What backlash?

What backlash?

Someone needs to tell Father David Hollenbach, a Jesuit professor of theology at Boston College, that John Kerry lost the election. He seems to be under the misapprehension that Kerry won and that it was a repudiation of the bishops who gave clear teaching on whether it was a sin to vote for a pro-abortion politician and whether pro-abortion Catholic politicians could receive Communion.

Boston College theology professor Jesuit Father David Hollenbach said the approach “is likely to produce a very strong backlash.”

“People don’t like to have a group of bishops throwing their weight around, with religious claims attached to a political point,” he said. “I think those bishops are going to be proven to have made a bad mistake.” In the past when bishops took stands that obviously favored one candidate over another, “it produced the opposite effect of what the bishops who did it intended,” Father Hollenbach said.

Maybe it had that effect in the past, but not this time. Whatever may have been the result in the past, there was not a backlash and a case could be made that by speaking out those bishops actually caused more Catholics to vote the way they did, against pro-aborts.

And as Phil Lawler points out, Hollenbach has to reach back 24 years for an example of where there was a backlash and even then it was debatable whether there was a direct cause and effect. The reality is that bishops have so rarely stood up unequivocally on principle on a political issue that there isn’t enough data to make a firm judgment.

A lot of people like Hollenbach, most of them politically or religiously liberal, warned that voters wouldn’t like being “manipulated” or having bishops “politicize” religion, but in reality that seems to have been just another one of the bits of conventional wisdom to have been destroyed by this election.

  • I’m so afraid of a backlash. Must keep silent. Must keep silent. Might be a backlash.

    Frankly,  that doesn’t sound the least bit AMERICAN or CATHOLIC to me. Or, shall I dare say it, manly.

  • I had no idea the sash wearers were going to be there last Sunday. It was annoying.  However I was very happy to see that those who were protesting the sash wearers were doing so outside the Cathedral.  No one tried to blockade them from the Eucharist. 

    Honestly there were maybe a half a dozen AT MOST at the Mass.  There were far more protesters outside.  Prior to the Lord’s prayer, the priest told everyone that the Eucharist should not be used to make a political statement.  He asked all sash wearers to remove the sash prior to coming up for Communion.  Then he said that if anyone refused to take off the sash, they should not be blocked from the Communion line. 

    In my opinion the protesters came out looking a lot better than the sash wearers.  In comparision to the Ushers of the Eucharist, they did nothing to add fuel to the sash wearers position. 

    While it was a distraction (and did I mention annoying?) it wasn’t nearly as bad as the last sash wearing incident.

  • Actually, it would not surprise me if Bush’s margin in Flrida was swelled by the action of the bishops there (thanks be to God!) to uphold the centrality of human life as the central issue…

  • You know what? I’m sick and tired of bishops and priests like Fr. Hollenbach.  The ‘backlash’ is the fact that most Catholics stopped attending Mass when guys like Fr. Hollenbach got on the secular bandwagon and stopped teaching the faith as passed down from the Fathers. I don’t even know what the heck these guys are talking about half the time even though he supposes to speak for ‘people’ (most of whom, btw, disagreed with him last Tuesday), thankfully.

  • How old is Fr Hollenbach?

    I ask because if he is 45-65 or 70 he’s from the dying era that led the Church in the 70’s, you know, the post-Vatican, we-can-do-what-we-want- era.

    He’s also living in Massachusetts. The liberal capitol of USA. 

    Anyone living in MA needs to remember that there is a world beyond them that thinks nothing like them.

    SO, when he and his ilk, and the pew sitters, and the VOTF silliness comes out, I gotta say, I wonder if these people know that the rest of us in all the other states live in reality?

    Present company excepted. Dom, you live in the real world…don’t you? wink

  • Fr. Hollenbach – can you say “Chaput”? Suck it up fr., we need shepherds, not psychoanalysts.

