Editor's note: This is Michael Lacey's second freelance article since selling his interest in New Times about a year ago. The names of the students quoted below have been changed.


Inga Poslitur
Bishop Thomas Olmsted remains an anti-abortion zealot, despite Pope Francis' decree that a kinder approach be taken.
Social Eye Media
Bishop Thomas Olmsted remains an anti-abortion zealot, despite Pope Francis' decree that a kinder approach be taken.
Pope Francis
Casa Rosada
Pope Francis
World of Difference teachers Melissa Medvin and Chuck Rinaldi working with students.
World of Difference teachers Melissa Medvin and Chuck Rinaldi working with students.
ADL executive director Bill Straus
Social Eye Media
ADL executive director Bill Straus

Athletic fields throughout the Valley are reconfigured as soccer pitches on Saturday mornings in September. It may be fall in New England, but in Phoenix, when kids begin to play soccer, it is still 100 degrees every day. Parents shelter under makeshift tents, but children kick balls beneath an unforgiving sun.

The youngest, the 5-year-olds, haven't a clue. All the players on both teams move as one, like schools of fish with baby fat, arrayed in neon uniforms that would look at home on a coral reef.

In the fall, soccer games are the village commons. Collapsible chairs are autumn's furniture, and even Kate Spade couldn't accessorize your canvas seat into a corporate suite.

Parents socialize as equals.

And if none of the parents know yet what offsides is, everyone knows that a goal, like a loose tooth, is money. A score electrifies every parent every bit as much as the kindergartner in shin guards. Yet all that competitive static fizzles at the end of the game when the shorties from both teams whoop their way through the mom/dad tunnel.

Children play as equals.

Everyone is living the American dream.

And yet . . .

"He's black. I won't play on his team."

The speaker, Mary Seao, is a young adult watching on the sidelines as her peewee charges flail at the soccer ball. She is quoting a first-grader in an afterschool program she manages.

Seao works with Athletes in Training, an organization that provides sporting activities when classes are done.

And though she is caught up in Saturday's soccer competition, she still takes time to describe events earlier that month at Madison Rose Lane Elementary School.

VIDEO: Gilbert School Board hears testimony on the ADL program's positive impact in schools

She recounts that students were playing water sports when a little girl in first grade refused to play for a black coach.

"We never had a problem like that before. We didn't know what to do. She straight-up pointed at him. We only have five kids in the group. Everyone heard what she said."

Seao and her black colleague improvised. He took the boys, and she took the girls — including the one who caused a scene.

"She was willing to play as long as he wasn't her personal coach," Seao says.

Little kids continue to puddle up and down the grass moving between the goals. Soccer moms have other conversations that morning. Snacks, not race, is the focus.

Seao says she told the secretary in the front office at Madison Rose Lane about the racially charged comments. The secretary assured her the principal would be informed.

"I never heard back."

She then told her boss at Athletes in Training. But the owner was dealing with a personal tragedy that week and the issue never came up again. The black coach moved back to his old school and was happy to return to familiar territory.

This is not a story about a 6-year-old's perception of race, no matter how vivid the confrontation. Still, such talk from a little kid is so incongruent with what should be a first-grader's more typical concern: SpongeBob SquarePants. But that child merely is a glimpse, nothing more. She is one of many in our schools who hold unsettling thoughts.

There are industrious people, earnest people, who think about post-racial conditions in Arizona. These are people who address a larger concern about students, people who observe children with no need to label: Jews.

These particular Jews are in the Anti-Defamation League, and they know how to respond to a 6-year-old's racial fit. Furthermore, in a program called "World of Difference," they train willing students as ambassadors against hate.

These particular Jews have been evicted from Catholic schools by the regime of Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.

Who cannot claim that he is 6.

In 2008, students at Seton Catholic High School in Mesa, like students on many campuses, were no strangers to the put-down "That's so gay."

But in March of that year, the all-purpose, homophobic slur morphed. At a basketball game, unpopular calls by the ref generated a low rumble in the bleachers: "JEW-JEW-JEW-JEW!"

The chanting was not an isolated incident.

Students who'd gone through the ADL program at Seton Catholic were appalled at what they heard from their classmates. These kids approached the school administration. Leaders at the school responded swiftly by calling Bill Straus, executive director of the Anti-Defamation League of Arizona.

