The Martin Chronicles

Should I make this the new name for the blog?  I really never intended on him being a main focus but now that he’s made it to the Vatican, I’m feeling like it’s all Martin all the time.  It’s like he thought the job description was to communicate himself.  I long for the “Who in the heck is Fr. James Martin, SJ?” days to return.

Here is my dose of irony for the day!

Homosexual clergy should ‘come out’ to show how ‘gay people can live chastely’: Vatican consultant

July 7, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Vatican’s hand-picked pro-homosexual communications consultant Fr. James Martin said parish priests who secretly identify as homosexual should publicly “come out” to show their congregations “what a gay person is like and, incidentally, how gay people can live chastely.”

So, the first thought that popped into my head was “You first, Fr. Martin!  You first!”  Relatively sure I’m not alone in that guess.

Next, I’m wondering why a priest has to “come out” in order to tell people how they can live chastely.  I don’t remember anyone saying “I’m straight!  You too can be chaste!”  In fact, I’m missing the many teachings of Fr. Martin on chastity.  Did he write a book on that one?  All I could find in a cursory search was a whole chapter in a book he wrote, “Building a Bridge”.  Here are quotes and main takeaways, courtesy of Catholic Match (kind of disappointed in them on this one, though):

In an interview with the National Catholic Register, Fr. Martin gave his reasoning about why he doesn’t mention chastity in his book:

Register: In your book, you stress what the Catechism says about treating “LGBT” Catholics with “respect, compassion and sensitivity,” but not the teaching about living chastely. How long does one employ “respect, compassion and sensitivity” before calling “LGBT” Catholics to chastity?

Martin: The reason I didn’t talk about chastity in my book is because Church teaching is clear on that matter, and it’s well-known in the “LGBT” community. I don’t think there’s any “LGBT” Catholic alive who doesn’t understand that teaching. By the same token, there seem to be few “LGBT” Catholics who have accepted that teaching. Theologically speaking, you could say the teaching has not been “received” by the “LGBT” community, to whom it was directed. So rather than focusing on a topic where the two groups — the institutional church and the “LGBT” community — are miles and miles apart, I preferred to try to build a bridge over areas that could be places of common ground. And as for “respect, compassion and sensitivity,” one can always employ those virtues even when one is in disagreement with the other person. If you’re a bishop who is speaking to an “LGBT” person who disagrees with Church teaching, you can still treat him or her with respect, and the “LGBT” person can do the same with the bishop. As for calling them specifically to chastity, it’s important to remember we are all called to chastity, so that is part of everyone’s call as a Christian and as a Catholic. So that virtue is not something that applies only to the “LGBT” person.

So why then do priests have to “come out” to teach anyone how to live chastely? After all, “Church teaching is clear on that matter”, and there isn’t “any “LGBT” Catholic alive who doesn’t understand that teaching”. Heck, it is so well understood that it’s not included in your oh-so-important book.  Puh-lease!  Make up your mind, Fr. Martin.

That said, I’m not entirely sure that he fully understands the Catholic teaching on chastity that apparently everyone else has got down.  If he did, I’d think he’d use words like “self-mastery”, “sin”, etc. Maybe this will help.

Before we go onto the rest of Martin’s musings, let me tell you a little story.

A long time ago, in a diocese far, far away…Actually, not so far away, but way back when we had a liberally, permissive bishop, he allowed his cronies to have a support day for “gay priests.”  The obvious guys were there, but a couple priests who showed were puzzling.  One of these priests was (and still is) a very faithful, humble priest.  He got up and asked a very poignant question.  He said, “Why do you want to label yourself a ‘gay priest’ instead of a faithful priest?”  BAM!  I think it was his loving way of saying, “What are you dooooiiinnngggg???”  Personally, I don’t need or want to know who my priest is attracted to, unless it is Jesus, Our Lady, and the Saints.  I want him to guide me in leading a life that will lead me to an everlasting life with God.  I mean, is Fr. Martin saying that only priests that “come out” can help same-sex attracted folks live a chaste life?  Sorry, I know same-sex attracted people who were helped to live chaste lives by priests who they will never know to whom they are attracted.  It’s not about the priest.  It’s about the penitent and the wonderful sacraments and teachings the Church has to offer to help them be chaste.  It’s about priests knowing how to encourage people to live virtuous lives no matter what their sin.  For this particular issue, priests can foster Courage and Encourage groups, and quite frankly, they can just foster a family atmosphere where there are people helping people with their daily struggles against sin.

Sadly, I think Fr. Martin just wants to foster an environment that allows him to do whatever the heck he wants to do without guilt, and he’d like to drag a whole bunch of people down with him.  His goal is to foster the “We’re all just sinners, so let’s not worry about that anymore.  You’re nice, I’m nice, and we’re happy in our sins!” environment.  And guess what kind of things happen when people act that way…

Martin’s July 6 interview with CNN ironically comes about a week after news broke of the arrest of a Vatican gay-priest, Monsignor Luigi Capozzi, who frequently hosted cocaine-fueled homosexual orgies in a building right next to St. Peter’s Basilica.

BTW, the same clergy who are all too willing to report (or rather, shout out gleefully) when someone like Cardinal Pell is prosecuted are somehow super quiet about this little event.  I mean, it’s like they’re just ignoring the story all together.  Go to America Magazine, Salt and Light Media, or the National catholic Fishwrap.  I just did.  Search Coccopalmerio or Capozzi.  Cricket!  Cricket!  I mean, the silence deafening!

In the interview, the Jesuit priest and editor-at-large of America magazine spoke about his new pro-homosexual book Building a Bridge. He said the Church is beginning to shift its “approach” to homosexuals, thanks to Pope Francis.

There are two reasons for this shift. One is Pope Francis. His saying ‘Who am I to judge?’ about gay people; his public meeting with Yayo Grassi, his former student who is gay, during his papal visit to the United States; his comments in Amoris Laetitia [which have been used to allow practicing homosexuals to receive Communion]. And the bishops who Pope Francis is appointing in the United States are much more LGBT friendly,” he said.

What in the @#$%&!?  Seriously???  He’s still trying to float this crud to the uninformed and pass it off as truth??  Please, people!  Look it up yourself.  There is no different approach in the Holy Father’s comments.  It’s kind of what MY peeps have been saying all along.  If you are repentant, the Lord forgives!  Geez!  Here are the EXACT words from that part of the interview.  I’m not trying to hide it like Fr. Martin is.  I’ll even include the link.  Does Fr. Martin do this when talking about “gay people” and “Who am I to judge?”

Ilze Scamparini:

I would like permission to ask a delicate question: another image that has been going around the world is that of Monsignor Ricca and the news about his private life. I would like to know, Your Holiness, what you intend to do about this? How are you confronting this issue and how does Your Holiness intend to confront the whole question of the gay lobby?

Pope Francis:

About Monsignor Ricca: I did what canon law calls for, that is a preliminary investigation. And from this investigation, there was nothing of what had been alleged. We did not find anything of that. This is the response. But I wish to add something else: I see that many times in the Church, over and above this case, but including this case, people search for “sins from youth”, for example, and then publish them. They are not crimes, right? Crimes are something different: the abuse of minors is a crime. No, sins. But if a person, whether it be a lay person, a priest or a religious sister, commits a sin and then converts, the Lord forgives, and when the Lord forgives, the Lord forgets and this is very important for our lives. When we confess our sins and we truly say, “I have sinned in this”, the Lord forgets, and so we have no right not to forget, because otherwise we would run the risk of the Lord not forgetting our sins. That is a danger. This is important: a theology of sin. Many times I think of Saint Peter. He committed one of the worst sins, that is he denied Christ, and even with this sin they made him Pope. We have to think a great deal about that. But, returning to your question more concretely. In this case, I conducted the preliminary investigation and we didn’t find anything. This is the first question. Then, you spoke about the gay lobby. So much is written about the gay lobby. I still haven’t found anyone with an identity card in the Vatican with “gay” on it. They say there are some there. I believe that when you are dealing with such a person, you must distinguish between the fact of a person being gay and the fact of someone forming a lobby, because not all lobbies are good. This one is not good. If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him? The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this in a beautiful way, saying … wait a moment, how does it say it … it says: “no one should marginalize these people for this, they must be integrated into society”. The problem is not having this tendency, no, we must be brothers and sisters to one another, and there is this one and there is that one. The problem is in making a lobby of this tendency: a lobby of misers, a lobby of politicians, a lobby of masons, so many lobbies. For me, this is the greater problem. Thank you so much for asking this question. Many thanks.

Back to the LifeSiteNews article…

“The second thing is the increased number of LGBT Catholics who are coming out and making LGBT issues much more important for the church as a whole,” he added.

The interviewer asked Fr. Martin about his claim in his new book that there are “thousands” of homosexual clergy who have not “come out,” wanting to know why they keep their sexuality secret.

“Several reasons,” replied Martin. “One, their bishops or religious superiors ask them not to come out. Two, they fear reprisals from parishioners. Three, they fear it would be divisive. Four, they are private people. Five, they are not fully aware of their sexuality. And lastly, people have mistakenly conflated homosexuality and pedophilia, and so priests don’t want to come out because they fear they’ll be labeled a pedophile.”

Again, seriously?  Usually child molesters are called child molesters.  Can we focus a little on #4 for a second?  Yeah, many priests don’t talk about their sexual inclinations, sins, attractions, etc., because it’s simply, well, tacky and their vocation shouldn’t revolve around their sexual preference.  Gag!

Fr. Martin then agreed that it would make a “difference” in the Church if more homosexual clergy “came out.”

“It would help to show Catholics in the pews what a gay person is like and, incidentally, how gay people can live chastely. The great irony is that these men and women are living out exactly what the church asks of LGBT people — chastity and celibacy — and they are not allowed to talk about it. They are doing great work under a strange cloud that should not exist,” he said.

So these “gay people” are already living chaste and celibate lives, yet we need priests to “come out” to teach them how to be chaste and celibate?  Huh?  Which part of the Church has a problem with “gay people” who are faithful practicing Catholics who embrace the teachings of the Church, receive the sacraments, feed the homeless, etc., etc., etc.?  And, not allowed to talk about what?  Their lack of sex lives?  Look, we ALL struggle with sin.  If you feel the need to tell me you struggle with SSA, go ahead!  I’m here for you and maybe I can tell you how I work through my troubles with sin.  If you want to tell me that you engage in the active homosexual lifestyle and you’re still going to stroll up to Communion, we’re probably going to have a discussion about it.

But an additional reason why homosexual priests choose not to “come out” is given by famed Canadian Catholic laicized-priest Gregory Baum.

A peritus or expert at the Second Vatican Council, Baum wrote in his memoirs that he “did not profess my own homosexuality in public because such an act of honesty would have reduced my influence as a critical theologian.” While Baum kept his life of homosexual debauchery private, he managed to exert his influence over Canada’s bishops so that they dissented from the Church’s 1968 teaching in Humanae Vitae against contraception.

The interviewer did not ask Fr. Martin if he was himself homosexual.

Martin’s claim that priests don’t want to “come out” because of fear they will be labeled an abuser is not unfounded.

Research indicates that the abuse scandal within the Catholic Church primarily consisted of the homosexual abuse of males. A 2011 study commissioned by the U.S. Bishops and conducted by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice found that nearly 80 percent of victims who were abused by priests were post-pubescent and adolescent males. Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, a top psychiatrist and expert in handling sexually abusive priests, said at the time that the study revealed that homosexuality was the primary driving force behind the bulk of abuse cases.

The Catholic Church only allows men into the priesthood who have “self-control and a well-integrated sexuality.” Last year, the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy reaffirmed Catholic teaching that “those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture'” are not to be admitted to seminaries or be ordained Catholic priests.

So let me get this straight (no pun intended). The Church, run by a guy who says “Who am I to judge?”, is judging the suitability of a man to be a Catholic priest?  YOU BETCHA! That is judging the reality of a situation, not their immortal soul!

There are other examples beyond Capozzi and Baum that suggest that homosexual clergy are more like Judas than John when it comes to serving Christ and the Church he founded.

Honestly, I can’t say whether that’s true or not, because there might be SSA priests we don’t know about who are simply living out their vocations as faithfully as they can.  That said, the John Jay report does show a clear pattern of homosexual abuse, not pedophilia.  81% were male and something like 65-75% were postpubescent males.

For example, in 2015 a Polish priest and monsignor who worked at the Vatican for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith demanded that the Church change her sexual teachings after going public with his homosexuality and sexual relationship with another man.

Using similar language and talking points employed by Fr. Martin, Monsignor Krzystof Charamsa said, among other things, that the Church should end its “language of homophobia … and rejection of LGBT people,” that it should “speak out against … any discrimination against people based on sexual orientation,” and that it should “revise the Catechism,” specifically the language used to speak of homosexual acts as “objectively disordered.”

So, is Msgr. Charasma living that chaste life? Not quite.  Sigh.  Pray for him.

