Anxious NCR editorial – They KNOW they are losing and they are terrified!

The ultra-left-wing National Catholic Reporter has an editorial in which they reveal their darkest fear:

…the goalposts have shifted in the U.S. episcopacy in the past decade – and they have swerved in a decidedly rightward tilt on both the ecclesial and political spectrums  .

As you read this mournful baying of desperation, keep in mind that the NCR editors know they have lost the Catholic identity debate. 

Catholics cannot be pro-abortion.  NCR and their pack are still weakly proposing we can be soft on a politician’s pro-abortion agenda if they are doing other good social justice things. They claim this will really result in a reduction of the number of abortions anyway.  

They know now that they have lost that argument because it is being made clearer and clearer from pulpits and in the blogosphere and press that Catholics cannot support abortion.  We can differ on how to help the poor but we cannot compromise on the fundamental human right: the right to life precedes the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

What follows in this long NCR editorial is a demonstration of desperation.  Because they have lost the Catholic part of the argument they now fall back on the only weapon they have left: party politics.

They seek to paint anyone, any bishop especially, who strays their progressivist dogma as shills of the Republican party.  This talking point has been actively distributed also through party operatives.   They, and not the bishops who oppose the decision of Notre Dame to bestow an honor on the aggressively pro-abortion politicians, are the true party operatives.  

Be patient and read through this editorial, which manifests dissent from Catholic doctrine on abortion.

Read it as if it were part a coroner’s inquest on the death of a man by drowning.

Jesuit Fr. John Langan (see story [1]) [see my take]  is an exceptionally clear thinker. He makes the necessary distinctions seem obvious.  [I agree that he is a clear thinker.  I agree that he makes distinctions, which is the mark of any good teacher.  However, I think he is by his distinctions, "nuances", leading the reader off the path and into the dark wood.]

“The bishops are certainly right to condemn the moral evil of abortion and to warn us against the individualism, selfishness and greed which have had such a devastating effect on American culture and family life as well as on our financial institutions,” Langan, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin professor of Catholic social thought at Georgetown University, told a Capitol Hill symposium last month. “But if they think they make their witness more credible and more effective by developing a quasi-excommunication of the Democratic Party [emphasis added] and by aligning themselves with politicians who think that combining pro-life slogans with American chauvinism and exercising American military power without regard to international criticism constitutes an adequate response to evil in the world, they are sadly mistaken.”  [Two things.  The bishops he mentions  are NOT criticizing President Obama, or Notre Dame, for reasons of party politics.  This is a key talking point of the left and of the Dems themselves.  Remember that letter from a Democratic Party operative I posted? That letter included: "It is good to frame the debate that this ND "scandal" is about supporting the Republican platform’s view of life issues."  The bishops are not politicizing this, but those who are partisan supporters of the pro-abortion President clearly are.]

Langan hits the nail squarely.  [Driving it more deeply into the coffin of the Catholic pro-life cause.  I don't think that is his intention, but it is the effect.]

The proximate cause of the latest anti-Obama tirade among the Catholic conservative cognoscenti, including many U.S. bishops, is the University of Notre Dame’s invitation to the president to deliver the May 17 commencement address. Most Americans, [For NCR, Kmeic Catholics, etc., the numbers are more important than the actual principles.] and most Catholics for that matter, have paid the brouhaha little attention — they have other things on their minds.  [So what?]

A story with legs

But among the professional Catholic crowd — those like the editors of this newspaper and activists left, right and center [an interesting phrase.... usually "activist" is synonymous with the left...] who make their livings tracking and commentating on the vicissitudes of American Catholic life — this is, as they say in the news business, a story with legs.

Say the conservatives: How dare America’s premier Catholic university provide a prestigious platform and an honorary degree to the leader of a political party that embraces the “culture of death.” Obama, we are told repeatedly, “is the most pro-choice president in history.”  [NO!  See what they did here with that phrase "the leader of a political party"?  Once again they are framing the issue by partisan politics.  The opposition to the decision to bestow an honor on Pres. Obama comes from his aggressive pro-abortion agenda, not his political party membership.]

Say the liberals: Kudos to Notre Dame for engaging the president and his administration, which stands with us on so many issues and appears poised to make abortion reduction a genuine commitment even as it rejects steps to criminalize the practice.  [Again... notice how the writer soft-peddles the core issue along the lines laid out by Kmiec, etc.  Pres. Obama is really pro-life!  See?  Also, NCR is trying to convince you that Notre Dame is engaging the President.  The bishops and others who have opposed Notre Dames decision would not have done so if it truly were a matter of "engaging" the President.  Notre Dame is bestowing an honor on him.]

We side, perhaps not surprisingly, with those who welcome the president to Notre Dame. [Dog bites man.  Film at 11.]  The Catholic community should engage  [watch for this word "engage".  This is one of the ways they dodge the real issue.] the president and his administration, laud it where appropriate, challenge it when it falls short. That’s not only good church practice, it’s our obligation as citizens.

Yes, there will be protests and the like in South Bend, Ind. (as there are when any president visits a college campus). One extremist Catholic group, the misnamed “Cardinal Newman Society,”  [so says the extremist paper the National Catholic Reporter.  Remember... for the ultra-left there are no extremists except those of the right.] claims hundreds of thousands of signatures on a petition protesting Obama’s appearance. (There’s money in outrage, apparently: Witness the society’s recent fundraising efforts tied to the petition. That e-mail appeal notes, “If necessary, the Cardinal Newman Society will go broke to help stop the Notre Dame scandal” — fat chance that — even as it urges recipients to “send … even a small (tax-deductible) contribution.”)  [My my... that smacks of bitter jealousy.]

