Friday, August 12, 2005

The Pharisees of Today

I'll say it again -- when Francis George speaks, you better start listening, because his vision is the future of the American church.

In that vein, from the CWN News Bytes (to which I am, admittedly, addicted), George gave a speech to the National Catholic HIV/AIDS Ministry Conference in Chicago in late July. As expected for anyone who has the temerity to speak at an event of the kind, the rightward fringe has gone rippin' on the de facto head of the American bishops. Even though he spoke about "the importance of HIV education that is based in Catholic teaching." Even though he reiterates B16's own statements that the "pandemic challenges us to be grounded in our faith -- to respond as Jesus would."

Lawler & Co. (big Bernie Law fans, they are) got all batty about one line, offered in the context of a paragraph on the Eucharist: "Do not let the Pharisees of today silence your enthusiasm proclaiming the good news." But check their headline:
Notorious pro-abortion Church critic a speaker at Catholic AIDS conference; Cardinal George: Don't let Pharisees dampen enthusiasm
What a way to rip George out of context and tar him as a participant in that vast gay conspiracy (Jesuits, Liberals and Blue States) that deigns to destroy their cherished 1950s Catholicism.

Talk about counterintuitive.

By their own standard, though, it'd be perfectly licit to do something along the lines of:
CWN Editor led Boston newspaper which defended predator priests; Superior declared "Power of God" on competitor that revealed cover-up
Yet that wouldn't be fair now, would it? Well neither is their hit on George.



Blogger Jeff said...

I don't find George's remarks particularly offensive, but I'm not sure what he WAS alluding to.

There ISN'T much context there—what there is is Eucharistic.

So, what do YOU think he was alluding to? It's all very vague, but the CONTEXT doesn't provide any help in interpreting it.

12/8/05 18:12  
Blogger Gene O'Grady said...

Why the swat at 50's Catholicism? It was a far more vibrant, hopeful, unified, and generous entity than what we have today.

12/8/05 20:06  

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