As President Trump rightly noted, “the first 100 days” is a ridiculous standard. Nobody with any sense could possibly expect somebody like Trump to measure up to FDR. I don’t feel any fake urgency for Trump to notch “successes” that might blow up my world or make my health insurance unmanageable. Stay strong, Trump, don’t let anybody gaslight you into reaching for transient “wins” that will boomerang on your sorry rump come next election day–unless you think you can suppress 24.1 million votes. So relax, you will burn in hell soon enough, don’t rush it. You did say that the only way you could ever possibly make it to heaven was to become president. What exactly is your plan now? Because you seem to have forgotten about getting into heaven. Keep your eyes on the prize, or suffer the fate of slobbering for eternity in the lowest circle. Maybe if you joined your good buddy Bill-O in Rome it would help you FOCUS.
The Pope’s new bird, Amore, called him Papa today. If the Pope had announced in this week’s Rolling Stone that he was in love with Amore, a green parrot, who would I be to judge him or his new partner? I would miss the peace doves, but as animal rights people said, releasing doves in St. Peter’s Square is probably not a safety first idea–domesticated doves can’t survive the vicious infighting of Vatican City or of greater Rome. So green parrot love is OK with me.
P.S. 1/31/14 According to Time.com the parrot belongs to a porn star named Lombardi.
Today’s National Catholic Reporter reports that an “international group of prominent Catholic theologians have called the church’s teachings on marriage and sexuality ‘incomprehensible’ and and are asking bishops around the world to take seriously the expertise of lay people” in preparing for the bishops’ meeting next year in Rome. Leaving aside the question of which Vatican department is competent to decide who possesses sexual expertise, there is a more fundamental issue at stake. Is incomprehensibility a problem?
German theologian Karl Rahner, who was a leading figure among the European theologian “experts” at Vatican II, wrote in his “Investigation of the Incomprehensibility of God in St. Thomas Aquinas” that God’s incomprehensibility is due to “the disproportion, even in the case of the beatific vision, between the self-communication of the infinite God…and the finite character of the beholder on the other, who remains limited even when raised up by grace and the light of glory and given the capacity to have the beatific vision.” This might initially seem disheartening, mightn’t it? But Rahner assures us that we only “find the reality we call faith, hope and love” when we surrender ourselves “unconditionally to this incomprehensibility as the true source of [our] own fulfillment” (Theological Investigations, vol. 16, 244-55).
Suffice it to say that the theologians’ statement, which originated in Louvain, Belgium, is addressed to what they see as bad incomprehensibility. Pope Francis has rattled some cages, making some apprehensive and others expectant. The October 2014 synod of bishops seems likely to be when rubber meets road with readily comprehensible loosening of restrictions on divorced and remarried Catholics.
- Vatican orders unprecedented Catholic poll (irishtimes.com)
- Vatican Survey Probes Catholic Views on Same-Sex Marriage (world.time.com)
- Vatican surveying the world’s Catholics (kansascity.com)
What is the hold up? Let’s get on with the gay wedding right in St Peter’s Square already! Francis, you have been Head Man in Rome for at least six months now. You said, Who am I to judge, didn’t you? And did you not say your favorite painting in Rome is Caravaggio’s “Calling of St. Matthew“? How much gayer (and Baroquely so) than Caravaggio can you get? “St. Matthew” in the painting isn’t even dead, he is alive and living in Provincetown right now–unless he’s gone back to Chelsea for the winter already.
We don’t need to hear any more noise about “discernment,” by the way. Discernment takes time, you say. Uh-huh. The wedding planners have discerned plenty already. The gowns, dresses, tuxes, trains–they are ready and waiting, my man!
You hesitate. I understand. You are not a right-winger, but you don’t want to be doing stuff “willy-nilly,” as our President Obama says. No problem. We got a guy we are gonna send over to tell your people what he has no problem with, so as to nudge you along the path of righteousness. Name of Biden. There are no limits to God’s mercy, as you say. And you will be judged with mercy after you do the right thing.
- Catholics React to Pope Remarks on Gays, Abortion (abcnews.go.com)
- Pope Francis’s New Tone Suggests an Age of Change Ahead – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Pope: Church can’t ‘interfere’ with gays (kvue.com)
Pope Francis wasn’t fooling around when he said he was staying in the city (that would be Rome) for the summer. Rome was not a fashionable summer spot 2000 years ago, nor is it today. But Francis has been busy, not just massaging Benedict’s draft encyclical a bit, but giving regular homilies. Oh, and making two popes saints. In a reconciling move, the Roman Catholic Church gets both Saint John XXIII and Saint John Paul II. It looked as if JP2 was going to get sanctified first, but Francis, in a bold stroke, said my man Roncalli don’t need no stinking second miracle.
Francis also said the other day that Christians don’t need no regular ID cards either–because of the freedom that the message of reconciliation and grace brings, “we are saved in Jesus Christ! And no one can take this identity card from us. That’s my name: son of God! What a wonderful identity card! Marital status: free! So be it!” Marvelous, and regarding his marital status, could he be saying to to the Roman Curia you are not my daddy?
And just yesterday Francis fired a shot across the bow of the dominant “culture of the provisional,” advising future priests and nuns to avoid seeking the “the latest smartphone, the fastest car.” Unconfirmed tweets from the event claimed that Francis would be funding acquisitions of some up-to-date artworks from his fees for Verizon and Vodafone‘s new ad campaign with the Pope personally promoting thirty-year no-cancellation-allowed phone contracts.
- Pope Francis plays saintly politics: E.J. Dionne Jr. (oregonlive.com)
- Pope Francis greets 6,000 seminarians and novices: “The risk of activism is an ever-present danger” (en.radiovaticana.va)
- Pope Francis’s Vatican: How the New Pontiff Is Shaking Things Up (world.time.com)