Ten years ago (wow!), our pastor in Sumter, SC, died suddenly of an aortic aneurysm. .. . The Oblates of Mary Immaculate were handing the parish over to the Jesuits the following year, so we got a couple temporary replacements. One was a young priest from Poland who was in the US working on his doctorate. He came to our house one evening for dinner. . . . “You wouldn’t believe the horrible magazine they receive at the rectory,” he said. “It’s called _America_, and it’s filled with nothing but articles that attack the Church!”
Dad said, “I’d believe it. _America_ magazine has been around a long time. . . .”
Well, rather than simply putting the rag out of business, the Vatican has ordered the resignation of Fr. Thomas Reese, SJ, it’s editor for only the past 7 years. He will be replaced by Fr. Drew Christiansen, SJ, who has been a commentator on FOX News.
Now, I always object to FOX News’s reputation of conservatism. The network depicts conservatives as being obnoxious idiots like Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, neither of whom has probably ever read a word of Russell Kirk. Certainly, Hannity makes no bones about his negative feelings towards people who read. In his mind, anyone who passed kindergarten is a liberal intellectual elitist, but that’s another issue.
Anyway, Rod Dreher noted a while back that even FOX News had orders from “high above” (or Deep Below, as CS Lewis might say), saying that they could not discuss homosexuality in relation to the scandal of homosexual priests molesting boys.
So much for “Fair and balanced.”
Anyway, Fr. Christiansen is a commentator on the “fair and balanced” network. On the morning of Mercy Sunday, we were watching the coverage of John Paul II’s death. A number of cool people were on–Janet Smith, for example–and when the FOX anchors would hit them with the “tough questions” on things like birth control and “women’s ordination”–and those good Catholics would answer like good Catholics should–the anchors would cut them off and go to the next person.
So for about an hour, I listened to a list of guests whose names would ring a bell to any EWTN afficionado, all on air for maybe fix minutes, max.
Then they went to Fr. Christiansen, who was so disgusting that I turned the TV off.
Ten minutes later, I went down to the breakfast room, which also had FOX News on. Fr. Christiansen was still yakking about the need for change in the Church. . . . A half hour later, when my wife got in the car to leave the hotel, having gotten one last cup of coffee, she said he was *still* on. . . .
One of the great things Vatican II has done, in giving a voice to the laity, is helping to shed the error of clericalism–an error often condemned by the Left–which is to never criticize a priest, etc., that a priest is a priest, and you should only bring your problems with a priest to God.
Thankfully, the examples of the Saints, and the teaching of Vatican II are a little more encouraging in this matter.
Fr. Christiansen, besides his attitude towards doctrine, has very obvious speech patterns and mannerisms that are generally accepted by society to be associated with a certain “inclination.” To be blunt, he sounds as gay as Elton John.
Now, I’ve known and known of some very devout priests who, at first glance, seem rather effeminate. Often, this is a result of their own personal piety and fasting. But one need only hear such priests speak for a few minutes to know they are far from sissies–and far from homosexual.
And if it so happens that they *do* have that inclination, and have successfully overcome it, praised be God!
But that is not the image Fr. Christiansen presents. So while the liberals lament that the new Pope means “no change” in the Church, I will express the much more significant lament that the new editor will signal “no change” at _America_ magazine.