Thursday, July 22, 2010

Salvadoran Jesuits who were murdered by graduates of the School of the Americas. And yet the Maryknoll community appears to be more concerned about live priests who ordain women.

From the NCR blog as reported by Heidi Schlumpf:

The Maryknoll Brothers and Fathers have withdrawn their long-standing commitment to funding the School of the America's Watch because its founder, Maryknoll priest Roy Bourgeois, supports women's ordination, reports SOA Watch.

The order previously contributed $17,000 a year to the organization that seeks to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas (or Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, as it has been renamed). Graduates of the combat training school located at Fort Benning, Georgia, have been implicated in the torture and murder of educators, union organizers, religious workers, student leaders, and others who work for the rights of the poor in Latin America.

SOA Watch is asking supporters to help make up the lost revenue by donating $17 a month for one year.

Call to Action Executive Director Jim FitzGerald "is "disappointed in the decision that will affect not only the SOA Watch staff and programs, but the people of Latin American who work in partnership with SOA Watch to protect their families and communities," he said in an email.

Bourgeois had been involved with the Roman Catholic WomenPriests organization, which ordains women as Catholic priests.

One can't help but wonder if this decision by the Maryknollers was related to the recent controversial announcement from the Vatican which appeared to put the "serious crime" of women's ordination in the same category as the sexual abuse of minors. I hope not.


Here we have another case in which the sacramental crime of ordaining women supersedes the grave moral crimes for which students of the School of the Americas have been convicted by their respective countries.

I had just finished reading Gene Kennedy's latest post for the NCR when I came across the above article. The last sentence in Kennedy's piece immediately came to mind:

Meanwhile, Vatican II Catholics may well follow the advice my psychiatrist wife and I give to healthy people when they are put upon by the unhealthy: Repeat at least twice a day, "I am not the one who is crazy here."

Gene Kennedy's entire piece is just wonderful. In it he compares Eric Sevareid's description of the behavior of France's elite ruling classes as the German blitzkrieg squashes France like a gnat with the Vatican curia's current behavior. There aren't enough medals for French generals trying to pretend nothing really happened or long enough cappa magnas for Cardinals who are attempting the same delusional strategy in the face of their plummeting stature in Catholicism.

Actually Kennedy's article is both wonderful and truly sad. I suppose this is so because it is an accurate metaphor. A person does reach a point in which the crazy behavior of others finally just makes you sad because you know there is no meaningful reality in what is essentially irrational logic. The Maryknoller's are not addressing meaningful reality with this move. They are defending irrational logic because they think it protects their own status, but at the same time they are tragically working in direct opposition to the commands of Christ. This is all akin to French commands to hold the Maginot line when German tanks were thirty miles outside of Paris.

I wonder how much longer it is going to take our hierarchy before they truly begin to understand the rank and file are no longer bowled over by their 'divine' right to rule or their 'divine' ordained status. Until that happens, and it may never under this papacy, the embarrassing crazy behavior will undoubtedly only get worse. Like Sevareid's French generals, eventually they will be inviting reporters to their own gaudy lunches where they fete themselves because there won't be anyone else left to care.


  1. I think it is incumbent upon Maryknoll to explain this change in policy. It smacks of secrecy and lack of transparency. WAY too much of that in the Church

  2. I recently returned from El Salvador where I visited the memorial to my former sisters from Maryknoll who were raped and murdered there, as well as the site where the Jesuits were killed, shot in the head and their books burned because their ideas were the most dangerous and threatening. I also visited where Archbishop Romero was shot--all to kill the voice and the ideas that we are all God's children-rich and poor, male and female!
    The Maryknoll sisters across the street are now under investigation, including being selected for personal visitation. They can certainly expect the same treatment from their "brothers" in Maryknoll!
    I feel betrayed by my own and so ANGRY I can barely write.

  3. Anon, I was very careful, maybe too careful in writing this piece because my actual first thought about this was that it was not just crazy, but narcissistic psychopathology. This decision, like a lot of other decisions made by male clerics, demonstrates an inherent inability to empathize beyond their own ego need.

