Liberals and feminists desperately crave Rome’s approval

Do you know the term delectatio morosa?   Sometimes the German term Schadenfreude is used.  It effectively means taking pleasure at the discomfort of another.    It isn’t a good thing to feel or to foster and we should fight the tendencies our fallen nature inflicts in this regard.

That said, it is both amusing and a matter for true sorrow to watch the liberals and radical feminists and homosexual activists at the National Catholic Reporter (aka Fishwrap) melting down into a spittle-flecked nutty.

A sampler with my emphases.

For example, at the NCR (aka Fishwrap):

Major Vatican assault coming in October, says former Maryknoll provincial
by Robert McClory on Jun. 04, 2012

NCR Today

In the article below, former Maryknoll Provincial Jon Sivalon charges that the action against LCWR and other recent Vatican actions “should be seen as ‘initial forays of shock and awe’ to soften the strongest areas of resistance” before a major onslaught begins. “That major assault is scheduled for October of 2012,” he says, “with the opening of the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.” The target, Sivalon says, is modern culture, which Pope Benedict is determined to discredit through “a hermeneutic of retrenchment.” The article originally appeared on the homepage of the organization, I Stand With the Sisters.

Vatican Declares “Year of Assault”
By John C. Sivalon, M.M.

Under the guise of a “Year of Faith,” the Vatican has launched an all-out assault on any theology or interpretation of Vatican II based on what it calls a “Hermeneutic (Interpretation) of Rupture.” This theological assault is articulated in the document known as “Porta Fidei” written by Benedict XVI and further specified in a document titled “Note on Recommendations for the Implementation of the Year of Faith” which was developed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Both of these documents are cited by Cardinal Levada in his statement on the doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). The rationale for that assessment and other punitive moves that have been made in recent months (Caritas International, educational institutes, and the Girl Scouts) must be understood in the broader context of this special “year of assault.”



Then there’s lesbian activist Jamie Manson of the Fishwrap, scheduled to speak to the LCWR assembly (big surprise there!) holder of the coveted M.Div from the same place Sr. Farley taught, Yale. As a matter of fact Jamie was mentored by Farley.  Get this:

No justice for Margaret Farley and ‘Just Love’
by Jamie L Manson on Jun. 04, 2012

Grace on the Margins
Sisters Under Scrutiny

Only weeks after taking a broad swipe at the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has returned to its more typical routine of taking aim at individual theologians.

The latest target is Mercy Sr. Margaret Farley, professor emeritus of Christian ethics at Yale Divinity School, and her 2006 book Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics.


It has become abundantly clear that, particularly in matters related to the pelvic zone, the hierarchy is not interesting in exploring questions or engaging in dialogue. That’s a loss for the hierarchy, who would benefit greatly from a close reading of Farley’s framework for sexual ethics. But their loss is the Catholic laity’s gain, particularly those who have not yet been exposed to Farley’s work.

As we learned from the 2005 censuring of Jesuit theologian Roger Haight for his book Jesus Symbol of God and last autumn’s condemnation of Sr. Elizabeth Johnson’s Quest for the Living God, Roman Catholic bishops have a knack for garnering public interest in some of the most groundbreaking theological and ethical texts being written today.

In the interest of full disclosure, I mention that as a student at Yale Divinity School I had the honor of serving as Farley’s research assistant for two years. In the decade since my graduation, she has been a mentor and friend. In recent years when I have taught sexual ethics on a college level, Just Love has been our textbook.

Just Love was not only a lifesaver to me as a professor, but a life-giver to our students who are part of a generation born into a society where sexual norms are in flux and the old sexual taboos are rapidly fading away.


They make parody redundant.

As I mentioned elsewhere, these people want to have sex with anything, anywhere, anytime, so long as such acts make them feel empowered.  And they want to be told – by the Church – by the Pope – that anything they call good really is good, even when it is bad.

