Bear Growls: USCCB

Wednesday, July 13, AD 2016



In his latest post our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear reveal some of the puppet masters behind the USCCB:

Catholic News Service: USCCB’s Pravda

The Catholic News Service is the house organ of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Yet as  CNS’s hilarious “About CNS” page points out several times, it is doing real journalism, having some vague relationship with the USCCB, but definitely not involved in publicity.

CNS is not directly funded by the USCCB. “It must be financially self-sustaining.” In other words, the lefty foundations shovel money to keep it afloat, along with all the other trendy scams with which the USCCB is fascinated, in lieu of promoting the Catholic Faith.

USCCB Committee That Produced Gun-Grab Policy: Very Interesting

The list of those serving on the USCCB’s committee on domestic policy that produced the USCCB gun-grab policy paper is quite fascinating. George Schmidt, Google ex-boss and massive supporter of President Obama, etc.;  John Sweeney, head of Democrat Socialists of America, former SEIU, AFL-CIO boss and recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom; Sister Janet Mock, LCWR; Sister Miriam Mitchell, LCWR; Sister Carol Keehan, President of Catholic Health Association and vocal supporter of Obamacare while drawing a $962,467 salary from CHA; Ray Boshara, former Senior Fellow at New America Foundation, which has George Soro’s son Jonathan on the board, is anti-gun, pro-Obamacare, and funded by left-wing heavyweights such as George Soros, through his Open Society Foundation. Anthony Williams, vociferously anti-gun ex-mayor of Washington D.C.

Those are the people behind the Catholic gun grab in the U.S. There are different players in the Vatican.

The USCCB heavily pushed its anti-gun policy through it’s official party organ, Catholic News Service, in an article by Carol Glatz in 2011. The point is, it is somewhere between a joke and a lie to claim that CNS is some sort of legitimate, independent news outlet. The Bear also wanted to show who has the ear of the U.S. Bishops: billionaire lefties and curious private / government entities like the New American Foundation. (Top contributors include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the U.S. State Department.)

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5 Responses to Bear Growls: USCCB

  • If it wasn’t for Christ telling us to; “Fear not, I have conquered the world.” -John 16:33, I would be anxious at this news. The Judas Iscariot crowd at the USCCB are failing. They know it. The damage they inflict on Holy Church will be repaired and they will suffer much.

    “These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you shall have distress: but have confidence, I have overcome the world.”Jn.16:33

    Judas Iscariot’s eventually hang themselves.
    Pray for their souls.

  • The USCCB has been an emperor’s nudist colony for decades.

  • C’mon DRM…that Greg M crack deserves the Sam the Eagle award….no?
    (Well I liked it Greg)

  • Thank you ExNOAAman, much obliged. Rubber check is in the mail!

Fox Escorted From Chicken Coop

Thursday, April 14, AD 2016





The editor-in-chief and director of the U.S. bishops’ official news service resigned Wednesday at the request of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference general secretary.

Tony Spence, who had worked for Catholic News Service since 2004, had publicly criticized religious freedom and bathroom privacy legislation on his Twitter feed.

The news comes mere days after the Lepanto Institute issued a report highlighting Spence’s controversial tweets, wherein he had called religious freedom laws “pro-discrimination” and “stupid.” LifeSiteNews ran an article on the report Tuesday.

“The far right blogsphere and their troops started coming after me again, and it was too much for the USCCB,” Spence told the National Catholic Reporter Thursday.  “The secretary general [of the U.S. bishops’ conference] asked for my resignation, because the conference had lost confidence in my ability to lead CNS.” 

NCR’s Dennis Coday writes:

Bloggers from websites of The Lepanto Institute, The Church Militant and posted stories in the last week that accused Spence of issuing “public statements decrying proposed legislation in several states that would protect religious freedom and deny men pretending to be women the ‘right’ to enter women’s bathrooms.”

According to the newspaper, following a meeting with Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield, the general secretary of the bishops’ conference, “Spence was escorted from the conference office building without being allowed to speak to his newsroom staff.”

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6 Responses to Fox Escorted From Chicken Coop

  • Interesting but not surprising. Leftists have been colonizing institutions like C. difficile colonizing an immunosuppressed octogenarian’s gut in a 3rd world hospital.

  • The left has been effectively attacking the Church from the outside and by way of infiltration for decades.

  • Not decades, centuries. I presume the feckless USCCB had to be pressured to get rid of this dolt.

  • I am surprised he wasn’t promoted or received a gentle slap on the hand. His thinking would line up with my bishop’s anti-gun, anti-death penalty, pro-illegal immigration stances, and several others I’m sure. “Mr. Spence said some things some find objectionable. They have called for his resignation. But in this year of mercy, we forgive him for speaking publicly. His punishment is 5 days paid leave to think about what he has done.”

  • There was a time many decades ago when I might have naively believed the bishops were actually trying to clean house of the diabolical inclinations within…but I can now only assume that this was closer akin to an embarrassment that needed a transparent Band-aid.

  • Pingback: MONDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit

Jihadis Welcome

Saturday, October 17, AD 2015


It often seems to me that most Catholic clerics could care less about the ordinary Catholics they are supposed to be shepherds of.  Case in point:  mass immigration of Muslims.  I wish I could say that Robert Spencer is wrong, but his observation of the feckless policy of the Catholic Church in this country regarding Muslim immigration is on target:


The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is calling for the U.S. to take in 100,000 Syrian refugees this year alone.

The Conference shows no sign of knowing or caring that the Islamic State said last February that it would soon flood Europe with as many as 500,000 refugees. Or that an Islamic State operative recently boasted that, among the flood of refugees, 4,000 Islamic State jihadis had entered Europe. Or that the Lebanese education minister said there were 20,000 jihadis among the refugees in camps in his country.

Or that 80% of the migrants who claim to be fleeing the war in Syria aren’t actually from Syria at all, or that German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the Islamic State is sneaking into the country with the refugees and is active in the refugee camps. Why would these “refugees” think they had to present themselves to Europe, which has welcomed the refugees, with false pretenses unless they had nefarious intentions?

Meanwhile, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is, as Ann Corcoran of Refugee Resettlement Watch points out, “NOT advocating to save the persecuted Christians of Syria through this program.” Instead, bishops such as Robert McManus, Kevin Farrell, Jaime Soto, and others are moving to silence those who speak about the Muslim persecution of Christians, and about the Islamic doctrines mandating warfare against and subjugation of Christians.

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33 Responses to Jihadis Welcome

  • And let us lay down our guns to a troubled lame duck. Poor president can’t stand the school shootings ANY longer!

    Smells bad doesn’t it!

    Why the Department of homeland security purchased billions of ammo…(?)


    Barack Hussein Obama…
    a name that will go down in infamy!

  • Philip, they are getting neither my rifle nor my Rosary nor my Bible except from my cold dead hands. I am proudly a clinger to gun, Rosary and Bible. Remember the Mexico of Plutarco Elias Calles. Remember the Maccabean brothers and their Seleucid overlords. My motto is: Long live Christ the King.

  • Paul.
    Viva Cristo Rey!
    If my blood is shed for the greater glory of God Almighty so be it.
    What is sixty years compared to eternity?
    The blood of many a martyr has produced countless conversions for Jesus Christ.
    From St. Steven to present day Christian’s being murdered by Isis, in their trust of God many have and will come to the splendor of Truth.

    Protecting one’s family is righteousness.
    If jihad Jim storms in he will be met with resistance.

  • Regarding our porous borders and the casual attitude both this administration
    and the USCCB have towards border security, I have but one question: why are
    we keeping up this playacting at ‘security’ at airports now? If the federal government
    is going to throw in the towel and let drugs, refugees, ISIS-masquerading-as-refugees,
    and who knows what else slosh over our increasingly fictitious borders, then why
    must someone’s grandmother still take off her shoes, be patted down, and submit to
    having TSA photograph her naked? Why the scrutiny for us, but not for them?
    It’s almost as if we citizens were the ones they were afraid of.

  • The US Government should cut off all funding for any Catholic entity. The Church built schools, hospitals, colleges, churches, orphanages and operated them all without a dime from Uncle Sam.
    The USCCB can deny Catholic history at its own peril. Pelayo, Rey San Fernando, Charles Martel, Queen Isabel the Catholic, Don Juan of Austria and Jan III Sobieski showed how to deal with Islam. The USCCB is weak.

  • Penguins Fan.

    You are right!
    Cut it all off.
    They are weak.

  • Again, I’m glad that years ago I stopped giving $$ to the US bishops.
    Don’t you people understand? These are the least of your brothers. They hate you. They rape young boys. They mutilate female genitals. They behead Christians. They murder bomb innocents. They fly jumbo jets into tall buildings.
    Makes you wonder: on whose side are they?
    They say you can’t go around kicking in doors and rounding up 11,000,000,invaders. But, they would kick down 83,000,0000 Americans’ doors to take away your arms.
    The only response to such uber stupidity: “Screw you.”

  • “Catholic bishops in this country, and to a large extent around the world, are wedded to an imaginary world in which the magic word “dialogue” solves all problems. ”

    Ever notice those who preach “dialogue” the loudest are the ones least likely to actually practice it? When comes to issues like immigration and capital punishment or similar matters, the bishops are about anything BUT dialogue!

  • This policy reflects the notion following Vatican II,
    which was promoted throughout The Catholic world
    that all religions are equal. I believe they called it
    ecumenicalism, or one world religion. The old bigoted
    principle of the one true Church which offended the
    anti-Catholic political left as a supremacist world
    view had to die with Hitler and Mussolini.
    Of course, some Christians will suffer a violent death at the
    hands of the Mohammedans for the grievous sins of
    the old intolerant church during the Crusades. Nevertheless,
    Christians will have to accommodate the Mohammedans
    as the world moves forward to the realization of the
    international left’s dream of a one world religion.

  • In France, one frequently hears the neologism, « beurgeoisie » ; from the Verlan « beur » = arabe, it refers to the growing number of successful, middle-class people of North African descent, people like Mustapha Ourrad, copy editor of Charlie Hebdo, killed in the massacre of 7 January 2015.

    One thinks of Fadela Amara, a Muslim, who when she was Secretary of State for Urban Policies described fundamentalism as something clung to by a minority through ignorance and isolation in ghetto communities that will vanish when they are given better opportunities of intellectual enlightenment and of acquiring elementary knowledge in history and the sciences. “For this generation,” she declared, “the crucial issues are laïcité, gender equality and gender desegregation, based upon living together in harmony throughout the world, and not only in France” She hailed the Jules Ferry laws, making education at every level free, obligatory and lay.

    Again, there was the vigorous defence of the headscarf ban in schools by another Muslim woman, Rachida Dati, as Minister of Justice (garde des Sceaux): “the laïcité of state schools is not restricted, in the case of pupils, to respect for their freedom of conscience: it imposes a duty of restraint on pupils in their behaviour, since they find themselves in a place pertaining to the public sphere. Pupils’ freedom of conscience, which is an internal freedom, in no way gives them ‘the right to express and manifest their religious beliefs’ in educational institutions, for that involves external acts which improperly introduce religion into the public domain of the school.”

    Then, there are grass-roots activists, like Sihem Habchi, of the Muslim women’s movement, « Ni Putes Ni Soumises » [Neither Sluts nor Door-mats]. In a forceful attack on “multiculturalism” she has demanded “No more justifications of our oppression in the name of the right to be different and of respect toward those men who force us to bow our head.” She opposes state support for religious schools, citing the Law of 9 décembre1905: the Republic does not “recognize, salary or subsidise any cult.”

    There is a dialogue taking place and extremist voices are by no means themost prominent.

  • Well there goes the theory that they only care about immigrants to fill the churches that have been emptied by their laxity and bringing of the faith down to level of the world.

  • Fish rot from the head down, but free nations rot from within their very own bowels.
    Freedom and a lot of the faith both appear constipated these days.

  • These idiot bishops who want these Muslim immigrants so badly should be forced to move out of their houses in nice neighborhoods, and plopped into one teeming with Muslims! That might make a large number of them go Charles Martel in a hurry!

  • Sometimes I think the virtue of Prudence gets lost in the shuffle of our good intentions.

  • What do you expect when a Catholic Pope kisses the Koran; and yet people claim he is a Catholic saint and a “great” one at that?
    Now who is fooling who?
    The same Catholic pope went further and prayed that St. John the Baptist should protect the heretical religion that is Islam.
    Now what do you call that?

  • The Sephardic Jews can go to Israel, but where do the Christian Arabs and Africans go who are being brutully persecuted? For the US – the persecuted should enter first. All others stand in the long line.

  • BTW not a single muslim will be served except by the blood of the Lord Jesus, and faith in his saving power.

  • “Christians will have to accommodate the Mohammedans as the world moves forward to the realization of the international left’s dream of a one world religion.”…based on the human being, man, as being infallible and infinite. In other words, Jesus Christ, Whom we have crucified. Our lady of Victory, pray for us. Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us. Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.

  • “The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is calling for the U.S. to take in 100,000 Syrian refugees this year alone.”
    The let the USCCB take them into their homes,…and the capital murderers. Equal Justice.

  • Cpola, would you please give it a rest? You have a grudge against John Paul II. He has faced judgment for his sins. John Paul II restored the Most Holy Name of Mary to the Church calendar after Paul VI suppressed it in “honor” of Nostra Aetate.
    Cpola, did you live in Poland during WWII?
    I thought not.

  • From Spencer’s concluding sentence:
    “As the bishops enrich themselves off the flood of refugees pouring into the United States, they can congratulate themselves that no one, not even the “flock” they have betrayed, will hold them accountable for what they have done.”

    Plenty of us have about had it with their wishy-washy ways on life issues, the over-emphasis on non-citizens when many of us are in dire straits and cannot receive help from our own Church, and especially so on the acquiescence to the ACA, which has financially ruined many a regular pew sitter. (Not to mention the lack of backbone on fighting the contraceptive mandate! Ugh!)

    Other than not contributing (which I cannot currently do anyhow), how does one, or the flock, “hold them accountable”?

  • I agree with Penguins Fan. Pope St JP II made a mistake in kissing the Koran. That said, I wish Francis were half the Pope that JP II was. I pray that JP II may be declared a Doctor of the Church.

  • cpola: On the page that you suggested was this statement “It has been prophesied, that if the desecration of the Sunday after Easter Sunday, by the demonic devotion brought forward by an impious female, is not repented of, the sword of Justice will not depart from Rome and its environs.” I take it that the impious female is St. Faustina and the demonic devotion is Divine Mercy Sunday. That page is unreal.

  • How is St Faustina impious? Never mind. I don’t want to know. I read too many lunatic ravings from liberal progressives without going so far the other way that I will have come full circle to insanity. PS, I love my Divine Mercy Diary. It ain’t the Bible, but it’s tons better than anything I have ever written. 😉

  • Paul, I don’t know. That was a quote from The author is very anti-St. Pope John Paul II, esp about the possibility of him being named a Doctor of the Church.

  • Saint Pope John Paul II the Great!
    cpola…He faced down the oppression of the communist party in Poland, the ark I believe it is called, a church that was against the law.
    Polish faithful brought in stones from country land and erected this Church despite threat’s from govt. He WAS NOT AFRAID!
    Kissed a Koran. Big fricking deal.
    Look at the Life of this man!
    Shame on you cpola.

  • The Koran says Jesus did not die on the Cross.
    The Koran says Jesus did not resurrect from the dead.
    The Koran says Jesus is NOT the Son of God.
    Now why would a Catholic Pope kiss such a book?
    How can any Catholic regard such a pope as a saint?
    The veneration of the Koran by a Catholic Pope is blasphemy that cries to Heaven for vengeance. And that day is coming.
    We shall all be witnesses.

  • cpola.

    If Saint Pope John Paul II the Great fruits are rotton because he kissed the Koran, then the hundreds of thousands of people he helped into Holy Catholic Church are rotton too, according to your logic.
    Go suck an egg!

  • Cpola’s fixation on the kissing of the Koran is tiresome. The Church faithful has to put up with Kasper, Marx, Daneels and others of their ilk and cpola keeps dragging up John Paul II and the Koran.
    Please go away. Nobody here is impressed with you.

  • “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you traverse sea and land to make a convert, and when he becomes a convert, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.”
    (Matthew 23 v 15)
    Phillip, I rest my case for now. But I will not rest till I see the eyes of faithful Catholics opened to the lies of the past 50 years.

  • Great cpola, aka “The De-Evangelist.”
    Maybe your opinions will help to cease the increase in vocations to the priesthood.
    Maybe you’ll turn potential converts away from Holy Church. Maybe you’ll get your eternal rewards, and wonder why YOU are in the smoking section.
    Much to ponder.

  • Many many people made the mistake of identifying Islam as a religion of peace, even as a great religion. The relativistic malaise of the twentieth century certainly sickened the Church along with the rest of the world. B16 tried to call out Islam and got smacked down hard.

    I guess John Paul 2 did a lot of wonderful things, but also made some mistakes about Islam, the extent of sexual sin in the priesthood and probably ecumenism.. God rest his soul.
    Even though he was a very holy man, I do think many mistakes were made during the time of JP2 pontificate,
    The credibility of the Church in naming saints took a big hit with the naming of John 23. Made it all look political…no miracles that I know of.
    I don’t agree with cpola, but know he has a right to his opinions and to express them.

  • Guest said
    From Spencer’s concluding sentence:
    “As the bishops enrich themselves off the flood of refugees pouring into the United States, they can congratulate themselves that no one, not even the “flock” they have betrayed, will hold them accountable for what they have done.”
    ….anyhow), how does one, or the flock, “hold them accountable”?
    I wonder that too,Guest. maybe Canon lawyer Peters knows if we laity have any recourse?

PopeWatch: Adam Shaw and Ralph McCloud

Tuesday, December 10, AD 2013



Last week Adam Shaw of Fox launched a blistering attack on Pope Francis.

