Sunday, January 24, 2016

Staking out our Plot or Homestead

A Godly Humanism: 
Clarifying the Hope That Lies Within 
George, Francis E.
Catholic University of America Press. 
Kindle Edition. (2015-08-20). 

"As a Catholic and a bishop, I have worked to integrate my own thinking with that of the Church, God’s instrument for handing on the most important truths about who he is and who we are. The papal Magisterium of the last fifty years, the years of my priestly life and ministry, has been developed in dialogue with the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, and each of the last several popes figures prominently in the final chapters of this book." (Kindle Locations 130-134).

My respect for Cardinal George (may he rest in peace!) is practically unbounded. It is based on a couple brief personal encounters with this great churchman, on testimony from friends of a broader and more profound intellectual basis than mine, who knew Cardinal George well, and from testimony from younger OMI confreres on two continents, who never ceased to marvel at his solicitude for his brethren in religion. Cardinal George has earned a place high up the list of all time leading American Catholic hierarchs and great men.

This book, his last effort before commending his soul unto the Lord, is serious but accessible scholarship. It is a picture of the man, one which merits our attention and respect.

Perhaps by reason of his age and personal life story, the Cardinal seems to situate himself to one side of what I imagine as a great divide which from his side, for all its clarity of thought and principles, over-confidently or perhaps ingenuously pretends to negotiate the shoals (charted or uncharted) of this life without a sea anchor. No offense or disrespect intended, but we cannot just marvel at the unfounded enthusiasm for contemporary society of the Council Fathers of Vatican II and not draw conclusions for present comportment from the bumps, bruises and head traumas received over the past half century.

 Leaving the good cardinal behind, my point would simply be that we cannot launch into the deep, carried by momentum, but not really capable of showing that the direction chosen is indeed "forward". I guess I am calling the dominant paradigm into question which claims "forward" for itself and dismisses all else as retrograde. I keep running into new Catholic friends almost daily, who intuitively sense the wrongness of the paradigm, but also understand that the Amish or Old Believer approach doesn't cut the mustard either.

We need to let out the "sea anchors" and stabilize the vessel.



No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.