This post’s title says it all.
Go to First Things – HERE
For those of you who dawdle, a couple tastes:
Bernard of Clairvaux, the great 12th-century saint and Doctor of the Church who renewed the Western monastic tradition, once warned that “The most grievous danger for any pope lies in the fact that, encompassed as he is by flatterers, he never hears the truth about his own person and ends by not wishing to hear it.”
Every pontificate has its courtiers. The current one is no exception; quite the opposite. Thus, St. Bernard’s words came easily to mind as I read a recent Austen Ivereigh article for America magazine.
He calls them “courtiers” which is polite.
Conflict, a lot of it, both within and beyond the Church, comes with the job of every bishop. The bishop of Rome is not excused from that unhappy burden. And EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo, whom Ivereigh seems to regard as a special tool of the diabolos, does not pose quite the same fearsome threat to the Church as, say, China’s Xi Jinping. Or significant figures in America’s current leadership.
Massimo Faggioli’s sunny assessment of Joe Biden and Biden’s seeming common ground with Pope Francis—his recent book is Joe Biden and Catholicism in the United States—certainly qualifies him for courtier status, despite his text being rudely dismembered by veteran religion journalist Ken Woodward in a Religion News Service critique. Prof. Faggioli’s relentless commentary on the United States, American Catholics, and so much more—he arrived in our country in 2008, apparently knows everything about us, and currently teaches at Villanova University—makes up in astonishing breadth for what it lacks in depth. In December of last year, Faggioli suggested that “the parallel between [Biden] and the late Italian pope [John XXIII] certainly offers hope from a historical point of view.” Or maybe not so much. Any parallel between the two men might be news to the saintly dead pope, since the Democratic party has effectively sacramentalized abortion, exterminated pro-life Catholic witness in its ranks—ask former Congressman Dan Lipinski—and our “Catholic” president has signed on fully to the party’s slash and burn campaign.
Neither Ivereigh nor Faggioli measures up, though, to that zenith of melodrama and ill will achieved in 2017 by Antonio Spadaro and Marcelo Figueroa.
Are you ready to go there yet?
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