Via Media

Via Media


From the LATimes

posted by awelborn

Last month, the ailing pontiff was quoted as having said after a private screening of the film that “it is as it was.” Asked Dec. 19 whether the quote was reliable, Vatican press secretary Joaquin Navarro-Valls told The Times, “I think you can consider that quote as accurate.” This week, the pope’s personal secretary, Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, told the Catholic News Service that “the Holy Father told no one his opinion of the [Gibson] film.”

(Here’s a link. It’s pdf

So.

Anyway, Rod reports he will be on O’Reilly tonight to hash this out.



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Larry

posted January 23, 2004 at 1:46 pm


Raymond Arroyo’s interview with Mel Gibson is also on tonight at 8pm on EWTN



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Colleen

posted January 23, 2004 at 1:54 pm


Ha! I just thought the same thing – should I watch O’Reilly/Rod or Arroyo/Gibson??? My life is so full of hard decisions!
Think I’ll watch O’Reilly at 11 and Arroyo at 8.
Thank you again, Mother Angelica and all the good people at EWTN… time to send them another donation.



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Rod Dreher

posted January 23, 2004 at 1:55 pm


Just so people are clear about this, we now have it from two national media sources — Peggy Noonan (a conservative Catholic, not that it matters) and the Los Angeles Times — that they contacted the papal spokesman in mid-December prior to reporting the Pope’s purported quote, and they were told that the quote was accurate.
This definitively puts to sleep the stories that Gibson’s people made this quote up, or used it without Vatican authorization. Those stories are simply not credible anymore, if they ever were.
Will the Vatican help Mel Gibson get his good name back?
To be somewhat charitable to Joaquin Navarro-Valls: will whoever in the Curia has forced this man who faithfully served the Holy Father for his entire pontificate to sacrifice his credibility and good name on the altar of ecumenical expediency help him to recover?



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Colleen

posted January 23, 2004 at 2:08 pm


Bill O’Reilly dealt with this issue today on his radio show… very reasonably, I thought. He comes down square on the side of Mel Gibson because he knows Gibson well and know about this story. He also said that the Vatican knows many people will hate this movie and don’t want it shown (NY Times and LA Times people, secular media) and the Vatican is careful and doesn’t want to be seen as endorsing the movie.



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PMC

posted January 23, 2004 at 2:12 pm


I trust Rod and O’R will come up with a suitable penance for JN-V’s sin of poor media relations.
Now, on what basis do we conclude that this has anything to do with “ecumenical expediency”? (I know, tune in at 11 to find out…)



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Cheryl

posted January 23, 2004 at 2:21 pm


Apparently a sincere interest in not enflaming Christian Jewish relations because of differing opinions about a movie falls under the category of “ecumenical expediency.”
Guess I better go stick my head back in the sand now…



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Liam

posted January 23, 2004 at 2:27 pm


Having avoided chiming in on the last trainwreck on this subject, I have to say I am confounded by the energy being exerted concerning it.



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Christopher Rake

posted January 23, 2004 at 2:38 pm


That Gibson interview is during the regular The World Over timeslot, right? Do I recall correctly that they repeat it–does anyone know when that is?



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Rod Dreher

posted January 23, 2004 at 2:45 pm


I trust Rod and O’R will come up with a suitable penance for JN-V’s sin of poor media relations.
Use whatever euphemism you like, but a lie is a lie is a lie is a lie is a lie is a lie is a lie.
And the reputations of real people are hurt by these lies.



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PMC

posted January 23, 2004 at 2:58 pm


“And the reputations of real people are hurt by these lies.”
Including those who are accused of telling lies, lies, lies, lies and lies.