The school opened its library and brought the entire student body, in eight shifts, to meet Straus. He began by telling those assembled: "I'm a Jew, and I'm proud of it."

He was met with snickering.

But he continued. He held up a large picture of Jesus.

"What would this guy say?" asked Straus. "He's first-team 'All-Jew.'"

Toward the end of his chat, Straus asked how many of the students were Irish. A majority of hands shot up.

"Do you know how insulting it was to call someone a Mick at one time?"

Straus mentioned that a Vietnamese chaplain at Seton had wondered out loud to students: "What do you say about me when I'm not in the room?"

Today, Straus will tell you that the sit-down with those kids at Seton was transformative.

He is not talking about himself.

Without Straus, without students who'd been trained by the ADL, the Jew taunt could have passed without remark.

It is always easier to say nothing.

And Catholic schools, like their secular counterparts, do not have a code of self-reporting. Far from it.

Eileen Fisher, the doyenne of the eponymous clothing line for women of a certain gravitas, remarked in a recent New Yorker profile, "I was fairly traumatized by the Catholic schools I went to. I think it is a part of my silence thing, of just always feeling it is safer to say nothing than to figure out what you think and what you want to say. It was always risky to speak at school."

Fisher must be forgiven for thinking that silence is a particularly Catholic burden.

Again and again, public school students who have been through World of Difference training gratefully confess that peer training helped them find their voice, encouraged them to speak up.

Here's how Carmen summarizes her experience: "As a freshman, I was ignorant of so many things. One of these was bigotry. I never, before ADL, realized the amount of bigotry in my home, my school, my extracurricula — in short, I was blind. ADL opened my eyes. Soon, I was really listening to people and evaluating what they said — how 'Jew' and 'nigger' and 'faggot' and 'retard' were all used as insults, and just how devastating that was.

"ADL is a slow progression, but a progression nonetheless. I have achieved removing 'homo' as an insult, from my father's vocabulary. I have achieved little things like this with a few of my friends, as well."

You may question whether a student's finding his voice is a good thing if it encourages kids to go around jacking up their parents. And you would be correct; this can come off as preachy. It is very close to a kind of cloying political correctness.

But, in Arizona, we are never too distant from a reminder of how we got to the point of training children to find strength in their voices.

In August, President Obama came to Phoenix to explain reform of an ailing mortgage industry. Obama chose a high school, Desert Vista, to stage his remarks.

He was met by picketers.

Matthew Whitaker, founding director for the Center for Study of Race and Democracy at Arizona State University characterized the protesters as "an angry horde . . . openly reminiscent of the Jim Crow South."

Demonstrators hooted at Obama's race by singing, "Bye, bye black sheep." They called the president "47 percent Negro" and a "half-white Muslim."

It was in this Arizona that teenager Lindsay operated. And, for her, race wasn't just the evening news of President Obama visiting the Valley. She dealt with it at home.

"My grandma is very racist," Lindsay observes. "And I have always known she was wrong in the things that she said; I just didn't know why she really was wrong. Since peer training, I have called my aunt [who also attends this school] on racist issues, and I hope she has become more aware because of me."

The song "It's a Small World" works well in Disneyland, where differences do not spark hostility, but the reality is more challenging.

Consider: According to the ADL, in 1997, Greenway High School had five languages, other than English, as the primary language at home in a student body of nearly 1,600. In a mere six years, in 2003, the number of languages, beside English, spoken in the homes of Greenway students had grown to 29.

Over the schools he monitors, Straus records an average of 40 to 50 incidents of school-based bigotry a year.

In the past year, a Jewish teacher had a red swastika painted on her door.

Bill Straus spoke at Seton Catholic in 2008. A year later, in 2009, the Catholic diocese kicked him to the curb.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted terminated the acclaimed national program of decency in Phoenix Catholic high schools because of personal malice.

In puissant posturing with Jewish leaders, the bishop banned the humanitarian training by the Anti-Defamation League from Seton Catholic, as well as from Notre Dame High Preparatory School in Scottsdale. And the cleric canceled plans to open an ADL program at St. Mary's Catholic High School in Phoenix.

Olmsted's action was driven by abortion politics and was entirely unrelated to the teaching program, which aims to instill civility in juvenile savages.

