Wedges

It seems suddenly okay that a nominee to the Supreme Court be … *GASP*  …. Catholic!

On the website of The Boston Globe comes this on the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to SCOTUS.

My emphases and comments.

Sotomayor would be sixth Catholic justice

Posted by Michael Paulson May 26, 2009 02:33 PM

Judge Sonia Sotomayor has much to distinguish her, but one element of her biography stands out in the world of those interested in religion and the public square: [Since I have been HAMMERING that topic forever, I think that includes readers of WDTPRS!]  she is Catholic, and, if approved as a Supreme Court justice, she will be the sixth Catholic on the nine-member court. That is a remarkable accomplishment for American Catholics, who make up 23 percent of the nation’s population, [And it wasn't that long ago that people in the USA debated if Catholics should be allowed to participate in society.]  and will now potentially hold 67 percent of the high court’s seats. Two of the justices are Jewish; the resignation of Justice David Souter, who is an Episcopalian, will leave, amazingly given the history of this nation, just one Protestant on the Supreme Court, 89-year-old Justice John Paul Stevens.

Undoubtedly, Sotomayor’s Catholic-ness will be the subject of some debate. Just how Catholic is she? Steven Waldman, blogging at Beliefnet, quotes a White House official saying, “Judge Sotomayor was raised as a Catholic and attends church for family celebrations and other important events.”  [In other words... she is... what... a CINO?  A C&E Catholic?  A "cultural Catholic"?  What does that mean?]

David Gibson, also at Beliefnet, suggests there may be a strategic reason for Sotomayor to downplay her faith affiliation:

“The (awful) question will now be, what KIND of Catholic is she? She is divorced, without kids. Heck, she may want to downplay her practice of the faith as that will be a huge target–and it’s easy to guess who’ll be lobbing most of the heavy ordinance.”  [Is that a kind of inuendo there about the number of children practicing Catholics have?]

And Cathy Lynn Grossman, blogging for USA Today, makes a similar prediction:

“Next up: Expect her nomination to re-ignite the ongoing Catholic blogosphere wars over who is Catholic enough. If confirmed, Sotomayor, who grew up in Catholic schools in the Bronx, would be the sixth Catholic on the high court. It may be that her life experiences will align her with the social justice issues pushed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on race, poverty, immigration and economic issues. But for some outspoken Catholics, the ‘life’ issues — abortion, family planning, so-called ‘conscience clauses’ for health workers, embryonic stem cell research and end-of-life choices — are the litmus test.”  [I ask this: If President Obama at Notre Dame used the word "children" and not just the usual "fetus", then I would say that legalizing the choice to kill those children might make a good topic for discussion.  Also, this president vote in favor of what can only be termed infanticide.]

Over at GetReligion, Terry Mattingly wonders why the word “Catholic” is not more a part of the early press coverage, and asks if that would be different if Sotomayor were a known opponent of abortion rights:

“Her life story will be a big part of the upcoming mini-debates about her appointment. Here is my question: If she was a pro-life woman, from a Hispanic background, do you think that the word ‘Catholic’ would be appearing higher in these early (I repeat, EARLY) reports about her life and work? Just saying.”  [D'ya think?]

What does it matter if Sotomayor is Catholic? Jacqui Salmon, blogging for the Washington Post, suggests perhaps not much, at least as far as judicial decisionmaking is concerned:

“Experts have been split on what the Catholic majority has meant so far. They point out that Catholics on the bench historically have spanned the spectrum from liberal to conservative. Dennis J. Hutchinson, a court historian at the University of Chicago, noted in 2005 that one of the most liberal Supreme Court justices of the 20th century, William J. Brennan, was a Catholic, and so is one of the most conservative, Scalia.”

Manya Brachear, blogging for the Chicago Tribune, tackles the same question, and comes to the same conclusion, although also pointing out the symbolic significance:

“Cathleen Kaveny, law professor at the University of Notre Dame, said a sixth Catholic in the High Court would illustrate how entrenched the church has become in the U.S. A sixth Catholic with views like Sotomayor’s also [And here I think we are edging up to what is really going on....] would put the American church’s diversity on display[Watch now the Kmiec Catholic, Catholic Lite, partisan Catholic ala "Yes we can" in this next part...] ‘My guess is she’s very much operating in accordance with the commitments of the Catholic social justice tradition which is emphasizing … inclusion, solidarity, justice to those least among us,’ Kaveny said. ‘It’s strand of American Catholic teaching that is somewhat distinct from other Catholic teaching but not incompatible. [There.  She tries to shift the paradigm.  Do you remember my parsing of McBrien ("a study of the progressivist mind") when I pointed out that the left doesn't want to admit the real divisions in the Church? Here is an example of what I am talking about.] People emphasize different aspects.’”

