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new depths of shallowness

By Diogenes (articles ) | Apr 24, 2005

I once heard a man memorably described as "veneer all the way through." It would be hard to find a better characterization of Andrew Greeley, who has a uniquely reliable talent for mistaking the eternal for the transient and vice-versa. Listen to him on Ratzinger:

Women -- and not just in the United States -- are very angry at the church. It is no exaggeration to say many of them, devout Catholics to the core, will tell you they hated John Paul because he hated women. If the new pope wants to win them over, he will have a very hard sell on his hands. Similarly gay and lesbian Catholics will find it difficult to forgive him for his comment that they are "objectively" disordered.

His comment?

Greeley's breezy reductivism goes far to explain why liberals are liberals. They really think popes and bishops invented sexual morality ex nihilo just to irk them; that they're free to say anything they wish; that if some people find a traditional doctrine offensive only a gratuitous desire to insult could prompt a clergyman to repeat it.

Note that Greeley not only trivializes the teaching but gets it wrong, repeating the bit of boilerplate dishonesty that pretends the Church judges the homosexual person disordered, where in fact the disorder is the homosexual inclination. Here's the text:

Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.

If the important thing to communicate is that the Church is wrong, obviously, it's captious to ask that one get the "comments" right.

Simply a pretext for ill-natured amusement? It would be, but for the fact that Greeley's "devout to the core" bernardinistas continue to control our ecclesiastical apparat, when de facto they have left the Church in all but salary. Not that they don't wax indignant should their loyalty be impugned ("Hey, I cash my paychecks, don't I?").

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Show 8 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: AveMaria580 - Apr. 25, 2005 8:25 PM ET USA

    Ditto to Rocky Mtn Catholic. I also am a convert and one of the most appalling things to me about the mess in the Church is the silliness and triviality of "Catholic" feminists." I have been plagued by them since my RCIA days. And since our bishop is head of the USCCB committee on women the nonsense in our diocese is at times almost unbearable. I keep praying that someone will have the courage to confront these women with the nonsense of their triviality and the heresy of their spiritualities

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Apr. 25, 2005 5:43 PM ET USA

    Igancio, it hadn't appeared by the time this piece did of course, but the answer to your question is that the archbishop puts up with him the same way he does with the rector of his seminary. See today's Sound Off entries.

  • Posted by: Meg Q - Apr. 25, 2005 5:13 PM ET USA

    It is no exaggeration to say many of them, devout Catholics to the core, will tell you they hated John Paul because he hated women. Well, if they did that, they were very foolish women indeed, who obviously knew little about our late pope. Or did they just equate refusal to ordain women with "hate" of women? If so, "foolish" does not seem to be quite strong enough. As my father (66 yrs old) keeps on saying, "My generation is going to have to die out before things really get better."

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Apr. 25, 2005 10:19 AM ET USA

    As Gandalf said in LOTR: "The pieces are moving...."

  • Posted by: Ignacio177 - Apr. 24, 2005 9:36 PM ET USA

    nobody has said it, so I will. MacIntyre at the end of his book After Virtue say that the world is waiting for an other Benedict. His argument is that the restoration of moral discourse depends on the foundation of moral comunities with shared values. As benedict's monasteries preserved culture inspite of the barbarians, new moral communities are needed in order to face the dictatorship of relativism. It should be noted that on the 19 of April of 2005 Benedict arrived.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 24, 2005 7:49 PM ET USA

    The women Greeley refers to as "devout Catholics to the core" are probably just as shallow as he. No truly devout Catholic - i.e., one who believes all of Catholic teaching and wants to preserve it - is going to hate Ratzinger. I am a woman, a truly devout Catholic to my core with no veneer, and I jumped and screamed and cried like a teenager at a Beatle's concert when Ratzinger's name was announced. And I'm 45, a former 70's feminist and convert to Catholicism. Hooray for Benedict XVI!

  • Posted by: Ignacio177 - Apr. 24, 2005 5:09 PM ET USA

    We have enough "pelotudos" the secular clergy of Chicago can keep him. By the way how does his archbishop put up with him?

  • Posted by: - Apr. 24, 2005 11:13 AM ET USA

    It's time for Greeley to officially become a Jesuit!

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