Saturday, March 06, 2004

From blog correspondent John Boyden
OK, still another story on The Passion, this one anti from a longtime quisling RC priest:

Oh, the horror
by Fr Andrew Greeley
Living proof that when it comes to Catholicism, ethnic-Irish identity doesn't necessarily mean anything much of the time anymore, if it ever did.

The Irish connection reminded me of another Irish-American rather different to Fr G, the late, infamous Fr Leonard Feeney (who taught his monstrous but allowable opinion as doctrine and was excommunicated for it, in poetic justice - his followers meant well but were wrong). The Irish are Calvinist-tinged via Jansenism, and as the saintly Archbishop Robert Morse likes to say, Calvinism always shatters into Unitarianism. That's what's happened here, which is why Fr G apparently is sex-mad as well. In a way Fr G is as representative of his generation of Irish-Americans as Fr F was of the one before it.

Well, his compromised, halfhearted brand of churchmanship - Broad Church for non-Anglos - only draws the old and dying like him and he knows it. Most people, especially the younger generations, are honestly secular and those who are religious don't buy his crap.

'The Passion of the Christ' is a celebration of the bloody suffering of Jesus, a fundamentalist interpretation by a man who rejects the Vatican Council.

You usually are doing something right when the chattering classes f-bomb you with 'fundamentalist'.

'Passion' is a glorification of sado-masochism.

Everything is sex with this bloody-minded git.

For most of the first millennium of Christian history, the church spread a veil of modest discretion over the physical suffering of Jesus. It respected the privacy of his final hours and celebrated the empty crucifix as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus (an event that is noted only weakly and vaguely in Mel Gibson's conclusion).

First, if it's empty it isn't a crucifix! Second, regarding the Resurrection, going in depth with that was beyond the scope of the movie and what's it to you, anyway, Fr G? Your kind don't believe in a literal resurrection anyway but rather 'the Christ event'. (Don't your favourite theologians believe that the disciples made up resurrection stories so they'd feel better, so Jesus would live in them always, like Santa Claus or poor Uncle Fred, while His body was thrown in a rubbish pit and eaten by dogs?)

The Greek churches even to this day resist sensationalist presentations of the suffering of Jesus. However, in the Middle Ages, the Western church gradually put the corpus back on the cross, though it did not present Jesus as naked, as he in fact would have been. The cult of the physical suffering of Jesus became especially strong during the Renaissance. It was not always a completely healthy devotion as the cult of the flagellants demonstrated.

A half-truth at best. He's got a lot of nerve trying to co-opt the Orthodox and sorry to burst his bubble but do have a look.

It was typical of everything in the life of Jesus that he chose to be united in his death with the poor and the oppressed, a point Gibson seems to have missed.

So, 'peace and justice' type, who again was the fellow hanging on the cross next to Jesus who was promised paradise?

Those religious conservatives who seem to delight in how much Jesus suffered are certainly correct that his sufferings were terrible. Those who say the sufferings were absolutely unique to him simply display their own ignorance of history.

Or maybe they believe in the divinity of Christ, the faith you were ordained to teach instead of writing narcissistic soft-porn novels.

Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.

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