Fr. Rutler tells Hitchens “a Catholic or a madman”

An exchange between Fr. George Rutler and Christopher Hitchens that took place back in May, (hat tip to the Curt Jester), during the question and answer session, first from Poe:

FATHER RUTLER: I have met saints. You cannot explain the existence of saints without God. I was nine years chaplain with Mother Teresa [inaudible]. You have called her a whore, a demagogue. She’s in heaven that you don’t believe in, but she’s praying for you. If you do not believe in heaven, that’s why you drink.

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Excuse me?

FATHER RUTLER: That’s why you drink. God has offered us happiness, all of us. And you will either die a Catholic or a madman, and I’ll tell you the difference.

And secondly, I’m an officer with this club. And this conversation has been beneath the dignity of this club.

Hitchens take in Vanity Fair:

In a magnanimous mood, I say, Fair enough—let’s extend the event for a man of the cloth. This turns out to be Father George Rutler of the Church of Our Saviour, who announces that he’s on the committee of the club and will make sure that I am never invited there again. There’s some shock at this inhospitable attitude, but I think: Gosh. Holy Mother Church used to threaten people with eternal damnation. Now it’s exclusion from the Union League Club. What a comedown. In a brisk exchange near the elevator, the good father assures me that I shall die a Catholic. Why do people think this is such a good point?

The Pope: A City of Equality

From his weekly catechesis on St. John Chrysostom (Asia News Italy):

The Christian idea of the primacy of the person, which makes all men equal and which has as a direct consequence solidarity, as the foundation of the “city”, instead of the concept of the primacy of the “polis”, in which the individual is subordinate to society.  One of the fundaments of the Churches social doctrine was reaffirmed today by Benedict XVI, who retraced the thoughts of St John Chrysostom, theologian and “father of the Church”.

Last week the pope had already spoke of the first part of the life and works of the great thinker, who was bishop of Constantinople in the IV century; today before a crowd of 20 thousand in his general audience he dwelt on the years of the saint’s life when he was the leader of the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire when he was twice exiled.  His relics were transferred to Rome and now lie in the canonical chapel of St Peter’s, and in 2004, the pope reflected “a large part of them” were donated to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I.

Retracing the works of St John Chrysostom, Benedict XVI underlined that his meditation of the works carried out by God in the six days of creation led him to affirm that Genesis shows us the beauty of creation reveals the face of God to us, there is the “transparency of God” and therefore “our wonder at the beauty of creation should lead us to give glory to the Creator”. A second step follows on from this in which it is highlighted that the Creator is also a “Tender Father”: “we are weak, in lifting our gaze our eyes are weak and so God becomes a tender Father and sends mankind the Word, the Sacred Scripture”.  The third step is that God not only transmits the Word, but “in the end He Himself comes down to us”, he becomes the Word Incarnate until death, he really does become “God with us”, our brother.  The fourth and last  step is that through which the “the vital and dynamic principal “, the Holy Spirit, God is within us, “he enters our very existence and transforms our hearts”.

In his works, the model of the early Church becomes a model for society, it is a “utopia of the ideal city, giving it a Christian face and soul”.   Chrysostom’s, “truly one of the great fathers of the Church”, affirms that it is not sufficient to give alms, or occasionally come to peoples aid, but that a new model is needed in which “the old idea of the Greek polis is substituted by a city inspired by Christian life.  His project corrects the traditional Greek vision of the city in which large swathes of the population are denied the rights of citizenship, while in the Christian cities the person is given primacy and as a result the city is built from the individual up, while in the polis the person was subordinate to the city”.  And when the bishop added “our city is another, our home is in the heavens”, he makes us all equal, brothers and sisters and obliges us to full solidarity towards humanity”.

Time Irresponsible for Running JPII Euthanasia Article

From Father Jonathan Morris:

Time Magazine has published a story that suggests John Paul II may have been euthanized by his doctors at his own request.

The article is blatantly irresponsible, for the reasons I will explain below. But of even greater journalistic concern are the author’s false statements about what the Catholic Church teaches regarding end-of-life care.

It would be in the magazine’s best interest to issue a public retraction of its error.

Blatantly Irresponsible

With the provocative title “Was John Paul II Euthanized?” Time editors have lobbed suspicion into the public square about the late pontiff’s personal integrity.

We are made to wonder if John Paul II practiced what he preached. The world knew him as the great defender of the dignity of human life, from the moment of conception until natural death, but according to Time’s report, when the going got tough, John Paul II himself may have thrown in the towel. This would be a great story if it were true. The facts say it’s not.

%d bloggers like this: