Defending Archbp. Cordileone (Archd. San Francisco)

Archbp CordieoneArchbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco is taking flack from the usual suspects for his support of an initiative at Star of the Sea to build a corps of altar boys (not girls – HERE) and for having an entirely reasonable handbook for teachers in Catholic schools.  It contains guidelines on matters of morals.

Imagine how well that goes over in San Fran (aka LaLa Land) and elsewhere where the anti-God and anti-nature world view reigns supreme in the shadow of the Enemy’s dark tail.

At the Cardinal Newman Society (CNS), you will find piece about an op-ed at the San Francisco Chronicle (which is behind a paywall) written by a staffer of CNS.

There is some background in a piece at Crisis from a few days ago.  HERE

Here is part of the CNS piece.  Be sure to go there for the whole thing.  My emphases:


But the criticism thrown at Archbishop Cordileone is wholly undeserved, argued Bob Laird, defending the San Francisco archbishop as “a true shepherd of Catholic schools.”

“If the mission of Catholic schools is to form students both in knowledge and in faith, then he is simply doing his job to ensure that teachers have the necessary qualifications for religious education,” Laird wrote.

“Hasn’t the National Football League been pressured to care about the image that its employees (the players) portray off as well as on the field? Would it make sense for a Burger King employee to publicly tout the superior qualities of a McDonald’s Big Mac? I don’t think so,” he said. “It also doesn’t make sense to employ a teacher in a religious school who openly flouts the beliefs of the employer.

“Dissenting opinions are not new in the Church, and they deserve a patient and merciful response,” Laird noted in the article. “But Christ did not alter his teachings in order to please his listenersIt’s ludicrous to think that Catholic school teachers should be invited to teach dissent by word or example.”

He highlighted the transitional period that comprises the teenage years, noting that it is especially a time of developing the values and habits one will likely carry for the rest of his or her life. “Why would the Catholic Church provide anything other than Catholic formation? And if faculty and staff members openly object to what it means to be Catholic, why would they be qualified for employment at a Catholic school?” Laird wrote.

He argued that it is “the archbishop’s job to lead Catholics and to protect Catholic students from wayward interpretations of our Catholic faith that have crept into society.”

“The archbishop is not ‘out of touch with the community that he has been assigned to serve,’ as The Chronicle has argued. To the contrary, he understands it quite well,” Laird concluded.  [That is to say, he understands well how misguided and confused so many people are in SF.]


Good points, all.

Archbp. Cordileone needs our support in prayer.  He is on the cutting edge of the New Evangelization.  He is at the FOB of the culture war.

Be sure to watch daily the newsfeed of the CNS on my right side bar.  It is quite good.

Meanwhile, in a related piece at RedState I saw a great headline:

SF Archbishop stuns diocese by revealing he’s Catholic

Rather like the point of the CNS piece. Alas, we are living in times when we can genuinely be surprised, in a good way, when Catholic bishops openly speak and act like Catholic bishops.

Think about how much the Devil hates bishops.

Consider how good the Enemy is at using human dupes as agents in the demonic war against Christ, His Church and bishops.

The Enemy, angelic in nature though fallen, is relentless and expert in twisting people away from common sense and from nature. The Enemy incessantly batters away at good bishops and priests to silence them, at least, if they cannot make them wholly his own.


Pray for bishops.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    The enemy hates all faithful Catholics but especially priests and religious and in particular the successors of the Apostles. The faithful are called names, reviled, demoted, exiled, removed, ostracized, persecuted, etc…..and so in all these things have the opportunity to be ever more conformed to Christ when accepting the crosses those things bring and offering them for the conversion of those who perpetrate such things.

  2. majuscule says:

    Does anyone remember the petition and letter signed by multiple persons asking Archbishop Cordileone not to speak at the March for Marriage in June because they claimed it was sponsored by a hate group? The archdiocese newspaper did an in depth piece on funding of the supposedly “grassroots” groups that were behind the petition and letter. (No surprise, they found wealth gay rights advocates handing out the money.)

    I was so glad to see such investigative journalism in this day and age. But it never occurred to me to wonder why no Catholic or Catholic-friendly news service picked up on this. It could be because the best way to access the articles and sidebars is by downloading the PDF of the whole paper. Please go here and look at the September 12, 2014 edition. The story starts above the fold on the front page.

    Same link here if you don’t see it above:

    It continues in the following two editions.

