Pope Francis embraces USCCB’s “pastoral priorities”

A lot of people have written to me expressing their feeling that Pope Francis has “pulled the rug from under them” or even, melodramatically, “stabbed them in the back”.

These are people who are, usually, deeply involved in the pro-life movement.

Pope Francis had said, in off the cuff circumstances, that we shouldn’t be “obsessed” with matters such as abortion.

His Holiness’ comments were widely taken as a complete betrayal of the position of the USCCB in its efforts to defend life and combat the Obama Administrations evil attack on the religious liberty.

From the Catholic Herald, the UK’s best Catholic weekly:

Francis supports the US bishops’ public stands, says Cardinal Dolan
By FRANCIS X ROCCA

Pope Francis’s appeal for the Church not to focus exclusively on moral issues does not mean that the American bishops have to change their priorities in the public square, Cardinal Timothy Dolan has said.

Speaking to the American Catholic News Service, the president of the US bishops’ conference said: “What he’s saying is that if the perception of the Church is of a scold who’s always nagging and always negative and always fearful, we’re not going to make many converts, because nobody wants to join the Church out of fear or [join a] a paranoid group.

“If we emphasise the positive, the gracious, the embracing, the warm, inviting side of the Church, then we’re going to attract people,” he said. “And that, of course, is what Pope Francis is saying and doing on steroids.”

Cardinal Dolan met Pope Francis at the Vatican on Monday, along with Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, vice president of the US bishops’ conference, Mgr Ronny Jenkins, general secretary, and Mgr J Brian Bransfield, associate general secretary.

The cardinal said the group told the Pope about some of the US bishops’ “pastoral priorities”, including support for immigration reform and objections to the Affordable Care Act, “because it excludes the baby in the womb and the undocumented worker, and also because the implementation of it would place a severe burden on our religious convictions and our consciences” by mandating coverage of contraception in violation of Catholic moral teaching.

Pope Francis “was very attentive to that and he listened very closely”, Cardinal Dolan said.

According to Cardinal Dolan, the US bishops have a “lot of issues we’re hung up on, including immigration, the budget battle, proper health care, world peace, Syria, hunger and the HHS [contraception] mandates,” he said. But the “only one that ever seems to get attention would be any kind of controversial promotion that we would do in defence of life, in defence of marriage and in defence of religious freedom, because they tend to be the more combative issues of the day.”

[…]

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51 Responses to Pope Francis embraces USCCB’s “pastoral priorities”

  1. jhayes says:

    I’m glad that Cardinal Dolan and the USCCB are pointing out the unfairness that Obamacare excludes undocumented workers. They are not allowed to buy insurance through the state exchanges, even if they are willing to pay the full price without any subsidies. They can buy insurance only for U.S. born children or others here legally.

    http://www.nilc.org/immigrantshcr.html

  2. Austin Catholics says:

    “were widely taken as a complete betrayal”

    They were? I never thought that and I don’t think many people who have any understanding of the Church thought that. It’s non-Catholics who seem to think Francis is radical. And maybe the media looking for a good story played it that way.

  3. Traductora says:

    Well, if the “more controversial” issues “get promotion,” in the words of Cdl Dolan, it’s sure not the USCCB doing it.

    I don’t know where these people – many of them hierarchs -they are getting this fantasy Church from.

  4. WesleyD says:

    Just to clarify: The pope never said that Catholics shouldn’t be “obsessed” with matters such as abortion.

    Rather, he said, “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. . . . But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context.”

    The word “obsessed” doesn’t appear until the next paragraph of the interview, in which he refers to people who focus only on certain “dogmatic and moral teachings of the Church”. One could speculate that this refers again to abortion, gay marriage, and contraception — but if that were the case, wouldn’t he have simply referred to “moral teachings” rather than “dogmatic and moral teachings”?

    The New York Times and the AP put “obsessed” and “abortion” together into one sentence, not Francis.

  5. Elizabeth D says:

    I am so glad they went and spoke with him about this frankly, and that he listened and hopefully may learn and adjust his speech to be more sensitive to the pastoral considerations in so many different lands. Damage has been done but it is water under the bridge. God bless our bishops and God bless Pope Francis.

  6. Gratias says:

    Cardinal Dolan’s photograph helped elect Obama. I can read Obama through Dolan.

  7. MarkJ says:

    What about emphasizing the main pastoral priority of saving souls from Hell? Isn’t that what our pastors are supposed to do?

  8. “I am so glad they went and spoke with him about this frankly, and that he listened and hopefully may learn and adjust his speech to be more sensitive to the pastoral considerations in so many different lands. Damage has been done but it is water under the bridge. God bless our bishops and God bless Pope Francis.”

