“They prefer the bunker to the banquet…”

That’s the trenchant phrase Canadian writer Michael Coren uses to characterize some of the Catholics he encounters online — and I know what he means.


There are those who describe themselves as being Catholic, but reject much if not most of what the Church teaches. They have little influence outside of ostensibly Catholic schools and universities, and I expect these troubled types to be upset at me. They see the emergence of the new orthodoxy and know that their time is up. I heard recently that a school chaplain had said “Coren can’t speak here, he’s too divisive.” I translated to the shocked and disappointed teacher who told me this. “Don’t worry,” I said. “It means too Catholic.”

Again, to be expected. What does trouble me, however, are those serious, orthodox Catholics who simply cannot take yes for an answer. Nobody and nothing is Catholic enough, good enough or perhaps bitter and dark enough to satisfy them. You know the types. The love is really deep; so deep you could dig for days and never find it. Every politician should be excommunicated, anyone not completely against abortion is “pro-death” and I positively despise the people in the pews next to me.

They prefer the bunker to the banquet, the ghetto to the get-together. They are defined by how much pain they claim to have, believe that the remnant of the remnant is all that can save us, and the remnant of the remnant is them — or maybe on a good day the handful of people who are their equally strident Facebook friends. Odd as it may seen, they blog and use the Internet a lot, largely because they don’t trust the mainstream media, which for them means everyone in journalism apart from their favourite right-winger, who usually loses them when he inevitably doesn’t follow the line on something or other.

No archbishop, however devout and courageous, is ever quite conservative enough for them and always part of a cabal or a conspiracy, and no Catholic activist or author ever quite sufficiently pure. They claim to believe in Church authority, but constantly bash Catholic leaders; they claim to love Jesus, but they seldom turn the other cheek or love their friends, let alone their enemies; they see glasses, and chalices, half empty when they’re half full; and, extremely worrying this, they receive the body of Christ with numerous complaints and vendettas against their fellow worshippers.

Rather than being living witnesses to the joy that comes from knowing God, they’re living proof for critics of the Church that we’re lugubrious and that we cannot see the abundant goodness that is the world that God gave us. They rightly discuss abortion a great deal, but wrongly see abortion as a stand-alone project and not part of a greater brokenness. Humanity has to be healed at every level, and the killing of the unborn is only one, if the most vehement, symptom of our demise and decay. In other words, they object to unborn babies being killed, but do not seem to like the adults the lucky ones become.

You think I’m being harsh, even judgmental. Not at all. I’m being honest. The Church is not a place for games of archaic manners, not a sanctuary for reactionary posturing, not a refuge or a hiding place. It’s a light on a hill where certainty of belief and coherent, genuine Catholic worship propel us into love, not enable us to loathe. Yes, I’m at times guilty of this, but what about you?

Read it all.

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48 responses to ““They prefer the bunker to the banquet…””

  1. Oh my, yes yes! It is a terrible scandal, and certainly a cause for some to turn away who might otherwise have embraced the Faith. Catholics, who take the Son of God into their very bodies, should be happy people.

  2. If you start the day with an Our Father, a hail Mary and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you, eventually He will clear away the big symptoms of hypocrisy we all carry. It’s quite amazing how His supernatural powers work. My foul mouth, my incredibly bankrupt patience and tendency toward judgmental-ism are all being revealed to me in the starkest terms. Hopefully these tightly wound twisted souls will open themselves to His light and mercy.

  3. I agree with Coren, but where he sees pathology, I see symptoms of an underlying pathology. Where does this all come from? Doing a differential diagnosis is an ugly and messy business. Much evil has been permitted to corrupt the Church in the name of love and openness, of tolerance and charity.

    For half a century, my entire life, we have abandoned preaching sin (just when Menninger was returning from having done so).

    “Zeal for Your house consumes me,” is the goal. However, I’ve not heard any tempering of that zeal in a way that respects the legitimacy of their concerns by authentic teaching. If most priests stuck to the Scriptures and the Catechism, relating the two, we could attack our problems from two ends at once: Challenging the sin and mentoring the sinner.

    Coren has seen the symptoms, but he needs to extend the same charity whose want he sees in these folks to get to the root of their particular failings, or else he’s little better than what he is decrying.

  4. Thanks for posting this, Dn. Greg. It will be interesting to see the responses, since your blog is a magnet for many of the people the writer so accurately describes.

