The Fanboy Meltdown

Uh oh…
https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/distinctly-catholic/us-bishops-electing-naumann-lead-pro-life-committee-break-tradition

So sorry, Michael Sean Winters.  I think many of your hopes and dreams just flew out the window today. While you claim there was a “break from tradition”, I’m pretty sure that it’s tradition to pick the guy who will most likely not sell out the pro-life world by trying to attach “seamless garment” issues around the necks of the babies and their mothers. And so tradition was actually followed.

The U.S. bishops broke tradition this morning selecting Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, to serve as chairman of the Pro-Life Activities Committee. He defeated Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago on a vote of 96 to 82. Not to put too fine a point on it, but this amounted to the bishops giving the middle finger to Pope Francis.

Imploding much over there at National catholic Reporter, Michael?  Wow!  Really?!?!  Picking a longstanding, hard-working advocate for life is “giving the middle finger” to the Pope?  How do you figure?  You might be possibly confusing yourself with the pope.  Talk about ideologue. I know you were working hard to get him those votes, but geez, engaging in calumny is kind of a no-no.  I would think even you would get that.

The Pro-Life Activities Committee has always been led by a cardinal, a way the bishops have signaled the priority they assign to that committee. The current chair is Cardinal Timothy Dolan who, like Naumann, is a protégé of Cardinal Justin Rigali. Some of us who have been watching the bishops for a long time from the bleachers on the left have a saying about Rigali’s career: “He has ruined everything he ever touched.” In giving his committee report on Monday, Dolan singled out Naumann for praise. It was a none too subtle placing of his finger on the scales.

Wait! Now Dolan’s sticking it to Pope Francis, too? You’re losing it, Michael. For a man who just wrote a piece deriding Catholic publications you perceive to be dividing the Church, aren’t you being just a tad bit hypocritical on the USCCB? I guess it’s OK because your guy lost? Please. I feel like I’m watching the screaming snowflakes after the last presidential election throwing their tantrums and demanding safe-spaces. Please, feel free to retreat to mom’s basement and color.

The contrast between the two candidates for chair of the Pro-Life Activities Committee was the starkest of the choices the bishops faced. Naumann and Cupich are both representative of the two divergent understandings of how the church should interact with the ambient culture. Naumann is a culture warrior. Cupich champions engagement and dialogue.

Uh, Archbishop Naumann is a pro-life warrior. Cardinal Cupich tried to bar the priests and seminarians in his former diocese from participating in the 40 Days for Life campaign until that was made public, and then he sort of allowed it.  http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2011/09/i-dont-get-bp-cupich.html http://www.catholicworldreport.com/2011/09/16/bishop-cupich-priests-may-participate-in-40-days-for-life/

Archbishop Naumann told pro-abortion Kathleen Sebelius not to present herself for Communion, while Cardinal Cupich has said he’d wouldn’t deny anyone. https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/otc.cfm?id=236

http://www.crisismagazine.com/2014/on-giving-communion-pro-abortion-politicians

And then there’s the rest of his pro-life resume:

Archbishop Naumann has served on the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities since 2015. From 1984 to 1995, Archbishop Naumann served as the Archdiocesan Pro-Life Coordinator in St. Louis. In 1986, during his tenure as Pro-Life Coordinator, the Archdiocese of St. Louis established a Project Rachel ministry. Also, under his leadership, the Archdiocese of St. Louis established the Lifeline Coalition, a network that included Catholic Hospitals, Catholic Charities, Birthright Centers, and residential homes for unwed mothers to coordinate and improve services for families experiencing an untimely pregnancy.  Archbishop Naumann was also one of the founding Board members for the Vitae Foundation that uses mass media and social media to communicate Pro-Life messages.

Cupich? Anyone got the resume for Cardinal Cupich?

I’m thinking that the other bishops might just have thought Archbishop Naumann has much better pro-life credentials than Cardinal Cupich, plain and simple. No dis to the Holy Father. They’re not putting politics before the vulnerable.

In 2008, Naumann told Gov. Kathleen Sebelius that she should not present herself for Communion because of her pro-choice position. This interpretation of Canon 915 was first advanced by Cardinal Raymond Burke but it was never the position adopted by most bishops who thought it a mistake to politicize the Communion rail. Naumann also ordered his parishes to cease hosting Girl Scout troops over concerns they were somehow involved with Planned Parenthood. He is not exactly a poster child for the culture of encounter.

Uh, they weren’t “somehow involved”, they were directly involved. Duh! You’re kind of making the point for me. Archbishop Naumann is much more consistent and serious about the life issue. You have little to no qualification if you don’t even know of the GSA and PP connection.

Cupich, on the other hand, has openly embraced the consistent ethic of life approach first introduced by his predecessor Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. Many of the zelanti in the pro-life movement deeply resented Bernardin’s effort, wanting a singular focus on abortion. I recall an auxiliary bishop telling me that after he gave a talk that advocated the consistent ethic of life, his ordinary called him and told him, “We don’t use that language here.”

Yes, we deeply resented Cardinal Bernardin, but it was for sooooooo many reasons. We don’t simply want a singular focus on abortion. That said, the “seamless garment” is inconsistent with Church teaching, and I’m reasonably sure you know that. Hey, Mr. Winters, if you’ve never seen it, please read “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion.”   It might be of some help to you in regards to the seamless garment problem as well as worthiness to receive Holy Communion, neither of which you seem to get. You might also want to familiarize yourself with the word “intrinsic.” It escapes so many over there at NcR. (Actually, I’m sure it’s a purposeful oversight.) It’s short. Let’s take a look, shall we?

