Anti-Catholic Catholics attacking the Pope – useful tools

Newsweek posted an op-ed of anti-Catholic religious bigotry on the Guest Spot of "On Faith" written by Robert S. McElvaine, a professor at Millsaps College, associated with the United Methodist Church.

Arter reading this, ou will probably agree that this man’s pastor should deny him Holy Communion until he issued a public statement of apology. 

My emphases and comments.

Impeach the Pope 

By Robert S. McElvaine
Professor of Arts & Letters, Millsaps College

Enough! No–Too much!

Amid all the justified outrage we all feel at Bernie Madoff and the AIG bandits, let us save some intense outrage for Pope Benedict XVI.  [If the writer thinks there is any moral equivalent here, it would be legitimate to ask how he got a doctorate.]

After insulting Muslims by declaring in 2006 that Muhammad had brought "things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached," [Pope Benedict didn’t declare this.  It was a quote of someone else in his Regensburg Address.] after reiterating (through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) in 2008 that the subject of the ordination of women is not even open for discussion and declaring that anyone involved with the ordination of women will be automatically excommunicated, [So the Catholic Church doesn’t get to say what the Catholic Church believes?] after lifting in January of this year the excommunication of Holocaust-denier Richard Williamson, [Irresponsibly obtuse: that is not why the excommunication was liften.  And this is a professor writing this.  Tisk.] now Benedict XVI opens a visit to Africa by telling the people of a continent decimated by AIDS that the distribution of condoms "increases the problem" of the spread of AIDS.  [But… it does.]

I am a Catholic [?!] and the idea that such a man is God’s spokesperson on earth is absurd to me.  [This is a Catholic… talking in this manner… in public… in print… about the Pope.]

There are, of course, no provisions in the hierarchical institution set up, not by Jesus but by men who hijacked his name and in many cases perverted his teachings, for impeaching a pope and removing him from office. But there ought to be[insert your chosen invective here]

As I detail in my latest book, [Ahhhhh!  NOW we get to what this is a about.  It isn’t about Pope Benedict at all.  This is all about talking about himself and his book!  I am reminded of the false outrage some congressmen display during hearing when they know the cameras are on.] "Grand Theft Jesus: The Hijacking of Religion in America" (Crown), the cardinal sin of the Catholic Church — a literally deadly sin, if ever there was one — is its opposition to birth control. [So, he as called the Church sinful.  And he dissents from Catholic teaching on birth control.] Far from being, as the Church contends, part of its moral doctrine, this policy [Policies can be changed right?  That is why he weasles his way into this language.] is, plainly, the immoral doctrine of the Church. The use of condoms is a pro-life position[uh huh]

Why does the Church persist in such a manifestly immoral doctrine? [Now he is starting to sound like a kook.] One suspects that it must be the usual twisted thinking about sex and women. The Church’s opposition to birth control is largely an outgrowth of its all-male composition and those males’ attempts to degrade women’s physical powers  [not just kooky, but maybe not very up to date on what the Church has been teaching for decades]  by asserting that women and the intercourse into which they supposedly tempt men are necessary evils ("It is well for a man not to touch a woman," Paul instructed the Christians of Corinth), the only purpose of which is procreation.

Misogyny may not be "the Church’s one foundation," but it is a major part of the base on which it was constructed.  [Not just kooky, but a also little thick.]

It should be obvious that the sin in an over-populated world [HUH?  He is also a zero-sum disciple of Erlich too?  I wonder if he is a Malthusian or, perhaps, in favor of eugenics.] is not attempting to control birth, but attempting to control birth control.

And now for the pope to go so far as to indicate that condom use worsens the spread of AIDS [Umm… it does.] — there’s an outrage that tops Madoff and AIG! 

Let’s start a movement within the Catholic Church to impeach Pope Benedict XVI and remove him from office. While we’re at it, let’s replace him with a woman[Thus confirming the thick element mentioned above.]

He reversed the excommunication of a Holocaust denier. Will he excommunicate me for pointing out that he is a misogyny denier[No… worse!  He won’t buy your stupid book, which is really what this is a about, isn’t it.]

If this be heresy, make the most of it.

Robert S. McElvaine is Elizabeth Chisholm Professor of Arts & Letters at Millsaps College. His latest book is Grand Theft Jesus: The Hijacking of Religion in America (Crown).


