Praying the Post

Reading the newspaper with a cup of coffee in one hand and a rosary in the other.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2002
So the day after I create this site, the Post runs a front-page puff piece about Washington's Cardinal McCarrick.

Actually, the article starts off curiously: "When American cardinals meet behind closed doors with Pope John Paul II next week...."

The cardinals and the Pope are meeting "behind closed doors"? Well, yes, I imagine they will. From all accounts, the Pope isn't up to having the meeting while strolling through St. Peter's Square. Or is the implication that, as always, the Catholic Church is operating in a secret and shady way?

There is a distinction to be made, of course, between secrecy, which is widely thought of as bad, and privacy, a much murkier area for most people.

In any case, the article on Cardinal McCarrick is essentially an edited transcript of his comments over lunch with Post editors and reporters. There are no counter-quotations from Fr. Richard McBrien or even Fr. Andrew Greeley. It must have been a good lunch.

I should admit that I am an admirer of Cardinal McCarrick, and his statements quoted here cement that admiration. I recognize that his message that "everybody has to have a plan, everybody has to have a procedure, everybody has to have a policy" sounds to some like more of the same bureaucratic response that got the Church in America into this current mess. In fact, his sitting down to dine with the Post is just the way a cagey corporate executive might handle an industry mess that hasn't, yet, tarnished his own reputation. I hope his Eminence's spoon was long enough.

Still, I am encouraged by his call for "a national day of prayer and reparations." It wouldn't change very much that the human eye can see, but it is the sort of call that a pastor of Christ's Church should be making, in addition to proposing uniform policies.

Now, last October Cardinal McCarrick called on the people of his Archdiocese to fast once a week for the duration of the war. That was a very bishop-like thing to do, but I haven't heard it mentioned outside of a couple of small news stories. Certainly nothing has been said from the pulpit.

A national day of prayer and reparations, then, may well come and go without affect. But the Spirit blows where He will, and ours is a faith of hope.

Tuesday, April 16, 2002
The Washington Post is one of the most important newspapers in the United States, and among the most important in the world. It covers local, national, and international news with authority and assurance, and takes its role as a journalistic standard for balance, completeness, and style very seriously. As a source of news, features, comics, classifieds, advertising circulars -- in short, as an all-around newspaper -- it is far superior to the other D.C.-based daily.

The Washington Post has also adopted an extensive set of editorial and journalistic positions that, directly or indirectly, contradict the teachings of the Catholic Church.

What's a Washington-area Lay Dominican to do?

Prayer and fasting are, of course, the traditional route (and likely to do far more good than most other reactions), but the specific Dominican charism is to preach. And so, compliments of, here is
Praying the Post

An occasional weblog of observation, counter-argument, and outright prayer in response to the daily lectio saecularis of reading the Post.