Stockton pastor responds to charges

A long story

Father McFalls

The following email was sent to Cal Catholic on October 23 by the pastor of St. Mary’s church in Stockton, Father Dean McFalls. We reprint the email and its seven attachments copied into the text of the story here.

Editors of Cal-Catholic,

Since you apparently are concerned (and have decided to be watch-dogs) for orthodoxy in California, please take a step further and read my response to your inclusion of the Stockton Record article of Oct. 2 regarding the mass at which Eliseo Medina was present Oct. 3rd. Your obvious commitment to all that is Catholic will be all the more evident when you take the time to ask Bishop Blaire for a clarification of his position on the SEIU.  As St. Ignatius of Antioch reminded us so often, our unity as Catholics demonstrates itself in our ability to honor the ecclesial form of governance which Jesus himself left us, before he was crucified as a radical and a provocative reformer, a friend of tax-collecters and sinners, in short, a scandal.

Not all bishops will be pleasing or acceptable to you or to your readers.  But the least you can do is engage them in dialogue rather than presume to hold them in judgment.  You are, after all, claiming to be Catholic.  And being Catholic means more than just declaring ourselves to be pro-life.

We have Catholics in our midst who consider themselves more Catholic than the Pope, which, as a convert, I find hard to understand.  Also, being a 501 (c) 3 involves, you know, not alligning yourselves publicly with any political party.  But even a cursory reading of your material makes your Republican persuasion very obvious.  Has your rejection of all that is Democrat led you to allign yourselves politically with the Republican party?  Have you consulted the Bishops or their documents about this?

St. Mary of the Assumption Parish

www.saintmarystockton.com / 203 E. Washington Street, Stockton, CA 95202

Office: (209) 948-0661 / Fax: (209) 948-0673 / Emergency: (209) 922-7000

An Open Letter to the Publishers and Readers of Cal-Catholic

Dear Friends at Cal-Catholic,

I have followed with interest and concern the series of commentaries following your publishing October 18th of the October 2nd, 2012 article in the Stockton Record (page A-3) regarding the “Faithful Citizenship” Mass being held here at St. Mary of the Assumption of Stockton, with Eliseo Medina in attendance.  Since I am pastor of St. Mary’s, which has become the focus of attention and the occasion for renewed criticism of my Bishop, Stephen E. Blaire, I think it only fair that you publish my response, and make it available to all those who have been scandalized by the appearance of collaboration between our parish and the SEIU.  This would be truly Catholic.

Once your commentators have read my comments, I look forward to reading their responses.  But if you truly want to be fair, and “Catholic” in your desire to promote communion rather than more unnecessary division in the Church Jesus founded, I also request you publish or make accessible my attachments.

I realize that there’s a lot of material here, but not nearly so much as the responses generated nationally to the Record article which you chose, without first contacting us in the Stockton Diocese, to allow to be posted.  And since I have lost a lot of valuable time in answering phone calls generated by a campaign to convince me of the dangers of the SEIU, I think the time of your commentators invested in reading my seven attachments would be well-spent.

These are the attachments:  First, this introductory letter formatted for printing.  Second, an email I sent asking people of good will to stop flooding me with calls.  Third, an editorial piece I wrote to the Record stating my position, as a Catholic and a priest, on engagement in the political scene.  Fourth, a detailed explanation of how everything unfolded here and my position not only on Mi Familia Vota but also on Eliseo.  Fifth, the public statement I made on the occasion of Eliseo’s arrival in Stockton this past July, where Mi Familia Vota kicked off its campaign, and at which I had been requested to present the opening prayer, an official welcome of Mi Familia Vota to Stockton, and later a blessing of their door-to-door campaign for voter registration (you will notice in my comments that I hardly mentioned Eliseo Medina at all, since I did not know enough about him to do so in confidence; instead, I focused my comments on the legacy of Cesar Estrada Chavez).  Sixth, a message, copied verbatim for you, that was posted on our fence the day we had voter registration at all our masses.  Seventh, an appeal for letters-to-the editor I wrote to my callers and protesters when the Record re-opened wounds by casting me as a defender of the SEIU and of the Democratic Party, which is far from the truth.

You will notice that the person who posted the message against illegal voter registration doesn’t even speak or write English correctly, which makes his or her protest particularly ludicrous.  If you read the comments made on the Cal-Catholic website after the Oct. 2nd Record article, you will find a general antipathy for labor unions, for Latinos, and for anything Democratic.  Those of you who are authentically Catholic should have objected to this.  Although the Democratic Party now supports critical issues not in conformity with Catholic moral teaching, this does not mean that our vote should automatically be Republican.  There are many Republican politicians who have also, in some way, betrayed trust and/or violated key dimensions of Catholic moral teaching.

Regarding unions, our late Holy Father John Paul II (who may have been too progressive for some of your readers) allied himself publicly with the largest labor union in Poland, while millions of Catholics of all ethnic groups have benefitted enormously from organized labor throughout past two-hundred years.

And as for Latinos, well, frankly, those who are citizens have as much right to vote as anyone else.   Without them, many of our Catholic churches across the Southwest United States would be empty.  So your commentators have not demonstrated themselves on the whole to be thoroughly Catholic, even if they are united against same-sex marriages, abortion, euthanasia, and Obama-care.

What they don’t want is to politically empower people who might disagree with their political platform.  But, like it or not, we live in a nation of immigrants. And until the rise of Indian gambling casinos, the most alienated and isolated ethnic group in our country were ironically the first ones here: the ones we call “Native Americans”, to whom our fathers have built so many museums, whom our Christian forefathers systematically dispossessed of their lands, defrauded of their rights, lied in their treaties, and, in far too many cases, massacred.

But now I am upsetting people.  Just wanted to make clear to you all that I am also pro-life: even pro-Native American life and pro-Latino life and pro-life even for a person whose parents belong to the Democrat or even, God forbid, the Socialist Parties.  So, now that I have your attention, please read the seven attachments.  You might even ask my Bishop to tell you what is his position.

But, by the way, in case you’re wondering, I’m no supporter of the SEIU, nor of its platforms on Abortion, Access to Contraception, Same-Sex Unions, nor the elements of Obama-Care which limit or undermine the constitutional freedom of religious institutions to honor their fundamental teachings and to self-determine in matters of faith and moral.  I never agreed to a “sponsorship” on the part of the SEIU for our “Faithful Citizenship” Mass, nor did I even submit any publicity to any organization to advertise the Mass, since in fact I was so busy with parish life that I completely forgot that one of our organizers had requested we mark the return of the “Mi Familia Vota” volunteers with a ceremony emphasizing the importance of Catholics and political engagement.

St. Mary of the Assumption Parish

www.saintmarystockton.com / 203 E. Washington Street, Stockton, CA 95202

Office: (209) 948-0661 / Fax: (209) 948-0673 / Emergency: (209) 922-7000

Request for a Calming of the Phone Campaign of Concerned Catholics

Many of you who are upset and disturbed about the Record announcement last Tuesday (Oct. 2nd), regarding the Mass for Faithful Citizenship on Wednesday.  Enclosed are three responses that I have written due to the outcry.  One is longer, one is shorter, and the third is an op-ed which I have asked the Record to publish tomorrow, for the sake of damage control for the problems they, not me, generated.

Let me share with you several fundamental problems I have had with the response of some of you to this issue:  First, you seem to have assumed that the Record gave an accurate representation of what was going to happen and who would be present and sponsoring; Second, you assumed that I was in agreement with the way the event was being presented.  Third, most if not all of you seem to accept that Mi Familia Vota is simply a front for the SEIU, and that it has been guilty of massive systematic fraud or at least of pushing the Democrat Party.  Fourth, some of you seem to think that Eliseo Vasquez Medina is a thug, or a demon, or demon possessed, or at very least an agent of the devil.   Fifth, some among you think that by flooding me or the Bishop’s office or the Conference of Bishops with calls or emails you will make your point better than simply asking me what happened and making a clear argument.

