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.

 
 

 

Dear Catholic Women Who Attended the “Women’s March”…

Before anyone who went there to be a counter-protest or a voice for the unborn has a heart attack, I’m not talking about you.  Carry on.

Now, to those of you Catholic women who thought this march sounded like a good idea, who thought that you would be noble for joining in, or who came to the realization that you’ve never really stood for much in your life so you grabbed onto the first thing that came your way, you are rather lame.

The Catholic women who have tried to stand for goodness from just about the moment they could stand are rather disgusted in you.  You didn’t do your homework and you were duped.  It’s rather embarrassing for the rest of us.

Before you rant about me being a Trump supporter: I wasn’t.  I didn’t support him in the primaries and actively campaigned against him.  I was disgusted by a good portion of his comments and his life.  When it came down to him and Hillary… I thanked God I live in California and just voted for the most moral guy I could find since my vote was not going to elect Hillary or Trump (I was accused of both).  I didn’t have to hold my nose.  The race wasn’t even going to be close.  So, I’m pleased to say that I can say I didn’t vote for Trump in the election and I still denounce the Women’s March.  It’s not either/or here.  I was not a fan of either.  Of course, that said, I will be forever grateful that Clinton didn’t win and I will also continue to pray that Trump is making amends for his past indiscretions and I’m quite happy with much he has done thus far.

Onto the “Women’s March”… Of course, I didn’t have much hope of the non-Catholic women having a clue.  There’s a whole lot of sheep in this universe but the Catholic women???  Come on ladies.  You should have seen the writing on the wall.

Catholic women should have seen the list of speakers and thought “Wow!  Almost all of these wackos rail against the Church!”  “They all want someone to pay for their sex lives.”  “It’s a Planned Parenthood Rally!”, etc.   You should have realized that the pink hats you were supposed to don were a double entendre and ended up every bit as vile as Trump’s comments.  You should have looked around, at the very least, in the major cities and thought, “Do I really want to be lumped in with the crew wearing vagina costumes?  Might I be missing something?”

I don’t really know whether you didn’t do your homework or you caved to your liberal priests who were whining about immigration and seemed to be very sad Hillary didn’t win.  So, let’s say you were out there to rail against Trump’s very misguided, vile, and misogynistic comments about women.  Did you really think it was a good idea to join in with all of the self-loathing women who are every bit as vile?  Madonna?  Ashley Judd? Yeah, those two are the epitome of respect for women.  Gag!  I really feel you need to watch this, since so many of you clearly missed it.  Here’s your seven minutes of disgusting for the day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffb_5X59_DA

I just saw the movie “Hidden Figures” yesterday.  I have to say, I think all of you who went to the “women’s march” should be required to see what real persecution of women, minorities, etc. really is.  Those are women who actually fought for the dignity and rights of women.  You?  Not so much.  You are a bunch of whiners!  We’ve got lemmings on the one hand and a bunch of vile women who think I should pay for every aspect of their sex life on the other.  True feminism and equality is being allowed to express our God-given talents and individuality in a way that honors Him.  It’s not about having a mouth like a sailor, free birth-control, and the ability to kill our children at will.   That’s vile narcissism and you just threw in with that crowd.

So, my friends who tell me the “Women’s March” was about “so much more than that!” -PROVE IT!  What’s the more?  Let’s hear you define it.  I had one friend actually tell me it was about the dignity of all women.  Really?  And this is why Linda Sarsour, Muslim “Women’s March” organizer pushes Sharia Law??? (See Linda quickly and furiously trying to delete Tweets): http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/01/figrues-organizer-dc-womens-march-linda-sarsour-pro-sharia-law-ties-hamas/   Let’s see how women fair under Sharia.

Next, let’s talk about the LGBT crew that the “Women’s March” supposedly wanted to protect from mean ol’ Trump. I mean,  your goal is to protect homosexuals, transgender, etc. from bullies, right? First of all, Trump has said VERY little on the LGBT crowd.  I wish he would say a whole lot more but he’s been relatively silent.  Moving beyond Trump’s mystery position, anyone with goodwill would have to wonder why in heaven’s name would the “Women’s March” people want to have Donna Hylton as their speaker???  You know, Donna Hylton, the one who was in on the gang kidnapping, 20 day torture and murder of a homosexual man???  Seriously, girls!  Get a stinking clue.  You have been played at best!