Pope Francis is undergoing a popularity surge comparable to the way Barack Obama was greeted by the world in 2008. And just as President Obama has been a disappointment for America, Pope Francis will prove a disaster for the Catholic Church.

My fellow Catholics should be suspicious when bastions of anti-Catholicism in the left-wing media are in love with him.

Much is being made of his ‘compassion’ and ‘humility,’ but kissing babies and hugging the sick is nothing new. Every pope in recent memory has done the same, yet only now are the media paying attention. Benedict XVI and John Paul II refused to kowtow to the liberal agenda, and so such displays of tenderness were under-covered.

But Francis is beating a retreat for the Catholic Church, and making sure its controversial doctrines are whispered, not yelled – no wonder the New York Times is in love.

Just like President Obama loved apologizing for America, Pope Francis likes to apologize for the Catholic Church, thinking that the Church is at its best when it is passive and not offending anyone’s sensibilities.

In his interviews with those in the left-wing media he seeks to impress, Francis has said that the Church needs to stop being ‘obsessed’ with abortion and gay marriage, and instead of seeking to convert people, “we need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us.”

This softly-softly approach of not making a fuss has been tried before, and failed. The Second Vatican Council of the 1960’s aimed to “open the windows” of the Church to the modern world by doing just this.

The result was the Catholic version of New Coke. Across the West where the effects were felt, seminaries and convents emptied, church attendance plummeted, and adherence to Church doctrine diminished.

Go here to read the rest.  In addition to working for Fox, Shaw used to be a writer for Catholic News Service.  PopeWatch says used to be, because he has been fired:

Tony Spence, editor in chief of the wire service commented on the firing:

“(W)hen he penned the recent piece on Pope Francis, comparing him to President Obama, and presenting it as an op/ed, he seriously compromised his credibility as an objective Catholic journalist for CNS. Had Adam merely reported on the pope’s apostolic exhortation, even citing unflattering sources, there would have been no problem. However, Adam’s caustic condemnation of the exhortation and of Francis himself, one of the key figures we cover daily with objectivity, fairness and certainly charity, left me little choice but to end his service with us.”

PopeWatch understands this firing.  Catholic News Service is a financially independent arm of the USCCB, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  As in any organization, if you publically criticize the boss you had better polish up your resume first.  What PopeWatch cannot understand is why the USCCB has allowed Ralph McCloud to continue as head of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development even though, as head of that organization, he simultaneously served as campaign treasurer for pro-abort uber alles Wendy Davis when she first ran for her state senate seat in Texas.  Go here to read all about it.  Why the double standard?  PopeWatch is puzzled!

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3 Responses to PopeWatch: Adam Shaw and Ralph McCloud

  • Yes. Mr. McCloud probably raises mucho dinero for the Bishops as head of the CCHD. Note he was campaign TREASURER for Davis. Mr. Shaw just specializes in truth-detection (reporting). And here I thought the Church was supposed to be about Truth, not $$$.

  • Why the double standard? The fact that the CCHD even still exists should answer all you need to know about the USCCB and its reporting arm, CNS.

  • While I might be a bit slower to jump to the conclusion that there is a conscious double standard at work here, the question remains, and needs to be heard and responded to by the USCCB. The CCHD at its beginning was very careful about who and what agencies received its funding from Catholics in America. I am not so sure that the same care is at work.

    What I see is just one more example of two distinct groupings within the Church-at least in America (I do not want to use the term ‘ideology’ in terms of these two groups). One group I like to say, emphasizes Lumen Gentium, the identity of the Church, keeping what are commonly referred to as ‘personal morality’ issues: pro-life, pro-traditional marriage etc. The other grouping focuses on Gaudium et Spes, the Church in the Modern World and emphasizes the social issues, work with the poor, homeless etc. Both groups tend to favor polticians and political causes who and which best further their focus. Both are at Sunday Mass in almost every parish in this country. They are not rejecting Church teaching-in the first group’s case-on social issues; the second group is not dissenting from Church teaching on pro-life, pro-family issues. It is a matter of focus and where they place their energy.

    Two problems arise from these distinctions. First too often each side sees the other as ‘poorer Catholics’ and question the other. The second problem arises when they seek to bring their focus into the social/political arena. Both groupings can really end up with strange ‘bed fellows’, if either group took the time to really look at the ones they are backing.

Bad Faith Arguments and Immigration

Tuesday, July 2, AD 2013

NB – this was originally posted at the Catholic Stand.


I would like to use this space to talk with you about an issue of the utmost moral importance. It’s an issue where no clear-thinking, righteous Catholic could possibly differ in judgment. Yes, it’s time that Catholics united and stood up for legislation that outlaws the use of incandescent light bulbs. Not only would such legislation help protect our environment, but it is actually mandated in the Bible. Are you not familiar with Mathew 25:35?

For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in:

If you’re wondering what this Scripture passage has to do with banning incandescent light bulbs, well, it’s as applicable to this issue as it is to the Senate’s attempts to pass an immigration reform bill. Yet  our Vice President has cited this passage to shame  Christians into supporting immigration reform.

You’ll pardon me for failing to see how this biblical injunction means that I must support a bill that allows those who have entered the country illegally to jump ahead of those who desire legal passage into this country.

Unfortunately it has become something of a game to misappropriate bible verses in order to justify either legislation or, in some circles, to actually defend behavior or attitudes that contradict most other Bible passages. How often have you read a blog post criticizing, say, Nancy Pelosi for defending abortion rights, only to see someone in the comments to said post utilize the “let he who is without sin cast the first stone?” non-argument? It’s not enough to just cite the passage, you actually have to demonstrate how the passage you’re citing actually links to the position you’re taking. Sure, not every Bible verse will literally match up and you do need to interpret according to the proper context, but there should be at least a reasonable nexus between the Scripture quotation and your position on a semi-related issue.

What’s also infuriating about Biden’s sudden adherence to biblical literalism is that he glosses over, say 1 Corinthians 6:9 when it comes to same-sex marriage, and that pesky 6th Commandment when it comes to abortion. Yet strained references to unrelated Bible passages are perfectly acceptable according to ole Joe when it’s a piece of legislation his boss and his party are really desperate to pass.

If only Joe Biden were the only Catholic stretching logic in order to justify Senate action. Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, the Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, authored this letter encouraging support for the Senate’s bill. I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with the Bishops supporting immigration reform, it’s just that the arguments deployed in defense of the bill are, well, indefensible, starting with this:

Each day in our parishes, social service programs, hospitals, and schools we witness the human consequences of a broken immigration system. Families are separated, migrant workers are exploited, and our fellow human beings die in the desert.

This is a very unfortunate choice of words. Note the use of the passive voice: families are separated, migrant workers are exploited. What this passage does is essentially deny any agency in the migrant worker. In fact, the wording actually dehumanizes the worker in a certain sense because it takes away any moral culpability on his part. Those who have chosen to immigrate to the United States – legally or illegally – have largely not done so against their will (I will not discuss here those who have been forced to leave the country against their will thanks to our lack of effective border security). If families are separated, then that responsibility adheres to the individual or individuals who have knowingly entered the country illegally.

There is more:

We can continue on our current path, which employs an immigration system that does not serve the rule of law or the cause of human rights, or we can create a system which honors both principles.

I have admitted that the current immigration system could use improving, but this is complete hyperbole. Even if one grants – as I do – that the current system is overly restrictive, how does it not serve the rule of law? Is the system unjust? No. Moreover, Archbishop Gomez fails to recognize where the rule of law is not being respected. It’s the person who has entered the country illegally who has flouted the rule of law. If the system is broken, then perhaps we should point the fingers at those who have broken it by overrunning it.

We can maintain a system that fosters illegal behavior and undermines the law, or fashion one that provides incentives for legal behavior and is based upon fairness and opportunity.

Again, in trying to defend the migrant worker the good Archbishop is effectively dehumanizing him by suggesting that the person just has no other recourse than to break the law. Furthermore, the very bill that Archbishop Gomez and his fellow American Bishops are promoting creates dis-incentives for legal behavior. Those who are already here illegally will not be punished other than in the most minimal way, and most of the supposed restrictions being placed on them can easily be disregarded. In essence, they will have an opportunity to gain legal status ahead of those who have played by the rules. Where is the fairness in that? Where is the respect for the rule of law in that?

I am growing tired of those who misuse Scripture and who offer empty platitudes in an attempt to convince Catholics they are morally obligated to support certain public policies. Of course Jesus’s words and teaching should always be at the forefront of our minds as we’re formulating political opinions. What I find offensive are efforts to appropriate those teachings and infer a certain pre-determined end.

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10 Responses to Bad Faith Arguments and Immigration

  • I’ll just repeat here what I said in the combox at Catholic Stand:

    I’ve been waiting for someone in the mainstream Catholic blogosphere to say something like this. Unfortunately, Archbishop Gomez and yes Vice President Biden, are speaking for the vast majority of U.S. Bishops on this issue. In fact, they have even included this issue alongside of opposing the HHS Mandate in their Fortnight for Freedom statement. If this is not defining religious liberty down, what is?

    Although I vehemently oppose the Gang of Eight’s bill, I would object to them coming out against it just as much as I oppose what they are doing now. On issues like this capital punishment, and other issues where a Catholic can licitly take divergent views, the bishops’ responsibilities are to state the binding moral principles and hold all side accountable to those principles. Beyond that, they are to remain neutral. This is all the more crucial in the times we now find ourselves.

  • “LOVE!!”

    Yes, but LOVE!!! (I put an extra exclamation point in there for a little extra effect) is not merely an emotion. True love must be done in truth. That includes the possibility that actually loving a person may mean doing something that they find painful – including having them act justly (according to the law.)

    Archbishop Gomez was ordained a priest for the Prelature of Opus Dei. St. Josemaria Escriva was adamant that it was the domain of the laity to order society. Priests were to teach but not to form particular programs. He was so in love with this aspect of the role of the laity that he said “When priests speak about politics, they are wrong.” Archbishop Gomez proves these words.

  • It always amazes me when people, especially those with great responsibility, condone stealing (which is, IMO, what illegal immigration is). This is an excellent article because it clearly spells out how people get around their culpability by changing their sentences to the passive voice. Is there a link to the article on Catholic Stand?

  • I’ve added a link to the Catholic Stand at the top of the post.

  • It has long been troubling to me that the Catholic Church has taken the stand of segregating Latino immigrants from the parishioners. At least, that’s what is done in the Diocese of Nashville.
    Years ago, I protested that “segregation” was outlawed in the 60’s.
    Here, there are separate “Spanish” Masses. Said in Spanish. There are other “separate” activities.
    While I appreciate the compassion of wanting to communicate to these immigrants in their native language, the practice is, in fact, holding them back. It is effectively denying them opportunity in America. The international language of business is “English.” English is taught all around the world, but, here, the Church if failing our Hispanic brethern by not encouraging them to attend our already established Masses. What safer and more loving environment could initiate them in American culture?
    When I was in Miami years ago, my daughter and I attended a fully Spanish Mass and enjoyed the experience. Even though, during the homily, she nudged me and said, “Bet you’re getting alot out of this homily!” Though, I do not speak Spanish, I picked up on words and gestures enough to capture the essence.
    We need to help Hispanics embrace English. It is disingenous of the Church to suggest that it is “wrong” for a fence to be built along the border when the bishop(s)demand that the parishes provide “separate, but equal” facilities and Masses for the immigrants. If they are in America, there should be no fences.
    At the same time, citizenship must be earned. And it must be legal.

  • “Mathew 25:35?

    “‘For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in . . . ‘”


    The error in contemporary “social justice” teaching is essential. And, Joe Biden is an imbecile.

    The “Final Judgment” teaching is only presented in Matthew.

    However, Matthew, Mark, and Luke quote Jesus teaching specifically who qualifies as His followers, His brothers and His sisters.

    The only ones that will enter the Kingdom of Heaven are those who do what “my Father wants them to do.” (Mattew 7:21; Luke 13:25-27)

    Jesus teaches that certainly whoever gives even a drink of cold water to one of the least of His followers will receive a reward. (Matt. 10:42; Mark 9:41)

    Jesus says that his brothers and sisters are whomever does what God the Father wants them to do. (Matt. 12:48-50; Mark 3:31-35; Luke 8:19-21)

    Ergo, illegal invaders are not doing what God wants them to do and are not Christ’s brothers, followers or sisters, least of or otherwise.

    Mickey Kaus: “Shorter, Rubio aide: ‘There’s a reason unemployed Americans are unemployed. They aren’t star performers.’ Screw ‘em. We’re bringing in workers from abroad! This is what opponents of the Gang of 8 have been arguing is the philosophy behind its proposed giant increase in the immigrant work force. Good to have confirmation.”

    Misplaced sentimentality/mercy and willful ignorance. Tolerance of criminality leads to more crime; tolerance of terrorism leads to more terrorism; efforts to appear defenseless lead to assault.

    One does not stop rapes by making rape legal.

  • Miss Sheila,

    Our Lord and Master communes with His people by offering Himself in the Eucharist, not to make them more American. Mass isn’t about sovereignty, it is about communing with God as one people, spread over many lands and speaking many tongues, but one people all the same.

    Where there are enough Spanish speaking members of the congregation to warrant Mass said in Spanish, it should be said in Spanish, or even English, if a Pastor finds that many English speaking people in his Miami parish 🙂

  • Nowhere in that letter does the bishop specify how the current regime in immigration law inhibits the Church’s corporal works of mercy.

    I am sorry, it is just seems another example of a mush-head who’s a parasite off the order which has to be provided by rougher characters to whose efforts he grants no credit. Or perhaps it is an example of a bourgeois cosmopolitan who does not care much about the interests of people who live here. Leapfrogging loyalties, and all.

    In parish life, it is very seldom that you encounter a priest who offers insistent teaching through a full cycle of sermons derived from the readings of each Sunday of the liturgical year. Here we have the hierarchical variant of it whereby effort and voice is frittered away in favor of a lot of chaff about ancillary matters. We do live in a decadent age.

Paul Ryan, the USCCB and the Poor

Sunday, August 19, AD 2012

A fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal by economist Antony Davies and Catholic theologian Kristina Antolin:

Someone is twisting the Catholic Church’s teachings on caring for the poor, but it isn’t Paul Ryan. His controversial budgetary ideas demonstrate that he has a better grasp of Catholic social thought than do many of the American Catholic bishops.

The culmination of centuries of theological and philosophical thought, the church’s teachings cannot simply be satisfied by a government edict to “feed the poor.” Commanding “Let there be light!” works fine for God, but for mortal beings, edicts don’t carry the same punch.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has long supported government interference in the economy as a means to help the poor. But we suspect the bishops haven’t fully thought this through: If God really did favor a top-down approach to poverty reduction, why wouldn’t He establish a government with the power to wipe away poverty on demand instead of leaving things to chance and the possibility that someone like Mr. Ryan would come along and mess up His plans?

Perhaps we dehumanize the poor when we treat them as nothing more than problems to be solved, and we dehumanize the rich when we treat them as wallets to be picked.

Wealth and poverty are catalysts for bringing the rich and the poor together in community, and community is the hallmark of the church’s mission on Earth. Government is not community. Government is one of community’s tools, a coercive one we use when it is necessary to force people to behave in ways they would not otherwise behave voluntarily.

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36 Responses to Paul Ryan, the USCCB and the Poor

  • Sometimes the safety net can become a hammock. Sometimes it can also become a snare. I recently did some research into GDP growth in Chile. It seems they are doing almost everything right, although they do need to do something to reduce income disparity. Personally, I think the best thing we could do to help the poor is to pursue GDP growth with low public debt and low inflation. Public debt represents a huge transfer of wealth from taxpayers to bondholders. I recall a push by the USCCB for debt forgiveness in Third World nations.

    It is a bit inconsistent to lament public debt in poor nations and encourage the same in wealthier nations. In both cases it represents the same drain on the economy and hurts the poor when it approaches the levels the U.S. currently owes. This is money that does not invest in factories, does not build roads, and does not pay doctors. It crowds out the private investment that is necessary to grow GDP. It goes from the hands of taxpayers to the hands of bondholders, and in that way tends to increase income disparity rather than correct it. Well-paying jobs created by private investment of savings is what reduces income disparity. Lack of private investment caused by crowing out from government debt ensures future unemployment. If the USCCB were serious about helping the poor, they would encourage the elimination of debt in the United States, just as they encouraged it for Third World countries.

  • Bottom line, Jesus never directed his disciples and followers to get government to do what he directed them to do, themselves. I’ve never had anybody be able to show me where in the bible Jesus said, “Go get government to feed, clothe and go take care of the poor.”

    Catholics who deceive themselves believing they are “doing the Lord’s work” supporting the Democrat Party, and believe that they, themselves, are “better people” than others for it, are sadly mistaken. NO ONE is going to heaven because they are a Democrat, or for that matter any other party affiliation. There are some parties that may keep you from going to heaven – the KKK, the Nazi Party, the Communist Party, according to Catholic teachings concerning the 5th Commandment. And I would add to that the Democrat Party because of their support and promotion of the denial of the right to life to innocent human beings by legal abortion. Certainly, if the Church teaches “it’s a sin to deny one their human rights” as do those who join the KKK, the Nazi Party, and the Communist Party, then how can Catholics who give their name to, and vote for the Democrat Party candidates, be exempt? The murder of babies is nullified because the Democrat Party has co-opted a Christian teaching? And doing so for the sake of developing a permanent voting block? By making poverty a permanent way of life through government hand outs of other peoples’ confiscated possessions (earnings), the Democrat Party has also feed the beast of covetousness in the “poor” and “lower income,” which this President is so skilled in doing.

  • It seems that assistance for the poor is, and has been for three generations, in place for those who access such. It’s curious to see how the bar of benefits has been raised as well. A lot of the food, shelter, clothing, medical, education, furnishings, cars, contraception and technological necessities provided are beyond what some wage earners can materially acquire.

