NCReporter tries to attack me and CV … with *boomerang!* arguments

Michael Sean Winters is one of the smarter ideologues over at the National Catholic Reporter. Typically he’s smart enough to know he shouldn’t get into public debates with me, but on the issue of PA hospital closings and the involvement of Sr. Carol Keehan, he apparently believes he is on safe enough ground to go on the offensive. I think this is wonderful, because every time Winters writes, he betrays the classic symptoms of a liberal Catholic polemicist.

In this sense, he is an expert at “boomerang arguments”, ones which come back to hurt him more than they trouble me.

First exhibit – lies: Winters claims I think “Democrats are the root of all evil.” I don’t.

Second exhibit – more lies: “We all know, in Peters’ worldview, that Sr. Carol would say anything and do anything to support Obama.” Nope, I don’t. But it’s certainly clear that Sr. Carol is willing to do things I am not willing to do to support Obama, for instance, publicly oppose the prudential advice of the the bishops of America on a matter of critical importance. I’m not claiming she’ll do anything, I’m claiming she has done something, and that something was wrong. She should also fact-check her pro-Obamacare brochure (page 9, for instance).

Third exhibit – twisting the truth: “We all know, in Peters’ worldview, that Sr. Carol is disloyal to the bishops,” Winters claims. Hold on! … “My worldview”? Winters is right that in my rush to compose the article I accidently cited words attributed to Cardinal George that have been called into question (I take it he checked the other 25 links in my original story and those all checked out). This correction of the record poses no problem for me, because I’ll simply switch that original quotation over to a full interview conducted by National Catholic Reporter’s own John Allen with Cardinal George. I invite Winters to read the interview published by his own organization, which supports my original claim.

When he is done, Winters should then read this statement by Daniel Cardinal Dinardo, Chairmain of the USCCB’s pro-life Committee, Bishop William Murphy, chairman of its Committee on Domestic Justice, Bishop John Wester, chairman of its Committee on Migration. Then, Winters should next read this statement by Archbishop Raymond Burke. I’m confident there are others in the same vein.

As you can see, “my worldview” is actually in good company. Indeed, in a way, I’m maybe nicer in my criticisms than are the bishops. So whose worldview is Winters living in?

As Winters writes about me, “Peters likes the bishops when they like him, but surely it is the work of Satan when the bishops’ own news agency directly contradicts, with facts and quotes, assertions he made based on shoddy reporting at the Spectator.”

My quotation of these three statements above demonstrates that many bishops of senior authority in the Church have a serious problem with the actions of Sister Keehan, actions which call into question her loyalty and obedience to their authority, and which suggest that “her worldview” is not one of a faithful Catholic (I’ll get to the Spectator shortly).

But of course, to paraphrase his own words back at him (boomerang!): “Winters likes to ignore the bishops when they disagree with him, choosing instead to attribute the fault to me when the bishops’ own words directly contradict, with facts and quotes, assertions he made based on his own shoddy understanding of the nature and teachings of the Church.”

In other words, Winters is skilled precisely at accusing others of making the sort of mistakes that he specializes in (boomerang!). Logic 101: if Winters has such a problem with my critique of CHA, and I show how my critique of the CHA is shared by senior bishops, Winters ought to take it up with the bishops I mention above, not me.

Winters says (sarcastically) I should consider running as a Senate candidate sometime. Well, I hate to break it to him, but I’m focused on being a good Catholic commentator today. And I think I’ve sufficiently defended my position here. (Before I finish entirely, however, and move on, Winters may want to tell his editors at NCR that the version of the CNS story they chose to republish is the old, uncorrected one, the same one that CNS corrected after we demanded that they revise it.)

In my next post I will spend more time discussing the developing story about Catholic hospitals closing in Pennsylvania, and what lessons we can take from the situation.



  • Irishtroubadour

    The Horse is not dead. People like to think it is, but in reality it is not and that is why they win in the end. The Catholic Church (as I stated before) is not wishy-washy. Those who are need to be drained, and washed in the true water. It’s cold, it’s harsh, and it ain’t pretty. But that’s life. I like to know what’s going on, and if people want to try and shut these hospitals down, I’d like to know why. And if that Bride of Christ wants to keep fool’in around with other people, she needs to remember who she’s married too! Becuase at the Final Judgement, I’m definatly calling on the Angels for some Popcorn and a coke, becuase I definatly want to see how that conversation goes!!!

  • Mrs. T

    The most interesting part of your article is that you do not address the issues that Mr. Winters brought up regarding the background of the sale of Catholic hospitals that you had written about previously. Why did you not include the facts that they had had long term financial difficulties and that they had been in the process of selling the hospitals for a long time before the new health care plan? It is misleading to represent the sale of these hospitals as a direct result of “Obamacare” when there are other significant elements to be considered. The petty “he said/he said” focal points of your current article only serve to undermine your own credibility.

  • Gerald

    I’m sorry to see you’ve decided to engage Mr. Winters, he’s a hate-mongerer who provides cover for pro-abortionists, he adds nothing intelligent to any discussion and his readership is next to nothing. This debate will only serve to elevate him, and diminish the American Papist.

    • Pam

      This was my point in my comment. By engaging Mr. Winters, Mr. Peters is lowering his standards.

      • thereseriat

        I guess y’all would advise Jesus to not bother addressing the Pharisees as a brood of vipers either bc that’d “lower his standards.” Nope, all Mr Peters is doing here is calling a spade a spade.
        Pretty important in this culture to call things by their correct names.

  • Kurt

    It looks like some pro-life groups like the SBAList are getting weak knees and not standing their ground. They were accused by the Ohio Elections Commission of making a false statement saying abortion is in the health care bill. The cowards at SBA back down from asserting it was a fact to defending their stance as an “opinion.” Its now an opinion Suzy B? An OPINION? And they are saying this in legal filings?

  • Elsa

    What a disgrace! But this guy really seems to like dogs, therefore he cannot be THAT bad. Anyway, he loves the wrong dogs.

    Because the real shepherd dogs, the “pastores”, as they say in Italian, will keep on the deadly fight against the wolves to protect the flock.
    So keep up doing the good work!
    God bless you.
    A german catholic blogger from Italy.

  • Rachel LaPointe

    I just like how he calls you “infamous”. That’s pretty darn cool.



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