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al

posted January 23, 2004 at 3:00 pm


And clearly the best way to figure out if it was a lie (which includes the malice element) or if it was something else is in National Newspapers and on Television.
BTW here’s some actually informative reporting– Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion’ follows the Scripture
By David Klinghoffer
Special to the Los Angeles Times



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ann

posted January 23, 2004 at 3:12 pm


Raymond Arroyo’s The World Over
Airs Live – Friday at 8pm ET
Re-airs:
– Sunday at 5pm ET
– Monday at 10am ET
– Monday at 11 pm ET



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m warren

posted January 23, 2004 at 3:16 pm


and you neo-orthodox wonder why “dissenting” catholics question the institutional politicians who run the Church. would Jesus need handlers??? Mike



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Paul Pfaffenberger

posted January 23, 2004 at 3:27 pm


New bracelet
WWJMRDD
What would Jesus’s Media Relations Director do?



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Kay

posted January 23, 2004 at 3:29 pm


m warren -
Did Jesus or the Apostles have to deal with a worldwide mass media? And not only that, but the whiny, foot-stamping antics of an *American* media?
For good or ill, there is a worldwide media. The Vatican, like all institutions that have a message to spread, must deal with the the media monster. As a result, you get ‘handlers’. Big deal. What should they do, go Amish and shun TV, radio, and newspapers as well?



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larry

posted January 23, 2004 at 3:46 pm


This proves that they’ve been lying about faith/morals doctrine for 2000 years. Dan Brown is right.
Anyone remember who said that the fact that the Catholic Church is still here after 2000 years despite its members (me inclusive) is proof of its divine founding?



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Idle spectator

posted January 23, 2004 at 3:52 pm


Mike, you’re right…I’m sure it would be a lot easier and more efficient for the Pope if he just lived in a little apartment in Rome and anyone and everyone who wants to see him or ask for a comment could go ahead up and knock on the door. Let’s just cut out these silly and unnecessary “handlers” and middlemen…things will surely run more smoothly.
Doesn’t anyone wonder why Mel Gibson is seemingly so serene in the face of this controversy? Unless I hear something different on EWTN tonight, he seems to be a lot less concerned about these “attacks” on “his good name” than Rod is. He asked Rod not to pursue this, he’s said that he maintains good relations with the Vatican (regarding the movie, anyway), and he’s probably confident that the Pope liked the movie (albeit unofficially) and that can only help him in the long run. Mel’s got much bigger fish to fry in terms of continuing to fight these bogus charges of anti-Semitism.
And let’s not forget, in the world of Hollywood, there is no such thing as “bad publicity”. All this attention is good for Mel and his movie (so I guess Rod, you’re a bit of a pawn in the publicity game in spite of your fervent opposition to the likes of JN-V, diocesan spokespeople etc. etc.)



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c matt

posted January 23, 2004 at 4:01 pm


“I trust Rod and O’R will come up with a suitable penance for JN-V’s sin of poor media relations.”
I am sure Rod will suggest ingestion of one case of caffeine free diet Dr. Pepper. This is, after all, a mortal sin we are talking about.
PS – your charity to JNV I hope was not too tongue in cheek. My guess is a lower muckety-muck got wires crossed that got worse as things went higher up. A lot of this may be from “official” vs “unofficial” commenting, eg, treating official when not meant to be, or passing on that it was official, later learning it was not meant to be, etc.



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Patrick Sweeney

posted January 23, 2004 at 4:22 pm


It is pages D1 and D8, by the way.
I hope the JNV has a sudden total recall of the events, emails, etc. of December and says without any more ambiguity that the Holy Father did make the remarks which were reported on December 17.



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Jason

posted January 23, 2004 at 4:26 pm


>>>”Mel’s got much bigger fish to fry in terms of continuing to fight these bogus charges of anti-Semitism.”
Speaking of which, I read in the Boston Globe that Abe Foxman and other ADL members have now seen the film, and stand by their assertion that it has anti-semitic elements.



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Idle spectator

posted January 23, 2004 at 4:29 pm


John Allen’s Word from Rome is now online with his update on this brouhaha:
http://www.nationalcatholicreporter.org/word/
It’s probably the most balanced and edifying thing I’ve read about it thus far.



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PMC

posted January 23, 2004 at 4:59 pm


John Allen’s take is refreshingly mature and circumspect.
“The makers of the film have been widely accused of either lying about the pope’s comment, or abusing John Paul’s confidence by publicizing a private remark. If either of those charges is true it would be reprehensible, but if not, their reputation has been done a serious injustice.”
I never in a million years thought I’d have to go to the NatCathRep for a reality check.



