...the Catholic vision of the good society — more egalitarian than American conservatism and more moralistic than American liberalism...I think I know what he’s trying to say but forcing equal outcomes is unfair, not Catholic doctrine and I don’t think even Catholic Social Teaching (sanctified welfare state but against abortion). Lots of perfectly good churchmen have more opinions in common with the international left (a Christian heresy) than with classical liberalism/the old American right (John Courtney Murray was right and under the old republic we can all get along; with Joe Sobran I credit the Protestants for that). Again I don’t think American politics eight years ago was even close to friendly to that; the well-meaning bishops and union-member laity 50-75 years ago were closer to it.
Since then, the sex abuse scandals that shadowed John Paul’s last years have become the defining story of his successor’s papacy...Not the real defining story (see below) but the secularists’ fictional version. Let me get this straight. The church teaches that homosexual acts and rape are sins, some lonely homosexual priests have their way with teenage boys, some bishops cover it up (so far, all true), and... it’s the fault of the teachings of the church (blame the Pope)? (Throw the book at the pervs and perps.) That seems to be the secular world’s bullsh*t narrative. But what do you expect from a Protestant country? (America’s been good to us but: ‘This is our country. You’re just visiting.’ Much diminished by ’60 but it never went away.) Catch the gays committing a crime and they go Maria Monk on you. But yes, of course, the coverup was another self-inflicted wound to the church’s influence.
What made Benedict great: number one, fixing the new Mass in English, affecting millions of Catholics worldwide; now even the remaining liberal parishes are orthodox in spite of themselves or else. Second, completely allowing the old Mass (which happens to be in Latin), giving trads a boost; great for me but we’re a minority. Then Regensburg: the right understanding of reason vs. the irrationality of a false religion. Last, Anglicanorum Coetibus; another reinforcement for trads and an implicit rejection of false ecumenism (the Anglicans don’t want to come in so let them be; dump the union talks; bring in the would-be Catholics who’ve asked to join), but we’re talking about only a couple thousand people and it’s a continuation of JP2’s Pastoral Provision (or, hey, Protestants et al., priestly celibacy’s just a rule).
His predecessor was buried amid reverent coverage from secular outlets, but the current pope can expect a send-off marked by sourness and shrugs.John Paul the Overrated wasn’t as much of a threat so they patronized him; they hate Benedict. When you’re on target, there’s lots of flak.
Mainstream American politics are going to hell; nothing I can do about that. Ron Paul was probably our last chance.
Here’s hoping for a Benedict XVII or ‘Pius XIII’ who’ll make Fellay a cardinal.