Guys like this are really just flapping their arms around so that you will notice them and maybe.. just maybe… a few people out there will buy their books. 

There is no real need to get overly excited about this fellow.  This is simply a useful exercise in what we are going to be seeing a great deal more of in the next couple years.

Satan has the crowbar in right now and he’s prying hard. 

Progressivists, most of whom don’t a clue what they are talking about but excel at puffing up in indignation about things they label "not fair", will in the manner of Lenin’s useful idiots broaden more and more the scope of the last acceptable social prejudice. 

They will make the true anti-Catholic movement which is coming down the road a lot more acceptable to a lot more people.

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  1. Richard says:

    A prime example of the “spirit” of Vatican II and the poor catechesis since.

  2. Brian2 says:

    Whatever…. nobody cares about what an assistant professor at Millsap college thinks. This essay is so filled with half-truth, mistakes, and non-sequiturs that it could be passed out in English 101 or ‘Logic and Critical Thinking’ as an example of mistakes to avoid. If this is the most erudite opponent of Benedict XVI that a major periodical such as Newsweek could find, well, we can conclude that the agenda this man represents in the church is dead, and the corpse is beginning to stink

  3. Well, I wrote him, charitably of course!


    Department of History

    Millsaps College

    Jackson, MS 39210

  4. ding dong, ding dong, you don’t have to pull your own rope for us to tell, ding dong

  5. You have to wonder whether the Washtington [Com]Post would have printed such a thing if it were aimed at another major religion.

    What cracks me up about people like this is that with all the education they have, they never do their homework.

  6. RichR says:

    Intellectually unsatisfying.

    Spiritually bankrupt.

    Religiously sacreligious.

    Politically impotent.

    Personally offensive.

    If this gentleman is looking for an audience, he will bore half of his readers and offend the other half.

    Sad that a “Catholic” takes his cues from democracy rather than ecclesiology. Maybe he should learn what Catholics actually believe before making a fool of himself.

  7. shadrach says:

    How idiotic! But, pray for this man. And be charitable, if you e-mail him – he may be converted from this over time. I have seen that happen before.

  8. Tominellay says:

    It’s sorry to see Newsweek carry this trash, penned by a Millsaps College professor; just two weeks ago we discussed an anti-Catholic article in the student newspaper at Ole Miss. What are they eating and drinking in Mississippi?

  9. Kevin says:

    It’s almost a law of nature: If an opinion columnist ever writes the words, “I was raised Catholic/I am a Catholic,” everything following that phrase will be garbage. Say a prayer for his conversion. And everyone, please pray for the Holy Father. The forces of hell are growing ever bolder.

  10. Drew says:

    Is it just me or does it feel like the Church is entering the Agony of the Garden?

  11. Ottaviani says:

    Is it just me or does it feel like the Church is entering the Agony of the Garden?

    That, my friend, has been happening for the last 40 years. Now the church is on Golgatha and ready to be crucified.

    As to the author of this tripe – what a blithering idiot.

  12. John Enright says:

    “Now he is starting to sound like a kook.” Excuse me, Father, but I got that impression almost immediately. This is a seriously disturbed and obviously narcissistic man who believes he has a better vision of the truth. Of course, we all know that the keys were delivered to St. Peter and his successors, and not some ranting lunatic pseudo-catholic who teaches History at a Mississippi school founded by a dedicated Confederate officer.

  13. John Enright says:

    I forgot to mention that the “Mississippi school founded by a dedicated Confederate officer” is associated with the Methodists, not the Catholic Church.

  14. EDG says:

    They will make the true anti-Catholic movement which is coming down the road a lot more acceptable to a lot more people…

    That is very true. They are presenting themselves as the “true” Catholics and, as we saw in the recent attempted takeover in CT, the secular society whose values and creed they support will do everything to portray them as such. It’s bad enough that they will probably soon end up with much of the Church’s property; the really disturbing thing is that they want the name.

  15. Luigi says:

    Like all things, God will bring good from the current climate, as much as it angers us. There is a useful side to this open season on the pope and the Church; where public displays of hatred are not only accepted but applauded.

    Let’s face it, this imbicile McElvaine has most likely been an enemy of the Church for many years. The only thing that may have changed recently is his comfort level with publicly declaring his true allegiance.

