August 2012

You’ve got to wonder whether Archbishop Schnurr’s 36-month interdiction for Xavier University will include the fanciful exegesis routinely imposed from the lectern of Bellarmine Chapel.  In his latest posted homily, Ken Overberg, S.J., first tells us that the “long discourses” by Jesus in John’s Gospel are really theological reflections by John.  He then inserts this predictable parenthetical to reinforce the notion that the Gospel was a class project for the early Church:

(Keep in mind that the final form of John’s gospel was probably written in the 90s, and so contains decades of earlier Christian preaching and experience, including the community’s celebration of the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist.)

The group “Catholics for Obama” just released a letter of support claiming, “We are Catholics from diverse backgrounds and experiences committed to the re-election of President Obama.” Prominent among the “we” is Sister Jamie Phelps, the director of black studies at Xavier University of New Orleans.  If her name sounds familiar, it’s because she is a frequent collaborator with and speaker for the Social Action office of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, which under longtime director Tony Stieritz is little more than the local branch office for Catholics for Obama.

Between 2001 and 2011, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati lost something on the order of 100,000 Catholics.  To put it in perspective, that is a greater number of the faithful than make up the entire nearby Diocese of Covington.  So if any diocese needs to jump-start its evangelization, it’s ours.  Thankfully, that’s about to happen:

Pope Benedict XVI has declared A Year of Faith as part of the New Evangelization to renew Catholics’ commitment to live as Jesus Christ calls.

One important specific response to this is a project called Catholics Come Home. Michael Vanderburgh, Director, Archdiocesan Department of Stewardship, says “Each of us knows Catholics who have drifted away from the church; many are waiting for an invitation to return.”

On Sept. 15 and 16 at all parish Masses throughout the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, there will be a special collection to help extend that invitation through TV ads airing in primetime throughout this region.  Those contributions will purchase airtime for the ads. “Please join your fellow parishioners giving generous support to this project,” Vandenburgh said.  The ads can be previewed at

The Catholic Telegraph, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, runs a  glowing review of a book on Vatican II by the University of Toledo’s Richard R. Gaillardetz, a priestess advocate and notorious dissenter from settled Church teaching on papal infallibility and the authority of the Church’s teaching magisterium.  (He was also a Catholic shill for candidate Obama in 2008.)  The Telegraph‘s headline claims “Novices, experts alike can benefit from book on Second Vatican Council.”  Those people would be better off spending their time with Alan Schreck’s Vatican II: The Crisis and the Promise, a book more attuned to the Holy Father’s hermeneutic of continuity.

I am over joyed at the pick of Paul Ryan, but I am afraid we will have a battle ahead as Catholics. Are the “NUNS on the BUS going to start attacking him as “mean” or trying to push grandma over the cliff.  Are the left end of the USCCB going to attack his budget ideas again as they have done in the past, I don’t remember how many liberals I know have tossed in my face the comments of some “faithful” Bishops who condemned his fiscal ideas in the past, totally distorting Catholic views. The left wing media is drooling to unleash some social justice type religious on Ryan and scream to the hilltops that they have the proof Ryan is an “extreme” right wing extremist. (yeah I’ve heard the term twice so far)

Fasten your seat belt, is going to be a bumpy ride

That, I am told, is how long Archbishop Schnurr has given Cincinnati’s Xavier University to clean up its act or lose its status as a Catholic institution.

In keeping with the secretive nature of this episcopate, the interdiction isn’t public knowledge, but XU staff members talk openly about it.

One of the earliest steps toward compliance was the school’s announcement it would not follow Obama’s illegal HHS contraception and abortifacient mandate.

Bully for His Excellency and, ultimately, Xavier.

UPDATE.  A site called “XavierHoops” picks up the post; surprisingly, some of the commenters seem intelligent.

From what National Review‘s editors say about Romney’s choice of Ryan for veep:

While Ryan has a national reputation as a budget cutter, he is a full-spectrum conservative. One strength he brings to the ticket is a grounding in the social teaching of the Catholic Church, to which he belongs, and a willingness to engage with those who thoughtlessly equate this teaching with support for an ever-expanding welfare state. These traits could have more than parochial interest this year, because a disproportionate number of Catholic voters are up for grabs.

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