Some troubling catholic thought masquerading as Catholic thought…

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U.S. House of Representatives Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), has all but declared war on the authority of the Catholic Church to teach its faith and morals.

Telegraphing a “message” to the hierarchy last week, Ms. Pelosi said that the Church’s teaching on birth control “isn’t  even accepted by the laity churchgoing people themselves.”  She noted that “an overwhelming number” of American Catholic  girls from age 14 “or younger” use birth control.

Evidently, the Minority Leader would prefer a more democratized Catholic Church, where decisions are made by taking votes or, perhaps, hiring Gallup to do some public polling.

(The relevant remarks begin at 51:40, although the entire video is worth watching.)

Representative Pelosi had called a Georgetown Law School student, Sandra Fluke, to  testify concerning the Sebelius’ regulations that will compel all healthcare plans—including those  provided or purchased by Catholics and Catholic institutions—to cover sterilizations, contraceptives, and abortifacients.  Fluke, the former President of Georgetown Law Students for  Reproductive Justice, had complained that Georgetown did not cover contraceptives in its student health insurance plan.

Interrupting Ms. Fluke, the Ms. Pelosi said:

…it also speaks to the fact that this is what the practice is in our country. If an overwhelming number of Catholic women of childbearing age—and stretch that from 14 to 50 or however older or younger you want to go—are practicing birth control,  then that has to be some message to the church that please don’t expect  employers and insurance companies to enforce an attitude that you have that isn’t even accepted by the laity churchgoing people themselves.

So, we have a problem here, which you have really  clearly presented an answer to: A voice of a young woman in an institution of higher learning that is Catholic, I always thought with a capital C and a small c. Let’s hope that that is the case.

As a Catholic, The Motley Monk must note two problems with Ms. Pelosi’s analysis:

  1. Truth is determined by popularity: The Motley Monk would suggest that Ms. Pelosi rethink this.  After all, just because a majority of the citizens of the South in the 17th century believed that slavery was moral didn’t make enslaving human beings moral.  In the 20th century, just because the majority of Nazis believed the extermination of the Jews was moral, didn’t make exterminating them moral.  Even if 99% of humanity believed that contraception and abortion were moral, doesn’t make either moral.
  2. “Catholic” means different things to different people: The Motley Monk would suggest this assertion turns a fact—yes, different people believe the word “Catholic” can mean different things—into a principle, one that ultimately means “nothing can mean anything.”  Why?  Anyone is free to believe anything, whether true or not!  In contrast, The Motley Monk would argue that “words have meaning.”  Accordingly, a Catholic university would present the teaching of the Catholic Church by engaging it in principled discourse with other non-Catholic ideas so that students would, as Blessed John Henry Newman wrote, “think about these matters as Catholics do.”  A catholic university would discuss what catholics think the Catholic Church should teach, informed by the current Zeitgeist and supported by the magisterium of public opinion. (In some circles, catholics are called “Catholics-in-Name-Only” [CINO’s].  As this phenomenon impacts the nation’s Catholic universities and colleges, The Motley Monk calls it the “Georgetownization” of U.S. Catholic higher education…to wit: Ms. Fluke.)

If all of that isn’t troubling enough, Representative Pelosi also said that preserving the Sebelius regulations was about protecting the “God-given free will” of women.  Of the Chairman, Darrell Issa (R-CA), Ms. Pelosi asked mockingly:

  • Does that person, or that Chairman of Committee, have any judgment on what it means to a family to personally and religiously make decisions about the size and timing of their family?
  • Does that person have any knowledge, is he qualified to talk about the danger to women’s health, and therefore the care of the family, to a Mom if she and her husband, their doctor and their God cannot make  those decisions?
  • Is that committee chairmanship and leadership of the Congress qualified to make a decision about how people exercise their God-given free will to take their responsibility and to answer for how they  exercise that God-given free will?

Whew!  Where is one to start?

For Catholics, The Motley Monk notes three problems with the line of argumentation inherent in Ms. Pelosi’s  questioning:

  1. The “if you don’t have it, you have nothing to say about it” argument: Just just because a member of the U.S. Congress is a male and Chairman of a committee, does not ipso facto render that man incapable of making a judgment or render him unqualified to speak about women’s “health” issues.  According to Ms. Pelosi’s reasoning, would the fact that she is not a Catholic theologian render Ms. Pelosi unqualified to render a judgment or unqualified to speak about Catholic teaching?
  2. It is up to individuals to determine what their God requires: This argument is to the heart of the Protestant Reformation.  The Motley Monk would note that the Protestant reformers argued that they didn’t need an intermediary—a priest, a bishop, or a Pope of Rome—to tell them what the Scriptures taught.  Ms. Pelosi sounds more like a Protestant than a Catholic. (Or, is that a protestant rather than a catholic?)
  3. Human feelings trump God’s rights.  Ms. Pelosi failed to address the Creator’s “rights”…from which are derived all other rights and “human rights,” in particular.  Neither did Ms. Pelosi discuss the “right” of those who will be compelled to pay for “healthcare” practices and procedures that violate their consciences.  Also left out of Ms. Pelosi’s discussion were the Church’s rights to teach about the faith and morals as She (meaning the Church, not Ms. Pelosi) sees fit.

