NcR in the “Crucify Him!” Crowd? They Were the Majority, After All!

NcR (National catholic Reporter, Not Catholic Reporter, National catholic Fishwrap, National Catholic Distorter – the nickname list keeps growing) knows the end is near for the “big fight” they’ve had going on in their minds over who the Catholic Church must or mustn’t fire. Sorry NcR, you lose. You still don’t get to dictate to the Church, the Supreme Court, or any of the other entities you megalomaniacs would like to.

Here’s another stab by Jamie Manson (

Catholic schools must refuse to fire LGBT employees

Jamie L. Manson  |  Jul. 29, 2015 Grace on the Margins

First comment? Jamie how about you just retitle your column to “How Far Can I Go Past the Margins Before I Admit I’ve Joined the Heretics?” There’s no “Grace” involved. There’s just you, acting like a petulant teenager, pushing the limits of obedience.

It’s beginning to feel like every week brings a new story about the firing of an LGBT employee from a Catholic institution.

Really? Every week? Can you say “exaggeration?” I realize that you might think that ALL teachers fired suffer from same-sex attraction, but you might be confusing the reasons some were fired. You can Google (or use some much less offensive search engine), but I think you might have a bit of trouble finding those weekly stories.

The most recent well-publicized termination happened earlier this month at Waldron Mercy Academy in Philadelphia. The school declined to renew the contract of Margie Winters, the school’s director of religious studies, when it came to light that she is in a same-sex marriage.

Winters, who has been with the school for eight years, says her administrators were well aware that she was married to a woman. It wasn’t until two parents complained to the Philadelphia archdiocese that she was terminated.

Well, thanks for something I hadn’t even noticed before: she was the school’s director of religious studies??? The school’s director of religious studies who was publicly committing a mortal sin with no intent to stop?!? She was so astute in her knowledge of religious studies that she didn’t notice that little part in the Catholic Catechism where it says that homosexual acts are gravely evil?? Winner!

Now, in Margie’s defense, she shouldn’t have been hired in the first place. That said, Jamie Manson seems to be neglecting to tell you the fact that the principal told her to make sure that her private life didn’t become public. Apparently Margie managed to do that for quite a while until two parents found out and rightfully complained that it might not be too consistent with the Catholic education for which they were paying!!! Those mean old parents! Imagine their nerve, expecting the Catholic Faith to not be contradicted by example in said Catholic school.

In the wake of Winters’ firing, many commentators have suggested that bishops and Catholic institutions need to show greater mercy and compassion in dealing with its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

How about mercy for the souls of the children who are being harmed by other peoples’ lifestyle choices and those who are simultaneously being denied authentic Catholic teaching? Heaven forbid we think about them! Let’s just focus on those who would like to contradict the Catholic identity of the schools at which they teach.

Waldron Mercy did show sensitivity and acceptance of their lesbian employee. They kept Winters on staff and valued her contributions to the students and the school community.

Again, Ms. Manson, let’s just admit the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy they had in place worked until Ms. Winters simply didn’t abide by it. Don’t act like it was a sudden about-face on the part of the school. Ms. Winters freely admits she was told not to let her relationship become public with the students and parents.  This has been reported in other publications but, not so surprisingly, not by NcR.  (

But once the complaint was made to the archdiocese, Waldron Mercy, like most Catholic institutions caught in a similar dilemma, felt forced to terminate their employee.

Like I said, she should have never been hired in the first place, since it was such a conflict of interest.  Parents were inevitably going to find out and be upset.

Winters’ story sheds light on an important and overlooked truth: Even a Catholic institution that strives to be inclusive and nurturing can’t protect an LGBT employee. As long as Roman Catholic doctrine teaches that same-sex relationships are sinful and a violation of God’s plan for humanity, LGBT employees will not be safe in their jobs in Catholic institutions.

Uh, right. You don’t get to advertise for Pepsi when you work for Coke. How many times have you heard that people teach by example? All the time, unless it has to do with some liberal cause. Then, of course, you’re not to watch what they are doing. You are just supposed to embrace it because they’re not actually teaching.

Nevertheless, it is important to examine why Waldron Mercy’s administrators may have felt compelled to fire Winters.

At this point, I just have to ask why every sentence of “Grace on the Margins” is its own paragraph. I mean, I’m far from a grammar snob, but this is just ridiculous! Sorry, just the homeschool mom in me. You know that it’s bad when I actually notice it, despite my lack of a master’s from Yale.

The possible answer can be gleaned from a letter sent to parents by the school’s principal, Nell Stetser. According to Philadelphia magazine, Stetser praised Winters’ contribution to the school but explained, “As WMA’s principal, however, my duty is to protect our school’s future. In the Mercy spirit, many of us accept life choices that contradict current Church teachings, but to continue as a Catholic school, Waldron Mercy must comply with those teachings.

Near the conclusion of the letter, Stetser writes, “I realize some disagree with my decision. I believe, however, I have acted in the best interest of the Waldron Mercy community and preserved our heritage as a Catholic school. We are not alone in this plight.”

While not saying it explicitly, Stetser’s letter strongly suggests that a serious threat was looming over Waldron Mercy if they refused to fire Winters. Though few Catholic schools will go public about it, the truth is that many of them are forced to fire LGBT employees because the presiding bishop threatens to revoke their canonical status.

“I have no fact regarding any threats, but I’m going to say that it looks like the mean old patriarchy made them do it.” Really, Ms. Manson? Your lack of Catholicism and integrity is showing.   Personally, I would find it very nice if the Catholic identity of every Catholic school dissenting against Church teaching were threatened (*cough* Georgetown *cough*), but more likely the diocese pointed out that it was contradictory, and the school accepted that advice.

According to Canon 803 §3, “No school is to bear the name Catholic school without the consent of competent ecclesiastical authority.” That “competent ecclesiastical authority” is the bishop who presides over the diocese in which the school is located, even if a religious community sponsors the school.

