Trump: Trying to Date the Preacher’s Daughter

When I wrote the piece on South Carolina (, I really expected to hear a lot of back and forth bantering on the virtues of Rubio vs. Cruz. What I’m seeing is people extolling the virtues of (or more like making half-hearted arguments for) Trump because they’re scared. It’s really shocking coming from Catholics or evangelicals. Please, Trumpies, take a moment and ask yourself which of these thing attract you most about Trump.

Do you support him because:

-he supported abortion, including partial birth abortion, until he decided to run for president, and in the last week, he’s extolled the virtue of Planned Parenthood? (You’d think “The Donald” would know what “fungible” money is. Here’s the thing. He does.)

-he’s built and owned adult entertainment businesses? (Maybe he’ll have his presidential portrait be with him and the Playboy Bunnies?)

-he’s on his third marriage and has said some just lovely things about how husbands should financially treat their wives? (Things he has learned as a philanderer?)

-he’s tried to evict an old lady to build a parking lot?

-his stance on “gay marriage”? (You’d be quite on target if you asked what in the heck that was.)

-his use of profanity? (Seriously, you are suggesting people vote for someone who willfully swears on camera. Explain that to your kids.)

-his profane suggestions about MANY different women? (Mommy, what’s “good on your knees” mean?)

-he’s stated he’s never asked God for forgiveness (that is until it affected his poll numbers)? (Can you say god-complex?)

– he said this: “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” (Can you say narcissistic personality disorder?)

-he said “I’m very capable of changing to anything I want to change to.” (And haven’t we seen that already?)

I was watching someone interviewed about Trump and he made THE most excellent verbal illustration about Trump. He said “He’s just trying to date the preacher’s daughter.” That nailed it better than all of the voluminous things said about Trump. Succinct. The really sad thing is that the “preachers” are totally and utterly falling for it. Wake up, Christians voting for Trump! You’re being taken. You look utterly ridiculous and YOU are ruining the country right now. Why? Because you are scared. This is where the rubber meets the road, Christians. You don’t ditch God in your vote because you are scared He isn’t electable. You fall for this EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Eight years and you’ve learned absolutely nothing. It’s either that or you’ve ditched the whole Christianity part of your civic duty. Are you compartmentalizing? “I’m Catholic/Christian here, but I just want to win over there”?

Can I just remind you Trumpies that there was a guy in the Bible who was told to kill his beloved child and he was going to follow through because it was God’s command and he trusted God? Really? And we can’t vote for a more morally decent candidate than Trump? TRUST IN GOD, people. He will give us what we need to win if we do so.


We Don’t Do Solidarity with Intrinsic Evils

Uh, Bishop McElroy, the 70s called and they’d like their stupid seamless garment theology back! Sigh. Fellow Catholics around the United States, the California faithful apologize:

Last time I checked, the Church at large has politics covered. I’ve got to laugh at Bishop McElroy’s use of self-aggrandizement. I mean, what was his point? Doesn’t seem you can get more self-aggrandizing than his piece. Does he really think he’s added something to the documents listed below? If you think about it, though, he really has added something when he worked the seamless garment theory into his own little “document” on the issue. The following documents are a better source for Church teaching on political issues, but first, check out the Cliffs Notes “Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics” from Catholic Answers:

Here are the rest of the documents that Bishop McElroy might have wanted to give a nod to but didn’t:

Bishop McElroy meanders through his really long piece in typical seamless garment fashion: lay out Catholic teaching, say how important it is, quote some non-binding comments from popes, and then add the final dash of trying to bring abortion, euthanasia and the rest of the non-negotiables down to the same plane as war, hunger and poverty, workers’ rights, etc. even though the Church has said time and again they are not. Sorry, Bishop, still an epic fail. And let’s talk about your Four Pillars. Are these the Four Pillars of the Catechism? Four Pillars of Dominican Life? No, not quite.

Let’s look at this section where Bishop McElroy sets up his “Four Pillars” of the big seamless garment circus tent:

The Four Pillars of Life

A far better guide to prioritizing the major elements of the political common good of the United States lies in the intriguing words Pope Francis used in outlining those elements for the bishops of the United States: “I encourage you, then, my brothers, to confront the challenging issues of our time. Ever present within them is life as gift and responsibility.”

Ummm, there really wasn’t a prioritized list from Pope Francis. It was a list of challenging things the Church has to deal with, and it certainly doesn’t mean that all of these challenges carry the same weight. As you can see from the various Church documents I posted, they most certainly do not. Now Bishop McElroy goes on to make his own list as if it’s the prioritized list of the Church:

At this moment there are four pre-eminent political issues facing the United States that touch upon life as gift and responsibility in a decisive way.

The first is abortion. The direct destruction of more than one million human lives every year constitutes a grievous wound upon our national soul and the common good. It touches upon the very core of our understanding of life as gift and responsibility. As Pope Francis wrote in “Laudato Si’,” “How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is unwanted and creates difficulties. ‘If personal and social sensitivity toward the acceptance of the new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away.”

He got this one right, but then he falls off course with the others until the end.

The second is poverty. In a world of incredible wealth, more than five million children die every year from hunger, poor sanitation and the lack of potable water. Millions more die from a lack of the most elementary medical care. In “The Joy of the Gospel,” Pope Francis wrote: “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills.” The United States is the most powerful economic actor in the world today, and even the most basic ethic of solidarity demands that it take dramatic steps to reform the international systems of trade, finance and development assistance in order to save lives in the poorest sections of the world. Moreover, inside the United States, the realities of exclusion and inequality created by poverty are growing, menacingly sapping the solidarity that is the foundation for our national identity and accentuating the fault lines of race and class. In the richest nation in human history, homeless people live on the streets, the seriously mentally ill are all too often left without effective care, and our prisons overflow with young men who are disproportionately poor and of color. 

