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.(emphasis and editorial commentary added)
"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."
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.Elizabeth Scalia, also writing at Inside Catholic, had this reaction:
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...
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.