Nuance vs. clarity

Archbishops Cupich and Chaput respond to Planned Parenthood videos

Archbishop Blase Cupich: “While commerce in the remains of defenseless children is particularly repulsive, we should be no less appalled by the indifference toward [those] who are denied rights by a broken immigration system and by racism”.

The following comes from an August 11 Motley Monk blog post:

A little over one week ago, the archbishop of Chicago, the Most Reverend Blase Cupich, denounced abortion after the recently released undercover Planned Parenthood videos. But, Archbishop Cupich went further in his Chicago Tribune op ed, writing that the videos should remind Catholics (and, The Motley Monk would add, all people of good will) of their obligation to fight social ills from joblessness to a broken immigration system.

Cupich noted:
While commerce in the remains of defenseless children is particularly repulsive, we should be no less appalled by the indifference toward the thousands of people who die daily for lack of decent medical care; who are denied rights by a broken immigration system and by racism; who suffer in hunger, joblessness and want; who pay the price of violence in gun-saturated neighborhoods; or who are executed by the state in the name of justice.

Resurrecting his predecessor’s “seamless garment” argument, Cupich indicates there’s a moral equivaluence between aborition and other moral issues.


Charles J. Chaput

Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput: “The deliberate killing of innocent life is a uniquely wicked act”.

None other than Philadelphia’s archbishop, the Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput has fired back.

Archbishop Chaput wrote in his August 10 editorial for Catholic Philly:

Here’s a simple exercise in basic reasoning. On a spectrum of bad things to do, theft is bad, assault is worse and murder is worst. There’s a similar texture of ill will connecting all three crimes, but only a very confused conscience would equate thieving and homicide. Both are serious matters. But there is no equivalence.

A case is sometimes made that abortion is mainly a cultural and moral issue, and politics is a poor solution to the problem. The curious thing is that some of the same voices that argue against political action on the abortion issue seem quite comfortable urging vigorous political engagement on issues like health care, homelessness and the environment.

When it comes to moral issues, basic reasoning oftentimes proves more valuable than nuance, as the former introduces greater clarity into the discussion by exposing good and evil for what they are. The latter obfuscates and confuses, as it blurs the distinctions and degrees separating good from evil, leaving people wondering what’s good and what’s evil.

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  1. david drewelow says:

    probably no greater expose’ of the pervasive,ghastly darkness of abortion and anti-life activities has been made available in merciless pristine clarity. this has given the church an opportunity to press home its teachings from natural law, tradition and revelation. from what i have seen in essays and online columns, many hearts are being moved among people who had long back quit thinking about these issues or who had drifted into a passive pro-choice position or a ‘neutrality’.let’s pray for the leadership of the church to take advantage of the ripe opportunity. chance for quite a harvest to be brought in from the fields. the bishops tried to…

  2. This is VERY CLEAR – ” 3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia.
    For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment.
    There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to…

  3. Abp Blasé Cupich supports the heretical “SEAMLESS GARMENT” theory of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin given at Fordham University, Dec 6, 1983.
    Bernardin EQUATED Abortion to specific political and economic positions on tax policy, employment generation, welfare policy, nutrition and feeding programs, and health care.
    As we know, ABORTION is the (torture and) MURDER of INNOCENT human beings for the convenience of others. (Approx 1 MILLION annually in the USA).
    This gave “cover” to Bernardin’s pro-abortion Democratic Party politician friends.
    (Note: Per Diocese and Court Documents made public in 2014, Bernardin helped to hide sexual child abuse by Priests in Chicago.)

    • John 19:23
      The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified him, took his garments, (and they made four parts, to every soldier a part,) and also his coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.
      Cardinal Bernardin has been criticized for stating that we must be more than anti-abortion, but must be pro-life in all aspects of our beliefs and life. I don’t understand how anyone can call themselves “pro-life” but favor the death penalty, or unjust wars, or racial bias against people born in the image of God, or oppose basic health care for the poor, or food for the hungry, etc. I’m thinking the Cardinal was on to something, sometimes called the Catholic faith.

