Sunday, September 08, 2013

More on Syria and Other Matters...

Some interesting things on the web I noticed over the weekend...

1) A beautiful prayer from a Syrian Jesuit who is now studying at Creighton University.

A Prayer for Syria 

2) A Syrian-American woman gives an earful to John McCain at a town meeting.

As for Obama, shame on the Democrats for not speaking up more strongly on this.  It if was George W. Bush doing this, they'd be all over him.   Shame as well on Catholic politicians of both parties who are supporting this proposed attack.

3) A certain Father Zuhlsdorf commented yesterday on How the Catholic Left will support Pres. Obama’s attack on Syria, and a couple of days earlier on The Jesuit General’s selective indignation.  With regard to the "Catholic Left" at the National Catholic Reporter, which he calls "The Fishwrap" (which might have been funny the first 100 times he did so), he quotes Matt Bowman from CatholicVote saying:
On the NCReporter’s main page, it has forgotten how to plainly condemn bombing. It lists some articles in favor of the bishops’ view, yet at the same time it hosts what can only be called a “diversity” of views on the topic.
Hmm. Here's what NCR's page looks like this morning.

Seems like a pretty unambiguous focus to me....  Granted, it seems as if the main thrust of Mat Bowman's attack, and by extension, Zuhlsdorf's, is the supposed reticence of Michael Sean Winters to get with the program over at NCR, but as Fr. Zuhlsdorf laments the selective indignation on the part of NCR and the Jesuits, supposedly for taking this Syrian matter more seriously than topics like abortion, contraception, and same-sex marriage, where have his posts been, unambiguously condemning bombing in Syria or elsewhere? 

4) Finally, I noticed Sandro Magister had pointed out that the current head of the CDF, Gerhard Muller,  co-wrote a book with Gustavo Gutierrez about liberation theology. but of course, Magister says that Francis is dead-set against LT, saying Bergoglio Isn't Falling For It.

It isn't quite that simple... Despite the fact that Magister takes into account in his article the public rift between Leonardo Boff and his brother Clovodis, who plainly stated that even with his change of heart his "intention [was] not to disqualify liberation theology," he seems to miss the nuances and breadth of views within LT itself.  Magister seems to cling to the perception that in order to do LT, you need to have a beard and a beret like Che Guevara, quote Marx, and carry a Kalashnikov.

Despite what Magister says, even Father Zuhlsdorf cites the article and is accepting the fact that he will have to come to terms now with some form of liberation theology during this pontificate.


shera10 said...

conservative people have never wanted to see that only SOME aspects of the theology of liberation was condemned by CDF not THE theology of liberation, it’s impossible to start a discussion if they don’t accept this fact.
Is Father z finally accepting this? We will see.

Jeff said...

If he does accept it, it will be hard to "read through Benedict." :-)

shera10 said...

ahah, Jeff, you are wrong about Father Z ability to read everything thought Benedict ;-)

An excerpt from his last post about Liberation of Theology:
"The sort of Liberation Theology that Pope Francis eventually became interested in is not the strain that involves Marxism. This is a good opportunity to “Read Francis Through Benedict”.

Jeff said...

I think he wrote that after visiting here from Madison, WI.

Pope Francis is clearly his own man, shaped by Puebla, Medellin, and his own Latin American experiences, but if Father Zuhlsdorf wants to cite the instructions on LT from Rome in ’84 and ’86, that’s fine with me.

If he can convince some of his followers that liberation theology is not merely some Communist-Masonic inspired plot to take down Christendom, I suppose that’s good progress.

I don’t think he’ll have a lot of luck with that, but he may convince some people. I don’t think he’ll convince many people at places like Rorate, any more than he has already in regard to a continued emphasis on the Latin Mass, and the meaning of PF’s references to Pelagians and a self-referential Church.

I’ve been trying to tell people like Father Zuhldorf’s followers for a long time that liberation theology is not liberal theology. It powerfully and profoundly challenges comfortable people like me in a serious way, but I'd hardly call it liberal. It’s a radical theology deeply rooted in the Gospel that takes the words of Jesus much more seriously than many of the pious platitudes that pass for orthodoxy these days. It sees MORE sin in our societal structures than we commonly hear about in so-called orthodox circles, not less.

One thing I know for sure, whereby Francis is his own man and should not be read through anybody else. His skepticism about how economic globalization is currently practiced. In Latin America, he has seen first-hand the effect of the rapacious cut-throat globalization that rendered certain free trade agreements moot in the race to the bottom for cheap labor, as well as the the adoption of draconian shock therapy treatments which were administered by the IMF on Latin American governments. They caused widespread misery, and in many cases expanded the massive gulf that existed between the rich and poor.

I can say with great confidence that he wouldn’t be on board at all with the philosophy of the libertarian Cato and Acton Institutes, which Father Zuhlsdorf endorses.