Listen, ladies.  You’ve had years to jump on the causes that the Catholic Church champions (the truly charitable causes) and you’ve sat on your hands until now.  I’m sorry you’ve wasted a good deal of your life sitting on your rear and not fighting for the true dignity of women and the vulnerable but you might want to continue on the sidelines before you hurt yourself (and your daughters) by taking up a cause you know nothing about. Clearly you do not have the skills to even google. You can continue to expend energy trying to justify this sophomoric first outing at activism or you can join the rest of us Catholic women who have been fighting for the true rights and dignity of all people from womb to tomb.  Until then, you’re just embarrassing us by following the truly “Nasty Women” like a bunch of zombies.

Let’s Just Set Reality Aside, Shall We?

I’m glad to see John Allen weighing in on this one, but I’m not exactly sure what he’s saying.  Maybe you all can help?  It seems as confused as the reactions to Amoris Laetitia itself. https://cruxnow.com/analysis/2016/12/17/thoughts-turning-heat-amoris-debate/

Thoughts on turning down the heat in the ‘Amoris’ debate

John L. Allen Jr.December 17, 2016

EDITOR

Someone trying to remain objective about today’s debates over ‘Amoris Laetitia’ would probably have a hard time concluding that either side has a strong claim to the moral high ground, since both are charging the other with virtually the vilest crime in their respective vocabularies.

First of all, is the debate really about Amoris Laetitia or is it about how it’s being interpreted (one could say muddled) by Cardinal Kasper and club?  I mean, I’ve seen many good bishops around the world give pastoral directives on Amoris Laetitia. Not one has said to ignore it.  They have said, “This is how is should be implemented!”, but it’s not in the way Bishop McElroy, Cardinal (that still hurts to say) Cupich, and Cardinal Kasper seem to want.

As most everyone knows, Pope Francis has both fans and critics within the Catholic fold. For those with long memories, that insight rates up there with “water is wet” and “the sun came up this morning” in terms of news value, since every pontiff in the long history of the Church has faced much the same situation.

On this we can concur.  However, that hardly leads to the “dissent” label being thrown around as of late.

Fans of Francis, however, often insist that the dynamic under this pope is different than the previous two, St. Pope John Paul II and emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, because today papal critics generally are not being accused of dissent, and thus are not being threatened with possible ecclesiastical sanctions.

Well, that may or may not be the reality.  I mean, a whole lot of the liberal members of the clergy have said that Cardinal Sarah, Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Pell, etc., have all been “demoted” or fired from their spots.  So, which is it?

For now, let’s set aside the fact that this assertion isn’t even true anymore, since here at Crux our own Austen Ivereigh recently leveled precisely the charge of dissent against at least some critics of Francis’s document on the family, Amoris Laetitia, though certainly without any call for sanctions.

RIGHT!  He just heaped on where the liberal clergy left off.  His condescension was really on display.  Why are we setting this aside, though?  It happened, yet it would seem you don’t want to deal with it.

Let’s also set aside the truth that the number of people subject to formal censures, gag orders, publishing bans and the like during the John Paul and Benedict years was remarkably low – zero, in fact, under Pope Benedict – and the idea of papal “thought control” was mostly a fiction.

There were occasional hints of tighter discipline, such as the requirement for a mandate for Catholic theologians in John Paul’s 1990 document Ex Corde Ecclesiae, but for the most part those decrees, in time-honored Catholic fashion, were implemented with great latitude and patience, and very few heads actually rolled.”

Again, why are we setting aside what you acknowledge as reality? Or what is reality?

So, onto your point …

The main point is this: It’s true, so far as it goes, that at this point most defenders of Pope Francis haven’t accused critics of being dissenters, nor have they suggested that people who uphold contrary positions on the substantive positions associated with the pontiff, such as opening Communion to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, are thereby committing heresy.

