‘We Need To Stand Up For What’s Right’: Leader of Religious Order Publicly Defends Convicted Philly Priest

Rev. James J. Greenfield : Oblates of St. Francis de Sales

Standing up for justice: Rev. James J. Greenfield of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales

Rev. James J. Greenfield, Provincial of the Wilmington-Philadelphia Province of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, is publicly coming to the defense of his fellow priest, Fr. Charles Engelhardt, one of three men recently convicted in the high-profile Philadelphia clergy abuse trials.

"We cannot just roll over in the face of being falsely accused," Fr. Greenfield says. "That is wrong. We need to stand up for what's right."

Greenfield made his remarks in the latest blog post of journalist Ralph Cipriano, who has bravely exposed the massive fraud and corruption in the prosecution of Catholic clergy in Philadelphia.

Defending the innocent

Historically, as we have reported before, religious superiors have rarely, if ever, publicly voiced support for falsely accused priests. As Catholic scholar Dr. Jeff Mirus once wrote, "The attitude of many bishops seems to have changed from an assumption of innocence to a desire to distance oneself as quickly as possible from anyone who is accused."

So Greenfield's strong words of support are a welcome departure from the usual silence from Church officials in high-profile cases where the guilt of the accused is in grave doubt.

Engelhardt, along with former teacher Bernard Shero, was found guilty back in January of sadistic abuse based entirely on the claims of Dan Gallagher, an admitted drug addict with a lengthy arrest record. Gallagher wildly claimed that he was brutally abused by Engelhardt, Shero, and former priest Edward Avery (all of whom barely knew each other) in the 1998-1999 school year when he was a 10-year-old Philadelphia altar boy.

However, since the end of the trial, a wealth of new evidence (here, here, and here, for example) has been uncovered, which casts grave doubt on the guilt of Engelhardt and the two others.

A family tries to stay strong

Fr. Charles Engelhardt

Fr. Charles Engelhardt

As Cipriano also reports, Fr. Engelhardt's family has continued to try to come to grips with the egregious injustice that has been perpetrated upon the innocent priest.

Family members describe "Uncle Charlie" as "the hero" of their family, having presided over every family communion, confirmation, and graduation, as well as a half dozen weddings.

A niece adds, "He was central to our family. Every one of us went to college and graduated because that's what he did."

The entire episode has taken a terrible toll on some family members. Engelhardt's 88-year-old mother used to visit her son in jail every Tuesday until a couple months ago when she fell as she was leaving the prison. She later fell again at home, broke her hip, and she is now confined to bed. Family members also believe the whole ordeal has caused the onset of dementia in the mother, who also suffers from Parkinson's disease.

"We think the only thing that keeps her living is she's holding out for the day he's found innocent," another family member believes.

The moment of truth approaches

The family prays that "the day he's found innocent" is Wednesday (June 12). This is the day that Fr. Engelhardt is scheduled to stand in front of Judge Ellen Ceisler and request that his verdict be overturned.

It will be interesting to see if accuser Dan Gallagher or his civil lawyer appears at the sentencing. Yet we know what Gallagher has been up to in the past few months. While allegedly attending drug rehab in Florida, Gallagher has taken the time to enjoy the sunny beaches of Puerto Rico.

Danny Gallagher : Facebook : Puerto Rico : March 2013

Gallagher: Fun in the sun

Once again, kudos goes to Ralph Cipriano for his bravery and doggedness in following this story. His latest entry is a must-read.


  1. Delphin says:

    While COL Klink and SGT Shultz continue to "wrastle" with the Holy Spirit, vis-´a-vis Publion, EWTN is broadcasting the Pope Pius XII "Under the Roman Sky" film, Wednesday, June 19 at 8pm.

    It is hard work (so foreign to the left) suppressing the Truth, isnt it, boys?

  2. jim robertson says:

    Have all the faithful Catholics been driven out of "Rainbowville" in "LoserLand"?

    Doesn't "Rainbowville" sound like a nice place to live? 

    Oh but i forgot about all the feces on the walls and those "rat eyed vermin". Darn!

    [edited by moderator]

  3. Delphin says:

    …..about the revelation of a secret cabal of homosexuals "illicitly operating"  within the Vaticans Roman Curia – no words of wisdom, encouragement, discouragement, critique, shock, awe….anything from the TMR lefty-ists?

    Geez, I would have hoped we'd have at least some recognition, if not discussion and debate, on the possibility (likelihood) of the "cabals" activities being the root cause of the minor (both the verb and the noun) abuse problem in our Church. This is it boys, your big finale- you have your "corporate heirarchs"  in your cross-hairs….fire!

    Guess not- it would, after all, culminate in being a philosophical/ideaological circular firing squad.

    • jim robertson says:

      Where did Jesus say any thing abought fighting and killing? Maybe you're not the Christians you pretend to be.

      Death death death that's delpinium all death all the time..

  4. jim robertson says:

    The following proves once again how SNAP provides the Church's only "victories" in this scandal.http://tech.mit.edu/V133/N28/shorts1.html

  5. jim robertson says:

    Every time I tell the truth you call it an Alinskyism. I will infer then all your Catholic "truths" are  Alinskyisms and will address them as such.

  6. Publion says:

    Another aspect of this asking-questions bit, that sheds more light, I think, on what we have been seeing here:


    In revolutionary praxis, the objective is not to discuss or deliberate or to think-through, but rather simply to manipulate the responses of your hearers (if they are non-Party and non-cadre) or to whip up the troops (if they are Party-members and fellow/sister cadres in the Cause).


