“America Magazine ran away, bravely ran away, away!”

I saw this by Matthew Archbold on the site of the Cardinal Newman Society about America Magazine‘s role in defending the Church against Pres. Obama’s attack on the 1st Amendment:

ARCHBOLD: America Mag Bails on the Fight for Religious Liberty

Run away! Run away!  The brave editors of America Magazine stood for a while with the bishops in their struggle for religious liberty.

But no more.

The editors of the Jesuit magazine have sounded the trumpets of retreat and are bravely galloping away to watch from the sidelines.

In an editorial piece called “Policy, Not Liberty,” the editors of America Magazine did not only announce that they were abandoning the bishops in their continued quest to end the HHS mandate, but they also chided the bishops, saying they “press the religious liberty campaign too far.” As you might know, America‘s editors are the world-renowned arbiters of “gone too far.”

The editors advise the bishops to go back to talking about nuclear war and the economy. People prefer that, the editors say.

The bishops have been most effective in influencing public policy when they have acted as pastors, trying to build consensus in [C]hurch and society, as they did in their pastorals on nuclear war and the economy. The American public is uncomfortable with an overt exercise of political muscle by the hierarchy. Catholics, too, have proved more responsive to pastoral approaches. They expect [C]hurch leaders to appeal to Gospel values, conscience and right reason. They hope bishops will accept honorable accommodations and, even when provoked, not stir up hostility. In the continuing dialogue with government, a conciliatory style that keeps Catholics united and cools the national distemper would benefit the whole [C]hurch.

Cooling the national distemper? Seriously. Is that what Jesus died on the cross for? You know, things got a little heated in Jerusalem around 33 A.D., so Jesus got right up on that cross in an effort to “cool the national distemper.”


Cooling.  That’s what we need.

Let’s be tepid.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. chantgirl says:

    Oh, Jesuits, when do I get to like you again?

  2. disco says:

    We will say, “women’s health” again to you if you do not appease us! Ni!

  3. JohnE says:

    I’m not sure what the editors of America Magazine gave up for Lent, but it sure wasn’t milk and toast.

  4. Charles E Flynn says:

    In many issues, the only thing worth reading in “America” is the Ignatius Press ad.

  5. Denise says:

    I believe the book of Revelations has something to say about being lukewarm (3:15-16)

  6. UncleBlobb says:

    “For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” – Mark 8:38

  7. NoTambourines says:

    When the Jesuits left my hometown parish after 80-odd years, it broke our hearts. The announcement was like dropping a bomb. I guess they ran out of Jesuits to keep the place staffed in our Rust Belt city.

    Some years before, in high school, I asked one of the sisters why so many religious orders — priests, sisters, brothers — had shrunken dramatically and/or shut down. Her response was that perhaps God had accomplished with their particular congregation what He had intended to accomplish.

    There’s that, but I think there’s also some that may have lost sight of what they were supposed to be doing. Vine and branches, in other words (John 15:1-8).

  8. I guess we should thank America for proving that the bishops are on the right track.

  9. DavidJ says:

    “They expect [C]hurch leaders to appeal to Gospel values, conscience and right reason.”

    Apparently the editors are using some strange definition of those words no one else was previously aware of, because isn’t that exactly what the bishops are doing?

  10. digdigby says:

    Every bishop in the country stood firmly against this assault on the church. What ‘America’ exactly is the Jesuit magazine named after?

  11. haribo says:

    Pelosi made a comment recently about how the Church had been doing nothing to enforce Church teaching on contraception, but now suddenly wants the government and insurance companies to enforce it. The decades of silence since Humanae vitae might be causing problems now. If all the bishops and priests had been as outspoken about contraception as they were on immigration, for example, this might seems less like an exercise of political muscle and more like the honest defense of the faith it actually is.

  12. jbpolhamus says:

    Few of the Bishops, nor many of the faithful read America. Its opinion counts for nothing. I’ll bet barely one out of fifty-thousand Americans know what it is.

  13. Scott W. says:

    Few of the Bishops, nor many of the faithful read America. Its opinion counts for nothing. I’ll bet barely one out of fifty-thousand Americans know what it is.

    ^^^This. America, NCReporter, the Tablet, etc. are all examples of dead dogs but their tails still wag and we should pay attention to them about as much as anyone pays attention to the Raelians.

  14. Kerry says:

    “C’mon Thomas, won’t you sign, for fellowship’s sake?”

  15. Bryan Boyle says:

    I count Blessed John Paul’s not suppressing the order in the early 90s as one of the failures of his reign.

    Take away their salaries, take away their communal living spaces, laicize them all, remove their cushy pensions and booze supply. They know who the good ones are. Find a place for them, but the rest? They are a cancer eating away the body, and it’s time to close down The Company.