  5. I think Michael Coren has some great things to say (as he usually does), as long as we realize that these disgruntled folks in our midst are, unfortunately, too often *justifiably* critical. I wish they weren’t justified in their criticism, because they are buzz-kills to be sure. Certainly, we all read enough comment threads on blogs to know that there exist a vocal group of the Truly True Members of the Catholic Church (as Shea calls them). Do they lack charity? You bet. Hypocritical? I’d only guess. Total bummers to be around? Sure. Needing girlfriends (let’s face it)? Er, I’m going to charitably assume yes. But all the same, they unfortunately make some good points, sprinkled into the crazy, that others aren’t making. And it’s true that these folks are *never* going to be happy. Yet if we are stuck with the miserable, sunken lot of the Truly True, I’d rather that these sad folks are *completely* unjustified in their claims. Make them look like the silly curmudgeons that they are, sulking by themselves in the corner during a great party, complaining about the drapes. Unfortunately, they are at the moment a jerkish group who make claims that are vindicated more than they aren’t.

  6. It seems to me that Mr. Coren is pointing out the problem with the mindset of people who believe everyone who does not hold “What I think Catholicism should be” is either guilty of heresy, guilty of liberalism or a dupe of the first two.

    All of us at times fall short, and Coren acknowledges his own fault. However it is a real problem within the Church that we have a group of people who assume they know what Catholicism is supposed to be and they know this better than the Magisterium.

    It’s a problem of pride which assumes “I know the deposit of faith better than the shepherds.”

  7. I understand what Mr. Coren means; I’ve seen and known many of the people he describes, and I’ve probably been one on occasion. But is it really so hard to see why some people have gotten to be that way? After a generation of seeing that anything goes in the Liturgy — except things that are traditional? Bongo drums? Sure, no problem! Polka Masses? You bet! Liturgical dance? Hey, why not? Using Coca-Cola and Oreo Cookies the confect the Eucharist? Sounds great! Gregorian chant and Latin, as has been done for centuries? Oh, my goodness, NO! We can’t possibly allow that!

    And you wonder why some people are bitter?

  8. This is a very insightful characterization of what I would call the “Vortex” Catholics. Here in Atlanta, they picket the chancery, the Good Friday pilgrimage, and even the Mass for Life. To them, the archbishop himself is a “baby killer.” It seems obvious that people attracted to such behavior are not psychologically healthy. Yet I also question the point Coren makes about the targets–or perhaps the primary and intended targets–of these troubled people:

    “There are those who describe themselves as being Catholic, but reject much if not most of what the Church teaches. They have little influence outside of ostensibly Catholic schools and universities, and I expect these troubled types to be upset at me. They see the emergence of the new orthodoxy and know that their time is up.”

    Maybe this fits the Canadian context, but here in the US, self-identified Catholics have often been in the forefront of causes that the Church teaches are harmful to traditional family life and the welfare of children. Under their influence, a great many other American Catholics have rejected or dismissed as “divisive” Catholic teaching on the underlying issues, including respect for unborn life. The “new orthodoxy” has hardly marginalized this trend. Unless and until something does, I expect more confused and dissatisfied American Catholics to climb into the bunker.

  9. Arnobius. . . .
    “However it is a real problem within the Church that we have a group of people who assume they know what Catholicism is supposed to be and they know this better than the Magisterium.

    It’s a problem of pride which assumes “I know the deposit of faith better than the shepherds.”

    Absolutely fascinating insight!! Thank you very much.

  10. We have both options. Most people I know prefer the “Ordinary” form of the Mass. It is unfortunate that this causes such problems for some.

  11. They might say they are at the front of such causes, but they go on beyond the causes themselves, and demand fidelity to their prudential application of such principles, and decry anyone who doesn’t follow them in their application as rejecting the principles themselves. This is where they go from truth to falsehood like the Pharisees.

  12. I think Coren is being a tad harsh and a tad judgmental, yes. It’s probably better to avoid the constant categorizing of our fellow Catholics and focus instead on deepening our faith, knowledge of Jesus’s life, good works, etc. This “left v. right” war has been going on in the blogosphere and long before that since the late 60s. There is blame enough to go around and it’s pointless to keep making fun of what we perceive to be the flaws in others (though like Coren I and all of us can’t help but falling into it occasionally).

    The biggest problem I see is that we can no longer agree on what makes us Catholic anymore. That wasn’t the case before Vatican II. I don’t know what the solution is other than more study of the Catechism and better instruction from the clergy.