Nevertheless, we anticipate that the president will be warmly received at Notre Dame (particularly by the graduating seniors) [and the leftist Catholic press will be sure to show their adoring faces and record their cheers as if that is evidence in support of their position]  and will use the opportunity to speak directly to the nation’s Catholic community[What a thrill for Catholics.  Actually, in most of the conversations I have had lately, the consensus is that Pres. Obama probably sees this as a perfect occasion to drive a wedge between poorly-formed weak-identity Catholics and their bishops.]

The larger question, however, remains: How have we gotten to the point where an influential and vocal number of Catholics use the occasion of a presidential address on a college campus to vilify not only the invitee but also those who invited him[Sorry, but expression of opposition to a pro-abortion agenda and pandering to political power is not to "vilify".]

The answer to that is provided by Langan. The Obama Notre Dame speech is simply the latest occasion (and the effort dates back more than a decade) for partisan [there it is again... they keep hammering that this is because of party politics] conservative Catholics to issue a “quasi-excommunication of the Democratic Party.” In other words, it is mostly about politics.  

Some quick history: In September 2003 high-ranking members of the administrative committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops met with some leading conservative Catholics, including the then head of “Catholic Outreach” at the Republican National Committee. By July 2004, by which time pro-choice Catholic John Kerry had secured the Democratic presidential nomination, the full body of bishops approved a statement in which they said they would not countenance providing a “platform” or “honor” to pro-choice politicians and activists, or to those otherwise at odds with church teaching on issues such as gay marriage, at Catholic venues.  [Right.  The opposition was to their positions not the party.]

The bishops’ ban, to say the least, lacked nuance, ["Bless me ordained minister, I have lacked nuance." What imbeciles those nuance-lacking bishops were!] making no distinction between politicians and others who would use a church-affiliated venue to promote policies condemned by the bishops, and those invited to speak on unrelated public policy issues. [Huh?] Further, the policy failed to take into account that the bishops have little practical say over the administration of most Catholic universities, which are typically overseen by boards of directors made up largely of laypeople.  [And when will Ex corde Ecclesiae be implemented?  The problem is that most of our Catholic institutions have slowly but surely been alienated from a clear relationship to the Catholic Church.  They are more CINO than Catholic.]

Who gets a pass

The policy, moreover, was largely impossible to enforce. When Vice President Dick Cheney spoke at The Catholic University of America in Washington in 2005 to address the question of Social Security reform, few took note that he was opposed to a church-supported constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, to say nothing of his advocacy of the “intrinsic evil” of torture. [Is that an accurate description of his position?  Does the former VP advocate an "intrinsic evil"?] He got a pass.  [The question is: Did the former VP receive an honor at that event?   Or was CUA engaging the former VP?  There is a difference... let's call it a nuance.... between inviting a person to speak and bestowing an honor.]

Likewise, when President George W. Bush spoke at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., at its commencement, few if any objections were raised to the president’s position on embryonic stem cell research (his administration was at odds with the bishops in this area), or the president’s support for exceptions to a total ban on abortion, or his failure to call for a repeal of Roe v. Wade. (There were some protestors, students and professors mostly, who objected to the Bush record on war and torture.)  [Did the former President receive an honorary doctorate in law at that event?]

Still, the ban on honors and platforms provided support to bishops and others who would use it to make partisan attacks and arguments.

“We know … that adherents of one political party would place us squarely on the road to suicide as a people,” wrote Rockford, Ill., Bishop Thomas Doran in 2006. [What is he writing in 2009?] Said Doran: “No doubt, we shall soon outstrip the Nazis in doing human beings to death.”

Wrote papal biographer and influential conservative pundit George Weigel: “The Republican Party is a more secure platform from which Catholics can work on the great issues of the day than a party in thrall to abortion ‘rights,’ gay activism, and a utilitarian approach to the biotech future that is disturbingly reminiscent of Brave New World.”  [So?  I cannot see how Weigel's comment are either a) wrong or b) relevant here.]

Just last month, Robert W. Finn, bishop of the Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., diocese, declared before an audience of Missouri and Kansas antiabortion advocates, “We are at war!” The combatants in this struggle “may be atheists or agnostics, or of any religion, including Christian or Catholic” who oppose the church’s efforts to make abortion illegal. (Finn heads a diocese where a favored parish recently offered a Mass for which the intention was the “conversion of Barack Obama.”[And that is wrong... why?  Also, wasn't that for his conversion on the issue of abortion?]

In his speech, Finn noted that “those who vied for the leadership of our country last November offered Americans a clear choice in this regard,” [Remember... NCR wants you to think that that was an endorsement of the Republican candidate.  It wasn't.  It was merely an observation that one candidate is the most aggressive pro-abortion politician we have in the public eye to date.] which might come as news to those who thought John McCain’s priorities, whatever his political posturing, did not include overturning Roe v. Wade. In fact, McCain famously waffled on the issue during his many years in the Senate and, according to testimony from his pro-life congressional colleagues, frequently stood in the way of legislative efforts to restrict abortion.

Litmus tests [Which are bad.]

Earlier this month, Scranton, Pa., Bishop Robert Martino continued his strange crusade against his state’s junior senator, Democrat Robert Casey. Casey, with a largely pro-life voting record, is slated to give the commencement address at King’s College in Wilkes Barre.

Martino’s litmus test this time was Casey’s vote in favor of the nomination of Kathleen Sebelius to head the Department of Health and Human Services. “I do not believe [Casey] has the moral stature to stand before the graduates of a Catholic college to address them about their futures and the challenges they will face when on the most important issue of the day — the sanctity of human life — he cannot muster the courage to oppose the pro-abortion agenda which is currently being promoted in Washington,” said Martino.  [And neither can the National Catholic Reporter.]

