Dr. Peters v. National Schismatic Reporter – MAKE POPCORN!

At the National Schismatic Reporter, editor Tom Fox had a grand-nutty.

This time, however, I offer black and red  treatment by none other than Prof. Ed Peters (who has no open combox – be sure to visit him and boost his stats).

By the way… it is nice to see that many are using the [red] technique!  I should have patented it.

After reading what follows, I am sure you will agree that it is good that Peters is on the right (our) side. It is hard to improve on this.

Take it away, Dr. Peters:

What do the National Catholic Reporter and ‘The Da Vinci Code’ have in common?

March 1, 2013

They both are packed with so many factual errors and so much utter nonsense that they can only be enjoyed for the comical effect that comes precisely from packing so many errors and so much nonsense into one sitting. From a cornucopia of examples, consider just this petulant piece by publisher Tom FoxFox in black, me in red.

With the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI [actually it’s taking effect] at 8:00 p.m. tomorrow Rome time his pontificate comes to an end, [most]Roman curial heads resign [they don’t “resign” but they do cease to exercise most duties], and the Vatican shuts down [oh really? no administrative activities, no post office, no liturgies, no museums, no Scavi tours?].

We all become adults again [and some will start sniping like pre-adolescents now that the big bad pope won’t spank them—as if he ever did], at least until we have a new “Holy Father.” [charming use of scare quotes; come to think of it, I’d’ve put “adults” in quotes, as Fox’s essay is “adult” only in the technical sense that it was written by someone over 21.]

But that’s not all.  The old guard, those Vatican prelates who colluded [Fox’s understanding of worked together at the direction of the “Holy Father”] to force [Fox’s word for conduct] an outrageous [Fox’s word for careful] investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, and who ordered LCWR into a receivership [Fox’s categories of ecclesial analysis are socio-economic, not ecclesial] until it mends its ways, are out [well, most of them are sort of out, as above.]

They will have no authority to continue their work, pending a new dictate[in Fox’s world, popes only “dictate”, I guess] by a new pope.

In turn, any authority of Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain, who officially serves as “archbishop delegate” to LCWR, ends as well [well, sort of, as above.]

After tomorrow the chair of the bishop of Rome becomes empty and we enter a period known in Latin as “sede vacante,” the seat being absent[empty, not absent; the “seat” didn’t go anywhere, there’s just no one in it].

In his Apostolic Constitution promulgated in 1996, late pope John Paul II decreed that all [not all] senior leaders of the Roman Curia—effectively the government of the Catholic Church—has [have? or had?] to resign[not resign] when the pope steps down.

Among those resigning [not, not, not resigning. c’mon.] will be Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of state—effectively the Vatican’s number two job [I think Fox means, the Holy See’s number two job; the Vatican’s number two job, under the pope, is the governorate of the Vatican City State]. He will remain only as Camerlengo (Chamberlain).

The Camerlengo has traditionally had the role of officially certifying the death of a pope—he used to do so by striking the pontiff’s forehead on his deathbed with a special silver hammer and calling out the words “Holy Father” [noooo, he used to do so by calling out the pope’s baptismal, or Christian, name three times, not his title. It’s a great little story, is too much to ask to get it right?]

He is also the Vatican official charged with destroying the pontiff’s “Fisherman’s Ring”—a gold signet ring—in order to prevent the use of the official seal on any counterfeit documents issued in the pope’s name[correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think the Fisherman’s Ring has been used to seal papal documents for more than a century.]

Among those required to resign [what is Fox’s obsession with resignation? They don’t resign! There is no one to resign to! Geeze.] will be Cardinal [cardinal? did I miss the memo?] Gerhard Ludwig, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who, when he took the appointment last July, inherited the congregation’s sanctions [sanctions? there were sanctions? Canon 1312 was applied? how, pray tell?] against LCWR.

It was last April that the CDF released its critical doctrinal [well, it is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, right?] assessment [not sanctions?], after years of secret study [ah yes, “secret” study, unlike, say, the policy of the National Catholic Reporter to publish a complete transcript of all their editorial meetings…what’s that you say?, they don’t publish all of their in-house discussions?; saints preserve us! a secret meeting!] of LCWR.  Among the findings the congregation identified were a “prevalence of certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith” in LCWR’s programs and “corporate dissent” in the group regarding the church’s sexual teachings. [Yes? So? Is Fox denying that the LCWR is marked by “certain radical feminist themes”? Is he upset that LCWR is marked by such themes? Is he upset that the CDF finds those themes “incompatible with the Catholic faith”? Could we at least be told what Fox is complaining about?]

There was more, but I’m bored. Except for one screamer at the very end:

Were Vatican actions against our women religious to end, it seems, no one might be more relieved than Archbishop Sartain.

