NCR’s attack on Pope Benedict

The fishwrappers of the National catholic Fishwrap have today an editorial on their website which is an open attack on Pope Benedict.  It is really long, some 1400 words.  I don’t know whether I will treat it here in full.  It is pretty bad.

I will share a little bit, however, which I found amusing.

The casus belli was the removal of the Australian Bishop William Morris from governance of the Diocese of Toowoomba.  Bp. Morris wrote and distributed, the heretical notions that women should be ordained and that Protestant “orders” (which they lack) should be “recognized”.  Of less controversy were his suggestion that married men should be ordained, etc.  The Fishwrap had a brain-bleed over the fact that Archbp. Chaput was involved in the inquiries into the case of Bp. Morris and that this fine, upstanding, forward-thinking Australian father to his children was removed for doing little more than offering constructive solutions to problems in his diocese and the larger Church (which, I must add, he is in part creating in his diocese).

I am left with the question: How is it that ecclesiastical authority contemplates removing the term “Catholic” from hospitals which harm human life through abortion, and will not remove the word “Catholic” from the title of this newspaper which harms the spiritual life of the faithful?  An editorial against the Pope, in which he and other Church authorities are compared, among other things, to Stalinist apparatchiks, and which openly promotes heresy needs to be addressed by ecclesiastical authority.

FishwrapWe join the Fishwrap’s hectoring of Pope Benedict in medias res.  They just referred to the fact that there are not many “right-wing” Catholics in the D. of Toowoomba, and the bishop calls those who are there the “Temple Police”.

You know the type. In the U.S., they are the crowd that takes marching orders from The Wanderer, [For which I have written a weekly column on liturgical translation and other liturgical issues for 11 years.] their time at Mass searching for a violation of a rubric rather than receiving whatever wisdom or grace might come their way. Then, having detected an “Alleluia” where an “Amen” was called for, they write letters to Vatican congregations, hoping for a sympathetic ear to their pathetic pleas.

Fishwrap HQOn another page of the Fishwrap‘s site I noted this with great interest.

Webathon: We are way behind our schedule to reach $50,000

Wednesday afternoon in our Kansas City office and we have raised some $15,000 of the $50,000 we hope to raise by the end of this week’s Webathon. $15,000 is no little stack of cash – but it is a long way from fulfilling our hopes for the outcome of this week.

I think a good way to show what you think of the NCR would be, first, to talk someone out of a subscription and, then, a spiffy donation to WDTPRS using the donation button below.


If every reader here would pitch in $5, that would make a statement, given the number of readers we have.  I’ll keep track of what comes in through this button.

Finally, pray for the conversion of the staff of the Fishwrap or, that lacking, the failure of their paper and site.  Also say a prayer – now – for the aforementioned Bp. Morris and now Brisbane’s Auxiliary Bishop Brian V. Finnegan, appointed by Benedict XVI as the administrator of the Diocese of Toowoomba.

UPDATE: Some people had problems with the donation button, above.  I have tried to fix it.  If it doesn’t work for you, there is always a button on the sidebar.

UPDATE: Under that NCFishwrap story about being behind in fundraising, note well that there are ringing endorsements of by Sr. Joan Chittister and Sr. Terese Kane, former head of the LCWR, both card carrying members of the “Magisterium of Nuns“:

Today, on this site Benedictine Sr. Joan Chittister, a former NCR board member and long time columnist, writes about the meaning of the Roy Bourgeois tragedy. She also speaks, in a video, about the importance of helping NCR.

The other day, Sr. Theresa Kane — a former Leadership Conference of Women Religious head, a former head of the Mercy Sisters and a former NCR board member — sent us a message saying how important she thinks NCR is in her life.

I respond saying:

And subscribe to The Wanderer‘s online edition and the Catholic Herald DIGITAL.
UPDATE 5 May 1616 GMT:
We are coming up on the 24 hr mark since I posted this.  Quite a few donations have come in!  Each one feels like an adrenaline boost.  I have tried to write a personal note to each person who sent something.  One email was kicked back as undeliverable, to an address that started ccd…  If I missed someone, sorry about that.  It was not intentional.  Also, since this Project of Protest has spiritual consequences, I will again say Mass remembering the intentions of those who used the donation button on Saturday morning.  I have marked the contributions which came in through the button, above, and I am taking names as it were… but in a good way.

Also, some of you are giving more than $5.  That’s great, of course.  But if all the readers here gave a fiver, it would be greater still.  Obviously.  I need more coffee.