    Thus in the revolutionary paradigm ‘questions’ are used only in the most basic rhetorical sense. That is to say, when you use the grammatical format of a question you aren’t actually looking to open up discussion at all. Rather, you are looking to some other purpose (manipulation or reinforcement).


    And among the sub-sets of manipulation is ‘attack’: thus if you use the grammatical form of a question, it is actually only the lead-in to an attack.


    I think this might shed light on the curious responses we have seen here to simply-put questions: for Abuseniks (steeped in revolutionary dogma and praxis whether the individual practitioners realize it or not) if there is a question, then there is an attack. We saw this recently in an Ecker comment that began with a question and was grammatically put as a question, but that clearly was not seeking further information or seeking to advance deliberation and understanding, but rather actually was meant to provide the set-up for the actual attack (that did indeed follow up shortly thereafter). The ‘question’ in this context actually is like sliding the thin of the wedge against the door to jimmy it open (so you have a bit more room to swing your axe or bat).


    So while I have been posing questions in the pursuit of further elucidation and comprehension – as is the purpose of the question in philosophical and scientific exchange, the questions are perceived by those questioned as ‘attacks’ or as merely harbingers of attacks that are sure to come.


    And as a corollary, the genuine ‘question’ is actually perceived as a ‘threat’ – to the dogmatic presumptions that the Party or the Cause intends to hang onto no matter what any deliberation or analysis or assessment leads-to.


    It also doesn’t help, of course, if the positions that are being thus questioned are quite possibly greatly deficient to begin with. Thus Lenin’s insistence that any genuine questioning be avoided and that questions merely be of the manipulative-rhetorical-attack kind and in the service of the Cause. In the revolutionary paradigm those are ‘good’ questions; the other kind – looking to shed light and assess – are the ‘bad’ kind, as are the persons who have the counterrevolutionary gall to pose them.


    Thus the type of responses we have seen here. And things would only get worse if this Revolutionary Paradigm had replaced classical and genuine philosophical and scientific method in elite universities.


    And JR, we are now advised, has been asked to do the “proofing” (“speachless”, “believably increadable” … ?) of what will actually not be so much of a book as – apparently – a listing of what Catholic saints are associated with this or that profession or activity or concern. That makes a little more sense in one way, but even less sense in another.


    Also, I believe that there are also such lists already available (enter something like ‘list of Catholic patron saints and their meanings’ into your search engine and you get numerous responses). And would a publisher not have done the homework and realized that? Unless there is more to the book than that or there is no actual publisher (who usually have their own in-house proof-readers anyway).


    Or perhaps this will be a ‘book’ of such saints/patrons with some zesty if ketchup-splotched one-liner sum-ups of the various saints’ sleazy imbecilities and that sort of thing.


    Perhaps this will help somebody from investing a lot of time and effort for no useful purpose.

    • jim robertson says:

      I understand your point Dennis. Do what I do don't read him. He never gets any better or brighter.

      Delpinium is the real face of conservative Catholicism. Pub's the clerical face.

      And now Julie's rolling with the "vermin" crap. Catholicism speaks: I'm vermin.

  7. LearnedCounsel says:

    "Would LC care to offer dispositive Scientific proof that humans are not made in the Image of God? I’m sure many here would like to see that. (References required in support.)" – publicly Publion

    What you ask me to do cannot be done. Error in reasoning alert

    Publicly Publion has simply made what is called an appeal to ignorance, argumentum ad ignorantiam. This is the fallacy that a proposition is true simply on the basis that it has not been proved false or that it is false simply because it has not been proved true. If one argues that god or telepathy or ghosts or UFO's do not exist because their existence has not been proved beyond a shadow of doubt, then this fallacy occurs. On the other hand, if one argues that god or telepathy .  .  . do exist because their non-existence has not been proved, then one argues fallaciously as well.

    So, I could return the question to publicly Publion in this form: Would publicly Publion care to offer any proof that does not rely on the bible that humans are made in the "Image of God?" But then, I would be making the same mistake that he made.

    Where do we get this idea that we are created in the image of god? The bible. That is it. I added the qualifier about the bible to the question above simply because I wanted to transition down here and make the point that I do not believe the bible to be the word of god or the inspired word of god. And if the bible is neither of these things, then it is not reliable proof per se of anything. (I am assuming that catholics do not hold that the bible is just an excellent, accurate historical document.) Things in the bible could be true but in order to prove that truth, you would have to produce good extra-biblical evidence.

    If the bible is just a quasi-historical fiction book, with some true bits in it, then anything drawn from it must at least carry with it the disclaimer, "based on a true story." This is to say that I would not accept the assertion that because it (whatever it is) is in the bible and the bible says it is true, then it is true. Referring to the bible should be only as good as referring to Hogan's Heroes. The Hogan TV show is based on some real history and some facts or truths could be teased from it .  .  . but it is mostly just a made-up story written by some clever men. Just like the bible. (maybe women too, but given the era for writing Hogan and for writing the bible, I'll guess the writers were all men.)

