Saturday, March 21, 2009

Reprise: The Winds Of Change

Due to the fact I have some engagements today which will take up most of my time, I've decided to re post an article from the first week of January. In it I discussed the winds of change which were beginning to blow through the Church. The subsequent months have certainly continued to see the winds blow. The battles over Christologies continued with the SSPX fiasco right through to Madison Wi. Bishop Morlino's recent firing of a lay pastoral associate ostensibly over a six year old Master's thesis.

It does not take a prophet to see that these battles over the nature of Jesus and how they subsequently define the Church will continue into the future.

I suspect that the major underlying issue which is spurring a lot of the Vatican angst lately is in the realm of Christology. The recent disciplining of Fr. Roger Haight is just another in a long salvo targeting theologians whose Christology tends to progress from the bottom up, meaning emphasising Christ's humanity, rather than from the top down, emphasizing Jesus's divinity.
It's a simple observation, but it has profound consequences, effecting virtually every aspect of Catholicism. Roman Catholic Christianity has progressed theologically on a top down Christology. This Christology underpins everything about the clerical caste, the sacramental system, and the laity's relationship with the Church. A bottom up kind of Christology not only threatens all of this, it doesn't support the current structure of the Church.

This link will take you to Archbishop Bathersby's response to St. Mary's South Brisbane and gives his take on whether or not St Mary's is in communion with the Church. The sections which I found most interesting are sections 3 and 5. Both of these sections deal with an apparently poor Christology which doesn't reflect the Church's theology of the Trinity, in that Jesus's divinity is de emphasised in favor of his human actions.

The Archbishop is correct in his assertion that it is difficult to maintain one is Roman Catholic without subscribing to a Top Down Jesus. Although he doesn't quite phrase it that way, this is essentially his message. It's the same message the Vatican has given Fr. Roger Haight and every other theologian who meditated on the divinity of Christ by starting with his humanity. In the Church's view you can not proceed to discuss divinity from a human starting point.

Guess what, human consciousness is evolving in the exact opposite direction. We are beginning to find God within the material universe and our own selves as loved and loving agents of God's plan. In the West humanity is moving away from a God who is up there and out there, and towards one who is right here, permeating all of the material creation. We are beginning to recapture a 'knowing' about God that imbues sacredness to all aspects of material reality. We are recapturing a sense of the feminine side of God and with it the knowledge that we are very close to destroying our Mother in our desecration and desacrilization of this planet. The more we discover a legitimate understanding of the Trinity in Bottom Up Jesus, the bigger a threat that becomes to existing religious structures who owe their existence to Top Down Jesus.

In one part of his response, Archbishop Bathersby states that St. Mary's appears to be in a time warp, rightly emphasizing social justice, but ignoring the theology it is based on. I'm thinking he's right about the time warp, but wrong about who is in it. Top Down Jesus represents the thinking caught in a time warp. Humanity can not solve it's current dilemmas from the kind of thinking which propagated them.

Many of us are coming to the conclusion that those solutions will be found only when the profane material world is once again accorded the innate sacredness God's living presence with in it demands. That living presence is as much female as it is male. Reality says there is nothing for the male agent to exert power over, unless the female agent creates that something. Power does not exist outside creation. Each is sacred and each must be in balance. That balance is not found in emphasizing a Divine power principle over the Divine creative principle. That balance is not found in Top Down Jesus precisely because it's a theology which over emphasizes power at the expense of creativity.

In my book, Jesus is the balance expressed in incarnate form between Power and Creativity. The Magisterium can continue to try to dominate the Creativity of the Holy Spirit using Top Down Jesus as the excuse, but it will be to no avail. The current Church can not stand under the Winds of Change which are blowing through the consciousness of humanity. Try as it might, even in conjunction with any other institutional ally, it won't be able to harness this wind.
It's a wind which is blowing simultaneously from all four directions and includes all of humanity. I suspect the Vatican senses this and this is why it has really come down on liberation theology. It has no vested interest in Bottom Up Jesus getting any more of a foothold in the very Latin American and African continents in which it sees it's future. Especially in view of the fact, ideas expressed in the theologies of Bottom Up Jesus are already an integral part of the indigenous spiritual cultures of these continents.

But it won't matter if the Vatican likes it, if Islamic jihadist's like it, if economic powers like it, if humanity in general likes it. As the Vatican itself is so fond of saying, this wind is not about democracy and it's not about opinion, it's about God's will. This change in humanity's consciousness is what the Church Triumphant is all about, and they are not denominational in their actions. They never have been. For my part, I say let the Winds blow. The time has come.