    As a result of feedback from letters-to-the-editor about this series of articles Archbishop Cordileone invited letter writers to a roundtable meeting. He was there in the room with this small group (letter writers who were both pro and con) listening and answering questions, spending much more time than noted on the agenda. He was there among the sheep, just as the Holy Father wants his pastors to be.

    His Excellency is a supporter of the Extraordinary form. (Remember his Pontifical Mass–it was at the church that’s the center of the recent “no altar girls” kerfluffle.) He supports his priests when they speak the truth about the hard things. Please pray for him. There are many many faithful Catholics in the archdiocese but we especially need your prayers when it comes to San Francisco.

  3. Uncledan says:

    “Archbp. Cordileone needs our support in prayer. ”
    I propose to the readers of this blog that we immediately begin a prayer chain for the archbishop. Who will join me? This will be simple: Just pray for the intentions of Archbishop Cordileone if they be for the glory of God and the good of our souls.
    Since this is the first time doing this, my goal is simple: five individuals in the prayer chain. I hope I can get four other readers to join me.

  4. cpttom says:

    It is good to see a Bishop with a spine and sensitivity to Proclaiming the actual I think in His Excellency we see a true example of how a bishop should guide his flock.

    He is beyond the FEBA, The Forward Edge of the Battle Area…actually, considering the City and State he is behind enemy lines.
    We the Church Militant need to pray for his continued strength and protection. St. Michael Defend him in battle! St Nicholas, Hammer of Heretics, give him your strength! Holy Mother abandon not this brave Bishop and his loyal priests! Amen

  5. SanSan says:

    Dear Friends,

    I just signed the campaign: “Archbishop Cordileone thank you for keeping our schools Catholic”

    It would mean the world to me if you could also add your name to this important issue. Every name that is added builds momentum around the campaign and makes it more likely for us to get the change we want to see.

    Will you join me by taking action on this campaign?

    After you’ve signed the petition please also take a moment to share it with others. It’s super easy – all you need to do is forward this email.

  6. SanSan says:

    Please support Archbishop Cordileone with your prayers too! He is in the belly of the beast as we say here in SF Bay Area…….The good Archbishop is trying to turn around a 40 year old ship that had run aground long ago…..with every faithful Catholics prayers and support we will prevail against the constant onslaught of evil. We will take our Catholic schools back, enlighten the ignorant and protect our families.

  7. Akita says:

    Unclean: Count me in. What do I do now?

  8. frjim4321 says:

    I picked up in the middle of an interview from the west coast march being featured on a religious satillite radio channel out of New York. I thought it was rather good and I was pleasantly surprised to hear that this prelate was the subject of the interview. He did a remarkable job situating the abortion issue within its complex social context. Bravo.

    All the more disappointing, therefore, is his ill-considered support of Father Illo, because by seeming to be ridiculous to a vast majority of SF Catholics, he undermined his credibility with respect to a much more important issue.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am sure that there are some who would support the discrimination against female altar servers. But a majority? In SF? This is a pandering to the minority while antagonizing the majority. Even if one could by some convoluted argument show that discriminating against female altar servers was legitimate, it would still be quite a stretch to argue that it was wise. [I recommend that you take steps right away to shift to all male service at the altar. You know it’s the right thing to do.]

    Doesn’t the expression “LaLa Land” refer to Los Angeles? “La” is in L.A.? [California in general and SF in particular.]

  9. YoungLatinMassGuy says:

    The time for “lukewarm” Catholicism is over. If they don’t like what the Church founded by Jesus Christ is, then they are free to leave. We aren’t islam, we don’t kill our apostates.

    I graduated from a high school that is under the Archbishop’s care. I’m sad to say that it is now, by all appearances, just a “private school” with a (very) thin veneer of “Catholicism”. They care more about $ than about .

    I wasn’t even a Catholic when I attended that school. I had at least a modicum of respect for them back then. “I may not fully understand these Catholics, but from what I’ve experienced so far, they’re at least alright.”

    The other high schools in the area? They are too far gone in my opinion.

    Time for a “smaller church”. The Church needs to get back into shape, and that means going on a diet, exercising, and burning off the excess weight.

  10. Akita says:

    Sorry Uncle Dan: I read your name as “unclean”. Use of the space bar in your moniker would behoove you! ????

