Tang or Fresh Squeezed?

Wow! Bad week for those opposed to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone! I’m sure some are still passed out celebrating the Irish referendum but while they were on the floor, Cardinal Wuerl dropped a 10-chapter (not counting introduction and conclusion) pastoral letter on why they are wrong. On the heels of that, the Vatican Secretary of State said the Irish vote legalizing gay marriage was a “disaster for humanity.” Completing the trifecta, Pope Francis (you know the guy they are counting on to be so “compassionate” – in other words, the guy who was supposed to rubberstamp sins with a big OK) has said about 100 times in a week or so that “marriage between a man and a woman.” Don’t think Truth is going anywhere anytime soon, no matter how you wish it away or insist it depends on popular vote.

Cardinal Wuerl’s letter can be found here: http://www.adw.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Being-Catholic-Today-Pastoral-Letter.pdf

An article with Cardinal Parolin’s and the Holy Father’s comments here: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/religion-and-beliefs/vatican-stands-by-cardinal-s-remarks-on-referendum-1.2227805

Do you think Sam Singer’s going to tweet these? Really, you don’t? Yeah, I guess not. Not exactly following his game plan of having Archbishop Cordileone removed by the Holy Father. His poor head must be exploding right now. Cue a bunch of nasty tweets out of frustration about Archbishop Cordileone in 3 … 2 … 1. Knowing Sam, however, he’s probably hoping that the Pope will now remove Archbishop Cordileone AND Cardinal Wuerl.

At some point, the dissenters are going to have to stop the silly game of pitting Pope against his Archbishop. I can’t figure out if they really think the Pope doesn’t know what goes on around here and they think they can shame him into removing our good Archbishop, or if they really don’t grasp the fact that the Pope and the Archbishop both teach the same things. Either way, the dissenters are both confounded and confused, or they seek to make everyone else so.

Let’s look at THE letter of the week from Cardinal Wuerl. It’s directed at his area, but it’s the same type of shenanigans – dissenters saying the Church shouldn’t be Catholic. There are a lot of amazing passages which are not only aimed at his area but go right along with the San Francisco handbook flap. Excuse the heavy quoting, but it’s so awesome I just had to do it.

The Church is not a business, a club, or a special-interest group. The Church is not the result of like-minded people coming together and deciding to form an organization, nor are her moral teachings decided by popular vote or societal trends.

SAY WHAT?! What do you mean her moral teachings are not decided by popular vote or societal trends??? Crazy talk, Cardinal, just crazy talk! Apparently you have not consulted with Sam Singer, Fr. Donal Godfrey, Concerned Parents and Teachers, nor the “100 Prominent Catholics”!

Love this little story Cardinal Wuerl threw in there.

Years ago, in an effort to provide a fuller vision of life to a group of youngsters whose experience was confined to the inner city, we organized a day trip to the country. The day began with a breakfast that included genuine freshly-squeezed orange juice. Cautiously taking a sip, many of the children asked, “What is this stuff?” When told it was orange juice, they simply said, “No it isn’t.”

They had never known the real thing. The only experience they had of anything approximating orange juice was an artificial “orange-flavored drink” sometimes given as part of the free breakfast program. That occasion comes to mind when I reflect on the limited and even contrived version of our faith that some people hold.

Yes! Yes! Yes! We’ve been serving Tang to the kids in the Bay Area’s Catholic schools for at least 30 years! They really don’t know the taste of the True Faith! They have no idea what they are missing and how it can be the most flavorful thing they’ve ever imagined!  They’ve been robbed!

One may choose to be a member of the Catholic Church or not. No one is forced to belong to the Church. We never lose our baptismal dignity of being part of the family of Christ, but we are free to choose to participate or not participate in the life of our family. If one becomes a member of the Church, he or she is expected to believe what the Church believes and attempt to live it out as best he or she can, including participating in the Mass and other sacraments, providing a good example and witness to others, and helping others to know Christ.

So many people like to point this out to our handbook-opposing friends. I’m sure some don’t do it with the best of intentions, because frankly they are just tired and annoyed and they are giving in to it by trying to show our friends the door, but I really think this is important! The Catholic Church is all about free will. You can choose to believe it and the Church will love you, or you can choose to disbelieve it and the Church will still love you. Regardless, the Church will not change for you because it has your best interest at heart.

When we come to the institutions of the Church – its parishes, schools, universities, charitable organizations, health care facilities and more – these too must reflect a genuine Catholic identity with visible communion with the Church, both universal and local, and fidelity to Catholic teaching. As Pope Francis has implored, each of these institutions and those involved in their operation must be oriented toward the mission of the Church (Evangelii gaudium, 27). The purpose of these entities – and the task of those who work for them – is to lead people to Jesus.

Wait! I thought the purpose was to tolerate and accept everyone and whatever they want to do and to make everyone feel comfy and included? That’s what the Concerned Parents and Teachers, et. al., told me. I’m so confused!

Furthermore, a particular responsibility is incumbent upon the bishop with regard to Catholic institutions and their Catholic identity (Veritatis splendor, 116). His is the responsibility to see that our Catholic institutions are places where the faith permeates the culture. Our schools, for example, at all levels, should provide the environment where revealed truth, reason and charity are engaged in an ongoing effort to shed greater light on the human condition. In whatever area of endeavor, the Catholic identity of the effort should be found, for example, in a mission statement. And the message it voices should exhibit a vision of life that is rooted in Christ, articulated in his Gospel and manifested in his Church.

At this point I’d just like to say I TOLD YOU SO! Please see about half of my other blog posts. (Yes, that was a shameless plug!)

Similarly, those who agree to assist the Church in her mission and ministries represent the public face of the Church. Whether Catholic or non-Catholic, they should respect our Catholic identity and avoid behavior that contradicts the very mission of the Catholic institution.

The wider community benefits from the presence of authentically Catholic institutions and faithful Catholic disciples because the richness of Catholic teaching can engage the secular culture in a way that the light of the wisdom of God is brought to bear on the issues of the day. On the other hand, members of the Church, those who serve in Catholic ministries, those people served by them, and the community at large are all impoverished, not enriched, when the ministry’s Catholic identity is diluted or lukewarm.

Oooh! Did you see THAT? The Cardinal totally just backed up the Archbishop’s handbook. Don’t cry, Sam! Just embrace it! The Church is calling you back to your roots!

Pope Francis writes eloquently of the act of assent that is required of those who want to belong to the Catholic Church or who seek to share in her mission and work. His words were addressed specifically to teachers but are applicable to all the areas of Church ministry. “We need to remember that all religious teaching ultimately has to be reflected in the teacher’s way of life, which awakens the assent of the heart by its nearness, love and witness” (Evangelii gaudium, 45).

You do realize this is the guy that you are hoping will remove the Archbishop for saying what he just said, right?

Our failure to live up to the demands of the Gospel is a reality of life, but we are blessed with God’s mercy and forgiveness. The Lord’s capacity to forgive is infinitely greater than our ability to sin. However, failure to always fulfill our Christian obligations is not the same as the decision to reject specific obligations, teachings, commandments and requirements set by the Lord. It is inevitable – though no less deserving of our repentance – that we will sin. But our moral failings must not cloud our belief in the truth of Christ’s teachings. And believing in that truth, we must not fail to proclaim it.

OK, I’m going to get a little bit serious here. I get upset when I see people parroting “DUI!” As I’ve said before, the Archbishop’s handling of it is the perfect example of what we should do when we blow it. Own it! Confess it! Ask forgiveness and move on resolving not to blow it again! The thing that really breaks my heart is that “the opposition” – who are really our brothers and sisters in Christ no matter how annoying they might be – are continuing to ”reject specific obligations, teachings, commandments and requirements set by the Lord.” Our hope is at least purgatory. How about theirs? They’re continuing on with their resolve to sin some more and jump headlong into the near occasion of sin. Who’s praying for them and trying to help them? I’ll tell you who: Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. People on “our side” like to say, “Just get rid of the dissenters.” He is holding out hope for them to embrace the Faith. He’s not naïve. He knows it’s a long row to hoe but he’s doing what a good bishop does. He’s going for the lost sheep (yes, there’s way more than one around these parts). We need to pray and pray like crazy he is successful in winning them back – not just winning the handbook battle (although that’s got to be a big goal to protect the students). He’s not going to win them all. Sad fact, but true. Still, maybe he can win some and protect the students which he will do because, well, he’s just that kind of guy. Back to Cardinal Wuerl:

Catholics grew up with the impression that their heritage was little more than warm, vaguely positive feelings about God.

