The Bitter but Kitschy Catholics

You just know when a blogger spends so much time on a spelling error, it’s a whole lot of nothing by someone who knows a whole lot of nothing.  Maybe Mary Pezzulo might have wanted to actually look at the context of Janet Smith’s Facebook post before she commented on it.  Personally, I would have loved a link to the post too since there was probably a lot more interesting stuff to it.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/steelmagnificat/2017/02/questioning-janet-smiths-sexual-common-sense/

Questioning Janet Smith’s Sexual Common Sense

February 22, 2017 by Mary Pezzulo 9 Comments

 I don’t know anything about Milo Yiannopoulos.

I’ve heard he’s a bully and he looks like a lounge lizard, but that’s all I know. My fellow Patheos bloggers can fill you in.

So, if you were waiting with baited breath for my opinion on Milo, sorry, I don’t have one.

And if she did, it would probably focus on some sort of grammatical error and have zero depth.

****UPDATE**** Oh my gosh!  A wonderful reader just sent me this bit of irony and I’m ashamed to say I missed this myself!

So, if you were waiting with baited breath for my opinion on Milo, sorry, I don’t have one.

It’s not “baited breath,” Mary.  It’s “bated breath!”

I mean, if a writer makes a spelling error like this, should Patheos really take her seriously?  Should any of us? If she doesn’t know her homophones, how can she comment on anything – ever?  I mean, she’s a writer and a blogger nonetheless!

Yes, it’s tongue in cheek and, yes, I’ve seen many a writer, blogger, teacher, etc. make silly little mistakes that don’t make their lives the downfall of society as Peluzzo seems to think as you read on.  I’m sure I’ve made many (probably in this one post).

I do have an opinion on something else, though.

Yesterday, all of my friends were in uproar about a public conversation, about Milo Yiannopoulos, between Doctor Janet E. Smith and her friends on Facebook.

Uproar?  Really?  Who was involved and where was this drama caused by Smith?  Is it the usual Patheos folks who seem to be in an uproar about things they don’t deem “done right?” I swear, Patheos has become the home of the bitter but kitschy Catholics.  (Not all of you, but if you’re upset at that description, it probably is you.)  Seriously, they might want to get their blood pressures checked.  I have never seen such instigating of infighting as done by some of the Patheos peeps. Not enough crazies over at America Magazine and National catholic Reporter to pick on?

Janet E. Smith has a doctorate in classical languages, but lectures in moral theology at a seminary. She recently gave a talk at Franciscan University. Her website is called “Janet E. Smith’s Sexual Common sense” and advertises her books and recorded lectures; these have comfortingly commonsense names like “Contraception: Why Not?” “Theology of the Old Body” and “Why Premarital Sex is Stupid.” As a writer myself, I tend to use titles which are too flowery and uninformative, so I admire her ability to cut to the chase. No one would wonder what kind of content they’d find in a lecture CD entitled “Why Premarital Sex is Stupid.” I hope the rest of her lecture was equally straightforward. Frankness, when educating about sex, is always better than the alternative.

But here’s the thing: frankness itself is not enough. You’ve actually got to know about sex to lecture about sex. You’d better know all about sex and sexual ethics, to lecture about moral theology at a Catholic seminary.  And Doctor Smith apparently does not.

The aforementioned conversation had any number of zingers, but this is the line that made my hair stand on end:

(See link above for a jpeg of conversation since Mary Pelluzo didn’t link to the actual conversation.)

Yes, I see the usually strait-laced Austin Ruse calling himself a “MILO fan” there, but ignore him for the moment. Doctor Janet Smith, a moral theologian who writes about “commonsense sexuality,” publicly declared the following:

“I don’t know why we need that new term ‘ephophilia’ or whatever. Pedophilia is with prepubescent boys–evidentily an almost an ineradicable pathology. Whereas it seems pederasty is sex between an older man and a “boy”– someone postpubescent.”

A professor with a doctorate said that. A professor with a doctorate in classical languages, neglected to look at the common Greek roots of the word “Ephebophilia” and figure out that she’s wrong about what it means. She can’t even spell it. She thinks pedophilia is only to do with boys. Most worryingly, a professor who lectures seminarians on moral theology, isn’t sure what pederasty is.”