It did not seem to matter to Martino that the country might need a HHS chief in the midst of a pandemic flu outbreak or that, whatever Sebelius’ merits, the pro-choice Obama administration would have a pro-choice HHS department head.  [So... the country "needs" a head of HSS and therefore we should just go ahead and install her?]

Meanwhile, New Orleans Bishop Alfred Hughes says he will boycott commencement at that city’s Xavier University because the featured speaker is Donna Brazile. Brazile, a New Orleans native who has worked tirelessly to help the city rebuild after Hurricane Katrina, is most certainly pro-choice, but is also known for urging Democrats to be less doctrinaire on the issue.  [No one will say that her efforts to help New Orleans weren't good.  But those efforts aren't the point.  Oppositon to a person for his or her position on abortion does not mean that those who offer that opposition think that everything the person does is worthless.  But the point is that if you cannot uphold a person's right to be born, the other rights human beings have really fade into irrelevance.]

In Catholic Democratic Party circles it is frequently said that only a small number, a handful really, [at last count more than 70 diocesan ordinaries issued statements of opposition to Notre Dame.  Is that a handful?] of conservative bishops are banging the drum for the Republican Party[This is the point of the editorial.  They are desperate for you to be convinced that the bishops are opposing the Notre Dame scandal because of party poltics.  That is their main talking point.] And yet, more than 60 U.S. bishops have expressed opposition to the Notre Dame Obama speech. [Isn't it more?] Why is it assumed by progressives that most of those who remain silent do so because they support a more liberal line?

No, the goalposts have shifted in the U.S. episcopacy in the past decade — and they have swerved in a decidedly rightward tilt on both the ecclesial and political spectrums.  [And so we get to the real sore spot, their dark fear.]

This is how they wrap up their case…. read it again:

… the goalposts have shifted in the U.S. episcopacy in the past decade — and they have swerved in a decidedly rightward tilt on both the ecclesial and political spectrums.

And again, aloud

… the goalposts have shifted in the U.S. episcopacy in the past decade — and they have swerved in a decidedly rightward tilt on both the ecclesial and political spectrums.

As that democrat party operative wrote in a letter:

It is good to frame the debate that this ND "scandal" is about supporting the Republican platform’s view of life issues.

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64 Responses to Anxious NCR editorial – They KNOW they are losing and they are terrified!

  1. I am not Spartacus says:

    What interests me is the reality Obama is at war against the Catholic Church and he is using Catholic University of America and Notre Dame as forums for his speeches and he is, with the help of useful idiots, exploiting those Universities, symbols of Catholicism for most Americans, in a manner which is intended to convey the message that he is not at war with The Catholic Church but, rather, working with the Catholic Church which embraces him as a friend and partner in serving The Common Good.

    This man is highly adept at manipulating symbolism in the service of his own personna and bigger government ideology.

    And Notre Dame and CUA, which in the past http://www.musicasacra.com/pdf/chron.pdf sent out into the world so many evangelists for modernity (a.k.a. “liturgists”) appear, institutionally, incapable of catching a clue they are being exploited by a determined enemy.

    There is a time for war and a time for peace. I pray the Bishops really are prepared for war because it is up to them to prepare their flocks for war before Obama permanently wins the war for Catholics in America before the fight is even joined.

  2. Mark says:

    Party politics? Really, what are they thinking? If the bishops are trying to support the Republican Party…what motive would they have? It isnt be just arbitrary. I think they are indeed trying to support Republicans over Democrats, but BECAUSE REPUBLICANS ARE MORE PRO-LIFE!! Yes, it is a “political” agenda inasmuch politics and the need to protect human life and morality are related! What would their motivation be to randomly “politically” support Republicans except that Republicans BETTER REPRESENT us in the MOST IMPORTANT issues.

  3. Jim says:

    Litmus test?

    Just what would label would the NCR put on the Democratic Party’s requirement that any viable candidate support “a woman’s right to choose”? Isn’t that a litmust test?

    The NCR people are speaking out of both sides of their mouths. It is they who reduce everything to a political issue.

  4. ChristopherY says:

    we’ll win, we’ve got numbers on our side. The folks at the NCR, Catholics for a Free Choice, etc, have contracepted and aborted their offspring out of existence. In the next 10 – 15 years the Baby Boom generation will have completely passed into retirement, taking their ideolgy with them.

    On the other hand, the faitful have been fruitful and multiplied. The demographic shift is really apparent at the March for Life in DC. The marchers are young and full of life, while the protesters get older and angrier each year.

  5. Aaron says:

    Two things strike me about this and other similar screeds.

    First, let’s say their basic argument were correct, that we can support a pro-abortion president who is very strong on social issues otherwise. Okay, but what does that have to do with Obama? Into what social issues has he put even half as much political capital as abortion? Are we waging fewer wars overseas or interfering less in foreign cultures? What is he doing to protect American jobs? (Once upon a time an issue of the left, but no more.) Education? Urban sprawl, inner city blight? Workers’ rights? (No, he’s working against those.) Better access to health care? Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sheltering the needy, caring for the sick?

    Even if you think those are proper functions of government, is he doing them? He’s talked big about some of these things, especially during the campaign, but he’s taken very little action on any of them, and what he has done has mostly been negative, like working to give unions more power of their members. So even if their basic argument were correct, it wouldn’t apply to him anyway.

    The second thing that strikes me is a feeling of optimism. We’ve been promised that the Church will survive, and I don’t see any way that the Church envisioned by NCR and the like could survive another century. There may be some serious battles and persecution before it happens, but the Church will *have* to come back to tradition and shed much of the “progress” of the last 50 years if it’s not going to fade away into just another Protestant denomination. I may not live to see it, but I’m confident it will happen.

