Friday, March 04, 2005

The Real Magic Kingdom


-"Kathleen McChesney, you've spent three years working to protect children from malfeasant bishops who portrayed you as the evil party. What will you do now?"
-"I'm going to Disney World!"

That's right, my gentle snowflakes. Congrats to the former director of the USCCB office for child and youth protection, who has been named VP for crisis management and threat assessment for the Walt Disney Company. Here's hoping that, besides having a less taxing workload, she'll have an easier time at the job -- it's nice when you can do crisis management and threat assessment for bosses who don't see you as the crisis and the threat.


Republicans and the Holy See are like peas and carrots. Back in June, after the President met with John Paul II, he whimpered to Sodano that "not all the bishops are with me" -- i.e. Democrats weren't being threatened with sanctions nationwide.

Now the cycle continues. In a get which returns him to the state of grace, John Allen reports that the Vatican secretary of state asked his American counterpart to shut down an abuse suit in Kentucky which seeks damages from Rome -- further confirmation that, having ignored the mistakes of history, what the current leadership of Catholicism seeks is nothing short of the complete subjugation of secular power to the authority of the church. Or, as the evangelicals would have it, government under the feet of Jesus.

Someone should put out a disclaimer stating, "Yes, we want immunity. And, provided we get it, we can ensure that nothing bad will ever happen to your children again." Then you will see snowballs come flyin' from the direction of Hell.


The Pit Bull is at it again.

Jean Torkelson in the Rocky Mountain News details some pretty heady exchanges between Chaput and guests at a lunch talk he gave earlier this week. But it wasn't just Chaput's presence that got everyone all hot and bothered. Check these nuggets from his introductory remarks:

Some of you may remember that a year ago I was part of a rally on the Capitol steps to protect state funding for the poor and homeless. But you didn’t read about it in the Rocky or the Denver Post, because they didn’t cover it.

Last September, just a few weeks before the election, I preached a homily to 5,000 people at Red Rocks, and I had them repeat out loud three times that if we forget the poor, we’ll go to hell. That’s one of the principles of Catholic social teaching. If we forget the poor, God will forget us. By our indifference, we will damn ourselves. But you didn’t read about that in the press either, because – again -- nobody covered it.

Our diocesan website has at least 18 articles I’ve written and talks I’ve given... just a fraction of what I’ve said and done against capital punishment for more than three ecades. The press covered that one time recently -- when I criticized our Republican governor.

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Denver is the largest non-government provider of aid to the poor in the Rocky Mountain region. As a Church, more than 80 percent of our time, resources, ministry personnel and lobbying efforts go to issues that have nothing to do with abortion. But you’ll never see that on anybody’s front-page either, because it isn’t news....

It’s so normal that nobody pays attention – until they disagree.

I wouldn't say that -- if anything, disagreements make people tune out. We've got two factions in both the Catholic and secular polity which only listen to media which fits their ideology and buys only the frame which corresponds to their worldview. Incendiary pronouncements from either side only heightens the backlash.

The good archbishop continues:

Public witness on issues of public concern is natural and essential for Catholics because of our commitment to the common good and to the dignity of each human person. Those two pillars – the common good and the dignity of every human person – come right out of Scripture. They underpin all of Catholic social thought.

OK, fine. But has it been our experience that, in the moment of truth when the bishops had an issue of human life and dignity under their direct control, they worked without concern for lesser agendas to ensure it? Has any bishop publicly bashed his brothers about their lack of conscience when they violate the dignity of persons post-birth and employ hardball legal tactics on survivors as opposed to providing just restitution for abuses of human dignity enabled and condoned by the church's own hand?

CJ, I love ya... But give me some help here and speak up.



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