Via Media

Via Media


Mincing Words

posted by awelborn

Not.

Neumayr on Kerry

Had the bishops restricted themselves to teaching the Catholic faith, there wouldn’t be this confusion for the Democrats to manipulate. Instead for decades many of the bishops have been acting like Democratic Party lobbyists, hovering over prudential political issues on which Catholics can disagree even as they failed to articulate and enforce teachings on vital matters where Catholics may not disagree. …

The irony of the bishops’ not lifting a finger to govern Kerry within their own sphere of influence is that as president Kerry would govern them. Democrats are never afraid to cross the line between Church and state themselves in order to enforce liberalism everywhere. It is not hard to imagine President Kerry signing legislation mandating that Catholic hospitals which receive state monies hand out condoms (this is already state law in California) and permit abortion and euthanasia.

It would be an appropriate finale to decades of calamitous Catholic leadership if the most anti-Catholic presidency in American history is occupied by a Catholic.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(19)
post a comment
Jesse

posted April 21, 2004 at 12:07 am


wow, u got to admire his candor.
the sad thing is, he is probably right.



report abuse
 

Nicole

posted April 21, 2004 at 6:07 am


Sorry, we do not know what God has in store for the Bishops. We NEED to pray for them, for John Kerry and for mercy for all of us.
Nicole



report abuse
 

Jim

posted April 21, 2004 at 6:17 am


I don’t share Neumayr’s totally negative view of Democrats, but I do agree with the notion that the bishops are cowardly out of fear of the possibility of having to deal with a President Kerry. The bishops talk a good game on being “counter-cultural” but, the truth is, they like the idea of having access to the powers that be.
The Vatican’s Directory for the Pastoral Ministry for Bishops sets up this standard for bishops: A bishop “must be, and appear to be, poor. … [He will] seek to avoid anything that in any way could distance himself from the poor … and will eliminate any shadow of vanity.” [from a recent John Allen column in NCR]
Does this describe your bishop? The cozy relationship between the dominant culture and the Church that started with Constantine lives on. Looking the other way for a Catholic politician who may be President is just the latest installment of a long story.



report abuse
 

Mary Jane

posted April 21, 2004 at 6:48 am


I don’t think the bishops are swine. I do think they are afraid. And their timidity and willingness to “go with the flow” is the result of decades of Catholic “accommodationism.” Think of Will Herberg’s “Protestant, Catholic, Jew,” published in the 1950s, which believed that fitting in would outweigh traditions and doctrines for competing religious groups. Think how Catholics have spent the last 40 years trying to convince everyone that “we’re just like everyone else.” If you’ve staked your validity on being part of the group – and for bishops this includes being tight with politicians, local and national – when a decisive moment comes, you won’t be strong enough to define yourself away from the group. It’s simply unthinkable. If you believe you answer to God – and that He’s going to hold you to His standards, it’s a different story.



report abuse
 

Franklin Jennings

posted April 21, 2004 at 6:52 am


Ok, two quick comments.
Right on, Mr. Neumayr!!!
Mr. D’hippolito, you never change. First, strategies used in nuclear war and a nation’s economic policies are not, neccessarily, secular. They are merely civic, and Bishops have the right and responsibility to criticise civic power and policy when it strays. Have our Bishops done a proper job of this over the last 40-50 years? Nah, apparently not.
But then, maybe the only way to get from “We have bishops who’ve made poor choices in their advocacy of social justice” to “Let’s render the mitre-wearing SOBs and feed the cracklings to the dogs” is to cede civic power to a secular sphere where faith and morals matter not one whit.



report abuse
 

Annie

posted April 21, 2004 at 7:18 am


I loved the article. I live in Massachusetts, filled with Catholic Democrat politicians who demonstrate open contempt for Church teaching, but still get Communion. There is nothing new here.
Neumayr is right to point out the danger the Church faces from Democrat politicians who are eager to cross the line between Church and state. Boston’s City Council has threatened to subpeona Archbishop O’Malley to force him to talk publicly about what Catholic schools are closing. Some pols are looking for ways to force certain churches/schools to stay open – all political grandstanding and earning cheap points for having the “courage” to take on the Church. They and the people cheering them on never mention the line between church and state.



