Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and Maureen Mullarkey Share the 2015 Coughlin Award!
Frank Cocozzelli printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Dec 30, 2015 at 01:46:22 PM EST
 photo franksgraphic_zpsbe286320.jpg Yes, folks it's that time of the year again. It's time for the presentation of the annual Coughlin Award. As it is every year, the competition was stiff, so much so that this year for the first time we have a tie!  This year's award goes to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and Maureen Malarkey.
The Coughlin Award -- affectionately known as "The Coughie" -- is our way of recognizing the person who has best exemplified an exclusionary, strident interpretation of the Catholic faith in the preceding year. The award is named for Father Charles Coughlin, the notorious radio priest of the 1930s who is the role model for today's Religious Right radio and television evangelists, and other conservative media personalities.

Best known for his diatribes against FDR, Judaism and open sympathy with the racist policies of Adolph Hitler, Coughlin's advocacy was antithetical to the very definition of the word "catholic," which, according to Webster's Unabridged Dictionary means:

Catholic Cath"o*lic\ (k[a^]th"[-o]*[i^]k), a. [L. catholicus, Gr. kaqoliko`s, universal, general; kata` down, wholly + "o`los whole, probably akin to E. solid: cf. F. catholique.]

1. Universal or general; as, the catholic faith.

Men of other countries [came] to bear their part in so great and catholic a war. --Southey.

Note: This epithet, which is applicable to the whole Christian church, or its faith, is claimed by Roman Catholics to belong especially to their church, and in popular usage is so limited.

*Not narrow-minded, partial, or bigoted; liberal; as, catholic tastes.

*Of or pertaining to, or affecting the Roman Catholics; as, the Catholic emancipation act.

In order to win a Coughie, a candidate must complete three qualifying tasks: 1) Make the faith decisively less inclusive 2) Engage in incendiary behavior and 3) Ultimately embarrasses the Church. This year's winners -- as usual -- have risen to the challenge.

This year there were so many exemplars of the Coughlin tradition, our judges had a hard time deciding whom to choose. For example, there was Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), the Tea Partying, climate change denying gun rights activist who published a screed on Townhall.com entitled, "Why I Am Boycotting Pope Francis' Address to Congress." And then there was (and last year's winner), Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia -- whose strident divisiveness always makes him a contender. But as the nominating committee pointed out -- neither of them can hold a candle to this year's co-winners.

Since it is my belief that chivalry is not dead, ladies first.

Maureen Mullarkey

Our first award winner is Maureen Mullarkey, the painter-cum-political writer who
topped the charts of high-minded commentary about the current pontiff with Che Guevara's Pope .

As I observed in September 2015 :

Then there is conservative writer Maureen Mullarkey who recently inked a poison pen piece entitled, "Francis and Political Illusion" in which she describes Francis as "an ideologue and a meddlesome egoist." Mullarkey subsequently published a piece entitled, "Pope Francis Is A Leftist And Must Be Called Out". In it, she complains that Francis is not being harsher on Islam "when innocents are slaughtered in Paris by the same forces that are shedding Christian blood in the Middle East... ."

Such ranting should be no surprise coming from Mullarkey who is a contributor to the journal First Things, the well-known outlet for Catholic and Evangelical neoconservatives.

But Mullarkey had gone too far -- even for First Things, which took down her last piece and fired her as a contributing writer. Editor R.R. Reno explained, No More Tirades:

I've criticized Pope Francis and his encyclical, Laudato Si. However, Maureen's commentary on Francis goes well beyond measured criticism. She consistently treats him as an ideological propagandist, accusing him of reducing the faith to secular political categories. This is her way of reducing him to the political terms she favors. And those terms are the ones used by radio talk-show hosts to entertain the public with mock-battles against various Empires of Evil. I don't want First Things to play that game.

That, readers, was the Coughie clincher!

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone

But in 2015 Coughlin Award-winning divisiveness was not the sole domain of Maureen Mullarkey. In fact, this year's co-winner is a culture warrior, par excellence!

In 2012 Pope Benedict installed Salvatore Cordileone as the archbishop of San Francisco. To say that he was not a good fit for the progressively tolerant City by the Bay is an understatement. The archbishop is both a strong proponent of the Latin mass as well as being a signatory to the anti-marriage equality manifesto known as the Manhattan Declaration.  (He went on to chair the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' committee on the promotion and defense of marriage.)

Archbishop Cordileone is such a polarizing figure that a hundred prominent Bay area Catholics took out a full page ad in the San Francisco Chronicle calling for his resignation.
According to
the National Catholic Reporter:

In an April 16 full-page advertisement in the San Francisco Chronicle, more than 100 signers say the embattled archbishop pursues "a single-issue agenda," coercing teachers with a "morality code which violates individual consciences as well as California labor laws" and "[isolating] himself from our community" as he "relies ... on a tiny group of advisors recruited from outside of our diocese and estranged from their own religious orders."

Referring to themselves as "committed Catholics inspired by Vatican II," signers include well-known philanthropists in the archdiocese, members of school and university boards, the former director of Catholic Charities CYO, high-profile attorneys and physicians, major figures in the business and corporate world, and officials of trusts, foundations and charitable organizations.

Part of what triggered all this was Archbishop Cordileone's attempt to add a morality clause to the local Catholic high school teachers' handbooks. As the San Francisco Chronicle reported earlier this year, "It contains a 2,000-word section calling for staff members -- in their professional and private lives -- to honor church teachings. He specifically cited opposition to abortion, contraception, homosexuality, artificial insemination, cloning and same-sex marriage, not to mention masturbation, fornication and pornography."

Then, as if to outdo himself, in February 2015 a "morality pamphlet" was distributed to elementary School level parochial students within the diocese. Its shocking contents were reported by CBS News:

Questions included, "Did I participate or approve of a mercy killing?" "Did I perform impure acts by myself (masturbation) or with another (adultery, fornication or sodomy)?" ...  Star of the Sea parish pastor Father Joseph Illo said when he realized in December the adult content of the pamphlets in December, he halted their distribution.

The many examples of the Archbishop's Coughie-worthy achievements include the sacking of popular priests and the use of sprinklers to keep the homeless away from St. Mary's Cathedral.  Archbishop Cordileone may not be a Pope Francis Catholic -- but he may be a Maureen Mullarkey Catholic!

So then you have it ladies and gentlemen; I give you Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and Maureen Mullarkey our 2015 Coughlin Award co-winners!

 




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I agree with your choice of Maureen Mullarkey as a co-winner of this year's Coughie. Abp. Cordileone richly deserves his share of the 2015 award. I'd heard of Mullarkey's comment, which is "malarkey" but I wasn't aware she'd posted it on "First Things" and that they'd fire her over it. Perhaps she can go on to a career blogging at Mundabor, Rorate Caeli, or Les Femmes. Ms. Mullarkey seems to think much like Mary Ann Kreitzer at Les Femmes. If none of these blogs work out, she could always go to "The Wanderer" or "The Remnant." Solange Hertz just passed away in October, and "The Remnant" may need to find a replacement columnist. Me. Mullarkey would probably fit in well there.

by khughes1963 on Wed Dec 30, 2015 at 02:38:04 PM EST

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