The White House in bed with the Magisterium of Nuns

Jack Lew, White House Chief of Staff, was on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.  He was also on Meet The Press.

It was a stark lesson in exactly what I have been talking about with my phrase “The Magisterium of Nuns“.

What I mean by that phrase is a hitherto loose – now coalesing – group of catholics in organizations and as individuals who are setting themselves up as an alternate teaching authority, “magisterium”, over and against the legitimate authority of bishops. Why “of Nuns”? Because they key figures are women religious, such as Sr. Carol Keehan of the Catholic Health Association (who gave cover to catholics in Congress to vote for Obamacare) and Sr. McBride in Phoenix (who approved a direct abortion at a catholic hospital), and a coven of other women religious who have set themselves against Catholic doctrine concerning the exclusive ordination of men, contraception, homosexuality, etc.

Pres. Obama’s attacks on the 1st Amendment and on the Catholic Church have brought greater cohesion to The Magisterium of Nuns.

When the President issued his “Plan B” pill – which changed nothing – the Catholic Health Association and Catholics United stepped up with NARAL and Planned Parenthood were ahead of the newscycle. The White House had obtained their backing and statements of approval before the President made his announcement.

Today on Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace elicited from Jack Lew the perfect example how the useful idiots of the Magisterium of Nuns are being instrumentalized by the President against the bishops: they are going with the authority of the Catholic Health Association in clear contradistinction to that of the US bishops.  The same thing occurred on Meet The Press.  Lew set the Catholic Health Association with Planned Parenthood against the American hierarchy.

Watch this clip.  I wonder when soon-to-be Cardinal Dolan will see this? Creepy.

Pay attention especially to about 5:15 on. Wallace asks about the Bishops and Lew responds with the CHA. Then Lew digs in.

Remember: make the lie big, keep the lie simple, and repeat the lie until everyone believes it.

And note the relentless use of “right”.

The main concern in this dispute, for all Americans, is the attack on the 1st Amendment and therefore, on the Church.  That is an attack from without.

There is also the problem within.

When looking at a question concerning the Church we can usefully view it from the ad extra perspective and the ad intra, from outside the Church and within the Church.  The Magisterium of Nuns problem is an ad intra issue.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Jim says:

    “Preventive care” ? So I was a disease that my mom contracted because she married dad ?

  2. dad29 says:

    Jim, you troll everywhere, eh?

    Sadly, our Bishops are very, very late to the party. Only 7 or 8 were on record opposing ObamaCare–and, of course, few were stalwart and active defenders of Humanae Vitae.

    The Magisterium of Nuns filled the space left by the Bishops since 1965 or so. Nature abhors a vacuum.

    [Before this is over, the bishops will reclaim that space.]

  3. CPT TOM says:

    Again, and again, what will it take for the Bishops to rid us of these bothersome Nuns? This is why public scandal MUST be met by swift and public denunciation. They should have flatten CHA after their slobbering support of Obamacare. Oh wait, the bishops supported that until Abortion was added. Yeah, social justice over charity and faith.

    You have all kinds of progressive/liberal Catholic organisations and entities jumping on the bandwagon…it would be really really good if the bishops would at least yank out the cloak of legitimacy from them and all comers. Otherwise it will be the mess after Humanae Vitae all over again. What’s next? Full page “open letters” in the New York times by dissident Clergy and Laity? How about some sit ins in protest against the bishops or worse, sessions of Clergy and religious baggering other clergy and religious into submission? Oh this brings back dark memories. It only proves the old adage that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

  4. dad29 says:

    And Jim: under ObamaCare’s evolving definition, you were a “disease” when in utero.

  5. Jim says:

    dad29, I troll ? This must be my 3rd or 4th comment ever !

  6. PhilipNeri says:

    There is the Way of Life and the Way of Death. . .simple as that.

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  7. Denis says:


    I really liked your comment and it didn’t strike me as troll-like at all; it’s a funny way of encapsulating the absurdity of treating contraception as ‘preventive’ medicine, the logical consequence of which is that every human being is a disease. Every one of us is the product of an epidemic that will continue to plague the earth unless Obamacare is implemented. I wonder whether Sr. Keenan is aware that she is the equivalent of a tumor.

  8. Dr. K says:

    The bishops are too busy going after faithful followers like Michael Voris for using the word Catholic to deal with the CHA.

  9. Elizabeth D says:

    I liked Jim’s comment. Jim, you were never a disease! Dad29, were you confusing him with FrJim4321, whose every post is breezily perverse?

  10. pm125 says:

    I wonder what combination of words would simply and strongly be the answer to people around us who dismiss as ridiculous the infringement of 1st Amendment rights. Seems to be a growing problem.

  11. mibethda says:

    In every comment on this subject by members of the administration and in virtually every storyline from the media, the dispute is characterized solely as one over proposed rules which would require the providing of contraceptive coverage – no mention is made of the fact that the coverage includes drugs which are also abortifacients, nor is there mention of coverage for sterilization. The omissision is a tactical one for both the Administration and the supportive media are aware that the number of people who would be seriously concerned about these regulations increases dramatically when the issue of abortion enters the picture – as far as the political world is concerned, abortion is an issue which is highly charged and they very clearly would like to keep it out of the discussion. It is essential that the opposition to this continually be framed to include mention of the fact that it also implicates abortion and sterilization as well as birth control.

  12. EXCHIEF says:

    The problem as I see it is the Bishops are playing by one set of rules and the Marxist administration by quite another. Some of the Bishops seem to think this is just a misunderstanding and that it can be resolved “politically”. Nope…this is an ideology which is 100% in direct opposition to everything the Church stands for and is determined to render religion in the USA meaningless. IF the regime doesn’t win this one they will simply move on to something equally unacceptable to the Church and will keep doing so as long as it is in power.

    The Bishops need to open their eyes and understand that nearly everything this regime has done is in one fashion or another contrary to natural law and the teachings of the Church. The Church, based upon experience in Europe, has a strong position against socialism. The U S Church needs to recognize that the current administration is hell bent on socialism and all of its ills. Rather than oppose the regime based strictly on the HHS edict it ought to be opposing it completely and saying so.

    As for the embarassment of nuns they ought to join Pelosi, et al as formally excommunicated….oh, wait she hasn;t been yet (:

  13. John 6:54 says:

    Is it charitable to pray that Obama’s & Jack Lew’s heads explode. I’m so angry it’s bordering on being sinful.

  14. TZ says:

    A journalist has made a convincing argument that when it comes to birth control, sterilization, and abortion, “choice” may not have a darned thing to do with it–many of these people are strongly addicted to drugs (think Whitney Houston) and other disordered behaviors (like pornography) that directly increase the need for birth control et al. They are in fact enslaved, and in the case of crack cocaine, a powerful aphrodisiac, the prospect of a cure is very poor. When there are enough of these tortured souls to tip the balance they become the new “normal,” and anyone who does not share their disease is an aberration. Perhaps we have reached this point at last.

  15. Random Friar says:

    It is time to chastise the CHA and warn them to desist, or lose their Catholic identity and right to their name.

  16. Rob Cartusciello says:

    Surf over to the White House blog and you will see a list of quotes from various Catholic officials alongside those of NARAL and Planned Parenthood:

    The White House has the breached the wall of separation between Church and State by wading into the internal deliberations of the Catholic Church. It views this matter as simply another occasion on which it must act to sway public opinion, without a moment’s pause as to what authority the Administration has to entangle itself in the affairs of the Church.

    Let there be no doubt, the Administration and it allies in the abortion/contraception industry are at war with the magisterial authority of the Church. St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

  17. TZ says:

    A journalist has made a convincing argument that when it comes to birth control, sterilization, and abortion, “choice” may not have a darned thing to do with it–many of these people are strongly addicted to drugs (think Whitney Houston) and other disordered behaviors (like pornography) that directly increase the need for birth control et al. They are in fact enslaved, and especially in the case of crack cocaine, a powerful aphrodisiac, the prospect of a cure is very poor. When there are enough of these tortured souls to tip the balance they become the new “normal,” and anyone who does not share their disease is an aberration. Perhaps we have reached this point at last.