Those years of experimentation left many Catholics weak, spiritually and intellectually, and unable to withstand the tsunami of secularism that came in recent decades. We lost many people because we failed to teach them about right and wrong, about the common good, about the nature of the human person. This left many no longer able to admit that we are sinners who need Jesus because many no longer know what sin is.

Sound familiar? Archbishop Cordileone and the Cardinal Wuerl have decided enough is enough! Quite frankly, we’ve been failed by the Fr. Jenkins (Notre Dame) and Fr. Godfreys (University of San Francisco) of the world and their “I’m OK, you’re OK” kind of Catholicism, while the Archbishop and the Cardinal (and more) are standing up for us all.

By the way, while he doesn’t specifically mention “Primacy of Conscience” argument that those opposed to the Archbishop have made, Cardinal Wuerl does allude to it and totally trashes their conclusions. Make sure you read this document. Most excellent!

Disagreement simply cannot be denounced as discrimination. Some commentators see this situation as a uniquely American way to live both freedom and diversity. It rests upon the understanding that diversity is real and disagreement is not discrimination. Such freedom cannot be negated by a newly created definition of discrimination.

Right! So Catholics who are faithful to the teachings of the Church aren’t bigots after all! Please take note, Concerned Parents and Teachers and the rest of the club.

The many challenges Catholics face demonstrate the need to be vigilant. We rejoice in the constitutional protection of our freedom, but we cannot take such safeguards for granted. We must speak out and clearly say, when speaking to the world situation: No Christian should be forced to convert to another faith. Closer to home, no Christian should be forced to accept a secular view of life with its own vision of morality. No Catholic institution should be denied its freedom simply because it wishes to follow the Catholic faith.

I would like to add that no Catholic institution should be denied its freedom simply because their teachers were allowed to unionize. Some have the mistaken notion that because there is a union, the Catholic Church must somehow ditch her missions and ministries. Wrong!

Sadly, it is not unusual to encounter Catholics who were raised in Catholic families, educated at institutions that identify themselves as “Catholic,” and who may attend Mass regularly, yet do not necessarily know or understand their faith or believe it.

Clearly the Cardinal has been to California.

One new effort to abridge religious freedom is the legislation that would require Catholic schools to retain teachers who by their words or actions publicly contradict the teaching of the Church. Some now wrongly claim it is discrimination for the Church to insist that those who teach in Catholic schools present Catholic teaching in word and in witness.

As Catholics, who we are cannot be separated from how we live. Jesus taught us to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and care for the sick and those in need, and the Catholic Church’s history of educating and serving the poor is long and well known. However, there is a false notion that the beliefs of Catholics can be separated from how we live. Ministries such as Catholic Charities, Victory Housing, and our high schools are not independent of the Church. They are as much a part of the Church as our parishes.

In according with religious freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment, Catholic organizations should be free to operate by the tenets of the Catholic faith, should not be forced to accept the government’s moral views, and should not be required to provide a platform for persons who oppose in both word and action the mission of the Church.

Other factors undermining our Catholic mission and identity come from within, either through explicit dissent, miscatechesis or personal conduct that tends to draw people away from the communion of the Church.

I read stories about other places in the country, and even in Cardinal Wuerl’s locale, but this sounds very, very applicable to the situation in the Bay Area.

More and more, however, measures passed in the guise of “anti-discrimination” are being used divisively to favor one group over another and deny equality to others. Suddenly terms like “discrimination,” “freedom of choice” and “human rights” have been distorted and turned upside-down to restrict religious freedom.

-to disparage as bigoted and mean-spirited anyone who seeks to uphold fundamental truths about the human person that have been recognized throughout history. In a time when for many the supreme civic virtue is “tolerance,” the Catholic faith is considered intolerable. In a time when prejudice has been all but outlawed, anti-Catholicism gets a pass. It is, as more than one scholar has observed, the one remaining acceptable prejudice.

However, there is a difference between one’s identity, which we are called to respect, and one’s actions, which we can very well find offensive even immoral. There are some things that the Church simply will not do, and it is not discriminatory to say, “We do not do that.”

Can I get an AMEN? He goes on to beautifully explain the concept of embracing the sinner but not the sin.

I don’t think I can quote the whole of Chapter 9, but it’s awesome and basically says, “Hey dissenters – We haven’t changed, we won’t change, and you telling us to change doesn’t mean a darn thing! You can try to make us change, but you will fail.”

Chapter 10 is about how awesome the Catholic Church is, and sadly, the conclusion uses the “M” word: martyr. Our martyrdom, thankfully, will likely not be a literal beheading (although you never can tell around here). It will likely be an attempted financial beheading via lawsuits (and that’s already been threatened). In order to prepare for that battle, I ask you to pray for Cardinal Wuerl and Archbishop Cordileone, and to donate to the fund below (and no, I have nothing to do with Catholic Vote but appreciate their effort).



New Tactic for Old Hypocrites

In case you missed it, there’s been a change in tactics in the past week by those who oppose Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.  I’ve seen the idea floated here and there, but it has suddenly become a lot more common.  They finally faced the facts that the old tactics weren’t working, so they’re desperately trying to find a new face on which they can slap a “victim” t-shirt. Guess what?  The new tactics aren’t going to work either.   They’ve got the wrong victim of the crime or, at least, they’ve got the wrong reason.  Let me explain the new focus in their own words:

Teacher Nell Jeffrey of Sacred Heart Cathedral took the microphone and told about a student who had been conceived through in vitro fertilization.

“Is she the product of evil?” Jeffrey asked the crowd gathered at archdiocese headquarters near St. Mary’s Cathedral, which roared its disapproval. “The answer is absolutely not!” Jeffrey said to applause. “She is a product of God!” (http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Hundreds-protest-S-F-archbishop-s-push-on-6227635.php)

Apparently, the new tactic is to parade all the kids they can find who were conceived by in vitro fertilization and tell how the Archbishop says they are a “product of evil” as if they are the spawn of the devil.  Of course, it’s not even remotely true!  Let me again explain to those of you who oppose the teachings of the Church what those teachings actually are, since you seem so woefully ignorant of them.

First, “product of God” is so wrong.  When does the Church refer to any of us that way, regardless of how we were conceived?  It doesn’t.  I think Christ was the only “product of God” and we are definitely not him.  Why is this important?  This phrase was used by a teacher at Sacred Heart Prep, a teacher who either doesn’t have a clue about the teachings of the Church or is willing to distort them to advance her agenda.  Here’s the kicker.  Wait for it!  She’s a religious studies instructor!!! (http://www.shcp.edu/staff/ms-nell-jeffrey/)

Next, let’s remember, this little club opposed to the Archbishop is also against saying abortion is evil.  They push for access to abortion for victims of rape, because that is somehow the fault of the child conceived.  Can you say “hypocrites?”  Which organization has time and time again said that it doesn’t matter how a child is conceived, they are all precious in God’s eyes?  Oh, yeah, that would be the Catholic Church.

The Church never never never ever (Is that enough emphasis for you?) says that the sinful act of how a child was conceived – whether rape, in vitro, or out-of-wedlock – actually makes the child any less precious or in any way culpable for the actions of his/her parents.  Children are always precious in the eyes of God and nobody else is suggesting otherwise – well, nobody except those wanting to overthrow the Archbishop.  It’s really, really despicable to use children in this manner.

So, how are we to answer this latest charge?  Talking about Natural Law and embryos, though all Truth, isn’t going to do a darn thing.  Why?  Because for many, if you can’t see it, it’s not there. They couldn’t care less about teachings of the Church such as Natural Law.  We must show them the victims they can see and can’t deny.

We cannot ignore those children whose parents and the medical profession have so callously disregarded, either by having them frozen or destroyed, or by employing fetal reduction (killing some babies implanted so that the pregnancy will “have a better chance”) – all situations purposely created where a child had to die in some manner.  These children need someone to stand up for them, since their parents haven’t.  Sadly, the Archbishop, and the Church for that matter, care more for these children than their own parents.  Even more sadly, these parents will someday have to face these children and the consequences of their actions.  The Archbishop also knows this and is trying to keep more parents and children from this fate.  These parents also don’t understand God and Natural Law at all, and the teachers at our Catholic schools don’t help (see above).  Therefore, we need to point to the more visible victims of IVF, because society is too blind to see these little ones.

