**VOICE OF THE FAITHFUL CONFERENCE** Kooky Judge Anne Burke Channels Dr. Seuss and Cher in Bitter Attack on Catholic Church

Justice Anne M. Burke

Judge Anne Burke turns to the experts

Illinois Justice Anne M. Burke (wife of Chicago ward boss Ed Burke) once served as the interim chair of the National Review Board, a lay group who advises the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on sex abuse policy. However, after her spiteful speech at this year's Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) Conference, one cannot help but ask, "If these are the 'faithful,' who needs enemies?"

Burke's 30-minute diatribe on September 14 at the Boston get-together took sharp aim at the Church's bishops, as she accused Church leaders of:

  • treating lay people as "second class citizens" and "serfs";
  • asking Catholics "to check [their] brains at the front door";
  • prioritizing "pride, untruths, [and] protecting the institution at all costs";
  • "resurrecting the Inquisition"; and
  • committing a "new form of lay abuse."


Yet the most bizarre aspect of Burke's speech was her citations of various cultural and Church figures sprinkled in her talk. Among others, Burke variously quoted Cher, Wayne Gretzky, John Wayne, Thomas Edison, Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, John F. Kennedy, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Burke's most surreal moment came near the end of her speech:

"I always believe that Jesus had a lot of Dr. Seuss in him. I can hear him now setting his disciples at peace and calling forth great things from them – 'Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind'."

That's right. Burke actually put the words of Dr. Seuss into the mouth of Jesus Christ.

You can't make this stuff up. What is even more embarrassing, however, is that the quote is not even from Dr. Seuss. Although the quote has often been attributed to him – it has even been displayed on posters – it appears nowhere in any of Dr. Seuss' books. The quote, "Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind," was attributed decades ago to the early 20th century American financier Bernard Baruch.

A note to Anne: Next time, try putting the words of Jesus into the mouth of Jesus. That should work better.

Correct on one matter

Burke's talk did not miss the mark entirely, however. At one point of her speech, Burke stated:

"We are aging."

Well, she is right about that. Having actually attended the conference, TheMediaReport.com estimates that the average age of the attendees was 102 66. Of the estimated 450 people in attendance, the number of those under the age of 50 was likely less than 30.

The same tribe of people who rejected Church teaching, threw out the Communion rails, embraced intolerable Marty Haugen tunes, and led generations of Catholics into an abyss of ignorance and selfishness is thankfully dying away.

The future of the Church is in the youthful orthodox. Yes, the kind that attend World Youth Day.


  1. Chris says:

    Dear Media Report,
    Did you take pictures of the crowd at the VOTF event? Were there any priests or nuns there "in uniform"? If you had crowd pictures, I'd love to see them.

    • TheMediaReport.com says:

      Hi, Chris – I did take a few pictures. (One of them is of the Roy Bourgeois poster I posted last week.)

      I have a couple ‘sea of white/gray hair’ shots, but I’m not sure if I’ll post them.

      As for the men and women religious, I recall two priests in their collars, both of whom received awards: Rev. James Connell and Fr. Patrick Bergquist.

      Fr. Donald Cozzens also spoke, but I do not remember seeing him in a collar.

      I know for a fact that there were women religious there, but I did not see any in habits.

  2. Fitasafiddle says:

    So now even the noble Justice Anne Burke is slandered on your site, Mr. Pierre.  Courage, Faith, Love, Generosity, appear to be the qualities you cannot bear in Catholic folks. Only obedience for you, Mr. Pierre,  and to an authority that is the antithesis of Our Lord Jesus, who, by the way,  would at this point prefer Dr. Seuss to anything coming out of Rome.

