Author Paul Elie was one of many dissident voices in the New York Times following Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation. His parochialism allows him to assume all Catholics shared his discontent. “Resignation,” he said, is “what American Catholics are feeling about our faith.” He should speak for himself—most of us don’t share his Commonweal affliction.
Elie has long predicted the Church’s demise. Two decades ago he championed the voice of pro-abortion Catholic women. In 1994, after insisting that the laity were in “deep dissent” over such issues, he appeared positively dazed over the success of a best-selling book by Pope John Paul II.
Living in an intellectual ghetto has consequences. In 1999, Elie named eight prelates as possible successors to Cardinal John J. O’Connor. Bridgeport Bishop Edward Egan (not on Elie’s list) got the job.
Elie advised all Catholics to skip church during Lent. He led the way, shunning his Oratory Church of St. Boniface. He threatened to attend services with Quakers, Episcopalians, Jews, Muslims, or Baptists. He’s also threatened to enter a Zen monastery. Doesn’t he know that his happy parish has weekly Zen Meditations?
Perhaps Elie might consider joining the New York City Wiccan Family Temple, which is currently welcoming new members. We’re sure they would love to have him.