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I came across an excellent summary that traces key developments in Catholic theology since Vatican II.  “Lessons from an Extraordinary Era,”  Roger Haight.

What I find ironic yet tremendously hopeful is that the author– himself currently denied permission to teach anywhere as a theologian because of his book Jesus, Symbol of God — reminds us that two progressive theologians who were silenced prior to Vatican II rose to become leaders in the revival of Catholic theology at Vatican II and later were made cardinals.  This historical fact clearly illustrates the intrinsically organic nature of Catholic doctrine.  Although the Vatican is committed to the concept of the absolute and unchanging nature of Catholic Doctrine, in practice — and I thank God for it — our theology does grow and change.

Organic substances breathe and change, they respond to environmental stimuli, with the right conditions they can grow and multiply or transform; with a lack of good conditions they can become rotten and smelly.  Think about cranberries in your refrigerator. When they are fresh they are delightful, not too sweet, a challenge to the taste buds. As they age they can become (in my fridge anyway) moldy and fuzzy and completely unpalatable, maybe even intestinally dangerous. But if we take them out before they mold, and dry them in a fruit dehydrator, then they take on a whole new life and can be mixed with lots of other foods and add new flavor and texture to cereal and cakes and make great jams. Ok, I am obviously hungry but I think the analogy has potential. Some of our doctrines have been left out too long and are old and smelly and even dangerous to the ongoing health of our church.

If you are interested in the debate about Roger  Haight’s  Christology (theology of  Jesus) this is a good assessment of the issues:

“The Vatican’s Quarrel with Roger Haight.”

CTA: A national organization of Catholics Working Together for Justice and Equality.

National Conference this November.

I have decided to continue on the good news theme. Edwina Gateley is a Catholic poet who nurtures my  spirit. On her website she is described as “a poet, theologian, artist, writer, lay minister and modern-day mystic and prophet. She currently ministers to prostitutes and street people through retreats and outreach.”


Edwina Gateley

Let Your God Love You

Be silent.
Be still.
Alone.
Empty
Before your God.
Say nothing.
Ask nothing.
Be silent.
Be still.
Let your God look upon you.
That is all.
God knows.
God understands.
God loves you
With an enormous love,
And only wants
To look upon you
With that love.
Quiet.
Still.
Be.

Let your God—
Love you.

(Reference: A Mystical Heart. Publisher: Crossroad/Herder & Herder)

Posted on the Christian site, Journeys with Jesus http://www.journeywithjesus.net/PoemsAndPrayers/Edwina_Gateley.shtml)

Check out Edwina’s website at:  http://www.edwinagateley.com

“The best antidote to the arrogant Christian assumption that we complete or supercede Judaism—an assumption that I regard as sinful, and more specifically as blasphemous, and for which I express my personal sorrow here in this community tonight—is to experience the committed ethical and spiritual life of a living, breathing community of Jews.”  A Catholic professor addressing a Jewish community one recent Shabbat.

It is this kind of theological sanity that helps me remain Catholic. Sadly it is not the usual fare Catholics are dished out on Sundays, where Catholicism is the one true form of Christianity, and Christianity is the fulfillment of Judaism, and where the conversion of Jews is a subject of prayerful intercession.

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