The only thing worse than NOT being talked about…

This comes from the ultra-dissenting fishwrap the National Catholic Reporter.

[Cardinal] George questions role of independent Catholic media
Bishop Trautman says Vatican II liturgical norms being violated
Nov. 17, 2009
By Jerry Filteau


Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said Nov. 16 that Catholic publications, universities or other organizations that insist on complete independence from their bishops are “sectarian, less than fully Catholic.”  [Sounds familiar… lemme see…. I’ve got it! The National Catholic Reporter! And…. who else… hmmm…. Notre DameCatholic Democrats?]

In his presidential address at the opening session of the fall USCCB general assembly in Baltimore, George announced that the bishops “have recently begun discussions on how we might strengthen our relationship to Catholic universities [This means Notre Dame and other schools.], to media claiming to be a voice in the church, and to organizations that direct various works under Catholic auspices.”

According to NCR sources, those issues were to be the main topic of discussion in a three-hour executive session the afternoon of Nov. 18, when the bishops were slated to meet alone behind closed doors, with all reporters and observers and virtually all USCCB staff excluded.

George placed his comments in the context of the bishops’ role in governance as promoters and guarantors of church unity.



Hey NCR editors!  You are talking about Cardinal George talking about you! 

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  1. The Astronomer says:

    “Bishop Trautman says Vatican II liturgical norms being violated”

    Hmmm…cognitive dissonance by His Excellency???

  2. Father Bartoloma says:

    Is “Telecare” the example of “Catholic Media” which is now being put forward as the model to be imitated?

  3. Fr. B: So it would seem.

  4. fathermichael says:

    A worthwhile discussion indeed, undoubtedly brought to the fore by the high-profile event at Notre Dame last spring.

    His Eminence is surely quite aware that there exists a lengthy list of historically Catholic colleges/universities whose ties to the magisterium would be well served by USCCB deliberations and future guidance.

  5. Peggy R says:

    Father! Father! [As you’d say]

    I just read on the USCCB twitter page that, I guess, Bp. Trauman has the idea of SUING (??))) the Congregation in the Apostolic Signatura? Is he daft? Is he really going to die on this hill? Does he also realized that Abp. Burke heads up the A.S.?

  6. TNCath says:

    I have a feeling that Cardinal George might also be talking about EWTN as well. They tout their independence from the Church as well. I bet this part of the reason why the USCCB went with Telcare.

  7. Amy MEV says:

    “ultra-dissenting fishwrap”

    Wouldn’t this make your fish stink?

  8. My question: What on earth is going on here?
    If His Excellency Bishop Trautman is adverse to the Holy See intervening into a process that has been as convoluted and crazy as any Byzantine intrigue (no offense to Eastern Catholics here!) how does this square with the understanding the Rome intervenes when there is complete breakdown on the local level? I sense there is more to this that meets the eye (duh!)…may the Holy Spirit lead and guide this whole messy, screwed-up process (to use an ‘overused’ and really obnoxious word!)

  9. Fr. Steve says:

    My computer malfunctioned when they were going to vote on Bishop Trautman/person’s motion. What was the final outcome? Was it defeated? And was there a second motion to approve the action of the President of the Confrence of “allowing” the Congregation to take over on the antiphons and telling Bishop Trautman to sit down, the jig is up? Did the majority of the Bishops of the United States just tell bishop Trautman, with all due respect of course, kind sir – just sit down and zip it?

  10. catholicmidwest says:

    So now, according to the USCCB and its speakers, not only can non-USCCB entities not quote scripture or liturgy for fear of copyright violation, but they can’t report on the church online or on the airwaves as well? This is what they’re saying.

    In their quest for control & profits, they’re going to put the church 6 foot under. How are people supposed to learn about Catholicism?

  11. Steve K. says:

    I think the Holy Father takes a rather different view of EWTN than many of the American bishops. They should pay attention to the medals the Pope recently bestowed on Mother Angelica and Deacon Bill and somewhat less to the discomfort they sometimes feel about them.

