Friday, February 9, 2018


As even the secular media turns a negative eye toward progressive Catholicism which fomented the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, everyone is now seeing, as in a time warp, that progressive Catholicism is the cause of the current state  of decline of the Church some fifty years of the liberalizing pastoral Council of the Vatican II.

What do I mean? First, as it concerns the sexual abuse scandal, it is primarily how bishops handled these cases from the 1970's through the early 2000's. It was based upon a pastoral model that was more concerned with the priest abuser and his vocation, than the abused victims and their families.

Priest psychiatrists in most of the mental institutions that priests were sent for healing, believed in a progressive way that through prayer, thereapy, medication and support groups, like sex anonymous, priest who abused minors and usually homosexual priests, could be changed and returned to active ministry and not just one time, but time after time.

In fact, when I was vocation director, I asked a very famous priest, known very well by every bishop in this country, who was promoting being more public with the laity about priest abusers being returned to active ministry, similar to alcoholic priests returned in a public way to ministry and even their same parish, about actual victims and/or potential future victims of these kinds of priests. He was very ambiguous about the answer to that question and did not seem to give much tought to it.

Liberalism is always more concerned about abusers and their rights rather than victims. Think of the illegal alien who murdered a young woman in San Francisico and was recently found innocent!

Secondly we are seeing yet again in the present, how liberal or progressive Catholicism is so very polarizing in the Catholic Church. Those my age and older know this from our first hand experiences and memories of the 1960's, but younger Catholics are absolutely clueless and others in denial.

Who are the ones being alienated the most in the present experience of polarizing liberalism as was the case in the 1960's? Committed, traditional, conservative Catholics, so much so they leave the Church and liberal Catholics remain becasue for them the Church is simply a NGO that provides community for them and good works--the horizontal Church if you will.

Yes, we are heading once again for a smaller but not more faithful Church. I suggest a smaller more faithful Church is what is required if we are to shrink ourselves in an misguided intentional way.


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Liberalism is always more concerned about abusers and their rights rather than victims."

This is patently false and a terrible slur against anyone who understands that all people have rights, victims AND abusers. Protecting the rights of criminals is an essential element of justice, whether you think of that in terms of the criminal justice system or in terms of moral justice.

"Think of the illegal alien who murdered a young woman in San Francisico and was recently found innocent!"

In San Francisco, Garcia Zarate was found innocent of murder, but was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm and could spend between 16 months and 3 years in prison. A jury trial is one of the bedrocks of our criminal justice system and we should be glad that it works. With little or no knowledge of the FACTS in the case, you cannot conclude that the verdict is a product of "liberalism."

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

HELLO? He murdered a young woman in cold blood and the politically liberal sham of an innocent verdict of a guilty man is astonishing. And yes 16 months in prison is a liberal's idea of justice. Thanks for supporting my post with facts.

TJM said...


Hang it up. How many innocent Americans, Kate Steinle, etal, need to be killed because Dems are soooooooooooooo desperate for illegals' votes? Nancy Pelosi's rant was Exhibit A, a pathetic, old abortion drooler.

The jury in San Fran is as looney as the town is. That jury was more interested in sending President Trump a message rather than rendering justice. May God have mercy on their souls.

FYI, there was just a story today that more people are leaving the Bay Area than coming in. The reasons: sanctuary city status, homeless taking over the city, and costs. Grow up. Your "progressive" world (aka communist) world is a farce and is dangerous.

Marc said...

As a criminal defense attorney, I agree with Fr. Kavanaugh's assessment of that particular case. There are no "facts" independent of what a jury determines: in our system, the jury is the fact-finder.

I don't know what that fellow is likely to be sentenced to for his felon in possession of a firearm conviction. The statutory maximum is 10 years on that (unless certain other things are present, which I gather are lacking in this case). He'll likely face a cross-reference under the federal sentencing guidelines for the shooting. So his guideline range (which is advisory only) will be rather high, I would suppose. Ultimately, it'll be up to the judge to sentence the person, after considering the statutory factors.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"HELLO? He murdered a young woman in cold blood..."

Well, Hello to you, too. No, the jury found he did not murder a woman in cold blood. We have jury trials to weigh the evidence and determine a verdict based on that evidence.

