8 Responses to Liberal Media Turning on Hillary Clinton, Accusing Her of ‘Lying’

  • “Madame Secretary needs to apologize sooner rather than later for this current scandal in order to mitigate the accusations of of a cover-up.”

    Do WHAT?!?!

    The low information voter may accept her apology–but I never will. She has plainly committed a felony & is disqualified from holding any office.

  • “He added that Clinton should get a criminal lawyer, as she has violated multiple statutes, including those relating to conflict of interest and obstruction of justice.”

    “This woman should be the subject of a criminal investigation. She should be in front of a grand jury.”


  • Isn’t Hillary the best thing Republicans have going for them right now what with all the Trump madness in the air?

  • “Religions beliefs must change for sake of abortion.” Madame Secretary-

    Let the shipwreck be swallowed into the dark abyss.

    If she repents, may her soul be salvaged.

  • There’s a meme going around on Facebook that shows pictures of Snowden & Hillary next to each other. Each picture says that same thing at the top: (something like) gave up classified information. then at the bottom of Snowden’s pic, it says, “wanted for Treason” and at the bottom of Hillary’s it says, “wanted for President.” There’s another one comparing Nixon’s lies to her lies. Why is his worse? only because he happened to have an (R) after his name. I really pray that people will wake up. It’s bizarro world.

  • In the clip the commentator mentioned the Clinton camp “plays by a different set of rules,” and it is finally about time the rope that has been taken out one inch at a time, (lies), is making the noose that hopefully will end her political career.

  • I recall that some time ago, Hillary uttered the phrase, “That requires the willing suspension of disbelief”. I don’t recall the context of it but it seems that is exactly what one needs to do to believe what she is saying in regard to this scandal. Another phrase comes to mind. “Loose Lips Sink Ships”. I won’t judge the state of her soul but I will question the state of any person’s mind still willing to vote for her.

  • I think it was Joseph Sobran who coined the tern “The Hive” to describe the behavior of various elements which made up the nexus of which the Democratic Party is the incorporated electoral vehicle. They’re getting the idea that the Hillary project is a losing proposition so now they’re working in their self-organizing way on plan B. Being bruited about is the idea that the Administration is trying to grease the wheels for Joseph Biden, who seems amply qualified to be the President of an Idiocracy.

Bp. Ochoa’s Legal Action Against Fr. Michael Rodriguez (UPDATED)

Thursday, January 12, AD 2012

UPDATE IV:  Fr. Michael Rodriguez Releases a Second Press Release

UPDATE III:  Excellent synopsis at the El Paso Times

UPDATE IIBishops Ochoa Press Release 2012 01 11 – PDF

UPDATE I:  Court Documents: Bp. Ochoa Lawsuit Filed Against Fr. Rodriguez – PDF

Bishop Armando Ochoa of the Diocese of El Paso has raised serious accusations against Fr. Michael Rodriguez, the brave priest who stood up for the sanctity of marriage at the El Paso city council, by filing a legal action against Fr. Rodriguez due to alleged financial misconduct.

Fr. Michael Rodriguez has released the following statement:

It is unfortunate that Bishop Armando Ochoa, Administrator of the Diocese of El Paso and no longer our bishop, has decided to pursue legal action against me.  Such legal action is unjust.

Over the course of 9 1/2 years as the parish priest of San Juan Bautista Catholic Church, I poured my heart and soul into caring for this parish, both in terms of temporal goods, and especially spiritual goods.  I’m confident that hundreds of my former parishioners will eagerly testify to this.

In his January 11, 2012, press release, Bishop Ochoa stated, “Fr. Rodríguez’s handling and use of donated funds has compromised the financial integrity of San Juan Bautista.”  This is not true.  Bishop Ochoa’s statement also refers to “Fr. Rodríguez’s mishandling of funds.”  Again, this is not true.  I have always honored, respected, and made good use of the financial patrimony of San Juan Bautista.  I stake my entire reputation on this claim.

On September 20, 2011, I opened my heart to my bishop, like a son to a father, and was completely honest and forthcoming with him as to the financial affairs of San Juan Bautista.  I told him everything.  He chose not to believe me.  For the past four months, my canon lawyer has made repeated efforts to resolve this matter with Most Rev. Armando Ochoa, and he has refused.

I have a great love for my former parish of San Juan Bautista, and my former parishioners.  I am ready to fight for and defend them, whatever the cost.  I am also ready to protect my own good name and reputation.  I have never misappropriated or misused parish funds.

Finally, I am convinced that the real reason for my former bishop’s actions against me is due to my defense of the Catholic Church’s teaching with regard to homosexuality as well as my adherence to the Roman Liturgy of 1962.  If necessary, I will present prodigious evidence to support this contention.

I will continue to do my best to be a good and holy priest, no matter the cost.  I will continue to proclaim and teach the truths of the Roman Catholic Church, especially in the area of sexual morality, no matter the cost.  I will continue to adhere to the Ancient Rite of the Roman Catholic Church, no matter the cost.  Please keep me in your prayers during this difficult trial.  Please entrust me and my priesthood to the loving protection of Sancta Dei Genetrix, the Most Holy Mother of God.

Thank you and may the good Lord bless you as this joyous Christmas season continues.

End of statement.

This news is just coming in as I type this.  The El Paso Diocesan website has crashed where the bishops press release originates from.  When I am rested early tomorrow morning, I will transcribe the PDF file that I have of this press release in full.

Let us pray for all involved.

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37 Responses to Bp. Ochoa’s Legal Action Against Fr. Michael Rodriguez (UPDATED)

  • Pingback: . . .Bishop Ochoa Sues Fr. Michael Rodriguez. . . | ThePulp.it
  • Sadly, I am unsurprised. In the end, the bishop will have to answe to God for doing what he is doing. Pray for our bishops and priests.

    I am absolutely flabbergasted and outraged. 🙁 The liberals in the Church have decided to do dirty fighting.

  • Why, on earth, would a christian, let alone a bishop(!), sue a brother in Christ? I am inclined, though not knowing all the ins and outs of the situation, to think that because the bishop has moved the issue into the public legal arena and is making such irresponsible attacks on a priest, who by the way has publicly suffered for defending the Church’s teaching while the Bishop fell short on defending doctrine, that the bishop has an axe to grind.

    We’ll see.

  • Pingback: Fr Michael Rodriguez Being Sued by Bishop Armando Ochoa « Fr Stephen Smuts Blog
  • Meanwhile, at the Archdiocese of Washington, DC blog, Msgr. Pope hides us all for difficulties we may be having in trusting our bishops. What strange times we’re living in. Oremus pro invicem.

  • That should say “Msgr. Pope chides . . . “

  • Is this the bishop who had two ordinations in ten years in his diocese?

  • Dunno. The report in the El Paso papers listed complaints that were disconcertingly specific. Most were penny ante and concerned with proper procedure and good accountng practice but some were serious complaints about missing funds ($31,000 worth) and making his mother a potential beneficiary of $200,000 in parish funds. I would reserve judgment for the time being.

  • “…some were serious complaints about missing funds ($31,000 worth) and making his mother a potential beneficiary of $200,000 in parish funds. I would reserve judgment for the time being.”

    Mehercule! So it’s possible that the Bishop isn’t all wrong! Scandal and corruption grow ever deeper. 🙁

  • When accused of misdeeds, the saints humbly submitted to the authorities.

  • Some time ago when I was reading the names of the pedophile priests Archbishop Mahony of L.A. was handling in the lawsuits against the pedophile priests, I encountered with the name of a Xavier Ochoa, a pedophile priest of the the Los Angeles Diocese. I kept on tracking the website where this name appeared and found that Xavier Ochoa was sent to Mexico and later on disappeared. The same website also disappeared.

    Soon after Fr. Xavier Ochoa was totally vanished from all websites, we have a bishop Armando Xavier Ochoa consecrated by Archbishop Mahony and sent to El Paso to become the Bishop of the El Paso Diocese. I have always felt that our Bishop has some sort of dubious origin. I have always wondered why he was more affiliated to the Archbishop of L.A. instead of the Archbishop of San Antonio.

    This is a point to ponder.

  • Pinky,

    Excellent point and I agree with your point.

    Not buts, just wanted say also that what Bishop Ochoa is doing doesn’t look right.

    Matthew 5:25 Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison; (emphasis mine)

    Matthew 18:15-17 [step 1] If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. [step 2]If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. [step 3]But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. [step 4]If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; [step 5]and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. (steps and emphasis mine)

    It looks as if, just based on the evidence in this post, that Bishop Ochoa skipped [step 3] and went straight to [step 5].

  • I suggest a comparison:

    What house does the bishop live in?
    What house does Fr. Rodriguez live in?
    What car does the bishop drive?
    What car does Fr. Rodriguez dirve?
    What kind of kitchen does the bishop eat from?
    What kind of kitchen does Fr. Rodriguez eat from?
    What kind of bed does the bishop sleep in?
    What kind of bed does Fr. Michael sleep in?
    What is the total personal wealth of the bishop? (not the diocses)
    What is the total personal wealth of Fr. Rodriguez? (not the parish)

    On a spiritual level —
    Does the bishop guide souls to heaven or hell?
    Does Fr. Michael guide souls to heaven or hell?

    How many hours does the bishop spend in the confessional?
    How many hours does Fr. Rodriguez spend in the confessional?
    How many Masses does the bishop celebrate a week?
    How many Masses does Fr. Rodriguez offer a week?
    How many Eucharistic prayer vigils does the bishop lead?
    How many Eucharistic prayer vigils does Fr. Rodriguez lead?

    Who would you trust with the eternal welfare of your soul?

  • I’m unclear as to why Bishop Ochoa felt compelled to file a civil (not criminal complaint) litigation action. That is publicly available.

    Were all other avenues exhausted? Canon Law? Was Father Rodriguez given the opportunity to make restitition and do penance? Did Father refuse?

    Here’s what pops into my sick mind.

    Bishop Ochoa has a beef with Father and is damaging Father Rodriguez’s otherwise good name by the revealing these non-public faults, not crimes or he would have gone to the DA, of which he believes Father is guilty. If Ochoa believes Father is innocent such as this is called “calumny.”

    I apologize to Msgr. Pope. Maybe it would have been better had I been not taught how to think.

  • Perhaps what is truly revealed is a complete distrust of the faithful in the willingness of their bishop to sanctify, teach, and govern them in a truly Catholic way.

    If they had confidence their bishop would let them build a church to truly glorify God
    If they had confidence their bishop would not tax them to fund activities contrary to Catholic doctrine

    there would never have been a need to keep the money from the bishop.

    It would have been the bishop working hard to improve churches in a way that would truly bring honor, glory and proper worship of God.

    I believe the suit filed is really a greater indictment against himself than the holy priest.

  • The more I read about this, the more I think we have two corrupt clerics, one a liberal Democrat looking for any opportunity to slam conservativism and orthodoxy, and the other a money launderer hiding behind the cloak of conservativism and orthodoxy.

    I could be wrong, but……………..


  • This is really the end, the nadir, of episcopal malice. Bishop Ochoa should be as thoroughly disgusted with himself as we are of him.

    This vindictive move by him does, however, throw some light on things, one of which would be his extreme sympathy with the buggery enthusiasts. Indeed it may indicate that he is more than just sympathetic to them.

    Needless to say, I won’t be holding my breath for Rome to do anything about this travesty.

  • This whole thing could be easily be resolved by Fr. Mike if he would just explain his side of the accusation of money mishandling. Most of us are not qualified accountants but this is not rocket science or corporate stock manuevering. If Fr. Mike can explain the missing $31,000 funds or show he did not receive the missing funds, and if he can show that he did not make his mother a potential beneficiary of $200,000 of parish funds then that should end the argument. It is reasonable to ask these questions since he was in charge ? If he cannot properly answer these “ifs” then there may be something to chew on here. Why don’t we ask Fr. Mike to post his comments and any proof or at least say that he is open to an accounting review to prove his point. Until then we might consider giving him the benefit of the doubt and pray that this ends well for him and the Church that has so many black eyes already. We don’t need this (amen ?).

  • I’m kind of an accountant.

    Give me three or five years of bank statements and canceled checks, paid bills/receipts, three hours, and a fifth of Dewars. I’ll tell you exactly what happened.

  • I can guarantee you that you’re not going to get enough information to fairly judge a fraud case on its first day in the news, even assuming that the newspaper assigned their best reporter / forensic accountant to the story.

  • T Shaw – That last comment wasn’t a reply to you. I didn’t refresh before posting.

  • There seem to be a lot of Catholic faithful demanding money from the bishop
    Is the bishop the culprit here attempting to re-direct attention by accusing another of his own misdeeds?

  • and the other a money launderer hiding behind the cloak of conservativism and orthodoxy.

    I think the precise charges would be some combination of misapplication of property, fraud, and embezzlement, not money laundering. If he is hiding behind a cloak, it is now. I do not think we have any reason to believe his public advocacy was a pose. He has been the pastor there since 2002. If I understand the complaint correctly, the chancery is contending the misapplication of funds amongst parish accounts began in 2009 and the commingling of parish and personal funds began in June of 2010.

    It looks as if, just based on the evidence in this post, that Bishop Ochoa skipped [step 3] and went straight to [step 5].

    In fairness to Bp. Ochoa, it ought be noted that the Bishop of Kansas City is now under indictment for conducting an internal investigation and then informing authorities, instead of immediately informing authorities. (Yes, I realize the issues are different and that this is a civil suit).

  • Regarding the 31K and 200K with Fr. R’s mom as beneficiary: It wouldn’t be the first time a pastor and Parish Finance Board have had a trusted third party hold parish funds to keep them from being confiscated by an angry bishop in retaliation toward a troublesome priest or parish. I’m not saying it’s right, of course. I’m just sayin’.

  • Pingback: Fr. Michael Rodriguez Responds to Bishop Ochoa | The American Catholic
  • This is so unfortunate, but to be expected from the Vatican II hierarchy. Perhaps good Fr. Rodriquez will end up thinking along the same lines I have been recently, that the Vatican II “Ecumenical Catholic Church” may longer be the Roman Catholic Church, but is a schismatic entity.

  • Frank,

    If the V-II Church isn’t the RCC, then what is? And what exactly is incorrect in the V-II documents themselves? Please be precise. Yes, I agree that the liberalism that’s crept into the Church like a cancer post V-II is satanic, but does that mean that V-II was wrong, or that liberalism is wrong?

  • Welcome to the world of Catholics who are attached to the traditional Mass. This is pretty much the attitude of most Bishops toward Priests who celebrate the Tridentine Rite. That’s one reason why the FSSP has not made much progress, in spite of the fact that they have more seminarians than most large Archdioceses: the average Bishop would rather see a parish close, for lack of a priest, than to hand it over to the FSSP or any other traditionalist group. Bishop Ochoa reminds me Bishop Nourrichard of Evreux, France.

  • Ivan K,

    I don’t mean to be a stick in the mud, but as I pointed out elsewhere, the allegation of 31 thousand dollars in missing funds and the allegation of why Fr. Rodriguez made his mother a beneficiary of parish funds both still need to be explained. Fr. Rodriguez’s most recent statement reprinted here at the American Catholic blog site (http://the-american-catholic.com/2012/01/14/fr-michael-rodriguez-responds-to-bishop-ochoa/) does nothing to answer the questions that the law suit brings forth. Rather, it is a list Fr. Roriguez made of 30 spiritual works and 16 temporal works which he asserts that he did. Personally, I found the list to be just a bit more than self-serving. I am NOT, however, saying that Fr. Rodriguez did not do what he asserts he did. Rather, what I am saying is that when Jesus went before Pontius Pilate, he didn’t deliver a list of all the fine spiritual and temporal works that he had done. Perhaps, however, dealing with Federal nuclear regulators in my day job for 30+ years has made me too cynical and jaded, a character defect to be presented in the Confessional (again!).

  • Actually, I believe the parishioners more than the Bishop here, especially since they are the ones who donated this money. The parish was kept in a private account rather than a parish account precisely because they believed that the money would end up in the Bishop’s hands’ and that they wouldn’t be able to use it for parish repairs. The suggestion that the priest was some sort of high roller stealing from the parish is absurd, given everything that has come out about him. The priest listed the works that he had done primarily in order to explain how the money was spent.

  • Look at paragraphs 16 and 17 of Bp. Ochoa’s legal action. The issues are: raising money for building repair without the bishop’s permission and knowledge; and using raised money to ‘build an altar ‘to comply with the ancient norms of the Roman Rite.’

    The Bishop has not proved that any money was used for anything other than parish purposes. His charge is that the parish hid money from him, and used it on projects that he would have blocked. The issue for the Bishop is that this parish somehow got around him in implementing Summorum Pontificum. In doing so, they may very well not have followed all diocesan rules; but that, to me, is understandable given that the Bishop had intended to use those rules in order to block the ‘traditionalisation’ of the altar and sanctuary.

  • I wasn’t able to find any reference to 31,000 unaccounted for. The amount cited in the legal action is $25,000. And, again, there is no claim that it was used for the priest’s private benefit. There is even a suggestion that some of that was used for a family in need. Some, apparently was given to the priest’s brother (5,000, I believe), for ‘unspecified word, even though the brother wasn’t officially employed by the parish. I don’t know–we’ll see. To me it sounds like a Bishop using anything he can in order to harm this priest, and this parish. Small parish finances are by definition messy, and require a good deal of trust. However, when there is any real corruption going on, it’s usually pretty obvious, especially in a parish with such modest resources. There is no obvious malfeasance here.

  • Pingback: MON. EXTRA: BP. OCHOA SUES OWN PRIEST | ThePulp.it
  • The fact that Fr. Rodriguez named his mother as beneficiary of privately donated funds only means he trusted her to do the right thing in the event he was unable. One is required to do this when you open an account. If this was money that was taken from the Diocese that would be different. It was for the restoration of the sanctuary and the Bishop was trying to obstruct Fathers efforts to improve the Church. Father Rodriguez was not supposed to succeed at San Juan Bautista. He was sent there to disappear. If you go to the sanjuan.webhop.org website you will see how many classes his brother has taught. $5000.00 is chump change when you compare it to the volume of valuable material on that website; which his brother operated and maintained. You can make innocent things look sinister and I think that is what is happening here. What a shame.

  • Thank you for the clarification, Robert. However, Fr. Rodriguez still disobeyed the established financial rules, however honorable his motives. The ends don’t justice the means.

    That said, I would love to have been in his parish. Indeed, he is a man of God, but like all men of God, he has failings. And yes, Bishop Ochoa’s embrace of liberalism and his focused pursuit of trying to ruin Fr. Rodriguez are wrong on so many levels.

  • Good to see a priest not playing partisan politics, but calling attention to elected officials behavior…..seems in line with ppoints 1 and 2 of the 6 point plan of Fr. Denis Fahey….not sure why this became public in secular media…..

  • “That’s one reason why the FSSP has not made much progress, in spite of the fact that they have more seminarians than most large Archdioceses”

    that and they have to rely on the current hierarchy alone……priests of the SSPX at least have 4 Bishops, with the full Holy Orders, to defend them against the wolves…..

Notre Dame 88

Tuesday, October 5, AD 2010

By Charles E. Rice

Fr. Norman Weslin, O.S., at the complaint of Notre Dame, was arrested in May 2009 and charged as a criminal for peacefully entering the Notre Dame campus to offer his prayer of reparation for Notre Dame’s conferral of its highest honor on President Obama, the most relentlessly pro-abortion public official in the world.  The University refuses to ask the St. Joseph County prosecutor to drop the charges against Fr. Weslin and the others arrested, still known as the ND 88 although one, Linda Schmidt, died of cancer this past March.  Judge Michael P. Scopelitis, of St. Joseph Superior Court, recently issued two important orders in this case.

The first order denied the State’s motion to consolidate the cases of multiple defendants.  That motion would have denied each separate defendant his right to a separate jury trial.  The order did permit consolidation of the trials of twice-charged defendants on the separate offenses with which that defendant was charged; a defendant charged, for example, with trespass and disorderly conduct would therefore not have to appear for two trials.  Judge Scopelitis also denied the prosecution’s attempt to force each defendant to return to South Bend for each proceeding in the case, which would have coerced the defendants to abandon their defense.  Instead, the Judge permitted the defendants to participate by telephone in pre-trial conferences.

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38 Responses to Notre Dame 88

  • Pingback: Notre Dame 88 Update by Charles E. Rice « Deacon John's Space
  • What an outstanding article!! It would be nice if Catholic Universities actually lived up to “being Catholic” or that they lived out Catholic principles which are in line with Church teaching. Even those that are Traditional or conservative Catholic colleges find it very hard in some cases to actually walk-the-walk and not just talk-the-talk when it really counts (I know this from personal experience). I guess human nature takes over or something.

    The charges should have been dropped a long time ago. Shame on Notre Dame!

  • Catholic in name only.

    “We shall go before a higher tribunal – a tribunal where a Judge of infinite goodness, as well as infinite justice, will preside, and where many of the judgments of this world will be reversed.” Thomas Meagher, statement on sentencing by a saxon court.

    Matthew 12:34: “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”

  • “Notre Dame appears to be governed by academic ruling class wannabes. The operative religion of the academic and political establishments, however, is political correctness. Activist opponents of ROTC and activist advocates of “gay rights” are politically correct. Activist pro-lifers, such as Fr. Weslin and the ND88, are not. For Notre Dame’s leaders to show respect for the ND88, let alone apologize to them and seek an end to their prosecution, as they ought, would be to touch a third rail of academic respectability. It would not play well in the ruling academic circles. What would they think of us at Harvard, Yale, etc?”

    Bingo! The powers that be at Notre Dame are defending their faith against the heretics of the Notre Dame 88, and that faith has nothing to do with Catholicism. It is a disgrace that every bishop in this country has not condemned this.

  • Maybe ND simply wanted to protect its students and faculty. The mob had already shown its penchance for breaking the law — no one was capable of knowing whether the mob would become violent — it is not unheard of.

    ND’s “inconsistent” treatment is also not shocking. Given the history of trespassing and the fact that past light treatment did not stop it, ND may be sending a stronger message to protect the safety and security of its community.

    Mr. Rice should also know, as a lawyer, that Fr. Weslin’s health or his past deeds are irrelevant as to whether he broke the law. Surely, they are great rhetorical flourishes, but they are just that, a trick used to distract you from the fact that a law was willfully and knowingly ignored.

