What is one to make of Garry Wills? Some years ago I reviewed his book, Papal Sin: Structures of Deceit. It’s a tendentious tissue of half-truths that, taken as a whole, amounts to willful distortion, which is quite ironic in a book that self-righteously presents itself as exposing the Church’s lies. There’s a lot of angry bluster in Garry Wills, but little else.
Recently, he was being particularly adolescent on the Colbert Report, leading Fr. Matt Malone, S.J., to make the following comment on the America website: “It is not really Mr. Wills’s unorthodox views that give us cause to question his Christian commitment; it is his manifest lack of charity.”
But his books play an important ideological role, which is why this inflated man continues to have currency. In America, Christianity remains a powerful cultural and political force, and Catholicism is often its most visible institutional form. For progressives of all stripes, it’s therefore ideologically important to discredit Christianity and Catholicism. That’s what Garry Wills sells.
Link (here) to the full article by R.R. Reno at First Things