Apr 8, 2006

Quoting Cardinal Mahony and Father Radcliffe

The April 7 issue of the National Catholic Reporter (click on this post's title) carries Cardinal Mahony keynoter Father Timothy Radcliffe's "Brokeback Mountain and gay novels" quote from his speech at the Archdiocese's recent "Congress." It also runs an interview with the Cardinal by John L. Allen, Jr. Thanks to "Anonymous," a commenter on yesterday's post here, for this tip.

In the interview, Cardinal Mahony admits he phoned abortion zealot California Democrat Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein to lobby them about immigration bills. He calls that issue "pro-life" and says he does not see how a Catholic politician could vote in good faith for the Sensenbrenner immigration bill.

Imagine if Allen had asked the Cardinal a few more questions, such as: "Did you also lobby those two reprobate pro-abort Senators in defense of preborn babies? Have you ever? If not, why not? And are you ever going to lobby them against aborting babies? If so, when, and will you tell us all about it?"


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The National Catholic Reporter quote of Timothy Radcliffe telling people to watch "Bareback Mounting" and read gay novels is not quite accurate. Radcliffe definitely did say those things, but I have just listened to the tape again, and the NCR version is not word-for-word precise. Some of Radcliffe's speech is difficult to understand due to his British accent and the echo in the arena.

Here is Racliffe's exact quote, in context and as accurately as I'm able to transcribe it after repeatedly rewinding and listening to the tape. BTW, Radcliffe said these things with Cardinal Mahony and Sister Edith Prendergast sitting just feet away from him on the arena stage:

“We accompany people in friendship as they become moral agents. Let’s look at the gays. For some reason--I don’t actually understand why--it’s become a very hot topic in all the churches at the moment. It’s tearing the Church of England apart. It’s the cause of great dissension in our own church. Usually when we think about it, we ask, ‘What is forbidden or permitted?’ But I’m afraid I’m an old-fashioned and traditional Catholic, and I believe that’s the wrong place to start. We begin by standing by gay people as they hear the voice of the Lord that summons them to life and happiness. We accompany them as they wrestle with discovering what this means and how they must walk. And this means letting our imaginations be stretched open to watching Brokeback Mountain, reading gay novels, having gay friends, making that leap of the heart and the mind, delighting in their being, listening with them as they listen to the Lord.”

7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's another Radcliffe quote, made earlier in his keynote address. Sex seemed to be very much on his mind that day:

“In our society, when we think about moral decisions, there are usually two models. One is to think that it’s about choosing just what you feel like doing, and the other is a morality that’s about submission to the rules. Think about sex. Often we think that sexual morality is really just doing what I feel like, it’s just a lifestyle option, what feels right for me. The other extreme is the people who think that it’s just a question of submitting to the external rules. But this Gospel summons us beyond those alternatives . . . Christian morality is about obedience, but not obedience as an infantile submission. It’s about obedience in the original meaning of that word . . . about learning to hear the voice of the Lord. And what that voice says is ‘Stand up and be free.’”

8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And here's the full quote of Radcliffe saying that Pope Benedict and conservative Catholics have used "violent" language and that we have to see things through the eyes of militant feminists:

“Here in the United States, the Church faces perhaps a more difficult challenge to your freedom . . . across the ideological divisions of your Church. There is a deep anger in the United States against Catholics on the other side--much more, I think, probably than any other country in the world. I was sometimes astonished at the violence of the language used by Pope Benedict when he was the Cardinal Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. And I am also shocked by the violent language of conservative Catholics against so-called liberals. We are not a sign of God’s freedom in Jesus until we can dare to belong with each other across every theological boundary (audience applauds). That means we have to see with other people’s eyes, hear with their ears, and feel with their skin, regardless of whether they’re Legionnaires of Christ or militant feminists.”

