Sam the Spin Doctor

I’m starting to realize that San Francisco can keep me in blog posts for the better part of the year.  I really have a thing for ranting about hypocrisy and outright lunacy.  Heck, Sam Singer, alone, could keep me in sarcastic remarks for months!

For those who missed my first outing in the blogosphere, Sam Singer is the guy whose reputation is now on the line if he doesn’t deliver Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s head on a platter (oh yes, she did reference Herod and John the Baptist).  I’m not really sure why he thought that would be a cake walk but he seems to be getting mighty frustrated tweeting he “won’t give up until Cordileone is gone.” (I don’t know why but “I’ll get you and your little dog too!” comes to mind when I read that one. Anyone else?)  Clearly he lives in a very myopic world and thinks everyone thinks like the “One Hundred Prominent Catholics” with whom he dines.

So let’s take a look at Singer.  I went to his website just to get a feel for what makes him proud.  You can see on his site that – He’s “The Fixer”, “is nationally known for handling some of most significant public affairs and crisis communications issues of the day”, “a master spin doctor” and one of his jobs has been labeled “best handled crisis of the year.”  Sounds like you are really in trouble and desperate when you hire Sam.  It makes perfect sense that he’d represent the people who are taking on 2,000 years of Catholic Tradition.  I mean, this is likely the case of his lifetime.  Why stop there, Sam? Imagine it – Sam Singer vs. God!  I’m reasonably sure that’s crossed his narcissistic mind.  Sam might want to read the end of the Bible to find out how that one turns out. Whatever did happen to Herod anyway?

Anyway, Sam’s been flinging spit balls at the wall to see what sticks.  Nothing really has, as much as he tries.

Morality Clause-Gate: This is where the fight really started.  Unfortunately (for those opposed to the Catholic Church), it’s the first in a string of non-issues.  Of course schools want their teachers to project Catholicism.  Some teachers, however, wanted to have their cake and eat it too.  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. The problem is, the rest of the world says, “Hey! There’s a place where you can get this.  It’s called public school!”  They think they picked a fight with the Archbishop, but I can tell you that they picked a fight with all of Christianity, and even some non-Christians who believe their faith should be freely taught in their schools and that this shouldn’t be impeded by those with some other agenda.

Fr. Illo-gate: Sam is trying so very hard to make Fr. Illo and Fr. Driscoll an issue and yet it’s another one that’s just not sticking.  It may stick around for the “100 Prominent Catholics”, Singer, and the liberals at the Star of the Sea School, but I was just at Star of the Sea for a “Mass Mob” and the Raymond Arroyo talk they sponsored, and support amongst the parishioners and the 500-600 that showed up at each event is not waning.  Anyone who has actually bothered to talk to Fr. Illo knows that none of the caricatures of him ring true.  It also doesn’t help Singer that all of the stuff he’s coming up with (altar boys, Examinations of Conscience, etc.) are very, very old news stories that didn’t come out until the Archbishop’s “morality clause” made news.  Everyone knows that, if it was truly a big deal, it would have been immediately in the news, not months or years later.  You also don’t bring up 10-year-old stories if you aren’t desperate.  BTW, Catholic World Report did a crack job filling in the details that were so conveniently left out. Hat tip to them!

Sprinkler Gate: Kind of a big faux pas to try to accuse a church that does more for the homeless than any other denomination of being anti-homeless people.   The church does have the right (and an obligation) to keep its property clean.  They also have a duty to keep people from harming themselves on the property. Preventing them from being in a place where they feel free to shoot up is a good thing!!!  Everyone knows that the homeless are always allowed on that property. They are just not allowed to use it as a bathroom nor a drug house.  Also, and this is really huge, where is the anger from those “100 Prominent Catholics” for the power washing of the homeless done Monday – Friday in front of their businesses on Market St.???  Those people are actually hit with power washers if they don’t move in time.  The readings are really high on the hypocrisy meter right now!  The Cathedral sprinkles two doors where excrement and needles are regularly found (the doors away from traffic, which makes for a perfect place to do such things) and doesn’t touch the rest of the property, and the Archbishop is evil? Riiiiggghhht!  I’ll tell him next time I see him out there washing down the property or trimming the bushes.

