When You Have Lost Phil Lawler

Friday, March 3, AD 2017

Phil Lawler at Catholic Culture is about as far from being a bomb thrower as it is possible for a Catholic commentator to be, and thus I read with some astonishment his recent post entitled This Disastrous Papacy:

Something snapped last Friday, when Pope Francis used the day’s Gospel reading as one more opportunity to promote his own view on divorce and remarriage. Condemning hypocrisy and the “logic of casuistry,” the Pontiff said that Jesus rejects the approach of legal scholars.

True enough. But in his rebuke to the Pharisees, what does Jesus say about marriage?

So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”


Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.

Day after day, in his homilies at morning Mass in the Vatican’s St. Martha residence, Pope Francis denounces the “doctors of the law” and the “rigid” application of Catholic moral doctrine. Sometimes his interpretation of the day’s Scripture readings is forced; often his characterization of tradition-minded Catholics is insulting. But in this case, the Pope turned the Gospel reading completely upside-down. Reading the Vatican Radio account of that astonishing homily, I could no longer pretend that Pope Francis is merely offering a novel interpretation of Catholic doctrine. No; it is more than that. He is engaged in a deliberate effort to change what the Church teaches.

For over 20 years now, writing daily about the news from the Vatican, I have tried to be honest in my assessment of papal statements and gestures. I sometimes criticized St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, when I thought that their actions were imprudent. But never did it cross my mind that either of those Popes posed any danger to the integrity of the Catholic faith. Looking back much further across Church history, I realize that there have been bad Popes: men whose personal actions were motivated by greed and jealousy and lust for power and just plain lust. But has there ever before been a Roman Pontiff who showed such disdain for what the Church has always taught and believed and practiced—on such bedrock issues as the nature of marriage and of the Eucharist?

Pope Francis has sparked controversy from the day he was elected as St. Peter’s successor. But in the past several months the controversy has become so intense, confusion among the faithful so widespread, administration at the Vatican so arbitrary—and the Pope’s diatribes against his (real or imagined) foes so manic—that today the universal Church is rushing toward a crisis.

In a large family, how should a son behave when he realizes that his father’s pathological behavior threatens the welfare of the whole household? He should certainly continue to show respect for his father, but he cannot indefinitely deny the danger. Eventually, a dysfunctional family needs an intervention.

In the worldwide family that is the Catholic Church, the best means of intervention is always prayer. Intense prayer for the Holy Father would be a particularly apt project for the season of Lent. But intervention also requires honesty: a candid recognition that we have a serious problem.

Continue reading...

7 Responses to When You Have Lost Phil Lawler

Our German Shepherd Under Attack

Saturday, March 13, AD 2010

The mainstream media and even some conservative sites such as Lucianne are spreading defamatory statements that are misleading and false about Pope Benedict XVI.

What started this brouhaha?

Richard Owen of the newspaper site called the Times of London.

The headline reads “Pope knew priest was paedophile but allowed him to continue with ministry“.

The article then states otherwise, but if Richard Owen didn’t write the headline to his story, he should request it to be changed immediately.  It is apparent that someone at the Times hates the Church and is pushing their anti-Catholic agenda with this misleading headline.

It doesn’t help that a self-identified expert on Catholicism, blogger Ruth Gledhill, adds insult to injury with an off-base column blasting of the hierarchy and structure of Holy Mother Church:

The Pope is pretty unassailable. He is not elected, he is a monarch, and the centralisation that has taken place under the last two Popes has cemented that power. Pope Benedict XVI has also indicated in his three encyclicals the depths of his own integrity and intellectual rigour.

How much knowledge on the Catholic Church does one need to be called an “expert” on it?  How to spell ‘Catholic’?

Continue reading...

43 Responses to Our German Shepherd Under Attack

  • If there is anything real that has come out of this scandal it’s that the media has completely clouded the issue to the point of rendereing any truth impossible to discern.

    We should acknowledge that there is no such thing as unbiased journalism. ‘Fair and balanced’ is a joke and nothing more than a tagline. It should be plainly obvious to any one with a few brain cells that religion- particularly of the Christian sort- is seen as something gravely misunderstood, irrelevant and to be discarded by any means.

    So who knows what is real anymore?

  • “Damned lie” covers it.

  • “Lie, lie bravely: something will always remain. Fling mud: some of it will stick.” Voltaire

  • Darwin,

    I have that link up already under “calls Ruth Gledhill out”.

  • I asked why I was banned from Lucianne, and Lucianne herself responded:

    You were blocked for no other reason than personally attacking this site’s editorial integrity.

    The ‘attack’ she is referring to is me pointing out the anti-Catholic bigotry on her website.


  • Lie hard, liberats!

    Do you think they’d be so exercised if the Pope had had the pedophile water-boarded.

    It seesm a Pope just can’t win with liberals.

    Now, if he’d just come to see the light on abortion and gay privileges . . .

    Mac, that’s not mud they’re flinging.

  • if this is a true statement from the link DarwinCatholic posted : “Then-Cardinal Ratzinger was involved in the decision to remove the priest from his parish assignment…”

    it would seem to me that the cardinal was aware of wrongdoings by this priest, and should have acted accordingly by turning him in to the police.

    i would have to know if this was a true statement though.