If you can show with the evidence presented at the trial, not some comments purloined from a blog, that, in your opinion, the jury was wrong, please do so.

Be careful about denigrating the trial-by-jury system.

Henry said...

As a criminal defense attorney, I agree with Fr. Kavanaugh's assessment of that particular case. There are no "facts" independent of what a jury determines: in our system, the jury is the fact-finder.

Then, as a layman, I think you're both wrong. Surely we can all agree that there have in the past been many cases in white defendants were found innocent of crimes against black victims despite everyone involved, including the members of the jury, knowing they were factually guilty. Thus in such cases the jury determined not what was true in the case, but merely what (if anything) would be done about it.

In a conversation along these lines, an experienced and well-respected judge once told me that the determination of truth is simply not the object of legal procewdings.

Marc said...

"In a conversation along these lines, an experienced and well-respected judge once told me that the determination of truth is simply not the object of legal proceedings."

That is true. Our system is not equipped to determine objective truth. It is equipped to determine legal truth. That is why we speak in terms of guilty and not guilty, instead of using the term "innocent."

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Henry - Certainly there are times when a jury erred or went the way of "jury nullification." (They knew the defendant was guilty but, for other reasons, found him/her innocent.) Juries deliver a verdict - they are not aiming at "truth."

That's not the issue raised by Fr. McDonald's silly post - at all.

I imagine there were some pretty "conservative" juries who refused to find guilty some of their fellow co-segregationists back in the days of Jim Crow. Heck, it doesn't take imagining, we know it happened.

Making base-less claims about a trial - "Liberalism is always more concerned about abusers and their rights rather than victims. Think of the illegal alien who murdered a young woman in San Francisico and was recently found innocent!" - and using that base-less claim to slam "liberalism" is the issue with which I and all reasonable persons take exception.

Marc said...

For what it's worth, attorneys aren't allowed to argue jury nullification. Although, I suppose it could happen even without an attorney arguing it -- I haven't ever seen it.

And Fr. Kavanaugh's statement that this person is facing between 16 months and 3 years is not accurate. I suspect he will get quite a bit more than 3 years. He certainly would if he were being sentenced in my district.

TJM said...


THe San Fran Jury engaged in jury nullication, period. You deny that, because you support their anti-Trump motivation.

Also, California is attempting to nullify federal immigration law via electing Sanctuary State status. Sounds like the same stunts the Old South used to play, The difference is, you have no principles because to you, the ends justifies the means. Well two can play that game. Maybe conservative states will ignore the feds on abortion and gay marriage, with far more historic justification for doing so. Oh, I forget, you are a Democrat first and a Catholic second. I don't know why you keep up the charade of being a priest.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Marc - Reuters: "The jury, while acquitting Garcia Zarate of murder, manslaughter and assault charges, found him guilty of the lesser charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm, said Max Szabo, a spokesman for the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. The sentence for that crime in California can range between 16 months and three years in prison."

"6.1. Penal Code 29800 PC – felon with a firearm

Unlawful possession of a firearm under California Penal Code 29800 PC is a felony. If convicted, you face:
1.16 months, or two (2) or three (3) years in county jail, and/or
2.a maximum $10,000 fine.
You may also be required to forfeit your weapon."

That so many people, Marc not included, have such intimate and exhaustive knowledge of the evidence and testimony presented in this case is, well, astounding...

TJM said...

Father McDonald, not quite on topic but I thought you would enjoy this piece from the Acton Institute in response to looney Bishop Sorondo's assertion that Red China is a leader in Catholic social teaching:

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

Fr. McD said, "...liberal Catholics remain becasue (sic) for them the Church is simply a NGO that provides community for them and good works--the horizontal Church if you will."

Recently I was reading an article about grace, and the meritorious acts we might do as "good works." Being an orthodox article, it was mentioned that only when one is in the state of grace are good works "meritorious," that is, deserving of a reward from God.

I'm sure I learned that sometime before Vatican II kicked in, but I had forgotten. It certainly is food for thought what with (some) Catholics these days not finding the need for sacramental confession, and the same time assuming all their charitable acts are worth a bountiful reward from God.

