Martin Marty buries his lede in an America Mag essay here, beginning with this:
“My doctor cured me, but she didn’t heal me: she never looked in my face.” Halfway through America’s 100-year history, many Catholics began looking into the face of the rest of us Christians, especially Protestants, and stopped seeing us only as “others.”
But the lede, five (long) paragraphs down, is or should be this:
Though I had lived among Catholic friends all my young life, at age 33 I had never been permitted to join Catholics in any form of prayer. . . . Then in October 1961, a small group of theologians assembled at the University of Notre Dame for a first ecumenical colloquium. . . . a decade earlier, “my habits of thought” would have found me and my editors speaking of Catholicism as . . . “Jesuitical” and “Romanist,” now, across the table or—unforgettably—at the bar, we were gathering face to face, engaging with Fathers Bernard Cooke, Walter J. Burghardt and a few others marked “S.J.”
The editing, assuming there was any — you don’t invite the uber-published Marty to write for you with a lot of editing in mind — buys into the academic-itis which has in mind an extremely demanding, picky and sometimes hostile audience, ready to pounce.
This too deserved to be higher up in the story:
[A]t the Second Vatican Council in 1964 . . . I had traded my press pass for a visitor’s license, thanks to the . . . bishop of St. Cloud, Minn., who was amused to meet someone who bore the name of his 19th-century predecessor, Martin Marty, O.S.B. I was later told that the bishop was quite a traditionalist, and we would have argued. He took responsibility for me, however, as we looked at each other’s faces, and offered one of the many gestures of healing.
Look, even America readers go for a grabber, of the sort that Times [of London] Literary Supplement usually provides. It has lured me into reading the most abstruse stuff with anecdote and historical allusion.
On the other hand, and this is to go from sublime to the other thing, we have today’s Chi Trib, whose hard-copy front page surely has Hecht and McArthur spinning:
A CHILD’S HEART-RENDING EULOGY: ‘Tell God we said hello’
is the highest head, about two brothers killed by their father. Come to think of it, H&A might recognize that one, but it would have gone with “Headless body found in topless bar” or “Jerked to Jesus,” about the hanging of a repentant killer.
Also in five-column width below it, just above the fold:
Iowa court backs gay marriage
with also five-column color poster pic of rejoicing female couple and their two female children. Their children in adapted sense. It took some unidentified man’s sperm, we assume.
Where’s the cynicism, for cryin’ out loud? Where’s the . . . realism? Not in today’s market — these aren’t Republicans. Romanticism rules.
By the way, Chi Trib’s digital head for the paternal killing story is more serviceable:
A CHILD’S HEART-RENDING eulogy:
Funeral for brothers: Family and friends say tearful goodbye to Duncan and Jack
At least it gives a quick glimmer of what it’s all about.