September 2012

This morning’s Cincinnati Enquirer features a lengthy story on “the Catholic vote” from ace reporter Dan Horn. His section on Archbishop Schnurr and the opposition to “intrinsically evil actions” is excellent, and quotes directly from His Excellency’s recent letter on Catholic priorities in the public square:

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the Diocese of Covington offer weekly “prayers for religious liberty.” They also have urged the faithful to write the White House and other elected officials to complain about the insurance mandate.

The challenge for the bishops is to advocate for their cause without endorsing a candidate or party, which would violate the church’s teachings and jeopardize its tax status as a charitable religious organization.

But stopping short of an endorsement isn’t easy when one candidate, Obama, clearly supports the health reform law and the other, Romney, clearly opposes it.

Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis Schnurr offers no blessing or endorsement in a letter he’s sending to Catholics later this month. He does, however, say actions that threaten traditional marriage and religious liberty are “intrinsic evils.”

The implication for Catholics is that support for gay marriage and the health insurance mandate, which the church considers a threat to religious liberty, would amount to supporting an act of evil akin to abortion.

The choice of words is important because intrinsic evils must always be opposed, while decisions about how best to prevent war or poverty can be left to an individual’s “prudential judgment.”

“Opposing intrinsically evil actions that directly threaten the sanctity and dignity of life should have a special claim on our conscience as we choose between candidates who do not promote all of Catholic Social Teaching,” Schnurr wrote.

He does not tell Catholics to vote based on a single issue, but he does make clear that some issues, such as the health insurance mandate and gay marriage, are more important than others.

“What the church tries to do is give guidance to people and tell them this is what the church teaches,” said archdiocese spokesman Dan Andriacco.

The story ends with an obligatory and predictably misleading comment from the partisan malcontent who runs the archdiocesan Catholic Social Action office. The Church does not care “only that the faithful are getting involved” in the political process; the point of his boss’s letter is that some issues deserve more attention and involvement than others, i.e., that they have a “special claim” on our conscience.

Ben hits it on the head, something is rotten in DC, enjoy

“I am referring to something worse: Have you noticed that in the past few years, and especially in the past few weeks since the murder of the Ambassador and his guards and colleague in Benghazi (a city that Erwin Rommel loved and whose inhabitants he praised), whenever the New York Times refers to Mohammed, they always call him, without quotation marks, The Prophet Mohammed, as if everyone with any sense understands that OF COURSE Mohammed is The One True Prophet and that it’s just understood that Mohammed is The Prophet.”


P.S. if a crappy video is turning the Muslim world into a fit of violence, what will the soon due blockbuster about the “Killing of Bin Laden” do, or is it OK  since it glorifies Obama, will it start a new wave of violence and will Zero apologize for it and have the producer arrested?

Just askin


The Egyptian


Rich posted about St. Gertrude parish, after perusing their website I found this, shows the Benedictine Altar arrangement, plus one great sermon

If this is the caliber of priests you have at St. Gertrude ,  God bless them,  you are very blessed indeed, wish we could get a sermon near this good, what is the name of the Priest, so I can credit the video properly



Lately, one my most treasured “hours” during the week is from 11:30 to around 12:05 at St. Gertrude parish in Cincinnati’s Madeira neighborhood.

It’s the mid-day Mass, celebrated/said by the Dominican priests who serve the parish, and it’s sublime.

The priests and novices chant much of it in the vernacular, especially on Tuesdays during the “Community Mass,” and worshipers get to hear one of the Order of Preachers … preach.

Today, it was Fr. Basil Cole, OP, holding forth brilliantly on the martyrdom of St. “Lorenzo” Ruiz and his (Dominican) companions. “They had the choice of being sawed in half or hanged upside-down, slit, and bled to death over seven or eight days. … Yet they sang like they were at a wedding feast.”

Since he began his pontificate, Pope Benedict has been celebrating Mass using the “Benedictine Altar Arrangement“: prominent altar crucifix facing the celebrant, flanked by six equally prominent candles, three per side. St. Gertrude’s modified “Dominican-Benedictine Altar Arrangement” features an altar crucifix and six candles, only a bit smaller — each 18″ high or less. (It didn’t strike your host as appropriate to snap a photo.) One doesn’t get the sense the scaled-down arrangement comes from reticence or shame so much as modesty and practicality; the shorter crucifix and candles are probably what they had on hand.

Good for the Dominicans, for taking their cues from the Holy Father, and doing it without drawing attention to themselves. Would that more parishes did.

In a helpful recent column for National Review Online, George Weigel reminds us of the magisterial authority of statements from the chairmen of USCCB committees, explaining these documents are “binding on precisely no one” and that these chairmen “speak for themselves, period.” The statements he had in mind were from last spring and contained denunciations of the policies contained in Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposed budget.

Episcopal conferences have no authority over doctrinal matters per se and exist to assist individual bishops in the governing of their respective dioceses. (Archbishop Pilarczyk once humorously likened the forerunner to the USCCB to “a league of independent grocers.”) If an individual bishop wants to take up themes addressed in a conference document in an exhortation to his flock, as Archbishop Schnurr recently did in a letter about policy priorities for the forthcoming election, he is certainly free to do so, but in and of themselves those “source” documents, again, have no authority.

Which is why the new election-oriented “Sample Bulletin Inserts” issued by the Catholic Social Action office for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati are disappointing. They intersperse quotes from documents which do have authority, e.g., the encyclicals of Pope John Paul II, with those that do not, e.g., a USCCB statement on “Climate Change.” And given the many topics addressed by each snippet, they give the impression that all issues are of equal import. In an election year with so much at stake, that’s a real disservice.

Here’s a new “Leading with Values” ad produced by Catholics for Obama featuring Sister Monica McGloin, a local member of the Dominican Sisters of Hope:

Tip, Cincinnati Enquirer.

McGloin is a state co-chair for Catholics for Obama, whose national board includes Sister Jamie Phelps, a frequent collaborator with the Catholic Social Action office for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Other locals noted in the Enquirer‘s story include Stephanie Beck Borden, a former field organizer for Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and NETWORK; Paul De Marco, a lawyer who serves as a leader for Catholic Democrats; Bobby Nichols, a senior at Xavier University studying theology who “is heavily involved in the University’s Dorothy Day Center for Faith and Justice”; Deborah Rose-Milavec, co-director of an international non-profit college providing women’s and gender studies to women in developing regions of the world; and Christine Schroeder, a retired nurse in Cincinnati who “is very active with her parish community.”

And for another entry in your “Great Moments in Local Catholic Education” file, here is a CNS story featuring Vincent Miller of the University of Dayton on how much better aligned Obama’s Democrat party is to Catholic social teaching:

By examining the budgets of the major candidates, Vincent J. Miller, professor of religious studies at the University of Dayton in Ohio, told CNS the candidates’ motivations become clearer.

“If you read the (Republican) budget plan there are two concerns: (Ryan) emphasizes the fiscal crisis. But the other one that is always there is dependency is the danger. His budget in fact cuts the safety net first, but without stating specifics on how it will cut the benefit.”

In contrast, Miller explained, Obama “understands the government and its relation to the common good and that the government needs to do what the economy can’t do on its own.”

“There’s the notion there’s more to the common good than the economy and government has a role and responsibility there,” he added. “The Democrats’ desire [is] for sacrifice from both sides with some cuts in benefits and programs and raising taxes.”

Earlier this year, Miller added his name to a list of Catholic scholars and shills who eagerly signed off on Obama’s phony compromise over his contraceptive, abortifacient, and sterilization mandate that was roundly rejected by the bishops.

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