Yeah, hardly anyone has done that. Just the guy at your publication, the dean of the Roman Rota, the head of the Greek bishops, Cardinal JOSEPH Tobin, etc.  I think you need to narrow it down just a bit.  People in high places are scourging them, or at least hoping it’ll happen and doing their best to make it so.  The average person in the pew, probably not so much.  The average person in the pew doesn’t know who these people even are, but we are told some very public people are making very public statements and it should be glossed over.

The implication seems to be that fans of the pope are more generous, less vicious, and less inclined to question people’s bona fides as Catholics. There is, in other words, often a presumption of moral superiority in the observation that “we don’t talk that way.”

Reality, John, it’s a beautiful thing.  Embrace it.  The truth will set you free.  And, more importantly, calling a spade a spade might actually keep people from doing it again.

Simply as a descriptive matter, that proposition seems a bit disingenuous. Many in the pro-Francis camp don’t invoke concepts such as “heresy” and “dissent,” because frankly, it’s not the worst insult they can think of with which to slur an opponent.”  Instead, they use terms that Francis himself also regards as abhorrent, such as “rigid,” “inflexible,” “legalistic,” “clerical,” and, of course, worst of all, “anti-Vatican II.”

Seriously?  You’re simply fanning the flames here, John.  In the Catholic world, what would be a stronger “slur?”  You can keep stating the “no big deal” fantasy or you can accept that it actually is a big deal.  How is it that you can say out of one side of your mouth that Francis supporters are much kinder, and then turn around and list the slurs they use?  It seems disingenuous because it is!  It’s a typical liberal tactic.  “Let’s throw every horrible label possible at the likes of the four Cardinals and maybe the laity will believe it!”

In effect, what’s on display here is one of the defining differences between the Catholic left and the Catholic right over the last fifty years.

On this sentence, I can agree.  The left will twist reality and try to get everyone on board, while the right will call a spade a spade and put it in writing to boot so there’s no possible wiggle room.

For the right, “heresy” and “dissent” are about the worst things imaginable, so when they want to say “x is terrible,” that’s the language that comes naturally.

Uh, who’s been using these terms???  It ain’t the right who’s been attacking the four cardinals.  That would be the left.  You seem quite confused.

For the left, the equivalent horror is “rolling back the clock” on the Second Vatican Council, so when they want to call something or someone awful, that tends to be the verbal packaging in which the complaint comes wrapped.

So you’re saying the guy who writes for you is “left” and that he’s using that to win an argument because he’s paranoid about the people who actually wanted Vatican II implemented properly?  I missed where these four cardinals said they wanted anything other than that.

Someone trying to remain objective about today’s debates would probably have a hard time concluding that either side has a claim on the moral high ground, since both are charging the other with virtually the vilest crime in their respective vocabularies.

Who are the objective ones in this little play you’ve got running in your head?  You? Objectivity is based in facts, John.  Not seeing a whole lot of correct ones listed thus far.

To be clear, this tit-for-tat isn’t especially widespread among the Catholic rank and file. Walk into most ordinary parishes and ask what people make of the debate over Amoris Laetitia, and probably, people would stare back with uncomprehending expressions.

I agree with you on this statement.  We can only address those participating in the debate.  That’s why have trouble with your use of “many”, “most”, etc.  They are inaccurate if you are simply looking at those involved in the debate.

That said, there is nevertheless an increasingly nasty cycle of finger-pointing in print, online, in social media, and sometimes even face-to-face, and if there’s to be an end to it, perhaps what we need is the equivalent of a verbal truce.

Great.  Call off Ivereigh.  Probably not going to happen, though, so then it’s a very one-sided truce, right?  John, you’re trying to play middle ground here.  You can’t be the “Can’t we all just get along?” guy and decide who is for or against Pope Francis, who is the left or the right, and who has been nice and who has been naughty.  That makes you a commentator, not objective.  Cardinal Burke, time and again, has said that those who label him as anti-Francis are incorrect.  That would be the same for those who support their quest to have the dubia answered.

If conservatives troubled by some aspects of Amoris Laetitia and other aspects of the present papacy could at least concede that, in the main, those on the other side are not enemies of the faith, and that their positions are not a blatant rupture with Catholic tradition, that might be a powerful confidence-building measure.