  6. JohnE says:

    “Say the liberals: Kudos to Notre Dame for engaging the president and his administration, which stands with us on so many issues and appears poised to make abortion reduction a genuine commitment even as it rejects steps to criminalize the practice. ”

    Abortion is a problem because people have them. Therefore, if there were less people, abortions would be reduced. Make abortion more accessible. Increase its use by promoting contraception and eliminating abstinence-only education. Promote gay “marriage” so that marriage and raising children are only remotely connected. Reframe moral teachings to mere partisan politics. What a plan! Can we do it? Yes, we are!

  7. TNCath says:

    This reminds me of that wonderful 1966 movie The Trouble with Angels starring Rosalind Russell who plays the part of the mother superior of a traditional convent boarding school named St. Francis Academy. In one scene, Mother Superior is having a rather spirited discussion with Mr. Petrie, the headmaster of a rival school appropriately named New Trends Progressive School. Needless to say, the philosophy of education at New Trends differs sharply from the educational philosophy at St. Francis. The scene ends as follows:

    Mr. Petrie: “The finest educational minds in this country happen to be on our side.”

    Mother Superior: “God is on ours.”

    Enough said!

  8. Charles says:

    I don’t blame “Catholic” politicians for their cave-in on abortion and other important Catholic social teachings. They are members of the world’s second oldest profession so I expect little from them.

    I do blame the bishops who for so many years closed their eyes and mouths while frauds like Cuomo and Kennedy forged a new “Catholic” consciousness in our country.

    Perhaps the bishops were afraid to loose tax exempt status which would cost them their limos and trips to Rome. Perhaps they were cowards. Perhaps they just didn’t care.

    In any case I hope we see better bishops act like real Shepherds.

  9. Joe bis says:

    The problem for Catholic Democrats and like groups is that they have not been willing to challenge their own party about its pro-abortion stance. This is the problem for all those who say “I am pro-life but the Democrats do so many wonderful things.” Their support of the wonderful things, which in and of itself is not bad, gets muddied by their reluctance to denounce the evil promoted by the same people. I agree whole-heartedly with the idea of looking for commonalities and encouraging them, but when it comes to strategy, abortion is not the same as the economy etc.

    “Rev.” Katherine Ragsdale, Episcopalian minister and newly-appointed president of Episcopal Divinity School, is grateful that Obama has dropped Clinton’s language of keeping abortion safe, legal, and rare. She is grateful because she sees no reason for it to be rare. She believes that abortion is a blessing. Catholic Democrats and others of that ilk have to realize that by their silence they have not separated themselves sufficiently from her and her fellow travellers.

  10. How did I get to be called “right wing”? I have the same faith as my dad – a normal catholic and the exact same as my gran – just normal faithful catholic. I could go back generations – even to St. Patrick! I’m just a Catholic! – blessings – Rene

  11. Michael J says:

    Aaron,

    In this day and age, it seems that “talking big” about issues is all that is required. No actual action is needed. Want to eliminate breast cancer? All you need to do is paste a pink ribbon on your bumper. Save the environment? Raise awareness (whatever that means). Combat poverty? Sign a petition saying that you are against it.

    So, while I agree that President Obama does not meet the criteria even if the liberal premise is granted, I suspect that this will not matter to most people.

  12. Al says:

    … the goalposts have shifted in the U.S. episcopacy in the past decade—and they have swerved in a decidedly rightward tilt on both the ecclesial and political spectrums.

    The 70+ Bishops and countless long suffering clergy get the Thomas Becket Award for Episcopalian Spine in organizing their power and by finally herding \”The Great Unravelers\” and their ilk in such a way where they see very clearly now and understand that their ongoing experiments with Christianity are now doomed. The protestantization of the Catholic Church has failed? Why? Because Protestantism is failing rapidly…(Check the latest numbers) By secularizing the church and its doctrines they now see their base is abandoning them. Why? Because their base is the narcissistic and bored and they can get much better secular doctrine from T.V, their friends, and political parties. Thy don\’t need to go to church to hear really bad James Taylor music and weany clergy from the pulpit. If they want a homily from a bishop or priest of the progressive perspective. They don\’t have to go to church to get that. They can turn on MSNBC or for their more timid progressives they can watch reruns of \”Mr. Roger\’s Neighborhood\”. One thing is for sure, after they finally leave or repent…only the faithful will remain…battle scarred, marginalized for years, 10,000 mile stare in their eyes, and tough as nails, ready to rebuild the faith brick by brick.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-5B54wXgI4 HUZZZZAAAAHHHHH!

  13. you looking at me? says:

    I am neither right wing nor left wing, is there not a place in the Catholic Church for me?

  14. Maggie45 says:

    While not mentioning the NCR editorial, Amy Welborn has a post on just this subject:

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/viamedia/2009/05/pure-politics.html

  15. Krista says:

    TNCATH,

    That was one of my favorite movies as a kid. And it is so true…God IS on our side!

  16. Rancher says:

    The tripe printed by NCR and other leftist “catholic” publications makes those of us who try hard to adhere to what the Church teaches even more firm in our resolve. Once NCR’s aging base of support goes away perhaps that rag will die a well deserved death–and quickly one can hope.

  17. Michael says:

    I think there is no doubt that the traditional wing of the church has won the fight, but at what expense?

    I have left, so have many others, more will be forced out because the new church does not want to be a big tent.

    That is undoubtedly your right.

    The change in the church forced me to find out what I really believed………….it wasn’t what I had been, but thanks for making me think.

  18. Latekate says:

    “We side, perhaps not surprisingly, with those who welcome the president to Notre Dame. The Catholic community should engage the president and his administration, laud it where appropriate, challenge it when it falls short. That’s not only good church practice, it’s our obligation as citizens.”