report abuse
 

Cathleen

posted April 21, 2004 at 8:01 am


A bishop “must be, and appear to be, poor. … [He will] seek to avoid anything that in any way could distance himself from the poor … and will eliminate any shadow of vanity.” [from a recent John Allen column in NCR]
I think I’ll forward that to Cardinal Egan.
A recent episode in my small, upstate NY parish: Cardinal Egan recently came and celebrated two Masses in our parish…we are the northernmost parish in the diocese, 100 miles north of NYC. Cardinal Egan pulled up in a chauffeur-driven black stretch limousine, complete with tinted windows, etc. I couldn’t help but think just how much it looked like something out of a Hollywood mob movie. A small incident, perhaps, but it really stuck in my craw….



report abuse
 

Charles M. de Nunzio

posted April 21, 2004 at 8:11 am


It is good to see such candor in an established (even if not quite “Establishment”) publication. Precisely: the abdication of episcopal authority in the wake of the last Council in matters of Faith have led up to this, and given that one key component of this sorry situation has been the “No king but Caesar” canard first offered by JFK, to which this last generation of bishops has entirely aquiesced, it is sadly apropos that we would deserve Kerry.
For it is as true in the Church as it is in politics: we get the leaders we deserve… unless, that is, we repent and make reparations for our own sins, which, believe it or not (and for those of us not doing the kinds of things that we see our neo-pagan peers doing, it is hard to believe, I understand), do factor into the Divine assessment of a society. So says the Old Testament often, and this is one aspect of the same that was not changed with the New.



report abuse
 

Peggy

posted April 21, 2004 at 9:12 am


I picked up a Catholic Answers voting guide “for the serious Catholic” after mass yesterday. There were 5 “non-negotiables” in it:
1. Candidate must oppose abortion.
2. Candidate must oppose same sex “marriage.”
3. Candidate must oppose fetal stem cell research.
4. Candidate must oppose euthanasia. [Not "youth in Asia"!]
5. Candidate must oppose human cloning.
Whole guide (pretty short) is on catholicanswers.org. It gives very general guidance on local v state v federal officials and what to do if all candidates support 1 or more of these non-negotiables. They say to vote for the least harmful candidate. [I guess the idea is that not voting could result in the more harmful candidate winning.]



report abuse
 

S.F.

posted April 21, 2004 at 10:50 am


Amen. Amen. Amen.



report abuse
 

Julia

posted April 21, 2004 at 10:57 am


Our local Bishop Gregory drives his own mid-sized car with plates that say “Wilton”. He also frequently plays handball at a fitness center run by a local hospital. He was in line behind me at the grocery store recently. Lots of folks saying “hi, Bishop”.
Gregory’s vestments are made of gorgeous materials, but they are never gaudy like the ones Burke wore at his installation earlier this year.
Can you believe Burke & his 2 aides had Swavorski crystals or rhinestones sprinkled on their vestments that glistened whenever they moved around. Atrocious!!!!!



report abuse
 

Henry Dieterich

posted April 21, 2004 at 11:10 am


It would be an appropriate finale to decades of calamitous Catholic leadership if the most anti-Catholic presidency in American history is occupied by a Catholic.
I am really afraid it will happen this time. The scenario is this: With a Democratic president like Mr. Kerry (whose ties with the elite left make Mr. Clinton look like Rush Limbaugh) in place, the trial legislators (I mean lawyers) will get to work again. A case will come up, whether concerning hospitals, or homosexuals, or perhaps an “ordination” of some women, that will allow a radical Supreme Court to rule that unless the Catholic Church in the US submits to Gleichschaltung (“public policy objectives”) it will lose tax-exempt status. Some pastors will cave, and when bishops attempt to assert their authority [Worse: some bishops will cave and when Rome...], the courts will decide that the property belongs to those who are in line with official standards. Serious Catholics will have to go underground while the vast mass of undercatechized Church members will follow the building, regardless of what is taught there. We’ve seen it happen in other churches. It will happen to us, sooner or later. Please God that I have gone to my reward, trusting only in the mercy of God, before it happens.



report abuse
 

Bill

posted April 21, 2004 at 11:46 am


Appropriate liturgical vestments are not a “shadow of vanity” — unlike vanity license plates. The “Wilton” license plate reminds me of the Bishop of Rochester, NY, who also likes to be called by his first name. As for Cardinal Egan, he seems to have an uncanny knack for alienating most people (except donors).



report abuse
 

Tim

posted April 21, 2004 at 12:39 pm


In the top right corner it says “Email this article to a friend”. I’m going to send it to Cardinal McCarrick. I also might add that if he thinks the article is accurate then by all means forgo the committee/study. It won’t matter once the anti-life folks have a hammerlock on the courts in this country. We will be Canada South. The money would be better used to buy decent religion books for the Catholic schools or CCD programs.
Anyone up for a St. Blogs email campaign?



report abuse
 

Rod Dreher

posted April 21, 2004 at 12:40 pm


Peggy: Whole guide (pretty short) is on catholicanswers.org. It gives very general guidance on local v state v federal officials and what to do if all candidates support 1 or more of these non-negotiables. They say to vote for the least harmful candidate. [I guess the idea is that not voting could result in the more harmful candidate winning.]
See, that wasn’t hard, was it? Yet the bishops have to come up with a Commission To Study The Problem, which conveniently won’t report back until after the election.
It’s not hard for Karl Keating & Co. to offer advice because they’re in the unusual position of actually believing in Catholicism, and in having the courage of their convictions.



report abuse
 

Peggy

posted April 21, 2004 at 1:06 pm


Rod,
Exactly. We don’t need to wait on the bishops to (not) get us through this election. Laity have really stepped forward to defend the faith. It’s a darned good thing! Hey, I think that’s part of what V2 actually sought–though I don’t think bishop weakness was part of the desired objective.



report abuse
 

Fr. Rob Johansen

posted April 21, 2004 at 3:45 pm


Julia wrote:
Gregory’s vestments are made of gorgeous materials, but they are never gaudy like the ones Burke wore at his installation earlier this year.
Can you believe Burke & his 2 aides had Swavorski crystals or rhinestones sprinkled on their vestments that glistened whenever they moved around. Atrocious!!!!!

There’s such a thing as too much, and I’d have to see the vestments in question to have a sense of whether they are “gaudy” or not, but in general, I’m with St. John Vianney (patron of parish priests) on the issue of vestments and appointments for the altar. He held that such things should be the finest that could be obtained, and be the product of the very best materials and craftsmanship. He believed that literally no expense should be spared in the things we use for the celebration of the Sacred Mysteries. So, in principle, I have no problem with having Swavorski crystals, or even precious gems, on vestments. The only limitations in such matters would be those of good taste and aesthetics.
Also, I’d be cautious in apportioning blame in these matters. Frequently, vestments such as those worn by the Archbishop for his installation are donated for the occasion, and reflect more of the taste and sensibility of the donor than the recipient.



report abuse
 

Kathleen

posted April 21, 2004 at 4:15 pm


I’m with Tim on this one and will e-mail this article to Cardinal McCarrick as I live here in D.C.
Think I’ll get a response?
NOT!



report abuse
 

Frank Elliott

posted April 22, 2004 at 8:35 am


Our resident manly man priest Fr. Rob Johansen wrote:
In principle, I have no problem with having Swavorski crystals, or even precious gems, on vestment
The bishops and priests are arguing about Swavorski crystals, rhinestones, and precious stones?
Now I understand how Liberace could hide in plain sight from the 1950′s until his death. The clergy have done the same for 2000 years.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

There is nothing I shall want
A couple of weeks ago, a memorial Mass for Michael was held here in Birmingham at the Cathedral. The bishop presided and offered a very nice, even charming homily in which he first focused on the Scripture readings of the day, and then turned to Michael, whom he remembered, among other things, as on

posted 9:24:16am Mar. 05, 2009 | read full post »

Revolutionary Road - Is it just me?
Why am I the only person I know..or even "know" in the Internet sense of "knowing"  - who didn't hate it? I didn't love it, either. There was a lot wrong with it. Weak characterization. Miscasting. Anvil-wielding mentally ill prophets.But here's the thing.Whether or not Yates' original novel in

posted 9:45:04pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Books for Lent
No, I'm not going to ask you about your Lenten reading lists...although I might.Not today, though. This post is about giving books to others. For Lent, and a long time after that. You know how it goes during Lent: Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving, right?Well, here's a worthy recipient for your hard-

posted 9:22:07pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Why Via Media
How about....because I'm lame and hate thinking up titles to things? No?Okay...how about...St. Benedict? Yes, yes, I know the association with Anglicanism. That wasn't invovled in my purpose in naming the joint, but if draws some Googling Episcopalians, all the better.To tell the truth, you can bl

posted 8:54:17pm Mar. 04, 2009 | read full post »

Brave Heart?
I don't know about you, but one of effects of childbirth on me was a compulsion to spill the details. All of them.The whole thing was fascinating to me, so of course I assumed everyone else should be fascinated as well in the recounting of every minute of labor, describing the intensity of discomfor

posted 10:19:45pm Mar. 03, 2009 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.