There Were T-Shirts??? Where’s Mine?!

I’ve been busy getting school started, sending kids off to college, etc., so I’ve been letting a lot of stories pass me by. I couldn’t let this one go by, however, without comment. It is a rather weird, long, and outdated story from Newsweek which half-heartedly attempts to pit Pope Francis against Archbishop Cordileone. It was almost schizophrenic, but probably more like a kid who got extra credit if he managed to pad his paper enough to get to 10 pages. I know for a fact Newsweek’s little project was started back in May or June, which might be why it’s reporting such old news, but wow! You could have left most of it out, because “been there, done that” BY EVERYONE ELSE! Lots of snipping, so go here for the whole thing: http://www.newsweek.com/2015/09/18/whos-better-catholic-pope-francis-archdiocese-cordileon-370451.html

Popes don’t have batting averages, their work resisting easy quantification: Souls Saved Per Mass, Doctrinal Clarifications Per Encyclical, that sort of thing. But one measure does seem especially telling about the tenure of Pope Francis, and it is the frequency with which his face and words appear on T-shirts. You can announce that Francis is your homeboy or ask, What would Francis do (i.e., WWFD)? Francis-themed T-shirts sport his thrilling response to a question about gays: “Who am I to judge?” There’s one depicting Francis in the style of Shepard Fairey’s famous poster for the 2008 Obama presidential campaign, with “pope” replacing “hope.” There’s even an “Atheists for Pope Francis” T-shirt. The Beatles may have been bigger than Jesus Christ, but Pope Francis is bigger than the Beatles.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Pope Francis. That said, I think the liberals and the media like him, because he’s anyone but Pope Benedict. They certainly don’t like him because of his comments on “gender theory” or anything like that, but they seem quite willing to let comments on those things slide and cling to “Who am I to judge?”, which actually had nothing to do with gay marriage.

Let the snipping begin!

Others worried that the newly elected pope had been far too timid during the “dirty war” of his native Argentina, questioning his role in the kidnapping of two Jesuit priests. The New Yorker called him “an Argentine with a cloudy past.”

This is really just the liberal journalists hedging their bets. Can’t you just see the news rooms back then? “Well Bob, he’s a Jesuit and not a European, so we have every reason to hope he’s a liberal. Still, we really should plant some seeds of doubt in peoples’ minds, just in case he turns out to be conservative.”

He has shunned the resplendent vestments of his office, selecting a five-year-old Ford Focus for his vehicle and a modest guesthouse for his quarters; he has made entreaties to divorced Catholics and even suggested that it was not his place to judge gay ones; he has lamented global warming and income inequality, at times sounding like Bernie Sanders’s running mate.

Oh, yeah, the Pope is for abortion, euthanasia, and transgenderism, too. They’re twins! Seriously, come on, guys! Read the documents of the Church. Democrats aren’t wrong in ALL things, just most, and no, Pope Francis differs from them on way more thing than he agrees. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t love us all though!

And here’s where Newsweek really starts falling behind the times. If they were into current news at Newsweek, I would think they’d be focusing on Archbishop Chaput. Maybe they’re going with Newsyear now?

Lately, another Catholic prelate has been making news in the United States, for different reasons. His name is Salvatore J. Cordileone, and he presides over the archdiocese of San Francisco, home to 432,163 Catholics. Nobody in the Bay Area is wearing T-shirts emblazoned with his face.

Wait a darn minute!!! There were t-shirts??? Where’s mine??? I would totally wear one! In fact, the vast majority of my friends (except maybe those I went to Catholic high school with) would wear one, too. In fact, I may start selling them so I can afford a laptop that doesn’t freeze every few minutes!!!

Really, trying to insinuate nobody in the Bay Area loves Archbishop Cordileone would be way, way off base. Even people who disagree with him love him. People who aren’t even Catholic love him. My gosh! Get a grip Newsweek! I thought you were about news more than narrative?

In February, an editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle deemed “unnecessary and offensive” his attempt to subject teachers at archdiocesan high schools to an antediluvian morality code that reached into their private lives.

Antediluvian? Nice word. Too bad you don’t know how to use it. I’m pretty sure that most of the Church documents were written after the time of Noah. In fact, a good chunk on sexuality has been written in the last 40 years. No, not antediluvian. Quite modern, really. It’s pretty much a simple morality code that is needed to counter the anti-morality folks who have been left to their own devices in San Francisco for too many years.

“This was done as a real insult to San Francisco,” a gay Catholic told me when I visited the city, which had been accustomed to archbishops who tempered their views on homosexuality with an awareness of the city’s history as a gay refuge.

And yet, it was not an insult to Our Lord and the Church he established. I guess that point might be wasted on Alexander Nazaryan from Newsweek. Methinks he misses the fact that the Catholic Church is not there to assuage San Francisco.

Cordileone has little use for such moderation, and he has paid a price. Whether marching against gay marriage in Washington, D.C., or telling Catholic schoolteachers in San Francisco that gay sex and masturbation are “gravely evil,” Cordileone has been as thoroughly demonized as Francis has been exalted. To hear some tell it, the two barely belong to the same church.

Yeah, he has been so thoroughly demonized that a Facebook page in support of him has more members than his “opposition,” and dozens more join every week (because I watch stuff like that). The demonization attempt has apparently failed with most of his flock.

In the first week of June, for example, the pope paid for dozens of indigent souls to travel from Rome to Northern Italy, to stand personal witness before the Shroud of Turin. Cordileone, meanwhile, was in Manhattan, making a transparent attack on Caitlyn Jenner, whose Vanity Fair cover had made news just days before. “The clear biological fact is that a human being is born either male or female,” he said, adding that the erosion of traditional marriage would result in “a reversion to the paganism of old, but with unique, postmodern variations on its themes, such as the practice of child sacrifice, the worship of feminine deities or the cult of priestesses.”

Well, there’s some selective reporting. Even San Francisco news outlets reported this little story: “Pope Francis Compares Transgender People To Nuclear Weapons In New Book” (http://www.donotlink.com/gnn0). (I’d just like to point out that the improper use of capital letters was not mine! It’s the homeschool mom in me.)

So, Archbishop Cordileone espouses science, history and some Church teachings, and the Pope compares transgenderism to nuclear weapons, yet the media chooses to villainize just Archbishop Cordileone???

While Francis wants to attract new members to the church, doctrinal conservatives want a return to the Latin Mass and a more strident condemnation of non-procreative sexual behaviors.

Two words Newsweek – nuclear weapons!

