At First Things, Stephen Bullivant thinks I owe converts an apology for writing, "I am so tired of converts telling us that the pope is not Catholic." Obviously, it is the fact that they are telling us the pope is not a Catholic, while they are still wet from swimming the Tiber, that is the problem. I was not "attacking converts," most of whom love the pope, as they will love the next one, and the one after that. It is when those who thought they were signing up for an ideology, and therefore have warrant to criticize a pope who does not spout that ideology, start lecturing the rest of us that I have a problem. I adore most converts and worked with RCIA for years. I venerate Blessed John Henry Newman. But, of course, Newman was deeply learned and knew what was and was not appropriate in the church he joined.
In The Washington Post "Outlook" section, an argument that we as a culture used to know money was corrupting, but have forgotten that fact in recent years. There is something to the argument, to be sure, but there was a fascination with the robber barons and the Newport elite longer before "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" came along. And Calvinism, the strongest religious influence in our culture, has always had a soft spot for wealth, seeing it as evidence of divine approval, rather than as the devil laying his traps.
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Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput delivers more gloom and doom in a talk at the Napa Institute. The talk rehashes his arguments in his latest book that I reviewed for NCR in the July 28-Aug. 10 print edition. The review will be up on NCRonline.org tomorrow.
Speaking of bishops who should think before writing, why is Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services jumping into the fray over President Donald Trump's tweet about barring transgender soldiers? I think the archbishop's anthropology is off, actually way off, but why even say anything: A tweet is not yet a policy directive.