    "The psychopath has antisocial traits coupled with and enhanced by callousness, ruthlessness, extreme lack of empathy, deficient impulse control, deceitfulness."

    Articles like this one really do justify inserstng the words' clerical mentality' for psychopath.

  4. Women's ordination is as "gravely sinful" as child molestation, according to the Vatican. Now we can also assume that women's ordination is as sinful as murder. Talk about 'moral relativism'!!

  5. A pragmatic, if unfortunate, decision. Given the age of the members of the typical religious order, they've done the math and figured that they have no means of supporting their elderly religious after a mass excommunication. This action would probably come with a similar threat against Catholics who would financially support the order in the future.

  6. Sorry, I am the first anonymous-I was so angry I forgot to put my name.
    As regards the last anonymous-they can't excommunicate us all.
    And did I just read that BXVI rescinded the excommunication of the Lefevrite bishops?
    "Would the last unexcommunicated Catholic please turn out the lights?

  7. The Maryknoll's decision to withdraw giving money for a worthy moral cause because Roy Bourgeois supports women's ordination says that they value their "authority" over and above the Authority of Jesus Christ in the Church.

    The Maryknoll's decision is tantamount to saying that Satan calls the shots now for them and is ahead of them, or a "head" that they follow to their own doom and detriment.

    As Colleen says: "This is all akin to French commands to hold the Maginot line when German tanks were thirty miles outside of Paris."

    While the all-male priesthood is "defended" supposedly, Satan is excommunicating everyone and oppressing and destroying the Catholic Church.

    I find myself having to say "I am not the one who is crazy" a lot lately. The oppressive and depressive energy in the Church lately seems to have reached a level and point of no return. Once psychosis sets in and all the sociopathic tendencies are allowed in groups of people they tend to bolster each other's egos and each other's insanity.

    The serious crime is the murder of Catholic priests, the excommunication of those baptized in Christ Jesus, the burning of books, the tyranny over thought and conscience, all the very signs and presence of evil and culture of death. That type of leadership belongs only to Hell and one would have to be deaf and blind to not see this as truth.

    The Maryknoll's decision here is a form of 1) financial triage based on 2) cutting their financial losses through oppressing those whose views they do not approve. It reminds me of corporate downsizing in which they choose who to cut or financial reorganization in which they triage anything in their path that they don't agree with to try to make a financial gain. In investment circles they are expecting another crash in the financial sector. I believe the Maryknoll's lost a lot of money in the Bernie Madoff scandal. Money is power to these "religious" brokers.

  8. sorry.. wacky problem in the computer... i'll delete the extra ones...

  9. My sympathies to the first Anon for the loss of your brothers & sisters in Christ, who loved Him in the face of the poor.

    Colleen - sad as this is, we should not be surprised. We are witnessing the 'kinder/gentler' inquisition. It is normally not noticed, as ppl have been conditioned to ignore the obvious.

    Remember the rise of the Religious Right in the Nixon thru Reagan years? The same folks who were in blind denial that Nixon had done anything wrong....and those who backed US back torture & murder of Latin American anti-fascists....had one common thread:

    Opus Dei. Either members of, 'friendly' to it, or had been indoctrinated by its many political front operations. Catholic & otherwise.

    Remember: Romero was murdered for turning his back on Opus Dei & embracing Christ. These ppl are NOT above murder. Nor are they above persecuting their enemies (real, percieved, or even potential). To the point of either driving them mad or homeless. Stripping them of reputation, credibility & means of support.

    A note about the School of the Americas; US law enforcement personnel are trained there. Seriously. Immigration, Customs, Treasury, Secret Service. Even some state & local personnel.

    If this does not cause a lightbulb to go on above the head.....consider this:

    WHY are the majority of local & state law enforcement personnel....Catholic? Then we have the pseudo-Masonic fraternities in law enforcement. Like the Fraternal Order of Police. Or the Holy Name Society....Knights of Columbus....Ancient Order of Hibernians.