Francis will make his first trip to the United States this fall, in what will surely prove a voyage rife with adulation; he will no doubt make many Catholics in the Bay Area wish their archbishop was the cuddly Jesuit, not the grim canon lawyer.

Grim? It’s very clear not much time has been spent with the Archbishop!

“Absolutely nothing the archbishop has said is inconsistent with what Pope Francis says and teaches,” says prominent Catholic observer George Weigel, “although it may be inconsistent with media fictions about the pope.”

AMEN, George Weigel! After pages of Newsweek telling us the Pope and the Archbishop are miles apart, they finally (accidentally?) start throwing a little truth in there! It was very little, however, because then they go on to tell some tall tales.

 Cordileone recently bathed the poor too. This past spring, a local CBS affiliate reported that the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, the seat of the San Franciscan archdiocese, had “installed a watering system to keep the homeless from sleeping in the cathedral’s doorways.”

I’m utterly shocked they didn’t claim that Cordileone noticed the homeless needed washing while he was personally washing the windows and trimming the bushes! For the umpteenth time, use some common sense! The Archbishop isn’t the one who maintains the property and makes such decisions.

Joy is not exactly what gay Catholics experienced upon learning that Cordileone would be their archbishop.

Now that would be true, but for others in the San Francisco Archdiocese, it was downright euphoria! Tears of joy were definitely shed by many of the SF faithful. Granted, the Oakland faithful were crying tears of sorrow, but they got a good bishop soon afterward.

Two years later, the “top anti-gay” is the top target of liberal Catholics in the Bay Area.

Uh, and we think this just started? He wasn’t liked by liberals when he was in San Diego or Oakland, either. Why? Because he wasn’t going to break with Church teachings to please the whiners.

In late April, opponents of Cordileone took an extraordinary measure, placing a full-page advertisement in the Chronicle

Newsweek! Is there ANYONE who hasn’t already reported on this already??? Somebody got to this party super late!

In a statement several pages in length responding both directly and not to questions I sent him, Cordileone told me that “the current situation is not an excuse for Christians to run and hide. Christians are called to be ‘salt and light’ and the church is required to be engaged in society. She may not withdraw.”

And this, my friends, is why we love him so!

 Vatican II was the church of Peter and Paul preparing to enter the world of John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Clearly Alexander is a Beatles fan, because this is reference number two. I’m snipping his Church “history” since Vatican II.

Salvatore Cordileone’s Catholicism matured in the church of John Paul II. He studied canon law in Rome but eventually returned to his native Southern California. During the 1990s, he was pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Calexico, on the Mexican border. He was known as Father Sam, wore a beard and appears to have been widely liked.” In a 2009 interview, Cordileone recalled how he would jog along the Mexican border, watching day laborers waiting for a bus to take them into the United States. He spoke about holding an annual Mass “for the undocumented migrants living in the canyons north of San Diego and working in the flower fields.”

But then “Father Sam” became the “Father of Prop 8,” the anti-gay marriage measure that made him a hero and villain.

I’m not sure if this reporter actually realizes it, but he’s pointing out what we’ve been pointing out all along. Archbishop Cordileone is a good man who is being vilified for remaining faithful to the teachings of the Church.

“Prop 8 elevated Cordileone’s stature in the Holy See of Benedict XVI, who had once called homosexuality an “intrinsic moral evil.” Cordileone would use similar language—“gravely evil”

Wrong! Pope Benedict and Archbishop Cordileone didn’t come up with this out of the blue. The Church calls homosexual acts intrinsically evil. Must we go over that again?

“Pope Francis isn’t asking us to change the timeless teachings of the Gospel,” Cordileone told me. “On the contrary, he wants us to be bold in proclaiming them.” This is a diplomatic way of pointing to the disconnect between how some in the secular world see Francis and how the clergy itself has absorbed his bifurcated papal persona.

To nonbelievers, he is a renegade who will soon ordain female priests and fly a rainbow flag from Vatican spires. To more perspicacious observers, he is a skilled custodian of Catholicism’s image who is acutely aware of how his words and deeds will play beyond the Vatican’s ramparts. If he is vastly superior to Cordileone in any single regard, it is that of public relations.

In other words, the Archbishop is speaking the truth!

Nancy Pelosi, the liberal congresswoman from San Francisco, warned Cordileone in a letter that the March for Marriage would be “venom disguised as virtue.” He went anyway.

It always cracks me up that Nancy Pelosi and her ilk think she has any influence on faithful Catholics. Mrs. Pelosi, you are idiocy disguised as a congresswoman.

This past winter, the archbishop took on the allegedly lax morality plaguing Catholic schools,

Wait! Is anyone really under the impression that the Catholic schools in the San Francisco Archdiocese are the bastion of Catholic morality??? There’s no “allegedly” about it. There’s been lax morality all over the diocese for a LONG time!

[I]ntroducing new language into the faculty and staff handbook for the four archdiocesan high schools in San Francisco and Marin County under his direct control. The first draft of the new handbook included more than a dozen “affirm and believe” statements, many of which focused on sex:

[We] reject direct, intentional abortion and recognize that any well-formed conscience always rejects direct, intentional abortion; we are not “pro-choice”

[We] affirm that chaste living necessarily requires abstinence from all sexual intimacy outside of marriage

We accept the Church’s teaching that all extra-marital sexual relationships are gravely evil and that these include adultery, masturbation, fornication, the viewing of pornography and homosexual relations.

Everyone within the Catholic schools would be “expected to arrange and conduct their lives so as not to visibly contradict, undermine or deny these truths.” The new handbook counseled its subjects to “refrain from public support of any cause or issue that is explicitly or implicitly contrary to that which the Catholic Church holds to be true.”

This raised obvious, troubling questions. Would a teacher at a Catholic high school who posted on Facebook about his wife’s successful fertility treatments be subject to discipline? What about a female teacher who tweeted about the blissed-out weekend she spent with her girlfriend in Point Reyes?

Blissed-out weekend? I would hope she’d be fired just for using that term! Maybe, just maybe, it might be nice if teachers (and really, everyone else) kept their immoral private lives private. I think we’ve been saying this all along! And yes, ladies and gents, homosexual relations are immoral according to Church teachings. Surprise!

“Our schools are not seminaries,” complains Sal Curcio, who was raised in the Catholic Church in the Bronx and now teaches religion at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory. “Teachers are starting to feel like they have to decide between conscience and paycheck.”

