Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

4/21/2010 (5 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Margaret Carlson appears to be following Rahm Emanuel's advice to "never let a good crisis go to waste". Her appearance on 'Morning Joe' was an example of some in the media promoting dissenting Catholics. She tried to use the founder of the Catholic Worker movement to justify her pet peeves with the very Church which Dorothy Day loved. Her goal was to promote her agenda to change the Church.

Margaret Carlson.

Margaret Carlson.


By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (

4/21/2010 (5 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - I should have known better.  As I sipped the first cup of my wife's wonderful coffee, I decided to see what "Morning Joe" had to offer. The last time I did that was Easter Monday morning. I was verbally assaulted by Mike Barnacle, an anti-Catholic Catholic, ranting about the "Old men in Rome", being egged on by Joe Scarborough, his Protestant enabler. That experience led to a column entitled "Benedicts Burden". 

Wednesday morning, April 20, 2010 it was not Mike Barnacle; it was Margaret Carlson playing the role of what I call an "Anti-Catholic Catholic." She has become quite a presence on the pundit circle these days. This morning she referred to herself as a "Dorothy Day Social Justice Catholic."  This is part of an effort to paint a division in the Church between what she calls "Social Justice Catholics" and those who do not share her view of politics or the Church.  Given Carlson's penchant for rejecting the teaching of the Magisterium  (teaching office) of the Church, Dorothy Day would have had what my mother calls a 'conniption fit'  upon hearing this identification. Margaret Carlson should read Dorothy Day before she tries to hide her dissent under her mantle. Dorothy Day is one of my heroes - along with Peter Maurin whose well worn "Easy Essays" is a must read for me regularly!  I wonder if Carlson knows that the late beloved Cardinal O'Connor, with whom she would have had serious disagreements, is the one who presented Dorothy Day to the Holy See for canonization. In his letter to the Vatican promoting her cause he wrote: "It has long been my contention that Dorothy Day is a saint - not a "gingerbread" saint or a "holy card" saint, but a modern day devoted daughter of the Church, a daughter who shunned personal aggrandizement and wished that her work, and the work of those who labored at her side on behalf of the poor, might be the hallmark of her life rather than her own self. "To be sure, her life is a model for all in the third millenium, but especially for women who have had or are considering abortions. It is a well-known fact that Dorothy Day procured an abortion before her conversion to the Faith. She regretted it every day of her life. After her conversion from a life akin to that of the pre-converted Augustine of Hippo, she proved a stout defender of human life. The conversion of mind and heart that she exemplified speaks volumes to all women today on two fronts. "First, it demonstrates the mercy of God, mercy in that a woman who sinned so gravely could find such unity with God upon conversion. Second, it demonstrates that one may turn from the ultimate act of violence against innocent life in the womb to a position of total holiness and pacifism. In short, I contend that her abortion should not preclude her cause, but intensifies it. "It has also been noted that Dorothy Day often seemed friendly to political groups hostile to the Church, for example, communists, socialists, and anarchists. It is necessary to divide her political stances in two spheres: pre-and post- conversion. After her conversion, she was neither a member of such political groupings nor did she approve of their tactics or any denial of private property. Yet, it must be said, she often held opinions in common with them. What they held in common was a common respect for the poor and a desire for economic equity. In no sense did she approve of any form of atheism, agnosticism, or religious indifference. "Moreover, her complete commitment to pacifism in imitation of Christ often separated her from these political ideologies. She rejected all military force; she rejected aid to force in any way in a most idealistic manner. So much were her "politics" based on an ideology of nonviolence that they may be said to be apolitical. Like so many saints of days gone by, she was an idealist in a non-ideal world. It was her contention that men and women should begin to live on earth the life they would one day lead in heaven, a life of peace and harmony. Much of what she spoke of in terms of social justice anticipated the teachings of Pope John Paul II and lends support to her cause" Margaret Carlson tried to use the founder of the Catholic Worker movement to justify her pet peeves with the very Church which Dorothy Day loved. Carlson claimed to recall her childhood, referring to the authority of priests as being so great "back then" that the nuns "genuflected' when they came into the room. I am 55 years old and went to a parochial school. First, genuflection is reserved for worship and Carlson knows that. Second, I never saw any Nun act like that toward a priest. They respected the office of the Priesthood but they often held their own against individual priests! Then she lit into the Church. Her goal was to promote her agenda to change the Church. She argued that the source of the problem was what she calls the 'power structure' of the Church. No, the problem is sin and what the late John Paul called the "mystery of iniquity." In his letter of March 22, 2002 to all priests he wrote "As priests, we are personally and profoundly afflicted by the sins of some of our brothers who have betrayed the grace of ordination in succumbing even to the most grievous forms of the mysterium iniquitatis [mystery of evil] at work in the world." Margaret Carlson appears to be following Rahm Emanuel's advice to "never let a good crisis go to waste". She used this crisis to attack her own Church. She also set the stage for Joe Scarborough, her Protestant enabler, to again display his ignorance of the Catholic Church. Prefacing his comment with a reference to not caring whether it hurt his ratings - as if to make it sound courageous - he began another rant. He talked about how Catholics put priests, bishops, cardinals and the pope in elevated positions. His inference reeked of anti-catholic screeds of days past. He then tried to make it comical, noting that Southern Baptists never hold the preacher in such a position; they let them know not to let the service exceed an hour or "they were leaving for Morrison's" for brunch. I have used this expression "anti-Catholic Catholics" in the past in reference to those Catholics in public life who take positions at odds with the teaching of the Church and the Natural Law. The most obvious example is those who reject the fundamental Right to Life and endorse the killing of our first neighbors in the womb through voluntary abortion as some kind of "right". Another example is those who reject the truth concerning the structure of a true marriage and the family and society founded upon it. Barnacle and Carlson exhibit another face of the problem. They reject the Catholic teaching on the nature of the Church. It should come as no surprise that Joe Scarborough does not understand Catholic teaching. He is a self professing "Southern Baptist". He apparently believes that the Church is some-thing; an organization we fashioned. It provides places where we gather to read the bible, listen to sermons (though apparently short ones) and attend services before we go eat brunch.  However, Barnacle and Carlson are Catholic Christians. They should understand what Catholics (and Orthodox Christians) believe about the Church. The Church is not some-thing but "Some-One", the Risen Body of Jesus Christ who continues His redemptive mission THROUGH the Church which He founded.  The Head and the Body cannot be separated. The Church is God's plan for the whole human race, the new world, and the seed of the Kingdom to come. Priests are not people who chose a career, but men called by Jesus Christ to participate in His redemptive mission. When we say that a priest stands "in the person of Christ" at the altar we do not mean he takes the place of Christ! Rather, that the Risen Lord is in our midst. They stand in Him and it is He who acts!
In addition, the Bishop is not an elected official; he is the successor of the Apostles. The Bishop of Rome, the Pope, is not simply a CEO but the successor of Peter. The "magisterium" (teaching office) is not as Barnacle paints them "those old guys in Rome" but part of the fulfillment of the Lords promise that he would not leave us orphans but send us the Holy Spirit who would guide us into all truth. Lest anyone think that this view of the Church lessens the horror of the sin and evil engaged in by the relatively few clergymen who caused this crisis, think again! It makes their actions even more egregious! People like Mike Barnacle and Margaret Carlson either do not understand Catholic ecclesiology (the theology of the Church) or they just plain out reject it. In short, they embrace what Joe Scarborough seems to believe. They want to replace the Catholic vision of the Church with a notion which sees it as merely a human organization which they can then restructure as they will. If so, they are anti-Catholic Catholics with an agenda quite different then what they claim. They cannot go unanswered. 


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

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Politics & Policy

'We cannot succumb to fear': U.S. joins France in fight against ISIS Watch

Image of U.S. President Barack obama has decided to join forces with France in eliminating ISIS.


Following a meeting with French President François Hollande, United States President Barack Obama has proclaimed "total solidarity" with France. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - President Obama believes the declaration of solidarity, alongside his trip to Paris for ... continue reading

U.S. throws doors open to Syrian refugees - despite identity of Paris terrorist suspect as disguised refugee Watch

Image of It's not yet known how many more additional refugees the U.S. may take in beyond the originally state 10,000. Two senior administration officials say they are seeking ways to take in even more.


