Ax To The Tree

In traditions like the military, business executive-dom, and even football coaches, “families” are tracked. Not biological or via mistresses, of course, but in terms of mentoring and philosophy. Maybe tree is a better term.

Rod Dreher wishes to take an ax to the “family” of “Uncle Ted.” If running certain styles of offense is key within a football tree, does the blind-eye to an overseer’s sins count as a desired family quality? And if so, are Cardinals like Blase Cupich or Kevin Farrell no problem for predators around them? My first sense of Mr Dreher’s commentariat is the glee about finding another skeleton in the closet of Pope Francis. All of these bishops are, supposedly, favorites of the Holy Father. If the Right’s so-called lavender mafia is so widespread, one may wonder how Joseph Ratzinger ever had a snowball’s chance in that hell of a 2005 conclave.

It has been awhile since I’ve ventured out seriously into modern branches of the St Blog’s tree. But I find the commentary to be little-changed. People set in their minds the vision they want, and arrange facts, conspiracies, and stubbed toes to fit their all-knowing view.

I was thinking of the contrast in style here with my archdiocese’s deceased ordinary, chronicled a bit in the loggia here. I last blogged about the man here, reviewing John McCoy’s biography, loaned to me a few months after my arrival in the Pac NW. Archbishop Hunthausen has his own tree, albeit a small one, according to Rocco, citing:

… it’s long been said that for all the heat that ill-fated, 45 year-old assistant endured, the now-Cardinal Donald Wuerl left Seattle with Hunthausen as his one firm friend …

… the Pope’s choice of Hunthausen’s last vicar-general, George Thomas, as bishop of Las Vegas …

Some Catholics are accustomed to regarding their clergy as “good” based on the congruence with their self-imagined worldview. Descriptors like “orthodox” and “faithful” are bandied about. But what a sight we have thirty years after Rome’s Hunthausen debacle: large swaths of “conservative” Catholicism have turned on their Magisterium, and there seems to be nowhere to turn. Except maybe an iconostasis or some YouTube guru.

We are living in a weeds-n-wheat era, to be sure. Triticum‘s ten species versus the universe.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to Ax To The Tree

  1. Liam says:

    Insofar as Rod D himself is concerned, that would be too facile a read. Rod has his hobby horses and cognitive blindspots as we all do, but he’s been pointed about how this issue cuts clear across the ideological spectrum and self-serving compartmentalizations (indeed, he must do so because his thesis is that no ideology of orthodoxy is going to resist what he and like-minded folks call “liquid modernity”). He does have a predilection as a journalist and perhaps as a Louisianan for a briskly pungent framing of problems, to put it kindly, but part of the reason he has the following from across the spectrum that he he does is that he is also capable of open self-recrimination on that and other points. If you’ve followed his series of posts on this since last month (and in earlier years where he didn’t mention McCarrick and associates by name or insinuation), you’d also know he had a professional side (journalistic, that is) involvement in trying to bring the stories to light back in the day, and has been something of a colleague to journalists following in his wake.

    I will of course say that the taint by association is presumptively wrong in many ways, but this may well be a situation where there is sufficient ground to exercise some public wariness about potential stonewalling. It’s not like there’s no such thing as prelatial and clerical networks of omerta.

  2. Todd says:

    I get all that. I suspect if Rod got too friendly though, the American “Conservative” would have a problem with that.

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