    (Yes, i know the following is probable not true in a 100 % literal sense…)
    What is the difference between the Dominicans and the Jesuits?

    The Dominicans were formed to combat the Albigensian heresy.
    The Jesuits were formed to help combat the Protestant heresy.

    Meet any Albigensians lately?

    Time to make the pain go away. They, their businesses, their colleges and universities need to be secularized, sold off, and their ‘special status’ need to be removed.

    (Full disclosure: Fordham College 1978. Somehow, managed to NOT loose my faith)

  16. ContraMundum says:

    The bishops have been most effective in influencing public policy when they have acted as pastors, trying to build consensus in [C]hurch and society, as they did in their pastorals on nuclear war and the economy.

    Nuclear war? Really?

    Khrushchev: “Hey, Jack, I hate to spend all this money on weapons and not use them. Let’s have a nuclear war!”

    JFK: “Gee, Nikita, I’d love to, I really would, but the US bishops say I shouldn’t. Honestly, they’re the only reason I see not to have a nuclear war.”

    It is genuinely much harder than many Catholics acknowledge to draw a line from Pope John Paul II to the end of the Soviet Union, but it is much, much harder than that to make any connection between any statements by bishops and concrete actions related to nuclear policy. (That’s in no small part due to the fact that many of the bishops’ statements tend to be as useful as “Things would be much nicer if Adam never ate that apple. Spit it out, Adam, spit it out!” Wishing that we could live in a world without nuclear weapons does not mean that unilateral disarmament is not more destabilizing, and therefore more dangerous, than maintaining the status quo. The objective here should be to prevent deaths, and this is not aided by policies that lead to uncertainty and an increased risk of war.)

    I think it would be almost as hard to find any connection between the collective actions of bishops and US economic policies.

  17. Rob Cartusciello says:

    Vile. Simply vile.

    Compare the editorial to the writings of Fr. James Schall, S.J. on the same issue.

  18. Andrew says:


    Pelosi made a comment recently about how the Church had been doing nothing to enforce Church teaching on contraception, but now suddenly wants the government and insurance companies to enforce it.

    This has nothing to do with any “enforcing”. The Church is not going to get into people’s bedrooms and police what they do in private. This has everything to do with Catholics being forced to provide the means for immoral actions. This is about some guy coming to me and saying: “Hey Catholic, from now on I want YOU to pay for my condoms”. To which I reply: “you’ve got to be out of your freaking mind”.

  19. Dennis Martin says:

    To those who say that America, NCReporter etc. aren’t that significant anymore, nobody who matters really reads them etc., I say, wishful thinking. While it may be true that NCReporter, to a lesser extent Commonweal andAmerica, have an aging readership, that misses the real issue: the emergence of an American Patriotic Catholic Church aligned with the HHS regs etc. in the service of maintaining the separation of sexuality from procreation. That is the heart of the issue: so many people are now so committed to sex as an end in itself rather than innately connected to procreation that those who resist this can safely be portrayed as hopelessly behind the times, foolish, tyrannical, annoying etc. The bishops can then be portrayed as an elitist power-driven cabal rather than as the voice of Catholicsm.

    “True Catholicism” then becomes identified only with those who oppose and dissent from the bishops. Those who follow the bishops become foolishly misguided pawns.

    The Commonweal and America Catholics will not stop at merely abandoning support for the bishops in the religious liberty question.

    They and Catholic intellectuals who have written books justifying same-sex “marriage,” contraception etc., will become active persecutors. The pro-death regime needs their stamp of approval. They will not leave them in silence in the middle even if the Commonwealers and Americars wanted to remain silent in the middle (like Thomas More). The regime needs “Catholics” who positively approve of the regime’s tyranny. Anything less will be “construed as opposition” to the Regime.

    But unlike More, the Commonwealers and Americars will actively join the persecutors because they believe and have believed for a long time that they, not the bishops, are the ones who truly understand the Faith, that misguided, misogynist, physicalist, old-fogey popes and bishops are the last gasp of an apostate, power-hungry old church that has to give way to the Enlightened Church of the Modern Age. They will quiet their consciences by telling themselves that, after all, joining the Regime in its persecution of misguided Catholics who follow the misguided and out-of-touch bishops is a sad and tragic necessity. These misguided bishop-following Catholics will have had plenty of opportunity to see the light and stubbornly refused to do so. For the sake of women’s health (meaning freedom from motherhood if one so desires), it “measures, regrettable to be sure, but measures” (Wolsey in A Man for All Seasons) will be necessary to bring the recalictrants to heel.

