#PPSellsBabyParts – Should We Really Need to Say More, NcR?

The Catholic church should partner with Planned Parenthood to reduce abortions (http://www.donotlink.com/gihf)

Let’s just let this National catholic Reporter title sink in for a bit before I start my rant.

Ready? The sheer enormity of the Fishwrap’s delusions never ceases to amaze me! The whole time I was reading this lengthy missive, all I could think of was, “Sounds just like the devil whispering into the ears of the faithful!” Do you think they Fishwrap realizes that?  I suppose the answer to that question is likely “no,” or at least I hope so, for this jerk’s sake.

After 40 years of rosaries prayed in front of abortion clinics and Planned Parenthood offices, annual marches, and millions upon millions of dollars raised to fund the anti-abortion lobby and the related jobs program for the anti-abortion lobbyists, what is the end result? Eh.

Let me tell you exactly what it’s done. It’s led to thousands upon thousands of lives being saved a year! Maybe that doesn’t mean anything to you, Tom Gallagher, but it means everything to those who weren’t slaughtered. If one single life was saved, it was worth it! Thankfully we haven’t settled for just one.  By the way, your liberal slip is already showing, Tom, with your “anti-abortion” terminology.

This past Saturday, thousands of anti-abortion activists protested at Planned Parenthood sites across the nation demanding that the federal government defund the organization, according to Reuters. Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay, Wis., diocese prayed in front of a local Planned Parenthood health clinic.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Eric Ferrero, Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement that the rallies were meant “to intimidate and harass” the organization’s patients. “Unlike these protesters, compassion is at the center of what we do, and we will continue to provide care, and a safe, welcoming environment for our patients, no matter what,” Ferrero said.

First, kudos to Bishop David Ricken and other bishops (including my personal favorite, Archbishop Cordileone) who joined us. You are part of the reason more and more lives are being saved every year! As for the comments of Planned Parenthood, puh-leez! These are the guys who just exonerated themselves (https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/planned-parenthood-exonerated-says-planned-parenthood-funded-analysis-of-un) and expect the world to go along with that. They’re not exactly living in reality land, and right now, they are really, really mad they got caught doing what most pro-lifers have known for years. They not only slice and dice living human beings with beating hearts, they’ve parlayed that heinous act into double the profits by selling the pieces when they’re done killing them.

I’m sure everyone’s seen the videos but just in case, go www.centerformedicalprogress.org and watch the hours upon hours of videos. Many thanks to David Daleiden for spearheading this project! May God bless and protect you and your team!

Forty years of the same behavior from both sides of the abortion debate. Forty years.

You wish it was forty years of the same behavior, because then you wouldn’t have to try to salvage what’s left of Planned Parenthood’s image. You see, we’ve evolved. We’ve taken “sly as the serpent, gentle as the dove” to heart and have shed a lot of light on Planned Parenthood and their ilk (you included, water-boy). We’ve gotten around you, Planned Parenthood, and the media, and it scares you all to death.

Let’s face it. It’s time for the Catholic church and Planned Parenthood to try something dramatically different: to work closely together in order to reduce the number of abortions. It’s time for a committee of national Catholic lay leaders and executives of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers to begin a sincere dialogue about creating a new way forward — together.

Can I say what we’re all thinking? Over. My. Dead. Body. You cannot collude with the devil (and Cecile and her buddies are as evil as they come) and expect a holy, happy outcome. It’s a no brainer, Tom. I’m sure you think working with evil is just peachy, because that’s the kind of Catholic you are. (Related side note: I find it quite telling that you never capitalize “church” when writing “Catholic Church.”)

Planned Parenthood, according to Ferrero, is a place of compassion. But what is “compassion” to Planned Parenthood? Does it mean pushing abortion as the solution to every pregnancy? If Planned Parenthood’s pregnant mothers were offered a substantial list of benefits should they bring their pregnancy to term, would Planned Parenthood offer them such benefits and advise the mother in favor of keeping the baby or giving the baby up for adoption? If Planned Parenthood is truly for “choice,” then the pregnant woman should have a choice of keeping the baby or giving the baby up for adoption. Now that’s real choice.

Planned Parenthood wasn’t designed for adoption or charity. Do we really need a history lesson, Tommy Boy? Sigh…I guess so. Planned Parenthood was the devil child of Margaret Sanger, a woman who wanted to annihilate any race or group of people she deemed unworthy. We have all sorts of quotes from her on that. My gosh! Can you really be this ignorant, Tom? “No more babies!” was one of her rally cries, along with “No more blacks, Hispanics, poor, handicapped, or large families!” 

Abortion is here to stay for the foreseeable future

Stepping back for a moment, let’s also face this fact: The right to an abortion remains the law of the land, it is not going to change any time soon. Yes, some Republican-controlled state legislatures are doing everything they can to tighten restrictions on access to abortions and abortion providers. But the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade is not going to be overturned any time soon.

A HUGE part of the reason we still have abortion is your kind of thinking, Tom. What if the abolitionists all ran around saying, “Hey! Dred Scott is the law of the land. Not going to be overturned anytime soon! Let’s just partner with the slave owners!”? Can you really be that devoid of any knowledge of history that you’d go there or do you think we all are?

In 2011, TIME Magazine reported: 

The rate of abortion among American women has dropped overall, but not among the poorest women, according to study published in the Obstetrics & Gynecology journal by the Guttmacher Institute.

Between 2000 and 2008, abortions among American women ages 15 to 44 fell 8 percent, reaching a low of 19.6 abortions per 1,000 women. The decline applied to most groups: notably, the abortion rate declined 18 percent among African-American women over that time period and 22 percent among teens ages 15 to 17.

 This is because Planned Eugenics has put 90% of their clinics in poor, ethnic neighborhoods – ON PURPOSE! But, yeah, by all means, let’s work with them! 

<snip>

I’m just going to start snipping here because this article goes on forever.

Church: the largest social service provider

<snip>

In other words, we really can do without Planned Parenthood.

Under President Barack Obama, the Catholic church has received more federal money than under any previous president. In 2012, I wrote a blog post titled, “Following the money from the White House,” which traced the federal funds going to Catholic enterprises.

Let me guess. Catholic Charities or one of those other lovely organizations that likes to dissent from Church teachings probably receives money? Think they give to the Little Sisters of the Poor? Do you think “Catholic enterprises” was a mistake? We would normally call it charity.

<snipping a bunch of stats with no point>

 Republicans are against abortion, in favor of adoptions

<snipping more things that don’t have a point. Maybe he’ll get to one soon!>

Democrats want choice, fewer abortions, more adoptions

In 1996, President Bill Clinton had this to say about abortion: “Americans believe deeply in the need to keep government out of private, personal matters. That is one reason why I am pro-choice. I believe we should all work to reduce the number of abortions. That is why I have worked to reduce teen pregnancy, remove barriers to cross-racial adoption, and provide tax credits to families willing to adopt. Still, I believe the ultimate choice should remain a matter for a woman to decide in consultation with her conscience, her doctor, and her God” (emphasis added) (Between Hope and History, by Bill Clinton, p.137, Jan 1, 1996).

Of course I’m going to go with “Puh-leeeeez” here again.

The Democratic Party is perceived as being immovable on pro-choice and, therefore, not inclined to promote programs to help reduce the number of abortions. However, according to the website, Catholics for Obama, it offered this evidence that Democrats would like to reduce the number of abortions:

Congressional Democrats have supported the Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act (HR 1074, known as the DeLauro-Ryan bill) and the Prevention First Act bill (HR 819). Democrats are serious about finding new solutions to serious problems posed by the practice of abortion.

Congressional Democrats have also worked on making other alternatives more attractive with the Adoption Promotion Act of 2003 (Public Law No: 108-145).

These are solutions that can lead to policies that reduce the number of abortions, not the empty rhetoric that promotes criminalization but does nothing to enhance life for real women and children.

Democrats for Life have made an important contribution with their Pregnant Women Support Act, which is supported by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. It aims to reduce the abortion rate in America by 95 percent in 10 years by enacting the social and economic supports that actually do something to help women avoid going through this ordeal.

Let’s see, how do most Democrats propose to reduce the number of abortions? You notice he doesn’t touch on that little issue. Could it be by passing out birth control like candy? How about by further keeping parents in the dark about the health choices their kids are making so they can have “safe sex”? Getting all American teens on the pill, IUD or some other lovely abortifacient? 

