February 2012

In the March 2012 edition of The Catholic Telegraph new editor Steve Trosley makes some bold and at times refreshing statements about “what kind of publication” is The Catholic Telegraph:

   The Catholic Telegraph represents the archdiocesan community to itself and the public by reporting on the lives and activities of the members of that community in the context of the magisterium – the teaching authority of the church.  That authority has been handed down from Jesus Christ through His apostles and their successors, the bishops, who in turn may choose to delegate it to qualified individuals.

This makes our publication and its companion website a teaching arm of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and its leader, Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr.

Archbishop Schnurr may and should use all channels of mass media to spread the Gospel but  The Catholic Telegraph represents the official channel for the transmission of those messages, whether they involve the example of our faith shown through the lives and activities of our community or involve a letter or essay from the archbishop or someone he has qualified.

To protect the credibility of The Catholic Telegraph and to remain true to the teaching mission of the church, we must remember that we are not a traditional newspaper and are not guided by the same imperatives.

The publication must be viewed as a whole.  We strive to observe most American journalism conventions such as a commitment to accuracy and accountability, but in every other way, we are dedicated and devoted to an unadulterated, unchallenged and inspiring  presentation of the teachings of the Catholic Church.

That will help explain some of the policies and features we will be deploying in the months ahead as we evolve this publication from the foundation built by former editors and staffers.

What policies and features will the Telegraph be deploying in the coming months?  Will the Telegraph be turning from its old days, such as when letters to the editor contradicting Catholic teaching going completely unchallenged were routinely printed?  Only time will tell.  And what about the statement that the Telegraph represents a teaching arm of the Archdiocese and its Archbishop?  What do OTRITT readers think of this claim?

Later in the column Trosley mentions:

I am painfully  aware that I am a stranger in a town that places a high value on its hometown heroes.

I sort of wonder if Mr. Trosley is alluding to OTRITT’s posting when he was introduced in December 2011.  While my posting was completely neutral as to whether his announced hire was a good thing or a bad thing (Honestly my attitude was and is still to take a wait and see approach.  The guy is just getting started at his new position and I have no reason to think he doesn’t need a fair shot at making things better.) OTRITT readers certainly had critiques for a column he wrote for his previous, secular gig in 2011 on the subject of illegal immigration.


From The Catholic Thing

A Sea Change

In a sailing ship, a change in the direction of the wind and waves is occasion for all hands on deck to adjust the rigging and trim the sails. To appreciate the sea change in the Church’s presence in the United States after the HHS ruling, we have to go back for a look at the 1950s. Since then, a series of self-inflicted blows have left the U. S. Church weakened and confused about its identity in American society.

In the fifties, the Church was a comfortable pillar of the community compromising all along the way with the prevailing culture and craving the legitimacy that it imagined the U. S. culture could bestow. Obviously, this depiction is a little simplistic. But the fact is that the Church does not need legitimization from American culture. But for some time, many in the Church have read from the culture how they are supposed to behave and what the Church herself can say and do – and how.

At that point, going along with a largely conservative culture presented no real challenge. So bishops had mansions resembling the homes of the well to do in the secular culture. Religious became increasingly middle-class, clergy aimed to be upper-middle-class, and laity led more and more compartmentalized lives, to name just a few trends. Nobody did this to us. We did it to ourselves.

ah yes the “Spirit of Vatican II”

Then in the sixties, the sexual revolution and the overturning of obedience to authority far outweighed the teaching of Vatican II in their impact on the U. S. Church’s self-understanding. Indeed, the Church understood the Council through the lenses of American culture rather than vice versa.

The Church did not directly have problems with the government, but internally it denied its own integrity by practically caving in to the culture and by not implementing Vatican II, except in its more cosmetic aspects. So the Catholic population largely ended up out of step with the Universal Church despite the mammoth event of the council.

Vatican II reiterated the teaching of the Church. But the U. S. Catholic community did not retread and confirm Catholics in their faith. To this day Vatican II teaching is still not actively known by most Catholics in detail, despite John Paul II’s strenuous efforts to get people to take the Council seriously.

The love affair between Catholics and the Democratic Party has long and tangled origins, and it continued in the fifties. But then this alliance of clergy and laity with the party remained largely unshaken – even as the party adopted more and more fringe positions out of line with Church teaching.

