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There is a Snow White, the Florida Keys school district sorely ain’t, and other cheerful blackboard jungle updates post today at goodmorningkeywest.com.
Meanwhile, re these remarks of mine in yesterday’s rumbles in Key West – school district and new pope selection post,
Me, personally, I think the idea of the Pope thinking he is, people thinking he is, the spokesperson for God on this planet is ludicrous. Imagine Jesus dressing like the Pope dresses. Imagine Jesus running a corporation like the Pope runs. Imagine Jesus hanging on to all that loot the Vatican stole, acquired, was given down through the centuries. Imagine Jesus making priests be celibate. Imagine Jesus not allowing women priests after he ordained Mary Magdalene his first minister of the Gospel on the third day outside the tomb. Imagine Jesus putting up with racial, ethnic, or sexual discrimination. Imagine Jesus appointing a woman pope. Imagine Jesus accepting that throne. How far the Vatican has fallen from Jesus. How far. However, I imagine in God’s eyes, we all are convicts
prompted Father Stephen Braddock, CEO of Florida Keys Outreach Coalition in Key West, to send to me:
Subject: Fwd: A parish priest’s hopes for the next pope
Date: Sat, 2 Mar 2013 09:22:00 -0500
National Catholic Reporter
Published on National Catholic Reporter (http://ncronline.org)
A parish priest’s hopes for the next pope
Fr. Peter Daly | Feb. 12, 2013 Parish Diary
Like everybody else, I was surprised to hear that Pope Benedict was resigning. But I was also relieved for him. It has been painfully obvious that he is declining. At Christmas, we saw him wheeled around on that rolling platform. He looked tired. It was time to resign.
Perhaps the most important legacy of Benedict XVI’s papacy will be his resignation. It has set a very healthy precedent. In an age when medical science can keep us living well into our 90s and maybe even past 100, it is important that popes should feel free to resign when they are no longer up to the task of their ministry. Pope Benedict showed true pastoral concern for the church when he recognized he could not carry on.
As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he lived through the final years of John Paul II’s papacy. He saw his friend decline, and he knew the church was drifting for the last few years of that long reign. Yet John Paul II felt bound by tradition to carry on until the end. Benedict XVI has freed future popes of that burden and perhaps freed the church from a major problem of having a senile or incapacitated pope. He deserves our thanks for this precedent.
The Benedictines have a saying about the selection of a new abbot: The abbot should be ne sanus, ne sapiens, et ne sanctus — not too healthy, not too wise and not too holy. In other words, they should select a regular guy. That’s what I hope for: a regular guy.
What does that mean in the context of the College of Cardinals? They are 120 guys, all pretty much cut from the same clerical cloth. They are all older men and accomplished church politicians who have been serving in church offices, where everyone is Catholic and everyone deferential.
But I hope we get somebody who has at least some experience as a parish priest. I hope we get someone who has heard confessions and done marriage counseling, been on youth retreats and done marriage prep. It would be nice if he had the experience of being alone in a parish where he had to do all the liturgies, week after week, and struggled to inspire the same people with his preaching. I hope he has had to explain the teaching of the faith to skeptical youth and angry adults. I hope he has to deal with divorced people.
I hope we get somebody who had not lived exclusively in the world of chancery offices where people give him deference and obedience all the time. I hope we get someone who has dialogued with evangelicals, Muslims and atheists as equals. It would be nice if he has a few friends who are Protestant clergy and he has come to respect them as intelligent and sincere Christians, every bit as saved as he is.
I hope we get someone from a big family, with many brothers and sisters.
I hope he has a lot of nieces and nephews who have challenged him around the dinner table and in family gatherings. Maybe some of them have married outside the church or have left the church to join other religions. He has attended their weddings only as a family member. Perhaps one of those nieces and nephews has come out to him as gay and he has had to love them still.
I hope he has several strong-willed and outspoken biological sisters who have more than a streak of feminism. Maybe they have told their brother that they use birth control. Maybe they have responsible and substantial careers outside the home where women are the boss.
I hope he is a man who has many old friends. That he has kept his friends since childhood and that some of the people on his Christmas card list still call him by his first name. Maybe some of them can still remind him of the stupid things he did or impetuous statements he made in his youth. There is nothing like an old friend to bring you down to earth.
