USCCB TARGETS GIRL SCOUTS!


Maybe the old boys club would just like to have a church full of old boys. According to David Crary, writing for the Associated Press, Girl Scouts USA is now suspected of deviant thinking and wayward behavior by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. At issue are USCCB concerns about program materials that some […]

Bullying Bishops: Reformers of the Reform


Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior using force or coercion to afflict others.

Bullying consists of three basic types of abuse – emotional, verbal, and physical. It can use subtle methods of coercion such as intimidation or not so subtle methods involving condemnation and punishment. It is always destructive and demeaning. Bullying has no place within the community of faith.

Bullying can range from simple one-to-one bullying to more complex institutionalized bullying in which the bully may have one or many “lieutenants” who assist the primary bully in his or her bullying activities.

Reviewing events of the past couple weeks, it is clear that contemporary Roman Catholic leadership in Rome, along with the Vatican’s lieutenants in the USCCB, have launched an aggressive program of Catholic bullying.

(1)Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky said during a Sunday homily at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria, Illinois that President Obama is following previous governments that “tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches.”

“Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services and health care,” the (Peoria) Journal Star and Chicago Tribune quoted Bishop Jenky as saying during the homily. “In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda – now seems intent on following a similar path.”

(2) SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the largest, oldest and most active support group for women and men wounded by religious authority figures (priests, ministers, bishops, deacons, nuns and others). It is an independent and confidential organization, with no connections with the church or church officials. SNAP is now being bullied and attacked by Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn and his lawyers. SNAP is fighting hard to protect the confidentiality of victims, witnesses, whistleblowers, police, prosecutors. Bishop Finn, by the way, is making other headlines these days as well.

The first criminal case against a sitting U.S. Catholic bishop in the decades-long clergy sex abuse crisis will go forward after a Missouri judge’s decision that Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese, must stand trial on charges of failing to report suspected child abuse. The charge against Finn centers on the case of Fr. Shawn Ratigan, a diocesan priest who was arrested last May on charges of possession of child pornography. While the bishop said he was aware of questionable images on the priest’s laptop as early as December 2010, Ratigan was not reported to police by the diocese until May 2011.

In separate indictments in October, prosecutors charged both Finn and the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese as a whole with criminal misdemeanors in the case.

(3) The most outrageous case of current Roman Catholic hierarchical bullying of course is CDF Cardinal William Levada’s doctrinal “assessment” of LCWR, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

The leadership and members of LCWR, the largest leadership organization for U.S. women religious, are “stunned” by the announcement that the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has ordered a reform its statutes and has appointed an American archbishop to oversee its revision.

“The presidency of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious was stunned by the conclusions of the doctrinal assessment of LCWR by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,” LCWR said in a news release. “Because the leadership of LCWR has the custom of meeting annually with the staff of CDF in Rome and because the conference follows canonically-approved statutes, we were taken by surprise.”

The Vatican announced it had appointed Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain to oversee LCWR, which has been the subject of a doctrinal assessment by the Vatican congregation since 2009.

According to the document from the congregation, Archbishop Sartain is given authority over the group in five areas, including:

(1) Revising LCWR statutes;
(2) Reviewing LCWR plans and programs;
(3) Creating new programs for the organization;
(4) Reviewing and offering guidance on the application of liturgical texts; and
(5) Reviewing LCWR’s affiliations with other organizations, specifically NETWORK and the Resource Center for Religious Institutes.

The document from Cardinal Levada’s CDF re-emphasizes the reason for the doctrinal assessment, writing that Levada told LCWR leadership in 2008 that the congregation had three major areas of concern with the group:
(1) The content of speakers’ addresses at the annual LCWR assemblies;
(2) “Corporate dissent” in regarding the church’s sexual teachings;
(3) “A prevalence of certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith” present in some of the organizations programs and presentations.

……………

Why Bishops Bully:

Bullying research indicates that adults who bully have personalities that are authoritarian, and they have a strong need to control or dominate. A prejudicial view of subordinates can also be a particularly strong factor.

Psychologists stress that a bully reflects the environment of his “home,” repeating the model he learned from his parents or superiors. In Roman Catholic history, we call this Roma locuta, causa finita: “Rome has spoken and the matter is closed.”

