USF: Traditional, Progressive or Door #3?

I’m sure all sorts of strange noises of shock and exasperation came out of my mouth as I was reading this:

https://sffoghorn.org/2016/04/21/traditional-progressive-both/

And then this came out before I could even get an article written:

http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/4847/USF-Basketball-Coach-Doesn%E2%80%99t-Want-Faithful-Catholics-on-the-Team.aspx

So, you’re going to get a two-fer.  Let’s take them one at a time.

It’s taken me awhile to process this boatload of fantastical theories.  It rather epitomizes why the vast majority of schools bearing the “Catholic” moniker are a danger to society.  I mean, people actually believe what is spewed here is Catholic!

Traditional, Progressive, Both?

How about neither?  I choose door number three.  Dissenting is probably what that door would be labeled.  No progress is being made.  In fact, we’re kind of stepping back to the decadence and debauchery of ancient Rome or Greece at the University of San Francisco.  Without a doubt, it’s anything but traditional unless you’re counting lunacy as some sort of tradition.

The tall, dark wooden doors of the St. Ignatius Church are open every day from dusk ’til dawn, yet a relatively small fraction of the USF’s students are seen among the pews. Metal crosses decorate the front walls of many classrooms in the Lone Mountain building, though only a handful can be seen in any of the newer classrooms down the hill. The prevalence of the school’s religious identity appears to have slowly but surely weakened on campus over the years.

The school’s religious identity has slowly but surely weakened?  I don’t think so.  Unless slow and sure means 100 miles per hour in a Midwestern thunderstorm.  That said, most of USF sees things through a myopic lens, so 50 years for them is FOREVER.  Wait until they find out how long eternal life and hell last.  What a wakeup call that’s going to be.  Unfortunately, I’m reasonably sure it’s not considered much there.

A majority of students are mainly attracted to USF because of its liberal and open-minded reputation. While the University is proud of its close connection to the progressive city of San Francisco, it also has a deep Jesuit Catholic identity. At times, it’s hard for some people, students especially, to reconcile these two aspects of USF.

Deep Jesuit identity?  Again, people need look at the history in total.  It’s not just one person’s lifetime.   Does anyone see the “Jesuit Catholic identity” of their founders in the vast majority of today’s Jesuits?  One would have to wonder if these kids actually know the names of Jesuit saints.  There are not two aspects of USF, just the one, liberal, open-minded one, progressive (or the stupid one, as those of us with some knowledge and sanity would say).

As she cautiously sipped her freshly brewed latte in the cafeteria in the University Center, Consuelo Reyes, a sophomore communications major, explained her initial attraction to USF. Reyes said, “[I could] see honesty, progressiveness, sincerity, and integrity rooted in the values that this school had when it came to education.”

How about Catholicism?  Anyone? Not important?  Didn’t think so.

At the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, USF President the Rev. Paul Fitzgerald, S.J. spoke at the annual faculty and staff meeting. During his talk, he proposed a conversation on the Jesuit university experience. In an email response to questions about his proposal, Fitzgerald wrote, “[I] asked deans and directors to have conversations with their team members about how well we are fulfilling the vision statement that we articulated back in 2008.” He explained that the first round of conversations would discuss USF’s Catholic and Jesuit tradition while the other “four essential features” of this tradition would be part of later conversations.

As director of USF’s University Ministry, Julia Dowd has been involved in these conversations at USF. She said that although Catholicism gets a bad rap in society these days, “It’s important to claim who we actually are because if we don’t, other people get to claim what ‘religious’ looks like.

Ummm… Honey, you don’t get to explain what Catholicism is.  You don’t get to define it.  You don’t get to shape or change it.  It is what it is, and anyone can look to Her teachings to see Her.  What does “religious” look like?  Who the heck cares when the school you attend doesn’t even teach the True Faith?

A year ago, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone sparked conflict with many local Catholics with his decision to require teachers at Catholic high schools to sign a morality clause that depicts sex outside of marriage and same sex relationships as “evil.”

Holy Moses!  Do your homework, dear student reporter!  THIS IS WHAT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH TEACHES!!!  This isn’t some new and exciting teaching Archbishop Cordileone invented.  HE WAS CITING THE TEACHING OF THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH!  Get it through your thick skulls, liberals.  If you don’t like it, fine.  Just admit that it is so and that you dissent from it.  Stop this whole “Isn’t the Archbishop a great big meanie?!” routine and admit that you HATE the teaching of the Faith you profess.  I mean, a little honesty would be nice.

In opposition to the archbishop’s edict, 100 prominent Roman Catholic donors and church members, including many Catholic educators, former Catholic Charities board members and executives, and the father of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady Jr., published a full-page open letter in the San Francisco Chronicle that asked Pope Francis to replace Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. The signers wrote, “Archbishop Cordileone has fostered an atmosphere of division and intolerance.”

Or, as most of us can see, the Archbishop is teaching the exact same thing as Pope Francis.  You know what’s funny?  The non-Catholic flaming liberals point this out on a regular basis.  Sadly, they’re a little more honest than the Catholics. 

Among the signers of the letter was Charles Geschke, whose family name is on USF’s Geschke Center and who served USF’s Board of Trustees for about 18 years.

Via a phone conversation, Geschke who went to a Jesuit high school, a Jesuit university, and taught at a Jesuit college for about five years, said he signed the letter because, “As a lifelong Catholic and very involved in Catholic causes, I didn’t feel he [Cordileone] represented my viewpoints on what it means to be a Christian in a pluralistic world.”

