Bookmark and Share
My Photo


    Opinions expressed on the Insight Scoop weblog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Ignatius Press. Links on this weblog to articles do not necessarily imply agreement by the author or by Ignatius Press with the contents of the articles. Links are provided to foster discussion of important issues. Readers should make their own evaluations of the contents of such articles.


« The Truth About Joan of Arc | Main | More controversial work by Burke? »

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Ed Peters

I think that's right Carl. It is more honest not to pretend. Also, not that I have followed him closely, but McGreevey seems to avoid the shrillness and invective that marks a lot of former Catholics (or former Catholic wannabees).

I had to smile though when the Guv said he was lead to his decision by reading (the famous Anglican to Rome convert) Newman. The poor dope, what did he do, read Newman back to front?, last to first? what?


I wish I could be as charitable as you gents. McGreevy strikes me as a consummate narcissist and opportunist and the word 'honest' seems alien in any discussion of what he does.

Robert Miller

The Neumayr link is really good, as always.

It takes us back again to Testem Benevolentiae. The real problem here is "Americanism". The bishops in the US didn't "get it" in 1891, and they still don't get it today. The claims of the US state and culture are the problem.

When the US was a multi-ethnic empire, with lots of arriving immigrants, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it was easier to ignore the "city on a mountain" rhetoric, and to focus on the practical reality of a space outside Protestant and anticlerical Europe where Catholics were comparatively free to practice their faith and participate in civic life.

Since World War II, however, the political and cultural claims of the US state and society have become, well, totalitarian. Mexican, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian (and even Scottish and English) bishops can challenge the claims of their states and prevailing cultures more forcefully because their states and prevailing cultures remain "hypotheses". The US state and culture are "given": to be "American", one must pledge allegiance to an ideology.

The US public discussion is carried on totally within the framework of this ideology. Thus, the US bishops have no native political or cultural "tools" with which to fashion a Catholic "public thing" in the US. This is why I think the prime thrust of Catholic politics and apostolate in North America should be reintegration with the rest of the Americas -- the Catholic Americas: we need to be welcoming as many Spanish Americans as are willing to risk coming north of Bush's fence. Their sheer numbers eventually might make this a Catholic country.

(A related aside: Why do we get upset about editorial cartoons that suggest that anti-abortion judicial decisions represent "Catholic jurisprudence" dictated by the bishops? We ought to be glowing with pride, connecting the dots between faith and legal reason -- and openly discussing the opportunities to advance the Catholic public thing, glorying in the fear the decision strikes in the hearts of the secularists and anti-Catholics).

Ed Peters

Dan. You might be right. I don't have the evidence for that, but your interp. of McG is not unreasonable.

RM: I won't get started, but for others, know, fwiw, that I for one think there's as much evidence that R1891 ome did not understand America as there is that Am. bishops is not understand TB.

Anyway, sooner or later people who want to discuss which kind of secualr gvt is best for Catholics (a discussion I enjoy cuz I DON'T know the answer) will simply have to come to grips with the REALITY that as bad as things are here in the USA, they are WORSE for the Church in almost every other significant place. iow, the burden seems to be on the anti-US crowd to show why its model is so bad notwithstanding, and not the other way around.

Ed Peters

that was supposed to be "Rome in 1891". oops.

1 more thing: Personally, yes, I am proud of the fact the five Catholic justices had the brains to reject PBA. Sure. But it is bigotry to assert, as does the bigot Auth, that their decision was based on faith, and not on sound legal principles, universally applicable natural law, and cold hard logic.

I'm proud of Catholic martyrs, but I can still condemn the injustice to which they were subjected. What confusing about that?

Robert Miller

What I think we should argue is that because the majority justices are Catholics they were able to find their way to "sound legal principles,universally applicable natural law, and cold hard logic".

You don't have to have read very much of Pope Ratzinger to understand why this is so.

Ed Peters

RM. Worth thinking about.

Would you accept: "Because the majority justices are Catholics they were MORE EASILY AND/OR QUICKLY able to find their way to 'sound legal principles,universally applicable natural law, and cold hard logic' IN THIS CASE". ? It helps us avoid suggesting that only Catholics can use their brains. Reading a little Ratzinger helps us understand why this is so.


Auth's cartoon was reminiscent of that Thomas Nast cartoon showing Catholic bishops, their mitres transformed into crocodile snouts, crawling out of the sea and attacking the stalwart Protestants on shore. The bigotry is in the suggestion that the Church remains intent on subverting this nation through a conspiracy of infiltration.


Speaking of editorial cartoons:

Robert Miller

Touche on the Ratzinger reference.

When I speak of Catholics, I am thinking about people who believe that true faith and right reason (including the natural law)are ordered one to the other. You can't get to the natural law through US constitutional jurisprudence or precedent. You can't get to the natural law at all through any of the faiths or "non-faiths" that non-Catholic Americans hold today. In saying this, of course, I am not arguing that Catholics should disdain the collaboration of anyone who gets to the same practical conclusions by a different route (e.g., Christian Evangelical pro-life and pro-family folks).


Dan is right. McGreevy presents himself as a consumate narcissist. He is, true to his penchant for sodomy, a perpetual juvenile; he is about "me, me, and more still of me".


His Holy Trinity (did Sheen say invent this?): Me, Myself, and I.

deacon john m. bresnahan

How long before it will be Bishop McGreevy??? One wonders if he will someday "hook up" with Episcopal Bishop Robinson of N.H.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Ignatius Insight


Ignatius Press

Catholic World Report


Blogs & Sites We Like

June 2018

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Blog powered by Typepad