Bullying studies also show that envy and resentment are often key motives for bullying. Some bullies are arrogant and narcissistic. Others use bullying as a tool to conceal shame or anxiety or to boost self esteem: by demeaning others, the abuser him/herself feels empowered.

There is something terribly dysfunctional in Pope Benedict’s Reform of the Reform….I miss Pope Benedict’s enyclical: Deus caritas est! (GOD IS LOVE.)

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American Catholics : To Hell Wih You!


Having failed to convince American Catholics to follow their hard-line ban on contraception, American Catholic bishops are ignoring the consciences of those who work for them by seeking to impose their extremist beliefs on all women, Catholic or otherwise.

The current issue of course is the January 20th announcement by the Obama administration’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, that religious organizations could delay but not opt out of a requirement that all health plans cover contraception and sterilization in health-insurance coverage.

Catholic bishops across the United States have begun not just a spirited but a fierce anti-Obama administration campaign.

New York’s next cardinal, Archbishop Timothy Dolan feels “terribly let down, disappointed and disturbed.” In Phoenix, on January 25th, Bishop Thomas Olmsted declared: “We cannot — we will not — comply with this unjust law.”

Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh, in a column titled “To hell with you,” wrote that the Obama administration is saying: “To hell with your religious beliefs. To hell with your religious liberty. To hell with your freedom of conscience. We’ll give you a year, they are saying, and then you have to knuckle under.”

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria, Ill., enlisted the aid of St. Michael the Archangel in fighting “this unprecedented governmental assault upon the moral convictions of our faith.” In a January 24th letter to Catholics in Peoria, Bishop Jenky has mandated that the prayer of St. Michael be recited “for the freedom of the Catholic Church in America” during Sunday Masses at every parish, school, hospital, Newman center, and religious house in the diocese. Older Catholics will remember that that prayer ends: “Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil” and “cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits, who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.”

What’s happening here?

Who’s view of reality is more “real”?

Who’s understanding of “conscience” is more authentic.

Where do we go from here?

With all due respect to bishops Dolan, Olmsted, Zubik, and Jenky, I find the vision of my old moral theologian hero, Bernhard Häring, much more real and certainly much more hope-giving:

“Despite a certain trend towards conservatism in parts of the church and society, I am convinced that we have moved into a new era that will be determined by people who live by their own conscience and are particularly qualified to act as discerning members of community and society…the era in which almost everyone was content to be born and to live as a member of a certain church or ‘organized religion’ is over. The people who will shape the future of believers of all religions are those who have the courage to make their own choice, whatever pain may be involved, and to do so with personal responsibility.”

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The Restoration of Papal Imperialism: Revisionist Church History and Tunnel Vision Theology


Pope Pius XI warned of the danger in the late 1930s as he saw authoritarian regimes growing in

Italy, Germany, and Spain.

Pius XI in his final public address in 1939, stressed:

The church, the mystical body of Christ has become a monstrosity.

The head is very large, but the body is shrunken. You young priests must rebuild the church and mobilize the lay people.”

 

1. Redefining Magisterium in Pope Benedict’s (revisionist history) reform of the reform

For years “The Ordinary Magisterium,” the teaching office of the Roman Catholic Church was composed of:
The magisterial role of the pope and bishops
The magisterial role of the theologians
The magisterial role of the sensus fidelium

Under Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, the magisterial role of  theologians and the sensus fidelium have all but disappeared. Magisterium has been redefined as what the pope and his appointed bishops say

2. Tunnel Vision theology. The old gentleman should know better; but he doesn’t. His theology is not just outdated……It is wrong.

In his latest book, Pope Benedict XVI reaffirmed that the church has “no authority” to ordain women as priests and rejected the idea that the rule was formed only because the church originated in a patriarchal society.

The pope said that man did not produce the form of the church, and does not have the power to change it. Christ gave the form of the priesthood when he chose his male Apostles, he said in the book-interview, “Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times.”

“The church has ‘no authority’ to ordain women. The point is not that we are saying we don’t want to, but that we can’t,” he said. This requires obedience by Catholics today, he added.

Here the Pope is speaking historical and theological nonsense.

3. Canonization of papal theological ideology. Whenever people erect monuments to themselves, red flags go up immediately. Or they should!

