Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Time to Leave Catholic Church" Ad

The New York Times is being accused of having a double standard when it comes to questioning religion, after it ran an ad calling on Catholics to leave their church, but nixed an ad making the same plea to Muslims.

The newspaper published an ad from Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation on March 9 which asked Catholics, “why send your children to parochial schools to be indoctrinated into the next generation of obedient donors and voters?” The ad went on to call loyalty to the faith misplaced “after two decades of sex scandals involving preying priests, church complicity, collusion and cover-up going all the way to the top.”

But in a story first reported by The Daily Caller, when Pamela Geller, a blogger and executive director of Stop Islamization of America, offered the same $39,000 for the Old Gray Lady to run an ad making a similar appeal to Muslims, the newspaper passed.

“This shows the hypocrisy of The New York Times, the “gold standard” in journalism, and its willingness to kowtow to violent Islamic supremacist intimidation,” Geller told FoxNews.com.

"Time to Leave Islam" Ad which was refused

Geller said her anti-Shariah ad was designed to mimic the anti-Catholic one. In calling on Muslims to quit their religion, the ad asked “Why put up with an institution that dehumanizes women and non-Muslims … [do] you keep identifying with the ideology that threatens liberty for women and menaces freedom by slaughtering, oppressing and subjugating non-Muslims… Join those of us who put humanity above the vengeful, hateful and violent teachings of Islam’s ‘prophet.’”

Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy released a statement explaining the newspaper’s decision not to publish the ad, at least for the time being.

“We have not made a decision not to publish the ad you refer to,” Murphy’s statement read. “We made a decision to postpone publishing it in light of recent events in Afghanistan, including the Koran burning and the alleged killings of Afghani civilians by a member of the U.S. military.  It is our belief that fallout from running this ad now could put US troops and civilians in the region in danger and we would like to avoid that.”

Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League, called the first ad “vile.” But he said running it was a “judgment call.” However, the decision not to run Geller’s ad shows an agenda, he told FoxNews.com.

“It shows the disparate treatment and the duplicity of The New York Times,” Donohue said. “You can trash some religions, like Roman Catholicism, with impunity, but you cannot trash Islam?”

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Update Below from Ed Peters.

Neumayr’s Article begins:

Cardinal Wuerl’s Dereliction of Duty, by on 3.19.12 @ 6:09AM

“Since he won’t control the sacraments, the Church’s enemies will.

“The road to hell is paved with the skulls of bad bishops. That’s a slight paraphrase of a line from St. John Chrysostom.

“The saints of old warned bishops to choose holiness and orthodoxy over the blandishments of the “world.” Many bishops today in America choose the good opinion of worldly elites over orthodoxy. These cufflinked cardinals worry not about punishment in the next world but slights in this one. They desperately crave the approval of America’s movers and shakers and live in dread fear of losing it.

“What will the Pretty People think if I withhold Communion from powerful pro-abortion Catholic pols? Will the Washington Post editorialize against me? Will I lose my place of honor at posh parties? Will my dissenting priests think ill of me? Will I be scorned at the next USCCB meeting?

“These are some of the thoughts that race through the minds of modern prelates. Out of these anxieties comes fiascoes like Cardinal Donald Wuerl’s recent one. Wuerl and his surrogates have rebuked a visiting priest from the archdiocese of Moscow for denying Communion to a self-described practicing lesbian at a funeral mass. That’s not our “policy,” gasped Wuerl’s horrified surrogates.

“But it is the policy of the Roman Catholic Church. If a person is not in communion with the teachings of the Church, said person should not receive Communion. Period. Canon law makes this explicitly clear. If you don’t believe me, ask the head of the Vatican Supreme Court, Cardinal Raymond Burke. Though most of his colleagues seem to ignore his stance, he has said for years that canon law places a grave burden on priests to protect the sacraments from defiant sinners. According to Burke, canon law is not a whimsical option for hardline eccentric priests but a moral duty which “obliges the minister of Holy Communion to refuse the Sacrament” to those in “manifest grave sin.” ……..”

