Hageea Culpa

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Mea Culpa.jpgStories hither and yon (and yon) on Pastor Hagee’s apology to the Catholics.
On Kos, Hunter thinks it’s curious that Hagee should write his letter to Donohue, rather than some official Catholic entity. But this problem should really be laid at the feet of the Catholics, not Hagee. It was Donohue who took the lead in criticizing the good pastor, and in fact official American Catholicism has more or less (with a wink and nod) given Donohue, who’s no theologian or otherwise accredited expert in Catholicism, the role of responding to real and perceived incidents of anti-Catholicism. Effectively, he’s the Catholic Abe Foxman; but whereas the Jewish establishment in America has always functioned with separate communal agencies operating independently or with voluntary coordination, the Catholic Church is the kind of top-down enterprise that used to like to respond in its own name.
In the present case, it’s worth recalling (as the coverage I’ve seen hasn’t) that Donohue over a month ago declared himself satisfied with Hagee. So his latest statement of satisfaction, expressed in a God-o-Meter interview, is just reiteration. Put that together with the dance Hagee’s done with Deal Hudson and other Catholic right-wingers and you know what’s going on here. After the second round of the Wright story, Hagee reemerged as a McCain problem, so GOP Catholics like Donohue and Hudson had to engineer another end to the Hagee saga. And you see, Hagee actually apologized for what he said, whereas Wright didn’t. Nyah, nyah.
On the substance (be warned, you may not be able to download the first page), Hagee does reasonably well allowing as how he’s been educated on the rather more mixed record of the Catholic Church and the Jews over the ages, and I suppose he sort of wiggles out of those pesky whore-of-Babylon references. But the idea that his ministry demonstrates his “profound respect for the Catholic people” is a load of longhorn flop. As this blog has made clear, Hagee’s ministry at Cornerstone Church has for decades dealt in the denigration of Catholicism, and prospered by persuading San Antonio Hispanics to leave the faith of their fathers and sign up with his brand of premillenialist evangelicalism.
But politics is a beautiful thing, and if the desire to be a big national and international player has impelled Pastor Hagee to embrace a more charitable view of his separated brethren, who are we to cavil?