    Well said Elizabeth.Agree. Maybe we’ve all been in shell shock since our Pope Emeritus Benedict stepped down.

  9. mburn16 says:

    The Pope made some comments, yesterday I believe it was, regarding the role for women in the church and society in general – and added a a critique of feminism to the delivery. That makes me think the Holy Father is, indeed, becoming more aware of the degree to which his statements are being taken out of context, and is adjusting his approach accordingly.

    As to Cardinal Dolan’s concerns about getting “hung up” on other issues, I might suggest that this is because those “other issues” leave considerably more room for leeway that allows for disagreement between Catholics, even traditionalist or conservative ones. Life and Marriage are straightforward. Immigration, Healthcare, and Syria….not so much.

  10. TNCath says:

    I am grateful that Pope Francis has embraced the USCCB’s “pastoral priorities.” I also appreciate what he did today with the Marian prayers and the bringing of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima to St. Peter’s Square. I believe there are many things about him that have great appeal. Nonetheless, while I may be one of the “dopes” Fr. Z has referred to in previous posts, I’m still disappointed in him and still miss Pope Benedict XVI. Oremus pro Pontifice!

  11. Robert of Rome says:

    Thanks, Father, for this post. I checked out the National Schismatic Reporter online website and didn’t find a word about the Holy Father’s meeting on Monday with Cardinal Dolan and the USCCB leadership. I guess they didn’t think it was news, or didn’t want it to be.

  12. Papabile says:

    I have not felt “stabbed in the back” as I am quite sure the Pope does not really know the local situation in our country yet, and he is still adapting.

    However, with that said, I think he is probably dogmatically and doctrinally quite sound, though much more radical with respect to overall societal issues than we are used to. While he rejected liberation theology, his practice with respect to the social issues takes on a different flavor than we are used to after 27 years of JPII followed by Benedict.

    With that said, his comments have had a disastrous impact here in the US. It’s too easy for the press to take him out of context and run with it — to the extent that Obama can say the following:

    extracted from New York Times: “He seems somebody who lives out the teachings of Christ. Incredible humility, incredible sense of empathy to the least of these, to the poor,” the president said in an interview on CNBC. “He’s also somebody who’s, I think, first and foremost, thinking about how to embrace people as opposed to push them away. How to find what’s good in them as opposed to condemn them.”

    And the implication there, of course is that the Popes before him pushed people away and condemned them.

    What utter crap, and yet, this is what the unscripted comments bring us. Greg Burke is over there in Rome and knows exactly how this type of thing falls out. Good luck Greg….

  13. rbbadger says:

    I wish he wouldn’t give interviews at all. We have the editor of La Repubblica who apparently doesn’t even take notes, but just relies on his memory. And the other reason is that the American (and European) press takes his unscripted comments and run with them. There’s a whole other set of comments of Pope Francis they ignore. On Friday, he again spoke about the Devil, lambasting scripture scholars who interpret demonic possession as mental illness or epilepsy. These sorts of things don’t make the news. I, for one, am very glad to have a Pope who seems to believe in the reality of the Devil.

  14. Phil_NL says:

    The USCCB needs to do some additional thinking, if you’d ask me.

    “The US bishops have a “lot of issues we’re hung up on, including immigration, the budget battle, proper health care, world peace, Syria, hunger and the HHS [contraception] mandates,” he said.”

    No, your eminence, out of the 7 items you mention there, you score 1 (the last) while the others aren’t even remotely your business when it comes to practical politics. The others are all firmly in the category of prudential judgement, and it would be a very, very good idea if your emininces stayed clear of them. If the US passes a budget is not a religious question at all, and if you say it is, then everything becomes one, and then the USCCB should simply declare itself an affiliate of the US democratic party.

    As for the follow-up, “But the “only one that ever seems to get attention would be any kind of controversial promotion that we would do in defence of life, in defence of marriage and in defence of religious freedom, because they tend to be the more combative issues of the day.””

    I’d say that should actually be your core business, as those directly pertain to the perservastion of the faith and the salvation of souls. Be glad it gets that much attention!!

  15. jflare says:

    I realize the mainstream media have cast Pope Francis saying that..we shouldn’t be so worried about abortion and so forth. Honestly though, reading his various comments in light of the Church’s Tradition, I understand him VERY differently. He seems to me to be directing us to live our lives according to Catholic principles in EVERY aspect of our lives all the more rigorously. He calls on us to be more..obvious..about the fact that our faith isn’t simply something we do on Sunday. If anything, we’re to be all the more vigorous about making daily choices according to what we believe.

