Millstones and Vous

I was wandering around the net the other day and found this site.  I’m a big fan of seeing what “the other side” (Who’s crying to have to say this about fellow Catholics?) of a debate thinks, since it makes it much easier to talk to someone instead of talking at them.  I find that most that come to this little blog really don’t have a clue what I think.  Rather than read up and then actually have a discussion on what’s written, I get a lot of ranting against things that have never been said. It’s weird. I kind of want to point to myself and say “Uh, are you talking to me?” So, anyway, here’s a little bit about them from their site.  I’m going to interject in between with what I think is a little reality in the surreal, elitist world they’ve created.  I’ll put them in bold (I’d imagine they’d like that) and me in regular font.

(http://www.teachacceptance.org/who-we-are/)

We oppose Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s proposed changes to the teachers’ contract and faculty handbook.  His proposal would reclassify all teachers as “ministers,” which would diminish their legal workplace protections.

Here we go again.  First of all, I’m reasonably sure the diocese said the “ministers” thing was too misunderstood so they were going to forgo that one.  In fact, at least one of the major news outlets around these parts have reported (http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/02/24/san-franciscos-archbishop-expresses-about-face-for-catholic-high-schools-morality-clause/) So why is this still being still being reported as happening?  For goodness’ sake, they are also Catholics (well at least you’d assume some are), so why are we still playing the “If we say it enough it will be true” game?

The proposal would also contain language in the faculty handbook that includes morality clauses and governs private behavior.

Nope!  Nope!  Nope!  The language in the handbook does include a morality clause (and always has, as they even admit) and it does explain what SHOULD govern private behavior (I think it’s called a well-formed conscience), BUT it doesn’t govern private behavior.  What it does say is that if you are engaging in behavior that’s contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church you work for, and it becomes known (no longer in the private realm), it becomes a bad example for the students involved in the school and we cannot give it the thumbs up and let you continue on scandalizing (yes, it is a scandal) the students.

Let’s look at scandal in the eyes of that little thing called the Catechsim of the Catholic Church (kind of a novel thought when it comes to a CATHOLIC school in a CATHOLIC diocese).  I’m even going to put the link here in case anyone from one of these said schools might actually want to look at what the CATHOLIC Church teaches (http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P80.HTM):
(emphasis all mine)

Respect for the Dignity of Persons

1. Respect for the souls of others: scandal

2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil.  The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter.  He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death.  Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.

2285 Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized.  It prompted our Lord to utter this curse:  “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”85  Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others.  Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep’s clothing.86

Holy cow!  That crazy Archbishop Cordileone is following the teachings of the Catholic Church again!  What is he thinking???  Did you notice the millstone and drowning thing?  Where’s that “tolerant” Christ here? (Sounds like another blog post!)

We cannot in good conscience support language that sows fear, and creates division and discrimination.  We cannot in good conscience accept language which is harmful to our children and their teachers, and threatens our school community.

Good conscience?  What is this good conscience?  How did it get good?  Who decides what is good and what is not?  Don’t you ever wonder how simple all of this would be if the opponents of the Archbishop actually knew the teachings of the Church they’re fighting against (and, in many cases, to which they belong)?  That would require a little bit of intellectual honesty.  Believe it or not, the Church actually explains the whole shebang.  The Catechism – another good read!  I won’t super-quote it here but I’ll put the re-cap.  Please, please, I beg you to read it if you haven’t heard it before! (http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a6.htm)

IN BRIEF

1795 “Conscience is man’s most secret core, and his sanctuary.  There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths” (GS 16).

1796 Conscience is a judgment of reason by which the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act.

1797 For the man who has committed evil, the verdict of his conscience remains a pledge of conversion and of hope.

1798 A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful.  It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator.  Everyone must avail himself of the means to form his conscience.

1799 Faced with a moral choice, conscience can make either a right judgment in accordance with reason and the divine law or, on the contrary, an erroneous judgment that departs from them.

1800 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience.

1801 Conscience can remain in ignorance or make erroneous judgments.  Such ignorance and errors are not always free of guilt.

1802 The Word of God is a light for our path.  We must assimilate it in faith and prayer and put it into practice.  This is how moral conscience is formed.

