Sunday, April 23, 2006

Does This Count As Irony?

In the Preface to Tan Publishers' edition of Don Felix Sarda y Salvany's Liberalism Is A Sin, a brief story is recounted about the reception that the book received upon its initial publication in Spain in 1886:

"A Spanish Bishop of a Liberal turn instigated an answer to Dr. Sarda's work by way of another Spanish priest. Both books were sent to Rome, praying the Sacred Congregation of the Index to put Dr. Sarda's work under the ban. "
Needless to say, the work was not banned. But is it ironic that self-styled liberals (if, indeed, this Bishop considered himself one) would ask that a book against liberalism be placed in the Index?

Then again, an appreciation of the virtues of certain liberal ideas and institutions does not mean that you are also automatically opposed to the CDF. For example. Fr. Neuhaus and George Weigel, two men often referred to as liberals of a "neo" variety, both defended Cardinal Ratzinger's work during his tenure at the CDF. The writers of Commonweal and the National Catholic Reporter are liberals too, though I guess of a different variety, and if I am not mistaken, they have made different assessments about the work of the CDF in the last few decades. But the question above is an interesting one.