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By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 11, 2008

 The Call to Action conference in Milwaukee this past weekend was a joyous occasion, Father John Dear tells us. Obama was the president-elect and things looked good for the Catholic Left. Although to be fair, there was "a general agreement that, the election notwithstanding, our work must continue." So you see, not every problem has been solved by the Obama campaign. 

There are problems remaining, for example, in the Church, in which prophetic voices are silenced. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend reminded the crowd (which doubtless needed reminding, since age plays tricks with memory) that her father Bobby Kennedy had predicted the election of an African-American president by 2008. Emboldened by the accuracy of that prediction, Townsend said: "I hope that in the next 40 years, we will live to see a woman pope."

I wasn't there-- oddly enough, your Uncle Di wasn't an invited speaker-- but I imagine that line provoked hearty applause. And you realize, reading the thoughts of the Call to Action enthusiasts, that they just might be celebrating the selection of a female pope within 40 years, if they last that long. But if so, she won't be a Catholic pope. You can be committed to the Catholic Church, or you can be committed to the cause of a female pontificate. But not both. If the Call to Action conference had to choose between the two, is there any doubt how the vote would go?

Father Dear found it invigorating to hear from Townsend, Sister Joan Chittister, Edwina Gately, Bishop Remi de Roo, and his "musical hero" Carlos Santana. Missing from the agenda were "all those who hold and teach the Catholic faith that comes to us from the apostles." 


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