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Christopher Rake

posted January 23, 2004 at 5:20 pm


thank you, ann.



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al

posted January 23, 2004 at 6:14 pm


And this is the conclusion you get from a NatCathRep Liberal:
“The Vatican has made the worst brutta figura. Even if officials were acting for the noblest of motives, they have stretched the meaning of words, on and off the record, to their breaking point. Aside from the obvious moralism that it’s wrong to deceive, such confusion can only enhance perceptions that the aging John Paul II is incapable of controlling his own staff, that “no one is in charge” and the church is adrift. These impressions are not healthy in a time when the church’s public image, especially in the United States, has already taken a beating on other grounds.”
Hmm. Usually this observation is a prelude to something: claiming we need women priests, that Martino’s a “loose cannon”. . .
Don’t get me wrong, Allen’s report is factual, and I don’t doubt he’s legitimately disappointed here. But does it lend itself to sweeping characterizations, particularly after he quotes: “Finally, here is the full text of the statement Jan Michelini released to NCR Jan. 21:
“I confirm what I have already stated: The pope has seen the ‘Passion’ by Mel Gibson and has appreciated it because it represents a faithful transcription of the Gospel. He has seen the movie together with his secretary, Mons. Stanislaw Dziwisz, in his apartment during a strictly private and informal screening. For this reason there never was, nor could there ever have been an official communiqué, nor a public statement about the screening. Faced with some specious criticism, the secretary of the Holy Father couldn’t but deny. It is upsetting to see how the semantic interpretation of the few words said during a private conversation between the secretary of the pope, the producer Steve McEveety, and myself have been incorrectly used by some journalists. This is what I have finally to say regarding this issue.”



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Kay

posted January 23, 2004 at 6:24 pm


Michelini appears to be the only one involved who has kept a level head (although Peggy Noonan was pretty graceful).
What’s odd is that given Michelini’s attitude (which probably reflects the attitudes of Gibson and Icon), Rod Dreher still chooses to run with this story as if its the biggest news of the year. Further, as Rod stated himself, the filmmakers didn’t even want him to go with this. Yet he still persists in trying to make a huge story out of this.
Why can’t Rod and others take their cue from Michelini, and just assume that the simplest answer (as JM said, “there never was, nor could there ever have been an official communiqué, nor a public statement about the screening. Faced with some specious criticism, the secretary of the Holy Father couldn’t but deny”) – is probably the correct one?
I guess the conspiracy theories are more attractive for some.



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Rod Dreher

posted January 23, 2004 at 6:28 pm


It is upsetting to see how the semantic interpretation of the few words said during a private conversation between the secretary of the pope, the producer Steve McEveety, and myself have been incorrectly used by some journalists.
What is that supposed to mean? That those who believed Navarro-Valls, and quoted the pope to that effect, did something wrong? What is he getting at?



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Patrick Sweeney

posted January 23, 2004 at 6:47 pm


“Faced with some specious criticism, the secretary of the Holy Father couldn’t but deny.”
The secretary of the Holy Father could have told the truth.
So what exactly is the correct use for a quote from the Pope that was confirmed by email from the Pope’s official spokesman to the Wall Street Journal and to the Los Angeles Times separately?



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Kevin Miller

posted January 23, 2004 at 7:34 pm


Once again. The part of N-V’s email to Noonan that she (finally) quoted yesterday, at any rate, does NOT confirm the quotation, but rather, refuses to comment! Neither does the “I think you can consider …” the LAT quotes above – that’s pretty darn hedged.
The only thing we appear to have that’s an explicit confirmation is the N-V “email” to Gibson’s people.
I.e., the one whose IP hasn’t been reported as having been confirmed (unlike the ones to Noonan and Dreher).
If you don’t smell fish, you might consider taking some Sudafed.



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John Griffin

posted January 23, 2004 at 8:25 pm


I can’t decide who’s accurately relating what did or din’t happen. But I am curious: Did the American Bishops and “Vatican officials” learn Public Relations or Media Relations from the same book? Both, as a group, appear utterly incompetent. Yet another “controversy” in the church.



