Res & Explicatio for A.D. 5-13-2009

Wednesday, May 13, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1.  Mark Shea has accused the pro-life anti-abortion torture defenders for creating the ‘nightmare’ of Patriot Act abuse.  A homeschooled kid was arrested under suspicion of sending death threats to President Obama via his computer.  It seems as if someone hijacked his IP address to issue those death threats.  As of now he is in jail and hasn’t been allowed to meet his family nor lawyers.

To read Mark Shea’s posting on this click here.

2.  Child molesters in the Church again?  Nope, but the mainstream media isn’t picking up on the story of a Los Angeles school district ‘repeatedly’ returning child molesters to the classrooms.  In a front page story on May 10 the Los Angeles Times reported that the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) “repeatedly” returned teachers and aides credibly accused of child molestation back to classrooms, and these individuals then molested children again.  The major networks, MSNBC, and CNN have failed to pick up on this story.

For the full story by Dave Pierre of NewBusters click here.

3.  It seems that Fr. John Jenkins believes in the promotion of condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS.  Which is directly contrary to Pope Benedict XVI’s (as well as the Magisterium’s teaching) statement that condoms were not the solution to the problem of AIDS.  Fr. Jenkins, the President of Notre Dame, is a board member of Millennium Promise which promotes condom use to fight the spread of AIDS.

For the article click here.

[Update I:I want to make an addendum that so many of you insist I make.  I want to also add that Fr. John Jenkins seems to support abortion as well as condom usage.

Millenium Promise, the organization that Fr. John Jenkins is a board member of clearly states on their very own website the following:

(http://www.millenniumpromise.org/site/DocServer/Millennium_Development_Goals_Report_2008.pdf?docID=1841)

Which can be found on the main webpage of Millenium PromiseEmphasis mine.:

Page 84 of Millenium Villages Handbook on condom usage:

Budget and Procurement. The budget for the HIV/AIDS response depends on a number of factors. On the treatment side, the major budgetary concern is the provision of ARV drugs to those in need. Beyond ARV costs, other costs include staffing, other medication, CD4 counts, prevention programming, condom provision, nutritional supplementation, and VHW support.

Page 85 of Millenium Villages Handbook on condom usage:

Communication for Preventing Disease and Changing Behavior: Behavior change communication plays a key role in preventing the spread of HIV and must be seen as a central element in any response to HIV/AIDS. This core intervention includes education, awareness building, advocacy, condom distribution, and education (both male and female), rights building, and voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) promotion among other activities.

Page 92 of Millenium Villages Handbook on condom usage:

Contraception and family planning: Family planning and contraception services are critical to allow women to choose family size and birth spacing, to combat sexually transmitted infections, including HIV infection, and contribute to the reduction of maternal morbidity and mortality. Services include: (1) Counseling; (2) Male and female condoms; (3) Pharmacologic contraceptives including oral, transdermal, intramuscular, and implanted methods; and (4) IUDs

Page 92 of Millenium Villages Handbook on abortion:

Abortion services: In countries where abortion is legal, safe abortion services in controlled settings by skilled practitioners should be established. In villages with a nearby district center with sound surgical capacity, these services can be referred. However, in instances where no district center or alternate post for safe abortion practices is accessible, abortion services can be offered at the village level, provided that sufficient surgical capacity exists.]

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88 Responses to Res & Explicatio for A.D. 5-13-2009

  • It is unfortunate, but unsurprising, that Mr. Shea’s response to the evidence that there is more to the story – in fact, that the underlying premise is 100% false – is to retort, “But Charles Krauthammer is eeevil.” Well, perhaps, and I’m no supporter of Charles K’s stance on torture, but that doesn’t make the story one is relating any more true.

  • I’m a bit surprised by his statement, but that is what he wrote and I printed it word for word. I can understand his passion, but to paint a whole swath of good Catholics as part of the problem in abusing the Patriot Act is a bit much.

  • Yeah, it sounds like on Shea’s story, the kid was arrested on a standard federal warrant (no Patriot Act invocation), the charge is that he repeatedly called in false bomb threats to schools in return for money from students (who wanted the day off), and he’s a known internet prank caller — though his mother disputes that he ever made bomb threats, and he has in fact been charge and appeared in court several times along with a state appointed attourney.

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/05/teenage-bomb-threat-suspect-was-an-internet-prank-phone-call-star/

    So nearly everything Shea is basing his post on is wrong, but aside from that…

    I hope this isn’t a sign of Bush derangement syndrome morphing seamlessly into Obama derangement syndrome. There are enough real bad things to decry about the current administration without people insisting that homeschoolers are being scooped up by a Patriot Act weilding Obama and imprisoned without charge.

  • Very good news from Egypt, though. Especially as per the discussion we were having on that topic last week.

  • These comments on Mark’s blog sum up the problem with his post:

    Some kid gets arrested because of a law passed in 1939 which, sensibly enough, makes it illegal to make bomb threats by phone. His mother believes him to be innocent and says that this law passed in 1939 is somehow connected to the Patriot Act. Obviously she’s partial in this, and doesn’t know anything about the law, and is upset by the charges against her son. But what’s Mark’s excuse? What would make Mark spread the lie that this is about the Patriot Act, or uncritically repeat the kid’s mother’s assertions of his innocence?
    Thomas | 05.10.09 – 11:00 am | #

    ——————————————————————————–

    I do not like cops or the government. However, from the press release issued by the Department of Justice, the kid was arrested under Title 18, USC Sec 844(e). The press release also states that the charge is unrelated to the Patriot Act. A Federal Warrant was issued which means a Judge signed off on it.
    Rafael | 05.10.09 – 1:18 pm | #

    I am saddened by this article from mark Shea. If time had been taken to read three or four “current” articles on this situation, one would clearly see that the Patriot Act was not used in this instance, that long standing law was utilized, that the initial stories from the mother have been retracted and further that the quote from Charles Krauthammer (sp) has nothing to do with this case and that the quote used actually misrepresents the article that it is taken from. I enjoy Mark Shea’s articles on theology and catholic belief but this article is shameful for its lack of research and representation of incorrect facts as truth.
    Mike in Lebanon Kentucky | 05.11.09 – 11:30 am | #

  • It seems that Fr. John Jenkins believes in the promotion of condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS.

    This does not seem to be supported by the linked to article. Father Jenkins apparently sits on the board of an organization that supports the Millennium Development Goals. Well, the Vatican also supports the Millennium Development Goals. If the fact Father Jenkins sits on a board that supports the MDG means that he believes in promoting condom use to fight AIDS, then logically one would have to conclude that the Vatican also supports this, which is absurd.

  • Darwin,

    Yes that story from Egypt is heart-warming. The judge could still rule against the convert, thus denying his right to a new ID card showing him as a Christian. But the convert has all his paperwork in order, so it will be interesting how the judge rules and what reasoning he uses to deny his request to change his ID card to show that he is a Christian and not a Muslim.

  • Thomas,
    Furthermore, it is possible that the mother may not be as innocent as we might otherwise assume:
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,519570,00.html

    Mike,
    Yes, Mark has a short trigger. He has sound moral instincts, and I’m sure he is a good egg, but he routinely lets himself get offended before he has all the facts. And as the facts come in he shifts to painting straw men with a very broad brush and then proceeds to vigorously argue with them. It is torturous to observe, and since I oppose torture I seldom visit there anymore.

  • Blackadder,

    The Vatican supports the MGD, but the Vatican is not on the Millennium Promise as a board member.

    Logically you don’t make sense.

  • Vatican is not on the Millennium Promise as a board member.

    That’s true but irrelevant. The supposedly bad thing about Father Jenkins being on the board of Millennium Promise is that the organization supports the Millennium Development Goals, which the Vatican also supports.

  • BlackadderIV,

    Yes, it is true that both the Vatican [ed.-actually, the Vatican doesn’t support MGD after further research] and Fr. Jenkins support the Millennium Development Goals, but the Vatican is not on the board of Millennium Promise and Fr. Jenkins is.

    Hence since Millennium Promise pushes condom use to prevent the further spread of AIDS and that Fr. Jenkins is a board member, then Fr. Jenkins by default supports condom usage.

    That in itself creates a scandal, even if the perception of a scandal is apparent, then Fr. Jenkins should not be a board member at all.

  • Hence since Millennium Promise pushes condom use to prevent the further spread of AIDS

    What is the evidence that Millennium Promise pushes condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS? The only evidence cited in the article is that the group supports the MDG. Clearly this is not good evidence, as the Vatican itself supports the MDG.

    Maybe Millennium Promise supports condoms. Maybe it supports Satanic child sacrifice. Who knows. All I know is that the linked to article provides no evidence in support of the claim that the group (and by extension, Father Jenkins) does support condoms.

  • BlackadderIV,

    The Vatican clearly does not support the MGD’s. You know it and I know it. The Vatican would not support condom usage and abortion. Besides, nowhere in the article does it say that the Vatican supports MGD’s.

    Fr. Jenkins on the other hand by his being a board member MP that supports condom usage and abortions, has not distanced himself from those MGD’s that support it.

  • Tito:

    I agree with Blackadder on this one. The article provides a weak link, too weak to charitably launch a criticism that assumes Jenkins is weak on contraception.

  • Michael Denton,

    As a board member of a pro-life organization I would not want my organization endorsing causes that go counter to Catholic teaching. I would resign or work towards amending the predicament.

    Fr. Jenkins has compromised himself by being a board member of said group. Fr. Jenkins is also president of Notre Dame, so we can assume he is very careful about what organizations he is a member of. He holds a high profile position and should be careful as a representative of the Catholic Church and her teachings. By being a board member he gives unwarranted assurances that it is o.k. to pass out condoms and procure abortions for whatever reasons.

    We can debate where the link is weak or not.

    The fact remains that it is causing scandal by his mere association, even more so now that he has made the monumental blunder of not only inviting the most pro-abortion president to speak, but also giving him an honorary degree in which creates more scandal.

  • The Vatican clearly does not support the MGD’s. You know it and I know it. The Vatican would not support condom usage and abortion. Besides, nowhere in the article does it say that the Vatican supports MGD’s.

    The title of the article from Zenit I linked to is “Holy See Promotes Millennium Goals at U.N.” The first sentence of the article states “The Holy See urged the United Nations to deliver on the Millennium Development Goals, saying that ‘it is an obligation in justice.'” I’m not sure how you can say that “nowhere in the article does it say that the Vatican supports MGD’s.”

    Fr. Jenkins on the other hand by his being a board member MP that supports condom usage and abortions

    Again, there’s no evidence that Millennium Promise does support condom usage and abortions. If you can produce some evidence that it does so, then okay, you’d have a point about Jenkins being a board member. But one shouldn’t accuse Father Jenkins (or anyone else) of supporting condom usage or belonging to an organization that supports condom usage unless one has some evidence that these claims are actually true.

  • BlackadderIV,

    I don’t have the link to the Zenit article you are referencing.

    The mere fact that MP supports MGD is enough to cause scandal. Even the perception of support is enough to cause scandal.

    Clearly you and I disagree on whether Fr. Jenkins supports condoms and abortion.

    We can leave it at that.

  • Tito,

    The link is here.

  • Here’s part of the article if you are having trouble with the link:

    NEW YORK, SEPT. 18, 2005 (ZENIT.org).- The Holy See urged the United Nations to deliver on the Millennium Development Goals, saying that “it is an obligation in justice.”

    Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, stressed the importance of the development goals, which include eradicating half of the world’s poverty by 2015, in his address to the U.N. General Assembly on Friday.

    “It remains an obligation in justice in the service of human dignity to attain and even to surpass the Millennium Development Goals, thereby establishing an essential pre-condition for peace and collective security, and for the elimination or substantial reduction of the threat from terrorism and international crime,” he said.

  • BlackAdderIV,

    Thank you for the link.

    It seems the Vatican is clearly backing the MGD’s in rectifying the situation of the poor. That’s what I read in the article.

    I do see where you are coming from and I do agree with it to an extent. But assuming you are correct, Fr. Jenkins is still causing scandal by the mere appearance of support of condom use.

    Thank you for the vibrant discussion. You never fail to offer a positive and constructive debate.

  • Btw, where did the stuff about abortion come from? You started out by saying that Father Jenkins supported condom use to fight AIDS, and then at some point started adding “and abortion” to the end of your claims that Father Jenkins supports condoms. What’s up with that?

  • Tito:

    Since you say:

    But assuming you are correct, Fr. Jenkins is still causing scandal by the mere appearance of support of condom use.

    I think that then you should alter these claims in the original post:

    It seems that Fr. John Jenkins believes in the promotion of condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS.

    and

    Fr. Jenkins, the President of Notre Dame, is a board member of Millennium Promise which promotes condom use to fight the spread of AIDS.

  • But assuming you are correct, Fr. Jenkins is still causing scandal by the mere appearance of support of condom use.

    I don’t think scandal can be properly based on false accusations made against someone. Suppose I said that the American Catholic blog supported condoms, and repeated the claim a bunch of times. Would that mean that you should resign from the blog, because even the mere appearance of support of condom use was causing scandal? I don’t think so.

  • I continued reading the MGD and it shows that abortion is a contentious issue within the UN in further developing the MGD’s to include abortion.

    What’s up with your hostility?

  • Michael Denton,

    No such thing will be done.

  • BA,

    There is a clear link between the MGD and MP. You can debate until your face turns blue, but you can’t argue with facts.

  • I think Tito might have picked up on one of these articles:

    http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/index.php?s=228024285a02e66b8f754d589f7b900a&showtopic=93977&mode=threaded

    A further issue of concern is Millennium Development Goal #5 which is to “Improve Maternal Health.” In 2005 there was an enormous campaign to change MDG#5 to include women’s reproductive health – a code word for abortion. This campaign failed, but there is still an ongoing power struggle over this issue. Some organizations such as UNICEF and UNFPA have issued public documents stating that women’s reproductive health is indeed now included as part of the Millennium Development Goals.

    Since those seeking to incorporate abortion rights in the MDG failed in their efforts, it seems unfair to include abortion in the litany of accusations against Fr. Jenkins. That said, MDG#6 is pretty clear in its promotion of contraception.

  • I continued reading the MGD and it shows that abortion is a contentious issue within the UN in further developing the MGD’s to include abortion.

    It’s contentious, but for now abortion is not part of the MDGs. On that particular score, it thus unfair to imply that Fr. Jenkins has an abortion problem.

  • No such thing will be done.

    Y’see, Michael, Tito is infallible.

  • Michael I.,

    What are you studying again?

    Paul & BA4,

    I see where abortion hasn’t quite made it on the MGD agenda so I’ll refrain from accusing Fr. Jenkins on that point. Though he is still causing scandal for supporting condom distribution which is contrary to Catholic teaching.

  • Though he is still causing scandal for supporting condom distribution which is contrary to Catholic teaching.

    Even though I do agree that there’s an undeniable link between the Millennium Project and the Millennium Development Goals, and as a board member Fr. Jenkins is at least tacitly responsible for the end product, this still might be an over-reach. What was/is Fr. Jenkins role in developing those goals? Did he push back against MDG #6? Did he decide to continue to support the MDGs despite of this provision? And what of the Vatican’s seeming support?

    I don’t completely dismiss your concerns, but I think this matter deserves further serious exploration before we declare Fr. Jenkins to be a supporter of condom distribution.

  • I don’t completely dismiss [Tito’s] concerns, but I think this matter deserves further serious exploration before we declare Fr. Jenkins to be a supporter of condom distribution.

    Agreed.

  • I don’t completely dismiss [Tito’s] concerns, but I think this matter deserves further serious exploration before we declare Fr. Jenkins to be a supporter of condom distribution.

    Likewise, agreed.

  • I agree with the previous three commenters.

    Tito:

    You are out of line if you don’t retract. You have asserted that a priest openly rejects the teaching of the Church on contraception. This would be a very serious sin if true, and is a very serious charge, especially against a priest, and especially against a priest of high prominence.

