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Dec 06 2012

Shut up and obey

In writing that post I turned up this item from The Catholic Phoenix a couple of years ago. It’s special.

Denys Powlett-Jones is commenting on the leaking of the bishop’s infamous letter to Catholic Healthcare West by the Arizona Republic.

It is also no surprise that it is C(INO)HW who has decided to fight this one out in the media, and not the Bishop. Phoenix Catholics already know that our shepherd is not in the business of publicly correcting the dissent, disobedience, and scandal that are as much a part of the Church in Phoenix as they were of the Church of Corinth in St Paul’s day. Our Man in the Mitre is a vigilant shepherd, but he always works quietly and personally with tough cases, as a good pastor should; when nasty stuff in Olmsted’s diocese goes public, it’s always the wayward sheep that are doing the bleating.

C(INO)HW – geddit? Catholic in name only. Haw! That’s a good one. And note the dissent and “disobedience” deserve scorn, and the dissenters are bleating sheep. Catholicism in action!

Catholic Phoenix readers should really read the Bishop’s letter in its entirety. The circumstances that have necessitated its writing are lamentable—namely, the hospital’s performance of an induced abortion as a “life-saving” measure back in late 2009, a hospital nun’s approval of the procedure and her automatic excommunication, and the hospital’s continued public insistence that life-saving abortions are consistent with Catholic doctrine. But the bishop’s letter is a powerful and heartening portrait of a shepherd preparing to use his crosier not to try to pull the wayward in, but to push dissimulating wolves out of the fold.

Note the scare-quotes on “life-saving.” Note the cold contempt for the notion that life-saving abortions are consistent with Catholic doctrine. Note the blood-chilling implication that the hospital really really should have let that woman die rather than performing an abortion. Note that Denys Powlett-Jones will never die in that particular way.

In the letter, Bishop Olmsted takes on C(INO)HW’s claim in a previous letter that “many knowledgeable moral theologians have investigated this case…(it) is a very complex matter on which the best minds disagree.”  (Note to dissident Catholics: this kind of thing makes you look really silly. “On the one hand, we have the Catechism and the Magisterium; on the other, we have someone with a degree from Georgetown whom we are paying, and she says something else. What’s a Catholic supposed to believe?”)

Note to Denys Powlett-Jones: this kind of thing makes you look really fascist.

 

 

 

 

9 comments

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  1. 1
    Worldtraveller

    No no. Fascists are those other people.

    Too many people have no idea what these labels mean anymore anyway, it’s all code words to otherize non-tribe members, so pointing out that their actions are those of a fascist does little good.

  2. 2
    Martha

    Note that Denys Powlett-Jones will never die in that particular way.

    QFT.

    Of course, neither will you or I at this stage in our lives, but that doesn’t stop us from appropriately valuing the life of the mother. Who the hell is Denys Powlett-Jones and from under which rock did he crawl?

  3. 3
    Tim Harris

    The rock that is St Peter, of course.

  4. 4
    Sastra

    I’m always divided when I run in to this sort of thing. On the one hand, it is good if the Catholic Church becomes less dangerous and dogmatic. On the other hand, it is also good if the Catholic Church becomes less powerful and popular.

    And one good way to have that happen is for the intrinsically dangerous, dogmatic nature of the religion and its proponents to become so clear that the reasonable Catholics flee in shame and the general public gasps in horror.

    But the bishop’s letter is a powerful and heartening portrait of a shepherd preparing to use his crosier not to try to pull the wayward in, but to push dissimulating wolves out of the fold.

    Only looks that way to sheep. Don’t count on them.

  5. 5
    Kevin Anthoney

    Slightly off-topic: Tim Stanley at the Telegraph is trying to defend the Savita Halappanavar case. Apparently, her death “could” have been due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and she “might not” have asked for a termination anyway – usual obfuscation tactics.

  6. 6
    iknklast

    Of course, the reality is that Catholic doctrine is church driven, not pew driven. Those who wish to remain Catholic while rejecting Catholic doctrine in almost every particular baffle me. If you want to make up your own mind about what religion is, why not become Protestant? That’s what the Protestant church was all about. In Catholicism, you’re NOT supposed to have that right, and it’s time this was publicized, so people can realize they are backing a church that claims the right to control every aspect of your mind, including every thought.

    Better yet, don’t become a Protestant. Become a Freethinker. Then you can think without ANYONE telling you what to think [except FTBullies, of course ;-) ]

  7. 7
    Dave J L

    Note to dissident Catholics: this kind of thing makes you look really silly. “On the one hand, we have the Catechism and the Magisterium; on the other, we have someone with a degree from Georgetown whom we are paying, and she says something else. What’s a Catholic supposed to believe?”

    What a depressingly typical Catholic response – the Church’s authority is absolute ’cause there’s lots of them and they have fancy hats and use Latin and long impressive-sounding words to describe their systematised bullshit rules. The notion that theology is a highly contentious subject as far as its claimed fact-uncovering capacities are concerned never seems to occur to people like Powlett-Jones; that it doesn’t matter if one person interprets things one way and a thousand another: a thousand times zero and one times zero are both still zero. Oh and -

    Note to dissident Catholics: this kind of thing makes you look really silly.

    FTFY.

  8. 8
    Argle Bargle

    Theological debate is two people arguing over what an imaginary being’s opinion might be based on 2000 year old, heavily edited writing.

  9. 9
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