Liberal Spinners & Bishop McElroy

 I’m not so sure why the liberal spinners are doing what they do. They won the battle. Why are they all still spinning so incredibly hard? It’s looking a little manic at this point.

Lamb, Ivereigh, Faggioli and the rest of the lapdogs are putting ridiculous things out there.  Examples? They’re still trying to deny that the Pachamama is Pachamama, even though the Pope and about 100 people from the Vatican have already admitted it to be so.

Next, they’re still trying to desperately convince us there’s this huge devotion (similar to Our Lady of Guadalupe) to “Our Lady of the Amazon”, because  Charles Lamb found a little chapel in South America with that title. He suggested you Google the title. I second that, because it gives you zip except what comes from them. Guys, the VATICAN has said it is not “Our Lady of Anything.”

They are even trying to say that nobody was bowing down to anything. I’m still scratching my head on this one. Again, the VATICAN put it out on video. Hello! Are they trying to insinuate everyone was down on their knees with head to the ground just looking for a contact? Smelling the flowers? Doubled over in pain?

The most ludicrous thing I’ve seen come across my screen is this tweet from Luke Hansen, SJ (with bonus video in the link!): https://twitter.com/lukehansensj/status/1188565636227747842?s=20

Luke Hansen

Uh, hello. To clarify, it was “the majority of the bishops” INVITED TO THE SYNOD. For those not paying attention, this wasn’t some open event. Attendees were carefully chosen to vote on something that the masterminds of this ridiculous synod wanted.  They wanted married priests and they wanted women deacons. When the majority you invite are your voting bloc, you are going to win the vote. Duh.

If you watch the video, Bp. McElroy says something we already knew: he’s not an expert on women in the diaconate.  Some of us would argue that he’s really only an expert on dissent, but whatever.  Let’s just look at this typical Bp. McElroy transcript from Youtube.

The core what the synod is about, I don’t see challenges to an authentic reception.

This reception idea is some knew reality the liberals are trying to float for a year or so. If it’s not received, it’s not really binding. If it is, it is.  It’s totally subjective.

Now I do think there will be peripheral issues of substance and some that are of caricature that will become a focus of debate around the synod but those are different questions. Those who were advocating for viri probati interventions specifically said we are in favor of celibacy and maintaining celibacy.

Um, sorry?! You cannot be both advocating against maintaining the celibacy of the priesthood and saying it should be maintained. Talk about double speak!

So they were bringing this forth not as a as a contrast with celibacy or as an alternative to celibacy they kept reiterating “This is an emergency situation for a faith communities that only get the Eucharist once a year.

They’ve created the “emergency situation” themselves by being such poor catechists that they’re not making converts, much less priests!  This, however, is what good liberals do. They create emergencies all of the stinking time so they can implement horrible measures to “save people.”

The key to me is what holds together the commitment to celibacy that was the consensus you know among the bishops and the wider body of the church.

Uh, no.  Can we stop this ridiculous lie that this somehow was representative of the Church at large? There is no “consensus” among bishops and cardinals around the world. Let’s all remember that Cardinal Kasper couldn’t wait to get rid of the Africans because they were an obstacle to his plans. So, if you don’t normally pay attention and something seems a little off about this synod, let me clarify: it was a complete and utter power play. Nobody went into this wondering what the outcome would be, barring a complete and utter miracle that would have had to include a lot of fire and brimstone to convert these guys.

On this question that’s that seems undiluted at the Synod it was not opened at all.

Pause. There were really two questions here. One small group asked, “How can we save the Church in the Amazon?”, but the overwhelming majority’s question was, “How can we use the Amazonian region to get what we want?” Let’s remember the infamous quote of Bishop Krautler that he has not baptized an indigenous person in 30 years.  And then there’s Bishop Mori, who lived in the forest with the indigenous people for a month but never taught them, because he needed their help to survive.  And our problem is that we don’t have married priests? Yeah, give me a break.

The sentiment among the bishops of the Synod (emphasis mine) was in favor of, the majority bishops were in favor the permanent, employment of women in the permanent diaconate. My own view is that I’m in favor of opening any ministry we have in the church to women which is not clearly precluded doctrinally so my own assessment of it is, and I’m not an expert in this field (Thanks for stating the obvious which is why we were wondering why you were there at all.) that what has come out so far indicates that the current diaconate for women is not clearly prohibited by doctrinal considerations so they, my hope would be that they would find a way a pathway to make that a reality and I think there’s a good possibility that’s the direction it’s gonna head. I, I don’t see, the Pope added his comments yesterday. The fact he did that makes me think there’s a good chance that some positive action will come out of that.

Honestly, how many more of these “Studies of Women in the Diaconate” are we going to have to endure? In 2002, their conclusion was that women were excluded: https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/clarification-on-itc-study-on-the-diaconate-2276 2016? No consensus that this was allowed: https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/women-diaconate  It has been done to death already!  I know, how about a synod on it where we only invite Sr. Mary Pantsuit and friends to attend and vote? Sigh. 

I would hope the discussion will be about the substance of the questions not about caricatures because if it’s about caricatures then we all lose it’s about the substance of the questions that that’s very legitimate and I think we should have that set of discussions.

I’m not sure Bishop McElroy would know what substance is. He’s an ideologue, a caricature himself.  Believe me, we all lose when he has a hand in it.

So, please, dear liberal spinners, you’re over selling. Just say you were able to run away with it and admit the truth. It’s been refreshing (yes, refreshing, but disgusting) seeing the prelates saying it like it is. “So what if it was a pagan rite?” “Yes, it is not Mary and is Pachamama!”   Follow the admission train and just admit it is what it is.  You’ll get a lot more sleep at night when you can be free from trying new ways to spin EVERYTHING.

I for one can quite peacefully say that this synod was the disaster many of us thought it would be. No surprise in the least. There is a positive take-away.  Everyone’s cards are on the table (well, except the poor lapdogs who know that’s not the best thing for them) and the slumbering are awake now – like they just had a bucket of ice-water dumped on their heads. Ice bucket challenge, anyone? We pick ourselves up off the battlefield, nurse our wounds, and live to fight another day. We know how the war ends so we can have peace.  Ivereigh, Lamb and Faggioli? They’ll just keep spinning until they crash. We’re just called to fight the battles of our age, win or lose. Discouragement and bailing are not an option. I will wake up tomorrow and do exactly what I did today. I’ll pray and hope that I get it right.

 

 

Schism for Dummies

The charges of schism being thrown around are getting a bit ridiculous.  Let’s chat, shall we?

First, what ISN’T schism.

Schism isn’t a dislike for the Holy Father’s leadership style. Schism is not questioning things put forth in a “working document.” Schism is not asking people to pray and fast that the crud put forth in a working document never sees the light of day in any final document proposed by the Church. Schism isn’t asking the Holy Father to make clear the teaching put forth in a document (i.e., the dubia). Schism isn’t wishing the Holy Father would never speak again to reporters on a plane. Schism is not EWTN reporting on Catholic news.  Schism is not Archbishop Vigano putting out his testimony. Schism isn’t even asking the Holy Father to resign. Schism isn’t a critique of how the Vatican or Holy Father is handling the abuse scandal.  Schism isn’t supporting Archbishop Vigano’s request for an investigation into the whole McCarrick debacle.

I’ve seen some ridiculous half-wit “theologians” suggesting that pretty much anyone who disagrees with THEM is schismatic. They seem to think that if they bandy the word around enough, the “uneducated masses” will be whipped into submission by the mere thought of it. They even put forth the question to the Holy Father on a plane (who, by the way, said there was no schism at this time) and got him to say the word which, somehow, is supposed to give their charges validation. “A-ha!  The pope said the word so you are in schism!” WRONG!

Let me give you a little list of all the people who have been charged with schism by the liberal Catholic elite.  Let’s see, Archbishop Vigano, for sure; Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco, Bishop Strickland of Tyler, and Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia, because they were three of MANY bishops who said the charges made by Archbishop Vigano should be investigated; Cardinals Burke and Brandmueller, because they dared to ask the Holy Father for clarification in their dubia; Archbishop Schneider, because he and Cardinal Burke asked people to pray and fast  before the synod, because of the pretty awful stuff is being discussed. (Prayer and fasting – the horrors! How dare they?!) I guess all of EWTN can be counted, too, because Raymond Arroyo dared to defend himself when a book about how EWTN was trying to overthrow the Holy Father was glorified on a flight. Oh, and EWTN, again, for broadcasting a Mass where the priest giving the homily said that the faithful was being asked to pray and fast before the upcoming “Amazon Synod.” I’d love to know what they are scared of. You want to fast and pray for me?  Please do. And, of course, there’re all those mean Catholic bloggers, radio hosts, commentators, etc., who are scratching their heads about some things the pope says. Yep, all are in schism, it seems, except those who want to change any Church teaching that doesn’t jive with their ideologies.

