently he will not allow to be posted:

    “So another rich, privileged, white man withholds his participation from a diverse, grassroots, protest movement. Sounds like the same old song, just a different singer.”

    I guess he didn’t like the irony.

  • @Mary De Voe “Art: Born in 1982? Brother Dan sounds like a decrepid old, very old man, whose brain has atrophied. No tongue-in-cheek.”

    Bingo! Br. Dan’s Church of the Hip ’70s is dying. Did you notice that he has two Master’s degrees from the Washington Theological Union. Guess what? WTU is closing this year because of lack of funding, students, and support from the consortium of religious orders that founded it.

  • Reading the information from St Bonaventure, it seems it is well affected by the spirit of the 60?s.

    Compared to where? They have one facially problematic course of study: Women’s studies. All of their graduate programs bar one are in vocational subjects. They have no anthropology faculty and the race-class-gender obsessives you see elsewhere appear to be almost absent from their faculties of history, sociology, and political science. (I am judging from course descriptions and the titles of presentations given and scholarly articles published). There red flags you see in the course descriptions, personal statements, publication titles, and presentation titles of the education faculty are actually a pale pink. I have little doubt the place could be better than it is, but in the scheme of things there appears to be rather less crud than you would expect in baccalaureate institution.

    The place is located in Olean, a pleasant and unpretentious town of about 18,000. That’s a Republican area. He grew up in Utica, also a place almost free of protest politics. The overwhelming reality in both the Southern Tier and the Mohawk Valley has been a decades long process of adjustment to industrial outmigration. In and around Utica, the one place you encounter leftobabble is the campus of Hamilton College, a place run by and for outsiders.

    One needs not have been born in the sixties to be affected by the university environment fostered by it.

    The guy’s just a sport.

  • Bingo! Br. Dan’s Church of the Hip ’70s is dying.

    He grew up in the Diocese of Syracuse. The church of the Hip ’70s is fairly unusual if not unknown therabouts. The church of casual violations of liturgical norms and music appropriate to score a TV movie sponsored by Hallmark and inane homilies in which the phrase ‘relationship with God’ occurs again and again is what you gett here (and I would wager what he grew up with). The benefit of growing up in Utica is that the Eastern-rites are close at hand. Those parishes are anything but packed, however.

  • Is it just me, or did anyone else hear Br. Dan’s post being read in their head by the voice of Sheldon Cooper?

  • It’s a good thing Br. Dan’s mother didn’t have the same attitudes that he does, OR he wouldn’t be here!

    His superior should be monitering what he says about any Catholic teachings. Oh yeah, Br. Dan what are you doing for the unborn?

  • Donald, sorry I have been indisposed for some days. But even before I read all the respondents here, tell me, Donald, is this “Brother Dan” a Roman Catholic?? Because reading the excerpts of his Article is he totally against the Teachings of the Catholic Church on this very very crucial Moral Issue of genocide against our neighbours in their first, and the safest home – their mothers’ wombs. This is a Cardial Sin, a Sacrilege of the First Order. If he is truly a Catholic Brother, his Superior must kick him out YERSTERDAY

  • “is this “Brother Dan” a Roman Catholic”

    Yes Mary, and a Franciscan. Perhaps Brother Dan might wish to take a moment from perusing the Women In Theology website to read this excerpt from Saint Bonaventure’s life of Saint Francis:

    ” It happened in the third year before his death, that in order to excite the inhabitants of Grecio to commemorate the nativity of the Infant Jesus with great devotion, [St. Francis] determined to keep it with all possible solemnity; and lest he should be accused of lightness or novelty, he asked and obtained the permission of the sovereign Pontiff. Then he prepared a manger, and brought hay, and an ox and an ass to the place appointed. The brethren were summoned, the people ran together, the forest resounded with their voices, and that venerable night was made glorious by many and brilliant lights and sonorous psalms of praise. The man of God [St. Francis] stood before the manger, full of devotion and piety, bathed in tears and radiant with joy; the Holy Gospel was chanted by Francis, the Levite of Christ. Then he preached to the people around the nativity of the poor King; and being unable to utter His name for the tenderness of His love, He called Him the Babe of Bethlehem. A certain valiant and veracious soldier, Master John of Grecio, who, for the love of Christ, had left the warfare of this world, and become a dear friend of this holy man, affirmed that he beheld an Infant marvellously beautiful, sleeping in the manger, Whom the blessed Father Francis embraced with both his arms, as if he would awake Him from sleep. This vision of the devout soldier is credible, not only by reason of the sanctity of him that saw it, but by reason of the miracles which afterwards confirmed its truth. For example of Francis, if it be considered by the world, is doubtless sufficient to excite all hearts which are negligent in the faith of Christ; and the hay of that manger, being preserved by the people, miraculously cured all diseases of cattle, and many other pestilences; God thus in all things glorifying his servant, and witnessing to the great efficacy of his holy prayers by manifest prodigies and miracles. “

  • Donald, I am aggrieved…..that a Franciscan would support heartless, cruel and vicious mass slaughter of the “Innocents” by “Herod Obama” Administration must be making the Merciful Heart of Jesus pierced with a lance, gush forth Blood and Water all over again on the Cross. “Brother Dan” certainly needs a lot of prayers and the Intercession by our Holy Mother….in fact, I dare say, a Miracle. Because as it is, he is on the road to perdition just like Judas Iscariot

  • Donald:

    As the Hispanic Services Coordinator (unpaid) at a pro-life crisis pregnancy center, I, like you, counsel the women that deal with unplanned pregnancies on a daily basis. I help them deal with the “choices” that confront them, the racism they deal with on a daily basis when they elect to keep their children, and I work with women who suffer the indignities and emotional turmoil that result from having had abortions (freely or not). I support the March for Life and I am dismayed at the attitude of this Franciscan Brother. Thank you for so succinctly debating his insidious remarks and for pointing out what seems the almost obvious for those of us who are in the trenches. We may be winning slowly, but we ARE winning. LIFE will prevail over DEATH.

  • Bro. Dan, indeed, found a wonderful, and free way to promote his new book. Well done, Bro. Dan…just remember all those you are leading astray.

  • This is the problem with academia: They take obvious church teachings (i.e. the stand against abortion) and twist them using convoluted phraseology which the average person doesn’t understand (and hence cannot dispute). These academic theologians (for that is what Brother Dan is) rely upon the “openness to dialogue with others” created by Vatican II. That, plus the absolute absurdity created by feminist theologians (i.e. the Women in Theology website) creates an atmosphere in which official Catholic teaching is obscured at best, and actively hindered at worst. Now imagine going to a college influenced by these factors (i.e. St. Bonaventure) and we can see how Brother Dan may have arrived at the conclusions that he has.

    In response to Will: Br. Dan belongs to the Holy Name Province. You can find this site here: http://www.hnp.org

National Catholic Reporter in Full Melt Down Mode

Monday, November 28, AD 2011

Having sat through some pretty dreadful masses since Vatican II, I guess I have a wee bit of schadenfreude right now.  The National Catholic Reporter has an editorial that has to be seen to be believed.  This is a choice paragraph:

The Vatican issued new translation guidelines, Liturgiam authenticam, in 2001, reorganized ICEL to report not to the English-speaking bishops but to the Curia, and appointed a committee, Vox Clara, to advise it on the approval of English translations. All this was done ostensibly to ensure the authenticity of the translation, but it was clear from the beginning that a clerical, imperial ideology was being imposed on the translation. The poetry of language and beauty of prayers were secondary concerns.

 

 

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15 Responses to National Catholic Reporter in Full Melt Down Mode

  • This is the first I’ve heard of the 1998 translation. I looked it up and it’s somewhere between the 1973 and current translations but much closer to the 1973. So close that I don’t even see why it warranted change.

    I do see Mr. Tambourine’s point though. It’s a step back for comprehensibility. But then again, it is more poetic which I prefer to simplicity. On the third hand, the Mass should be accessible to the masses. I keep on returning to the idea I have about bifurcating the missal into high and low versions or maybe even more.

  • RR:

    Can you post a link to the 1998 translation?

    The editorial was actually much better than the irrational “Leave Britney Alone!” freakout I was expecting (and have seen before).

    But I’m really getting tired of the refusal of those wetting their beds over the change to admit that the ’73 was a steaming pile of crap, and not just the product of “aw, shucks–we were carried away by enthusiasm!” In some sections, it’s a bad paraphrase, which prompts fair questions as to the motives of the translators.

    Until the protesters admit to the awfulness of the previous translation, I’m inclined to roundfile their objections.

  • I keep on returning to the idea I have about bifurcating the missal into high and low versions or maybe even more.

    I can understand the motivation, but the liturgy is already diverse enough by having four eucharistic prayers in the new rite and the ’62 Mass. “Indulting” the ’73 (so to speak) is pretty close to fracturing the rite altogether.

  • The English Mass was hardly a translation from the Latin to English. It was a re-write.

    E.G., Et cum spiritu tuo is And with your spirit in English, not And also with you. Big difference in meaning and intent.

    The youths won’t be there because their parents weren’t there.

  • 1998 Sacramentary: http://rapidshare.com/files/387089704/ICEL_Sacramentary__1998_.zip

    Dale, I’ve never actually heard the alternative Eucharistic prayers used. There may be enough diversity but it’s not taken advantage of due to, I suspect, inertia. I think making clearer distinctions (e.g., designating a version as “high” or “solemn”) and encouraging their use could be beneficial.

  • Well, given the way the NCR editorial staff feels about the new translation – how they will cringe with the new words – they might have a better appreciation at how faithful Catholics feel when they read the cr*p they consistently publish.

  • I guess this fellow commenting on the NCR thread can be the one to turn off the lights for the Episcopalians:

    “Oh, Heavens!! The Catholic Church lost me 50 years ago & I’ve finally “grown up” and left it ~ HOORAY!!!! My Methodist-raised spouse & I joined the REAL Church of the Good Lord, the Episcopal Church ~ our church does Mass the correct way with all the former “High Mass” trimmings EVERY SUNDAY morning AND the fabulous formal choir (in ROBES!)always sings ALL the verses to the lovely Christian hymns. The congregation dresses properly ~ not in junk clothes like the Catholics these days (at 5 p.m. Masses, especially) ~ and really WANTS to be there to praise & thank the Good Lord…unlike Catholics who just “show up” so they won’t “commit a mortal sin & go to Hell” ~ or so they were trained to believe they will!

    No wonder there was the Protestant Reformation ~ the Episcopalians got it right!!”

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  • We tambourine people! Oh my goodness! LOL!

    I see where this is going now, they really just want the jingle-jangle worship that is entirely the sound of tambourine, and will avoid any language whatsoever so as not to offend anyone who is offended by Latin, English, commas, unfamiliar words, the idea we are sinners in need of mercy, or religion and belief in God in general.

  • I’m thinking a chorus of “Listen To What The Flower People Say” from This Is Spinal Tap would pretty much sum up the Tamborine People…

  • Donate to NCR? You have got to be kidding. The Mass this past Sunday was beautiful, poetic and reverent. The thing is that we must get out of “auto pilot” with our responses. At daily Mass yesterday, “and also with you” was said several times. There is a difference between “and with your spirit” and “and also with you”. When the Mass was translated into other languages, the translations were much closer to the Latin text. Only in English speaking countries was the translation so abominable. The Eucharistic Prayers are beautiful. I am thankful to JP II and Benedict for this beautiful and faithful translation.

  • I’ve written quite extensively on the new translation, having examined and commented upon every prayer in the ordinary, and every collect, offertory prayer, preface, postcommunion, special blessing, and prayer over the people, for every Sunday and every feast day, even the minor ones, throughout the year. The translation we have now is immeasurably superior to what we’ve had for forty years — and superior in the very poetic qualities that the Distorter pretends to long for. The 1998 translation was a Trojan Horse — and the Distorter doesn’t want to admit it. They did actually try to translate, sort of, the collects and the prefaces (as opposed to the lame paraphrase of 1973), but they left the bad translations of the ordinary alone, and they introduced some really bad and stupid stuff, via the feminist syndrome.

    As for the young people: I have spent my whole professional life around young people. I teach them for a living. If I offered a class on singing Renaissance polyphony, I’d have thirty kids signing up overnight, half of them boys. The students I know who love their faith are more, not less, interested in learning Latin and recovering their Catholic heritage. Haven’t oldsters been pretending for all these years that they knew what would attract young people? Haven’t they already tried making things “cool” and “hip” and “relevant” and so forth? Haven’t the kids seen through all that and shrugged? When I’m at a Mass where the people sing the atrocious muzak from Haugen, Haas, and Schutte, and the “choir” consists of a bunch of middle aged women who like to be looked at, some old guy going along with it to please his wife, and a teenage girl or two, it doesn’t take much genius to see behind the stony faces of the boys in the congregation — if there are any.

  • Thank you Tony. I too have noticed the young people preferring the new translation. There are more young people at Eucharistic Adoration. Yesterday, I noticed more young people at daily Mass. Those to whom I spoke after Mass, said that they prefer the new translation.

  • My sons are 20 & 22 and they want to be told the TRUTH, even if it is harder than a sugarcoated lie. They will do great with the new translation because its TRUE. One of the most disrespectful thing that people can do is to lie to get a certain response from others…it tells them that you don’t respect their capacity to have the correct response from the actual truth.

    Noone likes disrespect but young makes especially dont will violently remove themselves from situations when disrespected. Give them the TRUTH….as close as we have it, the new translation is the truth.

Christ Died For Your Sins? Don’t Be Silly!

Tuesday, April 26, AD 2011

Who was delivered up for our sins, and rose again for our justification.

Saint Paul, Romans 4:25

Jamie Manson of the National Catholic Fishwrap Reporter doesn’t think much of the dogma of the Catholic Church that Christ died for our sins, viewing that as a silly pre-Vatican II guilt trip.  Unfortunately for her, two of the finest masters of the art of fisking decided to take notice of her scribblings.

First up, Christopher Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal who I have designated Defender of the Faith because of the number of times, he, a non-Catholic, has taken up the blogging cudgels in defense of the Faith:

Here’s another.  At the National Catholic Reporter, Jamie Manson doesn’t want to know what happened on Good Friday as much as she wants to know why it happened:

I’ve had more than one Catholic who grew up either before or on the cusp of Vatican II tell me horror stories of how they were taught that Jesus died because of their sins.

“Horror stories of how they were taught that Jesus died because of their sins.”  I think you already know where Ms. Manson is going with this.