The ironic thing is that they crave, desperately crave, the approval of the male hierarchy in Rome.   They rail against Rome, but their longing for approval oozes from every word they write.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. kab63 says:

    I’m disturbed by this sentence: “Roman Catholic bishops have a knack for garnering public interest…” In the midst of her nutty, is this a kernel of truth? Perhaps the Church’s method for rebutting scandalous ideas should be given a close look. Can the correction get any closer to the point of publication? _Just Love_ is being used as a textbook, for crying out loud. Sr. Farley’s wrongful thoughts have had plenty of time to be digested and accepted. The Bishops sound late to the party and reactionary.

  2. wmeyer says:

    I saw the “assault” line earlier, and laughed. If there were other than charity in the approach of the CDF, there might have been dissolution of the LCWR instead of correction. After all, they exist as a group originally created by the Vatican.

    kab63: “a kernel of truth”? Are you kidding? Had the correction come sooner, or more locally, then the screams would have been over a failure to give serious consideration, rash action, or in the case of a local correction, they would likely have complained that as they were created by the Vatican, the local bishops have no jurisdiction.

    Dissidents will find cause to complain, no matter how they are addressed.

  3. contrarian says:

    “In recent years when I have taught sexual ethics on a college level, Just Love has been our textbook.”

    Which is why this work needed to be condemned by the powers that be.

  4. chcrix says:

    “Sometimes the German term Schadenfreude is used.”

    True, it isn’t a good thing. I think another German term points the way to a more useful attitude: Fremdscham

    This is a vicarious embarrassment for others, i.e. being embarrassed that someone else is so clueless that they don’t realize they should be embarrassed. The kinds of statements made in the fishwrap and other like minded sources are so bizarre that fremdscham seems to be the most appropriate reaction.

    As for that “major Vatican assault”, where do I go to sign up to be a tank driver?

  5. dominic1955 says:

    Yes, it is ironic. With all the posturing and flinging of anathemas done by the various organs of self-appointed heterodox magisteria, ultimately they want those “out of touch old men in Rome” to lend their stamp of approval-no matter how much they say they don’t care or that is doesn’t matter.

    It makes one wonder why they don’t just leave and start their own sect or join one of the crazy mainline Protestant groups that allow everything and anything. They already think it doesn’t really matter what group you are in anyway because everyone is getting saved (if they even bother to confine themselves to Judeo-Christian constructs…) and they obviously have no respect or reverence for authentic Catholic tradition.

    I’m inclined to think, out of charity, that Catholicism can be like Judaism in that its adherents tend to self-identify culturally as “Catholic” even if they live and believe things completely beyond any sane pale of what could be justified as being Catholic. With this natural, albeit irrational, attachment to the various cultural and familial trappings of the Church, they psychologically cannot take that next step in just leaving it behind as something incompatible with what they have chosen to follow.

    Less charitably, I’m inclined to think that the reason they do not leave is that they know very well that the moment they declare their independence from the mysogynistic, paternalistic, homophobic, etc. etc. ad naseaum yolk of the authoritarian Medievalist Roman Pontiff, his Curial lackeys and episcopal enablers they become immediately irrelevant. They also loose all the status, money, power and cred they had built up as Catholic nuns. This was all once used for good, and people still have the collective memory of the sisters in habits teaching school, working in hospitals, praying in the cloister, etc. and the ones who went off the deep end still benefit from this.

    However, should they leave, they no longer have this. If they want attention, they can put on the craziest of crazy horse and pony shows in the Episcopal group and no one is going to give a hoot. They cannot act as a “magisterium of nuns” because no one really cares what the mainline liberals say because its all so predictable and the secular world is way ahead of their pseudo-religious cheerleaders.

    When Benedict speaks, the world listens (whether they agree or not). When Katherine speaks, the world yawns.

  6. Weetabix says:

    “They make parody redundant.”

    I may use that line!

    And is it only me, or do other people use the gnashings of the teeth of liberals and feminists as a signal of hope? When they get this upset, it makes me eager to be around for what the Vatican has coming – it must be on the right path, or the liberals wouldn’t be so frothy.

  7. Indulgentiam says:

    “Just Love was not only a lifesaver to me as a professor, but a life-giver to our students”
    Can’t you just hear the evil ones who prowel the earth laughing with  delictio morosa?  