Of course, who am I to judge? :-)

God bless.

Marc said...

Fr. Kavanaugh, my apologies. He’s under indictment in federal court for being a felon in possession of a firearm and being an illegal immigrant in possession of a firearm. That is the sentencing I’ve been discussing. Whatever he gets in federal court would be consecutive to his state sentence. It’ll also be without parole.

Gene said...

Child molesters and other sexual deviates and perverts do not rehab at a very high rate. Repeat offenses are frequent and common. I personally think child molesters should be put to death, but that ain't gonna' happen.

John Nolan said...

Liberalism originally meant a belief in free trade and laissez-faire economics. The application of liberal principles with regard to the Irish Famine in the 1840s (associated with Sir Charles Trevelyan) exacerbated the situation.

What it means now is anyone's guess. It can resemble socialism (which is historically its opposite) when the state uses its power to impose a political and social agenda on its citizens. Some people would define themselves as 'liberal' but oppose free speech. In the context of Catholicism 'liberals' and 'conservatives' identify themselves as much by whom or what they oppose as by whom or what they support.

If so-called 'political correctness' is a hallmark of modern liberalism (and I have yet to encounter a conservative who espoused it) then it would tend to side with the victim; in fact it peddles a 'victim culture'. Extreme feminism tends to see all men as abusers and all women as victims.

Juries have to reach a verdict 'beyond reasonable doubt' on the evidence before them. In English jurisprudence, if the judge considers the evidence to be insufficient he will direct the jury to return a verdict of 'not guilty'.

Juries can be perverse, but by and large they get it right.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

Except in California, juries mostly get it right. These liberal loons in San Fran can't see they are doing the same thing as racist juries used to do in the Old South. FYi, normal folks are abandoning the Bay Area in large numbers, so watch for taxes going even higher there to support the "liberals" social justice agenda. As Lady Thatcher once said so well, Socialism works until you run out of other peoples' money.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting what you wrote there above, John.

In Australia, our Liberal Party has been mainly led by people who believe it is best to most times have minimal government interference in the economy and low taxes etc and have been mostly quite conservative on most social issues; the opposite in a lot of ways to "liberals" in the USA.

Our Labor Party (which used to be led by the cream of the working class, but in recent decades has been led by the dregs of the middle class) is "liberal" in the American sense of being OK with big government spending, high taxes etc and "progressive" on issues like abortion, the LGBTI agenda, climate change and so on...

I believe most conservatives in the West in general would tend to be pro-life and tend to be wary of doing things like changing the Marriage Act to allow same-sex marriage.
While most liberals, as the term is understood in the USA, are OK with abortion and are supportive of the whole LGBTI agenda.

But I think there is a further big difference. I remember that Margaret Thatcher quote: There is no such thing as "society". in one way, this can be taken as saying what is true, that "society" and "community" are just abstract words; a nation or state is made up of millions of different, unique individuals. Opposed to this is the "progressive liberal" and socialist tendency to view people in terms of classes, categories and groups and so on; here in Australia, I am driven mad by the endless mis-use and over-use of the word "community" ! Almost every day we can hear of the "Gay community", the "South Sudanese community", the "Muslim community", "the aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community", the "surf life saving community"....with the logic of this mis-use and over-use of the word "community" by socially progressive liberals we could talk of a "red haired community", a "cat owning community", a "Datsun driving community" or "the herpes suffering community".

But what is reality? Take a man who is black, Buddhist and bisexual in Sydney, Australia, as he goes about his daily life with a certain job, shopping etc, with certain hobbies and sports played, certain likes and dislikes in books, music and TV shows etc in what specific ways each day is he really a part of any so called Sydney black community, Buddhist community or bisexual community? His main "community" is more likely to be the people he works with each day and if he loved cricket then some Sydney cricket club could be a "community" for him.

Sorry, back to differences between conservatives and liberals. I would say in the West that conservatives TEND to be either Christian or at least respect Christian values while liberal are more likely to be agnostic, secular humanists.

I would say that since c. 1900 liberals have tended to believe that most of the problems of individuals and society itself could be solved by giving women the vote, giving women birth control, having taxes high enough to pour further billions into public health, housing and education; and strive to make the next generation free from racism, sexism and homophobia etc.

