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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Anchoress at Patheos is wrong

Patheos is becoming notorious for closing their comment box- especially when they don’t hear the feedback they were hoping for. 

The Anchoress (Elizabeth Scalia) has decided to opine about Catholics who are scandalized by Cardinal Dolan’s participation as Grand Marshal for the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day parade which has now become another outlet for “gay pride”.  Scalia believes we are wrong and goes on to twist assorted Scripture in an attempt to prove her point.  Mostly she failed-hence the reason she closed her comments. When the comments area of her Patheos blog got ugly, Scalia closed the comments down.

Here are a few comments from her blog before the comment box was closed...

I think these people are spot on!  

So again, like with Fr. Longenecker's "Church of Nasty" I am going to respond to why I believe Elizabeth Scalia is wrong here on my own blog because her comment area is closed.

For the first time openly gay homosexuals and their supporters will march with gay pride banners in the parade with a Catholic Cardinal as Grand Marshall kicking off the parade.  Devout Catholics are scandalized that this Cardinal (like those before him) sees nothing wrong with this.

Other’s have already written about the “cause of scandal” the Cardinal is (and will) inflict on devout Catholics, so I won’t repeat the obvious.

What I am going to do is point out Scalia's errors.

First, she gives Biblical examples of people in sin that were “quietly” corrected by Jesus (neglecting to recall when Jesus made a whip and used it against people, flipping tables and emptying the temple area of those who disrespected his Father's Temple).

Then she has this to say about Dolan…

What about a bishop agreeing to be Grand Marshall in a Saint Patrick’s Day parade wherein homosexual groups — yes, even the sort of lobbyist homosexual groups over which Pope Francis expressed concern — will be included among the participants?
That’s pretty bad, right? For some it is causing scandal and confusion and calumny and they are loudly suggesting — in a way Jesus never would — that the bishop should repent, apologize, express contrition (things Jesus didn’t demand of the adulterous woman) and then resign his office. They want him to literally remove himself from the area, before his uncleanliness renders everyone else unclean.

“in a way Jesus never would” - ??  Really? 

"Get behind me Satan!" was probably not whispered by Christ to Peter so no one else would hear. 

Matthew 16
21 From then onwards Jesus began to make it clear to his disciples that he was destined to go to Jerusalem and suffer grievously at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death and to be raised up on the third day.22 Then, taking him aside, Peter started to rebuke him. 'Heaven preserve you, Lord,' he said, 'this must not happen to you.' 23 But he turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my path, because you are thinking not as God thinks but as human beings do.'

The Apostles corrected each other- loudly and publicly -remember Saint Paul to Saint Peter-the pope!?  Saint Paul didn’t hold back because Jesus didn’t hold back.  

We are (in the case of Dolan) talking about when a member of the CLERGY commits scandal.

“Those who commit these types of scandals are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder, but I'm here among you to prevent something far worst for you. While those who give scandal are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder, those who take scandal- who allow scandals to destroy faith- are guilty of spiritual suicide.” -- St. Francis de Sales

Another example she gives is about the Prodigal Son, suggesting that Cardinal Dolan leading a parade under gay pride banners is the same as the Prodigal son’s father running out to greet his REPENTING son who has seen the errors of his ways and returned to his father. This is truly cringe worthy...

Quote: I’m not sure a bishop has a choice but to run out to meet prodigals, regardless of motivating factors. The father wants everyone to come home and be with him. Once they’re at the doorstep, they may be encouraged to come in; once they’re inside, they can be talked with, nurtured, fed, encouraged, formed, and made whole. This cannot happen as long as they are off in the faraway places.
The key here, aside from the father running out to the prodigal son, is that he ran out while the son was still a long way off.Later in the story, the older son — obedient and responsible — feels shortchanged and resentful, because the father has been so welcoming of the wastrel while barely noticing the elder son’s daily toil. And what does the father do? He goes out to his elder son, to reassure him that his faithfulness is seen and known. He tells him, “everything I have is yours” even while urging him to make his returning brother welcome.Because only in this way can his family eventually become whole, and holy.

Let’s be perfectly clear…gay rights supporters marching under gay pride banners in the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade are NOT- I repeat- are NOT prodigal sons HUMBLY returning to the father. 

They are in fact more like the sexually immoral mob pounding on Lot’s door demanding homosexual sex with the angels visiting Lot in Genesis 19! 

What was God’s response to that?  The complete destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah!

Scalia also paints Dolan at the now notorious dinner with Barack Obama as if he [Dolan] were Jesus eating with the Pharisees.

Quote: Understanding the circumstances surrounding any event plays hell with our easy judgments, doesn’t it?
Why would a bishop — say, for instance New York’s Cardinal Archbishop Timothy Dolan — participate in a political dinner that hosts real tax-collectors and known liars and sinners (as opposed to the less-obvious ones) and rather few actual holy men and women? Well for one thing, the dinner keeps the church present in a public square that would like to usher it out. One cannot speak to souls who bar you from the plaza. For another, it raises a huge amount of money for an organization that does a lot of good for people facing poverty and ruin. A bishop might risk causing “scandal and confusion” for the sake of those complicating, gray-inducing factors.Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were at table with them. The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”Jesus said to them in reply, “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”So Jesus ate and socialized, probably very pleasantly, with awful people. If we do not want to see a bishop seated next to a sinner unless that bishop is loudly consigning the sinner to hell, well then, we don’t want to see a bishop sitting next to anyone. And we do not want to see a bishop who models Christ Jesus.
But we were never supposed to want to be like the pharisees, nor expect it of our shepherds.

Again, Elizabeth Scalia is wrong. 

First her example is off.  Obama did not invite Dolan to a public dinner – Dolan invited the pro-abortion, forced HHS mandate on Catholics president to dinner.

Secondly, she COMPLETELY misses the point that the “sick” are those in sin seeking healing from the Physician.  If Jesus is the physician to heal them (and he is), he MUST tell them their sin (remember the woman at the well?) so they can confess and be healed! 

Did Dolan tell Obama over dinner that Obama was "sick" and needed to be healed?

Will Dolan go to those holding gay pride banners and tell them they are "sick" and need to be healed?   If you believe that will happen I have a bridge to sell you.

When Jesus ate with the Pharisees he corrected them at the dinner in front of everyone – did Dolan do that?

Luke 7 - 36 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus[j] to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table. 37 And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that he was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. 38 She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him—that she is a sinner.” 40 Jesus spoke up and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Teacher,” he replied, “speak.” 41 “A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii,[k] and the other fifty. 42 When they could not pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the greater debt.” And Jesus[l] said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44 Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.47 Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” 

Dolan did NOT do as Jesus Christ did.  Dolan joined in the celebration, eating and drinking with sinners without ever mentioning their sin or pointing out their errors.  He didn’t ask them if they wanted to be healed by Christ our physician.  He
didn’t even present himself as WORRIED for the souls at that dinner, rather he belly laughed with them, poised for photos and scandalized devout Catholics with the timing (remember what was going on at the time of this dinner 2012 election and the HHS abortion/birth control mandate being forced on Catholics) of his public cuddling with Barack Obama.

I am reminded more of Jesus’ teaching on the Seven Woes…
Matthew 23 - "Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. 5 They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. 6 They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi."

When the Faithful are scandalized REPEATEDLY by Catholic clergy there is a serious problem that must be addressed. Either the Catholic faithful are TOO pious or the clergy are truly scandalous.


Respect for the souls of others: scandal
2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor's tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.
 2285 Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."86 Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep's clothing.87 
2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion. Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to "social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible."88 This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger,89 or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values. 
2287 Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged. "Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!
In light of the Church's teaching on scandal I do not believe the Catholic laity who are concerned with Dolan's scandalous behavior are "too pious", I believe they are spot on.

In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner


  1. It's a civic parade that cynically cloaks itself in Catholic heritage. That the good Cardinal chooses to participate and take the scepter of grand marshal, is scandal in itself.

    But what did I really expect? We wanted bishops marching on Washington, we got Fortnight for Freedom instead.

  2. Regarding Ms. Scalia's column, I was quite startled by the tortured exegesis, attempting to soothe the doubts of those who see this episode as a dereliction of duty toward sinners. How many in bondage to this terrible sin will become morally certain their rejection of the Natural Law is a virtue?

