“DON’T CRY FOR ME GALILEO”

Catalyst October Issue 2001

William McGurn is a good Catholic who writes a lot of unsigned editorials for the Wall Street Journal; he also writes a number of signed articles. His work is uniformly outstanding. In the course of a piece he did on President Bush’s decision on stem cell research, McGurn lamented the fact that not enough priests have addressed the Church’s teachings on birth control and abortion. Many letters agreeing with him were subsequently published. Next came a letter from someone with a different perspective.

It seems that someone named Kenneth H. Beck from Newtown, Pennsylvania, doesn’t like us. He went nuts because one of the letter writers, Father Gregory Lockwood, had the gall to comment that the Church has had “2000 years of experience with the human person.” To which Beck replies, “Does he exclude the Inquisition, the Borgias, the persecution of Galileo and other embarrassments from that statement?”

This is the kind of reflexive bigotry that is commonplace these days. Mention that the Church has an honorable record of serving humanity and odds are that some lout will yell, “Oh, yeah, how about Galileo?” Now just imagine if someone were to commend blacks for their service to America and out popped the refrain, “Oh, yeah, how about all the muggings you people have committed?”

Galileo. He was quite a guy. Which inspires us to say that we Catholics need our own song. We need an Eva Peron-style rendition of “Don’t Cry for Me Galileo.” It’d be great if we could get Phil Donahue to do the video.


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Written by Bill