NCFishwrap has a new weekly columnist.
No, it is not I. I haven’t been invited. Would I accep…. no.. no… don’t go there.
We have seen her before here, when she wrote a deeply conflicted piece begging for the affirmation of men in Rome even while pouring bile on them.
Remember Jamie Manson? She has the coveted MDiv degree fropom Yale, has been working for Presbyterians at Jan Hus Presbyterian Church in New York City, and has been a board member of the Women’s Ordination Conference.
Jamie has some breathtaking insights for Archbishop Dolan, sure to bring us all up in our tracks! I predict that the Archbishop will immediately instruct the USCCB to support unnatural “marriage”, the ordination of women, and forget about that whole abortion thing in Obamacare. Oh yes,… he’ll sell the property of the Archdiocese too.
My emphases and comments.
To attract youth, bishops must admit vulnerabilities
by Jamie L Manson on Dec. 06, 2010
“It’s not like we’re in a crisis; it’s not like all of a sudden we need some daring new initiatives,” Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York declared during his acceptance speech following his stunning election as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The archbishop was thanking God for the work of his soon-to-be predecessor, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, [Get this...] whose strict opposition to health care reform ["strict"! Oooo...] – because it might expand financing for abortion — and gay marriage Dolan promised to uphold. [But is that true? Is Card. George against health care reform? The USCCB? I'm not. I don't think they are either. I think, however, that health care reform which provides taxpayer money for abortions is unacceptable. That is not the same thing as being against health care reform. But from the onset the writer is poisoning your view of Archbp. Dolan, bishops in general, with loaded words and untruths.]
But just days later Dolan gave an interview to The New York Times admitting his concern that only half of young Catholics marry in the church and that weekly Mass attendance has dropped to about 35 percent — down from its peak of 78 percent in the 1960s. [Still better than, say Holland, where they do some of the things that Jamie likes.]
He lamented that the throngs of people on Fifth Avenue are not waiting to get into New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, but rather, the neighboring Abercrombie and Fitch store. [I have something to say about that, too.]
“Wow,” Dolan sighed, “there’s no line of people waiting to get into St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and the treasure in there is of eternal value. What can I do to help our great people appreciate that tradition?” [Well... Your Excellency... how about doing something that young people are interested in? We can start with liturgy. First, go visit some parishes where the older form of Mass is celebrated and look at all the young families. Then extrapolate to the Cathedral's liturgical practices. Do something spectacular with the resources of the Cathedral liturgically.]
I wonder how often the archbishop and his fellow hierarchs [Again, note the word choice. They are not "bishops" or "shepherds" for her. She seems to not have a Catholic sense about the role of successors of the apostles. For her, this is a matter of "hierarchy". Keep in mind that in these women's ordination groups, there are power structures. They will eventually start excommunicating each other. I'll make popcorn.] stop to ask what it is about the tradition that makes it great. What aspects of it would speak to the hearts of young adults? [Legit questions. What will Jamie's answers be? Can you predict without looking at the next bit?]
Is it the continued shaming of gays and lesbians? Or is it the mandate to feed, clothe, shelter, and comfort the poor? [Yes, you got it. Let's be clear about a couple things. The Church does not shame homosexuals. Homosexuals shame themselves when they engage in immoral acts. The Church is as open and welcoming to homosexuals as to any other group of broken sinners (read=everyone). Also, the writer seems to think - and this is a common liberal tactic - that when things aren't going her way, that means that "hierarchs" are doing one thing instead of another. The fact is, we can do many things at the same time. It is possible to be consistent about the Church's teaching on the immorality of homosexual acts (which seems to be her deep concern) and also work for the poor. Look around in dioceses and see what the Catholic Church is doing for the poor, or in poor countries. No, this is just an empty husk of an argument.] Is it the legacy of fighting for a just wage and adequate health benefits for all laborers?
Arise ye pris'ners of starvation
Arise ye wretched of the earth
For justice thunders condemnation
A better world's in birth!
No more tradition's chains shall bind us
Arise, ye slaves, no more in thrall;
The earth shall rise on new foundations
We have been naught we shall be all.]
Is it the fixation on contraception (which has driven more than one couple away from the Pre-Cana process)? Or is it the life-giving, mystical tradition of meditation and prayer? [HUH? But note the juxtapostion of contraception (much of which is really abortifacient) and "life-giving". But our writer is on a role now. She is heavily into call-and-response!]