The last debacle for poor old Sam (and the biggest indication he should head for the nearest door) – THE poll!  Sam had his minions at SF Gate run a weekly poll on whether or not the Pope should remove Archbishop Cordileone.  Ouch!  That one really didn’t work and might possibly be his most epic miscalculation. I’m not even sure that I thought it would be the awesome landslide it was at 88% for Archbishop Cordileone staying and only 12% thinking he should go.  Supporters of his ouster are desperately pointing out it’s not a scientific poll.  Somehow we had some magical way of creating more of a landslide then they could (we’re Catholics, not magic fairies).  I’m sure there was nationwide support but they had the same week to garner support and it didn’t happen.

Sam just isn’t getting it (although he might be starting to).  Can he really think the Catholic Church, which has survived 2,000 years of persecution (yes I did mention those pesky 2,000 years again), is somehow going to bow to him?  Probably – I’m sure that’s what megalomania does to a person.  He’ll continue to dredge up ten- year- old stories that we all know about as if they are something new and salacious or maybe, if he’s lucky, he’ll find out that one of these holy men forgot to turn off the water while they brushed their teeth.  What a scandal that would be with California being in a drought and all!  Whatever it is, I’m sure he’ll keep spitting into the wind until someone gets tired of throwing their money into the fire.

18 thoughts on “Sam the Spin Doctor

  1. OMM, Terrific column. No doubt about it, Sam’s in a controversy with God. I wonder how long before it dawns on him. “Touch not my anointed and to my prophets do no harm” ( Ps 105:15). Yes he is going to learn that verse backwards and forwards. Maybe it will lead to his conversion.

    That said, we also have in our armamentarium the Litany of Saints which among many other beautiful prayers has this, “That you see fit to humble the enemies of holy Church, this we ask you hear our prayer.” That would be a great prayer to tag onto every decade of the Rosary for those so inclined.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am aware of Larry Kramer but I try to stick with stories that have already been published. One thing to comment on a public scandal and another thing to make the scandal public. The only thing I will say on Larry is that I think he’s given some bad advice.

    All of these guys from Sam to the “Prominent 100 Catholics” really need our prayers. That said, their public attacks cannot go unanswered.


  3. The spectacle of a Catholic group, even only nominally Catholic, hiring a PR flack to defame and depose a Catholic Bishop, is an absolute scandal, an eruption of wickedness.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Let’s dredge up then! Sam Singer managed to blame zoo visitors in SF when Tatiana the tiger (or tigress) mauled a human being to death and injured others. Singer was called to lie (do damage control) and hide the fact that since 1997 people had been sending letters to the zoo director to sound the alarm that a big cat had been able leap over the moat. Read here:

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 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.


  6. You used the wrong adjective. You used “personal” lives. What you should have used was “private” lives. When you are living your life against the teachings of the Catholic Church for all to see, and you are a teacher, you are indeed teaching against Catholic doctrine. So, when the students know you are an abortion clinic escort, or that you are “married”, living with, etc. a member of the same sex, you most certainly are teaching against doctrine (and this is happening). Like I said, don’t ask, don’t tell. They are all teaching by example- the good, the bad and the ugly. So, as the Archbishop has stated, if you are not escorting women into an abortion clinic, passing out contraception to your students, talking about how you use contraception yourself, talking about your same-sex partner or putting it out on Facebook for all to see, have an extra-marital affair that is public knowledge, caught watching porn, proclaiming the Church’s teachings on the male-only priesthood is outdated, etc., etc., etc. There is NO problem. Why would their be a reason to fire them if nobody knew about it? Use a little common sense. If nobody’s publicly doing the above, no problem. The diocese ain’t taking a survey on it. If it becomes public, then one has to accept the consequences of their action.

    Clearly, it doesn’t sound like it would bother you if they did the above. That said, you cannot say that this doesn’t teach the kids that this stuff is peachy. Again, read the Canon Law on the Archbishop’s responsibility. He can’t ignore. He is canonically bound to that law.

    BTW, if they don’t want to be bothered with this pesky reality, they should go teach at a public school where anything goes, not a private school governed by Canon Law.


  7. 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”. I only hope your children, and I’m assuming that you don’t practice birth control other than the rhythm method, never find themselves as identifying as gay or transgender. I’m pretty convinced you wouldn’t be tolerant but if you loved them enough maybe you could evolve in your position. You must feel so alone in your Catholic faith considering that over 80% of Catholics practice or believe in birth control.

