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 ( 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 (
(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! (


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 ( and (  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 but 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.

24 thoughts on “Millstones and Vous

  1. my wife and I have some college acquaintances in a gay “marriage.” I tried to get to see their perspective, to have a reasoned discussion. However, I was completely unprepared for the conscience argument. Basically, this gay-“rights” movement within the Church has made “primacy of conscience” their magisterium, and their theological contortions allows even well-informed catholics to dissent with a clear conscience. I suggested that a well-formed conscience is one that aligns with the teachings of the Church, but to them that just makes you a sheep and denies free will. Thank you for the link to the catechism — very helpful to me — but unfortunately their understanding of “conscience” precludes any obligation to actually accept the catechism.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. So, they’d have to agree that there’s no possible way to sin, right? Of course they’ll disagree if you bring up someone intentionally killing someone else with a gun (because using a gun is usually ALWAYS a sin). They should be able to come up with some sinful act – either that or they’re so entrenched in their argument they’ll see where you’re going and just continue on with insanity. If they admit that something is a sin – At that point, you get to point out they just said someone was sinning? On who’s authority? The guy doing the killing has their “primacy of conscience” too, right? This might be of some help to you:

      Free will is the ability we have to follow God or to reject God. I do like the sheep reference though because I’m reasonably sure that there’s a nice little passage on the sheep and the goats. I’ll stick with the sheep thank you!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. There’s a little Woodside Priory Junior that is spearheading the Teacher Acceptance group–she has a lot of moxy but little else when it comes to “facts”. If she could channel her energy with a well-formed conscience, think of the good she could do for Our Lord and mankind.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sheesh…I’m so old I thought Woodise Priory was an all boys school…

      Anyway, I wandered over to look at some of the Teach Acceptance stuff and ended up at a recap of tha meeting at the University of SF…not sure if the date was March 16 but that seemed to be the date of the article.

      Did you know that peace and harmony are two of the strongest tenets of Catholicism? That’s what the article says. And as a demonstration of that:

      Brian Cahill, former president of San Francisco Catholic Charities, stirred the crowd of students, parents, teachers and concerned Catholics, many of them senior citizens, by asking “What if the Archbishop Cordileone hadn’t come here . . . and done what he’s doing?. . . indoctrinate, discriminate . . . and what if he had the pastoral style of our new pope? Think how much he’s moved the world with his style, his inclusiveness, his love. That’s what we should be teaching.”

      Peace out man…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Did you know that Brian Cahill has a homosexual son? Many once faithful Catholics, because of their “Mis-guided Compassion and love of their children”, completely turn away from the Church believing that if they no longer believe that sodomy is a sin, then its no longer a sin. I have once devout family members who have now lost their way. Their blindness has become extreme for some of them… the point of hating those of us who believe otherwise. A group called En-courage (apart of Courage) for family members of same sex attracted can really shed a light on the subject. They learn to love their ssa child but not their lifestyle. They carry these huge crosses and suffer much…..always praying that their prodigal children will come home. Same for those children who co-habitat, are on drugs, etc. and have left the Church.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, I do know Brian’s story. That said, I think it’s a chicken/egg scenario. You don’t usually go from knowing and embracing the Church teachings to ditching them for your child. We are all called to virtue. Nobody gets a pass. We definitely must pray for them. Brian Cahill has helped place at least 5 children with same-sex partners during his tenure with Catholic Charities. He will have to answer for that one.


          1. I agree with you…..but, that said, something happens to these parents……for them to throw away Church teaching and possible salvation. I have a brother and 2 sister-in-laws that have done just that.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Don’t even get me started! When I think of all the Catholic greats that may never be because nobody bothered to teach them the Faith, I get a bit steamed.

    I wonder if she’s the one who engaged in conversation with me the other day? Sadly, that person disappeared.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Are you talking about me? This is where I’m coming from:
      As far as engaging in conversation, it isn’t worth it to me, as it is clear you will not budge on the issues and neither will I. So, let’s agree to disagree and leave it at that. Final thought, as far as I can determine, doctrine and dogma were interpretations of the scriptures by men. It’s interesting that a survey was released yesterday talking about the decline of the belief in Christianity. I totally get it. The more I read your posts, the further I am from believing that there is a God, just a bunch of men who want to control the thoughts and actions of others.


      1. I think I actually cited you in the previous blog post. This particular post was about the website cited but you did kind of prove the point that people don’t actually bother to read before engaging in debate.

        The problem here, Teach Tolerance, is that you are not disagreeing with me, you are disagreeing with the teachings of the Church (which were cited big time). To say that doctrine/dogma were interpretations by men is a protestant position, not Catholic. Remember, we’re talking about Catholic schools – not Episcopalian, Lutheran, etc. If people want protestant ideas, wouldn’t you think it best that people who want those attend a protestant school and stop wasting their time fighting 2,000 years of Tradition? None of us are saying you have to believe in this or that but you seem to want to tell us we do. Catholicism is all about free will. You have the free will to accept or reject it.

        As far as the poll goes…the reason there is such a decline in Christianity is that a lot of denominations stopped teaching it awhile back. The Catholic Church doesn’t run away from Truth due to polls and doctrines.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. The truth as defined by men…and men from a couple of thousand of years ago. Hopefully, we’ve advanced somewhat since then. I’m actually afraid to ask if you believe in creationism as I’m pretty sure I know the answer.