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And here's yet another Radcliffe quote about the clerical sex abuse scandals where, while acknowledging the victims' suffering, he basically gives the bishops a free pass for their part in the coverup and exhorts the audience to sympathy for the abusers, whom he calls "the lepers of the modern Church". "Unbind" the bishops and the abusers, he says, and "Let them go [free]" -- instead of saying "Let them go to jail":

“Perhaps the greatest challenge to our freedom is to heal the divisions of the scandal of sexual abuse. First of all, we have to face and own up to the pain of those who’ve been abused. We have to be . . . touched by their suffering. We have to help them to bandage their wounds and help them to freedom. . . . That’s where we all need to be now, as brothers and sisters, healing those wounds. But we must also help into freedom the bishops who did not react to the scandal well. We must help them to unbind their faults, and let them be free. Most difficult of all, we must cherish the abusers. They’ve become the lepers of the modern Church, the unclean whom we fear to touch. We may be tempted to leave them in the tomb to rot. We must hear the voice of the Lord Who commands, ‘Unbind them and let them go.’”

8:54 AM  
Blogger Kenneth Fisher, Founder & CRCOA said...

I want to thank those who came out and joined our prayerful demonstrations outside the Archdiocese of Lost Angels' REC.

Those of you who came out, even in spite of the rain and rain threats, clearly demonstrated your love of God's Church and your willingness to stand and be counted.

Those of you who did not come, missed a great opportunity to stand up for the Faith in the face of some very chilling opposition.

By my best estimation, we were able to pass out around 9000 tabloids exposing this hotbed of dissension. By the way, one of those dissenters, Fr. Lawrence Boadt came out and tried to debate me, what fun it is when you have the facts and they have only emotions! He tried to take exception to our calling this Congress "the world's largest dissent-fest". By the way, there was no way you could tell he was a priest unless you knew who he was

Another Irish priest, likewise dressed, screamed at me that a sign accusing Mahony of protecting homosexuals was all lies. When he did this, I calmly replied "Father, it depends on your definition of a lie, doesn't it!".

We are now starting plans for another such demonstration when the Bishops meet in Los Angeles this coming June, and we are taking names and addresses of those who wish to take part or contribute towards the cost of printing and advertising

God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher, Founder & Chairman, Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you very much for your yeoman work in transcribing the tapes. Your devotion to accuracy is a real service to everyone who seeks to defend Catholic truth from the distorters and dissenters.

God reward you!

9:29 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Ken,

All of us owe you a real debt of gratitude for your organizing the picket of "Congress" these many years. You and your valiant cohort do a great job of alerting the attendees, and Catholics as a whole, about the dissenters.

Thank you, God bless, and may each of us decide to help you all through the year.

9:43 PM  
Blogger Jared said...

Firstly, thank you Quintero, anon, and Ken for all your work.

Secondly, my wife, upon hearing this "afraid to touch" the modern "lepers," says (quite menacingly, actually) "Oh, I'm not afraid to touch 'em." She then, went on to say something about emasculation.

Thirdly, these abusers have CHOSEN to act the way that they did. Leperosy is NOT a choice. Mr. Radcliffe, mixing his metaphors like a mad French culinary student, seems to think that we can bring the lepers back from the dead. He seems to forget that, even if one might be forgiven, there will still be a price to be paid.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Jared said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the overriding themes I picked up at the Congress was the assertion that gay priests and abuse perpetrators as "victims" who are especially deserving of our sympathy. It's always someone else's fault, never the fault of the abusers themselves. Radcliffe's comments are especially egregious because he uses the Gospel reading about Lazarus to engender sympathy for the bishops and the abusers.

Another theme at the congress was the idea of catechesis derived through "lived experience." If you listen to all of Radcliffe's speech (available for purchase on the RE Congress website), you will hear this theme echoed between the lines. He talks about holiness not being something that comes about from following the rules (e.g., the Ten Commandments) but as something that comes from doing the right thing from the core of God within ourselves -- which, taken to its conclusion, leaves every man to do what is right in his own eyes. He didn't SAY that, but that's the impression I got.

This idea of catechesis deriving from "lived experience" is a 180-degree switch from traditional catechetics. In traditional catechetics, people were taught the basics of the Catholic faith (such as the seven deadly sins and corresponding virtues), and then applied them to whatever situation arose in their lives.

Under this new model of "lived experience," however, people have "experiences" in their lives and then derive catechesis ("listening to the voice of God within them") from that.

This is a very insidious idea that ultimately allows people to justify doing whatever they want, especially today when so many consciences are badly formed to begin with.

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Joseph said...

