This tells you how seldom I read the Reporter

This tells you how seldom I read the Reporter December 4, 2012

When I read “National Catholic Reporter endorses women priests” my first thought was, “Didn’t they do that years ago?”

Apparently not.  So now they’ve come out and said what it was obvious they’ve been telegraphing for 30 years.  It’s good to have clarity on their doomed dedication to something that Ain’t  Gonna Happen and their devotion to the Spirit of the Age over the teaching of Christ and the apostles, I guess.  I like know where people stand and prefer frank and open Wrongness to mealy-mouthed,  euphemistic and evasive Wrongness.

Eventually, progressives who are deeply devoted to implementing the Third Vatican Council are going to be confronted with an actual Third Vatican Council that is, like the once-dreamed-of progressive dissenter successor to John Paul II, going to severely disappoint them by remaining orthodox.  What they will do when that becomes clear  is anybody’s guess.  The world being as weird as it is, they might wind up making common cause with uber-Trad secevacantists to denounce the Church as failing to be Truly True Catholic. When Herodians and Pharisees can scheme together to kill Jesus and Hitler and Stalin can buddy up, anything is possible.  In parody of real ecumenism there is such a thing as Satanic Ecumenism.

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  • vox borealis

    I think the Reporter is simply running out of ways to (try to) shock people, and I suspect they know it. It’s sad in a way.

  • Kevin

    I used to have a subscription to NCR and it was truly amazing how they could weekly turn something as exciting and vibrant that is the Carholic faith into writing that was dull as dishwater. Truly a gift!

  • Bob

    “What they will do when that becomes clear is anybody’s guess.”
    Actually, I doubt that they will do much of anything that they’re not already doing. If it isn’t clear yet to progressives that they simply are no longer welcome in the Catholic church, which (in the United States at least), has become little more than a (largely ineffective) wing of the Republican party, than it never will be.
    Most progressives inclined to leave already have. Most of the rest will continue showing up, continue complaining, continue insisting that their vision of the church will someday come back, and so on and so on. All of it to no effect. But whatever. People’s default position is to continue doing what they’ve always done.

    • Marion (Mael Muire)

      Jesus Christ is the Head of the Catholic Church, yesterday, today, and forever. Faithful Catholics in the United States and internationally are His followers; no one else’s.

      That faithful Catholics in the U.S. have refused to get behind the platform of certain elements within the Republican Party leadership whose aim is to kick to the curb the poor and the disadvantaged, and to conduct endless military adventures overseas, must be resented in many Repub circles. And that faithful Catholics have equally refused to countenance the legal sanctioning of acts which place innocent children in the crosshairs of scalpel-wielding butchers who have the chutzpah to call themselves “physicians”, nor to countenance the further debasing and trivializing of the once-sacred institution of marriage by redefining it to include the union of two men, two women, a man and a dog, a woman and a goat, or a six men, two women, and a 1953 Studebaker convertible, is clearly resented by liberals and Democrats.

      So . . . Catholics manage to p___ off the extremists on both the Left and the Right? Sounds about right! Just doing our job!

      • Bob

        I wish. Your band of “faithful Catholics” is small indeed, and does not, for example, include the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, who’ve been so busy making league with the extremists on the right that I guess they just haven’t gotten around to do much to criticize kicking “to the curb the poor and the disadvantaged, and to conduct endless military adventures overseas.”
        When the bishops start talking about whether, say, Paul Ryan should be denied Communion, and not just Joe Biden, then you just might have something, Marion.

        • ivan_the_mad

          I haven’t heard much at all of the bishops discussing denial of Communion to anyone. That’s usually the province of the laity, and usually on the Internetz.

          This is not to say that the bishops do not discuss or consider such a thing, but they follow discretion in these cases. Generally, a (lengthy) period of private admonition precedes such a step.

        • Marion (Mael Muire)

          Oh, I have something, all right. I have bishops who don’t cave to the immoral demands of extremists from either party. Even though said bishops are punished for their fidelity to Christ by being tagged “in the pocket of the Left” or “puppets of the Right.”

          • Dale Price

            There’s no point, Marion: someone who equates cutting government budgets (Ryan’s budget proposal) with cutting the brains out of a delivered baby’s head (Biden’s support for partial birth abortion) is not amenable to reason.

          • Bob

            Ah, but in that case Marion is no more amenable to reason than I am, Dale, since it is Marion who made the argument that the bishops “don’t cave to the immoral demands of extremists from either party,” and that Republicans must be disappointed that “faithful Catholics” don’t “get behind the platform of certain elements within the Republican Party leadership whose aim is to kick to the curb the poor and the disadvantaged.”
            On the contrary, I think, they’re quite happy happy to get behind that platform.

