17 February 2009

For Catholic Eyes Only

Given the explosion of coverage on matters papal these past few weeks, one can hardly wonder about how our unique situation has come about. As the Body of Christ, the Church is to radiate holiness to the world, restore humanity to grace, and speak of God despite her own very real imperfections on the way to the omega of history. Yet it seems like all anybody is interested in are the sort of housekeeping details that are only necessary for the faithful themselves to attend to. What other social body gets its dirty laundry aired as much as the Church does? The Williamson debacle was a PR blunder that was exacerbated by what appear to be incendiary remarks on the part of a divisive and extremist figure. I suppose the uproar was justified on some level, but heads of state composing letters of protest? Does anyone really think the pope is interested in denying the Holocaust?

A professor here (who happens to be a priest of a diocese in Germany) has made a number of comments to the effect that what is happening over in Europe in response to some of these events (the latest being the attempt to appoint Father Gerhard Wagner to the episcopal see of Linz) is much more a political issue than a religious one. Accusations of rebellion are flying fast and hard over the Austrian bishops' response to the appointment and the SSPX reconciliation, among other things. I am utterly baffled as to what is really going on, especially given Cardinal Schonborn's record as editor of the Catechism and his years as Ratzinger's student.

Something smells iffy. . . does anyone know something the rest of the world doesn't? (Or won't?)

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