For those with eyes to see, the suppression of the Cistercian abbey at the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, one of the traditional seven major pilgrimage sites in Rome, rates far more than placement in a "news of the weird" column. Instead, it's the latest chapter in what might be called a "Quiet Revolution" under Pope Benedict XVI, referring to a reform in clerical culture beginning in Rome and radiating beyond...
The consensus was that a renaissance was unfolding under Cistercian Abbot Simone Maria Fioraso, an ecclesiastical mover and shaker if ever there was one. Vocations were growing, and the basilica had become a crossroads for Italian nobility, political VIPs and pop culture icons...
Headlines proclaimed, "Holy Cross in Jerusalem becomes a superstar."
Yet around the same time, rumors began to swirl that something wasn't quite right. Some critics charged that Fioraso seemed more interested in cozying up to social elites than in the traditional disciplines of the monastic life, while others raised questions about money management, especially given that the monks ran a successful boutique and hotel, apparently without clear accounting of the revenue flows. More darkly, there were rumors of "inappropriate relationships" carried on by some of the monks, understood to be code for some sort of sexual misconduct...
Also part of the picture are Benedict's policy moves to expedite procedures for weeding abusers out of the priesthood, including a recent set of revisions to canon law, as well as his decision earlier this year to create a new financial watchdog authority with the power to ride herd over once-untouchable entities such as the Vatican Bank or Propaganda Fide. The overall impression is that this is a pope weary of scandal, doing what he can to clean house.
If you're interested in catching a glimpse of the floozy dances, Mary Ann Kreitzer posted a doozy.
Terry the troublemaker posted another, and as usual at Terry's cyberspace, it solicited some interesting comments.
For instance, Henry Karlson said the Pope's sanctions reminded him of this theological metaphor he recently wrote: The Purity of Faith Must Be Preserved, Even When Found Mixed with Error.
Is it me, or is this an oxymoron?
Preserving people in their errors is preserving the purity of faith?
One of these things is the antithesis of the other: error and purity of faith.
Even if you could make sense out of this caricature of the Christ's Apostolic Mission, wouldn't you think the lucid message from the Pope's actions validate that suppressing errors is what actually preserves the purity of faith?
It is true, that sister twinkle toes may have been misled to believe that as a nun, shedding her clothes and dancing provocatively at the monk's den of inequity was "dancing for our Lord".
Suffice it to say, the Pope has now relieved her of this misconception. Hopefully, she'll put her clothes back on and be a model for modesty & celibacy. If she wants to don that outfit and dance for Our Lord, she can do it in the privacy of her own room. There really isn't a need for an audience.
What is going awry in Henry Karlson's gig is that he pursues the errors of other religions and produces long dissertations on how to incorporate the veneration of false idols and ideas into Catholicism. He is on quest to 'purify' Christ Jesus' faith by embracing his own errors (like "Saint Buddha") , encouraging others in theirs and spreading it around the internet as some avant-garde breed of Catholicism.
He believes Christ and Christendom is a violent intellectual assault to the uncatechized. Instead of 'go, therefore, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit', the mantra of Catholic theologians should be to embrace ideas of false gods and pagan worship as they undoubtedly contain some element of truth in them.
I guess this is why people are clapping at Charlie Sheen?
It is such a pity, isn't it, that Christ didn't have this savvy advice in His three year Apostolate. The Passion and Crucifixion could have been avoided. Two-thousand years worth of martyrs had it all wrong.
Poor Henry has been robbed.
My favorite example of resources the de facto schism has used to debride Catholicism of the Cross comes from two translations from the Book of Revelation.
"Blessed are they that wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb: that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city."
"Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates."
Keep your clothes clean kiddies, you never know when Christ is coming to inspect our laundry.
Whoops, there goes the bell on my dryer...so let me cut to the chase. Here's my dime's worth of advice, for what its worth:
When it comes to the Catholic faith, you are what you read. I would avoid this stuff like the Kadashians.
When you are teaching the faith, the resources you immerse your audience in will make all the difference in the world to their spiritual life - perhaps for the rest of their lives. In a world where the overwhelming majority of Catholics are ignorant of Transubstantiation and the Sacraments, Catholic prayers, sacramentals - why would you bother scrounging up this tripe to feed the flock?
Dust off the Catechism and teach it. It has preserved our faith without errors for 2000 years.
p.s. If this is really a crackdown starting in Rome and will be spreading beyond:
Dear Beloved Pope Benedict XVI,
"Yoo-Hoo" from Boston.