Monthly Archives: December 2008

Been busy and sick

Updates have been scarce because I’ve had a very busy term, and I haven’t been in the best of health. Way behind in my work because of it all. Plus, the election results were just too darn depressing to comment.

Had pneumonia for at least a few weeks in November. On Thanksgiving, found out I have a “nodule” in my lung–may be a side effect of the pneumonia; may be something worse. Also found out my aneurysm has grown 4 mm since June.

So, it’s been a tough time.

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Bishops Vying for Promotions?

We’ve heard it all: IRS tax exemptions, “seamless garment,” etc.

The Bishops have used many excused for their support of pro-abortion Democrats and their poor commitment to the pro-life cause. I heard a priest last spring give a talk in which he accused the USCCB of giving millions to support abortion. I thought that priest was a crackpot. Then I heard about ACORN and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. (That same priest talked about the “Amero”; my wife’s brother-in-law works in the banking and finance industry, and told my mother-in-law that the banks are talking about changing our currency to the “Amero”).

For years, we’ve seen bishops like Raymond Burke, Fabian Bruskewitz and Robert Vasa characterized as “rogues” and “hard-liners” and the like, even when they’ve been vindicated by the Vatican.

Archbishop Burke even got promoted to being Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, and the Catholic Left tried to say this was an attempt to silence him by putting him in a job “nobody’s ever heard of”. Quite the contrary: we’ve heard plenty from him since he moved to the Vatican, and he’s been *very* outspoken, condemning the Democratic Party, as a whole, by name, among other things. Cardinal Stafford–who, as a speaker, is one of the most boring people I’ve ever heard–has called Obama’s election “disruptive” and “apocalyptic.”

My wife had the misfortune of listening to CNN at a doctor’s office a few weeks ago, and they were talking about Cardinal Stafford’s comments. Playing the actual talk–in which Stafford spoke very calmly and reasonably–the anchors called it a “rant” and demanded that he apologize. Later, they talked about a “speech” by Al Franken–in which Franken was screaming and truly ranting–and were praising him.

Meanwhile, Pope Benedict has been taking his time filling empty Sees, then appointing vibrant young bishops who are very actively pro-life (including several young bishops who participate in Planned Parenthood prayer vigils) and actively support the Traditional Latin Mass (including attending and even celebrating it themselves).

Suddenly, many of the “John Paul II” bishops who were always “better than most” and “really cool” but never seemed to take the “hardline” approach of the Bruskewitzes and Burkes, are suddenly getting backbones.
Cardinal George began the USCCB convention in November by saying that abortion demolishes the common good, that we cannot say that “common good issues” are proportionate to abortion.

Cardinal O’Malley stated in the _Boston Globe_ that Barack Obama’s support of Planned Parenthood is hypocritical, since Planned Parenthood exists to eliminate blacks, and he also talked about the fundamental importance of the Right to Life in our society.

Archbishop Chaput (“rhymes with ‘slap you,'” according to a blog commentor I read who knows him) has issued some very strong statements about the election and about Joe Biden in particular.

Part of this is because of the absolutely pro-abortion stance of Barack Obama and the threat he poses with FOCA and the efforts to take away the conscience rights of medical professionals and hospitals.

Yet, 16 years ago, we also had a president elected who vowed to pass FOCA as a top priority, and the USCCB called him a fine candidate because of his support for “universal health care” and such, and because he was educated at Georgetown.

And part of it is because Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden threw down the gauntlet with the interviews in which they both claimed that Catholics do not have to oppose abortion or to believe that life begins at conception.

But we’ve heard Catholic politicians make statements like that–and far worse–before. Again, Obama’s Catholic “outreach” team said collectively in theiir response to Bill Donohue that they support artificial contraception, but no one responded to *that*.

No, the real reason these bishops are getting backbones is that they can read the “signs of the times” in the Church herself. The guys the USCCB tried to marginalize are getting the attention of Rome–and getting promoted.

Also, while Burke gets more press, let’s not forget that Archbishop Levada–while there are a few controversies about him–actively sued the City of San Francisco to avoid giving benefits to homosexual couples and to avoid having to provide contraceptive coverage on diocesan health insurance.

And don’t forget sending Bishop Baker to Birmingham–giving EWTN a bishop who is an ally.

Vatican: Kmiec is a "traitor"

Let’s rehash the chronology a bit.