This was a particularly heavy-handed way for priests and nuns to lay an even thicker coat of guilt on impressionable Catholic school children. Because they were sinners, Jesus had to suffer and die to redeem them. It was one rendering of the traditional theological interpretations of the crucifixion — that Jesus had to die to fulfill the Scriptures and that his death atoned for the sins of the world.

Get ready for the customary condescending pat on the head.

I know that countless people throughout the centuries have found profound, life-changing and even comforting meaning in this understanding of the Cross.

Since Ms. Manson has much more important fish to fry(see what I did there?), she’ll let the rest of you have your little legend.

But I’ve often felt that if we immerse ourselves in the accounts of Jesus’ arrest, passion, and death as told by the four Gospels, these texts can broaden and deepen our understanding of the crucifixion.

I don’t know how much deeper one needs to go than getting one’s sins taken care of so that one can go home to the Father.

It can help us make meaning of so much of the anguish that we witness in our world and in our church.

I stand corrected.  Jesus died the most horribly agonizing death that it is possible to imagine in order to “help us make meaning of so much of the anguish that we witness in our world and in our church.”  Got it.

Me, I’ve never ever been able to “make meaning” of diseases, wars, genocides, famines, earthquakes, tsunamis and other tragedies with their attendant human suffering.  I guess I’m not trying hard enough.

When I read the passion narratives of the Gospels, I don’t hear simply that Jesus suffered and died for our sins. Rather, I hear the four evangelists very clearly say that Jesus’ suffering and death was the will of those who conspired against him — those whose political systems he had undermined, those whose religious convictions he had offended.

Glad we’ve finally cleared that up.  Neither Romans nor Jews killed Christ.  It was the Republican Party and the religious Right.

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14 Responses to Christ Died For Your Sins? Don’t Be Silly!

  • I won’t stick my beak in this doctrinal debate, as Tony Soprano might say, but I find it curious, Don, that Catholics often quote C.S. Lewis, who wasn’t a Catholic. We don’t see Protestants quoting the Popes or Bishop Sheen.

    BTW, Don, is it possible that some of us non-believers will never get it. I reread the parable of the sower constantly and do not believe I am “good earth” in which the sown word can take root. Why are some of us so stubborn?

  • “quote C.S. Lewis, who wasn’t a Catholic.”

    I quote him because he was a brilliant thinker and writer and his Screwtape Letters show immense insight into the human condition. Not all straight thinking is confined to the Catholic Church. Lewis himself was rather eclectic in his use of sources and would sometimes cite Catholics.

    “Why are some of us so stubborn?”

    Free will Joe applied to the complex process by which we humans make decisions about anything. It took a miracle before Saint Paul stopped “kicking against the goad”.

  • I believe Lewis was influenced by Chesterton as well.

    I’ll probably go out kicking, but hope to see the light before it’s too late.

  • …which raises an oft-asked question: “Is there salvation outside the Catholic Church?”

  • “Outside the Church there is no salvation”

    “846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

    Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.

    847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

    Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.

    848 “Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.”

    In times past the formulation “No salvation outside the Church” was interpreted so as to emphasize the Justice of God. Today it is interpreted so as to emphasize the Mercy of God. My own humble observation is that it is probably an error to presume too much on either the Justice or Mercy of God.

  • I had a teacher with a similar absence of soteriology. He asked me what I thought of Anselm, and for the rest of the semester, the college professor went after the seventeen year old, all the while preaching non-judgment. I have a suspicion that these guys harbor just a little resentment toward Catholics.

  • Actually, Joe, you *do* see Protestants quoting popes. Just a few weeks ago you had Protestants aplenty favorably reviewing and quoting from vol. 2 of B16’s book on Jesus.

  • It’s true, of course, that C.S.Lewis wasn’t a Catholic.

    There’s some question, though, whether he was aware of this. Not, of course, that he believed himself erroneously to be in communion with the Roman pontiff!

    But he seems to have believed the claim of the Anglicans to have been a continuation of an ancient communion as equivalent to that of the Eastern Orthodox; one could say that he thought the orders of the clergy to whom he submitted himself valid ones because he thought he was in the Anglican Orthodox church, so to speak.

    It’s worth noting that Lewis held this view during an era when the Anglican communion could more easily be mistaken for the Catholic Church. The relaxing of the prohibition against contraception took place during Lewis’ lifetime and he inveighed against it in several writings. Lewis also practiced auricular confession to his Anglican priest (and on occasion to an Orthodox priest of his acquaintance, I believe). Lewis believed in Purgatory and in prayers for the dead, seems to have believed in the intercession of the saints, and in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and in the obligation of obedience to the bishop.

    He did however note that he rejected the Roman doctrine of Purgatory. What to make of this? Apparently what he rejected was the Middle Ages’ imaginings of Purgatory rather than the doctrine itself: All the devils poking sinners with forks and the like. About this, and about the popular forms of devotions to the saints which he also rejected, he does not seem to have made a distinction between what the Church teaches as dogma and what the imaginations of the faithful have added, in a non-canonical fashion, to this over centuries. Or rather, he made that distinction, but seems to have believed that the Catholics did not, and that he therefore could not be Catholic.

    Anyway, he considered himself to be within the ancient church, and was very comfortable quoting all the saints and doctors of the church, including some from the East after the 11th-century schism and some from the Catholic side of the divide after the 16th-century divide.

    The Church calls those divided from her “separated brethren” because by virtue of Christian baptism they have been adopted into the family of God. The Church sadly notes the separation, the lack of the fullness of the union which Christ desired. But she also notes that the separation is not an utter and complete separation: Because the Christian communions and sects hold certain doctrines and sacraments in common, there remains a partial unity, though it is incomplete and insufficient to make us one “as the Son and the Father are one” so that “the world may know.”

    Given the very high percentage that which Catholics affirm which C.S. Lewis also affirmed — rather more than the garden-variety non-denominational American evangelical, in fact! — and given his attention to the ancient saints and doctors and his lack of animosity towards Catholics in his day, it is hard to find much reason for Catholics not only to quote him, but recommend him.

  • How’s her uncle Charlie doing?

    A quote of Bishop Sheen: “Not many men want to die to their lower selves; it costs so much. Some prefer to have a cosmic religion, which neither puts restraint on their pride nor curbs their passions.”

    Zingers from Bishop Sheen:

    “There are not more than 100 people in the world who truly hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they perceive to be the Catholic Church.”

    A heckler asked Bishop Sheen a question about someone who had died. The Bishop replied, “I will ask him when I get to heaven.” The heckler replied, “What if he isn’t in Heaven?”
    The Bishop replied, “Well then you ask him.”

    A man told Bishop Sheen he did not believe in hell. The Bishop replied,
    “You will when you get there.”

    TRUTH

  • If you take the NCR article to its reasonable conclusion, you’d end up with something virulently anti-Semitic. After all, Christ didn’t die for all our sins, but died because of the situation he was in. Our little acts of intolerance may be mini-deaths of God, but the death of God Incarnate was caused by the Romans and the Jews, and I don’t see any Romans standing around for me to vent at.

  • Correct me if I’m wrong, but this presents Christ as “victim.” Rather, he said that no one took his life; he laid it down and could pick it up again.

  • Wasn’t this NCR article’s premise– that the Jews and the Romans were
    responsible for the crucifixion– the same reason for which the NCR and
    their ilk denounced Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ?

    Before they were for it, they were against it…

  • Mel Gibson has his problems, to say the least, but he made a magnificent film in The Passion of the Christ, and showing his hands as the hands driving the nails into Christ demonstrates a very Catholic understanding of whose sins are responsible for Christ being on the Cross.

  • Don,

    If you don’t have it you should get Benedict XVI’s (Cardinal Ratzinger’s) “Feast of Faith.” Discusses the Eucharist as sacrifice (and only in a limited and sacramental sense, as a meal.) Also discusses the false interpretation of the OT verses which ask not for “sacrifice but a heart turned to God” as denying God seeks sacrifice. Shows how true abadonment to God is in the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross and our union in sacrifice.

Midterm Election Results Show The Tide Continues To Turn Toward Catholic Orthodoxy

Wednesday, November 3, AD 2010

While most political pundits mull over the stunning defeat the Democrats suffered in the 2010 midterm election (some 60 seats in the House and at least seven in the Senate,) most pundits, including Catholic pundits will not have noticed a striking phenomena.  Though practicing Catholics easily went for McCain-Palin in 2008, the entire Catholic vote went for the Obama-Biden ticket somewhere between five to eight percent. Yet, in 2010 we are told that Catholics voted over 60+% against candidates who supported the Obama agenda. I have yet to see a statistic for practicing Catholics, but we can assume it is much higher than 60%. This turnaround is unprecedented in the history of political polling. Though, I do believe the majority of this is the result of economics, we are seeing a fundamental shift among Catholics. Some Catholics have abandoned the Church (and their conscience) to secularism and to entertainment based mega churches, but many Catholics now see the wisdom of Catholic orthodoxy. After the momentous mid-term election results, what a relief it is to see an open practicing Catholic as the new Speaker of the House (John Boehner,) compared to the outgoing Speaker (Nancy Pelosi) who openly defied the Teachings of the Church and her archbishop.

However, the good news doesn’t just end with the incoming new speaker. There were some great Catholic victories and I will highlight two of them. Those Catholics who aren’t ashamed about the 2,000 year old teachings of the Church were rewarded with unabashedly Catholic politicians like Senator elect Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania and Congressman elect Sean Duffy in Wisconsin, both reliable blue states. Toomey has been a trooper for pro-life causes while Duffy and his wife Rachel Campos Duffy have been big advocates for traditional parenting. They have a growing family and have not been ashamed of standing out in a world that is often hostile to traditional religion. Both were MTV Real World partipants and Rachel was the last one cut from being on the View. One can only imagine her going toe to toe with the likes of Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar (probably why she wasn’t picked.)

After the liberal perfect storm victory of 2008, I found myself on the receiving end of those who said Catholic orthodoxy, and or the conservative Catholic lifestyle was going the way of the horse and buggy. However, the hangover of liberal Big Government and the moral decay that goes along with those who think every lifestyle, feeling, whim, or urge needs to be embraced has aided many Catholics to see the wisdom of the two thousand year old teachings of the Catholic Church. In addition, I am sure hearing the latest rants of Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, along with reading the latest screeds against Catholic orthodoxy from the likes of Catholics like outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi and columnists Maureen Dowd and E J Dionne has helped many see the light.

The plummeting poll numbers of liberals coupled with a few announcements from the Holy See must have made for an eternity for the left, primarily the Catholic left. In those days leading up to election day, Pope Benedict XVI gave an address on the plight of migrants and illegal aliens. The Holy Father spoke of the compassion one must have for those on the run, but he clearly stated that nations have the right to defend their borders and accept the integrity of their nation state. This was certainly a blow to those on the Catholic left, including some clergy and even a few prelates who seemed to favor unlimited immigration.

The finishing blow for the Catholic Left occurred when it was announced that Archbishop Raymond Burke formerly of St Louis and now head of the Vatican Court was going to be made a Cardinal. If that wasn’t bad enough, Cardinal Elect Burke made one of his patented unflinching addresses on the grave sin of those Catholics who vote for politicians that support abortion and same sex marriage. It was also announced that Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington DC was also to be named a Cardinal. Though friends with Cardinal Elect Burke, the two have sparred over whether Catholic politicians should be banned from receiving Holy Communion, something Cardinal Elect Wuerl is against. Cardinal Elect Burke has stated that the arguments used by his brother Cardinal Elect Wuerl and others, that state banning pro abortion politicians from receiving the Eucharist would politicize the sacrament and there is still much teaching to be done on the subject, are “nonsense.”  

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28 Responses to Midterm Election Results Show The Tide Continues To Turn Toward Catholic Orthodoxy

  • Yes, because nothing is so close to our Holy Mother Church as the platform of the Republican party in America.

  • Glad you finally recognize that. 😉

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  • I wouldn’t conflate electoral trends with trends in the Church more generally, still less (shudder) the Republican Party. Did the 2008 elections show the tide was turning away from Catholicism?

  • Do you have an example of Cdl-Des. Wuerl’s past chiming in about considering the greater good and one’s conscience?

  • John Henry, every political wave has an impact on religion and vice versa. I am sure I am not the only one who has heard anecdotal evidence of some saying after 2008 that they didn’t need religion and or specifically the Catholic Church. This is not unusual. For example, not everyone who went out to San Francisco during the Summer of Love in 1967 was a budding liberal. Some were conservative kids who went on a moral bender (so to speak) and came home and once again embraced the truths they were taught growing up.

    However, what I believe to be of greater significance are those liberals who thought after the Election of 2008, that they truly were the “ones we have been waiting for” (remember that speech?) However, world peace and economic nirvana didn’t come to fruition, actually far from it. Because of it, some realized what Big Government could never do and resumed their quest for the truth. In those quests, a 2,000 year old institution (the Church) becomes an interesting option. Now I am not asserting that it is anything but a tide. I hope some day to talk about a tsunami. However, a tide sure beats stagnant water.

  • There are very few Catholic Bishops and Prelates that support unlimited immigration. Theere are many that support comprensive immigration reform

    Conservative Catholic job will also include pointing out the extreme no amnesty crowd that there is a differnce especilly in this COngress

  • Dave:

    I’ve read those links. In fact, I double checked them before posting my question to you.

    Neither of them quote Cdl-Des. Wuerl talking about considering the greater good and one’s conscience.

    Do you have an example where he does what you say he “usually” does?

  • Tom K, in the interest of clarity I have reworded the paragraph to state that both men have a disagreement over denying Holy Communion to pro abortion politicians. Cardinal Wuerl doesn’t agree with it, while Cardinal Elect Burke says there is no other choice.

  • It’s helpful to remember that being a Cardinal or being a Pope makes one neither prudent nor wise.

    I have come to believe that there are two Magisteriums: that of the bishops, and that of the saints. While the bishops generally do a very good job articulating the dogmas of faith, they generally do a poor job of living those dogmas out. They generally an even worse job of articulating the prudential application of those dogmas. In other words, they can tell you that the Golden Rule is right, but they generally don’t live it, and hence, they usually don’t know how to explain it.

    The saints, however, live the truth in love. Their living Magisterium teaches us what all those encyclicals and councils mean. I speak, of course, not simply of the saints officially recognized by the bishops, but of all the saints.

    When it comes to Cardinal-to-be Burke, then, I remember the words of Christ: “do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice.”

  • Dave:

    Capital!

