- The American Conservative - https://www.theamericanconservative.com -

‘Mission Accomplished’

George Weigel remembers how Pope John Paul II’s 1993 World Youth Day in Denver changed everything for Catholic America. [1] Excerpts:

WYD 1993 was not just a triumph for John Paul II, and for now-Cardinal Stafford and his team; it was a turning point in the history of the Catholic Church in the United States, and its effects are still being felt on this silver jubilee. Before WYD 1993, too much of Catholicism in America was in a defensive crouch, like too much of the Church in Western Europe today. After WYD 1993, the New Evangelization in the United States got going in earnest, as Catholics who had participated in it brought home the word that the Gospel was still the most transformative force in the world. Before WYD 1993, U.S. Catholicism was largely an institutional-maintenance Church. With WYD 1993, Catholicism in America discovered the adventure of the New Evangelization, and the living parts of the Church in the U.S. today are the parts that have embraced that evangelical way of being Catholic.

That crucial turning point on the road to a Catholicism of missionary disciples should be remembered with gratitude.

Read the whole thing. [1] It’s delusional, seriously delusional.

Check out this review of a book the Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith wrote a few years back about young Catholic America. [2] Excerpt:

As in decades past, only a minority of Catholic young adults attend Mass most or all Sundays (34 percent in the 1970s, 20 percent in the 2000s), pray daily (36 percent in the 80s, 45 percent now), and rate their religious affiliation as strong (26 percent in both the 1970s and the 2000s).

Disagreement with the Church’s most controversial moral teachings is also common: 33 percent of young Catholics consider abortion OK for any reason, 43 percent consider homosexual sex not wrong at all (one of few numbers that has changed markedly), and more than 90 percent reject the Church’s ban on premarital sex. As the authors conclude, “whatever religious decline that may have happened must have taken place before the 1970s,” most likely during the upheaval following the Second Vatican Council and the 1968 release of Humanae Vitae, the encyclical reiterating the Church’s longstanding ban on artificial birth control.

Since that time, Catholics’ religious practices and moral views have hardly differed from those of their non-Catholic peers. In other life outcomes, from mental health and family relationships to educational attainment and volunteer activities, the same story broadly applies. Today, even young adults who were raised unequivocally Catholic—as teens they had Catholic parents, attended Mass regularly, and self-identified as Catholic—say that you don’t need the Church to be religious (74 percent) and that it’s OK to pick and choose your beliefs (64 percent). They do not accept the Church as an authoritative teacher of Christian doctrine and do not consider the Church necessary to their spiritual lives at all: by baptism they are Catholic but by belief, they are effectively Protestant.

change_me

So much for the New Evangelization. I’m not trying to be sarcastic here. You can certainly argue that without John Paul’s outreach things would be worse, and heaven knows World Youth Day is a fine thing. But to claim that the effects of that event are “still being felt” today anywhere outside the imaginations of aging nostalgists is bizarre.

It is especially so to appear at the same time that the Catholic Church is undergoing a second round of devastating scandal, this time focused on corrupt bishops. John Paul II made Theodore McCarrick the cardinal archbishop of Washington. How’d that work out? John Paul II created 231 cardinals in his long papacy. I don’t know how many bishops he created in the United States since his pontificate began in 1978, but by the time he died in 2005, the US episcopate — for good or ill — was his.

Weigel, who is 67 years old, says that the US church, prior to WYD ’93, was an “institutional-maintenance church.” These days, it’s struggling even to maintain the institution, in part because of John Paul II’s failures to govern. Even the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, a Wojtylan showpiece, is struggling this week to contend with the legacy of bad governance and cover-ups.

I get that the dreams of Weigel’s generation of neoconservative Catholics — including the late R.J. Neuhaus and Michael Novak — crashed. It’s a tragedy. But it is no use to try to save what can be saved of the Roman church in post-Christian (increasingly anti-Christian) America based on nostalgia for the days when it was possible to believe that a “Catholic moment” (to use Neuhaus’s term) was at hand.

Meanwhile, this “Open Letter From Young Catholics” [3] appears on the First Things website today, along with the Weigel piece. It reads, in part:

We are angry over the “credible and substantiated” report of Archbishop McCarrick’s abuse of a minor. We are angry over the numerous allegations of his abuse of seminarians and young priests. We are angry that “everybody knew” about these crimes, that so few people did anything about them, and that those who spoke out were ignored.