While news of the cocaine-fueled homosexual orgies right next to St. Peter’s is shocking, it is not altogether unexpected.

In 2012, Polish priest Fr. Dariusz Oko released a paper in which he highlighted his discovery of what he called a “huge homosexual underground in the Church.”

“I began my work as a struggle against a deadly, external threat to Christianity, but then gradually discovered,” he said, that “the enemy is not only outside the Church, but within it, as well.”

Oko said homosexual cliques of clergy, even at the highest levels, are formed by fear of exposure, lust for power, and money.

Clique is the perfect terminology.  They are cliques of predators.

“They know well, however, that they may be exposed and embarrassed, so they shield one another by offering mutual support. They build informal relationships reminding [one] of a ‘clique’ or even ‘mafia,’ [and] aim at holding particularly those positions which offer power and money,” he wrote.

“When they achieve a decision-making position, they try to promote and advance mostly those whose nature is similar to theirs, or at least who are known to be too weak to oppose them. This way, leading positions in the Church may be held by people suffering from deep internal wounds,” he added.

Exactly! They are promoting and advancing the lie that the Church will change her teachings.

Oko said that once homosexual clergy achieve a “dominating position” in the Church’s hierarchy, the become a “backroom elite” with “tremendous power in deciding about important nominations and the whole life of the Church.”

I think he’s completely and utterly correct, and we’re seeing it now.

Among the rumors put forward at the time of Pope Benedict’s decision to resign in 2013 was the revelation of the existence of an entrenched “gay network” that orchestrated “sexual encounters” and shady financial machinations within the Vatican. The Pope reportedly decided to resign the day he received a 300-page dossier compiled by three cardinals detailing the workings and sexual activities of a network of homosexual curial officials.

Well, I don’t deal with conspiracy theories.  From what I understand from people who have personal relationships with him, this is not the case, although I’d hardly blame him if it were.  I think, however, he took the papacy a little more seriously than that.  For whatever reason, we are in the situation we are in.  Sadly, the Martin/Cupich/McElroy/Kasper (and on and on and on) contingent has won some battles.  Time for us to get a little more creative, if you ask me.

Open Rebellion Coming to a Church Near You!

Congratulations, United States Catholics!  You’ve now got a parish openly rebelling against the teachings of the Catholic Church. Didn’t know that?  Sorry to break it to you.  Most “LGBT” parishes dance ever so carefully around the issue of active homosexual acts.  They dangle their feet over the line but never actually speak of the fact that they are encouraging people to accept homosexual activity.  Unfortunately, this parish is now openly doing it.  I, for one, am happy to just see them say what they mean for once and ditch the wink and the nod.  In this parish, it’s A-O-K to be a drag queen, or a physically active homosexual (sodomy and masturbation – I’d like to be super clear on that for some goof who is going to try and argue that simply being homosexual is not a sin), or a champion of “gay marriage”, in  a “gay marriage”, and for homosexual “married” partners to adopt children.  I’d guess it’s probably just peachy to use IVF, sperm donors, egg donors, and surrogacy to have children, too.  You know, because their desire comes before EVERYTHING else, especially Church teaching.  Joseph Sciambra has put together a nice, not-so-little dossier here:

And then there’s this:

St. Matthew Catholic Church: LEAD Ministry from Eric Kruszewski on Vimeo.

This is one of the most deplorable things I’ve ever seen, and it’s been a year since it came out. Pretty much shows how the pastor is accepting of moral behavior. I found it here: Really, if is extolling the virtues of a Catholic parish, it’s time to do something.  I’m sure Archbishop Lori agonizes over this parish, but the time for contemplation is over.  Fr. Muth is actively leading souls away from Truth.  Don’t we care about the parishioners?  Yes, it would be a news story to shut down the heresy. Yes, some are going to leave the Catholic Church behind if you teach Truth.  We know this, for Christ himself saw followers walk away, but ignoring this is aiding and abetting leading souls right into the hands of Satan.  Please take the time to watch the video.  People have very openly said they are in homosexual relationships.  This isn’t simply about “a parish being welcoming.” This is about a parish making people “feel at home” with their active homosexual lifestyles.

So what’s the Church to do???  We cannot “welcome” sinful acts that lead people into spiritual and physical danger.  We can’t tell the person suffering from same-sex attraction that we accept their lifestyle any more than we can accept a drug addict’s lifestyle.  Earning the “tolerant and nice” badge is anything but loving.  In fact, it’s pretty much selfish on the behalf of those that do it.  The only loving and kind thing we can ever do is to tell people the Truth, help them carry their crosses, and ease their sufferings as much as we possibly can in light of the Truth.

Fr. Muth says he just want to “provide a place where people can simply find their moment to seek God in their life.”  That’s just a bold face lie.  God is Truth and Fr. Muth is doing anything but putting Truth before the people in his congregation.  He’s doing nothing but validating their lifestyle choices.  I’m sickened at his attitude that HE, not the Church, provides a safe haven to people suffering from SSA.  Sorry, Father.  I must have missed the part where your accepting ways led the people in this video to a chaste lifestyle.

This is the type of thing that the parishioners get out of St. Matthew’s and Fr. Muth: “I love God, and I love myself, and it’s unfair to think I have to choose between the two,” said Victoria Moore, a lesbian…”  FACEPALM!  I’m sure NcR was glee writing this one.  Somehow these (and so many other things) were completely missed at St. Matthew’s.

Then Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Matt. 16:24

And calling the multitude together with his disciples, he said to them: If any man will follow me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Mark 8:34

And he said to all: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23

And they that are Christ’s, have crucified their flesh, with the vices and concupiscences. Gal 5:24

For you are dead; and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ shall appear, who is your life, then you also shall appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, lust, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is the service of idols.  For which things the wrath of God cometh upon the children of unbelief, In which you also walked some time, when you lived in them.  Col 3:3-7

And you, too, must think of yourselves as dead to sin, and alive with a life that looks towards God, through Christ Jesus our Lord.

You must not, then, allow sin to tyrannize over your perishable bodies, to make you subject to its appetites. You must not make your bodily powers over to sin, to be the instruments of harm; make yourselves over to God, as men who have been dead and come to life again; make your bodily powers over to God, to be the instruments of right-doing. Sin will not be able to play the master over you any longer; you serve grace now, not the law. Romans 6:11-14

Well, brethren, you too have undergone death, as far as the law is concerned, in the person of Christ crucified, so that you now belong to another, to him who rose from the dead. We yield increase to God, whereas, when we were merely our natural selves, the sinful passions to which the law bound us worked on our natural powers, so as to yield increase only to death.  Now we are quit of the claim which death had on us, so that we can do service in a new manner, according to the spirit, not according to the letter as of old. Romans 7:4-6

And now, brethren, I appeal to you by God’s mercies to offer up your bodies as a living sacrifice, consecrated to God and worthy of his acceptance; this is the worship due from you as rational creatures.[1] 2 And you must not fall in with the manners of this world; there must be an inward change, a remaking of your minds, so that you can satisfy yourselves what is God’s will, the good thing, the desirable thing, the perfect thing. Romans 12: 1-2

So,yes Victoria, you are supposed to choose between your desires and God when they are at odds and I’m so sorry that Fr. Muth hasn’t shown you true accompaniment.  You wanted bread and he gave you a big, old stone.

Like I said here,, this issue is the Catholic Church’s Iraq or Syria, and our hierarchy is acting more like Obama than Christ and His saints.  (If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t put it on.)  The several lines in the sand has repeatedly been crossed by dissenters, and now an entire parish, yet it doesn’t even matter if Archbishop Lori is doing something behind the scenes to rectify the problems. To be fair, he has made them cancel things in the past.  That said, this parish is the proverbial “Mother of All Bombs” in the obedience area and unless something is done to publicly correct the pastor and the flock, you can bet more parishes will follow.

I’m a mom.  I can tell you when children don’t get a firm smack down on serious issues, many more will arise and it can spread through the family.  Our hierarchy might think that quietly dealing with things is the way to go but this isn’t somebody stealing a cookie.  This is akin to the family finding your kid with a needle sticking out of their arm.  It’s not just harmful to them but to the entire family unit with such a display.  And you know what?  You might just lose that child, but if you make sure that you ALWAYS let them know your actions are done out of concern for their physical and immortal well-being, they will remember that.  As parents, we cannot make our children not sin. It’s impossible.  I’ve tried.   We can only teach them.  If we do and they sin, they will be held responsible.  If we don’t teach them and they sin, woe to us!


Social Justice is from Womb to Tomb!

I’m sure Thomas Reese, SJ, Cardinal Cupich, Bishop McElroy, Fr. James Martin, SJ, and club are typing up a correction for Ms. Ratcliffe as we speak!  Wait!  What?!  No?  Surely they want to correct the error of her ways, right?  I mean, it rather messes up their seamless garment issue to have somebody actually expressing what most of the seamless garment crowd thinks anyway, right?  They’re supposed to be quiet about this, a concept clearly was lost on Ms. Ratcliffe:


WASHINGTON, D.C., April 3, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A representative from the George Soros-funded dissident group Catholics for Choice (CFC) said she supports Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider, because “our Catholic social justice tradition compels us to stand with the poor and the most vulnerable in our society.”

So let’s just kill all their children.  No need to offer them real help.  Let’s just eliminate the poor and vulnerable children and call it social justice!  Nobody will notice that it’s largely genocide.

“Planned Parenthood does this every single day,” CFC’s Sara Ratcliffe told a Planned Parenthood rally on Capitol Hill Wednesday. “The Washington-led attacks against Planned Parenthood only serve to hurt the poorest and most rural in our communities.”

Yes, they do. Planned Parenthood eliminates (nice way of saying kills) minorities and the poor class. Every. Single. Day. By the thousands.

Planned Parenthood commits over 300,000 abortions annually, an act the authoritative teaching of the Church labels “intrinsically evil.”

It promotes and provides contraception and sterilization, both condemned by the Church. Planned Parenthood is also a leading source of sex education, encouraging children of “any age” to masturbate and teens to experiment with sadomasochism as well as other dangerous and bizarre sexual practices.

Details.  Details.  Surely there’s not a problem with Ms. Ratcliffe and “Catholics” for Choice dissenting from the teachings of the Church. I mean, if there was, I’m sure that the National catholic Reporter and America Magazine club would get on that and show the clear Church teaching on the subject. 

Come on, people! Catholicism isn’t a nationality.  It’s a belief.  If you don’t believe it, too bad, so sad, but let’s be just a little intellectually honest and admit that you don’t believe much, if anything, of what the Church actually teaches.  I realize that Satan’s big game is to divide from within but your slip is kind of showing, Sara. 

“Catholics in good conscience support access to reproductive health to the people who need it and Planned Parenthood provides it,” said Ratcliffe. “Catholics support the right for women to decide on their own healthcare based on their own conscience without interference. And Planned Parenthood helps us do that.”

Oh my ever loving goodness!  This gets so tedious, perpetually pointing out what would take a few seconds for any Catholic to find on Google.  First, would you like to quote a little Church teaching on that, Sara?  Didn’t think so.  I’m reasonably sure that you’d gladly quote Article 6, Section I, and say “Seeeeeee???” and just hope nobody reads on to Section II.  If you’re falling for it, please read just a tiny bit further (like the next citation)!

1783 Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings.

So, no, Ms. Ratcliffe.  A GOOD conscience is a well-formed conscience formed around the Church’s teachings, not your will. It’s really a simple concept actually written out for you.  Stay with me here. Your opinions are not authoritative teachings.  A shocker!  I know!

Also, just so I’ve done my due diligence in clearing up your fallacies, Ms. Ratcliffe, you REALLY might want to read Section IV:

IV. ERRONEOUS JUDGMENT (AKA the part aimed squarely at Ms. Ratcliffe)

1790 A human being must always obey the certain judgment of his conscience. If he were deliberately to act against it, he would condemn himself. Yet it can happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments about acts to be performed or already committed.

1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man “takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.”59 In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits.

1792 Ignorance of Christ and his Gospel, bad example given by others, enslavement to one’s passions, assertion of a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience, rejection of the Church’s authority and her teaching, lack of conversion and of charity: these can be at the source of errors of judgment in moral conduct.

1793 If – on the contrary – the ignorance is invincible, or the moral subject is not responsible for his erroneous judgment, the evil committed by the person cannot be imputed to him. It remains no less an evil, a privation, a disorder. One must therefore work to correct the errors of moral conscience.

1794 A good and pure conscience is enlightened by true faith, for charity proceeds at the same time “from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith.“60 (So based on this, what is your conscience good and pure, Sara?)

The more a correct conscience prevails, the more do persons and groups turn aside from blind choice and try to be guided by objective standards of moral conduct.61

As Ratcliffe addressed the Planned Parenthood supporters, Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins shouted that one cannot be truly Catholic and pro-abortion. Hawkins’ voice can be heard in the distance in the video below. 

