…First, stop thinking about God as a super-scientist or master craftsman, who designs our nervous and circulatory systems and gives us brains by which to read the stars and thus reason to His existence, but as an artist, and writer, like Shakespeare, who wants to come and live with us. Not because He’s lonely or wants to teach us something, but just because He loves us so much he wants to live our lives — and suffer our death.
Well if Shakespeare does want to come and live with me I won’t even charge him rent. Roy Schroth in a article on a new book by George Dennis O’brien says he wishes the above analogy was his own. As an analogy though it isn’t very good and you want to shout BOTH/AND at him. But I did have a pretty large guffaw at the "Not because He’s lonely" line. Does he perhaps think that God submitted a classified ad known to us as the Bible because of his loneliness? EGSE – Eternal GOd Seeking Everybody. TOP (Trinity of Person) seeking companionship.
…The American bishops, he says, have lost their public voice not merely because of the sexual abuse scandal. Even though American Mass attendance surpasses that of de-Christianized Europe, here the younger generation is falling away from Christian belief. One reason is that once the Vatican Council closed, "the spirit of dialogue evaporated." John Paul II and then Cardinal Ratzinger, head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, conducted a teaching papacy, not a learning papacy, as if they feared open discussion.
Yes let is have an open discussion on issues. First off let us all get together and decide if racism is really all that bad in the first place. We can get groups on both sides of the question get together and have a dialogue on racism. There hasn’t been any infallible statements made or encyclicals specifically referencing racism so it must be an open issue. So what if racism as a sin is a consistent teaching of the Church. If Ordinatio Sacerdotalis doesn’t close the door on the discussion of women’s ordination then surely there is nothing to prevent a frank open discussion in support of racism.
While we are at it how about the preferential option for the poor. Isn’t it time that we stop stigmatizing selfish people as greedy? Have we sufficiently walked in a greedy man’s patent leather shoes to understand his desire to ignore the poor. Shouldn’t greedophobia be inspected in light of modern times? Surely the Sensus Fidelium has moved from a individual preferential love of the poor to a "isn’t there a government program to take care of them?" If we have a prophetic and listening heart then no doubt we will come to realize that a individual responsibility towards our neighbors is a tradition that should now be reevaluated.
I only throw these example out since for some strange reasons progressives always want to have dialog on the same predictable subjects. If you don’t want to have a discussion on racism and greed then you are closed minded and dogmatic on these subjects.
…Thanks to modern communication techniques, the Pope has become the public "voice" of the church. The trouble with this, suggests O’Brien, is that of the many "voices" the Pope could use he has chosen those that cannot be heard effectively in the modern world. We have become accustomed to the Pope as "super-professor" or "judge." He writes long encyclicals and delivers homilies in which he tells us definitively — sometimes infallibly — what to think. At one time he said the issue of women’s ordination was settled, and not to be discussed.
But our experience of the professor and judge model is that they are not infallible. Historians, for example, admit there is much they don’t know and invite colleagues to correct them. O’Brien suggests that the Pope play the role of "patriarch," a "father" who has authority in his family based on his love for them, even though good fathers are sometimes wrong.
In our experience not only is the professor and judge model not infallible, but neither are Commonweal writers, critics of the Pope, etc. In fact I will go so far as to say that you can name any profession and say that are not infallible. But then again Vatican I did not look at scripture and Apostolic tradition and decide that professors and judges are infallible.
…O’Brien closes with the suggestion that the Pope every five years should invite the world’s leading intellectuals, including both Catholic theologians and those who opposed the church’s teachings, to a meeting in the Sistine Chapel, where, under Michelangelo’s Last Judgment, they discuss the world’s biggest problems. The Pope’s role is to sit quietly and listen. Then consider all they have said, and publish their papers with his replies.
I don’t know about you but I would pay to see a Sistine Chapel cage match on PPV between faithful and dissident theologians.
The silliness of this whole idea is that it is not the role of the Pope to keep revisiting Church teaching, but to go deeper into the deposit of faith that is the Church’s heritage. When it comes to the deposit of faith progressives keep wanting to make a withdrawal.
This article was titled Can the "Church learn to listen?" and listening was the main brunt of it. I just want to know why progressive who won’t listen to the Pope and the teaching authority of the Church and are tone deaf to the consistent teaching of the Church should be lecturing us on listening anyway?
Carl Olson has also fisked this article and surely there is enough material for multiple fiskings.