CATHOLIC PewPOINT for Friday-Saturday-Sunday, July 21-23, 2000
"Triumph Over The Frustration Factor!"
It is so heartening to report good fruits when so many times the news is full of bad news, heartache, immorality, and persecutions. We would love to report here and now that Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak have come to a unilateral Peace Agreement at Camp David that will bring lasting peace to the mideast and make Jerusalem open to all and all sides are happy with the concord. Since we are writing this on Thursday afternoon for the weekend issue, there has been no news yet. Considering the talks almost collapsed during midweek, no news is good news right now.
Michael Cain, editor
But we do have good news of another accord. It is a meeting of the minds between the DAILY CATHOLIC and Michael Tuck. It was this San Diego high-profile anchorman who we railed about in this past Monday's editorial The Sequel: "The Frustration Factor Strikes Again" and followed up with a progress report on Wednesday in "Soothing the Savage Beast of The Frustration Factor" in rebuttal to his take on the Holy Father speaking out against the World Gay Pride parade in Rome on Saturday, July 8th. Rather than ignore our rebuttal, Mr. Tuck promptly replied, defending his rationalization for his statements but conceding his great admiration for Pope John Paul II and assuring us he was not a "Catholic basher." Rather than railing at us in the "who do you think you are to criticize me" manner many in the media personify, he wrote back sincerely and honestly. It opened the door for us to reply in kind and a rapport was established between us where we agreed to disagree on some points and come to a clearer understanding of each other's positions on other aspects. A real respect for each other's philosophies was developed. Keep in mind he does three nightly newscasts each evening with the final one finishing up at 11:30 p.m. After working so late, many would either head for the nearest bar or home; not Tuck - he stayed in his office and replied to our rebuttal. That in itself showed me he is a man of great character who cares.
Truth be known, though we enjoyed his newscasts, Tuck always seemed to us, from the way he came across on TV, as pompous and egotistical, but his words belied that and it just goes to show how quickly we can misjudge a person when we don't know the whole story. It is also true that when my blood begins to boil when someone attacks the Church or promotes half-truths that I can hit pretty hard. Michael Tuck picked up on my frustration and, in reminding me, did me a favor as well. So often we are quick to judge, quick to lash back. While I stand by all I said, had I known his introspection and where he was coming from, I might have been softer in my approach. He constructively and professionally advised me to channel my anger into joy. I couldn't do that until now because we had not come to a meeting of the minds. I did assure him that my rebukes were mild compared to the prophets of the Old Testament and the New. I would hate to have been on the wrong side in facing John the Baptist or Jesus for that matter in the temple when He chased the moneychangers, or Paul in his various travels when he harshly reprimanded those who had gone astray as well as correcting some of his disciples. I explained that my frustration at his television editorial and the rerun of CBS' "60 Minutes" piece on Pope Pius XII erupted in righteous anger because of my deep love for Christ and His Church and Vicar on earth. Just as a family member will come to the defense of the family, so also I felt compelled to do likewise. The fruitful conclusion is that Michael Tuck is now like family. No, he didn't convert to Catholicism and that was never the intent. I discovered he is a good practicing Episcopalian who better understands Catholics because of our correspondence and through prayer and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He confided to me how in the mid 1980s he had done a commentary praising the U.S. government for its bombing of Libya and received a strong retort from a Palestinian gentleman. Rather than just shushing him off, Michael took the full brunt of the man's tirades over the phone and even agreed to meet with him for coffee. The bottom line is they became the best of friends and since then Michael has gained a keener insight into the plight of the Palestinian cause which he has championed ever since. We feel the same has been accomplished on behalf of the Pope and the Church for he has expressed a strong admiration and respect for the Holy Father. We can say "Mission Accomplished" but we can't take credit, only the Holy Advocate, Spirit and Giver of Life Who we call on to guide us in all correspondence and these words as well.
Considering the success of our rapport with a local anchorman, wouldn't it be great if that same effort could be extended between Palestinian and Jew, Republican and Democrat, Catholic and Protestant in Northern Ireland, Christian and Muslim in Indonesia and Africa, conservative and liberal, the Catholic Right groups and Catholic Left organizations, Pro-Life advocates and Pro-Abortion activists, Greek and Russian Orthodox Church leaders and the Holy See, Beijing and Taiwan and countless other polar opposites? Just think of the possibilities. We can dream all we want but if we truly want to see this, we all need to pray for the Triumph of Mary's Immaculate Heart for only that will bring these suppositions to reality. In the meantime, besides prayer, we must always endeavor to see in each person Christ Jesus as He asks of us in John 13: 15 and many other places, no matter what they stand for. In following Our Lord's command and the Holy Father's words, let us continue to despise the sin uncompromisingly, but love the sinner with all of our hearts and being. There is great rejoicing when just one sinner returns as evident in the parable of the Prodigal Son; think of the bash we could have when multitudes of sinners return not just because of our prayers and preaching, but through our example of spreading the joy and love of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The best way to win over our enemies is as the Apostle Saint Paul advises in Romans 12: 20 and as we relate today in our regular APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH series Love of our enemies: Kill 'em with kindness!
That was how we conquered the differences between Michael Tuck and myself. He concluded his final correspondence with, "I suppose this is a round-about way of saying that many of your arguments and information have impressed me, and given me something to think about. For that, and your courtesy, I am extremely grateful." That doesn't sound like a proud, pompous man to me. No, once we began to openly and honestly dialogue we both discovered we were not only professionals on an equal level of opinions, but men willing to listen to the other side and stand for our principles. As I wrote him in my final follow-up to his most recent correspondence, we have received countless testimonials over the years but few that moved me as much as his letter did. For that we give great thanks to God and, while we are waiting and praying for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart we can take consolation in the right resolve of "Triumph Over The Frustration Factor!"
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