Monday, April 18, 2005

Pope Reax

One from each bin. First, from the "how dare you" lot:

I normally find your opinion pieces in the YDN insightful and well written. Unfortunately that was not the case for your piece on the Pope John Paul II's legacy. Your accusations and assertions are uninformed, incomplete, and clichéd. Your logic is also rather flawed. According to you, while His holiness can not be given credit for things he did not solely accomplish, he can be assigned full fault for any misdeeds he had any part in. Your insinuation that church teaching on female priests and cleric celibacy had a role in creating the horrid molestations, is neither documented nor supported by by any studies. In fact studies of protestant ministers show that married male ministers are as likely to molest as unmarried. Furthermore, your insinuation that John Paul's effort to canonize Pius XII because of his silence on genocide and fascism is unfounded, in fact John Paul has done more toward reconciliation between Catholics and Jews than any other Pope. Your downright defamation of Bernard Cardinal Law is so clichéd and ignorant of the facts that it is not even worth refuting, and your further insinuation that John Paul's lack of disciplinary action against him, makes him as responsible in these scandals is outrageous. While a discussion of how good a man's legacy (especially a man of his stature) is worthwhile, your method is mean-spirited, inaccurate, and downright offensive to the Catholic and non-Catholic admirers of this Great man. Your last two sentences in particular are what made me write this note to you. "This outcome is what John Paul II's papacy has wrought. His jubilant adorers, so eager to construct an idol of him, have failed to notice that the only material available for that construction is papier-mache." I sincerely suggest that you issue an apology at the very least for these lines, as even you can acknowledge that John Paul II was an incredible man who did a lot of good for mankind throughout his entire life, even if not every aspect of his papacy was perfect.

[name withheld]
The letter writer, who is so sincere as to twice advise me of his sincerity, manages to get every last detail of my column wrong. I'm going to fisk this in the next post, mostly because I'll get a kick out of it. In the meantime, here's proof that somebody likes what I'm doing:

Your YDN editorial was a refreshing counterpoint to the last few days' worth of saccharine pro-papal media saturation - from which an extraterrestrial might assume a universally-loved and utterly infallible planetary leader had died.

Then again, I suppose this is how he really was viewed - despite the mass (no pun intended) of evidence to the contrary.

I recall studying my sophomore year the great European upheaval centered around lay investiture and the Vatican's desire to shield its officers from secular power. How depressing that nearly a millennium later nothing has changed. How depressing that Cardinal Law will remain part of seeing that this has an opportunity to continue indefinitely.

Thanks again for the iconoclasm.

[name withheld] '04
Well, that's what I was going for.


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