Trust Not Trustees

https://www.ncronline.org/news/parish/minnesota-parish-rallies-around-gay-musicians-ousted-new-priest

Before I get started, can you please drop this priest a line of support?  I’m reasonably sure that he’s not getting all the encouragement he should right now.  In fact, drop his bishop a line too.

The music during the second weekend of Advent at the Churches of St. Joseph and St. Francis Xavier north of Minnesota’s Twin Cities had a different ring to it than it did the week before.

Rather than leading the small parish communities in song from their usual posts in the choral section of the church, two of its longtime musicians, Bob Bernard and Travis Loeffler, instead sang loudly from the front pew as part of the flock. Earlier in the week, parochial administrator Fr. John Drees fired them, along with fellow accompanist Dominic Mitchell, after the priest learned of their same-sex marriages.

“Same-sex marriages” are not compatible with the teachings of the Church, in case Brian Roewe didn’t know, what with being involved with the National catholic Reporter and all.  Might have been a good place to start off the article. 

Their termination led to their relocation in the pews, from where they worshipped at each of the parish’s four Masses surrounded by supportive family, friends and fellow parishioners.

“We wanted to make sure that we were present,” said Bernard, 59, an accompanist at the small parish for 15 years. “We didn’t want people to think that we were afraid, and we didn’t want people in any way to be upset or despairing that they weren’t going to see us again.”

It’s really sad when going to Mass becomes a protest.  Got it, boys.  You believe sodomy is the bomb and you’re sitting in the front row to make sure everyone notices you.  Let’s just forget the pesky thing going on before us on the altar.  Seriously.  They’ve got some diva issues.  I’ve had plenty of reasons in my time to protest the actions of priest in my area but I would NEVER choose Mass to make my point because, well, IT”S MASS!  Geez.  It’s not like it’s an easy thing to overlook unless you’re these guys.

After each of the four Masses celebrated at St. Joseph Church, in Taylors Falls, Minnesota, and St. Francis Xavier Church, in Shafer, Minnesota — part of the St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese —​ many parishioners approached the men expressing concern and compassion, but also confusion and in some cases, shedding tears. The only announcement of their removal from the clustered parish’s music program was a vague notice in the day’s bulletin being handed out around them, in which the priest, who arrived in July, stated simply the three would “no longer be playing music at our Masses.”

Well, there was a little more to it.  The priest was also looking for some new people to take over.  I will say, in this instance, it might not have been prudent to advertise in the bulletin but, with Christmas coming, one might have to explain the absence of musicians.

Loeffler, a 30-year-old volunteer cantor at the parish for six years, said, “We wanted to be sure that if people had questions, that they knew it’s not because we wanted to leave.”

  Yes, yes.  You’re martyrs and you want to make sure everyone knows it.

The three musicians were dismissed from the parish’s music ministry Dec. 5. Bernard was informed of his termination after morning Mass that day.

“I was scheduled to have a meeting with Fr. Drees about plans for Advent and Christmas music. And then when I sat down, he said that’s not what I really wanted to talk to you about,” Bernard told NCR.

According to Bernard, the priest said the longtime accompanist could not continue in that role because his marriage to his husband, Dave, presented a situation that “was confusing to the parishioners.”

Well, yeah.  Three unrepentant “married” dudes having an integral part in the Mass is kind of confusing. 

Drees, 31, told NCR in an email he would not comment publicly on parish personnel and employment issues out of respect for all involved and affected, nor comment on private conversations between him and parishioners.

Wait! A priest who doesn’t comment publicly on his employees, much less reveal the sinful acts of other people?  Absolutely astonishing.

Bernard, who married in September, said he had informed the priest of his marriage recently, after receiving a payroll form that included a question about his marital status. Bernard’s final paycheck included a note stating, “Dear Bob, a follow-up on our previous discussion. You resigned as an employee on Dec, 5, 2017. I thank you for sharing your musical gifts with us and for your dedication and service to the parish. Your music was an inspiration, I wish you the very best in your journey.”

Well, that certainly doesn’t make Fr. Drees look like the evil toad NcR is going for.

Later on Dec. 5, Drees told Loeffler and Mitchell — who married one another in January — of their terminations by phone, but did not offer an explanation as to why, both told NCR. When either asked the priest what was the reason, he replied, “I’m not prepared to say.”

What also remained unclear was how Drees knew of their marriage. Unlike Bernard, the two never disclosed their marriage to the parish. And while they regularly played together, with Mitchell on the piano and Loeffler providing vocals, they were intentional in avoiding any outward signs of their relationship.

Interestingly enough, Bernard doesn’t say that he notified the parish of his “same-sex marriage,” just that he was married.  When people are intentionally hiding relationships, doesn’t that tell you something, Bob?  You had to know this was probably going to be the outcome of all this.

“I was very careful about it. We barely even shook hands,” Mitchell said.” 

Again, why? 

Leading up to the personnel decision

The unanswered questions added to the pain of their dismissal; they saw their participation at Mass not as a gig but an expression of the gifts God had given them.”

Really?  Are there really unanswered questions?  It was found out that you were all in “same-sex marriages.”  It’s a Catholic Church.  When one enters into a “same-sex marriage,” one can no longer simply say, “It’s not a sin to be gay!” because you’ve gone one step further and let everyone know that you did something against Church teaching, and why would anyone think that someone who entered into a “same-sex” marriage is not engaging in sodomy, masturbation, etc.?

“”It took me a while to realize that God made me the way I am on purpose. To be out of the closet, to be homosexual, to also have these gifts of music to share,” said Mitchell, 35, who has sung in churches since he was a kid.

Wait a sec.  “God made me this way” doesn’t even show a modicum of knowledge in the Faith.  Who was the pastor there before Fr. Drees?  My gosh, priestly people, you need to start including Truth in your homilies.

And, as Mitchell’s comments show, he’s using those liberal labels to defend his indefensible position.  Instead of “struggling Catholic,” it’s “out of the closet Catholic.”  Let me restate, as I have so many times before, I don’t care if one is “gay” or straight.  I care if they are struggling like the rest of us to follow the teachings of the God and His Church.  I care about our immortal souls, not our earthly proclivities.  This whole “Yay, I’m a sinner!” idea is an epic fail.  It should be “Please have mercy on me Lord, a sinner.”  Not the ridiculous “God made me a sinner!  Woot!”  Do some of us have bigger crosses to carry than others?  Yup.  However, most of the time they are self-made by a lack of self-mastery.

“He added he could see why the archdiocese might not want to compensate them, but had a hard time understanding why they still couldn’t voluntarily share their musical talents. “That’s really where I think it seems particularly unnecessary and kind of hateful,” Mitchell said.”

Um, what’s unnecessary and kind of hateful is expecting any of your fellow Catholics to accept you particular sin.  This isn’t about you being homosexual, it’s about you trying to enshrine homosexual “marriage” in the hearts and minds of the faithful around you.  If it’s not and you’re simply struggling with sin, why not say it?

The musicians’ status was a point of tense discussion in the weeks before Thanksgiving among Drees and the parish’s four trustees.

The priest held separate meetings in mid-November with each church’s pair of trustees. At each meeting, Drees asked the trustees — advisors to both the priest and the churches’ pastoral and financial councils — if they knew the musicians were gay and married. Three of the four responded that they knew, to which Drees expressed surprise that no one had alerted him.

Yeah, I’d probably fire the trustees, too.  They knew there were public, obstinate sinners (when 3 out of 4 know, it’s public) being entrusted with jobs in the liturgy.

“He seemed disappointed with the parishioners that nobody thought this was a bad thing and brought it up to him,” said Chris Hudspeth, a trustee at St. Joseph where she has been a parishioner for four decades.