Anon 7:32

Radcliffe is simply spouting modernism which which elevates subjective experience and rejects the notion of objective truth. Just don't argue with guys like this because if you dare disagree with them, they will say you are wrong and they are right. So much for truth being subjective, eh?

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So evils are called 'good' or 'gift' perhaps. And truth is called an evil or hate or something like that, things that do not make you 'free'.

So what happens now? St. Paul told us in his letter to the Romans: They became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds became darkened...therefore God gave them up to the lusts of their heart in impunity...for they exchanged the truth about God for a lie.

I do NOT like this radcliffe person at all! But he fits right in with some other liars.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Commenters,

Congratulations on your great analysis and insights. You are really something. The dissenters are not getting anything past you, that is for sure.

Thank you for seeing through the dissenters and then warning everyone else about them. You are doing important work for souls.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Br Lawrence, O.P. said...

Thank you for fuller citations here of Fr Radcliffe's talk. I would be interested to hear the full thing but no doubt I can ask him when he returns to the UK...

I think to classify Fr Radcliffe as a modernist or liberal is grossly unfair. As someone who has met and spoken with him and talking to my brother Dominicans who have lived with him, he is not the kind of 'dogmatic liberal' that Joseph suggests. In the interests of truth and fairness I wish to assert this.

If Fr Radcliffe is wrong or has heretical views etc in your opinions, I think some of the comments I have read on blogs confirms his position: such vehemance and hatred and indeed, "violent language" is surely not the mark of charity to be found among Christians?

The division in the US church is truly alarming: Consider the beautiful words of the 'Ubi caritas' sung only on Maundy Thursday. Gathered in love around the Lord's table, let all divisions, bitterness and strife cease...

I do not pretend to know the pains that the sex abuse scandals are causing in the US church and have every sympathy. I agree that one must be responsible for one's sin. But that does not absolve the Church of finding a way to help and heal the sinner - castration or whatever other violent way is suggested is NOT the answer. Just because one point out the need to help the sinner does not mean one condones the sinner nor his/her sin nor is one ignoring the victims.

If the Lord acted the way some Christians do, He would have ate only with the righteous and comforted the poor and broken-hearted but stoned the sinner. The Church is in a position where it has to protect and heal the wounded victims and ALSO heal and redeem the sinner and bring them to salvation. Not an easy task. Radcliffe points this out and I don't see at all how his point attributes the fault to others apart from the abusers etc or how it is "egrerious".

The demonizing of those we disagree with (whether paedophiles or homosexuals or Fr Radcliffe, or perhaps even me) is a tactic designed to distance oneself from the other - to make the other less than human, less 'one of us'. This tactic makes it easier for us to attack the other. Such a tactic again is less than Christian and most uncharitable.

With regard to Fr Radcliffe and sex: his latest book has a wonderful chapter on chastity and Christian sexual ethics - one of the best I have come across and certainly within the tradition of John Paul the Great's 'Theology of the Body'.

I would like to see someone poinnt out in a balanced and clear, logical method (ie sans emotionality) what lies Fr Radcliffe perpetrates and which Gospel truth he denies or challenges. To my mind, none.

As for "lived experience". What do you make of this:

"Knowing through instruction, which remains secondhand and does not put the knower in contact with reality itself. The second kind of knowledge, in contrast, is knowing through personal experience, through contact with the things themselves."

That was Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, writing in 2002. Or would you consider him a liar too or a modernist or a liberal or poor in 'traditional catechetics'? By the way, the latter idea is certainly not the catechetical style of the Fathers of the Church either.

This kind of Protestant-Evangelical style of reactions to Fr Radcliffe's talk is an indication of a scourge to our Catholic tradition and must be challenged.

I am sympathetic to your views and I don't always agree 100% with my Dominican brother, Timothy Radcliffe, but he would be the first person to encourage me to disagree with his ideas and engage with them intellectually and from my Christian understanding. Fr Radcliffe asks for dialogue and a thorough thinking through of issues which is less than I have seen here and elsewhere.

It is good if his ideas make you think and pray harder but the entrenching of views and the hardening of hearts is what I expect of the Jews who crucified Jesus, not of his 21st century disciples! Did not the Lord just on Thursday command us to LOVE one another?