  18. pm125 says:

    mibethda, that is what we heard from the pulpit and Bishops and understood the atrocity and more. Being in a sickened, weakened state of sorrow, and wishing for a terrible swift sword when a complacent passerby says it’s got nothing to do with the 1st Amendment; what words work?
    The Catholic Church, and we as part, believe our right to protect our Creed is infringed by the government mandate to provide something deadly as policy. It smears our pure Truth and is not God pleasing. what words can counter the driving beat of theirs? I don’t know, but I think we need them for passing encounters. From Johnno’s comment (afraid you’re right) – could ‘I vote with Catholic Church teaching and the 1st Amendment allows me to do so.’ work? Trying to get ready for tomorrow …

  19. pm125 says:

    To the title of the post – no wonder the mandate for contraception ‘free’ or whatever …

  20. amenamen says:

    The reporter interviewing the slippery lawyer was fairly persistent in forcing him to admit several things, for example: the federal government has the power of coercion; those who disagree with the government will be coerced to obey it; contraception, sterilization and abortion are “rights” guaranteed by law, and it is illegal to deprive anyone of these “rights.”

    The slippery lawyer was at his best trying to dance around the claim that the Catholic Church will not actually need to “pay” for contraception, sterilization and abortion, because your insurance premiums (allegedly) go down when … well, … when you pay for them. Because you save money when you provide these services, you are not really “paying” for them? I suppose that the same argument will be used for euthanasia, which is cheaper than long term care.

  21. Father Z,

    Lew was on all the major programs, and I happened to tape Meet the Press to compare. Here is another interesting quote out of Lew. I start first with the end of one question by David Gregory (emphasis in mine):

    [Gregory:] ….The only complete solution to this religious liberty problem is for” HHAs–“HHS” rather, “to rescind this mandate.”

    MR. LEW: Yeah, David, on Friday we had a broad range of groups endorse where the president’s policy is. We had the Catholic Health Association, which understands health care extremely well and is true to Catholic beliefs. We had the Catholic Charities, we had Planned Parenthood. There’s a broad consensus that this is the right approach. That doesn’t mean that everyone agrees with it.

    MR. GREGORY: So you can move forward without the church’s hierarchy being on board.

    MR. LEW: I think that we, you know, the fact that the Catholic Health Association, Catholic Charities support what the president announced on Friday reflects the fact that we hit that important balance between providing a woman the guarantee that she has access to the kinds of preventive health care that she needs and that we’ve respected the religious liberty of the institutions. “

    Now, it’s important to note that Catholic Charities has revised their statement. Here’s a tweet with the old and the new statement from Catholic Charities.

    I suspect that not all left-leaning Catholics are on board as the Obama administration may think. They may have Sr. Carol Keehan, but she may very well be alone.

    Also notice on your earlier post that the letter from the White House to petition signers did not include Catholic Charities in that list of supporters. So, I wouldn’t say Catholic Charities is necessarily on board. They may have had second thoughts after seeing the position taken by the bishops.

    Further, I am not aware yet of any bishop who has come out, “pleased” along with CHA.

    It’s time for the bishops to neuter the pseudo-magisterium which is competing with the U.S. bishops for authority.

    Here is a complete transcript and video from today’s Meet the Press. Gregory had Santorum on too, who did quite well. He never stopped smiling, and cracking up as he dismissed some of the more outlandish things tossed at him.

  22. Mrs. O says:

    I am to understand, aside from the fact that he put the CHA even with the USCCB, that the insurance companies are willing to pick up the tab on contraceptives? Just what carriers did he speak with? And if our insurance companies are now promoting, no giving this out – if that is true, how Orwellian is that. They decide things by numbers. We are not numbers. I wonder if the same women have the policy if strokes and breast cancer develop.

  23. There were also some worthy quotes from the panel discussion on Meet the Press.

    E.J. Dionne, who originally blasted the mandate, is now, “pleased”. He says:

    MR. DIONNE: Just very quickly, if I could. I think that as long as this was a religious liberty argument, the church and its allies, the bishops and their allies, were–had a very good chance of winning the argument, and in effect I think they did. There is some conservatives in the church who seem to now want to move it to a contraception argument and the Obama administration would love that.

