Our Red Pope
Pope Francis recently warmed my heart again when he responded to a criticism that his socio-economic analysis smacked of Marxism. He did not back away from this but said instead that communism had stolen it from the Church. While I am thankful that he did not back down, it is also unfair to the Marxists. They did not so much ‘steal’ it as find it by the side of the road, where the bishops had tossed it while they dined with emperors and presidents and bankers.
But every movement for justice and equality, for the people and for the universal destination of the earth’s fullness, is part of the long bright shadow cast by Christ.
Sectarian Catholicism vs True Faith
So much of what is called ‘Catholicism’ is mostly humanly constructed and ephemeral. The various sectarian Catholicisms may be rooted in a love of beauty and attachment to some historic form of the Faith that moved the soul. But whenever anything relative is held as absolute you have wandered into idolatry territory.
Again, Francis calls us to the primal encounter with Christ, not the embrace of ideas about him.
I have recently become aware of how grateful I am for my background in scholastic philosophy and Roman Catholic moral theology. If that is all you have you have a pretty crappy religion, but they are sure good to have in one’s repertoire .
Same Shit, New Flies
I saw a new right wing magazine the other day, The Whistle Blower, from NewsMax. The cover blared “The Truth About America’, but it was no expose of our historic sins, but rather a triumphalist apologia for American exceptionalism.
One article was called ‘The Land of the Self-Made Man’.
I thought about that expression, and it is clear that what is meant is the ‘self-made rich man’. I mean imagine how ridiculous the term ‘self-made beggar’ or ‘self-made slave’ is.
But of course any such phrase is delusional, in denial of our fundamental interdependence, not only biologically but spiritually and economically.
Individualism is an illusion spun by hubris, the original sin of America, watered and manured with the cursed spirit of Calvin.
Dilbert would be so much better if the underlings wore postal uniforms. The pointy headed boss would be a dead ringer for the worst boss I ever had if he had a goatee and was twice the size of everyone else.
Painting by Ohio artist Michael Hoza