Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Robert Mickens on Bread, Circuses, and Dressed-Up Enbalmed Corpses for the Year of Mercy (and John Allen's Counter-Analysis)

Robert Mickens on bread and circuses (and dressed-up enbalmed corpses) for the Year of Mercy:

Do the men in the Vatican -- including our dear Pope Francis -- really think that dressing up dead bodies, even of the holiest of saints, is really going to help people "understand the ways in which God's great love manifests itself in their daily lives"? . . . Leave aside the ridiculous notion of cheap grace. This is grace cheapened.

But contra Mickens, his fellow Vatican commentator John Allen is gung-ho about the display of Padro Pio's corpse in a glass coffin as an entirely appropriate — even summative —symbol of what the Year of Mercy is all about. Levitation, mind-reading, the mysterious smell of roses, and incorruptibility — all enshrined in the life story of an ordained celibate male, of course — as the summation of Catholic mercy in the year of our Lord 2016.*

Oh, and confession: as Allen notes, it's very much about confession, about the indispensability of those ordained males for the rest of us as we seek divine mercy.

Give me Mickens rather than Allen, any day in the week. Which is to say: give me Vatican II.

*Thanks to Nicole Chase for pointing out that I had managed to shave four years off the year when I posted this piece earlier!

As the graphic indicates, this is a screenshot from Dictionary.com's definition of panem et circenses.

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