    MR. GREGORY: Yeah.

    MR. DIONNE: If this is a fight about contraception and the availability of contraception Obama can win

    Joe Scarborough was very matter-of-fact (I’m breaking this up in to more than one paragraph):

    MR. SCARBOROUGH: Right. you know, before the Friday deal everything was breaking conservatives way, united conservatives not only at CPAC but at even–economic conservatives that didn’t like to talk about social issues saw this as a great overreach. And you had Democrats, you had the sitting Democratic vice president, you had Lieberman, a former vice presidential nominee for the Democrats, Kerry, a former presidential nominee for the Democrats, on and on and on saying that the president overstepped his bounds. Listen, at the end of the day, substantively there was no change. You have a president saying, “You don’t want to pay for health care? Fine, we’ll give it away for free!” There’s a free lunch. All you’re doing is shifting the burden to all Catholics now who are all paying for these contraceptive devices that they may–they may find to be immoral. But at the end of the day, this is all the president needs politically because now we have–we have sisters debating bishops, and we’ve got liberal Catholics debating conservatives Catholics. You’ve got Peggy and E.J. now once again …on opposite sides of an issue.

    For the president that’s all he needed to do. He had a unified Catholic front against him, he split that in half now and now he can move on. And I agree with E.J. If this debate moves on and stops being about religious freedom and starts being about contraceptives–contraception, then Republicans lose in a very big way.

    I hope the bishops will study that complete transcript, link in my previous comment above.

  24. StJude says:

    “Is it charitable to pray that Obama’s & Jack Lew’s heads explode. I’m so angry it’s bordering on being sinful.” John 6:54

    I am with ya, John

  25. disco says:

    I count myself among those who thought that healthcare should be freely available for all. That sick people shouldnt have to forgo care because they can’t afford it. I’m ashamed to not have realized that they would be covering abortions and sterilizations before they’d ever think about treating cancer patients or people with heart disease.

    It’s not about women’s rights it’s not about health and it’s not even really about contraception. It’s about greasing the right people to hit that 1 billion dollar campaign contribution goal dear leader set for 2012.

  26. Ezra says:

    Jewish broker-commentator Peter Schiff, who has been eloquent in his economic critiques of President Obama, has produced a good explanation of why this talk of “free birth control” is a sham.

  27. Cathy says:

    I am convinced that Obama thinks that people elected him to be god of our country and does not have a clue as to why this is disagreeable to anyone. I honestly wish that our Church leaders would cut off communication with this administration as opposed to considering it an “honor” to have a meeting with the president. Any and all further communication with the president should be as amicable as “talk to my lawyer.”

  28. Clinton R. says:

    This ‘magisterium of nuns’ is exactly why Obama is so smug and sure he will win this fight. We know his advisers have told him how so many catholics agree with the use of contraceptives. The enemy knows how weak we’ve become. He figures the Church will roll over as has happened all too frequently. Now is the time to do everything to fight this war against the Catholic Church. If the bishops compromise on this issue in any way, then Obama gains even more power. Next, he’ll force the Church to ‘marry’ homosexuals. Will we fight? Or has the Church Militant lost her taste for proclaiming the Truth? Is contraception just wrong for Catholics or is it a major cause for the moral decay in our country and the world at large? Pray, fast and engage in action to make sure our voice is heard. Pray for the Bishops! Pray for Our Blessed Mother’s intercession!

  29. Traductora says:

    I really wonder if Obama’s goal (or at any rate, that of his evil advisors, because I don’t think he’s smart or historically literate enough) is to provoke a schism in the Church where we will have a sort of Patriotic Catholic Church ala China. [EXACTLY what I have been talking about. HERE.] While Obama may not be bright and is simply imposing the Marxist policies thought up by people such as Bill Ayers and Van Jones, he has a huge lust for power, great love of himself, and definite megalomaniac tendencies. He really believed the stuff with the Greek columns and the smoke machines and he thinks he’s destined to “rule” the world.

