Saturday, September 5, 2015


Dr. Bill Cummings, an ex-priest and I presume ex-Catholic is extremely well educated in the wrong form of Catholicism, the "spirit of Vatican II" in terms of its rupture with its past. Cardinal Mueller equally as well educated and formed in scholarly Catholic matters is schooled in the proper school of Catholicism and its orthodoxy. Here's Dr. Cummings impressive educational experiences:  Dr. Cummings received his high school education in a California Monastery, and then attended the University of Wisconsin where he earned degrees in philosophy and divinity.  At Catholic University in Washington, D.C., he received an STL in Theology and an MA in Semitic Languages, followed by extensive doctoral work in Rome, Italy, where he earned his SSB Re Biblica and his SSL Re Biblica from the Pontificium Institutum. Upon completion of his formal education, Dr. Cummings held teaching positions at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California, Notre Dame, Indiana, and the Monastery in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. (Someone should inform Dr. Cummings, that Pope Francis is more impressed with the simple faith of his Grandmother, Nona Rosa, than with that of scholars in the Catholic Church! His Holiness has made harsh judgements against Catholic academics and compares them to the religious scholars of Jesus' day, the Pharisees. Yes, Pope Francis is one to judge and harshly!)

In the post immediately below this one, I printed Cardinal Mueller's devastating critique of the corrupt German Church and its hierarchy which he believes is creating a very real possibility for a new and larger Protestant-type revolt against the true Church, a new Reformation if you will.

But Cardinal Muller said the following which hits the nail on the head as it concerns an editorial in Macon's paper yesterday:

"Whoever is faithful to the teachings of the Church, will be combated in the press and even more vilified as an opponent of the Pope, as if it were not the case that the Pope and all the bishops in communion with him would be witnessed of revealed truth, which was transferred to them for faithful administration, so they are not lowered by human beings to human proportions." 

Neil M. Cullinan, from what I now understand, is a Catholic, writes in his several thousand word op ed (compared to my 245 word letter to the editor) and has some unkind, judgmental words for me:  

"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."

My comments: I suspect that Dr. Cullinan only reads the press accounts of Pope Francis and the cherry-picking they do to manipulate what the Pope actually says by omitting the context. We've gone over a thousand times the context of "Who am I to judge" concerning a priest in the Vatican who has same sex attractions but nonetheless is living a chaste lifestyle and is faithful to his promise of celibate chastity.

On top of that, if one listens to Pope Francis, actually listens, one discovers almost immediately that Pope Francis is the most judgmental pope we have had in centuries and his judgements are quite populist and thus Trump-like: "nuns whose faces look like pickled peppers; seminarians who are little monsters, curia members who have spiritual Alzheimer's and Europe which is like an aging grandmother (and not in the complimentary way), he calls people gossips and tells them when they gossip they are worse than a terrorist bomb and the list runs on and on. 

Who is Dr. Cullinan trying to fool here? If he's just reading press reports I guess I'll give him a pass.

But my point here is that if one only reads the press, one thinks Pope Francis isn't Catholic as does Dr. Cullinan. One would think His Holiness if a post-Catholic like Dr. Bill Cummings. But this betrays the reality if one actually reads and listens to the entirety of Pope Francis' writings and talks, even off-the-cuff remarks. And thus Cardinal Muller is correct when he states the following:

" if it were not the case that the Pope and all the bishops in communion with him would be witnessed of revealed truth, which was transferred to them for faithful administration, so they are not lowered by human beings to human proportions." 

Finally, Dr. Cullinan like many anti-Catholic commentators takes the Church to task for the crusades and its atrocities as well as the bishops' mismanagement of the pedophilia scandal.

I would like to comment on the pedophilia scandal and say that I agree that the incessant news  coverage of this tragedy for the past 15 years, first for its victims, then for the Church as a whole, has contributed to the loss of Catholics from Mass attendance and Church participation and increased the number of Catholics who are not only inactive but now can be called "nones."

Yet the press does not cover  as incessantly what the popes and bishops are doing to address this tragedy and that Pope Benedict lacized more priests over it than any of his predecessors and that Pope Francis has kicked up the reform several notches. Nor does the press cover other religious institutions to the same degree as the Catholic Church in terms of the very similar problems and scope of the problem as the Catholic Church has had. 

What Dr. Cullinan has done in a very immature way it to act as a teenager or an angry spouse and throw up something in the face of his parent or spouse that has no pertinence to the current discussion in order to justify himself or exacerbate the discussion and perhaps shut it down. His childish comparison of me to my predecessor sounds like a teenage boy criticizing his father because he's not like his father (the teenager's grandfather)! (And by the way I admit I am not like Msgr. Cuddy and have always be secure in my own personal identity and comfortable with my skin, warts and all, even acne!)

