Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Gloria Olivae

Now, no popping of corks just yet. But in the days of a 24-hour news cycle, it took TIME and Marco Politi a week to get up to speed with John Vlazny and my humble self.

For the uninitiated, check here (4 May), here (yesterday), and here (this morning).

An anonymous commenter last week opined that he was having "a very hard time believing Pope Benedict is as close to Archbishop Levada as you say he is," proceeding to lament how Levada threw Joe Fessio to the dogs. Grazie Dio, Bill will be doing it from Rome now -- and Fessio will just become even more rich, more ostentatious and less worthy of any sane person's sympathy.

All I've said is what I know -- and my biases do not distort how I process the truth, such subjectivity is verboten. So it seems my nameless friend will have to believe it now, whether he likes it or not. It seems the Pope has spoken.

Corks up at 6am one coming morning. All hail the Grand Inquisitor....



Blogger Richard said...


You are certainly free to like or dislike Fessio, just as you are free to do likewise with Reese. But however fortunate Fessio may have been to land on his feet after the Campion Clampdown, I see no acknowledgment on your part that what Fr. Privett did to the St. Ignatus Institute really was well beyond the pale, and damaged far more people than Joseph Fessio. A solid program which produced first-rate graduates was destroyed overnight without cause - well, actually, with (unseemly) cause, it would seem. It also may have demonstrated who the ideologically intolerant forces in the Church (or its academic precincts) really are.

Either way I don't see that Fessio handled his discomfiture - far more severe than Reese's by my lights - with any less grace. He spoke to the media, briefly: "I am at peace ... I am a Jesuit. I will obey. I will strive to fulfill both the letter and the spirit of this new mission...I have a chance to do something that I didn't want to do. I'm looking forward to doing what I have been asked to do as a Jesuit. That will make me a better Jesuit and will be pleasing to God."

He's been heavy on the press circuit since Benedict's election but not due to any effort of his. I think he responded to about half the press inquiries he actually received.

Fr. Reese seems nice a nice enough guy and unlike many other other dissenters (the gloss of some, at any rate) like Curran, Kung, Boff et al, he hasn't run screaming to the press. Nonetheless, I don't think the CDF was unreasonable in thinking that America's "open dialogue" on core teaching was, in fact, undermining them among the Catholic faithful, especially after America called for the dismantling of the CDF. Especially when you have notable Jesuits and Catholic theology teachers (like Stephen Pope) openly questioning the Church's teaching on same-sex marriage. The laity are confused enough (and badly catechized) as it is. If America were an independent, lay-run publication, it would be a different story, perhaps.

Postscript: Just saw your posting policy. So, for the record: Name: Richard Lender, graduate theology student; e-mail:

11/5/05 14:48  

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