Friday, March 15, 2013

Quote for the Day: A Tempus Loquendi

Carlos Gamerro writing in the Wall Street Journal in a statement entitled "Pope Francis, the Disappeared, and the Questions That Won't Vanish":

In August 1976, a few months after the dictatorship had begun its systematic campaign of exterminating its opponents, a group of priests sent a letter to the Argentine Episcopal Conference, demanding a public pronunciation on what many knew was happening but few dared talk about. The reply of the bishops can be summed up in these words: “We are convinced there is a tempus loquendi and a tempus tacendi (a time to speak out, a time to shut up) and we adjust our behavior to what we think best for our congregation.”   
In Argentina many of us are still waiting for the Catholic Church to decide that the tempus loquendi has arrived. Perhaps when they do, we’ll be able to rejoice wholeheartedly in the election of an Argentine pope.

I, too, have been waiting a long time for the tempus loquendi to begin in my church. Tongues on fire with the Pentecostal Spirit talking, talking, talking--about God's miraculous intervention in our lives, about the dreams we each dream and need to share with each other. Talking, talking, talking together as the people of God . . . . 

And so I find the diversionary tactics and hysterical rhetoric re: those who want to talk about the church's role in the Argentinian dirty war beyond distressing right now, especially when they come from the very people who assure us we're witnessing a new moment in our church with the election of the first Latin American pope. According to Gamerro, the Vatican media spokesperson Rev. Federico Lombardi is trying to shut the conversation down now with hysterical claims that "defamatory" "left-wing" anti-clerical radicals have mounted a smear campaign against Pope Francis.

Please. We're far down the road from that kind of diversionary tactic now, the kind that blames everything on an anti-Catholic secular media, on Jews and communists and homosexuals, on anti-clerical leftists.

We're down the road and the cat is out of the bag, after a pope has resigned due to the collapse of our church as our top leaders have refused to permit open, honest, healthy discussion. Institutions that do not permit open, honest, healthy discussion are unhealthy institutions.

Our church is sick unto death right now. Tell us to stop talking, and you won't stop discussions that you can't control. Does it ever occur to our church leaders, I wonder, that free, open, respectful discourse among the people of God may be precisely the formula for healing a church sick unto death?

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