    He’s not telling us to abandon the fight, but to make it less of a story by virtue of flooding the scene with prayers, with public demonstrations of what our faith means, and that sort of thing.
    We’re to pray passionately in Mass, then take that passion for life to the streets.
    We’re supposed to do whatever we’re able to build a more publicly obvious Catholic culture.

  16. Tradster says:

    Your Excellency, how is that”warm, inviting side of the Church” stuff working out for you while parishes continue to close due to the ongoing flood of people voting with their feet?

  17. Robbie says:

    It’s too bad Cardinal Dolan has to come in and do “clean up in aisle 6″. I wish we couldn’t hear direct words like these from the Bishop of Rome. On the other hand, NARAL is just fine with the recent comments and so is Obama.

  18. Robbie says:

    Should read “could” rather than “couldn’t”. Sorry.

  19. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    God bless and help Pope Francis. God bless and help His Holy Church.

  20. Devo35 says:

    I concur with MarkJ- it would be refreshing if the US bishops could be “hung up” on the spiritual and teaching parts of their job and less on the political. It sometime feels that if we replaced the NCCB with a Catholic PAC nobody would be able to tell the difference.

  21. “No, your eminence, out of the 7 items you mention there, you score 1 (the last) while the others aren’t even remotely your business when it comes to practical politics. The others are all firmly in the category of prudential judgement, and it would be a very, very good idea if your emininces stayed clear of them. If the US passes a budget is not a religious question at all, and if you say it is, then everything becomes one, and then the USCCB should simply declare itself an affiliate of the US democratic party.” hear ya Phil. I can also see Obama through Dolan. They don’t remember the mention of God being booed at the Democratic Convention? They’re not Democrats anymore.They’re progressives. Most of them secular humanists and pro abortion,same sex marriage advocates.
    Relieved someone spoke to Our Holy Father.I too wish he would give no more interviews.We’re in one heck of a battle.The enemy doesn’t need ammo.

  22. tcreek says:

    Good news for many.
    Cardinal Dolan will be replaced as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops this year, probably by Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville.

  23. SKAY says:

    Obama’s Catholic advisors are people like Pelosi, Biden, Sebelius and the Kennedys etc.. For some reason I do not think he has any idea what the Catholic Church truly is–nor does he care. He is only about destroying what he cannot control as he makes us into a third world country by dividing any group that sees through the façade behind him. Even sadder–they allow him to do it.
    Look at what this administration is doing to our Catholic chaplains. They are being told what they can and cannot preach as far as the Bible is concerned. Sounds like the beginning of a “state” religion to me.

    Hispanics are not the only people this administration is allowing to come across our southern border illegally. Many are Chinese nationals and people from Middle Eastern countries who have ideological intentions and are not coming here just for a “better” life and work and certainly not to become Christians. They will be included in this immigration “reform” idea. The devil is always in the hidden details with the group pushing this bill. People who live in the area see what is happening and so do our law enforcement people who are down there.
    I do wonder if the Bishops – and those who take everything this administration says at face value-
    understand how all of this will affect the future of the Church and the future security of our country and our children.

    ” objections to the Affordable Care Act, “because it excludes the baby in the womb and the undocumented worker.” “Excluding the baby in the womb” is to be expected by this administration as well as broad support of the the abortion industry. This country will not be able to support Obamacare(Un-ACA ) as it is. At least 21 new taxes are included in this bill. Expect more. Perhaps even a federal property tax that would include everyone–except special people as we see with Obamacare.
    Seven hundred billion was taken out of Medicare and given to Medicaid. This will directly affect the health care of legal senior citizens who have worked and paid into Medicare.
    Perhaps the Bishops need to come up with a better idea than adding millions more illegals to the Obamacare list. .
    I pray daily for our dear Pope Emeritus Benedict and for Pope Francis as he leads the Church through the many minefields of evil that seem to be ahead of all of us.

  24. Palladio says:

    The Pope is embracing tradition. The Gospel was just, in St. Peter’s Square, introduced and concluded in Latin, chanted. The It was chanted in Italian.

  25. MarkG says:

    I know someone at AP who is going through all of the press releases put out be the individual US Bishops since Pope Francis was elected to see how many of them speak on the “obsession issues.” So far, it’s a very high percentage. For a couple of Bishops, it’s 100% – they haven’t put out a single press release that doesn’t mention the “obsession issues” since Pope Francis was elected.
    That in itself should explain why Pope Francis is asking Bishops to stop their obsession about these issues.

    Recently I’ve heard a lot of traditionalist making noise about the “sins crying to heaven for vengeance”. One of those is the sin of Sodom. But, they seem to forget the other ones. Like cheating workers out of their just wages. Why haven’t the Catholic CEOs who have cheated their workers out of wages been denied Communion? For example, the president of a major airline is Catholic, and he cheated the workers out of their retirements (which they paid into) while taking tens of millions of dollars in bonuses for himself. Why hasn’t his Bishop denied him Communion?

