21 June 2009

John Zmirak visits Austria

Andrew Cusack tipped me off to the fact that John Zmirak (co-author of the Bad Catholic's Guide to Wine, Whiskey, and Song), has just wrapped up a trip to Austria. Unfortunately, we didn't manage to meet, but he offers some interesting reflections (with which I couldn't be more sympathetic) on Praying with the Kaisers. I give you his opening paragraphs:

"As I'm writing this column at the tail end of my first trip to Vienna, some of you who've read me before might expect a bittersweet love note to the Habsburgs - a tear-stained column that splutters about Blessed Karl and "good Kaiser Franz Josef," calls this a "pilgrimage" like my 2008 trip to the Vatican, and celebrates the dynasty that for centuries, with almost perfect consistency, upheld the material interests and political teachings of the Church, until by 1914 it was the only important government in the world on which the embattled Pope Pius X could rely for solid support. Then I'd rant for a while about how the Empire was purposely targeted by the messianic maniac Woodrow Wilson, whose Social Gospel was the prototype for the poison that drips today from the White House onto the dome of Notre Dame.

"And you would be right. That's exactly what I plan to say - so dyed-in-the-wool Americanists who regard the whole of the Catholic political past as a dark prelude to the blazing sun that was John Courtenay Murray (or John F. Kennedy) might as well close their eyes for the next 1,500 words - as they have to the past 1,500 years."

Read on at Inside Catholic.

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