I will do something very Catholic with the money, with a strong tradition overtone since this is in protest against Fishwrap, perhaps something for my 20th, coming up.
UPDATE 5 May 2009 GMT:
From a donating reader and faithful supporter of all that is good true and beautiful:
As a prospective police officer I am compelled to support all moral police-related causes. This includes the Temple Police!
As the son of a police officer, I am delighted to receive your support and promise to continue to send out marching orders.
UPDATE 6 May 0327 GMT:

From an obviously intelligent reader and donor:

I only recently, January 2011, came back to the Church, but in that short time I have found you to be a constant voice of reason and sense in a world gone mad. Thank you. I know your primary target is the NCFishwrap, but as I am English I would be grateful if you could add a prayer for the Tablet as well.
Sure!   I can even help with a Latin text for that prayer.

And once The Tablet is ready to go, it can be wrapped up in you know what and sent to sleep with the fishes.
Also, from a different reader and donor with good taste:
Yesterday I responded to the NCR’s plea for cash by commenting on their site that I am glad I am most likely young enough to be able in the future to celebrate the final issue of the NCR. But this is even better.
May even the most seasoned readers here be able to say the same.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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55 Responses to NCR’s attack on Pope Benedict

  1. Andreas says:

    Father Z.;
    Based on your recent comments regarding the NcR, I visited the website and read some of the materials contained therein. I was quite confused and angered by much of what I read (including most reader’s comments). However, I must thank the author of the editorial in question, for he has directed me to The Wanderer, whose website I shall seek out shortly after sending you this note. Best regards from the Tirol, Father!

  2. traditionalorganist says:

    I urge people not to go to the website of the reporter, as by doing so, they are paid by those who put ads on their site.

  3. Glen M says:

    By now it shouldn’t, but this type of behaviour from so-called Catholics is shocking. I can think of a certain Answers forum that doesn’t deserve the title Catholic either. Then again, there are pop culture Jesuits who openly dissent from the Church too. The Vatican’s strategy of allowing these actions to continue is counter productive and we’d be better off by addition through subtraction.

  4. benedetta says:

    I admit I haven’t read the article and I’m not sure I will actually ever read it…But I just wanted to say how much I like the friendly photo!

  5. Centristian says:

    Those Australian Catholics, according to this writer, who have been understandably scandalized by Bishop Morris’ suggestions that, in order to compensate for the shortage of clergy, the Church ought to ordain married men, women, and (without regard to the truth, apparently) recognize Protestant orders as valid, are nothing more than the equivalent of so many armchair rubricists who chronically write letters of complaint to their bishops about every supposed violation of the GIRM?

    What a weird assertion.

  6. Ezra says:

    Don’t give NCR the ad revenues; the text of the editorial can be read HERE. Password for access is “welovebxvi”.

  7. SimonDodd says:

    The juxtaposition of an attack on the Holy Father by a supposedly catholic publication with a piece bewailing their failure to raise money is both satisfying and telling. They really don’t see the connection, I suppose: “Why oh why won’t Catholics give money to an ailing schismatic publication?”

  8. Zilla says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but if I remember Sunday school correctly then the Pope is infallible. How can any entity claiming to be “catholic” attack him like this and get away with it?

  9. SimonDodd says:

    And by the way: what did I say on Monday? Commenting on Fr. Z’s post about Morris’ removal, I applauded the move while lamenting that “the whip had [not] first been cracked over someone like Card. Law; the optics are terrible. Benedict’s critics may seize on this and argue that he’s more bothered by what they will brand as ideological differences than abuse.” It didn’t take long for that prediction to come true, for the Fishwrap writes, about halfway down:

    “[I]t turns out it’s really not that difficult for the pope to give a bishop a pink slip. In the course of the quarter-century clergy sexual abuse cover-up, there’s been considerable handwringing over just this question … [but it turns out that i]f the pope and his advisers care deeply about an issue about which a bishop has publicly raised questions – such as women priests and optional celibacy – a way can be found to dismiss that bishop. And – noteworthy because it goes to some underlying issues – a bishop who acts against church teaching and law related to sexually abusive priests apparently need fear no such reprisal. ¶ Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali, for example, continues a life befitting a prince in splendorous surroundings, even as his flouting of church procedures (and perhaps civil law) resulted in nearly 30 diocesan priests facing administrative suspension and heat from local prosecutors. ¶ And not to forget Cardinal Bernard Law, orchestrator of the Boston clergy abuse cover-up. His punishment? An extended Roman holiday and a healthy pension. Meanwhile, Morris gets the door.”

