Friday, March 21

Andrew Greeley today

You'll like the first line...

A while back, the New York Times sent one of its reporters who writes fiction about the Catholic Church out to interview Catholics about the conflict they feel when they make up their minds whether to side with the pope or the president over the war....

But dunno how you'll feel about the rest of it...

The Wall Street Journal also warned the pope that he ought to rein in the Vatican publications and the Curia cardinals who are clearly anti-American.

Maybe they are. Like most Europeans, the Curia has been anti-American for a long time. His Holiness minimally has been impatient with American foreign policy. Might one say that is his right? Does not a moral and spiritual leader have the obligation to speak up against evil when he sees it? Does he not have an obligation to apply the just war doctrine to the events he observes? His opinions on the subject deserve attention and respect from Catholics--and everyone else.

However, he is not telling Catholics what they should think, only what he thinks. He is not obliging us in conscience to accept his reading of the situation. One should not have to say that; yet so strong is the current surge of anti-Catholicism in America, one has to repeat it over and over again--and not expect to be heard. The people in the major media know that Catholics have to agree with the pope.

Those of us who have grave doubts about the war will quote the pope often, if only to challenge the fundamentalist piety of the Bush administration, if only to suggest that God is not always on the Republican side. Maybe, just maybe, the pope knows a little bit more than George W. Bush about war and peace.

Some of the Republican pundits shade their criticism of the pope with allusions to the moral problems in the Catholic priesthood. Those who write letters pull no punches. Usually in obscene terms they suggest that the pope should both shut his mouth and do something about clerical sexual abuse.

That argument merely shows how morally and intellectually bankrupt many Republicans are these days. Bush's war has corrupted them.

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