Catholic Culture Solidarity
Catholic Culture Solidarity

when the facts don't fit, get new facts

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Oct 30, 2006

Once a Paulist priest, James Carroll now makes his living bashing the Church, as the most vituperatively anti-Catholic columnist on the staff of the notoriously anti-Catholic Boston Globe. Today's rant against the Church involves the rumored return of the Latin Mass.

Carroll knows nothing about those rumors, except of course that the cries for the old Mass come from "reactionaries." He does treat his readers to a bit of history, noting that the leaders of the Reformation were keen on using the vernacular. By Carroll's logic, since the leaders of the Reformation disagreed with the Catholic Church, it follows that they were right.

Then came the changes of Vatican II, and...

Once Catholics entered into the mystery of the Mass as literate participants instead of as dumb spectators, an unprecedented renewal took hold.

St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Therese of Lisieux: all "dumb spectators."

But wait. Speaking of "dumb," here's Carroll's very next sentence:

The vitality and warmth of today's typical liturgy, involving intelligible encounters with sacred texts, has Catholic parishes surprisingly full, even in a time of widespread disillusionment with clerical leadership.

Surprisingly full? Surprisingly full?!

Carroll is writing from Boston, where about 15% of the Catholic population attends Mass each week. Dozens of parishes are closing, because there aren't enough parishioners tossing nickels in the collection baskets to pay the fuel bills. Pick one of the surviving parishes at radom, pop into a Sunday Mass, and you'll see row upon row of empty pews.

I am "surprisingly full" of admiration for the journalistic integrity of James Carroll, and for the perspicacity of the editors who let this howler get into print.

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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: sparch - Sep. 23, 2010 10:43 AM ET USA

    Her influences speak volumes to our culture. Just what do these religious stand for? Maybe Gaga misunderstood the lessons she had been taught that day.

  • Posted by: Gertrude - Sep. 22, 2010 1:16 PM ET USA

    If you have any questions as to why we're in trouble as a culture and as a church, they've been partially answered. The term gag comes to mind.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 22, 2010 12:31 PM ET USA

    We are a bustiere people.