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Monday, November 15, 2010


Is Purcell Marian giving a platform to the far-right’s contrary-to-Catholic stances?

Posted by The Dean of Cincinnati

Photo courtesy of here.

A few days ago, I posted this item, featuring a letter to the local Director of Catholic Social Action with the Cincinnati Archdiocese.  I wanted to know why a local Catholic school, Purcell Marian, was allowing a far-right extremist to use their facility to promote his platform.  Here are some additional exchanges.

Hi Jason.  I just wanted to let you know that our African-American Ministries Office director, Royce Winters contacted the president of Purcell Marian, Al Early, who informed us that Purcell in no way is sponsoring this event either. He agreed to offer them the space for their meeting.  While Royce and I would probably both disagree with many of the conclusions of this particular speaker and the 9/12 group, we feel that, unless he promotes a message of racism or violation of other Catholic teaching principles, we are not going to interfere with the group using this space for a meeting at this time.  I honestly know very little about the 9/12 group, but if you believe that they have overtly violated Church positions on these matters, please let me know.

Thanks again for the heads up on this.
Tony

Tony Stieritz
Director, Catholic Social Action
Archdiocese of Cincinnati

Here is my response:

Tony,

Thanks for your quick responses.

The speaker, as evidenced in the Enquirer article for which I provided a link, has been billed as a “black Tea Party activist.”

The Tea Party believes in a free-market ideology that wants government out of the way of “individual liberty,” but the Catholic church believes governments have a responsibility to provide for the less fortunate.  Here is a citation, my bold:

http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/2425.htm

2425 The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modem times with “communism” or “socialism.” She has likewise refused to accept, in the practice of “capitalism,” individualism and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human labor. Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning perverts the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the law of the marketplace fails social justice, for “there are many human needs which cannot be satisfied by the market.” Reasonable regulation of the marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values and a view to the common good, is to be commended.

Also, it is widely understood that the Tea Party is opposed not only to President Obama’s version of health reform, but especially to universal health care as it is generally conceived (for example, as a single-payer system).  The US Conference of Bishops is on the record supporting universal health care.

They have provided writings from the Vatican on this topic:

http://www.nccbuscc.org/healthcare/vaticanquotesonhealthcare.shtml

As I’m sure you also know, the Catholic Church has taken a stand on the side of immigrants’ rights. 

http://www.migrationinformation.org/feature/display.cfm?ID=395

This is a position opposite that espoused by the Tea Party and the 9/12 Project.

I understand there might be a valuable debate about the role of spending in our country’s government—but groups like the 9/12 Project and the Tea Party—which have sponsored this speaker—represent viewpoints on a wide variety of social issues that stand at odds with the position of The Church.

Thanks, again, for your time, and I look forward to your response.

Jason

I will continue to keep you updated as this story develops.


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  1. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    It’s not a debate, it’s a political rally. The guy is trying to rewrite history.

  2. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    I want to know why this group picked Purcell Marian, of all places, for this weird forum.  What was the attraction with that obscure venue?

  3. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    That’s a good question.

  4. Huh? says:

    Purcell is a private school…not public.  If Purcell wants to open their doors to people w/certain views, no big deal.  The President of Iran espouses his hate for the West IN THE WEST from time to time.  No difference at all…this is a free society.

  5. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    Purcell is a private school…not public.

    No kidding.  That’s why I brought this to the attention of the Archdiocese, and not a public school board.

    If Purcell wants to open their doors to people w/certain views, no big deal.

    Catholic institutions, as you would understand if you read the item above, do not need to open their doors to organizations with contrary-to-Catholic views.

    The President of Iran espouses his hate for the West IN THE WEST from time to time.

    WTF?

    No difference at all…this is a free society.

    Thank you for supporting my rights to free speech.

  6. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) says:

    The speaker does sound a little crack pot but worse crackpots from the left are regularly welcomed to speak on their grossly distorted understandings of history.  See specifically Justin’s buddy Tim Wise and his recent post-election meltdown.  This guy has had over 600 speaking engagements spewing this kind of bitterness to impressionable minds.  To paraphrase Mr. Wise, once we get rid of those damn terminally uncool white people, society will just be peachy.  Ask Zimbabwe how that theory worked out.

  7. Aaron says:

    If I’m not mistaken, the catholic church generally takes a liberal position on most issues, besides the whole anti-choice thing of course. Isn’t that your point Dean, that purcell has invited a right winged propagandist who intends to teach his revisionist history that will certainly contradict their teachings and positions? I too find his invitation very curious.

  8. Hmmmm says:

    Barack Obama espouses principles on abortion that are in direct conflict with those of the Catholic Church and the Catholic Conference of Bishops.  Am I to assume then that you would also be as up in arms if Barack Obama was speaking at Purcell Marian, or does your outrage only apply to conservatives.

  9. White Male says:

    Hmmmm says:
    16 Nov 2010 at 12:42 pm | #

    Barack Obama espouses principles on abortion that are in direct conflict with those of the Catholic Church and the Catholic Conference of Bishops.  Am I to assume then that you would also be as up in arms if Barack Obama was speaking at Purcell Marian, or does your outrage only apply to conservatives.

    XAVIER UNIVERSITY had President Bill Clinton speak on campus two weeks after he vetoed the partial abortion bill.  This was in ‘98 to kick off the midterm elections.  The Administration wanted a small midwestern campus.  Those Jesuits were delighted to have Clinton there.  The Dean of Cincinnati would have been just pleased as punch if President Clinton came to Purcell-Marian High School when he was there. 

    I know of no opposition to Clinton appearing at XU.

    Question to Dean:  If Obama visits Purcell or any other Catholic institution in the next few years, will you make it an issue?

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