“our women religious?” … “OOOOUR women?” These women belong to Fox? I can just hear it: “Them’s ooooour women; y’ouse guys just stay away from ooooour women.” Fox as the paternal protector of “our women”. It’s too funny.

Bp. Michael Sheridan is right, the National Catholic Reporter is an embarrassment to the Catholic Church.

Bloodbath.

I’ve gotta admit that my friend the nearly ubiquitous John L. Allen, Jr. does some pretty good work.  NCR doesn’t deserve his attention.  But the rest of the writers?  Pfffft.

 

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32 Responses to Dr. Peters v. National Schismatic Reporter – MAKE POPCORN!

  1. Scott W. says:

    I’ve gotta admit that my friend the nearly ubiquitous John L. Allen, Jr. does some pretty good work.

    Again I renew my objection to regarding John Allen as a kind of Lone Voice of Moderation at NCR. He has not distanced himself from the editorial’s staff calling for women’s ordination, and every allegedly good work I’ve read by him was laced with subtle pandering to NCR’s addled readership. He occasionally acts like an impartial journalist. Big whoop.

    [I guess that’s a “no” vote.]

  2. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Thx, Pater. Scott W., can we say, John Allen is always worth reading? I find him so.

  3. mibethda says:

    John Allen has a rather positive article on Cardinal Ranjith as papabile – surprising that the Reporter published it.

  4. Legisperitus says:

    Mr. Fox has also managed to omit Archbishop Müller’s last name… unless they are simply on a first–and-middle-name basis.

  5. AdMajoremDeiGloriam says:

    “We all become adults again, at least until we have a new ‘Holy Father.'”

    John Allen aside, NSR doesn’t even pretend to view the papacy as anything more than a joke. I hope the new Pope responds in charity by not sparing the rod for “adults” like these.

  6. Philangelus says:

    Effectively the same article ran back in 2005, except at least The Onion was honest enough to publish it as a satire. ;-)

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/papal-election-brings-end-to-worldwide-unsupervise,1319/?ref=auto

  7. The Masked Chicken says:

    Strange question, but does ground black pepper go with popcorn?

    The Chicken

  8. JonPatrick says:

    Equal quantities of melted butter and popcorn, with liberal application of salt and freshly ground pepper, sounds good!

    I have to confess (not in the sacramental sense of course) that I have been going to the NSR site a lot recently to read John Allen’s “Papabile of the day” articles and find them informative and to me they appear to be balanced.

  9. Athelstan says:

    While it is not clear to me that John Allen doesn’t share a lot of the same theological and ideological leanings of his fellow NCR staffers, it’s still true that his stories are generally accurate (well, he did make one mistake in today’s Ranjith story, erroneously reporting that he was appointed as archbishop of Columbo in 2005, rather than 2009 – but that sort of mistake is very rare for him) and reasonably balanced in presentation. I actually learn things from his reportage. There’s really no one else at NCR you can say that of.

    In short, he deserves a better venue in the Catholic media world. Or to put it another way, NCR does not deserve him. And op-eds like this screed by Tom Fox, who apparently has magic spectacles that only recognize women religious wearing polyester pantsuits, are convincing evidence of why that’s so.

  10. oldcanon2257 says:

    I shouldn’t have read this while eating lunch. I was laughing so hard that I almost choked myself. Given the fact how Dr. Peters picked apart that NcR article line by line and showed with convincing argument how un-Catholic the NcR is, if there is ever a real-life debate between Dr. Peters and Mr. Fox, I would gladly pay for a seat just to see it. I’m willing to bet that the NcR wouldn’t last 5 minutes against the learned canonist before NcR “debaters” start resorting to ad hominem.

  11. pmullane says:

    Thank you Dr Peters, if someone is as ignorant as to write the above they should stay silent, or be corrected.

  12. Pingback: The Catholic Gentleman: Chess

  13. Panterina says:

    Dr. Peters is “da man!! Well done. If you are a professional journalist, get at least your facts straight.

    Thanks also to mibbedtha for pointing out Mr. Allen’s “papabile of the day” article series. I’m generally wary of spiking up the NCR’s web view stats, but his article on Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith is indeed excellent.

  14. Luvadoxi says:

    John Allen’s continued presence on that rag gives it a sort of legitimacy. He needs to knock it off and go somewhere else. JMO.

  15. Jack Regan says:

    The Catholic media interests me a great deal. In the UK, we have the Tablet and the Herald. The Herald is seen as Orthodox and the Tablet as uber-liberal. Both, rightly so.

    Interestingly though, when the Herald started off in – I think – the 1920s it was started as an alternative to the Tablet. But, surprisingly, it was meant to be a left-wing alternative. Also surprising is that in Newman’s day he was challenged by the Tablet, from the right!.

    Somewhere in the last century (post Vat II actually) the Tablet switched from left to right and the Herald moved to the empty space on the right.