Oh Mr. High and Mighty, heaven forbid the Archbishop doesn’t represent your viewpoints!  Because, you know, that’s oh so important.  The megalomania of these rich, liberal Catholics is staggering.  Pluralistic world?  Does the word “missionaries” mean anything to you?  Again, might be nice if you knew just a bit about the Jesuit missionaries after your Jesuit high school and college tenure.

The archbishop’s action has made it more difficult for some students to associate with Catholicism because of his exclusivity. When asked about the significance of Cordileone’s stance, Reyes said, “It’s important to recognize and respect each individual student’s decision to either engage religiously throughout their academic career or not.”

How about this?  It’s important for the students’ moral souls to teach them just what the Catholic Faith is.  What a thought!  Imagine a Catholic school trying to help people gain heaven!  Nobody is putting a gun to these students’ heads and making them accept Catholicism.  They can accept or reject it, but that doesn’t mean a Catholic school or a Catholic bishop shouldn’t do everything possible to teach authentic Catholicism.  The only threats being made here are to the Archbishop. 

In addition to the archbishop sending a bold and conservative message to the San Francisco Catholic community, last summer Fitzgerald faced a situation which seemed to represent the tension between Catholic principles and his own apparently more liberal views. Fitzgerald attended the San Francisco Pride Parade with others from USF in support of LGBTQ+ members. This happened the same week he removed a tweet an assistant in the university’s communications office sent out under USF’s Twitter account in support of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made same-sex marriage the law of the land. When the tweet was criticized by conservative Catholic groups, Fitzgerald issued a statement that said the tweet did not reflect the views of USF. This caused some confusion and upset among USF students: if even their own president was having trouble expressing to his multi-layered identity, how were they supposed to have an easier time?

Oh, believe me, Fr. Fitzgerald doesn’t have any Catholic principles, so his liberal views aren’t in conflict with anything other than authentic Catholicism and he really doesn’t give a rip about that.  I’m quite sure the only reason for a tweet retraction is that someone with money wasn’t too happy.  Money is the only thing that could possibly stop Fr. Fitzgerald from erasing every last trace of Catholicism.  Might be the only reason crosses still exist on that campus.

“It’s clearly a sensitive and relevant topic, I mean for students for faculty for staff, everyone, for Father Fitzgerald. Right?” said Conor Smith, a USF resident minister. “So I think it’s a great question to be asking like where does the university stand on some of these issues and is the university’s stance necessarily reflective of the student body and the staff and faculty who work here.”

LOL!  It sounds like the liberals a starting to turn on each other.  I’m all for Conor Smith’s proposal.  Let’s hear the answer, Fr. Fitzgerald!  Well?  Come on, let’s just put the cards on the table.  I’m sure young Conor doesn’t understand the careful balance of donor money.  We probably should let Conor in on the fact that money really does make the liberals’ world go ‘round.

The identity formation dilemma for students at USF is nuanced and multifaceted. Attempting to address all parts of a student’s identity and not compromise their progressive ideals (for those who have them) is not an easy task for a Jesuit university to accomplish, though it is critical to acknowledge the multiple layers of students identities — which seems to be the goal of these conversations. The root of the tension for USF lies in balancing students’ identities with modern times, all while maintaining the core Jesuit and Catholic education principles.

Interviews with various members of USF’s community revealed a range of reactions to this tension. Reyes explained her battle with this tension and her concerns about coming across as hypocritical. Although she is currently not practicing Catholicism as she has in the past, she is worried that if she were to return to practicing, her progressive values would conflict with Catholic rules.

Let me just clear this up for you, Ms. Reyes.  Yes, your progressive values would be in conflict with Catholic truths (or doctrines, as those who actually practice the Faith call them.)  Full disclosure: you will also most likely find yourself in conflict with the Catechism, Canon Law, and a lot of disciplines.  Catholicism isn’t for wimps.  We are the Church of martyrs.  Conflict is our middle name, whether it be internal or societal.

Sophomore media studies major Jennifer Kang said she hasn’t experienced any sort of religious pressures at USF. “I never felt like an outsider as a non-religious person,” said Kang, who also observed, “USF is pretty conscious of change and current events and is willing to hold important conversations about it.”

A simple “Gag!” will suffice here.  That’s because USF is about as non-religious as you, Ms. Kang,  unless moral relativism is now considered a religion.

Connor Smith, who worked for a USF volunteer program in the Philippines after he graduated from Boston College, said, ”Working with Jesuits and working and going to school at Jesuit establishments — that is the educational model and framework that includes things that have become really important to me.

Smith took a moment to share his own complexities of having a Catholic identity and being a gay man, since he believes the church’s conservative approach to social issues will carry on. “You work for a university that can’t necessarily ‘come out’ so to speak and support gay issues or any other issues that the church is terrible at addressing,” said Smith. After a moment of reflection, Smith shrugged and sighed, saying, “To keep that identity as both progressive and a Catholic is hard.”

Connor Smith just spelled it out even if he doesn’t know it.  These two “identities” (they are really choices) are completely incompatible.  If they are claiming both, one of them is a lie.

Now let’s look at Coach Azzi’s comments.  Totally intimidating don’t you think?  First she says:

Azzi said of anyone who “has an issue” [with her same-sex attraction lifestyle]: “I don’t want to coach them anyway.”

And then she says:

They first told four players over lunch, and their response — and that of their teammates later — was ‘overwhelmingly supportive.’

Um, yeah.  Coach Azzi, let’s think about this.  Do they have a choice?!?! You just said you didn’t want to coach people who didn’t accept your lifestyle, and then you say that they were overwhelmingly supportive?   You’ve basically said “Get in line or you don’t play here!” No pressure on the players here. How so very “tolerant” you are!

Lastly, there’s this:

The Chronicle quoted one student saying, “Frankly, I don’t see how this can have a negative effect on our program. If someone loses interest in our program because they hear that two of our coaches are married to one another, they are clearly missing the point.”