  3. Publion says:

    Once again, deep thanks and much kudos to TMR for giving us a look into what actually goes on at these conferences. (I’m still wondering: how many people in this country are actually supporting these Oz-Like entities like SNAP and VOTF and Bishop-Accountability? Behind the great curtain of the internet – where a relatively small number can just keep hitting the keyboards in order to ‘look as numerous as possible’ – just how many people are actually behind these things?)
    TMR’s précis of Burke’s speech is acutely revealing. Notice that her comments have almost nothing whatsoever to do with the Abuse Matter (which, as often been noted in both articles and comments on this site, has largely been addressed in terms of prevention).
    Instead – and it’s so very revealing – her comments could have been delivered at – say – a National Catholic Reporter fundraising dinner in support of the general post-Vatican 2 ‘liberal’ (that much abused term) agenda.
    In the context of the Catholic polity, what does it mean to “treat people as second-class citizens”? Catholics are not participants in the Church the same way that Americans are (or at least were) Citizens of the Framers’ Republic. In the Framers’ Vision, The People were the governors of their government and the ultimate source of the government’s sovereign authority. This is something American Progressives and ‘liberals’ have not really embraced since at least the dawn of the 20th century; in their view it is the ‘knowledge elites’ who are the only ones who really know what’s best; the government will take their advice and do whatever it takes, like trail-bosses handling a herd of cattle, in order to ‘improve’ and actually ‘re-fashion’ the lumpen masses (in the Framers’ Vision the Citizens and The People). This was given brutal clarity in the later 1960s with the ‘liberal’ idea that there was no need to listen to the majority of Citizens because ‘they just don’t get it’ so why listen to them in the first place?
    But the Source of the ultimate authority of the Church is Christ’s commission to Peter and the Apostles. And while Christ was – I would say – far too insightful to have imagined a flawless performance by those gentlemen and their successors, yet He commissioned them nonetheless (and no doubt expected that the Holy Spirit was going to be verrrrrry busy for the rest of Time and History).
    So Burke’s comments seem to imply that since the Church isn’t a ‘democracy’ like the United States, or like the Progressive/liberals’ view of the United States, then it is not doing the right thing and not fulfilling its mission. (And yet how often do we hear nowadays that after all these decades of Progressive and liberal governance, the United States has somehow become far less democratic and no longer resembles the Framers’ Vision?)
    So I would say that Burke’s real thrust here is that the Church is refusing to become a ‘democracy’, and a democracy the way the “aging” liberals – in both the secular and post-Vatican 2 churchy versions of ‘liberal’ – and so the Church has to be made to change. Or else, in the alternative, the Church has to be de-legitimized in the eyes of the public. Which is where, I would say, so much of the odd trajectory and sustained velocity of the Abuse ‘Crisis’ came in, but – alas – that horse has now died out from under them and they are hard-put to Keep The Ball Rolling (and so Burke is reduced to Dr. Seuss, and – also very revealing – she doesn’t even get her facts right in quoting those children’s books).
    Ditto the bit about Catholics having to “check their brains at the front door”: in what way do Catholics have to do so? Just because the Church continues to be faithful to those elements of belief and dogma that do not jive with the Progressive/’liberal’ agenda, is the Church and anybody who believes in the Church somehow ‘brainless’? (And most surely, if you were to buy the SNAP-py explanation for the Abuse Matter in just about all of its aspects, you would most certainly have to check your brains at the door.)
    In matters of the Catholic Vision, we are actually dealing with an assessment about the very structure of human reality itself: Is there a Beyond? Are humans ‘citizens’ of both this dimension and a Beyond? Are humans given a fundamental essence and Shape through having been created in the Image of God? Does that Shape assume moral power as we try to then figure out what responsibilities flow from that creation-in-the-Image? What is the role of human reason? What is the role – if any – of God’s Grace and Providence? … In answering all of these Questions, you can quickly see that the Progressive/’liberal’ worldview has verrrry definitive assertions to make, and they are often almost 180 degrees opposite to the Church’s belief, tradition, and dogma.
    And who can deny that human institutions do not protect themselves, often out of pride and even using untruth and – to use Churchill’s phrase – even “a bodyguard of lies”? Does anybody have total confidence that the US government has dealt well and openly in matters foreign and domestic in the past few decades? Should then the US government be abolished or de-legitimized?
    (Yes, the Correct comeback is that the Church of today is not the Church of Jesus. Did Jesus – did God the Father – not realize what happens to any Ideal when entrusted to humans who are so very individually imperfect, when that imperfection is then amplified by being erected into an institution?)
    So Burke here is basically stating a truism: it’s so very true about everything that it has almost no explanatory or conceptual relevance at all to the specific matter at hand.
    And what does “implementing a needless attack on women religious” have to do with the specifics of the Abuse Matter? Here again, you can see – as has been often noted on this site – agendas that have very little to do with the Abuse Matter (although the Abuse Matter has proved a handy bat with which to whack the piñata for doctrinal reasons as well as for whatever benefits accrue to plaintiffs in abuse-settlement cases).
    And  – really – has the Church even made such an “attack”? First, there are very few women religious who actually support the ‘liberal’ agenda of the Progressive elites among the Sisterhood who are still flogging for their version of the Vision. Second, it is these elites among the Sisterhood who openly make the most extraordinary claims: that the Catholic Church of today is not the Church of Jesus; that the hierarchy is some sort of usurper entity; that they have not left the Church but rather the Vatican has left the Church; that they are not sure they want to worship a ‘male sky-god’; and the list goes on.
    What organization on the planet would not look into the matter when its own uniformed-personnel (so to speak) and official representatives are making such claims against the very essence of the organization? Do you know what would happen if you were in the military and publicly made such claims in regard to the legitimacy of the government that you have committed yourself to serve? (Which also raises the ‘still-Father Doyle’ Question: why not just ask for release from vows and leave the Church altogether and start something up on your own as you see fit?)
    If the Vatican finally feels that it has to look into the assertions (such as those I mentioned above) that these few ‘elite’ members of the Sisterhood are making, then does such a look constitute “resurrecting the Inquisition”? (Although, actually, the original Inquisition was indeed set up to investigate heresy (not witchcraft, which was a post-Reformation Protestant focus) … but when you read some of the public statements of these dissenting ‘elites’, you have to ask yourself if they indeed haven’t gone over the line into heresy (there – I’ve used the H-word).
    And then finally, in a neat rhetorical ploy, Burke tries to somehow connect all of this with the actual Abuse Matter by claiming that in all of the foregoing, the Church and the Vatican are “committing a new form of lay abuse”. (The other form of ‘abuse’ was the actual clerical sex-abuse … get it?) But I ask: What laypeople are being abused by the Church looking into those persons – and some of them vowed and official representatives of the Church – who publicly hold truths so profoundly antithetical to Catholic belief? I would say that you could make a pretty strong case that in all of this, it is the Church that is being ‘abused’.

