Why This Catholic Girl Is Praying for a Schism Part 1

Before reading Christina Pesoli’s marvelous article, Why This Catholic Girl Is Praying for a Schism, I was all about the business of writing something short, enlightening, and relatively professional. But the humor of her work has bubbled up within me, to the point that I would now consider it criminal not to share a brief response. Pesoli is a wonderful writer, and an intelligent human being, so I guarantee that her work will brighten your day, tickle your sides, and give you hope for future of the Church. Without further introduction then, and with the embrace of my immediate, most immature reactions:

“Dear Father in Heaven: If you’re up there and you can hear me, show me the way. I’m at the end of my rope. Show me the way, God.”

George Bailey!

That was George Bailey’s prayer as he sat at Martini’s Bar in the holiday movie classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Damn straight.

I can relate.

Like George Bailey all those years ago, this summer I found myself in the middle of a personal crisis of my own. The Catholic Church – my church — had lost its mind.

Her mind. Let’s get crazy and begin without degrading women.

The Vatican ordered a crackdown on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the largest organization of nuns in the United States.

…all glory be to God, whose mercy and compassion upon us exceeds the furthest reaches of human imagination.

Apparently, dedicating their lives to caring for the sick and helping the poor wasn’t enough.

Yes, the truth Pesoli points out is entirely apparent, though it’s not the Vatican preaching it. It’s that aggravating, let’s-not-define-everything-by-21st-century-liberal-vs.-conservative-standards St. James, who says “religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27).

Those darn two-part commands. It seems that the practice of religion that looks after the orphans and widows while simultaneously advancing the pollution of the world — such as, but not limited to, the current fashion of promoting, ignoring, or justifying the killing of a unique human being in utero — is neither pure, nor faultless, nor acceptable to Father, equally as lame as the religion of someone free from said pollution, who refuses to help the poor in distress.

And thus we nod our heads towards the Vatican, may she live long and prosper and continue to work tirelessly for the salvation and edification of every member of the LCWR, whom she instituted.

 The Vatican accused them of promoting “radical feminist” ideas and demanded that they crank up the volume on opposing abortion and gay marriage. In short, the Vatican wanted to see less help and more hate.

Pesoli’s annoyance at the “radical feminist” charge is understandable. Radical feminists are — in the vein of Susan B. Anthony — adamantly pro-life, and remarkably intelligent. The current intellectual culture within the LCWR — instituted by the Vatican, did I mention that? — could have been more adequately termed by the Vatican as radically stupid. Forgive my crudity, but I’m a simple-minded kid, and I can reach for no other word when seeking to describe what could possibly influence a group of humans to choose this woman as an opening speaker for their conference:

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But as to the idea that the Vatican wants to see “less help and more hate” (because it’s not a culture war if your enemy isn’t pro-burning-hatred) I wonder whether this does justice to the man or woman living in poverty. After all, if the Church truly believes that things like abortion are wrong, damaging in their very nature to the human person and his community, then surely it’s no kindness to a man without money — a poor man — to teach him that it’s otherwise?

The poor are not some abstraction that just need food, shelter, and cash (though we of course should laud anyone who provides their fellow man with these). The poor are people. People yearn for the Truth. Poverty does not eradicate this yearning. True hate — or at the very least true contempt — would be for the Church to only meet the physical needs of the poor through the work of her nuns, ignoring their moral and spiritual needs. True contempt would be a message from the Vatican to the LCWR saying, “We’re worried about you misleading the souls of the poor, but because you are feeding them, we’re not going to look into it.”

Then, in a move that seemed to be ripped from the headlines of The Onion, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops took aim at the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. Among other infractions, the bishops had learned that the Girl Scouts had approved projects that would donate money to Doctors without Borders and OxFam.

And because those organizations have stances that are contrary to the Church’s on issues like birth control, the bishops did what they do best: They launched an inquisition into the internal goings-on at the 100-year-old organization whose mission is to build “girls of courage, confidence, and character.”

Say, for instance, that Planned Parenthood had a historic relationship with Big Kahuna Burger. Planned Parenthood then gets word — through various complaints written in neon pink — that Big Kahuna Burger donates money to a group antithetical in its nature to Planned Parenthood. For the sake of argument, let’s say Kahuna is donating to the Family Research Council. No one would be surprised or offended if Planned Parenthood investigated those claims.

But when the Church does the very same thing, it’s an Inquisition. (When I am older and more mature, I will stop imagining Girl Scouts being sent to the racks.) I’m genuinely curious whether there is a reason for Pesoli’s irritation over an institution attempting to remain ideologically consistent, besides that she disagrees with the particular ideology.

The Church’s backwards and outdated policies relating to women in particular and equality in general were nothing new; but its singular focus on these issues coupled with its demand that everyone else do the exact same thing was. So much for free will.

Her singular focus on women’s issues. And yes, it’s truly novel, this bizarre move by the Church to call her universal claims universal, her doctrines doctrinal, and her dogmas dogmatic. For the last 2000 years its been all, “we’re going to to say a few things regarding morality, feel free not to apply them to your life.” The Council of Trent was a fantastic example of this attitude, a long declarative “eh, whatever” to the world. Then 2003 came it was all, “Better idea, let’s hate women.”

“But how?”

“Let’s say that which we’ve been claiming to be universal, divine Truth is in fact — wait for it — true for everyone!”

“Brilliant! Now the women will leave! But wait, doesn’t this contradict the Catholic doctrine of free will, which holds that no ideological institution may investigate the ideology of its partner institution?”

“That’s precisely what the Catholic doctrine of free will is, Biden. So much for free will, then!”

The Church had become paranoid and delusional to the point where everyone and everything was a potential threat — even little girls selling cookies.

Right. That’s precisely what’s at issue here. Not ideological consistency, but the Girl Scouts themselves, who shall now receive their long awaited excellence in apostasy badges.

If Pesoli had cited a source besides the never-ending ritual of intellectual masturbation that is The Huffington Post, then even the most uncritical reader would read the Church’s actions as benign. As the pro-Catholic, conservative news outlet The Washington Post has it: “Church officials involved with the investigation say the Girl Scouts have made some changes in their materials and both sides say they think some complaints are overblown and that the relationship will remain intact.”

 It occurred to me that this must be what it’s like to be married to a drug addict.

That escalated quickly.

Your life is a living hell, and your husband is out of control. He constantly makes an ass of himself. You try to defend him. You explain away or cover up his bizarre behavior. You remember the person he used to be and the good times you had. You hang in there hoping that things will get better, but they only get worse. Then you wonder, what if he never gets better? And what about the kids?

Imagine what it’s like to be married to a man so constantly on acid that he believes it’s his wife, in her sanity, who is tripping balls. Now that would be difficult.

I am used to disagreeing with the Church on issues revolving around the theme of equality.

I take it Pesoli was also used to professing her absolute faith in that same Church every Sunday at Mass.

After all, the last time the Church made any progress in this area was in 1992 when it took the baby step of allowing girls to be altar servers. I have waited (not exactly patiently or quietly — but I have waited, nonetheless) while the Church treads water, clinging to all the good the Church has done in the area of social justice as my personal life preserver.

But the new bumper crop of high profile Catholics like Paul Ryan and Rick Santorum have punched a hole in my life preserver with policy proposals that completely forsake the poor. And the assaults on the nuns and the Girl Scouts prove that the Church isn’t dog paddling anymore; it’s doing the backstroke so fast that even Michael Phelps would be impressed.

I was foundering.


What I considered the heart and soul of my church was gone, and I didn’t like what was left.

I think we arrive past the fun and to the heart of what Pesoli is expressing. What, exactly, is the heart and soul of the Catholic Church?

While the effort to establish social justice should certainly be the primary visible action of the Church in the world, this action rises from a deeper well. This action rises from doctrine. Christ did not merely say “love another”, and thereby institute a Church of Social Justice. Christ said love another, “as I have loved you.”

He gave us a call to action based on an established Truth. The effort to establish social justice — which is only a great way of saying “love the poor” — is a direct result of the reality that Christ loves us, a reality contained in the doctrines of the Church, which holds that Christ became man, died, and rose for our sake, thus elevating every man to a position of immense dignity.

