Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Phone call

The priest who I talked about last week called me last night in response to my letter.

We had a pleasant chat. It goes without saying that he and I will never agree about these things. It's also the nature of these things that it was only after we hung up that I thought of all sorts of excellent points that I could have made.

I explained that basically I was outraged that he compared the Marines behavior in Fallujah with what happened at Auschwitz. He indicated that he hadn't intended that, but that he simply wanted to make a point about man's inhumanity to man. I don't want to get into a 'he said, then I said', but I didn't buy that and said as much. There's no comparison between the Marines at Fallujah and the Nazis at Auschwitz. NONE.

He led the conversation in all sorts of directions - the shooting of the injured Iraqi last week, Dresden, Israel, the ridiculing of Chirac & Schroeder by Americans (he visits the US regularly), what Jesse Jackson recently said, etc., etc., etc. - basically it was a wild chase through all of America's "transgressions". Needless to say, I countered each of his statements and nearly choked when he mentioned the treatment of Schroeder and Chirac. (I pointed out that this was as nothing compared with the venom directed at George Bush by Europeans.)

In the end we basically agreed to disagree and I got off the phone feeling better for having written to him.

It's probably a measure of how bad the fall in Mass attendance is that he enthusiastically asked me to come again - twice. I explained that his is not my parish and he accepted that. I think he was more concerned that I was another occasional attendee at Mass who had been put off for life.