    The only thing that stands in his way, when you come right down to it, is the Church. I think he would like nothing better than to set up a sort of parallel church (somewhat as Henry VIII did) and I think the fact that Lew and others are acting as if Sister Keehan, Nancy Pelosi and others like them are the authentic spokesmen for the Church, while the bishops are irrelevant, is quite intentional.Unless the bishops step out NOW and do something dramatic to recover both their authority and the news cycle, Obama will have succeeded in marginalizing them and the game will be over.

    It’s not going to be easy, because we have had 40 years of indifferent and even some very bad bishops, and 40 years of the complete surrender of episcopal teaching authority. Ideally, there would be time to teach and preach and gradually build things up again. But circumstances have thrust this challenge upon the bishops now, at this very moment, and they must respond to it now and with bold, confident actions. If they dither, they’ll see Sister Bishop Keehan being installed as the head of the new American Catholic Church, headquarters DC.

  30. jmvbxx says:

    It’s offensive for Mr Lew to suggest that a group of nuns, already of possibly compromised faith, should be more right than the US bishops. Worse still to suggest that the bishops can learn a thing or two from these nuns!

  31. Glen M says:

    When, oh Lord, will the shepherds protect the flock from the wolves? Dissenters cause scandal, confusion, and weakening of the faith. Are they afraid of offending the few who have left the flock anyway? The faithful yearn for guidance and leadership yet we’ve endured forty years of acquiescence and decline. It’s time to cull the flock for the greater good. Many of these dissenters have excommunicated themselves anyway. It’s time for the public to know authentic Church teaching and position as souls are at stake.

  32. Bryan Boyle says:

    Unfortunately, I don’t see the USCCB, other than issuing ‘nuanced’ statements and talking of ‘dialogue’ and ‘engaging’ the Administration in ‘fruitful discussions’ bringing about any sea change in the Politburo currently riding roughshod over the basis for government BY the people any time soon. Except for a few examples in the current leadership, I don’t see a heirarchy filled with a Sheen, Wrenn (though not a bishop, he had no compunction about facing down error…), Spellman (say what you want, you knew where you stood and what happened if you crossed the line…) or even a ‘Digger John’ Hughes.

    Let’s face it, the majority of our hierarchy is nothing more than bureaucrats cut from the same mold as those they oppose. The verbiage is the same, finely-tuned bland words not meant to challenge. Unfortunately, the old saw that ‘you lie with dogs…you get fleas’ is more than apt here. A friend of mine (from Kansas City) used to liken some of the battles to fighting with a pig. You both roll around in the mud, but at some point, you’re dirty and frustrated, and realize that the pig is enjoying it. Same here.

    The object on their part is not to ‘listen’ or ‘engage’ us and consider our beliefs or uphold our right to freely and without limitations, practice our faith and act on our beliefs. Their object is to neuter the Church (which is, in the end, the single largest group of self-identified believers in the US) as a moral force based on thousands of years of Judeo-Christian principles and substitute their secular humanism based on ‘entitlement’ and dependence upon the ‘State’; it’s not different than any other aim of any other totalitarian regime that has ever subjugated a people. History is replete with examples, some as recently as right now in various places.

    Like any good strategist…you do that by setting up or encouraging a parallel universe of authority which has a high-sounding and ‘nuanced’ label (CHA anyone?) that panders to your vision, lead people away from the real authority (and the bishops have done a good enough job themselves of doing that by their lack of robust leadership…) and, suddenly…well, here we are.

    Count on it.

  33. Titus says:

    It’s the same thing we’ve been seeing since the last election: Obama has a dedicated strategic goal of causing a schism—a real-life, out-in-the-open schism—in the Church in America. And it’s working.

  34. Ralph says:

    I rest the blame for this problem with disident “catholic” groups squarely on the shoulders of “the” bishops. When I say “the”, I mean the local bishops who turn away from the responsibility to pastor the groups located within their particular diocese, the bishops who give up their God given responsibility and authority and subjegate themselves to a “bishops conference” to avoid making the hard calls, the bishops who are too busy being CEO’s to recall that they are Apostles of Christ!!!

    Sorry, but I am VERY frustrated right now. Pardon me while I go and, in Father Z speak, “throw a nutty.”

