The New Gasparian
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A journal dedicated to the life and mission of St. Gaspar del Bufalo, and to a life lived in response to the call and the cry of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our on-going mission is to share good news of hope and communion.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003
California is a joke

Hi. Where are you from?

Oh, we are from California.



What do you think about Arnold?


It has been interesting, exciting, invigorating, informative and instructional to spend the summer in Europe. First the five weeks in Italy with Priests from 15 countries speaking 12 languages was a blessing and incomparable grace. But in small ways people drew me out to ask some particular questions. It was all about George Bush. People over here do not like him. They are afraid of him. They call him a cowboy and wonder what we think about him. I remember a bus ride from from Piazza Venezia over to Tuscolana. Deacon Salvatore had walked with another CPPS priest from Crociferi to Piazza Venezia for him to get on a bus to San Gaspare, and I was getting on the same bus. This priest, I believe his name is Roberto, could not speak any English. I do not have a great grasp of Italian, but I do better in Spanish. Well, for the whole trip, he did his best to ask me every question in the books about Iraq, the War, and Bush. These people were afraid of Saddam, they are glad he is gone. But now their biggest fear is Bush. They are afraid he is stupid. They think what he is doing is causing hatred to increase and will increase terrorism.

Retrouvaille principle number one: Feelings are neither right nor wrong.

(Rember this is not a report on George Bush, it is a report on a growing feeling about Bush among people in Europe.)

I would not think anything of this if it was one conversation. But it was a constant query from every country we experienced.

And now for Arnold. I am getting embarassed by the circus in California. Now when people ask me where I am from I say I live in Chicago. I cannot believe how often people ask the question about Arnold. I have watched some BBC reports and CNN programs over here and the portrayal of California is really sad.

We have met some marvelous people over here, people from Italy, Wales, England and the States. On my birthday we experienced a great evening with three people at the next table. They were from Ireland and Wales. One, an ex-seminarian serves as religious education director at his parish in Wales. It was a marvelous evening, but as soon as California was mentioned the first word out of their mouth was Arnold. They want to know if Americans are going to elect the Terminator as Governor.


posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 4:43 AM link
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