Who’s missing the point?!?!  You know, the one about the University of San Francisco supposedly being a Catholic school.  Don’t feel bad, anonymous student.  Most people at USF, teacher or student, seem to miss that minor little point.  Grooooooaaaaaannnnnn!

Just one last bonus for you from Fr. Fitzgerald: 

http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/4846/USF-President-A-Priest-Congratulates-Staff-on-Same-Sex-Marriage.aspx

Coach Azzi has entered into a civil marriage according to the laws of the land,” Fr. Fitzgerald stated. “We will afford her every benefit and legal protection which she is due. The university is a Catholic Jesuit institution that is purposefully diverse and dedicated to inclusivity.

It’s so wonderful to see Fr. Fitzgerald follow in the tradition of so many of the Jesuits who were martyred rather than to ever follow “law of the land” that was contradictory to the Faith.  Oh, wait.  Maybe not so much.  Honestly, how do the Jesuits like Fr. Fitzgerald and his ilk live with themselves?  I mean, it’s just EMBARRASSING!  Certainly doesn’t sound like the heavy hitting Jesuits who built the order!  Anyone see these saints putting forth the drivel of Fr. Fitzgerald?

And touching our Society, be it known to you that we have made a league – all the Jesuits in the world – cheerfully to carry the cross you shall lay upon us, and never to despair your recovery, while we have a man left to enjoy your Tyburn, or to be racked with your torments or consumed with your prisons. The expense is reckoned, the enterprise is begun; it is of God, it cannot be withstood. So the faith was planted; so it must be restored. ~Edmund Campion (Restored, USF, not destroyed! I think you’re mixing up some letters.)

To have prevented one single sin is reward enough for the labors and efforts of a whole lifetime. ~Saint Ignatius (It would seem like 97% of the modern Jesuits have gotten this one completely backwards.)

Many, many people hereabouts are not becoming Christians for one reason only: there is nobody to make them Christians. ~Francis Xavier (Who knew the Jesuit schools of America would resemble Francis Xavier’s missionary territory?!)

Freedom of belief is pernicious, it is nothing but the freedom to be wrong.  ~Robert Bellarmine  (Take that all you moral relativist!)

Better that only a few Catholics should be left, staunch and sincere in their religion, than that they should, remaining many, desire as it were, to be in collusion with the Church’s enemies and in conformity with the open foes of our faith.  ~Peter Canisius  (You modern Jesuit college types have fallen far away from the inventors of Jesuit education!)

So, please USF, how about you spare us all of the “Jesuit Catholic identity”delusions and admit you gave that up a while back?!

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What’s Wrong with a Multicultural Rave?

 This is a sarcastic blogger’s dream story: http://abc7news.com/education/14-st-ignatius-students-suspended-for-attending-racist-themed-party/1178327/ and http://www.cbsnews.com/news/san-francisco-students-suspended-over-race-themed-party/

First, a disclaimer: I do not advocate the teens’ actions in any way, shape or form. Aside from the whole racist component (which I doubt the kids thought they were even doing), I’ve seen the social media pictures of the kids dressed like prostitutes and gang bangers while holding brewskies. Personally, I can’t decide if it was better to suspend 14 students – considering 80-100 were involved – or if it might be better to assign a 15-page term paper or possibly have them scrub out all of those lovely trash cans on campus. I’m sure there are also some toilets that could use some cleaning. In short, if these were my kids, they’d wish they were suspended.

Let me reiterate the fact that the kids probably didn’t think it racist in the least. I think they thought themselves making fun of the “thug culture,” not a whole race. In fact, some of the articles I’ve seen note that there were black students in attendance. When I was in college, Berkeley, the land of the diverse and yet offended, had little parties called “Mafia Weddings” or “Italian Weddings” where everyone looked like they could be the cast of Jersey Shore.

So, now that all of the seriousness is out of the way…

Dear St. Ignatius Faculty,

Where is the “safe space” for these kids who wanted to experiment with their race? I mean, they are just racially-neutral teens. We need to allow these teens to explore their blackness a la Rachel Dolezal. We cannot crush their racially fluid selves with facts. Calling them offensive or racist is going to stunt their exploration of what it means to be a minority.

Sincerely,

Ridiculous Whiny Liberal

Honestly, I really can’t see how you can blame the teens. The little tongue-in-cheek note above is not really that far off from the example given with all of the other liberal speak passed along at this Jesuit school. I mean, I’m sure “Celebrate Diversity” is probably part of the daily chant there. When these teens take this mantra seriously, what do you expect when you don’t really focus on the core of what it means to be Catholic? Nobody seems to be able to figure out that Asian Student Coalition, the Black Student Union, the Association of Latin American Students, and (my favorite) the Safe Space Christian Life Community only serve to further segregate these kids. Or how about the See the World club? The description? “This club is for students of diverse cultural backgrounds to explore their own identities as well as the identities of the peers through food, film and fun.” Ummmmm…anyone see the irony here?

Can you imagine if the students were taught to focus on the Body of Christ? Wouldn’t that make all of these other silly clubs unnecessary? I mean, kids always need to be reminded, “Don’t be a jerk!” (Heck, I just yelled this at a couple of my kids the other day!) That’s their natural inclination, but focusing more on the Faith, being Christ-like, or (here’s a novel thought) the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, would seem to be far better remedies for this typical teen silliness than focusing on “diversity” and, in reality, the stupid sensitivity training.

 

P.S.  I hear some of you got an early preview of this.  Sorry, there was a weird WordPress glitch or user error.  It’s now open for comments!

Who is Promoting the Rape Culture?

