Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Cafeteria is Closed

I spent two thirds of my life while a student at UNM hanging out in the Aquinas Newman Center.  While I was already drifting away from religion I found it to be a great center of intellectual debate on all the issues in the 60s.  My friends hung out there.  They had a great little cafe where one could get breakfast and lunch pretty cheaply.  There was always a card game to be had and I fell in love with three or four good Catholic girls there.  The center was staffed by Dominican priests who seemed pretty darn liberal even in those days.

Now the Archdiocese of Santa Fe under the iron fist of Archbishop Sheehan has told the Dominicans they have six months to get the hell out of the parish, in so many words.  This came as a complete surprise to the 750 parishioners who attend services there.  A 'go screw yourself' moment from the rightwing Archbishop.

I asked one of my good friends who is active at the Newman Center what the reason was for this unilateral move from Sheehan.  Here is his quote.

 "His biggest concern is that we're "Cafeteria Catholics" because we don't campaign against abortion and even worse, we're Pope Francis Catholics. He's also mad that we let women speak from the pulpit."


Bubba Muntzer said...

What an excellent post. Oh that you worked at the Journal, whose poor reporter apparently has no clue as to the reasons and didn't feel compelled to find them out. A good editor would have made him get something, anything.

Your background gives a vivid sense of what the place is and was (lacking too from the Journal). Even the devout, God-fearing Catholic knows church is where the babes are. The ones you want to take home to meet mom and dad, eventually.

But yes it's always about sex with the conservatives. Women not paying mens' price for their actions (re abortion), and women not bowing down to their menfolk (re actually speaking in church). A good reporter would be in Santa Fe tomorrow laying for the archbishop when he emerges from his chamber and starts waving his sceptre around.

Anonymous said...

My experience with the journal is the editors removing important background information from stories written by journalists. The reporter is banned from putting the deleted information back. It is a very frustrating process because the by-line remains as if the reporter approved the final version. After this happens enough times, the good reporters leave. Then they are prohibited from speaking about it lest their future careers are impacted. Given your history in journalism, I am sure you can empathize.

Bubba Muntzer said...

I can believe that. That does happen. I was probably too hard on the reporter.

I can even envision a situation where after getting the call from the reporter, the archbishop, knowing what's coming, has a talk with someone in the Journal hierarchy.

But the way the Journal shields the governor, as was pointed out here recently, to the extent of not even covering some things, it's not unreasonable to believe they'd try to shield the archbishop from the consequences of what is essentially a political struggle in which the church clergy is a participant.

And of course the reporter wouldn't have the same contacts as Jim, who, if he were to tell everything he knew might come home from playing golf one morning to find his house missing.

By the way, Jim, if that does happen, about the only thing you can do at that point is head back to the golf course.

Jim Baca said...

The Archbishop actually lives in Albuquerque's south east heights Ridgecrest area.

Anonymous said...

The bishop hadn't lived in the SE for years. I think he's on the west side now.