    In the book Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, Carl Sagan talks about what can be proved and the burden of proof. Sagan said, "Some claims are hard to test – for example, if an expedition fails to find the ghost or the brontosaurus, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Others are easier – for example, flatworm cannibalistic learning or the announcement that colonies of bacteria subjected to an antibiotic in an agar dish thrive when their prosperity is prayed for (compared to control bacteria unredeemed by prayer). A few -for example, perpetual motion machines – can be excluded on grounds of fundamental physics. Except for them, it's not that we know before examining the evidence that the notions are false; stranger things are routinely incorporated into the corpus of science. The question, as always, is how good is the evidence? The burden of proof surely rests on the shoulders of those who advance such claims." (pages 210-211)

    So people are created in the image of god. The bible says so in a few places, including Genesis. Prove that. Prove that what the bible says is true. I do not claim the bible, its truth or its assertion that we are created in the image of god. You claim these things.

    They cannot be proved, just as god's existence cannot be proved or disproved. Russell's Teapot and Dawkin's Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) also cannot be proved to exist or not to exist. Remeber that the FSM boiled for you that you might have eternal pasta-life. The burden of proof is on you.

    Sort of an aside but in the same book and on the subject of proof, Sagan talks about Lourdes, France and the healing of the catholic faithful. And if you can believe this, then you can believe anything.

    "In 1858, an apparition of the Virgin Mary was reported in Lourdes, France; the Mother of God confirmed the dogma of her immaculate conception which had been proclaimed by Pope Pius IX just four years earlier. Something like a hundred million people have come to Lourdes since then in the hope of being cured, many with illnesses that the medicine of the time was helpless to defeat. The Roman Catholic Church rejected the authenticity of large numbers of claimed miraculous cures, accepting only sixty-five in nearly a century and a half (of tumors, tuberculosis, opthalmitis, impetigo, bronchitis, paralysis and other diseases, but not, say, the regeneration of a limb or a severed spinal cord). Of the sixty-five, women outnumber men ten to one. The odds of a miraculous cure at Lourdes, then, are about one in a million; you are roughly as likely to recover after visiting Lourdes as you are to win the lottery, or to die in the crash of a randomly selected regularly scheduled airplane flight – including the one taking you to Lourdes.

    The spontaneous remission rate of all cancers, lumped together, is estimated to be something between one in ten thousand and one in a hundred thousand. If no more than five per cent of those who come to Lourdes were there to treat their cancers, there should have been something between fifty and 500 'miraculous' cures of cancer alone. Since only three of the attested sixty-five cures are of cancer, the rate of spontaneous remission at Lourdes seems to be lower than if the victims had just stayed at home. Of course, if you're one of the sixty-five, it's going to be very hard to convince you that your trip to Lourdes wasn't the cause of the remission of your disease . . . Post hoc, ergo propter hoc." (pages 220-221) 

  8. dennis ecker says:


    My friend I say this with only respect. Please stop feeding Publion. Like a creature he will continue to come back for more to be fed.

    I am interested in reading what YOU have to say. You speak with fact and experience.

    I respect everyones input but there has to come a point when he is over. He is putting me sleep before I get to comments with meaning like yours.

    • jim robertson says:

      Dennis, Cardinal George, P, was here posting his well spelled nonsense long before I showed up. He will never give up. It's the one quality we both share.

      And Learned, Why God would need to have genitalia is very odd to me?

      And since all humans, both male and female are " made in HIS image and likeness" my child like confusion only deepens.

  9. Delphin says:

    Justice prevails. It's been a two-thousand year fight for Catholics, but, with God's help, we're up to it.


  10. stateofgrace says:

    I am thankful that my parish priests "opened my eyes" to a deeper faith.  Before returning

    to the church I would put faith in people, institutions and yes…even news stations.

    It took me a long time to recognize that the focus must be on Jesus, not a person or

    place.   I am lucky to have had wonderful, professional priests in multiple parishes.

    Any man who is willing to work strengthening the soul of our nation is a hero to me.

    For what most priests have had to endure, we (the laity) should be working to improve our

    own faith in action versus discussing their behavior.  The only regret I have is that I could

    not purchase an entire media conglomerate to protect them.  I have had the unfortunate

    experience of meeting an individual many years ago who was a mean person who put me

    though a horrendous experience.  If anyone deserved to be heckled when they go out in

    public, it should have been that person, not innocent priests.  Who ever said life is fair?


  11. Delphin says:

    Ummm, Ecker-guy, creature implies a creator,  and creation. Oopsy!

    Imagine wanting to skip over Publion's posts to want " .to get to JR's.." ?

    Why- are you "spell-check"?




  12. Publion says:

    Well, in the interests of collecting more notes for the Notebook on the Playbook, here we go.


    JR at 1229PM presumes that he is telling “truth” and thus quickly clears his own path to putting on the baffled/outraged/ finally-fed-up victim wig. That must console him.


    But Alinsky-type material refers more to method than to content – which apparently has escaped his notice or wasn’t included in the cache of knowledge he has so much more of than … and so on. There is a reason why the usual references one encounters are to Alinsky’s Method, because that’s what his book was about. Surely JR recalls the book, especially now that he’s got something of a career in the book trade, somehow.


    And this also clears JR’s path to justify what he does rather a lot of: calling-names and considering that a good day’s work. And he will now “infer” (my my) that “all Catholic ‘truths’ are Alinskyisms” and he “will address them [my my , again] as such”. Words are just play-blocks to some people, to be assembled or knocked-over in whatever pretty patterns captures the whimsy of the block-player at the moment. That they convey concepts … this appears not to occur to such mentalities at all.