Oh, for heaven’s sake! If you’re going to quote Canon Law, let’s really quote it, shall we? You quoted the part that fits your conspiracy theory but conveniently left out the bishop’s DUTY in the matter. Let me enlighten you:

Can. 804 §1. The Catholic religious instruction and education which are imparted in any schools whatsoever or are provided through the various instruments of social communication are subject to the authority of the Church. It is for the conference of bishops to issue general norms about this field of action and for the diocesan bishop to regulate and watch over it.

  • 2. The local ordinary is to be concerned that those who are designated teachers of religious instruction in schools, even in non-Catholic ones, are outstanding in correct doctrine, the witness of a Christian life, and teaching skill.

Can. 805 For his own diocese, the local ordinary has the right to appoint or approve teachers of religion and even to remove them or demand that they be removed if a reason of religion or morals requires it.

Ms. Manson then goes on to try to pull at the faithful’s heartstrings:

A loss of canonical status would, of course, have financial repercussions, such as the loss of funding or even the loss of the school’s property. Even more tragically, it has sacramental consequences. It is unlikely that the Eucharist or the sacrament of reconciliation could be celebrated at the school, for example.

Bahahaha! Do you really expect us to believe that you are worried about the Eucharist or the Sacrament of Reconciliation??? That is rich! If you were truly worried about that, wouldn’t you also be worried about the soul of Margie Winters and the children who are confused by her public witness of dissent? Let’s be a little honest. The only sin that exists for you is when Catholics uphold the teachings of the Church.   I really don’t think confession is high on your priority list. You’d actually have to believe in sin. You should have stuck with the money angle. Now that’s believable.

It is unclear what role Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput had in the termination of Margie Winters and whether he, in fact, threatened to revoke Waldron Mercy’s canonical status. In media statements, the archdiocese denied it had any involvement with the firing, but a statement Chaput released praised the school for the action and does suggest that the school’s canonical status may have been in jeopardy.

“Schools describing themselves as Catholic take on the responsibility of teaching and witnessing the Catholic faith in a manner true to Catholic belief,” Chaput wrote.

“I’m very grateful to the Religious Sisters of Mercy and to the principal and board members of Waldron Mercy for taking the steps to ensure that the Catholic faith is presented in a way fully in accord with the teaching of the Church,” Chaput continued. “They’ve shown character and common sense at a moment when both seem to be uncommon.”

Thanks for clarifying, again, that you have no factual evidence for your suppositions. Also, “Boo!” for parsing of Archbishop Chaput.   Here’s the whole thing. Not sure why you chose to leave stuff out and rearrange a bit, but I do have some ideas! (Emphasis on what NcR chose to leave out is all mine! Anyone surprised the “honesty” part was ditched?)

Schools describing themselves as Catholic take on the responsibility of teaching and witnessing the Catholic faith in a manner true to Catholic belief. There’s nothing complicated or controversial in this. It’s a simple matter of honesty.

I’m very grateful to the Religious Sisters of Mercy and to the principal and board members of Waldron Mercy for taking the steps to ensure that the Catholic faith is presented in a way fully in accord with the teaching of the Church. They’ve shown character and common sense at a moment when both seem to be uncommon.

Ms. Manson could have saved us all a lot of time and summed it all up in this next sentence instead of repeating it over and over with conjecture tossed into the mix.

We don’t know what role the archdiocese actually played in this specific case;

Yes, you’ve already mentioned the fact you don’t have a clue.

however, as anyone who’s worked in the church knows, the views and priorities of a bishop or archbishop who is a strong leader, which Chaput certainly is, are well known within his administration. In his post-action statement, Chaput makes clear his thoughts on these types of cases in general: “There’s nothing complicated or controversial in this.”

Post-action statement? They just can’t help but imply, can they?

If a school feels forced to choose between terminating a person’s career and forfeiting its Catholic identity, which the principal’s statement seems to say, that would be an especially menacing form of bullying.

Jamie – can you please provide me a list of schools who’ve had to forfeit their Catholic identity under Archbishop Chaput? I mean, it happens all the time, right? You folks over there at NcR seem to enjoy whipping up hysteria.

Darker still is the irony that a Catholic school would have to prove its identity by destroying an LGBT employee’s livelihood.

Darker still? If you were my teenager, my husband would be telling you to drop the drama just about now. Yes, we get it. You don’t want schools to follow Canon Law nor do you want them to have a Catholic identity. You just want them to be expensive secular schools full of little elitists like yourself. Gotcha!

So what can be done in the face of so much injustice?

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” No amount of mercy or increased sensitivity will defeat the injustice and indignity of the church’s teachings on LGBT people and same-sex relationships. Only a change in doctrine will protect the jobs of LGBT employees.

Oh, no, she didn’t! To my black friends, I apologize on behalf of this liberal idiot for invoking MLK to support the LGBT movement. I’m reasonably sure she just offended at least half of the King family. She also might want to “Google” Alveda and Bernice King before she even remotely suggests that MLK’s struggles and the struggles of the LGBT club are on the same planet. Please feel free to email her your thoughts at

Next, Jamie, you might want to read up on Charles Lwanga. I’m sure he’s not so popular over there at NcR, either.

Finally, Doctrine = Truth! How is it that you write for a publication with “Catholic” in its name and don’t understand that TRUTH DOES NOT CHANGE! I mean, this is Catholicism 101!

It is time for us to encourage school leaders, both religious and lay, to refuse to comply with demands that they fire LGBT employees.

Where are the demands that LGBT employees be fired? Like we’ve all said ad nauseam, we don’t want to know your sins. Don’t make them public (as Margie Winters didn’t do for 8 years) and you’d have no reason to be fired.

Many Catholic schools were founded by women religious. The sisters have a remarkable history of protesting nuclear weapons, racial injustice, income inequality, prison conditions, human trafficking, the death penalty and environmental degradation.

Perhaps she missed the lovely sisters at Marin Catholic High School walking out as LGBT literature was being handed out. Now, those ladies are awesome! Hope we get more of them!

With such a legacy behind them, why would Catholic schools willingly participate in the radical injustice of terminating the vocations of its devoted LGBT employees and subject them to such financial instability and deep humiliation?

Wait! First she brings up MLK, and now she’s comparing women religious with “married” lesbian teachers? Somebody might want to teach her what “similar” means.