Really? Because IN THE CONTEXT OF THE CONVERSATION ABOUT COMMENTS MADE BY MILO YIANNOPULOUS, Smith uses a definition referring to pedophilia that didn’t jive with EVERY case of it, she doesn’t know anything about sex and sexual ethics? How about we go back over this, Mary?   First of all, you glossed over Janet’s bio a little too quickly to gloat over the misspelling she made.  Yeah, hers is a little more extensive than yours.  Next, no, pedophilia doesn’t limit itself to males, and I will address YOUR definition of pedophilia further down, but Smith was talking about Milo’s discussion about male homosexual sex.  After that, what evidence do you have that Smith doesn’t know what pederasty is?  Did she spell that wrong too? Ephebophilia? That’s an attraction to teens of both sexes by adults.  Janet is perfectly right to call that into question when talking about Milo’s conversation with Joe Rogan.  It had nothing to do with the Milo case at hand.  Yes, she left out a whole evil syllable that was so crucial to the conversation that it calls into question her decades of amazing teaching in the area of human sexuality.  And darn it, we should also curse her for not relying on spellcheck.

 You know? I’m often embarrassed by my own ignorance. I make ignorant mistakes all the time. But at least I’m not a professor of moral theology who just publicly revealed she doesn’t know her field in the least.

Seriously? Well, please, Mary, you might want to let all those cardinals, priests, and bishops know that Janet doesn’t know a bit of morality because she misspelled a word and used it in the context of a man’s life that you, admittedly, know nothing about.  If I were you, I’d be embarrassed that you waded into a conversation you know nothing about over a spelling error.

For the record, DOCTOR Janet, it’s spelled “ephebophilia,” and it means a sexual preference for older teenagers, usually ages fifteen to nineteen and NOT the fourteen-year-old prepubescent boys you mentioned.

For the record, Mary, it was Austin Ruse who brought up a 14-year-old boy.  You’re super out of context on this one.

Ephebophilia is a sub-set of the group of sexual preferences known as chronophilas. It’s not a new term. It dates back to the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. The name “ephebophilia” comes from the Greek terms ephebos meaning “one arrived at puberty” and philia meaning “love.” Someone with a PhD in classics ought to know that instantly. It has nothing to do with being homosexual; a grown man preferring fifteen-year-old-girls is also an ephebophile.

Honey, you need to read the ENTIRE exchange you screen shot before you waste time giving the definitions you copied from Wikipedia.  (Don’t believe me?  Google “ephebophilia.”)  If you actually read the comment you posted, Smith advocated against using the term because it had nothing to do with Milo’s comments and, if you notice, she didn’t even give a definition of ephebophilia.  It wasn’t relevant to the conversation of Milo.  (Remember those comments you know nothing about?)

And, by the way, those who follow this stuff know that the word “ephebophilia”has only come into fashion in modern day use because the homosexual community and those who advocate for their lifestyle want to be just like everybody else.  They HATE pederasty because it’s exclusive to homosexual males, which means they can’t use the “What?  I’m just like everyone else?” argument.

“Pedophilia” refers to a sexual preference for children– not sex “with prepubescent boys” but a desire to have sex with boys or girls. It has nothing to do with homosexuality. It is not even itself a sex act, just a grossly disordered sexual desire.

Uh, really?  I thought you were fond of on-line definitions.  Merriam-Webster, and really, most law enforcement agencies, are going to disagree with you.  Not only is it the attraction, it is considered by most to include the act.  That might be why most of the world talks of “registered pedophiles” for those who commit some sort of sexual act with a child.  Let’s look at those oh-so-great dictionaries you’ve made half an attempt to use:
 

Definition of pedophilia

:  sexual perversion in which children are the preferred sexual object; specifically :  a psychological disorder in which an adult has sexual fantasies about or engages in sexual acts with a prepubescent child

And then there’s the ever so popular Wikipedia that you lifted from earlier:


In popular usage, the word pedophilia is often applied to any sexual interest in children or the act of child sexual abuse.[5]   (Remember this when you bring up “nowadays” in the next paragraph)

Oops!  Let’s hang ‘em all for using a different dictionary than you.

“Pederasty” nowadays refers to sex between a man and a boy–usually a boy between the ages of twelve and seventeen, often pubescent but sometimes not. It had a bit broader meaning historically, but based upon the conversation Doctor Smith was having she’s referring to the sex act.