OK, Kristan’s a convert so I’m sure she might not be up on everything, but she’s in the same boat with a lot of other Catholics.  Just because you are a bad Catholic doesn’t mean you are not Catholic.  I’m a real stickler for this.  Ms. Ratcliffe could even renounce the Faith and she’d still be Catholic.  Baptism is an indelible mark.  Ms. Ratcliffe is most certainly a dissenting and poorly practicing Catholic, and if the clergy really loved her, they would’ve let her have it like most good parents would when their children stray toward danger.  Sadly, many ignore because it’s inconvenient, makes a news story they don’t want to be in, or simply doesn’t fit their seamless garment narrative.  Bad on them.  Obviously, this woman’s soul doesn’t mean as much to them as it should.  And then there’s the thousands of souls she leads astray everyday almost (just ignore this, you guys trying to wake her up) unchecked.  In fact, that’s why she’s able to do it.  Not on me!

“Equality, fairness, treating others with compassion, the right to social justice for everyone: these are Catholic values,” continued Ratcliffe. “These are what Catholics for Choice stands for, these are what Planned Parenthood stands for, and as Catholics, we stand with Planned Parenthood not in spite of our Catholic tradition but because of it.”

Equality, fairness, treating others with compassion for everyone except the truly most vulnerable – the completely defenseless human beings at both ends of life. If they’re inconvenient, they must go!  Sorry, sister. Social justice begins in the womb and ends in the tomb.  And please, you wouldn’t know “Catholic tradition” if it bit you in the behind.  You can’t really be this clueless, can you?  I suppose with the help of the American seamless (or is it more like seamy-ful?) hierarchy, you could be.  Sigh.

Ratcliffe used euphemisms like “each woman’s choice” and “access to reproductive health” rather than name abortion directly. Her speech didn’t mention God, any specific Catholic teachings, the Bible, or prayer.

I’m sure she wasn’t quoting the Catechism either.  As usual, she’s just hoping to steal as many souls as possible before people catch on.  The sad thing is that the people in desperate situations, the ones who need REAL help, the ones she tries desperately to convince that Planned Parenthood has their best interest at heart, are the victims of her spin job.  Thanks to all of you great people praying in front of Planned Parenthood as often as you can, offering true help to these potential victims!


Careful what you wish for…

This is everything you need to know about the Diocese of San Jose and why many wish Bishop McGrath would ride quietly off to retirement.  It seems he’s trying to burn the place down on the way out.  Guess what, Bishop McGrath, the diocese is going to long outlive your tenure. He’s pulling his 11 whole seminarians out of St. Patrick’s and sending them to the University of Saint Mary of the Lake Mundelein Seminary.  Where’s that, you might ask?  They’ll be with Cardinal Cupich in the Archdiocese of Chicago.  Surprise!  Surprise! Surprise!  (That’s sarcasm.)  It was a pretty safe bet it wasn’t going to be, say, Sacred Heart Major Seminary with Archbishop Vigneron, though.

Please note, this is a reprint of a National catholic Reporter story.  Why am I pointing this out?  Well, because of this:

One St. Patrick alumnus, now the pastor of Danville’s St. Isidore Parish in the Oakland diocese, shared his appreciation for the Sulpicians in the Oct. 30, 2016, parish bulletin, praising them for providing “us a vision of Church which was wide and inclusive, not narrow and blinkered.”

In the bulletin message, Fr. Gerard Moran also charged that “the Sulpicians have been on a collision course with Archbishop Cordileone since his appointment to San Francisco.”

Moran criticized what he called Cordileone’s “obsessive compulsive micromanagement” and appealed to previous San Francisco archbishops to “use their influence in Rome to see the Sulpician decision is not irrevocable.”

Now, I’m 99% sure that the National catholic Reporter didn’t stumble upon a bulletin announcement from one of the not-so-notable guys from my diocese.  Heck, I only stumbled across it because a reader sent it to me.

So, in short, looks like NcR reads my blog!   Hi, Fathers Martin and Reese!  Did you miss me when I was on hiatus?  So glad to know my work is appreciated!

On to the rest of the story.  I’m reasonably sure that Bishop McGrath’s final straw was the recent appointment of Fr. George Schultze, SJ, as rector of St. Patrick’s Seminary.  That’s all the buzz around here.  

I have to laugh at the liberals who don’t know what to say about the Jesuits these days.  It would be lovely to see the spin room at NcR trying to figure out how to trash a faithful Jesuit when the Pope is a Jesuit.  I also cannot wait to see what Frs. Reese and Martin are going to say about their brother Jesuit who just got a nice promotion.  So many visions are running through my head right now.  I mean, I’m sure they spend a good chunk of their time wishing they could have the Jesuit orders take over dioceses and seminaries, but I can just see them crying “NOT THAT ONE!  OR THAT ONE!”  It’s just going to get harder and harder for the Reeses and Martins of the Jesuit order now that there are a lot of faithful Jesuits showing up.  And, heaven help them, they must be coming unglued now that “One of them” is now in charge of the formation of priests, or the bishop of the Oakland Diocese, or…

Invincibly Ignorant or NcR Reader?

Can somebody tell me where the National catholic Reporter gets their writers?   Are they all a product of a modern Jesuit education?  I mean, the theories they put forth are simply sophomoric, and that’s saying something coming from this relatively uneducated girl.  That’s just how bad they are.  I would think Thomas Reese, SJ, would want people a little loftier, being a Jesuit and all, but I guess this is what you get with those Jesuits who seek to undermine the Faith.  Going beyond the sophomoric ruins their narrative, and we can’t have that!

 Embryo destruction is the underlying wrong of IVF

Phyllis Zagano  |  Aug. 24, 2016 Just Catholic

Did Phyllis at least get her name right? Because the title itself is oh, so wrong.  The “underlying wrong” of IVF is that it goes against natural law and the nature of marriage. How do we know this, dear Phyllis?  We know this because even if not one embryo is destroyed, it is still wrong, wrong, wrong!  Dead children are just one of the horrifying end results of defying natural law and the nature of marriage. As the Church has said about a hundred times, you do not separate the procreative and unitive aspects of marriage. When you do, a wave of destruction results.  When you try to separate the procreative from the unitive and defy natural law, you end up with death all the way around.  Death of people, death of marriages, death of morality, death of the family, etc.  Humane Vitae’s prophecy was fulfilled.

Now why doesn’t Phyllis point this out and only focus on “dead embryos?”  Well, to focus on natural law and the nature of marriage puts a little crimp in the liberal agenda of the National catholic Reporter.  You can’t mention the nature of marriage or natural law, because then you’d have to apply those little items to the rest of the things the NcR really wants approved, like  “gay marriage”, “the gay lifestyle”, divorce and “re-marriage”, and birth control.  I somehow think that NcR is just hoping that scientists make that breakthrough in IVF where no embryos are killed so they can tell their readers their consciences can be clear. They would be wrong, regardless, and there’s a whole host of other victims they simply ignore. (Please see the links  the end of the blog post for some of the victims NcR chooses not to see.)

They say that in 1978, on seeing newspaper photos of Louise Brown, New York’s Cardinal Terence Cooke said “a baby!” The complication: Brown was the first “test-tube baby,” born to an English couple with the aid of a physician who later won the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

Who are “they?” And yeah, Louise was still a baby, no matter how she was conceived.  Is there some question there?  I don’t believe anyone is saying anything to the contrary.

Cardinal Albino Luciani, then patriarch of Venice and soon to be Pope John Paul I, explained his similar response in detail. He said he only partly shared the excitement and enthusiasm about the baby’s birth, because to really make a judgement he would need access to all the scientific data.

Luciani went on to explain the possibilities and moral probabilities. He worried about the scientist unleashing an uncontrollable force, much like Goethe’s “sorcerer’s apprentice.” He saw the specter of a new industry of “baby manufacturing” as he called it, and he questioned the legitimacy of the methodology, now known as in vitro fertilization.

First of all, why are we quoting Cardinal Luciani?  Are there not a wealth of quotes coming from the Church since then?

Next, why the heck aren’t we directly quoting him fully and  in some sort of context? Hmmm…I can’t imagine why, but I’m reasonably sure my readers could draw some conclusions.  Here is the part she skips:

Getting down, however, to the act in itself, and good faith aside, the moral problem which is posed is: is extrauterine fertilization in vitro or in a test tube, licit?… I do not find any valid reasons to deviate from this norm, by declaring licit the separation of the transmission of life from the marriage act.  (

What?!?!  Please note, Phyllis, “dead embryos” not mentioned.  It is not licit because it goes against natural law and the nature of marriage. Oh, and did you also notice he didn’t need any “scientific data” to make that judgment?

Nothing has changed. Of course the birth of a child is a time for rejoicing. New life! What is troublesome is IVF’s continual collision with moral theology. Baby making is reduced to solitary activity in clinics, with petri dishes and sterile conditions replacing wine and roses.

(Insert game show buzzer sound.) The fact that it’s “unromantic” is also not the underlying wrong either.  Sigh.

And the conundrum only begins there. You can’t blame the baby — or babies — resulting from these scientific advances. 

There is no conundrum. There is right and wrong, moral and immoral.   Nobody blames the baby. This is a complete red-herring! People have been suggesting for a while that we can’t possibly say that IVF is wrong, because what will the children who have been born via IVF think about themselves???  Once again, the circumstances of a child’s conception never attaches blame to them.

You can’t really blame the parents — assuming an infertile married couple is trying to create a family.

If the parents know what the teaching of the Church is, they are culpable no matter their desire.

The first are completely innocent. The latter are possibly invincibly ignorant — they don’t know the implications of what they are doing.

Are we really going to hang our hats on “possibly invincibly ignorant?”  Yes, maybe they are, but far more often, the parents simply don’t agree with the Church’s teaching on the matter and reject it, or at least they have not done their due diligence in grasping the concept.

For those hoping to rely on invincible ignorance as they do the catchphrase “internal forum”, let’s look at what it is:

Ignorance is invincible if a person could not remove it by applying reasonable diligence in determining the answer. Ignorance is vincible if a person could remove it by applying reasonable diligence. Reasonable diligence, in turn, is that diligence that a conscientious person would display in seeking the correct answer to a question given (a) the gravity of the question and (b) his particular resources.

I guess if a person is not allowed to leave the IVF clinic and can only read NcR, they might have a case for invicible ignorance.  Still, “possibly” in the grand scheme of things is actually irrelevant to the grand scheme or in determining the underlying wrong of IVF.

But there is too much too awfully wrong with IVF to ignore what our disposable culture has grown to accept.

And she’s pretty much going to stick with “dead embryos” as the only reason this is bad.

I am not crazy about the baby manufacturing industry Luciani predicted, which has grown to multi-million dollar proportions. These days, “designer children” cost as much as $80,000. The cost includes egg and sperm collection, creation of embryos, and implantation into and support of surrogate mothers.

From what I can tell, Luciani didn’t say “baby manufacturing industry.”  He said he was worried about women being used as “baby factories” (, which, by the way, is happening all over the world.  (Please see “Breeders” linked below.)  His concern had nothing to do with the cost. No, IVF is not wrong because only rich people can afford it.  

Independent of that, to me at least, is the real underlying difficulty of IVF: the automatic disposal of unused fertilized embryos, whether immediately after their brothers and sisters survive implantation, or at some time in the future when they are no longer stored in clinic freezers. There may be as many as a million frozen embryos in the United States alone, each individually waiting for adoption or destruction. While the old-fashioned method of destroying embryos is now rarely used — just dump the extras down the drain — many can go for embryonic stem cell research, which is just about the same thing.

So many things are wrong with this paragraph.  First of all, YOU are irrelevant, Phyllis.  Next, there are far more victims of IVF then the discarded embryos.  Finally, how the heck does the method of destruction matter?  They all equal murder!

Opposition to this implicit destruction of embryos is at the heart of a recently passed amendment to the House’s appropriations bill for Labor, Health and Human Services. The amendment bans the destroying of embryos created through federally-funded IVF services, including those provided by the Departments of Defense or Veterans Affairs. Maryland’s Representative Andy Harris argues, along with longstanding government policy, that federal tax dollars should not go toward destroying potential citizens.

The fact is only about 10 percent of the frozen embryos will be “adopted” in procedures that cost upwards of $12,000. Some are the result of eggs harvested and purchased from donors, who receive on average $8,000 per procedure. But cryogenics can only go so far. The largest number of frozen embryos will eventually be destroyed.

How have we become a culture that so disregards the value of human life?

Let me answer that for you Phyllis.  We became that way because we first disregarded natural law, and the lovely publication that carries you aided and abetted that.

Why are Phyllis’ arguments bad, wrong, off base, etc.?  Well, for a Catholic publication, they’re not fully Catholic.  How long do you think it’ll be before scientists can narrow down exactly which egg and sperm to join and zero out the number of children killed in an effort to make it a “morally licit” procedure to those who don’t understand the teachings of the Catholic Church on sex and marriage?  If the “dead embryos” is the underlying wrong, what happens if that goes away, Phyllis?  Will it then just be wrong because it’s expensive?  You’ve missed the underlying moral wrong by a mile, Phyllis.

