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Democratic Conspiracy Against Catholic Church

The new Wikileaks dump from Clinton campaign chief John Podesta’s emails reveals that Podesta created a couple of activist groups for the sake of undermining the Catholic bishops [1]and the Church’s authority.

In the 2011 e-mail chain, a progressive activist named Sanford “Sandy” Newman e-mailed Podesta to suggest collaboration on a way

There needs to be a Catholic Spring, in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship and the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the Catholic Church.

Newman, who is Jewish, concedes that he doesn’t know much about the Catholic Church, but he sure does want somebody to undermine the hierarchy:

Even if the idea isn’t crazy, I don’t qualify to be involved and I have not thought at all about how one would ‘plant the seeds of the revolution,’ or who would plant them.”

Not to worry, said Podesta, who is Catholic, and who was at the time head of the Center For American Progress. They have progressive front organizations prepared to act when the time is right:

We created Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to organize for a moment like this. But I think it lacks the leadership to do so now. Likewise Catholics United. Like most Spring movements, I think this one will have to be bottom up.

Catholic journalist Thomas Peters explains the significance of this revelation:

This is chilling and infuriating — though I suppose not surprising. It’s simply that now it’s undeniable. It shows that at the senior level of the Democratic Party’s brain trust, a Clinton political operative — a Catholic! — created front groups specifically to undermine the authority of the Catholic bishops, and to separate the bishops from the people, as well as to secretly undermine Catholic teaching to make it more friendly to the Democratic Party’s agenda. Podesta ought to be excommunicated.

So now we know what’s coming under a Hillary Clinton presidency: a war on the Catholic Church and any other church that stands in the way of progressives in power. At an international conference last year, Hillary Clinton said that the fight for global abortion rights must never end:

Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed. As I have said and as I believe, the advancement of the full participation of women and girls in every aspect of their societies is the great unfinished business of the 21st century and not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.

As Peters points out, the Clintonistas have long been conspiring to do exactly that to Catholicism in America. I use the word “conspiring,” because Podesta, in the text of his e-mail, says that “we” created these two Catholic fronts “to organize for a moment like this” — that is, to exploit a perceived weakness in the Catholic church. Here’s more. [11]

It’s clear now that believing Christians are going to have to fight these powerful, deceptive, amoral progressives for the rest of our lives. Dark days ahead. A Catholic friend e-mails to say, “So we knew the KGB infiltrated the Russian Orthodox Church, but who knew the Democrats were sponsoring activists inside the US Catholic Church? Wow.”

For those who say that the Benedict Option [12] is all about walking away from the fight, let me set you straight. These progressives are coming to power very soon, and they are going to come at us subtly (at first) but relentlessly. After November, there won’t be much of a Republican Party left with which to fight them, and even if there were, the Republicans in general are so afraid of being called bigots that they would be next to useless on religious liberty.

Yes, we have to fight the Clintonistas and the Anti-Christian-Industrial Complex politically, in every way we can. But you can’t fight them with something you don’t have. We in the American church (Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox) are weak. The Ben Op is in large part about strengthening us in our convictions and practices, so we can endure whatever they throw at us without losing our faith. What’s more, the Ben Op is about forming networks of small-o orthodox Christians to protect, assist, and sustain each other through what’s coming.

We lost the culture war, and now live in what you might call occupied territory. Now we have to be resistance fighters, and that requires a lot of patient, careful, deliberate work. The old-guard Christian leaders who think the main battlefront is in politics are incapable of leading the kind of resistance we need. They are fighting the last war. We need a Charles de Gaulle. We need a St. Benedict. If we are going to get them, they’re going to have to come from within our own ranks.

Liberals will call this post hysterical and overwrought. Don’t listen to them. These e-mails are a sign of what’s coming. Prepare.  [12]

UPDATE: I don’t think some of you get what I’m saying. I have no problem with a political party or political activists organizing to try to appeal to Catholics, or any other religious group. That’s normal. What Podesta confesses to doing here is working quietly to organize people to take advantage of a political moment to spark a revolution within the church. So what if he was not successful at it! The point is, John Podesta and his comrades are the kind of people who think it’s okay to burrow within an American religion and undermine its leadership for the sake of gaining political power.

And as for people who think the conclusion I draw for the future based on this are overwrought, I refer you to the Law of Merited Impossibility: It will never happen, and when it does, you bigots will deserve it.

Haven’t we seen this vindicated often enough these past few years? Don’t be fooled again.