    We also have scenes of Opus Dei priests (or at least 'friendly to') not merely as members/chaplians of such, but also blessing memorials to deceased police officers. Who are openly noted as also being members of regular Masonic bodies.

    Those who think that the officially sanctioned police brutality in El Salvador & Nicaragua could not happen in the US need to wake up. Watch videos of US cops tasing/beating unarmed ppl. Openly beating them for no reason, with the overt approval of fellow officers. Further brutalizing them in jail.

    Yet these are 'our good Catholic men'......trained in tactics learned from the Opus Dei linked School of the Americas.

    Anon Y. Mouse

  10. coolmom says: "they can't excommunicate us all"

    And I remind us that Ghandi's ability to topple the British Empire's rule of India was based on non-violent resistance and people's willingness to break laws in order to be jailed.

    If lots and lots of Catholics "break laws" by seeking ordination or participating in "forbidden" activities, attending or doing things which would prompt excommunication, then, like the British empire, the enforcers will simply run out of the ability to penalize everyone. It will thus become a farce and be meaningless to "excommunicate".

    It's just a matter of organizing massive, non-violent resistance.

  11. @TheraP

    While I like your suggested strategy in general I am skeptical. It reminded me of the Church's teaching on birth control. Here's a quote from the Boston Globe in 2006 regarding Bishops stress sexual issues and warn on Communion

    "The bishops said current events, including the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts and the 2004 presidential candidacy of Senator John F. Kerry, a Catholic Democrat from Massachusetts who supports abortion rights, prompted them to speak out. They acknowledged that most married Catholics -- 96 percent, according to their own estimate -- use birth control, and the bishops said they recognize that the church's teachings on homosexuality are contested in American society."

    I suppose you might say they haven't refused Communion to the 96% of married couples, but they haven't changed their policy either.

    On the Maryknoll hierarchy: they're gutless.


  12. Well... Anon, you have pointed out the perfect way to do this. All couples who have used birth control begin to show up at Mass wearing some particular color of ribbon. Let's see what happens at communion time. Etc.

    This is just a suggestion. But it ups the ante!

  13. I posted today's post before I read these two comments. It's pertinent.

    TheraP your idea of Catholics wearing some sort of indentifier as excommunicable or mortally sinful actually has great merit. It could be a sort of 'Catholics Take Over Home' instead of a 'Catholics Come Home' campaign and send one heck of a message.

    Seriously this idea has potential. All we need is a really symbolic Sunday date and then let the idea go viral.

  14. Interesting, very interesting...

    I don't want to discourage you because I hold you both TheraP and Colleen, in high esteem.

    There really isn't any need for this type of display at all. It happens every single Sunday.

    The numbers are overwhelming, the priests and the Bishops know it, just on the issue of birth control alone. Mix in the issue of divorce and remarriage and you wouldn't have more than 2 in 100 married adults who are in compliance with the teachings of the Church.

    Nobody needs to wear a ribbon.


  15. Well, I must say that I wonder what could possibly be the mistake of demonstrating that the vast majority of RC baptized heterosexual adults have not heeded Vatican edicts. (And others groups and causes too (read on). Now, there's no need to distinguish, necessarily, but I suggest Purple (for mourning), same color for everyone of whatever so-called "sin" (whether birth control or homosexuality or divorce or a woman seeking ordination or premarital sex or whatever it might be that the Vatican forbids). Everyone participating wears that purple ribbon and goes up for Communion.

    It makes for a powerful message - and while 2 people here have urged against it, it hasn't been urged in a persuasive manner IMVHO - just as advice.

    Non-violent resistance, for civil rights, works because the cause is seen to be just (by society at large) and the penalty seen to be unjust and because people who are willing to "break the law" have a conviction to do so in full acceptance of any consequences, without resisting. If enough people participate, and you do this again and again, then it becomes a powerful force for good. You need preparation, explanation of non-violent resistance; you need those who are at the "head of the line" - willing to be ejected first if that happens. And if/when other catholics "turn" on those who are peacefully advocating for their cause, that is filmed via cell-phone and sent out on the internet. (Besides, someone reminds the detractors what Jesus said: "He who is without sin cast the first stone."

