Tuesday, June 17, 2014


On the Monday before Easter April 16, 1962, Archbishop Joseph Francis Rummel of the Archdiocese of New Orleans excommunicates three segregationists for organizing protests against the archdiocese for his decision to integrate church schools.

The Vatican gives its tacit approval to this move, and it's a major issue because half of the white students in New Orleans are enrolled in Catholic schools.

The three are Judge Leander Perez Sr., Jackson G. Ricau of the Citizens Council, and Una Gaillot, president of "Save Our Nation Inc." and author of the pamphlet God Gave the Law of Segregation to Moses on Mount Sinai.

Archbishop Joseph Francis Rummel had written to them on March 31:
"[You] promoted flagrant disobedience to the decision to open our schools to ALL our Catholic children and have even threatened and incited others to take reprisals, legal and otherwise, against our action. ...

In the spirit of fatherly solicitude we deem it our duty to admonish you that any further attempt by you through word or deed to hinder our order or provoke our devoted people to disobedience or rebellion against the Church will subject you to excommunication."
Because none of the three have heeded the warning, they are excommunicated today and the edict stipulates that only Archbishop Rummel can lift the penalty. This means that they must repent directly to the archbishop and no one else.

They are to be denied church sacraments, kept from attending Mass, and denied church burial. Jackson G. Ricau will be prevented from escorting his daughter down the aisle in her church wedding.

Judge Leander Perez will help found the group "Parents and Friends of Catholic Children" and tells members:
"Excommunication cannot send you to hell, but integration can send your children to hell on earth."
He also hands out cards saying "Better Excommunication Than Integration."

My final comment: Jude Leander and the rest did ultimately repent and were reconciled to the full Communion of the true Church!

Nancy Pelosi and other Catholics in powers of influence who are corrupting the Catholic faith with their pro-abortion rhetoric and vitriolic attacks on natural law and the nature of marriage, secular or religious, deserve to be excommunicated for the same reasons Archbishop Rummel used this device to call fallen away and disobedient Catholics back to the Faith and Morals of the Church in union with their archbishop!


Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I copy this which anonymous wrote but I hit delete rather than publish:

The more people we can toss out, the quicker we can get to the smaller but purer church that Pope Francis and Jesus want.

Gene said...

Yes, indeed, and many need to be tossed out. Bishops have no guts…with a few exceptions…and these so-called Catholic politicians will be allowed to continue their outrages with impunity. The Church is in grave danger and I see nothing on the horizon that is very hopeful for the near future.

Joe Potillor said...

Though one point, an excommunicated person would still have the obligation to assist at Mass, they could not however receive Holy Communion.

That said why aren't the Bishops' following the law of the Church? Kyrie eleison

JBS said...

The pastoral approach endorsed by Pope Francis (and others of similar mind) seems to be that it is better to have a large Church Militant with many openly heretical members, than a small Church Militant with few or no public heretics. This approach has some merits, especially if we accept the possibility that heretics are more likely to repent while fully inside the Church than if excommunicated.

The question I have is, which of these approaches is more likely to attract converts to the Faith? The follow-up question would be, is it more important to preserve existing members, or to bring in new members?

rcg said...

Here is the problem: if a bishop were to address this then Politician X would counter that another bishop, priest or theologian had pronounced exactly what had been called into question. You could find entire parishes or large swaths do Dioceces in question in an instant.

Gene said...

JBS, so compromise is the name of the game. The weakening of the Church is ok because we want a lot of people in it. If heretics knew they would be excommunicated, they might be more inclined to repent…or leave…which is also fine. Once you allow those people to remain in the Church, whatever the reason, you dilute the faith. This is just typical feel-good, come one come all thinking.

Gene said...

And, in other news, a Baltimore Catholic parish is encouraging everyone to celebrate gay pride week, saying that sexual diversity is God's gift. Unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

Here's the deal, Gene...your view of ALMOST EVERYTHING is 180 degrees off.

