Amerika Magazine gets it wrong again

The Jesuit editors of Amerika Magazine have little clarity about both recent American history or sound theology.  This is obvious from their editorial in the 22 June issue.

Be prepared for some bad writing hereThey are getting worse.

Now we get this.  My emphases and comments.

Obama Going to the Vatican
Posted at: 2009-06-24 08:24:59.0
Author: Michael Sean Winters

Pope Benedict XVI will receive President Barack Obama in audience at the Vatican on July 10. Let the gnashing of teeth begin. 

Admit it, wasn’t your first impulse to call Dr. Mary Ann Glendon and ask, "If you were still the ambassador, would you show up or would you boycott?" The Cardinal Newman Society, which spent the better part of the spring telling the world that no Catholic could in good conscience share the stage with President Obama, [Isn't this is a falsehood? The objection was not about "sharing a stage" at all.  The objection was that Notre Dame chose to honor the most aggressive pro-abortion politician we have ever seen.  What is worse, ND bestowed on him an honorary doctorate of law.] perhaps now they will start issuing press releases entitled "Pope Creates Scandal" or "Outrage at the Vatican." The Catholic News Agency, which featured the headline "Vatican announces Pope’s vacation without confirmation of Obama visit" just a few weeks ago, has nary a mention of the visit on its website this morning. Cat got your tongue? 

Obama’s Catholic critics need to re-calibrate their message and it is difficult to see how they will compete with the pictures of Obama in the frescoed halls of the Vatican, his beautiful wife and children in tow, shaking hands with the Holy Father.  Actually, in addition to shaking hands, it is traditional that the Pope will present a gift to the President. Does that count as an "honor" of the kind forbidden by the bishops’ document "Catholics in Political Life"? [Puhleeze] Notre Dame, of course, has a tradition of conferring an honorary degree upon every new president that pre-dates presidential visits to the Holy See.  [So what?  Does that make it right to do in the case of this president?  Does this writer seriously think that the gift a Pope gives to a head of state is the same as an honor?  An honorary doctorate for law?]

More importantly, and as mentioned yesterday while considering the new document on Catholic health care and labor unions, there are ways to work with people who do not agree with us on certain matters. [Here we go.  Start pouring the koolaid.] Let it be said again and again: The Church’s commitment to human dignity, and concern for the protection of the unborn, is not just one issue among many. It is, in a certain sense, foundational to both our moral concerns and to our sense of the right ordering of our nation’s constitutional guarantees. In saying we must work with President Obama we are not suggesting breezily that we should "agree to disagree" and move on. We are saying that we can better witness to our beliefs by engaging the President. [Engage is one thing and honor is another.  Perhaps a better witness to our beliefs would have been to decline to honor him.] We are saying that if we spend time in the trenches with him fighting for the rights of workers, the rights of immigrants, and the rights of citizens to health care, our testimony on behalf of the unborn will be more persuasive to this President and his party which is otherwise so dedicated to the vindication of rights but here, on this issue, has a horrendous blind spot.  [Riiiiight.  President Obama is going to alter his position if the Catholic Church does the heavy lifting on the rest of the President's list of things to do.]

It was the collective failure of the U.S. bishops to find a way to be represented on the stage at Notre Dame’s commencement, to express their ambivalence about the President, to do what Father Jenkins did, which was to tell the President to his face that we admire him so much but we disagree profoundly with him on abortion and embryonic stem cell research. [It was not a collective failure.  It was a collective victory.  Had there been bishops there, the scandal would have been far worse.]  No single event focused the nation’s attention – live coverage of a commencement address! – on the relationship between the President and the Church, and the bishops spoke only with their absence which is a difficult message to hear[Why, yes.  Indeed it is.]

Next month, Pope Benedict will send a different message. He will undoubtedly address the Church’s concern for the unborn and her opposition to embryonic stem cell research. He will also discuss the economy, and health care, and peace in the Mideast. He will hold the President’s large hands in his small hands, [blech] he will gather Sasha and Malia into the folds of his white cassock, he will treat the President with respect and humanity. Pope Benedict, like the Master, is not afraid to sit down with the publican because, in his wisdom, the Pope knows we are all publicans.

Popes meet with people.  Bishops meet with people.  No one has said that bishops or His Holiness shouldn’t meet with President Obama or be seen together in public.  We are in favor of the Pope meeting with President Obama.  This is what Popes do.   They meet with all sort of people, even heads of state, good and criminal alike.

John Paul II met with Fidel Casto and Yassir Arafat.

Paul VI met with Idi Amin Dada.

So, Pres. Obama goes to the Vatican.  The Pope gives him a gift, some trinket, maybe a blessed rosary or… a little vase.  Is that suppose to be the equivalent of an honorary doctorate?

When Popes gives something to heads of state who visit, the gift means little more than "Thanks for coming to my house." 

The Pope won’t bestow a formal honor on President Obama.

Do you remember the reasons given by Notre Dame for bestowing this great honor on the aggressively pro-abortion President?

"At the 164th Commencement The May Exercises The University of Notre Dame Confers the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, on the 44th president of the United States, whose historic election opened a new era of hope in a country long divided by its history of slavery and racism. A community organizer who honed his advocacy for the poor, the marginalized and the worker in the streets of Chicago, he now organizes a larger community, bringing to the world stage a renewed American dedication to diplomacy and dialogue with all nations and religions committed to human rights and the global common good. ["common good"] Through his willingness to engage with those who disagree with him and encourage people of faith to bring their beliefs to the public debate, he is inspiring this nation to heal its divisions of religion, culture, race and politics in the audacious hope for a brighter tomorrow.  [Great... if you are already born.  Er um... but no!  Wasn't there something about denying medical care to some people who were born despite attempts to the contrary?]