She and others described the St. Croix Valley, which encompasses the two churches, as a small, inclusive and close-knit community (Taylors Falls has a population of approximately 1,000 people), and one that wouldn’t view a person’s sexual orientation as a big deal.

Well, duh!  Disappointed?!? I’d be epically distraught if I were a priest whose parishioners thought having the choir guys entering into “same-sex marriages” was peachy or that peoples’ disordered orientations were no big deal.

Hudspeth said she was “taken aback” when Drees then told her and Larry Julik-Heine he would have to dismiss the three musicians because their marriages represented a public demonstration of beliefs contrary to church teaching. She said the priest indicated that Bernard’s contract included a code of conduct agreement, but she did not review the document.

How sad is it that these two people so involved with their church don’t get this?

Both trustees said they opposed the musicians’ dismissal, with Hudspeth pointing to gay-and-married members of her own family and saying, “I would not turn my back on them.”

Uh, yes, trustees.  You have turned your back on them by green-lighting their sin and allowing them to be perfectly comfortable with it. Heaven and Hell are real places, people. Christ didn’t tell the lost sheep to have fun.  He went after them.  These two knuckle-heads are going to give the thumbs up to their loved ones because they don’t want the discomfort of calling a spade a spade.  Apparently, they believe embracing sin is an acceptable method to get to Heaven, since, heck, Christ dined with sinners and all.  Trustees, Christ told people to “go and sin” no more.  He didn’t say “Hey!  Your sin, it’s just fine.”

“I thought it was wrong, discriminatory, and I just could not agree,” Julik-Heine told NCR.”

Discriminatory?  Try loving.  It’s sad that these poor priests are labeled malicious for not wanting people to stew in their sins and lead others to believe the sinner’s way of life is a good thing.

According to the trustees, Drees responded to a question about how he found out about the musicians’ marriages by saying someone had informed him, which led him to conduct his own online inquiry. The priest also indicated he noticed Loeffler and Mitchell arrived at Mass together in the same car and departed at the same time. At the St. Francis trustee meeting, Carol Schwinghammer said she noticed a photo of Bernard and his husband in the stack of papers in front of Drees.

In short, people knew, and the trustees confirmed that. 

When asked if he conducted online research into the marital status of any of the three men, Drees told NCR in an email, “Social media and other online outlets are public. We teach our schoolchildren and our employees to be careful what they post online, and, as employees, we all must adhere to Catholic teaching in our postings.”

Yep!  I tell my children the same thing. You want to post your sins on-line, be prepared for consequences somewhere along the way.  And, regardless, there are always consequences to sin which should be the bigger picture here.  I repeat, Heaven and Hell.

Schwinghammer, who also opposed the musicians’ firing, requested a second meeting for all four trustees and Drees to continue the discussion and perhaps find an alternative solution. “But to me, it became apparent that that wasn’t going to happen,” she said.

By “alternative solution”, do you mean a solution consistent with that pesky little thing called Church teaching?  Didn’t think so. These men were all thrilled to jump into an objectively sinful situation.  There is no solution that can fix that other than confession and resolving to sin no more.  When you’re proud of your same-sex “marriage” you’ve now enshrined yourself in the public obstinate sinner category.

The trustees told NCR that Drees said no one had approached him with concerns about the musicians. At one point, Schwinghammer referenced Pope Francis’ calls for a more inclusive church, to which she said Drees replied that a lot of people find the pope’s message confusing, and went on to reference three passages from St. Paul that he said condemn same-sex marriage.

Father Drees, if it doesn’t work out in Minnesota, we’ve got a few dioceses around here that could use your help.  Schwinghammer doesn’t understand the difference between a Church made up of sinners (all of us) and one that tells people to embrace their sins.

And one other little thing…Of course nobody approached you people.  They knew you were already in on the whole thing and it was all copacetic with you!  Duh!

“The firing of the musicians led Julik-Heine to resign as trustee, a position he had held almost the entirety of his two decades at St. Joseph. After making that decision, Julik-Heine told NCR that Drees informed him he could also no longer serve as a lector or eucharistic minister in the parish, and that he would likely refuse him the sacraments; days later, the priest said he would still offer him the Eucharist, but the bar on liturgical roles stood.

It wasn’t “after making that decision.” It was after you spewed a warped vision of Church teaching. 

“”I felt like I was basically kicked out of the church,” Julik-Heine said. “… That put a big hole in my heart, to be honest. Because I’ve done so much at St. Joe’s over the years and it’s a big part of my life.”

Here comes more of the martyr complex.  I’d be more worried about Heaven and Hell than your roles in the Church.  The Church is not a social club. 

Outpouring of support

The three trustees were among those who joined in sitting near the musicians at Masses during the second weekend of Advent. Of the roughly 50 to 100 people in attendance at each, it was estimated close to half were present in support for their former musicians. By all accounts, the circumstances at the Saturday night Mass at St. Joseph that landed Loeffler and Bernard in a pew rather than the regular choral spot — two female cantors filled in — resulted in a beautiful harmony filling the church.

There’s a shocker.  It’s all really about them, isn’t it?  Go to Mass, people, and take the protest elsewhere. 

In a side note, I have to think that the attendance in that parish is about to go up, since I’m sure that many people who embrace Catholic teaching went elsewhere a long time ago.  Some of us are looking for faithful priests to minister to us.  Now you know where he is, Minnesota Catholics!  The “trustees” might have given a thought to why there was such awful attendance there but it seems it was all lost on them!

Even more moving to the two men was the overwhelming support they felt from their parish community, including people they didn’t know well or from whom they had expected a different reaction to their dismissal.

“There were a lot of tears, a lot of hugging,” Loeffler said.

“Everybody loved them,” Hudspeth said. “… They brought a music ministry to this church, to these parishes, that we have not had in years.

Uh, sounded like they had all been there a while. 

Asked about the show of support, Drees said, “As a priest, I am always happy to see people attending and participating in the Mass.” He said he has heard from “few parishioners” since the musicians’ firing, and “they have expressed their concerns but also their support and understanding.”

Bernard described many “raw feelings” at the Masses, and several people approached Drees afterward to discuss the priest’s decision. One of them was Jamie Manzi-Moore, the former music director at St. Victoria Catholic Church, in Victoria, Minnesota, who was fired in 2014 after 17 years in the position after his own same-sex marriage was reported to then-Archbishop John Nienstedt.

Now they’re bringing people in to protest?!?  I would expect no less.

According to Schwinghammer, during the first meeting Drees said that while at a prior parish he had addressed at a similar situation at a nearby church. When Bernard confronted Drees about whether he had informed Nienstedt of Moore’s marriage, he told NCR that the priest “was shocked to hear me ask that question, and he said, ‘Yes.’ “

Drees, in response to a question from NCR, denied that he had informed Nienstedt about Manzi-Moore’s marriage. He did not respond to a follow-up question whether he had any involvement in the archbishop or archdiocese learning about Manzi-Moore’s marital status.

Well, sounds like a he said/he said thing, so it’s really not possible to comment on whether or not the exchange happened, although NcR is all too happy to report on it.  That said, if Fr. Drees informed his bishop of something he found problematic, the problem is?  Oh, yeah, there isn’t one.

Manzi-Moore, after a brief exchange with Drees following Mass on Dec. 9, emailed the priest and Archbishop Bernard Hebda stating in part he believed his and the other musicians’ firings were “completely wrong, unjust, and it is not Christian in any way shape or form.”

“It isn’t simply ‘remove them from their ministries and all will be well.’ There is so much pain, so much sorrow, and so much unnecessary harm inflicted upon not only those who are ‘let go’ but also upon their families, loved ones, and their parish families,” he wrote.

