Thursday, April 8, 2010

Infallibility is such a funny old game...

They want to deny it to the pope, but every two-bit theologian or newspaper editor thinks he's got it. Excellent essay by The American Spectator's George Neumayr on His Holiness, Pope Bill Keller (NYT editor).

He described himself as a "collapsed Catholic" -- "well beyond lapsed." He affected a false modesty about this, saying that for this reason he claims "no voice in whom the church ordains or how it prays or what it chooses to call a sin." But of course he does claim that voice -- and thinks all should obey it.
He made it clear that he was rooting for "reforms" that would reduce Catholicism to a captive of modern liberalism: "…the struggle within the church is interesting as part of a larger struggle within the human race, between the forces of tolerance and absolutism." 
For an elite drunk on its own enlightenment, the ends will always justify the means against religion. So what, Keller figured, if my reporters could only come up with straining, half-baked pieces that cast fragments of information about Benedict in the worst possible light? Let's run them anyways, so that the forces of tolerance can triumph over the forces of absolutism!

And if it turns out that the forces of tolerance are largely responsible for mishandling these abuse cases (the ousted homosexual Archbishop Rembert Weakland, the subject of flattering profiles over the years in the New Yorker and New York Times, is the person most responsible for dereliction in the Milwaukee case the Times claims to find so outrageous), well, let's blame it on Benedict anyways. He could have done more!
Notice that these days the opportunistic complaint from the Keller-led Times is not that the Church is too authoritarian but that it is too lax. Apparently, it is not autocratic after all. The paper can't decide if Benedict is a Rottweiler or lap dog.
Upon his election, the Times called him "hard line" and "divisive." Now he is soft and clubby. But imagine if Benedict did govern the Church like the autocrat of Keller's imagination, sweeping down to sack every derelict bishop and corrupt priest across the globe, the Times would be the first to engage in ACLU-style whining about the lack of due process, etc., etc. In fact, when he issued his renewal of the Church's ban on the ordination of homosexuals in the first year of his pontificate -- a ban which the "forces of tolerance" within the Church had suspended for decades, a factor contributing greatly to the abuse scandal -- the Times was the first to object.

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