          1. If you don’t believe Catholic doctrine about Catholic doctrine, why do you want to attend a Catholic school?

            Also, do you know what the Church actually teaches about the creation of the world? After reading the query, I’m reasonably sure you do not. Again, you confuse Catholics with other denominations. I find it so sad that you’ve never bothered to learn the teachings of the Church before you decided to leave it, TT. Stop reading the anti-Catholic sound bites and read the actual doctrines. I mean, at least “know thy enemy”. It makes for great debate vs. ad hominem attacks based on very false notions.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. which one? there’s young earth creationism and old earth creationism. These are contrasted with theistic evolution and materialistic evolution. Only the last of these four is necessarily false.

            Do you not believe that God created the world from nothing?

            “we’ve advanced since then” in scientific understanding, certainly, but public revelation ended with the death of the last Apostle. Holy Mother Church has developed in her understanding of the doctrines contained in the deposit of faith, but the doctrines have not and cannot change. Truth cannot change.

            If you think that “we’ve advanced”, what is it you think that we’re advancing *toward*? What is your teleology?

            Liked by 1 person

  4. michael s made the point I was going to make but made it far better than I could have, especially with a personal story. My experience has been from wandering around the net as OneMadMom has done. I haven’t visited the teachacceptance site but I do forage through some of the Catholic (in name only) “news” sites.

    Primacy of conscience comes up repeatedly in the comboxes. “If I give it a lot of thought and my conscience tells me I’m right then it’s okay.” Perhaps deliberating for more than a minute makes the decision “well formed”?

    They claim that this is what Vatican II taught.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. > They claim that this is what Vatican II taught.
      @tawdryglamour, spot on. As a priest friend often remarks, the people who talk most about Vatican II are the ones who’ve never read the council documents.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Getting into the minds of these folks requires a radical change of reference from 2000 years of Catholic thought. Once you establish the frame of reference that these folks live under all of their statement naturally fall out, or at least most of them do. You can’t look overly close though because the mindset is fundamentally incoherent, but it is possible to generally follow along and even predict responses.
    To start with we have the dual axioms of personal freedom and intolerance of authority. So references to the Catechism (which they see as an argument from authority) are rejected by them without review. Likewise what was actually written in the documents of Vatican II is irrelevant, because such documents were written by duly appointed representatives of the Church, and as such, people of authority. Rather the “Spirit of Vatican II” a concept created by the dissents outside the council and looking in is the important point.
    Next comes the theory of “I am what I do dignity.” That is my dignity comes form what I do rather than from my creation in the image of God. So that if I commit the sin of same sex relations I am homosexual. I become my sin and if you challenge my right to sin in this way you challenge my dignity. Combined with the axiom of personal freedom we get “what I do in my private life, which becomes my public life, is no ones business, except you must absolutely support me in it.” Because if you don’t you’re offending my dignity. You are attacking me.
    This all becomes logical and predictable because if there is no absolute truth, if we do not have to respect the authority of Christ’s Church, then anything that limits what we want to do is evil, and anything we want to do is good. Thus the only sins become killing someone, unless that someone is a pre-born baby or a sick old person. The only sinners are Hitler and anyone who says morality isn’t relative.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I get the primacy of conscience argument – although it’s kind of silly. The thing is that everyone will draw the line somewhere, right? For one it’s murder, another it’s child pornography, rape, etc. If we use their logic, they can’t draw a line because of their skewed view of primacy of conscience. So, if they are able to draw a line, why can’t the Church? The only answer ends up being because it somehow affects them.

    Of course, it also goes back to the authority of the Church…


  7. [sigh]

    Dissenters dissent – that is what they do. (and their reason for living, so it seems)

    I have dealt with this often in my neck-O-the-woods.

    With OMM’s permission (thank you, dear!) I wanted to tell readers we have recently published a book about the dissent I personally have encountered after coming home to the Church in the late 1990’s.

    The book is titled “The Language of Dissent: Answering those who distort the Catholic Faith.”

    It has a foreword by Ignatius Press author Donna Steichen. (she and Msgr. Michael Wrenn, another Ignatius Press author, helped me with early editing and theological/apologetics content)

    See the book here:

    If you have heard things like:

    + Jesus did not teach anything about sexuality
    + There are errors and contradictions in the Bible
    + The most important person at Mass is not the person on the Altar – it is the people
    + Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae is not infallible because it was not declared Ex Cathedra
    + Adam and Eve are just myth, legend or literary constructs
    + Jesus had no knowledge of His own Divinity
    + The Eucharist is not confected to be put into a baroque monstrance
    + When you make the decision to go to confession God already absolves you from your sins
    + It does not matter which church one belongs to; just as long as you love Jesus
    + Jesus really did not perform any miracles – or multiply the fishes and loaves; the real miracle was the sharing of the food His followers already had with them

    If have heard any of the above, or some semblance of them, then this book is for you.

    We reference Magisterial sources such as The Holy Bible, the Catechism (and its Compendium), writings of the saints, writings of the early Church Fathers, Conciliar documents, Papal writings, Denzinger’s “Sources of Catholic Dogma”, and more.

    We have gotten fairly good reviews and I have been throughout our diocese giving presentations to promote our book.

    Thanks for granting permission, OMM. :^) I just thought your readers may be interested in this because it shows the average Catholic the Church *does* have an answer for questionable or downright heretical statements about the faith.

    Catechist Kev

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That was my first thought, too! I put the book on my wish list. (I’m going to see if there is anything else on the wish list that I can order to get free shipping.)

      So many combox discussions involve those erroneous statements. I need ammo!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You are welcome, OMM.

    Mrs. Steichen helped me from the get-go. :^)

    She was incredibly helpful and supportive. Even her children liked the book.

    Catechist Kev

    Liked by 2 people

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