            Holy card for the North American Martyrs, c. 1930

During the sixties there developed what Benedict XVI refers to as the “well-intentioned but misguided tendency to avoid penal approaches to canonically irregular situations.”

The next great upheaval – again totally self-inflicted – occurred in the late eighties and nineties and right into the new millennium, with the abuse scandals. This onslaught had to be borne by a largely uninformed and poorly motivated community. And the community’s generosity is being diverted to cover payouts to victims, uses for which contributions were never intended.

And now, the Obama Administration is taking on the Church over exercising its conscience on payment for contraception, etc. The Church is in the reverse situation from the fifties. From prevailing acceptance and mutual tolerance, it is now facing separation from its own civil institutions by a hostile government, much like what Napoleon did to the Church in France in the nineteenth century.

The terrible irony is that the largely unformed – and uninformed—Catholic populace produced in the seventies and eighties actually helped put this government in place. Talk about a self-inflicted wound. And this year there is a good chance that they will do it again.

The sea change in the Church involves finally being forced to recognize that culture, even American culture, is never all that it is cracked up to be. The Church in fact is supposed to follow the Holy Spirit and not the culture. Actually:  “It is not a matter of preaching a word of consolation, but rather a word which disrupts, which calls to conversion and which opens the way to an encounter with the one through whom a new humanity flowers.” (Benedict XVI)

Because of its recent history, the Church in the United States finally finds herself – alongside other faith groups that cannot swallow the culture – in a highly hostile environment. This is actually a good thing. Traditionally Churches in this situation – we are not far from actual persecution – pull themselves together, raise up saints, and get serious about what it means to be active Christians in society.

Bishops become leaders not simply quiet managers. Clergy become the poor men who help others to find God. Religious let go of their middle-class aspirations and take their vow of poverty seriously. People take to following rather than making it up as they go along.

Most important of all the history of desperate compromise with U. S. culture might actually stop as it becomes painfully clear that there are higher principles at stake than simply not giving offense. Christ himself will show us what that means.

If we follow Him, the tide will indeed have changed!
Bevil Bramwell, priest of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, teaches theology at Catholic Distance University. He holds a Ph.D. from Boston College and works in the area of ecclesiology.

Cardinal George: no Catholic hospitals in 2 years unless HHS mandate is rescinded

Warning that the Church is being “despoiled of her institutions” as “freedom of conscience and of religion become a memory from a happier past,” Cardinal Francis George of Chicago observes that “the Catholic Church in the United States is being told she must ‘give up’ her health care institutions, her universities and many of her social service organizations.”

“So far in American history, our government has respected the freedom of individual conscience and of institutional integrity for all the many religious groups that shape our society,” he continues. “The government has not compelled them to perform or pay for what their faith tells them is immoral. That’s what we’ve meant by freedom of religion. That’s what we had believed was protected by the U.S. Constitution. Maybe we were foolish to believe so.”

Cardinal George adds:

What will happen if the HHS regulations are not rescinded? A Catholic institution, so far as I can see right now, will have one of four choices: 1) secularize itself, breaking its connection to the Church, her moral and social teachings and the oversight of its ministry by the local bishop. This is a form of theft. It means the Church will not be permitted to have an institutional voice in public life. 2) Pay exorbitant annual fines to avoid paying for insurance policies that cover abortifacient drugs, artificial contraception and sterilization. This is not economically sustainable. 3) Sell the institution to a non-Catholic group or to a local government. 4) Close down …

(Obama has used this phrase over and over, and we were told it was just a slip up, bullshud.)

Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union. You could go to church, if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship-no schools, religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice and the works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. All of these were co-opted by the government. We fought a long cold war to defeat that vision of society.

The strangest accusation in this manipulated public discussion has the bishops not respecting the separation between church and state. The bishops would love to have the separation between church and state we thought we enjoyed just a few months ago, when we were free to run Catholic institutions in conformity with the demands of the Catholic faith, when the government couldn’t tell us which of our ministries are Catholic and which not, when the law protected rather than crushed conscience. The state is making itself into a church.

“If you haven’t already purchased the Archdiocesan Directory for 2012, I would suggest you get one as a souvenir,” he continued. “On page L-3, there is a complete list of Catholic hospitals and health care institutions in Cook and Lake counties. Each entry represents much sacrifice on the part of medical personnel, administrators and religious sponsors. Each name signifies the love of Christ to people of all classes and races and religions. Two Lents from now, unless something changes, that page will be blank.”

