Monday, July 27, 2009

The Faith of Frank McCourt

(Hat tip: Rich Leonardi)

In today's Wall Street Journal, Peter Duffy writes on the faith of the recently deceased Irish author, Frank McCourt:
... Mr. McCourt felt it was impossible to fully divorce himself from the church. So when he stood before Pope John Paul II in 2002, accompanying a delegation of 40 mayors from around the world, the little Irish-Catholic boy in him took over. He knelt, took the pontiff’s hand and kissed his ring.

“I got up and he’s looking at me with his dazzling blue Polish eyes and extraordinary complexion,” Mr. McCourt told the Commonwealth Club of California. “I had a feeling he knew. He knew what a fraud and a phony I was. Then I walked away. And I have to admit, as turbulent as my relationship with the church has been (although they don’t know it and they don’t care), I was walking on water practically. I was walking on air.”

Hostility toward the Church notwithstanding, Frank McCourt was a very pleasant and amiable fellow. I had the opportunity to meet him several years ago in Charlottesville at a conference on the future of Ireland. I was perusing a table containing some recent books about Ireland that were being offered for sale to conference participants when Mr. McCourt walked up to view the items on the table. I picked up a copy of his book 'Tis and said (tongue in cheek) "I've heard this book is pretty good. Do you know anything about it." He laughed and responded "Yes, well that's what I've been told."

Resquiescat in pace, Mr. McCourt.

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At 7/28/2009 8:59 AM, Blogger Jim Curley said...

He wrote a book about his teaching career-which I read when i was doing a brief stint teaching.

What I found most interesting was that even though at times he seemed at war with the Church, the Faith was also part of him that he couldn't escape.


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