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Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

10 Responses

  1. Robert Reavis says:

    Pope Francis was one of the few who Dr. T read completely wrong in his assessment after the white smoke had risen and faded. But such misreads do happen. Afterall, who could have predicted Jeff Sessions, the Senator from Alabama and normally a loyal team player , being so weak and unimaginative as Attorney General. Pope Francis seems to have all the vices his friends had hoped for but few of the virtues Dr. T thought woukd sustain his papacy.

  2. Carl Mixon says:

    Bravo Dr. Fleming–as a red neck from South Carolina, a lapsed Baptist who walked into a conservative Lutheran congregation 25 years ago, I applaud Dr. Fleming for his insight. It is men such as these that have made me come to love the Catholic church and its people.

  3. Andrew G Van Sant says:

    Alas, apparently no one is infallible.

  4. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    I don’t recall ever having “read” the new Pope. What I do recall saying was that he should be given the chance to show his true colors and not be judged in advance. The prognosis was not promising, but everyone deserves teh opportunity to live down to our expectations.

    I once reproached my father for having reared his children without any understanding of ethnic and religious differences, leaving us exposed to behavioral, shall we say, eccentricities, which it might have been helpful to have understood in advance. His answer was that prejudices were easily acquired, but it was better to pick them up from experience and observation rather than from precept. I applied the principle to Francis, as I apply it to all priests and ministers–a class I am all too ready to despise on principle–and on members of alien ethnic and religious groups. Of course, I am always aware that I am playing a game with long odds, but, then, I am putting down very few chips.

    What I objected to in the early assessments of the Pope was the smartalec “I told you so” attitude from Pius Xers, Sedevacantists, and other ultra-traditionalists who seemed unhappy to have had a Pope they could not reject out of hand. The sedevacantists did their best to build a case against Benedict, but they did not get very far. These days, they must be doing a land-office business in schismatics.

  5. Robert Reavis says:

    Infallibility might be the one doctrine left that the Holy Ghost will use Pope Francis to illustrate. Life is short, sad and fallen. Veritas is something else entirely. Infallibility might be false and invented but let’s wait until the cock crows three times before joining the modernist in every subject.

  6. Frank Brownlow says:

    There have been uncanonical elections in the past that produced non-popes & anti-popes, and there is talk that this last one was rigged by a combination of homosexuals & German heretics. As you say, the Church has come through very bad times, but meanwhile because of its centralized structure the rot, moral and theological, spreads through the dioceses into local parishes.

  7. Robert Reavis says:

    Tom don’t know if you were referring or responding to my comment above but Dr. T was not for Tom but Trifcovich And his article after Pope Francis election. The rest of your post,if it were directed at my comment, is nothing new to me and should not be for you.

  8. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    Robert, sorry, you had me confused. I had warned against leaping to conclusions–and as I recall you agreed with me on that. Those interested in ecclesiastical history will be happy to learn that a young Catholic PhD candidates, writing a dissertation on the schism with the East and the attempts at reunion, is starting a rather learned column here, “The Road from Damascus”–a double reference to Paul and the last Eastern saint officially honored by the Western Church.

  9. Robert Reavis says:

    Yes I did agree with you and although I have been around all the bootleggers you mentioned above I have never really subscribed closely to anything except their preference for the ancient liturgy. But you know all that already

  10. James D. says:

    More Father Coughlin and Father Fahey. Less antipope Francis. Despite their faults, those men were able to name the enemy.