Catholic groups are just now beginning to react to the nomination. Catholics United, a liberal group, reacted positively, [Dog Bites Man.  Film at 11.  This is one of the slitheriest groups I have seen, FWIW.] and said, “We call on other leaders within the Catholic community to join us in welcoming Judge Sotomayor’s nomination and to approach her confirmation hearings with civility and reason.”  [I hope that Catholics United will also make a statement about voting in favor of infantide.] I haven’t heard yet from conservative Catholic groups, but in general the reaction from the right has been critical. [Wait... wasn't the first part of that "haven't heard"?]  Ted Olsen, blogging at Christianity Today, reviews the early statements and headlines his post, “Pro-Life Group Consensus on Sotomayor: ‘Activist’.”

Meanwhile, one thing that struck me in President Obama’s remarks about Sotomayor this morning was the language he used to describe the role of Catholic schools in offering children a path out of poverty. [wedge] This is what he said:

“When Sonia was nine, her father passed away. And her mother worked six days a week as a nurse to provide for Sonia and her brother…But Sonia’s mom bought the only set of encyclopedias in the neighborhood, sent her children to a Catholic school called Cardinal Spellman out of the belief that with a good education here in America all things are possible.”  [And this will - of course - for all reasonable people interested in dialogue and diversity and just getting along together be a reason to set aside any concern about statements or her record.]

Just a guess… but here is what this feels like to me.

I am pretty sure that, among other motives, this is also part of a conscious agenda. This White House, and those who seek to be its satraps, are doing their best to subvert institutions and some high profile public Catholic figures in order to drive a wedge between different groups of Catholics.  They especially want to cleave off the strong Catholic bishops from the rest of the squishy Americanized Church.  They do so by seeming to embrace an important but logically secondary set of common objectives so as to neutralize the deeper foundations of a true Catholic influence in the public square.

Granting that in this life there is no perfect politics – or much of anything else for that matter…

If politics should be about the social expression of the City of God, liturgy is the sacramental expression of the City of God.

The language and effect of the one will be in discord or harmony with the language and effect of the other.

I repeat: At this point it may be that the only way we can emphasize the hollow sound of their cymbals is through authentic Catholic worship.

You are called to arms.

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52 Responses to Wedges

  1. Luis says:

    I think that in putting forth such an admitted activist jurist the left has, inadvertantly, allowed us to propose our Catholic identity. There are numerous quotes from this Judge that reflect a willingness to include gender and color “identity” in her rulings. Why not then, Catholic identity? If she is applauded for her “critique” of old white men’s reasoning, then why can’t WE “critique” secularists “reasoning.” I think this is an opprotunity for some intellectual “blow back”

  2. ED says:

    I read all these commentators and i feel “exasperated” they seem to think Catholicism is an ethnic group. Catholicism is BELIEVING in ALL OF THE TEACHINGS JESUS taught and gave to his CATHOLIC CHURCH till the end of time!!!!!

  3. Jason says:

    It may be that her life experiences will align her with the social justice issues pushed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on race, poverty, immigration and economic issues. But for some outspoken Catholics, the ‘life’ issues—abortion, family planning, so-called ‘conscience clauses’ for health workers, embryonic stem cell research and end-of-life choices—are the litmus test.

    I don’t know the statistics for abortion, but I would imagine that a very high number (perhaps a disproportionate number) of the women who abort their children are non-white, poor, and many of them are immigrants.

  4. Patrick says:

    I guess the question is whether we are all going to stress our Catholic Identity, and act as sons and daughters of Holy Mother Church, or slope along to Gommorah (yes, I have butchered something Pat Buchanan wrote) being Cultural Catholics, the likes of which are always quoted in the news media, but really say nothing about the True Faith.

    Do you want to be a squishy American Catholic, or a true son or daughter of the Church? A Kmiec Catholic, or a Catholic like one of the Papal Zouaves of old, fighting and dying for the Faith?
    Do we stand with Nicholas Owen, the martyrs of the Vendee, or the Cristeros, or go along to get along as so many here in the States have done.

    Viva Cristo Rey!

  5. Denise says:

    I have yet to hear Judge Sotomayor claim to be Catholic. What I am hearing are pundits declaring she is Catholic because she was “raised Catholic”, attended Catholic schools, and currently attends family religious functions. Many non-Catholics attend Catholic weddings, funerals, baptisms, and First Communions. Attending Catholic schools does not make one Catholic–President Obama attended Catholic schools. If she no longer practices the faith of her childhood, there are no grounds for calling her Catholic. Her alleged Catholicism should have no more bearing on her suitability for the Supreme Court than does her Hispanic heritage.