No, Sal. “Our schools” are not seminaries. If you have to decide between your conscience and your paycheck, that’s your issue. The Archbishop is doing his job. How about you do the one you were hired to do, which is to teach the kids Catholicism and not contradict those teachings in public? If you didn’t know that, you might want to crack open Canon Law every once in a while.  It does govern the Catholic Church and all.

And yet they were not mollified, convinced that Cordileone had only hidden his sword behind his back. “He is a cultural warrior in the extreme,” said a retired religion teacher, Jim McGarry. He added that Cordileone “doesn’t represent the tradition; the tradition is much richer than that.”

Hello! They’ll never be mollified. They want complete approval of their lifestyles, and they will try to take anyone down who tells them “no.”  And who are you, Jim, to decide what represents tradition in the Catholic Church?  Sadly, this is the muck we hear from the religion teachers and the reason why we needed a “morality clause.”

As if rehashing of this old news wasn’t bad enough, we’re now going to move onto Star of the Sea, Fr. Driscoll, and Fr. Illo. At this point, rather than spill an ocean of ink myself, I will refer you to my archives: https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2015/04/.

“Illo has other supporters.”

Yes, he has MANY of them, which is why Star of the Sea is thriving and reached their Bishop’s Appeal quota in a matter of weeks, while the liberal parishes of the diocese still struggle to do so. He’s also raised money to put in an adoration chapel which drives the liberals NUTS! They are just downright afraid of what adoration of the Blessed Sacrament might do for the San Francisco Archdiocese. It’s like sprinkling the devil with holy water. I have little doubt Star of the Sea and her wonderful priests will continue to be attacked, because some folks are just really predictable.

Among them is the Reverend Joseph D. Fessio, an avuncular Jesuit who vociferously defends Catholic doctrine against liberal encroachments.

Is it just me or did somebody get a thesaurus for his birthday?

Liberal Catholics have two options: They can rationalize away some of the church’s sexual morality codes while tuning out others, finding some scrappy foothold on the rock of faith. Or they can leave.

Why do we only have two options? How about the one where they study the Faith, embrace it, make a good confession, and move on? Nobody has to be terminally liberal, and that’s what it is: terminal. Instead, they can embrace the perennial teachings of Christ’s Church and have everlasting life!

Skipping over the USF crony part other than noting that he at least calls the media on their portrayal of “liberal Francis”. There was at least truth with that.

He has done virtually nothing to change the policies of the church to match his more compassionate rhetoric.

Apostasy, though, is not quite as easy as switching your gym membership. Some will remain with the church of their youth, even if its doctrine sometimes feels like a personal affront. I met with the group Dignity SF, an organization of LGBT Catholics, and asked how they could remain part of a faith that seems to loathe them. In response, one of the four men gathered (he asked me not to use his name) read from the writings of a Catholic scholar: “Above the pope as an expression of the binding claim of church authority stands one’s own conscience, which has to be obeyed first of all, if need be against the demands of church authority.”

Umm, can you quote that Church teaching on the primacy of conscience to us? You might want to read it in its entirety rather than the bumper sticker edition. Primacy of conscience has a formula to it that they are missing.

Those words were written in 1968 by Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict and gay-marriage opponent; the “primacy of conscience” argument, as it is known, is often used by gay Catholics to reconcile their faith with the explicit homophobia of the Vatican. Critics, however, charge that the words are being taken out of context.

Right, because they are! Now here’s how easy it is. This link is for you, Dignity SF: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a6.htm. Now, do you have a link you can post that supports YOUR interpretation?

Appeals to conscience have also been deployed by doctrinal conservatives who fear Francis is a renegade straying from his flock. Cardinal Burke, often regarded as the most vociferous conservative prelate in the American church, has said he would “resist” any attempts by Francis to liberalize Catholic doctrine on social issues. “The pope does not have the power to change teaching, doctrine,” Burke said.

Holy smokes! Really?! First, Cardinal Burke has rightly formed his conscience around Church teaching. If only Dignity SF would do the same. Next, seems rather lame to report on a situation not likely to happen. “Imagine If” is a fun board game, but it has nothing to do with reality.

Archbishop Cordileone has served food at the Wednesday night dinners. He knows the church is home to gay Catholics, yet everyone I spoke to said he takes great pleasure in the event.

His visits to MHR are hints of a persona more complex than that of the self-righteous homophobe. Another hint was his willingness to meet with gay Catholic groups while in Washington for the March for Marriage last year. “May more bishops follow his lead in personally learning more about Catholic LGBT people and advocates,” wrote New Ways Executive Director Francis DeBernardo. He was not talking about Pope Francis.

Sure, let’s bury these down at the bottom!

Cordileone told me he has learned about the power of “personal encounter.… When you get to know someone on a human level, see that they are human just like you and have similar struggles and the same deepest yearnings, you cannot hate them.” He added, “Most people benefit from hindsight, and I’m certainly one of them.”

Wouldn’t it be totally awesome if the Archbishop’s detractors would take this approach, too?  Might be nice if you also heeded this advice, Mr. Nazaryan, before you call someone grim.

Back to Pope Francis:

Others, though, were less impressed by the decree of clemency. “The supposedly radical change in the Vatican’s approach to abortion is being dramatically overblown in the press,” wrote the traditionalist Notre Dame theology professor John C. Cavidini in the New York Daily News. Cavidini argued that “the change proposed here is pastoral in nature, not doctrinal. It is intended to emphasize that the Church is an agent of mercy, primarily, and not an agent of condemnation.” Abortion remains a sin, it is just that sinners will have a slightly easier time achieving absolution.

More truth!

Certainly, the liberal Catholics of San Francisco would welcome an archbishop in the mold of the current pope.

Mmmm…probably not so much.

But how serious, really, is Francis about discarding the more hidebound elements of Catholic doctrine? Will he ordain female priests? Will he welcome gays? Is his gentle touch merely a personal affect, or does it portend a more significant shift within the Vatican?

In order: he’s not (it’s not possible); he won’t (it’s not possible); we all welcome “gays”; and probably just a personal affect, but only time would tell.

This pope is a superb communicator.

I’m not so sure I totally agree with that, but I don’t think he has an intent contrary to doctrine.

He winks at his two disparate constituencies, like a politician hoping to win votes in the liberal cities with one message and the conservative hinterlands with another. Both sides are made to feel that they are getting the real Francis.

…or maybe he’s trying different ways to bolster the faith of all?

Cordileone, conversely, can be grating, offensive, flat-footed and righteous in the most elemental sense. He knows what God wants from him, and it isn’t flattering headlines.

