Michael Joseph at Evangelical Catholicism has a post on the 50th anniversary of the ordination of Renato Cardinal Martino. It seems that Michael Joseph subscribes to the Bishop Trautman school of Catholicism in which he thinks that most Catholics (himself excluded of course) are a bunch of amateurs and dolts . In this particular case, he ridicules those who fail to understand and consequently admire Cardinal Martino as he does. Let us check out the list of dimwits cited by MJ together, shall we?. Emphases and [comments] mine.
He’s been called “an idiot” by one Catholic blogger. [Amy Welborn] He was told by another blogger [Thomas Peters of AmP] to “hush up!” Still another [Mark Shea] has described some of his actions as “act[s] of stupity.[sic]” A Catholic apologist [Jimmy Akin] has unabashedly characterized his work as “unworthy of responsible churchmen” and “the kind of sloppy language on social topics that regularly comes from some European churchmen.” A law professor [Stephen Bainbridge] submits that some of his vocalized ideas have “has brought the Church as a whole into disrepute.” An amateur theologian and economist [I just love this one, Michael Novak] has declared him “anti-American.” A journalist [Sandro Magister] who reports many rumors as facts calls him a “loose canon” and that he has “created serious difficulties for the Vatican authorities.”
While these individuals seem to form a concensus [sic], not one of them seems to really understand Cardinal Martino’s work at the Vatican, the contemporary mind of the Church on socio-political issues or the trust and confidence both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have placed in him.
Wow, Michael Joseph hit quite a lot of targets with his shotgun blast of condescension. Welborn, Peters, Shea, Akin, Bainbridge, Novak, and Magister all fail to understand Cardinal Martino. The evidence of this failure? Why, because they don’t agree with Michael Joseph. Ipso Facto, morons. However, the only defense of the Cardinal Michael offers is the Cardinals impressive resume.
I guess I can see his point, I mean really who needs to pay heed to amateurs such as Novak. Novak’s resume is very unimpressive (see bottom of post).
When I read this piece by Michael I could not help but be reminded of a classic line from the movie ‘Broadcast News”. In the movie, the head of the news division is being pestered by Jane Craig, played by Holly Hunter. Jane is a news producer who is convinced that she always knows better. It is then that this exchange takes place.
Paul Moore: It must be nice to always believe you know better, to always think you’re the smartest person in the room.
Jane Craig: No. It’s awful.
It must be awful Michael.
Mr. Novak was appointed and served as: Ambassador of the U.S. Delegation to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva, 1981-1982; head of the U.S. Delegation to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the monitor of the Helsinki Accords), 1986; with Senate approval, member of the Board for International Broadcasting (the private corporation that governs Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty), 1984-1994; member of the Presidential Task Force on Project Economic Justice, 1985. He has served the United States during both Democratic and Republican administrations.
His teaching career began as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard. From 1965-68 he was Assistant Professor of Humanities at Stanford, where in two out of his three years, the senior class voted him one of the two “most influential professors.” From 1968 to 1973 he taught at the newly formed experimental College at SUNY Old Westbury. During 1973-1974, Mr. Novak launched the new humanities program at the Rockefeller Foundation. In 1976 he accepted a tenured chair as University Professor and Ledden-Watson Distinguished Professor of Religion at Syracuse University. He held the W. Harold and Martha Welch chair as Professor of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame for the autumn semesters of 1987 and 1988. Intrigued by the relationship between religion and economics, he joined AEI as a Resident Scholar in the spring of 1978.
He graduated (Summa Cum Laude) from Stonehill College (B.A., Philosophy and English) in 1956 and the Gregorian University in Rome (B.A. Theology, Cum Laude) in 1958. He continued theological studies at Catholic University and then at Harvard, where he received an M.A. in 1966 in History and the Philosophy of Religion. Among other awards he has received are: the Freedom Award of the Coalition for a Democratic Majority (1979); HAIS Liberty Award (1981); Friend of Freedom Award, (1981); the George Washington Honor Medal from the Freedom Foundation (1984); Award of Excellence, Religion in Media, the 8th Annual Angel Awards (1985); first U.S. member, Argentine National Academy of Sciences, Morals and Politics (1985); Ellis Island Medal of Honor (1986); the Bratislava Medal (1998); the Economics Medal (2000) from the Institute of Italian Managers and Entrepreneurs (IDI); and Twenty-three Honorary Degrees, in the U.S. and abroad [Boston University (1981), St. Louis University (1994) Marquette University (1987), Stonehill College (1977), Thomas More College (1992), Sacred Heart University (1977)…]