Tuesday, September 22, 2020



I wrote on a previous post that most post-Vatican II parishes are so shallow in promoting the authentic faith and morals of the Church that they are incapable of providing vocations to the priesthood and religious life. These parishes have simply become a social club for members to have a religious component in their lives and form social connections. It is very superficial. 

Only traditional parishes, parishes with new movements, like charismatic communities or other such concoctions to fill a void, are providing vocations. 

Lay Catholics truly committed to the faith, having numerous children and providing vocations don’t come from progressive Catholicism and its parishes. 

Thus what do you make of this headline from the Deacon’s Bench?


September 21st, 2020|Categories: Politics

From The Hill:  Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden holds a 12-point lead over President Trump among likely voters who identify as Catholic, according to


Anonymous said...

Folks who are the most conservative/traditionalist love to tell other people that and naturally are going to rate themselves most observant. Humility really isn’t part of the package. Combine that with the fact that conservative/traditionalists tend to be the most isolated and insular. They’re afraid of the outside world and will rarely encounter, for example, a black person inside their bubble. Most American Catholics are everyday working people who experience the real world out there and see how government policies help or hurt people.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Your comment makes no sense. Please quote studies indicating this. My very traditional downtown parish in Augusta (1991-2004) was very integrated, most older blacks formed in the Tridentine era when their parish (that was closed in 1970) and school, elementary and high schools flourished. Anton Scalia insulated?

Please where do you get this. Heterodox and orthodox Catholic both live in the real world, except the heterodox are informed by the world and orthodox Catholics by the Church.

Anonymous said...

Father, that is a personal observation based on people I know and churches I attend and what I glean from
comments in groups like this.. One consistent thread among ultra-conservatives is fear of the outside world. Like any generalization, there will be exceptions that prove the rule. I don’t know your parish in Augusta at all. But I bet the African Americans who attended there aren’t voting for Trump. Black Catholics I’ve met tend to be (here’s another generalization) both devout and socially conscious.

Coach K said...

Isn't "informed by the Church" and not the real world another way of saying "insular and isolated." As thinking Catholics, we ought to understand both. How do you thoughtfully apply Church teaching without understanding the world around you?
As an example, look at the people here who frequently Black Lives Matter as a "hoax" or a "scam" "invented by the media." I figure those people have likely never talked to a black person about what their lives are actually like.
A digression: Although the Church considers racism an intrinsic evil, I've never heard a Catholic sermon against the sin of racism. It's one of those areas (there are many) where we are apparently free to ignore Church teaching.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Who says orthodox Catholics are insular?? Both heterodox and orthodox Catholics live in the real world.Orthodox Catholics,though, are informed by the Church how to live unto life everlasting. Heterodox Catholics are informed by the world not by the Church or they cherry pick that which tickles their social ears and leave out the rest. They are wishy washy, like reeds blowing in the win and don’t produce vocations to the priesthood or religious life.

Anonymous said...

That's an EWTN poll and their viewers tend to skew conservative/traditionalist. It's like a Fox News poll, maybe even more skewed than that. If Biden is leading by 12 points in their poll, his real lead is likely much much bigger.

Coach K said...

Sure Father. If you say so. :)
I don't believe that entering the priesthood or having a child that enters the priesthood is the only measure of a good Catholic. How one lives their lives in the world -- yes **in the world** -- also matters.
Is this your last line of defense -- the rest of us are by definition bad Catholics?

Rose said...

Father I have to go with anonymous on this one. My personal experience with the "Ultra" conservatives in our Parish is that they are older, angry, judgemental, and the outside world are all "sinners" and they are to be prayed for, but not engaged with. If they do attempt to engage it is with a condesending humility in sight. Even when they engage with me they treat me as if I don't know a thing. I have been told HOW to pray.....WHEN to pray....WHO to pray to and why. It is really disheartening......and its a shame because I have no doubt they would have a lot to offer.......

Anonymous said...

If the Church had done its teaching job, Biden would not receive any Catholic votes

Anonymous said...

If the Church would DO its job Biden would have been denied Communion a LONG time ago........

Anonymous said...

Who can be surprised by those results. Catholics have had four years to see Trump now. Biden is surely flawed, but he's not an amoral monster.

Anonymous said...

If the Church had done its teaching job, the adulterous, lying, slothful, petty, avaricious Trump would have been booed off the stage at the first debate.

Nate Silver at currently gives Biden a 77% chance of winning (339 votes in the electoral college) and Trump 24% (205 votes in the electoral college).

McConnel fully anticipates a loss by Trump and is seriously worried about losing the Senate. Hence, his mad dash to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

Daniel said...

