The National catholic Fishwrap has for many dark years offered columns by the not-yet-late Richard McBrien. His writings should usually be ignored, but this piece is such a good example of liberal whining and deception that it merits attention for its educational value, if nothing else.
I understand McBriend has been fighting cancer or some other dire condition. I have offered prayers for him and I had hoped his sufferings would have sobered him up. Alas, it seems that he is still drunk with modernism and the intoxicating “spirit” of You Know What.
Let’s have a look at his latest rubbish:
Showing support for LCWR during these trying times
It’s old news by now, but I want to add my name to the already long list of people who have supported the Leadership Conference of Women Religious against the Vatican and its allies in North America.[I think he should take a long bus ride with some of them.]
The nuns have been in the forefront of the struggle to keep the spirit and the letter of the Second Vatican Council alive, [He may be old and ill, but he still slithers with the best of them. ‘Spirit’, as in the ‘spirit of Vatican II’ perhaps, but the ‘letter’? Noooo….] not only in religious communities of women but also in the Catholic church at large.
Unfortunately, LCWR is a scapegoat for everything the right wing in the Catholic church loathes. [Yes, I think the ‘right wing’ does loathe dissent, infidelity, heterodoxy, scandal, support for abortion, liturgical abuses, running down devotion to the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, intellectual dishonesty…. ] One should recognize that ultra-conservatives exist in the highest ranks of the Vatican, excluding no ecclesiastical office in the church. [For him, ‘ultra’ probably includes anyone who can happily embrace what the Catechism of the Catholic Church contains.]
As I said (to a standing ovation) [Because it’s all about you. Aren’t you wonderful?] at the symposium held in my honor [I wasn’t invited. Oh well…. Hey, wasn’t there some sort of problem in the theology department at ND when he was chairman? Seems to me I read something about that. Maybe readers could look that up on the interwebs.] at the University of Notre Dame toward the end of April, few North American Catholics would be Catholics today if it were not for the nuns. [Some might suggest that there are fewer now because of them.] The nuns, I insisted (to another standing ovation), are the greatest asset to the church in North America, and one hopes and prays that the Vatican will soon come to realize that as well. [If only ‘the Vatican’ could be as savvy as he is!]
The nuns are not only among the leaders in the church who wish the keep alive the spirit and the letter [There’s that ‘letter’ again. He simply advances it as if it were true. We can grant that Fishwrapers like a few points of the texts of the Council. But they don’t demonstrate that they embrace all of them.] of the Second Vatican Council, but are also among the thousands who are celebrating with the rest of the church the 50th anniversary of the council’s opening in the fall of 1962.
The council brought fresh air into the church, just as Pope John XXIII had hoped, but neither he nor his closest friends could have foreseen the terrible backlash he would also unleash.[What was it Paul VI said also came into the Church?]
He couldn’t have foreseen, for example, the concerted efforts of his successors, Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, to undermine the council, consciously or not, by the appointment of bishops and archbishops unfriendly to the council. [B as in B. S as in S. John Paul … unfriendly to the Council? By his appointment of bishops? Benedict? That is absurd. Then again, their choices must be mysterious to those who don’t really care much about the ‘letter’ of the Council or about all those other Councils before 1962.]
[Ahhhh…. a list. Didn’t Nixon make lists? And Obama?] Examples of such bishops are (with the diocese and year they were first ordained a bishop): Thomas Welsh, Arlington, Va., 1970 (now deceased); Thomas Daily, Brooklyn, N.Y., 1974 (now retired); Nicholas DiMarzio, Brooklyn, 1996; David Ricken, Green Bay, Wis., 2000; Richard Lennon, Cleveland, 2001.
Examples of such archbishops are: John Myers, Newark, N.J., 1987; Joseph Kurtz, Louisville, Ky.,1999; Jose Gomez, Los Angeles, 2001; Francis George, Chicago, 1990; Charles Chaput, Philadelphia, 1988; Edward Egan, New York, 1985 (now retired).
Nor could John XXIII have foreseen the wholesale assault on the nuns of the United States, not only in the “visitation” of the sisters’ communities, but also in the investigation of LCWR, which has been the source of so much good for the U.S. church.[Another absurdity. Some years ago Vatican Radio, on its local Roman broadcast, each afternoon played speeches and homilies of Popes from their archives. The addresses of John XXIII gave a different impression from the avuncular Santa Claus he is usually portrayed as having been. He came across, frankly, as being as hard as nails in those speeches. I think John XXIII would have ground the LCWR into the gutter with his red shoes and washed them into the Tiber. Does anyone here really imagine that John XXIII would have put up with nuns acting as escorts at abortion clinics? Nuns promoting the new age BS they have involved themselves in? Would he have smiled at the speakeresses at the last few LCWR meetings, including wacko stuff about cosmic evolution and presentations by open lesbians? Would he have condosned giving awards to the like of Sandra Schneiders? It is to laugh.]
Neither could he have foreseen the demoralization that has set into the Catholic church nowadays, with many Catholics looking forlornly at the Second Vatican Council as if it never happened and the pontificate of John XXIII as if he never existed.[Let’s buy this buy a box of tissues. Booo hooo. Did guys like this care for two seconds about the sensibilities of millions of the faithful who watched liberals like him tear their Church and churches to pieces before their very eyes? All in the name of the ‘spirit’, not the ‘letter’, of the Council? What a crock.]
The bishops appointed by John Paul II and Benedict XVI insist they support the council, but that the council was misinterpreted by progressive Catholics. Progressive Catholics, on the other hand, feel the recent crop of bishops overemphasize the abortion issue to the practical exclusion of the church’s traditional emphasis on social justice [This is getting to tiresome, isn’t it? This liberals pretend that anyone who upholds the right to be born is THE fundamental justice issue are really unsophisticated. They aren’t as nuanced as these lefties who can see the big picture and, therefore, set aside the lives of the unborn. What gives the lie to McBrien’s point is that people like Sr. Simone Campbell won’t even answer direct questions about abortion.] and the needs of the poor, which the Nuns on the Bus have highlighted. [In the end he gets around to it. I suspect this is all about supporting Obama.]
We cannot overemphasize the fact that a pall of sadness now covers the church. [puhleez] Many have dropped out (the recent Pew poll disclosed that ex-Catholics constitute one-tenth of the U.S. religious landscape); others stay because they have found a worshiping community that meets their spiritual needs (usually on a college or university campus, where the long arms of a bishop cannot reach). [I think there are some empty Anglican or Episcopalian churches available. ]
But I have not given up hope — nor should you, my readers. [CUE MUSIC] The nuns (including LCWR) will eventually be vindicated, a new pope will be elected who the electors think is only a seat-warmer (just as they once regarded John XXIII), and the pendulum will swing the other way. It always has. [Those meds must be pretty good.]
Some of us will never see the change, like the saintly Moses, but it will come. [Ah! The Promised Land after the desert.] As John XXIII insisted, history is the great teacher of life. And history has much to teach us. [And what a great historian McBrien has been.]
PS: I had to do this entirely from my iPhone, which was a chore. Forgive typos for format problems.