Often he reminds me of a certain Muppet but  sometimes the Archbishop of Canterbury hits on a gem, he sure did in this interview

The Egyptian

Richard Dawkins: I can’t be sure God does not exist

He is regarded as the most famous atheist in the world but last night Professor Richard Dawkins admitted he could not be sure that God does not exist.

( I tried to embed the video and it won’t work so use the LINK to see video )

He told the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, that he preferred to call himself an agnostic rather than an atheist.

The two men were taking part in a public “dialogue” at Oxford University at the end of a week which has seen bitter debate about the role of religion in public life in Britain.

Last week Baroness Warsi, the Tory party chairman, warned of a tide of “militant secularism” challenging the religious foundations of British society.

The discussion, in Sir Christopher Wren’s Sheldonian Theatre, attracted attention from around the world.

As well as being relayed to two other theatres, it was streamed live on the internet and promoted fierce debate on the Twitter social network.

For an hour and 20 minutes the two men politely discussed “The nature of human beings and the question of their ultimate origin” touching on the meaning of consciousness, the evolution of human language – and Dr Williams’s beard.

For much of the discussion the Archbishop sat quietly listening to Prof Dawkins’s explanations of human evolution.

At one point he told the professor that he was “inspired” by “elegance” of the professor’s explanation for the origins of life – and agreed with much of it.

Prof Dawkins told him: “What I can’t understand is why you can’t see the extraordinary beauty of the idea that life started from nothing – that is such a staggering, elegant, beautiful thing, why would you want to clutter it up with something so messy as a God?”

Dr Williams replied that he “entirely agreed” with the “beauty” of Prof Dawkins’s argument but added: “I’m not talking about God as an extra who you shoehorn on to that.”

There was surprise when Prof Dawkins acknowledged that he was less than 100 per cent certain of his conviction that there is no creator.

The philosopher Sir Anthony Kenny, who chaired the discussion, interjected: “Why don’t you call yourself an agnostic?” Prof Dawkins answered that he did.

An incredulous Sir Anthony replied: “You are described as the world’s most famous atheist.”

Prof Dawkins said that he was “6.9 out of seven” sure of his beliefs.

“I think the probability of a supernatural creator existing is very very low,” he added.

He also said that he believed it was highly likely that there was life on other planets.

At one point he discussion strayed onto the theoretical question of whether a traditional cut throat razor could be described as a more complicated thing than an electric shaver.

There was laughter as the Archbishop said he would attempt an answer before adding: “Not that I know much about razors.”

During a wide-ranging discussion the Archbishop also said that he believed that human beings had evolved from non-human ancestors but were nevertheless “in the image of God”.

He also said that the explanation for the creation of the world in the Book of Genesis could not be taken literally.

“The writers of the Bible, inspired as I believe they were, they were nonetheless not inspired to do 21st Century physics,” he said.

When Prof Dawkins suggested that he believed the Pope took a rather more literal interpretation of the origins of humans, the Archbishop joked: “I will ask him some time.”

My son asked me at dinner.

“What would have happened if Eve ate the apple but Adam didn’t?”


Had to post this, applies to a lot of “adults” too. been a fan of  Klavan for a long time, see the video it is so good, love that dad,

The Egyptian

The Tyranny of Hip

 By Andrew Klavan

Desperately racing to catch up with the conservative sociologist Charles Murray whom they so despise, the leftist New York Times front-paged a story [1] Saturday that basically bore out the central findings of Murray’s new book Coming Apart [2].

More than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage. … The fastest growth in the last two decades has occurred among white women in their 20s. … One group still largely resists the trend: college graduates, who overwhelmingly marry before having children. That is turning family structure into a new class divide, with the economic and social rewards of marriage increasingly reserved for people with the most education.

The leftist Times adds:

The shift is affecting children’s lives. Researchers have consistently found that children born outside marriage face elevated risks of falling into poverty, failing in school or suffering emotional and behavioral problems.

In other words, educated people do better because they marry more. They’re also, according to Murray, more religious and industrious, which further improves their lives.

The leftist Times, of course — and many of Murray’s leftist reviewers — try to slant these findings to suggest poor people are somehow being made to suffer by society’s unfair privileging of the marriage state. We can soon expect to hear a good deal about how a more tolerant Europe does illegitimacy better. It is frustrating to know we will have to wait at least a decade before the Times and its leftist camp followers are proven — as they are always ultimately proven in these social matters — wrong yet again.

