Thursday, June 24, 2004

New Oxford Review's attack on Scott Hahn . . . and everybody else besides.

Mark Shea reports:

What is it with some Conservative Christians? The first impulse seems so often to be to bayonet their own.

This month, in a world riven by war, while the Church is bowed under the weight of scandal involving gross sin against the most innocent in our culture, even as a Catholic candidate for President pledges fealty to Moloch, the bomb-throwers at New Oxford Review survey the world with gimlet eye and find the one target that *really* needs to have a fifteen page work of character assassination done:

Scott Hahn.

Yes. Great idea. Do everything you can to destroy a faithful Catholic who has done more good for the American Church than practically any other layman in the past 10 years. Excellent idea. Remember, of course, the prayer of the Church: "Look not on our faith, but remember every nitnoid theological disagreement and sharpen it into a weapon with which to stab a brother in Christ." And this is already a follow up to their stupid claim that Scott, in mentioning the biblical and patristic tradition of picturing the Holy Spirit as feminine, was somehow asserting the virtues of lesbianism (since, y'know, Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit). (I kid you not.)

This isn't the first time New Oxford Review's gone after Scott Hahn -- they went after him in September 2002, in the same issue as their fallout with Crisis and National Catholic Register over Michael Rose's book A Few Good Men.

I used to enjoy reading NOR back in college. From what I recall they had better writers -- Sheldon Vanauken, Walker Percy, Christopher Lasch(!) -- and broader interests (I still have in my files an excellent article on Catholic prayer and Zen meditation). Lately, it seems they've narrowed their sights and declared "open season" on their fellow Catholic apologists. (Who are they trying to be anyway? Catholic Apologetics International?)

Speaking of the NOR, blogger Robert Reilly reports of their latest attack on Fr. Neuhaus, based on a "nearly heroic act of misreading" of Neuhaus' commentary on the papal encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia. Reilly concludes: ". . . is so obviously off base that you have to wonder whether NOR does this sort thing with the hope of getting some much-needed publicity should Neuhaus make a reply."

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