  13. There was no golden era in Catholicism, and if you look just to the US situation in the late 19th and early 20th century, there was quite a bit of debate (and confusion) as to what made one Catholic. One need only look to the situation with Fr. Toth and Archbishop Ireland to see an example here, but we can look at many ethnic examples beyond the Eastern Churches if one wants to.

  14. One of Coren’s main points in the piece as a whole is that he is more troubled by the never-satisfied ultra-righteous types than he is by other Catholics–presumably left-leaning university types–who actually scorn much of Catholic teaching and see even Coren himself as divisive. Coren says these people who treat views like his as divisive are rapidly being undermined by what he calls the new orthodoxy, so they do not worry him much.

    My response is that the left-leaning Catholics who reject Church teaching on issues like abortion and gay marriage must have more influence in the USA than in Canada because they are hardly being scared off by recent movements toward conservative forms of Catholic orthodoxy in this country. Moreover, so long as they maintain as much influence on Catholic thinking as they do today, I expect frustrated but troubled right-leaning Catholics to continue eating up the teachings of the Vortex and picketing the chancery.

    I cannot help but suspect, Henry, that you do not fully agree with my response.

  15. Yes, you are wrong in reading this article. He is not saying people don’t believe in what the Church teaches, but those in the bunker, who assume only one way in dealing with Church teaching will deny anyone– including Church authorities — as following the “real” faith of the Church. In this way, you are quite wrong, and indeed, are showing exactly what is being decried — the quick “they don’t really believe” which is wrong to suppose because people look at prudential matters differently. And this really is the issue — it is politics being turned into religious dogma, politics and political solutions seen as the only acceptable ways to deal with the Church’s teaching. The flaws involved with such an attitude towards others are tremendous – not only is it fallacious, it ends up often offering false witness against others. “No good Catholic could have voted for Obama” is an example of such a meme; it assumes way too much about the meaning and value of a vote.

  16. Hi Henry,
    You are right that Catholics cannot quixotically speak of the ‘good old days’ of doctrinal unity. Yet neither does it seem fruitful to deny the historical significance of the cultural upheavals in our own century and the confusion these upheavals brought to contemporary Catholic life. I’m not sure that, say, the example of Fr. Toth is all together to the point, therefore, and neither are the Catholic debates of the late 19th century of the same category as the ones today.

    Certainly, much doctrine–moral, liturgical, sacramental, soteriological–is not a glass darkly. Though it is treated so by many’a Catholic with pedagogical authority. Indeed, the Catechism is quite readable. Remember that many who are called ghettoizing curmudgeons are in reality merely decrying–amidst a sea of comments and complaints that should rightly be called adiaphora–the de facto (and sometimes explicit) denial of what would strike most as rather *clear* demarcatable Catholic positions.

    Again: the curmudgeons will be with us always. Yet isn’t it a shame that they sometimes have a point?

  17. I think articles like this are rather worthless. For heaven’s sake, we all a bunch of hypocrits in one way or at some time or another, from the lay folks like myself to all who write for the Catholic blogs.

    Why is it necessary to even judge the “unhappy’ Catholics. Wouldn’t the time be better spent just keeping our eyes on Christ, tryring to be the light? Sometimes it’s so simple I think most of us miss it. By that I mean, what could be easier than “the church teaches it, that’s what it is, period?” Nothing is a better witness than a joyful Catholic, including the eruidite who think they have to analyze everything.

    Just live it, God will be well served, and most of all, those seeing it will want it.

  18. One problem with some of the curmudgeons, and one reason why Mr. Coren has a point — and, I repeat, I have probably been one of these cumudgeons myself on occasion — is that a some (though of course certainly not all, or even most) self-described “traditionalists” seem to define “tradition” as “the way Fr. O’Malley did it at Our Lady of the Holy Wounds when I (or my parents or grandparents) was a kid”. There is no sense that some things are more important than others, or that there is a difference between local custom and the Deposit of Faith.

  19. I think we face a bit of a hermeneutical dilemma over what is really just a newspaper column, and I’ll admit I may be misreading Coren here. However, it still seems to me that the 2nd paragraph (of the original column, not Deacon Greg’s excerpt) is intended to CONTRAST with the 3rd (and with what follows form it), not to introduce it.

    As I read it, in paragraph 2 Coren is saying he is not much bothered by those in “ostensibly Catholic schools and universities” who “reject much if not most of what the Church teaches” and label Comer himself “divisive.” “To be expected,” he says dismissively (1st line of paragraph 3), and, besides, these people “know that their time is up” in the face of the “new orthodoxy,” which he himself represents.