  4. jim robertson says:

    Since you won't tell people who you are Pub. maybe you could say your age? I notice no one dismissing you or Dolan or Donahue or Ratzinger for their age.
    But if your progressive your too old and  and yet somehow too childlike to think.
    When do people loose their "youth" sanity? One grey hair? Two? I wish these reactinaries would go back to memorizing Ayn Rand passages.  She and Jesus were so on the same path. LOL

  5. Julie says:

    I believe that Jim is doing all of the attacking. Jim goes off the point quite easily, although Jim, I respect your diligence in speaking your opinion. On the "gray hair" thing, I understand the point there is not that they can't think, its just people can't help but notice that few "young people" are getting into these "progressive" groups. I remember the "progressive" Catholic Church and school of my youth. Not nice.

  6. jim robertson says:

     Dr Suess and Jesus were more alike than Jesus and Ayn Rand any day. Also what were Cher's and Gretsky's quotes?

  7. jim robertson says:

    P.S. And you're suprised that at a SNAP "conference" the demographics fit perfectly the Church's political line about "long ago" abuse?
    And at $1200 per person plus to attend ( factoring in hotels, flights, food etc. i'm probably on the cheap side at $1200) How many working class victims can afford $1200 plus for a weekend? Oh yea SNAP is a real grassroots victims group. LOL

  8. Publion says:

    Of what conceivable relevance is anybody’s “age” in all of this? And could anyone really know for sure whether any screen-name is actually the name of the person using it? And why would anybody care? Is the ‘tom doyle’ commenter really still-Father Doyle or somebody else? And this whole ‘identity’ bit is  material that has been gone over before in comments and here it is merely repetition.
    Once again, the “childlike” trope is not mine at all – but rather an invention of JR’s. The Progessive/liberals’ “age” – clearly from the content of the commentary and the article – are relevant not in the sense that they are too “old” to think, but rather that a) half a century on down the line they are still flogging the same agenda they were back then and b) now that they are getting older, it is clear that i) their visions have not come true and ii) they are running out of time and have to somehow move things along (perhaps because younger generations aren’t interested), and possibly iii) the past 50 years have demonstrated that their original agendas were not workable and/or not in the interests of the Church in the first place.
    I have no idea what “youth sanity” means in itself and no idea how it connects to what I said in my comment. And if JR really knows what the term ‘reactionary’ means, then he might kindly explain just who he thinks is ‘reactionary’ and why – which means demonstrating all that by accurate quotations and examples.
    And how Ayn Rand connects to any of the material in the article or in the comment is anybody’s guess.
    Ditto how Jesus and Ayn Rand were or were not “on the same path” (whatever that might mean in the first place).
    Or perhaps this is just another typical toss-in from beyond the left-field flagpole, and should be considered as such – no less and no more.

    • jim robertson says:

      Per usual attack the messanger Pub.You really are incapable of metaphor (other than" licking each others ice cream cones" Freud would have a field day with that remark.)
      You, dear Pub, are a reactionary. You defend your imagination (your faith) and pretend that those who don't believe as you are wrong. Simply for not seeing the world your Catholic centered way.
      You repeat words like "trope" "neat" "type" "typical" and that the internet is full of liars that somehow includes me. Do you include you in that group Pub? You post on the net.
      Everything I have written here is true. Like it or lump it. Google me by my name. I handcuffed myself to Cardinal Mahoneys throne here in L.A. I have no shame in being exactly who I am. and therefore no reason to hide.
      I ask your age and who you are because I have no reason to hide like you seem to.
      So I ask the readership here. Who needs to hide even their age?  Yet at the same time say that someone who isn't hiding who they are ,is possibly lying about who they are.

    • jim robertson says:

      Ayn Rand relates to this because the right wing of the Church is finacially supporting the right wing Republican party and Paul Ryan for VP and he is a passage memorizing Randist according to his own brother.

  9. Rondre says:

    Can only imagine how  many children would continue to be abused if it wasn't for SNAP. Can you think of any other group who has helped victims of sexual abuse?

    • jim robertson says:

      Rondre can you think of any victims group other than SNAP? No? Well that's no accident. SNAP sprang fully grown from the "Manual" (called "The Project") like Athena from the head of Zues, not Suess.(Please visit Victims of Silence@bulletinboards.com) and see what the facts are.
      The illusion that SNAP is a great grassroots organization is belied by the wealth that let it run rough shod  over the very victims it pretends to be it's raison de ettre (reason for existence). The very people it claims to be the "roots" SNAP. Why in the name of god would victims think it's a great idea to spend all that money in appeals in Missouri (all the way to the supreme court of Missouri) to hide irrelevant information about un named victims??? INSANITY! Do you think working class victims would support expenditures like that? Especialy with out a vote? Dream on.
       Oh right Dave, the Church's support of victims has been exemplary if you confuse the word support for the words ignore and loathe. and abandon.