UPDATE.2: Back in 2012, Tim Shipe, a pro-life Democrat running for a seat in the Florida state legislature, wrote this [13]. Excerpt:

A few years ago I would have thought the title of my piece was too extreme- I bought into the charisma of Barack Obama- never publicly supported him- but I thought he was someone who could bridge some of the serious difficulties that pro-life Democrats faced within my political party. I read his books, I thought he respected the Catholic Church as much as a secular political liberal could be expected to. Around that time I was trying to work from the inside of the Democratic party- running for Florida State House as a pro-life Democrat, and later serving as Vice President for the Florida Democats for Life organization. This was also the time period where I was invited to become part of a national Catholic Democrats listserve which included such notaries as : Vicki Kennedy [wife of Sen. Ted Kennedy — RD], Lisa Sowle Cahill of Boston College, Rev. William D’Antonio and Rev. Anthony Pogorel of the Catholic University of America, Peggy Steinfels of Fordham University, Rev. Thomas Reese of Georgetown, Vincent Miller of Georgetown/U. of Dayton, Dan Maguire of Marquette, Doug Kmiec of Pepperdine, Suzanne Morse of NCR, Chris Korzen of Catholics United, Alexia Kelly of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Steve Callahan of the AFL-CIO, and others (Eric LeCompte, Nicholas Cafardi, James Salt, Morna Murray, Fred Rotondaro, Kari Lundgren). I never agreed to keep all that passed before my eyes confidential, but I never publicly revealed the basic content until now.

My reason for going public now is due to the recent event where the Worcester Bishop Robert McManus weighed in to prevent Vicki Kennedy from speaking at the Anna Maria College commencement. The press I read portrayed the Bishop as being overly vindictive and Kennedy milked the rejection, playing innocent, as though she is doing nothing to try to upend the Catholic Church as we know it- as a Hierarchical Institution. It was my experience on the Catholic Dem listserve that Vicki Kennedy was essentially my nemesis. I defended the Church as a Hierarchy, and the official teachings on abortion et al, and she took me to task almost every time I wrote pro-orthodox Catholic commentary- with plenty of Amens from her fellow travelers on the listserve. I did receive a few positive private emails from some on the listserve, but on the whole it was a very discouraging experience trying to defend the Church as a convert, who would be at a total loss if the Catholic Church put no stock in the teaching authority of the Pope and the Bishops, and taught that contraceptives, legal abortion, and gay marriage were just fine and dandy things. So Soon after posting this on the listserve-

“It is deeply troubling to me that this Catholic Democrats listserve membership seems more intent on finding reasons to pull some kind of palace coup against the Catholic Church Magisterium and Hierarchy in general, than to address specific issues related to the Catholic interests in American politics. I am a convert to Catholicism, I knew what I was signing up for in becoming a Catholic, I accepted the teachings and authority lines as prescribed by the latest Catechism. I simply cannot understand why those who seem to relish openly trashing the Apostolic successors retain membership in the Church- that is something that I can only address as an appeal to someone else’s good conscience. Most of my family is of the Protestant variety, I understand that thinking and worldview but reject it, but they are acting in good conscience- they don’t believe what the Catholic Church teaches about her role, so they don’t invest in the Catholic narrative and authority line. Maybe what I’m finding here at Catholic Democrats are many good protestants but not orthodox Catholics as I understand things?

You can remove me from your rolls if it displeases many here that I don’t conform to the groupthink on display here, otherwise I will continue to offer my two bits to challenge the establishment views of liberal, anti-Catholic Hierarchical voices which parallel the hard Catholic Right- in their wrongheadedness- in my humble opinion anyway. One is certainly free to criticize the clerical/Hierarchical handling of sexual abuse cases over the years- but how this all fits in with being a Democratic Party member is something I can’t fathom. Tim Shipe”

My offer to leave was accepted after Vicki Kennedy wrote a smack-down on me; and shortly thereafter I severed my own Democratic party membership and ended my leadership role with Florida Dems for Life- I took Archbishop Chaput route of becoming a political Independent and remain such today.

194 Comments (Open | Close)

194 Comments To "Democratic Conspiracy Against Catholic Church"

#1 Comment By Jon.Rak On October 13, 2016 @ 8:20 am

The Catholic Church has left itself vulnerable to this sort of termiting by being intensely political. When you live in the world that much you do become subjected to it. Including to its caprice.

