Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.

Matthew 10:32-33

You know there are very few things more depressing when on a pilgrimage to the grave of a nun who built an organization proclaiming the truth of catholic faith to the world to read about this:

Sr Jane Marie Klein, told AP the name changes are in keeping with the mission of the Sisters of St Francis of Perpetual Adoration, which founded the hospital system.

What name change is Sr. Jane Marie Klein saying is in keeping with the mission of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual adoration? Why removing the “saint” out of hospital names that she runs.

The health care system that oversees the Illinois and Indiana hospitals has determined that dropping the saint names will strengthen the brand identity of the system as a whole, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.

“Unsainted” hospitals include those that had incorporated the names of St James, St Anthony, St Elizabeth, St Margaret, and St Francis.

Because nothing better illustrates the mission of Catholic nuns like ditch the saints and the Catholic identity they allude to.

It seems she followed the exact path that Screwtape suggested.

quietly and gradually nurse him on to the stage at which the religion becomes merely part of the “cause”… Once you have made the World an end, and faith a means, you have almost won your man, and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursuing.

This entire story might seem confusing. While the Hospitals will discover that like God, the saints will not force themselves on those who don’t want them and will, however reluctantly agree to stay away, you would think that given the purpose of a hospital is to treat the sick, the aid of the Hospital’s patron would be very valuable. Of course that presumes actual belief and unfortunately I’ve discovered belief is not longer a given among the professed religious.

Exit question, who wants to bet that the Hospitals don’t remove the “St.” when trying to fundraise from faithful Catholics?

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Sir Humphrey Appleby: The Queen is inseparable from the Church of England.
Jim Hacker: And what about God?
Sir Humphrey Appleby: I think he is what is called an optional extra.

Yes Prime Minister The Bishop’s Gambit 1986

You know after being being Burned By Barack Obama you would think Notre Dame would be a little more careful about who they honor around there.

You’d think wrong.

The University of Notre Dame will honor Vice President Joe Biden and former Speaker of the House John Boehner by giving them its top award, the Laetare Medal, during commencement ceremonies.

The university says it is recognizing the Democrat and Republican for their leadership, civility and dedication to the nation.

The Rev. John Jenkins, the university president, says with public confidence in government at historic lows, it is “a good time to remind ourselves what lives dedicated to genuine public service in politics look like.”

Believe it or not this is actually worse than inviting yesterday’s story about inviting Wendy Davis to speak at Notre Dame.  At least Davis was invited by a specific department.  The Laetare Medal is a school wide honor endorsed by the University Proper.

I’m pleased to say that not everyone is taking this lying down

A contingent of 89 students published a letter in the University of Notre Dame’s student newspaper today in protest to the University’s announcement on March 5 that abortion and same-sex marriage advocate Vice President Joe Biden will be honored with “the oldest and most prestigious honor accorded to American Catholics.”

“As students of this University, some of whom will graduate in May, we are disappointed Notre Dame has failed in this instance to live up to its Catholic mission,” the students stated. “We deserve to see the Laetare Medal given to an American Catholic who merits it by having served as an outstanding example for Catholics and having performed real service to the Church in this country.”

not  Bishop Rhodes:

I know that this honor is also an attempt to recognize two Catholics from different political parties at a time when our national politics is often mired in acrimonious partisanship. I appreciate Notre Dame’s efforts to encourage civility, dialogue, mutual respect and cooperation in political life.

While I understand Notre Dame’s intentions in conferring the Laetare Medal upon Vice-President Biden and Speaker Boehner, I disagree with the decision. In dialogue with Father Jenkins about this matter some months ago, I shared with him my concerns with honoring the Vice-President. I believe it is wrong for Notre Dame to honor any “pro-choice” public official with the Laetare Medal, even if he/she has other positive accomplishments in public service, since direct abortion is gravely contrary to the natural law and violates a very fundamental principle of Catholic moral and social teaching: the inalienable right to life of every innocent human being from the moment of conception. I also question the propriety of honoring a public official who was a major spokesman for the redefinition of marriage. The Church has continually urged public officials, especially Catholics, of the grave and clear obligation to oppose any law that supports or facilitates abortion or that undermines the authentic meaning of marriage. I disagree with awarding someone for ‘outstanding service to the Church and society’ who has not been faithful to this obligation.

I realize that Notre Dame is trying to separate or distinguish the conferral of the Laetare Medal upon the recipients from their positions on public policies. I do not think this is realistically possible or intellectually coherent.

some faculty:

“Saying that Mr. Biden rejects Church teaching could make it sound like he is merely disobeying the rules of his religious group. But the Church’s teaching about the sanctity of life is true. And so the Vice-President rejects the truth that human life begins at conception,” the faculty stated. “He rejects the truth that every human life deserves protection, from conception until natural death.He rejects the truth that public officials like him have an especially grave duty to preserve the least of our brothers and sisters from harm.”

and of course the Cardinal Newman society

For faithful Catholics, “compromise” is precisely the concern here. Catholic Biden has compromised his fidelity to Church teaching on intrinsic evils far too many times in his career in the interest of political compromise. He has publicly supported Roe v. Wade and legal abortion, legal redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples, taxpayer funding for embryonic stem cell research, and the HHS contraception/sterilization/abortifacient mandate. Is this really the sort of “responsible compromise” Notre Dame seeks to applaud?

Notre Dame also compromises its Catholic identity in honoring Biden for the purpose of making a political statement, and, as with the honor to President Obama, with the goal of gaining secular prestige.

Let’s go back to St. John Paul II and Ex Corde Ecclesiae again:

By its very nature, each Catholic University makes an important contribution to the Church’s work of evangelization. It is a living institutional witness to Christ and his message, so vitally important in cultures marked by secularism, or where Christ and his message are still virtually unknown. Moreover, all the basic academic activities of a Catholic University are connected with and in harmony with the evangelizing mission of the Church: research carried out in the light of the Christian message which puts new human discoveries at the service of individuals and society; education offered in a faith-context that forms men and women capable of rational and critical judgment and conscious of the transcendent dignity of the human person; professional training that incorporates ethical values and a sense of service to individuals and to society; the dialogue with culture that makes the faith better understood, and the theological research that translates the faith into contemporary language. “Precisely because it is more and more conscious of its salvific mission in this world, the Church wants to have these centres closely connected with it; it wants to have them present and operative in spreading the authentic message of Christ”

Frankly I think Fr. Jenkins and his ilk should take these words from Susan Fox to heart:

If you have forgotten, let a parent who has survived the Current War on our children remind you — we have an enemy. He’s smarter than us. He’s not here to play around, he’s not here to entertain, he’s not here to have fun. He’s here to kill.

The adults in charge of many of our Catholic schools and colleges seem to have forgotten this. They have, in the name of “tolerance,” accepted things that have his fingerprints all over them. They have allowed these things into their students’ lives, inviting “pro-choice” speakers, “Vagina Monologues,” “Gay” activists and now the latest — “transgender” representatives — onto their campuses and into their student’s lives. And then they scratch their heads at the pain, the suffering and the death that results from things that reek of the enemy. (Yes, perhaps your students will hear these things elsewhere, but they won’t have the Church’s stamp of approval on them in those other places, will they?)


You know that map of faithful catholic colleges from the Cardinal Newman society is looking better and better.

The Church does often set herself against the fashion of this world that passes away; and she has experience enough to know how very rapidly it does pass away

C.K. Chesterton

Yesterday I noted Stacy McCain’s piece on the ELCA and Augsburg College and stated that this is the logical conclusion from the Protestant reformation which has produced many denominations that no matter what you believe you’ll find a denomination that will affirm you.

It’s a lot like the global warming stuff, once you build a model based on error derivative models will get worse and worse till you’re predicting that the only safe place to build is a mountain range.

Stacy took note of this and followed up with a report at the sad state at Notre Dame which like Ireland has become a lot less Catholic

The rhetoric of “Beloved Friends and Allies” cannot disguise what actually happened, i.e., Notre Dame’s abject surrender to the totalitarian demands of an anti-Christian movement which is ruthlessly determined to destroy the Church, insofar as it cannot control the Church. When you see what “The Radical Theology of Feminism” has done to the liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), don’t you realize that if the Church refuses to cling to truth, and instead becomes “conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2), eventually there will be no Church at all? My Catholic friend Pete Da Tech Guy had a big “I told you so” at the expense of the Lutherans, but what does Notre Dame’s surrender portend?

Alas the record of Notre Dame is well known to longtime readers of this blog, starting with the Obama invite

I think the problem now is the sin of pride. Any retreat would be an embarrassment for Fr. Jenkins and that embarrassment trumps theology. Peters an expert of Canon Law has a solution:

Seriously, what I wonder is, why, amid the canon lawyers Jenkins claims to have consulted, not one, it seems, pointed out the most obvious solutions to their client’s problem:

The USCCB’s statement applies only to “Catholic institutions”, right? Well, all Jenkins and the ND board need do is declare that Notre Dame is not a “Catholic institution”, and poof! all these problems disappear. Notre Dame could confer honorary doctorates in law on anybody it wants after that, even on people who have built a career out of denying unborn babies the protection of law, and nary a bishop would say a word about it.