    There are thousands upon thousands of this guy out there. I’d rather see their hatred for the Vicar of Christ and His Church shouted from the rooftops and publicized in the media than have it confined to whispers it in the hallways of Catholic parishes and other institutions.

    I say let the battlelines be clearly drawn and let the enemies line up in the daylight. I far prefer the enemy I can identify from the one who lurks in the shadows.

  16. Joseph says:

    I just don’t know what should be said.

    At least, he doesn’t claim to be a “devout Catholic,” as some of our public officials never tire of saying.

    Sigh . . .

  17. Tommy says:

    If this was an attack on the heresy of Islam this would be talked about by the media nonstop and bombs would be going off no doubt…but of course it’s only anti-catholic so its OK.

  18. RBrown says:

    This is actually a very important article, simply because it is a prime example of what ails American secular universities.

    The author is not a professor of philosophy, theology, or Church History–nor for that matter, Medieval History.

    Robert McElvaine is a prof of American History, a field of study that offers next to no insight into the Catholic Faith. Further, he is someone who seems seriously deficient in even a rudimentary understanding of the Faith. Yet he wants to write an essay in a nationally read newspaper on the Church as if it is in his field of expertise.

    I wonder whether he plans a future essay on Neurosurgery or Quantum Mechanics

    Socrates was considered the wisest man in Greece because he knew what he didn’t know. The article makes clear that such a description could not be applied to Prof McElvaine.

  19. Emilio III says:

    Ed Peters says “If Robert McElvaine hasn’t violated Canon 1369, who has?” Thinks it’s about time for the bishops to start enforcing the law.

    (Can. 1369 A person who in a public show or speech, in published writing, or in other uses of the instruments of social communication utters blasphemy, gravely injures good morals, expresses insults, or excites hatred or contempt against religion or the Church is to be punished with a just penalty.)

  20. Mary says:

    “We must be doing something right, the time to worry is when they ignore us.” A comment my father made in the early 1950’s when I was very upset over some kids who chased me because I was a “catlick”

  21. Is it just me or does it feel like the Church is entering the Agony of the Garden?

    That, my friend, has been happening for the last 40 years. Now the church is on Golgatha and ready to be crucified.

    I hate to break it to you all, but it’s been happening a lot longer than that. The Church has been in the Agony of the Garden from the beginning. It’s been a lot worse than this, and it will continue to have ebbs and flows so long as the wheat and the chaff share the same threshing floor. We must continue to fight for orthodoxy because truth and salvation depend upon it, but we must not over-dramatize our times vis-a-vis the rest of the history of the Church.

  22. Mike says:

    I thought it said ‘Mishaps College’.

  23. Hmm … my late father (a Caltech PhD in Mathematics) always said “A PhD is no guarantee of common sense”. Nice to see an Ass. Prof. from Millsap demonstrating it once again.

  24. Tommy says:

    As Bishop Fulton J Sheen once said “if people did not attack Christ and His Church it would mean He had lost His vitality”
    The Lord can turn extreme hatred into zealous love in no time like Paul…

  25. chironomo says:

    I’m fairly certain that the leaders of most major religions hold the same view as the Pope on this topic ….certainly the prominent Jewish Rabbis and likely such figures as the Dalai Lama (sp?) etc…

    Can you imagine this author writing such invective against the Dalai Lama? OK… I understand that the majority of Africa is NOT Buddhist, and as such the proclamations of the Pope hold more relevance for Africa, but that is actually not the point. He is criticizing a theological position… a position held by most major religions. But he turns this criticism of a widely professed position into a personal vendetta against the Pope to forward his agenda of female ordination, condom use, birth control, etc..

    The laughable line is his insistence on being Catholic in the first half of a sentence and his denunciation of the Vicar of Christ in the second half of the sentence.

    Even a Professor at Millsaps should know better than that….

  26. Corleone says:

    David in Toronto – thank you so much here. I too wrote him a very charitable letter. I don’t think it would do any good to write the college to which he is associated, since it is also protestant and they no doubt got a nice smirk from his letter anyway.

  27. Nuggen says:

    The author sounds like that poor fellow that was plaguing the blog a few days ago.

    Satan has indeed got all the empty heads riled up.

  28. irishgirl says:

    Does anyone ever notice that some people who hold big fat college degrees know absolutely nothing?

    This guy is so full of hot air…

  29. I can’t believe some editor at Newsweek didn’t scrap this crap. If you are going to criticize the Pope, at least do it in an intellectual fashion.

