Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W. Hudson

6/21/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A wise and good shepherd, in the end, will find his sheep, especially the one who has strayed far away.

As Catholics of the United States, we have arrived at a moment in our history when the articulated defense, or even explanation, of the sacrament of marriage is called a hate crime by the House Minority Leader and a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, one of the nation's most prominent "Catholic" politicians.

Deal W. Hudson is president of the Morley Institute of Church and Culture, Senior Editor and Movie Critic at Catholic Online, and former publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine.

Deal W. Hudson is president of the Morley Institute of Church and Culture, Senior Editor and Movie Critic at Catholic Online, and former publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine.

Highlights

By Deal W. Hudson

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/21/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Deal W. Hudson, Nancy Pelosi, marriage, dissent, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, National Organization for Marriage


WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) - On Thursday, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco spoke publicly in defense of marriage in Washington, DC in spite of a letter from Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi asking him not to. She wrote her archbishop asking him not to show "disdain and hate towards LGBT persons" by speaking at a National Organization for Marriage march to the Supreme Court.

As Catholics of the United States, we have arrived at a moment in our history when the articulated defense, or even explanation, of the sacrament of marriage is called a hate crime by the House Minority Leader and a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, one of the nation's most prominent "Catholic" politicians.

Even those who have followed the sad devolution of the Catholic presence in the US Congress into hardened dissent over the past 25 years, were momentarily surprised by the foolishness of Pelosi in calling out her own archbishop.  Did she really think her ordinary would buckle? No, she knew better - priests and bishops such as Archbishop Cordileone may have an easy smile, a courteous manner, and a gentle touch, but they do not cave in under public pressure, no matter how vitriolic, or dangerous, it may become.  

The mention of danger is not, I believe, melodramatic, given the issue and the deep passions it invokes.  Anger towards Cordileone has also been stoked by a letter he received the week before Pelosi's, co-signed by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Lt. Gov Gavin Newsom, asking the archbishop not to attend the NOM event. In addition, over 20,000 signatures were quickly gathered by an online petition sending Cordileone the same message. None of these public figures - Pelosi, Lee, or Newsom - we can presume, wishes any harm come to the Archbishop of San Francisco, but they surely must know first-hand the unintended consequences they are risking.

Given that Pelosi wrote her letter knowing she would not persuade her archbishop to stay home, why did she write it?  No doubt the activists in the LGBT community asked her for some sort of public protest. Prior to the arrival of Archbishop Cordileone, the leadership in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, though firmly holding the line on the issue of marriage, has avoided gestures that would incite the powerful gay and lesbian community to action.  The simplest explanation may be that Pelosi rebuked her archbishop for getting out of step with his predecessors by giving the Catholic teaching of marriage a higher profile.

Pelosi, of course, doesn't mind that her letter will insure that the substantial political support and donations she, and her political party, receives from gays and lesbians will continue.  She also doesn't mind restocking her capital on the Catholic left either, because Pelosi firmly believes the Church will one day "come around" on the marriage issue, along with abortion and contraception as well. Pelosi and her like do not see themselves as dissenters but as purveyors of what the future Catholic Church will be like. In her prophetic role, Pelosi views Archbishop Cordileone as simply another of those - mostly men - who have not seen the inevitability of the Church bowing to the culture.

If this is a reasonable account of Pelosi's actual reasons for writing a letter to her bishop and making it public, what then does Archbishop Cordileone do, beyond the letter he wrote in response to Pelosi. His letter denies the March is "anti-LGBT" and that to affirm the Catholic view of marriage does not imply an animus towards anyone or any group. "Rest assured that if the point of this event were to single out a group of individuals and target them for hatred, I most certainly would not be there."

Anyone who knows anything about the archbishop would not doubt his words for a moment, including, I am confident, Pelosi herself.

There are always calls for ex-communication when Catholic politicians express their dissent, which is entirely reasonable given Canon 915 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

"Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion."

The list of Catholic members of Congress who are "obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin" is long, though few are as flamboyantly manifest as Pelosi. Whatever course is taken by Archbishop Cordileone, I'm sure he's concerned more for the salvation of her soul than pursuing a public chastisement that would only further exacerbate the situation in San Francisco, both with Pelosi herself, and the LGBT community that supports her.  The pure foolishness of Pelosi's action must give the archbishop pause before making any further response.

Yet, it is also up to the archbishop to clear the air for those who are unable to see Pelosi's action for what it was. A wise and good shepherd, in the end, will find his sheep, especially the one who has strayed far away.

