Egad, what’s next? The anti-governor Wis. judge’s son is a union-activity organizer, now her husband comes out a campaign donor to three of the AWOL Dems and to Gov. Walker’s opponent in the Repub tsunami election of ’10! This lady is a study in interest conflict. Textbook material.
Is there a prince of darkness lurking somewhere in this dispute, between the Daughters of St. Paul and the Boston archdiocese? I refer to the J.F. Powers book title and his work in general, which exposed the seamy side of Catholic churchdom while credibly extolling its gritty, glorious side.
The Daughters, who run a very good book store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, gave their money in 1989 to the Boston pension fund, now want it back. Have been trying for five years to get it back, to go it on their own towards taking care of their oldsters.
But the archdiocese never kept track of Daughters’ money, and its accounting system is very complicated. They have taken it (them, including Cardinal Archbishop O’Malley) to court about it. Regretfully.
Prince of Darkness and Other Stories was on John Updike’s list of best American short stories of the century. Powers’ novel, Morte d’Urban won the National Book Award in 1963. It’s a morality play featuring Father Urban, who got himself in a jam on a boat with a scheming woman who surprised him by appearing before him unclothed. He turned away, because it wasn’t what he had in mind; spurned, she pitched her spike-heeled shoe, hitting him on the head and giving him a lifelong headache.
In Prince a memorable vignette has the priest in the rectory near an open window hearing the click-click of high heels on the pavement and turning to look — which was not how they taught him in the seminary.
Powers deserves resurrection — he himself, of course, a splendid individual and anyhow saved by the blood of the lamb, but more immediately his books. He’s up there, in his way, with Flannery O’Connor. We don’t have writers like that these days. The congenitally angry (Bostonian, by the way) James Carroll does not qualify. Anyone out there know who does?