In addition, we have heard reports of networks of sexually active priests who promote each other and threaten those who do not join in their activities; of young priests and seminarians having their vocations endangered because they refused to have sex with their superiors or spoke out about sexual impropriety; and of drug-fueled orgies in Vatican apartments.

As Catholics, we believe that the Church’s teaching on human nature and sexuality is life-giving and leads to holiness. We believe that just as there is no room for adultery in marriages, so there is no room for adultery against the Bride of Christ. We need bishops to make clear that any act of sexual abuse or clerical unchastity degrades the priesthood and gravely harms the Church.

We are scandalized by the fact that men like Archbishop McCarrick have held positions of authority in the Church. Indeed, we are alarmed by reports that Pope Francis acted on McCarrick’s guidance in creating cardinals and appointing men to senior positions in the Church. Men McCarrick mentored and lived with are now important archbishops and heads of Vatican dicasteries. We want to know what those men knew about McCarrick and when they knew it, especially since “everybody knew.” If the pope himself knew, we want to know that as well.

You are the shepherds of the Church. If you do not act, evil will go unchecked. As members of your flock, we therefore ask the following of you.

Read the whole thing [3] to get their demands, and a list of signatories. This is the generation of Catholics that are going to have to hold things together, and build something amid the ruins. Those triumphalist days of the 1980s and 1990s are gone forever, even if not everyone has noticed it yet. This matters. Nostalgia for past glory is something that no Christian — Catholic, Evangelical, or otherwise — can afford.

For your edification, read the Catholic philosopher Michael Hanby on the meaning of the present moment [4]. Because he can see the present so clearly, Hanby is a more reliable guide to the future.

77 Comments (Open | Close)

77 Comments To "‘Mission Accomplished’"

#1 Comment By anon On August 9, 2018 @ 3:25 am

“As the authors conclude, “whatever religious decline that may have happened must have taken place before the 1970s,” most likely during the upheaval following the Second Vatican Council and the 1968 release of Humanae Vitae, the encyclical reiterating the Church’s longstanding ban on artificial birth control.”

Nope. It was far earlier.

Vaticam II could be seen as an attempt to establish a “Benedict Option” within the institutional framework of a Church that was busily ordaining a generation of McCarricks.

These were Pius XII men, their proclivities, seminary training, and ordinations predated John XXIII.

To those who experienced the pre-Vatican II Catholic Church firsthand, the Council looked like an attempt to recover the faith from a thoroughly corrupt clericalistic system. It’s failure was not the failure that “traditionalists” think it was, but rather the failure to go deeper than the ills it sought to cure.

As such, it offers a cautionary example for Benedict Option attempts…as the old sins cling so closely even as we claim to have addressed them with new systems or procedures or styles.

#2 Comment By David Pascual On August 9, 2018 @ 3:56 am

Rod,

Thank you for including the link to Hanby’s article.

Liberalism’s worldview is quite simply incompatible with a Catholic or Orthodox ontology. Yet Liberalism has been America’s official ideology since its very inception. Indeed, if America is an idea, this idea is Liberalism.

When the Catholic Church arrived to the US, it was aware that it could never really “fit” in America and was regarded with suspicion. But American Catholics wanted to “fit in”, and hence tried to fuse Catholicism and Americanism/Liberalism. The Church changed in America, and then it transformed the Chruch worldwide. This was really the impetus that led to the Second Vatican Council.

But Liberalism has continued to develop and it is becoming more and more apparent that this fusionism doesn’t work. If you want to live as an orthodox Christian, you have to be prepared to abjure the very essence of what it means to be an American. This is not just about not accepting homosexuality. ¿Or do you think otherwise, Rod?

#3 Comment By Aaron On August 9, 2018 @ 4:15 am

Weigel’s delusional ravings here remind me of Michael Novak’s reminiscences of Vatican II:

“I can remember the smells of burning chestnuts in the streets of Rome, the taste of Sambuca after dinner with Karen, the excitement of the press conferences every early afternoon, the perfect October air in St. Peter’s Square with the great dome glinting in the sunlight. It was a wonderful time to be alive. Since an ecumenical council happens only once in a century, I am glad to have been present at this one, a great and history-changing outpouring of the Spirit, and just plain fun.”

Lovely prose, but how is that “outpouring of the Spirit” working out for the post-VII Church?!

#4 Comment By GaryH On August 9, 2018 @ 6:27 am

“Read the whole thing. It’s delusional, seriously delusional.”

That’s the sad and hilarious truth.