It is because of this Truth that Paul could say “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). Because of Christ, we should treat everyone with love.

The heart and soul of the Catholic Church cannot — therefore — be social justice. The heart and soul of the Catholic Church must be Christ Himself, for the command to love and work for justice rests on the reality of Him and His love. If this is admitted, though perhaps it will never be, then Pesoli’s complaint that the Church are focuses too heavily on moral issues becomes silly. For that same Christ has demanded that we “be perfect, therefore, as [our] heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Christ demands both moral goodness and love for each other. The Catholic Church, as both the largest charitable organization in the world and the annoying Mother reminding us not to kill babies, seems to be fulfilling both of these demands.

Could I really raise my daughter in a Church that was so firmly committed to being on the wrong side of so many no-brainer issues?

I’m going to pull the common sense card, which I understand holds little weight in uncommonly senseless times: Is it at all possible that it is not the 2000 year old institution, with its consistent and incredible philosophical and theological tradition, who remains on the wrong side of no-brainer issues, but Pesoli herself? To be fair, I don’t know how many heresies our author has destroyed in her lifetime.

I didn’t know what to do. So, like George Bailey, I prayed. And like George Bailey, God sent me an angel, too. Only mine wasn’t named Clarence. Mine was named Melinda Gates.

Oh sweet Lord.

I learned that through her foundation, Gates had launched a program to provide contraceptives to 120 million of the world’s poorest women by the year 2020. And because Gates is both a public figure and a practicing Catholic, she immediately began taking heat for her efforts. Catholics questioned how she could support birth control; and supporters of birth control questioned how she could be Catholic.

Gates answered these questions with unwavering commitment to both. “Part of what I do with the [Gates] Foundation comes from that incredible social justice I had growing up and belief that all lives … are of equal value.”

How, I’m truly curious, does one have incredible social justice?

That’s my kind of Catholicism.

A noble sentiment. It reminds me of seventh grade, when I met a man who told me that I could be a mathematician, and believe whatever I want about Math. That’s my kind of Math, I said.

When questioned about the conflict between her foundation’s work and the Church’s position on contraception, Gates answered, “We’re not going to agree about everything, but that’s OK.” How refreshingly reasonable.

Reasonable? As in, Melinda Gates’ answer reflects her use of reason, that human faculty that generates true conclusions? Let’s use a little of the stuff ourselves.

To become a Catholic, a human being must believe and state the following: “I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church teaches, believes and proclaims to be revealed by God.”

This statement of belief must be restated by every Catholic, every week, at every recitation of the Creed, as “I believe in one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.” To be a Catholic at all is to believe in the teachings of the Catholic Church.

When Mrs. Gates claims that it’s “OK” that she disagrees with the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding contraception, clearly annunciated and elucidated as they are in Humanae Vitae

Therefore We base Our words on the first principles of a human and Christian doctrine of marriage when We are obliged once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children. Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary. Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means.

…I cannot agree that her position is a reasonable one. It is “OK” in an earthly sense. No harm will come to her for disagreeing in this manner. In fact, she’ll be hailed a heroine and a rebel by white people fond of imposing Western norms where ever they see fit. It is not OK in the logical, rational sense, for the small reason that it makes no sense whatsoever.

If being Catholic depends on believing in the teachings of the Catholic Church, then rejecting a teaching of the Catholic Church is to reject Catholicism. Answering this obvious contradiction by pointing out that you’re following another Church teaching — the call for social justice — is no answer at all, but a picking and choosing from a belief system to construct your own. This is no more an example of bold rebellion than a man who claims to be a member of the Marines, but chooses to ignore the command to stay fit.

Read Part 2

Sexuality and the Land
Bettering Your Boring Christian Playlist: Jenny & Tyler
No, Christianity's Not Eurocentric (But You Kind Of Are)
The Difference Between a Martyr and a Victim
  • dude

    Well put. Thought-provoking yet entertaining as always.

  • musiciangirl591

    “intellectual masturbation that is The Huffington Post”, what i’ve thought for a long time, but never had the words to say lol, the Church has been around for 2,000 years and all her blogging isn’t really going to change the teachings :P

  • Alexandra

    You’re such a douche. Why is it so hard for you to have compassion for the fact that there’s a lot of people who grow up Catholic and have trouble with reconciling what they love about the Church with what they know to be unjust?

    • musiciangirl591

      if you don’t agree with what he says, why do you read and comment? usually i stay away from things that make me mad (which is why my boyfriend’s sister and i don’t spend alot of time together :P)

      • http://www.facebook.com/Marit.C.G Marit Gookin

        Just because you don’t agree with someone doesn’t mean that you can’t listen to what they have to say–and I mean truly listen, with an open heart and mind, and consider their opinion as an opinion with at least as much weight as your own. You don’t have to believe them, but it’s the height of foolishness to take a definitive stance in an argument when you only know one side of it; it’s possible the other side has a point, or maybe knowing their reasoning will help you to attempt to persuade them otherwise or even just understand them and their motivations.
        And, ultimately, just because you don’t like to hear something doesn’t mean that nobody’s saying it. I, for one, don’t *like* in any way, shape, or form, to hear about AIDS statistics in Africa–or, on a more opinion-based level, justifications for immigration policies in certain states–but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re out there, and if I want to have an informed opinion and be part of the solution, I had better read up.

        • musiciangirl591

          jeez, sorry, make one comment :P

      • Obliged_Cornball

        Now the post in question was in bad taste, but it’s simply not the case that people who don’t agree shouldn’t read and respond. I read stuff contrary to my own views (Marc’s posts included) all the time. And in the odd cases that I do choose to post here, I try to be polite (unlike the poster you responded to). I do this because I am relatively secure in my worldview, and thus can have it challenged without losing my mind. Incidentally, Marc is the same way, which is why I can relate to him even though we agree on very little. He has jimmies of steel, and though they get rustled, they don’t provoke him to hide from differing opinions. I wish to attain that same mental fortitude, hence why I work to overcome the rustling.

        • musiciangirl591

          i was just stating what was on my mind… jeez, sorry

          • Obliged_Cornball

            No need to apologize!

    • Cal-J

      Because by “compassion” you generally mean “acceptance”, and most especially on those issues that you claim people “know to be unjust”, which generally tend to be our biggest issues of contention.

      • Cal-J

        You’re entirely welcome to demonstrate the unjust part, mind you.

      • Alexandra

        No, seriously, I mean compassion. Compassion for what kind of a serious struggle this is for people. Marc doesn’t have it. Whether he agrees with their position or not, he doesn’t even seem to acknowledge that this is a hard thing for people to deal with.

        • Cal-J

          Well, the problem with that is that Miss (Mrs?) Pesoli is milking recent news items in the Catholic Church for what appears to be drama.

          In fact, the more I read and reread the article, that seems to be exactly what she’s aiming for.
          “Crackdown”? “Took aim”? “Less help and more hate”? “Launched an inquisition”? “Paranoid and delusional”? “Married to a drug addict”? (…Seriously?)
          In fact, she seems to have very little problem at all, what with her schism plan. I can add further criticism to Marc’s article: the sense of childishness that dominates the latter portion of her essay (Jesus is on OUR side and you suck), for starters.
          It’s hard to have any compassion for anyone who is approaching this issue in such stark bad faith.

          • Alexandra

            It’s hard to have compassion, therefore he doesn’t have to?

          • Cal-J

            @23cb3c4910328f69ebf5196255be76ea:disqus: Let me try this. “Compassion” is empathy for the suffering of others.

            Upon consideration of her article, Miss Pesoli’s taste for theatrics and talent for drama (I refer again to my quotes) suggest that she is not actually suffering so much as trying to appear as though she is.

            She compares the Church (and everyone Catholic she can squash into the box labelled “conservative”) to a drug-addict (with not a subtle side note of abuse); Ryan and Santorum are declared to have outright punctured her “personal life preserver” (the ultimate good of either man’s plans are clearly debatable; Pesoli’s outright vilification of them with her metaphor of personal violence is *not*). To further emphasize her point, the Catholic Church is declared to be on the wrong side of many no-brainer issues.

            She immediately stops suffering the instance she writes the name Melinda Gates.

