Saturday, April 5, 2014

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: "And Thus, This Man's Life Ended"

Pope Francis yesterday, in a homily at St. Martha's House in Rome, speaking about someone censored by Catholic authorities who was, Father Robert Imbelli suspects, the 19th-century Italian priest Antonio Rosmini:

Many thinkers in the Church were persecuted, as well. I think of one, now, at this moment, not so far from us: a man of good will, a prophet indeed, who, in his writings reproached the Church for having lost the way of the Lord. He was summoned in short order, his books were placed on the index [the list of works that were banned or restricted to experts because of their problematic, erroneous and even heretical content], they took away his teaching positions – and thus, this man’s life ended – and it was not so long ago. [Now] time has passed, and today he is Blessed. How is it, though, that he, who yesterday was a heretic, is today a Blessed of the Church? It is because yesterday, those who had power wanted to silence him because they did not like what he was saying. 

[T]hey took away his teaching positions — And thus, this man’s life ended: I'm struck by the clear, unambiguous statement by the pope of the grievous damage Catholic authority figures and Catholic institutions do when they take away people's jobs without just cause — say, because those people happen to be gay and refuse to apologize for or hide their sexual orientation.

Taking someone's job away is, Pope Francis reminds us, taking away her life. It is ending her life.

Especially when that "job" is a vocation, a calling, an exercise of ministry within the Christian community for which a person has worked hard, over many years, to gain credentials . . . . 

No comments: