PART III SOUTH AMERICAN SWAGGER - DISASTER IN DALLAS
His Eminence asks : " How can the Church aim to counteract the deleterious effect of the preponderance of economism and its fundamental postulates?"
He ignores the question of how economies are to be managed at all without " economism". He is happier to remain with rhetoric.
The Cardinal tells us that the Council provided the answer in "Lumen Gentium" , with its "preferential option for the poor."And at the same time he promotes his fellow Latin American Bishops' Medellin Documents which he says, tell us that the preferential option for the poor " has to translate into denouncing injustice and oppression, into a Christian struggle against the intolerable situation often borne by the poor,into a willingness to dialogue with the groups responsible for that situation to make them understand their obligations".
As if to prove how out of touch with reality he is, and has been for a long time, His Eminence follows that quote with some of his own views : " Certainly, this Conciliar option made a good many Christians reconsider the curse of their own lives; it made many religious congregations review their rules and their way of life; it brought about in much of the episcopate, a spirit of reform, freedom and prophecy; and in numerous places martyrdom flourished as a consequence of the commitment to Liberation."
This last , is a virtually farcical misrepresentation of the destruction and unravelling of Religious life in so many places in the wake of the Council.It had nothing at all to do with the "preferential option for the poor".But it was a phenomenon so powerful that it prompted Pope Paul VI to make his famous statement that it was " as if the smoke of Satan had , through some fissure, penetrated the sanctuary".
We might just as readily entitled this post " LEFT right out" for, in the sections that follow, from 5.1 onward, His eminence comes to show himself as a radical Leftist of the type that used to be found "frothing at the mouth' haranguing Sunday Afternoon crowds in the Sydney Domain during the post War Communist era:
" The Church ought to proclaim and testify , as the criterion of sociopolitical organisation and education, that all men are brothers; and that, if we are brothers, we must fight for establishing relations of equality and to eliminate their greatest obstacles : money and power. We have to establish as a priority that those majorities who suffer poverty and exclusion(the last) will be the first. If Jesus calls the poor "blessed" is because he is assuring them that their situation is going to change, and consequently it is necessary to create a movement that can bring about such a thing, restoring dignity and hope to them. We have to give primacy to the last: " The original Christianity faces the rule of money and power as a means of domination and introduces a passion into history; that the last stop being the last , that behaviours are adopted and politics and economies are put into place to give them primacy, so a society can be built without first or last, or, at least, with less inequality between human beings called to be brothers." (R.Diaz Salazar La Izquierda y el cristianismo ( Left and Christianity) , Taurus , 1998, p 354)
Here, His eminence has encapsulated the ideas of Marxist Liberation Theology : that the Church is NOT about the transcendental activity of the salvation of souls, no, according to him, she is about the here and now, about creating a Heaven on Earth.
But this is NOT the intention of Our Lord Jesus Christ in this regard, and the distorted interpretation of the Beatitude " Blessed are the poor...." verges on blasphemy. For it is as clear as crystal in examining the Beatitudes and the entire teaching of Our Lord, that the promises He makes are not for fulfillment here on Earth, but in the next World .
"international politics of solidarity"
Yet on His Eminence runs, proclaiming : " the possibility of creating international politics of solidarity, and economic democracy, the assumption of evangelical poverty, attaining the creation of new social subjects, with a new set of anthropological values and a new purpose of both collective and personal life...." . Finally, to put a religious gloss on this political rant , as an afterthought it seems, he adds that it would all be "inspired in Christ and His Beatitudes".
This is arrogance , and infidelity of a very high order. It is truly deceitful to twist the Beatitudes from promises of Eternal reward to promises of Heaven on Earth.
At 5.2 His Eminence urges " detecting the causes of inequality, as part of his political policy.This is no more than the " structures of sin" concept so much abused by numerous villains.
At 5.3 His eminence again seeks to draw the mantle of Sacred Scripture around his political agenda , urging us to adopt a culture of being Good Samaritans - fair enough. But, after only two sentences he again lapses into Marxist polemics : "The Eurocentric .....freedom and....." and " In practice, the hyperventilation of the economy has produced great amounts of money, fruit of the erosion of governmental regulation and a symptom of the failure of materialism. But, as a result, there is always a particular category of victim : " the poor" ...."
At Section 6.0 His Eminence sets up a straw man - the Church is no longer profoundly humane! The Section is headed : " Returning to a profoundly humane Church" and continues " The Church could not continue posing as a reality facing the world, as a parallel " perfect society" which pursued her own course, strengthening her walls against the errors and influence of the world . This antithesis of centuries needed to be overcome.
The Council intended to apply the renovation within the Church herself , because the Church was not the Gospel, nor was she a perfect follower of the Gospel; she was inhabited by men and women, who, the same as everywhere else, and according to their limited sinful condition,had established within her many customs, laws and structures that did not respond to the teachings or the practice of Jesus."Perhaps this view is more representative of the false spirit of the Council than the Council documents themselves. It would be interesting to see His Eminence give an example to illustrate his outlandish claim.