    My point? Maybe the NCR is redeemable with new leadership etc. Maybe.

    I also wonder why Bishops don’t do more against the NCR.

    In the UK, the Catholic papers are sold in the back of Catholic Churches and this accounts for the vast majority of their income. Therefore, they are effectively sold with the permission of the Bishops. Hence, they can’t *really* mess with the Bishops because they Bishops could kill them stone dead with one memo. I wonder if it’s the same in the US?

  16. Random Friar says:

    I can see an argument being made for subscribing to the NCReporter — one needs to know what they’re saying, since they are still fairly well circulated and form opinions of many, so one needs to know their material for defending the Faith, when necessary.

    It seems to be getting harder and harder to make that case for oneself. I almost feel as if I’m suborning something. I’ll read it online, or await commentary from sharper minds than mine, like the very fair and knowledgeable Dr. Peters.

  17. The Cobbler says:

    “Dr. Peters v. National Schismatic Reporter – MAKE POPCORN!”
    Trained logician vs. roomful of disobedient children — MAKE POPCORN!
    Or, to quote a videogame parody…
    Count Vile: “Perhaps a demonstration… could you slay that low-grade enemy for me?” [Points to small octopus.]
    Scarthceroth: [Whips out electrified sword, turns background into space… a meteoric smashes through all the planets and obliterates the octopus.]
    Count Vile [wide-eyed]: Well… that was overkill!

    “Interestingly though, when the Herald started off in – I think – the 1920s it was started as an alternative to the Tablet. But, surprisingly, it was meant to be a left-wing alternative. Also surprising is that in Newman’s day he was challenged by the Tablet, from the right!.”
    Any place I can find that? I find the idea amusing.

    “I can see an argument being made for subscribing to the NCReporter — one needs to know what they’re saying, since they are still fairly well circulated and form opinions of many, so one needs to know their material for defending the Faith, when necessary.”
    I might agree with this if they were making at least half rational arguments, but as it is all you have to do is wait till somebody says something that sounds like it came from such a paper and then ask them where that info comes from and don’t take “a newspaper said it so it must be true” for an answer. Socratic method, people, socratic method.

  18. Glen M says:

    The volume of error displayed on a regular basis by the ‘liberal/modernist’ faction never ceases to amaze me. Any writer possessing a hint of integrity would be alarmed by such a thorough shredding. The Fishwrap will probably ignore Dr. Peters and continue on their blissfully ignorant path of destruction. It’s sad – every soul lost is a victory for our eternal Enemy. I suppose you can’t help save the defiant.

  19. Fr_Sotelo says:

    “We all become adults again.” Who is this Tom Fox, and why is he going through life thinking that while there is a Bishop of Rome, he is not being treated or is not feeling like an adult? And why is he speaking in the pontifical, or royal “we?” Speaking of wishing to be treated as an adult, I don’t ever remember giving him permission to include me in this grouping, “we all become adults again.”

    The perception that everyone’s lives should stop or go depending on how LCWR-friendly the pope seems to be is just very imbalanced, besides being spiritually unhealthy. And as Dr. Peters points out, the reference to the sisters as “our women” is more paternalistic than anything Benedict XVI ever said or did. Tom ought to treat them as adults as well by not speaking of them as if they were his harem (does he have “binders full of them?” LOL).

  20. robtbrown says:

    I know people whose neighbor was Tom Fox, and they told me he is a really good guy. He has actually done volunteer work in 3rd world nations. His daughter, BTW, is Catherine Fox, 2 time Olympic gold medal winner in swimming, then an All American at Stanford.

    I once saw him on Firing Line with Fr Richard McBrien, and he seemed to be RMcB’s lapdog. He seems to be an advocate of Americanism, i.e., Catholic doctrine is OK, but social justice is more important. Leave doctrine untouched unless it interferes with social justice.

  21. robtbrown says:

    From the NCR comments:

    First, the predictable Golden Calf latria:

    Karen MacQueen

    So Ranjith champions retro Tridentine liturgy, condemns gay people and pretends there aren’t plenty of gay people in Sri Lanka already suffering to be free. Ranjith espouses all the values of the pope emeritus while supporting justice for the poor, but not for women, not for abused and violated children, and not for LGBTI persons. Somebody has to be kidding us here! Are the cardinal electors that out of touch with the reality of the situation they are facing? Elect someone like Ranjith and the Church may see a new Reformation, once again led by Northern Europeans. Perhaps the cardinal electors will try to forge a majority of Catholics from the African countries, the Asians, and South Americans – a restoration Church that many traditionalists would love. Just tell me what will happen when the sexual abuse of children and the violation of nuns in those countries becomes public knowledge. My prayer for the Catholic Church is that the electors seize the day and choose a gentle reformer. I’d like John Allen to tell us frankly what are the chances of that. Christe Eleison.