What a weekend! I’m still trying to recover from all the fabulous pro-life events in Northern California. I tried to hit as many of them as possible, because, quite frankly, it makes me very happy to be in a sea of kind people from all over the country standing up for life. They’re joyful, happy, and best of all, most of them young. I’m a tad bit jealous of that last one, but I’ll get over it. It was such an awesome contrast to the opposition!

I had three days straight of mixing it up with the Stop Patriarchy club. How can anyone look at that crew and say, “Yeah! I proudly stand with that side of the debate!”? Really, people. Take a long hard look at the people who think like you. I mean, they’re just plain vile. You’ve got families walking down the street praying and singing the rosary, and then you’ve got the demonic, profanity-laced chanting and screaming coming from those on the other side of the police line. I probably should have said naked, demonic, profanity-laced chanting and screaming coming from those on the other side of the police line. It is ironic that those people ranting that “forced motherhood” promotes the “rape culture” are walking topless down the street. Get just a little clue, ladies! You created that culture, sweeties! Could it possibly be the lack of respect you show yourselves that contributes to the rape culture? I mean, why would men have respect for you when you have such a twisted view of self-respect. Then there are the men of Stop Patriarchy. I’m pretty sure it’s not “forced motherhood” that concerns them. Might it be fatherhood and being held responsible for their actions? They want to do the crime without doing the time. They don’t want abortion going away, but it has nothing to do with a concern for the “enslavement of women.” It has everything to do with them getting to fulfill their selfish desires with no consequences.  Again, try and compare those idiots with the dads and members of the clergy walking down the street with their wives, daughters, and congregations. Yeah, no comparison.

And for even more of a contrast, how about twelve Sisters of Life whipping off their capes to cover some really sad, young women who thought it would be a grand idea to storm the Walk for Life  stage topless. Way to go, sisters, in protecting all the kids in the crowd from seeing that, not to mention protecting these young women from their very disturbed selves! I have to think you gave those girls some motherly love that they have never had in their lives.

Now, on the Stop Patriarchy website (http://www.stoppatriarchy.org/), they say, very briefly, they are against pornography,  that women should not be treated as objects and that women should not be used for the sexual pleasure of men.  On these points, I think we’d totally agree if they actually believed that. Reading the accounts above, does anyone actually come to the conclusion that is their mission?  I’m thinking that public nudity might not be the best way to go about ending porn or advancing sexual respect for women.  They might want to take a hard look at the Sisters of Life who were trying to accomplish those things Stop Patriarchy says they want.  I’m pretty those goals are lip service by Stop Patriarchy to try and make themselves look mainstream.  Sorry, guys, not so much.  Your actions hardly advance respect for women.

Sometimes, at the smaller events surrounding the walk, you had a chance to try and talk to some of these sad people who are pretty much protesting your existence. I stress “try.” They really don’t want to have a chat, they just want to scream hysterically. Having a heart to heart isn’t something they’ve given much thought to. Sometimes they’ll shoot a question at you, but when you offer to calmly answer them, they are out of there like a shot. Seriously, if you really want to clear the space around you of pro-abortion peeps, just say, “Great! Let’s talk about that!” It’s rather sad for a girl like me who likes a good debate. Even when some decide to take the challenge, they usually end up calling you a fascist (because they were apparently taught history in a California public school) or they mumble something about you being a hypocrite because you eat eggs. Huh? They must have also gotten their science in a California public school. Oh! Then there’s my favorite. “It’s a fetus, not a baby!” Yes, language classes are also poor here. Try asking them what fetus means and watch their heads spin and the screaming volume go up.

Fortunately, the opposition has really dwindled over the years. California has always had way more protestors than other places around the country. We grow them super obnoxious ‘round these parts. For whatever reasons, however, the numbers of counter-protestors at pro-life events have diminished tremendously in the past few decades. I think that they call that the “Roe Effect.” While we’ve been happily building our families and being generous with our lives, they have been selfishly birth-controlling and aborting themselves out of the debate. That’s probably the most ironic thing. We mourn for the loss of their children, who could have very likely ended up just like them.

Do I Hear Cardinal Cordileone?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Great Retread

Here it is ladies and gentlemen, the letter to end all letters, straight from the “Concerned Parents” Facebook page!  Oh, wait… Never mind.  What a letdown!  It’s just a retread from February.  I, personally, found it ridiculous from start to finish.  I think they were trying to be poetic but it’s just nonsensical.  If you need some comic relief, here’s the link to the “Great Retread”: https://medium.com/synapse/the-great-reversal-e6fc788a6541

Note the dramatic title:  “The Great Reversal.”  What is “The Great Reversal,” you ask?  Well, it’s a reversal from believing the teachings of the Church to not believing them.  Was that a big secret?  I’m reasonably sure people have noticed this by now.  Remember when “great” used to mean something?

 An open letter to students from concerned parents

Decades before you were born, we, your parents, grew up in Catholic and other schools where no one was “out.” We heard the term “fag” thrown around classrooms and hallways with casual cruelty. There was overt bullying and brazen gossip based on perceived sexual orientation. There was occasional violence. There was loneliness and even despair among our peers who knew they were “different.” There were suicides as well as descent into slower forms of self-destruction. There was anger smoldering beneath the surface among those who knew they would never be accepted. Our teachers and school leaders? Silent or worse.

I’m sure most of these supposed “Concerned Parents” were not in high school “decades before you were born”.  I think most of us have children in the first decade after we graduate.  I suppose more and more are selfishly putting that one off now, though.  “Gotta have my career, my car, my house – kids come last around here!”  Still, my youngest child in a long line wasn’t even born “decades” after I graduated.  So let’s just say we’re, maybe, talking about high school in the 80s.

