not \ riting about Roman law but his ownrnsins against Christian morality, and of hisrnconversion.rnThe most recent example of Wills’rnmethod of politicizing a subjectrnwhile undermining his own claim to intellectualrnindependence is found in hisrnorgy of polymorphous perversit)’, PapalrnSin: Structures of Deceit. Wills pays tributernto two ex-priests (one of whom, JamesrnCarroll, is a regular contributor to thernNew Yorker and a venomous assailant ofrnthe Church; the other, Eugene Kennedy,rnan ex-MarvknoUer and arch-dissenterrnfrom the magisterinm) and crowns himselfrnas free-thinking pope. The book offersrna host of citations ranging from no-rnelist Fr. Andrew Greeley (who, after thernKenned’ assassination, recommendedrnthat JFK be made a Doctor of thernChurch) to the editorial board of the anti-rnVatican National Catholic Reporter asrna substitute for spiritual redemption.rnWills insists that he remains a churchgoingrnCatholic —an obvious ploy aimed atrnmaking his assault on Catholic socialrninstitutions, the Eucharist, and thernchurch’s moral assumptions appear credible.rnWills argues that the Church isrntrapped by “structures of deceit” — commitmentsrnto false doctrines bolstered by arnhabit of complex and compounded falsehoods.rnIf a pope errs, he claims, the doctrinernof papal infallibilit)’ leads his successorsrnto compound the lie to justify notrnonly his error but the false doctrine of infallibility.rnHe does not state the doctrinernwith clarity, misleading readers to assumernCatholics believe that, wheneverrnthe pope speaks, he does so infallibly. Infallibilih’rnis not inspiration. Popes are falliblernfrom the time they wake up, or gatherrntheir socks from the drawer (possiblyrnpicking one brown, one black). Nor arernthey presen’ed from sin. They are, whenrnthey speak ex cathedra (literally, “fromrnthe chair”), immune from error only onrnmatters of faith and morals.rnIntriguingly, Wills names CardinalrnNewman as a personal hero, claimingrntliat the world-famous convert fromrnAnglicanism opposed the doctrine of infallibilitv.rn”Totally wrong,” says Fr. JohnrnMcCloskcy, an expert on Newman.rn”Newman always supported that doctrine.rnHe merely ciuestioned whetherrnwith the passions running strongly in therncouncil, Vatican I was the place to enunciaternit.” 1 hat fact is apparently unknownrnto Wills, who declares that Newmanrnbelieved infallibility begins andrnends with the “church first”—excludingrnthe possibility that it eer resides with thernpope himself If the pope does not agreernwith relevant groups in promulgating arndoctrine, he is not infallible, says PonhffrnWills. If the pope goes against theserngroups, “he is not, eo ipso, speaking exrncathedra even if he thinks he is.”rn”Again —totally wrong!” retorts FatherrnMcCloskey. But McCloskcy is not citedrnin Wills’ book. Nor arc other traditionalrnChurch scholars such as the Jesuits JohnrnHardon and Avery Dulles. Furthermore,rnWills’ questioning of papal infallibilitv’rndoes not square with his self-proclaimedrnauthority with regard to St. Augustine.rnThe saint’s heroic response to the Donatistrnheretics in .D. 380 was “Roma locutarnest causa finita est” — “Rome hasrnspoken, the matter is finished.”rnWills’ treatment of contraceptionrnvividly demonstrates his dishonest intellectualrnsfy’le. Rather than debate naturalrnlaw, he dismisses it. Never in the long argumentrnon this issue has the subject beenrnclouded with a more forbidding veil ofrnpolitical mystification and high-flownrnxerbiage, obscuring thought. “One particulariyrndisturbing aspect of modem papalrnclaims,” he writes, “is the assertionrnthat contraception violates natural law. Ifrnit is a matter of moral right or wrong perceptiblernto natural reason, the ancient pagansrnshould have been bound to sec itsrnimmoralit}’.” But Aristotle maintainedrnthat the family is not based on sexual licensernor social convention. In the Politics,rnhe savs it is founded “on a union ofrnthose who cannot exist without each other;rnnamely, of male and female, that thernrace may continue.” Wills the classicistrnknows—or should know—that Aristotlernwrote of “natural justice” (NicomacheanrnEthics, Book V) and that Cicero believedrn”law is the distinction between things justrnand unjust, made in agreement with thatrnprimal and most ancient of all things. Nature”rn(De Legihus, II.5).rnIndeed, the connection was made explicitrnv’ith St. Augustine, who insistedrnthat “theological-Christian considerahonsrnnot only permeate the whole of lawrnand legal theory but in fact constitute thernonly sound foundation of true law andrntrue jurisprudence” (Anton-HermannrnCiiroust, “The Fundamental Ideas in St.rnAugustine’s Philosophy of Law,” AmericanrnJournal of Jurisprudence, 197?).rnAquinas, following Augustine, called thisrnorder in the universe the eternal law.rnWills simply dismisses evidence thatrncontradicts his views. The Churchrnteaches, in theolog) derived from Augustinernand Aquinas, that natural law is violatedrnby contracephon and abortion, becauserneontracephon is the prevenfion ofrnhuman life while abortion is the taking ofrnhmnan life. Both inolve the willful separationrnof the unitive and procreative aspectsrnof sex. Nowhere does Wills lay outrnthis line of argument, nor does he refuternit. As a result of his intellechial dishonesty,rnhe does not lay a glove on HumanaernVitae — simply scoffs dismissielv withrnborrowed sagaeiHes and incomprehensiblernpseudo-svllogisms.rnThe creepiest “revelation” of the bookrnis Wills’ wild fantas’, unsupported byrnscholarship, that Peter and Paul were sornLIBERAL ARTSrnPope Garry on Fatimarnand the Holocaustrn”Tlie centur}’ witnessed maiiv effortsrnat genocide and etiinic cleansingrn—mainly of Jews, hut also of Armenians,rnCroats (killed first b Catholics,rnthen by Serbs), Serbs killed by Croats,rnHerreros and Hiitus in .^trica. AchernIndians in Latin America, gypsies inrnCentral Lurope. None of that is includedrnin the Vatican interpretation ofrnP’atima. There onfy Catholics countrnand they do not die because of nationality,rnethnicih’, or localih-. They arernniartvTs for their religion. Thev arernkilled bv atheistic systems of Catholichatersrn(‘svstems’ in the plural, the focusrnis no longer just on communism).rnThe vision is very hierarchical. Bishopsrnget pride of place, though there arernfew of them in the centur’s roll ofrnmartrs.rn”All of this fits perfect] into JohnrnPaul’s campaign to promote Catholicsrnas the victims (and not among the perpetrators)rnof the Holocaust. He hasrnbroken the Church’s own rules in orderrnto beatih’ or canonize as martrsrnEdith Stein and Maximilian Kolbernand I’itus Brandsma, all killed byrnNazis but not specificalK as Catholics.rnHe has claimed that the Nazis werernatheists who killed Catholics out of hatredrnfor their faith. The Virgin, whosern’third secret’ has for ears nursed thernfevered expectations of banin eultists,rnis now put to more serious use b)- thernPope. She is helping him creaternCatholic martyrs to the Holocaust.”rn—from Garr)’ Wills,rn”Fatima: ‘The Third Secret,'”rn(New York Review of Books,rnAugust 10,2000).rnOCTOBER 2000/2.Srnrnrn