Friday, December 2, 2011

Catholic Pride? In What Pray Tell

Archbishop Dolan gives a rousing pep talk to Team Bishop, while the rest of the American Catholic world yawns.

Michael Sean Winters has finally gone where I thought he would go in his one track mindless need to believe that the Obama Whitehouse is at war with team Bishops over contraception and religious freedom.  He wants us to believe our Catholic pride will kick in and we will support team Bishop.  Even if, no matter what, on account of, just because we are Catholic.  I don't even support the Detroit Redwings that mindlessly.
The following is an excerpt of his latest silliness.  The link is at the bottom of this excerpt.

One of the more interesting developments in the debate about whether or not to expand the conscience exemptions regarding mandated insurance coverage for procedures the Catholic Church finds morally objectionable, such as contraception, sterilization and some drugs the Church considers abortifacients, is the fact that so many Catholics who do not share those moral objections are nonetheless vociferous in urging a broader exemption. Friends who denounce the bishops as naïve or willing tools of the GOP, who think that contraception is fine, or who otherwise seldom miss the opportunity to trash the hierarchy, nonetheless find themselves disturbed by the idea that the federal government would force Catholic institutions to abide by rules that conflict with the dictates of the Church. (He has way different Catholic friends than I do. Mine think the bishops are demanding the exemption to enforce the ideas in Humanae Vitae on Catholics and non Catholics alike.)

Some of this concern manifests an understandable awareness that if the government can mandate contraception today, it might mandate abortion coverage tomorrow. Many Catholics who are not morally troubled by contraception remain morally troubled by abortion. Some also perceive the essential religious liberty issues at stake. Unlike those champions of the “wall of separation” like the ACLU, who now can’t climb over that wall fast enough in order to tell Notre Dame or Catholic Charities what insurance plans they must buy, these Catholics recognize that the government should be wary of intruding into the religious sphere. (The government is not mandating that people have to use contraception.  They are mandating it be available as a normal medical choice.)

But, there is a yet deeper issue, and one that I suspect has not occurred to the people at the White House advising the President. It has to do with Catholic pride. There was a time when Catholics had to build their own schools because mainstream schools like Harvard did not welcome Catholics and public schools forced Catholic students to pray with Protestant texts like the King James Bible. The vast array of Catholic social service agencies often began as a ministry to immigrant co-religionists who faced all manner of hostility and little succor from the government. To the great credit of the Church, those ministries continued even when they were no longer primarily serving Catholics.

Those institutions were built by our ancestors, who often had only their pennies to contribute. They are “ours” not only in a legal sense but in a cultural sense. And, Catholics do not take kindly to institutions their forbears built because the mainstream culture would not admit them to their institutions, now being ordered to change their ways by the same people whose forbears kept Catholics out in the first place....

At this point, Micheal Sean Winters then goes on at some length to compare his burgeoning Catholic Pride with the White Pride movement in the South in the seventies over blatant discrimination in private Christian schools.  You can finish his entire article here.


Mr Winters has certainly been beating the drum for his wishful thinking that Catholics will march in prideful lockstep against our own consciences and interests in order to support team Bishop against the anti Catholic Obama administration.  MSW also seems to think Prez Obama will lose Pennsylvania if he doesn't cave into to team Bishop. This wishful thought is truly indicative of how far out of touch MSW has become.  Pennsylvania Catholics have absolutely zero reason to support team Bishop given the repeated abuse Pennsylvania Catholics have taken from their own Bishops in Philadelphia and Scranton and Pittsburgh.  

MSW is also attempting to confuse us poor sheople by sloppy writing.  HHS is not mandating contraception.  It is mandating contraception coverage because the use of birth control is an almost universal medical option amongst the US population, including the vast vast majority of Catholics.  The tiny minority who do not believe in contraceptive use will be perfectly free not to use contraception--and it is a very tiny minority.  Just because some of that minority happens to be male Roman Catholic Bishops does not give them the right to deny coverage to every American who happens to work for them, or in Catholic hospitals, or the students who attend Catholic colleges.  

What MSW needs to do is review the theology concerning the importance of the 'reception' of a teaching.  It goes back a very long way and has a whole host of theologians from the last one thousand years who have maintained that a doctrine or teaching which is not accepted-or received- by the faithful is not binding on the conscience of Catholics. It may be a teaching given by legitimate authority, promulgated by that authority, but if it is not held to be valid by the faithful, it is not a binding teaching.  Humanae Vitae qualifies in spades as a teaching not accepted by the Faithful and not binding. I personally have no desire to punish the Obama White House over a teaching that Catholics have soundly rejected just because team Bishop says so.  Team Bishop has been telling us not to use birth control since 1968 and the laity haven't paid much attention, so why in the world would any of us determine our vote on the basis of it?

It's all crazy.


  1. It looks like "Catholic" Call-Girl-ista "Gingrich" and her "convert husband" also secretly reject Humanae Vitae (invalid because its Nazi author Paul VI funded Nazi death camps in Croatia in WWII) because they have ZERO kids! I recall a gossip column in The Washington Post snarking about a pregnant Call-Girl-ista setting up a birth gift registry years ago, yet now I can't find any mention of kids by the third "Mrs." Gingrich. Did she have an abortion? Has Newt used his ill-gotten millions to scrub the internet of such info?
    Heil Mary

  2. How in the world does a Man, stand up in front of a church full of Men, while wearing a linen DRESS trimmed with 18" of LACE (and wearing a silly hat) still have the stones to say women can't emulate/image Christ while presiding at the Eucharist?
    It's a mystery.

  3. Sue B, Why do women let him? Might be appropriate to just walk out on him! dennis

  4. America magazine is being drowned in this idiocy. Perhaps it reflects the neanderthal level that Catholic thinking has reached.

  5. 'neanderthal thinking' in more ways than one. This is team Bishop pumping fear and control, all hind brain kind of stuff. I sometimes wonder if any of them are aware of the fact they have temporal lobes and I seriously doubt many of them have a high functioning pre frontal cortex, which comes on line last --in the late teen early adult years -- and governs the executive functions of reasoning, impulse control, and advanced thought.

    Now that I think about it, the seminary system which ate young men up at 14, probably impeded much development of the pre frontal cortex. Hence the 'psychosexual immaturity' Sipe notes in a substantial percentage of Roman Catholic priests.

  6. Does not this lack of growth and development in an Episcopacy tell us something? Perhaps creativity of groups like this could begin to focus more on positive action away from this egotistic false pride that we see in these men. There comes a time that it no longer needs to be pointed out as so many know but feel helpless to do anything positive about it. We need leaders to fill the vacuum of the Episcopacy. dennis

  7. Why do I have to leave? I'm not the one turning the church into a circus.

  8. rdp46,

    No one says you must leave, but it would not be sensible to believe anything this episcopacy says. Certainly they say some things that are worthwhile and even advocate some good things, but then what is their motivation? Usually it is to manipulate others. Perhaps those that go to RCC church on Sundays can understand these men and act accordingly. No one need leave but perhaps a person would be better off having their own small groups even to share the Eucharist.

    I find it hard to believe that one can share the Eucharist if the one consecrating it is a rapist or a defender of rapists, or a defender of an Episcopacy that enables rapists. I find it hard to believe that a cleric that is afraid of his bishop can have the creative life that God's gifts were meant to bring us all. As long as we understand this about the clergy and understand that the word excommunication means nothing when uttered by a leadership that is in schism with its own people then no one need leave. However, each of us have a responsibility to lead lives in The Way of Christ. So often that will take us a different direction from the wishes of the Episcopacy and many of our own clergy. dennis