One of the many memorable scenes in David Lean’s Doctor Zhivago features Zhivago’s family fleeing the ugliness and brutality of Moscow after the Bolshevik Revolution for the tranquility of the family’s country estate in Varykino. Upon reaching the estate after an arduous journey, Zhivago’s father-in-law, Alexander Gromeko, finds the main house boarded up, with a notice affixed to the door. After reading the notice, he cannot contain his exasperation: “A body, styling itself the Yuriatin Committee of Revolutionary Justice, has expropriated my house. In the name of the people. Very well. I’m one of the people, too!”[Hat tip to JM[
I know how Gromeko felt. I recently attended a lecture at the Cleveland City Club by Helmut Schuller, a dissident Austrian priest who just finished touring the United States to promote his plan to dramatically refashion the Catholic Church so that it is more in line with Schuller’s opinions. Schuller claims to be acting in the name of “the People of God,” a phrase he repeated many times in Cleveland. As a baptized Catholic, I’m one of the People of God, too. But I no more gave Schuller authority to speak in my name than Gromeko gave the Bolsheviks authority to steal his house. And despite fawning coverage from such venues as The New York Times, NPR, Reuters, and the National Catholic Reporter, most of Schuller’s speeches were attended by crowds of no more than a few hundred, or less than the number who attend Mass each Sunday at a typical suburban parish. Read more >>
Related: "Austrian 'Called to Disobedience' founder to be hosted by Fr. Bechard at Saints Simon and Jude in Metro Detroit" (Musings, June 18, 2013).