Anon friend said...

Yeah, I think JBS asks the right questions, and RCG lays out the pretty obvious end scenario. Is our goal to further splinter an already fractured church, or to "mother" the dissidents and hope/pray for the best? I vacillate these days. What is pretty certain is that these dissidents are NOT being properly "fathered" by their assigned priests & bishops; if they were, one would surely begin to see that the really flagrant disobediences would at least be less vocal.

I'm here to tell you that none of this is new--it really does go back to the 60's as Pater pointed out in another post. I was in college in NYC at the time(1965-69). The Vietnam war struggles and Humanae Vitae dissidence hit at the same time, and the chaos ensued. Many, many priests and religious up nawth were involved in heavy-duty war protests and the concurrent defiance of Humanae Vitae. Remember the Berrigan brothers? They had a whole network preceeding and supporting them.
I do not believe one can separate secular from religious factors/influences, certainly not as it all played out from that point to now. Our American ethos has changed drastically, and our Church has conjoined the secular fray.

Anonymous said...

Dear Father,

I wanted to take this opportunity to apologize for some of the uncharatable comments I made on this blog towards Pope Francis and towards you. I am sorry. Not to rationalize anything I have written but you must understand that the Pope's words and actions have really shaken me. I can't say that I agree with him and whether I like it or not he IS the pope and deserves my utmost respect as do you. Please pray for me as I try to understand what is happening in the Church.

Thank you

JBS said...


It seems to me that a smaller Church with mostly committed Catholics is better than a larger Church with mostly uncommitted Catholics, but neither the pope nor the bishops share my view. Therefore, the reasonable approach is for me to accept the possibility that their approach may be the right one.

Similarly, it seem obvious to me that we could achieve greater reverence at Mass by returning to the ad orientem Eucharistic Prayer and kneeling for Holy Communion, but hardly any bishops, and only one recent pope, agrees with me. Therefore...

Carol H. said...

I saw in the Nation Catholic Register this morning that Nancy Pelosi is demanding that Archbishop Cordilione cancel his attendance in the March for Marriage on June 19th. I am hoping that this is enough of a push for the Archbishop to take action and finally do something about her.

JBS said...

One thing we can know for certain about Pope Francis is that he publicly supports the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Therefore, nervous sheep need not be suspect of his pastoral fidelity to the truth.

To be blunt, this means that, unless he's a liar, he believes homosexualists and abortionists who die unrepentant will burn in Hell. Perhaps it is out of fear of the loss of their souls that he wishes us all to gently but persistently invite sinners to repent and convert. The heavy-handed approach may satisfy the Pharisaical Catholics, but does it increase the likeliness of repentance and conversion? After all, does anyone really believe that a pro-abortion or pro-perversion Catholic fears excommunication? But perhaps these sinners can be rescued from damnation by our humble invitations.

Gene said...

JBS, You and I are certainly in agreement.

rcg said...

In the old days clergy would be recalled to let folks know they had strayed in some way. That might be a good thing to resurrect. It is my understanding that excommunication is medicinal in that the person has sort of reverted to a pre-credo state. They need only continue their inquires and will hopefully return to the position where they can affirm their beliefs and try to live them. I think many of the people who are causing these problems will excuse themselves if the clergy are pulled in line and proclaim their orthodoxy both in and out of Mass. It would be a shame for people to leave for those reasons, but it have hope that many would return with a deeper understanding.

Greg said...


If that really is the approach of the hierarchy--a big church with a lot of heretics in it--than what a sad day for those of us who are really trying to live a Catholic faith through orthodoxy and orthopraxis. I have had to defend myself more often and more vigorously against people who are nominally in the Church than against people who make no bones about the fact that they are outside it. That includes clergy.