    This is Newspeak demanding that everyone participate in the dialectic, called “ENGAGING” (aka “dialogue”, “discussion”, etc.) here. The abortion dialectic presumes that all positions are constantly “evolving” to perfection. So we have an iconic Catholic institution moving the abortion debate further toward total acceptance of the practice as sacramental by bestowing honors upon a politician who has bragged of his intent to promote abortion and who views the unwanted unborn as “punishments”. We are to accept that the abortion issue is not absolute, it requires engagement and discussion and it is our OBLIGATION to participate, to engage and discuss and arrive at compromise, excuse me, NUANCE.

    “The bishops’ ban, to say the least, lacked nuance,”

    Lacking nuance seems to be the latest Newspeak phrase against moral absolutes. If you are against abortion and honoring promoters of abortion you lack nuance, you don’t see the shades of gray of the issue, you are simplistic and unsophisticated.

  19. Eric says:

    What really concerns me is that (according to lifesitenews) – the vatican newspaper is continuing to support Obama. What hope do we have when the vatican has fallen for Obama?

  20. wsxyz says:

    Michael – if you do not believe the doctrines of the Catholic Church, as they have always been taught, then you should not pretend to be a member of the Catholic Church. So in that sense it is correct for you to have left.

    We Catholics pray that you will, at some point, return to The Church as a real member, who truly believes all that the Church proposes and obediently submits to her teaching.

  21. I am not Spartacus says:

    I have left, so have many others, more will be forced out because the new church does not want to be a big tent.

    Michael. A “big tent” is a phrase associated with a political party. If you think Jesus established a political party that welcomed many different beliefs then somebody mislead you.

    The Church Jesus established is The Ark of Salvation. If you have walked the plank off The Barque of Peter, you have only injured yourself and endangered your soul.

    The Ark of Salvation is anxious to throw you a lifeline anytime you change your mind and decide to seek Salvation.

  22. Michael says:

    I somehow doubt that the RCC is the only way to salvation.

    I cannot imagine that a merciful God excludes 5 billion people just because they happened to be raised in another faith.

    If he does, I would rather be with the majority.

  23. lah_406 says:

    Father Z,

    As a new reader I wanted to thank you for sharing your insight on these issues. Your blog provides a great service to us all.
    Thank you and God bless.

    Leisa

  24. Al says:

    V.2…(Hard to do this at work without errors)

    … the goalposts have shifted in the U.S. episcopacy in the past decade—and they have swerved in a decidedly rightward tilt on both the ecclesial and political spectrums.

    The 70+ Bishops and countless long suffering clergy get the Thomas Becket Award for Episcopalian Spine in organizing their power base and by finally herding “The Great Unravelers” and their ilk in such a way that they very clearly see and understand now that their ongoing experiments with Christianity are now inevitably doomed. The protestantization of the Catholic Church by liberals, who abused Vatican II for their own political purposes, is now a complete and total failure. For more insight See Here http://www.religionnewsblog.com/15219/liberal-christianity-is-paying-for-its-sins

    By essentially secularizing elements of the church and its doctrines they are now seeing their base abandon them. Did they expect anything less? When you preach selfishness, relativism, and narcissisim, abuse liturgy, embrace emotionalism etc your members will eventually find out that those kinds of messages and that kind of activism can be gotten from much higher quality secular sources such as Hollywood, their own friends and peers, the Democrats and the Torture-Con/Big Government Materialist Wing of the Republicans. Why go to church to hear really bad James Taylor music and weanie clergy waffle about the nature of right and wrong from the pulpit? If you want a progressive homily dial into Keith Olbermann he is much more entertaining and for those liberal academic intellectual types there is Noam Chomsky and Richard Dawkins and so many others! Heck! The church is borring! It is much more entertaining for your average liberal I-POD youth to turn on MSNBC, listen to John Stewart on the Daily Show or for the more timid, nice, willing-to-listen but still solidly liberal types, they can watch reruns of “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood” to get their fix. One thing is for sure, after they finally leave or hopefully repent…only the faithful will remain…battle scarred, marginalized for decades, a 10,000 yard stare in their eyes, and tough as nails, ready to rebuild the faith brick by brick.

    Michael I wish you well and will pray for your return. The God-Man warned that to follow him would be quite difficult. If you find your religious and spiritual life easy going and flexible for your \”Lifestyle\”…I can guarantee you its not God whose is speaking to you. Eat…..Your…..Spinach……Son!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-5B54wXgI4 HUZZZZAAAAHHHHH!

  25. Al says:

    Michael,

    The RCC reveals the “FULL TRUTH” of God. Truth is like a virus once you catch it…it is bound to your conscience forever….the truth can be can both scary and wonderful depending on your point of view. Why? Because God knows, like an ever watchful guardian, when you have “Received the FULL TRUTH” and he also knows when you know you have received it. So when you reject it despite your conscience warning you not too, you are putting your soul in danger. God is merciful to those who have received the full truth but do the right thing and seek to find it.

    If your relativistic point of view is that we are all essentially good people who do the right thing I would refer you to any history book on the planet and re-educate yourself about “Human actions”. Before you do that start with this very insightful poem that I believe sums up the philosophy you appear to stand for in your postings.

    The Secularist’s Creed

    We believe in Marx Freud and Darwin
    We believe everything is OK
    as long as you don’t hurt anyone
    to the best of your definition of hurt,
    and to the best of your knowledge.

    We believe in sex before, during, and
    after marriage.
    We believe in the therapy of sin.
    We believe that adultery is fun.
    We believe that sodomy’s OK.
    We believe that taboos are taboo.

    We believe that everything’s getting better
    despite evidence to the contrary.
    The evidence must be investigated
    And you can prove anything with evidence.

