Saturday, October 12, 2013

Wait and see

I always say.  There's a story tossed about that a Catholic LGBT group wrote a letter to Pope Francis, and Pope Francis responded.  Nothing there.  The contents of both letters aren't being revealed.  OK.  The press, with that disclaimer, then goes on to say what some sources say is in Pope Francis's letter, including a "blessing" for the group Kairos.   What that means we're left to guess.

Just who the group Kairos is, I'm not sure.  Last I heard it was a prison ministry, but then the term Kairos isn't copyrighted.  I really don't know.  Based on traditional Catholic teaching, the Pope can't 'change Church teaching.'  That doesn't mean a pope can't suck or take the Church into areas that create no end of problems and give two black eyes to the Gospel.  It remains to be seen with Pope Francis.  In our post-modern app-depth generation, it's probably entirely possible to construct a Church based on clear 2000 year old teachings while embracing the post-Christian secular Left.  After all, not a few Protestant traditions have done just that.  They've not technically changed much.  But in practice they are barely in any way connected to the Faith of their fathers. 

I remember a seminary professor who told us a story.  He was in Germany years and years ago.  It was Easter.  He attended the Easter services.  The preacher that morning was none other than Rudolf Bultmann, champion of the demythologizing of the New Testament.  That is, rather than dismiss everything that sniffs of supernatural in the manner of Jefferson, embrace the fact that the New Testament is just one big, awesome myth. 

And yet, on that Easter Sunday, while my professor watched in awe, Bultmann gave a sermon that would shame Billy Graham.  He opened his arms and proclaimed just how Jesus loved the world enough to die for our sins, only to raise from the dead and give eternal life to all.  Lesson.  In our age, perhaps in any age, it's entirely possible for some to proclaim one thing and really, really - I mean really - mean it within a completely different context than face value might suggest.

Again, we'll see.  Maybe it's nothing.  Maybe Pope Francis did no such thing.  Or maybe it's Francis continuing what the Church began in Vatican II, trying to adjust and adapt to the norms and standards of the victorious post-Christian Left.  But I am reminded of this - possibly the best evaluation of the current 'try to right the wrongs of the West' strategy of the Church:
When the Church is throwing out tools, they should be of less use to her outright enemies than to winnable neutrals.

I can't top that.  We'll see if it's a lesson the Church actually needs, or if it is one the Church has any intention of heeding.

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