  26. Priam1184 says:

    As I have said before, and will doubtless say again if permitted: our world is dying. Pray the Rosary and meditate on the mysteries EVERY DAY.

  27. jhayes says:

    Here’s a video clip of the meeting:

    http://www.romereports.com/palio/pope-meets-with-cardinal-dolan-and-us-bishops-conference-leadership-english-11252.html

    “October 7, 2013. (Romereports.com) (-VIDEO ONLY-) Pope Francis dedicated a few minutes of his busy Monday schedule to meet with the leadership of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

    The meeting was brief but festive, with the Pope and the bishops making jokes with each other. The Pope especially joked on this limited knowledge of English, and how he had forgotten what he had learned.

    The group was led by archbishop of New York, and current conference president, Cardinal Timothy Dolan. It also includes the Archbishop of Louisville Joseph Kurtz, the Archbishop of Seattle Peter Sartain, and the Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston Michael Bransfield. “

  28. AA Cunningham says:

    “excludes undocumented workers”(sic) jhayes

    No need to engage in politically correct semantic obfuscation. An undocumented worker is a resident alien who happens to get caught out of their home without their green card. They can purchase health insurance. An illegal alien doesn’t possess legal documents and does not belong in the country.

    “Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Those committing crimes and mortal sins shouldn’t have their behavior condoned and enabled by some members of the Church who selectively disregard her teachings.

  29. markomalley says:

    I would prefer to hear this out of His Holiness’ mouth.

    For example, I would find it difficult to reconcile Bergoglio’s positions made in the past (both as Archbishop of Buenos Aires and as Pope) with support for some of the positions taken by the USCCB (particularly those taken by Bishops Pates and Blaire).

    For example, the USCCB’s position (to include Cardinal Dolan) on immigration is well-known. I have never read about any initiative by the USCCB to address economic problems and injustices in the countries of origin of any alien who has stepped foot on the US.

    Yet, the Holy Father, just a month ago, made the following statement:

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/messages/migration/documents/papa-francesco_20130805_world-migrants-day_en.html

    It must also be emphasized that such cooperation begins with the efforts of each country to create better economic and social conditions at home, so that emigration will not be the only option left for those who seek peace, justice, security and full respect of their human dignity. The creation of opportunities for employment in the local economies will also avoid the separation of families and ensure that individuals and groups enjoy conditions of stability and serenity.

    Not a word from the USCCB on the bolded text above, yet the Holy Father states that this should be the beginning point. (Please provide links if I am wrong about my assertion about the USCCB)

    Or for another example, I don’t think it would be incorrect to say the USCCB Office of Domestic Social Development, under the leadership of Bishop Blaire, has never seen a government social program they don’t like (except, obviously, those that support abortion). For example, see their recent letter imploring Members of Congress to maintain social assistance program funding in light of the recent government shutdown.

    On the other hand, Cardinal Bergoglio has made the following statement in the past (and, to my knowledge, has not changed his position):

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/extreme_poverty_is_also_a_violation_of_human_rights_says_argentinean_cardinal/

    Cardinal Bergoglio said the challenge to eradicate poverty could not be truthfully met as long as the poor continue to be dependents of the State. The government and other organizations should instead work to create the social conditions that will promote and protect the rights of the poor and enable them to be the builders of their own future, he explained.

    To confirm this, he more recently said: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-francis-address-to-the-astalli-center-in-rome

    …Hospitality alone isn’t enough. It’s not enough to give a bun if it isn’t accompanied by the possibility to learn to walk with their own legs. Charity that leaves the poor as they are isn’t enough. True mercy, which God gives and teaches us, calls for justice, for the poor to find the way so that they are no longer poor…

    If the Holy Father agrees with the USCCB’s agenda, I , for one, would prefer to hear that out of the Holy Father’s mouth rather than Cardinal Dolan’s.

  30. anna 6 says:

    “Pope Francis “was very attentive to that and he listened very closely”, Cardinal Dolan said.”

    Pope Francis may have listened attentively, but did he say anything to them? (Remember that he does not speak English). “Listening” doesn’t necessarily mean that he “supports the US bishops’ public stands”.

  31. av8er says:

    MarkG, are you equating the taking of innocent human life with stolen wages? The former committed by millions the latter committed by few. All sin offends an infinite God infinitely but some some sins are more grievous than others, especially when done on a massive scale.

