Dear John…

Happy Easter! He is risen! I hope you all had a wonderful Holy Week and enjoyed “worshipping Easter.” Sigh. It never stops, does it?

My husband sent me this last week. He doesn’t often send me suggestions. I have zero trouble finding some insanity out there upon which to rant, but this one, apparently, was even too much for him to take, so I will give you my opinion on his behalf. Sometimes he doesn’t mind it when I do that.

Fri Apr 12, 2019 – 7:46 pm EST

New Zealand cardinal asks laity to stop calling priests ‘Father’ to fight ‘clericalism’

Martin M. Barillas

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, April 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal John Dew of New Zealand wrote a missive to Catholics of the Pacific archipelago urging them to not address priests as “Father.”

Brilliant! Let’s take men who have shown by their actions that they’ve completely forgotten their vows and priesthood and remove one of the last reminders. Might as well just ditch the clerical garb and habits, too. I mean, that might go to their heads, too, right? Heck, let’s just go with orange jumpsuits, because if they’re already having issues with this, they’ll probably end up wearing them anyways. Geez.

In providing a synopsis of an article by Fr. Jean-Pierre Roche that appeared in La Croix, Cardinal Dew said he joined the French priest in wondering why priests are called “Father.”

Yeah, let’s go with the Church in France where they’ve lost the faith so badly the Muslims came right in and filled the vacuum. How’s that working out for them?

He continued, “In August last year Pope Francis wrote a Letter to the People of God, to all of us. The Holy Father appealed to all of God’s people to take action against ‘clericalism’ which he sees as the source of abuse perpetrated by priest and bishops.” Thereafter, he summarizes Fr. Roche’s epistle.

Roche wrote that he and other Catholics are “overwhelmed, shocked and appalled” and “traumatized” by the sex abuse crisis that has afflicted the Catholic Church. Roche called for transforming the Church by returning to the Gospels and adhering to Pope Francis’s call to action against the “clericalism” that is ostensibly responsible for abuse perpetrated by priests and other clergy. Thus, he gives three reasons why Catholics should not call priests “Father.”

Yes, well, people can’t seem to bring themselves out of denial over the overwhelming cause. Remember when stats mattered? But as they say now, two plus two must equal anything but four.

The first reason Roche cites is also often used by Christians who do not share the traditions of the Catholic and Orthodox churches. “The first reason should be sufficient in itself, as it is found in the Gospels,” Roche wrote. Quoting the Gospel of Matthew, Roche wrote, “Priests wish to be disciples of Jesus, who said, ‘You are not to be called “Master,” for you have but one Master, and you are all brothers and sisters. And do not call anyone on earth “Father,” for you have but one Father, who is in Heaven’” (Mt. 23: 8–9). Saying Jesus’s words are clear, Roche wrote, “To be called ‘Father’ is, quite frankly, to usurp the place of God, the Father of all people. It is, literally, to play God!”

What an incredibly non-Catholic response from a Catholic! And we wonder why the Faith is disappearing? It must be because we’re not cool, because it’s certainly not because some people adopted Protestantism.

Apparently seeking to psychoanalyze priests and laity, Roche suggested that while priests “exercise a sort of spiritual fatherhood” by permitting the laity to address them as ‘Father,’ they may be compensating for their lack of natural children. He asked bishops to leave off the title of “Monsignor.” Finally, he said referring to priests as “Father’ is “unhealthy when it is the expression of an emotional dependence based on a false idea of obedience.”

This guy is a mental dumpster fire. Wouldn’t it be better if they actually thought of us as their spiritual children (which we are)? Duh. And really, all those saints who used the proper, respectful titles for their priests were unhealthy? Please. It might actually be more helpful, Cardinal Dew, if you put the priesthood back into the spiritual realm instead of furthering its secularization. That, as Pope Benedict pointed out, is the true problem. God has now been removed from the priesthood.

Roche has long supported the “Action catholique ouvrière” movement in France and has written books on the spirituality of work.

Cardinal Dew presumed the reasons why priests are called “Father” by their flocks, writing, “Being called ‘Father’ may seem important to some priests, but is it really that important?” He goes on to write, “Making a choice to tell the people we serve not to call us Father (or for me ‘Your Eminence’ or ‘Cardinal’) might seem a very small thing to do, but it may be the beginning of the reform in the Church which we have been asked to do by Pope Francis.” The papal letter to which the cardinal refers was issued after revelations of clerical abuse in Pennsylvania that had been covered up and largely involved homosexual acts.

Gotta say, the more he talks, the more I’m warming up to the idea of stripping out his title, at least. That said, this is and always has been the most ridiculous reason given for this whole, evil debacle. Erasing the line between priest and laity has been a nice chunk of the problem. Furthering the erasing of that line? Disastrous.

In a comment to LifeSiteNews, Papal Dame Colleen Bayer wrote: “Faithful Catholics feel betrayed by our Shepherds down here in New Zealand[.] … Dew is doing nothing at all to instil confidence in those whom he is charged with shepherding, in his latest attempt to belittle the reality of spiritual fatherhood, just as he has also decided to reduce the number of churches in his diocese.”

Dame Colleen is the national director of Family Life International in New Zealand. She added that she is “deeply saddened that those faithful who have always respected … the Fathers of the Church our Holy priests, are now expected to address His Eminence as John.” Writing that tiny New Zealand, “God’s Own,” has “lost its soul,” Dame Colleen said that she fears the day when Cardinal Dew must “face the reality and truths of the real problems facing the Catholic Church in New Zealand regarding homosexuality in the priesthood.”

I love this woman, and it’s not just because she has a wicked cool title! She gets it. And for those whining about a lack of women with roles in the Church, note her gender. I’m betting some are wishing SHE weren’t so present.

Echoing the criticisms of many Catholics disappointed by February’s controversial conference of bishops at the Vatican to discuss the abuse of minors, Dame Colleen wrote that the crisis “has nothing to do with showing respect for spiritual fatherhood.” She wrote that the term “clericalism” stands for a game played, “where nobody is supposed to know what the meaning or goal of the game actually is. So much goes on to divert and break down the truth and beauty of His truth.”

BAM! Right. On. The. Money.

Cardinal Dew has been criticized in the past for arguing that divorced and “remarried” Catholics should be admitted to the Eucharist. He has also taken liberties in the liturgy of the Mass.

Why some Catholics want to be Protestant influencers is beyond me. Been there, done that since 1517.

“Catholic theologians and commentators have noted in the past the reasons why Catholics generally refer to priests personally as “Father.” For example, as the apologists at Catholic Answers explain, to take the words of Jesus Christ literally would mean that no one would call his own paternal parent “Father.” The use of the term in the Old Testament was not limited to one’s natural father. For example, in the book of Genesis, Joseph tells his brothers that God had given him a fatherly relationship with the Pharaoh of Egypt: “So it was not you who sent me here, but God; and he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt” (Gen. 45:8). The Prophet Job says: “I was a father to the poor, and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know” (Job 29:16). And the Lord told King David’s steward, Eliakim: “In that day I will call my servant Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah … and I will clothe him with [a] robe, and will bind [a] girdle on him, and will commit … authority to his hand; and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah” (Is. 22:20–21).

In the New Testament, protomartyr St. Stephen refers to “our father Abraham” (Acts 7:2), while St. Paul speaks of “our father Isaac” in Romans 9:10. Also, various early writers, such as St. Clement of Rome and St. John Chrysostom, are known as “Fathers of the Church.”

It has been suggested that Jesus was engaging in rhetoric in order to make a point. The entire passage of Matthew 23 reads: “But you are not to be called ‘rabbi,’ for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called ‘masters,’ for you have one master, the Christ” (Mt. 23:8–10).

Because Jesus appointed his disciples as teachers (rabbis) and Paul preached the Church as apostles, prophets, and teachers, some commentators have indicated that what the Gospel recorded is that Jesus was appealing to scribes and Pharisees, who were not humble before God.”

Well that just saved me a whole lot of education time. It’s nauseating that a red hat of the Church would make such a sophomoric argument that denies all the history of the Church. A ten-year-old could rattle off a more cogent argument than Cardinal Dew, and I’ve had many so I would know. The attempt to constantly sucker in people who may not know is just, well, evil. The “call no man ‘Father’” attempt is going to sound weird to anyone but the most strident dissenter. The dissenters know the truth but they just reject it. The rest of the Church? They’re going to think a little more logically. Do you really think they’re going to buy into the lame argument that calling priests “Father” made them do it? Get a clue.



