were imprisoned by the Nazis at war’srnend. “By May, 1943 in the German Reich,rn8,000 Catholic clergy were imprisonedrnin Dachan and 1.400 monasteries hadrnbeen closed,” states Martin Doohrv’, who,rnas professor of histor)- at DePaul Universih’,rnspecialized in Nazi atrocities.rnWills’ tireless efforts to politicizernhistory are defeated by the facts.rnNevertheless, liis book will be of nse tornanti-Catholic radicals, who can point to itrnas the work of a Catholic intellectual whornconfirms what they have always thoughtrnabout the Church. Church historianrnJames Hitchcock shakes his head doleful-rn[Wills’] main objechons to Churchrnteaching turn out to be exactl}’rnthose things which bother presentdayrnsecularists. If the Church werernfaithfid to its lieritage in the waysrnWills prescribes, its teachingsrnwould largely echo the editorialrnpage oiThe New York Times.rnPredictably, Wills is pro-abortion. Inrnhis syndicated newspaper column, he hasrnpresented Augustine and Aquinas as supportersrnof Rou v. Wade. Ignoring oppositionrnto abortion as far back as the firstcenturyrnDidache (“you shall not procurernabortion nor destroy an unborn child”),rnand avoiding mention of the condemnationsrnby St. Basil in ..D. 374, Wills makesrnit appear that Augustine’s and Aquinas’srndiscussions of “ensoulment” invalidaternCatholic theolog)-. Hindered by ancientrnbiology, Augustine and Aquinas were uncertainrnas to when human life begins.rnBut they never endorsed abortion —;7ever.rnWills does not admit this. He has citedrnfavorably the belief that, up to thernseventh month after conception, an unbornrnchild “is just a pile of wires andrnswitches . . . not an electrical circuit.”rnNor does he recognize recent medical research,rnsummarized hv Dr. Bradley Pattenrnin Human Embrj’ology: “The cell resultsrnfrom fertilization of an ooc’te by arnsperm and is the beginning of a humanrnbeing. Each of us started life as a cellrncalled a zygote.” It is inconvenient information,rnso Wills ignores it.rnWills’ solution to the scandals involvingrnpriestly pedophilia is to allow priestsrnto marry. But if one’s sexual orientationrnis fixed and non-sinful—as Wills and therngay community insist—why should pedophilesrnbe satisfied with wives? Indeed,rnman- of them, including non-Catholicrnclergymen, are married men. How doesrnWills answer this? He does not, nor willrnhe ever face the question so long as herncontinues carefully to select his mediarnvenues. I asked him to be a guest on myrnradio talk show and never heard back:rnGarry Wills only assents to interviewsrnwhere he will not face tough questioning.rnFor Wills, who has denied philosophicalrnand theological absolutes in his ownrnlife, the only certainties remaining canrnbe provided by the regulatory state. Inrnrecognition of Wills’ service to the deconstructionistrnculture, and for his defensernof the grossest personal immoralit)’rnever perpetrated by an American president.rnBill Clinton conferred on Wills thernNational Humanities Medal. How fitting:rnFrom the hands of the AbortionrnPresident to the outstretched grasp of thernGreat Dissembler from whose word processorrnflow countiess deceitful books, thernhonor passes.rnMany years ago, Bishop Fulton Sheenrnwas accosted by a young priest who announcedrnthat he was leaving the Churchrnbecause he had trouble with several complexrndoctrines. Sheen looked at him for arnlong moment and then said, softly: “Wliornis she?” When another priest came tornhim, tendering his resignation for thernreason that the Church purportedlyrnbuilds cathedrals while the poor starve,rnhis words were: “How much have ournstolen?” Both men were shamefacedrnwith guilt. Wliat bothers Wills about thernChurch may not be papal sin but his ownrninner discontent with strictures that imposerna burden—but of course, we cannotrnknow.rnWith Papal Sin, Wills moves not justrnto the left but to the province of suchrnUtopian radicals as Wilhelm Reich, AllenrnGinsberg, Norman Mailer, Susan Sontag,rnTimothy Leary, Abbie Hoffman,rnTom Hayden, the Black Panthers, andrnCharles Reich. His desire to be PopernGarry lurks behind his anger. Yet, havingrn(in his mind) demolished papal infallibility,rnhe should not want to be pope: HisrnChurch, shorn of the Eucharist, absentrnits distinguishing marks, would be Unitarianrnat best. And what good is a pope ofrnthe Unitarians? JA> useless as a Kim Philbyrnliving in the Soviet Union.rnAn October Almanacrnby Brendan GalvinrnThat nameless tint hovering above sunsetrna few evenings, just shyrnof the conflagration, has bequeathedrnitself to the sickle asters now. Richrnwith it, they foam up e’er”vhere,rnlargess in the glower of a hunter’s moonrnthat aims to change everything. Poisonrnivy’s taken off up trees and down ditches,rnin robbery or elopement carrying awayrnthose last western lights that bleed out intorndarkness. Now deer have traded theirrncoats to cinnamon ferns, in exchange forrnthe marshes’ weathered brindle.rnThis morning, where their track anglesrndown out of the high woodsrnto the drinking place at the river,rnsigns of a scuffle that churned the pathrnto dirt. The dog noses there, eyes dolefulrnwith last night’s stor)’: late, the worldrngone black and white, a face, brieflyrnbetween trees, then faces wild to cancel barter.rnOCTOBER 2000/27rnrnrn