Is it the rigid, unjustifiable exclusion of women from ordained leadership? [Remember: this is the NCR's position. This is why bishops should rethink their use of "Catholic" in their title. But now we get the fruits of her coveted Yale MDiv degree!] Or is it the sacramental tradition that says that all finite things in nature are capable of revealing transcendent, eternal meanings? [You see, that is supposed to convince you that women should be ordained. All finite things can "reveal... meanings", after all. But wait! There's more...]
Does the archbishop really not recognize that church attendance was at its peak when the institution made its greatest effort to engage with spiritual needs and moral dilemmas of the modern world? [?!? I think she means when the Spirit of Vatican II was at work. I'm not sure.] Does he really not see the failing relationship between young adults and Catholicism as a crisis? [And for the writer the fault must lie with Catholicism. And now we head into the ad hominem section, probably an easy exercise, since Dolan is, after, a man.]
In the photo accompanying his interview Dolan dons his full cassock, [As opposed to the more acceptable "partial cassock"?] seated in a well-appointed parlor [Liberals think their opponents should have only junk and live like dogs. This is only a technique of polemic, of course.] of his residence located on the poshest stretch of Madison Avenue. Mahogany [Ooooo!] doors highlight the backdrop and a priceless Persian rug [priceless?] lines the floor. Dolan seems to be comfortable surrounded by many of the same the luxuries sought by many of those frantically shopping in the street below. [This was Judas's argument too, wasn't it? Of course, if he lived like a sewer-rat, he would be accused of bringing down the image of the archbishop. He would be ridiculed for spending time begging for change for a sandwich instead of running the archdiocese, which is, after all, his job.]
For younger generations, image communicates everything. If they see a religious leader living a detached life [?!? "detached life"? Are we talking about the same Timothy Dolan here? Timothy Dolan Archbishop of New York? Detached? ROFL! ] on the elite East Side of Manhattan, where is the motivation for them to stop storing up treasures on Fifth Avenue and seek instead the treasures in Catholic doctrine?
[Behold them seated in their glory
The kings of mine and rail and soil!
What have you read in all their story,
But how they plundered toil?
Fruits of the workers' toil are buried
In strongholds of the idle few
In working for their restitution
The men will only claim their due.]
Young Catholics’ knowledge of their faith may be waning, but their images of Jesus are likely clear and consistent. [I think Jamie might be living in a dream world. Do young people have an "image of Jesus"? I wonder.]
To them, Jesus was born in a stable and was probably poor for most of his adult life. [Or maybe He was a pretty good carpenter and made a good living, like Joseph before Him.] He fed the hungry and healed the sick. [It helps when you are GOD and can multiply loaves and cause miraculous catches. BTW... Peter probably cashed in on that miraculous catch. On the other hand, people with nothing don't feed the poor. You have to have something before you can give it.] He showed compassion to outcasts and asked us to love one another as God loves us. These are the ideals that young adults expect religious leaders to try to honor. [And... Catholic bishops... don't?... what]
[And if you thought this was silly before... ] On their way to Abercrombie, most young Catholics surely passed dozens of homeless men and women — many of them mentally ill or addicted — huddled on sidewalks or napping in the corner of subway cars. Were these young folks to have seen Dolan stopping to chat with a panhandler or hand out sandwiches to someone resting on the sidewalk, he might have done the nearly impossible: he might have captured the undivided attention of young, frenzied shoppers. He also would have embodied one of [get this...] the eternal treasures of the tradition.
[We toilers from all fields united
Join hand in hand with all who work;
The earth belongs to us, the workers,
No room here for the shirk.
How many on our flesh have fattened!
But if the norsome birds of prey
Shall vanish from the sky some morning
The blessed sunlight then will stay.]
But young people trust the images they see. If the institutional church [Not like her church. ] identifies itself regularly with being anti-gay, anti-woman, and anti-sex, how many young people will enter a cathedral expecting to have their questions and worries heard by a compassionate, humble minister? How many will feel genuinely welcome in the cathedral without the dread of feeling judged and shamed? [I can't help but wonder what lies behind that statement... for the writer.]
[Isn't this finished yet?] The archbishop is right. There is nothing of eternal value in any retail store. But without spiritual leadership that is willing to engage … [blahblahblah]
'Tis the final conflict
Let each stand in his place
The International Union
Shall be the human race.]
Yes, folks. NCR has a new weekly columnist.