    Finally, Mr. Rice also should know, as a lawyer, that clients discourage employees from being deposed for all sorts of reasons — not necessarily related to whether they are “hiding” something. This is libelous.

  • This is libelous.

    An easy stone to throw for someone hiding behind the veil of anonymity.

  • “The mob had already shown its penchance for breaking the law — no one was capable of knowing whether the mob would become violent — it is not unheard of.”

    Yeah, you can never know when an 80 year old priest peacefully praying will turn violent.


  • I was there, on campus for the mass and rosary. My daughter is one of the ND88. I walked out and joined the protesters for much of the day. The activities were all available on youtube. Only a deeply dishonest person could conceive of a “mob” anywhere near Notre Dame that day. Peace.

  • What about the 87 other people? Did ND and the police know the intentions of each of them? Frankly, I think it’s despicable that you use Fr. Weslin as your shield. Also, I missed the memo where we excuse the aged and people who have done otherwise good things in their lives for breaking the law. These people made conscious decisions to trespass. They could have stayed outside the university and gotten their point across. Rather, they wanted to make a spectable and get on TV, which they succeeded in doing. They now need to be adults and accept responsibility for their transgressions.

    Also, just because a person is 80, just because someone is a preist, just because someone is praying, doesn’t mean they can’t be violent. People pray to their god all the time before committing acts of violence — that cannot be denied. People who are 80 commit acts of violence, and we certainly have learned that priests are not above committing acts of violence. I would also point out that Fr. Weslin was just one person — there were many more.

    To an objective observer, and clearly you are not, these people trespassed. They were arrested. End of story. Any excuse you want to make is a consequence of your relgious and political views–which, of course, is your right and fine. Just don’t pretend it’s anything other than that.

    That day was supposed to be about the graduates celebrating their accomplishment. These clowns made it about their cause, which is a shame.

  • ” Only a deeply dishonest person could conceive of a “mob” anywhere near Notre Dame that day. Peace.”

    As our anonymous commenter is amply demonstrating. The Notre Dame 88 are being persecuted because they are a standing rebuke to the Notre Dame administration honoring the most pro-abortion president in our history. All the obfuscation in the world cannot disguise that very simple fact. My congratulations Larry on the fine job you obviously did in raising your daughter.

  • Anonymous, how long have you been a member of the Notre Dame administration?

  • In case Mr. McClarey does not have acces to a dictionary, please see the definition of “mob” and “dishonest.”

    Definition of MOB
    1: a large or disorderly crowd; especially : one bent on riotous or destructive action
    2: the lower classes of a community : masses, rabble
    3chiefly Australian : a flock, drove, or herd of animals
    4: a criminal set : gang; especially often capitalized
    5: a group of people : crowd

    Definition of DISHONEST
    Characterized by lack of truth, honesty, or trustworthiness : unfair, deceptive

    Here is an entry on ad hominem attacks — often resorted to by those who cannot win an argument on the mertis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

    Let me get this straight, a group of 88 religious zealots trespass onto private property on which the President of the United States is speaking and you are surprised/indignant they were arrested? Seriously?

    If you can, deep in your heart say that you would be defending, with the same zealousness, people who were protesting the “right to choose” or Islamic protestors, then, maybe I would believe you.

    It is sad that people turned a day of celebration for the graduates into a political side show. They should be ashamed of themselves.

  • a group of 88 religious zealots

    Thank God Notre Dame is doing its damnedest stamp out religious zeal.

    Then again, it’s been doing that since the Land O’ Lakes Statement, so I guess it’s consistent.

    Oh, and nice job of hiding behind “the graduates,” anonymous ND admin guy.

    It’s this sort of mindset that reminds me why I’m recommending that my children go to an avowedly secular college as opposed to a Land O’ Lakes one. Sure, they’ll hate your faith at a state university, but at least they won’t wear a cloak of Catholic sanctimony while doing it.

    Better to be stabbed in the chest than the back.

  • Let me get this straight, a group of 88 religious zealots trespass onto private property on which the President of the United States is speaking and you are surprised/indignant they were arrested? Seriously?

    There are over 11,000 students at Notre Dame. Add the faculty and the staff and you have 15,000 people on the campus as a matter of course. Then you add in any visitors that day. The ’88 religious zealots’ will increase the size of the campus population by 0.6%. The rathskellar at the campus I know best will have that many people present around noontime, and that particular institution is one-quarter the size of Notre Dame.

    You might also note that his primary complaint is not that they were arrested, but that the institution has persisted in pressing charges when they had not done so in previous circumstances, and lied publicly about their resons for so doing.

  • Just for the kind of clarity and exactness which is typical of Catholic thought, it is not Notre Dame which is prosecuting the ND88. It is Fr. Jenkins – personally. The buck stops at his desk. He hides behind the institution. Let us make an analogy – he is hiding behind the skirts of Our Lady.

  • I looked up your ip address anonymous, and I really hope that you are not an attorney at the law firm you are e-mailing from, because you are not very good at arguing in comboxes and I truly would hate to be paying you to do so in court. The firm that you are e-mailing from seems to have quite a few contacts with Notre Dame. I wonder if you are doing this on your own time, or if someone at Notre Dame is actually foolish enough to pay you to mount this type of sophistical defense of the indefensible?

  • It’s a pretty large firm – I interviewed with them a while back and have friends that work there. In the DC office alone, there are fourteen Domers. It’s unlikely that the commenter above is billing time for arguing on blogs, but the tone of the comment and the handy dictionary references suggest a feisty 1-3 year associate.

  • “but the tone of the comment and the handy dictionary references suggest a feisty 1-3 year associate.”

    Quite true. I hope for anonymous that he wasn’t doing this on a firm computer equipped with tracking software. If I were a partner there I would take a dim view of associates wasting time on blogs during office hours. Ah, the advantages of being a self-employed attorney!

  • If I were a partner there I would take a dim view of associates wasting time on blogs during office hours.

    um…yeah…I agree…no junior associate should ever waste time on blogs during office hours…right on. Who are these people? 😉

    In their defense, I will say that many partner’s definition of ‘office hours’ is roughly “any time during which the associate is alive and not undergoing major surgery.” Another benefit of being self-employed, I suppose.

  • “In their defense, I will say that many partner’s definition of ‘office hours’ is roughly “any time during which the associate is alive and not undergoing major surgery.””

    That is precisely one of the main reasons I became self-employed John Henry. I wanted to have a family life and not work on weekends, and too many firms seemed to think that associates lived only to practice law, and to be the handy target of the ire of dyspeptic partners.

  • “Just for the kind of clarity and exactness which is typical of Catholic thought, it is not Notre Dame which is prosecuting the ND88. It is Fr. Jenkins – personally. The buck stops at his desk.”

    bingo. Fr. Jenkins is doing all he can do to stay in the good graces of his liberal friends. chump.

  • I believe Professor Rice’s general thesis is unquestionably correct: Notre Dame craves the approval of the Princes of this World.

    But from the belly of the beast, a few qualifications may be appropriate.

    I have been told, at any rate, that because the charge is criminal trespass, Notre Dame, despite what everyone says, cannot ask the county prosecutor to dismiss the case. The prosecutor could ask that the case be dismissed, but he would have to justify the request to a judge.

    As Professor Rice documents, previous instances of this sort had been handled quietly by the university itself.This time the South Bend and St. Joseph county police were brought in, and I suspect that everyone in the administration now sees this was a blunder. Part of the reason for deposing Mr. Kirk may be to determine just how this decision came to be made.

    Notre Dame has offered “generous”terms to the defendants. Plead guilty, accept some kind of nominal or suspended punishment, and put the whole thing behind us. The university is in the position of the poor Roman magistrate judging the typical virgin and martyr: Cut me some slack–just genuflect to that damned idol over there and we can all go home. Such blandishments were generally rejected; and I suspect the current ones will be as well.

  • I have been told, at any rate, that because the charge is criminal trespass

    No kidding. If I am not mistaken, under New York law, an act of trespass does not qualify as criminal trespass unless (at a minimum) there is a fence or wall around the property which excludes intruders.

  • “I have been told, at any rate, that because the charge is criminal trespass, Notre Dame, despite what everyone says, cannot ask the county prosecutor to dismiss the case. The prosecutor could ask that the case be dismissed, but he would have to justify the request to a judge.”

    You have been misinformed. Prosecutors nolle prosse countless cases across the nation each day. The consent of the court is pro forma since the court lacks the power to compel the State to prosecute anyone, which is wholly in the discretion of the prosecutor.

    “Notre Dame has offered “generous”terms to the defendants.”

    Of course this demonstrates that Notre Dame is the driving force behind the prosecution. The terms that the Notre Dame 88 should accept from Notre Dame are the dismissal of all charges, payment of their legal fees, a written apology from Notre Dame, and a promise from Notre Dame that they will no longer honor pro-abort politicians.

    This of course is in the spirit of Theoden’s reaction to Saruman’s request for “peace”.

    “We will have peace. Yes, we will have peace, we will have peace when you and all your works have perished — and the works of your dark master to whom you would deliver us. You are a liar, Saruman, and a corrupter of men’s hearts. You hold out your hand to me, and I perceive only a finger of the claw of Mordor. Cruel and cold! Even if your war on me was just as it was not, for were you ten times as wise you would have no right to rule me and mine for your own profit as you desired — even so, what will you say of your torches in Westfold and the children that lie dead there? And they hewed Hama’s body before the gates of the Hornburg, after he was dead. When you hang from a gibbet at your window for the sport of your own crows, I will have peace with you and Orthanc. So much for the House of Eorl. A lesser son of great sires am I, but I do not need to lick your fingers. Turn elsewhither. But I fear your voice has lost its charm.”

  • Not to sound like I’m defending Anonymous here, but…. if the ND88 were KNOWINGLY risking arrest, by crossing a line they had been warned not to cross, and if they were clearly told by university authorities that they WOULD be arrested if they persisted in their actions, then they should accept the consequences, plead guilty and serve whatever sentences they get. That’s what other practitioners of this kind of civil disobedience do (or should do, in my opinion). They don’t argue that they are innocent and being persecuted, they acknowledge that they broke the law to call attention to their cause AND they’d gladly do it again. If that means they go to jail, that goes with the territory, doesn’t it?

    That being said, it would be fitting if Fr. Jenkins or other authorities at Notre Dame asked for the charges to be dropped as a gesture of mercy and solidarity with the cause they were espousing.

    All this, of course, presumes that the ND88 knowingly engaged in illegal actions and were clearly warned that they were risking arrest. If it was a case of a LEGAL protest gathering getting out of hand, or of the participants crossing some invisible “line” they hadn’t been told was there, that would be another story completely.

  • Also, the fact that Notre Dame allegedly let other protesters off more easily doesn’t change the nature of the illegal actions committed by the ND88. While it does show that Notre Dame isn’t being consistent in enforcing its supposed rules regarding protests — and that is a significant issue — still, you can’t argue your way out of any other punishment by saying “But someone else got away with it!”

  • “Not to sound like I’m defending Anonymous here, but…. if the ND88 were KNOWINGLY risking arrest, by crossing a line they had been warned not to cross, and if they were clearly told by university authorities that they WOULD be arrested if they persisted in their actions, then they should accept the consequences, plead guilty and serve whatever sentences they get.”

    Only if Notre Dame wishes to be in the same moral category of the segregationists who legally prosecuted people who sat in at restaurants. When one is being punished unjustly, I see no merit in accepting punishment meekly. Make them prove it at trial. Turn the case against the prosecution by making a big stink about it in every forum possible. Make sure that the injustice of the prosecution becomes a cause celebre. Jenkins and his cohorts would love nothing better than the Notre Dame 88 to meekly admit their guilt and for them to accept their punishment like good boys and girls. I am glad that this satisfaction has been denied them by the intestinal fortitude of the Notre Dame 88.

  • “still, you can’t argue your way out of any other punishment by saying “But someone else got away with it!””

    Actually Elaine I have done just that in some of my cases by proving selective prosecution and having judges determine that prosecutors have abused their discretion. It isn’t easy to do, but given fact situations egregious enough, it is possible.

  • “his (Rice’s) primary complaint is not that they were arrested, but that the institution has persisted in pressing charges when they had not done so in previous circumstances, and lied publicly about their reasons for so doing.”

    I understand this and it’s an appropriate question to raise. And, I suppose that by pleading not guilty and fighting the charges every step of the way, the ND88 could bring those two injustices to light. But, at the end of the day, it seems to me that “don’t do the ‘crime’ if you can’t do the time” applies to civil disobedience actions as well.

    Also, for reasons I have explained before, I don’t think civil disobedience that involves deliberately trying to get arrested for trespassing as an attention-getting device is quite in the same category as lunch counter sit-ins. Sit-ins involved people breaking a law that was inherently unjust — a law designed specifically to prevent people of a certain skin color from doing something they had a natural right to do — to show the world just how unjust and ridiculous the law was. Going out of one’s way to break an otherwise JUST law that has nothing directly to do with the injustice being protested (abortion) is different.

  • What is remarkable to me, and what I really just don’t grasp, is *what possible motive* ND could have in continuing with these charges. Fr. Jenkins, for all his limitations, is certainly no dummy, and he, as well as the other members of the senior administration (to say nothing of the Board of Trustees) must realize that ND qua university will not gain anything from this process. It’s not as though Princeton or Duke will suddenly kowtow to the Dome because a few pro-life activists were arrested there. This view can’t seriously be entertained. It’s also only attracting *more* negative press to ND, and further alienating fence-leaning Catholics who were not happy about Obama but were neither entirely supportive of much of the shenanigans and selective (and sometimes politically motivated) outrage expressed at his visit. These Catholics, seeing now ND’s apparent inconsistency of procedure, will now take more darkly a view of the administration than they ever did before. So I don’t see that ND has anything to gain here, while they have much to lose. If I did not already have experience with administrators’ capacities for practical reasoning, these two considerations would make me think that ND *can’t* remove the charges at this point (something Donald denies). The whole situation is just weird.

  • The whole situation is just weird.

    If you posit that Notre Dame’s administration despises the demonstrators and wants their ilk to stay away forever, the effort to humiliate and injure them seems less weird.

  • I suppose I find it self-evident that that strategy is counterproductive *given* the interests of ND, whatever they think of the demonstrators. (Whatever one thinks of the ND88, and I am generally supportive of them, turning them into martyrs for the pro-life cause will hardly have the effect you suggest.) And I suppose that I think the administrators themselves should realize this. But again, never overestimate administrators’ capacities for practical reasoning.

  • Just to be clear: I yield to no one in contempt for how Notre Dame has handled the case; and my opinion of the real motives of the university administration is culpably uncharitable. Nonetheless. . .

    In Indiana, criminal trespass includes entering private property without permission and refusing to leave when requested to do so by the owner or an authorized agent of the owner. If I come to your front door and, say, hector you about joining the Jehovah’s Witnesses; and you ask me to go away; and I refuse: then you can call the cops. I don’t have to climb over a wall or anything like that.

    What possible motive can Notre Dame have for continuing these charges? Notre Dame has only itself to blame for the pickle that it is in, but it may have less freedom of action (pace Mr. McCleary) than people assume (if also more freedom of action than implied in my previous post). The risk of nolle prosse, I think, is that the the judge might react by dismissing the case (rather than just letting things hang). If the case is dismissed or the defendants acquitted, the university (and perhaps the South Bend police) might find themselves in line for a false arrest suit. How plausible this is I don’t know, but it’s what I gather third or fourth hand from lawyers familiar with the case.

    On a more principled level, the university has a legitimate interest in keeping its status as private property. Again, as I understand it, one line of defense by the 88 is that the university campus is in fact open pretty much to anyone, that it amounts to public space where they may legitimately exercise their first amendment rights (and, after all, the university took no action against those demonstrating in favor of the award to Obama). But the university does not in fact let the general public come and go as it pleases. At every home football game the area around the campus is filled with ticket scalpers, but scalpers are not allowed on campus. If the 88 win their point, would the university have welcome in the scalpers?

    (I also wonder if there isn’t some relevance to the Westboro Baptist case. One’s sympathies would be on opposite sides, but there may be a family resemblance in terms or principle. The families of fallen soldiers may have a legitimate complaint against those who obnoxiously interfere with the funerals; and Notre Dame may have a legitimate complaint against intrusion from those who the administration finds, however perversely, obnoxious to itself or its undertakings.)

    I hope the 88 get off, and, while normally I’m not wild about punishment of any kind, I hope the consequences to the university are sufficiently severe to cause some in the administration to rethink the actual values they live by. But in the abstract the university’s case is not entirely without merit.

    I’m also partly sympathetic to what I take to be Elaine Krewer’s point: If I actively court martyrdom and martyrdom is consequently offered to me, I should probably accept it gratefully, not whine about it. But it’s not clear that the 88 were actively courting martyrdom. It seems that many of them really did not think that the university would react in the clumsy, small-minded, militantly graceless way that it did.

  • “The risk of nolle prosse, I think, is that the the judge might react by dismissing the case (rather than just letting things hang).”

    You are confusing apples and oranges. Nolle Prosse is not a dismissal with prejudice. The Defendants could bring a motion to dismiss with prejudice at any time, as could the prosecutors, but nolle prosse is not the same thing. A nolle prosse simply means that the prosecutor is not proceeding with the prosecution. No double jeopardy attaches and the defendants can be recharged at any time. As for a civil suit from the ND88, that could be brought at any time and has little refence to what happens in the criminal case. A perfect example is how OJ Simpson could be found not guilty of the murders and still lose the civil suit over the murders.

  • If I come to your front door and, say, hector you about joining the Jehovah’s Witnesses; and you ask me to go away; and I refuse: then you can call the cops. I don’t have to climb over a wall or anything like that.

    In New York, there is a ‘Trespass’, which is in a submisdemeanor category called a ‘violation’, and ‘Criminal Trespass’. There are three degrees of criminal trespass. For the most part, you have to be inside a building to be charged with ‘criminal trespass’, but you can be charged with the 3d degree criminal trespass if you enter grounds enclosed in some way.

    If I am not mistaken, the crime you describe is, under New York law, [non-criminal] ‘Trespass’. The maximal sentance for trespass is 15 days in the county jail and a three-figure fine. As a rule, the judiciary is quite lax when they are given the discretion, as they are in non-felony cases hereabouts. Then again, a large fraction of the municipal court case load Upstate is heard by lay J.P.’s. A buddy of mine in the state Attorney-General’s office tells me that lay judges are often quite good, but when they are bad they are horrid.

  • This may be getting to be too much inside baseball, and I’m not a very good player.

    Nolle prosse: The risk is that the judge’s reaction would be to dismiss with prejudice, which does happen sometimes. I hadn’t thought about a civil suit–but that’s unlikely on its face; and, anyway, Notre Dame didn’t suffer any damages.

    The Indiana law on criminal trespass is more stringent than what is typical of other states.

  • In regard to a civil suit I was referring to a hypothetical suit by ND88 against Notre Dame.

    I can’t imagine a judge dismissing a criminal case with prejudice based upon a nolle prosse motion by the State, absent a motion filed by either the State or the Defendants to dismiss with prejudice. In a nolle prosse motion the current prosecution and case simply ends because the prosecutor does not wish to proceed. A motion to dismiss with prejudice by the Defendants would have to establish that a successful prosecution was impossible due to some legal defect in the prosecution or that under any possible facts shown at trial no conviction would be possible. That is a very high standard to meet, and I do not see any way in this case that a judge could so find under the existing law and facts of the case.

  • This whole incident caused me to rule out ever applying to Notre Dame, which I seriously considered at one point. While attending a law school fair in New York, I approached the Notre Dame booth and asked the representative, in as neutral a tone as possible, if there was any emphasis on the Catholic nature of the school reflected on its campus, not mentioning that I myself was Catholic. She downplayed the notion, saying something to the effect of “no, it’s not a big deal.”

    “Maybe ND simply wanted to protect its students and faculty. The mob had already shown its penchance for breaking the law — no one was capable of knowing whether the mob would become violent — it is not unheard of. “

    No, indeed not. Recall the brave and truly Catholic students who stood up to and battled the ku klux klan in South Bend in 1924.

    How tragic that Notre Dame now wields nothing but moral cowardice in utilizing secular police power to promote abortion, the political lineage of which is directly traceable back to psychotic white supremacists and eugenicists.

Mosque Opponents: Be Careful What You Wish For, You Might Get It

Saturday, August 28, AD 2010

The debate over the so-called Ground Zero mosque near the former site of the World Trade Center in New York has raised public interest in, and opposition to, other proposed or recently built mosques and Islamic centers throughout the country.

In areas where Muslim migration or immigration has been significant, some citizens have attempted to discourage construction of new mosques. Few come right out and cite the threat of terrorism; more often they seem to resort to time-honored NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) tactics such as creative interpretation of zoning ordinances, claims of decreased property values, or claims of real or potential problems with traffic, noise, etc.

Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I understand the need to be vigilant regarding the potential for violent subversion, as well as the dangers of taking such a politically correct approach to militant Islam that people hesitate to report obvious suspicious activity for fear of being labeled bigots (as seems to have happened in the Fort Hood massacre case).

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45 Responses to Mosque Opponents: Be Careful What You Wish For, You Might Get It

  • Outstanding article — thank you!!

    Question (and please forgive this social-networking-backward-participant!):

    Why doesn’t American Catholic enable readers to SHARE this via Facebook? (Maybe I’m flunking the IQ test and missed the link??? I just did a “copy & paste” on the link above on my FB page . . . Sad to say, I am still trying to figure out this RSS stuff!!!)

    Thank you!

  • Elaine,

    You raise some very valid points. But, did Catholicism, or the perversion therof, and Catholics or any Christians for that matter murder 3000 innocents on September 11? Or have Catholics or Christians committed bombings in recent years or pose threats of bombings around the world?

    I think the problem here is that the Muslims who have proposed this mosque have displayed absolutely NO sensitivity to the families of victims of 9/11 while demanding all the tolerance in the world from those 9/11 families,as well as other citizens. These “moderate” Muslims claim that they want to build bridges but all they are doing by forcing the building of this mosque at this partiular ultra-sensitive location is burning bridges. Why is this location so important when there are over 100 mosques located in NYC already? How is this mosque being funded? By terrorist organizations or not? I believe in order for the community as a whole to benefit from this mosque our government and our citizens must be as certain as possible that this mosque is not funded by terrorist organizations and will not be used as a terrorist training center under the guise of religious freedom. If the mayor and others would be willing to look into the mosque’s financial funding I believe that this would allay many peoples’ fears.