  11. Gerard Plourde says:

    I think that the issue of altar servers is a thorny one. While there may be a connection with the venerable minor order of Acolyte, the Church has also supported a parallel view that the server traditionally represented the congregation when celebrating Mass. If we follow the history of the office of acolyte reported by the 1915 Catholic Encyclopedia, the first direct mention occurs at the Council of Nicea, where they are not associated with a liturgical function but as part of a bishop’s entourage. They later are identified as messengers of the Pope who also are assigned the task of bringing the Eucharist to the infirm and those in prison. Their eventual service within the liturgy only partially corresponded to that of altar servers – it doesn’t appear that they had a role of giving responses. The encyclopedia reports that the order was abolished in the late 17th Century.

    This raises the question whether altar servers as we know them in the Extraordinary Form arose out of a need to provide responses on behalf a congregation unfamiliar with Latin as a lingua franca. If that is the case, then the case in favor of exclusively male altar servers is considerably weakened.

  12. jhayes says:

    Quotations from Archbishop Cordileone in the Chronicle article by Jill Tucker that apparently inspired both the editorial and the CNS Op-Ed.

    The additions to the handbook — and proposed changes to the teachers’ union contract specifying that they would “have a professional obligation not to act publicly to ‘contradict, undermine or deny’ the religious message that the school exists to proclaim and which they are hired to advance” — are clarifications in what has always been expected of teachers, the archbishop wrote in an explanation of his actions.

    “The intention is certainly not to pry into the private lives of the teachers, and we’re certainly not going to do that,” Cordileone said in a video explanation. “People are entitled to their private lives. But teachers also have to respect the mission of the school and the way they live their public lives.

    Under the archbishop’s contract proposal, all teachers would be considered ministers,” a title that links them more firmly to church doctrine.

    “But not every potential violation of the (contract) by a teacher’s conduct will result in termination of employment,” Cordileone said. “Instead, if such a situation arises, we would address it on a case-by-case basis as appropriate.”

    “Mere attendance” at a same-sex wedding does not in and of itself send a message of endorsement of same-sex marriage, the archbishop said. Serving on the Planned Parenthood Board of Directors, however, would be a problem, he added.

    Which seems to validate the de-facto policy in some Catholic schools that “we won’t bother you if you live in a same-sex relationship and appear in newspaper photos of your friends’ same sex weddings as long as you don’t enter into a same-sex wedding yourself or act as a public spokesperson for that cause.”

  13. SaintJude6 says:

    @ Fr. Jim
    “discrimination against female altar servers”? Is that like “discrimination against female priests” or the “discrimination against male mothers” or “discrimination against cat who want to be dogs”?
    I am a woman with both sons and daughters, and I fully support the decision of Archbishop Cordileone.

  14. jhayes says:

    Link for the Jill Tucker article:


  15. MouseTemplar says:

    Does not Cordileone translate to Lion Hearted?

    How apt.

  16. majuscule says:

    I wonder how many friends Fr. Jim has in San Francisco? He seems to be pretty confident that he knows how the “vast majority of Catholics” feel in SF! I was under the impression that he is NOT a priest of that archdiocese. Where has he gotten the time to make the acquaintance of the “vast majority”?

    He may not realize it but the Archdiocese of San Francisco encompasses three Bay Area counties. It may be a politically liberal part of the country but there are many faithful Mass going Catholics in the area. I do not personally know any who think Fr. Illo’s boys-only altar server policy is ridiculous.

    Of course I do not claim to know the “vast majority” of Catholics anywhere unless we’re talking about the church where I attend Mass.

  17. majuscule says:


    I am already praying but will add more for your prayer chain. Is the idea for us to get five more people in turn?

  18. Latin Mass Type says:

    The Traditional Latin Mass Society of San Francisco is offering a spiritual bouquet for Archbishop Cordileone.

    Get the details about how to join in here:

  19. Iacobus M says:

    Joe Torre, when asked once how he could put up working for George Steinbrenner, said something like “if you take the man’s money, you put up with his bs”. The very minimum standard for an employee of integrity, I would think. I’m a Catholic school teacher, and I could never see how some of my co-workers felt justified in actively undermining the people who we’re paying theme. Again simple integrity.

  20. Mike says:

    One suspects, as in many cases today, that many or most of the alleged protestors are being used as tools of the “Catholic” Left (and thus of Satan) in its quest to impose the counterfeit notion of the sensus fidelium that was so clearly exposed by the Pope Emeritus in one of his last addresses before relinquishing his office.

    No matter how long or how loudly self-styled liberals may shrill to the contrary, the Second Vatican Council did not supplant the Magisterium or the deposit of Faith with a consensus of opinion. Considering the degree to which history and logic are suppressed in the formation of both Faith and opinion these days, we can be grateful that the apostolic infusion of Tradition by the Holy Spirit will continue to define the faith long after the wails of NPR and the New York Times have been consigned to the silent past.

