Advice for the writer (of fiction but applicable to non-fiction, I’d say), from Enemy Salvoes, 264-265:
Do not be intimidated . . . into never uttering a Yes or a No by the propaganda of the nuance the prevarication the half-light the pseudo-statement and the pseudo-truth those barren lands of fashionable literary criticism. . . . . enter fully into the spirit of the side-taking and it will become a game for you . . . a game in which there is only one rule: namely, that you must place yourself on the side to which you belong . . . . You will find you will achieve more true detachment that way than by playing at Mr. Fair-Play, and doing as much harm as you can to the people to whom you do belong as the Anglo-Saxon has been doing for so long, in his cold frenzies of suicidal liberalism . . .
. . . . You play at being yourself and so you are yourself; it is quite unnecessary to play at being anybody else to be completely the artist. If you cannot be detached” with yourself, there is nothing you can be detached with! . . . . you will not find that playing Number One, or the First Person Singular, has cramped your style . . .
And believe me, you could still be wrong! Behold the problem.
In his recently widely cited interview, he urged “proclamation in a missionary style,” with focus “on the essentials, the necessary things . . . what fascinates and attracts . . . makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus,” offering “urgency and radiance and freshness [that] is new and welcome,” comments Robert Royal.
But if he were to call me he does such things, but Im not holding my breath I would point to the misleading phrase [“The dogmatic and moral
teachings of the church are not all equivalent”] that starts [the] passage [in
question]. Its true: not everything in Catholicism is on the same plane. Benedict and the American bishops, for example, tried for years to explain that life takes precedence over secondary policy questions. Francis no doubt agrees, but before making his strong evangelical point, hes given an unnecessary opening to those who would twist his words.
Those of us who publicly fight these battles already know what were going to be hearing from the other guys: “Will you Catholics stop yapping all the time about abortion [or contraception or gay marriage]. Even the pope has told you to give it a rest.” And they wont be entirely wrong.
The world is only too happy for the Church to leave the battlefield and allow the secular world to kill babies in unimaginable numbers, destroy marriage, and along the way reduce religious freedom none of which will be good in the long run for the evangelical efforts Francis favors.
Francis is seeking to bring a new Catholic spirit to the world and thats all to the good. Lets hope the spirit that arises is the one he seeks, not a wayward one that others foist on him and the Church. [italics
Here’s a bit of fraternal correction — as to phrasing, not substance. Quite legitimate, it seems to me.
Pat Hickey is not impressed with the new Chi Trib project:
For better than forty years the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board worked to make sure that everyone takes this person very seriously, and questions the values, aspirations and intentions of these people
And now they want help in recommending a fix-it.
Hickey is hands-down the most fertile mind on the Chicago blog scene. Fascinating.