      • No Bob One he is not on to anything… the seamless garbage theory so pushed by homosexuals like Bernadin give moral equivalence to the chopping of little babies and selling them and that of the “plight” of immigrants or being “against” health care. See Bob One being in favor of killing of babies via abortion sends you to hell, believing that should not have to pay for someone else medical bills does not.. But then again you are a liberal, but come October once your liberals finish defying the word of Christ Himself via the Synod, the Church will hopefully split and you liberals can have all the sins you want and pretend your still Catholic.

        • I agree that the harvesting of fetal tissue for sale and research is grotesque. I wonder if those of us who are against abortion should label ourselves “anti-abortion” or “pro-birth” to distinguish ourselves from “pro-life”? Or, is it possible that labels are just too easy to throw around and have many meanings to many people? I hadn’t anticipated a split in the Church after the October Synod. Is this something new? I thought they had just been asked how to be more pastoral.

          • You agree that the cutting up of innocent unborn children is grotesque, oh I am relieved but how do you make that satanic act equivalent to someone who does not have health care.

            Well Bob One you should anticipate a coming split, liberals are liberals before they are anything else and cause more problems than any other people on the planet….I want you to defend Bob One communion to people in adulterous relationships as defined by Christ Himself or to sodomites.

          • Pastoral ,,, a term that should be indexed and forever removed from the Catholic lexicon

          • Steve Seitz says:

            I disagree. “Pastoral” is actually a very good term. What you’re reacting to is the misuse of the term by liberals who have abused its meaning and have bludgeoned conservative with it. To be pastoral is not to obscure the truth but, rather, to speak the truth with compassion and care.

          • It is not PASTORAL, CHARITABLE, or MERCIFUL to ignore, or appear to condone any Mortal Sins.

            Some Clergy who will be attending the Synod want to approve mortal sin for “pastoral reasons”, and give Holy Communion to those who choose to continue living a sinful lifestyle.

          • Ann Malley says:

            …Steve, with all due respect, speaking the truth as a Catholic is to speak the truth with compassion and care. And whereas pastoral may have been the term of choice back in the day, it’s having been misused to promote the ignoring of intrinsic evil and outright heresy would indicate that it should be discarded.

            Much like the term gay has a different meaning today than what it truly means. The term nice also has its roots in one being thought of as a simpleton.

            When society redefines a word to such a degree, it is best to adopt clear terminology that cannot or has not been spun up to mean something different. This is how confusion is sown. And precisely why Canisius says what he says.

          • Steve Seitz says:

            I’ll disagree with you 50%. Merely speaking the truth doesn’t automatically equate with compassion and care. Truth needs to be spoken with regard to the situation. For example, to say to a practicing Catholic who has started to engage in gay activity, “you’ll be damned to eternal Hell by God Almighty,” might shock the lad into his senses. However, the same truth spoken to a person who has become fully enslaved by the affliction requires a different approach. In fact, “you’ll be damned . . .” could cause him to bolt from the Church – a permanent rift between him and Christ.

          • Steve Seitz says:

            Based on my own observations, Catholics have been becoming increasingly more orthodox since the 80s and I see this trend continuing. Within this backdrop, I advocate for reclaiming the proper understanding of the word by using it frequently but correctly. In fact, I did so a week ago on this website.

          • Ann Malley says:

            Steve, there has always been the need to be prudent. That is the term I would use as it is accurate. The term pastoral has been severely misused and still is. That is why, in my view, especially as pertains serious matters of Faith and the loss of souls, putting ‘pastoral’ on the shelf for at least 50 years would be advisable. Until such time as the sting has been removed.

            Having said that, your scenario regarding the person plagued with SSA could play out quite differently. In many instances, it is the kind revelation of the truth that homosexual sex is a damnable offense before God is precisely what souls need to hear. Coupling that truth with the truth that Jesus came specifically with a mind to free us from such sins is the…

          • Ann Malley says:

            … sugar that goes with the medicine.

            There is no condemnation in this life, but the sincere offer of help through God’s grace. And that begins with the truth. Otherwise, the idea can become that of being duped – being misled int thinking that the Church is okay with the impure activities. Withholding the truth for pastoral reasons too often leads to folks continuing on with that which will damn them because those whose job it is to teach/lead are not doing so out of FEAR.

            It may be your observation that Catholics are becoming more orthodox, but that is only half the picture. Orthodoxy is on the rise because there is no other Catholic response to open heresy and homosexual sexual advocacy within the Church. The hypocrisy is…

          • Ann Malley says:

            getting harder and harder to cover over with talk of being pastoral. And Catholics, by God’s grace, are finally taking notice.

