Truth claims. That is what this week’s series “To Hell With It” is about. Against the Catholic neo-cons, I resist their attempts at an apologia for our faith by drowning it in a utilitarian Americanism, quoting George Washington about the need for a morally serious citizenry as if Jesus Christ had died to make America great.
NCR's own Melissa Musick Nussbaum published an article about Human Sexuality, the Church and Culture in the current Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good Forum. It is arguably providential that Nussbaum's article came out the same day as Notre Dame announced its new LGBTQ student group. There is much in Nussbaum's essay that is splendid, but what strikes me as its most distinguishing characteristic is her willingness to admit ambivalence.
The University of Notre Dame announced the results of its services and support for students who are "LGBTQ" (I confess, I had to check to see what the 'Q' stood for - 'questioning') on campus. Among other things, the university will permit a student group for LGBTQ students, and appoint a full-time staffer to oversee the implementation of the policies recommended by the review. You can read Father Jenkins' announcement, with links to the various statements, here.
“If it’s just a symbol, then to hell with it.” Thus, Flannery O’Connor when it was suggested that the Eucharist was merely a symbolic presence of the Lord Jesus. Of course, we Catholics are not allergic to the importance of symbols. People will negotiate a policy but will die for a symbol, and not just Catholics.
Father Robert Barron looks at the issue of hell and if anyone is there. The issue is not only fascinating, involving some of the most prominent theologians of our time, but I think Barron is doing something else that is really, really important. When was the last time you heard a sermon about hell, or heaven, or the last things? When was the last time you heard a sermon on the Creed? In this "Year of Faith" we should think about these things and we should hear sermons on these things.
This, from the Holy Father's address to the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace:
We continue our series of considering Catholic identity today by looking at Dorothy Day. Monday, I set the tone for the week by recalling the response of Flannery O’Connor to a group of erudite Catholics who thought the Eucharist was a great symbol: “Well, if it’s just a symbol, then to hell with it.” Then, I examined the counterfeit of faith known as civil religion. Yesterday, I looked at the Vatican new motu proprio regarding the Catholic identity of our charities and a different counterfeit form of Christianity, a reduction of the faith to a social justice ethic.
CARA has released the first nationwide survey on reactions to the New Missal. You can find their survey results here. Bottom line: People seem to like the new translation or the Catholic Church in US is far more docile than usually portrayed or some combination thereof.
First, I apologize because yesterday, in my article about Fr. Rutler, I inexplicably enter the name "Butler" not "Rutler" in the title of the piece. I suppose this mistake derived from watching a Downton Abbey rerun the night before!
Second, spotty posting today as I have to fly to Chicago to give a presentation. I hope to have some links up later in the day.
Yesterday, I wrote about Father George Rutler’s article in Crisis magazine and how, in its tired repetition of neo-con talking points, it failed the Flannery O’Connor test, articulated in her comment about the Eucharist, “If it is just a symbol, then to hell with it.” Today, I want to look at the recent motu proprio from the Vatican about the Catholic identity of the Church’s charitable institutions. Unlike Rutler’s article, I think the motu proprio passes Flannery’s test.