But we as Christians should be used to living in enemy territory:

From 2 Corinthians 4:4 –

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God”

The “god of this age” is Satan. We’re in enemy territory right now.

Rod, I still want to know – maybe I need to wait for the book – what happens to/within the Benedict Option when thirty years from now, the police kick down the door.

That time is also coming. Undermining Christian organizations is part of the second phase (of many).

#2 Comment By connecticut farmer On October 13, 2016 @ 8:57 am

This was only to be expected, given the direction of the Democrat Party over the past fifty years. It hasn’t happened yet, but it is only a matter of time before the SCOTUS is confronted with a full scale attack upon the religious freedom clause of the First Amendment–possibly, though not necessarily, in the form of a civil rights suit vs. a church for refusing to sanctify a gay marriage. Scalia’s seat is vacant, soon to be followed by the sickly Ruth Ginsberg, and we know what Hillary Clinton intends to do if/when elected

And how ironic that the only person who could stave off the above the scenario is a vulgar, foul-mouthed hedonist!

#3 Comment By Feral Gord On October 13, 2016 @ 9:26 am

Wow. That is…really quite Soviet.

I mostly think of this blog as a source of paranoia, but paranoia is right twice a day, I guess!

#4 Comment By Ben H On October 13, 2016 @ 9:26 am

Howard is 100% right. These phony orgs were probably really aimed at media (getting ‘REEL CATHOLICS” in interviews to undermine the teachings of the Church publicly). They were a bit too obviously phony to fool anyone but a journalist.

On the other hand, it is a significant intra-Catholic scandal, because Podesta is the sort of person with a closetful of awards for being an official “Devout Catholic” (anyone called this in public life is someone who’s built his career at least partially on promoting abortion). To see him working with people outside the church to undermine the church by using secret organizations is to observe a traitor in action. He’s working for the interests of his real masters and all them plaques ain’t gonna help him.

#5 Comment By Craig On October 13, 2016 @ 9:53 am

“Like most Spring movements, I think this one will have to be bottom up.”

This is his best insight. According to the last Pew polling that I say, 58% of Catholics were OK with same sex marriage (despite what the church teaches). That is what it means to have lost the culture war. Progressives just need to back off and let the Weapons of Cultural Mass Destruction take their toll.

As to the appropriateness of creating these reform movements within the church: as a nominal Catholic, I suppose he could say it is not inappropriate for him to try to exert influence on the church’s position on political issues. If the church sees this as subversive, and insists that teachings on these matters can only come from the church’s central authority, that is a matter for the church to deal with internally.

#6 Comment By Shameless Woman On October 13, 2016 @ 9:54 am

“You’ll never see liberal Episoplians start a “church plant” and meet in an Elementary gymnasium or hotel conference room. They take the nice old cathedral, and the faithful remnant out to the empty strip mall.”

The “nice old cathedrals” usually have about 50 years of deferred maintenance. If this were a sinister liberal plot to destroy the faithful remnant, I’d say the faithful remnant got the better deal. 🙂 🙂 🙂

#7 Comment By BCaldwell On October 13, 2016 @ 11:11 am

From a basic dogma standpoint, the Roman Catholic Church has remained very consistent really since Augustine. There may have been some changes on rules like priests not marrying, etc. But in terms of what the Catholic Church believes, it has been extremely consistent. The sanctity of the sacraments, the focus on the family and the reigning in of sexual desires/activity have always been the bedrock of the church.

Issues like gender identity and equality are things that the church will take a long view on and my guess is that the Church will continue to defend the traditional.

The Church is not a democratic institution. It is much more organized militarily than anything else and somewhat imperial. The Pope is infallible when he speaks ex cathedra on issues of faith and morals….it has always been that way, no vote, no room for interpretation. Priests obey their bishops. Bishops obey their Archbishops and Cardinals and they all obey the Pope.

Podesta, et al are not the first bunch to try to change the church and “perfect” its dogma and probably will not be the last.

The Church will never agree on the issue of abortion being acceptable.

The Church will not all of sudden start saying that SSM is acceptable

The Church could one day allow parish priests to marry

The Church could possibly one day allow women to be ordained…. I don’t see it in my lifetime and if I were taking odds on it to happen I would say it will not, but it could be allowed

Podesta will fail like the Arians and the other “heretics” before him

#8 Comment By Perichoresis On October 13, 2016 @ 11:30 am

Interesting variation on the Benedict Option in this charter school movement:

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#9 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On October 13, 2016 @ 12:08 pm

MH,

Great joke, that used to be popular in Latin America. Why has the United States never had a coup d’etat? Because we don’t have an American Embassy.

