Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

the grass roots magisterium

By Diogenes ( articles ) | May 04, 2010

When you see a sentence like this one, it's time to tighten your seatbelt, because you're in for a wild ride:

No organization has done more to elevate the moral stature of the Catholic Church in the United States than The Boston Globe.

Not the Sisters of Charity. Not the Holy Name Society. The greatest contribution to the Catholic Church in the US-- to the moral stature of the Church, mind you-- came from the newspaper that fully exposed the sex-abuse scandal. Thus the best thing that ever happened to the Catholic Church in America was the worst thing that ever happened to the Catholic Church in America. You follow the logic? Read on. 

Nicholas Kristof, holding forth in the New York Times, assures us that he has great respect for the Catholic Church. Not because of the sacraments or the doctrines, and certainly not because of the hierarchy.

It may be easy at a New York cocktail party to sniff derisively at a church whose apex is male chauvinist, homophobic and so out of touch that it bars the use of condoms even to curb AIDS.

It "may be" easy, Nick? Methinks you've attended one or two cocktail parties at which exactly such derisive sniffing has taken place. Come to think of it, I'd guess that a certain amount of sniffing goes on in the editorial offices of the New York Times.

But you won't find Nicholas Kristof sniffing. He respects the Catholic Church, and all the good deeds done by Catholic individuals whose causes match the high moral standards of the Boston Globe (which, coincidentally, is owned by the New York Times).

The Vatican certainly supports many charitable efforts, and some bishops and cardinals are exemplary, but overwhelmingly it’s at the grass roots that I find the great soul of the Catholic Church.

Ah yes, the grass roots. We know how the New York Times loves the ordinary people, the blue-collar ethnic Catholics. You see, dear reader, there are good Catholics: thinking Catholics, active Catholics. They read the Times. They take instruction from the Globe. Nicholas Kristof thinks it important to admonish other readers that they must not mock the "great soul" of this Catholic Church. As for those aspects of the Church that have not yet been penetrated by the wisdom of the Times and its affiliates-- the stodgy hierarchy, the inconvenient moral teachings-- just keep sniffing.

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