I hope we get somebody who is in touch with his own humanity. It would be nice if he was a man who admits that he, too, is a sexual being who has struggled with human desires and impulses like everybody else.
I hope we get a man with a sense of humor. It would be nice if he was not too much of ninny. He might even be able to tell a joke once in a while and laugh at himself.
I hope we get somebody who puts on his pants one leg at a time. In fact, it would be nice if he would wear pants. Clerics should leave behind the silly affectation of dressing like they are still living in some Renaissance villa or a Baroque painting.
I hope we get a man who knows what it is like to be poor. It would be nice if he has dealt with the homeless and drug addicts and the sick for a few years of his life. It would be good if he has had to struggle like the rest of humanity for his daily bread. It would be nice if he has held a job and had to pay his own bills.
Maybe the cardinals could look around the room and perhaps even look outside the room for the new pope. There is nothing in canon law that says they have to elect a cardinal.
One thing is for sure: We need to try something new if the church is to be revived. What Yogi Berra said about baseball managers is also true about the cardinals’ choice: “If you do what you have always done, you are going to get what you have always got.”
[Fr. Peter Daly is a priest at the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., and has been pastor of St. John Vianney parish in Prince Frederick, Md., since 1994.]
I replied to Father Braddock:
Thanks, Steve – excellent evisceration by a regular guy, except he is a celibate priest, which ain’t all that regular in the big scheme. My personal choice for the new pope is a woman, who has been married, has had children, and now is divorced and has a boyfriend, and has no church made of bricks and mortar, but is in church wherever she is. Sloan
On same theme, this syndicate article in The Key West Citizen today:
A Catholic’s view: Good deeds, outdated dogma
BY O. RICARDO PIMENTEL
The San Antonio Express-News
Culturally, I’m Catholic. This says more than that I share a culture with many who are Catholic. It says that I grew up in the church, learned to the best of my ability its catechism and practiced as my mother and developing conscience would have me practice. Sometimes this was religious practice by rote and ritual.
Sometimes it involved a lot of church; other times little to none. But with the knowledge that, even when I wasn’t attending Mass or taking communion, I held beliefs whose roots were indisputably Catholic. And proud of it.
It’s been an off-and-on relationship through the years, deliberately off for awhile now. But culturally and familialy, my touchstones — and even in disagreement, my conscience — have Catholic written all over them. This is prelude to demonstrate some modicum of bona fides. Let’s discuss the next pope.
As a fallen Catholic, some will say I have no say in the matter, but the sad truth is that even the devoted have no say here. More the pity. This disconnect with both the devoted and the “fallen” is part of the problem, many of these latter leaving the church only after it left them.
I’m thinking of homosexuals, divorced folks, people who would rather have babies on their terms and timing, not the church’s, folks who believe that the church shouldn’t intrude between a woman and her doctor and who believe that women and married men can serve as priests as faithfully as single men — without violating Scripture.
Many haven’t embraced other faiths because, in their heads, they’re still Catholic, even as they insist they aren’t. No? Giving something up for Lent? Right; as Pope Benedict XVI once said, this isn’t a democracy.
OK, but an inability to connect with regular folks has been the downfall of many a my-way-or-thehighway autocracy.
I’m thinking of the priest who told me I wouldn’t be given communion at my daughter’s baptismal because I was
divorced. Yet, the church re-enlisted me when my wife joined the faith.
How the church treats you shouldn’t depend on nice priest, mean priest — how a lot of couples, in truth, pick their wedding pastor. The laity, the church must know, prefers a bit of flexibility and savvy grounded in the real world.
I’m thinking of the time, meeting with a favorite Jesuit teacher of a friend for a quiet drink, and sitting dumbfounded as he went on a screed about the persecution of priests ensnared in the child-abuse scandal, as if they were the victims. Years after, I read how, as archbishop, Cardinal Roger Mahony in Los Angeles helped abusing priests evade the law. He will now help elect a pope; no better example of the church’s disconnect with the world.
These are the sins of men, not the church, I’m told. And, I think, this is a distinction without a difference since men run the church — too often as if the institution and its men, not the faithful and their children, were the most important part.
Benedict has appointed about half of the cardinals. So, the chances of them choosing a welcoming, 21st century (beyond tweeting) pope are slim to none. But, as a cultural Catholic with much respect for priests, nuns and lay folks who walk Jesus’ talk on the poor and social justice, I harbor hope.