#10 Comment By JonF On October 13, 2016 @ 1:35 pm

Re: The sanctity of the sacraments, the focus on the family and the reigning in of sexual desires/activity have always been the bedrock of the church.

There have been some changes of moral issues: treatment of “heretics” and the Jews, obviously. Also the licitness of interest on loans.
Also, the ancient and medieval church never had much focus on “family”. Celibacy was the preferential state. Don’t read modern slogans back into the past

#11 Comment By Andy On October 13, 2016 @ 1:43 pm

I hope you read Ross Douthat’s comments on this story from today, as he has more eloquently explained why this is neither a conspiracy nor a newsworthy story than I could ever hope:

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#12 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On October 13, 2016 @ 2:29 pm

According to the last Pew polling that I say, 58% of Catholics were OK with same sex marriage (despite what the church teaches).

There are some fine distinctions to be made here, said the Protestant who doesn’t want the state to infringe the liberties of any church, including the Catholic Church. It is entirely possible that fifty-eight percent of Catholics are OK with the state issuing civil marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but if one of their children came out as gay, would prefer that said child remain chaste, and in the absence of a heterosexual marriage, therefore remain celibate, out of faithfulness to church teaching. This would recognize that not all citizens are going to follow church teaching, and an orderly legal process for them to make use of is all right, but what the church teaches is still what adherents of the church should rightfully obey.

The Church earned this treatment by being blatantly political in America.

True, but tu quoque is not a valid reason to abandon the First Amendment. In fact, doing so might prove the Popes to be right, in a twisted sort of way.

Stop defending the indefensible.

Does that include Donald Trump?

The Vatican doesn’t “consider itself” a sovereign nation; in diplomatic terms it IS a sovereign nation.

On sufferance. Garibaldi could have taken the Vatican along with the rest of Rome, but it avoided unnecessary bloodshed to let the Bishop have his little city within a city and play monarch there.

Democracy is like a three leg stool. The state, press and the Church need to be equal length and equal distance from each other.

Nonsense. Democracy requires neither a press nor a church, although it can tolerate, and even benefit from, either one. Civic education on the three branches of government seems to have been badly distorted of late.

Trump is neither smart enough, nor focused enough, nor disciplined enough to be Franco. But Franco was not one of two evils, he was THE evil, and evil triumphed.

#13 Comment By Nelson On October 13, 2016 @ 2:42 pm

Maybe more Catholics should become involved with the Democratic party and change that institution from the inside.

[NFR: The party of unlimited abortion? The one that wants to force contraception onto Catholic hospitals? Good luck with that. The kind of Catholics who are involved with the Democratic Party generally have no problem with these things. — RD]

#14 Comment By mrscracker On October 13, 2016 @ 2:48 pm

Shameless Woman says:

“You’ll never see liberal Episoplians start a “church plant” and meet in an Elementary gymnasium or hotel conference room. They take the nice old cathedral, and the faithful remnant out to the empty strip mall.”

The “nice old cathedrals” usually have about 50 years of deferred maintenance. If this were a sinister liberal plot to destroy the faithful remnant, I’d say the faithful remnant got the better deal.
********************
In my previous hometown, the traditional Episcopalians worshipped at the beautiful historic church where Washington had visited. They broke away from the Episcopal diocese & went with an Anglican diocese in Africa. The smaller, liberal Episcopal faction moved to another building,sued in court & eventually got the historic church back in very decent shape.
Since the liberal faction is aging & decreasing in number, the conservative congregation may just have to wait it out a few decades & try again.

#15 Comment By Dwight Welch On October 13, 2016 @ 2:57 pm

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#16 Comment By Michael Voris On October 13, 2016 @ 4:00 pm

Church Militant has been pounding this story since at least 2008 – we have done documentaries on it – released countless episodes discussing it.

We were dismissed – out of hand – as were various other groups as having “tone” issues and “bishop bashing”.

Meanwhile – the evil was mounting and mounting. The Republican party is not the only “institution” with an establishment problem.

#17 Comment By John E Parks On October 13, 2016 @ 4:11 pm

I’m a Roman Catholic from Canada, and can’t stop the Democrats war on the Roman Catholic Church in the USA. I can only hope and pray that Catholics in the US will.

