In Defense of My Trad Friends…

You know, I wasn’t going to say anything about Zita Ballinger Fletcher’s article, and I’m not going to give her the pleasure of linking to it (if you didn’t see, do yourself a favor and don’t bother), but I am going to say a few things after watching the fallout from it today.

I did make two tweets back to Ms. Fletcher in response to some of her tweets, so to avoid any “she said she said”, here are my super mean tweets for your reading enjoyment.

I haven’t said 1 word to u or about u but, I’ve read your piece, and this would seem to be the pot calling the kettle black. So, if you don’t like being slandered, poked fun of, personally attacked, blamed, etc., maybe don’t write a piece doing that to a whole group of people?

And after relaying what a martyr she was but how she doesn’t retaliate because she’s a Real Catholic:

I’ve never really understood the charge of “virtue signalling” but I think this was big help.

Of course, she couldn’t ban me fast enough because, heaven forbid, she defends her rant, but here are some thoughts on it:

First, I don’t go to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass on a regular basis, so I feel like I’m in a unique position to comment on this article.  Nobody can point at me and say “Just another mean ol’ trad! She has to say that!”

Next, sorry, I have yet to attend any parish that doesn’t have its own breed of holier-than-thou people who think their way of “Catholic” is the only way of “Catholic”, whether it be the local happy-clappy church down the street or the local FSSP church. The Church is made up of sinners. I have Extraordinary friends who would like to whack some of their fellow parishioners upside the head just like I do some days. I mean, seriously, after the rant yesterday and the follow up on Twitter today, I just can’t see that she can say a thing about any of this after that snide piece. It was just full of hypocrisy.

Could Miss Fletcher have written her article after repeatedly stumbling into the worst of the worst weirdos in all of Extraordinary-land who couldn’t cogently answer “Why the veil?” or who simply ignored the Mass to sneer at her or ran up and tried to sign her up for “the cult”?  Anything is possible, but my guess is that her tales are a tad bit hyperbolic and based on the very thing she accuses them of – being judgmental. They don’t agree with her, they’re gaining ground, so she’s going to make them look as bad as she possibly can.

So, back to my experience, when I can’t get to my very lovely Ordinary Form Mass on Sunday, I go to the local church who hosts the Extraordinary Form. I’ve also been to various other EF’s for one reason or another, and her supposed experiences (and this really is all I can say about them) are far from the norm. I’ve never once been told to put on a veil or been sneered at because I’m not dressed just so. In fact, I ran to one at the last second (child was in hospital) and was probably wearing pants, but nobody looked twice. Maybe I just don’t go to Mass and look around at who’s looking at me. I don’t know. I pretty much get the feeling that we’re all just there to go to Mass. Sure, we can get distracted by the people around us, but I think the general theme is “I’m here to adore the Lord.” I still get the impression that Zita thinks all people are supposed to be looking at her and adoring her every fashion choice, and her article had all the indications of that narcissism. When she said “leggings” I thought, yeah, I probably would have been annoyed to be subjected to that, too. If you’re going to veil, not veil, wear leggings, wear something a little more long, etc., somebody is probably going to judge you either way. Deal. Not like you’re being hung on the Cross, for Heaven’s sake. On the occasion it happens, turn the other cheek and pay attention to the Mass.

Oh, and as a strong-willed woman, I also found her insinuation that all women who attend the Extraordinary Form Mass are simply being controlled by men was, well, stupid.  Did you catch the part about her friend who started wearing a veil? Ms. Fletcher basically said she caved into peer pressure. Please. Did she ever think for a moment that her friend might have been compelled by the arguments given for veiling? Geez. And how about the idea that somehow veiling is only a trad thing. How does she explain the ladies sitting at the local ordinary parish wearing a veil?  So, yeah, people are indeed going to say she doesn’t know because she doesn’t. And, by the way, Ms. Fletcher, Google “veiling”. I find it ridiculous to think that you’ve only heard the silly argument you tried to put forth when there are numerous in-depth articles on the subject. Again, she’d be hard-pressed to point at me and say, “She’s one of the them!” because I’m not. I have many female friends who attend the Extraordinary Form Mass, and there are very few who I’d consider pushovers, nor do they even all look the same. I just about died when I saw Zita say something about earrings. Honestly, unless she wandered into a Pius V chapel, I can’t imagine a place where everyone’s in a floor length dress, no earrings, etc. Heck, I’ve even seen tattoos (not plugging those, just sayin’), so the portrait she tries to paint doesn’t hold true. She needs to take a good hard look at her article one more time, because the only “oppression” going on surrounding the “Latin Mass” is from people like her.

I’d love to ask Zita how she thought her screed would help the situation? Let’s just say she’s right (which she’s not). Doesn’t she think that this might further drive people to the imaginary bunker? Of course, people are going to be defensive at their fellow parishioners and priests being labeled cultish, and of course they’re going to say she doesn’t have a clue. Instead of thoughtful debate and dialogue (you know the thing that’s supposed to be the bomb unless it’s with a trad), I was just being subjected to watching the usual “I’m a martyr” tweets from her. Completely predictable. I suppose a millennial like her thinks that the world is just going to hand her a trophy, but at twenty-eight years old, she should be old enough to realize that there couldn’t be a positive outcome to an article like hers. She didn’t do it out of some loving move to save the Church, she just did it to poke a bear.

Of course, NcR is full of Zitas. It’s like watching all of the protestant churches who could be trying to lead souls to Christ in their own deficient way but every sermon turns out to be “The Catholic Church is so evil!” They have no game so all they can do is to cast aspersion on others. They can’t debate facts. All they can do is come up with unverifiable conjectures to try and make people as paranoid as them. This is why people are attracted to traditional parishes (not with a big “T”) in general. They want to hear how to be a better Catholic. They want to hear the teachings that go along with the readings for the Sunday. They want to be helped to heaven. Sadly, the liberals can’t fill that craving and people looking for faithful Catholicism in its many forms is growing. So they can keep trotting out their usual dog and pony show of stories about how somebody was so mean to someone else and they’re all like that and they’ll do the same to you but eventually people realize that dog has no bark.

