A Question Of Moral Relativism
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
A Question Of Moral Relativism
I imagine there are any number of bishops in the USCCB who would be more than willing to transfer the donations of their laity to Cardinal Rode in order to gain access to this kind of wardrobe.
Cardinal Rodé asks bishops to send money directly to his congregation
By Thomas C. Fox NCR 9/28/09
The projected cost of a three-year study of U.S. women religious congregations is $1.1 million and Rome has asked the U.S. bishops to provide funds to offset these expenses, according to a letter by Slovenian Cardinal Franc Rodé, head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and obtained by NCR.
In an interview last July with Catholic News Service, Mother Mary Clare Millea, superior general of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, chosen by Rodé to be apostolic visitator and head of the investigation, declined to discuss costs or funding. However, Millea told CNS that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops would not be funding the effort. (So much for the credibility of Mother Millea.)
“look into the quality of the life of apostolic women religious in the United States
“learn more about the varied and unique ways in which apostolic women religious contribute to the welfare of the church and society
“assist the church to strengthen, enhance and support the growth of the apostolic congregations to which approximately 59,000 women religious in the United States belong.”
a) •“look into the quality of the life of clerics in the Church
b) •“learn more about the varied and unique ways in which clerics have impacted the life and function of the Church in ministering to the faithful
c) •“assist the church to strengthen, enhance and support the growth of the clerics which seem to be in a state of serious decline in Church within the United States.
Seems appropriate to me."
And now for a personal note. I will be attending a Navajo ceremony for the rest of this week, and so this blog will not be updated until Monday, October 4. Until then blessings on all of you.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
by John L Allen Jr on Sep. 26, 2009 NCR Today
In the first spiritually evocative moment of his itinerary in the Czech Republic, Pope Benedict XVI paid a visit early this afternoon to the Church of Our Lady of Victorious, home to the famed statue known as the “Infant of Prague.”
Strikingly, the pope did not make two points which typically surface whenever he ventures into the theme of the family: opposition to abortion and gay marriage.
Friday, September 25, 2009
The Infant of Prague in one of the seasonal costumes in which the Icon is dressed through out the year. Thank God my daughter did not know about this. Purchasing certain Barbies was expensive enough.
By Jeffrey Donovan-Bloomberg.com 9/25/09
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
"For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Mt. 5:20-21)
Jesus would have learned from the Hebrew Scriptures---the Wisdom books, including Psalms, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, the book of Wisdom, and most especially, the book of Job, to deal with complex issues that cannot be resolved, that allow no closure, that demand trust, surrender and in moving on to a deeper level. God, for example, answers none of Job's questions, but leads him deeper into mystery "But truly it is the spirit in the mortal, the breath of the Almighty, that makes for understanding" (Job 32:8)
Jesus stresses growing into personal transformation, empathy, compassion, patience, most of all, the love of God---without denial, disguise, repression or hypocrisy. Unfortunately immature religious belief creates a high degree of "cognitively rigid" people or very hateful people---who call others, heretics or blasphemers.
After reading through all of the comments again this past weekend, I was struck with a curious thought. It would be most revealing if everyone who made a comment had included their year of birth and the year of their first holy communion... and whether they are laity or ordained..
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
In the interview with Richard Rohr on the emerging church, there is a discussion of a very important point. It's one which goes to the heart of the current divisions in the Church and one I've alluded to plenty in the past. Where does the Church's religious authority come from? Catholicism claims it's authority as coming directly from Jesus Christ. I don't have a problem with that. The problem comes in defining which vision of Jesus Christ? Is it the Jesus Christ who ministered daily to the marginalized in the fullness of His humanity and brought us the God of love, or is it the post Crucifixion Jesus Christ who gave the keys to Peter and becomes the sacrificial victim to appease the Old Testament's vengeful God, where fearful obedience trumps love.
Like Fr. Rohr I believe religious authority will come from our evolving understanding of creation. The loving social justice Jesus slides easier into this cosmology because we are seeing the universe as an infinitely diverse, yet highly organized living thing in which each discrete unit has an important place in the over all structure. So here are the thoughts of Fr. Rohr:
That Bible, he said, has existed for 15 billion years "and has an inherent authority" reflected in Romans 1:20, 'God is revealed to things through the mind, to things as they are made.'"
The rediscovery today of the natural world, of "things as they are beyond our technology and mental constructs," will become the new authority "that we're going to be forced to appeal to, especially as we continue to destroy this planet, and we realize this is the one thing we all have in common: that we're all standing and eating off this same earth."
(Fr. Rohr is correct. As these concepts percolate down from esoteric science and into the mainstream, traditional institutions will have a tough time integrating this new cosmology because they are products conceived in the older cosmology. Theoretical physicists have been dealing with this for the last hundred or so years. To understand quantum physics they had to let go of the prior Newtonian view of physics. Quantum physics can contain Newtonian physics as a subset of quantum mechanics without negating Newtonian laws. It doesn't work the other way around.)
For Rohr, the new cosmology also recognizes that the old conception of natural order, the up-and-down universe from which hierarchical examples of leadership are modeled, no longer applies.
"You just see Jesus paying no attention to that. Nowhere is it probably symbolized more graphically than in the Roman Catholic church, which has all these scriptures about the least of the brothers and sisters, and the little ones deserving the greatest care, when in fact, what we do is dress up the big ones. We idolize and quasi-worship the big ones." (Quite literally true which is quite literally unfortunate.)
There will be an Emerging Church and once it gets going it will go 'viral' as they say in the world of UTUBE. It will be inclusive of all faith traditions because contemplatives in all those faith traditions are being shown this same future. There will be a sharing of spiritual techniques, concepts, and understandings with no demand that one need shed their own tradition in favor of any other. The Emerging Church will freely understand it is possible to add practices and understandings to one's faith experience with out demeaning or diluting the insights and truths of one's own tradition. This is happening all over the globe. It is gaining momentum, and it will have a profound impact on the future of mankind.
Pooling spiritual resources, capabilities, and training, is the one sure way to change the direction in which humanity is headed because this changes man's view of himself and his relationship to God and how he expresses this awareness. This is not a movement of tearing down so much as it is a movement of building from the past and creating the new.
It takes the fearlessness of a child like curiosity and openness, coupled with a mature faith in truths of one's own tradition. In many respects it's about finding validation for one's traditions in the similarities found in other traditions. It's about what unites us, not what divides us.
It's a concept of church and worship which could not have come at any other time because it needs the possibility of global interaction and communication. It needs a cosmology which both recognizes our common heritage and celebrates an unending creative process which is evolving in complexity and organization.
Current religious institutions will fight to return to a mythical past in which their truths were undiluted by modern culture. Unfortunately for them, more and more people will see that this return is really about reinforcing and maintaining the authority structure, and not so much about maintaining the teachings of their founders.
In Catholicism this is seen in repeated appeals to past clerical authorities to in order to shore up the authority of the current hierarchy. It almost always centers around issues of morality and doctrine, and not the direct teachings of Jesus Christ. Follow this link to see this process at work in the latest discourse from Archbishop Raymond Burke. It should surprise no one that this came at a function hosted by Deal Hudson and involved Raymond Arroyo. The 'Republican' Catholic Church is not an example of a true spontaneous emerging church. It is the perfect example of what the Emerging Church is not. As such one can learn a great deal about the opposing energies and institutions from understanding the artificial and purposeful construction of this particular brand of Catholicism.
As some last thoughts, since the emerging church will be far more about attitude than obedience, here are a couple of posts, Wild Reed and There Will Be Bread, that deal with the kind of attitudes which will foster the advent of the Emerging Truth er I mean Church.