Justin Trudeau, Cardinal Collins and pro life

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The Toronto cardinal Thomas Collins wrote Liberal leader Justin Trudeau about his proscribing all future Liberal candidates if they were not “pro choice’, now the official party’s platform. Most people regard Trudeau’s policy as foolish and alienating. Collins is not the only one shaking his head. For many the “right to life” position is a strong conscience one. Life is sacred and it begins at conception. This is one Catholic position but it is not the Catholic position.

 

The stance on abortion has never been absolutist. Two of the giants of Catholic theology  saints Augustine and  Thomas Aquinas stated that  the early fetus  had the moral status of a plant or vegetable. It took months before the fetus was ‘ensouled’ and thus a person. “Six weeks for a male embryo and three for a female” stated Aquinas.If the great Doctor knew modern embryology would this ensoulment be the last trimester? Questions, questions.

 

No to any abortion is the province of the radical religious right. To most Catholic moralists, there must be nuance here. Bishops are not the sole source of Catholic truth. Theologians and the sensus fidelium, the lived wisdom of the Catholic people including women who have faced this choice—must be heard from. They are part of the teaching church. This is why the absolutist position has never been proclaimed de fide. There are many non-frivolous reasons why women chose abortion. This may be  lamented but is it always immoral? And what about the Catholic insistence on the primacy of conscience? This  is a very complex issue. And the Catholic position is much richer than the absolutist  stance Ubi dubium,ibi libertas—where there is  doubt there is freedom is an ancient truism.

 

Most people want to see abortions reduced. One way of course is by effective contraception but we  all know where too many male bishops stand on that one. They would not be bishops under John Paul ll. So we have absolutist bishops condemning contraception. Is there something they are missing? Will bishops have to bear unwanted children? Care for those children if conceived ? Do they want to  send women into depression and mental illness? Priests, bishops and theologians are mostly men. Is there any serious listening to those who will bear the brunt bear of rearing children? Does a fertilized egg trump a woman’s experience? Are we dealing with a whiff of sexism in the Roman church? Should  men control women’s reproductive rights?After the massive sex abuse scandal maybe we should look twice at priests’ obsession with the issue of abortion.

 

Cardinal Collins was on rocky ground when he waded into Pope Francis territory. He told Trudeau the pope could not become a Liberal politician if he had come to Canada. Collins would be  one bishop Pope Francis referred to  for focusing too much on gays, abortion and contraception. We recall Francis saying saying the church has become  “obsessed” with those issues to the detriment of its larger mission to be “home for all.” Collins previously tried to pressure Catholic  schools into proscribing gay and lesbian clubs. He was rebuffed by the teacher union whose membership was much closer to kids in Catholic schools. The teachers made the decision, not the bishop.

 
The cardinal’s letter chiding Trudeau was appropriate. Slipping Pope Francis into the conversation was a two edged sword. Should Catholics now abandon the Liberal Party? Where will they go? All parties are de facto “pro choice.’  Is there a hidden agenda here? Collins is known to be close to Tory cabinet minister Jason Kenny having invited him to a national bishops’ meeting. Will Catholic voters migrate to the Tories whose policies  on poverty, the environment, and the common good are as far away from Catholic social teaching as you can get. Who knows?

 

Collins is always front and centre at “pro life” rallies. Fair enough but he is never seen at pro life rallies for the  earth and its threatened climate.  Is this not a pro life issue? Abortion  will never  be settled at the ballot box. Canadians are stale mated here On the other hand Canadian Catholics need to raise their voices on climate justice, the major moral issue of our time. The institutional church and religious leaders like Cardinal Collins seemingly have no pastoral plan to combat the ongoing degradation of the earth. Bishops are never seen at climate justice  rallies.They need to heed the brilliant nun Sr.Elizabeth Johnson who names the present situation: “Christian churches often choose not to face this calamity with the energy they spend on other matters. It’s as though the planet were undergoing its agony in the garden, and we, the disciples of Jesus, are curled up fast asleep.”

 

Wide awake on abortion, fast asleep on climate justice, a recipe for irrelevance. A failure of episcopal leadership.

40 Comments »

  1. 1
    lcarriere Says:

    Thank you for bringing this topic to some kind of forum for intelligent discussion and debate. Hopefully we can now engage in some effective dialogue on the topic of being pro-life and the possibility of also being pro-choice in the same moment when it comes to women’s rights and the question of abortion or contraception within the Canadian community as a whole. Leadership is sadly lacking in most of the Catholic community these days, particularly in the Toronto Archdiocesan component of the larger entity which means the People of God in this part of the biosphere on planet Earth, our only home in the universe so far.

  2. 2

    Shari & I both think that it’s was an EXCELLENT post Ted. It helps me to understand your thinking too. Love the quote from Elizabeth Johnson. Blessings, Allan Baker

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  3. 3
    mushafta Says:

    Cardinal Collins deserves much credit for tackling Trudeau on such an important moral issue as abortion truly is. Sadly, the Cardinal’s voice on other moral matters like gay rights, native rights, the environment and what’s going on in Israel/lebanon, the arms race, the tumultuous political upheaval in Africa, the despicable Canadian government- to name a few- this man is characteristically marks himself absent. A JP2 appointed moral wimp! Dining in pomp and ceremony with the likes of Jason-do-no-wrong Kenny pretty much sums up where Cardinal Collins is coming from. Attempting to tap in like the Conservatives on The Catholic Anti abortion vote- although for Collins it’s about remaining popular- but not necessarily all that moral. Why, you ask? Because unlike Archbishop Romero of El Salvador, he spoke out on matters of grave moral concern at the risk of losing his life- and infact did so , becoming a martyr.

    It’s a sad day when you read the print about a Canadian cardinal taking on a politician on a singular- though important issue like abortion; yet sadly loses his nerve to speak out on other matters of such grave concern to the moral conscience of all. The unborn have a right to Collins voice as he was appointed to be prophet as well as priest. But so too have those suffering under brutal regimes that get coverage from the Canadian government; and so too those living in low lying lands that will receive the effects of climate change and not a whimper from a Canadian bishop. And did I mention gay rights? Here’s an outspoken cardinal blasting Trudeau for not allowing pro life candidates into the Liberal fold- and yet at the same time was reportedly adamant in preventing gay people obtaining their rights- was prepared to go to jail! I just wonder if he had ever contemplated being arrested alongside Dan Berrigan on the day he received his Cardinal status.

    • 4
      wmgrace Says:

      “A JP2 appointed moral wimp!”…Ouch. Unfair. For most, if we’re honest, there are aspects of our moral understanding that we don’t understand very well at all.

  4. 5

    Thanks so much for that post, Ted. You have shown us that you simply can’t write, you’ve never heard of “proof reading”, and your logic, as usual, is atrocious. Yeeeooooza! The thought that you once stood in front of young teenagers and actually “taught” them is frightening. I could refute each statement in your post, but is there any point? It’s like walking into the bedroom of a typical teenager–it’s a friggin’ mess.