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Jeanne Schmelzer

posted January 23, 2004 at 9:24 pm


I know a certain Deacon who had business at the Vatican and he was quite surprised at what he found. Chaos. There’s the good guys and the bad guys. The differences of pronouncements that have come out of the Vatican are just the different entities with their particular agendas.
George Weigel in his biography of the Pope pretty well said as much. The Pope has never been a strong leader as far as administration goes. He has his other gifts. And from what I see, the Curia is antagonistic to the way the Pope does things and does it the way they want done. You have orthodox and you have heterodox Cardinals, Bishops, spokespersons.
What this Deacon said was that it is a good thing that the people don’t know the extent of what’s going on over there. We the people would lose heart.



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Daniel Baker

posted January 23, 2004 at 9:52 pm


When John XXIII was asked, “How many people work in the Curia?” His Holiness replied:
“Oh, about half.”



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Chris

posted January 24, 2004 at 12:14 am


I can tell that not many here have had the experience of living in Italy. Who lies? They just change their minds a lot. We once drove to the Venice airport to pick up a friend when, as the plane was approaching to land, the controllers decided to go on strike. She had to land in Trieste and be bussed to Venice …while we waited hours!! A little inconvenience?? Get over it. A little confusion over semantics? Get over it.



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Oengus Moonbones

posted January 24, 2004 at 9:01 am


Chris: “I can tell that not many here have had the experience of living in Italy. Who lies? They just change their minds a lot.”
Yes, it is the case that eventually someone will come around and merely blame everything on American naïveté.
Golly, gosh, darn. We’re all such hicks and rubes and cowboys! And not at all sophisticated like those fancy-pancy Europeans. We just can’t grasp the highfalutin subtleties of Romanitas.
And it doesn’t surprise me in the least that, in his exasperation with stuff like this, Rod Dreher sometimes starts to wonder out loud whether many of his Catholic co-religionist are acting “deranged”.



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Idle spectator

posted January 24, 2004 at 9:31 am


Instead of acting “exasperated” with his “deranged co-religionists,” M. Moonbones, Rod Dreher might consider doing some serious soul-searching about whether some of those “co-religionists” might have made some valid points.
As John Allen pointed out, NO ONE comes out of this brouhaha looking good. That includes Rod (one of the “pundits” John Allen was referring to), who turned this into a jihad, for heaven’s sake.
Saying so doesn’t make one “deranged” (or blind to episcopal malfeasance).



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michigancatholic

posted January 24, 2004 at 9:58 am


Jeanne, the events of the past 25 or so years have conspired to make me believe what you say about the Vatican.
All, just consider all that has been written on both sides about any particular topic, say the liturgical difficulties (or the translation troubles). And still, what do we see in our churches?
Before I converted, I had always read history to say the Church was powerful, organized and
“together.” It actually filled me with trepidation to approach the church–I mean that’s the non-Catholic perception, right? But I did anyway because I needed the Christian truth which is only found in Catholic doctrine–a common convert experience.
It was probably the case that the church was “together” at some point in time. However, after I converted, I was shocked at the condition of the Church. It’s way sloppy, with huge areas of unorthodox, even nasty behavior. Sorry to say this, but it is. Who’s in charge over there, anyway? And what are they doing?
We have perverts, and those who chum with perverts, running important church offices. And don’t tell me I’m being crude. We’ve lost how many bishops to abuse scandals in the last 10 years? Even some cardinals if I remember correctly. Indeed, we have one who got “married” in a Moonie celebration in NYC! Geesh. (BTW, and then he took it back and he’s still ordained and still a Cardinal, go figure!) And we have been made to feel bad about sheer honesty on the topic. How is honesty worse than this kind of behavior by high church officials?!? How is honesty worse than administration that permits this kind of nastiness to continue???
And yet, Catholics are ferociously criticized for speaking truths that have been taught by the Church for 2000 years.
EXAMPLE #1: I have to tell you that there is absolutely and completely nothing wrong with accepting and even talking about the role of the Jewish authorities in the trial of Jesus. It is written in the Gospels. The Church has taught it for 2000 years. So what’s the deal with denying it in order to be politically correct??? Look, it’s not about something we did. It’s a historical fact. Get over it. The Catholic church’s overtures to “soften” their approach in order to be okey-dokey with other versions of religion are a problem when they cause lying. Lying is sinful. Hello, even the unchurched know that.
EXAMPLE #2: Scripture talks about homosexuality. The church has taught that homosexual activity is intrinsically evil for all of the church’s history. So why are we having so much trouble with it, huh? What’s wrong with this picture? And we get yelled at for being honest about this. Do you realize how ridiculous this whole thing is!!??
EXAMPLE #3: Most of you recall that we have had huge debates about kneeling in Church, of all things. That speaks volumes in itself, I think.
Good Grief. I hope SOMEBODY gets some backbone soon.



