May 19, 2009

Bruni's Words

Carl Olsen articulates my confusion over Carla Bruni's recent revelation:
Bruni may have been born and baptized Catholic, but her approach to living has been, to use her apt words, profoundly secular, as described in this December 2007 news piece:
Bruni herself says she does not mind her man-eating reputation. "I’d rather be called a predator than an old flea-bag. Predator — it’s not that bad for a woman."

In February this year she remarked: "I’m monogamous occasionally but I prefer polygamy and polyandry. Love lasts a long time but burning desire — two to three weeks."

Nor is she shy of talking about sex. "Sex, very pleasant. It’s one of the advantages of getting older... age increases sensuality and the pleasure," she has said
But, amazingly, not a word about Mass, studying the Catechism, considering life in a convent, or praying the Rosary! Are you as shocked as I am?

So there you have it: a baptized Catholic who seems to have had flings with nearly every famous man she's ever met is saying she is now—just now! only now! just today!—a lapsed Catholic because the Pope's/Church's refusal to condone the use of condoms is going to cause AIDS to spread further in Africa.
Where Christianity always becomes a scandal is exactly at the point - here's a shocker - at which it becomes a cross. I say this only out of a recognition of my own distaste for the cross. In other words "it's all good until somebody gets hurt," meaning the potential, in this case, for self-inflicted physical hurt by promiscuous sex. Spiritual hurt and spiritual death seem completely uninteresting to her. Body uber alles. Better Africans go to Hell than get HIV.

As long as the Pope taught something without seeming repercussion - i.e. preaching chastity while she (or we) enjoy unchastity - "it's all good". But should he wield political influence, in getting in the way of a condom-a-day for everyone, then he's just an awful person.

I suppose it was ever thus. We constantly wish to put Christianity in a separate box, away from the public square. The scary thing is that she self-identified as Catholic until so recently.

Contrasting the example of Bruni-Sarkosy, I was so moved by what Lydia said in the reading from the book of Acts, chapter 16, recently:
And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, she said, come and stay at my house."
Even after Baptism, she doesn't proclaim herself a believer so much as hope the Apostle does. She cedes to him the right to call her what he will. I daresay she's St. Lydia now.


Ellyn said...

But she's extremely good looking. And that's important, right?

TS said...

She is easy on the eyes, although in these circumstances I try to recall that story about a saint (whose name escapes me) who saw the vanity of it all when a coffin of a beautiful girl fell down and he'd noted her less than pristine remains...i.e. the "beauty is fleeting" lesson.

In this case knowledge (though not personal) of Bruni's promiscuity is such a turn-off that it partially negates her looks for me.