Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Personal Asides: Archbishop Burke: Dems are Party of Death The Ugly New Tribune and the Race to the Bottom with the Sun-Times
Reprinted from the Chicago Daily Observer.
When Archbishop Raymond Burke was promoted to the Vatican curia and left the archdiocese of Saint Louis where he had made waves insisting that the Churchs stand on abortion really means what it says, there were some who said his transfer was not just a promotion but also Romes way of removing a pesky prelate who antagonized political minions of the U.S.s relativist culture. For an outspoken bishop, being promoted to a high office in the stratosphere of the Vatican can be analogous to what happened to New York Judge Joseph Force Crater who hopped in a taxi on the night of August 6, 1930 and was never seen again becoming a cause celebre as the missing-est man in the nation prompting the line with standup comedians Judge Crater, call your office!
I confess I was one who thought Burke was slated for a future of ecclesial anonymity along with a red hat in the musty offices of Rome. And, frankly, Im still not sure that the feisty bishop WASNT kicked upstairsbecause Rome seems to want unity (just like Jesus Christ, right? RIGHT!). Burke was not like that: he was a glorious beacon to us authenticist Catholicsvowing not to give Holy Communion to Catholic pols of both parties who rise above principle to espouse abortion and trade on their churchly heritage.
He had the guts to challenge a popular coach at Saint Louis University who was a scandal to his young charges by saying they could forget the moral code on the hideous practice. He condemned the appearance of folk-singer Sheryl Crow at a benefit for a Catholic childrens hospital in Saint Louis and refused to attend the event. While a good many others cower under their red hats and grip their crosiers with trembling hands at the thought of controversy and alienating the all-important Democratic party (in Chicago the party runs everything involving policyjustifying Ed Vrdolyaks boast to me and others in his hearing that Chancellor Jimmy Lago was my best precinct captain). Archbishop Burke served as a leading light for all of us who glory in the heritage of discipline from the pulpit.
So when Burke was promoted to Rome as head of the Vaticans version of the U. S. Supreme Court, the Apostolic Segnaturaan institution vastly more complexit was understood he wanted the promotion since as a superb canon lawyer he seems to have been born for the job but we still wondered why of all people HE was chosen now just as he was getting his feet wet dispensing a welcomed authority in Saint Louis.
That question still remains to be answeredand probably wont until we see the caliber of his replacement in Saint Louis (a typical accommodationist and the die will be cast)but happily last week Burke made waves that rolled from the Vatican to the shores of these United States. He was asked in an interview with the publication Avvenire, the publication of the Italian bishops conference, to comment on the fact that Crow entertained at the Democratic National convention.
He answered: That does not surprise me much. At this point, the Democratic party risks transforming itself definitely into a ``party of death because of the choices on bioethical questions as Ramesh Ponnuru wrote in his book The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts and the Disregard for Human Life. Burke added: The Democratic party once was the party that helped our immigrant parents and grandparents better integrate and prosper in American societybut it is not the same anymore.
This is not to exculpate those Republican pro-aborts. God knows this writer hasnt wherever they are Big Jimbo Thompson, the lady with the prematurely orange hair, Judy Baar Topinka, Rosemary Mulligan, Mark Kirk et al. But the Democratic party is from stem-to-stern pro-abort. The last pro-life Democratic survivor in this state was Glenn Poshard who could have become governor over George Ryan if the Near North Democratic trendies hadnt sold out to Personal PAC to help out good ol George.
In his statement, Burke expressed the view that more U.S. bishops are coming around to his view on barring pro-abortion Catholic pols from Communion, which was once seen as a distinctly minority opinion. How does that square with the pathetic statement one prelate gave to please the Democrat jingos in his audience: It can be argued that the Republican party never had a soul! It can be argued being the slippery parse. When confronted, he referred to Republican James G. Blaine [1830-93] the unsuccessful candidate against Cleveland (a footnote in history) who tried foolishly and unsuccessfully to ban federal support for parochial schools which he cited to counterbalance the record of a party formed to oppose slavery. Hows that for s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g?
Burke is right that other bishops are slowly coming around. A sample of prelates statements on the significance of abortion in this presidential election has been cited often. After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the doctors of the Church have not been able to make that definition [as to when life begins] a host of bishops issued rebuttals including New York Cardinal Edward Egan, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput and Auxiliary Bishop James D. Conley of Denver as well as Cardinal Justin Rigali and Bishop William Lori, chairman of the U. S. bishops pro-life and doctrine committees. Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas has spelled out the reasons why the so-called Catholic Democratic Governor of Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius (the daughter of pro-abort John Gilligan who was governor of Ohio) should not be entitled to receive Communion. Other prelates who remained silent were probably thinking about how to parse without doing damage to their Democratic-prone connections.