Then this brings us to the Crusades, which in teenage fashion Dr. Cullinan resurrects like others who want to bring the Church down a notch or two or more.

Never do any commentators on this point to any good that may have come from the Crusades such as keeping the invading barbarians from encroaching further into western Europe and the forcible conversion of Christians to Islam in  conquered territories. If not for the Crusades, all of Western Europe and all of what is now Israel would be like the former Christian stronghold which at one time rivaled Rome in this regard, what is now known as Turkey and Istanbul (Constantinople)!

Never do commentators also point out that the Crusades were governmental actions albeit the state and Church were married at the time which we have learned is not a good combination for either.

Would Dr. Cullinan make the same critique of The Church of England as being responsible for the wartime atrocities of Great Britain, especially in their colonizing zeal because the head of the Church of England is the Monarch, the King or Queen at the time?   Of course he wouldn't but he should if he were to be consistent in his logic which isn't very logical.



Calvin of Hippo said...

Fr, you are arguing with a third-rate hack who writes for the Macon Telegraph, for God's sake, and some mental midget who, apparently, has a thing of some kind for has been Priests. Just ignore them and kick the trolls off the blog. They have absolutely nothing to offer the serious contributors on this blog.

George said...

In 2 Corinthians 5:7, St Paul wrote to the Christians at Corinth that " we walk by faith, not by sight". If only our faith in God and his Power was so strong that we could literally walk by faith! Sometimes though God allows thing to happen to aid us our in our faith. Such is the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe which scientists who have examined it can't explain, and such is the healing of Gemma-di-Giorgi.

The miraculous healing of Gemma-di-Giorgi:


Other healings including Gemma-di-Giorgi...


Unknown said...

When it comes to the Crusades, I really don't get why so many act as though they lost a close relative to a knight's sword. The Pope has repeatedly apologised for them, but I'm not sure anyone takes it seriously, not because he's not sincere, but because he's apologising for something that happened 800 years ago.

But, this *is* a world where 95 year old former Nazi's are hunted down and arrested. So, I'm not surprised.

rcg said...

Seriously, Fr. mcD., this guy is a sad case, and his acolyte has some strange affection for him and his his dissembled world view. If you want to address this situation, don't argue with the lunatic, speak to the slovenly editorial practices of the MT and why they would include this sort of drivel as serious opinion. I have not read this paper; do they have Page 6 girls and photo interviews with Miley Cyrus? You should get someone to pen an editorial on H. P. Lovecraft's insights to Jewish society. It appears from afar that "Dr." Cummings is working hard to compensate for a past failure. Not content with credentialism he is trying to cast blame on the instruction he failed. His momma dint love him enough. I sound harsh and regret it to the extent that Cummings needs therapy and compassion for his apprentice illness.

Robert Kumpel said...

There's no point in engaging in name-calling ("third rate hacks"/mental midgets"). if we had the same background that some of these men we are criticizing had, perhaps we might take the same view.

I would, however, point out a few things to consider:

1) The biggest enemies of the Church have usually been fallen-away Catholics

2) The Catholic University of America and St. Mary's in Moraga are hardly what one would call exemplary Catholic institutions. At one time they might have been, but they are among the large pool of Catholic colleges and universities that caved into the mindset of rupture and political correctness a long time ago. In my own home town of San Diego, we have the "Catholic" University of San Diego which founder Bishop Charles Buddy desired to be "the Notre Dame of the West". It's a great fundraising apparatus and a wonderful place to send your children if you want them to lose their faith. I would rather my own children attend a secular university than one of these places (including the once-Catholic University of Notre Dame).

3) I've beaten this horse to death, but I'll say it again: Yes, Jesus warned us about judging BUT HE DIDN'T TELL US TO STOP USING OUR RATIONALE MINDS. Usually people who try to reduce the Gospels to two words ("judge not") are those who have a great deal to fear should they be judged. The Bible also tells us that we will know what kind of people we are dealing with by their fruits.

4) As far as Pope Francis's "who am I to judge?" statement…I'll tell you who you are, Your Holiness--YOU'RE THE POPE! If ANYONE has a right to make a moral judgment, it's the pope! Further, it's the height ( actually the depth ) of hypocrisy for so many people who hate the Church to quote its leader in mock admiration when they have no intention of joining, returning to or obeying that same Church.

I am glad to belong to a Church that loves sinners and hates sin. I am not so proud that I have to advertise my academic degrees in order to feel validated. If I am proud of anything, I am proud to belong to a Church that the world hates--Jesus gave us a specific promise about being hated for His sake.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I don't fancy myself thin-skinned but I do like a good fight (my mother's father was from Corsica, Napoleon's place of birth and they have it all over the fighting Irish to be sure). I inherited some of that.