Bishop Schlert’s Pontius Pilate Moment

I really don’t know much about Bishop Schlert other than he’s got a problem with abuse cover-up accusations. Honestly, I’m not sure where the truth lies, but I’m sure some readers will chime in. Regardless, his allowing Fr. Martin to speak in his diocese – all the wishy-washy claims of not endorsing Fr. Martin notwithstanding – seem to bolster the idea that he likes to play middle of the road and not deal with the hard issues.

With permission, I am re-posting a letter from a reader to Bishop Schlert regarding allowing Fr. Martin to speak in his diocese, followed by the bishop’s response. Bishop Schlert is quite right that other bishops around the country have chosen to protect their flock when it comes to Fr. Martin. Unfortunately, he is choosing the wimpy path. The diocese will know who my reader is, and he’s willing to accept the consequences should people find out, but I’m going to blot out his name. If the diocese is going to throw him under the bus, that’s on them, but I would hope that others in the Diocese of Allentown will vigorously support this reader and send their own letters of protest. In fact, I’d love to see a presence at the diocese until the invitation is rescinded. That diocese has enough problems without encouraging the very ambiguous “welcoming spirit” of Fr. Martin that’s advocated by his favorite groups like “Out as St. Paul.”

So here is the text of the letter our friend sent to Bishop Schlert (emphasis and interjections mine):

Dear Most Reverend Alfred A. Schlert, Bishop of Allentown,

As member of the diocese, who has been deeply troubled by the abuse allegations that have occurred and continues to attend mass, entrust my child to the diocesan school system, and provide financial support for many initiatives. I am extremely troubled by your recent decision to allow Father James Martin, SJ to speak at Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth on April 27, 2019.

This decision is wrong on many levels. The first being the Diocese has gone to great lengths to protect our youth and has instituted many programs to protect them from physical harm as well as mental harm in the form of bullying. To this I ask if you are sincere in your will to protect God’s Children? I ask this question due to the events that unfolded in January of this year at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., and the massive media bullying of the youths of Covington Catholic High School. Social media condemned these youths well before the facts were known. Unfortunately, the Catholic Church was part of the lynch mob. Father James Martin was one of the first within the church to take to social media to condemn the teens.

Oh, yes, he was, and he refused to ever apologize to them. The good old “I apologize if I was wrong but…” doesn’t do it.

The same person who preaches tolerance and acceptance for the LGBTQ community, isn’t it ironic? To make matters worse, Father Martin issued a “so-called” apology on social media. I would ask you to read his apology to see if this is a person who is truly remorseful or has any regret for the danger in which he put the youths and their families. I thank the Lord these kids had great teachers along their development. While I am disappointed in Father Martin for his wrongful hate-filled actions, I am disappointed in the Diocese. I called the diocese to ask if the diocese would be issuing any type of statement of support and spoke with the communication director who said the diocese had no interest in supporting these youth, even after the facts were clear that the Covington Kids were the victims. I was saddened that we have a chance with the next generation of Catholics to stop the culture of abortion and now infanticide, yet the diocese takes no action. I understand that the diocese sent representatives and transported individuals to the event, but I will remind you of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King as it relates to this incident. Dr King woke our social conscience when he stated, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in the moment of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” The diocese lost an opportunity to be bold in our faith and convictions.

The rush to judgment and failing to protect the Covington kids AND the incredible “I’m sorry but…” should be reason enough to disqualify Fr. Martin, but there are soooooo many more reasons.

The second reason that Father Martin should not be provided a podium to speak within the diocese is very simple. Father Martin does not provide clarity on the Church’s position regarding homosexuality but rather seeks to confuse. I am sure you are aware that Father Martin has openly stated that Pope Frances supports the “homosexual agenda” with his remarks made at Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice in 2018. I would have hoped that Father Martin would have provided substance to this statement. Church doctrine is clear “homosexual acts are acts of grave depravity and intrinsically disordered, and under no circumstance can they be approved.” Father Martin is recorded as saying the church will learn from the youth regarding transsexual and nonbinary genders! This is a direct conflict with our doctrine. He also implies that the church does not welcome those members of same sex attraction, which is falsehood.

Exactly! Why is it that Bishop Schlert feels the need to “allow” Fr. Martin any time at all to speak in his diocese? Does Fr. Martin somehow fill a need in the Church? Does the Church not already welcome all sinners (myself included) no matter what the sin? Does the Church need completely dissenting groups like “Out at St. Paul” to be seen as welcoming? Remember, Fr. Martin has said that this is one of his favorite groups. Thankfully they don’t try to hide their agenda in the least and don’t play the ambiguous card Fr. Martin does.



And if you doubt the veracity of my claims that Out at St. Paul is one of Martin’s darling groups…


This is a time of great challenge for the church, especially here in Pennsylvania. I am partaking in the “Healing our Church” program which you have instituted. I am doing so because I am disappointed with the leadership of the church. The Church has been a large part of my life, even at times when I was not a regular practicing member. My parents where devout Catholics, I attended 12 years of Catholic School, with 2.5 year of high school at St. Joseph’s Preparatory Seminary in Princeton NJ, as well as 2 years at Alvernia College. The program is helpful in uniting with other parishioners passionate on moving the church forward. One thing that stands out is the materials you have chosen for use on this topic. You seem to have a bias towards the positions of Father James Martin and Cardinal Tobin, both whom are well known as pro-gay clergy, who are cited in the materials and by the course leaders.

I question if we are to toss aside the gift of reason for a politically correct message regarding this church crisis The John Jay report indicates that over 80% of the victims were males, and post pubescent males (post age 14), we do not need confusion. The church’s stain was largely caused by homosexual or bisexual priests, this is fact. We may choose to engage in theoretical positional studies, but the facts are clear and one cannot ignore them or spin them. Doing so would be unjust to the victims and does not allow healing. Sexual abuse is not unique to the Catholic Church, it happens in all religions. What is uniquely Catholic is the amount of same sex abuse.

Again, I don’t know Bishop Schlert’s position, but I can say that, at best, he’s just trying to avoid stepping on anyone’s toes. Again, wimpy.

I hope you reconsider your position regarding allowing Father Martin a platform in our diocese. I understand from discussion with my pastor that you have barred Father Martin from advertising in the AD Times. One wonders if this is such a worthy event and Father Martin is the right priest to shepherd this event, then why not be bold? What is there to hide? Surely you know that Father Martin used his large social media platform to announce that the event was “being held with the written approval of the Most Reverend Alfred A. Schlert, Bishop of Allentown.” I was informed that you communicated that Father Martin is told not to deviate from church doctrine. Given Father Martin’s past statements of deceit on church doctrine, his seeds of confusion, and his affinity for the limelight of being the celebrity pro- gay Jesuit, one must wonder how has this trust been earned?

Bingo! Bishop Schlert is allowing a person he says he does not endorse and won’t even let advertise in his diocese to speak in his diocese. Really? This is, again, fence-sitting at best.

“When I was a high school student at St. Joseph’s former Cardinal McCarrick was Bishop of Metuchen and would visit the school. Pope Benedict in his wisdom placed sanctions on McCarrick’s pastoral duties, only to have Pope Francis remove those sanctions, to the embarrassment of the faithful. Should we not learn from this lesson? The Catholic Church is a wonderful institution which performs many good works. In this time of crisis, we need clarity from our leaders to call out those who led us astray and distort the teachings of Church. Our church is a compassionate church but its teaching on homosexuality is clear, from the old testament, through the new testament to the words and writings of the saints, including Saint Paul the first convert.

If Bishop Schlert wants to truly be welcoming AND compassionate (one without the other isn’t really either), then he should order all of his priests to reach out with love and compassion and make those struggling with same-sex attraction feel welcome and supported in their daily struggles against sin like the rest of us. Throwing an ambiguous bone isn’t love. It’s checking off a box so you don’t have to hear about it anymore.

I plea with you to stop this madness. I am far from the perfect catholic. However, I refuse to stay silent. I am reminded of Elie Wiesel who said, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” The Church is at a crossroads. We can act with clarity and compassion or be cowards.


I hope you consider my plea. I can promise you, I will not relent, nor will I forget, I will not be silent. The Bishops Annual Appeal is underway. I would find it unfortunate that I would have to pass on articipating this year, due to your cowardice on protecting the faith.

Kind Regards,


And here is the bishop’s response (recipient’s name withheld at my discretion). 

2 April 2019


Thank you for your 27 March 2019 correspondence regarding the presence of Reverend James J. Martin, S.J. at the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth, Wernersville on 27 April 2019, where he will present a public lecture entitled A Good Measure: Showing Welcome and Respect for LGBT People and Their Families.

I am profoundly grateful for your genuine concern for the Church and her teachings. I have made it very clear that his message is to be one of ‘welcoming.’ My desire that all be welcome in our parishes does not imply that I am ‘soft’ on the moral teachings of the Church. Welcoming does not suggest that all may approach the Sacraments, or that someone will not hear a challenging message in a homily. Welcoming that does not lead to the truth is a false accompaniment.