On Barack H. Obama, Washington, District of Columbia"

John Paul II describes the "common good" in Evangelium vitae.

72… Laws which authorize and promote abortion and euthanasia are therefore radically opposed not only to the good of the individual but also to the common good; as such they are completely lacking in authentic juridical validity. Disregard for the right to life, precisely because it leads to the killing of the person whom society exists to serve, is what most directly conflicts with the possibility of achieving the common good.

Want more?

101… It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop… Only respect for life can be the foundation and guarantee of the most precious and essential goods of society, such as democracy and peace.

BTW… Arizona State University didn’t give Pres. Obama an honorary degree because, as they reasoned it, he had not yet earned one.  

Don’t you just hate it when a secular university gets it right and the Catholic university gets it so very wrong?

Amerika doesn’t have a clue.

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79 Responses to Amerika Magazine gets it wrong again

  1. “So, Pres. Obama goes to the Vatican. The Pope gives him a gift, some trinket, maybe a blessed rosary”

    And Obama thanks him for the beautiful necklace for his wife Michelle, she will wear it often

  2. Melody says:

    LOL, nice one David.

    I would say that if the Holy Father meets with Obama, it’s because the president represents our country. I don’t think the Holy Father has too much against the USA, despite our less than worthy representative.

    I’m curious, why the misspelling of “America”?

  3. TNCath says:

    You know, I’m beginning to question the version of reality in which America magazine’s writers are living. Winters reminds me of Squealer from George Orwell’s Animal Farm, touting the “AmChurch party line.” What’s so sad is that so many people will fall for it.

  4. Anthony says:

    “BTW… Arizona State University didn’t give Pres. Obama an honorary degree because, as they reasoned it, he had not yet earned one.”

    Yes, Father, it’s sad when a school whose mascot is the “Sun Devil” sees that this man isn’t worthy of an honorary degree, but a school named after our Blessed Mother doesn’t!

  5. Nicholas says:

    Melody, unless I miss my guess, Fr. Z’s intentional misspelling of the magazine’s title is meant to evoke associations with communism and its problematic relationship with and approach to, among other things, the truth.

  6. LCB says:

    But, Michael Sean Winters is an honorable man!

  7. Franklin Jennings says:

    Did they just imply that a doctorate from Notre Dame has the same value as a piece of bric-a-brac with “Made in Italy” stamped on the bottom?

  8. gregg says:

    Laura Ingraham quips: “Obama Grants Audience to Pope”

  9. TJM says:

    Michael Sean Winters is intellectually dishonest and just another faux Catholic. Tom

  10. Joshua says:

    They outright lied or failed to do research. Bill Clinton got no Honorary Degree…

  11. Mr. H. says:

    What a ridiculous story.

    I was heavily involved in the opposition movement against the President being honored at Notre Dame, and I never once heard anyone say a good Catholic could not share a stage with with Mr. Obama.

    What a bald-faced lie.

    Whoever Mr. Winters is, he should be embarrassed.

    Mr. H
    http://www.allhands-ondeck.blogspot.com/

  12. Aaron says:

    “…to tell the President to his face that we admire him so much but…”

    Ok, so why do they “admire him so much”? Because of the great changes he hath wrought in his first five months in office? Oh wait, there haven’t been any, except to expand the availability of and spending on abortion. Because of his statesmanship in the Senate? Hmm, not much there to speak of either. Maybe it’s the precedent-setting work he did at Harvard Law Review….no, guess not.

    If this were four years from now and Obama had ended our foreign wars, made peace with our enemies, and reduced poverty and unemployment at home, then they’d almost have a point that we should admire him for everything else while disagreeing with him on abortion. But there is no “everything else.”

    Apparently their admiration is for the beliefs they’re projecting onto him, for what they expect him to do as a fellow traveler. That’s pretty weak.

  13. ED2 says:

    Father, I also was wondering why you spelled the magazine Amerika. So I looked it up (as someone here criticized me once for asking a question instead of looking it up) and found from Wikipedia “Amerika, alternative political spelling applied to the United States of America, often used as a comment, implying that America has become, or is becoming, either a fascist or communist country.”

    I thought that was interesting because my first name is Erica and my mom said she didn’t want to spell it with a k because she thought Erika looked too trendy and wierd.

  14. David O'Rourke says:

    Father I agree with your general approach to this article but I agree with the article when it says: “if we spend time in the trenches with him fighting for the rights of workers, the rights of immigrants, and the rights of citizens to health care, our testimony on behalf of the unborn will be more persuasive to this President.”

    The fact is we are seen too much as being just anti-abortion or, more euphemistically “anti a woman’s right to choose.” Too big a chunk of western society does not really see us as being pro-life.

    I remember being at a meeting which included a group of fairly liberal women. I don’t remember why but I announced to them that I was pro-life.

    Boy! If looks could kill!

    But before they had a chance to jump on me as they most certainly were about to do I told them that I was pro-life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death. This meant that I did indeed oppose abortion in every instance but it also meant I favoured strict gun controls, I favoured medicare (In Canada we already have it), and so on. When I had said my piece they just looked at me in awe and then we returned to our meeting.

    On another occasion a man a man who knew and disagreed with my position on abortion, he could trap me, approached me and asked my position on capital punishment.

    “I’m against it!” I replied. “You know I’m pro-life.” He looked beaten and then, being a good, however mistaken man, he told me that he was trying to trap me and that he was impressed.

    Given the world in which we live I have had similar experiences any number of times and always with the same results.

    No, I don’t know that I have converted anyone to my position yet but I have disarmed them and made them think and that’s the first and most necessary step.