          • Steve Seitz says:

            I might be able to agree with you if liberals stopped using the term. But I doubt they’ll take your advice. Therefore, the best approach is to simply reclaim the word by “killing two birds with one stone.” For example, if someone says regarding adultery, “we need to be more pastoral with people in “irregular” relationships and allow them to receive communion.” Then you would reply with something like, “That’s not pastoral — that’s pastorally reckless to bless behavior that places someone’s soul at grave risk.” In short, you attack the position and redefine the word at the same time.

          • Ann Malley says:

            So long as the word is clearly and perpetually defined at the same time that it is being used, whether it be when addressing those of an orthodox or liberal bent, then I would absolutely agree with you.

            Thank you for this exchange.

          • Anonymous says:

            So what does “pastoral” mean? I have never heard a “clear” definition.

          • Steve Seitz says:

            Thank you too!

          • Steve Seitz says:

            That’s a good question. I don’t know the exact definition. But to be pastoral is to effectively communicate the Truth in such a way so as to authentically bring a person closer to Jesus Christ and His church.

            A priest is said to be highly pastoral if he is able to have a major impact in helping people to affirm Christ and renounce sin in a myriad of diverse and difficult situations.

          • Ann Malley says:

            DOTTIE writes:
            It is not PASTORAL, CHARITABLE, or MERCIFUL to ignore, or appear to condone any Mortal Sins.

            Some Clergy who will be attending the Synod want to approve mortal sin for “pastoral reasons”, and give Holy Communion to those who choose to continue living a sinful lifestyle.
            How very true, DOTTIE, and yet you still call others liars who point out quite rightly that these same issues were at play at Vatican II, that is playing up the pastoral to the detriment of clarity.

            So you may want to consider your own contribution in IGNORING that which should have your full attention. Connect the dots, DOTTIE.

      • Ann Malley says:

        In the spiritual life, Bob One, if one desires to make real progress one tackles the worst most horrific sin first.

        Of course, we want to defeat the encroaching horde. But diversifying the forces to such a degree that the most horrible is not attacked and eliminated first is to weaken the strength of the attack against evil.

        And as Pope Francis calls for the Church to be a field hospital, it is ALWAYS the most critical patients who are tended first.

      • Steve Seitz says:

        Bob One,
        Please note that there’s a fundamental difference between the killing of innocent life and the killing of those who unjustly kill life. The term “pro-life” is fitting for those who are against the unjust taking of human life regardless of their view on the death penalty. Also, in common speech, being “pro-gun” doesn’t mean that one is for any type of gun but, rather, certain classes of guns.

  4. Unfortunately Abp Blasé Cupich has recently been appointed by the Vatican to be one of 6 Bishops from the US to be a voting member of the Oct 2015 Synod.
    Cupich supports giving Holy Communion to those who choose to continue living in the State of Mortal Sin in Violation of the Doctrine of the Faith.
    DOCTRINE of the FAITH – requirements for those permitted to receive Holy Communion – CCC: # 1415, 1451, 1355.
    SACRED SCRIPTURE: 1 Cor 11:27-30.

    • Want to do something about it ?
      Time to call the Papal Nuncio in D.C. and request that the Pope DISINVITE Bishop Cupich to the “Synod on the Family due to his Violation of the Doctrine of the Faith by supporting allowing those choosing to live in the state of Mortal to receive Holy Communion – 202-333-7121.
      DOCTRINE of the FAITH – requirements to receive Holy Communion –
      CCC # 1415, 1451, 1355. SACRED SCRIPTURE 1 Cor 11:27-30.

  5. No Cupich there is no comparison between the cutting up of little babies and selling them and that of the plight of illegal immigrants. God Help the Church with men like this as Bishops …

  6. Never let a crisis go to waste in order to promote an agenda, straight out of Rules for Radicals playbook.

  7. Steve Seitz says:

    Wow, if I ever commit some truly big sins, I want Bishop Cupich as my confessor.

  8. Steve Seitz says:

    If procuring an abortion is an excommunicatable offense under Canon Law and if abortion is morally equivalent to other moral issues, then it looks like the Vatican need to modify Canon Law to add these additional offenses into the Excomm table.