Even after it was learned that a key terrorist in the recent attacks in Paris, 25-year-old Ahmed Almuhamed, snuck into France after he was rescued from a sinking shop off the coast of Greece posing as a Syrian refugee, the Obama administration continues to ... continue reading

Supreme Court to hear arguments over Texas abortion clinic ruling Watch

Image of Lawmakers have put major restrictions of abortion since 2010, but none as far-reaching and strict as Texas' HB2.


A measure passed in the State of Texas, HB2 in 2013 has led to the closure of half of that state's abortion clinics. Now, the Supreme Court will hear arguments over the Texas law that has been among the most crucial in the ongoing national dialogue regarding ... continue reading

PUT TERRORISTS IN COLORADO? Law enforcement officials question Guantanamo Bay closure Watch

Image of Obama's Defense Secretary recently said that around half of the remaining 112 prisoners at Gitmo must be locked up


United States President Barack Obama has long promised to close Guantanamo Bay, a holding facility for suspected terrorists at a U.S. naval facility in Cuba. The question, as posed by dozens of law enforcement officials in a letter to the president . where do ... continue reading

What has the United States Government done with $5.9 billion? Watch

Image of American taxpayers gave the United States government $5.9 billion in foreign military financing last how was it distributed?


Each year Americans complain about paying taxes, much of which is distributed to foreign military aid. So where have all the funds gone? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the United States government's Foreign Assistance report, $5.9 billion was directed ... continue reading

You won't believe how Trump and Carson have become a disrupting force in the Republican Party! Watch

Image of Donald Trump and Ben Carson's popularity has other Republican presidential candidates sweating.


Republican presidential hopefuls Ben Carson and Donald Trump have disrupted Republican politicians and have many questioning where the United States is headed should either become the next American President. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Members of the ... continue reading

Fourth Presidential debate asks the hard questions Watch

Image of The Fourth Republican Debate gave presidential candidates several opportunities to shine -but who took advantage of the spotlight?

By Kenya Sinclair (California Network)

The fourth Republican presidential debate took place at the Milwaukee Theater Tuesday night. Candidates were asked the big questions ranging from how they felt about protester demands for a $15 minimum wage to the deportation of 11 million illegal immigrants in the ... continue reading

Court halts Obama's executive orders with Obama's own words! What were they? Watch

Image of Obama's own words were used to stop him from changing the law as he pleased.

By David Drudge (California Network)

A federal appeals court has used Obama's own words to halt his growing use of executive orders that allow him to rule by edict. Their decision specifically halts his edict that shields 5 million illegal immigrants from imminent deportation and that he does not have the ... continue reading

Social Security administration hits unbelievably new record in spending - You won't believe the numbers! Watch

Image of This latest figure represents a substantial increase from the $910,394,720,000 the Social Security Administration spent in fiscal 2014.


Hitting a record $944,143,000,000 in fiscal 2015, the Social Security Administration reached an all-time in spending. The inclusive payments for this bureau include payments for Social Security and disability benefits in addition to Supplemental Security Income ... continue reading

Obama's executive order gets blocked and why that's a disaster for thousands of Catholic families Watch

Image of President Barack Obama's plan to protect millions of undocumented immigrants falls flat.


On Monday night, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals found that a lower court did not "abuse its discretion" when it claimed President Barack Obama's controversial executive actions on immigration were unlawful. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Obama's executive ... continue reading

All Politics & Policy News


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

  • UPDATE: Did the U.S. military actually know they were bombing the ...
  • St. James Intercisus: Saint of the Day for Friday, November 27, 2015
  • Happy Thanksgiving Day: Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Friday, November 27, 2015
  • Bet you've never seen a space rocket do THIS!

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 7:2-14
2 Daniel said, 'I have been seeing visions in the night. I saw that the ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81
75 Bless the Lord, mountains and hills, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:29-33
29 And he told them a parable, 'Look at the fig tree and indeed every ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 27th, 2015 Image

St. James Intercisus
November 27: James was a favorite of King Yezdigerd I of ... Read More