Let me give you one last tip, Zita. Toughen up. You made a public statement and you got a public response. This does not a martyr make. If you can’t make public statements without being willing to take the criticism, do yourself a favor and get out of the op-ed business. It’s not the place for fragile snowflakes who can’t take disagreement. People criticize me all the time, but I don’t think I’ve banned a single person for it unless they got profane or downright crass, since that’s not exactly helpful for a good discussion. I don’t suppose, however, that’s exactly what you were looking for in the first place.

 

Priests Fume About Slow Service (and Catholicism)

Update: I was mulling over this episode and was still a little curious as to why NcR would ever report this lame piece and it suddenly dawned on me. Guess what’s coming in ten days? The 2019 USCCB General Assembly.  Now guess who is up for president? Archbishop Cordileone. The liberals have literally been trying to get him removed from SF since he got there. They know if he’s elected that will be the death knell for their campaign. Bishops. if you ever want to send a message to liberal dissenters trying take down faithful bishops, this might be your chance. Also, you’d be securing an amazing seminary in the West for decades to come. At least this explains the extra dose of insanity.

Holy smokes! I got some not so happy messages from some of the San Francisco Archdiocese people over this ridiculous article. They are none to happy about the attack on Archbishop Cordileone and neither are the people in his old flock across the Bay.

After reading it, I almost can’t see why because it was rather laughable. But, yeah, it was obnoxious so let me explain to the people across the country and the world what’s really going on here. I HOPE some priests in that diocese will stand up for the archbishop. And, on the heals of my last article, (link) feel free to make it anonymous.  As you can all see from the article below, there are supposedly a few “unnamed” priests weighing in.

https://www.ncronline.org/news/parish/san-francisco-priests-voice-frustrations-cordileone-convocation

San Francisco priests voice frustrations with Cordileone at convocation

Oct 31, 2019

by Dan Morris-Young ParishPeople

Simmering acrimony over the decision-making, communications and mindset of the much-watched seven-year episcopacy of San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone breached the surface of an early October convocation of clergy, surprising many and leaving questions about the future between the prelate and much of his presbyterate.

Simmering acrimony? More like underhanded move by a bunch of priests who were just allowed to do whatever the heck they wanted for decades are actually being called to be shepherds of souls and they HATE it. There’s no simmering. They whine and cry to National Catholic Reporter any darn chance they get. NcR is on speed-dial. This isn’t the first time they’ve called them regarding what should be a meeting of their fellow priests. They’ve even done this over “Councils of Priests” meetings (think deanery meetings).  It’s their way of trying to intimidate the faithful crowd from saying or doing anything. Thankfully more of them have had it. The idea that there’s some “question about Archbishop Cordileone’s future” is a sell job by the old dissenting cronies who want to do the best they can to try and take him down on the way out the door to retirement.

At one point during the Sept. 30-Oct. 3 gathering at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California, Cordileone is said to have said, “I do not understand you, and you do not understand me,” while he also told the 145 priests attending, “I love you.”

And, I’d like to point out that this is where the anonymous kind of sort of quotes start. I can affirm, by all accounts, that Archbishop Cordileone loves his entire flock while some of his priests love, well, themselves. Honestly, they’re like teens who’ve never had supervision and who suddenly were taken in by a parent who cared enough about them to place restrictions on them. All you parents will understand that it is never easy to turn the unruly child around but these are grown men, for goodness sake. They know their parishes are empty. They know their coffers are low. In fact, the churches that are doing well are the faithful ones and, while they can fill their annual bishops appeal in no time, the liberal churches struggle meeting it at all because their parishioners are as apathetic as they are.

A summary of the assembly prepared by its organizing committee for the Oct. 10 regular meeting of the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council synthesized the key deliberations:

“On Tuesday evening [Oct. 1], the group seemed to come to a near consensus that the priests of the Archdiocese desire greater communication and collaboration with the Archbishop in making key decisions.”

I’m just curious as to where NcR got this summary.  Anyone?

Missing, however, was the depth of emotion and frustration expressed during general session exchanges at which the archbishop and moderator of the curia, Jesuit Fr. John Piderit, were not present, several participants told NCR.

“Several participants?” How many? Who is disseminating this information? Yeah, you see where I’m going. If EVERYONE is in agreement with these desires and there’s such consensus, why all the emotion when Archbishop Cordileone and Fr. John Piderit (I’d like to SJ which was curiously left off) weren’t even in the room?

“Laid bare, they said, were tensions over muddy communications, lack of authentic consultation, low clergy morale, unilateral initiatives by Cordileone, and the archbishop’s embrace of “the model of a pre-Vatican II church,” in the words of one pastor.”

Hats off to you Dan Morris-Young for the heart wrenching dramatic description of events. I hate to tell the whiners but unilateral initiatives are totally fine. And, really, which “unilateral initiative” are they protesting? None are given are they?  And what in THE heck is a “the model of a pre-Vatican II church” to the one unnamed pastor??? Uh, Perpetual Adoration? Rosary Rallies? Eucharistic Processions? Or is it one where the bishop actually does his job? Do you know how many parishes have an Extra-Ordinary Form Mass out of eighty-nine? From the information I can find a whopping seven. Archbishop Cordileone certainly hasn’t imposed this on any parish. It has been allowed at the pastors request so stop acting like it’s being foisted on you as you wail and gnash your teeth. You know the reality, you’re jealous some people are leaving you to go to them. Jealous much?

Words such as “bombshell,” “volatile,” “anger” and “pain” were used in recounting general session comments.

Oh the humanity!!!!! This crew is spinning hard for the media, as always.

 Some attendees, however, told NCR that Cordileone enjoys steady clerical “appreciation and agreement” with his ecclesiology among many priests, notably younger men.