So, who are all the people declaring or suggesting schism? Thomas Reese, SJ, Massimo Faggioli, Dawn Eden Goldstein, Michael Sean Winters, and all of their ilk.  And don’t forget, the “Well, I didn’t say they were in schism.  I’m just retweeting something I thought was interesting!” crowd. (Yes, Fr. Martin, I mean you.)

The actual definition of schism found in Canon 751 goes like this

Schism is the withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him.

Ironically, none of the accusers are canon lawyers, but they accuse a good canon lawyers to be in schism.  Let’s see, who knows Canon Law better?

The other thing I find totally ridiculous, especially after this week, is that not one of these accusers has pointed toward Germany.  In fact, I failed to locate one story at National catholic Reporter on this as of this writing. If it exists, their search engines don’t work.  https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/marx-says-german-synod-will-proceed-despite-vatican-objections-82211  Why is this? This is a hell of a lot closer to schism (if not actually in schism) than anything else to which the NcR, America Magazine, or Commonweal types point. I mean, the German bishops were told by the Magisterium that their “binding synodal path” was “not ecclesiologically valid.” Their response? We’re doing it anyway. Who’s removing “submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him” again? Apparently, Cardinal Marx.!

Does anyone see the difference in asking the Holy Father to exercise his authority (a la the Dubia 4, Archbishop Vigano, etc.) and rejecting an instruction from the Magisterium as the Germans are doing? The faithful Catholics are appealing to the very authority they should, while the Germans are usurping authority they don’t have. American schism, my foot! The liberals pushing for a declaration of schism are the biggest hypocrites around. Not one of the faithful listed above and accused by the liberals has ever rejected the authority of Pope Francis. In fact, they’ve made request upon request to the Pope to clarify.  To top it off, not even Pope Francis has declared them such. So, not only are the liberal accusers actually willing to reject authority when it suits them, they are also willing to usurp authority where they have none. They need to give it a rest, but sadly, they won’t.

 

Snakes on a Plane

You just knew somebody would eventually use that title…

I saw this and thought, “What in the heck is wrong with you people?! Please get some PR meetings in place, because you need them.” This was all a set up by someone and, guess what? Once again, it backfires and makes the Holy Father look like a mean jerk. Right up there with the “Great Accuser” mantra. I can only remember the last two popes and have read about others, but it seems that, unless they were complete tyrants, they all wanted to be “Papa” to all of us. They avoided the look of cronyism. And what’s been the word of the papacy? Oh, yeah, clericalism.

 Pope Francis Says It’s an ‘Honor’ to be Criticized by Americans

His throwaway remark, made in connection with a new book that claims influential American Catholics want him to step down, generated surprise aboard the papal flight today to Mozambique.

Edward Pentin

The use of “throwaway” is actually really good, because he just threw the remark away without a thought of any love for a good chunk of the Church. Let’s be clear, I don’t consider myself an “influential American Catholic,” which pretty much seems to be defined as “Rich Catholic.” That said, many, many Catholics, influential or otherwise, have serious concerns about the (ahem!) style of Pope Francis. I realize he lives in the papal bubble, but somebody might want to let him in on the fact that this is true.

A throwaway remark by Pope Francis aboard the papal plane this morning raised a few eyebrows among those traveling with him — and sent his press handlers scrambling.

First of all, I have a hunch that’s not true, but that’s just me. I think his handlers knew this guy was on board, they knew what he wrote, and they knew this was going to be handed to him. It would be soooo nice if they spent more time fixing problems with, oh, I don’t know, clergy abuse and the cover up of it rather than whining about how mean people are to the Holy Father. Geez. Again, I don’t remember the last two popes constantly talking about people who didn’t like them for this, that, or the other thing.  Might be because they actually understood that’s what it’s all about. Christ came to divide. I generally have a rule that the first person to claim to be a victim is probably the one in the wrong. It’s deflection, plain and simple.

After takeoff on his way to the Mozambique capital of Maputo, the Pope customarily greeted journalists on the papal plane. Among those he met was Nicolas Seneze, Rome correspondent for the French Catholic daily newspaper La Croix, which just published Seneze’s book, How America Wants to Change the Pope.

The book threads together different aspects of this pontificate — in particular the McCarrick abuse scandal and the Archbishop Carlo Viganò testimony — to conclude that influential figures in the U.S. Church are out to, if not replace Pope Francis, then to actively challenge him.

First of all, way to go, American Catholics! That the liberals even acknowledge you were the bane of their existence is great! It seems they can no longer go with the “Nothing to see here!” tactic. Proud to be among you! Quite frankly, I think our cultural spirit might help save the Church. We have a can-do spirit which enables us to conquer the landscape.

The book quotes professor Massimo Faggioli of Villanova as saying wealthy conservative Catholics have stepped into the vacuum of authority left by the sex abuse scandal to become the de facto leaders of the Catholic Church in the U.S.

Yawn. They continue trying the new tactic of declaring anyone who disagrees with them in “de facto schism.” Sorry, you look like a fool once again. Let me point out that of those you’ve already accused outright of being “devout schismatics” trump you in the area of Canon Law, as in two of the three are actually canon lawyers. So back off, Massimo.

On the plane, Seneze presented his book to the Pope, who recognized the cover, as he had read a review of it.

The Italian daily newspaper Il Messaggero on Aug. 20 published a story headlined, “A plot from the USA to make the Pope resign.” A cover of Seneze’s book accompanied the article.

“He reads Il Messaggero every day so when he saw the cover of the copy I was holding, he instantly recognized it,” Seneze told the Register aboard the papal plane today, adding that the book was published in French today.

What plot? How many times has the Holy Father hinted that he may resign? Is that the fault of the “de facto leaders”? Next time a pope dies or resigns, we don’t want another nightmare like McCarrick having any say in who’s elected, not to mention the possibility a nightmare like McCarrick might be elected. If our cardinals are hiding something, we want it uncovered before going into a conclave. Who could argue with that?! (*Cough* Staff of American Magazine *Cough*) Do we really want molesters like McCarrick or Francisco Javier Errazuriz or those who covered up for them to vote for or be the next pope? Uh, hello, remember the abuse victims?  Geez.

“When I explained the picture to the Pope, he said: ‘Per me è un onore che mi attaccano gli americani (For me it’s an honor that Americans attack me).’”

I believe my kids call this “humble bragging.” Blech. And trying to portray the concerns of the faithful as “an American thing” is ridiculous. It’s worldwide, Holy Father. World. Wide. You think we’re bad, look at South America, and, oh, and how about Africa? You’ve got some continental-sized issues with the faithful.

“Seneze and his Vatican press colleagues were taken aback by the in-flight remark, and reporters immediately sought verification.

Vatican press spokesman Matteo Bruni later confirmed the remark but was quick to offer an explanation: “In an informal context, the Pope wanted to say that he always considers criticisms an honor, particularly when they come from authoritative thinkers and, in this case, an important nation.”

If they immediately sought clarification, the guy who made the remark was on the plane, for heaven’s sake! Again, you guys need some meetings. It was rather clear that Bruni was doing some serious damage control.

Seneze told the Register afterward that the Il Messaggero article was a little exaggerated. He said he doesn’t believe there is a plot as such being hatched in the U.S. to unseat the Pope.

Wait! What?! Didn’t you actually write this? Did you suddenly realize this was going to be the PR nightmare that it is? I don’t have the subscription, so I’m just reading the beginning of this piece, but let’s just take a gander at the picture caption you included!

An ultra-conservative fringe of the American Catholic right has fomented a coup against Pope Francis

Uh…Which is it? There’s some nefarious plot or there’s not?

Rather, he believes there’s a sense among some wealthy Americans, including some who are connected to the EWTN Global Catholic Network and other media organizations, that Francis is not acting as Pope and so should stand down, like a CEO who is underperforming.

Seneze said, “I believe these people see themselves as invested in the Church and they feel they are not getting a return on their investment.”

Oh, my gosh. Class warfare is strong with this one. Did you all know you were connected to EWTN? There may be concern for money on some side of this, but it’s not the side of concerned faithful.

Another article by Crux contains additional information to this whole debacle.

A long-time Vatican reporter from the French Catholic daily, Seneze told the pope that he wanted to explain the roots of American opposition to the Argentine, which has the support of several right-wing news outlets. In his book, Seneze names EWTN, founded by the late Mother Angelica, and Canada-based LifeSiteNews.

It’s a conspiracy, I tell you! Guess I’m just left out of those meetings.

The criticism against Francis is based on several points: His cautious opening to allowing the divorced and remarried to receive the Sacraments, his emphasis on the environment, his strong condemnation of the death penalty, and his criticism of the capitalist economic order championed by conservatives in the United States.