  6. Karen says:

    Simply the fact that 0ero nominated her tells me all I want to know.

  7. David says:

    No disrespect to anyone, but I thought it interesting that the Episcopalian Judge was not considered Protestant (in this report).

    Writing as a sometime Episcopalian, I’m afraid that, at the moment, I have no deeper thoughts than this!

    Tell you what though, the political system in the UK is in a state of disarray, not to say utterly ashamed on account of (almost all) Members of Parliament stealing money from the tax payer through bogus expense claims.

    I consider it interesting that the Archbishops of Canterbury and York can speak together with such conviction, advising the British public not to vote for the (rather fascist) British National Party. However, when it comes to matters of faith and morals, these godly Archbishops are incapable of offering a lead to their flock.

    God save the UK from the BNP and the forces of secularism.

    God Bless!

    David.

  8. Jordanes says:

    It may be that her life experiences will align her with the social justice issues pushed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on race, poverty, immigration and economic issues. But for some outspoken Catholics, the ‘life’ issues—abortion, family planning, so-called ‘conscience clauses’ for health workers, embryonic stem cell research and end-of-life choices—are the litmus test.”

    Ahem! The “life issues” are only the chief of the “social justice issues pushed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.” People need to stop talking and thinking as if the right to life isn’t a social justice issue, like you can support those other social justice issues and it will somehow make up for your support for killing unborn children.

    Denise said: If she no longer practices the faith of her childhood, there are no grounds for calling her Catholic.

    Catholic News Service reports: “Jesuit Father Joseph O’Hare, the retired president of Fordham University who served with Sotomayor on a New York City campaign finance review council, said when he knew her beginning in the late 1980s she was indeed a practicing Catholic. He said he has no reason to think that has changed. They have stayed in touch intermittently, and he said she gave his name as a reference for her FBI background check.”

    Hopefully she still practices her faith, and hopefully that means she is pro-life and would bring those convictions to bear were she called upon to consider any abortion or contraception case. If she doesn’t, I wouldn’t want to be her on Judgment Day.

  9. Good analysis, Father. Fr. Jenkins,weeks before Obama spoke at ND, stated that the Church had lost the war against abortion and we therefore have to move on to see where a smaller Church in terms of teaching can intersect with the secular reality. The truth is the Church has lost the battles on: divorce, contraception, pornography, abortion, embryonic stem cell, homosexual marriage,homosexual/lesbian adoption, and in-vitro fertilization. The Church has nothing to say. Period. It cannot keep Obama from ND or Mike Bloomberg from Fordham. Why is it important for someone to say they are or are not Catholic? The Elect, i.e., the people who will be saved, are people you and I will never hear of.

  10. Biff says:

    I’m sure there are many members of the episcopacy who rejoiced at this announcement.

  11. Mark says:

    “No disrespect to anyone, but I thought it interesting that the Episcopalian Judge was not considered Protestant (in this report).”

    Yes, he was. You misread the statement. It says now that Souter, the Episcopalian justice in question, has resigned…there will be only one Protestant left on the Court, namely John Paul Stevens. Before that, there were two, Souter (the Episcopalian) and Stevens.

  12. Biff says:

    Ginsburg, a movement justice, sailed thru with a unanimous vote. Who thinks Sonia will have trouble?

  13. Luis says:

    “I read all these commentators and i feel “exasperated” they seem to think Catholicism is an ethnic group. Catholicism is BELIEVING in ALL OF THE TEACHINGS JESUS taught and gave to his CATHOLIC CHURCH till the end of time”

    It isn’t an ethnic group. But if the Judge (nominee for SCOTUS) is allowed to “identify” with her gender or race, shouldn’t others be allowed to “identify” as CATHOLIC. At least there is an objective reference point for Catholic identity, the teachings of the Church. From her statements she is admitting her rulings are “informed” by her gender and race while Catholics are being told to “Shut up.” We are told that our political opinions are invalid if they are informed by our religious formation.

    What if she had said, “I further accept that our IDENTITIES AS CATHOLICS affect our decisions. The aspiration to impartiality is just that – it’s an aspiration because it denies the fact that we are by our experiences making different choices than others….”

  14. Mark VA says:

    It is my opinion that a spiritual split in the Catholic Church in America has already occurred, and the recent events are only making it explicit. The numerically larger part is systematically building, brick by brick, the new church’s governing structure, with its “magisterium” closely aligned to the progressive political agenda of the day. A winning combination, one might say.