  35. wmeyer says:

    Our bishops have a long habit of leaving their flocks to fend for themselves among the ravening wolves. Further to what I said last week on the HHS mandate thread, I think a number of steps are necessary:
    – public lists of “Catholic” politicians who are out of communion with Rome
    – strong sermons on the responsibilities of citizenship, and explicit teaching that no, child, you can’t decide “in conscience” to vote for pro-abortion candidates, for any reason
    – strict discipline applied to priests, nuns, charities, hospitals, any Catholic service which strays
    – support to the true faithful, such as Michael Voris
    – admonishing those who do not follow Church teaching to not use the word Catholic in their name, in their fundraising, and so on
    – judicious use of formal excommunication

    Wearing the name Catholic doesn’t make one Catholic. Living the faith according to Church teaching, struggling against our weaknesses and failings, confessing our sins, and never giving up. These things make us Catholic. Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi. Never forget the third element of the formula.

  36. Dismas says:

    Regardless of how we got here, in light of the state sponsored american catholic church being sponsored by the current administration (I hate using his name) and made possible through the complicity of false organizations such as Catholics United, Catholic Health Association and NARAL, does it make sense to excommunicate or change their names at this moment in time? Would these moves weaken the USCCB and push the Roman Catholic Church in America further out of the public square and further undergroud or would it further empower the USCCB against the administration?

  37. Tradster says:

    The comments above that Catholic Charities supports Obamacare and the “compromise” is extremely troubling. One example: Archbishop Chaput last week rightly condemned the “compromise” yet this past Sunday issued a letter read at all Masses urging parishoners to be generous to CC. This despite CC’s support of Obamacare (and also, as meticulously documented by Michael Voris, Planned Parenthood and other left-wing causes). Why is that conflict not obvious to our bishops? Perhaps they rely too heavily on the liberal women on their staffs and are not really paying much attention to the issues.

  38. The bishops really cannot let this die – nor can the rest of us. Obama has said the debate is over. We need to keep it in the lay press. That is the only place Obama will notice it. The bishops and the rest of us need to understand that simply issuing papers on the topic, giving homilies, and putting posts on their websites is not enough.

    Sr. Carol Keehan must be pressured to resign. Her resignation will be the newsworthy. It will be a PR disaster for Obama on this issue. It will keep the topic central. EWTN and other organizations must press on with their lawsuits.

    If Catholic laypeople can do anything, especially in the blogsphere, it is to make an outcry that the bishops will listen to.

    We must push for the reform of the CHA, beginning at the top.

    Oh, I have Sr. Carol’s email address posted at my blog for anyone who wants to email her. I did, politely asking her to resign.

  39. Dave N. says:

    I think this debate is over. Obama comes off as the benevolent leader who compromises and bends over backwards to play fair. If the bishops continue to complain he can simply say, “Well, CHA, CC and 80% of Catholics who support contraception don’t seem to have a problem with this policy–sounds like an internal matter for the Catholic Church.” And basically he’d be right. Contraception is an issue that bishops have dealt with very poorly (i.e., basically not at all) and now as a result the bishops are portrayed as some sort marginalized hypocritical looneys within their own Church.


  40. wmeyer says:

    Dave N., It remains, first and foremost, a violation of the 1st Amendment. In those terms, it is not over. It may appear in the media to be checkmate, and may be a very tough fight, for that reason, but bear this in mind:
    2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae, by the very commission of the offense,” and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.
    In essence, we violate doctrine then in paying for health insurance, since clearly, we are funding the abortions.

  41. rfox2 says:

