family feud

By Diogenes (articles ) | Mar 22, 2006

When he was first posted to San Francisco, Archbishop George Niederauer must have been grateful to his predecessor, Archbishop Levada, for arranging the appointment. Now he might be having second thoughts. Archbishop Levada-- in a few days it will be Cardinal Levada-- is now safely ensconced in Rome, while poor Archbishop Niederauer is left to clean up the considerable mess he left behind.

It's not just that the San Francisco office of Catholic Charities had been placing children for adoption by homosexual couples. It's not just that Catholic Charities has an openly homosexual program director and two openly homosexual board members. It's not just that Archbishop Levada, having made the move from country to court, now says that Catholic Charities cannot place children with same-sex couples. Now the staff of the SF archdiocese is squabbling.

Earlier this week, archdiocesan spokesman Maurice Healy said that Catholic Charities would stop the same-sex adoptions. The statement was simple and straightforward. But here's how the head of Catholic Charities reacted:

Mr. Healy is, A, mistaken, B, doesn't speak for Catholic Charities and, frankly, it's clear to me that he's not speaking for the archbishop these days.

Oh, boy. Not even an American archbishop can explain away the conflict there. Looks as if somebody in the archdiocesan bureaucracy is overdue for a trip to the woodshed. But who will it be?

Cahill has taken a stand in favor of homosexual adoption. Healy has taken his stand in favor of Church teaching. If one of them gets a rebuke, who do you think it will be?

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  • Posted by: - Mar. 25, 2006 12:50 PM ET USA

    jchrysostom, thank you for the tip that Diogenes, the Hammer of Heretics, has already addressed the "prudential judgment" issue. I realize that San Francisco is re-inventing the wheel on this, but can someone point the search-engine-challenged to appropriate Uncle Di posts? This user can only find references to the death-penalty issue. Apologize for using this forum for this; looking for help to skewer the weasels who are already putting light-years between themselves and Rome. And thanks.

  • Posted by: Fr. Walter - Mar. 25, 2006 11:33 AM ET USA

    It is a sin to take joy in the misfortunes of others, so all of us must resist that temptation. However, we are permitted a smile as we observe, "What goes around, comes around." The current and ex Ordinaries of SF have brought this on themselves... and sadly on the People of God. This small explosion forces the American hierarchy to deal with a difficult situation, namely, being faithful to the Church's teaching. Good! Pray for the bishops, that they have the courage to do the right thing.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 25, 2006 7:39 AM ET USA

    Most disturbing is how inflitrated Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services and the like are by homosexuals. Kind of like the priesthood. Re: prudential judgment -- Uncle Di has delivered his customary lucid, fluent exposition on this subject in other posts. Find them and put them on your required reading list.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 24, 2006 9:42 PM ET USA

    I like Barb Nicolosi's phraseology: "Cowardice masquerading as charity."

  • Posted by: - Mar. 24, 2006 4:19 PM ET USA

    I would still like to hear a moral theologian (or two) weigh in on what Catholic teaching is on the "prudential judgment" question. For one thing, this issue isn't going to go away any time soon. For another, it's under that rubric that Catholic Charities in San Francisco (and/or then-Archbishop Levada) approved gay adoptions in the past. Is this left up to every bishop? Are we going to have some bishops permitting it under some circumstances?

  • Posted by: - Mar. 24, 2006 11:28 AM ET USA

    I think that many are selling Levada and Niederauer short...They may prove to be outstanding, and that is my hope...

  • Posted by: - Mar. 23, 2006 7:37 PM ET USA

    I don't buy that prudential judgement idea. We are talking about the foundation of the culture, the family:one man, one woman, joined in holy matrimony (or a holy marriage in any religion) who have the purpose of having children or adopting them. We can see our culture falling apart because of divorce, people choosing to be single parents, IVF, surrogate mothers, sperm donors, none of it natural. Marriage is God's law; making an end run around it by vesting gay folk with kids is wrong.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Mar. 23, 2006 3:26 PM ET USA

    I'm afraid sticker 1898 is right. (He means Quinn, not Flynn; archbishop before Levada.) But otherwise, it looks as if he's nailed it.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 23, 2006 11:24 AM ET USA

    Looks like sameol, sameol to me. Everyone knows the history of the SF archdiocese. Flynn, Levada, etc, etc. It doesn't appear to matter what the Holy See pronounces, or what true Catholic doctrine represents. The Church in SF simply will continue to cowtow to the "spirit of the city" which means it will most likely follow the dictates of the boys in the band at Catholic Charites and that will be the new "gospel" of the archdiocese. Never let the truths of the Church get in the way of "the life."

  • Posted by: - Mar. 23, 2006 10:54 AM ET USA

    Ed raises a point I'd like to hear discussed - "the policy is what the Catholic moral theology tradition calls a 'prudential judgment.' That means it does not necessarily represent a moral absolute." If this is true, then 1) why did Boston CC drop adoptions, and 2) what is the difference between what SF has been doing in the past and what they should do in the future? SFCC claims all of its gay adoptions were based on "prudential judgment." Can any moral theologians here clarify?

  • Posted by: - Mar. 23, 2006 12:35 AM ET USA

    I think as long as the infant displays affective maturity, can "promise" celibacy (chastity being retrograde and not something even to think about during this Brokeback Lent), then, concretely, the policy is and will remain the same. Gay bashing has no place in the church, or in the alternative ways of being church. Like sharing eucharist.

