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This just came over the wire from AP. Here is  the gist of it:

ST. LOUIS - An invitation to Sen. Claire McCaskill (news, bio, voting record) to speak at her daughter's graduation from a Roman Catholic high school was withdrawn because of her positions on abortion and stem cell research.

Students at all-girls St. Joseph's Academy in the St. Louis suburb of Frontenac wanted to have McCaskill speak at their commencement this month, McCaskill spokeswoman Adrianne Marsh said Tuesday.

But the offer was rescinded last week. The president of St. Joseph's, Sister Michaela Zahner, said she reluctantly made the decision after receiving a call from the St. Louis Archdiocese.


McCaskill showed a lot of class and restraint. She said she was disappointed by the decision but still feels that it is an excellent school.

Claire, I hope you don't mind me expressing a few of my own views here.

First and foremost, I am an Irish Catholic originally from Boston. We grew up expecting the Church to rap our knuckles when we said something stupid and would never dare fight against any 4-foot penguin tossing us around like a rag doll when we pissed her off. However, I don't ever remember any one of them banning or even speaking down about anybody on political grounds. I think Hitler could have spoke at my church as long as he was ready for the beating afterward.

I don't know how they do things in Saint Louie but banning a senator from speaking, especially at her own daughters graduation makes me want to turn my cross upside-down and pledge my devotion to Satan.

It would be one thing if Claire announced that she was going to give a speech promoting promiscuity and then show porno movies afterward but I honestly don't think she would have brought controversial politics into the speech.

Instead of a proud, happy moment for her daughter and herself, the "new" catholic church denied everyone the opportunity to meet a great person and feel proud that she cared enough about them to give a speech.

I am fucking outraged.

Originally posted to MouseOfSuburbia on Thu May 03, 2007 at 02:35 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I wonder if the diocese is getting too (115+ / 0-)

    involved in politics.  It just might come back and bite them in the future.   My Church, during voting times, runs the antiabortion candidates and the sinner candidates in the weekly bullitin.  They underline the pro-life people and urge people to vote for them.  Of course they are all repubs. and they don't seem to understand that they are promoting a Party. Needless to say, I spend my time in Church, but not at mass.

    "Though the Mills of the Gods grind slowly,Yet they grind exceeding small."

    by Owllwoman on Thu May 03, 2007 at 02:41:34 AM PDT

    •  Too involved (80+ / 0-)

      I think that the American Catholic Church is too involved, in general, in politics. The activities you outlined at your church seem to step over the line and could cost it its tax-exempt status. Might want to mention that to the priest, just as a bit of a warning.

      And, I'd keep copies next year.

      "I'm not a member of any organized political party, ... I'm a Democrat." Will Rodgers

      by CCSDem on Thu May 03, 2007 at 03:39:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What churches need to be reminded of (164+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Malacandra, Rebecca, RichM, Thumb, SlackerInc, sj, Joe Bob, oldpro, Athena, pb, Mogolori, SarahLee, areucrazy, importer, TaraIst, Mountain Don, Pandora, Debby, Sherri in TX, acuppajo, varro, Matilda, nightsweat, Heart of the Rockies, shermanesq, loudGizmo, km4, opinionated, bronte17, worriedmom, TracieLynn, pmcmscot, Shadan7, Euroliberal, Agathena, highacidity, Glic, wishingwell, SuperiorPokercom, fumie, Jesterfox, enough already, splashy, antirove, high uintas, artebella, asterlil, dejavu, athenap, averybird, nancelot, TexDem, oldjohnbrown, katchen, MattR, Fagelson, alizard, inclusiveheart, smartgo, WisVoter, Man Eegee, bablhous, American in Kathmandu, vacantlook, Demfem, murrayewv, rapala, joanneleon, chumley, Bluesee, Elise, LostInTexas, PsychoSavannah, corvo, KnotIookin, Cake or Death, snacksandpop, catleigh, volballplr, FutureNow, maisie, eru, jfadden, Heartcutter, majcmb1, JoieDe, annefrank, peteri2, QuickSilver, Steve Singiser, Shotput8, neroden, playtonjr, Ekaterin, ohcanada, jct, eyes of the world, third Party please, esquimaux, trashablanca, L Boom, snazzzybird, BachFan, Do Tell, Yellow Canary, duckhunter, chemsmith, seefleur, Albatross, urbannie, sailmaker, greenearth, donnas, goodasgold, MJ via Chicago, StrayCat, gatorcog, DSPS owl, NC Dem, JVolvo, MO Blue, ER Doc, Andy30tx, llbear, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Stripe, means are the ends, scoff0165, pissedpatriot, Statusquomustgo, FrankieB, bstotts, Autarkh, AllanTBG, illusionmajik, old wobbly, Russ Jarmusch, blue armadillo, godislove, dudemanguy, edsbrooklyn, kath25, Ninepatch, NoMoJoe, acnetj, vbdietz, Bridge Master, Dar Nirron, JerseyGirl226, eyesoars, willb48, generationsofblue, sima, John Poet, dragoneyes, califdem, mamamedusa, SMWalt, Mannabass, wagdog, Happy Days, Cassandra Waites, pickandshovel, noddem

        is that they do not have free speech as far as politics goes.  They sold it for a tax break.

        This makes a substantial fraction of the "free speech" they use quite illegal.

        The problem could be solved with the enforcement of laws already in place.

        Best Wishes, Demena

        by Demena on Thu May 03, 2007 at 03:44:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

            •  If you don't like it (7+ / 0-)

              Don't send your daughter to a school run by religious wing-nuts.  That's what the Catholic church seems to have become and why they are becoming increasingly irrelevant.

              It's like complaining that Bob Jones University doesn't invite Al Gore to speak at its graduation.  Duh.  

              It's more appropriate for an institution like that to have a homophobic obsessed anti-woman anti-science activist, because in the end, isn't that what modern day Catholicism is all about?  From my perspective, as a non-Catholic married to a Catholic, it sure as hell seems that way.

              •  The difference being (6+ / 0-)

                that BJU would not invite Gore to speak and then rescind the invitation. They just wouldn't invite him.

                I support John Edwards for President.
                -8.13, -4.15

                by Eddie in ME on Thu May 03, 2007 at 09:42:40 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Wrong (11+ / 0-)

                Sorry, but the institution in question is a PRIVATE religiously-affiliated school. It is NOT beholden to the wishes of the Archbishop.  This is about coercion and intimidation by the archdiocese, they actually have no power over this particular school as it is not a parish school.

                Burke is a power-hungry megalomaniac.  He's pissed that the president of Saint Louis U., a Jesuit, is basically giving him the middle finger and daring him to do something about it.  So he's trying to assert his power however he can.

                He needs to go.  Knowing our current Pope, though, I'm sure he's on the short-track to become a Cardinal.  Whatever, at least he'll be out of St. Louis.

                People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

                by viget on Thu May 03, 2007 at 11:21:22 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  hmmm ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                It's more appropriate for an institution like that to have a homophobic obsessed anti-woman anti-science activist ...

                so they're replacing the Senator with Mrs. Schlafly?

                (there's a cute, tho false, rumor)

                it's about biconceptualism ... Obama08

                by wystler on Thu May 03, 2007 at 11:44:56 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Well (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I don't send either of my daughters to a "school run by religious wing nuts"[sic].

                In fact I have to "send" neither to school.  They have taken care of it themselves and done very well thank you.  I'm the only person in this neighbourhood (that I know of) that pays zero school fees.  My daughters picked out which college courses they wanted to do and went out and got scholarships.  No "student loans" to pay, no healthcare to pay for.  All I need to cover is food and the the household rates and power.  Very low financial investment.  So my only concern in this is principle.

                Even were it otherwise your comment fails the smell test.  No one is saying who they should invite.  The comments are about the church heirarchy overruling the choice of the school after the invite.

                Best Wishes, Demena

                by Demena on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:37:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  This is wildly inaccurate (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TrueBlueDem, cris0000, Reepicheep

            and of course intentionally obfuscatory. Churches do indeed have freedom of speech under the constitution. What they do not have is the right to endorse a specific political candidate as an official position of the church body. They cannot, in other words, make endorsement speeches from the pulpit or use church resources to endorse specific parties or candidates. They cannot behave like a PAC.

            The "tax break" that churches get is limited - yay, Ronald McReagan - to a property tax break on the property used by the congregation itself for religious purposes. So, a church building is exempt where a church-owned coffee shop would likely not be exempt. Shall we compare this to the size, number, and kinds of tax breaks available to businesses? to the rich? There are several tax breaks available to self employed individuals not available to clergy for example. With the exception of a small handful of pseudo-Christian TV Evangelists and prosperity gospel preachers most of us clergy have a harder time making ends meet than other people.

            I realize that it is great sport for some folk to deride churches, religious organizations, and faith, so go ahead and be pissed off at this particular Catholic church if it makes you feel like a hero. I don't agree with their positions on either abortion or stem cell research. But they have hardly made their positions a secret nor have they failed to use their positions on such issues as a clear rationale for decision-making in the past. Neither you nor I may like the moral position of this or that religious or secular body but would you really want to live in a country where organizations are compelled to host speakers whose views they find offensive?

            •  Strawman alert (17+ / 0-)

              but would you really want to live in a country where organizations are compelled to host speakers whose views they find offensive?

              (a) the students did not find McCaskill offensive; they asked to have her invited
              (b) the school administrators did not find McCaskill offensive; they asked to have her invited
              (c) McCaskill was not planning to speak about anything which any Catholics disapproved of

              The Archbishop took it upon himself to interfere with the school's invitation.  He did so on the basis of views of the speaker which were unrelated to her planned speech.

              A vaguely appropriate analogy would be if, for instance, Governor Spitzer demanded that Cornell University (which is partly associated with the state) cancel a speech by Bob Barr defending habeas corpus, because Bob Barr has views on other, totally unrelated matters which he found offensive.

              This would never happen, because liberals believe in freedom of speech, believe that the best antidote to wrong speech is counterspeech, believe that wrong views on one thing do not 'contaminate' the speaker's ability to speak on other things.  However, the Catholic Church hierarchy disagrees.  Apparently disagreeing with them on one thing means that McCaskill must never speak in any venue which they have the least amount of influence over.

              It's not as if she was being invited to preach from the pulpit.  Commencement speakers rarely if ever represent institutional views; they're supposed to be interesting, basically.

              It's really an anti-Enlightentment, anti-American, mind-control attitude.   Much more than views on abortion or stem cell research, this is what the Catholic Church hierarchy deserves excoriation for.

              If the archbishop had asked to give a speech of his own to the students after McCaskill's speech, I would have said great, go for it.  That's not what he did.

              As for faith -- I have said this elsewhere, but 'faith' is actively dangerous, and rather than deride it, I will ask you to Google for the essay "Is Blind Faith Immoral?".

              -5.63, -8.10 | Impeach, Convict, Remove & Bar from Office, Arrest, Indict, Convict, Imprison!

              by neroden on Thu May 03, 2007 at 11:18:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  what nonsnse (0+ / 0-)
                anti-American, mind-control attitude.
                Do you actually believe what you write ? They do not invite your favorite politician to speak on their property and on their own private festivity, and you tell us what ?  

                Mind Control ? Anti American ?

                What else ?  Ah, yes, you argue taking their money away, too. What evident democratic point of view.

                I nominate you for the Karl Rove Award of political argument. You should be proud.

          •  Yep. You can have one--but not both. (6+ / 0-)

            If you forego the tax break, you may say anything you wish that doesn't fall into the category of breaking the law--urging murder, for example.  But if you take the tax break... you must withdraw from the arena of endorsing, supporting and approving of candidates--much less urging that they be voted for (or against).

            The IRS needs to crack down on all who violate this.  Pick one, or the other--and if we find you trying to have both, you pay... with appropriate penalties for failure to pay....

            "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

            by ogre on Thu May 03, 2007 at 10:37:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  That's nonsense (12+ / 0-)

          They cannot advocate election or defeat of a candidate, but that does not mean that the Catholic Church (or any other religious group) is not free to express their views on the issues of the day.  Furthermore, as a private group they can invite and disinvite whomever they want on whatever grounds they want/

          •  So (30+ / 0-)

            does Bishop Burke have anything to say about Rudy or Arnold?  

            The problem, it seems to me, is not that the church is involved in politics, but rather that the church is involved in partisan politics.

            Why won't you give the glasses-wearing security kittens a chance to work?

            by bawbie on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:40:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I really don't know who Bishop Burke is (5+ / 0-)

              or what he has said about Rudy or Arnold.  Not that that is relevant to the issue, which is whether the tax exempt status precludes the Church from speaking on controversial political issues.  It does not.

              •  The tax exempt status does, however, (29+ / 0-)

                preclude churches from endorsing candidates or campaigns.  Perhaps there's no difference in effect between publishing voter guides that state a politician's position on abortion and voter guides that urge people to vote for the anti-choice candidate, but the second action is not allowed to churches.  Of course, don't expect that there will be any consequences for churches that endorse Republicans--expect investigations and audits for any church that even comes close to doing so for Dems.

                "Going to church does not make us Christians any more than stepping into our garage makes us a car." --Rev R. Neville

                by catleigh on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:04:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Voter guides that do not endorse a candidate (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SarahLee, Reepicheep, Paver

                  but simply list candidate's position are permitted.  Second, re: churches that endorse Democrats.  Have you been to any black churches lately?

                  •  On What Basis Are You Singly Out Black Churches? (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Elise, corvo
                    •  I am not "singling them out" (0+ / 0-)

                      But they do seem to be a popular places for Democratic candidates to speak in.  I am sure there are other churches where Republicans.

                      •  In The Context Of This Discussion, Your (20+ / 0-)

                        reference to black churches suggests that they (black churches) endorse Democrats regularly.

                        Like Rethuglican voter fraud allegations, this is another myth perpetuated by the right because they refuse to believe that over 90% of black Americans could conclude on their own that Republican policies hurt them and their families.

                        I've attended black churches for years and I've never heard a minister endorse a candidate.  My anecdoctal experience aside, now that we know what Rove and the Rethuglicans have been up to inside our government agencies, I suspect that the IRS' interest in churches' political activity will prove to be frankly biased in and of itself.


                        The NAACP said the IRS is investigating the civil rights organization because its chairman, Julian Bond, condemned the president's policies on Iraq, education, and the economy. Bond has maintained that he did not violate the prohibition on political activity, saying in a statement that ''We've criticized, condemned and/or praised every president since Theodore Roosevelt and we'll continue to speak truth to power."

                        Similarly, the All Saints Episcopal Church of Pasadena, Calif., has said it is being audited because its former rector, the Rev. George F. Regas, gave a sermon in October 2004 titled ''If Jesus debated Senator Kerry and President Bush." Regas said during that sermon, ''Mr. President, your doctrine of preemptive war is a failed doctrine."

                        The IRS sent a letter to the church that announced an investigation on grounds that ''a reasonable belief exists that you may not be tax-exempt as a church" because of political statements. The letter was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

                        •  Al Sharpton regularly endorses candidates (0+ / 0-)

                          And he is a minister and has a church in which many national and local politicians (mostly Democrats) speak.

                          •  if you had started with that (8+ / 0-)

                            you would not be percived as a racist ass. You dragged 'all blck churches' into the discussion, when your REAL problem was with Al, but you had to blame ALL black churches. Not only racist and stupid, but also wrong.

                          •  I don't have a problem with Al or Jesse (0+ / 0-)

                            or anybody else.  In fact, I am for as much speech as possible of all sorts.  I am merely pointing out that Democrats do very often speak in traditional black churches.  I think that that fact is unremarkable and undeniable.

                          •  Sharpton Has An Organization Called The (7+ / 0-)

                            National Action Network.  I don't think his community organizing and advocacy are done under the auspices of his church (to the extent he now leads one - which I'm also not sure of).

                            If the National Action Center has tax-exempt status as a religious organization then they should be investigated and sanctioned appropriately.  As it stands now, AFAIK, it's non-black, right-wing churches with the most prominent problems.

                            The Campaign Legal Center sent a letter to the Commissioner of the IRS and filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission on July 26, alleging Jerry Falwell Ministries and related-entity Liberty Alliance, both corporations, violated campaign finance laws by endorsing President George W. Bush and announcing their endorsement to the general public through their website and via email, and soliciting funds for a political action committee on their website, also accessible to the general public. The Legal Center asked the IRS to look into the Jerry Falwell Ministries and related-entity Liberty Alliance activities, which clearly violate the exemption requirements under the tax code section 501(c)(3).

                            Under campaign finance law, organizations - like Jerry Falwell's group - that claim tax exemption under section 501(c)(3) may not endorse candidates for public office in this way. On his website, Falwell encouraged "everyone reading this column today to take a moment to send a financial gift to the Campaign for Working Families in order to help in the crucial election of President Bush and conservative political leaders across the nation."


                        •  Was there a U.S. Attorney involved? (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          splashy, Elise, mamamedusa

                          The IRS sent a letter to the church that announced an investigation on grounds that ''a reasonable belief exists that you may not be tax-exempt as a church" because of political statements. The letter was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

                          Just wondering...