Likewise, if supporters of Amoris Laetitia could stop insisting that everyone who raises legitimate questions, either about its content or its binding force, are therefore obstructionists suffering from assorted forms of psychological dysfunction, that would help too – as would acknowledging that there are various readings of Vatican II, and that not everyone who doesn’t quite share theirs is necessarily “rejecting the council.”

Read what you wrote here, John.  Where have the “conservatives” said that those “in the main” are enemies of the Faith?  It seems like you understand that there is a small group doing this, and since the four cardinals have never opposed supporting Amoris Laetitia, you are arguing against the reality of the situation. They simply want clarity.

Now, as for the other side, it would seem that you think that only bizarre accusations are being made (and by your publication to boot).

It would also likely be a balm if both sides could abandon their pretense of not only being right on the issues, but having the more virtuous motives.

Wow!  So glad you are omniscient to know their motives!  We’re talking about two diametrically opposed versions of Truth.  Only one of them can be right, but you seem to want everyone just to give in a little.  You don’t give in on Truth.  You grab onto it as hard as you can.  So, when you have one group saying that the misinterpretations are a jeopardy to the faithful and another group saying “They’re just crazy!”, it should give you pause.

Granted, this cycle of charge and counter-charge has become so habitual over the last five decades that abandoning it now may be little more than a pipe dream. Granted, too, the fact that these terms are wildly over-used doesn’t mean there no longer really is such a thing as dissent, or openly rejecting the teaching of a council.

Really?  This is your take away?  Again, you have people who are totally and utterly willing to back up every charge they make with Church teaching and tradition, and another group that says “They’re just stuck in the past!  The Church is living and breathing and you just don’t like this Pope!”

To reverse Thomas Aquinas’s famous dictum, however, the fact that a thing may be legitimately used does not negate the very real possibility of abuse.

In the end, there are serious questions raised by Amoris Laetitia regarding the Church’s pastoral care of divorced and civilly remarried persons, and just in terms of betting odds, it’s a long-shot that one camp possesses all the right answers and the other absolutely none.

I’ll take that bet!  That said, you’re acting as if people are saying the whole document should be ditched.  Is this the case with Archibishop Chaput, who has expressed support for the dubia?  https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/2016/11/18/chaput-says-issued-amoris-rules-pope-asked/  It’s all about the interpretation!

For the pro-Amoris Laetitia side, there are important values at stake, including the authority of the synodal process that led to the document as well as that of the pope who issued it. For the camp with doubts, it’s the broader tradition of the Church with regard to marriage and divorce.

I don’t know what common ground between the two might look like, but I suspect it begins by accepting all of the above as valid, as well as a “cease and desist” order on impugning people’s integrity.

Who’s questioning the authority of the pope????

Over time, the Church will almost certainly evolve towards one of its classic “both/and” solutions to what were initially seen as “either/or” problems. How long it takes to get there, however, may in part be determined by whether in the here-and-now, the rhetorical heat can at least be turned down.

Yes, the slowly boiled frog does die much easier.  Sigh.  What can a guy say who’s just published a scathing review of the four cardinals say?  “Let’s all turn it down while my publication just turned it up!”  Come on, John.  It would have been better just to say “Whoa!  I didn’t read before I published!”  Trying to play the middleman now is rather hypocritical.

I think what you might have meant to say, John, was “Mea culpa.”

 

 

A canonical primer on popes and heresy

This is a very important read amidst the hysterial accusations being made all over the place! Take a breath people!

In the Light of the Law

No one in a position of ecclesial responsibility—not the Four Cardinals posing dubia, not Grisez & Finnis cautioning about misuses, and not the 45 Catholics appealing to the College, among others—has, despite the bizarre accusations made about some of them, accused Pope Francis of being a heretic or of teaching heresy. While many are concerned for the clarity of various Church teachings in the wake of some of Francis’ writings and comments, and while some of these concerns do involve matters of faith and morals, no responsible voice in the Church has, I repeat, accused Pope Francis of holding or teaching heresy.

That’s good, because the stakes in regard to papal heresy are quite high. Those flirting with such suspicions or engaging in such ruminations should be very clear about what is at issue.

First. Heresy is, and only is, “the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt…

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