Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gutless wonders, petty tyrants and chancery dwellers.

But I repeat myself. Yes, I know there are good folks laboring in the bureaucratic halls of the Church--this isn't directed at you. As for the rest of you...

The rector of the Cincinnati seminary managed to successfully retaliate against Rich Leonardi, long-time Catholic blogger extraordinaire and pointed, but usually civil, critic of the manifold problems of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Rich was booted off the Son Rise Morning Show in retaliation for his criticism.

Here's the message he sent me in response to a query on Facebook:

To net it out, the seminary rector reached out to the head of the Son Rise Morning Show to have me thrown off the program. I called him out on it, and a pissing contest ensued. I shut down my site and intend to withdraw from public Catholic life.

In the meantime, Ken Overberg will continue to deny the Atonement from the pulpit, and Paul Knitter will air his doubts about the salvific significance of Christ and the historicity of the Resurrection, both undisturbed in the sanctuary of Xavier University. Because doing something about *them* would take a set of clockweights, the willingness to endure media hostility and the turning of a deaf ear to the squalling of local progressives.

Squashing a layman who criticizes the local leadership? You can do that in a snap and still have plenty of time to enjoy a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with lunch. To applause from "the right people," to boot.

What few non-Catholics understand is that we remain Catholic in spite of--sometimes literally in spite of--those to whom God, in his inscrutable Providence, has temporarily given custody of part of His Church.

I hope you reconsider, Rich. The Seditious Catechist is needed now more than ever.


  1. Thanks for posting, Dale. I agree with your wishes for Rich to reconsider.

    Off topic, but kind of ironic. Yesterday Don McClarey posted a link to a book about Mary Tudor on Amazon. I clicked through and was checking out the reviews. The negative reviews were clearly ill-formed and off base. I clicked through to the comments on one of the reviews, and the top one was Rich setting the guy straight - a delightful taking to the woodshed. Good job Rich - your presence in the public sphere is worthwhile even if the benefits aren't always readily apparent.

  2. I voiced my displeasure to Son Rise Morning show and will send an email to the Diocese of Cincinnati although my email won't be as eloquent as your blog post, Dale.

  3. How is it a great guy like Rich gets fired for being faithful, and faithless flamers like McBrien hold down a paying job? Crazy.

    One of the corporal works of mercy is bear wrongs patiently. Rich is being graced with the opportunity to strengthen it. He will be in my prayers.

    Still stinks to high heaven...

  4. I have always admired Rich and the courage he has in speaking the truth with love. He is an inspiration for me to get to really know my Faith.

    IIRC, he was battle weary a couple of years ago as well. I hope as well his break from 'blogging is not permanent. "The Seditious Catechist is needed now more than ever."

    You have an audience, Rich. Take your time going, but hurry back.

  5. Thank you for your kind words of support, Dale -- ditto for Lynne, Larry, and Ron. Here's what I posted on Scott's Romish Internet Graffiti:

    Someone close to the archbishop — let’s set aside who, since a surrogate for the likely culprit is denying it — reached out to the Son Rise Morning Show to voice his displeasure over my opposition to Archbishop Schnurr’s support for the scandal-drenched CCHD. This comment in particular was deemed beyond the pale:

    “He deserves our respect — and prayers — by virtue of his office. But respect does not mean unthinking obeisance. His Excellency seems to be under the impression that he was elevated to Seminary Rector-in-Chief. Very few aspects of archdiocesan life away from Beechmont Avenue get his attention, and he appears content to let his cabal of inherited malcontents in the chancery set policy.”

    The show’s producers, not wanting to run afoul of local leadership, deemed me too hot to handle and eased me out. It’s as simple as that. Never mind that in my four years on the show I never once so much as hinted at local controversies. I took down my site because one of its main functions was the reform of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. I do not believe it’s reformable — indeed, I think the world and the Church would be a better place without it — so I don’t see a point in tilting my lance at a self-satisfied and self-perpetuating windmill.

  6. Rich, if I may: I can understand no longer wanting to shovel out the Augean stables that is Cincinnati, but I have also appreciated your book reviews and commentary on catechetical materials. Maybe re-orienting your blog to do that?

  7. I can understand when blogging gets dry or frustrating. In those times, I kinda just let the blog stay there but lie fallow so I can pick it up when the mood strikes (which it usually does). I really don't want to see Rich drop out altogether. The remnant has gotta stick together right? :)

  8. P.S. I am already fantasizing about the new blog. How about:

    Ten Reasons II: This time it's personal.


  9. What an outrage! I had been trying to get through to your blog all day Rich and I couldn't understand why I couldn't get through. I have read Ten Reasons every days for years. I hope you will reconsider Rich. The Church needs you. When the clergy fails to uphold orthodoxy it is the duty, not the right, of the laity to take up the task they have shirked. If you decide to go another path, a standing invitation to blog at The American Catholic is yours.