            Again, the woman is writing in demonstrably bad faith. False suffering does not merit empathy of any kind.

          • Alexandra

            I guess I’ve been there. I remember the suffering and struggle involved in realizing I didn’t agree with the Church on anything. It’s a really crappy thing to go through.

            I agree this woman went into theatrics and her idea of a schism was stupid. But I read Marc’s article first, not hers. And Marc just sounds like a douchebag.

          • Cal-J

            Maybe he sounds like one. Given the context, I’m pretty sure he isn’t one, ultimately.

            I’m not particularly inclined to defend his target.

          • Alexandra

            He does sound like one. Given this context, it’s more understandable.

            But he constructs who he is on the interwebs. He has to be aware that people read this before they read the article. And he’s decided to construct a persona that’s completely unkind and uncharitable.

          • Cal-J

            Yes, he is responsible for his own image.

            Yes, people will read this before reading the subject article.

            But you write “unkind” and “uncharitable” to describe how Marc does not particularly mitigate his tone when describing certain trains of thought he disagrees with. This happens to be the exact same tone he maintains when adulating whatever function of the Church’s theology or philosophy he turns his attention to, which you have praised elsewhere.

            To counter, I would point out that he almost immediately links to the article he quotes to direct traffic there. Also to counter, I would point out how you apparently immediately jumped to the combox to call him a douche without even bothering to read the article itself (which you later agreed was rather unreasonable), which is not particularly an act of kindness or charity, though I understand you mean well.

            Your decision to describe Marc as unkind and uncharitable appears to refer to only a portion of his writing: that which you disagree with. I’ve seen others (usually Marc’s intended audience of fellow Catholics) interpret that same writing as confident, bracing, and joyful. (This is basically becomes an argument of perspective). In this case, I would imagine Marc’s behavior deconstructs your version of him a smidgeon, as Marc provided an honest response to someone who did him no such service.

          • wkdkween

            I read the article first and after reading this one, I concur,he does sound like a d—-h. I certainly would not like to have a conversation with him or listen to anything he would say, he is so … I can’t even find a word to describe how bad he sounds in this article.

    • Jared

      We all struggle with Catholic Teaching. For most of us, the struggle is living a holy, chaste, loving life–loving God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves. This is incredibly difficult. So when others ignore the faith, and give a public impression that the Church is an abstract philosophy, of which we can pick and choose what we like, it is obnoxious.
      In reality, the Church is a personal relationship with Jesus, who was sent by the Father, took on human nature that He may teach us, establish His Mystical Body, the Church, as a way of giving us Grace, suffering, dying, and rising from the grave, conquering sin and death for us, and sending the Holy Spirit to guide our leaders on matters of Doctrine so they won’t totally destroy His Church. Truth is taught by the Church, and while we are to love our enemies–both within and outside the Church–it is not loving to ignore a heterodox posistion.

      Can we all stand to act with more humility? Yes! Does that mean getting all emotional and telling people it’s okay to teach heresy? Absolutely not.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000909947326 Nick Corrado

      I totally felt for her right up until her “proposal” which sounded flippant and offensive. I’m sure Marc would take her seriously if she could take her own struggle with the Church seriously. Is her solution to the partisanship of our politics to split America right down the middle too?

      • Alexandra

        Yeah, I do agree the proposal was stupid.

        But I didn’t read her article first. I read Marc’s first. And Marc sounded like an asshat reaming her for her struggle.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000909947326 Nick Corrado

          Well part of the problem is that she only really gets flippant and offensive in the second half, though the drug addict nonsense is something of a precursor. Marc is approaching the “struggle half” in light of the appalling “proposal half.” It’s definitely a good idea to understand why the article in question received such a reaming by actually reading it first.

          I’ve made the mistake myself of getting all in a rage over people getting really polemical toward something that sounded relatively harmless, but once I went and read what was “relatively harmless,” the tables changed, so to speak.

          • Alexandra

            I’d argue that Marc should have tried writing this better so as to not make himself look so nasty, not rely on that a reader should go read what he’s responding to.

            It doesn’t matter what he’s responding to, really. He still ends up looking like an uncharitable jerk.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000909947326 Nick Corrado

            A warning that the reader should understand the context would be nice of him, but I hardly think he’s responsible for the mess if his readers don’t bother to familiarize themselves with the topic before reading his take on it. I’ve got an essay for ENG 111 due that I have yet to start, so I’m going to be short here and break Godwin’s Law:
            “Marc has been really uncharitable toward Hitler. I read his take on WWII and the way he grilled the Axis before I learned about the Holocaust and I just think he was such a douche about it. Leave Germany alone, it’s going through such a hard time.”

        • musiciangirl591

          i like the insult asshat, it always makes me smile :P

    • Denise

      I start by admitting that I am not familiar with your personal struggle with some teachings of the Church, but I am familiar with the so called struggles of some nuns (ok one nun I’m related to) whom I have had conversations with and which I think reflect what Marc is referring to. First, she indeed has done wonderful things to aid the poor, particularly women and children, and sometimes at great personal sacrifice. However, when I try to have an informed discussion with her, such as let’s talk about the social encyclicals since Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum and have a discussion about principles such as subsidiarity and solidarity, socialism and communism, or Humana Vitae, and ask questions like do you actually know what Charles Curran said or wrote? The conversation quickly becomes hostile and the response goes something like “I know what he Church says but there are things we are interested in and no one seems to want to listen.” The conversations go nowhere when I want to discuss what the Church actually says.

      Some of these nuns definitely want to go beyond Christ and their ideas cease to even be Christian, but they have the disguise of being Christian because the good work they are doing. It seems to me that some of these nuns either are ill-informed or misinformed and care not to be properly informed, or they are in fact informed and they do not wish to reconcile anything. They won’t just come out and say “I think the Church is wrong so I’m going to find another religion,” because they want the Church to change her teachings according to their mindset. We know She can’t, because well the Church can’t make the truth an untruth, and to do so would admit that it’s not a truth to begin with, and if that’s true then to hell with it all!
      These nuns, want to change reality to fit their mind, but the realist will conform his mind to reality. For a Catholic, if you believe the Catholic Church is indeed founded by Christ and He is the invisible head, while the Pope the visible head on earth, it follows that you believe the Church teaches the truth on matters of faith and morals, and you conform your mind to it, you conform your mind to the mind of Christ.

  • Cal-J

    Is there an Uncanny Valley for last names? Pesoli is just too close; someone is going to have to convince me it’s a coincidence.

    • musiciangirl591

      thats what i thought too! lol

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001837523704 Matt LaMar

      Took me a few minutes to realize that I was mentally pronouncing it Pelosi.

      • Guest

        Me too!

    • guest


    • gabriella

      I wondered if it was just a screenname at first….based on her role model or something. Maybe that’s a little far out there, though

  • http://twitter.com/CKDaws C.K. Dawson

    I immediately noticed the foundering/floudering word mistake too.

    • Alexandra

      It’s not a mistake. Foundering is the correct word. Look it up.

  • http://universalcoolness.blogspot.com/ R.E.O. Johnson

    The point of being Catholic is that you look to the church for wisdom, guidance, and means of growing closer to God. If you’re then going to override her because you find her insufficient, well, you’re wasting everyone’s time. Just don’t consider yourself Catholic. Either she has authority or she doesn’t.

    • Alexandra

      Since it’s just that super easy. It’s not. At all.

      • JoAnna Wahlund

        Actually, it is. Why do you say that it is not?

  • Maggie0405

    There are hundreds, if not thousands, of churches that would allow this author to live an authentic and ideologically consistent life-ones that don’t have any problems with the “issues” she advocates. It’s a common argument but the most persuasive: Why stay in the Church if you don’t want to live by its teachings?

    • Alexandra

      Because it’s hard. It’s not easy to leave something that feels so fundamental to your identity as your religion. Can you imagine having to change all of that? Disagreeing with the Church doesn’t make that kind of a transition easy.

      • http://twitter.com/PaulWilson34 Paul Wilson

        So, in other words, the Church should simply change Her teachings in order to please those (of a particular political persuasion, of course!) who disagree with Her teaching?

        • Alexandra

          Those are a whole lot of other words.

          Which amazingly aren’t implied in what I said.

