Monday, December 10, 2012

Faith Seeking Understanding: Catholic Commentary on the State of the Church, Advent 2012

A Monday-morning smorgasbord of smart, thoughtful statements I've read in recent days about matters Catholic:

Betty Clermont on the collusion of European plutocrats and the Vatican in covering up the Vatican Bank's history of money-laundering, as well as "impeding justice for victims of sex abuse, obstructing women’s health care and denying gay civil rights":

While Americans fret over the Koch brothers (no. 41 on Forbe’s list), Citizens United and “dark money” SuperPACs, the Catholic Church can move unlimited funds – foreign and domestic – to think-tanks, media, voter suppression efforts, every means the plutocracy has found to subvert our democracy.

Frank Cocozzelli on some of the reasons that neocon Catholic ideologues like William Donohue of the Catholic League continue to defend Opus Dei Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City after his criminal conviction for protecting pedophile priest Shawn Ratigan:

Finn's stepping down would, perhaps coincidentally, remove a high-profile conservative voice from a Mid-Western bastion of liberal thought. Kansas City is also a center for  Post-Keynesian economics (antithetical to neocon Catholics) particularly among the faculty at the University of Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC). The school also serves as home base for the Keynesian-based Center for Full Employment and Price Stability as well as Savings and Loan regulator and Roosevelt Institute fellow, Bill Black who serves as an associate professor of economics.  And as I have previously pointed out, Finn is  one of a number of outspokenly conservative prelates in liberal locales.

Colleen Baker on the theopolitical presuppositions driving Pope Benedict's leaner, meaner model of church:

I truly believe this has been Pope Benedict's motivation all along, not to motivate the 'simple' to a more mature faith, but to protect them from such a move. There are all kinds of other reasons for the Vatican to engage in such a strategy.  The 'simple orthodox believer' is motivated from obedience, not maturing in Christian notions of love.  For them one matures in love, or demonstrates love, through obedience.  Obedience, as the cardinal virtue, greases the wheels of patriarchal authoritarian structures.  It is balm for the Vatican soul.  That it also leads to gross violations of human dignity, as exhibited in Catholic countries in World War II, is irrelevant. That the pursuit of perfect obedience is in essence utterly self serving and self protecting, goes unmentioned. That it is designed to promote the status quo is unacknowledged except in official acts which silence voices of forward movement.   

And don't miss Prickliest Pear's gloss on Colleen's reflections at his new The Way Ahead blog:

Joseph Ratzinger has long regarded the protection of the “simple faithful” as a priority. These are people who occupy the earliest stages of spiritual development, up to and including James Fowler’s third stage, "Synthetic Conventional."

Forms of religious faith beyond this stage have always been resisted by church authority.

Also not to miss: Rebel Girl's enumeration at Iglesia Descalza of the latest targets of Benedict's leaner, meaner purge--just the latest . . . .

And John Aravosis on the strange bedfellow with whom the Maryland Catholic Conference and the Knights of Columbus have hopped into bed in their anti-gay rights campaign: Michael Peroutka of the neo-secessionist League of the South, one of whose board members stated in 1998, "Somebody needs to say a good word for slavery."

No comments: