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Friday, October 13, 2006

That's what I'm talking about...the Elephant in the Room

The media does not have the intellectual ability to move beyond the scandals of the Church, even when confronted directly on their inability to do so, even when writing an article about something wonderful, that is, the canonizations of new saints. Read the article here.

And the author even relies on dissident theologian Fr. McBrien to suggest not-so-subliminally that such "unjust" condemnation against those perpetuating heresies might actually be saints.

In that way, she is like many saints who found themselves bucking church authorities while alive, only to be acclaimed as saints after their deaths, said the Rev. Richard McBrien, a theologian at the University of Notre Dame and the author of the 2001 book "Lives of the Saints."

"So many leading figures who had tussles with their bishop or other high-ranking ecclesiastical officials were later rehabilitated. History remembers them, but not the officials who gave them a difficult time," McBrien said. "I dare say that Mother Guerin, as a soon-to-be-canonized saint, will achieve an elevated status that will forever elude the bishop who dismissed her."


I'm not entirely sure what the author of the article is trying to suggest here by quoting dissident Fr. McBrien. Is Mr. Kusmer just suggesting that Mother Theodore is a Saint because she is a "criminal", as banished by the Bishop at her time? Or suggesting that she was only persecuted by a mislead Bishop, and allowing Fr. McBrien to comment as a parallel as a "persecuted priest" himself?

Never mind that he and Blessed Mother Theodore are not in the same category...I'd actually place Fr. McBrien in a category which resembled someone like Judas, or maybe pre-conversion Saul--the persecutor. But I don't expect and average journalist to get that. They aren't known for their intelligence OR their ability to think critically.

The other possible, unthinkable, yet "logical" by the thought process which seems to be in play, is that maybe those who committed the abuse referenced are really being persecuted and thus maybe one day a Pope will canonize them? Or perhaps only that the Pope of the future will canonize Fr. McBrien for his dissident theories? That seems to be the point of his commentary.

Really, there is no logic to this article, overall, other than to further the Church-attack agenda which is so common in every newspaper and TV station.

But we, those who can think critically, have the ability to see through the same ole' tiresome spin.

Pope Benedict XVI will canonize Blessed Mother Theodore Guerin as the first new U.S. saint in six years, a span marked in this country by the scandal over the sexual abuse of minors by clergy.

What does a canonization of a nun who had NOTHING to do with sexual abuse have to do with the referenced scandals? Are you counting? Start now.

That's #1.

The celebration of a new saint offers a respite from the lawsuits and settlements that have dominated much of the discussion of the U.S. church...

Where's the respite?

Methinks a certain sensationalism-addicted journalist with possible career aspirations to "The Sun" and "The National Enquirer" is dragging quite the elephant into the room. Because the only elephant in this story is the one the writer chopped into it.

There's #2.

Guerin will become the eighth U.S. saint and the first one canonized since Sister Katherine Drexel in October 2000.

A little more than a year after Drexel's canonization, the scandal over the sex abuse by Catholic priests erupted in the Archdiocese of Boston and spread across the country. Since then, hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements have been paid out, and bishops' popularity has waned, despite reform measures


Now we bring St. Katherine Drexel into the mix...and #3 in the referece to the scandals. What does she have to do with millions of dollars in settlements?

Benedict also will canonize Italian nun Rosa Venerini (1656-1728) and two 20th century clergymen: Italian priest Filippo Smaldone, founder of the Salesian order of nuns; and Mexican Bishop Rafael Guizar Valencia. Guizar was a great uncle of the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ order of priests whom the Vatican restricted from public ministry this year amid allegations he had sexually abused seminarians

There's #4. What on EARTH does this story have to do with Blessed Mother Theodore, the fronted topic to this article, or any of the other Saints to be canonized?

Nothing. The scandals have NOTHING to do with canonization. Dissident Father McBrien has nothing to do with it. If he converts, then I could say maybe...but as he stands now in outright rejection of the Church he professed to serve? Not so much.

Here's the reality, people...the author of this article clearly has an agenda against the Catholic Church. Maybe he was bored with the idea of covering the process regarding Sainthood, or maybe historical research wasn't his forte', so instead, he pulled out a few stock quotes from various media sources (they are all the same) and instead of doing his research, he posted controversial sources, thus the "elephant in the room" commentary.

We've all gone to school with "C" and "D" students, and in fact, when I was in college, people popularly quoted, "C's and D's get Degrees!"

I'm thinking that those students, as acertained correctly by Alexis de Tocqueville, became politicians and journalists. I'm thinking that Mr. Ken Kusmer, the AP writer who is responsible for this article, is one of those "D" students who doesn't quite know how to do research. This, after all, is the more preferable suggestion over the less charitable idea that he is doing this on purpose.

Who goes out to write about holy people and brings the unholy into the work?

No one but the lazy scholar relying on popular culture and his own personal anti-Catholic agenda.

We all really need to start commenting on this. We all really need to be willing to stand up for our faith and condemn such "reporting". This guy is nothing but a lazy ass with a vendetta against the Catholic Church, and in his apparent quest for accolades, he is picking on the kid who won't fight back--the Catholic Church.

Let's change that.

It's time for the media to take notice. We've turned our cheek far too often, and souls are being lost as a result of the slander and the libel.

Journalists, take notice. We're not turning our cheeks any more. We're going to turn YOURS.

5 comments:

Tiber Jumper said...

I had the same thoughts when I read the article! How does he go from a factual news article on canonization to the sex abuse scandal. It reminds me of how when Rush Limbaugh mentions John Kerry he always follows it by "He served in Vietnam by the way"
The media obviously has equated anything Catholic with pedophilia and thinks the reader has as well.
I have been thinking about blogging on this media bias , There's an excellent book on it called Anti-Catholicism in Amercian Culture edited by Robert Lockwood.
Thanks for calling out the elephant!

Angela Messenger said...

Anais Nin once said, "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."

Sounds like that reporter and that priest are living that one out!

Ray from MN said...

Wonderful statement, Adoro! You should consider submitting some of your "outraged" pieces to various Catholic periodicals around the country and see if someone might be interested in publishing them.

The Caholic world needs aggressive people to defend us.

I don't know if you caught EWTN's World Over show last night with Raymond Arroyo who had Bill Donohue from the Catholic League in NY on for the whole hour. Donohue was fabulous. That man has his facts down and is not afraid to say it like it is.

Someone called in and commented that he was insulting, etc.

Donohue responded, "Sure, I am responsible for all the anti-Catholicism in the world, the beheadings, the TV programs, Madonna, Rosie "whatsherface", etc. Of course, he said it far better than I can duplicate.

If you didn't catch it, it will be repeated Monday at 9:00 a.m. and 10 p.m. (Central time). If you can't get it on cable, it is available in the Twin Cities on UHF channel 19.

You probably would need a rabbit ears antenna and have to switch your clicker from cable to broadcast to get it.

The Twin Cities are one of only four or five cities in the U.S. that have broadcast Catholic television. Most of it is an EWTN feed but there a few taped programs that the local owners (a family) put on occasionally.

Adoro Te Devote said...

Thanks for all the comments.

Ray, you're not the first to suggest that I try to submit my rants to a publisher, but getting published is a lot more difficult than that. In the blog world, people like me are a dime a dozen, and most published authors aren't just regular laypeople...they have some other credentials, some kind of "stamp" of Church authority.

Of course, that's one of the reasons I'm going after my MA in Catholic Studies...it might help me get published. The other reason is...because I think God is calling me to teach.

But I'll continue to do what damage I can to the secular anti-Christian mindset in the meantime!

I did happen to catch The World Over last night--I have digital cable so it comes in quite clear. I don't normally watch that show although admittedly I should. I saw that Donohue made a comment about "Pope and the Witch" before they moved on.

I have to admit, though, although I think Donohue was correct in most of the things he said, (if not all--I have to leave room for fallability), I was a bit put off with regard to his demeanor. Now, I realize he's a New Yorker and he's got the blustery Irish Catholic attitude, but I do think a little more temerance in his method of expression would be a good thing.

But I loved to see his passion, and clearly, he has a very strong personality. I would love to work for and with him, and actually went to the website to see if it was all volunteer or if there are any "apprenticeships" or the like.

Nope, but that's OK. I guess I'll just continue to be an average lay Catholic with a big mouth and maybe someday I'll find a publisher! :-) Thanks for the encouragement...I need that!

Ray from MN said...

Adoro:

Do you ever see the "Catholic Servant?"

It's a pretty small monthly paper run by a man named John Sondag. The paper doesn't have much circulation, but it's been around for a few years or more.

The paper is largely columnists (and some ads) Most of his columnists, while quite good, are pretty spiritual or academic.

He has Dale Ahlquist (Am. Chesterton Society), Mary Ann Kuharski (Pro-Life Across America), Fr James Reidy (ex-STU Prof.) and Fr J.P. Echert (St Augustine's in SSP), among others who write for him.

He calls it a "Tool for Evangelization, Catechesis and Apologetics."

I see he has "sponsors" for some of his columnists now, so he probably pays a bit.

While he does have some young people who write for him, most of their columns are fairly spiritual in nature.

If I were you, I would put together some of your more "vehement" columns or posts from CA or whatever and send them to him (He is the DRE at St Helena's in South Minneapolis by Minnehaha Park (by me, as a matter of fact).

He might be interested in adding some "fire" to the paper and I'd bet you could do it.