Here’s the final few blurbs from their “About” page:

We cannot in good conscience accept language that:

• Labels members of our community as “gravely evil.”

Where did that happen?  Please post one quote that says that.  Anyone?  Didn’t think so.  Judging an act and judging a soul are very different and I haven’t seen  ANYONE labeled “gravely evil.”  That term is not used in the Church for a person but it is used for an act.

  • Implies that members of our community are ill-conceived.

I’m not even sure what that means?  Physically conceived?  Have ill-conceived notions?  It’s a wee bit vague.  Sounds really evil, though, which I think is likely the idea.  If we are talking IVF,  does the Church ever hold a child conceived, say, in an extra marital affair or rape any less than precious? Same thing here.   That’s what the pro-abortion crowd does, not the Catholic Church. What the Catholic Church does is to try and stop the wave of victims which result from abandoning natural law.  It’s also totally and utterly against willfully separating children from their biological parents.   Again, please see (http://www.eggsploitation.com/) and (http://www.anonymousfathersday.com/).  A little to real for you?  Sometimes it’s not about you and the Church, in all her wisdom, knows that whether you are willing to acknowledge it or not.

  • Undermines the free exchange of ideas.

Uh, it definitely undermines saying that gravely evil acts are not gravely evil act. That’s rather the point of the Catholic Church and a Catholic school (see Canon Law in earlier posts).  A “free exchange of ideas” should always be done in the light of Truth not the dark of situation ethics (a.k.a – the land where truth changes on a whim and ceases to be truth).  Exchanging ideas doesn’t mean inventing truth (and, yes, I did use a small “T” for a reason).

  • Intrudes into the private lives of teachers and strips them of their legal rights.

And, wham-o! – we’re back to the “If we say it enough people will believe it!” game. I’d love to know if people really believe what they are saying. It seems a bit disingenuous to me. People need to stop interchanging “personal” with “private”. They are not the same. If you keep your life private life private, there’s nothing to talk about unless it’s in a confessional.  Once you make your private life public, it’s no longer private.  Even my 10-year-old understands this, but maybe he wouldn’t if he had attended the diocesan schools of the past 40ish years.

And finally, in a shocking turn of events (OK, it’s not, but I’ll just throw a little snark in here), the diocese addresses all of these points here http://catholic-sf.org/ns.php?newsid=25&id=63174 but TeachAcceptance.org doesn’t link to it anywhere on their site.  Can you believe it?!  I’m sure it’s just a well planned oversight to keep Truth from seeing the light of day.  Sorry guys.

Sam the Spin Doctor

I’m starting to realize that San Francisco can keep me in blog posts for the better part of the year.  I really have a thing for ranting about hypocrisy and outright lunacy.  Heck, Sam Singer, alone, could keep me in sarcastic remarks for months!

For those who missed my first outing in the blogosphere, Sam Singer is the guy whose reputation is now on the line if he doesn’t deliver Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s head on a platter (oh yes, she did reference Herod and John the Baptist).  I’m not really sure why he thought that would be a cake walk but he seems to be getting mighty frustrated tweeting he “won’t give up until Cordileone is gone.” (I don’t know why but “I’ll get you and your little dog too!” comes to mind when I read that one. Anyone else?)  Clearly he lives in a very myopic world and thinks everyone thinks like the “One Hundred Prominent Catholics” with whom he dines.

So let’s take a look at Singer.  I went to his website just to get a feel for what makes him proud.  You can see on his site that – He’s “The Fixer”, “is nationally known for handling some of most significant public affairs and crisis communications issues of the day”, “a master spin doctor” and one of his jobs has been labeled “best handled crisis of the year.”  Sounds like you are really in trouble and desperate when you hire Sam.  It makes perfect sense that he’d represent the people who are taking on 2,000 years of Catholic Tradition.  I mean, this is likely the case of his lifetime.  Why stop there, Sam? Imagine it – Sam Singer vs. God!  I’m reasonably sure that’s crossed his narcissistic mind.  Sam might want to read the end of the Bible to find out how that one turns out. Whatever did happen to Herod anyway?