I’d say most of this is correct with the exception of the death penalty. It has nothing to do with strongly condemning it and everything to do with this: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-and-the-death-penalty-a-change-in-doctrine-or-circumstances-39898

In his book, Seneze explains the origin of the hostility against Francis in terms of two documents by the pope: Evangelii Gaudium, his first apostolic exhortation and considered the Magna Carta of his pontificate, and Laudato Si, an encyclical letter on the environment originally intended to ensure adoption of the 2015 Paris Agreement pertaining to climate change.

The French journalist argues the ultimate goal of the opposition to Francis from some American quarters is to trigger a conclave to elect a new pope, and to guarantee the election of someone more aligned with their interests and vision of the Church and the world.

Yeah, not so much. I’d love to know how he’s come to this fantastical dream. There’s no doubt those faithful to Church teaching want the next Pope to be a strong leader in this area. We do not want ambiguity, but we’d also like to ferret out Cardinals like former Cardinal McCarrick and the seemingly never-ending line of them who should be taking a perp walk. Again, you would think EVERYONE would want that.

One of several initiatives to secure this, according to Seneze, is a project called the Red Hat Report, which the “The Better Church Governance Group” hopes to release by April 2020.

The Red Hat Report claims to be drawing on nearly 100 researchers, academics, investigators, and journalists to investigate every single cardinal elector, with the aim “to hold the hierarchy of the Catholic Church accountable for abuse and corruption, and to develop and support honesty, clarity, and fidelity in Church governance.”

That’s awful! They aim “to hold the hierarchy of the Catholic Church accountable for abuse and corruption, and to develop and support honesty, clarity, and fidelity in Church governance.” Those evil people. Oh, my gosh! Isn’t this exactly what you told us needed to happen? How many times did we hear that we needed to end “clericalism?” Always told them to be careful what they wished for, because their definition of it is “It’s wrong to call priests ‘father’”. Our definition actually is a little more based in reality.

Seneze also points to American millionaire Tim Busch as a key figure in this “war” against Francis. Busch sits on the board of EWTN and is a member of the Papal Foundation, a U.S.-based organization that gives donations to charities supported by the pope.

Several members of the Papal Foundation severely criticized a request by the pope for a $20 million bridge loan for a debt-ridden and scandal-plagued Church-owned hospital in Rome.

And who wants to give $20 million to a scandal-plagued hospital??? Not me, and if it were my money, I’m sure I would have said “No!” and donated my money to some other charitable fund. Little Sisters of the Poor, perhaps? Can’t remember the last time they had a scandal.

Seneze spoke to reporters after the pope’s remarks.

“I wanted to explain the difficulties between the pope and Americans, and how they are attacking him,” he said.

If the Vatican needed that explanation, it’s probably worse than we thought. Sorry, they’re not that obtuse.

Seneze’s book comes just a year after Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former papal representative to the United States, released a letter accusing the pope of covering up for now-former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who has been accused of abusing minors and seminarians.

The letter, which was released through conservative news organizations, requested that Francis resign from office.

And…after it was released there, it was also released to any “Catholic” news agency that wrote about it as fast as they could because, well, it was news. Seems like some are just jealous because they didn’t get the scoop. Archbishop Vigano isn’t the reason there is strife between the hierarchy and the laity. That was their own doing. As usual, liberals are the root of the problem, so they prefer to shoot the messenger.

In conclusion, I’m hoping this in-plane interview will lead to a whole lot being donated to the “Red Hat Report.” I loved the idea from the start. In fact, shortly before this was announced, I put out a request for those who could afford to do so to investigate the heck out of the hierarchy. It was like my birthday when I saw somebody was going to do that! Those who have nothing to hide won’t protest. Those who do might be another story. Please check out their goals for yourself at https://betterchurchgovernance.org/ Don’t let anyone frame their goals for you. Their mission is far more mainstream that some would like you to think.

Oh, one more thing, since Massimo Faggioli is part of this little group chanting schism, why don’t you continue to give Villanova a call. Apparently that plea worked so well last time he banned me from his Twitter page so all must have done good. Maybe somebody will tell him to stop flapping his gums where he has no jurisdiction.

Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA
Office of the President
Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085-1699

Phone: 610-519-8881

Fax: 610-519-4514

Email: president@villanova.edu

Alumni, you can also go here:

Alumni Relations

Phone: 610-519-4580

Fax: 610-519-7583

Email: alumni@villanova.edu

 

 

 

 

 

And Another Thing, Massimo…

I’d really, really like you to explain why you singled out three bishops whom you declared “devout schismatics” when there are 40ish American bishops (depending when the list was published and who has since passed away) who declared support, admiration, or simple credibility of Archbishop Vigano’s letters. Where’s the accusation of “devout schism” for all of them? I’m reasonably sure most are also fans of the Rosary, oppose candidates being pro-abortion, and fight for traditional marriage. I realize that these are things you would consider a part of a “particular conservative political culture,” but most of us simply call that “Catholic.” I know you still have a problem understanding that distinction, so how come they didn’t make the schismatic list you’re creating in your head? I mean, I would at least think Bishop Paprocki and Bishop Thomas Tobin would have made your list! By the way, these lists below of supporting bishops are from last year, too. Wonder where the number is now that so much more of his testimony has been proven to be true by others? Hmmm, Massimo?

https://www.reddit.com/r/Catholicism/comments/9av4d1/the_growing_list_of_catholic_prelates_and_other/

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/list-of-bishops-cardinals-who-support-investigating-viganos-claims-live-upd

It would seem you must have some personal vendetta against these particular bishops to overlook the vast number of others who believe the same way. I realize that you’re banking on the faithful not to bother fact checking anything you say, but you might have learned by now that’s not going to happen.

I think Villanova might want to reconsider Massimo’s employment for, at best, rash judgment. It is kind of a big deal, Villanova, when one of your employees declares some pretty awesome bishops to be in schism. How many of your other employees fail to have a rudimentary knowledge of the definition of schism and also leap to rash judgment? Not really a selling point for your university.

Might be nice to drop Villanova a big ol’ note. 

Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA
Office of the President
Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085-1699

Phone: 610-519-8881
Fax: 610-519-4514

Email: president@villanova.edu

Alumni, you can also go here:

Alumni Relations
Garey Hall

Phone: 610-519-4580
Fax: 610-519-7583

Email: alumni@villanova.edu

 

Massimo’s “Look at Me!” Moment (AKA, Life)

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/villanova-historian-says-chaput-cordileone-and-strickland-are-devout-schismatics-18811

Philadelphia, Pa., Jul 18, 2019 / 06:35 pm (CNA).- A Church historian at Philadelphia’s Villanova University has said three U.S. bishops are “devout schismatics” who try to diminish the authority of Pope Francis.

“They are devout in the sense that they publicly display their preference for a traditionalist Church and its devotions, such as the rosary. They are schismatics because they openly promote the undermining of the bishop of Rome among the Catholic faithful,” Massimo Faggioli wrote in a July 16 essay for La Croix magazine.”

What the what???? Does the Rosary scare you that much, Massimo? Seriously, this is the most outlandish accusation I’ve EVER seen. We’re going to lump saying the Rosary with removing submission to the bishop of Rome????  Really?!?!?! This really deserves about a hundred more punctuation marks but…?!?!?!?!?!?!  Massimo kind of needs to take a sabbatical and reflect on, well, anything other than himself.

Massimo has got no game, so he’s just going to throw out the schismatic bomb with ZERO back up. When has Cordileone, Strickland, or Chaput EVER removed submission from the Holy Father? The “Let’s throw it out there and see if it sticks” method won’t work here, because I, and anyone with half a brain or access to Google, am going to call you on this.

Faggioli made specific mention of three U.S. bishops: Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, and Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas.

The historian said the “schismatic instincts” of those bishops were manifested when in August 2018, when they “sided with Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former papal nuncio to Washington who called on Francis to resign.”

Hey, Massimo, which bishops/archbishops called on Francis to resign? Oh, yeah, none.  Give me a break. You know very well that some of them appealed to Pope Francis to respond to the “Vigano” letters, while others just said that Vigano was simply a man of virtue and that the whole thing was troubling and should be dealt with. It’s quite interesting you seemed to focus on those who most defy your mission in life, since there are many others who sided with them, but whatever.

Viganò released on Aug. 25, 2018 a “testimony,” which, among other things, accused Pope Francis of ignoring warnings about former cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sexual deviancy, and then raising McCarrick’s status within the Vatican.

After the testimony was released, Strickland issued a statement calling Vigano’s allegations “credible,” and Cordileone said he could confirm that some of Vigano’s statements were true.

Do you have doubt of that, Massimo?! I think we can safely say that many of Archbishop Vigano’s statements have been proven to be quite true over the last year. Are you saying otherwise? If so, which ones? Put your money where your keyboard is. Regardless, neither of these statements would constitute “schism” as you would suggest. I realize you’re just an historian and not a canon lawyer but maybe you should actually a look at the definition of “schism” before you start flapping you gums. 