                          •  DOJ Would Be Involved In Enforcement/Litigation (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            but I'm not sure any of the 2004 election cycle cases got that far.  According to the All Saints website:

                            The Internal Revenue Service summoned All Saints Church of Pasadena and its rector, the Rev. Ed Bacon, on Friday to appear before an officer of the IRS, renewing its examination of All Saints Church after ten months of silence. On July 24, the agency unexpectedly sent the Pasadena church a list of 13 questions that probed deeply into its core religious practices. All Saints responded by raising both substantive and procedural concerns, and requested that the Agency clarify the intentions of the examination, because of its wide-ranging First Amendment implications.
                            The timing of the renewed investigation also raises concerns that it may reflect an attempt to chill the Church’s discussions of fundamental religious issues with policy implications before the mid-term elections, and in a way that intrudes into core religious practice.
                            Issuance of the summons forces the IRS to address the church’s concerns at a higher level within the agency; moreover, enforcement of the summons will require both the consent and participation of the Department of Justice, steps that will further protect All Saints’ First Amendment rights. The summons also gives All Saints the option to challenge the examination in court.
                            Marcus S. Owens, lead counsel for All Saints Church, said, "These substantive and procedural problems are crucial in the All Saints case because of the sweeping First Amendment implications of the government’s examination. The recent unilateral reversal of the IRS position in the NAACP case raises a serious question as to whether the IRS has any legal basis for continuing its review of All Saints.

                            The pre-election timing of the IRS' "investigations" into likely-Democratic churches and organizations goes beyond the DOJ.  This from a 2006 announcement that the NAACP should keep it's tax-exempt status:

                            The IRS launched an examination of the NAACP on October 8, 2004 after receiving complaints from several Republican members of Congress who said their constituents believed NAACP National Board of Directors Chairman Julian Bond crossed the line of non-partisanship in a speech at the NAACP 2004 National Convention critical of Bush administration policies.
                            The IRS initiated an audit of the NAACP just one month before the 2004 presidential election and nearly three months before the end of the NAACP's tax year. The IRS refused to explain the basis of its investigation for more than a year. The NAACP learned the basis for the examination only after filing four Freedom of Information ACT requests (FOIA).

                            The documents included complaints filed by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), then-Senator Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.), Representatives JoAnn Davis (R-Va.) and Larry Combest (R-Texas), then-Representatives Robert Ehrlich (R-Md.) and Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.) and political donor Richard Hug. In the interest of ensuring transparency, integrity and fairness in the administration of the tax law, the NAACP will release copies of all the documents provided thus far by request.


                            BushCo's politicization of our government agencies includes the IRS.  In fact this may be Dumbya's only area of "expertise."

                      •  Reduce political speech by religion entities (0+ / 0-)

                        And reduce it to the same level for all. The authoritarian nature of the fundie churches has such a disproportionate impact compared to anything in more liberal churches. Drgrishka is not completely off the mark here, we do have to realize that there would be some impact on D candidates.

                        I really hope the IRS starts pursuing cases in 2 years- can't imagine it with Shrub in charge.

                      •  "speaking in" does not = being "endorsed by" n/t (0+ / 0-)

                        Impeachment? Only when some Rethugs aboard. Pelosi/Reid can only pass measures they have the votes for. Write/call all: 800-828-0498

                        by samddobermann on Thu May 03, 2007 at 08:59:16 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Grischka is one of our resident Republicans n/t (4+ / 0-)
                    •  Repub admin singles them out on color (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      I am not sure what Dr. Grish about does.

                      Sociopathy is not an innate talent. It is a honed skill.

                      by horatius on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:29:04 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  I am aware that voter guides listing positions (10+ / 0-)

                    are allowed--that's what I said (or tried to say).  However, explicitly endorsing candidates (as one poster above said his/her RC church did) is not allowed.  And I am not aware of the Bush IRS going after any church for endorsing Republicans, but they were quick to jump on a CA Episcopal Church for even skirting the edge of such behavior on behalf of Dems.  Finally, no I don't attend a 'black church.' Do you?  Do you have personal knowledge or experience of a 'black church' that has passed out bulletins denoting Repulicans as 'sinners' and telling the membership to vote for Democrats?  If not, then your comment is out of line.  

                    And allowing candidates to speak in church facilities does not qualify--that's also permissable for tax exempt orgs.  What's not allowed is what the evangelical and RC churches are doing--clergy telling people how to vote and sometimes even threatening them with spiritual harm or exclusion from the church if they vote the wrong way.  There are many examples of such behavior, but no church engaging in it has suffered any consequence--IOKIYAR, as per usual under Bush.  

                    "Going to church does not make us Christians any more than stepping into our garage makes us a car." --Rev R. Neville

                    by catleigh on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:46:50 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, that's my point (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      churches are very careful about "endorsing."  But as a general platform for speeches there are plenty of GOP-leaning churches just as there are plenty of Dem-leaning churches.

                      •  You're not paying attention (10+ / 0-)

                        Drgrishka1, there's no argument here.

                        Here's what Owllwoman alleged.

                        My Church, during voting times, runs the antiabortion candidates and the sinner candidates in the weekly bullitin.  They underline the pro-life people and urge people to vote for them.

                        So CSDem commented thusly.

                        The activities you outlined at your church seem to step over the line and could cost it its tax-exempt status.

                        Which led Demena to remark

                        they do not have free speech as far as politics goes.  They sold it for a tax break.

                        Then, for some reason you concluded:

                        That's nonsense...  They cannot advocate election or defeat of a candidate, but that does not mean that the Catholic Church (or any other religious group) is not free to express their views on the issues of the day.

                        Note how Owllwoman's ORIGINAL post said her parish's bulletin advocated in your words the "election or defeat of a candidate."

                        You are in complete agreement with everyone else.

                        This is a site that appreciates a wide range of opinions, but please try to read carefully before becoming disagreeable.  It will save everyone a lot of time.

              •  Burke is one of the bishops who said Kerry... (34+ / 0-)

                would be denied the Eucharist in his diocese in 2004.  The Denver archbishop was another.  

                The Church played w/ fire in 2004.  Back in 1960, JFK was able to convince people that the Vatican would not dictate his position on public policy issues.  In 2004, at least 2 archbishops took a contrary approach, and Burke is taking the same position here.

                This development is a fairly recent one.  In 1984, my alma mater, Notre Dame, allowed Mario Cuomo the platform to give a speech in which he explained why, although he is personally anti-abortion, he did not believe, as a matter of public policy, that abortion should be outlawed.  I'm not sure if the university would do the same thing today.  I'm sure that the local bishop would not approve, although he would not have the power to stop the university from doing so.

                Burke is a pretty bad guy all around.  My wife is a grad of Saint Louis U, a Jesuit institution.  Burke tried to pressure the university to sell its hospital a few years ago.  The president, to his credit, refused.

                You're missing a much bigger picture here.

                Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

                by RFK Lives on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:13:12 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  There is no "bigger picture" here (4+ / 0-)

                  The picture is this:  There is a private school in St. Louis that holds certain views on public policy issues and they choose not to invite people who disagree with those views.  The issue is First Amendment, plain and simple.

                  •  The school INVITED McCaskill to speak... (33+ / 0-)

                    The Archbishop forced them to rescind the invitation, the same way that he tried to force SLU to sell its hospital.  There are multiple issues at work here, and none of them reflect well on the Church as in institution.

                    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

                    by RFK Lives on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:20:40 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  SLU story is wrong. Fr. Biondi, pres of SLU (10+ / 0-)

                      decided to sell the university's hospital to Tenet.  Burke's predecessor, Justin Rigali, decided to oppose the sale.  Biondi took a position that the Archdiocese had no authority over the university.  They had a huge pissing match that ended up being handled by the Pope and the head of the Jesuits in Rome.  SLU sold the hospital to Tenet.

                      Burke is intensely disliked here.  Certainly he has supporters but they are outnumbered by his detractors.  Last week he went after Sheryl Crow who was raising money for the Catholic children's hospital here.  I diaried about it here.

                      'how many deaths will it take till he knows That too many people have died?' Bob Dylan

                      by St Louis Woman on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:53:13 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I stand corrected on the SLU issue... (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        susie dow, St Louis Woman, mamamedusa

                        I knew that there was a battle royal between Biondi and the archdiocese, but I thought it was Biondi who didn't want to sell.  I've met Biondi at an alumni function, and we have a mutual friend.  I'm sorry that he was the one pushing the deal.

                        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

                        by RFK Lives on Thu May 03, 2007 at 08:06:08 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I think he's a pretty good guy. I attended SLU (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          susie dow, mamamedusa

                          so I pay some attention.  I thought his deal to sell the hospital was pretty solid.  As I recall, he got cash which was used to bolster the med school and retained privileges for the med school at the hospital.  

                          He (Biondi) is often in controversy--fired the basketball coach to hire Majerus, building new arena with a tax subsidy, today he's 'taking over' the student newspaper.  But again, on balance, I think he's been absolutely wonderful for the university.

                          'how many deaths will it take till he knows That too many people have died?' Bob Dylan

                          by St Louis Woman on Thu May 03, 2007 at 08:14:50 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm familiar w/ the hoop situation... (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            susie dow, St Louis Woman, mamamedusa

                            I didn't know that the new arena was getting a tax subsidy.  I felt kind of sorry for Soderbergh (sp), but if you have the chance to get Majerus, you don't pass it up.

                            Notre Dame was all set to hire Majerus in 2000, but the then prez vetoed it b/c Majerus admitted to some academic indiscretions in his autobio.  I wish that they had hired Majerus then.

                            Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

                            by RFK Lives on Thu May 03, 2007 at 08:50:34 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I think... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            RFK Lives

                            ...this tax subsidy is what's got Burke in a tizzy.

                            Someone sued SLU on the basis that it's a religous institution and as such, using eminent domain (included in the TIF tax break) for its arena violates church and state separation.  SLU's lawyers fired back with a very specific declaration that the University is in NO way affiliated with the Catholic church or the archdiocese.  I think Burke is reeallly pissed about Biondi being so frank and open about this.

                            People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

                            by viget on Thu May 03, 2007 at 11:26:05 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Same thing that happened to St. Stanislaus Kostka (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      RFK Lives

                      Burke is also known for opposing the actions taken by the US bishops to root out sexual predators among the clergy.  He closed and had demolished St. Adalbert's parish (a center of the Polish-American community) in La Crosse, Wisconsin, then demanding that St. Stanislaus Kostka in North St. Louis sign over its property to the Archdiocese when he moved to St. Louis.  They refused to, and he forbade priests to say Mass there.  The parish council imported a Polish priest and incurred the bishop's excommunication.  

                      He's not a shepherd, but a wolf in bishop's clothing.

                      Dems in 2008: An embarassment of riches. Repubs in 2008: Embarassments.

                      by Yamaneko2 on Thu May 03, 2007 at 12:08:31 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  hm... (0+ / 0-)
                        well, where I live the diocese decides which priest works where. Basically, end of story.

                        Thats not some Evangelical convention, folks, people don't speak in tongues and have visions, and decisions are supposed to be made rationally.

                        Going against the Bishop's authority means you leave the church and start your own.

                  •  where's that '2' rating? (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    oldpro, RFK Lives

                    i haven't seen such misstatement in quite some time, Drgrishka1

                    it sure seems clear that:

                    1. the private school invited, rather than chose not to invite
                    1. the local diocese stuck its nose in, and using some means, intimidated the school into cancelling the invitation

                    so, are you merely obtuse? or are you hijacking ...

                    it's about biconceptualism ... Obama08

                    by wystler on Thu May 03, 2007 at 11:55:13 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  But it doesn't allow them to (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                "underline the pro-life people and urge people to vote for them"

              •  He's the nutjob (0+ / 0-)

                who came up with the idea of denying Communion to pro-choice Democratic Catholics but not to pro-death penalty Republican Catholics (okay, he probably didn't come up with the idea, but he was the one yelling about Kerry.)

                He's a complete ass.  Don't blame the school for this - it's all him, I'm sure.

                Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

                by gkn on Thu May 03, 2007 at 10:17:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  How can you not blame 'the school' when (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  the school caved to him?  OK, OK...the nun caved to HIM.  Same old, same old male-dominated different than when I was 11 (59 years ago) and decided I'd seen enough of superstition and patriarchy.

                  Here's my anti-religion question:  why are people still buying this crap?

                  Tell me how you spend your time and how you spend your money -- I'll tell you what your values are.

                  by oldpro on Thu May 03, 2007 at 12:34:20 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Issues (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SarahLee, nancelot, corvo, mamamedusa

            and candidates are two very, very different things.

            My Church, during voting times, runs the antiabortion candidates and the sinner candidates in the weekly bulletin.  They underline the pro-life people and urge people to vote for them.

          •  Too bad their views are nothing but abortion (8+ / 0-)

            I really don't see that the Catholic church has any credibility.  Their single issue is abortion.  They don't care whether a candidate sends fully grown men and women off to kill or be killed in war.  All they care about is that they are anti-abortion.  

            It's a bunch of crap.  

            Don't like XOM and OPEC? What have YOU done to reduce your oil consumption? Hot air does NOT constitute a renewable resource!

            by Asak on Thu May 03, 2007 at 08:09:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Allegedly (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              the church actually does care - John Paul and Benedict both opposed Iraq, and the church opposes the death penalty.

              In practice, though, it doesn't seem to work that way.

              Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

              by gkn on Thu May 03, 2007 at 10:27:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Talk is cheap. (6+ / 0-)

                The Church cranks down the screws on one... and gives absolution and the eucharist to warmongers and war profiteers.

                As I said, talk is cheap.

                The guy who's finally twigged to the fact that the GOP is made up of politicians who've sold their souls and are merrily ripping anyone and everyone not in their gang--raping and torturing for fun and profit and giggles on the way--but still votes for them because they're not liberals... is in the same boat.

                Talk's cheap, and both and enabling the worst of the worst.

                "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

                by ogre on Thu May 03, 2007 at 10:47:07 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, talk IS cheap. The Pope could have (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  prevented the Iraq war by backing up his statement against it with one simple move -- he could have gone to Baghdad and repeated his statement.  Anybody think Bush would have dared to bomb the Pope?

                  Maybe the Pope thought so!  In any event, the Pope did not stand up after he spoke up.  He was urged to do so by many.

                  Talk.  Cheap.

                  Tell me how you spend your time and how you spend your money -- I'll tell you what your values are.

                  by oldpro on Thu May 03, 2007 at 12:40:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  My... that would have made a statement (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    --and been a hell of an action.  

                    In some better universe, I suppose.

                    "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

                    by ogre on Thu May 03, 2007 at 02:27:05 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Expecting too much, you think? I dunno.... (0+ / 0-)

                      what about that kid in China who stood in front of the tanks?

                      Maybe expecting leaders to have personal courage is expecting too much but I came of age politically during WW 2 and remember FDR and John Kennedy...

                      Tell me how you spend your time and how you spend your money -- I'll tell you what your values are.

                      by oldpro on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:37:09 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  You lost me somewhere (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wystler, mamamedusa

            Owllwoman said, in part:

            They underline the pro-life people and urge people to vote for them. (emphasis added)

            You said, in part:

            They cannot advocate election or defeat of a candidate. (emphasis added)

            And yet you still say they didn't advocate election of a candidate?  There's a fine line between urging and advocating I'm not aware of, I suppose.  At some point, I expect to hear a reference made to Clintonion obfuscation.

            I would concede that simply listing certain candidates as "sinners" probably wouldn't cross the line, even if I might think that it should.  

            "Black churches do it, too!"?  Really?  That excuses conduct that's proscribed?  Remind me to use that defense in court sometime.

            And no, this has nothing to do with the school itself but the school's actions spring directly from the same well.

          •  "My priest told us to vote for Bush" that's what (6+ / 0-)

            a woman said to me when I was campaigning for Kerry in PA in 04. She was not a unique case. They are getting their tax break and breaking the law at the same time.

            You don't get to keep democracy unless you fight for it.

            by artebella on Thu May 03, 2007 at 09:42:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  every election cycle i get off my ass and head to (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              church, being athiest personally this is not exactly something i look forward to but i do so to video sermons made in the month leading up to the election. why? for the reasoning for which we are talking about here, to catch these tax exempt "evangelicals" preaching politics from the pulpit.
               have i caught any? you bet your ass i have, 4 times out of the 9 times i have done this. i will say this much, the ones i assumed would do this sort of crap didn't, i hit the pentacostals twice and to my amazement not one word was mentioned about politics. the baptists, an entirely different story, they DEMANDEDtheir congregation vote for a canadate who is anti gay marraige, anti stem cell, and anti abortion- well, being that it was a choice between kerry or bush, i can assume that meant bush without mentioning his name, correct? the other i caught outright mentioned bush by name, stating that he was "the ONLY canidate WORTHY of our votes", this was New Life, whether they are associated with Haggards flock of lost minds i really don't know.
                i called the regional IRS office and insisted on delivering the tapes i had made in person so that i would be given a time stamped reciept, which i was given. i requested to be notified as to the outcome of any resulting investigation-  was i ever contacted? well, take a wild guess.. of course not. after not hearing anything for a month i contacted them to inquire as to what became of an investigation into the evidence i'd presented, they refused to divulge any info, claiming that they could not speak on any ongoing investigation. i took that to mean that they were indeed investigating. so i made the same call every week, each time being told the same old story.
               we have a senator here, a democrat, who to me is as worthless as any repuke if you ask me, at any rate i contacted his office many many times in regard to this but eventually gave up because i got the distinct impression that they just don't give a shit.
               so i am truly amazed that the IRS would come down on any religious organization for preaching politics, i would assume it is just another case of IOKIYAR. i tried, what else can i say. but all the same, i am not discouraged, i will be back, i will tape these idiots in the next cycle and i will report any who violate their tax exempt status with the video to prove my claim, one thing is for certain, the more they put me off, the more churches i will visit because quite frankly i am a firm believer in the old saying that when fascism comes to america it will be draped in a flag and carrying a bible- if you need proof just look at the stacking up of evangelical fanatic asswipes flung on us by this administration from such shitholes as Regents and Bob Jones...

              impeach-it does the body good impeachment-it isn't just for blow jobs anymore impeachment-i can say no more i expect no less

              by playtonjr on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:07:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  This is not an isolated instance (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            There is a pattern here that I recognize, because something similar happened in my town. There is coordination here by the Catholic heirarchy to clamp down on 'dissidents' and restore orthodoxy and the line of authority from the Pope.