Sixth, you galvanize a huge base of protesters without even investigating whether this is necessary.  Seventh, if there are any registered Democrats among your ranks, you have given them a very clear message that they are not welcome in our Church.  Eighth, you may well have launched an unnecessary campaign which will go viral on the internet and will cause more harm to our Church than benefit.  Ninth, you are taking up a lot of my time, which I honestly need to carry out my pastoral work.  In fact, due to all the drama, I have not been able to organize our Pro-Life Fatima Mass and Blessed Sacrament Procession which is taking place tomorrow morning, Saturday, October 13th, and leads us to the courts and City Hall to pray for our community, and also I have been delayed in blessing a person who is passing away in Hospice and visiting someone in the Mental Health center.  So my response to all of you is that you remember who you are as Catholics and try to build up the Body of Christ.  When someone called me on Tuesday, I thanked her for her comments, and immediately called the Record for a correction and began researching more regarding the SEIU.  I contacted Eliseo and those working with him in order to discuss the issues and to tell them that he would not be able to speak in the church after mass.

There you have it.  No need for more panic, more calls, letters to the Bishop, letters to the Editor, internet campaigns, and the like.  Continue witnessing for our Catholic values, and pray for God’s will to be fulfilled in our country.  And remember, when the social fabric unravels and Catholics no longer practice their faith, not even the right candidates — though they certainly help — can save them.  Only Jesus can.  That’s why we’re beginning the Year of Faith and doing the New Evangelization.  Now, I need to get on with my ministry.  God bless you all.        Fr. Dean, Pastor.

 

Faithful Citizenship and a Catholic’s Engagement with Politics

Opinion Submitted to Record Editors by Fr. Dean McFalls, Oct. 5th, 2012

On Wednesday evening, we of St. Mary’s Church celebrated a mass dedicated to Faithful Citizenship.  This is a nation-wide effort of the Catholic Church to encourage and challenge our people to engage in the political process, not in a partisan way or candidate-based campaign, but rather by putting flesh and feet and hands on our values in the public arena.  For all Christians, Christ’s calling is to be “in the world, but not of the world”.  This means we commit ourselves to transforming our communities according to Gospel principals.  In order for us to succeed, we have to enter the messy world of politics.  We cannot and should never equate our faith tradition with any particular party — that would be and has been our downfall — but take a stand we must.  When we go public as values-based people, someone will always object.  Jesus himself promised that we would suffer some form of persecution.  This comes with the territory.

I experienced a measure of this negativity due to the misplacement of an announcement about our Wednesday event on page A-3 of Tuesday’s Record.  It appeared that we were supporting the Democrat Party and that we were allowing a controversial labor union to co-sponsor the event.  This was never our intention.    However, we were honoring the work of a particular non-partisan, volunteer-based organization which helped us to register Latino citizens a month ago.  Their service to our church was generous, and no one was pressured or influenced to affiliate with any particular party.  We also welcomed a courageous man who once had worked with Cesar Chavez.

I don’t agree with everything that Eliseo Medina stands for, but I respect him for having helped launch Mi Familia Vota.  Yes, I have now researched the ties between “MFV” and the SEIU, and am concerned.  But I have been much more concerned about the drama which has now become part of my daily fare.

The phone calls began with legitimate concerns.  Now, I see the venom.  So I would suggest that as we approach these most vital of elections, we all take a step back and remember that there are good and intelligent people on both (or various) sides of any argument about social policy.  What is needed is mutual respect and informed dialogue.  Our faith traditions can help us with that.  But this community, and this country, will not benefit by a deepening of the rift cause by partisan politics, special-interest infighting, and the sense of moral superiority that condemns people of a different persuasion to the fires of hell.

St. Mary of the Assumption Parish

www.saintmarystockton.com / 203 E. Washington Street, Stockton, CA 95202

Office: (209) 948-0661 / Fax: (209) 948-0673 / Emergency: (209) 922-7000

 

Catholics and Political Engagement: A Position Statement (Fr. Dean McFalls)

I have recently been involved in controversy due to the mistaken appearance that St. Mary’s Church is promoting the Democrat Party.  This unfortunate accident by a local paper has led not only to a backlash but also to an opportunity to clarify:

In the first place, those who incline toward more traditional values must under-stand this critical point: being a strong, practicing, and obedient Roman Catholic does not necessarily mandate that one register or publicly declare himself or herself as a Republican.  I myself am not a Democrat, but I cannot in good conscience publicly declare myself as Republican, either.  I will vote according to my Catholic faith and my informed moral conscience, but neither candidate (and running-mate) and neither party fulfills all that is in conformity with our values, nor do either of these entirely contradict the values for which we are willing to stand, and declare ourselves, and hopefully even die.  It’s not just that our tax-exempt status forbids us to back parties and candidates openly; it’s that our Church and the wisdom of experience does not allow that, either.  Many conservative Catholics are embracing the Republican party in a manner that is not well-reflected.  It bears repeating that, while President Bush was eloquent and courageous in his spoken defense of the unborn and of Terry Shiavo, he also launched an ill-advised war in Iraq, ignoring the pleas of the Pope and our Bishops and of some of his best advisors, only later to admit that many of the pretexts for which we entered the war were false.  We participate in the political process, but we as Catholics, as people of faith, always stand in review and in critique of the political world, since it is thoroughly fraught with compromises, special interests, occasional scandals, and yes, on both sides, corruption.

Secondly, those who were angry about the semblance of a sell-out at St. Mary’s Church of Stockton to the SEIU and the Democrat Party, ought to be consistent.  There are non-profits in Stockton which, without any apologies and in broad daylight, back Republican candidates, registering people as Republicans, even pressuring their employees to do the same.  I invite all of those concerned about the integrity of our 501(c)3′s to be more inclusive in making sure everyone abides by the law, as well as of their organization’s governing protocols and values.

Thirdly, Eliseo Medina is not the only person in leadership of an organization which is politically affiliated and yet simultaneously founding or heading a 501(c)3 voter registration campaign.  This is not an illegal activity, so long as those registering voters do not pressure them or try influencing them to affiliate with a particular party or candidate.  I had to repeat many times to one of our callers today that, when the “Mi Familia Vota” volunteers came to register people from our parish, no one was pressured to affiliate with the Democratic Party.  If they did so, it will be because they believe their families and communities will be better served by Democratic candidates.  I cannot deny them their right to believe.

Let’s face the facts: Many of our immigrant families have not found real and concrete support from the Republican Party, and many of the cutbacks favored by Republicans have hit hard at our more vulnerable populations, among which many are immigrants.  It so happens that in south Stockton, the vast majority of our parishioners are first- or second-generation immigrants.  Without these, the five southern Catholic churches would nearly be empty — that is, sold or closed down.  If the lived experience of our immigrant populations has taught them they will fare better under a Democratic administration, they have a right to that opinion.  I certainly do more than my share of preaching about the “non-negotiables” and Catholic moral teaching.  I make real-life references to political leaders who contradict our values in blatant ways that create a clear threat to the vulnerable and to our faith.  But I can’t tell anyone to vote, for example Republican.  Nor should I assume that I am enlightened and that they are ignorant.

Finally, yes, no doubt with so many young volunteers, a certain percentage of the registration forms will be found invalid.  Does this indicate a conspiracy of registration fraud and an attempt to flood the electoral process with illicit votes?  I don’t think so.  No one can maintain an absolute control over a complex process.

Politics is always messy.  There is no end to individuals trying to use credible institutions in society to gain a following and persuade to their point of view.  But we Catholics do not have the option of burying our heads in the sand, nor of hiding in the bushes and hoping the storm will soon blow over.  Jesus sends us out today, just as He did 2,000 years ago, to transform the world.  We cannot do this if we run from the world of politics to take refuge in an isolated piety or some fantasy of a utopian society.  As an Anglican Priest in England told us thirty years ago in London, when publicly criticized for his leadership in the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the Kitchen.”  But the kitchen is the world, and Jesus put us here.  For the sake of our children and the most vulnerable, let’s stay in the kitchen, let’s fight the good fight, let’s get our hands dirty, let’s put flesh on our values.  And let’s keep God in the center.

Fr. Dean McFalls, St. Mary of the Assumption, 203 E. Washington St. Stockton, CA. 95202.  Email: frdeanhere@yahoo.com,   209-922-7000,  Fax 209-948-0673

 

Candidate’s Bilingual Forum: Congress 9th District, Mayor’s Office, City Council Sunday, October 21st, 2:30pm to 5:30, in the Gymnasium of St. Mary’s Church.

(Notice Posted on St. Mary’s Fence as We Conducted Voter Registration)

ONLY citizens can vote!

SOLO ciudadanos pueden votar!

If you are NOT a citizen, it is a crime!

Si NO es usted un ciudano es un crimen!

(In the center of the page, there are more warnings, as well as phone numbers to contact in order to denounce violators.  These are numbers connected to government agencies overseeing registration and election activities.