          • http://twitter.com/PaulWilson34 Paul Wilson

            Okay, then what are you saying? Are you arguing that since religion “feels” fundamental to the identity of an person, that said person who disagrees with major tenets of the Church should remain, even though she believes the Church is being unjust?

          • Alexandra

            I’m saying that it’s an intellectually difficult position to be in, and that there’s plenty of people who make the choice to remain Catholic in name even though they disagree with the Church. I’m saying I understand why they would chose to not leave.

          • http://twitter.com/PaulWilson34 Paul Wilson

            I would argue the position of individuals like Pesoli is far more emotionally difficult than intellectually difficult, if the author truly believes in what she writes. Understanding is certainly called for – but understanding is not the same as condoning. Conversely, it does seem somewhat intellectually dishonest, however, to remain in a Church whose teachings one despises solely for reasons of discomfort.

      • Maggie0405

        With all due respect and charity, I have to say that if I felt the same way as this author does about these issues, I would have a hard time considering the RCC as “fundamental to my identity”-She’s taken the exact opposite stand of the Church on a number of absolutely integral teachings.

        • Alexandra

          Well, it can. It can very much so feel like a fundamental part of your identity even if you don’t agree with the Church’s stance on things. My transition to atheism was incredibly hard because I really still thought of myself as Catholic. I grew up in it, it was where all my friends were, it was comforting and beautiful. It’s not easy.

          • Maggie0405

            Sounds like you made a choice that this author wasn’t willing to make. I suppose atheism is more consistent with her beliefs. (Not really sure. Kind of no rules at all, or maybe a moral pagan ethics?).

            I chose the reverse course upon returning to the Church. I realized that I had to profess certain beliefs, so I took it upon myself to research the truth of the faith in order to be able to believe and trust her and conform to her truth. It’s hard, but it’s a blessing.

  • Joe Cool

    “‘It occurred to me that this must be what it’s like to be married to a drug addict.’
    Oh. That escalated quickly.”

    Come on, where’s the picture of Ron Burgundy?

    • JoFro

      Yes, that was a definite meme fail there…cmon Mark, ure better than this :D

    • musiciangirl591

      that would have been excellent :D is there a website where you can make a meme

  • Rose

    If you don’t agree with the church’s teachings you’re not Catholic, and you can leave. It’s hard, but you can! I have my doubts and struggles, but I know that if I said I disagreed with the church but was still Catholic I wouldn’t be making any sense.

    Anyway, if she wants a schism, why does she start one? What, is she waiting for a man to do it for her? :P

    I know it’s hard, but if this is what she truly believes than I’m sure she can find the strength to be honest with herself and leave.

    • MotherSetonsDaughter


    • JoFro

      Heck, that’s what I told her as well – to be honest with herself and leave!

  • ML

    “…a source besides the never-ending ritual of intellectual masturbation that is The Huffington Post.” THANK YOU. I am appalled at how much this source DOESN’T know about the Catholic faith. I watched a video on “prayer” on their website and by the time it was over I was laughing hysterical and the stupidity of their analysis.

    • musiciangirl591

      whats even better on HP is the people who comment on the articles, i once saw a person comment on something about a Conservative blogger, the person who commented said “all Conservative bloggers should be rounded up and shot” not even joking!

  • Joe Cool

    “Gates had launched a program to provide contraceptives to 120 million of the world’s poorest women by the year 2020.”

    Whether they like it or not….

    What was that word I learned in Sociology class? Ah, yes, “ethnocentric”. As demonstrated by the attitude, “oh, those poor, benighted African women, who keep having too many babies. Here, take something you don’t want that will get rid of something you do. I know what’s best for you because I’m rich and white.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/salli.brandon Salli Konek Brandon

      The support of contraceptives and abortion always seems to have undertones of Eugenics. It’s always about poor people having access and then someone chimes in about drug addict women having babies. It drives me nuts. Don’t get me started on all the Down Syndrome babies that get aborted.

      • musiciangirl591

        have you ever heard of the laws back in the early 1900s where the government could have you sterilized? if they deemed you feeble minded, with bad genes (i’m epileptic, so i would be included in this category), and people deemed to have promiscuity issues would be forcibly sterilized? eugenics is a horrible thing

        • Sue O’Rourke Salata

          In 1962 the city of Chicago sterilized our neighbor lady after she had 4 children that were as mentally Handicaped as her and her husband. She cried and cried to my Grandmother, “How can they do this?” The whole family were on welfare, special ed for the kids. I’m not sure if either parents was able to work.
          It was very sad.

          • musiciangirl591

            i just find it terrifying, that there’s still laws (not used thankfully) that say if you’re “feebleminded” they have the right to sterilize you

          • Billy Bean

            Yes, and especially since the government reserves the right to say who is “feeble-minded” and who is “right-minded.” The old Soviet Union had policies which declared the ideologically unorthodox to be “insane” and from there is was a short step to denying their personhood and human rights.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000909947326 Nick Corrado

    Your example of the Marines is particularly poignant given the motto “semper fidelis.” Was that intentional?

  • StashAugustine

    +1 for the Kahuna Burger.

  • Catholic College Girl

    While I commend you for a very well-written article, I have to disagree with your conclusion that “rejecting a teaching of the Catholic Church is to reject Catholicism.” I feel that you fail to take into account how the Church has developed and changed its teachings (officially and in practice) over the past 2000 years. Take, for example, usury- a practice condemned by the Catholic Church for over a thousand years due to its contradiction to Biblical law (Deut. 23:19-20). Yet, today, my good friend Bob the Catholic Banker can give me a loan with interest and face no condemnation from our local priest. Discontentment with Church teaching can help the Church develop and, in my opinion, improve. Would the strict rule against usury have been changed if some Catholic somewhere had not disagreed with it? What of those Catholics that disagreed? Were they not true Catholics while the usury ban remained, but then regained their status when the rules were made more lax? Did those that still opposed usury suddenly lose their Catholic identity and become someone that “picks and chooses” their own belief system? Would all Catholics have had to change their belief at the same time as Church leaders? And if they did, as simply as that, can they say they really truly believed either of the teachings? I know this is a rather old example, but it was the first that came to mind. One could argue the same thing with girls becoming altar servers, the switch from Latin to vernacular Masses, or plenty of other teachings. Just my two cents.
    Also, I believe it’s generally accepted that the Washington Post is a more liberal-leaning newspaper. If not that, I defintiely wouldn’t go so far as to call it “conservative.” That being said, I don’t think this devalidates your argument at all. In my opinion, it makes your argument stronger, since it shows that a news source less inclined to support the Church’s decision acknowledges that the incident was blown out of proportion….

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000909947326 Nick Corrado

      I’ve never heard a priest condemn abortion in a homily (I mean while I’m attending), but that doesn’t mean it’s somehow no longer taught. http://distributistreview.com/mag/2012/01/is-usury-still-a-sin/ Don’t think usury is no longer relevant.

    • AttentionDeficitCatholic

      While I’d need to do a bit of research into the usury question to give a satisfactory answer, do not confuse “traditions” (little “t”) with “teachings”. The Vernacular Mass and girl altar-servers are examples of these traditions (they are not teachings on faith or morals), and other examples include receiving the Eucharist at a young age (for many centuries, you had to be an adult (16, if I’m not mistaken)), the Novus Ordo liturgy (again, for centuries Mass in the Roman Rite followed the Tridentine liturgy), and public penances (an earlier example of a tradition which was changed).

      Although I must agree with you about the Washington Post (or the Washington ComPost, as I have taken to calling it). Either Marc’s sanity is starting to slip, he meant in comparison to the likes of the New York Times and the Huffington Post, or his sarcasm was poorly communicated.

      • Anne

        The comment about the Washington Post was most definitely sarcasm. It’s no Huffington Post, but it is a liberal-leaning publication for sure.

