Trump

San Diego Bishop Tells Catholics to ‘All Become Disrupters’

Deal W. Hudson
February 20, 2017

Both the Catholic bishops of the United States and the Vatican have now virtually endorsed the strategy of “disruption” being used across the nation to oppose the new administration of President Trump. Held in Modesto, California, the U.S. Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements (WMPM), was sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Vatican’s Department of Integral Human Development to address issues of “land, labor, and lodging,” as well as racism and immigration.

The 700 attendees applauded and cheered as Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego told them, “President Trump was the candidate of disruption. . . . Well now, we must all become disrupters.” Bishop McElroy, along with Chicago Archbishop Cardinal Blaise Cupich, has emerged as a leading voice among “social justice” Catholics determined to rally the Catholic Church to reject President Trump’s leadership and policy agenda.

Bishop McElroy specifically cited the deportation of the illegal immigrants, the “undocumented,” the plan to dismantle Obamacare, and “those who train us to see Muslim men and women and children as sources of fear rather than as children of God.” McElroy decried the use of “alternate facts” and the “industries [that] have arisen to shape public opinion in destructively isolated and dishonest patterns.” Finally, the bishop urged attendees to, “Let all the world know that this economy kills.”

The message delivered by the Bishop of San Diego would not be so notable were it not for the context and its sponsorship. Vatican sponsorship came from the newly-created Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (IHD), headed by Cardinal Peter Turkson, one of the closest advisors to Pope Francis. Cardinal Turkson was the primary author of the papal encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si. It was Turkson who delivered the keynote address in Modesto. Under Turkson’s leadership similar conferences of “Popular Movements” have been held in the Vatican and other regions around the world.

Not only was the Modesto Conference co-sponsored by the Vatican and the USCCB but also by groups such as the PICO National Network. The PICO logo is displayed on the conference website alongside that of the Vatican, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, and Terra Domus Labor. In addition to PICO — People Improving Communities through Organizing Service Employees International Union — the organizing committee included representatives from the Gamaliel Foundation. It has been widely reported and documented that both PICO and Gamaliel are recipients of funding from George Soros through his Open Society Foundation. PICO took Soros funding specifically aimed at controlling the media coverage of the visit of Pope Francis to the U.S. in April 2015.

Given Bishop McElroy’s message, the context, and the sponsorship, two questions must be posed to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and to each Bishop individually: Do you support Bishop McElroy’s message of “let us disrupt and rebuild”? Are you content with participating in events, protests, and “disruptions,” that are supported with funding from George Soros, whose Open Society Foundation is directly opposed to the Church’s teaching on abortion, contraception, and marriage?

With President Trump already well on his way to keeping all of his pro-life promises, it’s shocking that the Catholic bishops would align themselves with such of strategy of disruption and with allies sworn to oppose the core of the Church’s moral teaching. Lay Catholics, and many clergy, across the nation are not merely shocked, but disheartened and beginning to wonder if a formal schism is in the making.

The USCCB should, in my opinion, issue a press release distancing itself from the remarks of Bishop McElroy to make sure Catholics know he was expressing his individual opinion and not that of the bishops collectively. At the same time, the USCCB should reconsider its partnership with groups like PICO and Gamaliel for the simple reason that they do not share the moral vision of the Catholic Church on basic human rights and duties, and the connection to George Soros has become a highly visible scandal.

Dr. Deal W. Hudson took over Crisis Magazine in 1995, leaving in 2010 to become president of Catholic Advocate. While at Crisis, Hudson led the Catholic voter outreach for President George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, and later advised the campaigns of both John McCain and Donald Trump on Catholic outreach. In 2014, he began his weekly two-hour radio show, “Church and Culture,” on the Ave Maria Radio Network, and launched http://www.thechristianreview.com in 2015. His books include “Happiness and the Limits of Satisfaction” and “Onward Christian Soldiers: The Growing Political Power of Catholics and Evangelicals in the United States.” To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

Read Newsmax: San Diego Bishop Tells Catholics to ‘All Become Disrupters’ | Newsmax.com
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Trump Rejects Portrait of Chaotic White House in Attack on Media

Deal W. Hudson
February 16, 2017

(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump rejected portrayals of chaos in his administration and claimed “incredible” progress in his first four weeks in office, lashing out at media organizations he said, “will not tell you the truth.”