In fall 2009, the ADL decided to honor Marybeth Mueller, superintendent of education for the diocese, for her assistance with the peer-training program .

Invited personally by Straus to break bread at the ADL's annual fundraising banquet, the bishop, instead, drew a red line by confronting the Jewish community with a pastoral message about abortion that Olmsted wrote for an ad in the dinner's program.

Offered a free full-page ad in the dinner program to honor Mueller, Bishop Olmsted fired not a salute to his Catholic colleague but a salvo at any pro-choice believers who might attend the banquet.

Olmsted expressed his gratitude to Mueller for her defense of "the dignity of all human life from conception until natural death."

The ad was, at a minimum, inappropriate.

Does anyone imagine Jews hectoring Catholics about the scientific plausibility of the Virgin Mary's immaculate conception in a program for a Knights of Columbus dinner?

When the ADL's leaders asked that Bishop Olmsted reconsider his provocation, he refused.

The leaders within Arizona's ADL contacted national colleagues who, in turn, talked to other Catholic clerics: Could someone please reason with Olmsted?

Instead of compromise, the bishop retaliated.

Beyond peer training, the local ADL also participates in the national Bearing Witness program, in which participating rabbis and priests explain to selected teachers what it is that Jews believe, coupled with in-depth examination of the Holocaust.

Bishop Olmsted canceled the Catholic teachers' participation in the Bearing Witness effort.

The Phoenix diocese's vicar general, Father Frederick Adamson, sent a letter terminating participation in the Bearing Witness program, charging that the ADL's request "reveals intolerance for us as Catholics and what we believe and teach."

The peer-training program in Catholic schools came to an abrupt end.

It can be assumed that teachers are able to acquaint themselves with the impact of the Holocaust without the assistance of the ADL.

But what about the kids mired in a teenage wasteland?

To grasp what the bishop destroyed, take yourself out to Mesa's Dobson High, a public school.

"I am not a very popular person," volunteers Paula, a sophomore at Dobson. "People tell me they can't be friends with me because 'you're so smart.'

"They think it doesn't hurt. But it does.

"This is said by more-popular people who think it's cool to be dumb," she says.

Paula's concerns are spoken with a sweet frankness and are the sort of anxieties that grip all adolescents.

Popularity is thick in the air at Dobson. It is the season of homecoming. School spirit is throbbing. Today is mustache day, and girls — schoolwide — have attached all manner of hirsute decorations to their clothes. One inventive lady sports mustache socks.

Go Mustangs!

Students soon will choose a homecoming king, queen, and court. And as in almost all high schools, dweebs and geeks need not apply.

"If someone like me ran," suggests Paula, "it wouldn't work out so well. It's an unspoken stereotype."

And yet it is the very notion of stereotypes that has joined all the students sitting with Paula on this particular morning, in this particular classroom.

Almost 40 kids have gathered to be trained under the Anti-Defamation League's tutelage to foster a sense of community by working to eliminate all bias in the broadest sense: racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, and bullying at any level.

More particularly this group works on hate.

And here is what elevates the program above some prissy lecture by a teacher.

This is a peer-training program. These upperclassmen, with the administration's backing, will spend three class periods with incoming freshman passing along props for civility and raising the bar of expectations.

Here, you little freshmen twerps; here is what's cool. Here's what's acceptable.

We do not hate on others.

Got it?!

(Oh, wait . . . We don't call these newbies "twerps!")

During the session at Dobson, the big bias discussions are on the shelf while the students and their teachers, Melissa Medvin and Chuck Rinaldi, discuss the more practical ramifications of representing.

What happens when you take your newly minted United Nations peacekeeper attitude into, say, a fight that's about to go down.

The instructors walk the kids through a very practical exercise teaching how to evaluate the situation.

Will butting in get your butt stomped?

This is not abstract drama at Dobson.

"Last year, there were a lot of fights," says sophomore Paula. "Gossip spreads like wildfire. The majority of fights were between girls. Most common excuse for fights was over looks. People get angry if someone is copying their sense of style. You read the copying is the sincerest form of flattery. Not here! A lot of people don't like it.

"And there are fights over boys."

The guidelines for the peer trainers ask the students to evaluate.

"Does the situation need an immediate response or can it wait until later? Is there immediate physical harm that needs to be stopped?"