    Much is made of providing civic ethnic cultural programs and celebrations, ethnic church programs funded by charities which are not supported by these beneficiaries, and on to such as language accommodations. There is a contrast in removing the ‘American flag’, exclusive suppression of Christian prayer and Holy Day symbols (Manger scenes at Christmas), Christmas Carols, and many traditional customs of America which celebrate the basis of the country to which many immigrate. July 4th, Independence Day, is marketed as picnics and fireworks. November 11th, Veterans’ Day, is a long weekend of shopping early for Christmas gifts. May 31st, Memorial Day, is marketed and reported as the summer picnic or getaway kickoff. In my city, halloween decorations exceed Christmas decorations. March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, is a party for wearing green because he brought the faith to Ireland? Easter – bunnies and candy?

    Accommodations have ironically created legal tangles for tradition to be included. This is not the religious fanaticism of Catholics and Christians demanding that they be removed from the public square. Catholics and Christians are now asking to be included once again in the public square.

    Tolerance exists. The point though is now so exreme that those demanding tolerance are becoming dangerously intolerant of different forms of lifestyles, like we saw with Chick A Fil, just because a man said he supports traditional family structure.
    Unlike the news of Coptic Christians in danger of being crucified now in enlightened 2012, the danger of the mindlessness aspect is not as life threatening here yet. Insanity of selfishness is growing where love of God, life and others is being forgotten and ignored.

    Someone just rang the doorbell to speak for E. Warren for Senate and was dismayed by hearing that I was registered Independent and decided to vote as pro-life as possible. He said that I didn’t care about women’s choice or the welfare enrolled and would have gone on. All I could say was that it was my choice to be ‘pro-life’ because I couldn’t stand for murder of babies in the now various ways being defined . I was told that I was a one issue voter and the Pope would love me. I said I hoped so, then said the money numbers to pay for the promises didn’t work for me either. He shook his head like I was shameful and left.

    Some elderly at church are ‘surely lifelong’ Democrats and why change now – heard that conversation in passing and thought – they would be hurt to know the fiscal irresponsibility and betrayal by their affiliation .

    Clear, responsible approach to the debt and keeping promises in place to those who need to know that there is even a debt problem is a gift we need to embrace and support. The things that the more liberal population want are already theirs, so in 2012 they have to wage word war to divide and conquer.

    It’s time for a wake-up calls – and thanks for the light in the darkness during this election process.

  • Alphatron Shinyskullus:

    Truth. Catholic U. of Chile economics scholars closely associated themselves with the U of Chicago econ dept. and Milton Friedman.

    After General Pinoche saved Chile from the bolshevists, he commissioned the “Chicago boys” to cut government central planning, privatize the Chilean model of social security, end catastrophic central planning, reduce collectivist taxes and spending, institute free market reforms, etc.

    In the next decades, Chile moved from being tied with Argentina as an economic basket-case to enjoying among the highest median family income in Latin America.

    Argentina is still an economic basket case as will be the USA if Obama gets four more years to finish off (what the USCCB and Obama-worshiping imbeciles view as) the evil, unjust private sector.

    A close friend of mine knows about the catholic bishops. He told me the super-secret (eyes-only) USCCB, Post VatII translation of Matt 25 read: “I was hungry and you voted democrat . . . ”

    I wish that I was certain that I was just kidding . . .

  • T. Shaw: I knew about the University of Chicago connection, but not that it was also the Catholic University of Chile.

    Chile employs a countercyclical monetary and fiscal policy, has no appreciable public debt, and encourages investment through privatization of the national pension fund. Rather than being a temptation for politicians, pension funds go to support investment, which reaches about 25% of GDP. This has fueled enormous GDP growth and lifted people out of poverty. We need to be doing what they are doing.

    Regarding the translation of the NAB, it seems the feminists had a higher priority.

  • Medicaid covers most nursing home residents (60% or 67% from two internet sources I read). Therefore Catholic old age homes like St. Ann’s in Jersey City, N.J. run by nuns for decades exist and function based mostly on funds from Medicaid money.
    Medicaid Fed and state expenditures in 2010 were 401.1 billion dollars. The Vatican is thought to have 1 billion dollars in investments. If the Vatican donated their entire savings to Medicaid, it would not make a dent….it would be 1/401 of the need. Catholics gave $60 million to help Haiti. The Vatican gave $200,000 each to Haiti, Japan, and Iraq. The scale of the problem in the US is way beyond the Catholic charity level.
    Medicaid pays for 37% of childbirths, pre natal care, and sixty days of post partum care for those females making less than $15K and who have no other insurance like a secretary in a small business on Main St. like an Interior design shop….or think of a girl working the counter in
    a bakery. Therefore Medicaid pays for 37% of Catholic Hospital births plus the pre natal and post partum money that goes to doctors. This Medicaid money is not going into the pocket of the delivering bakery counter girl but rather into the system, including Catholic, that is delivering the baby. A ten week abortion costs much less…around $400. Ryan cuts therefore logically could increase abortions but that is not Ryan’s fault unless he sees an alternative.
    If unleashing entrepeneurial energy leads to great jobs, how is a bakery counter girl affected.
    Is she suddenly capable of software engineering at the new nearby factory….or will someone move to that spot from India?
    I think neither party knows what to do about an underclass that is bigger than we think when 42% of Americans die with an estate that is under $10,000. They both know that the deficit must be reduced but no one knows the consequences like increased abortions and shoddy coverage of the elderly sick non millionaires… Medicaid cuts back.

  • Medicaid is already in shambles Bill with physicians fleeing it due to low reimbursement rates. Here are some ideas for reform from the Heritage Foundation:

    The bottom line is that our current welfare state is coming to an end. Change is coming whether people want it to or not.

  • Forget about Medicaid. If they don’t turn around this train wreck, there will be mass rapine, starvation, and violence.

    Get real and stop letting the lying pols run us into Hell on Earth.

    Last week, my first reaction was, “I can suspend my crisis investment program.” Not.

    No we cannot.

  • T Shaw,
    Don’t forget our impending welfare statist relationship to Afghanistan who could actually help us if their opium profits were actually seized by anyone:

  • Bill, the problems that you point out make it even more imperative that we engage in a policy of fiscal and monetary restraint, encouraging the investment needed to expand our GDP. Medical costs are increasing much faster than GDP, and so we can expect Medicare liabilities to expand faster than GDP. Government spending is being fueled by debt, and high levels of government debt have always been a hindrance to economic growth. If we want social programs to continue, they have to be done with fiscal restraint. A good source for viewing the incredible growth in social programs can be found at

    It’s an interactive table, so click on government current receipts and expenditures, then table 3.12, government social benefits. Many of the programs listed are growing much faster than the economy is, which means that they are on an unsustainable path unless something is done to either curb benefits or expand growth in GDP. But you can’t expand both public benefits and GDP at the same time given our current level of public debt because the public sector has crowded out the investment necessary for GDP growth. We have to engage in restraint of public benefits and increase our level of investment to have any hope of obtaining the kind of economy the USCCB wants us to have. Only when we have resumed a path of strong economic growth can we begin to expand the amount of public benefits that senior citizens will require. Of course, those same senior citizens failed to save, failed to have children who could support them, and now demand that these same diminished future generations provide for them NOW, and pay when they are in the workforce, without any hope of having the same level of benefits for themselves if we continue on our present course.

  • Please explain why those “through no fault of their own, cannot work due to mental or physical impairment” should “always receive assistance from the State for a basic standard of living.” Why should people in this category be cared for by the state rather than by charitable organizations?

  • If a charity could do it I would be all in favor of it. However no charity I can think of has the resources for life time support. Fortunately the people in this category are not numerous compared to the 50% of American households currently receiving some form of government assistance. One very good argument for trimming dependence upon government is that it frees up huge resources to help those who are truly unable, through no fault of their own, to help themselves.

  • When Medicare was instituted, nursing homes were built by the private sector. Government cooperated by passing regulations that said that grandma had to have her own apartment with bath, and kitchen if she was to stay at home. Three generations in a household were forbidden by law. Grandma couldn’t watch the little children, answer the phone, peel potatoes, read to the children, be there for them when they came home from school. Grandma was needed to fill the enterprising nursing homes which Medicare will pay for. Head Start was initiated, then Day Care. Mom and dad had to have two incomes to pay the taxes that funded grandma’s nursing home, Head Start and Day Care. The help, tradition and wisdom that grandma could bring to the family was outlawed. The family was outlawed by the social engineers and the greedy. Pay your taxes and shut up. We will tell you how your tax dollars will be spent. Government manufactured “the poor” and invented “compassionate care” to control the money. These programs made as many of “the poor” as it helped. Some good came from it, but not enough good to justify the destruction of our families and culture, and none to justify taxation to fund what a citizen rejects and abhors.

  • Alphatron,
    Yes except to the lumping of all medicaid seniors together at the end. A person could be a celibate laymen or a couple who were sterile etc etc and they all could have saved several hundred thousand dollars plus a house yet if in their sixties they had e.g. a totally disabling stroke that let them live but not walk, after ICU in a hospital, they would enter a skilled nursing facility where medicare would pay for the first 100 days, then if they were the last spouse, their savings and house would go to the skilled nursing home at around the rate of $50 to $70K a year after which medicaid would cover them per year until they died. Sixty to sixty seven percent of those in nursing homes are covered by medicaid. Other elder people have children who themselves run into huge bills e.g. autism therapy bills which are uncovered by insurance. Long term health insurance…new and not thought of in the past… runs over $2K a year which is light for those who are well covered in other areas like a northeast teacher who has health coverage and pension but it is heavy for those uncovered for neither health nor pension like a hardware store owner who is paying $12K for family health care insurance on his own per year.
    I don’t know the answer.
    As to medicaid and single mothers, as long as the US Government’s concept of free speech allows tv shows to propagate fornication as humorous to the young…Two and a Half Men…How I Met Your Mother…then the US judicial system is making the bed the US has to lie in. Some Catholics working class and tv years ago did the same humorous propagating of drunkeness….Catholic Dean Martin in particular back in the early decade of tv.

  • David:

    I work for an insurance company, and I sometimes have to evaluate disability cases. The cost is enormous, and well beyond the scope of charity which ebbs and flows with economic conditions. There are some costs which should be borne by all members of society, Lifetime support is typically a few million dollars. Support for the disabled includes more than room and board. You need medical care, and sometimes attendant care. Even with funds invested to grow over that lifetime, given the mess the Fed has made of our money supply, returns are very, very low.

    That said, there are sheltered workshops which help some of the disabled be productive, and these are typically charitable ventures. But not all of the disabled are able to participate, and it can be difficult to find work for those who can do some work because they are not as competitive as those without disabilities.

    The government should do things that the people on their own cannot accomplish, and the reliable funding for the care of the disabled is one of those things. It’s too big of a problem to tackle on merely a charitable level, although charity has an important role to play.

  • Bill, I was speaking about the baby boom generation as a whole, which killed fifty million potential taxpayers and contracepted countless other millions out of existence. Obviously, not all of that generation engaged in that behavior, but the vast majority did.

    Single motherhood is currently being tacitly encouraged in public schools. You don’t need the media at all. Planned Parenthood is trying to get into the classroom all over the country, and the federal government is actively subsidizing those efforts.

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  • Jesus told the rich man to give everything to the poor and follow Him;

    He did not hold the rich man down and have the Apostles rifle through his pockets.

  • If unleashing entrepeneurial energy leads to great jobs, how is a bakery counter girl affected[?]
    –e.e. cummings wannabee

    At the most basic level, more people have the income to shop at bakeries which leads to more demand by employers for bakery counter girls. Bakery counter girl wages then tend to rise. Plus, increasing productivity in the economy increases the buying power of each dollar in wages that she earns.

    Notice that the bakery counter girl benefits from a vigorously growing, increasingly productive economy even if she herself doesn’t obtain one of those “great jobs” herself or start a bakery of her own.

    (Did “wannabee” really need that explained?)

  • Micha,
    I’m not understanding the wannabee insult. Are you Christian? If so, read 2 Tim.2:23 onward.

  • John 12:1-8

    1* Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 There they made him a supper; Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at table with him. 3 Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. 4* But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii * and given to the poor?” 6* This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it. 7* Jesus said, “Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. 8 The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”

  • Two personal anecdotes about Medicaid: I have two brothers-in-law (BIL).

    (1) My eldest BIL knocked his girlfriend up. They were planning on marrying anyway, but when she went down to the Medicaid office on the recommendation of a friend, the Medicaid officials instructed her that if she would claim she didn’t know who the baby’s father was and remained unmarried, Medicaid would pickup the entire tab for the pregnancy and birth. Guess what she did? Yep, claimed she was ignorant of paternity andputoff the wedding. And when they were once again planning their wedding and she popped up pregnant with their second child, guess what she did again? Yep, same thing. Medicaid paid for the births of their first two children at no cost to them. They finally did get married after all that.

    (2) My youngest BIL and his wife just had their first child. She has some birth defects and will likely have special needs. Both of the parents are perfectly capable of working and had jobs. I say “had” because the social services administrator for the hospital advised them that if they were to both be fired and unable to find work, Medicaid would pay for everything- respirator, feeding tube equipment, in-home 24-hour nurse,etc and so on- and that, should they be unemployed (wink, wink), they should apply for all the social assistance they can get so they can just stay home with the baby. So what do you think they’ve done? They’ve both intentionally missed contacting their employers by their return dates and have both been terminated. They have begun filling out the unemployment paperwork, applications for food stamps, Medicaid, etc and so on. And they won’t pay a dime towards my neice’s care.

    Now, I don’t begrudge them *some* assistance. The baby is disabled through no fault of anyone and realistically there’s no way they can pay the full amount it will costs to care for her, much less the hospital bill thus far. But they’re not going to be paying out a dime now and that’s just wrong. In both of these cases our “social services” folks encouraged my relatives to game the system so they wouldn’t have to take any monetary responsibility for their children. Again, that is wrong. And if this is representative of the experience people have with social services around the country, then this is clearly wrong.

    This stuff *has* to be cleaned up and reformed. There’s no universe in which any of these people should be encouraged to do the things they’ve been encouraged to do by our own government.

  • I am only mildly bothered by the fact that they are not contributing to the care of their children. What gets me is that the soopergenius politicians who enacted these programs designed them in such a way as to nearly require the target clients to abandon adult work life or at least restrict their efforts in such a way as to maintain their eligibility. Has Henry Waxman or the National Association of Social Workers ever objected to this (much less sponsored a restructuring plan)? Or is making people dependent the whole point?

  • Of course making people dependent is the whole point. It locks in Democrat voters.

    While many, perhaps most ordinary, Dem voters are well-meaning people who follow their hearts rather than their heads on this matter, the same cannot be said for the pols. I have come to believe they know exactly what they are doing – making people dependent on them so they can increase their power, while posing as “compassionate.” It is downright evil.

  • @ Bill Bannon “how is a bakery counter girl affected.
    Is she suddenly capable of software engineering at the new nearby factory”
    There are many degreed and skilled workers working minimally paid jobs right now.

  • One of my favorite free enterprise clips is this old one from Milty! Rings so true even today.

  • “I am only mildly bothered by the fact that they are not contributing to the care of their children. What gets me is that the soopergenius politicians who enacted these programs designed them in such a way as to nearly require the target clients to abandon adult work life or at least restrict their efforts in such a way as to maintain their eligibility.”

    @Art, this is where I am, too. I understand they’re going to need help and that my neice’s medical problems aren’t anyone’s fault. I’m fine with some of my tax dollars going to help out (in addition tote efforts my family makes personally to help, of course). But that these folks have been openly encouraged to get fired and be dependent on these programs is outrageous. And the other BIL whose (now) wife was encouraged to claim illegitimacy of her children is another outrage. These people aren’t broke. They make as much as my husband and I do. Because we have high deductible insurance (and have to scrimp to afford that) we footed the majority of the bill for the birth of both our children. These people could afford to do things they way we did (ie, the right way, IMO) but were openly encouraged to mooch off the taxpayer and lie in the process. That’s wrong.

  • The thing of it is, perverse incentives arising from means-tested programs have been a matter of public discussion among liberals for 30 years (Ken Auletta’s The Underclass was published in 1982). Cretins like Waxman put a good deal of effort into relaxing eligiblity standards for Medicaid but not in programmatic redesign to excise or vitiate the perverse incentives. The Republicans did not manage diddly/squat during the four years they controlled both Congress and the Presidency. To be fair, it is easy to imagine that if they attempted anything the Democratic Senate caucus would have filibustered, but one does get the impression that creatures such as John Boehner are propelled only by negative public attention or by pressure from business lobbies (who do not care about this stuff). It all makes you wanna holler.

  • Yeah. It does. I think the reason there’s such a resistance to reform to try and weed this kind of abuse out is likely because it’s easy to propagandize. Who wants to be the one out there talking about the people who are abusing the system when the political opposition is going to trot out some hard case as an example and imply that you’re accusing this upright person/family in need of being liars scamming the system? No one, I’m sure. Which is, of course, a large part of the problem to begin with.

  • I’m confident that much of the covetousness of many for their countrymen’s goods in order to prop up Medicaid and Medicare is due to the covetors’ lack of belief in the afterlife Jesus promised. The covetors grasp at each few additional minutes in a hospital bed because they think this world is the sum of all the life they’ll ever have.

  • Mandy, they are not abusing the system. What they are doing is the system. No scam here.

    I agree with you about the propaganda exercises and the press will find these people if the Democratic congressional staff does not.

  • Like the educational system, the healthcare system needs dedicated men and women. Religious nuns. Money will not do it. Only perfect charity will.

  • Paul W. Primavera: “Jesus said, “Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. 8 The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
    Jesus was never anointed again.

  • T. Shaw: “I was hungry and you voted democrat . . . ” and they aborted me.