A third pre-eminent issue centering upon life as gift and responsibility is care of the earth, our common home. The progressive degradation of the global environment has created increased poverty and death among many of the poorest peoples on earth. Each year thousands of species are destroyed, lost forever to our children and to the earth’s future. Most chillingly of all, science has clearly established the existence of dramatic climate change produced by human action, a peril that threatens the very future of human existence. Pope Francis underscored the urgency of global action saying: “Every year the problems are getting worse. We are at the limits. If I may use a strong word, I would say that we are at the limits of suicide.

The final pre-eminent question at stake in the political common good of the United States today is assisted suicide. For at its core, assisted suicide is the bridgehead of a movement to reject the foundational understanding of life as gift and responsibility when confronting end-of-life issues. In 2015 the state legislature of California passed a bill legalizing assisted suicide but would not fund palliative care for the state’s suffering poor at the end of their lives. Such is the “false sense of compassion” that Pope Francis has described as lying at the heart of the movement to spread assisted suicide. As with abortion, this movement corrodes society’s responsibility to secure the health of its members as an integral component of the common good.

The underlying assault upon the notion of life as gift and responsibility embodied in these four issues marks them as the four central pillars of life for the election of 2016. Each of them reflects the “throwaway culture” that Pope Francis has identified as a central cancer of our modern world. The unborn child, the poor, the sick and the elderly are all disposable; even the very planet that is vital for the continuation of human life itself has become disposable.

I have little doubt the seamless garment crowd is doing some cheerleading. That said, here’s where he goes wrong. There are really five pillars of life and they go like this: abortion, euthanasia, human cloning, stem cell research, and the sanctity of marriage. How can Bishop McElroy fathom leaving even one of these off the list? Without getting square on these five issues, we can kiss the fight against poverty, against human trafficking, for workers’ rights, etc., goodbye. This is why, first and foremost, we must fight against these “non-negotiables.” Then, just maybe, God will restore humanity’s respect for the human person, and we can clean up the mess left in the wake of the basic lack of respect for life and the destruction of the family. This is something the seamless garment crew just doesn’t seem to get, or maybe they just don’t want to because they have a little trouble swallowing some of them.

Now I’m going to go all “McElroy” and meander around a little aimlessly on my commenting because this part really annoyed me and I thought it best to highlight it at the end:

A Spiritual Conversion to Solidarity

Such a conversion requires deep self-scrutiny and reflection. It demands a rejection of the tribal element of politics that sees voting as the opportunity to advance the well-being of our race, our class, our religious community at the expense of others. It entails a purging of the inherent human tendency to allow anger and wedge issues to infect our voting choices. A spiritual conversion among voters demands that we reject the increasing habit in our political culture of attributing all differences of opinion to ignorance or dishonesty. And such a spiritual conversion prohibits us from framing political choice in the United States as essentially a competition between two partisan teams, one good and one bad, with all the visceral enjoyment that such a competition brings.

Most important, a spiritual political conversion requires the orientation of soul that flows from the principle of solidarity that St. John Paul II powerfully outlined as a fundamental element of Catholic social teaching. This orientation reminds us that in society we must always understand ourselves to be bound together in God’s grace and committed, in the words of “On Social Concerns,” “to the good of one’s neighbor, with the readiness, in the Gospel sense, to lose oneself for the sake of the other rather than exploiting him.”

The implications of such a spiritual stance for discipleship in voting are clearly reflected in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: “The principle of solidarity requires that men and women of our day cultivate a greater awareness that they are debtors of the society of which they have become a part.”

What does Bishop McElroy’s take on “Solidarity” equal, you may ask?  It’s a big heaping plate of moral relativism. It takes the Church teachings on solidarity and twists them to try and muzzle our cries against evil. That’s actually quite the opposite of Church teaching.  We should get angry and we should fight against anything that injures justice because, as Pope Paul VI said, “if you want peace, work for justice.” We should not engage in moral relativism in the political process. Wedge issues, Bishop McElroy?! It doesn’t get more liberal speak than that.  Like what?  Abortion?  Euthanasia?  “Gay Marriage?”  They are called intrinsic evils and they are grave injustices, Your Excellency. We are called to fight them to the best of ability. We are to have solidarity with the Church and her doctrines because this is where justice and peace can be found. We are not to have solidarity with intrinsic evils for the sake of getting along.  There is right and wrong.  There is good and evil. And, yes, there is one good team and one bad team, although they are not necessarily segregated by political party. We don’t need anyone to tell us that with a condescending pat on the head.



2015 Fishwrap of the Year

Good Christians, fear, for sinners here…except at NcR, apparently.  Sin and sinners fell off their radar a long time ago.

Well, vacation is over. We’re still enjoying the last of Christmas, but it’s back to work. I’m always hoping for a good old-fashioned Christmas miracle, but on the Feast of the Holy Innocents, I sadly saw that National catholic Reporter is still operating in its “anything but Catholic” way. This little piece caught my eye a few days back, but it’s as nauseating as ever:

Editorial: Our persons of the year for 2015

As we live through them, it is often difficult to recognize truly important, history-changing events, events that will touch future generations intimately and profoundly. Very likely, though, the U.S. Supreme Court decision of June 26, 2015, in the Obergefell v. Hodges case, which found same-sex marriage a constitutional right, is one of those events.