But someone, whose name will go unknown, says that I should be pilloried in the community for stating that the Crusades were run by the governments of the time that were church and state wedded. That I should not indicate a similar attitude to the Church of England, who head is the King or Queen, for their dastardly deeds during war and colonization and that Cullinan was not making anti-Catholic remarks because of the truth of what he says.

Anyone want to comment. Feel free to pillory me or the unknown name!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Finally, the unknown name thought that I fell into a trap addressing the comparison Cullinan made between Msgr. Cuddy and me. I don't know, maybe he's right, but what the heck?

Robert Kumpel said...

Not only was the Church closes allied to Europe's various governments, but the "religion of peace" was torturing, killing and enslaving Christians in the Holy Land. The Crusades (after the Inquisition) is the most misrepresented and distorted event in Church history. We even have priests in this diocese ready to apologize for the Crusades. No apologies here. They were necessary and served a good purpose. At least the Church was far more willing THEN to help its members being persecuted by Islam than it is today.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Oh, unknown name also felt that my original post was too brief and thus incomplete and that my letter concerning Cullinan (which I doubt the Telegraph will print) was just embarrassing to the clergy. Discuss.

Robert Kumpel said...

I meant "closely allied". Sorry.

Anonymous 2 said...

Calvin of Hippogene:

Can you please clarify -- When you refer to Neil Cullinan “ha[ving] a thing of some kind for has been priests” are you referring to Father (now Monsignor) Cuddy specifically? I suspect you are but want to be sure.

Anonymous 2 said...

How far our public discourse has fallen! Three related notions capture it well – polarization, superficiality, and sound bites.

This thread and the Macon Telegraph debate that engendered it exemplify the point, whether we are talking about the Crusades, the clergy abuse scandal, or comparing Father McDonald with Father (now Monsignor) Cuddy. All of these topics are complex and multi-faceted. It would behoove everyone to first get the facts—all of the facts—as far as we are able to ascertain them before making judgments. As it is, the discourse on this Blog so often (not always to be sure) degenerates into the kind of playground taunting and verbal brawling that characterize our debased politics today. Hmmmm. I wonder if there is a connection.

This kind of discourse may throw red meat to one’s “base” but rarely succeeds in persuading anyone who is not already persuaded. So we have to ask: What is our goal? Preaching to the choir or persuading others to join the choir? If it is the former, by all means have fun and carry on with more of the same. If it is the latter, which is much more difficult, then perhaps showing genuine empathy for those holding a different position, coupled with a genuine respect for them, may be a good first step. Through mutual respectful and empathetic dialogue misconceptions can then be removed and misimpressions corrected as a second step. The third step may be a greater meeting of minds and hearts, even if does not result in complete agreement or persuasion by one side or the other on all points. I would suggest, however, that we will find ourselves in a much better place than when we started whatever the ultimate substantive outcome may be.

rcg said...

Then let them pillory you with the truth. Perhaps this is a good time to educate the public on what happened, why, motivations, etc. even the Popes and bishops are judged by the Church, so let them have at it. Your part is to ensure two things: that the full truth is exposed and that arc of those actions is shown through to current times where the Church has brought sinners under Her influence to understand the value of peace and those who were under the sway of Islam have lived in the same barbaric state for over a thousand years.

George said...

From the development of the University system, to the scientific method, to art and architecture, to music, to our system of laws and jurisprudence, to medicine and language, to philosophy and astronomy,to the calendar we use, even to the bible itself, no institution has contributed as much to the development of civilization as the Catholic church and her members.
The Church has never seen faith and reason as being mutually exclusive.
The Church, being the beneficiary of Divine revelation, has always seen man as being more than just an animal with an intellect. Man, by God's design, is a rational being though. It takes the capacity for rational thought, however limited that capacity may be, to comprehend, grasp, and to understand God's revealed, transcendent truth. Science and mathematics however good and necessary they are, in and of themselves, will not save man from the selfish indulgence of his lower passions, a self-centered mode of existing which in it's most extreme form(although becoming more common) considers other human beings as objects to be used or disposed if they are seen as being in the way of ones own selfish self interest.
When man moves away from God who is the Source of the over-arching transcendent principles and laws which apply to all men, then what follows is an increasing dysfunction in the institutions on which a just society depends. The institutions whose very existence of, we owe a lot to the Catholic church.

To Mr Cummins,Mr Cullinan and others of their cloth I would say: " Do you not see that the decline of Christianity, and more specifically the Catholic church,
is not a good thing?".

George said...

In my comment above @7:44 PM I should have capitalized Bible. I did not check my comment as well as I should have before posting. Also, in my comment @1:06 PM,
in the first link to the story of the miraculous healing of Gemma-di-Giorgi, there are links on that web page to Medjugorje. I am aware that Medjugorje is not Church-approved and I obey the Church as long as that is her position.