Well, of course nobody wants to be considered soft. So don’t allow Fr. Martin to speak, Bishop Schlert! Your whole action on this issue is just a Pontius Pilate move. Just what is Fr. Martin welcoming? You know quite well he is ever so ambiguous on that point. I agree with your assessment on what welcoming should be, but every time Fr. Martin whines about somebody being fired, barred from sacraments until confession, etc., he is most certainly engaging in false accompaniment.

Permit me to provide some additional background on the specific matter that you reference in your letter. In the Fall, the Jesuit Center scheduled New Ways Ministry and Reverend Tony Flannery to be present for a similar weekend. I directed to rescind his invitation since Father Flannery was a suspended Irish Priest and New Ways Ministry has been banned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. At my request, they withdraw his invitation.

Let me just stop and give complete kudos to you for withdrawing the invitation for New Ways Ministry. I’m going to give you a lot more credit than some bishops in the U.S. would get from me. However, that is a separate incident, and you’re now erasing all the good you did by allowing someone who gives accolades to New Ways Ministry and who has received awards from them to speak. Can’t you see a wee bit of a problem with this? Maybe you didn’t know? Well, now you do.

They informed me at that time that they invited Reverend James J. Martin, S.J. for a Spring 2019 conference. Regarding Father James J. Martin, S.J., please know that I have given clear direction to Father Martin, his Regional Provincial, and the Rector of the Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth that Father Martin is not permitted to create confusion or obfuscation among the faithful concerning the constant teachings of the Church regarding moral and sacramental theology. His presence presumes that Father Martin will present a message of welcome and accompaniment to those with Same Sex Attraction in accord with the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.

Bishop Schlert! Confusion and obfuscation are Fr. James Martin, SJ’s middle names! Are you trying to tell us that not one priest in your diocese can fulfill the job of accompaniment that you’ve defined???

My permission for him to be present at Wernersville does not infer my endorsement of Father Martin. I will be closely following the content of Father Martin’s presentation. It is my hope that the Conference assists people in how the Church can be more welcoming in line with the authentic teachings of the Church. Should his content create division, confusion, or obfuscation, please know that I will respond accordingly.

Fr. Martin causes division wherever he goes just by his mere presence. Refer back to the Covington issue the member of your flock wrote you about. And, really, how many times in the last few weeks has he dissented against the diocese that had to fire employees whose scandalous relationships have come to light? As I’ve said, confusion and obfuscation is his normal method of operation and you know it, so allowing him to speak really can’t NOT be seen as an endorsement. It’s just an endorsement while you try to wash your hands of it.

I have enclosed a letter for your information that I sent to all the priests and deacons of the Diocese that provides a greater context of the event.

With appreciation for your kind letter and with the assurance of my prayers for a blessed Season of Lent, I am

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Alfred A. Schlert

Bishop of Allentown

So let’s look at this information he enclosed.

14 March 2019

 My dear Brother Priests and Deacons,

As some of you may be aware, Reverend James J. Martin, S.J. will be present at the Jesuit Center, Wernersville, on Saturday, 27 April 2019 to offer a conference on welcoming and respect for those with same sex attraction and their families. Father Martin has presented a letter of good standing from his Religious Superior, serves as a Consultant, Dicastery for Communications, and was invited by His Holiness, Pope Francis to speak at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Ireland.

Actually, Bishop Schlert, the Jesuits are exactly what you get when you hang your hat on a false sense of welcoming. They’ll take anyone as long as they don’t embrace an authentic version of Catholicism. They bounce the good ones unless they can somehow keep their heads down. Again, just what is being welcomed?

I realize that some Bishops in the country have not allowed Father Martin to speak in their Diocese, and I too have prayerfully considered this decision. I would like you to know that I have made it very clear to Father Martin and his Superiors that the permission I give is for him to speak only on welcoming all of our Catholic brothers and sisters into the life of the parish. This permission does not extend to his obfuscating or confusing the authentic moral and sacramental teachings of the Church. Please be assured that should his content create division, confusion, or obfuscation, please know that I will respond accordingly.

Honestly, Bishop Schlert might just be naïve, but has he bothered ever to watch Fr. Martin in action? He knows how to say much without really saying anything at all. Let me tell you what most of his talks end up like. He pretty much never mentions sin. He starts out with how those suffering from same-sex attraction have been marginalized and treated badly by the big ol’ mean meanies in the Catholic Church and that they’re children made in the image and likeness of God. Yeah, no sowing of division there. Come on. He creates martyrs and then tells them what most in the Church have said time and again but with nothing said about lifestyle, celibacy and chastity. He focuses on celibacy for a very good reason but leaves chastity in the dust. He never tells people to struggle against sin, so people get the idea that sodomy and masturbation are on par with lying about your weight on your driver’s license. Seriously! Find me a link where he doesn’t do just that.

Since my permission is not at the same time an endorsement, The A.D. Times is not accepting advertisement for this event in our diocesan newspaper. However, the Jesuit Center may reach out to you with a proposed bulletin announcement regarding this Conference. I leave it your pastoral judgment as to its inclusion in your local parish bulletin.

Insane. Your permission is your permission. You can’t see a problem with this? What if I, say, permitted my kids already struggling with the faith to hang out with the atheists? What am I to say when they follow them? “Well, I didn’t endorse them becoming atheists!” And, of course, you have given your permission to put in in their Church bulletins. No endorsement of authentic Catholicism there. Clearly authentic Catholicism isn’t required.

Please know of my prayers for your pastoral work and for your personal priestly life as together we seek to do God’s Will of feeding the flock of Christ entrusted to us.

Fraternally yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Alfred A. Schlert Bishop of Allentown

Pastoral? You’re not even be pastoral in this Martin debacle. Like I said, the Pontius Pilate move isn’t going to get you very far.

Dear bishops inclined to take the same tactics, it’s up to you but you’re simply throwing the sheep to the wolves to avoid bad press and many of us know it.

Please drop Bishop Schlert a note, tweet, or make a call. I’d give you an email address but he, apparently, doesn’t want to make it too easy on people to get a hold of him. I encourage all of you in the Allentown Diocese to take a stand. Your diocese has been hit particularly hard in so many areas. It’s not going to stop until you demand it.


4029 W. Tilghman St.

P.O. Box F

Allentown, PA 18105-1538

Phone: (610) 437-0755

Fax: (610) 433-7822


Star of the Sea, Pray for Us!

Update: Somebody has nicely put together the events often alluded to by the parents at the school and dissenting people in SF. The only explanation missing is the adult version of an examination of conscience given to a teacher who requested them for the children but that was covered in the link to a full piece on it on this blog post. I just thought I would put I would link to it since the the obnoxious parents have their own website full of less than honest depictions of events.

Please also note the description sent today by a parent who also attended the meeting found in the comment section following this post. It corroborates the accounts I have already heard.  Not pretty.


Oh no, they don’t! Star of the Sea Parish is one of THE best things about the San Francisco Archdiocese, and many are excited about the classical (AKA not dumbed down) curriculum that’s being instituted in the school. Finally, students will be taught to think critically unlike, from all outward appearances, some of the parents.

Parents, citing pastor’s hostility, plan to pull their kids from school

Mar 29, 2019

by Dan Morris-Young ParishPeople

In a rapidly escalating confrontation, parents of at least nine of the remaining 20 seventh-grade students at San Francisco’s Star of the Sea School say they will remove their children from the Catholic school this week.

The dramatic move follows:

A contentious March 7 meeting of school parents, the school principal, some faculty and pastor Fr. Joseph Illo during which heated exchanges led to some persons walking out and charges of near violence.

A 1,200-word March 11 complaint filed with the San Francisco Archdiocese’s vicar for clergy asking for an investigation of Illo’s behavior at the March 7 gathering.

Indications that fewer than three dozen students have been committed to return for the 2019-2020 academic year at the 110-year-old K-8 school.

According to informed sources, at least three other seventh-graders were withdrawn earlier this month, others might be leaving before the end of the school year, and still others do not plan to return for 2019-2020 term.

First of all, if you’ve ever met Fr. Illo, you’re probably laughing hysterically about the “near violence” comment. If there was going to be violence, I’m pretty positive it wouldn’t be due to his actions. Quite frankly, I wish he would be more passionate about his defense. Heck, I wish I could sit in on some of these meetings because I’d have, oh, just a few words for the conniving parents giving him a hard time.  He’s just one of those guys who’s going to keep plugging away and doing what he thinks to be right and positive for the church and the school.