#18 Comment By Pinkjohn On October 13, 2016 @ 4:17 pm

“I want to be invisible. I do guerilla warfare. I paint my face and travel at night. You don’t know it’s over until you’re in a body bag. You don’t know until election night.” –Ralph Reed, The Hill, December 17, 1997
“What Christians have got to do is take back this country, one precinct at a time, one neighborhood at a time and one state at a time. I honestly believe that in my lifetime, we will see a country once again governed by Christians…and Christian values.” –Ralph Reed, Los Angeles Times, April 1990.

#19 Comment By lori On October 13, 2016 @ 4:37 pm

I had heard for at least the last 4 years that there was an undercurrent within the church, those established working against the actual doctrine of the Catholic Faith. I suspected this to be true by what I see going on in the church, much to my disgust and shock. This abhorrent and should be a strong reason to get out and support Trump, though he’s flawed as many or all of use are. I’m mortified that more than half of Catholics today do not support the very heart of the doctrine of their Faith. A sad realization.

#20 Comment By Ben H On October 13, 2016 @ 4:42 pm

“Newman, who is Jewish, concedes that he doesn’t know much about the Catholic Church, but he sure does want somebody to undermine the hierarchy…”

As I’ve noted before, Jews demand respect for their culture, and would be horrified by people working behind the scenes to slander their people and their culture. But how many Jews do we see in public life having no respect for other people’s culture and institutions? Certainly we do not expect them to censor themselves when they criticize others, yet they tend to loudly denounce any criticism of themselves. This is why groups need to self-police their own members, to prevent their members from becoming a nuisance to other groups, to protect the reputation of their own group.

#21 Comment By A.J. Kinnamamn On October 13, 2016 @ 6:13 pm

This kind of defensive paranoia is what allows a demagogue like Trump to rise to the top of a major party.

#22 Comment By Joan On October 13, 2016 @ 8:50 pm

@IowaGreg: You’ll never see liberal Episoplians start a “church plant” and meet in an Elementary gymnasium or hotel conference room. They take the nice old cathedral, and the faithful remnant out to the empty strip mall.

I don’t know much about Episoplians but I do remember when the liberal Catholics in New Haven, CT, had to meet in a storefront.

#23 Comment By Joan On October 13, 2016 @ 8:51 pm

@Caleb Bernacchio: What is amazing is how badly the author misunderstands religion… These people have no ability to understand what it means to be religious, to not be secular.

+1000. I about LOLed when I read the words “Catholic Spring”. I can only assume that Podesta is a cultural Catholic who never in his life had anything resembling real faith.

#24 Comment By Mia On October 13, 2016 @ 8:54 pm

“For those who say that the Benedict Option is all about walking away from the fight, let me set you straight. These progressives are coming to power very soon, and they are going to come at us subtly (at first) but relentlessly.”

Whoa, no, the progressives are not coming to power soon at all. Did you fail to notice that Podesta et al from the former Clinton Administration had formed the Center for American Progress years ago and became the very foundation and staffing center for the Obama administration? Indeed, they have been at the pinnacle of power for 8 years already and are merely waiting to be summoned back to the palace if Hillary wins. Podesta himself stepped into I forget what prominent role in the Obama administration just a few years ago as his second term started. Please pay attention.

#25 Comment By sps On October 14, 2016 @ 9:24 am

“The party of unlimited abortion? The one that wants to force contraception onto Catholic hospitals? Good luck with that. The kind of Catholics who are involved with the Democratic Party generally have no problem with these things. — ”

And who’s fault is that? The people who left that’s who. Parties change when people leave them as David Frum says and if conservative Catholics could no longer tolerate the Democratic Party and ran to the GOP, how was the party supposed to stay true to its Catholic character? Hmmm? How it could it support younger Catholic politicians in the 1970s and 80s (people like Joe Biden for example) who started their careers anti-abortion but realized the only way they could advance in the party was by taking a pro-abortion stance because there were fewer conservative Catholics to appeal to?

You leave, it changes. It’s that simple. And there was no purge either. This was all done voluntarily. You moved with your feet. Fine then. That’s why you have mainline Methodist and former Chicago suburban Republican Hilary Clinton running the Democratic Party while drone-like Catholics like Tim Kaine are give the Vice-Presidency like a crumb. What someone like Joe Biden could have been is tantalizing but sad because he’s far more faithful Catholic than I am or a lot of so-called “conservatives” are.

