We Catholics repeatedly make a very stupid error when we try to play the Pentecostal holy-rollers' game. The demagogic televangelist will always do that sort of thing better than we can. Shrieking rapture is not our religion's chief didactic glory. As to what is, Waugh admirably phrased the matter in his life of Campion: "the [Catholic] faith is absolutely satisfactory to the mind, enlisting all knowledge and all reason in its cause...it is completely compelling to any who give it an 'indifferent and quiet audience'." How many mainstream Australian Catholics today, I find myself wondering, have ever encountered this sentence of Waugh's? How many would be capable of regarding Catholicism as providing anything other (let alone anything more) than the same emotional buzz as a football telecast?Share
When in the course of my literary duties I came to learn in depth about two outwardly unrelated sixteenth-century events—the battle of Lepanto, and the Elizabethan martyrs' via crucis—I could no longer resist entry into the Catholic Church. In honor of the pope who had done so much to make Lepanto possible, as well as of his twentieth- century namesake so vilely slandered as "Hitler's Pope," I took Pius as my baptismal name.
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