Can. 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or doubt, after baptism, of a truth which must be believed by divine and catholic faith. Apostasy is the total repudiation of the christian faith. Schism is the withdrawal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or from communion with the members of the Church subject to him.  

The article goes on…

Contrary to Faggioli’s claim, however, Chaput did not endorse Vigano’s allegations. While a spokesman told reporters in August that Chaput “enjoyed working with Archbishop Vigano during his tenure as Apostolic Nuncio,” he declined to comment on the former nuncio’s allegations.

Oops!

The spokesman said that the Chaput could not comment “on Archbishop Vigano’s recent testimonial as it is beyond his personal experience.”

In 2013, Chaput told radio personality Hugh Hewitt that the election of Pope Francis had made him “extraordinarily happy, because quite honestly, he is the man I was hoping would be Pope eight years ago.”

Double oops!

Two years later, Chaput hosted Pope Francis in Philadelphia for the 2015 World Meeting of Families. Reflecting in 2018 on that meeting, Chaput wrote that the pope’s “time with us was filled with powerful public moments and deeply grace filled intimate gatherings hallmarked by an overarching spirit of mercy, compassion, and charity.”

“[Pope Francis] has repeatedly challenged us to bear witness to Christ through concrete action—by serving the poor, by helping immigrants, by preserving families, and by protecting the sanctity of life. It’s the kind of challenge we can and should answer with a hearty yes each day,” Chaput added.

You’re a three time loser, Massimo. 

In his essay criticizing “devout schismatics,” Faggioli wrote that “dissent against this pope has become radicalized with schismatic instincts because this kind of political devotion is more about a partisan ideology than about the Church. Catholicism was exposed to ideological manipulation by those who do not really care for the Gospel, but who are more interested in a particular conservative political culture.”

“Particular conservative political culture?” Normally if you follow the teachings of the Church and Canon Law, you’re considered a faithful Catholic. In Massimo’s mind you’re somehow “interested in a particular conservative political culture.” I totally agree that Catholicism was exposed to ideological manipulation but it had little to do with a “particular conservative political culture” and everything to do with a bunch of narcissistic, liberal minded ideologues that thought of themselves far more than they ever thought of the teachings of the Church!

“Chaput, among those identified as a “devout schismatic,” has frequently emphasized his unwillingness to align with a political party.”

So, Massimo is totally wrong again. Shocker.

Just a few more little pesky facts Massimo didn’t bother to look into before he started spouting off. Both Archbishop Cordileone and Bishop Strickland are canon lawyers.  They might know a thing or two about schism even if Massimo doesn’t quite get it. Next, Archbishop Chaput campaigned for Robert Kennedy and supported the election of Jimmy Carter. Of course, today’s democrat isn’t grandma and granpa’s democrat but still. Archbishop Chaput has made it quite clear that the teachings of the Church trump all political parties.  http://webarchive.loc.gov/all/20121205203427/http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1204504.htm

Last time I checked, Massimo does not have canonical jurisdiction to declare schism and his lack of knowledge on the matter gives him even less jurisdiction. If “devout” is a reason to declare “schism”, then a whole lot of people are going to be found in such a place. This is just stupid.

In 2016 he criticized Catholics, especially politicians, who accept “the transfer of our real loyalties and convictions from the old Church of our baptism to the new ‘Church’ of our ambitions and appetites,’ in order to achieve political or personal goals. The group of those who do so “cuts across…both major political parties,” Chaput said.:

“Quite a few of us American Catholics have worked our way into a leadership class that the rest of the country both envies and resents. And the price of our entry has been the transfer of our real loyalties and convictions from the old Church of our baptism to the new “Church” of our ambitions and appetites. People like Nancy Pelosi, Anthony Kennedy, Joe Biden and Tim Kaine are not anomalies. They’re part of a very large crowd that cuts across all professions and both major political parties.”

And? There’s a problem with that statement, Massimo? If Massimo considers Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden to be faithful Catholics, I have oceanfront property in Iowa to sell him. By the way, here’s the quote in context. https://www.crisismagazine.com/2019/a-new-kind-of-sacrament

The Church’s canon law defines schism, the charge Faggioli makes against the three bishops, as “the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”

See? And while Massimo is totally happy to declare three bishops schismatics, he’s perfectly fine not showing proof when he declares them such.

Faggioli could not be reached for comment.

Totally not surprising. He’s stepped in it deeper than normal and can’t actually back up the accusations. Don’t you kind of feel like he lost a bet with someone? I guess when someone jumps the shark this big you kind of hope there’s some sort of rational explanation for it. Maybe his ratings are down?

The 9 Stages of Irrelevance

If you haven’t figured it out, there are many in the Church hierarchy who are hoping you completely lost your memory of the last few decades, let alone 2018. It’s like they hope we’ll totally forget what’s been going on if they just keep telling us to just wait a little longer on that reform they promised us. Sometimes I think it’s because they don’t have children (well, none that we know about) and don’t understand that, when parents are trying to protect their children, our memories are pretty hard to erase.

I know many of you are going to tell me that the abuse has been going on for decades longer, and I don’t disagree, but really, 2002 was the biggest coordinated media-focused effort where we were told that the Church would move hell and high water to make sure the abuse stopped. Meh, not so much.

2018? That was the year the mainstream media, law enforcement, and legal organizations decided that they were no longer going to ignore what was going on. For some, it was just too good of a story. Heck, even Hollywood decided not to ignore it. For others, it was a payday for their law firm. I’m going to assume law enforcement just wanted to protect and serve. Those of us faithful Catholics who have been diligently saying “It’s still happening!” finally had allies, albeit strange allies. The enemy of my enemy and all.

Let’s start with early 2018. In February, news broke that the Vatican, from the Pope on down, had ignored the abuse of children at a deaf school. Then came the scandal in Chile where the Pope actually said that those accusing the bishop there were spreading calumny. Then in America the McCarrick abuse came to media light (although soooooo many knew long before it hit the mainstream media, including the Vatican). Then there was the scandal in the Honduran seminary which was attempting to be turned into a gay brothel. Geez. (The head of that archdiocese is Cardinal Maradiaga – papal buddy and appointee to the C9). Oh, and Cardinal Maradiaga was also investigated in 2017 and accused of financial mismanagement by the papal envoy. Let’s see, where is he now? Still working at the Vatican. He also accused the 50 Honduran seminarians as “gossipers.” And then came all the grand juries and investigations in other countries, such as Germany. And let’s not forget Archbishop Vigano.

The pattern that emerged last year was

1) accusation

2) denial

3) blame the accusers,

4) “Oh! Uh, yeah. It happened. We just didn’t know!” (even though everyone knew), 5) “Oh, we’ll fix what we said was already fixed!” 

6) “The laity must get involved!”

7) “We’re going to ignore the laity!”

8) “You can’t do anything, we’re working on it!”, “Still working!” and finally

9) “It’s the laity’s fault and definitely, definitely, definitely not a problem with homosexual priests!”

Seriously, it’s a looonnnggg pattern, but one played out just like that in the U.S. Let me refresh your memory:

1) Victims quite clearly made accusations about McCarrick and to the police departments around the country for quite a while.

2) The McCarrick situation was totally ignored, and he was even given nice little awards here and there. While some dioceses took accusations seriously, some quite evidently ignored them. Again, McCarrick was a perfect example.

3) I think Archbishop Vigano is a perfect example of what happens when you step out of line and shed some light on the reality of the situation.

4) Cardinal Tobin is the perfect person cast in the “We knew nothing!” role. The guy lived with one of the biggest perpetrators, but yeah, he didn’t see a thing, along with Cardinal Cupich, Bishop McElroy, Cardinal Mahony, Cardinal Dolan, Cardinal Wuerl, etc., etc., etc.

5) The Vatican said they’d fix the problem in February. The USCCB tried to actually give it a go in October but were cut off at the knees by Cardinals Wuerl and Cupich thanks to the Vatican. The Vatican said “No trying to do anything until we have our grand meeting in February,” which then only became a meeting on half of the abuse problem (minors) and totally ignored the other half. They also haven’t uttered a peep on the USCCB’s proposals which they said would be dealt with. What were those? How to police the authority (bishops) and…

6 & 7) setting up lay oversight. Remember? That idea has been floated since 2002 but has never happened with any degree of credibility. Lay women have quit the Vatican “Papal Commission on the Protection of Minors” organization because nobody was listening, AND have we heard about that in any concrete terms at the “Meeting on the Protection of Minors?” Again, let’s not forget the USCCB was going to vote on a lay oversight committee until that was forbidden by the Vatican.

8) This laughable “Meeting on the Protection of Minors” kicked the can down the road even before they started downplaying all expectations that they would be able to do anything (not that we expected anything). We’ve ignored a HUGE chunk of the problem for decades! Why start now?