Fr. Roger Gustafson, chair of the organizing committee, said he was “very encouraged by the results” of the conference.

“While it was painful at points to facilitate an honest discussion about some of the issues in the relationship between the priests and archdiocesan leadership,” he wrote in an email, “I am convinced that the process ultimately will result in positive improvements with respect to morale, communication, mutual understanding, and most importantly greater effectiveness in priestly ministry.”

You couldn’t pay me to do this job. I’m a mom, I couldn’t put up with the drama. Despite the NcR report, there are many great priests who care for souls and want to join together with their bishop to do so. And then you’ve got the “cool kids” table trying to intimidate and bully everyone into submission. It’s really sad when the one of the guys who’s actually willing to give his name says honest discussion was hard.  Nobody wants to deal with this crud.  They just want to live their vocations and yet their constantly subjected to drama. I’d like to draw you attention to a past blog post  because this shows the kind of people with whom the Archdiocese of San Francisco has to deal. Again, a private meeting was leaked to the press. It really shows the usual level of duplicity. Still can’t figure out why they can’t see why it makes them looks so awful. Note that Fr. Strange and Bishop McElroy (auxiliary bishop at the time) weren’t incensed about anything being put on them. They were complaining about them not be consulted on what was happening in someone else’s parish. Still un-flipping-believable every time. If Fr. Strange isn’t involved in this new attack, I’d be shocked.

“Noting that the gathering followed a format pioneered by Patrick Lencioni, founder of the Amazing Parish program, Gustafson said he hoped an impression would not emerge that the convocation was “only two polarized groups of priests when it seems to me that the majority fall somewhere in the middle and are open to moving forward.”

Believe me, Lencioni probably hasn’t met the likes of the insanity in San Francisco. If they can make it there, they’ll make it anywhere! I’ve heard good things about this program but I’m pretty sure if you’ve got a group who’s hell bent on sabotaging the outcome, it’s going to take a lot of the good priests to drown them out.

“To my mind,” Gustafson, pastor of San Francisco’s St. Brendan Parish, told NCR, “the convocation accomplished the first step of intentionally bringing conflict out into the open so that it can be dealt with. We are now moving to the second step of putting structures into place to address the underlying basis of the conflict.”

The problem is, the dissenters don’t want to bring conflict out in the open. They want to bring their drama to the press.

A priest who has expressed concerns about priest morale in the past said that the objective should “not be to shame the archbishop, but to improve the archdiocese. I would like this to have a chance to unfold under the best of conditions.”

Sounds like he’s a priest with the best of intentions.

The assembly was the third such gathering since Cordileone was installed on Oct. 4, 2012, and apparently the best-attended and most free-wheeling.

So, in short, some progress is being made now that, after 7 years, some are getting over the “Cordileone bad!” mantra of those who loved their, how should we say, freedom. Their influence is fading away.

Central to deliberations were deanery-defined table-group discussions.

According to participants, conversations among groups of six to eight at about two dozen tables reached consensus Oct. 1 when each group was directed to share one item for immediate attention by archdiocesan administrators.

“It was like boom, boom, boom” as the results were announced, said one participant. “Nearly every table named poor communications from the archbishop and chancery — and exclusion of priests from key decisions in the archdiocese.”

And, so, why is any of this a problem? This is what Archbishop Cordileone wanted to get. If he didn’t why the effort to get attendance up, hire a third body program, etc.? Somehow this is labeled as a bad thing. I don’t have verification that this characterization of the round tables was quite sincere and it is another anonymous “participant” so we’ll likely not know.

“Honestly, I was stunned by the frankness,” the priest added, “and this included tables where there were young guys who see the archbishop as doing nothing wrong. I did not expect this kind of consensus.”

Again, this is anonymous priest take on this. I also find it interesting that “nearly all the tables” came up with not the number one problem but the same two. I’m still wondering what the need to be in charge of the key decisions in the diocese is all about. How is this the job of the parish priest. Again, I remind you of my previous blog post. Some of these egos thing they should be consulted on EVERYTHING. Why? This isn’t some pre-Vatican II notion that the bishop is the head of the diocese. Last time I checked that was his job.

Can. 381 §1 In the diocese entrusted to his care, the diocesan Bishop has all the ordinary, proper and immediate power required for the exercise of his pastoral office, except in those matters which the law or a decree of the Supreme Pontiff reserves to the supreme or to some other ecclesiastical authority.

He doesn’t have to run anything by anyone and sometimes, yes, he will make unilateral decisions just like EVERY bishop.  Please, name one that hasn’t. And really, one has to ask, if the priests of the diocese make decisions without him?  I can assure you they do and they make ones he wouldn’t not approve but, hey, he’s the super mean guy.

The organizing committee’s summary said that consultants from the Evangelium Consulting Group “suggested a pilot program in which one deanery be selected to meet regularly with the Archbishop to provide advice and counsel and this mechanism seemed to receive widespread approval.”

So the plan is to try to meet regularly with the priests who want to be heard. Let me guess, somebody, after whining about not have a say, is going to complain because they will get the chance for communication and consultation?

One priest said he hoped the pilot project and overall meeting would encourage “greater fraternity, cohesion, trust, healthy conflict, communication and collegiality, not only between the archbishop and his priests … but also among the priests themselves.”

Others were skeptical. “Inviting the archbishop to dinner is not going to solve the communications problem,” said one. “Long term, there is probably not going to be much change unless the archbishop changes lanes, and that would be going against everything he has been doing so far.

More bluntly, another veteran pastor pronounced the convocation “an elaborate exercise in futility.”

So yes. Yes they are going to complain. Do you see how it goes here? I’m mean, do they realize how childish they look???  Even National catholic Reporter can’t save them!  “We’re mad because you don’t communicate and consult with us. Oh you will?! It’s futile unless you do what we want!” I’m starting to think they’re all taking advantage of the legalization of marijuana at this point. It’s insane.