Catholics who go gaga over stuff like World Youth Day and Justin Fatica are even more ridiculous than Protestants predicting that their original versions of large pop events tugging kow end heart strings are changing the world for the better.

World Youth Day, Justin Fatica, Promise Keepers, Praise the Lord Club, Jimmy Swaggert: an amazing amount of wasted time and money.

Weigel is the definitive Neocon Catholic.

#5 Comment By Robert_C On August 9, 2018 @ 7:26 am

To be fair, and as you are usually more prone to recognizing, the situation is much more complex than decline or expansion of the Catholic Church in America. There are, very broadly, two trends: a majority « Spirit of Vatican II » which is in extreme decline but still controls most institutions, and there is the Wojtylan/Ratzinger/Neo-Thomist minority which is in great expansion. Though as the Lincoln Diocese scandal highlights, there is bad news within this minority, as there is also some good news within the mostly Catholic-in-name-only institutional-maintenace majority.

Weigel’s point is fair if taken to refer to the expansion of the dynamic and orthodox minority. It has dramatically increased since the 1993 WYD and continues to do so. New ministries, orders, newspapers, publishing houses, universities, etc., are continually being founded. Though Weigel should perhaps have highlighted that this minority is very, very, small compared to the institutional-maintenance majority.

Most Catholics in America do not encouter the New Evangelization in their faith life, though, and this is no small thing, it is increasingly easier to find a parish which is living it dynamically and is within driving distance. Also it has already become much much easier to find authentic teaching of the faith online and in books (even in difficult topics of spirituality and theology) which is already huge.

So overall, the Church in America is in serious decline, but the small part of it which is living the faith with Spirit-filled fervor is on the upswing. It is not going to save the institutions, but it might just be able to provide a home for a great deal of Americans who seriously want to follow Jesus. Which is what God created his Church for in the first place.

#6 Comment By Matt in VA On August 9, 2018 @ 8:08 am

JonF says:
August 8, 2018 at 5:55 pm
Re: Reagan’s most important and influential actions….

Er, um, seeing the Cold War through to a successful conclusion and one that did not involve major bloodshed, let alone nuclear war? Come on, that overshadows the rest of your laundry list like Mount Everest next to an east coast ski hill. It’s like talking about the Lincoln administration and leaving out the Civil War.

If you help to destroy your own country, I think that counts as more serious than “seeing the Cold War through a successful conclusion” (you greatly overrate how much Reagan actually *did* here–“seeing through” is doing an awful lot of work in this sentence; not to mention what a disaster for Russia the post-Communist looting of the public purse and national resources by greedy oligarchs was. Look at how much life expectancy plunged in Russia AFTER Communism ended).

Re: Hispanics don’t vote on these issues, never vote Republican or “conservative,

So the GOP should just write off a growing segment of the population?

Why on Earth is it GROWING so much in the first place? This is typical establishment Republican/Democrat talk — immigration is just this totally natural force that simply “happens” and is completely unstoppable or uncontrollable.

How is that every bit as foolish as the Democrats writing off rural voters? In today’s razor thin electoral environment marginal votes do count. It isn’t 1970 any more and the GOP wants to survive it needs to appeal to more than a relatively narrow slice of the population (AKA, non college-educated and non-urban white males, and their wives).

Less than 40 years ago, Reagan got about the same percentage (actually, slightly less) of the white vote than Trump did — and that was enough to win in an enormous landslide. There is something so tedious about people like you pretending that the shape of the electorate is just “naturally evolving” into what it is now, as if the VERY MOST POWERFUL people in our society (including the establishment of both major political parties, and the very richest people, the billionaires (see both Silicon Valley almost with a *single* exception named Thiel, as well as the Koch Brothers, too!)) weren’t more invested in moar immigration than *any* other cause. People like you pretend that the rapidly changing ethnic composition of our society which will plunge the ethnic majority for the country’s entire 200+ year history into minority status in two generations is just something that happens, as if it isn’t THE cause of almost 100% of the people who rule over us.

#7 Comment By Liam On August 9, 2018 @ 8:13 am

An interesting account of encounters with GW:

[5]

#8 Comment By Elijah On August 9, 2018 @ 8:49 am

“…they do not have a right to know details like how far into a state of undress a 19 year old was, how much he drank, where on someone’s body someone was touched…It’s not the right of the people of a diocese to know or demand that information nor would it necessarily be helpful.”