  • When George Weigel was invited to speak at B.C. last year, Fr. David Hollenbach was in the audience. Weigel predicted that the Pope’s work,The Theology of the Body, would revolutionize the teaching of theology regarding marriage. Fr. Hollenbach got up and protested, saying that the Pope is teaching falsehood regarding sexual ethics.Many members of VOTF who were present applauded Fr. Hollenbach. I had the opportunity afterwards to ask Fr. Hollenbach if he had ever read The Theology of the Body. He said in a very arrogant voice that he did and that he did not agree with it.  Now that the good news about The Theology of the Body is being emphasized in the Boston Archdiocese(at last!)
    such as last Sat. at the lectures,“Catholic Teaching on Medical Ethics” sponsored by the Knighjts of malta and Laboure College at St. Julia’s,Weston,  and in the upcoming Women Affirming Life event on Dec. 4 at the Marriot in Newton, it appears that Fr. Hollenbach will be left in the dust stuck with his
    dissident beliefs. How unfortunate for the B.C. students who take his courses at B.C.!  They are certainly not getting what they or their parents payed for at a Catholic college-what a fraud!
                              Alice Slattery

  • A *Protestant* friend of mine commented on how refreshing it was to see the bishops speaking out.  That ought to shame a Jesuit but of course it won’t.

  • “The “purist” position that a Catholic cannot be involved with politicians unless they are in total agreement with the church’s teaching on certain issues “is not a part of the tradition of the Catholic Church,” Father Hollenbach said. “We’re not a sect that simply cuts itself off from society over one position.”

    True dear Father, but it is the tradition of the Church to teach the Truth and this is a ‘teaching moment’!  The Church did not accept heresies that said that the Son and the Holy Spirit were created and did not accept many other similar heresies.  The Church did not accept the heresies period, in order that the faithful might be instructed in the Catholic faith as is pleasing to Our Lord.  Fr. Hollenbach, can you address the issue?  What is your opinion of Fr. Cole’s position clearly identifying one holding Kerry’s position to be in the state of heresy?  Should we overlook heresy for politicians?  Attention all heretics, in case your faith is called into question, run don’t walk, to the nearest courthouse and run for office!  You should then be safe from criticism!

    mble men and women.

    We need more humility today.   

  • Those who reside on the far left of the political spectrum seem to have completely lost their minds.  Today’s “Boca Raton News” reports that more than a dozen Kerry supporters have received psychotherapy since their candidate lost.

    Far left publications all over the US, and even in foreign countries are predicting that Kerry will “unconcede” the election based on the rampant voter fraud in Ohio.  This is echoed in Pravda (the real Pravda, not the St. Louis Post Dispatch who just think they’re Pravda), under the Headline “Did Bush Fix the Elections?” 

    In fact, if you follow some of the ultra-liberal web sites, you’ll find “proof” that the whole election was a fraud.  It seems that the companies that made the electronic voting machines designed the things to deliver the election to the President.  Check out baltimorechronical.com.  In an article titled “The Ultimate Felony Against Democracy”, Thom Hartmann writes that Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) won his election just after stepping down as head of the company that made the voting machines that had been recently installed in the state.  According to Hartmann, Hagel plans to run for President in 2008.

    It’s sad, really.  The election’s over.  The President received a significant majority of the votes.  If there was fraud anywhere, it would seem that the mainstream media would be all over it.  Wouldn’t Dan Rather love to report that something was rotten in Ohio? 

    Would Kerry have conceded so quickly if there was a chance, any chance, that there might have been something crooked going on?  I seriously doubt it.

    The libs are so frustrated, confused, and angry that they can’t think straight.  Put them on TV and they babble incoherently, like Senator Pelosi.  They’re going to therapists and threatening to leave the country.  They’re out of touch with the American people and they’re trying to fix it all in a week.  It’s like trying to learn a foreign language.  It’s going to take some time.


  • Dobbs gave her a free re-elect Nancy pass. She’s kicking off her campaign at the Church’s expense and considering the make up of her district, she’ll be the next Thurmond of the House.

  • Ill]]>
    2004-11-10 10:13:59
    2004-11-10 14:13:59
    Sash-ayers are back https://www.bettnet.com/?p=4535 Tue, 09 Nov 2004 10:35:37 -0600


    Diogenes note that the Rainbow Sash-ayers are back in Minneapolis and Archbishop Flynn still has the same excuses for them. To quote Diogenes at length:

    Refusing communion to a rainbow-sashed congregant is not a question of judging his spiritual well-being. It is a simple recognition of the congregant’s own public declaration, namely, that he denies the claim that God preserves the Catholic Church against error. Many excellent people deny this claim. Billy Graham denies it. The Chief Rabbi of Krakow denies it. The Iraqis who aided Jessica Lynch’s rescue deny it. Would any of us claim that these persons are in full communion with the See of Rome? Of course not. But suppose (for the sake of argument) the “individual conscience” of one of these persons assured him he was in the state of grace and bade him come up to receive the Eucharist. If the priest refused him, would he be using an improper “litmus test”?