    Then at 317PM commenter Ecker engages in one of those stagey just-entre-nous type of comments that you see so often on certain sites: we two marvelous victims must talk privately here (because they might be listening). The stage having been set, the script then begins: Ecker will assume the long-suffering, wise, and caring elder who simply must impart to the equally marvelous but outspoken firebrand JR …


    But here the script starts hitting an odd key: Not to encourage JR to continue his outspoken, bold, forthright, and marvelous truthiness (such as it may seem to Ecker) but rather to shut up and stop “feeding” me (because I am merely a hungry “creature” – charming).


    JR is lucky to have such a caring and wise admirer. Lenin would have had JR shot for so vividly giving the game away to those who do not participate in the marvelous Cause and its secret ‘truths’.  (Although I doubt Lenin would have taken any brighter a view of Ecker’s own material – such are the travails of the working cadre in any glorious revolutionary Cause.)


    And poor Ecker is also victimized by being “put to sleep” by my material. Yes, words and concepts and thoughts will have that effect on certain types. That’s a rather basic if perhaps unfortunate human reality about which I can do little.


    And with those thoughts, I will leave that little luncheon engagement to go on as it may.


    Now we come to Learned Counsel, from 248PM.


    First, may I note that in lieu of serious thought we are first treated to the fruits of LC’s most recent sustained cogitations: I am now re-named “Publicly Publion”. Nice trinket but it takes real money to make the juke-box work.


    LC has enough chops after all – at least enough to know that one cannot prove a negative. He didn’t actually explain that, but at least we got the correct tag – “error in reasoning”. However I had precisely asked the question to lead LC to the fact that his position cannot dispositively be proven. I don’t know if he has actually realized that much of the reality, but at least he knows enough to be able to recognize an error in reasoning, which applies to his own general position that Catholic – if not all religious belief – is some form of unproven and un-provable phantasmagoria.


    I would only have been responsible for making an “appeal to ignorance” if I had claimed and asserted that the Metaphysical can be proven scientifically or by the very absence of evidence. Which I have never done (quotes if that point is disputed, please – and accurate quotes). I also rather clearly call mentioning the Aquinian position – wherein Reason is aided by Revelation. But claiming that God is scientifically provable and/or proven? Nope. I never said it.


    Then – nicely if not also a bit too slyly – LC tries to head for the high-ground and pose a question to me about “offering any proof that does not rely on the Bible that humans are made in the ‘Image of God’”. But I haven’t been making the claim that such a Reality can be proven by Science or Philosophy. Precisely the opposite, in point of fact.


    What I have been doing is to take the philosophical position LC had put forward and asking questions that pertain to a) its internal coherence and b) its ability to explain such human realities as ‘morality’ and ‘conscience’ and c) the ability of his purely philosophical position to i) actually ground moral principles and sustained moral actions while also ii) grounding the authority to reliably prevent immoral actions.


    Still waiting for those questions to be answered.


    Thus, all along here I have not been trying to make the purely philosophical case for the Metaphysical. Rather, I have been pointing out that LC’s presumptive dismissal of the Metaphysical and his assertion that  (his idea of) the purely philosophical can sufficiently sustain morality does not (and perhaps cannot) lead to a sufficient grounding for morality or an explanation of conscience, among other things.


    I have not been trying to philosophically prove the Metaphysical here; I have been asking questions that elucidate the problem of trying to ground morality in the purely Physical or the purely non-Metaphysical, which is LC’s asserted position.


    The ball remains in his court. He made the initial assertion and I am merely asking questions specifically designed to test that assertion.


    LC doesn’t believe the Bible is “the word of God”. That’s a global and comprehensive assertion so we can infer that it means that he does not believe that the Bible is “the word of God” in any way whatsoever. Fine. I’m not going to try to philosophically prove that the Bible is the word of God – it’s not at its core a philosophical issue. And I haven’t tried to prove philosophically that the Bible is the word of God.


    I’ve been asking LC to explain certain problems with his assertion that morality can be reliably and comprehensively sustained and imposed without some sort of Beyond or some sort of Metaphysical, which rationally is going to work out to some sort of God (although not necessarily – for the purposes of the purely philosophical – the Biblical and Judeo-Christian God). Still waiting for the answers and explanations.


    But then LC tries – somehow – to equate the Bible and Hogan’s Heroes: one is as good as the other as a source of ‘truth’, since neither is guaranteed by anything philosophically demonstrable to be inherently and absolutely true unless supported by external evidence. And here he exemplifies rather nicely the ‘Modern’ problem: once Faith goes, there’s really nothing left that can reliably ground and sustain or even Shape a coherent world-view or Stance toward the world; in the ‘Modern’ (don’t let’s even start on the Post-modern) universe, you might as well look to Hogan’s Heroes as to the Bible because really they are both equally and essentially works of merely human imagination.


    Thus the problem of Meaning in the ‘Modern’ universe: we become hens scratching around for shiny bits in the dirt of the barnyard.


    The ‘Modern’ Problem is what it is and it’s not going to be solved here – but it is a real Problem. (Again, Dostoevsky and even Nietzsche saw that clearly more than a century ago.)


    “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” – how very true. Did it not occur to LC that Sagan’s embrace of this maxim works as well in the service of the Metaphysical as against it? In fact, it rather leans toward the Metaphysical, does it not?