    However, he says in paragraph 3, he tells us he is very much bothered by “serious, orthodox Catholics who simply cannot take yes for an answer,” and he goes on to explain that these people are, in his view, hyper-orthodox, or hyper-Catholic–to the detriment of an authentic faith that admits diversity of opinion.

    Again, perhaps I am misreading here, but I don’t think the Catholics singled out in paragraph 2 are the same people he spends the rest of the article critiquing. It was on that basis that I offered my original comment on Comer’s article.

  20. Perhaps those on both the far right and the far left might do well to reflect on this ethical principle succinctly offered by St. Thomas Aquinas: “Virtus stat in medio,” translated
    “Virtue [moral strength] lies in the middle.”
    I recall Bishop Robert Morneau writing several years ago that JOY [fruit of the Holy Spirit] is the mark of an authentic minister and an authentic ministry.

  21. I wouldn’t call it a golden era but growing up in the 50s I certainly didn’t see the disunity that exists in the church today. Abortion, contraception, same sex marriage, in vitro, women’s ordination etc were not the hot dividing topics they are today. The churches, seminaries and novitiates were full. There was no such thing as a liberal or conservative Catholic. We were simply Catholic.

  22. Contraception was not at the same place scientifically in the 50s as it is today and Humanae Vitae was not issued until 1968. In vitro did not exist in the 1950s. In addition, the role of a woman in the 1950s in society in general was very different than it is today. Homosexuality is also viewed differently today. So what you describe as disunity is really a debate that must happen in the Church as society develops and changes. The Church must exist and minister in the society in which it lives not in a society that ceased to exist decades ago.

  23. I think Mr. Coren’s article invites those he calls bunker Catholics to do exactly what you recommend to all of us here: keep their eyes on Christ, be joyful Catholics, and just live the faith (without constantly finding fault with other Catholics).

  24. Re Barbara’s reply:”So what you describe as disunity is really a debate that must happen in the Church as society develops and changes”
    The so-called “must happen” debate unfortunately has lead to clamoring to change the Church’s teaching to conform with society. None of those hot button issues is open to debate. That is never going to happen on faith and morals. So the debate has lead to divisions and disunity.

  25. Deacon Marv, i think that is usually the case though not always. There are and have been severe saints. The Church is a big tent. St Gemma suffered enormously and was not known to be overly sociable or ‘happy’ in the sense of constantly smiling, but she was far closer to Jesus than most. Joy is not always visible. But i agree with an earlier comment that our love cannot be so ‘deep’ that it’s impossible to find or ever show.

  26. If you can set aside your bias and opinions and read this post and the comments, what you see is an almost simmering hate for those within the Catholic Church who hold views that are virtually the same as Pope’s John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Many of these same folks I am sure called then Cardinal Ratzinger as the NY Times did “tough enforcer of John Paul’s strongly conservative views” or “Panzerkardinal” or Pope John Paul II’s “Rottweiler” and screamed out in agony when he was elected Pope.

    Read the venom present toward those who hold traditional views in line with Catholic teaching. I have seen some on the receiving end of this venom for simply pointing out absolutely true Church teaching. I also note that most of the time when the actual teaching is quoted, this same liberal crowd refuses to actually answer the specific issues raised. On many blog sites, the blog owner simply bans them from so that nothing can rain on the liberal parade.

    These same folks always want to talk about the root causes of a grave sin as if to justify allowing it to remain legal and producing the killing of thousands of babies as an example. How about the root cause of making abortion legal as the problem because we have always had poverty and always will as long as the social leftist believe that big government solutions will end poverty, but never in our history have we had a period of less than 40 years that has produced over 50 million dead babies slaughtered in the womb. That is why as some have pointed out on other comments that the bishops stated very clearly that the only reason one can support a pro abortion person is for “proportionate reasons.” I also note that there has never been anyone to take up the challenge of these other authors to define a single issue of any kind that can hold up to this one measure of sanity the Bishops challenged us to find to support this holocaust.

    If posts like this make you feel good to go on the attack, it says more about you by far anything posted here above about them. And unlike what has been posted here, many are leading wonderful happy lives and interact with the world very well including their own parishes. You do not see as much of them because they left those parishes in outright dissent long ago to find one’s that were actually happy about Pope’s John Paul II and Bendict XVI and all of their teaching. Be not afraid liberals if that mean ol Rome and the USCCB are forcing on you corrections of the liturygy. Your parish in dissent before will probably remain so in this as well.