  10. jasoncpetty says:

    You guys really should get The Wanderer. It’s a solid, weekly paper–the first I’ve ever subscribed to in my almost-thirty years–with articles and commentary you wouldn’t come across just from trawling the ‘blogs. [Good idea.]

  11. torch621 says:

    @SimonDodd

    A valid question, but since I care nothing for what the Fishwrap has to say about the issue, I won’t pay attention to their criticisms.

  12. Scott W. says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but if I remember Sunday school correctly then the Pope is infallible. How can any entity claiming to be “catholic” attack him like this and get away with it?

    I’m completely on your side and NCR deserves to be shut down, but academically a pope’s disciplinary action like removal of a bishop or an excommunication would not fall under infallibility, but “merely” under his authority, which of course is good enough for me.

  13. Glen M says:

    The pope is only infallible when ruling on matters of doctrine (as per Vatican I). For all we know, he may be a Cubs fan.

  14. Jayna says:

    Even Jezebel got in on this story. A friend of mine (with whom I constantly get into debates over this issue as she is a raging feminist) posted their story in which they stated that he was sacked for merely discussing female ordination (which, to me, is enough in and of itself) and that he was forcibly removed without being given the chance to resign. Apparently they missed the bit where he said he refused to resign and that this “discussion” went out to the entire diocese in the form of a pastoral letter.

    I can’t even talk about NcR. It makes my head hurt.

  15. Teresa-1962 says:

    @ Ezra

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for the link. I will not go to the fishwrap website EVER.

    Teresa

  16. contrarian says:

    What a bunch of goofballs. I wish I could take them seriously enough to debate them in the comboxes. Best to avoid that I think, though.

  17. Ralph says:

    I went to the NcR. I read the editorial. It pissed me off. Sigh.
    I read another commentary by some pant suit sister. It pissed me off even more. Grrr.
    I left a comment about heretics. I feel better.

    I wish these folks would just go and join the dang Episcipal church and let us alone in peace.

  18. SimonDodd says:

    @torch621 No one who regularly reads this blog is likely to regard this editorial as anything but a tragic joke, but we aren’t representative of all Catholics everywhere. Will no one pay attention to their criticisms? If they are screaming into the wind, that’s fine, but are there no Catholics out there who subscribe to the National catholic Dissenter? Or who harbor similar anxieties about the Church? Or who just don’t follow inside ecclesial baseball that closely and are thus susceptible to being affected by the media’s spin? Or who get discouraged by fractiousness in the Church? Or who are tired of having to defend the Church’s conduct to friends and family? I don’t think we should afford ourselves the luxury of assuming that only a few simple-minded heretics will be affected by this kind of story.

    Public heretics and schismatics should be dealt with, even—no, especially!—when they’re bishops. But the Church sends a poor signal to people if she appears to deal only with such doctrinal sins; one need not accept NcR’s tacit argument that because Law was softballed, Morris should be (one could just as well argue that Law should be hardballed), but the comparison is out there, and no matter how apt or not, it’s yet another public storm that could have been avoided and which will beat down and tire out Catholics who have to defend it.

  19. capebretoner says:

    What really boggles my mind, with everything that has happened in my diocese (and as the fall out continues today) the Diocese’s Pastoral Centre Web Site still provides a link to this garbage. It promotes it under “Adult Faith Sharing and Formation Materials”. I call it like I see it; pure garbage.

  20. BaedaBenedictus says:

    I have a fantasy of Pope St. Pius X walking into your typical American parish or seminary and seeing some of the reading material on display. He picks up a copy of NCR, peers owlishly at it, slowly forming the English words on his lips. His eyes start to grow wide, his teeth and fists begin to clench. At last he lets out a booming “Basta!!”, tears the rag in two and stalks straight to the rectory with righteous fire in his eyes.

    Such a nice dream. Perhaps someday!

  21. Archromanist says:

    Father, I’m trying to make a donation through the button in this post, but all it does it take me to the main PayPal login page. Shouldn’t there be something more specific? [Try it now. I think I fixed it.]

  22. That bunch is a group of whining hippies.
    I read the stench there and have to control myself from vomiting or giving some kind of obscene reply (Jesus, mercy!).
    The synchophants that run, support and supply that bunch of sewage deserve a millenium in purgatory (I’m being gracious here…”Father, forgive them, they know not what they do!”)
    Complete theological and ecclesial morons.

  23. fwbear says:

    I am immediately subscribing to the NCR…thanks for the collective rant!

  24. Kate says:

    (They spend)”…their time at Mass searching for a violation of a rubric rather than receiving whatever wisdom or grace might come their way.”