And now we’re looking at “nowadays??”  Please.  Don’t you think it’s a tad bit hypocritical to complain about someone else’s use of the “nowadays” definition, but you’re just fine to do it?  You’re hanging everything on age ranges.  There is a range for pederasty because boys all look sexually mature at a different age.  It’s not what phase of development they are truly in but which phase the perpetrator sees them in.  They are either looking to perpetrate some sexual act on a child or on a boy who looks to be sexually mature.  This is where pedophilia changes to pederasty IN THE CASE OF MALE VICTIMS in the circumstance about which is the concern in the case of Milo.

These terms do not refer to the same thing. Pederasty is a sexual act; ephebophilia and pedophilia are grossly disordered sexual preferences.

Might I remind you of your use of “nowadays” again?  Law enforcement, pshycologist and regular folk are all using definition B.

And this is immensely important for a so-called moral theologian to know, because a mere preference or desire, no matter how disordered, can never in itself be a sin. A person could theoretically feel sexually attracted to teenagers their whole life, but if they never once acted or tried to act upon their disordered attraction, they’d be chaste. A person who commits pederasty commits grave matter, a reprehensible act of sexual predation– not just unchastity but rape.

Oh for heaven’s sake, when did sin come in to the conversation Ruse and Smith were having?  Now, if Mary had actually paused to listen to the “Milo tapes” or the comments of his on such tapes, you would see that Milo and Janet are using a common use of “pedophilia.”  I’m not really sure why this sent her over the edge.  It was Facebook, not from a moral theology lecture.  She might be having a forest through the misspelling scenario.

Considering the recent history of the priesthood, a moral theologian teaching at a seminary had better know how to spell ephebophilia, what it means and how it’s distinct from pedophilia; she’d better know it’s not a new term and certainly not a new idea. She’d better know what pederasty is. She’d better know the difference between a preference and an act.

 That’s it, Archbishop Vigneron! You should fire Janet and hire Mary, because, you know, she’s so good at using Wikipedia.  How could you think of having someone who doesn’t cherry pick their Wiki definitions to suit their argument?  What is the Catholic world coming to? 

I wonder if such a person should be publicly defending the remarks of Milo Yiannopoulos in the first place, but as I’ve admitted I don’t know enough to comment on that.

Uh, talk about facts not entered into evidence!  Maybe you should keep your wondering to yourself, lest you taint the jury.

Yesterday, Doctor Smith responded to the backlash against her conversation by pleading that she was educated by “a veritable Socrates.” But whoever this veritable Socrates was, he apparently never had her read any Socratic dialogues or she’d certainly know what pederasty was.

I think she defined it quite well.  Not only that she seems to understand that it’s based on age in the eye of the beholder verses a specific age or range.

Do you know why people don’t take Catholic sexual ethics seriously? Well, having a popular scholar in the area speaking this sloppily can’t be helping very much.

She’s good at writing titles for her lectures, though; gotta give credit where credit is due.

Really, Mary, if you really think a sexual ethics powerhouse like Janet Smith’s Facebook comment is why people don’t take sexual ethics seriously, you might be part of the problem. You got caught up in the “I’m way smarter than she is” game, rather than looking at the whole of the topic and conversation.  I mean, you admitted as much, after all.

Next time, you should do a bit of research on the very flawed Catholic, Milo Yiannopulous.  His struggles with sexual ethics might be a very good thing for you read about, and the recording in question might at least help you to understand the conversation about which you decided to write.  While he came on the scene to most during the election, I’ve been following him for a long while.  Personally, I’d like to adopt him. I have a soft spot in my heart for people clearly engaging in a moral struggle.  I pray for him whenever he crosses my mind.  I’m hoping he finds the strength to leave the lifestyle and doesn’t wait around for the Oscar Wilde deathbed reform of his life.  He doesn’t lie about his proclivities (in fact he says quite a bit too much sometimes), but he doesn’t expect the Catholic Church to run around them.  He knows the teachings are right and, even though he was abused by a priest, he struggles on as a Catholic. He has, indeed, been responsible for bringing down pedophiles (please don’t whip out the selective definitions).  Is he perfect?  No, but at least he isn’t trying to bring down the Church or bend it around his lifestyle, nor is he trying to take down good Catholics who provide a wealth of information on why going against God’s natural law is always disastrous.

I’m sure Janet and I would not agree with every point in life (nobody does), but kudos for your life of great work in the Catholic arena, Dr. Smith!