    I remain fascinated by this statement: “It appears Pope Benedict XVI’s elevation of Cardinal Burke to such a senior position in the Vatican caused the establishmentarian spiritual leader of the nation’s capital (as well as its various legislative bodies) to hold his tongue.”

    Cdl-Des Burke, of course, held his current position in the Vatican when Cdl-Des Wuerl gave the interview in the link you suggested to me, and as you indicate they will both be made cardinals at the same time. To me, that makes it appear that Pope Benedict’s elevation of Cdl-Des Burke is demonstrably not the reason Cdl-Des Wuerl held back a comment on Cdl-Des Burke’s statement. But then it’s not even apparent to me that he had a comment to hold back.

  • Dowd is Catholic? Really?

  • Yes! Cardinal Burke and I seem to agree. You probably will not be getting into Heaven if you vote dem.

    Nate: OUCH. I know you have good intent. The real Church counsels charity and truth in all things.

    Teachable Moment: Calumny is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary (1992) as a “false statement maliciously made to injure another’s reputation.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994) places calumny as a serious sin under the Eighth Commandment, “Thou shall not bear false witness against your neihbor.” The Catechism states, “He becomes guilty of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them” (2447). The Catechism notes that calumny offends “against the virtues of justice and charity” (2479).

    Please don’t emulate them vile, kool-aid drinking marxists.

  • Maureen Dowd’s uncle was Tommy (“the Cork”) Corcoran. He paid her way when she was an undergrad at Catholic University.

  • Dave is very clear that the connection between the Faith and yesterday’s voting pattern is based on the tendency of many individual Republicans at this time to believe in the holiness of life and the dignity of the individual. I understand that several generations ago those who identified themselves as Republicans were less protective of the unborn than those who then identified themselves as Democrats. The stability and the consistency are in the Faith, not in shifting party labels.

  • “Cardinal Burke and I seem to agree. You probably will not be getting into Heaven if you vote dem.”

    Well, in that case I’m doomed because I did actually vote for ONE Democrat this time… a candidate for a local office. I did so because the incumbent Republican has demonstrated what I consider to be egregious mismangement of his department to the point of threatening public safety (too long to explain here) and I felt he needed to go. (Didn’t do any good; he won anyway).

    At the local level sometimes you get people who run as Democrats, Independents, or Greens or Libertarians simply in order to provide opposition to the incumbent and not out of any affinity toward the Democratic party platform. Plus, their jobs cannot impact abortion, same-sex marriage or any of the non-negotiable Catholic issues anyway.

  • Yes Mack, I specifically avoided using party labels for the very reasons you chronicled. There was a time (in the early 1970s) when there were probably more pro-abortion Rockefeller Republicans than pro-abortion Democrats in the South & Midwest.

    The article was about the faithful removing their faith in Big Government liberalism and putting it back into the core teachings of the Church.

    There was a time (decades and centuries ago) when the faithful and not so faithful came to the Church for aid, and not the government. Sadly for some today, Big Government is their belief system.

  • T Shaw, really??? I don’t vote, but I am really tired of hearing people damn others for voting Democratic.

    Give me a break. You really think people deserve an eternity of torture for supporting political candidates you don’t like? First, at an individual level voting does not change political outcomes. So, who you vote for is only of symbolic importance, making the notion that one’s electoral preferences constitute grave matter suspect. Second, people might sincerely believe in alternatives to criminalization as a means to combat abortion. Those arguments may or may not stand up to scrutiny, but being incorrect doesn’t mean a person deserves hell. Finally, who qualified you to decide who is probably not getting into heaven?

  • “I noted that even though the Diocese of Rochester had more Catholics than the dioceses of Lincoln and Omaha combined, Rochester had 6 men studying for the priesthood while Lincoln and Omaha had 64.”

    This is the ‘proof’ in EVERYTHING you write…

  • I can’t really agree that voting Democrat ipso facto is a sin, etc. There are some decent local Democrats who are good candidates. It is the individual candidate’s qualifications/position on issues that need to be judged. Particularly in the South, there are a lot of pro-life Democrats.

  • T. Shaw, I should clarify that it is not simply the bishops who generally fail to follow Christ, but all of us who are not yet holy. It isn’t, I think, an act of calumny to remind ourselves that we are indeed sinners, even our bishops and popes.

    Now, a bishop or pope who is not only an authoritative teacher, but a holy teacher, is a rare and precious gift from God! John Paul the Great comes to mind.

  • I think the Supreme Court has 5 Catholics, but wouldn’t count on them as a solid block when it comes to voting. As encouraging as GOP gains in legislative races has been, social issues are generally decided by the Supremes and the addition of Sotomayor and Kagan, along with their Lib colleagues, makes any reversal of abortion policy highly dubious.

  • Yes Mark DeFrancisis, I will continue to regularly mention those statistics which highlight the demise of once proud places like Rochester, where leadership has simply given short shrift to orthodoxy. In addition, I will continue to highlight places where vocations are growing like Lincoln and Denver. There are blogs dedicated to the subject in places like Rochester where vocations are sparse. I would hope as a Catholic you would want to know why places like Denver and Lincoln are thriving, while the reverse is happening in locations like Rochester. Wouldn’t you want to know why Lincoln and Omaha combined had nearly 10x the vocations as did Rochester, even though Rochester is bigger than both Lincoln and Omaha combined? In locations such as Lincoln and Denver the Church’s teachings are embraced and dissidents are not welcomed. In addition in places like Denver and Lincoln, Marian Devotions and Eucharistic Adoration are widely practiced.

  • I wonder, Mr. Hartline, if the link between vocations and orthodoxy isn’t rather a link between vocations and traditionalism?

    Orthodoxy and traditionalism aren’t always the same thing. The Amish are quite traditional, and have been growing well for quite some time. They have a strong sense of identity rooted in a counter-cultural lifestyle. But obviously they aren’t orthodox.

    I’ve noticed that vocations do blossom where traditional practices are practiced, where young Catholics can feel part of a strong counter-cultural social body. But traditional practices do not always translate into orthodoxy.

    Orthodoxy, and orthopraxis, are right belief and right action. Many traditional doctrines have undergone development within the Church–especially (and most importantly) the social doctrines. I have noticed that many of the younger priests are very pro-life (thank God!), but do not seem to understand that peace and justice constitute (in the words of the Church) an integral and essential aspect of evangelization–of the Gospel. Many do not even seem to understand what justice is.

    The danger, then, is that in promoting traditional practices and thoughts, though we may gain many vocations, but we may also end up with many priests who are deaf to the ‘Church in the Modern World’.

    My best, Nate.

  • Francisco,

    Take a nap. That comment is hyperbole and a wild-eyed generalization. I do not dislike dem candidates. I hate innumerable evils they impose on America.

    Nate, You wrote up bishops. If you wrote thusly about me, it would be appropriate.

    Mark D: How’z it been, you Obamacatholic?. Are you okay after Tuesday nite?

    I was about to commit detraction. I am likely the vilest person any of you ever imagined.

  • Nate, on the surface your point seems to have much merit. However when you dig deeper, you can see that it really doesn’t hold water. For example, the Amish completely ignore the modern world, and while they seem to be growing, they are not. There is much consternation over some young Amish leaving the fold and living outside the community during the day (working and partying), only to come back late at night. I have even heard there is a theological battle over cell phones, since many believe that because they use battery power they aren’t techincally electrical-modern devices.

    As for Catholicism, I have spoken to a number of seminary rectors and they point out an interesting finding. Often, the young men coming their way are those young men from smaller cities outside the wealthy urban and suburban areas. These young men are often well adjusted and quite liked and successful. They come to understand their vocation, sometimes in college and sometimes in their late 20s. They fit in well with the world around them and often have successful jobs, many friends and a girlfriend. However, they come to find that they have the greatest love for the Church and feel she is the only hope in a world that has embraced pleasure and possessions at a break neck level.

    In addition, they feel truth has become hostage to what Pope Benedict XVI calls, “The Dictatorship of Relativism.” Incidentally, the same dynamic holds for young woman who are embracing a more traditional view of the religious life, complete with embracing the habit and or veil. I am not saying every seminarian is going to make a stellar priest, but the days are long gone when the seminary would take some young man who didn’t fit in and hoped he could as a priest. As one rector told me, the results of that practice were disastrous. The rectors, who have been rectors for quite some time, have told me that they can’t remember a time when they have seen such a period where class after class has such stellar seminarians. Nate, I hope this explanation helps. Take care!

  • Unfortunately the tsunami, or should I say Tea-nami, failed to make a dent in the liberal stronghold that is my home state of California. Saints preserve us from those who got this state in the mess we’re in and those who had the audacity to keep them in office.

CNN Joins The Hit Piece Parade Against Pope Benedict XVI and The Catholic Church

Sunday, September 26, AD 2010

It would appear that those in the mainstream media who want to do hit pieces on Pope Benedict XVI need to take a number. The latest to engage in Yellow Journalism is CNN. The “network of record” dispatched Gary Tuchman to do the dirty work. One might recall that it was none other than Tuchman who remarked how distressing it was travelling in the heartland during the 2008 Election campaign. He complained that some who recognized him told him that their Middle American views and ideas were repeatedly mocked by the mainstream media, all the while those of the liberal establishment were hailed. Tuchman’s words were quite revealing when it comes to this story.

CNN has been advertising their hit piece on Pope Benedict XVI as if he was already guilty of some sort of cover up, even though during the Abuse Scandal it was none other than the New York Times who praised then Cardinal Ratzinger for tackling the tough problems. What tough problems did he tackle? The most notable example being Father founder of the Legionaries of Christ. Father Marcial Maciel was one of the few prominent conservatives caught up in the Abuse Scandal, most of the abusers were Church liberals who wanted to change the Church. Cardinal Ratzinger took on Father Maciel at the height of his power and popularity. One might recall that Father Maciel was quite close to Pope John Paul II. So from this example we can see that Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) showed no favorites and pulled no punches. The Legionaries of Christ were shaken to the core and as pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI removed their leadership and installed his own, hardly the work of someone who was timid.

The CNN piece was perhaps even more despicable than the New York Times hit piece, because in the interim much of the modus operandi of the Old Gray Lady was exposed. Still CNN used the same material and claimed that they had something new. There is nothing new here. The crux of their argument comes from material provided by Jeffrey Anderson the attorney who has made millions off the scandal. Anderson says he is one a mision to “reform the Church.” What kind of reform would that be? Some Catholic dioceses have been forced into bankruptcy, which means the poor whom they dioceses assisted through their social programs are left in the cold. For all his concern of “reform”  Anderson hasn’t provided a penny to these particular poor.

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18 Responses to CNN Joins The Hit Piece Parade Against Pope Benedict XVI and The Catholic Church

  • This is a message for Dave Hartline:
    I was in Woodlawn in Chicago during the early years of
    The Woodlawn Organization when it was taken over by the
    Alinsky operatives, including, Fr. Egan, Nick Von
    Hoffman,et.al. I was one of two clergy who opted out
    of the movement for moral and ethical reasons. I read
    your article with comments on Alinsky and the”Radical”
    modus operandi in Fr. Dick Kim’s blog last week. You
    have a far different perspective than the Chicago Diocese at that time. Interesting.

  • Thank you for your post. I do believe there were many people like Alinsky who had great influence on those in the pre Vatican II Church. It was reported that Pope Pius XII wanted to convene the Conference but became too ill to do so. In some US Archdiocese, as well as a few in France and Belgium, movements arose that today one would view as being heretical or schismatic. I do recall the Catholic author Dave Armstrong (who was brought into the Church by Father Hardon SJ) saying that Father Hardon would often say, “The Revolution began…” Dave Armstrong couldn’t remember the precise date but it was sometime in the 1930s or 1940s.

    Anyway, what I am getting at it is before the modern communications era there were folks like Alinksy who claimed to be in line with what the Church was teaching (even though Alinsky was an Agnostic.) In reference to those who say that Alinsky’s book, “Rules for Radicals,” which was dedicated to Lucifer among others was really sort of tongue and cheek. One generally doesn’t dedicate books to the leader of the dark side as some sort of joke. I find that dedication intersting because it happened in 1971, the twilight of his life. Why didin’t he dedicate his previous books to Lucifer? The reason I feel this happened is because it would have caused a stir. Perhaps in the twilight of his life, Alinsky was being more open about his agenda.

    The first time I had heard of Alinsky occurred in my freshman year of college when some radical graduate students were quoting him like most fervent believers would quote the Gospel. In the turmoil that was the Church in the 1970s, I don’t think many people paid much heed to the role of these radicals until recently. However, I dare say that the likes of Father McBrien were quite familiar with the lofty aspirations of Alinksy and those of a similar mindset. This doesn’t even touch on those in the media who were influenced by Alinsky, and who today run those organizations. Does anyone think that the hit pieces on Pope Benedict in particular and the Church in general would have been possible had not these poeple been calling the shots?

    Fortunately as I have said before the tide is turning. I can’t help but refer back to a priest I know who was ordained some five years ago. There was quite a stir when he made no bones about his orthodox or conservative views. I spoke with him recently and he laughed saying, “those in the seminary now make me look like a milquetoast moderate.” Now that is what really drives the left up a wall, they thought the Election of 2008 would end any talk of conservatism prevailing in any sector of society. With the coming election, it appears that it is liberalism whose back is against the wall.

  • For my taste, Mr. Hartline, you seem too optimistic.

    Also, not just from you but from others I keep hearing of how good “new” seminarians are but I have not seen much to bouy my spirits among those have seen.

    Benedict is too little too late. The trials are upon us.

  • Karl with all due respect, it isn’t about your taste or mine, it is about facts. The fact is the Church was ruderless in the 1970s, Pope Paul VI said as much when uttered his famous words, “The Smoke of Satan had entered the Church.” However, Pope John Paul II’s Springtime of the Evangelization is here. We didn’t get into the mess we are in overnight, and we won’t get out of it overnight either. However, with Pope Benedict at the helm (perhaps fulfilling St John Bosco’s vision of the Twin Pillars) we will make great strides. The trials have been upon us many times before; the Islamic Invasions, the Protestant Reformation, the French Revolution, the 1960s Cultural Revolution, and yet here we are still Fighting the Good Fight!

  • I see the same facts but interpret them differently. It is not about taste though, you are spot on. The shoes we walk in influences our take. I remember into the early sixties. I have lived throughout this tempest. I believe we have seen, nothing yet.

