Saturday, March 9, 2019

Fantastic Interview! Bishop Thomas Daly, Cupich's Successor in Spokane, is the Anti-Cupich: "'Can't we all just get along?' No, we can't just get along."

Spokane Bishop Thomas Daly

When then Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane was appointed Archbishop of Chicago in 2014, reputedly on the recommendation of now disgraced ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick, it wasn't all bad.

It wasn't bad for Spokane.

By the end of his time in Spokane, Cupich had already solidified his reputation as a "progressive". Read the outgoing (Spokane) and incoming (Chicago) media puff-pieces and you'll quickly get the idea. In Spokane he was missed by the pro-gay rights city councilman and the affordable health care activist. In Chicago was welcomed by the VP of Catholic Extension ("Ignite the Change!") who praised his work with Native Americans. There's liberal use of "inclusiveness", "listening", "reform", "transformative" and so on.

In Spokane, Cupich had also earned mixed praise (which most of the major media emphasized) and criticism (which much of the major media tried to de-emphasize but couldn't quite hide) for his handling of the dire financial situation of the Spokane diocese, culminating in an unprecedented lawsuit launched by the bishop against the law firm that had handled the diocese's earlier bankruptcy, a lawsuit that was still ongoing as of Cupich's departure. (It was settled a year later on terms that some claimed were favorable to the law firm and something of an embarrassment for the diocese.)

When Cupich left for Chicago, the diocese of Spokane was still in turmoil.

A few months later, Thomas Anthony Daly, a then auxiliary bishop of San José, was appointed as his replacement.

Who is Bishop Daly?

Not all Catholic news is bad.

Cupich's successor is the anti-Cupich.

Some of you may recall Bishop Daly's criticism of the Vatican and some of his fellow American bishops at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in November. He was one of those present who spoke out against the Vatican's action, facilitated by Cupich and others, to suppress voting on two proposals to take more aggressive action on the priestly sexual abuse crisis.

Yesterday, the Spokane Inlander released a fascinating and revealing interview with the bishop, who has now been on the job for almost three years.

The interview and introductory commentary was by staff writer Daniel Walters, who also took the above photograph.

I urge you to read the lengthy original interview in its entirety, here. But below is a partial summary and some choice excerpts - in the same "heading and response" format as the original, though the new headings are my own. The bishop is not only the anti-Cupich but in comparison with most of the other leading American prelates that we are now (unfortunately) all too familiar with, Daly is, well, an alien.

In other words, he's a good and faithful Catholic bishop.

And he is refreshingly frank, even combative, though I would prefer the word "righteous."