  • Bishops have never been reluctant to see civil law supersede any merely spiritual admonitions as to the almsgiving

    When Charlemagne as King of the Franks, in a general assembly of his Estates, spiritual and temporal, in 778-779 ordained, “Concerning tithes, it is ordained that every man give his tithe, and that they be dispensed according to the bishop’s commandment,” the clergy greeted his words with cries of “Long Life and Victory to our most Christian King.”

    When, in 801, he issued a capitular making this universal, Pope Leo III bade all obey “the august Charles, crowned by God, great and pacific emperor.”

    Charlemagne established a a quadri-partite division: One, the bishop retained for himself and those who were dependent upon his hospitality ; a second portion was distributed by him among his clergy ; a third was administered for the benefit of the poor and strangers, and the fourth went towards maintaining the fabric of the churches.

    In 829, the payment of tithes was made enforceable by the summary remedy of distraint both by the Emperor Louis the Simple and by Lothair for Lombardy. Their payment was no longer a religious duty alone; it was a legal obligation, enforceable by the laws of the civil head of Christendom.

  • Here’s an interesting article by Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver:

Weakness and The Truth

Friday, March 2, AD 2012

“Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil.  For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore, take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day and to stand in all things perfect”  Epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesian 6: 11-13


Mr. Voris is exactly right.  The American bishops are asking for a fight after having failed to feed, train and arm their military.  There is no way a single letter, as well intentioned and necessary as it is, read from the pulpit on a single Sunday, urging us to call our elected representatives, is going to save our freedoms and protect our right to practice the faith that Christ handed to us.  It will not help catechize the silly young woman mentioned in the Real Catholic video, nor will it educate the nation as to why the Church teaches abortion, artificial contraception and sterilization are evils.

I hate to say this but in many ways the bishops almost deserve to be ignored. Truth be told, they have lost an immense amount of respect among the devout laity (the non-devout obviously having no respect for them). This is not a loss of respect for the position,  but for the men and the way they hold it; weak and timidly.  The result is a wasteland of liberalism and heresy that is to be found in so many parishes across our nation.  Now, after having the President of the US attempt to force them into committing mortal sin, they want the help of those few who actually believe, practice and uphold the faith to come to the rescue.

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16 Responses to Weakness and The Truth

  • Very well said, Walter! Ezekiel 34:1-10 comes to mind.

  • I am writing the following comment because at some point the responsibility to find the TRUTH is squarely on our shoulders and no one elses. Hopefully for her someone confronts her with love at CUA regarding these truths.

    You know what?! I am a weak Catholic and at times more than I care to count or think about I am a c-o-w-a-r-d. That’s right I am a coward. Does it make it right for me to be one to retreat into my cowardice? Do I take up a political lobby and make people embrace my cowardice? No I have no recourse but to beg God and the Saints to pray for the grace for me to do better. I need to the courage to explain WITH LOVE the wrongness of homosexuality, contraception, abortion, et al to my wife. I need the courage to tell my kids that they need to go to mass and say prayers with Daddy. I need the courage to pray on my own and go to adoration because without that I cannot and will not survive this world and in some way lead them safely to the next. In some ways it would be easy to go to the other side. But how can I pervert truth to fit what I want to believe to make it easier for myself? I have already told God once I will be right back, once. Now I have people that are (whether they know it or not) depending on me to get them to heaven. I just need men (faithful priests/other men) and God & Heaven to get me there.

  • Required: courage and humility.

    I think of Veronica who had the courage to express her love for Our Lord in the midst of a hate-filled crowd. The Sixth Station of the Cross: “Veronica wipes the Face of Jesus.”

    Pray for courage to step up and profess our loyalty to Christ.

    I was thinking of hateful Pelosi’s garbage gab about how the bishops did not enforce Church Teachings and her rat-reasoning that they ought to continue the error.

    One needs the humility to admit you were wrong.

    I have experience in this. Infrequently, in my line, I need to correct a “loose interpretation” or “inconsistent application” (heh) of a principle(s) that our people had missed. The complaint is, “You didn’t ‘ding’ us for this last year.” My answer is, “To err is human. That doesn’t make the discrepancy less wrong or mean that we can allow it to persist.” And, from then on we do it right. It is embarrassing, but they get over it and you restore your authority.

  • Michael – I hope that no one posts a comment that criticizes you for what you’ve just said.

    The first thing you need to do is return to prayer. Get comfortable with it again. If you’ve been away from the Church, go to Confession. And don’t worry about having to bulldoze your wife and kids into the understanding and practice of the faith. As it becomes more a part of your life, you’ll find yourself communicating it more through your example (and the words will start to come natural enough too).

    I don’t know if you really are a coward; it’s not cowardice that keeps me from throwing a 40-yard perfect spiral, it’s the fact that I’m out of shape. That makes it embarrasing to go out onto the practice field and work on my throwing.

    I’ve known converts and reverts over the years. I’m more of a revert myself than I’d like to admit, due to a particularly lazy stretch in college. It takes determination to get back, but more often than not it just takes a start. Don’t psych yourself out. Just do it. And please be willing to hang around this site and keep us informed. There are plenty of sites that can give you the encouragement that you’re looking for.

  • Pinky — If someone does criticize me then I will take the good from it and move on. Prayer yes I am with you. I need prayer and when I miss a day or two day I can tell that I have missed it.

    Bulldozing them with my faith…I don’t expose them to my faith, it seems to me, at all. I feel that I hide it from them for fear of the criticism…hence cowardice. I dont expect my wife to practice her faith and do pray for her and offer up all that I have for her to see more clearly (make sense?). As far as my kids they are 5 and 3. I have a duty as a father to take them to mass and pray with them but again the coward in me is a problem, and my wife is sometimes hostile to the faith.

    I am a revert and ask for the grace of perseverance to keep going and even get more couragous especially these days of “apathy to religious freedom” which breathes down my neck just a little bit more every day.

    I am determined but need other men/dads and God to give me the courage to ACT OUT/DO what is right and just. Thank you for your words of encouragement. I do like this site and have been checking it on a regular basis.

  • Michael P,

    I think you are quite courageous. As for exposing your family to the faith, shine your light before men. Sometimes the only exposure you can give is your behavior. My ex-wife is an atheist and my children are in her custody. When I returned to the faith and began to pray the Rosary every night, she fell away from me till the point of divorce came. There was and is nothing I can say, and indeed to say anything to my ex-wife only arouses great ire. And since I do not have custodianship of my children, I have very limited influence outside of my daily phone calls (because of my job, we live 800 plus miles apart, so frequent visits are not possible). The only sermon we can sometimes give is how we live our lives, which I admit I often fail at. I do what I can, and I pray the Rosary for her and for my cihildren every day. Thank God for the Confessional where I can confess my faults! I can’t make this situation right, but I can do whatever little penance might help.

  • This is not a loss of respect for the position, but for the men and the way they hold it; weak and timidly

    You nailed it, thank you for putting into words how I was trying to reconcile this whole situation. Respecting the office while still being disappointed with how our leadership has dropped the ball.

    I would also like to add all the “Catholic” governers recently approving gay marriage in various states. Very, very disappointing…… very, very sad……..

  • Michael Voris is filling the gaping hole that the bishops abandoned in the public square and the pulpit.


  • I think Voris is mostly right. The bishops and priests do have a responsibility to catechize, and they can speak with a voice of authority. But, the learned laity also have a responsibility to catechize our fellow Catholics. Sounds easy, but it can be very difficult for many Catholics are hard of heart. “What the Church teaches is my Sunday life. The rest of the week is mine.”

    I teach 8th grade faith formation (CCD). I know I teach the evils of contraception during the morality and sexuality series. But, I can’t make them accept the words. You can fill their heads but their hearts aren’t there. They may get older and publish an article for CNN saying how wonderful contraception is. I sow the seed, but it might be falling on rocks.

    So it is with the bishops and priests. They sow the seeds, but where are they falling? Reading assignment: Mark Chapter 4.

    I do agree with him that we need to hear more of the “why” does the Church take the positions it does. Most homilies in my parish fall in the park of “Jesus loves us.”, “Live right for God.”, and “Love your neighbor.” So much more to discuss.

  • By “bulldozing”, I mean that the first time the subject comes up it can feel confrontational, but as time goes on it will be less so. At some point, it starts to feel weird to *not* talk about one’s faith. Any time a person in a marriage is going through a major change in emotion or mindset, it’s natural to be hesitant to talk about it with the spouse, but it’s important to do so.

    While I clearly don’t know much about your situation, I can tell you that there are stories like Paul’s, but there are also stories of couples who’ve discovered or rediscovered their faith together. And plenty of stories where one spouse thinks the other one is weird, but learns to live with it. There are a lot worse sites a wife could find on her husband’s internet history than The American Catholic.

  • “I dont expect my wife to practice her faith and do pray for her and offer up all that I have for her to see more clearly (make sense?).’

    Ask her to say one prayer with you each night before you turn in. Husband and wife joint prayer can work wonders.

  • I did not hear a letter at our parish about contraception, but we attend a Byz Rite and have been absent from it off and on for about a month due to colds, or Scouting activities at another Church, etc and what not. What finally prompted me to call my Senators was a plea from a homeschooling group (a national legal group), not the bishops. Alas, my senators voted as I expected. They are all for contraception for the little people as a freebie.

  • there is hope: Holy families inspire holy priests and holy priests inspire holy families.

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  • Michael P-

    With apologies to all lady participants here at TAC, understanding your wife’s mind is a challenge at best and sometimes downright impossible. Over 20 years of marriage, I have determined that I cannot understand “what” my wife thinks, or mostly even “how” she thinks.

    That said, though, I can tell you this. Women of character and fortitude will respect a man who lives his faith. If you confidently and matter-of-factly say “Honey, I’m taking the kids to church. Would you like to go?” and accept her answer no matter what it is, she will see your constancy of intent in a relatively short time. Then, if you offer the traditional.,quick Catholic blessing before dinner, not expecting anybody else to participate, but just doing it like asking for the peas, this will also become less-than-weird very quickly.

    It may take some quid-pro-quo, as in “And when I get back we can go to the park together.” It may take some initial mutual-benefit explanation: “And you can have the house to yourself for the next 90 minutes.”

    But, simply doing it and not making anything more out of it than if you were going down to the corner store for a gallon of milk will communicate more than all the explanations and apologias in the world. As well, the heart of a wife and mother who sees her husband expressly doing good things for her children will soften considerably. Some of the women in my wife’s social circles say that seeing their husbands happily playing with, working with or taking the kids on errands actually gets them a little “romantic,” if you catch my drift.

    Don’t worry about any of the rest. Once you have become a person who lives his faith, loves his kids (who, at 3 and 5 will go anyplace with Dad just because Dad says “Hey, kids! Let’s go!”) and respects his wife’s decisions will find in her a willing listener when you do eventually explain your viewpoints with love and kindness.

    That is, the love and kindness that comes from doing all the previously-mentioned stuff first. Don’t worry – it may take weeks if not months, but it will happen. Trust in Jesus, pray for His words to enlighten, and for the wisdom and grace of The Holy Spirit to give you the courage to simply start. One step. The rest will follow in God’s time.

President Obama Mocks U.S. Catholic Bishops: “Darn Tooting!”

Wednesday, October 5, AD 2011

President Obama mocked Catholic bishops at a St. Louis fundraiser last night as he was touting the new Health & Human Services regulations that would require Catholic institutions to go against the teachings of Jesus.

“Darn right!” an audience member at the fundraiser shouted as Obama described the regulation.

“Darn tooting!” Obama said back.

The contempt that President Obama has shown towards Christians is almost palpable.

This is a man that worships himself on Sundays by lifting weights instead of attending a Church service.

It is becoming imperative that President Obama needs to be voted out of office next year due to this incident and many other policies that he has implemented.


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19 Responses to President Obama Mocks U.S. Catholic Bishops: “Darn Tooting!”

  • “Darn tooting” is mockery? Maybe I’m too young to understand the 70’s lingo. Looks like you’re typical run-of-the-mill policy disagreement to me.

  • He needs to go out because of his policies. That he’s an ass is a secondary reason that would make his early dismissal more satisfying.

  • RR,

    Affirming a “shout-out” at violating religious freedom is mocking the bishops.

  • “Affirming a ‘shout out’ at violating religious freedom is mocking the bishops.”

    Well, let’s take a look at these remarks in context. This is what the linked-to story actually said:


    “Insurance companies can’t drop your coverage for no good reason,” said Obama. “They won’t be able to deny your coverage because of preexisting conditions. Think about what that means for families all across America. Think about what it means for women.”

    “At that point, an audience member shouted: “Birth control.”

    “Absolutely. You’re stealing my line,” said Obama.

    “Breast cancer, cervical cancer, are no longer preexisting conditions,” Obama continued. “No longer can insurance companies discriminate against women just because you guys are the ones who have to give birth.”

    At this point, a member of a laughing audience shouted out: “Darn right!”

    “Darn tooting,” Obama answered back—to laughter. “They have to cover things like mammograms and contraception as preventive care, no more out-of-pocket costs.”


    When Obama says “they” won’t be able to deny coverage, he obviously is talking about insurance companies (a favorite bete noire of the left), NOT bishops.

    As far as I know, no Catholic institution has ever objected on moral grounds to covering genuine preventive health care such as mammograms. Nor is refusal to cover preexisting conditions a hallmark of Catholic medical ethics. All of these practices have, however, been common among health insurance companies (because of the very nature of insurance, which is based on minimizing risk to the insurance provider; from a purely economic point of view, covering a preexisting condition makes as much sense as selling someone fire insurance AFTER their house has burned down, but I digress.)

    In any event, it is certainly fair to say that this exchange indicates the depth of Obama’s committment to passing these regulations. It may also be fair to say that these remarks indicate a lack of concern about the violation of religious freedom involved.

    However, to characterize this as a direct “mockery” of the bishops is stretching things quite a bit.

  • Obama is playing to his core constituency, the something for nothing crowd. These are the same people of course railing against the cost of health insurance premiums and never making the connection between government mandates on insurers and the cost of the insurance. We shall see next year how many people still believe in the illusions of unicorns, pixie dust and better living through government fiat.

  • The contempt that President Obama has shown towards Christians is almost palpable.

    -Tito Edwards

    Meanwhile, from the pulpits in the diocese in which I live – from the out-of-town parishes to the downtown cathedral – silence remains the Church’s most-used method to communicate basic Christian moral teaching to the laity.

    Obama is playing to his core constituency, the something for nothing crowd. … We shall see next year how many people still believe in the illusions of unicorns, pixie dust and better living through government fiat.

    -Donald R. McClarey

    Obama isn’t playing, he’s prepping the battlespace.

    Much of the agenda of Obama and his core constituency is contrary to Christian morality. For example, there’s no practical difference in this life between desiring “something for nothing” and coveting thy neighbor’s goods. (I’ll leave drawing the connection between other elements of the Obama agenda and the commandments against coveting thy neighbor’s wife and adultery as an exercise for the reader.) Because the Church might be an impediment to Obama’s ambitions, it must be destroyed – or at least rendered impotent to influence voters by mockery.

    Exit question: Does silence from the pulpits imply the Church’s consent?

  • I could care less if Obama is “mocking bishops.” As a Catholic for 78 years, living in the diocese of Boston (

    Who could care less if “Obama is mocking Bishops?” Living under Bernard Law, in the Boston archdiocese, who could fault Obama’s perceived derision of the Bishops. But his “darn-tooting” repudiation of Catholic befiefs, tradition, and teaching is totally something else again. It lells all people (Catholics among them) that he doesn’t give a fig for anything but a responsive applause from his captive telepromter/audience. Well, I got news for Barry — you crossed a line too far — with anyone who thinks that for a few yuks you can endanger the health and welfare of all those that rely on the charity and compassion of Catholic Hospitals, Catholic adoption agencies, so that you can promulgate exactly what?
    You’ve totatally alienated any reflective Catholic, or perhaps anyone who is concerned about the role “the State” plays in preaching/preening to the Churches (and Mosques and Synagogues) about the concerns you have for anyone.
    By the way, run this past Axelgrease and Poofle.
    They, like you, are history.

  • “It is becoming imperative that President Obama needs to be voted out of office next year due to this incident and many other policies that he has implemented.”

    “…[B]ecoming imperative”? Did you just wake up, sir?

  • Edward,

    I should have said, “becoming more imperative.”

  • Elaine,

    I respectfully disagree with your incorrect analysis.

  • Tito,

    Can give reasons as to why her analysis is in incorrect?

  • Whoops, added an extra “in” there

  • I wouldn’t agree with every word Elaine wrote, but she’s right that this headline is unfair. The President wasn’t talking to or about Catholic Bishops; he was talking about a policy they disagree with. We need to distinguish between political disagreements and personal attacks.

  • The insurance mandate forces Catholic institutions in providing contraceptives in which Archbishop Dolan was telling President Obama that this is unacceptable. Hence when the audience member shouted “darn right” he was saying ‘hell yeah, we’ll make Catholic institutions’ provide contraceptives, which President Obama affirmed with a “darn tooting”.

    It’s all there in the post.

  • “In any event, it is certainly fair to say that this exchange indicates the depth of Obama’s committment to passing these regulations. It may also be fair to say that these remarks indicate a lack of concern about the violation of religious freedom involved.

    However, to characterize this as a direct “mockery” of the bishops is stretching things quite a bit.”


  • Tito – No. When the guy in the crowd said “darn right”, he was saying “darn right”, and also disagreeing with the bishops’ position, although he might not be aware of it.

    If Archbishop Dolan were standing right next to him and had been stating the argument, then the President said the argument was stupid, then the guy in the audience said “darn right”, then yes, that would be a mocking of the bishops’ position.

    If Obama said “the bishops are jerks” and the guy in the audicence said “darn right”, then he would have been mocking the bishops.

  • Pinky, RR, et al,

    We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

    I see mockery, you all see roses and posies.