    So, whatever measures your government takes to protect and improve life at any stage from zygot to the grave the bishops and all pro-life people must give their support, in the first place because morally these thing are right CF the bishops on immigration and capital punishment etc.

    But in the second place, you will be surprised at how much respect the Church’s views get from fair minded people.

  15. little gal says:

    When I heard the news today that President Obama would definitely meet with the Holy Father, I was frankly happy. If anyone could teach President Obama, it would be the Holy Father. If he is successful, it would be ‘ a change’ in belief that Barrack Obama could believe in for the rest of his days. I am definitely going to pray for a fruitful ‘dialogue’

  16. John Polhamus says:

    It must gall…GAALLLLL…Amerika Magazine that the “Cardinal Newman Society” has created all this fuss, a society who namesake is about to be BEATIFIED!!!! It must be like salt in an open, running wound to them. Poor things. Pitiful.

    Soon to be Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, intercede for us.

  17. DarkKnight says:

    I do hope the photographers are barred.

  18. Peggy says:

    A propos of a couple of comments here, there is nothing in Catholic teaching that requires us to support Obie’s government intervention in the production of automobiles, the take over of banks, the attempt to nationalize medical insurance and possibly the provision of medical care. There is no Catholic obligation to buy into the fraud of global warming and support the heavy tax-laden bill pending in Congress today. USCCB positions aside, I am not convinced of the requirement to support amnesty for illegal aliens in the U.S.

    We are to care for the poor and the sick, and to welcome the stranger. We are to respect and be good stewards of God’s creation. Yet, none of that translates into a specific policy proposal, especially one that’s ineffective, unreasonably reduces or freedom, unreasonably costly, or unweildly to implement. One that results in deliberate decisions to kill infants, the sick and elderly are horrible ideas contrary to the teachings of the faith.

    Even if working with Obama on some issues could change his mind on abortion, I have no interest in helping him in these other areas. There’s no Catholic presumption that Obie’s ideas are right or further the common good.

  19. P. McGrath says:

    I agree with DarkKnight, completely, for the reason in the America article: … it is difficult to see how they will compete with the pictures of Obama in the frescoed halls of the Vatican, his beautiful wife and children in tow, shaking hands with the Holy Father.

    The IMAGE is the message, and the message that the handshake image gives is, “I approve of your policies, Mr. President.” Yes, we who read WDTPRS know different, because we know what Pope Benedict and this President stand for, but when that IMAGE is splashed on, over the fold in the newspapers, and as the top image on Yahoo.com, the MESSAGE of that IMAGE is, “Your abortion policies? They’re OK by me.” And it will be read as such by millions who have never read WDTPRS, and probably have never read anything The Wun or Pope Benedict have ever written.

    Remember earlier this year when the Vatican successfully prevented pictures of the Nancy Pelosi/PBXVI meeting. Same thing here, only it’s more important.

    And if they can’t prevent such pictures, then the Pope DESPERATELY NEEDS to Get In His Face with the strongest statement ever made by a Pope, or any Catholic, in the defense of life. It needs to be the Regensburg address on plutonium steroids. Otherwise, the power of THE IMAGE will override it, and the Wun has won.

  20. EDG says:

    Amerika is nutz.

    Seriously, does anybody even read that rag anymore? Does it have much of a circulation? I ask sincerely, because most of the Amerika Catholics are dying off and nobody (since they ignored Humanae Vitae) is replacing them.

  21. Brian says:

    “Amerika” is about as relevant to Roman Catholicism as … Notre Dame University.

  22. Edward says:

    I am so sick of seeing ignorant Catholics claim that collectivism is an aspect of Catholic social teaching. None of Obama’s collectivist policies are in line with Catholic social teaching. Obama has absolutely no respect for the individual and he is turning this country into the very thing that De Tocqueville, Orestes Brownson, Russell Kirk and other great 19th and 20th century minds had identified as the one great danger to American democracy. We are in the process of being strangled by a soft despotism in the form of the overly intrusive ever growing federal welfare state.

    Obama is not about helping the poor. Obama is about creating government dependency for every middle class man, woman, and child in order to take power away from families, towns, cities and states and centralize it in the hands of a relatively small group of federal bureaucrats.

    Those of you who think that what is going on in this country is in line with Catholic social teaching seriously need to go back and re-read the eight or nine papal encyclicals. [Exactly.] Specifically, go back and study subsidiarity, one of the three or four principals of Catholic social teaching and ask yourself where exactly that principal is represented in the likes of an Obama USA.

    And the Church does not teach that the death penalty is an intrinsic evil or is in every instance wrong. As far as I know, the most recent Magisterial teaching on the death penalty can be found in Evangelium Vitae, written by PJII. In that encyclical, Pope John Paul II if anything upheld the traditional teaching on capital punishment but qualified it with his own personal opinion that in most Western nations it was unnecessary.

    Some good hearted American Catholics need to wake up.

  23. Scribe says:

    Given the fact he gave another head of state a collection of DVDs, I wonder if President Obama might give the Holy Father the collected works of Dan Brown…

  24. Ken says:

    That was painful to read. One interesting facet of this, or so it looks to me, is how the portrayal of the Holy Father shifted to this sort of thing: “He will hold the President’s large hands in his small hands, [blech indeed] he will gather Sasha and Malia into the folds of his white cassock, he will treat the President with respect and humanity. Pope Benedict, like the Master, is not afraid to sit down with the publican because, in his wisdom, the Pope knows we are all publicans”, now that the Holy Father is meeting the modern secular messiah. That seems uncharacteristically fulsome towards the Pontifex for America’s writers.