    • JoAnna Wahlund
    • Joe Cool

      My understanding is that usury, defined as charging of excessive interest rates, is not OK with the church. It’s a form of racketeering and taking advantage of the poor and needy. What qualifies as an “excessive” interest rate is, of course, a prudential judgment. In the past, it was taught that any interest was excessive, but now we have a different understanding. The Catholic Encyclopedia has an extensive piece on it, in which it notes that: “Benedict XIV made [the prohibition against charging any interest] his own in his famous Encyclical ‘Vix pervenit’ of 1 November, 1745, which was promulgated after thorough examination, but addressed only to the bishops of Italy, and therefore not an infallible Decree. On 29, July, 1836, the Holy Office incidentally declared that this Encyclical applied to the whole Church; but such a declaration could not give to a document an infallible character which it did not otherwise possess.”

      Either way, it’s important to distinguish between juridical or prudential teachings, (such as those against usury, altar girls, and Mass in the vernacular, or those teachings for the celibate priesthood) which are not infallible, and Doctrines (such as the belief in the Trinity, the divine and human natures of Christ, and the Immaculate Conception) which are. My understanding is that the Church’s teaching against contraception, divorce and remarriage, and homosexual unions, are of the second type. I have seen this disputed, but only by those who are in favor of those practices.

      Either way, those who reject the Church’s teachings on sexual matters are in a way rejecting the Church Herself, just as those who, in 1745, rejecting Benedict XIV’s teaching on usury did. One can disagree with the Church without disobeying Her.

  • JB

    I so appreciate these posts. You strengthen my faith daily by saying what I’m already thinking. Thanks for sharing yet again!

  • JoAnna Wahlund

    Before Pesoli canonizes Melinda Gates, she should read the following: http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2012/09/do-you-intend-to-speak-for-every.html

    It seems that not all African women consider Melinda Gates to be an angel. Quite the opposite, actually.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nicholas.escalona Nicholas Escalona

    Her article was emotionally difficult to read, but if anyone can “fix it”, it’s you, Marc. You’ve got a way of taking the most saddening things and reminding us of the power of God and the promises he’s made to us.

  • http://twitter.com/byzcathwife priest’s wife

    wow- so..she wants a Catholic Church that stands for nothing? very sad

  • http://twitter.com/byzcathwife priest’s wife

    …and how dare she equate herself to George Bailey- watch ROPE please, girl

  • Caitlinomalley

    I wonder if you have ever had a moment to sit back and think about exactly what it would feel like to be a woman in the Catholic church. Like a man, you have two vocational options: marriage or service (or single life, but that never feels like a real choice). Let’s follow your life path if you choose marriage: you hope to find someone who believes the same things you do, but for goodness sake you better attract him in a holy way! Feminine but not slutty. Sexy but modest. Pretty, but don’t try so hard ok? Then when you find him, despite whatever place you are in your own career, you have to immediately start making babies. I mean, you don’t HAVE to, but shouldn’t a good wife “take care” of her husband? Then here you are, five years later with 3 children and suddenly you can’t work anymore and your whole life is consumed with diapers and other peoples laundry and you better LIKE IT BECAUSE IT’S YOUR VOCATION. So you spend your entire adulthood taking care of other people, not once getting a chance to follow one of your own passions or interests, coupled with a constant guilt for being so selfish as to even have a personal passion, that you must not be very good at the Catholic thing. Over and over. Oh woman please, stop complaining, WE “VALUE” YOU so you better deal with all the shit, literal and figurative. Isn’t being a woman fun? Doesn’t motherhood fulfill you totally?

    Or you could opt to go the other direction and skip the babies to serve the poor as a nun. Then, when you have spent 60 years of your life serving the poor, suddenly the Vatican, the leaders of the Church you love so much, start accusing you of not loving Jesus enough because you are “ignoring” something you thought best to stay out of, it seemed like other people were taking care of it.

    Let’s say you are a smart Catholic woman and you think the Church should do something differently. The minute you open your mouth you will be labeled a radical feminist and ridiculed from your brothers and sisters in Christ.

    The Vatican called those who challenged the practice of indulgences in the Middle Ages heretics. We have come to understand.. they were probably right. What good is our 2000 year tradition if we don’t learn and grow? Not all traditions are good, (like the problem of reassigning abusive priests and covering up their crimes), so stop drawing on “tradition” and stop name calling the minute someone says, “maybe we need to rethink birth control.”

    I go to mass because that’s where I meet Jesus. It takes a lot of mental energy to forget about people like you and the woman fearing Vatican leadership, and remember that the Sacrament is what it’s all about. No matter how much you piss me off. The one, holy, Catholic and Apostolic church is the Church that brings people closer to Christ. Even women.

    • Tom

      I would respond to you, but I feel this picture will do it better…

      • Caitlinomalley

        What makes my observations staw men arguments? Was I not talking about what you wanted me to? You must think me silly and my opinions radical. Silly woman…going off again.

        • musiciangirl591

          lets see where do i start? having Church teaching “change with the times”, abusive priests, etc (fyi i’m a woman too and i can see your strawman arguments)

          • http://www.facebook.com/salli.brandon Salli Konek Brandon

            …and when someone doesn’t have a good point to make, they just throw ‘abusive priests’ out there like it is relevent

          • musiciangirl591

            backed into a corner all of a sudden they say “priest abuse!”

          • GoodCatholicGirl

            Do you mean it isn’t relevant?!

          • musiciangirl591

            most of the time in religious arguments with atheists or even some Christian denominations, they throw priest molestation out even when its not relevant to the discussion

          • Alexandra

            You ain’t no woman. You’re a child.

          • musiciangirl591

            ok…. i’m 19, and “ain’t” isn’t proper english, isn’t is

          • musiciangirl591

            and i’m not a child, i live on my own, and i don’t depend on my parents for financial support, i do my own laundry, drive, cook, and when i’m sick i take care of myself, if thats being a child, fine, but you’re being a child for calling me a child, and i am a strong, independent, beautiful woman

        • Tom

          To be frank, I kinda stopped taking your arguments seriously when you said: ”
          or single life, but that never feels like a real choice”. It shows that you don’t have a complete understanding of Catholic teaching and vocations. A vocation to live a single life IS a real choice. Many Catholics do choose to live a single vocation (I personally know 2 off the top of my head). So yes, it is a real choice, thought it may not “feel” like it.

          You set up a situation that is so completely biased to your side that there is no way I can assail it. Your “life path” may be realistic for some people, but probably not the majority of people. I can’t respond to it because you set it up in such a way that I would have to completely destroy it in order to make it in any sense objective, workable for the both of us.

          Furthermore, the Vatican isn’t going after nuns because “they don’t love Jesus enough”. They’re going after them because they are adhere to ideas and teachings that are completely against Catholic teaching (at least as far as I know).

          When you think the Church should do something differently, you aren’t labeled “radical”, you are labeled Protestant, because that’s what Protestants are: they think they know better than the 2000 year wisdom and knowledge of the Church.

          Also, we changed our PRACTICE of indulgences, because we realized that they were wrong. They were PRACTICES, not dogma, which are unchangeable. It may surprise you to know (I’m not sure), that the Church still offers indulgences for completing certain spiritual or corporal tasks.

          If you trust that the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church can bring people to Christ effectively, why do you not trust it enough to be right about contraception/abortion?

    • JoAnna Wahlund

      I’m curious, did you even READ the report that the CDF issued about the LCWR? Specifically, the part that begins, “The Holy See acknowledges with gratitude the great contribution of women Religious to the Church in the United States as seen particularly in the many schools, hospitals, and institutions of support for the poor which have been founded and staffed by Religious over the years…”

      As a Catholic woman, I find your description inaccurate in the extreme. I advise you to read the following: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_15081988_mulieris-dignitatem_en.html

      • Caitlinomalley

        I did, actually. I remember it going something like this: “Thanks so much for all you do for the poor, sick and vulnerable, but we would rather you be talking more about birth control and the gays. So we are going to go ahead and put two men in charge of your radical feminist knitting circle until you shape up. Kay thanks, bye!”

        • 1Christopher_Lake9

          Caitlin, helping the poor, sick, and vulnerable is an indispensable part of the Catholic faith. (I should know– I have Cerebral Palsy and live below the U.S. poverty line.) So is understanding and affirming the fact that human sexuality within marriage is intrinsically linked to, and ordered to, procreation. God designed our sexuality as such– who are we to disagree with him?