Guess what?  I went to Catholic high school in the Bay Area in the 80s. Rampant abuse wasn’t to be found.  In fact, a couple of the kids who considered themselves “gay” and who everyone else thought were “gay” were class and school officers! While an occasional fight broke out amongst the boys, it was never aimed at these guys or girls.  It was usually the jocks fighting over a stolen girlfriend.  Here’s the real shocker!  I didn’t grow up in “progressive” San Francisco.  I grew up in the conservative ‘burbs.  There weren’t teachers hiding violence and shaming of homosexuals because it wasn’t happening.  I can’t believe the blatant dramatic lies being told to affect this generation!

You young students, our sons and daughters, in Catholic Schools in the last decade have grown up with a new reality. You have peers “out of the closet,” and you see that their human dignity is not diminished by their sexual orientation, and you indeed celebrate your unity undergirding the differences. You also have peers whose families are led by gay or lesbian parents; you visit them, they welcome you into their homes, you see their full humanity flowering in their families. Some of you live in such families, newly protected by laws recognizing civil same sex marriage. You may know a classmate who was conceived by in vitro fertilization. You do not see the circumstances of his or her conception as changing in any way the inheritance as a child of God. You include them in your circles without question. This is new, this is a blessed change.

Again, drivel. In fact, I’d have to say violence against all classes has gone up and it has nothing to do with following the teachings of the Catholic Church. In fact, it’s for the polar opposite reason. The only reason people are hyping this fear frenzy against the Catholic Church is because they want the Church to accept their way of life and to influence these kids to think the exact same way. I’ve already discussed the lame “in vitro” argument here https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/new-tactic-for-the-old-hypocrites/

The canard has been repeated time and again, but who in the hell is looking at any of the groups listed in their last paragraph and calling these children evil?  Oh, yeah, nobody in the Catholic Church.  How about you stop telling your children that the Catholic boogeyman is under their bed?  If you don’t want them exposed to Catholic teaching, take them out of the evil Catholic school.  Let me tell you again, for the slower learners: the Catholic Church believes that every human life is sacred.  You people, trying desperately to convince these kids with your dramatic soliloquies, are the ones who place limits on the value of human life.  You promote fulfilling your life before you have children as if they are a hindrance to your happiness.  You promote discarding children for your convenience, because of their sex or their race, or because there are too many of them.  You degrade women by promoting using them for their fertility or renting their womb for a nice paycheck, and you don’t give a darn about depriving children of their biological parents.  Want to deny that?  You can’t, so get over your sanctimonious selves!  You are the reason that kids value and respect life so little that they are beating the snot out of each other!

Then there’s the Catholic Church. Here’s what she says:

2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.

Note, it doesn’t say “gay” human life, straight human life, black, white, or any other color human life.  It’s ALL human life.  The Catholic Church doesn’t place limits on the value of each unique soul.  That would be you.

“There is no going back.”

Going back to what?  The farcical portrait they’ve painted of the Catholic high schools “decades before their kids were born?”  Please.  The Catholic Church has been constant. The “Concerned Parents” are the ones twisting themselves into pretzels.  They are the ones who show such abject disregard for life that suicides, brutality, and severe lack of respect for their fellow human being are running rampant.  The Catholic Church has been telling us this would be the end result of selfish, anti-life behavior for a long, long time.  You wanted to disregard the teachings of God?  You got death.

However, the language currently proposed by the Archbishop for your faculty’s handbook, in which active homosexuals, including those in marriages no matter how loving, are labeled “gravely evil”“ — that language is what is now repulsive to you.

OK, the “Concerned Parents” Facebook page might want to link to something a little more current.  First of all, “gravely evil” and all of the teachings cited in the original handbook (you’d better sit down for this!) come from the Catechism of the Catholic Church!  Next, the Archbishop actually removed the words “gravely evil” and just spelled out more of Catholic teaching on the subject.  Also, the Archbishop never said anyone was gravely evil.  Please drop the Sam Singer move.   As we’ve explained, time and again, only actions are called evil.  All those opposed to Archbishop Cordileone can come up with is a bunch of retread articles and the same three arguments over and over again.

What a reversal! Stay faithful to your new perception — and thank the current generation of teachers who have helped inform your consciences and boldly inspired you to believe that human dignity is indivisible. Stand with them, and start by learning more about human beings from all the disciplines you study, and most especially from your study of the Gospel of love, from the God who liberates slaves and all those oppressed, from the Spirit that stands with the truth of Church teaching based on the saving presence of God’s grace and mercy in our lives.

Remember, students, they are opposed to the Catechism.  They are repulsed by it, they want you to be repulsed by it, and they freely admit that the teachers are teaching the students to be repulsed by it.  Thanks for the honesty!  What happened to the teachers supposedly NOT teaching against the teachings of the Church?  And how about just a bit of a mention of learning what the Catholic Church teachings really are?  You also kind of left out the itty bitty part about SIN! That is precisely the problem these folks have.  They either no longer believe sin exists, or they believe sin is anything that disagrees with them.  Sorry, not reality. Sin is not based on your preferences.

Beware that your resistance to this handbook language does not get lost in anger or in a judgmental grudge against the Archbishop. We believe in loving even our opponents. We also know that God is God and we are human and we make mistakes. Believe in conversion, the turning of hearts and minds. As the Gospels exhort us: Be the salt of the earth, the light unto the world. Search for the pearl of great price and cherish it. Continue to put your arms around those of your peers who are most vulnerable to those and all hateful words, bring them close, wrap them in layers of protection and reassurance. They need and deserve your loving embrace.