  25. Matt Q says:

    I’m sure this Michael Sean Winters would be quite happy to sit down and entertain child molesters, that “BTK” character, etc., since he thinks everyone’s behavior is on an equal footing. Obviously there is a deficit with this person and these rags just love recruiting such ilk. They never will get it right because such mentality is their obsession.

  26. David2 says:

    Obama might give the Holy Father the collected works of Dan Brown…

    Or perhaps a reliquary with Obama’s own hair in it.

    Or perhaps some “holy cards” bearing images of the “Holy [Obama] Family”.

    A Zuchetto with that “O” symbol on it…

    A collection of thw writings and speeches and various autobiographies (never has one who has done so little written so much about it) of Obama himself…

    The mind boggles…

  27. Peggy says:

    The question I had that Ray Arroyo and Laura Ingraham posed was whether Michelle will wear a mantilla–assuming she’s along for the visit. Ray says NO. I think I agree. They seem to have little respect for western tradition and Europe.

    Also, taking the wife and kids along will prevent the pope from a frank discussion w/Obie, unless the ladies are taken elsewhere for a time-killing tour whilst Benedict speaks to the Messiah.

    Very good comments Edward. Indeed, infuriating.

  28. moon1234 says:

    I think Amerika is becoming more Facist than communist. Communism takes over private industry. Facism takes orders from the state, but the state does not fully take over. Facists are very much like communists, but they are more interested in power and contol hidden behind a large corporate infrastructure. This way most people never see what is happening and who is really behind the problems until it is too late.

    Obama is not stupid. He has a plan for Amerika and I am sure most of US will not like it. The sheeple would follow him over any cliff he wanted them to walk off. It is getting to the point where it is laughable and sad at the same time that so many of people we thought were intelligent show their true cards.

    I am very leary of many so called “Catholic” publications and institutions.

  29. In addition to the many flaws you pointed out in Winters’ article, one more might be noted: Even if one were to suppose that the U.S. bishops’ policy about honors is an awful policy, the fact remains that it is the policy of the local ordinary and the national bishops’ conference that the University of Notre Dame is subject to.

    Canonically, that is the biggest difference between Fr. Jenkins and the Bishop of Rome when it comes to honoring President Obama. When Notre Dame gave Obama a law degree, it was in violation of this policy. If the Holy Father were to give President Obama an honorary law degree, he would not be in violation of this policy… any more than he would be a tax cheat for not paying American income taxes.

  30. David O'Rourke says:

    Edward: In the last paragraph of Item 56 in Evnagelium Vitae Pope John Paul II states:

    “In any event, the principle set forth in the new Catechism of the Catholic Church remains valid: “If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person”.48

    Edward: No where does the Pope state that this is his personal position. This is a major teaching encylical and he includes the above quote which is from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is clearly the teaching of the magisterium.

    Capital punishment is not an Intrinsic evil. But again let me emphasize this crucial line from the official teaching of the Catholic Church on Capital punishment which says:

    “”If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must limit itself to such means,”

    Edward, Notice the verb MUST. How much more clear does it have to be?

  31. Bruce says:

    “You are living in the most powerful country in the world. Just who do you think is going to massacre you?”

    I think the above mythology was debunked on Sep 11, 2001.

    Bruce
    Halifax, Canada

  32. ken says:

    The snarky, condescending attitude of the writer shows how effective Obama’s ” let’s search for common ground” approach works with the liberal media. Did I miss the olive branch?

  33. Bruce says:

    David O’Rourke, if you want to be more in line with Catholic Church teaching, when a liberal Catholic asks you if you are against the death penalty you should reply :

    “Yes, if bloodless means are sufficient”

  34. David2 says:

    David O’Rourke, your understanding of Evangelium Vitae differs from that espoused by the Holy Father: “Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”.

    At the very least, Catholics can legitimately disagree as to the sufficiency of “bloodless means”. One must also remember the Church’s teaching that one purpose of punishment is retribution. In the words of para 2266 of the New Catechism (and qu 468 of the Compendium) “redressing the disorder intorduced by the offence”. So it’s rather facile to suggest that the whole question is answered by one word, “must”.

  35. Bruce says:

    \”Notice the verb MUST. How much more clear does it have to be?\”

    Yes, but the MUST is based on an IF.

    It is clear that the Catholic Church is against the death penalty “IF bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must limit itself to such means”.

    It is also clear and it follows from the above quote that If bloodless means are NOT sufficient then the Catholic Church is not against the death penalty. To simply say that the Church is against the death penalty is incorrect.

  36. Aspen says:

    Why spell “America” with a “k”? What does that mean?

    Does it mean they’re too stupid to spell rightly?

    Is it supposed to be a “German” spelling, associating everything that’s German with everything that’s scary and wrong?

    I’d prefer we made our arguments with thoughts, in sentences, not with insinuations, in single words. That’s not appropriate to grade schoolers, much less adults.

    I’d ask that we raise the level of discourse.

  37. Scott W. says:

    I’d prefer we made our arguments with thoughts, in sentences, not with insinuations, in single words. That’s not appropriate to grade schoolers, much less adults.

    I’d ask that we raise the level of discourse.

    The level of discourse is perfectly fine. If all there was, was the title with not following content, you might have a point, and a minor one at that. All you have established here is that you don’t like it. Not liking something =/= an inadequet level of discourse.

  38. Aaron says:

    “They seem to have little respect for western tradition and Europe.”

    That understates it considerably. They have a strong dislike for Europe and many of the traditions of civilization that came from it. They’re fine with the modern Europe that’s turning itself over to Islam, but they really don’t like the Europe of popes and cathedrals, and they know that Europe still exists, snoozing. Obama talked about his reaction to traveling through Europe in his autobiography, and it’s clear (and understandable) that he inherited a chip on his shoulder about European colonialism in Africa, especially his father’s Kenya.

