Eggs that seek to penetrate the Mystery of the Cosmos!
I read in the news overnight where Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin is wondering how the religious orders could have screwed up so badly [See Irish Times story]. Frankly I think this is far more serious than trying to shift blame to the poor women and men who, it seems, might have been dragooned into religious vocations. This "rot" has to be sheeted home to the very top — and not so much in terms of sheeting it home to a person, or persons, but to what is endemically wrong with modern Catholic culture. The wrong people are getting promoted to the very top - either meak little "yes men (and women)" or friggin' bullies. Catholicism ultimately is about the pursuit of truth. It is not about "building empires" — either temporal or theological. It is about the encouragement of the best intellects in human civilisation to "seek the truth" whatever cost it entails and it is the encouragement of ordinary people to also "seek truth" — to see those ultimate moral truths as to how we should make the often difficult moral choices in our lives. These "games" played by the insecure, running around trying to pretend they know, or have memorised, God's rules has to stop. We need women and men of great courage as our spiritual seers and leaders who "cut the crap"; who start leading instead of trying to appease the insecurities of the weak and fearful. The responsibility of our spiritual leaders is to be "lifting people up" intellectually and emotionally, not, in the words of Benedict "protecting them from the intellectuals" because they are "simple people" (who can't think for themselves). This crisis ultimately stems, I submit, from the culture of clericalism and anti-intellectualism contained in that sort of thinking. The institution has paid a heavy price — and more than likely will have to pay a heck of a lot more before this mess is cleaned up. It's going to be cheaper to start acknowledging the depths of the scandal right now — rather than trying to delay it for yet another pontificate.
Today's commentary from Dr Andrew Kania at first sight might appear to have been misplaced as an article more intended for the craft pages of a woman's magazine — some light piece for entertainment and distraction rather than real enlightenment. It does have those aspects to it but it also "packs a punch" at a couple of deeper levels: a different way of theologising (thinking about the Mystery of the Divine); and the healing of the tensions between Eastern and Western Christianity.
<Link to Andrew's commentary today>
Emails: Finally can I re-iterate an apology I've made in the past. I honestly didn't expect when I started out publishing Catholica the huge problem I was eventually going to run into trying to answer emails. All my life it has been my intention to try and answer each letter or email with at least as much energy as the person put in writing it to me. Sadly today there are simply not the hours in the day to do that with the volume of email that Catholica now generates. I'm still doing this without any salary — thanks to the donations though we are covering our technical overheads and doing some advertising to further promote the endeavour — and just at the moment I'm working about 18 hours a day upgrading our software and preparing to move Catholica to a new server where we can better respond to the phenomenal growth we are experiencing. Keep writing. I do manage to at least read everything that comes in even if I cannot always respond as I would like.