The New York Times Nicholas Kristof delivers an uplifting view of the good Catholic Church as it slogs along in the persons of some very good nuns and priests. He puts a face to something we know is alive and flourishing: the missionary and selfless work being accomplished in the context of an otherwise unhealthy church.
Please watch the video that accompanies the article. I don't know much about Father Michael beyond what Mr. Kristof presents. I don't know his theology or his sexuality, but I agree with Mr. Kristof that he would make a fine pope. Most magnificent is his response to Mr. Kristof's request for a comment on the fact that there are "two churches": the one in which the hierarchy fails to deal with pedophilia, malpracticed celibacy, women's issues and AIDS; and the third world one in which Father Michael is working. This priest has no appetite for the bait. His response is simple. "There is the human and there is the divine."
Father Michael has endured malaria and intestinal parasites and waves them off as "normal". Meanwhile, in Rome, a thousand doctors would not be able to cure Pope Benedict XVI of the blindness and arrogance that infect him.
PS: Father Michael is a member of the Order of Comboni Missionaries whose founder, an Italian priest, said "The missionary will have to understand that he is a stone hid under the earth, which will perhaps never come to light, but which will become part of the foundations of something much greater." (I don't think the sleazy founder of the Legionaries of Christ ever said anything like that.) Read this letter from Father Michael on a blog maintained for him. He talks about having to dig his truck out of mud and having to clean up a bout of sudden diarrhea while arguing with a catechist. It makes me feel rather uneasy about the fact that I accomplish less tangible good in this world with much greater resources, including AAA.