    I do understand that the people behind the building of the mosque has a right to be built according to civil law. But, as Charles Krauthammer pointed out, if zoning laws and aesthetics can trump one’s right to build why could the sensitivity to those families who had loved ones killed by a single act of war trump one’s right to build?

    As to the issue of this mosque being two blocks away from the primary ground zero site: Would you agree that wherever the planes hit or any of its part on 9/11 should be considered Ground Zero? If so, then so should the Burlington building since a part of the plane hit that building.

    I think this whole controversy could have been avoided if the NYC commission had shown some prudential judgment and declared the Burlingtion building as a historical landmark.

  • I agree that it wasn’t a good idea for the mosque/Islamic center to be built so close to Ground Zero. I see nothing wrong with encouraging them to build elsewhere. The $64,000 question, however, is whether or not the local government has a right to explicitly FORBID them to build at the site. That’s where the danger of setting a bad precedent comes in.

  • Elaine a ban on construction of new places of worship would be clearly unconstitutional and would not stand up in court longer than the time it takes a Chicago alderman to pocket a bribe. No one has been disputing the right of the Flim Flam Imam and his Cordoba Initiative (Dhimmis Always Welcome!) to build this Mosque, but whether it is right for them to do so. I am keenly aware of the frequent divergence of a legal right and a moral right. My opposition might well not exist if a local group of Muslims had wished to put up a Mosque for local worship. I think the Flim Flam Imam clearly has an agenda that has little to do with worshiping Allah, and quite a bit to do with furthering his Cordoba Initiative which has one message for gullible Western elites and another message for his backers in the Middle East.

  • I thought this post by Bob Murphy about the Glenn Beck rally today was a propos:

    Of course Mr. Beck and his fans have every legal right to hold a rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech.

    Nonetheless, we are asking that they hold their rally a few blocks away, and on a different date. There are 364 other days in the year; what’s wrong with them?
    Now look, we know full well that Mr. Beck and his supporters claim that they are trying to heal racial division. Intellectually, we black Americans know that just because we have been brutalized by angry white conservative males for as long as we can remember, that doesn’t mean that all angry white conservative males pose a threat to our physical safety.

    But this isn’t about logic or rationality. This is about sensitivity to our feelings. Surely Mr. Beck can understand why a majority of American blacks wouldn’t appreciate him holding a rally on the anniversary of Dr. King’s famous speech. If he goes ahead with his plans, he won’t promote racial unity. So we ask him to hold the rally in a different place, on a different date.

  • Teresa – Did you seriously just say that Christians have not bombed or killed significant numbers of people? Check the stats on our current wars sometime.

  • As usual, Blackadder mistakes cuteness for substance. By now Blackadder is aware that the objections to the Mosque are not grounded in a general objection to anything at all being built near Ground Zero.

  • “Teresa – Did you seriously just say that Christians have not bombed or killed significant numbers of people? Check the stats on our current wars sometime.”

    Our wars being the equivalent of Bin Laden’s murder of 3,000 innocent men, women and children? Moral equivalency: the opiate of the politically correct.

  • While I agree with Donald that the proposed ban shouldn’t pass constitutional muster (there’s a case that states you can’t ban all forms of religious speech-I think it’s Rosenberger v. Rectors & Vistors of UVA), you are absolutely right in stating that the opposition to the mosque establishes a precedent that is far more dangerous to Catholics than to Muslims insofar as some are advocating legal means to interfere with the building of the mosque.

  • “I think the Flim Flam Imam clearly has an agenda that has little to do with worshiping Allah, and quite a bit to do with furthering his Cordoba Initiative which has one message for gullible Western elites and another message for his backers in the Middle East.”

    Donald, I agree.

    If Alveda King has no problem with the rally I don’t see why any other person, of any color black, white, red, brown etc., should have a problem with Beck and others honoring Martin Luther King Jr’s message of equality for all. Yeah, and if he didn’t do anything honoring Martin Luther King the Left would make accusations about no person caring about blacks and spreading King’s message, so Your “damned if you do, and damned if you don’t” according to liberalism.

    First, is that an admission that our nation is rooted in Christian values?

    Second, Did we really go to war as “Christians” or as a nation fighting against terrorism and for our nation’s national defense?

    Third, I didn’t know that a group of Christians not associated with the U.S. government went off on their own and specifically targeted a building or another location just to murder Iraqi inocents? I think your the person who is a little confused with reality, Martin.

    Fourth, Please name me one war in history that has had no civilian casualties?

  • I’m with Gen’l. (Vinegar) Joe Stillwell, “Don’t let the bastards wear you down.”

  • It isn’t even a matter of where the mosque is being built – replace the entire WTC site with the biggest mosque in the world, no problem – PROVIDED Islam changes its ways.

    I realize all the 1st Amendment issues involved here – but until I am no longer considered such subhuman filth that I cannot enter the precincts of Mecca, then I’m going to hold that Moslems must be curbed in what they do in the United States. Not stopped – not expelled; just carefully curtailed to ensure that everyone, especially in the Moslem world, knows that we have not lost our back bone.

    Tolerance does not mean going along happily with whatever someone wants to do – it is a two way street and it requires some compromise. We can easily tolerate a mosque in Manhattan – but we can’t tolerate it hard by Ground Zero…not now, and not until Islam changes its tune.

    Mark Noonan

  • Blackadder,

    I wonder if the author of that piece can find even a single black man brutalized by a conservative white man in the past 40 years.

  • We might just consider the possibility that these local pols want to limit the quantum of non-taxable property in that particular locality. Piggy, but unsurprising.

    It is not a novelty for houses of worship to face zoning tangles. Given the size of the metropolitan New York area, you will have to excuse me if I suggest that prohibiting the placement of a 13 story building of a particular character at a historic site of modest dimensions is a measure different in kind than prohibiting all construction of houses of worship in a given municipality.


    As far as I am aware, the Marine Corps does not have an icon of St. Michael on their weaponry and al-Qaeda does not do civil affairs projects.

  • Here’s my $64,000,000.03 question.

    If religious freedom/tolerance requires a $100 million mosque over the WTC site. How is religious liberty/tolerance served by denying the rebuild of THE Orthodox Church that THE muslim terrorists destroyed on 11 Sep 2001?


    No! It’s much worse than that! USMC heroes wear (gasp) US flags on their uniforms.

    Re AQ civil affairs projects: They’re helping make Americans good. They believe the only good American is a dead American.

  • Lot of assumptions in this post; the assumption that the REAL motive folks have is fear of terrorism, and that they can’t possibly object for the reasons they give:

    zoning ordinances, claims of decreased property values, or claims of real or potential problems with traffic, noise, etc.

    Evidence for this claim? I know that the blog Beers with Demo did the research to show a pattern of harassment against a church in his area, but a blanket claim that 1) Mosques are being unusually opposed and 2) it is because of fears of terrorism is a claim that requires more than just a claim to be taken seriously.

    There’s also the issue of using charged terms inaccurately. NIMBY, while meaning “not in my back yard,” also implies that something is not opposed in general. (Example, opposing wind power generators in your area while promoting wind energy in general.)
    People who are worried about Islamic terror risings from Mosques are going to be bright enough to remember the home mosques of the 9/11 terrorists were far, far away, and would appose them in general, not just specific.

    Your notion of equivalence between “there shall be no non-profit organizational buildings in our district” and “no, you may not build a triumphalist religious center on the ruins created by said religion” is mind bending.

  • Martin-
    Go troll someplace else.

  • Wow. Far-ranging discussion.

    First, the First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The religion piece really has no bearing on the discussion over the Cordoba Mosque proposed for Ground Zero.

    How many mosques are there in Manhattan? About a hundred? Sounds like pretty free exercise of religion to me.

    Second: I challenge any black person who reads this blogs, or any black person who’s a friend of someone who reads this blog, to tell me the date of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. I had to memorize parts of it as a child (stand down, racialists: I’m Black). Never knew what day it was given; barely knew it was in August. Glenn Beck planned this rally (which I wish I had had time to attend)for the last Saturday in August. An lo and behold, what date did that happen to fall on? Why, August 28! August the 28th, which happened to be an anniversary of Dr. King’s speech!

    Why should a mosque be built at the site of a murder committed by people motivated by Islam? Why should a church of any type be built at the site of the murder of hundreds of thousands of Jewish people (and others, including Catholic Saints)? Why should the Japanese in Hawaii build a temple at the site of the sunken USS Arizona?

    Answer? None of them should. Because it’s disrespectful. Why is this so hard to grasp? And what does it tell those who truly hate us about whether we will truly resist them?

    It is not un-Christian to stand up for common politeness.

  • Gee, RR, why didn’t you link to this much more recent article on those idiots?


    Those morons were accused of racial hate crimes and seem to be gang related. Notably, not “conservative white men”– just idiot gang members. (is that redundant?)

  • What are you trying to prove by arguing that white people no longer attack black people? For one, it’s a sad, callous, and absurd battle to fight. Do you, like, remember this one time, in, like, 1992 in LA where, like, some white cops beat up this black guy named Rodney King? White on black violence occurs a lot, as does black on white, white on white, black on black, brown on black, brown on white, brown on brown, white on brown, black on brown, etc, etc, etc.

    Also, please STOP calling it a mosque. A mosque is specifically a Muslim holy place where only prayer can be conducted. This is a Muslim community center, similar to a YMCA. It will have a culinary school, basketball courts, etc. With a prayer room on one or two of the fifteen or so floors.

    I can think of Catholic terrorism pretty easily: the IRA. And that was specifically religio-nationalist.

    It is utterly absurd to demand that “Islam” renounce its terroristic ways before the community center is built, as Mr. Noonan said. A religion cannot change its ways. People can change their ways, but abstract nouns cannot. And the people behind this community center have no terroristic tendencies to modify. Furthermore, there is no central authority for Islam as there is for Catholicism. In fact, some radical sects of Muslims hate opposing Islamic sects more than they hate America. Like al-Qaeda. Bin Laden hates America not “for our freedoms” but because we prop up the (in his mind) heretical Saud monarchy in Arabia.

    Quite frankly, it’s astounding that a debate over a Muslim community center is occurring in 21st century America. As someone who would never have voted for George Bush, I will say that I am so grateful that he modeled Christ’s love to American Muslims by not targeting them after 9/11, as seems to be occurring now.

  • Pingback: Opponents of mosque may soon see tables turned | Holy Post | National Post
  • I would like to ask everyone – Do you think that Islam can be a “moderate” religion? I am not saying Muslims cannot be moderates, but can the religion itself really ever be considered moderate since it follows Sharia law?

    If Sharia law is one of the precepts of Islam then why wouldn’t Sharia law fall under the guise of religious freedom and challenge the constitution in several capacities and force all of us citizens to respect and follow Sharia as well? Is Sharia law and the Constitution really compatible?

    If those who believe in the “letter of the Constitution” instead of the “spirit of the Constitution” with regards to religious freedom truly believe that religious freedom is absolute without taking into account our national security interests (as it seems to me) how could one deny Muslims the “right” to follow their “moderate” religion that includes Sharia Law which would also impose Sharia Laws on the non-Muslim citizens when that clearly clashes with our Constitution?

    You might want to look at a some things that Sharia law demands:

    1 – Jihad defined as “to war against non-Muslims to establish the religion” is the duty of every Muslim and Muslim head of state (Caliph). Muslim Caliphs who refuse jihad are in violation of Sharia and unfit to rule.

    2 – A Caliph can hold office through seizure of power meaning through force.

    3 – A Caliph is exempt from being charged with serious crimes such as murder, adultery, robbery, theft, drinking and in some cases of rape.

    4 – A percentage of Zakat (alms) must go towards jihad.

    5 – It is obligatory to obey the commands of the Caliph, even if he is unjust.

    6 – A caliph must be a Muslim, a non-slave and a male.

    7 – The Muslim public must remove the Caliph in one case, if he rejects Islam.

    8 – A Muslim who leaves Islam must be killed immediately.

    9 – A Muslim will be forgiven for murder of: 1) an apostasy 2) an adulterer 3) a highway robber. Making vigilante street justice and honor killing acceptable.

    10 – A Muslim will not get the death penalty if he kills a non-Muslim.

    11- Sharia never abolished slavery and sexual slavery and highly regulates it. A master will not be punished for killing his slave.

    12 – Sharia dictates death by stoning, beheading, amputation of limbs, flogging and other forms of cruel and unusual punishments even for crimes of sin such as adultery.

    13 – Non-Muslims are not equal to Muslims and must comply to Sharia if they are to remain safe. They are forbidden to marry Muslim women, publicly display wine or pork, recite their scriptures or openly celebrate their religious holidays or funerals. They are forbidden from building new churches or building them higher than mosques. They may not enter a mosque without permission. A non-Muslim is no longer protected if he commits adultery with a Muslim woman or if he leads a Muslim away from Islam.

    14 – It is a crime for a non-Muslim to sell weapons to someone who will use them against Muslims. Non-Muslims cannot curse a Muslim, say anything derogatory about Allah, the Prophet, or Islam, or expose the weak points of Muslims. However, the opposite is not true for Muslims.

    15 – A non-Muslim cannot inherit from a Muslim.

    16 – Banks must be Sharia compliant and interest is not allowed.

    17 – No testimony in court is acceptable from people of low-level jobs, such as street sweepers or a bathhouse attendant. Women in such low-level jobs such as professional funeral mourners cannot keep custody of their children in case of divorce.

    18 – A non-Muslim cannot rule even over a non-Muslims minority.

    19 – H***sexuality is punishable by death.

    20 – There is no age limit for marriage of girls under Sharia. The marriage contract can take place any time after birth and consummated at age 8 or 9.

    21 – Rebelliousness on the part of the wife nullifies the husband’s obligation to support her, gives him permission to beat her and keep her from leaving the home.

    22 – Divorce is only in the hands of the husband and is as easy as saying: “I divorce you” and becomes effective even if the husband did not intend it.

    23 – There is no community property between husband and wife and the husband’s property does not automatically go to the wife after his death.

    24 – A woman inherits half what a man inherits.

    25- A man has the right to have up to 4 wives and she has no right to divorce him even if he is polygamous.

    26- The dowry is given in exchange for the woman’s sexual organs.

    27 – A man is allowed to have sex with slave women and women captured in battle, and if the enslaved woman is married her marriage is annulled.

    28 – The testimony of a woman in court is half the value of a man.

    29- A woman loses custody if she remarries.

    30- To prove rape, a woman must have 4 male witnesses.

    31 – A rapist may only be required to pay the bride-money (dowry) without marrying the rape victim.

    32 – A Muslim woman must cover every inch of her body which is considered “Awrah,” a sexual organ. Some schools of Sharia allow the face and some don’t.

    33 – A Muslim man is forgiven if he kills his wife caught in the act of adultery. However, the opposite is not true for women since he “could be married to the woman he was caught with.”

    The above are clear-cut laws in Islam decided by great Imams after years of examination and interpretation of the Quran, Hadith and Mohammed’s life. Now let the learned Imam Rauf tell us what part of the above is compliant with the US constitution?

  • Ryan-
    who are you talking to?
    NO ONE was talking about “whites never attack blacks”. Blackadder posted a quote of someone claiming that “angry white conservative males” have been brutalizing blacks for “as long as they can remember,” and someone else challenged him to find a single case of a white conservative assaulting a black person. RR then posted an article that implied but did not claim anti-Dem motives, and which five minutes of research showed to just be gang idiots.

    Secondly, go yell at the Cordoba House proponents, and even the initiative itself; half the time, they call it a mosque. (Generally when they want to drum up the religion side of it; when it’s more flattering to emphasize the “community center” side, it becomes a building that includes a mosque.)

    If the reading comprehension and careful consideration of the argument you’ve shown in this post is standard for you, no wonder you can’t see how this is a topic for valid debate. Straw men with only a nodding acquaintance to the topic aren’t very good aids to understanding.

    A wise lady once told me that if you can’t argue the other side of something, you have no business arguing your own side because you clearly don’t know enough about the topic. I try to keep it in mind, maybe you should try it?

  • In response to jihad etc…

    I am not sure where you are getting your information on what jihad and sharia is….but you have incorrect information. Jihad and sharia is much more complex then what you have stated. As I have reserached this extensively I will just point out very plainly and in layman terms what jihad is. Jihad means “struggle”.
    More commonly known in the Muslim world as an internal spiritual struggle to be better and serve God. It can also mean warfare where one needs to defend themselves when attacked- so it has two meanings to it. There are a lot of inaccuracies in your e-mail and I do not have time to go over them now…but one just to correct one is that bride money is not given for sexual organs. Bride money is called “mehr” and it is an obligatory gift that the groom must give his wife so that she is not left with nothing if he decides to leave her. It is the right of a woman and not a man. Actually in researching Muslims I found that there are a lot of similaries to Catholicism…and then there were differences as well. An interesting bit of information I came across was “Marriage helps men and women to develop along natural lines and head towards development and success through mutual co-operation. Marriage prevents immorality licentiousness and irresponsibility. The spouses in marriage agree to share rights and responsibilities to develop a happy family”….doesn’t that sound like something Catholics believe in as well? What happened on 9/11 was plain WRONG. I have friends who are Muslims and they beleive it is wrong…they say that the people who did this are crazy. So I have to think before I judge anyone and encourage you to do the same.

  • Sandy-
    please do not misrepresent your study, which seems to have been of the more modern and mild forms of Islam, as representative of Islam in general.

    Also, your definition of “mehr” is incorrect, (In Canada, it often functions like a pre-nup– often enough that a basic google will bring up a LOT of legal help boards.) as is your characterization of Jihaad.
    (links to understanding-Islam.com, which is affiliated with Al-Mawrid Islamic Research foundation out of Pakistan.)

  • Foxfier, white conservatives can’t be in gangs?

  • RR,

    Gangs are color neutral, but I’m having a hard time picturing how a conservative could be in a gang since gang life and activities run counter to conservative values. My guess is that you’re perhaps angling toward skinheads because the media like to call them conservatives. However, conservatives have about as much appreciation for neo-nazis as they do racist gangs/parties typically associated with the left, which is to say none.

  • “Gang life and activities run counter to conservative values”

    Well, it goes without saying that violence, vandalism, drug use, other criminal activity, and intimidation of non-members go against conservative values (and probably even the values of most moderates and liberals I know).

    But, isn’t it true that gang membership, especially among urban teens, basically takes the place of the families they don’t have — giving them a structure, culture and sense of belonging that they don’t get from absent or incarcerated or unknown fathers, mothers who change boyfriends as often as they change clothes, being shuffled from one relative to another, etc.?

    So in that sense, gang membership does express (albeit in a perverted or distorted fashion) one very important “conservative” value: the absolute primacy of the family as the basic unit of society, and the consequences that result when it is undermined or destroyed.

  • I can think of Catholic terrorism pretty easily: the IRA. And that was specifically religio-nationalist.

    True to some extent. But it wasn’t expansionist.

  • Actually I think in a number of areas there are limits on, if not the building of churches, at least the size of churches. Where I once lived this limit made it impractical to build a Catholic Church as the size limit was too small for what was required to meet the needs of the Catholic population without building multiple small churches. Those restrictions were placed in the 90’s as I recall. No big First Ammendment concerns have been raised. Perhaps they should.

  • Mary Margaret Cannon,

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

    Until recently, WordPress.com did not allow this function (WordPress.org does I believe).

    But today I noticed this option was now available and I have just finished adding this particular function.


  • Hey, why not make a page, too? You can set it up to autopublish your blog with the “notes” feed, or us
    e http://apps.facebook.com/blognetworks/newuser1.php

  • Foxfier,

    We have ‘something’ on Facebook, not sure what.

    I’m going to investigate and get this set-up/streamlined for greater social-networking-optimization (SNO).

  • Scott Gentries might want to take a look at this:

  • …Might strike home if the primary arguments weren’t specifically related to the history and culture of Islam, Ryan.


  • RL, if conservatives can’t be in gangs by definition then sure there are no white conservatives in gangs. There are no Catholics in gangs either then.

  • i would like to point out that the proposal only bars new buildings, and not changing the use to of already constructed ones. the mosque near to us was once a church, a church was previously a synagogue, and the nigerian christian group uses a clothing warehouse.

  • Teresa, half of what you said is inaccurate / disinformation. if the USA followed the other half, maybe they wont have millions of inmates that the taxpayer has to support.

  • I would just like to point out a couple of things that are on point:

    1. It’s not a mosque. It’s a community center, and you can read here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/opinion/08mosque.html?_r=1&src=tptw the words of the chairman of the project, stating that one of the many goals of it is to include prayer centers for those of Christian and Jewish faiths in hopes that this will strengthen interfaith relations.

    2. I’m not usually a fan of Charlie Brooker, but he hit one point straight on the head when he said that being a 2 minute walk and around the corner is not at all the same thing as being AT the same location. He said something like, he’s used a bathroom 2 minutes away from Buckingham Palace, and has yet to be arrested for defecating on the Queen’s pillow. We’re talking about Manhattan, and if you’ve ever been there, it’s a crowded place. How close is too close, exactly?

    3. To the person who said Catholic/Christian extremists haven’t bombed or killed significant numbers of people in recent years, I ask: Have you ever heard of the Irish Republican Army? Visit Belfast or Glasgow sometime and ask around – just… be careful in which neighborhood you ask and what colors you’re wearing when you do.

  • 4. On the topic of how Muslim women are clothed, ask yourself if you’ve ever questioned the chaste garb (and lifestyle, for that matter) of nuns and priests. I bet you just take it as a matter of course, because it’s what you’re used to. Of course, there is spousal abuse and other unsavory activity that goes on among members of the Islamic faith, but again, look closer to home. Surely you cannot insist that no Catholic or Christian has ever abused another human being.

  • Brian,


    The IRA is a nationalist organization. To be more accurate, they are a violent Marxist nationalist organization looking to impose communism under the guise of being “Irish” and “Catholic”.

    Being Catholic has nothing to do with it.

    They don’t espouse anything Christian AT ALL.

    You’ve never heard them saying they are dying in the name of Jesus. Only in the name of Ireland.

    You need to do better than that to espouse your anti-Christian bigotry around here.

  • Brian,

    Again your bias is grossly revealing itself.

    Religious wear their clericals as a choice, not in being imposed.

    Whilst on the other hand Muslims force women to wear burkas, regardless of their religiosity.