By the way, there are two articles on this topic over at Patheos.  Ironically, the most recent talks about Ruse and Smith wasting everyone’s time.  If this is the case, why are you giving them so much attention?  Like I said, there are plenty of other worthy fights to pick over at America Magazine or National catholic Reporter.

Careful what you wish for…

This is everything you need to know about the Diocese of San Jose and why many wish Bishop McGrath would ride quietly off to retirement.  It seems he’s trying to burn the place down on the way out.  Guess what, Bishop McGrath, the diocese is going to long outlive your tenure. He’s pulling his 11 whole seminarians out of St. Patrick’s and sending them to the University of Saint Mary of the Lake Mundelein Seminary.  Where’s that, you might ask?  They’ll be with Cardinal Cupich in the Archdiocese of Chicago.  Surprise!  Surprise! Surprise!  (That’s sarcasm.)  It was a pretty safe bet it wasn’t going to be, say, Sacred Heart Major Seminary with Archbishop Vigneron, though.

http://cal-catholic.com/san-jose-diocese-wont-send-seminarians-to-st-patricks-anymore/

Please note, this is a reprint of a National catholic Reporter story.  Why am I pointing this out?  Well, because of this:

One St. Patrick alumnus, now the pastor of Danville’s St. Isidore Parish in the Oakland diocese, shared his appreciation for the Sulpicians in the Oct. 30, 2016, parish bulletin, praising them for providing “us a vision of Church which was wide and inclusive, not narrow and blinkered.”

In the bulletin message, Fr. Gerard Moran also charged that “the Sulpicians have been on a collision course with Archbishop Cordileone since his appointment to San Francisco.”

Moran criticized what he called Cordileone’s “obsessive compulsive micromanagement” and appealed to previous San Francisco archbishops to “use their influence in Rome to see the Sulpician decision is not irrevocable.”

Now, I’m 99% sure that the National catholic Reporter didn’t stumble upon a bulletin announcement from one of the not-so-notable guys from my diocese.  Heck, I only stumbled across it because a reader sent it to me.  https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/31/show-us-the-mercy/

So, in short, looks like NcR reads my blog!   Hi, Fathers Martin and Reese!  Did you miss me when I was on hiatus?  So glad to know my work is appreciated!

On to the rest of the story.  I’m reasonably sure that Bishop McGrath’s final straw was the recent appointment of Fr. George Schultze, SJ, as rector of St. Patrick’s Seminary.  That’s all the buzz around here.  

I have to laugh at the liberals who don’t know what to say about the Jesuits these days.  It would be lovely to see the spin room at NcR trying to figure out how to trash a faithful Jesuit when the Pope is a Jesuit.  I also cannot wait to see what Frs. Reese and Martin are going to say about their brother Jesuit who just got a nice promotion.  So many visions are running through my head right now.  I mean, I’m sure they spend a good chunk of their time wishing they could have the Jesuit orders take over dioceses and seminaries, but I can just see them crying “NOT THAT ONE!  OR THAT ONE!”  It’s just going to get harder and harder for the Reeses and Martins of the Jesuit order now that there are a lot of faithful Jesuits showing up.  And, heaven help them, they must be coming unglued now that “One of them” is now in charge of the formation of priests, or the bishop of the Oakland Diocese, or…

And the Catholic of the Year Award Goes to…

…not Melinda Gates!

Opinion: Want to Empower Women Worldwide? Give Them Access to Contraceptives

Melinda Gates shares why she advocates for over 225 million women around the globe who still lack access to modern contraceptives.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/02/opinion-melinda-gates-contraceptive-global/

By Melinda Gates

PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 3, 2017

Like most women I know, I have used contraceptives for many years. I knew I wanted to work both before and after becoming a mom, so I delayed getting pregnant until Bill and I were sure we were ready to start our family. Twenty years later, we have three children, born almost exactly three years apart. None of that happened by accident.

The decision about whether and when to get pregnant was a decision that Bill and I made based on what was right for me and what was right for our family—and that’s something I feel lucky about. There are still over 225 million women around the world who don’t have access to the modern contraceptives they need to make these decisions for themselves.

Anyone else sick of hearing what women do with their sex lives?  I am.  I’m even more sick to hear what supposedly Catholic women are doing.  Sure, ladies!  Let’s continue to ruin the beauty of the marital embrace.  Gag!  It’s also a little annoying to hear “I wanted” a million times.  Gotta wonder if Melinda, the “good Catholic” she is, thinks about what God wants or even what her children want. 