Remember when society used to feel bad for the orphaned?  Remember all the movies made about orphans or lost children and their struggles to find their families, or at least a home?  Does Shirley Temple ring a bell?  That feeling, of course, went out the window with IVF.  Now we get movies like “Delivery Man”.  And before anyone says anything about demonizing adoption, the Church doesn’t do that, either.  It’s best that children are raised by their biological parents, but adoptive moms and dads are the next best thing, and we applaud them!

We all have an inherent desire to know our biological parents, siblings, and from where our history lies.  Most often, IVF children are deprived of this in part or in total.  For them, there is an internal longing that can’t be satisfied.  This longing was created by some people who never gave an ounce of thought to anything more than their selfish desire for a baby any way they could get one.  Biological moms or dads are instead named donor # such and such.  Children born of IVF often have full or half siblings they don’t even know about.  One incredibly horrific thing to think about is many are in the same geographic area of the fertility clinic, and when they get older, they never really know who they are dating.  Think about it!  Do you realize that DNA tests may be needed before marriage just to make sure these children aren’t marrying a sibling, and that a lot more heartache might come of this?  Maybe that’s why the predicted push for approval of incest is on the rise.  It had to happen, because this is what you get when you ignore Natural Law.

If you deny that children have a longing for their biological parents or that it’s detrimental, you are in denial!  Get your clueless head out of the sand and stop saying, “Life’s great because couple so-and-so got a baby!”  That baby is no less precious in God’s eyes, but you need to acknowledge the death, destruction,  longing to fill voids, and even potential incest that follows in the IVF wake.  We’ve all seen news reports of the children of donor X getting together for picnics to get to know their siblings. We’ve also heard the reports of these kids trying to find their parents.  It’s sad that people did this to them.  Those who support the Archbishop need to get a grasp on this topic.  I highly suggest watching this video and supporting this organization: http://www.anonymousfathersday.com/

Another visible victim?  If you want to talk about a “War on Women”, this is it: egg donors!  Thousands and thousands of young women are being preyed upon for their eggs.  Don’t believe me?  Look on Craigslist (and by the way, drop Craig a note on this one!).  How about trying to get them to rent out their womb for surrogacy?  It’s sickening!  They are also targeting college campuses for these girls. I have a friend whose daughter was seduced (the perfect word!) by the fast cash of egg donation, and was physically and mentally harmed by it.  They are being told “no big deal”, “easy money”, etc.  Well, ladies, it is a big deal and has a huge rate of irreparable harm to women’s bodies and fertility through the egg harvesting process.  There are also the women out there who only realize later that they have children out there who they don’t have any legal right to know.  Please make sure that you and your girls watch this movie by the same organization, The Center for Bioethics and Culture: http://www.eggsploitation.com/

So, yeah, the Church and Archbishop Cordileone in all their wisdom know the evil outcome of ignoring Natural Law, even if the opposition doesn’t.  The Archbishop’s priority is to keep this harm as far from his people as he can. I dare you watch the above videos and tell me it’s wrong for Archbishop Cordileone and the Catholic Church to oppose IVF.  If you can, well then, quite frankly, you’re a selfish idiot!

If you’ve engaged in IVF or any part of it, please seek counsel in confession.  It’s likely nobody ever bothered to tell you the reality of it.  The Church can help you and your children deal with it!  Like I’ve said before, we all sin.  The worst idea ever is to say, “Nah, it’s not a sin because I don’t think it is”, and then try to go on with your life.  Whatever you do, please don’t burden your children with your sins if you haven’t already.  Don’t let your obstinate desire to avoid guilt be their cross.  For heaven’s sake, who has to sit down and have a conversation with their children about how they were conceived?  Most of us talk to our children about the facts of life, but the saner parents don’t say “Hey honey!  Let’s talk about your conception.”  The sense of private seems to go out the window with some.

To the faithful blog followers – I’m sorry the sarcasm is low in this one. It’s hard to use the normal dose of humor when children’s lives are involved.  Please study and learn how to answer this topic, because those opposed to the teachings of the Church are trying to make this the condemnation de jour.  We have to stop being reduced to silence when someone points to a child of IVF.  They’re the ones who are wrong for using them to promote their agenda in the first place!

The Archbishop vs. The Red Herrings

This little lovely landed on my laptop today.  Just to give you some background, the latest version of the teachers’ handbook in progress for the Archdiocese of San Francisco dropped this week and – shocker of shockers – some don’t like it.  They organized a little group temper tantrum and here’s the announcement for it.  I’ve removed names.  Why?  It was totally public but I just feel sad for the two souls who put it out.  I’m sure one or two of the group will likely claim it but that’s on them.   So, here are some snippets from the press release from “Concerned Parents and Teachers: Teach Acceptance”.  Not really sure why they changed the name in the release but this is what they normally go by.  Just so you can follow along, I’m going to interject but you can see it in all its whiny glory (minus names, phone numbers and links) here: It Harms Our Teachers, Students, Schools and Community 

SF Catholic High School Parents, Teachers & Students
Reject Archbishop Cordileone’s Revised Handbook:
“It Harms Our Teachers, Students, Schools and Community”

WHEN:  4:00 pm  Wednesday, May 20
WHERE:  SF Archdiocesan Chancery, 1 Peter Yorke  Way, San Francisco
WHAT:  Press Conference to reject Archbishop Cordileone’s revised Faculty Handbook
WHO:   Concerned Parents: Teach Acceptance and teachers, students, and allies

On Wednesday, May 20, 2015, concerned parents at San Francisco Archdiocesan schools will be joined by teachers, students and allies to declare their firm opposition to the latest version of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s Faculty Handbook. Parents, Teachers, Students and allies will gather in front of the Archiocesan Chancery Office at 1 Peter Yorke Way.

The Archbishop is attempting to reclassify all employees of four schools within the Archdiocese as part of the “ministry” and “mission” of the church in order to eliminate anti-discrimination and other workplace protections for those staff members.

First, our schools are part and parcel of the ministry and mission of the Church and, thus, so would be the teachers.  There’s really no need to classify them or non-classify them as such.  The schools are covered under the First Amendment’s free-exercise clause and are not limited by anti-discrimination laws intended for a secular employer.  How do we know this?  Because the Supreme Court has said this time and time again, and very recently, too.  If this were not the case, these schools would be REQUIRED to hire teachers who oppose the Church.  They are not.

He has also proposed that teachers and staff at the schools accept handbook language that, among other things, condemns homosexuality, same-sex marriage, contraception, and use of assisted reproductive technology.

And there it is again…The Church does not condemn homosexuality.  This is just another disingenuous attempt to win sympathy.  How about those who claim to know so much about what Pope Francis thinks pick up the Catechism once in awhile?  Really, when you claim to have the moral authority on all things Catholic, you might want to claim to be Catholic first, and then actually know the teachings of the Catholic Church.  Ever notice how they just state what the Church teaches and NEVER back it up with any document to prove it?

If you note, they actually are saying that this revision of the handbook (not final by any stretch) actually concurs with Catholic teaching on same-sex marriage (I’m pretty sure everyone knows the Catholic Church doesn’t accept SSM), contraception (remember that pesky Humanae Vitae? – liberals are still fuming about that one) and in vitro fertilization (documents can be found on this one too). I’m including some documents at the bottom if anyone doubts the Church has condemned all of these. See the difference?  I back up what I say about the Church, and Sam and his minions cannot.  All they can do is parrot “Who am I to judge?”, and most don’t even know Pope Francis’s original topic on that one (hint: none of the above).

These proposals, originally made public in February, were met with an overwhelming outcry from teachers, parents, students and allies of the four schools.

Overwhelming outcry?!  I think not. Look at the numbers.  They just don’t jive with that.  The overwhelming majority (even people outside the Catholic Church) actually agree that the Catholic Church should be able to teach Catholicism.  It’s kind of, well, common sense. (I know, it’s missing in some circles.)   Can you believe the egomania of this crowd: “I think this way, therefore all of society must”?!  Can I, once again, remind you about the inconvenient (for them) little SFGate poll?  (Cue the whining about how we magically could muster votes that they couldn’t – despite the fact that it’s a liberal publication that published the dang poll in the first place!)