    And Metaphysical “claims” are precisely not within the competence or jurisdiction of Science to deal-with, since Science has to deal with Physical and Material evidence. (But as I recently noted here, Scientism tries to bridge that profound gap by trying to make claims about the Metaphysical (mostly to the effect that the Metaphysical doesn’t exist) on the basis of results gleaned from the aforesaid purely Physical and Material.


    And bypassing what has thus now suddenly become all the irrelevant material from the remaining Sagan quote, I say again that the issue here is LC’s assertion that you don’t need any Metaphysical or Beyond to ground and sustain and impose morality and we still aren’t getting any answers to the questions I have posed.


    I have continually pointed out that humans are made in the Image of God in the Catholic Vision of life. LC can reject that Vision if he wishes – nobody’s stopping him and I certainly haven’t tried to in my material here.


    I have simply been getting at the fact that there seem to be very very substantive problems with the claim, asserted by LC, that one can sufficiently ground morality without recourse to some form of the  Metaphysical (which, not to dodge the point, will eventually lead to some form of God when you pursue the process of thought to a conclusion). It’s now on LC – as I have been trying to work-toward with my questions – to demonstrate that his purely non-Metaphysical approach is sufficient to the task he claims for it. Still waiting for those responses.


    Thus too then, the burden is precisely not on me here, especially in regard to the Flying Spaghetti Monster or “eternal pasta-life”. Which demonstrates that Dawkins is also mired well over his hubcaps in the Modern Problem I discussed above; although rather than scratching for chicken-friendly bits, he is envisioning pasta – much yummier to the human palate. It’s an improvement, but about as much as getting the 800 gpm pump on Titanic to work to replace the 250 gpm pump: a genuine bit of progress but under the circumstances …


    And again, Dawkins is addressing the impossibility of proving the Metaphysical through the Physical and the Material. Which – I agree and have never denied and have never asserted otherwise  – cannot be done (see above). But I also point out that Dawkins’s concern is not germane to what the issue is here, which is that issue about which I have been posing questions. Still waiting for responses there.


    Having not-gotten us this far, LC then indulges in “sort of an aside”. Sagan discusses Lourdes and LC offers merely the epithetical sarcasm that “if you can believe this, then you can believe anything”. (I have to ask here: does LC believe that SNAP is purely a creature and tool of the Roman Catholic Church … ?)


    First, as Sagan (and LC) notes: the Church rejected a number of claimed miracles at Lourdes. What isn’t said here is that the Church set up a rather imposing array of competent medical and scientific reviewers who followed some cases from before-exposure to post-exposure (to the waters) and those reviewers used the best scientific methods and equipment of the day (which over time would have come to include X-Rays and further developments).


    Still, in 150 years or so (as of Sagan’s writing) only 65 cases have been certified as miraculous healings (I am not personally certain of Sagan’s numbers here; I accept them here for the purposes of the discussion). Clearly the Church is not pushing a P.T. Barnum operation here in that regard.


    I am not sure whether Sagan is accurate that the cures have only been medical. Quite a few decades ago I came across a book on this very subject and it included before-and-after X-Rays of a leg whose bone change (before and after) was clear and beyond any scientific explanation – I have retained a very clear recollection of that moment with that book, but since I cannot recall the title I do not assert it as something others must accept on my word. But I retain a very clear recollection, as I said.


    However, Sagan’s handling of the material he has is what is most notable here. He simply reduces the Lourdes cures to a matter of the odds. For Sagan here, since the odds of a substantial and clearly demonstrable physical miracle are so miniscule then … what? By comparing spontaneous remission rates of various internal medical diseases he seems to be of the opinion that most if not all of the medical cures are attributable to the normal operations of remission. In fact, in a rather curiously specific add-on, Sagan goes further and says that (if you work the statistics in a certain way) your chances of a ‘cure’ at Lourdes for your cancer are actually less than if you had saved the time, money, and effort and stayed at home rather than making the trip to Lourdes.


    I don’t think that his calculations (apparently limited to cancer) are sufficient for the reality of what can happen at Lourdes. (And as I said, I have a clear recollection that would work against his assertion that all of the cures have been internal-medical or psychological.)


    And I am leery of Sagan’s non-mention (or was that simply the result of the material LC has chosen to include in his comment here?) of the review-procedures put in place by the Church precisely to assess skeptically the claims of miraculous cures. And the results of those procedures.


    But if even one actual miracle took place (and again, what I saw in the X-Rays those decades ago was certainly within those parameters) then Sagan’s assessment finally fails through inadequacy. Something happened and no medical or physical science can explain it.


    The fact that God does not choose to medically or miraculously cure everybody who goes there does not cover all the ground here. Whatever personal spiritual/ emotional/psychological developments are prompted by the Lourdes experience (in which the Holy Spirit would be involved) are not included in Sagan’s thus-limited consideration of the whole phenomenon.


    Further, the fact that God chooses not to medically or miraculously cure each individual who goes to Lourdes is (from the perspective of Faith) perfectly within the acceptable outcome-parameters; miracles are not ‘magic’ that can be unerringly deployed by those who have the power to invoke and manipulate its operations. That this point is inaccessible to those who do not believe in God does not alter the reality or the Reality of the Lourdes phenomenon. (Unless one were trying to prove something to somebody who does not embrace the Faith, which I am not here trying to do.)


    I have not read further on Lourdes in the intervening decades. I can certainly recommend further research to readers so inclined. I would simply suggest that they look for the actual medical and scientific documentation and examine that, and that they do not simply rely on Scientistically-inclined authors who are working that angle in their writing. (In saying this, I am not tarring Sagan completely with that brush.)


