A lot of people have written to me with links and asking me to comment on the signed editorial in L’Osservatore Romano on the first 100 days of the administration of President Obama.
Quite a few people are worked up about this.
I admit that it left me scratching my head.
But I have a couple observations.
First, and most importantly, in the world of L’Osservatore Romano a signed editorial like this has the least weight. You might be able to say that an editorial signed by the actual editor might have more… but it wouldn’t be nearly as weighty as an unsigned editorial.
Second, I know the editor of L’Osservatore Romano a little. He is trying to give the paper a new direction and role. I think he is trying to bring in a few more voices here and there and open it to being also a journal of discussion, to engage the world. To this end, he is bringing pieces from various writers, including non-Catholics.
Fiorentino is a staffer of L’OR and it might have sounded like an official position of the paper, but it wasn’t. I would not be in the least surprised it some of the Euro-progressivists in the Secretariat of State weren’t in favor of this editorial, but it wasn’t unsigned.
Also, a spy tells me that the scholars of the Pontifical Academy for life were rather miffed about this.
Also, a friend noted:
Read the recent address of Mary Ann Glendon to the Holy Father (and the Pope’s speech to the Academy). You can tell what she is alluding to. Michael Schooyans’ lecture for the plenary session was dedicated to Obama’s messianism and was NOT laudatory. Fiorentino’s article was not bereft of good points and observations. But the general sense of it was totally off base. The author seems to believe his own spin on reality. He totally ignores important facts of the ideology at work with Obama’s administration and covers it with the fig leaf of "moderation". The adminstration only shows moderation when it is forced on them by the system and the vocal – unexpected – opposition of so many bishops and believers, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. I wonder if Fiorentino knows anything of the debate in the U.S. hierarchy (and the U.S. at large) aside from what he reads in the headlines of La Repubblica.
You might want also to read this piece on Lifesite, paying attention to my friend Msgr. Barreiro’s comments on Ostpolitik.
Today I made a reference to Ostpolitik in my examination of the slimy editorial in America.