Most Catholic schools seem to have a clear advantage over the bishops. The laity has far more respect for women religious than they do for the hierarchy. The majority of Catholics in the United States strongly support the rights of LGBT people. And more than enough Catholic theologians and ethicists have argued cogently for the full inclusion and equality of LGBT people in the church.

Uh, where do women religious come into it? Are you under the impression Margie Winters is a woman religious? This is coming out of nowhere. Also, your “more than enough” line of thinking really shows your lack of Catholic knowledge again. “More than enough” people argued that killing Christ was a good thing. I suppose you’d have been right there with the crowd yelling, “Crucify Him!” Again, Truth is Truth! It doesn’t change by popular vote.

Why, then, not call the bishops’ bluffs? Imagine the pushback and negative press a bishop would get if he stripped a Catholic school of its identity for refusing to fire an LGBT employee. Imagine the momentum that could be built and the empowering precedent it could set for other schools facing the same turmoil.

What bluff??? Do you actually think the Church should be swayed by “negative press”? Of course you do! That’s why you and the rest of the NcR ilk are trying so darn hard. You are so full of yourselves! You seem to think that you are going to collapse 2,000 years of Catholicism with “negative press.” Move along!

Yes, the risks of disobeying a bishop are serious, but unless we as a community of women religious, Catholic school board members and administrators, parents and students, and progressive Catholics join together to say “no more” to these unjust doctrines and degrading firings, substantive change will not happen.

Are you a card-carrying member of “Stop Patriarchy?” You’ve quite glaringly excluded those pesky priests. Also, seriously, how do you study Catholic theology at Yale and be so woefully ignorant? (That was rhetorical!)

Yes, Jamie, disobedience to a bishop is serious stuff.  It’s also serious stuff to encourage others to disobey.  The penalty goes far beyond loss of Catholic identity but it doesn’t seem you comprehend anything of the spiritual sort.

For the sake of the integrity of our church and the future of Catholic education, it is time to defy the threats and bullying, have the courage of our convictions, and refuse to perpetuate this injustice inside the walls of our Catholic schools.

For the sake of integrity??? You packed away your integrity a long time ago, Jamie. How about, for the sake of integrity, you admit that you don’t have a clue about the teachings of the Church that you are trying to subvert on a daily basis? The only bully here is you and your pals who think you should be able to walk in the doors of a Catholic school and have everything spin around your whims instead of Canon Law and Catholic Tradition.


Magic Queer Powers!

Hoo boy! I just couldn’t let the week go by without commenting on a letter from the now former Sacred Heart Cathedral teacher, Abi Basch ( While reading it, my first thought is, “Yeah, none of these teachers have an agenda and all just want to uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church.” (I almost typed all that with a straight face!) Basch is the epitome of what’s wrong in the SF Archdiocesan Schools right now. I actually applaud her for being honest, for once, although she simply should have left because her ideologies clash with the teachings of the school she is supposed to represent. She clearly made no effort to teach her students about the Catholic Church, nor, as you can see from Hugh’s letter found at the link above, did she make an effort to correct his misconceptions of Church teachings.

From Basch’s letter:

Yes it’s true — I am leaving SHC and moving to Los Angeles to teach at the Buckley School.

(By the way, Basch is also the person who registered the infamous domain name. Hon, since you are leaving, can I have it now so I can put it out of its misery?)

Also true — I am doing it in large part because I do not want to work without state and federal workplace discrimination protections that most Californians enjoy. And another truth — I AM LGBT. Now that I do not work for Archbishop Cordileone, I can say to my students, their families, my colleagues — without fear of losing my job: I am not only your ally. I understand your magic queer powers and the dangers you face when others fear their might — because I have them too.

Look out for those magic queer powers, people! This kind of bizarre quote is one reason people like me are opposed to teachers like her. No, we don’t want the phrase “magic queer powers” used in the classroom by our social studies teachers. Does somebody really think there’s a problem with that objection? I mean, really, this is one of the voices of a supposed movement and we get, “They’re scared of our magic queer powers!” It’s just, well, sad.

 Hugh Mac Neill — you wrote me such a beautiful open letter for the #teachacceptance Phil Ting hearing yesterday — thank you for letting me post it here. (Everyone read it! You will cry, I promise.)

Oh, you’ll cry alright. Not a single word about the Faith except to misquote it. No mention of God. The only person ever on a cross to this young man is Miss Basch.

I am so proud of you for being who you are and standing up for justice. I am moved by all of my students and colleagues, the parents (!!!) and gay and civil rights activists that have rallied around the #teachacceptance cause. I have learned boundless amounts from you. You have taught me about integrity and strength, and made me a better, fiercer, more compassionate human.

Lady, you just used the term “magic queer powers”. If that’s fierce and compassionate, you’ve missed some part of history in your “social studies” education.

I am grateful to SHC for the many ways it has tried to protect its LGBT population, even in the face of pressures from the Arch. And I am very much looking forward to being at Buckley, where my sexual orientation and experience fighting for social justice have been not only welcomed but celebrated. My love and support will continue with all of you.

Give me a break! You’ve all been whipped into a frenzy, but you are the one who has created pressures. Clearly, you just wanted to bring your “cause” into the classroom of a school which was established by a Church innately opposed to your efforts because she cares about souls. Not quite sure if you believe in souls and an eternal afterlife, Miss Basch, but your employer does. So, please, toddle off to corrupt young souls elsewhere with your lack of knowledge or conviction of the Catholic Faith, just don’t do it in a Catholic school. That has been the point all along. If you have an agenda, go to a place that welcomes it. Don’t expect to rail against an employer and have that employer give you the thumbs up!

You had a perfect “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in place, Miss Basch, but that’s not what you wanted. You wanted to openly undermine the teachings of the employer for whom you worked. I suppose this isn’t totally your fault. You and your ilk got away with it for so long because nobody ever seemed to care quite enough about the eternal souls of the children in the diocese. Clearly, Archbishop Cordileone does because he’s willing to go through hell to ensure these students are going to receive the One True Faith instead of the watered down version they’ve clearly been receiving up until now. Thank you, Archbishop Cordileone, for leading our Church through these difficult times.

