Monday, February 26, 2007

Personal Asides: The Odd Fellows Congregation..A Special Trivia Tease…More Spiritual Sons and Daughters.


Traditional Anglican Communion.

The Traditional Anglican Communion, a group of an estimated 400,000 clergy and laity has been threatening to break ranks and join the Roman Catholic Church, dissatisfied with the liberal push by the Episcopalian church in America which has been veering leftward, blessing same-sex relationships, extolling same-sex marriage, ordaining homosexual priests and bishops. All of this seems optimistic for the Catholics—but the leadership of the Catholic Church in the U. S. is the weakest I’ve seen so long as I’ve been around and cognizant—for about, oh, seventy years.

I am not sanguine about the intellectual hardihood of most Catholic bishops. With few exceptions and here I can list one (and there are more including some auxiliaries I know well) Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska…the people ordained to the episcopate are weak-weak men…men with few convictions…men fearful of getting bad secular press…men too timid to stake out even the most routine contentions to defend the Faith… Where do they find these men? They could be mistaken for Rotary Club officers jockeying up the ladder. In fact I have not seen such puddles of jelly who are living miracles—born without spine, hearts or guts…since the last national convention of Odd Fellows—and I mean Odd Fellows.

My sole conclusion is that they were not chosen by accident. Rome, let’s face it, doesn’t like hard chargers. The litany of vapid nonentities goes on: Mahony…Egan…Wuerl…Flynn…where should I stop? Does the Traditional Anglican Communion know what it could very well get with this bunch?

Special Trivia.

Here are two questions involving mistaken identities where people confused me with others far more prominent. I’ll relate the mistaken impressions exactly as they happened. Your job is to identify who it was the mistakees thought they were talking to. Understand, if you haven’t met me, I’m a pretty roly-poly guy, jowly with grey, even almost white, hair.

Two months ago, I was in Washington, dining by myself in a pretty nice restaurant. I went to the Men’s Room. There, standing in solitude, I was shortly joined by another guy who also stood there, side-by-side with me, for a time. This is what he said:

“Larry—I saw you on C-SPAN last night and I think what you said was terrific. As this impasse over Iran’s nuclear weapons grows into a crisis, a consensus has taken over the American people that this is a sure-formula for disaster. I want to thank you for putting this to rest last night.”

I determined to play along. I said, “what specifically did you like about what I said?”

He said, “That we should get serious about a regime change over there. Congratulations, Larry.”

Question: Who did he think he was talking to?

Thirty-three years ago I was in Washington, making a once-weekly visit for lobbying purposes in connection with my job at Quaker Oats. Same roly-poly size, same jowly presence; a little more reddish hair than now. Another restaurant, same trip to the Men’s Room. Standing there meditating when a guy stands next to me. Quiet for a time and then this is what he said:

“Larry—what the hell do you think they were looking for in your office?”

Same question: Who did he think he was talking to?

I’d tell you not to use a search engine but one wouldn’t do you any good anyway.

More Spiritual Sons and Daughters.

Spiritual Son: Charlie Johnston: Alabama-born, one of the best Republican grass-roots campaign organizers in the business, former radio talk-show host, ebullient sense of humor.

Spiritual Son: Jack Franks, brilliant, dedicated, integrity-filled, courageous Democratic state Rep in McHenry county, chairman of an important committee and sooner or later a statewide candidate for high office.

Spiritual Daughter. Debbie Franks, wife of Jack, outstanding wife, mother, political analyst and door-to-door communicator; Democrat who crossed over to do “Democrats for Topinka” last year.

Spiritual Son: John Kass, the all-time best political and social commentator the “Tribune” ever had as well as its most seasoned City Hall correspondent; deft wit; dedicated husband and father whose advice on what books to get your kids shows real intellectual depth.

Spiritual Son: Mike Noonan, the best manager and strategist the Illinois Democratic party has along with being a superb presenter of his party’s position—all this and very-very young.

Spiritual Son. Elias Crim, Texas-born, brilliant editor, prescient business type, excellent writer, longstanding friend. He could be my natural son if I had married at—what?--18?

Spiritual Daughter. Penny Pullen, woman of sagacity and courage; excellent writer, terrific communicator; a droll wit; one-time outstanding state legislator.

More coming. I pray for you all.


  1. This smells of Watergate, in which case "Larry" would be Dem. National Chairman Lawrence F. O'Brien. PO

  2. >>I'm a pretty roly-poly guy<<<

    Yr. spiritual cranky neighbor,

  3. Lawrence "Larry" Eagleberger?

  4. The most spineless ever?

    However much current bishops fall short of expectations, do you really think the 1970's and 1980's were an era of better bishops? With few exceptions, the bolder ones were arch-liberals like Hunthausen, and the non-liberal prelates seemed bewildered and bereft of hope or control.

    Before warning conservative Episcopalians about what they will be entering if they decide to Pope, consider what they will be leaving behind. It reminds me of Reagan's story about the two men running from a polar bear:

    Once the men gained some distance from the polar bear, one of them sat down to put on his snow shoes. In sheer disbelief, the other man said, "You can't possibly expect those shoes to help you outrun the polar bear!" The first man smiled and said, "I don't have to outrun the polar bear. I only have to outrun you."

  5. The first Larry is Eagleberger, former Sec'y of State