  1. "there is nothing for the male agent to exert power over
    unless the female agent creates that something"

    I had a conversation this week with a young woman I am mentoring. She asked the question:

    "why am I having so much problem manifesting certain things, and others just happen without me doing anything?

    Your comment speaks succintly to the heart of the answer I gave her. I told her that the time to "make something happen" is when you have a deadline and must produce a given quantity of products. That is when one properly "exerts power".

    Otherwise, simply create the intention, release it in faith, and trust that the universe will guide you to be in the right place at the right time with the right awareness etc. As you said "use the creative feminine, which I read as being the same as the power of intention that Wayne Dwyer teaches.

    A short story, that illustrates your point:

    Last fall, I set an intention to have a wall full of deer antlers, WITHOUT killing any. As of today, there are 9 (interesting number) "sets" on the wall or in process of mounting.

    The intention was the feminine creative agent, guiding me to be in the right place at the right time. The masculine was the exertion of several hundred miles of wandering through deep woods. Interesting side bar, on the days I tried to "make it happen" I found nothing. On the days I allowed the creative power to guide me, I would literally walk in a straight line right to them or find them by stepping on them.

    As you pointed out, this is a power that does not come from obedience to authority, nor from the intervention of a higher "human" authority. This is the power within each and every one of us. This is what I believe Jesus meant in John 14:12:

    "Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father."

  2. Here at a Lotus Sutra Seminar in Hawaii I more and more see that the top-down Christology is a huge blockage. We must read John 1:14. In the life, ministry, teachings, death and ongoing pneumatic life of Jesus the divine Word is spoken into human history. No need to add any topheavy speculations to that.

  3. Nice explanation Carl of the difference between power and creation. I wish I would have written it myself.

    Joe, sometimes I wonder if the reason we have such a top down Christology is that people just don't get what John meant in 1:14. We should stop trying to theologically define that which transecends definition. The Word is and that's all we need to know.
    That's why I think any real insight into this phenomenon of Christ the Word is, will come from quantum physics and not theology. End of heretical commenting for today.

  4. Carl, I'm guessing you are DGF on the NCR, and if you are, I want to tell you your analysis of Benedict's assessment of African Witchcraft was brilliant. I will post my own thoughts on this speech on Monday.

  5. Yes, you are correct, that is me.

  6. Carl, I knew it!

    word is anons - so much for anonymous

  7. But the winds of change have been blowing against the Church for hundreds of years, including pagan winds such as you describe, and still she stands. Do you not believe that the Holy Spirit protects the Church from error? Why should I follow your vision, and not the Pope's? I might as well join the Protestant congregation down the street and follow that preacher's 'personal revelation', no?

  8. Yes John, the Holy Spirit does protect the church, but ... the Holy Spirit manifests itself through people.

    John 14:12 is very clear: "Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father"

    If indeed, the Holy Spirit was guiding the RCC Leadership, wouldnt we see them performing the miracles that Jesus performed? The scripture is very clear.

    Why is it that we do not see the miracles being performed by the Magisterial Authorities?

  9. John, I didn't write that the winds of change were blowing against the Church. I wrote they were blowing through human consciousness.

    I truly believe the Holy Spirit protects the Church, but I suspect our definition of Church is different.

    As to Pope Benedict's view of the Church, that's where I get confused. Some of his theology is flat brilliant, but then he will turn around and contradict the best of his own thinking when it comes to justifying the clerical system.

    It maybe that he doesn't see it as a contradiction because he's an integral part of the clerical system, but I see it as contradictory precisely because I'm not a part of the clerical system. I'm part of the mystical system and in that system all are equal.

  10. Thank you for your responses. One thing I do very much appreciate is your willingness to give the Holy Father some credit, which is more than many will do. Having read deeper into your blog, I also appreciate your integrity in leaving the Church. I cannot imagine what that must be like, but recognize and honor your integrity in doing so. I will continue to read your interesting posts, but ultimately, yes, I think we disagree on what the Church actually is. I honor that clerical structure that drives you crazy, because it is exactly what has kept the Church going for 2,000 years, and allowed it to increase to over a billion souls (a miracle, I would say!) Cheers, John

  11. One last thought John. I can see where for continuity and longevity there is a need for an institutional structure. I disagree with how the structure has come to operate over the centuries.

    We seem to have sacrificed a willingness to engage in discernment for the safety of creeping infallibility. That to me denies the influence of the Holy Spirit and one of the key Spiritual gifts, which is discernment.

    PS, I think women had a whole lot more to do with one billion Catholics than our celibate leadership. It was Catholic women who agreed to have and raise the children necessary for those figures.

    Or to paraphrase Carl above. It was women working with in their own creativity which manifested the material for which the celibate clergy exercises power over. No women no church.