Tag Archives: National Catholic Reporter

The complex stance on abortion of Catholic bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., prays the rosary Nov. 10 on the sidewalk in front of the E.M.W. Women's Surgical Center, an abortion clinic in Louisville. The archbishop prayed with about 300 pro-life supporters from Kentucky and southern Indiana. (CNS photo/Mary Ann Wyand, The Criterion) (Nov. 19, 2007) See KURTZ-CLINIC Nov. 19, 2007.

By Stephanie Block

People are so inconsistent.  Three years ago, Bishop Blase Cupich, then-ordinary of Rapid City, SD, wrote an article for America Magazine designed to help voters sort through the morass of conflicting opinions about the duties of a Catholic citizen in the voting booth.  In it, he penned this marvelous paragraph: “In the early 1960’s one bishop, Archbishop Joseph Rummel of New Orleans, excommunicated outspoken opponents of his plans to desegregate the archdiocesan schools, including a powerful local politician. In this he received the support of the Holy See whose spokesman, as reported by The New York Times, said that ‘any Catholic unwilling to admit the fundamental equality of all human beings…proclaims that he is not a Catholic.’”[i]

Given the context of recent elections, it’s tempting to apply the Bishop’s thought to the civil rights issue of our times: abortion.  It could just as truthfully be said of Catholic pro-abortion politicians as of Catholic racist politicians: “any Catholic unwilling to admit the fundamental equality of all human beings…proclaims that he is not a Catholic.”

One expects the rest of the article to either explain a warning of excommunication to all such politicians in the diocese (there is no warning) or to expound on the evils of depersonalizing a child in the womb and the moral claim of abortion on the Catholic voter (there is neither point to be made).

Rather, the Bishop – primarily concerned about the evil of racism – cautions that “Voting for a candidate solely because of that candidate’s support for abortion or against him or her solely on the basis of his or her race is to promote an intrinsic evil. To do so consciously is indeed sinful. That is behavior incompatible with being a Christian. To allow racism to reign in our hearts and to determine our choice in this solemn moment for our nation is to cooperate with one of the great evils that has afflicted our society.”
Now, Bishop Cupich has confronted pro-abortion politicians.  In 2002, when Senator Tom Daschle “wrote a letter encouraging financial contributions to the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, NARAL, specifically as a means of helping it support the election of candidates with pro-abortion positions,” the Bishop understood that the senator had not only aligned himself with the pro-abortion position of NARAL but “he has also made abortion THE issue of this year’s campaign.”
This “crossed the line and I cannot let it go unanswered,” Bishop Cupich wrote.

In response, he issued a statement to be read at all Sunday Masses in his diocese, explaining what Senator Daschle had done, reiterating the Church’s position about “the dignity of the human person: bringing human life safely into the world and protecting it until natural death” as well as a host of other related concerns, and urging his listeners to vote.[ii]
But confronting a pro-abortion politician and excommunicating one – despite BishopCupich’s admiration for Archbishop Rummel’s stance – are different matters.  During the 2008 US Catholic Bishops’ annual fall conference, a heated discussion about abortion and pro-abortion politics came back to the parallels between this issue and the problem of racism faced by previous generations. “’At some point this conference will have to address its reticence to speak to Catholic politicians who are not just reluctant, but stridently anti-life,’ said Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Martino argued that in an earlier era, when some Catholic politicians supported racist laws, Catholic bishops of the time ‘spoke strongly and took canonical measures against them.’”
Bishop Cupich’s published contribution to the discussion was: “A prophecy of denunciation quickly wears thin….We need a prophecy of solidarity with the communities we serve and the nation we live in, which needs healing. We must be, and be seen to be, caring pastors as well as faithful teachers.”[iii]
Why does the depersonalization of infants in utero call for a substantially different response than was appropriate when American society depersonalized darker-skinned people?