    You, by your own admission, lack the evidence for such a charge. Perhaps Jenkins does support them, but you have not one bit of evidence other then “he’s on a group which is associated with this group that includes contraception.” You need much stronger evidence then that to accuse someone, particularly a Catholic priest, of such wrongdoing as you accuse.

    If you do not update the post with a correction, this post is calumny [ed.-if you continue to slander me you will be placed in moderation].

  • John,
    I agree as well. I do not think that being a board member of an organization that does has perfectly sound purposes but also supports condom distribution automatically makes one a supporter of condom distribution. For all we know Fr. Jenkins opposes condom distribution and has faithfully registered his objections at board meetings. One is not required by Catholic teaching to resign from each and every organization that takes actions or positions inimical to Church teaching — that is a prudential decision. That is exactly why we can have pro-life Democrats, and indeed it is good that we do. I have served on the local United Way board off and on for 15 years notwithstanding the fact that the local Planned Parenthood agency as a grantee. If fact, I have been instrumental in ensuring that donors can elect to direct their donations so as to exclude Planned Parenthood and helped devise the accounting procedures that give that actual effect. We cannot resign from the world. While one might argue that it is imprudent for Fr. J to remain a board member for reasons of potential confusion or scandal, that is a prudential calculus that belongs to him. The fact that he has chosen to remain a board member is very weak evidence that he actually supports condom distribution.
    All that said, perhaps Tito has other evidence and I missed it (in a hurry — lots to do).

  • Michael Denton,

    You will be guilty of slander if you continue with your uncharitable and dishonest accusations against me.

    I will not repeat what I’ve already explained why Fr. Jenkins seems to promote condom usage. Your obtuseness will not be tolerated if you continue with your behavior. This is your first and only warning. If you continue you will be placed on moderation.

  • Mike Petrik,

    By the simple fact that you are a board member of United Way makes you in formal cooperation with evil. United Way funds abortions and it is something not to be proud of. [ed.-I was wrong here, United Way operates independently at the local level.]

    I can see why there is hostility to my position. You clearly are going against church teachings.

    You cannot be publicly for abortion, but privately against it. Just like many typical ‘pro-life democrats’.

  • Everyone,

    That is the problem with complacency and nuance. By giving excuse after excuse to why Fr. Jenkin’s is on the board for an organization that promotes condom usage and quite possibly abortions is to fall into relativism.

    [ed.-edited for charity] Too many good and well-meaning Catholics make excuses for those Catholics that continue to drift away from Catholic teaching to the point that they are completely in camp with evil. Such as Fr. Jenkin’s honoring the most pro-abortion candidate in the history of the United States and Mike Petrik sitting on the board of an organization for 15 years that funds abortions is inexcusable.

    We need to change the culture, not be changed by it.

  • There is a clear link between the MGD and MP.

    First, it really should be MDG, not MDG. It’s Millennium Development Goals, after all, not Millennium Goals Development.

    Second, I’m not arguing that there’s no link between Millennium Promise and the Millennium Development Goals. That is very clear. The question is whether supporting the Millennium Development Goals means supporting condom use. Given the fact that the Vatican (which certainly does not support condom use) supports the Millennium Development Goals, I would argue the answer to this question is no.

    The specific MDG in question is number six, which is to “[c]ombat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases.” Whatever some UN bureaucrat might say on the matter, isn’t it obvious that one could support that goal without supporting the use of condoms as a means to prevent the spread of AIDS?

  • BlackAdder4,

    I agree with your statement that you can support the goal without supporting the use of condoms as a means to prevent the spread of AIDS.

    What I say is that due to Fr. Jenkins actions of late he has brought the light of scandal upon himself. If he has done this, he may have made other mistakes as well. One of them being that he is a board member of MP. Assuming that he is there for the correct reasons, he is still causing scandal by bringing attention to such a scandalous position.

    And I do like MGD (Miller Genuine Draft), but yes, I was referring to MDG. Thank you for the fraternal correction.

  • Tito,

    No doubt Father Jenkins has made many mistakes and is open to criticism on many fronts. That doesn’t mean that one has free reign to accuse him of whatever one wishes.

    This doesn’t have to be difficult. You didn’t look into a matter very carefully, and ended up making a charge against Father Jenkins that isn’t supported by the evidence. Okay, it happens. The thing to do when this is pointed out to you is just to own up to the mistake, retract the charges, and move on. Retrenchment on such a matter will only serve to further damage your credibility.

  • Tito:

    Mike Petrik making excuses for those who actually support the very things you mention?

    My dear friend, you seem to be conflating one’s residence within a certain organization/entity with direct allegiance & support of the very activities it purportedly sponsors.

    If that were indeed the case, that this Guilt by Association automatically renders a person culpable of the very crimes you seem wont to prosecute him for, then that would make any citizen of the United States who pay their taxes guilty of similar crimes, given that the U.S. government provides monies to national abortion programs (and, even now, in light of Obama’s fierce Pro-abortion Crusade, it would seem globally as well); and, therefore, by that very same logic you’ve applied thus, makes every tax-paying U.S. citizen guilty of formal cooperation with evil, too.

    You’re better than this — or, at least, I should hope.

  • BlackAdder4,

    Again we can agree to disagree.

    I made no mistake and will not retract my facts on the matter.

    e.,

    Fr. Jenkins causes scandal by his mere association of such an organization.

  • Tito,

    The claim that “Fr. John Jenkins believes in the promotion of condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS” is unsubstantiated, and I agree with Michael Denton’s recommendation that it should be retracted.

  • Christopher,

    I made no mistake and will not retract my facts on the matter.

    You have your opinions on the matter which are incorrect. Fr. John Jenkins is causing a scandal by his board membership to an organization that supports the promotion of condom use.

  • I think that the baseless of Tito’s accusation has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of everyone but Tito, and demonstrating it to his satisfaction does not seem to be possible, so I’ll leave the conversation here.

  • BlackAdder4,

    Just because your unsupported accusations are supported by others doesn’t make it right.

    You are not satisfied unless your able to smear me which is uncharitable to say the least.

    The conversation would have been better served if you hadn’t participated in the first place.

  • Re: Millenium Promise

    Millennium Villages Handbook

    Abortion services: In countries where abortion is legal, safe abortion services in
    controlled settings by skilled practitioners should be established. In villages with a
    nearby district center with sound surgical capacity, these services can be referred.
    However, in instances where no district center or alternate post for safe abortion
    practices is accessible, abortion services can be offered at the village level,
    provided that sufficient surgical capacity exists

    Contraception and family planning: Family planning and contraception services
    are critical to allow women to choose family size and birth spacing, to combat
    sexually transmitted infections, including HIV infection, and contribute to the
    reduction of maternal morbidity and mortality. Services include: (1) Counseling;
    (2) Male and female condoms; (3) Pharmacologic contraceptives including oral,
    transdermal, intramuscular, and implanted methods; and (4) IUDs

    So, while the absolute evidence is not in the articles, it is clearly in their approach.

    The insidious use of euphemisms like “prevention services”, “maternal health”, “reproductive health” etc. does not change the reality of what Millenium Promise is doing. None of us should be so naive as to believe they are being moral.

  • Off topic (and perhaps simply for comic relief at this point), is the icon typically used in Tito Edward’s posts a painting of the very man featured in the icon in blackadderiv’s posts?

  • Tito,

    Paul Zummo’s questions stand, and I note you have not bothered to respond:

    What was/is Fr. Jenkins role in developing those goals? Did he push back against MDG #6? Did he decide to continue to support the MDGs despite of this provision? And what of the Vatican’s seeming support?

    Until you actually provide evidence to substantiate your accusation, the claim that Fr. Jenkins personally support condom use is groundless.

    That you preface your claim with “it seems” indicates your own uncertainty in making the accusation.

  • Everyone,

    I am adding substantial evidence of Millenium Promise‘s goals for condom usage AND abortion to the posting.

    It will take a little while since Millenium Promise‘s handbooks have this burried in over 200 pages of “nuance”.

    Christopher Blosser,

    You continue to ignore my statement that Fr. Jenkins gives cause for scandal. [ed.-off topic]

  • e.,

    I use El Greco’s ‘Conde Ordaz’ picture.

    I’m not sure what Black Adder use’s but it’s not what I use.

  • Tito:

    Personally, I believe the charitable thing to do at this point is for you to retract your accusation.

    Although I can see your point concerning how the opinion of the mob does not automatically render theirs correct (argumentum ad populum); still, I can’t see how the accusation you’ve made against Jenkins can seriously be considered as anything but baseless at this point.

    While Jenkin’s own actions during the past months may appear downright reprehensible, I don’t think that faithful Catholics such as yourself should sink so low to the point of what appears to be calumny.

    As I’ve attempted to explain before, I don’t quite think that Jenkins simply being a board member automatically renders him guilty of personally perpetrating the very crime of which you seem to have prematurely prosecuted him for, no more than I would deem you — for simply being a tax-paying U.S. citizen — guilty of supporting national programs for abortion being that such programs are prominently financed by taxpayers’ monies.

  • Christopher,

    Until you actually provide evidence to substantiate your accusation, the claim that Fr. Jenkins personally support condom use is groundless.

    with respect, where exactly does Tito make the claim you are claiming he did? It is your own accusation which is groundless. Tito only claimed that Fr. Jenkins SEEMS to support condom use since he’s on a board of an organization, that despite suggestions to the contrary DISTRIBUTES CONDOMS and PROVIDES ABORTIONS.

    That you preface your claim with “it seems” indicates your own uncertainty in making the accusation.

    No, it’s a statement about APPEARANCE, in being on the board of an organization it APPEARS or SEEMS one is in support of their activities.

    Being on the board of an organization which spreads evil is clearly scandalous, if not outright material cooperation with evil, even if one does not personally support those evils.

  • Matt,

    “Being on the board of an organization which spreads evil is clearly scandalous, if not outright material cooperation with evil, even if one does not personally support those evils.”

    Are you quite serious about this?

    Do you also apply this same sort of logic to executive-level, middle management or even ordinary employees of companies, too? To even citizens of countries that happen to provide such monstrous support for abortion that they themselves do not personally advocate?

  • While we’re at it. Until the Church declares the particular techniques defended by some to be torture, it is completely uncharitable to refer to refer to those who defend them as “torture defenders”. The argument is clearly about the definition of torture, not whether or not we should be using torture, which, we should not, and most everyone in the debate agrees.

  • In regard to Mike Petrik there is no firmer pro-lifer.

    In regard to accusations, there should be evidence presented. As to Jenkins I think in order to claim that he supports condom use we need more than he is present on the board of Millenium Promise. I do agree with Tito that it strikes me as a fairly dubious organization.

  • I want to make an addendum that so many of you insist I make. I want to add that Fr. John Jenkins seems to support abortion as well as condom usage. I have added this to the original post as an addendum.

    Millenium Promise, the organization that Fr. John Jenkins is a board member of clearly states on their very own website the following:

    (http://www.millenniumpromise.org/site/DocServer/Millennium_Development_Goals_Report_2008.pdf?docID=1841)

    Which can be found on the main webpage of Millenium Promise. Emphasis mine.:

    Page 84 of Millenium Villages Handbook on condom usage:

    Budget and Procurement. The budget for the HIV/AIDS response depends on a number of factors. On the treatment side, the major budgetary concern is the provision of ARV drugs to those in need. Beyond ARV costs, other costs include staffing, other medication, CD4 counts, prevention programming, condom provision, nutritional supplementation, and VHW support.

    Page 85 of Millenium Villages Handbook on condom usage:

    Communication for Preventing Disease and Changing Behavior: Behavior change communication plays a key role in preventing the spread of HIV and must be seen as a central element in any response to HIV/AIDS. This core intervention includes education, awareness building, advocacy, condom distribution, and education (both male and female), rights building, and voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) promotion among other activities.

    Page 92 of Millenium Villages Handbook on condom usage:

    Contraception and family planning: Family planning and contraception services are critical to allow women to choose family size and birth spacing, to combat sexually transmitted infections, including HIV infection, and contribute to the reduction of maternal morbidity and mortality. Services include: (1) Counseling; (2) Male and female condoms; (3) Pharmacologic contraceptives including oral, transdermal, intramuscular, and implanted methods; and (4) IUDs

    Page 92 of Millenium Villages Handbook on abortion:

    Abortion services: In countries where abortion is legal, safe abortion services in controlled settings by skilled practitioners should be established. In villages with a nearby district center with sound surgical capacity, these services can be referred. However, in instances where no district center or alternate post for safe abortion practices is accessible, abortion services can be offered at the village level, provided that sufficient surgical capacity exists.]

  • Tito, look at it this way. From another thread:

    The way Fr. Z links homosexuality with “rats” and the “devil” is scandalous and inappropriate for a priest of Jesus Christ.

    To which was replied:

    This is what Father Z wrote:

    “While it is true that the laborers in the Lord’s vinyard should be perfect enough in their spirit of dedication never to have to need any praise or thanks, they remain human beings. Furthermore, they are also under constant attack by the enemy of the soul.

    It takes but small crack for a rat to slip into a house. It takes hardly anything at all for the devil to insinuate his venom into a man’s daily reflections.”

    Would you agree that it was incorrect and wrong for the first person to say what he did? I think so. If you do, then please step back and see how what you’re saying about Fr Jenkins is similar (and I’m not sying Fr Jenkins isn’t wrong on a number of issues, but justice is justice).

  • e.,


    Matt said: being on the board of an organization which spreads evil is clearly scandalous, if not outright material cooperation with evil, even if one does not personally support those evils.”

    e. said: Are you quite serious about this?

    Absolutely. To clarify, I’m not talking about mundane evil, but the profound evils of abortion and contraception.

    Do you also apply this same sort of logic to executive-level

    Most probably yes.

    , middle management or even ordinary employees of companies, too?

    To a lesser extent, but yes in those cases too. This can be excused if there’s no direct involvement, and the individual has no choice to make a living for their family but to be employed at the organization. It would also depend on the amount of evil being spread. Let’s say Coca-Cola on the lower level, Proctor & Gamble in the middle, and Planned Parenthood at the highest. This group seems to be somewhere between P&G and PP in it’s promotion of evil.

    To even citizens of countries that happen to provide such monstrous support for abortion that they themselves do not personally advocate?

    Not to a substantial extent because citizenship is not a voluntary assocation. If the evil activity becomes so substantial that the nation is wholly corrupt, and there are alternatives we should leave, but in our current circumstances, I don’t see that as the case. There is still a “Culture War” going on, and really no safe haven elsewhere, we have no choice but to stay and fight.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    RE: Mike Petrik, I agree.

    RE: Tito’s suspicion about the organization, I agree.

    RE: Jenkin’s purportedly supporting those particular measures as detailed therein; that remains to be seen.

    Personally, even seeming to act on behalf of Jenkin’s is the last thing I’d ever countenance; however, given the subtle workings of certain boards I happen to be acquainted with, given its own “political” workup and their various agendas which not all unanimously agree to, this very detail would leave me initially skeptical.

  • Fr. Jenkins is on the board of a pro-abortion and pro-condom organization of Millennium Promises which at minimum gives scandal.

    I have not accused Fr. Jenkins of being personally for condom usage (or abortion). But I have said he seems to be promoting these evils by associating himself with a pro-abortion and pro-condom organization.

    Notwithstanding all the evidence that I have provided that many of you have chosen to ignore.

  • It would seem that self-described “pro-life Democrats”, by virtue of their being Democrats, are actually pro-abortion.

  • Tito:

    “But I have said he seems to be promoting these evils by associating himself with a pro-abortion and pro-condom organization.”

    Respectfully, the very same can be said almost about any one of us.

    If a person can automatically be condemned as being somebody who “seems to be promoting these evils by associating himself with a pro-abortion and pro-condom organization”, then a person who simply works for a corporation who also happens to do the same can likewise be condemned as such.

    Now, to be fair, Jenkins may well be guilty of having actually supported those very measures detailed in the handbook; however, as it stands, there is yet to be convincing evidence of the sort that would actually corroborate such a claim — even a claim as tentatively articulated as “he seems to be promoting these evils by associating himself with a pro-abortion and pro-condom organization”.