            In our town, a prominent academic was invited to speak on issues related to peace and justice at one of the parishes, invited BY A PRIEST, the pastor. The bishop demanded the invitation to be withdrawn, said that this person would not be allowed to speak on Church property. This was because this academic had voiced positions on the all-important sexual issues (birth control! premarital sex! and abortion).

            At the last minute, the more liberal Catholic community scrambled to hold the lecture at a different space--a large hall (owned by another Catholic). The show did go on.

            This is a good option for those shut out in this way,and liberal Catholics should be prepared to move to an alternate plan.

            While there are many liberals at the grassroots in the parishes, the Catholic cardinals, bishops, archbishops are mostly very conservative--they were appointed by John Paul II, who did not believe in democracy within the church.  Those in the upper levels of the heirarchy have stated plainly their intention to go back to the "good old days" when Catholics didn't take a breath without permission from a cleric.

        •  This is fascism, plain and simple. (7+ / 0-)

          Fascism is an authoritarian political ideology (generally tied to a mass movement) that considers individual and other societal interests inferior to the needs of the state, and seeks to forge a type of national unity, usually based on ethnic, religious, cultural, or racial attributes. Various scholars attribute different characteristics to fascism, but the following elements are usually seen as its integral parts: nationalism, authoritarianism, militarism, corporatism, collectivism, totalitarianism, anti-communism, and opposition to economic and political liberalism.[1][2][3]

          Remember, Lieberman was the frontrunner in 2003 and I will vote for whomever gets the Democratic nomination, until then it is all up for grabs.

          by Do Tell on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:32:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The GOP won't enforce the laws becuase to do so (6+ / 0-)

          would hurt the GOP.  

          Don't be so afraid of dying that you forget to live.

          by LionelEHutz on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:12:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Respectfully disagree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I'd defend the right of a environmental non-profit to cancel a speech by VP Cheney.  How would that differ from the Catholic Church's actions in this case?  Is there evidence that this action was based on partisan political considerations, rather than a principled stand against a speaker whose viewpoints don't jibe with the Church's?

          Isn't it a strong value for churches of all types, and non-profits in general, to have as much free speech as possible, while still retaining some protections against them becoming political fronts?  What would your statement on free speech mean for the Sierra Club's endorsement of political candidates in, say, the 2008 election?

          There is a line that non-profits cannot cross without endangering their tax-exempt status, but in my opinion, applying an ideological litmus test for speakers at a Catholic school is perfectly appropriate.  Passing church membership lists to a political party, on the other hand, would clearly be on the other side of that line.

          If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else. Yogi Berra

          by Twin Planets on Thu May 03, 2007 at 09:07:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Wish they paid taxes (0+ / 0-)

          that might sort the whole issue of using religion for political purposes out PDQ. They would have to make a choice, living the lifestyle to which they are accustomed or running for political office like others.

          Oh that we had the gift to see ourselves as others see us. Robbie Burns

          by ohcanada on Thu May 03, 2007 at 10:28:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  As an exercise; How many churches... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        are not too involved in politics?

        "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful." ~Seneca the Younger

        by Starve2Act on Thu May 03, 2007 at 08:34:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Mine. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          neroden, mamamedusa

          Studiously--and that's with evidence that over 75% are Democrats.

          I've seen members of the board strictly enforce the letter of the law, and even beyond, to ensure that no one campaigns for any candidate there.  Not just that the minister and elected officers who could be considered "the church" don't.  Not just that no one does so from the pulpit or at any moment that they have a mike (though the latter's impossible to control absolutely; the inappropriateness of any such remark has been underscored promptly).

          Given what I know of those of my faith, that means that there are at least 1000 congregations that do likewise.

          "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

          by ogre on Thu May 03, 2007 at 10:51:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm glad to hear that. (0+ / 0-)

             Now if only everyone else would get with the program.

             By the way, I like your tag.  It sounds just about too appropriate to be true.  irony sure can be frisky, sometimes.

            "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful." ~Seneca the Younger

            by Starve2Act on Thu May 03, 2007 at 12:45:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  More irony... (0+ / 0-)

              in that I am not at this time, nor have I ever been, a Christian.

              Or maybe not (irony, that is).

              "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

              by ogre on Thu May 03, 2007 at 02:21:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Feel free to filk on this subject.... (0+ / 0-)

            perhaps a hymn or two?

            Tell me how you spend your time and how you spend your money -- I'll tell you what your values are.

            by oldpro on Thu May 03, 2007 at 12:59:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm a UU... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              So many might claim that a lot of our older hymns ARE filk.

              There's a marvelous cognitive dissonance available... I am not particularly musically literate; I can't read it, and can only sort of sometimes figure out, more or less, what the tune is doing.  Fortunately, I sing well, and so people are willing to help me along at the beginning of learning a piece.  

              I say that by way of leading up to a little story... I selected some music for a service based on the appropriateness of the lyrics to the theme of the service.  And no one asked me about my choices.

              Someone told me that the look on my face when the pianist started playing what was clearly--to my ears--"Onward Christian Soldiers" was just priceless; dumbstruck.

              "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

              by ogre on Thu May 03, 2007 at 02:24:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  NOT surprised at the UU...loved the story (0+ / 0-)

                re "Onward Christian Soldiers!"

                I'm not musically literate, either...can't read music or play any instrument including my own voice ... a truly dreadful sound.  Undaunted, I've been filking all of my adult life for parties, reunions, etc., sometimes with a partner! Love especially tin pan alley, jazz and Broadway musicals and grew up learning the words to many from the 40s to the 70s on the radio.  Great fun.

                Tell me how you spend your time and how you spend your money -- I'll tell you what your values are.

                by oldpro on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:47:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  I don't suppose (23+ / 0-)
      they run anything anti-war or anti-death penalty, do they? Oh my, how selective!

      A new beginning for Ohio: The adults have taken over!

      by anastasia p on Thu May 03, 2007 at 03:41:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rescind their tax exemption (19+ / 0-)

      Then we'll see how political they'll be.

      It's Roman Catholics like this who drove me away from the church to begin with.

      •  Why? Because they choose to (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharoney, Miss Blue, kck, PhantomFly, Paver

        exercise their right of freedom of association by inviting and disinviting people to speak as they see fit?

        •  So far,,,,, (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sharoney, Tuscarora, PhantomFly, Paver

          you seem to be the only one on this thread with any common sense.  Bless you.

          This is a private school, with the right to have anyone speak or not speak.  

          "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 3350+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

          by Miss Blue on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:48:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Common sense? I beg to differ. (9+ / 0-)

            Yes, they are a private school and they have a right to invite whomever they choose. However, it seems mightily suspicious to me that they'd invite McCaskill to speak in the first place. I mean DUH, didn't these supposedly politically-savvy school heads know about her political leanings to begin with? It's like they just learned about them now and went, "oops! Sorry, we didn't MEAN to invite you..."

            No--this smacks of political grandstanding. IMO it would have been more genuine if they'd invited a conservative speaker at the outset, rather than publically diss McCaskill on account of her politics. Although it might not be illegal given that this is a private school, it's sleazy and inappropriate--and so obvious a political stunt.

          •  A large parish in Miami invited W to Mass... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Debby, GayHillbilly, corvo, neroden

            the Sunday before the 2004 election.  The pastor tacitly endorsed W in his homily.  The visit got considerable local media coverage in a major market in a swing state.

            As I noted above, the Church is playing w/ fire here.

            Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

            by RFK Lives on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:16:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not really; (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GayHillbilly, esquimaux

              IRS has been thoroughly infiltrated with Rethugs.

              Only once we restore independence to IRS courts will the Church have been playing with fire.

              •  I'm talking about the credibility... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                of the institution as much as I'm talking about the much narrower question of the IRS exemption.  What happened in St. L is as much a question of internal Church power politics as it is a tax question.

                Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

                by RFK Lives on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:38:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, but we can't do anything (0+ / 0-)

                  about the Church hierarchy.  There's a possibility we might be able to save the IRS . . . someday.

                  The Church has to fix itself.  It won't, certainly not in my lifetime (I'm in my 40s), but it's not the kind of institution that can be reformed by grassroots activism.

                  •  The Church did fix itself when we were kids... (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Sharoney, wystler, neroden, Old Gardener

                    Vatican II, as John XXIII put it, opened up the windows of the Church and let in some air.  JP II appointed a slew of careerists like Burke in an effort to stuff the Vatican II genie back in the bottle.  Given the fact that Vatican II was so totally unexpected, neither of us know where the Church will head in the remainder of our lifetimes.

                    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

                    by RFK Lives on Thu May 03, 2007 at 08:11:11 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  St. Stanislaus Kostka (0+ / 0-)

                  St. Stanislaus Kostka, which labors under Archbishop Burke's interdict, is growing by leaps and bounds.  Within one year, they reopened their Sunday School for the first time in 15 years.  

                  I suspect, though, that most Catholics who are upset have not gone to the extreme of changing denominations, but simply sleep in on Sunday mornings that are not Easter.  Catholic mass attendance has halved, dropping below Episcopalian levels (often cited as a Bad Example).  

                  The Roman Catholic Church hierarchy seems to be counting on immigration from Latin America to replenish its ranks, but Protestant denominations are aggressively evangelizing that community with considerable success.  

                  Dems in 2008: An embarassment of riches. Repubs in 2008: Embarassments.

                  by Yamaneko2 on Thu May 03, 2007 at 12:47:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  No, B/C They Try to Coerce Politicians.... (0+ / 0-)

          ....into forcing the Catholic Church's religious views regarding abortion, on everyone else (who are not even Catholic) and who do not share the Catholic Church's narrow views on this issue.

          This is what's really going on: The Catholic Church demands that Catholic politicians march in lock step with the Vatican by legally forcing their religious views on everyone else within a pluralistic society, within which different people hold different beliefs. Some of these different beliefs are secular and some are based on different religious beliefs.  If such Catholic politicians do not agree that they should legally force their religious views (on abortion) on everyone else (and thus violate the sacred requirement of separation of church & state); then the Catholic Church tries to coerce them into doing so by denying them communion or disallowing them to speak at their functions, even if they do not discuss that particular topic whatsoever.  

          This is what they are attempting to do with the Honorable Senator Clair McCaskill. They are trying to brow-beat her (& other political office holders) into changing her position on reproductive rights by adopting the Catholic Church's backward view of state forced compulsory pregnancy/childbirth and forcing it on everyone else. If she refuses to do so, then she is banned from speaking about ANY topic, even one that conforms to Catholic teaching. In other words, the Catholic Church is trying to use the political process to force their religion down everyone else's throats. Upstanding politicians such as Sen. McCaskill who refuse to engage in such shameful conduct, will be "chastized".

          Yes, the Catholic Church has the right to allow or disallow someone from speaking at their facilities. However, by trying to manipulate Catholic (or even Non-Catholic) politicians into legally forcing Catholic views on everyone else; the Catholic Church should lose their tax exempt status since they are injecting themselves into partisan politics, given that they attempt to violate the separation of church & state through such hardball tactics.

      •  The Church's looking the other way when priests (7+ / 0-)

        ...raped and molested little boys was the lynchpin that drove me away, personally (and I was a very lukewarm Catholic at that point, anyway). :-p

    •  The Archbishop in St. Louis (54+ / 0-)

      is an extreme rightwinger.

      He was one who said that he would not give John Kerry communion.  Archbishop Burke is a  wholly owned mouthpiece for the Republican Party who demeans the Catholic faith.  His minions are imps.

      Sheryl Crow was singing for free at a fundraiser  for Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital (a Catholic childen's hospital run by the Sisters of St. Mary and not under his control) last week.  Bob Costas puts it on every year and it has raised millions over the years.  Billy Crystal also was there.  Archbishop Burke asked Catholics to boycott the fundraiser because Sheryl Crow did an ad for stem cellresearch last year. Hi shate is more important than rasing money for children.

      I voted for Claire and gave her many contributions. I am proud of her.

      Many Catholics in St. Louis (we are about 1/3 Catholic here) think the Archbishp is a nut. (I was raised Catholic but left the Church 35-40 years ago.)  But many proacticing Catholics roll theireyes about him, ignore him, and practice their faith in spite of him.  

      Archbishop Burke belongs back in 12th century France attacking the Cathars, killing the heritiques.  Or in a Mel Brooks movie.  

      This will not hurt Claire politically at all.

      "We've got to save America from this President." John Edwards 4/3/07

      by TomP on Thu May 03, 2007 at 05:05:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think this is a violation (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      enough already, corvo, godislove

      You should really look into this -- churches can lose their nonprofit status for endorsing candidates, which this is.

      Turn 'em in. It's the only way to affect change, at least in this context.

      •  It's not an endorsment (5+ / 0-)

        To begin with, she is not running for anything.  Second, refusing to let someone come and speak at a private institution is a right of that private institution irrespective of reason.  

        Catholic Church has a message and an agenda (as do all other private groups).  It is not required to invite people to speak who may disagree with or dilute (in the Church's view) that message.  

        •  If you read carefully, Drgrishka1 (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I think you will find that Truthiness FL is addressing this:

          My Church, during voting times, runs the antiabortion candidates and the sinner candidates in the weekly bullitin.  They underline the pro-life people and urge people to vote for them.  

          That, IMHO, is over the line into illegal.

          "If you make yourself a sheep, the wolves will eat you." Benjamin Franklin

          by Matilda on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:00:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Irregardless of the legality... (0+ / 0-)

          It stinks like rotten meat. It's her own daughter's graduation. To deny the class the opertunity they wanted would be like the owner of a pharmacy refusing to stock birth control devices.

          Legal, but wrong at every level.

          This sentence has threee erors.

          by MouseOfSuburbia on Thu May 03, 2007 at 10:38:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  This Is Who They Are (15+ / 0-)

      I'm sorry, but the Catholic Church is a political institution that is simply enforcing its views.  There's a cold reality here, which is better grasped than fought - that this so-called church is a convenient shell for right wing politics and its servants.

      I may get trolled, but I really lament the number of progressives (especially women) who continue to sign on with this regressive institution "led" only by men - and then try to dissociate when needed.  It makes no sense.  

      Signed, ex-Catholic.

      •  I've never understood (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        how so many women are associated with Christian religions. It's hardly different than a black man joining the KKK. Nothing like massochistic behavior.

        Then again, how did so many women vote for Bush..and many many did.

        Not that any of this puts whites or white men off the hook..they lead most of the stupidity around here.

        Whackos get their info thru the Christian right. We'll bring them out to vote against something and make sure the public lets the whole thing slip past them.

        by chemsmith on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:59:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Women are used to being in a sexist culture/world (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharoney, mamamedusa

        The church is more than it's administrators. I barely even call myself an ex-Catholic since I left the church as a teenager (left a child's vision of the church) but I can understand people who won't give up their church just because the male hierarchy has squatters rights over the altar. That would be like American women turning away from American politics.

        •  Disagree (0+ / 0-)

          I never get used to it and won't voluntarily associate with institutions that keep it going.  I don't understand progressives who keep a magic loophole for the Catholic Church, when they run from all other institutions with similar agendas.  

          •  More to Catholicism than the Pope (0+ / 0-)

            If Catholicism were just Pope Benedict XVI and the Curia, then it would be a branch of the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church.  

            In the first six decades of the century, southern and eastern Europeans suffered from workplace and religious discrimination;  they were invisible to American society unless they were criminals or cleaning ladies.  Mill owners exploited them without mercy while politicians took them for granted.  

            In the case of Polish-Americans, the Roman Catholic Church and the trade-union movement deserve much of the credit for our entry into the middle and upper-middle class, generally leapfrogging our old persecutors.  That a Pole was elected Pope by the Cardinals, and then proceeded to liberate Poland just added luster to the Church's reputation.  

            Not only that, but most progressive Catholics' beliefs comes precisely and directly from the humanistic teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.  One can abhor abortion and campaign for a Democratic President because fewer women have abortions when Democrats are in power.  

            The ban on voting for Democrats is a novelty, restricted to a few right-wing bishops, and not always carried out.  

            There is also the gratification of the senses in Catholicism that most of Protestantism jettisoned and is only now starting to recover.  It's also very hard to give up Mary; "St. Mary the Virgin" does not seem right.  

            Dems in 2008: An embarassment of riches. Repubs in 2008: Embarassments.

            by Yamaneko2 on Thu May 03, 2007 at 01:11:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Revoke their tax exempt status (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, Cali Techie

      if they are promoting political candidates.

    •  LOL. You win (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the understatement of the century!!!!!! You wonder??? Really???