  30. Jenny says:

    I don’t know much about Millsaps except that one of my cousins attended. She left her small town as a smart, but impressionable, girl and came back as a militant liberal. She earned a rigorous double degree in anthropology and sociology (and thousands of dollars in student loans) and now manages a GAP store. I worry for her. And this article confirms my prior impression of Millsaps College.

  31. Henry Edwards says:

    some ranting lunatic pseudo-catholic who teaches History at a Mississippi school founded by a dedicated Confederate officer.

    I’m inclined to take such stuff from a contemptible “ranting lunatic” rather more as a compliment than a criticism of Pope and Church. However, it’s a crying shame for association with such trash to besmirch the name of a gallant Confederate officer.

  32. Sandy says:

    When I read the name of his book, I was reminded of the infamous Jesus Seminar and the kooks that were part of it. Haven’t heard of it for a while, but this guy could fit right in.

  33. Aelric says:

    Sadly, this pathetic chaired professor of arts & letters appears not particularly well read. Robert Hugh Benson beat him to the punch oh, about 102 years ago in the novel Lord of the World :

    It was as if progress had not yet begun, and volors (airplanes) were uninvented, as if the entire universe had not come to disbelieve in God, and to discover that itself was God. Here was this silly old man (the Pope), talking in his sleep, babbling of the Cross, and the inner life and the forgiveness of sins, exactly as his predecessors had talked two thousand years before. Well, it was only one sign more that Rome had lost not only it power, but its commonsense as well. It was really time that something should be done.

    Quote taken from p. 105 of the Wildside Press (Doylestown, PA) trade paperback edition. The parenthetical insertions are mine.

  34. opey124 says:

    This man is in my parish. I just let our pastor know. Prayers would be appreciated.

  35. Bill in Texas says:

    This is probably nothing compared to what is to come.

    This is the Feast of St. Joseph, a man who wasted no time on words and who was all action. Maybe we should take our cue from him. Pray. Join the Knights of Columbus (and be active). Write our own letters and op-ed pieces and weblogs. Evangelize. Set the example, wherever we are.

    (Changing my name on this post, to avoid confusion now that other “Bills” also post here.)

  36. jpoppe says:

    Hey Aelric,

    I just started reading that book last night. Please don’t give anything else away :)

    I am seeing where the “Left Behind” authors stole some of their material from. As a professor of history you would think that Mr. McElvaine would know that those that are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it.

  37. ssoldie says:

    In the last 40+ years I have so often what are the fruits of Vatican II? I relly believe in my heart that it would have stopped at Vatican I,just putting Joseph’s name in the Canon of the Mass was fine and good, but its the TLM that remembers and has prayed the Mass organically grown from the time of St Gregory and codified at the Council of Trent, as the n.o.m. hardley ever says the EP 1 always Ep 2. One priest told me we have a three year sacramentry, so if you go to n.o.m. every day for three years you will have read/listened to 90+ of the Bible.I think of all the words that have come to being: Evangilization- ‘non needed’, every religion has an element of truth, Ecumanism-‘compromise’ as we all believe in the same God, Collegiality-‘disunity’ of priest/ bishop, yea know ‘different strokes for different folks’,Religious Liberty- ‘opinions’-no other authority needed, the ten Commandments were merely suggestions and can be interperated as one wants, Magisterium- whats that, Liturgy- ‘fabricated’ according to (Cardinal Joseph Ratzenger),Choice- ahhh choice how the abortion groups like that word,they and the feminist’s have been using it for the last forty+ years and of coarse the Vatican II liked it also, ‘may’, ‘could’, ‘should’,no more ridgiosity, like ‘must’ that’s just being to faithful.Well,thats my opinion and yes I am a Traditional Catholic and no I am not a cafeteria Catholic, I have seen the fruits, and action speaks louder then words. Bring on “The Reform Of The Reform’

  38. ssoldie says:

    Sorry about the misspelled words, and some I have left out, don’t do to well with tears in my eyes.

  39. Collegeville reject says:

    A priest once told me that he loves it when “the muck gets stirred up”. He’d of loved this! I think the guy is a…well, what RICHR said above!

  40. Matt says:

    Seems this man did a fine job of excommunicating himself. He is NOT a Catholic. He can call himself the Tooth Ferry (intentional) and I would give more credence to that.

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