What about the harm to the faithful when a pastor allows people to be perfectly complacent with their sins?  Give me a break.  Eternal salvation is a big deal.

Drees responded to Manzi-Moore on Thursday in an email, a copy of which NCR obtained, where he again said he did not contact Nienstedt about him. The priest, who at the time of the former music director’s dismissal was associate pastor of nearby St. Hubert Catholic Community, explained he received a phone call from an anonymous St. Victoria parishioner “who had some concerns about the music ministry at the parish.”

“I asked my pastor him [sic] for direction on what to do with the information, and he suggested relaying it to our dean,” Drees wrote, referring to the head of the regional deanery. “I did, and that was the last and only thing I did. I cannot speak to what the Archbishop knew or didn’t know, or how he knew.”

Let’s be honest, there was probably more than one person who was concerned.  Apparently, it was public knowledge, and I’m sure more than one person expressed their concern to more than just Fr. Drees.

Moving forward

There’s worry within the St. Francis Xavier and St. Joseph Churches, the trustees said, that the situation with their ousted musicians will become a wedge that divides the parish. Some parishioners have begun talking about withholding financial support of the parish, or withdrawing from it entirely. Others fear that showing support for the musicians could lead to their own removal from roles in the liturgy and parish, as well.

That’s really up to the parishioners, isn’t it, trustees?  I would expect that showing support for peoples’ objective sins might be more of a problem than some withholding financial support.

”I really am concerned that it is going to negatively impact the community. And I see it personally, I see it as discriminatory,” Schwinghammer said. The situation with the musicians reminded her of her own experience as a child, with her parents divorced, of feeling not welcomed in the church.”

Doesn’t it occur to anyone that people publicly embracing sodomy might be the ones negatively impacting the community?!?  And, really, the homosexual choir dudes are the center of parish devotion?  It’s about the Eucharist, folks!  It’s not about you, the choir, etc., etc., etc.  I don’t know a parish in the world that doesn’t have very human people, but in my parish, the focus is not us, it’s God.  It’s not about embracing sin, it’s about supporting people in their rejection of sin (which is hard).  It’s about helping us gain everlasting life with God, not about making our lives on this earth comfy.  It’s about supporting people in their daily struggles, not about helping them to avoid them in a misplaced sense of love.

Julik-Heine and Schwinghammer have written to the St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese expressing their concerns. Schwinghammer said she spoke Dec. 9 with Fr. Michael Tix, vicar for clergy and parish services, who advised her to keep talking.

Maybe “keep listening” would be a better idea.  I have NO DOUBT Fr. Drees has the salvation of his parishioners in the forefront of his mind.  Too bad these whiners don’t.

The archdiocese did not respond to specific questions from NCR, saying it does not comment on individual parish personnel decisions.

In a statement, Tix said, “Decisions regarding personnel in a parish setting rest with the pastor or parochial administrator of the parish and the Archdiocese recommends that he work in tandem with parish leadership and consult legal counsel. It’s the pastor or administrator and his lay leaders who are best able to assess what is necessary for building a team that can give a credible witness to the Gospel in that community. We urge our pastors to be both fair and consistent in the applications of rules and standards.”

For the three musicians, the outpouring at the Masses two weeks ago showed them the parish body still welcomed them, even if they were restricted from formal ministerial roles.

I’m just going to focus on the last paragraph here.  Just what are you supporting, fellow parishioners?  Did you ever once stop and think about that?  You are supporting sin.  Get it through your thick skulls.  You’re cheering them on while they skip down the road to perdition.  Welcome them to Mass?  Fine. Welcome them to Hell?  Not so much.

“If anything, I am reassured from this community that there were a number of people that said ‘I would love for you to sit and sing by me,’ ” Loeffler said.

To Bernard, the outreach meant one thing: “I’m going to stay there.”

Me, me, me, I, I, I. 

While Mitchell said he plans to attend Mass elsewhere for the foreseeable future, Bernard and Loeffler were back at St. Joseph on Sunday morning. “We sang our hearts out from the pews,” according to Bernard, and afterward, met friends they didn’t know they had. Drees even greeted Bernard after Mass.

I’m totally shocked that the last sentence got printed!  It further flipped the whole narrative of Fr. Drees being the guy who wants to drum all homosexuals out of his parish, didn’t it?  Seriously, we need to pray for our priests.  The stress of having to deal with Mass being used as a weekly protest must be overwhelming.

“People were delighted to see that we had not been driven away,” he said, adding they hope to remain a part of the parish community, however that might look.

I would hope they’d keep going to Mass, and I hope they will reject sin.  This is not about trying to drive people away, my friends at St. Joseph and St. Francis Xavier.  It’s about helping them gain everlasting life.

For Bernard, who attends daily Mass when able, the Eucharist kept him from ever considering abandoning the Catholic faith altogether. By staying in the parish, he hopes he can show strength to other gay people who might feel unwelcome.

Whoa, buddy!  You abandoned the faith a long time ago when you decided to rebel against Church teaching. You showed up weekly but you tried to make the faith conform around you.  This is not about “gay” people.  It’s about the public manifestation of sin and Eucharist.  These are two very different things, and I’m not letting Bernard get away with saying because he sat in a pew and openly and willfully rejected the teachings of the Church that he embraces the faith.  It’s simply not fair to those suffering with same-sex attraction who are trying (and succeeding!) to live a chaste life.  They are the real heroes and examples to us. 

“I feel like my gifts and talents are a calling, and I would like to be the change that we seek, as far as the Catholic Church goes. And I feel like if I leave it, I’m not fulfilling my calling,” Mitchell said.

Mr. Mitchell, your calling is to help the Body of Christ achieve everlasting life, just like the rest of us. We’re all in this together. Your calling is not to be an example of how to embrace sin.  You can choose the example you are going to be.  Are you going to help people reject sin, or are you going to play the martyr card some more?

Loeffler said leaving would feel “like the easy way out.” He hopes the support they’ve received can show other homosexual men and women who feel driven from their communities that there are Catholics who “knowingly and openly support gay men and women. That they’re not afraid of them, they welcome them.”

Mr. Loeffler, there is no easy way out.  There is a cross.  Are you going to embrace or reject it?  That’s what this comes down to for all of us.

“We don’t want this to be another story for people to dislike the Catholic Church. We are still parishioners of the Catholic faith after this. This didn’t drive us away,” Loeffler said.

It is good you didn’t leave.  I would hope you wouldn’t.  However, I hope Fr. Drees will get what real love is across to you.  Christ showed us this on the cross.  You won’t ever be happy in your protest. You will only be happy when your focus is on Christ and the teachings of His Church.

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Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!  I’m not gonna lie.  December and January are probably THE busiest months of my year, well, mostly because I’m a homeschooling mom.  Throw in the whole pro-life, active in the church thing and it just gets a bit busier.

I’m watching all of the New Year’s predictions come out so I thought I’d take a stab at it.

  • James Martin, SJ will say something awesomely ridiculous. (Honestly, we can check off most of these right now since there is little to no chance of them not happening.)
  • 2018 will bring about “side picking” like never seen in the Church before.
  • Fr, Rosica will spontaneously combust over the “Catholic Cyber Militia.”
  • Cardinal Mueller will have trouble deciding what to have for dinner as well as what his feelings are on communion for the divorced and “re-married.”
  • Cardinals Burke and Brandmueller will be continued to be seen by some as Obi-wan Kenobi and the Yoda (the guy many of us didn’t know about until “The Dubia” came out.)
  • Cardinal Sarah will continue to be painted as the “old, out of touch, dude from a third world country” while simultaneously being patted on the head by Frs. Martin, Reese, Rosica and club.
  • Cardinal Cupich will continue being awful.
  • Bishop McElroy will continue wishing he was Cardinal Cupich
  • Liberals will continue to push for “women priests,” married priests and all sexual proclivities they can.
  • I will still not be named a monsignor either.