    We believe there’s something in horoscopes
    UFO’s and bent spoons.
    Jesus was a good man just like Buddha,
    Mohammed, and ourselves.
    He was a good moral teacher though we think
    His good morals were bad.

    We believe that all religions are basically the same-
    at least the one that we read was.
    They all believe in love and goodness.
    They only differ on matters of creation,
    sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.

    We believe that after death comes the Nothing
    Because when you ask the dead what happens
    they say nothing.
    If death is not the end, if the dead have lied, then its
    compulsory heaven for all
    excepting perhaps
    Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Kahn

    We believe in Masters and Johnson
    What’s selected is average.
    What’s average is normal.
    What’s normal is good.

    We believe in total disarmament.
    We believe there are direct links between warfare and
    bloodshed.
    Americans should beat their guns into tractors .
    And the Russians would be sure to follow.

    We believe that man is essentially good.
    It’s only his behavior that lets him down.
    This is the fault of society.
    Society is the fault of conditions.
    Conditions are the fault of society.

    We believe that each man must find the truth that
    is right for him.
    Reality will adapt accordingly.
    The universe will readjust.
    History will alter.
    We believe that there is no absolute truth
    excepting the truth
    that there is no absolute truth.

    We believe in the rejection of creeds,
    And the flowering of individual thought.

    If chance be
    the Father of all flesh,
    disaster is his rainbow in the sky
    and when you hear

    State of Emergency!
    Sniper Kills Ten!
    Troops on Rampage!
    Whites go Looting!
    Bomb Blasts School!
    It is but the sound of man
    worshipping his maker.

  26. Perhaps the bishops have been won to open orthodoxy. But can the bishops then prevent the loss of Catholic schools and their students?

    Those schools took generations to build, and now so many have been stolen away and used to undermine the faith.

  27. I’m glad to be an independent. I don’t see how I could belong to either the Democratic or Republican parties (or to the Green Party, or to the Constitution Party, or the Libertarian Party) in good conscience.

    I focus on the issues (with the abortion issue at the top of the list) and make the best decision possible in light of Catholic social teaching when I vote.

  28. Andreas says:

    Perhaps these people would benefit from reading Cicero’s book “On Friendship” (De Amicitia):

    “Truth is annoying because it generates hatred, the poison of friendship, but acquiescence is much worse, because it allows a friend indulging in sin to fall …”

    (Molesta veritas, siquidem ex ea nascitur odium, quod est venenum amicitiae, sed obsequium multo molestius, quod peccatis indulgens praecipitem amicum ferri sinit …)

  29. ScrantonCatholic says:

    FYI – The left wing National Catholic Reporter got the name of the Scranton Bishop wrong. It is Bishop Joseph Martino, and we love and support him.

  30. Mark VA says:

    Having lived in a large mid-western city, I’ve observed this common pedigree among the many descendants of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century immigrants:

    (1) Grandpa came from the old country as a young man. Having arrived, union contacts found him a job;
    (2) He settled in his ethnic village, went to the local Catholic Church, eventually got married and started a family;
    (3) As his political knowledge matured, he joined the Democrat party and became active in its local political machine (the owners and managers of the factory he worked for were Republican, and most likely blue blood Episcopalians…);

    The trifecta of union membership, Catholic identity, and Democrat party affiliation, is still a family tradition in many places. A hundred, or even fifty years ago, this would have been a most natural and happy union. However, today, one element of this three legged stool no longer agrees with the core teachings of the Catholic Church, and things seem to be getting wobbly.

    The progressive Catholic leadership, whose job is to keep this political arrangement intact, seems to be strained to deliver, in more ways than one. Any imprimatur, even from a place like ND, provides the glue needed for one more election cycle. Their dilemma seems to be that they cannot outright politically attack those Bishops who courageously stand up for the Church, without alienating their constituency. Yet without such an attack, things will likely continue to delaminate for them.

  31. ckdexterhaven says:

    Don’t tell the editors at NCR, but my 4 children and I pray the Rosary every day. One of our intentions is always for our President’s conversion. Our President’s conversion and for the conversion of all of our political leaders in Washington.

    NCR Board, you want us to lose hope, but we trust in God. We trust, we pray, we hope.

  32. Athelstane says:

    What interests me is the reality Obama is at war against the Catholic Church and he is using Catholic University of America and Notre Dame as forums for his speeches and he is, with the help of useful idiots, exploiting those Universities, symbols of Catholicism for most Americans, in a manner which is intended to convey the message that he is not at war with The Catholic Church but, rather, working with the Catholic Church which embraces him as a friend and partner in serving The Common Good.

    Obama has not been to CUA.

    He did speak at Georgetown. Perhaps that is what you’re thinking of.

  33. TJM says:

    ckdexterhaven,

    Have you thought about adding the editors at the NCR to your conversion list? Although they will probably be the hardest sell to convince them of the truth of the Catholic
    Faith.

    Tom

  34. Tess says:

    I’m a Catholic from New Zealand, and we don’t have a single political party in Parliament that is pro-life. And yet, I’m still pro-life myself. Does this mean I’m an international shill for the Republican Party? Or maybe, I’m just plain Catholic.

    Seriously, this is so American-centric. As though being a pro-life Catholic boils down to the American two-party system. It’s a silly way of looking at it.

  35. quiet beginning says:

    Dissent from Church teaching on abortion is an excommunicable offense. Pre-Vatican II popes would have excommunicated such dissenters. Benedict XVI could do the same, but he does not.

  36. Ed the Roman says:

    Tess, which nation do you think the National Catholic Reporter’s name refers to? If we’re going to talk about this editorial at all, it’s going to be an American-centric discussion.