  10. Julie says:

    RAINN, After Silence, ASCA, Support for Partners, HAVOCA, MaleSurvivor, the Franks Foundation, Tamar's Voice (for clergy sex abuse victims), Survivors & Friends, Pandora's Project, WINGS Foundation, Safe Horizon, and many, many, more. I don't see any of them spending their time allying with media and lawyers to corral plaintiffs for lawsuits. These people are actually supporting and helping victims.

    • jim robertson says:

      Julie and how many of those groups were started and maintained by victims? Do you think I'd be posting here trying to get the most reactionary group to see how they are being had, if I could meet other victims and organize with them?I can only compare the organizations you mentioned to obfuscating sweetheart unions. Created by the owners for the owners.

  11. Chicagoatty says:

    The real weakness of Justice Burke's argument is that she seems not to understand the nature of the Church she purports to belong to.  Her argument for a grand council of laity, who will elect bishops and set doctrine by majority vote is not an unheard of way to run a religious denomination.  Our Protestant brothers and sisters are quite happy runing their affairs that way and, in this great and free country, we can love them and respect their right to worship that way.  By the same token, our venerable Faith, which is 2000 years old and based on an entirely different set of beliefs about religious polity and ecclesiastical authority, does not follow a  "vote of the faithful" model.  We hold faith beliefs about the unique religious and spiritual authority of the pope and the bishops, based on what we believe Jesus commanded when he founded the Church.  Justice Burke's arguments against the Church's governance are not constructive calls for reform from within; they are a call for the abandonment of the Petrine Doctrine, the  Apostolic Succession and the core of what it means to be "the Roman Catholic Church."
    I am a convert.  I chose the Roman Catholic Church because I came to believe that it is, actually, the Church founded by Jesus and placed in the care of the Apostles.  I joined the church of the the Apostles successors, and of Peter's succesor. If Justice Burke no longer believes in that grant of spiritual authority, she is free to leave, and vote on bishops and doctrine in any number of Main Line Protestant denominations.

  12. Kay Ebeling says:

    Jim Robertson keeps forgetting to include this link http://cityofangels2.blogspot.com when talking about the SNAP ruse that was played on victims, and the public… No one ever found out how bad the pedophile priest crimes really were… otherwise David Pierre would not even be doing this website, IMO- Kay 

    • jim robertson says:

      Sorry Kay, Still new to computers. Not an excuse but a fact. Kay,also a victim, knows SNAP and it's workings very well. Sorry Kay ,again.

  13. Leo says:

    It was the CLERGY who changed everything, not the laity.  They took out the communion rails, and they removed Latin, and they provided and still provide insipid hymns.  The Judge has made very good points.

  14. Publion says:

    A brief historical excursus, if I may.
    The topic of different internet commenting approaches has come up often here. Everybody is welcome to adopt whichever approach seems most congenial, if nothing else.
    It recently came back to mind about Hermann Goring’s assurances to his boss Hitler – they  were an interesting example of what I have been driving at. In 1940, contemplating the capacity of America to create and field forces sufficient to constitute a military threat to Nazi-occupied Europe, Goring simply and blithely tossed off the problem when he assured Hitler: ‘Don’t worry. The Americans can’t build airplanes. They can build refrigerators and razor blades, but that’s all.’
    And that was – in Goring’s mind – all that needed to be said and that was all there was to it.
    Cutesy, snarky, and a great little sound-bite that no doubt made the rounds of high-Nazi officialdom and cocktail party chitchat and propaganda bits. And it made Goring look like a superwhiz: to be able to so clearly and quickly dispose of a daunting and vital Question in so simple and clear and direct a fashion.
    But you can see the larger Problem with it if taken as an effective and accurate assessment of reality or probable developments.
    Goring’s comment is also, however, a fine example of a certain approach to internet commentary (which, as I said, anybody is welcome to adopt if they wish): short, snarky, cutesy one-liners that play to a certain audience’s predispositions. But you can see the deficiencies with the approach.
    For readers who are often involved with the internet, and especially those that keep some level of involvement with the Catholic Abuse Matter on various sites, I offer this bit of history in order to remind them of what goes on out there.

  15. Jerry Slevin says:

    OLD MEN v. YOUNGER VOTF ……. It is always amusing when an advocate for an octogenerian hierarchy complains about younger critics  being too old.
    The US Bishops selected Illinois Supreme Court Anne Burke as chairperson for two years at a critical point in the priest abuse crisis The pope, then Cardinal Ratzinger, spent three hours with her to get her views on the American Church situation. Do you think he has spent three hours reading these Reports.
    Justice Burke is a lifelong devout Catholic, a wife, a mother and a grandmother. She speaks truth to power and always will. As with so many other decisions, the hierarcy misjudged her and thought she would be their puppet. To her credit, she listened to Jesus, not to those who protect child abusers purportedly in His name.
    Thanks for linking to Justice Burke's speech. It speaks for itself. I attended the VOTF conference and found it to be very encouraging and suggestive of the sleeping giant of the Catholic laity that is quickly and proactively  awaking to the sad state of our Church.