9) We are told that by liberal mouthpiece Massimo Faggioli, as seen here, that it’s all our fault due to “clericalism”. You, ladies and gentlemen, all need to apologize for the abuse crisis. You treated your priests with a little too much trust and reverence. And believe me, Massimo is not the only one to try and float this idea, just the latest.

https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/04/martins-twitter-manifesto/
Ninth, clericalism must die. The system that privileges the word and status of bishops and priests over those of lay people (and parents); that insists on an exaggerated deference for clergy and bishops, and that has functioned as a closed world, must be dismantled.

 

https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/27/its-your-fault-laity/
So, what is clericalism? Clericalism is an exaggeration of the role of the clergy to the detriment of the laity. In a culture of clericalism, clerics are put on a pedestal and the laity are overly deferential and submissive to them. Pope Francis notes that clericalism is not only fostered by priests, but also reinforced by lay people.

Just what is clericalism in the mind of Bishop Zinkula?

Perhaps a few examples of clericalism would be of assistance:

Coddling seminarians and telling them how special they are.

Insisting that priests or deacons go to the front of the line at meals and wakes because they are more important and busier than everyone else.

People telling me, when I am pondering an issue, “Whatever you want, Bishop.”

It all comes down to your fault, people, no matter how you slice it. If you show respect for your local priest, seminarian, or bishop, you might as well have abused the victims yourself. If you call out the abusive clergy, you are “The Great Accuser.” Just face it, fellow faithful, this “Meeting on the Protection of Minors & Blatant Ignoring of the Rest of the Victims” is going to give the Church ZERO help in fixing the problem. It’s all on you, and it’s definitely not going to be done by the national bishops’ conferences or the Vatican at this point. They have produced NOTHING that hasn’t already been chatted about before at the endless conferences and summits. This was a dog and pony show, but they seemed to forget that they should bring dogs and ponies. But it’s not about homosexuality. Sure. Not. At. All. In. The. Least.

So how is this going to get fixed now? This is going to be done bishop by bishop, diocese by diocese, and some of the good guys are going to be completely skewered for it. Hopefully, the good leaders will start to realize that “sly as the serpent, gentle as the dove” is going to have to be the new method of operation, and I’m hoping they will start some sort of coalition to protect the faithful. The American bishops had to sit on their hands for four months waiting for some scraps of food to be tossed their way. Apparently the master forgot about them. What are they going to do now? Their March meeting is coming fast. Are they just going to ignore the fact they were told to wait for instructions that never came? Or are they going to demand that the supposed canonical questions are ironed out and they can implement their ideas?

Think about it. The Church hasn’t even come up with a plan to stop one of the most heinous things going on in the world today. It’s not simply that they’ve failed to implement a plan. It’s that they don’t have one. I’m quite sure that some bishops and cardinals don’t want anyone to police them. Clearly that was the reason Cardinals Cupich, Wuerl, and their ilk worked so hard to make sure that didn’t happen and will continue to do so.

BTW, I’d like to thank the reporters who have heard the laity loud and clear when we asked repeatedly when homosexuality’s role in the abuse crisis would be dealt with. I hope they keep hammering them on this. The hierarchy will continually try to reframe the answer to a question not asked. The question isn’t “Did homosexuality make them do it?” The question is “What are we going to do with the knowledge that the overwhelming number of these cases involved homosexual activities by priests?” The answer is obvious to anyone who actually wants to stop abuse.

 

Let the Scapegoating of the Faithful Begin!

Oh my gosh! Is this the messaging that’s going to come out of the “Meeting on the Protection of Minors?” Are they actually going to go with blame the victims?! This is insane. https://twitter.com/MassimoFaggioli/status/1097857305712967681

faggioli tweet
Massimo, what kind of drugs are you on??? “Unpopular opinion?!?” That’s the understatement of the year. You just said the Catholic laity should apologize for priests who can’t handle their vows and promises of celibacy and chastity. Un-flippin-believable. I would have thought you could just look around and think that the “She asked for it!” argument is kind of sorta disgusting, but I guess I should know better by now. You’ve got issues. For the guy who is supposed to be an expert in the “role of the laity,” you seem to think that the role of the laity is that we are supposed to be the scapegoat of the immoral clergy. Nice try.

You might want to run your tweets past your compadres first, because we’ve gone from “The laity should never be asked to do penance for the sins of others!” to “The laity is responsible for the sins of others!”

Your buddy, Fr. Martin, SJ, told us the former not long ago:

However, in this case, to imply that the laity, in any way, should perform any kinds of penances, including fasting, is simply wrong. The laity should not have to do one minute of penance for the crimes, sins and failings of the hierarchy and the clergy.  https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/17/fr-martin-dont-be-that-guy/

Let me help you both out. You’ve both got it totally wrong. This is in no way the fault of the faithful, and yes, we should be doing all of the fasting and penance we can to make up for those who aren’t doing it themselves. If you’re going to scapegoat the faithful on behalf of the depraved, you, Massimo, are part of the true problem.

This Beautiful Week in Review

I’ve started about five articles in the past week, but all seemed a bit passé two seconds after the final edit was done.  (Sorry to my editor!) There’s been rapid fire goodness and I just couldn’t keep up!  In short, it’s been a very good week in the faith. Why? Well, it’s certainly not because everyone is getting it right.  It’s because people are correcting what is wrong.  Here are some of the great articles of the week. (Sorry if I missed any.)

On the topic of Cardinal Blase Cupich’s errors and, apparently, the buzz phrase talking points all good liberals are repeating – “paradigm shift”:

https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2018/02/21/cardinal-cupichs-revolutionary-conscience/

https://www.crisismagazine.com/2018/cardinal-cupich-misreads-vatican-ii-conscience

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2018/02/16/worried-about-cardinal-cupichs-paradigm-shift-just-stick-to-the-teaching-of-the-church/#.WocU2t4Kxoc.twitter

https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2018/02/16/cupich-and-conscience/

http://www.catholicworldreport.com/2018/02/16/those-cupich-seminars-why-now/

https://www.crisismagazine.com/2018/cardinal-cupichs-modernist-view-family#.WocgnO-Smqk.facebook

http://www.catholicworldreport.com/2018/02/15/on-cardinal-cupichs-problematic-convenient-conscience/

https://www.crisismagazine.com/2018/clarity-cardinal-cupich#.WoRjnrkvhIQ.facebook

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2018/02/14/cardinal-cupich-lecture/

And, of course, all these articles point to the fact that Cardinal Cupich is THE last guy who should ever be doing this: http://www.catholicworldreport.com/2018/02/12/cardinal-cupich-launches-amoris-laetitia-seminars-for-us-bishops/

I’m hoping with these next two items, that we’ll move on to “Rebuke Fr. Martin Week” or “Rebuke Cardinal Mahoney Year”.  My preference? Let’s go with Martin now that one of his heroes (Cardinal Roger “Religious Education Congress” Mahony) has crawled back into the hole from whence he came.  It might have been nice if he had never been invited, but then again, I’m sure that some were hoping the Chile scandal would never come to light and remind us all what Cardinal Mahony did during his tenure.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/disgraced-cardinal-cancels-appearance-representing-pope-after-locals-vow-to

https://dwightlongenecker.com/correcting-fr-james-martin/

Last week’s spotlight on Cardinal Cupich should be the norm for these guys leading souls into error.  I was thrilled to see it.  Sunlight is a great disinfectant, as they say.  For too long, the Catholic world took the “If we ignore them, they might go away!” attitude.  Up to now, the liberals have been encouraged, and clearly, they’ve got a Rolodex of writers, albeit really bad ones, in their back pockets.  The secular people LOVE scandal and they love it no place better than the Catholic Church, so they will gladly eat up the goop given to them by the Martin Minions.

Honestly, while some were offended at Faggioli’s “Cyber Militia” comment, I was thinking “I soooooo want to be in that club.  It’s about darn time!”  If I had to guess, there’s probably some cyber meetings going on right now about how to go forth after the ridiculous barrage of articles that came when poor old Fr. James Martin, SJ, spontaneously combusted (But he’s at peace. Really, he is.) a few weeks back over one more cancellation notch in the Catholic Cyber Militia’s belt.  If so, yay for finally organizing.  Every little comment should be met with a swift correction.

Lastly, I saw this.  Let the whining and crying resume!

whiningtony

Rather than war on Pope Francis, I think they represent a “total war” on Fr. Spadaro, Cardinal Cupich, and all of the other little minions roaming the world seeking the ruin of souls.  Make no mistake, Tony Annett, it is a battle we’re in. If you think we’re dropping the armor because YOU call for an interdict, guess again.  We couldn’t care less about your silly characterizations. You want to call it a war?  BRING IT ON! This isn’t a jockeying for position in the hierarchy of the Church for us.  It’s for the souls of our children.  Again, BRING. IT. ON!