  • Brian, you’re exposing your ignorance or willful blindness– the folks building it called it a mosque until their PR guys realized that was not so good. They also called it the Cordoba House, until word got around what that indicated, especially with the 9/11/11 opening date.

    Also, you’re pointing to an opinion piece in the NY Times. Not exactly hard, unbiased facts– I notice you didn’t bother to do the research Powerline did about another time that “chairman” spoke in the NYTimes.

    As Teresa pointed out above, a building destroyed by chunks of the plane on 9/11 is part of ground zero.

5 Responses to USCCB Promoting Anti-Catholic Speaker This Weekend

  • Not a comment–a question:

    Does anyone ever call up the USCCB and just ask them what they have to say about this (or any of the other idiocies they inflict on us)?

  • Carol,

    They don’t return phone calls.

  • I know the USCCB isn’t open to the public but I emailed Cardinal George a very civil letter asking him basically “whassup with this?” Speaking of doing a yoeman’s job, he is & I have nothing but admiration for him & most of our bishops. What I cannot understand is why they don’t dissolve the USCCB & just start over. Do these people have tenure or what?

  • gb,

    I’m not sure why they don’t do a complete overhaul of the place.

    But it’s human nature to resist saying “I was wrong”. Pride then kicks in when the pressure mounts.

    In my opinion, nothing will be done.

    Just look at the pedophilia scandal.

    Nothing was done about that. Only when the media pressure became overbearing did “individual” bishops act.

    No bishop likes to be told what to do, especially from us plebians.

  • Cardinal Newman quoting St. Basil writing to the Western bishops on the onslaught of the Arian bishops:
    “The dogmas of the Fathers are despised; apostolic traditions are set to naught; the discoverers of innovations hold sway in the churches. Men have learned to be speculators instead of theologians… The aged sorrow, comparing what is with what was; more pitiable the young, as not knowing what they are deprived of”. [Ep. 90]

Is Bishop Howard Hubbard Cooperating In Evil

Friday, February 5, AD 2010

Formal cooperation in another’s evil act (that is, undertaking to help expressly another to perform an act known to be evil) is itself evil. Davis, Moral and Pastoral Theology (1938), I: 341-342. There are no exceptions to this rule; no supervening circumstances can ever render formal cooperation in evil good.

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21 Responses to Is Bishop Howard Hubbard Cooperating In Evil

  • I really don’t think Peters’ argument is sufficient to conclude that there has been formal cooperation. I’ve addressed this further on my blog.

  • On the other hand, I agree with Dr. peters ananlysis.

  • Here I think you’re correct — this is a foolish and disgraceful thing for a diocese to get itself involved in.

  • Hubbard is big with the homosexual agenda and with recruiting homosexuals for the priesthood.

  • The secular church has been enjoying political power and we should be very wary of the social programs that have been initiated by this bishop. Many of our local politicians got their political careers launched through Catholic charities and some of them with openly homosexual agendas. Remember the Henchmen that were sent out to the critics of howard hubbard, Jessie Jackson, and Al Sharpton all in the name of the Lord. I remember how Catholic charities paid Mary Jo White millions to defend Howard Hubbard. She was in charge of overseeing over 800 N.Y.S. lawyers. These social programs were placed here by Catholic Charities. All on taxpayers money. Oh and by the way, when the government gives up money, any talk of religion is forbidden. Shame on Catholic Charities and the government that supports it.

  • I can take any implied threat as what is to come and you know how easy it is to turn perfectly normal children into drug addicts. All I am saying is that there are ways to get children on drugs and howard knows this. He also knows that without God we are helpless. I take the distribution of needles as an implied threat that will be carried out. prepare for a generation of children on hard drugs. anything for his agenda. Hey Howard why be a coward show us the nightmare you have already imposed on your critics and drop the phoney show. You aint no govenor and you aint no rock star but I know how jealous you are of your betters. Wanna have a public talk with me? Ill make the people hear by the power of God. signed rose above the agony in albany.

  • For all you critics opposed to needle exchange, how do you expect heretics to support themselves if they close his beloved hope house and all the stupid programs he started by stealing money from the true church? How can he continue when he depends on mental health and other government funds because he has sifted all the good will he can out of all of your communities. He works for the government now. No need for any true faith. He can not allow your children to know the truth and the only flock he has consist of homosexual drug users and he wants to allow this for your chidren. Separation of church and state is his biggest fear. He is not interested in the advancement of normal children. The Pope should be arrested for not defrocking Howard J. Hubbard. Respond!!!!! I should sue this man and many catholic families should do the same. he is a shepard but not a good one but he has placed many in positions of political power and I want to be there for his meeting with the Lord.

  • I read Paul’s argument. The gist of it seems to be that material cooperation is avoided by the acceptance of an old needle in exchange for the new one, the theory being that one could prudentially conclude that such an exchange reduces a health risk while otherwise not increasing the risk that the evil of drug abuse would occur. Next he will tell us that it is morally acceptable to pay for a hospital abortion as long as one can prudentially conclude that the mother would otherwise have a more dangerous so-called back alley abortion, since a health risk is averted presumably without increasing the risk of the evil of abortion.

  • Mike Petrik: “I read Paul’s argument. The gist of it seems to be that material cooperation is avoided by the acceptance of an old needle in exchange for the new one, the theory being that one could prudentially conclude that such an exchange reduces a health risk while otherwise not increasing the risk that the evil of drug abuse would occur.

    Right. The prudential discernment lies in deciding whether or not the drug-taker is encouraged in drug-taking by the exchange of needles. It might be so, but not necessarily so (and Edward Peters’ argument relied on the flawed assumption that it necessarily furthered drug-taking.)

    Mike Petrik: “Next he will tell us that it is morally acceptable to pay for a hospital abortion as long as one can prudentially conclude that the mother would otherwise have a more dangerous so-called back alley abortion, since a health risk is averted presumably without increasing the risk of the evil of abortion.

    I won’t tell you that, because it’s plainly wrong. One cannot directly participate in an abortion (which is what choosing to pay for it is) for any reason whatsoever. Abortion is an intrinsic evil (something known with certainty to be evil), whereas the physical exchange of needles isn’t.

  • Paul, I’m afraid I disagree with your application of the analogy. The abortion is the analog to the drug abuse. The provision of the needle is the analog to the provision of money, neither one of which is an intrinsic evil. In each case the provider must reasonably assume that the recipient will use what he has been given to commit an evil act. Also in each case one can assume that the evil act would be committed anyway, which is what invites the donor’s rationalization that he causes no harm. In neither case does that last assumption and its attendant rationalization rescue the provider from his material cooperation problem.

  • Mike Petrik: “The provision of the needle…

    No. In a needle exchange there is no provision of a needle (in the usual sense of the word “provision”). The drug addict already has a needle, ready to be used. What’s being provided is a removal of dirt and potential infection. (The moral situation would be equivalent if what was provided was a service to clean the addicts’ own needles.)

    Mike Petrik: “The provision of the needle is the analog to the provision of money, neither one of which is an intrinsic evil.

    If the money is intended to enable the abortion to take place, then that means there is a direct share in the evil of the abortion — so it’s something known to be wrong, regardless of any reasons for the abortion.

    The same is not true for the cleaning of a needle.

    In one case:
    – someone is paying for an abortion, SO THAT the abortion can take place.

    In the other case:
    – someone is cleaning a needle, SO THAT the addict won’t become ill from it.

    The intentions are dramatically different. In the first case, there is a direct share in an intrinsic evil. In the second, there is the intention to help the addict.

    (The prudential decision is then whether providing the needle encourages the addict to keep taking drugs. It might be so, but not necessarily so.)

  • Paul, volunteering to clean the needle of a drug abuser so that it may be used to abuse drugs more safely is no different than volunteering to clean the surgical instruments of an abortion provider so that they may be used to perform an abortion more safely. Either way, a cooperation with evil problem is present.
    This problem may or may not be formal cooperation depending on the intention of the cooperator, but it certainly is material cooperation. Your better argument is that while it is material cooperation, it is mediate rather than immediate and is furthermore contingent, in which case it can be morally justified with sufficient reason. I encourage you to explore that because the reasoning in your blog is deficient.

  • Paul,
    Furthermore, I do not think Catholic moral teaching reduces “sufficient reason” to an ordinary prudential calculus.

  • In the case of needle exchange there are three distinct ways in which material cooperation with evil might take be taking place:

    (1) In the exchange of the physical needle itself.
    (2) In the absence of dirt and infection in the exchanged needle.
    (3) In increasing the likelihood that the drug addict uses the clean needle, rather than his own.

    I reject (1) as a material cooperation because — provided the exchanged needle is equivalent — there is not the slightest change in the physical properties of the needle itself.

    I reject (2) because the absence of dirt and infection — in itself — does nothing to accomplish the act of drug-taking, which can take place entirely independently of the cleanliness or otherwise. The cleanliness of the needle is, in itself, irrelevant to the accomplishment of drug-taking. (And thus, because it is irrelevant, it cannot comprise a material cooperation).

    In relation to (3), there are three ways in which the likelihood of drug-taking is changed. Either (a) it makes no difference at all (e.g. because the addict is hopelessly addicted). Or (b) it makes the drug-taking less likely to occur (e.g. because the drug-addict is so impressed with the care taken over him that he reevaluates his life). Or (c) the drug addict becomes more likely to take the drug (e.g. because there is one less dangerous obstacle in the way).

    Distinguishing between (a), (b), and (c) is necessarily a matter of prudence, and opinions might differ.

    So, I see no material cooperation in (1) or (2), and no necessary material cooperation in (3).

  • Paul, the cooperation need not increase the likelyhood of the evil act to still be cooperation, just as in my abortion example which you ignore and which your reasoning would permit. The cooperation is the provision of the needle, and that is true even if one recasts the provision as simply the cleaning of the needle. The fact that properties don’t change is not relevant to material cooperation just as is the fact that the abortionist’s instruments properties don’t change. As I said, your better argument is that the material cooperation is mediate and contingent and therefore can be morally justified, but to say that there is no material cooperation simply misunderstands the concept. The following is from Fr. Hardon, but there are many more meaty explanations available. http://www.catholicreference.net/index.cfm?id=34788

  • Mike Petrik: “The cooperation is the provision of the needle, and that is true even if one recasts the provision as simply the cleaning of the needle. The fact that properties don’t change is not relevant to material cooperation…

    You assert this, but with insufficient argument for me to understand why you say that. For material cooperation to occur, the cooperation has to be actually specified.

    If I have a dollar bill, and you have a dollar bill, and we exchange these dollar bills, what will you be able to buy after the exchange that you could not buy before? Nothing whatsoever. The exchange does nothing to help you accomplish any act, and so (by itself) it cannot possibly be an act of cooperation. Now it might be that the exchange somehow alters your thinking — and if I can anticipate that, then on that basis there might well be some kind of cooperation.

    As far as I can tell, you disagree with something about the argument in the preceding paragraph. But I don’t know what.

  • Will you please explain to me what any of this has to do with church business or don’t any of you know?

  • This is inside Church politics so to speak.

    Are you familiar with Canon Law?

  • I am aware of theology and I woulld like to know why you think you can ignor it. Jesus instructed us completely on these matters. he said a thing or two about luring little ones into sinful behavior and giving out condoms to unmarried children and needles to drug adicts could well lure them into sinful lifesyles that could cause them to live horrilble lives. But they should not despair because Jesus will come after the ones that are teaching them that its O.K. today. Hey when do you think the church will be able to openly disuss race in this country? I seem to remember lots of children sent out by drug dealing nasty pimps. Could this have been a form of racism or do ya think those nasty drug dealing pimps were loving those children? Again what is your argument? Should we just go along with this abuse of power and let these agendas continue to slaughter the spirits and bodies of children? Save lives without honor? The church is supposed to be a sanctuary and we will get that back for the the sake of all Gods children. I think this Bishop needs to get out of the political business and get back to the job he was suppose to do, such as the true teaching of the one true faith. Its ok for children to hold these nasty homos and drug dealers accoutable for the crimes. And its ok for parents to say homosexuals have no business near children. Do you know that children have a right not to agree with the homosexual agenda? Why should it be force upon them in schools.

  • Hey guys, long time lurker here so thought I would finally post. I’m a little shy because I’m a girl and it seems there are mostly guys here but I wanted to know why it seems you guys don’t have lives. Are the guys with very high post counts really better posters than the ones with less?

  • hey Lisa, some people are seeking everlasting life. I children are expected to keep up the perverted lifestyles of the people making obsene moral judgments then the children are going to need to be self medicating and hubbard is right. Need to get a decent life for the sake of the children.

Forgiveness, Mercy, and Charity for New York City Saint James Parish

Monday, January 25, AD 2010

[Updates at the bottom of this posting; latest update on 1-26-2010 at 12:24pm CST]

The Catholic blogosphere is currently in an uproar over an event that occurred at Saint James Church on Friday, January 15, 2010 A.D. when a Christian youth group requested and organized an event to draw more young adults into the Catholic Church.  This seemed as an innocuous request since the parish in the past held a classical piano concert in honor of the church’s founder Father Felix Valera.

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42 Responses to Forgiveness, Mercy, and Charity for New York City Saint James Parish

  • Why should there be any “events” at all in a Church? Did anyone bother to ask what the “event” – a word that can signify any number of things – would be?

    Did they know “music” was going to be performed?

    This is pathetic.

  • From the website evidence, the event was advertised weeks ahead of time.

    There was an advertised open bar for an hour and a half before the event, according to secular blogs written by people who were HAPPY about the event. That requires a liquor license, doesn’t it?

    The plywood stage that extended the sanctuary area was clearly pre-built for the event.

    The music was clearly not a piano concert.

    Even if, for the sake of charity, we grant that the fools who played made innocent mistakes concerning using the altar as a table, even if we grant that any kind of secular event (like a piano concert) is acceptable in a church, how did the parish staff and the pastor NOT know this was going on?

    Parish staff were certainly there DURING the event, right?

    I’ve worked in several parishes around the country. In EVERY parish, NOBODY could hold an event in the church without a parish staff member being present to open and lock up, help get last minute items, etc.

    THERE IS NO WAY this happened without the connivance of at least some members of the parish staff.

    It isn’t possible.

    I’m all for granting Christian charity, but there are limits to credulity.

    Sacrilege is worse than pedophilia.

    Someone needs to be fired here.

  • I forgot to add, of course, the kicker to the whole thing.

    This happened in New York City, the town that’s famous for being trusting, leaving doors unlocked all hours of the night, the gracious elegance and piety of the inhabitants, etc.

    Christian charity, remember?

  • Steve,

    I share your concerns about the mismanagement of this by the parish.

    Just one small point, they held a classical piano recital/concert two years ago.

    You may be confusing the concert of this year with that of two years ago.

    Nonetheless there was no one from the parish supervising the concert. The parish priest, Fr. Walter, doesn’t even reside there, he lives in downtown.

    It doesn’t excuse the behavior, just clarifying some points you made.

    As far as the pre-fab stage, I’ll assume your correct.

    Outside of my interview with Father Walter, my only other information comes from your site, which by the way is awesome!

  • Steve,

    I’m with you on this. The whole thing stinks. And just like the other issues I’m complaining about these days, we’re supposed to accept some official explanation from the authorities, some rationalization for their gross incompetence and failure.

    We can’t just admit that these people might have a) deliberately done something bad and b) lied about it.

    And if they didn’t lie about it, the degree of ineptitude is so severe that yes, as you say, someone should be fired anyway.

  • Joe, Steve & et al,

    Who do you fire?

    The priest?


    Monitor this thread if you can, I have to leave for Bible study.

    Everyone’s fired up!

  • It’s George Bush’s fault.

  • Mack,

    Why is everything W’s fault?

    Call a spade a spade, it’s a Freemason conspiracy.


  • I realize the piano concert was a couple of years back, but apparently that is being used as some sort of comparison/excuse for this event.

    I don’t see how it matches, but I was willing to grant that there could be a comparison just for the sake of discussion.

    I just don’t believe that a priest in New York City would allow an unsupervised event to take place at his parish without any staff being present.

    If a priest in Podunk, Nebraska wouldn’t do it (and I’ve worked in everything from a parish in the sticks to a chancery office), I simply don’t believe a priest in NYC would do it. The “explanation” is not just absurd, it’s insulting.

    How stupid does this priest think we are, to try such an outrageous explanation as “Well, I was misled! And so were all of my staff!”

    How about he gives US a little charity and tells the truth for a change? Or maybe he could fire somebody? Or ask for a transfer to administrative work? Or have the archbishop remove him?

    But, in perfect charity, he can’t honestly expect anyone to believe neither he nor his staff are ultimately responsible for the objectively evil act of sacrilege that was committed.

  • A desecration took place at that church. Mass is not supposed to resume until it is reconsecrated. Any news on that?

  • FYI:
    Declaration on Concerts in Churches
    Vatican 1987

    8. The regulation of the use of churches is stipulated by canon 1210 of the Code of Canon Law:

    “In a sacred place only those things are to be permitted which serve to exercise or promote worship, piety and religion. Anything out of harmony with the holiness the place is forbidden. The Ordinary may, however, for individual cases, permit other uses, provided they are not contrary to the sacred character of the place.”

    The principle that the use of the church must not offend the sacredness of the place determines the criteria by which the doors of a church may be opened to a concert of sacred or religious music, as also the concomitant exclusion of every other type of music. The most beautiful symphonic music, for example, is not in itself of religious character. The definition of sacred or religious music depends explicitly on the original intended use of the musical pieces or songs, and likewise on their content. It is not legitimate to provide for the execution in the church of music which is not of religious inspiration and which was composed with a view to performance in a certain precise secular context, irrespective of whether the music would be judged classical or contemporary, of high quality or of a popular nature. On the one hand, such performances would not respect the sacred character of the church, and on the other, would result in the music being performed in an unfitting context.

    10. When the proposal is made that there should be a concert in a church, the Ordinary is to grant the permission per modum actus. These concerts should be occasional events. This excludes permission for a series of concerts, for example in the case of a festival or a cycle of concerts.

    When the Ordinary considers it to be necessary, he can, in the conditions foreseen in the Code of Canon Law (can. 1222, para. 2) designate a church that is no longer used for divine service, to be an “auditorium” for the performance of sacred or religious music, and also of music not specifically religious but in keeping with the character of the place.

    In this task the bishop should be assisted by the diocesan commission for Liturgy and sacred music.

    In order that the sacred character of a church be conserved in the matter of concerts, the Ordinary can specify that:

    a. Requests are to be made in writing, in good time, indicating the date and time of the proposed concert, the program, giving the works and the names of the composers.
    b. After having received the authorization of the Ordinary, the rectors and parish priests of the churches should arranged details with the choir and orchestra so that the requisite norms are observed.
    c. Entrance to the church must be without payment and open to all.
    d. The performers and the audience must be dressed in a manner which is fitting to the sacred character of the place.
    e. The musicians and the singers should not be placed in the sanctuary. The greatest respect is to be shown to the altar, the president’s chair and the ambo.
    f. The Blessed Sacrament should be, as far as possible, reserved in a side chapel or in another safe and suitably adorned place (Cf. C.I.C., can 928, par. 4).
    g. The concert should be presented or introduced not only with historical or technical details, but also in a way that fosters a deeper understanding and an interior participation on the part of the listeners.
    h. The organizer of the concert will declare in writing that he accepts legal responsibilities for expenses involved, for leaving the church in order and for any possible damage incurred.

    11. The above practical directives should be of assistance to the bishops and rectors of churches in their pastoral responsibility to maintain the sacred character of their churches, designed for sacred celebrations, prayer and silence.

    Such indications should not be interpreted as a lack of interest in the art of music.

    The treasury of sacred music is a witness to the way in which the Christian faith promotes culture.

    By underlining the true value of sacred or religious music, Christian musicians and members of scholae cantorum should feel that they are being encouraged to continue this tradition and to keep it alive for the service of the faith, as expressed by the Second Vatican Council in its message to artists:

    “Do not hesitate to put your talent at the service of the Divine Truth. The world in which we live has need of beauty in order not to lose hope. Beauty, like truth, fills the heart with joy. And this, thanks to your hands” (Cf. Second Vatican Council, Message to Artists, December 8, 1965).

    Rome, November 5, 1987
    Paul Augustine Card. Mayer, O.S.B.
    Virgilio Noë
    Tit. Archbishop of Voncaria

  • Pingback: Update: What happened at St. James in NYC « CatholicVoteAction.org
  • Contact the Thomas More Society (www.thomasmoresociety.org) and urge them to get involved. Contact the Archdiocese and St. James and urge them to contact the Thomas More Society. This group led by Panero needs to be brought up on charges and sued.

  • The indie groupies and fans who attended the event began predicting a huge lawsuit against Panero, the guy who organized the event, yesterday evening.

    Today, Catholics on the net are talking lawsuit.

    Videos of the event are quietly being removed from the internet in the hopes of destroying the evidence.

    The priest in question violated canon law by scheduling the event in the first place, just as he had violated it with the piano concert a couple of years ago. The difference here is that this violation is egregious, whereas the previous one was “in good taste” and therefore ignored.

    There’s only a difference in degree here, not in kind. This is what happens when pastors ignore or remain ignorant of canon law. The law exists for a reason. You break it, you own it.

    I’m sure the priest is quite repentant, I’m sure he’ll make a good confession over it. I certainly hope he and the archdiocese are successful in any lawsuits against the organizers.

    But there are temporal consequences to sin that has been forgiven. That’s the nature of sin.

    This kind of event has taken place far too often in far too many churches around the country. It needs to stop.

  • There seems to be no Podunk Nebraska. If there were, it is doubtful that such a “concert” would have proceeded under the watchful eye of Bishop Bruskewitz. They could happen only in hick places like Noo Yawk.

    Year ago Ned Rorem asked why churches would expect young people to come to mediocre concerts when they had good concerts of their own.

  • “Podunk” is a Midwestern technical term for “an extremely rural area.” I won’t name the exact town in Nebraska because it would identify the parish, and that’s not on point.

    As someone who worked in a parish that was under Archbishop Curtiss’ authority, let me assure you that this kind of event could only happen with the pastor’s approval. There’s no way it could take place unless the pastor or one of his staff were supervising the event.

    Pastors do not give out keys to the church to any Tom, Dick or Harry who wanders in off the street.

    The pastor, I am sure, is very remorseful, primarily because the video hit Youtube. If know one knew about it, and no one complained about it, he wouldn’t give a fig. The rule, whether in the parish or the diocese is “If no one complains, you have nothing to fear.”