The Burkean view and the actions of other bishops against his favorite liberal Democrats will be viewed with disfavor by Fr. Andrew Greeley weekly columnist for The Chicago Sun-Times. Greeley who trades on his photo where he is wearing a clerical collar has been long a faithful lip-synch mouthpiece for the Democratic party (he once boasted to me during the long ago period where we occasionally talked that he never, ever voted Republican), touting the candidacy of Barack Obama who four-times as a state senator killed the Illinois version of Born Alive, which would guarantee medical care for infants born from a botched abortion.
Thus Obama is the first presidential nominee to have not only espoused but to have legislative blood on his hands by killing a bill that would assuage dying infants born outside the womb from painopposing the measure because as a Harvard lawyer (along with his wife another Harvard lawyer if you please) he fancies it would threaten Roe v. Wadea point on which he has been in disagreement with the great majority of pro-aborts in the U.S. Senate who passed an identical bill prior to Obamas joining that body. Fr. Greeley says decorously his role as a priest forbids him to endorse anybody for office but has called Obama in his column my guy. The self-same Greeley wore a golden saxophone proudly on his black clerical jacket emblematic that he had maxed out to Bill Clinton, the abortion presidentanother one of his guys. Greeley is far from ostracized in Chicago ecclesiastical circles. He dines and goes to the opera with the very finest. For all of that, he is a Company Man along with Michael Pfleger-- meaning Democrat.
To the biblical injunction that one cannot serve both God and mammon, Fr. Greeley now finds himself roughly in a far more serious position but one that is analogous nevertheless as Jack Benny did in a skit on his late popular radio show. Self-publicizing himself as a skinflint, Benny was characterized walking down a dark street one night when he was approached by a robber who stuck a gun in his ribs and rasped: Your money or your life! There followed a long, painful silence. The robber repeated: I said, buddy, YOUR MONEY OR YOUR LIFE! To which Benny shoutedIM THINKING! IM THINKING! At his current age, over 80, Fr. Greeley has thus far avoided making the choice between God and mammonmammon benefiting as he evades the argument. In fact that marvelous numb-dumb pro-Dem allegiance has blocked thought thus far. But in the immortal imagery of Francis Thompsons poetic masterpiece The Hound of Heaven, Greeley may hear galloping footsteps coming near to him as he coasts into aged decrepitude. As one who is Greeleys identical age, I advise him to cup a hand to his ear if that will help him hear the advancing Hound.
When the time comes to meet the Just Judge, Greeley will likely surround himself with all the accoutrements of the Churchs traditions he has so scornfully dissedgreedily seeking swinging incense burners and gallons of holy oils-- as he strives to get things right in the final cramming for finals. The man who once wrote during the last papal conclave that the Holy Spirit has proved Itself fallible by having picked so many sinful popesa sacrilege and insult to his Church offered up for the yuks of his secular readers--neglecting to point out what we learned from the Baltimore Catechism that infallibility is the preventative to teach error in faith and morals only and has nothing to do with the caliber of the earthen vessels who occupy the papacy--will have to surpass all the skills he has shown as an earthly communicator to justify these words and the long-long record of slavish partisanship in behalf of those Democratic pols who have written into their party credo support for abortion along with defense of Obamas pro-infanticide stand the sin that cries to heaven for vengeance.
The Ugh Ugly New Tribune
Talk about a mountain groaned and a mouse ran forth the ugh ugly putrid new Tribune is not only a badly reformatted edition of USA TODAY it has somehow reincarnated the worst of the namby pamby previous Trib era that I thought was gone forever. The editorial on Sarah Palins debate victory tried to have it both ways. The same former cookbook editor is selecting letters-to-the-editor being sure Obama wins 2 to 1. Remember the song Sam, you made the pants too long? Sam, I dont know how much you spent searching for a new format with focus groups but check to see if somebody didnt put the ex-cookbook editor in charge of itand then fire her. Send her to the Defender what is it now, a weekly? Semi-weekly? ...which is where she belongs.
Okay, you moved Chuck Krauthammer to hard copy just in time to have CK declare Barack is going to winbut thats okay: Krauthammers quality stuff. You still havent understood that the editorial page (s) belong in the first section and not in the second section behind the Obits.
At the same time, Sam, you should take a lesson from The Wall Street Journal which has thrived under its new ownership of Rupert Murdoch despite the woeful predictions of the left that it would soon resemble The New York Post. Among the best things Rupert did was fire the deadly duo of lefties John Harwood and Jackie Calmes who sped over to The New York Times appropriately where Harwood (who doubled on MSNBC with David Gregory whose wife earned big bucks from Fannie Mae) has joyfully suggested that the conservative era in the United States has now ended gracias Obamanot waiting for the election.
Sam you have produced an inky disaster, a smudge-pot. Youre in a race with the disgraceful Sun-Times to the bottom in taste and quality. Still time to hunt up the old forms and return the paper to its pre-horrific clean presentation. Its like seeing your favorite elderly aunt saunter down the street half looped, in Capri pants, false eyelashes and flicking ashes from a marijuana cigarette while she waggles her buns to attract the male idlers on the corners. Leads me to want to make a cross with the fingers of my hands in exorcism, saying to the horrendous creature purportedly constructed with the aid of focus groups-- begone!