|Mallon's Media Watch|
Friday, September 27, 2002
Our Brother in Blogging, Gerard Serifin, of the beautiful and gentle website A Catholic Page for Lovers and blog A Catholic Blog for Lovers found out Wednesday from looking at the website of the Archdiocese of Baltimore that his name was among those released by the archdiocese of priests who had been accused (not convicted) of sexual abuse of a minor. He is obviously devastated and claims on his blog that he never molested anyone. He does not deny wrongdoing, but makes clear that the accusation, dating from the 80s, is grossly overblown and gives a hypothetical (?) illustration how such a thing could happen. in any case, the Internet is not the place where these cases should be tried, although Cardinal Keeler chose to post a large number of priests' names on the Archdiocesan website. At his own request, Gerard was laicized in 1988. But his love of the Lord and the Church is evident on his blog.
Gerard, understandably, is in great pain and could use prayers. As could the Church. I only know what he has posted on his blog, but it appears he has suffered an incredible injustice. Please pray for him and the chaos that has broken out in Baltimore.
I hope he will continue blogging, perhaps with a lawyer looking over his shoulder, but it may give some insight into the feeding frenzy this crisis has become, from the point of view of one going through it — an incredible trial.
His blog, A Catholic Blog for Lovers and his website A Catholic Page for Lovers will continue to be linked on Mallon's Media Watch until further notice.
In this interview with BeliefNet.com, Garry Wills sees the Holy Spirit as holding dissenting views. So, who does the Holy Spirit dissent from? And why has he been unable to get through to the Church in 2,000 years? Only now to break through with the election of the next Pope? Garry, Get a real job.
Q: Where in the hierarchy do you see the Holy Spirit working for good today?
Wills: Well, some men in the hierarchy agree with the idea of married priests and women priests. There were national conferences of bishops in Europe who tried to advance the idea of "voluntary celibacy," as they put it, to recruit more priests. Rome cracked down on them. In fact, Rome has taken away the power of the bishops, and they resent it. And that's going to show in the choice of the successor to John Paul II.
Yes, it will, Garry.
A fun rant from the Lady in the pew!
A few samples from this post where Kelly quotes an ex-priest, Anthony Massimini, bestowing droppings of his wisdom...
" My experience as a psychotherapist reveals that we are dealing with an outburst of hysteria. Another way of looking at it is that a dysfunctional leadership has engendered a dysfunctional laity. The two are co-dependent addicts. The smallest hint of normalcy throws them all into a panic."
"VOTF is actually developing a contemporary spirituality – of an adult and mature, prayerful and discerning relationship with God, and of spiritually informed and energized prophetic action within the church and society."
The Rosary as the opiate of the Laity: "This may be contrasted to the devotional piety that the bishops preach and that most of the laity practice, e.g., the rosary and other devotions to Mary, devotions to the saints, Masses for Reconciliation, etc. These, of course, are all good, but they can keep the laity immature and passive. An immature and passive laity can easily be frightened and even panicked by VOTF's mature, active spirituality."
Is he advocating adultery? "Adult" faith as in "adult" bookstore? A "mature" faith in the God who told us to become like little children?
"I suggest that Voice organize a group of theologians and canon lawyers, e.g., from Boston College and elsewhere, and have them write short, easy to read papers on various topics that pertain to Voice's mission. These could be put on the web site for the information and education of all Voice members."
Wow! Call out the BC theology department! There's an adult group!
The pew lady replies, "I can see it now: "See Jane Get Ordained." "Father Dick Gets Hitched." "Horton Hears The Holy Spirit."
And of course, the soon-to-be-classic: "The Grinches in the Hierarchy," and "The Cat in The Cardinal’s Hat."
Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us!
Tuesday, September 24, 2002
More from George: an excerpt from his book: The Courage to Be Catholic: Crisis, Reform, and the Future of the Church
Mark Shea on why bishops who made their own bed should stew in their own juices (I have cited his theory myself when asked about this):
Mark Shea on why bishops are not being forced to resign
An interview with the clear thinking George Weigle
"A Crisis of Fidelity:" George Weigel on Renewing the U.S. Catholic Church
More from the shadows...