© Deal W. Hudson, Ph.D

-----
Deal W. Hudson is president of the Morley Institute of Church and Culture, Senior Editor and Movie Critic at Catholic Online, and former publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine.This column and subsequent contributions are an excerpt from a forthcoming book. Dr. Hudson's new radio show, Church and Culture, is heard on the Ave Maria Radio Network.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2016
Universal:
Small Farmers: That small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor.
Evangelization: African Christians: That Christians in Africa may give witness to love and faith in Jesus Christ amid political-religious conflicts.



Comments


More U.S.

'It was an escape:' father of Scientology founder tells all Watch

Image of Ron Miscavige, the father of Scientology leader David Miscavige, opens up (20/20)

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Ron and Becky Miscavige escaped the California Scientology compound known as the "Gold Base" and have stepped forward to share their story. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Scientology is a quiet religion shrouded in secrets - many of which are believed to be ... continue reading


'Clown-in-Chief' Obama makes skit about retirement, but here's why we're not laughing Watch

Image of Obama thinks he's a comedian, but some matters are too serious to joke about.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

President Obama, in an act of self-depreciating humor, has made a SNL-style spoof about his retirement. While amusing at moments, we can't decide if the video is good, because to make it he had to take time away from issuing executive orders, or bad, because it must ... continue reading


CIA under fire for 'live tweeting' dramatic Bin Laden raid on 5 year anniversary Watch

Image of Though some patriots were pleased to see the tweets, several compared the CIA to ISIS and their propaganda videos.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The CIA celebrated the 5-year anniversary of Osama bin Ladin's death by posting "live tweets" of the raid that killed him. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - For those who don't have a Twitter account, the CIA posted a timeline of the raid on their website.The tweets ... continue reading


Athanasius, Defender of the Incarnation: Defend the Faith! Watch

Image of St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Incarnation

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Bishop and Doctor of the Church whom we honor today in the Roman Catholic Liturgical Calendar was called the Defender of the Incarnation. This title summarizes a life given over to defending the central Christian claim - about who Jesus is and who we can be - ... continue reading


No Phony Truces in the Battle to Block Most Anti-Life, Liberal Court in a Generation

Image of The United States Supreme Court

By J. Kenneth Blackwell

While much of our attention is on the Presidential race, the looming battle over a Supreme Court nomination merits no less attention.  The battle lines are clear in this nomination and the future of the Court and our Constitutional principles are at ... continue reading


Fr Frank Pavone - Amoris Laetitia: Pope Francis' Encouraging Roadmap for Families Watch

Image of Fr Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

By Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life

Amoris Laetitia is a timely and loving exhortation for families towards genuine charity that begins within the nuclear family. It can be described as a new road-map for a culture that has taken a sad and tragic detour. The Joy of Love recognizes women's ... continue reading


Catherine of Siena: We Need Saints for this Missionary Age Watch

Image of Today, in the Roman Catholic Liturgical Calendar, we commemorate one of the greatest women saints of Christian history, Catherine of Siena.  While praying at Peter's tomb, she experienced the great weight of the Church fall on her shoulders.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Father, raise up women like Catherine of Siena for this new missionary age of your Church. Women who are so in love with you, and so conformed to the Image of your Son, they can do for your Church in this hour, what she did in her own. Saints are a gift for the ... continue reading


Christian student shockingly dropped from master's program for practicing religious rights Watch

Image of Andrew Cash was discriminated against for practicing his religious rights (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Andrew Cash practiced his religious rights at Missouri State University - and was dismissed from the master's program in counseling as a result. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Catholic News Agency, Cash was referring same-sex couples to another ... continue reading


Not a newsflash, U.S. government authorized use of propaganda on American people...in 2013. Here's who to blame Watch

Image of Obama signed the amendment into law in 2013.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Does the news seem a little too pro-American to you? Does it seem reporters pull punches and that the real issues are ignored? Perhaps that's the result of a quiet change to the law that took place in 2013. A law banning the use of government propaganda on the American ... continue reading


The cost of incarceration: What can we do? Watch

Image of What can we do about overpopulated prisons and ex-cons' ability to find work (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)?

By Matt Hadro (CNA)

Experts from across the political spectrum are calling for criminal justice reform, as a new White House report shows the human and economic costs of the current justice system. Washington D.C. (CNA) - "This is a singular moment in one of the most challenging issues ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 16:11-15
11 Sailing from Troas we made a straight run for Samothrace; the next day ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 149:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 9
1 Alleluia! Sing a new song to Yahweh: his praise in the assembly of the ... Read More

Gospel, John 15:26--16:4
26 When the Paraclete comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 2nd, 2016 Image

St. Athanasius
May 2: St. Athanasius, the great champion of the Faith ... Read More