Of course then ND just becomes a college with a declining football program.

Which led to the Bishop skipping the ND graduation and Mary Ann Glendon turning down the Laetare Medal

A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.

Finally, with recent news reports that other Catholic schools are similarly choosing to disregard the bishops’ guidelines, I am concerned that Notre Dame’s example could have an unfortunate ripple effect.

It is with great sadness, therefore, that I have concluded that I cannot accept the Laetare Medal or participate in the May 17 graduation ceremony.

And alas we have reported that ND is not alone in its decent

Now this isn’t just a problem with Marquette, Other Catholic Colleges have had issues with their Catholic identities.

The Cardinal Newman Society, a Catholic higher education watchdog, reports almost daily on the worst (and occasionally the best) that Catholic institutions offer. For instance, Loyola Marymount University offers internshipswith the openly pro-choice group Feminist Majority Foundation. Gloria Steinem was hosted at St. Norbert College in Wisconsin, despite the objection of the local bishop. In a recent and highly publicized case, Marquette University is taking steps to fire a tenured professor who criticized a “graduate student instructor who told a student not to oppose same-sex marriage in her class.” Even Notre Dame has had its Catholic identity questioned—and by the Washington Post, at that.

And there is unfortunately plenty more where they came from.

To the point where I had to write my local Bishop after I toured a “Catholic” college recruiting one of my sons

We were excited when Sam was accepted at Anna Maria; even more so when they offered the largest (in dollars) scholarship of any of the nine colleges that have accepted and attempted to recruit him. We looked forward to the visit to the college and liked the prospect of a college that would expand both his faith and his educational horizons.

Then we actually visited the college.

Comparing your description of the college as a “great example of a Catholic institution…” and my experience I thought of George Weigel’s line commenting on the differing press releases concerning Speaker Pelosi visit to the Holy See: “Were Benedict XVI and Nancy Pelosi in the same meeting, or even in the same city?”

Speaker Pelosi would feel at home at Anna Maria. I’m not sure I could say the same for the Holy Father.

Which is why he went elsewhere.

So to answer Stacy and my many protestant friends who didn’t like that post of mine,  Yes we Catholic are aware of the state of Catholic education in America on the college level and have protested loudly against it.

However the big difference between this situation and the one at Augsberg is this:

The disgraceful actions of these Catholic colleges are acting contrary to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and often against their own Bishops.

While Augsburg college’s programs are entirely consistent with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The Catholic Church continues to hold the line on Abortion, on Gay Marriage, on Contraception and more.  Remember it was less than a century ago when you couldn’t find a protestant denomination in America that supported any of these. As long as the Vatican continues to hold to the faith fed by the Eucharist the body and blood of Christ and informed via faith and Tradition traced in a direct unbroken line from St. Peter to Francis. As Christ himself put it:

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.

Matthew 16:18

If the gates of Hell can’t stand against the Church how much less will any amount of colleges more worried about the world than their faith, stand against it in the long run?

Closing thought.  Let me remind you dear reader that when the Satanists came to Harvard it was Catholics who fought back and who showed up to march in procession in liberal Cambridge

and put on the pressure which led the Satanists to move off campus, produced prayer and reparation across the country and around the world, while at the same time the Chapel at St. Paul’s was filled to the brim with people worshiping in Eucharistic Adoration

Eucharistic Adoration is a practice I would recommend to every Christian I know.

Update: Added the excellent Chesterton quote at the top

My son, when you come to serve the LORD, prepare yourself for trials. Be sincere of heart and steadfast, undisturbed in time of adversity. Cling to him, forsake him not; thus will your future be great.

Accept whatever befalls you, in crushing misfortune be patient; For in fire gold is tested, and worthy men in the crucible of humiliation. Trust God and he will help you; make straight your ways and hope in him.

Sirach 2:1-6

If you want to understand nothing about what Mother Angelica accomplished read the NYT Obit of her:

Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, a cloistered Franciscan nun and media entrepreneur who founded the largest Roman Catholic television network in the country, and used it unstintingly to criticize liberalizing trends in the Catholic Church, died on Sunday. She was 92.

or maybe the Washington post which worked off the same copy with a few extras:

In a 1994 article in the National Catholic Reporter, Jesuit priest Raymond Schroth assailed Mother Angelica for what he considered her lack of intellectual sophistication. He cited her broadcast of the traditional Latin Mass, her belief in the literal reality of miracles and her skepticism of the liberalizing reforms of Vatican II in the 1960s.

“Anyone who watches EWTN will have to conclude that Catholicism is a Disneyland of pseudo-miracles, with a piety that exalts Mary over Jesus, more determined to squelch the Spirit than allow him or her to speak,” Schroth wrote.

The concept of the MSM quoting a Jesuit arguing against the Miraculous on Easter Monday is astounding, of course one might argue that Mother Angelia a child of violence, poverty and divorce in the 1920’s & 1930;s becoming the head of a media empire is rather miraculous.

But if you want Miracles read this timeline of EWTN from the site. Even if you ignore things like this

Rita’s first miraculous experience: In running to catch a bus, Rita misses a car speeding toward her. When she sees it, she freezes. Rita feels two hands pick her up and put her on the median in the center of the street. The bus driver says he has never seen anyone jump so high before.

Or This:

March 8, 1981
Just before the first satellite dish arrives, Sr. Regina has a vision in which she sees a black sky, a white satellite dish, and a flame emerging from the center. She hears God say, “No one will be able to extinguish this flame. This is my network, and it will glorify my Son.” The dish arrives a few weeks later. A photograph taken while it was installed reproduces Sr. Regina’s vision. Professional photographers cannot account for the red flame.

all you need to see the hand of God at work is to see how many times Mother and EWTN are hopelessly in debt with no prospect of coming up with the money to continue, yet over and over the somehow in the nick of time something happens to save the network, as Archbishop Chaput put it

“Mother Angelica succeeded at a task the nation’s bishops themselves couldn’t achieve…She founded and grew a network that appealed to everyday Catholics, understood their needs and fed their spirits. She had a lot of help, obviously, but that was part of her genius.”

And the secularists and cafeteria Catholics will never forgive her for it.

I’ll give the last word to John Allen:

One of the paradoxes about Mother Angelica is that although she was generally seen as a bête noire to Catholic progressives, there’s a strong case they too should celebrate her.

First, she proved that an independent, lay-led enterprise can pack a greater punch than officialdom in communicating a Catholic message. She and EWTN relativized the power of the hierarchy in America, not by attacking it, but simply by showing they didn’t need it to succeed.

Second, she also showed that a woman can stand toe-to-toe with powerful clerics in the Church and give every bit as good as she got.

Today there’s a great deal of ferment about how to promote leadership by women in the Church in ways that don’t involve ordination, a conversation Pope Francis himself has promoted. In a way, however, debating that question in the abstract seems silly, because we already have a classic, for-all-time example of female empowerment in Mother Angelica.

Rita Antoinette Rizzo, Mother Angelica’s given name, was many things: A lightning rod, a force of nature, an impresario, an entertainer, a deft commentator and pundit, and, beneath it all, a faithful and pious nun.

It is those last five words that matter most.

There are plenty of things in Jo Piazza’s tirade against against the Catholic Church in Time that are worthy of critique. The lack of any detail on the clashes between the LCWR & the Vatican, the fact that one of her “hero” nuns Sr. Jeannine Gramick has been publicly pushing abortion, The fact that the Vatican waited eight years  for the LCWR  to answer their concerns before acting,  her ignoring Habit wearing orders faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church like the Sister Servants who flourishing rather than rapidly dying out.

All of these things of course are familiar to DaTechGuyblog readers but while Ms. Piazza piece is laughable at best, she unknowingly includes an anecdote that shows exactly where she and the LCWR has it wrong (emphasis mine):

I recently spoke to a young woman who was discerning to be a Catholic sister, but changed her mind before she took perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

I asked her why and the answer was very simple and yet disheartening.

“I want to work for an employer that values what I do.”

She plans to work for an NGO. She wanted to be of service to the world, but she also wanted to feel empowered in her job.

And that my dear friends is exactly why I’m so pleased this young woman is not going to be a nun as she clearly doesn’t have a vocation.

If your primary concern is to “feel empowered” and to find “an employer who values you”  then by all means look for such an employer that advertisers such an environment.

If however, your primary concern is to serve Christ and his Church spreading the good news of the Gospel by way of works & prayer for the salvation of souls and feel the call of God calling to such service, have we Catholic got some vocations for you!

