The peculiar Catholicism of Roger Ebert

The Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic takes note of recent papal news, waxes nostalgically about his Catholic upbringing (complete with Dominican nuns) and then concludes:

I consider myself Catholic, lock, stock and barrel, with this technical loophole: I cannot believe in God. I refuse to call myself an atheist, however, because that indicates too great a certainty about the unknowable. My beliefs were formed long ago from good-hearted Dominican sisters, and many better-qualified RCs might disagree. One of the few Catholic priests I’ve known well is my Michigan neighbor Father Andrew Greeley. On Saturday afternoons on his bluff overlooking Lake Michigan he would celebrate mass for a congregation occasionally containing some Daleys. Greeley wrote an outspoken liberal column for the Sun-Times and other papers, and his 1981 novel Cardinal Sins helped bring about the downfall of Chicago’s John Cardinal Cody.

One Saturday after mass he invited me and our friend John McHugh to join him as he threw some steaks on the grill. The conversation arrived at the appearance of Our Lady near the town of Knock, where a controversial airport was built, large enough to handle 747s. What was Greeley’s opinion?

“The appearance that seems most persuasive,” he said, “was at Lourdes, where she was short, dark, dressed humbly in brown, and asked us to love another. Many of the other times, she is tall, blonde, well-dressed in blue and white, and asks us to vote Republican.”

To see what led to that, read the rest here.  

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