  32. jhayes says:

    AA Cunnigham said: “excludes undocumented workers”(sic) jhayes

    No need to engage in politically correct semantic obfuscation. An undocumented worker is a resident alien who happens to get caught out of their home without their green card. They can purchase health insurance. An illegal alien doesn’t possess legal documents and does not belong in the country.

    “Undocumented worker” is the term that Cardinal Dolan used. He said he told “the Pope about some of the US bishops’ “pastoral priorities”, including support for immigration reform and objections to the Affordable Care Act, “because it excludes the baby in the womb and the undocumented worker”

    The USCCB position is:

    USCCB Position
    The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) opposes “enforcement only” immigration policies and supports comprehensive immigration reform. In Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope, the U.S. Catholic Bishops outlined the elements of their proposal for comprehensive immigration reform. These include:

    Earned Legalization: An earned legalization program would allow foreign nationals of good moral character who are living in the United States to apply to adjust their status to obtain lawful permanent residence. Such a program would create an eventual path to citizenship, requiring applicants to complete and pass background checks, pay a fine, and establish eligibility for resident status to participate in the program. Such a program would help stabilize the workforce, promote family unity, and bring a large population “out of the shadows,” as members of their communities.

    http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/immigration/churchteachingonimmigrationreform.cfm

  33. Kathleen10 says:

    Too many good points here to point out.
    My brain starts to itch when I ponder the political nature of our hierarchy’s comments on these issues. Yes, I agree with whoever said the priority needs to be on saving souls, and not these political concerns such as immigration. Immigration has been on the bishops’s Top Ten List for some time now, and they need to know they are not speaking for all Catholics. I don’t know the numbers. I understand we have different opinions on this topic, but speaking for myself I also agree with the person who mentioned our security issues. We know the concerns, and they are legitimate. And on other points I think our federal laws need to be respected and enforced. We are having a hard time meeting the needs of our citizens, and God knows what awaits all of us with Obamacare as we go along.
    I have long wondered about why things seem so out of whack in our church. I love our Catholic faith, but something has been, and still appears, seriously wrong. I don’t wish to offend anyone, certainly not Fr. Z., (augh!) and certainly not any clergy who might happen to be reading, but something just seems wrong. Politically speaking, only the attack on the family, traditional marriage, the advancement of a pro-homosexual culture, the assaults on children, seem like issues fair game for the Bishops, Cardinals, to weigh in on, as someone mentioned. Immigration, I’m sorry, I’m a bit “suspicious” on that one, and it’s completely out of step with my views. When you delve into politics, you are going to enamor some, alienate others. And the budget? Out of the realm.
    I dislike seeing my church act like a “PAC” as well. If the Bishops are in any way aligned with the Democrat party, no wonder things seem off, and no wonder we have so many confused Catholics who voted Obama in. (50% of Catholics voted for him from what I’ve heard) With his radical abortion views, that’s terrible. How did American Catholics end up so incredibly divided on these fundamental issues!
    Someone made a good comment about Catholics “voting with their feet” and leaving the church. Sometimes, I admit, I have wondered if the church has already left us.

  34. robtbrown says:

    MarkG,

    Why haven’t the Catholic CEOs who have cheated their workers out of wages been denied Communion? For example, the president of a major airline is Catholic, and he cheated the workers out of their retirements (which they paid into) while taking tens of millions of dollars in bonuses for himself. Why hasn’t his Bishop denied him Communion?

    I agree with you. But let’s not stop there. There are states (e.g., California and Illinois) that underfunded their pension funds for years.

  35. robtbrown says:

    When Ordinatio Sacerdotalis was promulgated, accompanied, though furtively, by the permission for altar girls, I was stunned to see how many bishops were publicly grateful for the latter while never mentioning the former.

  36. JMody says:

    including support for immigration reform and objections to the Affordable Care Act, “because it excludes the baby in the womb and the undocumented worker, and also because the implementation of it would place a severe burden on our religious convictions and our consciences”

    Dear Cardinal Dolan, Your Eminence — what about the very basis of the law being socialism which the Church has defined as EVIL for over 200 years?? This is what Cardinal Burke meant when he said we are a nation of POORLY CATECHIZED Catholics, and it looks like the problem is at least 2 generations deep.

    Or, if we focus on things like the catechism and the teachings of Popes who have shuffled off the mortal coils, are we being “a scold”?

  37. JMody says:

    And as for immigration, when the dear bishops speak publicly about the ENTIRE paragraph, they will probably start to make some headway. Until then, they talk just like a bunch of open-borders … socialists. What the Catechism says, with my emphasis

    2241 The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

    Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

    The guest-worker program they espouse has destroyed cultural and spiritual heritage and law and order everywhere it was tried.