  • I don’t get the problem. I mean, I do, but was this different from ‘Teen Life’?

  • I’m no lawyer, but it’s hard for me to imagine a lawsuit against the promoter having any success. Exactly what is the pastor supposed to in testimony? That he’s a chump who neglected even the most elementary standards of due diligence? Does the law indemnify for that? Can he make the court believe it?

    I appreciate the pastor’s remorse and his call for prayers of reparation, but face it: if you were Archbishop of New York, would you trust this man with the keys to one of your churches? If you do, Archbishop Dolan, can we expect the next underground concert to take place at St. Patrick’s Cathedral?

    So far as I can tell, there’s no accountability at any level of the American clergy. Apparently the only way to get fired is for a bishop to point out that he and not the USCCB is the Ordinary of his see.

  • Yeah, LifeTeen has it’s own problems. The founder is not only no longer a priest, he’s no longer a practicing Catholic. I’ve seen rock bands during Mass – a clear and damnable violation of the rubrics, but neither priest nor bishop were opposed to it, so it happened.

    This is really just a logical extension of LifeTeen.

    And, I agree with Romulus. It’s going to be darned hard for the diocese to prosecute this because the pastor gave permission for an event. The best they would probably be able to do is recover physical damages (cost of cleanup), if any.

    I keep running through all the salient facts, because I really don’t want to be uncharitable, but every time I run through the facts, I get the same conclusion.

    I don’t see how – when all the facts are considered – this priest deserves anything but the firestorm he has gotten. If this had happened in the sticks, in a rural parish somewhere, then you could argue the priest was naive – but it happened in Manhattan.

    You could say kids just got out of control – but where was the supervision? Where was the pastor? Where were the cops?

    You can say the pastor got misled – but who gave out the keys that allowed them into the church to begin with, who cleaned up and locked up that night?

    The pastor’s story just doesn’t make any sense, no matter his contrition level.

  • I am a 63-year-old conservative Cathoilc Christian. Like most of us, I’ve done my share of really stupid things. Only by the Grace of God have I gotten beyond some of my past errors and sins.
    Since I was not present when all this happened, I can’t say this pastor was any more wrong in what he did than some things I’ve done in the past. Mistakes have been made, it’s time to forgive and get over it. If Archbishop Dolan is satisfied, so should we all be.
    However, considering the “kumbayah” hootenanny music from the 70’s so prevalent in Catholic services these days, It’s just a natural evolution of the current music styles we see every week. What’s wrong with a little Rock & Roll on a Friday night if we allow such trash on Sunday mornings?

  • “What’s wrong with a little Rock & Roll on a Friday night if we allow such trash on Sunday mornings?”

    Both should be driven out of the house of God with the same fury with which Christ cleared the Temple of money-changers.

  • Tito you write “Nonetheless there was no one from the parish supervising the concert. The parish priest, Fr. Walter, doesn’t even reside there, he lives in downtown.” Surely you know the church IS downtown and the priest lives DOWN THE BLOCK!!!

  • My point is why would you take the liberty of making that statement if you dont know the facts. And I would like to know did the priest just hand over the keys to the church to this band and tell them lock up when they were finished??? Its a small community tito i am sure someone was there and knew what was going on.

  • Grace,

    I do know the facts and reported what was necessary.

    Fr. Walter told me he lives downtown and is a pastor in another church.

    What is the point of your comment?

    The pastor recognized the problem and has dealt with it accordingly.

    Your comment makes almost no sense.

  • He is tha pastor of St. Joseph down the block which merged with St. James last year… I think my comment makes sense and you are not getting all the facts. And what does your reported “what was necessary mean”?
    Tito the pastor made a big mistake..

  • I know that and most importantly the pastor knows that.

    Again, what is the point of your comment?

    I understand your frustration and displeasure, but now is the time to pray for him and the parish in order for them to move on and not allow this to happen again.

    Believe me most of us are not at all happy about what has occurred. But now is not the time to continue to vent.

    If he ignored and refused to acknowledge what happened, then you have a point about being upset and reminding everyone what has happened.

    But he has acknowledged it and is rectifying the situation.

  • So the fact the he knew what really was going on, said he didn’t live in the area and was not the pastor of the church is all rectified by him saying a mass. Okay Tito guess you did get all the facts. thanks for staightening that out for me…

  • Grace,

    He did not know what was going on.

    But if you want to believe that he did know, then that is between you and God.

  • and if the priest wants to believe what he told you thats between him and God…

    Thanks for your time Tito.

  • Grace,

    You are now antagonizing and unconstructive.

    Be careful what you post next or you’ll be placed on moderation.

  • Sorry if I offended anyone I did not mean to be antagonizing i was just stating a fact. I do apologize.

  • Grace,

    No worries.

    Have a great hump day!

  • Will this church be reconsecrated or not?

  • Even though the concert was wrong, it wasn’t enough that the sanctuary needs to be reconsecrated.

  • I think the short answer is “no.”

  • Steve,

    Why not paste a cool Catholic pic as your avatar?

    Makes this website look spiffier!

  • What’s wrong with that nice geometric Muslim design?

  • Steve,

    It’s actually a mudejar design, but I’m not really interested in inter-religious exchange when it comes to icons.

    Orthodox, Eastern Catholic, and gothic come to mind as superior replacements!


  • I am saddened of the individuals who believe it is ok to desecrate a church and take advantage of our Parish Priest. It is easy for anyone, believing that this is supposed to be a Christian rock concert to fall for such a lie. I forgive my Parish priest, for anyone can be innocent to fall for such a lie. It would have been a great thing if our Parish had had a Christian Rock concert performed by Kutless to bring our youth to its feet. Seeing the amounts of youngsters in the Parish, I believe, we would have benefited. God states we must forgive, we are human and we are bound to make mistakes, no matter what title we have. This is a wakeup call that we are humans and that we must stay vigilant.

  • Anyone who believes that what happened at St James was caused by a deliberate disregard for the sanctity of the church is making a terrible mistake. I have known Fr. Walter, personally, for over 30 years and he has done all manner of good for countless people every day of his life — but no one blogs about that.

    The parishes he pastors are not cathedrals with big resources and a “grand staff”. The “grand staff” is a few good hearted local people and volunteers who try their best. St James and St Joseph are two, poor, tiny parishes on the lower east side of Manhattan. They serve four culturally diverse communities; a Chinese community, dwindling Italian and English communities, and a Hispanic community. This is the reality of Manhattan. Parish announcements have to written in English, Fujianese, and Spanish. Organizing a simple parish function can range from difficult to nearly impossible due to language and cultural disparity.

    Let’s recap: four different communities, two different facilities — and how many resident priests to serve them?— ONE — Fr Walter. CEO’s of major corporations don’t work that hard. How long can anyone work 24/7 under these conditions without making a single slip in judgement? A week? A month? As far as I know, Fr Walter hasn’t been declared a saint, so I guess bilocation is out of the question. He can’t be everywhere at the same time and has to trust people at some point. Probably the only misstep he took — yes that’s right ONLY misstep — was to trust someone under these circumstances who, unfortunately, failed him. Why has the Archdiocese abandoned St James and placed the burden on one man? After all, St James is a diocesan parish.

    Ok, so let’s witch hunt, without knowing the priest or the parish or “the staff” or how it happened. Let’s gaze into our crystal balls and tell everyone the priest is lying, “the staff” is lying, and someone should be fired. — THAT is egregious; THAT is a lie; and THAT is unkind. We follow the letter of the law and somehow manage to violate the heart of it.

    NO ONE likes what happened at St James. Fr Walter certainly doesn’t, I don’t, and neither does “the staff”.

  • I apologize for bringing this topic back up again, but I just found out what happened in my old parish and would like to add my comment.

    “Why has the Archdiocese abandoned St James and placed the burden on one man?” Fr.Corniel was a one man show in St. James Church prior to St. Joseph’s taking it over. Given the little resources that he had, he did an excellent job of keeping the parish running and the feeling of community within the parish. The Archdiocese should have left him there. I’m not sure how priests are relocated nor who decides, but why doesn’t the Archdiocese equally divide the number of priests amongst the parishes?

    Also, what some people above may or may not know is that St. James has a church hall. Why didn’t Fr. Walter rent that space out instead of the church? When I was an active parishioner in St. James, the church hall was rented out with rules and regulations. During the event, either the pastor would stop by to check how things were going, or he would send an active parishioner.

    With events of such grave severity, there’s always a lot of should have, could have, would have, what’s done is done, and it can’t be undone. Now is the time to rebuild the St. James parish and pray that we can all move on and get past this.

Adios Heretics, Hello Orthodoxy!

Wednesday, December 2, AD 2009

With the recent scandals rocking the Catholic Church here in America as in President Obama receiving an honorary degree at the University of Notre Shame to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claiming that abortion is an open-ended issue in the Church, we have seen a reemergence of ecclesial leadership on behalf of our shepherds.  Many bishops have awoken to the fact that being “pastoral[1]” has been a remarkable failure in resolving the deviancy emanating from Catholics and Catholic institutions.

The upsurge of young adults rediscovering their faith to the excellent parenting of Catholic families in raising fine orthodox Christian children, we have seen what is only the beginning of a Catholic renaissance here in America.  And let us not forgot the ever faithful cradle Catholics among us that have contributed in keeping the faith in the tumult arising from the Second Vatican Council to today.

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6 Responses to Adios Heretics, Hello Orthodoxy!

  • Gates are not an offensive construct, they are purely defensive.

    It seems to me that Hell’s defenses are weak and rather than sit back and hold off Satan’s attack we should be taking the offensive. Christ has assured us that if we attack Hell’s gates, they cannot prevail against us.

    How do we attack Hell? We must seek virtue.

    Thanks for posting this. Will our orthodoxy increase the attacks against us individually in spiritual warfare? I don’t know about you, but the current situation, both in the Church and the secualr world; think more and more Tridentine Masses and mantillas as well as Tea Party Protests, is pusing more and more of us to conservatism and orthodoxy. Will that cause a step up in demonic attacks – it sure feels that way.

    Sancte Michael Archangele, defende nos in proelio. . .

  • I wouldn’t have said “Goodbye, Liberals” as the title to Michael Voris piece, but “Goodbye, Heretics” which is more accurate in my opinion.

  • It sure is inspiring to see young people be proud of their faith. When my 16 year old daughter came back from an A.C.T.S. retreat, she inspired me to be closer to Jesus and proud to be Catholic. I was supposed to teach her and she ended up teaching me.

  • protestantism=institutionalized dissent….it also bleeds into Holy Mother Church members as well unfortunately.

  • Diane,

    I agree on some levels. It’ll be a generation or so until most (unfortunately not all) dissidents and heretics leave or are purged form Holy Mother Church.

    Ora pro nobis!

Boycott Upcoming Catholic Campaign for Human Development Collection

Thursday, October 29, AD 2009


There is a coalition of Catholic organizations that have formed that will be pushing for a nationwide boycott of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) called REFORM The Catholic Campaign For Human Development with a website.  The Sunday before Thanksgiving a collection is done by many parishes for CCHD.  Instead of donating money to an organization that is diametrically opposed to many teachings of the Catholic Church, submit the coupon that is at the top of this posting.

You can also download a PDF file and print it out yourself here.

The many scandals that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) never ceases to amaze.  It’s been well documented how insidious and diabolical CCHD is from funding ACORN to funding abortions.

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20 Responses to Boycott Upcoming Catholic Campaign for Human Development Collection

  • The Catholic Media Coalition has a two-minute YouTube video about CCHD that is a quick and easy way to warn Catholics about the collection. Pass it on.

  • I first learned of CCHD’s shennanigans after last year’s elections. I could have vomitted. We truly are our own worst enemies. I felt like leaving the Church, except there is no where better to go. These dopey bishops and priests who crave worldly acceptance are a terrible problem. I will print out a thousand of these coupons and start passing them out today.

  • Daledog,

    I intend to do the same at the more orthodox parishes.

  • Another beaut involving the Archdiocese of Chicago.


  • Dear me, I’ve given to them in the past, vaguely supposing I was helping to feed and clothe the poor.
    Thank you for the tip.

    I am feeling a bit disheartened today. It’s bad enough that I no longer trust many secular institutions – the media and the people of both parties who supposedly represent my interests in DC – I have to bring that mistrust to Mass with me. I can’t trust that money given in a second collection will be used for good purposes. It’s very depressing.

  • Didn’t Jesus have something to say about making His Father’s House into a den of thieves?

  • I regret to say ican’t join the boycot.

    When a discussion of this group came up 10 or 15 yeras ago, just ignoring the accuations, the explantiohs provided by its supporters were so lame I decided I would rather give to other organazitions that at least promised to do somethng useful.

  • Hank,

    You can’t join the boycott, yet you give to other organizations that are not CCHD?

    OK, did I miss something or did you mistype?

  • I’m wondering if Hank quite understands what a boycott is. I’m guessing, from his comments, that he thinks it means ‘supporting’ a group.

  • Or perhaps he can’t BEGIN boycotting because he already started 10 years ago.

  • AKL’s second comment has it.

  • Pingback: Not One Cent « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: My final sermonette on boycotting the CHD « Churchmouse Campanologist
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  • We must not give to those organizations that are utilizing the money to do things that are against our believes and teachings.

  • Pingback: Bishop Bruskewitz Brings the Smackdown on CCHD « The American Catholic
  • I have served on a committee for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. It is an outstanding organization from local committees to national. There are many checks and balances that insure Catholic teachings are upheld. They focus on de-institutionalizing poverty hence their slogan of a hand up rather than a hand out. I quadrupled my giving to them this past year and invite others to find out the truth and trust their money can find no better charity.

  • Paul A.,

    You and your cohorts are going to have to donate more than 4x the amount next year in your cooperation with evil.

    The more of a bright spotlight we put on CCHD, the more the cockroaches will finally be stamped out of it.

  • Paul said, “I…invite others to find out the truth and trust their money can find no better charity.”

    This is no doubt absolutely true if you are a pro-abortion, pro-homosexual leftwing liberal. Congratulations to the CCHD for pulling the wool over the eyes of faithful Catholics for so long.

  • Most devout Catholics would never knowingly support pro-abortion groups.

    Yet on November 21st, many Catholics throughout the Arlington Diocese will unwittingly donate to organizations that promote abortion, homosexual marriage, and contraception.

    That is because, despite the extensive publicity regarding CCHD’s funding of questionable groups, Bishop Paul S. Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington plans to go forward with the collection next month for CCHD.

    Most people already know that CCHD gave millions of dollars to ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) before news of ACORN’s scandalous activities made national headlines. However, many people are not aware that CCHD continues to fund dozens of similar groups that promote abortion, contraception, homosexual marriage and other activities that are in direct conflict with Church teachings.

    Hundreds of parishioners have already urged Bishop Loverde to withdraw his support of CCHD by signing the Prayerful Petition found at http://www.NoMoreCCHD.com We remain hopeful that Bishop Loverde will join other American bishops who have already withdrawn their support for CCHD.


    Jeffrey E. Knight

    466 Long Mountain Road
    Washington, VA 22747

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

Tuesday, October 27, AD 2009
Abp Chaput Tap Dancing

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • e.,

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

  • …And the USCCB is not the Magisterium.

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

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

  • Patrick Duffy,

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

  • e.,

    Read the very last paragraph of my post.

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

  • A few points:

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

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

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

  • John Henry,

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

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

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

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

  • e.,

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

    I’m making the guilt by association analogy.

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

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

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

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

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

  • John Henry,

    You have a point to a certain degree.

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

    We’ll agree to disagree on this point.

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

  • e.,

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

    In agreement here.

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

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

  • Sam,

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

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

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

    Everything else I pretty much agree with you.

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

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

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

    The USCCB…have not endorsed this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Tito:

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

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

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

  • Mike Petrik,

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

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

  • Kevin Jones,

    I agree about how the coalition works.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Mr. Petrik:

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

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

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

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

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

    How many bishops voted on this matter? Which ones?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • David King,

    I hope and pray that they find their way out.

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

CNN and HuffPo Feeling Heat Over False Racist Quotes to Rush Limbaugh

Friday, October 16, AD 2009

[Updates at the bottom of this post as of 4:21pm CDT 10-16-2009 AD]

This week there has been a whirlwind of character assassination done by the mainstream media to conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh’s bid to purchase the St. Louis Rams (American) football team of the National Football League (NFL).   They have been accusing Mr. Limbaugh of saying several racist quotes without confirming their existence.  All the alleged racist quotes have been debunked by Snopes earlier this week as well as being denied by Mr. Limbaugh.  Additionally many in the mainstream media have been unable to find any evidence of these allegations.

But today there has been a sudden realization of regret when the heat turned up on their yellow journalism.  Regret that some elements of the mainstream media were involved in libel and slander.

The most prominent of the yellow journalists are liberal news anchors Anderson Cooper and Rick Sanchez of the left-of-center CNN, sports columnist Bryan Burwell of the liberal St. Louis Dispatch, and finally the liberal Huffington Post (HuffPo) blog.

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10 Responses to CNN and HuffPo Feeling Heat Over False Racist Quotes to Rush Limbaugh

  • If I were a St. Louis Rams fan, I would not want an owner who couldn’t tell how good a quarterback Donovan McNabb was (at least before his injuries).

  • I would not want an owner who couldn’t tell how good a quarterback Donovan McNabb was

    Sigh. You know, Rush never actually said Donovan McNabb wasn’t a good quarterback. In fact he has repeatedly said that he is. The whole fiasco was about how he felt the media portrayed McNabb – a point that Chris Collinsworth actually all but confirmed the very next week when he overhyped McNabb’s role in an Eagles’ victory that was all but due to the defense.

  • BTW, somewhat tangentially, a person can be deemed overrated who, noentheless, is still a great player. Case in point: Derek Jeter. Jeter is no doubt a Hall of Fame caliber ballplayer, yet at the same time he is completely over-hyped by a fawning media. At the time Rush made the comments I think it’s fair to say that McNabb, while a very good player, was probably slightly overrated by the media. Even if you don’t think the media was motivated by racial considerations, I thought at the time that such a consideration was fair.

  • Being a liberal means never saying you’re sorry.

  • Yeah, I thought Rush’s comment was probably correct, but imprudent for exactly the reason that has manifested this past week. People with agendas would twist his words to manipulate people without gray matter.

  • This is on of the many instances where the mainstream media tries to silence crazy uncle Rush, not because of what he says, but because they disagree with his point of view and are jealous of his following and his wealth.

    If he hasn’t pulled a Pete Rose (or something similar), why would he not be allowed partial ownership of a sports team? I guess I will never understand that one…

  • Speaking of bad journalism… Anderson Cooper did -not- use the false quotes, he merely pointed out they weren’t accurate, which is an example of yellow journalism? Logic fail.

  • No one destroyed Rush Limbaugh…he is still going strong…those who lied will have their lies backfire on them at some point…what goes around, comes around. Actually, Rush would probably not have had as much time for his radio show so the liars have enabled Rush to stay and fight against the radicals who have infiltrated our adminstration and our country. Way to go!!!!

  • Paul, Just this guy,

    Being a liberal means never saying you’re sorry.

    That was funny!

Medjugorje, Exploring the Origins

Tuesday, October 6, AD 2009

The alleged Marian apparitions at Medjugorje have had a sordid history.  Much of it to some extent successfully Tomislav Vlasix Marian Hoax Medjugorjeglossed over or reinterpreted by the Franciscans that run the parish at Medjugorje.  A document was put out by Bishop Ratko Peric, the ordinary of the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno that encompasses Medjugorje, which was translated by Richard Chonak of the Catholic Light blog, that put to record of what actually occurred in Medjugorje and how the alleged apparitions were fabricated and manipulated by dissident priests such as Tomislav Vlasic and Slavko Barbaric.

I want to briefly summarize some highlights from this translated document first, which then be followed by the translated document in full.


1. Tomislav Vlasic, in collusion with his superior, undermined the authority of the bishop by relocating himself to Medjugorje without asking permission.  They waited an entire year to do so.

2. Tomislav Vlasic and Slavko Barbaric, the spiritual directors of the alleged seers, did not allow the seers to report any alleged messages from the Madonna without coming to them first so they can have their stories straight.

3. A grave theological error that the alleged apparition stated that all people in Heaven have their souls and their bodies with them.  I guess Tomislav Vlasic never studied the Nicene Creed.

4. Tomislav Vlasic claimed to have visited the Pope (John Paul II) when he never did.

5. The Madonna wanted Slavko Barbaric to replace Tomislav Vlasic as the spiritual director so he could document the entire episode of the visions.  Slavko Barbaric passed away in AD 2000, and the alleged apparitions continue to this day… without Slavko Barbaric.  Another “vision” that never came true.

There are many more, but I just highlighted the big ones that I thought were prescient.  The following is the completed translation of Bishop Ratko Peric’s documentation of the many errors of the apparitions in Medjugorje:

Vlasic’s involvement in the “Medjugorje phenomenon”

Just as last year, when the Holy See sanctioned the Rev. Vlasic with interdict, warning him of more severe penalties if he would not obey, once again numerous comments have appeared in the mass media to proclaim the non-connection between the “Medjugorje phenomenon” and the “Vlasic case”. If in both the letter and in reference to the two more serious penalties there is an explicit reminder of the “Medjugorje phenomenon”,[1] in which Tomislav Vlasic in involved, why is there never any connection between the one and the other? We would like to recall just that undeniable connection, from the beginning.

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23 Responses to Medjugorje, Exploring the Origins

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  • Tito,

    I’m very much a critic of Medjugorje, for many reasons. I find it to be one great deception. Strange enough, when I discuss it with many people, I end up being treated as if I blasphemed God for questioning an apparition and blacklisted.

    That, I think, says something about the demonic attack going on here. If it were legitimate, as St John of the Cross points out, the questions would be welcomed.

  • Henry,

    I agree about the demonic attack.

    I’ve been on the fence ever since I learned about Medjugorje. I even bought by Wayne Weible.

    Unfortunately, I was just returning and learning my faith, but one thing from the book constantly gnawed at me at it was the seers disobeying Mary.

    In the book Mary asked a couple of the seers to enter religious life. Both of them declined and I believe one of them got married.

    That is what got me to think more about these apparitions.

    Many people search for signs for guidance from God. And here are two seers that have communication with Mary herself and they refuse to listen to her direction.