The interview gets off to an appropriately frank start as Daly directly makes reference to some of his colleagues:
I believe the church is divided because we have people who want to compromise — and I’m talking about bishops — fundamental principles of morality that the church has remained very clear and steadfast on.
Are Catholics in Spokane divided? Daly implies that they were in the Cupich era but that that "dark moment in time" is now over:
...Maybe I’m a little naive, but I think this diocese has been so demoralized because of bankruptcy and abuse. In fact, I was asked by someone, 'Why didn't you, when you were installed, make reference to your predecessor at that time?' My impression was that the people in Spokane, the Catholic community, including the press, went through such a dark moment in time with what went on. It was the winter of discontent. They wanted to move on. I don’t think this community now is divided.
Here, Daly makes a few observations - one, politically incorrect - on the sexual abuse crisis and the difference between evil and weakness:
The sexual misconduct of the clergy, it may be caused by weakness. It may be use of drugs and alcohol and loneliness. It may be, in fact, evil and diabolical.
There was a priest in California who would take kids out to his summer place, get them drunk, rape them, and then make them serve mass the next day. A lawyer who was initially asked to defend him said, ‘I can’t. This man’s evil.' I believe that case is evil.
A priest who gets involved with a woman in a counseling situation, I don’t think that’s evil. That’s weakness. Much the way a guy in a good marriage suddenly falls in.
There is a diabolical element to this, I think, because a church weakened is a church who cannot proclaim the Gospel.
You also have priests who do not take seriously what it means to be vowed. I think we’re seeing — and I have never [sic?] been told this — some priests think the vow of celibacy is, ‘I do not get married to a woman. So, therefore, I can have sex with anybody,’ That’s wrong. That’s a violation of the vow.
And here he trashes the buzzword "transparent" (Thank you! Thank you!)
What does the church need to do? We need to be truthful. I don’t like the word ‘transparent.’ It sounds like our ad agency, our PR firm, polished us up. … We all understand the meaning of ‘truth.’ What is the truth? Regarding McCarrick, who knew what and why?
Unlike Cupich, Daly is a supporter of Archbishop Viganò:
...I think Viganò is a man of integrity. I just know of an appointment of a bishop that was clearly dictated outside the normal channels [confirming one of Viganò accusations]. I'd like to get into it, but I know it gets a little controversial.
To the ones (Viganò) spoke about, look at the way, they never address what he said. They just try to destroy him personally. I find that very troubling. I look at those guys who focus on what he raised, and not the person of Archbishop Viganò.
And here is some straight-talk, as it were, about homosexuality and the priesthood:
"I know that there have been situations — and I was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal about this — there are certain diocese and religious communities where there is a clique that runs things. Are they defined by their sexuality? They may very well be.
The rector when I was in the seminary said, if there’s a gay subculture in a presbyterate or seminary, then the clandestine behavior leads to other clandestine behavior. You’re secretly living a double-life. And that is a recipe for disaster.
...The Vatican document (prohibits) those with "deep-seated" homosexual tendencies. And they talk about those who live in a gay culture. All people are called to chastity — chastity is different than celibacy. A married person is chaste, in that you're not breaking your vows of marriage.
A priest is called to be chaste in that you're not breaking your vows with sexual misconduct. The issue about homosexuality in the priesthood is that an individual who defines himself by his sexuality, and is not supportive of the church's teaching on the call to chastity, marriage between a man and a woman, that becomes a problem. You're asked to teach what the church believes.
The belief is and the experience has been, when they speak about that from the pulpit, there’s an assumption that people make that they’re sexually active. I was talking to a priest in California, he said, a priest was in the pulpit, and he was saying, ‘When God did not give me the man of my dreams, I decided to become a priest.’ There was a security guard at the church who said, ‘I’m not Catholic, father, but I don’t know if that’s something that I want to be hearing from a priest from the pulpit.’ And if that’s his motive for becoming a priest? If that’s his motive, for becoming a priest?
A priest has to be a credible father. That’s that quality I look for. If a priest is defining himself by his sexuality, I think that’s not an integrated sexuality.
In one of the best quotes of the thing, the bishop doesn't and does directly refer to his own sexuality:
If I wasn’t a priest I would have married and probably have five kids and I’d probably be a prosecuting attorney.
Here is a sample of Daly's dissident opinions (in relation to those of many of his colleagues) on the Church partnering with government or secular agencies:
My main concern with a cozy relationship is it never ends well. There’s too much of a tendency to compartmentalize. The problem isn’t the church in the world, it’s the world in the church.
...When you have government contracts you run the risk. ‘Well, you know, we can’t talk about this, because we have government money, and they won’t allow it.'
I’m not in favor of government funding for our [Catholic] schools, for example. There’s always a price to pay.
Who’s really running the show? It’s pretty much secular people. I think a lot of problems in our society have come from a breakdown in Judeo-Christian values. My experience coming from the Bay Area is 'Compassion always, compromise never.' (By compromising) you never win. Politicians will use you.
According to Daly, while, say, homosexuals should not be barred per se from working within Catholic agencies, public scandal or dissent from Church teachings should be avoided:
When a church’s ministries are very clear in their identity, it helps people know, ‘Well, this is not a good fit for me.’ … It’s an important thing that the people who are in ministries in the church support the mission of the church. If somebody doesn’t agree with that or doesn’t abide by that, there are many other ways to serve society.
Here, Daly navigates the risky (given the Pope's recent words and actions) issues regarding the differences between the morality of capital punishment and abortion:
Capital punishment in the code — though the pope has changed it, and there’s controversy about the fact that it was just this unilateral change — allowed in very rare circumstances for capital punishment. I’ll use an example: to keep Osama Bin Laden alive had he been captured. Would his ongoing living be a risk to a great deal of people? There could be moral arguments about that.
There are never moral arguments to justify abortion. It’s not there.
[Daly then goes on to charitably - though, I think erroneously or misleadingly - praise Pope Francis on a few things, perhaps to soften the blow of his veiled criticism of the Pope's "change" on capital punishment. We won't reprint them, here. Nobody's perfect.]
While Daly did oppose President Trump's recent "family separation" policy, his positions on immigration and "open borders" in general, are clearly out of step with those of most of his very vocal fellow bishops:
There’s a priority. We need borders. I said this in the meeting of the bishops of Washington state. I said, to just naively think we can open the border and let everybody come, that does not help the church’s teaching on the dignity of the person and the immigrant and the refugee.
We were talking about the Syrian refugees, and I said, ‘I’m reluctant to sign this statement until I find out what I heard, about whether Christians are reluctant to go to these UN Camps.'
‘Well, yeah, actually they are, because they’re being targeted by ISIS.’
Well, then why don’t we hear that?! I’m not going to put my name on this, if in fact that’s true.
I think there’s a naivete at times in the church. ‘Can’t we all just get along?’ No, we can’t just get along. It’s like my line about, ‘Jesus didn’t like everybody. He loved everybody.’ That’s why he wanted what was best for everybody.
What's the point of it all? What should a faithful bishop do and why?
We have gone through a period of time — for whatever reason: weakness, moral relativism, sin, even evil — that’s not the church that Christ founded. Yes, it can be sinful, because we’re weak human beings. But sin cannot drive or shame or cover-up the issue. Why I came across as angry is I have seen how important the Catholic faith is in the lives of people.
I saw how much good the church does. And there’s a whole group of people who say, ‘You want me to be part of that? That group of degenerates? Who hurt our kids? Who lie about it? Who take our money?’. And then they never come to know Christ as savior. That’s when it hits me, the church needs a call to holiness and a reformation.
There it is. Not inclusiveness, accompaniment, caring or any of those other terms that may have been meaningful and even useful in an alternate world but have now been reduced to Orwellian banality, but holiness.

