Wednesday, January 08, 2014

A Man for All Seasons? Pope Francis Left and Right By Fr. Gordon J. MacRae

Can Traditionalist Catholics and Pope Francis abide each other? This is an "inside" view we hope you will share: "A Man for All Seasons? Pope Francis Left and Right."

A Man for All Seasons - Pope Francis Left and Right s
After a decade of media expulsion of a Catholic voice from the public square, Pope Francis is on the cover of TIME, but some traditionalists lack peripheral vision.
It has been five years, but I still talk to Father Richard John Neuhaus who left this world on January 8, 2009. These Stone Walls is dedicated to him, and to his great friend, Avery Cardinal Dulles, who preceded him in death by just weeks. Not since the great Archbishop Fulton Sheen had someone so influenced American Catholicism and religion in the public square as Richard John Neuhaus. In 2005, TIME Magazine named him one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America, and noted that when the U.S. president spoke of religion, Father Neuhaus was “the living authority he cited most often.”
When I saw Pope Francis on the cover of TIME last month, I immediately asked, “What would you write of this, Richard?” Father Neuhaus was the standard bearer for a conservative Catholic voice in America, and the fact that I write at all can be traced directly to him. We exchanged letters often during “Scandal Time,” his incisive years-long ongoing essay on the decade of scandal so effectively used to squelch a Catholic voice in the public square.
Richard-John-NeuhausIn one of his earlier letters, Father Neuhaus admonished me to be silent. “It’s a sad consequence that as someone directly involved with the issues at hand, your voice will not be included in this discussion,” he wrote. It really ruffled my feathers, but Father Neuhaus ruffled many feathers. Then, in 2005, when the Catholic League journal, Catalyst, published “Sex Abuse and Signs of Fraud,” my article about money-driven false claims against priests, Father Neuhaus reversed his position: “Yours is a voice in the wilderness, so keep writing, and please let me know what you are writing and thinking on these issues.”

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