Then, at the lower third of the page, appear these words:)

REPORT!  REPORTELO!

Inform them who said you was allowed to vote and who they represent.

Informar a ellos quenle dijo que usted Puede votar y cual organización ellos representan.

(in fact, we made it clear that registration is only for citizens, and that no party affiliation would be or could be recom-mended or pushed.  Our non-documented people would have been afraid to endanger themselves by registering.

But what was strange was the really lousy English).

St. Mary of the Assumption Parish

www.saintmarystockton.com / 203 E. Washington Street, Stockton, CA 95202

Office: (209) 948-0661 / Fax: (209) 948-0673 / Emergency: (209) 922-7000

The Record Deliberately Provokes More Controversy between Catholics

Dear Friends, please contact the Record editors by phone, fax and email immediately to hold them accountable for deliberately provoking more division and controversy between area Catholics in the Saturday morning, October 13 front-page article “Religious Groups’ Profiles Growing”.  What began Tuesday as an irresponsible imbedding of an article announcing our “Faithful Citizenship” Mass Wednesday night (so that we appeared to be in support of the Democratic Party and in league with the SEIU) now looks to be a deliberate strategy to fan the fires that the Record helped to ignite.

I sent the Record editors my version of the story Friday afternoon to set the record straight.  They claimed they could not run it until all the other letters to the editor ahead of mine would have been considered.  It did not trouble them that their mistake was costing us hours of damage control and leading to serious misunderstanding.  When I talked to Kevin Parrish last night, he told me that his article might make things worse.  Since we have had a relationship based on trust previously, I didn’t take him so seriously.

This morning, I was shocked and angered to find that Mr. Parrish repeated mention of a supposed “link” between our service and a controversial labor union, one which does not represent Catholic values and therefore cannot be honored or partnered with in the setting of a Catholic religious service. That link had never existed, except insofar as the union’s Secretary General is one of the founders of the Mi Familia Vota, and was going to be present at the Mass.  We clarified this distinction repeatedly following the Tuesday announcement, and after I had researched more into the union’s politics.

By repeating mention of a supposed link to this union and claiming not to have space for my op-ed, the Record has driven the wedge deeper between area Catholics and has misrepresented my position.  Had I known that the SEIU had taken positions so contrary to our Church’s teachings, and had I known that their communications to the press alleged sponsorship on behalf of the union for our Wednesday event, I would never have allowed it to be organized in the first place, in order to avoid causing unnecessary harm.

Please contact the Record immediately to register your opinion.  This is a chance to stand up for our unity.  Thank You!   Fr. Dean McFalls, Pastor Website: Record.net.com. Fax: 209-547-8186, Tel. 943-6568.     Fr. Dean.

 

Faithful Citizenship & Latino Engagement: a Personal Testimony   (Fr. Dean McFalls)

As a Caucasian American born into the middle class and raised in Seattle, I always considered citizenship, voting, and making a political difference as a foregone conclusion.  It never dawned on me that huge sectors of American society might feel themselves isolated, counted-out, or systematically unwelcome in the process of self-determination and of shaping the future of this great democratic nation. Much less did I imagine that so many might choose to hide behind walls of silence, convinced that they can do nothing to create a better environment for their children.

I was five years old when my mother took me by the hand and marched me to the neighborhood polling station.  There, she cast her vote for John F. Kennedy.  Three years later, I stared in shock at our third-grade classroom TV monitor, watching live coverage of my hero’s assassination. But that tragedy didn’t kill our faith in the hard-earned American institution called the electoral process.  Yet five years later, soon after winning the California primary as Democratic Presidential Candidate, Robert Kennedy would, like his brother, be gunned down.  Now I was thirteen, and with the Vietnam War underway and the murder of Martin Luther King, I began to lose hope that anything could redeem my country.  I became very deeply cynical.

Another three years passed.  Desiring to do something positive besides study hard, play four sports and volunteer at church, I spent a month in Eastern Washington.

John and Robert Kennedy had been deeply inspired by a quiet Hispanic of humble origins who’d been organizing farm workers in the heart of California.  I heard about this Mexican-American: how his family had been cheated out of their home in Yuma, how they struggled to get by through poorly paid field labor, how he dropped out of school after eighth grade to help his family survive, how he joined the Navy to serve his country and get ahead in life, but instead endured two of the worst years of his already difficult life, how he suffered countless humiliations and set-backs to mobilize workers around the principal of their common human dignity.

Over forty years ago, then, I was re-inspired by Mexican migrant farm workers and the example of Cesar Estrada Chavez to re-invest myself in making of my nation a land of the free and a home of the brave, in which the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness would be accorded to all God’s children, not only to those of the privileged classes, or of superior economic status, or political connectivity.  I returned back to Seattle to join the boycotts and to advocate for the United Farm Workers.  Two years later, I’d register as a conscientious objector to a war that had lost its way.   At 18 years, I would begin to vote my conscience.

Thirty years ago, I walked across America from sea to shining sea with a group of citizens concerned about the nuclear and bio-chemical arms race.  We began at the Trident Submarine Base and ended in D.C. during the dedication of the Vietnam War Memorial.  There, we prayed and fasted three days while the American Catholic Bishops held their annual conference.  The most important task they had, then, was to compose a faith-based response to the threat of nuclear annihilation.

Today, other compelling issues demand our attention and our faith-based response.

When a national pollster called me Tuesday afternoon, I stopped in my tracks to try answering her endless questions.  Though irritated by the interruption, I appreciated the opportunity to prepare myself for November’s elections.  At one point, the caller listed a dozen or more critical challenges facing the people of California.

“Which of these issues,” she inquired, “Do you consider the most urgent?”  “All of them,” I wanted to say.  But I thought long and hard.  What would you, my friends, consider the most important issues we face today?  What are you going to do to make your voice, your position, known?  Are you committed to make a difference?

Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, who would have joined us today if he available, recently issued a pastoral letter concerning faithful citizenship.  “As Catholics,” he wrote, “we are taught that part of being faithful is participating in political life, including voting.  In every election, we are challenged to consider the moral dimensions of extremely important policy and budget issues.  This year is certainly no exception.  In this election, in addition to determining who will lead our nation for the next four years, Californians will decide the fate of eleven propositions including whether to repeal the use of the death penalty (Proposition 34).  Proposition 25 would tighten laws against human trafficking and sex slavery, and Proposition 30 will determine whether we will increase state revenues to better serve vulnerable populations such as children, families, and the elderly.   All of these decisions are of crucial importance to the people of our state and Nation.” Our bishop continues:

“The responsibility to make choices in political life rests with each individual in light of a properly formed conscience… Participation goes well beyond casting a vote in a particular election.” It involves, as religious leaders everywhere remind us, a way of life engaging us with the most crucial issues of our day, at all times and on every conceivable level.  It means incarnating for today the values of the Gospel.

As an American citizen who knew little of Latinos until his third-grade teacher brought enchiladas to class, I wish, on behalf of Bishop Blaire, our religious leaders and the people of faith in our beloved but troubled city, to thank all of you who are now fulfilling Cesar Chavez’s dream of faithful political engagement: ¡Si, se Puede!

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. anonymous says:

    I advise everyone to pray before commenting. Ho dokon hestanai, blepeto me pese – let the one who seems to be standing, see that he doesn’t fall (1 Corinthians 10:12). If any good is to come of commenting, it will be from showing consistent charity. Those who use rationales to justify their life choices, will only be brought to repentance through love with truth. The LORD has power to change minds, after hearts have been converted.

  2. “before he was crucified as a radical and a provocative reformer”: wrong. Jesus was crucified for claiming to be God.

  3. Well into the priest’s pitch: cult is what comes to mind. He’s viewing the wider society in terms of his local community. This priest is also accusing the bloggers on CCD of racism. This is either an intended lie, or the effect of brainwashing, or he simply has no concept of the world outside his own.

    • What does “viewing the wider world in terms of his local community” mean, JLS? Surely you do not mean it is cultish to inform your world view by your own experience? As for accusations, you make them repeatedly. Can they be only lies or the product of brainwashing? Can they never be the reasonable result of observation? Finally, you simply suggest the priest is “out of touch”, a charge right out of the anti-Catholic play book. He sounds pretty well in-touch to me.

      • Brian S., what it means is for you to figure out. You’ve read plenty of my posts, and by now you should realize I blog brief sketches most of the time, and not formal dissertations.

        • Normally the obligation for communicative clarity falls upon the one communicating.

