My Spring Reading List!

After the heavier reading of Lent, I thought I'd like to continue some inspirational spiritual reading through the Easter season as well. 

Here's my book list!

Private and Pithy lessons from Scripture - Mother Angelica
Little Book of Life Lessons - Mother Angelica
Three to Get Married - Fulton Sheen
The Little Oratory
Diary Sister Faustina
Getting Past Perfect - Kate Wicker
The Words We Pray - Amy Welborn
Perfectly Yourself - Matthew Kelly 
Crossing the Threshold of Hope - Pope John Paul II

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Catholic politics and the poor

Speaker John Boehner was invited to give the commencement address at Catholic University yesterday. In response,  a number of Academics from Catholic University and other places, wrote a letter to  the speaker in an attempt to "reawaken (your) familiarity with the teachings of your Church on matters of faith and morals as they relate to governance."  

We're kind of getting use to Catholics on one side or the other calling each other out for not being Catholic enough, but I'm pretty sure none of the signees of this particular letter ever called out Nancy Pelosi, or John Kerry, Joe Biden or Ted Kennedy to "awaken their familiary with Church teachings on matters of faith and morals" such as abortion!

Looking over the signees I wondered if this wasn't a case of failure to remove the huge plank in the eye  before going after the speaker.  The Ten Reasons Blog pointed out several of the signers who seemed to just plain outright dissent from Catholic Teaching.

Arthur T. Dewey [Dewey was a member of the Jesus Seminar in the Nineties and has repeatedly denied the divinity of Christ.]

Edward P. Hahnenberg, Ph.D. [Hahenberg is the author of a short, highly subjective guide to the documents of Vatican II. He also signed a letter "lamenting" Archbishop Pilarczyk's 2009 censure of would-be priestess Louise Akers. Ditto for Arthur Dewey and XU signatories John Sniegocki and Christopher Pramuk.]

Mark Ensalaco, Ph.D. [Ensalaco earned himself an entry in David Horowitz's book The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America for his defenses of Latin American communists and his apologies for Islamist terrorism.]

I found a few more on my own:

Sr. Mary Hughes, OP President Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which is under investigation by the Vatican.

Una Cadigan who wrote the following in the Catholic Studies Reader:

That Mary seems to recognize something about Jesus’ “hour” even before he was ready to commit to it publicly suggests that discernment is a deeply communal and relational process in which human and divine collaboration brings about new things in the world. Finally, one of the most important things about the story is that it takes place at a wedding celebration. Jesus’ first miracle is not to heal someone suffering hopelessly or to give food to the poor and hungry, but to ensure the provsion of appropriate hospitality in the service of great celebration.

See and I always thought the wine was a sign of God's grace and that the miracle at Cana was Jesus raising marriage to the level of a sacrament!

But if our cues come fundamentally from the gospel, we find there a God who understands that it matters whether wedding guests have wine A wedding: There is no more ordinary nor more magical sign of hope and assent to the future. Celebration, real festivity, as philosopher Josef Pieper so often made clear, depends on an idea of time in which the Incarnation is always real and always present. Catholic intellectual life as a response to the need for deeper, more genuine, more extended celebration – that is a mission into which I suspect Catholic higher education can invite partners fruitfully for many years to come.
I wasn't aware that Catholic higher education was having a problem with extended celebration

Patricia C. McMullen , Ph.D., JD, CRNP is part of Comprehensive Gynecology Center which advocates birth control and abortion on its web site.

So it's pretty clear that familiarity with the teachings of the Church on matters of faith and morals isn't utmost in the mind of these signers and their blatant dissent seems a bit hypocritical to me.
I also found this part of the letter troublesome: 

It is particularly cruel to pregnant women and children, gutting Maternal and Child Health grants and slashing $500 million from the highly successful Women Infants and Children nutrition program. When they graduate from WIC at age 5, these children will face a 20% cut in food stamps.

I don't see from these academic types offering any constructive solutions; rather they advocate for  continuation of the same.  Same ole, same ole.

Hard times and assistance aren't supposed to be a way of life. And yet welfare, food stamps, and aid seems to be a generational lifestyle choice for some. Infants and children are supposed to graduate from WIC to food on the table provided by mom and dad.  Doesn't it bother these folks that the assumption is made to go from one form of aid to another to the tune of $500 million dollars?  And what defines WIC as being so successful? Because if they're not helping people to graduate off of assistance maybe it needs to be re-evaluated?

Also this:
Specifically, addressing your budget, the letter (expressed grave concern about changes to Medicaid and Medicare that could leave the elderly and poor without adequate health care.