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Oengus Moonbones

posted January 24, 2004 at 10:49 am


Idle spectator: “Instead of acting ‘exasperated’ with his ‘deranged co-religionists,’…Rod Dreher might consider doing some serious soul-searching about whether some of those ‘co-religionists’ might have made some valid points.
Maybe he might do that once they stop throwing rotten eggs and tomatoes at him. But really, I don’t have a dog in this fight. But after seeing some of the abuse he gets, I wouldn’t blame him if he walked away and never bothered to come back here again.
Idle spectator: “…NO ONE comes out of this brouhaha looking good…”
Yes, and is that ever the truth in more ways than one. It’s no wonder that someone has called places like this the “Catholic Blog Asylum.”



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amy

posted January 24, 2004 at 11:12 am


Thanks, Oengus. I appreciate that.



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Rod Dreher

posted January 24, 2004 at 11:33 am


Idle Spectator:
As John Allen pointed out, NO ONE comes out of this brouhaha looking good. That includes Rod (one of the “pundits” John Allen was referring to), who turned this into a jihad, for heaven’s sake.
Did you bother to read Allen’s column closely? You have no way of figuring out if John Allen was referring to me (I think he meant Frank Rich, because I know for a fact that John turned his column in before he’d seen my own). Besides, he says that Gibson doesn’t emerge from this looking good, not because of anything Gibson has done, but because the Vatican has given people reason to believe that Gibson exploited the pope.
Big difference.
I spoke by telephone last night to a well-known and well-connected Catholic layperson known for public orthodoxy. This person revealed profound disgust and despair over this Gibson mess, and this person said this person has nothing but contempt for the cardinals, bishops and staffers running the Church now, portraying them chiefly as careerists and in many cases sexual deviants who care nothing for the Gospel and simple truth-telling. The Gibson sellout was the last straw.
I heard anger so intense and heartfelt that it made me feel like a Quaker by comparison. And this person is far more influential and closer to the Church establishment (and therefore more informed) than I’ll ever be. You’d be shocked if I told you who this was.
We are reaching a crisis point. It may not come this year or next, or even in five years. But it will come. They can’t get away with this forever. If those of you living in hysterical denial about the ugly reality we’re facing wish to keep up the facade, I commend you to the prayers of St. Norma Desmond. The rest of us have work to do.



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Rod Dreher

posted January 24, 2004 at 11:34 am


(Sorry to have been so cagey with the “this person” business, but I felt it necessary.)



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Chris

posted January 24, 2004 at 12:03 pm


“I know a certain Deacon who had business at the Vatican and he was quite surprised at what he found. Chaos.”
That gave me a chuckle. Just trying to purchase a train ticket from the Veneto to Milano is a riot. You walk out with about 10 pieces of paper, all with their many official stamps from several official station personnel and you don’t have a clue which goes with what nor exactly which one is considered the ticket. And THAT’S in the organized north! We’re talking about Rome! It’s not that Americans are naive – they’re just too used to efficiency (a consideration of T. Merton’s – not my favorite but he has to hit on something obvious once in a while) and getting what they want when they want it.



