Thursday, March 26, 2009

Personal Aside: Thoughts While Shaving.


1. Money.

Notre Dame…Georgetown…Marquette…Xavier…Seattle University…University of San Diego…Marymount…Saint Ambrose…Saint Joseph’s…Seton Hall…Saint Louis University…Villanova University…Saint John’s of Minnesota…Mount Mercy…DePaul…Loyola of Chicago. On and on.

These are some…but only a fraction…of the CINOs (Catholic colleges in name only) who are working actively against the teachings and theology of the Catholic Church—no matter what their presidents—either weaklings or Quislings, secular faculties and faithless trustees—say. According to the “Chronicle of Higher Education,” professors at Georgetown were ranked seventh of all U.S. colleges and universities in contributions made to Barack Obama. Pamela Trotman Reid, president of Saint Joseph’s College in West Hartford, Connecticut, told a reporter for the “Hartford Courtant” that Obama is “a kindred spirit.”

I don’t have much faith that there is any bishop extant who has the moral strength to even threaten privately to withdraw the Catholic designation from such colleges. The only one who possibly could have summoned the strength to do this was Archbishop Raymond Burke who just coincidentally…just so happens…was transferred to Rome where he presides over a glorified marriage court.

There’s only one way to do it and that is to hit a bishop where he feels it most—in the purse. If there is a contributors’ strike in a diocese where an offending college is…if enough contributors say “that’s it unless you act to threaten to withdraw the Catholic designation from the college”…something will happen. Sad to say but at this time of moral decadence money is the only thing that will do it.

I had a call yesterday from a well-meaning priest whom I don’t know who apologized for calling so late but said that while he was saying Mass and reflecting on the Annunciation, it just struck him…just struck him…that possibly someone might ask the Ordinary of this archdiocese to try to do something. As if that hadn’t been tried. Just came to him: an idea. Why don’t you ask the Ordinary to… Forget it.

How long will it take until Catholics get it?

How long?

How long will it take until Catholics understand that letters alone won’t…can’t… don’t do it?

Or that demonstrations alone won’t…can’t…do it?

How long will it take until people understand that big-name Catholic colleges are in it for one thing: prestige which is tied to dough?

How long will it take until people understand that bishops are ecclesial cum political creatures with the same failings—dependent as pols are on contributions…favorable secular media…the approbation of the powerful? Who enjoy just as pols do the worshipful admiration of the crowd when you trot down the aisles with miter and crosier? That and the fawning, the reverential “yes your excellency (eminence), no your excellency (eminence).” Ah that and flashing the jeweled ring foremost.

All these things will be in jeopardy…you’ll be transferred to work the Dewey decimal system in a Vatican basement…if contributions dry up?

Once there is a contributors’ strike in a diocese with college reform in mind, things will happen. Only then.

It shouldn’t be too hard for a dolt to understand much less a well-meaning Catholic, should it?

2. Emanuel.

This prematurely graying, wizened little snake whose sinewy ballet dancer form makes your flesh crawl garnered a lot of money in only 14 months as a board member of Freddie Mac…$320,000. He was named to the board as a payback by Bill Clinton whose fellatios with an indentured female intern on taxpayer time which debased the presidency Emanuel defended to the press without throwing up. Emanuel’s surname in Hebrew means God is with us.

It was a foul-breathed little rodent resembling Emanuel who ran the list on sexual mores of congressmen from 20 or more years earlier and got many to back off. God is with us. Blackmail. One major congressman was told: look at what we can do to your children if this decades ago liaison ever came out? God is with us. The congressman said go ahead. It happened and the congressman in his old age was humiliated: God is with us.

Freddie Mac’s board met six times a year and Emanuel was not named to any of its working committees which would have tied him down from his other private duties which involved using Bob Rubin’s expertise so Emanuel could get the hang of investment banking: God is with us. However as a board member Emanuel also qualified for a $20,000 annual director’s fee in addition to the three hundred plus grand. God is with us.

It was during Emanuel’s tenure that Freddie devised a plan to gain more political clout, earning for it a $3.8 million fine from the FEC for illegally using corporate resources to host fundraisers for politicians. My-my, I wonder who on the board put it up to that? And it just so happened Emanuel was the beneficiary of a party after he left the board when he was running for Congress: God is with us.

It was during a 2000 board meeting during Emanuel’s term that its lobbyist R., Mitchell Felk outlined a strategy to protect Freddie from so-called congressional intrusion: God is with us. The strategy wasn’t very original—as old as Chicago politics. Essentially: rent the Congress. So Freddie Mac ran 80 fundraisers…most of them for Republicans (who were then in control of Congress) raising $1.7 million for congressional candidates despite a federal law banning corporations from direct political activity. The fundraisers worked wondrously for a time: God is with us.

Freddie Mac CEO Leland Brendsel…who was later ousted… hosted a fundraising lunch for Emanuel’s 2000 campaign: God is with us. It raised $9,500 from top Freddie officials: God is with us. Emanuel received $25,000 from donors indebted to Freddie Mac—more from that source than any other candidate running for Congress at the time: God is with us. In return when he went to the House Emanuel sat on the committee that was given oversight for Freddie Mac. Later after the heat came on his subcommittee launched an investigation to find out what corruption was going on at Freddie Mac. Emanuel missed every one of those meetings: God is with us.

Emanuel spokeswoman Sarah Feinberg says Emanuel “can’t remember” anything about the meeting where Felk outlined his plan for politicizing Freddie Mac but he may have been there: however he’s not sure.

His earnest prayer: no one finds out more than that. I’m pulling the other way but my name is derived from a Germanic reference to a serf gardener which my people were for centuries in Catholic Bavaria.

But things have a way of even-ing out before the lights finally go out.

I hope so. God be with us.


  1. Burke does not preside over a glorified marriage court. It's the highest appeals court for intra-Church matters. There is court of appeals for marriage matters in the Vatican, yes. But that's not Burke's court.

  2. What will it be like for those who discover that the sin of pride is not just the failing of wealthy businessmen or conservatives? As events show, that discovery will likely come too late to avoid catastrphic results. Somehow this is all George Bush's fault or that evil Dick Cheney --it just has to be! Does'nt it?

  3. John Thomas Mc GeeanMarch 26, 2009 at 8:51 AM

    The Apostolic Signatura--as I understand it--would handle lititagtion between a priest and Bishop.

  4. This is a test comment; I'm having trouble posting again.

  5. I'm still having trouble posting so I'll make this one brief. Most CINO institutions are operated by religious orders, lay boards of directors or a combination of the two so the local bishop's authority may be limited.

  6. In such cases a local bishop who wants to hit a CINO institution where it counts can: 1. Cease any monetary donations by the diocese to that school; 2. Cancel fundraising events hosted by diocesan or parish facilities; 3. Not invite recruiters or representatives of the college to the diocese's Catholic high schools.