April 21, 2005

BLUE BLUES, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.... (via Rick Turley):

Reverence Gone Up in Smoke (Tina Brown, April 21, 2005, Washington Post)

"Secular and the City" is a weird show to be in at the moment. For those of us who came to Manhattan precisely because you're guaranteed never to meet anyone who has read the "Left Behind" series, America's much-celebrated spiritual revival can have its trying moments. [...]

Oh no! Cardinal Ratzinger! His very name was ominous, a cross between Ratso Rizzo and William Zanzinger. His election was like the sharp rap of a ruler across the knuckles by a punitive nun. It was as if you expected Barack Obama and got Bob Dole. The more that cardinals and Vatican watchers lined up on "Larry King Live" to say what a friendly, conciliatory guy he really is (the most appealing detail that emerged the next day was that he looked "a little forlorn" as he entered the Room of Tears to change into his papal vestments), the more he seemed to emerge as a 19th-century throwback, stridently opposed to liberalism, doubt, internal argument within the church. And the Bavarian background doesn't help. As one of Larry's callers who identified himself as an amateur historian of the Holocaust put it, "Couldn't we have let this generation of Germans pass into history?"

"I am so bummed out," the writer Dominick Dunne, who is Catholic, told me. "I had gotten all excited about Catholicism again. I just loved all the people and ceremony of the last few weeks, all the hundreds of thousands in the square. I was out to lunch when I heard, 'It's the German.' You could just feel everyone groan."

That there has been such a sense of letdown among some New Yorkers who aren't even Catholic, as well as many who are, is a little surprising, given all the expert papal handicapping that had long made the "Panzer Cardinal" the favorite in the race. It probably reflected the airbrushing that had gone on all through the gauzy weeks of emotion-driven commentary. It was easier to focus on John Paul's reversal of the church's historic anti-Semitism, his outreach to other faiths and his defiance of communist tyranny.

The funny thing about these people is they think there were two sides of Pope John Paul II when it's all the same side.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 21, 2005 3:38 PM

Do these idiots really think Cardinal Arinze would have been any different? http://www.wf-f.org/Arinze-Georgetown.html

Posted by: Kathleen at April 21, 2005 3:50 PM

Holly Golightly and friends get the willies over the election of a Pope. Dust, sandals, shake.

Posted by: Luciferous at April 21, 2005 3:53 PM

Actually, Tina and her group were probably hoping that in a major upset, Robert Drinan would be named the new pope...

Posted by: John at April 21, 2005 3:53 PM

tina's ok looking, and probably doesn't wear underwear, but what a ditz. put her and arianne in a hot air balloon and it will never come down.

Posted by: cjm at April 21, 2005 4:22 PM

"Oh no! Cardinal Ratzinger! His very name was ominous, a cross between Ratso Rizzo and William Zanzinger. His election was like the sharp rap of a ruler across the knuckles by a punitive nun."

Maybe Tina Brown is a pen name for MoDo.

For ten points how many of you know who William Zanzinger was?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at April 21, 2005 4:48 PM

I have been rather taken aback by the reaction in the media to Pope Benedict XVI, though I shouldn't have been considering their hysterics after Bush's re-election. The anti-clerical nature of French Revolution-inspired philosophies has become prevalent to the point of ubiquity on the American left, which is quite an unwelcome change from historical norms...

Posted by: b at April 21, 2005 4:53 PM

"William Zanzinger"

You know, you can't get decent help nowadays.

Posted by: h-man at April 21, 2005 7:25 PM