Maybe more charity, love and thought is needed before we knee-jerk react to propositions and ideas we don't find conducive or familiar...

Pax vobiscum et gaudium paschale.

2:49 PM  
Blogger Jared said...

In random order, several points here, all objective facts:

-Radcliffe encourages the viewing of Brokeback Mountain, a pornographic film. The Catechism and Christ Himself speak clearly against this. In addition, the so-called "gay novels" of which Radcliffe speaks tend also to fit that category, most of the time. My point is that surely neither of these could possibly help a sinner stop sinning. That goes for all sins, not just homosexual temptations. To paraphrase the author of this blog (and it really is a good point, Quintero), if my friend has a tendency to lie, should I read books that tend to legitimize the act of lying? And the pornographic media is all the worse, since it tends to bypass the intellectual and goes straight to the carnal and more easily aroused level of instinct. Surely, you're not defending this?

-I personally do not find Radcliffe's views "unfamiliar." Quite the contrary, they are quite in keeping with the current public opinion trend.

-In that same vein, the Church stands for timeless wisdom. To write of how we sound more like "the Jews who crucified Jesus, not of his 21st century disciples" testifies to a kind of chronological prejudice or sorts, in that it allows only for one-way progress, and doesn't seem to indicate the possibility that society might regress. I apologize if that wasn't your point, but my point is that, in making such a statement, you tend to make the reader think that you believe that opinions that come later are automatically better. But that is a most un-Catholic notion. As Catholics, we respect Tradition. We engage, as GK Chesterton wrote in the "democracy of the dead." I'm sure you must have meant something else, but I for the life of me, can't figure out what, as you felt it necessary to point out the century in which we live.

-Mr. Radcliffe states: "I was sometimes astonished at the violence of the language used by Pope Benedict when he was the Cardinal Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith." Violence? By even mentioning this, Radcliffe practically begs for a negative review from faithful Catholics. Even if this language (or ours on this board) could be classified as "violent,"--not to sound like a child but--what of it? As I pointed out in a different post, the terms "whited sepulchres" and "brood of vipers" come to mind. Sometimes, it is entirely appropriate to speak bluntly.

-The abusers? They need to serve their time in prison. I'm sorry, but we are not helping them by leaving them free to continue to commit their crimes.

Brother Lawrence, I mean you no disrespect. Quite the contrary, I hold in high esteem the vocation which you are fulfilling. I once considered it myself. My point is that Radcliffe's words are at the very least chosen very poorly. They tend to lead Catholics astray by allowing them to rationalize sinful behavior. While He was in His earthly ministry, Christ forgave many sins. He forgave, for example, the woman caught in adultery. But, as I know you know, His final words to her were an instruction to "sin no more." There is nothing in this speech of Radcliffe to suggest to me that he even agrees that certain things ARE a sin, let alone that he realizes the gravity of the type of sins of which he speaks.

May St. Dominic guide us all to a better understanding of the Will of the Father.

10:33 PM  
Blogger Jared said...

Sorry for the additional post but a couple more thoughts come to mind.

-The division in the Church as a whole (not just in the US) is distressing. And it is caused by men who spread bad doctrine, not by those who stand against them.

-Ubi Caritas says that divisions should cease. It does not say that we should gloss over them or ignore them. Divisions caused by false teaching need correction.

-"Knowing through instruction, which remains secondhand and does not put the knower in contact with reality itself. The second kind of knowledge, in contrast, is knowing through personal experience, through contact with the things themselves." This statement is not made in the same context as Radcliffe's; in other words, Benedict is NOT saying that we need to understand sin through experience. Our Lord understood sin better than anyone, not because He had committed sin, but because he understood the Truth. By advocating the consumption of sinful and pornographic propaganda like Brokeback Mountain and the like, Radcliffe directly contradicts the Gospel Truth that we MUST do all in our power to avoid that which separates us from God.

-The accusation that one is dehumanizing another (or making him less "one of us")--THAT accusation in and of itself could be seen as demonizing the opposition, especially when it is unfounded. I've not seen anyone here attempt to dehumanize homosexuals, et al. Referring to someone as a Protestant-Evangelical could be seen as demeaning as well.

I'll be quiet now.

2:55 AM  

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