In recent days, the Archbishop sent a letter and revised draft Faculty Handbook to at least fifteen Catholic educators. Parents, teachers and students say that while softer in tone, this revised handbook represents no meaningful change from his original agenda.

Can we just talk about the hypocritical use of the word “tone” for a moment? Would you prefer Sam Singer’s tone?  It just gives me warm fuzzies.  The Archbishop’s words are the words of the Church. Sam Singer’s are all his.

As far as the Archbishop’s tone pre-revision/post-revision, can anyone show me how it differs from any document of the Catholic Church?!  Please!  Cite away! What’s that?  I can’t hear you!  Speak up!  Come on, you supposedly have a mountain of evidence in your favor, no?  Didn’t think so.

“Sadly, the Archbishop has changed his tone, but not the substance of his proposal,” said Jim Jordan, a teacher at Sacred Heart Cathedral High School. “The Archbishop even states in the letter that he wants to ‘find another approach to reach the same goal.’ He’s not backing down at all.” Jordan added, “As for the revised handbook language, the committee who drafted it was never authorized to act on behalf of the schools. Their administrators all discouraged them from participating in order to protect them from being in the vulnerable position of creating employment policy for their co-workers.”

Well, glad the fact that the substance hasn’t changed has been acknowledged. Someone might want to let Sam Singer and the Singer mouthpieces (SF Chronicle and SF Gate) know about that.  They clearly haven’t gotten the message as evidenced by Singer’s latest Twitter rants.

I read this and I have to laugh: “the committee who drafted it was never authorized to act on behalf of the schools.”  Dears, the Archbishop doesn’t have to ask your permission for anything.  The Archdiocese owns the schools and the Archbishop is in charge of them.  He can bring in whatever advisors and committees he wants.  It is quite laughable that you have a problem with your peers advising the Archbishop.  Clearly, you think you’re the only ones who should be doing the advising (or more like the demanding).  You wanted consultation, you got it, and now you’re complaining about it?  Yeah, that’s about right.

“Archbishop Cordileone’s latest faculty handbook language, while more conciliatory in tone than the previous version, and eliminating words like ‘gravely evil,’ has the same result: teachers are cast as ministers with no legal protections, with personal lives open to scrutiny from their employer,” said Kathy Curran, a parent of two children in Catholic high schools. “The language is still harmful to our children and is an attempt to camouflage his original agenda and fundamentally alter the character and culture of Catholic education in our high schools.”

At this point I think you all might want to read this little document from Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education (yes there is such a thing): http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccatheduc/documents/rc_con_ccatheduc_doc_19770319_catholic-school_en.html

You see, the Archbishop isn’t altering the character and culture of Catholic educations.  He’s trying to uphold it.  Catholic schools have always been considered apostolates of the Church.  We’ve got a whole lot of documents saying as much, so when someone decides to get litigious and try to invoke anti-discrimination laws, they are going to lose.  Why?  Thanks, I’m glad you asked! The Supreme Court, in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, was very clear. Justice Roberts, writing the court’s opinion, wrote:

The Court, however, does not adopt a rigid for­mula for deciding when an employee qualifies as a minister.

Justices Alito, with Justice Kagan concurring, wrote:

Religious autonomy means that religious authorities must be free to determine who is qualified to serve in positions of substantial religious importance. Different religions will have different views on exactly what quali­fies as an important religious position, but it is nonethe­less possible to identify a general category of “employees” whose functions are essential to the independence of prac­tically all religious groups. These include those who serve in positions of leadership, those who perform important functions in worship services and in the performance of religious ceremonies and rituals, and those who are en­trusted with teaching and conveying the tenets of the faith to the next generation.

When it comes to the expression and inculcation of religious doctrine, there can be no doubt that the messen­ger matters. Religious teachings cover the gamut from moral conduct to metaphysical truth, and both the content and credibility of a religion’s message depend vitally on the character and conduct of its teachers. A religion can­not depend on someone to be an effective advocate for its religious vision if that person’s conduct fails to live up to the religious precepts that he or she espouses. For this reason, a religious body’s right to self-governance must include the ability to select, and to be selective about those who will serve as the very “embodiment of its mes­sage” and “its voice to the faithful. Petruska v. Gannon Univ., 462 F. 3d 294, 306 (CA3 2006).”


Similarly, Justice Thomas wrote:

A religious organi­zation’s right to choose its ministers would be hollow, however, if secular courts could second-guess the organiza­tion’s sincere determination that a given employee is a “minister” under the organization’s theological tenets. Our country’s religious landscape includes organizations with different leadership structures and doctrines that influence their conceptions of ministerial status. The question whether an employee is a minister is itself reli­gious in nature, and the answer will vary widely Judicial attempts to fashion a civil definition of “minister” through a bright-line test or multi-factor analysis risk disad­vantaging those religious groups whose beliefs, practices, and membership are outside of the “mainstream” or unpalatable to some.

(The Justices write a whole lot more awesome stuff that’s going to make some heads spin.  Please read the opinion in its entirety here: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/10-553.pdf)

If someone sued on the basis of a teacher not being a minister, the Church can whip out document after document like THE CATHOLIC SCHOOL talking about the mission of schools and lay apostolates. (LINK FOUND ABOVE). The proof is in the Church documents already.  The Archbishop simply restating them doesn’t put one’s job in jeopardy.  It’s simply letting the teachers know what is expected of them. 

Sacred Heart Cathedral Senior Gino Gresh voiced concern that the Archbishop is attempting to redefine Catholic education, placing at risk the century-old reputation of one of the finest educational institutions in San Francisco. “I love my school. I know I have received a world class, values-based education,” said Gresh. “And fellow students who are LGBT or questioning their sexuality, whose parents are divorced or LGBT, or who were conceived through IVF – all of us, no matter where we come from or who we are, have felt safe to question and safe to learn. Under the Archbishop’s proposals, that would no longer be the case. For me, a great education teaches me to think and to ask questions.  It’s not being told what to think or how to be. ”

Holy cow!  One more time!  The Archbishop isn’t redefining Catholic education. That’s what “Concerned Parents and Teachers” are doing.  That sad thing is that these young students are buying it hook, line, and sinker, due to years of Catholic teaching being ignored.  Safe?  The buzz words are so nonsensical.  Who, exactly, is going to the students and telling them that they are anything less than precious in God’s eyes?  Who is telling them they’re in danger?  These kids are being used as pawns by adults who don’t want to be held accountable by anyone for their actions.  Sadly, this isn’t how it works.  They will be held accountable, and the Archbishop knows it and is trying his darnedest to make sure they understand what God expects of them.  I am so glad we finally have an Archbishop who puts the souls of these students first!

A great education does get students to think and to ask questions, but it’s done in the light of Truth.  Nobody is telling them what to think.  They are teaching them how to think, how to properly form their consciences (I know, a wacky idea!), what God wants of them, and how the Catholic Church is there to help – or at least that’s what should be taught.

Parents and teachers noted that the Archbishop has many platforms from which to educate faculty, students, parents and other members of the school community regarding his interpretations of Church theology, other than an employee handbook. Serra High School parent Lynn Schuette said, “While the Archbishop’s ‘short compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church’ may be appropriate for a religious treatise, it is not acceptable for a faculty handbook. His selective list of Catholic catechism fails to reflect a fuller understanding of the Catholic tradition, let alone the centrality of the primacy of conscience and the ‘sense of the faithful.’”

The Truths of the Catholic Church aren’t up for interpretation.  This is the heart of the problem.  These uneducated (and many times non-Catholic) teachers and parents don’t quite grasp that the Church isn’t a club where we all get together and decide on truths.  There’s only one Truth and you apparently don’t understand it. The handbook is a transmission of these Truths as cited from actual Church teachings.  If you don’t like the “selective list of Catholic catechism”, READ THE WHOLE BOOK YOURSELF!  There’s a logical thought!  Really, first you complain there’s too much in the handbook, and now there’s too little?  This is getting rather comical.