And nothing changes 

With the release of the controversial undercover Planned Parenthood videos featuring the cavalier discussion of the sale of fetal tissue for research, and the resultant outcry from varied quarters, the pro and con groups have just dug in further and have not used this moment to explore a different way forward.

Some Republican governors are attempting to defund Planned Parenthood; the usual default behavior of Republicans. One U.S. senator wants to risk a government shut-down over Planned Parenthood. One Catholic organization wants to re-direct Planned Parenthood funds to community health centers that don’t offer abortion services. That’s not going to happen. In the past few weeks, there has been no new or creative thinking offered.

Oh yeah, it’s changing, and for the better! It’s definitely not changing because of you, though. It is changing because of this stellar group of young pro-lifers who managed to outflank you. I’m sure many of my readers – and even some of yours – participated in the first National Protest of Planned Parenthood. I’m also sure you noticed how many new people have been shaken to their core by the Center for Medical Progress’ videos. People who never stood out in front of a clinic were there. In fact, I’d guess half of the several hundred people in my particular location were complete newbies. So, you can again be Planned Parenthood’s water-boy, or you can start being a little more honest with yourself and your readers.

After 40 years of substantially fruitless battles, the time has come for both Planned Parenthood and Catholic church leaders to leave the comfort zone of condemnation and pledge to do at least one common project that puts women and babies first in truth.

Hmmm…you consider thousands upon thousands of people saved from abortion fruitless? Of course you would! Only one of the organizations you mentioned puts ALL people first, and it ain’t Planned Parenthood.

What if a coalition of national Catholic entities (e.g., representatives of Catholic Charities USA, each diocesan Catholic Charities, the National Catholic Educational Association, the Catholic Health Association, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the leadership group of men religious, the Knights of Columbus, Catholic Extension Society, the Order of Malta, Covenant House International, the many grassroots organizations like Mary Cunningham Agee’s The Nurturing Network, and so on), developed a concrete, substantial partnership, even a joint venture, with Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, along the following lines:

WE DON’T NEED PLANNED PARENTHOOD TO ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING POSITIVE IN THIS WORLD. THEY ARE CONTRARY TO GOODNESS. 

<Snipping the lengthy list of stupid ideas and other things for which we don’t need Planned Parenthood>

Here’s an idea. How about you give all the federal funding that goes to Planned Parenthood to the Catholic Church and let them do charity, while you get the heck out of their way.

Funding for such a national adoption initiative

In advance of the 2012 election, three Catholic professionals wrote a thoughtful white paper titled: “America Undecided: Catholic, Independent & Social Justice Perspectives on Election 2012.” The authors were Ed Gaffney, who teaches religious freedom and a course on war and peace at Valparaiso University; Ambassador Douglas W. Kmiec (former U.S. ambassador to Malta), the Caruso Family Chair and Professor of Constitutional Law & Human Rights at Pepperdine University, who formerly served in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations; and Patrick Whelan, M.D., Ph.D., who is on the pediatrics faculty at Harvard Medical School and is a pediatric rheumatology specialist at the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston, who served on the board of directors of NCR and on a group called Catholic Democrats.”

I read all that just to end up at the phrase, “Catholic Democrats?!?” What a stinking waste of time. How come I’ve never heard of a group called “Catholic Republicans?” Maybe it’s because most of us who are not “Catholic Democrats” want to be Catholics first and foremost. That’s our identity. How we vote come second.

They write [as of that time]:

[The Affordable Care Act] ACA represented the first federal law that provided new funding and was explicitly dedicated to abortion reduction. The law incorporated elements of the Pregnant Women’s Support Act, sponsored by Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, providing $250 million over 10 years to create a federal Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) that is helping teenagers and college students who are new mothers or currently pregnant, and helps victims of domestic violence who are pregnant. There are currently 17 PAF-funded programs, helping new parents in states and Indian tribes across the country.

In 2011, Senator Casey procured expanded funding for the PAF with S.1490, the Pregnancy Assistance Fund Expansion Act, which provided for $25 million in annual grant funding through 2019. The currently funded programs include Young Mom’s Connect in North Carolina (support and care for teen parents in 5 counties), the Pregnant and Parenting Adolescent Support Services (PPass) Program in Indianapolis (avoiding subsequent pregnancies and decreasing high school drop-out rates), the Montana Healthy Teen Parents project in Helena (focused on Native American youth), and the Virginia Department of Health program (domestic violence, particularly affecting college students across the state).

So the ACA provides for a wide variety of new ideas in constructively addressing the causes of unintended teen pregnancy. The ACA also provided $1.2 billion in additional funding for adoption. The law raises the maximum adoption credit to $13,360 per child, up from $12,150 in 2009. The credit is based on the reasonable and necessary expenses related to a legal adoption. In summary, the ACA did nothing to expand abortion rights or funding, and in fact provided funding for the first organized effort to help decrease abortion by addressing the underlying social factors that make it difficult for women to carry pregnancy to term.

If you believe that, I some beach front property in Nebraska for you! Please, do a nice internet search on “Affordable Care Act” and “Abortion”. Methinks Mr. Gallagher doesn’t believe people can actually do this. You will turn up hundreds of articles showing he is oh-so wrong.

In addition to the ACA’s funding for adoption, Congress should immediately fund this new initiative. The U.S. spends over a billion dollars annually resettling 70,000 foreign refugees. Republicans and Democrats can’t find funding for a national adoption strategy for Planned Parenthood’s pregnant patients through a national Catholic organization? Surely it can. Imagine, for a moment, a combined approach whereby the national Catholic organization and Planned Parenthood together sought legislation and funding from Congress to facilitate this adoption strategy?

Planned Parenthood can fund all the adoptions they want through the ACA. This doesn’t exonerate them from the death and destruction they’ve left in their wake. I will again suggest you give all the money that the ACA supposedly gives to promote adoptions to the Catholic Church. The Church will do a far better job. Heck, if you just gave the Catholic Church the money the government gave to fix the ACA website, She could really do some fabulous work!

As part of the federal funding, a Congressionally-chartered third-party could be funded by Congress and would be tasked with making the donations or off-sets to Planned Parenthood for the adoption referrals rather than being paid for by the national Catholic entity, even as a pass-through. This third-party entity could act as an auditor and compiler of data and could be comprised of individuals from both political parties and from both sides of the abortion issue. The U.S. created the American Red Cross pursuant to a Congressional charter and bylaws. Congress could most certainly do the same for an entity whose singular mission would be to reduce the number of annual abortions performed by Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers and bring together people with different perspectives and interests in order to achieve such a goal.

Why in the world would we have to pay off Planned Parenthood – you know, that organization that’s so compassionate – to refer women for adoptions anyway? How much does that cost them? It’s something any decent person would do for free, which is exactly why Gallagher has to suggest a payoff. When you have to buy morality from a company, it’s a lost cause. Here’s a novel thought: how about we give money to organizations that actually exercise morality?

Given the scope of the Catholic Charities nationwide, the Catholic Health Association, the universities, and so on, mathematicians, accountants, insurers, logistics experts, health care providers, government relations experts, adoption experts, software writers, marketing professionals, primary, secondary and college educators, parishes, hospitals, and so many other skilled individuals and institutions are immediately available to create the financial and operating model to make this work. This national Catholic entity will need to be governed and managed by sophisticated lay people and professionals in several fields of expertise.

The last thing we need in the Church is a national Catholic organization. We have enough problems with Catholic Charities, and now this knucklehead wants to make them bigger? Let’s get real. He wants something like this, because every good liberal wants a leviathan so immorality gets lost in the shuffle, while morality and true compassion get eaten alive and it all ends up one, big, totalitarian rule. You do realize that’s been tried before, don’t you? Anyone else have the National Socialist Party name pop into their heads? And isn’t it interesting that Gallagher wants this giant organization to be headed by lay people who are “experts?” Yeah, sounds like a winner plan. I think Mengele was an expert in something, too.

 The role of Catholic bishops, the issue of contraception

The U.S. bishops and their national staff are deeply and heavily invested in the view of Planned Parenthood as the evil opposition to a “pro-life” view of the world.