  • “Hence when the audience member shouted “darn right” he was saying ‘hell yeah, we’ll make Catholic institutions’ provide contraceptives”

    How do you know what that audience member was “really” saying, unless you can read that person’s mind?

    My guess, which I admit is only a guess, is that he/she probably wasn’t thinking about Catholic institutions or bishops at all — the person was thinking about the alleged greed and heartlessness of insurance companies who deny coverage for preexisting conditions and for preventive care.

    The person in the audience obviously assumed that birth control qualifies as preventive care. While that could mean he/she actively rejects or despises Church teaching regarding contraception, it could just as easily mean that this person is not Catholic and has never had reason to think about or care what the Church teaches regarding contraception.

    That doesn’t mean I’m seeing “all roses and posies” here or trying to defend the policy in question. What I take away from this exchange is not that Obama “mocked” the bishops but that he ignored them — which is some ways is worse than mockery.

U.S. Anglican Ordinariate Update: Father Scott Hurd at Houston’s Our Lady of Walsingham

Sunday, March 6, AD 2011

Father Scott Hurd serves as the liaison with the USCCB for the implementation of the Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum Cœtibus here in America.  He has been looking at the options available to all Anglican groups in establishing a U.S. Anglican Ordinariate.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops created an ad hoc committee led by Donald Cardinal Wuerl last September that was charged with assisting the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in implementing the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Cœtibus.

Today Father Hurd concelebrated Mass at Our Lady of Walsingham (OLW) Anglican Use Church as part of his visit to Houston.  After Mass there was a tiny reception outside the church which was followed by a short talk with a question and answer period for the parishioners of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Left to Right: Deacon James Barnett, Father Bruce Noble, Father James Moore, Father Scott Hurd, and Father James Ramsey before concelebrating Mass today.

Some major points that were learned today concerning the process as to where we are in possibly establishing a U.S. Anglican Ordinariate.  Please note that none of this official.:

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17 Responses to U.S. Anglican Ordinariate Update: Father Scott Hurd at Houston’s Our Lady of Walsingham

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  • Yeah, the Anglo-Lutheran thing sounded a bit too silly to be true…

  • I’ve been reading materials from Anglo-Lutheran bishops that say otherwise. Who do I trust, the people themselves, or the people writing about them?

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  • Hidden One,

    Because Father Scott Hurd is a representative for Cardinal Wuerl in the ad hoc committee seeking to establish an Anglican Ordinariate in the U.S.

    This ad hoc committee was established in coordination with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

    All of this is official.

    What the Anglo-Lutheran bishops are saying are private matters that hold no official status within the church. They just got excited thinking one thing when in actuality it is nothing more than informal talks at best.

  • I don’t know much about the Anglo-Lutherans; however, I have seen the correspondence they have had with the CDF, and they did receive a letter from the Congregation, signed by the Secretary, Archbishop Ladaria, inviting them to contact Cardinal Wuerl. Whether the Anglo-Lutherans will have a place in the Ordinariate is, at this point, unknown; however, they did make a formal approach, and they received a formal answer with instructions about what they should do.

  • Father Phillips,

    That are the “informal” talks I was referencing to.

    What was speculated in the blogosphere was that they were officially accepted into talks of joining the Ordinariate, which is farthest from the truth.

    So says Father Scott Hurd who represents Cardinal Wuerl in the ad hoc committee created by the USCCB in implementing the apostolic constitution.

  • You’re absolutely correct, Tito. They are not part of the general conversations, nor will they have a part in the shaping of the Ordinariate. My only point was that they have been invited to make application through the Ordinariate.

    My reason for posting was that I didn’t want people to have the impression that this was something only in their imaginations. An approach was made, and a response came from the CDF, so in that sense it is “formal.”

  • Please people, let’s not get all nitpicky. Formal or informal, they seem to want to come home to Mother Church from their Lutheran tradition. Open arms should be extended. As was pointed out by their Archbishop I believe Lutherans have no distant liturgical tradition as the Anglicans do so perhaps special accommodation will be made for them through the Ordinariate or a separate way for Lutherans will be established. That’s up to the Holy Father and Rome.
    Being critical will only make them think they made an incorrect decision and drive them away.
    As has been noted, the Lutheran Churches like the Anglicans did a ‘liturgical revolution” following the Catholics and so the 3 liturgical uses became very similar for good or ill. The thing I noticed was that the Lutherans did it so much more beautifully than either the Episcopalians/Anglicans but especially the Catholics. They bring a gift of singing and chanting in English that cannot be matched by the Catholics at this time. For that reason alone they should be embraced.

  • Father Phillips,

    Sometimes when I’m blocking for Father Hurd, I bumped into you.

    I apologize if I came away a bit strong.

    Yes, there are talks.

    Just as there were talks in the past when Anglican groups approached the Holy See seeking some sort of corporate union.

    What the Anglo-Lutherans are doing is correct.

    We should pray for them so they too will find comfort in the See of Peter.

  • I scarcely felt the bump, Tito! 🙂

    I have no way of know who amongst the Anglo-Lutherans will be finding a place in the Ordinariate, but I’m happy to have them make their petition and then we’ll let the Holy Spirit make the decisions that need to made.

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  • I’ve visited O.L. of Walsingham in Houston before and found it to be wonderful. Beautiful church and chapel, lovely and welcoming people.

  • How can a Mass be concelebrated with and held in an unconsecrated chapel that until the Ordinarite is official are not in full communion with Rome?

  • @Charles. Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston *is* in full communion with Rome. It’s an Anglican Use parish of the Roman Catholic Church. (Anglican Use parishes have been in existence for over a quarter century; however, there are only a few of them.)

  • And for whatever reason, Texas seems to be their (Anglican Use-Catholics) center. I never thought of Texas as especially Episcopalian (nearly everyone you meet is Baptist/evangelical, Methodist, or Catholic), but I suppose what Episc. population we do have is relatively orthodox/conservative.

5 Responses to USCCB Promoting Anti-Catholic Speaker This Weekend

  • Not a comment–a question:

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

  • Carol,

    They don’t return phone calls.

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

  • gb,

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

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

    In my opinion, nothing will be done.

    Just look at the pedophilia scandal.

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

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

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

Why is Cardinal George Silent about Abortion in the Current Health Care Bill?

Monday, January 4, AD 2010

When Cardinal George requested that pro-life Republicans vote for the Stupak amendment to the health care bill, he was shaming conservative American legislators that they need to stand up for what they claim in public.  Cardinal George discounted reasonable Republican objections  that this was just a ploy by Nancy Pelosi to get pro-life Democrats on board knowing full well that all pro-life language would be stripped in the joint chambers conference committee.

Was Cardinal George this naive to fall for this parliamentary trick?  Can we assume he isn’t this naive?

No, Cardinal George is not this naive because why would the Vatican choose him to lead a diocese?  The Vatican certainly takes its time to make wise and knowledgeable decisions don’t they?  The Holy Spirit guides them in their work, granted that this is done primarily through the teachings of the Church.  Though we can be reasonable enough knowing that the Vatican wouldn’t choose someone who is incompetent to be a shepherd to his flock.

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29 Responses to Why is Cardinal George Silent about Abortion in the Current Health Care Bill?

  • Well, this is no excuse for the Cardinal — but the Republicans who thought about not voting for Stupak were acting on a consequentialist impulse. For all they knew, Pelosi could have had the votes and by their miscalculation, a bill with Capps language could have left the chamber when it could have gone differently.

    You don’t vote “present” and leave the unborn undefended on the presumption that such a provision would be stripped from the final bill. That’s consequentialism. You vote for the provision because it is the morally right thing to do regardless of the circumstances. I agree with the Cardinal because the GOP was behaving according to a moral theory (one that they tend to follow a lot in my view) that is deeply flawed.

    The fact that the Cardinal has not used his position to make statements toward members of the opposite party is open and free for criticism.

    I just don’t think the Republican objections were reasonable — it was a strategy to fight the health care legislation by any means, to the point of compromising basic ethics.

  • Moreover the writer you cite — whose views obviously differ from my own — far from just being partisan in his presenation, which I have no qualms with per se, but it is obviously clear he has not done his homework.

    Last I checked, the USCCB has not endorsed the final passage of the health care reform legislation. Actually, the opposite is true.

  • But I do believe the GOP was right to vote against it. The Dems simply didn’t have the votes to begin with. They went against their better judgment, but got out-foxed by Cardinal George.

  • Eric,

    I know the opposite is true, but why the silence on behalf of Cardinal George?

    What will the USCCB do if the bill passes with abortion being funded by the federal government? Will they oppose that one particular premise yet hail the rest of the bill as “good” for America? Splitting the difference, but compromising their moral authority and hence cause a scandal to the whole Church?

  • Well, I will maintain my civil disagreement. I think such a position incorrectly applies natural law norms. In fact, the angered response of pro-life organizations at the news of the GOP helping a pro-life measure sink was quite appropriate.

    The Democrats did not appear to have the votes, sure. But what if for some reason they did? And we did not forsee it? Who forsaw even after the legislation passed in the House that it would survive the Senate hurdle?

    I agree entirely with Represenative Pitts who after the legislation passed, together with pro-life House Democrats and Republicans, reiterated you do not play politics with human life. The unborn should not be subjected to some consequentialist political gamble to stop legislation that one opposes. You vote for the unborn and do everything within the restraints of the moral law to stop bad legislation. I think to act otherwise amounts to moral compromise.

  • Thanks for being civil!


  • I have no idea. I’m not speaking in favor of Cardinal George. I am sometimes disheartened because I believe Republicans get a “pass” from pro-life Catholics often because of their opposition to abortion. So, I sometimes see such a thing as “finally.” On the other hand, when it stops for the other side that is problematic — we cannot have a double-standard, which is the very thing I oppose. So I am not defending the Cardinal in that regard — only in his initial criticism.

    The USCCB will surely speak out against the bill. I think they would actively in the Midterm elections advocate that Catholics be conscious of candidates’ position on that issue.

    If anything, the USCCB — if happy with the other provisions in the legislation — would only want the abortion language changed. In other words, roll back the abortion funding only.

  • wow, excellent post. Very revealing..and sad at the same time. If our Catholic leaders don’t stand up for the unborn, who will?

  • Eric,

    I’m with you on that.

    Though the USCCB has criticized the current bill in the Senate, so they deserve that recognition.

    I’m waiting to see the final outcome and see how they respond.

  • Chicago political blogger Tom Roeser has long asserted that the Archdiocese of Chicago is for all practical purposes a subsidiary of the Cook County Democratic Party (which he refers to as “The Squid”). Perhaps that would explain why Cardinal George saves his criticism for Republicans?

    Roeser is a very conservative Catholic (politically and liturgically) and I don’t always agree with everything he says, but he may be onto something here. Here is a recent post by him on this topic:

    I note that the two staunchly pro-life auxiliary bishops he names as having voted in the Republican primary are the two most often mentioned as prospective candidates for just about every episcopal vacancy that has come up in the last few years….

  • Eric,

    I agree that one can never vote for the creation or increase of abortion funding. Moral prohibitions bind, as the latin says, semper et pro semper. But must one always vote against such funding, if one can absent oneself from voting at all? Moral exhortations don’t bind the way prohibitions do. You can never steal, but you can refrain from making a contribution to the poor at times. You can never contracept, but you don’t have to be trying to get pregnant at every moment.

    You raise an important point, and I think it’s worth discussing.

  • Strategically, the Republicans should have voted against the amendmendment. However, the bill passing without the amendment would have placed them in an ethical dilemma and I can see whey they voted for it.

    My outrage is at Pelosi and the top Democrats for using the abortion issue as a bargaining tool to pass healthcare legislation. The bishops should be more outspoken about this point.

  • I don’t see the problem. The bishops opposed the House’s expansion of abortion, and the pro-life congressmen voted against it (actually, voted in favor of the Stupak Amendment which blocked it). The bishops again opposed it in the Senate, and were unsuccessful. When the final bill comes to Congress, if it increases abortion, the bishops (and, I hope, a sufficient number of congressmen) will oppose it.

    It’s not the bishops’ duty to anticipate political maneuvers. Indeed, if the bishops denounced the Stupak Amendment on the suspicion that it would be dropped in conference, that would only weaken their voices. They’ve been clear: nay on abortion coverage.

  • Where is it written that the bishops’ consciences must be represented by the USCCB? If every bishop wrote to the representatives and senators from his district and spoke to the people of his diocese, that would certainly have more effect than the words of the [arch]bishop of Chicago. As Abp. Chaput put it neatly “bishops should not be speaking to politicians. They should be speaking to their flock and the flock speaking to the politicians”.

    Cardinal George is not a sort of American pope.

    The problem, I suppose, is that our bishops have lost much of their credibility with the sheep because of the cover-ups in the sex scandals.

    As far as morality goes, it is the personal effort that counts with Our Lord, not indirect government roles. [“I gave at the office”]. Such problems are best solved locally and one by one.

  • Gabriel,

    I am pointing out he hypocrisy of Cardinal George’s actions, or non-actions.

    I don’t have any respect, nor do I recognize the legitimacy of the USCCB.

    I agree though that if the bishops would act more like ‘bishops’ rather than being someone’s friend or a Democratic Party groupie, they would gain the trust and respect of the laity and this country would be in a much better shape than it is now.

  • Lest anyone forget the USCCB sent out flyers to parishes across the country urging parishioners to oppose any healthcare plan that included abortion coverage.

    As Eric and other posters have also pointed out, the Bishops have been adamant about Stupak being included in the bill; this is as far as they have gone, and, frankly, is about as far as they can (and probably should) go, politically speaking. Questions about the intricacies of actual healthcare policy (will a public option work or not, etc.) are not “do or die” moral questions like abortion and euthanasia, but fall to the expertise of individual politicians to decide. It is best for the USCCB to remain nuetral on such matters while insisting that the allowance of any moral evil in the bill (abortions, etc.) impels a legislator to vote against it – which is exactly what they’ve been doing!

    Where is their any proof that Cardinal George is either for or against the House healthcare bill as passed? This article has nothing but speculation – where are the words of C. George himself that imply he supports the Pelosi bill? Did he ask parishioners to unconditionally support a bill that included the Stupak amendment? No. He merely asked that the lives of babies and their mothers take priority over political victories – hence the strong support for Stupak. Eric, Pinky, and Rep. Pitts are right. To vote “no” on Stupak as an amendment is to vote against the unborn – it’s placing a potential political victory ahead of the lives of the unborn.

    I have personally congratulated many people in the Chicago Archdiocese who worked with the Cardinal on this and I asked them to forward my accolades and gratitude to him. I find his actions to be heroic, not cowardly – partisan shill C. George is not, and this article is at best misinformed, at worst a calumny.

  • Andy K.,

    It’s interesting that you accuse me of speculation.

    I made a concerted effort to only report the facts, withholding my opinion.

    He was vociferous in demanding pro-life Republicans vote for the health care amendment, though he is dead silent when it gets revised in the Senate.

    And yes, you are correct, Cardinal George has been conspicuously silent about the bill.

    My speculations are reserved for the commbox. And I will only say he has continued to do nothing at all.

    And having the USCCB send out flyers is not the role of a bishop, ie, hide behind a bureaucratic organization.

    Where are our shepherds?

    Where is our Saint Ambrose?

  • Tito’s final question reminds me that we need to be *praying* for courageous bishops. Frankly, I think that’s the most effective avenue available to the vast majority of us.

  • Chris B.,

    I wish I could have said that.

    You’re right, lets pray for our bishops.

  • I’m with Eric and the Stupakites on this one. It’s hard to say what the result of trying to play it strategically would have been, but gutting the bill of a clearly-worded rejection of abortion would have been a recognized defeat for life.

  • These so-called health care bills are so horrible and anti-Christian and anti-American that abortion is not the only reason to oppose and destroy them. Since abortion is an intrinsically evil act it must be opposed no matter what political ploys are being used.

    To be in favor of these monstrosities is to discount the massive evil perpetrated by every government that has ever entered into this arena. It is foolish to think the National (oh, how I wish it were actually federal and respected subsidiarity) government we are burdened with will be any less evil.

    Cardinal George needs our prayers and it is prudential for us to ask our own bishop to condemn these bills with the politicians he shepherds. Cardinal George is one bishop he is not he bishop of the USA. The USCCB is useless organization.

  • I’m sorry, but this post is ridiculous.

    I don’t have any respect, nor do I recognize the legitimacy of the USCCB.

    OK? So? Good thing for Holy Church that Tito Edwards or Ryan Haber (me), despite all we know, aren’t heads over the Catholic Church.

    The simple fact is, as Eric pointed out, that to vote “present” on the Stupak Amendment would be a reprehensible parliamentarism worthy of our esteemed president. A rep can vote YES on Stupak and then NO on the final bill. That’s no problem, and no contradiction.

    Why hasn’t Cardinal George spoken out? I don’t know? I don’t have a bat phone to his office. Why does American Catholic seem to be so much more concerned with him than with some other bishop? What’s their deal? What has Cardinal George ever done to aid or abet abortionists? Where’s benefit of the doubt? Where’s Christian charity in interpreting others’ actions?

    Where’s a sense of deference to the men that GOD, not men, has ordained to lead his flock?

    Good grief. I’m gettin’ pretty tired of everybody knowing just how the Catholic Church should be shepherded. It’s really easy to do somebody else’s job. How armchair quarterbacks actually think they are actually helping anybody is entirely beyond me.

  • Ryan,

    Thanks for your charitable comment concerning my post.

    I have no deference to Cardinal George because he is not my shepherd, Cardinal DiNardo and Pope Benedict are my shepherds, but I do have deference to him as a leader of the flock. I hope he understands what his actions look like when he speaks out. He seems more as a vibrant supporter of health care as an ardent Democrat rather than a Catholic concerned for the well being of his flock.

    Plus Cardinal George spoke up, the only one of all the bishops that said anything to cajole the GOP to vote for the Stupak amendment.