Nobody has been quoted having any specific arguments against a classical curriculum, but that seems to be where their problems start. They might have found, if they bothered to do any research, that failing schools that scrap the same old same old for a classical curriculum come back to life. Of course, that’s not anywhere in this club’s arguments. They are still harping on the fact that Fr. Illo is going forward with faithful Catholicism. That’s really what’s offensive to them. He’s just not going to compromise there.

Rather than blame Fr. Illo, how about you blame the parents who simply wanted a private school instead of a Catholic school and were willing to call the likes of the National catholic Reporter any time their wishes were not granted. The implementation of Catholicism in the school a few years ago ticked off those who really weren’t interested in a Catholic school. They’re the ones who burnt the place down. How many parents want to contend with the mob mentality they’ve got going on at the school? 

David Gallagher, school principal, told NCR March 27 that Illo would be presented with “various class combinations for the next school year” and that “a decision will be made Monday (April 1) as to whether the school will be open next year and what form it will take.”

Gallagher declined comment on the March 7 gathering that apparently led to some of the parents deciding to withdraw their children.

At that meeting raw emotions exploded over the dramatic enrollment drop in recent years at the school.”

Shocker. Exploding raw emotions are the norm there.

“Four days later, an anonymous “collective group of parents” submitted what they called a “formal complaint” asking for an investigation of Illo’s actions during the assembly of an estimated 40 to 60.

The complaint stated it was being submitted by parents who were among those who had “stated in our last survey that we wanted to return to the school” in the fall of 2019.”

“Collective group of parents.”  Well that sounds kind of Orwellian.  Can’t you just see shirts with “The Collective” on them? Please. They wanted to return only if they could get rid of Fr. Illo and run roughshod over the next guy/gal to come along. They’re having trouble intimidating him and they can’t stand it.  They’re just a whiny bunch of narcissists who want to insist that everyone in their lives cater to their whims and ideas.  

“We now fear for the safety of our children in the school after Fr. Illo’s behavior at the meeting and wish to remain anonymous in submitting this document but will eagerly participate in a widespread investigation,” the text concluded.

@#$%&! This is a load of hooey! In a city where children are a very small minority, families flock to this parish. I know several families at this parish, and the only ones who push the drama are the ones who resent, well, Catholicism in general.  Let’s not forget, these drama laden parents have zero problem with slandering Fr. Illo. I’ve covered it here and here. And, remember the kids who showed up at the sacristy door wanting to see what the back of the Church looked like? The parents immediately called the press claiming Fr. Illo led the kids into a “secret room.” Ridiculous. Thankfully, there were other people in the sacristy who witnessed the tour of the “secret room”, so that was a scandal bust. Did they apologize when they were caught trying to insinuate the worst?  Nope. They just got very quiet.  The rest of us were just disgusted that they would use children in this manner, but it shouldn’t have been a surprise. If we have to fear anything on behalf of the children, it’s people like these who would play their kids like poker chips.  Geez.

Mike Brown, archdiocesan communications director, wrote in an email to NCR March 27 that the complaint was referred to the Department of Catholic Schools which “did many phone interviews with attendees at the meeting and has summarized those and sent them to [Jesuit] Fr. [John] Piderit for his consideration.” Piderit is the archdiocese’s vicar for administration and moderator of the curia.

Brown said Piderit plans a response to the complaint, even though it was anonymous. “Though the communication plan is still in development, there will be a public communication to the school community and beyond after next week, when final heads for the next school year will be counted; though be mindful that marketing of the school will continue going forward.”

How about this? From now on, you guys live stream these meetings. Seriously. That idea might bring about a little more civility. I’m pretty sure that Fr. Illo has nothing to hide. Challenge thrown down.

Please understand, the parish was waning for many, many years before Fr. Illo arrived. Attendance has probably quadrupled since Fr. Illo implemented many liturgical reforms. The school, likewise, had declining attendance for decades, but now that the focus is on improving the curriculum and Catholic identity of the school, it’s sure to have the same bounce. That bounce would be a complete threat to those who do not wish to toe the Catholic line.

The written complaint alleges that Illo “attempted to instigate a fight” with a couple during an angry exchange and “sought to publicly humiliate” a mother who had “directed several statements towards” the pastor, accusing him “of being responsible for the decimation of the school.

At one point, the document said, “Fr. Illo got up from his seat and began to walk in the direction” of the woman and her husband “then aggressively stared at him in a manner that can only be described as attempting to challenge the husband to a fight.””

“Fr. Illo then sought to publicly humiliate the couple by demanding that the husband order his wife to apologize to him for her previous comments,” the complaint continued.

Apart from that document, eyewitness accounts varied.

Hah! I bet the accounts varied. It would seem that the people there publicly humiliated themselves, but now they’re trying to blame Fr. Illo because a certain faction of parents at that school have ZERO scruples. I cannot believe the tall tales and drama being injected into the school.  My gosh.  These folks instigate fights on a daily basis over nothing. It’s insanity. Honestly, I think an exorcism should be performed before every meeting at the school. It’s disgusting.

One mother who attended the meeting told NCR, “It did not necessarily look like Fr. Illo was going to throw a punch, but he was certainly confrontational, and it was after that that a number of parents walked out.

The complaint’s characterizations of Illo and the March 7 event “are entirely inaccurate,” according to school board president and parish council member Marcus Quintanilla. The pastor “was not aggressive toward anyone,” he said.

A trial lawyer, Quintanilla said the gathering “was not as well structured as it should have been” and “spiraled a little bit out of control” into “a kind of open mic” format.

While “a rather heated exchange between a couple of different parents” took place, Quintanilla told NCR, “Fr. Illo was pretty passive throughout the whole thing.”

I probably wouldn’t have let these petty people talk at all, but that is, of course, me.  I’d probably disagree with Fr. Illo about the hope he has for an honest conversation.  Just one of the reasons I would never be a priest even I was the right matter for the job.  I just don’t have that much hope.

Might I remind you, once again, that these are the parents who call the press whenever they think they have a “gotcha” moment? As I said, disgusting. They hang on the spit ball method. Something’s gotta stick, right? Here’s something I can tell you. I’m positive Fr. Illo spends a good amount of time praying for patience and wisdom in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Do you think the parents here do the same? Do you think the parents even know what the Blessed Sacrament is? Inquiring minds would love to know.  Fr. Illo is well aware that he’s in charge of souls, will be held accountable for his actions and inactions, etc.  These parents think of nobody but themselves.

Quintanilla said he has “become quite close” to Illo in the three years he has been a parishioner, despite initially being cautioned about the priest by some at the school. His wife, Mariana, told NCR she was hired about a month ago as liaison to help market and incorporate an integrated classical curriculum.

“Fr. Illo is not perfect,” he said. “He is sometimes not as cautious as he should be, but the guy loves the community, and he loves the church, and he is deeply a man of prayer.”

Well, I’d agree on perfection. Which of us attains that? Geez. That said, I’m quite sure Fr. Illo is very thoughtful about his imperfections. However, he knows how to build a thriving parish. I’m sure he’s also consulted with others who have done it themselves. He loves his parish and the school, and he is definitely a man of prayer. And, quite frankly, he’s got more patience in his little finger than I do in my entire being. I really don’t care what people say about me, but I’m going to give you a tongue lashing when you try to smear a good priest. This guy took a parish on the brink of extinction and revived it. The parents at the school should be kissing his feet, since he was their only hope of ever keeping the parish and thus the school alive. It was bleak.

“The conflict and personal attacks he has taken in connection with the school have been a Calvary for the man … yet he has persevered,” Quintanilla said.

“The complaint is accurate, and I support it,” said Jim Tolley, parent of a seventh-grader who will not be returning to Star of the Sea next fall, partly as a result of the March 7 meeting.

I’d have to say the complaint seemed to say a whole lot of nothing other than Fr. Illo is a great big meanie.  Hey, Jimbo! Let’s just cut to the chase.  Do you believe in sin? Confession? Everlasting life? And while we’re at it, what in the heck is your real beef?  I mean, what has Fr. Illo done that was so darn offensive to you? Let’s get a little history here.  Are you one of those bent out of shape over altar boys? Were you traumatized when Fr. Driscoll accidentally gave the examination of conscience for adults to the teacher who asked for something for the students? You know, that other MAJOR scandal? Or is it just the fact that you really hate Catholicism and just want your kids in a private school that doesn’t conflict with your morality?  Hmmm???

“Certainly Fr. Illo is within his purview to assert his vision upon the school, but this is no longer the school to which we sent our children. We stuck with it, and we believed in the community and loved the kids and the families, but the school has been hollowed out in terms of families and now in terms of faculty,” Tolley emailed NCR. “It is sad to leave something that has been such a part of our lives and our children’s lives.”