Um, have they seen their Facebook page???  Their resistance was buried in anger and a judgmental grudge a long time ago!  Sadly, they are hoping Archbishop Cordileone and the rest of the faithful are going to convert to the secularized faith they hold dear.  That isn’t going to happen.  They missed the part of the Bible they cherry pick so well that says:

Sin offers death, for wages; God offers us eternal life as a free gift, through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

We’re going to choose to follow Christ Jesus our Lord!

Retreat? Reality Check! You’re Being Flanked!

Just more of the same awesomeness from Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone this week!  After a nice week and a half of quiet, Sam Singer and his ilk are back tilting at the windmills.  They’ve been spinning (AKA lying) about how the Archbishop can’t show his face in San Francisco and has “retreat[ed] to the suburbs” (https://twitter.com/samsinger/status/606663339976957952).  Sam cites the Archbishop’s speaking engagement in Santa Clara to 500 people a couple of weeks ago as an example of him cowering in a corner or something.  Ahem!  The Archbishop has been speaking all over the country lately, not to mention ordaining a great group of awesome, young, faithful priests the last two weekends right in the belly of the beast.  I suppose it’s got to be a bit depressing for the “100 Prominent CatholicsTM,” but they might want to come back to this beautiful place we call reality.  I think people can figure out that our Archbishop has now become a well sought after speaker – so yeah, he hasn’t been here every day.  I believe he’s doing this little thing called his job. I guess they might just be hoping people didn’t notice?

This week, Sam’s Spinners (my new pet name for them) have tried to chomp down on the Archbishop’s comments made on “gender ideology” at the Sacra Liturgia conference.  Yep, it’s got me scratching my head, too.  Was this a shock to them?  I mean, the Pope has spoken about it, too.  Haven’t read the Archbishop’s great speech yet?  Here it is: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:-BKAGAIWsMgJ:cal-catholic.com/%3Fp%3D18909+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us.  Now, some are saying he was smug for pointing out that the list of “gender identies” has grown along with the insanity. Somewhere (although I haven’t seen a direct quote) he noted the acronym for “not heterosexual” keeps growing.  Do they always consider reality smug?  Maybe they consider pointing to something predicted to happen and having that prophecy fulfilled a problem?  Not really sure, but you don’t have to be a psychic to have seen that one coming.  I believe the reference to “alphabet soup” was actually coined by the types opposed to the Archbishop.

So, no, the Church doesn’t agree with transgenderism.  Shocked?  I’m reasonably sure you knew.  With the news of the week, why would anyone be shocked that the Archbishop would refer to it?  How does he differ from Pope Francis’ belief about transgenderism?  He doesn’t.  What is a bit shocking (although the stupidity of some doesn’t really shock me anymore) is that those who have appealed to the Holy Father to remove the Archbishop (and the publications that support that effort – AKA National Catholic Fishwrap) would make a thing out of this, since the same Holy Father said (as reported in the same National Catholic Fishwrap):

“Let’s think of the nuclear arms, of the possibility to annihilate in a few instants a very high number of human beings,” he continues.  “Let’s think also of genetic manipulation, of the manipulation of life, or of the gender theory, that does not recognize the order of creation.”

With this attitude, man commits a new sin, that against God the Creator,” the pope says. “The true custody of creation does not have anything to do with the ideologies that consider man like an accident, like a problem to eliminate.”

“God has placed man and woman and the summit of creation and has entrusted them with the earth,” Francis says. “The design of the Creator is written in nature.”

http://ncronline.org/news/vatican/francis-strongly-criticizes-gender-theory-comparing-nuclear-arms

Again, the Holy Father and Archbishop Cordileone are on the same page.  Quite frankly, it’s pretty darn funny that those appealing to the Pope to remove the Archbishop are so “offended” that the Archbishop points to the schizophrenia in society that results in the acceptance of transgenderism, when the Pope Francis put nuclear arms and “gender theory” on the same plane!  They just don’t seem to get that the Archbishop is echoing the Holy Father.

By the way, big thumbs up to the Holy Father!  Thanks for pointing out what the liberals don’t seem to understand they are saying about God.  Now, to be fair, some of these liberals are atheists, so I’m not including them here.  However, the Christian ones (which include the ones whining about the Archbishop and saying he’s not following Jesus’ teachings) are saying that God creates mistakes (or accidents, as Pope Francis puts it).  Yes, they never come right out and say it, but that’s what they believe, or at least they’ve never actually thought it through, which is entirely possible.  Think about it: Bruce Jenner thinks that God blew it.  He believes God puts women in men’s bodies and vice versa.  What?  Was God tired that day?  Sleeping on the job?  He knows the number of hairs on their heads but just forgot which sex they were?  At least the atheists are more intellectually honest.  They just say there is no God and it’s all random.

Just to further ruin Sam’s Spinners’ day, this was also noted in the same article linked above:

Francis’ remarks on gender theory in the book follow similar remarks he made in a press conference on the papal plane in January in which he criticized what he called “ideological colonization” of less developed countries by those with more resources.

Recounting the story of a public education minister he knew who was offered money to construct new schools for the poor, Francis said that, to receive the money, the minister had to agree to use a course book with students that taught gender theory.

“This is the ideological colonization,” the pope said. “It colonizes the people with an idea that changes, or wants to change, a mentality or a structure.”

“It is not new, this,” he continued.  “The same was done by the dictators of the last century.  They came with their own doctrine — think of the Balilla [youth groups of Fascist Italy], think of the Hitler Youth.”

Oh-ho-ho-ho, “100 Prominent CatholicsTM!”  In case you didn’t catch that, the Holy Father just called you dictators like the ones who ran the Balilla and Hitler Youth!  Don’t blame me!  You’re the ones trying to use your money and power to oust the Archbishop who is trying to follow the Pope.  I believe he also called you Herod earlier in the article, but I’ll leave you to read that yourselves.

