Friday, July 21, 2017

Spadaro, ISIS and the Knights of Columbus

You have probably heard about this article by Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, editor-in-chief of the influential Rome-based Jesuit publication La Civiltà Cattolica, and Marcelo Figueroa, the editor-in-chief of the Argentinean edition of the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. Father John Zuhlsdorf has done a great job aggregating lots of critical commentary, which his most recent item here. Scroll down his page for more items.

One one side you have "progressives," led by the National "Catholic" Reporter, applauding this "blockbuster" attack on American Catholics (that is to say, those the writers deem the wrong sort); on the other side, you have a pretty wide range of voices, the most prominent being Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, pointing out the profound problems with the article. Sad to see Mark Shea jumping on the progressive bandwagon, but all the rest are what you would expect.

Here's an item in Crux -- funded by the Knights of Columbus -- that compares two points of view. But here's just one quote from Austen Ivereigh, who used to be the editor of the Tablet -- the UK version of the N"C"R. After he admits the many errors of the article, here's what he identifies as the heart of it's analysis of how the wrong-sort Catholics in the U.S. see the world:

"Frankly, it’s a narrative that’s very close to that of ISIS."

Get that? When you and I seek to oppose the secular push to remake society, to impose a new vision of human nature (which is what the redefinition of marriage and "gender theory" is all about), we are "very close to...ISIS" -- ISIS being those folks who throw gay people off the tops of buildings and give 30 lashes to schoolboys for playing soccer and sell girls into slavery.

Oh, and let me say something to my brother Knights of Columbus. Figueroa and Spadaro were pretty clumsy in their screed, but they were clever enough to avoid two targets that would have blown the whole thing. One of them is Ronald Reagan, as Fr. Z points out in the link above. The other is you, Knights of Columbus. The authors know it would be suicide to attack you directly, and by name. Why? Because the Knights of Columbus' prosperity and success generates a lot of money that pays the bills in Rome. A LOT of money.

But make no mistake, they are including you, brother Knights, in this smear. The authors attack those who seek to bring Catholic teaching into public policy, particularly regarding ending abortion and opposing the redefinition of marriage. The authors warn ominously about patriotism that talks too much about God, rolling their eyes, for example, at the national motto, "In God We Trust."

They are hitting the Knights of Columbus, but they don't dare come out and say so. Read the article and tell me you don't agree.

Update: I fixed one of the links, and corrected the name of the former Tablet editor.

1 comment:

rcg said...

I believe Fr. Spadaro is only carrying someone's water, I am only not sure whose. His argument seems to be that he is insulting the USA because it is the cool thing to do, not because he can muster any intellectual grounds for his attack. So what if there are points where we coincide with ISIS? They oppose blasphemy, they oppose idolatry, they oppose sin. So do we USA Catholics (Fr. Spadaro and his team's position on those points is less clear. He might address that gap.) It is what we DO about those points that sets us apart from ISIS. We don't fight them because we ENDORSE blasphemy, but because we oppose what they DO about it. I oppose the liturgy of the Methodist church down the street. But I will not speed my pickup through their parking lot after their services let out and would resist anyone else doing so. Similarly I am not reconsidering my affection and respect for the Greatest Generation because they fought on the same side as Stalin's army against the Axis. In short, Fr. Spadaro seems to be ingratiating himself to someone; perhaps he is shoring up the confidence of a wealthy donor.

The Knights of Columbus are another matter. The Knight's are just a bit adrift these days. They are no worse, perhaps less so than the average Catholic in the USA who reflexively follow our Bishops in so many other ways. We Knights are, traditionally, Blue Collar. How can we resist the likes of Fr Spadaro when the Catholic Universities capitulated so long ago? The answer is, of course, by Faith, that simple and perfect Armour against spiritual assault. But the Knight's have wandered a ways from the center line: how many KofC Councils hold Steak Dinners on Friday, or during lent? We are in awe of our Clergy and have not felt their goads on our flanks in some time. Perhaps that should change, and soon.

Good News is that things are changing. Younger men are coming into the ranks. They may not be in positions of influence just yet, but they can be, soon. Maybe a finger in the chest from the Council Chaplin will help.