    So it will not end with the Americars in the middle. They will become the kapos and commissars, the utterly PR-crucial evidence the Regime can tout to show that, “hey, we aren’t persecuting the Catholic Church, we’re only doing tough love to make the minority of old fogey Catholics and their bishops toe the line. Same-sex marriage is not contrary to Catholic faith, just look at that book by professor so-and-so of Jesuit Catholic University X. It shows how utterly Jesus-like same-sex marriage is and how utterly contrary to Jesus’ will heterosexism is. We in the Regime’s Patriotic True Catholic Church truly represent the Catholic tradition. Those bishops are a bunch of foolish old men stuck in the past.”

  20. oldcanon2257 says:

    Time to read/re-read the book “The Jesuits – The Society of Jesus and the Betrayal of the Roman Catholic Church” by Malachi Martin. Regardless of what one thinks/believes about the author, there were some pretty good points in that book.

  21. RichR says:

    As the baby boomers go onto Social Security and Medicare, their new fixed-income budgets will require them to cancel their America Magazine and NC Reporter subscriptions. Since they constitute the bulk of the subscribers of these periodicals, you will then start to see these newspapers collapse in on themselves.

    Biological solution.

  22. Jack Orlando says:

    Bryan Boyle at 6:54am has a point. Is it time to close the Jesuit Order (it was closed once before) and then let Real Jesuits reorganize it, with the approval of the Holy See?

  23. Marine Mom says:

    Perhaps this article inspires a bit more fortitude


  24. Clinton says:

    Captain Jack Aubrey to Dr. Maturin:

    “… By the way, Stephen, those Fathers were not Jesuits, I suppose? I did not like to ask straight out.”

    “Of course not, Jack. They were suppressed long ago. Clement XIV put them down in the seventies, and a very good days work he did. Sure, they have been trying to creep back on one legalistic pretext or another and I dare say they will soon make a sad nuisance of themselves again, turning out atheists from their schools by the score; but these gentlemen had nothing to do with them, near or far.”

    — Patrick O’Brian, The Reverse of the Medal

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  25. pm125 says:

    ” I dare say they will soon make a sad nuisance of themselves
    again, turning out atheists from their schools by the score ”
    I know of hs classmates who went to their schools to dodge the draft, and are now atheists. One said worship was not encouraged by teachers and whatever dorm leaders are called, due to partying. Broken life, gossip, alcoholism, affluence the answer, and no to Church.

    9:36 am: Right, they’ll be used, abused and called elite because the Church made the education they distort possible.

  26. Cavaliere says:

    In the classic the Lord of the World there is a main character, Father Francis, who abandons his Faith to join in the new religion of Julian Felsenberg. Perhaps we can create a Father Francis award for those who imitate him in real life. Sadly there is no shortage of candidates.

  27. oldcanon2257 says:

    So sad that Jesuits loyal to the Catholic faith (like the late Father Vincent P. Miceli, SJ) had been isolated/ostracized/persecuted by heterodox in their own order.

    Father Miceli once wrote in the introduction of one of his books that, “This book declares that the truth is the highest object of theology and philosophy. Unfortunately it is not always the highest object of theologians and philosophers.” The latter sentence could be used to describe the state of the Society since the 1960’s.

    I grew up reading about and venerating heroic Jesuit saints of the old days like Saint Ignatius Loyola, Saint Francis Xavier, Saint Francis Borgia, Saint Peter Canisius, Saint Robert Bellarmine, et al., so I’m quite saddened to see the decline of the Jesuits – once the Pope’s most loyal and obedient sons.

    One of the most shameful acts was in 2009 Georgetown University’s covering up the monogram “IHS” of the Most Holy Name of Our Lord in their Gaston Hall to comply with the White House’s request regarding President Obama’s visit. For Georgetown, “Ad maiorem Dei gloriam” was just lip service then???

    Perhaps for a renewal/reformation to occur, the Society will first need to be suppressed as Bryan Boyle 6:54 am said above. The Church also needs inquisitors as capable as St. Robert Bellarmine to weed out the heretics, to bring back those who have strayed from the one true faith and to strengthen the true sons of St. Ignatius.

    Madonna della Strada, pray for us.
    Saint Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us.

  28. DennisV says:

    I believe G. K. Chesterton wrote something about a society that promotes lust and discourages fertility cannot survive .

    The Jesuit Provinces in the United States were in serious decline having lost about 2/3 of their members up to a few years ago. I don’t see them bragging about an increase in vocations.

    I quit America magazine after a trail subscription. It is as bad today as it was ten years ago; maybe worse. A champion of secular humanism.

  29. bigmikensc says:

    Pope Clement XIV Ora Pro Nobis! Maybe its time for supression part 2.

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