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Realism lacking in bishops' statements

By Fr. Rutler (bio - articles ) | Mar 18, 2003

President Bush's speech on March 17 was sober, forthright, and classical in its reasoning. On the same day, Prime Minister Blair delivered a speech in the House of Commons which stunned even policy opponents with its eloquence and intelligence. Contrast these with the statements of such as Archbishop Martino and Bishop Botean, not to mention the exit remarks of Cardinal Etchegary leaving Baghdad.

The Catholic Church is supposed to be the voice of cold reality in a world tossed by ill reasoning. I fear that after years of scandal, the Church has sacrificed her remnant credibility becaus of such hysteria and is about as significant in the world theatre as it was during the reign of Gregory XVI. It will take generations to undo the damage, which I think is largely the result of allowing an idealist personalist phenomenology to supplant a realist epistemology. We are scrambling to defend the unfairly maligned subtleties of Pius XII in World War II. Future generations will have a harder time defending these Curial voices. Cardinal Sodano has asked if Americans have learned nothing from Vietnam. He might be asked if the Vatican has learned nothing from World War II. I live in the shadow of the United Nations and wonder why the Holy See takes that sad institution more seriously than most of its own members do.

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