A true Catholic party the way the Democrats used to be would have never supported supply-side or neoliberal economics that have left so many communities, especially many predominately Catholic communities, economically and socially devastated. But with its Catholic wing hallowed out, it still happened anyway. Catholic voters hitched themselves to a party which had and still fundamentally anethma to them over a couple of issues and the results, I think you would agree, have been just horrific

The mis-matched politics we have is largely due to this and largely due to abortion, let’s be blunt about this. Donald Trump would have zero support among many “conservatives” if it wasn’t for the abortion question, which his actions towards are dubious. Six Supreme Court justices appointed by Republicans have upheld Roe vs. Wade and yet Charlie Brown continues to try to kick that football doesn’t he while Lucy (John Roberts) pulls it away. When Catholics finally realize the GOP has no intention of overturning Roe, then maybe Catholics will walk away from it too, God willing.

#26 Comment By Benjamin Holland On October 14, 2016 @ 10:17 am

Sorry, what is a unchristian about a bottom-up movement within the church to promote less dictatorial relations and greater gender equality? That sounds like an accurate partial description of what Jesus himself did with regard to the religious establishment of his day. The question of whether this group would conduct its affairs in a way that disrespected and undermined authority, or whether it would promote its reform agenda in a peaceable and appropriate way, is not addressed at all in these quotations. The author has totally forgotten one vital ingredient of a response to someone’s words: to actually respond to their words.

#27 Comment By gk On October 14, 2016 @ 10:45 am

Rod,

‘Special BenOps’ in The OC. 🙂

Livin’ la vida Benedictus.

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g

#28 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On October 14, 2016 @ 11:11 am

I had heard for at least the last 4 years that there was an undercurrent within the church, those established working against the actual doctrine of the Catholic Faith.

I have no problem with working against the actual doctrine of the Catholic Faith. I have considerable objections to a large bureaucracy staffed by sinful human beings presuming to give authoritative direction on the Word of God, the means of salvation, and furthermore, demanding unconditional obedience from other human beings. However, I do have a problem with anyone who tries to dictate to those who voluntarily choose to adhere to such discipline, telling them they must rise up against it.

#29 Comment By Nelson On October 14, 2016 @ 1:54 pm

[NFR: The party of unlimited abortion? The one that wants to force contraception onto Catholic hospitals? Good luck with that. The kind of Catholics who are involved with the Democratic Party generally have no problem with these things. — RD]

Yeah that one. Abortion is the big one but Democrats could emphasize reducing abortions by improving the economic conditions of would be mothers. Individual Democrats in conservative stayes could even run on pro-life platforms even if it goes against the national platform. As far as contraception, that is a Church teaching that is often ignored even by those that attend Mass regularly.

#30 Comment By Danse Macabre On October 14, 2016 @ 6:01 pm

“Sorry, what is a unchristian about a bottom-up movement within the church to promote less dictatorial relations and greater gender equality? “

You call movements conjured up by John Podesta and Sanford Newman “bottom-up”? Interesting. It begs the question as to what you think a “top-down” movement would look like.

#31 Comment By a commenter On October 14, 2016 @ 8:33 pm

“When Catholics finally realize the GOP has no intention of overturning Roe, then maybe Catholics will walk away from it too, God willing.”

That’s what I thought too. I used to roll my eyes at “single issue” Catholic voters who put up with the GOP’s approach to poverty because abortion trumped all the other issues in their minds. I thought abortion would always be a stalemate, used to keep those single-issue voters in whichever party promised them not to let things get worse, but with no real change ever occurring, neither towards more liberal abortion policy, nor more conservative.

Now I see how wrong I was. While “moderate” Catholics like me slept at the wheel, the liberals came up with ideas like “shout your abortion” and “repeal the Hyde amendment.”

I feel utterly betrayed by the Democrats, and by Tim Kaine especially. They played people like me for fools and laughed at us behind our backs, while they were planning, deliberately and with full consent of the will, to requisition our tax dollars to pay for terminating the lives of the weakest among us.

#32 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On October 14, 2016 @ 9:57 pm

The Roman Catholic Church did have a Catholic Spring. It began 31 October 1517. Since the leadership of the church neither resigned nor abdicated nor embraced the purification called for in Martin Luther’s 95 theses, the result was a massive schism in western Christianity, still regarded with some detached amusement by eastern Christianity.

The fact that some church teachings are often ignored even by those who attend Mass regularly might give church leadership pause… either we need to present this in a way that makes sense and commands obedience, or, maybe we need to consider if this really is essential to our faith?