  16. Publion says:

    There is some usable and relevant material in the JR comment of 1024 today.
    For general reference, note that to ask questions is considered by some consistent commenters as an “attack”. This is the same play run by SNAP when, having failed to respond to numerous and repeated legitimate requests for information, it is brought up on Contempt charges.
    And what “message”? Again, the more one tries to actually get a deeper grasp on the “message”, the more one gets – instead – all sorts of distractions. And again, very much a typical and now-familiar SNAP-py gambit. To question “the messenger” is not to “attack the messenger”, except to a very particular type of mindset.
    I use “words” because they’re really the only way to communicate on the internet. And – again – I have never said “the internet is full of ‘liars’”. Again with creating quotes I never made.
    But in regard to that last: JR has apparently validated all my stated reservations about internet identity. He is “new to the computer” he says again on this site today, and yet for quite a while somebody with the screen name ‘Jim Robertson’ has been commenting in precisely the same style and demonstrating precisely the same conceptual and linguistic tics on various sites, including NCR. So either the JR comment of 1024 today contains a lie, or else there is indeed the phenomenon of people masquerading as other people making comments on the internet.  
    There is absolutely no way for anybody to know whether everything anybody writes on the internet is “true”. That is precisely why the internet is such a minefield and that is why I personally limit myself to ideas and the exchange of ideas, since they can be judged on their own.
     I will observe, additionally, that this is precisely the difficulty with the general victimist reliance on ‘stories’: on the internet there is absolutely no way at all of knowing if they are true. And yet it is just that Tuning-Fork phenomenon – where people tell each other stories to set each other off emotionally – that has, I would say, driven so much of the internet ‘presence’ of these otherwise Oz-like organizations.
    I am not “hiding” because “I” am not the subject of my comments: the ideas that and conceptions that I put forward are the subject of my comments.  And yet again, this goes to demonstrating further my idea that some people use the internet to put ‘themselves’ forward, and others use it to put ‘ideas’ forward. The former group, in my opinion, has mistakenly presumed that the dynamics operative in face-to-face exchanges are merely and simply amplified marvelously by the reach and scope of the internet. When confronted with the reality that there is even less way of crediting their ‘stories’ on the internet than there might be in a face-to-face encounter, they are both confounded and enraged.
    I say this simply to demonstrate not only the abstract (but valid, I say) point about different commenting approaches, but also to demonstrate a very vital reality about these Abuse groups and such that seem to exist primarily on the internet: there is no way for any objective and detached observer to verify the ‘stories’; and if you try online to explore the assertions and claims in order to get at their gravamen and examine them for conceptual accuracy and validity you simply get distracting evasions and personal assertions that bring you right back to square-one and the basic internet credibility problem itself.
    Which leads me to conclude that the various ‘story-telling’ groups (without even getting into whether the stories are true are not) have heavily invested in the internet approach because the stories can be amplified widely; and that’s really the objective. And the only objective. Thus the visceral reactions when anybody refuses to simply credit the stories and thus surrender to the emotional flow that is the groups’ only desired objective.
    And if I may conclude with a bit of logic: it is impossible to assert that I am “lying” about who I am while simultaneously complaining that I am not telling anybody who I am. For commenting purposes, I am the ideas that I offer to the readers. What other ‘relationship’ can there possibly be in internet commentary?

  17. feckless says:

    Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, "Don't do it!" He said, "Nobody loves me." I said, "God loves you. Do you believe in God?"
    He said, "Yes." I said, "Are you a Christian or a Jew?" He said, "A Christian." I said, "Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?" He said, "Protestant." I said, "Me, too! What franchise?" He said, "Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?" He said, "Northern Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?"
    He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region." I said, "Me, too!"
    Northern Conservative†Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912." I said, "Die, heretic!" And I pushed him over.
    -Emo Phillips
    Hey remember when Jesus made prejudicial remarks about peoples' age? 
    Dr. Seuss and Jesus were pacifists, did you do anything to stop or protest any of recent wars?  Mr. Judge the Judge but hide your name lest thee be judged?
    Did you know that threats and acts of violence against federal judges (and their families) is rampant in this country?  But hey, deligitimize Judge Burke (she's only there b/c of her chicago – obama -gangster husband), and then claim she is assaulting "YOUR" religion.  No one could ever take your inflamatory language the wrong way. 
    I think you are a personification of the anti-christ, but I will pray for you to overcome your irrational hatred and need to codemn others, its not what the Prince of Peace and the God of love would do.

  18. jim robertson says:

    Again? Look me up. You put the e in evasive. I posted for a year from the local library. I then got a computer in January. So??
    I get it . I have "tics". You have ideas. Well that told me.
    You infered that I was not believable because as you so often repeat. "And could anyone really know for sure whether any screen-name is actually the person using it" A lovely generalization that smears.
    Yay you!