For whatever reason, the National catholic Reporter constantly parses Church teachings, half quotes, paraphrases, etc .  I’m reasonably sure it’s because if it doesn’t fit their narrative, they’re not going to use it.  The phrase “natural law” is a no-no over there for obvious reasons.  

Did you notice what this article left out, as do so many NcR articles?  How about actual Church teaching on the marital embrace, reproductive technologies, etc.?  It’s supposedly a Catholic publication, for goodness sake!  Sadly they’re a bit reluctant to set the truth before the lemmings.  Let me just give you a few things that you’ll likely never see over at the National catholic Reporter:

No matter how the science of IVF progresses, it will always be destructive, and that’s what you get when you reject natural law.


Finger-Wagging Fest!

I thought Catholic University of America was getting better, but they’ve got this guy as a visiting fellow?  Let’s hope he’s not visiting that long.

“My column this week is a collection of personal comments,” Archbishop Charles Chaput begins his weekly column in his archdiocesan newspaper. “Read it as thoughts from a brother in the faith, not as teachings from an archbishop.” I wonder if all the “brothers in the faith” in the City of Brotherly Love get to have their “personal comments” so widely distributed? Of course, at no time is a bishop not a bishop, or a priest not a priest, so the idea that he can take off his miter and share “personal comments” is naïve at best.

Um, Mr. Winters, you just kind of annoy me, for starters.  Next, bishops can very well give you their personal thoughts in a public forum.  Do you think that, once the miter goes on, they must keep their mouths closed?  Give me a break.  Distribution matters little.  He was presenting no formal teaching nor telling anyone who they should vote for.  

This disclaimer raises a different question though: Why? Why does Archbishop Chaput feel the need to share these thoughts on politics which he seems to understand are not a fit object for his teaching authority? Does he think they are profound? Did he have trouble coming up with something to write about this week? Is there something that makes him crave controversy? This last characteristic is not a bad trait in a blogger, but in a bishop?

Really, Mr. Winters?  You may or may not receive spiritual guidance in temporal matters, but a lot of the faithful do.  Do you know how many times I’ve seen “What are we supposed to do?!?!” asked of our spiritual fathers?  It’s come up almost every time I’ve seen a priest since the major party candidates were locked down.  Does he really “crave controversy”, Mr.  Winters, or does he just not shy away from it, unlike some? 

Let’s just be honest.  You want to play the usual National catholic Reporter game of trying to silence an orthodox spiritual leader who takes his duty seriously, while you get to keep flapping your gums.  A good chunk of us see through this little game.

When we attend to the content of the archbishop’s column the questions and concerns deepen and multiply. Archbishop Chaput writes:

“Presidential campaigns typically hit full stride after Labor Day in an election year. But 2016 is a year in which two prominent Catholics – a sitting vice president, and the next vice presidential nominee of his party — both seem to publicly ignore or invent the content of their Catholic faith as they go along.”

And your internal drama is what??? Oh, yeah, he’s calling them on their garbage.  I’m sure that does deepen and multiply your concerns and ruin your plans.

My inner editor wishes to know what the first and second sentence have to do with one another. My inner analyst wants to know why Archbishop Chaput begins his column taking a swipe at Joe Biden and Tim Kaine? Did he hear Tim Kaine talk about the importance of faith in his life? Has he ever spoken with Biden about his faith? That faith may be in error as it pertains to some issues of public morality but the faith of these two men is undoubtedly real and important to them.

Wait!  Let’s just pause right there.  Some issues?  Important to them?  When you hold a faith dear, you usually adhere to it.  The Catholic faith isn’t their little toy.  It has nice set rules.  One can adhere to them, or one can chuck them at will, which is exactly what Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber do.  Please understand, Mr.  Winters, (and you’d think you wouldn’t have to have this explained to you since you are a “visiting fellow at Catholic University’s Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies”) Mr. Kaine and Mr. Biden have delineated, most publicly, their dissent from Catholic teaching.  Nobody has to talk to them personally and hear from them how important their faith is when they’ve already spewed their driveling dissent.

Like Archbishop Chaput, I wish Kaine and Biden extended their obvious concern for the downtrodden to the unborn, but I can also discern the reasons they fail to do so, and those reasons do not add up to an “invention” of the content of their faith. They see the public application of their faith differently, and I think wrongly, but they are hardly charlatans.

Dude!  That’s the definition of an invention of the faith.  You are not FAITHFUL (that’s “full of faith”, in case you were unaware) to the Catholic Church if you dissent from her teachings.  They don’t get to see the public application of their faith differently.  We’ve got documents on that from our very own USCCB:  Ironically this document was developed in part by Archbishop Chaput because, why?  Oh, he has the authority to do so!

Archbishop Chaput continues:

“And meanwhile, both candidates for the nation’s top residence, the White House, have astonishing flaws.

This is depressing and liberating at the same time. Depressing, because it’s proof of how polarized the nation has become. Liberating, because for the honest voter, it’s much easier this year to ignore the routine tribal loyalty chants of both the Democratic and Republican camps. I’ve been a registered independent for a long time and never more happily so than in this election season.”

How does the perception that both candidates for the White House have astonishing flaws offer “proof of how polarized the nation has become.” Could not that polarization be evidenced by candidates with less obvious flaws? Lincoln was no slacker, but he assumed the presidency at a time of enormous polarization. And, why do those flaws make it easier to “ignore the routine tribal loyalty chants” of the two parties? And, why is it ever hard for a bishop to “ignore the routine tribal loyalty chants” of the two parties? I thought that mostly came with the office.

I’m sorry, sir. (Am I allowed to use that term?  So hard to tell these days.)  Have you looked out the window?  Their “astonishing flaws” are fanning the flames of hate on both sides.  Neither of these two are Lincoln, and I doubt many of their supporters would say so.  Please tell me you understand at least that!  These two have whipped this world into a frenzy.  Not really seeing your point here. 

The archbishop continues:

“As Forbes magazine pointed out some months ago, the Republican candidate is worth roughly $4.5 billion. The Democratic candidate is worth roughly $45 million. Compare that with the average American household, which is worth about $144,000. The median U.S. income is about $56,000.  Neither major candidate lives anywhere near the solar system where most Americans live, work and raise families.  Nonetheless, we’re asked to trust them.

The archbishop can travel a few blocks up the Benjamin Franklin Parkway from his cathedral to see a large equestrian statue of George Washington, or he can head the other direction to the statue of Washington in front of Independence Hall. Washington was a fabulously wealthy planter in his day. Did his wealth make him suspect? Theodore and Franklin Delano Roosevelt were from different branches of the same wealthy family. Did their wealth keep them from empathy with the life of the common man? Did the American people have trouble trusting any of these presidents because of their wealth? Why is the personal wealth of the candidates so important this time?

OK, fair point here. (Thank goodness there was at least one.) That said, I think the ivory tower did get a whole lot higher since Teddy and FDR.  I mean, FDR was Sec Nav and visited France during WWI to observe military activities first hand, and Teddy was a colonel in the Spanish-American War.  Trump and Clinton never got near the trenches, much less in them.  And neither of them have overcome too much adversity, unless you consider being in disastrous marriages a triumph of some sort.

Then comes the second most troublesome part of the article. Archbishop Chaput compares the two presidential candidates, writing:

Hold on!  Here it is!  All of the other stuff was troubling, but this, this, my friends, is what troubles Mr. Winters the most!

“One candidate — in the view of a lot of people — is an eccentric businessman of defective ethics whose bombast and buffoonery make him inconceivable as president. And the other – in the view of a lot of people – should be under criminal indictment. The fact that she’s not — again, in the view of a lot of people — proves Orwell’s Animal Farm principle that “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

First, I cannot ignore the qualifying phrase “in the view of a lot of people,” not least this year when Mr. Donald Trump repeatedly uses a similar rhetorical device to avoid responsibility from spreading whichever ridiculous conspiracy theory comes out of his mouth after he intones, “Well, a lot of people think that. …” We teach our children not to say things like that because it is morally irresponsible. To find such words in a column by a bishop is frankly shocking.

The horrors! The Archbishop uses a same phrase that the Trumpster uses!  Shocking, I tell you!  Except it’s not.  Are you really questioning that a lot of people think that???  Of course not.  You’re just trying to suggest the Archbishop is in the Trump tank.  Good luck with that.  You do realize that clergy who are backing Trump usually just say we cannot vote for the party whose platform is the antithesis of Church teaching.  Easy peasy if that’s where he was.

Second, there is no comparison between the two charges. Mr. Trump’s eccentricity, his bombast and buffoonery, are all things about which any viewer can form an opinion. The charge of “defective ethics” is more difficult but still the kind of thing voters routinely need to assess about a candidate. The charge that Mrs. Hillary Clinton “should be under criminal indictment” is a matter for a trained, and empowered, prosecutor to make and, in Clinton’s case, the relevant prosecutor, acting on the public advice of the Director of the FBI, James Comey, who said that no responsible prosecutor would indict Mrs. Clinton. Does Archbishop Chaput have information that Director Comey lacked? It is true that Republican Party surrogates have disparaged Comey’s claim but has anyone any basis for refuting it?

Perhaps Mr. Winters forgot what he wasted the ink in the previous paragraph telling us?  You remember “in the view of a lot of people”, don’t you Mr. Winters?  What part of the archbishop’s statement don’t you find accurate?  A LOT of people do think Hillary Clinton should be indicted!  Are you really trying to deny that?  In fact, CCN (hardly a conservative bastion) found that 56% of American adults (last time I checked that was a lot of them) DISAGREE with NOT charging her.  I guess the editor in you missed this.  If you’re going to try and quote the archbishop, you might want to get it correct.

Archbishop Chaput then pens what are to my mind the most regrettable paragraphs of the entire column. He writes:

 I guess your “inner editor” wasn’t on the clock today.  Seriously? “Concern,”  “Second most troublesome,” and now “most regrettable”?!?  What’s next?  “Super most regrettable?”  I think we’re going for fever-pitch, but it’s just getting silly.

“So what are we to do this election cycle as Catholic voters?  Note that by “Catholic,” I mean people who take their faith seriously; people who actually believe what the Catholic faith holds to be true; people who place it first in their loyalty, thoughts and actions; people who submit their lives to Jesus Christ, to Scripture and to the guidance of the community of belief we know as the Church.

Anyone else who claims the Catholic label is simply fooling himself or herself — and even more importantly, misleading others.”

“I thank thee, Lord, that I am not like other men. …” Apart from the general unattractiveness of finger-wagging, why this diversion from his main theme? Does the archbishop want to let the Catholics of Philadelphia know that he is on to them, that he knows which among them are not real Catholics, that they are fooling themselves? And who are these less-than-real Catholics? Those who do not see the world the way the archbishop sees it? Can you imagine Pope Francis writing this? He certainly challenges all of us, but never without words of encouragement and he reserves his harsh judgments for the clergy and the powerful, not for the people.

Oh the hypocrisy!  Finger-wagging is apparently unattractive unless you are Mr. Winters. Then it’s just fine as shown in this lovely piece. Personally, Catholic should be enough, but when you’ve got Biden and Kaine touting their Catholicity, somebody needs to do some ‘splaining.  You are a less-than-faithful Catholic when you are a less-than-faithful Catholic. Being a faithful Catholic doesn’t mean you’re not stupid and sin sometimes.  This means you try to live the teachings of the Catholic Church and you don’t go around dissenting from them.    For example, yes, I consider myself a faithful Catholic and try to follow the teachings of the Catholic Church.  Do I fail?  Often, but I don’t go around telling everyone that’s peachy because my public and private life are separate, or that the Church’s teachings are superseded by situation ethics like Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber.  In other words, you don’t try to justify your mistakes like these two.

I call the attention of readers to one hopeful sentiment in this. Archbishop Chaput writes of those “who submit their lives to Jesus Christ, to Scripture and to the guidance of the community of belief we know as the Church.” The Church recently offered guidance in the area of family life and marriage. That guidance took the form of the deliberations and resulting documents from two worldwide synods of bishops and a concluding Apostolic Exhortation by Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia. Archbishop Chaput has issued “guidelines” for the implementation of Amoris Laetitia in his archdiocese. As I wrote at the time, those guidelines struck me as if they could have been written before the synods took place or Pope Francis wrote his exhortation. But, what do I know? Archbishop Joseph Kurtz appointed Archbishop Chaput to lead a committee of U.S. bishops to discuss the implementation of Amoris Laetitia.

What do you know?  Not much on this issue.   Are you saying that Amoris Latitia is breaking with the tradition of the Church?  Did Fr. José Granados, vice president of the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family and consultor of the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops not say Amoris Laetitia that must be read in “doctrinal continuity”?  Is Archbishop Chaput somehow not reading it in that light? If so, let’s not allude.  Let’s through out a few little facts.