I have said before that the hierarchy is terribly unfair to orthodox Catholics, because they are the ones most likely to say to the Church, no matter how much filth she gets on her skirts (in paraphrase): To whom else shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. In other words, the hierarchy knows that it can safely take us for granted, knowing that whatever it throws at us, we're going to take it. NO, bad music, banning kneeling, closing down Eucharistic Adoration throughout a diocese, effectively suppressing centuries of pious practices, pushing heresy through aesthetically dreadful music, making Mass attendance a cross to bear through horrid liturgy and church architecture, you name it. It's the dissenters who claim full communion to whom the hierarchy panders. To be cynical, a heretic's money is as green as a Catholic's.

That, furthermore, explains why they're so shrill about SSPX. It isn't so much because they're conservative; it's because they provide an institutional option for the disaffected Catholic who still value the first 20 ecumenical councils and don't just worship the most recent one. (SSPX also provides an alternative for the disaffected Catholic's money as well).

Gene put it best a few weeks ago. He said he sees himself as a husband who's been cheated on but who continues to hope that there can be a reconciliation.

rcg said...

I think those people need the Church at least as much as the Faithful. What I do not understand is that the Church makes no effort to correct the misrepresentation of Teaching.

Greg said...


They may need the Church, but they don't want it. Yet the hierarchy treats them as if they already have it. The hierarchy aren't so much trying to reach these people (since as you note they aren't trying to correct mistaken ideas) as tolerating--and thus enabling--belief and practice that are opposed to Catholicism.

There is a difference in someone acknowledging that one is a sinner and has sinned, on the one hand, and someone redefining or denying sin so as to claim what he is doing is not a sin but a good thing. This is one of the bases of the sin of scandal. When I see people who identify themselves as Catholics--lots of them--engaging in behaviors that my concupiscent self would also love to engage in, a little voice asks me what the point of my Catholicity is. Perhaps that simply means I don't have enough faith and this problem is on me. But doesn't faith need nurturing? isn't this the true point of the horizontal? Am I alone in this? Does no one else have this struggle?

Gene said...

Greg, Tell me about it! LOL! I absolutely agree with you.

Anon friend said...

Yes, Greg; Father made the case for the Church as Mother. I believe "mothering" is all over the place--what is lacking is "fathering". When a mother dominates the family without proper fathering, what happens? The end result is skewed, and lacks proper balance. Viewpoints get distorted and children suffer the consequences.

WSquared said...

Father, there's so much food for thought regarding the segregationists that Archbishop Rummel excommunicated and Nancy Pelosi. We often don't ask what the segregationists and Nancy Pelosi both think are at stake, and what actually is at stake.

JBS's and Gene's points should be taken together: the merits of dissenters in the Church being more likely to repent while fully inside the Church are highly contingent on a Church who not only knows who she is, but whose laity and clergy are prepared to evangelize.

Dissenters' Communion with Christ is at least very weak, and likely at breaking point. They promote weak Communion by example if the Church can't meet them where they are, which also means challenging them. Triage and quarantine are not kicking people out.

Many Catholics have a highly fragmented sense of the faith. Orthodoxy becomes authentic when right content joins the dots: the Holy Spirit that the Father sends down upon these gifts like the dewfall at Mass so that they may become the Body and Blood of Christ is also the same Holy Spirit that protects the Pope from error on faith and morals when he speaks ex cathedra. There is no such thing as a merely Sacramental Church where the faithful can avoid her teaching office. Such a construction seems dangerously close to sinning against the Holy Spirit, and it paves the way for denial of the Trinity, and you can't claim to love Jesus Christ and pit His Own Spirit against His Body.

Self-professed Catholics who publicly misrepresent or deny what the Church teaches about what Catholics believe/don't believe have no wiggle room, given the Nicene Creed we profess while participating in the Heavenly liturgy every Sunday Mass. Thinking that pits the Persons of the Holy Trinity against each other in various ways amounts to its denial. But the Creed also contains both the measure of someone stepping out of bounds and the means by which they can be brought back.