  19. Publion says:

    So, then, you are not new to computers, contrary to what you had said. Which was my point.
    What I have been saying repeatedly is that there is no way of verifying anything about stories people tell on the internet. Which is not at all the same thing as accusing them of lying.
    There is no way of making the final connection of confirmation on the internet: i.e. that the individual 'X' who is commenting is the same person as the individual 'Y' who may appear on you-tube sites or whatever. I could claim online that I was king of Roumania, and refer everyone to a website with stories and even photos of the king of Roumania. But nobody on the basis of the internet can make the final confirmation that I – making the assertion online – am the same individual as the gentleman publicly known to be the king of Roumania. Surely that's clear now.  
    So nobody can know for sure because of the nature of the internet modality. That is a simple but unavoidable fact that has to be taken into account and there is nothing of "smear' in it.  
    But once again, I think we see the disconnect that results when persons try to use the internet-commentary modality as if it were the same thing as a personal face-to-face conversation between persons acquainted with each other.
    Yet this personal-story approach is – it seems – very much the accepted approach among some groups. I have explained at great length why it can't work without a hefty dollop of gratuitous credulity in the internet modality and I don't subscribe to the approach myself, either in making claims or in accepting claims made on the internet.

  20. jim robertson says:

    You must think your dealing with chumps here.  Lord help me with this man! You put the Spin in Spinner. And then will ad hominum innuendo, play the superior. Well the jury's still out on that one. Why wouldn't I address my fellow women and men with familiarity. We have all eaten a hamburger had a coke watched t.v. as if as one. We are all subjected to the marketplace Are we that different from our brothers? We know you are Pub slightly superior, hell you could even be Father Superior or Mother Superior or just Generally superior. I'm sure all of the above but you cannot repopulate an extinct herd and you 're running out of priests and time.

    • jim robertson says:

      Hey and what about the Mystical Body of Christ. We're all members there. To address my fellow man as if He were Christ. I thought that was the good Catholics main duty.

  21. jim robertson says:

    Per usual you define new. Who cares? If you read my initial posts you'd see exactly how new I am but again this is the lie you caught me in?  I say your entire belief system is a lie and this is the come back? Boola Boola I give you my college yell!

  22. Publion says:

    I would like to clear something up now. I am not going after any individual commenter; I am discussing general trends and dynamics that in my analysis are operative in the general area of internet presence of the various abuse-focused groups. And as I have clearly said a number of times here, if some comments – just like some of the TMR articles – prompt thoughts, then I put up the thoughts. I am not particularly interested in any commenter personally and my hope is to offer some food for thought about the general issues and dynamics – that is my ‘connection’ to any readers.
    So I might recommend not looking through the wrong end of the telescope, and presuming that I am specifically tailoring my remarks to any particular person. If any of my comments strike anyone as being accurate or relevant, it is not because I am tailoring them to any particular commenter’s material – it is exactly the other way around: if the shoe fits, in some reader’s estimation, that’s not because I am personally and specifically tailoring them to anybody, but because some material – as I have often said – constitutes useful examples of larger and more general dynamics.
    That being said, it is also my thought that a general ‘familiarity’ with other humans on the internet because of the rather general shared human experiences of hamburgers and TV and the marketplace don’t strike me as being very relevant to the specific matter at hand. Yes, all humans are made in the Image of God and everybody has to eat and probably watches some TV and has to make do in the marketplace.
    But the matter at hand on this site is much more specific: how to analyze and assess the Catholic abuse matter. And that Question requires much more specificity.
    In fact, in claiming to have had experiences relevant to the matter a person precisely seeks to distinguish him/herself from the general or common experience.
    Now it may indeed be that the internet has created an opportunity for various persons to create some sort of commonly agreed-upon unity for themselves. But that unity is based very largely on a presumption about the stories that they tell and are told about some commonly-shared particular type of experience. They choose to believe those stories and on the basis of that belief and presumption, they create for themselves an internet collectivity.
    That’s as may be for them, but it creates absolutely no requirement that everybody who goes onto the internet to do likewise. Such gratuitous belief and presumption is certainly not my approach.
    And I personally can’t recommend it to anybody.
    And I further think that this gratuitous belief and presumption that credits stories (for whatever reasons a person may have) simply because they are encountered on the internet has helped to fuel the Abuse ‘Crisis’ by giving – without any basis in any verifying corroboration – the appearance on the internet and through the internet modality of a large number of instances of clerical abuse when, actually, no verification has been achieved or attempted. On the internet, it is simply presumed that the story-claims are true. This is no way to conduct a serious assessment.
    But, as I have also said before on this site, I think that the extraordinary decades-long career of all this type of abuse-claiming on the internet, further enabled and amplified by this and that organized group (however large or small) has served the purposes of other special interests inside and outside the Church.
    This is not to claim that no abuse ever took place, but simply to say that if one simply and gratuitously accepts internet story-claims as presumptively credible, then that’s not really a sufficiently serious way of conducting an assessment of what is claimed to be a serious and widespread ‘problem’.
    And it is also to say that by such gratuitous presumption the average person is not going to get an accurate picture of the situation.
    The reality of clerical sex abuse – however large or small it may actually be – is a serious matter in all respects and with regard to all the persons involved.
    I want to deal with it seriously. I can’t personally see that it is moral to ignore it or to exaggerate it. And I do what I can through my thoughts in comments to demonstrate such seriousness of intent and carefulness in looking at the matter. Internet story-claiming is, therefore, in my estimation, much too unreliable to be the primary, let alone the only, approach to assessing this Matter.

