Monday, March 30, 2009

Personal Aside: Mary, Mary Quite, er What?...Lavender Clergy Stunts Catholicism’s Growth…and Two Thoughts While Shaving.

Mary, Mary…

With superb liberal self-righteousness…brimming with much fervor as advocate herself …“Tribune” columnist Mary Schmich is thrilled that Loyola’s law school has allowed a panel to support same-sex marriage with evidently no formal contrary views represented by a contradictory speaker. The forum was conjured up by a group that calls itself “OUTlaw.” Schmich’s heart went a-tremble as she wrote Friday that “flat-screen TVs all over the school were advertising the presentation.” A Loyola faculty member is its counselor.

Then she happily reported that State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) who’s openly gay and an AIDS victim will be there to push his civil union bill and so will lawyers urging same-sex marriage hailing from Iowa and California. “But [more than anything else] the fact that one of Chicago’s Catholic institutions was opening its grand `ceremonial courtroom’ to same-sex marriage advocates” justified her elation. Ergo: when a Catholic institution caves, it’s heady stuff.

She described an OUTlaw co-founder as society reporter of old would write of a bride’s gown at a wedding: A OUTlaw co-founder is “a slender guy with short auburn hair, neatly dressed in slacks, a white shirt and a navy pullover.” If I didn’t know better I would have surmised Schmich had a crush on him.

A second point intriguing Schmich is that there will evidently be no opposition views represented on the panel but will serve as a gusher of anti-traditionalist propaganda that runs only one way: pro-same-sex marriage. She concedes “students will come to argue” i.e. but they will presumably be in the audience—not serving on the panel. This is very like the brand of “advocacy” endorsed by Herbert Marcuse in “One Dimensional Man” [1964] who argues America should not be confused by cross-currents of disagreements but should center on rigid hard-left advocacy as form of social control…which certainty fits Schmich’s own column-ing style on social issues of importance to her anent homosexuality.

As a former adjunct professor there and knowing how the gay movement cherishes dissent, I will say that a lonely heterosexual in the audience to defend the tradition of 5,000 years in the West will have to withstand charges of intolerance, bigotry and Neanderthal-ism from two quarters: panelists and the overwhelming number of fellow attendees. There will certainly be no support for orthodoxy from the lavenders and emasculated neuters, comprising the preponderant Jesuit clergy at Loyola who defer to the university president’s own ideologically fragranced beliefs.

As the conclusion of her column, Schmich, walks with her OUTlaw companion to the ceremonial courtroom where the “symposium” will be held…with this purple prose descriptive:

“The ceilings soared and Chicago rose across the walls of windows. Out in the changing, growing city old buildings crowded next to new ones and next to buildings so freshly under construction that you couldn’t know exactly what they’d look like, only that one day soon they’d be there and that once they were there we’d take them for granted.

“Just like, I’m betting, same-sex marriage.”

I’m willing to take that bet. On my side: the long tradition of Judeo-Christian thought that while eschewing hatred or persecution considers homosexuality incompatible with God’s plan for human sexuality…natural law, scripture, and Tradition…the recognition that we are all under God’s judgment, that we are all lost and condemned sinners, that we are all born with a sinful nature that spurs sinful thoughts and actions, that the most important message is the promise of forgiveness and eternal life for which God sent his Son into this world to live a perfect life and die a perfect death as payment for our sins…concluding with this: homosexuals leading celibate lives will be immeasurably aided by Christ’s promise to all of us born with malefactions: that if we take up His cross we will find our burdens light.

Isn’t it a shame Loyola doesn’t have the fortitude to summon up another symposium so the case for which Ignatius Loyola stood can get a hearing?

But that wouldn’t rate a column by Mary Schmich.

The Lavender Clergy.

The gay rights movement now has become an indissoluble part of a mental disorder known as “modern liberalism” which moved from the domain largely of one political party in my younger days to the status of civil religion in the United States.

This new liberalism of gay rights which is essentially hedonism…self-masturbatory gratification…has invaded the precincts of Catholic education and has supplanted the Church’s philosophy and theology in many key faculties. The chaos stemming from radical, heretical theological interpretations of “the spirit of Vatican II” helped. The gradual diminishing of the role of university president has helped the growth immeasurably…along with the rise of the all-powerful faculties and the abdication from responsibility of university trustees: once scholars themselves, now largely people of wealth and political influence with no permanent convictions except that the universities should cultivate “prestige” so as to rake in more money.