Parishioners do not have the right to know the identity of victims. But, after all the lies, parsing of statements, and misdirection, I think they have every right to know details. They have every right to know if “inappropriate touching” means an unwelcome back rub or touching someone’s genitalia. And that protects priests from ridiculous accusations as much as anything.

I also take some issue with this: “nor would it necessarily be helpful.” To whom?

#9 Comment By Elijah On August 9, 2018 @ 8:56 am

I meant to add this: many readers here seem to think Rod is reveling in this scandal because he continues to report on it, in detail.

Allow me to suggest that perhaps the most compelling feature of this new round of revelations is not the abuse, or the cover-up, or even the Lavender Mafia, but the number of gormless unforced errors committed by the bishops and their superiors. It’s like after decades of practice, they STILL can’t even fake some sincere outrage! It’s all by-the-book jargon and foolish calls for “healing” when we still don’t even know the extent of the wound. And these are the best and brightest the Church has to offer?

#10 Comment By Virginia Catholic Girl On August 9, 2018 @ 9:34 am

It’s sort of weird how people like Weigel, Neuhaus & Novak idolized JPII but when it came to listening to him as he tried desperately to get the US not to attack Iraq, they knew better than him, somehow. He sure was right about that. I think in many ways, he was a great man and a saint, but why he just couldn’t wrap his head around the sex scandals, that was a major failure on his part. I guess he thought it was like Poland, where if the government wanted to rein in a troublesome priest, they would be accused of immorality. Still, it’s amazing he didn’t see through Maciel. But I myself was fooled by a “holy priest” so I am the last person that should be faulting him for this. Now we’ve got to clean up the mess. As bad as things are, the letter from young Catholics (yeah, to me people in their 30’s are young!) shows that there is always hope. Keep praying, folks and speaking out!

#11 Comment By Armchair Agrarian On August 9, 2018 @ 9:55 am

I’m definitely more in the Hanby camp than the Weigel camp, but didn’t you just recently post Ratzinger’s passage about a smaller, more faithful Church? It seems to me that, by this standard, the Church truly is in better shape today than 40 years ago for precisely this reason: the young people who ARE left in the pews have stronger faith, and know their faith. Weigel is right about the “institutional-maintenance church” of past generations. I’m too young for WYD Denver, but it was certainly following JPII’s example that catechesis of and ministry to young people moved from “God loves you” and pizza parties to drawing them in to a real encounter with Christ.

In my opinion, the result is not as rosy as Weigel makes it out, but it’s disingenuous to tout Benedict’s description of the future Church and then blast Weigel on this point. It still hasn’t made it everywhere in the US, but the “JPII Generation” Catholics who actually have remained, despite all the scandal that has been part of our experience of the Church virtually our entire lives, are here because of things like WYD and this shift in the US Church.

#12 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On August 9, 2018 @ 10:01 am

bring the end of communism and the iron curtain–a gigantic accomplishment to be sure–they were horrible in domestic policy, destroying the working and middle classes by gutting private sector unions

And you don’t see a connection between these two “accomplishments”?

#13 Comment By Ben H On August 9, 2018 @ 10:41 am

“…to get their demands…”

I guess these are fine but nothing will be truly accomplished without conversion.

We are not talking about accounting problems where you need “controls” and “accountability”, like a business that handles lots of cash has to do to make sure no one us stealing. The roots of the problem are spiritual and can only be addressed by rightly ordering oneself toward God.

Creating more procedures and processes to monitor everyone is a way to deal with the symptoms of the problem and in no way deals with the real problem which is lack of lover of God, lack of love of neighbor and lack of Faith.

So asking for more Policies! is a way to rend garments, not hearts.

#14 Comment By pbnelson On August 9, 2018 @ 10:45 am

For many years I’ve heard it said that JPII discounted reports of homosexuality because communists would use that charge spuriously during the cold war. Does no one believe that anymore?

#15 Comment By kevin on the left On August 9, 2018 @ 10:49 am

“People like you pretend that the rapidly changing ethnic composition of our society which will plunge the ethnic majority for the country’s entire 200+ year history into minority status in two generations is just something that happens, as if it isn’t THE cause of almost 100% of the people who rule over us.”

Whispers: about half or more of the members of this “ethnic majority” for 200+ years are descended from people who arrived in this country 100 to 130 years ago. It’s almost as though this “ethnos” is an ad-hoc, constantly evolving racial identity, and not an ethnos.