Seeking to massage his American audience, he quotes well-regarded conservative Catholic author George Weigel with approval , to the effect that the Church " in the 21st Century is a Church of mission, an emerging Church". As if she has ever been anything else!
But of course Weigel is talking about the Church in Africa, and Asia.But, never one to let the facts get in the way of his ideas, His Eminence says that this offers 3 lines of action for the New Evangelisation :
6.1 Continuous Dialogue
Here His Eminence sets up another of his straw men :
" the Church, bearer of the Gospel, knew that she could mot close her doors to dialogue without annulling the truth that could spring forth from anywhere - since God himself has generously planted it everywhere. The Church did not have a monopoly on truth anymore, nor could she pontificate on a thousand human matters, or hold stances denoting arrogance or superiority. Instead , she should go into the common arena, plainly and humbly , and share in the common search for truth."
Precisely where this nonsense leaves Our Divine Lord Jesus Christ and the Divine Truths He entrusted to His one true Church is doubtful.
The Catholic Church has never claimed " a monopoly on truth" but only on revealed Religious Truth and she does not do so out of "arrogance" ( yet its superiority is undeniable) - but rather out of obligation to God.
She cannot " go out in the common arena , plainly and humbly, and share in the common search for truth" .Her Divinely appointed role is to PROCLAIM the Truth revealed to her and entrusted to her by Christ.And 'dialogue" is for someone who is ready to negotiate to give something for something gained. But the catholic Church cannot " negotiate" God's Truth .
There follows a paragraph that is so far from any authentic Catholicism as to make one wonder whether this Cardinal remains of sound mind:
" Dialogue should precede the mission , as a simple attitude of listening, to build on what is common , rather than to insist in what divides, and to count on the contribution of humanisms and of non-Christian religions , which will take us back to the foundation of any creed, any ideology. "As the paragraph continues it degenerates from error into drivel : "What is Christian has its sub-strata, first and foremost, in what is human. One cannot be a Christian without being a person first. And the person offers a structure and a panoply of traits and possibilities that are patrimony to no-one in particular, but instead of humanity as a whole."
6.2 The New Evangelisation
Here His eminence lays religion aside, or rather converts it into an adjunct of political activism on the radical Left side of the political spectrum.He talks of what is " truly human" , " a ferment as well as a service", " the great human causes" and " political sainthood"(?) he goes on to envisage spreading the " new model of Christian living" through " small groups and communities". This line is not uncommon in South America among Marxist inspired "Church" groups.
But in reality the Catholic Church has adhered to Christ's injunction to go out into the whole world " - to engage the world as it is - not by retreating into little enclaves.
Then there occurs a sudden burst of rationality and His Eminence starts talking like a Catholic again.He draws attention to the importance of Blessed John Paul II's 1990 Encyclical "Redemptoris Missio " and 2001 Apostolic Letter " Novo Millenio Innuente" concerning the missionary character of the Church. However, the "wobblies" overcome him again and he opines that people will be attracted to the Faith by the " humanity of Christians" who "live in a human way".... So not by their holiness , nor by God's Grace, but by their humanity....but if that is so, why are they not just as likely to become Calathumpians, Bahai, Moslems or Falun Gong? Humanity is not enough. Jesus enjoined the Apostles to go out into the whole world and to teach all that he had taught. He did not send out political cadres!
At last we come to the Conclusion in which His Eminence criticises the Mass Media for setting up and executing a an "ambush" of the Catholic Church -leading to many Catholics separating from the Church.
In a rather muddled paragraph he pays tribute to Pope Benedict XVI and says that the " arrival of the person of Pope Francis" heralds a "new dynamic" in the history of Catholicism and refers to " signs of growth, of great vigour and hope" instancing World Youth Days, the development of Ecclesial movements, the young priests who are arising all over the World, the Lectio Divina, the new forms of Consecrated Life. All of these of course flourished under Bl.Pope John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI . Then, to satisfy is own political bent he sirs into the above "the grassroots communities".
At long last he draws to a close referring to Our Lord's comments on " New wine, new wineskins" . As he has done throughout the address, the Cardinal insinuates that the Catholic church has left Jesus, and must return to Him.
This is outrageous rubbish. It indicates a determination NOT to see the Holy Spirit ALWAYS at work in the Church. And laughably, all the great signs of hope and vigour he sees are from the last 50 years - he shoots himself in the foot. But, for him,it appears that the Church must undergo a pastoral conversion (which) means returning to Jesus".
t is difficult after wading through this wild rant, not to be seriously worried that this man is responsible for co-ordinating the Council of Cardinals charged with advising the Holy Father on the reform of the Curia among other things. And he was selected for that role by the Holy Father personally.