Saturday, July 23, 2005

KC Buzz

Well, the McBrien thing is surely picking up -- welcome to everyone who's stopped by from the Fair Amy's.... Amy's getting an audience with me in a couple weeks' time when she graces the land of the Pharaohs with her luminous presence, and I'm very much looking forward to that.

I'm told that Bishop Finn is on retreat and hasn't even seen the interview which is causing all the buzz, which is very interesting. But his approach has always been "what you see is what you get," and for my part I thought the piece was extremely well-done.

That said, I'd caution anyone thinking that the knives are out for the people down the street at NCR. Don't forget that a lay-owned, independent corporation can't be touched by ecclesiastical authority the way America was. If they could be, then Neuhaus and Weigel would have reason to be afraid, be very afraid.

And anyone who has an eagerness for all-out warfare in Kansas City doesn't know Bob Finn and how he operates. He's way too smart -- and effective -- to be a polemicist. In his prior incarination as editor of the St. Louis Review, Finn did block an ad for a talk being given at St. Louis University by John Allen because of the editorial stances of Allen's employer. It caused a similar tempest in a teapot at the time in the Rome of the West.

If anything, it seems, the more constructive (and, ergo, preferred) strategy would be not to defang the Reporter but to build up the Catholic Key as a faithful, well-crafted, informative and orthodox alternative to the gang down the street. That'd be very much in keeping with Finn's earthy, nonconfrontational style and his savvy for building the church in its best light. If anyone could pull it off credibly, it's Finn. So keep your eyes peeled.

Time to Rock n' Roll.



Blogger Fred said...

Thanks for the perspective! I'm beginning to like you.

23/7/05 18:32  
Blogger Juniper, a bean farmer said...

..."Amy's getting an audience with me in a couple weeks' time "...

If Amy's coming to speak in Philly, and your showing up to hear her speak, isn't it more accurate to say that you're getting an audience with her?

At any rate, hope you enjoy Theology on Tap.

24/7/05 00:40  
Blogger Todd said...

Great blog, for starters.

Finn pulled the column about a month before the interview was published, so last week's piece was pretty much old news from that viewpoint. The interview was rather good, for the most part, despite Echo Chamber howlings about Finn's one positive comment on the seamless garment.

Having a very low opinion of diocesan newspapers to start with, I think pulling the plug on McBrien is small potatoes. If Finn can engineer a dumping of playing news, maybe the Key has some hope.

Finn has surrounded himself with two experienced pastors in the chancery, which should balance his own lack of experience as a pastor. I think people might get tired if we continue to see explanations a month after a decision is made. If it's a pattern, it can burn out chancery staff caught unawares on decisions like that.

At any rate, my sense is that Finn has a learning curve ahead. I don't know how sensible it was to cut loose the top lay people on his staff, at least this year. Time will tell if the new and remaining diocesan staff can pull it together for the bishop, who does concede he can't do the full job himself.

28/7/05 00:04  

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