The Church is indeed a Mystery...that is a sacramental sign of God's Presence in our midst. The Church is also the People whom God has made his own, purchased by the Blood of Christ. The Church is hierarchical because its bishops, priests, and deacons have been conformed to Christ in a special way for the sake of all its members.
You claim to be orthodox. I claim to be simply a member of Christ's holy catholic church. One who prays each day for John Paul, our Pope, and the bishop who serves as Christ's vicar for this local church. I know you, John, to be a sincere and faithful individual.... but one also smitten by the integralism which distorts the truth by turning it into a religous fetish. Jesus Christ is the Truth, but he never made anyone accept his truth. He was God's equal, yet did not boast of it. He emptied himself and accepted death, death on a cross rather than resist his enemies. He turned the other cheek and prayed for and forgave those who persecuted and murdered him.
We now live in a church in which honest and heartfelt disagreement is twisted into something called dissent so that dissenters can be villified as disloyal. Was St. Paul dissenting when he faced Peter down? Was Peter dissenting when, in his ignorance, he attempted to dissuade Jesus from his journey to Jerusalem? History is full of individuals who were moved by the spirit to disagree with hierarchs who seemed to completely forget what Jesus taught about "not Lording it over their subjects."
It seems to me that so many of the bishops want to live like princes rather than live and die as their master did. They avoid the passion by taking stances to "protect" the church. That is protect themselves.
I'm glad to detect more than a little hostility towards some of the bishops. Then you have been given the shaft by at least one of them.
I'm no dissenter and no coward. I am engaging you not in ad hominems but on the substance of your views...not only those espoused in a particular article, but in all the journals you have been associated with. I have respect and love for you as a brother in Christ. I simply disagree with much of what you write.
At least we both stand with the Pope.
>on 9/23/02 11:48 PM, anonymous26 at email@example.com wrote:
>I know you, John, to be a sincere and faithful individual.... but one also
>smitten by the integralism which distorts the truth by turning it into a religous fetish.
If this is what you think, you don't know me at all. In any case, if you are not going to identify yourself I have no interest in continuing this discussion.
Monday, September 23, 2002
Mr "Anonymous" Writes Again
on 9/16/02 4:22 PM, anonymous at firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I use the anonymous email address when I am writing to people on the right. In my experience, their great interest in protecting the church from "dissenters" sometimes leads them to turning people in.
I know Lumen Gentium very well. It refers to the church as (among other things) the people of God. I understand as you do that the church is hierarchically assembled. This does not explain your usage of the word church as synonamous with the hierarchy or the bishops. It's an old practice I realize, but that does not make it an accurate one.
Just want to keep an old "friend" on his toes.
I don't know if I'm on the right. I stand with John Paul II. To me that's simply Catholic, not left or right. Again, you obviously didn't read my article closely. I did not use the term "Church" to mean the hierarchy. I merely explained that according to Lumen Gentium the church is (Chapter 1) a mystery, (Chapter 2), The people of God, and (Chapter 3), Hierarchical. I said all three aspects must be taken together, not one of them taken out of context and emphasized at the expense of the others. People on the right are likely to emphasize Chapter 3, the hierarchy at the expense of the mystery and the people of God, (which I have not done, despite your misreading) whereas dissenters (no quotes) like yourself emphasise chapter 2, claiming the Church to be the people of God, forgetting the mystery and the hierarchy, as you have in this letter. My personal temptation is not to emphasize the hierarchy, or the people of God, but rather Chapter 1, the Mystery, at the expense of the other two. But I do my best to keep the balance that LG gives us.
As for keeping an old friend on his toes, am I to surmise that I know you? All the more reason to come out of your cloak of anonimity, and stand for your beliefs like a man. As for your being "turned in" I am not the Gestapo. Who would I turn you in to? The bishops? Yeah, they love to punish dissenters, and pigs fly too. Since when do dissenters ever get in trouble? It's the orthodox people who use their names proudly who pay a heavy price for speaking out, losing jobs, income, health, thanks to the star-chamber treatments of dissenters in positions of power who can't abide the truth of Catholicism. You flatter yourself. Dissenters are cowards. The Church is not the Soviet Union, no one is oppressed for their dissent. If their agenda is so important to them they can go be honest Episcopalians instead of dishonest Catholics. Dissenters are followers, not leaders. It takes no particular courage to demand that the Church conform to the World in a culture hostile to the Gospel. As Jacques Barzun said, "Dissent is the dullest conformity." Amen.
