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.