The Tale of Two Things

Two interesting things ran across my desk last week. The first is a video of Assemblyman Phil Ting’s “hearing”: Please give it a good watch to see the crud we deal with in the SF Archdiocese, but make sure you don’t eat right before you watch. The teachers seem to have a problem with the newly discovered (by them) words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Why? Probably because they have never bothered to study the teachings of the Church and understand how they are there for our spiritual well-being. This, of course, is not limited to those with same-sex attraction. They also have no regard for the Catholic Church’s teachings on life or sexual morality in general.

Contrast that attitude with an email I received last week. I am reprinting it with permission from “Tom from Michigan.” I asked his permission because I feel it describes the truth of the Catholic Church’s teachings and her love for our brothers and sisters with same-sex attraction. I know it exemplifies the love of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone!

I want all people suffering from same-sex attraction to find the peace and love Tom found in the arms of the Church. Tom has clearly gone past the sound bites and studied the actual Church teachings. Thank you, Tom! Personally, I hope you might start a blog on your journey to the Church. Like I’ve said before, when I want to learn how to deal with struggles in my married life and raising children, I find people who have dealt with the same struggles. I hope more people with same-sex attractions that have found hope, comfort and peace in the Church can help those with the same struggles.

Tom from Michigan writes:

I just want to tell you how much I enjoy your comments.

I would also like to share something. I am a 56-year-old man who suffers from same-sex attraction. I was initiated into the Church on June 1, 2014. Before September, 2013, I had never stepped foot inside a Catholic church. I was, in fact, an agnostic secular humanist. God used Pope Francis to light a fire in me, and the more I learned about the Catholic Church, the more I realized it is the true Church of God and where I wanted to be.

In my two-year journey, I have encountered nothing but kindness and acceptance in the Catholic church and her members. In fact, I feel safer as a “gay” man among Catholics than I do as a devout Catholic among “gay” people. I haven’t told everyone about my sexual orientation, but those who I have told have accepted me with open arms (including one Cardinal who is general portrayed by the media as “hateful”–he is in fact one of the kindest, charitable men on the planet). My few remaining LGBTQI (it’s hard to remember all those letters) acquaintances have not been at all supportive in my journey of faith.

My point in sharing this is that people should not assume that Dignity and New Ways speak for all Catholics who suffer from same-sex attraction. Nor should they assume that every one of us (Catholic or not) identifies as a member of the so-called LGBTQI community, or that HRC and GLAAD speak for us. Personally, I belong to Courage and I wish every bishop in America would support Courage and its mission.

Keep writing! Keep defending the true faith and the true Church! Keep defending Archbishop Cordileone!

God’s Blessings, Tom

Wonderfully written, Tom! Thank  you so much for allowing me to share.  For everyone else, if you are suffering from same-sex attraction, please look into the Courage Roman Catholic Apostolate at I know several of the priests involved in my area, and they are all wonderful, holy, men! We are all in this Catholic life together and the Catholic Church has something for everyone to help us lead a life of heroic virtue no matter what life throws at you!

Assemblyman Who?

Expect the next couple of weeks to resemble an exorcist pouring holy water on a demon. It’s going to be ugly with the liberals desperately grasping at straws despite a Supreme Court ruling that squashes their daydream that the Catholic Church is going against “settled law.” It’s also going to get annoying watching no–name liberals attempting to create a reputation for themselves trying to slay the Archbishop. Somehow they’ve missed the fact that THEY are the ones going against settled law in their battle against religious freedom. Of course, it’s not likely to stop them from suing the heck out of the archdiocese in attempt to win by bankruptcy, but they’ve missed the fact that we won’t let that happen. What is the latest straw they are grasping for? Assemblyman Phil Ting, one of the crafters of a letter to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone that stated his handbook wording was in “conflict with settled areas of law and foment a discriminatory environment in the communities we serve,” has decided to hold a “Public Hearing on Ministerial Exceptions” on July 23rd. (Please feel free to give Mr. Ting an earful at 415-557-2312.) Katrina Trinko penned a nice piece on Ting and Company’s insane attempt to interject themselves into the Catholic Church governance and the Archbishop’s response to it ( ). By the way, in case you missed it, here is the Archbishop’s response to Ting and Company (—february-19-2015.pdf?sfvrsn=2):

Dear Legislators, I am in receipt of your letter of February 17, 2015, expressing your concerns about the negotiation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the teachers’ union of our four Archdiocesan High Schools. Allow me to respond by reflecting with you on the real issues that are at stake here. First of all, I always believe that it is important, before making a judgment on a situation or anyone’s action, that one first obtain as complete and accurate information as possible. To this end, a number of documents and videos giving accurate and more complete information about this contentious issue are available on the website of our Archdiocese. I would encourage you to avail yourselves of these resources, as they will help to clear up a lot of misinformation being circulated about it (such as, for example, the falsehood that the morality clauses apply to the teachers’ private life). The next thing I would like to mention is actually a question: would you hire a campaign manager who advocates policies contrary to those that you stand for, and who shows disrespect toward you and the Democratic Party in general? On the other hand, if you knew a brilliant campaign manager who, although a Republican, was willing to work for you and not speak or act in public contrary to you or your party – would you hire such a person? If your answer to the first question is “no,” and to the second question is “yes,” then we are actually in agreement on the principal point in debate here. Now let’s say that this campaign manager you hired, despite promises to the contrary, starts speaking critically of your party and favorably of your running opponent, and so you decide to fire the person. Would you have done this because you hate all Republicans outright, or because this individual, who happens to be a Republican, violated the trust given to you and acted contrary to your mission? If the latter, then we are again in agreement on this principle. My point is: I respect your right to employ or not employ whomever you wish to advance your mission. I simply ask the same respect from you. Sincerely, Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone Archbishop of San Francisco

In 2012, the Supreme Court issued a ruling (Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) which we’d hope the lower courts would follow. Here’s a really good analysis of the unanimous ruling and the opinion that spells out ultimate victory for Archbishop Cordileone and the Archdiocese of San Francisco:( The bottom line?

