The Archbishop of New York: Anti-Catholicism Is the Nation’s Other Pastime

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I do not mean to suggest that anti-Catholicism is confined to the pages New York Times. Unfortunately, abundant examples can be found in many different venues. I will not even begin to try and list the many cases of anti-Catholicism in the so-called entertainment media, as they are so prevalent they sometimes seem almost routine and obligatory. Elsewhere, last week, Representative Patrick Kennedy made some incredibly inaccurate and uncalled-for remarks concerning the Catholic bishops.

Also, the New York State Legislature has levied a special payroll tax to help the Metropolitan Transportation Authority fund its deficit. This legislation calls for the public schools to be reimbursed the cost of the tax; Catholic schools, and other private schools, will not receive the reimbursement, costing each of the schools thousands -- in some cases tens of thousands -- of dollars, money that the parents and schools can hardly afford. (Nor can the archdiocese, which already underwrites the schools by $30 million annually.) Is it not an issue of basic fairness for ALL school-children and their parents to be treated equally?

The Catholic Church is not above criticism. We Catholics do a fair amount of it ourselves. We welcome and expect it. All we ask is that such critique be fair, rational, and accurate, what we would expect for anybody. The suspicion and bias against the Church is a national pastime that should be "rained out" for good.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

6 Comments
Posted October 31, 2009 at 1:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Fr. J. wrote:

It is as if the Archbishop were reading our conversation on T19 last night. 

I don’t think anyone should be surprised by anti-Catholicism.  It has been with us in the US since the beginning, in the English-speaking world since Henry VIII, and of course extends back in history to the Romans and even to St. Paul, then Saul, who held the coats of those who stoned St. Stephen, the Church’s first martyr.  All this is prefigured so clearly in scripture from the times of the prophets who were slain, the slaughter of the Holy Innocents and in Jesus’ words in the final Beatitude:  “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter falsely every kind of evil against you for my sake.” Matt 5:11

Also not surprising is that a new wave of secular anti-Catholicism is building precisely in a time when the Church is purifying herself, eliminating any ambiguity in the teaching of the moral law and appointing men as bishops with sufficient conviction and moral character to publicly and courageously stand against the tide of secularism such as the Archbishop Nolan himself.  If the Catholic Church is despised by so many, it is on account of her fidelity to the moral order on marriage, divorce, homosexuality, pre-marital sex, abortion, contraception and on and on…

October 31, 5:31 pm | [comment link]
2. Kendall Harmon wrote:

Fr. J. in #1, in the light of your comment, I thought this was interesting, sitting in my inbox today:

“As Roman Catholic bishops gather in November, prayers offered that they “will act with Christ’s compassion.”

October 31, 2009 – Washington, DC [ICNS] - The North American Old Catholic Church designated November as a month of “prayer to be offered for the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church.” It is the hope of the church that the prayers will bring Christ’s compassion to their hearts as they deliberate a new document on love and marriage.

The Roman Catholic Bishops announced that at their November meeting in Baltimore, MD they will consider the approval of a 57 page pastoral letter titled “Marriage: Love and Life in the Diving Plan- A Pastoral Letter of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops .”

The document, a draft of which was obtained by the Independent Catholic News Service, discusses marriage between men and women and that the bishops feel “…compelled to speak out against all attempts to redefine marriage so that it would no longer be exclusively the union of a man and a woman as God established and blessed it.”

“The document in its draft form contains many contradictions…” Archbishop Wynn Wagner III, Bishop Coadjutor of the church stated in a recent meeting; “while quoting the late John Paul II as saying ‘to form communion of persons is the vocation of everyone. All human persons are created in the image of God, who is a communion of love of three persons, and thus all are called to live in a communion of self-giving love.’ it goes on to state the only two purposes of marriage Procreative and Educative- denying both homosexual persons and heterosexual persons who cannot pro-create access to the sacrament of marriage.

We invite Catholics and people of all faiths to join us in prayer that the Roman Catholic Bishops will feel Christ alive within their hearts, and see their way clear to stand up for the Gospel of truth and love for ALL believers and all those who seek the blessings of God on their Christian marriage.

The North American Old Catholic Church offers the sacrament of marriage to all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, ability or desire to pro-create, gender identity, or civil divorce.

October 31, 6:14 pm | [comment link]
3. Fr. J. wrote:

Dr. Harmon, thanks.  This is interesting.

I wasn’t aware that the Old Catholics were performing SSB’s, too.  Opposition to gospel teaching is found not only among secular sources (and not only outside the Catholic Church, either).  That’s for sure.

October 31, 6:37 pm | [comment link]
4. Branford wrote:

Interesting story about the Old Catholic Church - they asked for and received permission from my former pastor to use my former TEC church’s facilities for a weekly service (and this is a very Anglo-Catholic parish with a Forward in Faith priest). After the GC 2003 Convention and the consecration of +Robinson, my priest wrote a letter to the parish explaining what had happened, how this went against the teaching of the church catholic, and how he would continue to speak out against the innovations of TEC. Suddenly, the Old Catholics just disappeared - poof - their pastor left a note saying how he was hurt by the letter put out by my priest and that was it. Never heard from again - and the TEC priest, who thought he was giving help to a Catholic group (I think he thought it was similar in theology to Forward in Faith), was blindsided that the Old Catholics supported SSBs. Ah well, live and learn.

October 31, 7:48 pm | [comment link]
5. Dr. William Tighe wrote:

These “Old Catholics” are “not the real thing,” if by “the real thing” we mean the Old Catholics of the Union of Utrecht, which formed in the aftermath of the First Vatican Council in 1870.  The only American (and Canadian) body that was part of this Union of Utrecht id the Polish National Catholic Church, which is headquartered in Scranton, PA.  I wrote “was” because in 2003 the PNCC was expelled from the Utrecht Union as a consequence of its refusal to accept WO, which in the space of 25 years had gone from being rejected by the UU as a whole (1978) to being accepted by it as a whole (2003).  Most of their remining churches have now also accepted the “blessing” of homosexual “life partnerships,” yet more evidence of the connection between WO and SS.

October 31, 11:49 pm | [comment link]
6. Terry Tee wrote:

Those reading Dr Tighe above will recall Neuhaus’s Law:  Where orthodoxy is optional, sooner or later it will be forbidden.

November 1, 1:50 pm | [comment link]
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