Friday, April 17, 2015


Update: Pope Francis throws his moral support behind Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone who is experiencing humiliation and calls to resign for upholding Catholic Moral law and not evacuating it:

"And this is the sanctity of the Church, this joy that humiliation gives, not because humiliation is beautiful, no, that would be masochism, no: it is because with that humiliation, you imitate Jesus. Two attitudes: that of closing what brings you to hatred, to wrath, to want to kill others; and that of being open to God on the path of Jesus, that makes us accept humiliations, even very serious humiliations, with that interior joy that makes you of being on the path set out by Jesus."
The press, Catholic and otherwise, is comparing the new Bishop of San Diego, Bishop  Robert McElroy, who was the Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco, to the current Archbishop of San Francisco who is  Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.

At his recent installation as San Diego's new bishop, Bishop McElroy highlighted Pope Francis’ call for mercy in the Church, saying that mercy “does not mean evacuating the moral law of its substance,” but instead emulating Jesus’ encounters with the marginalized in the Gospels.
“First embracing them with love and mercy, then healing their wounds, and only then proclaiming the moral law of reform,” he said.

From the pastoral perspective and in one-to-one meetings with people, either in Confession, spiritual direction or simply pastoral counseling, I would agree that the Church, which usually means pastoral ministers and especially bishops, priests and deacons, should embrace people first with love and mercy and strive to allow God's grace to heal their wounds.

I also agree that mercy "does not mean evacuating the moral law of its substance." 

I have to wonder also, if it wasn't this ideology of mercy, that cause the abuse crisis scandal in the Church where bishops first embraced abusing priests with love and mercy to heal their wounds and only then, after having placed them in parish after parish where they abused child after child, proclaimed the moral law of reform?  Are we in the 1970's again when it comes to mercy and the moral law and that has led to the collapse of Catholic moral authority?

Yet, Bishop McElroy, unless his head is buried in the sand and having been the Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco, certainly he didn't do that, must know that when it comes to sexual morals, there are those in the Church that oppose the Church's moral law and want to evacuate it completely, especially the elitists in the Church, not those who are poor and live on the periphery of society. Homosexuals are some of the richest people in the world.

And thus about 400 miles up the road in Bishop McElroy's former diocese of San Francisco, about 100 elitist Catholics, many of them quite rich and influential, many of them academics, are asking Pope Francis to remove their Archbishop Cordileone from his post.

Why? Because the good Archbishop won't evacuate the moral law and speaks prophetically about upholding it. I have no doubt that in one-to-one encounters with sinners of all stripes, the good Archbishop is merciful and gives them the awful tasting medicine of mercy that can lead to authentic healing and wholeness and ultimately eternal salvation. It might mean, though, the amputation of immoral habits!

One commentator on the goings on in San Francisco opined: "So, a bunch of San Francisco elitists have gone all Henry II: "Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?". I'm sure the Archbishop will be glad to know he is now seen as in the same company as St. Thomas a Becket.

And this is what Pope Francis said about Archbishop Cordileone (not by name, but by implication of the words of the Holy Father) just this morning at the Mass at the Chapel of the place of his residence, the Vatican Motel 6:

And this is the sanctity of the Church, this joy that humiliation gives, not because humiliation is beautiful, no, that would be masochism, no: it is because with that humiliation, you imitate Jesus. Two attitudes: that of closing what brings you to hatred, to wrath, to want to kill others; and that of being open to God on the path of Jesus, that makes us accept humiliations, even very serious humiliations, with that interior joy that makes you of being on the path set out by Jesus. 

This is what the Associate Press reported:

SAN FRANCISCO — Some San Francisco Bay Area Catholics have gone public with their complaints about their archbishop.

KNTV reported Thursday that more than 100 Catholics signed a full-page newspaper advertisement asking Pope Francis to remove Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.
Many disagree with, and are upset by, the way Cordileone has enforced traditional Catholic teaching.
The archbishop caused dismay among teachers, students, parents, and the public earlier this year when he introduced morality clauses into four Catholic high school handbooks as well as teacher labor contracts.

