Monday, November 19, 2007

Personal Asides: Media Watch IV in Chicago Daily Observer… “Catholic Bishops Say Voters’ Souls at Stake” said “The Tribune” Headline. Really? Naw….Congratulations to Carol Marin for a First-Rate Column on Jim Cummins.


Media Watch IV.

Find it in today’s Chicago Daily Observer at

The Boy Scouts Write Gibberish.

The “Tribune’s” headline read: Catholic Bishops Say Voters’ Souls at Stake.

Really now? And does the “Tribune” really understand the murky language to the point where it tells us how to vote?

As earlier reported, a former leader of the National Review Board told me some time ago when I had lunch with him in Washington that in his estimation a full 50% of the bishops are lavender or lavender-enablers and are either literally or figuratively boy scouts (take that any way you wish, he said). He knows better than I but I wouldn’t take directions on how to cross a street from most of them much less how to vote.

I asked him last week on the phone for his view on the weighty document issued by them from Baltimore, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.” I never finished it, he said. Accordingly I waded through it.

It is so filled with qualifications that it is of no value whatsoever.

And, of course, who in the world would imagine it would have value? These are guys who cannot even agree on whether to serve the Eucharist…the body and blood of Christ…to pro-abortion politicians. One of their number—a giant—Archbishop Burke of St. Louis has taken the position that all who are perceived to have a definite pro-abortion record in legislating and who haven’t abjured that position should be denied the sacrament. That goes for the Kennedys (excepting Eunice and Sarge Shriver), Dick Durbin, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, Dick Durbin, Nancy Pelosi and the rest down to Daley, Lisa Madigan, Dan Hynes, Emil Jones, Todd Stroger and the sacred litany of regular Democrats (excepting Dan Lipinski and the few others who have split from the pack).

Can you imagine anyone denying them the sacraments in this archdiocese? I can’t. Well, then, if you don’t have the guts on this, stop giving yourselves the right to tell us how to vote.

Because the heavy remainder of the boy scouts don’t agree on that point…most of them being afraid to face the overwhelmingly Democratic pro-abortion pols…how can they be expected to write a coherent paper advising the laity how to cast their votes? They can’t. Thus the headline of the “Tribune” is wrong because the paper they wrote is garbled.

Two people who are unlike as they can be…state Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, a former interim chair of the NRB (who was never made official chairman because she couldn’t or wouldn’t be rolled by the boy scouts) and Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska…believe the USCCB should be disbanded.

They are exactly right.

Several reasons.

1. The USCCB has no business attempting to ape authority within a church where the bishops themselves are canonically empowered to proscribe ecclesiastical law only in their own dioceses. There is utterly no rationale for them to try to advise or legislate out of their dioceses. The USCCB originally began as a kind of trade association and was elevated by Cardinal Joe Bernardin into a vehicle which gained him notoriety and ultimately promotion within liberal ranks to Cincinnati and Chicago as part of his desire to be regarded as the unofficial pontiff of the “American Catholic Church.”

2. Any document the USCCB issues is confused in the minds of the

laity as representing the ex-cathedra position of the Catholic Church—views extending from the economy (of which the boy scouts know nothing except how to pass the plate to collect from the hard-earned pockets of the laity), to the role of women (of which they really could care less because of their disinterest, to global warming, to consumerism. Any documents are folly. The boy scouts meeting at their marble palace in Washington and pretending to be the UN General Assembly each with his own microphone is the height of immaturity (endemic in the group) and pretense.

3. People who cannot maintain civil order in their dioceses, cannot

recruit or train seminarians, cannot keep priests from violating the integrity of children have no business trying to legislate rules on how the laity should vote across the country. Those bishops who have maintained civil order, have filled seminaries with good recruits, have been largely scandal-free, have been blackballed from significant leadership in the USCCB anyhow and occupy no major positions. It is a playpen for liberals. However it was refreshing to see Chicago’s auxiliary Thomas Paprocki try to drum some sense into those who are so filled with their own self-importance that they craft foreign and national defense provisos involving Iraq. All those boy scouts who are interested in solving the problems of Iraq should be told to concentrate first on keeping their charges’ pantaloons are buttoned.

4. The offices conferred are just another sop to title-itis which has

given the church the aura of royalty identified with its faux Renaissance decadence, signet ring-kissing, title smooching “Your Excellency this” and “Your Excellency that” and allusions to “Prince of the Church.” Now we have the post of “Your Eminent Eminence Conference President.” It breeds falsetto importance and just further separates hierarchy who want to play dress-up from the laity.

5. It is obvious that to do a job of bishop right requires full-time

duties which should not be distracted by flocking to the marble palace in Washington to consort on edicts no one reads (or should) and make pronouncements to the waiting media all of which is akin to playing games ala the regalia spoofery akin to Amos `n Andy’s lodge known as “The Mystic Knights of the Sea.”

Carol Marin.

The “Sun-Times” Carol Marin is to be congratulated for a really first rate job of column-ing with respect to the late Jim Cummins and his experience of being abused by a clerical pedophile. She wrote with compassion, understanding and fearlessness. I probably have been too rough on her in the past.


  1. Thanks again, Tom, for a good summation of happenings in the Church. Most Catholics, whether liberal or conservative, pay little heed any longer to the pronouncements coming from the USCCB. They're a group that beats drum that few march to any longer. The Age of Bernardin has sunk beneath the horizon, leaving now just the afterglow of bizarre purplish light, such as that which still hovers around DePaul University and Holy Family Parish in Inverness.

  2. I notice that their exelencies, deal with such great moral issues such as the War in Iraq, dealing with Iran, and many other political "hot buttons" but don't deal with the contraceptive mentality embraced by many Catholics and it is this Contraceptive Metality that is destroying the priesthood and the spiritual lives of many Catholics.

  3. One of my former classmates went on to graduate from the Notre Dame University College of Law. He is now a probate judge in Connecticut and attends the same Catholic parish as does United States Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Ct.). He has informed me that whenever Dodd is attends Mass, he never presents himself for the reception of the Blessed Sacrament. I do not know if this has changed recently, but in the past Dodd did not try to take Communion. While one can respect him for doing so, it calls into question that he knows that his support of abortion is wrong, but he does so for purely political reasons.

    I tried to post this earlier, but for some reason it did not post.