  • Posted by: unum - Mar. 22, 2006 11:21 PM ET USA

    "... nobody should donate to the Catholic Charities anywhere in the USA", Mr. Dee? What will happen to those in need of counseling, adoption services, etc.? Perhaps the Church should just stop accepting public funds so that it can defend setting its own rules.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 22, 2006 10:54 PM ET USA

    I agree with those who oppose the past policy of the SFarchdiocese allowing for gay adoption of children. But the policy is what the Catholic moral theology tradition calls a "prudential judgment." That means it does not necessarily represent a moral absolute. There can be some rare instances when preventing a morally bad situation would cause more damage than to tolerate that situation. Different persons will judge differently, but not with the absolute certitude of being morally right. -- EJB

  • Posted by: Fr. William - Mar. 22, 2006 8:10 PM ET USA

    If Archbishop Niederauer does not discipline/correct Cahill, one would have to wonder whether Abp. Niederauer is Roman Catholic. His press statement, given by Healy, states that he is in union with Rome & that he follows Church teaching. Interesting to note, Diogenes, that in the article then-Abp. Levada is reported to have been aware of 3 of the 5 adoptions by same-sex couples under his tenure, but now he states that no bishop should allow such adoptions. A conversion on his way to Rome?

  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Mar. 22, 2006 5:26 PM ET USA

    altar boy, no denying the reform of Vat II is in need of reform. But, there are those who are of a certain mind who deny the validity of the Council. [they're in grave error ]. There are those who think the Chair of Peter is vacant. [they're in grave error...] There are those who deny the validity of the Novus Ordo, etc. There are those who think every thing else is in need of reform, but themselves. The Church is in great need of God's help, and so is each of us!

  • Posted by: - Mar. 22, 2006 3:32 PM ET USA

    So,, can you please enlighten me? Where did I go wrong? What did I write that wasn’t true? Do you deny the existence of the grave theological dissent and disobedience that is so prevalent these days? Do you deny that that today’s Church is rife with all manner of abuse and malfeasance—all beginning post-VCII? And when Paul VI said the smoke of Satan had entered the Church, whom do you think he was talking about? I’ll tell you--he sure wasn’t talking about us traditionalists.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 22, 2006 1:55 PM ET USA

    AMEN to "Novak"!!! "Altar boy", you need to read this, again: "The Dark Side of Tradition"

  • Posted by: - Mar. 22, 2006 1:26 PM ET USA

    Let’s see: Catholic university staffs dissent from Catholic teaching; Catholic clerical and religious orders dissent from Catholic teaching; Catholic politicians dissent from Catholic teaching; Catholic bishops stand by while priests preach dissent from the pulpit and bastardize the Sacraments; and now, Catholic Charities in Sodom by the Bay openly defies Church teaching. So why all the hubbub? These are, after all, the fruits of the reform of VCII. Hey, do you guys smell that smoke?

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Mar. 22, 2006 1:00 PM ET USA

    Put your money where your mouth is, Leo13. I got a $100 bill here, payable to you or to my parish St. Vincent de Paul, says Cahill does NOT go. No bets on Healy, though at a minimum he will become very quiet. He's already become quieter, since our new archbishop arrived. He is also editor of the weekly archdiocesan newspaper and in the weeks from Levada's going to Niederaur's coming we got several Bishop Chaput columns. They have suddenly vanished. (I would LOVE to lose this bet!)

  • Posted by: - Mar. 22, 2006 11:37 AM ET USA

    They must get rid of Cahill, If they do not, then nobody should donate to the Catholic Charities anywhere in the USA. It is common sense that you do not place a child into a same sex union situation.You could not possible have any "real love" for that child.This is nonsense,that a hard to place child, was placed with homosexuals? I wouldn't trust the Catholic Charities in Boston and San Fransisco to be proper. I am very disappointed and feel that all of Catholic Charities have been infiltrated.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 22, 2006 11:02 AM ET USA

    Given the mess Card-designate Levada left behind, a scandalous misfeasance in office, it makes you wonder why Pope Benedict appointed him to SCDF? This is more bitter fruit from the idea that you can govern the Church without penalties or discipline, styling it the medicine of mercy. True mercy and and charity require that doctrinal dissent, moral decay, be confronted and the Church protected imposing suspensions and excommunications if needed. Pius XII saw this.His successors have forgotten it

  • Posted by: - Mar. 22, 2006 10:48 AM ET USA

    Of course I applaud the recent upholdings of Church teaching. And the mere 5 of 136 stat is noted. However, consider CCC 1255 & 1311. In the diocese of SF, how many Baptisms and Confirmations since 2000 were with same-sex godparents or openly gay sponsors? These are sacraments, and as such, more essentially define the fidelity of a diocese. How encouraged can I allow myself to be by the recent news when I know there continues to be profanation of sacraments in the sacred space?

  • Posted by: - Mar. 22, 2006 10:16 AM ET USA

    Don't count on it, Leo. We are reviewing our policies to see if we might find a workable solution that will allow us to best serve the needs of [fill in the blank with name of some vague inclusive group of individuals everyone will agree deserves our support] while still maintaining our excellent working relationship with [insert name of whatever entity we are going to compromise with next]. We're looking for a "win-win" situation.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 22, 2006 9:53 AM ET USA

    Cahill must and will go. Not even an American archbishop can avoid this kind of head-on clash with Vatican policy. Once Cahill is gone, the gay left will lash out at the Church for its lack of "compassion."