Hey, Melinda, as long as you are telling us you use birth control when you sleep with your husband, why don’t you just tell us what kind you used?  Nine times out of ten with a bazillionaire like Melinda, it’s going to be an abortifacient.  It’s just more effective when trying to make sure that a child doesn’t see daylight.

Really, re-read this paragraph.  If I were her kids, I’d be kind of crushed or in some sort of therapy.  On one hand, billionaire mom couldn’t be fulfilled raising children.  One more child or a child spaced less than three years apart would have ruined her perfect life.  No, that was just beneath her abilities to simply be a mom or a mom of four.  Then there’s the other hand where mom’s talking about her sex life.  Ick.

In the decade and a half since Bill and I started our foundation, I’ve heard from women all over the world about how important contraceptives are to their ability to take charge of their futures. When women are able to plan their pregnancies around their goals for themselves and their families, they are also better able to finish their education, earn an income, and fully participate in their communities.

Listen, Melinda, I can tell you that children, the ones you put first and love with all of your heart (at least I do), make me fully participate in my community. 

Interestingly enough, these women are not really taking charge of their futures, are they?  Instead, they’re giving into peer pressure, from you, Melinda, and women like you.  They’re taking a pill, slapping on a piece of latex, putting in a sponge, etc., and this more often than not ruins their future.  Why?  So they can keep up with the Joneses (or the Gateses) and “be fulfilled” apparently in ways those nasty children prevent. 

My gosh!  We sit around and wonder why there’s child abuse, human trafficking, etc.  Get a clue!  Children are not the enemy, and yet, that’s really all we’ve heard in the last 50 years or so.  Bravo!  You reap what you sow, people.  Wake up! 

You’ve brought the marriage embrace from something spiritual and meaningful down to a simple biological function to be altered with a pill, plastic, sponges, etc.  And you’ve reduced children down to either a convenience or an inconvenience.  Next time you get out there to battle human trafficking, please remember you’re responsible for it.

Let’s go back to “their futures” which you’ve vastly helped to include STDs, cancer (a myriad of types), pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, blood clots, strokes, etc., etc., etc.  Great job, Melinda.  Artificial birth control has increased all of these among women.

And not only do moms benefit; their kids benefit, too. In communities where women have access to contraceptives, children stay in school longer, and entire families are healthier, wealthier and far better equipped to break the cycle of poverty.

Please, please tell us how birth control magically does that.

For all of these reasons, in 2012, I co-chaired a summit that brought leaders from around the world together around the goal of expanding expand access to contraceptives for the women who desperately want and need them. The global partnership, called Family Planning 2020, pledged to get 120 million more women access to contraceptives by the year 2020. It was an ambitious but achievable goal—and an important promise to women in the world’s poorest places that they will not be forgotten.

Unfortunately, our progress has not yet lived up to our ambition. We are now more than halfway to the 2020 deadline, but not yet on track to reach 120 million women by the promised date. As of the halfway point in July 2016, we had reached 24 million additional women with family planning services. Unless we begin making up for lost time, we will miss this chance to make this a turning point for women around the world.

24 million women.  Wow!  That’s a lot of lives altered, and not in a good way.

When I think about what’s at stake over the next three years, I think about the lives of women like Anita and Sushila, both of whom I met last year in a village in India called Kamrawa.

 Anita, who guesses she’s about 40 years old, lived most of her life without access to contraceptives. She got married when she was a teenager and became pregnant within a year of her wedding. The birth of her first child was followed by the birth of four more. None of these pregnancies were planned—because without contraceptives, planning her family simply wasn’t an option.

When I asked Anita what it was like to raise so many kids on such a limited income, she got sad and reflective. “I had a lot of problems,” she told me. She spent all of her time and energy looking after her family and trying to keep her household running—preparing food, tending to animals, keeping things clean in a house with no running water—leaving almost no time at all for her to do anything else, even get a job to help with expenses. It was a life of deprivation, hard work and endless worrying.

Did you cut Anita a check for a million? Heck, let’s make it a hundred thousand?  Did you do something to fix her state of life?  Fix her country?  Nope.  You suggested to her that having no more children will fix all that and if she hadn’t had the ones she had, she would e in that mess.   Yeah, that’s the ticket!

But things in Kamrawa have changed since Anita was a young mother. Now, contraceptives are widely available, and women have the chance to make the reproductive decisions that are right for themselves and their families. As a result, families are smaller, and parents are better able to afford nutritious food and school fees for all of their kids. The whole village is healthier and more prosperous.