Bishop Cupich now leads the Diocese of Spokane, Washington.  Today’s news brought the startling story that he told his priests and seminarians at a diocesan meeting[iv] that they cannot pray outside of Planned Parenthood, promote or organize peaceful protest outside Planned Parenthood in their parishes (naming 40 Days for Life specifically), or allow pro-life material to be distributed in their parishes unless it is published by the Washington State Conference of Catholic Bishops or the USCCB (which does support 40 Days for Life). “The reason he gave for his decision is that he does not want his priests being identified with ‘extreme’ pro-life persons”[v] such as those who “demonstrate with large, graphic photos of aborted babies.”[vi]

One doesn’t question the Bishop’s commitment to Church teaching but such judgments are confounding.  Is the fetus a person or not?  Was Jesus, the Man-God present in the world from the moment of the Annunciation or not until the Nativity?  If the answer is “yes,” then the consistent position is that excommunication of public Catholic opponents – a “prophecy of denunciation,” if you will – is imperative, just as it was when the depersonalization was a matter of race.  If the answer is “yes,” then the consistent position is that peaceful public witness – today’s abolition movement – against abortion is imperative.

But consistent people are rare.

Stephanie Block is a Spero columnist. She edits the Los Pequenos newspaper of New Mexico and is a member of the Catholic Media Coalition.
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[i] Blase Cupich, “Racism and the Election,” America Magazine, 10-27-08. Blase Cupichwas Bishop of Rapid City, S.D at the time of this writing.
[ii] Statement by Bishop Blase Cupich read at masses in the Diocese of Rapid City during the weekend of
November 2-3, 2002.
[iii] John L. Allen, Jr., “Bishops in agreement – and not in agreement – on abortion,” National Catholic Reporter, 11-12-08.
[iv] September 2011
[v] Mark Shea, “I don’t get Bp. Cupich,” Catholic and Enjoying It! Blog, 9-14-11.
[vi] Mary L. Harrell, “The Bishop and the pro-life brouhaha,” The Domestic Apologist blog, 9-12-11.  Harrell also reports that all pro-life political material be restricted from distribution in parishes.

Bill Donohue: Lying About Priests

LYING ABOUT PRIESTS

September 9, 2011

Catholic League president Bill Donohue notes recent lies about priests:
***
It has been said that Fr. Mychal Judge, the first of the First Responders to die on 9/11, was gay. Not everyone agrees. No matter, even those who allege that Judge was gay say he kept his sexual orientation private, disclosing it to only a few friends. Fr. Brian Jordan, for instance, said of his fellow Franciscan in 2002 that “I knew him for 25 years and I didn’t know that he was gay until after he died.”
***
It really shouldn’t matter whether Judge was gay or straight, but unfortunately some in gay circles, as well as in liberal quarters generally, are turning this issue into a national spectacle. Worse, some are lying. In the August 19 edition of a dissident Catholic newspaper, the National Catholic Reporter, it says, “Judge was a Catholic priest who publicly acknowledged that he was a celibate gay man.” After reading this, I asked Jeff Field, our communications director, to e-mail Tom Fox, editor of the newspaper, asking him for the evidence that Judge publicly declared that he was gay. That was yesterday, and Fox has not replied. It is a lie.
***
SNAP Wisconsin, the Wisconsin branch of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, posted an article on September 7 about a Philadelphia priest who has never been convicted of anything, but will go on trial next year for allegedly covering up a crime. The title of the article reads, “The Crimes of Monsignor William J. Lynn.” Field contacted the SNAP chapter yesterday asking them to correct the record. “You know very well that Monsignor Lynn has only been accused and hasn’t been convicted of any crimes,” Field said. There has been no response.
***
Lying is bad enough, but when it is done for political purposes, it is obscene. That priests are the primary victims these days is indisputable.
***
Contact Tom Fox: tfox@ncronline.org
Contact the SNAP author, John Pilmaier: pilmaier@milwpc.com