And not change or even reform but reformation.

Daly and other bishops like him are the hope of our Church.


  1. Thank you for this, Mr. Mahound. :^)

  2. I love this guy. did he get past Francis and Boys? That's the 64 million dollar question.

  3. Man, oh man, what I'd give to have him as our archbishop here in Chicago!

    1. Me too Elizabeth! But, I wouldn't wish Cupich back to Spokane again or on my worst enemy actually!

  4. Most encouraging. It would be good to highlight ultra rare Bishops like Thomas Daly when and where ever they can be found.

  5. "...somewhat of an embarrassment for the diocese."

    Should be: "...something of an embarrassment..."

    1. Yeah, you're right. Sometimes my wife proofreads; sometimes she doesn't...

  6. Immigrants, from all countries and all religions, legal and illegal, vote 80% pro-abortion/pro-infanticide. No one has the right to enter a country and vote for murder. The USCCB supports this process of swamping and destroying the pro-life movement.

  7. Catholics need to hear the words of Our Lady of La Salette

  8. Has Holy Steve Skojec approved this message? Because if not - I don't want to be excommunicated as a schismatic pretending to be Catholic......

  9. I'm wondering if you, Mr. Gethsemane, have your own 'competing' website.

  10. Oh heavens no Ms Kay. I wouldn't dream of competing against His Holy Eminence Steve Skojec