  • It’s become increasingly more difficult to discern the true from the false in the media today, especially the new media. But, to speculate what’s true I suspect this media frenzy was most likely created from within the Vatican itself. From within its own fifth column. Most likely the Jesuits.

  • Psalm 109 warns of the severe consequences for calumny ,(and how much more such would be esp. against a Father aunthority !) – how children of calumniators would be vagarant beggars and so on ; may be antichrist is trying to prepare a whole lot more people , esp. in Europe , to come under its power through the debt of such unrepentant sin .

    At the time when Holy Father was even indirectly dealing with this complex area, not much was known of prognosis for cure of these persons ( we know better now !) and hope and mercy in dealing with the culprit, in imitation of our Lord dealing with Judas who was warned repeatedly , was possibly seen as more appropriate !(Only those who dealt with the sitaution could possibly know how much Godly wisdom was used !)

    There are many priests who now a days have to suffer through loss of respect, unneeded fears etc ; due to these incidents ; now , they know that Holy Father , sufering with them , would esp. obtain the freedom in The Spirit for them too, uniting his sufferings , with our Lord’s – esp. from judas and thus help them too , not to fall under the enemy’s tool of hatred !

    These attacks are possibly incited by the same powers who are against life itself and wanting to divert attention from the satanic hold on many parents who have chosen to use their bodies as murder chambers – the most severe form of abuse !
    Prayers of the suffering Holy father wold be used by God , to bring victory there too – helping many to turn to our Lord, to plead for mercy !

    May prayers of our bl.Mother and of St.Benedict drive out malice and spirit of calumny from may hearts and bring in the dominion of The Holy Spirit !

  • We need to pray for our Pope because he is comming under attack.There are horrific attackers of anything Catholic out there and we, as good Catholics, must continue our prayer efforts till Christ returns; we are all under attack because we are the one true Church. There is no more abuse in our Church than in any other so-called church. It is simply that we are the one true Church and that is a problem for the others who are not one true Church. And, many of the accusations against our priests are not even real; it’s just open season at this time.

  • Liberals are just plain horrible human beings; they are barely human. They represent everything awful in the world. They are truly of the world, which is basically evil.They have no respect for life but value murder. They love socialism and death. They simply know not what they do.

  • A question for the sake of conversation: is there a proper direction for our anger? Is there any element of the story that should illicit genuine frustration with the church?

  • Dam the Devil to HELL he has come in to our Catholic Church to try to destroy it with his LIES & EVIL ways. But he will not ever prevail over it !!

  • The media could be wrong, but I believe in the wisdom of the Holy Father and whatever decision he made was the right one.
    Clergy has to learn to take full responsibility for their actions and fear the judgment of God not of humans. If each consacrated priest did that , we would not have this overwelmimgly disgraceful problem we have today. The reason why we still have this problem is because priests have forgotten that some day they will account for it in the presence of God. Jesus said.” If you give scandal to even one of these little children, the punishment of Sadoma and Gomorra will be nothing compare to theirs.”
    Why don’t they preach this any more from the pulpit? Instead they talk about the silliest things that only distract catholics and leave them totally umprepared to resist the tamptations of the world including tamptations caused by priests themselves. It is a disgrace!!! Let’s do somehting concrete about it!!! A sincere confession followed by a repented and contrite heart
    Thank you

  • What a tragedy! For Satan to attack the Holy Father this way, by means of deceptive media propaganda means his reign of terror is nearing it’s end… Hold strong in faith.. We already know the outcome…

    GOD WINS!!

    Mother Mary, this is your beloved shepherd, your beloved Bishop who leads the entire faithful flock of Christ, your child…. He is under attack Mother..
    Protect him..
    Cover him dear mother with your mantle of love..
    Safeguard him against his enemies,
    against the enemies of the Church,
    against the deceptions of the biased media,
    O Holy Mother of God, look not upon our sinfulness,
    but upon our desire to live your messages,
    and intercede before thy Son on our behalf,
    that Our Holy Father and Our Church be safeguarded
    against heresy, lies, deception, malicious accusations, and evil persecution, Amen…

    ST. Michael the ArchAngel, defend us in this day of battle
    be our defense and our protection against the wickedness of the devil
    God rebuke him! We humbly pray..
    And do thou O prince of the heavenly Host
    by the power of God, cast back into Hell
    Satan, and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world today
    seeking the ruin of souls, Amen…

  • Talk about over-reaction. The Pope is a man. The Pope is servant to all. The secular press is right: If he knew of crimes and hid them, he was wrong, period. If he didn’t know of them, fine, let him not hide behind his office. Frankly, I’m tired of bishops and “Popes” hiding behind “secrecy” and “dignity of their offices.” Cardinal Law, for instance, should be in prison, not the Arch-Priest of a Basillica in Rome…What a joke. If you Papists can’t see that Christ would have been ALWAYS AND COMPLETELY HONEST AND ABOVE BOARD, then you’re not even Catholic at all…I say, let the Pope speak!