          But here’s my try – you are objecting to the good Father rejecting political sound-bites in favor of seeking the individual understanding of his parishioners.

          • Maybe, Brian S., that is why you’ve missed out on so much, simply settling for being spoonfed, instead of getting up and searching out the knowledge.

  4. C’mon, Fr McFalls … why are you insinuating that all unions are the same? Almost no blogger on this site has dissed unions in general; rather we are dissing particular unions and supplying plenty of examples of how they attack God and attempt to subvert His Church. You also are trying to generalize the old homosexual pitch that stealing bubble gum from babies is on the same level as abortion or sodomy. So far in your pitch you are keeping it really shallow, and generalizing everything so as to avoid specific issues with the critical details that define them.

    • I’ve never read a kind word from you about any union, JLS. Protesting that you are not against unions “in general” rings quite hollow.

      • Brian S., a. you consistently prove that you have a hard time with reading, and b. you’re lying once again. I have never dissed unions per se. Unions are like any groups, and can be helpful or harmful. The criticism on this site of unions has to do with those that are harmful to Catholicism. But then to shallow people, this point would be incomprehensible.

        • When I read your next citation of a helpful union action it will be the first time.

          • Brian S., I’m not the go to man on union history. They’ve historically done some good and also some not so good. Today they’ve kept wages high which got plenty of industry shipped overseas. That is a great thing for those overseas. The big unions push abortion and homosexuality … a bad thing. You, Brian S., would likely depict all unions the same. That is your choice. The choice of others is to become educated.

      • I’m actually in favor of unions, but the main ones today are extremely corrupt and need to be overhauled.

        • Unions haven’t kept wages high, wages have been stagnant since 1973, which is why so many wives work, which you should recognize as undesirable.

          As for overhauling them, who do expect to do that? Fine priests who work with unions are called cultist by you and others who ignore that the Church IS the reforming force in the world.

  5. Good father,

    You say many things that I’d like to respond to but I will focus on what seems to be the key issue here. You said:

    “Although the Democratic Party now supports critical issues not in conformity with Catholic moral teaching, this does not mean that our vote should automatically be Republican.”

    There is nothing automatic about my vote for a politician who defends the unborn. I also happen to believe that helping the poor through building a strong economy is mandated by the Gospel and I don’t see Republicans removing help for those who need it. I see the Democrats intent on centralizing all of life under the umbrella of the state and in the process eliminating the role of religion from public life.

    In short, I like many Catholics, do not equate the faith with the Democratic party. It fills me with sorry that you feel the need to lecture your fellow Catholics because they don’t share your political views. It does the Body of Christ no good at all to accuse those who differ in politics that they are irresponsible and faithless. I know such accusations fly from both sides, but we need to remind ourselves that we sin in doing so.

    • You have heard Mitt Romney assuring us that he will “seek no changes in the law” concerning abortion, haven’t you?

      • I saw that. Look at theweek dot com for 10/10/12, “ten things you need to know today”. I guess the most he might do is to undo Mexico City, but what about the 53 million and counting here on our soil?

      • He has said that he will defund Planned Parenthood. So Brian, how many lives do you think that action might save? Also, do you really think that he will appoint the rabid pro-abortion supreme court judges, Obama will, if given the chance?

  6. Cole Thornton says:

    Father Dean McFalls says “we were honoring the work of a particular non-partisan, volunteer-based organization which helped us to register Latino citizens a month ago”. Is that “non-partisan, volunteer-based organization” he is referring to Mia Familia Vota Education Fund? I note that Fr McFalls seems to have only praise for that group in his multiple responses. Below is my post from 10/18 to the original 10/19 CCD article. Fr McFalls, does the board of directors of Mia Familia Vota Education Fund appear to be “non-partisan”? Please explain to me how I may get the wrong impression that this group is a democrat party operative after reading the bios on the directors? —- Earlier post: This story is way more interesting than the title used by CCD. Check out the board of directors of Mia Familia Vota Education Fund. *** Cuc Vu (NOTE: the board chairwoman) is the Chief Diversity Officer for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest civil rights organization working to ensure equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. *** Estrada, a lifelong Democrat, is an active member of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA). *** Rocio Sáenz is President of SEIU Local 615, which represents 17,000 property service workers in the New England Area *** Ulrico served as Vice President Gore’s Arizona and New Mexico primary state director and general election Arizona political director for the 2000 presidential race as well as helped to successfully manage the New Mexico 2000 election recount. He served as an assistant in Vice President Gore’s West Wing office immediately after graduating from college in 1999. *** Marcelo served as Chief of Staff to Illinois State Senator Jesus Garcia (NOTE: Jesus Garcia was listed as a member of Friends of Alice Pakmer (in formation), alongside Danny K. Davis, Tony Rezko, Timuel Black and Barack Obama; Garcia has many connections with the Communist Party and Americans for Democratic Action), Marcelo was Deputy Political Director for the successful campaign to elect Senator Dick Durbin, now the Senate Majority Whip. *** Medina has also helped strengthen ties between the Roman Catholic Church and the labor movement to work on common concerns such as immigrant worker rights and access to health care. *** I get the sense after reading the bios on these directors that THERE ARE NO ROMNEY SUPPORTERS among this bunch. Also note the Barack Obama connection. Hello Bishop Blaire, are your fingerprints all over this radical democrat group conducting this voter registration drive?

  7. Moving right along: Fr McFalls, now I see you dissing the peopel who were dispossed of their land and had to flee Europe, came to this continent and dispossed those already here. Was California the original Eden, or what? Have you fallen subject to the local genesis mythology?

  8. Hope Fr. McFalls can put up with my spelling errors. It’s just that I’m trying to read and comment on each of his points and of course on each of his sly rhetorical devices.

  9. Finally I reached the end, only to find that Bishop Blaire is calling for the state to pump money into the families to help them. Where will the state get the money? I can see it if the Bishop were calling for the federal govt to pump money into families and elderly because the federal govt can print all the money it wants and determine its value, according to the Constitution. But the state of California is not given that authority. So where will this state money come from? I recognized this pitch from the beginning … and I refer to the new German law called “Pay to Pray”: The German govt pulls this fee out of the income tax and thus licences the tax payer to pray in Church. Isn’t this what these socialist bishops want to do here as much? Bishop Blaire should renounce the tax exemption of the diocese and then see what happens when priests can preach as they believe (hopefully the Gospel instead of social welfare politics).

  10. Oh, btw, Fr. McFalls, hang in there. Hopefully you will find a way to preach and teach the Gospel in a way that transcends the political trap you’re stuck in. Are you aware that the Pope called all the bishops to “become holy”? Are you aware that one of his Vatican cardinals advised all the bishops to stop playing administrator and start being bishops? Do you trust the Lord to provide if only you give the people Himself and not politics?

  11. Sue in soCal says:

    Nice clerical outfit, Father.
    Now that I have established that I am a low-brow judgmental uneducated anti-immigrant racist by writing my response (never mind that my dad was Apache and Mexican, all that matters is that my mom was the granddaughter of European immigrants) I would like to point out to Fr. McFalls that his whole argument is full of the very judgments he is condemning not to mention that he has misused scripture to justify his presumptions.
    Well, I have to go now and clean my gun and my tooth. Sorry I didn’t misspell anything.

  12. Switching topics: Fr. McFalls, your tee shirt depicts a couple of wolves. You obviously love wolves. Have you ever seen one? Why don’t you pray for Dave “the Wolfman”, an acquaintance of mine, who was taken down by several afflictions a couple years ago and wastes away now in a rest home. He retired from special ops with NSA, of course your arch enemy. He raised wolves. Wolfie II weighed in at 280#. His foreleg was bigger than my forearm, his paws bigger than my fist and I am not a small dude. He raised wolves for decades in retirement, demonstrated them in schools. He had to give them up due to his horrible condition. A devout Catholic friend who would never give anyone any guff, at least not often, has Dave on his conversion list, but it’s tough. Dave is from some Native American tribe and explains nature in an amazing way, sometimes realistically. So a prayer for Dave the Wolfman might be something you could offer up to Jesus Christ. I think Dave was raised Catholic. So, you see, Fr. McFall, I can address you on both levels, political and religious. From your intro, it looks as though you tend to opt for political/social at the expense of religious. What would it take you to reverse this?