    And that concludes LC’s comment. I will conclude my own here by noting that nowhere in it does he respond to my rather clearly-put question as it appeared at the conclusion of my comment of the 13th at 625PM: “Let me even make it easy for him to do so and thus further “progress” here: take my aviation and flight-school analogy and tell us why you don’t agree with it, rationally and coherently”.


    I point out that nothing in LC’s comment of 317PM goes near that proposal. And yet I had pointed out – in response to LC’s own mention of it – that the aviation-analogy contains the vital core of the issue that was, is, and remains the subject of my sustained exchange with him here, the examination of which analogy should start moving things forward rather than roaming all over the shop.


    So, still waiting.

    • dennis ecker says:

      Oh dear lord in heaven. Please get a hobby.

      This trial is over. The guilty have been sentenced. Move on to something that you truly know something about.

  13. Delphin says:

    It's interesting how the lefty-ists whip out the "Jesus Loves" excerpts from the Book they don't believe to try to beat back the barrage of truths they can't disprove.

    It's fun being proselytized on Catholicism by atheists. It has almost as much value as being schooled on the truth by liars or being counselled for a mental health problem by insitutionalized loons (well, being the majority of psychologists [think APA] are certifiably nuts, that one may take on an unusual bent).

    Again, I don't know what the lefty-ists understanding (mostly not) of our religion has to do with the homosexual cabal's abuse of minors.

    Aren't we only committed to ensuring that offending men, everywhere, are stopped?

  14. Publion says:

    At 1129 today JR says “It should be obvious. I am not proof reading the spelling.” This is in regard to that “book” that “a friend” asked him to proof-read.


    JR doesn’t want to know all the things I find “obvious” about his material (although I had asked him specifically here if he wanted to open the floor in that regard; still waiting for an answer).


    But – prescinding from the matter of professional publishers having their own in-house proof-readers – then what will JR thus be proof-reading? Or – can it be? – that he has been engaged to do fact-checking? In which case the very least to be said here is that publishers also employ their own fact-checkers.


    Or perhaps – just as two-years translates into a “career” – then somebody in your circle of acquaintance asking you to take-a-look-at some material constitutes “proof-reading”.


    As a general point, imagine what could be done in this universe of discourse with the concept of “abuse”.

  15. jim robertson says:

    And since when did asking questions become a Communist plot? I thought it was a Socratic plot.

  16. jim robertson says:

    Oh I forgot I've had 12 years of Catholic schooling. Always getting the best grades in History and Religion and English as offered by the Church, (spelling not good granted).

    But I never heard anything about questions being a commie plot.

    Socrates liked to ask questions.

    All western philosophy seems to stem from his questions and Plato and Aristotle, poofters all.

    Yours must be a newer brand of philosophy. Something Italian, perhaps, in the first parts of the 20th century?

    • jim robertson says:

      And speaking about us poofters How about that Michelangelo and Raphael, and Da Vinci (though he was a child molestor and went to trial for it) How much Catholic art would you not have if not for us?

  17. jim robertson says:

    P.S. Headline: "SNAP Hands Church Another Victory." Headline: SNAP Hands Church, Church's Only Victories Headline, Pope Innocent Of Crimes Against Humanity.

    I hope you all send SNAP a huge bouquet of flowers.

  18. Delphin says:

    Oh good grief, is this going to turn into a "stop attacking the poor homosexuals, we're worthy" plea?

    I could not (would not wish to) imagine a world without homosexuals, and the beauty and myriad of incredible contributions they've brought to our sometimes too-bland world. Who is bashing homosexuals, or their gifts and talents? God gave us all sorts of special [unique] people (special as in relatively rare, not inferior). Who would ever question God's work, His wisdom?

    We trash the DEVIANT homosexuals that prey on minors. We don't PROFILE whole groups of people,  as do the Catholic bashers when profiling our priests, and our faithful, and our faith.

    • jim robertson says:

      I smell professional. What ever I say is wrong. Got it.( So Jim don't say anything).

      Ah screw that!

      Was it someone else talking badly about gay priests? No it was you.

      Oh my mistake it was the DEVIANT homosexuals not the guys like me. I see my error.

      Don't you all think that's what she really meant when she talked about gay cabals?

      You know I never heard the word deviant and homosexuals used together quite that way before.

      Again my mistake.

      When you mocked me being gay week in and week out, right in this very thread even. I got it wrong.

      Wasn't I the guy from Rainbowville? The Loser from Loserland?

      Just like your use of the word abreviation: mo'. As in "Mo' taxes please" Mo' as in Mo' better  Blues. has nothing to do with black folks when you speak of welfare.

      . Are you multiple personalitied?

      Where did Mz" kill all the lefties" go?

      Or is someone attempting to straighten her gown for the audience..?


      I see now I got it wrong.

  19. jim robertson says:

    And wasn't I called vermin? You probably meant ermine or something. Again mea culpa, baby.

  20. Delphin says:

    My posts stand; for which honest reception and interpretation is open to all, per their own honest perceptions, and unfortunate biases. Your interpretations of my posts are both clear distortions, and outright lies.

    This is the failed ruse of the left – to redefine the opponents words and content, via distortions and lies, and then criticize them as bigoted. It is the same one-sided dialogue of distortions between Publion and his critics playing out before all our eyes. We CAN read and comprehend (and spell) words and concepts, we don't require the lefts-ists "special interpretations".