    Pardon me? “Searching”?

    In reality, “innovations” whack me in the head!

    I do not attend any Mass searching for violations. I don’t mind a joyful priest who might, out of his pure love of Christ, add an extra word(s) of praise. Authentic love is obvious and never upsets me.

    However, nothing turns a day more sour than a Mass peppered with innovations intentionally inserted by a priest who has political intentions.

    Please. Do the black, say the red, and abolish the Reporter.

    Support The Wanderer or the National Catholic Register instead!

  25. Scott W. says:

    The same ol’ story. The Vatican doesn’t do anything and people are like, “Well gee. I guess Rome tacitly approves of what you perceive as dissent.” Then Rome does do something and the tune changes to, “Well why are they picking on this one issue when there are so many to deal with and what a PR disaster this is.” Oi vey.

  26. Norah says:

    Ex bishop William Morris claims he has been denied natural justice. Natural justice is a common law doctrine that ensures procedural fairness in a legal proceeding.

    • Considering that ex bishop William Morris has been in dialogue with three Vatican congregations/cardinals for five years and had a meeting with the pope in 2009 it doesn’t appear to me that he has been denied procedural fairness. He says that he hasn’t seen the report which Abp Chaput wrote and this could be true but it beggars belief that in four years, dialoguing with cardinals from Congregation of Bishops, the Congregation for Worship and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that he was left in any doubt as to the contents of Abp Chaput’s report. What would the dialogue have been about if not the contents of the report?

    Timeline

    • 2006 Advent Pastoral Letter

    .• US bishop Charles Chaput visited the diocese and submitted a report to Vatican authorities [2007]

    • Long before the pastoral letter, however, concerns had been raised about the material included in sex education programs in diocesan schools and the former practice of general absolution in the diocese despite direct instruction from the Holy See.

    • In contrast to some other provincial dioceses, the priest shortage has been exacerbated by Toowoomba’s appalling record over recent years in attracting virtually no new vocations.

    • Morris has engaged in five years of dialogue with three Vatican cardinals and the Pope.

    • “When I had a meeting with the Pope in 2009 he quoted back to me basically what cardinals had quoted back to me – and that was a misinterpretation of my pastoral letter”. It would appear that ex bishop Morris was unable to explain with sufficient clarification to at least three cardinals and Pope Benedict XVI their misinterpretation of his pastoral letter and other matters dealt with in Chaput’s report.

    Catholic Culture has an excellent article: “Ex Bishop William Morris is Right” by Dr Jeff Mirris

  27. Rob Cartusciello says:

    Then, having detected an “Alleluia” where an “Amen” was called for, they write letters to Vatican congregations, hoping for a sympathetic ear to their pathetic pleas.

    If liturgical abuses were limited to cases such as these, I would offer a thousand Te Deums in gratitude. If the writer thinks this is truly the case, he is guilty of far greater ignorance than than which he accuses the Pope of.

  28. Luvadoxi says:

    Ummm…I don’t get it. What’s wrong with Catholic Answers? They helped me alot when I first entered the Church and have since then also.

  29. skull kid says:

    When I saw your appeal Father, I thought ”No way – I have no money!” (Being unemployed and all.) Then I thought, ”Ah what the heck – it’s for a good cause!” So I’ve paid my $5 fishwrap tax!

  30. skull kid says:

    Does the bishop have the power to remove the word ‘Catholic’ from the fishwrap? If they are dissidents (which they are) then they would just ignore him. Can he do anything about it in that case?

  31. But, Father! But, Father! Their bishop did tell them they could not use the Catholic name. What we need is confirmation out of that diocese that this is authentic and that the current bishop upholds it. I think it would help if the lastest bishop reviewed it and took a careful look at issues of the fishwrap, then re-issue or re-affirm the statement.

    Text of NCR Condemnation: Bishop Helmsing charges Heresy
    National Catholic Reporter | October 16, 1968

    http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=00Cofv

  32. amenamen says:

    Hare krishna. I mean, Alleluia.

    Liturgical abuse is never a good thing. If it is done intentionally, it indicates a willingness to depart from what the Church teaches, and to mislead the flock of Christ. Even if it is done unintentionally, perhaps through carelessness or lack of training, a little fraternal correction may be in order.