We do know that Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, the Archbishop of Vienna, has emerged as the designated interpreter of Amoris Laetitia, and that Civilta Cattolica is running a series of essays on the document that re-affirm what the synods and the Holy Father intend. One such essay, by Fr. Antonio Spadaro, S.J. and Fr. Lou Cameli of the Archdiocese of Chicago, looks extensively at the issue of discernment in ways that are in stark contradistinction with both the tone and the content of Archbishop Chaput’s guidelines, wherein he only mentioned discernment once and that was when he was quoting the pope. I think that the principle of non-contradiction is too often invoked in ecclesiastical discussions, and that philosophic principles must be applied gently and even a bit loosely to messy human lives. Still, the two divergent interpretations cannot co-exist forever. I am betting it will become clear to all, if it is not already, that Archbishop Chaput is staking out a position at odds with the pope and the synods.

And, who are you again?  Where exactly does your knowledge come from?  I mean, I’m not knocking a lack of degrees, but some tangible understanding of Catholic doctrine and Canon Law might be helpful before you try to cast aspersions on an archbishop simply because his narrative doesn’t fit yours.  It’s laughable to think that the tone and content is contradictory because he only mentioned discernment once.  I missed the Congregation of Whatever saying that Archbishop Chaput is at odds with the Church.  Anyone else?

I admit that I find it tiresome to have to continually criticize Archbishop Chaput. I do so in sadness not in anger. But, it must be said: If I were writing a work of fiction and I wanted to create a caricature of a culture warrior bishop, I do not think I would have the courage to create one so reckless, so uncomplicated in his moral sensibilities (and not in a good way), and so quick to render judgment against others, so willing to ignore the pope, or to cite him, as it suits his own purposes, so intellectually thin and so edgily partisan, as Archbishop Chaput’s columns show him to be.

Oh, you poor, poor man.  Here’s an idea.  Stop.  You do a pathetic job of it.  You didn’t even seem to know he’s neither a Democrat nor a Republican.  He’s a registered Independent, for goodness’ sake.  Where does his heart lie?  Uh, maybe with the Church?  Too bad it’s not the same for the “Catholics” in the race. 

Ask yourself, Mr. Winters, has the archbishop been taken to task for his instruction on Amoris Laetitia (by anyone of the hierarchy, not just you and the Reporter)?  Of course not.  Why?  Because the archbishop’s instruction is spot on and, here’s the kicker, he’s completely consistent with Church tradition no matter your ridiculous opinion.

[Michael Sean Winters is NCR Washington columnist and a visiting fellow at Catholic University’s Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies.] Still finding this hard to believe.  Please understand that a “visiting fellow” really means zippo.  I’d love to find the full biography of his Catholic education, but I’ve yet to find anything.  Does he have any higher Catholic education, or is he just beer buddies with Fr. Martin, SJ?  Oh, and can I be a “visiting gal” Catholic University?

The Door is Closed, Joan! Stop Banging Your Head on It!

Hey NcR, are you even trying to be Catholic anymore? I guess that’s rhetorical.

First, thanks to “Joan Chittister” for dropping “Sister” from her byline. It has really been a blight on good sisters everywhere. NcR still seems insistent on reminding us she’s a sister at the end, but hey, what can you do. Quite frankly, she’s bucking for the “Father” title, so it’s not surprising she dropped “Sister.”


Ordination of married men would cause other major changes within the church

Joan Chittister |  Nov. 6, 2015 From Where I Stand

God writes straight with crooked lines. -Portuguese Proverb 

The question of the theology of ordination to the priesthood just isn’t going to go away.

First, in a meeting with Italian priests in Rome in February, the pope, they tell us, said that he is going to put the topic of the ordination of married men “into his diary.” Meaning on his list of subjects to be — what? Addressed? Discussed? Opened to consideration? Promised? The possibilities are tantalizing.

First of all, the title – it’s a ruse. She’s just floating a new tactic to eventually bring us around to women priests. There’s a shocker. I’m getting tired of liberals and their “Some unnamed priests tell us that that the pope hinted in some indiscernible comment that he might someday think about the subject of such and such…” schtick. This is what normal people call “stirring the pot.” It’s a liberal tactic that’s as subtle as Bernie Sanders’ socialism. “Let’s just keep saying it until it’s true” is liberal tactic #1. Unfortunately for just-about-80-year-old Joan Chittister, she hasn’t figured out yet that it’s not going to work anymore with the social media world. What do I mean? Just look at this quote from yet another unnamed priest in the same link Joan put in her article (

Another priest who was there told an American news agency recalled Francis’ words as: “I would not store this question in an archive”.

Wait! I think she’s putting on her little wishing hat and imagining he said, “I, Pope Francis, am going to ponder married priests as a stepping stone to women priests!” Yeah, not so much, but we’re still going to hear about it from Joan ad nauseam now. Let’s face it, she’s getting up there in years, so she probably realizes time to see her dreams come true is getting short.

In countries where some Catholic communities never see a priest more than once a year, the implications of a new and developing clergy — a married clergy as well as a celibate clergy — conjure up images of a church choosing to be vital and viable again.

So, it seems Joan thinks the vocation to the priesthood basically comes down to sex. If we just allow priests to have sex, we’ll have tons of them. Now, that may or may not be true. The real question to ask is do we really want priests whose vocation is contingent on them being able to have sex? “I will serve you, Lord, if you let me have sex.” How does that sound to you? Now, someday, the Church could conceivably change the marriage rule for its priests. It’s disciplinary, not doctrinal, after all. We already have married priests in the Church, too. It’s nothing new. It is a strange concept, however, to lobby for this. The Holy Father might just say, “Hey, we need more priests to take care of our booming Church and this is how I’m going to provide the sacraments for my flock. We need you to consider taking on the monumental task of providing for a family (and by the way, your family is going to have to make some huge sacrifices too) as well as a congregation.” It’s a whole different thing for people to push for this as if this is a grand solution! It’s like they’ve never even given thought to what that will entail. I’m sure Anglican convert priests are saying, “Yep, nobody is thinking about that!” Both jobs are 24/7.

In the United States itself, as well as in far off rural outposts, parishes are closing at a great rate. In fact, the very superstructure of the church of the ’50s — its community-building impact, its services and ministries, its vibrant witness — is dimming. People drive miles to go to Mass now or don’t go at all. They volunteer in civic agencies now rather than in parish ministries because there are few or no church projects impactful enough to demand their commitment. Instead, the church, where there is one, has become a private devotion.

I totally agree that the priest shortage is a huge problem. Why does Joan continue to look towards very complicated solutions rather than to look at what’s proven to work? Why isn’t she touting, say, the diocese of Lincoln, NE, that’s been in the top 10 for numbers of seminarians for quite awhile now? Why isn’t Joan looking at what’s being done there? I mean, there’s only a hundred and thirty something parishes and an average of 40 or so seminarians! How about the diocese of Madison, which is also totally surging in seminarian numbers? Why aren’t we looking at them, Joan? I’m pretty sure we all know why. Faithful Bishops, faithful teachings, etc. Yeah, she’s having none of that. If they don’t like Call to Action or Call to Action doesn’t like them, she’d NEVER point their methods as the cure for the seminarian shortage. Besides that, she has an ulterior motive. She’s definitely not talking married priests because she wants to solve the priest shortage. She’s looking at it as a stepping stone to women priests, and she doesn’t hide it:

But if Pope Francis takes the question of married men seriously, that could, for a change, lead to real change.

And your stats for that are? Is it the Anglican Church? They’ve got that married priesthood thing, yet they are also freaking out about a priest shortage right now. Their shortage, though, has pretty much been as a result of “women priests and bishops,” which is Joan’s main goal. This whole married priest thing is just a bait and switch. Read on:

The annual number of candidates for the priesthood might actually rise, for instance. The number of priestless parishes might be reduced. The church’s ministry to families, itself embodied in a model of family life, might become more credible. Sex would become both a male and a female thing rather than a prescription for the control of women. And, oh yes, the place and role of women in the church might very well change, too, once women began to be seen as integral to the parish and its activities.

And there you have it. Her true intentions eventually show up. She just can’t help herself and her bitterness against and jealousy of men oozes from the page. Who are these helpless women being controlled by mean old men? On the local scale, I don’t know one parish that doesn’t find women integral to the parish and its activities. What a farce!

All in all, the church might get to be much closer to the people, to its children, to the rest of the real questions of life. And it can’t come too soon.

Really, Joan? All because of married priesthood? Gals in the priesthood? Again, the Anglicans are in decline. I’m certainly not lamenting that. It’s been a boon for the Catholic Church where they’ve been coming en masse as of late. That said, it proves my point. Why would we want that for the Catholic Church?

But there is a second issue about ordination that is also crying to be heard. A recent report on the public position of a group of Irish priests concerning the ordination of women puts the issue of women in the church in a clear and penetrating perspective. They say, “We are aware that there are many women who are deeply hurt and saddened by this teaching. We also believe that the example given by the Church in discriminating against women encourages and reinforces abuse and violence against women in many cultures and societies.”

Um, I think that issue has been heard by you, Joan. You hear what you want to hear and ignore what doesn’t fit YOUR model. Who in the heck are all these whiners and complainers? It ain’t me and my people. We hardly consider the all-male, celibate priesthood a curse to us. These men are totally willing to sacrifice something for us and our husbands! Our husbands are free to give us all of their attention. Why would we ever complain about that? Because you can’t have the title you want? Are you really insinuating that the all-male, celibate priesthood is leading to violence and abuse against women? Get a grip, Joan! It’s a nice, try at stirring sympathy, but it falls flat with those of us who have a thought in our head and don’t rely on liberal buzz. Methinks Joan might want to actually do some searching for her last shred of reality. Maybe this book would help:

More from Joan:

CARA, the research center devoted to Catholic issues and structures at Georgetown University, reports the declining number of women who are still active in the church, let alone devoted to its teachings. Mothers who were once the very catechetical arm of the church no longer support the church’s position on birth control, homosexuality, or same-sex marriage. And they say so.

Let’s talk about that. Bottom line, it’s really irrelevant, but let’s look at why is this so, just to placate you. I again point to the dioceses with faithful bishops and priests who have been around long enough to catechize their dioceses on the beauty and wonder of Church teachings. Do you really find wholesale dissent in the dioceses who’ve been doing that? I’ve lived in a few different places around the country, and I can tell you that you do not find a bunch of whiny women in those dioceses. Coming from a super-liberal diocese, I found it beautifully weird not to have to explain the faith to my fellow women Catholics. They knew it, got it, and were very involved in parish life. You see, they, like me, weren’t conditioned by a bunch of misandrists (Can you tell I’m loving that word?) to be jealous of our priests or fellow male Catholics. Misandry is what’s really going on here. It was never about misogyny.

More significant, perhaps, young unmarried women see little or no place for themselves in the male church. They can’t be deacons, they are often not encouraged or even not allowed to be altar girls again. They have no places on the standing church commissions that define liturgical practices, theological constructs or scriptural interpretations.

OK, I’m not a young unmarried woman – I once was, but none of this made me feel inferior – but I know and am related to some stellar ladies. I am going to tap a couple of them for comment on Joan’s comment on their behalf. Also, feel free to have the young, unmarried Catholic woman in your life reply in the comment section to this plate of pander.

Here are their comments:

As a young, unmarried woman; as an officer of my University’s Catholic Newman Club; as a woman who has always been encouraged to participate in and lead church activities; and as a woman who doesn’t need my worth defined by masculine standards, I will have to disagree with you, Joan. Men and women were created equal but different, each given a unique role in forming the Church. Women are given the honor of being so closely involved in the bringing of physical life, so men are given the responsibility of bringing spiritual life through the priesthood. Before I am able to help with the whole “creating life” thing, there are so many different ways I can contribute to the Church! As a musician, I am given the honor of leading the congregation in glorifying God through song. As a lay person, I am able to simply enjoy the beauty and mystery of the Mass, and I am extremely thankful for the men who are able to make this possible.

I don’t need to be given a special title like Deacon, Priest, or altar server in the so-called “male church” just so I can feel important. And before you go off and tell people that women are given no opportunity to contribute to the formation of Church teachings, do I really need to cite the female Doctors of the Church; the female founders of religious orders; and, you know, Mary, Mother of God? Queen of Heaven, Seat of Wisdom, Help of Christians, Mother of the Church?

And another:

I believe that Joan Chittister’s interpretation of a “male church” is inaccurate. Women cannot be priests or deacons due to the Sacred Tradition that was implemented by Christ. Women, young and old, however, are welcomed and encouraged to serve the Church as Baptismal and Confirmation sponsors, CCD teachers, or “standing positions” such as Canon Lawyers, Judges, or Chancellors, and much more. We should encourage young women to serve God through these important facets, rather than challenging Christ’s Will and positioning ourselves as competitors with men. Women, such as St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Teresa of Avila (all doctors of the Church), for instance, have found meaningful positions without the title of “priest” or “deacon.” They have, instead, employed virtues, such as humility and obedience to God. Thus, women have and can continue to find a truly fulfilling and significant position in the Church by following God’s individual will for them. When in doubt, we should always turn to our most humble, yet venerated, Blessed Virgin Mother.