I think you might be confused about why Catholic schools exist.  They exist to transmit the Catholic Faith.  Sadly, that has been an issue for you and some of your buddies.

And, by the way, don’t you love how Mr. Tolley and his buddies went running to the National catholic Reporter? Yeah, not too telling. These parents have no clue what a classical education would do for their kids. Or maybe they do? 

“The “shared values” of the school community “changed from underneath us,” Tolley wrote, “and so we are now looking to other communities and a school that does not look at us with contempt.”

There it is, the martyr card. You just knew it was coming.  Shared immoral values aren’t Catholic values. Heaven forbid a Catholic school teaches CATHOLIC values.

In a note to school parents written the day after the March 7 meeting, Illo did not mention its contentiousness, but wrote: “I regret that some parents are implacably opposed to the new direction our school is taking, but I was encouraged to hear from many parents last night that want to move forward. I respectfully ask that those who do not want to move forward to allow the rest of us to do so unhindered.”

And that’s kind of what I’d expect.  It’s not like Fr. Illo is going to call the press and play the martyr card. He’s just going to plug away.

Based on a returning student body of 60, the message went on to outline class consolidations, curriculum objectives, and financial issues, including mention that the parish would “put in $250,000 in subsidy and use existing scholarship funds to balance the budget.”

“Enrollment will increase over the next three years to reach a balanced budget by 2022,” the pastor projected.”

This is also what I’d expect from Fr. Illo. Seriously, liberal parents who apparently don’t want their kids attending the local public school, the priest you hate so much has done such a great job reviving the parish that he can give the school $250,000.  Honestly, he doesn’t have to bail you out.  He could just let the school wither away but, even though some people very literally hate him, he’s going to try to provide for them. Me?  I would have just cut them all loose, left them to their demise and simply focused on the church’s catechetical program. I’m not high on patience or hope when it comes to diocesan schools, but thankfully Fr. Illo is.

“The “new direction” in Illo’s March 8 message is adoption of an integrated classical program which, he has written, “will enrich our academic program with critical thinking skills leading to a sense of wonder, based on the Great Books of Western civilization.””

Oh, my gosh! The horrors! Great books? The nerve!  Please, please do some research.  This is what that ever so evil idea does for waning Catholic schools.

Persons close to the situation told NCR that it is questionable if there are 30 or more students firmly committed to return for 2019-2020.

Then say bye-bye, “persons close to the situation!” Look at the schools in the diocese. The ones using the same old liberal approach are dying!

New school parent Doug Atkinson was drawn to Star of the Sea, he said, because of the new “classical approach” which had a significant impact on his own education.

At this moment, Star of the Sea School is clinging to life. There have been so many complaints as to Fr. Illo, valid or not, I cannot see how the school will survive if he remains at its head,” said Atkinson, who is not Catholic.

That’s what they said about the parish, too, Doug, and remember who’s subsidizing the school? Hang in there.

We plan to re-enroll,” said the father of a first-grader, “but it’s unclear if the school will even exist.”

He declined comment on the March 7 meeting. “There have been a number of meetings with distressed parents and, let’s say, words have not been minced. Things have been a struggle.”

Don’t you wonder, Doug, if the problem might just be the obnoxious parents on a mission to destroy?  My guess is yes, but who’s going to say that when you could wake up to a horse head in your bed??? I can’t even imagine being a level headed parent in this school.  Must be agonizing.

“Illo and supporters view the remaining students as “essentially a new school,” seeds of a re-focused campus “committed to growing our school as a pioneer in Integrated Classical Catholic education,” in his words.”

He’s completely right!

To advance that agenda, Mariana Quintanilla’s role includes assisting the principal with such tasks as “communicating with stakeholders, developing a marketing and business [plan] with the parish staff and parent volunteers” and “finalizing schedules and curriculum for the classical integrated program.”

“My general observation is that the school has been through a change in leadership and the parents want to keep the status quo. Many of the parents are not Catholic, about 50 percent, and Fr. Illo is a traditional priest that is very serious about the Catholic Church teaching. He welcomes everybody but also expects his faith to be respected,” she said.

To which I would have to give a big ol’ “Duh!” This, however, is the problem with some of the parents of the school!

“The school is a ministry of the parish,” she added, “and it is moving in that direction. Changes create resistance, and a new school culture is developing under new leadership. The … parents are used to running the school, so having structural organization and a faithful Catholic school community is not appealing to them.”

She hits the nail on the head there! The patients have been running the asylum for far too long.

She said her “recollection of the [March 7] meeting is a bit fragmentary,” but “emotions ran high and things got very tense.”

“My perspective is that everyone except for three to five parents were quite calm and reserved throughout. The notion that the priest was abusive … or aggressive is simply not true,” she said.

So, again, somebody is telling some very dramatic tales here.  Do you think it’s the ones who believe hell exists?  

Illo, a priest of the Stockton Diocese, was named administrator of Star of the Sea in August 2014, a month before its school would open the academic year with more than 240 students.

Many protest that the roughly 200 students and their families who have left have been treated as acceptable collateral damage in an effort by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone to remake Star of the Sea under Illo’s direction into a destination parish for Catholics who embrace a pre-conciliar model of Catholicism.

Baloney. It has nothing to do with pre-conciliar models. Geez. It’s Catholicism that has been the problem all along, and it is seriously lacking in the majority of parishes. And the schools? As a survivor of Bay Area “catholic” schools, I can tell you Catholicism is lacking in most of them, too.  That ship is very hard to turn around because you have to have a pastor who is willing to endure the torment.  This school will be better for the patience and love of Fr. Illo.

Many current and former school families lay blame for the enrollment demise squarely on Illo, now pastor, charging he has doggedly sought to purge the school of those who do not align with his strong traditionalist bent.

[Dan Morris-Young is NCR West Coast correspondent.]

Blech. Sorry.  It’s called Catholicism. I know it’s strange to some (including the Star of the Sea parents who are not Catholic) but it is what it is. I have little doubt the school will see the last of its departures and a wonderful, authentic Catholic school will take its place with an awesome classical curriculum to boot!

Star of the Sea, pray for us!


Their Diverse Chickens Have Come Home to Roost…

This is pretty straightforward, so I will save all my comments for the end, although I did apply some emphasis.

Students facing punishment after Virgin Mary statue shattered at University of St. Thomas

University leaders say it was a deliberate act.


A numbers of students are facing punishment after a statue of the Virgin Mary was deliberately smashed at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul last week.

That’s according to President Julie Sullivan and Provost Richard Plumb, who issued a statement about the “religious vandalism” that occurred at the university’s Ireland Hall student residence.

The statue, which according to the statement has “stood in Ireland Hall for years,” was moved and “ultimately purposefully dropped and shattered.”

“This statue holds great significance to our Catholic faith, which is the heart of this university,” Sullivan and Plumb wrote.

The destroying of a holy object of any religion is a grave act of disrespect and is completely inconsistent with St. Thomas’ values and convictions.

The students responsible were identified following an investigation and the release of emails “denouncing the act” that were sent to the student body.

Those responsible will now be “subject to the student conduct process,” while any non-students involved will be barred from campus.

In the meantime, the university is now searching for a new statue to place in Ireland Hall.

The University of St. Thomas is Minnesota’s largest private university, catering to 10,000 students at its campuses in St. Paul, Minneapolis and Rome.

Right off the bat, we note that students were responsible. My guess is that it was not the devout types, but it’s just a guess.

I do have to laugh at the phrase “values and convictions”. I wonder what they actually are, because I went and did a tad bit of research on the university. Sure enough, it’s another sad, pathetic shadow of, maybe, what it once was.

Just to be clear, I’m fine with non-Catholics or even weak Catholics to attend Catholic universities. I am, however, not in favor of catering to their non-Catholic identities or dissent in any way, shape or form. A quick look at the site tells me that’s done in spades.

First, they cater to the Muslim faith. And, no, I don’t think a Catholic university should do so. It’s a Catholic university. If you attend a Catholic university, you shouldn’t expect he university to promote anything but Catholicism.
Yes, yes, I know that many of the Catholic universities do so. I really don’t care. I’m not saying that Muslims should be barred from praying, but reading all of the literature linked to, it’s far more than that. Heck, the Center for Campus Ministry/Office for Pastoral Care & Worship webpage is advertising the Muslim Women’s Retreat! Can’t find that Lenten retreat anywhere.

Next, they’re completely “inclusive” of the “LGBTQ” community. They’re not just trying to provide a “safe space” for them, they’re actually aiding in promoting the lifestyle.
Our mission is to foster respect and equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Pansexual, Asexual, Gender Non-Conforming, Non-Binary, Plus individuals and supporters within the University of St. Thomas community.

