Pat McNamara is Catholic…

…because of Church history, not in spite of it.

I like that. It is trendy, among our Chattering Classes, to speak of Church history as an unmitigated embarrassment. But then again, it is trendy among our Chattering Classes, to be almost wholly ignorant of history except for the most Dan Brownified, Hollywood caricature.

I’m not a fan of the Triumph school of Church history which white-washes the crimes of Catholics. But neither am I very keen on the blackwash approach which attempts to do to Church history what Julius Streicher tried to do to Jewish culture in Der Sturmer. The Church has a huge legacy, first of all of, you know, salvation it has given the world by the power of the Holy Spirit (which is, after all, the primary mission). The communion of saints and the Eucharist is, by grace, her great boast. But she has also been the Mother of Western civilization and inspired the establishment of the rule of law, the sciences, the growth of philosophy, medicine, the hospital, and a countless number of works of mercy. People who simply ignore the enormous force for good which the Church has been in the history of the world are, very simply, blind fools.

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