    “Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it; and indeed to neglect to confound evil men, when we can do it, is no less a sin than to encourage them.” 
    –Pope St. Felix III
    Saint Michael the Archangel defend us in battle!

  8. Soler says:

    With regard to the first-quoted article, I always find it gratifying that the Church’s enemies so often seem to overestimate her influence and the initiative of her leaders.

    I fully expect the “Year of Faith” to accomplish next to nothing, but these people seem to be frightened by it—and, unless they’re acting, that can only be a good thing.

  9. irishgirl says:

    How old are these dissenters, if I may ask?
    Hopefully, they are old enough that they will soon shuffle off this mortal coil, and then we would be well rid of them, for all the damage they have caused souls.
    @wmeyer and dominic1955: Well said, both of you!
    @chcrix: Yeah, I wanna be a ‘Vatican assault tank driver’, too! Where can I sign up?

  10. pelerin says:

    The website of today’s English newspaper Daily Mail has the headline ‘Vatican attacks popular US nun. Should this not read ‘US nun attacks Vatican?’

  11. disco says:

    I don’t know how popular you can really call Sr Farley. I mean a few lefty crazies are fans but what about actual Catholics she had in class? I suspect they all received unfairly poor grades.

    [I believe her fans are exaggerating her popularity.]

  12. philologus says:

    “For some, theology too is a matter of wantonness, a subject for banter and the beautification of counter arguments.” (Gr. Naz. Oratio xxvii.3)

  13. Legisperitus says:

    Craving the Pope’s approval…

    He really is a surrogate father figure, isn’t he? Don’t these nutty revolutionary types tend to fit a psychological profile of the person who could never get paternal approval?

  14. Scott W. says:

    And is it only me, or do other people use the gnashings of the teeth of liberals and feminists as a signal of hope?

    It’s not only you. As their secular-progressivist view running around in Catholic drag continues to circle the drain, the shriller they get.

  15. Joseph-Mary says:

    The pictures of this ‘religious sister’ are scary!!!
    But I am sad for any young people who have been exposed to hers and others heresies and who have bought into those heresies. Of course the “just lust” textbook is used to try to rationalize sinful choices that take souls away from God. SHAME on those who do such things! It would be better that a millstone be hung around their neck….

  16. EucharistLove says:

    Stop scandalizing! Get in line with the unerring Magisterium or become Episcopalian (and risk eternal damnation). Sheesh!

  17. anilwang says:

    I don’t see this as a case of Schadenfreude. I think your emotions line closer to Psalm 55:9
    “Destroy, O Lord, and confuse their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city.”

    If you look at the number of lives that have been literally destroyed by the sexual ethic promoted by the LCWR, there is no shame in having joy that perhaps we are now turning a corner.

  18. anilwang: I know what you mean. However, there is a razor thin line between being happy at the downfall of enemies and gloating over their downfall. We have to examine our consciences constantly when things like this come up.

  19. jaykay says:

    ” in matters related to the pelvic zone, the hierarchy is not interested in exploring questions or engaging in dialogue. ”

    I don’t believe that our Lord was too interested in “exploring questions” around this particular area either. “Go, and now sin no more” and “But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart” don’t really leave a lot of room for “engaging in dialogue” , do they?

  20. jonh303 says:

    I am more amused at how weak his defense of ‘rupture’ was than anything else. This guy has to be on the extreme and I wonder how many of these types are out there?
    I have reblogged and commented on his article here:
    I think that this priest’s comments are going to further polarize the members of the Church. Most of thee comments aren’t even worth addressing.

  21. Kenneth Hall says:

    “That’s a loss for the hierarchy, who would benefit greatly from a close reading of Farley’s framework for sexual ethics.”

    There’s no reason to doubt that the previously provided quotes from the book are accurate, and that being the case, the term “Farley’s framework” is a sort of unintentional(?). It appears that Farley’s framework is exactly what it is, having originated with Farley and being based on nothing more than Farley’s preferences.

