A blog by the magazine's editors and contributors


The Boston Globe Makes Me Gag

I was happy ton see Robert Imbelli's posts containing links to a guest editorial in the Boston Globe actually recognizing that there was a religious liberty issue in the Catholic Charities adoption imbroglio and to an interview with Archbishop O'Malley in that same paper that was not entirely a sandbagging. The Globe's track record has not been that good, as we have been discussing over at Mirror of Justice. Here's my contribution to a discussion of an editorial in the Globe arguing that we "liberal Catholics" ought to throw in the towel and leave the Church:

Thanks to Rick [Garnett] for linking to the op ed by one Joan Vennochi in the Boston Globe arguing that "liberal Catholics" should leave the Catholic Church. When I lived and practiced law in Boston 20 plus years ago, I loved the Globe because it had the best sports page around, which I could admire even though I was (and am) a die-hard Yankees fan. Its sports page is still excellent, but the rest of the paper makes me gag. Between the gleefulness of its coverage of the sexual abuse crisis, its patronizing suggestion of the formation of a new "catholic charities" and its publication of Vennochi's inane suggestion, it has abandoned any attempt at evenhandedness or even understanding toward the complexities of these issues, particularly the importance of religious liberty. Rick is quite right in suggesting that liberal Catholics (at least this one) would not find her argument "comprehensible," let alone appealing. After all, what is she trying to say? It seems to be that if one accepts "liberal ideology" (whatever she means by that) one should abandon the Church, because the Church persists in taking positions inconsistent with liberal ideology. Where to begin in refuting this non sequitur? First of all, what does "ideology" have to do with religious belief? "Liberals" who are Catholic are Catholic because they believe in Jesus Christ and the one holy, catholic and apostolic church. So long as one holds that core spiritual belief one does not "leave" the Church. Second, many of us who define ourselves as "liberal Catholics" are as much as odds with elements of "liberal ideology" as we are with elements of Catholic teaching, particularly the fetishization of the autonomous rights bearer and a tendency towards moral relativism. Third, we recognize that the Church is a battleground, in which doctrine changes and evolves, moral discernment by mortal humans is imperfect, and that the People of God are pilgrims struggling to find their way with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We reject the awful certainty of ideologues such as Vennochi. Perhaps that is what makes us "liberal."



Commenting Guidelines

  • All

Mark: Well and concisely written. I offer my hearty "Amen!"

Mark, you wrote: We reject the awful certainty of ideologues such as Vennochi. Perhaps that is what makes us "liberal." >>This is fine but it would be good to see some action plan by liberals who needed the Boston Globe to drive the pedophilia problem home and who criticize VOTF without a scintilla of an alternative. Like the democrats we are good in minimizing each other while the CDF, EWTN and First Things show a united front. For sure, constructive criticism is necessary but when we contribute to the CDF's destruction of many of our confreres. Have we not contributed as much to stilling the voices of many within our ranks while feebly hinting that they went too far. For example, whatever happened to the voices of Tissa Balasuriya, Lavinia Byrne, Charles Curran, Leonard Boff, Dupuis, Guttierez, Robert Nugent, Jeannine Gramick, Paul Collins, Roger Haight, thousands of Latin American martyrs and God forbid, Hans Kung. Seems to me we have just as much ignored these prpphetic voices and passively given the stamp of approval to the Vaticans deliberate "damnatio memoriae." In addition to these "condemned" liberals there are those who are relegated to the background the Vatican and us like Joan Chittister, Elizabeth Johnson, Rosemary Reuther, and Elizabeth Schussler-Fiorenza. Perhaps we get all bent out of shape by how the Boston Globe 'teaches' because we have ignored too many of the great teachers in our midst.

Add new comment

You may login with your assigned e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.

Or log in with...

Add new comment