  38. “Why haven’t the Catholic CEOs who have cheated their workers out of wages been denied Communion? For example, the president of a major airline is Catholic, and he cheated the workers out of their retirements (which they paid into) while taking tens of millions of dollars in bonuses for himself. Why hasn’t his Bishop denied him Communion?”
    sorry but i don’t see where this is the equivalent of genocide nor is it the equivalent of Catholics who directly affect policy.if what you’re saying is that Pelosi et all should receive communion to make it ‘fair’ I’m afraid you’re not grasping it.

  39. I also want to add i feel very sorry for being so harsh re Pope Francis when i should have continued to ignore the media coverage. Relieved he was spoken to and given a ‘heads up’…and still wish he would not give more interviews unless he’s prepared not to fall into various traps.Still,maybe i was a little too hard on our Holy Father.

    (50% of Catholics voted for him from what I’ve heard) With his radical abortion views, that’s terrible. How did American Catholics end up so incredibly divided on these fundamental issues!

    Incredibly sad isn’t it? Like you I keep asking that same question. They don’t know Church teaching?Don’t care?

    “Someone made a good comment about Catholics “voting with their feet” and leaving the church. Sometimes, I admit, I have wondered if the church has already left us

    No the Church hasn’t left us.Pls don’t get so discouraged you think this.It’s the one anchor we have. I know how discouragement can start to set in.It’s a tool of the other side.Get with people who will support you.Like the good folks on Fr Z’s blog.You are also welcome to join us here.Catholic Pillar & FoundationWe’re hoping to reach the very people you’re talking about.We could use a hand. :)

  40. prayerisouronlyhope says:

    ” (50% of Catholics voted for him from what I’ve heard) With his radical abortion views, that’s terrible. How did American Catholics end up so incredibly divided on these fundamental issues!

    Incredibly sad isn’t it? Like you I keep asking that same question. They don’t know Church teaching?Don’t care?”

    I think it was because so many pastors were telling their parishioners that it was okay to vote that way because of the other social issues – immigration, health care (which the USCCB favored), etc.

  41. jflare says:

    “For example, the president of a major airline is Catholic, and he cheated the workers out of their retirements (which they paid into) while taking tens of millions of dollars in bonuses for himself.”

    Whoa!! Even if theft isn’t as serious as murder, I’d say this still constitutes a pretty serious charge! This seems to me to be VERY suspect. I must say, this sounds more like a charge that might be leveled by an angry union member or leader, not by someone who understands the circumstances of a particular business or industry.
    If there’s a case about theft, fraud, or other criminal conduct, then I’d suggest that membership of the airline act accordingly. If not, I’d suggest learning how the industry actually functions.

  42. jhayes says:

    J Mody wrote Dear Cardinal Dolan, Your Eminence — what about the very basis of the law being socialism which the Church has defined as EVIL for over 200 years??

    If you read Leo XIII’s Quod Apostolici Muneris, you’ll see that the “socialism” he condemned was a very specific movement of his time. As Benedict pointed out in his 2005 Christmas address, “democracy” was also condemned at times, but those condemnations have to be read in the context of their times.

    In the Catechism (2402 et seq.), the Church teaches “The Universal Destination of Goods”, saying “In the beginning God entrusted the earth and its resources to the common stewardship of mankind to take care of them, master them by labor, and enjoy their fruits. The goods of creation are destined for the whole human race.”

    and,

    “2406 Political authority has the right and duty to regulate the legitimate exercise of the right to ownership for the sake of the common good.”

    And, at an individual level (in 2408)

    “There is no theft if consent can be presumed or if refusal is contrary to reason and the universal destination of goods. This is the case in obvious and urgent necessity when the only way to provide for immediate, essential needs (food, shelter, clothing . . .) is to put at one’s disposal and use the property of others.”

  43. SKAY says:

    “I think it was because so many pastors were telling their parishioners that it was okay to vote that way because of the other social issues – immigration, health care (which the USCCB favored), etc.”

    Exactly what I heard on a local public broadcasting station Catholic show from a priest appearing on that program before Obama’s first Presidential election. He was also very supportive of Catholics United for the Common Good and was involved with their activities. After looking into that group and seeing that George Soros was a contributor, I began to realize that something was wrong.

  44. ecs says:

    Growing up Novus Ordo Catholic, I always felt the priests were all Democrats and I was always turned off to the Church by the overt and false politicization of its priests and employees. When I actually taught myself the faith in my early 20’s I was amazed at just how contrary the modern Socialism promoted by the American Church is to authentic Catholic teaching. Actual Catholic social teaching is perfectly reasonable and true and quite beautiful. It does not at all resemble the ugly and unreasonable political comments and agendas of modern clerics and their representatives. The Church has lost a lot the last 50 years and right there at the top of the pile of wreckage is the communist perversion of Catholic social teaching to advance the interests of the state. In a lot of ways, the American Catholic Church has become an enemy to the American people. It’s sad. I love watching the old clips of Bishop Sheen from his Life is Worth Living days. There you saw in one man what it meant to be truly American and truly Catholic. We are in dire need of a Bishop Sheen right now.

