G. Weigel gets it about the Magisterium of Nuns and

On the site of National Review George Weigel has a piece about the bishops and Pres. Obama’s attack on the Catholic Church and the 1st Amendment rights of all Americans.

Among other things he wrote:


In his appearance on Fox News Sunday on February 12, White House chief of staff Jack Lew discussed with host Chris Wallace what the administration was determined to sell as an “accommodation” to Catholic concerns, an “accommodation” that tweaked an HHS mandate requiring that all health insurance provide no-co-pay abortifacients, sterilizations, and contraceptives. Lew tried, unsuccessfully, to shore up the administration’s pretense that something in the moral calculus of the original mandate had changed with the administration’s “accommodation” — which, of course, it hadn’t. What was truly striking about the administration spin, however, was Lew’s suggestion that the Catholic Health Association (whose president, Sister Carol Keehan, had quickly and publicly applauded the administration’s “accommodation”) trumped the bishops’ conference when it came to who-speaks-for-the-Catholic-Church-in-America.


Mr. Weigel is right, of course, in his analysis… which points to what I have been saying for years about the Magisterum of Nuns. I pointed this out in regard to Mr. Lew with Mr. Wallace last Sunday. More people are noticing this, which is a good thing.

Weigel went on to say:


In the administration’s view, then, primacy in the Catholic Church is not conferred by the pope, but by the White House. Thus Sister Carol Keehan could be recognized by the president’s chief of staff as primate of the Catholic Church in the United States, because she headed an organization that “knows a fair amount about . . . health care in this country” — unlike, for example, those mulish bishops who had failed to be taken in by the administration’s shell game.


Yes, and WDTPRS has also made this point in the past several times, but in starker terms. We have described what Pres. Obama and his familiars want: an American Catholic Patriotic Association. The latest explication of this same was on 9 Feb HERE. If he had his way, the President would probably like to be able to make the ecclesial appointments… and he wouldn’t even have to wait for non-recess “recesses” of Congress to make them. But it is good to know that someone else is noticing.

You might check out Weigel’s piece, which has some other good points for your consideration.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. disco says:

    The American Catholic Patriotic Association is a scary thought indeed. It could get started immediately with the hordes of wymyn leading the charge. All liturgical vestments would be rainbow colored before being abolished. Homosexual ‘marriage’ would be the preferred form and confession would only be required for those who say mean things about gays and abortionists. The gather hymnal would be added to the canon of sacred scripture. Only gluten free hosts and grape juice would be used for sacramental matter.

  2. La Sandia says:

    I’m going to do a dreaded “But Father, but Father!” [Nope. This is the exactly right phrase to use, to push this point across.] Not that I disagree with your arguments on this score, of course, but I’ve always been uncomfortable with the term “Magisterium of Nuns.” It seems to unfairly malign those good, holy, and faithful nuns who would never dream of setting up their own alternative magisterium. A more precise, although less concise, description would be “Magisterium of Habitless Pantsuited Women Religious With an Axe to Grind” or something like that. [No.]

  3. Centristian says:

    “Thus Sister Carol Keehan could be recognized by the president’s chief of staff as primate of the Catholic Church in the United States…”

    Which, in fact, points to the administration’s practical violation of the First Amendment. If they treat someone like that even though they stop short of the pretense of conferring the title, then they are, really, just treating the First Amendment like toilet paper, establishing a state-run religion.

    I’m waiting for coin of the republic to be minted bearing an inscription that acknowledges the president’s new role of supreme governor of the “Church of America”. When he starts wearing white gloves, and hats that look like lampshades, look out.

  4. Mark Windsor says:

    I wonder if “sister” Keehan will use THAT PEN when she signs the Act of Supremacy in a couple of years.

  5. pm125 says:

    Can an Association exist without membership fees? What benefits are derived from membership? Buying power. Such as insurance? When this latest obamacare passes will there be a need for that benefit? Their conferences with one another can’t be free for membership fee.

  6. catholicmidwest says:

    There was no accommodation. This is from the USCCB blog:

    “1. The rule that created the uproar has not changed at all, but was finalized as is. Friday evening, after a day of touting meaningful changes in the mandate, HHS issued a regulation finalizing the rule first issued in August 2011, “without change.” So religious employers dedicated to serving people of other faiths are still not exempt as “religious employers.” Indeed, the rule describes them as “non-exempt.””


  7. catholicmidwest says:

    Mark, I can tell you with near certainty, the answer to your question is NO. She’s being used as a tool and when the job is done she will be kicked to the curb too. It’s not bad enough they’ve played the USCCB like a cheap harmonica; those who don’t “get it” will echo the effect until they catch on. The only interesting part will be watching how long it will take, and how surprised they are when the dawn finally hits them.

    We’re into damage control now. If the strategies that people are working on manage to keep this thing from getting really bad, we won’t be doing it for the Sr. Keehans, that’s for sure. I won’t even go into what they deserve. Heh.

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