In general, false ecumenism is ultimately no ecumenism at all. This reminds me of a relative who essentially told me that "WE NEED MORE MEMBERS!" No thought as to what Jesus Christ offers through His Church and why people become Catholic or should become Catholic, or what it actually means to be Catholic, just... "WE NEED MORE MEMBERS!" and suggestions that assume advertising and more human activities would fix everything. Parish barbecues and other activities are wonderful, and can promote fellowship. But they're not they're not necessary or sufficient reason for becoming Catholic or staying Catholic. Something more is needed. Authentic fellowship doesn't happen without the Eucharist, anyway: without Me, you can do nothing. Many things obscure the latter, not least of which includes inappropriate music at Mass, whose medium threatens the very message that it wants to send. Anthropocentric views of the Church and the Mass miss the crucial point of the liturgy: we can't reach the Source and Summit of the Christian Life by our own power, and couldn't make this stuff up if we tried.

Catholicism must be itself. One Protestant-to-Catholic convert said that what will make Protestants consider Catholicism is being more Catholic. That a Eucharistic Procession is "weird" to those who don't know what to make of it is exactly the point: signs of contradiction stimulate conversation-- is that really "a guy in a dress," and what's a cassock, anyhow? Are you so sure that Catholics worship "just a piece of bread" (and "worship Mary")? If God is God, why can't He act through matter? What do we mean by "God," and what do we mean by "Jesus"?

WSquared said...

When I see people who identify themselves as Catholics--lots of them--engaging in behaviors that my concupiscent self would also love to engage in, a little voice asks me what the point of my Catholicity is.

Greg, you are not alone. And perhaps God is using moments like these to prompt you as to what the point of Catholicism is. John Henry Newman once said: "Lord, in my perplexity, let my perplexity serve You." "What's the point?" isn't a reason for discouragement, but an opportunity for further exploration.

Perhaps that simply means I don't have enough faith and this problem is on me.

Everybody's faith needs constant growth and nurturing. You are no different. We become part of the problem when we allow other people's sins to distract and discourage us, whereby we become as much a stumbling block to ourselves and others as they do. The learning curve is steep, and that's okay. Keep going. It's allowed to be hard, and it's not going to come all at once.

But doesn't faith need nurturing? isn't this the true point of the horizontal?

Yes, and it's also the point of the vertical, without which the horizontal would just, well, fall flat. What might help you is to think bigger and extend your horizons about how you understand the Church: when we think about the horizontal, we tend to relegate it to temporal matters, forgetting that the Body of Christ exists in history throughout time and space, and contains not just the Church Militant at any given point in history, but the Church Suffering and the Church Triumphant. They can't be compartmentalized.

Am I alone in this? Does no one else have this struggle?

I struggle with this, too, at times, whereby I am either thinking that I have to assume all of the burden of belief or foisting all of the responsibility of that burden onto others. Either way, I forget to rely only on God. I struggle with feeling discouraged, and I struggle with fear. But both of those things can be offered up to the Lord in prayer. I have to carry my own cross, just as others are trying to carry theirs. All crosses are different, and they are heavy in different ways. But we must persevere and persist in charity.

If I grumble too much about inappropriate music at Mass, for example, I am essentially giving other people permission to ruin Mass for me. I attend both the EF and the OF, High and Low, and I know that I've been given a gift in the EF. Attending the no-frills Low OF showed me not only the magnitude of that gift, but the magnanimous gift of the Mass, period. The issue then becomes how I allow that gift to nurture my faith and my reason, how I share that gift with others, which is contingent on where I put my primary focus. And this is an issue of praxis: right content must join the dots and must actively engage, continually learning and knowing that it can. The law of prayer is the law of belief is the law of living. All three are required for any and all Catholics, and they are all connected. If I profess belief in Jesus Christ as the Logos, then He will teach me through a series of lessons how they are related in a coherent fashion. And I'm going to struggle in one or more of those related areas at any given time as I seek to grow stronger, but in Him, the center holds.