19 April 2010

The Scandal of Prominent Local Catholics Conspiring with Other Heretics to Advance Pro-Death Agenda

Will these people ever be held accountable before Judgement Day?

I read the following story on Saturday, and have been stewing a bit since then. This story is instructive about the seriousness of the problem, the way heretics see themselves as heroic figures, and the continued interconnectedness among the known centers of dissent. These people flaunt their dissent with the assurance of impunity.

I post the article below with my emphases and comments.

St. Louis faith leaders discuss Missouri budget crisis

Tim Townsend


In 588 B.C., King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon began a siege of Jerusalem that would last two years. The siege ended with the destruction of the city and its temple, and the exile of Judea's leaders and many of its citizens to Babylon. Thus begins the analogy between the proponents of heresy and the Jews exiled from Jerusalem. It is a good analogy if the Church is seen as Jerusalem, if the secular world is Babylon, and if faithful Catholics are the exiles. But this is not the analogy Townsend draws. To the dissenter, the Church is Babylon. Just dwell on that a moment. The Church, the spotless Bride of Christ, is Babylon.

About 50 years later, the Babylonian exile was about to end, and Jews would soon return to Judea. An anonymous prophet, one of those in exile, wrote part of the biblical book we now know as Isaiah. That prophet's message is delivered to a people who believe God has abandoned them in Babylon. In this case, the heretic has chosen to move to Babylon. He was not plucked by force of arms into Babylon. He made reservations, and traveled first class, to the delight and praise of the Babylonians themselves.

But they're wrong, the prophet says. God is good and is signaling the coming restoration in Jerusalem, an exodus from Babylon to rival the original from Egypt. In reality, the secular world uses these dupes to bring Babylon into Jerusalem, to destroy it and her people.

On Friday, a couple of millenniums later, leaders from a multitude of faith traditions (the fruits of the worst of ecumenism and interreligious dialogue) came together at Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis to plan a restoration of their own.

Quick quiz: who runs the Central Reform Congregation? If you guessed Susan Talve, you would be right. If you are thinking, "Hey, wasn't she the one who defied the Archbishop of Saint Louis and hosted a sacrilegious simulation of a sacrament when Elsie and Rose pretended to be ordained?", you would be right. If you are thinking, "Hey, didn't the Archbishop of Saint Louis issue a statement that the Archdiocese would no longer participate in interreligious activities with her congregation?", you would be right.

This was a group in exile. Some would call its members "liberals." They might call themselves "progressives." Others would call them fomenters of dissent and wolves among sheep. Whatever the label, they have represented a[n im]moral voice in the wilderness-- er, mainstream. The Missouri Legislature has traditionally paid them little heed.

Through year after year of meetings similar to this one, rabbis, nuns, imams, priests and ministers have become friends. Wonderful! They have raised their voices against this bill, or that budget cut, time and again. They have achieved small victories, but largely, as a political force, they've remained in exile.

But then, last month, they finally tasted victory. Does it taste a little like millions of murdered babies, I wonder? When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President [sic] Barack Obama, years of unheralded, unappreciated, lonely work seemed to pay off. The Babylonians, it seemed, were beatable. Again, recall that the Babylonians in their estimation are CATHOLICS. Was it possible that the value at the heart of every major faith, conveyed in the book of Leviticus as "love your fellow as yourself," could triumph in an era of individualism and greed? The chutzpah, if I may borrow an expression, of these people is staggering. Loving your fellow as yourself does not encompass murdering him, unless you are the most pathetic of nihilists.

Before the planning began in earnest, Monsignor Jack Schuler, pastor of St. Ferdinand Catholic Church in Florissant and the dean of the Archdiocese's Northeast County Deanery, led the group in prayer. It was a version of the prayer he gave a week earlier in the belly of the whale — the Missouri House of Representatives. It was both jeremiad and overture. Oh, the drama!

"Never before in our lifetime has there been such a desperate need for leadership in our state," Schuler told his fellow faith leaders. "As countless individuals lose their homes, as thousands and thousands lose their jobs, as scores of businesses, big and small, close their doors, as millions of youth and children look for opportunity, may we rise to the occasion."

Sister Jean deBlois, a professor of theology and health care ethics at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis (and a registered nurse) (Aquinas Institute, despite some modicum of improvement, has long been a cesspool of heresy), warned that those who are preparing to repeal the new health care legislation "even as the ink is still wet on the paper, stand in the way of the common good (if by common good you mean good for some, not for most, and certainly not for innocent babies) in this state and in this nation."

The concept of the common good in Catholic social teaching is described in the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World as "the sum of those conditions of social life by which individuals, families and groups can achieve their own fulfilment." The "common good" and "social justice" are two catch-phrases used to justify forcing people to give more and more of their money and liberty to the government under the guise of religious obligation. This device is a fraud, obfuscating the true nature of the obligation of charity. And it is a singularly nice touch for the writer to quote from a Vatican II document. It highlights the ease with which these documents' ambiguities can be used to justify anti-Catholic legislation. "Common good" is less hackneyed than "social justice", and seems to be gaining traction as the term of choice. This comes on the heels of the latest publication of the Missouri Catholic Conference (included in last week's Review) to the effect that we all need to pay more taxes.