            • dominic1955

              But why should Ryan be denied communion? His own bishop said there was nothing in his plan that was objectively immoral. You might not agree with it, but your disagreement doesn’t make something immoral. I’ve yet to actually hear/read of Republicans actually advocating sticking it to the poor in any way, shape or form. Thus, there is a huge vacuous cavern between advocating for abortion or same-sex “marriage” and having economic policies that don’t put lefties on cloud 9.

              • Bob

                The fact that the Ryan budget is immoral is what makes it immoral. The fact that his own Bishop said it is isn’t is what makes that Bishop, like most others, a shill. If you have yet to read “read of Republicans actually advocating sticking it to the poor in any way, shape or form,” then you need to read more.
                But, hey, forget the Ryan budget plan. How about his nearly flawless record of supporting the torture policies of the Bush and Obama administrations? Or his support of the death penalty? Or his willingness–purely to serve his own ambitions–to abandon his own long-held position on abortion to jump into bed (politically speaking) with someone became nominally “pro-life” only at the most politically expedient moment–and even then adopted a position much weaker than Ryan’s? What about all of that? Very little of this (save for his VP run) makes Ryan much different from any Washington Republican. I use Ryan as an example.
                And for the record, I am NOT stating that Ryan or anyone else should be denied Communion. Just pointing out that that is what some Bishops have said should happen to some politicians. But only the Democrats, naturally.

                • ivan_the_mad

                  More Catholic than the Pope, I’m sure.

                  My reaction to your libel against the bishops is: get stuffed.

              • Bob

                That’s really not what I said, Dale, but I’ve noticed that one of the right wing’s favorite games is the Straw Man Game: Put words in the other person’s mouth, then attack him for “saying” those words.
                What I have said, and what is true, is that the Catholic church has morphed, in the US, into not much more than a GOP mouthpiece. You seem to be saying, if I read you right (and I don’t want to play the Straw Man Game here, so do clarify if I’m wrong), is that because the GOP is nominally pro-life, that the Church SHOULD be its mouthpiece. That this is right and good. And that’s fine. You’re entitled to that few. It’s the majority view, I would guess, of weekly Catholic church-goers. I just wish those who hold it would clearly state it. Like Mark, I too “prefer frank and open Wrongness to mealy-mouthed, euphemistic and evasive Wrongness.”
                For the record, my anti-clericalism is not based on the notion that screwing the poor has the same moral weight as child murder. It is, instead, based on the notion that the clerics themselves have made a clear political choice and have become, in so doing, essentially political players for one political party.

                • ivan_the_mad

                  ” the GOP is nominally pro-life, that the Church SHOULD be its mouthpiece.”

                  Do you just see what you want to see?

                • Mark Shea

                  Conservatives don’t seem to have gotten the memo that the Church is a GOP mouthpiece, since they spend tons of time complaining that it the Democrat party at prayer. You do remember all the endless complaints at the bishops for supporting Obamacare, right? All the hand-wringing about our limp-wristed bishops and their undermining of the push for war in Iraq? The whining about their lack of devotion to the core conservative value of the death penalty? Hell’s bells, just a couple of months ago conservatives were wetting themselves because Dolan had dinner with Obama. The fact that the bishop oppose Obama’s draconian mandate does not make them a wholly-owned subidiary of the GOP. Get out of your epistemic closure bubble on the Left.

                • Dale Price

                  No, Bob, I didn’t put words in your mouth. You argue that the same standard for denial of communion should be applied to Ryan as for Biden. By all means, clarify to the contrary, but such a position is premised on the idea that each man’s acts are of comparable moral gravity.

                  And, nope, after a cursory review of my post, it is clear that I don’t advocate for the Church to be a mouthpiece for Team Elephant. Frankly, it takes a lot of screwing one’s eyes shut to think that it is. The bishops are routinely blasted by conservatives (e.g., Michelle Malkin raising the Nast flag) for their immigration stance, as anyone who was aware of that debate during the Bush years remembers. The bishops have made it clear that the Alabama immigrant-reporting law is one of the bases for their stance on religious liberty.

                  It takes a lot of fact-spinning to argue that the American episcopate is in the GOP Amen Corner.

            • Dale Price

              Nice bit of sophistry, Bob, but no sale.

