The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

“This is in your face anti-Catholicism” — UPDATED

posted by jmcgee

That’s how Matthew Archbold at National Catholic Register describes the postcard below that many in Minnesota found in their mailboxes this week.  It was sent out by a Democratic non-profit, with a simple message: the Catholic Church supports a party that says “ignore the poor.”   

UPDATE: Good ole Dave Gibson offers some clarification about the ad — which, while not aimed at Catholics, clearly seemed to be depicting a member of the Catholic clergy. And the person who was the target, a Protestant minister, says:
“I’ve never worn a Roman collar,” Dan Hall told (Commonweal’s Grant) Gallicho. “No one in my church does.” Asked why the DFL would use such an image, he said, “I have no idea. You’re offending all kinds of church people…”


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Sensus Fidei

posted October 26, 2010 at 11:55 am

This is truly tragic and for a number of reasons. We know wonderful clergy who would give the shirts of their back and their last lunch.
Why they didn’t use an image of an ostentatiously attired Bishop is beyond us. Targeting parish priests easily arouses ire.
Has there been rightful outrage rising/surpassing the DVD debacle yet? Or should we wonder if these sentiments have been accurately reported and reflected?

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Paula Gonzales Rohrbacher

posted October 26, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Perhaps they should sent a postcard with this website:

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Mark from PA

posted October 26, 2010 at 1:08 pm

You are right, Sensus Fidei. It would be better to have a picture of a bishop dressed in lavish clothing. Some it seems are really into spending a lot of money on their outfits and these same men seem to have a certain disdain for the laity. Most of our parish priests do a great job and many are not appreciated or supported by their bishops.

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posted October 26, 2010 at 1:24 pm

I’m stunned. What in the world does the Catholic Church or parish priests have to do with an election? What candidate is this supposed to be supporting? What vote or issue is this supposed to be related to?

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Deacon John M. Bresnahan

posted October 26, 2010 at 1:36 pm

What is it with liberal Democrats when they disagree with or have a gripe with the Church over SOME issues. If you read many newspapers and publications or go on the internet, if the Church doesn’t buy the whole liberal agenda–then often it is deride, insult, attack, nastiness time.
But, in general, when conservatives have a beef with the Church on SOME issues (like much of the Church’s opposition to the war in Iraq), they tend to ignore the disagreements or disagree with a modicum of decency (rarely will you see derogatory satire and nastiness directed at the Church from the right) while emphasizing the issues where there is agreement.
Part of the reason many Catholics believe the Democrat Left is virtually anti-Catholic is the different way the left and the right-Democrats and Republicans handle the situation when church teaching or leadership isn’t following some sort of political party line.

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Sensus Fidei

posted October 26, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Deacon John, have you ever seen the ALL video which depicts chalkboard character Sr. McBride being cut off and falling on the sidewalk from grace while toe-tapping, arms crossed Bp. Olmsted stands by
Several very fine clergy were attacked by name in this hit video too.

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posted October 26, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Sensus Fidei,
Have you heard of a thing called gently correcting clergy? I saw nothing even remotely close to clergy bashing in that little clip by ALL. Do you have a problem with loyalty to the Magisterium and Doctrine of the Church?

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Your Name

posted October 26, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Do Fr. Thomas Doyle, Sr. McBride and Fr. James Martin count? The person (no better modifier comes to mind) attacks all three by name.
My loyalty and fidelity is to God Almighty, not any human.

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posted October 26, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Anti-Catholic? No, deacon and you should be ashamed for saying so.
The piece is directed against a Protestant minister who is also the Republican candidate for a state senate seat, the Rev. Dan Hall. Had you included the rest of the flyer this would have been clear.
I’m not sure this was the best piece but I am also sure that the Catholic Church does not own the clerical collar. It is worn by the majority of Protestant clergy in Minnesota.
Why do you choose not to show the whole mailer? It takes issue with Rev. Hall for not supporting a Minnesota Health Care bill endorsed by the Catholic Church.
Rev. Hall makes a big deal that he is a clergyman in his campaign to be a Republican state senator. The DFL respond that he seems to be a clergyman that does not care for the poor the way other clergy including the Catholic Church calls for.
[Katherine...there's a good analysis of the flyer at this link, along with a concluding thought: "Why the DFL would use the image of a man in a Roman collar to depict a lay chaplain who is a member of a nondenominational church remains mysterious." Indeed. Dcn. G.]

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posted October 26, 2010 at 5:19 pm

“I am also sure that the Catholic Church does not own the clerical collar. It is worn by the majority of Protestant clergy in Minnesota.”
I think the Catholic Church did once “own” the ROMAN collar. Interesting how other denominations have adopted it along with the cassock. Wonder why?

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posted October 26, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Your first reaction when you see that picture is that it is a priest, not a minister, a priest. The message is very clear.
If you look at the photos of Dan Hall on his website there is not one photo of him in a collar.

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posted October 26, 2010 at 5:44 pm

The church (the community of Christ followers, regardless of denomination)is to take care of the poor, not the government. Galatians 2:10. The “Gubmint” has determined that it is wiser and more qualified to care for the poor than the people who support it with their tax dollars. This allows them to generate votes among the poor because they have chosen to become their benefactors. It’s about developing centralized power rather than leaving it in the hands of the people.

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posted October 26, 2010 at 8:27 pm

It’s absolutely true that the Catholic Church supports a party that says “ignore the poor.”
The bishops have chosen to emphasize opposition to abortion and homosexuality, which has the effect of helping Republicans who do ignore the poor and when they get power will ignore the poor with great energy.
The bishops could choose to emphasize helping the poor and that would help the Democrats, but they have chosen not to, or their foreign boss made the choice for them. Either way, the Church is supporting a party that ignores the poor.
Obviously not all Catholics or by any means all clergy do, but the Church does.

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white tiger

posted October 26, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Opposing abortion and homosexuality “helps the Republicans” so such opposition consists of ignoring the poor?
Flip that coin over and read that: Butchering innocent, unborn babies and promoting homosexual perversion hurts the Republicans and thus consists in helping the poor.
Ergo, the more babies murdered and children molested, the better off are the poor?
Did someone forget to take his/her/its meds?

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posted October 26, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Choosing to concentrate on opposing abortion and homosexuality during election season, even refusing bread and wine to those who don’t, while ignoring candidates who want to defund health care, cut aid to the needy, etc. etc. is helping the Republicans. Sorry, grey kitty.

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posted October 26, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Wow, just imagine the out cries across the nation if this had been a muslim. Dems find that attacking muslims in politically incorrect, but they can do this to christians/catholics. HYPOCRISY

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posted October 26, 2010 at 10:36 pm

“Why the DFL would use the image of a man in a Roman collar to depict a lay chaplain who is a member of a nondenominational church remains mysterious.” Indeed. Dcn. G.]
The mystery is ended by those who don’t try to hide three out of four panels of the mailing as you did, Deacon. The Rev. Hall claims to be an ordained minister, not a layman. The clerical collar is not the exclusive property of the Catholic Church but is worn by more Protestant and Orthodox clergy in Minnesota than Catholic.
And the point of the flyer (clear to those who read it, though obviously those who were denied the chance to see it all would not know) was that the Rev. Hall is out of step with most Minnesota clergy including the Catholic bishops and the Lutheran Synod on the issue of a state law to help the poor get health care.
The photo is jarring — that is the point. We don’t expect our clergy (of whatever denomination) to forget the poor. So a vote for Rev. Hall for Senator is not going to give a lot of people the type of person they expect a clergyman to be.
I think the Catholic Church did once “own” the ROMAN collar. Interesting how other denominations have adopted it along with the cassock.
Your thinking is incorrect. Protestant clergy have worn cassocks since the Reformation. There have been variations in the cut (i.e. the Anglican cassock with the buttons on the side and the Geneva Gown that is fuller and more billowy), but the point remains. The clerical collar is a rather modern invention, and used by many Protestant and Orthodox clergy, not just Catholics.

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posted October 26, 2010 at 10:39 pm

I am informed the clerical collar was actuall invented by a Presbyterian in the 19th century. So much for ownership.

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posted October 26, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Katherine, as a Minnesotan, and a theologian connected with people of many faith traditions, I can assure you that it is NOT the norm for Protestant ministers in this state to wear the Roman (or clerical, if you prefer) collar.
Most people won’t get beyond the first panel and you know it, right? The DFL is tone deaf, ignorant, or just vicious in choosing this ad. And I’m no fan of Republicans, for the record. (Sorry GOPers here).

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Jerome McCollom

posted October 26, 2010 at 11:58 pm

What should be remembered is that Catholicism, like every other religion, is a set of beliefs and is not like race, sex or anything inherent. This ad could have been better made but religious beliefs should not be treated as more off limits to criticism than non-religious beliefs.

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posted October 27, 2010 at 7:35 am

Katherine, I notice how you conveniently refer to the collar as a clerical collar when in common parlance it is called a ROMAN collar. hardly what a Protestant would wear. The style of collars traditionally worn by clerics of nonCatholic denominations is often very different. What is pictured is known as a tab shirt anyway. These were marketed for Catholic clergy.
Most Protestant ministers didn’t wear collars until recent years in the Northeast.
Apart from your clerical fashion bloviating, the picture immediately gives the impression it is a priest not a candidate for office who never wears clericals.

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