    The rather trivial example of saying “Alleluia” instead of “Amen” may serve as the perfect example, although not in the way the NCR (NcFW) article intended it. Why would anyone intentionally make such a confusing alteration of the Liturgy? To those who are familiar with the Mass, it would sound very strange, for example, to sing “Amen” when they stand up to hear the Gospel, or to sing “Alleluia” at the end of each prayer. The average Catholic would not have to spend their time at Mass “searching for the violation of a rubric” to feel that something strange was going on. It is not the kind of “mistake” that would be made repeatedly by someone who is familiar with the Mass. Even a child might wonder, “Why did you do that?”

  33. Charles E Flynn says:

    What are so many people picking on National Cash Register?

    http://www.ncr.com/about_ncr/company_overview/history.jsp

  34. AnAmericanMother says:

    Charles,

    The bishops could do worse than adopt one of John Henry Patterson’s dicta ( he invented the motivational poster):

    DO IT NOW!

  35. Peter in Canberra says:

    After an initial reaction to Bp Morris’ retirement/removal of approval, I am now having doubts.

    Not I stress because I don’t think the step was objectively justified.
    However I wonder if Rome has utterly misjudged the impact of this decision, and indeed the all pervasive nature of the malaise of heterodoxy and nationalistic alter-Catholic identity not only in the diocese of Toowoomba but in the whole of Australia. The common reaction (not the ‘mean’ but the ‘mode’ by a long way) is one of anger at perceived injustice and a lack of comprehension of what the issue is. And frankly the Church hierarchy in Australia and Rome are doing little to sell their ‘good news’ to the now very disaffected locals. The likely outcome – real, bitter hostility to the person and the teaching office of the Holy Father.
    It will be seen as an ecclesiastical version of ‘special rendition’ ie viewed as illegal and unjust. It probably isn’t but that will count for nothing. [though I also have my reservations about the ability of Vatican apparatchiks to have got the process right. I presume as in civil law, one flaw in the process, no matter how just the case, undoes the whole thing. I also note the various media management debacles of the last few years. There seem to be some severely challenged advisers in Rome in terms of strategy and tactics ].

    There may already have been a situation of de facto schism. But I think many of the people simply didn’t know this beacuse of a slow slide and very very poor catechesis. Now there will either be a wilful de facto schism, or perhaps God forbid a de jure one. But the people will have moved (been pushed?) because of considerations of local loyalty (understandable albeit misplaced) rather than any real doctrinal convictions.

  36. Peter in Canberra says:

    ps
    I guess a shorter way of putting this is does anyone in Rome HQ actually have a clear idea of what is really happening on the ground out here?

    pps the fact that the visitator was an American will also be resented immensely for a range of historical reasons. sad and really irrelevant but nevertheless true.

  37. Legisperitus says:

    Strange, I read the Wanderer for many years and never spotted a marching order. [The Temple Police will come soon to explain your next mission.]

    If only it were possible to donate a negative figure to NCR.

  38. St. Louis IX says:

    Would be nice to intiate a public protest of NCR……….Maybe a letter writing campaign to? (Rome?)
    ps.My wife and I are happy to support the protest!

  39. benedetta says:

