The [i]Globe[/i]‘s view of orthodox Catholics

The [i]Globe[/i]‘s view of orthodox Catholics

Today’s Boston Globe Magazine has an article on “The Crusaders”, it’s term for so-called conservative Catholics, focusing on their influence in Washington and Rome.

I don’t think it’s possible for most media to write about orthodox Catholics without using terms like “ultraconservative”. It also simplistically describes the motivations of orthodox Catholics in terms of politics and power. No mention of salvation, worship of God, or anything like that. It’s all about controlling others, policies, and programs. Check out this description of John Paul II:

Two years after Kennedy’s election, Pope John XXIII called the Second Vatican Council. Vatican II is now a towering historical event, representing for some the ongoing spirit of reform in the church and for others a kind of theological breeder reactor, constantly on the edge of going out of control. While favoring the latter view, Pope John Paul II, who has led the Catholic Church since 1978, also has reinterpreted the events of the council in such a way that they support his traditionalist view of the church.

Look at the characterization: Conservatives view Vatican II as something to be controlled, while progressives try to implement reform. And to the reporter John Paul II is “reinterpreting” Vatican II, not following the actual letter of the documents as written.

The comment about George Weigel is bizarre, intimating that there’s something nefarious about him working at the Ethics and Public Policy Center which received less than $10 million over the past 20 years from the liberal bogeymen: the Olin, Scaife, and Bradley Foundations. As if liberals don’t get funding from big foundations.

It also posits that orthodox Catholics have already “lost” the battle for America because the polls say a majority of Catholics don’t agree with the Church’s teachings on the usual topics, mostly having to do with the groin area. Again it’s a purely materialist, political view, with almost complete disdain for the concept that such ideas may not find their truth in their popularity but with whether they are true or not.

The article also seems to be clearly anti-Deal Hudson, portraying him as vindicative and clearly political. It makes hints about him being anti-Semitic for supporting Mel Gibson’s movie, as the article points to a web site supporting the movie by a former Pat Buchanan campaign operative, as if they were the only two people dismissing the anti-Semitism charges against the movie.

Meanwhile, the progressives are portrayed as the majority viewpoint locked out of power by the papacy of John Paul II and conservatives’ influence with him. They even quote Fr. Richard “where’s my collar?” McBrien as saying that they will be lost without John Paul II as their patron.

In the view of the reporter, the Church is a political power institution, conservatives are the wacky fringe, and liberals are the voice of reason. In other words it’s the same old garbage, packaged in a shiny new wrapper.

  • Joan,

    To quote “The Princess Bride”: “I do not think it means what you think it means.” In context, “orthodox” simply means that one accepts the Church’s teachings on matters of faith and morals, i.e. the dogmas and disciplines currently held by the Church.

    I can’t imagine in what way Weigel’s book is not orthodox. Evidence please.

  • Sorry Joan, but your reasoning is fallacious. For one thing you equate being “orthodox” with being “correct in one’s assertions.” Weigel could be orthodox and wrong in his arguments.

    Although I don’t think he is wrong. I’m aware of the argument that bringing up ephebophilia is a dodge but it isn’t. Ephebophilia is sex with post-pubescent adolescents and mental health professionals make a distinction between it and pedophilia.  But they do link it to homosexuality. And the vast majority of case brought up over the past two years—like more than 80 percent—have involved adult men having sex with post-pubescent boys. Not pedophilia, but homosexuality.

    Did you actually read Weigel’s book? His treatment of the whole ephebophilia and homosexuality aspect of the Scandal is only a small portion of the overall book.

  • Joan,

    You’re kidding right? I shouldn’t rely on my own thoughts and mind about a book I’ve read, but instead should rely on what others have said about it? Why? The book stands on its own and I can understand it plainly enough. My view of it is not incomplete because I haven’t read other people’s opinions.

    However, you view seems incomplete? Have you actually read the book or only the reviews? Weigel’s book is a look at the causes of the Scandal in the Church based on the Church’s teachings in various areas.

    Just because Weigel doesn’t agree with you doesn’t make him unorthodox, whether he’s right or wrong.

    Yes, he could be wrong, but I don’t think he is. That’s my opinion, not that of some third-party review writer whose credentials for making the judgment are unknown to me.

  • “Words are best interpreted in community, don’t you think.”

    No, I don’t, especially if the “community” is a village of idiots. What makes the “community” authoritative? How do I know that those in the “community” are intelligent? I prefer to rely on my own ability to think critically as well as those who have proven themselves to be able to think critically and with the “mind of the Church.”

  • Weigel is right: ephebophilia is the problem in the Church since about 80 or 90 percent of the cases involved adolescent boys, not pre-pubescent boys and girls. It doesn’t mean that pedophilia didn’t happen, just that it’s not as serious a problem as the other. And the other is directly related to homosexuality in the priesthood and dissent from Church teachings.

    And I have good solid Catholic psychologists who tell me that pedo- and ephebo- are not necessarily the same thing at all. I’ll trust the psychologist I know over some random one I read in a magazine I hadn’t heard of before today.

  • But when it’s with adolescent boys, it is. And that’s what most of the abuse was. I’m not denying that they aren’t both sexual abuse, but the form the abuse takes dictates what steps you take to address it.

    The reason there’s so much discussion of the difference is that when you call it pedophilia, you can blame it on a mentally ill fringe of priests. But if the problem is homosexuality, then you have to address the root causes of homosexual behavior among priests and that’s what groups like VOTF and the Boston Globe don’t want to talk about. Homosexuality, in their view, is normal and healthy and should not be trifled with.

  • Yes, it is a mental disorder, just like homosexuality. And yes it is both a gay problem and a problem of abuse. I am not agreeing with NAMBLA and the concepts are not exclusive.

    Just because sex occurs between an adult and a youth is a crime doesn’t make it sex. The homosexual community’s fascination and promotion of sex with teen boys, known as “chicken hawking” are well documented.

    Is an adult man lusting over a 16 year old girl (like Britney Spears a few years ago) abuse of power or abuse of sex? It is lust, an abuse of sex. So why is it different when it’s homosexual lust? It is just as disordered as homosexuality and both derive from the same root problems. And both need to be uprooted from the priesthood.

    You know, Joan, you have an awful habit of attributing motivations and beliefs to others that they themselves have not expressed. And I’m tiring of this conversation. I suggest you read more of what I’ve written before you pass judgment on what I have to say.

  • See joan, this is what I’m talking about. You are attributing positions to me without knowing what you’re talking about. My position and that of NAMBLA have nothing to do with me. You have completely misunderstood what I am saying and what NAMBLA professes.

    And homosexuality is a mental disorder, in my (and lots of mental health professionals’) opinion. And the Church doesn’t teach one way or the other. (Lokk it up in the Catechism or any other Church document on the issue.) This is why I say you should become more informed before you start to write as you know the facts on these issues.

    That is why I’m done with this conversation.

  • Joan,

    All of those quotes support my position, none of them contradict anything I said. And some of those quotes mean quite specific things when they’re not taken out of context as you have you done.

    The way you persist in this, I’d say your either just being a pain for the sake of being a pain or you’re incapable/unwilling of seeing my point.

  • No, Joan, you misunderstand and misinterpret both me and the Church’s teachings. But I don’t have the time to continue in this vein. I encourage you to continue to think and read and pray on this.

    I suggest starting with the articles here, especially “The Gay Priest Problem.”