Fr. Rutler on the Covington Matter and a certain bishop

I’ve been out of sync with the US news cycle and, so, I’m catching up.  What I’ve read about these Catholic kids at the March for Life in what we might call the “Covington Matter” is horrifying.

The old Latin phrase in cauda veneno… the (scorpion’s) poison is in its tail…, meaning that the really important point is generally found at the end of a letter, applies to Fr. Rutler’s look at the ruthless and feckless virtue signalers who have so mistreated those kids.    Fr. Rutler does a good job of framing the players, especially irresponsible “journalists”.  (Yes, the scare quotes are ever more appropriate as members of that guild commit self-slaughter.)   Then he gets to the Bishop of Convington.

Our Lord condemned “virtue signaling” in his parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in the Temple. “I thank you, Lord, that I am not like this sinner.” There are Pharisees in every corridor of society, but they find a most comfortable berth in the Church. So it was that the very diocese of the Covington students, without interviewing them or asking for evidence outside the media, promptly threatened to punish them. There was no reference to the hateful racism and obscene references to priests chanted by the cultic Hebrew Israelites as they threatened those Catholic youths. Instead, bishops issued anodyne jargon about the “dignity of the human person” without respecting the dignity of their own spiritual sons. The latest advertisement of the Gillette razor company portraying examples of “toxic masculinity” did not accuse any bishop, but only ecclesiastical bureaucrats would consider that a compliment. Pope Francis, off-the-cuff and at a high altitude in an airplane, once asked, “Who am I to judge?” There might at last be some application of that malapropism to shepherds who jump to judgment and throw their lambs to the wolves of the morally bankrupt media in a display of virtue signaling and in fear of being politically incorrect.


And here is Carlson.

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  1. VP says:

    Fr. Rutler was far too kind about Bishop Foys, and he may as well have included Archbishop Kurtz, the local Metropolitan, in his criticism. Now we see that the diocese is awaiting results of an “independent, third party investigation” before commenting further.

    Both these bishops, and many others, are cowards of the first order, in many cases badly compromised, and patently unfit for their office, or even to wear a collar in the first place.

  2. bibi1003 says:

    Bishop Foys needs to make this right- PUBLICLY and IMMEDIATELY. I don’t know anything about Bishop Foy’s leanings, but I can tell you that our other 2 bishops are as liberal as they come. The Bishop of Lexington proudly supports New Ways Ministry. As for the Archdiocese of Louisville, guess what was in last week’s archdiocesan newsletter? A picture of Nancy Pelosi surrounded by schoolchildren- no mention of her support for abortion. Also, an ad for events at the Passionists’ Earth and Spirit Center. I won’t go into that. Just take a look at their website.

  3. danielinnola says:

    A certain priest who is a regular on CNN tweeted yesterday about this. He basically said he hasnt changed his mind about the incident. (He condemned the kids) that stung me, am i the only Catholic who feels like our Bishops and Priests (not all) have flung us to the wolves? I have great devotion to certain Orthodox Saints, my home has a Krasnij ugol where the Holy icons are prayed before and honored with Lampada, Rushnik and incense. One whom i have a particular devotion to the Blessed Matrona of Moscow prophesied that the day was coming when they will put before us the Cross and Bread, and we will have to choose. It makes me wonder if the Saint was seeing our present time

  4. The Egyptian says:

    According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, whoever “even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor” is guilty of rash judgment, and whoever, “by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them” is guilty of calumny.
    in other words slander

    Sadly this is from Breitbart news, haven’t seen it on any “catholic” website

    Personally i hope that the good Bishop is sued as well, I am so d—– tired of spinless people in positions of authority, such positions are supposed to be a sign of wisdom, not so much any more

    A top lawyer is representing the families, for free,

    JUSTIFIED: Lawyer for Covington Catholic Families Gives Media 48 Hours to ‘Retract and Correct’ Smears. “Lawsuits will start to occur next week.”

    In the article he said” it was against my advice that we are giving 48 hours for corrections and apologies, but these are better christian people than me “

  5. Charles E Flynn says:

    Reverend Peter M.J. Stravinskas: :

    In this professional educator’s opinion, how should this be resolved? The Diocese and school ought to apologize to the boys. I think the adults present should get the axe. But I’m not holding my breath.

    Bishop Robert Barron: :

    When you’re about to make a comment, ask yourself a very simple question: “Am I doing this out of love, out of a sincere wish for the good of the person or persons I’m addressing?” If not, shut up. If it becomes clear that your comment is simply spleen-venting, scapegoating, or virtue-signalling, shut up.

