Matt C. Abbott
King Richard M. Daley should go back to school -- to Belmont Abbey College, if it'll have him
By Matt C. Abbott
October 13, 2009

Gosh darn it.

Just when I thought (not really) I would be commending Catholic Mayor Richard M. Daley for defending the free speech rights of peaceful pro-life activists by vetoing the "bubble zone" ordinance recently passed by the Chicago City Council, he once again has shown his true colors.

And they sure aren't the colors of the five Olympic rings, I'll tell ya.

According to the Chicago Tribune:

    'Daley said the ordinance will 'try to make sure nobody is harassed.' The mayor said protesters can express their opinions but 'should not harass and scream and yell' at people going into medical facilities. 'There has to be some civility left in our society,' he said.'

Daley may as well be a spokesman — and an inarticulate one at that — for Planned Parenthood. The lack of civility can't be blamed on the sidewalk counselors, that's for sure. Abortion supporters, particularly those who harass peaceful pro-life activists, are some of the most uncivil and vile people who walk this planet. Want an example? Check this out (warning: contains very foul and racist language).

As for the abortion supporters who attempt to paint peaceful pro-lifers as terrorists and thugs, well, check out this Web site.

The sad fact is that Daley is a "politically-correct" coward who sees more evil in gambling than he does in abortion. Equally sad, if not more so, is the likelihood that certain prominent Chicago clergy (cough-Father Jack Wall-cough) are telling him he's a darn good Catholic and, hey, don't even listen to those right-wing nuts.

Ah, well. I hope the Thomas More Society takes legal action against this city of (fill in the blank here; whatever you feel like).

Daley would do well to go back to school — to, say, Belmont Abbey College. He could learn a thing or two there.

Speaking of which...

Patrick Madrid has a new blog post on Archbishop Charles Chaput's Oct. 8 address to the Envoy Institute of Belmont Abbey College's "Envoy of the Year" award banquet — check it out.

Can you guess the prelate Catholic and political commentator Tom Roeser is referring to in the following blog post?

    'A fairly prominent Catholic prelate has written a book that inveighs against the 'shortcomings' of both liberal and conservative Catholicism... thus sparing himself from siding with either: blurring, as ever, the need to take positions on either side which may make him unpopular-basking in the glow of faux intellectuality, allowing him to hedge on tough issues indefinitely in order to avoid controversy. He could be called the Parsing Parson, 'parson' in the pre-Reformist church referring to a priest 'independent' of definitive classification.

    'He brings up the subject of priests who have strayed into pedophilia. It's a wonder he dares do so because his flaccidity in seminary oversight has been responsible for many derelictions: particularly of one whose homosexual tendencies were well known to the seminary leadership but who was ordained anyhow...the seminary rector later promoted to auxiliary bishop and later head of a large diocese that he would ordain the offender again-the offender having been apprehended by the police after being cued to his objectionable behavior by a nun. Result: he is doing hard time in a penitentiary.

    'The prelate wasn't bothered particularly by such dereliction by the rector and allowed that he would willingly serve in a much higher position with the ex-rector as number two, allowing the ex-rector to ultimately become head of the Catholic bishops. Ah, always avoid the hard choices and when questioned parse your way out of it.

    'Example of the Parsing Parson's thinking. Some years ago he addressed a prominent civic club whose audience was filled with liberal, pro-abortion Catholic Democrats, most of whom were in denial about their support of abortion while continuing to traipse to the altar to receive the Eucharist. The Parsing Parson began his talk by saying that it occurred to him that the Democratic party had lost its soul. There was a distinct intake of breath in the group: stunned that he would deliver a rebuke that inwardly it knew was greatly deserved. But then he added that it could be argued that the Republican party never had a soul. Ah, that was a comfort and the pro-abort Dems laughed with relief.

    'I am first to testify that the Republicans have exhibited major flaws-but being born soul-less is not one of them.