  13. It is a fact that the Democrat Party categorically supports several intrinsic evils. It is also a fact that the Republican Party supports no intrinsic evils. How a Catholic is obligated by well-formed conscience to vote in present-day America could not be more manifest. That does not mean that Catholics align themselves with the Republican Party. It does mean that the Democrat Party’s support for intrinsic evils can in no way be accepted or supported by Catholics, which entails that the Republican Party at least wins by default. Vote accordingly. That includes you, Father.

  14. Supporting the SEIU in California, or Mi Familia Vota, is as brave as sporting an Obama-Biden bumper sticker in Seattle.

  15. Dear Father Dean McFall. Thank you for taking the time to share and explain the events. I too, have such strong reservations about the presidential candidates, that I cannot vote for either Republican or Democrat. We are being lied to and manipulated by the media and the campaigns. We are being programmed by all the propaganda. Few can step back and see this. You recalled some of the significant events that changed the course of history in the last 50 years. A priveleged few are determining the course of our history, and will continue to do so. I hope the readers will to consider your comments, as they offer an important lesson for us, at least, I found them quite enlightening. Thank you.

    • Catholic citizens are OBLIGATED to vote. It is sinful not to.
      Always vote for the politican who will do the least harm in the non-negotiables – Abortion, Euthanasia, Homo-sexual Marriage, and Freedom of Religion.
      Read your Catechism regarding voting – CCC 2240.
      If you don’t own a CCC go to : ‘ What Catholics REALLY Believe SOURCE ” for a good search engine – licensed by the Vatican.

  16. The response from Fr. McFalls was lengthy. I was not looking for excuses that don’t matter – - – - -
    I was specifically looking for what he personally was doing to keep pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, and pro-euthanasia and/or anti-freedom of religion sponsoring groups:
    1) off Church property, and
    2) not being advertised in any Church publications or Church bulletin boards etc.,
    so that it would not look like the Church was approving of them. SCANDAL is a mortal sin – CCC 2284, 2285, 2286, 2326.
    THIS is his job whether he is busy or not.
    He did not answer these questions (unless I missed them due to the length.)

    It is well known that the SEIU, and many other large unions in the USA have been and are supporting abortion.
    It is well known that SEIU and many other large unions are now supporting gay-marriage.
    It is well known that SEIU and many other large unions ONLY support the Democratic Party (- which has become the Party of Death in the last 15 years and can be proven by reading their National Platform).
    It is well known that SEIU and many other large unions actively support and participate in the Marxist – “Occupy Wall Street” disruptions and destruction of property.

    It is well known that they use Union dues to support most candidates who support INTRINSIC EVIL including – ABORTION, EUTHANASIA, HOMO-SEXUAL MARRIAGE, and are against FREEDOM of RELIGION.
    IT does not matter what happened in Chavez’s time, or in Poland. That is not a reasonable excuse.

    All Catholic Citizens are required to VOTE – CCC 2240.
    This is nothing new. (The CCC is 20 years old.)
    A properly formed conscience does not support candidates, organizations, or Parties, who support INTRINSIC evils.

    Regarding VOTING, I suggest that Fr. McFalls reads on the internet: “WORTHINESS to RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION, General Principles” by Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict).
    And be advised afterward – that there is nothing PROPORTIONATE in the USA today to the murder of approx 1 MILLION innocent unborn babies.
    Neither Fr. McFalls, nor anyone else can legitimately vote for OBAMA and still receive HOLY COMMUNION – because you would be furthering the cause of each of the INTRINSIC evils.

    In addition to a poster on a fence, to insure that no unsuspecting person commits a felony, and since your area is also being targeted by the intrinsic evil groups and you are registering voters, it would be appropriate for you to place the same notice regarding ‘citizens only registering and voting’ in your Church bulletin and mentioning it prior to each Mass with the announcements.

    Father McFalls did not answer the real questions but appeared to try to make historical excuses for his actions – which do not apply.

    Bishop Blaire must take some responsibility since he is responsible for everything that happens on Church property within his Diocese.
    And he should remove any Priest who promotes or appears to promote any group that supports intrinsic evil.

    • Excellent response, Mike. It really saddens me to hear a Catholic priest address CCD in such a bellicose manner and profess such strident political views that diminish what should be his primary goal as a priest; feed his sheep that they may be united with their Lord for eternity. What has a priest to do with unions and the democratic party…a party that has always stood for racism and repression—only now it’s abortion and feminism they’re foisting on us. The irony is that the elitist party (ie, Adlai Stevenson, FDR, John Kennedy et al) have always professed unity with the poor but they like kings. While the Republican party, always perceived as being elitist, has given us the presidents of the most humble of backgrounds: Abraham Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge, Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan et al. Also, it has always been the Republican party that has condemned racism beginning with Lincoln. Lyndon Johnson and ALL the southern democrats were deeply racist and were totally against integration. And UNIONS! What concern is it of a Catholic priest to be busying himself about unions? A priest should be teaching his flock about Jesus, the Church and being obedient to the magesterium. If my priest were neglecting his duties in such a manner, I can assure you, he’d have more than phone calls to deal with. And I’m not afraid to speak out against unions, as they are completely and utterly outdated and pointless. My dad raised us all to be pro-union and rah rah rah democrats, but then I started reading books like Animal Farm by George Orwell and noticing how union leaders were just like the big fat pigs that booted out Farmer Jones. It breaks my heart to see such a wolf in sheep’s clothing, pretending to care for his lambs when he is much more concerned about righting secular wrongs that are clearly out of a priest’s jurisdiction. FEED MY LAMBS! Shame on you!!! I’m old enough to be your mother and if my son spouted such nonsense, I would say the same to him!

      • You are right Dana, the role of a Priest is not to be involved in politics but to help his entire flock get to Heaven for eternity.

        In order that this Priest and others do not forget, let’s again name the UNIONS that support Abortion and Homo-sexual Marriage – - -
        SEIU, UAW, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, MEA (Michigan Teachers Union).

        AFL-CIO actually has a homo-sexual activist arm called “pride at work” – not for a job well done, but sexual politics involving sodomy.
        AFL-CIO czar Richard Trumka and other union bosses are using their forced dues-funded empires to assist an EVIL political agenda.

        Good people vote against these Unions whenever it comes up -
        SEIU, UAW, AFL-CIO, AFSCME, MEA.

        Your dues be used for EVIL.

        I will watch for Fr. McFall’s answer to both MIKE, and ANDREW & MARY on how he intends to handle this SCANDAL.

  17. St. Christopher says:

    “Father McFalls”: A reader can be easily confused and misled by your anger. No one likes to be called out for mistakes, and for sinfulness. It is good that you say that you are pro life. It seems, however, that all your seething goes to one point, that the coziness of the parish with an entity clearly not at all Catholic in its beliefs, has been brought to public scrutiny. Further, your comment to the effect that merely because the Democratic Party is morally objectionable does not mean one should vote Republican, is most telling. In fact, voting Republican is the only way that a Catholic voter can legitimately be both citizen and faithful Catholic. The Democratic Party, at every turn, has rejected even the most basic accommodation to voters of conscience on matters of abortion, homosexual sexual rights, and related issues. Notwithstanding the dissembling, and subsequent “explanations” of Bishop Blair on political support of those who do some good things but also enable evil things, you and the USCCB simply cannot ignore what the Democratic Party stands for (and against). Moral outrage is always suspect when the protestor claims that he is “misunderstood” and that the “record supports him” and that he “needs to get back to his important work” rather than answer for moral outrage(s) at issue — memory serves to recall similar anger by President Clinton over allegations of his dalliances, saying that he needed to return to the work for which he was elected. Nope, the parish and diocese cannot hide behind the “we are all immigrants” issue and the “nobility of workers” position and the legal argument about “being a 501c3″ entity to avoid the painfully obvious: that many, many Catholic clergy want President Obama to win, and Democrats to win. This position cannot be held by any Catholic priest, bishop or Cardinal as the Democrats enable moral evil. And, by the way, nice picture of you in your collar.

  18. Somebody tell him to first put a collar on and then pop off.

  19. tom in san jose says:

    Father McFalls, simple question: who are you voting for in the presidential election, and why? The answer will help bring everything else you’ve written into context.

  20. I think Fr. McFalls is missing one fundamental reality, being pro life supersedes all other elements of our voting duty as Catholics. We as Catholics do not have to align ourselves with partisan politics, but being that one party has adopted the support and promotion of abortion in its party platform, it makes it difficult as faithful Catholics to support candidates who support this agenda. We cannot be persuaded to vote for a pro abortion candidate because he/she has “better social justice ideals” in contrast to a proposed budget that is not a reality. The reality is, one party not only supports the murder of babies, but is radically making efforts to encourage baby murder and spread abortion throughout the world at the expense of American taxpayers. If a candidate is not pro-life, than how can this candidate be trusted with any other social issue for abortion destroys any notion of social justice we can conceive? We must first and foremost vote pro-life for candidates who truly understand the sanctity of life. God Love You.