  • In light of the customary, infernally low level of intellectual honesty in the Commie News Net pile-on piece of journalistic excrement, here’s my proposed response:

    Keep the Faith.

  • Karl, I certainly agree with you on your concluding point. However, I think we are in much better shape that we were 35 years ago. Pope John Paul II and now Pope Benedict XVI, through their leadership and those seminarians, women religious and laity whom they influence, are at least beginning to waft out the Smoke of Satan that had entered the Church.

    T Shaw, the Haku War Dance. I wonder if the Knights Templar did something similar before battle? May God Keep Us All Safe from enemies within and without!

  • “All one has to do is read the writings of those who started the French Revolution (which is often widely praised and celebrated in the West)…”

    During the 1780’s, many who made up the Third Estate, particulary the bourgeoisie (merchants, bankers, lawyers, etc), were fed up with the inequities of the ruling class.

    The First Estate (Clergy) and the Second Estate (Nobility) were a small minority of privileged men who made up the Aristocracy. As a result of the blurred lines between the two classes,(holding high positions under the Church’s provision, for example) the Aristocratic ruling class was exempt from almost all taxes. Many of the bourgeoisie were also exempt, which left the burden of paying for wars, affairs of state, etc. on the backs of the peasantry.

    The causes of the French Revolution were many and historians still argue over them but there are aspects of the Enlightenment that conservatives, particularly American conservatives, should appreciate and identify with.

    Those who advocated for change at the time, pushed for positions in government, the Church and the military to be open to men of talent and merit. They fought for a constitution and a Parliament that would limit the king’s power. Religious toleration and fair trials were also part of their agenda.

    Now, as we all know, the French Revolution got totally out of hand but there are reasons for those of us in the West to identify with the philosophes of the 18th century.

  • DP

    It was Louis the XVI who called the Estates General. The likes of Robespierre, Danton et al were not interested in what you suggest above they wanted real power and to remake society as they saw fit. They wanted to import their revolution to all of Europe.

    You know sort of like Lenin and Stalin.

  • Afghani Stan, excellent point. I would also ask that our friend DP consider that some of the ideas that Enlightenment is given credit for dates back to the Magna Carta. In addition, there were already primitive forms of government in some Swiss Cantons (Catholic cantons at that) which espoused early democratic ideals. Sadly, Ulrich Zwingli tried to put a stop to that, which in some ways was the start of the Left’s War on Rural Inhabitants.

  • If memory serves (John Robinson, Dungeons, Fire and Sword), the Templars entered battle assuring each other that, “Whether we live or whether we die, we are The Lord’s.”

  • Stan and Dave,

    Yes, Louis XVI did convene the Estates General at the last minute but only after a hiatus of 170+ yrs and to no avail.

    Robespierre was, of course, an extreme leftist and a tyrant as well. But there are other Enlightenment notables such as Locke (a champion of America’s Founding Fathers), Newton and Montesquieu who contributed a great deal with regard to the expansion of thought and science in secular society.

    In fact, Pope Benedict XIV respected Montesquieu and the advances of the Enlightenment (especially tolerance) even though many of his bishops didn’t share his sensibilities at the time.

    In any case, some of the ideas and ideals of the philosophes should be celebrated by both the West and the Church.

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On Media and Mosques at Ground Zero

Saturday, August 14, AD 2010

One of the interesting (by which I mean dull, predictable and repetitive) aspects of the 24 hour news cycle is that all forms of media have incentives to magnify and actively seek out controversy. Not only does this increase ratings/page views/newspaper sales, it provides media outlets with something – anything in a slow news month – to talk about. I can’t help but feel that the recent outburst of commentary about the construction of a mosque near the site of the 9/11 attacks is the type of story designed to increase media consumption and accomplish little else. The First Amendment is not in dispute here; freedom of religion is well established and protected by settled case law. Furthermore, the proposed mosque is to be constructed on private property, and there is no legal reason to challenge its construction. And so most of the discussion revolves (and frequently devolves) around taste and symbolism.

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44 Responses to On Media and Mosques at Ground Zero

  • I take your point about media generated controversies, but I’m not sure I’d place the mosque controversies at least entirely in that category. I find the following aspects of this controversy to be very remarkable and worthy of reflection:

    1. The legal right of Muslims to build houses of worship has been called into question.

    2. Islamic terrorists are being conflated with all Muslims.

    3. It’s being proposed that Islam really isn’t a religion.

    I really see our country at a crossroads right now. The increased presence of Muslims challenges our national narratives (e.g., we’re a Christian nation) and the extent to which we value are willing to extend religious liberty. This controversy is forcing us to ask ourselves who we are, and that question is as serious as anything.

  • I suppose, in turn, I take your point Kyle. There are important issues connected to the controversy (although points 1 and 3 strike me as rather fringish, self-marginalizing ideas). I think it is a matter for serious concern that so many voices on the right have picked this particular battle. At the same time, I do not see why it is a national, rather than a local, issue. There is no legal basis for challenging the mosque’s construction, and there is virtually no chance of that changing in the near future (barring a cataclysmic series of events). I am glad that liberals have stated these truths and criticized the over-heated rhetoric from the right, but I still see this more as a controversy-of-the-day, rather than a matter of significant national import.

  • John Henry,

    There are a lot of things I can say about your perspective, and few of them would be very flattering. I’ll limit myself to this: as a Catholic, you ought to have a better understanding and appreciation of the symbolic. To dismiss the importance of symbolism in the manner you have seems rather crudely materialistic to me. Symbols are generally representations of real things.

    “there is little reason for anyone else aside from the families of the victims of 9/11 or residents of that area of New York to comment”

    And yet here we are, in a free society, in which people don’t need reasons deemed acceptable by others to engage in public discourse. Don’t let it burn you up too much 🙂

    Kyle,

    “1. The legal right of Muslims to build houses of worship has been called into question.”

    It has not. And someone ought to question the wisdom of the builders.

    Moreover, people have a right to make legal challenges if they like. It doesn’t mean they will succeed, and they may even be charged with the court cost if their case turns out to be frivolous.

    Finally, some suspect that the mosque is funded by a man with ties to terrorism.

    “2. Islamic terrorists are being conflated with all Muslims.”

    No, I think it is more accurate to say that Islamic terrorists are being portrayed as consistent Muslims, while the “moderate” Muslim is being portrayed as inconsistent, given the clear teachings of the Koran on the relations between Muslims and infidels. You won’t find anything like that in the New Testament.

    “3. It’s being proposed that Islam really isn’t a religion.”

    Yes, I don’t see the point in that. It isn’t a religion like others, to be sure, but in the West we tend to think of religion as something different (though not entirely unrelated) from politics, and from science, a legacy we can thank the Church for. These distinctions are what enabled Western society to advance far beyond others, I believe.

    Then again, I believe communism is a religion, just a secular one. Environmentalism is also fast becoming a religion, neo-pagan for some, secular for others.

    “challenges our national narratives (e.g., we’re a Christian nation)”

    We are a Christian nation, if for no other reason than that the majority of Americans are Christians. If you mean in the substance of our policies, well they rest upon a Christian legacy anyway.

    In Lebanon, Islam “challenged the national narrative” of a Christian nation by repeatedly attempting to slaughter all of the Christians. Only God and the impenetrability of the mountains of Northern Lebanon saved them from that fate.

    Now I’m not saying that the Muslims who live here now either desire such a thing for the United States, or that they could do it if they did. I do wonder however how the picture will change if/when they become 20% of the population or more. This isn’t an observation limited to Islam either: ANY group with ANY ideas will seek to impose them more and more as their numbers grow. That’s just rational human political behavior, it is universal.

    Perhaps looking at Europe’s experience we would be wise to take certain precautions sooner, rather than later.

  • To dismiss the importance of symbolism in the manner you have seems rather crudely materialistic to me. Symbols are generally representations of real things.

    Symbols can be important, but they can also be ambiguous or frivolous. I wasn’t categorically rejecting arguments about symbolism; just saying that this particular one wasn’t particularly fruitful given that there are very few repercussions for public policy.

    And yet here we are, in a free society, in which people don’t need reasons deemed acceptable by others to engage in public discourse. Don’t let it burn you up too much

    This is silly, Joe. Saying that I don’t think a particular controversy is very valuable is hardly the same as saying I am upset that people are free to have it. I’m consistently on the side of freedom here – whether it be of religion or speech.

  • A commenter on a friend’s facebook page remarks that Muslims have the right to practice their religion in their own countries, but not in ours. I’d say that qualifies as denying the religious freedom of Muslims in the U.S. Teresamerica asserts that the sensitivity of the 9/11 families is grounds to refuse the building of the “ground zero” mosque. She’s not just questioning the wisdom of the building planners, but their legal right to build in that location. I can also point to the opposition the president has received in response to his statement that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as we all have. As for lawsuits: Exhibit A.

  • Cordova House: Why don’t we start a $100,000,000 fund to build a cathedral dedicated to St. Perfecto, a Spanish martyr murdered for the faith in Cordova during the 700 years the mass murderers held Spain?

    You geniuses will see how this plays out in November.

    Meanwhile, you will see a representative sample of 80% of US at 2PM on 11 September.

    You insensitive America-hating geniuses . . .

    Practicing their religion . . . flying large airplanes into tall buildings.

  • Regarding jihad, Adams states in his essay series,

    “…he [Muhammad] declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind…The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God.”

    Confirming Adams’ assessment, the late Muslim scholar, Professor Majid Khadduri, wrote the following in his authoritative 1955 treatise on jihad, War and Peace in the Law of Islam :

    “Thus the jihad may be regarded as Islam’s instrument for carrying out its ultimate objective by turning all people into believers, if not in the prophethood of Muhammad (as in the case of the dhimmis), at least in the belief of God. The Prophet Muhammad is reported to have declared ‘some of my people will continue to fight victoriously for the sake of the truth until the last one of them will combat the anti-Christ’. Until that moment is reached the jihad, in one form or another will remain as a permanent obligation upon the entire Muslim community. It follows that the existence of a dar al-harb is ultimately outlawed under the Islamic jural order; that the dar al-Islam permanently under jihad obligation until the dar al-harb is reduced to non-existence; and that any community accepting certain disabilities- must submit to Islamic rule and reside in the dar al-Islam or be bound as clients to the Muslim community. The universality of Islam, in its all embracing creed, is imposed on the believers as a continuous process of warfare, psychological and political if not strictly military.”3

  • Kyle,

    Well, frankly, the cited examples all strike me as fairly marginal views. Your Facebook friend isn’t in favor of the First Amendment (and likely hasn’t really thought much about the history of Catholics in the United States); Teresaamerica is proposing manipulation of a city zoning requirement protecting landmarks to prevent the construction of the mosque, which is a rather startling example of using a facially neutral requirement for discriminatory purposes. As to lawsuits, they are unlikely to make it past summary judgment, if they even make it that far. As I said, there are important questions connected with this controversy, but for the most part these conversations involve issues more significant than – and distinct from – whether or not New York has another mosque.

    I should add, though, that I appreciate you taking the time to provide examples. It may be that I’m wrong about the significance of this particular controversy, or have chosen a poor example to illustrate the point I was trying to make.

  • T. Shaw – the purpose of this thread is not to debate the place of jihad within Islam; please try to provide comments that relate more directly to the topic of the post.

  • Right.

    “Taste”: I would use “sensitivity” or “sensibilities.” I know where your “head” is on this.

    Of course, the media actively magnified the immaterial, tragic events of 11 September 2001 (the boring History Channel mini-series they air each September need to cease and desist, too), so widows and other survivors have their evil bowels in an uproar over the religion of peace building a pacifist training camp two blocks away from where their little eichmann’s got it for liberating Kuwait from Saudi Arabian bases and supporting Israel.

  • “Muslims have the right to practice their religion in their own countries, but not in ours. I’d say that qualifies as denying the religious freedom of Muslims in the U.S.”

    This is one of the most laughable statements posted here in quite some time.

    All over the Muslim world, Muslims are denied the right to practice as they see fit. No whirling Dervishes if you are in Saudi Arabia. Want to wear a burqa in Turkey? Have fun in jail. Surely the hundreds of thousands of Muslims arrested each year on charges of “crimes against Islam” reveal the claim as absurd?

    And, with regards to Muslims not being able to practice in the US, what could your Facebook friend POSSIBLY mean by THAT allegation? Is she suggesting that opposing the building of a mosque at Ground Zero represents an absolute bar to the practicing of Islam in New York City or the United States as a whole? If so, she has lost her furry little mind.

    Whether one agrees or disagrees with opposing the building of Cordoba House at Ground Zero, we shouldn’t jump on the victimized bandwagon just yet. Lets face it, Cordoba House isn’t the first mosque to be built to praise Allah for a great victory… The Blue Mosque in Constantinople is.

  • John,

    “I wasn’t categorically rejecting arguments about symbolism”

    That wasn’t very clear originally. I thank you for the clarification.

    Kyle,

    Your link is just a link to people who want to stop the construction of one mosque. That is a far cry from arguing that “Muslims don’t have a right to practice their religion.”

    You know, we deny a lot of different religious groups the right to certain practices. We prosecute Christian “scientists” who refuse to give their children medicine when they are sick, for instance. So this idea of absolute religious freedom is as detached from history and reality as those who proclaim an absolute right to free speech. I don’t claim that there are grounds at the moment to deny certain aspects of Islam, but they could well arise at some point.

    My compromise would be this: today, right now, before 10% of our population is Muslim, we pass state or even federal constitutional amendments forever barring the implementation of Sharia law at any level. We make resolutions to avoid what has happened in Europe and some of the commonwealth countries, in which “culture” or “religion” has been used in courts of law to defend honor killers and rapists. We subject Islam to the same scrutiny that Christianity is subjected to in the public school system, and we stop these ridiculous charades in which children are forced to act like Muslims for a week as part of “cultural awareness.” It’s absurd.

  • G-Veg, I think your comment reflects a misunderstanding. Kyle’s FB friend was expressing their view of what should be rather than what is. Obviously, there are a lot of problems with his friend’s desired state of affairs and that (fortunately) is not currently the state of things in the U.S.

  • The constant invocation of Cordoba itself reeks of mealy-mouting of Catholics and the Christian faith in general. The legends of Al-Andalus and the alleged tolerance of Muslims for other religions have been amplified beyond caricature by Jews who couldn’t forgive Catholics for the expulsions and fabulists such as Borges and Fuentas who projected their fantasies onto a mideaval past. The strange thing is, Muslims themselves never cared for the comity of Cordoba, one can hardly find references to that aspect in their earlier writings; bin Laden wasn’t rueing for the Cordoba of fantastic memory. The remaking of Cordoba into some kind of wonderland was the work of (a few) Jews, thus it is no surprise that Bloomberg is taken in. I look forward to the day when the very same boosters, complain when some Sheikh or other compares Jews to monkeys at Cordoba House.

  • Pauli’s link makes my point in an indirect way. What was the need for that anti-Catholic bigot Foxman to invoke the Auschwitz nuns to frighten off CAIR, when the salient comparison to the destruction of the WTC is in fact Pearl Harbour? It seems as though he wants us to forget that Catholic Poles in their hundreds of thousands perished in that camp. Is McGurn a Catholic? If so, he needs to stop drinking the ADL Kool-Aid.

  • I agree that symbolism is important. That’s why I think the efforts to stop the building project are so awful.

  • I wouldn’t try to stop them through the courts, but I would impress upon them how much they will rightfully be resented for failing to respect the wishes of the people. To do something simply because one can is hardly a persuasive argument.

    There are a thousand and one good ways to foster better relations between Muslims who wish to disavow the violent teachings of the Koran, and Christians in the United States. This is not one of them.

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  • I would impress upon them how much they will rightfully be resented for failing to respect the wishes of the people. To do something simply because one can is hardly a persuasive argument.

    I agree. Muslims don’t “do” persuasive argument. Never have. Why should they? They like their methods better. From passive aggressiveness all the way up to not-so-passive, that’s where they excel.

    In many ways I’m glad they are building this at ground zero to show their absolute smugness and insensitivity. It will further expose their nature.

  • Pauli,

    I think such generalizations are unfair, dangerous, and inaccurate when applied to a group of 1 billion people. A disturbing pattern is found in many long-running feuds/persecutions: 1) a group of individuals is lumped together on the basis of a distinguishing feature (whether it be race/religion/nationality/etc.) and identified as ‘the other’; 2) that group is then accused of having various negative characteristics to an unusual degree (e.g. greed, stupidity, or guilt for certain crimes); 3) these negative characteristics are then used as a pretext for denying rights to this group that other citizens enjoy. I am concerned about the implications of your comments.

  • I should have written “Muslim leaders” rather than merely “Muslims”. That’s my point. Islam doesn’t have one billion leaders. One billion people are not building a mosque. I can “generalize” about these leaders based on their past and present behavior. They don’t show the kind of sensitivity of the Holy Father in the link I posted.

    John Henry was wise to delete his former comment where he compared me to a Klan member and a jihadist.

  • John Henry was wise to delete his former comment where he compared me to a Klan member and a jihadist.

    My point was about language and the structure of your argument; to say language is similar is not to say the people are similar. Substitute Catholics/blacks/Israelis for Muslims in your comment above, and the similarities in language are quite striking. Btw, I frequently re-write my comments multiple times to try and make them clearer within the first few minutes after they post.

  • I frequently re-write my comments multiple times to try and make them clearer within the first few minutes after they post.

    Mmmmm, I see. That also provides a benefit that those subscribed to the comment thread get to see what you really think before your discretion kicks in and you self-censor. Maybe you should just write your comments down on scratch paper first and read them out loud to yourself. That’s what I do.

    Let me clarify my views further WRT the smugness and insensitivity of the Muslim leaders behind the building of the ground zero Mosque. I don’t think I would say the same about black leaders in general, Israeli leaders in general or Catholic leaders in general, and my proof for the third is in the link I provided earlier. This rules me out as a Klansman if there was any further question.

  • Pauli – you seem to be missing the point. I wasn’t saying that you feel similarly about Catholics/blacks/Israelis, etc. I was observing that your comment above about Muslims is very similar to the type of statements that the Klansmen of yore made about Catholics and Blacks, and radical Muslim groups today make about Israelis. You’ve said now that you were only speaking about ‘Muslim leaders,’ but I think, again, your statement still reflects a disturbing prejudice.

  • John Henry, here’s a question. Can you think of other comparable situations involving different religions other than Islam? Keep in mind that this project will be large costing millions of dollars. If I am prejudiced against Islam, then I have overlooked all the other times a different religion has done something comparable.

    Prejudice means to prejudge, to judge someone before you see any of there actions. For example, I see a black person and I think, “That person is probably a lazy bum, because blacks are lazy.” If I think this, then I am prejudiced. But what if I am able to observe a black person for several months and note many instances of laziness? Then I can state “He is lazy” without prejudice, can I not? This would only appear to be prejudice to a third person who didn’t know that I had many occasions to observe the laziness and who then made an assumption that the reason for my judgment was my own prejudice against blacks. This third person would himself be guilty of prejudging me.

    So give me some comparable situations throughout history to the ground zero mosque. Otherwise this word substitution exercise you are proposing smells like a red herring.

  • I really see our country at a crossroads right now. The increased presence of Muslims challenges our national narratives (e.g., we’re a Christian nation) and the extent to which we value are willing to extend religious liberty. This controversy is forcing us to ask ourselves who we are, and that question is as serious as anything.

    There are some disputes about the proportion of the population which is Muslim. (Robert Spencer offers that the most valid estimates appear to place that population at 3,000,000, or 1% of the whole). I do not think a minority that size ‘challenges national narratives’. (The appellate judiciary and the public interest bar have insisted on the adoption of enforced secularization, because that is the preferred policy in the social circles in which they run).

    Both you and John Henry might consider the possibility that past is not prologue, and that a muslim minority might eventually prove tragically incompatible with the general population, and that such an outcome is more likely if elite policy rewards rather than ignores (or penalizes) aggressive postures on the part of novel minorities.

  • The remaking of Cordoba into some kind of wonderland was the work of (a few) Jews

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04359b.htm

    “Owing to the peace which the Christians of Cordova then enjoyed, some knowledge of their condition has been preserved, among other things the name of their bishop, Joannes, also the fact that, at that period, the citizens of Cordova, Arabs, Christians, and Jews, enjoyed so high a degree of literary culture that the city was known as the New Athens. From all quarters came students eager to drink at its founts of knowledge. Among the men afterwards famous who studied at Cordova were the scholarly monk Gerbert, destined to sit on the Chair of Peter as Sylvester II (999-1003)”

    I suppose it’s possible Jews infiltrated the Catholic Encyclopedia’s editorial board.

  • Yeah, those silly martyrs didn’t know when they had it good!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martyrs_of_C%C3%B3rdoba

  • restrainedcatholic, the article you linked to in its entirety, shows that Catholic scholars were not among those going gaga over Cordoba. The quote does not accurately convey the thrust of the article. By the sheer dance of things, there is bound to be a period when Christians and Jews enjoyed a measure of peace living among Muslims. This by itself is not sufficient to inspire the paens to Cordoba. Where for example is the equivalent Christian city? We know that there were Christian monarchs in the Iberian peninsula who were tolerant by the standards of that era. Yet no one is concerned to inflict their saga on us.

  • sorry I should have addressed the above to restrainedradical..

  • Donald, you should substitute the phrase “female African slaves” for “martyrs” in your sarcastic remark. How’s it sound then? Answer: very disturbing.

  • Let us assume that those financing Cordoba House are sincere in their desire to present the most tolerant face of Islam possible and that harkening back to an enlightened period of the Cordoban princes is meant to be a signal of the kind of tolerance they seek in America. Let us further accept the claim that the proximity to Ground Zero is meant to give voice to moderate and modern Islam – as an answer to the kind of religious extremism that brought the towers down and the world’s economic Goliath to his knees.

    It was surely possible to be a practicing Christian or Jew in Cordoba at various points. We have fairly modern examples to suggest that a calm, judicious application of the Koran and the Hadith to the interactions between religions leads to some degree of stability and freedom of worship. However, at its very best, this isn’t anything approximating Freedom of Religion. This is because Sharia law absolutely requires Theocracy. It presumes that Islam is right on a host of human interactions that allow for no deviation. However “tolerant” of other religious teachings an Islamic state seeks to be it cannot permit deviation on critical issues such as the nature of God, the duty of man to his family and to the community, and how work is organized. In even the most tolerant of Islamic states (indeed, I would argue that this is true of ALL theocratic states and that we are concentrating on Islamic states because they are the last of this old order), no Christian can be allowed to evangelize because, at its core, tolerant Islam nonetheless requires absolute adherence to basic Koranic doctrine as expressed through the Hadith. This is to say that the Spanish Caliphates may have been “tolerant” but only so long as the other faiths knew and stayed in their place. (This shouldn’t be surprising. There was a reason for the brutality and vindictiveness of the Spanish Inquisition and I doubt it was “payback” for six centuries of Islamic FAIR treatment.)

    Bringing my point back to Cordoba House: even IF those financing the project intend to signal the kind of “tolerance” that was supposedly exhibited under Muslim rule in Cordoba, that kind of “tolerance” is nothing akin to Freedom of Religion. Further, it “feels like” building a mosque so close to the place where the American economic model of a hundred years was destroyed is a sort of “victory dance” or, at least, a shrine to thank Allah for victory. My guess is that our ancestors felt the same way about the conversion of the Basilica at Constantinople into the Blue Mosque.

    If this is not what is intended… if the Cordoba House builders are honest in their desire to forge bonds and further understanding, they have picked a damn awful way to do it. Appearances DO matter.

    One final note: please do not interpret my writing to suggest that I believe that the engines of law ought to be brought to bear to prevent the building of the mosque. Indeed, even if it were called the “Usama Bin Laden Victory Mosque” and have individual shrines to the 911 “martyrs,” I would not want the state to act in an unconstitutional way. However, I take great exception to those who suggest that protesting the building of the mosque is un-American. Nothing is more democratic than to stand up for one’s views and to speak for oneself – not expecting the government to intervene

  • G-Veg: If this is not what is intended… if the Cordoba House builders are honest in their desire to forge bonds and further understanding, they have picked a damn awful way to do it. Appearances DO matter.

    Yeah, this is pretty much how Michael Medved phrased it today on his show. Either it’s a victory dance which means it’s horrible, or it’s an extremely poor and insensitive attempt at reconciliation.

  • Should you be glad that it’s named after a place that became exclusively Catholic?

  • Wow, why didn’t I think of that? Cordoba as a backhand compliment to Ferdinand and Isabelle; tell the hardhats its alright, they must get to work. Expedite the construction.

  • Good Morning restrainedradical,

    I’m not sure I follow you because I didn’t think we were talking about what I would do if I were going to sponsor a religious community in a place that would deeply offend. For this conversation, it is enough to articulate why I am offended and how the decision to build this mosque in a place where it appears to glory in misery is inappropriate.

    I’ll range farther though to say that I understand the impulse of the victor to raise monuments – to celebrate victory in a way that visits new injury on the defeated every time they are forced to accept and contemplate their impotency. It is a basic and base impulse. I mentioned the Blue Mosque as an example but there are many others such as the obelisk at the Vatican (doubly so if Wiki is right in noting that the obelisk was the center-point of the Circus Maximus).

    Monuments are built to channel human vision such as the Smithsonian and to inspire the way the Statue of Liberty does. They are built to control the divine (Stonehenge) or to refocus culture such as St. Petersburg. Sometimes they are merely the extension of man’s feeble attempt to control what happens after death (Pyramids at Giza). Often they are build to “immortalize” conquest such as Trafalgar Square and to put a face on a particular victory such as Admiral Nelson’s monument at Trafalgar. There are a lot of reasons to put mortar to stone and not all of them are base and mean.

    It is a fair question as to why those who seek to build Cordoba House at Ground Zero choose that location. The explanation given – that they seek to put a moderate face on Islam and to answer the extremism of September 11th with the understanding and tolerance of a thoroughly modern and moderate Islam – is difficult for many people to accept. I am one of them.

    I look at the speeches of its lead spokesman, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, and wonder how a man who believes that America invited the 911 attacks through its policies over the previous century can simultaneously believe that the building of a mosque on the site of those attacks would be perceived as other than a victory monument by extremists. The questions about funding further alarm me since our culture is accustomed to look with skepticism upon projects whose funding is hidden. I admit to looking with jaded eye on attempts to present the Koran and Hadith as purely religious – i.e. having no pre-requisite political, legal, and economic structure – strictures.

    Cast against this backdrop, calling the project “Cordoba House” and then withdrawing that name when confronted about its implications appears to me to be revealing. It suggests that the name choice was more illuminating about the hidden agenda of those building the center than they wished it to be.

    In many ways, the rise of Islam in the Americas presents a unique challenge to both Muslims and the broader society. Primary in the challenges is recasting the political, social, and economic structures inherent in the Koran and, particularly, in the Hadith as idealized analogies rather than divine order. Stated more simply, the Koran and the Hadith are incredibly specific as to how society as a whole, family life in particular, and the daily lives of individuals are to be organized. While it is true that the burqa and other such trappings of modern Islam are not ordained in the written word, it is fair to note that the vast majority of religious, economic, and political obligations are spelled out.

    In a modern, constitutionalist state such as the United States, there is an assumption that the duties of man to man and man to the broader society are limited by law maintained by virtually universal suffrage. The framework is set by the democratic institutions. The individual actions inside of that framework are set by our personal codes. Religion, in one sense, must accept the overall legal framework in order to be practiced freely. Stated differently, lest I be misunderstood to be saying that religion is subordinate to the State, the modern, diverse culture, the State guarantees a field of contest on which the worldviews can compete without being oppressed by organs of government. So long as those worldviews accept the framework, virtually any can operate freely (Scientology for example) without damaging the State.

    It remains to be seen whether Islam can exist within a constitutional state.

  • G-Veg, similar things can be said of Judaism yet they developed doctrines that allow them to integrate into a pluralistic society. Christianity went through a similar transformation. Even if the Bible doesn’t command certain public policies, it became conventional wisdom that, for example, heresy should be a capital offense. Freedom of conscience didn’t hold as high a place as it does today.

    I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibilities that Islam can develop doctrines that can allow them to deemphasize teachings that prevent them from integrating. There will still be fundamentalists but they may become a tiny fringe minority with no mainstream support.

    We can aid in this process by supporting the moderates within Islam who are willing to abandon the more radical teachings.

  • It remains to be seen whether Islam can exist within a constitutional state.

    Constitutional monarchy has functioned in Morocco for most the the last 50-odd years. Malaysia has always been a parliamentary state, if an illiberal one. There are several West African countries which have had elected governments for the last 20 to 35 years. The Arab world is peculiarly resistant to electoral and deliberative institutions; outside of that, it is doubtful that muslim societies are more prone to tyranny than other societies at similar levels of economic development.