  6. Kathleen10 says:

    There is so much to say and dissect about this incident, I am finding it most disturbing. Realizing the age of the young people involved, and that here we see such evil emanating from the usual suspects, Hollywood, but even there, a new low, calling for these boys to be fed into woodchippers, etc. Truly Hollywood has gone over to the Devil completely. I wouldn’t live there for free. And to imagine a bishop abandoning children in his spiritual care, and virtue signaling, there is no doubt the bishops who did this are nothing of the kind. I can’t say more about them politely so I’ll say no more.

    Nathan Phillips, the American Indian who beat the drum and made a name for himself, is reportedly a veteran of the reserves, who served three years, and reportedly spent time in the brig and was AWOL three times. He is a well known Leftist activist, and readers may not know that he was very busy after this incident, putting young Catholic boys in such peril. He was, the next night or the night after that, at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in DC, with a mob of about 60, who came during the Holy Mass to disrupt it. Security had to lock the doors of the Cathedral to keep them out, as they were there with drums etc.
    Imagine for a moment if Catholics attended a Powwow ceremony with intent to disrupt it? What would the reaction to that be? Yet the media, helping the extremists as usual, is saying nothing about this incident.
    I am also disturbed about the apparent lack of oversight for these young people at the march. In future this type of incident should be 100% guarded against. There is no doubt but that next year there will be all kinds of traps waiting. God help us, and soon we hope.

  7. Charles E Flynn says:

    And here come the libel lawsuits:

    Lawyer for Covington Catholic Families Gives Media 48 Hours to ‘Retract and Correct’ Smears

  8. Orlando says:

    Sadly , with a few notable exceptions, the bishops of these United States are a morally confused , poorly catechized, feckless bunch who will not defend the faith let alone the faithful. When was the last time our bishops in a full throated manner defended basic Catholics doctrine? When was the last time the bishops excommunicated a Catholic politician who brought scandal to the church for there support of abortion? When was the last time a Bishop demanded that our Catholic universities be actually Catholic? Not in my life time. This group of bishops has been corrupted by all the ills of modernism and relativism and its best to just ignore them. To do otherwise will simply put your soal at risk. As far as I’m concerned they represent a different religion all together .

  9. Ryan M says:

    I wish someone would tell the bishops that if they are unsure what to do in a given situation, as a first order approximation of what God wants they should ask what course of action is most likely to (a) please secular society and/or (b) yield personal worldly gain for themselves. After that, they should assume the opposite is God’s will. They might make some mistakes there, but their batting averages would jump from about .100 to somewhere around .900+ easily.

  10. Fallibilissimo says:

    You sure chose one heck of a week to be out of the news cycle! This has been an infuriating one. Essentially, Satan and his minions tried to destroy innocent Catholic kids.

    I know the source is what it is, but I have to give props to Glenn Beck (believe me, a few years ago I would have never thought I’d be quoting him) who stood up for these kids and made an excellent timeline of just what went down here. Fr, if you need to catch up, I think it’s a good summary:

    People have had the opportunity to ask for mercy and to repent. Some like Robbie George (who deeply disappointed me) did and they should feel ashamed of themselves. They deserve it but I’m glad their apology seemed truly sincere. Others like Fr Martin took the cowards way out and slithered their way to non-apology apologies. They were quick to condemn vulnerable children but, like the yellow bellies they are, chose to evade any sense of adult responsibility. They are viperous cowards.

    Others doubled down and continued to vilify the innocent kids. That includes Fr Beck and, of course, the putrid stench which is Hollywood did not disappoint. Scumbag Jim Carey made a painting of the kids and called them “baby snakes”. I would never use this sort of language, but it’s an appropriate descriptor for someone who attacks innocent children and tries to destroy their future.

    Bp Barron made a good philosophical piece about Rene Girard and the dangers of the internet, but with all respect to the fine Bishop, he’s missing the mark. What we need is for these kids to be publicly defended NOW! Not tomorrow, NOW! They are being eviscerated alive right before our eyes before the world and they need defending, RIGHT NOW! I don’t want to hear skirting around the issue of “oh we need to find out more”. No, the evidence is clear and regardless, how can you let your own sons and daughters be devoured by ravenous wolves and be concerned about whether or not they attracted the beasts? They didn’t btw, they are totally innocent and behaved admirably. There will be a time for “teaching moments” and all that wonderfully abstract academic aseptic stuff. Now like FATHERS who aren’t afraid to take the heat and eventual blame for missteps, defend your children. Call out the wolves like Reza Aslan who called your kids “puncheable” and fight them off like predators they are, who will stop at nothing to push their politics. It’s not rocket science.