    Prior to moving parishes to St. Benedict’s, at my previous one certain lay parish staff, very much “Spirit of Vatican II” types, reacted in horror when I told them I watched EWTN and tried to instruct me that it was bad for my faith to do so. I considered that validation that EWTN does the Lord’s work.

  12. jlong says:

    Fr Steve

    Bishop Trautman was thankfully defeated. The other motion on the table to accept the antiphons being translated by Rome was passed. The Roman Missal translation is now out of the hands of the US Bishops and all other Bishops in the English speaking world.The text will now go to Rome who hopefully will grant recognito. I hope by december so the new missal will be used December 2010.

  13. Fr. Steve says:

    Laudature Iesus Christus!
    Thank you jlong.

  14. catholicmidwest says:

    Bishop Trautman’s motion was defeated. Over at Rocco Palmo’s blog, he has “Cover it Live” which is a decent way to get around the Telecare blabber. You can see the text transcript of the results there.

    Vote on Bishop Trautman’s motion: No=166; Yes=46 Defeated.

    Vote to remand the antiphons to the CDW: No=20; Yes=194 Passes

    Wonder who the 20 noes were (besides Bps Trautman & Mahoney)

    PS in the wrap of the Cover It Live text, there is a nod to EWTN and an explanation of what happened. It appears that Michael Warsaw from EWTN was in contact with them at time today.

  15. Frank H says:


    I read somewhere that the recognitio might be received in mid-2010. Publishers need 12 months. I doubt we’ll see the new translation put into practice until Advent 2011. It will seem like an eternity! But good things are worth waiting for!

  16. Fr. Steve,

    Your computer didn’t malfunction, it was Telecare crashing under the volume. I think we all froze up. I only knew the vote outcome because I found Rocco Palmo’s play by play (couldn’t get into Z-chat at the time). Incidentally, it’s still there in the linked blogpost for scroll-reading.

  17. Jon says:

    This was wonderful to watch, even if I had to go to my mother-in-law’s network…ew…Telecare.

    My guess is Cardinal George probably got wind of Bishop Trautman’s strategy a few weeks ago, and quickly signed off on Holy See proxy approval of the Antiphons. Brilliant.

    Trautman had his backdoor strategy all mapped out, and to see him thwarted was a marvelous thing.

  18. catholicmidwest says:

    Folks, coming up may be your last Christmas season with the current translation. I, for one, certainly hope so.

  19. TN Cath said, “I have a feeling that Cardinal George might also be talking about EWTN as well.”

    I was thinking the same thing, that this Telecare thing is their new direction for USCCB conferences since it is a diocesan network.

    Rocco also just pointed out in his text feed:

    ” as so many of you have asked, just spoke with Michael Warsaw — president of EWTN, who’s here with the crew… in a nutshell, Warsaw said that, as was its right, the conference transferred its coverage contract to Telecare and that, on seeing the latter’s plans, the ‘Bama-based outlet ultimately decided to just run a preview and wrap-up on their own instead of gavel-to-gavel. (EWTN had been running the cameras and the feed here for some two decades.) Apparently, the transfer call was communicated to the network quite late in the game — word around says mid-to-late October… and, well, that’s your story; Arroyo & Co. will run their wrap on The World Over, Friday night at 8. Tuesday November 17, 2009 5:05″

  20. jlong says:

    Frank H

    In Feb, Cardinal Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation, wrote to the US Bishops in which he expressed a desire to facilitate a more expeditious completion of the approval process for the English translation of the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia, and see the publication of the Roman Missal in English by the end of 2010.”

    Therefore, Rome want the text pubished by the end of 2010. This can happen if the Pope grants recognito ASAP.

  21. jlong says:

    Does anyone know what is going to happen to the Eucharistic Prayers for Masses with Children, which are in the hands of the CDW?

  22. JARay says:

    I may not know as much about EWTN as you who live in America, but I have always found it authentically Catholic. I must admit to not being a constant watcher of their programmes but I do value being able to switch over from much of the dross which is the staple diet of Australian TV.