Already, the pendulum has swung to orthodoxy…

I do not know Mr. Joseph A. Wemhoff, but I sure do admire the way in which he arrests the “Spirit of Vatican II” in regard to the American Catholic Council in the following article …

Seeking fewer dissident Catholics

The 1,800 people at the recent American Catholic Council conference in Detroit compares with 1,840 at the first Call to Action meeting there 35 years ago. On the ACC meeting, the liberal National Catholic Reporter wrote (6/21/11): “well over half the participants were 65 or older and most of the rest were at least 50 … only a small scattering … in their 20s, 30s, or 40s … overwhelmingly white, with only a tiny black and Hispanic presence.”

The hierarchy need not portray these folks as “divisive, wild-eyed radicals and fringe loonies” — their own actions define them as such.

There is no right of dissent in the Catholic Church. One rejects the Church’s teachings and discipline at the peril of damnation. The Catholic Church never will be a democratic, human institution. It is a hierarchical, divine institution designed by its Founder to preserve the faith and save souls. Like the military, the Church is mission-driven. Like nature, form follows function.

The Detroit conference was a desperate attempt by ideologues to resurrect a dead movement. These closed-minded fanatics are in denial that their agenda is over, even as Anglicans beat a path to the orthodoxy of Rome. Francis Cardinal George wrote the epitaph on Feb. 27, 2001, at the Commonweal Forum when he said, “Liberal Catholicism is an exhausted project. … It no longer gives life” and has surrendered to the world.

Despite their tiny numbers, these heretics — and more so their fellow travelers in the clergy — have done incalculable damage to the Church from positions of power these past two generations by acting “in the spirit of Vatican II,” but contrary to its letter and actual intent. We faithful Catholics have seen our children abused spiritually (inverted order of first sacraments, poor catechesis, etc.); a false ecumenism belying our one, true faith; moral relativism; sacrilege toward the Sacred Species at Mass; invalid general absolutions; advocacy for the homosexual agenda; a contrived, artificial priest shortage; a refocus on humans instead of God; introduction of Masonic elements into our church buildings via needless “renovations”; willful misrepresentations of Church teachings; liturgical “innovations”; etc.

Through Alinsky tactics of deceit and intimidation, rebel clergy and laity have committed violence against faithful Catholics by denying us our rightful patrimony.

The fruits of this unbridled dissent are legion. Vocations have plummeted; only 25 percent of Catholics attend Sunday Mass; only one in three believe in the Real Presence. “Catholic” politicians support abortion and other evils. Bishops lack courage to enforce discipline, and “Catholic” colleges are anything but. The priestly homosexual abuse crisis is an abomination.

Ken is right in that we lay Roman Catholics must act — to help restore our Church. Already, the pendulum has swung to orthodoxy. In its 2,000-year history, under the protection of the Holy Spirit, the Catholic Church has always triumphed, and always will.

We pray that our heretical brothers and sisters will repent, convert, and save their souls.

Joseph A. Wemhoff

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NCR picks 2011 domestic church of the year family…

Back To The Future…

Let’s just be done with it, shall we?

2010 NCR Person of the Year — Sister Carol Keehan

2011 NCR Domestic Church of the Year Family — Andrew Cuomo and live-in girlfriend Sandre Lee

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Who is Paul Kokoski, and why is he so right? — A Church Divided

EDITOR: Found the following spot-on essay, “A Church Divided”, by Paul Kokoski on Pravda.ru this morning. A quick google doesn’t reveal who Paul Kokoski is, but one uncharitable woman describes our mystery man [here] such:

Paul Kokorski is a sick, deranged invidual in Hamilton Ontario Canada who routinely spews forth his evil opinions in the face of reality by sending his letters to editor and opinion pieces to newspapers around the world hoping to pull the wool over most editors’ eyes, even Pravada got foolled on this one. The man is the most unethical liar on Earth. Someone should investigate who he really is, if in fact that is his real name. To attack Christophher Hitchens this way just shows what a sick deranged person this Paul Kokosli is. He is a shame on all of unthinking Catholicism. He is not a Christian. He is sick sick man.