Posted 10:15 PM by John Mallon
Another letter re Mallon's article.
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2002 16:32:47 -0500
Subject: Mail from the ITV web form
To John Mallon:
I read your Op-ed piece in the Globe. I have scoured the votf web site looking for specific places where their leaders may have used the expression "We are Church." Can't find it anywhere. Could this be a red herring to discredit the response of this grassroots movemement of mainstream Catholics to the abuse of power scandal? Your article seeks to justify the notion that "The Bishops are the Church". Insofar as they seek to be faithful, the bishops are, indeed, an important part of the church, but they are not the church. Of the world's one billion Catholics, no more than 4500 are bishops. What does that come to? About one tenth of one percent. If you throw in all the clergy, the percentage grows to about one percent. Bishops and their clergy are empowered to teach, sanctify, and serve, but that does not make them "the church". St. Paul most often uses the word "church" to refer to the people gathered to worship God. He also uses it as a synonym for the people whom God has made his own. VOTF poses little or no threat to the vitality of the Catholic Church. Bishops hoping to hold on to their absolute power pose a far greater danger. Your presentation on apostolic succession makes a mockery of history. John, do you read church history? Jesus chose and formed apostles and disciples so they could bear witness to the Good news of God's salvation. Not to protect an institution that didn't exist at the time. The sky is not falling. The institutional church vs. votf is like a gnat vs. a whale. The bishops will survive nicely. Will God's people survive and thrive is another question entirely. Maybe this time, the bishops can get out in front on reform. It will save us Trent II.
----- Original Message -----
From: John Mallon
Sent: Thursday, September 12, 2002 10:23 PM
Subject: FW: Mail from the ITV web form
RE: Your comment on my implying "The Church is the bishops:" Reread the table of contents of Lumen Gentium, as I suggested in the Globe article. While you're at it reread my article.
Thanks for writing,
PS: Use your name. "Anonymous" is really tacky...
Sunday, September 22, 2002
National Catholic Distorter as Media Source
However, my tendency is to agree with Bill Donahue in this quote:
"Our problem is less with John Allen than with Tom Fox," Donahue said. Allen did not sensationalize his story the way Fox did on TV. What Allen said was that last Saturday he met a Belgian cardinal while waiting for his bags at an airport and, lo and behold, the cardinal offered some reservations about the bishops going too far. That's it.
I have met and worked with John Allen and so far believe him to be a decent human being and honest journalist, although we probably hold polar opposite views on everything involving the Church, he may well have brought the only smidgeon of integrity to the NCD they now have and previously lacked entirely. —JM
Troubling, if True:
The Sex Abuse Lobby, the Bishops and VOTF
How comforting. (Sorry, the stories blogged below make me cynical.)
Many Bishops Say They're Obeying New Sexual Abuse Policy
Another stunner. They just keep coming...
Lawsuit attacks priest's behavior with an adult, creating a dilemma
In contrast with steps taken to permanently remove priests who abuse children, church policies about sex with adults are vague -- a problem that may be resolved when a local code of behavior for clergy is finalized next year, [diocesan spokesman Ned] McGrath said. The archdiocese has a 1998 policy governing sexual harassment and abuse by clergy, but it's not clear whether Farrar's situation falls under it, McGrath said Friday.
Even if sex occurred, as the lawsuit claims, it's not likely that the relationship was abusive, McGrath said.
"The Catholic Church does not always see consensual activity among adults as abuse, although others do," McGrath said. "To say that, however, does not imply that the church doesn't see such behavior as wrong or sinful."
Ned, take it from an old diocesan spokesman (me), if he's a priest counselling her, it's abuse.
A secular psychological counsellor is not even allowed to date a former client for a certain amount time if at all. And this doesn't even involve celibacy...
Incredible story out of Bp. Gregory's diocese...
Link requires free registration but this story is worth it.
What Is VOTF's Real Agenda?
"A few priests have privately observed that, if this [homosexual ordination annulment] were actually to happen, the Roman Catholic Church might lose two-thirds of its priests under the age of 45 and some bishops as well. At the same time, many of its seminaries could be emptied of all but a handful of students." — Father Richard McBrien