Todd David Whitmore, professor of theology and Catholic social teaching at the University of Notre Dame (Obama's favorite formerly Catholic University), has said the concept "underscores the basic claim in Catholic social teaching that the person is fundamentally social. This is opposed to certain modern understandings of the person as fundamentally autonomous, and separate from society." Part of that society includes the old, the disabled, and the unborn, all of whom are at risk thanks to the healthcare takeover.

After hearing some dire statistics about projected budget shortfalls (dire for whom?), and possible tax loophole fixes from Ruth Ehresman, the Missouri Budget Project's director of health and budgetary policy (many illustrated with props — stuffed giraffes, wooden ships and garden shears) (sounds like a Call to Action Puppet Mass), one after another of the 100 or so attendees got up to talk.

Many in the room called one another by name (how pleasant it is when the anti-Catholics dwell in unity) as they expressed support for one another's work, asked questions about taking the day's message back to their congregations and considered the popularity of "a popular uprising."

Amy Smoucha, an organizer with St. Louis Area Jobs with Justice, struck another note of warning. Beware, she said, of the Show Me Institute, which, according to its website, is "rooted in the American tradition of free markets and individual liberty." Where do I donate?

Smoucha said the group's president, Rex Sinquefield, is "interested in lowering taxes, no matter the consequences." The horror!! (Sinquefield did not immediately respond to a call for comment Friday afternoon.)

Beware, Smoucha said, of the American Legislative Exchange Council and its many corporate sponsors, all of whom want tax laws that are antithetical to the common good.

"What we're starting is a movement to counter that corporate movement," Smoucha said to a burst of applause. Um, I think that movement was started long ago.

As the gathering came to a close, two hours after it started, the Rev. David Greenhaw, president of Eden Theological Seminary in Webster Groves and a longtime exile in this particular Babylon, rose to read aloud from one of his favorite texts.

He walked to the middle of the room, opened his Bible to the book of Isaiah, turning to Chapter 55. He read the words that same anonymous prophet wrote 2,500 years ago in the voice of God:

"Ho, everyone who thirsts," Greenhaw began, then stopped. He looked up at the choir he was preaching to. "Everyone who thirsts," he repeated, emphasizing the word "everyone." "Everyone who thirsts."

He began again, striding through the room, his voice rising.

"Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat!"

Greenhaw closed the book, and looked up.

"Everyone," he said. "Everyone. Everyone. Everyone." Mr. Greenhaw, the water referred to in that passage refers to the water of grace. Christ is the source of this water, as He revealed to the Samaritan woman. You and your ilk, inside and outside the Church, have accomplished much to block the flow of this water, to deny the thirsty a drink from it and to misdirect seekers from finding it. All for a mess of pottage doled out from the government.

This is the same crowd that defied the Archbishop to pretend to ordain women at Susan Talve's synagogue. How can these Catholics continue to associate themselves with this group, and with the pro-death regime, without being called to answer?

How long, O Lord?


StGuyFawkes said...


Except for Monsignor Jack Schuler, who for 15 years ran Our Lady of Guadalupe for the "community" of St. Louis Hispanic Catholics, I'd call this bunch "the usual suspects".

I except Jack because he has always seemed like a pretty level headed guy but I only see him when he buries one of my people. You may know more about him than I do.

Anyway, I do want to point out that you seem to be engaged in a "deconstructive reading" of Townsend's article. I mean you are finding a subtext of heresy in the Babylon trope. However, I don't think the surface meaning of the text supports that reading. There is a subtext which does support your reading but it takes some digging.

Not to pick, but the clear analogy which Townsend is drawing makes the Missouri Legislature Babylon, NOT the Catholic Church.

However, I agree that most of these folks --Susan Talve's "Catholics" especially -- do see Lindell Boulevard as the address of Nebuchadnezzer. But I don't think the article supports that insult in an explicit, deliberate, or even implicit way.

The analogy is there because we know that the St. Cronan's crowd is always talking about "prophetic witness" and using Isaiah as their source to argue that the suffering servant of Israel lives on Boyle Ave. and the Vatican is Babylon.

It would be best if you fleshed your complaint with the Babylon / Isiah trope out a little more clearly.

In the main, however, I know what you mean. The Townsend piece reeks of self pity and and smug self-satisfaction.

Still, I don't think St. Ferdinand's in Florissant is a hotbed of dissent, or the next St. Stans.

It might be but having grown up in Florissant I can't imagine dissent of any kind getting very far up there.

St. Guy

Peggy said...

Did Greenshaw call those liberal women "HOs"?

Sorry, humor on an irrelevant point is about all I can come up with in response to these kind of people. There's no ability to communicate with people who have such a different world view.

Yeah, I'll look up the Show Me Institute, too!

long pants said...

"Will these people ever be held accountable before Judgment Day?"