  22. Peggy R says:

    Just a little fact for the dissenters and others who think any kind of love is “just love.” The big secret is that barely 1-2% of Americans are homosexual. I believe I read that British authorities conducted research which yielded a similar result in their country. All this justification of a rare condition of behavior. Minnesota Catholics might find this information helpful too. These dissenters are talking about changing human history and society upside down to placate the feelings of less than a couple percent of society.

  23. albinus1 says:

    Less charitably, I’m inclined to think that the reason they do not leave is that they know very well that the moment they declare their independence from the mysogynistic, paternalistic, homophobic, etc. etc. ad naseaum yolk of the authoritarian Medievalist Roman Pontiff, his Curial lackeys and episcopal enablers they become immediately irrelevant.

    I think dominic1955 hits it on the head here. I’m reminded of Lytton Strachey’s comment’s on Newman’s conversion to Catholicism in his (Strachey’s) biography of Cardinal Manning in his book Eminent Victorians: as an Anglican cleric flirting with Catholic ideas, Newman was a big deal in the Anglican Church — and a big potential prize for the Catholic Church. Once he became Catholic, according to Strachey, Newman became “unimportant” — i.e., he lost his political and social prominence, and people no longer cared much what he had to say. (Fortunately that didn’t deter him from doing the right thing.) But yes, I think these sisters realize that “former Catholic nuns” won’t get anything like the sort of worshipful media attention that they get now.

  24. Ralph says:

    I’ve been thing quite a bit lately about this situation, the “sisters” in revolt, “America” and the Jesuits that write it, etc.

    Here is what I have decided the base of the problem is. The disenteres can not understand how love really works. I don’t have to accept the sinful things that you do to love you. Your sin doesn’t define you, unless you allow it to. I can love Sr. Farley without accepting any of the errors she embraces. I can love the homosexual without accepting the sinful lifestye he lives.

    This is where the Holy Church is speaking to these “sisters”. The Church is saying to the LCWR, we love you, but we don’t accept your errors. We care about your soul and the souls of those you teach. In the Church, we love one another DESPITE our errors. Because of this, we work to help each other get to the reward of heaven. Part of this, when you are a shepherd of souls, is to point out errors that are holding us back. That’s a part of love.

    I think to the left, in order to love one another we have to EMBRACE the errors. That may be the fundamental problem here. They think that the shepherds of the church only show love if they “accept me how I am”. In many cases they define themselves by sin (“homosexual”, “pro-choice” etc) To them, for a bishop to give correction is to reject the person, not just the sin.

  25. anilwang says:


    But the LCWR leaders have suffered no evil nor will they. Everything in their hands has been entrusted to them by the Church, and ultimately by God. They have been drugged by the potent aphrodisiac of the culture of death and power and are addicted to the fix of both. Their panic is the panic that they will no longer be getting their fix and will no long be able to wreck the lives under their care who under vows of obedience have to put up with them (I do trust the most LCWR non-leaders are innocent). This is a good thing for them and those under their care, and even if their souls of they submit rather than jump ship and join the Anglicans or United Church as ministers. I just don’t see how this can be counted as gloating.

    If the LCWR leaders actually suffered some harm or injury or we desired that they be drawn and quartered as an example to anyone who defies the Church or be condemned to Hell, I can see how it could be considered joy at their misfortune and a sin.

  26. dominic1955 says:


    That is part of it. Newman was part of the dominant status quo of the socio-political-religious organization of Victorian England. When he was “controversial” he was all the rage and then when he took his thoughts to their inevitable conclusions, he was no longer controversial and exciting to that group so they didn’t hang on his every word.

    With the dissenting sisters its a bit different. Satan knows who his enemy is on earth-its the Catholic Church. Its a HUGE victory for Satan to even just introduce some confusion and disarray into the Barque of Peter. He could care less about doing the same amongst the mainline Protestants-because he’s ultimately the “father” of their groups and they are already (unwittingly, mostly) doing his bidding. The true Church alone has the fullness of the power of God through its ministering of the Sacraments as commanded by the Lord. This is the only Church that can really hamper the action of the Evil One in the world and he knows it full well. The Eastern Orthodox, who have valid sacraments, are hampered by their schismatic state.