Spring, in her senior year, explains the dilemma: "If you stand up to a bully who wants to fight you, the school says, after 20 blows [perhaps this number is merely her example], then you can defend yourself. I got into a fight with a guy when I was a freshman. I wasn't going to count the blows. It was over something on Facebook. He told someone he was going to kill me."

Instructor Rinaldi adds context: "No one is asking that you not defend yourself."

This idea of intervention? It's as new as it is tricky. But sophomore Becka testifies:

"These two guys, one was on a skateboard." One guy stepped on the board causing the skater to tumble. When he got up, he tackled the guy who caused his lumps.

"The guy kept saying," Becka continues, "it was an 'accident. I didn't know you were going to fall.'

"While they were wrestling, I kept yelling: 'You need to listen to him. He didn't mean to push you.'

"And they stopped."

Okay. Not weapons inspectors in Syria, but a start.

And starts are important. No one in the class suggests that their work is an end. Randy, for example, pointed out that blacks, Mexicans, and whites self-segregate at Dobson, with each group commandeering a specific piece of the campus geography as its turf. This issue is larger still than peer training.

It is useful to grasp that no kid in Kim Klett's classroom at Dobson High is a goody two-shoes. Between classes, Klett's students do not compare the merits of Boutros Boutros-Ghali and U Thant. The students come to this class recognizing a problem yet unsure of a solution.

But the people who structure the program are very conscious of what's in play, even with the littlest of things.

Take a kid who's a bad actor. At one point, the program identified this teen as a "perpetrator." This term now is considered passé. Today, you call this person an "aggressor."

Why chop the garlic this fine?

Well, think about it. If you've labeled the kid a perpetrator, you've already identified him in cop-speak. He is guilty. Makes it more difficult to have a conversation with someone if you've already convicted him.

But call someone an "aggressor," and you've really only labeled the behavior.

In 2006, Yale University evaluated the ADL's World of Difference peer-training program. After studying 500 students in urban, suburban, and rural settings, they concluded the obvious: "Peer training can have an important effect on reducing bias in schools."

On June 25, the Gilbert School Board entertained the idea of eliminating World of Difference training from the district's high schools.

At least two aisles of former students showed up to comment.

The testimonials are touching. One boy described how he'd been consistently bullied as a child. In his life, World of Difference made a world of difference.

Molly Brown remembered her eyes being opened when an exercise asked: "Is it okay having two gay parents?"

Another young man talked emotionally about suicide intervention.

One young lady read a statement from her friend because the school board meeting had dragged on past his curfew. After concluding her friends' remarks, she observed for herself that World of Difference "cultivated an atmosphere of kindness and friendliness . . . it empowers a student to invite the new kid to sit down at the lunch table."

She added that she had two siblings about to enter high school and that she didn't want them there unless "there is an active promotion of respect and tolerance."

Julie Smith, a Gilbert school board member, is openly hostile to the presence of the ADL in district high schools.

She disagrees with the organization's political positions (separation of church and state, gun control).

Speaker after speaker pointed out that World of Difference training has nothing to do with any of these hot-button topics.

"We do not teach liberal opinions," explained one student. "My father, a conservative Baptist farmer and Vietnam vet, supported this. As a human being he, you deserve respect."

After a distracting swerve into a discussion of prayer, the school board's Smith invited a Highland High science teacher, Bruce Crosby, to the microphone.

The discussion returned to the Anti-Defamation League training.

The ADL has, in the past, been paid to run World of Difference in Gilbert. And Smith said she opposed such funds ending up underwriting the organization's political beliefs.

When informed that World of Difference no longer would charge a fee, Smith still was not mollified. She objected to the time taken away from the study of science.

Crosby, the science teacher, pointed out that he initially opposed taking time away from his class, too, but learned that all subjects taught at the school share in the loss of classroom time for one reason or another. For example, he noted that English periods lose students for school photos.

Board member Smith continued to raise objections.

Crosby informed the board that he had changed his mind completely.

"The program is worth having around," said Crosby, who went on to add that it worked because "kids are running it, and adults are not."

Smith then objected to the thought that teachers get paid to sit and watch kids run the classroom.

The biggest disconnect isn't that the school board wants to say prayers while worrying that the ADL shortchanges science.

