Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pope Coming to U.S.; Washington Post Responds by Interviewing Naysayers

From The Washington Post:
... [The Pope's] visit will be of high interest, analysts said yesterday.

"This is America.
[ED.: As if that somehow makes a difference? Someone remind me again who it is that's most guilty of pushing the notion of "American exceptionalism". Hint: it ain't conservative Catholics, as is often implied.] People will be asking questions about why he didn't go to Boston, looking for him to say something about the sex-abuse scandal, something that relates to them pastorally, [like] why don't they have enough priests? Why can't laypeople do more?" said David Gibson, a longtime religion reporter and author of "The Rule of Benedict: Pope Benedict XVI and His Battle With the Modern World."

"He isn't going to address that agenda. He'll just say: 'Pray harder.'"
[ED.: As between addressing someone's "agenda" and admonishing the faithful to pray, I think most Catholics would prefer the latter every time.]

"All of my colleagues who teach at Catholic colleges and universities will be listening carefully to see if he talks about orthodoxy among those who teach theology," said Paul Lakeland, chair of Catholic Studies at Fairfield University.
[ED.: The question is how they will respond if he does.]

William D'Antonio, a sociologist at the Life Cycle Institute at Catholic University, said surveys of U.S. Catholics since 1987 show they are increasingly distancing themselves from Vatican teachings
[ED.: Got that? Not "Church" teachings - as in what the Church has taught for 2000 years, but rather "Vatican" teachings, as in what those "old men" in Rome try to impose on us.], but he did not see that as a plain rejection of the pope.

"I think they are looking to their consciences versus obedience to authority," he said yesterday. They will probably want to see and hear Benedict when he visits because "they look to his personal holiness" and his teachings on social justice. "To the degree which he'll speak about poverty, conflict and war, he'll receive a very positive reception."

(emphasis and editorial commentary added)

Mark Stricherz, writing at Inside Catholic, responded to the Post article - specifically that last quote above:
... In 0ther words, if the Pope talks about building a culture of life, he will receive a chilly reception from Washington-area Catholics. So just tell them what they want to hear.

Let's skip the empirical question of whether Dr. Antonio is correct. The whole assumption behind this paragraph is, well, un-pastoral and un-Christian. Should the shepherd not tell his flock how they have strayed? Imagine if a Pope had arrived in early 19th-century Washington and avoided preaching against slavery...
Elizabeth Scalia, also writing at Inside Catholic, had this reaction:
I remember during and after John Paul II's funeral, listening to Richard O' Brien [ED.: McBrien], Joan Chittister and Christiane Amanpour blithely opining that "the next pope will have to move the church into the 21st century and come to his senses on homosexuality, divorce, abortion and female ordination." They repeated the mantra so often they sounded almost robotic. And their horror when Benedict was elected! (Can anyone forget Tina Brown's incredible, bigoted response to it?)
My Comments:
It all comes down to AmChurch knows better than MaChurch, right?

As an aside, I must confess to being filled with a sense of Ratzenfreude every time I read that Tina Brown piece to which Elizabeth Scalia links.


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At 11/14/2007 2:45 PM, Blogger Christine the Soccer Mom said...

Would we really expect them to interview people like my friends and I, who booked rooms for DC last night just so we could attend Mass at the stadium? Or my friend in Leesburg, VA, who is looking into how to get tickets to the Mass?

Instead, they'll look for the discontented lot who thinks the Church is all about them and nothing about Jesus Christ, Who died a horrible death for our sins.

Phooey on them. I'm still so happy I could cry.

You coming along, Jay? Making the trip?

At 11/14/2007 3:11 PM, Blogger Dale Price said...

Gibson is as predictable as a metronome, and his intense dislike of the Pope gets more visceral by the minute. He's the reason I rarely bother with the Commonweal blog any more.

At 11/14/2007 5:26 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

I might try to make the trip.

The problem is that we already have trips to Virginia planned in both March (for Spring/Easter break) and May (for my law school class reunion). Adding one in April as well would likely strain our budget.

Of course, we are talking about the Pope. So, if Dale P. and Rich L. and Rick L. and some of the other members of the Ohio/Michigan blogger connection want to pool some money for gas, rent a minivan, and share a hotel room in D.C., then I'm definitely in.

At 11/14/2007 8:21 PM, Blogger Christine the Soccer Mom said...

You guys can stop here for a BBQ on the way here or back.

'course, I've got friends to visit up in the area, too.

But I know what you mean about budget-straining trips. My parents are making me feel guilty that I'm not making another (third) trip to Florida for Christmas because my Nana is going to be there. But I just can't afford for the four of us to go, especially for what would amount to a four-day weekend so Soccer Dad can get back to work. (He's got two vacation days left for the year, which was a surprise that came up only recently.)

At 11/14/2007 10:07 PM, Blogger Tony said...

Why don't we have enough priests?

The answer is simple. God wants to send us as many holy priests as we require, but we keep blocking them with rubber, rendering their mother's womb sterile, and killing them in the womb :P

At 11/15/2007 9:14 AM, Anonymous paul zummo said...

Christine, do you know how/when these tickets will be available?

I'd offer visitors a place to crash at my place, but I don't think the air mattress can accomodate whole families.

At 11/15/2007 9:23 AM, Anonymous paul zummo said...

Nevermind my last questiojn, as Thomas Peters has the info. Tickets are not avialable yet, and I just called the office and they don't know when they're going to come available. Just keep checking the website.


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