Even though her children are grown, Anita is excited about what this means for the next generation. “I don’t want my daughter-in-law to go through the same problems,” she told me.

Interestingly, Melinda doesn’t go onto tell us how Anita’s children are doing now.  And, if her children are grown, why isn’t Anita miraculously doing better?  She has time for school and self-fulfillment at 40ish.

Another woman I met, Sushila, is a 28-year-old teacher who’s using contraceptives to plan her family and her future. She has two children—a five-year-old son and a two-year-old daughter—and loves being a mom. But Sushila and her husband are committed to limiting the size of their family so that they’re able to give each of their children the lives they deserve.

Please note they do not give life to all of their children.  They just give them the lives that they supposedly deserve.  Are we really supposed to believe the difference between Anita and Sushila was birth control? Please!  Yeah, those two extra children make all the difference.  Again, please!

Sushila also told me that as soon as both her kids are in school, she plans to return to her job as a teacher. A generation ago, working moms were almost unheard of in villages like Kamrawa. But now that women have the option to plan their pregnancies, they have many other options, too.

Here’s an idea, how about giving one parent a living wage to support a family?  Did you fix that, Melinda?  What if their plan was to have a large family?  Are you going to help make life in the town possible for that?  Nope.  You’re just going to help them eliminate those pesky kids.

When you think about the difference between Anita’s life and Sushila’s life, it’s clear that progress is possible. The question is whether we will commit the resources and mobilize the will to ensure that this progress extends to more women in more places.

Clear?  Other than the names, we really don’t know what the differences between them are.  We are just supposed to take Melinda’s word that the birth control she provided made the difference.

In 2012, we made a promise to women around the world. Our actions over the next three years will decide whether we keep it.

Seriously, Melinda, can you please drop the “Roman Catholic” from your bio now?  Catholics see children as a blessing, not a curse.  We don’t see them as the enemy or a stumbling block to fulfillment.  What we do see as a HUGE stumbling block is denying God’s natural law.  You think that poverty is a problem, but just take a look at the results from denying God’s natural law.  It’s called death – spiritual, marital and even biological. 

 

 

 

Dear Diocesan Priests…

As long as I’m writing letters…

I’ve been sitting on this one for a while.  There are really a couple of topics to cover here.  There’s Amoris Laetitia and then there’s the diocesan priests who have been every bit the lemmings as the marchers in the “Women’s March” in many subjects but especially, as of late, in Amoris Laetitia.  Let’s look at the latter first. I’m going to use my own diocese as an example of what happens in many dioceses in the country.  To those fortunate to live in very humble and obedient areas, please try to keep the glee to a minimum and pray for those of us who do not.  You are blessed.

In a perfect Catholic world, our Bishops would be our commanders-in-chiefs and our priests would be their loyal generals leading us in battle against the culture seeking to ruin us.  Instead, what do we have?  Well, in most dioceses, we’ve got alternative hierarchical structures that more resemble the mafia with various nefarious mob bosses seeking to control the power in their territory and, quite often, they are working to undermine the power of the guy in charge.  So, yes, in many dioceses we have parallel universes.  Of course, the local bishop may still be a commander-in-chief or he could be the godfather.  We’ve had both here in my time on the planet.  The godfather is gone from our diocese, but the mob bosses held over from those days haven’t joined the army.  They’re still scrapping for the control they once had and they’re really taking it out on their lackeys, coaxing them under the bus in hopes of regaining control.   

Now let me give you an example using Amoris Laetitia to explain all of this. On December 6, 2016, Bishop Barber of the Oakland Diocese held a priests’ study day on Amoris Laetitia and brought in Bishop Mark O’Connell, J.C.D, from the Archdiocese of Boston.  What happened during this day and subsequent days illuminates how the “mob bosses” work in our diocese.  So what happened?  These guys here (it’s always these guys, and it’s been these guys forever. Sigh…) are part of the “mob boss” crew:

amoris-laetitia

Your scorecard – Fr. Dan Danielson, bottom right; Fr. Jim Schexnayder, partially eclipsed behind Danielson, and Fr. Jay Matthews, left.

Now, I wouldn’t normally put Fr. Jay in the “mob boss” category but he is rector of the cathedral parish and has been trying to depress and frighten the congregation over Trump’s win/Hillary’s loss, so I’ll just give him a promotion.  There’s probably a few others I missed (Fr. Richard Mangini might be in the background but the picture isn’t the sharpest, so we’ll just go with these guys for now).