Beautiful and such a contrast to the Joan Chittisters of the world! They’ve got the nose to their grindstones and they’re not looking for glory.  They will likely have a great impact on our Church.

So pollsters track them as they go somewhere else seeking spiritual nourishment or, just as likely, go nowhere at all. Disillusioned with the gap between Christian teaching and Catholic practice on equality, religion has little meaning for them now. In a world where secular institutions are more likely to recognize the fullness of a woman’s humanity than the church does, church does not interest them much anymore.

This is the crux of the problem. Joan sees a contradiction between “Christian teaching” and “Catholic practice.” She pits one against the other in the same way she pits faithful priests against women.

The question is what relationship, if any, is there between these two apparently different issues? What can the ordination of married men possibly have to do with the ordination of women?

There is no relationship. One is a disciplinary issue (married priests/celibate priesthood) and one is a heresy, as in a contradiction of the truth in Church doctrine. You’re familiar with heresy, aren’t you Joan? “The door is closed” (a well documented Francis quote for a change, even by Joan’s own NcR).

This new topic of a married priesthood which is now in the pope’s diary could, I think, if history is correct, conceivably change all of that. But not in the way most people might think. And that’s my problem.

One of many problems, Joan.

For the sake of full disclosure, I need to say that I am a bit hesitant about writing this column. My concerns fall into the category of “Don’t put it in the airwaves” or “Don’t even whisper this — in case. …”

Why? Because the jig is up if they figure it out.

Yeah, you should be hesitant. *Cough* Heresy! *Cough!* Sadly, this isn’t where the hesitancy comes in.

Think a minute. Why do they have ordained women priests in other Christian denominations? Think. Because they have married male priests, that’s why.

OK, putting on my thinking cap. Computing. Carnac the Magnificent says the answer is because they aren’t the One True Church! It’s really quite easy to see that, when you don’t have the deposit of Faith, you’re going to let the feminazis rule.

Just how long, for how many years, through how many canonical councils, do you think married Roman Catholic priests can hold out against the ordination of married women priests once the taboo topic of women priests is finally laid on the altar for all to hear?

Here’s the thing. We’ve had married priests throughout Catholic history. We have them today. Get it through your head, Joan, women priests aren’t “taboo”. We can talk about them all you want, and many other non-Catholic denominations can go ahead and have them. In the Catholic Church, however, they are a heresy. They aren’t even in the realm of possibility, which is why “the door is closed.” Let me spell it out for you. The reason the door is closed is that women are improper matter for the priesthood. Want to whine and complain about that one? Take it up with Christ.

I figure that the history of married priests in the Roman Catholic church will go just the way it has in every other Christian denomination: Faced with the vision of Jesus surrounded, supported, sustained by women; conscious of Jesus’ theological education of women, his ministry to them and through them; aware of His welcoming of them in every public and pastoral situation, despite the prescriptions of enclosure they had faced in earlier cultures; good priests in other Christian denominations simply could not ignore the will of God for women anymore. Eventually, it got to be more and more clear: the place of women in the church was not a problem to be solved, it was a Divine mandate meant to be honored. At last.

Yet another problem with Joan. She can’t quite understand that we’re not just like every other Christian denomination. We have the full Faith. Isn’t it great that Joan thinks she knows the will of God for women? Isn’t it more interesting to hear that she feels like other Christian denominations got it right but not the Catholic Church? Sigh. Is it really God’s will, Joan, or just the will of bitter, jealous women who will never be content unless they get a shot at the awesome white garbs and spiffy white hat? I think the latter.

And more than that, perhaps, how many conferences for how many years do you think a male priest could come home at night, throw his briefcase on the desk and say victoriously to his wife and daughters  one more time, “Well, I voted against all of you again.” Shouts of joy. Applause. Triumph?

Or maybe silence and cold mashed potatoes.

And there it is again. The Church is against women. Unbelievably, this woman has now spent decades trying to make the rest of us as unsatisfied, bitter and jealous of our Church as she is. What an annoying waste of time. Now she’s imagining the pitting of husbands against wives. She’s now in my house! What a sad, sad woman. I think she’s actually the perfect example of a misandrist. Not sure what happened in her life to make her so bitter, but it’s pathetic.

From where I stand, the scenario is a real one. But you can see why I don’t want to mention it out loud. I am convinced that until the women’s question is addressed in the church, the numbers will continue to decline, and the church will fail in the 21st century. I would hate to give the opposition time to organize against married priests in order to block the sight of women in church rectories. If Christianity is ever to be Christianity again we simply must admit that women are also full human beings and disciples of Jesus.

Indeed, the issue of married priests is an important one.

And I think this pope knows it. After all, he already has a note about it in his diary. The question is whether or not they have figured out the relationship between married male priests and the eventual ordination of women priests.

Shhhhhhhhh. Don’t tell.

Apparently over in bitterland, reality is overrated. Christianity hasn’t ceased to exist. As the young, unmarried, ladies have so eloquently stated above, the Church doesn’t see women as partial human beings. The Church holds us in far more esteem than Joan would ever admit. Lastly, married male priests have zero correlation with the never happening “ordination of women priests.”

My sincere hope is that Joan Chittister will learn to love, embrace, and support our all male, celibate priesthood during the last years of her life, and that she will let go of the bitterness and jealousy and finally see how much our Church values and treasures women. She can spend her remaining years railing against the Church, or she can look at the beautiful young women quoted above and see their peace, confidence and love.

#PPSellsBabyParts – Should We Really Need to Say More, NcR?

The Catholic church should partner with Planned Parenthood to reduce abortions (

Let’s just let this National catholic Reporter title sink in for a bit before I start my rant.

Ready? The sheer enormity of the Fishwrap’s delusions never ceases to amaze me! The whole time I was reading this lengthy missive, all I could think of was, “Sounds just like the devil whispering into the ears of the faithful!” Do you think they Fishwrap realizes that?  I suppose the answer to that question is likely “no,” or at least I hope so, for this jerk’s sake.

After 40 years of rosaries prayed in front of abortion clinics and Planned Parenthood offices, annual marches, and millions upon millions of dollars raised to fund the anti-abortion lobby and the related jobs program for the anti-abortion lobbyists, what is the end result? Eh.

Let me tell you exactly what it’s done. It’s led to thousands upon thousands of lives being saved a year! Maybe that doesn’t mean anything to you, Tom Gallagher, but it means everything to those who weren’t slaughtered. If one single life was saved, it was worth it! Thankfully we haven’t settled for just one.  By the way, your liberal slip is already showing, Tom, with your “anti-abortion” terminology.

This past Saturday, thousands of anti-abortion activists protested at Planned Parenthood sites across the nation demanding that the federal government defund the organization, according to Reuters. Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay, Wis., diocese prayed in front of a local Planned Parenthood health clinic.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Eric Ferrero, Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement that the rallies were meant “to intimidate and harass” the organization’s patients. “Unlike these protesters, compassion is at the center of what we do, and we will continue to provide care, and a safe, welcoming environment for our patients, no matter what,” Ferrero said.

First, kudos to Bishop David Ricken and other bishops (including my personal favorite, Archbishop Cordileone) who joined us. You are part of the reason more and more lives are being saved every year! As for the comments of Planned Parenthood, puh-leez! These are the guys who just exonerated themselves ( and expect the world to go along with that. They’re not exactly living in reality land, and right now, they are really, really mad they got caught doing what most pro-lifers have known for years. They not only slice and dice living human beings with beating hearts, they’ve parlayed that heinous act into double the profits by selling the pieces when they’re done killing them.

I’m sure everyone’s seen the videos but just in case, go and watch the hours upon hours of videos. Many thanks to David Daleiden for spearheading this project! May God bless and protect you and your team!

Forty years of the same behavior from both sides of the abortion debate. Forty years.

You wish it was forty years of the same behavior, because then you wouldn’t have to try to salvage what’s left of Planned Parenthood’s image. You see, we’ve evolved. We’ve taken “sly as the serpent, gentle as the dove” to heart and have shed a lot of light on Planned Parenthood and their ilk (you included, water-boy). We’ve gotten around you, Planned Parenthood, and the media, and it scares you all to death.

Let’s face it. It’s time for the Catholic church and Planned Parenthood to try something dramatically different: to work closely together in order to reduce the number of abortions. It’s time for a committee of national Catholic lay leaders and executives of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers to begin a sincere dialogue about creating a new way forward — together.

Can I say what we’re all thinking? Over. My. Dead. Body. You cannot collude with the devil (and Cecile and her buddies are as evil as they come) and expect a holy, happy outcome. It’s a no brainer, Tom. I’m sure you think working with evil is just peachy, because that’s the kind of Catholic you are. (Related side note: I find it quite telling that you never capitalize “church” when writing “Catholic Church.”)

Planned Parenthood, according to Ferrero, is a place of compassion. But what is “compassion” to Planned Parenthood? Does it mean pushing abortion as the solution to every pregnancy? If Planned Parenthood’s pregnant mothers were offered a substantial list of benefits should they bring their pregnancy to term, would Planned Parenthood offer them such benefits and advise the mother in favor of keeping the baby or giving the baby up for adoption? If Planned Parenthood is truly for “choice,” then the pregnant woman should have a choice of keeping the baby or giving the baby up for adoption. Now that’s real choice.

Planned Parenthood wasn’t designed for adoption or charity. Do we really need a history lesson, Tommy Boy? Sigh…I guess so. Planned Parenthood was the devil child of Margaret Sanger, a woman who wanted to annihilate any race or group of people she deemed unworthy. We have all sorts of quotes from her on that. My gosh! Can you really be this ignorant, Tom? “No more babies!” was one of her rally cries, along with “No more blacks, Hispanics, poor, handicapped, or large families!” 

Abortion is here to stay for the foreseeable future

Stepping back for a moment, let’s also face this fact: The right to an abortion remains the law of the land, it is not going to change any time soon. Yes, some Republican-controlled state legislatures are doing everything they can to tighten restrictions on access to abortions and abortion providers. But the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade is not going to be overturned any time soon.

A HUGE part of the reason we still have abortion is your kind of thinking, Tom. What if the abolitionists all ran around saying, “Hey! Dred Scott is the law of the land. Not going to be overturned anytime soon! Let’s just partner with the slave owners!”? Can you really be that devoid of any knowledge of history that you’d go there or do you think we all are?

In 2011, TIME Magazine reported: 

The rate of abortion among American women has dropped overall, but not among the poorest women, according to study published in the Obstetrics & Gynecology journal by the Guttmacher Institute.

Between 2000 and 2008, abortions among American women ages 15 to 44 fell 8 percent, reaching a low of 19.6 abortions per 1,000 women. The decline applied to most groups: notably, the abortion rate declined 18 percent among African-American women over that time period and 22 percent among teens ages 15 to 17.

 This is because Planned Eugenics has put 90% of their clinics in poor, ethnic neighborhoods – ON PURPOSE! But, yeah, by all means, let’s work with them! 


I’m just going to start snipping here because this article goes on forever.

Church: the largest social service provider


In other words, we really can do without Planned Parenthood.

Under President Barack Obama, the Catholic church has received more federal money than under any previous president. In 2012, I wrote a blog post titled, “Following the money from the White House,” which traced the federal funds going to Catholic enterprises.

Let me guess. Catholic Charities or one of those other lovely organizations that likes to dissent from Church teachings probably receives money? Think they give to the Little Sisters of the Poor? Do you think “Catholic enterprises” was a mistake? We would normally call it charity.

<snipping a bunch of stats with no point>

 Republicans are against abortion, in favor of adoptions

<snipping more things that don’t have a point. Maybe he’ll get to one soon!>

Democrats want choice, fewer abortions, more adoptions

In 1996, President Bill Clinton had this to say about abortion: “Americans believe deeply in the need to keep government out of private, personal matters. That is one reason why I am pro-choice. I believe we should all work to reduce the number of abortions. That is why I have worked to reduce teen pregnancy, remove barriers to cross-racial adoption, and provide tax credits to families willing to adopt. Still, I believe the ultimate choice should remain a matter for a woman to decide in consultation with her conscience, her doctor, and her God” (emphasis added) (Between Hope and History, by Bill Clinton, p.137, Jan 1, 1996).

Of course I’m going to go with “Puh-leeeeez” here again.

The Democratic Party is perceived as being immovable on pro-choice and, therefore, not inclined to promote programs to help reduce the number of abortions. However, according to the website, Catholics for Obama, it offered this evidence that Democrats would like to reduce the number of abortions:

Congressional Democrats have supported the Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act (HR 1074, known as the DeLauro-Ryan bill) and the Prevention First Act bill (HR 819). Democrats are serious about finding new solutions to serious problems posed by the practice of abortion.