      Whackos get their info thru the Christian right. We'll bring them out to vote against something and make sure the public lets the whole thing slip past them.

      by chemsmith on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:54:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Perhaps you should send... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Freakinout daily, corvo

      ...copies of the church bulletins to the IRS and see if they'll investigate pulling the church's 501(c)(3) status...

      9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

      by varro on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:57:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Stop wondering (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joe Bob, corvo, mamamedusa

      It is.  Led by the same guy who denied communion to Kerry in 2004.  He also just pulled out of his position on the board of a children's hospital in town because Sheryl Crow is on the board as well, and evidently he will become unclean if he works with her because of her views on abortion.

    •  Religious involvement in politics goes way back (0+ / 0-)

      So far back, in fact, that it was being practiced in the cave.  I find it repulsive.  I would not be a member of a church that went so far as to endorse candidates.

      But remember that a church is also a business.  Vows of poverty or not, the administrators and staff expect to get paid.

      If I were you, I would just send the diocese (sp?) a letter.  Just let them know that until they stop endorsing candidates for office, you won't be giving them any money.  Get lots of people to write letters like that.  Better yet, get a petition going.  Then get the signers to stick to it.

      Kick 'em where it counts--in the wallet.

      Real Patriots Love Freedom

      by greasymadness on Thu May 03, 2007 at 09:06:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's these 'single issue' people... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That brought us the Temperance Movement.  And look how that turned out.

      May 1, 2003 - "A day which will live in bogasity" - Keith Olbermann

      by RichM on Thu May 03, 2007 at 09:23:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I wonder (not really -- they made their stand plenty clear in 2004) where they stand on the illegal, immoral, unnecessary war in Iraq that has killed hundreds of thousands of people.

    •  well (0+ / 0-)
      involved in politics.  It just might come back and bite them in the future.
      Frankly, I'm more and more irritated by those constant veiled and not so veiled threats against my church.

      Let me put it bluntly - political intimidation isn't a bit more appropriate or appealing when it comes from democrats than when it comes from republicans. Can't you please just accept that there are people opposed to your views and argue against them, instead of threatening them ?

      This school is calling itself a Catholic one, and public proponents of abortion aren't appropriate speakers for such an institution. Somebody reminded them of that fact (not the bishop personally, even) and they acted accordingly. Yes, this was embarrassing for the school, as they apparently had not had their policy issues straightened out upfront, and I hope they apologized accordingly tho McCaskill. Disinviting  somebody is impolite and shows bad planning.

      The church's primary (and overriding) mission is proclamation of faith, and for this it is essential for them, more than for any politician, that they stay on message. Staying on message in such a large organization means occasional corrective measures, and we've seen one here.

      That's nothing exceptional, and the outburst of hate here is totally unwarranted. If we can't politely agree to disagree we haven't learned the most basic rule of democracy.

  •  Former Catholic, now UU here (30+ / 0-)

    The UU stands for Unitarian Universalist.

    After just so much reactionary "church teachings," and no longer wanting to associate with a patriarchal institution, I decided that I needed a new home for those moments in my life for spiritual engagement.

    Good luck, and I understand your frustration, but I am not surprised to hear about what you have described.

    Stop bitching and start a revolution!

    by Randian on Thu May 03, 2007 at 02:44:37 AM PDT

  •  wow. (21+ / 0-)

    it is pretty outrageous.  I'm very uncomfortable with this trend towards ostracizing anyone from any form of public discourse who doesn't toe the line on their key religious doctrines.  This is very unfair and hurtful.  And if I were a parent at the school I'd be even more outraged that my child was losing an opportunity to hear a national figure speak because of some bizarre need to pronounce anathema on anyone who doesn't agree with them 100%.  Surely they've educated those children well enough they can trust them to use their own reason and judgement?

  •  I wish you would have (6+ / 0-)

    named the Bishops and or Archbishops involved.  Without names you leave the reader with the choice of either not caring, or condemining the entire Roman Catholic Church.

    Madison, Wisconsin has a similar hateful Bishop in charge, Bishop Morlino, a man who is an apologist for the Scool of the America's who teach rightists in South America how to brutalize and torture, and who demanded that all Catholics vote for the gay marriage ban amendment last November.

    God is not a Republican, nor is he obsessed with abortion and gays.  It is the Archbishops and Bishops who put their personal agendas into the mouth of God.

    "My name's Dr. Multimillionaire and I kicked your ass." --Rep. Steve Kagen D-WI to Karl Rove

    by walja on Thu May 03, 2007 at 02:49:35 AM PDT

  •  Systematic child molestation with impunity : good (23+ / 0-)

    Curing disease : bad

    Bless me, father, for I have sinned.

    YOU have sinned?  Shit, the past two popes have totally enabled serial child molesters.  Yikes.  It's not just a mortal sin, it's a felony.  Not to mention just about as humanly slimy as imaginable.  Fucking the children who look to you for spiritual nurturance.

    Mea culpa apparently doesn't apply to the guys in the funny clothes.

    I let my dues lapse to the Universal, Apostolic, Holy Roman Catholic Church.  Just because of the whole fucking the children thing.

    I guarantee 100% the impeachment/resignation (in disgrace) of Cheney&Bush. I am the Hellhound of Impeachment and I WILL prevail.

    by Ghost of Frank Zappa on Thu May 03, 2007 at 02:57:20 AM PDT

  •  as an ex-Catholic (9+ / 0-)

    and now secular-humanist, I never figured out the Catholic Church.  On the one hand, we have Dostoyevski's Grand Inquisitor model here in Europe and also in North America.

    But then you look at Latin America, were so many priest and nuns have been murdered for being on the Left.

    I just have not been able to figure them out.

    The law was made for one thing alone, for the exploitation of those who don't understand it, or are prevented by naked misery from obeying it. -Bertolt Brecht

    by Jeffersonian Democrat on Thu May 03, 2007 at 03:01:31 AM PDT

    •  I still identify them with the left (9+ / 0-)

      Certainly in Boston.

      We were taught that you do anything for the weak and the poor. Business never rated a discussion nor did any issues involving sin other than the commandments.

      Stem Cells? Some of the most advanced hospitals are Catholic hospitals. I wonder how their staff feel?

      This sentence has threee erors.

      by MouseOfSuburbia on Thu May 03, 2007 at 03:07:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But those in Latin America have been betrayed (9+ / 0-)

      by the Catholic Church, haven't they?  

      The Church turned a blind eye and implicitly ignored the crimes against these priests and nuns. That gave the wingnut death squads the impunity to murder them and sow the fear to stand up.

      <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

      by bronte17 on Thu May 03, 2007 at 04:11:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  loyalty to an uncaring ruler (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The 'low level' Catholic priests come in all varieties, but probably more good than bad.  However, the Catholic church has somehow trained most of them into extraordinary devotion to a top-level hierarchy which is mostly interested in power and mind control -- ruling the world -- not in helping them.

      This is not an unusual phenomenon; consider peasant loyalty to their lords or kings, most of whom couldn't have cared less about the peasants, except to take the proceeds of their labor.

      Poor Republicans who support Bush probably represent the same phenomenon.

      -5.63, -8.10 | Impeach, Convict, Remove & Bar from Office, Arrest, Indict, Convict, Imprison!

      by neroden on Thu May 03, 2007 at 10:36:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Eh. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miss Blue, SpecialKinFlag

    While I agree that the school was being more than a little asshatish, it's a graduation, and if they don't want it to get political (which having the Senator speak at would accomplish, res ipsa), then maybe just letting this one go is a good idea. If they were banning McCaskill from attending her daughter's graduation, that would be one thing, and worth getting upset about. Choosing to go another route with their keynote speaker is another.

  •  Separation of Church & State? (10+ / 0-)

    There also needs to be a serious movement within the church to separate itself from its own past. This lurching, angry and nasty drive to turn back the clock will be the death of the Catholic Church. It seems the "official and accepted" politics for clergy come from the Opus Dei handbook of reactionary and ultraconservative ideology.

    Jesus wept.

    Land in your hand you'll be happy on earth Then invest in the Church for your heaven.

    by Splicer on Thu May 03, 2007 at 03:09:07 AM PDT

    •  That's just it. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cathy b, Immigrant Punk

      It's all new to me.

      This sentence has threee erors.

      by MouseOfSuburbia on Thu May 03, 2007 at 03:11:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Indeed. (5+ / 0-)

      The Church losing the ability to force adherence through systematic terrorization of the polulace has a lot to do with it, I think.

      Despite some noises from JPII about being sorry for "the burning times," the Church hasn't even begun to atone for its sins.

      "the people have the power to redeem the work of fools" --Patti Smith

      by Immigrant Punk on Thu May 03, 2007 at 03:36:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not so sure ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cathy b, Splicer

      that this will be the death of the Catholic Church.

      This isn't just some old farts with power. Somehow, they are appealing to young women who should know better.

      My liberal-minded, well-educated, agnostic, feminist friend has a daughter who converted to Catholicism 7 years ago when she was 14.

      I've known this young woman since she was in elementary school and watched with horror as she morphed into a right-wing, anti-feminist reactionary.

      On full-ride merit scholarship to one of the Ivies, she is the current president of the school's Right-to-Life chapter. This summer, after graduation she's marrying into a reactionary, Opus Dei Catholic family.

      I understand kids wanting to rebel against their parents, but this is waaaaay off the charts.

      I don't get it.

      "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

      by annan on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:12:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's just weird, (0+ / 0-)

        and most likely so off-the-charts rare as that it shouldn't be something we need to worry about. It doesn't sound like the conservative wing of the church is what is appealing to this girl as much as feeling that she has something to prove by being completely different.

        It's the Alex P. Keaton gene--and I'd like to think he grew up, mellowed out, became ashamed of the Republicans, and now supports stem cell research.

      •  Authoritarian personality (0+ / 0-)

        Read John Dean's book "Conservatives without Conscience". Upbringing matters, but some people just want to serve an authority, about 20% according to Altemeyer's research. If the daughter had been shown another authority/belief system, she might have gone differently. I say this as an agnostic/atheist. If you see authortarian follower like tendencies in a child, they should be directed as much as possible in a positive direction. Doesn't have to be religious, though religion is an easy choice.

        I think we as a country need to start learning about this as it is a major force in how we have become totally screwed over the last 20-30 years.

  •  Italy. (13+ / 0-)

    Italy is 87.7% Catholic, and yet, the right to an abortion is guaranteed by law. Yet this is not an issue for the Catholic Church in Italy. (Please note source.)

    Something for both pro-choice Americans, and American Catholics, to consider.

    As for the right-to-life-for-stem-cell Catholics.... that argument might be viable (no pun intended) of each and every Catholic you meet at the next anti-war demo.

    As for me... another proud Claire McCaskill supporter!

    "the people have the power to redeem the work of fools" --Patti Smith

    by Immigrant Punk on Thu May 03, 2007 at 03:28:31 AM PDT

    •  Abortion is only an issue in America (9+ / 0-)

      because the corporate owned GOP has recognized that they could use this issue in order to win over millions of evangelical Christian voters, many of whom do not have any other reason to vote Republican.  Most GOP politicians could care less about whether abortion is legal or illegal.  In fact Tom Delay didn't have any problem with   forced abortions that were done in order to help out his corporate friends.  They just take advantage of this wedge issue election after election.  Because in this country the abortion issue is not a top priority for those who are pro-choice, but it is most certainly a top priority for those who are anti-choice.

      •  When we regain the executaty in 08.... (0+ / 0-)

        and expand our hold on congress....

        we should consider codifying abortion rights in law.

        "the people have the power to redeem the work of fools" --Patti Smith

        by Immigrant Punk on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:33:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Abortion is an issue in the US (0+ / 0-)

        because unlike other Western countries, the law was not enacted with the consent of the population but rather announced by judges.  In all other countries, the law was enacted by the legislature or the populace.

        Furthermore, there are plenty of European countries that ban or severely restrict abortion, to wit, Ireland, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Malta, Austria, Liechtestein, Luxembourg, Monaco, San Marino.

  •  i'm guessing (14+ / 0-)

    if cheney was uninvited to speak at a commencement for being a "war criminal" then you'd be hearing about the "patriotism" of the school involved.

  •  THE ARCHBISHOP (7+ / 0-)

    in that diocese is nothing but a jackbooted nazi republican thug; is anyone shocked that this happened?

  •  I think the word you want is 'disinvited'. (5+ / 0-)

    Teacher's Lounge opens every Saturday between 11 am and noon. It's not just for teachers.

    by rserven on Thu May 03, 2007 at 04:10:12 AM PDT

  •  I would love to read...just once (15+ / 0-)

    a story about some Catholic politicians being denied communion or being banned from speaking because they support the death penalty.

    The RCC is moving farther and farther to the political right and they have always been political.  Anyone who doubts it is naive.

    WE have five right wing Catholic Justices on the SCOTUS. They are the ones who threaten the rights of women.  The are the ones making a mockery of the constitution.  This is not five judges raised in Jerry Fallwells literalist church of "I hate You".  This is not five members of the Asembly of God or the Mormons.  This is the RCC.

  •  Loyola banned Guiliiani (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They do it for both sides.

    •  Only because he's pro-choice (6+ / 0-)

      The Catholic Church has become an abortion/hate the gays org.  Since Guiliani is liberal on those issues, he is denied.  He's not right wing enough for them.

      •  The RCC makes a stand on abortion (0+ / 0-)

        Why are you spinning this wrong?

        You cannot force your beliefs on anybody.

        I have a lesbian cousin who is a catholic and she even prays the novena and rosary to ask that her girlfriend reconciles with her.

        The RCC teaches forgiveness and realizes everyone is a sinner.  It is their duty to teach what Jesus taught-

        And if you are not a Catholic or religious you just have to respect us.  Dont force your beliefs on us.

        •  What did Jesus say about abortion? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          davidincleveland, esquimaux, Spekkio

          Or life at conception?

          Just wondering.

          Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

          by upstate NY on Thu May 03, 2007 at 08:15:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  For starter (0+ / 0-)

            Thou shall not kill

            •  Looks like you're lying on Jesus.* (5+ / 0-)

              Can you link to a bible verse quoting Jesus, where he says "Thou shalt not kill?" That's right.. you can't. And don't bother to look for the verse where he said "Thou shalt not commit adultery." Jesus never said that one either.

              Lying in the name of your personal beliefs is a no-no around here. You've been a member long enough to know this. You are also attempting to hijack a diary; a further no-no.

              *I maintain a weary tolerance for all the religious kossaks who try to foist their personal beliefs onto the rest of us. I ignore their diaries and their comments, with one exception: Liars. Lying about your own prophet/son-of-god/religious authority, in order to score blog cred, is beneath contempt.

              davidsnest "No person should be a judge in his own case." -Sir Edward Coke [in 1610]

              by davidincleveland on Thu May 03, 2007 at 09:41:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Read the bible (0+ / 0-)

                Matt 5:17-20 :

                " Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed [the righteousness] of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. "

                And one of the 10 commandments is thou shall not kill.

            •  The commandment actually translates properly as (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ray Radlein, Spekkio

              "Thou shall not murder". Not all killing is necessarily murder.

              And as timber said, Jesus didn't mention anything like this anyway.

            •  By the way, this isn't abortion. (0+ / 0-)

              Read closely. The pill they are talking about prevents conception.

              If you happen to be ovulating a day or two after a rapist unloaded his sperm into you, then this option allows a woman to prevent that rapist's sperm from invading her egg.

              Got a problem with that? My Catholic High School didn't. In Biology class, my teacher taught us about contraception. In front of a classroom full of boys, this young woman brought out a dildo and gently inserted a condom after it. she held up a batch of Orthro for everyone to see. she showed us an IUD device (ugh!).

              Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

              by upstate NY on Thu May 03, 2007 at 04:16:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  "don't force your beliefs on us" ? Huh? (5+ / 0-)
          I didn't know that "we" were forcing Catholics to have abortions.
        •  Of course not... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          davidincleveland, SharaiP

          ...but this is not a religious occasion - it's a secular one, the graduation of a new class of young women, one of whom has a US Senator for a mother. I can understand if this was a Mass and the Senator was uninvited to attend because of her views. (Then again, isn't the RCC against contraception also? Perhaps the Pope should excommunicate any American Catholic found using a condom or the pill.)

          Seems to me that the only person forcing their beliefs on anyone here is the Archbishop.

          (1) D.I.E.B.O.L.D.: Decisive In Elections By Ousting Liberal Democrats.
          (2) R.A.T.S.: Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Scalia.

          by Archangel on Thu May 03, 2007 at 08:37:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I was born and raised Catholic. (0+ / 0-)

          Couldn't you tell?  We recovering Catholics are the most vocal.

          And, the Catholic Church has put abortion above all other issues, even war.  That's wrong.

  •  It's the selective pick of abortion that I hate (9+ / 0-)

    If the Catholic Church also banned anyone who was pro-death penalty you could take it seriously.

    The capital punishment position is every bit as important as the abortion position as far as the Pope is concerned.

    I frankly don't understand how Rome lets the American bishops get away with this bullshit.

    What did you do with the cash Joe?

    by roguetrader2000 on Thu May 03, 2007 at 05:03:21 AM PDT

    •  It was the Pope who wanted Kerry (6+ / 0-)

      denied communion.  Ratzinger wasn't pope yet, but it was his letter that spurred on some bishops to deny Kerry communion.  Given how heavily Catholic Ohio is, I don't think it's an exaggeration to opine that Pope Benedict threw the election to Bush.

      •  However... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The Vatican also stated that Bush wasn't much better because he supported the Iraq war and the death penalty, so voters were to vote their conscience in this one because both of the candidates were actively engaging in sinful acts.

        Unfortunately, that message was released late in the election process.

        'One and all, bold as brass, they sit there pretending to pray, but cocking their eyes on the chances and counting up their cash.' - Petronius

        by somnambule on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:21:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ratzinger's "secret" letter after Bishops acted (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        beachmom, neroden, esquimaux

        Here's the issue as first phrased by CBS in April 2004 around Easter.

        Kerry's Communion Controversy

        The bishops in June 2004 issued:

        Catholics in political life

        it basically said that

        The question has been raised as to whether the denial of Holy Communion to some Catholics in political life is necessary because of their public support for abortion on demand. Given the wide range of circumstances involved in arriving at a prudential judgment on a matter of this seriousness, we recognize that such decisions rest with the individual bishop in accord with the established canonical and pastoral principles. Bishops can legitimately make different judgments on the most prudent course of pastoral action. Nevertheless, we all share an unequivocal commitment to protect human life and dignity and to preach the Gospel in difficult times.

        The only public comment regarding Rome's position was a sign-off on the statement above.

        Ratzinger says "Catholics in Political Life" OK

        At some point in this time frame, Ratzinger is purported to have sent a secret letter regarding this issue.

        The only places that I can find that cite explicit support in that letter from Rome for the denial of communion to John Kerry are NewsMax, the Washington Times, etc.  They are parrotting spin from pro-life organizations that imply that they saw such a letter.  

        If people in Ohio voted based on this belief, its the pro-life version of a Swiftboating.

        What did you do with the cash Joe?

        by roguetrader2000 on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:53:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Death penalty and abortion are not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      equivalent in the Catholic dogma as far as I understand.  Abortion, in Church's view, by definition, takes an innocent life and there is absolutely no excuse for it whatever.  Death penalty on the other hand, doe not take an innocent life and therefore the prohibition on it is not absolute.  

      In his Encyclical, "Evangelium Vitae," (1995), John Paul II wrote that execution is permissible "in cases of absolute necessity, in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society."  However, he cautioned that "[t]oday, [] as a result of steady immprovement in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically nonexistent."

      But as you can see, it is not absolute.

  •  It's merely Authoritarianism in different (6+ / 0-)

    raiment, it seems to me.  

    From my early teens, I've mistrusted those who purport to "speak for God" or who appropriate for themselves the role of being more authoritative interpreters of God's Will than the rest of us.  They keep the flock in line with the same fear-mongering that Republicans use.

    It seems that all hierarchical entities (especially the paternalisitic ones) organized around monotheistic belief systems end up being about power and politics foremost and simply use The Bible or their interpretation of God's Will as an enforcement mechanism.  The Quran and derived Sharia Law are often used to justify Muslim theocracies and condemnation of all things "secular."  The Catholic Church effectively was the state in Europe for a long time.  America's founding fathers attempted to integrate a separation of church and state to avoid domination by what was essentially a "foreign government", the Church of England (or any church, for that matter).

    Corporate leaders, "captains of industry", proclaim themselves to be the sole defenders of "Free-market Capitalism" (a religion in its own right) while doing everything in their power to supress free markets and preserve the status quo of their own power and control.

    Authoritarians tend to support each other against the common threat of those who would question their authority.

    It's all the same to me and no big surprise.

    "You are coming to a sad realization. CANCEL or ALLOW?"

    by sxwarren on Thu May 03, 2007 at 05:21:26 AM PDT

  •  Claire is my Senator... (7+ / 0-)

    ..and she is classy and a fighter.  The Church is a fucked up mess.

  •  this is why (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cathy b, corvo, esquimaux

    i do not like or condone or get involved with anything to do with religion.  to me almost all religion is just another form of intolerance.  the underpinings of religion -- helping, love they neighbor is all great -- but as the archbishop shows --- the politics of religion is more important than the teachings

    as a Jew i find the archbishop's behavior outrageous --- i also find the behavior of many orthodox rabbis and some conservative ones completely contrartrian and archaic...probably even worse.  orthodox jews treat women as if they are non-existant other than as baby machines and housekeepers.

    therefore i have chosen to have NO involvement in any religious activities --- even when my parents have a Passover seder i say "if you are doing the service -- count me out...."

    He may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot...Groucho Marx

    by distributorcap on Thu May 03, 2007 at 05:47:12 AM PDT

  •  With the Church, only sex matters. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pb, cathy b, chimpwatch, corvo, DC Scott

    War?  Poverty?  That is secondary to the immorality of having sex outside of marriage and procreation.  I left the Church years ago, and don't miss it one bit.  Back in the '60s, there were priests who were protesting the Vietnam War.  Now, the Church has become another bastion of the Religious Right.

    Quite frankly, this doesn't surprise me -- the Church is now run by small minded men who only want to take rights away from women while they deny women access to leadership positions in the Church.  I could go on and on.  But really, for a liberal, I just don't think the Catholic Church is friendly territory anymore the way it used to be.  With Benedict at the helm, it's only going to get worse.

    •  Unless the priests are doing it (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pb, pletzs, cathy b, beachmom, corvo, esquimaux

      The Church set new standards of hypocrisy with their coverup of the sexual abuse of children by priests. It has destroyed many congregations and dioceses.

      It's sad to see that the decisions of the hierarchy are destroying the Church, it had once been a force for good. Now, congregations are being closed, no one wants to become a priest or nun, donations have decreased, but the bishops are in denial every bit as deep as Bush's.

      Sadly, this same arrogant, isolated hierarchy elected a reactionary to run the place for the next few years. The Roman Catholic Church has no chance of reform until a new pope is elected.

    •  Yeah, the priests (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, esquimaux, DC Scott

      They won't allow an elected US Senator near these girls for fear of harming their souls, or some shit, but they'll gladly keep suppling a known pederast with a fresh supply of young boys. Absolutely disgusting, these priorities.

  •  If the situation was reversed... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pb, Catte Nappe, corvo, snazzzybird

    ...and an anti-abortion speaker was un-invited to speak at a secular college, the right wingers would call it an outrageous example of political correctness run amok.  

    •  That would be quite different (0+ / 0-)

      unless one of the core beliefs of that secular college was the right to an abortion.

      In any event though, if it were a private secular college that too can disinvite anyone they want.

      •  Of course... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...colleges are free to invite or not invite speakers as they see fit.

        "political correctness" isn't about something being legal or illegal; it's about declaring some views and/or words off limits in a particular venue.  

        BTW - I'm not even saying it's a bad thing, necessarily.  I only mean to point out that whether something is described as "political correctness" usually depends on whose ox is being gored.  

  •  Is this really surprising? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidincleveland, corvo

    The Catholic church in America is obsessed with sex and abortion.  You don't have to turn your cross upside down and worship satan.  Just take it off your wall and don't worship anyone or anything.  It's not good for you.

    "There's no way I'm going to put myself through Sandhurst and then sit on my arse back home while my boys are out fighting for their country." Prince Harry

    by SpiderStumbled22 on Thu May 03, 2007 at 05:53:16 AM PDT

    •  If we stop being surprised, (0+ / 0-)

      that's when they take over. We should be shocked when Catholics are close-minded, and our shock should remind them of what the savior they profess to love would say about their behavior.

      Yeah, I am surprised--the best Catholics I've known are kind, loving, simple people who care about the poor, the environment, making a better world. The fact that 90% of the current hierarchy aren't these types doesn't mean that the real ones aren't still there, trying to make things better in small, simple ways.

  •  It's good when churches show their true colors (6+ / 0-)

    The girls there should know how close-minded their religion is and this incident shows that quiet nicely.

    I am for anything that tarishes any religion because I am a Dawkins/Harris/Hitchens devotee!!

    •  I'm not religious, either (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pb, corvo

      But that doesn't mean I like to see religious groups using their moral authority to sell intolerance and hate. Every time a religious leader engages in such behavior, we are all diminished.

      Burke is a total fool. No competent corporate executive (called Pope in this company) would have ever put him in such a position of authority. He should have been canned when he was alienating adherents in LaCrosse.

    •  yes their extremist response... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pb, corvo

      shows they have painted themselves into an ideological corner.

      Its really pity when a religion goes all control-freaky, like our
      government has.

      -- Don

      I don't understand why we cannot just all get along.

      by Blue State 68 on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:07:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The catholic church has always been... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pmcmscot, corvo

        Control freaky, but because it's so big, individual churches,dioceses, even countries can pick up their own style of doing things, and it doesn't get back to the vatican until the shit hits the fan.

        So, say, a catholic church in Boston may be liberal; the churches in french canada are even moreso (I've been to both), though they're all on the same page in terms of contraception/abortion/whatever-- they may just leave that be, though, and focus on things like helping the poor instead of sermonising hellfire and brimstone. And a church somewhere else may be extremely conservative.

        The current pope is much more conservative-- he thinks, for example, that homosexuality, feminism, new age religions are 'at war' with the vatican, and authored papers along those lines along with his friends in the vatican's scholarly circles.

        The previous pope, on the other hand, still had the agenda of assimilating those believers, but he tried to do it through reconciliation to show how nice and happy the cathoic church was (so wouldn't you like to join such loving folks, unless you're gay or don't want fifteen kids, etc).

        'One and all, bold as brass, they sit there pretending to pray, but cocking their eyes on the chances and counting up their cash.' - Petronius

        by somnambule on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:15:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not every religion is detrimental. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xanthe, barbwires

      I'm clergy, and I believe in such things as evolution, science, and the necessity of having a rational mind and thoughtful analysis and discourse.

      Just because you have a problem with fundamentalism doesn't mean that you have to paint all religions with the same broad brush.

      'One and all, bold as brass, they sit there pretending to pray, but cocking their eyes on the chances and counting up their cash.' - Petronius

      by somnambule on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:10:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Religion vs. mind control. (0+ / 0-)

        I think the fundamental problem is the religious tendency toward mind control.

        Doctrines (a/k/a dogma) are an expression of this.  The idea that "blind faith" is good is another expression of the same problem.  Promoting the authority of religious figures and promoting obedience to them is another expression of the same problem.

        Religion which lacks these aspects can be beneficial.  Religion which promotes either is detrimental.

        Doctrines tell people to turn their brains off; they are effectively mind control.  They are anti-Enlightenment.  We all have the right to make up our own minds, and doctrines deny that right.

        "Blind faith" encourages people to turn their brains off too.  It is anti-science; it helps people believe that which is provably false.  By encouraging people to stop using their powers of obeservation and intellect, it makes it easier to control their minds.  

        Clearly authority figures, who people are supposed to follow even if they disagree, are part of the same mind-control schema.

        A religion with none of these features can quite possibly be excellent.  Unitarian Universalism and Congregationalism, and to a lesser extent Anglicanism, appear to have gone largely in this direction.  19th Century Baptism did too, to some extent.  However, other Christian examples are hard to find; mind control is very standard in Christianity.  Catholicism is a particularly interesting and pernicious case, because there is a strong freethinker trend in Catholic thought, but it's continously suppressed by the church hierarchy.

        In contrast, Taoism is pretty much all freethinkers.  Buddhism has gone through massive changes in different regions, but the earliest forms are very free-thinking.
        Despite the existence of fundamentalist forms of Judaism, most of the current branches, from Reconstructionist to Modern Orthodox, are substantially on the freethinker's side.

        Sunni Islam is generally authoritarian; Shi'a Islam encourages decentralized authority and personal religious interpretation, and Sufi traditions are very individualistic.

        Just to run through the ones I know a little bit about off the top of my head.  :-)

        -5.63, -8.10 | Impeach, Convict, Remove & Bar from Office, Arrest, Indict, Convict, Imprison!

        by neroden on Thu May 03, 2007 at 10:54:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Have you heard about Brights... (0+ / 0-)

      may want to add that to your list.

      Dawkins and Dennett...reframing their ideas.

      When you have to buy free speech, only the rich have a voice. Bill Moyers

      by Pink Lady on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:10:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How things have changed. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pb, MariaSquared, corvo, Wide Awake in NJ

    I am increasingly alarmed at the way the Catholic church is strongarming political discourse, it's faithful, and jumping on the fundamentalism bandwagon.  For a time, the Catholic Church was a haven for enlightened thinkers,especially in the United States. I think that time has passed.  I think at some point, researchers or civil servants could be ex-communicated.  I agree that at least there was a time when anyone could say what they wanted, and then a counter argument could be made.  there was always room for discourse, at least in the Church I grew up in.  

    I was raised Catholic, but have a diverse extended family.  I have never felt so estranged from my Church as I do now, and have been seeking another.

    •  I remember when the church was progressive.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pmcmscot, esquimaux

      ....I don't know maybe I just was lucky but the church I knew growing up in the South Side of Chicago was progressive, the only institution that embraced Latino immigrants, sought justice for the poor, opposed capital punishment. But those days are gone, have been gone for a long time. I stopped officially being a Catholic as soon as I left my parents' house so I never saw from the inside the effect that Roe v. Wade has had on the church. Such a shame.

    •  The Episcopal Church would welcome you n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pine, barbwires
      •  Depends on the congregation. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        barbwires, esquimaux

        Episcopal Church is showing big schismatic cracks in the facade.  Not just over gays either, nor is this recent.  I had a friend in college whose Episcopal congregation in Helena, Arkansas was theologically indistinguishable from the Southern Baptist Convention.

        •  Schism (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          barbwires, klw1963

          My view on the schism is that some congregations are no longer going to be part of the Episcopal Church.  And I don't really have a problem with that.  The Episcopal Church will live through their departure.

          I'd be perfectly happy to see those who are Southern Baptists at heart go find a church more suited to their predilections.  They'd make more space for disaffected Catholics and Unitarians who want to meet in the middle.

      •  bingo (0+ / 0-)

        I am an ex-Roman Catholic who wandered into an Episcopal Church for the first time five years ago. I've never looked back. While the Episcopalians have a loud minority of wingnuts, the church's liberal leadership stays away from politics and for the most part, "gets it" on cultural issues like gay rights.

    •  I agree... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and left Catholicism behind many years ago. I especially feel as you do:

      I am increasingly alarmed at the way the Catholic church is strongarming political discourse...

      A relative of mine who attends a Catholic middle school told me about a lecture her class was subjected to on the issues of abortion. The speaker didn't talk about the moral or spiritual, church-related concerns which would've been a logical thing to discuss in Catholic school. Instead, the speaker was an obvious right-wing nut who spent the time maligning Bill Clinton, praising the Bush administration, and basically spreading political talking points about the delusional "culture of life."

      The girl was quite upset about it, since she is very aware of politics and thought the lecture was very inappropriate since it was much more right-wing than it was Catholic. Sadly, many of her classmates don't know the difference.

  •  This situation mirrors (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pb, Catte Nappe, DC Scott

    one in a school I both attended and taught.  Back in the 80s, the school, an all-girls Catholic High School, miraculously got Geraldine Ferraro to speak at graduation.  For the same reasons, the diocese put pressure on the nuns to disinvite -- I was embarassed for my alma mater that those nuns caved.

    For bishops who spent such a great deal of time protecting pedophiles to interfere in such a way sickens me.

    "What journalism in America chiefly suffers from today is the lack of alert and competent professional criticism." H.L. Mencken 1927

    by gchaucer2 on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:08:15 AM PDT

  •  power of the purse (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    barbwires, DC Scott, Mesquite

    if Claire has other daughters at the school, I would encourage her to fund other ways of education for them.

  •  Cardinal Law did do it in Boston... (5+ / 0-)

    ... or specifically, Hudson Catholic, in 1991.

    You wrote:

    However, I don't ever remember any one of them banning or even speaking down about anybody on political grounds.

    Paul Cellucci (ex-LtGov, ex-Gov, MA; ex-Ambassador, Canada) was uninvited from speaking at the commencement for his alma mater in 1991.

    This has been policy, from what I as an outsider can tell, since the late '80s.

    1/31/07: Mooninites: The most overblown case of prosecution for littering since Alice's Restaurant.

    by FlyingToaster on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:09:51 AM PDT

  •  Cardinal Burke (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    checkmate, DC Scott, TomP

    Recently, there was a benefit at Cardinal Glennon Childrens Hospital to help kids with cancer. Burke, the moron cardinal, boycots the benefit because Cheryl Crow (another famous-liberal-female St Louisian)agreed to donate the proceeds from her concert to the hospital benefit. According to Cardinal Burke, he could not in good conscience be affiliated with Cheryl Crown because of her views on stem cell research and abortion.

    The media firestorm that followed was the most frustrating thing about this story. We have a warm hearted story about a bunch of kids with cancer getting help from the community. Then suddenly its no longer about the about Cardinal Burke and his politics (and make no mistakes, it was politics, not religion).

    I am not Catholic...frankly, I'm not even Christian. I just don't understand a faith who's founder, that represents so much kindness and generosity, could turn its back on these qualities in the name of such rigid dogma that is so obviously self serving. It truely is shameful the way the conservative leadership in all the denominations of Christianity behave. They affirm my decission to turn my back on the religious faith of my childhood... Shameful.

    Justice is Fairness

    by rawls on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:10:40 AM PDT

    •  When I think of all the Religious Wars.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, DC Scott

      well, that does it for me.