Fr. Dan Danielson came to kingpin status under Bishop Cummins and has been reticent to relinquish that title.  In these parts, he was the one notorious for doing “lesbian friendship blessings” AKA fake weddings back in the late 90’s (or at least that’s when he was caught).  He’s a very charismatic chap and really has spent much time “grooming” the priests of the Oakland Diocese (grooming is actually a darn good word for it).  More recently, he waited until the bishop was out of town and put his ridiculous thoughts on overturning of Prop 8 seen here: http://www.catholicvoiceoakland.org/2015/10-05/forum1.htm
Fr. Jim Schexnayder of NACDLGM and CALGM (If I actually tried to give you his whole biography, it would take way too long, so I’m going to leave a few things here for you.)

http://www.ewtn.com/v/news/getstory.asp?number=23327

https://www.osv.com/OSVNewsweekly/ByIssue/Article/TabId/735/ArtMID/13636/ArticleID/3878/Helping-Catholics-with-same-sex-attraction.aspx

So back to the meeting.  From what I understand (and no, I wasn’t there, because I’m not on staff nor do I wear clerics) the two bishops did a great job clarifying Amoris Laetitia for the priests of the diocese.  Were all of them there?  Sadly, no.  Also, sadly, many of those who missed it were the ones who most definitely needed it, because our little “mob bosses” have been “educating” them for far too long.

Also, from what I understand, at this meeting, our little “kingpin” tried to float the idea ON MORE THAN ONE occasion that personal conscience gets to decide what is and what is not sin and whether or not they can receive Communion. From all accounts, the bishops clarified that Amoris Laetitia does not say that, and it sounds like they came up with a great analogy to illustrate the point.  I think they used the death penalty or such.  I can’t remember what was relayed to me, but it was almost two months ago and I’m just getting around to it now, so I’m just going to pick something that will resonate with the “appalled at all things seamless garment” crowd.  In other words, the bishops found something that is something so appalling that the liberals wouldn’t agree to the “let personal conscience decide” theory.  In other words, checkmate.

I’m going to give another example that I just ran across:  torture.  Dear priests who think personal conscience gets to decide sin, do you think this is the same for those who commit torture?  Hmmm???  Do ya?  My thought is that you’re getting mighty quiet right now trying to figure a way around this.  What the Church is really saying is that sin is not dependent on whether or not YOU find it sympathetic or abhorrent, which is what you’re trying to do with Communion for the divorced and remarried.

Now, had all of the priests of the diocese come to this meeting, I think they would have found these types of examples helpful.

So back to our diocesan “mob bosses.”  Do you know how “mob bosses” usually get their dirty work done?  They get their lackeys to do it so they can skate on any and all punishment.  They keep their hands “clean”, so to speak, but they throw their lackeys under the bus to get their mission accomplished. My guess is that’s what happened here in one very next Sunday’s bulletin: http://www.catholicvoiceoakland.org/2015/10-05/forum1.htm 

In the document, the pope appeared to side with theologians and bishops who had proposed an “internal forum” in which a priest or bishop decides jointly with the individual on a case-by-case basis if he or she can be fully reintegrated and receive Communion.

Whoa ho!  Did someone miss a meeting??? 

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, six short days later, this magically appears.  Coincidence?  Seriously, if you’re going to skip a meeting on the topic of Amoris Laetitia, a document that’s been hotly debated, might you not want to find out what your leader says about it before posting an op-ed in your bulletin?  Did you just rely on what was relayed to you by the mob bosses who tried so hard to push the false integration theory?  My guess is yes.

So what’s the moral of this tale?  Dear priests, stop being lackeys in the family business!  You are being thrown under the bus by and for the bosses, and we’ve seen it happen over and over for years.  They’re not the loving brothers they are supposed to be.  Understand that some of your fellow priests want power and won’t think twice about using anyone or anything to undermine their commander-in-chief to get it. Open your eyes! Do you really want to be like the lemmings who attended the “Women’s March?”  At least in the Diocese of Oakland you’ve got a bishop who is on the side of all of us – you, me and even the mob bosses who are trying to get rid of him.  I have not seen a more patient and loving man. I’m sure many of you have similar bishops. You need to choose who you follow very wisely.  Souls are at stake.