    I believe our Bishops can still reverse this de-lamination of the Catholic Church in America, if enough of them realize what is happening on their watch, and take the appropriate steps. If, as a body, they’ll continue to just drift along with the events, then they’ll loose whatever little control they still have. The situation of the Church in China may also be our future – we’re not exempt from these forces.

  15. Kat says:

    Thanks, Father Z.

    I was in the car all day today on a long, inter-state drive, and all I could find by way of information on Sotomayor’s nomination was commentary on NPR. I looked up your blog as soon as I could, and I want you to know I REALLY appreciate your analysis here (because I certainly wan’t getting any real information from NPR!)

  16. sharon says:

    The following information is taken from America’s Right. I believe that he properly researched the statement. (He is working his waythrough law school and maintains his website)

    http://www.americasright.com/

    A Snazzy Paint Job does not a Good Vehicle Make

    “… of the four occasions when an opinion she penned was overturned by the Supreme Court, three of those were because she incorrectly interpreted the statutes governing the questions at hand.”

    I hope this is the kind of analysis that will be brought to the forefront in the confirmation process.

  17. IvoDeNorthfield says:

    AUL has some interesting, and possibly encouraging info on Sotomayor:

    Writing for the Second Circuit, Judge Sotomayor upheld the Mexico City Policy which prohibited foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from using federal funding to promote abortion overseas. In a constitutional challenge brought by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), an American abortion advocacy group that routinely argues that “abortion is the law of the world,” Judge Sotomayor first rejected a claim that the policy burdened the First Amendment rights of domestic pro-abortion groups, finding that no First Amendment rights were implicated. The significance of this part of her opinion, however, may be minimal because the issue was largely controlled by the Second Circuit’s earlier opinion in a similar challenge to the policy.

    More interesting was Justice Sotomayor’s response to CRR’s second claim that the policy violated the Equal Protection Clause by impermissibly burdening the “rights of domestic abortion groups relative to domestic anti-abortion groups.” Rejecting this new argument, Justice Sotomayor wrote that because the challenge involved neither a suspect class nor a fundamental right, a deferential “rational basis” test was appropriate. She then acknowledged the ability of the government to adopt anti-abortion policies, noting “there can be no question that the classification survives rational basis review. The Supreme Court has made clear that the government is free to favor the anti-abortion position over the pro-choice position, and can do so with public funds.”

    Finally, Judge Sotomayor wrote an opinion overturning, in part, a district court’s grant of summary judgment against a group of anti-abortion protestors, albeit on an issue far removed from abortion jurisprudence. When a group of protestors sued the city of West Hartford, CT alleging its police officers used excessive force at a peaceful protest, the district court issued a summary judgment in favor of the defendants on all theories of liability. Writing for the Second Circuit, Judge Sotomayor reversed the district court’s summary judgment order against the protestors and remanded the case for further proceedings.

    http://www.aul.org/ussc_potentials

  18. EDG says:

    They especially want to cleave off the strong Catholic bishops from the rest of the squishy Americanized Church.

    I agree. The only way to fight back is to encourage our bishops to be stronger. I heard today that the Diocese of Pittsburgh had taken out some radio ads critcizing ND for giving up its principles to invite Obama – does anybody know if this is true?

    Also, while I agree that liturgy would help enormously, what is a layperson to do who lives in a diocese where the TLM is virtually forbidden, one of our priests is practically under house arrest for using Latin in his Novus Ordo, and the average mass has little to distinguish it from the liberal Methodist – or even Unitarian, in some cases – service down the street? Laypeople can’t do anything about it except keep asking (as we have been doing), while good priests are punished and Rome issues the occasional edict but does nothing to make bishops comply with it. All the meanwhile, Obama marches on.

  19. Tominellay says:

    I agree with the comments of Luis (at 4:15 and at 5:56)…This nominee is dangerous as an activist jurist, whose gender and ethnicity inform her opinions. I’d be much happier with a strict constructionist of any color or gender: Clarence Thomas comes to mind. And as Biff notes (at 5:47), she’ll likely sail through the confirmation process, because she’s an activist. I don’t know where she stands on abortion, but I suspect the president considers her vote a lock on the issue.

  20. Mum26 says:

    William Phalen says: The truth is the Church has lost the battles on: divorce, contraception, pornography, abortion, embryonic stem cell, homosexual marriage,homosexual/lesbian adoption, and in-vitro fertilization.

    Yes, precisely because Humanae Vitae is being ignored, distorted, misinterpreted, downplayed and disobeyed!