#16 Comment By kevin on the left On August 9, 2018 @ 10:51 am

“Weigel’s point is fair if taken to refer to the expansion of the dynamic and orthodox minority. It has dramatically increased since the 1993 WYD and continues to do so. New ministries, orders, newspapers, publishing houses, universities, etc., are continually being founded. Though Weigel should perhaps have highlighted that this minority is very, very, small compared to the institutional-maintenance majority.

It’s almost as though conservative Catholicism in America is really heavy on billionaires willing and able to pump money into publications and think tanks and universities, but about zero actual followers..

#17 Comment By Hound of Ulster On August 9, 2018 @ 12:26 pm

@Matt in VA

Your argument would be more persuasive if it didn’t rest on the ‘They Won’t Assimilate’ fallacy that has been the backbone of anti-immigration rhetoric since the Know-Nothings.

Hispanic identity in particular is much complex than you realize, and their are plenty of very conservative Hispanics all over the country, along with conservative African-Americans. The Republican Party as an institution has done an extremely poor job of attracting these potential voters, especially post Trump. So they mostly either stay home or vote for the Democrats. These voters are not figments of Karl Rove’s imagination, I’ve met and worked with some of them.

And the experience of racism at the hands of the ‘white’ majority (anybody who creates an ‘ethnos’ where Greeks, Ukrainians, Germans, and Irish are the ‘same people’ is not creating an ‘ethnos’ with actual staying power) strengthens in-group identification among non-‘whites’.

So if you want to preserve the ‘white’ majority, and thier are signs that certain Hispanics and Arabs are taking on a form of ‘white’ identity a la the Irish and the Slavs in the last century, you need to fight against ‘white’ racial paranoia.

#18 Comment By Larry in NC On August 9, 2018 @ 12:56 pm

TAC should get the Comments system that FT uses.

#19 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On August 9, 2018 @ 1:55 pm

For many years I’ve heard it said that JPII discounted reports of homosexuality because communists would use that charge spuriously during the cold war. Does no one believe that anymore?

I believe it. But still, people refer to this genderbender uber alles line of politics as “left”? And, while communists might lie, they also use true information when it would be embarrassing. Just because communists said it about X, doesn’t mean it could never ever be true about Y, Z, or Q.

It’s almost as though conservative Catholicism in America is really heavy on billionaires willing and able to pump money into publications and think tanks and universities, but about zero actual followers.

Ditto for the trans-sexuality craze.

#20 Comment By Beth On August 9, 2018 @ 2:42 pm

Elijah, no I don’t think people need extremely explicit details. They need to know the nature of the crime, they have a right to know what ages are involved, where it happened, as soon as it’s ok with the authtorities they have a right to know who the perpetrator is. They need to know as much as needed to enable them to make decisions about their own families, their own safety. There is a danger in knowing too graphic of details. It tempts us to dwell on evil, and while we should root it out and cast it out, we shouldn’t dwell on it. When Paul instructed in Philippians 4:8 to think on whatever is true, good, noble, he meant it. Explicit details only make it harder to do that.

I’m not trying to protect the guilty here. I would say this in any situation. I do agree it’s a fine line between what should and shouldn’t be known and perhaps it’s difficult to identify where that line is. But it’s necessary.

#21 Comment By pbnelson On August 9, 2018 @ 3:16 pm

I should have been more clear. My comment about spurious accusations was meant as a reflection on JPII, no more.

Lately there’s been a lot of criticism of JPII for being willfully blind to the gay cabal. It’s worth repeating the defense, which has been offered for years but not on Rod’s blog, that JPII had personal experience with Communists using the “homosexual” accusation to discredit troublesome priests and the Church in general.

Whether that’s a good excuse? Well, perhaps not. But, it is at least a plausible reason for him not acting more resolutely. More plausible than “JPII was a liberal at heart”, or “he only cared about public relations”, or “he was dumber than he looked.”

#22 Comment By kevin on the left On August 9, 2018 @ 3:20 pm

“For many years I’ve heard it said that JPII discounted reports of homosexuality because communists would use that charge spuriously during the cold war. Does no one believe that anymore?

JPII assumed the papacy in 1978. Gorbachev became General Secretary in 1985. Communism in Eastern Europe was dead in 1989. JPII died in 2005. You do the math here.

#23 Comment By Mark Herwaldt On August 9, 2018 @ 6:03 pm

I totally disagee

#24 Comment By ginger On August 9, 2018 @ 10:59 pm

“For many years I’ve heard it said that JPII discounted reports of homosexuality because communists would use that charge spuriously during the cold war. Does no one believe that anymore?”