Special announcement: Vatican-based foundation to promote study of pope’s theology

With the pope’s agreement and funding, the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation has been established to promote theological studies on his writings and to reward promising scholars.

Msgr. Giuseppe Antonio Scotti, president of the foundation, said it was established with just over $3.1 million from the pope. The money represents part of the royalties from the publication of his books; the rest of his royalty income goes to charity, Msgr. Scotti told reporters Nov. 26.

Cardinal Camillo Ruini, retired papal vicar of Rome and president of the new foundation’s scientific committee, said he hoped that someday the “Ratzinger Prizes” in sacred Scripture, patristics and fundamental theology “would be considered as something analogous to a Nobel Prize for theology.”

+++


Asking the critical question – rooted in Catholic history and tradition – is neither improper nor anti-Catholic.

Its is very responsible and loyal Catholic behavior.

Sometimes I wonder if Jesus of Nazareth will be replaced eventually with a Jesus of Rome.

Best regards in this Advent season — as we prepare to celebrate again the birth of JESUS OF NAZARETH!

John W Greenleaf

Sexual Abuse and the Rotten Apple Theory


The press has been positive about Pope Benedict’s state visit to Britain this month. I found it revelatory in many ways.

The Bishop of Rome continues to re-make John Henry Newman in the image and likeness of Joseph Alois Ratzinger; and I think he is less interested in ecumenical dialogue with Canterbury than he is in converting conservative-minded-anti-woman-priest Anglicans and bringing them over to Rome.

What bothered me most about this papal visit, however, were Pope Benedict’s expressions of “great sadness” about revelations of widespread abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests and religious. He stressed that  ”authorities in the church have not been vigilant enough” in combating the problem.

What Pope Benedict meant of course is that the rotten apples were not dumped early enough.

The rotten apple theme song has become an all-time favorite among various national and international church leaders.

Yes it is the rotten apple theory of sexual abuse in the church: dump those rotten apples and we will be back to normal.

The rotten apple theory was originally generated to explain cases of police brutality: any police officer found to be corrupt must promptly be denounced as a rotten apple in an otherwise clean barrel. It must never be admitted that his or her  individual corruption could be symptomatic of an underlying institutional disease that condones, promotes, and trains law enforcement people to rely on brutal force, even when unjust, inhumane and illegal.

Many years ago an old friend, Father Tom Doyle, alerted me to the folly of the rotten apple theory about sexual abuse in the church. And Tom continues to speak out, inform and alert. On my desk I have a well underlined copy of some of his recent “reflections” about clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Some observations that cry out from his text:

(1)   The institutional Catholic Church is truly a stratified society with the bishops as a powerful aristocracy at the top and the laity beneath them. This description is not merely metaphorical but accurately describes the Church’s socio-political structure. In spite of the profound inequity in their respective standing the laity provides one hundred percent of the material/financial support for the clerical sub-culture and the hierarchical government yet lay persons have no effective voice in Church government.

(2)   The laity has the potential to influence the course of the clergy sex abuse saga but thus far they have scarcely realized it. A small but very significant group of laity have been moved to the point of radical action in response to the continuous waves of abuse revelations.

(3)   The majority however are either removed and indifferent or angrily reactive to the revelations of internal Church corruption and the consequent demands for accountability. The complacency or negative reaction of the laity is perplexing in light of the harsh reality of what the clergy abuse “crisis” is all about.

(4)   There is an ideology that provides the basis for the way the papacy and hierarchy have reacted to clergy sexual abuse. This ideology is a combination of theological definitions about the nature of the Church, Canon Law and the theology of human sexuality. And this is where the rotten apple theory falls apart…. You can dump all the rotten apples but the ideology remains imbedded in the institution.

(5)   The completely inappropriate responses of the bishops and clergy to the horrific accounts of all manner of dysfunctional sexual exploitation and their excuses that they did not realize the serious effects of molestation and abuse can be partially explained by the traditional teaching on human sexuality and the impact of mandatory celibacy on the emotional and psycho-sexual formation of clerics. In other words this teaching so distorted the nature of human sexuality that clerics failed to comprehend the destructive nature of sexual exploitation.