And can I just ask, who the heck is Lynn Schuette and how does she have a fuller understanding of the Catholic Faith than the guy with the doctorate in Canon Law and who worked for the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura?!?!?!?!?  I know that’s an organization with a really fancy name, but look it up!  I’m pretty sure it’s you, Lynn, who doesn’t quite understand the teaching on the Primacy of Conscience.  Wait, I know!  Is she also an alumna of Serra?  I guess that would make sense.  Lynn, you might want to actually look at the duties involved with that before you hang your hat on your ticket to Heaven, because you have Primacy of Conscience. Here’s a hint:

1783 Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings. (http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a6.htm)

Ouch, that must have hurt!  Oh, yeah, that’s kind of mentioned in the handbook, too.  It’s also kind of what the Catholic school is all about!

Just because I really care, I’m going to throw this little bit of education in here just for Lynn: https://www.ewtn.com/library/DOCTRINE/CONSC.TXT

“Under the revised handbook language, teachers would not be able to dissent or discuss ideas that conflict with the Archbishop’s understanding of Catholicism without risking their jobs,” said Kathleen Purcell, a constitutional attorney and former Catholic high school teacher. “This fundamentally alters the character of our schools. Teachers whose jobs are under threat if they step outside the line cannot provide a safe environment for students to learn.”

Wrong, Kath.  Teaching the Faith doesn’t fundamentally alter the character of “your” (please note the totally necessary use of quotations) schools.  Doing so makes them what they are formed to be!  Also, they can discuss ideas, but cannot dissent from Church teachings.  My family and I discuss abortion, birth control, homosexuality, and a myriad of topics.  (Yes, I realize you are all wondering about now why this is so hard for some to understand.  The only explanation I can offer is that it’s the San Francisco Bay Area. Please pray for us!)  Kath, spin it as you will, but it has nothing to do with the Archbishop’s “interpretation” and everything to do with authentic Catholicism.  It’s so simple. LOOK IT UP! It’s been taught for 2,000 years by the bishops in communion with the Pope.  Feel free to prove me wrong and cite a document or two.

The teachers are represented by the Archdiocesan Federation of Teachers Local 2240. In late April, California State Labor Leaders, Central Labor Councils and 19 local unions stood in solidarity with AFT Local 2240 to call upon the Archbishop to stop threatening teachers’ legal protections. The Archbishop and the Teachers’ Union remain at the bargaining table. Sal Curcio, a Sacred Heart Cathedral High School teacher and member of the union’s Executive Board, stated, “We will not accept language that diminishes our legal protections.”

See their wrongness above in the Supreme Court section.

Just so you know who the players are in the little press release drama, one is part of the “100 Prominent Catholics” who organized against the Vatican’s opposition to a UN resolution on homosexuality.  Another claims the status of “former Catholic” and is a proud IVF user.  Yet another claims to be a former Catholic and a lesbian. One organized the employee petition, and was pretty happy when it was posted on the Cathedral door.  (Who does that remind you of?)  Seriously, I found it on his Twitter account!  Last, but not least, one was a high school teacher in the Oakland diocese and was one of 4 who refused to sign the handbook over there and her contract was not renewed.  Do you think any of them might have some personal motivations?  The problem is, they are in the minority.  They like to think the Church revolves around their whims and proclivities, but it doesn’t.

I’m going to steal a line from a friend and say there are enough red herrings in this press release to start a fish processing plant!  They should just be honest and say they don’t agree with the Church teachings and want them to go away so they’re not uncomfortable – but I suppose that doesn’t make the best press release.

P.S. Promised docs just so the media doesn’t think I’m lying: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19870222_respect-for-human-life_en.html



Meet the Laity!

A reader told me about a ridiculous tweet made by Sam Singer.  As I looked for that one, I found an even more ridiculous one (well, it might have been a tie):

Struggling SF Archbishop Cordileone desperate for support, cash: campaign begs for $, help: http://www.catholicvote.org/archbishop-cordileone-defense-fund/?ref=fb1

(Sam wasn’t so kind to put the real link in, so I’ll help him out! Use it!)

My response to him?

@samsinger hardly struggling. We know the types who to try and bleed people dry in court and we will defeat you. Meet the laity, Sam.

Seriously, Sam – MEET – THE – LAITY!  Maybe you and those in your little “100 Prominent Catholics” bubble think the Archbishop is all alone.  Sorry, you’ve declared war and you’re going to have to get through these troops before you ever reach him.  Be prepared for some mass casualties.  We’ve been in the war with those opposed to Church teachings almost all of our lives.  We’re a battle-hardened force and we will prevail with God’s help.  Don’t believe me?  You might want to look at who the Archbishop is for a reality check.

Sadly for you, you’ve joined the battle after we’ve been given a great gift.  Twenty years ago, the laity would have had to find someone who knew someone who knew someone (I could have added a few more) to have their message heard in Rome.  Now we’ve got a direct line to the Vatican (and each other) via the pretty little keyboard in front of me.  We can now compile dossiers of the words of Sam Singer with nice little links included for verification.  Whom do you think the Vatican is going to believe, the words you get media lap-dogs to spin or the words you can’t help but spew without a thought that they’d be used against you?  You might just want to stop and think about who effectively lobbied the Vatican for the Archbishop to be right where he is and how they did it.  It had nothing to do with money and everything to do with sheer will and the Grace of God.  Meet the laity.

So, Sam, when you decide to have your cronies start dropping legalese, you can bet we’re not going to wait around for the day you set off a firestorm of litigation against our Archbishop.  You and the “100 Prominent Catholics” took the first swing and you can bet it’s going to be met with full force back from us.  You think you’ve got some big wallets in your club?  Just wait until you see what happens when you utter a threat against our beloved shepherd.  Meet the laity.

The joke is that you think it’s just Catholics who will step up and support him. You are so very wrong.  You are not just dealing with Catholics, you are poking a stick in the eye of all Christianity.  There’s not just one mad mom out there, there are millions (and don’t forget the dads!).  We believe in Freedom of Religion in this country and, yes, even in California.  Freedom of Religion ain’t just for the Catholics.  Think about it.  $55,000 has been raised in two weeks and there’s only a veiled threat of litigation.  Can you imagine what will happen if and when the cronies decide to actually file suit?  Don’t underestimate the power of the Widow’s Mite.  We will protect our Archbishop and our fellow Christians with everything we’ve got.  Living in “Litigation Land”, we know how the game is played and we won’t let you break the bank.  Meet the laity.

Sam can go on with his “desperate” delusion, but we all know this is simply a reaction to the lovely picnic we had last Saturday – one that he said had poor attendance despite the fact there were at least triple the amount of people he’s mustered at his “vigils”. (Must be a bit depressing for him.) It’s amazing watching the liberals come unglued at the sight of families simply having lunch in a park. You’d think we’d just poured holy water on the devil! The Archbishop, apparently, isn’t desperate for support, but it looks like Sam Singer is desperate about something.

Did I mention, Sam, that you should really meet the laity? We’ve been pretty quiet up until now but we’re kind of done with that. #meetthelaity


Wins and Losses

Well, I thought I’d have the day off.  Not a whole lot to comment on, but then this annoying little mosquito showed up and won’t stop buzzing, so back to work I go!

Yes, there was picnic on Saturday and it was GREAT!  We love and support Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and he loves everyone.  Yes, there were counter protesters – a whopping 6 from what I saw.  They talked about not being included in the picnic, even after the Archbishop’s supporters actually invited them to join in breaking a little bread with them but they declined.  Most, if not all, of the protesters were not Catholic, so tell me again – why do they care about the Catholic schools? Honestly, they’re like your annoying sibling who wants to be the center of attention, but we do love them and consider them God’s children. We also hope for their salvation and for their understanding that the Archbishop really has little choice but to follow the teachings and law of the Catholic Church. Most of all, we hope for their understanding that he loves them enough to tackle a hard topic. Like I said, not much of a story other than we hope it lifted the Archbishop’s spirits, because he so deserves that.

Who is the buzzing mosquito you ask?  In a quite silly related story, a local former-sports-reporter-turned-authority-on-Catholic-morality, C.W. Nevius, wrote that supporters of Archbishop Cordileone should “give it a rest.”  My response at this point?  Who are you and why are you flapping your gums?  How about YOU give it a rest and spend a little time writing your own article instead of rehashing the articles that have already been written by your co-workers?  Hmmm?  It would seem you’re a little late to the party.  Slow news day?  Writer’s block, so you’re going to take your co-workers material from months ago and hope we don’t notice?