    I’m very much in favor of the bishops taking a strong hand with dissident so-called nuns like Sr. Keehan, don’t get me wrong. The bishops should have publicly denounced them ages ago. However, as we get ourselves into a froth over their latest public support of whatever Obama and the HHS department does, I hope that we aren’t fooling ourselves into thinking that the Obama administration needs anything beyond a very weak pretext before pulling something like this latest HHS mandate. The nuns and left-leaning, power hungry Catholics in political office on Capitol Hill are serving their own interests, as will anyone who is motivated by interests outside those of our Blessed Lord. Is the Obama administration being calculating when they use these people like this? Absolutely! I’m not saying the “magisterium of nuns” should be tolerated, but don’t give them more power than they deserve by naming them challengers to the legitimate successors to the Apostles. The charism that the bishops possess, regardless of how they are managing that responsibility and authority, comes directly from Jesus Christ. We need to encourage our bishops to be more outspoken and bold in their defense of the Gospel, and we need to pray for them fervently. The nuns will soon be dust with their skeletal hands wrapped tightly around pens they’ve received from the President. We need to pray for and support the bishops and ignore the crazy nuns. If Obama hadn’t found his pretext with Sr. Keehan, Nancy Pelosi and Kathleen Sebelius, he would have found it somewhere else.

  42. Traductora says:

    rfox, you miss the point that the crazy nuns are the ones naming themselves challengers to the legitimate successors to the Apostles, and they are being treated as such by the Obama administration and the press.

    The bishops have already tried ignoring the crazy nuns, and all it has done is let them grow stronger. It’s time to try something new…that is, exerting their legitimate authority over these people…which would be a wonderfully clarifying sight. People are confused now and it’s the bishops and their lack of teaching and even sometimes their own lack of respect for the legitimate authority over them (Rome) who have let them get that way.

  43. Dave N. says:

    “In essence, we violate doctrine then in paying for health insurance, since clearly, we are funding the abortions.”

    wmeyer, thousands, probably millions of Catholics already fund abortion by paying into their health care plans at work that cover abortions and sterilization procedures. Of course this is a moral outrage, but I have yet to hear any priest or bishop ever take issue with this, probably because like taking a stand on contraception, it just wouldn’t be popular with the rank-and-file. It’s the fact that the bishops come off like they’re playing politics because of their PAST inaction— that’s what makes them seem marginalized within their own Church. This is why the bishops have already lost the media battle.

  44. Supertradmum says:

    DaveN, If all the Catholics had balked at this year’s ago, Obama would not be able to bully us now.

  45. Dave N. says:



  46. veritas76 says:

    As someone who is seriously discerning the religious life, it breaks my heart to see that this phrase even needs to be used. I am continually more and more horrified that such extremist, liberal nuns taint such a beautiful vocation; the types of sisters who subscribe to the mentality of the “Magisterium of Nuns” are a joke and an embarrassment to those women who are brave enough take their vocations seriously. One positive – everything the crazy sisters do do convicts me ever more deeply in my own call to enter an order that fully embraces and challenges each of its sisters lives out their call as a true Bride of Christ.

  47. wmeyer says:

    veritas76: The dissident orders are dying on the vine, anyway. The orders which seem to be flourishing are those in which the habit is worn, and the true teaching of the Church is embraced.


  49. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    This interview proves that these organizations needs must have the word ‘catholic’ stricken from their titles. Lew repeatedly throws out “CHA” as an example of catholics on board with the president’s plan…as if the CHA speaks for Catholics in an equivalent way as do the Bishops. Ridiculous. The Bishops need to remove the term ‘catholic’ now, not later.

  50. Augustin57 says:

    wmeyer, I think you hit the nail on the head. While it may seem frivolous, I think it’s true that those orders who still wear the habit, and have remained faithful to the teachings of the Church are flourishing. Case in point, the Dominican’s at St. Cecelia’s in Nashville. They have many vocations every year, and have had to expand to accommodate all the new sisters. In contrast, those who wear street clothes are dying out. The average age of these orders is close to retirement age for many folks!

  51. irishsmile says:

    This will end up in a long and dragged out court fight with the Obama Administration. However, the dissenting Judas Goat Catholics who are out-front for Obama in the media are fighting the fight for the hearts and minds of Catholics and sowing great confusion among Catholics . These dissenting voices: Kmiec, Jennings. Sebilius, Keehan. Pelosi, Biden and the rest of this ilk are saying to all Catholics that they and not the bishops are dictating Catholic Theology! Please Bishops, publicly condemn the actions of these liberal mini-popes and enforce that they recant before they destroy the church in America!!!

  52. Marc says:

    Perhaps this is non sequitur, but I think a new “syllabus of errors” is long over due.
    Let him who say artificial contraception, sterilization, or abortion is a matter of conscience, let them be anathema.