    Which brought me to today. I don’t believe they are true. Unless of course the Vatican says they are worthy of belief, but I doubt that it will occur.

  • In the early 80s a lot of my Catholic charismatic friends believed Medjugorje was genuine and I agreed with them initially, but what eventually turned me off was the way the “messages” kept going on and on, ad nauseam, and on command in front of audiences at conferences, etc. Today I am about 99 percent convinced they are NOT genuine.

    Most genuine apparitions like Lourdes and Fatima last only for a limited time, just long enough for Mary to get out whatever message she has. If Mary is indeed without sin, and possessed of perfect humility, it stands to reason that she would know when to stop talking 🙂

    Some seers may have further apparitions or revelations (like Sister Lucia of Fatima) but when they do, they usually do not publicize them immediately or use them to attract attention, and they certainly don’t make a living off of them.

  • I really think there is too much “apparition hunting” by people “looking for a sign” and it really indicates the spirituality of our age (a weakened spirituality). I do believe there are some real solid encounters between Mary and the Saints with others (Zeitun is, imo, the most recent, authentic, public apparition), most of the time it is for a private grace and is not meant to be shared like this. Those who have it tend to be humble about it, shy about talking about it, even embarrassed about it — they don’t want to think of themselves as special and to be treated as such.

    Pride and prelest are indications of demons and liars.

  • I agree.

    There is so much more than searching for apparitions when you have the Eucharist available to anyone at each and every parish.

    Zeitoun is one of those sites that I find very interesting as well. To see how Muslims and Christians both flocked to this site was incredible to read! Even President Nassar was there and he believed!

  • I think it was Thomas Dubay who said something to the effect that people will spend thousands of dollars to go on pilgrimages, but won’t cross the street to give a casserole to an ailing or grieving neighbor.

  • If Mary is really what the Catholic Church believes her to be, and she genuinely wished to communicate with all of the world’s people, then she would do so in a clear and unequivocal way. i.e. via an image which could be seen and heard (and recorded) by everybody!

    Were that to happen, very few people would doubt the Catholic interpretation of the Christian Faith; and indeed very few people would fail to be converted…

    Instead we are asked to accept that for mysterious reasons beyond our understanding, Mary prefers to reveal herself in private and we then have to take it on some third party’s word that what she is alleged to have said is true.

    The inconsistencies and controversy noted above doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. Medjugorje is almost certainly a hoax inflicted upon gullible Catholics.

    For reference, I have been to Medjugorje and even met one of the so called “Visionaries”. I was and remain, extremely unimpressed, but note that the local economy of Medjugorje is utterly dependent on tourism and so will do everything in its power to keep this travesty alive.

  • “If Mary is really what the Catholic Church believes her to be, and she genuinely wished to communicate with all of the world’s people, then she would do so in a clear and unequivocal way. i.e. via an image which could be seen and heard (and recorded) by everybody!”

    I think Medjugorje is hooey, but this argument is nonsence. Jesus was born in a backwater province of the Roman Empire. He died on a cross at thirty-three. His disciples were a very small group lacking any influence in Judaea, not to mention the world at large. Who could possibly have guessed that the movement he started would eventually encompass the globe with almost a third of humanity? God has His own purposes and His own methods.

  • I think it spread because a Roman emperor called Constantine attributed a military victory at Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312 to the influence of a Christian God. Had this not happed, maybe Christianity would have remained “a very small group lacking any influence in Judaea, not to mention the world at large”.

  • Your knowledge of history is very faulty. By the time of the battle of the Milvian Bridge Christianity had spread throughout the Roman Empire and far beyond it. It had spread in the Roman Empire in spite of three centuries of fierce persecution.

  • Yes, there were pockets of Christians who sadly were persecuted before then, however it was under Constantine that Christianity rose to be the dominant religion of the Roman Empire and hence leveraged its influence on the world at large.

    (One reason why those Christians were so easily persecuted was that numerically, they were a minority group.)

    Without Constantine’s influence, Christianity almost certainly wouldn’t have had the impact (for better or worse) on the modern world that it subsequently did.

  • Untrue. Diocletian unleashed the last great persecution of the Christians not because there were mere pockets of Christianity, but because Christians were everywhere, even at his court and among his advisors. Constantine did not embrace a religion that was small, but a religion that was large and growing. In short, he backed the horse that was already winning the race. Gallerius, Emperor of the Eastern Roman empire, and who had instigated Diocletian to begin the great persecution, paid a left-handed tribute to the strength of Christianity in his edict of toleration which he issued on his death bed in 311 AD:

    "Among other arrangements which we are
    always accustomed to make for the prosperity and
    welfare of the republic, we had desired formerly to
    bring all things into harmony with the ancient laws
    and public order of the Romans, and to provide that
    even the Christians who had left the religion of their
    fathers should come back to reason ; since, indeed,
    the Christians themselves, for some reason, had
    followed such a caprice and had fallen into such a
    folly that they would not obey the institutes of
    antiquity, which perchance their own ancestors had
    first established; but at their own will and pleasure,
    they would thus make laws unto themselves which
    they should observe and would collect various
    peoples in diverse places in congregations. Finally
    when our law had been promulgated to the effect that
    they should conform to the institutes of antiquity,
    many were subdued by the fear of danger, many even
    suffered death. And yet since most of them
    persevered in their determination, and we saw that
    they neither paid the reverence and awe due to the
    gods nor worshipped the God of the Christians, in
    view of our most mild clemency and the constant
    habit by which we are accustomed to grant
    indulgence to all, we thought that we ought to grant
    our most prompt indulgence also to these, so that
    they may again be Christians and may hold their
    conventicles, provided they do nothing contrary to
    good order. But we shall tell the magistrates in
    another letter what they ought to do.
    Wherefore, for this our indulgence, they ought to
    pray to their God for our safety, for that of the
    republic, and for their own, that the republic may
    continue uninjured on every side, and that they may
    be able to live securely in their homes.
    This edict is published at Nicomedia on the
    day before the Kalends of May, in our eighth
    consulship and the second of Maximinus."

    Galerius recognized that the might of the Empire was helpless against the faith of the Christians.

  • Christianity was still just one cult amongst several that permeated the latter day Roman Empire, including Mithraism (derived from Zoroastrism) and Dionysusim which was allied to past Greek and Roman gods.

    The reason Christianity was not totally suppressed by the Romans lay more in the general decline and relative weakness of their Empire rather than anything else.

    It remains extremely unlikely that without Constantine’s conversion, Christianity would have made anything like the impact on world history that it did.

  • Once again untrue. The pagan religions were dying while Christianity grew from strength to strength. The attempt by Julian the Apostate in the 360s to revive the pagan cults demonstrated how futile that was. As for the Empire being weak, the Empire was at its height during the first two centuries of Christianity. Christianity endured and grew whether the Empire was strong or weak and whether they were bittlerly persecuted or grudgingly tolerated.

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  • I have visited Medjugorje two times in my life. Both were blessed occurances in my life. I feel with faith anything is possble. Medjugorje was a miracle in my life and I will cherish the rest of my life. Possibly the naysayers are the work of satin.

  • Cathy,

    If you were blessed in Medjugorje, you wouldn’t be damning the naysayers.

  • Tito

    It’s the work of cotton.

  • I personaly have resieved many wounderfull graces as a direct result of our ladys apparitions and the whole wounderfull medjugorje experience, our lady has helped me forward in my faith and her messages have given me a greater understanding of Gods endless love for each one of us his children, our lady of medjugorge messages have allways been messages of, allways putting our full trust in God to never lose hope, to regularely pray and fast, we are reminded to say the rosary, and encouraged to live our faith every moment of our life. All these are weapons to defeat saton, and certainly do not promote him, our lady is titled, Queen of peace, and from the beginning of the apparitions in 1981, our lady stressed the need for peace, our lady also stated the impending dangers in that country and the need to continuously pray for lasting peace foretelling of the conflict that sadly, took place in that country. our lady of medjugorje is continually leading us her children to her son, our lord and savior Jesus Christ, regularely reminding us of Jesus in the blessed sacrament of the euchorist, stating if it is a choise for any of us her children between events to do with our lady and receiving Jesus christ her son in the euchorist in holy mass, we are to allways put Jesus first, our lady also stated when pilgrims commented to the visionarys how priverlaged they were to recieve these graces,our lady of medjugorje said through the visionarys that our lady is allways closest to every soul who received her son our lord and savior Jesus christ in the euchorist, more closer than any visionary could experience, in an apparition, because the sacred heart of Jesus and the immaculate heart of mary are perfectly united in there love for each other. I could say so much about all the wounderfull experiences that one experiences there,the constant feeling of peace and holyness from the moment one arrives there,wounderfull,powerfull benedictions, experiences, of a supernatural nature involving the sun,such as seeing the host clearly in the centre of the sun without hurting the eyes, the word peace in there own language that appeared within the clouds over St James church for all to see in the early days of the apperitions. In my honest oppinion i firmy believe the real danger is not weather or not our lady of medjugorje is truly appearing in medjugorje which i truly believe she is but that so many souls who clearly have never been there are crediting the devil with abbilitys that only God has,supernatural graces involving the sun ,similar to Fatima, only God is omnipotent and omnicient.The devil can only do what God permits him to do . These apperitions have been taking place for 29 years this month the longest period in history,as far as i know, and there is no sign as yet of there compleation,what with all the wounderfull conversions that have taken place during that time,peoples lives have been changed for the better I will end know just by saying. I am a dedicated catholic, i have given you all my testimony just as it is, i have absolutely no reason to lie or exagerate, i believe i am a perfectly rational human being,my experiences were not hallusinations vivid dreams or anything else other than what i have said they were, of corse everybody has equal right to believe or disbelieve in these said apperitions,and i sincerely promise i will fully abide by whatever desition the vatican may make. All i ask to those who dont believe the apperitions of our lady of medjugorje are true,please as a brother in faith i ask you dont attack and condemn, clearly judjment has not been made and therefore if they were declared true,as i sincerely believe they will be,those who attacked would have been declaring evil,what is holy, a sin against the holy spirit,it is better to hold your thoughts…YOURS IN CHRIST…FRED.

  • 22 of us went to medjugorje in may 2010 – we all saw the sun spin – 2 rosaries turned gold color – 4 people had healings – nothing new . the sun spins virtually every day in M( signs,wonders, and response- albert hebert). millions of rosaries turn gold in M( visions of the children- janice connell- national best seller). also staues issue human tears & blood. also the incorruptible bodies of saints GET REAL GOD IS FACT! and also dont forget fatima – this event by itself prooves GOD IS FACT. science and common sense cannot explain these events the evidence is simply overwhelming. HELLO!

  • The sun is constantly and minutely monitored by numerous astronomical observatories and yet not a single one picks anything unusual! WHAT UTTER NONSENSE THIS TALK OF SPINNING SUNS IS!
    As for the supposed healings, take away the psychological hysteria surrounding Medjugorje and the spontaneous remissions which would have happened anyway and you are left with nothing.
    If the bible is an accurate account of Jesus’ ministry on earth, then His miracles were beyond doubt and clearly evident to everybody. This is NOT the same at all.

  • Tito, right again! As you said to Cathy, if she had truly been blessed, she would not be damning those who question it. Anyone who does that is not reacting in a Christian way of love. And by the way all you folks, there is nothing wrong in shining a stringent light on Medjugorye. If it is truly of God, it will hold up. If it does not, it will fold. After all, as St. Paul warned us, the devil can appear as an angel of light, and St. John warns us not to believe every spirit, but to discern. A loving, charming, happy emotional experience at Medjugorye is nice–but you can have that on your honeymoon. It is certainly not the standard you must hold Marian apparitions to! First you have to ask yourself: is what the apparition saying in line with the faith of the Church? Are the seers in obedience to the Church? Why have two of the priests of Medjugorye been defrocked? Mary asked two of the seers to enter the convent and the priesthood–neither one did! Why are they making money by giving tours and running bed and breakfast places? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Faith in God is not primarily an emotional thing–it is an action of the will. And you judge an apparition by what it says about God, and whether it is in agreement with Church doctrine. And you know what? As the late great Malachi Martin wrote, turning rosaries a gold color is just a party trick of the devil. As for all those people who have had good experiences at Medjugorye, God can write straight with crooked lines. I imagine there is nothing that offends Him like the devil counterfeiting an apparition of His Mother. I’m sure that anyone who sincerely loves Mary and honors her receives a special protection from Christ for their sincerity. In the meantime, read up on all the lies that have been told, and the disobedience of the seers themselves. It is chilling.
    And never forget: you don’t have to go to Medjugorye to have an experience with Jesus and Mary. You can do it anywhere–they’re everywhere! God Bless! Helen

From Tiny Acorns Mighty Scandals Grow

Tuesday, September 15, AD 2009

Acorn, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is a left wing political action group with close ties to the Democrat party.  Since 1994 it has received over 53 million dollars in federal funds.  It has a long history of involvement in voter registration fraud.  Obama has a very long history of involvement with Acorn.  Acorn has acknowledged problems in voter registration fraud but has blamed a few “bad apples”.

Thanks to the intrepid James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, posing as a pimp and prostitute, we now know quite a bit more about advice that Acorn gives to those seeking assistance from them.  Hitting Acorn offices in Baltimore, Washington and Brooklyn, Acorn employees were only too happy to assist O’Keefe and Giles in setting up a fictitious house of prostitution involving underage prostitutes.  The advice of the Acorn worker in Baltimore that the girl prostitutes could be listed as dependents on the tax returns of O”Keefe and Giles is pure comedy gold!

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31 Responses to From Tiny Acorns Mighty Scandals Grow

  • Looks like Bob Casey is also one of the seven.

  • Am I remembering correctly that back around the election, conservative Catholics were being scolded for objecting to the bishops funnelling a million or so from the Catholic Campaign For Human Development into these folks?

  • Accusing left wing Catholics of defending Acorn? For shame Darwin!


  • Interesting; all that talk about breaking the cycle of poverty and structures of sin. Of course those are noble goals and I’d say a moral obligation. But as often the case it boils down to what one considers to be the cycle of poverty, the structure of sin, and the means of breaking it – and what one is willing to do, allow, or overlook to enact their cure. Clearly some will excuse any injustice, immorality, or counterproductive acts if it favors their political ideology.

    Here’s the prototype of the response:

    You so called conservatives, you’re really liberals in the true sense of the word. You’re not against human trafficking, the exploitation of minors and wome. You’re just imperialists who don’t want poor Latin American to have gainful employment!

  • It is truly amazing with all that smoke and indeed some fire these folks were going to play a role in the Census. And no one in the media seemed to care

  • funnelling a million or so from the Catholic Campaign For Human Development into these folks?

    they got a lot of money from there, which is cut-off now, but the money is going to birds of a feather anyway. Don’t give anything to these socialism pushers.

  • I agree with Matt. I used to give, but unfortunately no longer trust them to use the money wisely.

  • MIke I still urge people to give to the collection. THey just did to be asking the Bishops where it is going!!

    I think the very Orthodox Diocese of Kanasa City did this right

  • Oh, I apologize for the links leaking over onto the next column. I really had no idea that would happen.

  • Sort of off topic: Undercover work requires lying. Can Catholics be undercover officers?

  • Considering the number of brave priests over the centuries who have adopted false identities in order to spread the message of Christ in areas hostile to the Church, I do not believe there is a blanket condemnation of deceit in all circumstances. Here are some relevant passages from the Catechism:

    “2488 The right to the communication of the truth is not unconditional. Everyone must conform his life to the Gospel precept of fraternal love. This requires us in concrete situations to judge whether or not it is appropriate to reveal the truth to someone who asks for it.

    2489 Charity and respect for the truth should dictate the response to every request for information or communication. The good and safety of others, respect for privacy, and the common good are sufficient reasons for being silent about what ought not be known or for making use of a discreet language. The duty to avoid scandal often commands strict discretion. No one is bound to reveal the truth to someone who does not have the right to know it.282

    2491 Professional secrets – for example, those of political office holders, soldiers, physicians, and lawyers – or confidential information given under the seal of secrecy must be kept, save in exceptional cases where keeping the secret is bound to cause very grave harm to the one who confided it, to the one who received it or to a third party, and where the very grave harm can be avoided only by divulging the truth. Even if not confided under the seal of secrecy, private information prejudicial to another is not to be divulged without a grave and proportionate reason.”

  • Don,

    I’m not so sure you can call it “deceit”; this has too much of a negative connotation attached to it that folks might mistake it as having malicious intent.

    Just like those brave priests you mentioned, I would not think theirs could even be considered such a case.

    They are not unlike those brave Catholics who essentially did the same when facilitating the escape of those Jews undergoing persecution during WWII.

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  • I agree with you e. There are times when it is very immoral to tell the truth.

  • “the filmmakers reportedly went to several ACORN offices, where their ploy was unsuccessful, before finding someone to fall for their scheme.”

    Sorry, Brian, but that statement does not equal “they found only one office that took their bait.” It merely implies that some ACORN offices of the total that were visited didn’t bite. (Why they didn’t immediately call the police is another question.) Unless you’ve got something more definitive stashed somewhere, I’d say the Newshounds appear to be the kind of hound who’ll yap at anything.

  • I will grant, however, that there appears to be a time stamp discrepancy on the film (Newshounds missed that, but a commenter remarked on it so it doesn’t alter my opinion of them.) The version Big Government has is edited and has no time stamp, but the camera pans briefly to a dry-erase calendar labeled “July ’09.” I’m looking for it on the vids above, but no dice yet.

  • They allegedly visited multiple branches of ACORN and found only one that took their bait.

    Given that they’ve already released videos from four different offices (each offering to help them with their prostitution ring) this seems unlikely.

  • There are times when it is very immoral to tell the truth.

    But isn’t it always immoral to lie? “I’m a pimp” is a lie, not a withholding of truth.

  • “But isn’t it always immoral to lie? “I’m a pimp” is a lie, not a withholding of truth.”

    Well, there go investigative journalism, detective work, and intel as career options for practicing Catholics.

  • restrainedradical: It’s 1942 and you’re hiding Anne Frank and her family in Amsterdam. An SS officer asks you if you know where any Jews are hidden. Do you say, “Well, since it’s always immoral to lie, officer, they’re in that building over there, right up those stairs.”

  • restrainedradical: It’s 1942 and you’re hiding Anne Frank and her family in Amsterdam. An SS officer asks you if you know where any Jews are hidden. Do you say, “Well, since it’s always immoral to lie, officer, they’re in that building over there, right up those stairs.”

    I’d hope that God gives me the strength to say to the officer, “none of your business.”

  • I covered this issue with my criticism of Lila Rose.

    What I decided, since there does not seem to be clear Church teaching on this, is that undercover work may be moral, but entrapment is not, because it is an attempt to lead people into sins they would not otherwise commit. As I see it, that is an offense against human dignity. We’re supposed to lead people away from sin in order to save them, not lead them into it in order to condemn them (that would be Satan’s mission).

    I’m not sure it is the case here, since the ACORN employees seem to have been ready with the relevant information, as if it were a thing they typically do. They didn’t have to be persuaded. The possibility was brought up and they immediately seized upon it. It suggests that they have done this sort of thing before.

  • I interpret Aquinas as saying that undercover work is a venial sin and entrapment is a mortal sin. But wouldn’t it be a mortal sin to accepts a job that requires constant venial sinning? Shouldn’t the Church ban Catholics from becoming undercover officers?

  • I’m not sure it is the case here, since the ACORN employees seem to have been ready with the relevant information, as if it were a thing they typically do. They didn’t have to be persuaded.

    Same thing with Rose and Planned Parenthood. That’s the whole point of Rose’s videos.

  • I wonder if I can respond to this without having every word I type “reinterpreted” to suit the needs of the moment.

    I didn’t see the ‘same thing’ in the videos where Lila Rose is trying to expose racism at Planned Parenthood.

    People never seem to understand or acknowledge a very simple thing: she did two different things. Exposing Planned Parenthood’s flouting of state laws was, I think, legitimate undercover work.

    Trying to make the case that Planned Parenthood is racist because one of its clinics took money that was supposed to be ear-marked for black abortions is entrapment, if not of a legal kind, of a moral kind. The people on the other end of the line had clearly never heard such a request before and were clearly not in the habit of doing that sort of thing.

    So, in one case, yes, it was the same. In the other case, no, it wasn’t.

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  • I’d hope that God gives me the strength to say to the officer, “none of your business.”

    Do you think that was an option in Nazi-occupied Europe? So you say that and the SS officer has you arrested and tortured and imprisoned. In the meantime, the Jews you have hidden are starving because you haven’t been able to bring them provisions and they can’t very well go out and get them themselves.

    So not only your life, but theirs is endangered. But gee, that’s fine, because you haven’t lied.

  • Under such circumstances I’d lie a million times if need be to save an innocent life and I do believe my guardian angel would be cheering me on.

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Clout and Catholic Education

Thursday, July 23, AD 2009

Too often, Catholic education, particularly at the high school level, seems to be valued not so much for its moral and religious content as for its prestige in the community, or for its ability to produce graduates who get into the “right” colleges and get higher-paying jobs later on.

In my experience, Catholic high schools tend to be known in their communities as 1) schools rich kids attend, 2) a way to escape poor-quality public schools, 3) athletic powerhouses, or 4) institutions whose graduates enjoy disproportionate wealth and influence — the quality Chicagoans famously call “clout.”

Just today, in fact, I heard someone refer to alumni of a local Catholic high school as a “Catholic mafia” that allegedly dominates local business and politics. Although this characterization is probably not entirely justified, many alums of this particular school do seem to end up in positions of influence in the community.

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19 Responses to Clout and Catholic Education

  • I wonder if it’s also because so many Illinois politicians exercising their clout are Catholic (Quinn, Durbin, Madigan, Daley, Emil Jones, the Strogers, etc.) so their social network, including the people they exercise influence on behalf of, is made up disproportionately of well-to-do Catholics. My downstate, public high school had 1 person, while the local Catholic school also had one.