    God bless you my brother in Christ,


  • withouthaving seen,

    I guess avoiding parlimentarianism is good if the Supak language stays in the final version. The way the bill is being dealt with now I wouldn’t be so sure. And who’s to say that legislation down the road won’t put it in.

    As far as shepharding is concerned, teaching moral principles is properly the role of the bishops, applying it to the world is the proper domain of the laity. I think some criticism of the USCCB and, possibly, Cardinal George is warranted.

  • Lol, Tito, it doesn’t matter if he were the bishop of Timbuktu, he’d still be successor to an apostle and worthy of the respect of the likes me and you!

    I know that Cardinal George, much like the Church in general, gets trashed by all sides. That, in my opinion, wins him the benefit of the doubt from me.

    To clarify, when I wrote “this post is ridiculous,” I did not mean your comment in particular, Tito, but rather the initial article and the whole thread of follow-ups.

    Stupak and a number of others are threatening to kill the bill altogether if they can, rather than let it pass with abortion funding. Remember, reconciliation and closed-door meetings aren’t the final step. The suits on the hill still have to vote again and both houses have to pass it, and I see no reason why it will be a perfunctory vote in the House of Reps, where the Democrat coalition is shaky, to put it mildly.


    The USSCB might very well need criticism, as might H.E. Francis Card. George. I know far less about their affairs than they do, and if I knew as much, I still would have a hard time seeing how Christ has ordained me to criticize his ordained ministers.

    Ryan Haber
    Kensington, Maryland

  • Ryan,

    Thanks for the clarification 🙂

    I was careful to point out what Cardinal George did in the post without offering an opinion.

    I placed my opinion only in the commbox because I still don’t know where Cardinal George’s heart is. Is it with the Democratic Party or is it in the Bride of Christ?

  • withouthavingseen,

    Criticize in a constructive way as the non-ordained Catherine of Sienna did the Avignon pope. Truth is truth. The laity has a better sense of the secular order. If there is a problem that the laity discerns in the prudential judgments of the clergy as relates to the secular order, they are within their licit Catholic rights to criticize those prudential judgments of clergy.

  • Thank you for this good commentary. I have been contemplating some of these questions, too. I have written to my Bishop and the USCCB, but there is only silence. Our Parish has sent out a FAX to all the Bishops with our concerns of the health care reform. To my knowledge, only one Bishop responded to the Fax. I have pondered why there is only a handful of bishops who have spoken on the the Church’s teachings of subsidiarity in regards to the health care bill and government take-over. The Stupak Amendment is not 100% pro-life and there is more than abortions which is very troubling in the House and the Senate health care bills. Should not the Bishops be concerned with all the life issues in the health care reform i.e. abortions, euthanasia, cloning, embryonic stem cell research, rationing, sterilization, teen clinics run by planned parenthood, contraceptions, cloning, or any injustice? Certainly, health care can be improved, but it does not require a government take over with individual mandates and loss of freedoms. Any health care reform should do no harm before doing any good. With all the haste, bribery and lack of transparency, I would certainly think this 2000 page plus health care reform is to be avoided. September 2009 I went to a town-hall meeting and my Congressman said this was not about health care but about government take-over and control. I believe he is right.

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Bishops Disappointed by Senate Vote to Kill Pro-Life Amendment

Wednesday, December 9, AD 2009

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Pro-Life Secretariat just released a statement denouncing the defeat of the Pro-Life Nelson Amendment.  In addition the USCCB will not support any health care bills that diminishes the Stupak Amendment that was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Here is their released statement in its entirety:

December 9, 2009

Bishops Call Vote a Grave Mistake and Serious Blow to Genuine Reform

Say the Senate Should Not Support Bill in its Current Form

Hope That House Provisions on Abortion Funding Prevail



WASHINGTON—“The Senate vote to table the Nelson-Hatch-Casey amendment is a grave mistake and a serious blow to genuine health care reform,” said Cardinal Francis George, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “The Senate is ignoring the promise made by President Obama and the will of the American people in failing to incorporate longstanding prohibitions on federal funding for abortion and plans that include abortion.”

Bishop William Murphy, Chair of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, said: “Congress needs to retain existing abortion funding restrictions and safeguard conscience protections because the nation urgently needs health care reform that protects the life, dignity, conscience and health of all. We will continue to work with Senators, Representatives and the Administration to achieve reform which meets these criteria. We hope the Senate will address the legislation’s fundamental flaw on abortion and remedy its serious problems related to conscience rights, affordability and treatment of immigrants.”

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67 Responses to Bishops Disappointed by Senate Vote to Kill Pro-Life Amendment

  • Personally, I think it is dangerous for the Bishops to weigh in on most prudential matters. Of course, they should oppose any legislation that would advance abortion, just as they should weigh in on all matters of grave morality. But while appropriate access to health care may have a moral component, whether a particular approach would be effective or most effective is well outside the charism of bishops. I’m far more interested in what health care economists say, as well as insurance companies, doctors, hospitals, and medical organizations. Big and small pharma too. And big city hospitals that serve the poor. All are stakeholders and have knowledge. But the Bishops and their staff don’t know any more than you or me. They just have impulsive policy preferences based on political bias just like you and me.

  • I think the bishops are fully invested in the process since they seem to be wedded to “universal coverage” in health care. Though I disagree on their method of implementing God’s Kingdom here on earth, at least they found “a” voice somewhere.

    Hopefully they’ll be more unified in the next election cycle when it comes to protecting the unborn among us.

  • Amazing that this ammendment was defeated on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Maybe the Bishops could take note of that also.

  • Phillip,

    Good catch.

    It may be an omen that the bill will be defeated in order to protect the most vulnerable among us.

    Or it could mean something else.

  • Tito – I thought you didn’t recognize the authority of the USCCB. Only when they agree with you I guess?

  • Michael I.,

    The bishops conference is not an authority of Catholic teaching.

    So I choose what I like from the USCCB.

    I only adhere to Sacred Scripture, the Magisterium, and Sacred Tradition.

    Unlike you that adheres to Noam Chomsky, Karl Marx, and Bono.

  • The bishops conference is not an authority of Catholic teaching.

    This is not true, Tito, for the millionth time.

    And I’m not a fan of Bono.

  • I dunno … some of Bono’s earlier music is ok.

  • How exactly is the USCCB an authority of Catholic teaching?

  • Notice that Michael I. didn’t deny his adherence to Karl Marx.

  • Tito, I noticed and wasn’t at all surprised. No big scandal in my mind, since I have several misguided Marxist friends. We avoid politics and economics and just drink. I don’t see how Marxism can be squared with Catholicism though. But perhaps the USCCB has an authoritative teaching on how to do that. 😉

  • Although I would not call myself a Marxist, I’ve learned from Marx. As has the Roman Catholic Church and the rest of the human race.

    Mike – Um, because the USCCB are nothing but the bishops (you know, the successors of the Apostles!) in the united states.

  • Perhaps you and Tito would like to have a conversation about Marx, and about which of his ideas I agree with and don’t agree with, and whether or not the ideas I agree with are in opposition to Church teaching or whether the Church herself acknowledges said ideas?

    Or maybe you both can throw around the name “Marx” and the term “Marxism” without actually getting specific?

    Or maybe Tito will simply delete my comments when I ask him to actually get specific and show us how much he actually knows about Karl Marx?

    What about Chomsky, Tito? Can you explain to me what elements of Chomsky’s work are in opposition to Church teaching? Perhaps u.s. foreign policy is sacred and unable to be criticized?

  • The magisterial authority of a Bishops Conference is about that of an individual bishop. I think the document Apostolos Suos addresses this question. See here:

  • Michael I.,

    With the answer you provided so vague, vacuous, and open-ended, I’m surprised you haven’t found common cause with Mein Kampf or that writer.

  • It seems Michael is trolling.

  • Phillip – If you actually read Apostolos Suos and the relevant ecclesial documents, you will find that the issue is much more complex than your claim that “[t]he magisterial authority of a Bishops Conference is about that of an individual bishop.”

    Tito – You’re not making any sense. Could you rephrase for me? What was that about Hitler?

  • Michael I.,

    Garbage in, garbage out.

  • Of course its much more complicated than that. But of course, when one reads Apostolos Suos, one sees that a single dissenting vote by a bishop on a doctrinal matter ends the authority of the Conference and the matter must be referred to Rome. An individual bishop has that degree of authority in that he can stop the entire conference.

  • It is important to read the relevant ecclesial documents as well, including theological discussion on these matters. AS makes some interesting (non-infallible) claims about the authority of bishops conferences which are indeed in tension with, say, significant portions of Vatican II (which carry more weight than AS). AS strikes me as awfully mathematical, as if one rogue wacko bishop could threaten the authority of the teaching of the rest. Does not strike me as a very Catholic approach to authority.

    So yes, AS is important, but other documents are important too. And it’s important to read AS in its entirety and in context.

  • Of course AS can be read as a development of doctrine (non-infallible perhaps) though with greater magisterial teaching than theologians. As the theologian Cardianl Dulles noted, AS is the effort of the Church (read magisterial authority) to place the authority of conferences in its proper context (a limited one) which is only a reflection of individual bishops authority. This is the proper context.

  • Of course that would presuppose that much of what the USCCB does is pronouce on doctrinal matter. Actually most, such as its support of current health care legislation with three provisions, is doctrinal. It is of course not. It is prudential. Thus laymen can licitly disagree with their position in regards to the legislation in general.
    What is doctrinal is the USCCB’s defense of traditional Catholic teaching that abortion is an intrinsic evil. Thus Tito is on good ground in his position.

  • Funny, the way folks use the word “doctrinal” to draw artificial lines around certain ethical issues.

  • Only if one does not understand the distinction between intrinsic evils and prudential application of moral principles where licit differences apply.

  • Guys. Marx was generally good about diagnosing a lot of the problems of capitalism-particularly its tendency towards self-destruction due to the need for expansive greed.

    Now, his other ideas about history and individualism and God and pretty much everything else he wrote? utter garbage. But those that disagree with us often have a kernel of truth in them.

    Oh, and bishops are important, You should generally listen to them. (Darn it, I just agreed mostly with Michael I. I may get banned from this blog if I keep this up!)

  • Michael R. Denton,

    But those that disagree with us often have a kernel of truth in them.

    Karl Marx was born human.

    Michael I. was born human.

    I guess I found the kernel of truth in both of them.

  • I agree Michael D, though I can’t say Marx’s ideas about history were totally wrong – certain classes do gravitate to certain ideas. The casual relationship might be out of tune, but the correlation is there.

    The irony is that so much revolutionary nonsense, especially when it railed the hardest against Christianity, is really born out of a sort of childlike disappointment that humanity did not live up to the true standards of Christianity.

    I see much of revolutionary socialism stemming from what Moses Hess said to Marx – that the whole point was to “bring heaven down to Earth.”

    If we lived as Christians ought to live, consistently, fully, these people would disappear. In a sense I see the revolutionary scourge as, if not a punishment, an inevitable symptom of a society that has fallen off the right track. That is how Leo XIII and especially Pius XI saw it.

  • Michael,

    Yes, the bishops are important in matters of faith and morals. In matters of application of faith and morals to the political domain, that’s the role of the laity. The bishops may chime in with their prudential judgment. And I will assess their prudential judgment and use mine as is proper to the vocation of the Catholic layman.

  • Only if one does not understand the distinction between intrinsic evils and prudential application of moral principles where licit differences apply.

    I understand the distinction well, but that distinction is not a matter of doctrine vs. not-doctrine.

  • Ah yes. But one can never commit an intrinsic evil (abortion). One can disagree quite substantially on the way to provide health care to the population in general.

  • But one can never commit an intrinsic evil (abortion).


    One can disagree quite substantially on the way to provide health care to the population in general.

    True. But Catholic teaching demands that health care actually be provided to the population in general. Most folks who “respectfully disagree” with the bishops on the health care issue have no desire to see health care extended to those who have no coverage, preferring free-market “you gotta earn yer health care” approaches. Basically what Catholic teaching allows is substantial disagreement on how universal health care is to be provided.

  • Tito – Do you not want to have a discussion about Marxism anymore?

  • Of course your present a false picture Michael. And what universal health care includes is not defined by the church. In my experience, America does in fact provide universal health care for children through S-CHIP. For the elderly with Medicare and with almost all poor with Medicare/Medicaid. Your point again is limited to a very false impression of what the government already does with health care in America.

  • Phillip – Show me where I am false, don’t simply claim what I have said is false.

    Millions of people are not covered in the united states. Millions of lives are ruined by this health care system. You cannot say with any seriousness that the u.s. provides universal health care.

    Another contradiction of the right: claiming on the one hand that the u.s. DOES provide universal health care, and then on the other hand in another argumentative context insisting that the u.s. should NOT provide universal health care.

  • Show that Obama’s plan will make it better.

  • Why? I’m not in favor of Obama’s plan. I’m in favor of the single-payer option.

  • Having said that, yes in fact S-CHIP and Medicare/Medicaid will cover almost everyone (S-CHIP will cover all children.) To claim otherwise is to not be based in the facts.

  • Nothing in Catholic Social teaching says there must be a single payer. Also nothing that says that such coverage must be equal across the board. These are licit areas of disagreement.

  • Having said that, yes in fact S-CHIP and Medicare/Medicaid will cover almost everyone (S-CHIP will cover all children.)

    All children = almost everyone? What?

    Nothing in Catholic Social teaching says there must be a single payer.

    I never said CST requires single payer. I said I am in favor of it. But CST requires that every person receive health care regardless of their ability to pay, i.e. universal health care.

    Also nothing that says that such coverage must be equal across the board. These are licit areas of disagreement.

    What exactly are you looking to get out of? Which persons do not deserve what? Please be specific since you seem to have something in mind.

  • S-Chip will cover all children. That takes care of that segment of the population. Medicaid and Medicare covers most others. That leaves a small number of people who do not have coverage. A basic plan that does not necessarily cover everything that a plan that others have would be consistent with CST. Basic health screenings, basic medications, basic procedures and emergency care – yes. Coronary bypass, more sophisticated medical care, more cutting edge medications – no.

  • Medicaid and Medicare covers most others.


    That leaves a small number of people who do not have coverage.

    A “small number” is awfully imprecise. Are you saying that statistics reported and used by the USCCB are false? Is 40 million or whatever the statistic is a “small number”?

    A basic plan that does not necessarily cover everything that a plan that others have would be consistent with CST.

    The way you have phrased this indicates a “what can we get away with” approach to ethics

    Basic health screenings, basic medications, basic procedures and emergency care – yes. Coronary bypass, more sophisticated medical care, more cutting edge medications – no.

    Why should poor people NOT be able to have coronoary bypass surgeries? Why should they be denied “cutting edge medications”? Why are you intending to set up a class structure?

  • Actually the 40 million includes a large number of 18-39 year old who choose not to buy health insurance. A calculated risk but for most it is a wise economic choice. 11 million who qualify for Medicaid/S-CHIP are not enrolled. That would cover most of that 40 million number.
    CST does not require equality of outcome. A right in CST is that that would allow basic human flourishing. Vaccines and basic medications will. More elaborate plans are not required by CST. That’s been the teaching since Rerum Novarum

  • If you need bypass surgery or else you will die, then bypass surgery is basic to human flourishing.

  • Everyone will die. Even the rich will run out of options. Even with ordinary policies there is denial of care (transplants, experimental procedures.) The question is how much health care is a right.

  • I’m sure if Michael I. needed emergency surgery he would be crossing the border from Canada to the U.S. because he knows full well that the socialized health care in Canada would put him on a waiting list.

  • Not only that, but when he is older, deny a fair bit of care that he would get with ordinary, private policies in the U.S.

  • Everyone will die.

    Ah, here is your position. Crystal clear.

    I’m sure if Michael I. needed emergency surgery he would be crossing the border from Canada to the U.S. because he knows full well that the socialized health care in Canada would put him on a waiting list.

    1) I don’t live in Canada anymore. 2) I never had provincial health insurance while living in Canada because I am not Canadian. International students, until very recently, had to purchase private insurance. It was very inexpensive compared to the u.s. 3) In three years in Canada I did not meet a single Canadian who was unhappy with Canadian health care. Not one. I sought them out. They’re few and far between. 4) I am currently without health insurance.

  • You still didn’t answer the question.

    If you needed emergency surgery would you wait 3-6 months or would you jump back to the greatest nation in the history of the world, America?

  • Its not my position, it is God’s. Even Marx couldn’t overcome that.

  • You still didn’t answer the question.

    If you needed emergency surgery would you wait 3-6 months or would you jump back to the greatest nation in the history of the world, America?

    You never ASKED me a question. You said “Iafrate would probably do such and such.”

    But since you asked me directly this time…

    Presumably you are asking me assuming I still lived in Canada. Considering I had no U.S. health care at all when I lived in Canada I would obviously wait it out because “the greatest nation in the history of the world” would be of absolutely no help.

  • Phillip – What makes you hate poor people?

  • Tito, you are under the mis-apprehension that the US healthcare system is superior to that of other advanced economies. It is not.

    I am one of the lucky ones – I have insurance, decent by American standards. But in other countries I am familiar with, I can see doctors faster, I can get similar treatment, and I don’t have to deal with byzantine insurance bureacracies.

  • Michael I.,

    Are you going to scrub your fingertips until you scrape the skin off because they typed out the greatest nation in the history of the world?


  • MM,

    Exchanging byzantine insurance bureaucracies for byzantine government bureaucracies is a step down in most people’s opinion.

    You may be able to get basic medical care at a lower price, but you will have to wait for most surgeries and other sophisticated medical procedures due to the lack of highly trained physicians being priced out of the market and to heavy regulation making it impossible to make a living in those fields.

  • Michael I.,

    i cut and pasted it.

    That was an awesome comeback!



  • But we are back to the point where we were before. The bishops have made a prudential judgment. Some laymen agree. Some disagree for different reasons. Abortion is an intrinsic evil. Obama’s health care plan is a prudential judgment. Elimination of class distinctions is not a component of CST. Rationing of some sort will happen as it does currently. Death is an inevitability. Not all health care that is available needs be present in a health plan to be moral.

