Spinning

First they want to tell us Pope Francis signed off on the LCWR witch hunt. Today Rock posted on PF’s meeting with Latin American religious. Supposedly he said:

Say you err, [or] make a blunder – it happens! Maybe you’ll receive a letter from the Congregation for Doctrine [sic], saying that they were told this or that thing…. But don’t let it bother you. Explain what you have to explain, but keep going forward…. Open doors, do something where life is calling out [to you].

The conservatives are spinning themselves dizzy over this one. Imagine a pope saying, “Pay no attention to that Joseph Ratzinger clone behind the desk.” I confess I’m feeling a little spun around on that one.

If there are Catholics who are feeling dismayed their sister and maybe brother believers are feeling a bit lifted up and not trampled, then this is a good thing.

On the other hand, this detachment from the curia is very interesting. It may be crazy like a fox. The curia could find itself totally marginalized on some fronts. They could continue as they have in the past, but if the Bishop of Rome pays no attention, and the Gang-of-8 moves forward, and the laity do things where the Holy Spirit is calling … we could end up with that diseased portion of the Body, holy as some of those individuals may be, looking out its windows on the world, wondering how it all seemed to pass by. I don’t know how Ignatian this approach is, but it sure seems pacifistic to me.

I’m sure someone will come out in the next day or two and say it was all a mistake. But still, I’m feeling like this will be a very good day at the parish. Time to get going and do something where life is calling out.

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Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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2 Responses to Spinning

  1. Liam says:

    I believe the Pope is simply applying the distilled wisdom of centuries of Christian practice that evangelisation that is primarily fear-based is an inferior form of evangelisation. A fear that is properly grounded in respect and love for God, the Body of Christ in God’s Church, and for other people is a virtue. But it’s a secondary virtue. Like any secondary or lesser virtue, when it becomes excessive it becomes, um, disordered.

  2. Joseph Anthony says:

    It hardly seems like he said “Ignore the CDF.” He said “if you make a mistake” and he said “explain what you have to explain.” These are encouraging words! It sounds to me like, far from justifying activity foreign to the faith of the Church–the gnostic or pantheistic sentiments, or the movin-beyond-the-Church or beyond-Jesus theology, or dissent on some aspect of the moral and sacramental theology–he’s talking about reports sent in a by a well-meaning person who heard, or thought he heard something, while the report is not indicative of the order’s orthodoxy. This happens! Mistakes are made or people make a mistake in interpretation! Speaking as one raised in a charismatic parish of very orthodox theology, someone who didn’t know the pastor and people as well as I could easily pick out this thing or that thing and report it as suspect of heterodoxy. But, despite their added interpretation of their own charismatic experience, the pastor and parish firmly holds and believes everything the Catholic Church proclaims should be held and believed. They desire nothing more than to live the life that Jesus taught in the heart the Church. The externals that could lead someone to doubt the orthodoxy are misleading because the people don’t understand the nature of the community from the inside. If that parish were reported to the CDF for this or that off-the-cuff remark, and the CDF instigated an investigation, I would hope that the parish would rest firm in its knowledge of firm loving obedience; I would hope they would not falter even in the slightest in their sense of identify, while, at the same time, submitting themselves entirely to the Church as to a loving and wise mother. So it is with religious orders. My gut reaction, as a man whose encounter of the living Trinity day to day is through the traditions of the Church, is to be repulsed by the sight of strange novelties in religious orders. This religious order has replaced chant with guitar music; that one has eliminated distinctive habits; this other hand has torn out everything from their oratory and replaced it with a central table-altar, and, perhaps, some rocks and flowers. My background in the charismatic renewal, however, has taught my not to judge by appearances–a lesson I yet have to learn over and over again. An order may seem suspect to me because of this or that, but that doesn’t mean they have imbibed the spirit of the world, compromised the faith, or distanced themselves from filial obedience. A order may appear to me to be doing strange things, but be internally justified by a most Christian conscience. If this order was reported to the CDF, and if, perhaps, they received a letter from the CDF inquiring into it, since they have nothing to fear, I hope they would fear nothing; I hope they would explain their obedience, protest their orthodoxy, and continue on with their mission. Why could the Pope not have meant this? Why must this mean that he thinks religious orders should ignore the CDF? this especially given his personal approval of the ongoing investigations and his reported criticism in the very same dialog of those who replace the Incarnation with the Cosmos?

    I think the conclusion is unwarranted that the Pope wants to make the Curia a shell which the Church has moved past. Of course we are receiving the words of the Pope according to our respective modes; I merely doubt that the Pope meant to indicate that he thinks the Church must leave the Curia behind. Whatever problems there are in the Curia (“gay lobby”) (“careerism”), I would need more than that quotation to begin to suspect that Pope wants to render it essentially lame-duck.

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