On Monday, the New York Times ran a profile of Fr. Benedict Groeschel, the famous New York priest who founded the Franciscan Friars for the Renewal and has worked in New York City serving the poor for years.
It’s not a bad profile. It doesn’t include the usual sniping at his beliefs we’ve come to expect from the mainstream media (sad, but true) and even lets his criticism of the Boston Globe and New York Times for their coverage of the Scandal go unchallenged and unremarked.
The article is headlined “Straddling Liberalism and Conservatism”, which betrays the usual misconception that most media and many Catholics have in mistakenly confusing political ideology with religious praxis and belief. They point out that his orthodox beliefs about the faith, including being pro-life, put him at odds with many political liberals who would applaud his social justice concerns, but social justice is not just the concern of liberals. Political conservatives are also concerned about caring for the poor and downtrodden, but have different ideas on how to deal with it.
In any case, Fr. Groeschel responds with his characteristic smart-alecky New York style:
“I used to be a liberal, if liberal means concern for the other guy,” Father Groeschel said. “Now I consider myself a conservative-liberal-traditional-radical-confused person.”
Or you could just call him an orthodox Catholic because that’s the same thing.