Bill Keller’s Collapse of Faith and Reason
It is not surprising to hear Catholic League President Bill Donohue call for liberal Catholics to fall in line or leave the Church. What is surprising is that former New York Times editor Bill Keller recently took to the op-ed page to agree.
In so doing, career journalist Keller exposed both his attitude towards and ignorance about his faith. Actually, we have to call it his former faith because he says he is so beyond lapsed he is now a “collapsed Catholic.”
Fortunately, there are more astute observers of the Church than Keller. People who also actually care about it. One of these is historian Garry Wills, who recently wrote regarding the battle between the bishops and the American nuns: “The bishops are interested in power. The nuns are interested in the powerless.” That, in a nutshell, pretty much explains what is going on in the Catholic Church.
Wills’ observation may also help us to understand Keller’s apparent turning a blind eye to the hierarchy’s attempt to silence the nuns.
The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has targeted the nuns’ umbrella organization, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) because they remain committed to modernizing, compassionate tenets of Vatican II.
Enter Bill Keller. In what was apparently intended to be a back-handed complimentary piece to Bill Donohue and other Catholic Right agitators, Keller argued that Church moderates and liberals should purge themselves, as their Protestant cousins did in centuries past.