  • We will continue to pray for our Pope Benedict, and the increasingly virulent attacks upon him. He is a holy man, totally deserving of our prayerful support.

  • John Lillis, you are entirely missing the point.. Articles are appearing in various news mediums making the false claim “The Pope Knew”

    This is extreme biased reporting at it’s finest! And it only serves to destroy faith just as the horrendous crimes that have actually occurred over the years have…

    No doubt horrible atrocities have occurred within our Church. No one here is arguing that nor sticking up for any priest who has in fact committed such a crime.. The point is, the media “greatly influences”… and when the media reports inaccurately in the manner that it is doing now it can be extremely damaging.. This type of reporting is not by accident.. It’s planned.. That means there is an agenda behind why it reports this way..

    The agenda is obvious- destroy the entire Church… No priests- no Eucharist.. No Eucharist- no true presence of Jesus…

    And just as utterly appalling as it is to learn “in truth” about horrendous crimes committed over the years, it is just as utterly appalling to have an innocent man falsely accused.. There has been absolutely no evidence that suggests Our Beloved Holy Father is guilty of anything…

  • Of course John, that might be a nice sentiment and it might come to pass… But it’s fair to assume that he is counseled otherwise, for even a sincere and truthful statement would be twisted and used to inflict more damage. There are those that will not be satisfied until they are the ones steering the Church.

    No one here is claiming that the pope (or any pope for that matter) is immune to sin or wrongdoing or a mistake. I agree, there is nothing to fear in knowing the truth. But it is also naive to not acknowledge the media bias and spiritual warfare at play here.

    Truth has a way of finding it’s way out into the open. Whether ‘the people’ are mature and educated enough to accept it is another question entirely…

  • The Holy Father was elected by the” Holy Spirit”-and I will quote from the Holy Bible from Jeremiah ch. 15 V19 where it says, the following. “They will come back to you,but you must not go back to them. I will make you a bronze wall fortified against these people. They will fight against you,but they will not overcome you because I am with you,to save you and deliver you-it is Yahweh who speaks, I mean to deliver you from the hands of the wicked and redeem you from the cluches of the violent. Stand up for the Pope as we listen to what God is saying to us today in His Holy Word.

  • Remember St. John Bosco’s dream of Two Pillars, it’s happening now but the Holy Father survive because he steered the ship between the Sacred Host & the Immaculate Virgin Mary, he won, enemies flees. ( http://www.markmallett.com/blog/?p=481 ). As what our Lord Jesus Christ said when He established His Church: …and gates of hell will not prevail against it ( Catholic Church ). And what Mama Mary keep on saying: Pray, pray, pray.

  • L.G.,

    Please don’t generalize.

    Be specific in your comments and abstain from the very same attacks that those like Richard Owen does.


    Please abstain from calumny. Your comment has been removed due to the nature of the attack on the Lucianne herself.

  • Question: Is the Pope that will be forced to go into hiding (as often prophesied)?

  • Why is it so difficult for us(any of us/all of us) to simply say, I was wrong. I am sorry. ? We were wrong. We are sorry. This was the policy. This is the way we handled this particular situation. It was wrong. We are sorry.? We will make reparation. We will act justly now by the grace of God. Why is it so hard to say, even now that the pattern is in the light?

  • TIesOnline is on a hunt for the Papacy to destroy the CHurch with false News. Now if TimesOnline is really a real true resource why dont the investigate PLanet PArentHood. Read This


    Planned Parenthood Distributes Graphic Sex Guide at Girl Scouts UN Meeting


    By Terrence McKeegan, J.D.

    NEW YORK, NY, March 12, 2010 (C-FAM) – The World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides hosted a no-adults-welcome panel at the United Nations this week where Planned Parenthood was allowed to distribute a brochure entitled “Healthy, Happy and Hot.” The event was part of the annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) which concludes this week.

    The brochure, aimed at young people living with HIV, contains explicit and graphic details on sex, as well as the promotion of casual sex in many forms. The brochure claims, “Many people think sex is just about vaginal or anal intercourse… But, there are lots of different ways to have sex and lots of different types of sex. There is no right or wrong way to have sex. Just have fun, explore and be yourself!”

    The brochure goes on to encourage young people to “Improve your sex life by getting to know your own body. Play with yourself! Masturbation is a great way to find out more about your body and what you find sexually stimulating. Mix things up by using different kinds of touch from very soft to hard. Talk about or act out your fantasies. Talk dirty to them.”

    The brochure also tells students that national laws requiring HIV-positive people to reveal their status to their partner(s) “violate the rights of people living with HIV” and calls for advocacy to “change laws that violate your rights.” It explains, “There are many reasons that people do not share their HIV status. … They may worry that people will find out something else they have kept secret, like they are using injecting drugs, having sex outside of a marriage or having sex with people of the same gender.”

    The Girl Scouts, along with the YMCA have been co-moderating a young women’s caucus that included an “Intergenerational Conversation” side event on “universal access” and “reproductive health.” One recent Girl Scout project “aims at securing the right of women, men and adolescents aged between ten and twenty-five, to better reproductive and sexual health.”