Worst. Summation. Ever. It’s like he didn’t actually pay attention to some of what he wrote. He did nail the last sentence, though. If only more of our prelates did the same! #cardinalcordileone

Assemblyman Who?

Expect the next couple of weeks to resemble an exorcist pouring holy water on a demon. It’s going to be ugly with the liberals desperately grasping at straws despite a Supreme Court ruling that squashes their daydream that the Catholic Church is going against “settled law.” It’s also going to get annoying watching no–name liberals attempting to create a reputation for themselves trying to slay the Archbishop. Somehow they’ve missed the fact that THEY are the ones going against settled law in their battle against religious freedom. Of course, it’s not likely to stop them from suing the heck out of the archdiocese in attempt to win by bankruptcy, but they’ve missed the fact that we won’t let that happen. What is the latest straw they are grasping for? Assemblyman Phil Ting, one of the crafters of a letter to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone that stated his handbook wording was in “conflict with settled areas of law and foment a discriminatory environment in the communities we serve,” has decided to hold a “Public Hearing on Ministerial Exceptions” on July 23rd. (Please feel free to give Mr. Ting an earful at 415-557-2312.) Katrina Trinko penned a nice piece on Ting and Company’s insane attempt to interject themselves into the Catholic Church governance and the Archbishop’s response to it (http://dailysignal.com/2015/03/01/lawmakers-attacking-archbishop-requiring-catholic-teachers-not-slam-catholicism/ ). By the way, in case you missed it, here is the Archbishop’s response to Ting and Company (https://www.sfarchdiocese.org/docs/default-source/media-items-2015/abp-cordileone-reply-letter-to-state-legislators—february-19-2015.pdf?sfvrsn=2):

Dear Legislators, I am in receipt of your letter of February 17, 2015, expressing your concerns about the negotiation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the teachers’ union of our four Archdiocesan High Schools. Allow me to respond by reflecting with you on the real issues that are at stake here. First of all, I always believe that it is important, before making a judgment on a situation or anyone’s action, that one first obtain as complete and accurate information as possible. To this end, a number of documents and videos giving accurate and more complete information about this contentious issue are available on the website of our Archdiocese. I would encourage you to avail yourselves of these resources, as they will help to clear up a lot of misinformation being circulated about it (such as, for example, the falsehood that the morality clauses apply to the teachers’ private life). The next thing I would like to mention is actually a question: would you hire a campaign manager who advocates policies contrary to those that you stand for, and who shows disrespect toward you and the Democratic Party in general? On the other hand, if you knew a brilliant campaign manager who, although a Republican, was willing to work for you and not speak or act in public contrary to you or your party – would you hire such a person? If your answer to the first question is “no,” and to the second question is “yes,” then we are actually in agreement on the principal point in debate here. Now let’s say that this campaign manager you hired, despite promises to the contrary, starts speaking critically of your party and favorably of your running opponent, and so you decide to fire the person. Would you have done this because you hate all Republicans outright, or because this individual, who happens to be a Republican, violated the trust given to you and acted contrary to your mission? If the latter, then we are again in agreement on this principle. My point is: I respect your right to employ or not employ whomever you wish to advance your mission. I simply ask the same respect from you. Sincerely, Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone Archbishop of San Francisco

In 2012, the Supreme Court issued a ruling (Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) which we’d hope the lower courts would follow. Here’s a really good analysis of the unanimous ruling and the opinion that spells out ultimate victory for Archbishop Cordileone and the Archdiocese of San Francisco:(http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/01/4541/). The bottom line?

It specifically affirmed “a religious group’s right to shape its own faith and mission through its appointments.” And it grounded its holding in the proposition that “the text of the First Amendment itself . . . gives special solicitude to the rights of religious organizations.

So who is violating “settled law,” Mr. Ting?

The decision was, strikingly, unanimous: no one disagreed with Chief Justice Roberts’s opinion for the Court. The only separate opinions were concurring ones, suggesting further extensions or specific applications of the Court’s reasoning. On a Court that has often been bitterly divided, this expression of unanimity is truly remarkable.

If you’ve read the decision and opinions (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/10-553.pdf ), you’d know that it was quite remarkable. The liberals would like you to believe that Perich lost only because she was named as a minister, but if you read the Supreme Court opinions, they said that this particular case was a no brainer because she was indeed labeled a minister. Furthermore, they were not going to tell a church who did and who didn’t perform in a ministerial capacity, and they specifically stated that teachers would be considered such. Whoops! Another hope of those attacking Archbishop Cordileone is that somehow a teacher’s union is going to trump Religious Freedom. It’s been said that the fact that Bishop Vasa and Bishop Barber won their handbook battles is because the teachers in those dioceses were not unionized. Well, which is it? Is it against the law, or is it because there’s a union? Well, the Supreme Court says it’s a Religious Freedom issue, and Bishops Vasa and Barber haven’t landed in jail, so we know it’s not against “settled law.” I don’t think you’ll find case-law that says that a union ever trumps Religious Freedom. If that were the case, the Catholic Church would be totally and utterly against unions, right?

NcR – National catholic Reporter

Anyone else getting tired of the endless whining from NcR? (Note the small “c”. That’s how I’m going to abbreviate the National catholic Reporter from now on thanks to a reader’s suggestion. It’s only fitting.) They must have noticed that there hasn’t been much posted as of late, so they put this out to keep the story “fresh” in peoples’ minds. Here’s the same story (their version of “fresh”), only the dates have changed (http://www.donotlink.com/modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/the-archbishop-versus-the-teachers). Prepare for an onslaught of rehashed articles from NcR in the next 21 days as the final deadline approaches for the teachers’ contracts to be signed.

Just a short recap from reality: Archbishop Cordileone hasn’t caved on Catholic identity as liberals would like him to do. The end.

Along with typical requests for higher wages, better retirement fund allowances, lower healthcare costs, and preservation of the current tenure system, the union continued to fight what has been its biggest battle yet: preventing new language in the employee contract that would deem all teachers ministers. It’s a semantic change, but one that would strip roughly 250 diocesan educators of their current legal rights as teachers and leave them vulnerable to arbitrary dismissal. After more than four hours of discussion, the negotiations ended at a standstill—as usual. “It was pretty fruitless, to be perfectly honest,” says Paul Hance, a social studies teacher at Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo and one of two union representatives appointed by the school. “This thing has been a nightmare.”