  23. IllinoisMan says:

    Didn't Leo XIII have a dream that the Church would be destroyed in a 100 years?  Loads of pervert priests and nuns, bad theology, and a mindless laity are what has come about in that past century.  Justice Burke doesn't understand the Catholic Church…otherwise, she'd be talking about reality instead of Emerson.  What is VOTF?  Just another creation of the Jesuits…the same guys who teach the art of lying? 
    God himself will have to clean up the Church; the first ones to feel the heat will be the clergy and religious.  Most of them are a load of bums.  I don't think that many even believe in God.  The Church as an institution deserves a ton of constructive criticism for the failings of the clergy and religious. 

  24. jim robertson says:

    let's pretend that everything you said above is true. How do you assess with no access?
    Here's how I see this whole migillah: There were and have always been abusers sexually of minors in the Catholic Church. Just as in America's public school system. The difference is the cover up. Arn't  superiors held responsible in the public schools if they hide and or transfer knowingly a sexually abusive teacher or employee?  Yet somehow the Church is, only because it's religion, less culpable?
    And the Church's behavior internationally has been unerringly similar. In Ireland where the school system is at the same time governmental and religious. The state and Church both are held responsible for the coverups. Holding people responsible for their actions especially regarding harming children seems to be a commonly held good idea. So what's the problem here? Do you or do you not bear the burden of your hierarchys' actions? You pay them. You feed them. You house and clothe them. You obey them. You enable them. How are you then not responsible in part for their good or bad actions?

  25. Publion says:

    How do we assess with no access? That is precisely the internet problem.
    Following the grammar of the question, the first challenge lies with how to assess. And to do useful assessment one must work very hard to b) analyze what information is available (not only through the internet but through reading and studying) but only after laying down a) the basis of competent investigative and analytical and thinking skills. The first challenge lies within the individual and only afterwards does the focus change to the object of investigation. First you ensure a competent mechanic, and only then do you open the hood and start looking at what’s there.
    The cover-up as an explanatory hypothesis leaves some rather large gaps. First, it is necessary to distinguish between instance of actual cover-up as distinct from an instance where something was valued differently in a different era. So for example, were the courts, police, law enforcement and politicians all in on a nationwide ‘cover-up’ of drunken driving during the decades from the invention of the automobile to the early 1980s?
    In the case of the public school system: since it has only just recently started to come under even a modest amount of the type of scrutiny the Church has been under for 30 or so years here, then it is quite possible that organizationally the public-school system will demonstrate the same difficulties or organizational response as is claimed about the Church. Surely the few cases we have seen publicly give grounds for thinking that there is much more going on and the organizational establishment is not being totally forthright. And one only has to look at the government (which has the added organizational advantage of ‘classifying’ inconvenient (or worse) information for ‘national security purposes’. For example, the satellite photos that ostensibly provided proof that in 1990 Iraq was massing troops on the Saudi border (thus justifying US military presence being greatly beefed up in that kingdom) have never been publicly shown and up until the mid-2000s (which was the last time I checked) were still ‘classified information’ 15 or more years after the first Gulf War (1990; Kuwait).
    So at this point it is not easy to justify a presumption that a) the Church has ‘covered up’ and b) that the Church is unique in this organizational response.
    Thus too, of course, the question of transferring teachers who are suspected of abuse. Up in Boston there has been a significant indication that such transferring has been practiced and thus there exist valid grounds for suspecting that there are other instances of such practice.
    Therefore there is a lot of careful groundwork yet to be done before getting to the making-conclusions and assertions stage.
    In addition to the foregoing, there is perfectly legitimate justification for considering as an explanatory hypothesis the possibility that the flare-up of the American type of Catholic Abuse Crisis in other countries (mostly Western) is simply a migration of the same syndromal dynamics over there that have been going on over here.  
    Holding people and organizations responsible for actions is certainly a general human idea of a good thing to do. But when such holding-responsible is going to be done in the legal forum (through civil lawsuits or criminal process) then an entire additional (and much more stringent) evidentiary standard is introduced, on top of the general Scientific Method requirements for competent and reliable analysis and assessment.
    Thus “the problem here” is, as I said, first getting competent mechanics and then second making an accurate assessment of what’s wrong under the hood. This is not a challenge easily met by the usual internet methods – about which I have written a great deal in comments on this site – that confuse argumentum with assertion. (I use the Latin term whose English equivalent is ‘argument’, because in English the word ‘argument’ popularly boils down to vitriolic back-and-forth emotional exchanges; whereas in Latin the word means a reasoned and careful analysis, put forth step by step leading to a rationally demonstrated conclusion.)
    I and every other Catholic bear the burden of the hierarchy’s actions the same way that American Citizens (and taxpayers) bear the burden of their government’s actions, foreign and domestic. Where one goes from there with that fact is a very interesting question and open to much discussion.
    By the same token, Catholics “enable” their hierarchy in the same way that American Citizens “enable” their government. And again, where one goes from there with that fact is a very interesting question and open to much discussion.
    However, given the many complications at the analysis-stage of dealing with the question, then there’s still a lot of ground to be covered before deciding just what Catholics are “enabling”. Especially when it has to be realized that this is 2012, and not 1962 or 1982 or even 2002 – the hierarchy has made some very substantial changes (perhaps more than any other organizational entity in the country).
    And lastly, and as I have been saying, Catholics are “responsible” for the actions of their hierarchy in much the same way that American Citizens are “responsible” for the actions of their government, in its actions both foreign and domestic. And again, where one goes from there with that fact is a very interesting question and open to much discussion.
    But I think it’s clear that the all-too-common internet tactic of Assert First and Disparage Questions Later is grossly incapable of conducting the type of analysis and assessment necessary to achieve an accurate and informed grasp of any particular Issue or Matter or Problem.