Bishops and their national staff? How about the Universal Church? Planned Parenthood is evil! My gosh! How many times do we have to say “#PPSellsBabyParts” before they get it??? Tom can minimize this little, teeny, tiny (not!) issue all he likes, but it’s totally and utterly true. Planned Parenthood, from its founder to its current management are doing the devil’s bidding.

Would the U.S. bishops as a whole be open to working with Planned Parenthood in a collegial, cooperative manner to reduce abortions? If Francis’ wish for a poor church for the poor and one filled with mercy, the answer would be yes. However, it would take great courage and fortitude to pursue a national adoption strategy working hand-in-hand with Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

As we have seen during the past several years, contraception is very important to many bishops and they want nothing to do with it. Yet, Planned Parenthood, like most lay Catholics, has a different view of the value of contraception and it’s a big part of Planned Parenthood’s services.

Want some candy, little Catholic? Evil cannot stop evil. It doesn’t matter how many Catholics don’t think birth control is a sin, it is. The Church, as history has shown, is not a democracy, nor does its truths care what “most Catholics” think of contraception.

Just this past month, the New York Times reported that dramatic success of the use of contraception in the reduction of teen pregnancies in Colorado.

 <Snipping the stupid article that still means nothing to the Church’s truths.>

Would the U.S. bishops deny this vulnerable cohort free contraception knowing that an abortion is the highly expected result of an unplanned pregnancy?

Uh, yes, because the Church knows what birth control is! It’s no birth and no control. It separates the procreative and unitive aspects of MARRIAGE. It promotes promiscuity. It’s anti-chastity. It promotes sex outside of marriage (fornication) and affairs (adultery). (Parentheses added because most folks over at the National catholic Fishwrap aren’t familiar with those words.) It’s creates an environment where babies are the enemy. The Church also knows a few little scientific things, such as the fact it’s incredibly dangerous to the physical health and well-being of women. Oh, and let’s not forget that a good majority of “contraception” doesn’t actually prevent that conception thing all the time. Many times it simply gets rid of the newly conceived. Do you even know this, Tom? Lastly, there’s that little thing called the IMMORTAL SOUL! The Church didn’t arbitrarily decide birth control was a sin. It IS a sin. So, yes, Tom, the bishops already know the score, even though you think they are simply ignorant. They’re not a bunch of misogynists who sit around trying to make life worse for women. That would actually be you. I’m sure that sex with no responsibility sounds like the bomb to you.

Hey, how about we just get rid of teenagers altogether, since many give us “the highly expected result of an unplanned pregnancy?” Shoot, I guess I shouldn’t be so sarcastic. The Fishwrap might actually find this an excellent idea. 

Time to think big and with mercy

Yay! Does this mean the Fishwrap is closing its doors for good? What? No? That would really be quite merciful. Please! Please! Pretty please!

To date, the Catholic church is not thinking big enough in its attempts to reduce the number of abortions in the U.S. It never has, but that time has arrived.

Or could it be that, maybe, just maybe, the Church is being thwarted by Einsteins like you?  That’s the more likely scenario.  Scrap that.  It is the scenario.

Unless the Catholic church stands up and says unequivocally, “Let us work closely with Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers and with every expectant mother who is considering an abortion and we will support all mothers who choose to keep their baby or accept every newborn child who was otherwise scheduled for an abortion but is delivered and given up for adoption, and we will work closely with Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers and with the birth moms before, during and after the pregnancy,” it’s hard to take seriously the “commitment” the church has to reducing abortions.

Hard to take the Church seriously ? More like hard to take a joke like the Fishwrap seriously. Either you’re a serious Eeyore (“It’ll neeeeever work!”) , or you’re actively trying undermine the Church. My guess? Yeah, nobody can figure that out.

The hardline protesters can still go praying their rosaries while holding their blood-stained placards in front of Planned Parenthood offices. Policy initiatives can still be pursued to reduce the number of abortions and to keep abortion available. And fundraising in support of the lobbyists fighting abortions will continue unabated, as will fundraising and lobbying efforts in support of the pro-choice advocates. All this is certain.

After 40 years of the same old hostile, screaming stand-off and in-your-face, finger-pointing between the anti-abortionists and pro-choice advocates, at what point do the futile anti-abortion tactics become morally complicit in each of the one million abortions performed each year? And when will Planned Parenthood’s “pro-choice” mantra actually include enabling a pregnant woman to choose to keep her baby or choose to give the baby up for adoption?

In light of the intractable status quo, the real work of reducing abortions, a goal of both Democrats and Republicans, can only take place by a national Catholic lay-led and governed entity engaging the self-described compassionate Planned Parenthood — and expectant mothers visiting Planned Parenthood offices — in a way that builds up life and does not continue to tear it asunder.

Forty more years of doing the same thing is sheer insanity.

Awww, my poor, delusional Fishwrap writer, I think you’ve actually figured out that big strides are being made against Planned Parenthood, and it scares you to death. Heavens! The tide might just be turning on the immorality they (and you, for that matter) are peddling. We can tell by your comments that you probably have never been to a clinic. Your efforts to pat us on the head and send us to our corner are falling on deaf ears. We’re definitely coming after Planned Parenthood, and you know what? The faithful are also coming after you and your ilk. We’ve had it up to here with you telling us that all things are NOT possible with God, that morality can’t possibly work, that babies are the enemy, and that we have to compromise Truth for God to have victory. You’re not going to get away with peddling this garbage without a big fight! We don’t have to sacrifice anyone or anything to win this war. It’s already been won for us, but you’re too stupid to see it. #meetthelaity

Of Handbooks and Contracts

It seems there might be a tad bit of confusion in both the mainstream and Catholic media about the flap over the teachers in the four archdiocesan high schools, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to clarify some things. First, there are two different documents that were in play. One has been signed, sealed and delivered, and the other is still a work in progress. The first was the teacher contract which was just signed last week. The vast majority of this document had to do with labor issues, not morality, but there was a preamble that dealt with the overarching topic of the schools’ Catholic identities and the teachers’ need to not screw that up. The second document is the teachers’ handbook, which is still being developed. That was the document that carried the mean old words from the catechism of “gravely evil” to which so many teachers balked. It’s really not that surprising that there is some confusion, though, because most dioceses don’t deal with teachers’ unions. For some reason, though, the Archdiocese of San Francisco years ago decided to put a union between itself and their teachers.

Please check out the last version of the handbook dated March 29, 2015 (http://www.donotlink.com/ggu3). “Gravely evil” and “ministers” were removed. “Gravely evil” was being heavily mischaracterized by those against Archbishop Cordileone. Time and again the students and the media were told that the Archbishop was calling PEOPLE gravely evil instead of the sins addressed. So, what really does this handbook say? Here we go:

1) Teachers cooperate in the mission of the Church for Catholic Schools.

2) Teachers teach by example.

3) The Church cannot err in Faith and Morals. In other words, if you are going against her, you are wrong.

4) You cannot receive Communion while in mortal sin. You cannot receive while consciously living or attached to that sin. (Situation ethics don’t apply here).

5) Catholic teachers (and the rest of us) are obliged to attend Mass on all Sundays and Holy Days. (That this has to be said shows how bad the situation is.)

6) Marriage is between a man and a woman, and children have a right to their biological mothers and fathers.

7) The male-only priesthood is a doctrine of the Church.

8) You need a well-formed conscience. In other words, you don’t understand the teachings of the Church on the “primacy on conscience.” It’s definitely not, “My conscience supersedes the doctrines of the Church.”

9) All human beings are precious, whether you can see them or not, or whether you consider them to be a human being. (That includes all “gender identities” and those of us who accept our genders as they are would say “Duh!”) They are human from conception to natural death. (So no abortion and no euthanasia.)

11) All of God’s children are called to chastity. Contrary to popular belief, that includes homosexuals, heterosexuals, married, single, or any other bizarre “gender identity” or status you can come up with.

12) The Church believes in the rights of workers, which is why, ironically, it’s quite silly that we even need a teachers’ union in the first place.

13) The Church cares for the poor.

14) We have freedom of religion.

15) All should have a personal relationship with God. We don’t create Him to be what we want Him to be, but we meet Him with humility through prayer and the Sacraments.

