Grit your teeth as you read it

Grit your teeth as you read it

“Writers pontificate on the next pope” is an article about John Allen, the Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Distorter ... I mean Reporter, and Robert Blair Kaiser who’s worked for Time and Newsweek. They engage in speculation about the identity of the next pope, which is probably about as accurate as all the criminal profiles of the Maryland/Virginia sniper we saw on TV.

Kaiser’s two choices: Cardinal Martini, formerly of Milan, and Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor of England. Kaiser’s criteria for Murphy-O’Connor? “I’ve never seen him without a smile.” As long as you have important criteria then. Martini is also unlikely. While liberals have always lobbied and hoped for him, he is now retired from his see and unlikely to welcome a return to “active duty.”

Allen likes Cardinal Claudio Hummes of Brazil (who the newspaper reporting keeps calling “Hunnes.” Fact checking!)  Allen says Hummes is a “moderate’s moderate on issues of theology.” Oh joy. When liberals use the term moderate, what they really mean is a liberal they want to convince everyone else is really not.

Then they go on to make predictable statements on the Church that look at her in view of power and prestige and not the Gospel, self-sacrifice, and service, including: “And there are still seven sacraments for men and six for women.” Or how about:

    on, broad mental
    reservation as I think you were going to have one this evening,” closed
    parenthesis, “but could I assist.”

    What is broad mental reservation?

    DAILY: That’s a question of not telling a lie but at the same time not
    telling the whole truth.

    MACLEISH: It’s—

    DAILY: In other words, giving the impression on the one hand that I was not
    there and on the other hand that I was there but at a different time.

    MACLEISH: Were you there that night or not?

    DAILY: God help me, I don’t know.

    MACLEISH: “Broad mental reservation” means making a statement not consistent
    with the church’s order to protect the church?

    DAILY: No, that’s a lie.

    MACLEISH: Is a broad mental reservation the truth?

    DAILY: Let’s put it this way: It’s the impression that the truth is given. Is
    given, yes, it is the truth to a certain extent.

    In other words, in this case he’s indicating that I was at a confirmation.
    The broad part of it is that the confirmation is on that day and so the
    person hearing it might take it either way, might take it either in the broad
    context or specific context and make that kind of conclusion.

    MACLEISH: Is it fair to conclude that at the time the call came in, you were
    not at confirmation; that’s why Father Ryan uses the words “broad mental

    DAILY: I believe so at that time.

    MACLEISH: It wasn’t factually accurate; is that correct?

    DAILY: Specifically at the time and the specific situation, that’s true.

Wait a minute, did I mix up Bill Clinton’s deposition with Bishop Daily’s? Nope, it’s the right one. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone try to manuever so carefully past an obvious lie.