“The nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality. This is true for all persons, whatever their sexual orientation,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the 5-4 majority.

Catholic moral theologian Lisa Fullam was struck by “how strongly” the four principles and traditions the court cited as the foundation for its decision “echo Catholic doctrine on marriage.”

As the church formulates a response to this new reality, she suggested, “a good first step for Church leaders would be to applaud the Court’s decision in light of its overlap with Catholic values … and take note of the powerful spirit of love and commitment vivifying lesbian and gay marriages as well as straight marriages.”

Bahahahaha! It’s not surprising they found some “moral theologian” who agreed with their position under a Jesuit rock at Santa Clara. She, of course, is not unknown in these parts. The bats have not been totally cleared from the belfry around here. Not only is she a little sketchy on the “Catholic doctrine on marriage,” she’s also a little sketchy on history. It’s hardly a “new reality”. It’s older than Sodom and Gomorrah. The only difference now is that some “inside” the Church are now suggesting we embrace a court decision as some sort of mission for Catholics, because there might be an “and”, “but”, or an “or” that it has in common with a Church document.  Yeah, the court ruling and Church doctrine are twinsies.

I do give Ms. Fullam kudos for using “vivifying”, though. Fun word. Must be that Jesuit edjamacation. That said, sin doesn’t animate or bring alive anything. It does just the opposite. We don’t live in a Tim Burton world where the evil and the distorted are life-giving. We really need to start reading the classics again, people. Playing God and creating Frankenstein’s monster is contrary to life and beauty, and it never ends well. We need to stop trying to put a shiny new coat of paint on an old sin and calling it “new and wonderful,” and now, “just.” And, who in the heck is Ms. Fullam to tell the Church who She should applaud, anyway? I’m sure she’d have the Church applaud Nancy Pelosi for all her fine, Catholic missionary work!

The divided court, though, reflects divides in the nation. The day of the decision, NCR reported that the political and religious response ran the gamut from despair and anger to jubilation.

“Today, love prevailed and our nation became a more perfect union,” wrote Sarah Kate Ellis, president of the gay and lesbian anti-defamation group GLAAD. “#LoveWins,” President Barack Obama tweeted.

Well, silly me! If Barack Obama tweeted… Sigh! Clearly, the National catholic Reporter haven’t grasped that popularity is irrelevant to Truth. It hardly represents the mind of the Church, nor does it vivify God. That’s really what the NcR ilk hope to achieve, though, in their own distorted way. They hope to animate God and the Church like their very own personal puppet. I hate to tell you, but salvation doesn’t work that way.

The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., called the decision “a tragic error.” Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo, N.Y., declared himself “bitterly disappointed.”

The court’s decision did not surprise Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, he said. “The surprise will come,” Chaput continued, “as ordinary people begin to experience, firsthand and painfully, the impact of today’s action on everything they thought they knew about marriage, family life, our laws and our social institutions.

These are the gentlemen who hold to the mind of the Church. They speak the timeless Truth on marriage, unafraid of the consequences of doing so. Instead, they worry about the consequences of NOT speaking out. They’re the ones who really, truly care about all of the souls in their care and seeing each and every one of them gain heaven.

Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA, on the other hand, celebrated “the increase in justice that this ruling ushers in” and noted that Catholics were at the forefront of the marriage equality movement. “Our commitment to the values of love, inclusion, family, and justice have inspired millions of Catholics — both straight and LGBT. … It is wonderful to see the true values of our faith and our country affirmed today.”

Whoa, whoa, whoa!  Wrong on both counts Marianne.  Our Faith did not affirm “gay marriage,” nor did our country.  Five Supreme Court justices blew that one.  And justice? Let’s talk a bit about this. It’s clear that people like Duddy-Burke and the crew at NcR can’t really tell the difference from what the Church says about things and what their own crazy little world says. Let’s take a gander at what the Church actually says about justice:

Justice is here taken in its ordinary and proper sense to signify the most important of the cardinal virtues. It is a moral quality or habit which perfects the will and inclines it to render to each and to all what belongs to them. Of the other cardinal virtues, prudence perfects the intellect and inclines the prudent man to act in all things according to right reason. Fortitude controls the irascible passions; and temperance moderates the appetites according as reason dictates. While fortitude and temperance are self-regarding virtues, justice has reference to others. Together with charity it regulates man’s intercourse with his fellow men. But charity leads us to help our neighbour in his need out of our own stores, while justice teaches us to give to another what belongs to him.

What belongs to us and why, you may ask?

Because man is a person, a free and intelligent being, created in the image of God, he has a dignity and a worth vastly superior to the material and animal world by which he is surrounded. Man can know, love, and worship his Creator; he was made for that end, which he can only attain perfectly in the future, immortal, and never-ending life to which he is destined. God gave him his faculties and his liberty in order that he might freely work for the accomplishment of his destiny. He is in duty bound to strive to fulfil the designs of his Creator, he must exercise his faculties and conduct his life according to the intentions of his Lord and Master. Because he is under these obligations he is consequently invested with rights, God-given and primordial, antecedent to the State and independent of it. Such are man’s natural rights, granted to him by nature herself, sacred, as is their origin, and inviolable. Beside these he may have other rights given him by Church or State, or acquired by his own industry and exertion. All these rights, whatever be their source, are the object of the virtue of justice. Justice requires that all persons should be left in the free enjoyment of all their rights.