The biggest disconnect is that Bruce Crosby teaches at Highland High School, home of the Devil Dogs.

Thirteen years ago, this space was occupied by a cover story on a white-supremacist gang of jocks, wrestlers, and football players who terrorized Gilbert ("Bad Dog," June 1, 2000).

The Devil Dogs admitted to brawling several times a week and routinely putting people in the hospital while delivering their trademark barking during the beatdowns.

But these white power fanatics had an even deadlier angle: They worked with Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, the New York hit man with 19 acknowledged murders.

After ratting out fellow mobster John "The Dapper Don" Gotti, the federal government relocated Gravano to Arizona.

Using the white power gangsters as muscle, Gravano set up an Ecstasy distribution ring reportedly peddling pills and earning up to $500,000 a week.

A year later, in 2001, a high-tech firm discovered that it had trouble hiring people into Gilbert because of the coverage surrounding the racist Devil Dogs.

David Thompson, CEO of Spectrum Astro, asked the ADL to help change the culture in Gilbert.

"At the time," recalls the ADL's Straus, "Spectrum Astro was the largest employer in Gilbert, and [it was] trying to hire the world's best brains. And people would not move to a place where white supremacists had a foothold."

The ADL instituted anti-bias education that extended through every Gilbert high school.

Although the session at Dobson High focused upon personal safety and intervention, the peer-training program has bigger fish in the pan.

Most of these students are on a first-name basis with the impact of juvenile homophobia.

LeeAnn was in Dobson High's first freshman class. Now a senior, she has the natural polish of a leader. She wears an Anti-Defamation League button: NO PLACE FOR HATE.

She has witnessed a lot of stereotyping and more than enough hate in her four years at Dobson.

"There is bias here against Mormons, and a lot of bias against Hispanics," LeeAnn says. "Mormons come off to those who don't know them as one-dimensional, prudish, not very accepting. That's the stereotype.

"Mexicans are often viewed as gangsters who like trouble."

As an Asian-American, she says her accomplishments, too often, are not seen as a product of her hard work but as somehow related to her ethnicity.

But the biggest personal impact of bias upon LeeAnn has been gay bashing.

"I play violin. I'm in music a lot. You meet a lot of gay people."

The homophobia at Dobson became personal for her.

"I had a friend who is gay. Another friend of ours called him fat, called him gay. I never saw my gay friend respond. He just took it because he had a crush on the guy attacking him. He kept defending his attacker.

"I was young and didn't know how to handle it. I was a bystander."

In August, Argentinian Pope Francis warned church leaders to stop "obsessing" about abortion, contraception, and gay marriage.

Pope Francis admonished Catholics to stop harping upon divisive topics. He urged priests to radiate an open and welcoming humanity toward all.

"We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage, and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible," said Pope Francis. "The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear, and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time."

Bishop Olmsted, in contrast, has made his name on the abortion issue.

He routinely leads rosaries in front of Planned Parenthood in Phoenix.

When St. Joseph's Hospital performed an emergency abortion to save a mother's life in 2010, he revoked the hospital's Catholic affiliation and excommunicated Sister Mary Margaret McBride, an administrator who sat on the committee that opted for the procedure.

The woman whose life was saved left the hospital and returned home where her children awaited their mother.

The new pope has not abandoned the church's stand upon abortion but rather has said this subject is not the basis for finger-wagging.

Given the pope's dramatic statements in the Italian Jesuit journal La Civilta Cattolica, will Bishop Olmsted reconsider his ban of the Anti-Defamation League from Catholic schools?

The question was put to the bishop's public-information officer, Rob DeFrancesco.

He said he would have to ask some questions of church leadership and then he would call back.

He did not call back.

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miss_msry topcommenter

It's their church and school, they are going to do what they want.


