Monday, September 23, 2013

The new Pope's interview makes me sad

While we were away, celebrating the holiday, the big Jesuit magazines and newspapers simultaneously published an interview one of their priests conducted with new Pope Francis. As Slate put it in a headline, the interview confirms that Pope Francis Is a Liberal, who is Profoundly anti-Conservative.

Some of the interview's choice bits included :
  • The Church has "locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules." (chumras?) 
  • The hierarchy is too obsessed with abortion and homosexuality, and while Church teachings on those matters are clear "it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time." 
and then there were this somewhat staggering, and supportive articulation of the basic liberal world view:
"Human self-understanding changes with time, and so also human consciousness deepens. Let us think of when slavery was accepted or the death penalty was allowed without any problem. So we grow in the understanding of the truth"
and this flat denouncement of its conservative counterpart.
"If the Christian is a restorationist, a legalist, if he wants everything clear and safe, then he will find nothing. Tradition and memory of the past must help us to have the courage to open up new areas to God. Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal ‘security,’ those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists­—they have a static and inward-directed view of things. In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies.”
When did the church become more sensible than Haredi Judaism? How is it the Pope can recognize realities our Gedolim continue to deny? Honestly, I never thought I'd write these words and typing them out is painful - I thrive on examples of Church barbarism - but this is happening: The Church, under Francis, appears to be reconciling itself to the truths of Liberalism in a way Orthodox Judaism still has not, and shows no sign of ever doing. While we continue to waste time and energy on things like gay marriage and heresy which hunts, while we stay trapped in small-minded rules, the church is re-calibrating and turning its focus towards larger, more important issues of social justice.

All of which makes me very sad and a little bit sick.

SILVER LINING #1: At least Yaakov Mencken and the other RW Jewish clowns won't sit shiva for this pope.

SILVER LINING #2: Maybe the RW Jewish clowns who previously twisted and corrupted Judaism in pursuit of Christian approval will continue to do so. Maybe their insecurity and lick-spittle proclivities will finally power the liberal re-invention Judaism needs.

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