              The problem is, your anti-clericalism in this thread is premised on the objectively false notion. Specifically, that an unimplemented budget proposal regarding transfer payments has the same moral weight as keeping infanticide legal. I’m ambivalent at best about Ryan (his downplaying of admiration for the wretched Ayn Rand was not credible), but he doesn’t have anything on his hands (apart from support for Drone strikes, which our Veep is hip-deep in) comparable to defending privatized child-murder.

              • Jeremy Dobbs

                I would make teh important distinction here: Church or churchmen. We have largely had pencil-pushers for shepherds for decades now, and it will take decades to fix. Thank God Pope Benedict has FINALLY started the process

  • Dale Price

    It was one of the leading stories for the national news portion of our local CBS newsradio station yesterday morning. Baffling as to why–their stance has been obvious for decades.

    Interestingly, there wasn’t a peep about it today. CBS probably recognized that it wasn’t really news.

    • ivan_the_mad

      This assumes that they know what qualifies as news is to begin with. I fear you give them far too much credit, Dale.

  • In related news, today the National PETA Reporter announced that they endorsed bacon and demanded that PETA leadership end their unjust prohibition against succulent deliciousness.

  • John McGrath

    Only 36% of Catholics have a strong identification with their church – 39% mainline Protestants, 56% Evangelicals. The young are fleeing the catholic church as fast they can. Ex-Catholics are the second largest religious group in the US. The bishops put all their eggs in the Republican basket. Yet, in the four states that voted in favor of gay marriage, gay marriage was heavily supported by Republicans. And Catholics now believe that contempt for others is a gift of the Holy Spirit.
    So who’s doomed?

    • Jmac

      You guys. When the Vatican rolls out its Anathema-bots, we’ll see who’s laughing then.

      • Marion (Mael Muire)

        “When the Vatican . . . ?”

        One day each of us will stand before the Judgment Seat of the Almighty. Some of us, like some of the commenters on this very thread, will have lived their lives according to the philosophy: “Hey! Have a good time and try to be a nice guy, and the Man Upstairs will take care of you.” Such people will be in for a rude awakening.

        A very rude awakening.

        The Vatican is like a training academy for Olympic athletes. They’re not fooling around. (If you’re going to compete in the Olympics, you better not have been fooling around for most of your life. And if you’re going to face the Throne of God alone on the final day of your life, you had better not have spent most of your life fooling around.)

        But lots and lots of people here on Earth have dedicated their lives to the fine art of pursuing their own pleasures, often pleasures forbidden by the Creator. Such people don’t like to hear that their pursuit of these pleasures will one day blow up in their face; to hear this diminishes their pleasure. And above all, life has to be about pleasure. So it is imperative that they do all they can to shout down the very people whose job it is to prepare them to face That Awful Day – The Vatican.

        Thank goodness they won’t succeed.

        • ivan_the_mad

          I’m quite certain that you’re responding to humor.

          • Jmac

            As am I. Sorry, I forgot sarcasm is broken on the internet.

            I would have thought “Anathema-bots” would raise a flag, but I guess it didn’t.

            • Marion (Mael Muire)



              Are those the next generation from daleks?

              I got the humor. I just shifted my own tone.

              Live long and prosper.

              • Jmac


                Well derp, now I just feel dumb 😀

                • Marion (Mael Muire)

                  ANATHEMIZE! ANATHEMIZE!

                  Well, that nanotechnologists would see any reason to equip bots with voice-generating capability?, . . . yeah, that was not well thought-out on your part.

                  I mean, really!

                  • Jmac

                    I just wanted someone to talk to… even if it was a fearsome Dalek-like robot intended to enforce orthopraxy with an iron plunger.

                    • ivan_the_mad

                      The internets has been won today by you.

                    • Marion (Mael Muire)

                      On further reflection, I realize that – duh! – the bots could interface remotely with a cell phone, a computer, a TV, anything that has voice generating technology, and so bring their bot voices into the users’ room that way.

                      That was dumb of me not to think of that in the first place! There bot for the grace of God . . .

                • ivan_the_mad

                  As well you should, ignoramus!!! …

                  • ivan_the_mad


                    Whew, I think I deflected attention away from me.

                    • ivan_the_mad

                      Man, what a complete and utter failure on the part of Patheos to correctly display my superior ASCII emoticons.

                    • Jmac


    • Arnold

      What is your proof that Republicans in those three states (MN did not vote on allowing gay marriage but on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban it; it is still not allowed) “heavily supported” gay marriage? WA, MD and Maine are all liberal states, the first two heavily so, and yet the approval for gay marriage was relatively small given the normal liberal bias in those states. The bishops in my view did not “put all their eggs in the Republican basket;” a number of them simply pointed out that one party is the chief political supporter of gay marriage, abortion and administrative sanctions on Catholic and other religious institutions. That is a clear and obvious fact you seem to not want to face. .