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michigancatholic

posted January 24, 2004 at 12:30 pm


On the contrary, Chris. I have found the Italians, in general, have this big discussion before they do anything, but then do it very well. Not a bad thing. I work with many of them.
That’s NOT the same thing as this dissembling and whatever-it-is that I look at from the Vatican sometimes. Saying that it’s typically italian is just an excuse, actually.
If they were being really Italian about this, they’d have a gigantic loud hand-waving conversation (in the middle of the road) big enough for all of us to hear, and then decide with a lot of back-slapping. After that, there’s a major goal and anything that interferes gets a workaround and a shoulder-shrug. We go for the prize. Then we’d do it right, regardless of troubles, or bear the brunt of an italian stare.
Maybe were being really Polish about this instead?



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michigancatholic

posted January 24, 2004 at 12:35 pm


Just kidding, I think, rather than an ethnic explanation, we have one or more political explanations instead. I don’t like any of them either.



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Chris

posted January 24, 2004 at 12:48 pm


Sorry, michigan cath, but my experience is that there’s as much Italian bureaucracy inside the Vatican as just those few yards away outside. The fact is not some stereotyping of any wild waving arms (usually that happens after something emotional like an accident) but a calm acceptance and a certain stability that always returns after the chaos! Once we got stuck in a terrific backup on the autostrada heading north to Austria. The Italians got out of their cars, began playing volley ball, opened their picnic lunches and accepted the wait. Then there was this one German who was practically hysterical because no one seemed to be doing anything. It eventually ended with no evidence of any real cause. Yes, there is a shrug of the shoulder. And what can be frustrating to Americans are experiences like handing your cleaning over to the shopkeeper without receiving any receipt and when asked when one should return no specific day will be given. Oh, asking for any definite date makes the folks extremely unsettled. And I say these things because “it is as it was”!



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michigancatholic

posted January 24, 2004 at 1:32 pm


And you work in the Vatican, Chris?



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larry

posted January 24, 2004 at 1:47 pm


Rod, is that high-profile connected publically orthodox person who has just experienced the “last straw” going to leave the Church? Or is it the case that he’s just “mad as hell, and not going to take it anymore.” If the latter, what will he do (and more importantly what does he suggest that we do) to work towards authentic renewal? If the former, does he say that a degree (and for argument sake let’s say a high degree) of corruption in the Church invalidates its divine origin? Serious inquiry.



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michigancatholic

posted January 24, 2004 at 1:49 pm


Clips of Raymond Arroyo’s interview, I believe it was the same one, are appearing on CNN today.



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Chris

posted January 24, 2004 at 2:04 pm


My my, doesn’t anyone ever deal with some of the personnel other than under restrictions of some tour guide? Oft times during an earlier Italian stint in Tuscany when visiting Rome, we’d connect up with a little Franciscan friend, long time in Italy, former military chaplain and working on various degrees with of course lots of priest friends with various dealings with the Vatican. You know, permission for this, permission for that when visitors come to call. These long time “Romans” knew that knowing someone always helped in bypassing the usual bureaucracy and wait. Otherwise it may be “I know we told you last week it was permitted but this week, no; or I know we told you last week you couldn’t, but this week you can”. Once, my cousin and I went down for Christmas which was beautiful. We arrived for mass as reps of the mere public with no special tickets for the reserved seats. Well, we flirted with one of the Italian ushers – it always works – and a couple wonderful seats next to some nuns from Liverpool opened up for us. These nuns brought their cameras. We were told they wern’t allowed, but when mass began it was like some Hollywood grand opening. Flashes everywhere. Who listens and obeys? Mostly only the Americans! So we met our Franciscan friend at the Vatican on the big Italian feast of St. Stephen the next day. He wanted to show us the mosaic factory behind St. Peter’s where the commissioned works could be observed in the making. He first took us to one of the bars inside where various religious and others were enjoying their aperativos or beer then we were off to…a…confessional where he knocked on the door and out came a very rolly poly Polish priest friend who told him which door out to the courtyard for us to try. Now this was soon after an attempt on the pope’s life so the Swiss Guard were really watching things. And, alas, we got caught. Our little friend began rattling off explanations and after some discussion we were permitted to wander on our way! Our friend said – “Only in Italy – never in America”! So, you see, inside reflects much of the culture and I think that makes for some interesting ventures and of course, not a few misunderstandings.