    Just as if we talked about a crisis pregnancy center’s travails in Wellington, it would be a Kiwi-centric discussion. Doesn’t mean either is the whole pro-life ball of wax: just that this is what this particular post is about.

  37. Geoffrey says:

    bunch of queers

  38. Geoffrey says:

    That lefty crowd, oh that lefty crowd ——-

  39. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    If the liberals want to “engage” pro-abortion politicians fine. Let them do it the Star Trek way.

    Captain Picard: Set the phasers on stun. Engage!

  40. Michael says:

    I fear, Father, that you give the NCR website a great deal of its traffic! :)

    [Probably. But when people go there, they read it with my hermeneutic, my interpretive principles in the backs of their heads. People are smart. All they need sometimes is for you to pull off the mask.]

  41. Kevin says:

    I somehow doubt that the RCC is the only way to salvation. I cannot imagine that a merciful God excludes 5 billion people just because they happened to be raised in another faith. If he does, I would rather be with the majority. Michael.

    Michael, your depiction of Catholic theology on Salvation lacks… what was that word, again?,… ohh yes… nuance.

    Matthew 7:13-15

  42. Kevin says:

    Tess,

    Since, apparantly, we must boil all things down to a political slant,… please forgive the arrogance of us yanks, especially those of the Democratic Party.

  43. Geoffrey says:

    For a long while I have been the only Geoffrey commenting on this blog. The above “Geoffrey” is not me!

  44. Geoffrey #2 says:

    Sorry, original Geoffrey! I admit my comment was a bit acerbic, and was actually an accidental submit —

    Anyway, thanks for the clarification; and will be #2 for now on

    Congrats on the great website

  45. Tess says:

    Ed:

    My point is that when an American Catholic is pro-life it is seen as a political choice, ie.

    The Obama Notre Dame speech is simply the latest occasion (and the effort dates back more than a decade) for partisan conservative Catholics to issue a “quasi-excommunication of the Democratic Party.” In other words, it is mostly about politics.

    Well I’m a conservative Catholic who disagrees with ND inviting Obama and giving him an honorary degree, are the authors of the article claiming that I am partisan? That my opinions about Obama/ND are about the “quasi-excommunication of the Democratic Party”?

    Since I can never vote Republican or Democrat I’m pretty sure I’m safe from American politics, especially given I live on the other side of the world within my own political context.

    Likewise Catholics with the same opinions as me, who just happen to live in America, are able to disagree with the Obama invitation for specifically Catholic reasons, rather than due to national party politics.

    From a letter to Diognetus

    “Christians are indistinguishable from other men either by nationality, language or customs. They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life. Their teaching is not based upon reveries inspired by the curiosity of men. Unlike some other people, they champion no purely human doctrine.”

    “They pass their days upon earth, but they are citizens of heaven. Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law. Christians love all men, but all men persecute them.”

    http://www.vatican.va/spirit/documents/spirit_20010522_diogneto_en.html

    Catholics disagree with Obama being feted by Notre Dame because of their Catholic beliefs, not because they are specifically Americans or Republicans. Which is highly ironic given the article writer’s support of Fr. John Langan’s critique of “American chauvinism”.

  46. JC says:

    I pray for the conversion of Barack Obama. I also pray for the conversion of Osama bin Ladin, if he’s still alive.
    I also pray for the conversions of George W. Bush, and Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove.
    I pray for the conversions of Bill and Hillary Clinton, George H. W. Bush, Al Gore, Nancy Reagan, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter. . . .
    Do my prayers have anything to do with whether or not I “like” or “agree” with them?
    No. They have to do with the fact that none of these people are Catholic.

    But to the kinds of people who run NCReporter and Notre Dame, praying that people would convert to Catholicism constitutes proselytizing, which is one of the worst possible sins there is (in their view).

  47. What I don’t get is how they can say that Obama is working to reduce the number of abortions when he is increasing gov’t funding for them.

    As a convert to the Church, I am so thankful that more and more of our shepherds are making the teachings of the Church abundantly clear. One cannot support abortion and be a faithful Catholic. It is truly disheartening as a convert to see those in positions of power and influence who claim to be Catholic and yet promote actions and policies that are in complete and total opposition to what the Church actually teaches. In this time of relativism and “nuance”, we need clear and concise statements on what is and what is not Catholic teaching and the Bishops who have spoken out against the scandalous behavior of ND and others have done us and the Church a great service.

    Being Catholic means being Pro-Life no matter how unpopular that position is. It is part of our identity as Catholics.

  48. Nathaniel1 says:

    bunch of queers

    Comment by Geoffrey

    Not a very nice comment. I hope that Fr. Z removes it and also removes this entry as well. Thanks.

  49. chironomo says:

    Litmus test?

    Just what would label would the NCR put on the Democratic Party’s requirement that any viable candidate support “a woman’s right to choose”? Isn’t that a litmust test?

    A “Litmus Test” is a test that Democrats imagine the \”other side\” uses to determine if a candidate is sufficiently conservative enough. There is NO SUCH THING as a “liberal” Litmus Test. To them, liberalism is the “norm”…thus it is not a deviation.

  50. Scott W. says:

    Always be hopeful, but let’s not get carried away. Progressives are famous for playing beleagured victim even as they steamroller over you. So, knowing full well that they have a Godzilla-like grip on the liturgy, knowing that most bishop’s offices are leftist lay cabals ready, willing, and able to play Grima Wormtongue to Bishop Theoden, and knowing that most Catholic universities will justify the most outrageous behavior under the rubric of “starting a dialog”, they will still cry, “O who will save us from these divisive partisans!?”

  51. Ed the Roman says:

    Tess, we agree that being pro-life is seen as a political position in the US, and that it really isn’t that. But you seemed to be complaining that the particular editorial was being discussed in a US focused political way. I was pointing out that it’s a US focused political editorial and that that is the obvious way to discuss it.

