BY MICHAEL MULLINS
Jo O’Sullivan writes in the blog of the Irish Association of Catholic Priests on coming to terms with her confusion about the Church.
I carried a unease with certain aspects of Catholicism for a long time and had to reconcile things as best I could ... I spent most of my adult life in that way, ... living a rather superficial version of Catholicism because, I think, I was afraid to delve too deeply ... I continued trying to accept that my ‘betters’ knew more than I did ... The revelations of the Murphy Report caused a chasm to appear under me. I had been able to accept that there were individual criminal perpetrators of evil but I could not bear the fact that my ‘betters’, my moral and spiritual guides, had totally failed our most vulnerable little ones by choosing to protect the institution of the Catholic church over them.
Judith Lynch writes in v2catholic.com of her own progression from confused disenchantment towards being part of “one heart and soul” with other believers.
As a Catholic I am frequently assured that I am part of the parish community, as if saying ‘community’ often enough is enough to make it real. But is it? ... Maybe we still wait to experience that unity of heart and purpose we call community, or maybe we are just slow to recognise its presence.
But disillusionment and enchantment with the Church exists simultaneously within most Catholics, and this is almost a proof for postmodernism. The postmodern, according to Divine Wedgie, is usually a “dirty word” for Christians that is “associated with relativism, individualism and the jettisoning of tradition for the sake of the new or kitsch”. Wedgie used some ideas of the French philosopher Jacques Derrida in a talk at Sydney’s Campion College last week in which he asserted that “postmodernism can actually provide the idiom to the recovery of the ancient treasures of the Church in a way that is not assured either by liberal or seemingly conservative factions”.
If a text is treated as an object, it is often treated as something to be controlled, something whose meaning is sucked out by the reader for his own purposes ... Treating the text as a subject rather than an object ... would [make it] resistant to the readers attempts to control [it]. Derrida hopes to bring into the centre of the reader's attention marginalised voices - migrants, the colonised and women to name a few.
This could have implications for the increasingly bitter divide that has emerged over issues such as gay marriage, which Michael O’Loughlin at America’s In All Things believes could potentially be accepted by the Catholic Church.
Evidence suggests that Catholic bishops in the US are fighting a losing battle in opposing same-sex marriage, even among their own flock ... As with the public as a whole, the more visible gay and lesbian people are in families, schools, and the workplace, the more likely Catholics are to support laws that they see as extending civil rights to a group of historically marginalise ... But is there something about Catholicism in particular that would lead to acceptance of same-sex marriage, even as some church leaders rail against it? I think the sacramental nature of our faith, the belief that the world is good and infused with God’s grace.
But Sandro Magister sees it differently, with the highlighting of Church teaching on the disordered nature of homosexuality in the release of out of print documents by the Libreria Editrice Vaticana.
It is the one dedicated to the pastoral care of homosexual persons (no. 11 of the series), published for the first time in 1995 and containing the letter on pastoral care for homosexual persons signed on October 1, 1986 by the prefect and secretary at the time, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and Archbishop Albertone Bovone, after John Paul II had approved it and ordered its publication.
Magister also blogs on the possible rehabilitation of Jean Cardinal Danielou, who was regarded as one of the greatest theologians of the 20th century. But he was ostracised due to the circumstances of his death from a heart attack suffered during a 1974 visit to a sex worker in Paris.
A Quote of the Day from Andrew Sullivan refers to a cardinal who remains in good standing, despite Dominican theological great Fr Yves Congar commenting in his personal diary of Vatican II on the cardinal’s imbecility:
“That an imbecile, a sub-human like [Giuseppe Cardinal] Pizzardo should be in charge of the department for universities and seminaries is scandalous and extremely serious. . . . This wretched freak, this sub-mediocrity with no culture, no horizon, no humanity. . . . This Pizzardo, who has red pyjamas and underpants. . . who haggles over the purchase of a newspaper . . . What a frightful comedy!”
Finally, Cooees in the Cloister makes a bid for a democratic Church with a poll for the new Archbishop of Hobart, with Bishop Peter Elliott (47%) ahead of Bishop Julian Porteous (20%)
Michael Mullins, founding editor of CathNews, compiles this 'Blog Watcher' column every Monday.
Disclaimer: CathBlog is an extension of CathNews story feedback. It is intended to promote discussion and debate among the subscribers to CathNews and the readers of the website. The opinions expressed in CathBlog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the members of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference or of Church Resources.