You will not likely get glowing articles in Time Magazine, Maureen Dowd will not lionize you in the NY Times and gay multi-millionaires will likely not finance any of the good works but as promised you will be gaining treasure in heaven.

If  Jo Piazza was as concerned about Nuns as she pretends rather than disheartened she would be delighted that this  young woman will not be taking vows that mean nothing for her.   I suspect her priority isn’t so much helping the Catholic Church serve the God of Christianity as seeking a Catholic Church that exists to serve the God she apparently worships: progressivism and liberalism,

As for the nuns she lionized.

Many of the women who are nuns today joined the vocation because it was a way to become highly educated, travel the world and dedicate themselves to a higher good without being beholden to a husband or children.

Notice the words “God” or “Christ”  are nowhere in that sentence, but, in fairness,  you will not find the words “God” or “Christ” either anywhere in the piece.  After all what does Christ have to do with being a Catholic Nun?

There is a reason why the sin of Pride is #1 on the list of deadly sins.

I would suggest prayer for all of these ladies and for the nuns in question as well, and rest assured if they the young lady in question has a vocation within her, God will call her to it.

Closing thought:  It’s no accident that Ms. Piazza used a photo of young nuns in her article, because if she showed a photo like this that more accurately  represents her heroes, nobody would realize they were nuns.

Update: Fr. Z picks up the story and notices something I missed:

The Vatican doesn’t celebrate these women. In fact, it has done the very opposite. Attacks on American nuns have been happening since 2008, when the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life initiated an “Apostolic Visitation,” a euphemism for investigation, of the nuns.

To put it in perspective, previous “visitations” conducted by the Church were designed to investigate things like the priest sex abuse scandal.

This is simply wrong.  Visitations happen all the time and for various reasons.  From time to time check ups are needed in all manner of the Church’s institutions.  But the silly writer is trying to paint the Holy See in the worst possible light by leading you to accept a false equivalence.

And via e-mail Roxeanne DeLuca reminds us who the employer of a nun actually is:

I would suggest that a nun’s employer – her boss’ boss – deeply values what she does and will reward her for eternity for it. In fact, He has said that for thousands of years through the prophets, the Church, and His son.

The religious orders have a great CEO.

The media is shocked SHOCKED that the Catholic Church under Pope Francis still expects American Nuns to act, well, Catholic:

“The Holy See believes that the charismatic vitality of religious life can only flourish within the ecclesial faith of the church,” Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told four members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

This has been a problem for some time, over a decade and if American Catholic nuns didn’t understand it was a problem when they were put under a Bishop in 2012 and that decision was confirmed by Pope Francis last year Cardinal Mueller is not leaving any room for doubt where this stands:

Mueller said the LCWR — which represents about 80 percent of the more than 50,000 Catholic nuns in the U.S. — is dependent on the Vatican for its bona fides as a church body. He indicated that the group’s status, and the Catholic faith of the sisters, was at risk if they did not heed Rome’s directives.

“Canonical status and ecclesial vision go hand in hand,” Mueller said, “and at this phase … we are looking for a clearer expression of that ecclesial vision and more substantive signs of collaboration.”

Leftist anger aside (just read those titles)  the would go the way of NCAN as Fr Z noted in 2012

Consider if you will the group NCAN, an even more radical splinter group of the LCWR, which has fulfilled Sr. Joan’s dream of being without canonical structure.  Their site is HERE, though it has not been updated since 2009 when they gave their coveted Margaret Ellen Traxler Award to Sr. Louise Lears, SC, whom then-Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis placed under interdict for her support of the ordination of women and her attending a fake “ordination”. These days the NCAN types are reduced to holding chat sessions in gated communities for three cats and a tumbleweed rather than in hotels for hundreds of sisters. For example, HERE is the flyer for a May 2012 meeting with the pro-choice Sr. Donna Quinn.  (See my post NUNS GONE WILD!)

That’s why while the media will hem & haw and object it will go no farther.  The media and the nuns know that they aren’t in a position to take on Francis and win, anyways the LCWR knows the moment they leave the church and lose their structure,  their influence, newsworthiness and most importantly their ability to successfully fundraise from faithful is done.


Update:  Father Z has  the statement in full, the speaker stuff is bad but this is worse:

Again, I apologize if this seems blunt, but what I must say is too important to dress up in flowery language. The fundamental theses of Conscious Evolution are opposed to Christian Revelation and, when taken unreflectively, lead almost necessarily to fundamental errors regarding the omnipotence of God, the Incarnation of Christ, the reality of Original Sin, the necessity of salvation and the definitive nature of the salvific action of Christ in the Paschal Mystery.

My concern is whether such an intense focus on new ideas such as Conscious Evolution has robbed religious of the ability truly to sentire cum Ecclesia. To phrase it as a question, do the many religious listening to addresses on this topic or reading expositions of it even hear the divergences from the Christian faith present?

Cripes this isn’t post Catholic it’s post Christian!



There are stories and there are people who simply want to advance an agenda Reuters seems to be joining the latter.

In an emotional ceremony filled with tears and applause, a 70-year-old Kentucky woman was ordained a priest on Saturday as part of a dissident group operating outside of official Roman Catholic Church authority.

A priest of WHAT? Not a Catholic priest, after all the story directly says this is dissident organization operating outside of the church. So what kind of priest does this woman think she is?

Rosemarie Smead is one of about 150 women around the world who have decided not to wait for the Roman Catholic Church to lift its ban on women priests, but to be ordained and start their own congregations.

There is a word for people who create their own priesthood and congregations outside of the Catholic Church, they are called: “Protestants” but if one points that out there is no story is there?

In an interview before the ceremony, Smead said she is not worried about being excommunicated from the Church – the fate of other women ordained outside of Vatican law.

Of course she is not worried, she isn’t a Catholic and hasn’t been for a long time. If she did then her vows might mean something.

What’s much more interesting to me than this woman’s narcissism and ego is Reuters deciding this is news, Memeorandum promoting it and Drudge giving it a front page. I wasn’t aware that people choosing to play make-believe was something “immediately recognizable as newsworthy?” Are they going to start consulting players of Call of Duty on Syria?

Consider, if I decided with a group of friends decided we didn’t like the special election and decide to hold our own election sending me to fill the seat vacated by John Kerry would Reuters decide it was newsworthy? Would they send a reporter to cover the election and ask me my positions on the immigration bill?, Guns?, Iran? Would Drudge give him a front page? Would Memeorandum promote it?

This story says much more about the news judgement of the people involved that it does about the Catholic church.

As for these ladies and their supporters, I’m sure the little band of sisters will get their 15 minutes and with a little luck get some favorable press and maybe will find themselves invited on Katie or Ellen. I’m sure they’ll find a denomination that will host & celebrate phony priests, phony Bishop, their phony sacraments and phony Eucharist and will carry on happily for the rest of their lives….

…after that they’re on their own.

Update: Father Z makes an interesting point about ecumenicism:

Here’s the bottom line. Antics like this should have consequences for ecumenical dialogue.

The women’s ordination thing is silliness. It is a circus.

A Protestant church hosted the circus. They gave the Catholic Church the finger.

There should be consequences.

Because nothing says: “Constructive dialog” like mocking the sacraments of the Catholic Church

Protestants who give these fakers aid are either on their side, and thus support their claim that what they are doing really is an ordination and Mass, or in claiming not to be taking sides they are still giving support to an anti-Catholic protest.

Bishops have to take action when offensive, anti-Catholic things like this take place.

Upon hearing the news that this ceremony is going to take place (or has taken place), the local Catholic bishop must call the pastor of that Protestant parish and say, “I’m the Catholic Bishop. Do not allow this sacrilege to be committed in your church. You wouldn’t do this for a group of dissident Jews wanting to ordain rabbis, but we are Catholics so you don’t care what offense you give us. Until an apology is issued, don’t look for us to dialogue with you again.” Catholic events

And for our liberal friends who suggest we’re making too much out of this consider:

If a Catholic church hosted a ceremony where a group Muslims who rejected their faith created their own Imam claiming that Mohammad 2nd coming took place in the form of Conan O’Brien how an Imam we “ordained” and claimed it was legitimate how fast would Muslims object and how much faster would the media back up their objections?

I submit and suggest it would be on every newscast in the country with the media calling it an example of the insensitive nature of the Catholic Church.

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea, write this: ” ‘The Amen, the faithful and true witness, the source of God’s creation, says this: “I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot.  I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, ‘I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,’ and yet do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich, and white garments to put on so that your shameful nakedness may not be exposed, and buy ointment to smear on your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise. Be earnest, therefore, and repent.