    The mind boggles.

    I hope that Ms. Scalia reconsiders her new guidelines. Fr. Longenecker has closed his combox, and Mark Shea's combox traffic has almost vanished. There's only so much willful blindness that informed Catholics will accept, before stopping visits to those sites.

  3. Hello Repentant Pharisee and welcome.

    I think the "St. Patrick's Day Parade needs a new name...they need to stop using a Catholic saints name. They could call it "The Irish Parade" or "Irish Pride" or whatever, just stop using a Catholic saints name.

    About the writers at Patheos... Longenecker and Scalia both said the amount of comments combined with the types of comments they were getting forced them to close the comments. While Longenecker has closed all his comments, Scalia does (most of the time) leave them open for a short period of time so the first people to get to her blog often have an opportunity to respond.

    Mark Shea... to be kind, Shea is so thin skinned he only allows those who stroke his ego to leave a comment. Disagree with Shea and you are banned for life from ever commenting on any words he spits forth. There are much better places for a Catholic to spend their time- that's my personal opinion anyway.

    Thanks again for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

    God bless.

    In Christ,
    Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

  4. I agree with your analysis of Scalia's comments.

    As I said in my own blog, by using the banner, they announce that they are in sin with zero intention of repentance. Public action, calls for public judgement. It's really not all that complicated.

  5. Thanks again, Julie, for on target reporting. It's funny though, how those who would wag the finger and promote dialogue are the first to close down their comboxes.

    God bless!

  6. Be aware that the Patheos network compensates their bloggers according to the hits their blogs receive. If one clicks on the Anchoress link above, you'll increase her paycheck. That's why I visit these things as little as possible.

  7. When I read Miss Scalia's post it reminded me of certain secular news outlets that push truth aside in order to "spin" a positive view, which resembles a camel going through an eye of a needle. I've tried every way possible to me to come to terms with what some of our Bishops do and attempt to look at those actions in the best light, however, in the end my conscience, which I pray is well formed, can only moan "what are they thinking"!

    Ruben M. Aguilar

  8. Let me be sexist for a moment. Women seek harmony in the family but that virtue applied to the public Church can seek to justify whatever is done by a famous Cardinal.
    Mrs. Scalia was harmonizing the unharmonizable and she has blocked my first day comment at that thread which was simply that Christ did not have unrepentant prostitutes in his entourage ....He had a repentant prostitute et al. That's different. But I was blocked elsewhere for saying our recent bombing saved lives in the thousands in Iraq and the Pope's anti bomb comment was simply wrong. Censorship is alive and well in blogdom.

  9. Are we surprised? More of the same nonsense from Patheos. I don't know why people still go there.

  10. I hate to write this, but I have recently deleted New Advent's main page as a Favorite because I believe that is has becopme Patheos Light. I still use their links for research. I also had hope in EWTN and NCReg., but my hope is beginning to fade. Maybe there is better reading in the works of the Church Doctors!

  11. Cardinal Dolan not only scandalized the faithful Catholics, but, most importantly, all Catholics as well as all who recognize the natural law and those who don't. Scandal leads mostly the ignorant to sin, much less so the faithful. Just sayin'.

  12. WOW CCC!...MOST excellent analysis! SPOT ON.

    And Ray're right; those venues have gone squishy and 'left' quite a while ago. The Doctors, and Fathers, and other Saints of the Church are the BEST reading we can do to inform us of what the Faith really is and what the Church really teaches. There is NO way to square Pius X's great Paschendi with what is going on fact it reads like a prescient blueprint to Francis's words, actions, and administration. I've only just begun reading a whole bunch of past encyclicals and WOW (!) what treasure to be mined in them.

    Dangerous times we are in...tread very carefully, and be very careful of what 'food' you 'eat'.

  13. How many short years before they have the typical speedo display going on during the St Pat's parade?



This is a Catholic blog, please keep your comments respectful to my Faith even when you disagree.

Profanity will not be tolerated - it will be DELETED, so do not waste your time or mine.

Thank you and God bless...

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

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