    Also at CSW last week, the heads of various powerful UN agencies, including the UN Population Fund, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), UN Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization released a “UN Joint Statement” under the name of the “UN Adolescent Girls Task Force,” which calls for their agencies to promote and support programs “that empower … adolescent girls, particularly those aged 10 to 14 years.” One of the chief priorities for empowerment is ensuring access to “life-skills based sexuality education, HIV prevention, and sexual and reproductive health.”

    The New York Times recently reported that the UN Population Fund had co-sponsored a very controversial curriculum with UNESCO, that included teaching children as young as five to be sexually active and training adolescents to advocate for abortion.

    Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women of America told C-Fam’s Friday Fax, “Governments and NGOs should be aware of Planned Parenthood’s insidious plan to work with UN agencies and girls’ organizations in order to profit from encouraging kids to be sexually active.”

    This article reprinted with permission from http://www.c-fam.org/

    Back to Top

  • Ben,

    The policy here is and has been in the light for some time. This story, considering its from 1980 is nothing new. Its not as if we are talking about a case that happened last year, indicating that the policy is STILL ongoing.

    Plus, the more details that have come to light, the more it looks like Cardinal Ratzinger had an indirect and minor role in the case, even to the point where it has recently been revealed that the priest in question was in the Diocese of Essen, not Munich.

  • Read Leo XIII’s encyclical on Masonry and you will discover what’s really going on here, and from where the roots of the homsexuality in the Church came from. Read “The permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita” and you will discover more. Read about Bella Dodd, an American Communist Party official, who converted to catholicism and testified before the House Committee Un-American Activities Committee in the 50’s. It’s in the Cong. Record! She alone helped send over 1000 communist youth into seminaries. Many of them rose to become “bishops.” These demonics began the ushering in of the homosexuals into the seminaries. BTW-it is NOT pedophila,since most of these perverts prayed on teenagers, not children! We catholics MUST become extremely familiar with the message of Fatima!! It is NOT a matter of the past…It continues NOW!! Find out about the Five First Saturday Devotions to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the undone Consecration of Russia, and you will see what is going on in the world…..

  • The USCCB decides to NOT support Obamacare because of abortion and the next day the Pope is being attacked in the MSM. Coincidence? NOT!

    Note to conservatives: don’t be a a tool for the Left.

  • i don’t see how people can make a connection between wanting justice for those victims of pedophilia and attacking the church. the catholic church is the one true church and the pope is the infallible leader of the one true church…. and if he runs a red light he should be given a ticket, and if he has harbored pedophiles he needs to go to jail. im sure he can write just as many encyclicles from behind bars, and i will be one of the first to read them and learn from them.

    don’t confuse the two issues.


  • Satan is at work big time.

    St. Michael Archangel defend us (The pope, bishops, priests,and the entire Catholic Church) who are in the battle against Satan’s attack.
    May Jesus be Praised forever. Amen

  • I don’t believe that Our beloved Pope would do anything of this sort. We need to pray for him more than ever and pray for the persecutors to open their to see the truth.

  • A cheap piece of reportage peppered with inaccuracies. I had thought bettter of Ruth Gledhill and The Times.
    I now recommend all Catholics to reject this paper and but The Daily Telegraph.

  • I agree with Mr. Richard Collins. I’m especially disappointed with Miss Ruth Gledhill because she knows better.

    Stop reading the Times would really help to send them the message of our dissatisfaction.

  • One sure sign of the hate and fear of people is the way they attack. They try to undermine what they do not understand. The Pope is loved and respected by many more than hate him and will continue to be so. Those who would try to take him down are doing more harm to themselves than to him or the church. Yes, it is true that the more you repeat a lie, the more people will believe it, but it still remains a lie. There is no getting around that. However, because it can never be completely irradicated, it is one of the unforgivable sins – calumny!! So do so at your own peril!

  • I love my Shepherd, the Vicar of Christ, Pope Benedict XVI. Just as they wanted to kill Jesus and they persecuted Him, so will they persecute priests, bishops and the Pope because they are Christ in the Church. Without them, we could not have the Eucharist. Jesus told us that we will be persecuted as He was. I pray for these sometimes misguided, sometimes hateful people. May God convert their hearts.

  • Other John and Posters Say: I am missing the point –that the media is destroying an innocent man… What a joke…I said IF he knew, let him say it…Period…And by the way: I am the media and been in it almost twenty years…I’ve stuck up for God/Church in Fox newsrooms, fought incestuous mafia in so-called Catholic radio, destroyed Bishop’s running family planning clinics in diocesan owned buildings. I’m married to one woman, am raising seven children, go to confession at least once per month, go to Mass more than just Sundays, fight liturgical abuses and DON’T NEED papists sobbing over the media saying that Joseph knew about this priest. If he was the Archbishop, he knew, period. If he didn’t “know,” my God, what was he doing? I think you’ll find that he comes clean and says something profound, like, I’m sorry for what happened…etc.

    God help us if we can’t figure out that even Peter denied Christ before the cock crowed….

  • This attempt to smear the image of Pope Benedict,XVI is outrageous to say the least as he was regarded as too tough on moral principles while he served faithfully under Pope John Paul,II who kept him on as guardian of the Papacy in his powerful office as Prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the Faith. He was often referred to by those feared him as the rottweiler who guarded the Church against heresies.

