Friday, February 29, 2008

William F. Buckley

William F. Buckley died. When I was a kid I used to watch him on Firing Line and I was dazzled by his brilliance and his total ease with that brilliance. He wasn't showing off. He didn't need to. The man was just that smart. When I was a teenager I began reading National Review. It was one of the messy ingredients that went it the stew of ideas that shaped who I am now. Mr. Buckley's beloved wife, Pat died late last year. I didn't think he'd last very long after her passing.

A number of Catholic blogs have commented that Buckley dissented from Humanae Vitae but none of them had a link to what he actually said. If Buckley did dissent in public. I can imagine why. Think back to 1968, and what Catholics were seeing. Suddenly their Mass was gone. Suddenly priests were making fun of them for saying the rosary. Suddenly there was no more Adoration. Suddenly the priests weren't wearing cassocks and the nuns weren't wearing habits. If you complained you were called old fashioned and disloyal. A lot of people became bitter. Others left the Church or sought solace with SSPX. So...........then Humanae Vitae hit the press. And I guess it must have seemed like a slap in the face to lay people. Everything has changed but you married people and you alone must stay the same. Humanae Vitae was the right idea but it came to press at an inopportune time. So I can imagine that even serious Catholics were confused and mad.

May Mr. Buckley rest in peace.

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