    'When questioned about how he could justify the statement that a party formed to oppose slavery was born without a soul, the Parsing Parson explained it thusly: You didn't hear what I said. I said 'it could be argued that' the Republican party never had a soul! The Parsing Parson had used sentence structure to avoid being accused of having made a judgment on moral principle that might offend the Democrats-bending skillfully to berate the Republicans albeit unjustly to salve things over with the Democrats-parsing back again to assuage the Republicans that he had not, after all, insulted them but had used hair-splitting language.

    'The Parsing Parson. Isn't that a wondrous way to grease one's way through the shoals of controversy in a Church whose Founder testified 'Do not think I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword' [Matt. 10:34-36].

    'After the hair-splitting linguistics involving the phrase 'it could be argued that' were dismissed, the prelate was asked to explain how the two political with all major principals supporting abortion (the Democrats) and the other, with many other faults but whose platforms (if not all its participants) eschewed abortion...could be viewed as equivalent in his mind given that the salient moral issue of our time, abortion, has found strident acceptance in the Democratic party and official disapproval in the Republican. How did he defend the equivalence? Guess! No, you'll never imagine.

    'He cited the case of James G. Blaine. And what, in the name of God you ask, did the late U. S. Senator James G. Blaine, Republican of Maine [1830-1893] do that is the equivalent of...let us say...the party of abortion...Blaine whose mother was a Catholic and whose sister was a nun? It had to do, of course, with the proposed Blaine amendment to the U. S. Constitution which never passed but which was adopted in the 19th century by all states but eleven (Illinois being one of the states that adopted it).

    'In the era before the Civil War, anti-Catholicism led Blaine, a Protestant, to propose the amendment in 1874 which said 'No money raised by taxation in any state for the support of public schools or derived form any public source nor any public lands devoted thereto, shall ever be under the control of any religious sect, nor shall any money so raised or land so devoted by divided between religious sects or denominations.' As author of the amendment (which never passed into the U.S. Constitution), Blaine was regarded-and properly so-as anti-Catholic. But as we know, the amendments have been overridden in the states by the legal rationalization that federal aid goes to students rather than institutions, justifying it in that way.

    'Now it so happens that while I disagree heatedly with Blaine's anti-Catholicism, a former adjunct professor at DePaul and Loyola of Chicago...have looked around and have seen the steady disembowelment of Catholic education under the ruse...made into a mantra...that after all universities that receive federal funds dare not teach much if any Catholicism ere the taxpayers' largesse shall be challenged. In short, Blaine was doing the Church and all other religions a great service by seeking to keep federal hands and blinders off their curricula. Understand, a legion of Catholic schools which have shirked their mandate used tax support as a reason when it isn't (wanton secularism and relativism is the real reason)...but how much better religious education would be-how much more authentic it would be-if Blaine had got his amendment through.

    'But again: to link James G. Blaine, the 'Plumed Knight' of Maine and his failed amendment to the crusading vigor of the pro-abortionists of the Democratic party (and some sectors of the Republican, sadly) as equivalent? What does that specious 'reasoning' which dare not show its face without incurring laughter and ridicule...what does that 'reasoning' tell us?

    'It tells us that the Parsing Parson has been truly desperate in his career to avoid taking positions-and if cornered so he has to take them, quickly issues amendatory statements to blur the old ones: the Parsing Parson.

    'So that's why I'm not buying his book...not because I fear reading what he has to say...but because I know what he has said-and what quote a phrase from the liturgy...'has failed to do.''

© Matt C. Abbott


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 'Unsolved' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and other media outlets. In 2005 and 2006, he was among the first writers to expose former cardinal Theodore McCarrick's abuse of power with and sexual harassment of seminarians. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome thoughtful feedback and story ideas. If you want our correspondence to remain confidential, please specify as such in your initial email to me. However, I reserve the right to forward and/or publish emails that are accusatory, insulting or threatening in nature, even if they're marked confidential. Also, if you give me permission to publish a quote of yours, please do not contact me at a later time to request that I delete your name. Only in limited circumstances will I quote anonymous sources. Thank you and God bless!)


Receive future articles by Matt C. Abbott: Click here

More by this author