  53. wmeyer says:

    Augustin57: My aunt and uncle have visited the Dominicans in Nashville, and have donated to them. I have heard much good of them. But see also the article by Supertradmum.

  54. Paul M says:

    couple of thoughts on the Lew interview:
    1) notice up-front how he states that “preventative health care including contraception” is a “core principal” and he places it on par with religious liberty. Obama is just finding a balance between those core principals. One small detail is that one of those core principals is enshrined in the Constitution while the other is just in the Presidents head. Chris Wallace doesn’t call him on it and I don’t think anyone else did either, so they’ve now framed the conversation.

    2) Lew states that they didn’t need to come out with these rules this early, but they only did because “it’s not helpful to have it lingering out there.”

    As Archbishop Chaput stated, this administration prides itself on being measured and deliberate. IMHO, they put this out early counting on the fact they could co-opt the liberal/seamless garment/social justice catholics and isolate the bishops conference, which doesn’t have a reputation for going to war over principal. They don’t think the bishops can rally the faithful for a sustained battle, ensuring that the issue will drop off the radar as the campaign kicks into high gear. If this issue isn’t hot, it won’t shift the Catholic vote and if he gets the Catholic vote again, he wins. If he wins, he’ll get to put his judges on the Supreme Court and then, ladies and gentlemen, it’s game, set and match.

    Think I’m over-reacting? Think about it: the President of the United States is eliminating Rights guaranteed under the 1st Amendment with a rule issued by a cabinet department. If this stands, the slope quickly gets very steep and very slippery……

  55. dad29 says:

    Liz D, I know whereof I speak. Jim’s a troll–a Planned Parenthood lover from the West Coast who has difficulty with truth. To him, it’s all relative.

  56. dad29 says:

    And Liz, read–carefully–exactly how the Obozo-ites defend the abortifacient move of last week. Then you’ll understand exactly why Jim is defined as ‘a disease’ under ObozoCare.

  57. dad29 says:

    Except for a few examples in the current leadership, I don’t see a heirarchy filled with a Sheen, Wrenn (though not a bishop, he had no compunction about facing down error…), Spellman (say what you want, you knew where you stood and what happened if you crossed the line…) or even a ‘Digger John’ Hughes.

    The Catholic Bishops lost this battle when they jumped into FDR’s boat and began rowing. That destroyed the epistemology of “justice” and created in its stead the horse-drawn-by-committee “social justice.”

    After 70+ years, the Bishops now wish to reverse the course THEY set.

    Waiting for an apology from the USCC Prexy……waiting……waiting…..

  58. Pingback: Convert Journal – Obama’s war on religion (update #2)

  59. rfox2 says:

    veritas76: “the types of sisters who subscribe to the mentality of the ‘Magisterium of Nuns’ are a joke and an embarrassment to those women who are brave enough take their vocations seriously”


    wmeyer: “The dissident orders are dying on the vine, anyway”


    First, I’m not recommending that the bishops ignore the crazy nuns. They need to take them in hand, as they should have done ages ago. The bishops have the authority to expel dissident nuns from their diocese or declare them publicly excommunicated. Then, the “magisterium of nuns” evaporates.

    Second, I am recommending that we not be distracted by this supposed counter-magisterium. If we get into an angry froth over it, so what? As wmeyer said, these nuns are dying on the vine, if they haven’t been cut from the vine completely. They will have NO FRUIT. The orders that are faithful, and there are cloisters like this growing daily, are producing amazing fruit. A faithful female religious who is dedicated to her orders’ rule, faithful about praying and good works, wearing her full habit, is a beautiful sign of Christ. Very powerful, indeed. We need to pray for more vocations like that, pray for our bishops, encourage our bishops to fight and suppress the dissident nuns who put themselves above Christ or ignore him completely, and in our own vocation, preach the Gospel in deed and word; the acts of mercy born out of true charity.

    The power hungry Catholics who only think of their own benefit will still come out of the wood work, but the bishops are the ones who need to speak out against that, publicly, and we need to encourage them to do so.

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