    • Bob

      “And Catholics now believe that contempt for others is a gift of the Holy Spirit.”
      What do you mean by this? What’s your basis for that statement?

    • Bill

      Who’s doomed?
      Not the Catholic Church

    • Andy, Bad Person

      “We will bury you” is a line that the Church has heard many times before.

      She is an anvil that has worn out many hammers. But swing away.

  • dpt

    “barring women from ordination to the priesthood is an injustice that cannot be allowed to stand.”

    When I think of injustice, I think of refugees, those living in poverty, victims of war and other violence, political prisoners, etc.

    NCR’s view of injustice seems to be self-centered, not Christ-centered.

  • Tim S.

    The only thing that could possibly be done about all this would be to sort out if there is an authority in the Church that is empowered to tell NCR to cease and desist from using the good name Catholic in their title? Is the Bishop where the paper is published accountable?

  • * “If it isn’t clear yet to progressives that they simply are no longer welcome in the Catholic church”

    It depends on what is meant by this. In general, the Catholic Church, the “Church in this world is the sacrament of salvation, the sign and the instrument of the communion of God and men” (CCC780). So, yes, in sharing the Lord’s desire that all be saved, progressives are welcome.

    But the National Catholic Report is suggesting an alternate magisterium. This is dissent. The Pope has spoken, and the debate is over. I certainly don’t welcome Catholics proposing an alternate teaching as Catholic teaching.

    * “Most progressives inclined to leave already have.”

    I do admire the honesty in this.

    * “Most of the rest will continue showing up, continue complaining, continue insisting that their vision of the church will someday come back.”

    This is actually the root of the problem. Rather than listening to the Church as disciples, you wish to reform the Church in your image. The Church is not some instrument that can be hijacked to proclaim some partisan version of the truth. Rather,

    CCC 171 — The Church, “the pillar and bulwark of the truth”, faithfully guards “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints”. She guards the memory of Christ’s words; it is she who from generation to generation hands on the apostles’ confession of faith. As a mother who teaches her children to speak and so to understand and communicate, the Church our Mother teaches us the language of faith in order to introduce us to the understanding and the life of faith.

  • Marion (Mael Muire)

    The Church, “the pillar and bulwark of the truth”, faithfully guards “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints”. She guards the memory of Christ’s words; it is she who from generation to generation hands on the apostles’ confession of faith.

    But, you see, for liberals and for Leftists, it is their cause that is “the pillar and the bulwark of the truth,” and which represents man’s best hope for happiness both here on Earth and in the afterlife, (if it exists, but let’s not worry too much about that.)

    The job of Catholics and all others is to shut up and get on board. If liberals and Leftists encounter any single argument or objection from Catholics, the way to silence them is to accuse them of being “single-issue voters.” If liberals and Leftists encounter multiple arguments from Catholics, the way to silence them is to accuse them of being “Republicans” or “right-wingers.”

    All smoke and mirrors.

  • LaVallette

    As the controversy whirls around me I start writing on the ground: “The Episcopalians, The Scandanavian State Churches, The Anglicans,………..( any other denomination that has ordained women)”
    Are these people incapable from learning from other people’s mistakes?

    • Marion (Mael Muire)

      “Are these people incapable from learning from other people’s mistakes?”

      My dear LaValette, the Mandarin Left doesn’t make mistakes. The Mandarin Left simply needs more time, more resources, more popular support, . . . more everything in which to implement their enlightened and liberating proposals, . . . and if the results are still disastrous, then those who notice said results and have the counterrevolutionary gall to mention them, are to be liquidated. In the East, they are liquidated by firing squad. In the West, they are liquidated to the extent possible by being mocked, derided, insulted, labelled, in a word, silenced.

      If, for example, one day in the future, the Mandarin Left were to implement some policy or other that went wrong (as they all eventually do), leaving in this instance the entire mid-section of our country a smoking crater . . . the Mandarin Left would insist that this result was the fault of the Republicans, and how very Neanderthal of you to notice the smoking crater status of the Great Plains states, by the way.

      Tne Mandarin Left never fails. Never.