It specifically affirmed “a religious group’s right to shape its own faith and mission through its appointments.” And it grounded its holding in the proposition that “the text of the First Amendment itself . . . gives special solicitude to the rights of religious organizations.

So who is violating “settled law,” Mr. Ting?

The decision was, strikingly, unanimous: no one disagreed with Chief Justice Roberts’s opinion for the Court. The only separate opinions were concurring ones, suggesting further extensions or specific applications of the Court’s reasoning. On a Court that has often been bitterly divided, this expression of unanimity is truly remarkable.

If you’ve read the decision and opinions ( ), you’d know that it was quite remarkable. The liberals would like you to believe that Perich lost only because she was named as a minister, but if you read the Supreme Court opinions, they said that this particular case was a no brainer because she was indeed labeled a minister. Furthermore, they were not going to tell a church who did and who didn’t perform in a ministerial capacity, and they specifically stated that teachers would be considered such. Whoops! Another hope of those attacking Archbishop Cordileone is that somehow a teacher’s union is going to trump Religious Freedom. It’s been said that the fact that Bishop Vasa and Bishop Barber won their handbook battles is because the teachers in those dioceses were not unionized. Well, which is it? Is it against the law, or is it because there’s a union? Well, the Supreme Court says it’s a Religious Freedom issue, and Bishops Vasa and Barber haven’t landed in jail, so we know it’s not against “settled law.” I don’t think you’ll find case-law that says that a union ever trumps Religious Freedom. If that were the case, the Catholic Church would be totally and utterly against unions, right?

UPDATED: NcR Needs a Time Out!

Holy smokes! National catholic Reporter (small “c” no accident) seem to be hell-bent on going down with the ship! I think I’m going to change my pet name for them to “Not Catholic Reporter.” It’s just gotten that ridiculous. Seriously, it decided it’s going to be the number one mouthpiece for the anti-USCCB folks? I’m a little shocked that they’ve done a piece tying the entire editorial staff to the same millstone, but they have indeed (

In another way, however, this broad new acceptance may be as transformative in its own way of our understanding of something deeply personal and mysterious as recent explorations have been transformative of our understanding, in equally jarring ways, of an infinitely vast and endlessly mystifying universe.

OK, I’m just going to ask this? What…the…H E Double Hockey Sticks does that mean??? Anyone? Really? What are they trying to say? I feel like a new age psychologist on acid wrote this. Thanks for the comic relief.

In each case, old certainties that once comfortably contained our presumptions are shattered. Even those who marvel at or celebrate such new realities might, at the same time, find them unsettling.

Uh, yeah, thousands of years of God’s Law just went out the window. You bet we find them unsettling. I’m going to bust this out again – Thanks Captain Obvious!

 The Catholic church, which has used some of the most severe language of major denominations in its condemnation of homosexuality, labeling those with a homosexual orientation “intrinsically disordered,” is especially challenged by the ruling.

Really? Homosexuals have been condemned? Mind showing us a citation for that? Honestly, why do you even want to have “Catholic” in your name again? You clearly are against most doctrine.

At least its leaders are, for it has become clear in recent years that when it comes to believers, Catholics are among the most accepting of homosexuality. In terms of same-sex marriage, according to recent Pew Research polling, “Among Catholics and white mainline Protestants, roughly six-in-ten now express support for same-sex marriage.”

OK, we all know by now the Pew Research poll was an outlier ( Still desperately clinging to that one, NcR? Just for the sake of making you feel better about your downward spiral, sanity-wise, let’s say Pew was right (which is a bigger stretch of logic than their poll). If 99% of people are wrong, does that make them right? I seem to recall a story about Noah, and another about Lot. Pesky, but if you call yourselves Catholics, you might want to flip through the pages of the Bible once in a while.

Churches certainly don’t run on polling data, but the bishops should at least be informed of what the flock is thinking. And the majority of the flock is not in agreement with assertions such as those voiced by Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., who called the decision “a tragic error.”

Great, Carnac! Tell me what am I thinking right now? That you are all pompous idiots? Right on the money.

Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, compared Obergefell v. Hodges to Roe v. Wade and said that just as Roe v. Wade did not settle the question of abortion, Obergefell v. Hodges does not settle the question of marriage. “Neither decision is rooted in the truth and, as a result, both will eventually fail. Today the Court is wrong again. It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage.

The comparison with Roe is simply way off base. Obergefell is not a matter of life and death. The case thus stated by Kurtz also places the conference in the posture of combatant — with everyone: gays and lesbians, their families, government structures, not to mention the church itself in the expression of the many Catholics who disagree.

And here’s how we know you wouldn’t know Catholicism if it hit you with a 2×4. Yes, it is a matter of life and death. You have NO concept of eternal life or eternal damnation. The Catholic Church is not called to be in union with everyone. Everyone is called to be in union with the Catholic Church. Can you really be this out of touch with Catholic teaching?

Further, if the church’s experience with Roe is any indication, taking the combative approach will mean endless years of litigation and lobbying, convincing few and alienating many while further depleting whatever political capital the church might have left.

I’m sorry. Did anyone catch the news the last couple of days? Let’s see – the Israelites wandered 40 years in the desert, and now it’s taken about 40 years to see Planned Parenthoods closing left and right and the National Organization going up in flames. Sorry, NcR. God’s people are very, very patient.

The Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage has, like the Affordable Care Act before it, raised new questions about religious freedom — how it is interpreted in the course of day-to-day life, and who can claim it as a means of exempting themselves, individuals or businesses, from following the law. These complex matters will demand more of the bishops than a foot-stomping “no.”

Nope, not really. It’s time to come out with all guns a blazing. If this line in the sand is crossed, it might take a lot longer than 40 years to reclaim this land. I think we’ve all learned that impossible is quite possible. We’re not taking anything for granted anymore – especially our Religious Freedom. It’s quite clear that if the “powers that be” in this country are going to go after the Little Sisters of the Poor, they’re going to go after us all.