Why do you care? I think obsessing over whether someone else is going to get his comeuppance (to quote Homer Simpson) shows a weakness in faith and a preoccupation with the wrong things.

You seem to have an attraction to misery. Don't you want to be happy? It's up to you, not others.

(you may want to spell-check "judgement, by the way.)

thetimman said...

long pants,

Judgement is spelled correctly.

St. Guy,

Monsignor Schuler's presence at this meeting held at the CRC causes scandal. It is the newsworthy piece, as you say. This is why leaving the fomenters of dissent unpunished is not a great strategy.

The heresy is the canard that one can be a Catholic in good standing and support pro-abortion legislation.

The analogy is as I see it.

J Smith said...

Yes, an official with the archdiocese should steer clear of any organization that would meet at Central Reform, and also should steer clear of the STL Jobs With Justice crowd, allied with CAN and NOW and other anti-Catholic groups.

long pants said...

You're right, "judgement" is offered as a variation. I'm glad to see you leaning toward a more alternative option. It shows growth.

StGuyFawkes said...


I think it's a little hazy whether this crowd would qualify as heretics just by supporting Obama's Health Reforem. They have an obvious defense of invincible ignorance. Probably, in their dim opinion, the new laws give adequate protection to conscience and the unborn. It's not true but I think some of these characters actually believe the reform law protects the unborn.

So calling them heretics may be a little rash.

Schismatics seems closer to the truth because just like that organziation of nuns which supported the bill, these guys probably don't give a fig about listening to, or obeying their Bishop.

All I'm saying is you can't make "heresy" out of ignorance, invincible or everyday. Intellectual sloth, surely.

Of course this crowd ARE probably heretics in several other verifiable senses. Just read the St. Cronan's Bulletin for proof.

Getting real for a moment, I doubt if Fr. Schuler is going to be called up on this. The Archdiocese said they would not cooperate with Talve's CRC. I doubt if Archbishop Burke meant that no one can take a meeting that happens to be under that roof.

I mean, I wouldn't step under that roof because it's probably replete with dybbuks and in need of a quorum to perform a Jewish exorcism.

Of course, in that case you need twelve male MEN!

That might be tough order for Susan and the CRC to fill.


St. Guy

StGuyFawkes said...

Allow me to correct myself. Rabbi Talve I understand would need not twelve but TEN men to form a "Minyan" to exorcise a "dybbuk".

Fenian said...

I know Monsignor Schuler is a priest who places an emphasis on helping others. I cannot speak to his involvement at the CRC function, which is troubling.

However, through his actions as a priest and as a board member of Catholic Charities, I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt.

My problem with some clergy is that they seem to forget that charity is an integral part of the faith. Others place an emphasis on charity and turn the liturgy into their personalized playground. Why can't more priests emphasize charity, yet adhere to the teachings of the Magisterium and celebrate the Mass reverently? Is it that hard?

Anonymous said...

I see Susan Talve as the real hero here. Christ teaches us to love one another as he loves us. It's a hard lesson for some to learn, but keep trying, he is patient. I'm praying for you as I'm sure Susan Talve and Elsie and Rose are as well. Peace be with you.

StGuyFawkes said...


You wrote,

"Why can't more priests emphasize charity, yet adhere to the teachings of the Magisterium and celebrate the Mass reverently? Is it that hard?"

You have put the matter perfectly. I often think of that priest played by Karl Malden in "On the Waterfront." He said the Tridentine Mass, was reverent and fought for social justice. And Budd Schulberg based the character on a real priest who worked a parish near the docks.

I don't get it either. I don't see why social justice means deconstructing the whole Catholic religion. My guess is that ripping the Church while you rip society give the left-Catholic a quick toke, and a cheap, easy high because the Church is so helpless to fight back.

St. Guy

thetimman said...


You see Talve as the real hero. May I guess that in an historical quiz you would also see Hans Kung as the real hero? And Henry VIII? And Martin Luther? And Arius?

And maybe Judas Iscariot, too?

Thank you for your prayers; I will pray for you, too.

Matthew said...

It seems the only heretic is the author of this article. What a poor and hateful representation of our Church. So sad.

thetimman said...

Matthew, I can't sit by and let you accuse Tim Townsend of heresy.

just wondering said...

these people are ignorant of nothing. cecile richards, president and ceo of planned parenthood spoke the day after the passing of the HRB and said that it's passing would definitely increase their revenue and the accessibility of abortion for women. if i have that knowledge then so do they. i don't know the priest that was present, but the fact that a priest was present is scandal of the worst kind.
susan talve a hero? baaahahaha
i remember her being instrumental in the passage of ammendment 2 here in missouri, the clone and kill bill. these people are not ignorant, they are demonic. i have been present when she was supposed to be preaching, i never heard her pray or say the word "God" ONCE! brood of vipers, white washed tombs, filled with dead (wo)men's bones. the day is coming when the dead will rise from their graves, esp. the 50,000,000 + aborted children, and convict those who participated in word, deed, or apathy in their killing. shame on susan talve,and any other professed follower of God who supports the killing of innocent children.