    One hears nothing about this document whose anniversary we just celebrated. Not too long ago Cardinal Schoenborn of Vienna, Austria, called his fellow German speaking bishops on this. He called the neglect of Humanae Vitae the “Sins of the Bishops”.

    I do not want to know how many souls are on their road to eternal damnation because of those sins….

    The leadership of the church is pathetic. Enough with the collegiality, the apologizing, the compromises, the unnecessary politeness! The priorities are all wrong! Give me purity in the Liturgy, tell me the faith as it is – no apologizing and watering down necessary, thank you very much!

  21. Mum26 says:

    I believe Obama is well-informed. He knows the real Catholic Church is his only enemy.
    He nominates all those ‘catholics’ in his administration for a reason. He is purposely attempting (and succeeding) to weaken the Church, to split it into pieces, to mock and provoke Her. He knows we are hardly going to bite back, and if we do he will smile benevolently just as he did at the commencement address when some protesters became a bit loud. He will continue to talk about dialogue making us Catholics who refuse to dialogue about Dignity of Life issues look like intolerant, blinkered baffoons.

    But other than that he will continue with his agenda. And at the end of the day he will have the last laugh —– on this planet.

    For those of you who have not seen these two photos side by side:
    http://www.voicescarryblog.com/515/

    Blessings!

  22. little gal says:

    We can’t have a call to arms without this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sE1huPYerp0

  23. Martin T. says:

    The abortion President will put an abortion judge on the bench. We can only pray that she doesn\’t live in contempt of the Church.

    Now the ineresting question. In a SiFi world far away \”Roe v. Wade\” is reconsidered in a Supreme Court with six Catholic justices. Does (should_mightn’t_wouldnt_ ought, pick your verb) the local archbishop tell them they are banned from Communion if they vote to maintain the law?

  24. quiet beginning says:

    Here is a high-profile opportunity for the Vatican to weigh in on. This Sotomayor woman claims to be a Catholic and yet embraces–no, militantly promotes–the antithesis of everything Catholic. Here is a moment in which Benedict XVI can provide “clarification” about what it means to be actually BE a Catholic. It is in just a situation as this that a true Roman Pontiff would rise to the occasion and boldly bear witness to our Blessed Lord and His Holy Religion, unequivocally condemning evil that Sotomayor stands for. And, he would also thereby teach that no one who obstinately holds to such evil can possibly remain in the Church.
    It is a sure bet, though, that Benedict XVI will most certainly NOT rise to the occasion. If anyone actually believes that there is even a slim possibility that Benedict XVI will in ANY way use this occasion to defend the Faith, they are destined to be disappointed. More than likely BXVI will stay as far away from it as he can. I wish I were wrong about this but I know I’m not.

  25. Brian says:

    Satan hates Christ and wants to hurt Him. Just as he provoked God’s Chosen People to crucify Christ; so he provokes God’s baptized, confirmed Catholics to attack the Truth, murder the innocent, and promote the culture of death.

  26. Joe says:

    Sometimes I think that the Church should do like the Mormons do, and maintain lists of members verified by certificate issued after interviews with the bishop.
    In any case, I like a line by Cathleen Kaveny:” My guess is she’s very much operating in accordance with the commitments of the Catholic social justice tradition which is emphasizing … inclusion, solidarity, justice to those least among us,’ Kaveny said. ‘It’s strand of American Catholic teaching that is somewhat distinct from other Catholic teaching but not incompatible.” Whether Sotomayor is Catholic or not, I like Kaveny’s willingness to consider that the social justice teachings of the church might actually be coherent. Anad she does it in a way that implies that this “strand” – the inclusive and solid one – is the strand that needs to be justified.

  27. michigancatholic says:

    There are five so-called catholic supreme court justices. Big deal. Abortion is still legal. I’m not at all impressed by this “remarkable accomplishment.” It’s no accomplishment at all if it doesn’t produce something other than the usual cultural drivel.

    BTW, the term “American Catholic” really gives the whole thing away, doesn’t it? I’m not an “American Catholic.” I’m Catholic and I have USA citizenship because I was born & bred here from American stock. Sometimes those two facts are complimentary (ie I have a moral obligation to obey legitimate laws), but a good part of the time they’re contradictory in nature (I have to pay for what with my tax dollars?).

    But then I can say that in security because I’m not the child of an immigrant lusting for legitimacy and acceptance. My forebears fought the Revolutionary war (they’d been here for well over 100 years by then)–and I don’t need to apologize to anyone for telling the truth. I don’t mind telling you this country took a wrong turn a long time back, the first of many. And as well, the label catholic doesn’t mean a bucket of warm spit if you can’t apply what the church teaches when the chips are down.

  28. Peggy says:

    Obie praises Sotomayor’s Catholic education was a great advantage, yet he denies that advantage to black children in DC.

  29. sekman says:

    no she’s not a c&e catholic or catholic at all, rather what I like to call a “chreaster” semi-catholic

  30. I think this is an opprotunity for some intellectual “blow back”

    There’s nothing intellectual going on with this (or any of these)appointment(s).

    The dumbing-down of America is in full swing, why do you think most high schools don’t have speech and debate teams any longer ? Why, you’d have to have arguments that make sense and the rules of right reason and logic would have to come into play. It’s much easier to use the old divide-and-conquer strategy and crank up the ad hominem attacks pitting one group against another –the oldest trick in the book and we’re falling for it again (sigh).

  31. Why are you about the only one who seems to realize what the real agenda of these people really is? The creation of ‘Am Church’ is already well under way.

  32. Peggy says:

    Jason (early commenter):

    I studied abortion statistics from 90s-early 00s–data availability always lags. In any case, your presumptions are quite wrong. It is true that the percent of abortions that are nonwhite are increasing, but well over 50% are by white women; women over 25 dominate; and unmarried women are not surprisingly about 80% of abortions…sad that married abortions are up. Now, no data combines the incidence of these demographics for each abortion, but it is clear that the primary consumer (ouch!) of abortion is a single white woman over age 25. I think it’s the careerism of women that is at work. It is the moral acceptance of abortion as well as the FEAR of poverty that drives these decisions, in my humble opinion. That said a higher percent of nonwhite babies are aborted than white babies. They have many more pregnancies in the first instance, it would appear; the nonwhites appear to be giving birth to many more babies than whites as well.

  33. Rancher says:

    Divide and conquer—the Marxist prescription for defeating the enemy. His disciple Obama is following that prescription to the letter when it comes to defeating the Church.

  34. GordonBOPS says:

    This whole WEDGE theory is in fact a conspiracy theory. One that is totally plausible. Think about it, people (including but not limited to Barack Obama) are actively plotting against the Catholic Church. The only difference between the Communist attacks on the Church and this, is that its covert—and unfortunately, is probably more effective than just marching out an killing Catholics (I think they’ve learned about the Martyr effect from history by now). However, now is the time for GREEN and WHITE MARTYRS — The Call to Arms (the Rosary, Prayer – the Mass and the Eucharist) has sounded!

  35. Katie says:

    Brilliant. This is exactly why well meaning European Benedictines like Giulio Ferrara, Sandro Magister and Vian don’t get it. As you know Italian politics is primitive and merely tricky in an obvious way. Vian e co. don’t see the White House pragmatic wedge strategy. On the other hand this could be turned around to defeat the Commonweasels. Obama could be boxed into a corner where he finds it impossible to accontentare the left. He’s much weaker than he seems. In the meantime the aformentioned (Ferrara and co.) are simply happy that Obama shows no taste for re-invigorating the Zapo european left.

  36. Peter says:

    A little off topic maybe, but if bishops (in your country and elsewhere) actually refused communion to all manner of public dissenters years ago this might have slowed the slide to a kind of ‘catholicism is what you make it’ mentality which Obama and other administrations are playing on. But that approach, then and now, has by and large been deemed to ‘unpastoral’.

  37. Fenton says:

    “sent her children to a Catholic school called Cardinal Spellman out of the belief that with a good education here in America all things are possible.”

    I guess a) the opposite of “good” is “bad”, therefore the alternative to a “good” (Catholic) education is a “bad” (public schools) education; and b) the president implies that Ms Sotomayor (like many of us) put her kids first and gave them the opportunity to learn outside the government schools…unlike the hypocrites in DC who send their children to Sidwell Friends, et al.

  38. Charles R. Williams says:

    We should expect different things from Catholic legislators and Catholic jurists. A Catholic legislator must treat abortion as a grave injustice to be minimized. A Catholic jurist could conclude that Roe v. Wade was rightly decided and is a binding precedent.

  39. Luis says:

    inillotempore
    So we shouldn’t, as Catholics, demand that we be allowed to propose ideas formed with Catholic teaching in the public square or if we do then it won’t do any good? We should, in part, point to the Judges use of gender and race to as a reason for us to assert positions based on Catholic identity. What’s wrong with that? PS I am not condoning her use of gender and race in her role as a judge.