So, why, pray tell, are we trying repeatedly to get the Archbishop to cave on Catholicism in the Catholic schools? That will continue to be a fruitless battle. Can’t you just accept the fact that Archbishop Cordileone isn’t going to cave to your threats? He will continue to reclaim Catholic identity in the schools under his care, and he will protect the children of the school from anti-Catholic messaging as much as humanly possible. Bam! We’re done. You can sign the contracts or not sign them, the choice is yours. I’m sorry you haven’t run into a faithful Catholic Bishop willing to care for souls up until now, but here he is!

The Archdiocese of San Francisco oversees the operations of 74 elementary, middle, and high schools across Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties. Many of these schools are free to hire, fire, and educate as they please. But the archdiocese exerts executive control over the region’s four diocesan high schools—Serra, Kentfield’s Marin Catholic High School, and Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory and Archbishop Riordan High School in San Francisco—and their nearly 3,700 students. At these schools, the whims of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone are most keenly felt.

Seriously – whims? Get a clue. I guess they’d consider Christ to have died on a cross on a whim. I’m so sorry that you have been so poorly educated that you wouldn’t know the Catholic Faith if Our Lord came down and explained it to you Himself, but it’s hardly a whim. It’s THE FAITH. It’s not the world according to you.

Pushback from students, parents, and educators regarding the staunchly conservative archbishop’s plans has been well documented by local and national media (even the San Francisco Board of Supervisors rejected Cordileone’s proposed morality clause via a nonbinding resolution). For the most part, the issue has been framed as a revolt against a reactionary clergyman by liberal Catholics who feel that Cordileone’s labeling of same-sex marriage, birth control, and in vitro fertilization as “gravely evil” contradicts their values as post–Vatican II believers. In reality, however, far more is at stake, and the conflict stretches well past questions of Catholic doctrine. Owing to a potent 2012 decision by the United States Supreme Court on ministerial exception, those nearly 250 local teachers are on the edge of a vast legal gray area—one that may swallow them whole before the new school year begins.

All those who believe that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors rejection of Archbishop Cordileone’s morality clause has any bearing on the Catholic Church’s teachings, please raise your hand? I am a “post-Vatican II” believer and the term “gravely evil” doesn’t contradict my values in the least! Why? Well, that would probably be because I actually BELIEVE in the teachings of the Catholic Church. Same-sex marriage, IVF, and artificial birth control ARE GRAVELY EVIL! Deal with it! Thank you so much, NcR, for not actually saying that the Archbishop has called anyone gravely evil. First dose of reality I’ve seen come out of this publication in a long, long time. Now, if they could only come all the way over and acknowledge that Archbishop Cordileone was quoting from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, wouldn’t that be nice? As I’ve pointed out before (https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/the-archbishop-vs-the-red-herrings/), the use of “ministers” matters not.

The morning after that June 17 round of unsuccessful negotiations, Sacred Heart religious and social studies teacher Sal Curcio ambles into Java Beach Café near Ocean Beach toting a stack of legal documents, petitions, and rejected collective bargaining agreements. “I have three folders like this one,” he says, admitting that he had to buy an iPhone after “all this started” to help him keep track of the various components involved. “It’s horrendous,” he says with a pained look. “It’s as if we’re negotiating with a gun to our head.”

Three folders AND an iPhone just to keep track of the fact that the Catholic Church is Catholic? That mean ol’ Archbishop put a gun to his head and made him get an iPhone. Shucks, I suppose the Archbishop also put a gun to his head and made him work at a Catholic school? He probably made him go to Java Beach Café, too. Give me a break! The drama is unfounded. Sorry, the Archbishop is one of the nicest guys around. It might play well to the liberals who don’t know him, but the arch-villain persona given to him is wasted on anyone who has actually met him or heard his homilies or talks. He’s not inflicting his version of the Faith onto these “poor teachers”. He’s teaching THE Faith in the same manner as all the Popes I can remember. He’s being a father to them, and that means speaking the truth even if they don’t want to hear it. Rather than a comic book scenario, people might want to compare this situation to the good father with the rebellious teen. That’s the reality.

Curcio rattles off cases across the country in which teachers redefined as “ministers” have been dismissed without recourse: the Catholic school teacher in Fort Wayne, Indiana, who was fired after undergoing in vitro fertilization; the tenured religious studies professor at Lexington Theological Seminary who was fired for being Jewish; the high school gym teacher in Columbus, Ohio, who was fired after her mother’s obituary listed the teacher’s female partner as a survivor; and, most notably, the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision against Cheryl Perich, a teacher at a Lutheran grade school in Michigan who was fired for being narcoleptic—in direct violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The decision was upheld unanimously by the court: “Having concluded that there is a ministerial exception grounded in the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment, we consider whether the exception applies in this case,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts. “We hold that it does.”

Again, I’ve already dealt the Perich case before (https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/the-archbishop-vs-the-red-herrings/), but people really need to ask this question: Why in the world do we have to know which teachers are using IVF, marrying their same-sex partners, using artificial birth control, etc.? Believe me, no faithful Catholic wants to know the intimate details of someone else’s sex life! Keep your private life private, please, and there’s no problem. Heck, the dear Sisters of Mercy, in the latest firing, told their lesbian teacher just that, and she agreed! Once it became public that she had “married” her same-sex partner, she was publicly contradicting the faith (AKA publicly undermining the Faith).

Support of marriage equality and LGBT rights, use of birth control, and undergoing in vitro fertilization can all become firing offenses.

Oh, my gosh! Right! If someone teaching at a Catholic school is publicly contradicting the Faith and, after counsel, continues in that action, they would then be thumbing their nose at the Faith. Undermining the Faith SHOULD be a firing offense in an organization whose goal is to teach people that sinning is bad and a danger to their soul. DUH!

In his attempt to make the diocesan high schools’ curricula more Christ-centered, Cordileone has enlisted Melanie Morey, the former provost of St. Patrick’s Seminary & University in Menlo Park, to head the newly created Office of Catholic Identity Assessment. In a PowerPoint presentation given to teachers in February, Morey stressed that Catholic teaching should now be present in every academic subject; she suggested integrating religion into mathematics, for example, by comparing the solving of linear equations to communicating with Jesus. While the concept was largely laughed off by teachers, its message was all too clear: Start proselytizing to students—or risk your job. Curcio acknowledges that a handful of teachers have already left for other schools and that some families are looking to send their kids elsewhere.

Proselytizing??? Wouldn’t that mean transmitting the Faith? Well, to the sane, I think it would. Does this sound familiar, Mr. Curio?!