    The current handbook for these schools already ask 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.

    While your snarkiness is pretty funny, I don’t identify true Catholic behavior with the truly intolerant tone of your comments directed to anyone who doesn’t have your same view.

    I left the Catholic church years ago because I used assistive reproduction methods in order to have children. As a Catholic, I was raised to believe that my only purpose in life was to have children so that’s what I did. A priest told me I was committing a mortal sin. Considering the beautiful children we created, I was not going to ask for forgiveness so it was easier to leave the church. I haven’t left God, however, and still practice kindness, tolerance and forgiveness of others.

    The Catholic church did finally realize the world was not flat, that slavery was evil, etc. It’s time for the church to come up to date with many of their current views. If man is able to evolve from the days of Adam and Eve, then the church should be able to evolve, too.


  8. You’ve kind of made my point. A teacher fired because she decided to declare her same-sex partner in her mother’s obituary made a choice to publicly declare it. Nobody trolled for it. She put it out there for all to see. You act like the Archbishop is going to have people going through teachers trash to see if there are condom rappers. It ain’t going to happen. Heck, a teacher could go into a confessional and confess all his/her sins to the Archbishop and qualify he/she is a teacher and not be fired. IT’S PRIVATE!

    Your assumptions of me are wrong on most counts. For one, the rhythm method, really??? You’re so far removed from what the Faith and science really teach (maybe because you attended the same Catholic schools I did?) that you don’t even know the hard science of Natural Family Planning. This is one of the things I find terribly sad about my generation and the ones after! The Catholic Church always provides and provides very well in the area of science but you’d never know that because so many like to sit back and say “The rhythm method – tee hee!” The bulk of people don’t bother to research. It’s sad.

    As far as my children go. Yes, I also hope my kids don’t ever “find” themselves as homosexuals. If that happened, of course I would love them and support a heroic life of virtue that many of the saints were called to live. Yes, not acting on our sexual impulses is hardly the end of the world and actually can lead to a very fulfilled life. Ask all of the awesome clergy and religious in our area. You would seem to believe they have no impulses they need to keep in check. See, when you believe in an afterlife, you are far more ready to embrace the challenges this life has planned for you. You tend to see that this life is short and eternity is FOREVER. A life of taking up YOUR particular cross lead to a life fulfilled.

    I’m going to assume “assistive reproductive services” means IVF. The Church has very good reasons to be against IVF because fertility boosting drugs and surgeries to correct reproductive issues are not mortal sins. So, IVF, why is it a mortal sin? Soooooo many reasons – the worst being the victims nobody ever talks about – the children. Depending on the method used to create a child you end up with children left behind, those separated from their biological parents and those killed so two people can fulfill their want of having children. There’s also the egg donors who are often irreparably harmed. Please watch these videos: and These are just some of the reasons the Church is very against IVF. When you separate the procreative and unitive aspect of the marital act, there is always a victim even if it yourself. The Church loves us enough to tell us so.

    Also, since you received the same Catholic education I did, apparently, there was never a Church document out there saying the world was flat or that gave the thumbs up on slavery. This is where so many Catholics have a lack of understanding. Doctrine (which artificial birth control, homosexuality, etc. fall under) cannot change nor has it. There’s a difference between Discipline and Doctrine. If the Church has declared it a Truth (Doctrine) it does not change. To give you an idea between a Discipline and Doctrine we can look at the priesthood for a quick example. The celibate priesthood is a Discipline (it can change and it has but we are still bound to the rule of the day), the all-male priesthood is a Doctrine. It cannot change and it hasn’t and the Church has also declared it a Truth. Pope Francis just said it again: “The church has spoken and says no … That door is closed.”

    Why is Archbishop Cordileone being so clear on what Church Doctrine is? Uh, because so many think just like you – that it is changeable and will change so it’s peachy now because they think it is. This is a bad lesson for the students. He doesn’t want them to turn out like our generation and THANK GOD for that!