  10. Rich, I was a teen in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati when Archbishop Pilarczyk was in charge (1980s). I didn't think the Archdiocese was reformable back then, frankly, and am impressed that you've been trying to fight the good fight for so long.

    I add my hopes that you'll consider blogging again, perhaps in a new direction. The chancery bubbles in the dioceses of America need to be burst, and how.

  11. "Make them follow their rules." Never gets old for them, does it.

  12. Rich:

    I am leaving the link to your blog up on my side bar, or maybe I will just link to this post. But I too, on the record, support a rekindle of Ten Reasons... or if you want a full reboot, you could go all Spinal Tap and Turn It UP to ELEVEN!

    11 Reasons... oh what a name.

    Also, I echo what Larry said, mostly because he is smarter than I.

  13. Rich,

    I second what Don posted.

    You have a standing invitation to blog over at The American Catholic.

  14. "Illegitimi non carborundum!"

  15. Rich,

    I read about you dropping out on The Curt Jester. I've had you in my RSS feed for years, and I wondered what had happened the past couple of days.

    I'm not going to ask you to go back to blogging. You have to evaluate your unique situation, and prayerfully decide what you're going to do. I hope it works out that you blog again.

    Take care and God bless.

  16. Things just aren't the same without Ten Reasons around. I stumbled across Rich's blog only by happenstance 3 years ago, and was an avid reader ever since. I've been scrambling the past few days trying to figure what happened. I'm glad I now at least have closure. Best wishes Rich, in whatever it is you decide to do.

  17. Ding dong the rich is done, the mean old rich the wicked rich ding dong the wicked rich is done. The hard working faith filled chancery staff can continue their faithful work for their shepherd without misinformed criticism

  18. Learn to listen. Quit criticizing everyone and everything you dislike. Realize that a mere human cannot define God.
    It's mean-spirited and wrong to denigrate anyone you dislike. it's all very personal to you. Maybe you need to grow up.

  19. Maybe you need to grow up.

    Sayeth the brave anonymous.

    Rich is a good man who spoke truth. And hard truths seem mean to the effeminate.

  20. Donald offered space on his blog. Naturally, if Rich had any stories he wanted covered, I'd be happy to give space to them. It got me also thinking that perhaps a mutli-contributor blog would be in order like Cleansing Fire where there would be less work for maintaining a blog. A Cincinnati blackout of real news just ain't right.

  21. No anonymous commenters. Period. Identify yourselves, use a consistent pseudonym, or enjoy the banhammer.

  22. Gabriel, that's a pitch-perfect parody of the effeminate, passive-aggressive, teen-clique mindset running Cincinnati. In which case, bravo!

    Or--it's meant to be taken seriously. In which case, sadly, it perfectly encapsulates why Cincinnati is considered to be somewhere between a bad punchline and a hellhole by serious Catholics.

  23. I know nothing about the Son Rise Morning show and never heard of Brian Patrick, but I know a lot about politics in the Catholic Church, having spent 5 years as editor of a archdiocesan newspaper and 5 years at an independent paper.

    There are not, as far as I can tell, any "real" journalists in Catholic radio and most "professional Catholics" (people whose income is derived from being publicly Catholic) wind up doing more harm than good for both the Church and the Western tradition.

    Mr. Patrick and anyone else who cares about restoring integrity to the Church can be more effective when they are from the reach of bishops and anyone else on the Catholic payroll.

    Rather than resign from the fray, Mr. Patrick should just walk over to the local secular newspaper or radio stations and ask to do reporting for them. They will probably be happy to have him.

  24. Hmmm .. I'm in a huge hurry and I got the name mixed up in my post above!

    Apologies to the blogger!

  25. Bishops have a lot of freedom to do wrong. Just take a look at this:

  26. Rich, please reconsider. Reinstate your site and resume your posting. Else you will have handed to the corrupt elements the victory they've been craving on a silver platter

    Resist the temptation to quit. It is precisely that - a temptation.

  27. Goodness... Well, Rich, why not start blogging about the more positive things going on in the Church. I know that when I was following the BS too much I got really angry and depressed, and even missed Mass a couple of times because I was so discouraged. That may not be something that is helpful to you, but you will need to fill that void in your life with something. Perhaps you can write a book as well, or start writing opinion letters to newspapers that reflect the Catholic Faith and Her teachings....

  28. Add my voice to the "please reconsider Rich" thread. While he may be tilting at windmills, at least someone is pointing out that the windmills exist.

  29. This is so one-sided. Rich has misrepresented this situation from the beginning to a degree that makes me think something demonic is going on here. He has treated his friends at the Son Rise Morning Show abhorrently and should be ashamed of himself. You really ought to get all sides of the story before you start trashing decent people. As far as I'm concerned, this post is calumny.