UST QSA accomplishes this mission through:

– serving as a safe space for individuals,

– acting as an educational resource for Queer issues, and

promoting visibility of the Queer community.

Our vision is to create a thriving, diverse Queer community and a community of allies at one of the leading Catholic universities in the state.

Yeah, totally in keeping with Catholicism! And here’s a shocker, no, I don’t think that the “gay” lifestyle or equality should be promoted on a Catholic campus. It’s a contradiction of what a Catholic university should be. 

“Feminist Theology” & general diversity? They’ve got them covered too.

In fact, “Doctrine of Diversity” has taken the place of Catholic doctrine here.

St. Thomas Mission Statement:

Inspired by Catholic intellectual tradition, the University of St. Thomas educates students to be morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely and work skillfully to advance the common good.

In accordance with its mission, members of the university community are expected to advance the common good. This goal is most often accomplished through the normal activities of university students, staff, faculty, and administration. However, extraordinary means of expression and demonstration may be warranted when social problems become urgent and when ordinary actions are regarded as insufficient. This policy is intended to create a space for expression and dissent within boundaries that protect the rights and safety of all community members.

St. Thomas Convictions of Dignity and Diversity:

We respect the dignity of each person and value the unique contributions that each brings to the greater mosaic of the university community.

We strive to create a vibrant diverse community in which, together, we work for a more just and inclusive society.

The university is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge by means that respect the dignity and diversity of all. Dissent – defined as disagreement or withholding assent – is vital to the authentic pursuit of higher education. Therefore, members of the university community have the freedom to express diverse points of view without intimidation through expressions and demonstrations that do not infringe upon the rights of others.

Oh, let’s not forget their Student Diversity & Inclusion Services:

Mission & Services

The Student Diversity & Inclusion Services office exists to enhance the campus climate and holds deep commitment in developing and sustaining a diverse campus community in the broadest sense including differences in gender, race, ethnicity, generational history, culture, socioeconomic class, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship status, political perspectives, geographic origin, and physical ability, through programs and initiatives aimed at UST students. Our work is based on four pillars: education, leadership, advocacy, and community.

So, it appears the Catholic identity of this school was gone long ago. The students who smashed the statue for whatever reason? They’re just acknowledging it. Personally, I’d love to know the motive. So far, it’s been glaringly absent from all accounts I could find. Whatever it was, it resulted from a lack of belief in the Catholic faith for one reason or another.



Darned Either Way

I’ve been watching Fr. Martin’s wailing and gnashing of teeth on twitter over this one.

Before we look at the situation in Kansas, let’s just take a gander at James Martin, SJ’s tweet on the situation and highlight his lack of logic.

This is baloney. There are all sorts of parents who do not conform to Catholic teaching and whose children are enrolled in Catholic schools: divorced and remarried parents, divorced parents, parents who use birth control, parents who use IVF, etc. As well as parents who do not conform to the deeper Catholic teachings of following the Gospels overall, and who fail to forgive, fail to love their enemies and fail to give to the poor. The only Catholic teachings that seem to matter are those applying to LGBT people and their sexual morality. In this case, these rules are being applied selectively and used to target LGBT people specifically, as well as punishing the child. They are an example of what the Catechism calls “unjust discrimination” against LGBT people.

Can anyone tell me why this isn’t unjust discrimination? Anyone? Oh, let me.

When you see a heterosexual pair present themselves as little Johnny’s parents, do you know if they are divorced and remarried? Do you know if they use birth control? Do you know if they have used IVF? Do you know if they’ve failed to forgive, failed to love their enemies, failed to give to the poor? Nope.

Now, when you see a same-sex pair present themselves as little Johnny’s dads or moms, can you tell there’s something wrong without knowing a single thing more? Yep.

Fr. Martin is insisting that public and private sins are the same, but they are not. A kindergartner isn’t going to look at a heterosexual pair holding hands with each other, giving each other a kiss, etc., and know they’re not married unless somebody tells them. This is not the same with a same-sex couple. And I’m talking REAL marriage as the Church defines it, since we are talking Catholic school kids.

Fr. Martin is all too on board with having Catholic schools completely set up to either fail or be overwhelmed them with drama and lawsuits. His goal is to fill the schools with homosexual couples and their children, and should they be rejected, he’ll use them as martyrs.

Has anyone pointed out what will happen when a school accepts children of same-sex couples and dares to teach Catholicism?! The liberals have. They will then have ready-made martyrs, because how in the heck is that going to make the child of lesbian parents feel? But who is really doing the martyring? Talk about subjecting your child to pain. Of course, it’s just priming the whole system for lawsuits.

Archbishop Naumann was either going to pay now or pay later. He chose to pay now and protect the rest of the students from scandal, as well as protect this child from the inevitable ill-feelings they are going to have hearing that their two dads’ lifestyle goes against the teachings of the Church. It’s super sad for little Johnny to be the child of a same-sex couple, pure and simple. This is why the Church opposes both IVF and “gay adoption.” Inevitably, the child will be harmed, but it’s not by the Church. That is not the fault of the other students in the class nor the Catholic Church. It is from insisting on having little Johnny attend a school that runs counter to his home life. That is selfish of the parents, not the rest of the world.

JoCo Catholic school bans gay couple’s kindergartner. Hundreds of parents protest


UPDATED MARCH 07, 2019 06:53 PM

A Prairie Village Roman Catholic grade school this year denied enrollment to a kindergartner who is the child of a same-sex couple. Now almost 1,000 people have signed a petition asking church leaders to reconsider.

The petition over St. Ann Catholic School on Mission Road is addressed to Archbishop Joseph Naumann and school Superintendent Kathy O’Hara. About half of the people who signed it are members of St. Ann.

The members of St. Ann’s apparently aren’t catechized very well, or else they’ve simply allowed their heart-strings to be tugged and haven’t thought of the outcome of allowing a child of a same-sex couple into their school. If you think it’s sad that a child can’t attend a school, imagine how sad it will be when the child is forced to hear Catholic teaching. The horrors! I mean, how dare a Catholic school teach the Catholic truth if it’s going to upset a child! The school, upon admission, would simply be forced to give up their Catholic identity. Certainly, all children must be denied the truth of the Catholic Church because we must make sure that no child is ever sad about their family situation!

“Respectfully, we believe that the decision to deny a child of God access to such a wonderful community and education, based on the notion that his or her parent’s union is not in accordance with the Church’s teaching in Sacramental marriage, lacks the compassion and mercy of Christ’s message,” the petition reads.

You know what goes against the teachings of the Catholic Church? Not telling someone the truth because their feelings might be hurt! It’s not a “notion that his or her parent’s union is not in accordance with the Church’s teaching on Sacramental marriage.” It’s a FACT! Telling someone that life is just peachy when it’s not is where the lack of compassion comes in. The compassionate one here is the archdiocese in sticking to their guns and avoiding an increasing conflict.

But in a statement to The Star on Wednesday, O’Hara said the “Church’s teaching on marriage is clear and is not altered by the laws of civil society.” Catholic doctrine recognizes marriage “as a sacrament entered into between a man and woman.

“The Church teaches that individuals with same sex attraction should be treated with dignity,” the statement read. “However, the challenge regarding same sex couples and our Catholic schools is that same sex parents cannot model behaviors and attitudes regarding marriage and sexual morality consistent with essential components of the Church’s teachings.”

Amen, Kathy O’Hara! It’s just another instance of scandalizing children. Just because the parents are going to do what they are going to do and put their child in a miserable situation doesn’t mean the archdiocese has to be blackmailed into scandalizing anyone else.

Many parents learned of the decision last month, when St. Ann’s pastor, the Rev. Craig J. Maxim, sent a letter home to families.

Maxim told them he had sought guidance from the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas when the same-sex couple asked to enroll their child in kindergarten this year. He wrote that the school must adhere to the archdiocese on the “application of Church doctrine.

The archdiocese advised against accepting the child, he said, because the parents could not “model behaviors and attitudes consistent with the Church’s teachings.”

This creates a conflict for those children and what is experienced at home,” Maxim wrote. “It also could become a source of confusion for other school children.”

Again, duh! Anyone with a heart doesn’t want their child to be the center of conflict. Sadly, parents who want to be social justice warriors tend to never have their children’s best interests at heart. They are simply pawns. If these parents truly cared about their children, they might have considered that there would be a problem and have enrolled their child in some other private school that agreed with them so their children wouldn’t ever have to hear that their parent’s lifestyle was a sin, but no. They chose to try to enroll their child in a school where they KNEW the core teachings were in conflict with their lifestyle. So please, save it. The only villain here is the couple who’s probably just trying to bring a personal injury lawsuit and bank the cash.