    It’s just so filled with hatred it’s really difficult to respond. It’s difficult to respond reasonably to that which is irrational and grounded in hatred and venom.
    The only thing worth pointing out is that the piece admits that it has no knowledge of what Archbishop Chaput’s investigation yielded. They do not have the facts and not only are they engaging in assumption and speculation but in the process they are saying some terrifically damaging things that undermines unity and is divisive.
    I don’t know what things are like in that region of Australia, but I know that where I am where things way beyond the switching of “alleluia” for “amen” have occurred, in a humiliating fashion, and, people here do not read the Wanderer (I have never read or seen a copy), nor do they endlessly write the Vatican akin to a “police”. It is just not so. Where I am, the people trusted, deeply, their priests and leadership and did what they were told, exactly, and without complaint. I can testify to this, under oath, if need be. That in the last several months one or two of us may be waking up to what has been going on and are starting to ask openly, what has happened, does not mean that people go around on patrol looking for this or that to report. Indeed, where I am it is just so widespread and common, pretty much wherever you go that you would need a large staff of people and endless hours to spare to be engaged in such activity. It’s quite futile to object and has been this way for, um, decades. People glean the wisdom and grace, despite it all, as best they can and pray for those who are doing these things so much as possible. Even among people who acknowledge what is and has happened, they just suffer it silently, for fear of retribution (calumny that they read the Wanderer) or are confused about their options.
    As a matter of fact, the group that has reigned supreme is beholden to the loudest voices which do not belong to the people who might indulge in the Wanderer. The thought strikes that if the folks who had read the Wanderer, and others who did not, had been as screamingly, rantingly vocal, in the very early days of weirdness, and continued on, as the dissenting group has been empowered and has done for decades now, one wonders whether things would be very different. For young people. For vocations. For prolife…?
    Since the Wanderer (did I mention I have never before read it?) is so demonized and the people who read it so harshly caricatured (killed) through hatred, I feel I ought to help make some retribution. Thus I will be subscribing, forthwith.
    In places where all of this happens commonly, leadership makes its own choices to stray farther and farther away from the Church’s deposit of faith and it’s very hard to comprehend how, once choices are made, they then balk at having to account for the results.
    No, the investigation of this Bishop was chosen and brought upon by himself and himself only. To blame it on individuals who read the Wanderer is, well, hilarious.
    As to people who read and digest the ncr who are in positions of pastoral leadership, well. I suspect that there are fewer and fewer. I wonder, how does digesting such bile translate in terms of the pastoral work? Because to my mind if one totally ruminates on this, and then passes it along to others, who in turn agitate, then, what it brings on, spiritually, is, heartburn. It doesn’t bring about, peace, or, earthly justice, or unity. It does not sanctify. So I don’t know what purpose it serves. But some seem addicted to this sort of thing, it is the only thing that gratifies. The attitude it gives voice to is bigoted and anti-Catholic and the same sentiments can be found in many other places which constantly berate and criticize the Church’s very existence. On the ncr comments it is quite typical to hear comments that one can find in any secular publication these days that say the most bigoted, anti-Catholic things about how evil the Church is.
    This is not Vatican II. I don’t know what this is. Its fruit is anger, bitterness. And it simply need not be that way. Is it so difficult to comprehend that many feminists, so many accomplished women, simply do not agree that the necessary way to realize dignity is through priestly ordination? I guess it is. I guess that this publication chooses, not to hear, not to see, not to respect fellow women. That is sad and divisive.
    I agree that it’s best not to link or click on the site because as the operation seems to be wanting for funds, it counts on the reactions of people in a sensationalist way to look into it. Since this site is so well-travelled, unfortunately it can unintentionally send people there.
    It’s kind of like those publications at the check-out counter that put hilarious and bizarre sensationalist headlines on the cover to incite you to buy on impulse. You have to kind of regard it as Medusa and just keep moving. It’s very sad.

    “There is only one Spirit who, according to His own richness and the needs of the ministries, gives His different gifts for the welfare of the Church. What has a special place among these gifts is the grace of the apostles to whose authority the Spirit Himself subjected even those who were endowed with charisms.”

  40. Scott W. says:

    @Peter in Canberra:

    I too share your concern for de jure schism. When my fellow reactionary Catholics want a battle out in the open, I say be careful what you wish for. On the other hand, bishops only get removed by canonical process, and like all courts, secular or sacred, they have to proceed regardless of the larger implications of the results. And therein lies the PR trouble. Canonical proceedings are confidential to the point that the larger Catholic population does not even know specifically what the charges are, which in turn leads to wild and imprudent speculation.

  41. PostCatholic says:

    Schadenfreude is unbecoming.

    It’s interesting to contrast the removal of someone heterodox with respect to Catholic teaching (Morris) with someone criminal with respect to Catholic teaching (Law). In that much, at least, NCR was on the money.

  42. Joseph James says:

    In 2003, Fred Gluck, a former managing partner of McKinsey & Company who currently serves on the board of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, wrote a memo to church leaders. It’s crafted in managementese, but disregard the jargon for the moment and pay attention to the message.

    Wrote Gluck:

    “Your organization [the church] has no effective central point of leadership that can energize the necessary program change.
    “Your leadership is aging and also largely committed to the status quo or even the status ante.
    “Your tradition of hierarchy dominates most of your thinking about management.”
    “Coming to grips with this formidable set of challenges in an organization as historically successful as yours will be a daunting challenge, and can only be accomplished by a comprehensive program of change with strong leadership from the top,” he concluded.

    Why, thank you, Mr. Gluck. High compliments, indeed.

  43. ALL: One one you Protesters, JC, added a note to his donation:

    Benedicat te Dominus, Pater. Memorare mei intentionumque mearum, si placeat tibi in Missis ac precibus tuis.

    Ad flammas NCR haereticorum!

    Memor ero tui tuorumque.  Insuper, fortasse….  “Paginae ad flammas NCR haereticae”.

    Orate ut expedite Dei gratia et sensu communi convertantur moderatores.

  44. diffal says:

    I must say I don’t like calling this paper a fishwrap. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t eat anything that had been wrapped in such a rag.