  27. Yes Joe, did you read my comments. Why is it Ok to bash Catholics who simply state Church teaching and why do you never see a response to the question about supporting pro abortion candidates asking for some possible proportionate reason? Hard to imagine anyone who can possible come up with one against over 50 million dead infants. So instead of responding, you either get the type reply that you must simply not understand or that you are one of those unacceptible Catholics that do not agree to support people like Obama, Pelosi, and the others in the party that keeps abortion legal and funded.

  28. Mark,

    What the article was talking about went beyond “simply stat[ing] Church teaching.”

    “Hard to imagine” is not the same as impossible. It may well be that some Catholics’ reason for voting for a particular pro-abortion candidate was not proportionate. But that does not mean that there can never be a proportionate reason. (To hold otherwise is to become one of the “more Catholic than the bishops” types the article was talking about and to go beyond simply stating Church teaching.) First, one has to realize that voting for a pro-abortion candidate is an extremely remote formal participation in the actual evil of abortion. Second, one has to realize that the significance of a candidate’s position is greater or less, depending on the office s/he’s running for. For example, since the legality of abortion is based on a Supreme Court decision, officeholders other than the Justices have never been in a position to prevent most of the 50 million abortions. They can have something to say about a small fraction of abortions. But since the President nominates Justices, the Presidency is more significant than legislative positions. And since senators vote on confirming Supreme Court nominees, their position is more significant than that of representatives. In addition to weighing the significance of the office for the issue, the voter must also weigh the candidate’s other positions on human rights and social justice, all with a clear understanding of federalism.

    When everything is taken into account, I can see how it could be considered proportionate to vote against an anti-abortion candidate for the state legislature who is strongly opposed to programs to help the homeless and unemployed and who would deny all rights to the children of parents who entered the country without a visa and who seeks harsh penalties for even minor crimes.

    In short, the “proportionate reason” is not one based on the unrealistic standard of 50 million abortions versus zero abortions but upon a politically astute view of the realities of how the government actually works.

    And I’d also note that no one is saying one must vote for Pelosi, Obama or others in their party (whatever it may be), only that each Catholic is called to make a conscientious decision — with the corollary that if another Catholic votes for someone in that party, we may think that s/he made an error in judgment, but we may not automatically conclude that s/he is a bad Catholic or has committed a mortal sin or an excommunicatable offense.

  29. BTW, I don’t think I’ve ever voted for a pro-abortion candidate where it was an issue, and I’ve voted against candidates from my own party only because they were pro-abortion.

  30. NG, We still, even as “Joyful Catholics”, have an obligation to defend the teachings of the Church, that’s part of “living it.”

    As I said, that’s the easy part, as the CC is very clear on it’s dogmatic immutable teachings, a must know for any Catholic. We wouldn’t have a “left/right” if we all simply lived by what the Church teaches. Both “sides” are equally guilty; a lot to be said for those “in the middle.”

  31. Pelosi is at it again. Check out her latest comments on our ‘conscience thing.’. Calls herself ‘devout’ again. Ever notice how truly devout catholics never call themselves devout.

  32. Mark – I say this with trepidation and with respect. the venom that you speak of is a two-way street. The attacks on people who do not hew to what you consider a conservative line is equally as hurtful. The word liberal is not a curse – it describes how people view their politics. To many I am a liberal, yet I oppose abortion, however, I do not believe that prayer vigils and the like will stop it. I believe in education as way to stop abortion, yet to several conservatives I have been told I am a baby-killer.
    To accomplish any change requires an understanding of the other side – it requires an ability to listen and to not accept, but to understand, and value the speaker as a child of God. You blithely state in an generalized statement “I also note that most of the time when the actual teaching is quoted, this same liberal crowd refuses to actually answer the specific issues raised.” To which I would all liberals? I can site if you would like conservative blogs where I asked a question about caring for the poor and the need to be rich siting the words of the Gospels and was told that the teaching of the church is that the parable of the rich man and the eye of the needle leads to a prudential judgment not a magisterial teaching – Jesus not magisterial?
    Back to my original point – the venom flows both ways.

  33. David

    You hit it right on the head. That is the genuine definition of “tradition.” It is a value/belief/practice we remember from when we were the age of TEN and our personal values were all locked up.

    The great ‘guru” of this notion was Professor Morris Massey — now retired. His idea that “You are, what you were, when.” and the “when” he refers to us the age of ten. He is still extraordinarily popular and you can find a number of web-site that explain his theories.