Congressional Democrats have also worked on making other alternatives more attractive with the Adoption Promotion Act of 2003 (Public Law No: 108-145).

These are solutions that can lead to policies that reduce the number of abortions, not the empty rhetoric that promotes criminalization but does nothing to enhance life for real women and children.

Democrats for Life have made an important contribution with their Pregnant Women Support Act, which is supported by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. It aims to reduce the abortion rate in America by 95 percent in 10 years by enacting the social and economic supports that actually do something to help women avoid going through this ordeal.

Let’s see, how do most Democrats propose to reduce the number of abortions? You notice he doesn’t touch on that little issue. Could it be by passing out birth control like candy? How about by further keeping parents in the dark about the health choices their kids are making so they can have “safe sex”? Getting all American teens on the pill, IUD or some other lovely abortifacient? 

And nothing changes 

With the release of the controversial undercover Planned Parenthood videos featuring the cavalier discussion of the sale of fetal tissue for research, and the resultant outcry from varied quarters, the pro and con groups have just dug in further and have not used this moment to explore a different way forward.

Some Republican governors are attempting to defund Planned Parenthood; the usual default behavior of Republicans. One U.S. senator wants to risk a government shut-down over Planned Parenthood. One Catholic organization wants to re-direct Planned Parenthood funds to community health centers that don’t offer abortion services. That’s not going to happen. In the past few weeks, there has been no new or creative thinking offered.

Oh yeah, it’s changing, and for the better! It’s definitely not changing because of you, though. It is changing because of this stellar group of young pro-lifers who managed to outflank you. I’m sure many of my readers – and even some of yours – participated in the first National Protest of Planned Parenthood. I’m also sure you noticed how many new people have been shaken to their core by the Center for Medical Progress’ videos. People who never stood out in front of a clinic were there. In fact, I’d guess half of the several hundred people in my particular location were complete newbies. So, you can again be Planned Parenthood’s water-boy, or you can start being a little more honest with yourself and your readers.

After 40 years of substantially fruitless battles, the time has come for both Planned Parenthood and Catholic church leaders to leave the comfort zone of condemnation and pledge to do at least one common project that puts women and babies first in truth.

Hmmm…you consider thousands upon thousands of people saved from abortion fruitless? Of course you would! Only one of the organizations you mentioned puts ALL people first, and it ain’t Planned Parenthood.

What if a coalition of national Catholic entities (e.g., representatives of Catholic Charities USA, each diocesan Catholic Charities, the National Catholic Educational Association, the Catholic Health Association, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the leadership group of men religious, the Knights of Columbus, Catholic Extension Society, the Order of Malta, Covenant House International, the many grassroots organizations like Mary Cunningham Agee’s The Nurturing Network, and so on), developed a concrete, substantial partnership, even a joint venture, with Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, along the following lines:


<Snipping the lengthy list of stupid ideas and other things for which we don’t need Planned Parenthood>

Here’s an idea. How about you give all the federal funding that goes to Planned Parenthood to the Catholic Church and let them do charity, while you get the heck out of their way.

Funding for such a national adoption initiative

In advance of the 2012 election, three Catholic professionals wrote a thoughtful white paper titled: “America Undecided: Catholic, Independent & Social Justice Perspectives on Election 2012.” The authors were Ed Gaffney, who teaches religious freedom and a course on war and peace at Valparaiso University; Ambassador Douglas W. Kmiec (former U.S. ambassador to Malta), the Caruso Family Chair and Professor of Constitutional Law & Human Rights at Pepperdine University, who formerly served in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations; and Patrick Whelan, M.D., Ph.D., who is on the pediatrics faculty at Harvard Medical School and is a pediatric rheumatology specialist at the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston, who served on the board of directors of NCR and on a group called Catholic Democrats.”

I read all that just to end up at the phrase, “Catholic Democrats?!?” What a stinking waste of time. How come I’ve never heard of a group called “Catholic Republicans?” Maybe it’s because most of us who are not “Catholic Democrats” want to be Catholics first and foremost. That’s our identity. How we vote come second.

They write [as of that time]:

[The Affordable Care Act] ACA represented the first federal law that provided new funding and was explicitly dedicated to abortion reduction. The law incorporated elements of the Pregnant Women’s Support Act, sponsored by Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, providing $250 million over 10 years to create a federal Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) that is helping teenagers and college students who are new mothers or currently pregnant, and helps victims of domestic violence who are pregnant. There are currently 17 PAF-funded programs, helping new parents in states and Indian tribes across the country.

In 2011, Senator Casey procured expanded funding for the PAF with S.1490, the Pregnancy Assistance Fund Expansion Act, which provided for $25 million in annual grant funding through 2019. The currently funded programs include Young Mom’s Connect in North Carolina (support and care for teen parents in 5 counties), the Pregnant and Parenting Adolescent Support Services (PPass) Program in Indianapolis (avoiding subsequent pregnancies and decreasing high school drop-out rates), the Montana Healthy Teen Parents project in Helena (focused on Native American youth), and the Virginia Department of Health program (domestic violence, particularly affecting college students across the state).

So the ACA provides for a wide variety of new ideas in constructively addressing the causes of unintended teen pregnancy. The ACA also provided $1.2 billion in additional funding for adoption. The law raises the maximum adoption credit to $13,360 per child, up from $12,150 in 2009. The credit is based on the reasonable and necessary expenses related to a legal adoption. In summary, the ACA did nothing to expand abortion rights or funding, and in fact provided funding for the first organized effort to help decrease abortion by addressing the underlying social factors that make it difficult for women to carry pregnancy to term.

If you believe that, I some beach front property in Nebraska for you! Please, do a nice internet search on “Affordable Care Act” and “Abortion”. Methinks Mr. Gallagher doesn’t believe people can actually do this. You will turn up hundreds of articles showing he is oh-so wrong.

In addition to the ACA’s funding for adoption, Congress should immediately fund this new initiative. The U.S. spends over a billion dollars annually resettling 70,000 foreign refugees. Republicans and Democrats can’t find funding for a national adoption strategy for Planned Parenthood’s pregnant patients through a national Catholic organization? Surely it can. Imagine, for a moment, a combined approach whereby the national Catholic organization and Planned Parenthood together sought legislation and funding from Congress to facilitate this adoption strategy?

Planned Parenthood can fund all the adoptions they want through the ACA. This doesn’t exonerate them from the death and destruction they’ve left in their wake. I will again suggest you give all the money that the ACA supposedly gives to promote adoptions to the Catholic Church. The Church will do a far better job. Heck, if you just gave the Catholic Church the money the government gave to fix the ACA website, She could really do some fabulous work!

As part of the federal funding, a Congressionally-chartered third-party could be funded by Congress and would be tasked with making the donations or off-sets to Planned Parenthood for the adoption referrals rather than being paid for by the national Catholic entity, even as a pass-through. This third-party entity could act as an auditor and compiler of data and could be comprised of individuals from both political parties and from both sides of the abortion issue. The U.S. created the American Red Cross pursuant to a Congressional charter and bylaws. Congress could most certainly do the same for an entity whose singular mission would be to reduce the number of annual abortions performed by Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers and bring together people with different perspectives and interests in order to achieve such a goal.

Why in the world would we have to pay off Planned Parenthood – you know, that organization that’s so compassionate – to refer women for adoptions anyway? How much does that cost them? It’s something any decent person would do for free, which is exactly why Gallagher has to suggest a payoff. When you have to buy morality from a company, it’s a lost cause. Here’s a novel thought: how about we give money to organizations that actually exercise morality?

Given the scope of the Catholic Charities nationwide, the Catholic Health Association, the universities, and so on, mathematicians, accountants, insurers, logistics experts, health care providers, government relations experts, adoption experts, software writers, marketing professionals, primary, secondary and college educators, parishes, hospitals, and so many other skilled individuals and institutions are immediately available to create the financial and operating model to make this work. This national Catholic entity will need to be governed and managed by sophisticated lay people and professionals in several fields of expertise.

The last thing we need in the Church is a national Catholic organization. We have enough problems with Catholic Charities, and now this knucklehead wants to make them bigger? Let’s get real. He wants something like this, because every good liberal wants a leviathan so immorality gets lost in the shuffle, while morality and true compassion get eaten alive and it all ends up one, big, totalitarian rule. You do realize that’s been tried before, don’t you? Anyone else have the National Socialist Party name pop into their heads? And isn’t it interesting that Gallagher wants this giant organization to be headed by lay people who are “experts?” Yeah, sounds like a winner plan. I think Mengele was an expert in something, too.

 The role of Catholic bishops, the issue of contraception

The U.S. bishops and their national staff are deeply and heavily invested in the view of Planned Parenthood as the evil opposition to a “pro-life” view of the world.

Bishops and their national staff? How about the Universal Church? Planned Parenthood is evil! My gosh! How many times do we have to say “#PPSellsBabyParts” before they get it??? Tom can minimize this little, teeny, tiny (not!) issue all he likes, but it’s totally and utterly true. Planned Parenthood, from its founder to its current management are doing the devil’s bidding.

Would the U.S. bishops as a whole be open to working with Planned Parenthood in a collegial, cooperative manner to reduce abortions? If Francis’ wish for a poor church for the poor and one filled with mercy, the answer would be yes. However, it would take great courage and fortitude to pursue a national adoption strategy working hand-in-hand with Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

As we have seen during the past several years, contraception is very important to many bishops and they want nothing to do with it. Yet, Planned Parenthood, like most lay Catholics, has a different view of the value of contraception and it’s a big part of Planned Parenthood’s services.

Want some candy, little Catholic? Evil cannot stop evil. It doesn’t matter how many Catholics don’t think birth control is a sin, it is. The Church, as history has shown, is not a democracy, nor does its truths care what “most Catholics” think of contraception.

Just this past month, the New York Times reported that dramatic success of the use of contraception in the reduction of teen pregnancies in Colorado.

 <Snipping the stupid article that still means nothing to the Church’s truths.>

Would the U.S. bishops deny this vulnerable cohort free contraception knowing that an abortion is the highly expected result of an unplanned pregnancy?

Uh, yes, because the Church knows what birth control is! It’s no birth and no control. It separates the procreative and unitive aspects of MARRIAGE. It promotes promiscuity. It’s anti-chastity. It promotes sex outside of marriage (fornication) and affairs (adultery). (Parentheses added because most folks over at the National catholic Fishwrap aren’t familiar with those words.) It’s creates an environment where babies are the enemy. The Church also knows a few little scientific things, such as the fact it’s incredibly dangerous to the physical health and well-being of women. Oh, and let’s not forget that a good majority of “contraception” doesn’t actually prevent that conception thing all the time. Many times it simply gets rid of the newly conceived. Do you even know this, Tom? Lastly, there’s that little thing called the IMMORTAL SOUL! The Church didn’t arbitrarily decide birth control was a sin. It IS a sin. So, yes, Tom, the bishops already know the score, even though you think they are simply ignorant. They’re not a bunch of misogynists who sit around trying to make life worse for women. That would actually be you. I’m sure that sex with no responsibility sounds like the bomb to you.

Hey, how about we just get rid of teenagers altogether, since many give us “the highly expected result of an unplanned pregnancy?” Shoot, I guess I shouldn’t be so sarcastic. The Fishwrap might actually find this an excellent idea. 

Time to think big and with mercy

Yay! Does this mean the Fishwrap is closing its doors for good? What? No? That would really be quite merciful. Please! Please! Pretty please!

To date, the Catholic church is not thinking big enough in its attempts to reduce the number of abortions in the U.S. It never has, but that time has arrived.

Or could it be that, maybe, just maybe, the Church is being thwarted by Einsteins like you?  That’s the more likely scenario.  Scrap that.  It is the scenario.

Unless the Catholic church stands up and says unequivocally, “Let us work closely with Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers and with every expectant mother who is considering an abortion and we will support all mothers who choose to keep their baby or accept every newborn child who was otherwise scheduled for an abortion but is delivered and given up for adoption, and we will work closely with Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers and with the birth moms before, during and after the pregnancy,” it’s hard to take seriously the “commitment” the church has to reducing abortions.

Hard to take the Church seriously ? More like hard to take a joke like the Fishwrap seriously. Either you’re a serious Eeyore (“It’ll neeeeever work!”) , or you’re actively trying undermine the Church. My guess? Yeah, nobody can figure that out.

The hardline protesters can still go praying their rosaries while holding their blood-stained placards in front of Planned Parenthood offices. Policy initiatives can still be pursued to reduce the number of abortions and to keep abortion available. And fundraising in support of the lobbyists fighting abortions will continue unabated, as will fundraising and lobbying efforts in support of the pro-choice advocates. All this is certain.