803 §2. The instruction and education in a Catholic school must be grounded in the principles of Catholic doctrine; teachers are to be outstanding in correct doctrine and integrity of life.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P2N.HTM

A majority of the teachers nationwide who have been fired under ministerial exception were dismissed for marrying someone of the same sex, using in vitro fertilization, or having sex outside of marriage. Curcio, however, points out that employers needn’t give a rationale. “It could be an undisclosed reason,” he says. “What if I just don’t like you?” Across the country, ministerial employees have been fired for reporting possible sexual assault, for helping coworkers file harassment claims, and for having a disabling condition. While much of the local uproar has focused on whether or not people who work at Catholic schools must adhere to Catholic principles, Curcio says that the real argument is much more basic. “Does a religious employer have the right to be above the law? That’s the crux of the question here.”

Umm, hello! We’re talking about Catholic schools here.  How about you provide some examples of all those teachers who have been fired in Catholic schools for “I just don’t like you”? Which law states that Catholic school teachers can’t be fired for undermining the Catholic Faith?  The crux is this: Do Catholic schools have the right to be Catholic? It ain’t the Perich case. Mr. Curcio, you might want to actually read the opinions of the justices. Since I doubt you’ll go through the trouble, here’s what Alito and Kagan said:

When it comes to the expression and inculcation of religious doctrine, there can be no doubt that the messenger matters. Religious teachings cover the gamut from moral conduct to metaphysical truth, and both the content and credibility of a religion’s message depend vitally on the character and conduct of its teachers. A religion cannot depend on someone to be an effective advocate for its religious vision if that person’s conduct fails to live up to the religious precepts that he or she espouses. For this reason, a religious body’s right to self-governance must include the ability to select, and to be selective about those who will serve as the very “embodiment of its message” and “its voice to the faithful. Petruska v. Gannon Univ., 462 F. 3d 294, 306 (CA3 2006).” https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/the-archbishop-vs-the-red-herrings/

Did that hurt, Mr. Curcio? The Supreme Court reiterated similar things in the very case you cited on “ministers”.

It’s something that Leslie Griffin bangs her head into all too often. A law professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Griffin is an expert on constitutional law and has unofficially instructed the San Francisco diocesan teachers union on ministerial exception (the union is formally represented by a local labor lawyer, Stewart Weinberg, who declined to comment on the ongoing negotiations). Griffin says that since the 2012 Supreme Court ruling on ministerial exception, teachers across the country have been placed in a precarious position. California law, she points out, requires private employers to respect the privacy rights of employees. “It shouldn’t be possible that in San Francisco, discrimination against gays and lesbians is legal under religious freedom. That’s not legal under California law,” she says.

The archdiocese, Griffin continues, has entered into a strange legal realm where the law that applies to everybody else doesn’t seem to matter. “Most Americans think that if you have a job and you get mistreated, you can go to court and sue,” notes Griffin. But because ministerial exception is an affirmative defense ratified by the Supreme Court, potential plaintiffs in discrimination lawsuits are prevented from even attempting a legal rejoinder: “You lose your day in court.”

She actually seems to get that the Supreme Court is not on their side. Now if she could only get this through to the rest of them, all of us might move on. Religious Freedom means that the Church doesn’t have to put up with teachers in Catholic schools undermining the Faith. What a concept!

One day after the mid-June stalemate, Cordileone wrote letters to Representative Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) in support of their proposed First Amendment Defense Act. The legislation, if passed, would prevent the federal government from penalizing religious institutions for making decisions based on opposition to same-sex marriage and sex before marriage.

Are we all chanting “Cardinal Cordileone! Cardinal Cordileone!” yet?! You should be! #cardinalcordileone

Crucial to this struggle is the fact that a contract doesn’t even need to include the word “minister” to effectively relabel teachers as such. The most recent version of the archdiocese’s proposed contract in fact excised the controversial word, but union lawyers insist that teachers would still be held to—and potentially fired due to—ministerial exception law. It all depends upon whether the archdiocese can claim that teaching at its schools constitutes ministerial work: an intriguing concept in light of Melanie Morey’s math lessons on “graphing lines and relating to Christ.”

It’s like they finally read my blog! Whether or not “minister” is in there means nothing. There’s no re-labeling going on. The Archdiocese of San Francisco doesn’t have to claim anything. The Supreme Court already has, and it was a rather big “Duh! Of course teachers can be considered ministers!”

Many current teachers predict that if the San Francisco archdiocese pulls this off, they will be subject to arbitrary dismissal. They question, however, whether the church will be able to replace them with local educators willing to be ministers. It may be a tall order: Several hundred teachers used to attend the yearly archdiocesan hiring fair. But, say teachers and parents, this spring only a few dozen showed up.

Again, that’s just silly. The Church and the Archbishop don’t arbitrarily do anything. Should he “pull it off,” I don’t see mass firings.  That certainly wasn’t the case in Oakland. However, should the teachers’ decide to air their sins en masse and cause grave scandal, I can pretty much guarantee the Archbishop will have faithful teachers lining up to teach for him, because they won’t fear persecution by their fellow teachers in San Francisco anymore. Right now, the liberal teachers don’t want to work for him and the faithful teachers are just waiting to see if one of their favorite bishops will be able to protect them. It would be a faithful Catholic teacher’s dream to teach for Archbishop Cordileone!

Despite the public outcry against Cordileone’s plan, few in the world of local Catholic education were surprised he took this route. Just last year a similar fight played out at the Diocese of Oakland, where Bishop Michael Barber altered the employee contract to require teachers to model Catholic moral teachings in their private lives. While a handful of teachers quit and public outrage was displayed on the local news channels, ultimately the diocese won.

Barber’s relationship with his parishioners wasn’t as frayed as Cordileone’s is, and he sat down with educators in attempts to come to a compromise. Cordileone has been present only twice during negotiations in San Francisco. But the most crucial difference, and one that distinguishes San Francisco’s ongoing dispute from similar cases across the country, is that the teachers in Oakland don’t have a union. Kathleen Purcell, who taught at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland and was fired after crossing out the morality clause on her contract, says that the quashing of the nonunionized teachers’ concerns set the tone for San Francisco’s current fight: “Once Oakland happened, [the Archbishop of] San Francisco started to get ready. They had a lead time.” San Francisco’s teachers, in fact, feel that Cordileone is making the play he has long desired to make: These are the first contract negotiations to come after the 2012 Supreme Court ruling. “I think he’s planned this exactly the way he wanted it to go,” says one teacher, speaking anonymously owing to fears regarding job security. “He knows the timing on everything here.”