    Lefties project their historically deep-rooted hatred and biases on the right, and then criticize them for their own sins. One example: the Dems, who are the party of American slavery, still attempt to smear that inhumanity on to the Repubs. This historical record can not be revised.

    The left practices the most extreme, vicious and demonizing profiling when it comes to whites, conservatives, Christian, heterosexuals and capitalists, but, manage with some success and with full complicity by the MSM, to piant that broad-brush of hate and bigotry onto the right.

    Your strategy is nothing new. My posts speak for themselves, they have no need of your hateful and bigoted reinterpretation.



    • jim robertson says:

      Well It's just that such a huge percentage of, white; cconservative; Christian; heterosexual, capitalists are thieves. They've stolen the government from the people for one.

      And don't get me wrong starting with Clinton we've had nothing but conservative democrats, in Republican drag in power. (when they get to be in power, Gore and Kerry were robbed.)

      Darlin! I thought you said I was vermin?  Wasn't it you who mentioned "glory holes"?

      The audience here knows what you've said. It's all there, easy to read.

  21. dennis ecker says:

    OH NO, Jim your gay ? Now that changes the way I should think about you.

    Oh wait, does it not say that ALL men are created in the image of God. Is there a disclaimer somewhere that says unless your gay.

    No fuss Jim, I have read from people here who have been created from a jawbone of an ass.

  22. Ed says:

    Danny Gallagher got away with murder here.

  23. Delphin says:

    Let's revisit the facts, and some truths: You want to shove your sinful lifestyle in everyones face (your "gayness" in only mildly tangential to the topic, you decided to "USE" it to defend your defenseless biases, and as a weapon to bash Catholics), on a site dedicated for faithful Catholics to analyze the media bias against the Catholic religion; don't be shocked when you are criticized for the diseases and deviant behavior that define your lifestyle.

    If a heterosexual that was engaged in a sinful lifestyle of debauchery were to display and defend his adultrous and abherrant behaviors, he would hear the same criticisms from any faithful Catholic; it is our obligation to advise the sinner to cease the sinful act. It is only God's domain to judge, and forgive.

    The deviancy that infects the homosexual community that glorifies pedophilia and pederasty, going back thousands of years, will always be called out by Catholics for what it it – a mortal sin. You want to brag about your lifestyle, while criticizing faithful Catholics, be prepared to take your medicine. It is your culture that glorifies pedopilia, pederasty, and "glory holes", not ours. Witness any "Gay Pride" parade and you will be inundated by debauchery and abherrent behavior on full "proud" display- in addition to the disgusting Catholic-bashing. Your community defines itself in this way. Don't complain when you are reminded of it.

    Now, regarding good homosexuals, whom I have referenced in several posts- those whom contribute to society without an entitlement mentality, and manage to keep their personal lives (whatever they may be), personal. Since sex should only occur within a marriage between a man and a woman, all other sex is sinful. Celibacy is what is required for single (unmarried) males and females of either/any sexual identity. There is no difference in my treatment of adultrous sin, whether it is from heteros or homos – it is sin.

    The abuse scandal that has expressed itself in my Church is as a result of deviant homosexuals, not celibates, not heterosexuals. And, therein lies the problem – it is all because of the sins of your community. Those weren't "practicing priests", those were "practicing homosexuals" committing those crimes.  If they were faithful Catholic priests, rather than practicing deviant homosexuals, there would be no Church scandal, and there would be 90% less minor abuse in the Church, and worldwide.

    So, now that you have your erroneous interpretation of my position all straightened out for you, once again, I am positive your only response will be how to distort every word, sentence, concept and principle to fit your biased perceptions of all faithful Catholics.

    I am wondering, though, have you actually ever captured your own tail?

    PS. Probably wouldn't stick with the "can you read" thingie too long,- you know, given your propensity for extensive spelling and grammatical errors.

    PPS. Ecker mentioned something about an "ass" – you boys should run along now, looks like your party is about to begin.

    • jim robertson says:

      Now there's the old Delphi we've come to know and love. Welcome back baby.

      You truely are Christ's love made manifest. ( and you wonder why I criticize a religion that produces such an example of it's goodness).

    • jim robertson says:

      LOL! So it's the numbers of partners that bothers you? Since we are talking, how many people have you slept with? That's right it is absolutely none of my business.  Get the point? Is there any part of truth you can handle with out demonizing it?

      I saw a show, a documentary recently where  studies have found that political opposites as we are, that our brains function differently. That our opposition may be a natural outcome of the evolutionary, a biological process. A way through opposition, to change; to evolve. Maybe.

      So how do we overcome the divide between us and live at peace with each other? 

      To me it's obvious, tell the truth, as much of it as you know and respect the other sides telling you as much of the truth as they know.

      [edited by moderator]

  24. Publion says:

    I saw the word “professional” in the JR post of this morning at 1239AM. The entire relevant bit is “I smell professional. What ever I say is wrong. Got it.( So Jim don't say anything).”


    Since JR has not confirmed opening up the discussion for matters-psychological, I am not going to go that route here.


    But for readers willing to reflect upon the above quotation, I think it becomes clear why something needs to be said for the (or any) “professional” – since the image one gets from the quotation is that the proper role of the professional comprises merely the quashing of things that the professional doesn’t want to hear and/or that the professional doesn’t think the person who has come to the professional should be saying.


