Buckley's greatest issue, probably its most famous cover, solved a problem for me. The cover read, Mater, Si, Magister, No. It caused some scandal. The article(s) made clear that the clergy have their role and that it does not extend to the role of Caesar. The reason is simple. If you take the clergy out of the School of Theology they are usually perfect fools. In politics and economics their role in life leads them to idiotic prescriptions in other areas. It gave me a healthy disdain for bishops and academic priests.

Comment by Backbaygrouch


This is an important observation and it certainly does not apply only to Catholics.

In the case of Catholics, this is where the boy molestation disaster came from. Bishops admitted that they handled perverted priests the way the Latest Thing demanded before 1980. All the "experts" agreed that child molesters should be treated not condemned.

But the Church did not learn a THING from this. They do not generalize to a Mantra world-view. They deal only with the symptoms. As you say, they REMAIN suckers. In their desperation to be respectable in the eyes of Fashionable Opinion clergy, Religious Right Protestants included, twist Jesus' statements about forgiveness into making him a mealy mouthed wimp whom the Boston Globe would approve.

Mantra Thinking requires that one not just admit a single error, but uses that error as a window on one's whole way of looking at things. An egregious error usually teaches a wise person much more than that he made a slip in one place.

Clergy tell each other that they were just being too forgiving and continue to blunder on. That is exactly the kind of self-justification the road to Hell is paved with.