  39. You are right. Amerika magazine doesn’t have a clue. This is a regular diplomatic style meeting between heads of state. It in no way implies tat the Holy Father approves of this man no more than Pope John Paul II approved of Clinton. On the other hand, it deomnstrates thet fact taht perhaps the Society of Jesus , along with Amerika, should once again be supppressed. With the exception of Fr. Fessio, is there any decent obedient Jesuit left? Haven’t met one. Haven’t heard of one. St. Ignatius and his confreres would be incensed at these so-called children of his.

  40. Bruce says:

    “With the exception of Fr. Fessio, is there any decent obedient Jesuit left”

    Yes, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa, formerly Arcbishop of Halifax.
    There are not many though.

    Bruce
    Halifax, Canada

  41. TomG says:

    Fr. Hector: And Fr. Kenneth Baker, editor of Homiletic and Pastoral Review, also very warm toward the TLM (unlike Fr. Fessio, unfortunately)

  42. meg says:

    Winters writes: “Notre Dame, of course, has a tradition of conferring an honorary degree upon every new president that pre-dates presidential visits to the Holy See”.

    Nonsense. Clinton was passed over – didn’t even make a speech unless I have my facts wrong.

  43. meg says:

    Yes, Clinton was passed over. Here is a good piece on the history of this subject (the piece is about Glendon but contains a sort of timeline if ND/presidents):

    http://www.ncregister.com/daily/glendon_declines_nd_honor

  44. Do they ever get it right? [They used to. That is why what they are writing now is so much worse. They lost historical perspective even about how their own magazine commented on desegregation.]

  45. Ohio Annie says:

    And Peggy and Latekate, of course the Church has never said that there is anything wrong with self-defense, even to the point of killing if necessary. Our neighbors to the north have it very wrong. When Obama succeeds in getting rid of the Second Amendment we will then lose all our rights because then anytbing the government can do they will take by force. People ask why the Jews didn’t defend themselves in Germany in the 30′s. It was because the civilians had been disarmed. Our supposed “gun fetish” is simply good common sense. As the past couple of centuries have shown, governments rarely have the interests of the people at heart. With the new hate crimes legislation, they could very well start rounding up our priests.

  46. Rancher says:

    Aspen
    I disagree with you completely. Spelling America with a K clearly makes a valid point in several ways. In reference to the Jesuit run (and that explains a lot) magazine it reflects the political and social agenda which it pushes in its content. In reference to our country it is indicative of the direction we are being pushed by a so called leader who seemingly has no regard for Christian moral principles or the traditional values upon which this country was founded and which have served it well for hundreds of years.

    I come from the school (in spite of my Jesuit education) which says you need to call em as you see em. For that reason I believe using the “K” is entirely correct and appropriate. Anything less than telling it like it is will be percieved by the Obama crowd as a sign of weakness and complacency. We are at a point in time where we can afford to be neither. Obama and his evil agenda need to be opposed in all ways from the perhaps trivial “K” spelling to an outright refusal to pay taxes which will be used to support his immoral agenda.

  47. Paul Haley says:

    Whenever I read such nonsense as in the Amerika article I think of the term “diabolical disorientation” spoken of by Sr. Lucy and the “timebombs” inserted by the subversive agents spoken of by Bella Dodd. It’s like there is a whole generation that cannot measure what is being said against what the Church has always proclaimed to be true. Thank God we have traditional priests who can see through this nonsense.

    In my opinion Barack Obama should not be honored by any organ of the Catholic Church and, instead, should be chastised for his views on when life begins and how that life should be protected and nurtured. It’s obvious to me that he is using this visit for PR purposes. I hope Pope Benedict XVI gives him “what for” in no uncertain terms. [Keep in mind that meeting with Pres. Obama is not the same as honoring him.]

  48. Peggy says:

    FYI Ohio Annie, I see in retrospect, I should have been more clear. I was not focusing on the arming of citizens issue, the second amendment, though that’s important too. I am an economist focusing on the massive taxation and government usurpation of the private sector, as well as loss of liberties in the process. On Aaron’s point, sure, I quite agree that my statement was an understatement. I saw a good American Thinker article by an immigrant from Africa calling Obie an African colonialist. The article explains.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/06/obama_the_african_colonial.html

  49. irishgirl says:

    Yeah Paul Haley-I hope that the Holy Father gives Obama the ‘what for’!

    And ditto, DarkKnight-no photos, a la Pelosi!

  50. John F. says:

    to Latekate: How do we know Benedict XVI won’t be packing. Pius XI was know to pack a pistol.

  51. Eric says:

    if we spend time in the trenches with him fighting for the rights of workers, the rights of immigrants, and the rights of citizens to health care, our testimony on behalf of the unborn will be more persuasive to this President

    This assumes Obama’s policy’s on these matters are correct.

    I assume that since he is so wrong on abortion he is probably also wrong on how to adress these issues correctly.

  52. Paul Haley says:

    Fr. Z said:
    “Keep in mind that meeting with Pres. Obama is not the same as honoring him.”
    Yes, Father, I understand that but the media and the Obama forces are likely to see it in that light. Also, the Pope is the head of the Vatican City State and sees many heads of state and government leaders in that capacity. In so doing he does not imply agreement with any of their policies but merely receives them as a sign of respect for the nations and the peoples that are governed. That said, I still wish the Pope would take him to the woodshed even if with velvet gloves.

  53. Yes. My oversight. Fr. Baker is one of the good ones left. I also remember others of his ilk: Fr. Paul Crane (Christian Order – very much pro TLM); Fr. Rudoplh Horstmann, who said the TLM in Mobile for years: Fr. Joseph Walsh for whom I served Mass as a child; and others long gone to their eternal reward). And if there are any of which I/we do not know, let them start standing up for the Truth and Tradition finally.

  54. David O'Rourke says:

    Bruce from Ottawa said:David O’Rourke, if you want to be more in line with Catholic Church teaching, when a liberal Catholic asks you if you are against the death penalty you should reply :

    “Yes, if bloodless means are sufficient”

    Bruce, the late Holy Father was of the opinion….no, opinion is too soft a word for an idea that’s expressed in a Papal Encyclical, that in civilized countries like Canada and the U.S., bloodless means are indeed sufficient and I happen to agree with him. Can you make a convincing case with stats etc. that he was wrong?

    As you are aware, we in Canada have a growing list of people who we now know were wrongfully oonvicted of murder who would not be free and exhonorated today had we Capital punishment. Maybe you should check it out with them.

  55. David O'Rourke says:

    Whoops! I meant Bruce from Halifax. I’m sorry about that, Bruce. I guess I’m getting old.

  56. David2 says:

    Bruce, the late Holy Father was of the opinion….no, opinion is too soft a word for an idea that’s expressed in a Papal Encyclical, that in civilized countries like Canada and the U.S., bloodless means are indeed sufficient and I happen to agree with him. Can you make a convincing case with stats etc. that he was wrong?

    And the current Holy Father (as Cardinal Ratzinger) said that Catholics in good standing are entitled to form their own view on the matter, and even to disagree [shock!] with John Paul II’s opinion of the matter.

    This may be a rabbit-hole, but to what extent could John Paul II reverse 1990-odd years of Catholic teaching on this area of faith and morals? An interesting theological question, no? After all, there’s only several Doctors of the Church, numerous Saints, who took the opposite view; moreover Holy Popes, as civil rulers, condemned men to execution (the last Papal headsman, Giovanni Battista Bugatti executed 516) right up to the abolition of the Papal States. Popes up to Pius XII stated that the condemned had forfeited their right to life. The Holy See itself had the Death Penalty as part of its own “Basic Law” until 1969. Hypothetically, could a Pope unilaterallysay that, despite centuries of teaching to the contrary, “abortion is rarely, if ever” sinful?

  57. David O'Rourke says:

    Attention David2 and all others out there in the blogosphere! I David O’Rourke do hereby declare that I am well aware that there is a difference between an intrinsic evil and a non-intrinsic evil. I likewisde declare that I am well aware that abortion and euthanasia are intrinsic evils whereas capital punishment is not. Neither, for that matter, is stealing. There can certainly be mitigating factors which would justify an act of stealing.

    But I don’t see any of you folks out there trying to say that stealing is alright. You don’t argue that the morality of stealing is a question of legitimate diversity.

    Why?

    Because you know that under normal circumstances stealing is wrong. You presume that an act of stealing is wrong unless a good case can be made that such and such a case is an exception to the rule.

    The same applies to capital punishment according to the teaching of the Church as found in Evangelium Vitae as well as in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. In Evangelium Vitae Para 56 Pope JPII teaches:

    “It is clear that, for these purposes to be achieved, the nature and extent of the punishment must be carefully evaluated and decided upon, and ought not go to the extreme of executing the offender except in cases of absolute necessity: in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society. Today however, as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically non-existent.”

    The Holy Father goes on to quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

    “In any event, the principle set forth in the new Catechism of the Catholic Church remains valid: “If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person”.48

    So there you have it folks! That is the teaching of the Church. You may with an INFORMED conscience disagree. Perhaps you might look to Texas which, I believe, has the highest rate of executions in your country. If you have any kind of a case that only bloody means are sufficient to deal with murder you should be able to show that Texas has a much lower murder rate than do States which do not have capital punishment. Otherwise you have no evidence that capital punishment is any more effective then unbloody means of punishmnet

  58. David O'Rourke says:

    David2, Pope JPII was not attempting to reverse 1990 years of Catholic teaching. For what it\’s worth, neither am I.

    Keeping in mind that Capital Punishment is not an intrinsic evil but that it\’s rightness or wrongness must be judged by the circumstances, the Pope teaches that the justifying circumstances that existed in the time of St. Thomas Aquinas and the others to whom you refer do not exist in our day. By all means stay out of that rabbit hole. You\’ll find nothing there but droppings.

    As for then Cardinal Ratzinger, you tell us what YOU understand is his position. How about an exact quote in context. Given the cardinal\’s influence on the late Pope not to mention his oversight of the Catechism I highly doubt that Pope Benedict disagrees with either and given the seriousness of the matter and the subtleness of his mind I doubt he would just toss off such a statement.

  59. Alfred says:

    For Mr. O’Rourke, here’s the full quote that David2 quoted some of earlier, with a citation:

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

    —- Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion: General Principles”, Paragraph 3, memorandum , July 2004,

    http://www.priestsforlife.org/magisterium/bishops/04-07ratzingerommunion.htm

  60. Scott W. says:

    Articulating correct Catholic teaching on the death penalty is all well and good, but we are forgetting that the subject here is a group of people in charge of a magazine who have been sucking on the crack pipe of Secular Progressive Goodthink for quite awhile now and are so fogbound they think that if they pile on the platitudes about subsidiarity-violating government programs that means they can pass on the teachings that might actually disturb the status quo and claim it as being about more than one issue. Faugh.

  61. David O'Rourke says:

    What are we going to do with you, Alfred? I finally enter my overly long post only to see that you have entered another one.

    Well thanks for the Ratzinger quote! I agree with every word of it but if you look at the nuances he is not saying quite the same thing that David2 said. This is a clear logical quote, so typical of Papa Ratzinger and it doesn’t conflict with anything I have said.

    You can chew on that while I chew on some late lunch.

  62. Matt K says:

    more like Omerica!

  63. David O'Rourke says:

    I remember it was a very fine old Jesuit who preached the sermon in our parish introducing the Novus Ordo and the new ICEL translations.

    What an exercise in obedience that was! I used to talk with him in the sacristy. He hated the changes! Oh that he could have lived to see our times!

    It’s a strange thing with the Jesuits. They produced five canonized martyrs within the boundaries of this archdiocese (Toronto) and yet more than one Pope has had good reason not to trust them.

    Like the old rhyme says: There was a litle girl
    who had a little curl
    right in the middle of her forhead.
    When she was good she was very very good
    and when she was bad she was horrid.

  64. That was the very LAST mention of guns and gun control in this thread.

    I will with joy close this rabbit hole, delete some off topic comments and prepare to ban people who try to open the rabbit hole again! o{]:¬)

  65. Alfred says:

    Mea culpa, Father.

    Long story short, no one reads America. I mean, no one.

    I understand that their commentary is irritating, but don’t let it actually bother you. The young traditionalists read this blog and stuff out of Rome, and the progressives barely read Call to Action, and mainly read stuff from protestants.

    I gotta be honest. It’s hard to feel threatened by…well… this. America is practically a joke. The only thig holding it back is that it’s irrelevant. Soon it’ll just be heretical. And no one will care.

  66. David O'Rourke says:

    Alfred, you called me your old friend and right you are. I just turned 67 last Sunday. Mind you, I know a nun who is 105 and although she uses a wheel chair now her mind is still as sharp as a tack.

    I also tend to have a lot of friends, both male and female, who are in the 20 – 30 year age group. Many of them have their PH.D or are working on it. They are all so bright and also good. I have another friend, not quite so young who as a very small boy used to be bounced up and down on the knee of one Father Joseph Ratzinger.

    We musn’t abuse this blog by talking too much about you and me. It isn’t fair to the others who very rightly couldn’t care less but since you’re an American I will tell you that part of my German blood is Pennsylvania Dutch.

    When you say you buy into the gun culture do you mean you agree with it or you agree that it exists? There is a city/country split split in Canada on the gun issue but the rural people would just say they need a gun for hunting etc. There is no suggestion that this is a sacred right nor would you find any Canadian equivalent to Patrick Henry.

    In the cities, some people like to collect guns as show pieces but these can and do get stolen and then they turn up in gun crimes. Since we have a compulsory gun registry (an idea which strikes terror into the hearts of so many Americans) they are likely easier to trace.

    How does one “maturely” attack the Queen? She’s history on two feet you know, So far during her reign America has had thirteen presidents and she seems to have known them all.

    So you’re a Virgina boy! I suppose that explains a lot. Your comments suggest that you have a real pride and affection for the place. Good for you! We have a lot to thank God for but as for Elizabeth I being the “virgin queen” I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. She was responsible for hanging, drawing and quartering Jesuits. Can’t you just hear the people on this thread salivating?

    Alfred, I’m going to cut off here. I really do enjoy trading facts and ideas with you but I don’t want Fr. Z (pronounced ZED up here) banning us for using his blog for a personal conversation

  67. Father, please don’t let Alfred take the blame. I spoke to the topic of this thread near the top but a number of your bloggers came after me which was no great surprise (although my stand was entirely orthodox).

    Nothing wrong with that. It’s one of the joys of blogging. But the Canadian mindset on issues like this is radically different from that of a lot of Americans. The difference seems to be rooted in history and I find it can be both frustrating and fascinating.

    Alfred holds these views so mysterious to me but with real courtesy as well as intelligence and a willingness to check for facts.

    I couldn’t resist the opportunity to engage him in discussion although I was aware that we were getting into a two man discussion as you can see from the end of my last thread.

    Such a discussion is, of course, more appropriate for a private email exchange although I doubt either Alfred or myself would be in any hurry to dispaly our resopective email addresses on a blog.

    Please accept my apologies!

  68. Ttony says:

    This is easy.

    The next time you are at a party or reception and the person you are talking to says they are from “America” magazine, you simply pour you glass of wine over them and walk away.

    If everybody always does it, things will change!

  69. Phil Steinacker says:

    “If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must limit itself to
    such means…”

    Edward, Notice the verb MUST. How much more clear does it have to be?

    Comment by David O’Rourke

    David,

    You present Edward with the distinct impression that a good Catholic has NO latitude on this question, but you are quite mistaken. Precisely where you are mistaken is in your grossly misplaced emphasis on the word “must.” In so doing you are guilty of the same assumption made by most death penalty Catholics in an attempt to shut down dissension to what is too often misrepresented as a “hard” Church teaching.

    The emphasis belongs on the first word, IF. Anyone familiar with JP II’s first-hand witness to WWII can understand his wisely inserting this entire sentence into the catechism. However, even Pope Benedict has said – referencing the same quote – good Catholics may disagree on this point.

    There is plenty of evidence suggesting that refusing to execute guilty murderers leads to the taking of more innocent lives. Over a dozen studies produced in the past 10 or more years show that for every guilty murderer executed there are 3 to 18 lives spared because such killers are no longer around to take the lives of others.

    This statistical reality has even forced some liberal lawyers to concede – in spite of their own aversion to the death penalty – that it is a valid argument for the most significant deterrent to murder possible. We can execute proven murderers and still be in compliance with the catechism so long as human nature remains unchanged.

