Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Short Thought On Some Obvious Ironies And Inconsistencies

One of the neat ironies of coupling stories about the Ugandan "kill the gays" bill and the Irish abuse scandal is that if the Ugandan bill was in effect in Ireland, there would be a lot of executed priests and most of the hierarchy would be in prison for aiding and abetting known 'homosexuals'. No wonder the Vatican and Ugandan bishops are circumspect about the Ugandan bill. In some respects the bill's archetypal targets are elements of the Roman Catholic priesthood and it's hierarchical enablers.

It is encouraging to see that some reports have the Ugandan parliament removing the death penalty from the bill, and other voices calling for it to be completely dropped. I'm still not sure that the impetus for this reversal isn't the fact that the bill itself serves as the perfect vehicle for eliminating oppositional political voices. It would be pretty hard for a targeted heterosexual politician to fight off charges under this bill. Then there is the other issue, that the triggers for the death penalty mostly involved various forms of sexual exploitation, and the truth is the vast majority of crimes of sexploitation are committed by heterosexuals. If this bill was to be non discriminatory, as the Archbishop Migliore suggests, then Uganda would have had to open concentration camps to deal with all the heterosexual exploitation. It doesn't make a great deal of sense to insist one orientation be held to a moral standard that the other violates with impunity. At least in my book it doesn't.

Finally, here is a link to an interview with Fr. Richard Rohr which deals with notions of a Christology which fits the scientific description of the cosmos. It's well worth reading in it's totality. Here's a short tease.

"The real trump card of Christianity is not just that we believe in God. The mystery we are about is much more than that: It’s that the material and the spiritual coexist. It’s the mystery of the Incarnation.

Once we restore the idea that the Incarnation means God truly loves creation then we restore the sacred dimension to nature. We bring the plants and animals and all of nature in with us. They are windows into the endless creativity, fruitfulness and joy of God. We assert that we believe in the sweep of history, humanity and all of creation that Christ includes.

Incarnation is already redemption. Bethlehem was more important than Calvary. It is good to be human. The Earth is good. God has revealed that God has always been here.

It’s a Franciscan approach, and indeed was the theology of key Franciscan figures like Duns Scotus and St. Bonaventure. It will increasingly become mainline spirituality as we become more comfortable with an expanded view of the mystery of Incarnation in the cosmos. If we Christians had taken this mystery seriously, we would never have raped the planet like we do, never have developed such an inadequate theology about sexuality."


  1. So true, Colleen, and very insightful of you to point out the irony:

    ...if the Ugandan bill was in effect in Ireland, there would be a lot of executed priests and most of the hierarchy would be in prison for aiding and abetting known 'homosexuals'."

  2. Great quote from Rohr.

    I agree that the key to the future is developing an adequate theology that encorporates the whole cosmos. Even some of the gems of the Church, such as Catholic Social Teaching, are fundamentally rooted in antho-centric principles. Changing that really upsets the whole applecart of Christian theology and the implications are going to be vast.

    Just having a creation-oriented theology rather than redemption-oriented one raises all sorts of issues! Just trying to reconcile that with Tradition is not going to be an easy task. Oh well, we're all along for the ride!