Michael Lacey is nothing but a huge Judas! The next time I see him at Saints Simon & Jude, sitting there at Mass like a wolf amongst sheep, what should I do? Give him the sign of peace or flip him the finger? Our Holy Bishop Olmsted would teach me to give Michael Lacey the sign of peace. Even though Michael Lacey claims to be Catholic but has no Catholic beliefs. Or should I say, he has only a few distorted beliefs of what Catholicism is? And it's not because he is ignorant! It's because Michael Lacey is what JPII coined as the antichurch within the Church. So for all you ignorant people who think Michael Lacey is so great..... he is not....he is just a sad, self centered, elitist, heretic that is very good at deception. Bishop Olmsted is a brave, holy and true shepherd who sacrifices himself to protect his flock. Michael Lacey and all you haters will just have to get over the fact that this holy Bishop has the strength and power from God to resist all of your anti-Catholic beliefs and stop you from infiltrating Catholic schools and organizations. On second thought maybe Michael should keep coming to Mass at Saints Simon & Jude and continue to sit through the Bishops homilies and maybe, just maybe one day, Michael Lacey will open his heart to some orthodox Catholicism instead of his own delusion. Get over it Michael Lacey. The Bishop is the authentic teacher of Catholicism and you are not. What the Bishop teaches is real and true orthodox Catholicism and you are just another heretic.


Let's start out by saying that info3713 is a lying sack of Teabagger shit.


A short review of the ADL's FBI file reveals plenty of direct experience in bullying, but it is clearly not the right organization to present this type of training given its history.

Fortunately, the group did not invent, nor does it hold a patent on such training.  The best advise: get qualified trainers, not the ADL, to conduct such training.


Bishop Olmsted and Julie Smith are self-righteous moral scolds using their authority to bully others. Sanctimonious Catholic church executives and aspiring TeaBagger politicians are toxic to education. His mind is closed, her mind is absent and the students are deprived of a beneficial program.


I shall cease casting pearls before swine.


I'm waiting for the new Pope removes this bigot from his position.  That would be the hoot of the year almost as joyous as the removal of comrade Joe.


Bishop Olmstead's actions described are disgraceful and mean. Hardly the example he needs to set.


Is this the same ADL which is sponsored by B'nai B'rith (Brethren of the Cut) which is a primary freemasonic coven?


Leaving the crux of the story behind for now, this has to be one of the worst written stories I have ever read. Not the subject matter but the absolute horrible style of writing. I love the New Times but some basic journalism writing techniques should be employed.

dennis20 topcommenter

Great article. It's no surprise Olmsted would stop anything good like racial and religous understanding and love.  Bishop Olmsted's spiritual growth ended decades ago. The man cares not about the sick, hungry or suffering. He preaches and promotes his anti-abortion rhetoric while not giving one God Damn about the children once they are born.  He promotes hate against the GBLT community while teen age catholics struggle with a doctrine telling them they are headed to hell for being born a certain way. When those very teen agers pray to change and Olmsted's God doesn't deliver-he shames them. That is both spiritual and child abuse and it's pure evil.  

For years, many  Catholics  have begged him to speak up against Arpaio's years of racial profiling and separating families.  He absolutely refuses to but when it comes to birth control-he'll be at the Capitol protesting against Obama-care allowing it.  


Pathetic article. The writer doesn't even feign objectivity - claiming malice without proving it on the bishop's part. Overlooking elements of the ADL program that caused the diocese concern. Getting paid by the word to go on and on.

Lisa Kaiser
Lisa Kaiser

The bishop owes the ADL an apology for his offensive ad. He did not have to do that. JPII, BXVI and now Francis have all made great strides in repairing the RCC's relationship with Jews. The bishop has not gotten the message. He is not pastoral, or compassionate or kind. As a result of the bishop's pettiness, the losers are the kids in RC schools who do not have the benefit of what the ADL can teach. Jews and RCs have much in common, have much to say to each other, and working together we can do much good. The bishop is an obstacle.

ExpertShot topcommenter

I was a little put off by the writer's understanding of "PC".   In my mind, it means POLITE CONVERSATION rather than the term he used.  Political Correctness is a term used to indicate that the person using that word is a rude SOB whose speech and should be moderate by MORE polite conversation. 

Here's another organization which should be consulted by the author in researching his use of the term "PC".