Nevius is literally reporting on weeks- and months-old news as if it’s something new and exciting (seems to be quite a popular thing to do in his circle).  How is the San Francisco Chronicle/SFGate letting him get away with this?  To say he was scooped is the understatement of the century.  At this point, you’ve got to throw out “Thou doth protest too much.”  Does he think he’s making headway and that Pope Francis will remove the Archbishop, or that the Archbishop is going to simply go away and abandon the teachings of the Church?  I’m reasonably sure that’s not why Nevius spontaneously combusted, ranting on old news and telling supporters that they’re either irrelevant or meanies.  Really – we’re now suddenly taking a cheap shot when we point out the fact that many of the “100 Prominent Catholics” have homosexual children?!  It’s OK that they shout it from the rooftops, but those mean old Catholics just can’t mention it?!  I think he might have hit all the liberal check marks: say they are irrelevant, then say they are mean, and repeat, repeat, repeat.  He can at least be proud that he’s met liberal standards, even though he’s fallen short of good journalism standards.

C.W. tried to write about this topic last month and it was an epic fail.  I think the title, “S.F. Archbishop Cordileone wanted a fight, and now he has lost”, was a tad bit inaccurate (and a syntax nightmare to boot). (http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/nevius/article/Time-for-Catholic-church-to-face-up-to-reality-in-6204533.php) – Note the alternate title embedded in the link.  Might it be time for Nevius to face up to reality, instead?  I think so.

Let’s look at how badly the Archbishop has lost. There was a nice poll in Nevius’ employer’s publication showing overwhelming support for the Archibishop (88%-12% to be exact – or a rout, to be even more exact).  The “I Support Archbishop Cordileone” Facebook page (if you’re not a member, join it here: https://www.facebook.com/supportabc) has eclipsed the opposition’s page and will likely reach triple the opposition’s amount after this post (I have faith in you, followers!).  And the two priests who Nevius thinks are so hated? Their support page is just about tied with the opposition and will likely surpass them by a mile in the end. (Especially after you like “I Support Fathers Illo and Driscoll” here: https://www.facebook.com/isupportfrillofrdriscoll). Over 500 people showed up at a Mass Mob at the Star of the Sea, over 500 people showed up the following week at Star of the Sea’s speakers forum (can I just say the collection baskets were overflowing at each?), and over 500 people showed up for a picnic on Saturday to support Archbishop Cordileone (sparking the Nevius rants).  Archbishop Cordileone has lost? I think not. Oh, and can I just say your public figure Facebook page has 35 likes, Mr. Nevius?  I’m thinking something about glass houses right now.  Sports is calling you back, but you seem to have a problem comprehending wins and losses.

Sorry, C.W., we’re here to stay. Feel free to throw out the “intolerant” and “un-accepting” monikers. I’m sure you’re hoping to make that your follow-up article because, yeah, nobody’s said that yet either.  We proudly claim to be intolerant and un-accepting of dissent. “Color me intolerant,” I always say. Many of us have children (and lots of them). We’re hardly going to cave to the demands of an insolent writer.

Buddy Jesus is Not Your Buddy

“Christ was tolerant and accepting, so you should be, too!”  What a load of hooey! This little idea makes me want to hurl every time I hear it.  It ticks me off that nobody can hear me yelling at my computer (where I read everything these days). Honestly, it’s one of the most idiotic statements I hear made by today’s liberal Catholics and liberals in general.  Can they really be this clueless and/or delusional?

By the way, if you don’t like my blog and you’re fuming right now, you are completely and utterly intolerant and un-accepting of my point of view.  Just saying.

Let’s get real.  What exactly are we supposed to tolerate and accept in the minds of these catchphrase Catholics?  Well, in the ongoing debate in San Francisco, we can see just some of the things that we are supposed to accept and tolerate:

  • Sodomy
  • Abortion
  • Artificial birth control
  • Pornography
  • Fornication
  • Adultery
  • Masturbation

Hey, “100 Prominent Catholics” in San Francisco – show me one place in the life of Christ where he is accepting and tolerant of immorality, hypocrisy, and sin. Right about now, some are probably screaming at their computer, “When he prevented the woman from being stoned!”  Or at least that’s the usual response. Anybody remember what Christ said to her after that?  Anyone?  Bueller?  See, it’s a problem when people don’t read the book and just watch the liberal-spun movie. He said, “Go, and do not sin again henceforward.”  What the what?!  He told her not to sin again?  How intolerant and un-accepting!

In fact, Christ’s intolerance of sin is found in many places.  He talks of sin, vipers, millstones, shaking the dust from your sandals (a big dis in those days), etc.  We also see him whipping money changers and rage-flipping tables.  Accepting and tolerant of sin, people?  I think not.  Let’s just move a little more towards reality, shall we?

The short and sweet (and yes, trite) “Love the sinner but hate the sin” is the reality of Christ that we are supposed to follow. The “It’s OK. Do whatever you want and you’re still my buddy!” is the fictitious image of Christ we are supposed flee. In fact, if you see this guy…

Buddy Jesus

…run, far, far away.  He might be tolerant and accepting, but he ain’t loving and he ain’t the real Christ.

This brings me to the crux of what’s so wrong with the people leading the campaign against Archbishop Cordileone. They completely misunderstand the difference between tolerance, and acceptance and love. While love might be tolerant and accepting of a person, it is not accepting or tolerant of a person’s sin. That is the opposite of love.

G.K. Chesterton said (Look – she quotes from the Catechism, Canon Law, AND Chesterton! Who would ever know she’s totally uneducated? – Go away if you just said “Me!”),

Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.

No truer words could be spoken! Tolerance of sin is not a Christian virtue. As a matter of fact, it’s opposed to Christian virtue. It is the ideology of those with no convictions other than “people can’t have convictions or they are intolerant and unaccepting”. See that endless Catch-22 insanity?

Now, the “100 Prominent Catholics” (anyone ever wonder how a CPA got on that list?) like to say that Archbishop Cordileone is “fostering and environment of division or intolerance”.  Uh, I’m reasonably sure that was Christ, not the Archbishop.  Again, it would be nice if people read the actual book instead of those poorly written Cliff Notes that got you a D+ in English Lit.

“Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!” (Luke 12:51)

How do the “100 Prominent Catholics” repeat the “Christ was tolerant!” mantra with a straight face? I mean, really, can anyone be that totally ignorant of the Bible? I guess it’s possible. It’s either that or they’re just showing the serious lack of conviction of which Chesterton speaks.

Just for fun, I just turned around and asked my 10-year-old if Christ would tolerate or accept sin.  Even the 10-year-old knew the answer was “No!”, almost with a “Duh, Mom!” tone.  I’m sure there are those who are just ignorant of the Bible and confuse tolerance and acceptance with the love Christ showed.  However, those self-professed “100 Prominent Catholics” and all the others who claim to know more about the Catholic Church than Archbishop Cordileone look plain stupid when they do it.  I mean, they are the ones who are supposed to know so much about the Catholic Faith that they know Archbishop Cordileone is going against it. It hasn’t even dawned on them that they haven’t a clue. The ego is staggering!

Yes, people, there is a huge difference between showing love for a person and showing tolerance and acceptance of a person’s sin. I love all my kids. Don’t love or accept or tolerate their sins. If you don’t like my blog because you are a champion against all things Archbishop Cordileone, I tolerate and accept you, but I don’t tolerate or accept your dissent against the teachings of the Church.  That doesn’t mean I hate you and it doesn’t mean we can’t have a civil discussion.  Can one sometimes love by being tolerant of quirks, annoyances, etc.?  Uh, yeah! My husband does it all the time on a VERY regular basis.  That said, he’s not going to tolerate any of his wife’s or children’s sins, because he loves us and wants to see us happy in heaven someday.  This is the same with the Archbishop.