The end of justice is not to simply have our desires met. Justice is supposed to help us reach our destiny of everlasting life. Everlasting life is something most often forgotten by Fullam and buddies.

<snipping most of the rest of this typical NcR article>

The question remains whether these days will be painful as Chaput suggests or, as Arthur Fitzmaurice, resource director for the Catholic Association for Lesbian and Gay Ministry, told NCR June 26, “a chance for us to step away from the charged political debate to a pastoral dialogue on what it means to be LGBT and Catholic.”

I’m reasonably sure the pastoral dialogue began a long time ago, Mr. Fitzmaurice. It might be a bit helpful if you took your fingers out of your ears and stopped stomping your feet long enough to hear your pastors. Heck, how about your fellow Catholics do the same? Here is someone else you’ve failed to minister to:   All should read, read, READ this one!  Please, show me something David Prosen says that doesn’t resemble justice in the eyes of the Church, then compare him with the “persons of the year.” How does their cause resemble justice?

<snipping a ton more>

NCR is already on record advocating for church personnel policies that ensure that employees can enter into legal, civil marriages without fear of losing their jobs.

NcR is kind of on record telling the Church to get over Herself and just let people jump on the expressway straight to spiritual death, but whatever.

Today, we address a more fundamental issue: How will we as a church live with our gay, lesbian and transgender brothers and sisters? We are past the time of “love the sinner” platitudes.

Sin, it’s so passe’.

<snipping the Cupich suck up and shaming of anyone who does not believe “gay marriage” to be a civil right and who refuse to jump on that bandwagon>

Bourke and DeLeon are emblematic of this major challenge facing the church today, because they force us to ask not how will we live out a hypothetical situation, but how will we live with Greg and Michael. They give flesh to an abstraction.

And here’s the usual “faithful Catholics don’t know a single soul who lives with a homosexual inclination” tripe. Yawn. I have to wonder where they think we live? Do they think we live in our houses with our curtains drawn and crocodiles in the moat surrounding it?

How will we live with Greg and Michael?  The same way we live with our friends, family, co-workers, etc.  We LOVE them.  We love them so much that their everlasting life is our priority.

The answers the church is giving now are confused, uneven and often cruel. Greg and Michael — and countless gay, lesbian and transgender Catholics — deserve better.

Oh, my! It’s rare, but I totally and utterly agree with this comment. Of course, for confusion and cruelty to cease, NcR’s superstar seamless garment crew would need to shut the heck up, and we all know that’s not likely to happen anytime soon. So, instead of wishing on those stars, I will wish that the Kurtzes, Cordileones, Paprockis, Chaputs, etc., start speaking even more loudly and lovingly, develop many different programs to reach those individuals and families who are suffering, and continue to love them!

For their historic roles as plaintiffs in Obergefell v. Hodges and for their faithful public witness as gay Catholics, we name Greg Bourke and Michael DeLeon NCR’s persons of the year for 2015.

And this, my friends, is why the National catholic Reporter will probably continue to earn the Fishwrap of the Year award in perpetuity.

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:

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” ( (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:

“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: 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

The Slowly Boiled Frog

Ran across this one today (

The Catholic Church is unlikely to ever accept that LGBT means anything other than behavior. The Church is possibly the world’s largest closet. There are thousands of men at all levels of the Church – with undeveloped sexuality – who might turn out to be gay in far greater percentages than the general population. Acceptance of sexual orientation could cause the entire medieval structure, along with the monarchy, to crumble.

So dramatic and Shakespearian! I do love the title, “The Slowly Boiled Frog,” though, but I’ve never seen it used by a liberal. Usually it’s a conservative analogy. Anyone not know it? It goes like this. A frog dropped in a pot of boiling water will jump out of the pot to save his own life. If the frog is put into cool water and slowly brought to a boil, he will remain there until he is cooked through. Now, a conservative will usually say that’s how we got into this mess. The liberals just slowly increased the liberalism, all the while saying, “What? The water is just fine! No temperature adjustments here.” I’m not really sure what kind of analogy a liberal would make of it, but I’m hoping society can provide them one in the next 20 years or so! It’s more likely the title is poking fun at all the “conservative” frogs in the world who have been boiled.

It’s really rather simple. The Church is looking for men who want to be good Catholic priests. They are not looking for men who want to be good Catholic Gay priests. It’s the same with the laity. They want people to be faithful Catholics. They don’t want people looking for some sort of label. Once you start adding the millions of adjectives to your Catholicity, you haven’t really added anything. You’ve just taken away from the heart of the Faith.

A long, long time ago (and many bishops back), there was a luncheon meeting held in our diocese for “gay priests”. Now, of course, if you bleed Catholic, this is going to pique your curiosity, so some of the “not so gay priests” also attended. We heard from an attendee that a ways into the chatting, one such priest finally could not take it anymore and asked, “Why is it that you want to be known as a ’gay‘ priest and not simply a faithful priest?” There was a little bit of trouble answering that one, because the faithful priest completely hit the nail square on the head.

As the Washington Post reports:

LGBT groups planning events in Philadelphia around a massive Catholic family gathering there next month – which Pope Francis will attend – say the parish hosting them has reneged after a conversation with local Catholic officials.

The news Tuesday follows the announcement by Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput that people advocating for gay equality would not be given a platform at the World Meeting of Families, a once-every-three-years global meeting about family issues in the church.

