After the pro-Trump mob storms the Capitol, Catholic press divided up in two factions. These are the main points of the National Catholic Reporter (liberal) and of First Thing (conservative).
Special greetings to all my american readers!
“Some Catholics have remained silent” – National Catholic Reporter reports:
This is the culmination of what this presidency has been about from the beginning — and some Catholics have remained silent, or worse, cheered it along, including some bishops, priests, a few sisters, right-wing Catholic media and too many people in the pro-life movement. We’re talking to you CatholicVote.org, Attorney General William Barr and other Catholics in the Trump administration, Amy Coney Barrett, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, rogue prolifer Abby Johnson. Sadly, the list goes on.
And what about the everyday Catholics — some 50% of them — who voted for Trump this year, after four years of incompetence, racist dog whistles and assaults on democratic norms? Not all were at the “protest” in Washington, but many have supported organizations that fanned the flames. Too many Catholic voters were content to cozy up to Trump in exchange for tax breaks, or Supreme Court judges, or subsidies for Catholic schools.
Our religious leaders, many of whom perpetuate the very white supremacy that led to yesterday’s coup, must begin the long, hard work of trying to rebuild a political culture of trust and unity. That cannot be done with hyper-partisanship and an intense focus on only one issue.
The temptation to cozy up to power is real, and some still refuse to let go. Some are trying to put a false antifa spin on yesterday’s coup; others are moving too quickly to “put this behind us.”
A frequent refrain in the aftermath has been that “we are better than this.” In some ways, that is false. This is part of who we are — it has always been part of who we are — and Trump has emboldened and legitimized it in ways that are frankly terrifying.
But the insurrectionists and the right-wingers, including Catholics, who have encouraged them are not all we are.
In less than two weeks, our nation’s second Catholic president — a decent man — will take over and begin the long, arduous task of rebuilding our democracy. Catholics need to get on board to help, not hinder, that process.
Political violence is part of the true America – First Things reports:
“The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect a true America, do not represent who we are.” The history of America contradicts him. Political violence is indeed part of the “true America,” an undeniable share of “who we are.” Now that the Democratic party holds the presidency, the House, and the Senate alongside the professions, Silicon Valley, Wall Street, higher education, the prestige media, and the culture industries, will it reconcile itself to this fact? Or will it begin impeachment proceedings, throw half the Republican caucus out of Congress, pack the Supreme Court, eliminate the Electoral College, and institute a de-Trumpification truth commission?
It has been held together for 230 years not simply by a shared constitution, a shared political culture, and a shared national identity, the lofty objects of so many speeches from the Senate floor on Wednesday night. The very existence of a “we” has also been nurtured on long periods of economic growth, a wide scope for individual opportunity, common enemies fought in war, a judicious degree of federalism, and a generous distribution of government largesse from 160-acre homesteads to $1200 checks.
It is not the material damage of broken windows and stolen podiums, or even an hour of fear felt by members of Congress sheltering in place during the chaos, that is foremost in view today. It is the symbolic injury of rioters ripping down a Capitol flag and replacing it with a MAGA banner, vandalizing Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, and standing on the dais of the United States Senate. The evidence lies in our leaders’ invocation of the religious in this irreligious age. Thus President-elect Joe Biden referred to the proceedings interrupted by the rioters as “a sacred ritual” and “an assault on the most sacred of American undertakings.” Donald Trump is a man of inordinately bad character, and he has cultivated the same in adherents to his cult of personality.
In the picture, the front page of the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.