      Riches and power...

      When you have to buy free speech, only the rich have a voice. Bill Moyers

      by Pink Lady on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:15:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sheryl Crow? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rawls, Schmoopdawg, jkb246

      So this rule applies to more than politicians?

      If they're going to restrict their participation to people who agree with Church views regarding abortion, contraception, stem cell research and sexuality....they're going to have some pretty empty buildings.

      Check out Answer Guy Online. Thoughts from a bottomless pool of useless information.

      by Answer Guy on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:37:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They already do (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Hense Comprehensive Immigration Reform.  They are the big backers of the program because most Mexicans are Catholic.  Lou brings that up all of the time

      •  Important Point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It's one thing for the Church to say that a person can't come to a Catholic school and talk about certain topics. I can imagine that many liberal-leaning schools wouldn't want their commencement speaker to come and talk about their pro-NRA stance.

        It's another to require them complete a "values inventory" prior to stepping foot on the campus. Are ALL the teachers and administrators anti-choice? Are they ALL against stem cell research? Do ANY of them where condoms or take the pill to diminish the sacredness of the sperm?

        I work at a Catholic college, and I sure ain't Catholic. I'm also pro-choice and very much in favor of stem cell research. I got to imagine that we have had MANY commencement speakers that were openly not supportive of the Catholic Church's stance on a number of issues.

        The ol' archbishop made a bad decision.

  •  Church of Republicans only? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, DC Scott

    During the 2004 Presidential Election, a priest that had worked so hard for our community and brought so many new people into the Church weekly, appeared on stage with John Kerry during a Kerry visit. He was promptly transferred to a smaller out of the way church. I quit going. And have not been back since. The Catholic Church should wake up. My God is not political.

  •  Again, it's a church, not a public forum. If (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poemless, Catte Nappe, Drgrishka1

    an invited speaker had spouted anti-semitic remarks, or anti-Papal remarks, would the school then be justified? Or if an invited speaker was an outspoken campaigner to allow priests to marry, would the school be justified?

    While I do not agree with the schools position, I'm not a Catholic, do not hold to any faith in fact, but am committed to allowing others to follow whatever faith they have - as long as they don't try to force it on anyone. This Church school is fully justified in not inviting her, unfortunately.

    17. Ne5

    In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

    by Spud1 on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:12:16 AM PDT

    •  John Paul II, though... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spud1, TomP

      Invited many people of different faiths and beliefs to the Vatican, and met with many more people who didn't always agree with the church's beliefs.

      If he was secure enough in his faith to do that, you'd think they would.

      'One and all, bold as brass, they sit there pretending to pray, but cocking their eyes on the chances and counting up their cash.' - Petronius

      by somnambule on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:18:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sure that there are still some Catholic (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Churches that refuse to marry divorcees.

        17. Ne5

        In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

        by Spud1 on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:21:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ummm... Vatican is also an independent (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        state, i.e., a political entity.  Meeting with foreign and religious dignitaries does not dilute Vatican's message.  The Pope didn't let them speak from the pulpit of St. Peter's, though, did he?

        •  A tremendous mistake (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Spud1, kellyb628, esquimaux

          to have recreated the Vatican as a political entity.

          We can all thank Mussolini for that one.

          •  Why? I don't see it as a problem at all nt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            •  We're glad you're here (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              to help us make our points.

              •  That doesn't explain how having Vatican (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sawgrass727, Mesquite

                as a state is a problem.  Do share.

                •  Status at the UN (0+ / 0-)

                  no other religion is able to address the UN with the same degree of leverage as actual governments, except the Holy See. Other religions are instead treated as NGOs.

                  The Holy See does not meet the international legal definitions of statehood yet is accorded this status in the UN.

                  More info .here

                  •  You're not quite correct here. From the (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    document you cite:

                    The Holy See and Switzerland are the only two entities at the UN that have the unique status of Non-Member State Permanent Observer.

                    Your point is that The Vatican should not be considered a country at the UN for some reason, and yet principalities like Liechenstein and Monaco are, monarchies like Saudi Arabia are, and dictatorships are. What are these legal definitions you cite to mean if we let these other countries in? Iran was never booted out, and yet now has a religious leader at its head. Many would like to restore the Dali Lama as head of Tibet.

                    I really don't see a problem with the Vatican as a nation.

                    17. Ne5

                    In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

                    by Spud1 on Thu May 03, 2007 at 10:23:06 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  That's demonstrably false though, is it not? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Other explicitly religious states like Iran and Saudi Arabia and Bhutan are members of the UN.  So what makes the Holy See different.  

                    I also fail to see how the Vatican fails to meet the definition of statehood.  It has territory, government, and citizens, and even an army.  That all of its citizens are naturalized as opposed to native born is hardly relevant.    

          •  In fact, I think one of the stumbling blocks (0+ / 0-)

            for peace between Israel and Palestine - Juresalem - could be solved by making Juresalem a City State open to all from the three faiths that have places of import there. Administered and protected by the U.N., or some other way, I don't know.

            But make it so that it is not the capitol of any nation, but is itself a Capitol of Worhsip.

            17. Ne5

            In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

            by Spud1 on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:18:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But that's different than (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              establishing a single church as a faux-state.

              •  How? The Vatican was created to keep the (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Catholic Church separated from the intrigues of other nations and nation states (how that worked in reality is another matter, but it does seem to do so now). In much the same way Washington DC was created here, and it would be little different if the U.N. were given its own sovereign area.

                17. Ne5

                In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

                by Spud1 on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:30:32 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Wrong. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  The Vatican was created by Mussolini in order to strengthen his hand, and to forge an alliance with a kindred spirit that had heretofore felt wronged by the Italian state.

                  •  Yes and no. The Papal States were aound (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    for hundreds of years.

                    In any case, I see no problem with the Catholic Church having a svoereign area from which to run their show. As I suggest, it can be used as a model for creating the City State of Juresalem.

                    17. Ne5

                    In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

                    by Spud1 on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:45:11 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The existence of the Papal States (0+ / 0-)

                      pre-Garibaldi was not a compelling factor when Mussolini gave the Pope ca. 100 acres in Rome.

                      I'm also befuddled by the issue of why the Church should "need" sovreignty.  For one thing, without effective defenses, sovreignty is only a gift from the state entirely surrounding it, and largely a de facto fiction:  The modern Vatican never really had its own currency, or utilities, or much of anything else a state is expected to have in order to operate its own internal affairs.  For another, from a Western perspective it's quite an act of privileging one religion over another, and allowing that one to act as a state actor in international affairs, which is to my mind absurd.

                      •  As I suggested, removing the sovereignity (0+ / 0-)

                        difficulty from Juresalem might go a long way to ehlping bring about a lasting peace between Palestine and Israel. I don't mean to trivialize this, but it is similar to what parents do when their children can't agree on sharing something; parents simply remove it from all the kids.

                        Removing a claim to Juresalem from both Israel and Palestine removes a stumbling block to peace.

                        17. Ne5

                        In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

                        by Spud1 on Thu May 03, 2007 at 08:18:39 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You're not trivializing anything; (0+ / 0-)

                          you're arguing an apple against an orange.

                          The Vatican is a theocratic faux-state.

                          Your Jerusalem would be a faux-state, but by being multitheocratic one could argue that it would hardly be theocratic at all.  Which religion would it represent on the world stage, after all?

                          •  Technically, The Vatican is a republic, the (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            ruler of which is elected. I do not know the demographic makeup of those that live there, but will assume that nearly all are Catholics - of many nationalities.

                            And it is not a faux-state, as you insist. It is a sovereign nation, albeit a very small one. Monaco and Liechtenstein are others.

                            17. Ne5

                            In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

                            by Spud1 on Thu May 03, 2007 at 08:36:31 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  ha. (0+ / 0-)

                            "Technically, The Vatican is a republic, the ruler of which is elected."

                            This is near-total BS.  The temporal ruler of the Vatican is the Pope, who is not elected by Vatican citizens, and who, once elected, "possesses as Head of State the fullness of executive, legislative, and judicial power"  (Fundamental Law of the Vatican State, promulgated in its latest revision on 26 November 2000.)

                            I've already demonstrated how it's a faux-state.  Ignore if you wish.

    •  Then it's a church, not a school n/t (0+ / 0-)
      •  Yes - it is a school fully controlled by a church (0+ / 0-)

        17. Ne5

        In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

        by Spud1 on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:19:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No it is not. St. Joe's is not an Archdiocese... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          highschool.  It is wholly owned and operated by the Sisters of St. Joseph.  The school, like most catholic institutions is very likely incorporated and has a lay board of trustees.  It receives no funding from the Archdiocese - none.  The tuition is more than a few K  a semester - it is not a scool with many students from low-income households.  The education is "Catholic" but the Archdocese does not dictate the curriculum - it could though or at least the religious aspects.  There is just no back-bone here as was the case with the Bob Costas event.  

  •  She didn't have to introduce politics (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, neroden, duckhunter, TomP, dave1042

    The 'church' did it first.

  •  My family are lapsed Catholics (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, esquimaux

    I never understood devotion to an institution that actively hid pedophiles in its organization for decades.

    Sponge Bob, Mandrake, Cartoons. That's how your hard-core islamahomocommienazis work.

    by Benito on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:30:31 AM PDT

  •  All those child molesters (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    klw1963, OpherGopher, corvo, esquimaux

    can go to hell.

    Fuck the Catholic Church.

  •  Gotta love them tight-asses Catholics (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidincleveland, corvo

    In Mass, we have a high school (Catholic) that is refusing to allow a kid to bring her same-sex  date to the prom.

    Administrators say they have banned same-sex couples because they want the prom to remain traditional.
    "We're not looking for trouble at our prom," George A. Milot, superintendent of schools in the Diocese of Fall River, said yesterday. "Having boys bring boys or girls bring girls opens the door to all kinds of scenarios that could lead to problems. We're not willing to open the door. We're sticking with tradition; we have enough problems as it is."
    He insisted the diocesean schools are not discriminating against gays and lesbians.
    "Rules are made by schools that anyone can call discrimination if they want," he said in a telephone interview. "The school has the right to make rules in the best interests of the students. We teach tolerance towards people who may be gay. That is not the issue at all. That's the confusion. It's against gay sexual activity."

    So I guess all those straight kids aren't going to have sex on their minds at all. Nope. Absolutely not.
    Tolerance my ass.

    "Keep raisin' hell!" - Molly Ivins

    by MA Liberal on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:37:58 AM PDT

  •  Okay, let's get this straight (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gareth, jkb246, OpherGopher, corvo, TomP

    McCaskill's invitation is withdrawn because of her POSITIONS on certain issues, while Cheney is kept eventhough his ACTIONS demonstrate treason, murder, obstruction of justice, war-mongering and profiteering and so forth.

    Ain't life grand.

    btw, Joe Lieberman is an ass

    by ejbr on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:38:18 AM PDT

  •  umm, when I was young, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidincleveland, TomP

    not only were most acts of speech vigorously punished in Catholic school, but they were pre-emptively forbidden as well.  It might be more accurate to say that one could only speak AT ALL after receiving permission.  Certainly when it came to speaking in church, EVERYTHING was censored beforehand, even the "spontaneous" Offertory petitions.

  •  Hyperbole (0+ / 0-)

    I understand you're mad, but pledging your devotion to Satan? "Fucking outraged"? Wow.

  •  No surprise (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The surprise is that a religious school even considered inviting her, given that most Christians in America are Bush-lovers.

    I said "most" so don't get on my case.

    Whackos get their info thru the Christian right. We'll bring them out to vote against something and make sure the public lets the whole thing slip past them.

    by chemsmith on Thu May 03, 2007 at 06:54:15 AM PDT

    •  I dunno, (0+ / 0-)

      given that Bush enjoys a 30% approval rating and at least 60% of Americans are some flavour of Christian, I wouldn't be so quick to say that. Republican-lovers, maybe.

      "...and it's here the lonely say that the heart has got to open in a fundamental way." --Leonard Cohen, "Democracy"

      by maralenenok on Thu May 03, 2007 at 09:58:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just another reason why I'm not Catholic. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, esquimaux, TomP

    I swear (forgive me father for I have sinned) that EVERY SINGLE TIME I think I really should go back to church, something happens that makes me go, "oh, yeah, that's why I don't go."

    To be fair though, I'm still upset at the whole gay marriage is evil and abortion, euthanasia is terrorism with a human face thing, so I really wasn't thinking about going back just yet.

    Catholic leadership will have to decide if they want to see their membership continue shrink or recognize and accept that there are differing views among Catholics about many controversial topics and that having someone such as Sen. Claire McCaskill speak at her daughter's high school graduation is something to be embraced.

  •  Excellent (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, SharaiP, MouseOfSuburbia

    We grew up expecting the Church to rap our knuckles when we said something stupid and would never dare fight against any 4-foot penguin tossing us around like a rag doll when we pissed her off.

    I went to a Catholic boarding school and I really must say you nailed it (mean old grumpy nuns) with that statement.

    Plus, it was funny as hell.

    Yeah, riiiighht, you diocesan asshats, like SOME your clergymen have been models of moral fortitude. Not.

    I know this was a slight towards Claire, but I feel worse for her daughter.  What a way to end your high school career.

    "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." - Mae West

    by urbannie on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:00:56 AM PDT

  •  Sending Democratic Offspring to a school (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joe Bob, tiponeill, corvo

    like this is analogous to sending an Israeli child to a  Palestinian madrassa.

    It's harsh, but we have to learn that, to these people

    Anything's possible with Commander Cuckoo Bananas in charge. -Homer J. Simpson

    by Cheez Whiz on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:06:23 AM PDT

    •  Exactly. The one problem with the whole picture (0+ / 0-)

      is that she sent her daughter to a Catholic madrassah in the first place.

    •  Don't be so quick to judge (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There are quite a few Catholic institutions that don't toe the Vatican line. Most of the time they get along just fine and everyone does more or less their own thing.

      However, every now and then one of the high Catholic mucketymucks get their undies in a bunch and feel they have to assert the heirarchy. From the article:

      But the offer was rescinded last week. The president of St. Joseph's, Sister Michaela Zahner, said she reluctantly made the decision after receiving a call from the St. Louis Archdiocese.

      Give the Sister a break; she probably got an offer she couldn't refuse.

      Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

      by Joe Bob on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:26:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And I didn't mean Palestinian (0+ / 0-)

      I meant Taliban.  I'm not one to make slips like this.  I blame the migraine.

      Anything's possible with Commander Cuckoo Bananas in charge. -Homer J. Simpson

      by Cheez Whiz on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:36:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Speaking as a (0+ / 0-)

      Democratic offspring who was sent to a school like this, I need to remind you that often the quality of education at some Catholic Schools is still much better than what the local public schools have to offer.  Not always, but often.  My parents taught me to think for myself, so the threat of religious indoctrination wasn't an issue.

      And Catholic schools do run the spectrum from liberal to conservative.  I'd say the one I went to was pretty moderate, though I see them all becoming increasingly more conservative.

      On the other hand, if you can afford Frontenac, you can probably afford a secular private school too...

      Frankly, I can't see why a religious school would ask a politician to speak to begin with...

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." -Voltaire

      by poemless on Thu May 03, 2007 at 09:19:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you have ACTUAL (as opposed to anecdotal) (0+ / 0-)

        evidence for this statement:

        I need to remind you that often the quality of education at some Catholic Schools is still much better than what the local public schools have to offer.  Not always, but often.

        Please post the link to the scientific study proving your claim.

        I will conditionally assume, since your parents taught you to think for yourself, that you aren't merely spewing forth statements that someone else has inculated your belief system with. Please validate my (perhaps unwarranted) assumption with real proof. NOTE: Do not bother posting any studies done under the auspices of any Roman Catholic institution; the conflict-of-interest would be too damning to any such putatively-scientific report/study.

        davidsnest "No person should be a judge in his own case." -Sir Edward Coke [in 1610]

        by davidincleveland on Thu May 03, 2007 at 09:58:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  spewing forth statements ? (0+ / 0-)

          Stats from the Catholic School I went to:

          96% of students go on to attend 4 year colleges and 4% attend 2 year colleges.    
          11-1 student to faculty ratio
          13,772 hours of community service performed:
          Approximately $1 million in college financial aid distributed each year
          Offer AP classes
          Offered Russian when I attended.  Also offers Latin.
          I was accepted to one of the top 10 universities in the country.

          The statistics for the public school my brother went to are hard to find, not listed on their website.  
          The student/teacher ratio is 18-1, they offered only Spanish and French and no AP classes when my brother went there, no community service was required, and my brother and his friends did not go on to any kind of college.  
          The public school ranks #487 of 590 highschools in IL


          I find your tone hostile.  I attended both public and Catholic schools.  I am from family of Catholic Democrats.  I have friends who attended St. Joseph's and Chaminade.  They are not sycophants; their parents did not raise terrorists.  My boyfriend teaches at an inner city public school in Chicago.  You can take your notions about who I am and your judgements elsewhere.

          And btw, I am an atheist.

          "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." -Voltaire

          by poemless on Thu May 03, 2007 at 11:02:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'll guess that you completely missed this (0+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            Hidden by:

            part of my comment:

            NOTE: Do not bother posting any studies done under the auspices of any Roman Catholic institution; the conflict-of-interest would be too damning to any such putatively-scientific report/study.

            You seem to have also missed the sense of the title of my comment, wherein I ask:

            If you have ACTUAL (as opposed to anecdotal) evidence..

            because you offered only anecdote.

            It is regrettable that you find my tone hostile. It is the tone I customarily use to persons who boast of their superior whatevers with NO evidence to back it up. Anyone on a liberalreality-based blog who touts his/her distinction [your Catholic school education] over average mortals, without justifying their exceptionalism, should expect to be fact-checked and challenged on the merits of their premise. I suppose your reading of me as "having a hostile tone" justifies, in your mind, the use of this sentence:

            You can take your notions about who I am and your judgements elsewhere.

            Since I didn't express any judgements, or divulge any notions about you, I will charitably chalk up your wild inaccuracy to pique. Re-reading what I wrote, I can certainly see that my snarky comment might profoundly disturb a humorless person. Please accept my apology for disturbing you. Please accept (in advance of you offering one) my thanks for your apology, for your slur of us public school graduates.

            BTW, I'm glad to learn that you are a fellow atheist.

            davidsnest "No person should be a judge in his own case." -Sir Edward Coke [in 1610]

            by davidincleveland on Thu May 03, 2007 at 12:50:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Not really (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That's a little extreme, and you are painting with a very broad brush.  The church may be getting more right wing, but when I went to Catholic school lo, these many years ago, it had much more of a Democratic tilt.  And my school also accepts non-Catholic students.  Not many private schools in the area, and some people seemed to feel that the quality of education would be better due mainly to class size, and that there would be more discipline-definitely true.  Anyway, not all Catholic schools are the same.

  •  Same thing happened to Susan Molinari in New York (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tiponeill, neroden

    She was an alumna of my all-girls private Catholic high school on Staten Island.  Even though she was a Congressional Representative, she was persona non grata at the school because she was pro-choice.  I'm certain there was an event she was either disinvited to or not invited to in the first place for that reason -- my memory is hazy.  But, yeah.  This news doesn't surprise me at all.

  •  Other speakers contravene Church policy no doubt. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joe Bob, Noisy Democrat, corvo, neroden

    We need to find out which speakers have been allowed under this "policy:":

    an archdiocese policy forbidding a public forum for speakers who diverge from church teaching...

    and call them on it.  10 to 1 that some of those speakers advocate capital punishment, support the illegal war in Iraq, and don't believe in the infallibility of the pope.  I think those things all "diverge from church teaching," as well.  

    I hope the girls at this school have enough guts to boycott this ceremony.

  •  Maybe it's time to turn down Catholics (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OpherGopher, corvo

    Maybe we shuld start declining to have Catholics speak at events because of their various and sundry views that we might disagree with.  

  •  my sister used to teach in a St. Louis catholic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noisy Democrat

    school. Bill Clinton came to town and she wanted her 6th graders to go see him. She was denied permission for the same reasons. She is opposed to abortion, but she thought it was insane to deny these kids a chance to hear the president of the US speak.

    St.Louis diocese is really conservative.

    No matter how far down the wrong road you've gone, turn back.

    by Joan in Seattle on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:17:40 AM PDT

  •  I think the question this rasies is.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Spekkio

    WOULD this same school turn down Cheney or Bush....

    it would be interesting to peruse the list of former 'speakers' that have been welcomed and see if they all fit the criteria by which Claire McCaskill was disinvited.


    by KnotIookin on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:21:57 AM PDT

  •  With Republicans Promising Soft Establishment of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    religion, it's worthwhile for religious institutions to throw in with them.

    Compared with mere tolerance from Democrats, it's a no-brainer.

    Sure individual cases will vary according the caliber of human leadership, but the purely institutional incentives are undeniable.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:31:36 AM PDT

  •  another New England Catholic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What a perfect description of my experience growing up as a Catholic in the 50s and 60s.

    We grew up expecting the Church to rap our knuckles when we said something stupid and would never dare fight against any 4-foot penguin tossing us around like a rag doll when we pissed her off.

  •  Another outraged Catholic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, LordMike

    Sometimes my Church just makes it so hard. :(

    I'll bet the diocese had no problem accepting her charitable contributions over the years, above and beyond the tution she paid to the school. If she's like me, she drops a check in the collection basked at Mass every week.

    This makes me sad and angry.

  •  There's a simple enough solution: (4+ / 0-)

    In light of this and other encroachments, revoke their tax exempt status  and use the additional revenue to fund stem cell research and abortions for low income women.

    "Nationalism is power-hunger tempered by self-deception." -- George Orwell

    by Autarkh on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:42:33 AM PDT

  •  What's their position on getting lied into war? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Positronicus, Spekkio

    Approve, disapprove?

    "Prepare to withstand political upheaval" - D. Kyle Sampson, former Chief of Staff to Alberto Gonzales.

    by bejammin075 on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:44:28 AM PDT

  •  Left the Catholic Church (0+ / 0-)

    My family and i left the Catholic Church about 3 years ago.  We just decided we really had nothing in common with them anymore even though my wife and i were both raised in that religion.

    We joined an Epicopal church and like it, but really don't go much anymore.

    The Catholic Church needs to put in the dustbin of history in my opinion.  Its beliefs and rituals are outdated.

    Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth. -Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1939 [-4.38, -3.18]

    by peteri2 on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:45:11 AM PDT

    •  Joined the Catholic Church (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I joined the Catholic Church last year. There is much about it that is wonderful, and many liberal groups -- from Pax Christi to Catholic Democrats to Voice of the Faithful -- calling for more openness. I'd hate to see the other liberals leave the church. Join a liberal Catholic organization instead.

      •  Chicago (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        We actually belonged to a fairly liberal catholic church in Chicago.  We stuck with it even though we hated the positions of the worldwide church because we felt our church was above that.

        Then a year or so before we left, the sermons were all about asking us to give more money so that it could be better used to fight the lawsuits against the American Catholic Churches for all the sexual abuse.

        We were not about to give any money to help pedophiles, especially priests!

        Looking back, I don't see any reason why we really stayed as long as we did.  The church didn't want us (only our money) and we didn't really believe what they were spewing.

        I hope you have better luck, but I really think i am done with religion (not God, but religion).

        Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth. -Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1939 [-4.38, -3.18]

        by peteri2 on Thu May 03, 2007 at 09:49:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why go Satanic? Go Atheist! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, neroden, Spekkio

    Try it out!  Former Catholic here, fully atheist now.

  •  Missplaced priorities! (4+ / 0-)

    We have had a battle here with the Catholic Church. From nuns taking signs of pro-choice candidates from in front of churches serving as polling places, to priests anouncing that it is a sin to vote for a pro-choice candidate during mass. Myself and others have had words with the priest. While still somewhat defiant, he has agreed to refrain from specific endorsements of pro-life candidates.

    I have had it with the clergy in the catholic church. They have such misplaced priorties. If it weren't for my wife I would worship elsewhere. My children currently attend catholic school and it is a major source of controversy. Truthfully, if it weren't for the terrible curriculum set up by our publics schools attempt to meet the Bush numbers, our kids would be in public school.

    Ask a priest how he justifies giving a politician an endorsement for saying he is pro-life, but in practice he cuts funding to medical programs, educational programs and promotes outsourcing of the jobs in this area. Politicians who take from the poor to give bigger tax breaks to the rich, but say they are pro-life because they know it buys the church vote. Politicians who have voted to kill thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq, for what turns out to be the personal agenda of the President. Politicians who blatantly violate the Gospel teachings of Luke and Mathew, but still gets a pass because they say pro-life. -- The only honest answer I received was "because the diocese said so."

    The reality is that the catholic church has always been political. The problem we now have is that they have abandoned their former political allies, the poor and working class people, for one issue. I'm fundamentally pro-life, but I also look at the big picture. They just don't. It is what has caused me to lose my respect and trust for the church.

  •  The school blundered (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In retrospect, the school did not have the authority to issue the invitation without clearing it first with the higher-ups. The whole proposal/approval process could and should have been conducted before the invitation was issued in the first place.

    But by blundering in this way, and giving us this insight into their internal decision-making processes, they reveal that they are indeed crossing the line, mixing church and state.

    Again, shameless hypocrisy. Big surprise, huh?

    Anyone want to wager that in years past, the school could invite any speaker they wanted, and this year is different? Anyone want to wager that if the Republican had won the Senate race, he'd be welcome?

    Molly Ivins wanted WHO for President? But WHY?

    by Positronicus on Thu May 03, 2007 at 07:52:30 AM PDT

  •  The same kind of treatment Sen. Kerry received (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If you remember, there were many calls from the Catholic clergy for church members to vote for Bush and deny Senator Kerry communion, because of Kerry's stand on abortion. Among those was Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI).

    •  Please my see post above (0+ / 0-)

      I'd be interested if you can find a legitimate source to back that claim about Ratzinger up, because I couldn't.

      His "secret" letter is cited by pro-life groups. What his "official" letter/statement did was support the official position of the bishops which was:

      The question has been raised as to whether the denial of Holy Communion to some Catholics in political life is necessary because of their public support for abortion on demand. Given the wide range of circumstances involved in arriving at a prudential judgment on a matter of this seriousness, we recognize that such decisions rest with the individual bishop in accord with the established canonical and pastoral principles. Bishops can legitimately make different judgments on the most prudent course of pastoral action. Nevertheless, we all share an unequivocal commitment to protect human life and dignity and to preach the Gospel in difficult times.

      So some thought denial of communion was appropriate, others did not. It's up to the bishop.

      The Pope doesn't need me to defend him. I just think this is a pro-life misstatement of the facts and Kossacks shouldn't repeat it.  If Ratzinger really thought that Kerry should be excommunicated, if would have happened already.

      What did you do with the cash Joe?

      by roguetrader2000 on Thu May 03, 2007 at 09:21:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I strongly disagree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TN yellow dog

        These first quotes come not from a liberal blogs, but from Newsmax

        In a private memorandum, top Vatican prelate Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger told American bishops that Communion must be denied to Catholic politicians who support legal abortion.

        While never mentioning Sen. John Kerry by name, the memo implicitly aims at the pro-choice Catholic Massachusetts senator and presidential candidate.

        I read Ratzinger's entire letter in Catholic Culture and it's pretty obvious to me who he was referring to.

        You can also find subjects on this site such as:

        John Kerry, Abortion, Communion and the Catholic Church

        Kerry and Abortion: A Look at Stark Reality Without Distractions, by Greg Sisk. Mirror of Justice [blog] Oct. 20, 2004.

        An Open Letter From Fellow Catholics To John Kerry On Faith & Reason. Oct. 19, 2004.

        Article of Faith: Kerry says faith affects his other positions, so why not abortion?, by Mark Brumley. NRO. Oct. 14, 2004.

        If nothing else, the timing of Ratzinger’s letter is very suspicious. Of course, there will always be those that say this doesn’t prove a thing; and of course there will always be those that say Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11.

  •  Time to Host a Graduation Party (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cali Techie

    It is fabulous that a group of high school seniors wanted to hear Sen. McCaskill speak at a time when we bemoan teenagers' lack of interest in politics.  Senator McCaskill would be doing these current/future voters, and the rest of us, a service by hosting an event to congratulate these seniors on their graduation and their awareness of the world, and anything else she might want to talk to them about.

    The president is Lucy, and he's holding a football. We're Charlie Brown. - Bob Herbert

    by djinniya on Thu May 03, 2007 at 08:00:49 AM PDT

  •  I grew up a Catholic, and I say (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, esquimaux

    they can all go to hell. Intolerant

    •  Why not purgatory? (0+ / 0-)
      once they get there they will discover that its existence has been  declared to be incompatible with modern theological thought.  They wil then wink out of existence in a haze of ecumenical incense.
  •  Its fear (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volballplr, esquimaux

    The Church relies on fear and hate.. just like Republicans

  •  Uh, this is exactly what organized religion is (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fumie, volballplr, neroden, esquimaux

    all about.  Big surprise.  When the thugs from my Hebrew school showed up at our apartment in Brooklyn and threatened my mom that if she didn't pay up her past due bills (Dad was trying to start a new business so his children could attend college) my Bar Mitzvah would be canceled, I advised her, at the ripe old age of 12, to tell them to shove the bar mitzvah up their asses, which she did, although I doubt she used those words.  Thus, my start towards orthodox agnosticism.

    We Changed The Course!

    by hcc in VA on Thu May 03, 2007 at 08:06:07 AM PDT

  •  Blatantly political, anti-Dem (0+ / 0-)
    Same thing happened in Syracuse NY when a local catholic h.s. invited former DNC Chair Terry MacAuliffe to speak about his new bio.
    The school said yes, the bishopric said no way...blamed it on his abortion stance.

    But would the bishops ban Giuliani, a very pro-choice Rethug?  I doubt it.

    This smacks more of politics than of religious orthdoxy, and they need to be called on it.

  •  This is the diocese (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    headed by Raymond Burke, the guy who injected himself into the 2004 Presidential campaign by loudly declaring Kerry would be denied communion at churches in his diocese. Now this.  Somehow, I don't think he'd object to Matt Blunt or Kit Bond speaking, even though they favor capital punishment.

  •  Can we do away with religion now? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidincleveland, esquimaux

    Religious superstitition has blocked progress ever since it came into existance. It is beyond belief (pun intented) that so many people still take it seriously, if I told my friends that Zeus told me that I have to be against stem cell research, people would love at me, but it is perfectly ok to follow Christian dogma and accept fairy tales from 2000 years ago.
    Why even send your kid to such a school in the first place???

    •  Can we please quit equating fundamentalism... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      With religion now? Plenty of religious people aren't zealots, aren't stupid, aren't extremists, aren't opposed to science, analytical thought, and so on.

      This knee-jerk anti-religion rhetoric is just as bad as the anti-atheist nonsense. Belief doesn't have to interfere with fact and, believe it or not, it doesn't for a heck of a lot of people.

      'One and all, bold as brass, they sit there pretending to pray, but cocking their eyes on the chances and counting up their cash.' - Petronius

      by somnambule on Thu May 03, 2007 at 09:57:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Please, rectify this immediately. (0+ / 0-)

    They cannot be allowed to dictate politics.  McCaskill is a sitting US Senator.  Any school would be lucky to have her.

    They have insulted us for the last time.  Our of respect for my fellow Kossacks that are Catholic, I won't go into my personal feelings about the Catholic church....but, by God.....please contact the Archdiocese and set them straight.

    This is despicable.

  •  As a former Catholic... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poemless, barbwires, phaedras, Sean Casey

    ...this story bothers me not one iota.  The Catholic Church is very clear about who they are and how they make their decisions.  They are a hierarchical male institution with (mostly) politically conservative views (other than their teachings on our responsibility to care for the poor), and they don't much care what you think about it.

    The Church is not a democracy.  I don't like it, so I left.  (still miss it sometimes, though)

    When they run out of unmarried (and not openly gay) men willing to be priests, it will change (a little).  Not until then.

    Catholics who love God and love their traditions, but hate authoritarian, undemocratic, hierarchical, homophobic and sexist policies have a choice: the Episcopal Church.

    This is not a new outrage.  This is the Church being the Church.  

    •  Your right, but . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Why do they have such tunnel vision on this issue. Is it a power play to increase their political standing by making themselves part of the religious right who held power, or do they really believe this is the evil that will end the world as we know it. I think the former, and that unfortunately reflects their real priorities. Certainly not the teachings of Christ!

      •  Why did they invite, only to dis-invite her?? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        My guess is that they were being political...invited her, all the while knowing they would DIS-invite her... to make a big issue over abortion... that's a Catholic thing to do... devious, disgusting... etc.

  •  Good thing the church isn't in need of converts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This is no way to attract them.

    "When Siddhartha has a goal, he does nothing. He thinks, he waits, he fasts. He goes through life like a stone through water." - H. Hesse, Siddhartha

    by thenekkidtruth on Thu May 03, 2007 at 08:44:07 AM PDT

  •  Who Cares what the RC church says about anything? (0+ / 0-)

    If I were McCaskill I think I just would've said something along these lines:

    I'm sorry for the decision they made.  I hope my daughter received a broad, open-minded education from the school despite the apparent parochialness of the diocesan leadership.

    Personally I wouldn't want anything to do with any Catholic organization. It is quite simply a hateful organization in all its forms.  Why people still believe in that church is shocking to me.  It's a vile and mean spirited group of people sitting on their thrones in the Vatican. Yuk!  (and I grew up as a Catholic so I know EXACTLY what I'm talking about).

  •  I wish I could say... (0+ / 0-)

    I expected better, but I don't. It's par for the course, and it's not just the Catholic church. I'm sure there are plenty of other denominations that would've done the same.

    But rest assured that Sen. McCaskill is in the right camp, promoting research for important, possibly life-saving cures, and thinks that women have a dominant right to their own bodies.

  •  Not only that (0+ / 0-)

    but they have denied the chance for a girls schoopl to hear from a great role model,a woman senator.  I read this story yesterday and was outraged--how many Catholic schools would ban a politician who supports the Iraq war even though the catholic church doesn't?  Have there been any cases like this?  Or is it just "women's issues" that get these men so bloody excited and patronizing, rude and contemptible all at once.

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Thu May 03, 2007 at 09:22:44 AM PDT

  •  When will we wise up and (0+ / 0-)

    yank the tax exemption of these theocratic hacks?