  5. 6
    mushafta Says:

    Collins’ is attempting to take the Archdiocese of Toronto back 300 years- and doing a hell of a fine job at it. His moral outlook unfortunately cannot see over the well obsessed issue of abortion- to which pope francis has scolded his prelates on. The Palestinians have a right to life too- but where was Collins’ voice when his good friend Harper justified the Israeli assault of these people several years ago calling it a well measured response . Collins represents the well established institutional church that clings to power but risks precious little in its attempt to provide a catalyst for a rapidly evolving world of ever increasing injustice. A JP2 appointed highly articulate spokesperson for the establishment. What’s his track record on involving lay people in “his diocese”? How does his lodging sit with his American and well established European prelate counterparts in light of Francis’ admonishment for not living closer to the marginalized poor? How did Collins justify building a million dollar mansion in his former archdiocese of Edmonton? Sorry- Collins is an abysmal failure on all counts under Francis.

  6. 7

    The strange thing is that Pope Francis has spoken out against abortion more often than Collins has. Collins just spoke out against Trudeau’s “dictatorship”, but he didn’t really say anything about the horror of abortion, at least nothing with any real force or power. It was kind of “academic” and relatively weak. But Pope Francis preached an entire homily on it (i.e., the throw away culture), and he was, I believe, the first Pope to impart an Apostolic blessing upon all those participating in the Ottawa March for Life (and he has not imparted any blessing upon those marching for ‘climate justice’, whatever that means). So who is obsessed with abortion? And who was the strong and outspoken opponent of same sex marriage legislation, referring to it as an ‘anthropological regression’? It was Pope Francis. The Argentinian government was furious with him for that. I’ve never head Collins address this issue from the pulpit or condemn it in such strong and divisive language. According to your criteria, it is Pope Francis who is obsessed, not Cardinal Collins.

    I think you people are in dream land. You’ve constructed a picture of Pope Francis that conforms to the image that you’ve desperately wanted for so long, and he’s provided a sentence here and there, which you were able to run with, and now you have a construct (a Pope in your image). Classic post-modernism. In fact, you prove post-modernists right, that human knowledge is a construct. In your case it is. Fascinating!

    BTW, there has been more activity on this discussion than any other in the past few years.

  7. 8

    OTTAWA — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is in trouble with the Roman Catholic Church over his recent edict that Liberal MPs will have to support abortion as a right, regardless of their personal beliefs.

    Archbishop of Ottawa Terrence Prendergast responded by circulating a letter to priests in his archdiocese.

    “The position of the Catholic Church in favour of life at all stages is clear and unchanging,” Prendergast says in his letter. “One may not dissent from these core teachings on life issues and be considered a Catholic in good standing.”

    Priests were to make the letter available to churchgoers on Sunday, reminding them “a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development.”

    So, Ted, it looks like you are not a Catholic in good standing. Are you going to trash Prendergast now too?

    • 9
      mushafta Says:

      Leave Schmidt alone!

      What kind of church holds a gun at people’s head- issuing some kind of edict? Time after time I pass by billboards located outside Catholic churches that heap ridicule, shame and guilt on women contemplating an abortion. Brilliant psychology of understanding such a polarized and deeply emotional issue. No wonder Harper will not entertain any debate on this topic!

      The most troubling part of this little spat condemning Schmidt is the black and white simplicity by which he has been judged. Wow! Who appointed Pendergast and Collins as Schmidt’s judge as to whether or not he’s a Catholic in good standing? An edict without a trial? Talk about stoning people to death! Just what century are we living in?

      The issue of abortion is not black and white. There is a much broader picture in this story. It is not about the sanctity of the unborn life as much as it is the sanctity of all life. And specifically, if vatican appointed cardinals, bishops and the like want to start issuing almighty edicts to control the flock- let’s see them do likewise for soldiers and politicians that go to war and wage war when according to some popes there are to be no more wars. Lets see them pull out their edict book on capitalist shareholders who are ripping the poor to shreds. And what about the oil companies that don’t give a hoot about the sanctity of life their tar sands is causing? Can any of these short sighted narrow minded single track prelates connect dots to other issues on the sanctity of life beyond the womb?

  8. 11

    what tschmidt says! and as for this, from Prendergast, in ottawa, ” . . . a human being is always sacred and inviolable , in any situation and in every state of development.”, nice words, but it is to laugh . . .

  9. 12

    My match? These are my match? Now that is funny.

    What kind of church holds a gun at people’s head- issuing some kind of edict?

    There’s no gun. That’s in your mind. The fact is, if you are a Catholic, you believe in the teachings of the Church. If you do not, that’s your choice, but you can hardly call yourself a Catholic. Christ commissioned the Apostles to teach. That’s not holding a gun to anyone’s head. That’s teaching, clarifying. That’s how the creeds arose. Vatican Ii referred to abortion as an unspeakable crime, instrinsically evil. To reject that is one thing, but to reject it and claim to be a faithful Catholic is simply a lie. So, no gun. Just clarity.

    Time after time I pass by billboards located outside Catholic churches that heap ridicule, shame and guilt on women contemplating an abortion.

    Gosh, where do you live? Because I have not seen anything close to that anywhere in Quebec and Ontario. But let’s assume that is true, let’s assume there is some banner or sign that is pro-life. That heaps shame on a woman contemplating an abortion? Is that the fault of the Church? Or the fault of the woman contemplating the destruction of her child? And, isn’t that the idea? When you hold placards at a Greenpeace rally and you make certain people feel uncomfortable for their lifestyle, isn’t that the idea?

    The most troubling part of this little spat condemning Schmidt is the black and white simplicity by which he has been judged. Wow! Who appointed Pendergast and Collins as Schmidt’s judge as to whether or not he’s a Catholic in good standing? An edict without a trial? Talk about stoning people to death! Just what century are we living in?

    Yeah, I’ve really met my match, Ted. Prendergast and Collins do not even know who Schmidt is, so they did not condemn him. They just pointed out what the Church has pointed out for centuries. If you are a Catholic, you have to believe what a Catholic believes. If you are a Jew, you believe in the Torah; if you are a Muslim, you believe in the Koran. A pro-choice Catholic is a contradiction. Christ died that we might have life; the abortion mentality is that the baby dies so that our life may be more convenient, or whatever the reason. And who appointed Collins and Prendergast as the official teachers of the faith? Christ did. It’s called Apostolic succession. But then again, Ted probably rejects that too. But don’t worry, you can still be a good and faithful Catholic if you reject Apostolic succession, the resurrection of Christ, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the moral teachings of the Church, etc.,.

    The issue of abortion is not black and white.

