If the notion of an “MSNBC Catholic” sounds like a complete non sequitur, you could be thinking of Mike Barnicle. In a foam-flecked Daily Beast attack on conservative Catholic Cardinal Raymond Burke -- "Catholicism’s Most Offensive Mansplainer" -- Barnicle and the Beasties highlighted how his “mother the nun” would call Burke an “a**hole” in Gaelic.
Barnicle also uncorked a completely crackpot line: “The cost of his gilded, ornate vestments could feed a family of four across a decade.”
Earth to Barnicle: Anti-Catholic liberals tried to price a cardinal’s vestments at $20,000 – if you picked the most expensive option in every category of a store called Barbiconi – and since you’re a liberal, you include Italy's Value Added Tax in your calculations. The pope would be right to insist that church leaders shouldn't be ripe targets for Huffington Post vestment-pricing games.
Now, if you use a liberal group's calculations on the food stamp program’s maximum payouts for a family of four is $649 a month, that’s $7,788 a year, or $77,880 over a decade. But Barnicle isn't being factual. He's being a political cartoonist in print.
It's obvious that Barnicle can't let a cardinal decry any feminism in the Catholic culture, or lament the church's appeal to men, without making fun of his queenish clothes:
Cardinal Raymond Burke is a 66-year-old guy who lives in Rome, dresses like Queen Elizabeth, and talks like someone who majored in misogyny at some bogus, backwoods, Bible-banging tent school. Until Pope Francis stripped him of the powerful Vatican post Pope Benedict had handed him, Burke behaved like the Catholic Church’s version of Ted Cruz, operating with an ego and an attitude that proclaimed him to always be right on matters of doctrine and dogma.
Barnicle recalled his own mother, who he calls "my mother the nun," who could "curse in Gaelic," working in a parish office. So it offends him when someone suggests women are too powerful in the church:
So when I read Raymond Burke clowning it up with his bogus beliefs that the Catholic Church has lost a few steps because of the absence of “manly men,” I could hear Mom muttering, “pol’thoin” (asshole) to describe him. That description would have been applied for many reasons but the biggest would be the most obvious: Burke is a guy whose most firm belief is in himself and his own pronouncements.
The cost of his gilded, ornate vestments could feed a family of four across a decade. He has exhausted himself and more than a few who have had to listen to him trying to ban pro-choice politicians from receiving communion. He has attacked St. Louis University basketball coach Rick Majerus for attending a Hillary Clinton rally and tried to prevent Sheryl Crow from giving a concert to raise money for a Catholic hospital.
For a guy who rejects large chunks of Catholic teaching, it's a little funny for Barnicle to attack someone else as a man "whose most firm belief is in himself and his own pronouncements."
Like your average Ted Kennedy Democrat, Barnicle is always looking for “fresh air” to get away from the church’s “very rigid guidelines” on marriage and divorce and sexuality. Like most Catholic liberals, Barnicle demands his bishops, priests, and Popes toe the Democratic Party line on social and moral questions. When they defend traditional Catholic dogma on abortion, or contraceptive coverage under Obamacare, then they are the worst kind of reactionaries.
The full interview with Cardinal Burke is here, if you 'd like to read the full interview, and not just the cartoon. Barnicle could barely muster about 58 words from Burke before exploding in profanity.
“Unfortunately, the radical feminist movement strongly influenced the Church, leading the Church to constantly address women’s issues at the expense of addressing critical issues important to men,” Burke told the correspondent from a pamphlet called (get this) The New Emangelization.
“Sadly,” he pointed out, “the Church has not effectively reacted to these destructive cultural forces; instead the Church has become too influenced by radical feminism and has largely ignored the serious needs of men.”
Barnicle cartooned this as "Burke’s manifesto on his desire for more arm-wrestling, towel-snapping, locker-room guys to play larger roles in Catholicism."