Cordileone apparently did not directly respond to the priests’ concerns Oct. 2 until after he had spoken at length about topics close to him, including St. Patrick’s Seminary and University, stewardship, and liturgical celebration as encouraged at the Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship, which he established on the seminary’s Menlo Park campus.

Some priests found the delay disconcerting.

“Oh my gosh! He didn’t respond for, like, forty-five minutes to our demands!” Seriously? How can you have input in plans if you don’t know what they are??? So, they just want to rant to him and he can’t try and talk like adults to him.  Honestly, Archbishop Cordileone must have the patience of Job. A one way street doesn’t work in my house. How about yours?

When the archbishop did address the communications and decision-making questions, priests told NCR that, in the words of one, “he made it pretty clear we were wrong and we did not understand the way he makes decisions.”

“Some guys were disheartened, and a handful just left quietly, dismissing themselves from the meeting,” the priest continued.

He and others described as “a kind of breakthrough moment” when Cordileone “basically said, ‘I do not understand you and you do not understand me,’ ” but also added, “I love you.”

Wow! “I love you!” is so mean they had to mention it twice! So, these knuckleheads stomped off and hoped really hard they could start a mass exodus. That’s so messed up. It didn’t happen despite the supposed “consensus.” And Cordileone hearsay “basically said” translates into “probably didn’t even remotely say but we’re going to suggest it did.” Sigh.

Gustafson and others lauded Cordileone for being “vulnerable” and leading the sharing of personal reflections and history during the sessions aimed at community-building among priests.

But Father! Archbishop Cordileone didn’t answer the questions before he made a presentation!!! He’s awful! (That was sarcasm.)

“I admire the archbishop for his courage,” commented Gustafson. “I can only assume that many, if not most, dioceses have similar areas of tension and concern, and I imagine there are many prelates who would never allow such an open and sincere discussion. … Overall, it was a very positive experience.”

Thank you Fr. Gustafason.

Not for others, including Fr. David Ghiorso, pastor of St. Charles Parish in San Carlos, California*, who has publicly questioned Cordileone’s actions in the past.

Also one of the conspirators listed in past blog. Notice? The same names pop up over and over again. If there’s an abundance of these goofs, where are they? Aren’t they lining up to take pot shots? Their breed is dying off or, at the very least, just getting tired. I think they got it right when they said “handful.”

“The core issue that surfaced for me is lack of trust in the administration of the archdiocese,” he emailed NCR. “I am not sure if others feel the same. With lack of trust comes lack of respect and this is very difficult to deal with as a priest. We do promise respect and obedience to our bishop and when that is not present it is a problem.”

Uh, yeah, it’s a problem and you’re only willing to give obedience and respect if the archbishop does what they want. If you were going to put contingencies on your promise, maybe you shouldn’t have made it in the first place. I’d love to know what advice they give to the couples preparing for marriage? “Whatever you vow is only contingent on your spouse making you happy?”

“At one point as the archbishop spoke of the Benedict XVI Institute, I got the image of the Titanic going down, but the choir chanting on the bow of the ship,” Ghiorso said. Cordileone’s affinity for Latin liturgy and Gregorian chant is well-known.”

“Ghiorso called himself “a passive observer in the general sessions by choice” and noted he had “promised my team back at the parish that I would keep my mouth shut for my own mental, spiritual and emotional health.”

“Do I believe anything will come from this gathering?” he asked. “The answer is, ‘No.’ Promises of sending out the results of the general session will never happen because they were so volatile.”

So Fr. Ghiorso wants to flap his gums behind the archbishop’s back to the press but saying something in a place that might possibly be constructive he basically chickened out. Your “team” probably should have just told you to keep your mouth shut indefinitely.

Observed another: “The level of the display of hardcore criticism against the archbishop throughout the convocation was revealing but not surprising. Most priests now know they are not alone in their estrangement from the archbishop. The archbishop has consistently attempted to move the archdiocese back into the 19th century. The seminary is a prime example.”

What is this? Anonymous priest number what? I’ve lost count? Five? I guess that might constitute a handful. Hey, I’ll hand it to Fr. Ghiorso with his “Yeah, I said it to the press!” attitude. To bad he couldn’t man up in person. You tend to keep quiet when you know your posse is dwindling and the tides are turning.

Last time I checked, they did that whole Gregorian Chant thing at St. Peter’s and, hey, a whole lot of churches and cathedrals around the country including yours even before Archbishop Cordileone. I’d love to know what else he thinks brings it back to the “19th century” (What does that even mean?) Actual Catholicism?

<Snipping old news they keep regurgitating as if it matters.>

As of Oct. 31, requests for comment from Cordileone were unsuccessful.

Oh come on, do you really expect him to call out priests in the press? That’s your thing. He’s taking the high road unlike the snakes in his diocese. How does one expect to make any conciliatory moves by duking it out in the press? I guess we’ll have to ask the anonymous priests and Fr. Ghiorso.

A retired priest told NCR, “The priests I talked to had the impression that Sal lives in his own world, cut off from what is real, and they feel helpless to find some relief from present church structure. At least the archbishop knows that he is not supported by his priests.

That retired priest, however, would belong to what Fr. Joseph Illo calls “a powerful, well-established older group of priests who have worked decades in the archdiocese and done much good work over the years, but who are having trouble accepting changes in our local church, and especially with a new archbishop.”

Ooooh! I don’t know. Who’s living in the fantasy land? I think that might be you anonymous “retired priest.” But thanks for summing up the lack respect that was supposedly promised to their archbishop. “Sal.”

A Cordileone loyalist, Illo asserted that “most priests are with the archbishop and share his ecclesiology in general” and that “if you took an anonymous poll … I’m quite sure that well over half the clergy would express appreciation and agreement with the archbishop’s theology. This is particularly true of priests under 40.”

And now we’re going to start heading into really old news land in keeping with the “let’s throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” maneuver.