  • The prudential judgment of the bishops is one thing, but their insistence that health coverage should be universal is not a prudential judgment.

    Abortion is an intrinsic evil.

    What does this have to do with it and why did you just throw it in the middle of this paragraph? Are you one of those “everything is really about abortion” types?

  • Just that the Senate plan just passed includes abortion coverage and the bishops have noted that one cannot support the current plan as a Catholic.

    Yes basic coverage for all is a Catholic principle. The problem with the bishops’ statement is that if abortion payment, as well as conscience provisions, were provided in the legislation, they would support it as being consistent with Catholic principles. This is their prudential judgment. Mine is that it does not. That’s the prudential judgment part.

  • I don’t see how universal “coverage” is anything but prudential. Universal access to basic health care may be a Catholic principle, but “coverage” suggests insurance, and the role of insurance is prudential. To the extent a society can afford it, no one should be denied access to basic health care. The extent to which that is actually happening in the US today is debatable, as is how improvements can be made. With proper protections against abortion, I have absolutely no problem with Catholics supporting a variant of the current legislation; I also have no problems with Catholics opposing it. To suggest that Catholics are required to support or oppose in such a case is just mistaken. Phillip is correct.

  • Thanks. Better said then my efforts.

  • Mike Petrik – But Catholics cannot support the standard republican line on health care. Period.

  • Michael,
    Discourse is not served by throwing our vagueries like “standard Republican line on health care.” Moreover, there is nothing in the GOP healthcare platform that is inimical to Catholic teaching. Period.

  • Moreover, there is nothing in the GOP healthcare platform that is inimical to Catholic teaching. Period.

    If you ignore all the lies in the platform, as represented in that link, maybe you statement would be true.

  • I rest my case.

  • Of course you do. Rest assured, too, in your “what can I get away with” ethic.

  • Michael,

    How can you on the one hand insist that only those who are ideologically sympathetic to you have an accurate understanding of what socialists/anarchists advocate, and yet on the other hand insist that only those who are _not_ Republican (indeed, only those who dislike them) have an accurate understanding of what Republicans advocate?

Cardinal DiNardo Rebukes Critics on Health Care Involvement

Monday, November 30, AD 2009

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo defended the Church’s involvement in removing abortion from the House version of the health care bill after a storm of criticism was leveled against the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) of “lobbying” concerning the last minute addition of the Stupak Amendment.

“We would say: If you call it lobbying, we’re lobbying on moral issues that relate to the public square and we feel we have, as religious leaders, a place in that debate with others,”

Cardinal DiNardo became chair of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities at the USCCB.  He is also the ordinary of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.  His Eminence represents a growing cadre of bishops that are leading their flocks out of the wilderness bravely in a fallen world.

All throughout 2009 many bishops have entered the national debate in regards to defending fundamental moral values and rectifying misinformation from wayward Catholics in political life.  This year seems to be the year the bishops found their voice.  Not since Francis Cardinal Spellman graced the New York Archdiocese have we seen the faithful being led with strong ecclesial leadership from all parts of the country.

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14 Responses to Cardinal DiNardo Rebukes Critics on Health Care Involvement

  • Yep, that’s my Cardinal. With Cornyn and Hutchinson as our senators, Texas should be on the prolife side of this debate (although I have my doubts about Hutchinson at times, but she’s thinking of a governor run, so she has to tow the line).

  • C Matt!

    That’s my Cardinal as well.

    What parish do you attend (send me an email if you can).


  • My cardinal, my parish. . . you Texans are all the same. You still think the rest of the USA is the backyard of the Republic of Texas. 🙂

    Have some pitty on those of us stuck behind enemy lines will ya’?

    Part of the enemies and the Enemy’s strategy is to make religion irrelevent, personal, private, quite and indifferent, then neo-pagan Satan worship will rule by default.

    It is not only permitted and encouraged, it is mandatory and incumbent upon the Church (clerics, religious and layity) to form the moral conscience of society and government. Catholics cannot and will not be quite about protecting the pre-born, the aged and all those marginalized by secular, illicit authority and the powers of the present darkness.

    Thanks be to God for Cardinals and Bishops with faith, hope and charity and what you in Texas call ‘cajones’ too.

    St. Andrew ora pro nobis.

  • That is not quite, it is quiet. Sorry.

  • That’s my Cardinal. I even see Tito at Mass 🙂

  • I love those late, late Masses on campus 😀

  • Tito:

    Can’t seem to locate an email for you.

    I go t St. Vincent de Paul in Houston.

  • C Matt,


    St. Vincent’s, Where all the doctors attend! They have the best young adult spiritual group in the entire archdiocese.

  • I attended Mass at St. Vincent De Paul when I was down in Houston about ten days ago. I was pleasantly surprised – I was expecting a somewhat schlocky, new agey kind of Mass but got a very orthodox service (if with some unfortunate guitar accompaniment). A very packed Church, as well. Also, I couldn’t help but notice that they did not take up a collection for the CCHD. Interesting.

  • I noticed that as well at my own parish. From my understanding, you have to physically go to the narthex and drop your donation off in a CCHD bag or box.

    I like that idea instead of passing the basket around during collection.

    Outside of some of the architecture, the priests and laity are pretty solid there. You’ll still find your cultural Catholics, but it isn’t your typical parish that you normally find.

    And yes, they can definitely do without the guitar. It’s amazing how many orthodox and practicing Catholics that actually still play the guitar during Mass think it’s appropriate.

  • Well, if the worst thing is that they have guitar accompaniment, then things can’t be too bad.

  • St. Vincent’s, where all the doctors attend

    And the lawyers that sue them!! 🙂

    The Teen Life Mass tends to make me cringe, but while the style is not my cup of tea, the substance is usually solid. I am a bit disappointed with the Resurrection statue in the back (looks way to cartoonish), but the original crucifix and statues up front are pretty amazing.

    The architecture is a bit boxy and utilitarian, but at least it’s not theatre in the round.

  • C Matt & Paul,

    The statue in the back? The surfing Jesus?

  • Surfing Jesus

    Yes! That is a perfect description!

Abortion, Capital Punishment and War, One of these things is not like the other

Friday, November 27, AD 2009

Ed Stoddard of Reuters’ religion blog Faithworld carries a roundup of the skirmish between Congressman Patrick Kennedy, the son of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, has claimed that Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin.

In conclusion, Stoddard asks:

This leads to a question about the consistency of views in the U.S. Catholic Church leadership. The Church opposes abortion and therefore liberal politicians who support abortion rights risk being refused communion. The Church supports a healthcare overhaul that would make the system more equitable. So does a conservative Catholic politician who opposes this reform risk being denied communion for ignoring the Catholic social teaching that justifies it?

How about support for capital punishment, which the Vatican says is unjustified in almost all possible cases, or for war? In the build-up to the Iraq war, Pope John Paul was so opposed to the plan that he sent a personal envoy to Washington to argue against it. Did bishops threaten any measures against Catholic politicians who energetically supported that war despite Vatican opposition?

The author’s questions reveal an elementary ignorance concerning the moral issues in question and their relationship to varying levels of Church teaching. While I am disappointed by his answer (Faithworld is generally one of the better and more educational “religion blogs” in the secular media), it is understandable — as even many Catholics find themselves confused on this matter.

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33 Responses to Abortion, Capital Punishment and War, One of these things is not like the other

  • Thanks for this excellent clarification, Chris.

    It’s going on my facebook 🙂

  • What about Justice Scalia who not only disagrees with the prudential judgment of our bishops on capital punishment but rejects Church teaching on the matter entirely?

    Also, as pro-choicers like to point out, there’s a difference between supporting abortion and supporting abortion rights. Can’t one accept Church teaching on abortion and still believe that criminalization is bad? Isn’t the legal status of abortion a matter of prudential judgment? I realize that this still doesn’t apply to Rep. Kennedy who not only supports keeping abortion legal but also supports promotion through subsidies.

    And can’t some prudential judgments concerning capital punishment or war be so obviously correct no reasonable person can oppose it without supporting the underlying evil? For example, suppose Obama stated that we’re waging war against Canada to raid their natural resources.

  • “Also, as pro-choicers like to point out, there’s a difference between supporting abortion and supporting abortion rights. Can’t one accept Church teaching on abortion and still believe that criminalization is bad? Isn’t the legal status of abortion a matter of prudential judgment?”

    The distinction between supporting abortion and supporting abortion “rights” is completely fallacious. That is akin to attempting to argue a distinction between being pro-slavery and supporting the “right” to own a slave. As to criminalization of abortion Catholics are required by the Catechism to support that:

    “2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:
    ‘The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.'(79)

    ‘The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. . . As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights.’ (80)”

  • I understand what Restrainedradical means — sometimes it seems reasonable to concede the legal matter (abortion is legal) and work on the practical one (getting people to stop aborting, or to not get pregnant). But that’s where prudence comes in. That approach has not worked, any more than (per D. McClarey’s example) attempts to get slave owners to give up their slaves worked when slavery was legal. Concentrating on the practical matters only ensures (barring a widespread change in social mores) they will continue as they are.

    All those practical things should be done, of course, because that’s all that most people CAN do. But it is a fallacy to think that because a thing has been declared legal, it is therefore right. Unjust laws can and should be repealed. People who make and influence legislation have a different obligation than the rest of us when it comes to action. We can and should work on the practical matters that are in our power, but we should also demand the legislative action that is within the LEGISLATORS’ power, and they have a moral obligation to do something about it. If a law is unjust, and a legislator does nothing about it, then is that legislator not guilty of perpetuating injustice and, in the case of abortion, murder?

    If we were talking about apartheid, wouldn’t we agree that the legislators had an obligation to end it, even if it were difficult and unpopular?

  • Ditto and amen to Gail’s, Donald’s and Christopher’s points above. Much like the ridiculous, one-sided “debate” b/w Chris Matthews and Bishop Tobin, the entire specious argument of “should women who procure an abortion be put in jail?” betrays a logical fallacy in thought. Nobody who makes that argument would ever make a similar one against women’s right to vote, legalized slavery, etc. And the ones who don’t recognize the difference b/w an intrisic evil like abortion and Just War or even the judicious use of the death penalty would also never make such an argument “defending” those who make the decisions to apply the death penalty or to prosecute a Just War.

    For the amateur philosophers out there, what kind of logical fallacy is the one that such wishy-washy “pro-lifers” use, namely the one we’ve all mentioned here on this thread? I’m no logician, but even I recognize that such thinking must be the result of some logical fallacy!

  • I’d like to clarify that Justice Scalia doesn’t reject Church teaching on the death penalty, he rejects the recent stand– counter to, in his phrasing, the “2,000-year-old tradition of the church approving capital punishment”— where various members of the leadership claim that the death penalty isn’t needed to protect society.

    This is solidly inside of prudential judgment, although it has (of course) been very poorly reported. Ton o’info here, including a response from Justice Scalia and a defense of the Justice by Cardinal Avery Dulles. (who does not agree with him)

  • I’d like to clarify that Justice Scalia doesn’t reject Church teaching on the death penalty, he rejects the recent stand– counter to, in his phrasing, the “2,000-year-old tradition of the church approving capital punishment”– where various members of the leadership claim that the death penalty isn’t needed to protect society.

    Exactly. As Cardinal Dulles himself emphasized the prudential nature of the disagreement:

    As to the Pope’s assertion that the death penalty should today be rare, I would reaffirm, against Justice Scalia, that this is to be understood as an exercise of the Pope’s prudential judgment. “Prudential” has a technical theological meaning with which Justice Scalia seems not to be familiar. It refers to the application of Catholic doctrine to changing concrete circumstances. Since the Christian revelation tells us nothing about the particulars of contemporary society, the Pope and the bishops have to rely on their personal judgment as qualified spiritual leaders in making practical applications. Their prudential judgment, while it is to be respected, is not a matter of binding Catholic doctrine. To differ from such a judgment, therefore, is not to dissent from Church teaching.

    It is of course possible to hold, with Justice Scalia, that the Pope is imprudent. Catholics are not obliged by their faith to hold that their pastors are always prudent. I personally agree with the Pope that the death penalty should be very rarely, if ever, applied in the United States today. In saying this I do not rely only on “steady improvements in the organization of the penal system,” the motive mentioned by the Pope. I would add that limitations and deficiencies in the penal system create a danger of miscarriages of justice. In our society, moreover, the death penalty is often seen as an instrument of popular vindictiveness and retaliation rather than of divine justice, since the transcendent order of justice is not generally recognized. The practice of capital punishment also reinforces that disrespect for human life which is all too prevalent in our society. For these and other reasons, I would be reluctant to approve of the death penalty except in cases of rare and prudential judgment assisted by the wisdom of the duly appointed pastors of the Church.

    And agreed with Scalia, that John Paul II’s intention was not to overturn traditional Catholic teaching on the death penalty:

    Like Justice Scalia, I doubt that the older tradition is reversible, but even if it were, I contend any ecclesiastical authority reversing it would have to propose the new doctrine with great emphasis and show why the older position is no longer tenable. In fact, however, the Pope says nothing against the traditional doctrine.

  • In my view, the greatest penalties ought to be reserved for the abortionist himself and whatever propagandists or pushers he might have at his disposal.

    I also don’t think a woman should be punished for abortion until an investigation into the father of her child’s status is conducted, due to the high number of coerced abortions.

    Hysterical liberals like Chris Matthews and NARAL promote the fantasy that every abortion is some kind of feminist triumph over patriarchy. The reality is that many abortions are coerced – the father has threatened the mother with violence, or with abandonment. Or her own parents have done the same.

    In the end, someone must be held responsible. But I don’t believe it should always be the woman who gets the abortion. And this we must make absolutely clear. Too many women who end up in the abortion clinic are themselves victims.

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  • Boo-Hoo for whomever is “responsible”, what we still have is A DEAD INNOCENT CHILD.

    With respect to the tradition of the Church on Capital punishment.

    There are serious fissures in the Catholic Church over traditions, that can be argued were “reversed” in Vatican II, so poo-poo on that Scalian argument, thus you have the discontinuity and continuity problems with many kinds of quasi-schismatic Catholics.

    Perhaps the Church needs a much more comprehensive revaluation than just what it is talking with the SSPX about. Perhaps Catholics in the United States need to see things in a BIGGER picture as well.

  • That is akin to attempting to argue a distinction between being pro-slavery and supporting the “right” to own a slave.

    Or being pro-war and supporting the right to wage war. There is a difference.

    As to criminalization of abortion Catholics are required by the Catechism to support that


  • “Or being pro-war and supporting the right to wage war. There is a difference.”

    The analogy to war is telling restrainedradical. The Church acknowledges just war. The Church does not acknowledge a just abortion. It is also possible to support the right to wage war while being opposed to individual instances of war. Once someone is pro the “right” to have an abortion, the ability then to oppose instances of abortion goes out the window due to the support of a “right” to abortion.

  • Maybe a more fitting analogy would be “Or being pro-murder and supporting the right to murder. There is a difference.”

    Perhaps “Or being pro-rape and supporting the right to rape. There is a difference.”

  • This moral hierarchy you are discussing is imperceptible to most modern thinkers. One of the most unfortunate consequences of political liberalism and the democratic ethos is the overpowering influence of equality. Equality is the fundamental end of our moral thinking and our political life, even when it contradicts justice and charity.

  • Or being pro-obesity and supporting the right to be obese. Or being pro-smoking and supporting the right to smoke.

    A supporter of abortion rights wants abortion to be legal. A supporter of abortion wants to increase the number of abortions.

    Anyway, that’s the pro-choicer’s argument and it does make sense but I too use pro-abortion as shorthand for pro-abortion-rights just as I use pro-death-penalty to describe not only those who want to see more capital punishment but also those who think it should be allowed.

  • “A supporter of abortion rights wants abortion to be legal. A supporter of abortion wants to increase the number of abortions.”

    Not necessarily. Some pro-aborts do want to increase the number of abortions, usually for mercenary or ideological reasons. Others are merely content to have abortion remain legal. In both cases the key agreement is that neither would want any abortion to be prevented by the State, which is what makes them pro-aborts.

  • For this simile to work the thing substituted in has to be not just bad but immoral– war, the death penalty, being fat or being a smoker aren’t inherently immoral.

    Killing babies, committing murder or raping someone are inherently immoral.

  • Some war can potentially be inherently immoral – for example, Cheney’s 1% pre-emptive war doctrine. There may not be definitive pronouncement on it, but I would consider such a position to be very close to, if not actually, inherently immoral.

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  • To clarify I am against abortion! But it seems to me the church in its teachings apriory sets a double standard in at least two ways:
    1) in cases of war and capital punishment the justification for respectful disagreement is in knowledge or presumed knowledge / interpretation of the facts
    In abortion this ” caveat” is denied since the beginning of human life if postulated without any further proof or facts proffered.
    could it be that the abortion is an individual decision and war and capital punishment is a system’s decision , made by the “king”
    according to your response …..“The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.”…..
    Hitler had the responsibility for the common good at least de facto therefor according to your thoughts the Germans really had no further responsibility but to say: The Fuehrer knows best…. ( Well most followed the churches advice? lead ? and said Sieg! Heil!)
    May be this is the foundation to Hochhuth’s novel The Deputy
    I think the Catholic Church should move away from its over reliance on legal maneuvers and learned logical reasoning and return to its roots which seem to me to require to make firm moral stands and demand firm moral comittments, especially where life and death questions are involved, regardless of the costs to itself or its members. Anything short of this, degrades it into a mere club
    Revelations come to mind: But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you… .(Rev3:16)

  • With regards to the determination of moral criteria, the Catechism maintains “The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.”

    to my knowledge throughout history there never was an unjust war in the eyes of those who started it and have been at the time “responsibility for the common good” as you call it.
    This makes the Just War Theory a practical sham , without any significance for the people. It also is insulting to our intelligence and smells of the discontinued practice of the “Index”

  • …You’re really not even trying to understand the arguments, are you?

