Wisconsin State Journal Inflames Parish Conflict with Imbalanced Reporting


100 Minus 40 Equals 60!


Wisconsin State Journal’s (WSJ) reporting on the troubled infighting at St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Platteville is sadly lacking, and contributes to the confusion and discord going on at St. Mary’s right now.

The Problem

The initial event precipitating such extreme dysfunction at St. Mary’s, which has culminated in the closing of the parish school, was the fact that 40% of the parish demanded the firing of the conservative priests assigned to the parish.

News flash: This means that 60% of the parish APPROVED THE CONSERVATIVE PRIESTS, a fact that seems to be neglected by WSJ’s selective reporting and by dissidents at St. Mary’s.

Aside: The Church is not a democracy, and even if it was, the dissidents at St. Mary’s who disapprove of the conservative priests are in the minority.

The Problem Grows

The St. Mary’s dissident 40% went well beyond protest and demands.  They withheld giving, causing a parish financial crisis, which has led to the closing of the school.  Now they wish to blame the Bishop for the closing of the school.

How ridiculous would it be to refuse to give to Goodwill or to Salvation Army, then to upbraid them for inadequate service to the poor?  Or to refuse to pay taxes, then upbraid the government for not providing free services?  Or for a spouse to withhold their contribution to a household, then expect the mortgage to get paid?

Hostages Taken

Additional shocking fact: the liberal 40% of the parish is holding the rest of the parish hostage, demanding the removal of two priests as ransom, before they return giving to the previous level and prevent the closing of the school.  This was not covered adequately by the WSJ article.

Yes, 40% of the parish is holding 60% of the parish hostage, with everyone’s children in the balance.


Failure to Report

Bad reporting

Another neglected fact: that the Bishop’s 5-page letter actually focused almost exclusively on communication, problem solving and forgiveness.  Yet the WSJ article, particularly it’s headline, focused on one warning that was mentioned by the Bishop, at the end of the letter, after numerous appeals for cooperation in solving the problems of the parish.

Comparable secular headline:  Policeman DARES to warn 90 mph speeder that he may be ticketed next time! After pleading with the driver for 15 minutes to be more considerate of his own safety, and the safety of others, policeman DARES to state that next time the speeder will get ticketed.

Imbalanced Choice of “Experts”

Choice of “experts.”  The WSJ quoted two liberal “experts,” who used inflammatory wording such as “medieval” and “nuclear option” to characterize Bishop Morlino’s letter. WSJ failed to quote two equally conservative “experts.” This hardly makes for balanced reporting.

Little New Here

The story here is not that Bishop Morlino is threatening dissenters, as the WSJ headline implies.
The story here is old, a story of division between liberals and conservatives.
In every segment of  American society today, in every religion, and in politics, there is a divide between liberals and conservatives.
It is happening at the national level with discontent over ObamaCare, and at the State level, with attempts to recall Governor Walker. It is happening in every Church in America.

Some people believe in maintaining the old rules of Judeo-Christian morality (conservatives), while others want to define their own rules (liberals).

40% of Americans are continuing to describe their views as conservative, 35% as moderate, and 21% as liberal.
If you split the moderates 50/50, that would be 57% conservative and 38% liberal.
Rounding off, 60% conservative, 40% liberal (the magic St. Mary’s number surfaces!)

Sadly, the liberals, still in the minority (somewhat like the 40% at St. Mary’s), are less patient, more angry, more demanding, and more willing to engage in questionable tactics, such as holding children’s education hostage in an effort to get their own (minority) way.

The Liberal/Conservative Struggle and Lilberal Tactics

I have written whole blog articles on Alinsky tactics; tactics that encourage the use of ANY method, moral or immoral, to achieve one’s goal.  This philosophy is old:  Machiavelli promoted it circa 1500AD : “ the ends justify the means.”

Translated into modern jargon, they say “I  am right, and I am SO right, that my rightness is more important than democracy, more important than truth or than fairness, and in order to achieve my perfect goal, I am allowed to trample the rights of others—to challenge democratic elections, to intimidate people to achieve my goal, to hold others hostage, and to force them to agree with me by hook or by crook.  Violence is even O.K. if it helps me to achieve my noble goals.

These tactics are being used by 40% of America nationally (Obama administration’s passing of OBamaCare via lies made to Stupak ) and locally (Madison teacher’s union demonstrations  and Governor Walker recalls, complete with approval of fraudulent Mickey Mouse petitions).

St. Mary’s Not Surprising

Why are we then surprised that there is one Wisconsin Catholic parish where the same liberal/conservative conflict occurred and where the liberals tried to use the same nasty tactics?

Too bad the WSJ cannot write a more balanced report on this issue.

A Final Note

So the Catholic Church is a group whose leaders are drawn from volunteers who pledge their lives

Devoting a lifetime to the spiritual needs of others

to the service of the Church so completely that they give up commitment to a family life, in order to allow a more complete dedication to the members of the Church and their spiritual needs.

And the increasingly secular society in which we live has a dwindling interest in participating in this mission.  Few encourage their children to enter this life of service by becoming priests or nuns.

However, in the face of dwindling numbers of priests, the “dilute” or “cafeteria” Catholics (who do not want to devote themselves completely to the way of life taught by the Church) still want service from the Church, still want the Bishop to staff their parishes with priests, and now even want to control what kind of virtually free priests they are given and “fire” the priests whose personalities they do not approve.

Let’s get this straight.
I want a service.
I want someone to clean my house, or to teach my children, or to repair my house.
Send me a trained expert virtually for free.
They better do the job my way.
Even though I am a novice, and they are experts on the subject, with 8 years training or more. If I don’t approve of the job they are doing, I will “fire” them, and you better send me some new ones whom I like better.
If you don’t, I will get out the Alinsky tactics of lying, cheating, ridiculing, and maligning them.
And, of course, the liberal media will assist me in my tactics to undermine the people who are serving me for free.
Yet heaven forbid that anyone even suggest that the free sacrificial service to me is discontinued!

Shame on Everyone

Shame on St. Mary’s dissidents.
Shame on Wisconsin State Journal’s selective and inflammatory reporting.

They should both get on their knees before Bishop Morlino, ask his forgiveness for maligning him, and thank him for the sacrificial service he and the Catholic Church provide to Madison.

Here's a start- a WSJ reporter (guess which one?!), already on his knees before Bishop Morlino, contemplating the Bishop's words at the Religious Freedom Rally March 23rd. Now we just need an apology, and we're good to go!

Impossible, you say?
Maybe not…