Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The Usual Rumblings at St Blog's Coffee Hour

Rod Dreher of the National Review has been quoted thus in the comments section of Bettnet.com:

"Of course it’s a lie. And as Diogenes points out on the CWNews.com blog, the Pope’s asking for Krenn’s resignation 'for reasons of health' is also a form of lying. They lie to maintain the great facade. They lie by habit. They lie 'for the good of the Church.' They lie. I don’t believe a thing they say anymore, about anything. If the Pope said tomorrow that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, I’d double-check that too, or at least wonder what kind of angle he was pushing."

Gerard Serafin of A Catholic Blog for Lovers takes exception:

"It really isn't surprising to read words like these on another blog. The progression is almost inevitable. From obsessive criticism to bile and cynicism. And to expressions of an almost total dismissal of the integrity of others, including eventually even the Pope."

What is surprising, really, is that an experienced journalist would assume that every utterance from out of the Vatican is from the mouth of the Pope himself. When I hear all the confusion of how American Catholics should vote, whether Jews should be evangelized, whether or not Islam is a threat to Christendom, I'd hate to be the guy in the Vatican press office who has to handle all the phone calls asking dumb-@$$ questions about who said what to whom over whatever.

Unlike some who reacted to Dreher's comments, I'm hardly one to question his faith or whether he should remain Catholic. But I certainly identify with his cynicism over the constant attempts at face-saving. Witness the comments of the Holy Father after viewing Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ: "It is as it was." Five little words were enough for all hell to break loose in the press office; His Holiness didn't really say that, you see he never comments on commercial products, okay maybe he did this time, but what he meant was...

Then there was the decision to assign Cardinal Law to a major bascilica in Rome. People thought he was being rewarded. Maybe when they find out how old the plumbing is in that place and who's gotta call the repair service, they'll think twice about that. Even so, they should have put him some place out of the way. If only for some penance. Not to mention some peace and quiet.

Somehow "the good of the Church" demands that we put a little spin on everything that goes slightly awry, as if that's going to fool anyone. It doesn't. It only makes the operatives within the Holy See look stupid.

It comes down to this: The "good of the Church" is never served by a sinful act. Anyone who thinks otherwise is either a liar or a fool. Or both. Those with a secure sense of Church history, and the role of their own faith in the midst of it, are unlikely to be dissuaded by any of this. After all, even the Twelve Apostles went running scared at the first sign of trouble.

Their successors have been running scared ever since. This too shall pass.


Downto said...

The question seems to be...
What is eating Rod Dreher? He is after Alan Keyes, the pope, Bishop Grahmann. Reports from Dallas sources tell me he really does lose his cool in the pursuit of church corruption, a la Inspector Javert, even making simple journalistic rookie mistakes.

Anonymous said...

[Rod Dreher here, posting anonymously because I don't want to set up a blogger account]

Name the rookie mistakes I've alleged to have made in "pursuing Church corruption." Bet you can't.

It's a pity you don't like criticism of Alan Keyes, Bp. Grahmann and the Holy Father. But you'd really be better off addressing problems with my criticism itself rather than the fact that I am criticizing.