As a new civil religion, liberalism has moved into Catholic intellectual life by embodying perceptions of victimization…the need to satisfy child-like claims to entitlement…bolstering feelings of envy: the rich should have the obligation to pay higher taxes imposed by the government purportedly to benefit those who are poor…rejecting the sovereignty of the individual to the overriding power of big government: all spuriously linked to the so-called “social teachings of the Church.” Homosexuals are seen in the same way black slaves were since 1620 except that…the dogma goes…homosexuals are still despised. Hence the Church should depart its old dogmas on sex as a conduit for procreation and embrace a new order.

Seminaries and religious orders beginning in the 1940s…including at my own Saint John’s of Minnesota which was once a traditional Thomistic-directed university…crafted an entirely new schema of “responsibility” which denigrated capitalism, rose up the “idealism” of labor unions and then moved to embrace government as the solver of all problems. At the same time came the sexual revolution and the Benedictine monastery’s Fr. Godfrey Diekmann OSB was ready to pounce. His new theology which began as a refreshing commentary on the old moved steadily leftward with an outreach in politics that continues today.

Diekmann was a man’s man, an athlete and in no ways a lavender—but his revolutionary theology cratered the campus in later years. Revolutionary thinking creates revolutionary living. No one less than the abbot of Saint John’s confessed to homosexual predatory practices and the campus has degenerated into just another secular near-behemoth.

Women were regarded as victims, chattel who were required to have as many children as the lustful husband caused her to bear: they should be aided not by natural family planning which is acceptable under Thomistic rubric but artificial contraception. Hence the struggle against “Humanae Vitae” and the decision by many error-prone theologians to accept artificial birth control. It so happened I was on hand when the first towering heretic emerged to transform much of the contemporary thinking of church scholars. Diekmann OSB became a major dissenter of “Humanae Vitae”. Then the cause moved to a so-called woman’s right to control their own bodies notwithstanding that the unborn child within them was also a person. This was denied and abortion rights were propagated in Catholic universities, not as a formal teaching at first but under-cover: now as a teaching formally prescribed by many professors at Catholic universities.

The sexual revolution virtually destroyed the women’s religious Orders. It also propelled men, principally, to examine their own sexual identifies. Some who believed themselves homosexual decided to go where men are: cohabit in seminaries and monasteries where they can find similarly affected fellows. They became priests. Then bishops. Then bishops who recommended others for the priesthood. Then priests who recruited their buddies to the seminaries. Not all became involved, of course, but the prevalence is significant. Throughout, honorable religious stood their ground. The identity of the Church was greatly helped by the personal prelature “Opus Dei” for one, which…although I am not a member…shows often to me at least that it is the authentic Church in exile.

Those who became involved in homosexual encounters and then repented were blackmailed…indeed are blackmailed now…so that in fear of discovery of their past they are held captive by their clerical fellows who know much about them. Some notable bishops and cardinals are in that condition. But throughout the ordeal good priests, good brothers, good lay organizations have continued to thrive.

Still, lavender is a major condition of much of the clergy…including much of the ecclesial leadership today. At my old university the sexual revolution raged so greatly in the `70s that the school itself for all practical purposes is a secular factory concentrating on a range of subjects but not distinguished by any theological vision beyond advocacy of political liberalism. I was, for all practical purposes, the last commencement speaker there to deliver in 1977…who spoke of any theological matters: in my case pro-life. The reaction was intriguing. The faculty sat on its hands and refrained from applause when I concluded. The student body, never having heard these ideas before, was dazed. Only the student body’s parents roared their approval and responded with a standing ovation. A high academic leader of the university…a priest…sniffed: “That was, er,er,er very interesting.”

Interestingly enough, he died a few years later—of AIDS.

The Lavender Clergy populate most old-line Catholic universities with which I am acquainted and has much…very much…to say about the conduct of dioceses. In doing so they are tied inextricably to the liberal Democratic party. Am I pessimistic? Actually, no.

Anyone who knows the history of this Church understands that it has survived for 2,000 plus years not because of luck but because it is Divine—from servitude and persecution under the Roman imperium, the flourishing of heresies, the near collapse to the barbarian, the rise and near fall to the Muslims, the crusades, the rise of Protestantism, the Inquisition, the Renaissance, centuries of war. But not only troubles flourished but indeed its building of western civilization: invention of the university, invention of modern science, the highest development of painting and sculpture, the composition of great music, preservation of western civilization by the monks, the creation of modern philosophy adapted by Augustine and Aquinas from Aristotle who had been largely forgotten down to the genius of William Shakespeare whose plays written in times of persecution show brilliant Catholic insights. But most of all the saints both canonized and unrecognized—from the great pillars of strength to the humble nuns who sacrificed much to teach and minister to the weak.