  1. Presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion should be a conscious decision, based on a reasoned judgment regarding one’s worthiness to do so, according to the Church’s objective criteria, asking such questions as: “Am I in full communion with the Catholic Church? Am I guilty of grave sin? Have I incurred a penalty (e.g. excommunication, interdict) that forbids me to receive Holy Communion? Have I prepared myself by fasting for at least an hour?” The practice of indiscriminately presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion, merely as a consequence of being present at Mass, is an abuse that must be corrected (cf. Instruction “Redemptionis Sacramentum,” nos. 81, 83).

  2. The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin. The Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, with reference to judicial decisions or civil laws that authorize or promote abortion or euthanasia, states that there is a “grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. […] In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law or vote for it'” (no. 73). Christians have a “grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God’s law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. […] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it” (no. 74).

  3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

  4. Apart from an individual’s judgment about his worthiness to present himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion may find himself in the situation where he must refuse to distribute Holy Communion to someone, such as in cases of a declared excommunication, a declared interdict, or an obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin (cf. can. 915).

  5. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.

  6. When “these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible,” and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, “the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it” (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Declaration “Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics” [2002], nos. 3-4). This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgment on the person’s subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the person’s public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin.

Underneath the issue of how to approach pro-life issues was a deeper issue: How do the bishops feel about Pope Francis? Cupich was plucked out of the relatively small diocese of Spokane by Francis and sent to Chicago, his first major appointment in the U.S. hierarchy. Francis also named Cupich to the Congregation for Bishops which vets candidates for the episcopacy and, consequently, is charged with shaping the next generation of leaders in the church. 

How is your whiplash doing? Division and attacks were all so evil just the other day.  What happened? First of all, may Cardinal Cupich’s tenure be short! Second of all, not embracing Cardinal Cupich’s “Catholic lite” isn’t a slap in the face to Pope Francis any more than being annoyed by Cardinal Mahony was a slap to Saint Pope John Paul II. Popes can make mistakes in their choices. And, if you persist with this silly line of thinking, I might think that you are stomping on the memory of Pope Benedict for not being thrilled with Archbishop Naumann. Yes, you are trying to make two things go together that do not.

I do not discern any similar stark choice among the other candidates. In the contest for conference secretary, which brings membership in the executive committee, Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City lost to Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron by a vote of 88 to 96. Vigneron’s selection takes effect immediately.

Bahahaha! Well, you might want to take a look at the contrasts between some of the candidates in some of those other races. Yeah, there is some starkness in a few of them. Regardless, it has nothing to do with Pope Francis and all equal a sad day for the NcR staff.

The Committee on Doctrine will be led by Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, who garnered 110 votes to the 95 votes cast for Bishop Daniel Thomas of Toledo, Ohio. The race for chair of the Communications Committee pitted Bishop John Barres of Rockville Centre, New York, against Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia: Burbidge won with 116 votes to Barres’ 70 votes. The National Collections Committee contest was won by Bishop Joseph Cistone of Saginaw, Michigan, over Archbishop Michael Jackels of Dubuque, Iowa. The vote was 124 to 65. The Committee on Cultural Diversity saw Bishop Nelson Perez of Cleveland facing off against Bishop Shelton Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana, and Perez won on a vote of 107 to 77. All of these elected will serve as chair-elect for one year and take over the chairmanship next year.

At their June meeting the bishops voted to make their Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty a standing committee. They elected Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, the immediate past president of the conference, to serve as the first chair of the permanent committee. He defeated Archbishop Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee by a vote of 113 to 86. Kurtz will assume leadership of the committee immediately.

I guess none of these meant as much to Mr. Winters, which was apparent by the drooling mess he was over Cardinal Cupich the other day (link to fanboy). When I saw the results, it was quite apparent a hissy-fit was about to ensue, and so it did.

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3 thoughts on “The Fanboy Meltdown

  1. I don’t understand why the people and the secular press think this is a slap down of Pope Francis. (And actually I should not make a distinction between the National catholic Distorter and the secular press because it sure isn’t Catholic!). Hasn’t the Holy Father indicated that he wants to give more power to the bishops? Like in the translations of the texts. The bishops have even taken it to mean that they can interpret Amoris Leatitia and its concern about discernment and accompaniment of the divorced and remarried however they want! But noooo….the vote didn’t go the way they wanted so it’s “giving the finger” to the pope.

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  2. Another good piece, OMM. And, tawdryglamour, I guess do understand (and to some extent agree with) the claims that this is a slap at Pope Francis. That’s not to say that the bishops who voted against Cupich meant it as a slap at the pontiff personally, but I do think that Cupich’s approach to the abortion issue is very much along the lines that many of Francis’ cronies and sycophants have been advocating (i.e., downplaying the abortion issue as just one of many ‘pro-life’ issues including things like recycling; backing off on efforts to restrict or eliminate legal abortion; embracing ‘pro-choice’ politicians for their commitment to other ‘social justice’ positions on immigration, wages, environment, etc). One of the points in that bizarre Spadaro hit piece on U.S. Catholics & evangelicals a couple months ago was the idea that the abortion issue has put U.S. Catholics in league with dangerous right-wingers trying to impose theocracy. The bishops’ rejection of Cupich in favor of a strongly anti-abortion candidate does fly in the face of the sort of left turn that Spadaro, Faggioli, Winters, et al seem to support.

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