2007: pro-choice “Catholic” Rudolph Giuliani and formerly pro-choice (until he decided to run for president) Mormon Mitt Romney are considered, along with ultra-liberal John McCain (Pat Buchanan: “Everything Bush did wrong, he supported; everything Bush did right, he opposed”; Rush Limbaugh: “McCain’s entire campaign was a concession speech!”) are somehow pre-ordained as the front-runner Republican candidates. Pro-life “leaders” scramble to pick which of these guys to endorse (though a few stand by Brownback) while several authentic pro-life candidates (Brownback, Paul and Huckabee in particular) are completely ignored.

Suddenly, we see pro-life Republican Catholics using the same arguments that Catholic Democrats have used for the past 30-some years: “there are more issues than just abortion”; “better to reduce than ban”; “social programs”; “faith shouldn’t dictate politics”.

So, McCain wins the nomination. Catholic legal scholar, Republican and former Reagan employee Douglas Kmiec, who’d previously endorsed Mitt Romney, writes an article endorsing Barack Obama as the Catholic more truly in keeping with “Catholic” values, including the audacious claim that Obama is “pro-life.”

Meanwhile, Obama already has a “Catholic Outreach” team staffed by the usual suspects: Kennedys, Joe Biden, etc. Bill Donohue issues an open letter saying that these people on Obama’s Catholic committee do not authentically represent the Catholic Church. The members, acting as a group but not “officially” for the campaign, respond with an open letter calling Donohue judgemental and hypocritical, and saying that , among other things, they support Obama because he wants to prevent abortion by encouraging artificial birth control(!)

So, in the midst of this battle, a staunch Republican writes a glowing endorsement of Obama, and the media eat it up.

Shortly thereafter, Kmiec publishes *another* article, saying he attended a Mass where the priest preached against Obama and then denied him Communion for his endorsement of Obama.

Worse, a prominent, normally conservative, Canon Lawyer and Blogger, Ed Peters, wrote an article supporting Kmiec in this matter: not supporting his position on Obama, but saying that individual voters should not be denied Communion for their political choices (politicans being another story). I wrote directly to Peters myself, arguing that Kmiec’s public endorsement and article constitute actively campaigning for Obama, and that to actively campaign for someone who has vowed to pass the Freedom of Choice Act as his top priority is to campaign for the FOCA, whatever Kmiec’s motivations may be. Peters called me an illiterate hothead.

Kmiec went on to become Obama’s top apologist among Catholics. Deal Hudson later admitted that he was at the Mass in question and that it was a mass for Legatus. He tried to stay out of the fray at first, due to his friendship with Kmiec, but he and Kmiec eventually exchanged an increasinly heated open letter/column-based argument.

Other reports indicated that it was a permanent deacon, not a priest, that the Mass took place in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and that the cleric (whichever kind he was) was disciplined by Cardinal Mahony(!)

As Kmiec increasingly became involved in the Obama campaign and talked pleasantly about his “fruitful conversations” with the candidate, many suggested that Kmiec was vying for a Vatican ambassadorship or perhaps even a federal court nomination. Admittedly, if Kmiec has not truly gone too far to the Devil, it might be interesting if he were actually appointed to the Courts by Obama, but he has a snowball’s chance in Hell of that actually happening.

So, a report comes from Lifesitenewes that the Vatican is rejecting any notion of Kmiec being made Ambassador to the Vatican. While the Vatican certainly cannot tell any nation whom to appoint as Ambassador, it *can* revoke its concordat with that nation, as it did with France when France tried to send an openly homosexual ambassador.

An unnamed Vatican State Department official said that the Vatican values its relationship with the US, but that such relationships are handled through many channels, just one of them diplomatic. American clergy at the Vatican, like Cardinal Stafford and Archbishop Burke, along with laity like Carl Anderson, are the people through whom the Vatican channels its most important relations with America, and, says the article, these people view Kmiec as a “traitor.” It is far more important that any potential ambassador be acceptable to the likes Stafford, Burke and Anderson than that the Vatican have an official diplomatic relationship with Barack Obama.

All of this was said in response to an article in _America_ suggesting the ambassadorship. That article characterized those of us who criticize Kmmiec as part of the “right wing fringe.” :

The official also explained, “Those who the article refers so disrespectfully as ‘extremists on the right,’ or ‘the far right political fringe,’ are the serious, loyal Catholics [the Vatican] precisely takes into account, because they are the ones who are there when the Church needs them.”

So there, Ed Peters!

Been busy and sick

Updates have been scarce because I’ve had a very busy term, and I haven’t been in the best of health. Way behind in my work because of it all. Plus, the election results were just too darn depressing to comment.

Had pneumonia for at least a few weeks in November. On Thanksgiving, found out I have a “nodule” in my lung–may be a side effect of the pneumonia; may be something worse. Also found out my aneurysm has grown 4 mm since June.

So, it’s been a tough time.