More bile from CRUX

Crux Watch continues.  Are you starting to get a picture of what Crux is like? I am.

Here is a taste from today by Margery Eagan.  Tell me if this doesn’t drip bitterness and really make you want to adhere to the Church’s teachings and laws.

My ‘aunt’ was abandoned by her husband. What was her sin, exactly? [Get it?  The Church punished the aunt.]

I was still in my teens when I realized Roman Catholicism could be more cruel than merciful, no matter what the gospel says. [No matter what the gospel says, Margery knows better.] That was when a woman I’d grown up with, like an aunt to me, was abandoned by her husband. He left her for her best friend. She never saw it coming. [That’s the Church’s fault?]

She was a Portuguese immigrant and a devout Catholic who did not dare question her parish priest or the church’s edict: [“edict”, because the nasty old punishing Church issues edicts that hurt women like her aunt] divorced Catholics who remarry without an annulment cannot receive Communion. [Whoa! Another piece of information!  She was abandoned, which is genuinely sad and perhaps not her fault, though we don’t know that.  And then she remarried without an annulment.  THAT’s why she can’t receive Communion, not because she was “abandoned” sic et simpliciter.] In her mind, that meant her romantic life was over. She was still in her 30s. [Never mind that the afterlife is forever and that our choices in this life have consequences for the next.]

What was her sin, exactly?

I mention this today because the Synod of Bishops on the Family has begun. Pope Francis has urged bishops to show more mercy toward the divorced and remarried who are barred from receiving Communion. And there is hope this time around for change. [Sounds like an Obama campaign ad, no?]

It is much needed.

I am a Catholic, like so many others, who has separated my faith and prayer life from the politics of a morally challenged Church hierarchy. One upside of the sex abuse crisis: [gotta get that in there] it freed many from taking bishops’ prejudices and hypocrisies seriously.  [So, if the bishops (actually, the Pope) doesn’t let Catholics in objectively adulterous relationships receive Communion, then the bishops (actually, the Pope) are prejudiced and hypocritical.]

Yet in the days leading up to the synod, it’s become clear how many divorced and remarried Catholics still obey the hierarchy [Stupid dupes! They should just write off the hierarchy and do what they want!  This is the 21st century!] and are devastated by the Communion ban — [It’s not as if it is was surprise.] including a devout remarried mother who wrote to Crux about sitting in the pew while her teen-aged daughters receive Communion without her.


Brilliantly bilious, isn’t it.

She goes on:

Pope Francis, in one of his famous back-of-the-plane press chats in 2013, actually referred to the Orthodox practice when telling reporters the Church needs a more pastoral and less punitive approach to the divorced. Could this be that approach?

She needs to read the book.  HERE  The book obliterates the Eastern “oikonomia” suggestion.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in CRUX WATCH, Liberals, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, The Coming Storm, The Olympian Middle and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. truthfinder says:

    I got a sense while reading the article that she was holding some of the information back. Further, there are enough men left by their wives – women aren’t the only ones affected by marriages which break.
    At the same time, this article made me angry. In the end, we can’t separate morality from the spirituality and rituals of the church (which she seems to advocate). Doing so is deceitful to the soul. It also made me think that as ‘unfair’ and ‘cruel’ as this was for her aunt (and I don’t dismiss that these sorts of things aren’t very difficult for all involved), Jesus’ crucifixion wasn’t fair, or nice, or uncruel. We’re told to take up our crosses, which are modeled on His, not complain to the sanhedrin or Roman authorities for a lighter cross or kinder nail.

  2. LarryW2LJ says:

    Again, this article seems to me to be an attempt to make God in man’s image. What Jesus decreed is not important. What’s important are “my feelings” and “what I want”. These folks don’t want a Church that’s going to get them to Heaven. They want a Church that will tell them they can have a good time here. What they fail to realize or try to comprehend is that “here” is less than a blink of an eye as a part of their eternal existence.

