Sunday, November 20, 2011

Quote of the Day

John Allen is very good at squeezing some lemonade out of lemons. Unfortunately even he cannot hide the fact that the current Vatican regime as articulated by Pope Benedict is really asking us to meekly accept their total control while calling it liberation. The Vatican defines what it means by individual conversion, and has no problems exerting it's authority when Catholics don't convert in the exact Vatican way. This Vatican will also talk endlessly about clergy staying out of politics until it finds a clergyman who is willing to rule a country in the way the Vatican wants a country ruled. Then it's OK for a clergyman to be overtly political.

Benedict's Vatican will talk about a preferential option for the poor, but his hierarchy is perfectly willing to leave that preferential option up to the vagaries of individual conversion and conscience. This is one of the few places we Catholics are free to exercise individual conscience. Of course this kind of exercising does keep the Calvinistic wealthy Catholic fully in the fold and donating to a given Bishop's latest cathedral building project. Sometimes the preferential option for the poor means building a massive church in which the poor can vicariously feel the riches in heaven which await them in exchange for their temporal suffering. This kind of thing is precisely why Allen writes that Benedict insists the supernatural realm is the deepest and most 'real' level of existence. Not to mention it's also the one for which we have no 'real' evidence and is there for ripe for authority to define for us – and keep external to us, when Jesus repeatedly said that realm was inside us.

That 'inside us' thing sure does seem to be the one concept Jesus taught that our leadership likes to ignore. Of course if the kingdom is inside us, we don't have much use for the external kingdom that calls for Vatican elucidation or clerical mediation. Can't be havin' that. . . .

– Colleen Kochivar-Baker
"John Allen On Pope Benedict's Lonely Liberation Theology"
Enlightened Catholicism
November 20, 2011

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