    But the importation of Saudi oil is???? And climate change is? Actually, abortion is the simplest issue in all of ethics. It’s not black and white insofar as it is surrounded by all sorts of complex and varied circumstances, but the act is intrinsically wrong. It is the direct attach on developing human life. Can’t do it. If you can, then anything can be justified. Mother Theresa had it right when she spoke in Washington: there will never be peace in the world if we as a society can permit the destruction of the most vulnerable among us. Listen to Mother Theresa over Schmidt. She didn’t just speak of justice, but lived it.

    It is not about the sanctity of the unborn life as much as it is the sanctity of all life.

    Huh? Like the life of a carrot? Or a cat? What are you talking about?

    And specifically, if vatican appointed cardinals, bishops…

    No, no, no, … not Vatican appointed, but Christ appointed. You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church. …..He who hears you hears me…What you bind on earth is bound in heave, what you loose on earth is loosed in heaven…Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me….I will send you another advocate, the Holy Spirit, who will lead you to the complete truth. etc.

    and the like want to start issuing almighty edicts to control the flock

    not control, but guide the flock. Can’t control anyone. But they are commissioned to teach the flock. Because there are so many false teachers and false prophets around, like Ted, and whoever taught Justin.

    let’s see them do likewise for soldiers and politicians that go to war and wage war when according to some popes there are to be no more wars.

    Because war is not black and white. If any issue is highly complex, it is war. How is it the case that it is never permitted to shoot a gun at an unjust aggressor bent on destroying you, but it is okay, at times, to use polyp forcepts to rip apart an innocent baby in the womb?

    Lets see them pull out their edict book on capitalist shareholders who are ripping the poor to shreds.

    No they’re not. They’re employing the poor, and providing them with affordable goods. What would the poor do without Walmart? And McDonalds?

    And what about the oil companies that don’t give a hoot about the sanctity of life their tar sands is causing?

    the sanctity of life their tar sands is causing? Yes, Ted, I’ve met my match. I’m really scared now. First of all, what do you know about the oil sands? Where is your scientific data to back your claims. You don’t have any? You just believe what you read? Good one.

    Can any of these short sighted narrow minded single track prelates connect dots to other issues on the sanctity of life beyond the womb?

    Sure they can; in fact, they never talk about abortion. That’s the problem with them, they are silent on these matters and have been for decades. For the past 40 years, the Canadian bishops have been writing on economics and social justice and war and other more politically correct things. It’s about time they said something about more personal matters. Where have you been all these years?

  10. 13

    Overwhelming support, apparently:

    http://www.catholicregister.org/item/18194-collins-denounces-trudeau-policy-on-conscience-rights

    The sensus fidelium has spoken, so according to Ted’s criterion, this is the truth of the faith.

    You shot yourself in the foot, ole Teddy boy. You lose, according to your own criteria.

  11. 14
    mushafta Says:

    The abortion issue sure brings out the far right with their simplistic black and white morality. No shades of any other colours – very medieval in terms of punishment for non compliance. Same logic Bishop Henry of Calgary used during the Mulroney era when he condemned Joe Clarke to hell for participating in a gay pride parade. Such inclusive, loving understanding of the faithful. Same black and white mentality the last two pontificates used in excommunicating some of the greatest theologians of our time. The mention of Hell sure as hell fires ’em up! And what’s all this lunacy about apostolic blessings on those who attend pro life rallies? Reminds me of the days we were forced into attending Mass and communion during a certain time period to receive what was known as a plenary indulgence. What kind of authoritarian police force medieval nonsense kind of church are these total nut job crazies espousing?

    Joe Clarke may have been castigated to Hell by Bishop Henry- but as a statesman and clear thinking critic of Harper- he’s far from the fiery gates as far as I’m concerned.

    We need more Ted Schmidt and his deep analysis of religion and politics and a lot less of Collins’ and Pendergast’s Medieval edicts- otherwise known as papal bull!

  12. 15
    wmgrace Says:

    Just read the Catholic Register’s article “Collins receives outpouring of support for Trudeau letter.”

    Apparently the trumpets have been sounding at the offices of the Toronto Archdiocese, over the courageous, and now-famous “Trudeau letter”.( When advised that Cardinal Collins had sent the letter, Trudeau responded: “Who?”) I’m sure most if not all Canadians of every political stripe, have read it by now. Surely, its bound to become an historical event of epic proportions, one that political scientists will be discussing, for years to come, or days to come…hours to come? OK, perhaps the conversation will materialize sometime in the future, or when the Canadiens vs. Rangers playoff series is over.

    Needless to say, there is very little mention or explanation, in the newspaper, of any serious criticism or disagreement with Collins, over the letter. Negative or mixed reviews on the wisdom or appropriateness of the letter are pretty much verboten at the Catholic Register. Neil McCarthy, director of PR and communications for the Archdiocese, said: “we haven’t seen this kind of response in recent history”. He called it “overwhelmingly positive”. Since May 14th, apparently, they have received “hundreds of phone calls, letters, and emails”. I don’t know if he means in total, or hundreds received in each category of response. One way or another, it is still considered by the newspaper, as an “outpouring”. Granting that there were 1,000 or so, responses over that time period, is actually a 0.054% response rate or 1/18th of 1 percent of the total number of Catholics in the Archdiocese. Viewed from this perspective, the “outpouring” would appear to be little more than an average day at the pizza parlour. Maybe the headline “outpouring of support” should be changed to “trickle of support”, or “barely acknowledged by the laity”, or words to that effect.

    As for the 100,000 who saw the letter on Facebook, we don’t know how the letter was viewed; with agreement, pride, boredom, disgust, fatigue, puzzlement, incredulity, or whatever? A mere viewing does not tell us that.

  13. 16

    With all due respect, WM, I don’t think you quite understand how statistics works. If there is an unusual outpouring of support, we have an unusual sample size. Because it was not simply reported in one news source, but many, the distribution is wide. The fact that the Red Star…ooops, I meant the Toronto Star wrote a brilliant piece against Trudeau says a lot. Using the statistical equation for standard error, with a significant sample space and a well distributed one at that, we are easily justified in making the inference that there is overwhelming support over all. It would be horribly erroneous to infer that 95% of the remaining Catholics favoured Trudeau and opposed the Cardinal. Statistically, that is highly unlikely. In fact, I think we can speak with a 95% confidence level. But I’d have to see the hard data to be sure.

    As for you, mushafta, that’s fine that you hold those views. I have absolutely no problem with that. Just don’t call yourself a Catholic. Not that you have. My point is simply that someone with your views–which they are entitled to have–cannot claim to be a faithful Catholic. Perhaps you are a faithful Christian, a Protestant of some kind, and perhaps a better one than I am. But you are not a Catholic, neither is Ted, and neither is Trudeau. Can’t pick and choose what you like and don’t like.

