Ross Douthat on Conservative Catholicism
#6
(11-11-2019, 11:55 PM)Fionnchu Wrote: Thanks for your comments in all the replies, ICT. First time I had free time to read them was just now, due to long work hours (and I sympathize with your weekend stints and hope they get you out of there and into where you deserve to be soon). I agree with your take on Douthat's wishywashyness. In To Change the Church, although he did distinguish traditional from (neo-)conservative factions as opposed to liberals, he did not have much hope in either dissident side's long term impact given their shared marginal status. What he needed to hammer home more forcefully was the firmer ground that the trads occupy vs. the convoluted postures of the neo-Catholics as to affirming the remarks of whomever sits on the throne of Peter. Douthat nods to the former in passing early on but then shifts to the conservatives.

Which blurs a necessary distinction that Douthat himself has promoted to a wider audience: the triple if unequal pattern of current U.S. Catholics. He crammed too much into a single piece. As if these separate topics were edited down too severely. I reckon nuances will be lost on those most likely to race through this and a dozen other entries in the Sunday Opinion section. (By the way, this may complicate the neo-C position. I read a counterargument in Modern Age from the ICI who got ticked off by First Things' nods to anticorporate populism: Against the Dead Consensus. Which may have been an opening salvo in Ahmari vs French.)

The NYT piece needed clarity. It would've been better if he'd split his critique into three columns published in turn. One on trads, one on conservatives, one on Burke. Too much of this piece is summing up his Burke interview. That space could be elaborated his "Option." I doubt NYT readers will have had much of any recollection of To Change which mapped out the three teams, or even whatever arguments he was advancing a while back when he was drafting his reaction to the changing of the Vatican guard...in the wake of Pope Francis' full speed ahead rather than his current doldrums, as far as the MSM coverage (or lack of) goes. I'd write more if I was not on a Kindle tapping away. Which may not be a bad thing.

Wow I don't really follow First Things too closely these days, but maybe I should; I was impressed with the article on David French...
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RE: Ross Douthat on Conservative Catholicism - by Imperator Caesar Trump - 11-12-2019, 01:42 AM



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