Re: The Prowler's Clerical Losers:
Many faithful Catholics out here have been waiting for some clear action regarding cardinals Law and Mahony. Thank you for an informative article. But as an "American Catholic" I request that when you refer to American Catholics, please don't lump us all together (e.g. "...openly questioning its positions on a number of issues where American Catholics differ with Rome").
Some American Catholics want to pick and choose what they believe and have the global Church acquiesce. I'm not one of them, and neither are a lot of us. Too often in the coverage of the death of John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict all media have referred to American Catholics as a lump -- unless they're talking about some massive rift. I don't see such a massive rift. Catholics in favor of abortion, married priests, etc., are a small minority in my community.
-- A. Rubeck
Kansas City, Missouri
As a practicing Roman Catholic (I'll probably never get it right in this lifetime), I have to be heartened by this issue of the Prowler. I have waited a long time for someone who reveres Catholic Dogma and the Magisterium of the Faith to step up and confront these theological liberals, both clergy and laity. It is outside the realm of my understanding why those who reject crucial dogmatic principles such as the sanctity of life, original sin, the divinity of Christ, etc., yet insist on calling themselves Catholics. When these people change their allegiance to a pro football or basketball team, they begin supporting another one without any qualms. Why do they not do the same thing with religion? I have come late to an understanding of the term "cafeteria Catholic," but I finally see what it means. The idea of changing the church to fit their personal preferences reminds me that Americans who disagree with major theological precepts, and seek support from deviant (mentally, not sexually) priests are merely an extension of those mid-nineteenth century romantics who subscribed to the idea of relative truth. After all, if you are going to center your religion on yourself, why not go all the way and worship yourself, too? Boy, would that ever be convenient.
-- Joseph Baum
Newton Falls, Ohio
"The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of Bishops," said St. Athanasius. How pathetic that this might actually be a best case scenario, for given what we've seen in the Church over the past several years, it is more than plausible that lower ranking churchmen factor into hell's flooring material as well!
Kudos to Pope Benedict for his reliably rumored role in the dismissal of Jesuit Thomas Reese from his dissenting-veiled-as-publishing role. Here's to the hope that, while he's got the "Jebbies" in his sights (with apologies to St. Ignatius, and to the faithful Jesuits who remain) the Holy Father will also take a hard look at Georgetown University's abortion-embracing Robert Drinan, and at Boston College President William Leahy, who's university over the past several days has announced a move to accommodate in its diversity statement our world's oh-so-tragically-put-upon sodomists.
Later, when Benedict hopefully moves on to the daunting challenge posed by the many derelict American Bishops, may fellas such as the good Bishops Fabian Bruskewitz and Raymond Burke be allowed more prominent roles, so that the confused and sissified wreckage that has been wrought by the likes of Roger Mahony can begin to be dealt with in earnest!
If Pope Benedict has yet to articulate a mantra for his pontificate, a la the Great John Paul's "Totas Tuos," then I humbly suggest "So little time, so many heretics." It probably sounds even better in Latin!
-- Francis M. Hannon, Jr.
The American Catholic clergy is not in an enviable position, and to be quite honest, it is because Jesus was neither a good Republican nor a good Democrat.
If Republicans stand for individual responsibility, and Democrats for group responsibility and/or individual irresponsibility, Jesus was arguably inconsistent. In the matter of abortion, the most fundamental of individual responsibilities, Jesus would be a Republican. In the matter of giving to the poor, never mind the Protestant work ethic or creating opportunities for the poor to become rich, Jesus would be a Democrat, see "easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven" and the parable of the widow and the Pharisee and the rejected suggestion to the rich young man to "give up all worldly possessions and follow me."
The American Catholic clergy find themselves with an irreconcilable dilemma, forced to choose between Republican individual responsibility and Democrat individual irresponsibility. For reasons known only to their own consciences and their Creator, they choose the latter, the clergy being overwhelmingly registered Democrats. Hence their blind eye to politicians who are the champions of individual irresponsibility, and their miserable failure to pronounce them not Catholics.
Why should the flock be expected to discriminate between right and wrong when their shepherds themselves cannot?