No immediate headcount for 40-and-younger ordained was available, but an archdiocesan official told NCR, “Not very many.”

About 385 priests serve within the archdiocese, according to archdiocesan communications director Mike Brown.

Almost half are incardinated archdiocesan priests who have a median age of 67. Just under 40% of the balance are religious order members, and another 55 are from other dioceses.

And this is what terrifies the “Old Guard.” The young priests LOVE the archbishop and half of the priests in the diocese are under sixty-seven. And, yes, I am now older than way too many priests with more on the way BECAUSE the archbishop is the bomb. Nobody’s harassing seminarians anymore and vocations are being fostered. I’ve been AMAZED at the quality of the younger guys. The only ones entrenched in their hate are in the over sixty club.  And, let’s go over this again, the median age is sixty-seven??????? Half of them are older than that? Yeah, Archbishop Cordileone is NOT the problem here. It started a looooonnnngggg time ago.

<Snipping Fr. Illo comments just simply because NcR is kind of obsessed with him and it’s getting old. In short, great guy but, again, NcR’s desire to bring him into all of their pieces is getting ridiculous. Search my site if you want to know about him.>

Fr. Jose Shaji, pastor of St. Anselm Parish in Ross, north of San Francisco, predicted “nothing” will ultimately result from the Asilomar gathering despite the frank feedback it generated.

After an Oct. 6 evening mass, Shaji asked parishioners to pray for priests of the archdiocese, saying that clerical morale was the lowest he had experienced in his 17 years in the see.

“When I arrived here,” the native of India told NCR, “it was like coming home. But now it feels more like a place of employment.”

Then-Archbishop William Levada headed the archdiocese when Shaji arrived, succeeded in 2005 by Archbishop George Niederauer, who retired in 2012 and died in 2017. Later named a cardinal and head of the Vatican’s powerful Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Levada died Sept. 26 of this year.

A longstanding pastor who attended the convocation said many “see this as kind of a last chance, and the guys are not going to drink from this well again,” an allusion to past encouragement to speak openly only to be ignored or marginalized.

So, again, a plan to figure out how to meet with the priests at their deanery meetings to communicate and gain input, something they SAID they wanted is now ignoring and marginalizing? Like I said, even National catholic Review couldn’t spin the truth enough to make these guys look anything but insane.

<And snipping the excessive repeating of old news.>

Faithful in the San Francisco Archdiocese, you better make some loud noises over this one. I realize most of you don’t go to their parishes because, like me, you have little tolerance for dissent but I really feel like some open letters, at the very least, are warranted. And please, write many many letters of support.

 

Michael Sean’s Cabal Canard

 Don’t like that pope? Read what he wrote.

Not to quibble too much but this diatribe doesn’t even suggest anything the Holy Father wrote.

Sep 9, 2019

by Michael Sean Winters Opinion

The whole world now knows that Pope Francis is more or less fed up with some of his critics. His comment about it being an “honor” to be attacked by conservative Catholics in the U.S. made that clear for all to see. Francis had just been presented with a copy of a new book by French author Nicolas Seneze, which catalogues conservative Catholic efforts, largely American, to influence this pope or to limit his influence and undermine his efforts. The fallout from the pope’s comment is kind of fun to watch. Last week, EWTN host Raymond Arroyo began his hour-long show with an eight minute “commentary” that pronounced the pope’s comment “troubling.” I actually found the pope’s candor refreshing.

Talk about refreshing! The Pope’s guys tried to turn the comment into praise for Americans even though most of us were a tad bit skeptical about that one. Who knew Michael Sean Winters and I would agree?! Of course, I can’t agree that the comment or the fall-out are fun to watch. Only a jerk would revel in such division, but I’d expect no less.

Arroyo referred to a “string of lazy articles.” He went on: “This is tired, and, frankly, a fact-free narrative.” He complained that it had been peddled mostly by “Europeans and progressive Americans” and claimed these critics “make the mistake of casting orthodox Catholics in America as right-wingers, players in a political plot to undo the agenda of Francis.” He countered this portrayal, saying, “The truth is much more simple. American Catholics actually believe what the church has always taught, and they’re loud enough and have big enough platforms to broadcast that belief.” Arroyo insisted that “all traditional Catholics have done is ask questions.”

Uh, yeah. Don’t you think that’s allowable, Michael Sean Winters?  As I’ve said before, people across the world have concerns. And Arroyo is right. We are a very blessed country and we have the freedom and ability to fight for everyone against liberal dissenters like Michael Sean Winters, NcR, America Magazine, etc. like no other country in the world. We’re good on the battlefield like that. And did I miss something? Are America Magazine, National catholic Reporter or Salt & Light Whatever penniless organizations? Please. And, by the way, as of now, I don’t get a paycheck. (Offers totally accepted.) I think we need to have “Je suis ETWN!” shirts made up because they’re just saying what a good chunk of the laity around the world thinks. Since Michael Sean Winters would never actually want you to see the interview he writes about (he could have totally linked to it), I will leave it here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bPyFm1Aw20

Arroyo unwittingly confirmed the thesis he was trying to debunk when he concluded: “The truth is this is all a craven attempt to demonize and purge voices form the church who dare to question the radical changes that are under way and the brutal tactics used to enact them.” Radical changes? Brutal tactics?

Uh, is there any doubt about radical changes?  Apparently he didn’t get the memo from Cardinal “Synodality” Marx? Or America Magazine ? And brutal tactics? Maybe he missed what just happened at the John Paul II Institute? For goodness’ sake, Michael Sean Winters, even The Atlantic sees it. So, please, don’t act like those who are troubled are paranoid freaks. It’s real. “Nothing to see here but the usual papal stuff” isn’t going to fly.