    Here’s the point. In ordinary circumstances, when you see a stranger standing in a queue, you can’t tell what he believes—what he believes about the designated hitter rule or what he believes about the Petrine claims. You don’t know who’s Catholic and who isn’t because personal convictions are usually hidden from view. But when a man puts on rainbow sash, he is taking what is hidden and “unconcealing” it. He is announcing to us: “the Catholic Church is wrong.” It’s irrelevant (to the point at issue) whether he’s gay or straight or a wastrel or a virgin. When I deny him communion, I’m not making some intuitional judgment about the nature of his appetites or the state of his soul. All I need to know he has declared to me himself.

    Well put. By their actions, the Sash-ayers are spitting in the Church’s eye, proclaiming that they don’t believe her to be the Bride of Christ, preserved from inerrancy by the Holy Spirit. This is not a private opinion, but a public statement. It demands a public response to prevent scandal and protect the faithful from wrongly believing that one can reject the Church’s infallible teachings and remain in communion with her and in a state of grace.


    2004-11-09 10:35:37
    2004-11-09 14:35:37


    2004-11-09 11:54:52
    2004-11-09 15:54:52
    Archbishop Flynn, you work for the Roman Catholic Church.

  • He asked all sash wearers to remove the sash prior to coming up for Communion.  Then he said that if anyone refused to take off the sash, they should not be blocked from the Communion line.

    So basically he said, “please don’t wear the sash, but we’re not going to try to stop you at any rate.”  Reminds me of what unarmed security guards are often trained to do: yell, “Stop, or I’ll yell stop again!”.

  • Does the Archbishop have invincible ignorance of what the sash declares?

    I wonder what would happen if people wore white sashes of the size of the rainbow people sash with this text written on them:

    Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

    Would such a person declaring this truth be welcomed as well in the Cathedral.

    Begun, the sash wars have.

  • Or how about this?  Perhaps the priest was honoring his bishop’s wishes while he(as Dom states) ” protect the faithful from wrongly believing that one can reject the Churchscripts.cnn.com%2FTRANSCRIPTS%2F0411%2F08%2Fldt.01.html”>CNN’s Lou Dobbs show, started talking about God and got called on it by Dobbs.

    PELOSI: … And we have to define what values are. Values are, of course, being persons of faith and family and love of country. They also are about ministering to the needs, as it says in the Gospel of Matthew, of the least of our brethren.

    So we have to grow the middle class and expand it. We have to protect the environment, which is God’s creation. We have to meet the needs of the American people. We have to reach to a higher purpose, and I believe we have that opportunity now.

    DOBBS: Minority Leader, I’m just—I’m just a simple fellow, secular as I can be. Are we going to hear every politician now, because of exit polls, start couching every issue in moral or religious terms?

    PELOSI: I believe that you will see more of that, but I quite agree with you, that we have to get to the issues that are the role of government. I think on the values side, the so-called religious issues side, we have to enlarge that issue, because what we’re in danger now in our country is the blurring of the issue of church and state. But I as a devout Catholic was concerned when bishops—some bishops, not all bishops said that it was a sin to vote for John Kerry. That’s absolutely wrong. And that—our own Constitution is at stake if they think that they can blur the issue of church and state.

    So I think that, as President Kennedy said when he ran in 1960, imagine then, they didn’t want religion to have a strong role. At that time, he said, “The issue is not what church I believe in, the issue is what America I believe in.” And that’s where we have to take this issue.

    First, notice how she backtracks when Dobbs asks her if all these politicians are going to start using religious language. And how clumsily it sounds when she does it. Not at all natural.

    It’s also funny to see her weigh in on a theological issue: “… some bishops, not all bishops said that it was a sin to vote for John Kerry. That’s absolutely wrong.” Thank you, Rep. Pelosi, for your theological judgment. May we expect an encyclical from your office on the matter? If this is how the Democrats are going to react to this election for the next two or four years, it’s going to be very entertaining.


    2004-11-09 10:10:54
    2004-11-09 14:10:54


    2004-11-09 11:59:48
    2004-11-09 15:59:48
    Nancy, Is John Kennedy your bishop?