Saturday, July 17, 2010

Velimirovich on Gandhi

 Pearls wasted on swine (modern Western Christians):
Sadly, in our time, among Christians, many of these principles [fasting, prayer and silence] are disregarded, and many wonder-working mysteries are forgotten. People have started thinking that one wins only by using steel, that the hailing clouds are dispersed only by cannons, that diseases are cured only by pills, and that everything in the world can be explained simply through electricity. Spiritual and moral energies are looked upon almost as working magic.

I think that this is the reason why ever-active Providence has chosen Gandhi, an unbaptized man, to serve as a warning to the baptized, especially those baptized people who pile up one misfortune on another upon themselves and their peoples by using ruthless and harsh means.
 via Salt of the Earth

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Identity crisis: church or state?

I used to find no contradiction in the concept of the Vatican being both a globally-recognized independent state on the one hand and the headquarters of the Catholic Church on the other.  The Vatican state is not the Church, nor even is the Vatican as religious institution the Church.  But with the outbreak of hostilities in Europe over pervert priests and their coverup, I'm beginning to see the huge cracks. 

The indomitable vaticanista Sandro Magister simply ignores the cracks in his coverage of the Belgian raid on Church records, without even blinking:
The searches ordered by the Belgian judiciary – called "brutal" by no less than the country's justice minister, Stefaan De Clerck – are not at all reassuring. There the Church has been considered on a par with a gang of criminals.
I guess one should expect this sort of irony when your hymnography has been emptied of pieces like "Criminal on the Cross," or has gutted the sanctoral and liturgical cycle of any significant veneration of St. Dismas.

So let me get this straight: we worship a God who did not see it beneath Him nor cried of injustice to be crucified "on a par" with vile criminals for being perfectly God and perfectly man, but we His latter-day disciples are offended that the mighty Roman Empire the Belgian police scourged and crucified without due process of law searched and seized diocesan records via judicial process on the grounds that we innocently and bravely preached the Gospel abused children in the name of Jesus Christ and have consistently covered up for our pervert priests.  If only Jesus were treated so kindly for being such a criminal perfectly righteous and blameless. 
Not only in Belgium and the United States, but a little bit everywhere, there is a growing tendency to judge the nature and organization of the Church while ignoring what it is and its unique original organizing principles, which nonetheless have entered into the best legal culture and have been recognized by internationally valid pacts. 
I almost got whiplash reading that last line.  Magister sets up a nice teaching moment with "while ignoring what it [the Church] is and its unique original organizing principles."  I was ready for a clear-eyed exposition of eucharistic ecclesiology or something.  Instead we get awkward flattery about "the best legal culture" and "internationally valid pacts."  Right.  Cuz that's precisely what Jesus purposefully availed himself of when he faced Pilate and the Sanhedrin. 

The rest of the Magister's post goes on to lecture us about the principle of sovereign immunity.  The simple syllogism here is: Vatican is a State; States have immunity; therefore Vatican has immunity.  Period, cuz international law says so and the Church has always taken shelter under the Patronage of St. Ius Gentium the Archangel.  It's like playing Truth or Dare.  Church or State?

Related: If this Wamp is Christianity in the public square, who can blame anyone for going with ardent public square secularism?

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Fruit of the Beat/Hippie Generation

#1,432: "There are no more old people, only decrepit youths.

Escolios a un Texto Implícito: Selección, p. 242

Unity vs. Obedience

But the anti-canonical practices that are bewailed in "unity rhetoric" go beyond mere inconsistency: if there is any inconsistency, it lies in the fact that some jurisdictions are better at complying with the Church Canons than others. If I saw this list for the first time, without having read it first in the context of unification, I would have said, in my untutored "the-emperor-has-no-clothes-on" wit, that this list of problems must have spilled out from a departure from Tradition, or a failure of apostolic leadership – not disunity. If a funeral service in one Temple ends up with a trip to the crematorium, administrative unity is not what is needed: obedience is.
~Fr. Jonathan Tobias
I wish Catholics would get this distinction straight. Do we seek liturgical/doctrinal conformity for unity's sake or is it to grow in unity with the Fathers? Is unity from without or within? On both Catholic left and right, it seems the former is more important, hence our endless carping and strutting over what does the Pope or the prayer "really say." Administrative or jurisdictional unity is so illusory. Catholics (and apparently many Americanized Orthodox) have come to believe that unity is something that can be established, enforced, and extended by institutional, impersonal power. I now realize how this is the mind of Anti-Christ.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

The Story of Having No Story

From a lecture by my (and, it seems, every other Catholic's) favorite Protestant theologian Prof. Stanley Hauerwas back in March.
Of course the problem with the story that you should have no story except the story you choose when you had no story is that story is a story that you have not chosen.
Thankfully, Hauerwas elaborates:
But Americans do not have the ability to acknowledge that they have not chosen the story that they should have no story except the story they choose when they had no story. As a result they must learn to live with decisions they made when they thought they knew what they were doing but later realized they did not know what they were doing. Of course they have a remedy when it comes to marriage. It is called divorce. They also have a remedy for children. It is called abortion.

The story that you should have no story except the story you choose when you had no story obviously has implications for how faith is understood. The story that you should have no story except the story you choose when you had no story produces people who say things such as, “I believe Jesus is Lord — but that is just my personal opinion.”
Via Ochlophobist