That about sums up the handbook. This was the document that had the meat of Catholic teaching in it, not the teachers’ contract. The contract just pointed to Church teaching. It would be soooo nice if a bishop could say “You must follow the teachings of the Church.” Sadly, we’ve been left to our own devices so long, people don’t know what those are. We’ve, basically become Catholic by nationality out here. A separate handbook is greatly needed, and this one is definitely a work in progress. Even after the work is done, it’s going to take education, education, and a lot more education, and I’m not just talking about the students.

Apparently the Rumor of Concerned Parents was Greatly Exaggerated!

I generally find that when one side is yelling, “It’s not Catholic enough!” and the other side is saying, “It’s way too Catholic!”, it’s juuuuuust right. This would seem to be the case in the teachers’ contract flap in San Francisco. It took almost a whole week for the “It’s way too Catholic!” side to get over their depression and make an attempt at a statement, while the “It’s not Catholic enough!” side seems to have theirs written before the contract was released.

I, for one, am celebrating! Is the litany of sins gone? Yep, but I’ve always thought this is way better, anyway. When you start getting into specifics, it gets harder to enforce it. You know – “I don’t use IVF, but I stand out on the sidewalk at Planned Parenthood on my days off and escort my students in. That’s not specifically listed in the contract!” There are endless ways people can deviate from a teaching of the Church. In San Francisco, the list is probably bigger than in many places.

Another issue to consider when some try to say, “Hey! This diocese does x, y and z. Why doesn’t San Francisco???”, is that San Francisco is dealing with a teachers’ union. Why they are unionized is a whole other issue, but they are. It makes contract changes a whole lot more complicated and messy. Thank goodness many of our bishops and archbishops don’t have to contend with a union! They also don’t have to deal with the money thrown at the PR machine, as Archbishop Cordileone has had to do.

Let’s look at the “Whereas” sections from the final contract, shall we? (I haven’t actually found the whole thing yet, and I’m pretty good with Google. If anyone has it, please send it to me!) I suspect that the below is the part that deals with morality, while the rest deals with wages, benefits, etc. (Emphasis mine.)

(http://www.sfarchdiocese.org/docs/default-source/media-items-2015/final-draft-agreement.pdf?sfvrsn=4)

2015-18 Collective Bargaining Agreement – Preamble Clauses on Catholic Education 

WHEREAS, the Union and its members recognize the unique nature of the Archdiocesan high school system in that it is Roman Catholic, committed to provide education within the framework of Catholic principles; that Catholic teachings and precepts shall remain paramount throughout the term of this Agreement; and that nothing in the Agreement shall be construed as interfering in any way with the Superintendent’s functions and duties insofar as they are canonical; and

So instead of spelling out specific Catholic teachings, we’re going with ALL of them. Yes!                                               

WHEREAS, the Union and its members recognize that all lay teachers covered by this Agreement shall perform all their duties as set forth in this Agreement in accordance with the doctrines and precepts of the Roman Catholic Church, and shall conduct themselves at all times during the performance of those duties in a manner in keeping with the standards of the Church; and

I’m reasonably sure I do not need to throw out the doctrines and precepts of the Roman Catholic Church again, but if you need a refresher, read my previous articles (especially if they have “Canon Law” in the title).

WHEREAS, the Parties to this agreement acknowledge that the purpose of Catholic schools is to affirm Catholic values through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to help students learn and develop their critical and moral faculties; and

You signed the contract. You have now officially agreed to affirm Catholic values, not those values according to you. 

WHEREAS, teachers are expected to support the purpose of our Catholic schools in such a way that their personal conduct will not adversely impact their ability to teach in our Catholic High Schools; and

This one is a biggie. Again, keep your wacky private life private! Once it becomes public, it affects your ability to teach Catholicism. 

WHEREAS, the Parties acknowledge that disputes about teacher conduct on and off the job are subject to the grievance procedure to determine whether such conduct has adversely impacted the teacher’s ability to teach in our Catholic High Schools.

Abi Basch (https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/magic-queer-powers/) saw the writing on the wall in this final summation. She had no intention to keep her private life private. Instead, she had every intention to indoctrinate the kids in anti-Catholic rhetoric. She left. She was smart (well, smarter than the average person who would use the phrase “magic queer powers”) and almost had some integrity, in that she moved to a school that would support her mission to make everyone approve of her lifestyle.

You know how I know this contract is a good thing? The people against Archbishop Cordileone are dejected. After five days of trying to figure out how to spin it, they could only rehash a couple old news points which they have repeatedly said don’t appease them, they threw out the words “draconian morality clause”, then they added this (http://www.donotlink.com/gg09):

There are still concerns, apparent in the substantial no vote, that the new contract language, though an improvement over the original proposal, could still be used to bypass federal and state employment anti-discrimination laws that protect teachers from being discriminated against based on age, race, gender, disability, and/or sexual orientation. Some teachers fear the new language could have a chilling effect in the classroom and adversely impact teachers’ ability to engender trust and to participate in the open exchange of ideas with students as they explore and develop their own sexual identity, attitudes and beliefs in a safe environment. The Archbishop’s actions have already led some teachers and families to leave our communities while other families have reconsidered sending their children to our high schools. [Emphasis mine.]

Remember Abi? That was one teacher, not “some”. Buh-bye! If you had the smallest shred of intellectually honesty and agreed with the so-called “Concerned Parents,” you’d forget the high academic standards and great sports teams at these four schools and put your kids in a like-minded place. If you’re a teacher, you’d go teach somewhere else. The fact is, there isn’t going to be a mass exodus. They were told three weeks ago that nothing was going to change from here on out, and lo and behold, the promised mass exodus didn’t materialize.

The fact is, parents want the good academics and sports programs that these schools supply, and the liberal rally cry to support the alternative “immorality clause” is falling on deaf ears. The parents know their kids will still be accepted no matter their private sins. It’s only going to affect the teachers who want to sell their sins to their students. It’s simply not worth the inconvenience to most parents, or most teachers for that matter.

We must remain vigilant.  As we move forward, we will hold the Archbishop to his assurances that there will be no “witch hunt” and insist the contract be construed in the positive manner in which it was presented to the membership for a vote, including protection of teachers’ privacy and employment rights. A strong coalition parents, students, alumnae, administrators, Catholics, legislators, labor and the broader community has stood with our teachers. We have put the Archbishop on notice that we are committed to preserve inclusive, welcoming, loving schools dedicated to the pursuit of truth, the highest standards of excellence in teaching and the safety of our children.

That verbal vomit basically says “Waaa!!! We didn’t get what we want!”  You’ve really got to laugh at the mafia sounding “notice” and the “pursuit of truth” comment. They set truth aside a long time ago!

Get it through your thick, little heads. If there was such a strong coalition, the teachers would be on strike right now. Your cause simply isn’t worth the pain to the majority of those involved. As the year progresses and most teachers continue keeping their private lives private, there will be no mass firings of teachers nor students leaving the school, and you will further lose what little coalition you have left.

The Slowly Boiled Frog

Ran across this one today ( http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com/2015/08/gay-catholics-in-futile-struggle-with.html):

The Catholic Church is unlikely to ever accept that LGBT means anything other than behavior. The Church is possibly the world’s largest closet. There are thousands of men at all levels of the Church – with undeveloped sexuality – who might turn out to be gay in far greater percentages than the general population. Acceptance of sexual orientation could cause the entire medieval structure, along with the monarchy, to crumble.

So dramatic and Shakespearian! I do love the title, “The Slowly Boiled Frog,” though, but I’ve never seen it used by a liberal. Usually it’s a conservative analogy. Anyone not know it? It goes like this. A frog dropped in a pot of boiling water will jump out of the pot to save his own life. If the frog is put into cool water and slowly brought to a boil, he will remain there until he is cooked through. Now, a conservative will usually say that’s how we got into this mess. The liberals just slowly increased the liberalism, all the while saying, “What? The water is just fine! No temperature adjustments here.” I’m not really sure what kind of analogy a liberal would make of it, but I’m hoping society can provide them one in the next 20 years or so! It’s more likely the title is poking fun at all the “conservative” frogs in the world who have been boiled.

It’s really rather simple. The Church is looking for men who want to be good Catholic priests. They are not looking for men who want to be good Catholic Gay priests. It’s the same with the laity. They want people to be faithful Catholics. They don’t want people looking for some sort of label. Once you start adding the millions of adjectives to your Catholicity, you haven’t really added anything. You’ve just taken away from the heart of the Faith.

