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Kimberly Seidel writes an extremely laudatory article about Gina Messina (Sept. 16 Tribune) headlined, “Church depends on strong women to resist and persist.”

I submit that the church needs both men and women to assist and support the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church to be an authentic Catholic.

Messina was recently in La Crosse to speak at the Roman Catholic Franciscan Spirituality Center and Viterbo University. This gives her credibility which she does not deserve and relying on a lengthy front-page interview with Messina (Aug. 21 Tribune) she is anything but loyal to many teachings of the church. She instead stands in direct opposition to them. She insists that she is still Catholic but makes a huge mistake when she seems to believe that she can be a cafeteria Catholic who can pick and choose which teachings to accept and which she can reject.

Seidel states that Messina disagrees with the teachings of the church regarding abortion, same-sex marriage and women priests. Being Roman Catholic means to accept and practice all of the official teachings of the church.

Messina criticizes Pope Frances for having blind spots regarding women LGBTQ issues, poverty and abortion on demand. She says that “a presentation from a Catholic abortions rights activist nurtured her feminist leanings.” Messina is in error when she believes she can refute these teachings and remain in good standing with the church. She joins dissident Sister Joan Chittister and other radicals who use Catholic facilities to spew their decidedly anti-Catholic views. Chittister has previously also been given an opportunity to speak by the nuns at the Franciscan Spirituality Center.

I can tell you that I am a camel, I may even think I am camel but the fact is that I am actually a human being. So it is with being Roman Catholic. Pretense is not a substitute for authenticity.

Messina attempts to present herself as a thoughtful intellectual and through her superb analytical process shares her brilliance with the largely unsophisticated and uninformed. But, like so many of her ilk, she only reveals her truly anti-Catholic and radically liberal political views.

Messina, now divorced, complains that during her pre-marriage classes the priest told her to quit her job and instead fulfill the traditional role of bearing children. It is true that the church teaches that having children is an important part of marriage, but being a lifelong Catholic and having the privilege of having known many fine priests I know of none that would insist that a woman quit her job unless the job was an impediment to having and raising children.

Messina claims to have a good relationship with her father, a practicing Catholic. But when she threatened to run for public office he informed her he would not vote for her. Her father obviously recognized her radicalism and lack of qualifications.

Dissidents such as Chittister and Messina like to hide behind the cloak of intellectual inquiry. Legitimate questions can be answered authoritatively in the official Catechism of the Catholic Church. Direct opposition to those teachings can lead to heresy and/or schism.

The Catechism states clearly that “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.” There is not room for equivocation or radical feminist rationalization here. The official teaching of the Church is clear.

In defending Messina, Seidel makes some rather thinly veiled sexist remarks with her heavy emphasis on radical feminism in the church and when she states that we need to “look beyond the patriarchal man made teachings.” Practicing Catholics know that those teachings are based on sacred scripture and tradition and were made by God, not by man. She further states that “God is spirit, merciful and loving, and not a white male judging our every move.” Practicing Catholics know that our every move is judged and is to be in accordance with the teachings of Christ.

It is long past time for the Franciscan Sisters at their Spirituality Center and Viterbo to stop giving a platform to those who openly persist in resisting the teachings of the church. Those considering attending or believing dissidents’ presentations should remember that practicing Catholics “firmly resolve to avoid the near occasion of sin” when they say the Act of Contrition.

I would invite loyal Catholics to join me in praying that those who challenge Church teaching would recognize the wisdom of being in full communion with The Holy Roman Catholic Church.


(15) comments


You're not a true Catholic.
You're not a true Christian.
You're not a true patriot.
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You're not a true Republican.
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In the beginning, Man created God...


When a faith professes to be Christian and conflicts appear, they should go to the Bible for the correct answers. If they don't accept those answers, then they are no longer Christian.


Simple minds come up with simple answers. Ever heard of "interpretation?" Three people can read the same thing in the Bible and come up with different ideas based from it.


the bible is a good place to start, but many use a narrow interpretation of the bible teachings to further justify their unchristian thinking or dogma. I guess its like you see what you want to see and disregard the rest. As we celebrate the 500th year of the reformation started by Martin Luther let's not forget that the reformation continues to this day. The Christian church should always look for new ways to serve God and humanity, and get rid of those things that hinder us from doing so.


The Franciscan Sisters seem to be simply a band of social progressives. Their actions speak louder than their name.


How sad that Vern continues to make such a fool of himself with such nonsense. He's like the boy who cried wolf. How hilarious that he thinks he is an expert on Catholicism but knows absolutely nothing true Christianity. If he did, he wouldn't be writing letters/columns like this.


My goodness, I'm surprised he doesn't want to burn the sisters at the stake.


"This gives her credibility which she does not deserve..." Thanks for man-splaining it for us, Vern!


Way to go Vernal! Get those women back in line and listen to what the men in power have to say. How dare those women have a mind and an opinion different from the powers that be. No one in that church is allowed to think for themselves and its high time these women understand that. Those radical nuns at Viterbo are instigating a dialogue that makes many men uncomfortable and must be stopped! Good old Vernal, the self appointed judge and jury for the church and God. Thank you for setting the record straight about men only priests (doesn't say that any where in the bible), and those friday fish fries (can't seem to find that in the bible either), and hiding pedophiles from the law (can't find that either). Well anyway thanks for reminding us of this God that is out to get us and judges every little move and is quick to anger ( seems I can't find that one either). OH well, enjoy your self righteousness as a genuine practicing Catholic, while you thumb your nose at others you think are less than you, and keep bragging about your faith and adherence to the law, Jesus just loved that in the Pharisees and scribes of his time (actually the bible said he despised such people). You are a great example for the rest of us...not!


"an authentic Catholic" "solid Catholic" "faithful Catholic" are code words for ultraconservative Catholics who don't like the Vatican II changes and hate the current pope, despite saying that popes they liked were chosen through the action of the Holy Spirit and must be listened to. Apparently the Holy Spirit got it wrong this time and elected a progressive. Makes sense, doesnt it?


I couldn't of said it better!


I join you, maki, in admiration. I look at Vernal's photo and think, "What would it be like to find yourself seated next to him at a dinner party?" I think I would feign a headache or an unexpected business emergency and vamoose pronto.

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