Catholic Controversies

It is too bad that a letter stating that Catholic schools must teach according to the truth and morals of the Catholic Church should bring condemnation and threats to an archbishop. Welcome to America in the 21st century.

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Dissenting from Catholic Teaching or the Natural Moral Law in a Catholic
High School does not Promote Holiness, Virtue and Evangelization.

Dear Teachers in the Archdiocesan Catholic High Schools,

Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone Letter to Teachers

Thank you for the work you do to help our young students learn, mature, and grow in the Catholic faith. Know of my gratitude for the energy, expertise and devotion that you bring to this wonderful and most critical enterprise.

This enterprise involves a two-fold endeavor, since, for a Catholic high school to attain excellence, it must be at one and the same time an excellent institution of secondary education and a truly Catholic institution. Changes in our secular society over the last few decades have brought new challenges to this endeavor in both senses, as we now face both increased difficulties in educating our students well in an array of academic subjects, and unprecedented challenges in forming our young people with a deep and strong Catholic identity as well as a knowledge and practice of the Catholic faith.

The Second Vatican Council, in its declaration on Catholic educationGravissimum Educationis, insisted on Catholic schools assisting Catholic parents in their primary duty of educating their children in virtue, holiness, and their ability to evangelize others in society (see especially nn. 3 and 8). Picking up on this theme, the U.S. bishops have affirmed that “Catholic elementary and secondary schools [are] invaluable instruments in proclaiming the Good News from one generation to the next” (see Renewing Our Commitment to Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools in the Third Millennium, US Conference of Catholic Bishops [2005], p. 2).

As one means of fulfilling this most serious responsibility, all of our schools currently have programs to help teachers give more effective witness to the Catholic faith. I support these programs. However, I also see a need to provide more clarity for our teachers. For this reason, I have developed a document that clarifies Catholic issues in our Catholic schools. At the outset, though, I wish to state clearly and emphatically that the intention underlying this document is not to target for dismissal from our schools any teachers, singly or collectively, nor does it introduce anything essentially new into the contract or the faculty handbook.

Many Catholics are at Variance with Church Teaching

At the same time, we need to face the current reality in society and the Church honestly, seriously and frankly: many people have opinions directly contrary to the natural moral law and the teaching of the Catholic Church. Furthermore, many Catholics themselves have beliefs at variance with Church teaching. This is simply a reality of our modern society. This reality stems in great part from the tremendous pressure the contemporary culture places on everyone to conform to a certain agenda at variance with, and often aggressively so, our Christian understanding of the human person and God’s purpose in creation.

This pressure is exerted relentlessly in the media, in entertainment, in politics, in academia, in corporations – in short, in all of the influencers of popular culture. This problem in society in general is already serious enough, but when people in Catholic institutions endorse such views it creates a toxic confusion about our fundamental values among both students and others in society at large. As teaching institutions, therefore, Catholic schools have to be very clear about what constitutes the true teachings of the Catholic Church. They owe that to the teachers, to the students, and to the parents of the students. 

Confusion on Sexual Morality and Religious Discpline

Confusion about the Church’s stance is prevalent in areas of sexual morality and religious discipline. For this reason, the statements for inclusion in the faculty handbook focus on these two areas. This focus does not imply lesser importance to Catholic teachings on social justice, which in fact are widely accepted and well interpreted in Catholic educational institutions. The areas requiring clarification are in Catholic teachings on sexual morality and religious practice.

Having clear statements especially about “hot button issues” related to faith and morals is important to teachers for two reasons. The first is that a forthright statement of the Church’s position on these issues helps teachers provide good perspectives to their students who often struggle in these areas.

The second reason is that candid formulation of Church doctrine protects those teachers who don’t agree with the statements. That sounds counterintuitive, but it is indeed the case. In a society in which confusion reigns about Church teachings, highlighting the controversial issues alerts teachers to avoid contradicting Church teaching on these issues either in the school or in some public way outside the classroom.

Dissenting from Catholic Teaching does not Promote Holiness

All teachers are expected to contribute to an atmosphere of holiness, virtue, and familiarity with the Gospel. How can this occur if not all teachers agree with Catholic teachings?

The way to assist teachers who distance themselves or privately oppose some Catholic teachings is to alert them to sensitive issues. Because the school fosters holiness, virtue and evangelization, teachers not knowledgeable about the precise contours of Catholic teaching have to be cautious about what they say in the school and what they do in the public sphere outside the Catholic school. Honest mistakes do happen, and when they do, reparation can be made. This is not in and of itself a cause for a teacher to be punished. At the same time, teachers and staff at Catholic high schools have to strive to present Catholic teachings as consistently as possible. Dissenting from Catholic teaching or the natural moral law in a Catholic high school does not promote holiness, virtue and evangelization.