  3. McCall1981 says:

    Today’s summary said this about the issue:

    “With regard to the question of divorced and remarried persons, it was highlighted that the Synod must certainly take the issue into consideration, with the prudence required for important matters, but must also combine the objectivity of truth with mercy for the person and for his or her suffering. It is necessary to remember that many faithful find themselves in this situation through no fault of their own.”

  4. torch621 says:

    Another who’s more infatuated with just calling their self a Catholic than actually being a Catholic.

  5. Martlet says:

    I don’t see how the Church treated her cruelly. Her husband did. Thirty is a bit young to be left alone through no fault of one’s own, but I thought John Paul II said something about innocent abandoned spouses and treating them pastorally, even if they remarry, and especially if they have children. I wish I could remember exactly what he said.

  6. Sonshine135 says:

    What else do we not know about this dear, old, devout aunt? What was the husband’s side of the story? I dislike anecdotes like this, because they are pure, subjective tripe. Why didn’t she seek to have the marriage annulled? It sure sounds like she had pretty good grounds. If she is so devout, why didn’t she trust in God and His Church?

  7. kpoterack says:

    Incidentally, I just got an e-mail that the my “Five Cardinals book,” which you mention, just shipped today. So, I guess it was only one day late.

  8. Nicholas says:

    “devout, remarried mother”

    If she were not living as she does, she would be allowed to receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the greatest thing on Earth. We are all sinners who desperately need the Sacraments to get to heaven. The Portugize woman was truly devout, and surely is receiving her eternal reward for her fidelity to the faith.

    Life is hard, getting to heaven is harder, but God’s Grace is stronger than all. If we trust in him and follow his commands, we are assured eternal life.

  9. Nicholas says:

    Mea culpa! Should be Him and His

  10. majuscule says:

    She never actually tells us what her “aunt” thought or what became of her. I think this is key.

    As a Portuguese immigrant she most likely was a devout Catholic. Perhaps it wasn’t that she dare not “question her parish priest or the church’s edict that divorced Catholics who remarry without an annulment cannot receive Communion”. Perhaps she actually believed. Maybe she spent the rest of her life praying for the soul of her errant husband.

  11. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Wow. That is bile, isn’t it.

    And I had the same thought as majuscule–in her haste to rag on the Church, she never told us what the aunt did or didn’t do.

  12. Polycarpio says:

    I think Majuscule hit it on the nose.

    By the way, the papal pressers are front of the plane, not back.

  13. Martlet says:

    Can we ask her? Heading over there.

  14. Landless Laborer says:

    There is a good chance that she knew her marriage was valid, so of course she wouldn’t try to seek annulment. This was my case. And btw, living alone and celibate is a lot easier than the world makes it out to be.

  15. wmeyer says:

    I posted a comment there in which I quoted from the CCC. Did not get past moderation. That was about all I needed to see.

  16. Warren says:

    I’ve removed from my blog the link to Crux.

    John R. Allen’s project is, to say the least, a disappointment. Crux is turning out to be just another digital tabloid of the worst kind. Tabloid: rag; a forum for people of ill will to attack the Church and delight in dissent. Allen’s project is bringing out the worst in people. Aren’t there too many sites that already do that?

    The orientation of Crux suggests it is another attempt to generate profit by plastering people’s misery all over the internet. Sensationalizing information to sell newspapers or to draw attention to a website is hardly an enterprise anyone who calls himself a Catholic should be engaged in.

  17. “Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife. But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases… God has called us to peace.

    St. Paul the Apostle, 1 Corinthians 7

    I’ll venture a guess that the Catholic interpretation of St. Paul here regards “unbeliever” as “unbaptized”, right? Does that mean that if a Catholic is married to a non-Christian, and the latter leaves her or him, the Catholic is free to marry?

  18. wmeyer says:

    With all respect to Fr. Z., John Allen has never been high on my list of writers. To be fair, though, he’s never been on my list to avoid, either.

    In time, I think Allen may regret his present association. Crux so far makes the Fishwrap look relatively traditional.

  19. Mike says:

    After about an hour and a half all told a few weeks ago, I decided that I had got all the Crux I’ll need for the rest of my life.