  40. Latekate says:

    I had not seen that picture of the Abortion King being honored (worshipped?) at ND beside the picture of Father Westin being arrested (http://www.voicescarryblog.com/515/). It speaks volumes and is sickening. You are correct, Mum26, this is war between ultimate state authority over all and its demand for all to worship it and obey and its only real (former???) opposition, the Catholic Church.

    The Obammunists (with the eager assistance of the MSM) are “redefining” Catholicism into a prop of secular humanist state worship. Jenkins, the rest of the commies at ND and their supporters are at best useful idiots or at worst knowing subverters of righteousness. At any rate, they must surely not really fear God.

    The lack of forceful papal opinion on this is also speaking volumes. Maybe the fear is the seizure and sacking of the Vatican under some “terror” pretext. At any rate, thank you, Father Z., for your tireless defense of the Faith.

    It is very sad to see the Church, the Body of Christ, being used in this manner. It is no accident that this CINO is a court nominee.

  41. Immaculatae says:

    The Argument of Holiness – Archbishop Fulton Sheen

    In other parts of the world,
    our brothers in Christ are suffering
    for their faith.
    And here we are at ease,
    just undergoing a slight test
    and dividing our loyalty
    between Christ and the world.
    We must realize in minds and hearts
    that this is a new age,
    that we will have to be a creative minority,
    and that the only argument that is left
    to convince others is holiness.
    The world has heard every other argument,
    and it is ready to reject them all,
    all except one: holiness
    +++

    The Strategy of the Devil…
    Father John A.Hardon, S.J.
    (excerpt)

    St. Ignatius has a key meditation in the Spiritual Exercises on what he calls the Two Standards. The Two Standards correspond to the two leaders in the world who are drawing people to follow them. One leader is Jesus Christ, who inspires believing Christians to dedicate themselves to the extension of His kingdom throughout the world. The other leader is Satan, who is trying to seduce people to follow him for the extension of his demonic kingdom, which, in the words of St Augustine, is the City of Man, which is in constant conflict with the kingdom of Christ. The devil knows that you get nowhere alone, you inspire others to follow you. Then you train your followers and disciples and they will carry on your work. The devil trains his followers to seduce not just people or cities, but whole nations.

    The Character of the Devil
    If we wish to resist the temptations of the evil spirit, we must know something about their demonic character. He is a liar by nature. He lied to Eve in the Garden of Eden, telling her that God forbade her and Adam to eat of the forbidden fruit because God was afraid that they, Adam and Eve, would come to know what God knows, the meaning of good and evil.

    The devil lied to Judas who betrayed his Master because the devil made Judas think that he could remain a follower of Christ while remaining a friend of Christ’s enemies.

    The Church teaches that what Judas wanted was money. The saints said that this is why Judas committed suicide. He was deceived. He had gotten his money, but his betrayal and his gain of money brought on the passion of his master, Jesus Christ.

    From: Through the Year with Fulton Sheen
    p. 32 available from Ignatious Press

  42. I am not Spartacus says:

    Sotomayor is the personification of the reality the extreme left has virtually total control of The Academy. She will sail through the nomination process because the Republicans are too craven and fear being called sexist and racist.

    She has publicly, repeatedly, confessed she judges law via her personal experiences as a latin female.

    The idea the Republicans will oppose her is about as realistic an idea as the idea The Bishops will punish Fr. Jenkins.

    I really am not a pessimist and I don’t mean to rain on anyone’s parade but I think we Catholics have to be realistic and deal with the world as it is.

    Barack has rapidly capitalised on the long silenced public voice of authentic Catholicism in America. What he has been doing is politically dancing on our Graves which are buried in his Common Ground and expecting Bishops to act like Lazarus is irrational. It is not going to happen.

    Here is a link to a discussion about this woman. The comments by Joseph C (a Catholic) seem to me to be spot on.

    http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/013276.html

  43. Immaculatae says:

    I am also reminded of the way Hitler dealt with freemasonry.
    First he told them in identify themselves (redefine themselves) in terms which appeared to be less hostile to the state.
    In return for doing this, he promised them they would not suffer his wrath or subjugation.

    In reality, this reduced the numbers of those identifying themselves as freemasons. Then after that, Hitler suppressed even those who had originally compromised thinking they would save themselves.

    I was reading one day trying to figure out how freemasonry fits into our current situation (because on some level it must) when I came across this somewhere.

  44. Gail F says:

    Fr. Z wrote:

    “I am pretty sure that, among other motives, this is also part of a conscious agenda. This White House, and those who seek to be its satraps, are doing their best to subvert institutions and some high profile public Catholic figures in order to drive a wedge between different groups of Catholics. They especially want to cleave off the strong Catholic bishops from the rest of the squishy Americanized Church. They do so by seeming to embrace an important but logically secondary set of common objectives so as to neutralize the deeper foundations of a true Catholic influence in the public square.”