How do you think I’ll do!  Here’s hoping I can spend 2018 offering a little levity to the insanity we’re living in!  Carry on!

#LetThemServe

I had a longer piece planned on something entirely different but time is short and so I’m going to drop everything for this. http://www.becketlaw.org/media/calif-attorney-general-drags-little-sisters-poor-back-court/

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, California and Pennsylvania are suing the Little Sisters of the Poor.  I don’t know much about the Pennsylvania Attorney General.  I’m just going to guess by the last name the closest thing to Catholicism that he embraces is Georgetown, his alma mater.    Now Xavier Becerra, California Attorney General, on the other hand, has claimed he’s a “proud Latino and proud Catholic.”  Despite that claim, he has filed suit against the LITTLE SISTERS OF THE POOR!  Let that sink in for a moment. 

Why would anyone sue the Little Sisters of the Poor?!  Let me spell it out to you.  They are Catholic, they stuck to their religious convictions, they WON, and now must be squashed like bugs for it.  This is nothing but a futile attempt to take money from the poor to protect the ideologues who have a big old basket of sour grapes at the moment.  They haven’t quite figured out that we’re pretty intent on not letting them win.  The Little Sisters aren’t Notre Dame and they are not going to roll-over.  They are good, charitable women who aren’t going to ditch their faith to accomplish their mission and we’re going to help them triumph over these evil fools.

The liberals have discounted how really angry this makes the faithful Catholics.  In fact, it ticks off our Protestant brethren, too.  Heck, I have liberal leaning Catholic friends who are really not comfortable with this.  We might not all embrace the same doctrines and ideologies but sane people don’t usually go around suing smiling sisters who SERVE THE POOR AND VULNERABLE.  There might be a special place for those who think that’s a good idea.  Good luck with that.

So, I ask my fellow Catholics who are free or can take a vacation day to attend the hearing on December 12th in California and December 14th in Pennsylvania.  If we don’t stand up for these ladies, the most sympathetic victims in this ridiculous persecution, what kind of Catholics are we?  Now is not the time for apathy.  I realize that we cannot all attend but we certainly can promote, advocate and donate, offer  a rosary, a prayer, time in front of the Blessed Sacrament on behalf of the good sisters with such a pure mission.  Do whatever you can but do something!

And a special note to the clergy…I also realize that some of you can’t leave your posts but, with the dawn of cell phones, MANY of you can.  You should, at THE very least, be leading the charge of support in your parishes.  Even on short notice, I hope to see many priests and some bishops from all over California and Pennsylvania at these hearings standing up for your sisters!  Where you lead, people will follow.

So, if apathetic is where you tend to go, please take one more look at these ladies and find some way to support them while they care for our poor and vulnerable and our religious freedom.  Let’s show the world they picked the wrong ladies to persecute! #LetThemServe

 

 

 

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.

Michael Sean Winters: Fanboy

https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/distinctly-catholic/you-have-see-riveting-video-cardinal-cupich

You have to see this riveting video of Cardinal Cupich

He talks of scandal, adult spirituality and libertarianism

Nov 13, 2017

by Michael Sean Winters Opinion

Last week, Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago participated in a conversation with journalist E.J. Dionne at the University of Chicago’s Institute for Politics. The entire exchange was riveting, and I will deal with some of the things Cupich said presently. You can see the video here.

Well, if you consider “riveting” to mean “you can’t help but look when there’s a traffic accident”, I might agree.  However, this is just more of the same old thing from Cardinal (I still can’t believe I have to use that title) Cupich.

But, if you go to minute 24, you see the most important thing that Cupich said. Dionne began by asking about the controversy surrounding Fr. Tom Weinandy’s letter to Pope Francis, in which the former director of the bishops’ doctrinal committee suggested that the faithful were scandalized by Pope Francis. Cupich replied: “I don’t think that people are scandalized by the pope. I think they are being told to be scandalized. I think there is a difference.” To use a Catholic word: Bingo!

Yeah, that’s it.  You people who are scandalized – you’re all simply brainwashed.  You engage in group think and you don’t have a thought of your own in your head.  You’re being told by whoever that you must be scandalized.

Seriously? Does this really work with his readers? I’m reasonably sure that most of the people who are frustrated at this point are still “defend the Pope first” type of people.  In fact, the majority of the ones I see are ones who still put out the papal tweet of the day.  There might be a gleeful batch of “everyone’s wrong all the time” people out there, but most are just like me.  We want to be the “Rah-rah Pope!” types but are having trouble mustering the enthusiasm to do so and wish he would reverse on his stance on taking interview questions ahead of time.  The majority of us aren’t calling him the anti-Christ but instead find ourselves taking up the position of St. Vincent of Lerins, as Dan Hitchens points out here. (An uplifting read for those who are depressed over the state of the Church today.)  We’re the types who pay enough attention and do enough research to actually get upset when we see people twisting Church teaching (Ahem! Michael…), but yeah, we’re the ones who blindly obey when we are told to be scandalized.  Do I sound like someone who says “Yes, master!” in a zombie-like fashion? Gag.

I have complained about the thin agenda for this week’s U.S. bishops’ conference meeting. Here is something they need to discuss: How is it that people, who are in some sense on the bishops’ payroll or working at organizations with clear links to the church, are leading such a noisy opposition to Pope Francis and seem perfectly willing to break down the unity of the church in voicing that opposition?

I might point out that you are on the National catholic Reporter’s dole.  What, again, have you been doing for years over there?  Just because “United in dissent!” is your motto doesn’t mean that you are uniting the Church in any fashion.  Seriously (or, rather, more seriously) your publication declares itself right on the home page as “The independent news source.”  Unity hasn’t exactly been NcR’s goal, unless unity means uniting people in your dissenting way of thought.

So, just for fun I went to NcR and searched for Pope Benedict.  What was interesting to note is that John Allen, Jr., wrote about 95% of the articles on Pope Benedict. In short, it seemed the goal of NcR writers at the time to hide in their blanket forts and pretend Benedict XVI wasn’t even elected. Let’s see what some of the other “uniters” had to say:

https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/peace-pulpit/sept-17-2006-twenty-fourth-sunday-ordinary-time : But there’s another short passage that Jesus proclaimed, that it seems to me if Pope Benedict had been thinking about this, he would have been much more careful in what he said.

 

https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/where-i-stand/franz-where-are-you-when-we-need-you : The world has been debating for over a week now whether Pope Benedict XVI simply forgot that he was a universal pastor and international politician as well as past professor or simply didn’t care to attend to all three roles at one time. Whatever the case, in one university speech all three facets of this current papacy came into play.

In this speech, universal pastoral sensitivity, as well as the political responsibilities that come with the papacy, seem to many to have been abandoned. In their place, his long-time identity as professor — meaning someone who has the luxury, indeed, the responsibility to pursue abstract ideas free of the social consequences of their implications — had free rein.

 

 

https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/peace-pulpit/fourteenth-sunday-ordinary-time-1
And I think of another quite extraordinary example too. One that I think is really noteworthy. It’s something that Pope Benedict is about to do. In October of this year, he is going to beatify an Austrian peasant, Franz Jägerstätter. Probably most of us never heard of him. But Franz grew up not very far from where Joseph Ratzinger grew up. Joseph Ratzinger went into the Nazi army, became a soldier. Franz Jägerstätter refused to serve in the army, refused to kill. And of course he paid a price for it. He was beheaded on Aug. 9, 1943. But now he’s going to be proclaimed before the world as one who faithfully followed Jesus.