Thus the Lavender Clergy is just another painful period which we shall endure. Why? Because Christ said this Church shall survive to the end of time. But in all these difficult times, don’t count on the indomitable role of bishops to stand the guff. When Henry VIII ordered all Catholic bishops to take a blood oath of obedience to him as head of the Catholic church in England in the 16th century, there were 25 bishops: of which 24 obeyed.

The sole one who dissented was John Fisher, bishop of Rochester, England who was sent to the Tower of London. To dissuade Henry from decapitating Fisher, the Pope made Fisher a cardinal and so notified Henry saying that Fisher’s red hat was on the way to England. Henry responded: save your time; Fisher’s head will be on its way to Rome. Fisher is the only member of the College of Cardinals…the only one…who was martyred…of a group that has taken red—the symbol of blood—as emblematic that they are to sacrifice all…even their lives…to uphold the faith.

He is now incardinated as Saint John Fisher [1469-1535]. From that time on, the Church has been under attack from many quarters—now principally with the sexual revolution…then with Henry VIII’s autonomy…but it is noteworthy that we have not seen a cardinal in our time or within the cognizance of church historians who have validated the tenet of the cardinalate. Today you can’t find a cardinal to even consider stripping the designation “Catholic” from an erring and heretical CINO institution, can you?

Since I started writing of this subject, there has been an indication from one writer that actually Edward Cardinal Egan stripped the Catholic designation from two relatively minor Catholic universities…but on examination I find that while he condemned them, he did not take the formal nuclear option. If you have found differently, please tell me either in a note to this website or to me personally at

Two Thoughts While Shaving.

1. Many-many thanks to steadfast reader Mike Buck who has loaned me a video which will enable me to view…for the first time ever…a Will Rogers film. It is “Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.” I shall view it this week as I gently sip my obligatory one…yes one…scotch and soda and will return it and another he has sent to Michael upon completion.

2. My thanks to a reader who passed along to a canon lawyer my recommendation that as a last resort a CINO university could be threatened by the bishop with the possibility of withdrawal of the Catholic designation. After I read the canon lawyer’s finding, I took it up with an authenticist bishop and we come to loggerheads.

The canon law expert says that with the exception of Catholic University of America there is not one “Catholic” university in the United States where a local Ordinary could bring serious canonical pressure to bear for the reason that every one of them is organized solely from the perspective of civil law i.e. none of them are canonically erected, pointed out by Prof. James Coriden in one of his commentaries to the 1983 Code of Canon Law.

In addition to which an expert opinion was prepared in 1983 by Msgr. Frederick McManus, professor of canon law that stated canons 807-814 were prepared with reference to European universities but don’t apply to American “Catholic” universities…copies of which were sent to the presidents of every “Catholic” university in the country.

Thus, the canon law expert concludes, a local Ordinary’s authority is limited to vigilance over faith and morals. Exactly, I say!

I discussed his finding with a famed authenticist bishop (not of this diocese, understandably) who is himself a canon lawyer and dismissed it with an impatient wave of his hand. He said flatly a bishop has jurisdiction over the name “Catholic” which is applied to university’s in his diocese…and that he would be happy to move the matter to Rome for confirmation, believing the role of the bishop would supersede any hair-splitting archangels-dancing-on-the-head-of-a-pin view of a bureaucratic hidebound canonical theoretician.

He cited also the fact that since the Ordinary’s authority has jurisdiction to vigilance over faith and morals (although he declined to accept that a bishop’s authority is “limited” to this) universities which honor pro-aborts and holders of scandalous views would fall into the jurisdiction…along with those which present plays such as “The Vagina Monologues” and so-called “courses” as Queer Studies: 101 that are being offered at DePaul. If these are not detrimental to faith and morals, he says, what is?

And so it goes. My personal lay view is that if a bishop were to push stripping the designation, Rome would be hard-pressed to stand against him on the vigilance over faith and morals question.



    Mary Schmich was willing to help Rep. Greg - Gay Marriage - Harris with this one.

  2. John Thomas Mc GeeanMarch 30, 2009 at 4:31 AM

    Re: Spirit of Vatican II:
    Non est in Scriptus, non est in mundo!

  3. A few years ago, the Archdiocese of New York tossed Marymount Manhattan "out of the phonebook" over a string of guest speakers, including, if I remember correctly, the current Secretary of State. It has been done before.