Trump opened a snap news conference on Thursday with a 25-minute tirade in which he pointed to the stock market’s performance as evidence of his early accomplishments and said news organizations work “for the special interests and for those profiting off a very, very broken system.” The president has faced a slew of reports since the weekend that his administration is reeling over disclosures about Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser Trump dismissed on Monday.

“I’m here today to update the American people on the incredible progress that’s been made the last four weeks since my inauguration,” Trump said. “I see stories of chaos. It’s the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine.”

“There’s zero chaos,” he said later.

He said that a Rasmussen poll found that he had 55 percent approval — Gallup’s most recent tracking poll found he had 40 percent support — and said: “the stock market has hit record numbers, as you know.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 20,584 as of 1:24 p.m. in New York; it had not hit 20,000 before this year.

“To be honest I inherited a mess,” Trump said. “It’s a mess. At home and abroad.”

Trump made a number of misstatements. He said for the third time in two days that he had won 306 Electoral College votes in his election. The correct number was 304. He called it “the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan,” when in fact his predecessor, Barack Obama, won 332 electoral college votes in 2012 and 365 in 2008.

Asked about the discrepancy, Trump said he meant that he had won the most of any Republican candidate since Reagan. Told that former President George H.W. Bush had won more, Trump said, “I was given that information. I have seen that information around.”

He also claimed that “jobs are pouring out of the country.” Unemployment was 4.8 percent in January, up a tenth of a percentage point from December, according to the first employment report of Trump’s presidency. Fewer Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week.

Read Newsmax: Trump Rejects Portrait of Chaotic White House in Attack on Media | Newsmax.com
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Catholic Professor Declares ‘Trumpism’ a New Heresy

Out of the stunned disbelief of the Catholic Left at Donald Trump’s victory comes the serious suggestion that Catholic supporters of Trump’s “America First” should be considered heretics. For all you non-Catholics, I will explain that to be declared a heretic means to become ex-communicated, that is, separated from the Church, God, and salvation.

In other words, all “Trumpists” are going to hell.

Perhaps we should have seen this coming. After all, didn’t Hillary Clinton declare all Trump supporters “deplorable” and “irredeemable”?

Prof. Charlie Camosy, an associate professor of theology at Fordham University, bases his argument upon the premise that “America First” is a form of idolatry, putting the interests of the nation before the demands of “the Gospel.” When I questioned Prof. Camosy about this claim on my Facebook page, he answered that the idolatry of this claim was “clearly idolatry.” When I asked him whether or not that meant it was true prima facie (at first glance), he answered, “Yes.”

Prof. Camosy is, therefore, claiming that his accusation of heresy requires no argument and no evidence, because “America First” is a form of idolatry prima facie. (The reader should bear in mind that between a former professor of philosophy — me — and a present professor of theology — him — terms like prima facie are tools of the trade and have a very specific meaning.)

Prof. Camosy, who describes himself as pro-life, wrote, “Catholic support for Donald Trump in the 2016 election was disturbingly high.” The defense of innocent life does not appear as a factor in the professor’s column. “The heresy of Trumpism,” he describes, “takes something that is true — the goodness of the United States and of patriotism — and pushes to a place where it crowds out the source of our ultimate concern: the Gospel of Jesus Christ and his Church.”

In other words, he argues that Trump supporters are placing America ahead of their Christian faith, making the nation an “ultimate concern” (theologian Paul Tillich’s phrase), rather than subordinating it to “the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” Again, “patriotism is a good thing, but it becomes heretical and idolatrous if it comes ‘first.’”

I completely agree with Prof. Camosy, but really am completely baffled by his attempt to extract that kind of theological density out of the president’s use of “America First” as a campaign slogan.

When I asked Prof. Camosy to list some of the policy issues supported by the President that illustrated this idolatry, he answered, “It is less about this or that particular policy, but rather, as I argue in the piece, a “general orientation which makes an idol of the survival and flourishing of the nation-state.”

