Friday, March 02, 2007

Who's laughing? At what?

Fr. Andrew M. Greeley, who is probably still rather perturbed by the cancellation of the local speaking engagement by his buddy, Bishop "Just Tom" Gumbleton (and the loss of a weekend of chumming about at the expense of whomever is funding the dissident activity in the Diocese of Tuscon), lets us know what he thinks about the state of Catholic education.

You see, in his column in the local shopper section of the newspaper in Tuscon (where he apparently now resides), he says there's a division between the hierarchy and the laity, and that the hierarchy is destroying Catholic education.

And how, Andy! (I mean . . . Fr. Andy)!

Oops, you mean the hierarchy's concern for "secularization and relativism" is what's killed it? Surely that's an editorial meant the hierarchy's disregard of it. Right, Andy? (I mean . . . Fr. Andy)?

At least Fr. Andy's right on one point, as Orville noted in our brief exchange about this article this morning:

All of this pessimism troubles me because I've spent much of my life doing research on Catholic schools. I have concluded that Catholic schools are among the best things that the church in this country has done, that they are resources in social capital that the church should treasure and that they are more important in a time of change in the church than in a time of stability. Most people laugh at my research, which is the fate of a sociologist whose findings conflict with conventional wisdom.
Yes, the underlining is mine. At least he knows most of us laugh at his research. ...those of us who've gotten over the scandal of it....

One thing I'd also like to note: Fr. Andy he still can't come to grips with the fact that he, and those like him, are winning the battle. He dare not declare victory, or his troops might lose interest in his cause. But of course, the people in his camp these days can lay claim to "conventional" wisdom; concerns about relativism and secularism aren't conventional at all.

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