  14. 17
    wmgrace Says:

    49: Does any lay person really have the right to say who is and who isn’t a Catholic? I think that’s a serious kind of judgement. Is it really a fair play?

  15. 18
    mushafta Says:

    Looks like I’m headed to Hell too!
    Squeeze in a little further Joe Clarke!
    Not sure what I did wrong to deserve such an instant beheading. I guess by pre Vatican 2 standards I must comply to whatever my bishop and priest lay down as rules. No dialogue, no debate, no exchange other than to bow and curtsy. I am self excommunicated for not following all the rules.

    Of course the self righteous ones who set themselves up as God’s judge of all beings here on earth have already inherited the kingdom.

    The problem with this theology of judgemental ism is that it wreaks to high heaven. Who but God can truly judge the heart of man?

    The killing of anyone is a terribly evil act- abortion in particular. So also is the killing of innocents by unmanned armed drones roaming around in places like Afghanistan and Yemen. And recall the thousands of children and others killed in Vietnam with napalm. Wars have accounted for countless millions of innocent people.

    The sad thing is that throughout history the Catholic church and others (think of pope Francis’ Argentina and the Falklands war with Britain where the head of the Anglican church is blessing the British troops while at the same time the Catholic Argentinian bishop is giving communion to the Catholic Argentinians) have blessed wars and blessed wars and blessed wars.

    But somehow a cataclysmic divide has been created by Christian churches that see no wrong in sending people to war and dropping countless bombs on innocent people yet the moment we hear the word “abortion” all alarms go off without any connection between these two forms of killing.

    Pope Paul v1 cried “jamais la guerre!” No more war! Yet the bishops have blessed and blessed them! And they keep on blessing them!

    What I thoroughly enjoy about Ted Schmidt is the fact he puts his money where his mouth is. And his mouth certainly fears nothing when it comes to criticizing the establishment in the Catholic fold. This is a church that is stuck in the Middle Ages in terms of dialogue, accountability and any form of democracy. And it fully needs a modern Martin Luther to clean it up.
    I had great confidence in Pope Francis a year ago- and I do think he has made great efforts so far- but now I have to say, he needs to cut deeper and faster and be fearless about harming those who disagree with him.
    Trying to unite all sides is a difficult one. May God help him.

    As for those who continue to obsess over the abortion issue- and it seems there are many- I say God bless you. It is a worthy thing to stand up for the rights of the unborn. But please look at the plight of the women who are making that decision and understand their point of view . It is not black and white to them , and surely as Jesus once said, “And neither do I condemn you”. And try to understand the commandment of not killing in a much wider context than simply killing the mother’s fetus.

  16. 19

    49: Does any lay person really have the right to say who is and who isn’t a Catholic? I think that’s a serious kind of judgement. Is it really a fair play?

    WM: If you want examples of serious kinds of judgements, just read Ted’s posts. They’re over the top judgmental. The double standard is remarkable.

    As for your question, does a lay person have the right to say…What does it matter if it is a lay person or a cleric? Why the distinction? Are you suggesting that only clerics have that right? Or only bishops? Or Cardinals? Or Popes?

    Strictly speaking, the official teachers of the Church (the Apostles and their successors) have the duty to articulate clearly what the deposit of faith is, to formulate the sensus fidelium, something Ted simply refuses to understand properly. Once that criterion is laid down, any lay person can apply it to a particular situation. No lay person and no cleric can judge the heart of another, and so no one can pronounce on the state of a person’s soul. But one can easily make a judgment about what a person believes on the basis of what that person professes to believe. So, if I stand up and say that I don’t think Jesus is two natures, one Person, but two Persons, then any non-Catholic as well as any Catholic, lay or cleric, can make the judgment that I am not a believing Catholic, that what I profess to believe and what the Catholic Church professes are at odds. That says nothing about the state of my soul.

    You are committing the fallacy of equivocation, in terms of the word ‘judgment’. We must not judge, as Mt 7 points out. But that has a very specific meaning. We make judgments all the time: “It is cloudy outside” is a judgment. After listening to a man speak, who says: “There is only one God and Muhammad is his prophet”, I assert that he is a Muslim. That’s a judgment. It is a basic act of the intellect. What Christ is referring to is the judgment of another’s guilt. We don’t have access to the interior of a person, so we cannot judge the state of their soul.

  17. 20
    mushafta Says:

    A note to Ted regarding nit picking purists on your site:

    Nitpickers, as William H. Diehm puts it in one of his books (a personal favorite) entitled “How to Deal with Difficult People”, are people who are quite simply judgmental and are with poor sense of timing. They look for faults, not achievement. And they often fail to recognize priorities. Being the usual unkind, cruel and tactless people that they are, they use the value of little things, Diehm explains further, as an excuse to hurt.

    The solution: let them fuss. Allow them to have the pleasure of dealing with little things and go ahead with your own walks of life, even if they would eventually end up annoying you. And let them win. After all, what they’re waging war about are the minute and the unnoticeable; let them have the pleasure of victory. Because trust me; in the end, they’ll realize how insignificant and unnecessary the battles they have just waged really were. “So somebody is making some little picky point…” Diehm keeps on. “So let them have it. Aren’t you being the same as the nitpickers is when you choose to fight over minutia?”

    And ultimately, do not let them make you one of them. You probably know how easy it is to nitpick; to make it a habit is just as quick. If we search for our greatest source of conflict, we end up looking at ourselves. Don’t nitpick; to cope with the nitpickers mean that you musn’t be picky yourself.
    Have an awesome day!

    • 21

      Mushafta – 49francesco is simply analyzing an argument (of sorts), no “nitpicking” there. Who’s being judgmental now? And please do not condemn pro-lifers for being unconcerned about the women who face such devastating choices. A growing number of women involved in the pro life movement are those who have endured the devastating outcomes of abortion. Knowing and defending the truth does not make one less compassionate. Do members of MADD feel no concern for victims of DUI simply because they expose the horrors of such crimes? Are they guilty of “guilting” or “shaming” people who drink and drive?

      Ted, I simply do not understand how you can claim that the stance on abortion has never been absolutist. Sts. Augustine and Aquinas based their views on when life begins using outdated scientific data. Never once did they claim that taking a life is morally acceptable. Science affirms that life begins at the moment of conception and this truth has been roundly defended by the Magisterium.

      And why are you drawing in other issues but avoiding the issue at hand, that abortion is the direct killing of a living human being. Would it make you happy to know that I volunteer in a soup kitchen, only eat fair trade coffee/chocolate, despise the commodification of water, compost my potato peels, don’t use pesticides AND attend the March for Life each year? Does that satisfy your criteria for a truly, pro -ALL LIFE activist?