Can we just go back again to those “100 Prominent Catholics” again?  This has been irking me for a while.  Listen, I’m a big believer of the fact that one of my kids could screw up at any moment.  That said, I’m not telling the Pope that Archbishop Cordileone doesn’t know how to manage Catholic schools in his archdiocese, so I’m just going to shoot this one out there.  Mr. Tom Brady, Sr., your son just might have benefitted from the type of Catholicism (aka authentic Catholicism) that the Archbishop is trying to bring to your son’s former alma mater.  If Junior (you know, first child out-of-wedlock and the king of “Deflategate”?) had been taught the Faith at Serra the way that the Archbishop would love to have it taught and exemplified in his schools, maybe Tom Terrific (that’s actually his nickname for you non-football folks) wouldn’t have made such a mess of his life, his kids lives, the NFL, etc.

In short, people might want to really think about the kids in these schools and how their lives might turn out from being taught a watered down and poorly exemplified version of the Catholic Faith.  Tom Jr. doesn’t seem to have benefitted much from it. (Before you get mad that I went there, be happy I didn’t mention fellow Serra grad Barry Bonds.) Is this what we want for the future alumni of our schools?

Picnic anyone?

In the area?  Don’t forget to attend this picnic on Saturday!  We’ll be there!  Don’t forget to wear blue to match all the cool Catholic kids.  Thanks so much to the SF planning wonders for putting on such a lovely day!  Let’s overwhelm the Archbishop with our support!

Archbishop Support Family Picnic

Millstones and Vous

I was wandering around the net the other day and found this site.  I’m a big fan of seeing what “the other side” (Who’s crying to have to say this about fellow Catholics?) of a debate thinks, since it makes it much easier to talk to someone instead of talking at them.  I find that most that come to this little blog really don’t have a clue what I think.  Rather than read up and then actually have a discussion on what’s written, I get a lot of ranting against things that have never been said. It’s weird. I kind of want to point to myself and say “Uh, are you talking to me?” So, anyway, here’s a little bit about them from their site.  I’m going to interject in between with what I think is a little reality in the surreal, elitist world they’ve created.  I’ll put them in bold (I’d imagine they’d like that) and me in regular font.


We oppose Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s proposed changes to the teachers’ contract and faculty handbook.  His proposal would reclassify all teachers as “ministers,” which would diminish their legal workplace protections.

Here we go again.  First of all, I’m reasonably sure the diocese said the “ministers” thing was too misunderstood so they were going to forgo that one.  In fact, at least one of the major news outlets around these parts have reported (http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/02/24/san-franciscos-archbishop-expresses-about-face-for-catholic-high-schools-morality-clause/) So why is this still being still being reported as happening?  For goodness’ sake, they are also Catholics (well at least you’d assume some are), so why are we still playing the “If we say it enough it will be true” game?

The proposal would also contain language in the faculty handbook that includes morality clauses and governs private behavior.

Nope!  Nope!  Nope!  The language in the handbook does include a morality clause (and always has, as they even admit) and it does explain what SHOULD govern private behavior (I think it’s called a well-formed conscience), BUT it doesn’t govern private behavior.  What it does say is that if you are engaging in behavior that’s contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church you work for, and it becomes known (no longer in the private realm), it becomes a bad example for the students involved in the school and we cannot give it the thumbs up and let you continue on scandalizing (yes, it is a scandal) the students.

Let’s look at scandal in the eyes of that little thing called the Catechsim of the Catholic Church (kind of a novel thought when it comes to a CATHOLIC school in a CATHOLIC diocese).  I’m even going to put the link here in case anyone from one of these said schools might actually want to look at what the CATHOLIC Church teaches (http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P80.HTM):
(emphasis all mine)

Respect for the Dignity of Persons

1. Respect for the souls of others: scandal

2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil.  The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter.  He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death.  Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.

2285 Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized.  It prompted our Lord to utter this curse:  “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”85  Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others.  Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep’s clothing.86

Holy cow!  That crazy Archbishop Cordileone is following the teachings of the Catholic Church again!  What is he thinking???  Did you notice the millstone and drowning thing?  Where’s that “tolerant” Christ here? (Sounds like another blog post!)

We cannot in good conscience support language that sows fear, and creates division and discrimination.  We cannot in good conscience accept language which is harmful to our children and their teachers, and threatens our school community.

Good conscience?  What is this good conscience?  How did it get good?  Who decides what is good and what is not?  Don’t you ever wonder how simple all of this would be if the opponents of the Archbishop actually knew the teachings of the Church they’re fighting against (and, in many cases, to which they belong)?  That would require a little bit of intellectual honesty.  Believe it or not, the Church actually explains the whole shebang.  The Catechism – another good read!  I won’t super-quote it here but I’ll put the re-cap.  Please, please, I beg you to read it if you haven’t heard it before! (http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a6.htm)


1795 “Conscience is man’s most secret core, and his sanctuary.  There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths” (GS 16).

1796 Conscience is a judgment of reason by which the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act.

1797 For the man who has committed evil, the verdict of his conscience remains a pledge of conversion and of hope.

1798 A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful.  It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator.  Everyone must avail himself of the means to form his conscience.

1799 Faced with a moral choice, conscience can make either a right judgment in accordance with reason and the divine law or, on the contrary, an erroneous judgment that departs from them.

1800 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience.

1801 Conscience can remain in ignorance or make erroneous judgments.  Such ignorance and errors are not always free of guilt.

1802 The Word of God is a light for our path.  We must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice.  This is how moral conscience is formed.

Here’s the final few blurbs from their “About” page:

We cannot in good conscience accept language that:

• Labels members of our community as “gravely evil.”

Where did that happen?  Please post one quote that says that.  Anyone?  Didn’t think so.  Judging an act and judging a soul are very different and I haven’t seen  ANYONE labeled “gravely evil.”  That term is not used in the Church for a person but it is used for an act.

  • Implies that members of our community are ill-conceived.

I’m not even sure what that means?  Physically conceived?  Have ill-conceived notions?  It’s a wee bit vague.  Sounds really evil, though, which I think is likely the idea.  If we are talking IVF,  does the Church ever hold a child conceived, say, in an extra marital affair or rape any less than precious? Same thing here.   That’s what the pro-abortion crowd does, not the Catholic Church. What the Catholic Church does is to try and stop the wave of victims which result from abandoning natural law.  It’s also totally and utterly against willfully separating children from their biological parents.   Again, please see (http://www.eggsploitation.com/) and (http://www.anonymousfathersday.com/).  A little to real for you?  Sometimes it’s not about you and the Church, in all her wisdom, knows that whether you are willing to acknowledge it or not.

  • Undermines the free exchange of ideas.

Uh, it definitely undermines saying that gravely evil acts are not gravely evil act. That’s rather the point of the Catholic Church and a Catholic school (see Canon Law in earlier posts).  A “free exchange of ideas” should always be done in the light of Truth not the dark of situation ethics (a.k.a – the land where truth changes on a whim and ceases to be truth).  Exchanging ideas doesn’t mean inventing truth (and, yes, I did use a small “T” for a reason).

  • Intrudes into the private lives of teachers and strips them of their legal rights.

And, wham-o! – we’re back to the “If we say it enough people will believe it!” game. I’d love to know if people really believe what they are saying. It seems a bit disingenuous to me. People need to stop interchanging “personal” with “private”. They are not the same. If you keep your life private life private, there’s nothing to talk about unless it’s in a confessional.  Once you make your private life public, it’s no longer private.  Even my 10-year-old understands this, but maybe he wouldn’t if he had attended the diocesan schools of the past 40ish years.

And finally, in a shocking turn of events (OK, it’s not, but I’ll just throw a little snark in here), the diocese addresses all of these points here http://catholic-sf.org/ns.php?newsid=25&id=63174 but TeachAcceptance.org doesn’t link to it anywhere on their site.  Can you believe it?!  I’m sure it’s just a well planned oversight to keep Truth from seeing the light of day.  Sorry guys.

I Bet You Think This Canon Law Is About You!

I think we’ve all seen the headlines akin to “Archbishop Prepares to Fire Gay Teachers!”  This simply is and never was true.  I received similar comments the other day and I think they need to be addressed because they are common arguments made.  It shows the thinking of some of the crew that’s fighting against Archbishop Cordileone.  While Sam Singer is a hack and there are the usual Call to Action or Stop Patriarchy blowhards, I think this comment shows the point of view of rest of the minority who thinks authentic Catholicism shouldn’t be taught in a Catholic school and should be replaced by situation ethics.  I also think it’s a result of the faithful being left in the wilderness so long to fend for themselves and is exactly what Archbishop is trying to prevent for future generations.  One comment:

“You write, ‘They want to teach at a Catholic school but they don’t want to actually teach Catholicism.  In fact, some want to teach against it.  They want to sell abortion, birth control and same-sex marriage.’  As a parent at one of these schools, all the teachers want are their employment rights protected and the ability to live their PERSONAL lives in peace and without fear.  They do not teach against Catholic doctrine.”