Keep pouring on the disinfectant, fellow militia members.  The bacteria definitely needs a major beat back!  Forward!  Forward and forward again!  That’s something we can all do.

#MeetTheLaity #CatholicCyberMilitia

 

 

 

 

What Color is the Pill You’re Taking?

Bahaha!  This is gonna be good! I’m gonna pop some popcorn and watch the fireworks. Methinks Fr. Martin has called in some favors after his latest dis-invite.  I have a whole other piece on Fr. Martin awaiting an edit but I could not help but jump on this one when a reader sent it to me.

Meet the Blogger Priest Firing Red Pills At the Vatican

Posted on February 1, 2018, at 11:17 a.m.

 Joseph Bernstein

BuzzFeed News Reporter

Last January, a Catholic asked a priest for spiritual guidance. Upset by the progressive direction Pope Francis has taken the church since his election in 2013, the person wondered whether it was a sin to pray for the pontiff to abdicate, or even, to die.

“No,” the priest, Father John Zuhlsdorf, replied. “It is not necessarily sinful to pray for the end of a pontificate, one way or another … Popes come and go. In our prayers, we can, without sinning, discuss with God about His time table.”

It’s polite to put <snip> in there when you cut out something this BIG.  So here’s how it really went:

“Given the rate things are going for this current pontificate, would it be sinful to pray that, if it be God’s will, that the pope either abdicates or dies and a new pope of a more conservative leaning is elected?”

I get this often.

No.  It is not necessarily sinful to pray for the end of a pontificate, one way or another.

However, it depends on why and on your attitude.  I urge people not to have hate in their hearts for the person of the Holy Father.  He deserves our prayers.  That doesn’t mean that we have to like him or what he does.  We do NOT worship the Pope.  Popes come and go.  In our prayers, we can, without sinning, discuss with God about His time table.

Just a wee bit different sentiment.

It’s no secret that the Jesuit pope has angered conservative Catholics with his criticism of the church’s fixation on abortion, same-sex marriage, and birth control; and with his promotion of progressive pastors. But still, it was a shocking answer — an ordained Catholic priest sanctioning prayer for the untimely death of Christ’s earthly representative.

Dear Buzzfeed guy and moral theologian, please tell me exactly how this goes against Church teaching.  And, btw, adding “untimely” is all you.  Let’s say a person says “Hey God!  It’s getting kind of scary down here.  If the Holy Father is blowing it, can you please open his eyes or close them?” Where is the lack of charity in that?  Wouldn’t this person be praying for God’s will to be done?

It is not necessarily sinful to pray for the end of a pontificate, one way or another.

And?  I’m still waiting for the BuzzFeed moral theologian to answer us.  Surely there has been more times in history where someone felt the current pope was hurting the Church.  Surely Mr. BuzzFeed knows there were some pretty bad popes out there.   Of course, after you read the rest, you might come to the conclusion he doesn’t know much.

What was even more shocking: This conversation didn’t happen in a confession booth or a rectory. Fr. Z, as he’s known, posted the exchange on his blog to a devoted readership of many thousands. He had pulled the question from his email. He chose to answer it publicly.

Shockers of shockers!  He says in public what he would advise in private.  What’s the point here?

And though he would later apologize for angering readers, a year later, he hasn’t changed his answer.

I think Fr. Z is a litte more worried about other things than angering readers.

“Frankly,” Fr. Z told BuzzFeed News, “It’s not a sin.”

Well, Mr. BuzzFeed moral theologian?  Is it a sin?  Do tell. Some may not feel comfortable with it but the question is, is it a sin?  You seem to be saying “yes” but you also have skipped a lot and around in your quoting of Fr. Z.

The 58-year-old, Madison, Wisconsin–based Fr. Z is a leader in the thriving online community of conservative American Catholics who have used the Trump era to ratchet up their criticism of what they perceive to be a liberal Church establishment, and liberal culture in general. Fr. Z, who has over 40,000 Twitter followers, considers the 12-year-old blog, What Does the Prayer Really Say, his ministry. The site, which Fr. Z told BuzzFeed News is the largest English language Catholic blog run by an individual, has received more than 85 million visits since 2006, per Statcounter. According to Father Z, What Does the Prayer Really Say gets more than a million unique visitors a year.

Is her arguing with the stats?  Not sure what the point is but then he goes onto this which is complete commentary:

And it draws just as much from the gospel of Roger Ailes as it does Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — a pro-Trump, anti-Francis hybrid of personal blog, Latin translation, Christian scholarship, scriptural interpretation, and Fox News. (A sidebar on the blog describes it as “a fusion of the Baroque ‘salon’ with its well-tuned harpsichord around which polite society gathered for entertainment and edification and, on the other hand, a Wild West “saloon” with its out-of-tune piano and swinging doors, where everyone has a gun and something to say.”) Together with sites like Church Militant, a kind of Catholic-themed Breitbart that the Church has officially distanced itself from, Fr. Z is waging an online culture war that is deeply informed by the greater American political context.

And this is how I know this guy likely knows Fr. James Martin SJ. It’s no secret that Fr. Martin is a bit upset about his dis-invites from various institutions.  He’s waged war on his Twitter feed and I’m thinking this is his next step.  He wants the faithful Catholic blogosphere silenced.

“They think the liberal Catholic establishment must be dismantled,” said Massimo Faggioli, a professor of theology at Villanova University. “And anything that can get to that goal is fine.”

Really?  Anything Massimo?  How about bloggers like us just call it like we see it?  Every once in awhile the “liberal Catholic establishment” (I thought it the “faithful Catholic establishment” that mattered but that might be just me.) gets it right.  Personally, I have actually given Fr. Martin kudos for his comments on the unborn.  Yes, I have to question his motives for doing so but, well, yay!  When he spews the ridiculous and ambiguous that leads people into, say,  sodomy, I’ll comment on that too.  So, Massimo, while your goal may be to win “it” for the liberal Catholics, some of us are trying to win souls with truth.

 Indeed, the sometimes shockingly antagonistic attitude of Fr. Z and his ilk toward the Vatican and liberal culture has invited comparisons to the alt-right, another group obsessed with waging a culture war against a supposedly liberal bureaucracy. Fr. Z, for his part, says he’s part of a “brutal” polemical tradition in the Catholic church that dates back millenia. More broadly, the popularity of Fr. Z’s blog and the power of his online following suggests that in 2018, even the longest-lasting institution in the Western world isn’t immune to the strains of the social internet.

Sorry, sweetie.  We’re sarcastic.  Deal.  While Fr. Z is sometimes really “in your face” he’s not trying to take down the “longest-lasting institution in the Western world.”  He’s trying to defend it.

“Thanks in no small part to the online world, the degree of open criticism of the Pope and church hierarchy is far greater than ever before,” said Mark Silk, the director of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life. “It would have astonished people 50 years ago.”

 Well, isn’t it shocking that Mark Silk had something to say about Fr. Martin’s being dis-invited to events?  https://religionnews.com/2017/09/25/religious-cyber-vigilantism-on-the-rise/ Duh!  You guys might want to keep your connections a bit more distant.  If you doubt the Fr. Martin connection with this Fr. Z hit piece, please put on your independent thinking cap.

“The comparisons with the alt-right are loose. There’s no direct connection between Fr. Z and that movement, which he told BuzzFeed News he had to Google when it was first applied to him. The alt-right, which draws on the reflexive atheism of message board culture and dabbles in the forms of neo-paganism associated with white nationalism, has no coherent stance on religion. Much of the alt-right is ambivalent, if not supportive, of homosexuality, which Fr. Z has called “unnatural” and “disordered.” (Oh for heaven’s sake.  Bothered to read the teachings of the Catholic Church, Mr. Buzzfeed?) Fr. Z has explicitly condemned anti-Semitism, which has dogged various factions of the alt-right (as well as the schismatic Catholic right.) And the comments under his blog posts are far from a Breitbartian vortex of invective; there are often long and thoughtful — albeit extremely conservative — discussions of faith, ritual, history, and bourbon.”

Oh ho!  “Fr. Z has no obvious connections to alt-right groups but we’re going to mention it just so you put the two in the same sentence.”  Can you say “Jumping the shark?!”

Wait for it!

But Fr. Z’s tone, politics, and tactics bring to mind the online mobs of Trump supporters who helped turn the current moment so divisive. Rhetorically, he’s a creature as much of the comment section as the canon, having honed his blogging style since the early 1990s, when he moderated CompuServe’s Catholic forum. He regularly rails against “libs,” “edgy social justice figures” and the “homosexualist agenda.” He has coined Trumpian epithets for his adversaries, referring to the progressive National Catholic Reporter as “fishwrap” and the “National Sodomitical Reporter” and liberal Catholics as the “Red Guard.” He casts himself as a defender of Western civilization and culture; In a recent post, he encouraged followers to buy Defeating Jihad, by the far-right former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka. And his blog links to a webstore where he sells mugs and T-shirts reading “Holy Mass: Turn Towards the Lord Again” in the ubiquitous #MAGA font and color scheme.