    The difficulty is that this age “ten” is a moving target. What is “traditional” for someone now in their late 80’s (and who were “ten” during the Depression) is VERY DIFFERENT from someone now in their early 50’s (who were “ten” during the peace marches and the “crazy-days” of American Catholicism during the late 1960’s) and is also VERY DIFFERENT someone now in their mid-twenties (and thus were “ten” during the Clinton-Lewinski scandal).

    A more correct term for someone who loves old things/ideas/values is “conservative.” An even more correct term for someone who loves “true-teaching” is “Orthodox.”

    Trust me; those three terms are not synonymous ! Not all conservative or traditional teachings are orthodox. A great deal of what is simply OLD or what we clearly remember from our own childhood may not be orthodox at all.

  34. What seems apparent to me in the above responses is the limit of our ability to love in the face of another’s limited ability to love. What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ? It means to exhibit a radical and passionate love that moves us to give up everything to follow Him. Which of us has given up everything? Nobody that I know of and that includes JP II and those after Him. One exception I now think of is Mother Thersea. The rest of us hold on to what comforts us and what comforts us the most is our belief that we are right with what we believe. Until we know what it means to give up everything for Him we will constantly be members of the living dead and competing to consume whatever it takes to keep ourselves comfortable within the known of our limited ability to love no matter how many prayters, masses, 40 day rallies, or traditions we follow. It is the love that Christ exhibits that frightens us the most because if we were to follow and plunge into that infinite mystery of His Love we might lose ourselves in the process and find ourselves on the road with no home and no one to give us comfort and attempting to get others to do the same in order to stop the attachment to the mindless mechanical life of the living dead We might find ourselves alone with nothing to hang on to except Him. Who has the faith to endure such a dark night? Until we do that we are all members of the living dead. I know that I am a member and it shames me and pains me that I am aware of this.
    So keep bickering with one another in your belief that you are correct.

  35. Ronald

    You are right again. That is something I have tried to tell people so many times. We are to love our “enemies.” We are not to say “but they don’t love us back” as an excuse.

  36. Things must be much better in Canada than here in California.

    Where I live, the Catholic universities have links to Planned Parenthood until smoked out, have ex-Catholics on the theological faculties, allow women “priests” to say “Mass” in consecrated Catholic chapels, and churn out graduates of religious studies by the hundreds who could no more identify the three theological virtues than they could recite the 10 Commandments or explain the ends of the Sacrament of Matrimony. But they sure know the latest buzzwords in social justice lingo and queer theology and know the significance of walking the labyrinth. In Mr. Coren’s world, these are trivial things, while in my neck of the woods they lead to large-scale losses of faith and fervor. But hey, it’s a universal Church. He can worry about his portion of the Lord’s vineyard and I will remain watchful over mine.

    We are supposed to worry about somebody objecting somewhat intemperately to the latest sacrilege or novelty foisted upon the Catholic Faithful as these lead directly to loss of the Faith. The rise of the Catholic blogosphere and related environs of the internet has done wonders to bring heretofore unchecked evil in our Church to light so that they can be combatted. I don’t lose sleep if an occasional blogger or poster might write some a bit indelicately in a combox.

    Last point: I find that some of the most tart tongues in my parish are also those most involved in St. Vincent de Paul, Social Justice, etc. Methinks that Saints Lawrence and Jerome will not be the only short-tempered saints we encounter up there.

  37. Where- and be specific – are the posts ” here” that express a simmering hate for those who support the views of the last two successors of St. Peter? And for crying out loud, who comes here and even remotely or indirectly actively argues for abortion as you claim? Coren? Kandra? Nadal? Scalia? me? Hardly. If such posts exist at all here on the fringes they are most rare and of no import.

    In your above post- you quickly determine that because I didn’t drink your talking points – I am somehow an ‘unacceptable’ Catholic. On what basis?

    The original post took issue with some of those Catholics who are are so self righteous, so strident in their views, so ready to criticize everyone else in the Church who doesn’t mimic themselves and are in the end essentially joyless in their expression of faith. It generated some lively debate. But no hatred of the poniff or his views I see.

    May you and your family have a joyous and holy advent Mark

  38. I think voters needs to stop thinking that they have only 2 choices in elections and trying to figure out the lesser of two evils. That just promotes the status quo. We need more independent candidates to break up the partisanship we have now that gets no results – case in point the super-committee who just went home to celebrate Thanksgiving having accomplished nothing.

    CBS News did an interesting segment last night on the disappearance of moderates in the Senate.

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