John Greenleaf is back…


Four main reflections at the end of the summer:

 

(1) The old-time Inquistition is alive and well in our contemporary US Catholic Church

 

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis announced that a group of Catholics planning a “synod” for church “reform” is not associated with the Catholic Church, cautioning the faithful that the group is trying to change magisterial teachings of the Church that all Catholics must believe. 

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released a statement from its Committee on Doctrine, headed by Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, regarding the book, “The Sexual Person: Toward a Renewed Catholic Anthropology.” The statement noted that the book “does not offer minor revisions to a few points of Catholic sexual ethics,” but rather, “the authors insist that the moral theology of the Catholic tradition dealing with sexual matters is now as a whole obsolete and inadequate and that it must be re-founded on a different basis.” Consequently, it continued, the authors, Creighton University professors Todd Salzman and Michael Lawler, “argue that the teaching of the magisterium is based on this flawed ‘traditional theology’ and must likewise be substantially changed.”

(2) John Henry Newman has been beatified and his feast day is the date he left Canturbury for Rome. Great ecumenical sign for sure. What is also very clear is that John Henry Newman is now being re-made in the image and likeness of Joseph Alois Ratzinger.

(3) During summer travels in Eastern Europe, I discoverd that the Catholic Church in Croatia is strong, and wealthy, powerful and arrogant — and well ensconced in a nineteenth century Catholic ethos. When people complained that one local bishop was out of touch with the contemporary world, he shouted out in his cathedral: “If they don’t like what I am doing, they can leave right now!”

(4) And then in little Belgium. Another pedophilia explosion. The PR people for the new archbishop are saying the scandal is really the fault of a few rotten-apple priests and religious and has been greatly exaggerated by an anti-Catholic media campaign. To date three bishops in Flemish Belgium have said it is time to drop celibacy as a requirement for ordination. The new archbishop has replied that he does not think this is an oppportune moment for such a discussion.

 

The kids are back in school. The nuts are falling from their trees. The pope is back in Rome. And it is indeed time for ANOTHER VOICE once again!

 

 

Reactions to Levada Letter


Reactions about my letter to Cardinal Levada have been strong and generally positive.

 

No reaction yet from the addressee….

 

I did get one very angry letter from a fellow who sent an email with very large letters: “JUST WHAT DO YOU WANT THE CHURCH TO DO?!!!”

My answer is two things:

(1)    I want Church leadership to clean up its act in the way it handles sex abuse in the Church, and

(2)    I want Church leadership to begin to listen to and address the faith concerns of contemporary people. And I have two examples of what I mean:

First example:

This week the New York Times reported about groups of young people in Moscow called “roofers.” I would like the Church to pay attention to people, young and old, like the roofers. The Moscow roofers are young people, more than a couple thousand now, who climb to the tops of high buildings in search of privacy and solitude away from the crowds. Oleg Muravlyov, 17 years old, explained what roofers are all about: “It is too bad that people are mixing us up with vandals. We aren’t doing any harm to buildings. Our goal is not destruction. We are driven by a wish to think about what’s really important in our lives, outside the hustle of business. It’s a delusion that today’s youth are cynical. We have the same spiritual values as previous generations.”

Second example:

Crispian Wilson, a young man from England, wrote this week in a letter to The Tablet: “Conventional wisdom has it that young people are leaving the Church because they are more interested in consumerism than faith. While that may be true for some, as a young Catholic, I do not recognize that in my peers, Catholic or otherwise. Many care passionately about such issues of global justice as human rights, climate change and poverty reduction. However, they do not believe that the Church cares about these issues; indeed they often feel that it is an illiberal force working against them. In particular, they see hypocrisy in a Church that calls you to ‘love your neighbor’ while ignoring women, victimizing and stigmatizing homosexuals and hushing-up serious sexual-abuse scandals….If the Church wants to re-evangelize, then it will need to appeal to these people: intelligent, active people who want to do good in the world and be part of something that matters….True re-evangelization requires us to listen to the immensely complex world and re-examine our own judgments on the true meaning of the Gospels.”

“Perhaps if we do that honestly,” Crispian concludes, “we may find that we are able to find solutions that will bring new energy, vigor and life to the Church.”

 Amen indeed!