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Rod Dreher

posted January 24, 2004 at 2:08 pm


Larry, I would be highly surprised if this person left the Church. In fact, I know that’s not going to happen, (at least the person said that’s not an option; like me, this person is certain that the Church is what she claims to be). But this person is thinking hard now about what practical things can be done. What I heard was a bottoming out, a sense that at long last, at least for this person, things have gone far enough.



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michigancatholic

posted January 24, 2004 at 2:14 pm


Larry, I’m not sure that any temporal event could invalidate the Church’s divine origin, otherwise it would never have had divine origin. There is a contradiction, you see, because you’re speaking of an origin in the past. It either, at some time in the past, had divine origin or it did not.
I mean, what you think might have been the case about the Church’s divine origin, is maybe the question you are asking? i.e. Was it or was it not divinely founded? I believe that it was founded by Christ because of things that Christ did and said that are relayed in Scripture, like the discourse at the Last Supper. It is Tradition and the ancient belief of the Catholic faithful that it was divinely founded.
Or, perhaps the question is more like: Is there any temporal event which could end or subvert the Church’s divine mission? That’s another question entirely. I think that Scripture says no, when it says that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church.
Now, mind you, segments of the Church can splinter off and lose some degree of truth (i.e. Episcopalians, etc) which might partially or wholly invalidate those segments. In fact, it could happen to whole countries or regions (Elizabethan Britain for example). But will the faith ever be lost on the whole? No, I think we have guarantees that it will endure intactly somewhere.
It’s our job to cooperate with God to make sure that *that somewhere* includes here.



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larry

posted January 24, 2004 at 2:18 pm


Rod, thanks for the response. I hope you will pass along the “practical things” that this person thinks will help the situation especially if we can participate as well.



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michigancatholic

posted January 24, 2004 at 2:19 pm


Chris,
Italians are a wonder. They can tell the important from the unimportant, something Americans will stumble over every time. Our pragmatism gives us a flat affect and sensibility.
But if you know at least one Italian well, you will know that in general, there is nothing about being Italian that will obscure the ability to tell right from wrong, all other things being equal.
I think the ethnic arguments about the failure of the Vatican to act are excuses. I think the reasons are far more interesting than that and they worry me.



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larry

posted January 24, 2004 at 2:22 pm


MC,
I did phrase the question incorrectly. I meant would general corruption in the heirarchy invalidate for this person his belief that the Catholic Church was founded by Christ.



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michigancatholic

posted January 24, 2004 at 2:24 pm


Ah, ok, I understand. Thanks, Larry.



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Chris

posted January 24, 2004 at 2:40 pm


MC, I don’t think the Vatican failed to act. Rather, they may have acted or reacted a bit more than was necessary – and that in order to keep everyone in mind (a very catholic quality BTW)- not just story tellers. As another commenter said in Dom’s blog: it’s a very busy place with much on the plates other than this movie. Their crystal ball just didn’t tell them that these artists would react differently to some personal remarks by the pope than did previous artists offering their work. Guess you can’t just rely on protocol.



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michigancatholic

posted January 24, 2004 at 2:51 pm


Well, maybe. But there’s been a lot of these things in the past few years. And this one has matching IP addresses which make it interesting, Chris.



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Joseph DHippolito

posted January 24, 2004 at 3:10 pm


And now, for the ultimate question…
When are Catholics going to wake up and hold JPII ultimately accountable for the theological and moral mess contemporary Catholicism has become — besides George Weigel offering tepid words about the pope not being a great administrator who has gifts in other areas?
I will tell you three things that will happen before Catholics start asking that question en masse:
1. People will be able to contact anybody, anywhere at anytime merely by pushing a few buttons on a small, hand-held instrument that even has video capability.
2. Communism will cease to exist as a serious geopolitical challenge.
3. The Anaheim Angels will win the World Series.
Oh, those things happened already? Gee…..