    Such an impression would be seriously deficient and insufficient (although it requires little imagination to see how some sorts of persons might evoke such responses).


    The role of the genuine and competent professional … ummm … service-provider in this instance would be something like this: i) start where the … ummm … person-who-has-come-to-the-office is, then ii) try over the course of time to help that person-who-has-come-to-the-office gain some self-insight, which ideally would lead to iii) that the person-who-has-come-to-the-office is able to a) gain further insight into such derangements as might be operating and then b) gain increased capacity to self-monitor both interior process and exterior expression and c) enhance genuine self-growth and life-competence.


    Alas, though, things do not always work out so well. Some persons-who-come-to-the-office don’t demonstrate the willingness and/or capacity to move through those stages, and choose instead to adopt the more congenial (and evocatively adolescent or childish) approach that the professional is merely trying to tell the person-who-comes-to-the-office what to think and is also urging that in the absence of any improvement along those lines the person-who-comes-to-the-office would really be better off just keeping one’s thoughts to oneself.


    As you might imagine, all of this situation becomes even more complicated if the ‘person’ doesn’t actually ‘come to the office’ but is ‘sent’ to the office by competent civil authority or relatives or some such.


    And – in an interesting example of the ‘Modern Problem’ (and the Post-Modern Problem) that I have recently been discussing in other comments here – the entire situation for this type of professional is rendered even more difficult if contemporary intellectual trends do not allow for conceiving of any such ‘person-at-the-office’ as somehow deranged or unbalanced (because it would be oppressive or insensitive or hegemonic or patriarchal or elitist or take your pick).


    And further that the professional instead must treat the ‘person’ as simply in need of some advice and authoritative support and encouragement on how to ‘be’ him/herself. (Which – as an aside, if I may – is a goal not at all the same as aiming to ‘be all you can be’.)


    Lastly, it becomes clear that some persons-at-the-office (however they got there) are simply not going to respond well and instead will essentially present the professional with the stark alternative: tell me I’m normal and everybody else isn’t or I’m going to decide that you’re just one of them and are against me too and you can go fly a kite.


    A … ummmm … professional’s job “is not an ‘appy one” as Gilbert & Sullivan would say.


    When I say this, I am envisioning here a competent and genuinely well-trained professional and not one of the pandemonium of lesser types who in the past few decades have been permitted to take such root as they can in the field.


    Although – the complexities here being what they are – it is also quite possible that the ‘person-at-the-office’ will, if one of those unhappy types I noted above, simply claim that it is the professional who is deranged or incompetent, firing such Parthian shots as s/he goes out the door into such future as awaits him/her.


    On another topic, I have come across a new book on possible future tasks for the Church, entitled Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-century Church by George Weigel. I haven’t read it all yet, but the gist is that the Church hierarchy must certainly adopt for itself a Stance far different from the Stance taken by hierarchs in the past. I don’t know if I will agree with all of Weigel in this book yet, but he is well-respected and reliably serious and thoughtful in his material.


    Where he seems to be going would mesh with my own thoughts as to a) how the American hierarchy unfortunately faced the challenges of post-1965 American society rather like the military brass faced the strategic challenges of Vietnam (i.e. not adapting to the circumstances, so vastly different from what the leaders had known in their own formative era decades before) and b) that future hierarchs must be – in my terms – commanders of the legions rather than of the parade-and-garrison City Cohorts. More on this when I finish the book.


    Lastly, recent discussions in comments have moved me to do some exploring into the Lourdes reality. As I had said, my first and last efforts were way-back (1968, if memory serves) and whatever notes I took then are now so deeply hidden in the basement that prudence would dictate a fresh look instead. But I would urge readers not to remain in the attitude that I had in ’68 before coming across that book I had mentioned: that Lourdes was utterly and simply a psycho-emotional phenomenon better explained by sociology-of-groups and perhaps psychology (mass or individual). Something very much else is happening there and encountering that would provide a thought-provoking entrée into not simply the reality but the Reality of the Church and of the God she serves.

  25. Delphin says:

    Oh no, you don't critcize our religion, you've lied dozens of times in past posts and specifically said that you don't care about or criticize our religion, it's there in black and white, forever in cyberspace. Your only intent is to get justice for your "abuse victims" of the Church, don't you remember?

    Again, being lectured on good, moral, Godly behavior, and having to endure misquotes of words, content, context and intent (holy scripture and tradition) by Jesus, from a communist atheist is "cute", but totally useless. I won't tell you how to lead a completely hedonistic, selfish, morally and spritually corrupt and bereft practicing homosexual life, and you should not advise me how to live a Godly life. So, you now understand if I didnt heed your words of wisdom, I am sure.

    Your PC will never oppress my free speech (that's the special "speech" with two "e's' and no "a"). I will criticize and take as many "pot shots" at your lifestyle to make my point, as I see fit. I have never been, and will never be affected by the lefty "mob mentality" that dictates how to debate, argue, or fight. And, I am far more inclined to the latter (in case you haven't noticed), and will leave the judgement of that behavior to God (again, not the oppressive PC police of your ideaology).

    Recall- it is Christian theology/philosophy that informs us of our human failings and imperfections- all of us. It is atheist and communist theology/philosphy that [incorrectly] advises its adherents that humans are already perfect, they just need to redistribute their just rewards from the "imperfect",  in the names of "equality and fairness",  to the "perfect".


  26. TheMediaReport.com says:

    Comments are closed.

    Thank you.


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