  21. So much to discuss, but, not enough time or space. First, I am a Democrat, but, sadly as most of us Democrats, we have very little to vote or to choose from, but this does not mean that we are running to the Republicans. Doesn’t Father McFalls even know about the OFFICAIL platform of the so-called ‘democratic party’? Doesn’t seem as though he does, or he just doesn’t really care. No God, no salvation or hope of salvation. He needs to study the Holy Bible, starting from Genesis and to pay special attention to Deut. 30:15-20, where we are told to choose life, not evil, of which, sadly, the ‘democratic party’ has OFFICIALY done. The unions of America, of which I had to join to get my over-paying job, are horribly corrupt and of course, in bed with Obama big time. I kept trying to get our union to succeed from the International, but they were to afraid to do so. My parents both were very strong in the unions and both were President/vice-president of their unions, my mother even started one when she had to get another job. Sadly, she found out that the unions were lying to them, but, it was too late for her. The Immigrants that first came into this country from the Old World, came for a better way of life, not for welfare or other gimmes, that has prompted far too many of this new breed of immigrants. If the Democrats weren’t so free with our tax-money, we wouldn’t have these people up here in the first place. Now, as for the Churches being empty, has he taken his share of the blame? Instead of protesting across country, he SHOULD HAVE BEEN OUT SAVING SOULS!! Enough for now and I will let those that can express themselves better to take over. +JMJ+

  22. i’m sorry this priest got besieged by phone calls and such from loony people, but in this day and age, it’s pretty much the norm.

    especially people who have too much time on their hands, and too mch rage in thier heads, love to write to priests, bishops, popes and so forth every time they get a wild hair.

    and of course websites encourage them to “report’ parishes and priests to the pope and to god at the drop of a pin, so the hourse is wayyyyyyy out of the barn already.

    • max, it’s “wild hare”, not “wild hair”.

    • max, horses do wayyyyy better when they are out of the barn. Git yerself some boots, dude, mount up, and ride … and while you’re at it, do your blogging on some speaking device with an app to transform the voice into text, then hit the send button … oh, hey … rather hay in this case … betcha that’s what you’ve been at all this time, and explains your unique style of spelling.

      • JLS, thanks for telling me the truth about “wild hare” rathe3r than “wild hair.” i always thought it was about the second, not about rabbits.

        this site is so educational for me…

    • max, I’ve got to tell you for your own good…you sound like the class nerd that tattles on his classmates, is not always appreciated by the teacher like he thinks he deserves and is not always right even though he thinks he is. After well over forty years of being allowed to pretty much do as they pleased, priests now are being supported more but also being held more accountable. I, for one, love our priests and pray for them everyday. They deserve our respect, our faithfulness and our continued spiritual support. Our secular society is creating a completely false image about our beautiful men and women that serve God through their vocations. That is why it’s so important for ALL of us to get it right, to be unified in protecting our beautiful Church and from keeping it Holy…I believe in the Holy, Apostolic Catholic Church, right? We should all be held accountable. I don’t mind if you think I’m loony. It keeps me grounded. haha! Also, I regret saying ‘Shame on you’ to Fr McFalls, but my maternal instincts had been triggered. It wasn’t that he was wrong, but that so much time is being wasted on what to me is a needless exercise. He’s not going to listen to anything we say here. He’s a man on a mission. He’s driven by something only he hears. I’m sorry I wrote anything, actually. Time to go back to reading ‘The Last Four Things’ by
      Fr.George Rutler. I love how he is so readable and yet completely over my head…food for the soul.

  23. Just a quick remark about Bishop Blaire. Have you ever tried to “dialog” with him. As he was coming out of the Sacramento Sheraton one time, he saw me with some pro-life literature. Boy, did he ever turn on his heels and hide inside behind the hotel doors. He is single minded – and “peace and justice” is his only interest.

    • Andrew and Mary says:

      We will be watching for the Priest’s BRIEF answers to MIKE’s, post of
      Oct. 24, 2012 at 5:32 am.

      There is no peace or justice when approx 1 MILLION unborn babies are murdered each year in the USA.

      1 – - What does Fr. McFall intend to do to FIX the SCANDAL he created within his Parish and Diocese?
      (So people will not assume that the Church supports any Union or politican who supports the intrinsic evils ? ? ?

      2 – - What does Fr. McFall intend to do to INSURE that any organization or person who supports the intrinsic EVILS of abortion,
      or euthanasia, or gay-marriage, or is against freedom of religion are NOT permitted to use his Parish PROPERTY for ANY reason ? ? ?

      3 – - Since the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition ” is printed in many languages including Spanish, does Fr. McFall intend to actively encourage those in his Parish to read it – per the instructions of Pope Benedict ? ? ?
      Or are is Fr. McFall going to continue to push his misguided political opinions as a matter of Catholic Faith and Morals ? ? ?

      If he want the direct links to the Vatican for exact wording on Porta Fidei (rather than hearsay) – as others have said, search on the internet: ” What Catholics REALLY Believe SOURCE “.
      In addition there is a question answered regarding ‘social justice’ answered using the CCC that Fr. McFall should be interested in.

    • LIN, maybe during that encounter the bishop just found you annoying.

      as for being into “peace and justice,” this includes abortion, as the right to life itself is one of the central themes of biblical justice — and, of course peace.

  24. So many words, so little understanding.

    Do the research Fr. McFalls and you will see that SEIU is militantly anti-life as it funds campaigns for pro-abortion candidates only. And yes, Mi Familia Vota is an extension of SEIU.

    So many priests and bishops who are in the Leftist camp hide behind the “so many Catholic issues all on the same moral plateau” at election time.

    They remind me of the Fire Chief who comes upon a burning building and is told that there are so many things to save—a refrigerator full of food, someone’s clothing, someone’s furniture, and oh yes, there is a baby in a crib in one of the rooms. So the Fire Chief says, “There are so many concerns here and it is hard to prioritize any one of them.”

    As a result, the baby is killed by the fire while the food supply is saved.

  25. Pewsitter says:

    About 1/4 through Fathers response, his snide remarks caused me to fold my tent and silently walk away. Well, silently in sound but not in print. Father must have a masters in political science as he strides both sides of the street.

  26. Does it really say “MARXIST CREED” on Fr. McFalls’ shirt?

    If I have read it wrong, would some please tell me what it says.

    • Rita M, I just spent an hour or so exploring this t-shirt logo and trying to figure the phrase. It does not say “Marxist Creed”. The logo is the “Two Wolves” logo, which is a motif among Native Americans, particularly the Cherokee. In this motif, one of the wolves is bad, and the other good: which one prevails over the soul is the one which is fed most. The wolf also serves some as a totem, ie an object in a hierarchy of worship. What is Fr. McFalls’ point in displaying this logo? Coupled with his confused Catholicism, I’d say he has yet to clarify to himself the difference between Catholicism and polytheist paganism. This would also bear on his preference for social work instead of spiritual work. Which works does he feed the most to? That wolf is the one who will win. But there are other interpretive schemes that can be applied, some more profound and some less so. On trying to figure the words, I looked for these on several hundred t-shirt logos and did not find them. Then I tried some translations in several Native American languages, but got bogged down. And also in Latin … could be a Latin phrase; the second word could be a form of the word “canidae” which is the taxonomic family which wolves are part of. Someone out there will know. It could also be a custom t-shirt which Fr. McFalls sports. It is possible that this priest has Native American ancestry … perhaps he’d like to explain what his logo is all about. Maybe a picture of it could be sent to Archbishop Chaput, whose ancestors were Native American, to see what he might say about it.

  27. “Although the Democratic Party now supports critical issues not in conformity with Catholic moral teaching, this does not mean that our vote should automatically be Republican”

    Which party has as its plank express support for abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research and gay marriage – all intrinsic evil according to the Catholic church. Father, can you name any intrinsic evils listed on the Republican party plank? Name one.

    What can you find as more appalling then the direct murder of an unborn child that allows you to vote Democratic?

    • Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

      I am curious at to what Seminary Fr. McFall went to. I can tell he does not think through issues properly. Probably out of no fault of his own.