    If nothing is done except talking on blogs, then the Vatican power appears to be "holding" - at least to some degree. And I seriously doubt things will change, even when this pope dies - due to the deck being stacked by the current pope. But if organized campaigns take place - and it's done again and again, more and more people will join each time, for they will not fear having to do this all by themselves.

    It's simply a way of bringing a conflict to a head. And honestly I think we have powerful precedents in the way Jesus behaved. He actively healed on the Sabbath. He actively transgressed the purity laws - in many different ways. He didn't just talk privately with his disciples, but he actively put his convictions into practice.

    I realize some may not want to participate or may not agree with actions that "force" things to a crisis. But these principles have been proven to work. They generate a crisis because the downtrodden refuse to take their lowly places, do so peacefully, and are willing to accept whatever consequences ensue. Plus, what good is excommunication anyway - if the next week the same folks appear, wearing their same purple ribbon - to show that seek communion in spite of the church's admonitions to the contrary. I bet anything many, many "lapsed" Catholics who nevertheless care about the church, maybe who haven't gone to one in ages, would be delighted to participate!

    Yes, this would work. It's simple. It's effective. But it's crucial that those who take part do so peacefully and that the movement make it clear that any resistance is repudiated as contrary to the principles of non-violence.

  16. I agree with you TheraP. I think many lapsed Catholics would participate and I think making a visual statement would have far more impact that just bitching on blogs or silently sitting in pews.

    It does force things to conflict status rather than leave it at passive agressive bitching or quitting with in silence. THe other thing it might do is give the reform of the reformers a better understanding that they do not speak for a huge and growing group. The huge and growing group is the group that is leaving and has left.

  17. Colleen -

    Note well that Divorce is cited many times by Jesus as a serious sin.The Vatican has done so as well, but for the purpose of control over ppl,NOT as correct morality!

    Let us now turn our attention to our favorite 'fat bastard': Bill Donohue of the horrid Opus Dei front, the Catholic League.

    As if it were not bad enough that he is paid in excess of $350K/year (plus plush office, benefits, expense account....), while many kids in NYC or elsewhere barely get enough to eat...

    ...he is DIVORCED.

    But of course, just as with a Master Mason, nobody is allowed to criticize him.

    Yet he, the CL & countless other members of the OD run Religious Right will stand behind such as Bill, as he spews incredible hatred toward (insert name of current 'enemy of the faith').


    Anon Y. Mouse

  18. @ TheraP and Colleen,

    I do like these arguments in favor of your idea. What do you say to the people who say "Confess and sin no more"?


  19. p2p I would be tempted to say there is a huge difference between confessing sinful acts and personal conversion to the way of love.

  20. Yes, Colleen. Forcing a conflict is indeed the strategy of non-violent resistance. Forcing a conflict and doing so in a way that garners public sentiment - which, in this case is already obvious, but nevertheless the Vatican refuses to budge. Thus... protesters becoming the fly in the ointment, so to speak.

    I'm even thinking of how the grandmothers demonstrated every week in Argentina. Every single week, gathering publicly to protest the disappeared. It's another example of how the slow grind of a group of people that society simply cannot disown will wear down an autocratic system.

    Let it be the grandmothers! Or grandfathers! The people of a certain age who well recall Vatican II and feel gypped of the fruits of the Holy Spirit memorialized in so many documents. Well, of course, let it be everybody.

    And especially the lapsed! They have nothing to lose - but the church does not recognize that anyway, so let them seek communion with everybody else! I think they'll come in droves! The protest Sundays will be particularly well attended. :)


    Word is "caterd". I take that to mean that the Eucharist is like a catered banquet, with the Trinity as the unseen hosts. (hmmmm.... I never thought of how the word "host" means someone who gives a banquet and what we've come to call the "food" at the banquet. I like to think the security word system is on our side, kind of like another route the Holy Spirit makes use of.