To prove his claim to editorial balance, Arroyo played a tape of him of the night a year ago when he reported about Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò in which he said, “I am a little squeamish about a pope resigning again.” Huh? Had a former nuncio publicly demand that Pope Benedict XVI resign? Why add the word “again”? He did, to his credit, acknowledge there had been criticism of Viganò, but one year later, on a show just two weeks ago, Arroyo and his papal posse, Robert Royal and Fr. Gerald Murray, spent more than half the show defending Viganò and arguing that most of his claims had been proven true, when in fact, most of them had been proven false.

Wow!  Which ones were those proven false?!?! The “just say it and it will be true” tactic doesn’t work here, Michael Sean. If you’re going to make an accusation, back it up.

Arroyo said: “Let’s not create silly conspiracy theories.”

Me thinks the pope touched a nerve. Arroyo’s rant sounded like nothing so much as the wild excuses a child makes when caught pilfering the cookie jar. To be clear, if I were in his shoes, I would be upset also. I would be upset if I thought my pals owned the church and someone had come along and taken it away from us.

Uh, my pals don’t own the Church. Raymond Arroyo’s pals don’t own the Church. And, just to be clear, nobody does. Maybe that’s the problem. You and your buddies, Mr. Winters, seem to think the Church is some kind of personal football while we believe God gave it to us as our guide to heaven. We also know darn well that it’s been foretold time and again that She will constantly be under attack from within as well as the outside. Congratulations on being a small part of proving that prophecy.

There is, indeed, a cabal among right-wing Catholics to undermine or minimize this pope and his teachings, and you could discover it merely by watching EWTN or reading its auxiliary media outlets. No one would have Cardinal Raymond Burke or German Cardinal Gerhard Müller on their show as an authoritative guest unless such undermining was the goal. No one would have Phil Lawler, who was the first guest on Arroyo’s show last week, on their show as an expert unless undermining the pope was the objective. The two men enjoyed themselves complaining about all the damage they think Francis is doing to the church.

Wow! Cabal and right-wing all in one sentence! Doesn’t this sort of make the open-arm narrative you’re about to put forward fall a little flat? (Hint: The answer is yes.)

Heaven forbid we have a Cardinal of the Church speak on a Catholic station! And heaven forbid Phil Lawler be disgusted by the abuse crisis and its handling.  Yeah, those guys are horrible. Geez!

Was EWTN undermining the Holy Father when they reported this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vovTX6bAI0 Or this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxGj7Ztt1lU Or this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aqn3YYurIpE  Or even that evil Raymond Arroyo and the Papal Posse https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J88_Fnz-UXU? Or all of Pope Francis’ big Masses? Sometimes they support and sometimes they scratch their heads and say “What is this?!” just like the regular folks in the world. And when someone’s job is criticized by a French writer and the pope seemingly agrees, why in heaven’s name would you not expect them to respond? I guess it’s because NcR, American Magazine, and Salt and Light never respond? (Yes, I am rolling my eyes.)  Heck, if you’re in the social media world, they simply ban you as they’ve done to so many. They don’t want to discuss it, and I should know since I’ve been banned by most of them for my critiques of their work. Talk about a cabal! At least Arroyo and the rest of the “evil Americans” are willing to continue the conversation and they try to see the good where they can find it, but that doesn’t mean they can’t comment and ask questions.

I’m really sorry that you don’t understand why people are greatly concerned and have concerns about some of the things Pope Francis says. I mean, that’s never ever happened in the history of the Church! (That was tongue in cheek, Sean Michael.)  I realize that everyone has totally forgotten about, say, St. Catherine of Siena, but this is hardly the first time there have been criticisms and questions of a pope. Was she somehow an elitist as you so like to frame people you’d rather dismiss? Was she part of a cabal?

I wish to send Arroyo and other conservative Catholics an invitation, one that I received a long time ago and from which I derived enormous benefit. During the more conservative pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, friends encouraged me to read their writings with an open mind, not to dismiss them because they were so conservative. Of course, in the area of Catholic social teaching, there has been enormous continuity, not only across the last three pontificates but stretching all the way back to Pope Leo XIII. But, when I read some of the writings of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, from his early work Introduction to Christianity to the trilogy on Jesus of Nazareth that he wrote while pope, I not only learned a great deal, I had my faith strengthened by the insights he discerned. Here is the column I wrote the day after his resignation. I was not yet a writer when Pope John Paul II issued Novo Millennio Ineunte, but I remember thinking it was a magnificent document that made me stretch in ways I would not have done if I had simply stuck to my more liberal Catholic texts.

Dude!  You just suggested what my last clip from EWTN said.  Why don’t you give it a watch again? I’ll leave the link nice and visible! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J88_Fnz-UXU  Maybe don’t call people part of a cabal and you might get some conversation. The thing is, you might actually have to approach them with an open mind.  It doesn’t go one way and this is the problem I have with you and yours. Unless we buy everything you say we’re, somehow, part of this evil, right-wing, conspiracy to overthrow the Holy Father. Sorry buddy.  We want him to succeed but we have question when we hear things that sound like somebody just dragged a needle over our favorite album.

And one last thing, to suggest none of the faithful who are troubled have read Pope Francis is ludicrous. In fact, it’s because we’ve read and hang on his every word that we are concerned. What the Holy Father says is very important. That’s kind of the point.

So, instead of painting Francis in such a harsh and negative light, rather than poking fun at synods, or highlighting and even championing a score-settling text like Viganò’s “testimony,” I invite conservative Catholics to come to Francis and his teachings with an open heart and an open mind. I hope they might find, as I did with his conservative predecessors, an opportunity to stretch their faith, which always leads to an expansion and a deepening of that faith as well. It is a big church, and there is room for everybody. The alternative is the emergence of a sectarian, para-schismatic church in the United States. And, if a full-blown schism were to occur, its source would largely be found on EWTN.