  • Suzanne: Surgery for unidentified brain mass. Jesus, guide the doctors so that they are able to remove the entire mass. Pray that the biopsy shows no cancer.

  • “Loyal Catholics” like Anne Rice spread anti Pope propaganda at her Facebook. I feel sorry for Non Catholics but I feel anger towards catholics who accuses the Pope being the protector of pedophile priests.

  • Pingback: British Government Shows Prejudice Towards Papal Visit « The American Catholic

Analyzing Bishop Morlinos Chastizement of Catholics Critical of the Funeral Mass for Ted Kennedy

Thursday, September 10, AD 2009

[Updates at the bottom of this post as of 1:08pm CDT on AD 9-10-2009]

Michael Voris, S.T.B., breaks down Bishop Morlino’s chastizement of those Catholics that were scandalized by Ted Kennedy’s funeral Mass.

LifeSiteNews.com has the following commentary by Patrick B. Craine and John-Henry Westen concerning the very same issue of Bishop Morlino chastizing Catholics critical of the pomp and ceremony bestowed upon the abortion advocate Ted Kennedy during the funeral Mass.

Bishop of Madison, Robert C. Morlino, expressed his support for the Kennedy funeral in a column last Thursday, basing his approval on the claim that the funeral was celebrated “in a subdued fashion,” and that this “low key” approach was appropriate due to the Senator’s support for abortion and other issues.

. . .

“All of this is leading me up to the expression of my contentment with how our Church, in a subdued fashion, celebrated the Rites of Christian Burial for Senator Kennedy,” he said. “The proclamation of God’s Mercy was powerful, the prayer for forgiveness of his past sins was clearly offered, and all of this in a subdued way because of his long-standing and public holding of pro-abortion and other stances which have been a scandal in the literal sense.”

Continue reading...

27 Responses to Analyzing Bishop Morlinos Chastizement of Catholics Critical of the Funeral Mass for Ted Kennedy

  • Well, It’s a good thing the Pope appointed Raymond Arroyo and LifeSiteNews to critique the bishops! What would we do without lay people to evaluate episcopal decisions?

  • Also, why do you spell his name “Morlino” (correctly) sometimes and “Marlino” other times?

  • Zak, are you willing to admit there were problems with the funeral service?

    I don’t have a problem with him being given a funeral Mass, but it’s pretty obvious Bishop Morlino has a nigh-unto-unique definition of the word “subdued.”

  • I don’t know Dale. I’m expecting a couple of Cardinals to attend my funeral and internment. 🙂

  • Things were not as I would have done them, but I agree with Morlino’s writing about the conduct of many who are criticizing. I would also note that Morlino is among the most outspoken bishops in the country on pro-life and other bioethical issues. I think we laypeople should focus more on how we can transform the world through our faith, and less on ecclesial matters like how liturgies are conducted or who should receive communion, though I am quite conservative in my liturgical preferences. Leave such matters for bishops and canon lawyers.

  • Fine, but just for hypothetical reasons, why did a Cardinal need to preside at the funeral and internment?

  • I think Carl Olson provides some perspective on the selective outrage aimed at those who were scandalized as opposed to those who caused the scandal:

    Within a week of Kennedy’s funeral, those making offensive and inappropriate statements of his eternal destination are being called on the carpet for their objectively sinful actions. Fair enough. My question is this: how long after Ted Kennedy made it known in the 1970s that he was going to publicly support abortion (and, later, other evils), was he called on the carpet by bishops or priests for his objectively sinful actions? How often throughout his public career was he publicly confronted and chastised for his support of abortion, contraceptives, “same-sex marriage,” embryonic stem cell research, and so forth? And why does Bishop Morlino only use the word “sin/sinful” regarding those comments, but never in referring to Kennedy’s many public actions and positions? Is it really so hard to call a spade a spade?

    Once again, it’s interesting how easy it is to chastise pro-life Catholic bloggers for being “vicious” and “bullying” and “sowing seeds of hatred” and being “agents of destruction and violence”, but how hard it is to state the facts about Sen. Kennedy’s public record. I suppose it was Kennedy’s good fortune that he was never a pro-life Catholic blogger, otherwise he might have had to face public criticism from Catholic clergy.

  • “Things were not as I would have done them”–OK. A bit too de gustibus, but fine. Which things?

    Philip: Yeah, I’m just hoping my parish priest isn’t too ticked off, myself. 😉

    In all seriousness, I don’t have a problem with Cardinal O’Malley presiding, either. What sticks in my craw was that it turned into a de facto canonization process–in my less charitable moments, and yes, I have many, Tedapalooza. Instead of a celebration of the hope of Christian resurrection, we had a celebration of the deceased–a man who lived at very public odds with the Church, to boot. The clerical plaudits for the man should stir universal unease in Catholics regardless of political loyalties.

    The failure of both Cardinal O’Malley, Bishop Morlino and those in the same camp to admit to the serious scandal caused by the way the funeral *was handled* (as opposed to *the granting* of a Catholic funeral to the deceased) is telling and doesn’t bode well for the future.