One last little depressing thing for Singer, the Concerned Parents, and the “100 Prominent CatholicsTM” club…This recent little speech kind of blows the whole “The Archbishop is retreating because we’re so awesome!” thing out of the water – again.  Sorry!  Archbishop Cordileone is going to speak the truth and he’s going to support the teachings of the Holy Father no matter what “gotcha moments” you think you can make of that.  When trying to get the Pope to do your bidding, you might actually want to know what HE says before you bash the Archbishop for saying the same thing.  That’s really just one of your downfalls in life.  You don’t have a clue what the Church or the Holy Father teaches.

Doing the Pastoral Thing!

Somebody sent me a beautiful talk given by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone at a conference at St. Patrick’s Seminary early last year entitled, “Doing the ‘Pastoral Thing’ Will Always Be Harder, but Right.”  It seems to have been a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Normally, I would put the link to the entire talk, but it looks to have been delivered in response to some unknown controversy at the seminary (I’m sure those there know about it, but we don’t need to!), so I’m just going to quote some parts of it that were amazing.  These are the parts that seminarians everywhere should hear, as should those who are opposed to his efforts to help the SF Archdiocese.  I’d love to think they’d like to know what makes the Archbishop tick, but I’m reasonably sure they’d just like to throw that alarm clock out the window.

Of course, there is a valuable lesson of life here, especially for your future ministry as priests, God willing. Sometimes doing the right thing will be emotionally difficult. The temptation will be not to take decisive action in order not to create conflict and to keep relationships harmonious. Yes, often things can be worked out in less disruptive ways, and that is the course of action to take whenever possible. But other times you just have to bite the bullet, man up, and do the right thing regardless of how you feel about it.

Anyone else standing on a chair clapping right now???  I’ve run into a few good priests who have literally said to me, “I don’t want conflict,” and not acted on things they know they should have done.  It’s really frustrating for us laity to essentially watch your siblings throwing a temper tantrum and getting away with it.  I can tell you, as a parent, your children are not always receptive to what you are telling them, and sometimes all the explanation and conversation in the world doesn’t reach the rebellious child, so you just have to put the proverbial foot down. These priests are our spiritual fathers.  They don’t (or rather shouldn’t) just get to check out when life gets uncomfortable.  They do need to “bite the bullet,” as the Archbishop says.

None of what he says means love goes out the window when you have to be the adult in the room.  If you can really get to know “your child,” you can figure out the best way to reach him/her, but in the end, what needs to be done needs to be done.  More from the Archbishop on that later.

There is another valuable lesson of life here.  Some of you may not like the decision that was made, or the way that it was done.  You might feel that your loyalties are elsewhere.  When you don’t have all of the information, it is easy to second-guess and foster a hermeneutic of suspicion.  But I’ve learned that when you assume greater roles of responsibility over an organization, you become privy to information that not everyone has, and you begin to see things in a different light.  Quite often when you make a decision some people will get mad at you.

You always see this when a new president takes office.  In the election he says he’s going to do x, y, and z, but when the CBO comes back with numbers or he gets the daily intelligence briefings he wasn’t privy to before, he gets a far better picture of the problem and what needs to be done.  I’m sure this is similar for a Bishop/Archbishop, or even a Pope.  In the dioceses in the Bay Area, I don’t think anyone can quite comprehend the level of disaster the last thirty years have created until you’re trying to repair all the damage.  I remember getting frustrated about some bishop not dealing with some situation and I finally said something to him.  He politely asked me, “Do you know how many other fires I’m trying to put out right now?”  Again, I’m not privy to the daily briefings.  While the archbishop’s last comment was aimed at the seminarians who were living with the “issue”, I really think it can apply to all of us.

On the day you are ordained – God-willing that it happens – you will make a promise of obedience to your bishop.  That promise is not conditioned on any extenuating circumstance.  You do not promise to obey your bishop so long as you like him, and obey his decision so long as you agree with it.  That’s not obedience, that’s just being self-indulgent. Obedience only counts when you submit yourself to the will of the authority even when it’s unpleasant for you – that includes the authority of conscience, as I mentioned above when doing the right thing is emotionally difficult for you, but it also includes the legitimate ecclesiastical authority.

Archbishop Cordileone really nails what has been missing around here for a long time!  We had bishops/archbishops who ran the dioceses here more like a club than an organization with a hierarchy.  Maybe it’s because many of the bishops and priests were in school together and they never made the leap to being the bishop of people who were once their brother priests.  It could also be for the same reason the Archbishop is talking about – sometimes you just have to accept that not every decision you make is going to be understood (because some are missing the parts) or embraced.  They just didn’t want to be unpopular.

This is all the more important when it comes to obedience to your bishop, and other legitimate authorities, such as here at the seminary.  Otherwise, you begin to connive against the authority, and work to get your own way, which tears down any sense of solidarity or common purpose.  It all eventually leads to chaos.  And yet, it’s been my experience that those who are most conniving and challenging to authority, complaining about lack of consultation, are precisely the ones who are most dictatorial once they are in charge.  That is why it is so important that you learn the proper spirit of priestly solidarity, common purpose and serene obedience here and now, during your years of priestly formation, precisely so that you will be a just, generous and wise leader once you are entrusted with pastoral responsibility.  To expand upon what Bishop Daly told you in a rector’s conference a few months ago, I would also say that a conniving, insubordinate, narcissistic seminarian will be a conniving, insubordinate, narcissistic priest.