Finally, it is important to note the careful use of language in the document. In front of many statements of Catholic teaching in the faculty handbook come the words “affirm and believe.” This is a statement made on behalf of the institution, not all individuals in the institutions. Our Catholic high schools try to hire people who do believe what the Church teaches, but in our schools we have good teachers who belong to other Christian faiths or to no faith at all. They are members of the school community.

The language “affirm and believe” acknowledges the good activity of the entire corps of faculty and staff by making this claim on behalf of the institution. That is, in the first instance, “affirm and believe” refers to the Catholic high school itself, and, secondly, to many faculty who identify with the Catholic teachings behind which the high school as a whole stands.

My hope is that the document on Catholic faith and morals that is becoming part of the faculty handbook in our Catholic high schools will help the schools better fulfill their mission, and also highlight for teachers true Catholic teachings that are contested by many people in secular society today.

Sincerely in Christ,
Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone

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March 9, 2015 By Dr. Ed Peters, Canon Lawyer   (see also The Stream’s: “Should Catholics Oppose the Death Penalty?“)

“Dr. Steven Long beat me to it. His rejoinder to the “Capital punishment must end” editorial of America, National Catholic RegisterNational Catholic Reporter, andOur Sunday Visitor is essential reading even if, in some places, Long’s essay, “Four Catholic Journals Indulge in Doctrinal Solipsism”, needs to be translated into readable English.*

Worse, though, than the four journals editorial itself—which for the most part only repackages and recycles prudential arguments against the death penalty as if they were arguments in principle—have been some of  the “pile-ons” published in its wake, with Pathos administering an especially condescending tongue-lashing to Catholics who, tsk-tsk, can’t understand that opposition to the death penalty is demanded “for the simplest of reasons” and then walks Catholic troglodyte death-penalty enthusiasts through four reasons why they are (supposedly) so utterly and embarrassingly wrong, beginning each reason with “We are Catholic”.

Like, you know, I’m not.

As a Catholic squarely in line with the Catholic tradition that, as Long accurately if turgidly sets out, supports the just administration of the death penalty for capital crimes, I have grown used to having my motives for such support reduced to: my thirst for vengeance, my disdain for mercy, my obliviousness to Christ’s salvific will, my despair about conversion, and my contempt for compassion. I apparently do not understand that the death penalty does not bring murder victims back to life (gee, whodathunkit?) but that’s not to worry, because my support for the death penalty can be excused (and then dismissed) on purely demographic grounds (I am, after all, white, male, middle-aged, and usually vote conservative, so who cares what a heartless jerk like me thinks about anything?)

But, besides venting, there are two substantive points I would like to add to this discussion, the first, concerning how some seem to read the much-vaunted language added to the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the death penalty.

For the whole article, with which I agree completely, CLICK HERE.

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 Posted by CatholicVote.com

The Consecrated Host is back in the hands of Archbishop Coakley and the Catholic Church.

Deo Gratias!

Additionally, the Satanists have agreed to sign a statement saying that they will not use a Consecrated Host in a black mass – if it happens.

Talk about a great victory!

I work in politics. There are many important battles on Capitol Hill, in our federal courts, and at the ballot box.

But I’ll be totally honest: This victory is perhaps the most important one of them all!

The Satanists thought they had us against the ropes. It’s a public forum and we couldn’t stop them from performing their “ceremony.” They even went so far as to brag about having a Consecrated Host!

But that’s where they crossed the line.

Our friend, attorney Michael Caspino, sprung into action. Lifted by the prayers of Catholics all across the country – and with the support of Archbishop Coakley — Caspino fought back against the Satanists in court.

And we won. We won for Jesus.

The Satanists might still hold a black mass, but promised that they won’t do so with a Consecrated Host. So let’s continue praying to Saint Michael, in thanksgiving for his powerful intercession.

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What Did Sister Jane Actually Say in Charlotte?

April 9, 2014

Dr. Ed Peters, canon lawyer, actually has a good point about the flare-up at the Catholic High School in Charlotte NC. Does anyone REALLY know what Sr. Jane Dominic actually said at the High School that started such a flurry of protest and defense? Much ado about, literally, who-knows-what by Dr. Edward Peters We either know [...]