And it’s such a contrast and I think there’s great courage on the part of Pope Benedict. Because it’s so easy to see the difference. Joseph Ratzinger now our Holy Father followed Hitler’s orders went into the army, prepared to kill. Franz Jägerstätter refused and now is proclaimed a saint, one for us to imitate and to follow. (I’m throwing this one in because it’s supposed to show some sort of great divide between these two men in their actions against Hitler when there was more similarities than differences.  Maybe Bp. Gumbleton doesn’t know how to Google but it’s weird because he fancies himself the expert on Blessed Franz Jägerstätter.

 

https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/peace-pulpit/third-sunday-lent : “Even recently, Pope Benedict rewrote the prayer for Good Friday in which, in those long petitions that we use, we pray for the Jewish people, God’s chosen people. It was revised after the Vatican Council because the prayer before that was very insulting to Jewish believers. But now the Pope has revised it again and now it’s offensive.

 

https://www.ncronline.org/news/us-bishops-great-inertia :  Whole thing. Too much to copy.

In short, Michael, you live in a big ol’ glass house.  Stop playing with rocks.

The bishops know that EWTN and the National Catholic Register both regularly highlight any and all news stories about resistance to the pope. It seems that, some weeks, if Cardinal Raymond Burke sneezes, Edward Pentin has to write a story about it — and always the same story: It was a truly orthodox sneeze, conformed to the unchangeable and irreformable intrinsic nature of a sneeze, a sneeze worthy of St. John Paul II. Yet there is Bishop Robert Barron doing ads for the Register and saying it presents “the Catholic perspective” — not “a Catholic perspective” but the Catholic perspective. Does the good bishop read it?

Well that deserves a few “Pinocchios.”  Please, people, check out National Catholic Register yourself. Don’t let yourselves be brainwashed into believing the misrepresentation posted by Winters. (See what I did there? To use a Catholic word: Bingo!) Go ahead, I dare you!  I double-dare you!  It’s the last thing Winters wants.

First of all, Michael, are you really going to complain that the Register wants to report THE Catholic perspective as opposed to your “independent” Catholic perspective?  I wouldn’t think you would want to draw attention to this little disparity.

Next, I just scanned the front page of articles by Register staffers (see center column), and guess what?  One article on the Pope praying for earthquake victims, and ZERO articles on Cardinal Burke.  Yes, I understand that’s today and tomorrow could change, but I’m reasonably sure Cardinal Burke sneezed and I’m a tad bit disappointed no Pentin!  You got my hopes up,Michael!

By the way, I believe it’s your publication that has 3 different articles today on your perceived resistance.  Oops.

In years past, the bishops would look into “problems” if LifeSiteNews or the American Life League accused someone, somewhere, of not upholding their interpretation of a Catholic’s civic obligations. Remember the review of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development? Why was that necessary? Remember the kerfuffle over Catholic Relief Services? And the perpetual campaign against Catholic Charities? Will the bishops now concede that groups like LifeSiteNews and the American Life League and the Lepanto Institute can — and should — be ignored? That perhaps it might even behoove the bishops to make clear that these organizations do not speak for the Catholic Church.

OK, for those of you who don’t know, Catholic Relief Services passes out birth control.  Gee!  No reason to comment there.  Google, people.!  I’m perfectly fine with you checking the veracity of LifeSiteNews, American Life League, Catholic Whoever, but if there’s a problem with the story, how about you report what the problem is, Michael, rather than merely suggesting they are “not upholding their interpretation of a Catholic’s civic obligations.”  I think we’re actually obliged, as Catholics, not to cooperate with evil. Don’t you? Oh, wait, your group actually DOES want to cooperate with evil: https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/grace-margins/laudato-si-should-have-lifted-ban-contraception (Please note, NcR has no trouble being critical if it doesn’t jive with their thoughts.)

Catholic Campaign for Human Development and Catholic Charities?  They have similar skeletons.  Mr. Winters also forgot to mention the Bellarmine Foundation, which has done extensive work undermining the Church.  Here’s a link to help him with his list of organizations he feels should be investigated just on his say-so.  https://bellarmineforum.org/2015/09/12/why-not-give-to-the-catholic-campaign-for-human-development/

Again, Mr. Winters, how about you support your accusations with some facts on CCHD, Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services to rebut these “evil organizations” reporting on them.  What?  You can’t?  Please note this, people.  Mr. Winters’ accusations are the epitome of the saying, “Big hat, no cattle.”  You’re adults, verify yourselves.

Another thing Cupich said in the discussion is worth repeating. When discussing why some people are upset about Francis, Cupich said: “He’s calling people to have an adult spirituality, rather than being infantilized in their spirituality.” He noted that people who like telling other people what to do have trouble with the sense of responsibility to which Francis is calling us all.

Oh, yeah.  That would upset people like Cardinal Burke to no end.  No, seriously, he doesn’t believe in adult spirituality?!?  (insert rolling eyes)  Please.  And what is with “people who like telling other people what to do?”  In my world, we call that parenting, and it’s all about responsibility.  What Cardinal Cupich is really trying to say here is, “Those big old meanies who try to teach you what is right and what is wrong, don’t listen to them! I’m the only one you should listen to because, well, me!”

The codification of ecclesial practice and norms was a leitmotif of the pontificate of St. Pope John Paul II: He authorized the catechism, he updated the universal code of canon law, he issued a compendium of the church’s social doctrine. There is always a need for such codification: No society exists without laws and rules. But, that codification is there to serve the church’s essential mission of proclaiming Jesus Christ, our risen savior; it is not there for its own sake. As St. Paul wrote to Timothy, “the Word of God is not imprisoned.”

Babbling.  Translation: Just don’t worry about all those rules.  They’re so judgey.

As Pope Francis likes to say, “The Word still wants to take on flesh.” Rules and codes can imprison the Spirit if they replace the kerygma as the central focus of ecclesial life. The Lord said to Nicodemus, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” That is not a vision of certainty or even clarity, and some people crave certainty and clarity.

As far as what “Pope Francis likes to say”,  I’ll have to take your word for the quote because I can’t find it anywhere but this article.  A link would have been nice. Anyone?  Regardless, it almost seems like we’re just going to throw a whole bunch of random thought, add a bible story and see if the confusion sticks.

One of the most constant refrains among the complaints against Pope Francis is that he sows confusion. Only if you have placed law or ideology at the heart of ecclesial life is his approach to governing the church confusing. He is calling to maturity. He calls for discernment, not libertinism, and discernment is always done with and within the church.

Huh?  Did he really use the word libertinism there?  Yes, I think it was it was a typo based on the title of the article but kind of funny.  Seems like that’s what the likes of Cupich, McElroy, and Martin are pushing for.  For the record, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone from “my side of the fence” put down discernment, and I’d put money on the fact that Michael Sean Winters probably couldn’t find anything to back this up.  Of course, what does Mr. Winters and club want us to discern?  Whether we can thwart the teachings of the Church and still be worthy of Heaven?  Good luck with that.

As Jesuit Fr. Jim Martin pointed out in responding to the Weinandy’s strange account of how he came to the conclusion that Jesus wanted him to write to the pope: “If one’s idea of discernment is seeking signs like this, then why would one trust, say, a divorced and remarried Catholic to consult his or her conscience about whether it is permissible to receive Communion? It is no wonder that discernment seems so arbitrary to some people. And so frightening.”