  23. Frank H says:


    Thanks for that encouraging note! I will pray that it is in effect by this time next year. (Want to wager a “Save The Liturgy, Save the World” coffee mug on it?)

  24. catholicmidwest says:

    I hope they just tuck them into an old copy of “Dick, Jane & Sally Visit the Farm,” and leave them there, where they belong.

  25. jlong says:

    Frank H

    I have faith that Rome will get this done and would take you up on your wager, besides I would love to drink out off that coffee mug when I go and eat with my fellow seminarians.


    I hope so too!

  26. boko fittleworth says:

    Ave Maria University just honored a pro-abort billionaire politician by naming a sports arena after him. Tom Monaghan is serious about competing with Notre Shame.

  27. kenoshacath says:

    Would the Franciscan Spirituality Center in La Crosse, WI be considered an “organization that directs various works under Catholic auspices?” If so, then why do they offer programs in Yoga and Reiki? Both are contrary to Catholicism! Are the Bishops responsible for cleaning this up? If not, then who is??

    Time to pray some more!

  28. kenoshacath says:

    Please look for the Publication: Guidelines for Evaluating Reiki as an Alternative Therapy
    Committee on Doctrine United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, March 25, 2009

    Under the link:

  29. john 654 says:

    At what point does a Bishop go rough and leave the buffoonery of the USCCB? Is it even possible that someone could just walk out?

  30. moon1234 says:

    How about declaring Notre Shame no longer Catholic. Nothing like a little smoke from the canons to make the other wavering troops fall into place.

    It really will take the delisting of a school like Notre Dame from the Catholic register to really make an impact on the rest of the schools. When Notre Dame is ready to apologize for her errors and take a few years to prove it, then ,and only then, should be begin to “Dialogue” about re-admitting her to the status of Catholic University.

  31. bookworm says:

    Just for the record, I believe “Telecare” used to be spelled “TeLI Care”, the “LI” standing for Long Island, because it’s run by the Diocese of Rockville Centre, NY.

    I wonder how they managed to succeed where CTNA (anyone remember them?) failed.

  32. lofstrr says:

    Time for NCR and ND to pick a switch and head for the shed.

  33. catholicmidwest says:


    About Telicare succeeding–I’m not really sure they have. I think Telicare might have been used for either or both of a couple of possible reasons:

    a) Railing about Catholic news & information appearing on privately-run media might have been a pretty funny sight on EWTN. We all know that story (or should. See Raymond Arroyo’s book about Mother Angelica if you don’t.) (As an aside–as those of you with long histories on the internet probably already know, this argument about who has the right to talk about the church in public has been simmering for years. The copyrights on scripture and liturgical prayers add yet another facet to that, among the other functions they might have for the USCCB, their favored publishing houses & the like.)

    b) Telecare is a private little corner where the USCCB could go to the woodshed with a minimum of public pain and publicity. I mean, seriously, yesterday was a major historic moment–but an excruciatingly embarrassing one for the USCCB. They were called on the carpet to **** or get off the pot–in broad day light. The last thing I expect they wanted was Raymond Arroyo going gulp-gasp-whee! (just like all of us were–be honest) on the mike while a million people watched.

    Moreover, there must have been people who knew this was going to happen–it was orchestrated brilliantly. Perhaps, there are factions within the USCCB (or their staffs?) who wanted to control how much the bulk of laypeople could see about how this went, thus control expectations about what to expect in a year’s time. The best face is going to be put on this thing, and while that is good for getting the translations out there, the motivation was (and is) mixed in some places, for sure.

  34. JPG says:

    Chicago politics. “Do not have an election unless you know thw results”?.
    If this was Cardinal George’s defensive maneuver against Trautman , Good. I am glad it succeeded. Given the haste with which the the current translations were thrust upon us ( I was ten I remember all too well), the current snails pace may have its merits. As to the children’s Eucharistic Prayers I thought they were banned? Anyone know for sure?