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Welcome to the Reign of “Gay”

April 8, 2014

Make no mistake, it has nothing to do with fun and games, and everything to do with the forced rationalization of grave depravity By Carl Olsen, April 8, 2014 Editorial in Catholic News Report In the summer of 1992, I took my first real job, working as a graphic designer for the venerable Meier & [...]

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A Good Priest Friend in Deep Water Concerning Homosexuality after Teaching JPII’s “Theology of the Body”

March 31, 2014

  My good friend Fr. Kauth from Charlotte NC is embroiled in a huge fracas because of teaching JPII’s Theology of the Body in a Catholic High School. He is the chaplain at the high school. He invited a Dominican Sister to give a speech. She has a doctorate in theology. In the course of [...]

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Some Catholics Live in Nutsville; Does the Sun Really Revolve Around the Earth?

December 16, 2013

They wake up every morning and think the sun revolves around the earth. They live in a different universe than the rest of us. They want you to join their new alternate reality. These folks are marginalized and relatively unknown – and for good reason. They live in Nutsville, a cult that dwells on the [...]

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Medjugorje “Seer” Banned from Making Presentations in U.S.

November 9, 2013

Congregation for the Defense of the Faith prefect says alleged apparitions have yet to be ruled authentic VATICAN CITY, November 07, 2013 (Zenit.org) – Archbishop Gerhard Mueller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has reiterated that the Vatican has yet to rule the alleged Marian apparitions in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, as authentic. [...]

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Obama Seriously Offends Catholics Again – Another Reason I Despise This Man

June 20, 2013

This is the Facecloth from the Tomb of Christ. Read Paul Badde’s book The Face of God. Join us in October for our St. Paul Meditteranean Cruise. One stop is to see this great relic of Christ’s resurrection. Obama Offends Catholics in UK: Says Religious Schools Divisive Wednesday, 19 Jun 2013 06:42 PM By Paul [...]

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The Invisible Boy – More on the Unhappy Decision by the “Boy” Scouts & They Didn’t Wait Long!

June 4, 2013

This week Catholic World Report has a biting article about the recent decision to allow openly gay “youth” to join the “Boy” Scouts. You’ll see why I put these words in quotations marks as you read. Here is an excerpt: The CWR Blog The Invisible Boy We must now pretend that boys are not boys, [...]

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Did the Pope Really Say even Atheists are Redeemed? – Steve Ray will discuss with Teresa Tomeo

May 28, 2013

Tomorrow morning (9:15-9:35 AM Eastern) I will be on Ave Maria Radio’s Catholic Connections with Teresa Tomeo to discuss the seemingly controversial words of Pope Francis in a recent homily.  In one section of his homily on May 22, Pope Francis stated:  The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood [...]

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Gay Marriage and Communion

April 25, 2013

Post-script on the Detroit debate over Catholics and holy Communion by Dr. Edward Peters A few days ago I gave written interview to Lauren Abdel-Razzaq of the Detroit News on the question of Catholic supporters of “gay marriage” approaching for holy Communion. Abdel-Razzaq quoted me accurately if not quite as precisely as I wrote and I’ve [...]

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Yad Vashem and “Hitler’s Pope”

January 16, 2013

Yad Vashem Controversy An inscription at Yad Vashem states that Pius XII‘s record during the Holocaust was controversial, and that he negotiated a concordat with the Nazis, maintained Vatican neutrality during the war and, formerly stated that he took no initiatives to save Jews. In 1985, Pietro Palazzini was honored by the museum, where he [...]

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Controversy Over Neumayr’s Article on Eucharist, Pelosi and Cardinal Wuerl

March 20, 2012

Update Below from Ed Peters. Neumayr’s Article begins: Cardinal Wuerl’s Dereliction of Duty, by George Neumayr on 3.19.12 @ 6:09AM “Since he won’t control the sacraments, the Church’s enemies will. “The road to hell is paved with the skulls of bad bishops. That’s a slight paraphrase of a line from St. John Chrysostom. “The saints [...]

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The Black Sheepdog (Corapi) Vanishes

January 31, 2012

Readers have been asking for a few months if I knew of any developments in the strange case of Fr. John Corapi, and the truth is, I’m as clueless as they are. After an initial flurry of activity, updates to Father Corapi’s new website, theblacksheepdog.us, became few and far between, and sometime around the first [...]

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Dr. Peter Kreeft is the Devil: Advising How to Win the World!

December 21, 2011

What a delightful and fun hour! If you have two brain cells that connect and wish to understand God and the world — and if you aren’t afraid of the truth and talk about sex — you will LOVE this. If you aren’t polltically correct about atheism and Islam and other such things, you will [...]

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