    The editorialists are not discussing abortion in a theological or moral context AT ALL. They want it framed as partisan politics, and to properly dissect them requires dealing with that attempt at framing.

  52. MarkF says:

    What I don’t understand is that why one part of the Church was so excoriated by George W. Bush. President Bush put into effect most of the policies of the liberal wing of the Church. He acted to protect the most needy of our citizens – the elderly (prescription drug benefits), the unborn (appointed two Catholics to the Supreme Court), restricted stem cell research and tried to enact immigration reform, which is one of the leading issues according to the Bishop’s conference. Yet this man is hated by many Catholics. I don’t get it. I don’t see why they call into question his motivation on the war, when his motivations are for the most part in line with the whole range of Catholic thought. Obama has moved immigration reform off of the table, is silent on the death penalty, is largely continuing Bush’s policy in Iraq, and has acted to spread abortion and stem cell research, and says he sees no problem with gay “marriage.”

  53. mbd says:

    Perhaps it is this realization – that there is an ongoing shifting of the goalposts – by the progressive elements in the Church that motivates the current offensive against the Holy Father. It is beginning to dawn on them that his ‘brick by brick’ policy really does threaten their ascendancy in the Church and, in desperation, they are beginning to fight back on a more active basis.

  54. Richard A says:

    “decidedly rightward”? When CHRISTIANS are doing the talking, the word isn’t “rightward”, and it isn’t “conservative”. It’s “orthodox”.

  55. Jim of Bowie says:

    I’m tired of this canard about being right on the social issues that the left-wing Catholics put out. Neither the Gospel or Catholic teaching says that we satisfy our need to feed the poor and care for the sick by paying taxes to a bloated US Government which doesn’t do a good job of either. It is OUR responsibility. The Catholic Church does a pretty fine job of both. Maybe we could give a lot more to the Church’s charities if we didn’t have to pay so much to the wasteful and corrupt Federal government.

  56. TJM says:

    If you are married to the same woman, go to Church on Sunday, and don’t believe in gay marriage or legalized abortion, you’re “rightwing” in the
    worldview of the National Anti-Catholic Reporter and most liberals. Tom

  57. Eileen says:

    It’s almost like reading a comedy, the idea that the Catholic Church, Catholic Universities, and Catholic leaders are ‘adopting the Republican platform on life issues’????? What does that even mean?
    If anything, the Republican Party has correctly adopted the Catholic platform on life issues.

  58. Carol says:

    Hey Michael, the first priority of the Church is to keep itself holy and to try to get you to heaven, not to be as “inclusive” as possible.

  59. Steve says:

    As a Catholic, I profess adherence to the faith, not allegiance to a political party. I do my best to vote when I can for the person who I believe will make moral and ethical decisions once in office. Sadly, over the last 10 years, I’ve found myself more often than not voting a particular party’s line. It’s not that I find the candidates from that party to be perfect, but instead that the standard prescriptions adopted and professed by virtually all statewide (I live in the northeast) and national candidates of the other party is completely contradictory to natural moral law.

    They’ve found a platform that’s able to bring in more votes – that’s what political parties do. If all Catholics simply voted for the candidate who would make decisions based on natural moral law once in office, eventually the pollsters would detect that shift, and politicians would be trampling over each other to craft a new platform that would put together the most votes. Sorry if that sounds cynical, but in the meantime, folks need to seriously ask themselves whether they are followers of Christ first, or members of a political party first. Sadly, there are huge numbers on each side who have put the wrong one first. They are in danger of the “wedge” effect that Fr. Z. alluded to. They need our prayers!!!

  60. Supertradmom says:

    One of my concerns in all of this is the idea that Catholic Doctrine has nothing to offer the public domain. NCR, The Catholic Messenger, and other left-winged media want a complete separation of Church and State, which is not the teaching of the Catholic Church. This is an old position of indifferentism, which states that religion has nothing to do with public policy. That heresy of Modernism is alive and well in some of the thinking at NCR, Notre Dame, and other institutions, either ineducation or publishing.

    Once a public agrees that morality, religion, and holiness are outside the venue of politics, government, laws. that public will witness a decay of their freedoms and rights. Religion and politics should respect each other and work together. The exclusion of the Catholic Church from the market place seems to be a huge deceit underlying NCR’s criticisms. Of course, the Church is exclusive-”Not all who say Lord, Lord will enter the Kingdom of God”. But the City of God exists side by side the City of Man and must influence it and be allowed to influence it.

  61. Steve (at 1:59 p.m. on 5/14/09), you are exactly right.

    By the way, “Country First,” a slogan from the last campaign, should make any Catholic very concerned. I don’t put country first. My hope is to put Our Lord first; the Catholic Church is His body. I think my family would be second. My neighbor in need, third. Perhaps country would come fourth. Maybe. Political party? It’s not on the list.

  62. Kevin says:

    “Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins — or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom—Lucifer.”

    The founding principle and lifeblood of the liberals and current administration. The rules for radicals is in no way compatible with the Catholic Faith.

  63. gedsmk says:

    I’m not entitled to vote in your country so please forgive an outsider’s opinion. I find Obama’s attitudes on abortion, on gay people in the military and on getting the truth out about Cheney and Bush absolutely abhorrent in that order. What’s the alternative, though? Surely not the Republican Party who have used the religious Right in a completely heinous and self-serving way while behind the curtain their morals are often revolting. I am sorry for your country but especially for your bishops.

  64. Scranton Catholic says:

    “Earlier this month, Scranton, Pa., Bishop Robert Martino continued his strange crusade…”

    The NCR obviously does not know how to check facts- the bishop is Bishop JOSEPH Martino.