As Jesuit Fr. Tom Reese points out in his analysis, a combative stance is not the only option. First, the church’s treatment of divorced and remarried people is an apt comparison to gay couples. Divorce and remarriage is legal in all states, but the church is not required to perform such weddings. Ministers remain free to denounce divorce. At the same time, it is rare that Catholic institutions fire people who divorce and remarry; moreover, they and their new spouses often receive benefits. Such consideration is not viewed as an endorsement of a lifestyle.

Further, Reese points out, “In Catholic morality, there is nothing to prohibit a Catholic judge or clerk from performing a same-sex marriage. Nor is there any moral obligation for a Catholic businessperson to refuse to provide flowers, food, space and other services to a same-sex wedding.” Bishops, even those intent on railing against the decision, need to make that point clear to their people.

First of all, does it bother anyone that Fr. Reese uses Thomas Reese in his articles? Dropping “Fr.” from his byline really should be a tip-off. Next, he’s a Jesuit. God bless those priests who still follow St. Ignatius, but odds are he’s into subverting faithful Catholicism. Next, let’s just be clear: “Thomas Reese” doesn’t want the Church to fight for any core Catholic principles like marriage, life, etc. He really does everything he can to step over the Catholic “line” without actually saying what he’s thinking lest he be silenced. He already had to leave America Magazine for not defending the Faith (he simply reported both sides, don’tcha know?).

Fortunately for U.S. Catholics, examples exist of other episcopal voices who took a more measured and prudent approach. Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., wrote that the meaning of marriage for the church was the same post-Supreme Court ruling as it was before.

The practical challenge for the church and its agencies, he said, is the need “to balance two important values, the provision of appropriate health care benefits for all church personnel including their spouses, and the avoidance of the perception that by doing so we accept a definition of marriage and spouse contrary to faith and revealed truth.

Hmmm…the editorial staff is cherry picking. Perhaps they didn’t notice this part:

The ancient Maxim “love the sinner but hate the sin” is central to our behavior because it refers to all human beings. The Lord asks us to “be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect,” but he does so in reference to how we are to love one another (Matthew 5:48). In the Sacraments, he also gives us the grace to do so. The Church has and always will meet people where they are to bring them closer to Christ.

At the same time, to condemn any sin is not discrimination against the person who commits the sin. Disagreement is not discrimination. We do not force people to agree with us, we ask to be granted the same freedom to hold our beliefs. Catholic teaching on human sexuality is the same for all. We are called to love God and love one another in truth (Matthew 22:36-40; Ephesians 4:15; Philippians 1:27; cf. Gaudium et Spes, 24; Caritas in Veritate, 1-2; Familiaris Consortio, 11 et seq.). (

Another NcR favorite:

 “Bishop Gregory Hartmayer of Savannah, Ga., wrote, “This decision of the Supreme Court is primarily a declaration of civil rights and not a redefinition of marriage as the church teaches.”

He warned that those on either side of the issue are not dispensed “from the obligations of civility toward one another. Nor is it a license for more venomous language or vile behavior against those whose opinions differ from our own.”

Not a shock. Isn’t it interesting that they’re not quoting from the over 50 bishops who put out other statements? Do you think that maybe the NcR editorial staff are the ones living in the 1970s-fashioned ivory tower and out of touch? I think yes. Can we finally put away the felt banner, bell-bottomed, Birkenstock Catholicism and get back to the Faith of our fathers please.

I guess not, because then they go on to write a long soliloquy to Archbishop Cupich – the prince of ambiguous speak.

In a statement following the decision, Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich urged calm and “mature” reflection. “The Church must extend support to all families, no matter their circumstances, recognizing that we are all relatives, journeying through life under the careful watch of a loving God,” he said.

We suspect that for a time, at least, the air will be full of warnings about the ongoing march of a “gay agenda” and threats to everything we have previously understood about marriage. The ruling was certainly due, in part, to the activity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and its striving for rights during the past 40 years.

No, Archbishop Cupich, the air hasn’t been full of warnings. It been actually quite full of threats and attacks from those promoting the “gay agenda.” Perhaps you missed these:

Oh, and then there’s this little thing:

Yep, the faithful have absolutely nothing to worry about in the least. How is it that an Archbishop in the United States concludes this ruling is a result of “striving for rights?” Can you really give the alphabet soup community any more accolades for destroying Traditional Marriage? It’s really quite an insult to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks.

But bishops and others should not underestimate the power of human experience nor the depth of insights gleaned in the short period during which parents stopped being embarrassed by their children, and gay children stopped hiding themselves and their sexual orientation.

Repeat after me: “The bishops should uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church.” Was that so hard? Maybe the editorial staff that uses “Catholic” in its name might want to suggest that one? Yes, I know I’m being silly. Why would NcR want to start doing that now? It would be nice, however, if they maybe read the Church’s documents. Here’s one I might suggest. Do you disagree with this NcR?

Cupich’s “take a deep breath” approach seems a far more productive way to sort out the tangle of issues that certainly will unravel in the wake of this decision. The bishops — many of whom like to compare themselves to fathers of a family — might, before they commit to a protracted fight, sit down with gay and lesbian Catholics and their families and respectfully listen to their stories.

Oh, for goodness sake! Yeah, I bet no other bishop besides Cupich, McElroy, and Cardinal O’Malley has ever associated with “gay and lesbian” Catholics. Could you be more condescending?!? Get over your arrogant selves!

Meanwhile, we need to call a halt to actions that will further divide and damage the body of Christ. Almost immediately, different models have surfaced for handling gay marriage in the context of Catholic institutions.

Code for: We just need to let everyone do what they want and forget about that pesky sin stuff.

On one hand, officials at Jesuit-run Fordham University wished J. Patrick Hornbeck and his male spouse “a rich life filled with many blessings” following their marriage the day after the Supreme Court decision.

While noting that church teaching does not support same-sex marriage, a school spokesman said Hornbeck, chairman of the theology department, had a constitutional right to marry, “and like all University employees, students and alumni, is entitled to human dignity without regard to race, creed, gender, and sexual orientation.”

And this is what they really want. The editorial staff just wants all the bishops to put a nice piece of duct tape over their mouths, sit on their hands and take it. “What can we possibly do? SCOTUS says it’s the “Law of the Land.”