Revelation 3:14-19

Today I went to the 8 a.m. Mass so I could watch the Sunday shows, it was a pretty good sermon on Love of God and Neighbor but when I was leaving church and saw the Church Bulletin I found myself upset at the second page

You’ll note that the Boxed event at my parish St. Anthony di Padua is our Country Christmas Fair on November 17th, but we also have announcements from three other Catholic Parishes.

St. Cecilia is having a “Holiday” fair

Immaculate Heart of Mary is their “Annual fall festival”

St. Joseph is having their “Holiday Festival & Craft fair”

Holiday? What holiday? Flag Day? Chinese New Year? Yom Kippur?

I’m very proud that my parish did not join in this nonsense.

These are Catholic Churches for God’s sake, this is the same thing that drove me nuts about Anna Maria College and their “Holiday” concert. Either we are Catholic or we are not. If our own Catholics are not willing to say the word “Christmas” during their own events. If we are not respecting Christmas then why should we expect anyone else to?

Either your faith means something or it does not.

I would normally ignore the new attempt of the 60’s “Catholic” crowd to con the church into re-defining sin to accommodate their proclivities, particularly after Mark Shea delivered the perfect one line takedown:

Some people have lived 44 years since 1968. Some people have lived 1968 44 times.

and a follow up by Tom McDonald longer but just as good:

Their complaints are the usual litany of tediousness: less pope, more sex. That’s really it. That’s what it all boils down to: children who don’t like being told what to do with their gentiles by an adult. It’s not like they’re in a screaming hurry to rewrite our understanding of the dual nature of Christ in the incarnation, or dismantle the preferential option for the poor. They’re only attacking this make-believe boogeyman (“authority”) because it’s in the way of gettin’ biddy.

Their prescription is lots and lots of voting: voting on everything from bishops to condoms. Democracy may be a fine fit for running the occasional town meeting and deciding who gets eaten first when the rations run out on the lifeboat, but apply democracy to eternal truths, and you’ll have those Ten Commandments whittled down to three in no time at all. And that’s what they’re suggesting: putting the faith up to a vote. First order of business is to amend “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife” to add “unless she’s totally HAWT!” Can I see a show of hands? Sorry, Mr. Kennedy, you may only vote once.

But what really struck me was a particular joke he led with:

Their motto for the past 40 years? “Too lazy to convert to Protestantism.”

But the more I thought about it the more the question came up, Why HAVEN’T they in all these year converted if they thought the church was wrong? Sure some are drawing church pay but surely some like Hans Kung could find an excellent financial reward as a former Catholic, and others would be lionized by press and by various churches for abandoning the faith.

That’s when it hit me. The problem isn’t because they don’t believe in the church, it’s because they still do.

One of the important aspects of confession is contrition, even if you are trapped in a cycle of repetitive sin, like say gambling or porn at the time of confession if you actually regret your sin and attempt to amend your ways you are forgiven. You may relapse, you may sin again but if you are actually trying, actually resisting and actually trying to amend your ways that makes all the difference.

But what if you aren’t sorry for your sins? What if isn’t a question of being trapped in a cycle of sin, but enjoying, celebrating and loving your sins and don’t want to give them up? What if you go into that confessional knowing you aren’t sorry for your sins and can’t wait to commit them again?

Can this be done? Well there is in fact a way:

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matt 16:15-19 Matthew 16:18-19

Note how Christ phrases this, not might be bound, or could be bound but shall be bound.

That leave them an opening, if they can somehow, by some quirk of fate, by some miraculous shift by the Church and the Holy Father their sins can vanish, not by repentance of sin or abstinence of sin, but redefining what sin actually is suddenly all the things they celebrate become pure as the driven snow, something to be enjoyed again and again without the slightest fear of eternity.

The logical question would be: Why bother with such an impossible task? Why not simply choose a Protestant denomination that embraces those particular sins or even one that simply preaches “Once Saved Always Saved”. That would solve the problem wouldn’t it.

Well it would except for one thing. They understand the truth of the Church..

Moral sin, the recipe for damnation, requires three things: 1. Grave Matter, 2. Deliberation 3. Understanding. If one doesn’t know the church due to never being properly taught (either from the inside or outside) that third vital piece needed to achieve mortal sin can’t be achieved.

But these people know the church, they have understanding and worse of all they KNOW the consequences of said understanding. To deliberately leave while believing the church is true is simply self damnation.

So instead they stay, hoping upon hope that best case, they will get the church to see things their way, or barring that hope they will get a chance for absolution just before the moment of death, playing the 3 in their hand hoping upon hope that the church is holding a deuce.

Me I wouldn’t bet my soul on it.

They say deceit is the tribute dishonesty gives to the truth, ironically in their feeble attempt at self-justification our friends at Church Authority are doing they same their insistence on remaining Catholic declares to all the world that this is the place for salvation.

God certainly does work in mysterious ways.

in terms of: If they don’t believe in what the church teaches, why don’t they just leave or become the protestants, or atheists, or modernists they apparently are?

The first thought is because they would lose the structures of the church in terms of financial etc (that’s where the fax machine is) but he hits on the real reason beyond that:

Sed contra! At one point Sr. Joan was at one point asked, according to the linked article, “whether women religious should live outside formal church structures.”

In summary, it looks to me as if these women really don’t want to be women religious in any sense that Holy Church recognizes. However, they are afraid to quit because the instant they do, they will be irrelevant.emphasis mine

Hey various religious denominations that believe various things are a dime a dozen and can’t buy press to save their lives. But nuns CATHOLIC nuns supposedly within the church going after the Church that the media hate above all others. THAT will get you Christine Amanpour at CNN every time.

and really that’s what it’s all about.

As I’ve said many times, there is a REASON why Pride is the 1st of the deadly sins.


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“I, the LORD, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. You shall not have other gods besides me.

Exodus 20:2-3

Let him begin by treating the Patriotism or the Pacifism as a part of his religion. Then let him, under the influence of partisan spirit, come to regard it as the most important part. Then quietly and gradually nurse him on to the stage at which the religion becomes merely part of the “cause”… Once you have made the World an end, and faith a means, you have almost won your man, and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursuing. Provided that meetings, pamphlets, policies, movements, causes, and crusades, matter more to him than prayers and sacraments and charity, he is ours

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters VII (Glasgow: Collins, 1942

You must choose, but choose wisely

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 1989

We talked about the Vatican investigation of the LCWA a while back. Well the fruits of that investigation are complete:

The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has called for reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and named Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle as its Archbishop Delegate for the initiative. Bishop Leonard Blair and Bishop Thomas John Paprocki also were also named to assist in this effort.

The document uses a lot of words to get to the nittygritty of the problem:

“The Assessment reveals serious doctrinal problems which affect many in Consecrated life,” calling it a crisis “characterized by a diminution of the fundamental Christological center and focus of religious consecration.

So the problem with these nuns pretty much is they wish to be social workers rather than you know, followers of Christ and members of the church. C.S. Lewis saw this coming years ago warning:

we do want, and want very much, to make men treat Christianity as a means; preferably, of course, as a means to their own advancement, but, failing that, as a means to anything—even to social justice. The thing to do is to get a man at first to value social justice as a thing which the Enemy demands, and then work him on to the stage at which he values Christianity because it may produce social justice. For the Enemy will not be used as a convenience.

and the final result is the LCWR.

So now the Cardinal and the Bishops are going to get involved, very involved and feminists in the church are outraged that Catholic organizations are going to be expected to you know be Catholic. When you have the National Catholic Reporter referring to the Bishop of Seattle as “Anti-gay” (look at the title of the post before it was modified) because he follows church teaching and opposes mortal sin, and they are just one of a litany of liberal Catholics urging defiance.

You know there is a reason why Pride is first on the list of deadly sins.

As I have said many times, Catholicism is a purely voluntary activity and those who don’t wish to practice have literally thousands of protestant denominations to choose from or no denomination at all. This isn’t Cuba and nobody is going to stop you from leaving the Island if you want to.

But if you are going to be in a Catholic religious order, it is not too much to ask you to follow Catholic Teaching because you are an example to others. If you are encouraging sin, you are part of the problem not the solution:

It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts,

The only reason to be a Christian in general or a Catholic in particular is because it is true, if you think so then the right and the smart thing to do is to is to work with the Bishops and well, be Catholic.

If you don’t, then fine, fight the church. I’m sure you will be supported by many and celebrated by media and the culture for the rest of your days…

…after that you’re on your own.

On yesterday’s show I heard about the Kerfuffe concerning Ted Kennedy’s widow Bishop McManus of Worcester and Anna Maria College:

A small Catholic college that invited Victoria Reggie Kennedy to speak at its spring commencement has rescinded the offer under pressure from the Worcester bishop, who described her apparent political views as out of line with Catholic teachings.