Let’s see.  Father Weinandy asking for a sign from God whether or not he should write a letter is the same as discerning whether or not someone living in sin should double-down on a mortal sin?  Yeah, that’s totally comparable.  For the life of me I cannot see why people act like Fr. Weinandy is mentally ill for asking for a sign.  How many saints have done the same?  Are they always given?  No, but some have been quite clearly given the signs they’ve asked for, which is a special gift.  I do think it funny, though, that the NcR crowd frowns on Fr. Weinandy’s “discernment” when we are told that Pope Francis wants us to discern.  Make up your mind.  Oh, I get it!  We’re just supposed to discern in a manner that brings us to the same conclusion as Cardinal Cupich, Bishop McElroy, Fr. Martin, and, I guess, Michael Sean Winters.  Got it.  That kind of discernment is just peachy.  No scoffing if you come to their conclusion.

By the way, I’ve got to laugh at the severe over use of discernment.  There’s not one in the bunch that can say “judgement”, which is what discernment actually means.  The “j” word, however, has been dumped on by this crowd so many times they’ve got to dance around it.

Cardinal Cupich’s conversation with Dionne contained other gems, such as his criticism of libertarianism. Dionne joked that the press had their headline: Cupich criticizes libertarianism at University of Chicago! His comments about abortion were very strong, which is always a bit of a risk in a secular venue. I encourage everyone to watch this video. Cupich is, par excellence, a bishop for the era of Francis: engaged, sympathetic, compelling. If only the rest of the body of bishops would follow his lead.

Drooling much?   I mean, the keyboard is probably pretty soggy at this point. Somebody’s getting a “Cardinal Cupich Fanboy” shirt for Christmas.   Well, as usual, Mr. Winters doesn’t fail to disappoint when it comes to linking to quotes, Church teaching, and facts, but hey, he hit the jackpot in conjecture, say something until it’s true and slander. Same old, same old.

#CatholicCyberMilitia

 

 

Notre Dame Just Didn’t Want Their Formal Cooperation With Evil to be Mandated

Apparently, Notre Dame just wanted the glory all to themselves?!?!

This kind of turned out as we thought, didn’t it?  One would have to conclude that Notre Dame only joined in the fight against the HHS mandate for fundraising reasons at this point.  “We want to look as persecuted as the Little Sisters and have people rally around us, too!”  That was our guess all along. Sorry to you who wasted money donating to ND for that.  

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The University of Notre Dame told its employees Tuesday that they will continue to receive no-cost birth control coverage in a reversal from what the university told its faculty and staff last week.

The Roman Catholic university in northern Indiana sent an email to employees saying its insurance provider is continuing to offer contraception coverage not funded by the university. Notre Dame notified employees a week earlier that contraception coverage would end Jan. 1.

That step came after President Donald Trump’s decision in early October allowing employers and universities to cite religious or moral objections to end birth control coverage that was available under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown said the university had believed insurance companies would discontinue the no-cost coverage at year’s end but has been told by its provider Meritain Health that it would continue such coverage indefinitely.

So, in other words, Notre Dame was simply counting on the insurance companies to get them out of the backlash of their intention to have contraception covered for their employees and students.

The university fought the federal health care law’s original mandate on religious grounds, but that lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed on Oct. 17, after the Trump administration removed the requirement.

Let’s look at the scorecard here. The Notre Dame doubters were totally right here. Notre Dame fought the HHS mandate, supposedly on religious grounds. Notre Dame didn’t want to pay for the birth control coverage. Trump waives the mandate. Notre Dame assumes insurance company will end free coverage. Insurance company does not, but Notre Dame is fine with the free coverage because:

Notre Dame, as a Catholic institution, follows Catholic teaching about the use of contraceptives and engaged in the recent lawsuit to protect its freedom to act in accord with its principles,” Notre Dame said in a statement. “Recognizing, however, the plurality of religious and other convictions among its employees, it will not interfere with the provision of contraceptives that will be administered and funded independently of the University.

Let’s look at what Humane Vitae says about birth control:

 

14. Therefore We base Our words on the first principles of a human and Christian doctrine of marriage when We are obliged once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children. (14) Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary. (15)

Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means. (16)

Neither is it valid to argue, as a justification for sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive, that a lesser evil is to be preferred to a greater one, or that such intercourse would merge with procreative acts of past and future to form a single entity, and so be qualified by exactly the same moral goodness as these. Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good,” it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it (18)—in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general. Consequently, it is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong.

And:

Consequences of Artificial Methods

17. Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.

Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.

So all you who hold a “plurality of religious and other convictions”, you’re on your own. Your salvation is apparently not Notre Dame’s problem.  They’re just fine with supporting something hurting the moral fabric of society and taking the lives of innocent children because, you know, tolerance and all.

Meritain Health is a subsidiary of Aetna, which didn’t immediately comment on whether it made coverage changes to accommodate Notre Dame.

Three Notre Dame students were among five women who joined a lawsuit filed last week challenging Trump’s rollback of the birth control coverage rule.

And, they were probably all Catholic.  Sigh.

The lawsuit filed by the National Women’s Law Center and Americans United for Separation of Church and State argues the new rules violate the equal protection and due process guarantees of the U.S. Constitution and the non-discrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act.

Last week, Notre Dame notified students who receive the school’s insurance plan that their no-cost contraceptive coverage would continue until August. The university said Tuesday that students will be able to choose such coverage after August separately through Aetna Student Health.

A spokeswoman for the National Women’s Law Center didn’t immediately comment on the impact of Notre Dame’s decision.

And so the students of Notre Dame are on their own, too.  Bravo, Fr. Jenkins, et. al.  Sorry, you can’t wash your hands of it, Notre Dame.  Not one employee or student should ever be allowed by the institution to have access to something so spiritually, morally and spiritually damning as artificial birth control.  Please note, Humane Vitae is addressed to ALL of human creation and does not exclude “a plurality of religious and other convictions.”

Back to Humanae Vitae:

18. It is to be anticipated that perhaps not everyone will easily accept this particular teaching. There is too much clamorous outcry against the voice of the Church, and this is intensified by modern means of communication. But it comes as no surprise to the Church that she, no less than her divine Founder, is destined to be a “sign of contradiction.” (22) She does not, because of this, evade the duty imposed on her of proclaiming humbly but firmly the entire moral law, both natural and evangelical.

Since the Church did not make either of these laws, she cannot be their arbiter—only their guardian and interpreter. It could never be right for her to declare lawful what is in fact unlawful, since that, by its very nature, is always opposed to the true good of man.

In preserving intact the whole moral law of marriage, the Church is convinced that she is contributing to the creation of a truly human civilization. She urges man not to betray his personal responsibilities by putting all his faith in technical expedients. In this way she defends the dignity of husband and wife. This course of action shows that the Church, loyal to the example and teaching of the divine Savior, is sincere and unselfish in her regard for men whom she strives to help even now during this earthly pilgrimage “to share God’s life as sons of the living God, the Father of all men.” (23)

And Fr. Jenkins, you might want to pay particular attention to this:

To Priests

28. And now, beloved sons, you who are priests, you who in virtue of your sacred office act as counselors and spiritual leaders both of individual men and women and of families—We turn to you filled with great confidence. For it is your principal duty—We are speaking especially to you who teach moral theology—to spell out clearly and completely the Church’s teaching on marriage. In the performance of your ministry you must be the first to give an example of that sincere obedience, inward as well as outward, which is due to the magisterium of the Church. For, as you know, the pastors of the Church enjoy a special light of the Holy Spirit in teaching the truth. (39) And this, rather than the arguments they put forward, is why you are bound to such obedience. Nor will it escape you that if men’s peace of soul and the unity of the Christian people are to be preserved, then it is of the utmost importance that in moral as well as in dogmatic theology all should obey the magisterium of the Church and should speak as with one voice. Therefore We make Our own the anxious words of the great Apostle Paul and with all Our heart We renew Our appeal to you: “I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” (40)

Theologian Deathmatch: Round 2

And the fun never stops…

https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2017/11/02/open-letter-father-weinandy-his-predecessor-amoris-laetitia-and-pope-francis

Dear Father Weinandy,

You may remember me as your predecessor as executive director of the Secretariat for Christian Doctrine at the U.S.C.C.B. You replaced me in January 2005.

