Or else we are living through some kind of absurdistan overload (hat tip to novelist Gary Shteyngart). I could swear that I read the mayor of San Diego wants his city to pay for defending him against sexual abuse lawsuits, perhaps on the theory that sexual harassment is part of his job description. And that Edward Snowden’s lawyer has given him some light summer reading: Dostoevsky‘s Crime and Punishment, with a “dessert” course of Chekhov. Moreover, I seem to read that Anthony Weiner is still in the “race” to succeed Bloomberg in New York City, and that The New York Times is utterly unable to cover his campaign because it refuses to quote what Weiner’s communications director called a campaign intern. I refuse to use the bad words too, on the grounds that I would like to become a life development coach for the entire Weiner “campaign operation” as they traverse the many–beyond five for sure–stages of grief.
And I could swear that Cardinal Dolan went on the Today show yesterday to say that he was unsurprised by Pope Francis using the word “gay” (he did use the English word gay, speaking otherwise in romance languages) and “who am I to judge” in the same sentence, because there is no change in doctrine, just a “beautifully tender way” of expressing the same old news of “the immorality, in God’s view, of any sexual expression outside of a man and a woman in lifelong marriage.” Why am I not expecting Dolan to actually take himself seriously and give a series of sermons denouncing the intrinsically disordered lives of a huge percentage of New York Catholics? And why, when he says that he and the Catholic Church do not judge people but rather actions, do I think that he expects Matthew Shepherd is headed to the fiery pit ahead of a church prince who may well have shielded sexual abusers in Milwaukee in order to avoid scandalizing the faithful. If that is what happened, I have good news and bad news for Dolan. Good news: maybe there is no God. Bad news: maybe God exists and is just. Meister Eckhart said centuries ago, “the just are so set on justice that were God not just they would not care a fig for God.” The converse is true for dirty rotten Cardinals.