Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Puppies of the Lord

This piece of drivel from the new Master of the Dominican Order.
Agitations and reports of civil unrest have made the news in recent months and continue to do so in several countries of the world.  In one place, it is the determination to be freed from oppressive, authoritarian regimes. In another, there are groups who are questioning those systems, particularly economic systems, that seem to want to manage the world in spite of the inequality they establish between men and the serious anxieties they create, especially for the young. Here and there, often forgotten voices are making themselves heard, reminding us that the human being wants to be an actor in his own history, and aspires to freedom and justice.  They are opening new horizons of hope for a habitable and sustainable world for all.
Same old "justice and peace" rhetoric, a thin baptizing of the leftEuro statist worldview, one of the worst effects of the 1960's Vatican Council. In typical pontifical fashion, he names no names but we all know what he means. He takes the Arab Spring and the Occupy Wall Street movements to indicate some kind of abstract desire for agency, freedom and justice versus capitalism.  The Arab Spring brings totalitarian Islam to power in place of generic Arab tyrants, and as for OWS, what a pathetic mess. The final insult: "They are opening new horizons of hope for a habitable and sustainable world for all." Oh, yeah. OWS is all about habitability in their dirty, dangerous, parasitical groups of tent-hovels, and the Arab Islamic tide is all about sustainability.

One of Karl Barth's worst pieces of advice was to tell preachers to have the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other.

Since I am an exOP, I can say, "Get your head out of your ass, Father Master."

Here it is in the original Frenchman's French, where, being in French, it sounds even more like the pompous BS it is:
Indignations et soulèvements populaires ont fait ces derniers mois et font encore l’actualité dans plusieurs pays du monde. Ici, c’est la détermination de s’affranchir de régimes autoritaires qui s’affirme. Là, ce sont des groupes qui mettent en cause certaines logiques, en particulier économiques, qui semblent vouloir gouverner le monde en dépit des écarts qu’elles creusent entre les hommes et des graves inquiétudes qu’elles engendrent, en particulier pour les plus jeunes. Ici et là, ce sont des voix trop souvent oubliées qui se font entendre, rappelant que l’être humain veut être acteur de sa propre histoire, et aspire à la liberté et à la justice. S’ouvrent ainsi de nouveaux horizons d’espérance pour un monde habitable et soutenable par tous.

PS. This reminds me of an incident when I was in the Order. After enduring a couple of hours at a large conference of French-speaking friars arguing over the merits of different living arrangements, I suggested that we might try an experiment: set up a community on the lines discussed and then in three or four years, evaluate the experience. There was a kind of embarrassed silence and then the discussion continued. I wondered if my French were worse than I thought.

As the meeting finally adjourned --without a decision, btw-- one of the friars turned and said to me, "C'est charmant, le pragmatisme anglo-saxon."  "Anglo-Saxon pragmatism, how charming."

Anyone who thinks that Americans are culturally arrogant has never met a European. I learned that day that for Frenchmen whose Order's motto was Veritas (Truth), Veritas had little to do with Realitas. And as the Master's note indicates, as we say en francais, "Ca continue."

PPS. I expressed my unhappiness at the blog of an OP with a conservative politics. His response:

The Master is no doubt speaking out of his own "'68 Experience." He's very much part and parcel of his generation of justice/peace Euro-Catholics, though I think he's probably more sensible than most. I haven't read the piece but keep in mind that the euro-media paints the Tea Party/GOP as only barely more tolerable than Nazis. So, he's likely springing off what most euros believe to be accurate portrayals of the OWS movement. I've found that even the most sensible euro OP's can't get their heads around anything other than left of center social democracy. American-style republican democracy with a healthy does of capitalism is beyond them.

Anyway, most younger friars read the Order's justice/peace stuff and then promptly ignore it...most of the J/P types in the Order studiously avoid pro-life issues so we generally think that their rallying cries for bottled water and recycling are hollow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent blogging! ... Obviously one forgotten voice in the Order of Preachers is that of the Doctor Angelicus. ... Karl Barth should have directed us to have the newspaper in one hand and the Bible in the other. Men De — as we were taught in Greek class.

May wise men from the east bring them gold, frankenstein and myrrh.

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