Thus the Macon Telegraph prints an anti-Catholic diatribe that slams two Catholics in the Macon area for simply telling the truth. The diatribe is a pathetic liberal attempt to silence, to censor and to end the discussion. But it won't work!
Here it is, read at your own risk:
Your Say: Comprehending attacks on Cummings’ recent column
No profession deserves our collective respect and gratitude more than the medical community and no one has more respect for medical doctors than I. Physicians are exceptionally bright, their training rigorous and their daily dedication to healing merits on-going recognition.
Although I have respect for the accomplishments of Miguel A. Faria M.D., an associate editor-in-chief of the Surgical Neurology International, and a published author, my respect fades when he, as well as Father Allan J. McDonald, pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church, recently wrote responses to Dr. William Cummings’ Sunday column.
It is clear both of these educated men find strength and comfort in their Catholic beliefs, which I trust make them more at ease in this confusing and dangerous world. They are Catholic true believers, and it has to be upsetting to have someone point out that church memberships are declining. For every person joining the Catholic Church, Cummings informs us, six people depart. Neither Faria nor McDonald disputes the fact of this decline. To the contrary, both men grudgingly acknowledge the truth in Cummings’ statements. McDonald puts the best spin on this dramatic loss of Catholics by referring to “mustard seeds” and “the cyclical history of the Catholic Church.”
Admittedly I do not fully understand McDonald’s “cyclical” reference, but let us hope this next cycle does not include a repeat of the Catholic Church’s multiple crusades in which Catholic soldiers killed thousands of Arabs, Jews and nonbelievers as they made their way across the Arab World and into Jerusalem, while the blood of Arab and Jewish men, women and children, flowed ankle deep. Nor, hopefully, does McDonald’s “cycle” include the systemic return of priestly pedophilia, homophobia or the church’s well-documented, painful history of anti-Semitism.
Faria’s vision of civilization’s decline is far more alarming. He not only notes the Catholic Church’s decline but, given his view of the church’s “central role” in Western civilization, he foresees civilization itself collapsing. The disturbing dimensions of Faria’s vision reminds one of Hieronymus Bosch, the 15th century Dutch painter, who also predicted civilization’s destruction which he attributed in part to Adam and Eve, depicted in his famous painting “The Garden of Earthly Delights.”
Today’s world must be an extremely stressful time for Faria. His dark vision of the immediate future has become the impetus, I gather, for his definitive typology about which he lectures us as the only “three obvious choices.”
I am accustomed to members of the soft sciences (e.g.: sociology, psychology, political science and economics) regularly coming up with numerous typologies, most of which have little value except perhaps as heuristic tools. Faria’s three choice typology doesn’t even seem useful as a teaching mechanism. Faria’s methodology is to state a single fact. For example, “China’s economic might,” and then intuit from a plethora of spurious correlations, a series of “causal” breakdowns in Western civilization. His ideas may be creative and entertaining to some, but as a prognosticator of future international political events, Faria would be better served by remaining in his own medical field, editing his neurology journal where causal predictions are more easily ascertained.
What is most disturbing about the diatribes of both Faria and McDonald is they contain a lack of contravening facts to Cummings’ statements. Both men simply rely on the pathetic tactic of attempting to tarnish a good man’s reputation, regardless of the factual truth. If Faria and McDonald don’t like the message, then they shoot the messenger.
Faria’s references to Cummings as “gleeful” and “gloating,” and his reference to Cummings as “having the self-satisfaction of being a ‘modern day Voltaire,’” as well as McDonald’s claim that Cummings “is no pontiff” are merely red herrings. They serve as attempted distractions from the focus of the discussion. Both men resort to ridicule and name-calling because they cannot dispute the facts that run contrary to their own wishes.
