Wednesday, June 18, 2014

San Francisco archbishop dissents from Pope Pelosi—UPDATED

Either Abp. Salvatore Cordileone or Neal McDonough
has been hired to play him on TV. (© CNS)
San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone broke into open dissent from Pope Nancy Pelosi, writing in an open letter that the upcoming march in Washington sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage is "not anti-LGBT", and that he would be attending despite her description of the event as "venom masquerading as virtue". 
The archbishop is a featured speaker at the event, along with former presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum. Several Bay area pro-SSM supporters, including SF mayor Ed Lee, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, New Ways Ministry liar Francis DeBernardo and dismissed Maryknoll priest Roy Bourgeois, also sent a letter to +Cordileone urging him not to attend.

The problem, according to, is not so much with the march as it is with what organizations are backing it. The Southern Political Libeling Center has tagged the Family Research Council, one of the backing organizations, as a "antigay hate group"; a petition created by a group calling itself Faithful America asserts that FRC "blamed gay marriage for the recent shootings at Isla Vista". (Okay, I'd have to see a press release from FRC saying that, not just a second-hand news post; it smells like BS to me.) 

+Cordileone's letter doesn't go into point-by-point refutation — wisely, I believe, because that would have distracted from the point of the letter itself; however, it did rebut the claim that NOM had "connect[ed] homosexuality with pedophilia and incest." Furthermore, the letter points out:

It gives me assurance that we share a common disdain for harsh and hateful rhetoric. It must be pointed out, though, that there is plenty of offensive rhetoric which flows in the opposite direction. In fact, for those who support the conjugal understanding of marriage, the attacks have not stopped at rhetoric. Simply for taking a stand for marriage as it has been understood in every human society for millennia, people have lost their jobs, lost their livelihoods, and have suffered other types of retribution, including physical violence.

+Cordileone's letter ends with a plea: "Please do not make judgments based on stereotypes, media images and comments taken out of context. ... [B]efore you judge us, get to know us." Whoever wrote the letter, whether it was a staffer or His Excellency himself, must have enjoyed writing that last line, throwing it right back in the pro-SSM lobby's face. Indeed, I wonder why no one has labeled the SPLC a "hate group" for its vicious demonization of groups that oppose the progressivist agenda.

Also, +Cordileone's declaration that he must "proclaim the truth — the whole truth — about the human person and God’s will for our flourishing ... in season and out of season [cf. 2 Tim 4:2], even when truths that it is my duty to uphold and teach are unpopular" must have been a slap in the face to Pelosi, DeBernardo and Bourgeois, all of whom uphold only those parts of the faith that don't conflict with their agendas. And against Pelosi's re-use of the tired quotation of Pope Francis' "who am I to judge" line — a line that must have gotten more mileage in the last year than Frank Weathers' Mustang — His Excellency countered with another, more recent Francis quote that's gotten less attention: "We must reaffirm the right of children to grow up in a family with a father and mother." The "who am I to judge" line isn't a trump card. 

In any event, as someone mischievously hinted recently, the whole shindy is indeed "much ado about nothing". SFGate may call Pelosi "one of the most powerful Catholics in America", but that power is entirely secular — she has no spiritual authority, and ought by duty to be more attentive to +Cordileone, who is the pastor of her archdiocese. And every time she tries to publicly reconcile her Catholicism with her support for progressive social changes, she loses credibility as a Catholic. Time for her to either become an Episcopalian or renounce her progressive stances.

UPDATE: June 19, 2014
As predictable: Sociologist Anne Hendershot has written an article for Crisis describing Faithful America as another George Soros-funded 501c(3) that seeks to influence Catholics through "soft" political tactics, indirectly attacking the teachings of the Catholic Church by undermining the apostolic authority of the bishops.

Faithful America was originally founded in 2004 by then Catholic Democratic congressman Tom Perriello. It was always a political organization—described in their literature as a “communications and organizing resource center dedicated to helping faith leaders reclaim the values debate in America for justice, compassion and the common good.” The reality was that Faithful America was created to help Perriello convince voters—especially pro-life voters—to move beyond what he called “divisive abortion rhetoric.”
In addition to Faithful America, Perriello later joined with Alexia Kelly, a former leader of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, to help create Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good—a George Soros supported organization with similar goals as those of Faithful America. Both were designed to help Catholics see beyond a candidate’s stand on abortion, to other life issues. But, their rhetoric was misleading, and in a speech on October 17, 2008, Archbishop Charles Chaput warned that Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good had “done a disservice to the Church, confused the natural priorities of Catholic social teaching, undermined the progress pro-lifers have made, and provided an excuse for some Catholics to abandon the abortion issue instead of fighting within their parties and at the ballot box to protect the unborn.”
By 2009, drawing personnel and funders from the now-declining Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, a re-organized Faithful America and Faith in Public Life teamed up with Sojourners, Jim Wallis’ social justice organization, and PICO National Network, the USCCB-funded community organizing initiative to help pass President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. The groups created a “toolkit” designed to marginalize the Bishops on healthcare reform by reassuring Catholics that conscience protections would remain in place in the President’s health care reform. This toolkit was used in parishes throughout the country.
Faith in Public Life/Faithful American have implemented a strategy of attacking the teachings of the Catholic Church by directly attacking the authority of the bishops. Faith in Public Life has been flush with Soros money—although in 2010 Wallis refused to acknowledge the receipt of the funds.  Wallis finally admitted what he called “his error” when the funding was made public in an article called “Wallis vs The Truth” by World Magazine editor Marvin Olasky.
In 2010, Faith in Public Life hired John Gehring as the senior writer and “Catholic Outreach Coordinator.” Gehring, who had just spent three years doing messaging work for Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, was an especially valuable hire for Faith in Public Life because he formerly worked in media affairs for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Gehring now spends his time attacking the same bishops he once worked for. In April, he published an article entitled “More Catholic Than the Pope?” attacking Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison for upholding traditional liturgical practices and for defending hometown son Congressman Paul Ryan. Until 2012, Gehring was joined in the attacks on the bishops by Nick Sementelli, another former employee of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good who became, until 2012, the group’s point man in attacking the bishops. Semintelli launched vicious personal attacks in 2012 on Archbishop Charles Chaput and Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria because of their concerns about conscience protections and funding for abortion in the Affordable Health Care Act. Since Sementelli’s departure, Gehring has taken up the role of episcopal critic. [Bold font mine.—ASL]

 George Soros, by the way, isn't a Catholic; he's a secular Jew (or, as his ancestors would probably have said, an apikoros). Not drawing any conclusions off of that ... just saying it's an odd way for a multi-billionaire atheist to spend his money, manipulating believers through dissident Astroturf groups.