While some dioceses across the country allow children of same-sex parents, the local archdiocese’s stance applies to all of its schools.

Again, thank you, Archnishop Naumann!

The petition against the decision, which was written and circulated this month by another couple, points out that the school already accepts students who are not Catholic. It also asked the archdiocese to consider the many ways — including divorce, vasectomies, remarriage without annulment and fertility treatment — that “modern marriages may be inconsistent with the Church’s teaching.”

Well, somebody has been advised by Fr. James Martin. No, you don’t get to play this lame card. There’s a difference between a private sin and a public sin. Heck, every parent is the school is a sinner, right? You’re a sinner. I’m a sinner. I don’t walk around saying, “Accept my sin or you’re a great big meanie!” That’s exactly what’s going on here, though. Some of us have a conscience and feel shame. We don’t walk around bragging about our sins, but this couple has ZERO problem with it. In fact, they chose to compound it by scandalizing a child.

Maxim directed requests for comment to O’Hara. But he wrote to parishioners and school families that he had been “distressed over the division this sensitive and complex issue has caused within our school and church.

“These parishioners and I plan to continue dialog with each other and the Archdiocese,” Maxim wrote. “This is not an attempt to undermine Church doctrine but to find common understanding to meet the ever-changing landscape of our society.”

I have no idea where the pastor is going here. The only common understanding that can be reached to allow this child to attend is for the parents to no longer live as a couple and join the rest of us in struggling against our attachment to sin. Once we move into the “Yep, I’m a sinner, accept my sin!” mode, the archdiocese can’t accept that.

Nationwide, other Catholic dioceses have grappled with questions over how much — if at all — they should adapt to changing attitudes about gay marriage and gay clergy.

Last year, a priest on Hilton Head Island would not allow the children of a married lesbian couple to enroll in Catholic school, prompting backlash from other parents and calls of discrimination. That diocese, based in Charleston, S.C., did not have a policy for children of same-sex couples and left enrollment decisions up to individual priests.

Yeah, that’s totally wrong. The archdiocese should be Catholic and they should back their priests and guide them with an official policy.

In Massachusetts after a similar incident, the Archdiocese of Boston ultimately approved a policy saying Catholic schools would not exclude “any categories of students.”

I wouldn’t expect anything different from the Archdiocese of Boston. They’ve been a mess forever.

Pope Francis has also signaled a willingness for the church to expand the conversation on LGBTQ members, even as it opposes gay marriage.

“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” he famously said in 2013.

Taken out of context again, as usual. Still, there is no problem with conversing with anyone. There is a problem acquiescing to sin.

The news from St. Ann comes one week after another denomination, the United Methodist Church, found itself divided over religious doctrine and the drive to become more inclusive.

That church voted at a worldwide conference to strengthen its ban on same-sex marriage and the ordination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender clergy. The decision led several Kansas City-area church leaders — including Adam Hamilton of Leawood’s Church of the Resurrection, the largest Methodist church in the country — to talk of breaking off from the group.

Presbyterian and Episcopal church leaders have faced similar divisions.

Good for them. And, when you dissent from your church you really should go start your own group instead of suing like crazy in hopes of breaking the bank and getting your way.

The archdiocese’s statement said it “respects that some may disagree with essential elements of our moral teaching,” and indicated that it would remain firm in its stance.

We do not feel it is respectful of such individuals, nor is it fair, loving or compassionate to place their children in an education environment where the values of the parents and the core principles of the school conflict,” it read. “For these reasons, the Archdiocese has advised against the admission into our Catholic schools of children of same sex unions.”

See? They thought it through and considered the best interest of ALL the children. This is what should be done in every diocese of the entire world. Put the children first! How hard of a concept is this? Stop using the children as your poker chip in a social justice game. If you don’t buy the doctrines of the Church, don’t send your kid to a Catholic school and expect the school just to give you thumbs up on scandalizing children.

I’m sure any diocese that instills this policy will face lawsuits. Guess what? You’re in a no-win situation, bishops and cardinals. You will likely be sued if you do (assuming you’re planning on actually teaching Catholicism, which will make little Johnny sad because his parents don’t care if he feels bad as long as they can win their little game) and sued if you don’t. At least in the former scenario, thousands of other kids are kept from being scandalized.

So, one more time, we’re talking public sin versus private sin. If you’re willing to expose your children to your personal sins and champion them as if they are good, yeah, think about another school to send your kids to and stop acting as if the religious organization who runs the school is evil because they follow their doctrines.

Please take the time to drop Archbishop Naumann a line of support.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, D.D.
Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas
12615 Parallel Parkway
Kansas City, Kansas 66109

The 9 Stages of Irrelevance

If you haven’t figured it out, there are many in the Church hierarchy who are hoping you completely lost your memory of the last few decades, let alone 2018. It’s like they hope we’ll totally forget what’s been going on if they just keep telling us to just wait a little longer on that reform they promised us. Sometimes I think it’s because they don’t have children (well, none that we know about) and don’t understand that, when parents are trying to protect their children, our memories are pretty hard to erase.

I know many of you are going to tell me that the abuse has been going on for decades longer, and I don’t disagree, but really, 2002 was the biggest coordinated media-focused effort where we were told that the Church would move hell and high water to make sure the abuse stopped. Meh, not so much.

2018? That was the year the mainstream media, law enforcement, and legal organizations decided that they were no longer going to ignore what was going on. For some, it was just too good of a story. Heck, even Hollywood decided not to ignore it. For others, it was a payday for their law firm. I’m going to assume law enforcement just wanted to protect and serve. Those of us faithful Catholics who have been diligently saying “It’s still happening!” finally had allies, albeit strange allies. The enemy of my enemy and all.

Let’s start with early 2018. In February, news broke that the Vatican, from the Pope on down, had ignored the abuse of children at a deaf school. Then came the scandal in Chile where the Pope actually said that those accusing the bishop there were spreading calumny. Then in America the McCarrick abuse came to media light (although soooooo many knew long before it hit the mainstream media, including the Vatican). Then there was the scandal in the Honduran seminary which was attempting to be turned into a gay brothel. Geez. (The head of that archdiocese is Cardinal Maradiaga – papal buddy and appointee to the C9). Oh, and Cardinal Maradiaga was also investigated in 2017 and accused of financial mismanagement by the papal envoy. Let’s see, where is he now? Still working at the Vatican. He also accused the 50 Honduran seminarians as “gossipers.” And then came all the grand juries and investigations in other countries, such as Germany. And let’s not forget Archbishop Vigano.

The pattern that emerged last year was

1) accusation

2) denial

3) blame the accusers,

4) “Oh! Uh, yeah. It happened. We just didn’t know!” (even though everyone knew), 5) “Oh, we’ll fix what we said was already fixed!” 

6) “The laity must get involved!”

7) “We’re going to ignore the laity!”

8) “You can’t do anything, we’re working on it!”, “Still working!” and finally

9) “It’s the laity’s fault and definitely, definitely, definitely not a problem with homosexual priests!”

Seriously, it’s a looonnnggg pattern, but one played out just like that in the U.S. Let me refresh your memory:

1) Victims quite clearly made accusations about McCarrick and to the police departments around the country for quite a while.

2) The McCarrick situation was totally ignored, and he was even given nice little awards here and there. While some dioceses took accusations seriously, some quite evidently ignored them. Again, McCarrick was a perfect example.

3) I think Archbishop Vigano is a perfect example of what happens when you step out of line and shed some light on the reality of the situation.

4) Cardinal Tobin is the perfect person cast in the “We knew nothing!” role. The guy lived with one of the biggest perpetrators, but yeah, he didn’t see a thing, along with Cardinal Cupich, Bishop McElroy, Cardinal Mahony, Cardinal Dolan, Cardinal Wuerl, etc., etc., etc.

5) The Vatican said they’d fix the problem in February. The USCCB tried to actually give it a go in October but were cut off at the knees by Cardinals Wuerl and Cupich thanks to the Vatican. The Vatican said “No trying to do anything until we have our grand meeting in February,” which then only became a meeting on half of the abuse problem (minors) and totally ignored the other half. They also haven’t uttered a peep on the USCCB’s proposals which they said would be dealt with. What were those? How to police the authority (bishops) and…

6 & 7) setting up lay oversight. Remember? That idea has been floated since 2002 but has never happened with any degree of credibility. Lay women have quit the Vatican “Papal Commission on the Protection of Minors” organization because nobody was listening, AND have we heard about that in any concrete terms at the “Meeting on the Protection of Minors?” Again, let’s not forget the USCCB was going to vote on a lay oversight committee until that was forbidden by the Vatican.