Read the whole article HERE

Dr. Ed Peters, Canon Lawyer

Dr. Ed Peters, Canon Lawyer Responds:

George Neumayr’s double-barreled blast of Cardinal Wuerl was very wrong, by by Dr. Edward Peters

George Neumayr is a terrific observer of things Catholic, and an excellent writer to boot. But everybody has a bad day from time to time, and today must have been Neumayr’s. Unfortunately, the object of his ire is not just a brother in the Lord but a major prelate governing a very important American see. Little, (frankly, nothing) in Neumayr’s on-line editorial today for American Spectator will help Cdl Donald Wuerl do a better job for the Catholic Church in Washington DC.

Amid his obvious anger, sacrcasm, and numerous ad hominem shots, Neumayr blasts Wuerl’s stance on Rep Nancy Pelosi with the same trigger pull by which he blasts Wuerl’s (sic: so far, Wuerl’s subordinates) response to the Barbara Johnson case. But the two cases differ markedly and, in going after an episcopal p.o.v. that deserves informed criticism, Neumayr took out a stance that deserves our support.

There is hardly a higher-profile Catholic in America who, more often than Pelosi does, expressly invokes the Catholic faith to defend the most consistently anti-…, anti-…, anti-almost everything that Catholics in public life should oppose about the culture of death. I have repeatedly called for Canon 915 to be invoked against Pelosi (for starters) to deny her holy Communion for so long as she falls afoul of what I think is every canonical aspect of “obstinate perseverance in manifest grave sin”, this call being made for her welfare and for that of the wider Church. Moreover, I have expressly argued that Wuerl’s interpretation of Canon 915 and his subsequent reticence to invoke Canon 915 as I think it should be invoked against Pelosi, is wrong.*

“Now, if Neumayr had made only that point—and had he written in a tone consistent with the admonition in Canon 212 § 3 to express views in the Church “with reverence for pastors and … attentive to the dignity of persons”, I would be applauding his words (as I usually do when I read Neumayr). Instead, Neumayr drew the same bead on Wuerl for his inaction in the Pelosi matter that he drew on Wuerl (or his subordinates’) actions in the Johnson matter. To repeat: in re Pelosi, I think Wuerl’s thinking is remiss and that holy Communion should be withheld from her; but in re Johnson, I think the Archdiocese of Washington is right and holy Communion should not have been withheld from her that day…………”

Read Dr. Peter’s whole response in defense of Cardinal Wuerl HERE

Dr. Peters’ Follow up:

Neumayr is making a bad situation worse
by Dr. Edward Peters

It’s one thing to feel angry. But it’s another thing to write angry. And George Neumayr is writing angry.

Last week Neumayr fired off a sustained and mean attack on Cdl. Wuerl (my response here). To no one’s great surprise, Wuerl’s people complained (albeit privately) to Neumayr’s boss—you know, sorta kinda exactly the way people complain to Wuerl’s boss in Rome. All the time. Now, it might not be my way of doing things, and it might not even be Neumayr’s, but, c’mon, complaints to editors about their writers’ opinions are as old as the press itself. Writers who work, by their own choice, in the public eye, should account complaints about their writing as a fact of life. At the very least, they shouldn’t respond with a follow-up diatribe about, of all things, how “notoriously thin-skinned” other people are!

Dark days (like the ones we live in now) occasion hard cases (like the Guarnizo case, which set off this conflagration), and hard cases, in turn, make bad law (like what defenders of Guarnizo’s decision would erect to justify his action, paying little heed to how their rules would impact other cases). But I think that dark days, hard cases, and the threat of bad laws, call for greater clarity of analysis, not less. And anger does not lend itself to clarity of anything.

But enough with the fraternal correction.

Neumayr has now publicly and repeatedly accused the archbishop of Washington of, among other things, “pandering to the enemies of the Church”, of “expos[ing] the Holy Eucharist to sacrilege”, of “hand[ing] a propaganda victory to forces of secularism that seek to destroy the Church in America”, and of “capitulati[ng] to … the atheistic agitprop artists of the age.” I think such words run plainly afoul of Canon 1373 which threatens censure against “a person who publicly incites among subjects animosities or hatred against … an ordinary because of some act of power or ecclesiastical ministry….” So.

Neumayr’s made his point. Not in a way that is a credit to him, I regret to conclude, but, he’s made it. For that matter, everything that can be intelligently said about Guarnizo case, based on what was known at the time, has been said, and unless and until some new hard facts, if any, come to light, further discussion of this case serves no purpose. + + +