    Just a disclaimer: I don’t claim to be tolerant. I don’t tolerate a lot of things nor should I. You don’t tolerate a lot of things either. Tolerance is liberal speak, not Catholic speak and changes on the whim of the person. Love is a Catholic thing but it doesn’t mean agreeing with sin. I don’t find you to be the enemy. I find you to have grown up in the same unclear world in which I live!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My point is that people probably knew that she was gay. They found a “legal” way to get rid of her. Frankly, I don’t see much difference in what some call the rhythm method and you call Natural Family Planning. Please don’t elucidate because I think it is ridiculous to think a married Catholic couple can’t have sex any time they want to without worrying about bringing another child into the world that they can’t necessarily afford or want even.

    You talk about harm to children of IVF. “Children” are spontaneously aborted every day. Not sure I really get the difference of a frozen embryo being destroyed either in a dish or in a woman’s body. Not every embryo is successfully implanted.

    Would you rather a child is born to a parent who does not want them and then is subject to potential horrible abuse, neglect, etc. rather than let that person practice birth control? I find it fascinating that conservatives in government want to restrict birth control at the same time they are trying to take away safety nets. It’s as though they really want to control who have have sex. Kind of creepy.

    You are far better schooled on catholicism than I am, so please tell me how doctrine is formed. Artificial means birth control didn’t exist back in the day. How did that suddenly become doctrine?

    I don’t find you to be the enemy either, however, I do feel bad for you. You admit you are not tolerant. I find that sad. When I look at who is, and has been, intolerant in this world, I find they are the source of much of what is wrong in this world in terms of conflict and war. Personally, I think given that Jesus was tolerant of all, maybe we all should follow his example. Live and let live as long as it is not hurting you. Someone using birth control doesn’t hurt you. Someone having sex with a same sex partner does not hurt you, etc.


  10. Uhhhh…There’s no sin in being gay. I’m not really sure how many times we have to beat that horse. Let me try to illustrate in a way. A person is single. That’s not a sin. Right? The person has sex with another person, that’s where the sin lies.

    How does NFP differ from the rhythm method? Good question! Ifyou google Natural Family Planning, you will see it a far cry from not having sex mid-point in your cycle. That’s lame. Nobody’s been there in a long time. Here’s a good place to start on what Natural Family Planning is

    As far as separating the procreative and unitive aspects of the marital act…That’s a really involved questions and I’m not going to reinvent the wheel so I googled (because I’m awesome at googling) and found this which is a fairly short, concise answer to what would take me forever to type:

    You were spot on when you used the word destruction in IVF. There’s a huge difference between willingly destroying and embryo and an embryo dying (of course Catholic will insert human life in there because embryo is just another stage of human life). We treat life as sacred, not something to throw away or so carelessly create. The embryos that die are children of the biological parents. They have the DNA they will have the rest of their lives should they continue to grow. Their hair is already blonde, their eyes are already blue, etc. Just a different stage of development.

    Artificial means of not having children are biblical! LOL! Different versions of separating the procreative and the unitive aspect of marriage have existed since they figured out what caused pregnancies! While different means have arisen over the centuries, the Truth has always been there. No separating the procreative and unitive aspects of marriage. Truth is timeless. It’s not suddenly a Truth in one period of time and not another.

    Tolerance is a crock. You’re not tolerant of the guy who molests a child are you? Clearly everyone’s belief systems don’t jive with yours – either on the left or on the right. Where would the tolerance be for those who believe in following the teachings of the Catholic Church? We all have different lines we draw. You draw lines in a different place than the Church The line for the faithful Catholic is sin. Sin hurts us all.

    One last thing – what’s the proof that Jesus was tolerant of all??? You are confusing love and tolerance. Tolerance often has nothing to do with love and vice versa. Did Christ not flip some tables in the temple? Mighty tolerant of Him! He’s also the one that commanded the Apostles that if people didn’t listen to them they should shake the dust from their sandals as a witness against them. Again, not tolerant. You have to teach Truth or you are anything but loving. This is why the Archbishop can’t look at his flock and not protect them from sin. He’s a father to all and cannot give the thumbs up when he knows his children are about to touch a hot burner.


  11. OMM, your ability to switch between snarky ranting and patient correction of a self-righteous “recovering Catholic” is an inspiration to me. If only I had that patience…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. How can you be anything but be patient about someone who was as deprived of the Faith as I was in 12 years of Catholic school? Thank god for my parents who didn’t care to be cool!


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