    • CCC: ” 2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense.
      The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life.
      A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,” “by the very commission of the offense,” and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.
      The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society. “

  9. Michael McDermott says:

    A very well thought out analysis of The Way Forward – FYI:

    Despair in the Face of Cultural Decline

    In the last months, particularly after the Supreme Court decision on homosexual marriage in late June, I’ve noticed a pronounced malaise in many of my friends and family. For some, this looks awfully close to despair, for others a scornful anger, with a kind of dazed escapism haunting yet others hoping they are in a disturbing dream from which they will soon awake.

    I sympathize, I really do. Our culture does seem rotten, not impaired or mildly infected but gangrenous..

    Practice resignation, then, but of the right sort. A cheerful consenting to the will of…

  10. Archbishop Cupich was one of 4 American prelates who was at last week annual Courage/EnCourage Conference at Mundelein. He gave the homily at the opening mass. Hopefully many more faithful Catholics will become aware of and support this great apostolate for those with same-sex attractions and their families.

  11. John Feeney says:

    Archbishop Cupich is obviously trying to water down the issue of Planned Parenthood selling baby parts by obfuscating it with other issues. If I remember correctly, that was a tactic advocated by Saul Alinsky.

    • “RULES for RADICALS” – Saul Alinsky:
      “True revolutionaries do not flaunt their radicalism. They cut their hair, put on suits and infiltrate the system from within.
      The trick was to penetrate existing institutions such as churches, unions and political parties….”

      • Al, I read the link you provided. It showed a closer link to Marxism that I thought existed, as a couple of people have tried to point out. That said, perhaps we should consider using his tactics to return our nation to greatness it once knew. The tactics work, so why not use them as a guide to changing our world as we know it to a world we think should be?

        • Steve Seitz says:

          Bob One,
          I appreciate your thought. The problem with it, though, is that you have to be evil to use their tactics. I once had a similar thought, myself, after reading the “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.” And, in truth, their tactics are quite similar to Hitler’s. As John Paul II showed us, the best way to fight evil is to have more love, a greater will, and a keener intellect.

      • Steve Phoenix says:

        Alinsky [who openly said in a well-known interview not long before his death, that given a choice between heaven and hell, he wished to go to hell], did in fact choose to spend his last days living the good life, married to a wealthy useful-idiot Carmel,CA (Irene McInnis Alinsky) widow, and escaping the destruction he had commenced in the inner cities of the US, esp. Chicago and Oakland. [In fact, Alinsky died of a heart attack on a Carmel street corner.]

        It is a parallel life with Frank Marshall Davis, Barack Obama’s spiritual (if not more) father: another Communist radical, who married a rich Chicago widow and died in the lap of luxury of a heart attack — where else — in Hawaii. Neither of these two would be caught dead,…

        • Steve Phoenix says:

          ..Neither of these two would be caught dead, literally, in an inner-city apartment at the end of their lives, where their message of hate would have so much destructive effect.

          And never forget, that the Diocese of Davenport, IA, insisted on giving Saul Alinsky their benighted Pacem in Terris Award in 1969 (named for John XXIII’s 1963 encyclical), recognizing Alinsky as one who had done so much for the cause of “Catholic social justice”: prima facie evidence that we have been penetrated by the enemy within, for decades.

  12. CUPICH used “racism” as an excuse to promote the re-election of OBAMA.

  13. Blaise Cupich, Catholic Bishop, Moral Relativist.

    • Soon to be formal heretic ….

      • Steve Seitz says:

        I hate to say it, but Archbishop Cupich is sounding more and more like the type of bishop that got caught in the pedophilia coverup scandals of the past decade. This is bringing back bad memories. 🙁

        • Anonymous says:

          Wow, Steve, that’s vicious!

          • Steve Seitz says:

            Anon, I’m not saying that he is such a bishop — Just that I’ve seen this pattern before and it worries me about what might happen in his diocese in the future.

            There’s also a possibility that it might not be a coincidence that, with the entrance of the new archbishop, the longstanding rector of his seminary just got promoted out of his archdiocese.

          • Anonymous says:

            Remember what the Catechism teaches about finding the best in others.

          • Steve Seitz says:

            That’s true. It’s also true that the idea of “finding the best in others” was partly responsible for the molestation crisis that ensued.