      The students I teach know that when I tell them “Laertes is Hamlet’s foil” that it is not a matter of holding a gun to their heads. They know that I am an authority and that this fact can be verified. BTW, the same students will tell me that so-and-so should not have been drinking at the party this wknd because he’s a Muslim. Even students know the virtue of making clear distinctions. Why is this not clear to some of the posters here?

  18. 22
    mushafta Says:

    I’m new to this forum of discussion but cannot help notice the amount of rhetoric the abortion issue has generated against all other issues that Ted has so painstakingly elaborated.
    Why is it that Pope Francis talked about this church’s obsession with abortion? True- a very noble issue for Christians to work on- but at the detriment of all others? Why would he use the word “obsession”?

    • 23

      I took the comment Pope Francis made about “obsession” to be reflective of secular society’s obsession with life issues. It’s not the Church but the secular world that fails to notice the full gospel message, to see everything in context.
      The Pharisees often tried to bait Jesus in order to disgrace the gospel. The truth remains. The Holy Father has spoken very strongly against abortion and how this is part of a “throw away” culture.

      The noble work we do for the unborn and hurt mothers is not at all to the detriment of others but brings all other works of justice into focus. I know countless people in the pro-life movement who are instrumental in many other social concerns. However, the right to life precludes all other rights. Social justice begins in the womb.

      Thanks 49 🙂

  19. 24

    Finally, an intelligence voice on this forum! Yeah, Cattiva!

    Mushafta: You ask: Why is it that Pope Francis talked about this church’s obsession with abortion? True- a very noble issue for Christians to work on- but at the detriment of all others? Why would he use the word “obsession”?

    The problem with you is that you did not read the actual interview, like most people. You simply fell for the headlines in the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail. You didn’t check your sources. That’s why the media gets away with so much misinformation.

    Let’s look at what he actually said:

    Pope Francis was using a metaphor of the Church as a field hospital in the midst of a war: “I see clearly that the thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds…. And you have to start from the ground up. The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules. The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you. And the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all.”

    Now, at this point in his interview, he has said nothing about abortion, contraception, or homosexuality, only “small-minded rules”. Is the precept against abortion a small minded rule? Hardly. He said just days before the interview,
    addressing a gathering of hundreds of obstetricians and gynecologists in Rome: “Every unborn child, condemned unjustly to be aborted, has the face of the Lord” and called attention to the paradoxical situation that we find today in the medical profession: “Although by their nature they are at the service of life, health professions are sometimes induced to disregard life itself”.

    Back to the interview. It is only later, after further thoughts on the pastoral nature of the Church and the role of the confessor that Francis is asked about specific issues that are difficult for some people. He did NOT say that the Church is obsessed with these issues; rather, he said that the “teaching of the church … is clear and I am a son of the Church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.” And this is obvious to any pastor with common sense, and only a small minority today seem to lack that common sense.

    What he said about ‘obsession’ was that “the church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things.” And the necessary thing he’s referring to is the message of salvation, which is the good news of the gospel: “It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.”

    In other words, first things first; a good pastor does not put the cart before the horse.

    People are lazy, so they don’t bother to investigate media claims, and so they just trust the media. And, the media takes advantage of this state of affairs in order to sell its product; for it is far more likely that a person will buy that paper with an outrageous headline, as opposed to a more sober one, such as “Pope Francis underscores the importance of mercy and compassion in the confessional.”

    so you see, my dear Mushyafta, you are not careful. You are sloppy. The Globe and Mail claimed that Pope Francis said the Church was obsessed with abortion, contraception, and homosexuality, but he did not. The word obsession does not appear in the vicinity of his comments on those issues. The media engaged in splicing in order to construct a narrative, something that Ted is a pro at.

  20. 25

    Actually, that’s a good point, Cattiva: It is the media who is obsessed with the issues of abortion, contraception, and homosexuality, not the Church. Have you noticed every time there is a conclave, the media zeros in on sexual issues. CBC is notorious for that. That’s all they could talk about: “Will this Pope change the Church’s teaching on homosexuality, contraception, abortion, etc., blah, blah, blah.

    But I have NOT heard a sermon preached on abortion, or contraception, or homosexuality, or any sexual issue, in about 40 years. Priests just don’t talk about those things from the pulpit. They are too afraid. The preaching is light, fluffy, full of platitudes, nothing gutsy, nothing biting, nothing challenging, just the same old dull and watered down lukewarm pablum. The Canadian bishops have been worse. Silent, silent, complacent, more silence, …

    So I’m not sure what these people mean by obsession with abortion. Who exactly are they referring to? Campaign Life coalition is a political organization. It is not an arm of the Church. In fact, they are critical of the Church. Kind of like I’ve been just now.

    The fact of the matter is if young people are not taught to cultivate sexual self-possession (chastity), continence, and respect for life in the womb, issues that challenge them to make personal sacrifices, then what makes you think that suddenly, when they begin making loads of money in the business world, they will find a sense of justice, a sense of reverence for human life, for women, for human beings, for the poor, etc? Just watch an episode of Dragon’s Den. Do you not think there is a connection between Kevin O’Leary’s 1) ridiculous ideological remarks about profit being the only thing that matters and 2) his perverted remarks to good women who have been on the show, or Jim’s (Boston Pizza) perverted gaze at the young girls who come on the show wearing bikinis and his avarice and moodiness? You cannot compartmentalize morality, as Marx did. It’s all one. Do you not think there is a link between the complete lack of reverence for a woman’s body ecology by the corporate world (Pharmaceutical companies and their artificial estrogen pills) and the complete lack of reverence for the larger environment? The latter is a symptom of the former.

    The problem with Ted and his ilk is that they’ve embraced an ideological platform for so long that they just cannot transcend it for the sake of moral consistency. They are left wing first, Catholic second, or least what’s left over after the trimming.

  21. 26
    mushafta Says:

    Thanks to all for the clarification on this all important issue.

    Wouldn’t the most logical thing to do is take the matter up with the media if this is the source if the problem?

    Tell me, why was Francis hitting at the “airport bishops”? Another media gaffe? And then again at all these high living prelates. It does seem that this new pontiff is looking to make some significant changes- perhaps I’m dead wrong. But on the abortion issue I have to say there has been a most lob sided tilt in terms of the episcopates’ concern with this issue. And I am truly sorry if I have offended people here- but my observation on matters of social justice within the Catholic church- most parishes are not at all well rounded in coming to grips with other issues.

    Is there anyone in agreement with Ted about Israel’s treatment of Palestine? Is he out to lunch? Was Harper’s response to Israel kosher?

    Why is it that former PM not so honourable Brian Mulroney was front and center at bringing down apartheid in South Africa and yet Harper is backing the wrong horse on Israel?
    Palestine in my view is another apartheid.

    And here’s the deal- Harper was shut out at the funeral of Nelson Mandela! Not called upon to utter a word! Yet Mulroney became one of Mandela’s closest allies! Can any of you folks respond to this?