I know Dr. Cummings very well. I know his entire lovely family. I am proud to say Cummings is a longtime friend. With other mutual friends, we gather regularly to discuss the issues of the day. I often disagree with him, but I continue to have tremendous respect for him. I know from numerous encounters, Cummings is as kind, thoughtful, humble, gentle and vibrant an intellectual force as any one I know. I find the pathetic attempts of Faria and McDonald to suggest otherwise in very poor taste.
In conclusion, I would offer a final observation to each man. To McDonald, who made a point of saying Cummings “is no pontiff,” I would first point out Cummings never claimed such a foolish title. I would also suggest I knew “Father” (now Monsignor) Cuddy. Father Cuddy was a friend of mine; and you, McDonald, are no Father Cuddy. I suggest you stop judging so harshly those with whom you disagree. Learn from your own pontiff, Pope Francis, who earned the world’s affection when he said: “Who am I to judge?” Try to give up your hubris, the arrogant belief you possess the “truth.” We have enough of those people already scattered around the world. Try to practice humbleness. You may even find a few more Catholics returning to the fold.
To Faria I ask: What was the purpose of your snide, gratuitous denigration of spending health-care dollars on octogenarians, noting “such dollars would be better spent on the young”? How generous of you. Are you suggesting Cummings, as an octogenarian, should die because you do not like his factual statements? Or are you generalizing all octogenarians should be denied health-care dollars? If that is the case, then may I ask why you focused only on octogenarians? How about denying health-care dollars to those in their 70s or perhaps even in their 60s? Why waste precious dollars on old people in general?
Admittedly you raise a serious ethical question which merits more dialogue and consideration by society, but I am more interested in knowing whether your flippant comments are a reflection of your Catholic piety, or merely your personal medical viewpoint.
Neil M. Cullinan is a resident of Macon.
My proposed letter to the editor sent this morning:
My less than 250 word letter to the editor, all that is allowed by the Telegraph, has engendered a full length, several hundred words op ed by Neil M. Cullinan printed by the Telegraph. If the Telegraph wishes for me to write a full length editorial that it will then publish, I'll be happy to do so.
What I find interesting in Cullinan's clearly anti-Catholic diatribe and his denigration of both Dr. Miguel Faria and me is that he is doing the exact same thing he accuses us of doing to poor Dr. Cummings but his denigration of us is on steroids replete with self-righteous anger. His anti-Catholic diatribe is simply pathetic.
I might remind Cullilnan that the worst atrocities committed against humanity occurred in just the last century and revolved around godless, secularist ideologies, that of Nazism and Communism.
I might also remind Cullinan that each of us has our own gifts and talents and while I might be nothing like Msgr. John Cuddy as we are all uniquely created in the image and likeness of God, I am very much like him with the indelible mark of Holy Orders on our souls and thus we are priestly brothers. I am sorry that he felt necessary to pit brother priests of the same family against each another and unjustly so. Msgr. Cuddy would not be pleased! I know Msgr. Cuddy as a brother priest, you do not.
Fr. Allan J. McDonald
St. Joseph Catholic Church
I would simply write that "Of course I believe I have the truth. But so do you else we wouldn't be having an argument! If Cumming didn't believe he possessed the full truth why would he be angry with the Catholic Church? It's no badge of honor to claim that one's side is agnostic about the truth as indeed all "sides" become a partisan side explicitly on behalf of some truth they claim exists and is knowable.
The Marxists of the past century and our current progressives both claimed to know "scientifically" how history would develop and by what means humanity could be perfected. The both claim this trajectory of historical development to be irresistible and inevitable and thus that they are on the 'right side' of history. What is this if not a claim of absolute truth?
As a Catholic I too believe in absolute truth and that this truth is knowable, learnable, and something accessible at least in theory to all mankind and this motivates the universal call for Christians to make disciples of all nations. We believe that man can come to know that God exists by human reason alone and that this reason allows us to accept divine revelation as well.
So the contest between Cummings and myself is between competing world views about what constitutes truth about God, human nature, and our individual and collective destiny. He believes we're wrong and presented his case. I believe he's wrong and presented mine.