    "There is no 'policy' regarding a crime except to stop it." -- Dave925

    by RudiB on Thu May 03, 2007 at 09:30:24 AM PDT

  •  I am Roman Catholic... (4+ / 0-)

    ...a Jesuit by nature.

    We're the progressives of the Church... and we are systematically being given the "Knights Templar" treatment.  

    Oh, no one is going to burn us at the stake... yet, but they are making sure that our order dies a quiet whimpering death.

    Not all Catholics can be painted with the same brush.  For example, Michigan Catholicism makes the UCC look conservative, but, they had a very liberal archbishop.  He retired, recently, and was replaced by a reactionary.  They are already making changes, like no more altar girls, and no more nuns near the altar.  The most liberal leaders of our church are old and being replaced with right-wingers who long for the days of Latin and misery.  The future is not bright....

    The Church decided a long time ago to make sexual issues the forefront of their political outreach.  It's not much different than other churches, but Catholicism has a particular aversion to sexuality (hates birth control, has celebant priests, nuns, etc.).  It's the whole "magic of the womb.. this is God's place, don't mess with it" mentality.  They get fixated on it, which leads to obsession.  In a religion that is a bit OCD to begin with, we can see where it leads to an incredibly fixated and myopic vision.

    To be fair to the Church, they do explain their position on sexuality quite well, and there is some "method to the madness" of their position.  Unlike protestants, who could care less about anyone after they are born. the Catholics back up their anti-abortion beliefs by providing support and assistance to new mothers and to the poor in general.  Catholics don't believe that we need to bring more people into the world as more "souls to save" like protestants do.  They simply believe that interfering with the power of God's ability create life, basically, is going to piss Him off.  That's a lot more reasonable position than the "sex is bad 'cos we said so" approach by protestants.

    The problem is that the Church desperately wants to feel important again after 500 years out of power.  so, they pull stunts like this as sort of a power trip...  They get to be relevant and make their point public... even if it's only for a day.



  •  Catholic Church (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My Catholic Church isn't like this: and I don't just mean one priest...the Catholic priests in general in Louisville, Ky are very moderate or liberal in their views, and my current priest uses his homilies to remind of of the realities of the global warming crisis, the wrongness of the Iraq war (and 3 cheers to the Pope for this one), the evils of consumerism and un-Christian cut-throat capitalism, and the need to as Catholics to support social justice themes.

    The Catholic Church typically goes 60-40% democratic nationally in presidential races.  A pro-choice Catholic (Kerry) brought out some of the more vocally conservative bishops and cardinals who led to the political mess that St. Louis has become, and also conversely led to a 50-50% split among Catholic voters nationally in the 2004 election.

    Abortion is a tough issue.  For people of faith who consider it to be murder, it is something that affects more lives than even the war.  To them, it IS a big deal, a HUGE deal.

    The sad problem is that it has become SUCH a huge deal that some religious leaders have lost their way, and forget all of the other issues of the day.

  •  Archbishop of St Louis (0+ / 0-)

    This guy is a nut-case from Wisconsin. When he was here, he sent letters to Rep. David Obey and Governor Jim Doyle telling them that they could not take communion any more because of their political stands. He told parishes in St. Louis in 2004 that they better not give communion to John Kerry when he came through town campaigning.

    It is not surprising that he had a hand in this.

    I also think McCaskill is classy to just express disappointment and move on. You make more enemies than friends by getting into a fight with a church. What the nut-case does not understand is that his heavy-handed actions probably bumped Claire's approval rating by 10 points. The Catholic Church is not the dominant church in Missouri and there are more people willing to think badly of it than not.

    I wonder if the school would be so quick to roll over for the looney archbishop if he insisted that they ban Claire McCaskill from even attending her daughters graduation. Hmmmm.

    "Conservatives care about children from conception all the way up until birth." -- Barney Frank

    by JanF on Thu May 03, 2007 at 09:49:50 AM PDT

  •  I am not surprised (0+ / 0-)

    American Catholics are mostly to some extent pro-choice.  But the Vatican isn't.  That Vatican has ordered bishops to refuse Communion to any pol who votes pro-choice.  Obviously this Archbishop obeyed.

    I was raised Catholic. I left when they ordered the theo profs at Catholic University (my college) to stop even discussing the possiblity that birth control might be acceptable.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Thu May 03, 2007 at 10:13:17 AM PDT

  •  Would they disinvite Ann Coulter? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Or more appropriately would the archdiocese demand that they do so?

    Somehow I doubt it.

    "If we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them."

    by bently on Thu May 03, 2007 at 10:14:13 AM PDT

  •  We don't need class and restraint (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    we need people who aren't welcome in the church to stop supporting it wiht their "restraint" - and financial support.

    It's hard to have sympathy for people who willingly line up to be abused by their church - they have "free will"

    Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. - Sam J. Ervin, Jr.

    by tiponeill on Thu May 03, 2007 at 10:14:33 AM PDT

  •  Sad part is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They would've probably let Jim Talent speak despite his opposing the church on the death penalty and Iraq War.

    Strength and wisdom are not conflicting values--they go hand in hand. - Bill Clinton

    by skidrow on Thu May 03, 2007 at 10:23:12 AM PDT

  •  The Catholic hierarchy wants the Dark Ages back. (0+ / 0-)

    Really, that's the only explanation here.  Vatican II was a blip; now the new Pope and his minions want to restore the lovely days  when they could suppress and punish "wrong thinking".  The system for that was called the "Inquisition".

    Since the Enlightenment (opposed, incidentally, by the Catholic Church of the time), we have understood that the healthy, sane way to counter ideas you disapprove of is not to suppress them, but to expose people to them and then to explain what is wrong with them.

    -5.63, -8.10 | Impeach, Convict, Remove & Bar from Office, Arrest, Indict, Convict, Imprison!

    by neroden on Thu May 03, 2007 at 10:25:50 AM PDT

    •  Not just of the time. (0+ / 0-)

      The enlightenment was opposed all the way to Vatican II. That was what Vatican II was: an acceptance of the enlightenment, including such principles as freedom of conscience.

      And Ratzi thinks that was a bad idea. Not that he wasn't for Vatican II early in his career, but the student revolts of 68 freaked him out, so he decided that the inevitable end of the Enlightenment was some kind of commie anarchy, and the only response was a return, not to the dark ages, but to pre-enlightenment thinking - maybe Renaissance, but definitely pre-1800's.

  •  Persnickity about words... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Great post.  

    But the headline's wrong.

    Uninvited means that you weren't invited. McCaskill WAS invited.

    Disinvited means what you mean--that her invitation was revoked, rescinded, withdrawn.

    "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

    by ogre on Thu May 03, 2007 at 10:34:32 AM PDT

  •  Dear Old St Joseph's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ralph, neroden

    I am from St Louis and lived about a mile from St Joseph's -- a den of conservatism.  If I were Claire I'd offer to give a speech about preventing molestation of children, with illustrations from the Roman Catholic clergy.
     What a rotten bunch!  I say: McCaskill's daughter needs to get her diploma by mail and not attend the graduation. Then, she needs to sign up at a liberal college!
    Good luck to all
    JIM/santa fe/st louis

  •  Separation of church and... what? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Good thing there's no sign of the Church being political here.

    -8.38, -4.97 "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

    by thingamabob on Thu May 03, 2007 at 10:56:12 AM PDT

  •  How things are done in St. Louie... (0+ / 0-)

    My wife is a graduate of the school in question... "St. Joseph's Academy for Young Ladies."

    Let me tell you something about St. Louis.  It's totally whack.

    When you tell someone you are from St. Louis, the first thing they ask you is where you went to school.  They don't want to know where you went to college.  They want to know where you went to High School.  It tells them everything they need to know about you.  Where to put you into their little heirarchy.  CBC...oh, you were a bad boy.  SLUH...oh, your parents couldn't get you into a good school.

    In fact, my brother-in-law and I invented a school for ourselves so we wouldn't be left out:  St. Jude's Home for Recalcitrant Boys

    It literally follows you around for the rest of your life.

    The reason Sen. McCaskill isn't making a big deal out of this is that for her, it's one stupid speaking engagement.  A special one, sure, but still just one.  For her daughter, it's the rest of her life.

    Now, my wife's attitude is that this is a really good thing.  She thinks that the church ought to come out of it's closet and start kicking out everybody that isn't hell-bent on conrolling medical procedure like they are because then the church will be left as the core of hard-right militants that want to control what medical procedures people can and can't have and pedophiles that it really is at the top and will stop siphoning off money for people that believe in God to promote their whackjob agenda.

  •  Why Not Un-Invite Pro-Iraq War Politicians? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    neroden, MouseOfSuburbia, Spekkio

    My understanding is that the Catholic Church has also taken a stance against this invasion & occupation of Iraq on the grounds that it is an unnecessary war.

    My question is: Why does the Catholic Church not bar politicians who support this murderous invasion & occupation of Iraq that has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent people? If the Catholic Church is so intent on barring politicians from speaking at their functions, schools, conferences, etc. on the grounds that they don't "respect life"; why don't they ban the murderous War Criminal who currently occupies the White House (and the like)???!!!????  

    They sure are "selective" about the kinds of "Anti-Catholic" stances to enforce, even if the office-holder (who has opposite views) will not discuss such views in their speech. I can understand their opposition if Senator Clair McCaskill was planning on giving a speech that advocated women all going out and getting abortions, etc. But I think it is fair to say that she had no intention whatsoever on discussing anything that differs from Catholic teaching. I am sure that the Senator planned on giving a very inspiring speech to the girls about "crossing over the", you know, the usual graduation speech.

    I don't know what to say except that I too, am outraged. Given that this fascist instituion only enforces these wedge issues that advocate the govt. coming into our bedrooms & uteruses; I also think its fair to say that their true agenda is to control women from having true freedom and equality in society which is contingent upon us having control over our reproductive organs (rather than truly respecting "life").  

    •  doctrine (0+ / 0-)

      I think a common misconception here is the "weight" that is given by the Church to different areas. While the position of the Pope is that war in Iraq is unjustified, it does not carry the doctrinal weight of the life issues of the Church. Thus you can disagree about the death penalty, the war etc but about such things like abortion and stem cell research you can't in "good faith" dissent.

      Falling forward, tumbling backward

      by campionrules on Thu May 03, 2007 at 02:37:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Vatican has become the FNC of organized religion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There is no question in my mind that the Vatican has agreed to become a tool of the RNC in its operations in the US.  From crap like this, to the "order" to not give communion to John Kerry when he was running, to various archidiocese leaders equating a vote with Kerry in '04 with sin.

    It's one thing to say we're a long way from the church of Oscar Romero (who would, btw, probably has his post rescinded by this pope as a "liberation" theologian, since activism in the defense of oppreseed parishoners is much more objectionable than molesting their kids, doncha know).  But it's more than that.  The dramatic turn in the last 8 years makes me seriously wonder if there is a quid-pro-quo going on here for an intentional lack of Bush Administration DOJ into pedophilic priest scandals.

    Seriously, haven't you wondered how the Justice Dept. would have reacted if it had been a group of 20 or so Islamic imams who had been identified as molesting underaged mosque-goers?  The entire church of Islam would have been shut down in the U.S. as a criminal conspiracy within a week.  Yet in no federal Judicial district was this pressure placed on Catholic archdiocese leaders (in Massachusetts, Atty. Gen. Tom Reilly made some vague comments about demanding results in providing a much-overdue internal review of the scandal, but clearly we had the most visible coverups from the likes of Bernard Law, etc.--who, btw, was given a promotion by the Vatican to being an advisor to the Pope).

    Anyways, I still cherish many of the teachings of the Church and its philosophical/moral tenets, but the current orthodoxy is corrupt and guided by ultraright political initiatives beyond all compare. Never going back.  At least the Southern Baptists are honest about where they stand.

    (Disclaimer: former Catholic here, former Altar boy, never had a smidgen of pedophillic pressure, although one of the cool priests would allow us a swig on the altar wine now and again).

  •  Oh, it gets better (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My mother-in-law, a Catholic school teacher is afraid to participate in this year's Komen Foundation Race for the Cure because, get this, the Archbishop has decided that they are an immoral organization because they give grant money to Planned Parenthood.  But she's afraid because she has a clause in her contract saying she can be fired if she publically goes against the teachings of the church.  In other words, if a parent were to see her at the Race for the Cure and report her, she would be going against the Archbishop's word and could be fired.

    Mind you, if there is any money being given to Planned Parenthood, it's because it's funding breast cancer screenings, and NOT abortions.  I think old Burkie is also pissed that Komen refuses to put that junk pseudo-science about the link between abortion and breast cancer on their website, and indeed discredits those studies.

    This guy is a tyrant.  He needs to go.  He makes me ashamed to be a Catholic.

    People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

    by viget on Thu May 03, 2007 at 11:17:57 AM PDT

  •  This happened to Indiana GOV couple years ago.... (0+ / 0-)

    the GOVERNOR of the state, Joe Kernan, was uninvited to give grad speech. And he is an alumnus of St. Joseph High School. The ABishop is directly involved in all politics here in Northern Indiana, preventing many progressive folks from running successfully for office.

  •  Burke is the dolt (0+ / 0-)

    who said he would deny Communion to Kerry because of his support of abortion rights. He also resigned from some childrens charity because Sheryl Crow, an abortion rights supporter, was performing at a charity benefit.

    Burke is a bad guy. So is Joey Ratz by the way. His becoming pope was the final straw for me as a Catholic. I'm now officially lapsed.

    Listening to a Bush speech is like cleaning the toilet: it's a dirty job, but if you don't do it, the shit just piles up without a fight.

    by AtlantaJan on Thu May 03, 2007 at 12:05:21 PM PDT

  •  I campaigned for her and know St. Joes well (0+ / 0-)

    The fact of the matter is that St. Joes is full of promiscuous girls that probably need more progressive stances on sex education.  I know a few of them and let's just say I'm not even being stereotypical right now.

    But I did help Claire get elected to this state (Finally democrats are getting it right in MO) and I'm not thinking this will mean much to her.  

    I went to Catholic school too, and let me tell you something, do you think they would have stopped Jim (no) Talent from speaking there because he supports a war that has killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people?

    If the Republicans promise to stop telling lies about us, maybe we'll stop telling the truth about them..

    by Romaniac on Thu May 03, 2007 at 12:19:17 PM PDT

  •  the silent, slow schism (0+ / 0-)

    I mean no ill will toward the thousands of Catholics who continue to do good things in the world and who hold sensible beliefs. But as an ex-Catholic myself, I am disgusted by the behavior of Catholic leaders who seem hell-bent on turning the church into a bastion of fascist political action.

    My mother was very active in the Catholic church during my childhood. I became active in the church myself during my teenage years. But my own involvement with the church started to dissolve at age 18, when I realized that I was gay. Things really fell apart when a fiery Dominican priest at my college's Newman Center preached a fiery sermon proclaiming that "those of you who are engaging in premarital sex are engaging in immoral and scandalous behavior subject to God's wrath. You must stop at once." I was so offended that I walked out of the church and never returned. I ran into the priest several weeks later in a grocery store and he asked me where I had been. It took all the restraint in the world not to physically punch him.

    About six months after leaving the Catholic Church,  I began attending a local Episcopalian congregation on the advice of a friend. I'll never forget one of the first conversations I had there with a local priest. I said to him, "I'm gay. I hope that won't be a problem." His reply to me was, "why would that be a problem. You're still a child of God." I've never looked back, and despite the pockets of wingnut Episcopalians who loudly protest the denomination's progressive leadership, I've found the vast majority of Episcopalians to be a tolerant bunch.

    The Catholic church is experiencing a slow, silent schism, as thousands of moderate and liberal Catholics walk away from the church in disgust.  Most people who leave the church never actually say "I quit," so it's hard to estimate exactly how many people have left. But there's no doubt in my mind that the number of people who are leaving has increased.

  •  More Reason to leave Catholic Church (0+ / 0-)

    Who is the Catholic Church to chastise anyone?  The Catholic Church has lost it's moral authority completely.  I think the nail in the coffin for me, among the churches many sins, was the institution-wide pedophile scandal and the many years of complicity by high officials to cover it up.  Thereby letting it continue until they were caught!

  •  this is just loathesome... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    it must be bittersweet for her daughter - who has every right to say something when she received her diploma - and i am quite sure the entire school will be behind her all the way!

    soon as i got arthritis, most of my caps ran away from home! those that remain, huddle together in fear!

    by edrie on Thu May 03, 2007 at 02:28:46 PM PDT

  •  StL Bishop Burke:Disses Polish Catholics Too (0+ / 0-)

    Archbishop Burke of St. Louis is so far right that he has managed to alienate even conservative Catholics in the Gateway City.  Just one example is his treatment of Polish Catholics at the only Polish Catholic Church in St. Louis, St. Stanislas.  In a dispute over saving the historic church, Burke excommunicated the Board of St. Stanislas who had committed no offense other than sticking with thier church through tough tomes in a crime ridden neighborhood.  Burke's shabby treatment of Sen. McCaskill is just another one of Burke's blunders as he tries to politicize everything and make the Roman Catholic church nothing more than a cog in the wingnut political machine.

  •  The Vatican is against the war in Iraq, too (0+ / 0-)

    Are they turning away speakers who support it?

    "Every single Democratic candidate is immeasurably better than what we have in the White House now." - Sen. Joe Biden paraphrased

    by Land of Enchantment on Thu May 03, 2007 at 04:40:59 PM PDT

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