    If you really are, please try to say what, exactly, you’re having trouble with– I’d be pleased to try to help you understand it.

  • I thought the argument is pretty clear.
    there seem to be two standards in taking a life. One is ( in the case of abortion) to be on the safe side and and postulate when life starts since it cannot start any earlier than with conception therefor that’s when its starts . We have no proof for it but rather err on the possibility that it might start there. Fair and good, i fully support this.
    In the other two cases – capital punishment, war a different standard is invoked. It seems to me this is clearly expressed in the phrase given earlier ( (paraphrased)….the Prosecuting attorney can respectfully disagree with the Church on individual case of capital punishment….
    In this case a life can be taken even if the judgment of the person involved turns out to be wrong.
    In case of war there are 2 points , to my humble opinion involved:
    1) again the parties involved respectfully agree to dis agree and this is morally justified … Well we are all humans and mistakes are made….
    since never in history the aggressor felt the war was not absolutely necessary the whole just war theory became a mute subject it est meaningless
    2) Your argument that the moral decision should be left to the proper authorities seems to me to patronize any believer who is not in power. this leads to my comments regarding Germany etc.
    what is important to the argument here however is the willingness to agree to respectfully disagree
    This in my opinion is a double standard and is probably based on political considerations as it can be demonstrated throughout much of history ( especially since Constantin)
    What I think the stand of the Church should and has to be is consistent. Since I think the stance of the church and beginning of life is the prudent decision the same principles should apply to the other two cases. Anything short of this smells of intellectual dishonesty.
    By the way, in arguing this case I don’t think the Catechism can be invoked since the argument is consistency in reasoning the cases and not what the cases actually say.
    I thank you for your interest in setting me straight.

  • Innocent life vs non-innocent life.

    There’s no justification for me walking into a mall and shooting someone; there is a justification for me shooting a guy who is trying to kill me.

    We have no proof for it but rather err on the possibility that it might start there.

    Scientifically speaking, conception is the start of life– an embryo is a unique organism from the mother, while an egg or sperm cell is not. We don’t know when that organism gets a soul— but then, we’re guessing that you or I have a soul, as well.

    since never in history the aggressor felt the war was not absolutely necessary the whole just war theory became a mute subject it est meaningless

    Highly improbable. Beyond that the just war theory doesn’t just say whoever starts it has to think it’s needful, even with my horrible history education I can think of wars that were started for advantage, not need. I seem to remember Bismarck was famous for them– he had a tactical goal, expansion/reuniting Germany, but that’s not absolute necessity.

    Your argument that the moral decision should be left to the proper authorities seems to me to patronize any believer who is not in power.

    1)”It’s patronizing” isn’t a refutation of an argument.
    2) Hitler did have a responsibility for the public good. He did not fulfill that responsibility, needless to say.

    In human interactions there will always be leaders and followers– that’s the only way there can be cooperation. If there are leaders, they have to be able to lead– especially in the case of large organizations, it’s not possible for everyone to have all the information and properly assimilate it, and get everything else done.

    Life is highly valuable. What, then, does your notion of consistency make of those lives who try to take lives?
    Should those who are innocent be slaughtered at will by those who are not, simply because we’re all valuable– or is killing, as a last resort of defense, acceptable?

    By the way, in arguing this case I don’t think the Catechism can be invoked since the argument is consistency in reasoning the cases and not what the cases actually say.

    I try not to quote the Catechism unless the topic is what the Church believes– even if what I end up saying is simply a rephrasing of what it says. If someone agrees, then there’s no argument– and if they don’t, why cite something they disagree with to try to change their mind?

  • You dodged the topic by starting your defense with innocent versus non innocent life this does not seem to me a serious attempt to set me straight. May be that is not your intent?
    patronizing is a remark that is used in my opinion to indicate that the argument lacks substance and is movind into areas of emotional domination not a good thing to do in an argument.
    The Hitler example does not focus on Hitler but on the obligation of the Germans as suggested by your argument.
    Actually the historic response by the Germans can by justified with your argument. And by extension the dire consequences

    Life is highly valuable. What, then, does your notion of consistency make of those lives who try to take lives?
    Should those who are innocent be slaughtered at will by those who are not, simply because we’re all valuable– or is killing, as a last resort of defense, acceptable?
    Again this is not the argument. The question is are we consistent in our moral judgement
    take the Iraq war; it was deemed and turned out to be an unjust war , however you claim a different mechanism for the individual , up to the pope himself, than for the decision of abortion or euthanasia. What i am arguing for is that the same methods and principles are applied. After that we can start to talk about innocent life versus not innocent life.
    This latter discussion might prove even thornier than the first, especially if one allows for biblical guidance.

    I try not to quote the Catechism unless the topic is what the Church believes– even if what I end up saying is simply a rephrasing of what it says. If someone agrees, then there’s no argument– and if they don’t, why cite something they disagree with to try to change their mind?
    It might be that I see inconsistencies in the catechism and I said I might not that I necessarily did.
    In that case it would be good to grapple with the passage instead quoting it as gospel which it is not.
    I guess I subscribe to the motto Schiller coined in his poem “Die Glocke” what you have inherited from your fathers earn it in order to own it.
    this – I suppose – means grapple intellectually with it in order to understand it. It does not have much value intellectual or moral if one just accepts it without an earnest attempt towards understanding to ones capabilities. I think this would be demeaning to the human dignity.
    I still hope you will take the time and effort in truly showing me the light, since despite of what I wrote I feel the topic is much deeper and important than we both touch upon this far.
    thank you in advance for your effort.

  • You dodged the topic by starting your defense with innocent versus non innocent life this does not seem to me a serious attempt to set me straight.

    You seem to be dodging the topic by not seeing a difference between killing without cause and killing in defense.

    That’s what just war and the death penalty boils down to– it’s a nation-sized case of self defense.

    If you support self defense by individuals, but not by leaders on behalf of those they have responsibilities towards– or, more so, if you support defense on behalf of one’s children, but not on behalf of one’s citizens– then the lack of consistency lies with you.

    Actually the historic response by the Germans can by justified with your argument.

    A bold claim; so justify it, using my arguments.

    In that case it would be good to grapple with the passage instead quoting it as gospel which it is not.

    You’re getting off topic, reindl. You stated that I should not “invoke” the CCC because you disagree with it, and I did not quote the CCC.

    ((On the side– you can make it easier to read what you’re replying to by using < brackets around I and /I to trigger italics.))

  • Thank you for the suggestion I will try to use it, but I do not quite understand your hints Do you mean:
    I will try this!

    We are arguing two different things
    I am NOT touching the subject Killing versus not Killing.
    the subject – as I see it – is the way killing is justified in principle.
    in abortion case it is easy to argue not to kill no problem!!
    In case of war there might be the justification to as you call it self defense etc. the problem arises to determine when it is Justified.
    You seem to say in this case it depends on all sorts of things completely beyond the capabilities of the lay person , because he or she is incompetent.
    (that is where the patronizing comes in by the way)
    if that is the case however it is the Church’s responsibility to educate and support the “flock of sheep” so they can make the right moral choice. If the church is incapable of doing so it should say so.
    That it is possible for lay persons to make the right choice can be seen in the case of Franz Jaegerstaetter who resisted serving Hitler and was beheaded for his pains. he did this against his bishops advice ( Bishop of Linz Austria)who used precisely the argument you are using and urged him to serve in Hitler’s army.
    I am certain you are aware that the Church has beatified F.Jaegerstaetter proving him justified or right and his bishop or your argument wrong.

    I also would like to remind you that you intended to explain things to me. I am only raising questions and from me perceived inconsistencies

    You misunderstood me, I did not mean to imply that you cannot use the ccc as you call it, what I meant was that you would have , or should argue the points from first principles. I apologize for the mis-understanding.

    I am still looking forward to your responses to my original arguments. The ” stuff” in between as far as I am concerned was an attempt on my part to clarify my side of the argument and to give you enough info to refute correct … it as you please and can.
    Let me point out that I am trying to argue a Moral/ethical point that could be perceived as being “to the right” of your position as I perceive it now (if it would be a political debate of course)
    As always thank you for your interest

  • I tried to quote a passage of yours but it did not work I am too ignorant in these and of course also other matters If you could give me some more detailed instructions I would appreciate it. Thank you.

  • Use I to start, and /i to end.

    In case of war there might be the justification to as you call it self defense etc. the problem arises to determine when it is Justified.

    If you agree that it is ever justified, then your complaint that allowing the death penalty is inconsistent, due to allowing killing, is invalid. It becomes a matter of you not agreeing where the line is drawn, rather than if the line should be drawn at all.

  • You are avoiding the argument. I like you to comment on the Jaegerstaetter example I gave , as it is pertinent to this discussion. The argument was not whether killing might be allowed or not the argument IS to determine within a morally consistent framework when killing is allowed and it expanded – the argument that is – to who is allowed or has to make these choices.
    Please use the Iraq example I gave the pope determined that the just war theorem indicate that the looming – at that time- war would be unjust. Yet after the war started there was no further comment that participating in a unjust war – according to the just war theorem – is tantamount to murder.
    It is at that point that moral inconsistencies arise
    because murder is murder if nothing else killing a conscious being adds torture to the act of murder which – if one has to /wants to categorize these things-. The torture part comes with the fear and realization that you have to die I presume , never had to do it myself-.
    I think the abortion/ war/ capital punishment/… debate goes much deeper since there are corollaries to all this. And it are these corollaries that , in a practical sense might be even less palatable to us as a society than the results of the Killing argument.
    In any event I think any relativism in arguing the case should be avoided otherwise anything goes and the result is strictly utilitarian devoid of any claim to
    morality. one has to be able to argue the case consistently and continuously starting with abortion if you like and ending with war if you like.
    I am sure you understand what I mean.
    You asked in the beginning whether I am serious. I think this is and has been the defining challenge for the Church in the last and undoubtedly this century.
    The Church seemed to have failed its test during WW1 and WW2 (as well as many other conflicts thereafter. (see Jaegerstaetter example consider it a case study)
    But this does not mean we cannot remedy our transgressions in the future.
    Splitting up the argument of killing or shall I say murder – which would be unjustified killing and which would equally apply to abortion and war – certain wars etc into separately compartments to my mind is a moral dodge and with it makes our whole stand immoral one acts morally or does not.
    A murderer does not always have to kill in order to create immense suffering. it enough if he does it only in one case and not the other.
    thanks for the info on writing . the following is just a test so please ignore it.
    i test test test /i

  • Your original argument was that by differentiating between murder and abortion on one hand, and war and capital punishment on the other, there is a “double standard” in place.

    You futher claimed that, due to war and capital punishment being decided by the “system” or a “king,” Hitler was somehow justified.

    If you cannot manage to hold to your own argument and feel the need to accuse those who do of dodging the topic, I have no further time for you.

  • Sorry you feel that way

    I do have to respond to your interpretation – insinuation that:

    You futher claimed that, due to war and capital punishment being decided by the “system” or a “king,” Hitler was somehow justified.

    I never claimed that . What i did say is:
    IF your interpretation that responsibility for moral decision is vested in those of proper authority THEN
    The Germans where justified to line up behind their Fuehrer I think quite a bit different from your interpretation
    Unfortunately as in many of these discussions it often turns out that folks are not really interested in finding out or letting others find out the “Truth” or their truth and try to explain it in logical and dispassionate ways.
    It seems they are more interested in formulas than arguments and convictions ( I don’t mean just adopted beliefs) they can be passionate enough to defend.
    It was not me who offered to set me straight remember.
    the task obvious became too difficult
    Thank you for your time

  • a bit different from your interpretation

    No, it isn’t. Your argument against there being a difference between war and abortion was exactly as I stated.

    Unfortunately as in many of these discussions it often turns out that folks are not really interested in finding out or letting others find out the “Truth” or their truth and try to explain it in logical and dispassionate ways.

    Exactly why I am not going to waste any further time, barring some sign of actual interest in information– as opposed to dancing from claim to claim, then accusing those responding to you of “avoiding the argument.”

    If you admit any instance where self defense, unto death, is admissible– then you commit the same “inconsistency” you accuse the Church of committing. You may draw the line in a different spot, but still admit the difference exists.

    It seems they are more interested in formulas than arguments and convictions ( I don’t mean just adopted beliefs) they can be passionate enough to defend.

    A logical argument is a formula.
    And there is no inherent exclusion of conviction in an adopted belief, let alone an exclusion of passion in adopted beliefs.

    It was not me who offered to set me straight remember.

    Amazingly, it was not I who offered to set you straight, either; I offered, if you were truly trying to understand, to attempt to aid you in understanding. The latter has happened, but the prior is in doubt.

Bishops Call Reid Health Care Bill Worst of the Bunch

Friday, November 20, AD 2009

Extremist Democrats and liberals are hailing Harry Reid’s Health Care bill as a victory for pro-abortion activists.  Though the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has called it “completely unacceptable“.

…Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the bishops’ conference Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, said Reid’s “is actually the worst bill we’ve seen so far on the life issues.”

He called it “completely unacceptable,” adding that “to say this reflects current law is ridiculous.”

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7 Responses to Bishops Call Reid Health Care Bill Worst of the Bunch

  • I have always been pro-life and frankly, this bill is really scary.

  • Well this is what you get when you support a party that has abortion, gay Marrage and stem cell research as part of their party plank…Is it not Polosi is Catholic?,,Kennedy’s all Catholic…Yep.. This is the same group that voted to limit tax deductibility of donations to the church…Their only church is the church of government

  • It’s not over yet! If the bill goes back to the House without pro-life provisions, I am going to have a little faith in the pro-life Dems to hold the line and kill the bill. They said they would.

    It only passed last time by 5 votes in the house. Surely there at least 6 Stupak Democrats who will switch their votes if federal funding for abortion is back in.

    And for those who hate the whole bill, 40 progressive Dems say they will vote against it if abortion funding ISN’T in – so either way, this thing could be dead.

  • Joe,

    From my understanding, Rep. Cao of Louisiana only voted for the bill after he saw that it couldn’t be defeated. So in theory you’ll only need four votes to switch.

  • Precisely. The bill barely survived the House because the Stupak language superseded the Capps amendment.

    We should also be conscious of the fact that the Senate operates differently than the House. We aren’t going to have a closed rule amendment. Moreover, I do not think Nelson would vote for final cloture to vote on a final legislation that had less-than-acceptable language on abortion. Reid has absolutely no room for margin of error. I think the Democrats will have to sacrifice the Planned Parenthood wishlist to some extent in order to pass something.

    It must be said that I think much of the conference speculation is missing the mark. In conference, yes, there is no reason to keep the legislation as is. In fact, in conference the entire health care bill can fundamentally be re-written with no regard to any amendments that passed or the original provisions of the bills. However that is not going to be the case with health care. Say that pro-life provisions pass in the House and in the Senate as well. The Democrats will find it incredibly difficult to strip that language at conference. A brand new bill that is markedly different than the originals will likely fail in one or bother chambers. A bill that reverses the abortion language in one or both chambers will fail in one or both chambers. The Stupak amendment clearly took the bill over the top. It will die in the House without it. Less than acceptable language on abortion will surely not allow the final conference bill to reach cloture in the Senate. Perhaps I have too much faith in Senator Nelson, but I cannot see how he will not hold out. He is incredibly consistent and principled on this issue. I will not blindly trust such a hope, but I have every reason to have this hope.

    Moreover, an incredibly liberal “robust” public option that leaves out opt-out and opt-in clauses is sure to die in the Senate. So again, the theorists speculating that this is a game of “bait” and “switch” — give in to the pro-life Congressmen to win their votes and then remove it, give in to the more moderate members and “water down” to the public option to win their votes only to switch it blatantly and manifestly in conference is absurd.

    After conference there are no amendments. It is a closed-rule vote entirely in both chambers. The moderate and pro-life Democrats will be needed again, to motion to vote on the legislation and to vote for the final legislation. I don’t think it reasonable to conclude that a hyper-liberal bill will come flying out of conference because in what world could it possibly pass?

    If anything, the Senate legislation will have the greater influence. The final conference legislation must conceivably be able to pass in the Senate which is a much more difficult task — in that, it must gain 60 votes before it only needs 51.

  • Pingback: Senate Democrats at odds over health care bill (AP) «

Boycott Upcoming Catholic Campaign for Human Development Collection

Thursday, October 29, AD 2009


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

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

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

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20 Responses to Boycott Upcoming Catholic Campaign for Human Development Collection

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

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

  • Daledog,

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

  • Another beaut involving the Archdiocese of Chicago.

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

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

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

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

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

  • Hank,

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

    OK, did I miss something or did you mistype?

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

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

  • AKL’s second comment has it.

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

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

  • Paul A.,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    Jeffrey E. Knight

    466 Long Mountain Road
    Washington, VA 22747

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

Tuesday, October 27, AD 2009
Abp Chaput Tap Dancing

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • e.,

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

  • …And the USCCB is not the Magisterium.

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

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

  • Patrick Duffy,

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

  • e.,

    Read the very last paragraph of my post.

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

  • A few points:

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

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

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

  • John Henry,

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

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

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

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

  • e.,

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

    I’m making the guilt by association analogy.

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

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

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

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

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

  • John Henry,

    You have a point to a certain degree.

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

    We’ll agree to disagree on this point.

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

  • e.,

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

    In agreement here.

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

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

  • Sam,

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

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

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

    Everything else I pretty much agree with you.

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

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

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

    The USCCB…have not endorsed this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Tito:

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

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

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

  • Mike Petrik,

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

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

  • Kevin Jones,

    I agree about how the coalition works.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Mr. Petrik:

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

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

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

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

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

    How many bishops voted on this matter? Which ones?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • David King,

    I hope and pray that they find their way out.

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