Friday, April 9, 2010

Newsweek Does It Again

Lisa Miller from Newsweek is at it again. Her favorite advesary, the Catholic Church, sells a lot of books and magazines when you throw it under the bus. So, why stop? She sure got this one wrong again, just as she did when talking about heaven recently.

Here is one snip that should get us going, as she talks about women in the Church:
The problem—bluntly put—is that the bishops and cardinals who manage the institutional church live behind guarded walls in a pre-Enlightenment world. Within their enclave, they remain largely untouched by the democratic revolutions in France and America. On questions of morality, they hold the group—in this case, the church—above the individual and regard modernity as a threat. We in the democratic West who criticize the hierarchy for its shocking inaction take the supremacy of the individual for granted. They in the Vatican who blast the media for bias against the pope value ecclesiastical cohesion over all. The gap is real. We don't get them. And they don't get us.
She got two things correct:
1 - she doesn't "get" the Catholic Church.
2 - she is part of modern culture.

Outside of these facts, she makes a mess of the rest of the article. She, as most in the media do, casts the Catholic Church as nothing more than a political or business reality and cannot think outside of these models and structures. In this kind of understanding of the Church, the hierarchy is sexist, they don't understand modernity and progress, the Church needs to open up the doors to the sexual revolution and an enlightened understanding of humanity.

This kind of understanding hasn't worked so well were implemented, so why does Miller think it will work in the Church? Because she sees things such as abortion, contraception, no-fault divorce, gaining power over human life, etc. as good things.

Our modern culture calls evil a good thing and asks the Catholic Church to do so as well. I won't hold my breath.

Even her sources are suspect. To talk about the inner workings of the Catholic Church she quotes a United Church of Christ female minister:
"You can make a good argument that part of the problem is the hierarchy, in terms of it being a boys' club, an institution that is so ingrown and conservative and out of touch with people."
So, the Catholic Church - which is growing leaps and bounds - should listen to a women who is part of a dying denomination about how to be "in touch"? No thanks.

It is one thing to be critical - and we should be critical of leaders who don't stand up to evil or allow bad things to happen. But, it is quite another to merely throw random (and silly) accusations around and hope one sticks in order to lead to "change" as you think it should happen.

The Church of Lisa Miller isn't gaining many members...Sr. Mary Ann Walsh agrees and starts with facts about the article:
Observations get tossed about without scrutiny. For example, she states, wrongly, that “few women retain high-profile management jobs, such as chancellor, within dioceses.” Fact-checking proves that wrong. If you take the requirement for ordination off the table, data shows that the number of women in leadership positions in Catholic dioceses is comparable to that of the women in the U.S. workforce as a whole. One quarter of diocesan positions at the highest level, such as chancellor or chief financial officer, are held by women. You don’t find similar numbers among U.S. corporations.

Influence in the church does not depend upon ordination, though there is no doubt that it helps. The greatest impact of the Catholic Church in the United States arguably has been through its education and hospital systems, where women have taken the lead from the start. Church women also have had an impact beyond the church. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, for example, touched hearts everywhere and educated us to the extent of abject global poverty. Historically, some women even have overshadowed popes. Most educated people have heard of Teresa of Avila and Catherine of Siena. Does anyone, even the highly educated, know who the popes were when these women lived?

Lisa Miller’s article sinks into male-bashing, church-style. She notes that not everyone in the church is bad, and suggests some hope for the church, thanks to women. She scoffs churchmen just as women when alone will dis men as hopeless and helpless, etc. (and no doubt as men similarly dis women when men gather by themselves) This is good for laughs, but not to be taken seriously.

The topic de jour for media now is sexual abuse of minors by clergy. Lisa Miller’s article seems to reduce the problem to one that could be resolved by breaking open the all-male, celibate priesthood. You can’t get a more simplistic analysis than that. Statistics show that 30-40 percent of sexual abuse occurs in the home, and that’s a conservative estimate.
What would Mary do? This is the question Miller asks. I think Sr. Mary Ann has a better answer than Miller ever will.


George @ Convert Journal said...

I have been thinking about the outrageous reporting in the New York Times and Newsweek. It is simply disrespectful and offensive. I do not believe they care at all that faithful Catholics see it that way.

So... how to get their attention? Boycott their advertisers, let those advertisers know you are and let them know why.

Nick said...

Best part of the article is the page immediately after it when George Wiegel, speaking about celibacy, says the problem isn't gender and that sex abuse isn't only in the Church. It was a great read.

snowmanwx said...

This journalist claims that Catholic prelates "remain largely untouched by the democratic revolutions in France and America." Need I remind someone that Pope Pius VI died as a prisoner of that very French Revolution? Or that Pope Pius VII endured six years in a French jail under Napoleon I Bonaparte? The Church certainly opposed the French Revolution, particularly its severe anti-clericalism--and with good reason! That same anti-clerical sentiment informed Marxism, the most caustic ideology of the past half-century, which continues on the march today, progressively infiltrating publications like Newsweek.

Conflicts between ecclesiastical and royal authorities intermittently characterized the history of late medieval Europe, with kings commonly desiring to usurp Papal authority for themselves. King Louis XIV of France (1643–1715) and his successors effectively promoted the "divine right of kings," never a particularly Catholic concept but a consequence of the Caesaropapism then intertwined with the Protestant Reformation. This concept centralized moral and philosophical power in the hands of the government, an idea not entirely foreign to the progressives in the Western "democracies" today.

Western civilization continues to devolve slowly but inextricably into sclerotic bureaucratic socialistic tyrannies of an increasingly anti-Christian majority. I increasingly fear that within our lifetime, even we Americans, who now pride ourselves on our inviolable freedom of religion, may face a persecution at the hands of our government. This persecution initially may take the form of closing professions [including medicine] to those who truly follow the Faith of the Church, of taxing church property and officials at rates that severely impair the viability of the current operations of the Church, or of trial lawyers pillaging the financial position of the Church for their own enrichment. But it likely will not end there. I only pray that I never face the test--the test that the Apostles (except Saint John and Judas Iscariot) passed but not on the first attempt, the test that the early Christians occasionally faced before the Roman authorities in the den of hungry lions, the test that Blessed Father Miguel Pro faced faithfully in Mexico (yes, Mexico) on that fateful day in 1926, when he gave his life for his God.

We remember these Mexican martyrs because they illustrate and exemplify the kind of love for the King--our Lord Jesus Christ the King--that we should exhibit. And their courage and perseverance in the Faith under unexpectedly brutal political conditions inspired the faithful to persevere in the Faith, a faith that still lives fiercely in the hearts of the Mexican people (at least in many parts of the country).

Lord, protect your Church. Lord, increase our Faith. May God somehow bless America. May I serve as an instrument of your peace and your love for humanity. Lord, we pray for our political leaders, that they may come to know you, to serve you, and to love you as you desire of them.

Viva Cristo Rey! Long live Christ the King! And take comfort in His promise that the gates of the netherworld never shall prevail against His Church.

Anthony S. "Tony" Layne said...

On the other hand, News-squeak did have an article which, if it wasn't exactly pro-Catholic, put the problem of sexual abuse of minors into better perspective:

Rob said...

Unfortunately, I subscribed to Newsweek via a subscription through the Special Olympics, so cancelling would take back the funds I gave to them, also. Fortunately, Newsweek followed Lisa Millers typical rubbish with a good piece by George Weigel. I find it amazing that Newsweek features a cover story by someone who admits she doesn't know what she is talking about. This is journalism?