But if the country doesn't have the money to cover Medicaid and Medicare doesn't that hurt the poor even more?  Economists have told us for decades that there was a problem with the current system. We could tax the rich (the 2.2 million households that make $250,000 or more per year), but that won't fix the budget problem. Cuts will have to be made somewhere - and the big entitlements have got to at least be evaluated for hard cuts.

But frankly, I don't think the signers of this letter really care about that. This was a chance for liberal Catholics to use "Catholicism" to stick it to a conservative Catholic politician after having it stuck to them for years on the abortion issue.

O'Reilly handled this on his show last week:

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  1. What do you see as a solution?
    Personally, I am a balanced budget household.

    I know the Army automatically sends an E-1 to WIC if they have a child in the household.

    Here are some questions I do not know the answers to as a Catholic. My agnostic husband quickly answers- whatever is best for me and my family.

    Am I upset that people who are choosing to continue their pregnancies are give SOME (knowing most WIC things are "overabundant foods") healthy foods? What responsibility do I have to other people's children? Prenatal care? Formula when mothers go to work? How about single mothers who choose to have babies on their own?

    Do I feel that our choice in life will provide health care in our elderly years? How much do I think that care will cost? Will I be able to afford it? Do I think private health insurance (since neither of us will qualify for medicare) will NOT be a type of death panel in our final years? Will the amount I can pay for insurance provide better care for me?

    What is the Catholic stance on health care and the poor? I don't know. Lots of people say different things. Has the Pope come out on humanitarian care of the poor, sick and elderly in a capitalistic society?

    Is it actually jealously that keeps me from seeing that my sister should not have to pay at least as much tax as me? Most everything she does- from clothing to reitirement to cars and gas- are legally written off her business. She can even put away more in retirement than I can. She is in that big category that is always discussed. She works hard- so did I.

    My family is pretty secure in health care and no longer needs WIC. They have good jobs and know they can always "come home" to farm if the need comes.
    We have several medical people in the family.

    I am glad the Republicans are FINALLY standing up to Planned Parenthood. FINALLY! first time they have done anything about the issue that they always run on.
    I still like Flat Tax. Go Forbes and Paul! I'm wishing the elder Paul would have let his son run instead.

    BTW- I am STILL a registered Republican and a Catholic. I still believe that it is time for a change. I have voted for Perot as well as Obama. Unfortunately, the same people continually get voted into office and they love their jobs more than the country!

  2. Until this letter came out, I wasn't even aware Boehner is a Catholic.

    I'll show you how your indictment of these signers implicates Catholic bishops who support them and rely on their expertise:

    You make examples of Dewey and Hahnenberg. The letter's signature has Dewey's middle initial as "T." but Wiki has it as "J." At Xavier, Dewey's faculty page offers no personal bio. However, I'll assume this is the same person. In order to teach theology at a Catholic university, even in liberal Ohio, one needs a mandatum that comes from the local ordinary (bishop).

    Hahnenberg's bio page at Xavier indicates that "[Hahnenberg] has served as a consultant to the U. S. Bishops' Subcommittee on Lay Ministry in its preparation of the document ..."

    I could go on but you get the idea. If I had to choose between a politician or a bishop, I'd side with the bishop.

  3. 75 professors- many from Catholic University- signed this letter.

    Here are the Bishops sited in the letter:
    Bishop Blaire is the one who suggested that those of us who voted for Obama need to go to confession.

    They are the two that sided the Council of Bishops against the proposed cuts.
    Thank you for spurring me on to find out what the Catholic teachings are on this matter.

  4. Catholic University and the mandatum is puzzling.

    I can't find an updated list. This list doesn't include them. This says that they just say a pledge or oath once a year:

    Oath. “It is not required because of the canonical mission. Each year, at the invitation of the diocesan bishop who is also the ecclesiastical chancellor, the faculty make the profession of faith at the opening Mass of the academic year.”

    Consultant does not a devout Catholic make. Many on the infamous Birth Control Commission for Paul VI dissented.

  5. So, you are saying this is NOT the stand of the Catholic Church? Or the stand is only of the liberal Bishops? Really, finding the stand of the Catholic Church is pretty hard.

    Although I do not read NCR - that is the only place I could find an actual copy of the letter with the signatories.
    Besides the Catholic University people- most of the rest are Jesuit theology people. They tend not to have Catholic in the University name because of their stand on things. What is Christendom College teaching on this point?

  6. I'm saying that academics who don't tow the line on faith and moral teachings of the Catholic church probably aren't the most qualified or influential people to be throwing stones for breeches (perceived or real) in Catholic teaching on faith and morals.

  7. Who is qualified? Who do you look for guidance in these matters?


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