      Meanwhile, I did not see much concern for holiness in his posts. He is totally concerned about Catholic Social teaching.

      CCC does not spend much time there.

      Most saints spend most of their time trying to be Holy.

      • St. Patrick’s. It’s not fair to provide priest with sub-par education and formation and then expect different results.

  28. Loyolalaw98 says:

    The late Fr. Newman Eberhardt, Professor of Patristics and Churh History at St. John’s in Camarillo, used to say “there are very few new philosophical ideas after Machiavelli.” “Error keeps coming back in different guises, but at root it’s the same.” As I read Fr. McFalls missive I could hear the tinny echo of all the Liberation Theology claptrap we had in the 1980′s.

    I believe this quote from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is appropriate here:

    “Faced with the urgency of certain problems, some (insert Fr. McFalls) are tempted to emphasize, unilaterally, the liberation from servitude of an earthly and temporal kind. They do so in such a way that they seem to put liberation from sin in second place, and so fail to give it the primary importance it is due. Thus, their very presentation of the problems is confused and ambiguous. Others, in an effort to learn more precisely what are the causes of the slavery which they want to end, make use of different concepts without sufficient critical caution. It is difficult, and perhaps impossible, to purify these borrowed concepts of an ideological inspiration which is incompatible with Christian faith and the ethical requirements which flow from it.”
    (Instruction on Certain Aspects of the “Theology of Liberation.”)

    Bishop Montrose, intercede for your former Diocese!

  29. St. John Chrysostom is correct when he says that the road to hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.

    • hmm…sounds like a very crunchy highway to me!

      meaning: no one will be going in THAT direction. if satan wants people to go to hell, he’ll install an escalator or something more tempting than crunchy old skulls.

  30. Don’t sell your children down the river for the sake of words, that’s what I have to say.

  31. Its very telling that his picture is him without his Roman collar, pretty much says it all

    • Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

      Vatican II got rid of the Roman collar and allowed T-Shirts

      • It did not.
        It is up to the Diocese Bishop, in this case Bishop Stephen Blaire.
        All Priests that have Parishes in my Diocese wear collars (not in CA).

        • you guys are all over the board.

          some priests were the roman collar all the time, even when jogging.

          others wear the roman collar when doing official work, but not when out hiking on their day off or stuff like that.

          no matter what the local bishop says, each priest will make his own decision about usch stuff…

    • Says it all? It says that the reporter chose to use that picture. How rude.

      • Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

        Its not rude. I have never seen a priest in my Diocese dressed like that. Ever!!

        • It is disrespectful to his role as priest. The collar is an ourward sign of his ordination. Bishop Vasa’s clergy will learn to wear their collars in public and in pictures…the T-shirt shown should only be worn in private. Why would you not want the world to see that you are a priest forever?

        • you’ve probably never seen a priest in his swim suit, either, but nobody cares.

          i saw a picture of pope john paul ii swimming as castel gondolfo (some italian journalist had a long telephoto lens), and it sure didn’t shock me.

          next somebody will demand that priests wear a cassock to the gym…

          • max just quit with the snide comments, the priest should be in his clerical garb most of the time, why? he bears witness to Christ for the rest of us. The priest here in question is more concerned with bearing witness to his leftist causes…

          • CANISIUS, you sound pretty snide yourself here — especially having no idea when this picture was taken (was the priest cleaning the church and someone snapped a picture? was he back from a jog?).

            the personal writing an article often grabs a picture off the internet and uses it for their own agenda.

          • Maybe I am snide but if I have offended or upset a liberal I know I have done my job….

      • It is hardly rude it is the Truth, and that is what offends Brian S…as it offends all liberals

        • It is rude and worse to accuse a priest of being unholy – as you did – simply because he is photographed in civilian clothes. Talk about being more catholic than the pope…

          • well, i’ve seen the pope (after his priestly ordination) wearing a suit and tie, so i’m sure some of the fans in here would condemn HIM for that fashion choice as well…

  32. Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

    I appriciate Fr. McFall’s answer to the priesthood and his taking time to publish all his articles. I read through all off them.

    I come to the conclusion that he is well meaning but very naive.

    Fr. McFall thinks the Solidarity movement had any semblance to US Labor Unions of today?

    The solidarity movement in poland was a “Union” becouse under communism, that was the only way you could get away with political organization.

    There is absolutely no moral equivalence between “voting rights” and genocide which is what abortion is.

    Lastly, I am glad this online publication of ‘Republicans’ was able to get his attention.

    Hopefully, it will spur his soul to learn more about socialists and their attempts through the ages to destroy his beloved Church. The Catholic Church. I feel sad for him, becouse, under the right conditions, those same ‘sinners’ would go for his head first if they got control over the United States.

    He needs to look to the mexico of the 1920′s to understand truly the kind of people he is dealing with.

    • Solidarity certainly was a union, not a “union” and it was formed to advance worker’s issues at the Gdansk shipyard, which it did. Unions are always involved with politics, there as they are here. Lech Waleska has always described himself as a union leader, perhaps you think he is lying.

  33. Bill Donnelly says:

    Rita M–

    Fr. McFalls shirt says “Montreal Canada.” I would not be offended by a wolf T-shirt but I am offended that someone as confused in his theology like Fr. McFalls is in charge of the Stockton cathedral.

    Remember how the scriptures taught us to be wary of wolves coming in sheep clothes, well, look out for priests coming in wolf cloth.

    • I do not understand why some priests see more in pagan symbols than in Catholic symbols. It is not that wolf symbols are bad; it’s they way a priest might present symbols that can be bad.

  34. Methinks the Rev. Father doth protest too much.

  35. Abortion is a fundamental human rights violation. Therefore no informed and sincere catholic can vote for a person who publicly promotes elective abortion (as Obama very aggressively does). That holds no matter how devoted to helping the poor or promoting other worthy causes that candidate may be. No one would vote for a candidate who aggressively advocates enslaving black people again no matter how astute he/she might be at solving economic problems, or how eager he/she might be to help the poor, or the immigrants. Abortion is in the same category as slavery.

    Not only that. It is IMPOSSIBLE to create a just society while promoting elective abortion. It is no accident that the administration is now encroaching on religious freedom in order to force abortion’s acceptance. Being a basic injustice, it inevitable leads to other bigger and bigger injustices in order to stay in existence.

  36. Michael P. Mc Crory. says:

    Gil,
    I think you’re right.

  37. It’s a variant of the Three Wolf Moon shirt. The shirt is quite famous.

    • There is lore behind the wolf symbol, especially in some native american cultures. Fr McFalls works with native americans, and is displaying this symbol for a reason, hopefully a good reason. Symbols interact with human cognition on sometimes near brainstem levels. The use of such symbols can manipulate people. Of course it can also provide a point for starting conversation. When you sit down to dinner, do you first verbalize what you are going to eat? Or do you see the food as it is and not in some abstract verbalized way? Symbols have the same effect.

      • Anonymous says:

        Except that Fr.McFalls is not a native American, and the wolf in Christianity has always had negative connotations. A tee shirt is always a tee shirt, but when it has a motto or symbol, it is a poster board advertising something about the wearer. I think his whole intention is to undermine Church teaching, as he feels his own understanding is so much more superior. There are just way too many people like that these days and frankly I’m sick unto death of the whole lot of them. The teachings of the Church are not open to personal interpretation, period…only if you’re planning on becoming a protestant or an out and out community organizer..then you can believe whatever you want, anytime, anyhow and you’ll have lots and lots of company.

  38. Tony de New York says:

    Dear Dean McFalls, i will keep u in my prayers.

  39. Bravo to JLS, JOHN, St. Christopher, Jeffrey, Sawyer, Sue, and all the other commenters who so thoroughly rebuked this very confused, misguided, and collarless priest, Fr. McFalls.

  40. Robert Bushlow says:

    All this and yet Catholics have to battle Church Leaders to Hand Out Pro-Life Voter Guides in line with Authentic Catholic Teaching.

    • The only voter education material that should be in the church is the one sent out by the Bishops through their national organization. In that tract, it says that we should never vote for a person because they favor abortion. But, if they are the lesser of two evils one might choose to vote for them, in spite of their support of an evil act. There are some people, ok a majority of people, that think that taking away universal health care is more evil than other evils. If you want authentice Catholic teaching, you will only find it in the material issued by the Bishops. Everything else is someone’s opinion.

      • So is much of what bishops say opinion, Bob One. Discernment is a whole lot more than simply believing what some bishop says.