Some might wonder why Mrs. Kennedy might not be considered an appropriate commencement speakers for a Catholic College, I know one blogger who managed to figure it out:

Gee, lets see Mrs. Teddy, You are publicly pro-choice. Your late husband is symbolic of Obamacare. Remember the calls: “Do it for Uncle Teddy”? I do. You remember Obamacare Mrs. Teddy don’t you? The law that is part and parcel of the federal government trying to force its views on the Catholic Church. The faith that you find so important that believes that life begins at conception. That birth control and abortions go against God’s will. That both you and your late husband have worked all your adult lives to not only make legal, but to ever expand it.

My exposure to the story was via the AP read on the station and a story in the Worcester Telegram I’m seeing the Boston Globe story for the first time today as I write this and the following paragraph is very telling emphasis mine:

Anna Maria College in Paxton, west of Worcester, released a statement today placing the decision at the feet of Bishop Robert J. McManus and saying it still believes Kennedy is an appropriate choice.

Given my own history with Anna Maria College that last sentence doesn’t surprise me at all. When I took my son there for a college visit three years ago and found a College so secular that when I got a letter from Bishop McManus encouraging me to send my son there for a “Catholic Education” I wrote him saying:

I can’t reconcile your description of Anna Maria with what I saw and I can’t believe you would make that description after visiting the college yourself. While academically I believe it would be strong I don’t believe attending would foster his faith, in fact I suspect if he choose to wear his faith proudly it would go hard on him there.

The Bishop forwarded the letter to the college’s president who wrote me back assuring me:

Please know that we proclaim and practice our core identity as a Catholic and sisters of St. Anne institution in the classroom, through our programs and services, and in our practices on and off campus

That the college didn’t, and still doesn’t, see what the problem was is no shock, after all their Catholic Vision didn’t include a presence at any of the Catholic Men’s Conferences, or official presences at the 40 days for life or the Vigil for Unborn life…

…but in the end the college DID defer to the Bishop. That shows there is a glimmer of hope that the promise of their posted goals including:

Celebrating and affirming the College’s Catholic identity through programs, events and public statements.

still lives.

The first step is turning something around is to change direction. If this is the first public step to change that direction than I congratulate them for it. The college is going to be assaulted without mercy in the local, state and national press for this and these guys are going to need people to back them up and encourage them.

I’ll include them in my prayers, If you are Catholic, I suggest you do too. And to those at the college who are going to have to withstand the assault of the MSM remember the promised assault is part of the job description:

If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin; but as it is they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me also hates my Father. If I had not done works among them that no one else ever did, they would not have sin; but as it is, they have seen and hated both me and my Father. John 15:18-24

but comes with promised rewards

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:10-12

According to CNN, Rick Santorum, devout Catholic extraordinaire, has failed to win the Catholic vote.  This is apparently an indictment of Rick Santorum, and not of the shoddy exit polling that enables people to self-identify as Catholics when they haven’t graced the door of a church in years.  Of course, some of the problem is in the way that leftists have tried to turn the word “Catholic” into a synonym for “wealth redistributor”:

“Catholic voters care more about economic issues that affect their families than they do about socially divisive wedge issues like contraception,” said James Salt, executive director of Catholics United, in the statement.

“Mainstream Catholics want leaders who can address the moral challenges of our day like income inequality, underwater mortgages and poverty,” Salt continued, “not leaders who perpetuate a never-ending culture war that divides our community.”

Right.  Who cares about whether or not we murder a million babies a year when someone might want to take another vacation to Aspen this winter?  Don’t you know that the two-thousand year history of the Church is all about those Aspen vacations?

To be serious: the great “moral” problems of income inequality, underwater mortgages, and poverty are all direct results of contraception, abortion, and the decline of the family unit.  As Charles Murray explains in great detail, poorer communities are getting poorer because they are not marrying, while wealthy, educated people are more likely to marry, and are especially more likely to marry before having children. These days, people without college educations have children out of wedlock, and doctors marry other doctors, and people can’t understand why family incomes aren’t equal.

Poverty: never-married mothers are six times as likely as their married peers to be in poverty.  The federal government alone spends over $100 billion a year on subsidies to never-married parents that it would save if our out-of-wedlock birth rate were the same as it was in 1950.

Underwater mortgages: kind of hard to pay for your house when your three baby daddies can only give you $100 a month in child support because he’s also supporting a few other baby mammas.  Sort of hard to have a new crop of home buyers when over ten million would-be-adults are victims of abortion and decaying in trash heaps, not putting down payments on houses.

Rick Santorum scares people because he explains how this all works together.  He scares Cafeteria Catholics who want to believe that the mandates of their faith are limited to voting the (D) at the polling place.  He frightens lefties whose entire anti-social agenda depends on people not noticing that the family is the strongest bulwark against a tyrannical state – and the breakdown in the family unit costs us serious money.  Rick Santorum probably frightens James Salt, too, because people with a good head on their shoulders tend to scare the daylights out of ditzy-brained morons.

You might wonder why people still fall for Nigerian E-mail scams, it’s because of a simple fact of human nature. There is no limit to what you can convince people of if they want to believe it.

This comes to mind when I saw the headline:

“Liberal Catholics challenge Bishops of contraception”

Yup those liberals who call themselves “Catholics” but aren’t big on Mass, the sacraments, the teachings of the church and all those things that make catholics “Catholic”. But I clicked over nevertheless to see what CNN was saying.

When I read the piece that accompanies it I had to laugh, it was not much more than a press release for “Catholic’s United” a fringe “Catholic” group that exists to provide press releases for democratic candidates who oppose Church teaching and to provide a group that says “Catholic” on it as a counterpoint to actual church teaching.

The really funny line is this one:

“The Catholic bishops and their allies in the Republican Party are increasingly isolated,” James Salt, executive director of a liberal group called Catholics United, said in a statement over the weekend supporting the White House’s contraception rule.

You’ve got to be kidding me.

The entire set of Bishops representing every diocese in the county speaks against something and a “Catholic” fringe group of dissenters that consists of a PR machine for the left says they are fringe?

Tell me what services does Catholics united provide, what soup kitchens do they run, what services for the poor do they provide, what prisoners in jail do they visit? How many millions of dollars and volunteers do they have providing these services?

The next sentence of the CNN bit is even funnier:

Another Washington-based Catholic operative, John Gehring, e-mailed reporters over the weekend to knock the bishops for criticizing President Barack Obama,

Note what we have here, not even a group or an organization a “Catholic operative” a single operative. That’s what CNN quoting to show how isolated the Orthodox Catholic position is?

Meanwhile against them what do we have lets take a peek:

Of the 183 dioceses (by my count) in the U.S. who have a bishop currently serving as its head, 178 of them have issued statements. I can only find 3 Roman Catholic bishops who have yet to issue statements. So almost 100% of bishops who head dioceses have spoken out against the Obama/HHS mandate.

(And one of those three bishops has commended the mandate in print).

Meanwhile there is a list of 28 Catholic organizations (so far) who have condemned the mandate (full disclosure, one of these groups is the Knights of Columbus of which I’m a member) and 9 protestant groups as well.

and that doesn’t even count the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops of North America (the Greek Orthodox church).

Yet here is the MSM trumpeting a group who’s only credibility is with Pro-Abortion democrats looking for cover.

Only those totally ignorant of the church or opposed to their teachings would fall for this….which explains why it’s on CNN

Update: A clarification, it isn’t CNN MSNBC, ABC, CBS etc etc etc who are falling for the scam, they know that Catholics United is basically a fax machine. It is their readers, those who hate the Church and it’s teachings, and those Catholics who want to convince themselves that their support for Abortion and other grave sins isn’t actually wrong are the targets. They are being sold the scam and are buying it readily because it is so much easier than dealing with actual reality.

Update 2: Now 100% of the Bishops and 30 lay organizations have spoken out, but what’s that compared to Catholic’s United!

A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. Luke 6:43

Remember Fr. Peter Kennedy who we wrote on back in 2009 when he was removed from his parish for “unorthodox practices” by the Archbishop of Brisbane Australia? At the time I said this:

Gee denying the virgin birth, blessing Gay Marriage, he would fit right in at the Episcopal See in New Hampshire. I’ve said it many times, if people don’t want to be Catholics that’s their business, there are many Protestant Churches out there that you can become a part of. What I object to is their insistence that the church change to suit them.

While Fr. Kennedy insisted:

“We celebrate in a way that is relevant to Australian Catholics, rather than toeing the line in Rome.”


“We argue but we are very much within the Catholic tradition.”

Well 2 1/2 years later it seems that the “very much within the Catholic Tradition” is kinda….flexible:

Father Kennedy, dismissed by the church for unorthodox practices, says he now considers Jesus “a fable”.we see that Christ’s words from 2000 years ago still

saying further:

“There is no corroborating evidence for the existence of a person called Jesus,” he said.

We posted on Will Durant’s decisive answer on this two years ago:

Now Thallus the pagan isn’t going to put up with this. About 50 AD he states that the darkness (during Christ’s Crucifixion) is a purely natural phenomenon and just a coincidence.