The writer of this article has a complete and fundamental lack of understanding of all things Catholic.  The Bishop not welcoming those of a political and moral persuasion antithetical to Catholic teaching?  The thought!  The use of the word "homophobic" in describing those who disagree with the militant homosexual agenda is in itself bullying, but acceptable to the new 4th Reich of progressive politics.  Your taking the Pope's statements completely out of context is also indicative of your bias.  Pope Francis did not say we disagree with abortion, but don't do anything to express that disagreement.  Pope Francis is Pope to the whole world.  In a culture such as America, where the billion dollar abortion industry murders millions of babies each year as a constitutional right, I think the Pope would support our Bishop praying the Rosary at one of these abortion mills.  They are in fact today's version of the Nazi gas chambers.  You object to self imposed racial segregation but support the abortion industry that specifically targets such "undesirables" as we find in the African/American community.  You are the hypocrite, the white washed tomb rotting in side.


You are the one with delusions of mindless, unquestioned slavery to the spiritless, rule mongering Olmstead, a true Pharisee, as described in the Bible.


Right, the same one that was on the Grassy Knoll with Hillary Clinton.

valleynative topcommenter


It reads as if he spent too much time on it, constantly tweaking the tone to the point that the message of the piece is drowned out by the words "pretentious" and "trying too hard" that keep popping into my head.


@frankpiccioli Absolutely right. An interesting topic made nearly incomprehensible by the author's muddled writing style.


And what exactly makes you an expert, Goober? This story is great.


I do agree with you however that the Bishop has ignored many social justice issues like the Sheriff's treatment of immigrants and the demonizing of labor unions. Both clearly spoke about in Church teachings on social justice.


Please study the Catholic churches teachings on homosexuality. No one says a gay man or woman is going to hell. Educate yourself please.


@dennis20 Absolutely correct. But you must act by voting with your wallet in the Phoenix Diocese.  I acted by sending my money to St. Joseph's Hospital.


It's "commentary," you biased, brainwashed dumbass! Look on Craigslist and see if any brains are for sale.


@gjbevil ,

I'll bet the Ayatollah Cathi Herrod gave you an A+ for that one and from the way your writing skills deteriorate the more you rant, you must have been jumping up and down and spraying spit when you wrote that last sentence.

dennis20 topcommenter

@gjbevil When catholics start giving a damn about children already born, then and only then will I listen to political hyperbole about Abortion.  Anti-Abortion crusaders are just lazy activists who can't handle  the issues that effect people and racism is one of those issues.  They can't emotionally deal with issues like child abuse, rape, hunger or poverty so they hide behind the abortion argument and use it as an excuse to ignore what is really going on. Their fake moral outrage is easier than trying to make this a better world. If you truly want to stop abortion, start making sure children have enough to eat and are safe from being molested by your priests.  Show absolute commitment and love for all the children-brown, black, muslim, jewish and atheist. You do that and you wont have the abortion issue because every birth will be a blessing to this community.    


@gjbevil   Olmstead has failed as a moral leader, since, all his teaching has failed to bring the whole State to his anti choice message.  Thus he has to call on the Civil, political authorities to enforce his vision, when his mere message cannot enforce it.  If the Diocese of Phoenix would spend as much time and energy attacking poverty, discrimination, wars and violence as much as they spend on telling people what their reproduction choices should be, we would all be very impressed.


Well I happen to have a degree in journalism, perhaps that helps. And again, I am not criticizing the story but the way it was written. As a side note, can you not post a comment here without resorting to 6th grade school yard vocabulary and bullying? 'Goober'? Seriously? Please grow up and then come back to engage in discussion.


Well considering that the Catholic Church runs more orphanages and adoption clinics across the globe than any other private or public entity I do tend to think that the Catholic Church does care.... (okay, I corrected my two grammatical errors. Now please explain to me that by stating that the Catholic Church runs more orphanages on this planet than any other entity is somehow 'ranting' and 'spraying spit'. I was simply stating a fact, just because you are anti Catholic and bigoted does not justify such a response.


You are so stupid that I sincerely hope you don't procreate. You really should shut up... You are an embarrassment to even delusional Catholics.


Well considering they the Catholic Church runs more orphanages and adoption clinics across the globe than any other private or public entity I di tend to think that the Catholic Church does care.


Your ignorance abounds! There is no institution doing more charity for the poor than the Catholic church! None. But even if your vile lie were true, you argue that unless the Catholic Church is willing to care and support you, you have no right to live. Truly diabolical.


Nobody says you don't have a right to "reproductive choice." Problem is when you choose to abort a baby it's to late; you've already reproduced. The time to responsibly choose not to reproduce has passed. Now you're just killing the innocent result of your irresponsible and evil behaviour.