A long, long time ago (and many bishops back), there was a luncheon meeting held in our diocese for “gay priests”. Now, of course, if you bleed Catholic, this is going to pique your curiosity, so some of the “not so gay priests” also attended. We heard from an attendee that a ways into the chatting, one such priest finally could not take it anymore and asked, “Why is it that you want to be known as a ’gay‘ priest and not simply a faithful priest?” There was a little bit of trouble answering that one, because the faithful priest completely hit the nail square on the head.

As the Washington Post reports:

LGBT groups planning events in Philadelphia around a massive Catholic family gathering there next month – which Pope Francis will attend – say the parish hosting them has reneged after a conversation with local Catholic officials.

The news Tuesday follows the announcement by Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput that people advocating for gay equality would not be given a platform at the World Meeting of Families, a once-every-three-years global meeting about family issues in the church.

This was particularly striking to me:

Among them was Fortunate Families, a group for Catholic parents seeking equality for their LGBT children. Its president, Deb Word, and her husband run a safe house for LGBT youth in Memphis.

The World Meeting’s director of programming, Mary Beth Yount, told Word that the group couldn’t advertise at the event because it isn’t welcoming of parents who disapprove of their children’s same-sex behavior

Well, I’m reasonably sure that’s not the whole reason, Mary Beth. The whole fiasco pretty much flies in the face of Catholic teaching from start to finish. You are quite correct, this wouldn’t be an event for those trying to be faithful to the teachings of the Church. This would be a gathering for people who want the Church to approve of whatever it is they want. You can find the flyer on my last post: https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2015/08/19/new-ways-annoying-in-the-same-old-way/.

Again, the Church does treat us all equally. We are free to live according to the Faith, and we are free to stray from it, but the latter isn’t going to be sanctioned, rubber stamped, and approved by the Catholic Church. It’s pretty simple: we’re all held to this, no matter what adjective we want to attach to ourselves.

That pretty much sums it up. Gay people require the approval of people who think that homosexuality is a behavior of choice or, in the alternative, that they must make a decision to be celibate for life.  I guess that they can choose to be neurotic priests.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and just guess Mr. Hart is not even Catholic. At least he’s not trying to add qualifications to his Catholicity that I could see anywhere. That’s our first clue, because you’d usually see something like “Gay Catholic Blogger” or “Progressive Catholic Thinker”, etc.

So, let me explain it to you, David: Catholics are expected to live according to the Catholic Faith. It has nothing to do with “neurotic priests” and everything to do with living according to God’s laws. It applies to every last one of us, no matter our temptations or proclivities.

Admittedly I think that it’s all rather silly. It amazes me that intelligent, well educated people buy into all of this. What really astonishes me, though, is that LGBT Catholics keep asking for the Church’s approval — something that they will never get. Do people think that it is some odd coincidence that one of the Church’s most most anti-gay bishops – Cordileone – is the archbishop of San Francisco, perhaps the nation’s gayest city? You just have to read the messages to know where LGBT people stand.

Eureka, Mr. Hart!!! We do agree on something! Of course, I don’t think the Faith silly, but I totally think it’s astonishing that after 2,000 years, one group or another still thinks it can mold the Church around their sins. It’s not the first time it’s happened and it will not be the last.

You seem to be a man who sees things for what they are. I don’t expect you to understand or embrace the Catholic Faith, but I’m kind of sad to see that you would call Archbishop Cordileone “anti-gay”. Your missive seems far more reasonable than that, although from someone who’s probably not in the flock. I can tell you that the Archbishop has nothing but a profound love for ALL of those in his care – no matter the adjective. I think that’s what pains him the most. He truly cares about souls. He just takes the hate and keeps on loving. Do you think it just might be possible that the Archbishop really has the best interest of the souls of ALL his flock in mind? Just the smallest possibility? Surely you would agree that just because you disagree with someone doesn’t mean that you are “anti” them, right? I mean, if you read the documents put out on the issue, one can hardly say the Church is “anti” anyone.

Instead, I suggest that anyone who thinks the mean ‘ol Church doesn’t care read one of the documents on the subject. Here’s one to ease you into it: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19861001_homosexual-persons_en.html.

As has been pointed out elsewhere, it’s “zero hour” for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. No more extensions are expected in the school contract drama. Please pray that the Holy Spirit guides all those involved, and that He hits those that need it upside the head with a two-by-four.

UPDATE AFTER POSTING: Contract signed!  Deo gratias! http://www.sfarchdiocese.org/docs/default-source/media-items-2015/final-draft-agreement.pdf?sfvrsn=4

New Ways – Annoying in the Same Old Way!

Philadelphia seems to be where the news is as of late, so there I virtually go again! I wish I was going to the “City of Brotherly Love” for the Pope’s trip, but with the hordes of kids and school starting, it’s just not in the budget. Besides that, I’m not a big crowd person, and it looks like it will be a BIG crowd. Go, Catholicism!

Now back down to Earth… New Ways Ministry and Equally Blessed win the award for whiners of the day. Archbishop Chaput has apparently put the kibosh on their planned production during the Holy Father’s visit, and they’re not happy (http://www.donotlink.com/gdme). Let’s be honest, shall we? It was nothing more than a PR stunt. Once the actual flyer got to the Archbishop, it was sure to be squashed. They were just going for martyr status.

Before going on to their statements, let’s first take a gander at the flyer for their event, “Transforming Love” (http://www.donotlink.com/gdmi). My gosh! The title alone justifies closing this one down! Now that you’ve had a look at the flyer, let’s look at what New Ways has to say about this program. First, New Ways apparently expects the Archbishop to drop what he’s doing and beg them for a meeting:

I am very sorry that Archbishop Chaput did not seek to speak with New Ways Ministry about the nature of the program…

Hey, New Ways, here’s a thought! How about you make an appointment with Archbishop Chaput and ask PERMISSION to do something in one of the churches under his jurisdiction? Why is it you think he needs to seek you out? Instead, you decided to plan something that you know full well goes against the teachings of the Catholic Church, and then you try to play the martyr card? I don’t think so. This is getting rather old, and you’re looking rather pathetic at this point. It’s not like we haven’t seen this a hundred times before.

There was no plan to have a theological discussion about gender identity.

Puh-lease! As if that matters. What you were really planning on doing was railing against the Catholic Church, right? The flyer basically says so:

Over the last two decades, the Catholic community has become extremely supportive of lesbian and gay issues, including marriage equality.

How, exactly, does this little excerpt from the flyer jive with the teachings of the Catholic Church? Oh, yeah, it doesn’t. And then we have the whole bio for Joe “Julie” Chovanes:

Julie Chovanes, a transsexual woman, was born into a conservative religious family in suburban Philadelphia. Joe (as Julie was called) played football in high school, did not dream of growing up to be a woman, but struggled with her trans identity all her life.

As a male, Julie met her wife in law school, transitioned six years ago, and is still married. They have four children, ranging in age from 23 to 15. Julie is beginning a trans legal clinic in the Philadelphia area.

Yeah, that’s so in keeping with Catholic Teaching. You know, the teaching that says that it’s peachy for the “lesbian trapped in a man’s body” to engage in self-mutilation? (Sarcasm alert!) Is this happy couple now supposed to be the paragon of the permanency of marriage?

Really, we didn’t need to go beyond the sponsors to see how in tune with Catholic teaching they are. In case some of you don’t know, here’s New Ways Ministry’s status with the Catholic Church in the United States: http://www.usccb.org/news/2010/10-028.cfm.

Back to the PR stunt:

The workshop fills a void at the World Meeting of Families, which comes to a close just before New Ways Ministry program is scheduled, Saturday, September 26, 2015.  No speakers at the World Meeting will address the topic of gender identity.

Hold up! I thought this “workshop” wasn’t going to address the theology of gender identity.   The World Meeting is supposed to based on Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.

Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive is a Church document that teaches what Catholics believe about human purpose, marriage, and the family. This document forms the basis for the attached children’s preparatory lessons and the event programming objectives for the World Meeting of Families. (http://www.worldmeeting2015.org/spirituality-center/preparing-family/)

Hmmm….Not really sure how you can say your event was going to fill a void in an event that’s pretty much a giant theological discussion with an event lacking in a theological discussion but, OK.  Maybe you got the wrong event?