As for abortion, the flip side of arguing that people who don’t accept the authority of the Holy See should stop pestering those who do, is that it is entirely possible for a devout Roman Catholic to say, abortion is a sin, always, but, I don’t think that demanding the state impose criminal penalties is an effective way to call people to holier choices, even if the council of bishops insists that it is. If every pregnant woman exercises her right to choose life, then abortion would be eliminated without every over-ruling Roe v. Wade.

#33 Comment By Rick On October 15, 2016 @ 5:36 am

“But how many Jews do we see in public life having no respect for other people’s culture and institutions? Certainly we do not expect them to censor themselves when they criticize others, yet they tend to loudly denounce any criticism of themselves. This is why groups need to self-police their own members, to prevent their members from becoming a nuisance to other groups, to protect the reputation of their own group.”

How many do you see? Those Jews. Those groups of Jews. I mean why would they have any issues with the Catholic church? They’re always scheming those Jews.

Oh wait there’s this.

“Cornwell lays out the story of a narcissistic, power-hungry manipulator who was prepared to lie, to appease, and to collaborate in order to accomplish his ecclesiastical purpose—which was not to save lives or even to protect the Catholic Church but, more narrowly, to protect and advance the power of the papacy. Pacelli’s personal history, his character, and his obsession with Vatican prerogatives combined at the crucial hour to make him “the ideal Pope for Hitler’s unspeakable plan,” Cornwell writes. “He was Hitler’s pawn. He was Hitler’s Pope.”

#34 Comment By anonymousdr On October 15, 2016 @ 9:59 am

@a commenter

I am with you. The dual realization that the US has one of the most liberal abortion regimes in the world and that the Dems want to make abortion more common and that they will force religious organizations to go against their conscience was too much for me.

There is also little evidence that a broader safety net reduces abortions, but laws against abortion do. I’d also argue that the law has a tutelary function and by those grounds abortion should be illegal.

@Siarly Jenkins

“The fact that some church teachings are often ignored even by those who attend Mass regularly might give church leadership pause… either we need to present this in a way that makes sense and commands obedience, or, maybe we need to consider if this really is essential to our faith?”

I think that it is presented pretty clearly and essential to the faith.

Fetus= a human life.
It is a sin to take innocent human life.

Not hard. You could get into why the idea of separating personhood from conception makes no sense philosophically, but that would be above most people’s heads.

I’d say that the stealth secularists in the Church are probably similar to the stealth Pagans who were in the Church for a long time. You know, people who believed in magic charms and the evil eye, etc. There always have been and will be the half converted in the pews. The balance of power has just shifted and the laity feel empowered to be very public about their unbelief.

#35 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On October 15, 2016 @ 12:13 pm

anonymousdr… nice try, but far afield.

First, I haven’t heard an argument that large numbers of faithful, mass-attending Catholics think abortion is just fine. The arguments I’ve seen concerned contraception.

Second, you are obviously not one of those who need to be convinced. BUT, if a large portion, perhaps even a large majority, of the nominal Catholics who faithfully attend mass are NOT convinced, as you are, of ANY tenet of church doctrine, then, EITHER it has not been presented clearly in a manner that those Catholics can understand and embrace, OR, maybe there is something to reconsider.

I have no problem separating personhood from conception… but then, I’m not Catholic, and I don’t pretend to be.

That there have been and always will be the half converted in the pews, simply suggests that the church isn’t quite the force it sometimes claims to be. I could understand those who are strictly orthodox Catholics wanting to separate themselves out into a smaller and purified church truly loyal in daily life, observance, and genuine faith to the Holy See. But it you want those less observant or simply less convinced, and feeling more free to make their own choices in their daily life, to remain in the church, then you have to decide how to connect with them and win them over, or, re-think what the requirements are, and why?

Reading the comment from “a commenter,” it seems he has left himself nowhere to turn. GOP, strike that, Dems, strike that… what’s next?

“Sorry, what is a unchristian about a bottom-up movement within the church to promote less dictatorial relations and greater gender equality? “

Aside from the question whether this IS “bottom up” or a battle between contending elites, the fundamental defining distinction of the Roman Catholic Church is that it is hierarchical and top down. Those who really want less dictatorial relations and greater gender equality need to either find another church, or schism themselves out of jurisdiction to the hierarchy, while perhaps keeping most forms of Catholic worship they find familiar and comforting.