  26. IllinoisMan says:

    School administrators should be held accountable.  But look at Penn State and the damage control and cover-up there and what never got into the mainstream media.  The Church is a part of the sexual abuse cover-ups by the elites of society.  Often there is overlap between abuse in the Church and in secular society.  The Church can't stop evil in the world because the Church itself has been corrupted.  So has the entire country.  Look at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and the murderous wars against Iraq, Libya and other countries.  Sure, corruption always has been around but today it seems we are entering a new dark age.   

  27. Fitasafiddle says:

    Yes.  This is so, Publion. The Church IS being abused, and for millennia. The Church is the people of God, as you must have heard, Publion, and she has been abused, all right. And from the anti catholic bishops who put obedience to corrupt authority above conscience, and the protection of the wee ones, otherwise known as the least among us.

  28. Publion says:

    FAAF simply picks up on exactly the type of thinking I had mentioned above in regard to the post-Vatican 2 agenda and current ‘liberal’ members of the Sisterhood: that “the Church is the people of God” and “she has been abused” – the code trick in this comment of FAAF’s being that the “People of God” are quietly defined as precisely n-o-t being the bishops or Pope and being just the laypeople (and maybe especially SNAP, as I recall still-Father Doyle being quoted on the NCR site a while back: “SNAP is the People of God”). But this little bit of doctrinal whackness can thus ‘prove’ the assertion that since the Church is only the laypeople, then the Church has been abused. Neat. Slick, even.
    And you can then even ‘justify’ the bit about the bishops therefore being “anti-catholic”. Marvelous.
    Once again, despite a frosting of piety, the comment reveals a rather rackety understanding of some basic theological and doctrinal Catholic principles.
    And FAAF then goes on to logically imply that if the Church were perfect in her human form (i.e. not “corrupted”) then the Church could stop all the “evil in the world”. Seriously? Is that all there is to it? So the Church – through her sex-abuse corruption (such as it may or may not be) – is responsible, logically, for all of the evil in the world. This is breaking new ground indeed; foreign ministries and the State Department and the other world-religions should be informed forthwith since they have been clearly working for centuries or “millennia” on a very inaccurate assessment of the origin of all the evil in the world. We read it here first!
    One thinks, for example, of all “the wee ones”(estimated at 500,000) who suffered from the decade-long sanctions against medicines and child-nutrition supplies imposed upon Iraq after the First Gulf War, whose suffering and illness and malnutrition and death Madeleine Albright once described as an “acceptable level” of loss.
    In this regard, I recommend a look at today’s (Sunday, as I am writing this) “Dilbert” cartoon strip: it deals with having an opinion. The gist of the argument as it goes along in today’s comic strip is this: I like to have opinions, but not informed opinions because going to the trouble of informing yourself defeats the whole purpose of having an opinion which is because it feels good to have one. 
    This relates strongly to what I have been working on in comments about different philosophies and purposes of internet commenting. And goes a long way (but not all the way) toward getting a better comprehension of much of the internet material that has played so large a role in the Catholic Abuse Matter.

  29. jim robertson says:

    So now your beating up women. What a grand Catholic tradition. The center of the Catholic Church is as gay as gay can be yet they are self hating. They create generationaly their own loathing oppresors (and themselves.) for what, a God of Love? This aint the dark ages.( Probably the Church's favorite time.) Yet there is still a lot of brightening to do. At this site there is always a forelock tugging. A church in retreat yet swiping viciously like a frightened cat as it exits the door of history. As to having any pretense for knowing what is morally valuable, the Catholic Church finally advanced in some areas is hoplessly death gripped when it comes to itself.

  30. josie says:

    JR, your remarksare getting too absurd. I am tempted to offer a comment but  have decided not to waste the energy. 

  31. Julie says:

    Jim, You are generally off the mark in your comments. But I still hope you have a nice day. :)

  32. jim robertson says:

    Thanks Julie you have a great day as well.


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