    The secularists, modernists, and other liberal dissenters and revolutionaries of all stripes foam at the mouth to see any, even little, problems arise in the Catholic Church because this is the only church that matters, the one true Church. No one cares what the other ones do, because were the liberals able to overthrow the Catholic Church-it would be game over. All the other “churches” are just older half-baked attempts to overthrow the real Church at a time when men still had a sense of religiosity, albeit flawed.

    Thus, again, the dissenting sisters know (explicitly or implicitly) that the real game is changing the Catholic Church-because She alone stands between against the total triumph of their modernist errors. If they jump ship, not only are they irrelevant in the eyes of men (which definitely would happen) but they lost the battle automatically.

  27. acardnal says:

    I think it great – and about time – that the Holy See (for some unknown reason) has finally begun to confront these renegade and unorthodox groups and individuals and is pointing out why their beliefs are NOT in accord with Catholic teaching.

  28. Bob B. says:

    In making a brief survey of what Catholic theologians have been saying and writing lately, one is left with:
    Homosexuality is okay;
    Masturbation is okay;
    Remarriage is okay;
    Women can be priests;
    Mass should be very open and free, as long as it’s not in Latin;
    Academic freedom is paramount to the Truth, especially in Jesuit colleges;
    Theologians are the true interpreters of the New Magisterium; and
    Government may know best – they’ll let you know.

    This leads us, conversely, to the fact that:
    Bishops aren’t okay;
    Priests may or may not be okay;
    The Bible doesn’t mean what it really means;
    Traditional church music is not okay; and
    Traditional marriage is so passé.

    There are words for this…. Protestant, New Age, Reformed-Reformed (don’t like what you see, create your own).

  29. Dcn Scott says:

    Fr. Z:

    I couldn’t agree more that this self-parodying, which is sad. Reading the CDF’s Notification is enough to show that we are not dealing with a high level of philosophical or theological reflection. Picking just one, Farley’s “take” on divorce and remarriage: “The depth of what remains [vis-à-vis the marital bond after the civil divorce of a married couple with children] admits of degrees, but something remains. But does what remains disallow a second marriage? My own view is that it does not. Whatever ongoing obligation a residual bond entails, it need not include a prohibition of remarriage – any more than the ongoing union between spouses after one of them has died prohibits a second marriage on the part of the one who still lives” (Just Love, p. 310). This shows that she is unable to even make a distinction between the living and the dead, asserting that one has no more of an obligation to a living spouse than to a dead one!

    The confusion fomented by Farley and her disciples is a shame and a scandal. Indicative of this is the last sentence of Manson’s you quoted: “Just Love was not only a lifesaver to me as a professor, but a life-giver to our students who are part of a generation born into a society where sexual norms are in flux and the old sexual taboos are rapidly fading away.”

    Among the reasons that sexual norms are in flux is that people like Farley and Manson see them and teach them as taboos. So, rather than clarify, they obfuscate. This methodology, I believe, is nothing but a petitio principii, starting with the conclusion you want and then attempting to (poorly) reason their way back to it. This in stark contrast to the adventure of true theology, which is an honest investigation of reality, what Don Giussani described as an adventure!

  30. moon1234 says:

    This whole process that we see playing out with LCWR and many other “groups” that are in “communion” with Rome is why I have just found my own little piece of tradition in the diocese and have tried to shut out any other communication with people who call themselves “catholic” and espouse all of these nutty positions.

    I really understand why people are attracted to the SSPX. I have felt a pull for a VERY long time, even with diocesan EF Masses, Summorum Pontificum, etc. There is something very attractive about being in a group where you don’t need to worry about sins against EVERY commandment being argued like they should be accepted, etc. You would get to debate the finer points of Church history and teachings and not feel like you are back in Rome waiting to be thrown in the gladiator pit.

    Rome has been silent for SO long and done so very little to correct/stop these groups that many traditionalists turn towards their own for support and comfort. As a family we don’t even interact with many people from the “Novus Ordo” side anymore. Whenever we come to “events” that are put on in the parish and try to participate we are looked down on for our family size (seven children), etc.