  45. jhayes says:

    Here’s the Vatican Radio interview with Cardinal Dolan about the meeting with Pope Francis:

    “The highlight of course, is going to see the Pope. So we got to do that, we got to see Pope Francis which for us was exciting,” Cardinal Dolan said. “I hadn’t seen him since the conclave and …Archbishop Joe Kurtz, the Archbishop of Louisville who’s the Vice President of the USCCB…I don’t think he had met the Holy Father. So this was very exciting and it was really just kind of a friendly conversation. It wasn’t so much that we had business – because traditionally when you go to see the Pope, it’s kind of a meeting of brothers. And that’s what it was for us. With the other ones, like when we see a prefect of a congregation, we’ll have an agenda: these are items, these are business things that we know that you’re interested in, that you’ve asked us to follow up on. With the Holy Father of course, no. …”

    In their half hour meeting with the Pope, Cardinal Dolan said “we conveyed to him the love and the admiration and the esteem and gratitude of the Catholic people of the United States, and indeed of the people of the United States and especially the bishops. We had spoken about a beautiful new sense of a freshness and creativity within the Church that’s thanks to his providential leadership.”

    Cardinal Dolan said Pope Francis displayed a “healthy curiosity” and interest in the issues that the bishops’ conference is working on. “We spoke to him about immigration for instance, and thanked him for his heroic visit to Lampedusa and then of course…that almost led to him crying over the current tragedy. He told us by the way, and I hadn’t heard this: he said, by the way, I’ve sent my ‘elemosiner’ – the papal almoner – in other words, the man who gives out the charity (donations) of the Pope. He’d sent him as his personal delegate to Lampedusa to be with the families and to try to help the survivors and see that this tragedy would never reoccur….He asked us about our Catholic schools, he asked about vocations, he asked about the Latino population. So you could tell he had a very healthy curiosity about the Catholic Church in the United States.”

    http://www.news.va/en/news/cardinal-dolan-on-meeting-with-pope-francis-us-rea

  46. MarkG says:

    >>>>av8er: MarkG, are you equating the taking of innocent human life with stolen wages? The former committed by millions the latter committed by few. All sin offends an infinite God infinitely but some some sins are more grievous than others, especially when done on a massive scale.
    >>>>boxerpaws1952 : sorry but i don’t see where this is the equivalent of genocide nor is it the equivalent of Catholics who directly affect policy.if what you’re saying is that Pelosi et all should receive communion to make it ‘fair’ I’m afraid you’re not grasping it.

    I’m actually not equating them, I was pointing them out as sins that the Church herself categorizes as “sins that cry to heaven for vengeance”, which are commonly sited in the justification of the denial of Communion. Below is #1867 in the current Catechism that affirms this ancient teaching of the Church. If you don’t agree with #1867, if you feel it’s equating sins that aren’t equivalent, then that’s a different issue from what I was talking about.
    Sorry if I didn’t make that clear.
    My point is probably better stated as this: Some Bishops and some traditionalists are picking and choosing sins from #1867 in their judgments on who should be denied Communion.

    From the Catechism:
    1867 The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are “sins that cry to heaven”: the blood of Abel, the sin of the Sodomites, the cry of the people oppressed in Egypt, the cry of the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan, injustice to the wage earner.

  47. ecs says:

    MarkG is engaging in a common tactic of the Left. Establish a false premise without a shred of evidence in order to identify a non-existent hypocrisy which will then be used to undermine the legitimate arguments and concerns of his political opponents. I do not believe MarkG knows of a single Bishop or Traditionalist who can reasonably and justly be said to be guilty of “picking and choosing.” For instance, if MarkG was to say this about Fr. Z, as he seems to be doing here, I would say his accusation is neither reasonable nor just and is being used to make himself feel better about his 2012 Obama vote.

  48. acardnal says:

    RE: some comments here regarding Socialism: A quote from Pope John Paul II:

    “The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency.”

  49. Bea says:

    They still don’t get it.

    “According to Cardinal Dolan, the US bishops have a “lot of issues we’re hung up on, including immigration, the budget battle, proper health care, world peace, Syria, hunger and the HHS [contraception] mandates,” he said. But the “only one that ever seems to get attention would be any kind of controversial promotion that we would do in defence of life, in defence of marriage and in defence of religious freedom, because they tend to be the more combative issues of the day.”