Wrong again little child, I have written for quite a few publications. And as you can see from other posts I am not the only one who feels the writing style is a bit awkward. 'Goober'.... Lol... What are you like 12 Years old. Grin. Your a funny kid.


Doubt anybody has ever hired you to do journalism... Right, Goober? Mike Lacey is a legendary journalist and writer. Get a clue! That aside, though, this is an expertly written story.


I'm stupid because I stated a fact? How interesting.


@frankpiccioli - Just have to keep an eye on them so they aren't raping the orphans and selling stolen babies.


Centuries? Only in the past 50 years has the priesthood been infected by gay priests who committed most all of the pederasty which occurred. Once this malevolent and vile faction was rooted out, nearly all pederasty stopped. Oh, and by the way, it wasn't child "molestation". Almost all the victims were post adolescent males abused by gays. Ironic, you who hate the church for its telling the truth about the disordered nature of homosexuality, find your most gleeful criticism in the church being a victim of these very disordered homosexuals.


Yes bigotry... Sexual exploitation of children is a widespread evil and not limited to any religion or institution. And even your comment 'retard' shows not only your immaturity but again a bigotry. You should hold your head down in shame.


@frankpiccioli Catholic bigotry?! Priests have sexually abused children for centuries. Olmstead's predecessor protected many of them, along with Cardinal Mahoney out of L.A. Wake up, you delusional Catholic retard.


Danny... Nice to see Catholic bigotry is alive and well


That's so chicken hawk priests can bugger little boys...

dennis20 topcommenter

@gjbevil  I don't need nor did I ask for your support.  I am just an ex-catholic fotunate enough NOT to be a victim of what you've covered up. Shame on you! 

The children you've harmed by protecting perverted priests need protection and support-but not from you either.. Don't brag about what you pretend you are doing.  Pride goeth before distruction.  Start doing what Jesus says or at least what Pope Francis says instead of Olmsted who is destroying the church.  It's mid evil closed minds like yours too proud to look at yourself that is truly diabolical. 


@rollin360 @hansome

Actually your understanding of the facts are wrong. But that is understandable given you heard them from the progressive propaganda news industry. In fact she had the same condition as my sister-in-law. She had to go on complete (and I literally mean complete) bed rest for the last three months of pregnancy and be monitored very closely. Both she and baby (my beautiful nephew) are alive and well. St. Joe's was agreeable to proceeding directly to abortion without trying this other mode of treatment first. Had they tried the bed rest plan first and derminating the pregnancy were still necessary perhaps the baby would have then had a chance with a C-section. At any rate, even if the baby had died after C-section delivery this would have been permissable since the goal of the procedure would NOT have been the death of the baby. But the liberal media want to slander our blessed Bishop. And besides, from the length of my response you can see how difficult it is to convey truth. Much easier to resort to slogans like "Bishop forbids abortion necessary to save life of mother!"


@hansome The mother's condition had one viable solution which resulted in the abortion of the fetus. The medical staff and hospital administration went to great pains in weighing options for the sake of the mother and fetus. The bishop's position, devout as it is in his ideology, would have resulted in the loss of mother and fetus. Religious hierarchy making medical edicts without the education, training or experience many would expect and even demand as a patient in a Level One Trauma medical center.


@hansome are you talking about people who have unprotected sex instead of making responsible reproductive choices, or are you referring to the many priests who have given in to their urges to sexually exploit innocent children?


The Church is against birth control... Not just the Bishop


How about not rutting around like wild pigs and being driven, always, by your urges?


Really?  You really think it was about killing the mom or perform an abortion?  In fact, there are other treatments that would have saved the life of both and, are less dangerous to the mother than the abortion!!


So Olmstead was right in the hospital case, right? Kill the mother of other children rather than abort the fetus? Now there's a charitable, Christian view.


The only problem is that Olmstead is against birth control also. He has people teaching in his pre-marriage classes, that if a woman uses the pill to prevent pregnancy, she is killing a baby every month. Now there is some wisdom.

dennis20 topcommenter

@gjbevil  "Nobody says you don't have a right to "reproductive choice."  Oh Really? 

Whats Olmsteds beef with birth control? Who are you lieing to? Me or yourself? 

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