Do I detect a note of snark? 

I am writing this open letter to you in response to your open letter to Pope Francis in which you address what you describe as a “chronic confusion” that seems to mark his pontificate.

According to Sandro Magister’s introduction to your letter, you had asked Jesus for a sign as to whether you should write your letter, you received that sign and thus “no longer had any doubt that Jesus wanted me to write….” I cannot enter into the subjective conditions that inspired you to write, but I need to note that “Amoris Laetitia,” toward which you express great concern, was the fruit of two synods and broad consultation throughout the church, is widely recognized as an act of ordinary Magisterium, and thus enjoys presumption as having been guided by the Spirit of the Lord.

Stop right here.  I have to wonder if you also prayed for a sign before writing this, or if you simply wrote out of anger, Monsignor?  By the way, Father, if you’ll note, the dubia and Fr. Weinandy’s letter are simply seeking clarity.  Do you really have a problem with this?  Can you deny that there are divergent interpretations of the infamous chapter 8 footnotes? Still, you are framing this as something it’s not.  Fr. Weinandy isn’t rejecting ordinary Magisterium anymore than the four cardinals were when they put forth the dubia.  I also think that you might be tugging at the heartstrings of the people in the pews by saying that Fr. Weinandy is rejecting something by seeming to suggest “ordinary Magisterium” a little more, well, ordinary than it actually is.  Not quite that simple.

http://www.catholicworldreport.com/2016/04/12/the-slow-decline-of-the-ordinary-magisterium/

But, that said, most of “what’s in” Amoris, or at least most of the controversial passages of Amoris, are not ‘magisterial’ because most of those of Amoris, and most of ‘those passages’, seem to address (if sometimes ambiguously) pastoral practices (not propositional points), or they indicate how the pope perceives (accurately or otherwise) pastors coming across to people in irregular unions (and so at most are empirical surmises), or they urge a given demeanor with persons as Christ would relate to them, and so on. In other words, while Amoris is quite capable of contributing to the ordinary papal magisterium based on its authorship, audience, and circumstances, and while it does contribute to that magisterium in some respects, most of Amoris is, in fact, not ‘magisterial’ in content. Just as most utterances that popes and bishops use to contribute to the ordinary magisterium are mixed in with many non-magisterial comments having no teaching value, so Amoris mixes several, rather minor, uncontroversial ‘magisterial’ comments on Scripture and marriage with a few controversial, but not magisterial (because they are not propositional, and are instead exhortatory) comments on pastoral approaches. And, no, I do not think that this is to read Amoris the way I would prefer to read it; I think it is to read Amoris the way the Church reads her teaching documents.

So, it sounds a little like you’re trying to get people to think that every last letter of Amoris Laetitia is an exercise of ordinary Magisterium.  Is that correct?

Your first concern is centered on Chapter 8 of “Amoris Laetitia.” You maintain that the Holy Father’s “guidance at times seems intentionally ambiguous.” I believe that the vast majority of bishops and theologians do not agree.

I might actually agree with you when it comes to the word “intentionally”, as I stated in my last post.  There’s little to no way of knowing what the intention was.  Regardless, it was ambiguous.  How do we know this?  Duh.  There are two very distinct interpretations of it.  If it was clear, this would not be the case.  And, while I can’t say “intentionally”,  I also don’t really believe you can say “vast majority of bishops and theologians.”  If wishes were ponies… 

The pope does indeed open the door to the possibility that some divorced and civilly remarried Catholics can be admitted to the sacraments after careful discernment. Rocco Buttiglione, one of the foremost interpreters of the teaching of St. John Paul II, sees no contradiction, but rather continuity between “Familiaris Consortio”and “Amoris Laetitia.” And most recently Cardinal Gerhard Müller stated that there are conditions which open the way for those in second marriages to receive sacraments.

First, does anyone remember the Holy Father saying, “Being integrated into the Church does not mean ‘taking Communion.’”? Anyone?

Next, Cardinal Muller can’t seem to make up his mind on much of anything in the past year.  (Anyone else think that?) He might be having the same problem as many of us.  He’s just another reason clarification is needed, because he’s also said this

There have been different claims that Amoris Laetitia has rescinded this (previous) discipline, because it allows, at least in certain cases, the reception of the Eucharist by remarried divorcees without requiring that they change their way of life in accord with Familiaris Consortio 84 (namely, by giving up their new bond or by living as brothers and sisters).

The following has to be said in this regard: If Amoris Laetitia had intended to rescind such a deeply rooted and such a weighty discipline, it would have expressed itself in a clear manner and it would have given the reasons for it. However, such a statement with such a meaning is not to be found in it [Amoris Laetitia]. Nowhere does the pope put into question the arguments of his predecessors. They [the arguments] are not based upon the subjective guilt of these our brothers and sisters, but, rather, upon the visible, objective way of life which is in opposition to the words of Christ.

Let’s actually look at Familiaris Consortio https://www.ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/jp2famil.htm, because I’m betting Msgr. Strynkowski’s banking on you not.

4. Daily experience unfortunately shows that people who have obtained a divorce usually intend to enter into a new union, obviously not with a Catholic religious ceremony. Since this is an evil that like the others is affecting more and more Catholics as well, the problem must be faced with resolution and without delay. The synod fathers studied it expressly. The church, which was set up to lead to salvation all people and especially the baptized, cannot abandon to their own devices those who have been previously bound by sacramental marriage and who have attempted a second marriage. The church will therefore make untiring efforts to put at their disposal her means of salvation.

Pastors must know that for the sake of truth they are obliged to exercise careful discernment of situations. There is, in fact, a difference between those who have sincerely tried to save their first marriage and have been unjustly abandoned and those who, through their own grave fault, have destroyed a canonically valid marriage.

Finally, there are those who have entered into a second union for the sake of the children’s upbringing and who are sometimes subjectively certain in conscience that their previous and irreparably destroyed marriage had never been valid.

Together with the synod, I earnestly call upon pastors and the whole community of the faithful to help the divorced and with solicitous care to make sure that they do not consider themselves as separated from the church, for as baptized persons they can and indeed must share in her life. They should be encouraged to listen to the word of God, to attend the sacrifice of the Mass, to persevere in prayer, to contribute to works of charity and to community efforts in favor of justice, to bring up their children in the Christian faith, to cultivate the spirit and practice of penance and thus implore, day by day, God’s grace. Let the church pray for them, encourage them and show herself a merciful mother and thus sustain them in faith and hope.

However, the church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon sacred scripture, of not admitting to eucharistic communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the church which is signified and effected by the eucharist. Besides this there is another special pastoral reason: If these people were admitted to the eucharist the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.

Reconciliation in the sacrament of penance, which would open the way to the eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the convenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage.

This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons such as, for example, the children’s upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they “take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples.”[180]

Similarly, the respect due to the sacrament of matrimony, to the couples themselves and their families, and also to the community of the faithful forbids any pastor for whatever reason or pretext, even of a pastoral nature, to perform ceremonies of any kind for divorced people who remarry. Such ceremonies would give the impression of the celebration of a new, sacramentally valid marriage and would thus lead people into error concerning the indissolubility of a validly contracted marriage.

By acting in this way the church professes her own fidelity to Christ and to his truth. At the same time she shows motherly concern for these children of hers, especially those who, through no fault of their own, have been abandoned by their legitimate partner.

