Wednesday, June 4, 2014

As the Fr. Z / Cardinal Rodriguez Storm is About to Erupt ...

Cardinal Rodriguez speaks.  Photo courtesy Tony Annett.
The internet being what it is, right wing Catholics will no doubt be furious with Cardinal Rodriguez for apparently making fun of right wing Catholic folk hero Fr. Z.  That the pope's right hand man should mention a US Catholic blogger by name and in a derogatory manner - especially a sacred cow like Fr. Z - will infuriate many.

This illustrates a simple rule in the Catholic blogosphere: right wing Catholics can criticize the pope, but the pope (and his cardinals) better not dare criticize right wing Catholics!  After all, who does he think he is - the Pope?!?

So let's take a breather before things get ugly, as they often do, and as they have been lately.

Note a few things.

  • Cardinal Rodriguez was quoting Winters who was making fun of Fr. Z., who himself was making fun of Cardinal Rodriguez.  

  • Cardinal Rodriguez was, therefore, using this quotation as a way to grab the audiences' attention at the beginning of his speech.  It was a humorous thing for him to do.  It was funny.  He was quoting a man who had been making fun of him.

But the best perspective on this so far seems to have come from Tony Annett, who commented on Facebook ... 

I was there and it was a remarkable speech. The printed text simply doesn't do justice to Cardinal Oscar's warm, witty, and passionate delivery. You don't get the impish delight he took in making fun of Fr. John Zuhlsdorf who was mocking him! You don't get some of his great ad-lilbbed quips, such as "The libertarians haven't read the books of Catholic teaching, but now they are trembling before the Book of Piketty!", or "the invisible hand is so invisible that it steals everything and nobody notices"! It was a real tour de force - and despite the light touch, Cardinal Oscar was firm and insistent on one point: "THIS is what Pope Francis is saying, and let's not pretend otherwise".

The video of the speech will be available soon here.  The text is available here.


Paul Stilwell said...

"the invisible hand is so invisible that it steals everything and nobody notices!"


Kevin Tierney said...

I really don't care for a lot about what Cardinal Rodriguez advocates as far as Church reform. But I'll be honest, I wouldn't mind having a beer with him. He seems very down to earth, and has an incredibly quick wit.