    I’m not even upset with any of the people directly involved in this ordeal. Some are clearly deranged and deserve out pity (the lost tribe folks) and Mr Phillips looks like someone who needs to do some soul searching. No, my anger is directed at the MSM and the frauds that act as their lackeys. The apparent cowardliness of our leaders did a good job to add yet more shame after a summer of shame. Funny how Jews like Ben Shapiro, Mormons like Glenn Beck, Prots like Tucker were willing to defend our kids better and more readily than our own leaders. Wow, well that says a lot, doesn’t it.

  11. HvonBlumenthal says:

    I should have thought the boys would have a credible case for suing the man with a drum for assault.

  12. ChrisP says:

    I hope the Bishop and relevant staff get sued.
    It’s time to stop pussy footing the miscreant leadership in the Church. Temples, money lenders and all that.

  13. Fallibilissimo says:

    I wouldn’t go after Mr Phillips. I would think it’s a tactical and strategic mistake for several reasons, mostly because he’s just one man who is powerless and, to me, strikes me as a vulnerable person who is confused about many things. When recounting the events he actually defended the doctrine of the so called “Black Hebrew Israelites”. Obviously, for him to say that, he can’t be thinking properly. Suing him for assault would strike me as overkill for something that men (and those kids have proven to be more manly than anybody else) should be able to settle with a few words, hopefully polite.
    I think it’s the Media that enabled and favored the false narrative, the so called “left”, the Hollywood types and the cowards that attacked these kids (or those in public who stood by out of fear for their own hides) that need to learn a serious lesson.

  14. Bellarmino Vianney says:

    Folks, be alert to the possibility that such an event was staged.

    One must ask the question: are such events staged by government entities that are protected by immunity? What about that mysterious Twitter account that appeared to be prepared to take the event out of context, discredit the March for Life and Catholics in general, and make it go “viral”? Any links to the U.S. “intelligence community”?

    Jesus says to “be wise as serpents”; because the serpent is the enemy, Jesus likely means “know the cunning, subtle, and covert tactics and strategies of the enemy/opposition/etc.” when He says to “be wise as serpents”.

    It is known that the political “establishment/elites”, homosexuals, Freemasons, liberals, anti-Christ pseudo-religious sects, etc., all despise authentic Catholicism. Those are the “serpents”, or opposition, so to speak.

    And in the U.S., there are clearly millions of such opposition. 60 million+ voted for Hilary Clinton.

    One must ask: are there such “serpents” within the FBI, CIA, DHS, etc.? It seems to be highly likely. Such people may very well be the “Deep State”.

    Now, take an analogy and apply it to the present time: an operation by the FBI known as COINTELPRO was ” series of covert, and at times illegal, projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations” that was conducted for at least 15 (!) years, between 1956-1971.

    Now apply that analogy/type of operation to the Catholic Church at the present time: would a Deep State of “intelligence community” operatives abuse their authority in attempt to “discredit” or “disrupt” the Catholic Church?

    (For the record, it seems evident that President Trump does not control the so-called intelligence community.)

    On a side note, Catholics should be particularly aware of what is known as “otherwise illegal activity”; do an internet search of “Undercover and Sensitive Operations Unit, Attorney General’s Guidelines on FBI Undercover Operations”, and then read about “otherwise illegal activity”, where the FBI apparently permits itself to do very evil deeds.

    Then read where it admits that undercover FBI operations may involve lying about anyone they determine they want to lie about; they admit to using “Untrue representations by a person participating in the undercover operation concerning the activities or involvement of any third person without that individual’s knowledge or consent.”

    Not many people know that law enforcement permits themselves to lie about others. And so, folks, it is necessary to be aware of such lies influencing current events that are intended to harm or otherwise discredit authentic Catholicism.

  15. Kerry says:

    Not synchronous with the topic, but similar in theme, and great counterbattery fire, “Ahem.” A video from the CEO of the Egard watch company, “What is a man? A response to Gilette”

  16. LarryW2LJ says:

    Nick Sandmann has showed us that he has more steel in his spine than a lot of bishops and clerics who are charged with protecting his soul. They rushed to judge him and his fellow students without hesitation. Where were the virtues of patience, prudence and counsel?

    We are constantly being yammered by the Left that as Catholics, we are too judgmental, cruel and uncaring and unkind. Who actually demonstrated those traits this past weekend?

    Meanwhile, the “Catholic” governor of the state of New York signed into law one of the most aggressive sets of protection for abortion in this country. And what am I hearing from the same Catholics who rushed in to condemn Covington? Crickets ….. nothing but crickets.

  17. DMorgan says:

    Well as horrible as this episode is, what i fear is that next year the progressives, having seen the effect such a small group had on destroying the focus on the March for Life, will mobilize all of their brown shirts and assail the rally for the viewing audience.