    It sounds like this process was started early on in Benedict’s Papacy hopefully more dodgy Bishops will go in the next while as well. This whole process will raise questions about the Popes ability to remove bishops though. Especially those guilty of covering up child abuse. I’m not sure of the specifics on the removal of Bishops but this shows its possible.

    No doubt the NCRag will start harping on about this issue long and loud and find other things to blame the Holy Father for. I’m still waiting to find out how exactly he is responsible for global warming, I’m sure they will tell us soon!

    Time to start getting marching orders from the wanderer methinks!

  45. mdhichborn says:

    Hey Fr. Z,
    Since you bring it up, I thought you might be interested to know that in 1968, Bishop Helmsing officially condemned and asked that the word “Catholic” be removed from National Catholic Reporter’s name : http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=00Cofv

    Maybe Bishop Finn will renew the condemnation and call again for the removal of the word “Catholic” from the rag’s name?

  46. chironomo says:

    Read the NCR… listen to the endless whining about SP/ The New Translation/ Episcopal Appointments/ Visitations of Women Religious or whatever current issue is being discussed and the reason becomes quite clear. The progressive church’s vision of “The New Church” is failing (probably already has failed and it’s just taking some time to sink in) and they are simply besides themselves that there are actually people who don’t see the world their way. They think that the reclaiming of the traditional church is some plot being imposed on “the faithful” by “Vatican Insiders” or (gasp!) the “Hierarchy”. They don’t see that it is “The Faithful” who have rejected their vision, to different degrees to be sure, but most certainly enough. They’re like the dead in “The Sixth Sense”…. they only see and hear what they want to.

  47. JKnott says:

    To diffal re: “I must say I don’t like calling this paper a fishwrap. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t eat anything that had been wrapped in such a rag.”
    True, but I always envisioned that the Fishwrap was for wrapping the outgoing garbage. It is even diedifying for the garbage.

  48. benedetta says:

    What’s also so reflective of a lot that has gone on over decades is this propaganda technique whereby, if the thought happens to cross your mind (now even in these ‘advanced stages’ such as they are) that, something, oh, I don’t know, something feels vaguely, strangely, amiss…you are to immediately, castigate and shame yourself as potentially, in a McCarthyist way, being in league and totally aligned with, the despised, dehumanized, ‘other’ who has leprosy or the political/social equivalent, thus stifling and eliminating, human dignity, human freedom, spiritual authenticity.

    Now I am well aware that in the blogosfero people say interesting things. Sometimes funny things. Sometimes cute things. Sometimes people vent frustrations. This phenomenon is not historically very old yet.

    Whereas the trend of people suffering the effects of liturgical abuse with the strange teachings which go hand in hand, well, that trend is now very old. It has a somewhat long history, by comparison to the “Taliban Catholic blogger” (whether left or right) phenomenon.

    And so where people have now for generations been shamed and ridiculed as being, all sorts of hurtful, uncharitable, and in fact quite false things, a few people here and there are popping up to say, “how did we get, here, to this spot, at this moment?”

    Instead of looking around and saying, well, these are fellow Christians, fellow believers, and, perhaps, they have a point…ncr just does the knee-jerk instinctive propaganda campaign, to, demonize, once again.

    After all, it was, a quite effective technique, in totally inhibiting people, for, decades. Why couldn’t it work again, once more.

    And, although ncr dresses itself in the jargon of open-mindedness and tolerance in fact to deny Catholics their basic rights to contribute to how sacraments are celebrated and to be a part of worship goes against everything Vatican II stands for. To constantly harp on and attack the Holy Father, goes against everything Vatican II stands for. To imagine that the “solutions” for our sinful Church only come from those who seem to detest the Church and want it to look so much as possible as something else goes against everything Vatican II stands for.

    To constantly marginalize other Christians goes against unity and everything Vatican II stands for.

    I do not know what was discovered over the course of the several years investigation by Archbishop Chaput. I am not sure we need to know it all in fact. But, I can guess, that, the statement that this Bishop made publicly years ago stating that our Church must consider his “solutions” for our problems is only the tip of an iceberg which likely included movement over time to suppress the completely basic and non-controversial worship and teaching of the faith, in a totalitarian and authoritarian way and continued, relentless assertion of superiority of untested, unknown pseudo-doctrine in its place.

    Just look around at these places. If you can’t see even a “creative minority” permitted to worship and contribute, then, chances are that, it is not that they do not exist, nor are they Temple Policemen on patrol for The Wanderer (“calumny”). The chances are much greater that they fear for their families and livelihood and are trying, as best they can, to cope with a very difficult situation.