Please! San Francisco and Oakland are worlds apart. That’s really the difference. The people in the largely suburban Diocese of Oakland aren’t quite as haughty as to take out full-page ads against their bishop. They definitely have their fair share of liberals, but they’ve had twelve years and three consecutive faithful bishops who have done great things. San Francisco is just in shock and frantic.

What the school year will look like come the fall remains undetermined. During a nearly nine-hour July 1 negotiating session, tentative agreements were reached regarding tenure and healthcare. But barring an unforeseen détente on ministerial exception, teachers’ contracts will expire on July 31. The notion of a strike is hardly far-fetched, but teachers hope that overwhelming public support for labor laws and LGBT issues will provide leverage before it comes to that. “San Francisco is a pretty big union town; we’ve got tons of support,” says Joe Hession, Serra’s other union representative.

The Supreme Court has told you how it’s going to go, guys. The Catholic Church is a pretty big universal organization, if you haven’t noticed. The “union town” has nothing on our 2,000+ years of resisting people like you. If you think we won’t back Archbishop Cordileone all the way to the Supreme Court, you are a bit daft.

But for many teachers, the uphill battle has already become the biggest burden of their career, and it may be just beginning. “This isn’t an overstatement: The entire nation is watching this,” says Sal Curcio. “If the archbishop can break a union in San Francisco—or render it useless by pushing an agenda that takes away the rights of teachers and also hurts the students—then they can do this everywhere.”

It’s not about breaking the union. It’s about retaining Catholic identity and Religious Freedom. The Church certainly isn’t saying you can’t have a union AND Catholic identity and Religious Freedom. You can. You are quite right about one thing, though, Mr. Curcio: the entire nation is watching. The amazing, faithful, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone is leading the nation from San Francisco. He is leading us in traditional marriage, Religious Freedom, Catholic identity, and protecting our youth from those who would try to steal their souls. The Church in America is depending on him, and we need to constantly remember him in our prayers. I also have no problem praying that he will, one day, be Cardinal Cordileone right here in the area where so many are watching.

Imagine: Is This How John Thought It Would Turn Out?

I think we have seen enough people commenting on Laudato Si today.  I’m not going to touch that one.  There would seem to be a lot of different interpretations around from various people I’d tend to consider faithful Catholics.  I’ll have to hunker down and read it soon.  I, myself, wasn’t too worried, but others seemed to be in a near panic about its release.  From what little I’ve read, “Be good Catholics!” has seemingly been the message.

Instead, I am going to focus on the terrible shooting in South Carolina and what’s been coming out of the liberals mouths ever since: “Guns! It’s all the fault of the guns!”  Sorry, Mr. President and all your loyal followers, this is your fault that this has happened over and over again!  When you teach the nation’s children on a daily basis that belief in God is wrong, killing children in the womb is right, and morality is whatever you want to make of it, this is what you get.  There is no belief that life is sacred.  I’m not really sure how any of you liberals can honestly look America in the eye and call this shooting evil.  I can, but can you?  You’ve said time and again that murder is a choice and reality is what you want it to be, not what it actually is.  What did you expect?  I’m sure this young man had a reality all his own.  You rubber stamped his right to his reality so his wishes and whims superseded everyone else’s.  What?  That’s not what you meant?

Archbishop Wuerl spoke to the AFL-CIO the other day (http://saltandlighttv.org/blog/general/cardinal-wuerl-the-catholic-ideal-of-solidarity-and-the-new-evangelization).  The speech didn’t get a lot of play, but it was, once again, actually pretty good.  I’m not yet used to “bold Catholicism” coming out of his mouth, but it is so refreshing!  Somebody always has to chime in with, “Yeah, we’ll see about that,” but frankly, I don’t care what the man did or didn’t do yesterday, he’s been kind of awesome as of late.  Keep it up Cardinal!  To the rest of us, give credit where credit is due.  One part of the speech, in particular, hit me when I heard about the shooting in South Carolina:

A number of years ago I was invited to speak at the Catholic Center at Harvard University. The designated theme was “The Role of Faith in a Pluralistic Society.” At the conclusion of my presentation, a skeptical professor who self-identified as an atheist and who taught in the law school was the first to present a question. He asked, “What do you people think you bring to our society?”

The reference to “you people” was to the front row of the audience that was made up of representatives of a variety of religious traditions, all of whom were in their appropriate identifiable robes.

Since he was a lawyer, I asked if he would mind if I answered his question with a question of my own. When he nodded in agreement, I asked: “What do you think the world would be like if it were not for the voices of all of those religious traditions represented in the hall? What would it be like if we did not hear voices in the midst of the community saying, you shall not kill, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness?

What would our culture be like had we not heard religious imperatives such as love your neighbor as yourself, do unto others as you would have them do to you?

How much more harsh would our land be if we did not grow up hearing, blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, blessed are the merciful, blessed are the peacemakers?

What would the world be like had we never been reminded that someday we will have to answer to God for our actions?”

To his credit, the man who asked the question smiled broadly and said, “It would be a mess!”

Well, America, welcome to the mess that’s been created by vilifying the unborn, the elderly, Christianity in general, Catholicism in particular, and ignoring morality. You reap what you sow, and you’ve sowed it well. Guns are not the evil that killed these people. The lack of respect for God, the devaluing of human life, and the blatant disregard of the consequences of our actions led to this tragedy. Give yourselves a pat on the back for this one, liberals. You wanted to “Imagine” it like John Lennon, and you’re seeing what it will be like if Christianity doesn’t fight back with everything they’ve got.

Cardinal Wuerl goes on to say:

Recent popes have spoken about certain social and cultural challenges in our world today, including relativism, which denies the existence of objective truth and the natural moral order; secularism, which treats religion as a solely private matter and thus dismisses appreciation of God and the importance of religious faith, values and institutions in the public square; materialism, which can all too easily focus attention on personal gain at the expense of the common good and the needs of others, and individualism which can center on the self and lose sight of our dependence on others as well as the responsibilities that we bear towards each other.

There also persist in our culture various ideologies and mentalities which view all of social life through the lens of economic class, ethnic, racial or sexual identity, ideology or political party preference. Here, we see the separation of people into competing interests.

Pope Francis with his clear words and inviting ways offers a powerful counterpoint to these forces. He speaks often in opposition to a “globalization of indifference” and a “throwaway culture” in our world today, “according to which everything is disposable. A culture that always leaves people out of the equation” – the unborn, young people, the elderly, the sick, those who are deemed to be of no use (Interview, Radio of the Archdiocese of Rio, July 27, 2013).