  21. LarryW2LJ says:


    Count me in. I pray for the Pope, all the Bishops, Clergy and Religious every day, anyway . It would be simple to add Bishop Cordileone’s name to my “in particular” list. I also pray for those members of the above groups who have gone “wonky” with the express desire that they would return to the fold.

    One thing I have found out about Italians. They are a lot like us Poles. Once challenged, they tend to dig their heels in and keep their eyes focused on the goal, disregarding the distractions surrounding them. I’m sure there’s no deterring the good Bishop now, but I will pray for him that God would grant him the strength and stamina that he will need.

  22. Scott W. says:

    “The archbishop is not ‘out of touch with the community that he has been assigned to serve,’”

    Yeah, I seem to recall Jonah was out of touch with the community of Nineveh that he had been assigned to serve.

  23. Thorfinn says:

    Abp. Cordileone was not sent to San Francisco to play footsies with the lavender mafia.

  24. Dave N. says:

    Abp. Cordileone is very good at PR and media appearances and I do think there’s even something to be said for that–presenting the Church’s message and teaching to the public in a very strong and positive way.

    However, many of us that have to experience the Church “on the ground” in the Bay Area I think find the Archbishop’s leadership very much a mixed bag—and imo people are getting a little too carried away with the accolades. If you compare what (then) Bp. Cordileone was (un)able to accomplish in Oakland over a three year period versus what Bp. Barber has been able to accomplish in only a year or so, the differences are night and day. On the specific issue of Catholic schools, when the Archdiocese got some pushback from the teachers, the response was “well, we’re not forcing you to sign anything.” In Oakland (under Bp. Barber) the teachers actually DO have to sign that they are in agreement with Catholic teaching. No questions, no waiting, no disputes, no big media battles, just “this is how’s it’s going to be.” Nice. Openly gay priests at Newman Hall? (which were the same priests under Bp. Cordileone) OUT! Under Bishop Barber. I think that people really overplay how haaaaaaaaaaard it is to bring change with that ubiquitous image of “turning the ship.” It does take courage and leadership, but c’mon.

    While some positive things are happening in S.F., there’s still a great deal of nonsense (that’s being extremely charitable) allowed or even actively promoted by the Archdiocese, particularly at the infamous Most Holy Redeemer in the Castro. Abp. Cordileone is very good about addressing issues in terms of setting up bureaucracies to “look into things”: commissions, roundtables, special heads of blah blah. But too often that’s as far as it goes.

    The Archbishop certainly needs and deserves our prayers. But there are other bishops who are much, much better at affecting change quickly, firmly, in a dignified way, and without the media hype. It can happen. Fewer paper lions and more barbers please.

  25. Uncledan says:

    Thanks to you folks who are joining my little prayer chain for the archbishop. Nothing special need be done other than… pray!
    You can say a rosary, offer a mass for the intention, do a novena, offer some sort of suffering, or just freeform.
    If I counted correctly, I think we have one more to go before we hit the goal of five. Who’s going to be number 5? Come on, now, the archbishop needs your support! :)

  26. CruceSignati says:

    uncledan: Count me in!
    God bless this archbishop.

  27. majuscule says:

    I suppose this comes under the heading of being very good at PR that Dave N. writes about above..

    I received a “Flocknote” email from his Excellecy that stated:

    Personal Prayer Request

    I would like to ask you to pray for me and the other bishops of the province. We are on a spiritual retreat now through Tuesday and your prayers during this sacred time would be very much appreciated.

    A particular prayer intention I ask you to offer up is for an increase of priestly vocations for the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

    With my gratitude,

    Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone

    I’m assuming that Bishop Barber is also part of the province…? So let’s pray for them all. And vocations for them all. That’s vOcations, not vAcations…

  28. jbincj says:

    Here is an opportunity to support Arbp Cordileone with prayers and the spiritual support he needs right now!:
    The last paragraph states: “This is going out to a group of people I know, but please feel free to forward on to anyone who might be interested. As the season of Septuagesima moves on into Lent, now is a great time to ramp up the prayers and there is no better cause!”
    I couldn’t agree more – Faithful and courageous bishops need our support and prayers!

  29. The Cobbler says:

    “He highlighted the transitional period that comprises the teenage years, noting that it is especially a time of developing the values and habits one will likely carry for the rest of his or her life.”
    I personally think a bigger factor is how people end up growing out of being adolescents (teenagers) — you know, among people who ever do…

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