There is a hard-and-fast link between extreme religious conservatism and politics. And religious extremism is hardly a good thing, not when you denigrate your fellow religionists, most of the clergy and most of the church, not to mention anyone who's not Catholic and doesn't think like you. Politically, the traditionalists have more in common with the Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwell (junior and senior) than with mainstream 20th-century Catholicism. The American Church of my childhood has always been pro-immigrant, pro-diversity and pro-working man.

Not so fast said...

Observant doesn't mean conservative. All of the hyper responses here demonstrate, though, that progressives really know what is going on. Observant Catholics who are heterodox are the exception not the rule.

They also know that being orthodox entails certain discomforts, discomforts that being worldly excludes. So they prop up worldliness as a great virtue up and against the super strawman orthodox curmudgeon. The young, joyful, open to life, orthodox Catholics I know are certainly in the world - they are just not of it.

Anonymous said...

The Catholic church in the south has always avoided talking about the sin of racism. Conservative whites are the same, Catholic or Protestant. They don't want to be lectured. This is still true today.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 9:42,

You forgot to mention the Kennedy's and Bill Clinton. You will be very sad when the Abortion Party loses. Nate Silver was wrong in 2016

Anonymous said...

Oh, good. The Kennedys and Bill Clintom are on the ballot this year?

Anonymous said...

A lot of people are going to look at this and glean broad generalities from it - ie. "Practicing Catholics vote for Trump" and "non-practicing Catholics vote for Biden." At least, that's how many seem to be reacting to it in the places I've seen this poll presented. However, I found it more interesting just how narrow the lead Trump has amongst the "most observant." In only one area (attends mass more than once a week) was there more than a 60/40 split in favor of Trump, otherwise it was much closer when looking at those who attend daily Mass and pray daily.

So while Trump leads amongst the "most observant," it is hardly by a wide margin. It'll be interesting to see if the death of Justice Ginsburg will have any effect on how Catholics will vote.

Someone mentioned "The Abortion Party." Who is that supposed to be? The Democrats? At least they're honest about it. When it comes to ending abortion, the Republicans are like someone punching you in the face while smiling and saying they would never punch anyone in the face and will do everything they can stop people from punching you in the face before doing it again. If you really believe one of the parties is actually pro-life in a meaningful way, you're kidding yourself. If Trump gets to pick the next Justice it'll be interesting to see the excuses that come about when a clearly conservative Supreme Court continues to uphold a woman's "right" to choose. I'd love to be proven wrong, but I'm pessimistic.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 11:31 am,

No but I am certain, beyond all peradventure, you overlooked those issues with them.

Anonymous at 2:24 PM,

"Honest" about killing the unborn. You are really a swell guy. Are Antifa and BLM rioting and looting ok with you too? I guess, because you will be voting for the Party that controls them.

Anonymous said...

To anon at 3:05 from Anon at 2:24:

So you're okay with killing the unborn and lying about it? Sounds ever so much nicer!

I'm against abortion obviously, but don't live in a fantasyland pretending one of the parties will actually end it.

Anonymous said...

"The Abortion Party" is the one headed by Trump.
The other party is the one that has consistently reduced abortions over the years by helping people get health care, education, counseling, adoption services and support for single mothers.
If you want to fight abortion, vote Democratic.
If you love abortion, and love having abortion as a political issue, vote GOP, just like you've been for the past 47 years.

Daniel said...

I’m old enough to remember when we had to vote for Reagan (twice) because he would appoint justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade. Then Bush 41, then W, then Trump.
And guess what, most of those justices are reluctant to overnight a Supreme Court precedent, law of the land and all that. That’s how courts work, for those who are slow to catch on.
Republicans are still working the world’s oldest long-running Ponzi scheme.
I would respect a Republican who promised to introduce a pro-life constitutional amendment. That would work. But it would probably cause an election backlash against Republicans, so it will never happen.
They need this issue last forever to energize the religious portion of their base (as opposed to the abortion-causing-and-having portion of their base. Why else would someone vote Republican?

Anonymous said...

A pro-life constitutional amendment will never get adopted. Period. You would never get two-thirds of Congress to agree to such, especially if it disallowed ALL abortions (no exceptions). But even if you could get congressional approval, LOL getting 38 states to adopt it. Yeah, like California, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, get the idea. A pipe dream. Ain't gonna happen. If that is what these "march for life" marches are about, they are a waste of time. If, however, the marches are about overturning Roe (which should be overturn, as it is pure legislation), and then let the states decide the issue, well, then, there is a purpose behind them.

A state by state approach would not be ideal from a pro-life perspective of banning abortions everywhere in the US, but it is better than the current status quo of abortion anywhere at anytime.

Anonymous said...

