St Blog's: A Comedy of Errors
The Catholic World News (CWN) commentator known as "Diogenes" reported on the recent meeting of Cardinal McCarrick with a Muslim leader, King Abjullah of Jordan, in his piece entitled "Thank Allah or thank God?" Mark Shea referred to this piece, calling to mind a quotation of CS Lewis in Mere Christianity, in his post entitled "CS Lewis on Diogenes." Then, Tom Krietzberg of Disputations used the Shea piece to accuse Diogenes of being "evil," in his post entitled "Deadly cynicism."
Now we're off to the races!
Dom Bettinelli, former editor of CWN, and current editor of Catholic World Report, draws the objectively understandable conclusion in his weblog Bettnet.com that, by virtue of association, it is implied that he is "a formal cooperator in a grave evil." He does so in a post entitled "The Grand Inquisitor has spoken."
Nguoi Dang Chay sums it up for a lot of people in the latter's comments box when he says, "I don't get it."
I wouldn't either, except I know why.
I've read this entire melodrama from the source. In order for Diogenes to be accused of being "mean" or "uncharitable," his point would have had to be clear. But such clarity only comes from knowing about the controversial nature of McCarrick's meeting to begin with, which Diogenes safely assumes for his particular audience. Then Mr Kreitzberg compounds the problem (and if it wasn't a problem with somebody, I wouldn't have nearly as much to work with here) by calling something "evil" without assuming the proper burden of explaining the exact nature of the "evil" in question.
The real "evil" here, is what is known as "the spirit of confusion," which in the ancient languages is another name for The Evil One Himself. His Eminence relies on that which, by virtue of his office, can only be considered false worship (and this is aside from his intentions; I'm speaking only to the objective nature of the act, which is all that is available to anyone, really), presumedly in order to endear himself to a head of state with a different belief system. As a show of good faith, said head of state gives a huge donation for the prelate to give to the Hurricane relief effort.
I hope it was worth the money. Because now the Cardinal (who probably hasn't had to open his own car door since getting the red hat) has to explain to those who look to him, why he's praying to a false god. Only it's not a false god, is it, because the God of the Israelites (that would be the Jews, and Jesus was a Jew, remember?) and the God of the Ishmaelites (that is, the descendants of Ishmael, essentially the Arabs, most of whom are Muslim) is one and the same (inasmuch as "Allah" is simply the word "God" in Arabic).
Still, God has made it pretty clear over the last four thousand years how He expects to be worshipped.
After all, He is a Supreme Being. You have to assume He's not entirely dim.
One thing that escapes most Catholic integrists, is a lesson of the past century. If we are going to insist on killing each other because we don't agree on politics or religion, we risk blowing up the whole damn world and everybody in it, which ultimately makes the issue a moot point. So we are tempted to go to some lengths, to ingratiate ourselves to those with whom we would otherwise disagree. This is all well and good. The only problem is, that it should not be necessary to give up what we believe, in order to agree to disagree. It is not as if the King had a gun to the Cardinal's head at the time. (If he did, I suppose it would have been reported by now.)
Once you identify the real evil -- and, in all humility, I just did -- it doesn't help to blame everybody else. The best solution is usually based on the corresponding problem. Anything else just replaces one problem with another.
And once that happens, it doesn't matter who you are, how many books you've written, or the color of your hat -- red, or black.
[UPDATE: Mr Kreitzberg took it upon himself to explain his position further in a subsequent post. He is right about one thing; the devil is laughing his @$$ off.]