Ms. Pelosi is engaging in this discourse for strictly political purposes.  It is part of the overall Obama re-election strategy: To divide U.S. Catholics in order to shore up just enough votes to ensure re-election.

If The Motley Monk’s analysis is accurate, the House Minority Leader is selling her Catholic faith for political expediency.



To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, click on the following link:

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Eating Their Own

  News that I missed, courtesy of The Babylon Bee:   WASHINGTON, D.C.—Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is busy celebrating her victory over the


  1. In 1st Corinthians chapter 5, St. Paul had to instruct the parishioners at Corinth on how to deal with a man who was sleeping with his father’s wife. He told them to hand that person over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh so that on the last day he might be saved. With one blow he dealt with the public scandal of sexual sin and the need for the offender to be brought back to salvation.

    This whole issue of contraception and abortion, and Nancy Pelosi’s support for the same, is no different. Indeed, by 2nd Corinthians chapter 2 the man who had committed such heinous sexual sin had repented and was back in good standing within the Church. Do our Bishops care so little for the public scandal that Nancy Pelosi’s position causes, and so little for the state of her soul that they will continue to fail to publicly ex-communicate her? It is for the good of the souls whom her statements infect with heresy and apostasy, and for the good of her own soul that she has to be handed over to Satan for the destruction of her flesh so that on the last day she herself and those whom she has perverted might be saved.

    These words aren’t written out of hatred against her or against liberal Democrats. Rather, these words are merely a reflection (however poorly) of what St. Paul himself directed the Church at Corinth to do. Indeed, if they were hatred, then we would say, “To hell with her.”

  2. Something to pray in these days. If the Bishops and laity don’t act to correct this in their respective spheres of authority, God will.

    Psalm 2
    1 Why do the nations conspire
    and the peoples plot in vain?
    2 The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the LORD and against his anointed, saying,
    3 “Let us break their chains
    and throw off their shackles.”
    4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them.
    5 He rebukes them in his anger
    and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
    6 “I have installed my king
    on Zion, my holy mountain.”

    7 I will proclaim the LORD’s decree:

    He said to me, “You are my son;
    today I have become your father.
    8 Ask me,
    and I will make the nations your inheritance,
    the ends of the earth your possession.
    9 You will break them with a rod of iron[b];
    you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

    10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
    be warned, you rulers of the earth.
    11 Serve the LORD with fear
    and celebrate his rule with trembling.
    12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry
    and your way will lead to your destruction,
    for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
    Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

  3. I agree with Paul Primavera mostly except there is a doctrinal divide between abortion and contraception and the Catholic blogosphere conflates them by word of mouth but I suspect many Bishops do not. The Vatican could actually excommunicate pro choice Catholics pols on abortion because that issue is infallibly condemned in a manifest manner (Evangelium Vitae, sect.62, abbreviated IC wording with one key change) as required by canon 749-3. Birth control for some theologians (Grisez, Fr. Ford, Fr. May) is infallibly condemned in the universal ordinary magisterium…but for several Vatican respected theologians, Karl Rahner and Bernard Haring, it was not infallible in that venue and Rahner edited the Enchiridion Symbolorum for years…a tome that ascribes authority levels to issues. The universal ordinary magisterium as a venue became more iffy ironically when the modern Magisterium including Popes went silent on wifely obedience, and went sparse on condemning usury, and went into overdrive against the death penalty de facto. Ergo…three issues seemingly of the universal ordinary magisterium were frankly slighted by the Magisterium while it was excommunicating persons around the issue of women priests which had less explicitness in Tradition and scripture than wifely obedience, usury and the death penalty. We may well have over a thousand Catholics in key offices in Visa and Mastercharge affecting 25% plus rates for late payers….but the usury days of Saints denouncing whole cities are over somehow.
    Abortion though does not have the misty fog of all those issues in the ordinary magisterium.
    It is clearly, infallibly condemned in section 62 of Evangelium Vitae after John Paul by polling all Bishops worldwide got unanimity on that, Euthanasia, and killing the innocent (he probably asked the Bishops on birth control but failed…and we’ll know in about 75 years as per the silent period
    on papal private correspondence).

  4. Good commentary by Bill Bannon, certainly better than I could have done. But I am curious: what part of the command “Be fruitful and multiply” in Genesis 1:28 do the Bishops NOT understand? This was after all the first command.