    Not only do we have the right to protest how the Mass was handled, we have a duty to do so. Charitably, and Bishop Morlino is right to call for that. But no less a duty for that.

  • I might take a somewhat different approach. Zack notes that liturgy is for clerics. Fine. It is. So let them make their choices. But politics is for the laity. And a “canonization” carries political implications. And those implications we can critique as laity.

  • Zak,

    The typos are simply that, typos.

    I like Bishop Morlino, but he certainly did whale into scandalized Catholics a bit much for my taste.

  • I don’t think there’s any chance of a literal canonization of Ted Kennedy. The point that he had fundamental character flaws and that he dissented from essential church teachings for Catholics in the public sphere and that in doing so he was supportive of and complicit in the abortions that have taken place is clear and can be made without the internecine attacks on prelates we’ve seen. They play into an anti-clerical culture that further undermines the hierarchy’s authority, marginalizing its voice further while lamenting the fact that it hasn’t managed to change our pro-abortion legal regime.

    I also think Bishop Morlino has been one of the more outspoken bishops in criticizing pro-choice politicians. Ted Kennedy and other pro-choice politicians have been criticized repeatedly by bishops through the years. It’s very selective of Mr. Olsen to suggest otherwise.

  • Zak,

    Have you ever considered the fact that many bishops in this country have de facto been derelict in their duties?

    And because of a lack of leadership, character, and charity among our many bishops the laity have been scandalized to the point that their respect for our prelates have dropped precipitously? Especially after the homosexual pedophile scandals and committing the sin of omission one too many times when it comes to the most preeminent issue of our lifetime?

  • Zak:

    While I can well have empathy with some of the remarks you’ve made concerning the anti-clerical nature that might underlie many of the criticisms made by those of the Catholic faithful themselves which these may indeed play into some undermining of the Catholic heirarchy; I believe you might yourself be losing sight of the fact that not every instance of criticism is actually anti-ecclesial pers se or do even undermine the heirarchy.

    If you were to survey many of the lives and corresponding works of the great Saints of the Church, you would find criticisms that saints such as these held and subsequently even expressed concerning clergy they sought to correct during their lifetime.

    Take for instance, Catherine of Sienna (a mere tertiary) who dared criticize even the Pope for that matter or even Thomas More (a mere layman) who did so concerning the corrupt nature of a certain of the English Catholic clergy in his days.

    Perhaps what might be more proper to discuss here is how such criticisms should be accordingly laid out, such that they do not, as you say, visciously undermine the hierarchy (especially in the public arena where anything and everything becomes twisted for the sake of mob media), but more importantly cause unjust scandal to the Church and, thereby, detracts and even deters from (or, worst, destroys) the Work that Christ is attempting to accomplish through her for the sake of the Salvation of many.

  • Tito,
    Certainly it is true that bishops have made mistakes, been negligent, or even actively done wrong at various times, particularly in relation to abusive priests. Criticizing specific acts, in those cases, is certainly permissible. Criticisms should nevertheless be voiced in a charitable manner, not with the vitriol we see spewed at people like Cardinal O’Malley, who has been unfailing in his his pro-life advocacy and who, having done so much good in restoring multiple dioceses torn apart by the scandalous episcopal behavior you decry (regarding priestly pedophilia) ought not to be attacked on that issue.

    My problem is that people think the bishops aren’t owed any respect, and they are, by virtue of their office. When someone attacks a bishop for not constantly talking abortion, as if they should all be Bishop Martino, one wonders whether they want to be members of the Catholic Church or the Anti-abortion Church. Certainly we are anti-abortion, but that isn’t the pre-eminent issue for bishops, because politics isn’t pre-eminent for bishops.

    And no group in the country has done more to advocate against abortion than the Catholic bishops. Even before Roe, no one was more outspoken. After Roe, virtually no other group in the public sphere spoke out loudly. Their leadership – in cooperation with Catholic lay people – has been tireless in establishing alternatives to abortion for pregnant women. To speak of sins of omission – it’s absurd. Even Cardinal Bernadin, faulted by so many for his ideas about the seamless garment, spoke out loudly against abortion. What the bishops did not do is embrace the notion that many right-inclined Catholics have that beyond abortion (and pay marriage and abortion), everything else is merely “prudential” and thus something where the Church has nothing to say (thankfully not a view of many of the principled Catholic conservative- and libertarian-inclined Catholics on the this site). And so they’re faulted for the scandal. The scandal is not that the bishops did not speak out. It’s that so many laypeople, both right and left, are willing to ignore them (or at least the difficult things they have to say) when they do.

  • Zak,

    not with the vitriol we see spewed at people like Cardinal O’Malley

    like Bishop Morlino, you are making unsupported, and non-specific accusations, thereby demonizing ALL of those who were critical of the Cardinal’s shameful actions in this matter.

    Be specific, what vitriol? Said by whom?