And another:

“The reality is that most of the teachers that have been fired a crossed the country for violating church doctrine have been found out by people trolling for information against them.  One mentioned her same sex partner in her mother’s obituary.  Just google ‘catholic teachers fired.’

The current handbook for these schools already asks that teachers follow Catholic doctrine. There is no need, other than a legal one for the Archbishop, to insist upon these changes, particularly identifying teachers as ministers. As a “minister’ they are no longer protected under federal employment law.”

This is snipped for brevity. You can see the whole conversation and my response to the specifics Teach Tolerance addressed in her comment here: (https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/sam-the-spin-doctor/#comments)

Teachers teach by example.  Is there anyone on this planet (except maybe Singer) who would deny this statement to be true?  Yes, they use overhead projectors, white boards, books, etc., but if you made that statement, nobody would argue with it, right?  So, when you are a teacher and you let people in the school know you are, say, having an extra marital affair and the students find out, you are teaching something contrary to Church doctrine.  Exposing children to this in any school is no bueno, but it’s legally unacceptable in a Catholic school.  Is it illegal in the state of California?  No way!  Anything goes here in a public school, but, to borrow a phrase from Hebrew National, we adhere to a higher law – more specifically Canon Law:

  • Can. 803 §1. A Catholic school is understood as one which a competent ecclesiastical authority or a public ecclesiastical juridic person directs or which ecclesiastical authority recognizes as such through a written document.
  • 2. The instruction and education in a Catholic school must be grounded in the principles of Catholic doctrine; teachers are to be outstanding in correct doctrine and integrity of life.
  • 3. Even if it is in fact Catholic, no school is to bear the name Catholic school without the consent of competent ecclesiastical authority.

Now, these teachers don’t have to even be Catholic but they are not to contradict Catholic doctrine and integrity in word or deed.  Unfortunately, some are.

The reality is there are some people who are fearful for their jobs.  They’re already living their sins out loud and some genies just can’t be put back in those bottles. That would require a public repentance.  The problem is these people knew they taught in a Catholic school, but for whatever reason, they didn’t think there would be a problem with making their sins public.  The Archbishop has said that he doesn’t want to give up hope that the situations can be rectified and has hope that nobody will lose their jobs.  What does this mean? It means he loves them so deeply that he wants them to understand the Church teachings and to fear for their mortal souls.  This is why we love him!  People want to think it’s simply about rules, but it’s simply about souls – the students, the teachers, all of us!  The Archbishop wouldn’t just dish out a penalty without first trying to counsel the person.  This is why he won’t say there’s a specific circumstance in which a person would be fired.  He’s not giving up hope.  We, for our part, should pray that his hope rings true!

For the rest of the teachers out there that are doing things which are against Church teachings but aren’t yelling it from the rooftops, they join the rest of us sinners, right?  The vast majority of us are private sinners.  We’re constantly falling off the Catholic wagon in one way or another. (Well at least I am – I have a husband who will back me up on that!)  Do they have to fear about someone pawing through their trash for the used condom wrapper?  Of course not!  Do they have to fear about not being repentant?  Well, yeah, because eternity is a mighty long time, and even private sin affects society (contrary to what Teach Tolerance thinks), but do they have to worry about losing their jobs?  No.

So far, the focus has been on homosexuals only.  (You could say homosexuals are an obsession with some.)  People have been convinced by the media reports á la Sam Singer that this additional wording in the contracts is to weed out homosexual teachers.  Newsflash!  Homosexuality itself is not a sin!!! One more time:  HOMOSEXUALITY IS NOT A SIN!  People can continue to say that it is, because hey, they are free to live in Factually Inaccurate Land!

What the Archbishop is proposing doesn’t single out homosexuals in the least.  He’s asking that every teacher is “outstanding in correct doctrine, the witness of a Christian life, and teaching skill.” (Remember that thing called Canon Law? I swear to you it’s a good read!)  He’s helping them out by telling them what that means, since some have missed it thus far.  No more being confused by ambiguity. (Isn’t being transparent a good thing? I thought I heard that somewhere – repeatedly. )  The last thing the Archbishop wants to do is have someone lose their jobs because they didn’t understand what was expected of them.

Why are people fearful of having Church doctrine spelled out for them? I keep hearing the complaint “It was already there! How dare he change it?!”  If it was already there, what’s the big deal?  They keep saying it doesn’t change anything.  I agree it doesn’t change a single thing about Church doctrine or Canon Law.  I think the crux of the fear is that people might actually understand that this Archbishop follows Church doctrine and Canon Law (maybe because he actually has a PhD in Canon Law?).  Now that would be something new for San Francisco!

Again, it’s not just homosexuals who are being held to uphold Church doctrine.  It’s ALL teachers.  Here are some examples of some other ways that teachers might be publicly contradicting Church doctrine (anything resembling reality – and there are a lot of them based on the fact I went to 12 years of Catholic schools – are purely coincidental):

  • If they are publicly escorting women into an abortion facility wearing one of the cool crossing guard vests
  • If they are known to be sleeping with another teacher
  • If they are known to be having an affair with another teacher
  • If they have the picture of their homosexual wedding ceremony on their desk
  • If they are suggesting the kids use birth control so they don’t get pregnant
  • If they talk about the “archaic” doctrine on the all-male priesthood
  • etc., etc., etc.

Note that only one of these had to do with homosexuality and it wasn’t the fact that someone was simply homosexual.

The other fallacy being floated (as shown in Teach Tolerance’s comment) is that people are going to be trolling for other peoples’ sins.  Another newsflash – we don’t want to know your sins.  I don’t want people to know mine, why would I ever want to know yours???  This is about peoples’ very PUBLIC displays of their sins. If I was teaching, I wouldn’t worry about my sins because I keep them between me and my confessor!  Simply being a sinful person doesn’t get you fired or we wouldn’t have any teachers at all (or an Archbishop or Pope, for that matter).

Speaking of sins, I’m going to bring up a little item that Sam Singer hasn’t brought up, probably because he’s represented a bunch of people who have done the same thing. While Sam’s not re-hashing it, others in social media are. If you actually live under a rock and haven’t heard about it, lucky you, but you will if you like to follow the Archbishop.  It’s another story from years back now, and I’m only going to bring it up again because it shows how our wonderful Archbishop guides us by example: THE DUI (insert Dragnet music here). While probably the biggest faux pas of the Archbishop’s life (Who would ever think wine, with dinner, WITH YOUR MOTHER would get you into such trouble???), it’s also an example of how we should handle our sins.  (You can argue amongst yourselves about culpability sin-wise, but all we can be sure of is that it was a mistake.)  What did he do when he made that mistake?  He owned it!  He didn’t make any excuses.  When asked, he said he had wine with dinner.  He didn’t argue with the officers or pull a “Do you know who I am???” move.  He apologized, he was contrite, and never drank again when there was the outside shot he might be driving.  I’m sure he probably even went to confession for it because that’s the kind of guy he is.  He didn’t blame the archaic Church or the strict law of the land.  He did something very public and he publicly repented.  A total example for how we should handle our sins (and we all will sin, because there’s not a perfect one in the crowd.)  Is this the guy you think wants to fire people for the heck of it or who wants to go looking for other peoples’ sins?  If so, get a clue.  Stop looking at the spin and start looking at the man.

The doctrine and disciplines of the Catholic Church don’t exist to hurt you.  Stop being so narcissistic!  We all sin.  The more faithful of us Catholics try not to, yet we still fall short and repent and repent and repent.  The dumber ones say (condensed version) “The Catholic Church just needs to allow me to do what I want without guilting me.”  Helllooo!  The rules and truths come from God, and you, with your personal proclivities, are not the only ones bound to them.  It’s a level playing field where we (gay, straight, something in between, black, white, green with envy) all have the same play book. The Church isn’t “bigoted” but you just might be suffering from liberal Catholic privilege where you think the rules apply to everyone else but you.