Mischke on the Catholic Church Scandal

Mischke on the Catholic Church Scandal April 10, 2010

T. D. Mischke - Photo by Michael Crouser/The Atlantic

Tommy Mischke is a Minnesota legend and a treasure, though you’ve probably not heard of him if you’re not from here.  He’s a singer-songwriter, but he’s mainly known as a long-time radio host, known for weird gags, drunk callers, and long periods of silence.  Rumor has it that he may be returning to Twin Cities radio (and on a clear channel station, so that many of you around the country will be able to hear him from 10-midnight Central Time on 830 AM — plus, of course, online).

Recently, Mischke has also been penning a column for the Twin Cities alt weekly, City Pages.  In this week’s installment, he writes about growing up Catholic, and how he saw even then the origins of what would become the present pedophilia scandal:

As a grade-school kid, the Jesus I was taught to embrace was unlike any adult I’d ever encountered. He was dirt poor, humble, and a bit shabby in appearance. He hung out with the poor, the sick, the outcasts, and pariahs, but he didn’t lament their company. I didn’t know a single adult like him in my parish.

The Jesus the nuns taught me to cherish did something no adult I knew could pull off with conviction: He didn’t lecture the sinners or avoid them, but embraced them with breathtaking compassion. He seemed to genuinely treasure them, without judgment. As a child it was the most startling thing I’d ever encountered.

Too bad they had to temper it by shifting my attention to Rome.

To this day I remain stunned the church doesn’t see what even a young boy could see the first time he was given the chance. A church that holds up a poor carpenter’s kid as its ideal presents a leader who, symbolically anyway, seems to emulate the Roman emperors instead.

Doesn’t the church find it incongruent that the world of the Vatican is so royal and opulent? Everything about it drips with abundance and authority. Where’d that broke Jewish guy go?

via Origins of a Scandal – Page 1 – News – Minneapolis – City Pages.

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  • Thanks Tony. The simplicity of this is brilliant.

  • Annie

    I don’t think it is incongruous given that Jesus was both a broke carpenter’s kid and, you know, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. If all you see if dirt poor, you’re missing half the picture and I have questions about your Christology.

    The paradox of the Vatican is that it is royal and opulent and yet (ideally, anyway), run by people who do not gather personal wealth and give their lives completely in service of the church. The pope owns nothing. That doesn’t mean his life isn’t comfortable, but it also doesn’t mean he takes care of his own needs first by drawing a salary from the church. It doesn’t work like that.

    I get the critique. I don’t think it’s actually all that compelling.

    And who says Jesus didn’t convey authority?