He calls himself a Catholic thinker, and he is surely that.
Albeit only recently that, as he is a convert.
Of course, it is easy to admire the writing of someone who is also right :oD
Yes, yes, I agree with him, or at least, what I have read so far, and there seems to be quite a bit -- I feel like I did when I "discovered" Barbara Pym, or Peter Ackroyd, or Frederick Buechner after they been well known for some long time, (in Pym's case, dead,) --- ooh, look all these books already written!
So lots to read with titles like, Loving Francis, Missing Benedict; or Pope Benedict XVI and Surprise.
I missed a whole lot of commentary late winter of last year.
You see, all that was happening, the loss of the "public Benedict," all that, which I would have perceived as the greatest heartache of my adult life, at the time of what was the greatest heartache of my adult life.
(It takes nothing away from my love for Himself to admit that my Mother, whom I teased and argued with for my entire life, my Mother whom I tried to cheat at Scrabble and enraged with my ocassinaol taste for rock and at whose seasoning choices in the kitchen I rolled my eyes and with whom I said the Rosary and shared opera enthusiasms including burly baritones ---she was the love of my life.)
And it's almost as if I lost a year or so of the World.
Anyway, here I am with a trove of little essays where I will, hopefully, have my mind opened a bit, and even more hopefully, I'll admit, have my deepest held beliefs and opinions affirmed.
(Some times in life you just NEED an Amen Corner.)
And regardless of his opinions, I do like his writing, I have not, so far, found any of the snark, or refusal to see other points of view or demonization or pomposity I see too often.
Oh, all right, and RESORT to too often.
And so now it is the last day of Pope Benedict XVI’s papacy. Now we prepare for another conclave and watch again for fumata blanca. And as I reflect on the Pope who was presented to me by the opinion-makers while comparing him to the Pope I met for myself, the questions can be raised, “Are you surprised? Are you surprised by the Pope you found, you learned from, you prayed for, and you converted under?” And my answer would be: Yes and No. Yes, I thought I could trust the opinion-makers to be somewhat correct on who Pope Benedict XVI was and who he would become. They were wrong and so I was surprised. But, more importantly, No, because surprise is what this Faith is all about. It is a Faith where disciples ask to walk on water and multiply loaves and fishes, where lepers are healed and the condemned are released, where you love even though it is unreasonable and you believe even when it is unbelievable. It is a Faith of confounding, maddening, brilliant, glorious surprises. And Pope Benedict XVI has been another one of them. Why shouldn’t he be? Thank you, Holy Father, and God go with you.But also, this:
No, no, no…I am not placing [a polarizing politician] or [an equally polarizing novelist] on the level of prophets or apostles. Not at all. Rather (and quite simply), I am saying that sometimes a truth or piece of wisdom can come out of an unlikely or even unattractive source whether we like it or not. There is no doubt it is sage wisdom to “consider the source”. Indeed. But in order to avoid being blinded by our own bias, sometimes – perhaps only sometimes – it is good to stop and NOT consider the source. Yes. Perhaps.