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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Discouraged


- The Ecumenical Council, Salvador Dalí

In the news - Liberal U.S. Catholics say their Church is not listening (Reuters). Bryan Cones at US Catholic also has a post on this. Here's a bit of his post ...

American Catholic Council opens in Detroit

[...] The council is proposing a Catholic Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. Sound too American? Well, none other than Pope Paul VI proposed just such a thing--a basic law or constitution--for the church to be included in the revision of canon law. Pope John Paul II scrapped the idea, though its contents survive in canons 208-231.

I can hear already the protest that the church is not a democracy, to which I give my pat response that neither is it an empire, a monarchy, an oligarchy, or a dictatorship, though it in many ways is currently mirroring those forms of human government in various ways. I would also argue that from its foundation the church is profoundly democratic, and its history is full of examples in which the "fundamental equality of the baptized" (that's from canon law and Lumen gentium) was exercised in things like the selection of bishops, the governance of religious communities, and church councils ......


Do I think anything will come of this? Sadly, no - with B16 at the helm, the church is headed in the opposite direction and it doesn't want to listen to any differing opinions. Just yesterday I was reading about Salvador Dalí's painting, The Ecumenical Council - I feel so discouraged about the future of the church, in contrast to Dalí ...

Dalí was inspired to paint The Ecumenical Council upon the 1958 election of Pope John XXIII .... Religious symbols are pervasive throughout the piece. The title is an homage to the coronation of Angelo Guiseppe Cardinal Roncalli, who became Pope John XXIII in 1958. When John XXIII met with Geoffrey Fisher, the Archbishop of Canterbury, it was the first time the two churches had officially communicated in 426 years. Dalí was enthusiastic about the meeting.

But anyway, here are the rights and responsibilities mentioned above, which sound pretty good to me ....

1. Primacy of Conscience. Every Catholic has the right and responsibility to develop an informed conscience and to act in accord with it.
2. Community. Every Catholic has the right and responsibility to participate in a Eucharistic community and the right to responsible pastoral care.
3. Universal Ministry. Every Catholic has the right and responsibility to proclaim the Gospel and to respond to the community’s call to ministerial leadership.
4. Freedom of Expression. Every Catholic has the right to freedom of expression and the freedom to dissent.
5. Sacraments. Every Catholic has the right and responsibility to participate in the fullness of the liturgical and sacramental life of the Church.
6. Reputation. Every Catholic has the right to a good name and to due process.
7. Governance. Every Catholic and every Catholic community has the right to a meaningful participation in decision making, including the selection of leaders.
8. Participation. Every Catholic has the right and responsibility to share in the interpretation of the Gospel and Church tradition.
9. Councils. Every Catholic has the right to convene and speak in assemblies where diverse voices can be heard.
10. Social Justice. Every Catholic has the right and the responsibility to promote social justice in the world at large as well as within the structures of the Church.


2 Comments:

Blogger Carnival said...

Interesting post but I argue that Benedict XVI is not the villain people think he is. Often, I feel as if there is a small conflict between Ratzinger, the Cardinals, and the Vatican Spokespeople. After all, Ratzinger is a theologian and his writing exposes an aspect of him that is often, I think, kept in check by the doctrinal bulldogs of the Church. It is quite unfortunate that Ratzinger headed the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and was a doctrinal bulldog himself for so many years because putting on those vestments made him out to be quite a different person than I think he really is, quite different than the theologian he is in actuality. His writings, particularly his Jesus of Nazareth books, could contribute greatly to ecumenical dialogue since many different Christians have read them and in these books he builds on many different Christian theologians' takes on Jesus.I think Benedict XVI could be a leader in ecumenical relations if he is analyzed from a theological perspective.

6:31 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Carnival,

What you said about Benedict is interesting. I haven't read any of his theology - just only an excerpt ofrom his latest Jesus of Nazareth book.

I'd say that his actions, if not his writings, have been actually very un-ecumenical .....

In this past post, I mention a timeline of his actions in regards to relations with the Jewish people - it's not pretty.

And as for the Protestants, he's declared them not to be real churches, and I think his starting of the Anglican Ordinariates is just another nail in the coffin of ecumenism.

And then there was his speech at the University of Regensburg about the unreasonableness of Islam.

If his theology is different than what he publicly says/does, then I hope he becomes more integrated.

9:22 PM  

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