  30. Brandon et al,

    What you're saying isn't true. During a recent meeting at the Athenaeum, which houses Mt. Saint Mary of the West seminary, the rector, Fr. Benedict O'Cinnsellaigh, voiced his displeasure over my criticism of Archbishop Schnurr's support for the CCHD. My "Rector-in-Chief" comment above, which began with a reminder that we should pray for and respect His Excellency, was given particular scrutiny. Fr. O'Cinnsellaigh's displeasure was then conveyed by longtime Son Rise Morning Show advisor and seminary instructor Fr. Rob Jack to the show's staff, along with a recommendation to remove me. The staff agreed, and I was told by producer Matt Swaim it was time to part company.

    It's unclear how I've treated my former colleagues on the Son Rise Morning Show "abhorrently." I have not spoken to Matt since he told me of the staff's decision, but we have exchanged cordial emails. And for what it's worth, despite having served the show gratis for four years, I have not heard at all from host Brian Patrick or station manager Bill Levitt.

  31. I'm at a loss as to where anyone is "calumnated" by the post, Brandon, itself a rather weighty accusation. Let alone "demonic," which is even weightier. It certainly does not call the SRMS any names.

    The only one willing to speak about this event is Rich. Those who precipitated this action have remained silent and have not tried to comment here (or elsewhere where the story has been raised--The American Catholic, Romish Graffiti).

    They are certainly welcome to comment here or contact me via e-mail at dhprice2 at hotmaildotcom. If calumny is involved, it would seem to be in the alleged victims' best interest to provide a rebuttal. At some point, silence permits the drawing of inferences against the person(s) who should have spoken up.

  32. It is very sad when the leadership in the Catholic Church has such thin skins it goes after someone because they can't take the heat. Why not start a blog to set the story straight on various issues they feel have not been handled fairly and with complete honesty rather than this back door silencing.

    Rich, you need to continue to fight for what is wrong with this diocese not only for yourself, but for your kids and others. I am 77 years old and have been fighting the battle going back to Bernardin and will not quit even as I battle cancer. If anything, their actions have freed you from any restraint. And the snipes by those who clearly do not like the light of day shown into their rat hold would certainly spur me on to not surrender. Lets face it, when you are battling Satan from within the Church, we have to continue to fight. Think of all the years that African Americans struggled to gain freedom and all that has heaped on them by the Democratic Party from slavery to lynching to denial of civil rights and now the focus of so many abortion mills supported by the Democrats in largely African American neighborhoods. The Church has evil within it and we need to have soldiers willing to fight and take the bullets shot in their direction if we are going to be able to stop this ongoing evil and dissent. We knew we were in for tough times when the former Archbishop was so enthusiastic about ArchBishop Schnuur as his replacement. However, we cannot give up.

    I have long preached we should starve the beast to surrender denying any and all funds until massive changes are made in the diocese. I now will add the local radio station to that list of do not support. If folks do not like what is going on in the Diocese, you have to be prepared to cut off its food. Not just funds to the bishops fund, but to the local parish as well to create upward pressure. I give for specific items which have a price and are for specific need such as furnace repair or something for the school, but nothing in the form of cash.

  33. @Rich Leonardi

    The comment here:

    ...would suggest otherwise. Mr. Swaim appears to be none too pleased with this self-aggrandizing campaign you're on.

  34. The comment here: ...would suggest otherwise.

    Except that it doesn't. All the comments suggests is that the title of the linked piece is misleading. So try again, Brandon.

  35. Yeah, Brandon--try again. Your argument is with Pewsitter's editorial decision to title the piece accordingly. Not with Rich. Much less with me. Accusing me of calumny with exactly zero evidence in support is a good way to tax my patience.

    Again, Rich is the only one addressing the issue. Silence is rapidly becoming a tacit admission to the veracity of Rich's version by both the Rector and his agent. And you.

  36. We eat our own and squabble amongst ourselves instead of fighting the real enemies.

    Someone needs to swallow their pride in all of this.

    Surf Buddha

  37. The only ones "eating their own" are the bishops and their chancery lapdogs - to whom the faithful are nothing more than the institutional equivalent of battered wives - who consistently show faithful, orthodox Catholics the back of their hands, while allowing rapant dissent to run unfettered.

    Please forgive the multiple mixed metaphors in the foregoing paragraph.

  38. "Thank you, Sir--may I have another? [whack] Thank you, Sir--may I have another? [whack] Thank you, Sir--may I have another?" [whack]

  39. Jay et al:

    My commentary has since been expounded upon, and may be found here: Another Day at Tyburn Tree.

  40. I will miss Rich's blog. It has been what I read over my morning tea for many years now.

  41. I wonder if the roles were reversed, say a conservative bishop pulling the plug on CCHD and a layman critcizing him and getting sacked, would we be hearing these "eating each other" comments? Magic 8-ball? "Outcome not so good."


Be reasonably civil. Ire alloyed with reason is fine. But slagging the host gets you the banhammer.

So I have been trying to figure out what to do.

 Those who have followed this space no doubt noticed a bit of an eastward drift, spiritually.  Largely, but far from entirely, due to Cathol...