With firm confidence she believes that those who have rejected the Lord’s command and are still living in this state will be able to obtain from God the grace of conversion and salvation, provided that they have persevered in prayer, penance and charity.”

So, do two footnotes in Amoris Laetitia negate what’s very clearly stated in Familiaris Consortio AND what some bishops around the world are holding their flock to?  This is why the dubia is so important.  We have two opposing sides (or none at all) when it comes to admitting divorced and civilly remarried couples to Communion.  Again:

Reconciliation in the sacrament of penance, which would open the way to the eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the convenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage.

This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons such as, for example, the children’s upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they “take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples.”[180]


Like Fr. James Martin, SJ, says, I am not a theologian.  All I can do is give you my view from the pew and say that clarification is needed big time, since we should never be forced to judge moral decisions based on footnotes. That would certainly be lacking in charity. I think all of the “theologians” sometimes miss the fact that the vast majority of members of the Church are people like me.  They need to come down from their ivory towers and understand that if we’re saying that we need clarification, we need it. I’m thankful to those members of the clergy who are willing to represent us in these affairs, because, clearly, they are sticking their necks out.

Back to the “open rant”:

Your second concern is that the pope’s manner “seems to demean the importance of Church doctrine.” I would note, first of all, that the Holy Father’s homilies, based on the Gospel, call us to a discipleship that is rigorous and uncompromising. Second, I interpret his criticism of those who make doctrine an ideology as a challenge for us to never isolate doctrine from its source in the mercy of God revealed in Jesus Christ.”

So, it’s your interpretation that, because Fr. Weinandy feels that it’s important not to demean Church doctrine, he isolates doctrine from mercy?  Your proof for that is?????

Your third concern is the Holy Father’s “choice of some bishops, men who seem not merely open to those who hold views counter to Christian belief but who support and even defend them.” Unless you are willing to name these bishops and the views counter to Christian belief that supposedly they tolerate, this remains a gratuitous assertion and damages the unity of the church.

Oh!  Me! Me! Me! I’ll name them.  Elevating Cardinal Cupich, Cardinal Farrell, Cardinal Joseph Tobin (not, not, not Bishop Thomas Tobin), and appointing Bishop McElroy were all nightmares. Then there’s the Fr. James Martin, SJ, appointment. And that’s just in the U.S. 

And now you want me to name the views counter to the Church?  OK.  When Bishop Paprocki told priests that gays and lesbians in same-sex marriages should not receive Communion or be given Catholic, Cardinal Cupich said that wasn’t his policy. Martin just admitted he can’t say what he really thinks because he’s a priest.  Bishop Joseph Tobin – how about we just look at what New Ways thinks of him:

But Cardinal Tobin’s welcome to Mass on May 21 has been the most significant of such recent gestures, because of the symbolism of a cardinal welcoming a group of gay Catholics, some of whom were married to same-sex spouses, to participate in the Sacrament of Holy Communion at the center of a cathedral, no questions asked. 

Pretty much sounds like he didn’t give ANY instruction on the reception of the Eucharist.

Bishop McElroy has adopted the same stance as Cupich in regard to the Paprocki order.  Ross Douthat does a good job here of dissecting his recent “synod” in San Diego.   Besides this, McElroy also has a super deformed idea of “internal dialogue” and “primacy of conscience” 

Bishop Farrell?  Well he and Archbishop Chaput directly contradicted each other on Communion for those in irregular circumstances.  https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/popes-new-point-man-on-family-rips-abp.-chaputs-amoris-guidelines-on-commun

Your fourth concern is the pope’s encouragement of a “‘synodality’ that allows and promotes various doctrinal and moral options within the Church.” Here, again in an open letter to the pope, it would have been more responsible to specify what these various options have been. To do anything less is to foster suspicion of bishops and theologians by some circles in the church.

Let’s look at what synodality is: https://www.catholic.com/qa/what-is-synodality

Synodality is related to collegiality. Collegiality refers to the individual authority of each bishop as a successor of the apostles. Each bishop is essentially autonomous and equal (with the exception of the Bishop of Rome). On matters of local governance, one bishop cannot tell another bishop how to run his diocese.

Synodality refers to groupings of bishops. An example would be the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. According to canon law, national episcopal conferences can set certain laws and practices for their regions above and beyond what an individual bishop can do. However, because these groupings of bishops have no authority outside of each individual bishop’s authority, the group needs to have its authority specifically declared by Church law. Otherwise it carries no weight other than encouragement.

Both methods of Church governance have practical pros and cons.

That said, we can’t have doctrine subject to synodality.

I also have to laugh at your proposal that a lack of specifics can cause suspicions.  Sounds a little like “Pot meet kettle.”  It seems like you keep asking for specifics but then don’t even come close to doing so yourself.  I don’t know, maybe it’s just me.

Your fifth concern is that bishops feel that the pope is not open to criticism and indeed resents it. What is your source for this? Indeed, there has been much criticism of the pope, but he has remained silent. I am not aware of anything that he has said in public to indicate that he resents criticism.

Really?!  The “change of jobs” for Muller, Burke, Father Samir Khalil Samir, etc., by the Holy Father himself, not to mention a myriad of replacements by the liberal fan club is kind of telling.  And then there are all of those labeled as Pharisaical, rigid, etc. for their worries.  My gosh!  There is a whole website full of them papal insults.  Fine, it’s his prerogative.  I’d probably expect some resentment.  Quite frankly, I enjoy some of them because they’re sometimes funny and creative, kind of like Shakespeare’s.  That said, you can’t say they’re not happening. 

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, urged that dissent from ordinary Magisterium should be disclosed privately to church authority—see “Donum Veritatis” (No. 30). In a world and even an ecclesial environment of sound bites and facile partisanship, that becomes even wiser advice.

Fraternally yours in Christ,

Msgr. John Strynkowski

As you say, specifics would be nice.  Maybe you could tell us who is dissenting from what?  You asked Fr. Weinandy for specifics, now I’m asking you for some.  Fair’s fair!  Is style now considered “ordinary Magisterium?”  Fr. Weinandy’s letter talked of ambiguity and flame throwing.  It didn’t talk of doctrine other than to say “There’s so much ambiguity nobody can discern what we’re talking about when it comes to the indissolubility of marriage and the liberals are running away with it.” 

This isn’t the first time Catholics have had a problem with “papal style.”  Anyone remember St. Catherine of Siena?  She chastised not one but two popes about everything from where they lived to controlling their tempers.  Are we going to say she was a dissenter???

For those who haven’t bothered to read the dubia yet, please at least read this excerpt:

Most Holy Father,

Following the publication of your apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, theologians and scholars have proposed interpretations that are not only divergent, but also conflicting, above all in regard to Chapter VIII. Moreover, the media have emphasized this dispute, thereby provoking uncertainty, confusion and disorientation among many of the faithful.

Because of this, we the undersigned, but also many bishops and priests, have received numerous requests from the faithful of various social strata on the correct interpretation to give to Chapter VIII of the exhortation.

Now, compelled in conscience by our pastoral responsibility and desiring to implement ever more that `synodality to which Your Holiness urges us, with profound respect, we permit ourselves to ask you, Holy Father, as supreme teacher of the faith, called by the Risen One to confirm his brothers in the faith, to resolve the uncertainties and bring clarity, benevolently giving a response to the dubia that we attach the present letter.

May Your Holiness wish to bless us, as we promise constantly to remember you in prayer.

Cardinal Walter Brandmüller

Cardinal Raymond L. Burke

Cardinal Carlo Caffarra

Cardinal Joachim Meisner

Despite the spin, clarification, not rejection is the name of the game for the dubia authors and Fr. Weinandy. They are not dissenting. If they were, why would they appeal to the Holy Father for clarification at all?