  35. fathermichael says:

    Great news from the Vatican today – the appointment of Dr. John Cavadini, chair of the theology department at the University of Notre Dame, as member of the International Theological Commission at the CDF. Congratulations to Prof. Cavadini on this latest appointment, he who was recently named a Knight of the Order of St. Gregory.

  36. Add to that Bishops cannot operate independently of Rome and should enforce Catholicity for those organizations that claim to be Catholic, like certain universities, or retreat centers offering Reiki and such so-called “spirituality.”

  37. Tito Edwards says:

    Fr. Marie-Paul,

    You said:

    “Bishops cannot operate independently of Rome and should enforce Catholicity for those organizations that claim to be Catholic, like certain universities, or retreat centers”

    Would that include the USCCB?

    I am very aware that our faith rests on three pillars, the Magisterium, Sacred Scripture, and Sacred Tradition.

    Nowhere does it say we must adhere to an alternative magisterium like the USCCB.

    So it is kind of comical that Cardinal George ‘may’ be railing against EWTN since they (the USCCB) are independent as well.

    Or am I off base (a bit)?

  38. catholicmidwest says:


    A bit. The USCCB is not supposed to be an alternate magisterium (although I’ll admit that they’ve had their moments of being a great imitation of one).

    The USCCB is a quasi-official organization designed only to help the bishops with the practical aspects of their work. It has no juridical standing within the church and cannot impose novel material on the local church without the approval of the Holy See (including, most importantly doctrinal materials!). This is why the liturgy, of course, is generated from the original Latin text in Rome and requires a recognitio to be used.

    The bishops individually, standing together with the pope, are part of the teaching magisterium, but the USCCB itself is not. I know that sounds complicated. It’s all stated rather clearly in the CCC.

    It is a little disingenuous for the USCCB to be railing about EWTN. The bishops’ conference is also nothing but a practical organization, albeit recognized as an aid to the work of the bishops in Rome. There is also a history between the USCCB and EWTN that is not complimentary to the USCCB because at times the USCCB has egregiously overstepped its mandate and boundaries. (See accounts about the work of Mother Angelica. It’s all documented.)

    There is an uncomfortable tendency for the USCCB to call out anyone who wants to talk about the church in public, as well. To listen to some of the bishops speak about Boston in 2001, one could get the idea that the real problem wasn’t that the abuse happened, but that they were caught by the free press, which horrified them. The fact of the matter is that the free press (commercial and also private–you and me) may be a pain in the neck, but it’s a necessary part of a free society and the USCCB has to accept that.

    For one, I’ve never been able to figure out what they’re so afraid of. The truth always wins over falsity, given the necessary time.

  39. Tito, your comment about an alternative Magisterium is a practical observation. Although there is no formal role for a USCCB (or any Bishop’s conference) in the Ecclesiastical hierarchy according to Church teaching (e.g. the line of Grace of Pope-Bishop-Priest-People), it has, in many instances, become a de facto hierarchy. From many Catholics and non-Catholics point of view, it speaks for the Church, which is not the case.

    I recall many years ago the committee document used to justify much Church wreckovation, called Environment and Art in Catholic Worship, was treated as “Gospel” for many modernists. And in general, other committee documents are treated as if they are authoritative teachings. Always Our Children is another that comes to mind, to which various Bishops objected.

    Catholicmidwest, falsity always thinks they can get away with it. Yes, they can be afraid of truth, because modernists are afraid of truth. As in Jesus time, there are Judases today, although I would say in a much higher percentage than 1/12. (I have been in dioceses where CCD would teach about women priests and even heard same from the pulpit)

    The CCHD situation highlights the flaws of such a system. Personally I would eliminate the ability for USCCB to release formal documents, focus it on a internal working forum for Bishops, and let the individual Bishops release documents and teachings, since they are the Fathers, the responsible Pastors of souls, who will have to answer to God. Committees or groups cannot be Fathers! And that’s what we need – real Fathers.

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