  5. Oddly Paul, Jerome and Augustine saw that Gn.1:28 as applying to only the Jews so that they would flourish and protect and produce the Messiah. But the present catechism disagrees with them in that it says that the Noachic covenant (which repeated “be fruitful and multiply for Jews and Gentiles ) will last til the end of time (CCC#71). But…lol…that means that the death penalty for murder of Genesis 9:6 (Noachic) should also last til the end of time. Ergo….some Bishops will ignore the Noachic covenant because while leading to “be fruitful and multiply”, it also leads to executing those who murder and the Bishops tried to save Timothy McVeigh.
    Jerome and Augustine were against contraception and against big families if you can figure that out. They envisioned a lot of abstinence:

    Augustine in “The Good of Marriage”…

    section 17
    “For there is not now necessity of begetting children, as there then was, when, even when wives bare children, it was allowed, in order for a more numerous posterity, to marry other wives in addition, which now is certainly not lawful.”
    section 19
      ” For in these (moderns) the very desire of sons is carnal, but in those (OT patriarchs) it was spiritual, in that it was suited to the sacrament of that time. Forsooth now no one who is made perfect in piety seeks to have sons, save after a spiritual sense; but then it was the work of piety itself to beget sons even after a carnal sense: in that the begetting of that people was fraught with tidings of things to come, and pertained unto the prophetic dispensation.”

    Jerome saw “be fruitful and multiply” as falling under the curse of the law in two documents:

    Against Helvidius / section 21:  “So long as that law remained, “Be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth” [Gen. 1:28]; and “Cursed is the barren woman that bears not seed in Israel” [cf. Ex. 23:26], they all married and were given in marriage, left father and mother, and became one flesh….But once in tones of thunder the words were heard, “The time is shortened, that henceforth those that have wives may be as though they had none” [1 Cor. 7:29], cleaving to the Lord, we are made one spirit with Him. And why? Because “He that is unmarried is careful for the things of the Lord…”. ( Jerome here strangely conflates the Christian married and the celibate therein as both not needing children).

    Letter to Eustochium. letter XXII.  Jerome…
    20. I praise wedlock, I praise marriage, but it is because they give me virgins. I gather the rose from the thorns, the gold from the earth, the pearl from the shell. 
    21. The old law had a DIFFERENT ideal of blessedness, for therein it is said: “Blessed is he who hath seed in Zion and a family in Jerusalem:”(5) and “Cursed is the barren who beareth not:”(6) and “Thy children shall be like olive-plants round about thy table.”

    Ergo you can see how Rahner and Haring saw the area of contraception as containing odd cross currents with Haring seeing I Cor. 7:5 as very ignored by many commentators in the tradition.

  6. If The Motley Monk’s analysis is accurate, the House Minority Leader is selling her Catholic faith for political expediency. In 1981, Senator Harrison Williams of New Jersey was caught on tape “influence peddling” to Arab Sheiks in the Abscam Scandal. He lost his seat and was sent to Federal prison as Inmate #06089-050. Ii is time for Pelosi to be stopped from Catholic “influence peddling”.

  7. More Virgins are the only reason to surrender virginity. The joy of life is knowing that there is another person who thinks enough about you, and likes you enough, to want there to be more of you. The joy of heaven is God knowing that you like Him enough to want there to be more of Him.
    God told the prophet to go into the prophetess, his wife, and she conceived. Children have a right to be called forth by God, our Creator and our Maker. God loves all children; “I have all those you have given to me.” Children are begotten through the will of God. Opposing the will of God is, well, rather evil. Demons, like Medusa and possessed individuals ought not be running our country. God must be running our country, not the Pope. The Pope has to “run” and serve the Catholic Church. God must be brought to bear on our nation, in its laws and in its economy and in its sovereignty. The Sovereign Person of God must be given FREEDOM to rule over His sovereign people. Religion is man’s response to the gift of Faith from God. There are as many of man’s responses, as there are free persons, to the gift of Faith from God. This, I repeat, because beliefs such as atheism are beliefs, but they are not a response to the gift of Faith from God and as such that they are totalitarian simply by the fact of having deposed the Person of God and the sovereignty of the Person of God from the whole of the nation, not only the public square but the whole of the culture, and from me and my family, and this demon would gladly erase me from existence if it could. May God bless and keep you.

  8. We need to Publicly Excommunicate Pelosi and Sebelius as they are “catholic” heretics and hypocrites. I would add Brian Cahill to that list. The government under the 10th Ammendment of the Constitution does not have a right to force us to buy anything including health care. Also the government may NOT force its secular liberal religion on the Catholic church. Brian is no loyal or devout “catholic” as he is just another liberal hypocrite who is apostate. You cannot be Catholic and pro-abortion or liberal or pro-Obama or pro-Obama care. I do not know Brian but he seems to be another clueless liberal. Please click on the following link:

    “Request the Public Excommunication of Politicians Nancy Pelosi and Kathleen Sebelius and others”

    It is time to throw out the liberals. They are not Catholic. Enough is enough. We must be loyal and devoted to Our Lord and to the Blessed Virgin. Read about what she said in Fatima in 1917 and you will be amazed and overjoyed at Her wonderful message and the warning she has in it. Catholics can not be complicit or cooperate with evil and the Obama administration is the most morally corrupt we have ever had. In November we have our National IQ Test and that is to vote for moral leaders with integrity and that is conservative and NOT liberal.

  9. I suppose THIS young Catholic woman’s voice means nothing, because it concurs with orthodoxy — I wrote to her, but I doubt she will listen (if by chance you’re reading this, Ma’am, which I also doubt, I dare you to prove me wrong!).

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