And there it is.  The liberal, Catholic talking narrative. The hypocrisy is rather staggering. You knew it was coming. Honestly, was there a conference call?  Clearly there was. Maybe, the next time you want to float the idea that you are being uber charitable, calling others to open-mindedness, etc. you remove a HUGE log from you eye and not call them part of the schismatic cabal. Just saying. Until then, all the faithful should realize that the Winters, Reeses and Faggiolis of the world are just hoping you’re not paying attention and will fall for their pandering innuendos.

[Michael Sean Winters covers the nexus of religion and politics for NCR.] Kind of not so much. Pretty much covers his own unsubstantiated, narcissistic viewpoints.

So my friends, I’ll see you all at the weekly schismatic cabal meeting. I’ll bring snacks! Oh shoot! I meant doughnuts…for after Mass. Same diff.

Trust Not Trustees

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Again, why? 

Leading up to the personnel decision

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Outpouring of support

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moving forward

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Me, me, me, I, I, I. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Fanboy Meltdown

Uh oh…
https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/distinctly-catholic/us-bishops-electing-naumann-lead-pro-life-committee-break-tradition

So sorry, Michael Sean Winters.  I think many of your hopes and dreams just flew out the window today. While you claim there was a “break from tradition”, I’m pretty sure that it’s tradition to pick the guy who will most likely not sell out the pro-life world by trying to attach “seamless garment” issues around the necks of the babies and their mothers. And so tradition was actually followed.

The U.S. bishops broke tradition this morning selecting Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, to serve as chairman of the Pro-Life Activities Committee. He defeated Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago on a vote of 96 to 82. Not to put too fine a point on it, but this amounted to the bishops giving the middle finger to Pope Francis.

Imploding much over there at National catholic Reporter, Michael?  Wow!  Really?!?!  Picking a longstanding, hard-working advocate for life is “giving the middle finger” to the Pope?  How do you figure?  You might be possibly confusing yourself with the pope.  Talk about ideologue. I know you were working hard to get him those votes, but geez, engaging in calumny is kind of a no-no.  I would think even you would get that.

The Pro-Life Activities Committee has always been led by a cardinal, a way the bishops have signaled the priority they assign to that committee. The current chair is Cardinal Timothy Dolan who, like Naumann, is a protégé of Cardinal Justin Rigali. Some of us who have been watching the bishops for a long time from the bleachers on the left have a saying about Rigali’s career: “He has ruined everything he ever touched.” In giving his committee report on Monday, Dolan singled out Naumann for praise. It was a none too subtle placing of his finger on the scales.

Wait! Now Dolan’s sticking it to Pope Francis, too? You’re losing it, Michael. For a man who just wrote a piece deriding Catholic publications you perceive to be dividing the Church, aren’t you being just a tad bit hypocritical on the USCCB? I guess it’s OK because your guy lost? Please. I feel like I’m watching the screaming snowflakes after the last presidential election throwing their tantrums and demanding safe-spaces. Please, feel free to retreat to mom’s basement and color.

The contrast between the two candidates for chair of the Pro-Life Activities Committee was the starkest of the choices the bishops faced. Naumann and Cupich are both representative of the two divergent understandings of how the church should interact with the ambient culture. Naumann is a culture warrior. Cupich champions engagement and dialogue.

Uh, Archbishop Naumann is a pro-life warrior. Cardinal Cupich tried to bar the priests and seminarians in his former diocese from participating in the 40 Days for Life campaign until that was made public, and then he sort of allowed it.  http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markshea/2011/09/i-dont-get-bp-cupich.html http://www.catholicworldreport.com/2011/09/16/bishop-cupich-priests-may-participate-in-40-days-for-life/

Archbishop Naumann told pro-abortion Kathleen Sebelius not to present herself for Communion, while Cardinal Cupich has said he’d wouldn’t deny anyone. https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/otc.cfm?id=236

http://www.crisismagazine.com/2014/on-giving-communion-pro-abortion-politicians

And then there’s the rest of his pro-life resume:

Archbishop Naumann has served on the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities since 2015. From 1984 to 1995, Archbishop Naumann served as the Archdiocesan Pro-Life Coordinator in St. Louis. In 1986, during his tenure as Pro-Life Coordinator, the Archdiocese of St. Louis established a Project Rachel ministry. Also, under his leadership, the Archdiocese of St. Louis established the Lifeline Coalition, a network that included Catholic Hospitals, Catholic Charities, Birthright Centers, and residential homes for unwed mothers to coordinate and improve services for families experiencing an untimely pregnancy.  Archbishop Naumann was also one of the founding Board members for the Vitae Foundation that uses mass media and social media to communicate Pro-Life messages.

Cupich? Anyone got the resume for Cardinal Cupich?

I’m thinking that the other bishops might just have thought Archbishop Naumann has much better pro-life credentials than Cardinal Cupich, plain and simple. No dis to the Holy Father. They’re not putting politics before the vulnerable.

In 2008, Naumann told Gov. Kathleen Sebelius that she should not present herself for Communion because of her pro-choice position. This interpretation of Canon 915 was first advanced by Cardinal Raymond Burke but it was never the position adopted by most bishops who thought it a mistake to politicize the Communion rail. Naumann also ordered his parishes to cease hosting Girl Scout troops over concerns they were somehow involved with Planned Parenthood. He is not exactly a poster child for the culture of encounter.

Uh, they weren’t “somehow involved”, they were directly involved. Duh! You’re kind of making the point for me. Archbishop Naumann is much more consistent and serious about the life issue. You have little to no qualification if you don’t even know of the GSA and PP connection.

Cupich, on the other hand, has openly embraced the consistent ethic of life approach first introduced by his predecessor Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. Many of the zelanti in the pro-life movement deeply resented Bernardin’s effort, wanting a singular focus on abortion. I recall an auxiliary bishop telling me that after he gave a talk that advocated the consistent ethic of life, his ordinary called him and told him, “We don’t use that language here.”