The language said that using contraception is a sin, and that sex outside of marriage, whether it is in the form of adultery, masturbation, pornography, or gay sex, is “gravely evil.”
Of particular concern to some faculty was the prospect of punishment for behavior done behind closed doors, although Cordileone later said he had no intention of invading teachers’ privacy.
The archdiocese also adopted a strategy being used by other Catholic dioceses and organizations: Reclassifying teachers and employees as “ministers,” in part to stop successful lawsuits from employees terminated because of morality issues.

Cordileone later dropped the “ministers” designation and asked a committee to help him reword the guidelines to provide better clarity.

Among those who signed the newspaper petition are former political consultant and San Francisco mayoral candidate Clint Reilly and his wife Janet.
In response, the archdiocese argued that the ad, published in Thursday’s San Francisco Chronicle, does not reflect the city’s entire Catholic community.

“The advertisement is a misrepresentation of Catholic teaching, a misrepresentation of the nature of the teacher contract, and a misrepresentation of the spirit of the Archbishop. The greatest misrepresentation of all is that the signers presume to speak for ‘the Catholic Community of San Francisco.’ They do not.”


Anonymous said...

Msgr. Pope over on the Archdiocese of Washington blog has a post today titled "What ever happened to the spiritual works of mercy?" It's excellent. I think "Catholics" such as the San Francisco bunch should be reminded of these three: "Admonish the sinner," "instruct the ignorant," "counsel the doubtful" in particular to challenge them to stop pretending "mercy" means not questioning the behavior of others.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how long it will take Pope Francis to "promote" Archbishop Cordeleone as under secretary to some insignificant Vatican congregation?

As an aside. The LCWR gets off the hook and continues spreading error and the Franciscans of the Immaculate are still being crushed. But there is nothing wrong in Rome.

Robert Kumpel said...

Bishop Cordileone makes me think of St. John Vianney, who was always worried when he was not under demonic attack, because he knew they would only harass him when he was doing his job as a priest.

On a technical note, San Francisco is not "70 miles up the road" from San Diego. It's more like 400 miles.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

My bad, I should have put 70X70! I'll fix it. I've driven from San Diego to San Francisco, so I know that!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The LCWR will soon be gone,maybe ten to 15 years from now. They are old and dying. They have no new vocations. Why spend so much time and energy on them. I think it was wise to bring this to a conclusion on a number of fronts.

I still don't quite understand what is going on with the very young order, the Franciscans of the Immaculate. I think there is more to this than meets the eye--perhaps a cult-like (similar to the Legionaries of Christ) attitude concerning the EF Mass and pre-Vatican II ways. I don't know.

But at a national conference on chant held in my parish, there were two Franciscans of Mary Immaculate in attendance. One seem very balanced and con-celebrated our daily morning Mass. The other insisted on his own private EF Mass as though the parish Mass (community Mass) wasn't good enough. That could be highly divisive in a religious house which as concelebrated Masses for one or two or more to decide that they will go it their own way. That may have been fine prior to Vatican II but not today in terms of a religious house and its expectations for Mass.

A collision of two ways of doing things in one religious order isn't going to be good.

Anonymous said...

"I still don't quite understand what is going on with the very young order, the Franciscans of the Immaculate. I think there is more to this than meets the eye"

A variety of sources of information convince me that what is happening is precisely what meets the eye--the ruthless extermination of an order solely because it is vigorously committed to traditional Catholicism faith (while open and even exemplary in celebration of the OF in its parish practice).

I do not understand the necessity of constant contortions to rationalize the fact that terribly bad things happen even in good papacies. I view the extermination of the Franciscans of the Immaculate as simply this papacy's unfortunate instance of that reality.

Incidentally, the question of a house with a daily concelebrated conventual Mass would be a non-issue if the were no such FFI house. Nor is it my understanding that any of this is happening because of either real or alleged "cult-like" behavior.

Anonymous said...