John Greenleaf

Is the Roman Catholic Church Lost at Sea?


The Bark of Peter, it seems,  is drifting somewhere these days with neither map nor compass.

The Lord has not abandoned the People of God; but our institutional leaders have lost their bearings.

A quick summary of what’s been happening……

(1) Sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy and religious and the episcopal cover-up of  that rape and sodomy are now a systemic deformity in the global church. Put a pin in your globe for every country where Roman Catholic sexual abuse has been acknowledged and you have a sieve not a globe. Austria, the USA, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Chile, Brazil, India, Italy – you can add a new country every day with your morning coffee and newspaper.

(2) And then we have the still-to-be-revealed other forms of sexual abuse. Certainly the Vatican knows about the practice in some parts of Africa where women religious are expected to help priests relieve their sexual tensions with special attentiveness: young “brides of Christ” turned into present day temple prostitutes, with a covert snicker from church authorities.

(3) And certainly the Vatican knows about those prominent bishops, archbishops and cardinals – often publicly homophobic – who have an inordinate fondness for androgynous young seminarians.

(4) Roman Catholic hierarchical credibility is at an all-time low. If one is a “successor of the Apostles,” the expectation is that the fellow (officially we have only fellows who are successors of the Apostles in the Church of Rome) carries on and lives the faith, ministry, and witness of the Apostles. Far too many members of our hierarchy today have the imposition of hands but their actions and attitudes seem terribly distant from those of the Carpenter from Nazareth and his band of faithful followers. The moral authority of the Roman Catholic Church’s leadership has never been weaker. The men dressed in purple and red have sold their souls to self-protective power, control, and arrogant privilege and prestige.

(5) The Dean of the College of Cardinals (and former Secretary of State under Pope John Paul II) Angelo Sodano complained on Easter Sunday that news reports about sexual abuse in the Church were petty gossip. That same old gentleman was long-time friend and supporter of Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, Founder of the Legionaires of  Christ and a favorite of John Paul the Great.

Some fellow that Father Degollado: when he had abdominal cramps, invited seminarians to his room to masturbate him.  At   other times of physical and psychological malaise, Degollado penetrated and masturbated seminarians. Good at sexual multi-tasking, Father Marcial also fathered at least one child and (according to his son’s testimony) sexually abused his own son. But perhaps Cardinal Sodano would say this is just more petty gossip.

(6) According to Cardinal Darió Castrillón Hoyos, former prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, sexual abuse is just a fact of life; and lawyers and the media have unfairly focused on it. In 2001 he praised a French bishop for breaking the law and refusing to hand-over to civil authorities a priest engaged in the sexual abuse of minors.

(7) Increasingly our bishops and cardinals parade around and process down the central aisles of churches and cathedrals like princes in some medieval royal court. Twenty-feet-long red trains are now in vogue as episcopal haute couture. And Jesus only complained about tassels and phylacteries! 

            The signs of the times call for creative action and deep and serious planning for the future.

As an institution we seem to have all our engines running full-speed in reverse.

The Roman Catholic institutional regression began with the election of Pope John Paul II. And now under Cardinal Ratziner-become Pope Benedict XVI and his “reform of the reform” we are moving back to a nineteenth century Roman Catholic ethos that stresses power and control and demands unquestioning obedience to Rome.

 Pope John XXIII opened the church’s windows to the contemporary world; and the council he inaugurated stressed collegiality and shared decision-making at all levels in the Church. Pope Benedict XVI is nailing those windows tightly shut. All roads now go in one direction back to Rome.

Joseph Ratzinger’s institutional church is a centralized power structure which controls everything in the Catholic Church through a network of Vatican congregations controlled by a group of old men who demand strict compliance to what they deem orthodox. Censure and punishment await the disobedient. Control and command have replaced conversation and persuasion.

Most recently Pope Benedict has announced the creation of a new department at the Vatican: the Pontifical Council for New Evangelization. The Pope hopes his new office will clear up the problems created by secularism out there in Western Europe and the United States.

I think the Pope should focus first of all on the problems at home: in the very heart of his institutional superstructure.

Some readers have accussed me of being both anti-Catholic and anti-hierarchy.

NOT TRUE!