          • I think it’s also culmany.

          • C&H Cuspich is a liberal so it is well deserved

          • Steve Seitz says:

            Here’s the pattern in the past: The greater the tendency that a bishop operated counter to the Faith either in word or deed [including duplicity and obfuscation], the greater the tendency that he brought financial ruin and grave, public scandal to the Church in the child molestation crisis. Now, let’s take the Cupich quote and place it in a different but similar context. What would you think of a German bishop in 1940 who said, “Sure the atrocities against the Jews were bad and deplorable, but we should be no less appalled by our outrage for the homeless and those without decent medical care.” Such a bishop should worry us all.

          • Steve Seitz says:

            Bishop Cupich’s comments suggest that he’s morally tone deaf. If this is true and he has difficulty understanding gradations of evil, his moral tone deafness will eventually filter through his diocese and his seminary causing both discord among Catholics and the allowance of behaviors that a future media will excoriate the Church with.

  14. Jeff Lang says:

    I believe Cupich to be a heretic.

  15. Steve Phoenix says:

    Since Alinsky, Chicago, and the present state of affairs of the church and state are so related, just this brief memorable summary of Alinsky’s political plan from How to Create A Socialist State (mostly quoted, shortened for brevity):

    “There are eight levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a socialist state:

    1) Healthcare–Control healthcare and you control the people
    2) Poverty–Increase the poverty level as high as possible.
    3) Debt–-Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes and poverty.”
    4) Gun Control–-Remove people’s ability to defend themselves.
    5) Welfare–Take control of every aspect of their lives.
    6) Education–Take control of what people read…

    • Steve Phoenix says:

      …6) Education–Take control of what people read and listen to – take control especially of what children learn in school.
      7) Religion-–Remove religious belief from government and from schools. [It will be easier to make people answerable only to government as its god.]
      8) Class Warfare-–Divide the people into rich and poor. This will cause more discontent and so it will be easier to tax the wealthy with the support of the poor. ”

      Gun control and class warfare (“99%! The 1%”) are essential to the next steps needed for absolute control. Fortunately, our bishops are all on board on gun control, on government healthcare control, and on the war against “the wealthy”, even as conditions mysteriously get worse, and the gaps…

      • Anonymous says:

        Saul Alinsky was NOT a socialist.

        • Steve Phoenix says:

          The title of the essay by Alinsky is “How to Create a Socialist State.” He chose the wording: read it again: “Socialist State”. Read it slowly: “so-cial-ist.” Alinsky’s wording..ok?

          It is also possible to specialize in distinctions without a difference. For the rest of us, words mean things.

      • Anonymous says:

        You realize, of course, that Saul Alinsky was all about the people fighting those who had control of all that.

  16. Elizabeth says:


  17. Anonymous says:
    • Bishop Cupich –
      1) advocates heretic Joseph Bernardin’s “Seamless Garment” theory where Intrinsic Evils are equal to social justice issues;
      2) provides and advocates giving Holy Communion to those who choose to continue living in Mortal Sin.
      3) teaches others to violate the Doctrine of the Faith (CCC) which includes requirements for everyone who wishes to receive Holy Communion, and the mortal sinfulness of Adultery, Fornication, and Homosexual acts.

      • Anonymous says:

        Buiding a file on him?

      • Anonymous says:

        Why do you consider Joseph Bernardin a heretic?
        What is wrong with the Consistent Ethic of Life?
        Neither Joseph Bernardin not the “Seamless Garment” equate intrinsic evils like abortion to social justice issues.
        Can you show me where Bishop Cupich did the things you are speaking of?
        Also, in general, a person can be wrong sometimes and right sometimes and we as Christians do not want to offend God by violating his command to love one another. Keeping track of others’ wrongs obliges God to keep track of yours.

  18. Steve Phoenix says:

    One would think Abp. Cupich would be focusing on more vital developments, such as the abortion issue, or, failing that, this one: reporting Aug. 17th there were 13 shootings and 2 fatalities in Chicago central in 24 hours. The prior weekend (Aug 7-9), the Chicago Tribune reported at least 20 shootings and 9 murders in the space of 72 hours. The city is collapsing in crime: and why do I think that it is related to the devaluation of human life by abortion?

    Better to focus on healthcare and global warming.

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