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Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Written By Kevin Williamson. Catholic.

The Catholic Church, and the principal figures in it, have a great talent for inspiring strong opinions, and the strength of those opinions is, generally speaking, converse to the knowledge that the person communicating them has about the Church and its teachings. Ignorant or otherwise, the intensity of global public interest in all things Catholic seems to me significant in and of itself. The people of the world do not gather around their television screens and Twitter feeds when (with apologies to my former church) the Methodists make a change in their institutional leadership. Very few people outside of those who exist in the imagination of Garrison Keillor are much bothered about the Lutheran view of this or that. The Church of England and its ongoing convulsions regarding homosexuality? That is of interest to a handful of oddball American Anglophiles and a couple of million Africans who are probably going to end up Roman Catholics. Pardon me if I sound like an ultramontane chauvinist, but those are the facts. What the world seems to intuit about the Catholic Church — what I intuited about it long before I became a member of it — is that there is something serious going on in it. Something true or something false, but something serious.

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Here's the wrap-up:

The poet Jay Parini, writing sympathetically at, says he agrees that Mother Teresa deserves sainthood, which surely comes as a relief both to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and to the choirs in Heaven, but he also says that she was, in his view, “less than perfect as a human being.” 
That, of course, is the point. If she hadn’t been less than perfect, Mother Teresa would have practiced virtue in the same way that planets orbit stars or that iron oxidizes in the presence of water. She was the same hot human mess as the rest of us, but chose to live as though she weren’t. 
Why did she do that?