Oh, I’m sure plenty of people still believe it–no worries of that changing anytime too soon.

But a man who is so poor at logic (Some communists falsely accused priests of homosexuality. Therefore, all accusations of homosexuality against priests must be false) has no business running the Catholic Church.

Besides, had the man never heard priests’ confessions? Or are we just to believe he never ran across a gay priest in the confessional in his entire lifetime?

#25 Comment By ginger On August 10, 2018 @ 7:37 am

“Lately there’s been a lot of criticism of JPII for being willfully blind to the gay cabal. It’s worth repeating the defense, which has been offered for years but not on Rod’s blog, that JPII had personal experience with Communists using the “homosexual” accusation to discredit troublesome priests and the Church in general.

Whether that’s a good excuse? Well, perhaps not. But, it is at least a plausible reason for him not acting more resolutely. More plausible than “JPII was a liberal at heart”, or “he only cared about public relations”, or “he was dumber than he looked.”

In the NYT article on Richard Sipe today:

“In his first posting, to Cold Spring, Minn., to work as a high school counselor, he heard in the confessional about priests who were sexually involved with other priests, priests who had girlfriends, and even priests who were involved with minors, he said in an interview in 2008 for a documentary film, “Sipe: Sex, Lies, and the Priesthood,” which is to be released this year.”

[6]

Anybody who has ever been to Cold Spring, MN, knows it is hardly a hotbed of sexual depravity (at least not on its surface!). Yet Fr. Sipe had his eyeballs opened in the rudest of manners simply by listening to confessions there when he was a brand-new priest.

And we are to believe JPII, who spend considerable time in Rome, Italy, and traveled around the world (presumably hearing at least a few confessions of priests here and there over the decades) couldn’t bring himself to believe accusations of sexual misconduct against priests because communiss in Cold War.

What was wrong with JPII (and so many other members of the hierarchy) that they did not have the same human, NORMAL reaction that Sipe did upon hearing confessions from priests about sexual misconduct with men, women, and children? Sipe immediately understood something was really wrong and devoted his life to trying warn the Church and its people about it. For his efforts, he was blackballed, maligned, and persecuted by the hierarchy and other “good” Catholics who were quick to point out he was a “liberal” trying to damage the Church.

Meanwhile, JPII was busy calling Maciel an “efficacious guide to youth” and sending condolence telegrams when voracious predators died (see story of Cardinal Groër):

“March 24, 2003, Groër died of pneumonia at a hospital outside Vienna where he was being treated for cancer. In a telegram of condolence to the Vienna archdiocese, John Paul said Groër had
served “with great love for Christ and his church” and prayed that he would be “granted the eternal reward that the Lord himself promised to his faithful servants.”

[7]

Which of these two men actually damaged the Church and which showed true love for Her?

#26 Comment By JonF On August 10, 2018 @ 9:36 am

Re: If you help to destroy your own country, I think that counts as more serious than “seeing the Cold War through a successful conclusion”

Perhaps you live in another universe where the bombs came and the flames came and the end came? In this one America is certainly not “destroyed”, not by any remotely sane definition of the word.

Re: There is something so tedious about people like you pretending that the shape of the electorate is just “naturally evolving”

“All things change with time and we step not twice in the same river”. Stopping the clock is never the answer: you may as well rail against gravity or arithmetic. The sensible response to change is this: adaptation. In politics this means making alliances of convenience with other people who may not share your exact priorities, and in some cases people whom you may cordially detest– strange bedfellows and all that. This is not rocket science. It’s practical politics 101 and has been since Solon gave the Athenians their democracy back and left to tour the world.
What ever are you so afraid of? With the possible exception of nuclear war you can make a good life out of any future that is roosting out there among the potentia of this century. But giving yourself up to despair and hate and anger is not the way to do it.

#27 Comment By pbnelson On August 10, 2018 @ 10:42 am

Thanks for the link to that obit, Ginger. Mr. Sipes truly loved the Church, no doubt about it.

So does our working boy, Rod, in his own way. I’m convinced of that.

This line from the obit really boggles the mind, “Mr. Sipe had been warning on his website about the sexual activities of Cardinal McCarrick since 2008.” On his website! For the past decade!

Regarding JPII, I’m sure he loved the Church as well. Truly loved her, in his heart and in his deeds. But he also failed her, and he failed us, no doubt about that either.

From sad, repeated personal experience I can understand how it’s possible to truly love and terribly fail at the same time.