    There was an appeal at my childrens school for people to run for the school advisory council. Which is a glorified committe of busybodies who like to make a lot of noise, but they do have input on the curriculum and run a few good fund raisers each year. I threw my name in the hat since I had three children in school and would have three more coming up.

    Want to guess what happened? I was the only person who voted for me. (One vote per family). Even people that were brand new to the school would not vote for me, even though they had met me once or twice. I got information from a friend that they were informed NOT to vote for me because we were too traditional.

    I really hope the SSPX are regularized soon. I would much prefer to send my kids to their school and avoid all of this stuff. I wouldn’t need to worry about reviewing the material for secular indoctrination, etc.

  31. thomas tucker says:

    I do truly wonder why the Church doesn’t suppress the order to which this sister belongs if they refuse to denounce her and her odious teaching.

  32. Supertradmum says:

    Poor things, falling into victim hood thinking…..they sound like post-modernists narcissistic politicians

  33. q7swallows says:

    “Roman Catholic bishops have a knack for garnering public interest in some of the most groundbreaking theological and ethical texts being written today.”

    ‘Groundbreaking’ is an ironic usage here. Groundbreaking as “hell-bent,” maybe!

  34. jilly4ski says:

    I love how they conveniently forget about recent events. West, Popcak, Alice Von Hildebrand have all recently written on “sexual ethics,” and from what I can tell, with as much scholarship as Farley has, and they received a Nihil obstat and imprimatur.
    If I remember correctly, Opus Dei, and the American seminaries humbly submitted to their investigations and visitations, without any cries of ‘injustice’ or ‘persecution.’ Or is that ok, because that was white celibate males, disciplining or reforming other white celibate males? And as we know, white celibate males always get it wrong, and white celibate females always get it right.

  35. The Egyptian says:

    Brats never like swift kick in the pants, but in the end, much late they admit they needed it, some times years later. Bring on the size tens. Let the wailing begin

  36. acardnal says:

    Speaking of “brats”, if Gov. Walker wins tonight, I’ll be eating one in celebration!

  37. Johnno says:

    “That’s a loss for the hierarchy, who would benefit greatly from a close reading of Farley’s framework for sexual ethics.”

    – That’s funny… I’m certain it was precisely a close reading of Farley’s work that led them to condemn it… I honestly belive such people who make statements like this are so sumb and blinded to the obvious that the cloudiness of their mind can only be due to the influence of the diabolical.

  38. Ambrose Jnr says:

    Fascinating to see how the Maryknoll provincial fears the Year of Faith…may Pope Benedict be successful in communicating the faith to the ignorant catholics…I am getting excited about the Year of Faith now…

    Would the Vaticanleaks come from liberals against reconciliation with the FSSPX and against the Year of Faith rather than a Sodano faction power struggle?

  39. mysticalrose says:

    “Roman Catholic bishops have a knack for garnering public interest in some of the most groundbreaking theological and ethical texts being written today.”

    If by groundbreaking we mean the constant repetition of the same, tired, old Hippie agenda of yore . . .

  40. The Egyptian says:


    Brats all around, like mine with onions and a touch of kraut, and I know not trad but ketchup, pass the beer, cold, preferable spotted cow

  41. drea916 says:

    UGH! I hate “catholics” all around. If the Bishops/Pope aren’t who they say they are (those with authority over us, given to them by God) then who the heck cares WHAT they say? It is so frustrating that “catholics” go to Mass, etc, but then the priests/the Pope don’t know what they are talking about. Then why bother with any of it? Sleep in on Sunday! I’m a woman, I’m against birth control/women priests/other new age garbage- I agree with the Pope. Where the heck am I, and people that believe like me, supposed to go to worship??? Grrrrr!!!! Luckily, I’m young enough to see the day when these “nuns” die out. They have ZERO vocations. And why should they? What young woman wants to vow obidience to such a “backward” organization such as the Catholic church? It’s all or nothing, baby!

  42. acardnal says:

    @The Egyptian: Hip hip hooray! Bratfest it is! Spotted Cow is an excellent choice. Gov. Walker won by an even larger margin then he did 17 months ago. Imagine that . . . .

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