View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Foment of the week

Rosemary Radford Ruether has a piece in the June issue of National Catholic Reporter.
It begins:

Suppose this is a papal election not received?

The recent election of Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI has been greeted with choruses of negative comments in the progressive communities where I teach and live. The other night a group of seminarians at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., was preparing a bonfire for a cookout on the campus. As I walked by, one invited me to share the meal, calling out cheerfully, “We’re going to burn Ratzinger in effigy.”

After listing the usual litany of offenses by the Church and the new Pope over the years, she goes on to suggest that a substantial number of Catholics might simply not “receive” Pope Benedict.

She then argues that “progressive Catholics should do more than dissent in private.” They should voice objections to some of the pope’s views publicly. “They should also formulate the agenda that the church needs to pursue to be authentically faithful to the Gospel.”

Then she says, they “need to organize for alternatives at the grass roots and in their local and national churches and communities.”

If I understand her correctly, she is basically saying to create an alternative church.

She concludes: “In short, there needs to be a real debate and action that defies the strategies of silencing and forced submission.”

To be truthful, though I have long agreed with her on a number of progressive issues, I have always found her style abrasive, sometimes even making me wonder if I’m siding with the right people.

But then, all I have to do is read a piece by The Wanderer folks to realize what I don’t like is fanaticism on the left or right.

This article is just more of the same.

But read it for yourself and decide.


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