  • e.,

    Yes, I see your reasoning.

    The difference is that Fr. Jenkins is a Catholic priest. One who is the president of a world-renowned Catholic university. One that can be argued made a mistake of offering an honorary degree and an invitation to speak to Notre Dame’s graduates. He is now under the microscope because of his questionable actions. One can rightly say “is this a pattern of behavior?” Someone who goes contrary to Church teachings?

    It is only fair to ask if his example is giving scandal to others. His mere association with Millenium Promise gives credence that it’s ok to abort and use condoms since such a prominent Catholic is on a board of a UN NGO!

  • Just so we’re clear, my point was that Krauthammer says that if we have “the slightest belief” that torture will save “an innocent”, then this kid should, by Krauthammer’s own logic, be tortured. Obviously, the Feds have “the slightest belief” that his alleged bomb threats have some sort of substance to them or they wouldn’t still be holding him. So by Krauthammer’s logic it is a “moral obligation” to torture the kid, lest by some oversight he or his compatriots actually kill innocents. The post isn’t really about the Patriot Act: it’s about the logic of the rhetoric that is being put forward by major pundits and representatives of allegedly “conservative” thought. By Krauthammer’s standards, the Feds were actually neglectful of their moral obligations when they didn’t instantly start torturing him. Suppose the threat had been real!

  • With all due respect… (That being the general precursor to rhetorically laying into someone.)

    Obviously, the Feds have “the slightest belief” that his alleged bomb threats have some sort of substance to them or they wouldn’t still be holding him.

    Actually, that’s not clear at all. Calling in bomb threats is illegal even if they’re known to be false. From what I’ve seen, it’s pretty clear that he’s being prosecuted for making fake bomb threats, not on the suspicion that he was really going to bomb anything.

    it’s about the logic of the rhetoric that is being put forward by major pundits and representatives of allegedly “conservative” thought. By Krauthammer’s standards, the Feds were actually neglectful of their moral obligations when they didn’t instantly start torturing him. Suppose the threat had been real!

    I’m not really clear that his is put forward by “major pundits” or “representative of allegedly ‘conservative’ thought” either. Sometime along these lines was said by Krauthammer (a quirky sort of fellow himself, politically) once. I strongly doubt that, if ask, he would give the interpretation to his words that you are giving. And if one went around the country asking pundits and ordinary citizens the number (even among Fox News watchers) who would assert that the government has a moral obligation to torture anyone it has the least suspicion of being about to bomb innocent people is pretty clearly vanishingly small.

    I don’t think that your admirable witness against consequentialist arguments for torture is helped by assembling what amounts to a fairly preposterous straw man. Your arguments themselves are better than that.

  • Once again the clown Mark Shea has bombed. Certainly even now he’s scouring online archives, Krauthammer’s rubbish bin, Halliburton dumps, anything at all in a desperate attempt at uncovering some comeback lines. In this valiant Hamburger Hill like effort at misdirection he’ll be well advised to decline any offer of relief from Mr Comerford, the Walter Mitty of the blogosphere.

  • Ivan,

    Without the rudeness please?

  • Ditto Ivan’s remarks.

    Shea has sunk so low, he has himself become a self-parody; simply allow the guy to dig his own grave and he will… eventually.

  • Shea is no clown and needs no defense from the likes of e. and Ivan. They are best ignored.

  • Mark, Darwin Catholic

    I apologise for writing “the clown…”. I regretted that once it was posted.

  • “I apologise for writing ‘the clown'”

    Yeah, ‘Bozo’ would’ve been more apt where Shea is concerned!

    (apologies, Darwin Catholic — only messin’).

  • Christopher,

    Christopher Blosser Says:
    Wednesday, May 13, 2009 A.D. at 2:27 pm

    It would seem that self-described “pro-life Democrats”, by virtue of their being Democrats, are actually pro-abortion.

    You know that’s not what I or Tito said, so it’s simply a strawman.

    Since you asked though, membership in the Democrat party is material cooperation with evil and may be scandalous. Whether this is sinful or not would depend on a number of factors. Particularly to the degree one avoids apparent or actual support of the platform or pro-abortion candidates.

    Now, simple membership in a party is not the same thing as being on the board of an organization, which is done specifically to lend credibility to the cause and/or as a reward for faithful support. I have not heard Fr. Jenkins actively rejecting the approach of the group he is on the board of, and it’s likely that he would not be on that board if he was. As a prominent Catholic priest lending credibility to an organization which substantially spreads evil, he is giving scandal.

  • Matt,

    If Tito had expressed concern about Fr. Jenkin’s presence “lending credibility” to an organization that promotes condom use, I would be in complete agreement with him.

    In fact, I don’t think you would find a number of his colleagues voicing their dissent as happened on this post.

    But you and I both know he didn’t frame the argument in that manner.

    Rather, he publicly speculated that “Fr. John Jenkins believes in the promotion of condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS.”

    One is an expression of charitable concern, voiced in a respectful manner.

    The other is a deliberate misrepresentation and an unsubstantiated charge.

  • Christopher Blosser,

    If Tito had expressed concern about Fr. Jenkin’s presence “lending credibility” to an organization that promotes condom use, I would be in complete agreement with him.

    That’s good.

    In fact, I don’t think you would find a number of his colleagues voicing their dissent as happened on this post.

    But you and I both know he didn’t frame the argument in that manner.

    Rather, he publicly speculated that “Fr. John Jenkins believes in the promotion of condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS.

    Chris, that is one of the most aggregious attempts at changing the substance of a persons statement by quoting out of context I’ve seen in awhile. All you had to do to present your Christian brother’s statement in a more reasonable light is to quote the WHOLE sentence, instead of slicing it up for your own purposes.

    What Tito actually said:
    It seems that Fr. John Jenkins believes in the promotion of condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS.

    seem
    ??/sim/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [seem]

    –verb (used without object)
    1. to appear to be, feel, do, etc.: She seems better this morning.
    2. to appear to one’s own senses, mind, observation, judgment, etc.: It seems to me that someone is calling.
    3. to appear to exist: There seems no need to go now.
    4. to appear to be true, probable, or evident: It seems likely to rain.
    5. to give the outward appearance of being or to pretend to be: He only seems friendly because he wants you to like him.

    There is an appearance of support.

    One is an expression of charitable concern, voiced in a respectful manner.

    And that is what Tito was trying to do, regardless of whether or not he expressed it exactly as you wanted.

    The other is a deliberate misrepresentation and an unsubstantiated charge.

    And that is what CHRISTOPHER BLOSSER did by misquoting Tito’s statement.

  • Christopher,

    “Fr. John Jenkins believes in the promotion of condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS.”

    I said “seems”, not “believes”.

    I believe you misquoted me. Or it seems you misquoted me. See the difference?

    Which changes the entire context of what I wrote.

  • Tito,

    I thank you and Matt for proving my point.

    Let’s examine your sentence as a whole:

    “It seems that Fr. John Jenkins believes in the promotion of condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS.”

    We can see from this:

    1) Tito is uncertain that Fr. John Jenkins actually BELIEVES in the promotion of condom use.

    2) He qualifies it with “it seems”

    3) But in the simple fact of doing so, he plants the thought in the public realm and casts aspersion on Fr. Jenkins.

    Again, if Tito had framed the argument in such a manner as:

    1) Fr. Jenkins is a member of the board of an organization that endorses the Millenium Goals
    2) Said organization has been known to advocate contraception in the fulfillment of the “goal”
    3) Fr. Jenkins lends the appearance of advocacy to this by his being on the board

    I would have little objection, because rather than rumor-mongering, you instead extend the invitation to Fr. Jenkins for clarification, and treat him with Christian charity such as every Catholic deserves.

  • Christopher Blosser,


    I think you and Matt for proving my point.

    Let’s take your sentence as a whole:

    “It seems that Fr. John Jenkins believes in the promotion of condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS.”

    We can see from this:

    1) Tito is uncertain that Fr. John Jenkins actually BELIEVES in the promotion of condom use.

    2) He qualifies it with “it seems”

    3) But in the simple fact of doing so, he plants the thought in the public realm and casts an unsubstantiated charge against Fr. Jenkins.

    Are we clear on why I object to this?.

    Tito didn’t plant the thought in the public realm, Fr. Jenkins did by being ON THE BOARD OF A PRO-CONDOM, PRO-ABORTION ORGANIZATION, which is a further complication of his support for honoring a rabidly pro-abortion politician and rejecting the correction of his own bishop. Tito brought it up for discussion on the blog, it was always in the public realm. Tito revealed nothing.

    Are you HONESTLY denying that Fr. Jenkins position on that board implies support for it’s operations in the absence of strong evidence to the contrary, especially in light of his decision to reject the instruction of his bishop and honor a pro-abortion/condom politician?

  • Christopher,

    We are splitting hairs at this point.

    For me I take people at their word and I believe what you are saying is sincere. I take your fraternal actions to heart, but we’ve exhausted this debate well enough.

    Pax vobiscum.

  • Matt,

    I’ve stated my case. I’m done with this.

  • It “seems” that Tito does not fully understand the concept of material cooperation, but pontificates on it with great confidence anyway.
    It “seems” that Tito has no idea how United Ways are organized or governed, but pontificates on them with great confidence anyway.
    It “seems” that Tito feels he can reach factual conclusions with great confidence simply by taking bizarre inferential liberties.
    It “seems” that Tito thinks that he is entitled to make all manner of unfair accusations, most especially if he qualifies them with “seems.”

  • Mike,

    I’ll concede that you aren’t in material cooperation, but in remote material cooperation with abortion.

  • I’ll concede that you aren’t in material cooperation, but in remote material cooperation with abortion.

    No more than any of us who live in this society.

    Tito, are ad hominem attacks wrong? If so, how does “It seems that Fr. John Jenkins believes in the promotion of condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS” differ from what Mike said? Best I can tell, the only difference is that while Mike slipped in “it seems”, his observations can actually be connected to your own words, whereas there is much less to go on regarding Fr. Jenkins.

  • As far as the rest of your ad hominem attacks, you need to think twice before you post or you will be banned.

    Tito: You really need to relax. You have now generated into ad hominem and ridiculous charges against someone who is merely pointing out the spuriousness of your charges. If you feel like lashing out against and banning Mike and anyone else who shows even the slightest hint of disagreeing with you, then frankly I have no use in visiting this site anymore myself.

  • Rick,

    If you want to delve into moral relativism, be my guest.

    It is scandalous that a prominent Catholic priest is a board member of an organization that actively promotes condom usage and abortion.

    But if you want to mock me and what I wrote I am fine with it. You can attack the messenger, but the fact remains that Fr. John Jenkins is a board member, not a volunteer on a Sunday morning passing out flyers, but a board member that has the authority to debate the direction of an organization that actively promotes moral evils contrary to Catholic teaching.

    Go ahead and attack me, but you won’t distract from this very fact.

  • Everyone,

    We all need to cool down about this (me included).

    So I am closing down the comments for this thread.

    We all need to think twice before posting comments and remember that we are all children of Christ. It would behoove all of us to be more charitable in how we treat each other.

    I appreciate fraternal correction, but that can’t be used as a weapon to bludgeon someone you disagree with.

    Pax!

  • Pingback: Res & Explicatio for A.D. 5-20-2009 « The American Catholic

56 Responses to "I can assure you of my prayers for your conversion, and for the conversion of your formerly Catholic University."

  • I think this type of rudeness is disappointing and counter-productive, particularly coming from a Bishop.

  • I think John Henry that we need a lot more blunt talk against people like Jenkins who make a complete mockery of the Catholic Church.

  • The world would be a better place if more bishops had the candor of Bp. Bruskewitz.

  • As I noted on my own blog, Deus caritas est, but God is also Truth.

    I fail to see any “rudeness” in His Excellency’s letter.

  • I think this type of rudeness is disappointing and counter-productive, particularly coming from a Bishop.

    Pardon my rudeness, but stuff it. While you might think moderate tempered mealy-mouthed reactions are what’s going to suddenly make people see the light, the rest of us applaud the fact that some Bishops have suddenly found their voice and are willing to call out those who aid and abet the culture of death.

    I’m frankly more disgusted by people who wag their fingers at those who raise their voices above a whisper.

  • The problem with the letter is

    1) Notre Dame has not lost its Catholic status, so the letter itself is mirepresenting the status of the university. If it had lost its status, this would be a proper letter to make. When it has not, then it only hurts the point the Bishop makes. It is always important to be honest and not misrepresent the situation by exaggeration.

    2) It’s also dishonest in saying President Jenkins is indifferent to abortion or the beliefs President Obama has on abortion. It’s over-the top.

    3) Should we use this line of reasoning, as exemplified in the letter, it would turn on upon the Catholic Church and end up calling the Church not Catholic for its historical mistakes and indifference to many crimes against humanity which it turned a blind eye to when regimes did them (such as the Spanish Inquisition). It’s really absurd, and poor ecclesiology.

  • Sorry to draw your ire, Paul(s). As I’ve said before, I am glad that bishops are addressing the issue, particularly Bishop D’Arcy and Cardinal George. The question is how to address it, and perhaps by temperament or whatever I prefer a lighter touch than the episcopal version of ‘I can only pray for you, you miserable quisling.’ I don’t like that style in com-boxes, and I’m not a fan in public discourse.

    Furthermore, I think he overstates his case; I don’t think accusing Fr. Jenkins of ‘absolute indifference’ is entirely fair, although I do think Fr. Jenkins has shown he does not place a high enough priority on the protection of unborn life. And Notre Dame is not a ‘formerly Catholic University,’ as much as it is one that is struggling with what it means to be Catholic. I’m not sure such harsh dismissals aid it in that endeavor. At a general level, I’d say there are different models for engagement; the prophetic is a legitimate model, but it’s not the only model, and I’m not sure it’s the best one here.

  • I agree that any indifference charge is unfair. But what is really “over the top” is conferring an honorary law degree on the legislator who led the effort to stop Illinois’ protective born alive legislation.

  • The bishop’s letter is unfortunate, both in its unbecoming tone and its untruth. Any productive point he could have made is lost in gross exaggeration and seemingly foul temper.

    What puropose can it now possibly serve, other than a personal, narcissistic one? Is this what prophetic witness entails or constists of? I too think not.

  • To preface my comment, I think his book “A Shepherd Speaks” is one of the best books out there. In many ways I think he has been a model of a bishop, providing clear leadership in exhortation and practice. If I’m not mistaken, he has been responsible for setting homes for unwed mothers and has done good things with the education system. I think this letter though is a pretty clear example of why he hasn’t been moved beyond Lincoln despite his many gifts.

  • When conservatives speak, people always worry so much more about how a thing is said than about what is said.

    But let liberals riot, and we’re asked to “understand.”

    It gets old.

    I disagree that the letter is over the top. Notre Dame has set itself at odds with Church teaching, and Fr. Jenkins has refused the correction offered him by scores of bishops, and the superior of his own order.

    If I had 30+ bishops telling me publicly that I was wrong about something, I would surely be moving to correct my error, not releasing statements to justify it.

  • That is why you have recanted your support of the Iraq War, ended your crusade against illegal immigration, and myriad of other things I take it.

  • Fr. Jenkins is a grown man and the President (or whatever, not sure of exact title) of a major university. I seriously doubt he is stupid. Which leaves the impression that he is indifferent to O’s views or at least does not feel strongly enough against them to withhold the honoray degree and opportunity to speak.

    Overly nuanced approaches are what have gotten us to this point in the first placed.

  • Unbelievably rude, condescending, and untrue.

    Where did you find the text of the letter, out of curiosity? It’s, in fact, so rude my immediate reaction is to suspect that Bill Donahue (or Donald McClarey!) wrote it!

  • And we all know how scrupulously Michael avoids any trace of rudeness and condescension in his own comments.

  • Michael,

    You’re so shocked by what you consider rudeness that you immediately accuse two people, by name, of forgery?

    What tender sensibilities you do have…

  • That is why you have recanted your support of the Iraq War, ended your crusade against illegal immigration

    Yes, because all those things are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Oh wait, no. That’s only what you told yourself to convince yourself that voting for Obama was a-ok. Whatever. Some people on this thread have clear consciences. Others, well, less so.

  • Unbelievably rude, condescending, and untrue.

    Wow, like every comment that michael has ever made. Bishop Bruskewitz must be a personal hero of yours.

  • Paul,

    The standard the other Paul gave was, “If I had 30+ bishops telling me publicly that I was wrong about something, I would surely be moving to correct my error, not releasing statements to justify it.”

  • And we all know how scrupulously Michael avoids any trace of rudeness and condescension in his own comments.

    I can be rude, and yes, condescending. But I don’t lie.

    Wow, like every comment that michael has ever made.

    Show me a comment in which I have lied.

    You’re so shocked by what you consider rudeness that you immediately accuse two people, by name, of forgery?

    T’was a joke!

  • No Catholics are ever neutral about Bishop Bruskewitz. One of the reasons he is a hero of mine is that he does not speak in ecclesi-speak, which tends to be rambling, vapid and full of weasel words. Bruskewitz always tells the truth as he sees it with the bark on. I concede that it is much easier to find this quality endearing when you agree with the substance of what is being said.

  • Bruskewitz always tells the truth as he sees it with the bark on.

    Sounds like Rush Limbaugh with a mitre.

  • Show me a comment in which I have lied.

    As I am sure you are clever enough to know, this is something of a tricky thing. To show that you have lied I would have to show that you said something untrue, knew it was untrue, and intended by saying it to decieve people.

    So for instance, while I recall you on various occasions of having said that I don’t care about the poor, don’t care about people after they are born, worship war rather than God, etc., it would be hard to make the case that you didn’t believe these to be true at least in whatever rhetorical sense in which you meant them.

    However, in this same sense, it is doubtless the case that Bruskewitz is saying that Notre Dame is “formerly Catholic” and that Jenkins does not give sufficient priority to abortion in a sense which is true in regards to what he believes to be the case. He is not, for instance, trying to decieve people into thinking that Notre Dame is not accredited as a Catholic university. (That would be lying.) He is stating, we must presume accurately, that Notre Dame’s actions represent an abandonment of its Catholicity and a lack of interest in the unborn.

    So basically, if you don’t lie in your comments, then Bruskewitz is not lying, and if he is lying, then you often do.

  • The bishop did not say Jenkins “does not give sufficient priority to abortion.” He said “absolute indifference.” He’s out to deceive.

  • Rush Limbaugh? No, actually he reminds me more of the gentleman who wrote this :

    “I wonder that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel. 7 Which is not another, only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. 9 As we said before, so now I say again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”

  • “As I am sure you are clever enough to know, this is something of a tricky thing. To show that you have lied, I would have to show that you said something untrue, knew it was untrue, and intended by saying it to deceive people.”

    Quite right —

    This is something that even the great St. Thomas More himself had spoken quite eloquently in its regard during his unjust inquisition at Westminster, noting Aquinas own thoughts on the matter — in particular, the interoribus mortibus which no man is able to judge.

  • Also, when a Bishop says “X is not Catholic,” that has implications which are different from when you or I say it. Since a Bishop is the ultimate authority within their own jurisdiction, if they said that about an institution within their own jurisdiction, I would say it would have an effect, just like an excommunication or an anthema has had. Obviously there would be canonical issues, and could sometimes work to show a Bishop over-stepped their authority in doing so, but that would be decided under review, and their Bishop’s stand would have relative authority. However, when they try to say X is not Catholic to an institution not in their own jurisdiction, they are undermining the authority of another Bishop, and indeed, causing ecclesial scandal. This is, for example, caused great division throughout the ages when a Bishop acts beyond their proper authority (look, for example, to the ordination of Origen as an early example of where such mistakes can lead).

  • Donald – I see no resemblance whatsoever. One involves a pastor being firm with his congregation, but speaking the truth. The other involves a relatively obscure bishop taking advantage of a shallow, buzzing news story in order to gain attention, attempting to out-do his fellow bishops in rudeness.

  • Let’s see:

    Fr. Jenkins certainly hasn’t claimed the high ground here. He’s shown no qualms whatsoever about honoring and giving a free political podium to a man whose actions and words demonstrate a commitment to increasing the death rate of unborn (and even recently-born, the horror of it) life.

    Moreover, he employs reasoning in defense of his actions that can’t be dignified with the term “casuistry” and refuses to engage the opponents of his actions in dialogue after promising to do so.

    In other words, where exactly is the evidence that he does care about abortion? As in concrete actions, and not the usual attempts at verbal disinfectant and empty reassuring noises. If someone can point to a pro-life initiative by Fr. Jenkins as President of ND (or even before), then the Bishop’s accusation will be unjust, and the Ordinary of Lincoln should be presented with this evidence.

    If not, well, President Jenkins got himself into this mess, and he shouldn’t have expected plaudits.

  • Mr. Lafrate writes:

    “The other involves a relatively obscure bishop”.

    A relatively obscure bishop? Where have you been for the last two decades?

    That Fr. Jenkins had some sort of connection with the diocese of Lincoln surely gives Bishop Bruskewitz “standing”, as the lawyers call it to reprimand him.

  • A relatively obscure bishop? Where have you been for the last two decades?

    Well, I have not been intimately involved in the irrelevant circles of the Catholic Right, nor have paid much attention to whoever their episcopal heroes might be. Has Bruskewitz been a newsworthy figure in some way? I’ve not heard of him.

  • Mikey Mikey. So cute when you’re mad. Bishop B has been bad bold and boisterous for well unto a generation. Cries aloud and spares not. His comments about Father Jenkins were bang on the money. Funny how you get SOOOOO jumpy and personal on this that or other thing. Might wanna check your own self. Meanwhile Bravo Bishop B and keep on laying down smack.

  • Mad? Jumpy? Personal? If you say so. Merely pointing out the obvious. Other than than, I’m chillin’ like Bob Dylan.

  • Should read “other than that.”

  • A google search would quickly disabuse anyone that Bishop Bruskewitz has been obscure. Controversial? Yes. Ordaining more priests per capita in many years than any other bishop in the country? Yes. Contentious? Frequently? Obscure? Anything but!

  • I bet most Catholics in the United States don’t know who he is, Donald. Just because he is popular within a certain internet crowd doesn’t make him non-obscure. People might know what their local ordinary is doing, but beyond that? Not necessarily.

  • The diocese of Lincoln is ranked 131st in the nation by Catholic population, having 89,000. ( http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/country/scus1.html ) The See has no historical importance and is one of the least important in the country.

  • Iafrate is obscure. Bruskewitz not so.

  • The American Catholic is obscure, as is Koss Nova. The diocese of Lincoln is obscure if you are a protestant living in canada.

  • “The See has no historical importance and is one of the least important in the country.”

    Wasn’t Jerusalem likewise an obscure and insignificant province of the Roman Empire?

    Yet, somehow this obscure backwater ended up being historically monumental.

    Go figure.

  • Koss Nova

    Eh!!! Did you come up with that one on your own? Wow! I’m so impressed!!!

  • MZ,
    As a matter of fact, I did, several months ago. But its formation was undeservedly obscure.

  • The diocese of Lincoln is ranked 131st in the nation by Catholic population, having 89,000. The See has no historical importance and is one of the least important in the country.

    I’m not really clear where all this argument about whether Lincoln is an “obscure” see is supposed to go — other than that some obviously agree with Bruskewitz’s opinions in re Notre Dame and others don’t.

    The diocese itself is, as MZ points out, rather small. However it is known for having consistently high numbers of vocations, and I’ve heard about Bruskewitz off and on in national Catholic publications like OSV for a good fifteen years. I imagine that if one did a citation count of National Catholic Register, National Catholic Reporter, OSV, Commonweal, This Rock and America one would find significantly more mentions of Bruskewitz over the last 15 years than of anything going on in my own see of Austin, even though we have far more Catholics.

    So aside from not seeing the relevance of the “obscure” accusation, I don’t really see that it’s true either.

  • I doubt Mr. Karlson if most Catholics know the name of their local bishop, just as most Americans do not know the name of their representative in Congress. This fact does not necessarily make either the bishop or the representative obscure. Compared to the other bishops in this country Bishop Bruskewitz is not obscure as the length of this thread both condemning and supporting his letter indicates. That we have so many visitors in this thread from Vox Nova indicates quite clearly that you and your colleagues are well aware of who Bishop Bruskewitz is.

  • A google search would quickly disabuse anyone that Bishop Bruskewitz has been obscure.

    I see. Because obscure persons and things tend not to show up on Google searches, right?

    Wasn’t Jerusalem likewise an obscure and insignificant province of the Roman Empire?

    Well, M.Z. and “e.”, I didn’t say anything about the man’s diocese being “obscure.” Most people have heard of Lincoln, Nebraska after all. But this bishop seems to be an angry, obscure one who is just looking for the latest “newsworthy” item to be outraged about so he can appear prophetic. I mean please; sending a priest that he doesn’t know a letter saying that he will pray for his conversion is pretty low. Who does he think he is? A combox participant at Vox Nova?

  • “That we have so many visitors in this thread from Vox Nova indicates quite clearly that you and your colleagues are well aware of who Bishop Bruskewitz is.”

    I hate to break it to you, but that in itself doesn’t prove or pull the good bishop out of obscurity just because certain Vox Novan visitors happen to know him; unless, of course, such persons are representative of the entire Catholic population of the United States.

    (The fact that this isn’t actually the case is, quite frankly, a relief.)

  • That we have so many visitors in this thread from Vox Nova indicates quite clearly that you and your colleagues are well aware of who Bishop Bruskewitz is.

    Why? We simply saw the latest hateful letter by a u.s. bishop and wanted to comment. Doesn’t mean we have a clue who this guy is.

  • e., the fact that they are also the same individuals contending that he is obscure rather disproves their point by the vehemence with which they are arguing about the letter from an “obscure” bishop. Bishop Bruskewitz is well known by those who follow the actions of the bishops in this country, and the Vox Novniks are in that category.

  • Catholic Anarchist, disingenuousness does not become you. A google search of Iafrate and Bruskewitz reveals that you are quite familiar with Bishop Bruskewitz.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    “e., the fact that they are also the same individuals contending he is obscure rather disproves their point by the vehemence with which they are arguing about the letter from an ‘obscure’ bishop.”

    Well, that wouldn’t actually be the first time that certain Vox Novans happened to engage in arguments that were, in fact, self-refuting! ;^)

    Yet, to be fair though, although the Catholic crowds that roam around various Catholic foras may actually know of the good bishop doesn’t really give any actual indication that American Catholics in general would happen to know of him.

    (About your last comment though about Catholic Anarchist, are you really surprised?)

  • Donald,

    I have known of him for quite some time, but I am also not your average Catholic in what I know or do not know. If I judged how obscure something or someone was based upon what I know, I would say the debates about who and what the icchantikas are must not be obscure to anyone.

  • e., when we say that a bishop is obscure the only proper comparison is whether he is obscure in regard to other bishops. For example, I doubt if the general public knows who General “Pap” Thomas was, a Union general from the Civil War. However, no one who has a working knowledge of the Civil War would ever call the “Rock of Chickamauga” an obscure Union general. To people who pay attention to events pertaining to the Church in America, Fabian Bruskewitz is not obscure.

  • Fair point and duly noted.

  • A google search of Iafrate and Bruskewitz reveals that you are quite familiar with Bishop Bruskewitz.

    Haha. Good one. I can’t find it, though, so you must be lying, right?

    Or wait. is he my long lost uncle or something?

    Interesting, too, that you always fall back on war comparisons. Always.

  • The Cure d’Ars and his parish was quite obscure. As was Lourdes. Likewise Lisieux.

    What is amusing – because pointless – is a discussion about whether Bishop Bruskewitz and the Diocese of Lincoln are obscure, rather than the matter of his letter.

    Just as an oddity, Fr. Jenkins was born in Omaha. That is a city in Nebraska, just like Lincoln. Lincoln and Omaha are a but a few miles distant. Thus Bishop Bruskewitz was correct in referring to Fr. Jenkins’ Nebraskan roots.

  • “Obscurity” is relative. A person may be very well known in a particular field of endeavor (art, sports, law, finance, technology, etc.) but not be well known to people outside of those circles.

    Bishop Bruskewitz may be “obscure” to the average Catholic whose only exposure to Church teaching comes from a 10-minute weekly sermon and who does not carefully follow news or trends within the Church. He doesn’t get a lot of mention in the secular media. He is, however, definitely NOT obscure to other bishops, Catholic journalists, and others who regard him as a champion of orthodoxy/conservatism/traditionalism (whatever term you prefer to use). In those circles he is very well known.

"diminishes the reputation of Notre Dame and makes one wonder what its mission truly is."

Monday, April 13, AD 2009

bishop-samuel-j-aquila

Bishop Samuel J. Aquila of the Diocese of Fargo, North Dakota,  takes Jenkins to task for the homage to Obama to Obama scheduled at Notre Dame on May 17, 2009 and also addresses the sophistical defense mounted by Jenkins of his decision:

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One Response to "diminishes the reputation of Notre Dame and makes one wonder what its mission truly is."

Third Bishop Reproach's Notre Dame Decision

Friday, March 27, AD 2009

Bishop Gregory Aymond of the Diocese of Austin has reproached the decision rendered by the University of Notre Dame to allow President Obama to do the 2009 commencement address and receive an honorary law degree.  In an E-Pistle issued earlier today, Bishop Aymond had this to say:

“I, along with many other Catholics, express great disappointment and sadness that a Catholic university would honor someone who is pro-choice and who holds many values contrary to our Catholic belief.”

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7 Responses to Third Bishop Reproach's Notre Dame Decision

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  • I was actually surprised when I saw Bishop Aymond’s e-pistle. Our ordinary is not generally very political — to my knowledge he was pretty quiet and simply referred everyone to Faithful Citizenship during the election. So that he spoke out on this really struck me.

    On the other hand, it strikes me that for many of the bishops, while they are reluctant to tell people specifically not to vote for one party, the call on not handing out honors to a pro-choice politician may be a lot more clear cut. Unless one abstains entirely, one will generally vote for one of the two major parties. But there’s certainly no requirement that one go handing out honors without good cause.

  • I was fortunate enough to speak with Bishop Aymond briefly last week Wednesday in College Station and I was impressed by his orthodoxy, charity, and demeanor. He was easy to speak with and very polite.

    I to was thrown off guard and was happy to be surprised.

    Now his recent statement concerning the scandal at Notre Dame has made me even more impressed with his episcopacy.

    You have a good bishop in Austin Darwin.

  • My pastor (Notre Dame alumnus) is not particularly happy about this either 😉

  • Hey man, Obama is actually pro-life, or at least in the holistic sense of the term – what’s the deal with the private theology of these bishops?

  • at least in the holistic sense of the term

    Does one have to drink green tea, do stretching exercises and burn some sort of herb to achieve this kind of holistic sense of the term? A sort of alternative medicine for the mind?

    🙂

  • Darwin,

    Whooaaa now, that’s hitting to close to home with me.

    Fortunately, I don’t burn herbs of any sort (I don’t burn anything except a good Jamaican cigar for that matter — Cuban cigars are vastly overrated).

    🙂

The Bishop Speaks

Tuesday, March 24, AD 2009

bishop-john-m-darcy1

Hattip to Dale Price.  Bishop John M. D’Arcy has made his statement:

“Concerning President Barack Obama speaking at Notre Dame
graduation, receiving honorary law degree

March 24, 2009

On Friday, March 21, Father John Jenkins, CSC, phoned to inform me that President Obama had accepted his invitation to speak to the graduating class at Notre Dame and receive an honorary degree. We spoke shortly before the announcement was made public at the White House press briefing. It was the first time that I had been informed that Notre Dame had issued this invitation.

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14 Responses to The Bishop Speaks

  • The good bishop chose his words carefully and eloquently. He is a true standard bearer of upholding Catholic teaching. This is in stark contrast to the depravity and lack of spine that Father John Jenkins exhibits. And for what?

    For Wales.

  • “They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

    This being granted the commencement address and degree would not in themselves suggest support for Obama’s (anti-life) actions.

    The bishop assumes a comma after “platforms” that is not in the quoted sentence.

  • Mark,

    I could swear that your middle name is Webster in your proficiency in catching grammatical errors. But I wouldn’t be surprised if your middle name is Webster, since now Webster’s dictionary endorses same-sex marriage with their redefinition of ‘marriage’.

    http://westcoastcatholic.blogspot.com/2009/03/merriam-webster-dictionary-marriage.html

  • Tito,

    Now, now…

    Mark,

    If even Homer nods, I’m sure it’s at least as possible that the USCCB missed a comma as that this particular member of the USCCB doesn’t understand the difference between a descriptive and a restrictive clause.

    As has been emphasized for other reasons recently, bishops are intended to be our shepherds and we should respect their decisions in executing their teaching office. (Though as with anything, we may at times find ourselves in disagreement with them.) Given that Bishop D’Arcy has been dealing with Notre Dame for some time, and is a member of the USCCB and thus can be assumed to have some understanding of what they meant by that phrase, I would think we should at least give his judgment in this situation a fair amount of weight.

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  • Further, even though it is the case that there is no comma I’d be curious to know what is covered by the presumably non-empty set “awards, honors or platforms that do not suggest support for their actions.”

    To a more-important grammatical point, what does “for their actions” mean? In a certain sense, that question is stupid: they’re the things a person does. Obviously.

    But what I’m getting at is “how does one determine which of ‘their actions’ fairly characterize a person” and therefore (most relevant to this matter) “what it can mean to give, specifically, an honorary degree and a commencement invitation to any Person X.”

    The Church teaches that no man is completely evil. And none are without sin. Therefore, by definition, any honor to anybody will involve honoring a person who has done a mixture of good or bad things. It’s tough to think offhand of the good things Osama bin Laden or Charles Manson has done, but they do exist. Now, nobody would seriously argue that OBL or Manson is worthy of any honor at a serious institution because they are mass murderers, despite the fact that on all but a handful of days of their lives, neither man has killed (fewer than five in Manson’s case, we know to a moral certainty; and possibly never in OBL’s case, if we mean “personally kill”). Nevertheless, we feel comfortable calling them “murderers,” characterizing them that way, at least for the purpose of determining their honor-worthiness (or jail-worthiness or kill-worthiness).

    Further, there is the issue of the specific award and specific purposes of a campus visit. Consider as a potential parallel, this article in the New Republic about the great Russian conductor Valery Gergiev, who apparently supported his country’s invasion of Georgia and plans to conduct a concert of Russian music in that part of Georgia that the Kremlin still controls. Prescind from that specific event though. Would anything think if Notre Dame were to invite Gergiev to put on a Tchaikovsky opera or a Prokofiev cantata or suites, that it was (1) endorsing Gergiev the man in a general way (and therefore in principle everything about him), or (2) honoring Gergiev the conductor and putting on a specific event that was about the things being honored.

    So to bring this back to Obama, this is not a specified honor on some other point that allows us to dismiss his pro-abortion record. As a contrary example, I wouldn’t have a problem, for example, with Julianne Moore or Glenn Close or some other actress with a history of pro-abortion statements or activism being feted at a campus film festival or leading an actors workshop or speaking to drama or RTF students or performing in a play, etc. To be fair, Obama is not getting specified kudos for his great work on life issues (though more on that below).

    But a commencement speech is a generalized honor, to the whole graduation class, and it’s also the highest-profile honor a university can offer. It’s also essentially a monolog by that person, rather than either a dialog or a discussion or a work. It’s also open-ended in its subject matter, and to the extent there are expectations about its subject, it will be about life as a whole, as the graduates move from one stage of life to another. So a commencement speech, by its very genericness and one-sidedness, is, I think necessarily a general endorsement of the person as a whole in a way that speaking on a specified topic or doing a specific task need not be. Therefore, we get to the question of whether a general endorsement of Obama is possible for a Catholic institution. Obviously, the issue of “how do you characterize ‘their actions’ in the USCCB doc” is not as clear cut in Obama’s case as with Osama bin Laden or Charles Manson, whose best-known public achievements that brought them fame were entirely bad ones.

    But ask yourself … what are Obama’s achievements? They are primarily being elected, to the presidency and earlier to lesser offices, which is hardly a particularly good thing, in itself, separate from what he does or did with the political power thus gained. It needs no saying that breaking the White House color barrier is a very good thing. But it’s hard to see, other than that, what makes Obama’s political record honor-worthy. And even harder to see what else he has, even in principle, worth honoring. It all has to stand or fall on his votes and political rhetoric.

    And on abortion, he is simply beyond abominable. Even before becoming president, there was his votes on partial-birth abortion and on the Born-Alive bill, his lying about the Born-Alive bill and calling others liars, his rhetorical support and earlier sponsorship of FOCA, and rhetoric like “above my pay grade” and “punished with a child.” In the 60-some days since becoming president, he has thrice acted on life issues and every time done bad: the Mexico City policy on funding abortion overseas, government funding for embryonic stem-cell research, and ordering a weakening of the conscience clause. Every opportunity to dis’ pro-lifers, he has taken.

    So “can you honor a whole person when his actions in his principal field of achievement are this bad, from the perspective of the Church” (and frankly of right reason). Now to be sure, those abortion things aren’t Obama’s only political acts. Bigger fans of him than I no doubt can name them. But I think it’s fair to define him as a politician that way, simply because abortion is not one issue among many. Rather, as the US Church has said repeatedly, that the defining issues of current US politics are abortion and the other life issues (ESCR, euthanasia — oh, BTW, does anyone even remember that Obama called his vote to stop the Schiavo murder his greatest mistake). Other issues besides life exist, they don’t “not matter,” but they can never override wrong choices on life. Here is the USCCB (skip to section 23):

    But being ‘right’ in such matters can never excuse a wrong choice regarding direct attacks on innocent human life. Indeed, the failure to protect and defend life in its most vulnerable stages renders suspect any claims to the ‘rightness’ of positions in other matters affecting the poorest and least powerful of the human community. If we understand the human person as the “temple of the Holy Spirit” — the living house of God — then these latter issues fall logically into place as the crossbeams and walls of that house. All direct attacks on innocent human life, such as abortion and euthanasia, strike at the house’s foundation.

    Given that stated centrality of abortion and euthanasia, given that Obama is a politician whose only achievements are in this very field (public votes and rhetoric), and given how awful, hard-to-imagine-how-they-could-be-worse his votes and rhetoric in this central field are — I think it quite clear that giving *this* honor to *this* man does suggest support, or at least indifference (which would be unacceptable for its own reasons), for his actions on abortion.

    There is one other point, a smaller one that tends to get swallowed up. Obama is getting an honorary JD, a law degree. That’s a specific honor that has specific meaning to competence in a specific field. And one that Obama has even cited as giving him expertise to act against life (if you look at the link above, he calls his recanted Schiavo vote something that “as a constitutional law professor, I knew better”). Given that Obama has defended Roe vs. Wade and the “right to privacy” and said de-facto that as president he would only appoint pro-Roe judges, then it seems to me that to grant him an honorary JD (rather than an honorary PhD is chemistry, say) is to honor his legal thought, and thus indirectly to honor the jurisprudence that has given us 45 million abortions since 1973.

  • Also … (phew) … here’s the other grammar point.

    The sentence is phrased wrong whether or not its intended meaning is restrictive or descriptive, because the clause isn’t introduced with “that.”

    In other words, if the USCCB had said “… awards, honors or platforms that would suggest…” then clearly some such honors do suggest support and some don’t; the latter are permitted, the former are not.

    Or if the USCCB had said “… awards, honors or platforms, which would suggest…” then equally clearly all such honors suggest support and all are barred.

    As it’s written, with no comma and “which” … impossible to say from grammar.

  • Let’s be clear: abortion is the murder of children, probably the worst moral offense there is. If you don’t believe that, you’re out of line with the Church and you should not be receiving communion. If you do believe that children are being murdered by abortion than you should be outraged by those who are performing the abortions and those who create laws that promote, support, or permit it. If you are outraged by those people you should not bestow honors upon them (or vote for them). There are many things you can do with them: engage them in dialogue, work with them on issues of agreement, etc. But you should not honor them! (respect is different than honor) You should not let yourself or your institution be used by them to win a swing state!
    Any argument to the contrary is mere equivocation.

  • What Courage Man said. Other than the matter of the subordinating conjunction, of which my old Warriner’s grammar states that it mox nix as long as you’re referring to things and not people.

    If we’re going to make issue of commas, from where I’m reading it makes little diff:

    “They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions,” indicates that those (and presumably only those) items which would suggest support should not be given them.

    “They should not be given awards, honors or platforms, which would suggest support for their actions,” indicates that all items on the list would suggest support and should therefore not be given them.

    One could argue, I suppose, that the specific honor and platform being given the President do not indicate support, but one would be hard pressed to make that case.

  • I would say bravo to His Eminence and do. But I could also say bravo for celebrating Mass this morning. Or visiting a sick grandma at the hospital. Part of his gig to stand up for official Catholic teaching. Clearly he is peeved that Father Jenkins only told him of the invitation before the glitzy news conference to an adoring MSM. Not going well for Johnny. Alums in a tizzy. Large percentage of the younguns in uproar, too. A gag me with a spoon moment in which he hoped the invitation would lead to ‘positive engagement.” A phrase designed to replace the old warhorse ‘dialogue.’ Earth to Johnny- you don’t have to out-Hesburgh Father Hesburgh. You don’t have to be America’s Open-Minded Promient Priest. Just gently rescind offer and move on.

  • I was disappointed that Bishop D’Arcy encouraged Ambassador Glendon to receive her Medal. The juxtaposition of the invitations to Obama and Glendon actually furthers the impression of a political equivalency btween the two.

  • For days all the attention has been on what Bishop D’Arcy was going to do. However, Notre Dame was founded by the Congregation of Holy Cross — not the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend — and I presume they still run the place, or have some kind of governance over it. Father Jenkins, in his priestly capacity, answers to their superior general (or whatever the head honcho’s title is), not to Bishop D’Arcy. So has anyone been writing letters, e-mails, etc. to the CSC superior about this? I would think he’d have a little more pull here.

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Notre Dame-Obama Scandal Roundup

Saturday, March 21, AD 2009

News spread fast with the announcement that the University of Notre Dame (ND) will have President Obama at its commencement speaker and receive an honorary degree.  Our very own Donald R. McClarey was johnny-on-the-spot with the breaking news last night.  Here is the official press release states as follows:

“Mr. Obama will be the ninth U.S. president to be awarded an honorary degree by the University and the sixth to be the Commencement speaker.”

Here’s a round up of the near-unanimous condemnation of this invitation to Pro-Abortion President Barack Obama:

1.  Bishop John D’Arcy has been very critical of ND in the past.  Bishop D’Arcy has also defended unborn children againstPresident Obama’s anti-life agenda in the past.  His Excellency will have quite a bit to say come Monday.

2.  The ND switchboard was overwhelmed late last night with all calls expressing their outrage at the invitation of a president with blood on his hands of innocent children.  The voice mailbox for the President, Fr. John Jenkins, Vice-President, Provost, assistant-provost and PR director of ND were all full by 9pm EST.

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31 Responses to Notre Dame-Obama Scandal Roundup

  • So Barack Obama is claiming Irish descent, eh?

    Could be true – over here the bloggers are calling him Barry O’Blunda. 🙂

  • Ha! When he was merely a problem for Illinois, I sometimes called him O’Bama because of the way the Chicago machine got behind him during his Senate run.

  • As a current Notre Dame student, I can speak for many on campus who are genuinely conflicted about our university’s choice for commencement speaker. We hold a tremendous amount of respect for the office of President of the United States, but we hold an even greater belief in the sanctity of human life. Some of us have written and signed an open letter to Fr. John Jenkins, President of Notre Dame, asking him to make a public statement denouncing Pres. Obama’s views on abortion, embryonic stem cell research, etc. I invited you to read it on our student Web page here: http://www.nd.edu/~pbrown6/ObamaVisitLetter.html. With your help, we can raise awareness about the sizable portion of the student body who chose to to attend ND not only for its academic reputation and history on the gridiron, but its Catholic foundations and identity as well.

  • Patrick,

    I think it’s a decent letter, and I hope your President rises to the challenge, but I have to take issue with this:

    Awarding him an honorary degree without making clear that the University disapproves of his stance on issues regarding the sanctity of human life would be a disrespect to those students who, like ourselves, chose to attend this University based not only on its status as one of the country’s premier institutions of higher learning, but a school that takes pride in its Catholic foundation and identity.

    Seriously — why award an honorary degree in the first place? I seem to recall the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ weighing in on the bestowing of such honors in Catholics in Political Life:

    The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.

    In stating such, would the USCCB make exceptions for Presidents who zealously advocate Roe v. Wade?

  • Christopher

    “which would suggest support for their actions.” That’s the key. It’s clear he is there because he is President. You ignore the key, because it would point out someone COULD be given awards, as long as it is not suggesting support for such actions.

  • They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.

    That’s a masterfully ambiguous sentence, as it allows for both Chris’ and Henry’s interpretation.

    (1) Awards, etc. should not be given at all, because that suggests support for their actions; or

    (2) Awards, etc. should not be given which suggest support for their actions.

    I have to wonder if it was a deliberately ambiguous construction to give cover to two opposing camps.

    In any event, even with Henry’s interpretation, this imposes a duty upon the university to state unequivocally that the platform and award in question are being given despite his defiance of fundamental Catholic moral principles, not because of them.

  • I think the lack of a comma prior to the ‘which’ suggests Henry’s interpretation is correct, although I agree it’s somewhat ambiguous.

  • Dale Price

    Perhaps ND will say something about President Obama’s lack of agreement with Catholic morals. But did anyone demand such statements from universities when other Presidents (or their staff), who were not Catholic and did not uphold Catholic morality, were at commencements? Again, it is not just the aspect I brought up; it is the whole moral code, which seems to be only brought into play for one issue, and not others.

    Moreover, here is another question: should such univiersities give scholarships to students, or even allow students to graduate, who do not uphold Catholic morality? I do not see that happening, nor anyone protesting “That student is too pro-death penalty, he can’t have his law degree from Notre Dame!” It’s again clear, that people are using this quote for one thing, but ignoring the consequences elsewhere. And the reason why is this quote is vague (I agree with Dale there) and I think its intent is to stop awards specifically to those whose work is primarily and univocally against Catholic moral positions. Obama, and Bush, and most Presidents, if not all, would not be seen as either primarily or univocally such.

  • Yes, that comma would cinch it in favor of Chris’ view. To make it clearer, Henry’s interpretation is certainly legitimate and does no violence to the text.

    Then again, the sentence immediately prior to it has to be taken into account, as Chris notes.

    At the risk of belaboring my point, the text mandates, at a minimum, that Catholic schools cannot simply offer awards, platforms, etc., and leave it at that.

  • Henry, given that the June 2004 conference document emphasizes abortion (while not excluding other life issues, obviously), your argument is with the Conference, not me. I’d be interested to see who has spoken where since it went into effect, even so.

    Moreover, it is directed at public officials and policymakers, which suggests that your law student analogy would not apply. Plus, there is the matter of simple justice not to deny someone a degree for which they have worked and paid a considerable sum of money, even if they are wrong on a fundamental moral issue. That’s different from conveying a purely honorary degree or award which has not been earned.

  • Though I’d certainly agree that a Catholic college retains the right to discipline and even expel students who behave in a manner which violates the principles outlined in the document (and in other places).

  • What Dale said.

    The University of Notre Dame should not be giving a platform to a proponent of the culture of death.

  • Dale

    Once again, while abortion is emphasized, I do not think its principles are meant to be limited to it. Context explains why abortion, but the principles should be beyond.

    Second, what about the use of scholarships? Should they be given or not given to those who do not uphold Catholic morals?