    Followed by:


    Jeff Peterson
    LBGTI. What’s the I?
    2
    Reply

    bonaventure • 4 hours ago

    They always like to add more alphabet soup letters to their list of perversions. I’ve already seen it as LGBTQIAPD

    Lesbian
    Gay
    Bisexual
    Transgender
    Questioning
    Intersexual
    Asexual
    Pansexual / Polyamorous
    Demisexual

    And I believe I might have missed some poor, underprepresented, persecuted luminaries there…

    http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/papabile-day-men-who-could-be-pope-9

  22. VexillaRegis says:

    So the LCWR nuns belong to Mr. Fox, the N”C”R or other catholics in general? What a patronizing attitude! It sounds like he’s talking in pluralis majestatis about his harem. And the rest of the content is just stupid. One wonders why the guy is still catholic.

  23. Cathy says:

    They had to do a “secret” investigation of LCWR? Um, let’s see, I don’t think it’s too hard to discover “secret” dissent from Church teachings when you A) advertise it on your website, B) make it available for all to see in every issue of NSR, and C) organize a bus tour along with media publicity in order to make it all the more seen. If there was anything “secretive” about the investigation, perhaps it was just necessary to find out if any of the members of the religious orders were secretly suffering in silence praying that someone in authority would out this craziness and return their orders to obedience to Christ and His Church.

  24. Gadzooks! Sounds for all the world like something out of a high school newspaper.

  25. Fr_Sotelo says:

    robtbrown:

    It never ceases to baffle me why some of the nicest people around can turn into a total horse’s rear end when they sit down at their computer and come across in print like entitled little princesses. There must be a name in the DSM for this Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde sort of complex.

  26. BLB Oregon says:

    –“He seems to be an advocate of Americanism, i.e., Catholic doctrine is OK, but social justice is more important. Leave doctrine untouched unless it interferes with social justice.”–

    Americanism? Is that what they call it, when the assumption is obliviously being made that there is EVER any conflict between being Roman Catholic and also being just and charitable? Whatever that mindset is, when I run across it, it drives me nuts. If that kind of “value system” has ever betrayed anything but a wrong-headed understanding of what justice and charity demand, I can’t remember it happening.

    Where does it come from? “Question Authority” bumper stickers that teach people that the demands of conscience are totally at the mercy of one’s own dim lighting, for one thing. Ack!!

  27. Fr_Sotelo says:

    robtbrown:

    I hope you understand that my comment about being nice on the one hand but entitled on the other (in print) is a reference to Mr. Fox’s comments. Your comments in print are always a fascinating and enjoyable read.

  28. robtbrown says:

    BLB Oregon says:

    –”He seems to be an advocate of Americanism, i.e., Catholic doctrine is OK, but social justice is more important. Leave doctrine untouched unless it interferes with social justice.”–

    Americanism? Is that what they call it, when the assumption is obliviously being made that there is EVER any conflict between being Roman Catholic and also being just and charitable?

    It’s not a matter of conflict (although recently conflict has arisen) but rather of the de emphasis of certain points of Catholic doctrine in favor of social programs. Two well known advocates were Isaac Hecker, the founder of the Paulists, and Abp Ireland, for 30 years the ordinary of Fr Z’s home diocese.

  29. robtbrown says:

    Fr Sotelo says,

    robtbrown:
    It never ceases to baffle me why some of the nicest people around can turn into a total horse’s rear end when they sit down at their computer and come across in print like entitled little princesses. There must be a name in the DSM for this Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde sort of complex.
    \

    Some months ago a fellow tennis player, with experience in mental health, and I were talking about another player, who can’t help but create problems, always having run ins with even the nicest guys. After spending some minutes trading various possible diagnoses from the DSM, we finally decided that the best description of his malady is that he was an a$$hole.

  30. Penta says:

    Wait, isn’t Isaac Hecker somewhere along the way to canonization? So where does that place his “Americanist” teaching? (My sources are confused, making me confused, hence why I’m asking that like that.)

  31. JARay says:

    I have read the blogspot “Rorate Caeli and the comment was made there that the purpose of John Allen’s posts from the Vatican in the past, as also in the present, is to seek to influence the outcome of the Papal election. This he does by printing his list of Papabile and trying to sow seeds in the minds of at least some of the Cardinals when they come to casting their votes. Rorate makes the claim that his agenda is to promote the election of a woolly-liberal Pope such as would be favoured by his periodical. Perhaps it might be a good idea to examine John Allen’s posts with that idea at the back of your mind.

  32. robtbrown says:

    Penta says:
    Wait, isn’t Isaac Hecker somewhere along the way to canonization? So where does that place his “Americanist” teaching? (My sources are confused, making me confused, hence why I’m asking that like that.)

    His cause has been opened by the NY archdiocese. So as Cardinal Cooke’s.