  • I serve on the board of two Catholic high schools — my alma mater in Chicago (a south side school not mentioned in any of the Trib articles that I read) and my children’s alma mater in Atlanta. For the most part I agree with Elaine’s observations. That said, I would mention that in my experien the board leaders tend to be very serious about the school’s Catholicity and spiritual environment. Parents, however, are a mixed bag, and it is true that many have misplaced priorities (like most Americans). These schools operate in very competitive environments and must compete for students and teachers, and these constituencies often have imperfect priorities as well. The Chicago school is all boys and could not recruit students successfully without emphasizing athletics. Period. Just a fact of Chicago’s south side. The school’s president and the board view this emphasis as a tactic to attract boys so that we have an opportunity to educate and mold them into genuinely Catholic young gentlemen. The broader community may see us as athletics focused, but the board fully understands the distinction between means and ends. The co-ed school in Atlanta does not need to emphasize athletics quite as much, but does have to spend inordinately on unnecessary resources (in my view) in order to attract students and teachers. Private high schools in Atlanta (mostly non-Catholic) are much better endowed than us and have more attractive facilities. Both schools struggle mightily with keeping tuition as low as possible while balancing difficult budgets. Both schools are aware that a good percentage of students come from Catholic in name only families who are attracted to the educational value (good education at a bargain price compared to competitors). Overall, they do a pretty good job of imparting the faith in what is virtually a quasi-evangelical environment. I serve on many non-profit boards (Salvation Army, United Way, etc), but none are more challenged than the Catholic high schools.

    Finally, I am not as offended at “clout” as some others. I am more offended at the faith-oriented shortcomings of Catholic schools. I’m happy if Catholic kids get to attend U of I, even if assisted by a call or two. I just want them to have a sufficiently well-formed faith that they won’t lose as soon as they leave home.

  • ability to produce graduates who get into the “right” colleges and get higher-paying jobs later on

    You speak as if this is a bad thing. It’s as bad as holding a dance and asking if a church should have offered a Bible study instead. If the schools are deficient in morality training or religious education, it is fine to complain. To act as if they are values opposed to achievement in industry after graduation or the school’s prestige is just wrong.

  • Might the “clout” list include a lot of higher-income schools and Catholic schools because they have a better education results, and it’s unlikely that folks on those lists just suddenly got backing now, and have instead had backing to get into the “good” schools the entire time?

  • M.Z., I never said it was inherently “bad” for Catholic school graduates to get into good colleges or get good jobs. My concern is that when Catholic schools come to be known ONLY or primarily for those things, they may lose some of their potential to be “salt and light” to a fallen world. Just as there’s nothing wrong with a church sponsoring dances, bingo, or other social events, but when that’s ALL a church is known for doing, maybe they need to reexamine their priorities.

    Also, I’m not complaining about the quality of Catholic education so much as the perception that Catholic schools are only for the wealthy and powerful, or are dependent upon them for their survival. Any religious institution that depends upon the wealthy and powerful to survive has to take extra care not to lose sight of its mission.

  • Fox, I’m sure that kids from higher income schools (private or public) have always had a certain amount of “clout” or “pull” in the college admissions process. In the case of the U of I, however, it appears to have become much more blatant in the last few years. Plus since U of I admission has become highly competitive, anyone who gets in based on clout is more likely to deprive an equally or more qualified middle- or working-class student of admission.

  • M.Z.,

    I didn’t really understand Elaine as suggesting that worldly achievement or its facilitation is inimical to Catholic values, but that it should be subordinated to faith formation in terms of prioritization. I agree with her that many Catholic families are attracted to Catholic schools for the wrong reasons, and Catholic schools are often tempted to reorient their priorities accordingly. When that happens, “morality training or religious education” suffers. A number of years ago there was quite a public kerfuffle at a very affluent Catholic school when parents accused the school of being “too Catholic,” because the school administration was trying to beef up its religion courses and requirements. Eventually, many of these parents left when as a consequence. The irony is that the high school now sends an inordinate number of grads to Ivy League and other prestigious schools due to the efficacy of its “classical” education.

    The bottom line is that most graduates of Catholic schools are terribly catechized, and that is partly the result of the schools’ understanding that such catechises is not a primary value of most parents. The schools feel pressure to respond to the marketplace by replacing Catholicism with something called “in the Catholic tradition.”

    Finally, I do sense things are getting better. The schools that I serve are very conscious of their Catholic identity, and it is not watered down, even though I suspect (just suspect) that catechesis could be more rigorous. That said, I think high schools struggle with catechesis in part because most Catholic grade schools send students who are largely uncatechized. Most cannot name the seven sacraments or the ten commandments; and very few can explain the types or meanings of grace.

  • Elaine-
    I’m suggesting that the high school selections are part of the same process as the college, not that the selections themselves are “good.”

    If the kids got into “good” high schools in the same way as colleges, the same objections would exist– moreso for public schools than private, but it’d exist.

  • MZ — no one said, as far as I can tell, that morality is opposed to achievement. The post was about people who prioritize achievement (and not even real achievement but positions purchased by clout) over moral training. Do you have anything to say about that?

  • First, you are not going to find too many poor minority schools on the “clout list” because they have their own form of “clout list”, i.e. affirmative action, but it is too un-PC to mention in the public debate on this matter. I see these two forms of clout balancing each other out. As always it is the great majority of Americans in the middle that get s****ed.

    Of course, private universities have their own clout lists. When my daughter was accepted at Notre Dame they made it quite clear that she was admitted during the early admissions process because I was an alumni (she had a near perfect SAT and a 4.0 GPA but alot of ND applicants do). Should public universities be more egalitarian and fair in their admissions process because they are public . . . dream on.

    Secondly, I totally agree that Catholic Schools K-12 & universities have totally lost their initial mission, i.e., to educate Catholic children while keeping them strong in the faith. That is why I have never wasted my money on Catholic Schools for my kids (including my daughter who eventually accepted a full ride academic scholarship to a state school and got nothing from ND). It is also why my parents never spent a dime on Catholic education except my sisters and me except for CCD and when the nuns stopped teaching that in the late 1960’s they even stopped sending us to CCD. [We were poor enough where they didn’t have to pay for me to go to ND – I lived at home, worked and got enough in state scholarship funds to cover the rest.]

    Catholicism as taught in Catholic High Schools consists of call men with Roman collars “Father” and work in soup kitchens on weekends. I’d be shocked to learn of a current Catholic high school graduate who could define “transubstantiation” or discuss the notion of “baptismal regeneration” or list the 7 sacraments. This is why Cathoic Home schooling is growing in some communities – a notion unheard of 40 years ago except in communities without Catholic schools.

    Finally, a couple of years ago Bishop D’Arcy of the South Bend/Fort Wayne, IN Diocese ordered the dismissal of a popular teacher and coach at St. Joseph High School in South Bend because he had married a divorcee and had left the Church to become a Baptist. Parents and staff and faculty members of course were outraged. So, I also agree that Catholic High Schools are just supplying what the public wants – a good secular education with a thin religous veneer. Of course, the religous attitudes of most of these parents have also been shaped by the piss poor religous teaching that they have received from Catholic Schools and Cathoic pulpits during the past 40 years.

  • I think that Ms. Krewer’s argument is poorly drawn. Her concern is on a. perception of the school by outsiders and b. the desire of parents at a few Catholic schools to get their children into a good college. I don’t see anything about the students themselves!

    The schools can talk about a need for “public relations” work, but the reality is that the school has very little ability to change a perception that “its a sports school” or “its a rich kids’ school.” Such statements, in my experience, are always made by people with no real world exposure to the school, so how much credibility or concern can you put on such statements?

    Whether the parents want their children to go to a good college doesn’t seem to really be connected with whether the high school is a good Catholic school or not. I just don’t see the connection in her argument.

    That’s not to say that every Catholic high school is successful, either academically or spiritually. All Catholic high schools (that existed before Vatican II) were built around a clerical teaching staff. The decline in vocations has resulted in a largely lay teaching staff today. Does that make them less Catholic? Maybe, maybe not, depending on who got hired to replace those priests, nuns and brothers. I am a proud alum of a Catholic high school, which my children also attended. It was also all boys in my day and almost all clerical teachers. Now it’s co-ed and has only a handful of clergy. In my opinion, it is a much better school today, spiritually, academically and socially. This is a school where a survey found that seniors are more likely to attend Mass on Sunday than freshmen. The students have a choice on Friday between getting a jump on homework so they won’t have to do it on the weekend or going to Mass. Over two-thirds of the students choose Mass, including many of the people of other faiths.
    In my book, that’s a school that is religiously successful. But it has a reputation in the community as being only for athletes and only for rich kids.

    I would like to hear discussion about people of other faiths attending “Catholic” schools. Should “non-Catholics” be allowed to attend? How large a portion of the student body should be Catholic? Perhaps one can think about what the mission of the school is. Is it to teach Catholic kids so they will continue as Catholics? Is it to help raise the future of the students who otherwise face a bleak future, regardless of their religious faith? I’d point to the parallel of Catholic hospitals. Are they Catholic enough? How do you decide what ‘Catholic enough’ means?

  • If opposition between secular achievement and religious instruction was not being attempted, the comparison shouldn’t have been made. I remember talking to a Jewish graduate of Marquette High School. He felt he understood the Catholic faith adequately. He went to that school in part because of the hockey program. Was this a bad thing?

    I have nothing against trying to improve religious education. Serving on two school boards, Mr. Petrik is probably well aware that the parents that send their children to these schools for prestige and/or academics are the same parents that write large checks. These parents are given the deference they are given, because politicians (and the best pastors are good politicians) are willing to work with what they have in order to improve rather than tear what’s working down and create unnecessary animus. As seen from the Notre Dame saga, the one thing you couldn’t say about Notre Dame was that it was a pauper. (Yes, I know blessed are the poor, and I’ve embraced that more than I cared to have.) There have been more than a few start ups that have attempted to embrace the faith alone and ignore things like achievement or money only to find themselves tits up.

    Finally, I agree with Mr. Petrik that things are improving at a lot of schools. Certainly there is nothing wrong with encouraging that improvement.

  • would like to hear discussion about people of other faiths attending “Catholic” schools. Should “non-Catholics” be allowed to attend?

    I rather like the idea of non-Catholics in Catholic schools– partly because of the witnessing opportunity, partly because I have seen what it results in– a lady friend who recently passed went to a Catholic school when she was a kid, because it was the “best” school and that’s all her parents cared about. Sixty years later, though still a (highly irascible) vague Christian, she would jump down the throat of anyone who tried to spread the usual “Catholics worship Mary” type BS. She was better at defending the Church than most Catholics I know!

    I’d point to the parallel of Catholic hospitals. Are they Catholic enough? How do you decide what ‘Catholic enough’ means?

    My book? They follow Catholic teachings as related to their work, and allow or support the action on those teachings that aren’t related to their work. (don’t want to get mission bloat, it would make them not as good as hospitals)

  • I have no problem at all with non-Catholics attending Catholic schools, but would not want any Catholic kids displaced by non-Catholics without good reason. In general, a Catholic school’s primary mission is to serve the Catholic community by educating its children in a manner that is consonant with our faith.

    To MZ’s earlier point, quite frankly some of the most ardent Catholic parents are also the most generous, though that certainly is not always the case. The idea that somehow the financially successful are not as good Catholics as those of more modest means (which is not at all what MZ said) is just a silly conceit. I have observed little correlation. Many of our wealthier families are quite devout, and also quite generous, but certainly not all.

  • If opposition between secular achievement and religious instruction was not being attempted, the comparison shouldn’t have been made.

    You certainly have a point . . . CS Lewis notes somewhere, maybe in a letter, that readers are often like witless sheep who will take the first detour possible, even if it wasn’t intended.

  • I too have no problem with non-Catholics attending Catholic schools; in fact some of the first Catholic schools were set up in predominantly non-Christian areas as “mission schools”.

    To some extent a Catholic school cannot fully control how OTHERS in the community, who aren’t associated with the school, perceive it. But I’m sure there are other times when taking a look at oneself “from the outside” is helpful and a needed corrective.

    A big part of the problem with Catholic education as it exists today is that very few if any schools can survive on tuition alone — charging every parent the full cost of their child’s education would put it out of reach of all but the most wealthy — so a lot of time and effort has to be spent on fundraising and on extracurricular activities such as sports that make money for the school. Which usually translates into 1) hitting up wealthy alumni and business people for donations, 2) holding a lot of fundraising events (bingo, carnivals, auctions, dinner/dances, etc.), and 3) recruiting the best athletes.

    Now again, these things are not inherently evil or wrong in themselves, but they CAN become a diversion from the schools main mission if its administration isn’t careful. What to do about that?

    Perhaps the most radical approach has been taken by the Diocese of Wichita, Kans., where ALL Catholic schools are funded completely by tithing and NO tuition is charged to any Catholic student. This is done through a comprehensive stewardship program that emphasizes giving of “time, talent, and treasure” as a way of life. As a result, its schools are thriving (as are its priestly vocations) and other dioceses have taken interest in this approach. Whether it can be successfully transplanted to large urban dioceses, particularly those with large numbers of recent immigrants, remains to be seen; but I think it is worth looking at.

  • Elaine, I like the comments about funding. My pastor is the oldest of five boys in the family. His parents moved to a house down the street from the Catholic church. His non-Catholic parents went there and asked how much it would cost to send their children there. The answer was $500 a year (This would be back in the ’50s) if they were not Catholic and free if they were Catholic. “So we became Catholic!”
    Parishes in our archdiocese are limited to a certain percentage of their budget that can be devoted to the parish school (if any.) The rest of the cost has to come from the parents. I think there are good arguments for at least some funding to come from parents. First, you do not value anything that is free. You have no “skin in the game.” Second, parents have to be responsible for their children and that includes their education. The entire parish should not have to pay the family’s expenses. I’m sensitive to those parishioners who do not have children in the parish school. I guess the parallel is public education, where the general public pays the whole bill and they do so in a grudging fashion.

    There are also Catholic schools that would not exist if tuition were the only source of their income. I am familiar with a “Nativity” middle school locally, that only admits children whose families can’t pay (although they do charge $20 a month, for the first reason I mentioned above.) Their student body are from low income homes, almost all minority, almost all not Catholic, some are immigrants. They typically come to 6th grade with reading and math skills at the 2nd or 3rd grade level.

    My point is that there simply isn’t enough money to have a school like that if you only look at the neighborhood community. Their ability to raise funds from the Catholic community in our city is all that stands between these children and life on the streets. So does it make a difference if most of the students are Catholic?

    You posit that fund raising should not be a diversion from the school’s main mission. On the face of it, I agree. I just have a hard time analyzing how I would know, at a specific school, if it is a diversion.

    There is a Catholic high school in our city that puts the students to work to pay for the cost of running the school. The students have jobs in the community, one day a week, that covers their tuition. As I understand it, they have classroom work four days a week and they work the fifth. These students and their families do not have the economic means to pay tuition on their own. The kicker is that the work part makes their classroom work meaningful. “I need to learn how to write better because that’s what it takes at work.” (And that lack of understanding of why studying is meaningful is one of the biggest problems in public education, in my opinion, as a former school board member.) So you can paint their school as exploiting the students or you can paint it as giving them a meaningful education that they couldn’t otherwise obtain.

  • Any funding mechanism, within reason and morality, that keeps Catholic schools from becoming accessible only to the wealthy, or dependent entirely or almost entirely on wealthy people to keep them running, is OK by me. Charging a small or sliding amount of tuition to insure that families have “skin in the game” is fine, but again, the idea should always be to insure that Catholic education is accessible to all income levels.

    The Catholic high school you mention that has students work to earn their tuition one day a week — that sounds like a great idea to me, because it enables the students to gain real life job experience. I wouldn’t consider it “exploiting” them at all, unless the jobs in question were exceptionally dangerous or exhausting.

    Should parishioners who don’t have children be responsible for supporting a parish or diocesan school? Well, it depends on how you look at it. Is the school an integral part of the Church’s mission to which ALL Catholics have some obligation to contribute (in line with the Fifth Precept of the Church)? Or, is it a purely voluntary/optional service which only those who participate in it are obligated to support, like a sodality or men’s/women’s club?

    When does fundraising become a diversion for the school’s main mission? I would say the line is crossed if the school comes under pressure to compromise or downplay Catholic teachings or other practices (e.g. dress codes, rules against teachers being married or cohabiting outside the Church), or to look the other way at obviously immoral or egregious practices of a major donor, in order to avoid losing the funds upon which it is dependent for its survival.

    I really appreciate everyone’s thoughts on this matter, and hopefully it will get everyone thinking about how best to support Catholic education. I didn’t mean to be excessively hard on Catholic schools but simply to point out a potential stumbling block to their mission.

  • Eric called my attention to this entry last week, shortly after it had been posted, and in the chaos that was last week as one of my best friends got married, I left this open on my computer all week, not getting to it until this evening. I know the discussion has died down days ago, but if others are still interested in continuing the discussion, I find the Wichita approach very interesting. In response to the statement that what is free is not valued as much, I would like to call the attention back to the priest whose parents converted for the free education–their son had a vocation! That priest valued what he received so much that he ended up giving his life to God to continue to serve the same cause!

    I live in Houston, which is a large city with a number of immigrants (many of whom are Catholic), as well as many other “higher end” Catholics. It is interested that some parishes tend to serve either one end of the spectrum or another, based on location or other factors, but there are also parishes that are more “mixed”. I can’t speak for all parishes, but of these latter, I have seen a dichotomy within the parishes, where some kids can afford to go to the parochial school and others, no matter how devout of a home they come from, simply cannot afford it. They are then put through the public school system supplemented by a sub-standard Sunday catechesis, and we wonder why we have so many teens having pre-marital sex and a breakdown in families, especially in this lower-end demographic.

    It is because we have not taken it on as our responsibility as the Church to provide for the needs of our young people, all of them! One of the saddest things that has happened in the past half a century or so, at least in my opinion (which I believe can also contain an objective moral point), is the loss of the importance of the parochial school. I have been reading the history of a Franciscan religious order, which simultaneously tells the story of the development of Catholic schools in America. They were founded to further instill morals and an understanding of the Church teachings in all young people-immigrants, orphans, the poor, and yes, non-Catholics.

    Of course, the schools were easier to fund when they were run mostly by nuns. We didn’t have to pay competitive wages to lay men and women who have to take care of their families, and since we do rely on these people, we cannot cease to pay them now. But we can’t lose the mission to educate just because someone can’t afford the price tag of a solid Catholic education.

    In Wichita, I am sure that for this to function, many parents are aware of the cost of their child’s education, even if they aren’t the ones paying it in full. And if this is indeed working successfully, I am sure that there are parents who can afford it that write rather large checks as part of the lifestyle of stewardship. But to answer the question above, I do think that it is also appropriate that others who do not currently have children in the parochial school (or may never have children in it) to support it in some way or another. It is a vital ministry that ensures the future of the Church as it provides a place of the seeds of vocations to be nourished.

    I am curious if anyone knows more about other dioceses that are looking into this Wichita method and any studies being done, especially concerning the more urban areas.

USCCB Issues A Statement of Support For Bishop D'Arcy

Tuesday, June 23, AD 2009

Bishop John M. D'Arcy

Hattip to reader Rick Lugari.  The USCCB* has issued this statement of support for Bishop John D’Arcy, the Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend:

“The bishops of the United States express our appreciation and support for our brother bishop, the Most Reverend John D’Arcy.  We affirm his pastoral concern for Notre Dame University, his solicitude for its Catholic identity, and his loving care for all those the Lord has given him to sanctify, to teach and to shepherd.”

Bishop D’Arcy had been in the forefront of protesting Notre Dame honoring Obama on May 17, 2009.

* United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

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30 Responses to USCCB Issues A Statement of Support For Bishop D'Arcy

  • I wonder if, now that the entire USCCB has voted on this resolution, people will stop claiming that the ~80 bishops who spoke out against Notre Dame’s actions at the time were some sort of partisan hack minority.

  • “A sad testament to the co-option of the USCCB by Republican partisans…” will probably be the editorial gloss from the usual suspects, followed by more faux hand-wringing about “civility”, which, as practiced by its proponents, rarely involves a good faith attempt to respond to legitimate criticism.

    It is nice that the USCCB decided to recognize Bishop D’Arcy. I thought his firm and temperate response to the Notre Dame controversy was a model for other bishops.

  • The members of the Obama cult will have no difficulty discounting this.

  • How soon we forget!

    D’Arcy was one of the more moderate of those who expressed concerns about the Obama visit. Some of you even called him a coward! Now you’re spinning this as you wish. I commend the USCCB’s recognition of his leadership. In doing so, they have expressed their solidarity with HIS view, not the views of the mosr radical, Republicatholic bishops.

  • Catholic Anarchist, I defy you to find a quotation from any member of this blog in which Bishop D’Arcy was called a coward.

  • Michael, I think it’s you who are spinning. Bishop D’Arcy could not have been more clear in his position that Notre Dame was wrong to honor president Obama and that in doing so, they violated the 2004 Bishop’s statement (both statements are available on the diocese website and the one interview he gave is available on youtube). His response was direct and prayerful. I read all the bishops statements and I didn’t see any who said anything markedly stronger than Bishop D’Arcy. Maybe I missed it. Can you point me to the bishops you think are the “radical republicatholic bishops” and which parts of their statements went so far beyond Bishop D’Arcy that the USCCB’s statement of support can’t fairly be said to apply to them also?

  • D’Arcy was one of the more moderate of those who expressed concerns about the Obama visit. Some of you even called him a coward!


    I have no recollection of such a statement by anyone on this blog. As far as I know, I am the only one who (gently) criticized any of the bishops, and that post suggested Bishop Olmsted had been too harsh with Fr. Jenkins (a view I later revised as more Bishops spoke out). I praised Bishop D’Arcy’s response as striking the perfect balance; certainly, no one called him a coward. Please either produce a link or retract the accusation.


  • As I recall the debate the only thing negative and disrespectful said about any of the bishops were from people who called them Republicatholics and the like because they spoke out against a Catholic college honoring a vehemently pro-abortion politician who happens to be a Democrat. Those who supported the bishops were called partisan hacks who don’t understand what true Catholicism is – strikingly similar to Schiavo affair when the enlightened Catholics told us that Terri’s supporters and the many vocal bishops simply didn’t understand. Now the USCCB, albeit a late, gave voice, just like the Vatican did – thought at least in the Schiavo case Pope John Paul II and the Vatican were speaking out all along – but the arbiters of true Catholicism ignored all that too.

  • Rick

    Thank you for combating the revisionist history

  • I read all the bishops statements and I didn’t see any who said anything markedly stronger than Bishop D’Arcy.

    This is simply absurd. D’Arcy was about the tamest of the bishops who spoke out. This, jh, is revisionism.

  • Now, now, now–don’t confuse the excitable lad with facts. He expects neologisms like Republicatholic actually mean something to others, which is almost endearing.