  22. 27

    Ted has begun to censor my posts again. I guess that means he thinks he’s losing.

  23. 28

    I’ll have to post them in halves.

    Wouldn’t the most logical thing to do is take the matter up with the media if this is the source if the problem?

    Of course! Why didn’t I think of that? I’ll give them a call or write them a letter right away. Golly jee, Well, that’s solved. Thanks!

    Tell me, why was Francis hitting at the “airport bishops”? Another media gaffe?

    The ability of you people to think logically and coherently is just astoundingly pathetic. Why would that be a media distortion? He’s going after luxury living bishops because they need to shaken up. They are Shepherds, not CEOs. What’s your point?

    It does seem that this new pontiff is looking to make some significant changes-

    Of course he is. But not Church teaching. The teaching of the Church does not come from a Pope. Church teaching is not like company policy. He has no authority to change Church teaching, especially moral teaching. Which is why he has not and will not change Church teaching. But calling the Shepherds of the Church back to greater simplicity and poverty, and a deeper fidelity to the gospel is not to change Church teaching, but to demand that the leaders begin to live it. And it’s about time!

    But on the abortion issue I have to say there has been a most lob sided tilt in terms of the episcopates’ concern with this issue.

    No there has not. The Canadian bishops have written far more on economics and social justice than they have about abortion. Same with the USCCB. Just check their web site, take note of the titles of all the pastoral letters that have been written within the past 40 years, and you will see that it is lopsided in favor of larger social issues. It’s all in your head, Mushy. All in your head. You are obsessed with the issue, not the Church.

  24. 29

    but my observation on matters of social justice within the Catholic church- most parishes are not at all well rounded in coming to grips with other issues.

    The role of a parish Church is to proclaim Christ and the good news of the resurrection. A priest has no business to use the pulpit as his own personal soapbox. He may have an opinion on a social or political issue, but he has no business proclaiming that in the name of the Church. These issues are not solved with mathematical rigor. They require lots of experience, time, analysis, and a real awareness that we might be overlooking something. So whether he is left or right politically, he needs to keep that to himself and not exploit his position. He needs to be well-rounded when it comes to Church teaching, so he should be addressing social justice issues insofar as the Church has done so, and on the same general level. But getting into very specific solutions is a prudential matter, and the Church is out of her league when it comes to that. Anyone who urges the Church to take definitive stands on concrete political matters has not learned the painful lesson that history has taught the Church. The Pope crowned Charlemagne. Have you forgotten?

  25. 30

    Is there anyone in agreement with Ted about Israel’s treatment of Palestine? Is he out to lunch? Was Harper’s response to Israel kosher?

    The problem with Ted and Palestine, or the left and Palestine, is that they have tunnel vision. The matter is far more complex than Teddy and his Christian Peacemakers Teams are willing to realize.

    Palestine in my view is another apartheid.

    Google search this title and read it: Let’s Have a Real Apartheid Education Week, by Alan Dershowitz, as well as:

    Treatment of Israel strikes an Alien Note by the same author. They are short and to the point.

    And here’s the deal- Harper was shut out at the funeral of Nelson Mandela! Not called upon to utter a word! Yet Mulroney became one of Mandela’s closest allies! Can any of you folks respond to this?

    Why? What is your point in bringing it up? And what does this have to do with what we’ve been talking about?

  26. 31
    mushafta Says:

    Wm francesco 49 et alii- all good people and very articulate in defence of your position on abortion and the Catholic Church’s stance. Very well put together arguments with solid references. I give you all well due credit.

    Perhaps one of you can explain who we should vote for in the next election. Both Harper and the opposition leaders will not entertain debate on the abortion topic. How many times has the issue been sent to the supreme court – only to get the same result.
    Moving on- it is my contention that much of the lay Catholic population is stuck on this one issue. There are other issues and there are bigger ones- like the environment for one. Weapons of war and the threat of nuclear war is another . When I hear Francesco 49 bad mouth the bishops I wonder who is leaders are.

    Personally, I am hoping Francis can turn the Catholic ship around- or should I say prevent it from capsizing. A brave and fearless man with an enormous task ahead. It could only have been the Holy Spirit that interceded in his election- but steering through all the Vatican politics is his biggest challenge.

    His greatest challenge? Educating Catholic lay people who have their wheels stuck in medieval times and unwilling to open their minds to greater issues other than abortion.
    This pope needs help and it’s people like Ted Schmidt who are leading lights of encouragement for a newly reformed church. May God bless Ted’s continued posts and those who come here for some meaningful education!

  27. 32

    Mushafta: …who we should vote for in the next election. Both Harper and the opposition leaders will not entertain debate on the abortion topic. How many times has the issue been sent to the supreme court – only to get the same result.

    I don’t think the abortion issue is going to be resolved any time soon. I think Trudeau did the pro life movement a favor. As for who to vote for, no thinking Canadian can vote for Trudeau. Rob Ford would make a better Prime Minister. He simply does not know what he’s doing and is too proud to see it; the result of a privileged upbringing. And no thinking Catholic can vote for Mulcair. Harper is the most intelligent and the only one who has an understanding of economics. That does not mean he’s beyond criticism. But I would argue he’s the lesser of the three evils.

    Moving on- it is my contention that much of the lay Catholic population is stuck on this one issue.

    I just don’t know where you are getting this idea. If what you say is true, abortion would be illegal, and instead of 20,000 people at the March for Life, there’d be hundreds of thousands. It’s a non issue for most Catholics.

    Most lay Catholics are not into “issues”. They are struggling, and frankly they don’t quite know why they are going to Mass, but they are going, they are searching, but I would hardly claim that they are preoccupied with abortion. I wish they were–for the sake of the unborn.

    You see, we have to be careful when we are referring to this as an “issue”. An issue is an abstraction. To be preoccupied with an issue is inordinate, but to be preoccupied with human persons is not inordinate. The “issue” of abortion is less a matter of an “issue” as it is about persons being destroyed. Imagine what it sounds like when we say that “social workers are too preoccupied with the issue of child abuse. There are other issues…Or, Jews are too preoccupied with the holocaust…there are other issues…” Yes, there are other issues, but the preoccupation is with human persons, children in the former case, and Jews in the latter. You depersonalize the unborn when you reduce what is occurring in this country as an “issue”.

    There are other issues

    Case in point.

    and there are bigger ones- like the environment for one. Weapons of war and the threat of nuclear war is another

    Well, you clearly didn’t get the point I made about compartmentalization above. Is there any point in repeating myself? Read Mother Teresa’s speech in Washington.

    When I hear Francesco 49 bad mouth the bishops I wonder who is leaders are.

    Not sure if that was bad mouthing. I’m just pointing out what needs pointing out. I hope I was not unjust.