Durant put this argument in its modern perspective:

the argument took the existence of Christ for granted. The denial of that existence seems never to have occurred even to the bitterest gentile or Jewish opponents of nascent Christianity.

And remember that particular fragment to the best of our knowledge predates the Gospel of Matthew that it unintentionally collaborates by two decades. The pagan provides the proof. Talk about working in mysterious ways.

Having established the existence we can then examine the Gospels. This is a favorite target of skeptics who in their zeal to disprove Christ’s existence they as Durant says:

applied to the New Testament test of authenticity so severe that by them a hundred ancient worthies –eg., Hammurabi, David, Socrates would fade into legend.

He then quotes Joseph Klausner:

If we had ancient sources like those in the Gospels for the history of Alexander or Caesar, we should not cast any doubt upon them whatsoever.

Via Catholic online. Perhaps Fr. Kennedy those who left the Church with him, should have considered the rest of that passage from Luke above:

I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, listens to my words, and acts on them. That one is like a person building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when the flood came, the river burst against that house but could not shake it because it had been well built. But the one who listens and does not act is like a person who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, it collapsed at once and was completely destroyed.Luke 6:47-49

Meanwhile 1.5 Million Catholic youth in Madrid laid their foundation on the rock of the Church, coincidentally the same Rock that this week’s Gospel cited:

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matt 16:15-19

Now that’s a foundation to build on!

Via the Curt Jester I see these stats about the Catholic dissenters conference in Detroit all emphasis mine:

We are currently at a gathering of dissident Catholics in Detroit listening and watching. About 1,000 in attendance tonight. By their own stats in the program:
65% are women
94% are Caucasian
97% are over 45 years old
63 % are over 65 years old

75% attend Mass weekly
3% accept all of the Church’s teachings
90% say the ordination of women is “very” or “critically” important

Oh and that 1000 is being called a “large crowd

So a conference heavily publicized and planned for over a year draws 1 to 2000 people? What even with dissident rock stars Joan Chittister and Hans Kung – (well Kung via a half hour video tape since he isn’t attending)? Celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Call To Action conference with dissidents across the land attending and you call 2,000 people attending a large crowd? The American Catholic Council also has a Facebook page with a whopping 111 likes.

And the same tune is being played, the “if only we had women priests and bishops there would be no abuse scandals”, oh wait:

Maria Jepsen, the world’s first woman Lutheran bishop, has resigned after accusations of abuse in her Hamburg diocese.

Funny how I didn’t see this in headlines last year at all.

There is a word for Catholic Dissenters, they are called Protestants. Now I don’t have a problem with protestants, some of my favorite bloggers are protestants, but if you want to be a protestant, BE ONE. If you want to be a Catholic BE ONE, dont’ pussyfoot around.

Why don’t they become protestants? Because they don’t want “change” they want attention and headlines and nothing generates headlines and sympathy from the MSM more than “Catholics” hitting Catholicism.

Apparently there is a hospital in Arizona that is unclear on the concept of what being a “Catholic” hospital means as Fr. Z explains:

St. Joseph’s Hospital, run by the Religious Sisters of Mercy with the administration of Catholic Healthcare West based in San Francisco, at the okay of their ethics panel, did a direct abortion. They have also provided contraceptive services and, apparently, done other abortions

Unless you get your Catholicism from MSNBC you know this is what we in Catholic Circles call Mortal Sin thus the local Bishop has done what a local Bishop is supposed to do in such a case:

By virtue of my Episcopal authority as the Ordinary of the Particular Church of the Diocese of Phoenix, and in accord with Canon 216 of the Code of Canon Law, I hereby revoke my consent for the following organization to utilize in any way the name “Catholic”.
St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ

As you might guess some of the usual suspects are up in arms:

“Catholic Healthcare West and its system hospitals are valued members of the Catholic Health Association,” said that group’s president, Sister Carol Keehan. Her remarks came less than 24 hours after the Bishop of Phoenix stripped one of those hospitals, St. Joseph’s in Phoenix, of its Catholic affiliation.

You might remember Sr. Keehan as the $800,000 a yr. Nun who helped back Obamacare and its abortion provisions, as I noted before there is considerable inflation since 29 ad and 30 pieces of Silver.

The article goes on to explain who is in charge here:

As for who truly “speaks for the Catholic Church,” the cardinal left no room for doubt: “The bishops in apostolic communion and in union with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome, speak for the Church in matters of faith and in moral issues and the laws surrounding them.”

That means if you want to be Catholic you listen to the Bishop and the church not to an organization contradicting them or a nun who has a flexible definition of the vow of poverty.

Fr Z bottom lines it:

You may be tempted to think, “Is that all the bishop can do? Remove this symbol? Remove the title ‘Catholic’?” But, had this been a Methodist Hospital, would it matter if the hospital lost its “Methodist” title? Would it matter if it kept it? No, because symbols are not important to Methodists in the way they are to Catholics. Catholicism is immersed in a profoundly symbolic world, like no other religion in history.

When a Catholic bishop issues a formal decree to confirm that you have stripped yourself of your Catholic identity, that is monumental. This is what schism smells like, friends.

Be clear: the administration of the hospital stripped itself of its Catholic identity and Bp. Olmsted confirmed their decision.

As for Sr. Keehan et/al they are certainly welcome to do what they want and say what they want and I’m sure the mainstream media and this administration will back and honor them for the rest of their lives…

…after that they’re on their own.

The only thing that annoys the media more than Catholics being Catholic, is when the leaders of the Catholic church demand that political figures who call themselves Catholic live up to the name:

Arbp. Burke said that the culture today pushes a “cafeteria Catholicism,” whereby some Catholics pick and choose “what part of the deposit of faith to believe and practice.” As a result, “there has developed in places a false notion that the Christian or any person of faith, in order to be a true citizen of his nation, must bracket his faith life from his public life.”

“We find self-professed Catholics, for example, who sustain and support the right of a woman to procure the death of the infant in her womb, or the right of two persons of the same sex to the recognition which the State gives to a man and a woman who have entered into marriage,” said the archbishop. “It is not possible to be a practicing Catholic and to conduct oneself publicly in this manner.”

Expect the media to be outraged and democrats to try to use this against republicans, under the theory of course that a believing Catholic by definition is not qualified for public office.

Any reporter who asks a pol to comment on this should be instantly asked this question: “Do you believe that a believing Catholic who follows the tenets of the Church should be disqualified from public office in the United States?”

As for the bishop, as far as I’m concerned this is what you call Pope material!

via melissaTweets and It’s only words tweet you can see Sr. Keenan is still hard at work for Abortion and Obama

Longtime readers know about the Vatican investigation of North American Nuns and we’ve written about other “interesting” Nuns here and here. My opinion on the matter is still reflected by this paragraph:

Sr. Keehan (and other dissenting nuns) will do what she wants and the left, the White House and the media will fawn on them and they will be celebrated for the rest of their lives…

…after that they’re on their own.

That’s pretty much it.


It’s just the thing for the person who wants to pick and choose what they want to believe or what they want to consider sin but that’s not all:

Coming soon is WikiApostolic, WikiScripture, and WikiChurchFathers. Why stop at the Catechism? Create a whole universe that firmly agrees with your theological world view now. You have a lot to learn from yourself so sign on and get going with WikiCatechism now!

This is absolutely perfect for the person who loves being Catholic but doesn’t want to deal with the inconvenient belief system with all those absolutes that go along with it.

is a must read:

Just as we Catholics love to accuse protestants of “church shopping”, there has never been a time in the Church’s history that Catholics haven’t “priest shopped.” Want to use birth control? Need an annulment? Keep looking and you will find a priest who will lend, perhaps tacitly, a way for you to circumvent doctrine.

After you have finished her first rate post don’t miss the excellent post by Robert Kumpel that she quoted:

We have had individual bishops and/or the USCCB take positions that suggest:

1) Compassion means looking the other way at illegal immigration

2) Compassion means legitimizing homosexuality

3) A politician’s position on abortion is unimportant

4) Environmental concerns trump concern for the unborn

5) It is perfectly permissible (or even laudable) to vote for the most pro-abortion presidential candidate in history

6) Ordaining women is inevitable

7) The Holy Father’s liturgical roadmap is flawed


Love means to desire what is good for others. We can disagree about what is good, but goodness is built on the truth.

The biggest problem of the church is not its doctrine, it is those who particularly in positions of authority who ignore, misrepresent or teach it falsely for their own pride and/or popularity. When you have authority you are expected to use it, if you aren’t going to use it then you shouldn’t have it. The great church scandals of the last decade would have been avoid if Bishops and Cardinals did their jobs.