  18. scholastica says:

    My question in this matter is what were the chaperones doing then and now. I attended the March and it was an incredibly joyful, happy, peaceful place to be even in light of the grave reason that we were there. Yet, there are always a few crazies to be found. They are the ones shouting obscenities against the Catholic church and the Blessed Mother; I didn’t see either the Black Israelites or Philip’s band. Yet, if I had I would have quietly walked to a different area as I did with the former groups, especially if I had children under my charge. I understand they were waiting for a bus, but still they could have moved off a bit to avoid any sort of confrontation or scandal to the students.
    Yet, not doing that and instead giving the students permission to act out with chants and gestures, it seems they might now at least have the goodwill and courage to speak out and accuse themselves and exonerate the students.

  19. LarryW2LJ says:

    DMorgan, my advice for next year would be for every single person attending the March to carry a rosary. Someone gets in your face and starts screaming? Take out your rosary and start praying.

  20. Dad of Six says:

    Scholastica and Larry W2LJ-

    I had the same thought. If I was a Covington parent I would be proud of my son but wondering why the chaperones weren’t up front as a shield. What a video that would have been if while being harassed by the “Black Hebrews” and the Philips group they had pulled out their Rosaries and prayed! This is a real wake up call for any going to future marches.

    Saint Joseph, Terror of demons, pray for us!

  21. DMorgan:

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the rally; law enforcement does an excellent job protecting the march, not interfering with it, and importantly, keeping pro-life marchers and opposing demonstrators physically separated.

    That said, I recommend anyone who goes to Washington, D.C., at any time — not just the March for Life — to realize that there all manner of demonstrations going on all the time, for all manner of causes. Free speech! Freedom of assembly! Viva la Constitution! But that said, you may run into people who are not at all nice. Be careful and wise.

    In this case, I think the Covington Catholic boys were badly treated and are largely innocent. Maybe someone was rude — hard to rule that out. The only thing I wish had happened differently was if the chaperones had moved the boys to another, nearby spot. Alternately, they could have called the police.

    And, while they have the right to wear MAGA hats — and I’m not accusing the boys of anything in that regard — nevertheless, MAGA hats are “magnets” for some people. If you wear one in certain places, expect to be focused on in an unpleasant way. No, it’s not fair. But there it is.

  22. Legisperitus says:

    Bishop John Stowe of the neighboring Diocese of Lexington has now come out in full condemnation of the Covington students. He essentially calls them anti-life for associating themselves with Trump.

  23. The Masked Chicken says:

    Sigh, I miss the days of text-based bulletin boards.

    In this case, I blame the idiot who first put the highly out-of-context three minute video segment online (by all means and with prejudice sue the person, who is guilty of, at least, detraction) and the first idiot who interpreted Nick Sandmann’s smile as a smirk. There is a famous science fiction story, The Weapon, by Frederic Brown, that ends with the rhetorical comment, “He thought, only a madman would give a loaded revolver to an idiot,” and, yet, under the guise of free speech, we allow any untrained person to hold and shoot video from a cell phone, which, in itself, is not bad, but when they are allowed to act as irresponsibly as these two people have, then we have to question whether or not the forces driving social media are populated by madmen.

    Why didn’t these people do their homework? Okay, I’m a humor expert, so I’m more keyed into the physiology of laughter and smiling than most, but the person who interpreted Sandmann’s expression as a smirk should be counseled to shut up as as an interpreter of human activity. There are facial differences as well as emotional differences between a smile and a smirk (although, at one point, apparently, the words meant the same thing). It takes about 12 muscles to smile (my colleague, the German humor psychologist, Willi Ruch, is an expert on laughter physiology) and is, generally, left-right symmetric (from:

    Zygomaticus major and minor – These muscles pull up the corners of your mouth. There is one set on both sides of the face. Total muscles: 4
    Orbicularis oculi – Causes the eye crinkle. Total: 2
    Levator labii superioris – Pulls up the corner of lip and nose. Total: 2
    Levator anguli oris – Helps to raise the angle of mouth. Total: 2
    Risorius – Pulls the corners of mouth to the side of the face Total: 2.

    Smirking tends to involve similar muscles, but is asymmetric, with one side of the lips being more predominantly pulled than the other. Also, the Orbicularis oculi tend to be less activated, so there is less crinkling of the eyes (the eyes brows are either straight or there could be raised eyebrows, but they are, usually, not turned inward and down). A useful website:

    People, also smile when they are suppressing anger or fear or confusion or trying to expressed sustained in-group solidarity (i.e., non-threatening behavior). This sort of, “frozen smile,” carries with it no sense of mirth. Sandmann’s expression, in the infamous, “smirk,” picture seems to me to be a frozen smile, which lines up with his own account. His eyebrows are crinkled downward; his teeth are very slightly exposed at times, indicating variable conscious sustained muscle exertion; his smile is symmetric.