This was particularly striking to me:

Among them was Fortunate Families, a group for Catholic parents seeking equality for their LGBT children. Its president, Deb Word, and her husband run a safe house for LGBT youth in Memphis.

The World Meeting’s director of programming, Mary Beth Yount, told Word that the group couldn’t advertise at the event because it isn’t welcoming of parents who disapprove of their children’s same-sex behavior

Well, I’m reasonably sure that’s not the whole reason, Mary Beth. The whole fiasco pretty much flies in the face of Catholic teaching from start to finish. You are quite correct, this wouldn’t be an event for those trying to be faithful to the teachings of the Church. This would be a gathering for people who want the Church to approve of whatever it is they want. You can find the flyer on my last post:

Again, the Church does treat us all equally. We are free to live according to the Faith, and we are free to stray from it, but the latter isn’t going to be sanctioned, rubber stamped, and approved by the Catholic Church. It’s pretty simple: we’re all held to this, no matter what adjective we want to attach to ourselves.

That pretty much sums it up. Gay people require the approval of people who think that homosexuality is a behavior of choice or, in the alternative, that they must make a decision to be celibate for life.  I guess that they can choose to be neurotic priests.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and just guess Mr. Hart is not even Catholic. At least he’s not trying to add qualifications to his Catholicity that I could see anywhere. That’s our first clue, because you’d usually see something like “Gay Catholic Blogger” or “Progressive Catholic Thinker”, etc.

So, let me explain it to you, David: Catholics are expected to live according to the Catholic Faith. It has nothing to do with “neurotic priests” and everything to do with living according to God’s laws. It applies to every last one of us, no matter our temptations or proclivities.

Admittedly I think that it’s all rather silly. It amazes me that intelligent, well educated people buy into all of this. What really astonishes me, though, is that LGBT Catholics keep asking for the Church’s approval — something that they will never get. Do people think that it is some odd coincidence that one of the Church’s most most anti-gay bishops – Cordileone – is the archbishop of San Francisco, perhaps the nation’s gayest city? You just have to read the messages to know where LGBT people stand.

Eureka, Mr. Hart!!! We do agree on something! Of course, I don’t think the Faith silly, but I totally think it’s astonishing that after 2,000 years, one group or another still thinks it can mold the Church around their sins. It’s not the first time it’s happened and it will not be the last.

You seem to be a man who sees things for what they are. I don’t expect you to understand or embrace the Catholic Faith, but I’m kind of sad to see that you would call Archbishop Cordileone “anti-gay”. Your missive seems far more reasonable than that, although from someone who’s probably not in the flock. I can tell you that the Archbishop has nothing but a profound love for ALL of those in his care – no matter the adjective. I think that’s what pains him the most. He truly cares about souls. He just takes the hate and keeps on loving. Do you think it just might be possible that the Archbishop really has the best interest of the souls of ALL his flock in mind? Just the smallest possibility? Surely you would agree that just because you disagree with someone doesn’t mean that you are “anti” them, right? I mean, if you read the documents put out on the issue, one can hardly say the Church is “anti” anyone.

Instead, I suggest that anyone who thinks the mean ‘ol Church doesn’t care read one of the documents on the subject. Here’s one to ease you into it:

As has been pointed out elsewhere, it’s “zero hour” for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. No more extensions are expected in the school contract drama. Please pray that the Holy Spirit guides all those involved, and that He hits those that need it upside the head with a two-by-four.

UPDATE AFTER POSTING: Contract signed!  Deo gratias!

NcR in the “Crucify Him!” Crowd? They Were the Majority, After All!

NcR (National catholic Reporter, Not Catholic Reporter, National catholic Fishwrap, National Catholic Distorter – the nickname list keeps growing) knows the end is near for the “big fight” they’ve had going on in their minds over who the Catholic Church must or mustn’t fire. Sorry NcR, you lose. You still don’t get to dictate to the Church, the Supreme Court, or any of the other entities you megalomaniacs would like to.

Here’s another stab by Jamie Manson (

Catholic schools must refuse to fire LGBT employees

Jamie L. Manson  |  Jul. 29, 2015 Grace on the Margins

First comment? Jamie how about you just retitle your column to “How Far Can I Go Past the Margins Before I Admit I’ve Joined the Heretics?” There’s no “Grace” involved. There’s just you, acting like a petulant teenager, pushing the limits of obedience.

It’s beginning to feel like every week brings a new story about the firing of an LGBT employee from a Catholic institution.

Really? Every week? Can you say “exaggeration?” I realize that you might think that ALL teachers fired suffer from same-sex attraction, but you might be confusing the reasons some were fired. You can Google (or use some much less offensive search engine), but I think you might have a bit of trouble finding those weekly stories.

The most recent well-publicized termination happened earlier this month at Waldron Mercy Academy in Philadelphia. The school declined to renew the contract of Margie Winters, the school’s director of religious studies, when it came to light that she is in a same-sex marriage.

Winters, who has been with the school for eight years, says her administrators were well aware that she was married to a woman. It wasn’t until two parents complained to the Philadelphia archdiocese that she was terminated.

Well, thanks for something I hadn’t even noticed before: she was the school’s director of religious studies??? The school’s director of religious studies who was publicly committing a mortal sin with no intent to stop?!? She was so astute in her knowledge of religious studies that she didn’t notice that little part in the Catholic Catechism where it says that homosexual acts are gravely evil?? Winner!