    A better statement of the question is whether a muslim minority can be amicably incorporated in a society where the judiciary, the social services apparat, the educational apparat, and much of the political class considers the vernacular society of the natives something which needs to be contained and leavened, and makes use of (often rude) immigrant populations in its battles with that vernacular society.

  • Bernard Lewis in his book The Jews in Islam writes,

    “The claim to tolerance, now much heard from Muslim apologists and more especially from apologists for Islam, is also new and of alien origin. It is only very recently that some defenders of Islam have begun to assert that their society in the past accorded equal status to non-Muslims. No such claim is made by spokesmen for resurgent Islam, and historically there is no doubt that they are right. Traditional Islamic societies neither accorded such equality nor pretended that they were so doing. Indeed, in the old order, this would have been regarded not as a merit but as a dereliction of duty. How could one accord the same treatment to those who follow the true faith and those who willfully reject it? This would be a theological as well as a logical absurdity.”

  • Art Deco,

    The Arab world is peculiarly resistant to electoral and deliberative institutions.

    Isn’t there a whole history of colonial (mis)administration here that is being calmly passed over–as though we can leap from the time of the caliphate to contemporary world politics without addressing the serious harms imposed upon the middle east and northern africa by various european powers.

    Even the case of Iran (not Arab, but Muslim country) complicates the situation. We did depose their legitimately elected government and instituted a dictator in his place, as we’ve done several other times in various places.

    My point is that an awful lot of this analysis passes over modern history as though it didn’t have any effect on how Islam first encountered representative systems of government.

  • Most of the Arab world was under colonial rule by Europe for a very brief period from shortly after World War I to shortly after World War II. The pathologies that afflict the Arab world are homegrown. It is representative institutions and the Western concept of human rights which are the legacy from Europe.

    In regard to Iran it is more accurate to say that we deposed a dictator, Mossadegh, and restored the Shah. The Shah was a squalid tyrant, but he gleams as positively enlightened compared to the rulers thrown up by the Shia Revolution.

  • Isn’t there a whole history of colonial (mis)administration here that is being calmly passed over–as though we can leap from the time of the caliphate to contemporary world politics without addressing the serious harms imposed upon the middle east and northern africa by various european powers.

    Even the case of Iran (not Arab, but Muslim country) complicates the situation. We did depose their legitimately elected government and instituted a dictator in his place, as we’ve done several other times in various places.

    I keep having this argument with Maclin Horton’s troublesome blogging partner. I offer you the following inventory.

    European colonization in the Near East, North Africa, and Central Asia was limited to the Maghreb and to a small knock of Levantine territory (the Valley of Jezreel and a portion of the coastal plain running between Gaza and Haifa) difficult to see in an atlas of ordinary scale. In Morocco (and I believe in Tunisia as well), the French agricultural colonies were small (the total number of households being under 10,000), although a good deal of common land was enclosed and delivered to them. Demographically obtrusive colonization was found in Algeria (state supported and enforced) and in the Levant (as private and voluntary immigration financed by the Jewish National Fund, etc). I have seen some figures I do not quite trust that there was quite a bit of settlement in Tripolitania and Cyrenaica as well.

    Egypt, the Sudan, Aden, the south Arabian sheikhdoms, the Trucial sheikhdoms, Bahrain, Kuwait, the Transjordan, and Iraq were all dependencies of Britain or France for periods ranging from 14 years to 72 years. Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, and Syria were dependencies of France for periods ranging from 26 years to 75 years. You had a rotating population of civil servants and soldiers and a foreign resident population there for business or missionary work (e.g. the founders of the American University of Beirut). There were, however, no colonists other than the aforementioned population of farmers. Morocco’s agricultural colonies were founded around 1928 and fully liquidated by about 1971.

    You may have noticed that Indonesia has had an elected government for the last 11 years, that elected administration has been modal in South Asia since 1947, and that elected governments are (at this point in time) rather more prevalent in Tropical and Southern Africa than they have been in the Arab world at any time in the last 50 years. The encounter between Europeans and natives was a good deal more durable, intrusive, and coercive in these loci than it ever was with regard to the Arab world.

    You may have noticed the United States had scant involvement in this enterprise of collecting overseas dependencies, and none at all in the Muslim world.

    You may also have noticed that the 9/11 crew were recruited not from Algeria (which did feel the French boot rather severely), but from Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Egypt was a dependency of Britain in a juridically odd arrangement from 1881 to 1922; any complaints about this are not exactly topical. Neither the Hijaz nor the Nejd (united now as ‘Saudi Arabia’) was ever a dependency of any European power. Britain and Russia established some concessionary arrangements with Persia for a period of time (1907-25) in the early 20th century, but it was never a dependency of any European power.

    The four Arab countries which have had the most extensive experience with constitutional government (Morocco, Lebanon, Jordan, and Kuwait) are all over the map as regards the duration and features of their encounter with Europe.

    As for the ‘legitimately elected government’ of Iran, parliamentary executives are generally dependent on the pleasure of the head of state, most especially when they have arbitrarily prorogued the country’s legislature (as Iran’s had been in 1953). Mohammed Mossadegh was no more entitled to rule by decree and disestablish the Persian monarchy (his ambitions) than was the Shah to run a royal dictatorship, but you win some and you lose some. Now, run down the list of states in the Near East, North Africa, and Central Asia which were sovereign for some time during the period running from 1953 to 1978 and identify those which had some measure of competitive electoral politics and public deliberation more often than not. That is a low bar that about 2/3 of the Latin American states could have met. The list will read as follows: Morocco, Kuwait, Israel, Lebanon, Cyprus, Turkey, Pakistan, Libya (perhaps), and Jordan (perhaps). That would be 6 or 8 of the 25 states of the region. It is just not fertile ground for parliamentary government, and a multi-ethnic state with a literacy rate of 8% is not promising material for a durable constitutional order in any case.

    I do not care what bilge Noam Chomsky or John Prados are pushing. The machinations of the CIA are not the reason competitive electoral politics has often been a transient state of affairs here there and the next place in this world (as it was prior to the CIA’s formation in 1947). The only good example of something resembling a democratic political order iced by the CIA would be Jacobo Arbenz’ government in Guatemala in 1954. Personally, I think Arbenz bears more resemblance to Juan Domingo Peron and Salvador Allende than he does to Latin America’s authentic constitutionalists, but it is difficult to find trustworthy histories of his life and times.

  • Muslims don’t “do” persuasive argument. Never have.

    Clarification. I would like to take my second phrase back: “Never have,” which I wrote in ignorance. (Never say never, right?) It turns out that for a time, Muslim thinkers were at one time more reasonable and more at home with the use of reason. I learned that from this excellent piece interviewing Robert Reilly on his new book, the title of which is “Closing of the Muslim Mind”. It’s particularly germane to this discussion and sheds quite a bit of light on the B16/Regensberg thing as well.

    I believe my larger point stands, i.e., currently Muslims do not so much engage in apologetics as they do in a certain type of assertiveness about their beliefs, which is possibly a more useful word than aggressiveness for describing the particular tendency I wish to describe for purposes of this discussion.

Does the Devil Exist?

Wednesday, August 4, AD 2010

Does the devil exist? — That’s the question posed by Fr. N. Schwizer (Vivicat, August 3, 2010):

In the Gospel, we often hear of Jesus expelling demons. Perhaps this fact seems somewhat strange to us because being possessed by a demon seems to us as something exclusive to those times. However, it also happens today even though it may be less frequent.

But the ultimate question for mankind today is…..does the devil exist as a person or not? As it is, modern man and inclusively the modern Christian man hardly even believes in the devil. The devil has been able to succeed today with his best maneuver: to put his existence in doubt. [more]

Christ expelling the devil

To illustrate the point, Fr. Richard McBrien (National Catholic Reporter) mocks a certain Bishop Thomas Paprocki for announcing a special Conference on the Liturgical and Pastoral Practice of Exorcism, to be held in Baltimore in early November, just before the bishops’ semiannual meeting.

That the conference would focus on “not only the theological and scriptural foundations of the rite of exorcism” but “the necessary, practical insights into the many liturgical, canonical and pastoral issues associated with exorcisms and the church’s battle against the demonic presence in the world” is, to McBrien, a subject of ridicule:

The priest who sent me a copy of this letter wrote across the top, in capital letters, “CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS? IN 2010.”

His question was rhetorical, of course.

Paprocki was recently appointed Bishop of Springfield, IL by Pope Benedict XVI, who has been known to take the existence of the devil — and exorcism — rather seriously himself.

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8 Responses to Does the Devil Exist?

  • I just just had a conversation about this the other day with a friend – she is of the opinion (I used to hold this view) that all “demonic” possession is simply mental illness and I pointed out that some folk exhibited no mental illness before their possession or after their exorcism and that scores of witnesses have testified to the supernatural events that take place during the rite…and that even rabbis at times have had to call upon Catholic priests to help their afflicted members throw off the demon…and frankly to not believe there is a devil is to deny the experience of Christ with Satan in the desert…I”ll take Christ’s word on this issue..

  • Of course the devil exists. He’s probably on the 9th Circuit.

  • Was there supposed to be a link to information about the conference? Because it’s not working when I click on it, it just sends me back to this article here.

    I cannot think of a better endorsement of my new bishop than to discover that Richard McBrien doesn’t like him! 🙂

  • Yes, she does; I used to date her.

  • j. christian, that was awesome!

  • Wow! Thank you for the link! I really appreciate it!

    -Theo

  • Who is Keyser Soze? He is supposed to be Turkish. Some say his father was German. Nobody believed he was real. Nobody ever saw him or knew anybody that ever worked directly for him, but to hear Kobayashi tell it, anybody could have worked for Soze. You never knew. That was his power. The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. And like that, poof. He’s gone.

  • Yup, the Devil exists! It is the politicians like Palin and Obama and their type!

If You Want The Political Left To Run Governments, Look At What The Religious Left Has Done To Religion (Left It In Tatters)

Monday, January 25, AD 2010

There is a undercurrent in American society that somehow believes that if the mafia ran things, the country would be better off. There was one city (Newark, New Jersey) where the mafia once controlled much of the city. When their grip on power was done, the city was in tatters. The same could be said for liberals running religion.

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Much to the Chagrin of the Powers that be, the Tide is Further Turning Toward Catholicism Thanks to Traditional Minded Anglicans

Tuesday, October 20, AD 2009

The dream of orthodox minded Catholics and Anglican liberals came true on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 as the Vatican announced that traditional minded Anglicans, clergy included, would be welcomed into the Catholic Church with their own Anglican style rite (though not exactly a rite of their own.) The promise Jesus made that the Gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church is now once again being made manifest for those who chose to recognize it (Matthew 16:16-20.) What King Henry VIII started Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have salvaged. The English and their former empire (if they wish) can return home again.

Since many conservatives may now leave, religious liberals too have high hopes as the worldwide Anglican Communion can possibly fulfill their wish of unbridled liberalism. However, it is becoming plain to see that it is for all intents and purposes the liberal’s wish is now turning into a death wish.  The irony of reading statements by traditional Anglicans thanking God for Pope Benedict’s statement coupled by liberal Catholic posters in the dissident National Catholic Reporter asking to be saved from Rome spoke volumes. Even with fawning mainstream media coverage, every liberal Protestant denomination has seen their numbers plummet in recent years, some as much as 50%, while Catholicism, with all the negative banner headlines, continues to grow around the world.

The Archbishop of Canterbury seems a truly tragic figure cut from a Shakespearean play trying to hold together what a murderous king wrought. It couldn’t be done and so we may now see the implosion of the Anglican Communion, especially in the only region that had any vibrancy, Africa. The African and Asian continents have long been the hope of the One True Church. Fortunately, the embers of truth can also be seen in North & South American seminaries and even in Europe, where the Faith had seemed all but dead.

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50 Responses to Much to the Chagrin of the Powers that be, the Tide is Further Turning Toward Catholicism Thanks to Traditional Minded Anglicans

  • Dave,

    Perhaps the future King of England will be relieved of this meddlesome title and realize that crossing the Tiber is his country’s best hope.

    Too many quotes to pull from a great article.

    King Henry VIII created this mess so as to satisfy his lust.

    We can see the many problems in todays society as we see our nation succumb to sex on demand. Where sex becomes our identity and all vices turned to virtue.

  • “King Henry VIII created this mess so as to satisfy his lust.”

    Actually, it was more about his desire for a legitimate male heir than anything else — he could “satisfy his lust” with any of his numerous mistresses whenever he pleased, but only a properly married wife and queen could give him an heir, which Catherine of Aragon was not able to do. In other words, it was more about his “right” to have exactly the kind of child he wanted (male) by any means necessary … hmmm, sound familiar?

    What if Henry and Catherine had been able to accept her infertility as God’s will for them, and fully embraced their only daughter Mary, or another relative, as a potential heir; or allowed the succession to pass to another noble family, placing their trust in God to protect the nation, rather than violate the law of His Church? Maybe things would have been less stable in the short term, but a lot of grief would have been avoided in the long term.

  • Elaine,

    You are correct!

    And how eerily similar it is in todays dark climate of secularism.

  • And to think the church’s detractors blast it for being so medieval when the secularists themselves seem to be eating the bitter fruits of ol’ King Henry XVIII. Kudos to Dave for a splendid article … loved the “Tortoise of Truth vs. Hare of Relativism” comment!

  • I became Catholic in 1998 when I was 23 and I was horrified by what I saw taking place within the Church and also outside of Holy Mother Church in society and other churches.

    I could never explain my yearning for the traditional Mass and the traditional ways ~ except to say that I, a young 20-something, yearned for a GROWNUP approach to the Faith. Seriously! All of this Liberal crap is so immature and childish and even the young Catholics of ten years ago and today just can’t stomach it.

    Now I’m just… shocked to the core!! I thought that this “dying” of the Christian faith was a bad thing, that this meant that Christianity was going to flicker out and pretty much die and we Christians that were left over would be a rarity.

    Now I see exactly what is going on and it’s so awesome! This death of all of these Reformation protest-churches (protestant!) is opening the door wide for the regrowth of the Catholic Faith all over the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Where I live, you can see how much Christianity has totally died a death ~ and I used to think, “What an spiritually sterile place I’ve come to.” But now I see that… “The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. Pray ye the Lord of the Harvest sends workers into his harvest…”

    The situation is not so wretched and hopeless after all!!!!!