    I wish people who have no expertise and make comments on a world-wide scale that will influence millions of people would shut up. I include myself in this, although I try to do due diligence when posting comments, online, although pride and acting when one does not know what one doesn’t know are persistent habits which are hard to break.

    I say, bring back the bulletin boards and have everyone take a, “drivers license,” test before they are allowed on the Information Superhighway. All of the adults bear blame in this case – the kids, not so much, because they are, after all, kids, and, yet, they are being threatened with the death penalty for something that wouldn’t even get them a night in juvenile detention.

    Sigh. Only madmen would give loaded revolvers to idiots.

    The Chicken

  24. Southern Catholic says:


    You are suggesting what Fr. Martin is suggesting, which is the coward approach. Blame the chaperones or the kids, not the adults that are shouting obscenities or the adults that are lying. The kids have every right to stay where they were, and God bless Nick Sandmann for all that he is going through and having more of a spine than many of the Catholics in this country.

  25. DeGaulle says:

    The behaviour of Bishop Stowe is clearly indicative that the time has come for many Catholics to consider giving to more worthy causes than the collection plates.

  26. Pingback: Fr. Rutler on the Covington Matter and a certain bishop | Newsessentials Blog

  27. ck says:

    This op-ed from the Bishop of Lexington raises some interesting questions.

    “it astonishes me that any students participating in a pro-life activity on behalf of their school and their Catholic faith could be wearing apparel sporting the slogans of a president who denigrates the lives of immigrants, refugees and people from countries that he describes with indecent words and haphazardly endangers with life-threatening policies.”

    Though not explicitly said, is the Bishop hinting that it is a mortal sin to wear a MAGA hat? Or is he hinting that such hats should not be worn by the faithful in his diocese? If a Catholic in the Diocese of Lexington dons a MAGA hat, what is the moral disposition of that action?

  28. Dismas says:

    At what point does a standing, official statement go from Detraction to Calumny?

  29. Ellen says:

    Patrick Madrid on Relevant Radio has done some excellent reporting on the matter. He’s had more than a few callers get mad at him, but he sticks by the students.

  30. Fr. Kelly says:

    Bishop Stowe has stated a truth most clearly:

    We cannot uncritically ally ourselves with someone with whom we share the policy goal of ending abortion.

    Unfortunately, he damns himself and his fellow bishops by this statement. Experience has showed us in the past couple of years that POTUS is willing to stand up for and defend Catholic principles across the board — including the unborn, the elderly in danger of euthanasia, the sanctity of marriage, the freedom of religion, especially in regards to sexual ethics, the right of self defense – both personal and national, and many others.

    Our bishops have been largely absent on these issues. I, for one, have spent many years on, or just behind the front lines in the abortion fight — most of the time without the explicit support of our bishops, and almost never with the support of the bishops’ conference.
    These days, it is a tremendous help to have the open support of our president and his administration — a level of support we have not had since the days of the great Ronald Reagan in collaboration with John Paul II.

    For Bishop Stowe to relegate the protection of the innocent unborn to a policy goal while elevating the refusal to defend our own citizens to the level of a sacrosanct principle, is to place himself (hopefully unwittingly) on the side of the enemies of truth and justice.

    Making America Great Again is an excellent policy goal and includes once again fulfilling the duty to protect all of her citizens, born, unborn, young, elderly, border guards, peace officers, etc.

    We cannot uncritically ally ourselves with Bishop Stowe or Kurtz or anyone who abuses young Catholic High School students for their principled stand to demonstrate against the evils of abortion.

    Just a thought…
    If the bishops had not moved the March for life off of its actual day, January 22 and insisted that these boys should march on January 18th, the same day as the Indigenous Peoples March, then this confrontation would not have happened. There might have been some incident, since the forces of death are emboldened in these days, but this attack by a professional activist on these innocent young boys would not have happened. What an irony that the very bishops who forced the situation which placed these people in Washington on the same day are the ones who are quick to condemn the victims of such a flagrant attack which they inadvertently arranged

  31. Luminis says:

    Thank you Father thank you so much for this comment.

  32. Semper Gumby says:

    Excellent analysis by the trusty Fr. Rutler. His rebuke of the New York Times and Washington Post recalls a joke told in the socialist paradise of the Soviet Union about the newspapers Pravda (“Truth”) and Izvestia (“News”): “There is no izvestia in Pravda and no pravda in Izvestia.”

    Many great comments. Well said, Orlando. Thanks for the Catechism quote, The Egyptian.

