When are they going to stop whining about Fr. Reese?
All editors come under pressure from proprietors, management, editorial boards and readers. In Tom Reese’s case, a small group of American bishops and conservative laity were not happy with the critical loyalty that characterised the magazine. As the Church’s doctrinal watchdog, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger began to take an interest, and in 2002 he wrote to the Jesuit General in Rome with a list of articles his office found offensive. If Tom Reese was to remain editor of America, the letter told Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, he must accept the establishment of a committee of three American bishops to review all material before publication.
The threat was not carried out at that time, but Reese was warned later that Rome would be watching carefully to see in particular how he dealt with the question of same-sex partnerships. When the doctrinal congregation’s observations on that subject appeared in 2003, denouncing “the legalisation of evil”, I looked to see what America would say. I could not find a single word anywhere in its pages. When I telephoned Reese in surprise, I found out what had happened. “I have to accept a huge amount of self-censorship now,” he told me.
I felt both saddened and alarmed. A restriction laid on America is chilling for all such media in the Catholic Church, including The Tablet. Lay editors are in a less vulnerable position than priest editors, but their responsibilities are not distinct.
…Only a truly pluralistic Catholic media can do justice to the symphony of voices and spiritualities, as wide as the world, that is Catholicism. Those who would prefer to have one single blast issue from all the trumpets will send many deafened concert-goers scuttling for the exits.
First off what in the world is a pluralistic Catholic media. Is this the belief by Catholic reporters that no single explanatory system or view of reality can be held? That all points of view are equally valid? A Catholic media that first and foremost does not accept the teaching authority of the Church is not really a Catholic media. Why in the world do some self-identified Catholic newspapers proudly proclaim that they are independent? Independent from the truth? When did being faithful to the Church become something to shun? I am happily dependent on both Christ’s Church and its teaching authority.
Now as for the example given, a symphony is a good parallel to use. What happens when you have people playing their instruments off key or they play from a different score then everyone else? Obviously the music becomes discordant and unlistenable. A true symphony like the Mystical Body of Christ has everyone playing their own individual parts that when played together is melodic and supports the whole. We only have harmony when individual voices actually harmonize with each other. When people become their own conductors instead of following Chris’s lead the orchestra becomes a bunch of individual soloists vying against everybody else to be heard.