But in the Philadelphia archdiocese, where Archbishop Charles Chaput predicted dire social consequences as a result of the decision, Waldron Mercy Academy decided not to renew the contract of Margie Winters, director of religious education and outreach, because she is married to another woman.

According to a July 8 report on, Waldron Mercy Principal Nell Stetser explained in a letter to parents that the school “recognizes the authority of the archbishop of Philadelphia, especially in the teaching of religion, because we call ourselves Catholic.

According to the report, many of the parents are supportive of Winters, who has worked at the school for about eight years, and they are angry at the archdiocese.

While an archdiocesan spokesman denied that the archdiocese had anything to do with Winters’ dismissal, Stetser said in the letter that “my duty is to protect our school’s future,” and there apparently is no perceived threat from students’ parents.

What’s the point here? The teacher was told to keep her “marital” status quiet. She agreed. After a while, her marital status was made known to some and was thrown into the public realm. Sorry, but according to Canon Law “teachers are to be outstanding in correct doctrine and integrity of life” ( Are you suggesting that Canon Law be ignored? I’m pretty sure it’s your hope, but are you willing to say it or are you just going to pull a Cupich and ambiguously suggest it?

Fordham’s response stems from the correct understanding of the Supreme Court ruling: It advances societal understanding of equality and non-discrimination. That is something the church can and should embrace. Church leaders certainly shouldn’t fight it.

The Fordham staff are a bunch of dissenters who are going to have to answer for that. Are YOU, editorial staff, suggesting the Catholic Church accepts whatever the Supreme Court says? Really? You might want to re-examine why it’s taken so long to stop the killing of babies in this country. That would be the likes of organizations, publications, etc. like you who are a bunch of wishy-washy people.

Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority decision acknowledges a religious exemption in the recognition of same-sex marriages, the meaning of which Catholics need to study and discuss maturely and calmly. It won’t be an easy discussion, but it will be good for the community.

There’s that condescending tone once again. Are you all this smug in person? Do you all think the bishops and cardinals are recent graduates from the local junior colleges? Stop acting like Catholics who disagree with you are a bunch of eight-year-olds you can just pat on the head. Was Christ immature when He overturned the money changers tables? It’s called just anger and whole lot of holy cardinals and bishops are rather calmly expressing their utter grief over the situation in comparison to Christ and the money changers. You are the ones who really need to slap the duct tape on your mouths. A time-out is definitely in order for you.

What we must avoid at all costs is a spate of firings of Catholic high school track coaches and math teachers. We can respect a narrow definition of the ministerial exemption out of respect for religious belief, but the broadening of the definition of “minister” to include schoolteachers, food pantry workers, diocesan accountants and parish musicians is wrong and must be resisted.

Uh, says who? You? Before you spout off as smarter than the bishops, you might want to actually re-read the Hosanna-Tabor decision again. There is no “narrow definition of the ministerial exemption.” That’s something you hope for to undermine Catholic Identity.

Justice Roberts:

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

Where’s that narrow definition again, editorial staff? At least do a little honest journalism and note that justice after justice said they aren’t deciding who is and who is not a minister. Also, is someone suggesting a diocesan accountant be named a minister? Please. Can you say “overly dramatic?” Back to the NcR:

Furthermore, if state Catholic conferences work to enact laws against discrimination in employment and accommodations based on sexual orientation, that would help heal wounds in the religious community and society at large.

Wait, are you suggesting that the Church work for laws that limit her Religious Freedom to maintain their Catholic Identity? Really, would that shock anyone? I think the editorial staff is hoping the Catholic Church in the United States is going to be the France of the Catholic World. Here’s hoping our cardinals and bishops have learned a little more from history than NcR.

Update: USF Still Drunk but Trying to Pass Sobriety Test!

Just a quick update on my July 6 blog post ( –

Due to Cardinal Newman Society pressure, USF removed their tweets celebrating the SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision.  That said, they still have not removed this one celebrating the SF Pride Parade:

Sadly for them, they will not be able to delete other peoples’ tweets showing the school mascot and some spiffy cards they had made up:

Next time, I will remember two little words: “screen capture”!

Check out Cardinal Newman Society’s article (

Biology Deniers are Great Big Meanies!

It’s just getting more pathetic for those attacking Archbishop Cordileone because they’ve already used their whole arsenal and now they’re left with just out-and-out lies and conjecture to promote their cause. I suppose some have always done this to some extent, but now it’s getting ridiculous. It’s not like I can blame them, though. They really don’t have the smoking gun they just knew they were going to find. All they can find is the Archbishop again and again echoing the Pope and the Church, so all that can come of that is spin. Case in point (

Op-ed: S.F.’s Hateful Bishop Is Dead Wrong About Trans People

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone denies the existence of transgender people. Maybe he should actually meet a trans person before making up his mind.

Let’s see, in the very first line, Tony Garascia writes a lie. When has Archbishop Cordileone ever said there were no transgender people? He’s only stated a biological, scientific fact.  Are we really denying that? They are now, I guess. In the second line, he says Archbishop Cordileone should “actually meet a trans person before making up his mind.” To this I’m going to ask: Mr. Garascia, how do you know the Archbishop hasn’t met a “trans person,” and did you bother to give Archbishop Cordileone the same courtesy when you called him hateful? Have you met with him? Yeah, I’m guessing not.  Chalk it up to hypocrisy.

Misguided and harmful — the easiest way to describe the anti-transgender comments made last month by San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who has a history of targeting LGBT people.

Cordileone’s comment — that “the clear biological fact is that a human being is born either male or female” — suggests a lack of sensitivity to transgender people and no familiarity with gender dysphoria, which mental health professionals treat not as a disorder but as a profound experience of discomfort that an individual experiences with his or her assigned gender.