    About the only truly intemperate statement was from Bishop Bruskewitz, the exception which proves the rule.

  • “Republicatholic bishops”

    Like I said, self parody. Who needs “i” when you have the real iafrate?

  • D’Arcy was one of the more moderate of those who expressed concerns about the Obama visit.

    What a hack. So a “more moderate” response was D’Arcy’s boycott of the Notre Dame graduation, along with his prayer for “Our Lady to intercede for the university named in her honor, that it may recommit itself to the primacy of truth over prestige.”

    After your behavior over at VN, no one in their right mind thinks that your positions have anything to do with fealty to the Church. Your comments are dripping with contempt and intellectual pride whenever anybody in the Church suggests disagreement with your precious political positions.

  • Michael J is the embodiment of the axiom that being on the left means never having to say you’re sorry, either for baseless accusations or for a bad memmory. There does seem to be a catholic modification to his leftism; he generally tells those he disagrees with to merely “shut up”. This is vastly better than the Che Guevara supporters on youtube who say they are going to kill me.

  • Michael J is the embodiment of the axiom that being on the left means never having to say you’re sorry, either for baseless accusations or for a bad memmory.

    What should I apologize for? I was against the idea of Obama receiving the degree from the beginning.

    he generally tells those he disagrees with to merely “shut up”.

    Prove it.

  • What should I apologize for?

    For claiming that you were against Obama receiving an honorary degree, when in fact you ridicule the Bishops that you supposedly agree with as “radical Republicatholics.”

  • Yeah, SB, that second example you posted is something I’ve seen more than once from him.

    Michael J. Iafrate Says:
    October 29, 2008 at 3:47 pm
    S.B., shut up or you will be permanently banned from commenting on my posts. Understand?

    I assume that smart people on the left resort to verbal bullying and intimidation because they know their arguments are weak. Some on the fringe right have the same tendency.

  • For claiming that you were against Obama receiving an honorary degree, when in fact you ridicule the Bishops that you supposedly agree with as “radical Republicatholics.”

    I was against Obama receiving the degree but I disagreed with the viewpoint expressed by your “heroic” bishops who went much further and said he should not be allowed to speak at ND and even went so far as to make judgments about Fr. Jenkin’s spiritual state. Surely you see that there is a difference.

    In the first example you cite, S.B., I clearly did not simply say “shut up” as a way to end an argument.

    Nor did I do so in the second example. In fact, “Pauli,” if you look at my comment in context you will see that was in fact S.B. who was engaging in verbal bullying. That’s his tactic as I’m sure you well know. I have no qualms about telling him to shut up when he does such things at my blog. But that is not the same as saying “shut up” in order to shut down an argument. Once again, you and S.B. must resort to mischaracterization in order to “win” an argument.

  • It wasn’t verbal “bullying” to point out the obvious fact that you were making an astonishing claim (about starvation being caused by “deliberate policies of global capitalism”) with zero evidence to back it up (“click around the internet,” you said, when you turned out to be incapable of finding any supportive links yourself).

    So you’re merely proving the point that leftists sometimes resort to verbal bullying (“shut up”) when their arguments lack logic or evidence.

  • S.B. – Your bullying reputation is obvious to anyone who reads this blog or Vox Nova. But continue to claim otherwise. It’s nice to have a little giggle in the middle of a busy day.

  • People who say stupid things often experience it as “bullying” to have it pointed out.

  • Ha! Two giggles in one day! You are too generous, S.B.

  • Addendum: People who tell outright lies in defense of unorthodox beliefs, and yet who derive enormous intellectual pride from their faith, often experience it as “bullying” to have that pointed out as well.

  • Reading his stuff is kind of like looking at pictures of crystal addicts–it keeps most sane folks from going over to the left. At least I would hope so.

  • I was against Obama receiving the degree but I disagreed with the viewpoint expressed by your “heroic” bishops who went much further and said he should not be allowed to speak at ND and even went so far as to make judgments about Fr. Jenkin’s spiritual state. Surely you see that there is a difference.

    Of course there’s a difference. But it says much more about your partisan idiocy, and about your willingness to put your own ideology above respect for the Church’s stewards, that you think a Bishop’s fierce opposition to Obama’s position on abortion makes him a “Republicatholic.”

  • Please, by all means, prove that I am a “partisan.” I am, and have been, against the republicans and democrats for many years. You are just spewing filth, nothing accurate, nothing based in reality.

  • It’s not “filth” — just the obvious truth — to point out that you are unorthodox, as are some of your fellow bloggers. If you’re not intelligent or honest enough to admit that fact, that’s your problem.

  • Is partisanship equivalent to unorthodox?

    It doe not matter here… SB is allowed to live out rather ungracefully his continued obsession with MI.

  • No, they’re unorthodox on several moral issues.

    I’m not “obsessed.” Believe me, it takes but 30 seconds or a minute at most to type out an occasional comment. I spend far more time thinking about my family, my work, the book I’m publishing, the classical guitar album I’m making, and how to improve my squat form as I progress towards squatting 405. It’s just that when I read this blog, and I keep coming across obnoxious and asinine comments from unabashed dissenters who nonetheless have managed to convince themselves that they are the only true Catholics, I can’t help responding.

Nat Hentoff takes President Obama to task

Friday, May 29, AD 2009

Nat Hentoff’s characteristically blunt and ‘no b.s.’ columns used to be one of chief attractions of the Village Voice, before they made the foolish mistake of letting him go. Politically he’s not one you can apply a label to — in 2003 he supported the removal of Saddam Hussein’s murderous dictatorship on humanitarian grounds, but as a supporter of the First Amendment and civil liberties, harshly criticized the more excessive measures taken by the Bush administration.

Unapologetically pro-life, he is a staunch opponent of the death penalty and abortion (the latter apparently causing some tension with his liberal colleagues at the Voice) and vigorously opposed the court-ordered murder of Terry Schiavo.

Not surprisingly, he established a rapport with the feisty John Cardinal O’Connor, about whom he wrote an appreciative biography.

A self-described “member of the Proud and Ancient Order of Stiff-Necked Jewish Atheists,” he is also one who might merit the attribution: “on the side of the angels.”

Now, he takes aim at President Obama’s faux-support for “dialogue” at Notre Dame:

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5 Responses to Nat Hentoff takes President Obama to task

  • “No matter how much we want to fudge it … the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable”

    – I have to agree with that.

  • We rejoice in seeing that the esteemed Mr. Hentoff has found a place to hang his polemical hat- the Cato Institute, no less. His former employer, the usually Marxist Village Voice, recently terminated his 50-year relationship. So gratifying to see he is not mellowing in his golden years. Also gratifying to see that this Support Pregnant Women Bill is sponsored in the Senate by our own PA Senator Bob Casey Jr. No doubt communing with the ghost of Pop who is saying remember the family tradition and support the women and babies. Not surprising that no record exists of Dear Leader’s support for the bill- tends to shy away from those messier intramural skirmishes, like supporting La Pelosi from the Intelligence Community’s wrath. So bravo to Prof. Dr. Hentoff and ad multos annos and many more years of comforting afflicted and afflicting comfortable. In a word, embarrassing the young sellout whippersnappers holding sway in the MSM these days.

  • Oh might I add that fewer Americano writers have been more insightful on the topic of American Jazz- AKA A Legit Americano Art Form. Also worth examining from the esteemed Dr. Hentoff.

  • Nat Hentoff, my favorite liberal atheist! If one had to give an award for an unending dedication to the pro-life cause in a hostile environment, I would unhesitatingly give it to Mr. Hentoff.

  • The word “Dialogue” seems to be the latest sacrificial victim on the altar of ideological codespeak.

    Dia-logos, opening-words, seems to take for granted a hope in the existence of objective truth buried in the words of another and a sincere desire to find it.

    Doesn’t really apply to what happened at Notre Dame’s commencement, but it sounds really good.

Father Alberto Cutie Leaves The Catholic Church For The Episcopals

Thursday, May 28, AD 2009

Alberto Cutie

Father Alberto Cutié has abruptly left the Catholic Church and has joined the Episcopal church today.  Father Cutié was recently caught in a scandal involving a woman in a two year affair and asked and received an indefinite leave of absence from Archbishop John C. Favalora.  This has come as sudden and unexpected news to the Church.  Archbishop Favalora of Miami has not spoken with Alberto Cutié since his request and has expressed shock at the news.

“I am genuinely disappointed by the announcement made earlier this afternoon by Father Alberto Cutié that he is joining the Episcopal Church,”

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39 Responses to Father Alberto Cutie Leaves The Catholic Church For The Episcopals

  • So, pursuant to his original premise concerning the high regard he had for the Catholic Faith, he effectively demonstrates his loyalty to such principle by yielding to the abhorrent Act of Supremacy?

    Where are the loyal Romanists of today who would, though few in number, rise up and stand bravely & ever the more faithfully to their beloved and ancient Catholic Faith in a modern-day Pilgrimage of Grace?

    Our worst enemies, it seems, tend to come from within than without.

  • (Incidentally, thanks Tito! TAC citizenship finally restored!)

  • Father Alberto Cutié’s actions do not come without consequences. He will no longer be able to celebrate the sacraments and preach or teach on Catholic faith and morals in the Archdiocese of Miami. Archbishop Favalora further added, “His actions could lead to his dismissal from the clerical state”…

    Somehow I don’t think those “consequences” are going to matter much to this priest.

    this “bishop” needs reminding that the Episcopal ecclesiastical community was born and based on adultery

    Reminds me of the Newt…

  • Reminds me of the Newt…

    to Protestant we may now safely add Novatianist to Michael’s pedigree.

  • or Donatist, take your pick.

  • You can’t call me a Donatist. The Donatists lived a long long time ago.

  • Somehow I don’t think those “consequences” are going to matter much to this priest.

    not in this life anyway.

  • The “fiancee” was described early on (when the very first stories about him on the beach with a woman) as “divorced”. Does that matter in his plans to “marry” her once he is laicized?

    What an astounding display this whole thing is.

  • Reminds me of the Newt…

    Really, Michael, you might do well to step back and examine the things you say through a Christian lens. I don’t care any more for Newt than I do any other stranger, but think about what you’re doing. Aside from me thinking your politics bear poor witness to the Faith (my opinion, anyway), stuff like this is giving awful witness in an objective sense. You’re not really condemning adultery here nor are you identifying and calling out wrong or evil actions. What you’re doing is saying that repentance and conversion is futile. There’s no room for mercy and a new start. Ironically enough, it’s that mercy and hope for a new start that usually touches the convert, and how fortunate it is that the Church was built on that sort of encouragement rather than reminding us of our past sins at every opportunity.

  • Our gain is the loss of the Episcopalians.

  • Chesterton once said that journalism largely consists of saying “Lord Jones Died” to people who had no idea Lord Jones was even alive.

  • Now think about this. The Episcopal Church takes within weeks a Catholic Cleric

    (1) That very well might have been living a life of sin outside marriage
    (2) Was in the middle of emotional and public turmoil
    (3) and within WEEKS WEEKS ordained him a Episcopal Priest”

    My God when Anglicans come over there is a huge period of discernment and evaluation.

    What was this Anglican Bishop thinking over there.

  • jh,

    He’s maximizing this for full effect.

    In response to Archbishop Favalora’s statement of ecumenical manners, Bishop Frade basically said “sour grapes”, or more like “na-na-a-boo-boo” while sticking his tongue out.


  • JTBF,

    The “fiancee” was described early on (when the very first stories about him on the beach with a woman) as “divorced”. Does that matter in his plans to “marry” her once he is laicized?

    What an astounding display this whole thing is.

    Unless the Holy Father dispenses his vows of celibacy in addition to laicizing him he is impeded from marriage on that grounds as well.

    While we feel a sense of relief that this is now an Episcopalian problem, there is a tragic consequence… mercifully Anglican orders are invalid so no sacrilege takes place at their services. With an ordained priest, unless there is a defect of form, or intent he is confecting a valid sacrament.

  • 1. “Fiancee.” Always a good reason.

    2. Is he more like Henry VIII? Or the British cat who tossed aside the crown for his American cutie? Or just handsome dude who was caught in really embarrassing picture?

    3. Seems like the Episcopalians owe us something for signing a Free Agent. Cash, or seminarians to be named later.

    4. Think people will follow him on teevee now that he’s switched teams? And just what will we do with those old Padres jerseys with his name on the back? Round here in Philly, public jersey burnings after Terrell Owens left Birds for stinking Dallas Cowboys. Somehow, joining the Fighting Episcopalians doesn’t inspire confidence.

    5. Cheap p.r. stunt by all concerned. Pay no heed and pray for his soul.

  • Gerard E.,

    4. I’m an Eagles fan and I think we can still win the Super Bowl this upcoming season, if only McNabb plays consistent.

    5. Cheap PR stunt by the Episcopal bishop IMO.

  • This is so very sad. I hope the people in his people aren’t terribly confused or distraught by this, especially children.

  • What you’re doing is saying that repentance and conversion is futile. There’s no room for mercy and a new start. Ironically enough, it’s that mercy and hope for a new start that usually touches the convert, and how fortunate it is that the Church was built on that sort of encouragement rather than reminding us of our past sins at every opportunity.

    Well said, Rick. Thank you.

  • Unfortunate, but at least consistent.

    He clearly values his personal actions more than belief in truth. He found a place to match his choices.

  • Naah, MI’s not being a Donatist, at least by the America magazine definition. He’s not “attempt[ing] to keep the church free of contamination by having no truck with [governmental] officialdom.”

  • Alberto Cutie lied to the Roman Catholic Church. He seems not to understand the consequences of his actions. His lack of honesty says nothing good about him. I admired him. Now, I see a man that is arrogant, defiant, selfish, opportunistic…. The woman that he will marry is not a good woman of faith. She is the one who first contacted him and let him know about her interest for him. Bishop Leo Frade apppeared happy to welcome Alberto Cutie(I no longer respect him to call him Father), he will bring money to the new church. It is a shame that this church accepts people of low moral character. Shame on you Alberto Cutie.

  • I don’t know who is more delusional, Cutie or Fade.

  • “I admired him.”

    Cutie is but the 2nd priest on EWTN who, like Fr. Mark, initially professed such a high regard for the Catholic Church and their Catholic Faith on past EWTN broadcasts.

    I will, henceforward, be a little more cautious & skeptical concerning not only clergy but of any person who generally appears there, less these become but another Judas Iscariot and the once fond admiration held by not only myself but by impressionable family members are not only wasted but contributing to final cynicism especially as regarding those whose sincerity for the Faith essentially boils down to not a Calling eminating from Christ but, ultimately, a Calling eminating from the loins.

  • I think JH is onto the bigger story here. A priest leaving the Church is nothing new, but the Anglicans willing to take him after such a turn around is so insulting that it can’t help but to seriously harm ecumenical relations between Anglicans and Catholics, particularly in that area.

  • Michael D.,

    insulting to who exactly? The real setback is not any offense from this, it’s the fact that the Episcopals are really not Christian anymore, and the Worldwide Anglicans are not far behind (with but a few exceptions).

    Time to move this to the “inter-religious” category.

  • The dialogue between Michael Denton and Matt McDonald only proves this already self-evident deterioriation within the ranks of even the Catholic Church herself.

    To actually deplore the heretics in such a way so as to give them credence, as would seem the case in Michael’s own comments, and, even further, to state that “Episcopals are really not Christian anymore“, shows just how accomodating we have become to what was once considered heresy.

    Perhaps what Cutie has done is not so exceptional after all.

  • While I am inclined to agree with Matt that dialogue with the American Episcopal church is increasingly a waste of time and valuable tree pulp that can be put to better use elsewhere (e.g., Charmin), it’s not fair to write off the entire Anglican communion as apostate. Certainly the western branches (North America, England) are “apostate-friendly,” but the African and Asian Anglicans are still a very solid lot who preach Christ crucified.

  • Dale Price,

    While I am inclined to agree with Matt that dialogue with the American Episcopal church is increasingly a waste of time and valuable tree pulp that can be put to better use elsewhere (e.g., Charmin), it’s not fair to write off the entire Anglican communion as apostate. Certainly the western branches (North America, England) are “apostate-friendly,” but the African and Asian Anglicans are still a very solid lot who preach Christ crucified.

    I said not far behind, and the exceptions I’m referring to are the Africans and Asians. I guess I was being a little “euro-centric” in my “but a few”, since they are a pretty substantial portion in reality.

    Additionally, inter-religious dialogue is also important, but it is decidedly different from “ecumenical” dialogue.

  • e. ,

    The dialogue between Michael Denton and Matt McDonald only proves this already self-evident deterioriation within the ranks of even the Catholic Church herself.

    To actually deplore the heretics in such a way so as to give them credence, as would seem the case in Michael’s own comments, and, even further, to state that “Episcopals are really not Christian anymore“, shows just how accomodating we have become to what was once considered heresy.

    Perhaps what Cutie has done is not so exceptional after all.

    I’ve sometimes been a defender of you despite your often rancorous approach, but I have to tell you I’m starting to question your sanity.

    Adherence to a heresy generally does not exclude one from being acknowledge as a Christian, one who departs entirely from Christianity is an apostate.

    The Catechism is a sure norm in understanding your Faith better to avoid such error in the future:

    2089 Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. “Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”11

    I doubt one could avoid the sin of calumny if suggesting that Fr. Cutie is guilty of apostasy just yet.

  • Matt: Yeah, it was the “but a few exceptions” part I had a problem with. The solid branches of Anglicanism contain the majority of the adherents (if not the actual monetary resources).

  • Rancorous?

    I suppose that those who hold to a more traditional Catholicism are a deeply malevolent bunch indeed.

    More Luther, Less More.

  • Since when did embracing genuine tradition automatically render one a schismatic?

    There was a time when a person such as that was simply called ‘Catholic’.

    And people wonder why there are the Iafrates of the world; if anything, such folks are but the inevitable products of such an age as this where the Thomas Mores of the world are put to the rack while the Luthers of the world are ultimately heralded as Saint.

    To answer the question put before me, no I am not; I remain loyal to the Church of Rome, though I remain dis-loyal to the modernity that tends to possess a certain of its members.

  • I could only assume since you reject the Church’s understanding our separated brethren since the council of Trent that you were SSPV.

  • Matt,

    I have no personal quarrel with you or monsieur Denton; only with the heresy itself that you and he seem to hold in special regard.

    Ecumenism is a necessarily Christian act in healing a now hideously divided Christendom torn asunder by the innovations of heresy that has hitherto unfortunately fragmented the Body of Christ; what is unnecessary and, indeed, outright blasphemous is accomodating heresy so as to sacrifice our very Catholicism. That does not promote the healing of Christian divisions; on the contrary, it promotes further Christian disfigurement.

  • e.,

    what is the exact expression from either of us that you find so offensive? I fail to see where we have done what you accuse us of.

  • Sad, but really nothing new here. Anybody remember Emmanuel Milingo, the African archbishop a few years back who joined the Moonies, married one of them, and eventually went schismatic and ordained married bishops? Remember Fr. Francis MacNutt and Fr. Brennan Manning, who were both pretty well known in the charismatic movement back in the 70s? They left the Church to marry and eventually went off into their own ministries. Remember Fr. George Stallings, the African-American priest who eventually started his own schismatic church? There are plenty of other examples.

  • I can’t help to see how many Romanists are so clueless about Anglicanism. Just remember Pope Leo XIII only declared Anglicans “Null & Void” in the 1890’s – and that was at the behest of the English Roman Catholic Hierarchy. That means that from the Reformation until the 1890’s, Anglican clergy were “Valid but Irregular,” an amusing Romish comment. Do you want to curl a few more clerical hairs? The Episcopal Church (American Anglicans) has, for well over 100 years – until 1976, had its Bishops co-consecrated by the Bishops of the “Old Catholic Tradition” (Polish National Catholic Church in the USA). It was John Paul II who formally recognized and welcomed back all PNC Bishops/Priests, Deacons and congregations into Full Communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Think what that does to the legitimacy of the Anglican Clergy whose Apostolic Succession can be traced to these PNC Bishops? In the Episcopal Diocese of Albany, NY alone, our Bishops have always had 2 or more PNC Bishops at Consecrations of our Bishops. I remember PNC Bishop Zilinski and others who shared their Apostolicity with us Anglicans. It’s funny to have so much in common and still have all the backbiting, name calling and finger pointing between Roman Catholics and Anglicans. It was Paul VI who called us a Sister Church. We as Anglicans proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ as Savior, we celebrate 7 Sacraments, Celebrate Holy Mass, which some of us call Divine Liturgy, Holy Communion or Eucharist and we try to teach the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith as is found in the Holy Scriptures and the traditions of Holy Mother Church. But what do we do – we focus on our differences rather than our commonality and faith. Satan loves to see us fight and otherwise have us not hear God’s small voice, “that we all may be one.” I think that things, on either side are not so cut and dry, let alone pure. Our Catholic Christian faith should empower us to practice what we preach and in doing so, always remember that for the people of the world “we may be the only Bible that people will ever read.” In the end – as we stand before the awesome throne of God – it will be our faith in action, our sin repented and a loving and forgiving God who will judge our worthiness to enter into Heaven itself. We strive to “daily die to sin,” for that one day that we will hear from our Lord, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

  • The schism between Rome and the Anglican Church is more complex still. Unlike the earlier Henrican schism, not a single serving diocean bishop accepted the new ecclesiastical regime set up by Parliament and all were thus forced to resign. As such, only an extremely partisan and polemic reading of history can portray this (the product of the sidelining of the whole hierarchy and the explicit intrusion of the civil power in Church affairs) as a unilateral act on the part of Rome.

    Even then, the new excommunicated bishops were still invited to participate in the Council of Trent to help resolve the schism. Those disposed to do so where prevented by the Crown. I suspect that it is only at this point that Rome concluded that the matter ceased to be merely disciplinary and entered into the realm of formal definitive schism (to be reinforced by formal heresy under the Edwardian regency).

    But my point isn’t to launch into a historical argument about who did what to whom. A joint, fair, nuanced and intellectually honest reading of history is part of a process reconciliation that involves accepting the other’s “truths” as legitimate, no matter how painful or inconvenient, so long as it has a factual basis. Reading selective history used to score polemic points is just tiresome.

    Unlike my interlocutors, I as well as Rome consider the matter concerning the Anglicans still guilty of heresy and, therefore, remain, as it were, obviously invalid as concerning their purported ‘holy orders’.