          The dissenting nuns within the LCWR do help the poor, sick, and vulnerable (unless, in certain cases, that involves speaking up for the protection of unborn human life), but they, seemingly, largely oppose the Church’s teaching on artificial contraception. Such an opposition is inherently anti-life, non-procreative, as is homosexual sex. The Catholic faith affirms the goodness of life at every level. It is not wrong and not oppressive for the Pope to ask dissenting nuns within the LCWR to do the same.

        • JoAnna Wahlund

          Um, did you notice that the part of the document I quoted directly refutes what you claim it says?

          If you’re going to dispute what the Catholic Church teaches, fine – but have the intelligence to dispute what she ACTUALLY teaches, and not what you THINK she teaches.

          Let me put it this way. Say a bunch of vegans were protesting at a feed lot that raised chickens for slaughter, and eating bacon sundaes from Burger King while doing so. Then, a head honcho in the vegan movement says, “Um, guys? Why are you eating bacon sundaes?”

          And they reply, “We only care about chickens! We think it’s fine to eat pigs and dairy products.”

          So the Head Vegan says, “No, that’s not cool. If you profess to be a vegan, it means that you oppose using products from ANY animal, whether pig or cow or chicken. Otherwise, you’re not really a vegan.”

          In your view, the Head Vegan is a patriarchal tyrant who should be whipped and quartered for daring to suggest that his fellow vegans have something approaching integrity.

    • Joe Cool

      I wonder if you have ever had a moment to sit back and think about exactly what it would feel like to be a human being in the Catholic church. You have exactly one vocational option: service. Serve God, serve the poor, serve your spouse and children. Whatever you do, it’s service. Let’s follow your life path if you choose to serve a spouse. No matter what, you have to put your spouse ahead of yourself in all things. If you’re a woman, you have to submit to your husband’s love. If you’re a man, you have to love your wife as Christ loves his church. What’s that mean? Take a look at a cross sometime. That’s the ideal for Christian husband. That means every time you put yourself before your wife even in the smallest manner, you’ve committed a sin against her. In everything, she must be first. Want that new video game? Not if it takes you away from her. Thinking about popping a cold one and watching the game on Sunday? Not if it burdens her in any conceivable way. And forget ever asking for sex if she’s not in the mood. What horrible beast of a man asks his wife to do something she’d really rather not, purely for his own pleasure? Here comes the frustration for feeling like you’re emptying yourself into the marriage and getting nothing in return, coupled with the constant guilt you feel for selfishly even desiring something in return. You must not be a very good Catholic. And there you are, eight and a half years later, practically celibate, with two kids and every penny you earn during the day going to support your family and you’re a selfish bastard if you complain because SERVICE IS YOUR VOCATION AND YOU WILL LIKE IT. Goodbye to your dreams of traveling the world, getting a motorcycle, or having enough time to get that dream job you always wanted that just wouldn’t leave you with enough time for your family. Isn’t being a Catholic fun?

      Or you could be come a priest and swear off sex forever. If you’re a diocesan priest, you’ll probably make about $20k a year. Religious priest, and you’ve probably taken a vow of poverty, and don’t make anything. And you get to spend your entire life going wherever your told by your bishop/superior. Just getting settled in that new parish with all the nice folks who like your sermons and the way you say Mass? Nope, now you get reassigned to that semi-heretical parish, where they complain if you utter one word of Latin or even hint at sexual ethics, even in passing. And forget ever being trusted near children. Doesn’t matter that you’re less likely to commit abuse than the average man; society sees you as just as guilty as the worst of them.

      Yeah, being Catholic sucks. Maybe you got suckered in by that cute saying that “my yoke is easy and my burden light.” Maybe you glossed over that other part about “whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” Dying hurts, you realize. Even if it’s just dying to your selfish desires.

      Then, maybe, you read the life of a saint. Doesn’t really matter which one: St. Maximilian Kolbe; Bl. Teresa of Calcutta; St. Theresa of Avila; St. Katherine Drexel; Bl. Miguel Pro; St. Charles Lwanga. You realize that the one thing that all these people have in common is JOY. The radiate it. They exude it. It oozes from them, as if from the pores of their skin. It doesn’t matter how hard their life was, how little time they had for themselves, or how bloody and miserable their deaths were. They were happy.

      And finally it hits you. That dream job? That video game? That sex? None of it really was going to make you happy. Sure, they’d be fun for a bit, but none of it would fulfill you in any real way. Only Christ on his cross can do that. The only way you’re ever going to be happy is to climb up there with him, nails and all. Yeah, it’s not going to be pretty. Yeah, it’s not going to be easy or fun. But was there ever anything worthwhile that was?

      Maybe St. Francis had it right all along: “Above all the graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit which Christ gives to His friends is that of conquering oneself and willingly enduring sufferings, insults, humiliations, and hardships for the love of Christ. For we cannot glory in all those other marvelous gifts of God, as they are not ours but God’s, as the Apostle says: ‘What have you that you have not received?’ But we can glory in the cross of tribulations and afflictions, because that is ours, and so the Apostle says: ‘I will not glory save in the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ.’”

      • musiciangirl591

        i wish there was a love button here, a lesson repeated to me while on retreat about 3 years ago, “dying to yourself is difficult, probably one of the most difficult things to go through as a human being, but once you get through it, it brings you closer than ever before to Christ”

      • http://www.facebook.com/jimmii.kohn Jimmy Cohn

        thank you for your witness

    • wkdkween

      Thank you

  • Michelle

    Bless her heart, she is wrong on so many points, but never more wrong than in her claim that her much-hoped-for and long-awaited schism will result in two catholic churches. No, there will be no Social Justice Catholic Church and Conservative Catholic Church. There will be THE one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Catholic Church and a new group of Protestants.

    • karen

      That is so true .

    • Fortuna Veritas

      Well, yeah, if the Roman Catholics didn’t get the memo back during the end of antiquity and the Protestant Reformation, they’re never going to be ready to actually follow God rather than corruption and money.

      • Markham

        Remove your hands from over your eyes, open them. I think you have blinded yourself with anger. Turn back knowing that no one, least of all Christ, holds onto that anger.

      • Cal-J

        The Protestant Reformation doesn’t count as antiquity? It’s been, what, five centuries?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1554330059 Rae Marie

        And you think that the Reformed churches were without corruption! What a laugh! You people are ridiculous in thinking that anywhere on this earth is a perfect sinless church made up of sinful human beings. All the reformation did was take the corruption and move it into several different churches instead of one. Please!

    • Maggie


  • gabriella

    I think she needs to realize that there IS another religious group like the one she wants. That’s the whole difference between Catholicism and Protestantism. That’s why there’s one Catholic Church and hundreds of Protestant denominations…. ’cause that’s what happens when you agree to disagree.

  • ladycygnus

    Well, at least that woman in the video is pro-life…after all, she talked about being a “baby in the womb” so I suppose she would be opposed to killing them. I stopped listening after 6 minutes though, couldn’t take the insanity.

    • Tom

      You did better than me. I lasted 2 or 3 minutes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=702410037 Skyler von Enn

    When she said the SJCC would “keep the wine.” I exclaimed, “The WINE??!?”

    • http://www.facebook.com/Ad.Maiorem.Dei.Gloriam Patrick Mascari

      I know, right??? I also exclaimed, “DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT CATHOLICISM IS AT ALL??? You don’t seem to!”

    • sammi

      so did i! the thoguht that ran through my head was “YOU MEAN THE BLOOD?” It really highlights her ignorance of the “heart and soul of the Catholic Church>”
      Well, on second thought, maybe it doesn’t. After all, if she broke off and started her own church, the wine would be destined to remain wine forever, no matter how many times her gay women-priests chanted new “modernly theological” prayers over it….

    • musiciangirl591

      when she mentions the priest shortage, she should know that in some Protestant denominations, even though they are allowed to marry, they are having a shortage in ministers too!

  • Justin

    DIdn’t the Vatican encourage the proliferation of contraception when used to prevent the spread of AIDS though? I know that may not be Melinda Gates full intent, but it seems relevant.