    Thanks ck and Legisperitus for the link to the op-ed by Bishop Stowe. Stowe sounds unfortunately like a Leftist Tough Guy, accusing these students of being Racists and Haters. Stowe is a perfect example (and there are unfortunately many others) of why the United States should remain a constitutional Republic (with a 1st and 2nd Amendment) rather than a theocracy or some jumped-up crypto-Calvinist Integralist police state.

    Bellarmino Vianney wrote: “Folks, be alert to the possibility that such an event was staged.” Thanks, it’s always useful to consider a range of possibilities, but No.

  33. Fr. Kelly says:

    The bishops see nothing wrong with locking the doors of the Basilica of the National Shrine and calling the police to prevent Nathan Phillips and his band of marauders from coming in to disrupt Mass the next day.
    And yet Stowe and his ilk condemn our president for wanting to build a wall to allow our border patrol officers to prevent those who would come in to disrupt our country without having to stand in front of them the way Mr. Sandmann did so bravely in peril of his own life and safety.

    Locked doors are to the Basilica as a wall is to Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. They both protect those inside by helping the defenders to do their jobs.

  34. Fr. Kelly says:

    Fr. Martin Fox.
    When you attack the chaperones, you give the impression of virtue signalling. The chaperones got the boys safely to the spot where they were to get on their bus. If you had ever been a chaperone, you would know that it is not a simple thing to move a group that big and keep them all together — especially in the face of a concerted attack from two groups which they were the victims of.

    The wrongdoers here are the attackers not the attacked. Don’t blame the victims.

    You conclude with this:
    “And, while they have the right to wear MAGA hats — and I’m not accusing the boys of anything in that regard — nevertheless, MAGA hats are “magnets” for some people. If you wear one in certain places, expect to be focused on in an unpleasant way. No, it’s not fair. But there it is.”

    How would you distinguish between that and this?
    “While girls have the right to wear immodest and revealing clothes, nevertheless immodest and revealing clothes are “magnets” for some people (would-be rapists) If you wear immodest and revealing clothes in certain places, expect to be focused on in an unpleasant way.”
    I dare say, you would not accuse a victim of rape of having provoked her attacker if she had done nothing wrong.

    Why do you here accuse these boys of provoking their attackers?
    They were in Washington for the purpose of peacefully witnessing to the sanctity of human life and having done that, are waiting to be taken home, wearing hats which signify their gratitude for the support of our president and his administration. From the number and newness of the hats, I would assume they were given to the boys while in Washington.

  35. dlvolk says:

    And now Bishop John Stowe, of neighboring Lexington Diocese, has jumped on the bandwagon against the Covington Catholic students. He uses the pretense of them wearing MAGA hats to attack Trump. He states that he joins the Covington bishop, and other “Catholic leaders,” making it sound like Foys has no intention of correcting himself.

    Bishop Stowe, in his op-ed to the Lexington Herald-Leader, the nuclear version of the “Seamless Garment.” He does his best to belittle the pro-life movement.

    Bishop Stowe never uttered a peep about two politicians in his diocese, who are supposedly Catholic but pro-abortion, Alison Lundergan Grimes and Amy McGrath, during their campaigns for Statewide office. But he can interject himself in this faux controversy involving students outside his diocese.

    Bishop Stowe is a homosexual activists, addressing New Ways Ministry’s conference, and serving as “Ecclesial Advisor” for Fortunate Families, a pro-homosexuality organization based in Lexington. As the Church reels from a scandal rooted in homosexuality, Bishop Stowe promotes it. But he finds time to blast Trump.

  36. Fr Kelly:

    I did not attack or accuse anyone. I am defending the Covington students. All I did was make suggestions.

    I have been in many demonstrations, including prolife demonstrations, many times over the years. I lived several years in D.C., and I know what progressives are like. And I have been a chaperone for school students. I know what I am talking about.

  37. MrsMacD says:

    Think, in world war two, boys like these, went to war. These boys should be an icon of young America. This disaster is a sign of America hating itself.

  38. MrsMacD says:

    Dear Father Kelly, I would argue that a woman who goes around dressed immodestly IS inciting violence against herself. It degrades all women when one woman allows herself to be cheapened, and so she incites violence against all women, because it reduces a person, made in the image and likeness of God, to an object. Though we might not see eye to eye on this subject we can probably agree that if there was no porn, the world would be a better place.
    Father Z, I only said something because silence in the face of evil is condoning the evil.

  39. Fr. Kelly says:

    I agree with you. My point was that people are unlikely to blame her (even if it is deserved) the way they are calling out these boys for the wearing of perfectly good hats.

  40. Ann Malley says:

    @Fr. Fox

    “And, while they have the right to wear MAGA hats — and I’m not accusing the boys of anything in that regard — nevertheless, MAGA hats are “magnets” for some people. If you wear one in certain places, expect to be focused on in an unpleasant way. No, it’s not fair. But there it is.”

