Friday, February 22, 2013

A Reader Writes: "Kvelling Over the Clothes of a Pope Who Failed to Come to Grips with Widespread Sexual Abuse of Children"

In response to my posting yesterday about Charlotte Allen's on Benedict's "sartorial revivals," Christine McCall writes:

When I read this tribute to papal fashion, I thought at first it was a joke, a weak audition for SNL. If only. Allen has evolved from blaming the Newtown shootings on too many women and little kids at the elementary school to kvelling over the clothes of a pope who failed to come to grips with widespread sexual abuse of children by religious leaders. I don't know what she is using in lieu of self-respect.

Christine's referring to Allen's suggestion, following the Newtown shootings, that the massacre occurred because the school was "a feminized setting." If only there'd been more men there . . . !

As I say in response to Christine in the thread discussing Allen's Benedict-as-king-of-couture thesis, I, too, thought of Allen's fatuous (and dangerous, and, I'll say it, obscene) anti-feminist commentary on the Connecticut school massacre. I also remembered her reprehensible attempt to score points by using the life of yet another person who had just died, when she wrote a Wall Street Journal editorial after theologian Mary Daly died, speaking of her as a "flickering flame of Catholic dissent" that was dying along with Mary Daly. 

There seems to be a theme here, and it's not a pretty one, to my mind, albeit Allen's devotion to the beautiful: dead children = an occasion to slam feminists; dead feminist theologian = an occasion to slam feminist Catholics.

Not pretty.

And so I echo Christine's wonderful query at the end of her posting: I wonder what Allen uses in lieu of self-respect as she writes such pieces.

The graphic is a photo by Danielle La Monaca of Reuters, featured in a Time article on Benedict's style.

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