–I’m an outsider when it comes to matters Catholic (though I did get the Ad Altere Dei medal for studying the dogma when I was a Boy Scout), so all I can give to Garry Wills and others like him who struggle with their frustration over the direction of their church is this one, slim hope. The church, rather like the Soviet politburo, is ruled by people who ascended the hierarchy through patron-client relationships requiring loyalty not only to patron but to the patron’s dogma. Once upon a time in the Soviet Union, a young communist named Gorbachev listened to a speech by his new leader detailing Josef Stalin’s crimes and calling for reform. He held onto that speech for years as he rose through the ranks of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, until he could take power and start reforms himself. Most of the current candidates for pontiff were young Catholics during Vatican II, so it’s possible that one of them kept a youthful enthusiasm for reform hidden during the John Paul II and Benedict XVI decades, and that he will be the Catholic church’s Gorbachev.
It’s times like these I’m glad I’m an atheist. It’s nice not having a boss. (And by the way Boy Scouts of America, get bent.)
–Aye, ’tis true. The most important thing in life, especially for an ambitious politician, is not looking like a dork.
–Roger Ebert is right. If you’re a 57 year-old John McLane and you’re still bumping into international terrorists who want to kill you and your family members, it’s probably time to take a step back and reconsider your life.