From the EWTN/Real Clear poll

The frequency of Mass attendance correlates closely with which major candidate a Catholic supports. Catholics who attend Mass daily support Trump by 16 percentage points (58% to 42%). Catholics who attend Mass more than once a week supported Trump by 24 percentage points (61% to 37%). By contrast, Catholics who attend Mass less than once a year support Biden by a margin of 59% to 36%, and those who never attend Mass support Biden by a margin of 69% to 25%.
The survey found 45 percent of likely Catholic voters overall approve of President Trump’s job performance, while 52 percent of Catholics who attend Mass weekly or more often approve of the president’s performance.

The survey also found 76 percent of likely Catholic voters support substantial restrictions on abortion, including 82 percent of devout Catholics who attend Mass weekly.

Among those Catholics who attended Mass at least weekly, 43 percent said they were less likely to support a candidate who favors abortion, while 23 percent said they were more likely to do so and 22 percent said it made no difference.

Anonymous said...

People who attend Mass MORE THAN once a week are likely to be elderly, retired or rich or some combination thereof. In other words, right in Trump’s target demographic.

Sophia said...

Sophia here:
The only conclusion I draw from that poll and some of the people commenting on it here, is how thoroughly some  Catholics have been evangelized by the " Culture of Death" as prophetically defined by  Pope St. John Paul II. He described such a culture in his 1995 Encyclical, Evangelium Vitae, as one in which moral "crimes" such as abortion and euthanasia are viewed as individual rights. By extension, Cardinal Burke has dubbed the Democrat Party, "The Party of Death" because of it's insatiable thirst for abortions and assisted suicide/euthanasia etc. I am absolutely dumbfounded that so many Catholics can rabidly attack the most pro-life (by every objective measure) President/Vice President team while championing and routing for the victory of the most  pro- expansion of abortion, pro- assisted suicide/euthanasia, pro-embryonic stem cell and fetal cell research, anti-religious freedom candidates (Biden/Harris) to date? I am dizzy just listening to people twist themselves into pretzels, trying to justify what can never be justified- voting for politicians pushing diabolical, intrinsically evil policies when there is a clear, obvious alternative. Isaiah 5:20 bluntly warns of  such people -"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil...." 
In his Encyclical, Pope St John Paul II urges Catholics to oppose laws which legitimize abortion and euthanasia which are "both a disturbing  symptom and a significant cause of grave moral decline". And I shall continue to pray that those Catholics and other Christians  who are still contemplating voting to put politicians in the "Party of Death" in charge of our Federal Government and other governments which will only lead to more and more innocent preborn lives being lost, will return to/adopt the "gospel of life" and vote accordingly!

May God continue to have Mercy on our nation!

Marcus Tullius said...

If you support Trump & putting kids in cages & taking away health care & 200,000 dead Americans & mocking dead American soldiers & throw our European allies under Putin’s Russian bus, then you’re part of the Party of Death.

Anonymous said...

The Obama administration put kids in cages and in fact used tear gas on migrants who came across the border.

Pres. Trump to blame for 200,000 deaths?

Rank of top Twelve states plus District of Columbia in COVID deaths per million population.

New Jersey 1,824
New York 1,706
Massachusetts 1,353
Connecticut 1,261
Louisiana 1,163
Rhode Island 1,040
Mississippi 964
District Of Columbia 880
Arizona 759
Michigan 702
Illinois 690
Delaware 646
Maryland 645

Ten of the above states plus the District of Columbia have Democrat governors.

Nine are deeply blue states.

Compare Georgia (Republican governor) with 638 deaths per million.
with Michigan(Democrat governor) 702 deaths per million.

In absolute deaths, New York by itself would rank seventh in the world, right behind Italy.
Pres Trumop was not responsible for putting COVID patients in Nursing homes as was
the governor of New York.

Yeah, let's blame him.

Anonymous said...

"People who attend Mass MORE THAN once a week are likely to be elderly, retired or rich or some combination thereof. In other words, right in Trump’s target demographic."

MOST importantly, they are devout Catholics

Anonymous 2 said...

And so round and round we go over the election and nothing is resolved. We could avoid all of this if we just accepted the USCCB guidance in Faithful Citizenship. It all has to do with motivations. Let’s make a pact—I will not claim to look into your heart and second guess your motivations if you agree not to claim to look into mine and second guess my motivations. A Catholic with proper motivations can vote for either Trump or Biden. Specifically, one Catholic can vote for Trump because of his “pro-life” actions/policies on abortion and another Catholic can vote for Biden, despite but not because of his “pro-choice” position, as long as this second Catholic has other, weighty reasons for so voting.

Personally, I would prefer a third candidate more aligned with the totality of Catholic teaching, but that person does not exist in this election. So, I must make a conscientious judgment between the candidates who are on the ballot. I will not be voting for Trump because I cannot in good conscience do so. Your conscientious judgment may be different—and that is fine.