    Crucifixes are magnets for some people, too. How far are we willing to go to suppress what we actually believe and/or support for the sake of appeasement? Aren’t we called to be the Salt of the Earth? (I can think of several instances where the crucifix was covered up.)

    Just being pro-life can lead one to be focused on in an unpleasant way. NO, it’s not fair. But there it is. I’ve had my children given the finger and worse because they dared to hold a pro-life sign. So, while you may not have intended your words to be an attack, that’s how they came across.

    Chaperones are there to protect, but also to set an example. The right one. Hiding out for fear of harsh treatment would have left those boys from Kentucky safe at home, commenting on what others should or shouldn’t do.

    We are called to be a contradiction to the world, no?

  41. Semper Gumby says:

    Kerry:. “Counterbattery fire” – good one, thanks for that link.

    Mrs MacD wrote: “Think, in world war two, boys like these, went to war. These boys should be an icon of young America. This disaster is a sign of America hating itself.”

    Good point, though may I add that perhaps it’s half of America, the snowflake half, hating itself.

    Bishop Foys has apparently decided that appeasing the media and snowflake gods is more important than leading his flock.

    Here is an anti-snowflake video about young men, an 11 minute video of humorous scenes from the WW II mini-series “Band of Brothers.” These are the young men of E Company, 101st Airborne, who parachuted into Normandy by night, Holland by day, and held the city of Bastogne in Belgium though surrounded and outnumbered. This video has foul language, coarse behavior, bullying, derisive comments, smirks, and grins.

    That video is a collection of brief clips from ten episodes. The final clip is a salute controversy and is more poignant than humorous. The captain, who at first refused to salute a major because the major was once one of his lieutenants, was a Tough Guy at the beginning of Band of Brothers, but was relieved of command of E Company before Normandy as it was eventually discovered by senior officers that he was unfit for command.

    Halfway or so through this 11-minute video there is a humorous scene involving a map of the town of Foy near Bastogne. The full episode that scene is taken from depicts the removal of yet another commander of E Company for being, well, a snowflake during the Battle of Foy.

    God bless the young men of E Company and Covington.

  42. dlvolk says:

    Now, with Bishop Foys’ recantation, Bishop Stowe hangs alone. Does not seem a development he anticipated.

  43. Ann Malley —

    Do I really have to explain the vast difference between a MAGA hat and the crucifix? Really?

  44. Ann Malley says:

    @Fr. Fox

    Children should be taught to stick up for what they actually believe. What you may want to consider are your own words:

    “A poorly written and expressed apology. The right way to apologize is directly and unreservedly, without trying to make excuses.”

    Pretending these boys were asking for it by wearing MAGA hats is absurd. I don’t need to explain that further, so I won’t.

  45. Semper Gumby says:

    dlvolk: Good comments. Though, Bishop Foys’ lukewarm apology, issued in the face of a possible lawsuit, should be viewed with some skepticism while we see what he does next. He seems to be continuing with his own investigation.

    Let’s see what the effect of all this is on future Catholic school field trips. It’s likely that around the U.S. numerous clergy and lay school administrators privately agree with Foys’ condemnation and Stowe’s leftist politics, because persecuting those students Appeases the Secular Gods or is For the Greater Good of the Struggle. Perhaps steps will be taken in the future, at some or even many Catholic schools, to ensure that Catholic students conform to “proper political behavior…” Time will tell, but this is probably not over.

  46. Fr. Kelly says:

    Fr. Martin Fox,
    you wrote to Ann Malley:

    “Do I really have to explain the vast difference between a MAGA hat and the crucifix? Really?”

    With all due respect, This is not the time for sarcasm or ad hominem attacks. I let your response to me go by, but this is tremendously disrespectful to Ann Malley. She and I both pointed out your — perhaps unintentional — insinuation that the boys had somehow done something wrong by wearing MAGA hats and so shared the blame for the harassment they received.

    We both pointed this out to you, and with perhaps greater generosity, she gave you an a fortiori argument that you should have been expected to be able to see. Instead you reply to her as if she were a child who hadn’t been paying attention to her Religious Ed lessons. I am quite confident that she does not deserve such condescension from you, me, or anyone.

    Having already ignored the parallels to the case of a girl who is blamed for provoking her attacker by her clothes, that I offered you, you also chose to ignore Ann Malley’s excellent point about the crucifix that, in addition to being a sign of “what we actually believe”, it is also a magnet for the hatred of the enemies of Christ. Her point is that that should not prevent us from wearing it openly, and should it lead to some confrontation, it is not the wearer of the crucifix who is, for that reason, at fault.
    In any case, Ann Malley did not deserve to be dismissed that way for her careful correction of you.

