[percy-l] Retaining My Amateur Status

chaslow53 at aol.com chaslow53 at aol.com
Sat Feb 14 22:51:07 EST 2004

Unlike many of you on this list, I neither knew Walker Percy nor am able to 
study his work for extended periods in an academic setting.  I am what Kieran 
Quinlan characterized in The Last Catholic Novelist as a nettlesome amateur, or 
what the Victorians more kindly called a "general reader."

Here is my observation, which leads to a question: WP obviously was an 
advocate of a pre-Vatican II theology, both in terms of the articles of belief 
themselves and in the way that those articles were taught and held.  He makes that 
clear in essay after essay directly, and in the novels indirectly.  His views 
on dissenting clergy, liberation theology, etc., expressed in the decades 
after the Vatican Council, could just as easily have been regarded as common 
before the Council.

The question, then, is this: is there any indication of what he thought of 
some of the day-to-day changes made following the Council?  Was he sorry to see 
the Latin Mass go?  Did he rush to trade fish for hamburgers on Friday?  Did 
he abandon the Rosary or any other of those devotional elements that were 
widespread at the time of his conversion but which are now much rarer?

Father Samway, in his biography, makes the very specific assertion that WP 
was a true Vatican II Catholic.  I just haven't seen much evidence of it, and I 
thought that maybe others on the list could offer insight.

Thanks.  I would be grateful for any insight forwarded to the list or any 
private responses.  Apologies to any on the list who are not particularly 
interested in this type of question.

Chuck Lowry
Brooklyn, New York
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