But conservatives, if Christian, believe in original sin and there will never be a Utopia this side of the grave, and non Christian conservatives may take, too, a sort of realistically pessimistic view of people (like the philosophy of Hobbes) that people will always be flawed creatures who need to be kept in place and in line with strong leaders (secular and religous) who see to it that there are strongly enforced laws. A strong emphasis on the importance of law and order is a conservative trait, I believe.

Finally, I believe to be Catholic and to start heading in the liberal direction is just most times starting down a path that almost inevitably leads to disbelief.

Anonymous said...

By the way, fairly often on this blog someone will state basically:
The sooner this papacy ends the better!
This inspired me to do a little research.

If there was to be a conclave this year or next year, it basically boils down to who is realistically on offer. Several journalists (from 2015 to now) believe these 16 prelates in different ways fit that bill:


de Aviz.

It was then interesting to read even just the wiki biography of each cardinal. So with that and past reading on various cardinals:

Ouellet, Napier and Sarah I believe would make good popes.

Rood Screen said...

Father MacDonald,

I intend you no offense, but your sentence structure at times appears not to conform to any common standard. I wonder if you read what you've typed (or dictated) before you publish. At any rate, I find reading the transcripts of Pope Francis' various statements to be similarly underdeveloped. If only he would think through what he wishes to say before he says it, perhaps he'd be more articulate and less provocative. I even begin to think that he simply doesn't have a sufficient grasp on concepts to enable him to enter into thoughtful dialogue with his doubters, or to express himself in a manner capable of founding any meaningful conversations among his diverse, and increasingly frustrated, followers.

As for the association between "progressive" Catholics and the ineffective protection of children from child-molesting priests, I do not think progressive bishops would define child molestation as a form of progress. There does, however, seem to be considerable tolerance among progressive Catholics for sodomy and other disordered uses of the sexual faculty by adults.

TJM said...

the German cardinals would go wild if Sarah was elected. They might finish the job that Martin Luther started in Germany

Anonymous said...

The next pope?
It is quite possible if not very likely we will have a new pope within the next 5 years.
Francis is 81 this year.
He has several times indicated that his will not be a long papacy.
He has clearly said he could resign as Benedict did.

And it is also quite possible at the next conclave the cardinals could be inclined to choose a steadier hand and more "conservative" pope to balance the style of Francis I.

I believe Ranjith, Tagle, Napier and Erdo have some chance; and each could make a good pope.

Anonymous said...

A large international betting agency has the following odds for the next pope - Tagle 6/1. Scola, Ouellet and Turkson each at 7/1. Schonborn at 8/1. Sarah 16/1. Nichols and Erdo both at 20/1.
Burke 33/1. And Ranjith at 50/1.


Anonymous 2 said...

Conservative? Liberal? Community? Etc., etc.

“Words are very rascals” and “are grown so false, I am loath to prove reason with them” – from Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” so old is the problem. Hence the necessity always to define one’s terms.

And, to continue the conceit, if “liberalism is always more concerned about abusers and their rights rather than victims” (presumably “only liberalism” is intended), then judging by their reactions to allegations of domestic abuse, many in the Trump circle must be liberals, at least if their women are to be believed. Ooops! Hoisted with one’s own petard perhaps?

Anonymous 2 said...

By the way, isn’t Sorensen a Norwegian name? If the allegations turn out to be well founded, the implication is clear: Ban immigration from Norway!

Henry said...

If the decline of faith under the present papacy continues much further, the cardinals may be forced to go for a veritable Athanasius, one (perhaps not even a cardinal) who can lead the Church back to the the Faith.

Anonymous said...

There was a story on one of the national news networks the other night about how a Catholic school teacher in the Miami area got the ax for "marrying" another woman, and not surprisingly these days, a lot of the parents were siding with the teacher! Kind makes you wonder what is being taught in those schools!!! And that is not to mention our higher ed system, which was already showing signs of trouble in the late 1960s. One of Atlanta's former Episcopal bishops dis studies at Catholic University in the late 1960s and he turned out to be much more liberal than his predecessors---women priests, same-sex marriages, you get the idea.