Those unwilling to wait that long can turn directly to Murray, who tends to go blithely about getting things right even as the left excoriates him. Murray understands that the debilitating shifts of poorer people away from marriage and religion are culturally induced and that the prescriptions to reverse them must be cultural as well. Among those fixes, as he said in a recent article in the paper of record (the Wall Street Journal [3]):

The best thing that the new upper class can do… is to drop its condescending “non-judgmentalism.” Married, educated people who work hard and conscientiously raise their kids shouldn’t hesitate to voice their disapproval of those who defy these norms. When it comes to marriage and the work ethic, the new upper class must start preaching what it practices.

This is so clearly true that the only real question is: why don’t they? If marriage and religion give smart people joy and improve their living standards, why don’t they spread the word?

I believe one reason is the Tyranny of Hip: the unwillingness of grownups to be thought of as uncool. We seem to have a horror of shedding the mantles of the heroes of romance in order to take on the roles of the crusty but wise chaperones. Even when Red State’s Erick Erickson [4] and cultural blogger Dr. Melissa Clouthier [5] among others courageously grasped the nettle recently and took the girls and boys of CPAC to task for dressing like hookers and acting like johns, they were at pains to explain that they were talking about time and place appropriateness not morals — which still didn’t protect them from the usual hail of superior-sounding irony that followed.

No one wants to be the butt of the cool kids’ jokes like that. No critic who values his relevance wants to point out that Bridesmaids [6]soiling themselves while in wedding regalia is not really funny; or that Katy Perry’s hummable hit tunes [7] peddling alcohol abuse and cheap sex to 12-year-olds are reprehensible; or that Sacha Baron Cohen mocking ordinary people for their non-ironic faith, manners or dedication can be at once hilarious and morally wrong — like laughing at a slapstick accident that leaves someone dead. No one wants to turn into the old man waving his cane from the porch rocking chair shouting at the young folks to stop all their goldarned canoodling and quit parading around with their hoo-has and what-nots hanging out, for the love of Mike.

And yet the nation hungers for just such behavior. Witness the recent YouTube video [8] of a father punishing his spoiled daughter for a snarky Facebook post by plugging her laptop with a .45. The thing went viral to the tune of tens of millions of viewers. Why? Because it was wonderful to see someone finally step up and be Daddy.

Being Daddy, no matter what people say, is not primarily a matter of telling people what not to do, nor is it a matter, in my opinion, of scaring them with the consequences of poor behavior. Family leaders rather model, proclaim and support the way people behave when they treat themselves like people instead of meat puppets: i.e. when they make their flesh serve their dignity, love and joy, which sometimes means delaying and even denying more immediate and strictly physical pleasures.

Only (by which I mean only) this essentially spiritual approach to life supports self-governance and justifies liberty. That, if no other reason, is why it’s the responsibility of American grown-ups to teach it to the young. No one wants to be uncool, but the end result of the Tyranny of Hip is tyranny.

George strips this whole thing bare, Liberal Catholicism has been hijacked by progressives and socialists, Like I said eorlier, words mean things, Obama has been using the freedom of worship line since he was immaculated, even the eggheads at Notre Shame didn’t catch it, Oh well just a slip of the tongue, or worse yet they approved

The Catholic Betrayal of Religious Freedom

from the National Review Online

by By George Weigel


Thus “liberal Catholics” who refuse to grasp the threats to religious freedom posed by the Obama administration on so many fronts — the HHS mandate, the EEOC’s recently rejected attempt to strip the “ministerial exemption” from employment law, the State Department’s dumbing-down of religious freedom to a mere “freedom of worship — are betraying the best of their own heritage. And some are doing it in a particularly nasty way, trying to recruit the memory of John Courtney Murray as an ally in their attempts to cover for the Obama administration’s turning its de facto secularist bias into de jure policy, regulations, and mandates. More than 50 years ago, Murray warned of the dangers deracinated secularism posed to the American democratic experiment: a warning that seems quite prescient in the light of the Leviathan-like politics of this administration, aided and abetted by baptized secularists who insist that they are “liberal Catholics.” I daresay Murray, who did not suffer fools gladly, would not be amused by those who now try to use his work to shore up their own hollow arguments on behalf of the establishment of secularism.


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