    While one of Miss Eagan’s rants was the tipping point, I’m not sure I could ever be induced to click that site again even in her absence.

  20. Dialogos says:

    Warren said exactly what I think/feel about Crux. I had hopes it would at least be balanced. I had it bookmarked for a little while but after about two weeks gave up on it.

  21. MichaelBoston says:

    Any non-comatose Boston area Catholic , from weekly Mass attending to cultural, cafeteria catholyc, is aware of Margery Eagen’s schtick from her odious weekly Boston Herald column over the past 20 + years. Margery pumped out reams of copy denouncing the Catholic Church on nearly every issue like clockwork. Her few “pro-Catholic” columns revolved around a local priest or bishop who promoted the secularist agenda and soft pedalled the Magisterium. Margery never met a dissenter she didn’t like, nor a faithful practicing Catholic who wasn’t a dupe. All of this was dressed up in her treacly and false nostalgia for the smells and bells of her supposed Catholic youth. On the other hand, her columns on the “New England Fetish Convention” were always odes to joy and light. The Crux is truly a Crumb with the likes of this anti-Catholic onboard.

  22. CrimsonCatholic says:

    To answer the question that was asked, What was her sin, exactly?, it doesn’t appear that anything she described was sinful. Dr. Peters is right.

  23. teejay329 says:

    Oh these liberal whiners…and it sounds as if the CRUX is nothing but. You know, life is hard. Our faith allow us to survive. I’m so tired of my fellow Catholics pouting and lamenting “poor pitiful me!”
    Just like so any people who need a scapegoat…and the Church is often their punching bag. Articles such as these I find so terribly exhausting. If the Church wasn’t readily available to blame…or Saint John Paul…or Pope Benedict…I’m sure they would hold some other organization responsible.

  24. Joe in Canada says:

    We’ve really got to get back to the idea that spiritual advisors and gurus need to be holy people, which means as a minimum regular communicants. This woman’s opinion about spiritual matters is worthless for anyone who wants to grow in Christ.

  25. The Cobbler says:

    Given the origins of my screenname, I believe it appropriate to point out:
    “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove.”

  26. Gaetano says:

    Having lived in Boston, I can assure you that these articles write themselves. There’s one giant Word document with a bunch of phrases, and the author simply has to cut and paste them together. I’m sure there’s even an “insert relevant ethnicity here” line.

    Furthermore, there’s a blatant violation of the Law of St. Godwin (St. Godwin’s Law) in the 6th paragraph.

    For those unfamiliar, the Law of St. Godwin states that “the longer any debate regarding the Catholic Church goes on, the probability of the mention of clergy abuse approaches 1”. The corollary is that that once the abuse crisis is mentioned, the discussion is finished and whoever mentioned the abuse crisis has automatically lost the debate.

  27. Peter Rother says:

    Sister asks, “What was her son, exactly?”
    It is not her sin. It is now her cross.

  28. gloriainexcelsis says:

    My husband “deserted” me and our nine children (ages 4-16) 44 years ago. The story is long, so I won’t elaborate. I was fortunate to have just recently become employed, but needed state help for two years until my salary was at least at poverty level, with some help from older children’s part-time jobs. Husband came home after 4 years. I honored my marriage vows and took him back. In 5 years, when he had regained health and decent employment he filed for divorce. The divorce was 33 years ago. Since I still believe that my vows before God in a Catholic Church are to be kept, I still, at age 83, consider myself married. We never know what crosses Our Lord wants us to bear. Too many people internalize that God will forgive them – they can’t be alone – they need the love of a man/woman, and security for children if there are any. There are all kinds of reasons; but none of them are good enough to risk the loss of one’s soul. I didn’t do anything wrong. The Eucharist will always be my strength and consolation, and my sights are on the prize.

  29. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear gloriainexcelsis,

    If chickens could fly even half-way decently, I’d fly you to the synod, myself. You are the sort of people they need to hear from.

    The Chicken

  30. anna 6 says:

    You are amazing Gloria. If that’s not “heroic”, then I don’t know what is.
    God will bless you and all the lives you have touched.