    Your presentation to Edward about the Church’s teaching on the death penalty is patently false.

  70. Phil Steinacker says:

    Father,

    I apologize. I did not see your comment ending this discussion. I had begun composing my comment at 1:00 but had to leave it unfinished for a few hours. I returned, finished my comment, and posted. Just now I saw when the page refreshed that you had shut it down.

    Please accept my apologies.

  71. Phil Steinacker says:

    Fr. Hector: And Fr. Kenneth Baker, editor of Homiletic and Pastoral Review, also very warm toward the TLM (unlike Fr. Fessio, unfortunately)

    Comment by TomG

    TomG,

    I have read a great piece by Fr Fessio dissecting what he called “The Vatican II Mass” (the title of the piece, found on Adoremus Bulletin). Given that article I am a bit taken aback by your remark. I am unaware of him being unsympathetic to the TLM.

    Will you please fill us in on details, please?

  72. Mark VA says:

    The editors of this magazine either don’t get it, or they pretend they don’t get it. The Pope will meet with President Obama on the diplomatic plane, as one head of state with another. There will be no adulation that many of the ND faculty and students showered so liberally on their coveted visitor, by either party. The Pope will not bestow any honor on his visitor.

    These editors don’t want to distinguish between a straightforward diplomatic visit, and the dream date ND leadership had with the President.

  73. stp says:

    Mark VA, maybe you can look at it this way: ND gave the honorary degree to the person as the president of the US and not to his beliefs.

  74. Phil Steinacker: In one of my posts above I deal with your point. The \”If\” refers to the circumstances where a bloodless punishment might not be sufficient to protect society from a murderer.

    In Evangelieum Vitae Para 56 The Pope comments on this question of the circumstances. He says (my use of upper case for highlighting):

    \”It is clear that, for these purposes to be achieved, the nature and extent of the punishment must be carefully evaluated and decided upon, and ought not go to the extreme of executing the offender except in cases of absolute necessity: in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society. TODAY HOWEVER, AS A RESULT OF STEADY IMPROVEMENTS IN ORGANIZATION OF THE PENAL SYSTEM, SUCH CASES ARE VERY RARE IF NOT PRACTICALLY NON-EXISTANT.\”

    I don\’t think I am iover stating anything when I say that every Catholic who reads this must give it serious heed. It is not good enough to say, \”oh well, The Pope isn\’t talking about an intrinsic evil so we can disagree with if we choose. The duty of having a truly informed conscience applies.

    There are too many examples of cherry-picking going on among conservative as well as liberal Catholics. Conservative Catholics tend to go to the wall to fight against abortion and euthanasia but they freely dismiss other issues of life and justice on which the Church also holds a position. These are seen a liberal issues so “we can disagree. After all they’re not intrinsic evils\”.

    The resulting great disaster is that abortion and euthansia are seen by society as right wing fundamentalist perhaps GOP issues.

    The defence of human life must NEVER be seen as left or right. It is fundamental. It must transcend Party divisions. The pro-life agenda must be seen as part of a whole attitude of respect and concern for for the human person truly from the moment of conception until the moment of natural death. We cannot merely oppose abortion and euthanasia, as fundamental as those matters are, and not be concerned about anything in between. The secularists take up the in between causes and are seen as great humanitarians.

    Why should we let the devil have all the good tunes?

    Well Fr. Z, there I go on another rant but at least I know that I have not taken a right wing position or a left wing position nor do I speak from any cultural values other than from those which pertain to the Catholic Faith.

  75. Mark VA says:

    STP:

    This sounds to me like a distinction without a difference.

    One can nuance this in different ways, but what I saw and heard on TV looked very much like a date a less popular highschool girl had with the school’s alpha male. Many of the ND faculty and students seemed smitten. The sensible advice of the parents (USCCB) was thrown out the window to snatch this date.

    Of course, one can try to explain that certain girls always grant dates to the most popular boy in school, as a standing policy…

  76. Scott W. says:

    This sounds to me like a distinction without a difference.

    I’d call it willfully pretending there isn’t a elephant in the living room.

  77. meg says:

    STP: Just wondering, why was Clinton passed over?

  78. Les says:

    David O’Rourke, in your first post you mentioned how disarming it was when you pointed out that as a “pro-lifer” you were also against capital punishment. (That of course sparked the debate here in the com-boxes.) As we have seen, that is a legitimate position for a Catholic to take and doesn’t have to be particularly Canadian or American.

    But may I suggest another response when faced with the hostile pro-abortion type who wants to trap you by bringing up capital punishment? It is also very effective at springing the trap.

    All you have to do is offer a trade. I think you can speak for most pro-lifers, regardless of their personal beliefs on capital punishment, that if the government were to end legal abortion in exchange for ending all capital punishment there would be no argument. I don’t know any pro-lifer that wouldn’t take that trade.

    But that exposes their real disingenuous game now doesn’t it?

  79. Les, I’m afraid there couldn’t be a trade like that in Canada. Capital paunishment is already illegal. It has been so for alsmost as long as I can remember and I’m 67 years old.

    But more to the point, I’m not looking to trap the pro-choice people. It doesn’t accomlish anything. I’m much more interested in eliminating the polarization whereby pro-life is seen as a right wing issue. If you can’t capture the middle ground then you can write off any idea of winning this war for life.

    Not all the people and certainly not all the Catholics who voted for Obama were pro-choice. Many were people who, especaillly after the difficulties of the past few years simply could not bring themselves to vote Republican.

    The pro-life stance MUST become bi-partisan. That means winning back a strong pro-life voice in the Democratic Party and the constant stream of invective from pro-lifers against the President is no way to accomplish this.