The fact is, there is no void at the World Meeting. New Ways Ministry itself is a void. Or, rather, it’s DEvoid of Catholicism. Why would there be New Ways-type speakers at the “World Meeting” when the Holy Father has said these little gems: http://cnsnews.com/blog/michael-w-chapman/pope-francis-gender-theory-error-human-mind-leads-so-much-confusion? He’s already spoken on the issue!

New Ways rants on:

 St. John’s parish had seen fit to offer space for the program based on their pastor’s and community’s belief that “All are welcome” in the parish.  It is very disappointing that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia did not have the same spirit of Christian hospitality.

 As usual, Mr. DeBernardo (GASP! Am I allowed to use a gender-specific pronoun?), you confuse PEOPLE being welcomed with SIN being welcomed. Sorry, not the same thing. Personally, if I were Archbishop Chaput, after the Holy Father jets off, the first thing I would do is to have a little chat with the pastor of St. John’s parish. I’m quite sure he knew full well what he was doing with this little stunt and this was not an innocent mistake but a move designed to try to shame the Archbishop.  Sad.

Now, for those of you who don’t know, Equally Blessed is Call to Action, Dignity USA, Fortunate Families and New Ways Ministry all rolled into one. It’s a little redundant for them to also put out an additional statement, but Bob Shine (also from New Ways) says:

Unfortunately, this is yet another instance of the kind of exclusion LGBT Catholics and supporters have endured for decades. Bishops have refused to allow us to meet in our own Churches, retreat centers and colleges.

Why would that be? I mean, your ideology is totally in line with the Catholic Church, isn’t it?  Not so much. On and on it goes. It’s nothing we haven’t heard before, and it will likely be continued ad nauseam for the foreseeable future.

Any chance you could just drop the endless whining?! It’s really getting on my nerves! You also might want to look around and see that the rest of us sinners aren’t whining. You are as free as every other Catholic to participate in the Holy Father’s visit. You can go to the talks, CONFESSION (Hint! Hint!), and the Masses. Just like every other Catholic, you can even receive Communion if you are free from mortal sin! What you can’t do is expect to come in, flaunt your sin, and subvert the Catholic Church’s teaching. But guess what? This applies to ALL CATHOLICS!!!

This is really what annoys me about the alphabet soup crowd (AKA the LGBTXYZ posse). It seems they are such prima donnas that they believe their sin should be overlooked and accepted. They’ve got that two-year-old, baby-of-the-family mentality that the world revolves around them and their (in their eyes) “precious” sin. The New Ways club says they “want to be treated just like everyone else.” Guess what? The Catholic Church actually does that, but they don’t like it!  Go figure!  What New Ways and their supporters really want is the “I’m so special I get a pass” treatment. They just need to go peddle their sin elsewhere, and let us enjoy the Papal visit in peace!

Forget Beer Pong! Let’s Go with the Sisters of Mercy!

I haven’t had much interaction with the Sisters of Mercy but, after this week I got curious. I figured if I looked into them it was likely to get uglier. I was right.

(https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/blog/sr-mary-scullion-writes-firing-margie-winters)

Listen! I could make a drinking game out of this that would totally rival beer pong.   How about take a shot when you hear a supposed atrocity of the Church mentioned. Or, down a beer when you hear a liberal “compassionate” buzz word.   Let’s see if we can make this work.

<Snipping the totally irrelevant name dropping but you can see it at the above link.  Also, bold interjections are all mine!>

From Sr. Mary Scullion and club:

From the column, which appeared yesterday on Philly.com:

The recent controversy at Waldron Mercy Academy brings to light that we are at a critical moment for the Catholic Church, and for all persons of faith and conscience in this country. It is a moment rife with pain and struggle (That’s, like, 3 beers!), but also hope. …

[W]e believe that the Church’s truest integrity is at risk when it emphasizes orthodoxy and doctrine without meaningful engagement with human and historic realities. We love the Church: We draw deeply from its rich traditions of spirituality, compassion, service, and justice. But we also recognize (and need to take responsibility for) our many historic blind spots—persecution of heretics, oppression of indigenous peoples in the name of “mission,” and second-class status for women.” (That’s three shots right there!)

Come on guys! You totally forgot to throw in “The Inquisition” and Galileo! (We could have added in 2 more shots!) Any good rebuking of the Church must include them. Off your game? As usual, let’s use some smoke, mirrors, and throw in a poor history lesson for those that are none the wiser.

Since you’re all probably a bit tipsy, I’ll dispense with the game and show you some “Sisters of Mercy” (that was for those punny people)  so you don’t have to deal with a hangover.

In that last paragraph, you’ll also notice that they are suggesting that we must ditch doctrine for “meaningful engagement with human and historic realities.” Yes, I say ditch because they are putting them at odds with one another. We’re, apparently, supposed to overlook any Doctrine or orthodoxy that doesn’t jive with the “meaningful engagements.” Two words: Moral Relativism.

While it is painful for us to have to publicly dissent, we are convinced that this is a moment when insistence on doctrinal adherence is clashing with what we believe the Spirit is unfolding in our history—just as it has in the past, with issues like slavery, the rights of women, and the environment. Many Christian denominations have listened to the movement of the Spirit and moved toward both full inclusion and full embrace of the gifts of our gay and lesbian sisters and brothers.

Slavery! I knew I was forgetting something!

Thanks so much for admitting that you are publicly dissenting. Please, oh please, someone silence Sr. Mary Scullion! You heard it. Doctrinal adherence is clashing with what they believe. Anyone want to tell them that they actually aren’t the final arbiter of “the Spirit” in regards to the Doctrine of the Catholic Church? I think they might not have heard of Pastor Aeternus. How about you? (I think they might be just a tad bit jealous of those that get to wear the mitres.) I guess, for Sr. Mary, being one of TIME’s 2009 “100 Most Influential People in the World” right up there with another stellar Catholic, Oprah Winfrey (oh…wait…) wasn’t quite good enough. She’s wants to rule the Church too.

The Church is at its best when it listens to the Spirit speaking in our times and through human experiences. As we listen, we hear the Spirit speaking through the testimony of hundreds of parents and former students, who affirm that Margie has been a marvelous teacher and influence. She has been a gift to the Church, nurturing the faith and morals of countless young people, fostering a spirit of mercy, compassion, and justice. We believe the controversy surrounding Margie Winters is the Spirit inviting us to reflect on Church doctrine that upholds the dignity of every person. …

I’m not sure I can even figure out how to respond to this rubbish (for all the readers in England)! Let me try. One is not nurturing faith and morals when one is urging those countless young people to dissent against Church teachings on faith and morals! You are not nurturing them nor is Margie Winters. Nurturing them would be to teach them to know and love Christ’s Church and all her teachings, not to reject it when YOU see fit. The Church’s teachings are not deficient in the least. Your teachings are.

As we work through the pain and conflict, as we listen to each other, as we struggle to make sense of the power of tradition and the challenge of newness, we believe this can be a moment of hope and grace.

Let’s talk about pain. It really pains me that, despite all of Sr. Mary Scullion’s philanthropic work, she seems to fail to realize that leading people AWAY from the Doctrine of the Catholic Church is just haughty.   She’s now responsible for trying to spiritually starve her fellow Catholics. Mother Teresa she ain’t.

She Did Not Just Say This: “I felt like I was doing ministry really well…”

This anti-Catholic hit piece is way too long (and I mean WAYYYY too long) to go over the whole thing, so I’m just going to hit the “highlights” (or rather, lowlights). Sadly there are many.  By the way, if your daughter is interested in the religious life, you might advise them to cross Sisters of Mercy off their list based on Margie Winters’ account of them. The aim of this article (http://www.donotlink.com/gano) is to make Ms. Winters a martyr for the Alphabet Soup cause against faithful bishops and archbishops like Archbishop Cordileone and Archbishop Chaput:

The Fired Lesbian Teacher Fighting Back Against the Catholic Church

<start excerpts here>

Until recently, Margie Winters was a devoted teacher at the Waldron Mercy Academy, a Roman Catholic elementary school in Philadelphia where she had served as director of Religious Education for eight years.

Winters was hired at Waldron Mercy in August 2007, three months after she married her longtime partner, Andrea Vettori.

Same-sex marriage is forbidden under the official teachings of the Church, so Winters was transparent with Waldron Principal Nell Stetser’s predecessor about her marriage during the hiring process.

