Friday, January 13, 2012

Popular Catechetics Lied To Me, pt 122

James Joyce used an ipatch to do his writing. Haha...
January 13th is the anniversary of the death of novelist, James Joyce (d. 1941). Joyce was an Irish writer, poet and, to make this about us, an influence on William Faulkner by introducing the "stream-of-consciousness" style of writing. Later known as "blogging".

During my days in seminary, there was this cute thing hip-young priests, short-haired sisters in Birkenstocks, and poofy haired housewives-cum-theologians known as DRE's, would say: "As the writer James Joyce said, 'Catholic means '"here comes everybody"''" or the even bolder, "As James Joyce wrote in his work Finnegan's Wake, 'Catholic means "here comes everybody"".

Not willing to admit that I haven't read any of Joyce's works nor familiar with Ulysses, I would laugh knowingly and puff my pipe in the drawing room along with the other lads. In my smoking jacket and slippers.

Today, thinking of Joyce's quote, I decided to check it out on the internet. The only thing that is said about him defining "Catholicism" as "Here Comes Everybody" comes from people saying he said it. Religious people. DRE kind of people. Jesuits who wear turtlenecks and use clay chalices. Holy smart people. Who wear stonewear around their neck. Smart.

But no Joyce scholar has said it and it comes up nowhere in Joyce's quotations. There's even a discussion on a dead Amy Welborn site that argues the invalidity of the statement and THE PLOT TO CORRUPT THE CHURCH by using it. But, then again, the Open Tabernacle (sic) uses it for their theme. Themes. Muhahaha. How DRE'y!
A catechetical (sic) book named for a quote that wasn't about the Church
A book on Catholic education (sic) named for the quote not meant about Catholicism.
Turns out, on the Welborn link, someone had the presence of mind to READ JOYCE and find the quote. Nothing. So the blame goes to Flannery O' Connor (I've read her stuff, by the way) who also said no such thing.

Much to my suspicions, it was untrue. And Joyce? Far from being portrayed as a struggling Catholic, was sort of comfortable with non-belief or at least a belief in a benign God who was not really invested in humanity. Or that's what the internet says.

Internet, Internet. You shatter again the illusions of my neo-Catholic upbringing. What's the next veil to drop? Gonna tell me that Tai-Chi isn't a Catholic form of bodily expression like the Spiritual Formation director told me in seminary? Women were not deacons in the Church like the seminars on vocations say?  I guess you'll tell me that liturgists aren't building up the city of God with glad tambourine!

Touch me with your truth, Google. I shall be healed.