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Oengus Moonbones

posted January 25, 2004 at 4:16 am


Amy: “Thanks, Oengus. I appreciate that.”
My apology to you personally and a clarification will be written up shortly and posted on my blog. You may read it if you wish.
But I will not apologize for this: I consider much of the treatment that Rod Dreher has received in this thread, and other related threads, to have been the most shoddy and foul that I have ever seen in my life.



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Charles A.

posted January 26, 2004 at 11:21 am


My personal theory is that John Paul has been asleep at the switch since about the mid-80s … maybe the assassination attempt/cancer surgery had something to do with it…
It’s certainly not an *Italian* thing. I don’t think anyone can say the Pius XII wasn’t strongly in charge – at least up until about 1955, when his physical deterioration started.
Not to mention Pius X.
… and the Vatican was far more Italian then…



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Chris

posted January 26, 2004 at 1:20 pm


Love all the folks who are so cocksure they know the mind of the pope re: just exactly what was in the mind of the Holy Father – just what the “It” meant. Perhaps when the movie finished, the idea, reflection or whatever that occurred to the pope was that the abuse of Christ’s sacrifice continues; that we continue the scourging today by our sins; yes, today, it is just as it was then! A thought, an inspiration, resulting from watching the movie then was given in a second-handed way to interested persons, grabbed and “used” instead of considered deeply what such a man as this pope may have wished to imply as a tool for reflection: sin continues, we crucify Him still, the story doesn’t stop just in that time period displayed in this movie. It is (still today) as it was (then). He’s a contemplative, and often the fruits of his contemplations – even here – are teachings for all of us. Anyway, there are an awful lot of rantings by people who seem to assume an awful lot but know nothing more than anyone else.



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Joseph D'Hippolito

posted January 26, 2004 at 2:40 pm


Chris, if the Pope (or any of his appropriate subordinates) wanted the comments in question to be a “teachable moment,” they wouldn’t stop at those comments. They’d offer a much more elaborate statement (they’ve done this on a whole host of issues) without necessarily mentioning the film in question.
No, Chris, I think what Charles A. said about the Pope being “asleep at the switch since the 80s” contains much merit, if not outright truth. That can certainly explain the deteriorating state of the Church over the past 20 years.
The main issue as I see it, Chris, is papal subordinates not being forthcoming in order to protect themselves — and, if innocent people who trusted them get in the way, well, those people be damned. Then again, that’s been the MO for all the bishops involved in the clerical abuse crisis, isn’t it?



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Chris

posted January 26, 2004 at 4:46 pm


I’ll match his current intelligence, ability to continue speaking a myriad of languages, current writings on subjects of concern, mystical prayer life and resulting enlightenment, awareness of and dialogue re: all topics presented for the day with yours any day and we’ll see who is asleep at the switch. And then you also wish to include years back to the ’80s? No offense, but open mouth insert foot applies here with such a comment. Again, such wisdom from all those nowhere near the actual happening.



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Charles A.

posted January 26, 2004 at 5:43 pm


Chris, granting all those qualities you list (some of which, frankly, are a bit vague), none of them directly bear on governing the Church… And what makes you so certain that these comments come from “nowhere near the actual happening”…. I stand by my theory that since approximately the mid ’80s, much of what is spoken or written over JPs signature is the work of the “good guys/bad guys” in the curia.
For instance, Ecclesia de Eucharistia – 1) published with great fanfare and with promises that a “more juridical” document would be forthcoming naming and censuring common liturigcal abuses (good guys). Hosannas from the Adoremus crowd. Then – guess what? 2) A document is drafted, then it’s leaked that it’s been supressed because it’s “too rigid.” (good guys overplay their hand). Now, even if a document is published, 3) it’s only supposed to “restate existing norms” (bad guys checkmate the good guys). Where’s John Paul? Planning trips to Mongolia, meeting rabbis, and watching dance performances.
1) = Ratzinger, Arinze & Castrillon-Hoyos
2) = traditional leaning-curialists under Arinze
3) = Sodano, Dwisiz, Marino, Stafford



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