Look, I’m not saying that a more open pope will get people like me back. It just doesn’t help knowing you’ve been written off. Benedict reconciled himself to a smaller but more conservative church. This will surely be prophesy if the church continues to wield so selectively its most useful tool. Reconciliation.
O. Ricardo Pimentel is a columnist with the San Antonio Express-News. Contact him at email@example.com.
Me, personally, a self-excommunicated Episcopalian Baptist, or maybe Baptist Episcopalian, has a few more thoughts, which also probably won’t get published in any religious newspapers or magazines.
During my admittedly peculiar life, I came to know many self-excommunicateds from this or that Christendom sect, and quite a few self-ex-communicateds from Judaism. What I saw the ex-communicateds, including myself, had done, in one way or another, was create for themselves a hodgepodge new religion, a little of this and a little of that. Or, they had converted from their birth religion to an entirely different religion. Or, a combination of the two had happened. Or, they had become agnostics, or atheists, which also are religions.
For example, I came to know Christians who became New Ageans, with that religion’s many attractions. I came to know Catholics who became Pagans, with that religion’s many attractions. I came to know Jews, who became Christians, or New Ageans, or Pagans. I came to know Catholics, Christians and Jews, who latched onto the 12 Steps, onto a yogi from India, a guru, or a Tibetan or other strain of Buddhism lama. I came to know Catholics, Christians and Jews, who latched onto Taoism, Native Americanism, shamanism. I came to know Catholics, Christians and Jews who latched onto Sufism, which is the mystical branch of Islam. I came to know Catholics, Christians and Jews who latched onto less well known religions. And, as stated above, I came to know agnostics and atheists, who by saying they did not know if, or they denied, God existed, acknowledged God existed. God by some name, if only the Unfathomable, the Unknowable.
What I found in all of these self-ex-communicateds was they had basically stuck a bandaide over a big sore, which was their birth religion, and the band aide did not fix the big sore and, in fact, it made the big sore worse by helping the self-ex-communicateds to pretend the big sore was not even there. What I also found was that significant healing of the big sore could be achieved if the self-ex-communicates peeled the band aide off and went back into the essence, not the form, not the pomp, not the ritual, but the essence of their birth religion. Not to become practitioners, not to become church-goers, but to quicken in them what truly was holy in their birth religion, and then be propelled by that into something unfathomable.
That’s what I did, and that’s what happened to me. I didn’t do it intentionally. I was moved into it by angels assigned to work with me. As they worked with me, I came to see many Bible passages differently, especially New Testament passages. Passages, which really made no sense, came to make a great deal of sense. I came to know, hot believe, but know, Jesus and Mary Magdalene were a couple; they were like any other human couple, except they had one foot on this world, and one foot in heaven; they were in communion with angels; they were of and not of this world. And, they conceived a child.
I also came to know, not believe, but know, St. Paul was a close homosexual, and that influenced his writings against men and women having sexual relations, and his writings placing men over women in their relationship to Christ and to God; writings which created as much harm in the collective soul of Christendom, as did the non-disclosure that Paul was homosexual, which didn’t seem to matter to God. The suppression of the truth about Jesus and Mary Magdalene caused just as much harm in the collective soul of Christendom. The two suppressions are why the Rome strain of Catholicism requires priests to be celibate. The Eastern strain of Catholicism rejected that abomination. Eastern strain Catholics can marry, have children. I daresay the Eastern strain of Catholicism does not suffer the level of pedophilia in priests, as the Rome strain suffers. However, neither strain allows women priests, which is an abomination.
As is the Rome strain elevating Jesus’ mother to Jesus’ level. In the Gospels, Jesus was repeatedly coarse with his mother. He obviously had a problem with her. The problem was, she molested him in his youth. The suppression of that atrocity caused horrific injury in the collective soul of Christendom.
As is the notion that God likes war.
Did not Jesus tell his disciples in the Gospels, if they abided in him, they would come to know the truth and the truth would make them free?
conscripted apprentice of Jesus, Archangel Michael, Melchizedek/Magdalene
Right, I can’t prove by human methods anything I wrote, which disagrees with the Vatican’s view, and the Vatican can’t prove its view by human methods.