California is a hopelessly, secular far-left state---just look at their governor, "Catholic" Jerry Brown and far,far, far-left Senator Barbara Boxer. Its 55 electoral votes---easily the largest state in the country---will go for Hillary Clinton or whomever else the far-left Democrats lose. Can we give that state to Mexico? It is dismaying to see the large number of Catholics in that state who have betrayed their faith by electing politicians like the ones above!!!! You practically have to be a martyr for the faith to head a diocese out there!

Anonymous said...

Forbes says that of 1,645 billionaires in the world, seven are gay.

Robert Kumpel said...


The situation with Catholics in California is as it is precisely because of the manner in which dioceses have been led for the last few decades. Most of the state's bishops seem to care more about immigration than just about any other issue. The state is literally stuck in a self-destruct mode and the California Catholic Conference, under the leadership of Ned Dolejsi, takes a soft approach to just about every grave social and moral issue the Church has a position on. If a pro-abort politician who is nominally Catholic gets elected in California (and about the only Catholics who get elected there are just that) you can bet that there will be an inauguration Mass to "celebrate" this person taking office so they can lead the rest of the people nearer to the cliff.

When Bishop Maher was the Bishop of San Diego, every year the city's public schools would float a proposal for on-site "health clinics" where they could distribute contraceptives and refer out for abortions. By appealing to the folks in the pews, Bishop Maher stopped it cold every year. After his passing and the takeover by Bishop Brom, the diocese suddenly stopped its opposition and the "clinics" became a reality. Just one example of what happens when Catholic leaders decide not to lead.

You have very few bishops in California who are willing to fight the good fight. The two most prominent are Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco and Robert Vasa of Santa Rosa. Because of their hard-line, they are treated with contempt, not just by the enemies of the Church, but by their own mutinous flock. Most of the other bishops are on good, friendly terms with the pro-abort, pro-gay marriage leaders. That says it all.

Anonymous said...

Or, as one of Fr. Z's correspondents put it more succinctly about the Franciscans of the Immaculate:

"The only Catholic Franciscan’s left are chased like Jews in 1944 Poland for the grievous sin of attracting vocations while sticking to the rule and using certain liturgical books."

And for no other evident reason.

Richard M. Sawicki said...

This thought occurred to me this morning:

The demons in California are especially agitated right now because of the upcoming canonization of Junipero Serra, whom the secular left wants to paint as the "Christian conqueror/destroyer" of the wonderful pagan society that lived there previously.

Just a thought.

Gaudete in Domino Semper!

JusadBellum said...

"Academics" ooh. That "academics" are against the archbishop is a badge of honor. Lesser men than him would challenge these "educational elites" to a public debate on the topic and mop the floor with them.

Really, that a Catholic diocese insists that employees are genuine Catholic or at least not scandalous is not a hard concept to grasp.

Paul said...

They do not thirst for a church in the image of Christ, they demand a church in the image of themselves.

Anonymous said...

Father, have you thought about the problem with concelebrated Masses? Because one priest refused to join in the concelebrated Mass and celebrated his own that meant there were two Masses offered that day rather than one. If you consider the fruits of one Mass then 20 Masses said in one day must help the world so much more than just one Mass being offered. No wonder we are on the skids if orders are adopting a concelebratory celebration of Mass rather than each priest celebrating his own Mass which is how it should be. I say good on that priest for making a stand.


Anonymous said...

From what I have heard about the Franciscans of the Immaculate they incurred the wrath of certain people by translating into English Roberto de Mattei's book "The Second Vatican Council: An Unwritten Story" and Mons Brunero Gheradini's two books. These are all now available in the US and other English speaking countries thanks to the Franciscans but their publishing house was shut down as a result.

Volpi has been recently exposed in court as a liar as reported by Rorate Caeli:

"UPDATE: Corrispondenza Romana has a copy of the court record and is reporting that Fr. Volpi has a deadline of March 3 for paying the damages to the Manelli family and making public apologies. In addition to the numerous ways he must publicly apologize, listed in our original report below, he must also now issue a press release distributed through AGI (the Italian news agency).

Corrispondenza Romana also asked if Fr. Volpi will resign."