-- Frank Natoli
Newton, New Jersey
I wonder if it is sinful to be as happy as I am over this?
-- Annette Cwik
Re: Ralph R. Reiland's Insufficient Bang for the Buck:
Homeland Security? BAH HUMBUG! As a limo driver in Kansas City, loitering around the airport here, I have a few observations about our so-called "airport security" -- an oxymoron if ever there was one. At KCI, the limos, and common carriers have to park in the median, and cabs are banished to a distant lot, to be summoned individually, as needed. NO ONE is allowed to park at the curb, and when we unload clients, we are allowed to stop and nearly throw them out of the car. The cops seem to think if we can do a rolling dismount sort of a thing, it is ok. I have been stopped at the curb, unloading clients, car in park, engine running, to grab bags in the trunk and fling them curbside, with the airport police sitting behind me, lights flashing. A good argument can be made for not parking, and I do not have a problem with this practice as long as it is enforced UNIFORMLY. Of course, there is no such a thing here. The traffic cops leave at 9:30 p.m. After that, there is NO ONE to direct traffic, and the civilians part all along the curb, sometimes three deep. Osama himself could waltz into any terminal untrammeled. The traffic cops leave at 9:30 supposedly because there isn't enough money to pay them to stay later. Where is this money going? Does anyone care? Our local representative, the Rev. Mr. Emanuel Cleaver, has no interest in government accountability. He never has answers for any problem brought to him, and if it is even hinted that he is culpable, in any way, the ugly word "racism" is floated. I do not know the value of car free curbs, perhaps it does work, but it needs to be ENFORCED. Who is here to here a cry in the wilderness? Is anyone listening?
-- Janis Johnson
While reading the very troubling rundown on what's still missing from Homeland Security, I couldnâ€™t help but think: Where's Mr. Bush been during all this? Where was Tom Ridge during this period?
And where has Congress been on this? I've an answer: deadlocked.
-- C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia
Chester "The Cheerleader" Lott is a perfectly good minority leader. He should be a Democrat for that. We need a Majority leader. Frist is talking a lot, but so far that's it and we are getting tired of waiting. As Tuco said in the bathtub scene in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, (this is where he shoots the guy who wants to take him out while the guy is telling Tuco what he is going to do), "If you're gonna shoot, SHOOT, don't talk. It time to shoot.
If Chester and Capt. McQueeg are worried about being in the minority, that is where they will wind up. At that point the Liberals will skewer them again. Lott, McCain et al. haven't figured out that if you behave like losers, then you will lose.
If Lott is successful in his power grab, I will have to leave the Republican Party for good. I left after a year or so of his fine leadership and vowed not to come back until he had no authority. I have just returned and now to see this repugnant "pure" politician conniving again sickens me yet again. But there is hope because perhaps the shipyard in his backyard will be closed and his constituents will finally see the error of their ways and get rid of the quintessential Foghorn Leghorn.
-- Tom McGonnell
Mr. Bowden makes a good point regarding Senator Lott being suited for Minority Leader. However, I would like to make the observation that because of the meek behavior of the Republican senators. Majority Leader is, in effect, Minority Leader. This whole thing is disheartening.
-- Chris Norman
Simply to congratulate you for pointing out the necessary facts regards this Kingdom of Heaven movie, a twisted try by some pseudo intellectuals in Hollywood who never seem to have picked up good history books. Also to congratulate you for your first-rate effort in general and web-site. It stands out with its fairness overall. Quite in contrast to some of the overboard-republican efforts. Wish you lets of good fortune and thousands of new readers each month.
-- Niels de Groot
Judging by all the reviews of Kingdom of Heaven, it is such a turkey that it should be served up with cornbread dressing and cranberry sauce!
-- Gretchen L. Chellson
Re: Happy Feder's letter (under "Ladies Sing the Blues") in Reader Mail's The Joys of Republicanism:
Happy Feder in her or his letter to the editor claims that Helen Taft, wife of President Taft, said in 1909 that she gave up sharing a bath with her husband and instead read Anais Nin. That's a neat trick, considering that Nin was only six years old in 1909. This fact may alert you to the utter bogusness of the entire contents of the letter. Happy is jerking your chain.
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