    Personally, the only vitriol I have heard is from the Cardinal and his apologizers.

    ps. Cardinal Sean (as he refers to himself) has been credibly implicated in attempting to allow Catholic healthcare institutions to be complicit in abortions…

  • e,
    What you say is true, and having a lot of reverence for St. Catherine of Sienna, I’ve puzzled about this issue a lot. I think when a bishop or priest does something explicitly and undeniably sinful, then its clear it can be criticized (Rembert Weakland’s inexcusable behavior, for example), but one should still be cautious not to adopt a pharisaical attitude. When Bishops make administrative decisions (not in the manner of faith and morals) these should be submitted to in the end, though arguments against them can be raised.

    In between those two poles, I’m not sure. I personally find much of the criticism I read (from both right and left, although with conservative sympathies, I’m more surprised and bothered by those from the right) bothersome.

    I remember when Donald wrote a piece attacking a Jesuit professor I’ve had. Now, I disagree with the Jesuit on a number of prudential matters, butI never heard him actually dissenting from Church teaching or saying anything unorthodox. The picture of him that accompanied the article in (the bad) NCR (where he had argued that a more conciliatory tone on abortion would achieve more) showed him not wearing clerical attire, which inspired a number of comments on his heterodoxy and need to be disciplined. Is this where laypeople should be focusing? Or is it a distraction from what we are truly called to? The schism St. Catherine was criticizing was indisputably a scandal and worthily condemned by her. A priest not wearing his collar, though?

    Maybe the problem is the Internet. When St. Catherine spoke out, it was in a society where she was clearly recognized as a holy woman and she thus had some authority (though not official). Here, I don’t know you from Adam. Maybe you’re similarly holy, and if I saw you speaking out on a subject, I would say, “here’s a modern day saint! I should listen as he criticizes our laxness in these days.” I lack the context in which to set people’s criticisms, so they can sound particularly harsh,because I think, “well,I’m no St. Catherine of Sienna (really, I’m not) so I won’t speak like that about a bishop.” At the same time, we feel free to say things on the Internet with a lack of charity we would rarely employ when speaking to someone’s face. St. Catherine of Sienna addressed the pope to his face. It was Martin Luther who put his criticism of the pope in the 16th century equivalent of a blog post. 🙂

  • Matt,
    I had an example where the Catholic League of Massachusetts said the funeral displayed “the corruption of the Catholic Church” or something like that, but my browser crashed when I tried to post it and I don’t feel like looking agin. There were also numerous comments throughout the blogosphere about how the Church in Boston (and O’Malley) suck up to the Kennedys for money and comparing bishops who don’t refuse communion to pro-choice politicians to Pontius Pilate. That’s far more vitriol than Bishop Morlino displays.

  • Zak,

    exactly my point. Don’t poste generalizations and characterizations, just post what was said. Please don’t bother with mentioning comments on the blogosphere, we’re talking about prominent critics not just some schmo on the internet.

    ps. If the Church in Boston (and O’Malley) aren’t sucking up for money, why exactly are they sucking up?

  • But with all due respect, we’re not just talking about prominent people – we are schmos on the Internet. We’re the people who shouldn’t be wasting our time judging whether bishops’ decisions are good or bad.

    “Shameful” “sucking up” – that language sounds self-righteous to me, and it’s exactly the tone I think should be avoided.

  • Zak,

    But with all due respect, we’re not just talking about prominent people – we are schmos on the Internet. We’re the people who shouldn’t be wasting our time judging whether bishops’ decisions are good or bad

    With all due respect (speaking of self-righteous). We are not the ones that the bishop and his apologists are attempting to demonize by their generalizations. Frankly none of the schmos on this blog or anywhere else I’ve seen have suggested he should have been denied a Catholic funeral which is the primary charge being leveled by the Cardinal et al. It’s precisely this misdirection which is so contemptible, especially when it’s used in a attempt to cover ones own shameful actions (sorry, no PC from me, I call it as I see it).

    Here is the quote you’re referring to from the “Catholic Action League” of Massechusets:
    “No rational person can reasonably be expected to take seriously Catholic opposition to abortion when a champion of the Culture of Death, who repeatedly betrayed the Faith of his baptism, is lauded and extolled by priests and prelates in a Marian basilica. This morning’s spectacle is evidence of the corruption which pervades the Catholic Church in the United States. The right to life will never be recognized by secular society if it is not first vindicated and consistently upheld within the institutions of the Church itself.”

    It seems to me that you are not denying any of my assertions or the one from CAL, just whether or not they should be asserted, is that accurate?

  • “Ted Kennedy and other pro-choice politicians have been criticized repeatedly by bishops through the years. It’s very selective of Mr. Olsen to suggest otherwise.”

    Really? In the same “sin/sinful”, “divisive”, “lacking in mercy”, etc. terms as Kennedy’s detractors were described? I’d like to see a cite for that. I’m guessing you’d be hard-pressed to find a single instance – much less “repeatedly” – of a Bishop (outside of perhaps now-retired Bishop Martino and maybe Bishop Bruskewitz) ever using similar terms to criticize Kennedy or any other “pro-choice” politician.

    And, with all due respect to Bishop Morlino, it is difficult for me to take some of those arguments the Bishop made on Kennedy’s behalf (especially (1) describing Kennedy as a “pro-life leader”, (2) about Kennedy’s meeting with dissident theologians to discuss how to fudge abortion as showing his “seriousness” as a Catholic, and (3) the comment about the “subdued” nature of his funerally) as anything other than spin.