I just want the Church to be what it should be:

TRULY   CHRISTIAN    AND    TRULY    CONTEMPORARY

    

 

 

 

The Lord has not abandoned the People of God; but our institutional leaders have lost their bearings. The Bark of Peter, it seems,  is drifting somewhere these days with neither map nor compass.

 

RIP William R. Callahan: Champion of Social Justice


Rev. William R. Callahan, an international leader in movements for social justice, peace, and reform of the Roman Catholic Church,

died on Monday, July 5th in Washington, DC

In 1976, together with Dolly Pomerleau and Jesuit Bill Michelman, he founded the Quixote Center, where – as he put it – “people could dream impossible dreams of justice and make them come true.”

In 1980, Bill was silenced by the Jesuits on the issue of women’s ordination, but resumed his public stance a year later. 

In the late 1980s, he founded Catholics Speak Out, a project of the Quixote Center that encouraged lay Catholics to take adult responsibility for the direction of their church.

In 1989, the New England Province of the Jesuits, at the direction of the Vatican, threatened Bill with dismissal unless he severed his ties with the Quixote Center, Priests for Equality, and Catholics Speak Out, and returned to Boston.

He was dismissed from the Society of Jesus in the early 1990’s. 

Over the years, Bill guided many projects that the Quixote Center initiated.  These include: New Ways Ministry, a gay-positive ministry of advocacy and justice for lesbian and gay Catholics, the successful Karen Silkwood case on nuclear safety issues (completed by the Christic Institute), and Equal Justice/USA – a project opposing the death penalty.

Bill, far better than many Catholic leaders, understood the tension between laws and justice. Laws vary from time to time and place to place. Justice is unconditional. Laws are real but justice is a spirit that haunts laws and those who make and enforce laws.

People with enough power and influence often violate the demands of justice under the protection of the law and persecute the just.

The George W. Bush administration did it every day by unjustly making the poor poorer, by shrinking the size of the middle class, and by  filling the pockets of the rich with perfectly legal tax breaks.

The Christian Right — among whom are far too many prominent Roman Catholics — calls for law and order but makes hardly any mention of the biblical demands for social justice: justice for people forced to move to a foreign land to squeeze out a meager living. Justice for people caught in the poverty of inner-city life. Justice for people forced to work for below-subsistence wages and with no health care.

The God of forgiveness, mercy, compassion, and JUSTICE shines like a bright spotlight on the hypocrisy of those who, under the cover of God and in the name of Jesus, oppress the most defenseless people in our society.

In the Gospels the only time we see an angry Jesus is when he shows his anger at the hypocrisy of religious authorities who made a living denouncing sin while thriving in and concealing their own corruption. And they did it all, like those bishops today who cover-up sexual abuse of children, in the name of God.

A prophet is not someone who sees the future but a man or woman who warns about the consequences in the future of a present evil.

A prophet hears the call of justice as a human cry for help and the beating of a human heart.

Let us thank God for prophets like William R. Callahan and may we be inspired and encouraged by his example and memory.

 

What Rome Never Understood: From Power and Control to the Reign of God


The Roman crucifixion of Jesus is the iconic and ironic symbol of today’s deeply troubled Church.

 

A brief meditation about Sacred irony

 

With cruel mockery, the Romans labeled Jesus “King of the Jews.” The crucified Jesus proclaimed for all time the essence of genuine Christian belief: the Reign of God — the Way of Jesus —  is not about the strong-arm rule of power and control.

In the Reign of God the weak are strong. God’s Reign —  rule of Jesus —  invites and extolls  self-giving, patient listenting, tolerance, understanding, and forgiveness.

Some Christians just never seem to hear or understand what authentic belief is all about.

Christianity is about the powerless power of the Reign of God. And that powerless power reigns wherever the questioning, the least and the most undesirable are favored while the most orthodox and the most powerful are put on the defensive.

When the institutional Church degenerates into the nineteenth century Catholic ethos, it regresses into a sinister and deeply un-Chritsian lifestyle.

No. It is not just a question of a diffent theology or a different ecclesiology. It is a matter of poor theology and bad ecclesiology.

The Rule of Rome is not the Way of Jesus.

Without a change of heart, our old instituition risks the loss of of its immortal soul…..