Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources

The unCatholic Press: Left for Dead at the Barricades

By Dr. Jeff Mirus ( bio - articles - email ) | Dec 04, 2012

The National Catholic Reporter is fading fast, as demonstrated by its open appeal for doctrinal disobedience among Catholics. The occasion for this appeal was the expulsion of Fr. Roy Bourgeois from Maryknoll for his outspoken support of the ordination of women. The NCR believes its call for rebellion is a matter of simple justice. But then I don’t think anyone has ever claimed to dissent from Catholic teaching as a simple matter of injustice.

The Catholic Church safeguards a Revelation which discloses that the priesthood was established by God through Jesus Christ, that a certain sacramental procedure—also established by God—is necessary for the creation of a priest, and that the Church is authorized by God to apply this sacramental procedure only to males. This may be because the Son of God was incarnated as a male and the essence of the priesthood is to act in persona Christi. But in fact the Church professes to know neither why Jesus Christ was incarnated as a male nor why God has not authorized His Church to ordain women. The Church knows only that these things constitute the Revelatory facts.

Now if there were anyone who had a reason to think God unjust, it was that hoary old non-editor, Job. Job lived in a simpler age. Unlike the editors of the NCR, he was able to reflect a second time before meeting a deadline. Thus he bore effective witness to the sensible presumption that God’s dispositions are wiser than our own, that there is a good reason for everything He does, that His ways necessarily accord with the deepest reality of His Creation, that we ourselves are a part of His Creation, and that the very best thing we can do in pursuit of our own happiness is to conform to God’s will. With Job, we cannot avoid asking: How is a mere editor to know anything of justice without God’s having infused it into reality through His own creative goodness?

But it is hardly the adolescent arrogance of the editors that is most striking about the NCR’s call for resistance, for the NCR’s adolescent arrogance has long since worn a muddy path across the sad and weary decades of its worldly run.

No, what is most striking is that instead of merely presenting falsehood as if it is the normal Catholic viewpoint—a trick which worked wonderfully well for the unCatholic press when Modernists dominated the chanceries of the Western world—the NCR has now publicly affirmed its dissent from the norm by calling on all right-thinking Catholics to disobey the very authority of Jesus Christ. For it was Our Lord Himself who gave us the key to such mysteries when he said “Thou art Peter” (Mt 16:18) and “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail” (Lk 22:32) and “he who hears you hears me” (Lk 10:16).

Surely this appeal against Christ Himself is a sign of growing desperation. The editorial staff is no longer content with the results of Modernist dissimulation, by which Fr. Bourgeois’s expulsion had been so long prevented. Now the editors must take to the barricades in a last ditch effort. Well, let them go. The National Catholic Reporter, and everything it represents, is fading very fast indeed from the Catholic Church.

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and See full bio.

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  • Posted by: feedback - Jul. 13, 2018 12:33 AM ET USA

    Cupich went to meet with Obama less than a week after he was installed in Chicago.

  • Posted by: thomas28899 - Jul. 12, 2018 8:50 AM ET USA

    It seems to me that Pope Francis is willing to be quite political, why can't priests do the same?

  • Posted by: mary_conces3421 - Jul. 10, 2018 6:49 PM ET USA

    As I understand it, (& I’m no expert) priests are forbidden canonically to hold political office and legally & prudentially to back a particular candidate or party from the pulpit. I know you’re mainly pointing out a double standard, And I’ve wished for years that Fr. Pfleger would be quiet. Nevertheless, I think priests should be allowed free speech out of the pulpit.So much is political now. Even an anti-abortion rally.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Dec. 04, 2012 9:02 PM ET USA

    Of course, Job, like most of us, had to be dragged kicking and scratching to the full truth. Perhaps we can pray that the editors of NCR will see the light? With God, anything is possible.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Dec. 04, 2012 5:39 PM ET USA

    NCR urges readers to protest against the Church's teaching through newspapers, call-in programs, etc. But I want to protest the latest NCR outrage, so I am sending along to CatholicCulture my second donation in as many months. NCR can't fade fast enough to satisfy me.

  • Posted by: sparch - Dec. 04, 2012 5:25 PM ET USA

    Let us hope that the sounds we hear from the National Catholic Reporter are gasps for life and not wolves to begin their ravaging. I pray for them and those who read and believe what is written in that electronic rag. I have given up long ago blogging on their site to help turn minds and faith back to the church. They are Catholics who rebut most of what the church stands for and therefore are christians without a church. They belong nowhere.