I hope you weren’t drinking as you were reading this because I’m reasonably sure your computer would be soaking right now!  AWESOME!  Translation: When the patients are left to run the asylum, you get more craziness!  It’s like he just spelled out the plot of Lord of the Flies!  Children cannot raise themselves without proper knowledge of authority or it will be every man for himself with the bullies in charge.  This was the history of St. Patrick’s Seminary.

The ideologue simply imposes his own ideas on everyone else, regardless of how it will be received and without trying to understand the people who have been entrusted to his pastoral care.  The lazy priest, on the other hand, simply lets people do and believe what they want; he avoids conflict at all cost, and builds everything around his personal life, his ministry included.

Whaaaaaat? I’ve NEVER seen that happen in the Bay Area, or anywhere else for that matter.  (Dramatic eye roll goes here.)  Archbishop Cordileone has been showing us for months just what he meant when he said this at the seminary!  Here’s a little more:

This is being pastoral: encountering the other, establishing a relationship with them, being lovingly present to them. A priest cannot possibly hope to help his people grow in holiness if he is not present to them. His loving, pastoral presence to them at those most critical moments of life – the loss of a loved one, the birth of a child, marriage, times of crisis – all of this prepares the ground for him to, when necessary, challenge them for their own ongoing conversion. So make no mistake: truly doing the “pastoral thing” will always be harder, it will always place demands on you, sometimes inconvenient and uncomfortable demands; it will require you to work hard.

Again, he’s been a living witness of this since he took over the Archdiocese of San Francisco.  He wasn’t just telling these young seminarians to do something he’d never do.  He’s ever going back to the opposition with love and compassion, trying and trying again to explain to them why he is doing what he’s doing.  He’s had meetings with the teachers and parents.  He’s had meetings with the press.  He’s still doing what needs to be done, but he’s doing it with painstaking patience.  (It’s been painful for me because I have the natural protective mom inclination to say, “Stop messing with my Archbishop you jerks!”)

Archbishop Cordileone went on to link the quotes above to how we have to treat the liturgy, probably because of the battles the faithful often get into over the music, the décor, etc., etc., etc.

 To have credibility, we have to model that first and foremost at the liturgy: we are the servants of the liturgy, not its creators. This takes a great deal of discipline, restraint and humility on the part of the liturgical ministers, and most especially the celebrant.

Can I just say that credibility has been missing around here for a long, long time? We’ve had four wonderful bishops come to our area in the last twelve years (one has sadly left).  They made great improvements, but we have a way to go!  A lot of those who think they are creators of the liturgy have retired or will soon.  Now these great new bishops have a lot of untangling to do.  In fact, I’m sure Mary, Undoer of Knots, is probably their favorite novena these days!

Now, some people might say that this is all fine and dandy, but it’s irrelevant because it’s not what’s happening in our parishes. Well, if you see a discrepancy between what is in the pages of the Church’s documents and what is going on in our parishes’ liturgies, it’s not because the documents are wrong!

This is where the three approaches can be so easily illustrated. The ideologue will simply start mandating changes without talking to people, seeking to understand them, and, most importantly, teaching them. He’s in charge, so he does what he wants, and even if what he wants is what the Church says we should be doing, he alienates people. The lazy priest simply lets things drift off on their own, and get further and further away from what the Church teaches about how we are to worship. This, too, will inevitably begin to affect how and what his people believe, and so weaken their faith. But the pastoral priest will educate his people about what the Church teaches, what the Council really had in mind for authentic liturgical reform; he will begin to introduce changes gradually, probably targeting one principal Sunday Mass to build it up as the one with special solemnity. He also will not take anything away from his people; he will keep the contemporary music at the other Masses, and teach the musicians how to do it well. In this way, he will facilitate liturgical renewal organically. And it can be done. I’ve seen it done. I know pastors who inherited a parish in shambles (in one of them, the kids’ swing set was in the pastor’s back yard!), and, by approaching it precisely this way, they have completely transformed their parishes: the Masses are full, there are long lines for confessions, the full spectrum of ministries abound – even including the teaching of Natural Family Planning – and people are on fire for their faith.

This won’t happen with the ideologue or the slouch. When the ideologue discovers that the high school kid is having a great time banging away at the drums at Mass, he’ll tell him to take a hike. Never mind that this was his one connection to the Church, and maybe even hope for keeping out of trouble. Of course, the slouch will just let it continue, maybe even encourage it, and pretend as if it’s enjoyable. The true pastor will befriend the young man, guide him as to how he can use his instrument in a way that supports the singing rather than drown it out, and begin to sensitize the musicians to their proper role. When the young man graduates and leaves for college, there is an opportunity to make a subtle change of direction.

The documents of the Church aren’t wrong?  Say it isn’t so!  They’re archaic, at least, right?  Really, this cannot be said enough!  The documents of the Church are not wrong!  We just got it wrong for so many years!  Archbishop Cordileone is very clear: something has to be done about our liturgy.  He’s training these men up in the way they should go and hoping they don’t depart from it so they can do the same for us and our children.

Archbishop Cordileone goes on to mention a few specific things in the liturgies around the Bay Area that are actually theologically incorrect and some that even encourage narcissism.  Narcissism is so big around here; it’s pretty much a hobby for some!  I’m hoping that all of his effort can stem that because, if you are familiar at all with Greek Mythology, you will remember that Narcissus drowned due to his love of himself.  What happens when you can no longer tread water?  You end up like the “100 Prominent Catholics,” sinking further into the abyss!

We cannot thank you enough, Archbishop Cordileone!   We know you’ve taken the harder road so many before you have failed to do.  Despite the media spin and the efforts of the “100 Prominent Catholics,” your love for the people in your care shines through!  You are the true shepherd that we need for our local area as well as for the whole country. May your efforts be blessed!

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