Wednesday, June 01, 2005

A Clarification

I've gotten some e.mails about the papal books -- thanks to everyone for being so observant, and to the Fair Amy for the shout-out.

When I made mention of the decision on the contracts, I explicitly noted "those already under contract elsewhere," without saying that those agreements had been revoked. Simply, I stuck to the message that the pope's agent is now the LEV.

But as the Libreria is the papal publishing house and now holds the rights to all the Ratzinger works, while existing arrangements will stand, the curiosity in Ratzinger/B16 is now such that many works seen as too esoteric to be published before have a new market because of their author, and LEV will probably run all new publications from the Ratzi Collection under their own imprint. They did a marvelous job as sole publisher of the Catechism a decade ago -- the type was flawless, the packaging strong and refined. Good stuff.


Once upon a time, one of my professors said of politics, "It attracts three kinds of people: the brilliant, the committed, and the insane." I've learned over the years that the same is true of religion... Fortunately, most of the people I've met hailed from the first two groups.

But now, I'm getting threats. I didn't get into this business to become a target for the deranged, but that's what has happened.

Sometimes, or more than just sometimes, we disagree with each other. But even when we don't see eye to eye, at least we have a degree of civility and mutual respect -- because that's what civilized people do. Even when we disagree, at least most of the time, we still build bridges and not walls, remembering that reaching ever outward is the best practice of religion.

And then there are those who seek to use the great power of faith to divide, to intimidate, to manipulate, to threaten, to attack. Those who talk about "blowing covers" when they themselves are hidden in their own ignorance, fear and pain. We all suffer when wounds of this kind are inflicted on the one body, so let us together pray for their healing.

But beyond this, however much each of you may not see eye to eye with me, please stand with me, showing those who seek harm that belief is stronger than intimidation -- and that we're not going anywhere.

God love you all.



Blogger patrick said...

Sorry to hear this, Rocco. Sounds like the CWNEWS peanut gallery at work. Please remember that sometimes it isn't insanity, it's deliberate and willful malice.

I must say that I find especially endearing those Christian works of charity that I have receiveed over the years which run along these lines:

"Dear &*#@! apostate,

How dare you express XYZ opinion. Sin, obviously, has darkened your intellect, and I can tell that {unprintable sin} must be the particular vice responsible for your heresy. I know where you live and work, and where your {random family member} lives and works. Your salvation is in danger. Therefore, I must inform {said family member or employer} what a scumbag you are because of your predilection for {unprintable sin}.

All my love in Christ,

{Name Deleted}"

1/6/05 21:49  
Blogger BlueDun said...

Interesting that you deleted my post criticizing your weak clarification regarding the Pope's decision to assign LEV the rights to his works. It's your blog, of course, but it does say something about your journalism, admit fault, or even debate that possibility.

My comment was quite factual and mild. I did conclude by questioning the facts and logic of other things on the blog, but it was not offensive.

You micharacterized the Vatican statement about what would happen with the Pope's publishing and the existing contracts. You clearly did not make a "simple" statement that the Pope's agent is now LEV.

Actually, you said the Pope had a new "publisher" not "agent." In making your defense, you state that you made a point of mentioning B16's works "under contract elsewhere" and that you did not mention that those contracts had been revoked. Yet that was the clear point of your post. The reason for that quote was to stress that the Pope had a "New Publisher" for "ALL" his works and that "B16 is jumping houses."

You state that the move would "provide for a certain standard for the pope's publishing" right after mentioning existing contracts. How could this be the case unless Igantius Press were cut out of its exsiting contract?

And why, by the way, would you speculate on what B16 might do to "mend his fences" with Fr. Fessio? If you properly understood the Vatican statement, why would the Pope need to mend fences? What for? Only if your own mischaracterization (misunderstanding) were correct would the Pope need to mend fences.

Finally, this has got to be one of the most obvious and expected moves a Pontiff would make. It's barely news and justifies your speculation and ill-disguised schadenfreude at the prospect that Igantius would have less to publish.

Ever notice that Random House published JPII's works in the US? Ignatius Press could do the same. We don't know who will publish and distribute the Pope's future works.

I stated that you mischaracterized the Vatican statement. That doesn't mean that you did so intentionally. It could be that you misunderstood it and let the ball run from there. That's not so hot for a reporter, let alone self-proclaimed Vatican analyst or expert.

2/6/05 10:59  
Blogger Jeff said...

Gee, sorry for any threats you have received. How perfectly absurd! I hope there is no potential damage that can actually be done.

Of course, you have our prayers and friendship. And however much we disagree--and however fiercely!--you have our appreciation for your good work.


2/6/05 11:32  
Blogger Laura Gonzalez said...

Don't let the idiots get you down.

Laura Gonzalez

2/6/05 14:40  
Blogger Laura Gonzalez said...

And why, by the way, would you speculate on what B16 might do to "mend his fences" with Fr. Fessio? If you properly understood the Vatican statement, why would the Pope need to mend fences? What for? Only if your own mischaracterization (misunderstanding) were correct would the Pope need to mend fences.

Ummmm, BlueDun, I think you misunderstood Rocco's post about Fressio. He didn't say mend fences with Fressio. I believe he was referring to mending fences with Fressio's supporters, who were quite rude about Levada's appointment, but hoped it might mean bigger and better things for Fressio.

Rocco's text (empahsis mine):
Now could B16 mend his fences by asking Fessio to take a LEV post? Or is that not enough for Fessio's supporters? Given their recent behavior, they have no right to protest if the progs decided to use that moment to go crazy.

Laura Gonzalez

2/6/05 14:46  
Blogger BlueDun said...

Laura, I don't think it matters in the context of this post whether it was Fessio or his supporters. I agree that Rocco was primarily referring to Fr. Fessio supporters. (I think it highly questionable, by the way, that B16 feels the need to mend those fences, or that they even need mending.)

The implication was that the proported publishing decision was yet another reason, in addition to Levada, to mend fences. The very idea of giving Fr. Fessio the LEV post only presents itself because it acts as compensation for losing a contract to publish B16 works elsewhere. Thus, it only presents itself if Rocco's mischaracterization were correct.

The idea is half-baked, anyway. I would think that appointing Fr. Fessio to head LEV would be considered a serious come-down by both Fr Fessio and his supporters.

2/6/05 15:30  

Post a Comment

<< Home