Sorry. I cannot stop snickering.  “He has no connection to the alt-right peeps but he does!”  BTW, I’m for defeating Jihad too.  And the Fishwrap?  Many of us call it that and, guess what?  I didn’t even vote for Trump.  Some things are just common sense.  I also call it the National Catholic Distorter, National catholic Reporter, and probably ten other things. Whaaa!

Also, his critics say, he has rallied his followers to carry out harassment and no-platforming campaigns that directly recall the alt-right. In September 2017, in a post entitled “Should a seminary headline a homosexualist activist as a speaker?” Fr. Z alerted his audience to an upcoming speech by the progressive Jesuit priest Rev. James Martin at Catholic University, shortly after the publication of a new book by Martin urging dialogue between the Church and LGBT Catholics. Following Fr. Z’s post, and denunciations by other popular conservative Catholic and schismatic websites, Martin became the target of an online harassment campaign, including threats of violence. And two days after Fr. Z’s post, Catholic withdrew its invitation to Martin, citing “increasing negative feedback from various social media sites.”

“For me the saddest thing about Father Z’s blog is how cruel it is,” Martin told BuzzFeed News. “It’s astonishing to me that a priest could traffic in such cruelty and hatred.”

AND HERE’S WHAT THE WHOLE ARTICLE IS REALLY ABOUT.  Seriously, Fr. Martin has to turn to BuzzFeed because he’s never going to find a FAITHFUL CATHOLIC site to go after Fr. Z.  Honestly, I like to comment as I read but you could see this coming from the beginning of this piece.   Sadly, Fr. James Martin is in such a tail-spin he’s getting desperate.

So please, Mr. Buzzfeed, you’ve make a whole lot of accusations here.  Let’s see the harassment and violence threats.  Sure you must have nice screen captures of them.  I mean, I’m still holding onto Fr. Martin’s totally loving tweet:

 martinhater

Put up or shut up, Mr. BuzzFeed.

Fr. Z told BuzzFeed News that it was not his intention to sic the Zedheads — as he affectionately calls his readers — on Martin, and added that though he did not think it was appropriate for Martin to speak, he, too, had been disinvited from similar engagements for his views.

“I don’t whine about it though,” said Fr. Z. “This isn’t bean bag.”

What?!  No martyr complex?  All the priests have them.

Indeed, Fr. Z’s response to liberal priests who object to his rhetoric is, more or less, Snowflake! In 2014, he told the Jesuit magazine America, “No one forces anyone else to get involved online. If we are going to descend onto the sands of the arena, we had better buckle it on … the notion that everyone has to play verbal patty cake all the time is a rather new idea, both in the church and in the public square.”

EXACTLY!  We’ve all been called “haters” by Fr. Martin, Rosica and Reese at one point or another and we simply laugh because, well, we’re faithful Catholics. Christ was hung a cross and we should whine and cry about being, what, flogged on the internet? Boo hoo!

And Fr. Z buckles it on in the public square with astonishing frequency. In December 2017, Fr. Z posted 141 times, an average of 4.5 posts a day. His detractors are quick to point out the irregularity of his priestly circumstances. Though Fr. Z lives in and blogs from Madison, he was incardinated — basically, given the right to perform the duties of a priest — in an Italian diocese. That, according to several church sources, is highly unusual. Though Fr. Z has faculties in the Madison diocese, his blog comprises the vast majority of his ministry.

Really?  We’re going to go there?  I’m sorry, have you checked Fr. Martin’s Twitter feed?  And what the heck does “Italian” have to do with absolutely anything?  You better batten down the hatches, Mr. BuzzFeed.  I’m relatively sure you’re going to hear from my Italian brothers and sisters in just a sec.

All of this has given Fr. Z the image of a rogue blogger-priest, accountable to an obscure authority, firing red pills from his digital pulpit at a hidebound institution that is unprepared to deal with the new age of online dissent.

Why can’t I get a cool nickname like “rogue blogger-priest?”  Jealous.

Dear Mr. BuzzFeed, you are really a patsy.  You might want learn just a smidgen more about the man before you listen to Fr. Martin.  I’m really starting to feel a bit sorry for you now.  I do believe even Fr. Martin’s cohort publication, America Magazine, has done a better job of researching Fr. Z. https://www.americamagazine.org/content/all-things/catholic-blogosphere-qa-father-john-zuhlsdorf

“Our assumption used to be that [the internet] was a new community, a new way of becoming connected,” said Faggioli, who added that the Church has no regulations to deal with internet priests. “We now know that it has fostered new kinds of divisions. These Catholic blogs play a very important role in this. They tend to speak to a particular kind of audience, against a particular kind of church.”

Um, Massimo, I’m sure there’s some sort of mirror in your house.  Please look into it every once in awhile.

And thanks to the reach of the internet and social media, the message of what Mark Silk called “religious entrepreneurs,” like Fr. Z, can find and consolidate a politically and culturally homogenous audience in a way a parish priest never could.

It’s a point not lost on Fr. Z, who sees himself in a tradition of Christian leaders evangelizing through technology. (A tradition that includes Martin Luther, who could not have spread the seeds of Protestantism without the printing press, but also Father Coughlin, who used the radio in the 1930s to spread his fascist political beliefs to tens of millions of listeners from the tower of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Detroit.)

Oh my gosh!  Is Mr. BuzzFeed serious? The innuendos abound!  How many time can you say “He’s a Nazi but I’m not saying that!” in one piece.  LOL!  

“The church has always made use of the best means of communication,” Fr. Z told BuzzFeed News. “I’m one little guy, but this blog is my force amplifier.”

That force multiplier has allowed Fr. Z to turn What Does the Prayer Really Say into an enterprise. For the spiritual and cultural succor on offer, many of the blog’s readers donate money — on both one-off and monthly subscription bases — and Fr. Z invites them to lavish him with gifts. In exchange for a monthly subscription, Fr. Z wrote in 2015, “you wind up regularly on my list of benefactors for whom I pray.” And the second widget from the top on the blog’s sidebar, below only a search box, is a plea for readers to do their Amazon shopping through his affiliate link.”

The practice has drawn critics, who say that soliciting money directly from his readers inappropriately insulates Fr. Z from Church pressure. But in the context of internet publishing, even on Fr. Z’s low-tech blog, it’s on trend. From YouTube stars to writers crowdfunding projects, content creators across a range of internet media are finding that a devoted audience can support a subscription model. And who is more devoted than a group of parishioners?

And?  Fr. Martin hocks a bunch of bad books and has multiple organizations backing him in his pocket.  Oh, yeah, I forgot.  All of Fr. Martin’s money goes to the Jesuits and he practically lives in a homeless shelter. Please.

“I’m a free market guy,” Fr. Z told BuzzFeed News. “If I put something out there and people want to drop money in my hat, so be it.” He added that he’s not paid a salary by the church: “I kill what I eat.”

Oh, come on, Fr. Z!  Now you’re just baiting the anti-hunting crowd!

The subscriber model produces a fascinating question in the clerical context: If Fr. Z relies on the generosity of his audience, rather than the support of the Church, how much does he have to tell them what they want to hear?

So Mr. BuzzFeed is saying what?  It’s better to take money from the Church so that you’ll say whatever the people want you to say?  That’s quite a twisted logic.  How about you make your own money AND are a faithful priest?  Supposedly Fr. Martin is supported by the Jesuits.  How’s that working out for the Church?

Perhaps that explains his shifting perspective on Donald Trump. Though Fr. Z told BuzzFeed news that he’s not interested in politics, he blogs about national affairs regularly. In January 2016, during Republican primary debate season, Fr. Z approvingly reposted a blog by the conservative priest and cultural commentator Robert Sirico that compared Trump to a laxative and concluded that “I cannot figure out the alleged white-evangelical attraction to Trump.” As the general election got underway, Fr. Z found more and more to like about the GOP candidate, specifically that he recorded a video message for Catholics and was not Hillary Clinton, who he called “treasonous” and “the criminal candidate for the Part of Death.”

Yeah, I’m pretty sure many Catholics went with the lesser of the two evils approach. 

Since the election, Fr. Z has gathered signatures to thank President Trump for defunding “Big Business Abortion” — Planned Parenthood — contrasted Trump flatteringly with President Obama, whom he called “arrogance incarnate,” and most recently, posted President Trump’s remarks at January’s March for Life.