And I remind everyone that Catholicism is a totally voluntary choice. If you want another church there are thousands of other out there. Liberal churches in particular can use the bodies these days. If you don’t like Catholicism don’t be one.

I got an e-mail from Smitty today that linked to this post at Samizdata. The meat of the story:

Bishop Spong is the “Save the bible from fundamentalism” person (a favourite of certain liberal people I know in York) – and by “fundamentalist” he really means this word in its original sense, i.e. the “fundamentals” of Christianity such as the empty tomb (although, of course, he would be happy if innocent minded people just thought he meant stupid-southern-redneck-preacher by “fundamentalist”, which is the impression the media love to give). In any case Bishop Spong assumes that, being a social gospel person like himself, Rowen Williams also does not believe in the basic doctrines of Christianity (i.e. that, like Bishop Spong himself, he is using religion as a cover for the service of the collectivist cause).

So Bishop Spong was rather taken aback by Rowen Williams teaching the doctrine of the empty tomb, so shocked that he stated that of course Williams can not really believe in such doctrines (he must just be pretending in order to get along with the ignorant scum who make up most church goers) – but it is Rowen Williams’ reply that interests me.

Archbishop Williams replies that he is not pretending to believe in things in order to get along with ordinary people – he actually does believe in these doctrines, “I do not know how to convince him [Spong] that I do, but I do”.

Paul Marks then apologized for always assuming the Archbishop of Canterbury believed as Sprong did:

What I have done is make the same mistake (in reverse) as Bishop Spong.

I assumed that because Rowen Williams takes a certain political line (the “beardy lefty” line, as he said himself) he must be a fraud – he must be a fake Christian. Cong hiding behind a dog collar, trying to deceive people into taking the left hand path (in more ways that one).

I now believe that I was wrong – and because my judgement was based on prejudice (see above), not research, I was guilty of an injustice.

Mr. Marks is being very honorable here and gets high marks but think about that for a moment: how far has the Church of England fallen that it not only has Bishops who deny the basic tenants of the Church but that the default assumption is that the Archbishop of Canterbury does too?

Ironically, at Mass this was today’s Gospel reading:

Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.'” Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Messiah of God.”Luke 9:18-21

Note the actual reading when on through verse 24

I’ve written before about the basics of Christianity, just to remind everyone Basic Truth #1:

If Christianity is not true then no amount of belief will make so. All ones actions in support of Christianity will not matter.

If Christianity is true then no amount of disbelief will make it not so. All ones actions and denials will have a price that will come due.

Basic Truth #2:

It is diametrically opposed to the world, it’s belief system is an absolute:

Jesus Christ is the son of God, he died and rose from the dead for the forgiveness of sins!

It is either true or false. If you believe this to be false you are not a Christian, period. If you claim to believe it is true but act as if it is false then you have to resolve some issues.

Basic Truth #3 The world will give you a lot of love if you reject the church:

Someone once asked a famous dissenting theologian why she remained in the Church if she found so much of its doctrine and practice so detestable.

She answered, “It’s where the Xerox machine is.” In other words, she remains b/c the Church butters her bread and pays her rent. The Church provides her with the resources she needs to undermine the Church.

But don’t expect me or Michael Ruse Atheist to have patience with you on this issue:

I have little time for someone who denies the central dogmas of Christianity and still claims to be a Christian, except in a social sense. No God, no Jesus as His son, no resurrection, no eternal life – no Christianity.

Christ didn’t give us the choice offered above:

Either this man was, and is, the Son of God or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon’ or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

Bishop Spong has made his choice and he will live with it. I’ve made mine. It’s up to us to make yours; remember you have your entire life to make up your mind one way or the other…

…after that you’re on your own.

Update: Yes Minster had it pegged:

Although I cast doubt upon the veracity of Ahmed Aboul Gheit claim concerning the president. I see an interesting parallel between the tactics.

In Egypt we have this story via Pajamas Media:

The head of the Coptic Church in Egypt has rejected a court ruling that orders the church to allow divorced Copts to remarry in the church emphasis mine. In a press conference held on Tuesday June 8, Pope Shenouda [III], reading from the statement issued by the Holy Synod’s 91 Bishops, including himself, said: “The Coptic Church respects the law, but does not accept rulings which are against the Bible and against its religious freedom which is guaranteed by the Constitution.”

Mind you divorce has always been legal, this rules order the church to accept divorce in its doctrine. As PJ Media points out concerning the Coptic Pope :

he is not enforcing a totalitarian law that Copts must accept; he is simply saying that, in accordance to the Bible (e.g., Matt 5:32), and except in certain justifiable circumstances (e.g., adultery), Copts cannot remarry in the church: “Let whoever wants to remarry to do it away from us. There are many ways and churches to marry in. Whoever wants to remain within the church has to abide by its laws.”

If this still sounds a tad “non-pluralistic,” know that at least Copts have a way out: quit the church. No such way out for Muslims: Sharia law — Egypt’s “primal source of legislation” — mandates death for Muslims who wish to quit Islam.

The Coptic pope is not taking this laying down:

Pope Shenouda further threatened to defrock any priest who allows a divorced Christian to remarry, except in cases where the divorce was on the grounds of adultery. Those that have remarried after divorce will not be allowed in Church.

On the heels of regular persecution of Coptics in Egypt this ruling seems a thinly veiled attempt to divide the strongest Christian church in the area.

Meanwhile in the US we see divide and conquer in another context

The first point to understand is that Obama knows about the debate Catholics are having over him.

That’s why he usually talks only to Catholics who share his agenda. He has been careful to ensure that the terms of his debate with Catholics have always been on his terms. He sends CHA a video and gives Sr. Keehan a pen because he knows that these individuals chose to follow him instead of the bishops. So he makes a place at his table for them and rewards what he sees as their loyalty.

The Bishops however are very clear on what is what.

In April, three bishops of the USCCB ad hoc Health Care Concerns Committee, Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Kevin Vann of Fort Worth and Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, also met with Sr. Keehan to try to make her understand the bishop’s concerns and thus bring CHA back in line with Church teachings, however the meeting concluded with “the same frustrating results.”

The president of the USCCB reiterated the bishop’s fundamental opposition to the health care reform. “The bill which was passed is fundamentally flawed. The Executive Order is meaningless. Sr. Carol is mistaken in thinking that this is pro-life legislation,” Cardinal George emphatically said.

The cardinal also expressed disappointment with CHA “and other co-called Catholic groups” because, “in the end, they have weakened the moral voice of the bishops in the U.S.”

In that regard, Cardinal George highlighted that the USCCB and CHA’s positions on Obama’s health care are not just “two equally valid conclusions inspired in the same Catholic teaching,” and reiterated that what the bishops said on May 21 in their statement “Setting the record Straight” is and will remain the official position of the USCCB on the contentious issue.

The president knows and understands this. It is not possible for a faithful Catholic to support abortion in this manor, thus the attempt to divide the church is what this president and the pseudo catholic organizations. The American Papist again:

I have yet to hear a Catholic who supports the Obama agenda say, “I like Obama’s agenda, but of course I don’t believe what he thinks about or how he acts towards the Church.” It seems that the Catholics who support Obama’s agenda, or the individuals who criticize Catholics for not supporting his agenda, very often couch their support for him in political, not religious terms. But Obama has made religious claims, and overstepped religious boundaries, in pursuit of his political goals. In the ensuing mix-up, there can be no complaint that Catholics who oppose Obama are confusing politics with religion, for when Obama places himself against the authority of the bishops, he has stepped into the Catholic scene.

To provide a couple brief parallel (and purely hypothetical) examples, what if Obama sent a message to a group of orthodox jews who violate kosher laws and praised them for supporting his domestic initiative of promoting American pork consumption?

To put it simply the president understands that a strong and faithful American Catholic Church is going to be a problem for him (as does the media) and his agenda and any attempt to divide or weaken it is in his political interest.

Some things are so nonsensical that they speak for themselves.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says she believes she must pursue public policies “in keeping with the values” of Jesus Christ, “The Word made Flesh.”

The audacity of extremely pro-abortion Pelosi saying this with a straight face is only exceeded by the stupidity of anyone who believes it. And yes I said stupidity.

Gateway points to her perfect record on abortion. While Nordlinger points to a basic truth:

Whoa, baby. We can’t say that — no one right of center can say that; but they can. A curious fact about a strange place, America.

Amazing isn’t it?

American interest online has an interesting article about the splits that continue in the Episcopal Church:

People like me will be in a tough spot. I think Bishop Glasspool’s election and consecration were ill-advised, but that is by no means the same thing as denying the possibility that in due time and with due order and deliberation, such a step could be taken without harm to Christian faith and morals.

They are talking about the second openly gay (in this case lesbian) bishop. He then compares this to an earlier time:

And those who criticize this step most bitterly need to reflect that earlier steps to desegregate Episcopal churches and ordain African Americans were once bitterly fought as well.