    My feeling (FWIW) is that Obama is popular with a particular (and LARGE) group of Catholics and that his administration is doing whatever it can to pay that group back and to make it more attractive to the rest. The ND address was a beautiful gift as far as the Obama administration is concerned — what more could the President ask for from the Catholic Church? The ND invitation itself is like a coronation from the Catholics, a message directly from the Church that opposition to Obama is extreme and overwrought. Sure we can argue nit-picky things about who gets to invite who and who is in charge of whose priestly faculties, but that is all too arcane for most people. What most people see, and Obama understands this if Fr. Jensen and many of the bisohps don’t, is that ND invited and honored the President and a bunch of cranky zealots protested.

    I imagine that Sotomayor’s being Catholic is a secondary but welcome issue to the administration, who can use it to bolster their credit with that same Catholic crowd and with other “religious” people who see endorsement by Catholics as vaguely indicative that a person is moral. It needs to be another wake-up call that in today’s political climate (not just under Obama, but for years now) being Catholic is an asset to a political career as long as you don’t actually believe or act on it.

  45. As long as there is no disciplinary action, many people who are Catholic but don’t adhere to the Church’s doctrine will continue to think it’s OK, no matter how many pronouncements, documents, or bishops “speak up.”

    I really think that we are at the point where lines need to be drawn in the sand and those who are on the wrong side need to be forcibly informed.

    I personally think one of the best things would be to bring back the anathemas. Those were pretty concise and to the point. I think they would help those who are just ignorant to wake up more easily than all the wordy documents and prounoucements that are made that most of the laity couldn’t be bothered with, whether that be their own fault or not.

  46. peregrinus_sg says:

    The fictitious idea that Catholicism has inherent “tensions” within her teachings that faithful Catholics may legitimately decide to pick and choose which ones to emphasise on as a prudential judgement is a subtle but consistent attack in the Catholic Church in the USA. When I was studying at an Ivy League institution in the US, this was told repeatedly by professors teaching Catholic courses. It is also rearing its ugly head in some of the editorials. My opinion is that faithful Catholic theologians and pastors need to respond to this fictitious claim with clarity and charity.

  47. Peggy says:

    Obie’s falseness can and should be challenged. The bishops should take lessons from Dick Cheney on this (whether one agrees with Cheney or not). Cheney pummeled Obie on terrorist suspect detention and national security. Obie has largely adopted the Bush policies with a few tweaks and no torture (“enhanced interrogation”). I am also awaiting some one to acquire the courage (does one really need that much courage?) to defend private property and enterprise in the US….waiting…waiting…

  48. TMA says:

    Immaculatae – Thank you for the Archbishop Sheen quote. The call to holiness and Fr. Z’s call to authentic Catholic worship give me something positive and attainable to focus on. Otherwise I’m just left wringing my hands fretting about the evil that surrounds us.

  49. Patricia says:

    What kind of Catholic is sotomayer? She is what our parish priest calls a “submariner”. She only shows up at Christmas and Easter.

  50. Pat says:

    “They especially want to cleave off the strong Catholic bishops from the rest of the squishy Americanized Church.”

    Isn’t it true that every branch that doesn’t bear fruit will be cut off and thrown into the fire? God is not mocked. The intentions of “The Left” or “The Right” or any group may ultimately serve God’s purpose in His Church. If we consider ourselves Orthodox Roman Catholics then we obviously must pray for those Catholics in the “squishy Americanized Church.” There was a point in my life where I was more aligned with that group. Somebody’s prayers and God’s grace accepted by me continues to help me grow in Christ and His Church.

  51. John 6:54 says:

    The way I look at is the Holy Spirit is stacking the court :-)

    Sotomayor is as good as the Pro-Life community is going to get from the Obama Administration. With her Catholic upbringing who knows just maybe the most Pro-Abortion President ever has appointed the swing vote in the Abortion issue. I mean she could come to a greater conversion of the faith while sitting on the bench with five other Catholics. We should be praying for her.

    Wouldn’t that be sweet irony, and isn’t that just how God works?

  52. quiet beginning says:

    Rancher wrote:

    “Divide and conquer—-the Marxist prescription for defeating the enemy. His disciple Obama is following that prescription to the letter when it comes to defeating the Church.”

    It’s more like separating the wheat from the chaff. A true son or daughter of the Church would never be fooled by this tool of Satan. Members of the USCCB would, though.