    Third, while a law student is not in the government, it is clear many will be actively involved with government life afterwards. And the degree, while it was “paid for” nonetheless is an honor and an award. And it is one which is given out despite one’s principles, or beliefs, and it is for this reason why one can’t ignore that aspect when an honorary degree is given out (personally, I don’t think honorary degrees should be given out so easily as they are, and only a few, like Tolkien at Oxford, deserved them when they got them; but once it is a part of the system, it follows the regulations of the system, which transcends an individual university).

    Now, let’s bring this to other issues, and one which is close to home. CUA. While I have been there, many speakers have been turned away and many have come, both of which have had questionable moral qualifications. One director, I know, had the students protesting the university when he was turned away from an award, because the director was primarily involved with pro-abortion work. I think the university was right, and this was the kind of thing which is meant by Christopher’s quote.

  • Moreover, here is another question: should such univiersities give scholarships to students, or even allow students to graduate, who do not uphold Catholic morality?

    –I graduated from Notre Dame, was mainstream Protestant, and am pro-choice. Notre Dame has never required students to be Catholic to attend or to graduate. It only required students to abide by specified rules.

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  • Why is anyone surprised at this action by the administration at Notre Dame? It is just another collection of colleges with a catholic veneer. It is best known for , and derives much of its income from – football.

    And for thumbing its administrative and clerical nose at the Church. Somehow Fr. Hesburgh and his successors got the idea that they were episcopal, and untouchable. I mean, consider the silly Fr. McBrien. Pity rather his poor students who must put up with his nonsense or be flunked.

  • The Church’s teaching must be available at Notre Dame. Notre Dame must also act as a Catholic university. Just because a Protestant, Hindu, Jew, or other non-Catholic doesn’t affect the character and teaching responsibility that is Notre Dame.

    Basically, your query is a non-sequitur.

  • The fact that Fr Jenkins even considered President O’Bama to be the commencement speaker, even though he knows, or should know, about O’bama’s anti-Christian views on the sanctity of human life and marriage, speaks volumes on what Fr Jenkins believes.

    It is tragic that Catholic clergy unfit to be local parish priest, much less the president of most conspicuous, Catholic University in the US , is allowed to spit in the face of many Bishops and lay organizations when that person takes a view that is totally opposed to the Church’s teaching by inviting O’bama. Shame on Fr Jenkins. May the Lord rebuke him, we humbly pray!

    And how long will we, the beleagured faithful in the US, have to wait on Rome to take action and clean up the rampant heresy in the Catholic Church in America? It’s been a generation since the unholy winds of the world entered the Church after Vatican II, and now the Church undergoes its purification. On one hand, we have good faithful priests and on the other, we have sodomites and manifest heretics who betray their calling to the priesthood. Jesus says “beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly, are ravening wolves” (Matt 7:15) and “By their fruits shall you know them” (Matt 7:16).

    But Fr Jenkins, is a symptom of what is wrong with the laity and religious in America–they can no longer see the religious truth of the Church which they belong to. We should pray very hard for the conversion of wayward clergy. Satan especially targets priests, because it the is best way to drag as many souls to hell. (St Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle….) The Lord will judge Fr Jenkins more harshly than us because “to him whom much has been given, much will be required” (Luke 12:48)

    “Mary, Help of Christians, pray for us who have recourse to thee!”
    “St Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, come to our assistance”

  • Concerning the President’s alleged “Anti-Christian views on the sancity of human life and marriage”, how do we reconcile this assertion with the Holy Father who receives various ecumencial guests as “brother Christians” who have the same (or even more extreme) views the President has?

  • I think precious few of these “brother Christians” would have views quite as extreme as Obama in regard to the issue of abortion. In any case popes have met with representatives of murderous regimes countless times over the centuries in pursuance of their duties as the vicar of Christ. However they are not accorded honors such as would be given to Obama by Notre Dame. One has to deal with evil people on this earth, but one never has to accord them either honor or homage.

  • Donald,

    Can you explain where the Episcopal Church, United Church and Presbyterian Church are less extreme than the President on abortion policy?

  • Which branches of the Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church? The United Church of Christ, 1.2 million and shrinking, down 6% from 2006-2007, are indeed as firm in their allegiance to the Culture of Death as President Obama.

  • The Episcopal Church of the United States and the Presbyterian Church USA.

    Don, if it is okay for the highest Catholic authorities to accept the United Church as “brother Christians” because their membership is declining, then can Obama be accepted as such if his poll numbers start declining?

  • Katherine,

    what is your point? That we should not call Obama’s views anti-Christian? That we should call those churches views anti-Christian?

    I think you’re missing the point that we’re calling Obama’s views anti-Christian, we’re not saying he is not a professed Christian, there is a substantial distinction there.

  • Which branches of the Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church? The United Church of Christ, 1.2 million and shrinking, down 6% from 2006-2007, are indeed as firm in their allegiance to the Culture of Death as President Obama.

    Outrageous statement. Sinful statement. And just before Holy Week.

  • A completely accurate statement Catholic Anarchist. Truth is always called for, especially before Holy Week.

    Katherine, let me know when the Pope honors the leadership of the United Church of Christ. I will get back to you on the other two denominations, since I have a client waiting.

  • In regard to the Presbyterian Church USA Katherine since 1992 they basically have been pro-abort, although their recent stance is better than Obama’s:

    “We affirm that the lives of viable unborn babies—those well-developed enough to survive outside the womb if delivered—ought to be preserved and cared for and not aborted. In cases where problems of life or health of the mother arise in a pregnancy, the church supports efforts to protect the life and health of both the mother and the baby. When late-term pregnancies must be terminated, we urge decisions intended to deliver the baby alive. We look to our churches to provide pastoral and tangible support to women in problem pregnancies and to surround these families with a community of care. We affirm adoption as a provision for women who deliver children they are not able to care for, and ask our churches to assist in seeking loving, Christian, adoptive families.(6)”

    http://www.pcusa.org/101/101-abortion.htm

    They also have a strong pro-life movement that has been fighting to change the policy of their church:

    http://www.ppl.org/, and I salute them as I do members of any pro-abort church fighting for the right to life.

    A good recent article on the struggle within Protestant denominations on the abortion issue:

    http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=22-02-039-c

  • The position of the dying Episcopal Church in the United States, 2,154,572 in 2007, which is a drop of 4.5% from the preceding year, is perhaps best summed up by Priestess Katherine Ragsdale who refers to abortion as a blessing.

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/apr/09040205.html

    The good news is that there many breakaway branches of the Episcopalian Church which are strongly pro-life and of course many Episcopalians, including entire congregations, have joined the Catholic Church.

    A good site to observe the death throes of the Episcopalian Church is the Midwest Conservative Journal.

    http://themcj.com/

  • So Don, other than making political and demographic claims about these denominations, you really can’t reconcile the accusation against Obama and the fact they are treated as Christian bodies by the Catholic church in her ecumencial relations?

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Notre Dame Honors Pro-Abort

Friday, March 20, AD 2009

obama-planned-parenthood

The University of Notre Dame announced today that President Obama will be the commencement speaker this year and receive an honorary degree.  Leaving aside the spit in the face insult to Our Lady that this invitation constitutes, the bishops of this country* spoke on this point in 2004:

“The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

I hope that faithful Catholics will do their best to persuade the administration of Notre Dame to rethink this invitation.  If the administration does not, I hope that enough faithful Catholics show up on May 17, 2009 to make the protest of the speech a memorable one.  I also trust that the students of Notre Dame who take their Faith seriously will also find means during the speech to express their displeasure over the choice of speaker known.

* United States Conference of Catholic Bishops or USCCB

Update I:  As usual, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air is on top of the story.

Update II:  Totus chimes in.

Update III:  For those of you who would like to make your views known to the president of Notre Dame, click here.

Update IV:  Good.  There is a website set up to organize resistance to this invitation.

Continue reading...

38 Responses to Notre Dame Honors Pro-Abort

  • “Leaving aside the spit in the face insult to Our Lady that this invitation constitutes…”

    I think Our Lady can endure it, as she has loving birth-pangs for all God’s children to be saved…

  • Yep she can Mr. DeFrancisis. Why any faithful Catholic would endure for a second such an insult to Our Lady is another matter.

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  • Mr. McClarey,

    Your conception of the Church sounds more lihe a bastion than the sacrament for God’s universal salvific will.

    BTW, I wonder if you protested President Bush’s commencement at Saint Vincent College, 2 years ago. You know, he instigated an unjest war and ordered torture.

  • I don’t think it has anything to do with politics. Abortion is such a paramount evil — analogous to and well beyond in death count — the genocide of the Jews in the holocaust. The fact that a Catholic institution, apart of the Catholic Church, would invite someone who supports such a horror, even in ignorance, to deliver a speech and to commission the students to go engage the world presents itself as a scandal.

    Now, granted, I ardently oppose the war in Iraq and I think we need to re-think our strategy on Afghanistan. My views on torture as just the same. However, the scope and gravity of these evils, is a pale comparison to abortion. Now, I’m not advocating a proportionalist trap of condoning or “watering” down the lesser evils, to totally oppose the greater one; I’m just saying, one cannot make the comparison as if the two sides are morally equal because the scope and gravity in and of itself attests to that.

    I do not think President Obama should be given the opportunity to speak at any Catholic institution or receive any award. In the same way, I would have opposed President Bush speaking at a Catholic institution or receiving any award.

    Rather, I think that Catholic institutions should avoid all together giving the privilege of speaking at such ceremonies to politicians who represent a political platform and a realm of bias and division (politics) instead of the breadth and all-embracing truth of the Gospel. At this point, I cannot name many Catholic politicians who are a “sign of contradiction” that bring to life Catholic Social Teaching in their political office who could truly be a uniting figure at a commencement ceremony.

    That’s my two cents.

  • Totally disagree with you in regard to President Bush Mr. DeFrancisis. I believe he waged just wars. As to the torture issue, I disagree with waterboarding, but I can understand how reasonable people would disagree with me.

    As to President Obama, giving an honorary degree at a Catholic institution to a man who has raised campaign funds on the basis of his support for that barely disguised infanticide known as partial birth abortion is a capitualtion to the culture of death and a despicable, I would say calculated, insult to the Blessed Virgin who brought our Redeemer into the World through her womb. This is tantamount to a synagogue giving an award to a neo-Nazi politician. The administration of Notre Dame should be deeply ashamed.

  • Bravo Eric, always the voice of reason and faith!

  • Good call Eric! It really does help to have a range of viewpoints, especially in the face of Mark’s attempt at moral equivalency. Your defense of orthodoxy is all the more poignant considering your opposition to the Iraq war.

    Mr. DeFrancis,

    do you really think it’s just as bad to pour water on the face of 3 avowed terrorists as it is to murder a million babies a year? That is just sick.

  • “That is just sick.”

    Matt, I’d appreciate it if you would refrain from that type of comment. I enjoy your vigorous defense of Catholic teaching, but Mr. DeFrancisis has said nothing of a personal nature in this thread against anyone else and he should not be attacked personally. You made your point well without your final sentence.

  • Matt,

    I made no attempt at moral equivalency. You are reading into my remarks. Try harder.

  • Mark,

    You comment here often enough you should plug AC in your name, ie, place the http address as the link to your name.

    You’re part of the tapestry here, mind as well go all the way!

    🙂

  • Mark D.,

    are you unfamiliar with the term, “moral equivalency”?

    When we decry the honoring of a pro-abortion president at a Catholic university, and you ask:

    I wonder if you protested President Bush’s commencement at Saint Vincent College, 2 years ago. You know, he instigated an unjest war and ordered torture.

    You are clearly implying that the acts, even if we accept your analysis of them, are equivalent, or at least on the same moral scale.

    Do you accept that abortion is far more grave a situation, as the Church teaches, or not?

  • Matt,

    The Church opposes instrinsic and grave moral evils. Unjust wars and torture are both.

  • Ah, Catholic Anarchist, with your penchant for name calling as a substitute for analysis and argument, it is always good to have the delete button ready when you come calling, and I deleted your last comment for personal insults.

  • Once again Mr. DeFrancisis I simply disagree with you about the wars being unjust. However, this entire thread is about Notre Dame honoring a pro-abort, and the Church puts abortion and euthanasia in a special category of evil as Cardinal Ratzinger noted in 2004:

    “3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

    Here is a link to the entire memorandum:

    http://www.priestsforlife.org/magisterium/bishops/04-07ratzingerommunion.htm

    What the administration of Notre Dame is attempting to do should be anathema to all believing Catholics.

  • I was shocked and disappointed by this. One (small) mitigating factor, however, is that Notre Dame has a long-standing tradition, going back at least 50 years, of ALWAYS inviting each sitting president to be its commencement speaker. Most, if not all, presidents since Eisenhower have accepted the invitation at some point. They did not go out of their way to do this for Obama because they thought he was especially great (which was the impression I had at first)

    Perhaps they (ND administration) felt they could not back out of this tradition now without it appearing to insult the presidential office. You all know how we’re supposed to respect the office, no matter who happens to occupy it?

    That being said: given Obama’s particularly egregious efforts to promote the destruction of unborn human life, combined with the earlier controversies over Bush 43’s appearance, now would have been a good time to drop this particular tradition simply because of its potential to be a source of scandal.

    I doubt very much that a Jewish university would invite, say, Pat Buchanan or another well-known critic of Israel to be a commencement speaker, or that Brigham Young University (Mormon) would invite a vocal opponent of Proposition 8, even if they had a “tradition” of inviting similar public figures in the past.

  • Also, the argument that this is somehow going to promote “dialogue” and “openness” doesn’t wash. This isn’t a debate, a question and answer session, a panel discussion or a forum with multiple participants, which does not imply endorsement of any particular participant’s views. (If it were, there MIGHT be some justification for having him there.) No, this is a speech by ONE man to a captive audience, at which he gets to express his views to them (and to the nation via press coverage), and at which he is personally honored with an honorary degree. Not a “dialogue” but a one-way conversation.

  • Good comment as usual Elaine. I would note that Bill Clinton never gave a commencement address to Notre Dame. I do not know if he received an invitation. As far as I can tell no pro-abortion President has ever before delivered this address.

  • The invitation needs to be rescinded once and for all.

  • Donald – You can’t delete the truth, friend.

  • Correct Catholic Anarchist. Your comments are only deleted when they involve personal insult or are not on topic. Your most recent comment is not on topic, but you are responding to a prior comment by me so I will not delete it.

  • Notre Dame has made a grave error by inviting the abortionist to speak at their commencement. He is openly anti-Catholic and anti-God.

    What possible reason would ND have for asking him above all of the many qualified, intelligent, Catholic or at least pro-life speakers from which they could have chosen? This is the question. Even if they have invited every sitting president throughout the years, this guy is like no other president in his outrageous disrespect for human life. He resembles Hitler more than a president of the United States.

    His presence at ND will be an insult to the Catholic faith. Let us hope that through public outcry that they have the guts to un-invite him ASAP.

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  • Mark,

    The Church opposes instrinsic and grave moral evils. Unjust wars and torture are both.

    war is not intrinsically evil, water boarding is not intrinsically evil, though given circumstances it is reasonable to conclude that these acts in particular circumstances are, or even in almost every circumstance.

    Are you suggesting that ALL intrinsicly evil acts are morally equivalent? That telling a lie is as grave an evil as abortion?

    Do you even understand what “intrinsically evil” is? It bears no relation to the severity of an act. It’s not that abortion is intrinsically evil that which makes it so heinous.

  • It’s interesting to see just how ridiculous the arguments are over at Vox Nova. MZ’s argument, such as it is, is “grow up.” Thoughtful, that. Morning’s Minion “doesn’t care,” although not for any reason that he can explain.

    Henry takes the cake for the dumbest argument, though, as usually is the case. He says that this is like Jesus being criticized for hanging out with sinners. Yeah, except for the part where Jesus said that he was calling the sinners to repentance, and except for the fact that Jesus was specifically explaining why he was hanging out with the lower classes of society rather than the powerful and prestigious (precisely the opposite of what Notre Dame is doing), and except for the fact that Notre Dame is just sucking up to power rather than calling it to repentance. Other than that, it’s a great analogy, worthy of

  • Should be a period after “analogy.”