And this is because he raises his own support money?  Might it be, and I’m going out on a limb here Mr. BuzzFeed, because Trump defunded “Big Business Abortion” and spoke out for the unborn at the March for Life?  Oh, your right.  Got to be those donations he brings in.  (insert rolly eyes)

More surprisingly, Fr. Z seemed to endorse President Trump’s travel ban, a decision the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops called “un-Catholic” and protested with an amicus brief filed in the Supreme Court. It was a position that seemed to hew closer to Steve Bannon, the President’s former chief adviser, who has claimed that the Church favors illegal immigration because it has an economic interest, than to Church leadership. Indeed, in 2016, Pope Francis said that Trump’s position on immigration made him “not Christian.” And so Fr. Z found himself, a Catholic priest, warning his audience about the perils of letting immigrants into America, three days after he wrote that it wasn’t a sin to pray for the Pope to die.

Just going to point out, for what it’s worth, there aren’t actually any quotes here.

Said Faggioli, “Fr. Z is much more convinced about the Christian character of Donald Trump than of Pope Francis. That’s remarkable.”

Wow!  Can’t answer for Fr. Z on that one but, hello, you might think that Faggioli would have provided some quotes for that one!

I’m sure the Fr. Martin crowd is gleeful about this one but the rest of us are laughing at the audacity of the level of conjecture and insinuation found in this screed.  I suppose desperate times calls for desperate measures for some.

Alterius culpa, alterius culpa, alterius maxima culpa!

I have to admit, when I first saw the story erupt about Ross Douthat, I really thought the Twitter handle @douthatNYT was just a cool way of saying “doubt that.” Yes, this just goes to show you I live in a “mom cave”. And no, I don’t often read the NY Times. I saw all these back and forths, but really didn’t give it much thought until I saw the group letter to the editor of the New York Times. It started to become a little entertaining, so I paid more attention. You just know it’s going to be good when a large number of them are Georgetown people. You also know there’s something to it when they try to marginalize someone by saying they’re not qualified to speak on a topic. That’s pretty much liberal speak for, “Dang it! He nailed it, so we must now try to convince others he has no clue.” The most hilarious phrase from the letter waspolitically partisan narrative.” Coming from Georgetown peeps and all, that’s kind of when “I’m like rubber. You’re like glue. What bounces off me, sticks to you!” started floating through my mind.

So, here’s the tweet that launched it all. Funny thing is that it’s not attached to any other conversation. It’s just there all by itself. It certainly didn’t say “Massimo Faggioli, own your heresy!”

douthat

Like I said, nowhere is a message to put this in context. None of the posts before or after this one mentions anyone who signed the letter to the editor, and yet, some say they felt inclined to sign it because Ross Douthat called Faggioli a heretic. Are we supposed to simply infer that because Douthat is a mean ol’ “conservative” Catholic? For all we know, the tweet above might have been a reference to “Take the plank out of your own eye” or something else. Isn’t it funny that the dissenters du jour chose to “own it?” Telling!

One signer said she felt inclined to sign because Douthat accused a colleague of heresy (http://bit.ly/1Oka5Dp). It’s supposed to be a “mea culpa,” but likely due to the social media backlash against the signers, it turns into more of a “it’s somebody else’s culpa” due to the fact she just can’t stop herself.

Why I Signed the Letter to the NYTimes about Ross Douthat

by Katie Grimes

I signed the letter primarily because I wanted to support my colleague who was slurred as a heretic on the very public forum of Twitter.

Hmmm, not so much, Katie. Douthat didn’t level an accusation at anyone in particular in that tweet, and I challenge people to do their own research. Don’t take my word for it. Go to Twitter and go through the tweets. I found it in about a minute. Sensitive much, signers?

Although I admire Mr. Douthat’s intelligence, piety, and passion for the faith, I signed the letter because I believe he has uttered several factual errors.  I do believe that, even in its editorial pages, that the New York Times, like all publications, has a duty to the represent the truth to the best of its ability.  More than many other figures who misrepresent or oversimplify Catholic theology in the mainstream media, Mr. Douthat has tended to portray himself as one who recites Catholic teaching rather than one who interprets it, especially over the course of the past few weeks. This alone I take issue with.

Uh, Miss Grimes? Based on your very first paragraph and the holes I punched in it in lightning speed, I’m reasonably sure you are not an expert on what constitutes a factual error.

In other words, I have no problem with any thinker expressing on even the most public forums views about Catholic theology that differ from mine. I do not even have a problem if said thinker defends and advocates for a “conservative” interpretation of Catholicism.  I have no problem admitting that I am neither objective or neutral: we all speak from a certain context, suffer under the weight of our own finitude, and perpetrate a certain sinful bias.  Although I, like every Catholic, feel very strongly about my views, I am not scandalized by the fact that Catholics disagree, mostly in good faith, about many, many things.

Aaaaaaand…here comes the not so contrite confession:

Now here comes the hard part. Many people, rightly, have taken issue with the letter’s use of the word “credentials.”  Some contend that this word makes it seem as though only those with three letters after their name are entitled to speak on questions of Catholic theology and identity.  I regret the impression this word has left in the minds of those who read the letter.  I regret my failure to anticipate this completely reasonable response in advance.

So let me clarify…not in order to make excuses for my error but to atone for it.

Oh, don’t worry, the excuses are coming…

I certainly do not believe that only those privileged and lucky enough to have crossed the doctoral finish line qualify as the sole authentic theologians.  Nor do I think that rigorous academic theological training necessarily makes one a better disciple of the crucified Christ.  In fact, human history supports the opposite conclusion: the poor and marginalized–those who sit outside of the corridors of power rather than within them–possess a superior capacity both to perceive and to life the truth.

Yeah, some of us don’t take to those “with credentials” – especially from places like Georgetown, Loyola, Villanova, etc. – patting us on the head like we’re blithering idiots who couldn’t possibly have a coherent thought on Catholicism. Clearly you get that now, and if you had just stopped there, I probably wouldn’t be writing this little rant. Unfortunately for you, since you’re going to keep up the lunacy, I’m going to join in the fun.

Speaking just for myself: I object not to the privileging of un-credentialed voices but to the Times’ inconsistent standard of credibility.  When it wished to employ an editorialist about the economy, it selected a Nobel Prize winning professor.  When the New York Times publishes articles about global warming, they trust the judgments of “credentialed” scientists.  One wonders why the New York Times does not extend to the discipline of theology the same respect?  In other words, while one does not need a PhD to perceive and to live God’s truth, one does need some sort of systematic training to pontificate (pun intended) about questions of church history and liturgical, moral, and systematic theology.  These can be found outside of the theological academy, but they must be found somewhere.

Seriously? I’ve got to ask what you’d think if it were Archbishop Chaput or Cardinal Burke who wrote this editorial? I’m reasonably sure all the whining about “experts” would have gone out the window, and we would be focusing on the term “legalistic” instead. Why, in your letter to the editor, did you not try to rebut the smallest “factual error” on Mr. Douthat’s part? Because, for Catholic dissenters, pointing out factual errors is irrelevant. Why would you ever do that when you could just tell people he’s stupid???

So perhaps rather than calling Mr. Douthat “un-credentialed,” the letter should have asked the New York Times the following question: with what criteria did they determine Mr. Douthat competent to act as an arbiter of theological truth?

Oh, for goodness sakes! I’m looking at the Op-Ed (Op stand for opinion if you didn’t know) page right now. There’s a Mr. Blow who wrote a piece on the G.O.P. His qualifications? He was a graphics editor who had a B.A. in mass communications. Not meaning to pick on Mr. Blow, but it’s just that the only “competency” one needs for an opinion is to have a brain. Now, if one wants to take someone’s opinion over another based on what they believe to be the author’s competency, so be it. I doubt I would agree with all of Mr. Douthat’s ideas, but I, personally, would likely take Mr. Douthat’s opinion over just about ANYONE at Georgetown.

But let’s be real here: some of the pushback to the letter’s use of the word “credentialed” strikes me as a bit disingenuous or self-serving. If we do not believe that academic theologians have distinctive to contribute to public debates, and if we believe their training makes them not experts but just self-inflated blowhards, then let’s go all the way with this.  If Massimo Faggioli’s PhD and professoriate in theology does not matter, then neither does Mr. Douthat’s magna cum laude graduation from Harvard.

And here’s where we see the feigned contrition isn’t so. She’s actually going to double-down with the people who opposed her for patting Douthat on the head! Let me just explain to you, Ms. Grimes, we don’t have anything against academic theologians per se. We just think you and the other signers of this letter are blowhards. Sorry, actually more like whiners.

Here’s one last comment from the liberal, self-loathing white, Catholic chick (and you can’t tell me it’s not totally predictable):

Let’s also not forget that Mr. Douthat’s position owes in no small part to the credentials of race and gender that he has accumulated but not earned. We take white men much more seriously than we take others, even when they say very silly things.

And the trifecta is complete! She not only told us Douthat is incompetent (because he’s “conservative” – it certainly wasn’t for anything he wrote), but that he is also male and “Eurocentric.” Boom! The implosion of the liberal, white, Catholic woman is now complete. You may now return to your regular programming.