  • A great, and might I say predictable 😉 article Dave.

    And I have been meaning to buy your book for ages.

    MUST – BUY – DAVE’S – BOOK !!!!

    God bless.

  • From another era ” The shot heard around the world”. Dave, you have not lost your ability and rhetoric to bring insight and hope to those who love our Church and its tenets and traditions. Boy is the tide ever turing. Those Catholics who have espoused relativism and have tried to change the foundation of the Rock must be in total shock. God Bless and long live Benedict XVI.

  • “The last four decades have seen liberal Christianity reach out to every sort of relativistic idea, whim and group. The western intellgentsia praised these efforts even as liberal churches emptied of their adherents.”

    Christians trying to change in order to satisfy agnostics and atheists is foreordained to end in spiritual death.

  • Once again Dave puts everything together perfectly! I am passing this on to the young person whom I am sponsoring in RCIA.

    Thanks again, Dave and commentators!

  • I’ll be very curious to see how the African Anglicans respond to this… they tend to be more evangelical (“low church”) than the TAC, and hence (presumably) less-likely to swim the Tiber, despite their “merely Christian” orthodoxy.

  • Elaine,

    You’re not quite correct.

    Actually, it was more about his desire for a legitimate male heir than anything else — he could “satisfy his lust” with any of his numerous mistresses whenever he pleased, but only a properly married wife and queen could give him an heir, which Catherine of Aragon was not able to do. In other words, it was more about his “right” to have exactly the kind of child he wanted (male) by any means necessary … hmmm, sound familiar?

    It has been noted by many that Henry’s romps with his mistresses likely caused Catherine’s inability to have a male heir. She wasn’t infertile; they simply had absurd infant mortality. What is that a symptom of? Syphilis. A sexually transmitted disease. Indeed, Henry satisfying his lust probably was at the heart of the whole thing.

  • I think the responses of people in the US like Mims are indicative of the evangelical Anglican reaction; to paraphrase, “it’s nice they agree with us the liberal Anglicans are bad, but we’re not gonna start worshiping no pope or Mary.”

  • Not to mention, as we know today, a male heir (or lack thereof) comes from the genes of the father, not the mother. So it was Henry’s fault he could not get a male heir.

  • Andy — you’re correct in saying Catherine wasn’t “infertile” in the strict sense; she got pregnant plenty of times, but only had one child live to adulthood, while all the rest were miscarried, stillborn, or died shortly after birth. And it’s quite probable that syphilis or some other STD contracted from Henry’s “romps with his mistresses” had something to do with it.

    However, Henry and Catherine themselves had no way of knowing that, so as far as Henry’s actual intentions were concerned, it was his determination to have a legitimate male heir that was the heart of “the king’s great matter.”

    Also, remember that Henry and Catherine’s one surviving child grew up to be known as “Bloody Mary” because of her counter-persecution of Protestants during her brief reign. Well, that would likely never have happened if Henry hadn’t treated her like dirt and tried to force her and her mother to give up their Catholic faith, and Mary to admit she was a “bastard,” after his marriage to Anne Boleyn. She might have been a really good queen if only she’d been treated with some respect in her younger years.

  • Elaine, Catherine wasn’t infertile. She got pregnant 4 or 5 times. Henry’s proable syphilys caused sickly children.

  • Kung would tool around the narrow streets of the Germany university town of Tubingen in his Porsche leaving the poor bicycling Father Ratzinger in the dust. Some forty years later, the Tortoise of Truth had passed the Hare of Relativism.

    I laughed out loud at this–a vivid image!

  • The irony of reading statements by traditional Anglicans thanking God for Pope Benedict’s statement coupled by liberal Catholic posters in the dissident National Catholic Reporter asking to be saved from Rome spoke volumes.

    Why can’t we simply do some sort of “Parish-Swap”, where we trade liberal Catholics for Conservative-minded Anglo-Catholics?

    That way, we not only welcome the traditionally-minded folks into the fold, we also do away with all the rubbish that is liberal Catholicism!

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  • Great news, great article. We need these people who love Our Lady, love a dignified liturgy and love the Pope. They will teach our liberals and the rest of us much.

  • I hate to be the one to rain on this parade but…

    1000 conservatives join the Church: Front-page news.
    1000 liberals leave the Church: Just another Monday.

    If it’s numbers you want to talk about, Catholicism isn’t doing too well. Catholics are leaving the Church just as fast as Anglicans are leaving theirs. If it were its own religion, ex-Catholics would make up the 2nd largest religion in the US. In my experience, the most common response to “What religion are you?” is “I was raised Catholic but…”

    I don’t think this “to hell with liberals” attitude is productive. There’s nothing wrong with reaching out with both hands to the right and to the left.

  • Actually Restrained Radical it is the other way around, the mainstream media loves to stick to the Church with breaking news headlines whenever something bad happens in the Church. However, did you notice any breaking news when something good happens i.e. the provisions Pope Benedict made for orthodox minded Anglicans? It isn’t so much reaching out to the left or the right that is the Church’s mission; it is to preach the truth of the Gospel of Christ, no matter how popular or unpopular it may be at any given time.

  • “There’s nothing wrong with reaching out with both hands to right and to the left.”

    How about this — why don’t those conservative Anglicans just remain with their coreligionists who have embraced homosexuality, woman priests, etc.

    They should, instead, reach out with both hands to those on their left and simply accept them and their beliefs, however wrong.

    The same with us Roman Catholics.

    We should reach out with both hands to those on the left, those who advocate abortion, those who support homosexuality, those who promote woman priests; and simply accomodate them and their beliefs, however wrong.

    Did not Christ preach in Matthew 18:17 that those who dissent from the Church are to be treated, not like a heathen or a publican, but as somebody whose errant beliefs we should accomodate?

  • “However, did you notice any breaking news when something good happens i.e. the provisions Pope Benedict made for orthodox minded Anglicans?”

    Front page of the New York Times.

    e,
    No doctrinal changes were made to accommodate the conservative Anglicans. I’m not advocating any of the following but here are some examples of what’s possible on the orthodox left: women deacons who marry and baptize, openly gay celibate priests, married priests and bishops, a more democratic election of bishops, radical liturgical reform (rock bands, dancing, etc.), a higher bar for just war, maybe some wiggle room on contraception, pushing for liberal causes like weapon bans, torture bans, more lenient sentencing, selective conscientious objector status, gays in the military, environmental protection, universal health care, minimum wage, unionization, world courts, etc.

  • Yeah — I’ll look forward to having Mass celebrated where in it, heavy metal bands perform, various break dancing takes place, and the Communion served is actually an Oreo cookie, with Elton John serving as its chief celebrant.

    Nice liberal utopia you have going there.

    Personally, I’d rather have a Church with a few, but very faithful, people (as even then Cardinal Ratzinger had once envisioned) as opposed to one entertaining the numerous masses, the majority of which yield to heretical beliefs/practices.

  • Restrained Radical, studies have shown that articles in the mainstream media’s newspapers and in their respctive network and cable news channels are terribly skewed against the Church. I would ask you to visit the Newsbusters site of April 2008 and see how television and the print media covered Pope Benedict’s visit to New York City. Listening to Katie Couric (and many others) beforehand, one would have thought Americans would greet the Holy Father with demonstrations, not the genuine admiration that was shown by those in the Big Apple and rarely discussed by those news organizations.

    Even the Anglican story of this week was hardly given a mention in most newspapers, TV network or cable news channels, a very strange development when one considers the fact that some Protestant commentators called it one of the biggest developments in the religious world since the Reformation.

  • “Even the Anglican story of this week was hardly given a mention in most newspapers, TV network or cable news channels, a very strange development when one considers the fact that some Protestant commentators called it one of the biggest developments in the religious world since the Reformation.”

    Front page of the NY Times, WSJ, Washington Post, and LA Times. That’s as mainstream as you can get. If you didn’t read about it in the MSM, I suggest you find better news sources.

    Judging by the web traffic, the Anglican news wasn’t very popular with readers. No surprise there. The Average Joe doesn’t care.

  • Restrained Radical thank you for proving my point, the truth is the truth whether it is popular with the mainstream media or not and the Average Joe or not. The plummeting liberal denominations wanted to be liked so much they tried to appeal to everyone and to paraphrase GK Chesterton ended up appealing to one one. When the faithful of these dying groups come to realize where the truth has always existed (the Catholic Church) they can’t wait to swim the Tiber.

  • Again I can’t believe I’m agreeing with the lower case vowel again.

    Restrained Radical,

    I would prefer quality over quantity any day of the week. A smaller more faithful Church would only feed my soul and bring me ever closer to reaching Heaven.

  • Why is it that only conservatives can be faithful Catholics? How do women deacons diminish the quality of the soul food you want and decreases your chances of reaching heaven?

    The new apostolic constitution should teach us the opposite lesson. The one true faith can accommodate different paths. The NO doesn’t detract from the TLM. The Church can appeal to conservatives and liberals.

  • Restrained Radical. the point is we either follow the teachings of Christ and the Church he established or not. We can’t make up our own ideas to go along with the whims of society. Pope Benedict has spoken of the Dictatorship of Relativism where sadly too many in the religious world model the Church after soicety.

    It is important to note that Jesus and the Early Church were counter cultural which is why the Church slowly grew, instead of rapidly. We must recall that in the Early Church everything thing matter and practice (especially as it pertained to sexuality) was permissible in the secular world. The Church wouldn’t even permit divorce let alone the varying sexual practices and orgies that were commonplace in the ancient world. Actually, if the Church really wanted to grow it would have permitted all of those things, since they were commonplace. The Church did not, which is eventually after many decades and about three centuries, the secular world saw the wisdom in the Church’s teachings and beliefs.

  • The Early Church didn’t have an Anglican Use, received Communion in the hand, probably sitting down, had Mass in the vernacular, women deacons, married clergy, and bishops elected by the laity. One can be liberal and orthodox.

    The Church thrived through inculturation. Traditionalists (those who believe it should be the only way, not merely an option) arbitrarily pick some point prior to Vatican II and say “That’s were the Church must freeze.” Evangelical Protestantism thrives today despite the fact that its members are more socially conservative than Catholics, mostly because it is extremely liberal in style. Too liberal for my taste but the point is that one can be liberal and orthodox.

  • Restrained Radical, with all due respect the Early Church was about as far from the liberal model of thinking as one could imagine. Public confessions, shunning of anyone in the secular world who was living a promiscuous lifetsyle (which was just about everyone who wasn’t a believer.) In addition what the priest or bishops said was stricly adhered to, as early as 96 AD we have records of the Church in Corinth sending a letter to the Pope (Clement I believe) asking what to do to resolve a theological matter. Keep in mind the Holy Father had to live in hiding and St John the Evangelist wasn’t that far from Corinth on Patmos, we can see the weight they put in obediance and orthodoxy.

    Remember when occasion heresies emerged where, say for example, someone didn’t believe in the Eucharist, the faithful themselves would volunteer to organize armies to wipe them out. As late as the 1400s, St Joan of Arc wanted to organize an army to wipe out Jon Huss in Bohemia and she wasn’t alone. As you can see for many of the faithful no quarter was given to liberalism and personal interpretations of Scripture.

    As for modern Evangelicalism, as I predicted in my book, “The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism,” much of the mega church movement has already stalled and in some cases is in a free fall, some have turned to the Emergent Church movement and some have even become dissolutioned with that idea. Some big mega churches in Florida and other locations have folded up their tents and closed because of financial problems or because a charismatic pastor was replaced by someone less than charismatic. By 2020 mega churches of the world will, by and large, be a thing of the past. In times of trouble the faithful increasinly want to embrace the truth and to paraphrase Mark Shea, not “my own personal revelation of the moment.” The liberal self absorbed model is thankfully being replaced by the truth. The Dictatorship of Relativism is out and Pope Benedict XVI is in, Thanks be to God!

  • Tito:

    Again I can’t believe I’m agreeing with the lower case vowel again.

    You demonstrate remarkable reasoning here, Taco Man! I am deeply humbled. Although, it is not I that you are actually agreeing with here; it is more so our great vicar of Christ himself who’ve taught me much.

    Restrained Radical, I would prefer quality over quantity any day of the week. A smaller more faithful Church would only feed my soul and bring me ever closer to reaching Heaven.

    AMEN!

    It’s like that “Salt of the Earth” metaphor that then Cardinal Ratzinger had elaborated on in that same-titled book:

    He envisions a largely post-Christian world in which the church will be on the defensive, smaller in numbers, but, he hopes, more coherent and committed in its faith.

    Quality vs. Quantity: Personally, I believe Christ would rather have the few and the faithful as opposed to the many and the heretical.

  • e, I sometimes wonder if Benedict might be mistaken, and we instead see the emergence of a huger, committed Catholic Church.

  • Pinky,

    A Catholic Church blessed with a multitude of faithful Catholics would be a great blessing, I grant you that.

    Indeed, there is nothing more I would want than sharing the authentic Christian faith with those who genuinely adhere to it.

  • Restrained Rad, reading over this article and your comments, I think we’ve got a failure to communicate. I’ve seen four different things labelled “liberal Catholicism”:

    1) orthodox Catholicism which illuminates a person’s politics toward compassion for the poor and needy, which Americans call liberalism

    2) hope for the increased allowance of some of the newer (or very old) religious practices within the orthodox Catholic faith

    3) disobedience, or permissiveness toward disobedience

    4) doctrinal dissent, or permissiveness toward doctrinal dissent

    You mention things that could potentially fall under all four categories. I don’t think anyone here would dispute the holiness of concern for the well-being of the poor. Liturgical development and changes in specific rules of Church discipline are fine (although I’m personally shell-shocked, and I’d like to see things left alone for a while). Breaches in Church discipline for the sake of disobedience, well, that gets into motivation, and I’m glad I don’t have to decide what falls under category 2 or 3. The last category is full-on wrong.

    I think this article lumps categories 2 through 4 together.

  • As far as I’m concerned, the more “Catholics” that leave the Church, the better. They’ll leave room for the truly Catholic Catholics! We don’t need the Liberals and cultrual Catholics in our ranks, holding us back and trying to control our Church so that they can justify their sins and their lifestyle choices ~ or their sheer spiritual laziness that only brings them to Mass on Christmas and Easter.

    This is no rain on our parade ~ it is a cleansing of Holy Mother Church! And good riddence! Those empty spots left by lukewarms and Liberals mean we have more space for real Catholics!