    The ncr ought to show some compassion towards fellow Christians. Still waiting to see whether they take me up on the “Pope Benedict Challenge”. Must be paranoid, and afraid, of the truth…

    Vatican II has not blessed, ahead of time, every thought that could pop into a cleric’s head about how now to “do liturgy” or every lay person’s fantasy about women priests…But one cannot say that the quite full airing of these has not been permitted or tried or listened to. It’s been taught, it’s been served up in a triumphant manner, and it will not listen to any debate or reason. It has been promoted by and large by shame, humiliation and reverse-snobbery. And even when you listen and try to put into practice what is essential in that message, or make the best of it and go Marxist (since that is apparently what it boils down to…where we must be selective even when it comes to the social justice), it just isn’t workable, and it certainly does not serve to support one another communally in the life of faith.

    That this word is never employed or carries with it a certain recoil deserves in and of itself some reflection as to where we are at and how we came to be here.

    In the end, there is only the One Guardian of the Temple anyway, to whom we all will be accountable.

  49. Athelstan says:

    …at Mass searching for a violation of a rubric rather than receiving whatever wisdom or grace might come their way.

    To which I might reply: precious little wisdom at too many of these parishes, and too often little grace either thanks to alteration of the words of consecration.

    Yes, there are parisaical-minded among the traditionalist community – a lot fewer than some believe, but just the same…it was not “temple police” that doomed Bishop Morris. It was his own words, denying doctrine that belongs to the deposit of the faith. The problem is that NCR is avowedly opposed to that doctrine as well. They desperately want women priests.

  50. Athelstan says:

    P.S.: Diane is right. NCR has been condemned by its bishops more than once. Bishop Charles Helmsing – hardly a dyed in the wool traditionalist – condemned them in 1968. Current incumbent bishop Robert Finn has been critical of them more than once.

    The difficulty is that NCR has always been a privately operated paper. Under copyright law, it’s difficult for the ordinary to force them to stop calling themselves “Catholic.” What they *could* do, perhaps, is start issuing some excommunications, ban the appearance of the publication in all diocesan parishes or other properties, and be very public about it. I doubt this would give much of anyone at NCR pause (they being no respecters of episcopal authority) but it would make clear to the Catholics of Kansas City and beyond that the Church has disavowed them.

  51. Gail F says:

    If a bishop teaches heresy, that is different from criminal conduct or (to use a Seinfeld term) “criminal indifference” — although both of those are very, very bad things. It is not a difficult concept. I find the editorial to be a bizarre hissy-fit in which all sorts of points, some of them actually worth reading, are jumbled together any-old-how. I did look on the site and couldn’t find it there; who wrote it and where was it? Thanks to whoever posted it on that site and to Ezra for the password.

  52. Paula says:

    How about “Temple Police” t-shirts?

  53. Paula: Working on it. I would be happy for the help of a graphic artist, however.

  54. benedetta says:

    I tell you this is such a coincidence because I popped over to the local newsstand to buy a piece of chewing gum today, and was amazed to see that while toward the end of the day numerous copies of Hell’s Bible and various tabloids remained available and on offer, alas, the last copy of the Wanderer had already been snatched up.

    But on my way out I noticed, on the community bulletin board, a flyer announcing maneuvers for oh-eighthundred hours. I expect that this flyer was posted to alert the local duly authorized deputies of the Temple Police, since so many are unreconstructed ossified manualists and do not surf the interwebs or for security reasons permit a land line to attach to their caves or living hovels.

    At any rate evidently there is enough probable cause to perform a knock and announce. If all goes as planned, deputies can expect to hook them and escort for personal transport to Papal authorities who should be overjoyed to see them.

    Certain undercovers have been notified in advance of the exercise and have posted to their parish websites or social media that they enjoy reading hell’s bible or the fishwrap. They actually Say the Black and Do the Red and Love the Holy Father. Deputies are told, under no circumstances are these to be taken into custody. Even if they break out the flagons and the Haugen, repeat, do not arrest. They are undercover embeds for the Vatican and report directly to Number One.

    One last note. If you are not a fully-fledged Member of the Temple Police nor a duly authorized deputy, if you witness a liturgical aberration or full scale abuse in progress, do not, repeat, do not, take matters into your own hands and attempt a citizen’s arrest. Leave it to the professionals and do not jeopardize your safety. If you see something, by all means, say something but don’t attempt street justice unless you know what’s good for you. Over and out.

  55. HyacinthClare says:

    I’d wear a Temple Police t-shirt. And I know several others who would. Make it happen, Father!