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By Dr. Jeff Mirus, Catholic Culture, Mar 03, 2020
Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.
Antonio Spadaro SJ is quite the card. At the very beginning of 2017, he tweeted: “Theology is not Mathematics. 2 + 2 in Theology can make 5. Because it has to do with God and real life of people….” Then a month later, it was Spadaro who raised questions about St. John Paul II’s definitive restriction of ordination to males, where the Jesuit clearly believed that 2 + 2 should not equal 4. Last September it was Spadaro again who tweeted that journalists can no longer “keep quiet about the fact that there is a campaign of disinformation against Pope Francis which links American and Russian interests.”
And now, the influential editor of the quasi-official Vatican Jesuit Journal La Civiltà Cattolica is back to compare the widespread fear of the coronavirus to the widespread fears that leads—wait for it—to nationalism. In this new article, Spadaro cobbles together a mishmash of strained analogies to argue that, just as we draw back from potential contact with those who carry a virus, widespread European insecurities are leading to that most dangerous of all diseases—a renewed focus on national identity. Therefore we must deploy all our Catholic antibodies against this pandemic menace.