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 (http://donotlink.com/ncronline.org/news/politics/editorial-go-beyond-foot-stomping-no#.VaZ-wdIIoxY.twitter):

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 (http://nineteensixty-four.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-island-of-misfit-polls.html). 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.). (http://cardinalsblog.adw.org/2015/06/the-implications-of-the-supreme-courts-ruling-on-same-sex-marriage/)

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? http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19861001_homosexual-persons_en.html

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 Philly.com, 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” (http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P2N.HTM). 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. (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/10-553.pdf)

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.

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