Fr. Jonathan Morris' upward mobility shows that he's quite the mover. While he seems like your average parish priest, he is hardly that. In 2002 he was ordained as a priest in the wealthy and secretive Legionaries of Christ which was founded by the disgraced Fr. Marcel Maciel. By 2005, in addition to a cushy assignment as the rector of the Legionaries' seminary in Rome, Morris had joined Fox News. He subsequently left the Legion and ended up at Old St. Patrick's Cathedral and not in some poor church in the outer boroughs. So he's got a daytime job and he's doing all right. I joked, in an earlier post, about how his friendship with NY Archbishop Dolan shows that he has friends in high places. It seems that that he has another friend in another very high place - no, not "the big guy" in heaven, but the "big guy" at God's own network, Fox News. Could it be that Roger Ailes hearts Fr. Morris? Hmmm.....
At the end of yesterday's Fox & Friends Sunday morning with Fr. Jonathan segment, Morris, who was in Jerusalem with Archbishop Dolan, jokingly asked if the "friends" could broadcast from Jerusalem. Alysin Camerota joked "why don't we." Dave Briggs, pointing upward, said "call the big guy and I don't mean God, you know the big guy, our version of God." Camerota laughingly interjected, "you've got connections both, so whoever you want to call." A good laugh was had by all.
So let's see. Who is, literally and figuratively, "big" at Fox News? Could it be Roger Ailes? And if so, it's a nice quid pro quo. Ailes gets to use a conservative Catholic priest to validate right wing dogma and thus bring some Catholic sheaves into the Republican fold. He also gets to boost Fox ratings as Morris always promotes his Fox appearances on his Facebook page. Morris gets a paycheck and an opportunity to remind Catholics of the tenets of their faith. He also gets to advise them about voting for the candidate who shares their values and who will make nice with the conservative bishops (hint, it's not Obama) whose religious liberty, according to Fox News and Fr. Morris, is being compromised. Sweet "connection." Can we say "friends with benefits?"
Fox & Friends' "version of God?"
Correction: Old St. Patrick's Cathedral is not in the NYC Theater Disrict as I originally reported. Comment has been amended.