So, right away we find out that Nell Stetser’s predecessor was totally wrong about hiring a person he/she knew to be unrepentantly violating Church teaching.

For nearly a decade at Waldron, Winters’s marriage never interfered with her commitment to teaching and serving as a member of the greater Catholic community.

Well, her marriage didn’t interfere in her mind, but reality is quite a bit different. You cannot publicly go against Church teachings without sending a message to those who find out about it.

It remained that way until this June, when Winters ran afoul of a religiously conservative parent at Waldron who was miffed after Winters rejected her proposal for a new sex-ed curriculum.

Oh, those mean ‘ol religiously conservative Catholics (AKA faithful Catholics) who want a good sex-ed program for their children. I’m going to guess they wanted something based on Theology of the Body, Humane Vitae or something of that vein? Ah, the horrors! What was that evil woman thinking when she proposed something like that?! She might have been thinking, “Hey, might be nice if something Catholic were taught to counter whatever the practicing lesbian is teaching!”

 “This parent was very upset with the school for having someone like me in a position to review the sexuality program,” Winters tells me. “She was opposed to my being in charge of teachers, in charge of curriculum, and involved in the religious formation of young children because of my marriage.”

Uh, yeah, I would be very upset, too! Why would a faithful Catholic want the person picking the sex-education program for their kid’s schools who was bucking the Church teachings on sex? Can you say “conflict of interest?”

After the letter reached the Archdiocese’s office in Philadelphia, Winters says, Waldron had little choice but to let her go. (She was given the option to resign, with the condition that she wouldn’t speak publicly about her departure. The school did not return requests for comment.) “If they refused to fire me, it would have jeopardized the school’s Catholic identity.”

At this point I’d like to clarify a few things. The school’s Catholic identity was already hurt, not just jeopardized, by having a teacher who was publicly contradicting the Church’s teaching on sex and marriage. I’m sure that Ms. Winters is talking about the actual approval by the local archbishop for the school to use the term “Catholic” to identify themselves. There’s no proof that the archbishop/diocese actually threatened to take away permission for them to use this term. In fact, the archdiocese has made more than one statement to the effect that this did not happen. Despite the fact that I would love to see that done more often, bishops tend to not want to use that as the first step to finding a resolution. They have WAY more patience than I will ever have! While I look at the destruction in the wake of such teachers, the bishops and archbishops also take into consideration the souls of ALL of those involved. We should all try to do the same.

In the two months since Winters was fired from Waldron on June 22, her ouster has become a lightning rod for the Catholic Church’s discrimination against LGBTQ members, with Winters emerging as an activist hero.

“It’s a huge honor and a big responsibility,” she tells me, sitting sideways on the couch in khaki shorts and a sleeveless button-up shirt.

Can you say “legend in her own mind?”

“It’s very humbling because it’s not like either Andrea or I sought this out in the past,” she adds of her suddenly-conferred hero status. “It began with a decision not to resign because I didn’t think it was right, and I think people see that as a stand. It has become a stand against the church at this point and it’s become a stand for the rights of LGBT folks.”

Read that again and let it soak in: “it has become a stand against the Church.” For once, thank you for your honesty. We agree, you are totally standing against Church teaching.

Ever since Winters was let go, parents and students at Waldron have rallied around her, devastated by her forced departure and determined to support her in any way they can.

And here’s where we see that it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be. First of all, are we just going to ignore the parents and students who might not agree with her? How about fellow teachers? And then let’s talk support. Supposedly there’s overwhelming support, but let’s compare the support of a person who doesn’t want to supply flowers for a “gay wedding” to the cash that’s rolled in for Winters. You can’t. There is no comparison.

We’re supposed to believe that an overwhelming number of people are going to take the side of a teacher who works in a Catholic school over the right of the school to fire someone who’s contradicting the Catholic Faith?!? The reason the money isn’t flowing in full speed is because, despite how people feel about homosexuality and Catholicism, most Americans actually believe that a Catholic school has the right to promote authentic Catholicism. “Not my cup of tea but it is a Catholic school!” In short, they believe in the First Amendment.

When we meet, it’s easy to see why: Winters is warm and engaging, empathetic and even-tempered, with a gentle sense of humor and a patient attitude toward problem-solving. In short, she is the ideal elementary school teacher.

She doesn’t belabor her conflict with the parent who called for her to be fired, nor does she harbor any resentment.

Wait, there’s no resentment, but we’re still going after the diocese and the Archbishop? It’s just a little contrary. She might be a very sweet person, but people can be quite pleasant and still undermine the teachings of the Catholic Church. This was never about her being pleasant or unpleasant. It’s about her contradiction of the teachings of the Church which Waldron Mercy is supposed to espouse in word and in deed.

“It’s such a joyful place!” she enthuses. “It’s an amazing group of people who aren’t just committed to the faith, because we have non-Catholic families, but who are committed to the work of justice and peace and helping those who are less fortunate than they are.”

Screeeeech! To be committed to the Catholic Faith is all-encompassing! It’s not that we’re committed to the Faith or we’re committed to justice, peace and helping those less fortunate. It’s all of the above, which is why we’re supposed to be working toward “making disciples of all nations!” To be committed to the Catholic Faith is to be committed to all that is good. The problem here is not the people committed to the Faith. The problem is the people who put their wants in front of the Faith, which is exactly what’s going on here!

The two frequently finish each other’s sentences.

Well, by all means, let’s ditch the teachings of the Catholic Church because these two finish each other’s sentences!

Winters was studying at Gwynedd Mercy University when she had her first relationship with a woman and began to understand that she was a lesbian.

“It was a quiet piece of my identity,” she says, explaining that she was more focused on determining her identity in the Church and whether she was called to religious life.

Hon, if this wasn’t an overtly overarching move in your life, you’re really missing something. There was no quiet about it, and it hardly seems the Catholic Church was in the forefront of your thoughts. Not surprisingly, Gwynedd Mercy is supposedly a Catholic university. Epic fail on their part too? Maybe you should have spent more time discovering the identity of the Catholic Church than your identity in it. You can’t serve Him until you first know Him and love Him. I’m not sure you’ve ever gotten past the know part. It would seem more like you’ve formed Him into the image you would like Him to be. God formed us in his image, not the other way around.

It wasn’t until she fell in love with Vettori that she was really forced to confront that “quiet piece” of herself.

Just an aside, you don’t simply fall in love with someone. If you did, you’d just as easily fall out of love with them. Love is a choice you make. You made a choice.

And this is where the article really starts to turn ugly…

The two were in their early 30s when they met while studying with the Sisters of Mercy in Philadelphia, a community of women in the Catholic Church that welcomes Church members to live with them as they discern whether they are called to a religious life—one of celibacy and devotion to serving God’s people—or the life of a layperson.” Winters and Vettori were both still in the discernment process when they became friends, then quickly realized there was something more between them.

Does anyone notice what she left out? Anyone? How about the word chastity? Celibacy and chastity are not the same thing. It sounds like the sisters might want to focus a bit more on the formation of the virtue of chastity.

But falling in love didn’t lead them to make impulsive decisions as it often does for the rest of us. And neither Winters nor Vettori felt they had to hide their feelings from the Sisters.

“The Sisters were very open-minded, very progressive,” says Vettori. “Their hope was that we would obviously take vows and be Sisters for life with the community, but they enter into that process knowing that we might walk away at any time.”

“And we knew that they could encourage us to leave,” Winters adds. “Part of the process is coming to a mutual discernment with the community. And the Sisters feel it’s part of their mission to help form young women.”

Gag! So, it may or may not be true, but Winters and Vettori seem to be saying that the Sisters of Mercy think lesbianism is just peachy, the discernment for lesbians to stay in or leave the community is just part of their mission to help form young women, and they never told these two – who were really living in a near occasion of sin – that the Sisters of Mercy or religious life might just not be for them?!? Where does the formation come in?

Everything changed for both women when they joined the Sisters of Mercy.

“The irony is that I didn’t know myself fully as a sexual person until I entered the community,” she says.

For some, this may evoke images of women sneaking into each other’s rooms in the middle of the night, breaking vows of celibacy and rebelling against the Church’s repression of sexuality.

But it was the opposite for Winters and Vettori.

Just for them? How about the rest of the crew? Ugh! Make it stop! They’re essentially saying that the Sisters of Mercy propelled them into the lesbian lifestyle!