    I you original post you said you think the boys “are largely innocent” This means that you think that they probably bear some part of the blame.
    Then you presumed, without having been there to tell the chaperones what they “should have done”, suggesting two laughable suggestions. Having lived several years in DC and taken part in Pro Life Marches and been a chaperone, then you should know:
    1 a move of the boys such as you suggest is both unfeasible and ill-advised. They were gathered together, waiting for the bus in their prearranged spot. This alone is a sign of active successful chaperones. if they had tried to move, under pressure from the Black Hebrew Israelites, they would have become a less cohesive group, more open to attack and, by seeming to show fear, such a move could have easily provoked an escalation of the confrontation. Also they could not have moved far enough to prevent the BHI from following and haranguing them. (The recording of the BHI’s verbal assault when the buses finally arrive and the boys circle up for a prayer before boarding bears this out.) kudos to the chaperones.

    2 re calling the police. That one speaks for itself. The fact that they did not intervene when Mr Philips drove a wedge through the boys and beat his drum in Mr. Sandmann’s face for a full 3 minutes tells us what kind of response calling them because of the shouting of the BHI would have brought.

    This brings me to the the comment on the wearing of MAGA hats.
    Both Ann Malley and I, (and I expect others who have not weighed in) recognize in that a suggestion that there is somehow something wrong with wearing a hat in support of our president who, at least as of then, was supporting them, us and the right to life of the unborn.

    If this seems too strong, I am sorry, but after the tone of your putdown of Ann Malley. I could not let it lie.

  47. Mrs. Malley said:

    “Pretending these boys were asking for it by wearing MAGA hats is absurd. I don’t need to explain that further, so I won’t.”

    Ma’am, I never said any such thing about these boys, and if you persist in sayi g that I did, than I shallbe forced to accuse you of lying. Please stick to what I actually said,not what you imagine.

    And if that statement is not an attempt to summarize a point of mine, than wby do you askme about it?

  48. Fr Kelly:

    “She and I both pointed out your — perhaps unintentional — insinuation that the boys had somehow done something wrong by wearing MAGA hats and so shared the blame for the harassment they received.”

    I made no such “insinuation.” That, Father, is a lie.. You are lying., which is a shameful thing. I do not take attacks on my character lightly. You are most welcome to quote me precisely, rather than make disparaging insinuations of your own.

    I repeat my challenge: QUOTE ME.

  49. Fr. Kelly says:

    My post of 24 January at 4:05 pm

  50. ALL: The acrimony end NOW. I don’t have time for this. It’s easier to lock people out than police comments, especially when I am traveling.

  51. The Cobbler says:

    The Masked Chicken,

    I don’t think this is a matter of ignorance at all; trying to spin something as innocuous as a smile into an act of aggression, to justify far worse threats… That’s obvious projection, if you ask me. I don’t mean in the sense that the average person throws the term around to refer to hypocrisy (and I myself did even merely a year ago). I mean this sounds exactly like the kind of blame-shifting I’ve also heard of in cases of predatory relationships and cults. “Stop attacking me with your smile! You ought to be killed!” See what I mean?

    But the political left isn’t a cult, as far as I’m aware. If individual leftists, even limiting our analysis to just the extreme ones overreacting here, were all indoctrinated by being flat out directly abused by a group of people who are already leftists – then it would be a cult, as far as I understand the term; but to my knowledge that’s not the case. Or if there were any clear command and control structure – but hierarchy-wise, the left is chaos: leadership is whoever’s currently whipping up the most furor in the crowd at any given moment.

    So the question I, as a non-expert, would like to see psychological expertise put toward answering is this: How does predatory thinking and behavior become a mass movement in the absence of the direct and/or coordinated abuse toward training it that constitutes a cult?

  52. MrsMacD says:

    Dear The Cobbler,
    Have you heard of the War of the Vendee? Or of Stalin? Of Marxism? or ‘The Frankfurt School’? How about ‘the long march through the institutions’? There is a certain amount of training that has gone on here including gas lighting. One of their goals is to foment discord and division, not surprising, since that is the goal of the father of lies, ‘divide and conquer.’

  53. The Cobbler says:


    That’s a fair point. There’s certainly indoctrination in the institutions, and now that you mention it I’m surprised I hadn’t considered it in this context before.

    Thing I still don’t entirely get is, this stuff leaped out of nowhere and became all the rage among Catholics who had proper Catholic educations, even formerly conservative ones. Ordinary young adults working at jobs to pay off their debts. Housewives and mothers. So it’s not at all limited to straight up indoctrination in the sort of setting where we typically think of that occurring.

    At least, unless I’m underestimating the kind or quantity of abuse that goes into turning people when they win “friends” outside.

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