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  • I graduated from Notre Dame in 1977. President Carter was our commencement speaker and he was pro-choice.

  • President Ford also gave a speech at Notre Dame. Here’s what he wrote on abortion. Looks like his need for exceptions shouldn’t have sat well with Notre Dame back then.

    “Abortion on demand is wrong,” he said, adding that every state should have a constitutional right to control abortion and expressing his belief that such laws need to “recognize and provide for exceptional cases.”

  • Well Jim Notre Dame won’t have to worry about Obama having exceptions. He is 100% pro-abortion. Of course the Catholic Church is 100% against abortion. Even a pro-abort like yourself should be able to see why this might be a wee problem for Catholics who actually believe what the Church teaches, especially since what the Church teaches is that an innocent human life is destroyed in every abortion.

  • Mark – Did I miss something? Did the Catholic Chuch, i.e. Our Holy Father, declare the Iraqi War an “Unjust War.”

  • This is truly hypocritical. If Notre Dame wants to stay “true’ to its beliefs, then NO U.S. President should ever be invited to speak at a commencement. ALL OF THEM would be guilty of violating Catholic doctrine. As mentioned, George W. Bush was criticized by his holiness Pope John Paul II for his “unjust” war in Iraq. How many innocent lives, including children, were lost in that conflict? How are those innocent lives any different from the unborn? What about Bush’s immoral actions of torture and imprisonment? Did Notre Dame rescind his honorary degree as a result? The church needs to be consistent with its criticism. You can’t viciously attack one person’s views while ignoring the sins of others. This is why people are leaving the church. They are inconsistent. The church should be fighting on ALL issues where innocents are harmed, not just select one. What about the homeless people in this country that were ignored by the prior Republican administrations? Are their lives insignificant? Of course we don’t need to mention the scandals in the Catholic Church itself.

    I would have one thing more to say to all these people that are upset with President Obama speaking:

    Romans 14:10 “But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.”

  • ” You can’t viciously attack one person’s views while ignoring the sins of others.”

    That is a recipe for doing nothing Mr. Miller and allowing evil to flourish. We have almost a million unborn kids put to death each year in this country and President Obama is vigorously in favor of this policy. For a university dedictated to Our Lady to honor such a man is an obscenity.

  • ?????????? ????, ?? ???? ?? ???????? ? ?????????? ?????? ?? ?????. ??-????? ?? ??????? ????? 🙂 ????, ??????? – ??? ?? ??? ???? 🙂

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Cardinal O'Malley's Disconnect

Friday, March 20, AD 2009

cardinal-omalley

There is a disconnect between Cardinal O’Malley’s recent statements regarding the referral for abortions at Catholic hospitals in Boston and what is actually happening on the ground.  Sean Patrick Cardinal O’Malley, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Boston, has stated in so many words that no abortions will be referred to patients in Catholic hospitals that is run by Caritas Christi Health Care Network (Caritas).  On the other hand the Boston Globe has reported that last week Thursday Massachusetts state regulators voted to accept a joint venture between a Catholic hospital chain and a healthcare organization that covers abortions, Centene (pronounced sen-teen).

This new joint venture between Caritas and Centene, called the Commonwealth Family Health Plan, will provide information on where to get an abortion at all Catholic hospitals operating under Caritas.  In addition Centene is a St. Louis based health organization that no hospital in the state of Massachusetts offers.  So basically this ‘joint venture’ will only be operating in Catholic hospitals under the Caritas plan.

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58 Responses to Cardinal O'Malley's Disconnect

  • Better to shut all Catholic hospitals down in Massachusetts than to have any connection with the obscenity of abortion.

  • Tito,

    I greatly appreciate your honest and forthright story on the scandal.

    The statements of the Cardinal and the statements of Caritas and the Commonwealth cannot possibly co-exit.

    The way the Cardinal and Chancery officials have responded to the public contradiction of his assertions has toppled what was left of trust in Cardinal O’Malley and the Boston Chancery.

    I’ve been asking Catholics to contemplate what the Cardinal is actually saying here, even in the best case scenario. He believes that he can send a distraught and confused woman from Caritas and use uncatechized people whom he is subcontracting to escort the woman to the abortion facility. According to his theological scenario, Catholic physicians can say we don’t do mercy killings here, but here is the phone number who can help you achieve that end.

    Is the Catholic Church finished with evangelization? This the biblical temptation of Eve holding out the apple at the Cardinal’s hands.

    Thanks for getting this out there.

  • Well done Carol and all y’all holding fast to the Faith in Taxachusetts. His Emininence has a ton of explaining to do and great reluctance to do it. Along with exercising the leadership entrusted to him by Our Dear John Paul Deuce of blessed memory. Physically hiding, using weasel words to describe services offered by consortium….. not the bold leadership the good Catholics of metro Bahston deserve. Methinks it’s an issue much like the growing number of tea parties held throughout fruited plain. Will have to be reported and initiated by bloggers and other folks outside MSM. Who don’t think these issues are worth covering. Oh- Seattle Post-Intelligencer shut down presses this week, going online only. Rocky Mountain News went room temperature two weeks ago. Any number of Dead Tree Journals still on Death Row. Real news to be found. Someone will find it.

  • I agree Donald. Shut the hospitals down.

    If Cardinal O’Malley continues on this course it’s apparent that he just “wants to get along, to go along” instead of upholding Catholic teaching.

  • I sat here the last couple of days listening to Tito contacting the chancery and attempting to get comment from them. Regardless of what the morals of the situation are, they are stonewalling, they have something to hide.

    This is a serious problem, it looks like his excellency was hoping it would slide through unnoticed, he attacks pro-lifers when they call him on it instead of just releasing the facts.

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  • What is really sad is you have lay thugs going against officials of the Church, not realizing that, typical of Pharisees, they too are guilty of material cooperation with abortion! Pay taxes, even a sales tax? Guilty as charged.

    Does one wonder why they won’t answer someone who, acting like this, is not even under their jurisdiction!?!!?!

    Once again, the lay thugs have no understanding of the material they are dealing with, and just go for low blows against the Church.

  • The bishop is voluntarily cooperating in an abortion.

    Tax-payers have to pay taxes.

    There is a significant difference between the two.

    Trying to draw a moral equivalency that paying taxes is the same as referring a patient to get an abortion is going down a rabbit hole, it’s a straw man argument.

    With that line of thinking it’s no wonder we have people going to far to the left that they give liberals a bad name, more importantly the Church. By offering fallow arguments that cause people to fall into sin.

  • Henry,

    It’s not sad to you the Cardinal is lying. It’s not sad the Cardinal willing to exploit women and send women in a taxicab to be executed. It’s not sad that he thinks he can hire a hit man. It’s not sad he’s forcing Catholic physicians and nurses to either quit their jobs or tell a confused and distraught women it’s ok to get her abortion.

    You fire your salvos at people who unravel the corruption and call them thugs. The Cardinal isn’t a thug, even when he’s willing to hire people to kill children and lie about it.

    How utterly girlyman.

  • Even if you don’t have it in you to be a man and protect women, children and the Deposit of Faith, the Cardinal’s salvation is on the line. You can’t possibly believe the lying and killing will not prohibit is entry into paradise.

  • One would do much better than looking to take on a Prince of the Church in the manner and lack of respect shown here. It’s quite clear, politics and political hackmanship is more important than proper decorum. Luther would be proud.

  • Tito

    No, tax payers do not have to pay taxes; they can go into non-cooperation mode, which many have done, and do so. There are consequences of such action, of course. But that you talk the talk, but never look to your own plank in the eye, says much.

  • Henry,

    I wasn’t addressing you directly in your comments.

    But since you made the assumption that I took your comments to be directed towards me, it only shows that lack of Christian charity on your part to call me a ‘thug’.

    Where are your manners?

    You’re doing a disservice to Jesus and our Catholic faith if you’re unable to address people as you would want to be addressed yourself.

    Again, it’s a rabbit hole that you’re making concerning paying taxes.

  • “…it only shows that lack of Christian charity …”

    Tito,

    What do you consider yourself doing in your treatment of, say, Egan? That post should have been simply destroyed.

    And OMalley here?

  • I’m not the one who has been making it a habit to go from Bishop to Bishop and find a reason to throw mud at them, and often based upon reasons which would condemn yourself if you had any honesty. There is a kind of respect to be given to Bishops. But you seem to think, like so many before you, that they have to listen to you, not you them. Why is it? Have you been given ordination? Have you been made a Prince of the Church?

    Material cooperation. Learn what it is before you speak of it again.

  • This hasn’t occurred very much, but any post that happens under mine, I’d be happy if you meditated on the mystery of Jesus walking to Calvary before you click to submit your comment.

  • Mark,

    I made a balanced report and made comments in regards to the handling of the situation. Nowhere did I demean the character of the either bishops.

  • Henry,

    If you would lift your reactionary glasses off and see that I wrote a balanced article you wouldn’t be throwing your accusations around.

    Your comments have not been moderated for quite awhile, you need to be careful on how you address your fellow Christians before pressing the submit button.

    I would suggest you meditate on the mystery of Jesus walking to Calvary prior to such action.

  • Henry K,

    why don’t you evaluate the situation and comment based on the facts instead of spouting off? This prince of the Church is not acting correctly in regard to a PUBLIC situation, it is our right as Catholics to discuss it and attempt to avoid further scandal to the Church.

    Let me as you, do YOU think that it’s morally acceptable for a Catholic hospital to provide the services reported in the article? For an entity owned by a Catholic organization to provide abortion referrals?

  • Tito,

    The apparent lack of self-reflection on your part is astounding.

    For one, are we talking about the same Egan article that even after several edits still bantered about such verbiage as “limp-wristed liberals” and outright accused the Cardinal of a profound failure to defend orthodoxy?

    On this article, you have not done all of your homework, of getting all of the relevant facts AND interpreting them from a perspective of a broad understanding of Catholic moral theology.

    We are at the point of our conversation at which the best thing is for the conversation to go on no further.

    Humility,
    M

  • Mark,

    I respect your opinion (as much as that may come to a surprise to you).

    I made numerous phone calls and email exchanges all this week, covering all my bases thrice over and then some.

    I even added an update after speaking with a buddy of mine at NCBC.

    Anyways, have a good weekend.

    As for me, I’m watching my AZ ‘Cats try and sneak one past Utah in the college tourney right now.

  • Henry,

    You’re confusing a cult with the Catholic religion.

    When a Cardinal agrees to turn in jews who show up at their facility and give them their ticket to Auschwitz, you running around calling him a prince of the Church lay thugs are throwing mud at, would only come from the mouths of a respectful gentleman such as yourself.

    Get out of the way.

  • The comment signed ‘humility”?

    Humility?

    Trying to turn murdering through the hands of a Cardinal into something Catholics shouldn’t be complaining about?

    When you prefer that children be executed by the Cardina’s hand than raise an objection, there is nothing humble in your actions. It’s cowardice.

    You can no more tell a distraught woman that abortion is an option for her and hand her the phone number, than you could hand a soldier the nail to drive into the palm of Christ. The Cardinal is holding out Eve’s apple and making that the new mission of the Catholic Church.

    Luckily, there are still men with testosterone who will not let him get away with it.

  • Mark,

    On this article, you have not done all of your homework, of getting all of the relevant facts AND interpreting them from a perspective of a broad understanding of Catholic moral theology.

    Is that the new word for “limp-wristed liberal”?

    We are at the point of our conversation at which the best thing is for the conversation to go on no further

    No further? The conversation has not even started, you defenders of the bishop engage in nothing but ad hominem rantings about “lay thugs”, as if criticizing the bishop is an offence in itself, instead of defending his actions. This is typical liberal clap-trap, just like Obamaa’s attacks against Fox and Rush, no substance to defend with, and so a resort to personal attacks.

    Why not look objectively at the situation and develop a defense of the bishop rather than an attack on the messenger? I don’t agree with the Cardinal at all, but if pressed could come up with some reasonable defenses to his actions.

  • Carol you rock. Thanks for all you do dealing with these
    katholics who entertain themselves with foolish theological
    gymnastics on their way to the lake of fire. In my Catholic
    world there are few of us. I see the Cathedral and I think of
    the men who cut and laid the stone. I think of the laborer’s
    confession, the model of St. Joseph who put the first tool
    in Jesus hand. The hand that would bring himself present for
    all in the Eucharist. And I know why I’m still Catholic. Even
    in a Boston work place where I hear “you still take your kids to that
    fag church?” I suggest first – go to confession brother-
    I wear my scapula and it never fails when the string
    breaks and a day goes by without it, one of the working men of the world say’s “hey where is your little cloth thing?” And I tell them
    again why I’m Catholic. And then the Abortion thing. the common
    “my old girlfriend had an abortion” … “how many kids you got now Catholic Boy?” I answer 7…so far.

    You know Carol I believe “your friends
    stab you right in the heart – not in the back” A dis-service to
    the Church? May God have mercy on the cardinal’s soul, and the
    wingnuts who worship HIM rather than the Transcendent God found
    truly present body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist.

    Hey Tito – You’re cool too.

  • Oh..,the Church in all its glory is gathering here now.

    You all are going to build such a civilization of love, aren’t you?

  • Mark – The veneer of humble charm and respect is scratching off. Hey, I noticed your name on “Catholics for Obama’. That’s the site Eric McFadden started right before the police hauled him off to jail for stalking hookers and being the biggest pimp in ohio. I heard he’s starting Catholics for Pimps group while he’s waiting for trial. When you drop him a postcard, do tell him and the Catholic United cronies that I still have them on my radar screen! Something a little more pressing came up! :O)

    Tito, Matt – you go.

    Last CatholicinBoston – thanks for the kind words and support – may a few of those seven kids find their way to be a Catholic physician, nurse in Massachusetts where they will find, by the Christ, a safe place to practice!

  • p.s. What’s a little slander from a gal’s Cardinal Archbishop and a couple of village idiots?

    All in a good days work!

  • Carol,

    Your zealotry is so becoming.

    I am sure it wins many friends. Of course, you must save the Church, as I surmise you believe, so I should not worry about your friendships, as you think you have bigger fish to fry.

    You also have the wrong Obama site, as I know the woman who started the one at which I commented.

  • Mark D.,

    why aren’t you a zealot? I guess you’re just luke-warm, right?

  • Mark,

    Oh, I have plenty of friends dear. None of them betray Christ in the public square. People like that tend not to like having me around..you know…for obvious reasons!

    Yeah, you can pretty much count me a zealot for Christ and man, what a fire burns in my heart. Folks like you who live their lives trying to extinguish it are handy court jesters to have around. Here’s your hat son. When people hear you coming, they hear those little bells hanging off them.

    Get behind us Satan. We’ve got a Cardinal who thinks it’s ok to contract people to kill other people. He’s lost in the talons of the court jesters. The zealots are going to try to rescue him. You go ahead and try to make that ugly. God has your reward in Hand.

    enjoy!

  • Oh, and I don’t have the “wrong” Obama site.

    You do!

    By the way, I saw his little clip on Jay Leno. I wasn’t at all surprised to hear he finds retarded people a joke.

    Do tell what’s next. Will he be on American Idol?

  • and, ps. Mark,

    Don’t kid yourself into thinking I don’t have Catholic friends who struggle with the teachings of the Church. I most surely do. They are beloved. They struggle internally, quietly knowing they are at odds with the Catholic Church. They don’t take up a mission to mislead other Catholics. They left the Church like you should have done years ago. Instead, you and your “gentelman” malarkey stayed to mislead Catholics onto your mountain of dung, making like it was the road to the Kingdom of Heaven, when you are paving the path to hell.

    People like Tito, Matt, myself, and a few others stand in your way. We always have and we always will. 2000 years. Take your debauchery and feed it to the village idiots looking for an excuse to betray the Lord. It has no power here.

