“More Fundamental and Ultimately More Fateful Issues”

It must have been eight years ago that I was reading a review of A People Adrift, and the reviewer wrote this about the conservative-liberal divide in the Roman Catholic Church in the US after Vatican II:

each side feels beleaguered by the other which feeds an undue emphasis on contentious aspects of church life or teaching at the expense of more fundamental and ultimately more fateful issues.

After reading the review, I bought the book. I noticed it on one of my shelves as I was brushing past it today, and so had occasion to remember the review. One might as well rewrite them:

each side feels beleaguered by the other which feeds an undue emphasis on contentious aspects of [civic] life […] at the expense of more fundamental and ultimately more fateful issues.

As we approach what proves to be one of the strangest elections in my living memory, it seems evident that these lines should be engraved in gold and placed in prominent positions everywhere in every major institution in the world — and in the minds of every citizen.

2 thoughts on ““More Fundamental and Ultimately More Fateful Issues”

    • And it keeps taking uglier and uglier ones. I’ve heard a lot of middle school insults and sweeping character accusations, but I really couldn’t tell you what the policy positions are for the candidates from what I’ve heard in the news. “We are the times”, as Augustine wrote. I’d like to think that, if we were mature enough as a culture to demand policy positions and hash out their merits, we’d have them offered to us. We’d rather watch a cheap political version of Jersey Shore or US Weekly, though, apparently.

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