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inconvenient facts

By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | Sep 25, 2006

If you take Boston Globe columnist James Carroll seriously, you might read the latest of his vicious attacks on the Catholic Church and conclude that he would disdain someone who could stoop to "denigrate" his intellectual opponents and "caricature" their arguments. You'd be wrong.

It's not just that Carroll claims that the claims put forward by Pope Benedict XVI are "patently false" and "insulting" and based on "ignorance." That's pretty standard stuff for the Globe's resident anti-Catholic (who, oddly enough, is a former Catholic priest). You can clearly sense, in reading this screed, that what really irks Carroll is the Pope's "positing Christian superiority to other faiths."

But what he says really irks him is the Pope's "refusal to reckon with historical facts that contradict Catholic moral primacy." Yes, the refusal to reckon with inconvenient facts is a very annoying attribute. So you'd like to think that James Carroll would look down his nose at any columnist fool enough to read the Regensburg speech, see the Holy Father's trenchant criticism of Western secularism, and conclude that Pope Benedict had "supplied the religious underpinning" for the US war in Iraq. Or a columnist brazen enough to claim that in the 14th century, in the years leading up to the siege of Constantinople, "Islam sponsored rare religious amity among Jews, Christians, and Muslims."

"Bush and Benedict are in sync, and bin Laden is grinning," Carroll writes. Jim, if you see a silly smiling face, you're probably looking at a mirror.

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Show 11 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: ILM - Sep. 28, 2006 11:05 AM ET USA

    St. Augustine says: "corruptio optimi pessima". The best when corrupted become the most corrupt.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 25, 2006 11:46 PM ET USA

    This line: "That's pretty standard stuff for the Globe's resident anti-Catholic (who, oddly enough, is a former Catholic priest)?" That's the opposite of odd.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 25, 2006 6:00 PM ET USA

    What got me was this comment: "Nor does the pope understand that, today, such narcissism of power comes attached to a fuse." I don't get it - is he honestly saying Benedict is going to start a Crusade? OK, I'm sure there are readers here chomping at the bit for one. But that's not what Benedict wants, nor is he aiming for it. What he wants is for Muslims to know the truth and the truth is found fully in Jesus Christ who doesn't preach violence. Did Mohammed ever say, "Turn the other cheek"?

  • Posted by: Gentle Bill - Sep. 25, 2006 5:29 PM ET USA

    RPP's comparison of the Crusades to D-Day was brilliant. I feel that I should genuflect in the company of most of the responders on this site - thank you for indulging me now and then.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Sep. 25, 2006 2:45 PM ET USA

    We are fortunate that, in the spirit of inclusivity, the Boston Globe have hired a columnist to represent the oft neglected Manichean point of view.

  • Posted by: rpp - Sep. 25, 2006 11:59 AM ET USA

    If you consider the Crusades a bad thing perpetrated by the Church, then you must consider the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944 an equally evil thing. After all, you had all those Germans and French just minding their own business and here come all those English, US, Canadian, and exiled French and Polish troops invading for no good reason except to steal from Germany. The Crusades were exactly the same. Wait, you mean D-Day was a response to a German invasion? Well so were the Crusades.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 25, 2006 11:38 AM ET USA

    James Carroll - intellectually dishonest and one of the reasons the Boston Globe's circulation continues to slip away along with its advertising revenue.

  • Posted by: Sir William - Sep. 25, 2006 11:12 AM ET USA

    Its all true. No, really. Elvis told him so.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 25, 2006 11:09 AM ET USA

    " ... anti-Catholic (who, oddly enough, is a former Catholic priest). " The only thing odd about that is the word "former." :-(

  • Posted by: - Sep. 25, 2006 11:04 AM ET USA

    You just don't get it Uncle Di. You insist on some patriarchal analytical adherence to the text of the speech instead of letting yourself feel the "Spirit of Regensburg". How old church can you get? The text isnt important. What matters is what it means to me and how that makes me feel.

  • Posted by: Laity1 - Sep. 25, 2006 10:41 AM ET USA

    Dan Brown wannabe

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