Both sides make mention of dire consequences when the other side has ruled but between the two of us, while he needs to go back to the 12th century to find a crusade, I need only point to yesterday for examples of secular regimes using force to compel people to obey notwithstanding their consciences.
There is no real and present danger of a Catholic theocracy imposing its will in a bloody fashion on helpless minorities anywhere on earth. Not in Poland, and not in the Philippines. But there are examples of secular regimes using police powers to impose arbitrary rules on helpless civilians the world over. So between our two camps, the theoretical danger of theocracy must fall before the actual danger of secular tyranny.
Wow, Cullinan should keep better company...maybe he can find some higher level friends around a dumpster.
Not having a dog in this fight, I see a lot of ad hominem personal attacks on both sides (the kind we typically see here) and a lot of articulate, high-minded variations on "That's what your mother said." But anti-Catholic? Could somebody point out what's anti-Catholic, at least in Mr. Cullinan's statement? So often, people are quick to characterize disagreement as an "attack" or a "smear." If you're going to play on the Internet and take shots at others, you need a tougher skin.
Both men resort to ridicule and name-calling because they cannot dispute the facts that run contrary to their own wishes.
Uh... then what's this?:
Learn from your own pontiff, Pope Francis, who earned the world’s affection when he said: “Who am I to judge?” Try to give up your hubris, the arrogant belief you possess the “truth.” We have enough of those people already scattered around the world. Try to practice humbleness.
And then he writes ...merely red herrings. They serve as attempted distractions from the focus of the discussion.
Because, you know, this:
a repeat of the Catholic Church’s multiple crusades in which Catholic soldiers killed thousands of Arabs, Jews and nonbelievers as they made their way across the Arab World and into Jerusalem, while the blood of Arab and Jewish men, women and children, flowed ankle deep. Nor, hopefully, does McDonald’s “cycle” include the systemic return of priestly pedophilia, homophobia or the church’s well-documented, painful history of anti-Semitism.
Isn't a red herring.
Jusadbellum, you don't need to go back to the 13th Century if you're looking for a more recent example of a repressive Catholic theocracy. Consider Franco's Spain. The church has suffered grievious losses there since the nation went democratic 40 years ago. You can see the same thing, on a smaller scale, in some of the Central American nations where the church was closely tied to some brutal dictatorships. Being connected to fascist regimes does no good for the church or its future worldwide.
GG (I had a dog as a child that went by that name, a Chinese pug in fact) I have thick skin or else I wouldn't be blogging.
My main objection with Cullinan's anti-Catholic diatribe and it is precisely that, is his complaint that I didn't address enough of the issues in my letter to the editor. As I mention in my response letters to the editor only allow for 250 words!
He was given a platform in the Telegraph that allowed him thousands of words and to broadside two individuals in the process neither of us in consultation with the other in what we wrote, although Faria's was given more space as an op ed sort of commentary, whereas mine was a succinct letter to the editor.
Thank God Fr. MacDonald is no "go-along-to-get-along" Fr. Cuddy!
I'm not sure I would place it that way. Msgr. Cuddy certainly did not like controversy and avoided it like the plaque. But he was authentically a gentle soul, very fatherly and grandfatherly in this regard and connected on a human level very well with the young,old and in between. Of course after many years of being a closeted alcoholic, he got treatment and went into recovery and became a shining example to the community not only about his alcoholism but his recovery. He handled that in the most dignified way and gave a wonderful witness to others struggling with addictions.
Flavius and Father: Your examples reinforce my thinking that you're all being argumentative and personal, but this is not anti-Catholicism at work.
Calling the church "the whore of Rome" is anti-Catholic. So is calling the Pope the anti-Christ or arguing that a Catholic U.S. president would have divided loyalties.
Bringing up some unfortunate church history is not, especially if the current-day church continues to deny.