    Personally, I am hoping Francis can turn the Catholic ship around- or should I say prevent it from capsizing.

    It cannot capsize. Christ said: “The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church” (Mt 16, 18ff). The Church is his body. Pope Francis is as frail as you and I, and he is no more capable of “saving the Church” as you or I. He’s just a mere human being. The Church is Christ’s body. She does not need us, ie this or that Pope, bishop, priest etc. The Lord uses us, but he does not need us. It’s up to people to turn their individual lives around. We have the examples of the saints past and present. God is in total control, not us. If they did not listen to Jesus, what makes you think they’ll listen to Pope Francis?

    A brave and fearless man with an enormous task ahead. It could only have …

    He’s not fearless. He said it himself. He was terrified upon hearing of his election. He immediately went to pray to Our Lady. That’s his example, his devotion to Mary. Mary is going to turn things around, not Pope Francis. And Pope Francis will be the first to agree with what I just said. If you do not, then you do not think with the same mind and heart as Pope Francis.

    His greatest challenge? Educating Catholic lay people who have their wheels stuck in medieval times and unwilling to open their minds to greater issues other than abortion.

    First of all, you simply do not understand lay Catholics. I don’t know any lay Catholics who are stuck in medieval times. I don’t even think most lay Catholics would be able to tell you the centuries that encompass the Middle Ages. Furthermore, medieval times was not characterized by a preoccupation with abortion. It was a time of incredible learning and energy. The fact that you look down your nose at the Medieval period shows your ignorance of history and the history of ideas. Would you say Catherine of Siena is backwards? Is Theresa of Avila backwards? Is Francis of Assisi backwards? You’re just prejudiced. End of story.

    This pope needs help and it’s people like Ted Schmidt who are leading lights of encouragement for a newly reformed church. May God bless Ted’s continued posts and those who come here for some meaningful education!

    With all due respect for Ted, I doubt very much that he’s going to get a call from Pope Francis. With all due respect for Ted again, I don’t think he’s a leading light. He’s allowed anger to sneak up on him like a nasty serpent and the result is his writing lacks a healthy tone of rationality. He’s not careful, he is reckless, he does not have a very good background in theology, much less philosophy, he’s stuck in an ideological frame of mind, his writing is poor in quality. But I think he has a good heart–and I guess that’s the most important thing. But I think he should give it up. I don’t think anyone is listening.

    There comes a point when it’s just time to put down the pen and pray. Pray and trust.

  28. 33
    mushafta Says:

    Francesco 49! You’re right! Ted Schmidt is not a theologian nor a philosopher. He’s human and makes many an error. He’s well over the top many a time; ideologically bent for sure. And you’re right again- a man with a good heart.

    But I will say this- Ted Schmidt is the only Canadian Catholic writer gifted and profoundly brilliant in articulating on a multitude of topics prophetically exposing the faults of the Vatican and indeed the Canadian Catholic church.
    Is there anyone out there who has done as much to expose the truth? To provide a forum for debate? To demonstrate against a world of injustice? How many Catholic teachers and students has he inspired over his years to act justly and yell loudly in the face of the most powerful?

    No wonder Schmidt is persona non grata among some bishops and one horrible Cardinal in Toronto. These “men” of power have been taken on by a Daniel and thanks be to God! They would much prefer a church without Vatican2.

    You’re a bright articulate person, highly educated and informed Francesco 49- particularly in theology-
    But, with respect, you do need to stop genuflecting to a church that is dead and has lost its meaning to so many.

    Some 25 years ago I thought Oscar Romero was a baseball player in the major leagues. I tell you my friend, it wasn’t a non educated ill informed parish priest or some bright bishop who brought this man’s name to my attention. It was Red Schmidt- whoops, typo! And he hasn’t had a day off since- preaching the prophetic word that is his call from God. And then, there was the Catholic New Times that Ted inspired into creation -what a breath of fresh Vatican 2 air from other Canadian Catholic news outlets!

    Trust me- Schmidt’s got it right! He’s on the right track! A man with a good heart and a sharp piercing arrow!

  29. 34

    Mushafta: I don’t think Ted writes on a variety of topics. They are just as limited as any other author. I also don’t think he does a great deal of careful research. He’s about as careful and thorough as a young Michael Moore. That’s why his writing lacks credibility and it is difficult to take them seriously. I don’t think anyone does, to be honest.

    Also, I don’t know why you would refer to Toronto’s Cardinal as horrible–and Ted is hardly a Daniel. But you make very quick and sloppy inferences about people, in this case the Cardinal. You are not seeing clearly; you are too quick to judge. Of course they don’t want to return to the pre-Vatican II era. That’s just silly. The Cardinal is a very good man, very welcoming, very hard working. I’d hate that job. I wouldn’t be able to do it. You have a lot of nerve pronouncing such harsh judgment on him.

    If the Church is dead, then Christ is not who he said he is. His promises failed. The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church, as we heard from today’s gospel reading. So if what you say is true, then there is no such thing as Christianity, and our faith is in vain. What in the world would possess you to declare that the Church is dead? Did you note all the attention the media and the millions and millions around the world were giving to the last conclave? Is that what death looks like to you? If the Mass is still valid, if we received the real body of Christ today at Mass, then how can you suggest that the Church is dead? Does a corpse feed the living? Can a corpse produce the bread of life? You are not making any sense. What your words reveal is that your faith might very well be dead. But the Church is not dead. A sleeping giant, maybe. But not dead.

    It was not Ted who turned me onto Romero, but the Catholic Church. And you should read Romero’s sermons carefully. He had great reverence for the Magisterium. He was no liberal. He was no ideologue. He was very critical of left wing ideology hiding under gospel garb. He was a man of the Church through and through. Others have written on this. But some lefties tried to turn him into some sort of left wing activist, but he was a true bishop of the Church. You should read other great saints who were also falsely “adopted” and caricatured by the left, like Dorothy Day, who rejected the welfare state, who was disgusted with the now Canadian habit of looking to government to take care of the needy, etc.,. You have to stop getting Catholic thought through the Schmidt meat factory. What comes out is very different than the real deal. Read Romero, who was not judgmental and arrogant and who loved Christ and loved the Church and believed everything that the Church professes and stands for. Read Dorothy Day and Catherine Doherty. These are the true Catholics and lovers of the poor, and their minds are formed by Christ, not the NDP.

    • 35
      mushafta Says:

      Thanks for the great information Francisco 49! Much appreciated!

      Day and Doherty were radical Catholic giants in their day and definitely saintly people. But radicals not shy to take on prelates of their day! Read Dear Bishop by Doherty and see how willing to take on the high ranking clerics. Day certainly marched against the American war machine and founded a great group of apostles willing to get arrested for opposing nut job War minded presidents.

      Collins? Check out this horrible man’s legacy. He certainly knows how to polarize the right and left. Too many horror stories have I heard among clerics who have been roughed up by this man for having an opposing view. Here- check this out from a well informed source- “more meditation, prayer and contemplation” for clerics serving time in rehab for sexually offending pedophile priests! Out if the mouth of Collins ! The guy’s a joke! Willing to get arrested in his stance against gays; marginalizing any priests who stood up for them! Horrible man! Exclusive, domineering and definitely the Jekyll to your Hyde take of him! Wanting nuns to set up in Toronto only to worship the blessed sacrament 24/7 and do as he commands. This guy lives in the medieval era with his power over people. You think modern Catholic sisters are into that manure? You have to be living in a dead church !

  30. 36

    I’m interested in Doherty’s Dear Bishop. I looked for it online but could not find it. Do you have it? Can you post it? That is something I would love to read.

    I think we have to be careful about clerical gossip. Hearsay is always distorted, and priests are the worst for that. I mean the worst. The sisters of life are marvellous.

    When we look upon another with such contempt, everything they do becomes colored by that contempt. I think you should slow down and be careful. I am not saying that you are wrong. My point is that we need to be very careful to acquire an objective assessment. You contempt is all too obvious, and you might be too quick to believe the sources of hearsay. There’s lots of loose gossip among priests, lots of distorted rumours, lots of inconsistencies, and so many good reasons to withhold judgments. But people launch into judgments because it makes them feel better, gives them something to focus their anger on. Not good.

    I’ll look for that link about Collins.

  31. 37
    mushafta Says:

    Dear Francisco49:
    Dear Bishop was published in 1947 by Sheed and Ward in New York.
    Doherty at the time was working in the Harlem slums of New York where most bishops and priests feared to tread. She was a waitress in a bar frequented by many a lost soul in the American ’30s.

    In this book she writes to bishops about the black sheep that have been forgotten by the church. She is respectful but fearless in her willingness to stand up for prostitutes and the like who had been forgotten by the Catholic church.

    In other books written later, she takes on Cardinal Spellman telling him he’s about to lose his title as Cardinal as well as his immortal soul if he fails to admit black people into Ford University. This was on the dirty 30′ s my friend when Catholic lay people had the role of keeping their mouths shut! And she actually told the staff to start packing up as they were getting out of the Friendship House in Harlem if this Cardinal didn’t break bonds with the status quo of the day. This was racist U.S.A. And the Catholic church was right there propping it up until a fearless Russian Katie hit this prelate right in the nuts!

    Now tell me– do you not see a need for the prophetic voice? Saints my friend are not always nice clean shaven well respected people. They tend to be very hard to live with and outspoken.

    When Doherty arrived here in Toronto she was spit upon and soundly rejected as a communist. It was Bishop Neil McNeil who commissioned her to study church social teaching and he was the only prelate at the time who accepted her.
    She was seen as a pinko communist coming from Russia.

    Just remember- lay people at this time were non existent compared to today where they are far more active and outspoken.

    It is my firm contention that both Doherty and Day would be front and center hammering away at prelates who are not leading the flock on matters of social justice today.

    If you recall, the U.S. politically is still in the dark ages as far as social justice. Thank a lot of fearful American prelates for that!

    In the meantime, be prepared to cut Ted Schmidt a hell of a lot of flack when he makes the odd mistake. His voice in this world is both a blessing and a dire need. Our modern media is catering too much to the needs of the 99 sheep where Collins and other heavyweight dignitaries of the cloth reside.

  32. 38

    I can’t find Dear Bishop. I know she wrote Dear Priest. But I will search for Dear Bishop. That sounds like a great book.

    I am not disagreeing with you about challenging bishops. But simply yelling and complaining about bishops does not make one a prophet. All prophets challenge the clergy; but it does not follow that if you challenge the clergy, you are a prophet. Just as all men are animals; but it does not follow that if you are an animal, you are a man. You might be a giraffe. Ted complains about bishops because they don’t think like he does; or they are not left wing enough. There’s no way in the world that Ted Schmidt would agree with Catherine Doherty’s whole theology of the priesthood, as articulated, for example, in Dear Priests. He does not have the same faith that Doherty or Day has. His Jesus is a socialist peace activist. Doherty and Day were 100% Catholic.

    And believe me, I’m no fan of clericalism.

    In any case, I need to get that book Dear Bishop. If you find a link where I can order it, please post it for me.

    Later,
    49f

    • 39
      mushafta Says:

      49francisco
      Not sure how you make those claims against Schmidt. He’s very much prophetic in my books.

      They may have stopped printing Dear Bishop. I have an old copy. There is a book by Lewis Echo on Doherty’s life- recall the events etc. but not the title in which she outlines the Spellman incident wherein she presents him with a very bright young black boy she wants entered into Fordham university and he tells Doherty he needs to get the mortgage paid on the building before he admits any blacks and then she lets him have it!

      “Go to hell! ” she tells him in no uncertain words. And given the lack of any will to improve the condition of blacks from the American public- and indeed the church, she then threatened to pull out.

      Spellman called her later and said he’d enrol the boy and deal with the mortgage issue later.

      Doherty is a saint! But she was one hell of a fearless activist!

      And Schmidt? One hell of a fearless activist! Only God in my books will determine if he’s anything like a saint!

  33. 40

    I found the book! It’s on order. I know I will enjoy reading this. We know what Dante said about the skulls of bishops, and Erasmus was a great critic of the princely attire and titles of the hierarchy, clever and funny.

    Again, all prophets are critical of those who need it; but not all who are critical of those who need it are prophets. It’s just basic logic. There’s much more to being a saint than holding a placard or writing nasty things about priests and bishops on a blog.

    Now, here’s something to think about. I mentioned that when we have contempt for someone, that contempt frames and colors everything that person does, so basically, he can do nothing right. We see this in politics all the time. The left despise the right, the right despise the left, and the result is Obama can’t do anything wrong and Bush can’t do anything right, and vice versa (as a side note, there is not one person in the history of philosophy who was totally and completely wrong). Yet, we listen to U.S talk radio and whether it is conservative or liberal, doesn’t matter, it is totally polarized. No real dialogue, no healthy skepticism about our own position, etc. Conservatives are totally wrong, or Liberals are totally wrong. Life is never so neat and tidy.

    But my question is: why is it okay for Doherty to tell Spellman to “go to hell”, or warn him that his soul is in danger, but it is not okay for Collins or Prendergast to urge Trudeau to ease off. I think it would have been acceptable if one of them had warned Trudeau that his soul is in danger. Spellman was dealing with one black boy, who was alive, but needed an education. Trudeau has a general platform that will result in the continued holocaust of the unborn.

    Do you not think that maybe, just maybe, your contempt is distorting your vision a bit and causing a double standard?

    In any case, thanks for the tip on the book. I can’t wait to read it.


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