Dec 27, 2010

Challenging the cardinal in Washington DC Updated with response from ADW

We have the Pope decrying the violence inflicted on Christians abroad as blood covers many lands on Christmas day and the cardinal of the most powerful Christian nation is talking about good manners and right conduct in the blogosphere. We have the administration circumventing the people’s will by regulations that curtail freedom and processes that introduce death panels; yet, Church leaders seem oblivious to these threats that they do not even prioritize them. The Liberals in Church are challenging Church teachings on life as “Catholic” hospitals provide abortion but we get a commentary on DADT instead. (If video fails, go to

The Church in DC is of immense political influence that can mean the survival of the Christians in the banana republics. But we choose to stay out of the fire-storm. We don’t even try to meet with the Catholics in the House, Senate and the White House for a talk to see what can be done. It is as though we’re ostriches with our heads in the sand. And I, for the love of God, don’t understand why.

Updated with responses from Msgr. Pope

Msgr. Charles Pope says:
December 27, 2010 at 9:07 pm
*** Well again, you really ought to write to Chris Wallace on these matters. If you think the Cardinal’s “handlers” as you call them have input I can tell you they would LOVE to have the input you say they have. I have been on National Live Television (CNN, PBS, and local coverage of any number of events incluing TV and radio) and I can assure you that there are no advance copies of questions and negotiations on content. What the ADW staff do well is to prepare us for what MIGHT be asked but there is no certainty as to what WILL be asked. I remember one TV producer talking with me in the Green Room and he was the producer mind you, but he said to me: “Well here is what the anchor may ask you but we never know for sure if they will ask these sorts of things or something else. We only propose but they do the interview.” Thus, even the producers are often uncertain where the Anchor will go and what they will choose to emphasize.

You also are very flattering in your description of the “immense political influence” that the Church in DC has. Sadly this is no tthe case and I will tell you why: the Catholic Laity are divided politically. We do meet all the time with POLs. I have personally sat in the offices of some pretty powerful people at both Federal and District levels and had them say to me something like this: “Father, I hear your poistion on this. But I’m a politician and I know how to read polls. Your people aren’t with you on this, you don’t represent most of them on this, I do. Thanks for stopping Msgr. By the way how is your dear, sainted mother? Oh! She died?! I’m sorry I didn’t know that. Awful sorry Msgr., God bless you now, stop by any time.”

So Ricky I want to challenge you, as a lay person, to go out and start rallying the Catholic faithful and get them foursquare behind us on abortion, gay “marriage” issues. Politically organize them Ricky, call for a Rally that will overwhelm washington (do you know that if only 10% of Catholics showed up for the March for life there would be 7,700,000 people in DC?). And then I tell you the Pols would quake in their boots if any Catholic bishop knocked on the door. There are 77 million Catholics and it belongs to the laity to politically organize. I am asking you Ricky to lead the charge and unify this disparate group. If we were united on any issue the pols would be calling us. Please start the movement, we are sadly divided. Shepherding Catholics is often like herding cats. Help us.

Ricky Vines says:
December 28, 2010 at 6:58 am
Msgr. Pope: Help me help you. To consolidate the Church in DC, we must be faithful in administering Her first and foremost – without regard to the popularity of our decisions. If we try to please everyone to gain their support, we end up pleasing no one and compromising the Divine trust placed upon us. For instance, if we don’t discipline the faithless within our jurisdiction, then we scandalize the faithful. We lose both.

When Bishop Olmstead yanked the Catholic status of that hospital, he rallied the faithful and drew the line with the faithless. That is also what makes Archbishop Chaput edifying; he is not caught up in human politics. He strives to keep the purity of doctrine and defend the Church from the obfuscations of the Liberals.

Here, we seem to try to accommodate the Liberals, not alienate them but slowly wean them to the truth. However, after 60 million dead babies, I think it’s about time to change tactics. I am just a layman and I cannot excommunicate anyone who supports abortion for instance. And if others, see Church leaders being chummy with pro-abortion pols and dissenting intellectual elites, then they start thinking that abortion may be OK depending on the situation. So, unless you, ordained ministers , start swinging your staff to drive out the wolves then the Pelosis and Bidens will continue to rip apart the flock with their pop theology and the babies continue to be slaughtered. BTW, happy (?) feastday of the Holy Innocents. God bless.

Msgr. Charles Pope says:
December 28, 2010 at 10:14 am
Ricky, are you aware that Bishop Olmstead was in a 7 year dialogue with the hospital over this issue? He didn’t exactly rush to the rescue.

Are you aware that Bishop Chaput supported the Dream Act. If you want Bishops to be involved in commenting on the validity of certain policies expect to have you conservative ox gored too. Catholicism. And when it is I wonder if you will be so serene about the Bishops interjecting themselves into politics when your ox is gored.

Now you as a layman are able and encouraged to get into politics, comment vigorously on policy, form and/or join political movements, seek to sway policy decisions etc. That is you role. I think that clergy however need to be very prudent and reticient to enter the policy debates – especially when reasonable men differ.,,, (DADT comments)...
Now as for you Ricky, you are more free. You are able to lead movements based on your opinion and gather those of like mind. You obviously think the Church is in need of reform and should be more conservative and less liberal (I am not sure if you mean this poilitically or theologically or both since repeal of DADT is largely an initiative of political liberals). But what ever the case, reform in the Church most often is from the grassroots. So get started Ricky. Don’t worry about the those “liberals,” just get started and overwhelm them. Unify the Church around your vision. I live for the day when the Catholic faithful are unitied on anything. If we were we would be a force to reckoned with. And remember when it comes to the temporal order YOU are the leader, not the clergy . Read your theology, it is the laity who are tasked with the renewal of the temporal order, not the clergy who are counselled and warned to stay aloof from politics and to prudently set forth Catholic teaching in a way that empowers the laity to their task of taking Catholic teaching into the political and social realm. By the authority invested in me by the Sacred Councils of the Church and the utterances of many recent Popes I hereby anoint you Ricky as leader in the movement to renew the temporal order. Don’t wait for the clergy to be perfect or more conservative, if so you’ll be waiting a long time for the perfect bishop or priest. No Ricky, you are hereby anointed to go out and organize the faith and take on this hell-bound sin-soaked and confused world.

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