The process of entering religious life with the Sisters of Mercy led them to develop not just a greater understanding of their relationship to God, but a greater understanding and acceptance of who they were.

OK, I’m just going to object here and say, no way, no how, did they have a greater understanding of their relationship with God. As I said earlier, they’ve made God into what they wanted him to be, not who He is!

Still, it would be a long time before they got together. Six months after their friendship was no longer platonic, Vettori moved to St. Louis to enter the novitiate (a part of the process of religious formation). They both felt they had to go through the discernment process separately before they could consider committing to each other.

Please note, the sisters, who they didn’t hide their feelings from, never pushed the “pause” button on the process.

Margie vividly remembers the moment when she knew her discernment process was over.

“I was leading the community in song—‘Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear’—and looking out at them when this sense of freedom came to me,” she recalls, her voice suddenly thick with emotion. “For me, receiving the freedom from them to just be who I am was the last piece.”” “But with that freedom came tremendous loss.

“These were women that I grew up with in the Church. I really felt called to follow their path and then suddenly I decided it wasn’t the path for me.”

Finally, we have some agreement here! She was definitely not called to the religious life. That said, she is called to freedom, but she hasn’t found true freedom yet. She’s simply found a reality of her own making.

So, a few observations: I seem to recall somewhere along the way hearing “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Who was that again? Oh, yeah. It was Christ. (Matthew 16:24) Also, our Church teaches:

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm

So, there’s that whole chastity thing. It’s really sad for these ladies that the Sisters of Mercy apparently didn’t bother to mention it to them.

Both Winters and Vettori have kept in touch with the Sisters of Mercy, in part because the Sisters have left their door open to laypeople in the Church. In doing so they’ve demonstrated how progressive they have become.

The generation before Winters and Vettori wouldn’t have maintained any relationship with the Sisters after choosing the path of a layperson. They would have been shepherded “out the back door in the middle of the night, the whole thing shrouded in secrecy,” says Vettori.

I have no idea quite what they’re getting at here. Not quite sure I want to know.

Now, Winters is once again mourning a loss, though this time the door has been closed indefinitely.

“It feels like a death,” she says. “I felt like I was doing ministry really well at Waldron. That was the direction my life had taken and where I had grown professionally and hoped to continue to grow. So to have that stopped dead is a huge loss.”

Wait just a minute! Please, ladies and gentlemen, draw your attention to this phrase. With this statement, Margie just gave a HUGE headache to the crew in San Francisco who are protesting Archbishop Cordileone. She’s likely just shot any legal case she thought she may have had in the foot, too. She just admitted that her position was a ministry!!! If you hear a deafening “Noooooooooo!” from the West Coast, that’s what it’s all about. It’s not something the rest of us don’t already know, but it is something some would like to remain hidden. To catch up on why that’s so important, please see https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/the-archbishop-vs-the-red-herrings/.  The crew out here hangs everything on the hope SCOTUS doesn’t consider teachers ministers (even though a few of them already mentioned they do).

Moving on… What is your definition of “really well?” Having a grand professional life? Molding kids to your warped image of reality? Are you championing the teachings of the Church or are you teaching the kids to ignore it by your example? We certainly have a different definition of “really well.”

“I could have resigned and gotten whatever benefits came with that, but that would have implied that the teachings around same-sex marriage in the Church are right, and I really don’t think they are informed by people like Andrea and I who are in committed, loving relationships while serving the Church.”

And there you have it! They don’t think the teachings of the Church are right in regards to them. It always comes down to ME, doesn’t it? She also lays out her mission with Andrea. They want to inform (and really, in the case of the students, form).

Winters could give up now, too, knowing that she likely won’t be able to teach in the Church again unless the Church changes its attitude toward same-sex marriage.

Thanks for pointing out another Sisters of Mercy and Gwynedd Mercy  failure. It’s not the Church’s “attitude toward same-sex marriage.” It’s called DOCTRINE! How is it the sisters never explained this to you?

“When this first happened a lot of parents encouraged us to go after the archbishop [of Philadelphia],” says Vettori. “Even if we persuaded him to change his mind, we could have a different archbishop next month. And then we’d be back at square one. It’s the thinking and the policies of the Church that really need to change.”

It’s DOCTRINE, DOCTRINE, DOCTRINE. It wouldn’t matter which archbishop changed his mind (although you’re quite correct, Archbishop Chaput always follows Doctrine), it’s still the perennial teaching of the Church.

New Ways Ministry, a Catholic organization that advocates for reconciliation between the LGBTQ community and the official Church teachings, has compiled a list of people who have been affected—many of them fired from their jobs—because of the Church’s policies against same-sex relationships. Winters is the 53rd person on that list.

Uh, help!  Talk about an organization with no Catholic identity!  That would be New Ways Ministry!  http://www.usccb.org/news/2010/10-028.cfm

“The Church is losing good people,” she says. “I’ve been in Catholic education for 18 years and I’m committed to it. But they’ve fired us and lost people who are committed to teaching children in the faith because of who we are—because of who God made us to be. That’s the rub.”

The Church is losing good people??? Really? This is your argument? Do you remember a little thing called “The Reformation”? All sorts of people walked away over that one. It doesn’t make the Truth of the Church any less right. They’re still Truth. Remember all of the people who walked away from Christ, particularly when he foretold the Sacrifice of the Eucharist in John 6? Maybe he should have just changed his teaching for them.

They both worry about Catholic children who are struggling with their own sexual identity in school, and the message Winters’s firing sends them.

“It tells them they’re not worthy to teach in a Catholic school because of who they are,” says Vettori. “That they’re less than a full person in the Church and therefore less in the eyes of God. That’s the real horror in all of this.”

…and let’s parade the children out again, will you? If you bothered to show them Church teaching, they’d know their intrinsic value and the love the Church has for them. Please stop using them as pawns for your non-Catholic agenda.

Winters is now working with various organizations advocating for change within the Church: Dignity USA, a group that advocates for the rights of LGBTQ members in the Church, and the progressive organization Call to Action have both reached out to her.

Gee, there’s a shocker.

This week, Winters and dozens of her supporters arrived at the archbishop’s office in Center City with a petition signed by more than 22,000 people calling for “a moratorium on the firing of LGBT employees.”

Wow! A whopping 22,000 people out of almost 70,000,000 Catholics in America? The Church should be really scared now.

The petition was orchestrated by Faithful America, a Christian social justice organization, and calls for the archbishop to “ask Catholic schools before he gets involved with the hiring or firing of staff, in particular their gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual staff.”

Holy cow! Has Faithful America bothered to ever take a look at Canon Law? Uh, hello! Archbishop Chaput isn’t merely a figurehead.

Winters and Vettori are looking forward to the pope’s U.S. visit in September, and they hope to convince him to enact a moratorium on discriminatory firings.

Good luck with that. “Holy Father, can you please tell your bishops to tone down that whole Catholic thing in the Catholic schools?”

There are different ways that people form their personal theology, but it’s often either theologically formed or it’s experiential. And he’s experience. He meets people and he allows them to inform what he’s learned about theology,” says Vettori. “We know that if he met us and got to know us, I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t influence his theology.

Big. Huge. Facepalm! They really, really don’t get it, do they?

“That’s why a lot of what we’re saying is, Give us a place at your table,” Winters adds. “Talk to us. Meet us. Understand us. And let that inform your teaching.”

Great! Now, what God is saying is that you have a place at the table, but it’s HIS table. You don’t set it. You don’t choose the menu. You don’t get to choose who sits where, etc., etc., etc.

I just really feel sad for these ladies and their groupies. They’ve all just been so misled for so long. I honestly don’t think all of them are megalomaniacs. These ladies seem pleasant enough, but some who hold the same beliefs are megalomaniacs, and they just egg on the confused and uneducated.

Our Church is so beautiful and rich and is so willing to help us on our way. It’s so sad that people take such an adversarial view of it. Of course, many haven’t delved into it too much in the past 40+ years. There are just so many people running around thriving on the conflict when they really could be at true peace.

I hope many more will find out how much the Church truly loves them as the Catholics in this movie have: http://www.blackstonefilms.org/thethirdway/. I thank them for their efforts in educating their fellow Catholics in a way that the Sisters of Mercy have failed to do for these women.