    • musiciangirl591

      no, the media just took what the pope said and chopped it up

  • http://www.facebook.com/salli.brandon Salli Konek Brandon

    I think it’s easy for us Catholics to say, “Go be a Protestant, if you don’t like it.” As much as I disagree with her, I don’t feel that way. However, she does make it very difficult not to say that to her…

    • JoFro

      I did tell her that and I got back a very good reply about it being her heritage anfd culture – I apologised and then told her to join the Episcopal Church – cos everything she wants the Catholic Church to be, the Episcopal Church already is..I also told her not to allow her ethnicity and heritage get in the way of her leaving the Church

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rB0k21sGT_A&feature=related Phaerisee

    Catholic girls are HOT.

    You go, girl!

    As far as the election, I do like Romney’s business experience, but his Gordon Gecko-esque
    tenure at Bain Capital concerns me. I also have a problem with him
    calling himself pro-life. In fact, Romneycare provided for taxpayer
    funded abortifacients (Pharmaceuticals that cause spontaneous abortion)
    How many evangelicals and catholics know this? He also is continually
    calling himself a christian to gain votes, when most of us learned in
    Sunday school that this is not the case.


  • Andrea

    I’m hoping someone can answer my question: why do Progessives never propose to make prostitution legal?
    Many on the left want to see the legalization of marijuana, which they believe would help society by keeping good people out of jail and tying up the courts, would be great for the economy and free enterprise, would make people happier, they could control the quality and safety of the product, destroy the stigma attached to drug use, etc.
    Why wouldn’t they want to see the decriminalization of prostitution for the same reasons? I don’t see why they wouldn’t view this cause as the ultimate in female empowerment (“My Body, My Choice”). Legal prostitution could be given a new, shiny PC name. Much like abortion, it could be moved from back alleys and seedy motel rooms to safe, hygenic, welcoming surroundings.
    I just don’t see why liberals think that there’s nothing objectively wrong with consentual sodomy and baby murder, but that apparently no intelligent feminist would want to take her celebrated promiscuity to the next level and exercise true and complete independence and control over her body and her life by profitting financially. Why is selling yourself wrong when all other previously repugnant behaviors are celebrated today?

    • Alexandra

      There’s plenty of progressives that believe we should legalize prostitution. It’s just not getting a ton of attention like marijuana is right now. You didn’t discover a hole in the logic, you just realized that you didn’t know that progressives support legal prostitution.

    • JoFro

      Most Western countries apart from the US have legalised prostitution and progressives have been some of the biggest backers for the changes, so they have been doing it. Maybe you just didnt know that

  • Jacob Wall

    “the never-ending ritual of intellectual masturbation that is The Huffington Post” – Well said!!

    • musiciangirl591

      that line made me giggle

  • Jacob Wall

    I took a preview at her solution: “Now I’m holding out for a schism, instead. We’ll be the Social Justice
    Catholic Church and they can be the Conservative Catholic Church.” Sounds good to me. I think the rest of us would be better off without them. (I shouldn’t say that since schism is a great tragedy and one of the greatest sins, but it just sounds so tempting …)

    • musiciangirl591

      why is she holding out for one? she can just start one on her own!

  • knorland

    Her piece was offensive, certainly, and reflected a shallow understanding of the Church, especially in the last half of the article; but everyone who responded by telling her to leave is also “praying for a schism,” and is that really what we need to be praying for? Sure, someone who disagrees with just about all the moral teachings, and it seems Pesoli does, perhaps needs to take a new look at what the Church is and what she teaches– but do you think those in Pesoli’s position become more or less likely to do that when her plan to leave is met with a chorus of “good riddance” rather than a series of, “Wait, stay, read more about the Church’s teaching on contraception, it makes sense!”?

    • sammi

      The thing is, if someone so blantantly and blindly refuses to learn or acknowledge the reasonableness of the Church’s teachings, that person should leave, because nothing other Catholics say will change his or her mind. When that person realizes how empty and lacking life is without the truth and nourishment of Christ and his Church, perhaps she or he will come back.

  • Andrew O’Brien

    If the Vatican thought the Charisms of the religious orders in question were irrelevant or worthless, they would just let these congregations die. But, they clearly value the work that the women are doing and want the work to continue, and they won’t continue if there aren’t anymore nuns.

    The religious orders of the LCWR have been failing for years and everyone knows it. They have foolishly clung to a way of living the religious life that isn’t reproducing itself. Their life is very unattractive to young women who feel called to the Religious Life. I hope that they go through the reform process and become vibrant once again, but unfortunately it looks like they are just going to die out.

    I applaud you, Marc. I couldn’t read through the whole thing. You have a very strong stomach.

  • http://twitter.com/DanSealana Dan Sealana

    Big Kahuna Burger? That’s that Hawaiian burger joint? I’ve heard they have some taster burgers.

    • JoFro

      We all love Pulp Fiction :D

  • JoFro

    Hi Mark, on her actual blog – not the HuffPo link on ure site – under the name JoFro, I pretty much argued with her that the church she wants already exists – The Episcopal Church. There are so many problems with her article I really did not know where to start and all I was thinking was – please, please let Bad Catholic deal with article – so thank you…waiting for Part 2 now :D

  • JoFro

    Here was my response on her blogpage –
    “Here’s a great idea – why not just join the Episcopal Church? It too has the incense and centuries of tradtion, which it also claims and it has wine. It has the married priests, gay priests and even tranny priests! I heard they even have nuns just like those LCWR nuns – you can take them with you.
    Why take all the effort at schism. Just pack yah bags and leave since you are already not interested, in the least, of actually finding out what the Church teaches and why it teaches that and you get ure news about the Church from ABC, CBS and CNN.
    You could delve a little bit deeper about claims like the Vatican told the nuns they were concentrating too much on taking care of the poor – the Vatican didn’t but please, lets not have such trivial misinformation come in your way”
    “You started out strong, there, JoFro, but you lost me toward the end. If I were susceptible to invitations or orders to pack my bags when people didn’t like what I had to say, I’d have left the Church a long time ago. Since I was baptized into this Church as an infant, raised in it, had a parent who spent his career teaching at a Catholic university, and myself attended Catholic middle school, college and law school, I’ll stack my Catholic credentials up against anyone. I have
    tons of respect for the Episcopal Church. I think the Catholic Church could learn a lot from it if we weren’t so stuck on thinking we are infallible all the time. Since the Catholic Church is my church, too, whether I stay or go is my choice. For now, I’m staying. Face it, you’re stuck with me. So I guess you’re just going to have to get used to hearing me complain when I think we’ve got it wrong on important issues.”
    Ok, on a more serious note though – lets deal with some of ure complaints – no snark.
    How do you define Catholic? If Catholic means doing social work and being nice to people, then yay, you’ve partly explained what Catholic means, but its not the full definition of it.
    Now to your complaints –
    LCWR – really? attack on nuns? Did you actually read what the Vatican said about the nuns? Where did you read in that report the Vatican attacking nuns for doing acts of charity. If Mother Theresa could live with the poor and be an outright opponent of abortion, the Vatican merely asked – whats up with the LCWR?
    Girl Scouts – So are you saying that when the bishops get a lot of complaints from faithful Catholics about a certain group, the bishops should not do anything about it? With all the attacks against the bishops for not listening to faithful Catholics about the sex-abuse scandals, at least they are now changing that attitude. And it is an investigation, something the leaders of any organisation should be expected to do when they keep getting complaints.
    Republican-supporting Catholics – Why does it shock you to think that there can be faithful Catholics and they can be supporters of the Republican Party? Ryan and Santorum are no more shocking to Republican-supporting Catholics than Sebellius and the Kennedy clan are to Democrat-supporting Catholics. Just as you find Ryan and Santorum severly misguided, there are Catholics who see the Kennedys and Sebellius in that same light.

    Ok, now lets have a hypothetical situation – lets say the Catholic Church does exactly what you want – it allows for contraception, it allows for married priests, heck it does eveything that the Episcopal Church has done and is doing right now – and then? Then what?

    If the Episcopal Church, with all those progressive changes, is dying at the same rate as the “evil patriachal Catholic Church that is run by those Vatican boys”, what makes you think it will be different for a more progressive Catholic Church? Lets face it, the most liberal Catholic parishes in the US are waning at the same rate as the Episcopal parishes…

    So here is the real question – why do want a schism? There is a church that offers everything you want the Catholic Church to do.
    This church even claims apostolic authority.
    Are you choosing to stay in the Church becos you were baptised in the Church? That is not a reason to stay.