    You are no more gentlemen and respectful than the Nazis who de-clothed the jews and ushered them into the ovens. You are menace to society and to the Lord himself. Have the decency to leave those of us alone who will call the consciences poisoned by your nonsense back to Christ’s Truth – least you find yourself in quicksand that will eat you alive. Sooner, rather than later.

    Scram.

  • Carol,

    You need serious, serious help.

  • Mark,

    Let me guess.

    You’ve graduated to the next step of tactics.

    Groping for a crown of thorns to put on the head of people you’re trying to silence. Gentleman like, of course.

    Well, that’s a good one to pick from your bag of tricks. How often does it work for you? Do tell.

    If you think I’m bluffing about the quicksand, get a visitor’s pass from at the prison and visit Eric McFadden. He’ll tell you all about how his temptations, out of nowhere just took over his animus and destroyed him — until he landed where he landed. The temptations caused him to be so itchy, he just had to scratch them.

    You are on a perilous path. Continue if you must, tempt others to continue if you must. But, by Christ, stay away from attacking those of us calling back your victims, least you find yourself with an itch that will destroy you.

  • [edited for excessive rudeness to other commenters]

  • Tito,

    Where is your moderatiing here?

    This woman knows nothing about me, nor my faith’ and is on a complete rampage. She is veering towards complete hysteria.

  • Carol,

    This isn’t my thread, so I’m not going to moderate comments yet, but I’m stepping in here as one of the editors to say: “Chill.”

    UPDATE: All right, between while I was writing this things crossed the line.

  • At the Cross, I bow my knee
    Where Your Blood was shed for me
    There’s no greater love than this.

  • “The sacred synod teaches that the bishops have by divine institution taken the place of the apostles as pastors of the Church, in such wise that whoever listens to them is listening to Christ and whoever despises them despises Christ and him who sent Christ.” Lumen Gentium III: 20.

    “Whence it may not be doubted that this man was guilty of a crime not less than that of the vile Arius, who in like manner perished by the issue of his bowels through the draught. For this too is a heretical belief, that in the Church man may disobey the bishop of God to whom the sheep are entrusted to be fed, and that authority may be usurped by one to whom none has been entrusted, either by God or man.” St. Gregory of Tours, History of the Franks, II 23

    “I believe it is the devil, who, seeing that there is no path which leads more quickly to the highest perfection than that of obedience, suggests all these objections and difficulties under the guide of good.” St. Teresa of Avilla. Book of Foundations, V.

    “It is right, then, that we should be really Christians, and not merely have the name; even as there are some who recognize the bishop in their words, but disregard him in their actions.” St. Ignatius of Antioch to the Magnesians: IV.

    “…I exhort you: — Be zealous to do all things in harmony with God, with the bishop presiding in the place of God and the presbyters in the place of the Council of the Apostles, and the deacons who are most dear to me…” St. Ignatius of Antioch to the Magnesians: VI.

    “The signs by which you can recognize the presence of a carnal pride in a soul. […] troublesome in the matter of obedience except where his own wishes and likings correspond to his duty…” St. John Cassian, Institutes, Chapter XXIX.

    “After all, it is a sign of an imperfect heart and a perverted will to examine cautiously the injunctions of our seniors; to hesitate at each command; to demand to know the reason for everything; to suspect the worst if this be denied us; never to obey willingly unless we are commanded something that suits us, or which has been demonstrated to our satisfaction as necessary or useful.” St Bernard of Clairvaux, On Precept and Dispensation, X.23.

    “… for I am under an obligation, not to dispute with my superiors, but to obey them, and it would not be right for me to dispute with them.” St. Teresa of Avilla. Interior Castle. III:ii.

    “When the thought strikes you to judge or condemn your superior, leap away as though from fornication. Give no trust, place, entry, or starting point to that snake. Say to this viper: ‘Listen to me deceiver, I have no right to pass judgment on my superior but he has the authority to be my judge. I do not judge him; he judges me.” St. John Climacus, Ladder of Divine Ascent, Step IV.

    “Hence great care should be taken by subordinates, whether clerical or lay, that they dare not to blame rashly the lives of their bishops or superiors […] lest from their position of reproving evil they be sunk into greater depths through the impulse of elation.” St. Gregory the Great, Epistle XVII.

    “For if, on the vain presumption that they, too, are filled with the Holy Spirit, they refuse to be guided by another human being, they will only become the teachers of error.” St. Gregory the Great, Dialogues. Dialogue One.

    “But I perceive well that these good brethren look that I should rebuke the clergy and seek out their faults and lay them to their faces and write some work to their shame, or else they cannot call me but partial to priests. Howbeit, by this reason they may call me partial to laymen as well. For I never used that way neither toward the one nor toward the other. I find not yet such and store of virtue in myself as to think it meetly part and convenient for me to play, to rebuke as abominable, viscious folk anyone’s honest company, either spiritual or temporal, and much less meet to rebuke and reproach either the wholly spiritual or temporalty, because such as are very stark naught in both.”
    St. Thomas More, Apology

  • He doesn’t have the right to hire people to kill other people. Nor, does any other one have the right to keep pedophiles under cover.

    Dont’ twist the words of our prophets to make our faith into a cult. It’ isn’t.

  • “And all the degrees specially for my part, I have ever accounted it my duty to forbear all such manner of unmannerly behavior toward those two most eminent orders that God hath ordained in earth: the two great orders I mean of special, consecrated persons, the sacred princes and priests. Against any of which two reverent orders, whoso be so lewd
    irreverently to speak and malapertly to jest and rail shall play that part for me alone.” St. Thomas More, Apology

  • Henry,

    While I agree with you that we should be hesitant before criticizing how the bishops do their job (and I try to err on the side of not criticizing), clearly in some cases one might criticize. Anyone with a decent familiarity with Church history can see that.

    And I don’t seem to recall you getting quite so counter-Reformation-ish when Michael I. or MM lay into the bishops they don’t like on your own blog. Tu toque is not an argument, but consistency is nice.

  • No man would anymore be “obedient” to that debauchery than he would listening to his next door neighbor beat his wife and sexually abuse his children.

    At some point, Henry, you step in.

  • The Legion didn’t do it for Maciel. The Vatican didn’t step in either. In fact, we found out far too late that something was very wrong. And there were plenty of wingnuts around to say Maciel was being persecuted. Not until a few weeks ago did we find out the dark and dirty secrets.

    This is not our religion.

    People who rape and abuse other people, people who contract people to kill other people. Be a man.

  • Mark, you can call people thugs and imply they are mental and spiritually need help but you run for help from the editors when i point out your fallacies?

    Come now.

  • Darwin

    I’ve always been consistent on this part: show respect to bishops. One can disagree without slander or calumnity. What has been said here has been more than mere hyperbole, acting as if the Cardinal is directly involved with killing, which he is not. It’s a grave sin which is involved here. One can say that his way of handling something is not right, and explain or suggest something else, but to impose a judgment as we see here is beyond all sense. It has not even gone through proper channels, but is a direct assault on one of the princes of the church.

    “Wherefore subordinates of either order [clerical or laity] are to be admonished that, when they observe the deeds of their masters, they return to their own heart, and presume not in upbraidings of them, since The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.” St. Gregory the Great, Epistle XVII

  • The Cardinal has said it is ok for Catholcis to hire people to kill other people. And, he is setting a path for this to spread across the nation as Catholic doctrinal interpretation. There is nothing disrespectful about calling it what it is.

    You don’t know the facts at hand.

    You started the thread with slander and calumny.

  • Carol,

    I was maybe tooprovocative in my suggestion that your overzealousness may destroy relationships of charity, especailly whenever you may not have as complete an understanding of the situation as you may think you do.

    But I implore you to reread your own comments, your presumptuousness about my and others her commitments to the faith of the Church, its teachings and the most vulnerable members in society.

    You have additionally employed a most specious guilt by association tactic to somehow imply that I am in some real danger of “pimping” in the near future.

    You have told people to “get out of the way”; “scram”; stop being “girlymen” et al.

    And then, most ironically, you quaotea verse about submitting yourself humbly to the cross.

    aout of all due respect, where in G*d’s name is your capacity for any self reflection and control here.

    Please stop your sweeping judgments about people you know nothing of and accusations of apostasy, nazi-like behavior and siding with Satan.

    You must see that this is not how your Savior exhorts you to treat your brothers and sisters.

    Again, STOP>

  • “Therefore, if earthly power deviates, it will be judged by spiritual power; but if a lesser spiritual deviates, by its superior; but if the supreme (spiritual power deviates), it can be judged by God alone, not by man, as the Apostle testifies: ‘The spiritual man judges all things, but he himself is judged by no one’ [1 Cor 2:15]. But this authority, although it is given to man and is exercised by man, is not human, but rather divine…” Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctum. Denzinger 469.

    “For when you are in subjection to the bishop as to Jesus Christ it is clear to me that you are living not after men, but after Jesus Christ, who died for our sake, that by believing on his death you may escape death. Therefore it is necessary (as is your practice) that you should do nothing without the bishop, but also in subjection to the presbytery, as to the Apostles of Jesus Christ our hope, for if we live in him we shall be found in him.” St. Ignatius to the Trallians: II.

    “Hear also Christ saying, ‘All whatsoever they bid you observe’, that ‘observe and do.’ Thou despisest not me, but the Priesthood; when thou seest me stripped of this, then despise me; then no more will I endure to impose commands. But so long as we sit upon this throne, so long as we have the first place, we have both the dignity and power, even though we are unworthy. If the throne of Moses was of such reverence, that for its sake they were to be heard, much more the throne of Christ.” St. John Chrysostom. Homilies on Colosians. Homily III.

  • Mark

    As a side note, my post this evening for the Sunday of St John Climacus will be very apropos. I think you will see what I mean.

  • Mark,

    You pulled every trick out of your hat in this thread including trying to imply my spirituality had something wrong with it, you tried to imply I needed mental help. Then, you got all wiggy when it’s held up to your face and you run for the editors? You beat people up in the schoolyard and you run for the teacher when they call your bluff.

  • Carol,

    Are you really that incorrigibe. I think not.

    Take a deep breath, reset yourself in the image you were made in, and proceed forward.

    This is not about my nor your winning or losing.

  • When people are getting killed in a scenario the Bishop is setting up, it’s not the cross to you are bowing to.

    you know, for the record.

  • Mark,

    How I do love to be patronized. Almost as much as I love being called disturbed.

    If only I could let this Cardinal convince the nation he’s got it right. We can hire people to kill other people, Catholics can. Hey, Jim Jones did it himself. Too bad Caritas wasn’t there to form a partnership to hand out the kookaid.

    Let me see if I can try to rest myself in that image that God made me.

    …\..

    No. Darn it.

    It isn’t working.

    Mark – God blessings upon you and you too Henry.

    I’ve got a wedding to get to!

    Enjoy this glorious day.

  • Darwin – my apologies for causing you to step into the fugatz.

  • I will be turning off the comments for this post.

    We need to treat each other with charity, regardless of what side of the issue or shade of the issue we are all on.

    [I cannot be online all the time, so my apologies for that that has caused this thread to break down]

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Catholic Campaign for Human Development – Tainted by ACORN or Still Rotten Itself?

Tuesday, November 25, AD 2008

A lone individual with a sign protesting the second collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development sets Vox Nova‘s Morning’s Minion on a tirade against Fr. Neuhaus and evangelicals:

After a moment of confusion, it suddenly dawned on me what this was about. And then I became rather angry. Yes, it was just one “whack-job”, but I was still angry. And then I thought of Fr. Richard John Neuhaus’s partially-successful attempt to align Catholics with the emergent right-wing evangelical movement, and realized that it had come to this. Catholics, including Neuhaus, were lambasting an anti-poverty program because it simply did not fit with the the ideological talking points of the hour.

As Fr. Neuhaus points out, “Ten years ago, CCHD was exposed as using the Catholic Church as a milk cow to fund organizations that frequently were actively working against the Church’s mission, especially in their support of pro-abortion activities and politicians.”

Pointing to the CCHD’s stated principles, including that it “will not consider organizations which promote or support abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, or any other affront to human life and dignity,” Morning’s Minion dismisses Neuhaus’ concerns:

This is important as many of the critics (including Neuhaus) claim it is funding pro-abortion activities. (Yet again, the mis-use of the abortion agenda as a Trojan horse to further a distinctly less noble cause– will this ever end?)

Unfortunately, Neuhaus’ claim is true — CCHD has a disappointing history of, contrary to its stated principles, providing extensive funding for questionable political groups with agendas morally at odds with Catholic teaching.

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8 Responses to Catholic Campaign for Human Development – Tainted by ACORN or Still Rotten Itself?

  • “were lambasting an anti-poverty program because it simply did not fit with the the ideological talking points of the hour.”

    Funding a far-left group that engages in voter fraud is anti-poverty? I assume that Obama’s Minion can square that particular circle.

  • I can’t think of a single orthodox Catholic I know who has ever given a dime to the CCHD.

    In fact, I have always considered it be Catholic in same spirit as Catholics for a Free Choice is Catholic. It calls itself Catholic, but after that all bets are off. In fact CCFC is most certainly far more welcome on CCHD grounds than is actually Church teaching.

  • The unfortunate reality is that CCHD is far too comfortable with groups that advocate against the unborn. This is another reason why charity should be as local as possible: Christ called us to help our neighbor, there is never a shortage of need, and the opportunity for that sort of nonsense is less.

  • I emailed the Diocese of Joliet about my disgust with CCHD. Here is the not at all reassuring reply:

    I note your concerns about the use of Catholic Campaign for Human Development funds in the Joliet Diocese, and I want to assure you that none of the local CCHD funded groups are affiliated with ACORN. As you may know, CCHD is a program developed by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to address domestic poverty. The Campaign funds projects that empower the poor to develop leadership skills and to organize so that they can be successful in their own efforts to break the cycle of poverty. All local grant applications are carefully screened by the diocesan coordinator and a CCHD committee made up of representatives from various parishes within the diocese to ensure that the objectives and actions of each funded group are consistent with Catholic Social Teaching. In addition, the Bishop endorses every project recommended for funding here in the Joliet area. National grant applications are carefully evaluated by CCHD national staff and must be approved by a group of bishops selected to oversee grants as well. Partisan activity is strictly prohibited for all grantees; any organization engaged in partisan activity is not eligible for funding. Some activities that are encouraged and eligible for funding are: community organizing, job training, legitimate voter registration initiatives, leadership development, citizenship training, and English language classes. The goal is to empower the marginalized groups within our community so that they may enjoy a more active role in shaping their own lives. In this way they can move from poverty on the fringes of society to a more fulfilling life for themselves and their families as full participating members. For a list and more information about the grants awarded here in the Joliet diocese see http://www.paxjoliet.org/cchd/grants_0809.htm. A full explanation regarding the mission and policies of CCHD is available at http://www.usccb.org/cchd/grant.shtml

  • I was at this Mass, and didn’t see the person with the sign. I probably would have gone up to him and given him a high-five. But MM and I don’t often see eye-to-eye on such things.

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Scandal

Friday, November 7, AD 2008

So I sit on the couch watching Thursday Night Football, cringing at the poor performance of the Denver Broncos, and alternatively trying to work on my writing and my reading. And then it pops up during one of those lulls in action. Spicy chicken nuggets from Wendy’s. My stomach rumbles, and I immediately consider the benefit of running down to Wendy’s and ordering some. The store is just a few blocks away, the nuggets are only 99 cents a pack, and I haven’t eaten dinner yet. I stand up, contemplating, and then with a sigh I decide to eat the leftover stew from the previous night.

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3 Responses to Scandal

  • You had a better alternative that didn’t involve behaving petulant adolescent hellbent on dereliction of duty?

  • “Did the potential of defeating Obama truly outweigh the scandal provoked by voting for a candidate that is all for embryonic stem-cell research, and is only half-heartedly pro-life? Does it make any difference in retrospect, now that Obama won? What we view as the greater evil has now taken office, but it would it have been anything but a pyrrhic victory if the lesser evil took office, instead?”

    Yes, yes and no, as we shall see to our dismay during the course of the Obama administration.

  • It’s the scandal you don’t see that’s the most dangerous, friend.