Anyway, Sam’s been flinging spit balls at the wall to see what sticks.  Nothing really has, as much as he tries.

Morality Clause-Gate: This is where the fight really started.  Unfortunately (for those opposed to the Catholic Church), it’s the first in a string of non-issues.  Of course schools want their teachers to project Catholicism.  Some teachers, however, wanted to have their cake and eat it too.  They want to teach at a Catholic school but they don’t want to actually teach Catholicism.  In fact, some want to teach against it.  They want to sell abortion, birth control and same-sex marriage. The problem is, the rest of the world says, “Hey! There’s a place where you can get this.  It’s called public school!”  They think they picked a fight with the Archbishop, but I can tell you that they picked a fight with all of Christianity, and even some non-Christians who believe their faith should be freely taught in their schools and that this shouldn’t be impeded by those with some other agenda.

Fr. Illo-gate: Sam is trying so very hard to make Fr. Illo and Fr. Driscoll an issue and yet it’s another one that’s just not sticking.  It may stick around for the “100 Prominent Catholics”, Singer, and the liberals at the Star of the Sea School, but I was just at Star of the Sea for a “Mass Mob” and the Raymond Arroyo talk they sponsored, and support amongst the parishioners and the 500-600 that showed up at each event is not waning.  Anyone who has actually bothered to talk to Fr. Illo knows that none of the caricatures of him ring true.  It also doesn’t help Singer that all of the stuff he’s coming up with (altar boys, Examinations of Conscience, etc.) are very, very old news stories that didn’t come out until the Archbishop’s “morality clause” made news.  Everyone knows that, if it was truly a big deal, it would have been immediately in the news, not months or years later.  You also don’t bring up 10-year-old stories if you aren’t desperate.  BTW, Catholic World Report did a crack job filling in the details that were so conveniently left out. Hat tip to them! http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/3845/attacks_on_sf_pastor_aim_to_test_abp_cordileone.aspx

Sprinkler Gate: Kind of a big faux pas to try to accuse a church that does more for the homeless than any other denomination of being anti-homeless people.   The church does have the right (and an obligation) to keep its property clean.  They also have a duty to keep people from harming themselves on the property. Preventing them from being in a place where they feel free to shoot up is a good thing!!!  Everyone knows that the homeless are always allowed on that property. They are just not allowed to use it as a bathroom nor a drug house.  Also, and this is really huge, where is the anger from those “100 Prominent Catholics” for the power washing of the homeless done Monday – Friday in front of their businesses on Market St.???  Those people are actually hit with power washers if they don’t move in time.  The readings are really high on the hypocrisy meter right now!  The Cathedral sprinkles two doors where excrement and needles are regularly found (the doors away from traffic, which makes for a perfect place to do such things) and doesn’t touch the rest of the property, and the Archbishop is evil? Riiiiggghhht!  I’ll tell him next time I see him out there washing down the property or trimming the bushes.

The last debacle for poor old Sam (and the biggest indication he should head for the nearest door) – THE poll!  Sam had his minions at SF Gate run a weekly poll on whether or not the Pope should remove Archbishop Cordileone.  Ouch!  That one really didn’t work and might possibly be his most epic miscalculation. I’m not even sure that I thought it would be the awesome landslide it was at 88% for Archbishop Cordileone staying and only 12% thinking he should go.  Supporters of his ouster are desperately pointing out it’s not a scientific poll.  Somehow we had some magical way of creating more of a landslide then they could (we’re Catholics, not magic fairies).  I’m sure there was nationwide support but they had the same week to garner support and it didn’t happen.

Sam just isn’t getting it (although he might be starting to).  Can he really think the Catholic Church, which has survived 2,000 years of persecution (yes I did mention those pesky 2,000 years again), is somehow going to bow to him?  Probably – I’m sure that’s what megalomania does to a person.  He’ll continue to dredge up ten- year- old stories that we all know about as if they are something new and salacious or maybe, if he’s lucky, he’ll find out that one of these holy men forgot to turn off the water while they brushed their teeth.  What a scandal that would be with California being in a drought and all!  Whatever it is, I’m sure he’ll keep spitting into the wind until someone gets tired of throwing their money into the fire.