Allow me to summarize what kind of orientation of Trump supports that Prof. Camosy considers “plain for everyone to see.” But as I describe this, I ask the reader to consider just how Prof. Camosy actually knows this to be true: Catholics who join President Trump invoicing “America First” are turning from God and making their nation their “ultimate concern” in life. Thus, they are ex-communicated from the Church and their salvation. As I said earlier but bears repeating, Trump’s Catholic supporters are going to hell.

Prof. Camosy, however, did not follow Hillary Clinton in calling us “irredeemable,” so I suppose repentance is still a possibility. For Prof. Camosy I assume our repentance would consist in throwing our support to one of the many Democratic pro-abortion candidates lining up for 2020. In the meantime, I, along with millions of other Catholics, await the stake with mixed anticipation.

Dr. Deal W. Hudson took over Crisis Magazine in 1995, leaving in 2010 to become president of Catholic Advocate. While at Crisis, Hudson led the Catholic voter outreach for President George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 and later advised the campaigns of both John McCain and Donald Trump on Catholic outreach. In 2014, he began his weekly two-hour radio show, “Church and Culture,” on the Ave Maria Radio Network, and launched http://www.thechristianreview.com in 2015. His books include “Happiness and the Limits of Satisfaction” and “Onward Christian Soldiers: The Growing Political Power of Catholics and Evangelicals in the United States.” To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

Read Newsmax: Catholic Professor Declares ‘Trumpism’ a New Heresy | Newsmax.com
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Bishops Losing Their Moral Authority With Trump Rhetoric

Deal W. Hudson
February 6, 2017

During the 2016 election, I watched with disbelief, as all but a few Catholic bishops said nothing — in complicit silence — as Hillary Clinton, aggressively pro-abortion, ran for president. All the bishops did was attack Donald Trump on immigration and his promise to build a wall on the Mexican border.

Catholic voters repudiated the bishops’ view of the election, voting 52 to 45 percent for Trump-Pence. As an election issue, immigration was “trumped” by national security, ISIS terrorism, jobs, NAFTA, abortion, religious liberty, but most of all, by patriotism. Most Catholic voters had finally had enough of Obama’s America-bashing and saw Hillary as continuing to blame America for the world’s ills.

There was no group of leaders more shocked by the election outcome than the U.S. bishops and their primary supporters on the Catholic left, including Catholic colleges and universities, most women and men’s religious orders, liberal Catholic media, Catholic Democrats in Congress, and Soros-funded groups such as Catholics In Alliance With the Common Good.

But post-election, it appears the Catholic bishops have taken no lesson from the election results. They have virtually ignored the fact that President Trump wasted no time in keeping his pro-life promises: re-affirming the Mexico City Policy, banning the use of federal funds for abortions overseas, nominating an ostensibly pro-life judge for the open SCOTUS seat, and encouraging Congress to bring a bill defunding Planned Parenthood to his desk for signing.

Instead, the bishops continue bashing Trump, now POTUS, over immigration. As a prominent theologian and journalist Thomas Williams wrote a few days ago about Chicago Cardinal Blaise Cupich:

“Saying this is a ‘dark moment in U.S. history’ . . . undermines the moral authority of the episcopate that should know better than to issue careless statements of the sort. Catholics, and indeed all citizens, deserve better.”

Cardinal Cupich, along with San Diego Bishop, Robert McElroy, has emerged as the leaders of the Catholic Left among the bishops. It was Bishop McElroy who took the pains to point out how Catholic voters would be justified to ignore Hillary Clinton’s pro-abortion stance. Those who focus on “intrinsic evil,” he wrote are “simplistic” and “misleading.”

At the time, I missed the irony that McElroy’s column was published only days after the canonization of St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Given that St. Mother Teresa is considered by Americans the “most admired person” of the 20th century, Bishop McElroy’s attempt to scoff at pro-lifers not only failed but has also contributed to the bishop’s loss of moral authority.

When bishops as popular as Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia and Cardinal Dolan of New York City continue to pound on President Trump about immigration, ignoring his pro-life achievements, just as in the election, the bishops will be the loser.

Read Newsmax: Bishops Losing Their Moral Authority With Trump Rhetoric | Newsmax.com
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