    What?
    (Scratching my head)

    “lot of issues we’re hung up on, including immigration, the budget battle, proper health care, world peace, Syria, hunger and the HHS [contraception] mandates,”

    I saw “hung up on” and I thought: “Oh good! They’re finally getting it (that they’re “hung up on” these worldly secular issues) when the spiritual ones are falling by the wayside”

    And then I read further and came back to square one. “They still don’t get it.” Defense of life, marriage and religious freedom are getting attention because they are controversial and combative issues????? Don’t they realize that they’re getting the attention because they are MORAL issues?

    Why is it that the laity get it and the bishops don’t?

    Out in the pews we are starving for Truth and leadership and all we get is PC in line with the secular world. The collective soul of America is in grave danger and all we get is PC/CP=Concentrated Pablum instead of TLC=Teaching and Leadership according to Christ.

  50. markomalley says:

    jhayes,

    You wrote: If you read Leo XIII’s Quod Apostolici Muneris, you’ll see that the “socialism” he condemned was a very specific movement of his time…

    If you read Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, you’d note the following:

    38…First of all, there is the duty of safeguarding private property by legal enactment and protection…neither justice nor the common good allows any individual to seize upon that which belongs to another, or, under the futile and shallow pretext of equality, to lay violent hands on other people’s possessions…

    And if you were to read John Paul II’s Centesimus Annus, you’d note the following:

    48…Malfunctions and defects in the Social Assistance State are the result of an inadequate understanding of the tasks proper to the State…By intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility, the Social Assistance State leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than by concern for serving their clients, and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending. In fact, it would appear that needs are best understood and satisfied by people who are closest to them and who act as neighbours to those in need…

    The Magisterium does not support socialism in any way, shape, or form.

  51. jhayes says:

    Markomalley, i was replying to J Mody who said that the Church has defined socialism as evil.

    J-P Ii’s Centesimus Annus reviews Leo XII’s Rerum Novarum and says essentially what I did

    “30. In Rerum novarum, Leo XIII strongly affirmed the natural character of the right to private property, using various arguments against the socialism of his time. This right, which is fundamental for the autonomy and development of the person, has always been defended by the Church up to our own day. At the same time, the Church teaches that the possession of material goods is not an absolute right, and that its limits are inscribed in its very nature as a human right.

    While the Pope proclaimed the right to private ownership, he affirmed with equal clarity that the “use” of goods, while marked by freedom, is subordinated to their original common destination as created goods, as well as to the will of Jesus Christ as expressed in the Gospel. “

    In other sections, J-P II calls for government actions that some people (not me) would claim to be “socialism”. Note that by “iberalism”, he means what, in Philosophy, is called “Classical Liberalism” – the opposite of what we in the US usually call Liberalism.

    “10. Another important aspect, which has many applications to our own day, is the concept of the relationship between the State and its citizens. Rerum novarum criticizes two social and economic systems: socialism and liberalism. The opening section, in which the right to private property is reaffirmed, is devoted to socialism. Liberalism is not the subject of a special section, but it is worth noting that criticisms of it are raised in the treatment of the duties of the State. The State cannot limit itself to “favouring one portion of the citizens”, namely the rich and prosperous, nor can it “neglect the other”, which clearly represents the majority of society. Otherwise, there would be a violation of that law of justice which ordains that every person should receive his due. “When there is question of defending the rights of individuals, the defenceless and the poor have a claim to special consideration. The richer class has many ways of shielding itself, and stands less in need of help from the State; whereas the mass of the poor have no resources of their own to fall back on, and must chiefly depend on the assistance of the State. It is for this reason that wage-earners, since they mostly belong to the latter class, should be specially cared for and protected by the Government….

    These passages are relevant today, especially in the face of the new forms of poverty in the world, and also because they are affirmations which do not depend on a specific notion of the State or on a particular political theory. Leo XIII is repeating an elementary principle of sound political organization, namely, the more that individuals are defenceless within a given society, the more they require the care and concern of others, and in particular the intervention of governmental authority.”

    And, in the middle of Section 11:

    “If Pope Leo XIII calls upon the State to remedy the condition of the poor in accordance with justice, he does so because of his timely awareness that the State has the duty of watching over the common good and of ensuring that every sector of social life, not excluding the economic one, contributes to achieving that good, while respecting the rightful autonomy of each sector”

    And, a final excerpt:

    “43. The Church has no models to present; models that are real and truly effective can only arise within the framework of different historical situations, through the efforts of all those who responsibly confront concrete problems in all their social, economic, political and cultural aspects, as these interact with one another.

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_01051991_centesimus-annus_en.html