Now, in Margie’s defense, she shouldn’t have been hired in the first place. That said, Jamie Manson seems to be neglecting to tell you the fact that the principal told her to make sure that her private life didn’t become public. Apparently Margie managed to do that for quite a while until two parents found out and rightfully complained that it might not be too consistent with the Catholic education for which they were paying!!! Those mean old parents! Imagine their nerve, expecting the Catholic Faith to not be contradicted by example in said Catholic school.

In the wake of Winters’ firing, many commentators have suggested that bishops and Catholic institutions need to show greater mercy and compassion in dealing with its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

How about mercy for the souls of the children who are being harmed by other peoples’ lifestyle choices and those who are simultaneously being denied authentic Catholic teaching? Heaven forbid we think about them! Let’s just focus on those who would like to contradict the Catholic identity of the schools at which they teach.

Waldron Mercy did show sensitivity and acceptance of their lesbian employee. They kept Winters on staff and valued her contributions to the students and the school community.

Again, Ms. Manson, let’s just admit the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy they had in place worked until Ms. Winters simply didn’t abide by it. Don’t act like it was a sudden about-face on the part of the school. Ms. Winters freely admits she was told not to let her relationship become public with the students and parents.  This has been reported in other publications but, not so surprisingly, not by NcR.  (

But once the complaint was made to the archdiocese, Waldron Mercy, like most Catholic institutions caught in a similar dilemma, felt forced to terminate their employee.

Like I said, she should have never been hired in the first place, since it was such a conflict of interest.  Parents were inevitably going to find out and be upset.

Winters’ story sheds light on an important and overlooked truth: Even a Catholic institution that strives to be inclusive and nurturing can’t protect an LGBT employee. As long as Roman Catholic doctrine teaches that same-sex relationships are sinful and a violation of God’s plan for humanity, LGBT employees will not be safe in their jobs in Catholic institutions.

Uh, right. You don’t get to advertise for Pepsi when you work for Coke. How many times have you heard that people teach by example? All the time, unless it has to do with some liberal cause. Then, of course, you’re not to watch what they are doing. You are just supposed to embrace it because they’re not actually teaching.

Nevertheless, it is important to examine why Waldron Mercy’s administrators may have felt compelled to fire Winters.

At this point, I just have to ask why every sentence of “Grace on the Margins” is its own paragraph. I mean, I’m far from a grammar snob, but this is just ridiculous! Sorry, just the homeschool mom in me. You know that it’s bad when I actually notice it, despite my lack of a master’s from Yale.

The possible answer can be gleaned from a letter sent to parents by the school’s principal, Nell Stetser. According to Philadelphia magazine, Stetser praised Winters’ contribution to the school but explained, “As WMA’s principal, however, my duty is to protect our school’s future. In the Mercy spirit, many of us accept life choices that contradict current Church teachings, but to continue as a Catholic school, Waldron Mercy must comply with those teachings.

Near the conclusion of the letter, Stetser writes, “I realize some disagree with my decision. I believe, however, I have acted in the best interest of the Waldron Mercy community and preserved our heritage as a Catholic school. We are not alone in this plight.”

While not saying it explicitly, Stetser’s letter strongly suggests that a serious threat was looming over Waldron Mercy if they refused to fire Winters. Though few Catholic schools will go public about it, the truth is that many of them are forced to fire LGBT employees because the presiding bishop threatens to revoke their canonical status.

“I have no fact regarding any threats, but I’m going to say that it looks like the mean old patriarchy made them do it.” Really, Ms. Manson? Your lack of Catholicism and integrity is showing.   Personally, I would find it very nice if the Catholic identity of every Catholic school dissenting against Church teaching were threatened (*cough* Georgetown *cough*), but more likely the diocese pointed out that it was contradictory, and the school accepted that advice.

According to Canon 803 §3, “No school is to bear the name Catholic school without the consent of competent ecclesiastical authority.” That “competent ecclesiastical authority” is the bishop who presides over the diocese in which the school is located, even if a religious community sponsors the school.

Oh, for heaven’s sake! If you’re going to quote Canon Law, let’s really quote it, shall we? You quoted the part that fits your conspiracy theory but conveniently left out the bishop’s DUTY in the matter. Let me enlighten you:

Can. 804 §1. The Catholic religious instruction and education which are imparted in any schools whatsoever or are provided through the various instruments of social communication are subject to the authority of the Church. It is for the conference of bishops to issue general norms about this field of action and for the diocesan bishop to regulate and watch over it.

  • 2. The local ordinary is to be concerned that those who are designated teachers of religious instruction in schools, even in non-Catholic ones, are outstanding in correct doctrine, the witness of a Christian life, and teaching skill.

Can. 805 For his own diocese, the local ordinary has the right to appoint or approve teachers of religion and even to remove them or demand that they be removed if a reason of religion or morals requires it.

Ms. Manson then goes on to try to pull at the faithful’s heartstrings:

A loss of canonical status would, of course, have financial repercussions, such as the loss of funding or even the loss of the school’s property. Even more tragically, it has sacramental consequences. It is unlikely that the Eucharist or the sacrament of reconciliation could be celebrated at the school, for example.

Bahahaha! Do you really expect us to believe that you are worried about the Eucharist or the Sacrament of Reconciliation??? That is rich! If you were truly worried about that, wouldn’t you also be worried about the soul of Margie Winters and the children who are confused by her public witness of dissent? Let’s be a little honest. The only sin that exists for you is when Catholics uphold the teachings of the Church.   I really don’t think confession is high on your priority list. You’d actually have to believe in sin. You should have stuck with the money angle. Now that’s believable.