Ghost writer or not, Mr. Kokoski’s fine work gets re-presented here…

A Church Divided

When Our Blessed Mother appeared to Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa in Akita, Japan in 1973 she warned that “The work of the devil will infiltrate the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres (other priests). Churches and altars will be sacked. The Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.”

The word “diabolic” comes from the Greek “dia-boline” which means to tear apart, rend asunder. Anything, therefore, that breaks pattern, that destroys unity, that corrupts gestalt, that produces discord. That is the diabolic. Biblically speaking, the essence of the satanic or the diabolic is the hatred and contempt of the cross of Christ. We have it – the spirit of it – in the Catholic Church. Notice, for example, how much we have given up mortification, self-denial, discipline in schools, discipline in seminaries. The decline of the spirit of discipline is a hatred of the cross and, therefore, of Christ himself.

Pope Benedict XVI, in his 2010 homily for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, confirmed that the greatest damage threatening the church today is the pollution from within that is “eroding the integrity of the Mystical Body, weakening its ability to prophesy and witness, tarnishing the beauty of its face.”

Today we find numerous examples of this bickering and infighting among top members of our hierarchy. For instance, only recently public accusations of a sex abuse cover up were leveled by Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn of Vienna against Italian Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who served for 16 years from 1990 to 2006 as secretary of state, the Vatican’s second-most important position. According to protocol accusations made against a Cardinal are the sole competence (of judgement) of the pope.

There are also many open displays of opposition to church teachings by both priests and laity on issues such as the Holy Mass, women’s ordination, papal infallibility, contraception, homosexuality, abortion and obligatory celibacy. In April 2009 Georgetown University, in a disgusting public display of shame at the name of Jesus, covered over the monogram “IHS” to please U.S. President Barack Obama who no longer believes America is a Christian nation. In Phoenix, Arizona, Bishop Thomas Olmsted had to excommunicated Sister Margaret McBride, a nun and ethics committee adviser, for trying to justify a direct abortion in the first trimester.

We also see a variety of disturbing contradictions in the ways in which the faith is being practiced. For example, while the archdiocese of Denver had permitted a Colorado Catholic school to deny enrollment to a gay couple’s child, the Archdiocese of Boston, in a similar case, countered the decision of a local Catholic elementary school that denied admission to an 8-year-old child of a lesbian couple.

Also, while roughly one third of U.S. bishops strongly opposed President Barack Obama”s appearance at Notre Dame in 2009, about 2/3 of the bishops tacitly approved the visit giving the pro-abortion president a national platform to advance moral relativism. We see contradictions even in clerical dress – many priests and nuns refusing to wear their collars and habits as a visible sign of Christ in the world.

Indeed, our National Bishops Conferences’ have been unable to speak with a single unified voice on the simplest of issues such as that regarding the question of whether pro-abortion politicians should be allowed to receive Holy Communion. On this elementary and straightforward matter each U.S. bishop has been given the green light to set his own policy in his own diocese. This of course is a claim to “territorial morality” – in essence the same slogan and formula used by politicians who claim the right to lead a double life – a private life in which they supposedly oppose the evil of abortion and a public life in which they allow and even promote this evil in others. What form of mental ‘compartmentalization’ or bicameral thinking can allow intelligent thinking humans to rationalize this way when Scripture has it that “no man can serve two masters” (Matt. 6: 24)?

We also see a rise in fraudulent or nominally “Catholic” newspapers run by the laity and clergy alike such as Commonweal, America Magazine, The National Catholic Reporter, Catholic New Times, Prairie Messenger, and Conscience Magazine. Under the pretense of serving Vatican II they seek to maim the true Spirit of the Council. Even the Vatican newspaper L”Osservatore Romano (LOR) has, in recent times, veered from its main course in defending orthodoxy. Since Giovanni Maria Vian became its editor-in-chief the paper has become somewhat of an international scandal attempting to become relevant to an international pop culture that is increasingly decadent. In 2009, for example, LOR published an article by Archbishop Rino Fisichella entitled “On the Side of the Brazilian Girl” which falsely claimed that direct abortion could be morally justified and its evil mitigated in some “extreme circumstances”.