After 40 years of the same old hostile, screaming stand-off and in-your-face, finger-pointing between the anti-abortionists and pro-choice advocates, at what point do the futile anti-abortion tactics become morally complicit in each of the one million abortions performed each year? And when will Planned Parenthood’s “pro-choice” mantra actually include enabling a pregnant woman to choose to keep her baby or choose to give the baby up for adoption?

In light of the intractable status quo, the real work of reducing abortions, a goal of both Democrats and Republicans, can only take place by a national Catholic lay-led and governed entity engaging the self-described compassionate Planned Parenthood — and expectant mothers visiting Planned Parenthood offices — in a way that builds up life and does not continue to tear it asunder.

Forty more years of doing the same thing is sheer insanity.

Awww, my poor, delusional Fishwrap writer, I think you’ve actually figured out that big strides are being made against Planned Parenthood, and it scares you to death. Heavens! The tide might just be turning on the immorality they (and you, for that matter) are peddling. We can tell by your comments that you probably have never been to a clinic. Your efforts to pat us on the head and send us to our corner are falling on deaf ears. We’re definitely coming after Planned Parenthood, and you know what? The faithful are also coming after you and your ilk. We’ve had it up to here with you telling us that all things are NOT possible with God, that morality can’t possibly work, that babies are the enemy, and that we have to compromise Truth for God to have victory. You’re not going to get away with peddling this garbage without a big fight! We don’t have to sacrifice anyone or anything to win this war. It’s already been won for us, but you’re too stupid to see it. #meetthelaity

NcR – National catholic Reporter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NCR Attempts to Direct the Pope – Does This Surprise You?

Well, it’s been all quiet here on the Western Front (AKA the SF Archdiocese) so I will turn my attention elsewhere until something new and exciting appears (well, let’s face it – the opposition crowd can’t seem to muster anything new).  So who shall it be?  The one making it easy for me this week is the National Catholic Fishwrap.  They call themselves the National Catholic Reporter.  I, personally, call them a bunch of fools!  If you don’t know them, count yourself lucky.  If you do, you’ll notice they take a little bit of a liberty with the name Catholic.  Let’s look at their latest verbal vomit scribed by Jamie Manson (

It’s been nearly a week since the much-anticipated release of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment. Since then, the document’s many beautiful and challenging elements have been justifiably lauded in both the religious and secular media.

Well honey, you’ve got that secular media thing down cold.

His call to replace fossil fuels is bold, his understanding of overconsumption and scarcity is prophetic, his compassion for the earth and all of its creatures is stunning. I could go on, but so many other commentators and theologians have done the work of parsing and praising the document so well that I will focus on an issue that remains woefully underdeveloped in the encyclical: overpopulation.

I say “woefully” because few people who are as concerned about ecological destruction as Francis is would deny that overpopulation is one of greatest threats to the earth’s survival.

Uh, maybe he didn’t “develop” the overpopulation myth because it is just that, a myth.  Honestly, do a little teeny thing called research!  Control of population has always been a part and parcel to the stripping of human rights.  Do you really think that China is full to capacity and they can’t squeeze one more person in?  You might want to look at a nice satellite image of China.

So, basically, what we’ve learned so far from your article is just that the Holy Father isn’t a sucker like you.  How about you get a little education from the Population Research Institute.  Hint: they have an area of knowledge that you don’t (

In 2012, the United Nations issued a special report on the looming crisis. By 2040, the global population is expected to swell from 7 billion to 9 billion. The U.N. estimates that by 2030, the world will need at least 50 percent more food, 45 percent more energy and 30 percent more water.

If the global community fails to stabilize population growth, the report said, we risk condemning 3 billion people to extreme deprivation.

This kind of exemplifies why the UN is not only useless, but harmful.  Their stats are ridiculous and again, they are shredded again and again by PRI (  Back to the Fishwrap:

But the pope, who has made caring for the poor the central theme of his papacy, doesn’t seem ready to use the term “overpopulation.”

Yay, Holy Father!

In section 50 of his new encyclical, he instead refers to the crisis as an “unequal distribution of the population.” Though Francis acknowledges that “an unequal distribution of the population and of available resources creates obstacles to development and a sustainable use of the environment,” he insists that rising population “is fully compatible with an integral and shared development.”

Francis recognizes that “imbalances in population density” can lead to “problems linked to environmental pollution, transport, waste treatment, loss of resources and quality of life.”

Nevertheless, he argues that the world doesn’t need a lower birth rate — it just needs to distribute its food better.

“To blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some,” he writes, “is one way of refusing to face the issues.”

Uh, yeah!  Jamie, did you know, as PRI notes, every man, woman, and child on earth could each have a half acre of arable land?  Do you know the definition of arable is?  Let me help you – It means land that can be farmed.  EVERY SINGLE PERSON can have half an acre of farmable land.  This doesn’t even include land that can be ranched or waters that can be fished!  If we just want to talk land mass, every single human being from the infant on up could have 5 acres of land.  These are facts you really can’t ignore, Jamie.  The Pope is correct: we do have a distribution problem.  Water is also not an issue, although there are a lot of idiots out there who fail to manage it well, like our own Governor Jerry Brown out here in California.  He’s trying to remove the little water containment we have while spending a gazillion on a stupid train to nowhere.

Yet it could be argued just as forcefully that the hierarchy is refusing to face an issue, too. Namely, that populations are swelling in the poorest areas of the world — places where women have the least access to contraception.

I think it’s YOU who is refusing to face the issue.  The Holy Father has called you out.  How about you listen a bit?

According to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, more than 220 million women in developing countries “lack access to contraceptives and voluntary family planning information and services. … In 2012, an estimated 80 million women in developing countries had an unintended pregnancy; of those women, at least one in four resorted to an unsafe abortion.”

Ah, Bill and Melinda Gates – paragons of Catholicism!  Bill and Melinda might want to think about how much more they could help if they focused on regimes and infrastructure vs. getting rid of those burdens (AKA babies, sick people, etc.). They are truly pathetic!  They want to eliminate the poor but not poverty.  It’s so sad that they look at babies, the poor and the sick as enemies.

In some of these countries, the lack of access to birth control can be traced directly to the Roman Catholic church. In the Philippines, for example, where the population is expected to swell from 100 million to 200 million by 2080, the hierarchy spent 15 years fighting the Reproductive Health Bill, which promised to give poor women access to family planning methods like intrauterine devices and the birth control pill. Sections of the bill finally passed into law last year. (Watch this recent report on “Religion and Ethics Newsweekly” to see the plight of poor Filipino mothers and the impact of the new law.)

Rather than acknowledging the ways in which access to contraception has alleviated both poverty and ecological stress in countries like Thailand, Francis instead criticizes wealthier countries that “make economic assistance contingent on certain policies of ‘reproductive health.’ ” (Note the dubious quotation marks he places around the phrase.)

Oh, Jamie, did you once ever think all of these steps are to help women and their children?  Should we really continue to harm women with IUDs and birth control pills?  Have you bothered to research the health issues surrounding them?  I guess that might be a bit too much work for you.  And then there’s the environment?  Do you have a clue what damage those birth control pills have already done to our drinking water and aquatic animals?

Throughout the encyclical, the pope calls on those with financial and political influence to take responsibility for protecting the environment. “What would induce anyone, at this stage, to hold on to power only to be remembered for their inability to take action when it was urgent and necessary to do so?” Francis asks.

It is a question that also needs to be asked of the church’s hierarchy, whose financial and political power rivals most global institutions: How has the Vatican’s rigid refusal to change its teaching on contraception kept it from taking urgent action to spare both the poor and our beleaguered planet?

The planet is neither poor nor beleaguered.  It is quite resilient, in fact!  We have pockets here and there – usually in third world countries – where the governments (like the ones you’d love to pass out birth control to the masses) have done a disservice to their natural resources.  We have our own natural resource mismanagement that’s wreaking havoc on some of our states – quite ironically in the name of environmentalism.  What we do not have, however, is a population problem.  You have bought into the lie.

Francis wants the whole human community to be accountable for the state of our environment. But that call must include the Vatican, too. How has the Roman Catholic church’s ban on contraception deepened environmental degradation? How has the church’s paternalistic need for power over the sexualities of its flock exacerbated the conditions of the poor?

And here it comes: “It’s a celibate man problem people. You’re just too stupid to understand it!”  Get a grip!  Catholics have taken care of the poor longer than you, Jamie.  They know what the real problem is and it’s not, as you would have us believe, the poor.  You do realize that’s what you are saying, don’t you?  “If we didn’t have all these poor people, we wouldn’t have all these poor people. Let’s make all these poor people go away!”  And people wonder why racism is on the rise?  How about you stop breeding hatred of the poor, honey, and try to fix the real problems of narcissism and corruption?

Pope Francis wouldn’t be breaking radically new ground by changing the church’s teaching on birth control. The foundation for such a change was already put in place 50 years ago by the birth control commission.

Back in 1965, the commission, which was appointed by John XXIII and expanded by Paul VI, voted overwhelmingly to rescind the ban on artificial contraception. But Paul VI refused to accept the commission’s findings, despite the fact that 30 of its 35 lay members, 15 of its 19 theologians, and nine of its 12 bishops voted in favor of changing the teaching. The pope instead sided with those who dissented from the commission’s findings.

According to a report written by those dissenters (known as the “minority report”), “The Church cannot change her answer because this answer is true. … It is true because the Catholic Church, instituted by Christ … could not have so wrongly erred during all those centuries of its history.”

For the sake of the earth and of the poor, it is time for the church to admit that the ban on artificial contraception is doing far more harm than good.

For the life of me, I cannot understand why people have a problem with the National Catholic Fishwrap using Catholic in their name?  Oh, maybe because it’s misleading?  Likely.  Do you understand at all, Jamie, the idea of Papal Infallibility?  Since you seem to have a problem with Catholic teaching, let me explain it to you.  The Pope cannot change Truth and he cannot bind us to lies.  The fact that artificial birth control (artificial should be the big tip off to you) goes against God’s natural law doesn’t change because a certain number of people say it should.  The Pope cannot formally “dissent” against Truth. He’s got that little thing called the HOLY SPIRIT keeping him from doing so.  You say: “Change the truth for the planet and the poor people.”  Did you ever think that maybe we can take care of our environment and not get rid of the poor as you suggest?  Heaven forbid that we think God might just provide for His creation!  Nope, that couldn’t possibly be the case!  God carved us on the palm of His hand but he just can’t provide for those 7, 9, or even 13 billion people?  How did we come to think God has such limits to his power?

Western Catholics refused to receive the church’s teaching on contraception decades ago, and increasingly, women and men in developing countries are also rejecting the teaching. In the Philippines, a country known for its deep Catholic faith, 84 percent believe that the government should provide free access to contraceptives.

Uh, this Western Catholic didn’t!  Please do not lump us all in with your delusions. Percentages mean little when it comes to Truth.  We don’t need to look further than our own American Heart Association to see the “majority” can be wrong. We’ve gone from egg and butter is bad to them being the health fix, and margarine saving us to being the devil incarnate.  Some majority somewhere was wrong, so hang the “majority”.  Truth is truth.  You can feel free to deny it all you want, but don’t you think it a little silly to advocate ignoring it for the sake of popularity?  I mean, I think that a lot of teens employ that train of thought.

Women and families want access to contraception because they believe their children’s quality of life is far more important than their number of children. They are exercising their individual consciences and in doing so are lifting themselves out of poverty while also being accountable to the needs of our ecosystem.

You act as if the only people who want birth control are third world countries. This is laughable!  The poor are, for the most part, being bribed into using it.  Let’s say we never had another child again.  Poor people are still going to be poor tomorrow and the powers that be will still be raping the land for wealth with no thought to the environment.  There might be fewer people, but the haves and the have nots and the quality of life will not change, because you are only advocating for fewer people, not fewer problems.  Again, people are not the root of the problem.  As usual, it’s narcissistic corruption which has been aided and abetted by your lame mentality of getting rid of people instead of fixing the actually problem.

Francis is right: A redistribution of food and a radical change in consumerist mentality are essential to feeding the soaring populations of developing countries. But these are long-range goals. Increasing access to family planning education and contraceptives can happen relatively quickly and will have a high impact on those who suffer the worst deprivation in our world.

“Periods of deep crisis,” Francis writes in the encyclical, “require bold decisions.”

If the Vatican truly listens to the cries of the poor and the cries of the earth, it will realize that it is time for the Vatican to make the bold decision of lifting the ban on artificial contraception.

[Jamie L. Manson is NCR books editor. She received her Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School, where she studied Catholic theology and sexual ethics. Her email address is]

Well, sis, you won’t hear the cries of the poor if you eliminate them all.  Of course, that’s likely next, and Bill and Melinda have certainly done their share of advocating the earliest exit possible without looking too much like Mengele.  You would do well to look at countries like China and India where artificial birth control is rampant.  How do these countries look to you?  The poor are still poor and oppressed as ever!

For the rest of you, I can’t help to think that you might not want to send your kids to Yale Divinity School if you want them to have a proper knowledge of Catholicism and sexual ethics.