Can anyone look around the world we’ve seen lately and deny that we live in a throwaway culture?  We literally throw human beings away on a daily basis! Society no longer says there is an objective truth a la Dolezal and Jenner. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone (#cardinalcordileone) knows all too well that natural moral order went out the window a long time ago for those railing against him.  Now we have 9 dead because society convinced a kid that none of the people he shot had intrinsic value.  Heck, he might not have thought them people at all because objective truth went bye-bye.  There was no thought about the consequences of his actions, let alone about God or life. People are going to have to stop blaming everything other than the what is actually causing this to happen. Plain and simple – society has made these kids this way. The liberals pushed for moral relativism, and the Catholic Church let them roll right over them for the sake of political correctness.  Basically, a few good men did nothing.  Edmund Burke was right about that one.

I’m hoping the new generation of a few good men will do something or we will just keep living in a dystopian novel of insanity and violence.  The Catholic Church has got to lead the way on this one.  Not only do they need to rally each other, they need to rally all of Christianity.  The laity must urge our cardinals and bishops to lead this fight as much as we possibly can because I hate to imagine the insanity that awaits our future grandchildren if we fail.

Do I Hear Cardinal Cordileone?

For those of you who don’t know, the American bishops got together last week in St. Louis for their Bishops’ Spring General Assembly.  Not too many news stories came out of it, but they provided a nice little hashtag where you can see what some of them have to say on Twitter: #usccb15.  As I read through some of the stuff that’s come out of it, I have to think that most of them, not all, are trying to put the cart before the horse.

In the meeting, they discussed things like racism a la Ferguson.  They discussed immigration reform.  They discussed protecting victims of clergy abuse.  They discussed making the poor their top priority.  They discussed the Pope’s environmental encyclical (although I can’t for the life of me figure out why Catholics can’t just wait for it to come out before there’s a discussion).  All the while the voice screaming in the back of my head is saying, “YOU JUST DON’T GET IT!!!“

How do you guys think you’re going to make headway in any of these areas when you can’t even get a good portion of your flocks to understand that Catholicism is not a nationality?  Your flocks like the nostalgia, but they simply don’t believe in it anymore!  The pews are empty!  You can’t even get them for an hour on Sunday to fulfill their Sunday obligation much less to follow other teachings of the Church.  When they do occasionally attend, you’re not even teaching them what a sacrilege it is to receive Our Lord without confession.  There’s no belief in the Real Presence.  Their whole focus in life is what makes them happy here and now, and they don’t give a thought to eternity. Take a look around!  This is where you need to start, gentlemen!  Of course, nobody is going to care about the poor, respect life, or respect their fellow human beings when they don’t even attend your churches except on Christmas and Easter.  As an organization, this is kind of your fault!

Rather than focusing on the goal of saving the world, you, first and foremost, need to start by saving the souls in the churches of your dioceses.  That’s really the only way you’re going to save the rest of the world.  If you think the 250 of you can achieve anything without way more of your flock than you have now, good luck. You need to stop talking about all these noble causes (and they are noble) because the reality is, they don’t care beyond their narcissistic selves.  They need to first understand that there is a God and an afterlife and it’s going to last a long time, along with about a thousand other things.  This is the only way we’re going to revive the army to really make a difference in the world.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule.  There are some parishes, dioceses, cardinals, bishops, priests, etc. that are Catholic bastions – not nearly enough but it’s looking brighter every day.  Some of the members of the USCCB are positively wonderful, and we’re starting to see more and more every week who are stepping up to explain what the heck Catholicism is.  They are explaining to their priests, their seminarians, and their flocks that eternal salvation depends on them actually being Catholic with a capital “C”.  They are no longer letting cafeteria Catholicism fly.

The latest joining in the chorus was Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa, OK.  His decision to disassociate from the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice for sponsoring a “gay pride” parade was right on the money, but what he said about it was so simple and yet oh so important!  What did he say that was so poignant?  He said, “I’m the bishop, and I have to be the bishop.”  I’m not entirely sure how that got missed for 30 years by, conservatively, at least half of our bishops, but I’m thrilled that this foreign logic seems to be catching on amongst our spiritual leaders – cardinals on down to priests.  It’s about time!  Maybe they missed it because they’ve spent so much time trying to accomplish what seems to be the loftier goals.  We need the basics now.  We need our bishops to be bishops, not superheroes.

This brings me around to my favorite – Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. While there seems to be a lot of platitudes and lofty goals coming out of the USCCB, Archbishop Cordileone is addressing a very real situation.  Who knows what the Supreme Court will do regarding marriage?  Regardless of their decision, we must make the Catholic decision, despite the fact that it’s going to come at some cost. The USCCB really needs to bring us around to authentic Catholicism and make us understand that there will be a price to pay for it.  We’ve been promised no less, right?  The Archbishop is a living example of what we have to look forward to when we choose Christ.  We’re going to be the targets of lies.  We’re going to be threatened.  We’re going to suffer verbal abuse.  It’s far less epic than hiding in the catacombs, but very painful nonetheless, especially because, in many cases, it’s going to come from some modern-day Judases who claim to be our Catholic brethren, and even our some of our bishops.

While some are petitioning the Holy Father for the removal of Archbishop Cordileone, I’d like to use this humble forum to ask that the Holy Father make Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone the first Cardinal of San Francisco!  Make no mistake, I do not wish Archbishop Cordileone to be whisked off to some lofty job in the Holy See.  The United States needs him right where he is to bolster his fellow cardinals and bishops for the long road ahead.  We’re being persecuted big-time here, dear Holy Father, and we need a man of courage to be elevated for his leadership and convictions, and all need to understand he is espousing the teachings of the Holy Catholic Church.  The Archbishop has done nothing more than to echo you.  Despite the spin, he has done it in a most humble and loving way.  While I might be inclined to say, “Off with their heads,” he has repeatedly gone back to his wayward flock and lovingly taught, taught, and taught some more.  Whenever I mention my wish for a Cardinal Cordileone, I am often told, “That will never happen.”  Well, Holy Father, you have made your pontificate about doing things out of the norm and a Cardinal Cordileone would be in keeping with your bold pontificate.  Please consider my humble request (yes I do realize I just asked the Holy Father to do something but you can’t get if you don’t ask) which I believe could save the Church in the United States from the wasteland of “Catholics in name only” that we’ve become I know I’m not even close to being alone in this request.  The faithful want, no, we NEED, that extra validation of someone so visibly willing to be crucified for Christ’s Church.  The rest of the laity could use that too.