Sunday, October 04, 2015

Catholic Internecine War: Paranoia of Conservatives - Frantasy of Liberals (Austen Ivereigh)

The danger of the moment: the Church in the United States (and perhaps Europe and the world) is split between ideologies of “solid doctrine” and “social concern.” Austen Ivereigh referred to this split as the paranoia of the conservatives and the fantasy of the liberals.

Cases in point: R.R. Reno in First Things (August-Sept issue): “Laudato Si seeks to continue in that tradition [i.e.the tradition of the encyclical as a reasoned orientation in living the experience of Christ], offering both theological critique and endorsement of a collation of the well-intentioned. But it falls into contradiction because there are no clearly articulated principles guiding analysis of the ecological and social crises precipitated by global capitalism” (italics-bold bloggers).

Robert Royal: “There’s much to be said against rigid institutions that betray the freedom and action of the Spirit, but much also to be said in favor of those institutions, and the good and faithful pastors who run them, that support us all through the many twists and the turns of earthly life, which cannot solely be met with spontaneous recourse to the Spirit, but must also engage the dumb practicalities of daily life."

The Kim Davis firestorm that is put forward as the pope’s endorsement of radical conservatism while he did not excoriate the “conservatives” who did not push across – while speaking to Congress - the bills to cut government funding of Planned Parenthood. Etc. There are two ideologies that have been long buried in the consciousness of the Christian West that have been brought out into the open by Pope Francis, and each is trying to get a piece of him to legitize itself, but can't.

                 My suggestion is that the root of the pope’s mind is the same Truth that is the consciousness of the Person of Christ. It is a consciousness that comes from a lived faith as prayer and that becomes conceptual in Peter’s objective proclamation:  “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt. 16, 16).

   What I have in mind is Joseph Ratzinger's presentation in his "Behold the Pierced One:" 1) The Person of Jesus Christ is prayer as "Son;" 2) the fundamental philosophical epistemology of knowing: like is known by like; 3) Only in prayer can one know (intellegere  = ab intus legere = to read from within) Jesus Christ as divine Person only by becoming like Him by continuous prayer as an anthropology of self-gift.
      In reality, the truth of Christian Faith is the very Person of Christ [who is the Prototype of every human person] that becomes consciousness in every person who goes out of himself in obedience to God and service to the other as in the Good Samaritan, and as a result becomes “another Christ.” This is the nub of the point that has to be discovered and become an “aha” moment.  The action of self-giving generates the truth of Christ in oneself and one comes to understand that there  is not a dichotomy between Love as self-giving to the other and Truth, but that they are the same thing. In reality, Love, Truth and Life are the same Reality: the Person of Christ. Until that is hit upon, we will continue to be mired in a false dichotomy of     liberal and conservative as irreducible ideologies and engage in an internecine intra-ecclesial civil war over it. To the delight of the enemies of the Church who will make money from stoking the phantasmas.

   This is the crisis of the present moment with the Church in the United States, and globally, i.e., the universal call to holiness in ordinary life (family and work) - turning all the circumstances and events of secular, ordinary life into occasions of service and self-forgetfulness: prayer. Nothing other than that will suffice.

Consider Austen Ivereigh's remark:  "His [Bergoglio's] generation had succumbed to the temptations of the revolutionary messianism of the guerrillas or the anti-communist crusade of the men in khaki, and the result was diabolic: the Body of Christ had been split along temporal lines, and orders such as his own [Jesuits] had seen their members dwindle and disperse. In reforming the Society of Jesus in Argentina, Bergoglio wanted the Jesuits to surrender their all-too-human schemes and be shaped by the 'periphery' - the pastoral needs of the poor" [Austen Ivereigh, "The Great Reformer" Henry Holt (2014) 142].
   This is Francis' proposal to the universal Church and the world.

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