I don’t claim to be a biblical expert, but I can’t seem to find anything in the bible that forbids black people from being ordained. If anyone can show it to be I’d be rather surprised, however there does seem to be something specific about homosexuality even Mr Mead concedes the point.

It’s also impossible to avoid the reflection that the Episcopal church is unilaterally imposing its own vision of the church on a worldwide communion. Whatever one thinks of the matter on a personal basis, the New Testament as well as the Old specifically condemns homosexual behavior as contrary to the will of God…These are not easy questions and a person doesn’t need to be a homophobe or unthinking fundamentalist to continue to accept traditional Christian teaching on this subject.

Most generous of you. This is a great example of the sin of pride and this type of thing isn’t just a protestant issue:

Now is a time to challenge the bishops head on. The definition of Catholicism — of what it means to be Catholic — is what is at stake. Now is a time of upheaval. Dare I say war?

Oh how about that, war against the church, that sounds very faithful:

The Church needs to change. If it is to change it is going to change now. And it will change only with direct challenges to authority from within its fold, not from without.

We as Catholics must be prepared to lose everything — even risk excommunication — in order to gain back our moral authority. As my Italian-born Catholic grandfather used to say, “You can’t excommunicate me. I excommunicate you.”

That my dear friends is the sin of pride, Thomas Peters takes on some of this nonsense

Buddy, just where are you getting your facts? Is it the seminaries with record numbers of young Catholic men ready to embrace a life of celibacy for the sake of the Church? Is it the flourishing proudly-Catholic colleges like Steubenville, Christendom, and a dozen more? Is it the tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of young, brave Catholics who proudly live their faith despite all the cultural forces being against it?

How’s that “inspid and weak” Cafeteria Catholicisim working out for you? After all, people with far more ability to threaten the Church have predicted its demise before, and they have all been wrong as yes, you are now mistaken.

Let’s get down to business this is the basics of Christianity:

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. Matthew 16:15-17

This sentence is the basis for all of Christianity. The divinity of Christ. Any denomination or church that doesn’t emphasize this as a blunt fact is unlikely to sustain itself. Lets continue the passage:

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matt 16:18-19

Well that seems pretty direct too in terms of authority doesn’t it, but hold on a second some might suggest this doesn’t apply to those pope’s who followed Peter, lets take a peek at another passage:

And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. John 20:22-24

Now does anyone dispute Thomas’ position among the apostles? Does anyone deny his apostolic authority? Apparently Mr. Rotondaro, his allies in the dissenting group Catholics in alliance for the common group would and perhaps Mr. Mead would too.

The reason why the church is not a democracy is that people given the chance to define sin, will always define it to excuse their own actions or desires. That’s where the Anglican communion came from in the first place. Anglicans aren’t coming over to Rome because of the arguments of our liberal friends.

…compares Catholicism to the Saudi Government? Of course she does. What is really amazing is that people are going to give the comparison credence.

Dowd conclusions reminds me of what something someone told me yesterday. He had rejected the church because of the height of the liberal era, where many priests decided to go their “own” way, like many of the faithful he was rejected for the priesthood and seeing what priests were doing and were allowing rejected the church right back. I was discussing the sacraments with him yesterday and he insisted for example: “Why should I confess to these two faced … when they are worse than me?”, his view on the Eucharist was the same, yet he proclaimed that the Bible was true, when I attempted to point to scripture (John Chapt 6 btw) suddenly the scripture didn’t matter.

How many faithful potential priests, who might have been more willing to attack and address the scandals that rocked there system, were discouraged and rejected because of priests who wanted to remake the Church in their own image? How many like Dowd have fallen for as the Anchoress calls it; the myth of Held back Catholic Women? How many Cafeteria Catholics were created who don’t take their faith seriously? How many priests like the one above helped chase the faithful away from SACRAMENTAL GRACE?

Removing people from Sacramental Grace is what it is all about. If you actually believe Christianity, then you understand that this is the goal the other side (Satan) has. It’s all about keeping people away from things that might save them.

That’s because they forget the reason for being Christian in general or Catholic in particular. It’s not because you like a particular priest, or their style, it’s not because of an individual Bishop or an administrative decision. It’s not because you like one style of mass vs the other or don’t care for the music. The reason to be Christian in general and Catholic in particular is because it is true.

It is the removal of that emphasis that more than anything else is the legacy of liberal Catholicism and the suffering of those souls that could have been saved that were not, many a priest and Bishop will have to answer for.

Update: It is a hot air headline.

I want to point to a column that Smitty e-mailed me this article concerning Catholics who voted for the healthcare bill at Creative Minority Report. I thought this was important enough to mention here:

There is something very wrong with Catholicism in America when Catholics play such a large role in passing anti-life and anti-conscience legislation. Catholic politicians need to be reminded that you don’t leave Christ at the Capitol steps. They need to be reminded that the issue of life is not negotiable. And Catholic voters need to elect politicians who understand that evil exists and fight with all they have against enshrining evil into law. They must remember that the terms public servant and Catholic are not mutually exclusive.

There are a lot of Catholics who either don’t know their religion or don’t want to know them. It’s true we don’t kick them out of the church, we don’t bar them from the services, on occasion they are barred from communion but that is more for their soul’s protection than anything else.

Yes it is very embarrassing and part of it comes from the poor Catholic education that many got in decades past. Yet we are obliged to pray for them and hope that they will come to both confession and conversion.

The fact that they still choose to identify with the church even as they try to avoid obedience suggests they know the value of the faith. Some of it doubtless is greed and self advantage, but to some degree it is the desire inside, the still small voice that knows sin and wants to keep the door open to redemption.

I have said often enough that if people don’t want to be Catholic there are plenty of denominations out there to choose from but in the end I would love to see these and as many others as possible come home. It is not our mission to discard sinners, it is our mission to save them. As Christ said in last week’s Gospel:

But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he bent down and wrote on the ground. And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So he was left alone with the woman before him. Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, (and) from now on do not sin any more.” John 8:7-11

For our own souls sake we need to avoid spiritual pride and pray for them. With prayer and fasting and the aid of the holy spirit all things are possible. After all the idea that God will forgive their sins is a lot less incredible to me than the idea that God is willing to forgive mine.

If you are sick of watching the Pseudo Catholics on capital decide to re-define “intrinsic evil” here are a few of the real things as they waited to enter the 10th annual Worcester Diocesan Catholic Men’s conference yesterday (March 20th 2010).

I should point out that although it is not apparent from the interview, I’ve known Hugh for a year and we are part of the same Knights of Columbus counsel.

Finally we have Mike Sullivan for Catholic’s United for the faith. This is NOT the Soros group that co-oped part of the name to disguise themselves.

There’s nothing like the real thing!

…thus does Nancy Pelosi “professed” Catholic misuse the faith. Update: She doesn’t have brass ovaries Joy, she just has no belief. Maybe I should send her a scapular.

I am not as angry as the Anchoress, I actually just spent the last two hours debating in a podcast a lapsed Catholic on the existence of God (more on that later tonight) so this doesn’t hit me so big. I am however wondering how sad St. Joseph must be at the moment.

Nancy just to remind you here is the link to what is required for Mortal sin. I think you’ve managed all three. If you want to know what real Catholics think click here.

I think the proper prayer for her would be the Litany of St. Joseph I’m going to pray it for her after this post goes up. I know it is very tempting to do otherwise but consider. You will not find hell any more bearable if someone you dislike is burning with you.

Continue reading “When you don’t actually believe in the Church it is easy to use it as a prop…”

Geogre Carlin used to make a Joke about meat on Friday that ended:

I bet somebody is still in hell on a meat rap

As I’ve mentioned before Carlin and Catholics ignored (and tend to still ignore) the 2nd part of the rule that says you are supposed to substitute some other sacrifice if you drop the meat restriction on Fridays.

That is what I thought of when I saw the report on Morning Joe about the CBO numbers. They reported the base numbers and left out a few things:

Although CBO completed a preliminary review of legislative language prior to its release, the agency has not thoroughly examined the reconciliation proposal to verify its consistency with the previous draft. This estimate is therefore preliminary, pending a review of the language of the reconciliation proposal, as well as further review and refinement of the budgetary projections.

Even better via the same national review article is this link from Congress Daily:

Final cbo scores to replace preliminary just released expected Friday or Saturday, a leadership aide says

So the actual numbers will be released during the dead zone of news, where it will be buried as Glenn Reynolds says “perhaps after the vote“.

Will Morning Joe correct or mention this before the show ends? Considering they just repeated the uninformed “nuns” spin again without caveat (why am I not surprised that Margaret Carlson is celebrating on the air?) I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

Update: I should give Carlson a shout out on one thing. She did point out that the conventional wisdom that he doesn’t stay if the votes aren’t there didn’t apply in his two trips to Copenhagen.