I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest, instead, that “trans people” are misguided and harmed, and the fact that you are opposed to a scientific fact shows how misguided and harmful you are. And, yes, up until about 5 minutes ago it has been treated as a disorder. In fact, it was called “Gender Identity Disorder” by and large until very, very recently when that got a little too politically incorrect although many still use it. The reason you are misguided and harmful? You want to help people deny reality. That’s really what it’s come to in our world. “Let’s deny reality, refuse to deal with it, and maybe it will go away.” (It won’t, by the way.) Meanwhile you’ve got Christians on the other side saying, “Hey! You are special. God thought you out in a very special way. God didn’t make a mistake! He made you just as you should be and He loves you and can help you through anything!” Yeah, that sounds really hateful. Color me hateful. That’s exactly what the Church and the Archbishop have taught. Do the Archbishop, the Pope and the Church take issue with the twisting of science and morality? YOU BETCHA!

His comments trivialize the true distress that some people feel when their inner experience of gender does not match their biology. Cordileone seems to want to frame this issue in terms of “culture wars,” based on the idea that so-called liberals have an “anything goes” attitude toward defining gender.

Uh, liberals have an “anything goes” attitude towards just about everything. There is no truth. There is no morality. And there’s definitely no history. It is “anything goes” which has kind of led to the downfall of civilization after civilization. (They’d know that if they hadn’t eliminated history.)

What Cordileone needs to understand is that people do not wake up one day and decide to change their gender, and that being transgender is deeply rooted in who they are from an early age. There is simply a disconnect between the inner experience of the individual concerning how they identify as female or male, and their biology.

Wow! This seems rather simplistic for anyone. Did you get your degrees from a box of Cracker Jacks? Close. Looks like Indiana U and Catholic U (back in the day when those in charge didn’t care so much about Catholic identity). Some of your “colleagues” would disagree with your assessment about the early age. Some present early and some do not. Nor is there any consensus about the cause of the disorder. (BTW, Psychology Today still calls it a disorder. How politically incorrect of them!)

In fact, every major mental health organization insists that gender dysphoria is real and should be taken seriously by parents and health care providers. According to the American Psychiatric Association, the anguish that some transgender people experience with the contrast between how they look on the outside and the gender they identify with can be so intense that they can take extreme measures to reconcile the difference.

Um, yeah! Who DOESN’T take it seriously? Most everyone I know takes it as seriously as a heart attack!  This doesn’t mean that it should be given the thumbs up. One, definitely, need not think that liberals handle it correctly or do right by those afflicted with it. It is a cross.

One wonders if Cordileone has in fact ever met with transgender people, listened to their stories, their pain, and their attempts to live authentically and integrate who they really are into how they function in the society. If he took the time to meet with trans people and consult mainstream researchers and clinicians, he would find that transgender people look to their faith and their churches for acceptance, often feel alienated from their places of worship, face great psychological distress, and are at a greater risk than others for suicide due to rejection.

You’ve already proffered that the Archbishop has not met a person with Gender Identity Disorder.  Got it. You’ve got no proof of that but you’re free to go on with that suggestion. The Catholic Church (I would think you’d know this going to Catholic U, but it really wasn’t the bomb when you were there) cannot accept a transgender lifestyle. It distorts Natural Law which is all good. The Catholic Church does, however, completely embrace those afflicted with that cross. Maybe it’s you who needs to get to know the Church a bit. News flash – the Catholic Church is full of many Catholic psychiatrists and psychologists who also do not agree with you.  I bet some might even have a degree from Catholic U!

In my counseling practice, I have worked with parents of transgender children as they work to accept and embrace their child’s journey. These parents have come to understand that human sexuality, orientation, and gender identification exist on a continuum and that their responsibility toward their children is to listen to their experience and to encourage them to fully accept who they are.

Just out of curiosity, do you advise them in light of Church teaching? My guess is no if you have a problem with Archbishop Cordileone. By the way, you might want to also note you have a problem with Pope Francis.  Writing an article about him next?

The archbishop’s attitude and flippant way of disparaging transgender people and even the LGBT movement unfortunately give Catholics who are struggling with acceptance of an LGBT son or daughter more freedom to minimize and disregard their own child’s feelings. Caitlyn Ryan, the founder of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University, points out that LGBT children who experience significant rejection by their families are eight times as likely to attempt suicide as LGBT children who feel accepted, and are six times more likely to report high levels of depression.

Oh, please, please tell me where the Archbishop told families to reject their children? This is a huge red herring which needs to be shot and put out of its misery. How many times have we been asked, “What would you do if your child were ‘gay,’ transgender, etc.?” to which we all reply “Duh! We’d love them, of course!” Love doesn’t mean rubber stamping everything that your child thinks or wants to do, right? Again, the suicide problem doesn’t come from Church teaching. It comes from liberals who teach us that we live in a throw-away society (also contrary to Church teaching).

What message does the archbishop’s trivialization of transgender people convey to the Catholic faithful? What message does his attitude toward LGBT people send to parents who might be struggling with an adolescent who just came out to them as LGBT? Does the archbishop really want to encourage parents of LGBT children to respond to their coming out in the same dismissive way that he presented during his comments?

First of all, the Archbishop hasn’t done what you have said. Maybe you shouldn’t rely on the National catholic Reporter for your “facts” or lack thereof? His attitude toward “LGBT” people is the same as the Church and Pope Francis – loving. Does someone from Catholic U really need a refresher course in the teachings of the Church? Also, in case nobody else noticed, Dr. Garascia gave one quote on which he premises his entire caricature of Archbishop Cordileone.  What was it?  A scientific fact.  Oooh!  How trivial – not! What Garascia has done is inserted a whole lot of conjecture and innuendo as fact. Quite frankly, it’s sad that The Advocate would think of posting such a sloppy op-ed.

One would hope that the archbishop would truly consult doctors, psychologists, and mental health counselors who have worked with transgender people to better understand this issue. Better yet, the archbishop would do well to actually listen to the experiences of transgender people who fight to be heard and be visible to the hierarchy. If he would only listen, he would understand that this is not about “gender politics” but about treating others with dignity and respect.

Again, does Garascia actually know that the Archbishop, the Holy Father and the Catholic Church haven’t done this already? Really, the pompousness is staggering albeit all too common. Maybe Garascia is just upset they didn’t consult him?  That sounds about right!