Yes, we deeply resented Cardinal Bernardin, but it was for sooooooo many reasons. We don’t simply want a singular focus on abortion. That said, the “seamless garment” is inconsistent with Church teaching, and I’m reasonably sure you know that. Hey, Mr. Winters, if you’ve never seen it, please read “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion.”   It might be of some help to you in regards to the seamless garment problem as well as worthiness to receive Holy Communion, neither of which you seem to get. You might also want to familiarize yourself with the word “intrinsic.” It escapes so many over there at NcR. (Actually, I’m sure it’s a purposeful oversight.) It’s short. Let’s take a look, shall we?

  1. Presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion should be a conscious decision, based on a reasoned judgment regarding one’s worthiness to do so, according to the Church’s objective criteria, asking such questions as: “Am I in full communion with the Catholic Church? Am I guilty of grave sin? Have I incurred a penalty (e.g. excommunication, interdict) that forbids me to receive Holy Communion? Have I prepared myself by fasting for at least an hour?” The practice of indiscriminately presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion, merely as a consequence of being present at Mass, is an abuse that must be corrected (cf. Instruction “Redemptionis Sacramentum,” nos. 81, 83).

  2. The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin. The Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, with reference to judicial decisions or civil laws that authorize or promote abortion or euthanasia, states that there is a “grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. […] In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law or vote for it'” (no. 73). Christians have a “grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God’s law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. […] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it” (no. 74).

  3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

  4. Apart from an individual’s judgment about his worthiness to present himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion may find himself in the situation where he must refuse to distribute Holy Communion to someone, such as in cases of a declared excommunication, a declared interdict, or an obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin (cf. can. 915).

  5. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.

  6. When “these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible,” and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, “the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it” (cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Declaration “Holy Communion and Divorced, Civilly Remarried Catholics” [2002], nos. 3-4). This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy Communion passing judgment on the person’s subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the person’s public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin.

Underneath the issue of how to approach pro-life issues was a deeper issue: How do the bishops feel about Pope Francis? Cupich was plucked out of the relatively small diocese of Spokane by Francis and sent to Chicago, his first major appointment in the U.S. hierarchy. Francis also named Cupich to the Congregation for Bishops which vets candidates for the episcopacy and, consequently, is charged with shaping the next generation of leaders in the church. 

How is your whiplash doing? Division and attacks were all so evil just the other day.  What happened? First of all, may Cardinal Cupich’s tenure be short! Second of all, not embracing Cardinal Cupich’s “Catholic lite” isn’t a slap in the face to Pope Francis any more than being annoyed by Cardinal Mahony was a slap to Saint Pope John Paul II. Popes can make mistakes in their choices. And, if you persist with this silly line of thinking, I might think that you are stomping on the memory of Pope Benedict for not being thrilled with Archbishop Naumann. Yes, you are trying to make two things go together that do not.

I do not discern any similar stark choice among the other candidates. In the contest for conference secretary, which brings membership in the executive committee, Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City lost to Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron by a vote of 88 to 96. Vigneron’s selection takes effect immediately.

Bahahaha! Well, you might want to take a look at the contrasts between some of the candidates in some of those other races. Yeah, there is some starkness in a few of them. Regardless, it has nothing to do with Pope Francis and all equal a sad day for the NcR staff.

The Committee on Doctrine will be led by Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, who garnered 110 votes to the 95 votes cast for Bishop Daniel Thomas of Toledo, Ohio. The race for chair of the Communications Committee pitted Bishop John Barres of Rockville Centre, New York, against Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia: Burbidge won with 116 votes to Barres’ 70 votes. The National Collections Committee contest was won by Bishop Joseph Cistone of Saginaw, Michigan, over Archbishop Michael Jackels of Dubuque, Iowa. The vote was 124 to 65. The Committee on Cultural Diversity saw Bishop Nelson Perez of Cleveland facing off against Bishop Shelton Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana, and Perez won on a vote of 107 to 77. All of these elected will serve as chair-elect for one year and take over the chairmanship next year.

At their June meeting the bishops voted to make their Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty a standing committee. They elected Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, the immediate past president of the conference, to serve as the first chair of the permanent committee. He defeated Archbishop Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee by a vote of 113 to 86. Kurtz will assume leadership of the committee immediately.

I guess none of these meant as much to Mr. Winters, which was apparent by the drooling mess he was over Cardinal Cupich the other day (link to fanboy). When I saw the results, it was quite apparent a hissy-fit was about to ensue, and so it did.

Michael Sean Winters: Fanboy

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

You have to see this riveting video of Cardinal Cupich

He talks of scandal, adult spirituality and libertarianism

Nov 13, 2017

by Michael Sean Winters Opinion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#CatholicCyberMilitia

 

 

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!

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/homosexual-clergy-should-come-out-to-show-how-gay-people-can-live-chastely

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): https://www.catholicmatch.com/institute/2011/09/father-james-martin-6-ways-to-love-chastely/

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

http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/father-james-martin-explains-his-vision-regarding-lgbt-catholics

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. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03637d.htm

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?”

http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2013/july/documents/papa-francesco_20130728_gmg-conferenza-stampa.html

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.

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.

http://cal-catholic.com/san-jose-diocese-wont-send-seminarians-to-st-patricks-anymore/

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.  https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/31/show-us-the-mercy/

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!

https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/just-catholic/embryo-destruction-underlying-wrong-ivf

 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.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_theology_of_John_Paul_I)

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. http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/ignorance-invincible-and-vincible

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” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_theology_of_John_Paul_I), 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: 

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19870222_respect-for-human-life_en.html

http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/reproductive-technology/begotten-not-made-a-catholic-view-of-reproductive-technology.cfm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rucnw9ZEn0k

http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae.html

http://www.eggsploitation.com/

http://www.anonymousfathersday.com/

http://breeders.cbc-network.org/

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.

https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/archbishop-chaputs-regrettable-column

“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:

http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/faithful-citizenship/church-teaching/catholics-in-political-life.cfm  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.  http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/11/politics/hillary-clinton-fbi-charges-poll/  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?