  • Why can’t we simply do some sort of “Parish-Swap”, where we trade liberal Catholics for Conservative-minded Anglo-Catholics?

    That way, we not only welcome the traditionally-minded folks into the fold, we also do away with all the rubbish that is liberal Catholicism!

    There is much more to being Catholic, and much more to being Anglican, than taking sides in the culture wars.

    Your suggestion here shows that your real religion is culture war nonsense.

  • Precisely Michael. I find this “war” mentality very disconcerting. Do we really want people to “leave the Church?” Perhaps we should want them to continue in their process of conversion, as we are called to — not get out. One might gather that people who wish these things have no hope for these people — perhaps they do have it. It is surely hard to discern.

    But what I cannot gather is, how is sitting around in judgment of others’ Catholicism, or lack of it, to our spiritual betterment? Have we made it through that narrow gate, or are we confident we’re going to pass through it? For the way toward destruction is wide and spacious.

    Judgment comes to the hypocrites and sanctimonious just as it does to the unrighteous — and from my reading of the Gospels, more harshly. Sometimes I get the impression, because it is so incredibly hard to imagine otherwise, that the people who evince such, dare I say, a pharisaic tendency don’t offer anywhere near the number of prayers for ‘bad’ Catholics, for their conversion, and for their ultimate salvation at the mercy of God with all the sinners that has ever lived in the history of our species than the condemnations and persistent flammatory rants about these people and their spiritual and moral failings — no matter how objective they be. Does holiness not demand more of us?

    It is too easy to sit around and list the spiritual and moral failures of an individual, or a categorized group. It is another thing to reach out, to try to be the difference to these people. Sometimes this requires not be stridently and coldly objective. I did not convert because people were telling my that a “gay lifestyle” was going to lead me to Hell. I converted because there was a vibrantly orthodox priest that loved me as a person, who did not see me merely as a dissident Catholic. It is so reductionist to reduce a person merely their worldview or personal struggles, no matter how much those things define them. A person is made fundamentally in the image and likeness of God — there is our starting point and dare I say, our ending point.

    This has nothing to do with accomodating heterodox theological or moral views, or shifting away from orthopraxy. If I seem self-righteous, pray for me, the unbelievable sinner I am. To take one of the dissident issues very personally, I would rather be a sinner who made it through the narrow gate and a saint in heaven by the unfathomable mercy of God that struggling homosexuals can pray to (and are prayed for by), whose life may have changed theirs, before I ever sat in stridently objective judgment of “those people” who might as well leave the Church and let more orthodox people enter in a nice exchange.

    “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

  • You’ve made the mistake that these people are judging.

    They want to feed their souls.

    The modernists in the Catholic church, some not all, want a church that cannot exist.

    I completely agree about a church swap.

    The modernists do more harm by leading others astray. They’ve done more harm than good.

    Your comments are full of assumptions that are unwarranted.

  • Do they want to feed their souls? If I wasn’t aware of the fact (and maybe not an orthodox Catholic), I might not have guessed.

    Moreover, I do not understand how the fact that dissenting people wishing the impossible legitimizes “swapping” them for people who would wish to enter the Church. For afterward: would they return? Would we go after them? Or would we leave them to their “liberal” ways?

    I cannot see why we cannot simply invite those who wish the fullness of truth and be the Catholics we need to be to our brethren who are on the fringes of orthodoxy. Why do they need to leave? I’m not a huge fan of the “get out” mentality. I don’t think it’s reasonable.

    Even if modernists do harm to the Church from within, I don’t see how those desperately insistent on orthopraxis — as good and noble the intention is — but if it is done to the point of throwing virtue out the window, I’m not convinced that some, particularly the most extreme traditionalists, do not bear culpability as well.

  • Eric,

    You may be describing an obscure minority.

    I’m all for church swapping, but I believe it is more rhetoric than anything else.

    I’ve witnessed many, many priests, even today in the archdiocese that you and I share, continue blurring the lines between the teachings of the church so that anything is permissible.

    Believe me, just because Pope Benedict’s initiatives have sprung doesn’t mean that those that want to harm the church are gone, nor are they sincerely ignorant of the truth. I have had to bite my tongue often to post about these dissident priests in our archdiocese. I have decided to let Cardinal DiNardo do it quietly rather than make more of a scandal than it already is.

    Yes, extreme traditionalists do bear culpability. The way they judge others without getting to know the person. They way they lack charity and gossip about others behind their backs. Especially how snobby they can be. I have friends who are extreme traditionalists and I see how uncharitable their behavior can be. And I do call them out on it all of the time.

    As far as church swapping, it represents my sentiments of how disgusted I am at both priests and laypeople that continue to teach, proselytize, and live worldly lives and values openly and without a sense of wrong that gets my gander. Believe me there are more than 10 times those type of people than there are extreme traditionalists.

    Believe me, they will leave (not all, some or maybe many) under their own recognizance before we ask them to leave (which no one has asked them to, but have only suggested on websites such as ours). Once they learn more of what it means to be a Catholic than to be of the world.

  • Has Eric and Michael Iafrate ever even consulted Scripture itself and look towards why Jesus Himself said that those who dissent from Church teaching (Mt 18:17) are to be treated as a heathen or publican?

    How many heretics in the early church won the hearts of innocent Christians simply because they were welcomed and embraced by those in the Church herself, which seemed to legitimize them and their heretical beliefs?

    An example of this is to be found within the Arian heresy which insinuated itself through countless ranks of the flock simply because of this error.

    Such a case is to be found today where many countless Catholics have succumbed to the Protestant notion that there is no such thing as the ‘Real Presence’, as traditionally defined by the Church, and that the Eucharist is nothing more than merely a symbol.

    Those naive continue to fall into such heresy because of how Catholics like Eric and Michael Iafrate would rather ’embrace’ such Catholics instead of subscribing to the same treatment of them as Jesus Himself had prescribed.

    It is no wonder why heresies such as this continues to gain ground amongst the majority of Catholics today within the Church but errors such as ‘abortion is a right, not an act of murder’ is likewise adopted and embraced not only by those who truly believe in such a horrendous notion as this but also by the innocent who unwittingly accept such an error because errant Catholics like their CCD teachers tell them it is so.

  • Wow, I checked back and found quite the debate going on. All I can say is this in response to the statement, “The one true faith can accommodate different paths”: So long as they don’t bear the taint of dissent. It doesn’t take much to smell out a rat.

  • “So long as they don’t bear the taint of dissent. It doesn’t take much to smell out a rat.”

    The problem being that there are those Catholics who would gladly accomodate the rats, even if innocent members of the church itself suffers that black plague of heresy which would tragically claim the very lives of many of the Faithful.

  • e.,

    So e., when are you going to add a pic to your avatar?

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Anglicans And Catholics To Reunite, Reaction And News Roundup

Tuesday, October 20, AD 2009

St. Thomas More

I will be updating this post as often as I can throughout the day [Last update at 10:01pm CDT].  I’ll be reporting on reactions and news concerning this groundbreaking development that came from the Vatican this morning.  The Vatican issued a note explaining a new provision in an upcoming Apostolic Constitution that will allow for a structure to be in place to receive Anglicans and Episcopalians into the Catholic Church.  Basically a corporate reunion!

To read the full text of this announcement from the Vatican click here.

To read the full text of the joint press release of the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Gerard Nichols, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, click here.

Reaction and news from around the world [all emphasis mine]:

Last Update of the day at 10:01pm CDT (Earlier updates further down this post)

Ruth Gledhill of the Times of London.  Offers a brief history of what transpired the last couple of years between Anglo-Catholics, and those inside the Vatican, both faithful and dissident Catholics.

Rome has parked its tanks on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s lawn [Interesting choice of words, but nonetheless accurate in my opinion] after manoeuvres undertaken by up to fifty bishops and begun two years ago by an Australian archbishop, John Hepworth [The leader of the Traditional Anglican Communion].”

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18 Responses to Anglicans And Catholics To Reunite, Reaction And News Roundup

  • Does this action reverse Apostolicae Curae?

  • A brilliant stroke on the part of Pope Benedict. He has the mental agility and energy of a prelate half his age. Disaffected Anglicans now have a home and the powers that be in the Anglican Church have a major problem. To all of our Anglican brothers and sisters who will be joining us I say that we are overjoyed to have you!

  • Might I just add that this is what Ecumenism is supposed to be about: Conversion into the Catholic Church, and not the other way around (i.e., Catholics mutating into Protestants)?

  • e.,

    In addition to what you said, Ecumenism is about conversion, not dialogue that continues without resolution.

  • Tito: I was having problems earlier at the website. Would you kindly remove the first instance of my comments above since it’s merely a duplicate?

    Also, would you happen to know if in that ordinariate in the Anglican ultimately means that a person can actually be married and yet become a priest in that rite (for lack of a better word)?

    Thanks!

  • e.,

    Yes, I read the Note that was released early this morning the same way.

    Married men can now become priests in the Catholic Church, but only within the Anglican Personal Ordinariate. Very similar to Easter Catholic Rites.

    But they may not become priests in the Latin Rite, which encompasses the vast majority of Catholics worldwide.

    I’m sure once the mainstream media gets to reading the details they’ll begin to make hay about this pretty soon.

    Take note though, only unmarried priests can become bishop within the Anglican Personal Ordinariate, just as in the Easter Catholic Rites and the Easter Orthodox Churches.

  • Tito:

    Thanks for the info!

    I’m just wondering if a person who is seeking to become a priest and yet at the same time be married, alls he need do is pursue such vocation but within that same Anglican Personal Ordinariate which you mention; in other words, will this be at long last that loophole for those married but yet feel a calling to serve the Lord in the priesthood.

    Here is The Wall Street Journal scoop:

    Vatican Opens Door for Anglican Converts

    ROME — Pope Benedict XVI introduced a fast track for Anglicans seeking to join Roman Catholicism, paving the way for conservative Anglicans frustrated by their church’s blessing of same-sex unions and homosexuality in the priesthood to enter the Catholic fold.

    The Vatican on Tuesday announced plans to create a special set of canon laws, known as an “Apostolic Constitution,” to allow Anglican faithful, priests and bishops to enter into full communion with the Vatican without having to give up a large part of their liturgical and spiritual traditions.

    With the measures, Pope Benedict is attempting to reclaim ground lost by the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century when King Henry VIII defied papal authority to found the Church of England. The move clears the way for entire congregations of Anglicans to join the Catholic Church and makes it easier for married Anglican priests to convert without embracing Catholicism’s traditional code of priestly celibacy…

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125604916994796545.html?mod=rss_Today's_Most_Popular

  • e.,

    As much as the mainstream media hypes that the solution to a declining pool of priests is to allow married people to pursue this vocation, it won’t be anything more than a trickle.

    We all know that families that practice and teach the faith to their children, ie, foster vocations, in addition to participating in orthodox Catholic parishes will create large pools of seminarians.

    As evident in the Lincoln and Omaha dioceses of Nebraska.

    Allowing married men and wymyn priests is a band-ade at best.

  • Tito:

    Obviously, woman priests is clearly forbidden and should never be allowed — ever.

    However, allowing married priests is more of a disciplinary rather than a doctrinal matter; I don’t see how such a thing can actually even be considered subversive.

    In fact, even Fr. Corapi admitted as much in his Catechism of the Catholic Church series on EWTN.

  • e.,

    I know that it is a discipline and not doctrinal.

    I agree with you completely on this point. You may have misread my comment on this, but to be clear, I believe you and I are on the same page.

    I’m fine with allowing married priests. Especially how it will be set up in the upcoming provision in the Apostolic Constitution.

    …and I looove Father Corapi!

  • I got to see Fr. Corapi in Buffalo this past August on Our Lady’s feast. He is wonderful. A true son of the Church.

    I prefer that the Latin Rite keep the celibacy discipline. We are at a point right now where experience is teaching us that when we are orthodox we grow and when we are hetrodox we wane.

    Even though the Pope could lift this I think it diminishes the priest’s efficacy if he has to worry about the formation and protection, etc. of children of his own flesh – it is actually a freedom to be able to care for all the children in his parish.

    Nevertheless, whatever the Pope decides is fine by me. I think everyone except the Holy Spirit underestimated our German Shepherd. He rocks.

  • AK,

    I agree 100%.

    Celibacy needs to be kept for many apparent reasons, one of the most basic is he has dedicated his life to Christ. Adding a good wife would only shorten his time on earth.

  • Fr. Grandon is a distant relative of mine by marriage, whom I met for the first time when he had just become Catholic and had gone from being an Episcopal priest to a Catholic layperson. Great guy with a really interesting conversion story.

    On another blog I read that Rt. Rev. Keith Ackerman, retired Episcopal bishop of Quincy, Illinois (its cathedral, however, is in Peoria), was more or less stripped of his episcopal status by the “High Priestess” referred to above… he also is a great guy, good friends with Bishops Myers and Jenky, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him jump the Tiber now. Since he’s married and has kids he wouldn’t be able to be a bishop anymore, but given how he’s been treated by his own denomination of late, he’d probably have little to lose if he did convert.

  • Also, maybe I’m getting WAY ahead of everyone here… but could this approach to ecumenism be carried even beyond the boundaries of the Anglican or Orthodox churches? Could we someday (probably centuries from now, if ever) have a Lutheran Rite or Baptist Rite or Pentecostal/Charismatic Rite that combine their distinctive styles of worship with the sacraments, doctrines and teaching authority of the Church?

  • Elaine,

    I briefly touched on that in the next posting.

    In my opinion, I could possibly see something for the Lutherans in a Personal Ordiniate.

    But after them, there are no vestiges of any signs of an apostolic church. Maybe the Methodists, but that is stretching it a bit.

    But again, it’s strictly my opinion.

  • Tito:

    No disrespect; however, if you actually felt that way about married priests, then why did you put it up there with woman priests which, in fact, can never be allowed as it directly goes against Christian doctrine itself?

    Also, I don’t think there could ever be rites that would cater to such Protestant sects as the Baptists who clearly do not hold the same Christian beliefs that we do, like the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    Ironically, it is folks like the Lutherans who we have more in common (relatively-speaking, of course) in comparison with those sects who are far more heretical in degree.

    Yet, I do greatly appreciate the fact that you are keeping us apprised of such news. Keep it up.

    Adding a good wife would only shorten his time on earth.

    This reminds of precisely what Saint/Sir Thomas More once said as regarding marriage; that is, once a man is married, he can never be free of worry!

  • e.,

    Now your reading into things way to much.

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