  • Janet O’Connor

    In my view the NCR (also known as the Fishwrap) has been pushing rebellion and dissent and disobedience at least since after Pope Paul put out his 2 encyclicals one priestly celibacy and Of Human Life. In October of that year the Archbishop of St. Louis at that time put out a statement that this paper should STOP calling itself CATHOLIC immediately. But it was ignored by the publishers back than and continues on to this day. I think they started in 1964 so they are fairly recent. The fact that so many of their contributing writers are the notable “dissenters” except for John Allen tells you something. They are becoming increasingly irellevant when CBS has to do a story on them. They and their readers HATE both John Paul II and Benedict strongly so there you have it. History is no longer on their side and like the false “spirit of Vatican II” will FADE AWAY.

  • Zeke

    These same naysayers also predicted that the mass would remain forever in Latin, or that Communion on the tongue was eternal and unchanging. No doubt that when the Church eventually allows women priests the announcement will be preceded by “as the Church has always taught…..” But for now Catholic women will have to continue to ponder and tolerate the shame of this kind of thought:

    • Mass in Latin, Communion on the tongue = changeable disciplines

      Male-only priesthood = infallible, unchangeable doctrine

      Read and learn, young padawan:

    • Mark Shea

      Zeke: You really need to learn the difference between unchanging teaching and a reformable discipline. Otherwise you come off like an ignoramus. Neither Latin nor communion on the tongue were irreformable. Neither is priestly celibacy. And the priesthood has nothing to do with letting women teach or speak. You do know, don’t you, that there are women doctors of the Church? Really. Try learning before shooting your mouth off.

  • Zeke

    Yes, yes, it’s all quite complicated and mysterious how Church teaching gradually coincided with modern reality to help keep the pews from emptying. Other Christian sects allow birth control? A 20th century Pope fortunately reveals that timing sex to avoid pregnancy is no longer sinful, as long as the couple has a good reason. Women begin to claim their rights as equals to men in society in the 60’s and 70’s? A few women saints are titles Doctors of the Church. And what ever happened to the centuries old teaching that all go to hell except for faithful, baptized, card-carrying Catholics? That one seems to have gone the way of the dodo too.

    Semantics aside, maintaining first century gender norms shouldn’t be bragging points. You do know, don’t you, that these women doctors have been dead for some time? Only a male dominated hierarchy and cult of celibacy could spin this as a positive message for the gals.

    • Chris M

      If you really want to see empty pews, please visit your average Episcopal Church.. y’know.. the ones on the cutting edge of modernization.. the first denomination to OK birth control.. has loads of women clergy.. is officially pro-choice, etc..

      Funny how all that hasn’t stopped their average Sunday attendance figure from dropping like a rock. Not that popularity has any bearing on truth, but since you’re arguing from a popularity standpoint, I give you TEC as a counterargument.

  • Marion (Mael Muire)

    “maintaining first century gender norms shouldn’t be bragging points. . . .”

    I believe many virtuous FIRST CENTURY pagan Romans would consider us in the post-Christian West, among the most corrupt and brutal barbarians they had ever come across. And many first century Greeks and Jews would agree with them.

    Dig! Twenty-first Western little girls – from the age of five or so- are taught that unless you look like Britney Spears or Jennifer Lopez, your life is meaningless. By the age of eight, our culture has been teaching young girls everything from contraception and abortion to homosexuality to pornography and pole-dancing – hypersexualization even before they are adolescent women. These girls are therefore deprived of any opportunity to learn to be just themselves as childlikeyoung girls, and to establish healthy, solid relationships. Their value becomes primarily in how sexually attractive they are, and every relationship carries with it the possibility of a sexual encounter. Even the first century pagan Romans gave their youngsters an opportunity to enjoy their childhood before entering adulthood. We in the post-Christian West have excelled the first century pagan Romans in depravity regarding childhood. They would be horrified at us!

    The first century pagan Romans – and Greeks and Jews – viewing our 21st century habit of drugging our young boys to calm them would be horrified and repelled. Ritalin for every other boy in the class – all diagnosed with “ADHD” when most of them are just boys, boys who don’t act like girls, sitting quietly in their pigtails, reading, or coloring, or cutting paper. Most boys can’t sit like that all day – they need to spend significant amounts of time each day climbing, escaping, destroying, jumping, running, clambering, conquering, chasing, hunting, diving, exploring. And because post-Christian post-industrial culture can’t or doesn’t want to accomodate their need to do these things, we drug them. That’s right, drug them. I think it’s disgusting and repelling and sick. And so would the first century pagan Romans, Jews, and Greeks.

    I feel that to the extent that our culture is able to revive and maintain certain key values of decency and understanding about human beings, values which date back not just to the first century, but beyond, there is hope for this world of ours.