Andrew Sullivan has lost his mind: Two Popes, One Secretary « The Dish #B16 #andrewsullivan

March 4, 2013

Andrew Sullivan is a famous Roman Catholic blogger and I understand that he is a self-professed homosexual. If one is not a regular reader of Sullivan, it is possible not to be clear on all the details, but his latest column for “The Dish” has generated plenty of comment. Oh, but isn’t that the point of it all anyway? Maybe I should seek divine pardon for drawing attention to such a malicious trashing of what seems to be a respectable man and one of the world’s outstanding theological minds. Here (mea culpa!) is a link to Sullivan’s post. You read it and make your own judgment.

Two Popes, One Secretary « The Dish.

That essay is a real plunge into the black hole of hypocrisy, and we are not talking about the mundane boring kind of misjudgment common among all men. No. Sullivan has plainly jumped the track here, and in a way that he would otherwise never tolerate. Since the author is willing to make outrageous and unsupported claims about the retired Pontiff for personal gain, he is also apparently willing to revert to a kind of double standard that is repulsive even among ordinary sinners. Coming directly to the point, who the hell is Andrew Sullivan to say what is “normal?” Is that not the native language of homophobes?

Taking on the tone of a neighborhood busy-body, Sullivan is consumed in the alleged “weirdness” of the former Pope’s household arrangements. In the first place, it is none of his damn business. Furthermore, just in case any of you are willing to argue that I might fool around with anybody’s private life by opposing “gay marriage,” it would only be a matter of concern if the Pope Emeritus and his companion sought to obtain a marriage license. Otherwise, Christian charity obliges me to think the best of these two people. If there were something amiss, it would be a matter for either man’s confessor.

With the wave of a hand, Andrew Sullivan has excluded the entire concept of Christian love. Why is it not possible for two men to experience a warm, tender, and affectionate relationship without the necessity of intimate sexual relations? Is that an absolute necessity for a close association? The understanding of Christian love permits men and women, or members of the same gender, to be bound together in mutual concern and affection absent the physical aspects. This is sometimes the basis of spiritual direction, mentoring, and religious communities. Gosh, Andrew, the church has been doing this for hundreds of years. But you already know that, don’t you? And none of this is about anything more pressing than your own need for self-promotion, (Memo to Mr. Sullivan: It looks fairly sleazy to the rest of us and you should really curb your addiction to publicity.)

According to Sullivan, Benedict has only surrendered the red loafers. How convenient it must be to entirely overlook walking away from the position of spiritual and temporal monarch! How about the fisherman’s ring? How about the seal that rules every bishop around the glove? Has the inquisitor neglect to mention the very freedom to travel? The old Pontiff will not be leaving the security of the only place on earth where he may not be arrested. In a matter of days,  Joseph Ratzinger, Roger Mahoney and Bernard Law may sit down for sherry and cigars. I hope not. I would not want to stain Benedict XVI’s good name by associating it with men who knowingly brought disgrace upon the household of God. At worst, very worst, Benedict may have been overtaken by the rampant indiscretion left unattended to by his predecessor, the soon-to-be-sainted John Paul II of pleasant memory.

The speculation discussed herein is so crude that one does struggle with the possibility of doing more harm than good by even commenting on it. There is a duty to publicly observe that whether one is a little odd or socially awkward, or out of touch with modern culture, we are not allowed to destroy a good name. It is an act almost as cruel as murder. That good name is all most of us have of any lasting value. If one must speculate about another human being, perhaps it should tend toward the highest virtue and the most admirable traits.  Let us rather speculate that, behind closed doors in the sanctity of private living quarters, there are noble and wondrous deeds being committed that will bring glory to Jesus and his body on earth, the church.


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