Thursday 12 March 2009

The Light Going Out

The present Pope tells us about the present day:

The real problem at this moment of our history is that God is disappearing from the human horizon, and, with the dimming of the light which comes from God, humanity is losing its bearings, with increasingly evident destructive effects.

Maybe not as destructive as his self-inflicted wound regarding the holocaust denier, as if he and staff should have paid more attention to the Internet! Presumably we must take the Pope's word for it, that he didn't know about the various stances of the Bishop Williamson. Otherwise he gets called a liar. Roman Catholicism now presents itself as increasingly unethical: it is this institution that is putting the lights out. Its seeking doctrinal purity leads it to more and more unethical positions, the very latest that of excommunicating those who helped a child victim of rape.

There is the official English version of the letter that moans and groans Benedict's excuses: the unofficial NLM translation offered referred to a self-assessed 'competent' Holy See, when in fact it has been incompetent.

Therefore I feel pressed to address to you, dear brethren, a clarifying word, which is meant to help to understand the intentions which have guided me and the competent organs of the Holy See in this step.

There is an understandable increasing hostility to this bastion of the backward, and it seems to be spreading:

I was saddened by the fact that even Catholics who, after all, might have had a better knowledge of the situation, thought they had to attack me with open hostility.

Oh dear. Perhaps some sort of objective insight is seeping into the body Catholic. Another point is that supporting managerial executives don't often make the best Chief Executives in the organisational world, and Benny is a good example of a henchman who manoeuvred himself into the top job and has been found wanting.

Anyway, he says that a logical consequence of the lights going out regarding God belief is this:

...that we must have at heart the unity of all believers. Their disunity, their disagreement among themselves, calls into question the credibility of their talk of God. Hence the effort to promote a common witness by Christians to their faith – ecumenism – is part of the supreme priority. Added to this is the need for all those who believe in God to join in seeking peace, to attempt to draw closer to one another, and to journey together, even with their differing images of God, towards the source of Light – this is interreligious dialogue. Whoever proclaims that God is Love "to the end" has to bear witness to love: in loving devotion to the suffering, in the rejection of hatred and enmity – this is the social dimension of the Christian faith, of which I spoke in the Encyclical Deus Caritas Est.

Would that it were so, but you can't do it from a rotting core. Perhaps the core needs to learn from the others, and exercise some humility. Of course he should seek reconciliation, but it is about who he chooses to seek reconciliation with: where, say, is the reconciliation with Hans Kung and others like him? Where is the pastoral and doctrinal division with them that he can show to individuals in the Society of Saint Pius X whilst leaving that society as a doctrinal issue? The theological left does not receive the same treatment. Plus the interreligious approach isn't so, if reports about the Pope's negative reactions to the Christian-Muslim dialogue and Archbishop Vincent Nichols in a Catholic chapel in Birmingham are the case. Also, when will it reconcile with all the victims of sexual abuse and damage caused by its messed up views of sexuality that it embodies in a remote celibate priesthood? When will it tacke the real feminine in sexuality rather than have all this transference to the impossible and obsessed-over divine figure of Mary?

There's this:
My thanks also go to all the faithful who in these days have given me testimony of their constant fidelity to the Successor of Saint Peter.

Not from me. This is all puffed up superfluous nonsense; it almost turns me into a hardline Protestant, though I prefer to think I'm neither Catholic nor Protestant (perhaps God can disappear), though there is a probably a deep core of English Catholic rejectionism somewhere down there to be stilled which this Pope manages so easily to stir up.

1 comment:

Veritas said...

I too wonder what the heck is happening in the Roman Church. I converted from the Roman Church and appreciate tons of good in it...but this swing to the right and all the fumbling around makes me wonder what the heck is happening. I pray that God would help all the church as we all stumble and look like fools more often than not.