8) This laughable “Meeting on the Protection of Minors” kicked the can down the road even before they started downplaying all expectations that they would be able to do anything (not that we expected anything). We’ve ignored a HUGE chunk of the problem for decades! Why start now?

9) We are told that by liberal mouthpiece Massimo Faggioli, as seen here, that it’s all our fault due to “clericalism”. You, ladies and gentlemen, all need to apologize for the abuse crisis. You treated your priests with a little too much trust and reverence. And believe me, Massimo is not the only one to try and float this idea, just the latest.
Ninth, clericalism must die. The system that privileges the word and status of bishops and priests over those of lay people (and parents); that insists on an exaggerated deference for clergy and bishops, and that has functioned as a closed world, must be dismantled.
So, what is clericalism? Clericalism is an exaggeration of the role of the clergy to the detriment of the laity. In a culture of clericalism, clerics are put on a pedestal and the laity are overly deferential and submissive to them. Pope Francis notes that clericalism is not only fostered by priests, but also reinforced by lay people.

Just what is clericalism in the mind of Bishop Zinkula?

Perhaps a few examples of clericalism would be of assistance:

Coddling seminarians and telling them how special they are.

Insisting that priests or deacons go to the front of the line at meals and wakes because they are more important and busier than everyone else.

People telling me, when I am pondering an issue, “Whatever you want, Bishop.”

It all comes down to your fault, people, no matter how you slice it. If you show respect for your local priest, seminarian, or bishop, you might as well have abused the victims yourself. If you call out the abusive clergy, you are “The Great Accuser.” Just face it, fellow faithful, this “Meeting on the Protection of Minors & Blatant Ignoring of the Rest of the Victims” is going to give the Church ZERO help in fixing the problem. It’s all on you, and it’s definitely not going to be done by the national bishops’ conferences or the Vatican at this point. They have produced NOTHING that hasn’t already been chatted about before at the endless conferences and summits. This was a dog and pony show, but they seemed to forget that they should bring dogs and ponies. But it’s not about homosexuality. Sure. Not. At. All. In. The. Least.

So how is this going to get fixed now? This is going to be done bishop by bishop, diocese by diocese, and some of the good guys are going to be completely skewered for it. Hopefully, the good leaders will start to realize that “sly as the serpent, gentle as the dove” is going to have to be the new method of operation, and I’m hoping they will start some sort of coalition to protect the faithful. The American bishops had to sit on their hands for four months waiting for some scraps of food to be tossed their way. Apparently the master forgot about them. What are they going to do now? Their March meeting is coming fast. Are they just going to ignore the fact they were told to wait for instructions that never came? Or are they going to demand that the supposed canonical questions are ironed out and they can implement their ideas?

Think about it. The Church hasn’t even come up with a plan to stop one of the most heinous things going on in the world today. It’s not simply that they’ve failed to implement a plan. It’s that they don’t have one. I’m quite sure that some bishops and cardinals don’t want anyone to police them. Clearly that was the reason Cardinals Cupich, Wuerl, and their ilk worked so hard to make sure that didn’t happen and will continue to do so.

BTW, I’d like to thank the reporters who have heard the laity loud and clear when we asked repeatedly when homosexuality’s role in the abuse crisis would be dealt with. I hope they keep hammering them on this. The hierarchy will continually try to reframe the answer to a question not asked. The question isn’t “Did homosexuality make them do it?” The question is “What are we going to do with the knowledge that the overwhelming number of these cases involved homosexual activities by priests?” The answer is obvious to anyone who actually wants to stop abuse.


Program for Disaster!

Can we just look at the program for this increasingly obvious waste of time in Rome this week?

The Protection of Minors in the Church


9.30        1st PRESENTATION by Sig. Card. Luis Antonio Tagle:

Smell of the sheep. Knowing their pain and healing their wounds is at the heart of the shepherd’s task

Thirty minutes of a talk we’ve heard before ad nauseum.  Stop trying to smell like sheep and maybe listen to them for a change. And I don’t mean your handpicked ones.

10.15   2nd PRESENTATION S.E. Mons. Charles Jude Scicluna:

Church as field hospital. Taking responsibility

Thirty minutes of another talk we’ve heard before.  I am intrigued by “taking responsibility” and cannot wait to hear who they are referring to here.  I’m afraid of what I might hear, though, because I think I’ve heard multiple times this week the laity is supposed to apologize for clericalism. 

11.20   Working Groups

Seventy minutes of working groups.

12.30   Conclusion

Followed by a three and a half hour break!  It’s probably needed to help them get over the confusion of why they’re there in the first place.

16.00   3rd PRESENTATION Sig. Card. Rubén Salazar Gómez:

The Church in a moment of crisis – Facing conflicts and tensions and acting decisively

Umm, I’m sure this isn’t THE biggest crisis the Church has faced, but “a moment of crisis?”  We’ve been talking about this for seventeen years by my count.  When is somebody going to to the “acting decisively” thing already?!?  I mean, we can’t even agree on what’s caused this, but that’s DEFINITELY not on the agenda for this meeting.

 16.45  Coffee break

Twenty minutes to get them through a bunch more themes they’ve heard before.

17.05   Working Groups

Fifty-five whole minutes this time!


Try to control your laughter.

9.15      1st PRESENTATION Sig. Card. Oswald Gracias:

Collegiality: sent together

Thirty minutes because nobody’s ever heard a thing about collegiality.  Oh, wait…

10.00   2nd PRESENTATION Sig. Card. Blase Joseph Cupich:

Synodality: jointly responsible

Thirty minutes on synodality, which now apparently means everyone is responsible for the mess some have created.

10.45   Coffee break

Twenty minutes to once again try to endure until the end of the charade.

11.05   Working Groups

This one looks like a whopping eighty-five minutes to regurgitate the endlessly repeated themes.

 16.00  3rd PRESENTATION Dott.ssa Linda Ghisoni:

Communio: to work together

Thirty minutes to wonder what in the hell the last seventeen years was about.

17.05  Working Groups

Another fifty-five minutes to figure out how to explain this to their flock followed by presentation of it.


It’s going to take me awhile to stop laughing at this title. Seriously, the Vatican has failed so miserably in this area and they’re now going to lead the charge? Okay. One word: Vigano.

9.15      1st PRESENTATION Sup. Gen. Sr. Veronica Openibo, SHCJ:

Openess: sent out into the world

Thirty minutes on heaven-knows-what, but I can tell there might be problems when you don’t even know how to spell it.  And, yes, I’m going there because how much money are we spending on the messaging? Homeschool moms say spelling counts!

10.00   2nd PRESENTATION Sig. Card. Reinhard Marx:

Transparency in a community of believers

Seriously?????? Somebody should have pointed him in the direction of cleaning up the mess in Germany before he attempted to tell the rest of the Church how to do it.

11.05     Working Groups

Eighty-five minutes to talk about how they got stuck with Cardinal Marx.

16.00  3rd PRESENTATION Dott.ssa Valentina Alazraki:

Communication: to all people

I hope it goes something like “Actions speak louder than words,” but I’m reasonably sure this isn’t going to be the message.  Talk is cheap and “communication” is even cheaper. It’ll probably have something to do with lists of accused which, apparently, they think is going to make us all feel better about the situation.

17.30   Penitential liturgy (Sala Regia)

Can you say photo-op?

So let’s review.  The heads of the bishops’ conferences got on a plane to Rome to hear four and a half hours of presentations followed by not even six hours of “working groups.” People! Some of those bishops took longer to travel there than that!  For heaven’s sake.  Synod on this, that, or the other thing goes on for weeks and THE biggest crisis in modern Church history gets about eleven hours of work time??? Un-be-lieve-able! And there’s nothing new we haven’t heard to death.  If the laity isn’t upset about this crud, there’s NO moving them.

So, sheep, field hospital, crisis, collegiality, synodality, openness (they can’t even spell that one in the program!), transparency, and communication. Holy Father, I think we heard you the first bazillion times you’ve used these themes.  Did we really need to waste everyone’s time flying them to Rome for more of the same led by the same old do-nothing people who believe in the status quo?

I am, however, totally happy that the USCCB proposal, which was quashed in October, was on the program. Just kidding. That’s been suspended without a word indefinitely.

I realize that this whole meeting is supposed to be some giant bone but it’s not going to do and we won’t let this die. We want the faithful protected.  We don’t want just a defrocked cardinal and a pat on the head. Fix the morality problem in the Church, bolster it with authentic Church teaching, and you just might get somewhere.  We know that’s the problem. It’s always been the problem when the Church has gone through crisis. Listen to the doctors of the Church and maybe just try what they said for a change.  What a novel thought!  Drop the politically correct hooey and get back to TRUTH! #CupichResignNow