It is unclear what role Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput had in the termination of Margie Winters and whether he, in fact, threatened to revoke Waldron Mercy’s canonical status. In media statements, the archdiocese denied it had any involvement with the firing, but a statement Chaput released praised the school for the action and does suggest that the school’s canonical status may have been in jeopardy.

“Schools describing themselves as Catholic take on the responsibility of teaching and witnessing the Catholic faith in a manner true to Catholic belief,” Chaput wrote.

“I’m very grateful to the Religious Sisters of Mercy and to the principal and board members of Waldron Mercy for taking the steps to ensure that the Catholic faith is presented in a way fully in accord with the teaching of the Church,” Chaput continued. “They’ve shown character and common sense at a moment when both seem to be uncommon.”

Thanks for clarifying, again, that you have no factual evidence for your suppositions. Also, “Boo!” for parsing of Archbishop Chaput.   Here’s the whole thing. Not sure why you chose to leave stuff out and rearrange a bit, but I do have some ideas! (Emphasis on what NcR chose to leave out is all mine! Anyone surprised the “honesty” part was ditched?)

Schools describing themselves as Catholic take on the responsibility of teaching and witnessing the Catholic faith in a manner true to Catholic belief. There’s nothing complicated or controversial in this. It’s a simple matter of honesty.

I’m very grateful to the Religious Sisters of Mercy and to the principal and board members of Waldron Mercy for taking the steps to ensure that the Catholic faith is presented in a way fully in accord with the teaching of the Church. They’ve shown character and common sense at a moment when both seem to be uncommon.

Ms. Manson could have saved us all a lot of time and summed it all up in this next sentence instead of repeating it over and over with conjecture tossed into the mix.

We don’t know what role the archdiocese actually played in this specific case;

Yes, you’ve already mentioned the fact you don’t have a clue.

however, as anyone who’s worked in the church knows, the views and priorities of a bishop or archbishop who is a strong leader, which Chaput certainly is, are well known within his administration. In his post-action statement, Chaput makes clear his thoughts on these types of cases in general: “There’s nothing complicated or controversial in this.”

Post-action statement? They just can’t help but imply, can they?

If a school feels forced to choose between terminating a person’s career and forfeiting its Catholic identity, which the principal’s statement seems to say, that would be an especially menacing form of bullying.

Jamie – can you please provide me a list of schools who’ve had to forfeit their Catholic identity under Archbishop Chaput? I mean, it happens all the time, right? You folks over there at NcR seem to enjoy whipping up hysteria.

Darker still is the irony that a Catholic school would have to prove its identity by destroying an LGBT employee’s livelihood.

Darker still? If you were my teenager, my husband would be telling you to drop the drama just about now. Yes, we get it. You don’t want schools to follow Canon Law nor do you want them to have a Catholic identity. You just want them to be expensive secular schools full of little elitists like yourself. Gotcha!

So what can be done in the face of so much injustice?

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” No amount of mercy or increased sensitivity will defeat the injustice and indignity of the church’s teachings on LGBT people and same-sex relationships. Only a change in doctrine will protect the jobs of LGBT employees.

Oh, no, she didn’t! To my black friends, I apologize on behalf of this liberal idiot for invoking MLK to support the LGBT movement. I’m reasonably sure she just offended at least half of the King family. She also might want to “Google” Alveda and Bernice King before she even remotely suggests that MLK’s struggles and the struggles of the LGBT club are on the same planet. Please feel free to email her your thoughts at

Next, Jamie, you might want to read up on Charles Lwanga. I’m sure he’s not so popular over there at NcR, either.

Finally, Doctrine = Truth! How is it that you write for a publication with “Catholic” in its name and don’t understand that TRUTH DOES NOT CHANGE! I mean, this is Catholicism 101!

It is time for us to encourage school leaders, both religious and lay, to refuse to comply with demands that they fire LGBT employees.

Where are the demands that LGBT employees be fired? Like we’ve all said ad nauseam, we don’t want to know your sins. Don’t make them public (as Margie Winters didn’t do for 8 years) and you’d have no reason to be fired.

Many Catholic schools were founded by women religious. The sisters have a remarkable history of protesting nuclear weapons, racial injustice, income inequality, prison conditions, human trafficking, the death penalty and environmental degradation.

Perhaps she missed the lovely sisters at Marin Catholic High School walking out as LGBT literature was being handed out. Now, those ladies are awesome! Hope we get more of them!

With such a legacy behind them, why would Catholic schools willingly participate in the radical injustice of terminating the vocations of its devoted LGBT employees and subject them to such financial instability and deep humiliation?

Wait! First she brings up MLK, and now she’s comparing women religious with “married” lesbian teachers? Somebody might want to teach her what “similar” means.

Most Catholic schools seem to have a clear advantage over the bishops. The laity has far more respect for women religious than they do for the hierarchy. The majority of Catholics in the United States strongly support the rights of LGBT people. And more than enough Catholic theologians and ethicists have argued cogently for the full inclusion and equality of LGBT people in the church.

Uh, where do women religious come into it? Are you under the impression Margie Winters is a woman religious? This is coming out of nowhere. Also, your “more than enough” line of thinking really shows your lack of Catholic knowledge again. “More than enough” people argued that killing Christ was a good thing. I suppose you’d have been right there with the crowd yelling, “Crucify Him!” Again, Truth is Truth! It doesn’t change by popular vote.