    Bishop Morlino gives Kennedy every benefit of the doubt, while assuming the absolute worst about the pro-lifers who were scandalized by Kennedy’s pro-abortion advocacy.

  • Zak:

    I can see where you are coming from, in spite of certain particulars that I would happen to disagree with.

    For instance, I feel that on the one hand, you make a valid point concerning how malicious certain criticisms of various ecclesiastics can be so as to ultimately undermine their very authority as such and even that of the Church itself.

    However, on the other, there are certain matters so pressing (such as those that carry with them not only rightful ecclesial responsibility but also Christian moral duty as well) that should any such member of the Church be found derelict in their duty, both as clergy as well as fellow Catholic, then criticism as concerning their failure to live up to these in such matters is most likely well deserved and, indeed, even necessary.

    Yet, I can feel for what you’re saying.

    I believe, likewise, that there is also a responsibility on the part of the critic himself wherein they should do so in such appropriate measure so as to not undermine not only the authority that clergy (mind you, the distinction being the authority that person carries with him as opposed to the person himself) but, more significantly, the Church itself.

    To put the matter more plainly, we should not be in the business of supplying our enemies with ammunition that they can use against us.

    Unfortunately, as even Sir Thomas More himself would learn later in life:

    et inimici hominis domestici eius.” — Mt 10:36

  • My with “all due respect” was facetious, because I was calling both of us schmos. It was not self righteous.

    I do deny that Kennedy’s funeral suggests that the church is corrupt. I deny that the silly aspects of it like the prayers of the faithful suggest that. I deny that O’Malley’s presence at it suggests that. I deny that anyone can credibly claim that the Church doesn’t care abortion because Ted Kennedy got a funeral.

    Morlino was one of the loudest bishops in criticizing Biden and Pelosi last year. He doesn’t assume the worst about pro-lifers. He says that those who would wish Kennedy in hell, and those who spend their time owrrying about whether he’s there, are sinning. It’s a pastoral caution. Just as when he wrote that Catholics who voted against conscience protections in a Wisconsin law on emergency contraception were sinning.

  • Zak,

    My with “all due respect” was facetious, because I was calling both of us schmos. It was not self righteous.

    Sorry for missing that. I will accept the mantle of “schmo”.

    I do deny that Kennedy’s funeral suggests that the church is corrupt. I deny that the silly aspects of it like the prayers of the faithful suggest that. I deny that O’Malley’s presence at it suggests that.

    If those don’t suggest corruption, do they suggest health??? Deny all you want, it changes nothing.

    1. the act of corrupting or state of being corrupt.
    2. moral perversion; depravity.
    3. perversion of integrity.
    4. corrupt or dishonest proceedings.
    5. bribery.
    6. debasement or alteration, as of language or a text.

    7. a debased form of a word.
    8. putrefactive decay; rottenness.
    9. any corrupting influence or agency.

    I think the definitions highlighted could be reasonably applied to the American Church as an institution, especially if we look at it’s official body the USCCB, and many of the diocesan organizations and clergy.

    I think we could not say that it is wholly corrupt, as there are a substantial minority of shining lights.

    I deny that anyone can credibly claim that the Church doesn’t care abortion because Ted Kennedy got a funeral.

    I’ll say this louder, because you missed it earlier. NOBODY IS SAYING GIVING HIM A FUNERAL IS THE PROBLEM, IT’S THE NATURE OF THE FUNERAL. That said, none of the Catholic critics are saying that the Church doesn’t care about abortion, we’re saying that the actions of the American Church SUGGEST that. I believe the truth is that much of the American hierarchy (lay and clerical) cares less about abortion than they do about certain leftist issues, and that appears to include the Cardinal of Boston, and the retired Cardinal of DC.

    Morlino was one of the loudest bishops in criticizing Biden and Pelosi last year. He doesn’t assume the worst about pro-lifers. He says that those who would wish Kennedy in hell, and those who spend their time owrrying about whether he’s there, are sinning. It’s a pastoral caution. Just as when he wrote that Catholics who voted against conscience protections in a Wisconsin law on emergency contraception were sinning.

    Good for him last year, but now he’s circling the wagons with his brother bishop, thus lending credibility to the shameful action, and furthermore by his generalized criticism (quite clearly not pastoral) he is slandering the legitimate objectors.

  • There are two points to make here.
    1) The Bishops pick and choose what parts of our doctrine certain people will get to follow.
    This is consistent through the Church Crisis these past few years in how they have “pastorally reached out” to these sinners.
    2) By Baptism alone this man has a right to be buried a catholic. He will have his day of judgement. I can’t place myself in the place of God.
    What I can say is this: The US Catholic church is having an even greater crisis within itself. We allow these people to receive the blessed sacrament. We allow our institutions of higher learning to give face time to our children at graduation. We allow what ever is non confrontational.
    May God have mercy on us all.

  • This guy has great hair! He’s much pretty than Bishop Morlino, too.

  • Pingback: Cardinal McCarrick and Sister Carol Keehan « The American Catholic