    Are you choosing to stay in the Church becos you seem to have perhaps Italian or Irish family ties and hey, Irish and Italians have always been Catholic, so you know? Well, that’s not a reason to stay.

    Are you choosing to stay in the Church becos you went to Catholic middle school, college and law school and had a parent who spent his career teaching at a Catholic
    university? Again, Christina, that is not a reason to stay.
    You do not believe in the infallibility of the Pope’s teaching authority, you do not believe you need to understand why the Magisterium teaches what it does, you do not believe the Church and its bishops should exercise their God-given authority because they failed terribly on various issues you are passionate about.

    All I’m asking you to do is to be honest with yourself – what exactly is stopping you from joining the Episcopalians? I do not want you to pack your bags and leave.
    I want you to really ask yourself why you havent left already. You just might be more happy and you will not be wishing the ripping apart of the Church.

    Be happy. Dont stay because you have some obligation to family, ure Catholic educators or your ethnicity.
    Be honest with yourself and stop calling for schisms

    • http://www.facebook.com/Ad.Maiorem.Dei.Gloriam Patrick Mascari

      That was excellent! Well said!

  • Ted C.

    Excellent piece. My own parish is filled with these so called social justice types. Including a pastor who put a large image of Obama on the Sunday bulletin the week of his inauguration in 2008. Some in my parish insisting still that eventually the church will embrace women priests, abortion, etc. I just shake my head. Of course I reside in the Diocese of Rochester, NY where a church (Corpus Christi) was involved in a mini-schism when about half the parishioners broke away from the church to embrace feminism, gay marriage and women priests. They actually ordained a women while they were still supposedly in the fold of the Church. They still call themselves Catholic, I believe. Our local Bishop was so liberal himself, it took him years to crack down on the nonsense, thus causing a worse public scandal than would otherwise have occured. The Vatican forced his hand. Thank God for the blessing of his retirement. I hope that the Vatican finds a new Bishop for us who actually supports Church doctrine on abortion, gay marriage, etc. That would be a novel idea for this diocese.

  • Rob Maloney

    As long as we’re getting blamed for having an Inquisition, we may as well have one.
    Heading down to the local hardware for some articles of…persuasion. I’ll be ready!
    I wish we would just cut ‘em loose to stop the endless whining! Why, it’s worse than the worst ’70s pop music!

  • Mack

    As much as I would deplore a schism, and hope to avoid it, I’m wondering if it will actually come to that. And if it actually might be a blessing in disguise.
    I used to think it would be better if the Catholics who dissent from Church teachings stay in the Church, because at least they would still be in it, and after a generation or two when things settle down, their children would have been brought up Catholic (hopefully). If they all left the Church, it would be harder to get them back later.
    But when there are so many dissenting Catholics in the Church, it makes it very hard for the bishops to be real leaders because everyone knows their flock is not behind them. (I’m thinking of the HHS mandate, for example. Would Obama really have been so brazen about this if he knew Catholics were fully behind their bishops?)
    So I don’t know what’s for the best. But I pray that all who dissent will return to the fullness of the truth.

  • Bennett

    So, lemme get this straight. Because you want to be able to marry whomever you want and decide which theological truths are really true, you’re going to schism from the Catholic Church, give it a new name, take the saints that appeal to you, and appropriate a bunch of the ‘cool toys’, including the ‘wine’?

    Congratulations, you’re Henry the VIII.

    It’s amazing, sometimes, how people who fancy themselves “progressive” and everyone else “outdated” don’t realize how little there is that’s new under the sun.

    • Cha5678

      Luther’s a better fit (he even got a marriage and bishopric out of the deal). To be Henry the VIII would be to advocate stealing property. But since they’re already redirecting HHS grants, decertifying adoption agencies and mandating payment for contraceptives, perhaps they’re also on that path.

  • L Lopez

    Interesting discussion and I agree with you. Just a side note, though – Do you believe Paul wrote James? Didn’t James write James?

  • Cha5678

    Eventually after years of trying to serve both God and various pagan deities, the sons and daughters of Isaac also decided to give up God. As such they invoked worse curses upon themselves. Hopefully Pesoli has the courage to follow the one true God.

  • Frank McManus

    Hey, Marc, you need to realize that a little sarcasm goes a long way. Sarcasm in every sentence makes your writing hard to read. I gave up halfway through.

  • Mya Nameo

    I was looking for a place to give YOU a heartfelt 1970s “right on” but there is no like button. I have to say, as a Girl Scout leader, I applaud the Church in America for (finally) looking into the Girl Scouts and not just paying it lip service. Both extremes are off base. What happens locally is nothing like what happens nationally, and by the time Scouts are old enough to deal with boys and sex, their interests wane in favor of high school and all that has to offer. In the interim, I carry a letter from my diocesan Scout chaplain that at present, it’s OK to be a Girl Scout leader, for my daughters to belong as long as they aren’t doing any of the things either side accuses the Scouts of doing, and even emphasizes the Catholic religious awards Girl Scouts can earn. I’ve actually had women at homeschool functions tell me I was going to Hell for leading my daughters astray (sadly, Little Flowers and American Heritage Girls do not begin to replicate the Girl Scout program). Three members of the troop have already left because it isn’t “cool” to be a Girl Scout in late middle school. The others are finishing their Silver Award this year, then probably going on to Venture Scouts (a Boy Scout co-ed group), Sea Cadets or CAPS.

    And yes, if the bishops find Girl Scouts are not good for Catholic girls, I will stop being a leader and pull my daughters out ASAP. In the interim, here are some sites that might explain things better:

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrea-Thomas-Maciejewski/645681671 Andrea Thomas Maciejewski

      No, no one can tell you you are going to Hell for leading Girl Scouts, but it sorta begs the same question…if you don’t agree with what it stands for, why are you still in it? The Church isn’t (finally!) investigating Girl Scouts because they hand out cookies, but because they hand out condoms like cookies. (Yes I know nationally, but that is what they stand for nationally!).

      AHG is AWESOME and offers all opportunities it’s local leaders are willing to make available(I know as founding member of a local Detroit troop). AND bonus is that they nationally stand with God, a stance GS national took out long before the DNC ever considered it…

      • Ruth

        Exactly. Just what does Girl Scouts offer that AHG doesn’t??? And, without all the other nonsense.

  • Alejandro Rodríguez
  • Jeannie Prather

    –too many words, not enough life and I am late for prayer.

  • ValB

    I’m convinced after my 50 odd years of living on this complex planet, that human beings are either wired (gifted) to have respect and faith in the underlying truths of this existence (represented by the one holy Catholic church) or they serve as support to that authority, by continually showing us what it would be like if those truths were lost. I thank them (but mostly I thank G*d in his infinite wisdom) for this contribution, on a daily basis. After all, if it wasn’t for them, we would not have our Savior. We all have our purpose to fulfill. Everyone is important.

  • Proteios1

    Calling for schism? Just title the piece, Desparate for attention, and be done with it. If she believes what she says, then simply clinging on because she was raised Catholic is confusing. But I think anyone would agree, that the Truth, like gravity should conform to us and not us conform to them. Thankfully gravity does that every time I fall, so I never have to skin my knee when I’m not paying attention to where I’m walking. But sreriously, there have been a lot of trends in the last 2000 years, and no truth could ever change with each or we would get something as bizarre and contradictory as many of these Protestant denominations that just seem like they are making it up as they go.

  • Maggie

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of Melinda Gates in this world.

  • Maggie

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of Melinda Gates out there.

  • Jesus Christ

    She needs to celebrate her diversity!

  • Jesus Christ

    The sound track on the video is enough to make one an atheist forever. I cannot believe that they paid to listen to this woman for over an hour! To hear something very like this and at much less cost, you have only to buy reasonably good hash and then talk to the person who’s just smoked it.

  • Dominic

    You mentioned Susan B. Anthony as one of the radical femanists who were violently pro-life. It made me squeel with joy. Just thought you should know.

  • Sabrina


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1554330059 Rae Marie

    Yeah I hope for a schism of sorts- that all these liberal idiots leave the Church!

  • sara

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