Why, then, not call the bishops’ bluffs? Imagine the pushback and negative press a bishop would get if he stripped a Catholic school of its identity for refusing to fire an LGBT employee. Imagine the momentum that could be built and the empowering precedent it could set for other schools facing the same turmoil.

What bluff??? Do you actually think the Church should be swayed by “negative press”? Of course you do! That’s why you and the rest of the NcR ilk are trying so darn hard. You are so full of yourselves! You seem to think that you are going to collapse 2,000 years of Catholicism with “negative press.” Move along!

Yes, the risks of disobeying a bishop are serious, but unless we as a community of women religious, Catholic school board members and administrators, parents and students, and progressive Catholics join together to say “no more” to these unjust doctrines and degrading firings, substantive change will not happen.

Are you a card-carrying member of “Stop Patriarchy?” You’ve quite glaringly excluded those pesky priests. Also, seriously, how do you study Catholic theology at Yale and be so woefully ignorant? (That was rhetorical!)

Yes, Jamie, disobedience to a bishop is serious stuff.  It’s also serious stuff to encourage others to disobey.  The penalty goes far beyond loss of Catholic identity but it doesn’t seem you comprehend anything of the spiritual sort.

For the sake of the integrity of our church and the future of Catholic education, it is time to defy the threats and bullying, have the courage of our convictions, and refuse to perpetuate this injustice inside the walls of our Catholic schools.

For the sake of integrity??? You packed away your integrity a long time ago, Jamie. How about, for the sake of integrity, you admit that you don’t have a clue about the teachings of the Church that you are trying to subvert on a daily basis? The only bully here is you and your pals who think you should be able to walk in the doors of a Catholic school and have everything spin around your whims instead of Canon Law and Catholic Tradition.

Magic Queer Powers!

Hoo boy! I just couldn’t let the week go by without commenting on a letter from the now former Sacred Heart Cathedral teacher, Abi Basch ( While reading it, my first thought is, “Yeah, none of these teachers have an agenda and all just want to uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church.” (I almost typed all that with a straight face!) Basch is the epitome of what’s wrong in the SF Archdiocesan Schools right now. I actually applaud her for being honest, for once, although she simply should have left because her ideologies clash with the teachings of the school she is supposed to represent. She clearly made no effort to teach her students about the Catholic Church, nor, as you can see from Hugh’s letter found at the link above, did she make an effort to correct his misconceptions of Church teachings.

From Basch’s letter:

Yes it’s true — I am leaving SHC and moving to Los Angeles to teach at the Buckley School.

(By the way, Basch is also the person who registered the infamous domain name. Hon, since you are leaving, can I have it now so I can put it out of its misery?)

Also true — I am doing it in large part because I do not want to work without state and federal workplace discrimination protections that most Californians enjoy. And another truth — I AM LGBT. Now that I do not work for Archbishop Cordileone, I can say to my students, their families, my colleagues — without fear of losing my job: I am not only your ally. I understand your magic queer powers and the dangers you face when others fear their might — because I have them too.

Look out for those magic queer powers, people! This kind of bizarre quote is one reason people like me are opposed to teachers like her. No, we don’t want the phrase “magic queer powers” used in the classroom by our social studies teachers. Does somebody really think there’s a problem with that objection? I mean, really, this is one of the voices of a supposed movement and we get, “They’re scared of our magic queer powers!” It’s just, well, sad.

 Hugh Mac Neill — you wrote me such a beautiful open letter for the #teachacceptance Phil Ting hearing yesterday — thank you for letting me post it here. (Everyone read it! You will cry, I promise.)

Oh, you’ll cry alright. Not a single word about the Faith except to misquote it. No mention of God. The only person ever on a cross to this young man is Miss Basch.

I am so proud of you for being who you are and standing up for justice. I am moved by all of my students and colleagues, the parents (!!!) and gay and civil rights activists that have rallied around the #teachacceptance cause. I have learned boundless amounts from you. You have taught me about integrity and strength, and made me a better, fiercer, more compassionate human.

Lady, you just used the term “magic queer powers”. If that’s fierce and compassionate, you’ve missed some part of history in your “social studies” education.

I am grateful to SHC for the many ways it has tried to protect its LGBT population, even in the face of pressures from the Arch. And I am very much looking forward to being at Buckley, where my sexual orientation and experience fighting for social justice have been not only welcomed but celebrated. My love and support will continue with all of you.

Give me a break! You’ve all been whipped into a frenzy, but you are the one who has created pressures. Clearly, you just wanted to bring your “cause” into the classroom of a school which was established by a Church innately opposed to your efforts because she cares about souls. Not quite sure if you believe in souls and an eternal afterlife, Miss Basch, but your employer does. So, please, toddle off to corrupt young souls elsewhere with your lack of knowledge or conviction of the Catholic Faith, just don’t do it in a Catholic school. That has been the point all along. If you have an agenda, go to a place that welcomes it. Don’t expect to rail against an employer and have that employer give you the thumbs up!

You had a perfect “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in place, Miss Basch, but that’s not what you wanted. You wanted to openly undermine the teachings of the employer for whom you worked. I suppose this isn’t totally your fault. You and your ilk got away with it for so long because nobody ever seemed to care quite enough about the eternal souls of the children in the diocese. Clearly, Archbishop Cordileone does because he’s willing to go through hell to ensure these students are going to receive the One True Faith instead of the watered down version they’ve clearly been receiving up until now. Thank you, Archbishop Cordileone, for leading our Church through these difficult times.