Coming to the fore also today are several fraudulent “Catholic”groups seeking to overthrow in anarchistic fashion the church hierarchy in favor of a people’s democracy. Some of these are Catholics for a Free Choice, We Are Church, Voice of the Faithful, Catholic Network for Women’s Equality, Catholic Women’s Ordination. These groups tactfully use the mass media to deliberately misrepresent Catholic teaching in the public square. Added to these groups are various and spurious charities and health organizations such as Development and Peace and the U.S. Catholic Health Association which are known to support several pro-abortion and pro-homosexual groups. Under the tutelage of Sister Carol Keehan, the U.S. Catholic Health Association became hugely instrumental in helping to bring into law President Obama’s anti-life health care reform.

These are not isolated cases of internal division threatening the church. Indeed Cardinal George of Chicago recently lamented the rise of a “parallel magisterium” seeking to destroy the faith completely from within. This is all the work of the diabolic, the satanic. We can have no tolerance the devil. Bishops have to vigorously, uncompromisingly, and publically condemn these false and shady groups with an unambiguous and unified voice that is both heard and understood.

Pope John Paul II, as Karol Cardinal Wojtyla, warned in 1976, during a visit to Germany: “We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through… We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel…we must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not too distant future, trials that will require us to be ready to give up our lives.” St. Paul himself writes in his Letter to the Ephesians: “for we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present world of darkness, against the evil spirits in the heavens” (cf. Eph 6: 12).

Pope Benedict XVI, as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, continued this theme stating in 1997 that the Church in coming years “will assume different forms. She will be less identified with the great societies, more a minority Church; she will live in small vital circles of really convinced believers who live their faith. But precisely in this way she will, Biblically speaking, become the salt of the earth again.”

The Gospel speaks of the Church as a whole and of her indemnity from the forces of evil in their full and profound sense. Jesus has thus promised us that “the powers of death shall not prevail against” the Church. To procure and safeguard this remnant flock and achieve victory during this time of great persecution and purification we need to set out immediately on the mountainous path to the good where we will discover more and more the beauty that lies in the efforts demanded by truth.

Three powerful weapons we can use against Satan are: I) The Holy Name of Jesus. That is a name that Satan cannot stand. Because in the name of Jesus every knee will bend in the heavens, on the earth and under the earth. 2) The invocation of the blood of Christ. We are saved by the blood of Christ and therefore in temptation we should call upon his blood for without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. 3) Devotion to our Blessed Mother, for at the beginning in the book of Genesis we are told it was the seed of a woman that would crush the seed of Satan.

Indeed, the rains are here and the pope’s ship is already sailing. Those who do not climb aboard the barque of Peter while there is still time will be left behind as in the days of Noah.

Paul Kokoski

Canada

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Catholic campaign for human what and how? (via Blithe Spirit)

Another reason to boycott the Catholic Campaign for Human Development collection this year… This from the Blithe Spirit blog….

Catholic campaign for human what and how?   The annual Campaign for Human Development collection is coming up for Catholics Nov. 20–21: WHY WAIT UNTIL NOVEMBER? – DONATE TODAY! Your tax-deductible contributions can always be mailed directly to our office at anytime. This method guarantees that you will receive a tax-deduction letter mailed directly to you right away. Make checks payable to “The Chic … Read More

via Blithe Spirit

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Words a devil might say to a cohort…

A comment from this NCR fish wrap article:

“The best thing to do with the [Catholic] Catechism is to bury it deep in the library. It is far too long and too dense to be an effective vehicle of evangelization or learning tool for most of us…”

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