National Catholic Reporter

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Yahoo Watch: Zuhlsdorf

Father John Zuhlsdorf attacks Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi because she did not exactly answer a question posed to her by a reporter for the rightwing-nut attack squad at the Cyberspace News Service. The reporter asked the Speaker about whether or not Jesus had a right to life from the moment of His conception. Pelosi replied, “Whenever it was, we bow our heads when we talk about it in church, and that’s where I’d like to talk about that.”

Zuhlsdorf is scandalized that the Speaker did not answer, not recognizing that what Pelosi was saying was that the subject of the Incarnation of the Lord was a fit topic for church but not for a press conference in the halls of Congress. Maybe Zuhlsdorf has heard of the distinction between Church and State, and recognizes that the reporter’s question was about as appropriate as asking Pope Benedict about whether or not the mandates in the health care reform bill violate the U.S. Constitution. Zuhlsdorf then goes into a bizarre riff about the Bible instructing that women should not speak in church.

Politicians are not theologians and the Speaker was smart enough to know that this question from a crank reporter was not offered in an effort to procure news, but to trip her up into saying something that could subsequently be labeled heterodox or stupid. Good for Pelosi for politely declining to play the game.

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Apart from the syntax, which is dreadful, I like the Speaker’s reply. It was a kind way of telling the reporter to buzz off. And, she gets high marks for recognizing what Zuhlsdorf is incapable of recognizing, that before the Mystery of the Incarnation, we bow our heads, we do not try and find a way to turn it into a game of “gotcha” at a press conference. He accuses her of hypocrisy, failing to recognize the bad faith withwhich he and the CNS reporter conducted themselves. Check out that mote in your own eye buddy!

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