“Stupidity,” says Jacques Maritain, “is always a vice.” So are bad taste and slovenly work.
Maritain should have been the editor of the New American Bible, copyrighted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and of the lectionary in use in America – a tenebrous mystery if ever there was one. Please, your excellencies, put these ugly and dispiriting creatures to death.
Sometimes you can benefit the Church just by ceasing to do something stupid. Many of us have known such addition by subtraction. You rip out the dingy plush carpet and the plywood, and you find a beautiful floor of white ash beneath. You strip away the whitewash to reveal again the colorful folk paintings of your ancestors long ago. You convert bad children’s readers to fuel for wood stoves, and you pick up Kipling and Austen and Stevenson again.