#36 Comment By Let He Who Is Without Sin Kick Ass – And Let’s Help Him Out On October 15, 2016 @ 1:44 pm

“Those who really want less dictatorial relations and greater gender equality …”

An excessively charitable interpretation. If what happened to the Episcopal Church is anything to go by, what they really want is the real estate and the bank accounts, and to expunge whatever air of the sacred may remain in the churches themselves, which they find a standing rebuke to their own secular hedonist sensibilities. They’ll kick out the faithful old folk and sell the churches to to the highest bidders. They get a special frisson when they’re able to turn a church into a decadent nightclub or S & M venue, as happened in New York City.

#37 Comment By Michael Sheridan On October 15, 2016 @ 2:48 pm

What groups or petitions are around for catholics to help defeat hillary clinton and the democratic party

#38 Comment By Franklin Evans On October 16, 2016 @ 9:48 am

anonymousdr uses the term “pagan” in its archaic sense: anyone who isn’t a Christian. Any modern Pagan who has chosen to attend a Christian service will very likely be much more attentive and respectful than those nominal Christians being described by that usage of the term.

#39 Comment By PAXNOW On October 16, 2016 @ 4:54 pm

S. Jenkins states “On sufferance. Garibaldi could have taken the Vatican along with the rest of Rome, but it avoided unnecessary bloodshed to let the Bishop have his little city within a city and play monarch there.” Absolute BS you dumb ass. The Papal states were protected by France. The Franco-Prussian (final step in German unification) war of 1870 ended with the French being forced to withdraw their garrison. Maybe get your snide and condescending facts correct before you lash out at the Pope and Catholicism.

#40 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On October 16, 2016 @ 8:05 pm

My, my,. PAX does have a violent mouth. Where did he get that name from? The second emperor of France certainly had a high opinion of himself (first time tragedy, second time farce), but his army wasn’t really put to the test until the Franco-Prussian war, and we know how that turned out. So, why did the Pope still keep his little ghetto AFTER French troops withdrew? And why didn’t they keep the whole city of Rome for him? The Pope was incensed not to have the rule of the entire Eternal City.

I don’t really have anything against the Papacy, only against a religious leader trying to be a secular ruler. If you’ve been around here long, I vigorously defend the right of devout Roman Catholics to be obedient, if they choose to do so.

#41 Comment By PAXNOW On October 17, 2016 @ 8:12 am

I do not like intolerance, especially when based on misinformation. – I do not have a “violent mouth,” just an annoyance for people misrepresenting the fact to make demeaning and what I consider intolerant statements about a a specific religion. Again you are trying to frame someone (you do not know) in the negative – when it is you who are in factual error. Why not just admit your spoke without all the relevant information? Apologize? I can recommend some very reliable historical sources; if you wish to study the various unification movements in 19th. century Europe. BTW – one does not have to be “devout” to require the actual facts. The Papacy is now a “ghetto?” That is insulting. Goodbye!!!!!!

#42 Comment By Lawrence Larson On October 17, 2016 @ 8:54 am

But Trump says raunchy things and makes people mad, so I’m voting for the inveterate liar, criminal, irretrievably corrupt, and possibly actually demonically evil Clinton. Because, woman!

#43 Comment By Rick67 On October 17, 2016 @ 2:41 pm

For the last few years I have theorized that a chief goal of (secular) progressivism is to marginalize and even eradicate religion (because it represents, to varying degrees, a threat to its goals). I wrestle with the question of just what motivates religious progressives, how much they are, perhaps without realizing it, influenced by an ideology that comes from outside their religion (and might be hostile to it). Is it really a truer, superior, and arguably more original version of Christianity? or is it modern secular progressivism dressed in the garb and rhetoric of religion? (I have a friend who wrote an essay that attempts to prove the latter.) This news helps confirm my theory. Many comments attempt to argue “so what” or more commonly “oh yeah? Trump tortures puppies, too” but the bottom line is we have a political party (or movement) *outside* a religious community that starts groups in order to influence said religious community in a progressive direction. (And yes I am aware Podesta is ostensibly Catholic.)

#44 Comment By Ben H On October 18, 2016 @ 9:20 am

Here is a follow up comment by concerned Catholic (whoops, wait) Newman:

“Great. I suppose it’s conceivable that a few organizers could spark a high-profile demonstration or two (a la Occupy) that might turn out to be the spark. But it is indeed a puzzle to figure out why some events, usually with very little planning, ignite a movement no one would have predicted, while other, far better planned things fashioned by experienced organizers don’t.”
[18]

What marvelous, concerned people you are conspiring with, Podesta!