  41. Fr. McFalls say: “Had I known that the SEIU had taken positions so contrary to our Church’s teachings, and had I known that their communications to the press alleged sponsorship on behalf of the union for our Wednesday event, I would never have allowed it to be organized in the first place, in order to avoid causing unnecessary harm.”
    Really? I find this hard to believe of a man who explains that since the 3rd grade he has been steeped in “causes.” And am I also reading here that he wouldn’t have allowed this to be organized…is that because it is wrong or becasue you wanted to avoid “harm” and to whom?

    Fr. also says: In reference to antipathy to Democrats…”Those of you who are authentically Catholic should have objected to this.” what a pathetic thing for a priest to say…Yes authentic Catholics should object to the Democratic party. Thier platform says: No to God, yes to abortion even up to the time of delivery, yes to taxpayers paying for it, yes to gay-marriage, yes to ESR, No to conscience clause for Catholic medical providers, No to the Catholic Church opting out of Obamacare. Catholics should shout our objections to the Democratic party from the rooftops and priests from the pulpit! Or you will soon find you have lost the right to do so!

    Fr. also says: “We cannot and should never equate our faith tradition with any particular party.” He is at least correct on this one…we should never equate our faith with the party of death; the Democratic party.

    All the social justice issues that this priest seems so concerned over can be dealt with in many ways with many different approaches…but he can only think of one: Democrats. How false. There are ways to provide for social justice and protect the Faith. Not everything needs to be done by the goverment, but the things the Democrats espouse are pure evil and should not be done by anyone!

    He should be teaching the HIspanic immigrants he works with that it is the Democrats that want to see them continue to be poor and downtrodden. The Democrats that want to give contraception to their women, mutilate them with tubal ligations and abort their children. They want to teach their children by mandate in public schools that homosexuality is good and healthy for them and they should experiement with it.
    They won’t tell them the truth because they want to use them to keep getting elected…and just how is that working for them? No changes for the better for HIspanics….only a fake promise of citizenship from a president who is squirming to get re-elected…who made no attempt at all over the last 4 yrs. Or worse yet, promises of more government programs to keep them begging. No respect at all! The truth might be too much for this priest to handle.

    I’ll pray for you Fr.

    • That paragraph jumped out at me too, Alice:

      “Had I known that the SEIU had taken positions so contrary to our Church’s teachings, and had I known that their communications to the press alleged sponsorship on behalf of the union for our Wednesday event, I would never have allowed it to be organized in the first place, in order to avoid causing unnecessary harm.”

      Had Father McFalls spent more time reading CalCatholic, he would have been aware of the SEIU’s positions contrary to Church teaching.

      • I’d lay it more on his confessor, since he apparently never bothered much about helping Fr McFalls develop his spiritual life. Maybe the bishop there does not motivate his priests to consider spirituality. Has anyone taken up the task of counting the number of times that bishop has uttered or written the word holy, other than when reciting prayers?

  42. Cole Thornton says:

    Fr McFalls uses the word “Republican” 12 times saying that the commentators of CCD are embracing the Republican party and we should only vote for Republicans. In the original article posted 10/19 the word “Republican” was used just once by Maryanne Leonard – “at least one lamented former Republican congressman who is said to have lost his seat”. It doesn’t look like Maryanne is telling anyone to VOTE Republican. So why does Fr McFalls keeping dumping on the Republican party since us CCD commentators certainly didn’t bring it up? Huh?

  43. Cole Thornton says:

    Fr McFalls younger years seem to be influenced by the deaths of 3 men he appears to have idolized. Being a little older than McFalls, I also lived through that time. After JFK was shot we also watched the funeral in our 8th grade classroom and then went on with our lives. Same with RK and MLK. Living in Detroit we went back to watching John Wayne movies, playing army in the park, playing baseball and football, hoping Alex Karras and the Fearsome Foursome would bury Bart Starr again, cheer for Al Kaline, wonder if anyone would dare get into a fight with Gordie Howe, hope that special girl would look at us. We were too busy living our lives to just sit around and lament what could have been because someone died unexpectedly. I believe it is good to look for that next horizon and not mope over the past. Fr McFalls appears to believe that the past needs to be corrected. Can’t change that!

  44. Catholics have a moral obligatiion to vote for life; all other social issues are secondary. Romney is not 100% pro-life, but as President he would have the power to cancel the HHS mandate. That’s it, folks.

  45. Father Dean McFalls–where is your collar? Why do you dress with wolves on your shirt. Do you speak with forked tongue? I believe you do. My the Lord wash your soul with His light. You are His chosen son–are you honoring Him who created you?

    • Sometimes a t-shirt is only a t-shirt.

      • And sometimes a t-shirt is a statement about the person wearing it.

        • MATTHEW 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry…about what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes?”

          somebody better tell JESUS that tee-shirts are now evil! :(

    • It has been many years since priests wore collars for everyday dress, at least in my area. They tend to wear them for mass on Sunday, or if they are attending a special meeting, but around the rectory and around town they are in regular cloths.

      • Maybe to avoid the appearance of scandal, Bob One?

      • Perhaps Bob One you have explained why the Church is on its knees,…..Bob One immediately thinks anything that was traditional is wrong and needs to be discarded,,,,his attitude is the one reason I will never attended a novus ordo mass…

      • Thank God there are Bishops in CA now who will change that! The collar is the sign of their ordination, of their dedication to Christ, that they are here to do the work of Christ in the Church.
        It is sad that (aside from while at home/in private) that so many priests do not wear the outward sign of their ordination and service to Christ.
        where is the pride in their vows?

  46. MATTHEW 23:

    3″Don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. 4They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden. 5“Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels. 6And they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the synagogues. 7They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi.’ ”

    hmm…seems like JESUS is not too fond of clerical garb or full habits…shoot…

  47. Father Dean McFalls says:

    Dear Friends, I’ve been reading the comments to my letters and appreciate their honesty, but also am grateful for the diversity of opinions. I apologize to everyone for the anger in my first letters; I was extremely frustrated at the circumstances and the speed with which people could jump to conclusions. However, whoever chose to post a photo of me out of clerical uniform did so with obvious intentions. In fact, I wear the collar nearly all the time, except when I’m exercizing or out on a day away. So I’m not sure how they landed this photo. Why not include one that portrays me as a priest? Secondly, I don’t think I need psychoanalyzing. I grew tired of the liberal media doing that to Pope John Paul II and now, to Benedict XVI. It really doesn’t serve any higher purpose. And in case you all are wondering, I did not vote for the man who was re-elected president, for reasons I have made clear in my letters. Finally, I need to share that a traditionist who attends only the Extraordinary Rite of the Mass or the Byzantine Liturgy has been writing to accuse me of a litany of despicable crimes and detestable behaviors of which I have no part. His letters have been so condemning and venomous that I don’t even bother to reply, which he takes as my acquiescing to guilt. Well, we shall see. On the Day of Judgment, Scripture and the Church teach us, Jesus is not going to send us to Heaven or Hell based on the Rite we prefer, the direction the priest faces or the language he speaks, nor on our political affiliation, but rather on the content of our character, the compassion evident in our actions, the truth of the Faith we proclaim, our obedience to the one Who is Lord, and, yes, our humility. Jesus didn’t even speak Latin, so far as we know, and at the Last Supper looked his disciples in the eyes. His strongest condemnations were reserved precisely for those religious leaders who considered themselves superior to the common man and publicly identified sinners.. We’re all a work in progress, and anyone who denies this is deluded. So let’s carry on the conversation, by all means, but, in my humble opinion, charity and mutual respect are virtues that we all need to cultivate. Jesus said something about this in last Sunday’s gospel. And 1 Corinthians 13 reminds us that, without love, we are nothing. Thanks for reading this, and please, post me in a picture with clerics. God bless you all. And you, too, my condemner.

    • “On the Day of Judgment, Scripture and the Church teach us, Jesus is not going to send us to Heaven or Hell based on the Rite we prefer,” I think he will have a word or two to say about some of the abominations of the Novus Ordo rite and disrespect shown to Him in the Blessed Sacrament…

  48. Father Dean McFalls says:

    Correction: Traditionalist, I meant.

  49. Dear Father McFalls,
    Don’t you worry about getting angry with people for jumping to conclusions — for many of us in here, it’s about the only exercise we get!
    I just read about your decision to leave the priesthood and take care of your child and I wish you all the best.
    May God bless you, and the many people you have served over the years.

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