  31. kpoterack says:

    Masked Chicken,

    I second that!

  32. Charivari Rob says:

    MichaelBoston said it quite well.

  33. Gloria that about brought a tear to my eye. You’re an inspiration.

  34. gloriainexcelsis says:

    Thank you all, but I don’t consider myself heroic. And my children were adversely affected in different ways that require many prayers to this day. God blessed me with a Grandmother who raised me and gave me common sense and a firm base, and good nuns and priests who formed my Faith and educated me in such a way that I was able to sustain myself and family. God rest their souls. Perhaps I was just more fortunate than others in these things. I can only pray for those who find it difficult to live as a faithful Catholic. Living a true Catholic life is not easy no matter one’s circumstances.

  35. Imrahil says:

    When I was in the military (ah feels like an old grandpa saying so…) we imbibed some important attitude… which was even a phrase.

    “Is so”. Well, that was German, but with a little allowance for grammatical error, you English-speakers guessed all right what it means. That just happens to be the way it is.

    Or: “cancelled because of ‘won’t be done'”.

    If you have to forego romantic life in your thirties, that sure is a cross to bear. But I think the picture would be incomplete if we don’t see, from a bit of “is so”-philosophy, that it can actually also be a refreshing tranquillity not to have to choose, because morally there is no choice, just doing the one and only acceptable alternative – and by coincidence, not to worry about whether or not you’re still able to infatuate a man, because this would be pointless anyway.

    And, other than self-chosen singles or those who suffer from shyness or lack of attractivity or whatever, the thinking “it may be my fault and I could still do something to change it if I only knew what”, “what much more could my life had been” cannot possibly arise. It isn’t (even if the divorce partly was, because you can’t change that now), you can’t, and it can’t because it has only this one path for you. I might imagine this, despite of course being a cross, can come very nearly close to comfortability.

    I know a man who, upon being divorced by his wife, once appeared at our place with a fancy new car. Quoth he, “well apparently I don’t have a good wife, so let’s at least get a good car” (or so). There are other still other pleasures in life than only marriage.

  36. Grumpy Beggar says:

    Thanks particularly for the confirmation on this one Fr. Z and everyone who has posted. This same CRUX article initially appeared really out of joint when I first read it several days ago. I stumbled onto CRUX when I was trying to get some up-to-date video on the synod. CRUX had actually been granted an exclusive video interview by Cardinal Pell and a few others . I think if they had known that this article was forthcoming from CRUX , the interview would’ve been even more brief than it was. Also notable that CRUX decided to use this synod as their launch pad.

    Personally, I’m encountering considerable difficulty pronouncing the word “crux” now – it just won’t roll off my tongue any more ( . . . keeps coming out sounding like “crooks” ).

    I believe Fr. Z is right in more than one sense : ” ‘ No matter what the Gospel says ‘, Margery knows better.” I wouldn’t hesitate to add that in all likelihood “Margery knows better” than she’s letting on too. The choice of words on this one is just a little too convenient .

    The more common tool which dissenters and instigators revert to when they wish to relegate the morality of a specific subject into ambiguity , is the question , “Well what would Jesus say (continuing before you even get a chance to answer that one) – I think He would say . . . ”
    But that one doesn’t work in this case does it ? . . . Because we know precisely what Jesus did say , and all the exegesis and subsequent sacramental theology applied to this scenario of divorced and remarried Catholics receiving Holy Communion ( especially sacramental effect) is solidly based on what Jesus did say. Hence the author writes “No matter what the gospel says” ; which, once we corroborate with sacred scripture ( Matt 5:32 and Matt 19:9 ) then trim all its deceptive fluff away is actually rendered : ” No matter what Jesus himself says.”

    Try reading it again now : ” I was still in my teens when I realized Roman Catholicism could be more cruel than merciful, no matter what Jesus himself says.” Yeah , right.

    Well put by Joe in Canada: “This woman’s opinion about spiritual matters is worthless for anyone who wants to grow in Christ.”

    @ Joe in Canada – same location here: Happy Thanksgiving

Comments are closed.