Arguing about how much space you're allowed in the newspaper is also hardly anti-Catholic.
And Mr. Flavius, how is arguing that other church leaders behave more like Pope Francis anti-Catholic? Unless you believe the Pope is not Catholic. Maybe you do.
The irritating thing about Cummings is, he is constantly talking about the Catholic Church. In Macon's Newspaper. The irritating thing about it is that he is speaking in a vacuum. There is only 1% of the people in Macon that are a Catholic. So who is he talking to? Not Catholics. Maybe Huffington Post or MSNBC people. Then he gets everything all wrong. When he talks about faith, it is all wrong. Then he tries to qualify himself as an expert because he was "former Catholic Priest that worked closely in Rome with Pope John," but he is supposed to be some kind of Self Help Guru. Why doesn't he talk about that? He must get a charge out of the attention. Why does the editor, Charles Richardson, continue to allow him to talk about the Church? I don't know of anyone else talking about any other church that needs to change. Why is that the Catholic Church always has to be the one to Change? There are umpteen thousand other churches out there, pick one.
GG please read up on the Spanish civil war and all the martyrs killed by the anarchists and later the Marxists before complaining about the Church under Gen. Franco.
It wasn't the Church that controlled Franco, it was Franco who ruled supreme. But somehow it's the Church's fault? The bombed out, decimated, ruin of a Church that had been hunted almost to extinction... that's the Church at fault for Franco's regime's suppression of the Marxists? Really?
Just like smoking...those who have quit are the most vocally against.....The same can be applied to those who have left the Church.....Is it guilt and trying to justify to yourself what you have done or what?
Fr. McDonald, why do you rise to this bait? Cullinan not is obviously writing slanted and slanderous hogwash in defense of his lifelong friend. Cummings comes across as at least weak minded, if not actually mentally ill. Cullinan seems determined to join in the conspiracy theories of his mentor. Too bad they were not both in the Air Force together and they could discuss the goings on in Area 51.
Please cite where I said 'anti-Catholicism' or any variation thereof. Please quote where I said exactly 'arguing that other church leaders behave more like Pope Francis is anti-Catholic'. I cannot even answer your question, since I didn't originally make that statement.
Bringing up some unfortunate church history is not, especially if the current-day church continues to deny.
I don't particularly care what the Catholic Church does and doesn't deny. But once again, I have not used the phrase 'anti-Catholic'. You've pulled it out of thin air from my post.
You seem to be under the mistaken belief that I am Catholic. Your post certainly leads me to believe you think so. But I am not. Indeed, given this, one wonders how I can be 'argumentative and personal' if I don't really have stake in this debate. The decline of the Catholic Church doesn't affect me in any way whatsoever.
But, if someone is going to decry arrogance and then pontificate from on high, yes, I'm going to point it out. If someone is going to decry red herrings, but then proceed to go on a tangent about events that no one living today could be personally affected by, then yes, I'm going to point it out.
"Msgr. Cuddy certainly did not like controversy and avoided it like the plaque."
Would that be 1) a memorial often made of brass or 2) mass of bacteria that grows on surfaces within the mouth?
I think the word you seek is plague.
Plaque should also be avoided...like that in the cerebral arteries of tired old, burnt-out, senile ex-Priest newspaper editors.
If you agree it's a comment. If you disagree it's a diatribe.
Father, quite wasting your time. These people don't get it and they don't want to get it and they can't be bothered trying to understand what we get.
Flavius, I read your previous post as a response to my asking, "Could someone please point out what is anti/Catholic...?"
My apologies, as I obviously misinterpreted.
Nope, Gnutty. Not my style. I prefer to collect the irony dripping from things like Mr. Cullinan's letter. It gives my steak a slight hypocritical flavour.
(Make no mistake, I've done it to other posters here. Especially when the Orthodox Church is mentioned. That's my berserk button.)
Post a Comment