Sunday, October 16, 2016

Random thoughts on a Sunday afternoon.

Our Lady of Good Help

Some people say--- well a lot of people are saying it but only a few dare publish it--- that we should calm down because Pope Francis is only going to live so long. When he dies everything will be okay. That is nonsense.  The cardinals and the bishops he chooses live on and they can drive good priests out and put compliant priests in. Your children will be living with the Francis decisions long after he goes to his destiny. You see this in families all the time. A grandfather was a drunkard and his kids reacted to it. His grandchildren are raised according to the reaction. An ecclesiastical example is Cardinal Bernadin. He's  has been dead for years but his proteges are still out there and still in charge.

The last few weeks of One Peter Five haven't held my attention but Hilary White's piece on the revival of an old idea that could serve the Church in these bad days is luminescent.

Is anybody  over the age of six really surprised about the latest Wikileaks?  Outside forces have attempted with varying degrees of success to interfere with the Church from the very beginning and you know what? It won't matter. Most Catholics vote the way we do for reasons of habit and loyalty to our tribe. Many of us are unthinkingly  like the woman in the song, "My Man." I mean the early Fanny Brice version, not the sanitized Streisand one. The protagonist sings that her man isn't good, cheats and occasionally beats her but fatalistically asks, "What can I do? I love him."  She knows and more importantly, he knows that she's not going anywhere.

John Zmirak has a new book out. According to a review in Crisis magazine:

 "His targets include left-wing Catholic dissenters but also the ever-growing numbers of—how would you describe them?—self-proclaimed orthodox Catholics with private college degrees who live mostly on social media, hate “conservatives,” hate the pro-life movement, hate the pro-family movement, hate Republicans especially, and rather than getting real jobs to support their ever growing families instead love welfare checks. He argues they are increasingly insinuating themselves into Catholic institutions where they can spread their new gospel."

This group of folks can be quite annoying because they dominate comment boxes with their pet theories no matter what the subject of conversation is. Zmirak is correct that they seem to hate everything and they are for their level of education often unemployed or underemployed. There are only so many Catholic college jobs, or Catholic media jobs to go around and those who refuse to join the rat race or work for a worldly corporation are going to have a hard row to hoe.  Most of this group  seem proud to be living in genteel poverty and condemn anybody who has a new car (never mind that the old car was 20 years old and falling apart) or who goes on vacation as unholy worldlings.  Unlike Zmirak I've only come across one person who said she was on welfare.  Several of her readers were incensed and criticized her mightily in the comment boxes. I didn't write in but I stopped reading her blog. 

 I'm not going to buy John Zmrak's book because it sounds like it's just a rehash of his essays that I can read for free and I think it's funny that the review appeared in Crisis at all, because quite a few of its readers are the kind of folks Zmirak delights in skewering, but Zmirak fans will like it.